Thursday, September 18, 2008

Are we all crazy or what?

Today the Today Show offered more advice on how to get through these tough economic times. In between sound bites about the importance of cutting back, we were hit with ads for all sorts of “must haves.” Everything from a plaid wrap for the dog, a sweater longer than some dresses I've seen—I guess you could economize by making it double as a dress--To “Igor” a new animated film for kids that looks more like a must miss.

Are we all crazy? It seems almost schizophrenic. “Schizophrenia”—a mental disorder characterized by separation between thought processes and emotions; distortion of reality; fragmentation of the personality; hallucinations; delusions and bizarre behavior.

Yesterday, while my car got its oil changed, I read an article on ways we can, not only save money, but even earn a little extra too. It did have some good ideas; one however, made me wonder. It said to start a blog, about anything, put ads on it and watch the money come in. It seems ludicrous to think that we are supposed to start a blog for the sole purpose of helping ourselves through these tough times by encouraging other people to spend money on things they don't need, no doubt making it more difficult for them to get through these tough times. Is that crazy or what? It's like a drug rehab program raising funds by selling illegal drugs.

Of course there’s nothing illegal or immoral about ads on blogs; I’ve occasionally wondered if I should have them on my blog. But do people actually fall for them? They’re like urban blight. I try not to even look at them when I’m on-line. So if none of us fall for them because we are cutting back? How long will companies go on paying people to put them on blogs?

After finishing the article, I turned the page and saw a full page ad for… I kid you not… the ugliest baby monkey figurine I have ever seen (thankfully it’s the only one I’ve ever seen.) Hand-painted. Complete with diaper. “Only $19.99 plus $6.99 shipping and handling” I don't remember if it said they are a limited edition, but I sure hope they are-- very limited. Who would buy such a thing? Talk about blight. It didn't look anything like the cute baby monkeys at the zoo that I wished I could take home with me when I was a kid. I wouldn't put one of these things in my house if you paid me. Well maybe if you paid me… a lot. But only if I could hide it in a drawer.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

9 Reasons to Laugh

Did you know that collar stays can be funny?

I didn’t either until I heard Dave Lieber teach at a writer’s conference this weekend. In his class on using humor to get our point across, he said it's possible to find humor in just about anything. Even collar stays.

Dave got us laughing as he told how he met a guy from Boston who was here in Texas on a business trip. He could hardly believe how panicked the guy was because he had lost a collar stay and couldn’t get another one at the hotel gift shop.

Dave, in an amazing act of self sacrifice gave the guy one of his own, but only after extorting a promise that when the guy got back to Boston he would tell everyone how nice Texans are. (Dave thought this part of the story was especially laudable and ironic, considering what he, a Yankee from New York, had endured when he first moved here.)

The story tickled me because my husband regularly loses his collar stays, but he doesn't notice. I collect them thinking he might want them some time, so far he never has. But then he’s Australian, and a computer programmer. Australians are a different breed. They probably wouldn't know a collar stay if it poked them in the eye. And computer programmers must have invented “casual day.” In fact, every day is “casual day” to them.

Speaking of humor... Proverbs 17:22 says that, "A cheerful heart is good medicine." If that isn't enough proof that a good laugh is good for you...

Theresa J. Borchard says in “9 Ways Humor Can Heal,” that humor can:
1. combat fear
2. comfort
3. relax
4. reduce pain
5. boost immunity
6. reduce stress
7. spread happiness
8. cultivate optimism
9. help communication

News flash: Did you know you can even get engraved collar stays?! Incredible! Who would have thought.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tutu on the Bible

Here's a great quote for Bible translation from Bishop Tutu:

"If you want to keep people subjugated, the last thing you place in their hands is a Bible.
"There’s nothing more radical, nothing more revolutionary, nothing more subversive against injustice and oppression than the Bible."

Follow this link for the entire article: