Humor

 
 

A Beast In the Night

I may be slightly guilty of complaining about my neighbors on Facebook. In most respects they are nice, normal people with young kids, relatives, friends, a dog and a trampoline. I wonder, though, if they celebrate more than the average family. And I also wonder, often, how to disable the bass speaker from their stereo system in a quiet, legal way.

This past weekend I found myself actually wishing for the simple annoyance of that bass thump thump thump vibrating through my bedroom wall at any hour of the day or night. What could possibly make me wish for such a thing?

Wilderness camping.

Yes, you heard me right.

Wilderness camping.

FullSizeRender-4

Aw… peace, quiet, beauty and serenity

When I think Wilderness I imagine large open meadows filled with wildflowers, pines intermingled with quaking aspens, blue skies, birds twittering, chipmunks chattering, and the smell of a campfire, with a soft breeze rustling the leaves. Maybe it would even include a brief afternoon downpour, which makes the air even fresher and more wilderness-like.

 

Our little outing included all that in glorious abundance. Exactly what a person seeks when they go out into the wild. At least, that is what THIS person seeks when going to a wilderness area. Don’t you?

Apparently other people, people I do not comprehend, think wilderness is for unmuffled engine noises and dust and the smell of gasoline and exhaust.

 

MAD MAX vehicles 2

The Beast’s Minions, no doubt.

Not long after setting up camp, in the WILDERNESS, we realized we were way too close to a dirt road that apparently compares to Times Square in mountain terms. Holy smokes! Every motorcycle, ATV, four-wheeler, jeep, and zoomy loud obnoxious vehicle ever invented drove up and down that road.

 

We took comfort in the thought, the absolute certainty really, that once the sun set the traffic would abate.

But alas, we found that assumption to be completely and totally incorrect. In fact, some of the wheeled monstrosities seemed to amp up the volume after dark.

Somewhere around 10:30 p.m. someone unleashed some Mad Max movie vehicle from the depths of Hades. I told MSH, “I think the apocalypse is happening. Isn’t that what the end of the world sounds like?”

mad max 4

This “War Rig” is actually from the movie Mad Max, but could easily be what I heard and felt.

I pictured amplifiers attached to where a muffler would be, flames shooting out the top and back, and a doomsday soundtrack that normally plays in a sci-fi movie when an entire planet is about to be destroyed. The driver most certainly looked like one-eyed Dennis Hopper from Water World. And I’m certain the beast was a half-track, or some tank or a war machine. This thing made our tent rattle and vibrate and I swear the ground shook. The fact that lightning and thunder were intermittently happening only added to the creep factor. Unlike the other vehicles that blasted through after dark, this one could be heard two to three miles away, coming and going.

 

Unnerving. Definitely not sleep inducing.

So MSH and I decided to read a bit and talk over what we were reading. A few more, by comparison, fairly quiet ATVs blasted through, surprisingly. Near midnight we turned out the lights and assumed we’d sleep through the night.

No flames shooting, since it’s daytime, but definitely similar to what I felt and heard.

mad max 7

No flames shooting in the daylight,  but definitely similar to what I felt and heard.

Until 1:45 a.m. when The Beast Built From War Machines of Horror Movies returned, driving slower and if possible, louder. The mountains echoed with the roar of this monstrosity, I swear house sized boulders voluntarily rolled down mountains and trees fell of their own accord at the sound of this thing.

 

What little bit of sleep I did manage was nudged awake by birds and chipmunks at the first hint of dawn.

scary vehicles 1

A cousin of The Beast, no doubt. Not so scary in the daylight.

The ATVs didn’t wake up until five hours later, a very welcome respite.

 

If wilderness is so loud and ridiculous, how do I escape the noise and chaos of mankind and their machines? I guess I need to try backpacking miles and miles away from any roads. Or try setting up camp next to a very loud river. Or both.

I suppose I’d better get my backpacking body back in shape.

mad max 3In the meantime, I guess I could be more tolerant of my neighbor’s late night stereo blasting. At least it’s not some vehicle from Mad Max showing up at my doorstep, right?

Have you ever noticed that so much about life and the troubles we go through is all about perspective?

