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Happy Tip: Do Something Out of the Ordinary

January 22, 2010

It’s a long walk to my classes when it’s cold and rainy outside like it was today.  I was in a pretty good mood with my rainbow umbrella keeping me dry and my ipod playing Frank Sinatra, but the vast majority of the college population didn’t seem to share my feelings.  Soggy and shivery classmates aren’t happy ones.  So, I was pleasantly surprised when I passed two drippy umbrella-less guys who were nevertheless in high spirits.

Picture It: Strolling down the sidewalk on a gloomy day are two young men.  One holds out a red plastic Solo cup (of the “No, Mom.  I’m drinking water in my Facebook picture.  Honest!” variety) and another carries a guitar.  Both of them are grinning from ear to ear and singing.  Loudly.  Their song is about how very poor they are, and how, if you had any human decency, you’d put change in their beautiful plastic goblet, because don’t you see that they’re suffering here!  They are poor college students who need to buy alco…errr…textbooks.

It was a bit shocking but highly amusing.  What really impressed me?  They were having too much fun to notice when a couple of girls actually dug through their purses to get them the money that they requested in their song.  I don’t think those guys got rich, but they sure had fun trying.

To boost your own happiness a bit, make a conscious effort to do something out of the ordinary!  You don’t have to sing or beg for money.  Maybe just call someone on the phone you haven’t heard from in years, or wear really weird socks, or dig through your drawers for some old stickers and pass them out to your coworkers.  Whatever.  The wackier the better.  Mix things up, and see if it doesn’t brighten your day.

Wonderful Word: Tintinnabulation

January 22, 2010

Really good words are one of the things that make me happy, and I hope many of you feel the same way.  With that in mind, I’ll occasionally post a word I think is wonderful.

Tintinnabulation — a ringing, tinkling noise like that made by bells.

So there you have it.  I hope you can use it in a sentence today.  Make someone else smile. =)

Why Bright Calliope?

January 22, 2010
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A couple of years ago, an acquaintance asked me for the name of “that weird instrument that they play at the circus.”  I had to do a bit of mental dredging myself, but after a moment I remembered the calliope.  And I smiled.  I realized then that I really like calliopes.  I like the toot-toot of steam through the pipes.  I like the festive, silly atmosphere they conjure.  Maybe most of all, I really love the sound of the word.  Kuh-lie-oh-pee.  Beautiful, whimsical, weird.   And if all that isn’t enough, there’s also the Greek Muse to think of; nothing wrong with a bit of inspiration whether you’re writing epic poetry or blogging not-so-epic prose.

In short, every time I hear a calliope, or even just the word calliope, it makes me a little happier than I was a moment before.  It’s one of any number of little things that make my world a brighter place.  This is a blog about simple happies.  It’ll be busy and bright and a little nutty and occasionally educational.  If it makes a rotten day a little less rotten, I’ll post it here.  So whether you’re working on your fourth load of dirty laundry or you just flunked the fourth grade, stop by for a while.  I’ll see what I can do to make you smile. 

So my only question is this:  What’s your calliope?