My Neighbor is a Witch but so am I

Margaret-Hamilton-Wicked-Witch-WizardofOz

I have mentioned my neighbor Mrs Wheatgrass in the past and have whimsically called her my nemesis.  This was probably due to the fact that my plans included this being temporary. I have always wanted to win her over.  I am a big believer in “turning the other cheek.”  And that everyone can be “killed with kindness.”  This is something I have preached about and I really do believe it but let me tell you; Mrs. Wheatgrass is one tough nut to crack.

neighborhood yellow brick road

She and her family moved in next door about seven years ago. It was late August just before the onset of another school year.  My son and I were taking a walk around the neighborhood.  We were engaged in some sort of conversation when we spied a moving van in front of the beige house next door.  My son was excited. He wondered if the new people moving in would have a son his age.  We saw a blonde  woman in brown shorts exit the front door and we immediately went up to her. We introduced ourselves and welcomed her to the neighborhood. My son who was about 10 or 11 at the time, had been working on his handshake and extended his hand.  She asked him what grade he was going into. When he told her, she looked at him doubtfully and then me.  She informed us in no uncertain terms that as an educator she knew he must be a year younger. “I can vouch for him, I’m his Mom” I said half joking.  She seemed to doubt me too. I thought this strange at the time. My son was a little upset. His fragile preteen pride was damaged somewhat but I saw it as a teachable moment.

Maybe this is all a misunderstanding” I told him.  “She she could have misspoke or we could have misheard her.”  I advised that we should give her the benefit of the doubt and so we did.

Whenever I saw my new neighbor I would smile warmly and say hello.  She seemed about my age. She had a friendly husband and a sweet little daughter who was a baby at the time.  I thought we could become friends. Most of the people in my neighborhood at the time were elderly and I was looking forward getting to know her.

The scarecrow doubts my advice

She seemed wary of me and I just chalked it up to shyness.  I am shy myself. It has been a lifelong handicap that I fight to this day.   So I kept it up. I would smile and wave. I would say hello and try to engage her in small  talk but to no avail.  MM joked that she was afraid of me. I could be coming on too strong. I tend to overcompensate for my shyness by being “over friendly’  so I backed off. I would smile and say hello but that was it.

Time passes as it does.  She added to her family with another cute daughter. I would hear them in their backyard whenever I would be working outside. Back then I was able to spend more time on my yard and I have to say it looked nice. Green, well-manicured and full of colorful flowers.   I was working this time in the front yard, carefully weeding around our newly planted Yoshino Cherry tree when Mrs Wheatgrass approached me.

neighbor Wizard-Of-Oz-witch_l

A-ha! Obviously my friendly vibes were winning her over, I thought.  “How can you stand that?”  She asked and gestured to our crazy neighbor who was parked in front of his house blaring his radio and yelling “Yeah!” over and over.  I laughed.  I agreed it wasn’t easy putting up with him but at least his taste in music was good.  “Aren’t you going to call the police?” she asked.  I said no.  I told her that I liked his music and frankly that was not a good reason to call the police.  She said that he scared her.  I told her that he was loud but harmless. “Just try to ignore him” I replied. I said the wrong thing I suppose and she walked off in a huff.

I think back to that time now and I regret not being more sympathetic.  I admit I was a bit put off.  If she was so concerned why didn’t she call the cops herself? Why ask me?

I wrote about this exchange at the time and that is when I actively set out to kill her with kindness.  I will win her over I thought. Maybe her life isn’t so rosy. Maybe she needs to feel understood.

neighbor dorothy and toto

One day about three years ago during the onset of the “great recession” I was again walking in the neighborhood, this time with MM when we saw her out walking too. This was surprising since we had never seen her do this before. She approached us with a  worried face. MM asked her what was wrong. She told us she had just lost her job. We said how sorry we were. She thanked us and wisely mentioned it could be a blessing in disguise because now she’d be able to spend more time at home with her daughters.   Tragedy has the capability of bringing out the best in people.    I thought of Mrs Wheatgrass and her two adorable daughters and how they would benefit from being able to spend more time together.

But there it was, Monday morning and like always there they were at seven a.m. like clockwork, lunch pails in their tiny hands waiting by the van door to be let in. Daycare again, but why?  I thought it was almost like she was still working. She would dutifully take her daughters off to daycare and then return home and stay inside until it was time to pick them up.

I knew it was none of my business, but my heart ached for those little girls and for Mrs Wheatgrass. Being a parent I know all too well how fast children grow. Every moment is precious. How could she just send them off like that when she didn’t have to?

