Plinky Prompt: Can anything be funny, or are some things off limits?

  • English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009.

    English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Can anything be funny, or are some things off limits? See all answers
  • Too funny? Not funny?
  • I’m pretty conservative with this, there are things that are not funny to me.  Anything to do with race, religion, hurting a group of people’s feelings is unnecessary in comedy. Do you need it? No. Why market your comedy to offend people?  That’s not my type of humor. Ellen Degeneres? She’s my type of comedian, Jerry Seinfield too. Making fun of race and religion, never good. A joke about the holocaust, slavery, obesity? ALWAYS WRONG.  To me, anything that JUDGES other people is prejudice not comedy. You are funny without it. Oh, and keep all the swear words to yourself, while you are at it.

  • I love you, Eddie Murphy, but clean up your mouth. You’ve made it big, you don’t need to sound like a 16-year-old anymore. It doesn’t do you any good.
  • Call me old-fashioned (which I probably am) but I am not going to spend good money on trash talkers OR haters. Just my opinion, but I’m sticking to it.
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Life 101

PEACE!

PEACE! (Photo credit: Snapies ~ hiatus!)

Norman Rockwell Mosaic  "The Golden Rule&...

In my fantasy career, I’ve always wanted to teach a class, much like Jerry Seinfeld’s old show, a class about nothing yet everything. It would start with young children, kindergarten or nursery school age so they learn, at an early age, what is right and what is wrong. Maybe there would be a corresponding class for parents as well. It would be a class about life, a place where kids could ask any questions they had; it would be a safe place, teaching children about valuing differences, good vs bad behavior, being kind to one another, volunteering and diversity. That’s the agenda. If you start talking about love and different families early on maybe there wouldn’t be such horrible numbers of teen suicide and bullying. You also need to talk about all kind of different people, that each person is equal and should be treated with kindness and respect.

I expect naysayers and scoffing but the truth of the matter is, that life as we know it, is not going very well at all right now and hasn’t been for a long time.  We can’t say it won’t work if we don’t try it. Teach them that children and parents are all different so respect them equally and that families come in different varieties, they are families just like your own. Love is love. Our goal is that no one will know the word “bullying” anymore.

Growing up in the 50′s and 60′s we were pretty much sheltered from the “real world.” I remember having drills where we would hide under our desks because of the Cuban Missile Crisis but no one ever explained it to us. The world has changed, technology has changed, violent killing games are readily available for kids to play, violence on television, it’s everywhere.The world we live in now is a scary place: devastating losses, natural disasters, friends and loved ones dying of cancer and heart disease and many other things, people with psychiatric disorders that go untreated. We saw that on Friday with the mass murder of children and adults in Newtown, Connectict’s Elementary School.  I used to try to shove the thoughts away and put them on the back burner. We, as a nation, can no longer put these issues on the back burner. Things need to change NOW.

I wrote this article months ago but never published it. After Friday’s shooting in Newtown, Ct. of little children, babies really, and staff, I’m even more convinced that a program of this kind needs to be started as early in a child’s life as possible. There will always be children who have special needs or need psychiatric help, there is nothing wrong with that. However, these children need to be diagnosed and treated and cared for responsibly. I don’t respect the press when they declare the shooter had Asperger’s to explain the motivation.That is NOT okay and isn’t true at all. I think they are terribly WRONG and irresponsible. Do we need stricter gun laws? Yes. We also need, more and better mental health facilities that people can go to get the help they need. There is no shame, there shouldn’t be.

Parents, teachers and therapists need to be involved in the care of your child. Everyone should work together to give your child the best help available. I know it takes time and I know it takes money but this is not something we can “think about.” This should start right now. For the students: if you have problems, please involve your parents or the school counselors and get the help you need as soon as you can. If the therapist is a wrong match for you, find one that you like. It’s important. Talk about your problems; we will listen.We will be your support system. We will be there. We DON’T want to let you down but you need to communicate with us so we can help you. Please try and know that we will too.

I Just Want To Laugh, Really

English: Screenshot of Julie Andrews from the ...

English: Screenshot of Julie Andrews from the trailer for the film Mary Poppins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know you’re smiling, I’m tickling you under your chin, come on, you know you love this movie too. Am I right? Just look at the picture of Mary Poppins, I can tell you are melting. I know every word and song from the original movie “Mary Poppins” and I’m 56 years old. Hopefully you remember it with great fondness like I do or maybe your parents showed it to you, (or dear God, your grandparents.) It is an absolutely FANTASTIC movie and, in my opinion, one of the best made films I have ever seen. It was filmed in the early sixties and I still watch it from time to time. I felt so hum-drum today that I wanted to laugh, I miss laughing.

