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Come On, Get Happy!
found on the Secret Society of Happy People website
written by MAYORBOB, edited by George (Plastic) [ read unedited ]
posted Mon 22 Dec 10:00am

Living
"Turn that frown upside down and think happy thoughts," MAYORBOB commands in his mayoral capacity. "Because, as everyone should be aware, the holiday season is a time for merriment and happiness. It's a shame that it's also a time of year when people have a marked tendency to experience those dreaded "Holiday Blues". In order to chase any gray skies away, we at Plastic ought to dedicate a thought or two to being happy. Let's begin with considering what made us happy in the past year. The Secret Society of Happy People gives us a good start with their list of the 'Happiest Events and Moments of 2003':

10. (Tie) It's been 100 years since the Wright Brothers got powered aviation off the ground. Mickey Mouse turns 75, but his voice still hasn't changed.

9. The original test tube baby -- whose birth forever changed the rules of conception -- turns 25.

8. American Idol contestants Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken prove talent can win out over image.

7. People are surprisingly honest when a Milwaukee woman gets back all 30 $100 bills that blew out of her purse.

6. Women's golfer Annika Sorenstam crosses the gender lines and competes respectably before large galleries at the Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth.

5. The Fab 5 from Queer Eye encourage straight men to look their best, live in style, and develop a little culture.

4. Kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart returns home thanks to the good Samaritans who called the police when they saw her.

3. Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian campaigner for women's and children's human rights, wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

2. Anti-nuisance legislation is passed to stop telemarketers and spammers from cluttering up our lives.

And, drumroll please...

1. Science proves it: the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging finds happy people live longer.

"The thought occurs that, if being happy has such therapeutic value, why would a society dedicated to the concept want to remain secret? Oops, cancel that last question -- that borders on introducing a sour note to this thread. Did anything on the list resonate with you? Or, do you find your happiness in quieter, more private moments? What was it that made you happy this time last year? It doesn't matter whether it was monumental or minuscule in the grand scheme of things. After all, we're family here. And whatever made you happy probably makes us happy also."

[ more plastic... ]    


show by
1.  Life is good
 by Argus Defthammer  [ message privately ]2 compelling 
  at Mon 22 Dec 10:07amscore of 2 compelling
  
1. I have a job that not only satisfies my wallet (sort of), it satisfies me on an emotional and spiritual level. (Being a teacher is an honor...really)

2. I have hobbies and interests that feed me.

3. I have three adorable cats.

and best of all...

4. I have the love of a good woman.

What more can I ask for?

Scotty...set shields to Bourbon!
 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
 
    2.  Re: Life is good
     by Tbola  [ message privately ]1  
      at Mon 22 Dec 10:23amscore of 1
      in reply to comment 1
      
    What more can I ask for?

    (beer.)

    Starve them out - block the A.I.
     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
     
    4.  Re: Life is good
     by Diversey  [ message privately ]1 helpful 
      at Mon 22 Dec 10:57amscore of 1 helpful
      in reply to comment 1
      
    and best of all...

    4. I have the love of a good woman.


    Hmmm. This is a matter of perspective. After over a year of aggressively dating in an attempt to find love (and dumping some frankly lackluster guys), I have discovered that I don't need to be in a relationship to be fulfilled. I have lovely friends — and myself — and for the time, that's enough.

    So yep, I don't have a sweetie to come home to, and I couldn't be happier.

    Unless the "good woman" you're talking about is your mom. I have that too, and that's pretty good.

     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
     
      10.  It's all relative
       by Argus Defthammer  [ message privately ]1  
        at Mon 22 Dec 12:01pmscore of 1
        in reply to comment 4
        
      The odd thing about happiness is that it is so bleeding hard to pin down. Not only that, but happiness means different things at different times.

      As I grow older, I find that, unlike my younger days, happiness is purely what I define it be...for me. Maybe accepting this idea of change is a step towards gaining happiness? I'll let you know when I hit my eighties.

      So, here's to us. Both of us are happy in our own way and by our own terms.

      I guess I have 5 things to be happy about.

      Scotty...set shields to Bourbon!
       [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
       
        15.  Re: Life is good
         by Tbola  [ message privately ]2 funny 
          at Mon 22 Dec 12:17pmscore of 2 funny
          in reply to comment 4
          
        Hmmm. This is a matter of perspective.

        Of course it's a matter of perspective.
        I've always been confused by this reaction — if having an amazing partner makes me happy, that in no way implies that people need partners to be happy.
        In fact, if partners were necessary, then it wouldn't feel as cool. There are a lot of people out there who seem to be in a relationship because they feel they should be, and that's sad.
        Being single is cool, and free, and in a lot of ways less complicated then being in love.

        Plus, it's usually easier to masturbate to computer porn when you are single. And if that doesn't equal happiness, I don't know what would.

        Starve them out - block the A.I.
         [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
         
        17.  Re: It's all relative
         by Diversey  [ message privately ]1.5 novel 
          at Mon 22 Dec 12:23pmscore of 1.5 novel
          in reply to comment 10
          
        Good point. There's definitely more to happiness than the sum of its parts, whatever they may be.

        For the moment, your response definitely made me happy, and I'm happy you're happy. I'm going to go hug someone now.

         [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
         
          18.  Ugh
           by Anonymous Idiot  0  
            at Mon 22 Dec 12:26pmscore of 0
            in reply to comment 17
            
          Happy people make me sick.

          [makes juvenile "retching" face]

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
           
            23.  Re: Ugh
             by deeluxx  [ message privately ]4 funny 
              at Mon 22 Dec 1:43pmscore of 4 funny
              in reply to comment 18
              
            Happy people make me sick.

            That's why they live longer.

             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
             
          8.  The love of a good women may good..
           by RandomAction  [ message privately ]1  
            at Mon 22 Dec 11:47amscore of 1
            in reply to comment 1
            
          ..for you, not always so good for the women involved Stay single, stay sane?

          Women who remain single are happier and enjoy better mental health, research has said

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
           
            22.  Re: The love of a good women may good..
             by gonzocanuck  [ message privately ]1  
              at Mon 22 Dec 1:41pmscore of 1
              in reply to comment 8
              
            I have to admit, I think this too. Before I was involved with my fiance, I definitely had less worries. But, you know, I wouldn't trade him in, even though others have suggested I should ;-) The good outweighs the bad for now. Perhaps this will change, it is hard to say. I think a lot of people fall into bad relationships because they think being with someone will make them happy.

            To love is the greatest risk of all. To marry, an even larger one, depending on your viewpoint of what a marriage is.

            You've got to coax him slow, that's the only way that he'll confess.
             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
             
            49.  Re: The love of a good women may good..
             by WhoAreWe  [ message privately ]1  
              at Mon 22 Dec 10:07pmscore of 1
              in reply to comment 8
              
            I read the article, and it seems that it's nothing more than simple correlation, ie being single won't make a woman enjoy better mental health.

            And it also says that alone and separated women are the worst off.

            Colorblind? Why would I ever want to be willfully blind?
             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
             
          28.  Re: Life is good
           by Anonymous Idiot  0  
            at Mon 22 Dec 2:14pmscore of 0
            in reply to comment 1
            
          Anyone who could possibly find 3 cats to be adorable definitely has to be happy!

          Just kidding. Merry Christmas Argus, your post made me smile.

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
           
          56.  Re: Life is good
           by Kick Me  [ message privately ]1 funny 
            at Tue 23 Dec 10:04amscore of 1 funny
            in reply to comment 1
            
          What more can I ask for?

          Music?
          Rhythm?

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
           
        3.  Happy people live longer
         by Graldar  [ message privately ]1.5 helpful 
          at Mon 22 Dec 10:36amscore of 1.5 helpful
          
        Since the thread suggests no sour notes, I won't wonder about the chicken and egg properties of the statement "happy people live longer".

        I've recently taken up origami, and now I know 25 different models. That makes me happy.

        Dancing, in all its forms makes me happy.

        The fact that an iPod can hold more songs than I have in my entire collection makes me happy.

        My top 5 most used words including "women" makes me happy.

