Thursday, May 22, 2014

100 Happy Days - Part 3

I'm taking photos of things that make me happy. I explain why in part one, here. There's also a part two.

Day 15

My friend sent me an email with a photo of a baby. I thought that was odd until some time later when I understood that it was his baby, which had just been born.
I don't see the point of babies myself but I knew my friend would be having one of the highest moments of his life, which was a happy thought.

Looks just like his dad.

Day 16

Once a week I fill a USB stick with easy-to-watch British shows for Jen to fall asleep to. They can't be too scary or she'll claw me and fidget through the night, but they can't be too banal or she will whinge instead of nodding off.
Mediocre police drama 'Identity' should have met my needs perfectly, but Jen watched every second like it was a funny dog video. I realised my mistake - if I want her to fall asleep I shouldn't pick shows starring Aidan Gillen.

"You know he's tiny, right? All actors are tiny."
"I'm just not sleepy is all," she said.
"He's practically a dwarf. That's why he was in Game of Thrones."
"Although," she said, ignoring my part of the conversation, "he certainly has something." That's Jen's understated way of admitting a dude is sexy as sin.
"He has something all right," I said. "Tiny legs."
It made me happy to think how much taller I was than Aidan Gillen. However much wavy hair he might have and however many leather jackets he might squeak around in, however many accents he might have mastered and however many awards he might win, I, Andrew Girardin, would always be considerably taller than him. He probably wouldn't even come up to my shoulders! Lol!

In the process of typing up this happy moment, I discovered he is 1.78m, which is quite tall. But I still TOWER over him. I would LOOM over him. If you think two centimetres isn't enough to loom from, you're wrong.


Day 17

Students enjoy hearing about my extensive charity work and are always trying to drag tales of philanthropy out of me.
Student: "So when should I use the past perfect?"
Me: "What's that? My charity work? Let's talk about my happiness project instead. Oh! We can do both. Last year I donated money to a charity that saves cows from slaughter. There's a video of the cows being released from their barn-prison and they look happy and it makes you happy."

Watch the video for a little burst of happiness. Skip the first 50 seconds if you can't bear to hear people talking about cows in German.

Day 18

I went to a party and talked to strangers and I didn't create any awkward silences by being weird. So that was good.
And then I met an Austrian who told us how proud of Conchita Wurst he was. Without pausing for breath he then told the sickest joke I've ever heard said out loud. 

Conchita Wurst

"A couple have just had a baby. There were complications so they haven't seen it yet. The doctor leads them into a room where all the babies are without legs. 'It's worse than that. Keep going.' He takes them into the next room. There, the babies have no legs and no arms. 'Sorry but it's worse.' They go into a room where the babies are just heads. 'Sorry but it's worse.' Finally, they are in a room where the baby is just a flap of skin with an eye. 'Bad news,' the doctor says, 'your baby is blind.'"

The joke was told with tremendous relish. Whether you found it funny or unfunny, silly or offensive, know that I had the exact same reaction as you.

Day 19

Switzerland's famous 'Valley of the Vegetables'

I had a great day visiting the birthplace of Switzerland. Switzerland has a birthplace? Yes, it does. It's called 'das Ruetli', which means 'the carrot'.
Quick history lesson: in 1291 three dudes got together and ate carrots, symbolising the need to form a confederation and vote about asylum seekers four times a year.
It's a stupendously pretty region - snow-capped mountains, Lake Lucerne, paddlewheelers - but when we got to the Ruetli itself I couldn't see any special monument to mark the spot.
"Where's the thing?" I asked.
"Oh, it's there," said Jen.
"Behind that field?"
"No, the field is it. That's it. It's just a meadow."
"Just a meadow. Huh." I looked around. "Is it where they grew the carrots?"

What's orange and sounds like a parrot?

The picture shows Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego coming together to create Switzerland. Not pictured is Jen screaming at me saying 'Ruetli doesn't mean carrot! Stop talking about carrots!'

Day 20

The day started with a massage. 

I occasionally have achilles tendon pain and since Jen knows one of the best physios in Switzerland, I thought I'd try and get it fixed. This was my second appointment and I knew what to expect - my calf would be shredded, pulverised, and ultimately remoulded into the perfect specimen of a muscle.
And so it was.
It's the kind of pain that you hate in the moment of its manifestation, but love in the time before and after. Especially after - I didn't walk, but floated around on a tiny cloud of happy pain.

Day 21

Jen woke up early, and as she always does, woke me up to tell me she was awake.
"I'm awake! Oh, frabjous day!"
"Christ." I pulled the covers over my head.
"Do you want a cup of tea?" she asked.
"Yes." I pulled the cover down and switched from grumpy face to manipulating-a-woman face. "And a sandwich."
"Don't have time to go all the way to the sandwich shop and back," she said. "But I could post it in the mailbox and buzz the door to let you know its there, saving me literally 15 seconds."
"Aw," I said, "That's incredibly sweet and thoughtful and I'm lucky to have you. This will go on my blog as today's happy thing."
Sadly Jen didn't hear me - turns out I had merely grunted, stuck my thumb back in my mouth, and slept on till I heard the doorbell. Sandwich was nice though.

Progress after 21 days:

Mood: Somewhere between pathetic and apathetic
Compliments: "I hate telling you stories."
Optimism: Schmoptimism.

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