What makes you laugh?

FeaturedWhat makes you laugh?

 

Laughter:
The simple pleasure of a belly laugh! What a physical experience it can be.

What brings on that kind of laughter for you, dear reader? Does it happen often?

It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud. I’m more of a quiet smiler. Sometimes the smile is so quiet, you could think I was unaffected. I often ‘feel’ the smile in my head and know that it isn’t showing on the outside.

Watching movies often brings out a noisy laugh. Usually over slapstick comedy. I consider slapstick as physical comedy; somebody has fallen, for example. I laugh and laugh like a sicko! There is nothing very subtle about my sense of humour 😀 I’ll find myself laughing so hard that I can’t catch my breath. Sometimes, it is scary because it seems I’ll never get it back. I think this is because I struggle to let myself be loud and my natural inclination is to stuff it back in.

Graham Norton makes me laugh. I love his show. I chuckle my way through it, up to and including the red chair! Graham is very clever at bringing his guests right along, sharing with us their unusual stories and cracking us up.

I laugh with my husband, unexpectedly. Not because I don’t expect to laugh with him, but perhaps because a moment ago life was staid. Nothing particularly outstanding was happening. And then, something is said – we’re on the same wavelength and something clicks – then we’re both bent over in raptures of laughter. Take a peek at each other and again we’re falling around. If you’re lucky enough to have that kind of bond with somebody, then you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

I’m naturally a very serious person. I laugh with people I can relax with. That includes my children and my sisters. There are only a few friends that I’ll find myself laughing with.

I didn’t grow up with a wider network of family. It was always Mum and Dad and my siblings. All aunties and cousins lived in another country. And so, I didn’t develop strong bonds there.

My husband and I just spent a day with a cousin and his wife. We’ve been developing friendship over the last few years, mainly via Facebook; and we visited with them in 2013. But we laughed and laughed this weekend. It was very natural and friendly; non-judgmental laughing at each other and ourselves. A lightening of spirit experience.

The endorphins released from laughing are real. You can feel the release and relaxation after a good bout of laughter. It must be why there are laughter therapy classes, why comedians are so popular and why everyone loves the Simpsons! 😀

If you’ve read this, hopefully you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and you enjoy loud and proud laughter regularly. If you don’t get enough laughs – search it out! What makes you laugh?

I’m including a link here to something that still makes me laugh. I hope you’ll get a good chuckle out of it too.

NOTE: If you enjoy Random Thoughts by Trish, you may also enjoy my blog Trishs’s Place for Travel.

Waiting on the Waiters

It has happened again! I’m out for a meal on my own and the wait staff check with everyone else in the restaurant. Are you okay? Do you need anything else? And they don’t visit me!

Why is that, I keep wondering? Is it my resting bitch face? Am I giving out a vibe? I don’t mean to.

Perhaps it is because I’m reading a book. Head down, clearly engrossed, not looking around. Maybe that’s the message they’re reading. She’s obviously happy enough. She’s engaged in her own pleasure. And if she wanted something, we’d soon know.

I am reading, but I’m also observing.

The older couple near me. How he keeps offering menu choices to his wife, but she isn’t interested in any of them. She wants fish, but not the cod. Too fishy!

The younger South African couple who make many comments ‘under their breath’ about:

a) the size of their meal (too big)

b) the tea strainer not working (leaves in their tea).

Asking the waitress:

a) for a better strainer

b) for another serviette; and

c) to take away their food.

The man who has brought his grandson into the pub, sits at the bar and orders sandwiches and water. School must be out early.

A fellow on his own, drinking beers and watching sports TV.

And the ladies nearby who could be a bookclub. They’re winding up, but talking books as they depart. Makes me think to mention to the TLC (Treasured Ladies Club) about making one Saturday a month a book meeting.

While I pause reading to write these observations on my phone, the waitress has asked a new patron how she can help, but still not looked over to me 😀

Recently, I brunched with two friends, one of whom was annoyed at how often the staff bothered us, while we were conversing! The restaurant wasn’t busy, so perhaps the staff just had time on their hands. But they can’t win, can they? 😀

Oh, here we go. A very lovely Irish lad has offered to wrap up my leftovers, no bother. “Thank you,” say I. “And I’ll have a cappuccino to take away, please.”

P.S. When clearing plates for the older couple I mentioned above, their waitress threw out the standard “Hope you enjoyed the food?” Cod lady wasn’t happy. Her plate was almost completely empty, but something was just not nice.

The waitress (and her husband) were embarrassed. I was not surprised!

BEST PLACES TO EAT IN GALWAY – FOOD + SERVICE

  • Marmalade Bakery (Best Coffee). Also make and sell their own bread, sweet and savoury cakes and scones.

  • Cupan Tae (Great Tea). Huge and interesting range of teas. Also serve brunch and afternoon tea.  I love their courgette cake and coffee and walnut cake.

  • Black Cat, Salthill (Tapas). Good food and atmosphere, great service.