 

~~~~~~~

 

Disclaimer #1: When I was a young’un, dad and his pals and their families, all headed up into the mountains from time to time specifically to ride motorcycles all over the place. We were oblivious to the thought that maybe our noise and dust weren’t as delightful to others as they were to us. But once it was getting dark, those machines got parked for the night. No one would mistake our little engines for some beast from the underworld, that’s for dang sure.

Disclaimer #2: More logical people than I have suggested having a chat with the neighbors about turning down the music a bit after midnight. But, I’ve found it’s more fun to whine on Facebook about it than to resolve the situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Humor, Nature, Outdoors, Traffic | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments
 
 

Unbelievable and Shocking Realizations Unfold Worldwide

photo 4-4 copy 11

“Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking, into the future…” Bad lyrics from a dumb song.

Recent events coupled with historical data have revealed the following true facts that are unquestionably the most unnerving thing you’ll read all week:

  1. Children born in the last twenty to twenty-five years are now in their twenties!
  2. In a related, but so far unexplained phenomenon, adults who once looked twenty are now approaching the age of fifty and beginning to look older.
  3. Sadly, fifty years-olds from twenty years ago, have progressed to the age of seventy and just don’t feel as young as they once did. Congress has dispatched a committee with a massive budget to look into this.
  4. Apparently this oddity extends beyond the human population as well. Cats and dogs, although showing little signs of aging by way of wrinkles and graying hair, nonetheless develop lung, heart and arthritic conditions as they move into the first decade of life.
  5. But wait! Even plant life is affected. Acorns become trees in some miraculous and heretofore unfathomable process. How such a tiny thing can transform into a tall and expansive growth has many average people baffled. “I just don’t know how it happened. My dad and I planted a little nut like seed a few decades ago and now this huge tree stands here in the backyard,” said one unbelieving and mystified eyewitness.
  6. Things that people found appealing and interesting, in fact, even innovative, over thirty years ago, have become mere artifacts of curiosity and sometimes ridicule. For example eight-track tapes, aerobic dance videos, pagers and MC Hammer pants. Somehow, these things and many others find themselves relegated to the same area as golden oldies, fifties memorabilia and blue eye shadow.
  7. Unsure of the relationship, but seeing a correlation nonetheless, not doing regular chores leads to a messy house.
  8. Likewise, the phenomenon of groceries needing to be purchased more than once seems to be part of the, dare we say it, conspiracy!
  9. And sadly, scientists have finally concluded after years of extensive research that toilet paper cannot be successfully recycled for multiple uses. Some think this, too, somehow relates to the above mentioned realizations.
  10. This last curiosity no one can explain, but, brace yourself: clothing wears out eventually.
  11. In a completely unrelated, but still shocking development, being nice feels better than being mean and, surprisingly, sharing makes other people feel good.
  12. Most baffling of all, these things remain consistent across the globe. From Japan to Iceland, from South America to Russia, from Antarctica to Alaska, the phenomenon holds true. The only exception was found in the person of George Hamilton and a few former Disney starlets refusing to act their age. The president deployed the Secret Service several years ago to investigate. Results were still pending.
photo 2-6 copy 8

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” – Groucho Marx

Can anything be done? Many have been searching for answers for years and years. Sadly, scientists reveal they have no clue as to how to repair, prevent or treat this slowly developing and ongoing process. They fear that side-effects of a cure would lead to malaise, boredom and stagnation. They have considered that some of Einstein’s theories might be related somehow, but they don’t have time or space to figure it out.

~~*~*~~

“They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!” ~ Dr. Seuss

Categories: Fun, Humor | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Clean as a Whistle and Twice as Musical

It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m thankful that the day is over with. This is a day I’ve dreaded and avoided for almost five years.

My buddy Kathy used to nag me about this day. I ignored her. And she was not an easy person to ignore. But, I finally did it. She can rest easier now.

And I’m here to say I survived the entire process leading up to today. Which at the time seemed impossible.

Should be a controlled substance.

Should be a controlled substance.

Notice I didn’t say I enjoyed the process. I did prepare as best as I possibly could. I found some great info online which I’ll include at the bottom (ahem) of this post so you can, when you eventually find yourself in need of the info, easily find it for your own reference.

This snippet from Dave Barry helped lighten the mood when I was in the thick of thin things.

Basically if you’re under fifty you can just stop reading now. Seriously. Just stop. Now.

I mean that.

I really do.

Stop.

So if you’re still reading and under fifty, you’re a glutton for punishment. There are things about life that it’s best just not to anticipate. Things like getting older.

As a teenager I swore I would be one of those adults that never acted or got old. I was going to ride my bike to work rain or shine. I would also have one of those I love nature-gardening-healthy-living tans. I would hike mountains even when I got as ancient as forty.

I had this image of adult life based on, I don’t know, zero facts about reality. Things like what pregnancies do to a woman’s body, or how endless years of sleep deprivation take a toll.  Or the harsh reality of how eating chocolate to ward off mood swings leads to harder drugs like diet coke which apparently contains stealth fat cells riding in on non-sugarlike substances magically becoming toxins that make you look hundreds of years old and make you want more chocolate.

My adult life plan pretty much was everything my life as an adult has never even remotely resembled. That sentence made no sense. I blame the drugs from earlier today. And the lack of food.

I’ve only gone without food since 9:30 this morning. But that’s a technicality. Liquids don’t really count as food. Salted carmel is still on the table for whether or not it counts as a clear liquid. I say yes now, but I said no yesterday, which is probably for the best.

I’m just so relieved. (Poor word choice, I know.) But I am literally and figuratively relieved that this is all in the past.

What is it Timon and Pumba say to Simba?

“Ya gotta put your behind in the past.”

Sounds about right.

The dreaded C word happened. and now it’s over and I don’t have to think about it again for ten whole years.

Yes!!

The C word? Oh, not the BIG C word. The little c word. Colonoscopy.

And really, the procedure itself isn’t so bad, especially since I had some happy medication to put me into what the nice doctor called “a chemical sleep.” She put something in my IV then asked me about my best vacation ever and then I woke up. I felt happy and relaxed and so glad to be done.

Next time I'll leave my phone at home.

Next time I’ll leave my phone at home.

In fact, on the way home I kept laughing for no reason. And then I texted my daughter this:

And then I banned myself from the internet for a few hours.

Like most things in life it’s the preparation before hand that takes it outta ya.

I’m talking about the following: A clear liquid diet for twenty-four hours. Followed by four Dulcolax tablets, a gallon of lemon Gatorade mixed with the harshest chemical ever invented and a long night sitting commando in “the reading room.”

My friend texted me this morning to see how I was doing. My response…”I feel drained.”

If you didn’t click on the Dave Barry link earlier, you definitely should now, because 1) no one can describe how my evening went last night better than he does and 2) no way will I attempt to put such an experience in my own words.

Thank goodness for Netflix and it’s portable distraction.

Never ever again will I drink lemon Gatorade. Or think about lemon Gatorade or look at it either. In fact I might be cured of all forms of artificial lemon flavoring for life.

Give me some food, and I don’t mean cucumber honey lemonade. I want a salted carmel sundae and some bruschetta. Well, on second thought, maybe some nice warm creamy soup and some good bread with real butter first.

To paraphrase Maxine, the grouchy Hallmark card lady: “I have inner beauty…and I have the pictures from my colonoscopy to prove it.”

So grateful today, and yesterday, are behind me.