After looking on Youtube  and finding foul-mouthed comedians, which did not amuse me, I gave up. I gave up until I remembered Mary Poppins and the scene with the laughing man on the ceiling. Sure enough, Youtube (thank you) found it for me. Whenever that man laughed so hard, he flew up in the air. To this day, when I even think about that scene I smile. That glorious feeling when your belly whoops in laughter that comes so fast you can’t take a breath and it actually hurts. Where tears roll down your face and your nose gets kind of snotty, in a good way because no one else is around you. Even writing this is making me smile and believe me, that’s better than nothing. The last time I laughed heartily, I think, was on the phone with one of my kids. I don’t remember what it was about, I just remember the luscious feeling of having laughed so hard. Hey, I’m old and getting old is no fun so you need to forgive a gal. Did I just write “Gal?” I couldn’t sound older even if I tried. Do my children even know that word? I sound old, like a granny in a rocking chair with her white hair tied up in a bun. Whatever. Who cares?

I want to knee-slap, guffaw and double over with laughter. It’s such a serious world, a tremendously serious and dangerous world that I don’t know how to have fun anymore. An old movie? Old reruns of classic TV? You know you are getting older when you watch comedians and when they just curse, word after word, you don’t find them funny just vulgar. Get over it, honey, you need a new schtick, this one is too old and unbecoming. (You know who you are) and you know (Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Ellen Degeneres) we love you, because you are very funny and seem to be nice people as well. We need that.

The answer? Since I haven’t come up with anything original, I’ll have to pop (pun intended) in the DVD I have of Mary Poppins and watch the movie now. Who can resist? I know I can’t. Watch the clip, join me for a couple of minutes, I hope you laugh.

So What IF George Clooney Is Gay And Other “Celebrities?” (Pop Cop)

 

 

English: George Clooney, Cannes film festival

English: George Clooney, Cannes film festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

REPOST

I think that George Clooney could be gay just like Rock Hudson was gay and no one believed it back then either.  Look, I’m just printing what I’m hearing, so don’t be hating. You know why? Because it really doesn’t matter; it’s not a big deal anymore (although all the cover-up, why?) As Jerry Seinfeld quoted in his show Seinfeld (see Jerry, I know who you are, not like that Larry King dude) about the possibility of being gay: “Not that there is anything wrong with that.” A line that baby boomers are still quoting, ad nauseum. (Let’s face it, it took us years to get over saying yada, yada, yada – we are a generation of people who have trouble letting go of the past. I know.

Let’s talk a little about the Kardashians, shall we? ( I hope I sound like Church Chat Lady on OLD SNL episodes with Dana Carvey.) Who are they and why are they famous? More importantly why do all these people seem to care whether they are married or divorced, pregnant, preening or getting more and more plastic surgery? Are you telling me that the “dad” is the same Bruce Jenner that was in the Olympics as a swimmer? Who did he run into and why did he let someone to destroy his once well-known face? Ick. I truly don’t care about this family, have never watched them on television although I have seen pictures of Mom Kardashian and she scares me more than just a little. What TALENT do these people have? Ah, None. I thought so. Why are they featured in magazines when they have no talent except being adept at making themselves celebrities with a ton of cash. I don’t get it.

The last person I have no clue about and I had to google is a woman by the name of Bethenny Frankel. All I know about her is that she is in magazines and sells some lite alcoholic drinks and she had a baby. So? Why again, is she famous? (okay, famous is really the wrong word, why is she a pseudo- celebrity?) Apparently, she was on some housewives show of Atlanta if I read that correctly. Thus, a star is born? Shouldn’t she be living with the Kardashians? These people can’t act, the can barely speak eloquently, why do people admire them? THEY. HAVE. NO. TALENT.

Talent is: Ellen Degeneres, she is my hero. I admit, it once was Oprah but I’m sorry I had to switch to Ellen Degeneres. Ellen knows who she is, she celebrates her life and her marriage with her wife Portia. She helps us celebrate our own lives, she’s quick, funny, kind (very kind) and smart. There is no malice in her (except for her scaring all the celebrities which would make me pee in my pants badly.) We can look up to Ellen, she should be the one that we admire, she has incredible comedic talent and timing.

My point here is it doesn’t matter if someone is gay or not, what matters is talent and kindness and doing good things for the world. So, really who cares if George Clooney or Josh Groban, Tom Cruise and John Travolta are all gay?? Celebrate them for the great artists that they are. They have talent, that’s more than the Kardashians will ever have. Admit it.

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“Don’t Toby Me”

Chocolate Cake

Image by alachia via Flickr

In our house, we have our own kind of language. Our children, we always said, needed to take English As A Second Language when they were younger. Now? It’s a lost cause. My husband and I use a combination of words and phrases we learned from both Viennese and German parents, some real and mostly made up. My husband and I have been married for twenty-two years, we are also guilty of making up many expressions that some might consider “creative.”