         [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
         
          12.  Say what?
           by Anonymous Idiot  0  
            at Mon 22 Dec 12:03pmscore of 0
            in reply to comment 3
            
          My top 5 most used words including "women" makes me happy

          Huh? According to the user profile, your top five words are:

          since(27), women(25), years(24), question(24), and point(24)

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
           
          44.  Re: Happy people live longer
           by MarinRider  [ message privately ]1  
            at Mon 22 Dec 7:58pmscore of 1
            in reply to comment 3
            
          I'm glad you said it first. It sounds totally ridiculous, but my iPod makes me very happy. Not in a "I got a cool toy, look at me" sort of way, but in a "how did I live without this thing before?". Of course, I'm also very happy because of the lovely girlfriend who gave it to me. But, damn, I really, really like my iPod.

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
           
            47.  Re: Happy people live longer
             by Tessera  [ message privately ]1  
              at Mon 22 Dec 9:12pmscore of 1
              in reply to comment 44
              
            My iPod certainly isn't the center of my life, and I could probably live without it. But with the exception of people (and there are quite a few exceptional people in my life), my iPod gives me the most honest-to-goodness, no-strings-attached happiness.

            My 1-year-old baby sister puts up a good fight, though. =)

             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
             
              63.  Re: Happy people live longer
               by curve06  [ message privately ]1  
                at Tue 23 Dec 12:28pmscore of 1
                in reply to comment 44
                
              OMFG! I can't believe that just a year ago, I was lugging around three different huge cd cases with me every where I went.

              My pod has just completely revolutionized my music situation and it makes me incredibly happy.
              It's the simple pleasure in life that really do it for me.

              Also, huge thanks to MY wonderful boyfriend who bought it for my hannukah/christmas/birthday present.

              If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind. - Kurt Vonnegut
               [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
               
              53.  Re: Happy people live longer
               by Rev. DOG.  [ message privately ]1  
                at Tue 23 Dec 4:09amscore of 1
                in reply to comment 47
                
              I think I prefer to take your last sentence as a non-sequitur aside, because I just had a flash of you fighting your infant sister.

              Kittysneezes.com: All Things To All People
               [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
               
          5.  Life is, indeed, good.
           by Osomatic  [ message privately ]2 clever 
            at Mon 22 Dec 11:00amscore of 2 clever
            
          I give thanks for this incredibly incomplete list of the following good things:

          - Bart, Lisa, and Maggie remain the same age.
          - So do Peter, Paige, and Jason.
          - Alton Brown.
          - ...and his kosher salt. It really IS better!
          - Peter Jackson.
          - James Gandolfini. Soon, I hope.
          - Arrested Development.
          - Coldplay.
          - Soul Coughing.
          - Deep-fried turkey.
          - My grandmother's gravy noodles. Shut up, they're fucking good. Besides, you have no idea what I'm talking about until you've eaten them.
          - Mexicali, in a way.
          - Tamales.
          - A live show by the Vandals.
          - Lamplighters.
          - All of Black Rock City, actually.
          - Red Beans and Rice.
          - Saint Bernard dogs.
          - Sweet mutts.
          - The 2nd most important thing in the world: Having the sweetest possible wife, ever.
          - The one thing I didn't think I would ever get, and surely, truly, the 1 million percent most important thing in the world: A Niblet!

          If carrots got you drunk, rabbits would be fucked up.
           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
           
          6.  Here are things that made me happy this past year.
           by MAYORBOB  [ message privately ]2 clever 
            at Mon 22 Dec 11:10amscore of 2 clever
            
          And, I'm talking about unqualified happiness:

          1. I watched my granddaughter dance in The Nutcracker. It was the very first production of the ballet that I had ever seen and it was truly a grand experience, made only that much more special by watching Ally beaming up on stage as an angel.

          2. Celebrated another year of marriage to my best friend. Made plans on going to Hawaii for our 30th anniversary next year to renew vows at the Fern Grotto on Kauai.

          3. The University of Delaware Blue Hens won the NCAA Division IAA football championship by beating the Colgate Red Raiders 40 to zip. This marks the first time Delaware has won the national championship since it moved up from Division II back in 1980. By the way, unlike Division I where you will have a year of controversy over who actually won the title, Division IAA allows their champions to emerge from the playing field and not a set of computers.

          4. I still have Plastic to come to and play around with. By the way, have you stuffed Carl's stocking with a donation? He is our Santa Claus 365 days a year, don't you know.

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
           
            29.  Re: Here are things that made me happy this past
             by Anonymous Idiot  0  
              at Mon 22 Dec 2:18pmscore of 0
              in reply to comment 6
              
            You truly are a lovely man. You deserve every happiness.

            I am only posting as an AI to avoid people accusing me of brown-nosing. I am not. I think you are wonderful. Merry Christmas!

             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
             
          7.  Happinesses
           by marduk_kur  [ message privately ]1.5 compelling 
            at Mon 22 Dec 11:36amscore of 1.5 compelling
            
          If I remember correctly, there was a large long-term study done on happiness a while back that found the one trait with any statistical correlation to happiness is past happiness. In other words: financial/career success or failure, changes in marital status or other relationships, sickness or health had no effect on how happy the subjects were overall. The people who felt generally happy at the beginning of the study were the same people who felt generally happy at the end, and likewise for the unhappy.

          So on that note...

          Things that make me happy:

          Everything.

          Sad lad, he really couldn't handle starting from scratch on the very first level. But he died the death of a warrior.

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
           
          9.  A few happy thoughts...
           by Adeste Fidelis  [ message privately ]2 nuanced 
            at Mon 22 Dec 12:01pmscore of 2 nuanced
            
          1) I've always figured that every day I survived was a good one.
          2) The day is going to come whether you enjoy it or not, so you might as well enjoy it.
          3) I can't control everything that happens in my life, but I can control how I respond to them.
          4) I would rather be grateful for what I have than disgruntled over what I don't have.
          5) I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
           
            78.  = paradox of the slacker. Do Nothing?
             by marduk_kur  [ message privately ]1  
              at Tue 23 Dec 7:40pmscore of 1
              in reply to comment 9
              
            4) I would rather be grateful for what I have than disgruntled over what I don't have.

            Daddy?

            Yes, son?

            What does "regret" mean?

            Well son, the funny thing about regret is: it's better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven't done.

            And by the way; if you see your mom this weekend, be sure and tell her SATAN SATAN SATAN!

            Sad lad, he really couldn't handle starting from scratch on the very first level. But he died the death of a warrior.

             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
             
              80.  Re: = paradox of the slacker. Do Nothing?
               by Adeste Fidelis  [ message privately ]1  
                at Tue 23 Dec 9:47pmscore of 1
                in reply to comment 78
                
              *scratches head while the above comment goes sailing over it*

              As an example, I would say that I would much prefer regretting missing out on the thrill of bungee jumping than taking the opportunity to do so and regretting that the bungee wasn't as well-tied around my waist as it should have been.

               [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
               
                86.  Re: = paradox of the slacker. Do Nothing?
                 by CaptainLiberal  [ message privately ]1  
                  at Wed 24 Dec 12:27pmscore of 1
                  in reply to comment 78
                  
                What, you think you're the only one who listened to the Butthole Surfers?

                That's a great bit, though.

                Every dream turns into something on a T-shirt -- Shriekback
                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                84.  Re: = paradox of the slacker. Do Nothing?
                 by marduk_kur  [ message privately ]1  
                  at Wed 24 Dec 11:17amscore of 1
                  in reply to comment 80
                  
                It comes at the same issue from the other direction, presenting the paradox that seems inherent in taking action to achieve happiness.

                The joke of the quote is the implication that the speaker is acrimoniously estranged from the child's mother- negating the advice he just provided.

                Both your #4 and the quote I offered present a different path toward the same quandry: why do anything?

                Sad lad, he really couldn't handle starting from scratch on the very first level. But he died the death of a warrior.

                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                  87.  Re: = paradox of the slacker. Do Nothing?
                   by Adeste Fidelis  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Wed 24 Dec 3:08pmscore of 1
                    in reply to comment 84
                    
                  To us and our good fortune
                  Be happy be healthy, long life!
                  And if our good fortune never comes
                  Here's to whatever comes,
                  Drink l'chaim, to life!
                  -From The Fiddler on the Roof

                  Just because I'm grateful for what I have doesn't necessarily mean I wouldn't like more, just that I'm willing to accept whatever life has to bring.

                  Both your #4 and the quote I offered present a different path toward the same quandry: why do anything?

                  Ah, I think I'm beginning to understand you, although that last part might be better worded as "why do 'a' instead of 'b'?" Ultimately, we cannot do nothing, or, doing nothing IS doing something, for in order for us to do nothing we must make the choice to do nothing.

