19 October 2016

Happiness Is (with extra Broadway)

I'm so happy. That little red-headed girl dropped her pencil. It has teeth marks all over it. She nibbles her pencil. She's human! It hasn't been such a bad day after all.
Without fleas
Today's cheap shot comes again at the expense of Canadian depression man-style HeadsUpGuys.

Don't get the wrong ideal -- I pick on because I love.

Anyway, today we behold Foster Eastman's (now THAT is a movie-star name!) tale of how he round-house kicked old man depression and then stomped on his head.

He's a creative guy (creative guys tend to get depression a lot) and was recently involved with a project: Recent exhibits have considered diverse issues including the challenges returning Veterans from Afghanistan face as they reintegrate into civilian life, as well as installations that leverage visual arts practices to give voice to those struggling with depression and suicide.

I like that because down here in the States when we think of Canada at all, it's usually about hockey, beavers or Celine Dion. Yes, the Canadian Forces fought in our wars and yes, their troops are afflicted with the same kind of problems ours are. And yes, they have similar issues with their government's Veterans services organization as well. 

But what I really want to highlight is Foster's advice for getting happy, or, how he did it:


What advice would you give to guys fighting depression?

Do what you need to do to be happy. Get out of town. Move 2000 miles away. Change your name. Go back to school. Get a new job. Find new friends. Keep your family at arms length. Do whatever it takes to be happy – that’s what I did. 

tap tap tap - that's my fingers tapping on the unused part of the keyboard as I try to fashion some kind of reply. . . 

As I've always said "WHEN YOU HAVE UNLIMITED CASH," but wait a minute, so what? 

Here in Pittsburgh when we tell someone 'get aughta town' it's an expression of disbelief in what someone is telling us. I think Foster is serious. Of course in Canada, 2,000 miles can be the distance between, oh, Gander, Newfoundland and Sudbury, especially via Air Canada. Canadian joke there. 

Anyway, let's polish these off in order:
1. Get out of town - previously covered. What people don't realize about Pittsburgh is you can check out any time you like; but you can never leave. Sorta like Cleveland.  

2. Move 2,000 miles away. Had a chance to move to Portland but it's now filled with assholes from California. And the pizza in Idaho is pretty sucky.

3. Change your name. Never thought of this. I always HATED my name, still do. What would I change it to? This one is a no cost move so let's see. . . maybe Charlton Eastwood. Has a nice ring to it, eh?


4. Go back to school - love to. I love arguing with history professors. But alas, money.

5. Get a new job - snap my fingers, presto! New job. Yeah, I agree. But alas, 53, too much government work, house, pending reprimand on file. Go ahead tell me - I screwed the pooch on this one. If I could do this, the others would fall in line. Except the name maybe. Hmmm. . . Clark Dean? Must think about this. . .

6. Find new friends - there they are! They've been hiding under the chesterfield (Canadian reference). Seriously, like Warren G. Harding, friends generally keep you walking the floor at nights. And I'm high maintenance. But yeah, I'd like to hang out with the guys from Animal House. I never had a college toga party.

7. Keep your family at arms length - good advice - I do, especially with my sister. All the rest of them are dead . . . or dead to me.

8. Do whatever it takes.

Look, I would but my bank account and my wife might have some objections.

But that name thing again - Leonardo De Niro. Eh, maybe not.

But seriously, is happiness even attainable? Is depression ever really beat (like the Nazis in '45, not the Viet Cong in'72)?

I don't know. Happiness is like that short but fast little punk in school who always teased you but was too fast to catch and pound. If I could just creep close enough.  . .

I dunno. Unlike Brock Easterbrook or whatever his name is, I don't have a success story or a formula. For me happiness, fleeting as it is, is a bowl of ice cream and a re-run of "Sex Sent Me to the ER."

Don't judge me.

But I think it's a good idea to read all of these stories because the 'solutions' are as variable and unique to the people themselves.

And as soon as I have the Holy Grail, I'll let you know what worked for me.

Look, no one ever follows this blog but if you get a yen to comment, do it now - tell me how you found happiness, how you beat depression, how you lost 50 lbs. and kept it off, etc.

Oh wait! The last Trump-Clinton debate is on tonight! Fun!
Wait! Out of ice cream. Damn.

See how fleeting happiness is?

OK, I'm dating myself, but when I remember kindergarten, I remember this song (being pounded out on a big upright piano) and because I'm actually in a decent mood, I'll share it (from You're a Good Man Charlie Brown):