  • Dough Bros (Pizza). Delicious thin crust pizzas with unusual toppings, excellent service and good atmosphere. Won many awards.

  • Gourmet Tart Co (Lunch salads/wraps). Also do delicious biscuits and quick meals.

  • Petit Delice (Pattiserie). French cakes and pastries. Also really nice baguette/sandwich bar.

  • Gourmet Food Co, Salthill (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner). Very popular. All meals large and excellent. Make a great cocktail special too!

  • An Pucan (Gastro Pub). All round casually excellent. Very busy. Very attentive staff. Excellent food. Loved their Jameson Black Barrel BBQ Sauce with Cashel Blue Cheese Dip.

NOTE: If you enjoy my Random Thoughts, you may also enjoy my travel stories – Trish’s Place for Travel.

Friday Fictioneers – Illumination

ssi-lights-of-jerusalem
Prompt by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Gorgeous light feature. Well done, city council.
It is good to see our taxes spent on beautifying the streets.
A quiet night though.

Pity there aren’t more people out to enjoy the installation.
Where is everyone tonight? Late night shopping. A lovely warm evening.
Usually the streets are packed.

My friends should be here though. Said to meet outside the Igis.
Squelch. What was that? I’ve stood on something? Can’t see …
No, hang on! There was a family up ahead. Where …?

Not lights. Some sort of alien creature. Suckers?
NO! NO! Oh no!! This is bad! (98 words)

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

NOTE: If you enjoy Random Thoughts by Trish, you may also enjoy my blog Trishs’s Place for Travel.

Friday Fictioneers – Connection

photos-ted-strutz
PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

“Those need sorting,” Janet muttered to herself as she passed the dusty collection of photos. Her only connection to a mother she barely knew; to a life she yearned for.

Stirring the pile, Janet chose one photo and wondered: “Is that me, in the arms of my mum?”

So many strangers, who might not be. It was disquieting and intriguing!

Fear, her constant friend, hollered “Don’t ask; don’t seek. They won’t want you!”

Hope, a new quieter voice, whispered “Love is worth the effort!”

Trembling, she turned the photo and read out loud “Sister Annie, with Janet, 1953”.

Aunty and child.

Janet smiled.

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – distraction

Friday Fictioneers – distraction
1569442867291_line-naama-yehuda
PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

Tip toe, through the tulips … through the tulips ….

Walking a concrete jungle, rain moistened; a slippery surface of fallen leaves

Humming to myself, lost in the freshness of clean, sweet-smelling air

Eyes part-closed, lost in solitude, the silence, the wetness

A babble, a murmur, a shuffling of feet, breaks into my reverie

Awakening to the world, intruded upon by chatter, by clatter

Opening my eyes to umbrellas!

Looking ahead, I walk on by, distracted momentarily

Dismissing the absurd, retreating to my bliss, humming to myself …. through the tulips, with me

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

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Greta Thunberg – modern Joan of Arc

We have all by now heard of Greta Thunberg, a Swedish schoolgirl who made headlines around the world in August 2018 by refusing to attend school in the face of climate devastation, and the severe ramifications for humanity.

The simplicity of her stance in striking inspired school children around the world to emulate her, to call out government and declare that ‘enough is enough’.

This girl and her journey should be an inspirational one for us all. Her actions represent the quality and bravery of the upcoming generations – our children and grandchildren.

Greta’s message resonates with her own generation. School children continue to take action, skip school and protest. I assume that these children have been supported by their parents and schools. Some children would not have been supported in this action and just ‘wagged’ school. Perhaps others have not participated, whether by their own choice, or because they haven’t been allowed.

To see a variety of stories around the topic of Greta, climate change strikes and our reactions to this, check out The Guardian.

This month, Greta travelled to New York to attend a UN summit on climate change. She brought attention to her quest by travelling via yacht, instead of flying and contributing to the carbon load. Then we heard her speak.

It is surprising (and embarrassing) the vitriol pouring from so many after listening to Greta. Some of the people commenting in the negative do not surprise. They have almost nurtured an expectation as people that are behind the times, misogynistic, unsympathetic about difference and climate change deniers. Even those that may have some sympathy and awareness of the climate fiasco, aren’t prepared to hear a 16-year-old girl ‘tell them off’. And unfortunately, her presentation style grates.

Have you heard the slang sayings ‘fish wife’ or ‘harpy’? Derogatory terms for ‘a course scolding woman’ and ‘a very unpleasant female person’. These hateful descriptions could be applied to the presentation style.

Let’s be honest here. In marketing, beauty sells, sexy sells, a honey toned voice sells. Promises of success, wealth, love, safety and longevity – for ourselves and our children – sell. A message of doom, coming from a red faced and screeching teenager, that does not sell.

People also question who is feeding her the agenda? She has presented fact-based, scientific reports to support her case. But who is feeding her the line?

