NEXT122 Finding Something to Laugh About

Posted on : 19-02-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Humor, Uncategorized

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Years ago, I remember hearing an interview with the comedian Steve Martin (who was, then, hitting the bright lights of fame from Saturday Night Live) and how he said that actually comedians are usually the most serious people he knew.   It was one of those Soooby Doo ruh roh moments for me because I knew I loved to laugh but I also knew that I could be equally as serious about life.

I’ve always been fascinated by what makes people laugh and what brings up that surging giggle wave inside of me.  We explored the thinking behind it in Philosophy class (absurdity of information, how info is received, etc.) but that still didn’t satisfy me.  Where I’ve ended up landing about laughing is that I have to just enjoy the results of whatever it is that makes us laugh because trying to dissect it out takes all the fun out of it.

For example, a good friend and I have often joked that because my humor can sometimes be so off the wall that if I ever took my act on the road, she would be my one psychic fan because she knows what I am conveying with very few moves and words.  I’m pretty sure my mom and I have that kind of connection too, in fact, I think I learned this particular brand of humor from her with its is very subtle movements and lots of history.  So, when said good friend and I were waiting for yoga class to begin and had gathered around us the accouterments of class such as the Tami mat, blanket and a chair, when I looked at the chair behind me and made a very simple gesture with my hands in a circle above my head, my friend understood that I meant to convey a scene of  Chinese acrobats  doing amazing gymnastics with chairs and each other.  Perhaps with some honing and practice, I could convey this kind of humor to more than one audience member.  I think that’s probably what the really good comedians do such as Ellen DeGeneres and Jim Gaffigan.

And then there’s just the physicality and emotionality of laughing itself.  Like at the end of every yoga class when our teacher would have us laying on the floor and ask us to just laugh as heartily as we could.  Some people would start out with that hesitant laughter, heh-heh-heh, and then sometimes there’d be someone who’d go way over the top almost to the edge of making you want to rise out of your yoga bliss and go bop them on the head!  Whenever the aforementioned friend and I would start laughing together we would end up cracking each other up and really laughing getting the whole class into an uproar.  Such fun.  It’s all the gasoline my inner-kid needs to find ways to keep the laughter going.  No wonder I used to get U’s on my conduct reports in Sixth Grade.  Who doesn’t want to laugh? Evidently my teacher that’s who!

There are all kinds of ways we can find humor out there in life.  In fact, I have seen the very quirky off the wall humor that I love caught in photos. Like the one my friend Kat found right after the very slight Earthquake that Washington D.C. experienced last year of  garden table on a rolling lawn with one chair askew. 

So if you’re ever feeling just a little blue or perhaps taking life just a little bit too seriously…find something to laugh about…your soul will be glad you did!

Photo that my friend P posted this week on FaceBook with a very sparse explanation saying, “this is how I feel today”….

NEXT039 When the Buzzards are Breathing Down Your Neck

Posted on : 23-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Humor, Mind Fodder

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Talking with one of my friends this morning she couldn’t believe that I had such an upbeat (almost manic, but not quite) attitude in spite of the record breaking drought and heat that we’ve been experiencing in Texas all summer.  I’ve lost count of how many days it’s been in triple digit heat but I’m pretty sure everyday is equivalent to the years in my age.  I think what helps me is that I believe that the Divine/Force/Mystery of all existence has a sense of humor.  Sometimes this sense of humor shows up as the underbelly of what one would usually consider funny such as the fact that many of us in Austin are siting more buzzards then ever. One of my friends posted yesterday that they had a flock of buzzards sitting on their roof and all that was missing was the skull and a scorpion.  I told him we could probably provide him with that rather quickly.

I have my buzzard sightings as well,  only the ones that hang out near our home are more active and happy.  This morning as the flock took off for flight, one buzzed down lower to get my dog’s attention before taking off to the great beyond.  You could almost hear his, “heh, heh, heh” as he startled the Paul-dog.  Look for the absurd in whatever situation is swimming around your ankles or whatever buzzards are breathing down your neck.  Laughter, even if it is silent from within, is a great dissipater of despair.  If nothing else, it can at least elevate  you to a fair playing field from which to base your decisions and responses to life.

