Jim Howard + Tantrum. On the way out of John's (where we drink beer if CRAZY PEOPLE aren't following us) Jim commented about how lucky I am to have two very fun groups of people to hang out with: my Hallmark friends and my improv friends. Most improvisers are the funniest person at work—even if they're not always "on," they've got the point of view and the skillz to make anything fun. I work with writers—lots of them trained humor writers—so I'm not the funniest one in any room. (Hell, even with my family. My brother-in-law David and my nephew Adam are way funnier.)
I am lucky.
And tonight, the two worlds in which I enjoy the Kool-Aid (Hallmark and improv) came together, and lo...it was good. Jim may be the perfect monologist. He tells great stories. And he goes from serious to moving to funny and back again in one sentence. He says what's true. And there's nothing more wonderful to play with than that.
I like it when my friends get along.
No more cynicism. I am a willing drinker of the Kool-Aid. My natural state is happy and optimistic—I'm very comfortable there. (I. WORK. FOR. HALLMARK. It's not an accident.) But for a long time, I've felt gullible and stupid if I believed anything anyone in politics said.
Barack Obama is a politician.
But if you listen to him and are not struck by the underlying authenticity in his message, I am convinced you don't have a soul...or have one, but have maybe misplaced it. His being elected brought out the best in John McCain. (And boy, did I miss that McCain. I've been wondering where he's been since the GOP convention. He's a statesman and a good man...just not the right man at the right time to be president.)
Here's what seems different: Barack Obama believes what he's saying. He believes we can do better. Be better. He believes we are better.
He drinks the Kool-Aid, too. And I think right now, when we're asking so many men and women to sacrifice for America, we need someone who believes in the best we can be.
(And even if I didn't believe it...the optimism and hope his election win have inspired in almost every segment of our society AND AROUND THE WORLD might just be enough.)
Also, because I am this gooey, hopeful, marketer of greeting cards, you know what I loved? this line: "You have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House."
Yes. When I'm at my best, I'm an improviser. And enough of a geek that, for me, it's hobby, philosophy and religion. I don't always do it well, but what I want to do is build up rather than tear down. To agree instead of negate. To go forward—not stand still or step back.
So the idea of "Yes, we can," resonates to my core.
Oh, and....Between the death of the Evil Empire, the worldwide partying in the streets, and the CNN holograms, it's feeling a lot like Star Wars.
Things just...feel good.