Archive for clown nose

Happy Birthday Dude

I sat down to write a “how u doing” type letter to my friend, Jim Thompson aka “James” “Jimbo”, a world class laughter creating machine on what would have been his 40th birthday.   Happy Birthday Dude.

Dude, Duude, DOOD:

How are you? I just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you on this day, May 17th, your birthday. I wish you could be here to hang out, eat some wings, drink a couple beers and shoot the shit in our seriously silly ass way. Happy Birthday Jim Thompson.

Cheers mate!*raising a cold beer*

I laugh when I think about how you might be now. I wonder how much hair you’d still have at 40 (I swear I didn’t notice the Rogaine in your bathroom). I wonder if you’d still be living in Trinity and if you’d be married with kiddies.

I always plan something fun on your birthday. On May 17th I honor the laughter and friendship we shared. Anyway, I don’t have anything special planned today but I have a feeling something fun is going to happen. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

Last year I celebrated in California and got my giggle on learning how to be a laughter yoga leader. Dude, how fricking hysterical is that? I know, I know, I was born to laugh and I look great in the clown nose. And yes, I heard the call for More Kazoo. I’m all over it. Thanks….thanks-so-much.

Back in 2006, Chelsea and I went to Ireland on your birthday to celebrate in a Jamesons and Guinness way (my Gawd the beer was heavenly, like, milk from above. Nothing beats fresh Guinness).

We carried your Iron Workers Irish American hat all over Dublin (including the Guinness factory) and we both got tattoos in your honor! Good times, good times. My traditional Italian American parents were none-to-happy about my Celtic tattoo. Did they think I would have gotten a meatball or an Italian horn? *laughing* I don’t think so…

I had a great weekend. I needed it. Too much stress and not enough play is bad for the laugh machine. I know, I know. I’m all over the giggles now that I’ve got my hands back in the dirt. Digging, planting and using my truck to go to the dump makes me happy. I’m going to learn how to cut stones with a saw this summer. Just watch!

Did you see the mustache? Dude, I’m so bummed. You have no idea. But I won’t get into all that now other than to say ARGH and *$#@!

I started working on the old house again. I bet you’re seeing all the new work on the porch. My friend’s husband, Mike, is our new go to construction guy (although, I wish you were doing the work, no offense to Mike). Remember when you were fixing the floor board around the side? Well, Mike’s replacing some of the other crapped out boards. He’s doing a good job and Chris tells me he even used carriage bolts! I recall your love affair with large metal fastening devices. You did love those bolts and I think you’d be happy with how Mike secured things.

I’m moving back into the house. You know, the house where I last saw you standing and breathing. The place where we worked side-by-side before you died. Not many people know I sold that house because I kept seeing you inside – not in a Casper the Friendly Ghost, Medium “I see dead people” literal way. With all the guilt, pain and sadness I had when you left, I simply associated the house with your death and I had to walk away from it. The pain in my heart was so cruel, so very deep. Ah, fuck it. Here come the tears and it’s your birthday so let me buck it up. *wiping tears and smiling again*

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I still think about you. Chris and I miss your laughter and your friendship. We hope you’re driving a pimped out motor cycle in heaven and giggling on in your own special way.

You were able to get me to laugh and smile when others failed. You silly fun bastard…thank you my friend, thank you.

 

Happy Birthday Jimbo. Giggle On! Giggle On…

P.S. I am going to the STP Alice in Chains gig next week, so, “cover me” (you know what I mean).

“Laughter rises out of tragedy, when you need it the most, and rewards you for your courage”. ~ Erma Bombeck

Related posts:

Grieve, Give, Giggle

The State of Giggle On

Remembering Them

Another Man Down

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Say No to Camel Toe, Yes to Playfulness

Oh No! Camel Toe!

While surfing Crackbook, I  mean, Facebook, I happened upon a blog post by YogaDork discussing Lululemon’s latest ad campaign to sell yoga pants.

The ad line is “Say No to Camel Toe.

Judge for yourself. Funny or not funny?

  • 13% of the readers on YogaDork’s site called the ad offensive and are calling for a boycott of the company.
  • 30% of the readers, me included, think the ad is hysterically funny.

Comments by readers (in bold) included:

Why is there no “Lululemon sucks balls regardless” button available in the multiple choice voting question?

Fighting crude with crude, touche.

The ad doesn’t bother me. Camel toe is a concern in workout pants. Why not be up front about it?

Exactly. Camel toe is a fact. It happens. It isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s just nature’s way of telling you your pants are too damn tight! Funny side note: My partner just started to take a brand new beginners yoga class at my studio. When I told him about “camel pose” he thought I said “camel toes” and he busted out laughing! Camel Pose? Camel Toes? Camel Pose? Camel Toes? I could see where one might get confused. Ha ha HA!

Saw the ad in my yoga studio tonight and showed it to my teacher to ask their opinion and they immediately said what I had been thinking…it’s just going too far. Yoga has a way of opening people up and there’s certainly a vulnerability involved.

When I’m “opened up” in a yoga class I don’t want to “expose” anything that I wouldn’t want exposed while walking down the street on a hot summer’s day.

If the ad was intentionally poking fun of the girl in the photo, demeaning her and fostering judgment against her personally, that’s one issue. But the ad simply addresses a problem and offers a solution. What’s the harm?

Why So Serious?

The reaction of some of the yoginis, and a few yogi’s, about the Lululemon camel toe ad left me wondering about the seriousness of yoga practioners and the subjective nature of humor. It also made me think about how I’ve been approaching my Hatha practice lately.

Why do yogis tend to be so serious? I mean, it’s just yoga. Just breathing. It’s not like anyone’s asking you to fly a jet fighter blindfolded in order to save the world from cupcake eating dragons…sheesh.

Personally, I think many folks in the yoga world are entirely TOO serious (including myself)…that’s why I’ve embraced Laughter Yoga. THANK YOU DR. KATARIA!

Combat Yogic Seriousness: Keep it Playful and Giggly

To help me refrain from engaging in negative self-talk and remind myself to keep my yoga practice light and joyful I decided to bring Dashboard Buddha to Vinyasa class last night.

I considered bringing my clown nose and placing it at the top of my mat but I didn’t want it to get all smelly. I figured the red nose would absorb smell. Smelly yoga sucks, just sayin’.

Help from Dashboard Buddha, and my teacher, Maria

I did follow proper etiquette and asked my new favorite kick-ass teacher, Maria, if I could bring my plastic yoga friend to class. Maria was more than happy to permit Dashboard Buddha entry and he didn’t even need to sign in and pay. Thanks Maria!

Maria has observed me struggle and cry in class. I hate to admit that, but it is the truth. As much as I have grown and learned, some of the “I suck” tapes still play in my mind. You may be able to run and hide from yourself in the real world, but everything comes to light on your yoga mat.

Dashboard Buddha was there to remind me to STOP BEING SO DAMN SERIOUS.

Ok, maybe I can’t do a perfect Chaturanga, maybe my Ardha Chandrasana is a little weak, and yes, I fight against poses like Half Locust (why God, why?) and Pigeon.

Toward the end of class, when I was fully smoked, sweating and frankly, dizzy, I took a few moments to rest in child’s pose to regain control of my breath.

Note: I was not modeling any form of camel toe at any time during the class, although…my boobs weren’t as supported as they should have been in my forward folds. Note to self : Hike those puppies up higher next time, you don’t want to put your eyes out!

Maria came over to my mat, picked up Dashboard Buddha and instructed me to rub his head and just breathe. I gave the bald man a couple pats, kissed his head and giggled in good fun with Maria.

It’s all good. It’s just yoga. My mat. My practice and thankfully, no evidence at all of the dreaded camel toe! *whew*

What a difference it makes taking a few moments to rest, remind ourselves to be playful and resist the urge to take it all so seriously.

Final Thoughts about Camel Toe and Keeping It Playful

If you suffer from the dreaded female frontal wedgie called Camel Toe, you can “Say No” by purchasing Lululemon’s pants (I love their line of clothing but I agree with some of the other readers at YogaDork, their stuff is kinda expensive but I’ll still but it!) or, take the advice of Erma Bombeck, “If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.

If you find yourself taking things was too seriously, remind yourself about the importance of playfulness.

Remember what the yogic master, Bugs Bunny once said, “Don’t Take Life to Seriously, You’ll Never Get out Alive.”

Keepin’ in light and giggly,

Christa and Dashboard Buddha

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Giggle survives Spazzy Herpe Ball

Favorite Body Part

Two days before my mack daddy team of positarians gathered to Giggle On for the E-Racing the Blues event I jacked out one of my favorite body parts at my local gym.

No, not my mouth…my ankle.

I love parts of my body that hold up other parts of my body. I’m funny like that. I’m a big fan of movement and ankles are pretty important if you like to walk, stand, skip, scamper or tap-dance.

