Friday, September 30, 2005

Clearly, I'm already IN the circus.

I recently overheard the head cheese at our office chatting in the hallway saying that his management style was just to walk around the office –it gives him a good idea as to the state of things around the office better than silly reports with numbers and data. He can learn more at the coffee maker than with any report, he says. Which is really funny – because I sit right by the coffee maker and I know that nobody spends any time at the coffee maker, and the mundane conversations that actually happen are usually about golf swings.

So it makes me wonder. is there some secret coffee maker that I don’t know about? is he confusing this for his coffee maker at home? if so, what on earth are my coworkers doing at his house?!

My typical routine, after I drive two hours into the office, is to stumble blindly over to the coffee maker, “pour myself a cup of ambition,” and stumble the rest of the six feet into my office, whereupon I trudge through the handful of emails that came in this morning.

But my days are brightened and punctuated with colorful characters that I've always been blessed to have at whatever job I've been at.

There's been stalker photographers, crazy cohorts and people nicknamed "Lurch," and from time to time, I find the funniest people in the world --- like our mutual friend Zam. Hys-freakin'-sterical that guy.

And then there was my boss who was... um... a little person, who wore, on the day I met her for the first time, an M&M costume. You don't see that everyday. I thought it was some kind of an elaborate employee screening at first.

So after some thought, I really don't need to join the circus. And after KAT's post, clearly I'm among the clowns.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Nothing to laugh at...

“In those whom I like, I can find no common denominator; in those whom I love I can: they all make me laugh.” - W. H. Auden

Yesterday, I told my brother he's the funniest person I know. But I had to amend it to the second funniest person I know. If you were to ask me to name the absolute funniest person I know, I wouldn't be able to do it (not a bad problem to have, huh?)
My brother Adam is hysterically funny and is definitely one of the wittiest people I know. He has such a deadpan delivery of lines that you can't help but laugh at his stories. He told the story of working with the fire department to find the body of a person who drowned in a river. Afterward, one of the officers came up to him and a colleague to debrief them. “How do you feel right now?” the officer asked. The reply from the guys? “Hungry.”
Last year, my sister and I took Adam on a cruise just after he graduated from college. We kept a book of quotes from the trip and one of my favorites was, “Sleeping late, drinking, staying up until 1 a.m. This is what I used to do in college… last week.” Another was when my sister was questioning him about women.
Erin: “What's the fascination with twins?”
Adam: “There are two of them.”
Erin: “Then how about triplets?”
Adam: “Nah, that's a crowd.”
SJ is definitely in the running for the funniest person in my life. Our conversations and emails are filled with one-liners and inside jokes. In fact, one of the reasons we started this blog was to see how well our humor translated to people who are not either her or I. She told a great story last week about a friend of hers who got stuck in New Orleans during the first hurricane. She and her new husband were stuck in a hotel that was eventually abandoned by the workers. They made it out of the city by giving $100 to two guys who drove them out in a vehicle they had just carjacked (“Nice car… and you don't even need a key to start it! So, where are y'all from?”). SJ, her husband and their friend had a great time picturing the scenario in that car and the possibility that the newlyweds got in on the lawlessness. “The fuzz! Take this gun and shoot out the back window!”
I have some pretty hysterical coworkers (although I laugh at some of them because of their stupidity rather than the humor in what they say). Last week, we were talking about someone who committed suicide. While that is obviously not a laughing matter in itself, I couldn't keep a straight face during the following exchange:
Woman: “How did he kill himself?”
Man (dropping his voice into a very serious tone): “I heard it was suicide.”
I had a friend once who helped me develop awesome abdominal muscles from our phone conversations. They were conversations that lasted for hours every night and I spent the majority of the time laughing hysterically. He once got food poisoning and turned it into a whole story about the tape worm living inside him (I believe its name was “Wormy.”) He would have to eat certain things to keep the worm satisfied. A sample email message from when he went out to Colorado last year: “There was actually a vote today and I am the new Mayor of Breckenridge.... the vote was actually done by myself and a conifer tree along some remote trail... I took its silence as support and moved ahead with the swearing in ceremony... which was actually a "swearing at" ceremony because I was blocking the trail with my podium and people were trying to get by...”
Once I got over the concerns I had about being friends with someone who thinks like that, I actually found it pretty funny!
I had some rough days recently and the worst one was when I realized I had gone almost all day without laughing. But a quick call to SJ took care of that. I'm lucky to have enough people in my life to ensure I will never go a day without finding something to guffaw at. Now, get off your computer and go find something to laugh about. If you can't, get in touch with me and I'll give you SJ's number.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I want to run away with the circus. Or the cirque. Whichever.