~~~~~

Here’s Twenty-Seven Insider Tips from people who’ve been there done that.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Black Inner Tubes and Snowy Hills: Or How I Survived Childhood Winters and Lived then to Learn to Ski

“Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.”  ~Dave Barry

Photo by MHBowden

Photo by MHBowden

I grew up practically on a mountain, with snow five feet deep in our front yard every winter. (Except for that one inversion year when nothing but fog accumulated.) On the other side of the mountain lived a ski resort. A tiny one, but a place to ski nonetheless. The closest I ever came to skiing as a child or a teen involved black rubber inner tubes, defective ones apparently, because they always inflated lopsided.

Have you ever ridden an inner tube down the side of a mountain on the snow? If not, I have just given you a perfect bucket list item. You might want to save it as the very last item on your bucket list, though, as possibility of severe injury seems rather high.

On an inner tube you have absolutely no control over where you go, how fast you go or if/when you stop. (Why does it feel like I just described life? Hmmm.) The most likely outcome involves bodies splayed across the snow or wedged against objects or perched atop bushes and rocks with the inner tube still rocketing off into the distance another half mile or so. (Life metaphor again? Weird.)

Death Spiral

Photo by Iain Laurence

Photo by Iain Laurence

The advantage of having to hike so far to retrieve the inner tube comes in the contemplative time one has to reconsider the wisdom of perching atop the tube once more for another possibly life threatening ride to infinity and beyond. Unfortunately, screams of joy and terror, (which sound eerily alike to a youngster) push all logic and sanity out of ones frozen head and you find yourself yelling “COWABUNGA” as you leap on  the tube and launch yourself once more into a death spiral of epic proportions.

For that extra measure of danger we often careened in the dark, which added a sense of insanity to an already thrilling adventure. Surprisingly I and my siblings survived many winters participating in this sport.  Oddly, tubing hasn’t risen to the stature of an Olympic event yet. I suppose scoring could present a problem. Highest points for furthest launch from a tube? Extra points for landing in a tree? Bonus points for spinning more than ten times on the way down? It ought to rank in the X-games at least.

Back on Topic Now

But I meant to speak of skiing. My first time. Oddly enough riding an inner tube and using a set of skis and poles have frighteningly similar outcomes, especially those first few times down the hill.

Having slippery sticks attached to cement encased feet does not provide one with a sense of security or control. Neither, surprisingly, does having sharp pointy objects in either hand lend a sense of comfort or assurance. In fact, I wondered at first if MSH had grown tired of marriage after only four months of “bliss” and had found an easy way to dispose of me, à la Robert Redford in a mafia. Whoops, there she goes off a cliff. “I told her not to go down that black diamond run, but she insisted.”