                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                    88.  Re: = paradox of the slacker. Do Nothing?
                     by marduk_kur  [ message privately ]1  
                      at Wed 24 Dec 3:46pmscore of 1
                      in reply to comment 87
                      
                    I'm with you on both counts. I just find this particular issue to be endlessly amusing. Because while I agree with your answers, and rationalize the question the same way, I don't believe either answer really has any logical validity. There are obviously easier paths and harder paths to take in life. If you can find the happiness in your life regardless of any externalities, why not always choose the path of least resistance?

                    As I said, paradox of the slacker. Where do we get the feeling that neglecting goal directed behaviour is wrong? Is it imposed from outside, thus perhaps cultural and malleable? Is it built into our biology that contributing to society has happiness boosting value? Ideas like your #4 and my quote imply not, but what other answers are there?

                    If people are inherently hedonistic then our culture has seriously misled us. If people are not inherently hedonistic, then what is the driving force behind our behaviour? Collectivism? Competition? Some combination of the three? What types of behviour cannot be reduced to hedonism, and why?

                    It's funny.

                    Sad lad, he really couldn't handle starting from scratch on the very first level. But he died the death of a warrior.

                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                11.  Pop Idol
                 by ideonode  [ message privately ]1  
                  at Mon 22 Dec 12:02pmscore of 1
                  
                American Idol contestants Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken prove talent can win out over image.

                And indeed, the original UK Pop Idol proved the same this weekend.

                Things that made me happy this year: going further east than I ever have done before; going further west than I ever have done before; Quicksilver; nieces and nephews; becoming partnered after a long absense; seven friends getting married; having BestPerson duties for two of those weddings; Super Monkey Ball; discovering Susan Cooper's Mandrake; surprising my sister in Detroit for her 40th birthday; being drunk in Edinburgh, Dublin, Paris, San Francisco, New Delhi and Hong Kong.

                And finally, this sub has made me happy, as I can finally blog without getting a fucking blog.

                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                13.  happy, happy, joy, joy
                 by Goliard  [ message privately ]1  
                  at Mon 22 Dec 12:10pmscore of 1
                  
                This time last year:

                I had all my shopping done. Online, never stepped foot in a freakin mall.

                My husband hadn't asked for a divorce yet. This continues to amaze me at the turn of each year since the 10th one.

                The electricity was still running, my car had not been repo'd, and bankrupty still seemed like a good idea.

                I was taking my very first flight, to San Diego, to see the goddam Bucs in the bowl!

                So, last year was great.

                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                14.  a fragment of an underdone potato
                 by Astuo  [ message privately ]1  
                  at Mon 22 Dec 12:17pmscore of 1
                  
                My "Bah Humbug" pin is sitting next to my monitor, so I won't forget to wear it when we visit our relatives in a few days; and although I am a fairly ridiculous and sometimes sublime (but never, I hope, a mediocre in-between) fellow, I thought I might offer this bit of sober advice, of some relevance to the topic at hand, which has served me well:
                13. If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid with regard to external things. Don't wish to be thought to know anything; and even if you appear to be somebody important to others, distrust yourself. For, it is difficult to both keep your faculty of choice in a state conformable to nature, and at the same time acquire external things. But while you are careful about the one, you must of necessity neglect the other.


                Vernacular? That's a derby!
                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                16.  It's been a long December...
                 by culberda  [ message privately ]2 novel 
                  at Mon 22 Dec 12:22pmscore of 2 novel
                  
                ... but there's reason to believe that maybe next year will be better than the last.

                If happy people live longer, this year may have a taken a little off my life. I had some struggles.

                But I'm a blessed guy, and this thread is about happiness.

                I love lighthouses, and in June of this year, with one of my best friends, I stood in a freezing driving rain, cooked sausages, and spontaneously sang my country's national anthem underneath the Miscou Lighthouse. I was happy then.

                I went to see my doctor about what I thought was a simple throat infection in May, and moments later found myself in an ambulance on the way to be admitted. Somehow my girlfriend intuitively new where to come find me when I couldn't get ahold of family or anyone. When she walked into my hospital room... I was happy.

                I have a ten year old brother, and I watched him score 4 little points in a winning effort at a basketball tournament. His happiness is infectious... I am blessed with a wonderful family who make me happy--and it grew by 1 this year as I stood with another brother on his wedding day.

                For the first time in my twenty-five years I went Christmas shopping for a woman I love.

                I'm a lucky bastard.

                the quiet loners always blow
                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                19.  perspective is everything
                 by Anonymous Idiot  1.5 compelling 
                  at Mon 22 Dec 12:59pmscore of 1.5 compelling
                  
                Over the last several years I've lost most of my family to sickness and the woman I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with to neglect. I went more than a little off the deep end. I became convinced that I would have to endure a life I longed to end because of the few people left to me and so began to resent rather than treasure them. It was bleak and ugly and very nearly fatal.

                And then it started to get better.

                I have friends who stuck with me when I told them to leave me alone. They are my family now. Not a replacement for what I've lost but a whole new thing that I never realized that I could have.

                And I have perspective.

                The worst thing that I could imagine happened and I somehow survived it. Now I find that the everyday things that used to make me so upset and angry are almost trivial. I can look at my life and see what is good. I am beginning to understand that what really matters is the ability to see which things are truly important and which merely seem to be and, hopefully, I am beginning to develop some ability to make that distinction.

                I miss my sister and my mother and the life I used to have. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of them. But now I look at where I am and where I am going more than where I used to be and that makes me very very happy.

                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                20.  All's well, no complaints
                 by gonzocanuck  [ message privately ]2 interesting 
                  at Mon 22 Dec 1:07pmscore of 2 interesting
                  
                I'm sure I'm not along in observing this, but do you ever notice how many say "When X happens, then I'll be happy." or "When I have this much saved, then I can be happy."

                I know all these things, and degrees of happiness, are relative and unique to each individual. I just gotta wonder why people feel that their happiness is so closely tied to certain things, or amounts, or events. Certainly true happiness is not that elusive :-) Does happiness really need to constantly happen on a grand scale? Or are some people prone to constant drama in their lives?

                I'm pretty happy right now. Things are really going my way. They usually do. My parents are horrified that I'm going to take a pay cut next year so I can do another semester at the local art college, but I know it will be OK. It's something I have to do. I know I'll be a lot unhappier if I don't. My parents are not prone to risk, their lives seem pretty centered around earthly toil with no time for things like art. They seem fairly miserable on the whole — I'm sure good things can still happen at their age, especially since my grandparents are in their 80s and pretty jovial.

                You've got to coax him slow, that's the only way that he'll confess.
                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                21.  Be Happy — And that's an order!!
                 by CelebratedMrK  [ message privately ]2.5 clever 
                  at Mon 22 Dec 1:31pmscore of 2.5 clever
                  
                And make someone else happy. (link to www.charitywatch.org)

                I'm happy that I understand myself a little better than I did before. Started taking classical music lessons. (Playing 3 chords still makes me happy, but there's beauty and happiness to be found in a disciplined pursuit.).

                The Travelling Wilburys wrote a great song about being happy. Enjoy.

                End of the Line

                (Well it's alright)
                Ridin' around in the breeze.
                If you live the life you please.
                Doing the best you can.
                As long as you lend a hand.
                You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring.
                Waiting for someone to tell you everything.
                Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring.
                Maybe a diamond ring.
                (Well it's alright)
                Even if they say you're wrong.
                Sometimes you've gotta be strong.
                As long as you've got someone to lay.
                Every day is just one day.
                Maybe somewhere down the road away.
                You'll think of me and wonder where I am these days.
                Maybe somewhere down the road when someone plays,
                Purple Haze.
                (Well it's alright)
                Even when push comes to shove.
                If you got someone to love.
                Everything will work out fine.
                We're going to the end of the line.
                Don't have to be ashamed of the kind of car I drive.
                I'm just glad to be here, happy to be alive.
                It don't matter if you're by my side. I'm satisfied.
                (Well it's alright)
                Even if you're old and grey.
                You still got something to say.
                Remember to live and let live.
                The best you can do is forgive.
                Ridin' around in the breeze.
                If you live the life you please.
                Even if the sun don't shine.
                We're going to the end of the line!