The faint aroma of skunk still hangs around my dog even though when you sniff right close to him, you can’t pin point where the scent  is still coming from. He’s like Pig-Pen from the Snoopy Comics with eau de skunk following him around.  Perfect sniff and smell reminder for me not to take myself too seriously as I prepare to meet with a very prestigious person later on today.  I need to remember sitting here typing to y’all with my loving skunk-smelling dog laying under my chair.  Keeps me humble.

What absurdity can you find about your life today that will at least get you to shaking your head if not germinating a giggle?

Snoopy as the vulture



NEXT034 But Seriously Folks….

Posted on : 18-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Humor

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Why is it that when some of us get pushed right up to the edge of handling just about all we can in life, that’s when life get’s the funniest?   I’ve often shared with my Boarding School mates that one of the devices that helped us “survive” being sent (in most cases) to a military (for the boys) religious (not that there’s anything the matter with that) school for three years was humor.  I almost began making constant brrr brrr sounds with my fingers on my lips when my parents told me that I would be living at this school when I was fifteen.

Off and on in my life, from the most extreme cases to the not-so-extreme when I sidled right up the edge of going over because I can’t handle anything more…humor just bursts out of me.  I blame both my parents for that.  We kids often begged our mother to make those funny faces that only she could make by raising one eyebrow (ambi-brows) at a time and making her lips go sideways (both sides) at a time.  Very talented but never brought her to show off at school.  My father is hilarious both with words and actions.  And both my brothers are too.  Anyway. Being an in-the-closet-comedian, whenever something drastic would happen in my life I’d always remember that even though whatever was happening at the time could really suck, it could also be really good “material” later on.

Take an awful car wreck at 21 when I passed out at the wheel and woke up just as I was going over an overpass to fly down and land just south of the railroad tracks.  Doesn’t seem like hilarity abounding right off the bat does it?  But I can’t tell you how many laughs I’ve been able to milk out of the story when I tell about the policeman who first found me. And it’s all because of a retainer that I wore at the time that had one false tooth on it.  The policeman came upon me after I had tumbled around in the car, crawled out the back window and up the 70 foot embankment on my butt.  As you can imagine, I was covered with blood, sweat and tears as well as everything in-between.  I kept passing out off and on and woke up as the policeman crab walked over to me, jumping back and forth like a sumo wrestler on steriods.  Part of what was freaking him out was that retainer which had landed on my chest.  I’m sure in his brain, he was connecting the dots of my bleeding facial orifices and that retainer…but incorrectly.   I remember trying to calm him down by saying to him, “it’s okay, I usually don’t look like this”. True story.

I bring this up, this trying not to take ourselves and this life too seriously now because I almost choked on my spit this morning waking up to NPR hearing about the economy (AGAIN) and Afghanistan (AGAIN) as well as the local weather report of 105 degrees (AGAIN) with another bright shiny day for us to enjoy.  There’s nothing to do but laugh at the insanity of it all.  Either that or dive down to the drain in my pool and stay there forever.  And I mostly like this life, so I think I’ll find a way to weather it (pun intended) as best I can.

How about you? Are you taking yourself too seriously today?


DINK #234 I Know I Can Make You Laugh….But Someone Might Have To Die First!

Posted on : 10-11-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I have a good friend who shall remain anonymous because she’s pretty well known and as I’m respectful of her anonymity, well to a point, I’ll leave her nameless. Anyway, she’s very intelligent, a lover of God, very creative and absolutely hilarious and she is one person that I can absolutely shake out the dark shadow side of myself and share with her with complete abandon. All of us should have at least one person that we can share our dark side with so that we can let it out, invite it to the middle of the room and laugh at and with it until it disappears into a fine granular dusting of light.