I suppose it is not my place to judge I thought…and I remembered a quote…

oz the great and powerful

“Never judge others. You both know good and well how unexpected events can change who a person is. Always keep that in mind. You never know what someone else is experiencing within their own life.”
― Colleen Hoover

More time passed and Mrs W and I had many more interactions. I’ve gone over them in my mind, trying to figure out where I went wrong.  What could I have done differently?  Maybe it was the times I weeded the side yard we both share, maybe it was when I didn’t have the time and  stopped the weeding.  It could be that that I worked at home. She did snidely call me retired from time to time.

It was as if we had this undeclared competition between us with the yards. I would be out working in mine. This was my hobby. I enjoy it. I love plants, this makes me happy. I am not trying to outdo anyone.  Every time she’d see me out in the front yard she’d send her husband out to work on theirs. He didn’t seem to be enjoying himself. I sort of felt bad. It was as if it was my fault he had to dig up dandelions.   What can I do? I thought and just kept on keeping on… it is what it is…or at least it was what it was…

…until our home business started to wither and slow down to a crawl and I returned to the workforce.   This changed things at home, inside and out.  Our well manicured lawn turned brown and the backyard went wild. I am not proud of this but again, it is what it is.  My weeks are full and my weekends are even fuller.  My beloved hobby took a backseat to the more pressing matters of day to day life.

TreeWiz

It was a sunny Saturday a few weeks ago. The Wheatgrasses had just removed a mature tree from their side, a tree that provided shade for much of our yard. Big branches fell down on our side and onto our tomato plants.  MM asked the men cutting down the tree if they could please remove the branches when they were done.  The men were very nice about it and cheerfully did as MM asked, obviously this did not sit well with Mrs W because when MM came in from the yard he had just had a heated exchange with her and was visibly upset.

She said our fence is rotten, our yard is an overgrown mess and there is ivy growing everywhere.” She yelled at me and said we better do something about it.”  I hardly ever see MM like this.  His face was red and he was shaking.  I admit our mutual fence is weathered-looking but it is sturdy and frankly we don’t have the money for a new one.

I’ll talk to her” I said and went over to see her.  I knew that if I explained the situation she would understand.  It was if she was waiting for me.  Before I could get within two feet of her she smirked and said in a condescending tone “You’re upset about the tree aren’t you?”  Before I could answer she yelled to the workmen who were taking a break on her lawn.  “I bet you get this all the time!” I could tell from the looks on their faces they wanted nothing to do with the whole thing. I instantly felt sorry for them…and me.

“I would have liked some warning about the tree.  It’s removal did change the whole micro-climate of the backyard. I will have to move some plants but I know it was an old tree and it needed to be done.  No, it’s not that…”

You damn tree-hugger!
You damn tree-hugger!

She cut me off before I could finish….”I don’t have time for this.” she said and looked to her van parked in the driveway.

At this point I admit that I was getting angry. I am very protective of the people I love. She had upset MM and now she was working on upsetting me.  I am a small person and it takes a lot to get me going but once I do I am like a mighty lion and my roar can move mountains….

ROAR!!!
ROAR!!!

Knowing this I backed off.  I could see it was going nowhere.  I said we’d talk later and I went back inside.  MM was worried…I told him that she had no power to make us pay for a new fence…I jokingly referred to one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies The Wizard of Oz…when Glinda The Good Witch says to the The Wicked one…

witches-question

“You have no power here! Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!”

Wicked Witch of the East with Dorothy's house that has fallen on her
Wicked Witch of the East with Dorothy’s house that has fallen on her

A couple of days went by. I asked my son if he could help by cleaning up the ivy next to the fence. As he was working he overheard Mrs. Wheatgrass talking in a nasty tone to someone in her backyard.  “They’re having their long-haired son doing it now.

That was it!  He was hurt, MM was hurt and I’d had it!  The lion was ready to roar when Glinda took over and asked?

Are you a good witch?

 I had my answer. I simmered down and thought for a while…

Why does this bother me,  I ask myself?  So what if she doesn’t like me or never did?  So what if she is prejudiced against my family? Is it this rejection or is it something deeper? Is it a rejection not just of me but my ideals. I set out for her to like me, when she didn’t I tried to win her over. I thought surely she’d like me after she found out how nice I am, but she didn’t.  There is a lesson here…

 WIZARD-OF-OZ_

I ran across the following quotes which fit the bill…

“About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.”

~Rita Mae Brown

and

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”

~Ann Landers

I’m taking a page from Glinda, Ann and Rita, putting on my Ruby slippers and going for a walk around the neighborhood, It may not be Kansas but it’s pretty nice here too….after all there’s no place like home…

Have a great day!

Strawberryindigo.