                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                24.  It's Contagious
                 by shtmlf  [ message privately ]1  
                  at Mon 22 Dec 1:45pmscore of 1
                  
                Having a great spouse, kids, pets, toys, and all that stuff makes me happy. Hearing great music or experiencing great art also does it, but the thing that works best is others being happy.

                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                25.  Why happy?
                 by Dr_MOTH  [ message privately ]1.5 helpful 
                  at Mon 22 Dec 1:47pmscore of 1.5 helpful
                  
                Now engaged to marry beautiful woman
                Will get two adorable step-kids in the deal
                My Rock and Roll Band is fun to play in
                My friends are the Awesome
                My brother and his wife are about to make me an Uncle
                My Mom kicked Cancer's Ass
                My job does not always suck
                I'm getting pretty good on the banjo

                plenty more, but all this springs to mind all at once!

                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                26.  Happiness is....
                 by renny0  [ message privately ]2.5 helpful 
                  at Mon 22 Dec 1:50pmscore of 2.5 helpful
                  
                Happiness is loving someone and being loved back. Happiness is not feeling alone — knowing that no matter what you do or how badly you screw things up, your real friends will continue to love you and be there to support you. Happiness is seeing a friend smile when they see you. Happiness is taking a long nap next to someone you love — whether it be a friend, lover, or pet. Happiness is accepting that being the best and having the most is not the most important thing. Happiness is having ambition but being content when the effort doesn't pan out to success. Happiness is laughing at and learning from failure. Happiness is knowing that even though there is evil in the world, the good in people far outweighs the evil we so often hear too much about. Happiness is acting like a 5-year-old whenever the opportunity arises — looking at the world with wonder and playing with friends whenever possible. I love being happy.

                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                27.  if you're happy and you know it
                 by orionoir  [ message privately ]4.5 brilliant 
                  at Mon 22 Dec 2:10pmscore of 4.5 brilliant
                  
                10. (Tie) It's been 100 years since the Wright Brothers got powered aviation off the ground. Mickey Mouse turns 75, but his voice still hasn't changed.
                9. The original test tube baby — whose birth forever changed the rules of conception — turns 25.
                8. American Idol contestants Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken prove talent can win out over image.
                7. People are surprisingly honest when a Milwaukee woman gets back all 30 $100 bills that blew out of her purse.
                6. Women's golfer Annika Sorenstam crosses the gender lines and competes respectably before large galleries at the Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth.
                5. The Fab 5 from Queer Eye encourage straight men to look their best, live in style, and develop a little culture.
                4. Kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart returns home thanks to the good Samaritans who called the police when they saw her.
                3. Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian campaigner for women's and children's human rights, wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
                2. Anti-nuisance legislation is passed to stop telemarketers and spammers from cluttering up our lives.
                1. Science proves it: the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging finds happy people live longer.


                happiness, like death, is stasis, a dreary point of equilibrium at which you've really got no reason to do anything at all, since it's all downhill from there. about the most interesting thing you're going to do all day is clap your hands.

                unhappy people are always thinking, because they're trying to figure out why they're so unhappy. desperation is the mother of invention, abject misery is the handmaiden of good sex, existential despair is the dark energy that keeps the universe from flying apart.

                where are the great happy men of literature, hah, you can't find em because they're not there, if we're playing literary poker i'll see your pollyanna and anne of green gables with my hamlet, lear, and eeyore, read em and weep, baby. norman rockwell was a depressive, walt disney a mean drunk. ludwig von beethoven didn't go around dispensing dandy day-brightners, not a one.

                happy people, they're just a bunch of misinformed old people who think ronald reagan's going to write them a letter when they turn 100, like ronald reagan isn't throwing poop on the walls and biting nancy every chance he gets. anybody who knows anything, they get the hell on with tunnel of light thing while medicare's still solvent.

                test tube baby is twenty-five, we should be happy? she's wearing a leopard print thong and a bare-midriff shirt, the girl ain't even got a belly button, this is a good thing? this happy list, just look at it: milwaukee woman gets her bundle of c-notes back, for crying out loud, she's a dope dealer, those people were fearing for their lives! woman golfer takes the vaginal shortcut off the tee, drives the ball about as far as tiger putts, some poor schmuck with kids to feed doesn't make the cut, progress? these are not reasons to be cheerful.

                scientists prove happiness is a good thing: hah! from what city could these scientists hail, i wonder, could it be that wretched town of cheap hookers and drunk sailors, the armpit of the atlantic, that sewer of sociopathic slime, baltimore? i rest my case.

                i'm so happy i can't stop crying -- sting, fr. "lithium sunset"
                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                 
                  32.  Mr. Sunshine
                   by Anonymouse Savant  [ message privately ]1.5 brilliant 
                    at Mon 22 Dec 3:18pmscore of 1.5 brilliant
                    in reply to comment 27
                    
                  I wasn't going to join in, but I cannot go another minute without giving him this big hug, a sloppy-drunk New Year's kiss (prematurely, but who cares — it's the thought that counts) and shouting out,

                  orionoir makes me happy!

                  So shoot me.

                  Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuses. (R. Heinlein)
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                    61.  Re: Mr. Sunshine
                     by CaptainLiberal  [ message privately ]1  
                      at Tue 23 Dec 11:14amscore of 1
                      in reply to comment 32
                      
                    So shoot me.

                    I won't shoot you, but I'll second you. I also find orionoir to be one of Plastic's gems. It's probably a paste gem, knowing Plastic, but I'll take what I can get.

                    Every dream turns into something on a T-shirt -- Shriekback
                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                    64.  Re: Mr. Sunshine
                     by Goliard  [ message privately ]1  
                      at Tue 23 Dec 12:29pmscore of 1
                      in reply to comment 32
                      
                    and he makes me laugh!

                    He's like liquid valium. Let's all turn over our possessions for him to hold at the compound. Grab a bus and go to Baltimore to find more of the sociopathic incubi among us. We could have a show called Straight Eye for the Queer Guy, a sure hit.

                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                    68.  One big semi-functional family
                     by jenmac  [ message privately ]2.5 funny 
                      at Tue 23 Dec 1:34pmscore of 2.5 funny
                      in reply to comment 32
                      
                    Is it premature New Year's already? In that case...orionoir makes me happy, too. So do you, 'mouse. (raises glass) Captain, Goliard, all of you make me happy. (raises glass) snut_rucket, ms_sue, nmiguy, Carl, I know you're all around here somewhere. Hell, everyone who is or will be on pals list...(raises, raises, raises)

                    Know what? You guys are the best. No, really, listen. Lissenlissenlissenlissenlissen. I really really really love you guys, you know? You guys arrza bess guys inna world. Nizest people inna wurl, on Plastic. And yer smart, you knowdat? Yerall much too smart foryer jobs, you should totally quit and follow yer dreeeeam. I know! Less all do that this year, less just quit our jobs an' move in together and start a band and...uh oh...(falls to floor with resounding thud)

                    Hey, 'mouse, I think I found your car keys. Oo, look, a quarter!

                    Is it sticky? Would it kill you? -- snut_rucket's son at the La Brea tar pits
                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                      81.  Re: One big semi-functional family
                       by Leamur67  [ message privately ]1  
                        at Wed 24 Dec 12:19amscore of 1
                        in reply to comment 68
                        
                      Let me she-hic!-econd all of the above and add you to that list, too, Jen. :)

                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tell the truth. (Then run.)
                       [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                       
                    38.  Re: if you're happy and you know it
                     by Anonymous Idiot  0  
                      at Mon 22 Dec 6:07pmscore of 0
                      in reply to comment 27
                      
                    Thank you for brightening my day. In a way it's good to know some people are happy- but, having just secured my own special place in hell- wathching my wife prepare to leave me, doing just a little more coke- yeah I'm at the bottom right now. And yes I'm a published author (albiet in a very technical field). Actually very successful in a geeky way. Happiness is convoluted. There is good and bad everywhere- I'm glad I'm not the only one slogging my way out of a certain batch of shit, even though parts of my life are undeniably good.

                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                    45.  Clap your hands
                     by Nameless Cynic  [ message privately ]1  
                      at Mon 22 Dec 8:05pmscore of 1
                      in reply to comment 27
                      
                    test tube baby is twenty-five, we should be happy? she's wearing a leopard print thong and a bare-midriff shirt, the girl ain't even got a belly button, this is a good thing?
                    And hey, if that thought doesn't bring a smile to your face, what will?