Nah. MSH just wanted to share something he loved with the love of his life. Little did he know what an adventure he’d signed up for. (Life metaphor again?)

Evil Trees

Much like tubing down a snow-covered hill, my most vivid memory of my first day skiing involved a people-eating tree and my limbs hopelessly entangled in the branches of said tree. One leg pointed north while the other leg seemed wedged more south-southeast. Meanwhile one ski pointed down. The other ski had somehow become one with the snow. The poles, miraculously, didn’t shishkabob me, for which I was ever so thankful.

I tried my best to untangle and disengage to no avail. MSH “helped” by explaining which leg to move where, which didn’t help at all since I’d lost most feeling in my legs and couldn’t identify left from right. If I recall correctly I threw my poles his general direction along with a few select words, which I won’t share here. He finally helped by physically moving one of the skis. Once both legs aimed approximately in the same direction, after five minutes of struggle I managed to reach an upright position.

I think I threw a tantrum after that. Or maybe during that. In no uncertain terms, I let MSH know how unimpressed I felt with this sport of skiing. I also may have mentioned that I’d never, ever participate in such nonsense again.

Chocolate Saves the Day

Photo by By Baileypalblue

Photo by By Baileypalblue

Of course, after some hot chocolate in the lodge, and watching people shoosh and swoosh effortlessly for an hour, and getting bored beyond reason I found myself attempting to hitch a ride on a lift, all skiwampus, with my pride firmly buried in a snowdrift.

I eventually, somewhat mastered the art of something beyond the pie wedge style of beginners. I’m happy to report that as a family we enjoyed some great times on the mountains in the snow over the years.

To this day my son (who learned to ski with no effort whatsoever at age three) still puts himself to sleep at night by imagining snowboarding down his favorite ski run at his favorite resort. He says it’s the most relaxing thing he can think of, as natural as walking but way more fun.

It’s been a few years (a decade?) since I last threatened my poor knees with such reckless behavior as skiing. All for the best I’m sure. I’m satisfied to have the occasional falling dream and waking to memories of my youth careening down the side of a mountain on a black inner tube.

Ah. Those were the days.

