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“Smile” comic book May 30, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Books, Smiley.
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"Smile," a graphic memoir by Raina Telgemeier. From my personal collection.

Just a few weeks ago, my mother-in-law, the Great Enabler, gave me a handful of new smiley faces for my collection. The coolest by far was this delightful young-adult graphic memoir by Raina Telgemeier, in which she recounts the trauma and teen tribulations surrounding her orthodontic work. I was happy with the book just for the grinning smiley on the cover, complete with gleaming braces, but the book itself is actually quite good, a painfully and hilariously honest portrayal of those awkward teen years taken to an almost absurd — yet all-too-real — extreme. Telgemeier’s knack for character depth, storytelling, and accessible art make this a fantastic read, and the ending is superb, uplifting without being at all trite. (Plus, she’s the same age as me, so she’s writing about an adolescence I recognize ALL too well!)

Telgemeier is going to prove an important new female voice in comics, and I highly recommend Smile for anyone interested in the medium.


BONUS: Reader-submitted smiley hot fudge (plus ice cream!) May 28, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Smiley faces in hot fudge and ice cream. Submitted by Roy Rogers.

Family friend and frequent reader Roy Rogers posted this in Facebook and tagged me on it. He wrote, “I opened some Hot Fudge to put on my Blue Bell. As you can see the Fudge was happy to be snuggling with Blue Bell too.”

It’s a little hard to see, but check out the top-center scoop of ice cream: It looks like the Blue Bell was pretty excited about the Fudge, too!

Two smiles for the price of one! Thanks, Roy, for sharing this. ๐Ÿ™‚

Smiley Jesus shirt May 26, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Smiley.
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Smiley Jesus shirt. From my personal collection.

My brother gave me this shirt. I don’t wear it nearly often enough.

Does anyone know if there’s a Buddhist equivalent for this shirt? I’d love to own one!*

And if anyone’s worried, I’d like to assure you that Moses, Mohammed, Rama, Krishna, Chenrezig, Gaya, and any other prophets/teachers/deities you might admire all love you, too.

And I’m pretty sure that Richard Dawkins at least likes you as a friend.


*UPDATE: The closest I can find to a Buddhist shirt like this is this one over at Simple Ink. It definitely makes me smile, but it doesn’t have that all-important smiley face. Any other ideas, happy readers?

Smiley thermometer May 23, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Kitchen & Bath, Smiley.
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Smiley thermometer. From my personal collection.

One reason my wife and I moved to the Pacific Northwest is because we realized, after growing up in Texas and living the past two years in the Middle East, that we don’t like heat. We much prefer cooler temperatures.

Today’s temperature*: 59. Perfect!

Thanks, smiley thermometer!

* You might notice that this thermometer actually registers 77 or so. That’s because when I took this photo I was A) indoors, and B) still in Texas. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dumpster smiley May 19, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Smiley graffiti on a dumpster. Photo taken in Portland, OR.

I missed Monday’s post, happy readers, because I’ve been in the process of moving into a new apartment. In fact, on Monday, I was checking out our new place for the first time. And I swear I’m not the one who put it there, but I found this smiley on our dumpster outside. Which means we’ve definitely moved to the right place! ๐Ÿ™‚

Chalk smiley on a window screen May 12, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Chalk smiley on a window screen. Photo taken in Boerne, TX.

This is at the place my brother and sister share in Boerne, Texas. My brother drew it there while I was visiting last summer, so of course I had to take the photo.

I like to think it would work like a kind of evil-eye/dreamcatcher for happiness: it would filter out all the negative emotions through the window screen and only let happiness into the home, and would only project happiness out into the world.

But that’s just my take on it.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Decorative pin May 9, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Smiley.
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Decorative pin. From my personal collection.

I can’t remember where I picked this up — I think I actually found it on the side of the road while walking to a taxi stand one day — but it became my constant companion for one semester a couple of years ago. I kept it pinned to the canvas strap of the messenger bag I carried to work when I was teaching English in Abu Dhabi. Now it resides among all its smiley kin in my collection, but I’m thinking of pulling it out in the fall and reattaching it to my messenger bag. Because a happy teacher makes for a happy classroom!

“Bank happy” antenna ball May 9, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Smiley.
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When I was in grad school in the Texas Panhandle, I needed to find a local bank and, as a matter of principle, I always look for the local banks first. I’ve long had issues with giant, corporate banking chains, even before the banking crisis of a few years ago. I eventually settled on a small regional chain called First State Bank, whose flagship branch is in — can you believe this? — Happy, Texas! (In fact, they’ve since changed their name to Happy State Bank and Trust.) The bank’s motto at the time was “Don’t Worry — Bank Happy,” and I certainly did!

One of that bank’s advertising give-aways was this smiley antenna ball, which made a perfect addition to my collection.

Clipboard May 2, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Clipboard. From my personal collection.

I tend to use clipboards for organizing papers. Student essays, my own short fiction, personal files, paperwork: it all feels so much easier to handle to when it’s held in place on one of these things. But how dull —ย  how anticlimactic, even depressing — must it be to work your way through such a stack of pages only to be rewarded with a plain brown slab of cheap wood? None for me, thanks! I’m always much happier when I finish a clipboard full of work and find these scattered smileys grinning up at me! Plus, the clip smiles while I’m working, which seems to make the work go faster. Win-win!