It seems like all the news these days is bad. Folks are unemployed; people are losing their homes; Sylvester Stallone is considering making another "Rambo."
Yeah, it's ugly out there.
But you know what they say: Rolling stones gather no moss. Which really doesn't have anything to do with this. But they, whoever "they" are, also say lots of other uplifting things like ... things could be worse "... it's always darkest before the dawn "... every cloud has a silver lining "... tomorrow's another day ... at least you're not Gerald Ford, which is good, because he's dead.
Despite the gloom and doom, there are still many reasons to be happy. Maybe we all need a few reminders. So here are some reasons — 25 of them.
1. Babies. They represent a better future. They also smell good, they're cute and they don't talk back. Plus they won't take up much space when you have to move into your parents' garage.
2. An "Arrested Development" movie is in the works.
3. A sports fan's ultimate time of renewal — spring training — is here. Now if those guys would just share some of the wealth.
4. Love really doesn't cost a thing. Unless, of course, you're Hugh Hefner.
5. A cat lying in the sun purring and an unconditionally giddy dog greeting you at the door. Go ahead and take a second to dry your eyes after that last one "... we'll be here when you get back.
6. More people believe in their president than at this time last year. Or at least, more people want to.
7. The Internet hasn't replaced a good book. And right now, someone somewhere is writing one you won't be able to put down.
8. David Lee Roth is still in Van Halen.
9. Someone in the cockpit is brave enough to try to do something impossible to save your life.
10. Someone, somewhere, either loves you or will love you someday. They might even smell nice.
11. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. If they ever get serious, you know we're all in trouble.
12. Bands like Radiohead, Wilco, TV on the Radio and Sonic Youth, whose art isn't affected by shareholders.
13. Kids who still hold their parents' hands in public. In other words, kids who aren't teenagers yet.
14. Grandmas and grandpas. Even in a global recession, they still spoil you, in a good way.
15. Green hills. Even if it's just for a little while.
16. Escapist movies. Especially ones with lots of explosions.
17. A salty breeze coming off the water on a hot day.
18. Getting into Disneyland free on your birthday.
19. Seeing a dolphin, sea turtle or whale in the wild. Or even a Martinez beaver.
20. Used book stores. Even better, finding a book you've always wanted to read at a used book store.
21. The authentic-looking renovation of the old Fox Theater in Oakland.
22. Firefighters still show up just because you ask them to.
23. Fish try as hard as ever to get upstream, even when the stream runs through human country.
24. Old-fashioned drums and guitars still sound better than anything else anyone can come up with.
25. People finally are starting to think that greed is not good.
Reach Tony Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-952-2678.