Cleaning Off The Muck 🌌

With the state of politics at the moment, I doubt that I’m the only one feeling drained, exhausted, and somehow unclean on an existential level.

But I had an uplifting moment earlier to give back a sense of awe, wonder and perspective; reading an article about the Hubble Telescope getting a picture of a galaxy (NGC 6503) that’s so very isolated, being a lonely mote in the middle of a void tens of millions of lightyears across. Astronomy really is a humbling and yet uplifting area of discovery.

So, happy thoughts here in this thread (tag and bag things that try to drag it down):

What are the things that make you cheer, grin with glee, sigh with appreciation, or just feel like you’re connecting with your ideals instead of your fears?


Watching Perseids, late on a warm summer night, with an old cat.


Encountered a bunch of teeny tiny lizards when I was out for a walk this evening. They scurry away really quickly!


I keep a Kittens and String folder with things that cheer me up. Here’s one. :slight_smile:


There’s a literal White Rabbit that frequently visits my yard to nibble off of the palm tree, despite the numerous cats that live in my apartment complex.

They never bother it, and I’ve even seen them all chilling together.

Of course, having read way too much Lewis Carroll, I never try to follow it.


Found a new song I’ve been bugging my coworkers with by playing about once every half-hour:

Yeah, I know, but seriously the song makes me feel good, and I’ve been having shittons of stuff going wrong at work for the last two weeks. I’m going to take any dopamine I can get right now.


Watching the Olympics is giving me life right now. NBC’s coverage is terrible, as always, but seeing the U.S. women’s gymnastics team run away with everything has been great.

This happened tonight too:


Some great action going on there. Loved the rugby 7s.


I just came back in from that (no cat, unfortunately). They were really good this year. I saw ten or 12 good ones in maybe 45 minutes, including: one bright yellow one within seconds of sitting down, like a spark thrown off a metal grinder; one with a bright head and a glowing trail; a long streak that went all the way across to the right out of my field of vision; a dripping, tumbling blob like molten metal; and many hairline streaks. There was one that was simply a fixed, non-moving point in the sky that became brighter and brighter before dying out, with a bright corona around it that persisted for ten seconds after. I was thinking I might need to move my chair (out of the way) for that one. Really amazing.


To maximize the weirdness of your neighbours’ lives: capture the rabbit, dress it in a waistcoat and pocketwatch, and release it. Observe reactions from a distance.


A child made me a sword out of cardboard.


Last weekend, I went to the grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary/13-year-old grandson’s birthday party of my best friend. Extended family was there from all around the country, and everyone was kind and loving and supportive (unlike ANY of my families). Felt like water in the desert.


My spouse overcame her anxiety in general, and about doctors specifically, and has an appointment today to get checked out for the couple of things that have been troubling her.

She also is considering going back to school and going into marine biology, which I think is awesome. :smiley:

There have been a couple of really great Steven Universe episodes recently, with big plot shocks and an adorable/awesome new character that made me squee.


This Spring, my godson dug up a tulip tree seedling for me, for a bonsai. It’s growing, and has survived heat and thunderstorms, so it might actually work!

I have two bonsai trees that my father grew and gave me about 5 years ago, they are 15 and 17 years old now. Plus I have four maples and two mulberries that I started from volunteer seeds from trees in our yard. The mulberries are having a rough year for some reason, but the maples are starting to doing pretty great, branching out and getting some character.

I’m no expert, 5 years in, I’m of the experiment and see how it goes school of thought. They help me stay grounded, and get me outside for a little while every day, even when I want to hide from the world.


Oh, I’ve seen many a cat learn not to fuck with rabbits. It’s always funny.


I don’t think those rabbits have had to deal with the cats round here.

I saw them ganging up against a fox about a year ago, I haven’t heard or seen any foxes here in months now.


Thank you to BoingBoing for showing me something that gave me awe and joy. Beautiful.


I’ll take the back road on the return from the grocery store, the one my wife says takes longer. But there are no stop lights, hardly any cars, and I get to see a horse farm, several brooks and a whole lot of trees.

Okay, I see trees on the other route, too. But these trees have less cars.


This interaction, yesterday, on the way to school.

8-year-old daughter: Mom, what’s your favorite princess?
13-year-old son, interrupting before I have a chance to respond: Uncle Steve [NOTE: his absolute hero] hates Ariel. She has to change her body and give up her voice for a man and what does he have to give up? Nothing.
8-year-old: Well, I like all the princesses but Belle’s my favorite. Does Uncle Steve have a problem with her? Nevermind, I don’t care. I like her.


I’m resuscitating this thread because it seems necessary.

I’ve been using this vid to lift my own spirits for the last couple of days; the dance sequences make me happy.