                    (I mean, what real use is a belly button anyway? Another place to pierce? It's not like it's a big enough pocket to keep your wallet in or anything. Enough lint to knit a cat, maybe, but something useful? Nope...)

                    "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet." ~~ Napoleon Bonaparte
                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                  30.  I achieved big goals
                   by LeighBCD  [ message privately ]2 intriguing 
                    at Mon 22 Dec 2:29pmscore of 2 intriguing
                    
                  I am happier today than I was a year ago because:-

                  1. I have finally chucked in the corporate job that made my 20s miserable and less fulfilling than I had wished as a teenager.

                  2. I achieved a life long ambition to do a road trip around the USA. I did it on my own, too, as a single woman. Liberating in so many respects. I found contentment along the way and the freedom of the road. There is absolutely nothing else in the world as the sun on my face, the wind in my hair and the knowledge that I am young, alive and beholden to nobody. I have realised that I still have my dreams and that I can achieve them.

                  Having discovered this inner contentment, I need to maintain it. I am eager for 2004 — and that is such a great feeling.

                  To rose-lipt maidens and lightfoot lads
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  31.  Big things (and little things)
                   by hexzeros  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Mon 22 Dec 2:34pmscore of 1
                    
                  Well, the big one was dumping a guy who after 7 years of being non-committal but too chicken to call it off had turned me into a stepford girlfriend. On a positive note, I got one awesome dog out of the wreckage.

                  And so, I've made some great new friends this year. Ones who don't mind acting goofy.

                  As 40 approaches, I'd like to think I've gained some hard-earned wisdom.

                  A-and, all the Monkees episodes are now available on DVD. I love you Peter!

                  Nil Fun
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  33.  Introversion/Stress Kills?
                   by Philosawyer  [ message privately ]2 informative 
                    at Mon 22 Dec 4:43pmscore of 2 informative
                    
                  When I saw the hed I thought it might be about the story in the Washington Post. Its not but it is closely related to the assertion that happiness makes you live longer. In a recent study it was found that introverts had a much less effective immune response than extroverts in response to HIV treatment:

                  This month, a carefully done study showed that shy men have much less resistance to the AIDS virus than extroverted men and benefit far less from treatment with antiretroviral drugs. It is the first study to demonstrate through laboratory tests a connection between being introverted and the course of AIDS in individuals, researchers said....In shy people, the nervous systems may be more likely to produce a stress reaction during social interactions — so they maintain their internal stress balance by limiting contact with other people...Gold noted that stress is a normal response to threatening situations that has been learned through evolution — stress forces the body to choose short-term performance over long-term health.

                  "It is not good to be lackadaisical if you are a rat being chased by a cat," he said. "There is a lot of circuitry in the brain that is organized to promote anxiety."

                  After the emergency is over, most people's internal chemical balance downshifts into a more sedate state. But in some people, Gold said, things don't scale down: "You are ready for stress, you are ready to bleed, you increase your glucose. That is not a good state to stay in for months or years. The bone breaks down; you get heart disease."


                  In other words relax...

                  Doh! Another reason for introverts to be worried about their health.

                  The marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation defines a robot as "Your plastic pal who's fun to be with."
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  35.  Killjoy to the rescue!
                   by Korpios  [ message privately ]2 novel 
                    at Mon 22 Dec 5:04pmscore of 2 novel
                    
                  Sorry... I'm going to shred that list. *smile*


                  10. (Tie) It's been 100 years since the Wright Brothers got powered aviation off the ground. Mickey Mouse turns 75, but his voice still hasn't changed.


                  ...and our friend Mickey is still under copyright, many decades after his creation, thanks to our corporate-owned friends in Congress. No 14-year founder's copyright for this here mouse, no-siree... Thank you, Disney, for ripping off countless works in the public domain (e.g. Grimm's Fairy Tales) while doing everything possible not to give anything in return.


                  9. The original test tube baby — whose birth forever changed the rules of conception — turns 25.


                  Great. We're making conception easier, as if there weren't enough kids around already who lack decent families. Try adopting, perhaps?


                  8. American Idol contestants Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken prove talent can win out over image.


                  American Idol, run by our friends at News Corporation: always working hard at bringing America "fair and balanced" news and quality entertainment for the masses.


                  7. People are surprisingly honest when a Milwaukee woman gets back all 30 $100 bills that blew out of her purse.


                  If I was carrying around $3000, I'd be a wee bit more careful with it. I suppose stupidity isn't as painful as it ought to be....


                  6. Women's golfer Annika Sorenstam crosses the gender lines and competes respectably before large galleries at the Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth.


                  So long as "professional sports" are largely based on physical strength, we're going to continue to see this ridiculous dichotomy based on gender. Why anyone finds them facinating in the first place, however.... *shrugs*


                  5. The Fab 5 from Queer Eye encourage straight men to look their best, live in style, and develop a little culture.


                  This show perpetuates the disgusting stereotype that gay men are somehow inherently different from straight men in terms of anything save their sexual orientation.


                  4. Kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart returns home thanks to the good Samaritans who called the police when they saw her.


                  We get so worked up over the kids, and barely bat an eyelash when a comparable incident happens to an adult. This is terribly backwards: adults are the ones with more actuality to lose, as opposed to the largely potential nature of children.


                  3. Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian campaigner for women's and children's human rights, wins the Nobel Peace Prize.


                  We have learned by now that the Nobel prizes are utterly corrupt, right? The committees are heavily "advised" by past Nobel winners, and personal biases play an enormous factor in determining winners. Furthermore, the Nobel deliberation records are closed for fifty years, making it impossible to independently review how they came to their conclusions. (For a good laugh — or groan — look up the Nobel prize that was awarded several decades back for the "cure to cancer".)


                  2. Anti-nuisance legislation is passed to stop telemarketers and spammers from cluttering up our lives.


                  The "anti-spam" legislation was pushed by the spam industry, as it does nothing to stop it and everything to legitimatize it in the eyes of the law. The anti-telemarketing legislation leaves wide loopholes for companies you "already have a business history with" — which can be interpreted quite broadly.


                  1. Science proves it: the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging finds happy people live longer


                  Happy people aren't the ones who will be pushing for research into stopping aging, disease, and otherwise acheiving functional human immortality. Happy people don't "scratch their itches" and bring new creations foward to improve our lives. Happy people also tend believe in concepts like "life after death" and other assorted, irrational nonsense.

                  Give me reason over happiness any day.

                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                    57.  Re: Killjoy to the rescue!
                     by Adeste Fidelis  [ message privately ]1  
                      at Tue 23 Dec 10:14amscore of 1
                      in reply to comment 35
                      
                    You forgot to mention that American Idol also exposed the public to Simon Cowell's abusive snit fits.

                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                    58.  10-word takedown
                     by bak  [ message privately ]1  
                      at Tue 23 Dec 10:17amscore of 1
                      in reply to comment 35
                      
                    ...and our friend Mickey is still under copyright, many decades after his creation, thanks to our corporate-owned friends in Congress...

                    Whiny

                    Great. We're making conception easier, as if there weren't enough kids around already who lack decent families...

                    Misguided

                    American Idol, run by our friends at News Corporation: always working hard at bringing America "fair and balanced" news and quality entertainment for the masses.

                    Irrelevant

                    If I was carrying around $3000, I'd be a wee bit more careful with it. I suppose stupidity isn't as painful as it ought to be...

                    Resentful

                    So long as "professional sports" are largely based on physical strength, we're going to continue to see this ridiculous dichotomy based on gender. Why anyone finds them facinating in the first place, however...

                    Dismissive

                    This show perpetuates the disgusting stereotype that gay men are somehow inherently different from straight men in terms of anything save their sexual orientation.

                    Disingenuous

                    ...This is terribly backwards: adults are the ones with more actuality to lose, as opposed to the largely potential nature of children.

                    Incoherent

                    We have learned by now that the Nobel prizes are utterly corrupt, right?

                    Reductive

                    The "anti-spam" legislation was pushed by the spam industry

                    I must admit you are dead on with this point.

                    Happy people aren't the ones who will be pushing for research into stopping aging, disease, and otherwise acheiving functional human immortality...

                    Bitter

                    Give me reason over happiness any day.

                    Give me oronoir's subtle reinterpretation over your hostile blundering any day.

                    --bak

                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                      72.  Re: 10-word takedown
                       by Norman108  [ message privately ]1  
                        at Tue 23 Dec 3:59pmscore of 1
                        in reply to comment 58
                        
                      Snarking doesn't always make me giggle but I must admit, you two are quite funny together.