These are made for walkin'
These are made for walkin’

 

Somewhere over the rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole   (YouTube) Beautiful version of this song!

I Am A Witch (neverquitebroken.wordpress.com)

Detroit Neighborly Love (abeautifuldetroit.wordpress.com)

Neighbors help save family in house fire in north San Antonio (kens5.com)

Man in custody after attacking neighbor with chainsaw on South Side (wgntv.com)

Hiatus

hiatus french riv

There have been some rumors going around about my strange and sudden disappearance from the blogoverse at large. Wild theories and stories have been bandied about  the reason(s) for my abrupt departure.  I need to quell the rumors and set the record straight. No, I have NOT been sunning myself on the beaches of the French Riviera with George Clooney. I know this has been written up as fact by some disreputable newspapers but this is not true.

Nor are the rumors true about me visiting The International Space Station, despite their desperate pleas, I don’t plan on making a visit anytime soon.

International space station

I have been vacationing however…an inevitable sort of vacation that seeps in when someone, such as myself, saturates themselves too thoroughly into something, even if this something is something they love….which for me is writing and thinking, neither of which I’ve been doing too much of lately.

It’s a mood and a  plan of inaction; partially encouraged by little free time but mostly by a need to take it all in for a while and not think too much about it.

It’s good to get away from oneself at times, at least for me….or at least from my mind, which is usually running like mad with this and that. It is a natural part of my personality which most of the time I enjoy but it can lead to burnout which leads to a case of the nothings; this has rendered me temporality dull and dimwitted.

…and I’m temporarily enjoying it.

hiatus Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes-032511

It could be the heat. My town of Portland has been sweltering in the summer sun, it is July after all.  I have been enjoying some time outdoors when I’ve been able. My time has been limited for gardening and my garden has grown wild with my abandon. Nature is damn amazing. It never lets up. The grass keeps growing and the weeds keep popping up but my half-neglected tomato plants are thriving; one has the fun and fitting name of “Old German”  and its the biggest tomato plant I’ve ever had.   I picked up the old German when it was just a wee German at the farmers market a while back. It is an Amish favorite and I am looking forward to partaking in some tomaty goodness later in the summer.   Everything in its own time….right!

Write?

and so…as the little voice in my head that tells what to write has been silent so have I…

I started this blog almost two years ago. During that time, this has jabbered on and on, a narrative that speaks to me in my own voice. It is smooth and articulate and it is a fast talker, nothing like me in real life.   It has clamored on and on, never running out of things to say and then well, it became sort of preachy, edging on the bitchy and then just kinda petered out  to dead silence.

writersmagic_mushrooms_by_tomlenz

…as strange as it sounds that is what’s going on, but hey, I’m getting a lot of reading done; tackling such

fascinating subjects as

the brain, innovation and anthropology but also books with names like Quantum Physics for Poets and Mycelium Running and so

my head hasn’t been

completely empty….I guess I’ve been taking some time to take it all in for a while….

.

..but the writing urge is creeping in again……I’m BAAACK….

MonkeySeeHearSpeakNoEvil

I have been doing some tinkering with this site; a new theme and organization. Please feel free to take a look, I would love your feedback. I thought it’s time for a change…change is good.

I have missed visiting you and reading your posts, I get a lot out of it!  I am looking forward to catching up which I will be doing for the next while.

I try in each of my posts to have some sort of point; a reason for all the fuss….but perhaps no reason is enough of a reason and a pretty good one at that.

😀

Strawberryindigo.

Strawberry

“You ask me why I spend my life writing?

Do I find entertainment? Is it worthwhile?

Above all does it pay?

If not, then, is there a reason?

I write only because there is a voice within me

That will not be still.”

~Sylvia Plath

.

Related YouTube

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes intro song

The link between Quantum Physics and Game Theory (www.sciencedaily.com)

International Space Station (nasa.gov)

English: The International Space Station is fe...
The International Space Station is featured in this image photographed by an STS-134 crew member on the space shuttle(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fresh Quotes: MAY~The words I live by