I kid you not, my brother-in-law (on my husband’s side) actually published a little dictionary, for amusement, for one Thanksgiving dinner  many years ago. It was the hit of the night. People (mostly my sister) wrote to him begging him to do another edition or to add a phrase or correct one that was there. That dictionary with photos of all of us when our children were tiny is still talked about today. It was so special that there never can be a second edition, that’s how much we love it.

A bit of many different languages are included. Our poor kids used to ask us if a certain word was real or not. There’s really no way of telling but when in doubt, it’s probably not real. However, there is one expression that is famous throughout the family and has extended to close friends, acquaintances and most probably strangers. It started way back in the eighties when my then best friend and I went to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Boston. After finishing our meals, we looked forward, as always, to the main reason we went out to dinner: dessert. I remember that they had a special dessert that was called Cappuchino pie, a mixture of chocolate and coffee, that my old friend loved.  I ordered something else, I believe it was a chocolate layer cake with whipped cream, or as we used to say “real” whipped cream.

Wanting to take a break after dinner since I was getting full, I went to the bathroom AFTER our dessert came but BEFORE I took a bite. When I came back, not two minutes later, there was a BITE of MY chocolate cake missing. That’s right, you heard me. She had tasted my dessert BEFORE I tasted it and that, to me, was inexcusable. I was looking forward to that first bite, yet she ate it while I was in the bathroom. She didn’t ask permission (would so not be granted) she just ate it. Thus, her name being Toby, the expression was born. It lives on to this day and it will always be alive…..

It’s only been about thirty-one years, yet we continue to use and enjoy this expression.  My niece, many years ago, was with a friend of hers and her friend attempted to try something that my niece ordered but hadn’t tasted yet. My niece proclaimed in a loud voice “Don’t Toby Me!” She then explained what that meant to her friend and the phrase continues to be used and enjoyed in various settings by people probably unbeknownst to us.

The friendship didn’t last but NOT for that reason.  Sometimes, many years after an old friendship is over you can still appreciate a tiny detail, a golden nugget of a phrase, way past the expiration date of the friendship. Watch your dining companion closely. If he/she attempts to steal something off your plate BEFORE you have tried it, stop them.  Keep an eye on their fork  and be prepared. If they do it once, they will never do it again and yes, they will learn. The miracle continues. You’re welcome.

p.s. Jerry Seinfeld could have done a whole show on this. Just sayin…..

Passing Over Passover

Day 337 - Tuna and Salad Sandwich

Image by JoeGray via Flickr

It’s a big year for change and not something fabulous like: “OMG, we won 230 million dollars in the lottery.” I wish. My husband, after two years of unemployment, finally found a job three months ago. “Be careful what you wish for” because at the moment (and for a few more months) he is working in Buffalo, NY coming home only on weekends. “Not that there is anything wrong with that” as Jerry Seinfeld used to say but it’s about an 8 or 9 hour drive away from home or a one hour plane ride away and another hour and a half for traffic. Good news: he has a job, Bad news: location, undesirable. Having a job is the most important thing, of all people we know that. Trust me. However, I have a chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and being home with two teenagers and a dog, all the time is hard on me physically.

My son is graduating high school in less than two months. This is a big change, HUGE. Our first child going away to college is an enormous change for the entire family and yes, especially for me, his mom. I burst into tears at random times and yet when he is taunting me and acting arrogant I think, ‘it’s really time for him to go.’  I KNOW he is ready to go and he can’t wait. It’s just a little more difficult for the parents and sister he is leaving behind. All I want for him is to be happy but I can’t help feeling a little sad, selfishly for me. My daughter will be a senior in high school next year, only one grade year apart from her brother but in actuality almost two years apart in age. I can’t wait for her to have the limelight in her own family. I was also the youngest sibling in my family; I know how she feels.

Another change: my nephew is  graduating college this year and when I heard him say on the weekly radio show he hosts that there were only 3″ Grand Avenue Freezeout”  shows  left, forever, I burst into tears. Thank you Jon, for playing and dedicating the song Birds to me by Neil Young.  At least when one cousin goes to college, another one will come home. There is a little comfort in that.

My mother has had a horrible year so far because she first broke her wrist and several weeks later she fell down two stairs and broke two of her vertebrae in her back. Right after that, she got a nasty flu with a high temperature. Then she had to take some medicine that she really didn’t want to take. She has never had anything like this before and it took a great toll on her. This was a horrible and long time period and we were all very worried. Finally, she’s a little better but it was frightening.

It’s Passover and while we are not a religious family  my mom was right when she said “Families should be together on all holidays” this was generally our tradition until the cousins got older and one by one are in college. With my husband away, my kids spending all their free time with their friends on their Spring Break, sharing a tuna sandwich with my dog, Callie, did not cut it. I missed everyone and felt sorry for myself. It wasn’t the religious aspect as much but it was more that I was alone and the lack of loved ones sitting close to me that I dearly missed. It’s hard to be home alone on any holiday. Mom, I understand that more now. You were right and I was wrong, this one is for you, with great love.