You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘humor’ tag.

BugZooka WB100 Bug Catcher VacuumYesterday, I saw a silverfish in my bathroom and stopped in my tracks. Zowie! That’s a big bug. Four inches across. I got my trusty BugZooka (a tiny vacuum that sucks up the bugs so you can release them outside) and tried to capture her, to no avail. Undeterred, I went to the kitchen and got a plastic cup with a lid but couldn’t redirect her into the cup, so I talked to her. I’ve got to get you into this cup to relocate you or I’ve got to squish you. Sorry.

Surprisingly, she went into the cup. I went to the door and asked my son to open it for me and took her outside. Now mind you, I probably let in two flies while I was releasing Sylvia (the name I give to all silverfish. That, or Sid) but she had to go.

While I was chasing her around the bathroom, I realized she was afraid of me. For all she knew, I was the grim reaper, and I may well have been if I hadn’t caught her.

She was reacting in fear. I was reacting in fear.

What if everything that we’re afraid of is actually afraid of us?

As you go about your day, take note of what makes you anxious. Is it people passing by on a busy city street? Hold on. Are they looking at you the same way?

Pay attention to your fears today. They might be telling you they’re not so scary after all.

PS: This is not an endorsement of the BugZooka (although I like it). I only included the picture to show you what it looks like.

Advertisements

In SueBE’s post on her writing blog, One Writer’s Journey, she writes about finding a creative outlet for her downtime. What does this busy author with deadlines, family obligations, church work, bills to pay, etc., do to recharge her batteries? More work, of course! She takes an online course. But it’s work she loves to do, so it’s not work at all.

It would be more work for her to sit on a beach and do nothing. Suppose you said, “You’re now mandated to sit here and sip a drink under an umbrella and look out at the ocean. It’s for your own good!” I don’t presume to speak for her, but I do believe she’d hate that. Hate! I think her brain would still be formulating ideas, and she’d secretly use a lipstick and a coaster to jot them down when no one was looking. Idea for picture book: marathon runner trapped in starting gate, unable to run her race, teleports herself to the finish line. It’s something inside.

It would be like saying to Lori, “Don’t find the poetry in all that you see. Today, for twenty-four hours, you must think in a linear, black-and-white fashion. We’re re-training your brain to improve your overall health.” I believe she’d hate that. Hate! Even if you put shutters on the windows so she couldn’t see the clouds, trees and birds and be inspired to write a poem, she’d find a haiku in a dust bunny. A whole world would magically appear in her imagination and that poem would spontaneously create itself. It’s something inside.

When it comes time to recharge your batteries, plug into what works for you. Maybe knitting isn’t your thing, so how about painting or photography? Find the thing you enjoy. It’ll do you a world of good.

Living on the sunny side of the street, you realize that a positive frame of mind is portable. Even when I was in the hospital, I was so pleasant to be around that my doctor actually put it into my medical record that I was a “delightful patient.” Now, I’m not bragging. Just saying it really doesn’t cost anything to treat people well…although that hospital stay? It did cost an arm and a leg.

Still, I wonder if there’s another version of me out there in the ether, on some astral plane, who’s my opposite. Perhaps she’s named “Htur” (my name backwards.) Since I don’t get out much, am not rich, and have health issues, she must be the flip-side. She must be filthy rich, hale and hardy, and jet-setting all over the globe, living the heck out of life!

But it occurred to me that to really be the Bizarro version of me, she’d have to be awful to be around. Nasty to people. Entitled and belittling. So I got the good mood. She got the good life.

It also means she would have never met Lori and SueBE and all of you dear readers of our humble bloggie. Who really got the better end of that deal? I’m betting on the home team. In this era of negative news, we need all the positive energy we can find.

Every other article you see on the web offers information in the form of a list. Top ten ways to clean out your closet. Five things I’ve learned from going on a cruise. So annoying!

Then again, lists have their good qualities as well. Here are a few:

  • Lists are neat
  • They’re usually short
  • Ideas might be helpful
  • Good for those with short attention spans

Oh look! My favorite show is on now. Be right back.

As I was saying, on the other hand, lists can:

  • Give short shrift to important topics
  • Have unreliable sources
  • Make you believe any random broad from New Jersey (Yo.) is an expert on everything

Lists can be useful as a means of encouraging yourself. 

