Monthly Archives: December 2016

Rambling Thoughts On New Year’s Eve

I have a New Year’s revolution.  That’s what my daughter called resolutions when she was 10 years old.  I’ll never forget when she said, “Daddy, do you have any New Year’s revolutions?” From that time, many years ago, I prefer to use revolution for resolution.

My New Year’s revolution is about my life in the arts.  A message came to me in a dream a few days ago.  I had fallen asleep wondering whether to give up the creative life for something with steady pay.  There was no mistake about the clarity of the message.  I read it in a black leather-covered book, in my dream, as I was browsing in a library.  I don’t remember the title of the book, but the book was about writing.  The message?

No matter how hard writing gets, don’t give up.  Stick at it.

When I awoke I felt that the message not only applied to writing, but to my life as well.  So my New Year’s revolution is not to give up my life in the arts no matter what.  That’s easy to say.  I know I often talk like the sea and live like a swamp.

Self-doubt will come and go.  When it comes, I will welcome it.  When it goes, I will wish it well.

People will ask, “Did you have a nice Christmas?  Did you have a nice New Years?”  The questions are narrow because I am having a wonderful time all the time.  It is always the best moment of my life.  I know this when I am aware, and forget this when I am not aware.  I get caught up in the drama that I create.  And then I forget how happy I am, and how wonderful my life is.  I forget that people on this planet, as well as some from other planets, are here to help me along the way.  “All works together for good,” someone once told me.

This leads to another New Year’s revolution to go with the one about never giving up.  I will remember that I am always having a wonderful time no matter what is going on around me. Attitude is everything as the saying goes, and life is one long celebration.

Cheers!

Happy 147th, Stephen!

Stephen Leacock (December 30, 1869 – March 28, 1944)

 

My good friend Stephen Leacock was born December 30, 1869.  He died March 28, 1944 before I was born.

That was not very nice of Stephen to die before I was born.  After all, we’re good friends.  He could have waited until I was born, taken me out for dinner and then died.  The fact that he died before I was born has always been a sore point in our friendship.

Stephen has an award in his honor: The Stephen Leacock Memorial Award for Humor.  It’s an annual award presented to a Canadian writer for the best humorous book.  The other names for this award are the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humor, or the Stephen Leacock Award.

The problem with this award is that it is only awarded to writers.  Writers are not the only ones who are funny.  Many politicians would qualify for the Stephen Leacock Award.

So, how am I celebrating Stephen’s 147th boosha?  I am telling myself jokes that I can’t remember.  Not remembering does not stop me from laughing.

I am not sure what gift to get Stephen.  What do you buy for someone who is 147 years old?  I was going to get him a coffin, but I suspect he already has one.  Perhaps I will give money in his name to The Canadian Plunger Society.  It’s a charity that helps out plungers that are homeless and have mental health issues.

Hasha Boosha, Stephen!

This Is For You, Randi

My older sister Randi has a boosha today.  She is 527 years old.  She was born on Wednesday December 29, 1489.  Her birth was part of The Renaissance, and she helped to bridge the gap between the Middle Ages and modern history.

“Randi” is a feminine Norwegian name.  The masculine form is “Randy.”  Our grandmother was from Norway.  When Mom was pregnant, Nana (her mother) told Mom, “If it’s a girl, then you will name her Randi.”  Mom said, “If it’s a girl, then I want her name to be Jeanette.”

Nana was domineering.  Randi’s maiden name is Jeanette Randi Johnston, but no one calls her Jeanette or knows that Randi is her middle name.  Nana won.

Randi and I fought as we grew up, but only the usual way brothers and sisters fight.  I stopped fighting with her less when she was a teenager because I was infatuated with her girlfriends.  I did not want to make trouble.  Unfortunately the infatuation went only one way.  Neither she nor her girlfriends wanted me around.  I still tried to hang around anyway.  Her girlfriends were gorgeous!  I confess that I was a pest.

Randi has been kind to me.  She is doing her part to support the arts.  She surprised me with a Christmas gift this year which showed her thoughtfulness and kindness.

I appreciate your caring and kindness, Randi.  Hasha Boosha!  Luv ya!

 

My Words

Instead of saying “Happy Birthday” to people, I say “Hasha Boosha.”  Hasha Boosha is English for Hasha Boosha.  These are my words.

I like to be different.  I like to be different because there are other people out there being different.  If it wasn’t for this group of nonconformists, then I would not want to be different.  It’s the human in me that needs to belong to a group.  I would not be a nonconformist if there wasn’t a group of nonconformists out there.  But I digress.

I was thinking today that I don’t have my words for Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And then divine inspiration struck me! (Actually, it wasn’t divine inspiration.  I hit my head on a low ceiling.)  The words Mucka Cucka and Hasha Nooosh popped into my head.

Mucka Cucka, for Merry Christmas, does not refer to mud or that brown stuff even though some people see Christmas as that brown stuff.  Mucka Cucka sounds funny, and it evokes laughter.  Say, “Mucka Cucka”  several times out loud and see whether you don’t start laughing.  Isn’t laughter and joy what Christmas is all about?

Hasha Nooosh is not as funny as Mucka Cucka, but Hasha Nooosh is still fun to say.

To all those reading this, and to those who are not reading this,

Mucka Cucka and Hasha Nooosh!

NO SMOKING

It doesn’t take long to realize that NO SMOKING signs are for nonsmokers only.  Nonsmokers are the only ones who obey the signs.

The original signs said, NO SMOKING.  Since smokers did not obey the signs, the sign makers tried politeness:

 

 

When that did not work, then the sign makers got tough:

 

 

The sign makers tried, but smokers know that NO SMOKING signs do not apply to them.

I don’t worry about the dangers of secondhand smoke.  Whatever does not kill me will make me a tomato sandwich.  I don’t like the cigarette smell.  And don’t like how the cigarette smell lingers on my clothes long after I have left a no-smoking area.

Smokers deserve credit for exercising restraint.  They could stick their heads over chimney stacks and breathe in all that poisonous smoke at once, but they control themselves.  They practice moderation by breathing in poisonous smoke one cigarette at a time.  If only they would do that in a smoking area.

 

THE FIRST DAY OF WINTER?

“Today is the First Day of Winter.”

“Arrogance!  I have never seen such arrogance.”

“What?  What did I say?”

Today is the First Day of Winter?  What about all the snow and cold the past few weeks?  What was that?”

“Winter?”

“Duh!”

“I don’t understand.”

“You humans are laughable.  You think that you can limit and control things that you cannot limit and control.  You’re like a drop of water thinking it can control the ocean.  And what is puzzling is that you never learn.  After years of seeing that limits on the seasons do not work, you would learn that you can’t limit seasons.  When are you going to learn that we seasons do what we want when we want, and do not listen to human beings or follow human schedules.”

“Gosh, Winter, I never thought—”

“Thought!  That’s the word.  Thought.  Thought comes from thinking.  What would happen if human beings gave up their arrogance and did more thinking?”

“I don’t know.  We wouldn’t call today the First Day of Winter?”

“Congratulations!  There’s hope for the human race.”

HATCHIMALS AND MANIPULATION

Years ago I read a book on marketing strategies.  I don’t remember the title or author.  I do remember how the author said how toy companies will purposely create a shortage of a toy before Christmas.  The author used the Cabbage Patch Kids as an example.  The same thing happened with Tickle Me Elmo.   Were these toys popular, or did their popularity soar once the toy companies purposely created a shortage saying that they can’t keep up with the demand?

I don’t know whether there is a psychological term for it, but we humans will buy anything out of a sense of urgency or lack.  We want things more when we can’t have them.  How many times have you seen LIMITED TIME OFFER or SUPPLIES LIMITED?   In other words, if we don’t buy now then the sale will be lost forever and ever and ever and ever.

Why have Hatchimals available now, before Christmas, so everyone can buy one?  Why not create a shortage, making people want them more, so those who could not buy one before Christmas will buy one after Christmas when sales are usually slow?

How ironic that the company that makes Hatchimals is  Spin Master.

DRIVING IN A SNOWSTORM

What an adventure!  I drove a car with all-season tires instead of snow tires.  Paul Simon’s Slip Slidin’ Away came to mind.  I made full use of my winter driving skills.

I understand the reasons for the Engine, Tire Pressure, and the Oil lights, etc., on the dashboard.  They serve as warnings that some maintenance is soon required.  Who was the genius who decided the Slip light should come on after the car is sliding?

Numerous times I was slip sliding away to oblivion.  I tried to stay calm as I regained control of the car.  Each time after I started sliding, the Slip light came on indicating,  Driver, one or more of the tires has no traction.”   “Really?”  I thought.  “I hadn’t noticed.” When I tried to turn left, the car would slide in a diagonal line with the Slip light again indicating, “Driver, one or more of the tires has no traction.”   I had to drive slowly, very slowly, to avoid slip sliding away. This caused some drivers behind me to discover that their cars’ horns worked well.

A half-hour trip took three hours, but I am grateful that I made it home safely.

SOME THOUGHTS ON CHRISTMAS

Picture by Ruth J Morehead

Picture by Ruth J Morehead

 

So, are we tired of Christmas music yet?  I am.  I used to have some Christmas favorites, but they are no longer favorites because they were repeatedly played everywhere, and are still repeatedly played everywhere.  You cannot go anywhere without hearing the same songs over and over and over.  When you turn on the radio you hear the same songs over and over and over.

I enjoyed Jingle Bells as a kid, but that was because I believed it would help Santa Claus to come.  I have never had a ride on a one-horse open sleigh.  I don’t know how much fun it would be.  I imagine it would be cold.  Because of the cold, I would have to pee. Where do you pee on a one-horse open sleigh?

There was only one good thing about peeing my pants in the winter: it came out warm.  But the warmth would not last long.  Soon it was cold causing my pants to freeze.

Then there’s the song, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

“He knows when you are sleeping.  He knows when you’re awake . . . “

What kind of degenerate watches children while they’re asleep, and while they’re awake?  Does he watch them get undressed, too?

I am not against the Joy, Kindness, and Goodwill of Christmas.  These should be practiced all year round.  I am against being told that I must be joyful amidst the rush-rush madness and commercialism of Christmas, with speakers everywhere blasting Christmas music at me.

In spite of my thoughts, I will have a Merry Christmas.  Why?  Too many people are wishing me, “Merry Christmas” for me not to have one.

THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN

How tragic when one parent uses children as weapons to strike back at the other parent.  This behavior is not limited to women, but my experience was with my ex-wife using our children as weapons.  My male friends had similar experiences with their ex-wives.  Now I hear of my friends’ sons going through the same game with their partners denying access to the children.

Any weapon you use is always affected in some way.  If you stab someone with a knife,  the knife has blood on it.  Shoot someone with a gun, and the gun has to be cleaned.  Use children as weapons, and you cause emotional damage.  But parents are too caught up in their pain to see how their actions harm the children.

It’s already traumatic for children when their parents separate.  On top of this trauma, children may have to deal with not seeing one parent, grandparents, and aunts and uncles, because the other parent wants revenge.  The other parent does not realize the ripple effect of denying access to children.

Whether parents are together or apart, they should always work together for the best interests of the children.