Fans of the cartoon TV show Family Guy know the character Stewie Griffin. In one episode he travels in time to meet himself in the future, only to find a geeky, shy, effeminate person who is a 33 year-old Parade Magazine reading virgin. The sad "future" Stewie is depressed after his apartment burns so the baby Stewie sits on the curb and they play the "Glad Game", where you think of things that make you glad - like the "first scissor cut into a fresh piece of construction paper." OK, in my case it's going to take a bit more than that.
Lord knows its not easy for me to play the "Glad" game much these days, and I've been on quite the downer for the last few weeks. However a sudden, albeit temporary I'm sure, change in the weather the last two days has me cherring up a wee bit. It's been said that the weather in Seattle is a leading cause of suicide. In my case it probably exacerbates my depression more than anything else. But the last two days have reminded me of reasons to smile.
Things like the countdown clock at the end of the hall with less than three weeks to go on it, coupled with the warm sunshine and 70 degree temperatures making the cherry blossoms and daffodils at the Capitol burst into color and smell divine. I couldn't help but laugh when of my fellow colleagues posted on her "Facebook" update asking if the Legislature could spring for a "Bouncy House" outside by the sundial for the lobbyists to play in while we waited for budget hearings to drone on.
But I think the biggest reason I had to smile today was that as the afternoon wore on, and the Legislative calendar had nothing of immediate concern, I said to myself "screw it, I'm going to ride!" and I headed out on the Nightster for a nice 80 mile ride in the afternoon and evening sunshine. There's nothing that will make me forget about things like heading away from the Capitol, towards a road that does not have an "Interstate" designation, with no destination in mind, and riding until I felt like stopping for dinner.
I did just that -- headed south around Capitol Lake, past the dome of the Legislative building, and off into the horizon. I let the wind in my face, and the miles under my seat blank my mind and let it drift, just enjoying the sound of the bike, the countryside rolling by, and the sights and smells of a warm spring day. Along about 7pm I stopped in the small town of Tenino, 30 or so miles South of Olympia, at a historic tavern next to the railroad tracks along a road called "Old Highway 99", for a burger and three innings of the Mariners game on TV before meandering back to the condo.
Yeah, life sucks a lot these days -- but every now and then things happen that still give me a reason to smile and play the "Glad Game."