Why hello there. What’s a fine looking humanoid like yourself doing ‘round these parts? Just browsing? Looking for your weekly hit of advice from unqualified strangers? Hoping to stumble upon the answer to life’s deeper mysteries? WELL THAT’S TOO BAD. Because this week our regularly-scheduled soapbox pontification on how all ya’ll should solve your problems has been interrupted on the request of one reader. But don’t worry - I think you’ll agree that it’s totally worth it.
(Reminder: You can ask us (almost) anything yourself! Just send an email to [email protected] and we might answer you in the future. We don’t always tackle things in order, so if you’ve already sent us a question, like for instance something about a VERY SPECIFIC PERSONAL MOUTH HABIT, know that we’ll get to you eventually. If we feel like it. But seriously, ask us shit because then everyone is entertained!)
So this week’s inquiry took our premise a little too literally, in the greatest possible way:
This isn’t an advice question, but it IS ask Pajiba anything, so can you post happy things for just a second? Just under this email if you use it. Could be a story, could be a joke, could be a gif, could be a gif of Channing Tatum. I just need something happy. Just for a second.
Um, YES WE CAN. We’ve covered some preferred methods of self-care in the past, but 2017 just keeps 2017ing everywhere so we’re probably due for another round up of joyous nuggets. I threw the question out to the Overlords, and here are their collective happy places/moments/things/whatevers! Bookmark this page whenever you need a pick-me-up.
Dustin: Portland Public schools passed a policy requiring that teacher use a student’s preferred name and personal pronoun, and crucially, take the student’s side at school if there is disagreement with a parent’s wishes.
And this isn’t from Dustin but it’s from the Other Portland so I’m putting it here:
Jodi shared some super sweet photos!
Captioned “This makes me happy”:
Captioned “Knowing people like this makes me happy”:
Captioned “This jerk makes me happy”:
Petr found a delightful story about a dog who went from being banned from the local library to being a “volunteer staff member” there! Full disclosure: the library is in New Zealand. The best part? It’s for a program aimed to get kids comfortable reading out loud by having them read to dogs! Well, actually the REAL best part is this quote: “I mean, it’s not like we’re paying her - not even in dog biscuits, but in lots of cuddles and kisses.”
Petr also wanted to remind everyone that he has already identified “the most gut-punchingly uplifting video on the whole internet” and you should probably go check it out.
Hannah: Whenever I need cheering up or motivation, I load up some tunes- usually classic pop. Two that have never failed me are Gloria Estefan’s Conga and Diana Ross’s Chain Reaction (which has been my favourite song since I was 5, when I knew all of the words but had no idea what they meant…don’t judge me!)
Dan: I’m not a skater, like, at all, but I watch this at least once a year to hear Tony Hawk and Sal Masakela losing their minds and it still cheers me up:
Genevieve: I’m trying to think of cuter things, but for just generic “nice” I really enjoy the “Binging with Babish” youtube channel where he makes food that’s been in movies or on TV. Sometimes he then tries to make a version that’s edible.
This was originally a vine that was very fun, but I still love it.
TK: My happy thing is pretty easy: I’m a week away from flying with my wife and son to Cape Town to see my family. Parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, little kids. Sunny skies and beaches. Wine and song and sun and spicy food and three weeks away from the chaos and grind and daily frustration of the USA.
Oh and two fantastic but very different videos that always amaze and inspire me:
1) Mario Savio’s Sproul Hall speech, one of the most intense political speeches ever:
2) Queen’s 1979 performance of “Don’t Stop Me Now” at the Hammersmith Odeon, because there can never be enough Freddie Mercury in your life.
(* It’s worth noting that Queen is apparently Seth’s all-time favorite band, so TK’s selection led to a brief yet heartwarming moment of appreciation between the two before the age-old divisions reared up once again. Think Capulets vs. Montagues: Slack Edition. Making Queen, I dunno, ill-advised teenage romance?)
Then Dustin chimed in again: For some reason, makes me laugh every stupid time going on like 15 years.
Ursula: My happy thing, now and always: books. I’ve pulled back from reading the news and checking Twitter and I’m spending time inside of books. Brandon Sanderson’s OATHBRINGER couldn’t have been published at a better time.
*At this point several Overlords piped up to confirm that they, too, know how to read good.
Seth: I’ve also gotten back into books recently. Got the latest Kindle and it’s wonderful. Currently enjoying a Ben Franklin biography.
Steven: Read Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy straight through in my trip to Chicago a couple weeks ago. Amazing as hell. And the whole trilogy is only $10 on kindle at the moment. [Editor’s Note: This claim has not been verified because… lazy]
Dustin: Read John Hodgman’s Vacationland yesterday — it was magnificent!
Ursula again: Oh! You know what else? Pete Souza’s Instagram feed. I mean, he’s a beautiful photographer regardless, but his Obama WH photos especially put a smile on my face.
And from me? Oh hell, let’s just pile on some more random happiness!
May I introduce you to the majestic Snow Leopard. pic.twitter.com/W7LHjRkeYP— Welcome To Nature (@welcomet0nature) December 3, 2017
When I’m in need of a pick-me-up, I usually just type “Richard Ayoade” into YouTube and see what happens. His particular brand of deadpan just works for me. My favorite surprise find was probably this interview from Sundance where Ayoade riffs on the side of Robert Redford few people get to see (he likes a deep stretch), while Jesse Eisenberg sits there losing his shit:
Or just look for a good compilation. I recommend this one, if only because one of the world’s greatest “Your Mum” jokes starts at the 5:45 mark:
Also, if we’re being honest, that cast rendition of the DuckTales theme STILL GETS TO ME, but I’ve used that in like 3 posts already so I’m not posting it again. You can find it.
We hope this post has been of service to you.