Does it matter where she is getting it from, if the information is accurate, science based and might help to create a required shift in consciousness? But of course, one socially awkward 16-year-old girl can’t be allowed to just stand up for her beliefs, with passion. Because it makes the rest of us look bad. Lazy, selfish and apathetic. Really, it comes down to selfishness!

I have at least one friend on Facebook who has not been shy to share phrasing such as “irritating and annoying”, but who at the same time announces that “we are too stupid and selfish to do anything significant until it’s too late, so (I’m) just counting down the clock until we are engulfed in war and natural disasters of our own making.” This is one specific person, but I feel it covers a gamut of feeling from people. And many people will hold back from saying the negatives, because in a PC world we aren’t encouraged to express the unpopular majority viewpoint; otherwise, we become the monster. That new term for favouring one group or thing over another  – reverse discrimination.

I personally, passively worry and acknowledge that whatever I do will make little to no difference, with regard to anything, but especially to climate change. I also don’t have confidence to take a stance on something if I don’t personally understand every detail behind the issue. Basically, I’m not a scientist, and throw my hands in the air.

I have, however, for many years now boycotted the cheap product (discount) retail stores – the one buck shops, two buck shops, euro shops, reject shops – even KMart or WalMart or Target. Stores that sell a lot of crap that won’t last long, with a high proportion of plastic.

Plastic that not only litters and doesn’t decompose, but (I believe) wastes fossil fuel (oil) both as an ingredient and of course in the manufacture process itself.

I also actively try to not just collect stuff. Except books. I have to admit. And I’ll continue to buy books until the day it is legislated that we are no longer able to use trees to create paper.

Generally, I pay the carbon tax on airfares too. Not every time.

Now, if every single person in the world followed or performed even these small steps – it would make some difference. Every single person.

But:

  • This doesn’t apply to desperately poor people; they can’t afford to collect crap.

  • Developing countries want what we have, aspire to it, and why not?

  • Each generation engages in the notion of the next generation being better off, it is what they’ve worked for. This really peaks with ownership and wealth.

  • Two buck shops allow us to buy whatever piece of rubbish that appeals, allowing us to feel we’ve some say, some power, some ability to beautify ourselves and our homes.

  • Comfortable people – those at any level of the wealth spectrum that fools us into thinking we’re safe – don’t want to change.

  • Somebody else will sort it out.

  • It isn’t real.

  • It is somebody else’s problem. AKA some future generation.

One of Michael Moore’s books, and I can’t remember the name at the moment, has a scene where his granddaughter lends him a pencil to write something. There is some sort of disagreement where he uses it too quickly, or wants another, and she scolds him because pencils are rationed – all due to how his generation wasted resources and ruined the world. I’ve googled it and found it is Dude, where’s my country? Click to read an extract. Published in 2004.

My point is, Michael Moore was referencing climate devastation in one of his books in the late nineties, early noughties.

It is now 2019.

Another very scary book I have read in the last 15 years is the Chaos Point, which clearly identified a tipping point as the end of 2012. That after this point, it was too late. Published in 2006. This book did become a bit weird for me, as it moved into talking about ‘expanded consciousness’, and so I didn’t finish it. But the ‘facts’ described early on were frightening.

It is now 2019.

I’ve been a science fiction reader all my life. And so many other speculative fiction novels (let alone non-fiction offerings) have addressed the potential devastation of climate change. As in so many areas of science, these fiction authors have predicted what has become truth.

Somebody has to jump up and down about important things. On a smaller scale, mothers and fathers do this! How else do we learn to grow into good and responsible humans? Your teachers do it. Bosses do it. Doctors try to come down hard about your health. Scientists have been trying for years to wake us up. The Michael Moore’s, the Al Gore’s, the Bill Gates’ – to name some – have all cried ‘open your eyes, we can make a difference, we can make a change’. And, now Greta.

These people are unfortunately trying to sell us inconvenient truths. We don’t want to hear them. It is easier for us to scoff, and find reasons to denigrate the message and the messenger!

I haven’t heard Greta’s full speech. I switched web pages. I don’t think I thought negatively about the message – but I did react to the delivery. I was immature. I was being self serving; selfish.

Good on you Greta Thunberg, and your support team. Thank you for trying. You are making a difference. I don’t want to hear the message. I am concerned about the impact the pressure will have on you. But I do, applaud your dogged perseverance.

 

Friday Fictioneers – Shadow

overhead-window
PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carrol

Thief of necessity, through open door
Into empty room, creeps
Heart thumps, breathing stutters
Nerves tingle, anxiety builds

Breeze drifts, into the room
Instinct to flee, peaks
Shadows shift, thunder booms
Wings beat, feel the fear

Food the imperative, urge to escape
Hunt in earnest, tweets
Fear looms large, hunger prevails
Shadows swoop, time presses

Crash from above, threat extreme
Sensory overload, heats
Panic, retreat, needs reassessed
Fear the victor, hunger abandoned

Escape now paramount, hunger flees
Weight of danger, presses
Beating madly, wings work hard
Shadows surrender to sunlight, enlightened

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here