fantastic blue sky.with quote this one
Credit: Einstein, Mother Nature and SBI

I found this quote a couple of years back. I was at a crossroads in my life, I was lost and searching for answers. I felt time was ticking away and eating at my soul. I felt empty and answerless. I was searching….searching for something…I did not know what. Answers perhaps…meaning, at least a direction. I was spiritually and physically low but ready for something…I didn’t know what at the time…and then I ran across this quote. It was contained in a quote book I picked up at the library, before that I wasn’t one for quotes. They seemed old and stuffy. I could not see how they could be the least bit interesting;  old rehashed bits taken out of context…but for some reason I checked the book out, brought it home and opened it up. I thumbed through a few pages before I came to this one above….I admit I took extra care in looking at it because it had Einstein’s name attached to it but it was the clutter part that piqued my interest. I read the quote in it’s entirety….again and again. It was as if I had discovered something…it hit me like a ton of bricks and it seemed to be speaking just to me; telling me what I needed to hear at the very time I needed to hear it….every word of the quote was essential. It was a blueprint; a map to where I needed to go…it seemed so complex yet so simple and I proceeded to follow it to the letter and I still do. That quote changed my life, literally and for the better. Before I could never comprehend how the wonderful could be hidden smack dab in plain sight right in the middle of the awful, but there it was….there it is…as strange as it sounds before that I felt unjustly persecuted by the events in my life…it all seemed so unfair and all I could do at the time was selfishly think of myself…I will admit this. It is something I am ashamed of now, but it is the truth. Of course I thought of my kids and the people I loved but that was it, as far as I was concerned the rest of humainty….all those people I didn’t know…all those strangers, what did I owe them anyway…these strangers I had never met….they never did any thing for me…and I wasn’t doing so hot myself. I had just found out  I was Aspergers and I had nowhere to turn. I was alone but I couldn’t see why…this is when that quote came out of the blue like that and struck me.

Since that time I have changed dramatically. I started this blog and started reaching out into this wonderful wide world of ours and I have found so much wonder, awe and compassion in myself that grows daily. Just the other day I took these wise words written by such a wise man, printed them into a photo of the sky I had just taken and merged them together. This photo now hangs on the wall at work, right next to my computer. I look at it many times during the day and I take each word to heart.

I am now a quote person. I have many favorites and have learned so much from them. I don’t know why I never caught on to this before but I suppose the time came when it needed to . I have amassed quite a collection. For this month’s edition of Fresh Quotes I will be including my all time favorites; the very words I live by…I hope you find some  you like too…

By the way, HAPPY May, yes, it is May already.  😀

~SBI

Nancy before interview 2
Me before the “big job interview.” I was scared witless but I went anyway and got the job! Now it’s just a place I go to and complain about…haha.

“DO ONE THING EVERYDAY THAT SCARES YOU.”

~Eleanor Roosevelt

November 9, 1989, jubilant crowds celebrated the opening of border crossings along the Berlin Wall.
November 9, 1989, jubilant crowds celebrated the opening of border crossings along the Berlin Wall.

“Many small people, who in many small places do many small things, can alter the face of the world”

(By anonymous, found on a piece of graffiti on the Berlin Wall.)

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

“Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all.”

~Emily Dickinson

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

“Life is short, Break the Rules.

Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.

Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably

And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.”

~Mark Twain

Credit: Hulton-Deutsch
Credit: Hulton-Deutsch

“FORGET SAFETY.
LIVE WHERE YOU FEAR TO LIVE.
DESTROY YOUR REPUTATION.
BE NOTORIOUS.”
~Rumi

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

Credit: Pixelcharlie
Credit: Pixelcharlie

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

 ~Neil Gaiman

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP.”
~Winston Churchill

.

Fresh Quotes: April TAX

uncle-sam-taxes

I have been torn about the theme of this month’s fresh quotes. At first I planned to do it on  fools, as in April Fool, but at the last-minute I changed my mind and decided on taxes. As I write this, I find the two to be somehow pathetically linked.

A fool and his money are soon parted and I know some of us feel like fools after immersing ourselves in these inane and overcomplicated tax forms and to add injury to insult, we then shell out our hard-earned money for the privilege while some corporate fat cats pay nothing. It’s enough to pull one’s hair out! UGH!

I can only speak for Americans here but that dreaded day will be soon upon us and I better get on with it!  I have a shoebox full of receipts and big bottle of aspirin, or would a bottle of Tequilla do it?  Wish me luck….and while I am wading through this insane minutiae, take a gander at some quotes I have collected; perfect for the occasion…

~SBI

fool the fool tarot card

“Isn’t it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool’s Day…”

~Rob Knauerhase

hilarious%20funny%20cute%20pictures%20of_your-cute-kitty
Credit: Public Domain

“Be wary of strong drink, it can make you shoot at the tax collector…and miss.”

Robert A. Heinlein

tax war $$$
Credit: Public Domain

“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

Thomas Jefferson

The Poor Tax
Credit: Public Domain

“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.”
~Gore Vidal

Credit: Wikicommons
Credit: Wikicom
“WE DO NOT PAY TAXES. ONLY THE LITTLE PEOPLE PAY TAXES.”