Anyway, this friend of mine and I have an understanding that in our coffers we have in the making one of the most hilarious two women comedy skits about life that never was and never will be created. Meaning, we can never actually create this comedy compilation and take it on the road because it is composed of all of our shadow selves’ perspectives about life, people, etc. and so pretty much a whole bunch of people would have to die first because some parts of the play would be about them and we wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

This may sound awfully heartless upon reading this but really it’s been so helpful when I find myself in one of those life moments when I’m having to battle with my inner demons while behaving kindly, professionally and otherwise well-mannered outwardly. The reason it is helpful is that I know that whatever inner battle that I’m having now will make absolutely hilarious fodder for my friend and I as we add to our compilation of stories for the comedy duo of skits that will never actually happen. Yet.

Perhaps when we’re 85 and we look back on these days we will shake our heads in understanding at ourselves but for now, it sure does help the medicine of lessons learned to go down easier. As I’ve heard many times in various 12-step programs “to accept something doesn’t mean you have to like it”. We people in recovery for various addictions are often back door people who always want a codicil to any agreement we make so saying that I accept something without having to like it eases the pain of commitment.

I have had so many learnings and understandings over the past couple of days that I wish I could share with you now but suffice it to say (because I don’t want anyone to have to die first), I am learning how to have some humility and laugh with myself as I shake out my beautiful little ego.

Life is good and I am blessed. Love y’all!

Blog #30 Look at My Phalanges! Look at My Phalanges!

Posted on : 20-04-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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My husband and I are hooked on “Bones”, the television series about Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan the forensic anthropologist and her cohorts. Bones is a beautiful genius who sees and interprets life very differently from the average bear.

Take for instance, the episode when she and her partner “Booth” find a live baby at a crime scene and take care of it over the period of time it takes to find out who the baby’s mother was and who has legal responsibility for the little man. You have to watch at least a few of the shows to understand the nuances of Bones’ character but suffice it to say that she is not a woman who is naturally comfortable with other people, much less a baby. In this episode, however, she does become drawn to the little guy and there is a scene where we come up on Bones trying to appease the baby by dangling her fingers in front of him and saying, “look at my phalanges, look at my phalanges” while the baby giggles with delight.

So not that I think that I’m a genius but I can sure understand the quirkiness of Bones. Maybe most of us can admit to feeling like we’re a bit different from everyone else in our own little unique way. And that’s what makes us special, that quirky unique part of us.

Going back to school has really forced me to slip inside of my skin and really revel in my uniqueness, let me tell you! I’m also figuring out why it is that I have not become a multi-millionaire yet as a Professional Coach. I realize that I don’t want to coach just anybody. And so, for me, the coaching clients who I want to attract are those people who I will have a conversation with one person at a time. I feel good about that today now that I understand that my approach and intention for coaching is different than many others. In the meantime, I get to figure out how else to put bread on the table!

I also realize that the way I want to write for others is different than has been suggested for me to do as well. When I tried to blog in a “professional” manner that would attract the attention of new clients I immediately became stiff and bored as hell with myself so that I was unable to keep on blogging. Now, maybe some people will not be interested in the way that I put my message out there but I’m hearing from many who say they connect with what I’m writing. Que Cera Cera!

What about you? If the Earth is like a big organism and we are all tiny cells than it seems that would mean that there would be other cells just like us who would be attracted to us, right? I don’t know about you, but I am always happy to know people who know who they really are. Some of my friends on FB are so quirky and hilarious and wonderful that it just makes my heart feel so grateful for each of them. One of my friends, Charon, posted a status update the other day with an article about some scientists who had figured out how to make fuel for cars out of feces. You’d have to know Charon and her sense of humor to understand how hilarious this posting was on so many levels besides being a pretty keuhl idea for fuel.

There are so many of you guys who just crack me up on a regular basis and I know that cracking someone up doesn’t necessarily assure a roof over your head (unless your a professional comedian) but I do think that making others laugh when you’re coming from a comfortable place of being who you are and relating in a moment is some of the best medicine we have available to us.

After all, even Bones was able to make a little baby giggle with delight when she used her own words in a high pitched voice that he could understand!