Thursday, October 18, 2012

What the Heck is That Bleep Doing There?

I love to laugh.  This being a fact, I choose to follow several pages on Facebook that encourage my giggles on a regular basis.  I have noticed an alarming trend, however.  It seems that some people, whom I consider very funny, believe profanity is necessary and/or useful in comedy.  Why is this?

Growing up, I believed that the "f-word" was a horrible, terrible thing.  Today, I can certainly think of a couple of words I consider more jarring.  But I have to wonder if that is due to the overuse or commonality of the "f-word."  That other words are now more shocking to me may just be due to their still rare use in our everyday lives.  

The question I have is this: How does the use of coarse language make a joke funnier?  I believe it reduces the humor and the number of people who will be exposed to it.  For example, I may shout with laughter over a Facebook post because I have become so accustomed to seeing the "f-word" that I just skim right over it.  But, if my eight-year-old Dolly asks why I am laughing, I can't share it with her.  As she is now a reader, I have to shield her from some of the contents of my Newsfeed.  I realize I could choose not to follow those pages, but I do enjoy the laughter.  I have never commented on a post and expressed offense, because I'm smart enough to know I did not have to expose myself to the language at all.  However, I won't share posts on either my personal page or my public page if they include profanity.  This reduces the exposure that page receives, which in turn reduces their potential fan base and readership.  

How does profanity reduce a joke?  This is pretty simple.  For some people, profanity is not a part of their daily lives, and when it is inserted unnecessarily into a joke, it is shocking and the focus shifts from the subject matter onto the wording.  In most cases, it can be easily removed without affecting the humor.

So, why then, do so many intelligent people, who have been blessed with a hilarity-inducing sense of humor, insist on using this type of language?  Is it the age old, "Everyone else is doing it"?  Or is the common use of language like this just pointing to the desensitization of our culture towards coarseness?

I know there are some parents who think it is funny when their children pop off with the occasional use of profanity.  I don't.  I think society is pushing children into adult behavior far too soon and this exhibits another failure to keep our kids innocent for as long as possible.  Of course, I try to parent in a "do as I do" environment, rather than a "don't do what I do, until you are an adult" environment.  I can accept that my thoughts on that type of parenting will probably offend some people, but that can't keep me from voicing my concern over what type of children are being raised today.  

Some parents should come with this sticker.
So, tell me, is it possible to be funny without using words I'd hope you wouldn't use at a parent-teacher conference?  (I would have said "while talking to your boss" but I'm pretty sure some workplaces encourage that type of immature behavior.)   

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Good is a Casket Anyway?

A couple of days ago, I was in the car with Dolly and Buddy.  We drove past a cemetery on the edge of town and Dolly noticed that a graveside service was going on.  Buddy said it looked like the people were sitting around a hole in the ground.  I said, "Well, that's where they will put the casket after the service is over."  And, then I commented that it was a beautiful afternoon for a funeral service, because in my opinion, a breezy, coolish day, with scattered clouds seems like a nice day for that.  (At no point have I ever claimed to have a normal thought process). 

This would be a beautiful day for a funeral.

Buddy said, "What's a casket?"  Apparently, he knew what a coffin was, but not a casket.  I realize that in a four-year-old's mind, they are basically the same thing.  Once that was straightened out, I decided it was the proper time to inform my eight- and four-year-old kids that I would like to be cremated rather than buried.  

Not. Like. This.

The following discussion ensued:

Dolly: What's cremation?

Me: Well, that's when they would take my body - you understand that after I die, my soul, that's the part of me that really makes me who I am, the part of me that no one can see, but it is the part that loves you and loves Jesus and makes me be everything that I am, anyway, my soul will leave my body and will go to Heaven where I will get a new, perfect body - so, anyway, they would take my body and put it in a very, very hot oven.  It would burn my body into teeny ashes, like a campfire.  Then, they would scoop the ashes out, put them in a box and give them to whoever is left in my family.  Like Daddy, or maybe you guys.

Dolly: Okay. Why do you want to do that? It doesn't hurt you?

Me: No, it can't hurt me, honey, because I'm dead and my body is completely worthless without my soul.  I want to be cremated because it doesn't cost as much money as a regular burial.  When you have a regular burial, you have to buy a big, beautiful casket made of pretty, shiny wood and metal and full of soft, silky, fluffy sheets.  I'm gone.  My soul has taken off to heaven.  I don't think my worthless, dead body needs all that stuff.  It isn't like I can enjoy it.  I would rather spend less money - since all my money will go to you guys - and be put in a little box.

