Friday, March 29, 2013

Monsters Inside?

Since we arrived early for a school play, we waited in the parking lot and listened to music on the radio for a few minutes. We talked and waited some more when suddenly our youngest child hopped over to the empty back seat and announced, “I’m taking a time-out. Being human is hard.” Huh? My husband and I exchanged looks. What’s that mean? Actually, there is a lot of truth in it and our culture recognizes it, too. Consider Hollywood’s fascination with monsters in movies. Classic characters like werewolves, vampires, mummies, and zombies are all examples of humans gone haywire. Hollywood often depicts monsters as warped human beings with uncontrollable urges to act out in horrible ways. Here’s a monster who channeled that impulse in a different direction:


The video shows good ole David Banner (played by Bill Bixby) caught up in another dilemma. He was a nice guy, except when he got angry, and you’d get one warning before his alter ego showed up. He’d say, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” He was right because green coloring coupled with a bad attitude is never a good combination for a muscled monster. In spite of his frequent temper tantrums, even the Incredible Hulk had a compassionate side. Some scientists believe humans are inherently good, while others believe we’re innately bad. What do you say and why?


Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Power of a Stare Down

We had another showdown at our house when our youngest child protested about eating vegetables. These encounters occur rather frequently around our dinner table. I stifled a laugh when I looked over and heard a small voice say, “We meet again, enemy.” What a way to talk to your lima beans! Even a serious showdown can end on a lighter note. Take a look:


Never underestimate the power of a stare down to loosen things up. Mix it with a good laugh, and you’ve got a great diffuser for stress and negative energy. Did you know there are laughter clubs where people gather just to laugh? One New York area club meets in a cemetery. I can’t make this stuff up! If there isn’t one in your area, by all means start one!  

Ok, maybe a laughter club isn’t your thing. What do you do to distress and rejuvenate?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Trapped in the Middle of It

When’s the last time you played London Bridge is Falling Down? It’s the children’s singing game(make the song a ringtone?) where two kids hold hands to form a “bridge” while the rest of the group files under the pair’s swinging arms. At a certain point the arms lower to lock one unsuspecting “prisoner” in. Once the prisoner is released, the game starts over.

 Part of this scenario plays out every day on Main St. In our town, we’re warned of an approaching train by a cute, blinking, digital train picture at the railroad crossing. The problem is it blinks for quite a while before finally it stops, and then you know 1.) a train is close and 2.) the long, red arms of the railroad crossing will come down to lock you on the tracks, if you’re in the wrong spot. Oh sure, you can maneuver around the arms, if the fear of being flattened doesn’t muddle your thinking. Here’s another situation that might send you into a panic:


 There’s nothing like the feeling of being trapped, whether it’s on railroad tracks, in an elevator, or in a hairy life situation. When we use the right resources, we can manage through most circumstances. One day we might look back at the experience and find a useful life lesson, along with some wisdom to pass on. How do you deal with situations that cause you to feel trapped?   

Friday, March 8, 2013

Your Dennis-Kim Connection

If you were planning to catch a basketball game, who would you invite—Dennis Rodman or Kim Jong Un? I'll allow some time for the question to sink in.  (Pause) Apparently the pair caught a Harlem Globetrotter exhibition game together in North Korea. Do Rodman and Jong Un have anything in common besides the love of basketball? Regardless of what everyone else thinks, Rodman insists that he has found a new life-long friend in North Korea. Do opposites attract or do birds of a feather flock together?  What do you think about these pairings?

“Hard to explain,” the announcer said. Another animal expert remarked that the animals fulfill each other’s needs. I agree with both statements. There has to be a common bond, an element that attracts two beings to one another. Yes, birds of a feather do flock together. So, where’s the Jong Un-Rodman connection headed? It started with basketball, but what else bonds them? I wonder if their friendship will deepen with Skype, texts, Facebook or long-distance phone chats?  How do you maintain a relationship with your best friend?  

Friday, March 1, 2013

Taking It For Granted?

Are you more likely to clean the inside or the outside of your vehicle? I often try to do a thorough vacuuming before passengers pile in. When it comes to the outside, I hope for a hard rain. Unfortunately, the weather disappoints me. Either it doesn’t rain hard enough to wash away the grime or I’m parked in a place where I miss the cleansing shower. I’m usually the driver with the not-so-clean vehicle, but I’m not the only one.

One day we stopped at a red light and looked over at the vehicle that had pulled up beside us. This driver’s vehicle looked like an angry crowd had pelted it with mud balls. We laughed until our sides ached. I can’t imagine how the vehicle got that dirty. Maybe the driver hoped to run into this guy:

 He cleaned the window until it sparkled, applied more dirt, then drew a masterpiece. After admiring the art for a moment, he rinsed it off. Why, Scott? Why?! Somebody get this guy some paper! It’s hard to watch beautiful art trickle away. Sometimes the things we have come so easily that we take them for granted. What have you taken for granted lately?