Boom Goes the Dynamite

lamps

I have no idea how this will come together, but when I hear this phrase it always makes me want to laugh a little and the corners of my mouth start to twitch. So at the very least i need to put this much of a post to paper, and start out. Who knows where it will lead. Flight of ideas? The Diane Henders method of beginning a blog post? Suddenly before you know it, you have the whole thing put together and there it lies before you. It’s taken shape and come together and is a thing of beauty…a work of art. A blog post worthy of at least being long-listed for the Man Booker award. It’s insightful, deep, relevant and so in tune with the times. It hits at the heart of modern society, seeming to understand the soul of the middle aged adults of today and….blech. What drivel.

OK, maybe I blather and babble, but part of what I said was true, that phrase does turn up the corners of my mouth when I hear it and I have no idea why I think it’s funny. It almost makes me feel like a baby…imagine one not quite old enough to crawl, sitting up and seeing something that jut delights them. They clap their chubby little hands together and giggle with delight over and over again. Inside, that’s how I feel. The little baby is clapping and giggling.

Life seems so serious lately, and it occurred to me recently that perhaps we aren’t giggling enough. Reader’s Digest has a section called “Laughter:the Best Medicine”, and I have to say it’s true. We feel better when we laugh, endorphins are released. You get more oxygen, release stress, soothe tension in the short term and and improve the immune system, relive pain and improve your mood in the long term, among other  benefits according to the Mayo Clinic.

It’s easy to find things to laugh at too, just look around you, there are no shortage of them. Darwin Award winners abound! If you have pets, I’ll bet like mine they do ridiculous things from time to time. The most recent example is courtesy of my husband, and a purchase he recently made of yet another one of those things I just don’t get – a fidget spinner. But hey, he’s amused by it so that’s enough for me, and what’s even better, so is our cat, Inara, who has now figured out how to make it go on our hardwood floors. The sad part is, I was thinking “look how smart my cat is” until I did a search on YouTube for ‘cat playing fidget spinner’ and got ‘About 3,140,000 results’. Amazing and deflating all at the same time.

Go to any shopping mall, and just sit and start people watching. It won’t take long before you’re laughing at least on the inside, and probably shaking your head thinking “who dressed you this morning?”  From the mismatched tops and bottoms, to the absurd footwear, I mean really. Are they just there for my amusement and delight? Honestly, now I understand why guppies eat their young. And goth – I didn’t even know that was still a thing! I look at kids dressed up like that and want to laugh out loud. There is nothing like working hard at putting on a costume that says “I’m unique, I’m not mainstream, I’m not like the rest of you, I’m going against the tide” and then hanging out with 10 of your closest friends who look exactly like you.

Christmas decorations are up on a lot of houses now. Ours are done, and we try to keep it tasteful, not too many. We’re not going all Griswold on the neighbors, but I have noticed as I’m out and about there are some interesting things folks do with lights. I’m not quite sure of why people wrap only the trunk of a tree and quit when they hit the lower branches. Then there are the newest decorations, the laser lights on the entire side of your house. I’m old fashioned I guess, I love the look of lights nicely attached to the edge of the roofline, but I know it can be risky to get up on a ladder and get them attached, so you best know what you’re doing for that project. Otherwise ALL the neighbors are going to laugh at you when you explain why you have casts on both legs and are on crutches in the middle of winter. (I remember when a girlfriend’s husband slipped on the ice one year after a few too many holiday beverages during a poker game, breaking both wrists. Ponder for a moment how an accountant explains casts and sweatpants to the office…but you might not want to ponder that scenario too long. Let’s just say she was thrilled when the casts came off.)

The Minnesota Vikings played the Green Bay Packers last night in one of their regular season match ups. For the first time in 24 years, the Vikings shut out a team 16-0 (and in 46 years for the Packers that they were shut out!) boom-2028563_640Granted, it may well have been due in part to Aaron Rogers being out with a season ending injury, but I believe we still would have won regardless.  I mean come on, anyone who’s been watching the Vikings this year knows this team is on fire, with their 12-3 record. They’re in the playoffs, and the Packers aren’t! (That’s my nana-nana-boo-boo moment to my former neighbor and friend Corey, who I’m pretty sure doesn’t read my blog, but then again, I might be wrong. If I am, and he does, Corey, consider this the big raspberry I’ve waited years to give you.)

For a real corker of a “Boom Goes the Dynamite” moment, I leave you with this. A TV stunt that went awry, and ends up being funny but could have ended so very badly. It is pretty amusing, but clearly, don’t do this at home.

Merry Christmas everyone, and may all your “Boom Goes the Dynamite” moments be safe ones!

canes

 

 

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Ho-Ho-Ho, Merry What?