                      Korpios was dead on with most of the critiques yet bak was also dead on with most of the snarks. Delighting in this amusing incongruity is what makes maintaining a human brain worth all that trouble.

                      Plastic is Fantastic.

                      In man's stone-dark heart there burns a fire, That burns all veils to their root and foundation. Jelauddin Rumi
                       [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                       
                      79.  Mirror, mirror, on the wall....
                       by Korpios  [ message privately ]1  
                        at Tue 23 Dec 7:49pmscore of 1
                        in reply to comment 58
                        

                      Whiny


                      This, by the same person who elsewhere in this thread stated the following:


                      now if only we could do it without PATRIOT, CAPPS II, the disintegration of the 4th amendment, a 1:1 strip search/domestic flight ratio, "sneak and peek", rubber-stamping, the misapplication of anti-terrorism laws, Gitmo, "enemy combatant" status, suspension of habeas corpus, fearmongering alert colors, and all those other little erosions of freedom that we seem to be taking more and more for granted, I would be even happier.

                      At this rate, as we inch backwards into a police state, it looks as though we might wind up winning the battle and losing the war.


                      A concern for the woeful state of intellectual property law in this country is "Whiny", yet a concern for the lamentable results of the Patriot I/II Acts is noble? I believe you've demonstrated the definition of "Disingenuous" better than I could possibly hope to. Bravo.

                      The remainder of your commentary, in attempting to squeeze critiques into single words, is simultaneously "Incoherent", "Reductive", and "Dismissive".

                      You get an "A" for "Amusement", however. *wink*

                       [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                       
                  36.  an opportune time to read this
                   by chouchou  [ message privately ]1.5 funny 
                    at Mon 22 Dec 5:20pmscore of 1.5 funny
                    
                  My list is short but sweet.

                  1) In May, I married the most wonderful man I've ever known

                  2) I get to go back to school and study literature--my one true love after my husband

                  3) I have two loving kitty cats on which to lavish affection, and loving families, and loving friends!

                  4) While my job sucks rocks, the rest of my life is splendid. A major attitude shift this year has allowed me to appreciate the items on this list all the more. I've only recently been able to be a "glass is half full" type of person, and it does make life all the sweeter.

                  la vrai vie est ailleurs...
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  37.  Enjoy it now suckers!
                   by sprocket scientist  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Mon 22 Dec 5:49pmscore of 1
                    
                  You can feel happy all you want now but ultimately, we all get old, lose our vigor, miss our youth, find it a little harder to listen to music, get long-sighted, have less sex, see loved ones in pain and finally, we buy the farm. It all comes down to the fact that all happiness is fleeting and ethereal like currency that cannot be kept. It is lost if it is not spent and unappreciated if not recognized. I'm happy just being content.

                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  39.  Im happy
                   by pattonbt  [ message privately ]1.5 succinct 
                    at Mon 22 Dec 6:32pmscore of 1.5 succinct
                    
                  because Im not dead.

                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  40.  My Happy Year
                   by mrwarmth  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Mon 22 Dec 6:41pmscore of 1
                    
                  This is one of those rare years where many good things have actually happened to me, so I don't even have to make anything up. But I'll start my list out with more general reasons to get happy, and then get selfish.

                  1. There have been no terrorist incidents in the US. This is a tribute to the effectiveness of our war on terror.

                  2. Saddam was found. Now we can concentrate all our efforts on finding Radovan Karadzic.

                  3. Britney and Madonna only kissed once.

                  4. The economy continues to recover, and now jobs are actually being generated.

                  5. The Return of the King.

                  of a personal nature...

                  1. Quite unexpectedly, I discovered I had enough money to retire, at the ripe old age of 44. I am now enjoying a world without PowerPoints, meaningless yet endless meetings, incoherent arguments from my colleagues, back-stabbing, personnel reviews and corporate Christmas Parties. Which means I now have to find all that on Plastic instead.

                  2. I missed SARS by "that much" last March (I still have the yellow card I got from the LAX health people that they gave me, telling me I had probably been exposed, and should go to a doctor immediately).

                  3. My new SAAB 9-3 Aero sedan, in tasteful Espresso Black. It's the bomb.

                  4. LaPrairie Creme Cellulaire Reparatrice de Nuit. Take that, Creme de la Mer!

                  5. The teenager I mentored graduated with honors from high school, got into a good college, and got over Linkin' Park. He also loves my SAAB.

                  Hope everyone else has as many reasons to be happy as I do.

                  -Niall

                  Where is Ratko Mladic?
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                    41.  Re: My Happy Year
                     by Goldmund  [ message privately ]1  
                      at Mon 22 Dec 7:08pmscore of 1
                      in reply to comment 40
                      
                    1. There have been no terrorist incidents in the US. This is a tribute to the effectiveness of our war on terror.

                    Maybe. Or maybe it's because we gave them a terrorist playground by invading Iraq. Rather than fly halfway around the world, they can blow up American soldier an day's drive from their hometown. I'm guess I'm not unhappy about that, but it just doesn't seem like something to celebrate.

                    On a more personal note, I'm happy to hear your life is going well and I'm glad for all you are happy about. Happy Holidays and best wishes for the new year.

                    My list of things to be happy for:

                    1. A beautiful, brilliant, ambitious, sensitive, sweet, loving and pleasant girl who loves me, gets along well with my friends and family and helps me live up to my full potential.

                    2. A job that I enjoy going to every morning and one where I'm appreciated (I was told by my boss that I am worth more than he can afford to pay me). Two raises this year and a performance-based bonus at the end of the next and I'll have enough experience after this year to start applying for better gigs.

                    3. Two beaufitul furballs that greet me at the door every afternoon and snuggle me every night. Cats rule.

                    4. A family that is alive, healthy, gets a long reasonably well and is so non-insane that I think they're crazy. Not only that, but they're supportive, they give back to the community and are model citizens.

                    5. Friends that humble me with their brilliance, honor me with their loyalty and turn me into a pile of mush with the way help when I'm in need.

                    I love my life.

                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                      42.  Re: My Happy Year
                       by mrwarmth  [ message privately ]1  
                        at Mon 22 Dec 7:17pmscore of 1
                        in reply to comment 41
                        
                      but Goldmund, we know, from documents captured from various Al Qaeda cells, that various plans for large terrorist assaults were in process. yet none of them happened. This can't be because Al Qaeda gave up. It's because they were thwarted. How can that not be a reason to be happy?

                      I know I am. And you are too. So let's just agree on that.

                      -Niall

                      Where is Ratko Mladic?
                       [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                       
                    60.  Re: My Happy Year
                     by bak  [ message privately ]1.5  
                      at Tue 23 Dec 10:50amscore of 1.5
                      in reply to comment 40
                      
                    1. There have been no terrorist incidents in the US. This is a tribute to the effectiveness of our war on terror.

                    now if only we could do it without PATRIOT, CAPPS II, the disintegration of the 4th amendment, a 1:1 strip search/domestic flight ratio, "sneak and peek", rubber-stamping, the misapplication of anti-terrorism laws, Gitmo, "enemy combatant" status, suspension of habeas corpus, fearmongering alert colors, and all those other little erosions of freedom that we seem to be taking more and more for granted, I would be even happier.

                    At this rate, as we inch backwards into a police state, it looks as though we might wind up winning the battle and losing the war.

                    Don't get me wrong, though — I'm grateful every day that something DOESN'T happen.

