Saturday, April 3, 2010

Call me Max +

The other day I got an e-mail about a guy who was always happy. His premise was that you voluntarily set your mood when you get up every day. You can choose to be happy and you will be a refreshing breath of fresh air to everyone around you. Or, you can choose to be a grouch and be a miserable pain in the ass to everyone. Of course, there's a neutral middle ground that the majority of people inhabit but like politics, only the fringes seem to get noticed and commented on.

Being someone who has always welcomed new ideas and new thinking, of course I've adopted this mentality as my own! I will be Mr. Happy! When you see someone grin, you'll think "I wonder what Max is doing?" Yes, when that old geezer in front of you in church farts a real gut wrencher, you'll think of me and remind him about having a timely colonoscopy. I hope to infuse life around me with an uplifting positive and yes, happy attitude.

Those of you who know me, know that I don't make these life altering decisions lightly. Before I quit smoking, I took 35 years to prepare. Before successfully turning my weight dilemma around, I studied it for 20 or so years. Yes, for me to come out and announce a life altering decision like this is truly monumental, if not newsworthy.

One of the reasons that I am becoming "Mr. Happy" is to throw off the "Mad Max" tag that Mel Gibson laid on me and all other Maxes in the world. If I'm ever gonna shake that "Mad Max" crap then I must become someone diametrically opposite of a mad guy. In the past when someone referred to me as "Mad Max", I'd say "No, that's happy Max!" But it never worked. Soon, when they see me, the last thing they'll think of is "Mad Max".

To replace that "Mad Max" tag, though, I need a gimmick that will make it memorable. Something like Prince did in the 90's. That won't quite work for me. I would probably be known then as "That Bozo formerly known as Mad Max!" I'm thinking of altering my name sorta like Max +. My motto could be "That Max, what a positive person!" My only dilemma is whether there should be a space between Max and the plus sign or not.

So, when I got up today (Friday) I was ready to become Mr. Happy Guy! After shaking hands with my little brother, I went to my bag to get my morning cereal (I'm at the work hotel in Chicago) and imagine my surprise when I noticed that I had forgotten to pack my usual Grape Nut Flakes. I just went down to the lobby where they have the continental breakfast set up and got me a bowl of "Honey Bunches of Crap" and a banana to slice on top of it. I'm happy for the dietetic change of pace. Come 10:30 and I took some half frozen chili out of my cooler and put it in my little 2 cup crock pot and head off for my 5 mile walk around Midway Airport.

As I walk for the next hour and a half, I greet everyone I meet with a smile and a kind word. In Chicago, not too many people, or at least those who go out walking, running or biking around the airport are very happy. As a matter of fact, there were a couple of old cankers, after receiving my happy greeting, I thought were gonna squat and crap right there on the sidewalk! Being new to this, I don't know "happy" in Spanish so I'm at a loss for greetings to our Mexican friends other than "hola". There are many more Hispanic walkers around the airport than any other ethnic group. I don't know why, nor do I care. That's only important to the grumblers, not us happy types.

When I got to the hotel and went to my room, of course, the magnetic key card didn't work in my door. So, I had to go all the way back to the lobby so the desk clerk could reswipe it. I didn't complain. I saw it as a chance to get a little more walking in! I get in my room, all sweaty, smell the chili (which is perfect) and realize that I forgot to pack clean clothes and I just sweat out my shirt. Am I po'd? Nah. Air it out for a couple hours and it'll be fine. Some of the guys I work with do it all the time! See, I'm fitting in more and more!

I know many of you are asking why I'm going for happy when its so much easier to be grouchy. Its not easy to grin when you break your little toe on a table leg but letting a stream of cuss words fly is a snap. As someone who has always gravitated toward the easy side when making choices, this is a departure from habit. There are a couple reasons. Even though a Pollyanna can get a bit tedious for people around him, its a much better environment for your family than dealing with a bitchy sourpuss. When you're happy, everyone around you is too. When you have a stick up your ass, that stick hits everyone on the head! (Not a pretty sight, huh Fuzzy?)

The other reason is purely selfish. One thing I've noticed about health is that pleasant, happy people rarely have premature heart attacks. Most of my co-workers who've had heart attacks before they retired were bitchers and complainers. A bad attitude results in bad health and a positive attitude leads to a positive healthy being. That might be a load of crap but what if it isn't?

Also, with this new attitude, its a good thing I'm a liberal Democrat. One thing I've noticed lately is the Right Wingers are not a happy bunch. They are spewing hatred and lies about everyone and everything that doesn't agree to their narrow minded stereotypical view of life and such misery can't be healthy for the body, the spirit or for relationships. To them I just smile and say "Vaya con dios, mus muchachos!" Yeah, "Go with God" because unless you lighten up, you'll be seeing him sooner than you think!!