Leona Helmsley

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
Albert Einstein

Hippies
Credit: Public Domain

“Tomorrow you’re all going to wake up in a brave new world, a world where the Constitution gets trampled by an army of terrorist clones, created in a stem-cell research lab run by homosexual doctors who sterilize their instruments over burning American flags. Where tax-and-spend Democrats take all your hard-earned money and use it to buy electric cars for National Public Radio, and teach evolution to illegal immigrants. Oh, and everybody’s high!”
Stephen Colbert, I am America

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

A Wee Bit of Irish

In tribute to this feative holiday, an Irish lass such as I, am compelled to share a wee bit of the Irish with you…

ENJOY 😀

The Flag of Ireland

“IRELAND IS THE LAND OF POETS AND LEGENDS, OF DREAMERS AND REBELS”

~Nora Roberts

THE IRISH

Be they kings, or poet, or farmers, they’re a people of great worth. They keep company with the angels. And bring a bit of heaven here to Earth.

Ireland-Rainbow

The Mouse

Some Guinness was spilled on the barroom floor when the pub was shut for the night.  Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse and stood in the pale moonlight.   He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor, then back on his haunches he sat. And all night long you could hear him roar, “Bring on the goddam cat!”

Credit: Cutestpaw.com
Credit: Cutestpaw.com

“THERE ARE ONLY TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, THE IRISH AND THOSE WHO WISH THEY WERE.”

~Saying~

ireland green

Irish blessing

bright-green-grunge-heart-bg-1

“To be Irish is to know that in the end the world will break your heart.”
―    Daniel Patrick Moynihan

St-patricks-day-ireland

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day to you one and all!

Strawberryindigo.

English: An example of the newly-designed Guin...

8 Fun Facts About the Irish Language (mentalfloss.com)

Who’s St. Patrick? (smalltownworld.wordpress.com)

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! (willeke73.wordpress.com)

Top 10 St. Patrick’s Day destinations (dawn.com)

Traditional language of Ireland experiences revival (triblive.com)

That Sweet Colleen from Ireland (pjb1943.wordpress.com)

Irish Cream Cupcakes Baileys Buttercream Frosting (cupcakepedia.wordpress.com)

Ireland (infoplease.com)

Irish Culture (islandireland.com)

A Colorful Person: Andy Rooney

andy-rooney 2

Old Whatshisname: that cranky guy.

I am starting a new monthly feature similar to Fresh Quotes. I will be publishing this right in the middle of each month and I thought The Ides of March would be the perfect time to introduce it.  I am calling it A Colorful Person for now. If I come up with a better name, which I hope I will, I will change it. Ideas anyone?  Every month I will feature a different person. Someone who has made the world a bit more colorful. Someone who I personally admire. Some of these people will be quite obvious, others not so much. Every one of them will be people who have shaped my thinking and helped make me the me I am today. (So you’ll know who to blame. haha)

This month’s Colorful Person is Andy Rooney; the cranky old guy who was a fixture on the TV show 60 Minutes for what seemed like 60 years. He passed away at the end of 2011 at the ripe old age of 92 and I miss him terribly especially on Sunday evenings.

Andy Rooney, writer

He was at heart a writer who said what he meant and he meant what he said. I started watching his stories on 60 minutes as a child and I continued watching until his last in October of 2011. He was an influence on me as a writer and as a person. He was the cranky Grandfather I never had.  He had tons of common sense and I’d like to share some of his plain talk wisdom with you today.

~SBI

…..and so, Here’s Andy…

Say What?
Say What?

“If dogs could talk it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one.”

Credit: Scubamom
Credit: Scubamom

“I’ve  learned ….  That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.”

 Science-of global warming
Credit: Public Domain

“People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.” 

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

I’ve learned that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.” 

Sharing the love

“Did you ever hear one of those corny, positive messages on someone’s answering machine? ‘Hi, it’s a great day and I’m out enjoying it right now. I hope you are too. The thought for the day is share the love. Beep.’ ‘Uh, yeah, this is the VD clinic… speaking of being positive, your test is back. Stop sharing the love.”
 ♦

Hugh Hefner- Old fool
Credit: Public Domain

“Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”, here’s an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!”

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

“The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.”

Andy Rooney at desk

“Writers don’t often say anything that readers don’t already know, unless its a news story. A writer’s greatest pleasure is revealing to people things they knew but did not know they knew. Or did not realize everyone else knew, too. This produces a warm sense of fellow feeling and is the best a writer can do.”