Dolly: What do we do with the box? 

Me: There are spots you can put it in like a memorial wall at a lot of cemeteries.  That's what I would like.  Sometimes people toss the ashes out at special places, but I feel weird about that.  It's kind of gross to me.  What if little pieces of bodies are blowing around everywhere?  I don't want to add to that.  Just put me in a wall and put my name up there.  Then, sometimes you could come say hi, like when you miss me.  But, I probably won't know you came.  It might make you feel better though.

Dolly: You're right.  Why does someone need a fancy casket with fluffy stuff for their useless body?  That's dumb.

Apparently, they could put me in a rock.
I didn't really think about Buddy not contributing to the conversation, but he had just had a very long day and was tired.  He was sucking his thumb and looking out the window.  When we pulled in the garage, Dolly and I were discussing the perfect bodies we would have in heaven.  I turned around and looked at Buddy.  He looked at me, removed his thumb and said, "Mommy don't die!"  The tears began to stream down his face.  I ran to his side of the car and hugged him. 

I said, "I'm not going to die anytime soon. Look how old Grandma and Grandpa are.  You'll have me around for a good long time."  This seemed to appease him as I smacked my face.  Some conversations not meant for some ears.  While okay for the eight-year-old, poor Buddy was just not ready.

Duh, Mom.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Who You're Dealing With

So, I haven't blogged anything in over a week.  And for good reason.  I write Monday through Friday for my full time job.  I usually love my job, though I don't always love the subject matter.  I write about crime and the perpetrators.  I don't get to pick my poison.  Some weeks are pretty mundane and I fly through my assignments.  Other weeks I wish I had some brain bleach.  I can't undo what I read and write about.  I also have to speak to these people.  Without hurting them.  I am sometimes bothered by how pleasant I manage to be.  I have discovered that I am a very good actress.  I have also learned the fine art of shutting up and waiting out the other person, particularly when the other person does not really want to speak to you.  I need information and I am going to get it, damn it.

I would most certainly be fired if I used this voicemail, but I'll hang onto this until I retire.
So, anyway, that doesn't have a lot to do with why I haven't been around, but it is a good beginning.  I have to work.  And in order to work, I have to use the computer.  As some of you know, I'm having problems with migraines (see the horrible news about my loss of coffee).  This problem has turned into some weird thing where I am now at the end of my 28th day with a wicked headache.  Yep.  28 days.  Oh, wait.  There was one day where I went to the ER, convinced a doctor I was not a frequent flyer, and got two shots of Dilaudid (AKA: Hospital Heroin) in my rear.  The next day, I had the worse hangover ever.  I went to work, without the headache I had previously had, but with a different one.  It disappeared after I took three Advil and drank copious amounts of water.  No coffee.  That's right.  I was sooo good.  Then, the original headache came back.  Bright and early the next morning.  It seems to be aggravated by the computer screen.  As well as the TV, my HTC Evo, and my tablet.  It does not like technology.  It may be a time-traveling headache from 1985.  It does not seem to understand or appreciate the high contrast, brightness, and huge number of mega pixels we have access to in 2012.  (FYI: I have no idea what I am talking about.  I'm looking at a computer screen and my brain is burning behind my eyeballs).

My eyes!  My eyes!

That, dear readers, is why I have been limiting my time with luxury writing and Facebook.  And, dang it, I miss laughing at Facebook.  But then, my face starts tingling and the back of my head starts throbbing and I have to weigh the pros and cons.  Stupid health.  Why are you so important?

Maybe these will work.
So who am I and why would you want to be all up in my business anyway?  Maybe just because you wanna.  I'm a mom.  I am a teensy bit opinionated and I'm going to use this as a forum to let loose stuff that I feel like I need to keep in.  We all do that, don't we?  I think a lot of us say that we don't, but more of us do than not.  

I've got a great husband in The Mayor.  Sure, we both do things to tick each other off, but we've been married for almost 14 years, so that is bound to happen.  And, if you tell me that it doesn't, well, you are a big liar.  And I don't want to be your friend.  We are opposites, though.  And I think we do a pretty good job of respecting that about each other.  It has taken a while for that to happen, but it has.  I understand his natural desire to have a large group of friends and be the guy that every one likes.  I think it is great to be that person.  I also think it would be easier if I was that person.

I'd like to be part of that couple.