                    --bak

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                  46.  What's not to be happy about?
                   by Nameless Cynic  [ message privately ]2 compelling 
                    at Mon 22 Dec 8:28pmscore of 2 compelling
                    
                  Somehow I knew I'd be finding several chunks of negativity in here. How did I know? I must be psychic. (I blame Bigeyes. She's a bad influence...)
                  Happiness ain't a thing in itself--it's only a contrast with something that ain't pleasant.
                        ~~~ Mark Twain
                  I've been married for 15 wonderful years. Or is it sixteen years? Hell, her memory is as bad as mine. That's a point right there.
                  Happiness is good health and a bad memory.
                        ~~~ Ingrid Bergman
                  You know they're killing each other in Iraq, right? Well, despite an annoying propensity to launch mortar rounds in random directions at all hours of the day and night, they didn't get me. I'm about as cheery as I can get about that.
                  No person is either so happy or so unhappy as he imagines.
                        ~~~ Rochefoucauld
                  The wife tells me that the cat's in the goddamn Christmas tree again! But at least I have a Christmas tree. And a cat. (Two, if you count... well, the other one...) And a dog, a hooded dragon, a tarantula, and about 3 dozen crickets (OK, so the crickets are petfood. Go figure. At least I've got crickets. That's lucky in China, isn't it?)
                  Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead.
                        ~~~ Scottish Proverb
                  The kids are gradually moving out of the house. And my sex life is looking up. So that's a bonus.
                  There are people who can do all fine and heroic things but one: keep from telling their happinesses to the unhappy.
                        ~~~ Mark Twain
                  After far too long on the flightline (or underground) in the Air Force, I come back to an office job, with regular hours and holidays off. You've got to love that.
                  Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy
                        ~~~Benjamin Franklin
                  And that peach wine I put down last year is coming along great — something else to be happy about. I've got a good twelve functioning brain cells left, and the government has given me a high-speed connection and a firewall that lets me stream Russian Internet radio.

                  You people go right ahead and make yourselves miserable. If that's what makes you happy, go for it. I'm going to go home now and give my wife a big, wet, sloppy kiss. Preferably right in front of the kid.

                  "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet." ~~ Napoleon Bonaparte
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  48.  Maria Catharine Jones — Sweetest. Baby. Ever
                   by Brian Jones  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Mon 22 Dec 9:36pmscore of 1
                    
                  And she had the good timing to show up on my birthday, even! (But next year, my wife says I'm getting an ice cream cake.)

                  Cheap crass attention-whoring plug goes here.
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                    82.  My Angelina
                     by Leamur67  [ message privately ]1  
                      at Wed 24 Dec 12:26amscore of 1
                      in reply to comment 48
                      
                    She was due on my 27th birthday, but I guess she wanted her own, cuz she came three days later. She is every reason for happiness I never knew how bad I needed. I'd dispute your sweetest baby ever claim, but my sweetest baby ever is 9 now, so I'll let you think you've got The One. ;)

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tell the truth. (Then run.)
                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                  50.  I have a few issues with this list, even though...
                   by WhoAreWe  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Tue 23 Dec 12:31amscore of 1
                    
                  ...I'm perfectly happy (a little stressed to finish stuff before I go on holiday but still happy)

                  8. American Idol contestants Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken prove talent can win out over image.

                  I remember Ruben won the contest, yet Clay still had more record sales in the beginning (most of the girls I knew loved Clay more)...

                  5. The Fab 5 from Queer Eye encourage straight men to look their best, live in style, and develop a little culture.

                  Yet the term "metrosexual", a fairly derogatory term, has popped up for a heterosexual male who actually does these things. So they're saying, do this, even though you're going to get punished for it — it's good for you, it's good for you...

                  Colorblind? Why would I ever want to be willfully blind?
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                    65.  Re: I have a few issues with this list, even
                     by curve06  [ message privately ]1  
                      at Tue 23 Dec 12:46pmscore of 1
                      in reply to comment 50
                      
                    I remember Ruben won the contest, yet Clay still had more record sales in the beginning (most of the girls I knew loved Clay more)...

                    Blech. I think Clay is one of the creepiest looking people I've had the misfortune of laying my eyes on. Something about him rubs me the wrong way.

                    On a positive note, Ruben's new album just debuted at number 1. He still sold less than Clay, but I don't think I'd be complaining about a number 1.

                    If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind. - Kurt Vonnegut
                     [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                     
                  51.  prozac
                   by Anonymous Idiot  0  
                    at Tue 23 Dec 12:36amscore of 0
                    
                  Isn't this a good argument for taking Prozac? The world might not be happy, but you will.

                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  52.  At the Bare minimun..
                   by StratKat  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Tue 23 Dec 2:26amscore of 1
                    
                  ..if you're reading this you're still breathing, which is usually preferable to not breathing. So everyone has something to be happy about.

                  You take the slide rule, I'll take the bottleneck....
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  54.  "There is no disaster like not being content"
                   by popularsciencereader  [ message privately ]1.5 succinct 
                    at Tue 23 Dec 6:21amscore of 1.5 succinct
                    
                  These are the words of the Tao te Ching and they helped drag me out of a blue period about 12 years ago. I resolved to put a smile on my face like the Buddha's smile and, you know what?, it worked.

                  Oops, cancel that last question

                  I think that conflict, accidents, envy, obstruction, adversity and suchlike are an integral part of being happy. Happiness is a rhythm. You ride roughshod over the stressors of your daily life and laugh about them with friends in the evening.

                  — that borders on introducing a sour note to this thread

                  Emily Bronte has an interesting phrase describing how happiness matures and transforms as we get older. When thinking of his dearly departed Cathy, Edgar Linton feels, "A melancholy sweeter than common joy".

                  I've had just about enough of your sesquipedalian evasiveness.
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  59.  Mine own happiness...
                   by tdahnsn  [ message privately ]2 interesting 
                    at Tue 23 Dec 10:22amscore of 2 interesting
                    
                  Actually, I don't want to come off as some joyless ass who can't see that life is pretty good. Actually, I'm not really like that at all. I think I'm the luckiest person I know and that things generally work out very well for me.

                  That being said, I do feel compelled to thrust my view of happiness upon you all. Do with it what you must.

                  Happiness is fleeting at best, some sort of strange state when the moment of realization taints it somehow. I hardly notice how happy I am while in the midst of something I enjoy and at the moment when I fall from that moment the moment is lost. Happiness happens when you hardly notice it.

                  I've had some rough nights of late. Just haven't been sleeping well, mostly. Not terribly bad, but enough so that you'd notice it. But the thing of it is that even in those late rough nights I still can find myself in the middle of something that does make me happy. Sure, half-asleep and tired and confused and a little lost, but happy.

                  Sometimes, when I see my girlfriend sleeping calmly after a long day or week, I find myself smiling and quietly slip out to let her enjoy those moments of rest that she deserves. She's an amazing woman and I'm lucky to have her and the serenity of her sleep is a calm center to a great storm in my life.

                  But there is that raging storm. 10,000 things and no time to do right by any of them. Hectic days following hectic days with the "To Do" list always growing and the "Done" list hardly moves. Long hours and not feeling like you're doing more than kind of pushing some sand around.

                  But I take an early train to work and have time to finish a few more pages in the book I'm reading and somehow that makes everything alright. A passing moment of happiness, a small inward smile. A long day full of fire and the dread steady march of a project. Mistakes made, plans abandoned, and effort wasted. A feeling of bone-tired because I haven't slept well and need a break, but the sense that if it ever comes together it's going to be a wondrous thing. Or an ordinary thing. Or even a forgotten thing along the road. But along the way there's that twitch, the feeling that something is right and working and even a little near in concept. A tiny moment of joy in the middle of all this noise.

                  But then you notice it and it's gone.

                  Sure, we can create things to say we're happy about. We can talk about being happy to be alive, still, or happy about family and friends and loved ones of all sorts. And we are happy about those things, but happiness isn't a constant or even wakeful state. It's the quiet wonder of a small niece or cousin taking the stage for their first ballet or play. It's that slim moment when you realize that your loved ones really do know and understand you and take care of you every day in different small ways.

                  I find happiness in a tiny moment when I am unaware of it, it grows and fills me for a second and I feel blessed by the warmth of my love's smile or a good book's turn of phrase. It leaves when you try and pin it down, but for the brief tender moment all is right in the world.

                  Why? What's the most callous thing you've said today?
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  62.  Very Simply,
                   by curve06  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Tue 23 Dec 12:16pmscore of 1
                    
                  I'm happy that I'm alive and haven't been drafted in the military yet.

                  If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind. - Kurt Vonnegut
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                  67.  Always Look On The Bright Side
                   by gardengnome7  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Tue 23 Dec 1:33pmscore of 1
                    
                  This year was a 'recovery' year, more or less for me. Just after Christmas last year, I saw the light and cut off all relations with my ex — even though we'd been friends for years before dating. I lost touch with a good friend, who has chosen to be an immature flake over acting his age. My parents both had health scares — my mom was diagnosed with angina and had emergency gall bladder surgery; my dad had tests for leukemia. Both have come through with flying colours.

