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April 08, 2009


That's awesome.

I remember my first evening in my new home in New Orleans, years ago. I decided to talk a walk along the levee and there, riding toward me, was a man riding a horse, with the setting sun behind him. In the 2 years I lived there I never saw him again, but it felt like an auspicious sign for the beginning of my life there.

My daughter and I had a similar conversation the other day after we saw a VW 'Lady' Bug painted red with black spots on it. She said to me, "It's people who do things like that, that makes me happy... Because it just makes my day!"

More power to the people who aren't chained to the idea of 'fitting in' but willingly go forth and inspire individuality... Let your freak flags fly high, I say!

P.S. Love, love, love, This American Life and I'm proud to say I'm a subscriber.

What's going on? I didn't realize you could be so philosophical, so enlightening, so analytic of the depths of the human soul...

Oh, Looky Daddy, ye of many hats...

Leaving the Cleveland airport on our way to a family reunion, my family glanced at the car stopped next to ours at a light and saw that it contained a clown family-- a clown mom and dad, two clown kids, and even a clown dog with a hat and ruff. It looked like an ordinary car ride for them. 20 years later, it's practically the only thing I remember about Cleveland.


My husband came home from the gym one day happier than normal. He had been running on a treadmill for awhile, getting into "the zone" when he looked up and saw a guy wearing a spiderman outfit walk past him, get a another treadmill and start running. The guy did about 15 minutes, hopped off and left.

Hubs still laughs when I ask about it.

I used to do business with a company in downtown San Francisco. There was an apartment building across the street from their offices. One of the tenants was nicknamed "Mister Bator" for the act he performed (nearly daily from the reports I heard) in his apartment for all to see.

I recently found my missing "Batman" helmet (a black motorcycle helmet, with a Batman bat-symbol sticker on the front), only to realize its time in the garage had destroyed its protective innards. Part of my disappointment was because, during its better days, a smallish child saw the sticker, pointed at me and said "Batman!"

That's great!

I try to give one honest compliment to a stranger every day.

it's not superman, and perhaps it's just rationalizing clumbsiness, but in college there was a huge brick path around the central lake and fountain and it constantly caught people's shoes and send them catching for their balance and inevitably you would snicker. but that's when i learned the lesson i could either turn an awful shade of red and die of embaressment or know that i just brightened someone's day and gave someone a chuckle.
so, different approach, same result?

I heard the same story on This American Life a little while ago. I was struck at the end with the mention that superman's girlfriend had died a few years before. It's an amazing coping mechanism, but it sure adds a melancholy note to the story.

He certainly understands the essence of who a Superman is, and it's not about powers.

That's one of my favorite episodes of "This American Life". I remember thinking during the introduction, "Oh, this guy is nuts," but by the end of it, I didn't feel that way at all. I think he's anything but crazy...or rather, if he's IS crazy, then we need more crazy like that in this world.

I love Leslie sightings. :) I saw him one day in Austin, very soon after I'd first moved there, walking around in a hot-pink bikini. My husband saw him down by Toy Joy another time, bending over to pick something up off the ground, seemingly very purposefully with his thonged arse facing the street.

Don't evenknow how I came across your blog but so happy I did.

Our next door neighbor (a 60-ish black man with the happiest eyes you've ever seen) wears a rainbow colored propeller beanie cap 100% of the time for exactly the same reason: because it makes people smile. We've lived here for 2 years and I have it on good authority that for more than a decade he's never, ever been spotted without it on (I presume he has more than a few of them).

You know how adults have a general tendency to make absolute fools of themselves in order to get babies to smile and giggle? I can't help but wonder -- when exactly do we stop doing that to other people - making *their* happiness *our* priority? (Snarky Answer: when you get a job in government or retail).

But you're precisely right about Superman guy, Beanie guy -- being the 'gift you didn't know you wanted'. There's a very fine line between slightly crazy and powerfully inspirational: maybe if the general majority of the population were all willing to move just a step or two further away from 'cranky uptight control freaks' we too might find that happy middle ground of giving happiness to others.

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