*All of the above quotes are credited to Andy Rooney

Through the Rainbow, public domain

Andy Rooney was born on January 14, 1919, in Albany, New York. During WWII, he wrote for the Army’s Stars and Stripes newspaper and was one of the first American journalists to visit and write about the German concentration camps. Rooney joined the staff of CBS’ 60 Minutes in 1968 and began his iconic “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney” segment in 1978. Rooney’s final 60 Minutes essay aired in October, 2011. He died a month later at age 92.

Credit: Biography.com

Andy Rooney: My Lucky Life ( His last one) (youtube.com)

*** In the Andy Rooney spirit, I just hate deceptive packaging. (dakotatoday.typepad.com)

Andy Rooney Dead at 92 60 Minutes Commentator Dies (binsidetv.net)

Comedy is Hard

“Everything is funny, if you can laugh at it.”
~ Lewis Carroll

Fake smile guy
Never trust people who smile constantly. They’re either selling something or not very bright.”
~Laurell K. Hamilton,

I never thought that I could be funny. Sure, on rare occasions I have elicited a chuckle or two from a group of people but never when I meant to be funny.  It was always at my expense because I did or said something that was well, odd. I could never tell jokes. My timing is about as off as one can get. Life’s little ironies that made me giggle quietly to myself never were very funny to others who couldn’t seem to get my strange humor. I excepted this. I mean how many people are really truly funny, even most comedians, who attempt to be humorous for a living aren’t very funny.

Jerry_Lewis_clown_
“I’ve had great success being a total idiot. ”~ Jerry Lewis

It is a rare thing when someone or something can be funny. Imagine my surprise when MM upon reading a bit of this or a bit of that started to laugh at something I wrote. Of course I thought he was laughing at my funny strangeness and not at my funny hahaness, but he was. I couldn’t believe my ears.

At first I thought it was some sort of cosmic joke on me or some mistake perhaps an odd fluke that I could never repeat, but then it happened again and again. Others would comment that a post here and there was funny.

Sometimes I can take myself way too seriously and at other times I think I don’t take myself seriously enough.

comedy is hard

And then that awful depression hit and I found I couldn’t be funny anymore. I tried and tried and all I could do is sound well, sad and pathetic. Sorry about that. I wasn’t as though I wanted to be that way.  I tried to snap out of it.  I watched funny movies, I scoured the internet for jokes. I tried to be funny and it would work.  It was like OK, now be funny..ok now…do it now!  UGH!  Is this mic on?

Dammit, Comedy is hard.

I started to think about what people, especially what we who are Americans think is comical. Making fun of others seems to be high on the list, most notably celebrities and politicians which seem to say the wackiest of things. I can think of several incidences. One recent one that came to mind is Pat Robertson, the TV Evangelist who recently admitted that he believes demons live in used sweaters which is kinda funny on the surface but also sort of sad.

The leader of North Korea is the butt of many recent jokes including the whole Unicorn thing. Personally, I wouldn’t want this guy angry with me, no matter how ridiculous he appears.

Kim Jong Un upon his steed.  What a man!
Kim Jong Un upon his steed. What a man!

I googled “funny images” and most of what I saw was disturbing to say the least and many images were of cats. I shudder to think how many doctored cat photos they are online. It just seems…well, wrong.

Would you like to come home from work and find this?!
Would you like to come home from work and find this?!

Really any animal doing anything vaguely human seems to tickle many funny bones, especially when they wear clothes and say smart things. Perhaps it is the element of surprise that comes into play here. For me it is the Homo sapiens saying smart things that surprise me.

I confess that I just don’t get many of the ‘comedians” that are out right now. Personally I like the old stuff like the Marx Brothers, especially the funny one, you know the one…

Karl Marx, communist and comedian.
Karl Marx, communist and comedian.

I am automatically suspect of anything that has a laugh track or of any movie that claims itself to be a comedy. Those usually hit a wall in what I call the dip and turn morose and sad.  In my opinion anyone who is trying to be funny isn’t.

What I find laughable is people who are trying too hard not to be, the one’s who take themselves and what they say, way too seriously. Now these people are hilarious!

Pat Robertson's brain
“Can demonic spirits attach themselves to inanimate objects? The answer is yes.”…..”It doesn’t hurt to rebuke any evil spirits that attach themselves to clothes.”
~Pat Robertson

I will try not to be so hard on myself;  when I am funny and I am and when I am not, I guess I won’t be….but I promise you one thing; no more depression, no more sadness no more of any of that crap.  The world is too full of THAT.

So…I choose to go to make you laugh in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

John F. Kennedy says that comedy is harder than going to the moon and Boy, this ice cream GOOD!
John F. Kennedy says that comedy is harder than going to the moon and Boy, this ice cream GOOD!

😀

Thanks for listening,

Strawberryindigo.

I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”
~Ron White

smile

Fresh Quotes: FEBRUARY SMILES

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

A smile is universal. It conveys happiness, warmth  and acceptance. A smile says I like you!   It is something we all can do and it’s easy to share. It is the gift that keeps giving and it’s free! Share it with a friend or neighbor, a spouse, co-worker or even a stranger. Smiling can improve your mood and it makes everyone look great.

Read the following quotes and just try not to crack even the tiniest of smiles….

I dare you!

Credit: Public Domain

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” ~Mother Teresa~

Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“I WANT TO TOUCH THE WORLD AND MAKE IT SMILE.”
~Charles de Lint~

Marilyn Monroe's smile in public domain
Credit: Public Domain

“Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”

~Marilyn Monroe~

smile 2 women in public domain friends
Credit: Public Domain

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh~

Smiling Cat in public domain
Credit: Public Domain

“If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.”

~Andy Rooney~

Happiness Under His Feet in public domain
Credit: Public Domain

“I was smiling yesterday, I am smiling today and I will smile tomorrow. Simply because life is too short to cry for anything.”
~Santosh Kalwar~

classic kiss credit pingnews under creative commons
Credit: Pingnews

“Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING
That makes you smile.”

~Mark Twain

Nancy Smiling
“When Irish Eyes are Smiling”

“Smiling is infectious, You can catch it like the flu. Someone smiled at me today, And I started smiling too.”

~Anonymous

😀

HAPPY February!

So put on your best smile and start a chain reaction of happiness and good cheer!

Strawberryindigo.

RELATED ARTICLE

Something I wrote last summer

The Smile Factor (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com) 

Fresh Quotes: Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore
credit: public domain

“Let my thoughts come to you, when I am gone, like the afterglow of sunset at the margin of starry silence.”

~Rabindranath Tagore~

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The first time I read the words of this great poet I knew I had found a kindred spirit. Never before or since have I identified so much with another person’s words. The fact that this man was born and passed many years before me and came from a completely different and unknown culture from me mattered not.

His words show a deep and profound connection to nature and spirituality: a connection that I have always instinctively felt for as long as I can remember. My upbringing as a lapsed Catholic couldn’t be further from this, but it is this very sentiment I have felt most deeply.

Tagore seemed to have an understanding of the world and a profound love for the smallest of the small lives mixed with a delightful childlike whimsy that has intrigued me. In my ignorance I thought I was the only one who felt that way and now that I know he lived I don’t feel so alone in my feelings.

As a typical American in that regard, I have not been exposed to or do I know much of other cultures, especially non-Christian ones.  I consider this a deficit and I have recently been dipping my toe into the deep waters of the beautiful art and literature of wonderful India. I have been drawn to what I consider a wildly exotic and ancient culture that impresses me greatly.

Rabindranath Tagore in my opinion is the perfect first teacher. I have discovered his works not very long ago and I can’t seem to get enough. What follows are some of my favorite quotes by this amazing poet and fascinating individual.

watercolor sky by SBI
credit: SBI

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

cluster of stars
credit: public domain

“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”

Birds-Flying-above-the-Sea-at-Sunrise_by public photo.com
credit: publicphoto.com

Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”

night-view by SBI
credit: SBI

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you.  Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

purple coneflower by SBI
credit: SBI

“By plucking her petals you do not gather the beauty of the flower.”

dew drop by Public Domain
credit: public domain

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time like dew on the tip of a leaf.”
 

stream-water-at-grotto-with-rocks by SBI
credit: SBI

“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.”

moon by Public Domain
credit: public domain

Perhaps the crescent moon smiles in doubt
at being told that it is a fragment
awaiting perfection.”

mountain climber by designyourtrust in public domain
credit: public domain

“Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.”

tagore3
credit: public domain
♦ ALL QUOTES BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE ♦

Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 “because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.”

H A P P Y    J A N U A R Y    2 0 1 3

Strawberryindigo.

Rabindranath Tagore and Gandhi in 1940.
Rabindranath Tagore and Gandhi in 1940. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rabindranath Tagore Bio (Wikipedia)

Nobel Prize Laurates: Rabindranath Tagore  (www.nobelprize.org)

Incomplete By Rabindranath Tagore___ translation by Ranu (sabethville.wordpress.com)

A Taste of Tagore ~ By Rabindranath Tagore, compiled by Meron Shapland Foreword by Deepak Chopra (evolutionarymystic.wordpress.com)

Albert Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore (sureshemre.wordpress.com)

Fresh Quotes: BEAUTY

B E A U T Y

I could wax poetic about beauty and truth and truth and beauty. I could tell you how it comes from within. I could also try to dazzle and amaze you with reworked platitudes about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I could attempt to be clever with an impressive display of wordplay and innuendo. I could take a stab at being philosophical about beauty. I might even write a poem or sing a song about the subject. I could do all this…but alas, that has all been done before…

…so, instead I’ll let the quotes speak for themselves and just say; sometimes beauty is just to be enjoyed and nothing more.