                  The ups for this year? A great new job, doing what i want to do — graphic design. I'm almost out of the realm of cooking and working in restaurants, but I do adore the place I work in — great bosses and good friends. My sister and her boyfriend bought a house and I get to live with them and help them build their dreams. I've got a career plan sort of in the works for my future. I've managed to save up almost all the money I'll need to buy my first car (at age 27). I'm starting to get back in touch with friends from high school.

                  By my friends and family, I'm not considered to be a 'happy' person, but I'm content right now. Things are going as they should — and if they aren't, well, I'll deal with it when it becomes a problem.

                  Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely. ---Acton's Law
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                  70.  Happy Schmappy
                   by keta  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Tue 23 Dec 1:57pmscore of 1
                    
                  I'm happy there's a web site called "The Secret Society of Happy People" (does Tom Ridge and his secret society know about these folks?) because that means fewer slack-jawed fools to deal with on "The Openly Recognized Curmudgeon Society" web site.

                  When we all sorta' get what we hope for is what makes me happy. Here's hoping you all much happiness in '04...sorta'.

                  own your words...
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  71.  yknow what
                   by Anonymous Idiot  0.5 compelling 
                    at Tue 23 Dec 2:27pmscore of 0.5 compelling
                    
                  i would love to feel happy right now, but i simply do not.
                  in fact, this is easily the craziest, shittiest year i've had.
                  and yknow what? that makes me happy. becuase i know despite all the shittiness, life is good, and it can only get better. soon i can look back at where i am right now and say to myself that those were some tough times, and i learned a lot from those experiences.

                  to quote the theme music to a classic television show:
                  you take the good,
                  you take the bad,
                  you take them both,
                  and there you have
                  the facts of life.
                  the facts of life...

                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  73.  Shadenfreude
                   by Anonymous Idiot  0  
                    at Tue 23 Dec 4:07pmscore of 0
                    
                  Ok, here's my list of stuff I'm happy about! Um... wait, I'm sure there's gotta be something...

                  Here's the problem: this year has been one of decline for me (in baseball terms, it's a rebuilding year). More debt, fewer friends, less mobility, etc. Big deal, right?

                  My remaining friends occasionally ask how I'm doing — so I lay it out for them. By and large they fail to point out any positive aspects of my situation. But they're my friends (sort of) so they want to make me feel better (sort of).

                  The most popular method of cheering up someone who has absolutely nothing going for him is to point to people who are worse off and say, "Hey, at least you're not that guy!"

                  Personally, I find this a really lousy way of trying to cheer someone up. Oh, great! I guess I'm supposed to say. Someone's suffering worse than me! Hoo-ray! His higher amount of pain brings me joy!

                  I'm sorry, I just can't help but feel like a jerk when confronted with this "cheerful" notion. Even when it's a more general statement like, "It could be worse," because, not only could it be, it definatly is for someone out there. I don't think we should take joy from their suffering.

                  Anyway, nevermind. I've just been hearing "it could be worse" far too often lately, and it starting to annoy me. Pay no attention to the grumpy old curmudgeon.

                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  74.  fumbling toward ecstacy
                   by timnet  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Tue 23 Dec 4:32pmscore of 1
                    
                  It hasn't been an easy year, but it's ultimately proved rewarding. I fulfilled the so-called "American dream" of buying a house, complete with the heartache and the thousand natural shocks the flesh is heir to ... i.e., the process of dealing with real-estate agents and mortgages. I paid more than I originally planned and the closing costs were higher than I wanted. My sewer line clogged, my basement flooded and still doesn't smell great — but that problem is fixed. In the first couple of months, two 40-year-old pine trees blew down in my backyard — but they didn't hit the house or anything living or other. It's snowed like crazy, making me realize that 75 feet of frontage and a long driveway means much shoveling.

                  But you know what? Being a first-time homeowner has made me happier than I ever thought.

                  Another, totally unforeseen, great thing this year was having my first book published. The trustees of the local library asked for permission to publish my research paper chronicling 150 years of their history as a fund-raiser for their restoration, and I obliged. As it was something already written, and moreover for a good cause, I won't make a penny off it. And it's costing me quite a few bucks to buy copies of it for all the relatives who want one for Christmas. But it has been the bestselling local book for the past two weeks, and I've received great feedback. That it helps a worthy cause — the oldest surviving library in my state — has been icing on the cake.

                  The rest of the year has been far from perfect, but there have been enough good days, great friends, and wonderful moments to make me smile.

                  "I feel like I wouldn't like me if I met me." -- Tegan and Sara
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                  77.  Maudlin, Arrogant and Obscure — But What the
                   by Norman108  [ message privately ]2.5 compelling 
                    at Tue 23 Dec 5:30pmscore of 2.5 compelling
                    
                  OK, I'll bite.

                  First off, I agree with the posters who say making correspondences between the events of life and any internal state (happiness included) is a dubious pastime. Nonetheless:

                  (Maudlin)

                  I'm still alive and living splendidly after 20 years with this incredible bug. My best friend — who last year had about a 2% chance of surviving his last AIDS related brain virus infection — is now thriving and champing at the bit to go back to work. Breakthroughs in treating this disease continue to grow. Infection numbers are up, especially in Africa, but treatments are beginning to reach even this poor, neglected continent. Even China is (finally) acknowledging its HIV infected population. It's even possible that within the next few years, HIV prevention education and treatment efforts will fill most the niches that need to be filled.

                  It took long enough and looking too closely at the failings of the past is depressing, but looking at the work of the present and possibilities for the future is much more uplifting.

                  (Arrogant)

                  Trying not to overemphasizing any sense of entitlement I must say I, personally, am happy to be a USA citizen and a Californian to boot. In spite of despicable inequities and injustices this is still a great country to be living in. In spite of its Gubernatorial Absurdities, Crammed Insanity and some Inane Customs, California is still the best place in the world for me to live. I have great health care, great access to public services, interact with a great variety of cultures and ethnicities, and enjoy great weather and great friendships.

                  (Obscure)

                  I've had the blessing of being with the same enlightened mentors for over 10 years now. The intimacy established with this incredible married couple has helped reveal a type of happiness to me that "passeth human understanding." Despite the many ups and downs, this numinous friendship has established itself as one of the most important in my life. The sustained intensity and beauty of this type of relationship was often desired but to find myself finally falling so deeply into one is still stupendous.

                  So that's it. I'm pulling away the cloak of anonymity a bit to share a little too much of myself (again) with this wild and woolly company. Make of it what you will.

                  In man's stone-dark heart there burns a fire, That burns all veils to their root and foundation. Jelauddin Rumi
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  90.  Reasons why I should be happy:
                   by Shoeburyness  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Thu 25 Dec 5:28amscore of 1
                    
                  1. I have a husband that loves me, and who I'd rather be with than anyone in the world.

                  2. We're having a son in April.

                  3. My 14 year old isn't more than usually surly for a teenager, and isn't on drugs.

                  4. I have a house and food, which is more than a lot of people have.

                  So I SHOULD be happy...

                  Dancing is forbidden!
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  91.  Come on, Get Happy!
                   by cloudzeye  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Fri 26 Dec 4:47pmscore of 1
                    
                  Living in a great apartment with neighbors who are thoughtful thrills me to the skies, making me very happy. Being healthy and pain free (psychically and physically) makes me really really happy. Living 1,000 miles from controlling relatives makes me happy, happy, happy! Caring about the environment, alternative energy,and public transportation makes me happy because I belong to a community of like-minded people who are wonderful. And, of course, reading Plastic with its witty and clever contributors transcends even these happinesses.

                  If Jesus died for MY sins he over reacted
                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   
                  92.  Why I am Happy
                   by Verbalicious  [ message privately ]1  
                    at Fri 26 Dec 9:57pmscore of 1
                    
                  1. The economy is looking up- I know I'll be able to keep the Verbalicious boat afloat for at least another season.

                  2. I finally stood up to the people in my life who make it miserable. No, I will never be what they wanted me to be- but what I turned out as is a hell of a lot better

                  3. Moe the wonder dog- an endless source of joy and love and in house pooping (could be worse- I've had boyfriends with less manners)

                  4. I set some boundaries with the people I love- they can't have everything.

                  5. I finally met a man who holds my hand in public and smiles so wide when I kiss him I feel like I gave a gift instead of lost a part of me.

                  6. I will survive and prosper- there are more adventures down the turn of the road, and I'm ready for each and every one of them.

                  Peace and joy to all- in any form you like

                   [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... ]
                   


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