Photo by Dbenbenn

Photo by Dbenbenn

~~~

There are really only three things to learn in skiing:  how to put on your skis, how to slide downhill, and how to walk along the hospital corridor.  ~Lord Mancroft

Categories: Fun, Humor, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hey, Where Ya’ Going?

photo-33It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m thankful for toilets, indoor plumbing, sanitation systems and privacy! When the classic white porcelain seat isn’t available there’s almost always a portapotty nearby, at the fair, at an outdoor concert, out camping, at a family reunion. It’s been something I take for granted. It’s something I’m very thankful for.

Tomorrow, November 19 is World Toilet Day I think we need to celebrate in a big way. Seriously! But first, let’s start here.

Hot pink at a construction site.

Yup, Hot pink!

A couple years ago I started noticing port a potties. I shot a few photos of them when I’d see them in random spots. The first one to catch my eye? Pink. Yup. Pink at a construction site. I got a chuckle out of that one.

At the cell phone lot.

At the cell phone lot.

Not long after that I noticed an oversized blue “honey wagon” at the airport near the cell phone lot. I wasn’t sure if that was for people waiting for incoming flights, or for construction workers who needed a little extra room. Personally, I’d have to be really desperate to sidle over to that place, slip inside and get my work done. Airplanes overhead, traffic on either side, cars filled with people just sitting there bored.

Going on the go?

Going on the go?

Which brings up this one I saw, and others like it, that get towed along for road construction jobs. Cars whizzing past at fifty-five or sixty-five miles an hour and you sitting down roadside. I just don’t see it happening. But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do when you gotta do it. Right?

Speechless.

Speechless.

I wondered about this other moveable “honey bucket” as it rode on the back of a regular pickup truck. How did it get there? And how, pray tell, does one get it down off of there once it’s, um, filled the measure of its creation? Some things are just difficult to think about.

Grape scented, maybe?

Grape scented, maybe?

This newish looking purple portapotty stood sentry as a crew set up for some outdoor weekend event in downtown Phoenix. I wondered if they included grape scented air fresheners with that one. It’d be a nice touch, don’t you think?

Blue and orange dominate the color spectrum for these things. I never saw any yellow ones, which I find really really surprising. And red. Nada. Maybe because it’s too much like a big stop sign. No one needs that kind of mental blockage. You’d think green would get the go ahead but I never saw a green one either.

A little tipsy.

A little tipsy.

People get creative with naming these icons of regularity and sanitation. I liked these company logos: Port a John, Johnny on the Spot, Porta Loo, Sani Privy, Butt Hut, Outhouse, Moon Hut, Doodie Calls. And my favorite has a french sounding name, Oui Oui. (For you non-french speakers, that’s wee wee.)

Quite a variety of nomenclature for identifying toilets exists as well. Surely you’ve heard most of these: lavatory, bathroom, the little boy’s room, powder room, commode, restroom, facilities, latrine, ladies room, little girl’s room, washroom, the loo, men’s room, the reading room, WC, water closet, the john, urinal, the throne room, the head, comfort station, can, potty, privy and the porcelain throne.

A nice soothing blue.

A nice soothing blue.

On a wilderness trek we had a japanese style latrine. I felt bad for the guy who had to explain how to use it to us newbies. A couple people dug a deep narrow hole one could easily straddle,  leaving a pile of dirt and a shovel next to it. Turns out that it worked really well. But generally, going au natural, sheets to the wind and all, ain’t much fun. It’s most people’s least favorite part about camping or hunting.

That gratitude I feel about my indoor plumbing increased a few weeks ago when I read about World Toilet Day. Sounds hilarious, doesn’t it? It is! And it isn’t. It’s one of those subjects that people aren’t comfortable discussing except in a humorous way. Which gets in the way of solutions to big problems. For instance, this strange fact:

“Did you know that more people own a mobile phone than have access to a toilet?” ~ worldtoilet.org

What the heck? How is this possible? Yup. One third, yes, ONE THIRD of the world’s population still lack access to adequate sanitation. That’s over two billion people! That’s not a small problem. That’s a huge problem. Two billion people without a pot to squat on, a private place to go, a sanitized way to dispose of a daily necessity. Two billion!

How about this little known fact?

“1,000 children died per day from diarrheal diseases due to poor sanitation in 2013.”~worldtoilet.org

There’s nothing funny there. Not a single thing. The CDC puts those numbers even higher, in fact they estimate 2200 children under the age of five die each day. That’s 803,000 children per year dying because they and the people they live among have inadequate access to toilets and sanitation.

What a relief!

What a relief!

Surely there’s something we can do as people living in first world countries!

Good news. There is something we can do!

Please click over to worldtoilet.org and find a quick list of ten things you can do that will make a difference in the health and safety of men, women and children who lack this most fundamental of needs.

There’s lots of stupid stuff we spend our time on. Can’t we take a few minutes and pay attention to something of critical importance? Tweet or Facebook about this important issue using these hashtags:

#wecantwait #worldtoiletday #opendefecation #sanitation

What a convenience and a necessity!

What a convenience and a necessity!

Sometimes you have to laugh or else you’ll cry. Maybe we can do a little of both to get the ball rolling and get some people the help and facilities they need.

You could also watch and share the video below. Get people talking, break the code of silence and let’s get things moving!

“Clean and safe toilets are fundamental for health, dignity, privacy, equality and education.” ~worldtoilet.org

The next time you sit down to take care of your business, I hope you feel more than relieved, I hope you feel grateful. I know I do. Hopefully with a little help and attention from you and I, more people around the world can experience a cleaner, safer world.

~~~*~~~

Please, watch and share this video.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Humor, The World | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Joke A Day Keeps the Doctor at Bay

“Laughter is internal jogging.”

Feels like it might be time for some laughter. Are you feeling it too?

It’s nice, occasionally, to group a few of the funnier things I’ve read or seen, into one post. I run into crack me up stuff all the time. Friends and family also send me jokes and puns. And, occasionally, I go looking for something to brighten the day.

I take no credit for any one of these. If I knew who to thank I’d surely give them kudos and recognition.

So, here goes:

What do you call a camel without a hump?
Humphrey!

 

Funny if you understand or attempt to understand math.

Funny if you understand or attempt to understand math.

 

A guy walks into a bar after a long day at work and orders a drink. After his first sip, he hears a high-pitched voice.
“Hey mister! Nice pants!” it says.
He looks around, doesn’t see anything, and quickly shrugs it off. After a little bit, he takes another sip and hears the voice again.
“Hey mister! Sweet shoes!”
Again, he looks around, sees nothing but a bartender who is busy attending to other customers. Shaking his head, he sips once more.
“Hey mister! Cool shirt!”
He puts down his drink, frustrated at this phantom voice, and signals to the bartender, who comes over.
“Hey barkeep,” he begins, “what is that high-pitched voice I keep hearing?”
“Oh, those are the peanuts,” he replies. “They’re complimentary.”

 

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered…

 

If you’re Russian when you go into the bathroom, and you’re Finnish when you come out of the bathroom, what are you while you’re in the bathroom?

