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Archive for the ‘Hilarity’ Category

Actress/Comedian Andrea Martin once said: “For pragmatic reasons, I love the routine. I love the structure of it. I love knowing that my days are free. I know where I’m going at night. I know my life is kind of orderly. I just like that better.” Mitchell was clearly a creature of habit – a proponent of routine – and I will admit, I am much the same way. I like to know what I’m getting myself into, when I’m getting into it, and how I’m getting into it. Let’s be honest – if I didn’t have a routine, I probably wouldn’t get a lot done. If I can plan it, then I can do it.

Every weekday morning, I wake up between 7:00 – 7:30 A.M and flip on Today on NBC as I get ready for work, make my bed, and pack my lunch. I drive the same route to work, listen to the same radio show, and park in the same spot every morning. Between 9:00 – 9:15 A.M, I pop open a diet coke, tear into a Luna Bar, or heat up a packet of oatmeal for 1 minute and 10 seconds, and check the same websites while I gobble down my breakfast. I check my blog, Facebook page, email, and calendar as I plan for the day’s events. Yup – this is my standard weekday routine…and I like it. In my world, a combination of 75 percent routine and 25 percent unexpectedness creates a fulfilling recipe to a satisfying life. (Make sure you NEVER forget the importance of the unexpected – it gives life its sweet, and oh-so-divine flavor… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

No matter how much we like our routines, or how much we can’t escape them for that matter, sometimes we all just need to shake things up a bit and get out of the “routine rut.” We all need those days where we put the “ab” back in front of “normal.” Well, hundreds of New Yorkers decided to do just that – they went about their daily lives and methodical routines – but yesterday, they did it with a twist – they went pantsless. Yup, they read the paper, played on their iPhones, chatted with other passengers, and typed away on their laptops – just as they would always do – but this time, they went about their business while donning their Calvins and Fruit-of-the-looms for all the world to see. I mean, it is always “Shirt and Shoes Required” – no one ever says anything about “pants” being needed, right???

2010 marks the ninth year that participants have stripped down to their skivvies for a New York City subway ride. “No Pants Subway Ride” is organized by Improv Everywhere, a group whose mission is to cause “scenes of chaos and joy in public places.” With this mission in mind, hundreds of New Yorkers shook up their routines, and the routines of those around them, by participating in the annual event yesterday afternoon. Whether they were entertainers or observers, I guarantee all those involved enjoyed a Sunday a little less mundane than those from previous weeks.

Sometimes, tweaking your routine, even slightly, can cause you some much-needed inspiration and/or relief. Whether you drive a different way to work, order a new entree at your favorite lunch spot, or part your hair on the opposite side, look to occasionally “going wild” and switching up your routine. Take a cue from the underwear-clad New Yorkers and embrace a few minutes of unplanned chaos. And heck –ย  if you decide to make like a New Yorker and strip down on MARTA or wherever you are – wear your “Thursday” day-of-the-week underwear on Sunday – NOW we’re talking crazy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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***I want to begin this post by apologizing for my week plus hiatus from blogging. I had been relishing my week-long vacation in Virginia, amidst nearly 18 inches of snow, and I let my blogging duties fly out the window! I am generally behind a computer more than 40 hours/week, so I delighted in lots of time with friends, family, pets, and the remote control and did not check my email, Facebook, blog, etc. once – it was a most joyous retreat from my daily life, and I enjoyed every minute of it (except the part where my family’s Christmas trip to NYC got canceled because of the snow and my mom came down with a horrible case of pneumonia, ๐Ÿ˜ฆ but it all worked out in the end ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

Nonetheless, I am back in Atlanta, back at work, and back to my routine (um okay, not the “workout” part of the routine quite yet, but the rest of it…). I work in interactive advertising, and agencies are usually pretty dead the week after Christmas. In fact, many of my friends who are also in the “biz” have this week off from work, because client’s end-of-year ad budgets have been depleted and accounts are at a standstill before the rigmarole starts back up in the new year. I took my time off of work prior to Christmas, so I am back in the daily grind, sipping my diet coke and soaking in the sounds of silence as the office has taken on a bit of a “ghost town” vibe with the majority of my coworkers on vacation.

In between HTML tutorials and email check-ins, I have been perusing Time.com’s The Top 10 Everything of 2009 lists, reminiscing about all the events the past year has jumbled into its 365 days. TIME has compiled 50 “top 10” lists in 4 main categories – News, Politics, and Science; Arts and Entertainment; Business, Tech, and Sports; and Pop Culture. I’m especially fond of the Top 10 T-shirt-Worthy Slogans (Who can forget “Imma let you finish…”???), the Top 10 Buzzwords (“sexting,” “public option,” “beer summit” anyone???), and the Top 10 Political Gaffes (Does President Obama’s chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, falling asleep during a high-profile meeting at the White House ring a bell???) lists. Anyways, if you a few free minutes in your day, take some “time” to check out TIME‘s (pun somehow slipped in the post.. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) perspective on the past year as we bid farewell to 2009, and the first decade of the new millennium, this Thursday evening.

