23 things to make you smile. Right now.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I've been making more of an effort to spread cheer and optimism over there. I don't really know what started this, but for some reason lately, I've been trying to broadcast happiness on a grand scale. Maybe it's because the headlines lately have been exhaustingly sad and rageful. Or maybe it's just because I like happy things and I honestly don't think the world can have enough happiness. Either way, yesterday, I asked people on twitter to only tweet about the good stuff happening and using the hashtag, #HappyTweets. Now, I'm not a person with a ton of followers, so this didn't take off quite as much as I'd hoped it would, but that's okay. I still managed to tweet happy things, and I'm going to keep this going, even here on the blog. So... in the event that you just need a reason to smile, here is a list of things to be happy about in spite of what the news tells us:

  1. Puppies. I tweeted about this yesterday, but how incredible is it that we live on a planet on which puppies exist? Puppies, possibly the cutest things ever, happen all the time. They're just all around. And then, on top of them being cute, THEY LOVE EVERYONE. Have you ever met a puppy that didn't want to snuggle or play? Many books have been written on the love that dogs give us, but I think puppies deserve an extra boost right now because we are so lucky to live in the same universe as them. Just soak that incredible fact in.
  2. Artists. Okay, so I'm also floored by just how amazing it is that we are living at a time when people like Jenny Lawson, Hank Green, J.K. Rowling, Hannah Hart, Ben Folds, Rainbow Rowell, etc. all create stuff that we get to enjoy and learn from. Every day, there are amazing artists of all types creating things that we just get to sit down and be like "THIS IS A THING I ENJOY" and then we get to walk away feeling inspired by those people and things they do. Especially now. Now we are in a time when content is just constantly available to us - and often for free. This brings me to the next thing...
  3. The Internet. Okay, I know: The Internet can be full of terrible people, but you know what? It's also full of amazing people and amazing communities. Before the Internet, the only people available to you were just the ones physically surrounding you. If they weren't into the same stuff you were, that was just the pits. Now? Now you get to go online and log onto some forum or social media account and say "HEY, I'M REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT FAKE LIZARDS MADE OF SAND AND WAX." and someone else could be like, "OH MY GOD, ME TOO!!" and now you have a new friend who is in a totally different country. The Internet is an amazing place for people in search of community and friendships. I met the love of my life because of the Internet. I'm able to write and have a small group of readers because of the Internet. I'm currently listening to music because of the Internet. All the jerks out there? They are nothing in comparison to the awesomeness that I find on the Internet.
  4. Books. THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES OUT THERE TO READ. FAIRY TALES AND REALISTIC FICTION AND MURDER MYSTERIES AND SCI-FI AND HISTORY. IT'S ALL OUT THERE JUST WAITING FOR YOU. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?
  5. Flowers growing through cracks in the sidewalk. This doesn't need any explanation. Tiny, delicate, beautiful things emerge and break through the toughest of materials. As cliche as it is, this metaphor is wonderful and we should all remind ourselves of it daily.
  6. Music. No matter your taste, music is out there for you to fall in love to and with. Perfectly timed melodies and beautiful lyrics come to us in all sorts of ways and we get to apply them to moments in our lives as though someone is building a soundtrack for us. I just love it.
  7. Coffee. 
  8. Your ideal weather. For me it's 77 degrees and immediately following rain. I love rain, too, now that I'm thinking about it. Sure, weather can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but when it's also kind of amazing. Just picture your perfect day, weather-wise.
  9. Details in architecture. This one comes from my bestbian, Leah. She loves walking around the city with her headphones in and just looking at buildings and trying to notice their unique details. She's the best.
  10. Having a best friend. Many of us can think of our best friend(s). That person is someone who we can call whenever and just vent to. Best friends are the people who like you anyway. They're the best.
  11. Riding trains. I'm sure many of us have different feelings about train travel, but there is something so very classic and, as Leah puts it, "British" about the experience. She and I love British things, so this is in our happy column.
  12. Good television. We are in an age of amazing television right now. Shows that are beautifully written and make us think. This is awesome. I, personally, love great dialogue. Great dialogue is great.
  13. Crawling into a made bed at the end of the day. Oh man, is there anything more relaxing?
  14. Wearing an outfit that you know you look really, really good in. Admit it. You know what outfit this is and it is the thing you feel best about yourself in. Because you are really ridiculously good looking in it and you can do anything in that outfit.
  15. Pajamas. Duh.
  16. Making other people smile. 
  17. Rivers, lakes, and oceans. Bodies of water always seem to make me happy. I don't know why, but they're lovely. I've always really liked that line from Pocahontas where she says "my favorite thing about rivers is that you can't step in the same river twice." That has always made me smile.
  18. I know I said puppies already, but let's just give a shout out to all baby animals. Baby animals are just the best.
  19. Hugs. Good hugs are great. Even if you're not a hugger, somewhere out there is a hug that you love. I believe in that.
  20. When everything is where it should be. I personally hate cleaning, but I love when everything is clean, so I force myself to go through the grueling process of getting it there because I know the reward is worth it.
  21. Checking off everything on your to-do list. I rarely get to do this every day, but man isn't it awesome when it does happen? Yes. Yes it is.
  22. Live shows. In an age of digital everything, there is something even more amazing now about seeing something live. Last night, Fiance and I were lucky enough to see Ben Folds in concert and I'm still on Cloud 9.
  23. Love. This will be my last one, because ultimately, it is the most wonderful thing in the world and it is everywhere. Sometimes we struggle to see it clearly, but at the end of the day, when you're feeling really crappy, I think it's nice to remember that love is out there. Even if you're not feeling it, I think it's nice to know that it's there. It's nice to think about what you love and who loves you in spite of yourself. I think it's nice to love yourself. It's nice to remember that there is a puppy out there who will love you. Love, as a noun and a verb, is something that constantly amazes me. The fact that we are able to love and feel loved is something truly remarkable. Random acts of kindness are random acts of love and if you really sit back and think about it, isn't that just the most lovely thing of all? I think it is.

So that's my list as of this very moment. It's incomplete and constantly changing and being added to, but I invite you to write about what makes you happy in the comments. Tweet at me with happy things using #HappyTweets. Don't let the crappy headlines win. Flood the world with joy whenever possible.

Ready? Go.

WHAT DOES IT EVEN MEAN? And more evidence of my aging.

So I have this text chain going with some old roommates of mine. We lived together when we were studying in England and now we're all spread out all over the States, so this is how we randomly connect and feel like we're still sort of hanging out in our tiny kitchen with weird green chairs. Anyway, I think it's definite that we're not in college anymore and that we're all growing up because this conversation just recently occurred.

Fair warning: I've changed their names for their own privacy because no person should have to publicly admit that they're friends with me.

Me: Also, does anyone understand this song about not being able to feel your face, but still loving someone? I'm super confused and I can't get it out of my head.

Jessica: No!!! That song has ridiculous lyrics. We, along with my mom are all like whaaaaa?

Me: THANK YOU. Did the person drug the singer, making his face numb? So like "Hey, you totally drugged me and now I can't feel my face, but I still love you, so nbd." Because that's unhealthy. In many ways.

Jessica: You're not alone in not understanding... Those guys are making millions too.

Me: Well maybe they can use that money to seek treatment for their face-numbness.

Holly: Ignorant here. Who are these numbed face people?

Jessica: The Weeknd and they spell it like that too.

Holly: Because of course they do.

Me: I hate everything about them now.

Jessica: Not a typo.

So I think it's official: I'm a cranky old broad now, but I mean, really... what does this song even mean? Can someone explain it to me? Does this band even know?

Just to say "Wow."

It's one of my rules of blogging to not be preachy, but I just need to acknowledge how amazing this performance was. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have been some of the most truly inspirational artists this year. They've done everything on their own, they've stood up for what they believe is right, and on top of that, they are damn talented. Coming from a girl who loves The Beatles and folk music and usually can't stand rap, these guys have changed my opinion of the genre in a huge way. Yay, you guys.

 

P.S. How jealous are you that those couples get to say that they were married by QUEEN LATIFA??

And Then Kidz Bop Proved That They Had More Street Cred Than I Do.

Okay, so we all know that my street cred is like... off the shizzy. I mean, growing up in Suburbia as a white chick has certainly made me the dopest. And because of that, I know you guys visit this blog on the daily to get life advice on how to handle the dangers of your hood, or how to deal with the various crips and bloods on your block.

Right?

Okay, confession: I might not be that cool... as proven by the latest Kidz Bop release:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSroGlkmXQE]

If you haven't heard the original song by Macklemore & Lewis, it's awesome and you should go listen to it/watch the video right now.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept of Kidz Bop, basically what they do is take hit songs, re-record them with little kids, and change all the lyrics to make them G-rated.

Apparently I've been saying inappropriate things that I didn't even know about, you guys, because the original lyrics are most certainly not "rock some tags". Nor do Macklemore & Lewis feel that things are simply "really awesome" (don't worry, that one I totally understand).

So, I found out through some further investigation last night that the original lyrics, "pop some tags," have some mixed meanings. When I first heard this song, I figured it was all "I'm gonna be going crazy, getting a ridiculous amount of clothes at the thrift shop because it's all super cheap and awesome" and since I am a thrift shopper myself, I also assumed that this was a reference to the fact that most thrift shops have color coded tags that are half-priced on certain days. Basically, I figured the phrase was literally referring to the tags at the thrift shop.

Kidz Bop obviously does not agree.

Enter urbandictionary.com

Picture 2

Apparently, "popping tags" is also a phrase used on the streets to describe killing a crap-ton of people.

What the actual frack?

I mean, I suppose this makes total sense when you think about the whole "tag on your toe" reference, but seriously? Kidz Bop, I don't think that was the actual reference in this situation. I mean, I get that it's a play on words, but I'm pretty sure Macklemore & Lewis were being all "I'm getting a ton of clothes for just twenty dollars" and not "I'm gonna kill you at the thrift store." Context clues, Kidz Bop. Context clues.

Nevertheless, I respect you for taking the safe route on this one, Kidz Bop. I mean, if I were a parent who felt the need to buy my children family friendly renditions of the modern hits, I would hate for them to hear the words "popping tags" in a song about shopping only to find out that my children were now serial killers instead of money-saving shoppers with super-awesome trends.

Also, as John Hamm pointed out last night when I was discussing this song with her and my good friend, Jackie Chan, these are some seriously opposing definitions.

I mean, let's look at it this way: If you heard that a woman just popped some tags at the mall, your mind could now go one of two ways... Either she just had a major shopping spree (Yaaaay!!!) or there was a mass murder and your friend is now on the lamb (Oh nooooo....).

So now I feel like I'm even more confused.... and I'm definitely going to have to be more careful when talking about my shopping habits...