Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Horrors and Happiness is found...somewhere.

The Horrors

The Horrors are a band from the UK that have a new CD coming out May 4. They are a typical garage band with a dark, morbid dynamic to most of their songs. One of the creepiest music videos by any band I've seen is The Horrors "She Is The New Thing", which you can watch here at YouTube:

It is the best 3 1/2 minute 'horror' movie you will see. You have to stay till the end because that's when everyone dies. It's very cool. I've included some tunes from the Horrors in the Playlist. You'll probably hate them. I don't. They are scary good.


I read an article at The Huffington Post recently that said the one common denominator that people attribute to happiness in their lives is staying connected to your past. Primarily it starts with being connected to family, then friends, then past lovers, extended family and so on. And also remaining close to places you lived, major events in your life and the people that were a part of them. Obviously the most painful events in one's past life may have to be avoided but the point is clear: being an island and ignoring your past equals unhappiness (this is from the article).

While I can see the most obvious strength of this argument, staying close to family, it begs the question: what if you're not close to your family? I'm close with my family so I have no worries. But if you're not, if you're estranged, and alienated for whatever reason, where can you connect with your past that will somehow infuse the present with an elixir of joy? And what of the past, some of which should rightly stay in the past? Don't we need to move on from things? Get over them, forget them, sweep them under the rug and keep going?

Here is where I think the article and my own happiness intersect: I have certain family codes (picking up from a previous post) that I attempt to adhere to:
  • Jil and Gabe come first, no exceptions.
  • If some member of your family offends you, tell them, patch it up and move on quickly.
  • Don't be surprised at being offended by your family--it's their job. If we had our choice of people to hang with, we'd all be off living as closely as possible to the coolest people on the planet: Metallica, the Boston Red Sox, Neil Young, Lance Armstrong, the cast from Rescue Me and the people who made Brokeback Mountain, Slumdog Millionaire and The Wrestler. But, we are stuck with each other so get over your family offending you.
  • Important events need to be respected and so do family traditions. There is a reason two of my very favorite memories are: going to Willow Creek Country Club for the Christmas Party with Mom and Dad's friends and going to the cabin every summer. This is being connected to your past and keeping those activities alive.
  • Reed Tucker is gay. (Not to offend gay people; it's just that one of our traditions is a holiday party with the Tuckers and Reed called me out so I'm punking him back).
  • Oh, and Reed is also a little bitch.

One more note about whether being connected to your past equals happiness: in the movie Magnolia, a theme that runs through that movie is the saying: "You may be done with the past but the past is not done with you." I love to dwell on this saying from time to time because it always amazes me how not dealing effectively with the present can so often totally jack up your future and keep you seemingly forever rooted in a poor decision you made in the past (hello current financial mess).

Be careful what you connect to in the past and if it's good, it should make you happy.

At least this is what my therapist tells me.


  1. You're blog makes me happy Phil...oh and going to Fiji in 3 days makes me extremely happy which has nothing to do with reconnecting with my past, unless I happen to run into a Polynesian ex-boyfriend.

  2. I am loving reading your blog Phil! I was addicted to Voo's blog but since he hasn't been blogging I've been forced to search out other blogs. I may never return to his blog, it's kind of meaningless.


  3. I have learned and appreciate the fact that life is just too damn short to hold grudges or resentments...get over it and move has taken me 56 years to finally get it.
    I think I am the most happy when my grandkids come running in my house and are so excited to see me..there is nothing like it and I think that is what I truly live for...other parts of my life are enriched and made better because of these little creatures who snake in your heart and permanently live there..thank god...of course I do have a soft spot for their mothers,'s to grandkids and to finding joy in something...everyday.

  4. Annie is off to Fiji and Jill E. is in the house!! and the comments are the best...find joy in something everyday--a worthy goal.

  5. Costanza,
    Here are a few of my thoughts on your lattest blog.

    1. I do stay connected to the past. I totally live in the past and that's fine with me.

    2. I do stay close to the family with the exception of you and Marconi. That is the way I prefer it.

    3. If Jil and Gabe are the most import things in your life, where so me and Spike fit in?

    4. Sometimes I am indeed offended by friends and family. I do not patch it up. I do not get over it. I don't move on. Life is not too short to hold grudges. I hold grudges forever. That's the way I like it.

    %. If my blog is in fact meaningless, it is because the meaning of life is meaningless.

    Hope to see you soon........


  6. Well said uncle Voo, well said.

    Here is to meaninglessness!!

  7. Sometimes things that happened in the past, seem to get better as the years go by.
    Did we really have that much fun, skating down on the levy? Was Palisade the ultimate place to be in the summer, either swimming or dancing? Were my friends really the best, the cutest, the most fun bunch, in all of Sanpete County? Did I have a talented, way ahead of her class, and her teachers, sister, and an adorable little brother, who has stayed adorable ?(well, kind of)
    I don't think it was meaninglessness, but I do prefer the now...just wish I could be 10 years younger!