European.

 

alligator purse

I wish I knew who to give credit to for this gem! If you know, please shoot me a comment!

 

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

 

A sweet little boy surprised his grandmother one morning and brought her a cup of coffee. He made it himself and was so proud. He anxiously waited to hear the verdict on the quality of the coffee. The grandmother had never in her life had such a bad cup of coffee, and as she forced down the last sip she noticed three of those little green army guys in the bottom of the cup.
She asked, “Honey, why would three little green army guys be in the bottom of my cup?”
Her grandson replied, “You know grandma, it’s like on TV, ‘The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup.”

 

A hole has been found in the nudist-camp wall. 
The police are looking into it.

 

A new word and its definition:

Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

Categories: Humor | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Naked Crayons and Other Sunny Things

By Simsala111 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0]

By Simsala111 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0]

Spending time lately with my favorite three-year old I picked up on some of her personalized words and phrases. She’s smart! And I’m not just biased.

Here’s proof.

I mean look at this first word. She says:

Hanitizer” instead of hand sanitizer 

That makes perfect sense and in fact ought to replace the two-word equivalent, don’t you agree?

She hasn’t quite mastered the art of “f” and “v” so she uses an “s” instead.  So, when she asks:

“Please can I have some Sruit Snacks?”

I try to remember to add an “f” or a “v” in place of an “s.” And, voila’ I know she really wants Fruit Snacks.

I think, again, she’s stumbled on something brilliant, since those little bite-sized pieces of candy-like substance have about as much to do with fruit as her version of the word does.

One of her favorite pastimes is watching videos or:

Mooies” also known as movies.

At my house she gets away with watching more than she does at her own house. I’m thinking of hiding “Aladdin” and “Bug’s Life” because I can’t seem to get them out of my head.

By Glamhag (Glass slippers) [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

By Glamhag (Glass slippers) [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

Oddly, she refuses to watch “Cinderella” or as she calls it:

“Cindergrilla.”

Sounds like a Planet of the Apes version of the glass slipper story, doesn’t it? It once served as her Mom’s favorite movie as a kid and led to the naming of a semi-adopted cat named “Suffer” (another appropriate word-twist.) Someday I’ll convince her to watch it.

When she colors with crayons she prefers the newer ones that haven’t had the paper wrappers ripped off of them. When I recently handed her an orange crayon without the paper around it she laughed and then she said:

You want this book!

You want this book!

“It’s a Naked Crayon!”

Then I laughed, too. Her Mom said she probably got the term from a book they’d read from the library called, “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Oliver Jeffers.

You’d like the book, too, even if you don’t hang out with three-year olds. Drop in to the library and look at it sometime, or buy a copy for your own favorite three-year old. And then next time you pick up a naked crayon, you’ll get to laugh as well.

What a great sense of humor this particular three-year old possesses. I’ve learned to see things with a twist when get to I spend time with her. When she thinks something’s hilarious she even says so:

“Haha, that’s sunny!”

Then I remember to replace the “s” with an “f” and I know she’s found something funny!

Funny and sunny definitely seem related. The more sun I include in my days, the funner my life feels. Likewise, the more fun I remember to schedule in, the sunnier my days.

See, isn’t she brilliant? I sure think so.

Naked Crayons!!!

Naked Crayons!!!

Categories: Family, Humor, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Mosquito Host

Dinner time gorging.

Dinner time gorging.

With nearly a year’s worth of rain falling in less than one day our little desert morphed into a mosquito breeding factory.

Just answering the front door lately requires rapid-fire reflexes and a quicker than a kid selling wrapping paper open-shut technique.

The last thing you want is a mosquito or two wafting about the room you’re sitting in. Very seldom do you hear the high-pitched warning zzzzzzzzz as they move in for the kill. They’re usually silent as they sneak in for a landing behind your knee or elbow or ankle. By time you realize you’re losing blood it’s too late. The itching commences.

Growing a massive army. (Image: James Gathany, CDC) - A New Model for Predicting Outbreaks of West Nile Virus. Gross L, PLoS Biology Vol. 4/4/2006, e101.

Growing a massive army. (Image: James Gathany, CDC) – A New Model for Predicting Outbreaks of West Nile Virus. Gross L, PLoS Biology Vol. 4/4/2006, e101.

I’ve read books that describe swarms of mosquitos so thick in some regions of Alaska that an animal or a human can suffocate in a cloud of them. I kid you not! Relatives of those little monsters must have caught a jet stream and landed here, troops amassing by the millions daily.

I’ve wondered, ever so briefly, if they’re indirectly related to the flying monkeys from Wizard of Oz. Mean little things carrying off young girls and small dogs. Don’t laugh, it’s possible. Mutations in evil creatures take on hideous transformations. Think “Alien” or “The Green Hornet.”

