The Science of Happiness

10 happy thingsI had the opportunity to read an article here recently entitled “The Surprising Science Behind ‘Supremely Happy’ People.”  Ever in the pursuit of a higher state of happiness, I was intrigued by a list within the article compiled by “happiness researcher” (how awesome would that job be?) Kate Bratskeir.  According to Ms. Bratskeir, supremely happy people do the following 10 things: Continue reading

What is nostalgia?

In a book I have been reading recently, White Noise by Don DeLillo, a character named Murray posits:

I don’t trust anybody’s nostalgia but my own. Nostalgia is a product of dissatisfaction and rage. It’s a settling of grievances between the present and the past. The more powerful the nostalgia, the closer you come to violence.

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I run, therefore I think

Two nights ago, I decided to go for a run.  The night was hot and thick like summer nights are in the Midwest.  You can smell and taste and feel the air around you like a wet, too-warm heavy blanket.  The moon was as close to full as I could remember seeing it.  The kids were in bed, my wife was on the computer, and I had the next however-long-I-chose to myself.  I headed out of the neighborhood and up a hill along a running trail that cuts past the park, between a main-ish street and a golf course.  Traffic was light.  In the first few minutes of such a run, I usually don’t think about much of anything.  I’m still unwinding and getting into a rhythm, my body and mind loosening up together.  But tonight my thoughts were heavy, and I could not shake or outrun them. Continue reading

Day Self vs. Night Self

"Have you ever noticed..."

One of my favorite things about my new(ish) city is the radio station 102.5 FM “24/7 Comedy Radio.”  As its name would suggest, it really is comedy, like stand-up comedy, almost all the time, with very little commercial interruption (which is a refreshing reprieve from every other radio station, which seem to be nothing but 75% obnoxious commercials, 5% crude and obnoxious talk, and 20% the same three annoying songs played in a constant loop). Continue reading

Saturday book sale

I want them all.

Just got back from the semi-annual library sidewalk sale.  It wasn’t actually on the sidewalk, as rain clouds were threatening in the distance, but you get the idea.  Few things get me more excited than browsing through and looking for books.  I wasn’t disappointed. Continue reading

Row, row, row…your canoe.

So peaceful.

[I wrote this several years ago, and present it here (mostly) unchanged.  The facts may or may not be entirely accurate, depending on who ends up reading it.  If you like it and think it’s funny, then yes, this all really happened.  If I refer to having taken your car and doing horrible, unconscionable things to it, then I am totally, totally kidding]. Continue reading

Attacked by geese over lunch – never felt so alive!

What are YOU looking at?

Near my work, there is a pond, and around that pond, there is a path.  On those rare occasions when I can sneak away for a moment, I will sometimes go there: to walk, reflect, and commune.  With “nature.”

It is a picturesque setting, in its corporate park way, the “natural” beauty enhanced by several larger-than-life wood carvings that look like so many cast-offs from one of those lumberjack chainsaw-carving competitions. Continue reading

Soda Fast, Part II

Yummy, yummy soda!

With the dawning of the new year, and remembering how svelte and energized I felt with my first no-soda experiment, I decided to give it another whirl.  And, I did fairly well (in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that there was one tragic day of reprehensible backslide, wherein not just this but all my resolutions fell into a shameful tailspin of debauchery, gluttony, and (eventually) remorse.  But other than that…). Continue reading

Messy + Clean = Opposites Attract?

"Oh, the humanity..."

Were you to divide the world’s population into two categories, messy people and clean people, I probably wouldn’t qualify as anyone’s definition of “neat.”  Not that I don’t value cleanliness and order, and not that I leave mountains of filth or mayhem in my wake, either; but I don’t enjoy or feel compelled to always have things “just so” (like some people do; you know the types).  And I certainly feel no burning desire to be the one making things that way.  It’s just not how I am wired. Continue reading