Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's Christmas Eve, babe...

Yes. For the second consecutive Christmas, I bring you the gift of Pogues. Not because of any great love for the drunk tank, or Frank Sinatra or Matt Dillon, but because if listening to this song doesn't make you want to immediately hug your spouse or significant other, your holiday spirit is running a quart low.

Merry Christmas! (or if you don't celebrate that one, Happy Non-Denominational Winter Holiday!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Who gets 86'ed from Border's?

Some dude wearing sunglasses at 5 p.m. during a snowstorm, that's who. But not before suggesting several anatomically impossible pastimes to the security guard.

The clerk and I looked at each other and simultaneously said, "Happy Holidays." It warms my heart to see that the spirit of sarcasm is still alive in these trying times.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama is proof of my photographic theories

You're probably asking yourself, "Self--what is Gerry talking about?" Well, dear reader, I'll tell you.

I am a big believer in documenting fun times. They are fun, after all. And if there is drinking involved, then the actual memories, the kind that exist in your head, are probably a little blurrier than you'd like. That means photographic documentation. But that means you're never in your own pictures.

This happened a lot in college. Except not for Barack Obama.

Even the negatives look positive.

Yeah. A photographer just happened to come across him and just happened to take a bunch of pictures of him in a badass hat. Where was my professional photographer when I had a badass college hat? (note: This is a trick question. I never had a badass hat in college)

Anyway, like I said, I think this conclusively proves my theory. Thank you, Mr. President-elect.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Off to the hinterlands

Yes! A weekend vacation in the snow. And you know what goes well with snowy vacations?

Eggnog. But be sure not to leave out the...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dear governor,

I wish you hadn't gone and gotten charged with some unbelievably ballsy crimes. Although they are entertaining--seriously, who tries to sell a U.S. Senate seat? Who?--there have been some unpleasant consequences.

Namely, the fleet of media helicopters hovering over your home. Which happens to be a few blocks from my home.

Please oblige them with a wave or a middle finger and send them on their way.

Your neighbor,

Gerry Doyle

P.S. Happy birthday.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Not to go all Jeremy Bentham on you...

... but happiness is clearly a big part of the human condition. It drives our actions. It shapes the way we view the world. And it's almost impossible to quantify.

However! Scientists need things to study, and this particular bunch decided to study happiness. And it turns out, they say, that other factors aside, other people's happiness is what makes us happy. Hi, there's an Aristotle on Line 1... he's shouting something about a Prime Mover.

Scientists say this happy face is living a lie.

Ahem, anyway... as reported in the Chicago Tribune (and check out the killer headline that ran in the newspaper, if you can. Whoever wrote it is an undeniable savant.),

"We've known for some time that social relationships are the best predictor of human happiness, and this paper shows that the effect is much more powerful than anyone realized," said Daniel Gilbert, author of "Stumbling on Happiness" and a professor of psychology at Harvard University.
And here's a look at exactly how much your relationships affect your happiness:

"If a social contact is happy, it increases the likelihood that you are happy by 15 percent," James Fowler said. "A friend of a friend, or the friend of a spouse or a sibling, if they are happy, increases your chances by 10 percent," he added.

A happy third-degree friend -- the friend or a friend of a friend -- increases a person's chances of being happy by 6 percent.

"But every extra unhappy friend increases the likelihood that you'll be unhappy by 7 percent," Fowler said.

Now you can calculate exactly how much value your friends and family bring to your life. If that's the sort of thing that makes you happy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's that time of year again

I speak, of course, of the end of the semester at Northwestern University. Although it's the middle of the winter and everyone knows that this is only a temporary respite from being forcefully reprogrammed, grammatically speaking, it's still a nice feeling.

The students get to wander off to their hometowns and enjoy the holiday of their choice. The teachers get the satisfaction of having watched the students struggle (not fun), learn (kind of fun, but, as I mentioned, a struggle) and improve (fun).

Then we'll do it all over again in a couple of months. It's like Sisyphus, but without the torture.