Today, I felt gratitude for so many things:

  • My humble home
  • My wonderful son, who’s my heart, walking
  • My smart phone, which I got reluctantly at 50 and became a true believer

And for minor miracles:

  • Second chances
  • “Coincidences” (AKA colliding with Providence) that work in your favor
  • Detours that lead to the right road after all

Not to mention all the creature comforts that add to my quality of life:

  • Light cream for my coffee
  • Leftovers (especially if it’s pizza) and of course
  • Lists

What are you grateful for today? Write it all down in the form of a list and life will look a whole lot brighter.

Oh, how I wish I’d kept the schematics for teleportation that I drafted when I was younger! I’d be sitting pretty right now. Yep. I’d be gliding through the ages, picking up tchotchkes here and there. A bust of Nefertiti for the sunroom. A Roman column for the front of my house. An actual Dead Sea Scroll for my reading area.

Time travel was one of the things I conquered in my mind as a kid. It was obvious to me that it was merely a matter of timing and geography. I’d read that mystics believed that the time when otherwordly wisdom is accessible is from 3 to 4 AM. Got it. Put that on my blueprint. Once I read about the “thin places” in Ireland, where legend has it that the veil between heaven and earth is thin, I had my formula.

All we had to do was set up shop at 3:33 AM (that just sounds like the most mystical time to me) one early morning somewhere in the pretty Irish countryside, and — presto! — we’d be flying through time. Simple!

These are all fanciful notions, but I invented whole worlds in my head as a child. Doesn’t it seem as though we leave imagination behind as we become adults? We forget how to play, and playing is the beginning of creating your own world.

Give yourself permission to paint or dance or make Lego sculptures. It’s a form of stress relief, and a way to express yourself. You’re never too old to be a kid again.

There are some left-overs I really look forward to; others, not so much. I’ve started to realize that I know very quickly what should really go right into the trash. We may think we’re going to eat it tomorrow, but we didn’t like it the first time. Why re-hash it? Especially if it’s actual scorched-earth-style corned beef hash?👎

Today is the day to go all Marie Kondo and really sort through the things that take up space in your psyche.

Keep  

  • The attention you give to your core responsibilities (take care of family, pay the bills, feed the cat.)
  • The things you are already doing efficiently (keeping track of appointments on your phone’s calendar, washing towels right after a shower so you have towels next time you need them.)
  • The comforts and keepsakes that light you up from the inside (the coffee mug with a lid that looks like a jaunty beret, that tiny candle that looks like a lighthouse, the faith that sustains you like a wood-burning stove of the soul even on the darkest winter night.)

Discard

  • The memories that pop up when you experience the slightest hint of happiness (Remember that thing you did that time? You should’ve done it differently.)
  • Self-defeating habits (Since I gained five pounds, I might as well go all in and demolish the snacks in the house with the word “sugar” or “chip” in their name.)

Once you’ve got your cognitive closets cleared, take a moment to breathe. Congratulate yourself on taking small steps to improve your life. That first step is always the hardest one.  The past is a left-over. You don’t need a make-over. A good habit that you carry over to the next day? We’ll call it a blessed-over.

Question: How are you?

If can’t complain, press 1

If fair to middling, press 2

If please don’t ask, press 3

You know me, dear readers. I’m always joshing. But I:

⬜ Usually

✅ Sometimes

⬜ On occasion

⬜ Once in a blue moon in a leap year 

…have a point hidden somewhere in that humor.

If you look at the headlines, all you’ll see is bad news.

Maybe we’ve gotten used to seeing that in our lives, too.

When someone asks “how are you?” we immediately run down the list of milestones in our mind to come up with a punchy headline.

  • Wife left me last month and took up with the mailman.
  • I almost hit the lottery but was off by one number. That’s what I get for using my wedding date!
  • Kid hit a baseball through my window yesterday.
  • Plus I had a wicked hangnail.

Somewhere lost in the sauce there: The couple had been estranged for years, and they were better off apart. Hardly anyone ever wins the lottery. The kid broke the window but apologized immediately and got a job after school to pay for it. The hangnail, the man deserved. Just kidding! He just needed a good nail clipper.