Now, being a happy fellow is nice but unless you do it right, you come out looking like a dork. I'll definitely have to change some of my stock one liners. When someone says "How ya doin'?" I usually say "I'm doing, I just don't know how yet." To "Have a good day" I always say either "I'll try but I won't make any guarantees" or "I'll be sure to make the heroic effort, you can count on it". I've just always figured that as long as people greet me with the same old tired lines, I'll reciprocate with an old tired line of my own. And you never know. If the person hasn't ever heard them before, they will enjoy the witty retort. As the years go by, that possibility diminishes quite a bit. To replace those answers with a "happy" one will take an enormous effort on my part. After all, those other answers were crafted during 56 years of life. To come up with an equally witty, yet happy reply may be too much to ask for. Sadly, I don't have my greatest inspiration to look to for answers. Yeah, if anyone could come up with a great bullshit line on short notice, it was my dad. He was the master of the one liner. The only other person who could help me is my son, Shane. His line of bull has shown flashes of his grandpa that makes my skin get cold! I'll mine that fervid brain of his when he comes home tomorrow for Easter.

To the "How ya doin'" I could say "I'm so happy I could just fart." But farting in public is on my personal improvement agenda and talking about it makes 'em sneak out even more often. Well, eliminating a gassy, bloated feeling would make me a happier guy. How about when someone says "Have a good day" I just turn around and blow a tird whistle. Now THAT would make me happy!

So whether I'm "Happy Max" or "Max +" I don't care. To quote the guy in the e-mail "I couldn't be happier unless I was TWINS!"

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Mr. President, the Beauty and the Beast!"

Now that Jenny has made a recent blog entry, the pressure has been on my shoulders to produce. Since I'm no social trend setter or fashion icon, I can't impress you with my flair or style. Since I'm a guy, I don't usually carry a camera with me. Therefore, I'd make a crappy family historian. I'll leave that up to Jenny and Shannon. Besides, they're really, really good at it. Unlike Jenny and Shannon also, I'm not very crafty so I'm pretty useless when it comes to blogging about my creations. What's left is what I do best. I'll write about something I'm pretty much clueless about and make you believe that I'm an inspired genius. Its a standard formula that I've used ever since Jenny signed me up for AARP and I wrote that inspired entry about aging.

First off, a shout out to Bob. A good friend of ours got himself buggered up in a traffic accident a while back. Yeah, my fuzzy buddy from Jersey was clocked on his way to Atlantic City. He was on his way , as Jersey people put it, to "pay his state taxes"! He's laid up at home, missing work and probably running poor Barb ragged. Being a faithful reader of this blog also brings his intelligence into question. Knowing that he'll read this, probably before anyone else does, I would like to let him know that Jen and I are thinking about him (and poor, poor Barb!) and wishing that he recovers nicely, finds himself a heartless shyster and sues that bozo back to the stone age! Good luck, Bob, with everything and we hope to see you guys some time this year!

Now, for the meat of this entry. I would like to have dinner (along with my entire family) with the Obamas. Preferably in the White House. But hey, I'd settle for waffle night at IHOP! I feel that I have a lot to offer the President in ideas and solutions to the major problems of the day. Primarily though, I would like to meet the Obama family personally because I believe they are extraordinary people, displaying extraordinary courage in rescuing America from the abyss. Other people are mad at him because he hasn't worked miracles but I'm not. I understand that you can't walk through a chicken coop without getting a little crap on your shoes. I've always said that you take a true measure of a person's character, not how they act when everything is going good, but how they react when things don't go right. In the hardest of times, through the toughest of circumstances, President Obama has been a solid and reliable leader who has expended tons of political capital to do what it takes to stave off a depression, get America back to work with health care for all. The Republicans in Congress have been shameful in their obstructionism and shilling for big business. How they could want to go back to the policies that drove America to the brink of collapse is beyond me. I would be happy if Dick Cheney (with the emphasis on Dick) would get a tonguectomy and go hunting with Mitch McConnell and John Behner, if you know what I mean!

You see, these guys aren't needed to solve the major problems facing America. I've got the answers. You name it, I've figured it out!

Editor's note: I've just written a scintillating and riveting three pages solving such problems as universal health care, job creation, high speed rail and fixing social security. I've read that America's attention span has shortened to resemble that of a gnat's so I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, my arguments were as powerful as Dick Cheney's smile!

So, if there is anyone in Washington or elsewhere reading this, tell the President that there's a guy in Garrett he really needs to meet! If any of you are rich and powerful, drop my name. I'm sure Sasha and Malia would just adore Jaden and Taylor! Since I'm planning on planting a garden this year, I could get some useful tips from the First Lady. I could give the President a couple tips on quitting smoking too. Put us up in the Lincoln Bedroom and Jenny could fix pancakes in the morning!

I've always tried to judge people, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Using this criteria, the Obamas are some of America's finest. Even those tea bagger and birther bozos have to agree that America couldn't have a more respectful first family. In his place, I would've slipped and said "eat shit" to someone by the end of the second day. The fact that he hasn't said it yet puts him right up there by Jenny in the tolerance department.

Yes, I would be honored and privileged to be invited to the White House, any time, any day. That's not the hard part. The tough work would be getting time off work to go!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Party at Shannon's!!

January 9th will be the anniversary of one of the red letter days of my life. It was the day, in 1982, that my little "honey bunny" was born. Yes, my little Shannon will be 28 years old this year and she is having a blog party all day long on the 9th. Everyone is invited and use this link to check it out for yourself. If its anything like her other creative endeavors, then we are all in for a treat!!!