Kristen rocks for lots of reasons, but in particular, really it was the tickets she scored for the opening night of the Cirque du Soleil in Hartford -- last night that made her rock yesterday. Not only was the show fantastique (read that with a French accent, because I'm not sure if that's a real word but everything sounds French when add the accent and "eek" at the end of it), but also because it was Connecticut celebrity night.

All around us there were major media and political figures enjoying the show. Our governor, M. Jodi, was there in the row behind us. Personalities from 96 abounded to the left, right and right in front of us (someone probably should have told D. S. that he had forgotten to take the tag off of his shirt....).

But despite all of the glittering local stars, I could barely take my eyes off of the stage. But such fun. Such glittering, twittering, dazzling, thrilling fun. I can't even think of my favorite part... the trapeze artists who I could barely watch for fear they would fall, the human jugglers who rocked out with devil horns at the end of their performance -- if they could talk, they'd be saying "YEAH! Rock on man!", the flittering floating flying from the net guy (neat party trick indeed), or the guy who juggled with his mouth.

We came to the conclusion that a) the contortionist was clearly the most popular girl in the circus and b) you must be under 5'6 and 86 pounds to be in the circus, unless you want to be a clown.

So that leaves me with clown. Which is just as well because I don't think my body would let me bring my ankles over my head to touch my nose while twirling like a top.

Unless of course I learn to play the accordian, which French music has fully embraced. My take? There's simply not enough squeezable instruments in today's pop culture.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Are you serious?!?

I thought I had reached my limit of dealing with dumb people by spending five years on the court beat for a newspaper. But apparently the dumb asses of the world aren’t through with me yet. I don’t know if a long-lost relative left me their share in their will or something, but they must have left some pretty explicit instructions about how to find me because not one of the idiots seems to have passed me by (unless I mean on the highway because I can be doing 135 in the left lane and still have someone riding my bumper trying to get by!)
You know that comedian who proposes giving people a sign when they do or say something stupid? I’m all for that… but my sign would be a little less polite and would definitely be delivered along with a swift beating.
As hard as I’ve looked, I cannot find the sign on my car that begs people to pull out in front of me (it must be a fairly large sign, though, because it apparently requests that they do it only when I’m late for something and the road is slick). I’m kidding of course-- you obviously can’t see a sign on my car… nor can you apparently see my car at all. I know I drive fast, but I really don’t think I’ve discovered a way to defy all laws of physics and render both myself and my vehicle invisible.
One of my favorite idiots works in a local pizza shop. She’s a nice enough person, I suppose, but let’s just say it has never crossed my mind to wonder why she’s a grown woman working as a waitress. I went to pick up lunch for my coworkers a few weeks ago and was waited on by said waitress. She got the boxes containing lunch from the cook, placed them on the counter in front of me and then asked me, “What’s in here?”
Hmmm, let’s see… I may drive fast, but I’m not so fast myself that I could break the tape on the boxes, open them all up, memorize the contents and put everything back together without you seeing me do it, honey! I had this really funny comeback about my x-ray glasses being in the shop… but of course, I thought of it about three hours after the actual event.
Anyway, everyone is entitled to a dumb moment or two (I for one have fallen off my chair at work more times than I would care to admit…) but save some for the rest of us! On second thought, keep it coming… it will give me something for my next entry.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The yin and yang of life...

I got some sad news today. The daughter of a former friend of mine committed suicide over the weekend. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t spoken to her dad in almost a year. I still have such sympathy for what he and his family must be going through.
About an hour after I heard about the death, my dad called to tell me my cousin had a baby boy yesterday. One more boy to take on the world. His parents are two incredible people so it will be exciting to see the person they raise together.
It was a day of mixed emotions, for sure. I was of course elated for baby Benjamin Franklin and his parents. But I walked around with a pit in my stomach for the decision made thousands of miles away by someone I’ve never met. The thought I kept coming back to was, “How could she give this up?”
This weekend was incredibly busy for me… I played soccer, I went dancing, I met some new people, I got woken up early, I played cards, I laughed until I couldn’t breathe, I talked to an old friend, I couldn’t fall asleep, I ran from a thunderstorm, I did some work, I cried, I finally got a good night’s sleep.
It wasn’t the best weekend I’ve ever had, but it wasn’t the worst either. But you know what? Regardless of how I sum up the past few days, whether I can look at an experience and label it as “good” or “bad,” the point is that I experienced it.
Life isn’t always easy and it’s not always fair. (Ask my former friend if you don’t believe me.) But it is what it is. Sometimes it’s beautiful, sometimes it’s hurtful and sometimes it’s somewhere in the middle. But we just get this one chance at it.
I mourn for the person who took away her chance to experience the good, the bad and the so-so. However, it's comforting to know that the world has a new little boy whose parents can’t wait for their chance to show it to him.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I can't think of the next words in the bible... so I'll just go with "Next!"