Forget taking the littles with their oh-so-succulent-soft-skin to the park for swinging or sliding or building sand castles. That is unless they like pink Calamine lotion and you don’t mind them looking like they have the chicken pox.

When someone walks a dog around the park I now recognize the arm flailing they’re doing not as a frantic wave to a friend, or a signal for help, but an actual life-saving maneuver to keep from getting carried away by swarms of flying blood drinkers. Zombie apocalypse scenarios are so passe’ nowadays.

I have no idea who to give credit to for this amazingly accurate photo.

I have no idea who to give credit to for this amazingly accurate photo.

To guarantee total terror, I’m dressing up as a mosquito this year for Halloween. Even Dads will run screaming in fright. I expect that haunted houses will sport a few of the evil black winged buzzing terrors for that extra horror factor.

Oh sure, I soak myself in some top of the line brand of mosquito repellant before I venture out on my morning walks, which helps only slightly. I feel a bit like a movie star with miniature mosquito paparazzi in my face, and around every corner, waiting for a vulnerable bit of skin to show itself so they can go all crazy over it.

I also suspect they’ve developed a liking to citronella scented anything and actually use it as a way of pinpointing vulnerable human targets.

repellants

These just aren’t repulsive enough to the little terrors anymore.

What we really need is a new breed of mosquito repellant, Nuke Em Howitzer 4000 sounds ominous doesn’t it? I’m sure the military could come up with something sufficiently deadly and give it a great acronym: BSA: Blood Sucker Annihilator. Or maybe KILL: Kreepy Insect Life Limiter.

Costco could market their own brand of Mosquito repellant/poison and call it West Nile Begone Extra Lethal in gallon sized spray bottles. Sure you might feel a little woozy for a few minutes, but at least you’d be able to reach your car without inhaling more than three or four of the pests.

Where did the helicopters raining down insecticide overnight disappear to? I’ve heard them in years past. Probably grounded by mosquito hordes weighing down the wings or filling up the engine compartment and gumming up the gas tanks.

More menacing than Zombies and flying monkeys.

More menacing than Zombies and flying monkeys.

I just want to take the garbage out without “Jaws” theme music running through my head as I dodge the little blood suckers.

Never before have I wished for the dry heat to return like I have this year. I suspect the mosquitos have something to do with the trajectory of that hurricane that’s pumping even more moisture into our normally dry state. You laugh, but these little dudes have conniving and vicious written all over them. I wouldn’t rule out weather manipulation as part of their arsenal.

A mosquito’s been hovering around the room for a while now. Probably taken a half a pint out of me already. Too bad we can’t harness their evil powers for good and turn them into phlebotomists.