I guess Larry Summers, Obama's chief economic adviser, didn't get enough sleep the night before his meeting at the White House...

No one can forget Kanye West's "little" outburst at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards...

I've been involved in quite a few "Beer Summits" of my own but mine and my friend's toasts have never made the national news...

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friday-the-13thSo, as I thoughtfully write this post, I fully expect for some dude with a mask and a chainsaw to come up behind me with a cheesy grin whispering some sinister words like “say your prayers cause you’re about to die.” Okay, not really, but my peripheral vision is in overdrive and I have looked behind my shoulder once or twice now and I’m only on sentence two. Hmmm…maybe these kinds of thoughts are why I don’t watch scary movies and am still haunted by an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark I saw as kid (Okay, it’s pitiful enough that I was afraid of Are You Afraid of the Dark but it’s even worse that I’m now admitting that the actress in the episode was Melissa Joan Hart – I mean, who could be afraid of Sabrina the Teenage Witch or Hart for that matter – now just a poor, innocent castoff of Dancing with the Stars???). Nonetheless, scary movies (or scary T.V shows, or scary books, or scary <fill in the blank>) and me just don’t mix.

Since I have already made myself look like a loser, I might as well continue revealing my vulnerabilities and fill you in another one of my fears – I am phasmophobic – I am afraid of ghosts. I have been afraid of ghosts for as long as I can remember and, as a child, I would often urge my mom to stand at the top of the stairs to make sure I didn’t get snatched up by a ghost as I ventured into the deep abyss – the basement. Okay, I’m obviously not THAT freaked out now that I’m older (and hopefully a little more courageous), but you can bet your bottom dollar I would still not step foot in a place if I knew it was supposedly haunted.

So in honor of Friday the 13th (imagine you just heard a creepy “mwahaha” echo in the background), I am honoring all of the crazy phobias in the world and urging everyone to come out of the woodwork and not only acknowledge, but also delight in, your fears and phobias. Do you have a common fear like aviophobia (fear of flying) or are you one of those strange people that has appeared on on the Maury Povich Show to be tortured by bundles of yarn in an effort to overcome your linonophobia (fear of string)? Whatever your phobia may be, I say that today, you embrace it! But first, check out this comprehensive list of phobias so you are well-informed of the actual phobia name when you tell your first (and last) date that you are a philematophobic (have a fear of smooching)…yeah, that may be a good one to go ahead and try go get over…

*Disclaimer: If you are phobophobic, I apologize for this post…

Fear of People with Phobias

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Yes, I know, it is one of life’s most perplexing questions. I am sure Plato spent many a days wondering why we, humans, are unable to tickle ourselves or, if in fact, the act of tickling is really tickling. Actually, we, as we know ourselves to be, may not even exist, thus canceling out the tickle issue altogether. Okay, now I’ve gotten us into a whole other topic, and because I barely made a “B” in my Intro to Philosophy college course, I think it’s best for all parties involved that I stick with the original intent for the post.

Back to it. So, we may never know why the chicken really did cross the road (Was it so he could nest in my Chick-Fil-A biscuit???), why the boy wasted his (and our time) crying wolf (he could have been playing a video game or something and stepped it up as his role of “little boy”), or the exact recipe for the secret sauce that makes those McDonalds Big Macs so tasty (not sure I really want to know). Let’s face it – some of life’s most important questions just can’t be answered. Luckily, some brainy scientists who were bored with their day jobs of sporting thick glasses and amalgamating various elements decided to let us in on why we can’t actually tickle ourselves. Grab your Tickle-Me-Elmo and start learning courtesy ofย  Howstuffworks.com:

Tickle-Me-Elmo

Why Can’t You Tickle Yourself?

“Most of us have a ticklish spot somewhere on our bodies, and it is usually pretty easy to find. For some it’s just above the knee, for others it’s the back of the neck, and some of us go into fits of laughter if someone grabs our sides. Laughing when another person tickles you is a natural reaction. Scientists have discovered that the feeling experienced when we are tickled causes us to panic and is a natural defense to little creepy crawlers like spiders and bugs. Slight tickles from insects can send a chill through your body letting you know something is crawling on you.