i find it a particular challenge to be funny to the masses on command, but I'm all about the challenge.

I just called KAT- aka Busty LaRoux - to get the password and log in so that I could document my early morning thoughts. I woke her, which I feel -- well honestly, not so bad about. It's nearly 9 a.m. The rest of the Eastern time zone is already hard at work. I'd recap the conversation, but there was talk of the gynecologist and the equipment used by said friend, so I'll just skip it.

today is my dog's birthday. he is officially one. (quick side note - is my random capitlization annoying? It's not so much lazy or stupidity -- it's more like a constant argument with my Mac keyboard). so yesterday, as a throwback to puppyhood and one last hurrah, he decided to randomly eat my brand new shoes that I had worn yesterday for the first time. i've left plenty of shoes out before, but I've never lost one. not a one. and yesterday, as we stepped out to run an errand and allowed him to be free, he decided it was a good time to try some anne klein. apparently he grew weary of the rawhide that litters our living room floor.

he's lucky he's cute. if he were an ugly dog, he'd so be in the dog house.

so that's not a funny tale, but that's my life. funny mostly in retrospective vignettes.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

In the beginning...

KAT wrote:
Hey, I was just up late reading Jackie's blog that she writes with two friends and it gave me an idea... we should start a blog! We're both pretty good writers :) and we are definitely funny-- what more do you need?!? I think that our emails are hysterical and I think it would be great fun (you made sure to use a British accent when reading that, right?) to put some of our comedy out into the marketplace and see what people think. If nothing else, WE would get a kick out of it! If you think this is a good idea, great. If not, we'll chalk it up to a late night and too many man problems to think straight! Later...

SJ wrote:
Great idea. I'm all for it. I was trying to think of a british expression to use. I couldn't think of one. Bullocks!
Look into a hosting program, would ya? You have more free time on your hands :P I'm just kidding. I'm totally funny and I'm a really well writer. I mean, I can right with the better of them. Totally.

KAT wrote:
I already have a couple of topics I'm ready to write about-- married and/or older men and not eating red meat among them. By the way, I laughed out loud at your "attempts" to write. Not everybody have the abilatee to write so good as me!

SJ wrote:
Thank you for esteemed editorial opinion. I take a lot of stalk in it. I'm going to see how many malapropisms I can throw into our correspondences from now. And I've always wanted to tour the Andy's mountains.

KAT wrote:
Our blog has a fan! We are genuises! We have yet to write a word (at least a good word--and not words like the "Andy's Mountains"!) and already someone is looking foreward to our contributions to the Whirled Wide Web. Of course, our fan is my dad, but I say he still counts! I told him our idea for a blog and- after explaining to him what a blog is- I got a positive response. I told him we're doing it because we get such a kick out of our emails to each other and he had the good idea to post our emails to the blog. I think it would be very funny to post a couple of the craziest messages and see if people think we're as funny as we think (wait, I mean... oh you get it, I'm shore).
Of course, I think we can only do this if we come up with creative knicknames for one another. I'm thinking I'll be Busty (it may be my only chance to claim I'm busty!) and you need something... (and nothing Victorian or Edwardian or Sara Janeian because that will just confuse me!)
Love, your funnier half
P.S. There are four malapropisms in this message (at least the ones I did on purpose). Can you find them all?

SJ wrote:
Let's see. You spelled geniuses wrong, and the irony of that is not lost on me. Whirled Wide Web. Really? You're shore. And of course. Knicknames. Come on.... that's all you got? Bring it!And the biggest joke of all -- my funnier half! Whatever! I smell a challenge. Okay. My nickname shall be: Navdar. No idea. Just came to me. A stroke of pure genus (V, to be exact. What percentage of the world population thinks Kristen is funny: a) 1 percentb) 5.6 percent c) one half).

...And the rest is history!