I’m itchy. I think I’ll go hide under a really thick blanket until mid October.

 ~~~~~

Joke of the day: “I sprayed a mosquito with mosquito repellent and now he’ll never have any friends.”

 

Categories: Humor, Nature, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pumpkin Spice Zombie Apocalypse

latte

Pumpkin spiced whipped cream.

There. I got your attention just by typing two words: Pumpkin Spice.

What a silly thing.

I feel like that person who pretends to throw a ball to a dog and laughs maniacally when the pup runs off after nothing.

Or worse, like the weather forecasters here in the Phoenix area who throw out these few words before a commercial break, “Is there rain in our forecast?” We get so excited when there’s even a ten percent chance of rain. Bump those odds up to fifty percent and we’re deliriously happy. Actual rain produces a state of nirvana and brainlessness causing people to drive into flooded washes.

So it is with Pumpkin Spice. Now that it’s September everyone goes gaga for the stuff.

Last week I could have gotten your attention with three words: Ice Bucket Challenge. But that was so last week or the week before. Now everyone’s just tired and morphing the thing to unrecognizable configurations. Cool though that it generated so much information and donations.

Maybe to take it up a notch and generate a bit more interest someone could do a Pumpkin Spice Ice Bucket Challenge. What do you say, Letterman? Kimmel? Fallon? Brangelina? POTUS?

I’ll send you a free Pumpkin Spice candle if you do. (You’ll just need to pay a small shipping and handling fee.) But totally worth it. Really.

It’s EVERYWHERE!! It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers only with pumpkins and spice. A quick search will result in pumpkin spice everything: donuts, pudding, cookies, cupcakes, peanuts, mousse, seltzer water, marshmallows, coffee creamer, brownies, cream cheese, Hershey’s kisses, smoothies, malted milk balls, syrup, potato chips, granola bars, ale, pancakes, Oreos, and yes, even (heaven help us) pumpkin spice butter. Butter? What has the world come to?

zombie pumpkins

Pumpkin Spice Zombie Apocalypse! Run!!!

How do we know it’s not a Zombie Apocalypse disguised as pumpkin spice?

Just as a side note, I’m also not a fan of the FALL SALE especially since the temperatures are still over 105 and no way in heck am I donning boots or a scarf for at least another three months. Maybe I’m just slightly bitter that I live where there are only two seasons,”broil” and “toast.”

I do kind of miss the autumn thing, but I try not to dwell on it. That’s why all this PUMPKIN SPICE stuff is driving me crazy, you can’t not see it, hear it, smell it, read about it.

Whatever happened to apple? Yes, Apple. I wrote about that last year and you can read it here if you want a more reasonable approach to alternate fall flavors and scents, such as Apple and Caramel perhaps.

To prove that I’m not a total pumpkin Grinch, for your reading and laughing pleasure, I’ll insert a pumpkin joke (which I found here if you want to look up more.)

One day two pumpkins, who were best friends, were walking together down the street. They stepped off the curb and a speeding car came around the corner and ran one of them over. The uninjured pumpkin called 911 and helped his injured friend as best he was able. The injured pumpkin was taken to emergency at the hospital and rushed into surgery. After a long and agonizing wait, the doctor finally appeared. He told the uninjured pumpkin, “I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is that your friend is going to pull through. The bad news is that he’s going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life”.

I apologize.

Great pumpkin jokes don’t seem to exist. This was the best I could manage.

If I had a phenomenal pumpkin spice recipe I’d insert it here. But, alas, I have none. Feel free to submit yours in the comment section. I can’t promise I’ll do anything with it, but you never know.

Autumn leaves. (NOT pumpkin spiced)

Autumn leaves. (NOT pumpkin spiced)

I’m hoping to go camping some time next week, in the actual mountains to get a real taste of Autumn! Maybe, just maybe, a few leaves will have considered changing colors and I’ll snap some pictures or bring home a twig or two filled with autumn hues.

In the meantime, I’m trying to block out all things Pumpkin Spice and moving on with my life in spite of such niggling little things.

On the bright side, I won’t have to shovel snow in four months! Take that, Pumpkin Spice!

 

Categories: Humor | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Still Crazy After All These Months

Seven months today.

I thought by now I’d feel better, be on the upswing.

But no. If anything the cycle of grief leaves me reeling from an upside down outside loop (is that even possible?) and rockets into this cavernous roiling flame-filled pit of wild emotion I don’t even recognize. Anger, tears, blame, sorrow, regret; those words only skim the surface some days.

Sounds stupidly dramatic.

Kathy would say, “Oh, get over yourself woman.” Then we’d drive over to Freddie’s for their super skinny fries and epic fry sauce and a concrete mixer with caramel and nuts and fudge and two days worth of calories in one sitdown whine fest.

What an awesome listener. The world needs more listeners like her. What an honest, straightforward tell it like it really is talker. We need more of that, too.

If I were to follow her example when someone asks how I’m doing I would NOT say, “Oh, I’m fine!” Instead I’d say, “I’m a wreck!”

I miss her like crazy. I miss us. Our friendship. Our uniquely bizarre mix of humor, life’s experience and often wordless communication created five years of something beyond special.

Now, months later, there’s still this gaping hole of her absence. And I keep tripping and falling into it. Hurts every time. I just can’t seem to navigate away from the edge, yet.

Maybe someday. Maybe at the one year point. Y’think? I don’t know.

She’d be mad at me if I left this post hanging on a negative note. She’d be mad at me for the whole post, honestly. Oh well, she’ll have to come haunt me to shut me up. So there.

Here’s where I insert the jokes.

But just to be safe, (I don’t really want her haunting me) here’s a few fairly good, clean George Carlin one liners. (Hint: it helps to say them out loud in your best comedian voice, with a nice pause at the end for a rim shot, pa da, pum! )

  • If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
  • Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
  • Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
  • How do they get the deer to cross at that yellow road sign?
  • Does the Little Mermaid wear an algebra?
  • Is it true that cannibals don’t eat clowns because they taste funny?
  • If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Alright already, I’ll stop now.

Laughter? Really?

I’ve found salvation and solace in laughter the past few months. It’s cathartic. It’s healing. It’s like medicine, without the weird side effects.

I’m fine. Really. Most of the time I am. I just have these moments that last a day or two or three. It helps to write it out loud, kinda gets it out of my system.

I’ll sign off today the same way I used to tell her goodbye. The same way I said goodbye for the last time.

“Love ya, Kathy. See ya later.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The title for today’s post is a take off on a song by Paul Simon, “Still Crazy After All These Years.” It speaks to me on so many different levels. You can listen to it here.

 

 

Categories: Cancer, Death, Friendship, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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