That same ticklish feeling sends us into a state of panic and elicits a response of uncontrollable laughter if a person tickles us. It’s the moment that you least expect to be tickled and are that causes you to feel extremely uneasy and panicked, which leads to the most intense ticklish feeling. Even if you do know that you are about to be tickled, the fear and unease of someone touching and possibly hurting you causes you to laugh. Some people are so ticklish that they begin laughing even before they are touched.

So, if someone else’s touch can tickle us, why can’t we tickle ourselves? Much of the explanation for this question is still unknown, but research has shown that the brain is trained to know what to feel when a person moves or performs any function. We aren’t aware of a lot of the sensations generated by our movements. For example, you probably don’t pay much attention to your vocal cords when you speak. For the same reason, we can’t tickle ourselves. If we grab our sides in an attempt to tickle ourselves, our brain anticipates this contact from the hands and prepares itself for it. By taking away the feeling of unease and panic, the body no longer responds the same as it would if someone else were to tickle us.

Brain scientists at the University College London have pinpointed the cerebellum as the part of the brain that prevents us from self-tickling. The cerebellum is the region located at the base of the brain that monitors our movements. It can distinguish expected sensations from unexpected sensations. An expected sensation would be the amount of pressure your fingers apply to your keyboard while typing. An unexpected sensation would be someone sneaking up behind you and tapping you on the shoulder. While the brain discards the sensation of typing, it pays a lot of attention to someone tapping on your shoulder. The difference in reactions from expected to unexpected is a built-in response that probably developed in early human history to detect predators.

Although we are not able to tickle ourselves unassisted, there is a way to trick the brain by using a robot tickler. That’s right. With all of the know-how of science and technology, a robot has been designed to allow people to tickle themselves. The same British scientists mentioned above have designed a machine that enables you to tickle yourself by remote control. To use the machine, a person lies on their back with their eyes shut. The robot is located near the person with a piece of soft foam attached to a plastic rod that is controlled by a remote control joystick. When the person activates the rod, the robot will react after a short delay. Even with delays as short as a fifth of a second from the time the person activates the rod until the robot tickled the person’s hand, subjects have described the sensation as the same as another person tickling them. So, in a sense, you could tickle yourself with a robotic assistant.”

In conclusion – We can’t tickle ourselves (unassisted), but we can have a blast being a tickle monster to our young family members and friends. Seeing their eyes light up with anticipation as the tickle monster embarks on his journey and hearing their sweet little laughs when he hits his target (their bellies and feet) is enough to make me smile ๐Ÿ™‚

Funny Tickle Cartoon

Tickle Monster

Tickle Monster

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So it’s only two weeks until Halloween; it has crept up so quickly! As we all know, Halloween is characterized by trick-or-treating, witches, haunted houses, skeletons, costumes, candy corn, orange and black, and … PUMPKINS! I love pumpkins. “Pumpkin” is actually one of my favorite words. I like how it sounds on my tongue, the arrangement of the letters, and the images the term invokes in my mind. Pumpkins remind me of some of my favorite foods (pumpkin cake and pumpkin scones), and like Santa signifies Christmas, in my eyes, a pumpkin signifies my favorite season – fall. I remember carving pumpkins every Halloween as a kid, but I was never very good at it. I usually cut one triangle eye out then summoned my poor mother to finish the rest of it. I could never seem to get the teeth correct, and my pumpkin always looked like it was in need of dentures, or at the very least, a few veneers. These days, pumpkin carving is no joke, and people are finding more and more creative ways to display their excellent (and often eccentric) carving skills. Furthermore, pumpkins are no longer just for carving – some of the below images reveal their new use as a staple for home decor. In honor of the Great Pumpkin, check out the below images representing the pure genius of pumpkin usage:

Big Mac Pumpkin

You think it has more Beta Carotene than a McDonalds Big Mac???

Frat Boy Pumpkin

Those frat boy pumpkins can never hang with the big boy gourds...

Pumpkin United States

The United States of Pumpkin - is that Texas attempting to secede???

Sexy Pumpkin

Patty Pumpkin was a little too promiscuous for her neighbors in the rest of the patch...

Pumpkin Pi

A new spin on Pumpkin "Pi"

Pumpkin Crocodile

This crocodile may be larger than the ones found in swamps, but at least it's a little less scary!!!

The Next Day

You always hate yourself the day AFTER the big party...

Pumpkin PC

I wonder if she prints on orange, pumpkin-scented paper...

Pumpkin Clock

Remember! The carriage turns to a pumpkin at Midnight!!!

Haunted Manor

Doll Houses = Out | Pumpkin Houses = In

Pumpkin People

Pumpkin Teens - Always be misbehavin'!!!

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