Monday, December 13, 2010
I love comedy. I realize that is not exactly unique; everyone loves comedy. It really does help make life bearable. God is so kind to give us a sense of humor and the ability to recognize, and even "create," funniness. Look at animals, and they are so cute and funny. Once in college we had a cat that got a cereal box stuck on its head. His name was Frank, and he was kind of annoying, so nobody would take the thing off the poor cat. (Actually Frank turned out to be a girl, we found out when she had kittens.)
I don't like that show, "America's Funniest Home Videos" because they are always showing people getting hurt. I just don't think that's funny. There are enough crazy things kids and animals do and (kids) say, that I don't feel that showing all those painful looking injuries is necessary. Oh well, I don't have to watch it, and I don't. I do get into trouble sometimes, though, because I sometimes watch stuff I know I shouldn't just because I want so much to laugh.
It's really hard these days to find a 'clean' show or movie, especially a comedy. It is ironic because I never find the filth funny at all. You can have some very talented writers and actors doing some really clever funny stuff, and then they have to make it all gross with some inappropriate sex thing that does absolutely nothing to add to the plot or anything. And then it's ruined. Why? It doesn't take any imagination, any intelligence to talk dirty. It's dumbed down.
And a lot of times the premise is so good, like "50 First Dates." What an amusing concept. "Groundhog Day" would be one of my favorite movies of all time, but I really can't say that with all the smut. I realize these films are ridiculously tame in view of what's out there. But this is my world. I don't want to swim around in a polluted stench of human degradation. I could really like "Seinfeld," some of it is so funny, or "30 Rock," or maybe the funniest show I've ever seen--"Arrested Development." But all these shows have that seedy element, that seems invariably to get worse with time. And I just can't recommend them because of this.
A sense of humor has always been highly valued in my family of origin--a sign of intelligence--which I think it is. However, as a parent I made some huge errors in judgment with my older kids in valuing funniness over appropriateness. I refer to the fact that my oldest son, a born-again Bible believing Christian can nonetheless quote way way more lines from "The Simpsons" than he can verses from the Scriptures.
Well, I have learned one thing this time around, having kids. It is enough to just turn off the TV and watch what's actually going on around me. For instance, I wrote some of these down so I could remember them:
I asked Daniel, "Do you want chili for lunch?" He replied, "Does it taste like frosting?" I said, "no." Then he said,"Well then I'm not gonna eat it!"
At the library Daniel was looking at a Peanuts book with Snoopy and Woodstock on the cover. So he says to me (pointing to Woodstock), "This guy, this guy's name is Woodchip!"
Daniel was eating dried cranberries in his oatmeal and asked, "What comes from cranberries?" (but he said 'creeyanberries') I said, "cranberry bushes come from cranberries." Then he asked,"How bout crayons (but he said 'creeyans') do crayons come from cranberries?"
While John was doing his schoolwork at the kitchen table, Daniel was stacking up crayons intently. I asked him what he was making. He said,"a cabbage." I started laughing and John asked, "What are you making?" Daniel answered, "a cabbage--a log cabbage!" (log cabin)
Joke Daniel made up:
Banana peel and stick!
I mean, hilariosity, right?
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Well, if you read my blog, which I doubt, then you'd know that although I consider myself 'artistic' I am also excruciatingly lazy. I may not have mentioned that I am also painfully cheap. This combo leads to all kinds of home-decorating debacles, the crowning display at Christmas time.
It is not an exaggeration to say we have the worst Christmas tree of all time. In fact, I can just hear Commodore Norrington (of "Pirates of the Caribbean") declaring, in his English accent, "That's got to be the worst Christmas tree I've ever seen!" I have attached a photo to prove my point. Granted, the tree got knocked over by my four-year-old and we lost the best ornaments (glass). Still, you can pretty much see that it was, in its original state, lame.
With the advent (no pun intended) of facebook, even hermits like me have to face (another one) some pretty humiliating facts about ourselves. There is no more avoiding the reality that no matter how much I smoosh it around in my brain, our tree is devastatingly ugly. I see other peoples' trees on facebook and they are as drop-dead gorgeous as some of my old classmates, which also isn't fair.
I waltzed into a JC Penney the other day, without kids, which is about a decennial event for me--shopping at anyplace other than the grocery store or the dreaded Walmart. I was like a deer caught in the headlights. Everything in there was so dazzling and lit up and there was so much stuff!! Merchandise and clothes of every kind engulfed me and I was reeling, dizzily. Like those kids in Narnia I no longer had any way of knowing where to go, or how to get back. I didn't know where I was, let alone where to begin. This is the sad saga of a stay-at-home mom who is also a hermit.
My point is (and I only have 20 minutes til story time at the library) that although it is good to be thrifty, there is also a place for beauty. I tend to flop to one extreme or another. Like, I can be really obsessed with appearance, which is not right either. My cheapness and laziness must effect some kind of equilibrium. But, I need to once in a while take a cue from my women friends, and spend a couple bucks on something festive or lovely.
Or, I could take a cue from my step-mom Mary, who used to make some really cool things with us. I can remember making elaborate ornaments out of styrofoam spheres by sticking sparkling beads and colorful sequins into them with pins, pomander balls out of oranges and cloves suspended by beautiful ribbons, stringing popcorn and cranberries. And I guess it's not that she was being frugal, so much, as that she valued things we made...not just stuff made in China (it might have been Japan then).
So I'm going to give this some thought, and prayer, and I'll get back to you later.