Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Secret to Happiness is…

Robin Williams as Teddy RooseveltIn taking advantage of some much needed family time today, we headed over to Naperville’s Kerasotes Showplace Theaters to catch the new Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian  whose trailer my boys have been emulating for weeks now.  I must confess, we didn’t see the first installment of Night at the Museum, but somehow I was sure we would catch up.

I expected a laugh-sprinkled good time leaving us thinking about what would happen if the same thing happened during our next trip to the Field Museum in Chicago.  Something I didn’t expect was a great life message to be delivered within the story. 

Within the first couple of scenes, Robin Williams potrayal of Teddy Roosevelt led to a moment in which he was about to share the secret of happiness to the crackberry-distracted Ben Stiller character, Larry.  The moment was lost and William’s Roosevelt turned back into the wax museum sculpture.  Somehow, I think we all knew that we would receive the answer by the end of the film.

Stiller’s character is a former museum security guard who had made it big as an inventor of such transformative products as the “glow-in-the-dark” flashlight.  Larry seemed distracted and annoyed in his new life since leaving his post as a security guard… a job in which he took great pride.

By the end of the film, we are re-visited by Roosevelt who appropriately completes the statement he started by saying the secret to happiness is doing what you love. 

The secret to happiness is doing what you love. 

How timely to utilize an escapist comedy to deliver what I believe is an important message to all who are struggling through the stresses of life and trying to better define happiness in these uncertain times.

Are you doing what you love most in life?  Are you living your life purpose?  

I encourage you to imagine how it might feel and the effect it might have on those around you if you were to once and for all begin the journey of your dreams in doing what you love most in life.

Mint Juleps, Southern Food and Great People Highlight Kentucky Derby 135 Party in Naperville

derby-1Some thought it was a longer shot than Mine That Bird to think that I would find enough people interested in the Kentucky Derby here in the Western Suburbs and Greater Chicagoland area to pull off a daylong traditional Derby Party.  I’ve always liked longshots and Saturday turned out to be the perfect day for bringing a little Derby tradition to our Naperville home.  With much thanks to my wife and fellow co-hosts of Tim Courtney, John Dallas Jr., Eric Broughton and Jason Jacobsohn… better known as the Fantastic Five.


As I mentioned in our previous posting, the was plenty of fresh mint juleps and Kentucky food, including Keene’s Kentucky Country Ham from Bardstown, Derby biscuits, Derby Pie from my mom’s own recipe, Roasted Garlic and Marscapone Cheese Grits, Fried Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Corn Casserole, homemade Kentucky Beer Cheese and much more.  I would like to publicly thank my wife for all of her efforts, support and tolerance in the construction of this genuine Kentucky experience.  I’m from Kentucky and she’s from New York so let’s just say she was a great sport.  I also want to thank my mother-in-law who was in town and provided allot of great help.


To get everyone in the full spirit, we featured a special bourbon tasting which consisted of 8 different Kentucky Bourbons.  In addition to the bottle of Willett Pot Still Reserve we contributed, other guests opted to bring a bottle as well.  In the end, we had the following Kentucky brands:  Willett, Jefferson’s Reserve, Bulleit, Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam and Evan Williams.  Judging by the bourbon levels in each bottle on Sunday morning, the clear favorites were the Willett Pot Still Reserve and Woodford Reserve.

Derby_ToddIn our party’s “winner takes all” betting pool on the Derby race, I will say that nobody picked the 50-1 shocker of Mine That Bird.  Of course, at the end of the day a great Derby Party is all about a gathering of great people and I want to thank everyone for coming out to Naperville to share in this wonderful tradition.

Derby_Fab Five

Derby_Kevin and TrayceDerby_Pam and Greg

Derby_Gene EricDerby_Final