Need a Good Laugh? Surf the Web.

March 13, 2017 – The beauty of the Internet is that there is always something new to discover.

I came across a site appropriately named watchitbackwards.com, which is devoted to providing a good laugh to movie and television fans.

The premise is that story lines in reverse create a completely different and humorous outcome. Some plot lines even improve. For example:

“If you watch The Wizard Of Oz backwards, it’s about Dorothy escaping Oz by running away from the Emerald City and getting home to Kansas in a flying house.”

Or, “if you watch Pretty Woman backwards, it’s about Richard Gere transforming Julia Roberts into a hooker.”

And my favorite, “if you watch Scarface backwards, it’s about a man who gives up cocaine and crime to follow his dream of becoming a dishwasher to earn enough money so he can visit Cuba.”

The site is updated frequently, so even the latest Oscar nominations have been added. And if you’re clever enough to come up with your own backwards movie or television show, the site welcomes submissions.

Listening to the Silence

silence5February 27, 2017 – When I worked in PR and advertising back in the day, we spent a lot of time assembling media packages. My co-workers and I would amuse ourselves by discussing the deeper questions in life while working the assembly line of brochures, trinkets, and press releases. It helped pass the time.

I once posed the question – would you rather lose your sight or your hearing – and received a witty response from a co-worker. He said, “My hearing, so I don’t have to listen to this absurd conversation.”

We chuckled; he had a quick sense of humor. Still, the go to response for most people would be to keep their sight. Getting through life without it would be difficult. However, the thought of never hearing a baby’s laugh or a beautiful piece of music is enough to make me at least ponder the question.

I began to take notice of how often I was surrounded by silence after that conversation. In the office, I sit at my desk surrounded by white noise and the sound of my co-workers typing on their keyboards; in my car I listen to the radio; At home, it’s conversation, the television or music. Even when I go to bed at night, the sounds of the ceiling fan or the humidifier fill the room.

The last time I drove to work in silence was several years ago when my battery light came on as I was driving onto I-95. I managed to pull over and quickly restart, but fearing it would happen again, I pulled back on the road after turning off the music. I surrounded myself with the sounds of silence, and because the windows were shut, even the traffic seemed hushed.

It made me ultra-aware of what is going on around me, and affected me in other places outside of my car; the clock in work that sits above my desk, for instance, began to drive me crazy. Oddly, I could hear it tick, and had to turn on music to drown it out. I’d never noticed it before.

There is something about silence that is appealing. As long as there isn’t an annoying clock ticking in the background to spoil it.

On Skipping the Academy Awards this Year

88thoscarshomepageFebruary 3, 2017 – A few weeks ago, I wrote a post focusing on the Golden Globe Awards and how I looked forward to them, even though I had not seen any of the nominated films. With the Globes covering television, many nominations included shows I watched so I wouldn’t be completely lost. I also promised to see as many nominated films as I could to prepare for the Oscars.

Now, I’ve changed my mind.

I am a movie fan and always watch the Oscars. Even though they drag on in the middle during the technical awards, I’ve enjoyed them since early childhood. This year, it will be the first time in 45 years that I won’t be in front of the television on Oscar night. Weird thing is, I’m OK with it.

So, why did this decision come so easy?

On Monday morning, I saw news clips of the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the second of the big three of award season. I didn’t realize they’d been on Sunday night, and instead of feeling devastated I missed them, I was relieved since the clips showed focused on politics. I made up my mind right then that I would skip the Oscars on purpose to avoid the political madness.

There is a time and place for everything, for political protests and speeches and sharing opinions. I applaud people who march for a cause, and who discuss politics around the dinner table (to a degree). However, it saddens me that it’s taken over entertainment venues like award shows and Facebook. If I want to hear news about politics. I can turn on one of the cable news channels. Take note celebrities and my list of Facebook friends who are split evenly into both sides of the political aisle: I already know how you feel. I turn to you for entertainment, fun and friendship—not your political agenda.

Rarely do I offer others with my political opinions unless they ask for it, and I wish our celebrities and my Facebook friends would do the same. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I’ll bet the majority of the public feel the same.

That’s why, my friends, I am skipping the Oscars this year.

It Does a Body Good

imagesJanuary 27, 2011 – Quick! Name a sound more appealing than a baby’s laughter.

I don’t think you can.

Laughter is important both mentally and physically, whether you are a child or an adult, because it instantly improves your mood. It also works your abs, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, boosts your immune system, and reduces pain by releasing endorphins.

It’s documented that people who have a positive outlook on life—those who tend to laugh freely—are better equipped to fight disease. Like crying, laughter also releases pent-up emotions, and brings more oxygen into the body, which makes the Joni Mitchell lyric ring true… “Laughing and crying, it’s the same release.”

A wise man once said, “We don’t stop laughing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop laughing.” Here’s a little something to keep you young.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

January 2, 2017 — This week’s photo challenge is resilient.

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Historic resilience: Modern buildings stand in the background, but Philly’s Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest residential street in the U.S., remains as it did 300 years before.

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Architect’s resilience: Abandoned prison stands as the walls crumble.

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Nature’s resilience: Life holds on through a January blizzard.

 

Crescent Moons, Magazines and Peppermint Tea

downloadDecember 2, 2016 – Anyone up for solving a mystery?

The song, My Favorite Things, from the musical The Sound of Music, is played at Christmas each year, and I’m not sure why. Aside from the lyrics “brown paper packages tied up with string, or snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes” – and are a both a stretch – there isn’t a reference to December 25 or any of its holiday traditions. Yet artists from Tony Bennett to Luther Vandross include it on their Christmas recordings.

And while we’re on the subject … the items Rogers and Hammerstein mention in their song are nice, they aren’t included on a list of my favorites. If I were to rewrite the song, I’d include the things below:

Curtains fluttering in the breeze
Early morning walks with my camera
Georgia O’Keeffe and Vincent Van Gogh paintings
Sunflowers and daisies
Crescent moons
Lighthouses
Sunsets at the beach
Crisp mornings in autumn
My brother-in-law’s margaritas
Long drives
Magazines and peppermint tea
Mack’s Pizza at the Jersey shore
Listening to Joni Mitchell on Sunday mornings
Haagen Daz vanilla ice cream
Warm towels straight from the dryer