….”aaaaand we’re off!!” To to the non-stop insanity that is the pre-Christmas season (and I’m using Christmas here more in the calendar sense, rather than religious right now, so am intending it to be viewed as inclusive.) The goofy commercials have started with the Hershey’s kisses bell ringers, the obligatory ones telling us it’s a “Lexus to remember December” so that every woman can imagine that day when she wakes up to a new snowfall and a shiny new Lexus with a huge red bow in the driveway of her picture book two story home, or the one that always tugs on my heartstrings – when Tommy comes home unexpectedly and brews Folger’s coffee to wake up his family. Our trees are going up, decorations are coming out, lights are on outside. It’s always fun too, for new neighbors in the neighborhood as they get to see who decorates their home and yard like it’s a Charlie Brown tree, and who’s competing with the Griswold’s. It can be a pretty bad culture shock for the unprepared…unless of course they ARE they Griswold’s. Then of course there are the ones I REALLY hate. Engineers. You can tell when an engineer has decorated the outside of his home, the lights wrapped around the trees look so evenly spaced it’s as if they were put on with a ruler (which they were, trust me, my old neighbor did it.)

It’s also the season of ridiculous gift buying. I don’t know why we don’t just buy ourselves a gift card and be done with it. Isn’t that what it amounts to? It isn’t even fun anymore. I love Christmas as a kid. My parents found us the best stuff. I look back at the pictures, and I remember playing with our gifts all year long. One year I got an umbrella that was clear plastic  and had flags  from around the world all over it. christmas-69-a-1I’m not too sure why I didn’t look very happy, probably was the horn rimmed glasses. But trust me, I LOVED that umbrella, and I don’t think my parents mortgaged the house to buy it or anything else that year (or others.) We got a game called “Tip-It” that you can see, “Game of States” which is behind my sister’s legs on the floor and our big gift that year to share (yes kids, you can share gifts, you don’t all need your own) was something called a “Show ‘N Tell” which had a record player, film player and AM radio all in one. We had some books on a small filmstrip that went into the machine, with an accompanying 45 rpm record, and you’d start it up. It would automatically advance the film strip as the story narrated on the record. I remember listening over and over to “The Count of Monte Cristo” on that. One of the most fun things were our Christmas stockings. Mom hung them on the mantle until Santa came and then he took them down. Because of course they would simply be too heavy to stay tacked up on the mantle with the thumbtack she used to put them there. And boy, were they ever filled…with a roll of lifesavers, a pack of gum, an orange, some socks, maybe some pencils or pens with your name on them. Little things that cost almost nothing. It’s a tradition that I’ve continued with my husband. I like having lots of stuff to open. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, and it’s better that it doesn’t, so the little funny stocking stuffers are a great way to do that.

This morning I was surfing CNN and saw a story that caught my eye…”Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers” and I thought hmm, wonder what they come up with. Not one thing was cheaper than $29, and most were $49 and up. WHAT? I don’t consider things that cost 50-60 and even $70 stocking stuffers. How the hell much are people spending on Christmas gifts anyhow? We don’t have kids, if you read this blog regularly you know that, and we don’t go over the top on gifts at Christmas. (Well, there was that one time. Last year  in the fall we bought a hot tub, so we did decide that was an early Christmas gift, and that was that.) But otherwise we generally keep it under the national debt. We don’t put anything on credit cards for Christmas. If we can’t pay for it in December – other than the aforementioned hot tub – it ain’t getting bought. No one needs anything that badly that you need to put something on a credit card you’ll still be paying off 6 years from now at 22% interest. Seriously? You really gotta do the math on that. It should scare the crap out of you what that will actually cost you in interest and probably a late fee or 6. You think I’m kidding? Here are some sobering statistics:

One quarter of the parents surveyed have taken drastic measures to fund their purchases: 11% have dipped into their retirement account, 14% used funds from their emergency savings and 11% have taken out a payday loan. 

from Here’s How Far Parents Will Go to Pay for Christmas Gifts CNN.com 12/10/16

Get back to the things that mean something and don’t cost your soul. My grandmother gave me a jewelry box in 1969. I can still remember sitting on the floor at their house and opening her gift, and finding that, and how excited I was to have my very own jewelry box.

christmas-at-farm-1969-c

 

img_0825That same jewelry box is 47 years old, and I still use it, and think of her every time I open it. It doesn’t look as pretty, the female ballerina dancer is long lost (although I still have the boy) as is the cover to the small inside box with the red tassel  and the key to the outside. The metal piece over the keyhole fell off but I have it, and the musical mechanism works.
For the eagle eyed of you, yes, same horn rimmed glasses and dress as the first photo. I should say this isn’t me, but my sister. (I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read my blog, so it’s a good test!) Hey that’s not me, that’s my youngest sister. I’m cuter.

Seriously though, I hope that your holiday season is special, however you celebrate.