Check in with your blessings today. Even if you can’t say everything is all wine and roses right now, you can find one half-way decent thing to be grateful for. Maybe just a good parking spot or a semi-amusing blog post from your Kindly-Auntie.😊 Look around you today. Silver linings are everywhere.

So you’re doing a spring cleaning and you want to get really efficient. An inspired idea occurs to you: Let’s wash everything all at once! We’ll throw in the clothes, the comforters, the curtains. Even the carpets! It’ll be great. Get it all done at one time. Now we’re on a roll!

Cut to: Washer breaks down because it was overloaded. Repair work costs you an arm and a leg.

Just as you can only wash one load of laundry at a time, it’s best to focus on one problem at a time. When you start to think of one thing that’s gone haywire in your life, it can often lead to thinking of every other pesky issue that needs attention as well.

Of course, you can’t solve all your problems at once. In fact, making yourself crazy by going over all of them in your head creates a new problem: brain overload. It’s like being stuck in the agitation cycle of the washer. It’s all coming at you at once, and your head is spinning.

Why not schedule an hour to brainstorm about that one thing that’s at the top of your worrying to-do list? Write down in a sentence what’s most troubling. Look at the problem as a project. Think of all the options. Make a plan. Google it. Take the steps you can take right away. Ask for help if it’s available. Once you’ve done all you can, let it go and leave it in God’s hands.

Mother’s Day is this weekend, so I thought I’d perform a public service and offer this sage advice: Ask your mother what she wants for a gift. You might think she’d love a box of chocolates, but she may be watching her weight. She might actually get mad at you, thinking you’re trying to sabotage her diet!

To me, the best gift is cash or a gift card. Some may find that impersonal, but I don’t. Here’s why: You’ll never be able to get me exactly what I want as a gift. Let me explain.

I want a nice cardigan sweater. Sounds simple, right? Anybody can find a sweater at the mall. Think again!

My ideal cardigan sweater is one that’s light enough to wear in warmer weather but, paradoxically, heavy enough to keep me toasty in winter.

No zippers, buttons or snaps. No belt or ties of any kind. No itchy tag on the back of the neck. In fact, I’d prefer tagless. Machine washable and dryable. Is dryable a word? If not, I just invented it. If you plan to use it in a conversation, please send a dollar. 💰 It’ll go toward my next seriously-specific sweater.

It should be made of luxe, soft material, but not so soft that you become a lightning rod for static cling in the winter.

The most important feature would be that it have pockets deep and strong enough to hold a cell phone. I need my phone next to me at all times, but often put it down and can’t remember where I left it.

All told, I’m not sure such a magical sweater even exists! In lieu of this perfect, if imaginary cardigan, I’ll accept — you guessed it — cash or a gift card. Remember this: If mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy!

On the news last month, teachers were interviewed about the walk-out in Los Angeles. “We’re striking!” one woman said. And I said back to the screen, “Wow. Conceited much?” 🙂 I jest, of course, and don’t mean to make light of this real problem. Teachers shouldn’t have to go without a raise for ten years. Or teach to a classroom of fifty students. Teachers should be treated like gold. And paid the same way! Still, levity always finds its way into our lives, and I’d like to propose that comic relief should be taught in schools as well.

There’s so much pressure on kids today. They’re mandated by law to go to a particular public school. All day long, at home and at school, every adult they see is their boss. And of course, as the law of the jungle says, every student in a higher grade is, too.

I think that comedy, in the right doses — and with only modest levels of snark — can be a form of communication, as well as a form of therapy. Maybe it should actually be part of the curriculum.

“I saw this sign posted once; it said, ‘Blasting Zone Ahead.’ Wow. Shouldn’t that read, ‘Road Closed’?” This joke is from one of my favorite comedians, Brian Regan.  

Telling a joke — and having it land — is both an art and a science. Maybe it can be quantified. Or maybe it can’t. Then it would also be philosophy. Comedy could also help with public speaking and socialization. And it’s the kind of homework students wouldn’t mind doing. In closing, here’s an oldie but a goodie: What did the Zen Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything. Ba-dum-bum. Good night! We’re here all week!

Have a Mary Little Christmas

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: