Shit that Didn’t Piss me Off – 9/18
Apologies to regular fans of my Friday blog. I’m going to do things a little differently today.
I’ve been writing Shit that Pissed me off most Fridays for the last three years. I enjoy it as an exercise in writing humor and in exploring my opinions about what is happening in the world around me. Since I’ve started writing the column, it has never coincided with my birthday.
Well this year, it has.
So I decided instead of spending my birthday thinking about stuff that annoys me, I’m going to write about things that make me happy. I’ll post this week’s shit that pissed me off on Monday. Because even on my birthday, there are things that piss me off.
I begin my 48th year today and in honor of that, here are 48 things that make me happy.
1. I’ve been married to the same amazing woman for the last 25 1/2 years. She is brilliant, courageous, thoughtful, sexy, and supportive. She laughs at some of my jokes. She listens when I’m in a bad mood. She corrects me when I’m wrong. There is not a night that goes by where I am not happy we share a bed, a home, and a life.
2. I’ve got one fantastic mother. She loves math and has spent her life finding ways to help others love it too. She loves being an amateur artist. She is a fun travel companion. Any day I know I’m going to see her is automatically a good day.
3. My oldest son is great. He’s clever, cheerful, fun, and affectionate. He grew several inches in the last year and is starting to show signs of facial hair. Pretty soon, he’s going to learn how to drive and get a job and start looking at colleges. I’m not sure I’m ready for any of that.
4. My youngest son is wonderfully creative. The way he builds new Lego structures and describes ideas for new games or parks or dinosaurs shows boundless inventiveness. His head must be such an interesting place to live.
5. My Brother is full of passion and energy. He has been remarkably successful in not just the field he has chosen to pursue, but most anything he decides to accomplish. We have a great relationship hampered only by the distance that separates us.
6. My Sister-in-law has a sharp sense of humor, an infectious positive attitude, and seems like a perfect partner for my brother.
7. Someone created these and I own one:
8. I’m 48 years old and the only gray hair I have so far is in my nose. That makes it easier to live with the fact I have nose hair.
9. Cats. I have four of them. They are a constant reminder that I don’t control anything. I even recorded a podcast about cats where Rebecca Watson won all the points by telling a story about a bathrobe and cat semen. And Joseph Scrimshaw just let it happen. Not cool, man!
10. I have a show in this year’s Twin Cities Horror Festival! Can’t wait to do a horror themed radio show! I also can’t wait to do a show in the Southern! Exclamation points!!!!!
11. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. His show is probably the sharpest and funniest political commentary there is. Especially now that John Stewart and the Colbert Report are gone. Have you seen his rant on televangelism yet? No? You’re welcome.
13. This Gif.
14. Every week, I do a podcast with two amazingly talented and funny people. And every week, about 1000 people listen to it. Geeks Without God is one of those ideas that wouldn’t have worked without the right chemistry. Boy did I get lucky Molly and Nick Glover said yes when I asked them if they wanted to do a podcast together.
15. Thunderstorms. No shit. I love a good thunderstorm.
16. #blacklivesmatter. They are standing up and pointing out there is still a racial divide in this country. I may be unhappy there is a need for such a movement, and I am. But I’m happy the movement exists. And every time I see a bunch of smug, entitled white people complaining about them, I figure they are doing something right.
17. The Dregs. We are looking at another major transition this year and that sucks ass because I have loved working with Geoffrey. But what we have created is, I hope, greater than any single member. We are a different kind of musical act that could only have been born at the Renaissance Festival.
18. I’ve hiked to the top of this waterfall three times.
19. Vaccines. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know that my kids will never have polio.
20. I spend time with a lot of remarkable, talented people. I’ve been on stage with many of them. Others have performed scripts I wrote. And none of them have told me to fuck off.
21. Neil Degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye. Two men whose love of science is eclipsed only by their love of sharing science with others.
22. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Well you knew I had to bring it up, didn’t you?
23. Fearless Comedy Productions. We are nowhere near where we want to be yet. The next steps are scary and dangerous. But damn, here we are.
24. This video by Imagine Dragons. Stanley Kubrick and a faked moon landing for the win!
25. Disney World. There. I said it. I fucking love Disney World.
26. Twice a month, I get to sit down with Melissa Kaercher and Jena Young just to watch a movie. Oh yeah, and record a podcast.
27. Check out this picture of Pluto! We sent a spacecraft to Pluto!
28. On one very special day, I toured the Vatican galleries, climbed to the top of the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica, ate Gelato by the Trevi Fountain, walked through the Roman Forum and around the Colosseum, and sat on the Spanish Steps. That was a good day.
29. I’ve worked at the Renaissance Festival for 31 years. I’ve received a Unicorn award, an award for best musical act, and the Lee Walker award. If I’m not there 31 years from now, it will probably be because I’m dead.
30. Legendary. I really love that game. I want to play that game right now.
31. Streaming video. I’m on board with this one, everybody. I think it’ll last.
32. Writing. More having written something than the act of writing something. I’m really happy when I’m done.
33. Evolution. Creationism bores me. How can you look at the complexity of life on our planet and decide the only way it could have happened is by some dude snapping his fingers? Evolution is a remarkable process that never ceases to fascinate me. Our eyes work better underwater because they evolved there! Whoa!
34. My best friends past and present. I’m not going to start listing names because I’d leave people off and then I’d feel like an ass. I expect those people know who they are. If you read this post and wonder “am I one of those people,” the answer is probably yes. So let’s just say yes.
35. Spicy Cheetoes. Also mushrooms. But not together.
36. Every year, I get to visit Austin and hang out with a bunch of really cool people watching one of the most unique film festivals in the world. Because I met the right person at the right time.
37. I’ve been to the top of the CNN tower in Toronto, I’ve been in a helicopter above the Grand Canyon, I’ve ridden a cable car in San Francisco, I’ve been in the Louvre, I’ve climbed through the ruins of a British castle at dusk, I’ve seen humpback whales breach, I’ve seen an active volcano, I’ve watched a bald eagle fly in front of a calving glacier, and I’ve seen this geyser erupt five times.
38. Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy. Also the actual Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.
39. My extended family is also filled with remarkable people. I somehow managed to be related to some of the most interesting aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and grandparents around. The grandparents are gone now but they were still terrific people.
40. Speaking of being gone now, my dad has been gone for almost 30 years. I still miss him. But all the memories I have of him are happy ones.
41. Over sixteen years ago, I helped create a convention called CONvergence. No matter what I do with that convention from now on, part of the reason it exists is me. That’s kind of cool.
42. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The book. Or the TV series. Or the radio series. Not that godawful movie.
43. Kim Davis aside, same-sex marriage is legal in all fifty states. Because love wins.
44. Vilification Tennis. So much talent and creativity that goes into such a simple structure. I’m just the ringleader for a crazy bunch of talented people who are a lot nicer than the act on stage.
45. The Minnesota Fringe Festival. Such a glorious crash course in everything theater can be and a reminder that theater is one of the few professions where everyone would be happiest if we all succeeded the same.
46. Benihana. Sure, it’s a chain. It’s really expensive. Your food experience is entirely dependent on the skill of your chef, which means it can be great or awful. But damn if it isn’t one of my favorite meals.
47. Earthrise. We went to the moon! In my lifetime! And took pictures! And it wasn’t a hoax! Because seriously, it wasn’t a fucking hoax. No matter what that Imagine Dragons video says.
48. Shit. This is the last one. Um….Young Frankenstein, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The original Star Wars trilogy (even the ewoks), Daredevil on Netflix, Big Fun Radio Funtime, National Park Rangers, The Minnesota State Fair, really good cheese, The Carol Burnett Show, Nicole Kidman, The right to choose, The Shawshank Redemption, blueberry pancakes, Mad Max: Fury Road, salads, R.E.M. (the band), Kennedy Space Center, Obamacare, central air conditioning, indoor plumbing, every film by Pixar that isn’t Cars 2 but especially Up because I don’t know how many people realize how damn good that movie actually is, the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, fall colors, snow, mountains, and freedom of speech.
Boy! I can’t wait to get older so I can make a longer list.