Tag Archives: Same Love

“The Joy List:” Things that made me happy in 2014

Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers - Game Four

Let’s face it: 2014 was pretty awful for a lot of people.
Hurricanes, severe droughts, journalist beheadings, wars raging in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Police shootings/killings of unarmed civilians. The Republicans sweeping the November elections (well, I’ll admit that some of my readers might not think that was awful, but for me it was).

I could go on and on, but I won’t because if there’s one thing I hope you’ve gotten from me in the 5 1/2 years of this blog’s existence,  it’s that I’m a huge believer in being positive.
Looking at the happy, the optimistic, the good side of life is my No. 1 personal credo.
And so, it occurred to me the other day that it’d be fun to write a blog post about joy; specifically, an un-ordered list of many things that made my year great.

I hope maybe my list sparks you, on this last day of 2014, to think of what made you feel good in 2014.

Bandleader, a drum roll please…

— My son being born. Well that’s an obvious one. But every day he surprises me, makes me laugh, smile and count my blessings. 16 weeks old today, and I can’t believe how fast he’s growing.

— Sleep. (See item No. 1 for why).

— My boy’s mother, aka my wife. She brings me joy every day.


— The Colombian soccer team’s dancing at the World Cup. Just pure, sheer exuberance every time they scored a goal. I guess they waited four years to dance like that.

— The movie “Boyhood.” It’s getting Oscar buzz and it absolutely deserves it; this movie took me on a 12-year journey through the life of one family, and it was the best film I saw in many a year. If it comes back out after getting Oscar nominated, you should definitely see it.

— The San Antonio Spurs playing basketball in the NBA playoffs last spring. Beautiful teamwork, such great passing, and an example of hoops at its most perfect form.

— The incredible performance/ceremony from Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert and Queen Latifah in honor of same-sex marriage at the Grammys last January. Chill-bump inducing stuff, and a wonderful sign of progress in America.

— John Oliver. Every week on his HBO show he brought the funny. What a brilliantly-written, hard-hitting show that shone a light on a lot of under-reported issues in the media.

— A rainbow I saw in Central Park last summer. It was enormous and pretty and it made me smile.

— The Rangers making the Stanley Cup Finals, totally out of nowhere. I went to Game 6 at MSG against Montreal, the night they clinched a trip to the Finals for the first time since ’94. Maybe my favorite sporting event I’ve ever attended.

–Malala winning a Nobel Peace Prize. What a brave, intelligent young woman.

— And finally, making it through another year without being completely bald yet. I know it’s coming, but I’m fighting it, baby!

Have a wonderful New Year.

A great video about standing up for marriage equality. “Sleepwalk With Me” was short but entertaining. And what I want to hear at DNC

After hearing about it for months, and anticipating it for a while, I finally got to see comedian Mike Birbiglia’s new movie “Sleepwalk With Me” on Monday.

I’ve loved Birbiglia ever since hearing him on NPR’s “The Moth” a few years ago, and he continues to be one of the funniest guys around.

The movie was … pretty good. I expected it to be funnier and less serious than it was, and it was really short (1 hour and 25 minutes), but it was still pretty entertaining. Birbiglia plays a slightly-fictionalized version of himself, dealing with life on the road as a comic, his dangerous sleepwalking habit, and ups and downs in his relationship with his girlfriend (Lauren Ambrose, who was awesome as Claire on “Six Feet Under.”)

Some of the movie is uncomfortable to watch, as Birbiglia hits pretty close to home with some of the relationship stuff, but he’s always likeable on screen and Carol Kane is fabulous as his Mom. The sleepwalking sequences are the best, like the one (above) where Matt (Birbiglia) dreams he’s won the Dustbuster Olympics).

“Sleepwalk With Me” won’t win any Oscars, but it’s funny and I definitely recommend seeing it if it’s playing near you.

**This is one of the most powerful things I’ve seen in a long time. A song by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert, called “Same Love.” It’s a beautiful song about marriage equality, how everyone deserves the chance at the same happiness. It’s haunting and pretty; read the lyrics, too if you can.

**So the Democratic National Convention kicks off tonight in Charlotte, and for three days we will finally, hopefully hear some truthful statements to contradict the Pinocchio-level lies spewed last week by the Republicans at their convention.
As a die-hard liberal Democrat, here are some things I really want to hear from the podium this week:
— “All these Republicans who want less government, ask them why they want the government to have a say in what a woman does with her body, and who is allowed to get married.”
— “Yes, most Americans are better off now than they were four years ago. In 2008 we were heading toward a financial cliff, were fighting two wars costing billions of dollars, and had an idiot and a dangerous war criminal as President and VP.”
— “Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.” I want that said 100 times.
— “Will the Jets first-string offense score a touchdown this year?” (sorry, that’s a personal request.)
— “Has anyone heard ONE specific policy proposal from Mitt Romney? Just one Mitt, that’s all we’d like.”
— “Paul Ryan’s budget cuts money from every social program devoted to the poor, the same people he said last week he wanted to help. This is just one of his many, many lies.”
— “Racism is alive and well in the GOP. Just look at the voter-ID laws being passed.”

I’d like to hear all of that and more. Time to hit back on all these lies.