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Happy Halloween! October 31, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Holidays, Smiley.
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Evil moon smiley. Photo illustration by me.

Sticker on a bike rack October 29, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Decor, Smiley.
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Sticker on a bike rack, Martin Luther King Blvd., Portland, OR.

I spotted this happy guy smiling up at me as I walked home from the streetcar one afternoon last week. And after I snapped this quick photo, I spotted another — and the next bike rack. And the next…. That was one happy block! 🙂

Bumper sticker on a Subaru October 25, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Smiley.
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Bumper sticker. Portland, OR.

Subaru seems to be the unofficial car in Portland. Good gas mileage, a solid combination of in-city driving with the possibility of getting up into the mountains on the weekends, a rugged reliability … It’s sort of a hipster-hiker’s car. Plus, it looks good with a bike rack on the back or a kayak on the roof. Chances are good that on any given day, you’ll see more of any given model of a Subaru than you would even of eco-friendly Priuses or Smart cars. There might even be as many Subarus in Portland as there are bicycles.

(Okay, probably not.)

Anyway, people around here seem pretty happy with their Subarus, which is why, when I spotted this smiley sticker slapped on the back of a Subaru in the parking lot of a Target, I had to snap it. 🙂

Reader-submitted parasail wing October 22, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Reader submission, Smiley.
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Parasail wing. Submitted by Debbie C.

Long-time friend and frequent submitter Debbie C sent me this photo the other day. It’s of “a friend of mine parasailing with her son,” she told me.

And it’s AWESOME! I’ve always wanted to try this, but a lack of time or money or bathing suit have somehow always gotten in the way. But if I ever see one of these smiley parasail wings, I’d go up in my blue jeans! This is just too cool. 🙂

Thanks, Debbie!

Tiny jack-o-lantern October 18, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Holidays, Smiley.
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Tiny jack-o-lantern. For Halloween 2012.

I really, really LOVE Halloween. The ghouls, the goblins, the demons, the clowns. (That list gets scarier as you read it.) And, of course, the fun of dressing up and carving pumpkins. In our small apartment, though, I tend to stick to tiny pumpkins my wife and I draw on with markers. Not exactly the traditional scary face lighting the darkness to keep the evil spirits at bay, but they’re still fun to make.

And yes, I always do a scary face, because it is Halloween. But I also do a smiling pumpkin, too, because we’re supposed to be having fun! 🙂

 

Reader-submitted smiley figure October 15, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Reader submission, Smiley, Toys.
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Smiley figure at Tadpoles in Dallas, TX. Submitted by Rachael L.B. and her awesome son Clark.

Way, way back in middle school, my eighth grade year, I co-emceed the school talent show with Rachael, a girl I knew from around but not very well. She was totally cool, though (she listened to Mötley CrĂĽe!) and we became friends. We made a great double act on stage, too — we played opposites, me the nerdy yuckster and she the cool rock-n-roll chick, and we got good laughs — but adolescence and those hazy college years being what they are, my friend and I lost track of each other until reconnecting a few years ago on Facebook.

It’s been fun reliving the old memories, but I was particularly thrilled when Rachael sent me this photo in an email the other day! “My son was checking out all these toys,” she wrote, “and I saw this one and thought of you!”

Hurray! What is it? Where is it? I was all questions.

“It was at a toy store in Dallas, I’m pretty sure named Tadpoles,” she wrote back. “Clark had asked me every day this week if we could please go to the toy store, so finally today I agreed. He was a very happy camper!”

Clark, who has good taste in toys.

Very happy indeed!

Thanks, Rachael! You’re still the cool chick. And thanks, Clark! You obviously inherited your mom’s great taste. 🙂

Plastic cup October 11, 2012

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

I’ve had this cup for ages — some of the smiley faces are starting to wear off — but it’s my go-to cup if I ever want a quick glass of water in the kitchen. It gets hot over the stove or while washing dishes, and while any glass of ice water would hit the spot, knowing the water is coming from smileys makes it all the more refreshing! 🙂

Reader-submitted syrup cap October 8, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Hungry Jack syrup bottle cap. Submitted by Kristi DC.

My friend Kristi sent this to the Smile! Facebook page yesterday. “We made French Toast for dinner,” she wrote, “and we were surprised to find this under the cap of the Hungry Jack syrup! Thought about you and had my husband take a picture.”

There’s something about breakfast that makes a person happy, isn’t there? Yesterday morning my brother launched a long conversation about breakfast with a Facebook post about how happy pancakes make him, and then maybe seven hours later Kristi and her family are sitting down to French toast.

Thanks for the smiley, Kristi! Hope you enjoyed your syrup! 🙂

 

Reader-submitted “Jenny” October 4, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Reader submission, Smiley.
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The “Jenny.” Submitted by Jaretta R.

This is another fantastic find by frequent submitted Jaretta R! She writes, “I’m not sure if your wife is ever called “Jenny” [she isn’t, but way to connect the ship with my wife, Jennifer!], but I immediately thought of her when I saw that boat on our trip to the Everglades! […] It sometimes feels like all of a sudden smileys are popping up everywhere, but I believe that I have just begun to notice them more. This is very good for me because seeing the smiley helps to pick me up emotionally and there are many days that I really need that extra little push. So thank you!!”

Oh, no, Jaretta: thank YOU! I think most days we all need a push, however small, and sharing smileys is a powerfully helpful push. And I couldn’t post nearly as many smileys as I do without the help of happy, observant friends!

Here’s a close-up of the smiling helm:

Graffito on electric box October 1, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Graffito on electric box, Sandy River delta, Portland, OR.

A couple of weeks ago, Jennifer and I spent an afternoon hanging out on the wide, gritty bank of the Sandy River delta, where the Sandy runs into the Columbia River. It was a gorgeous late-summer day to begin with, but you can imagine how much happier I felt when we spotted this graffito on the path out to the riverbank.! 🙂