I am very "selectively social" and I tend to hold people at an arms-length while I "inspect" the goods.  I have a lot on my plate, and to be honest, I don't want to waste my time being "friends" with a bunch of people.  I'd rather have a couple of really good friends I know I can let my guard down with and not have to worry about what is said after I leave.  I want friends I don't have to "try" around.  I just don't have time for that.  My main thing is that I hate being bothered, and I find that acquaintances do that a lot.  Real friends understand your life and don't ask too much of you.  

My kids.  They are little pictures of me and The Mayor.  First, came Dolly.  She got her nickname because she was a preemie and wasn't much bigger than a doll at a smidgen under 3 pounds.  Now, at eight-years-old, I think she leans a little more towards Bride of Chucky than Baby Alive, but that's just me.  I'm figuring out more about her every day.  She's a bit of a puzzle.  

Then, came Buddy.  It is funny that I call him Buddy, considering that is the nickname of a former boss I absolutely detest.  But, this little five-year-old guy is totally my Buddy.  He is a super Mama's boy.  He is also very much a tiny Man.  He has arrested nearly every piece of furniture in our house.  And I think he owns almost every type of toy gun and weapon available in stores at the present second.  Wait, nope, I think a new one was just created.  

If you decide to follow, you'll learn more about me, The Mayor, Dolly, and Buddy.  That is if I can figure out what the ransom is for this headache!

If not for my family, this would probably be me.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


That’s how I’m feeling this morning.  Really, since yesterday.  Since my doctor told me that I need to wean myself off coffee in order to assist in the treatment of my migraines.  WHAT?!  

Despair.  Utter despair.
Now, when I Googled “coffee health benefits” it produced many more sites with positive information than with negative information.  Apparently caffeine may raise your blood pressure, but this is not an issue for me.  Unless I am pregnant, and that’s not happening again.  I did find a funny statement that a lot of people who consume high levels of coffee also tend to be physically inactive and heavy smokers.  Um, okay.

According to medical research, regular coffee drinkers were less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, and dementia.  Also, those people in line at Starbucks may have a better chance of avoiding certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes.  Hmm, there seem to be a lot of benefits to this horrible thing my doctor likes to call coffee.

Taking a deeper look, it appears that I can reap the benefits of a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes by drinking decaf.  Apparently, it is the minerals and antioxidants in coffee, rather than the caffeine, which affect this disease.  Okay, doc, you win on that one.  Except that he wanted me to walk away from all coffee, not just caffeinated.  Wrongo, sir.

Aha!  Caffeine is the driving force behind the lower risk of developing Parkinson's.  Now, what I’m about to say may be rude, but admit it.  A lot of you are thinking it.  High quantities of caffeine can make you shaky.  And one of the visible symptoms of Parkinson’s is a tremor.  I don’t know why my crude brain is insisting upon linking the two, but perhaps it is to suggest that you might have to voluntarily accept a tremor to avoid an involuntary one.  Smack me.  Smack me now.  (I'm sooo sorry.)

I am a terrible insensitive person.
Moving on.  A 20-year study (wow, how does one maintain their attention span for that long?), showed that people who consumed three to five cups of coffee a day were 65% less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer's.  Yes!  This actually runs in my family.  I believe I would have an argument here, except, my grandfather, the most recent family member to have dementia, was a devoted coffee drinker.  Dang it.

This could actually solve a problem with boredom.
High coffee consumption can protect you from liver cancer and cirrhosis!  I wonder if this benefits to all the drinkers who take a heavy dose of coffee in the morning.  Maybe coffee acts as a filter for the alcohol.  Hmm.  That would be an interesting study to run.  I’d like to observe the drinking and antics, but I do not want to be around for the morning after.  No thank you very much.

Keep pouring...

I Googled “coffee migraines” and came up with several results that recommended the use of coffee to relieve a migraine, something I already know.  There was only one article which suggested that a person who regularly suffers from migraines should abstain from caffeine completely.   I understand the reason.  If I stop my intake of caffeine, when I do have a migraine, I will be able to treat it faster because it will be weaker to the immediate effects of the caffeine.  But I can’t help feeling sorry for myself because I love coffee. 

Will I stop drinking coffee completely?  No.  I’m going to wean myself off the caffeinated stuff and switch to decaf.  Yes, I know it still contains caffeine.  But in comparison to what I consume now, that’s a trace amount.  Mr. Perfect Doctor will just have to deal.  Or maybe I just won’t tell him.  After all, how can I possibly overlook the health benefits?  And, honestly, I would just miss it too much to do without the routine.  Before I can say goodbye to my old friend Caffeine, I will have to have one last rendezvous with Circle K's Bakery Blend.  It doesn't come in decaf.  And, I love it so.