Strawberryindigo.

beautiful heart_latte_art by wikipedia

“Things are beautiful if you love them.”

*Jean Anouilh*

beautiful Heisenberg_uncertainty_principle

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

*Confucius*

beautiful mothers love by public domain

Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”
Markus Zusak

“Beauty awakens the soul to act.”
*Dante Alighieri*

“In each person I catch the fleeting suggestion of something beautiful and swear eternal friendship with that.”.

*George Santayana*

“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,  but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”.

*Elisabeth Kubler-Ross*

Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.”

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*Saint Augustine*

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

.

*Jawaharlal Nehru*

beautiful starry-night-by Van Gough at Wiki commons

Related Beautiful Articles

“BEAUTIFUL” by Christina Aguilera (You Tube)  An excellent song!  YOU are Beautiful!

“You Are Already a Masterpiece” (catalystquotes.com)

Eye of the beholder. (glimpsesbymelanie.wordpress.com)

Her Beauty Will Forever Be (thunderafter5beautytime.wordpress.com)

Fresh Quotes: November UNITY

It seems our world is more divided than ever. Is it that our basic human instinct is to exclude rather than include? Are we condemned to repeat mistakes of the past because we have this innate tribal mentality? This Us against Them streak  dominates our thinking.

Are we destined to only see the world in black or white?…blue or red?…this or that? left or right? Yes or no?

Or will we acknowledge the need to open our eyes to the whole spectrum of reality to all the colors?…not just the ones we can appreciate and see, but the one’s we do not see and especially the one’s we do not understand.

There are seven billion people on this planet: seven billion hearts and minds…and souls. And seven billion sides to a story, and in essence seven billion realities.

We are all unique individuals–each and every one of us, but we share a common thread that runs through us. We are all connected. I feel it. You probably feel it too.

We share this amazing fantastically beautiful life-giving planet with our fellow humans and all the lifeforms on Earth. This is our common cause.

We share so much and much of what we share is this need for unity.  Now more than ever…

Strawberryindigo.

I believe in the essential unity of man and, for that matter, in all that lives.”

Mohandas K. Gandhi

“The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.”

W.  Somerset Maugham

“Unity  is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be  achieved.”
Mattie  Stepanek

“The whole ocean is made of single drops.”

*Thomas Fuller*

“Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin; and no town, no household divided against itself can stand.”

*Jesus*

WE CAN FIND COMMON GROUND ONLY BY MOVING TO HIGHER GROUND.”

Jim Wallis

“A choir is made up of many voices, including yours and mine. If one by one all go silent then all that will be left are the soloists.

Don’t let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and diminishes the song.” 
Vera Nazarian

It is not in our numbers but in unity that our great strength lies.”

Thomas Paine

“THERE IS NO THEY, ONLY US.”

(Anonymous)

Fresh Quotes for September: PEOPLE

“O brave new world that has such people in it.”

**William Shakespeare**

“I think smart is sexy. I like smart people. People that are comfortable with themselves I think is very sexy. My cat is really sexy.”
Gina Gershon

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.”
―    Alfred Adler

Click pic to hear Mr. Rogers Garden of the Mind

“If people make fun of you, that probably means you’re doing something right.”
―    Evanescence

“I am the people-the mob-the crowd-the mass/Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?”

*Carl Sandburg*

“The less you mess with people, the better off people are.”

*Clint Eastwood*

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

*Anne Frank*

“We hold the view that the people make the best judgement in the long run.”

*John F. Kennedy*

Click on pic to hear the song

“How does it feel to be
One of the beautiful people?”

*Lennon-McCartney*

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
―    Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Click on the Earth for “Imagine” video

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”

HAPPY SEPTEMBER!

Strawberryindigo.

Fresh Quotes: August: ANIMAL

“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.”

George Eliot

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”

St. Francis of Assisi

“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.”

Kinky Friedman

TIME SPENT WITH CATS IS NEVER WASTED.

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight –

it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

“There is something really mysterious about lions. They could rip you apart if they wanted to, but at the same time they look so cuddly. Can you imagine what humans look like to animals? They must think we’re so weird.”
Lee Ryan

“The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.”

“The privilege of absurdity, to which no living creature is subject to but man only.”

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

George Orwell

I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.

   Hippolyte Taine

HAPPY AUGUST!

Strawberryindigo.

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