I headed to my gym on October 23rd with two main goals:

1) get my sweat on

2) work out some pre-charity walk stress

Little did I know Spazzy Herpe Ball would try to rub out my giggle.

Spazzy Herpe Ball Public Enemy #1

The Perpetrator

Here it is. Public Enemy # 1

This is the SpaZZZZ ball, Z-ball or as I have been known to call it, the Herpe Ball.

Yeah, herpe. You read that right. I said herpe.

At first glance this little ball seems harmless, even cute with it’s little happy bumps but don’t let this jaundiced piece of polyurethane fool you! This yellow devil is dangerous and as far as I’m concerned, it must be stopped before it harms anyone else.

What the hell is this Spazzy Z-Ball for?

The makers/sellers/pimps of this piece of equipment make some big claims about this product:

The ball is a “fun and challenging way to improve reaction time, hand-eye coordination and agility”.

[fun and challenging, yes but a major yadda, yadda, yadda to the second part]

“The z-ball is uniquely designed to pop, bounce and leap unpredictably in different directions”

[pop? That's right. That was the sound I heard when my ankle snapped out of place chasing the damn thing so you're right on the money there].

“The z-ball develops balance, bilateral movement, depth perception, hand-eye/foot-eye coordination, first step quickness, focus, peripheral awareness and tracking” Source (1)

[don't forget pain, swelling and bruising].

Fun and challenging?

Ok, it was fun AND challenging. You got me there.  I find it fun to challenge my already sick, warped and twisted sense of humor. Any excuse to laugh and make up new words is welcomed!

When my trainer showed me the ball, I snorted, laughed and guffawed. LOUD.

Z-Ball looked like a magnified herpe cell. I’m just sayin’…

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a herpe cell in a microscope (but here’s a cool picture I nabbed just now from the net/don’t sue me) but if a normal healthy cell is round like a ball one would assume an abnormal cell would be bumpy, knarly and knotted like this. Right?

Per the the photo below, seems my non-medical humor intuition was right on track. I rock!

herpes

While I was cruising the net looking for photos of herpes (sounds fun, doesn’t it) I found PROOF POSITIVE that my instantaneous humor train-of-thought (some even say logic) was based in fact! Stuffed toy fact.

Introducing the Herpes Giant Microbes Plush Toy

Herpes Plush Toy

Not only did I find a medical photo to prove herpes is all bumpy like the Z-Ball, I found a Herpes Giant Microbes Plush Toy.  Ironic the toy is also in yellow. Ironic the toy looks very similar to the Z-Ball. I wonder what to make of that?

What’s up with evil things and yellow? ~ talk amongst yourselves ~

The sales pitch for the Herpes Giant Microbes Plush Toy goes like this:

There’s no cure for herpes, so once you get a hold of this little guy, you’ll never be able to let him go. Unlike his biological counterparts, this guy stays around all month long, rather than cycling through active and remission periods. Plus, they won’t leave you with painful, itchy and unsightly blisters.

[No, I am not making this up. They also sell a Chlamydia Plush Toy, Dust Mite Plush Toy and Gonorrhea Plush Toy.]

Disease isn’t funny but humor heals

Herpes, the disease, isn’t funny (just like suicide isn’t funny) but if we can’t laugh at what ails us (or injures us or makes us sad) we’d all go insane.

The sooner you can find the funny in your own crisis, the sooner you can experience the medicinal value and healing power of humor. – Michael Elizondo, Finding the Funny

Spazzy Herpe Ball tries to steal my giggle

It all started when my trainer, hereafter called Trainer Man, told me to stand on the opposite side of the fitness room and catch the herpe ball on the first bounce. Since Spazzy is unpredictable, one can’t predict where it will go.

I remember my response to my trainer was something like:

Bwa-HA-HA-HA! followed by YEAH RIGHT DOOD in classic California surfer lingo style.

Before the fateful day of my sprain I performed this exercise a half dozen times.

Step 1: Trainer Man would throw herpe ball.

Step 2:  I’d chase after herpe ball like a rhinoceros trying to catch an invisible marble.

rhinoceros

I won’t lie. It wasn’t a pretty site. I am quick witted not quick footed.

Murphy’s Law and the Jinxing

Every time Trainer Man would congratulate me for a great catch, I would fumble. Murphy’s Law. I begged him to stop giving me positive feedback because I was convinced he was jinxing me.

Jinxing is so third grade and ultimately not cool.

So Trainer Man closed his pie hole. I resumed sprinting as best I could with the short gams my short Italian parents gave me. Did I mention I’m short?

Jinx or no-jinx but on October 23, 2009, my otherwise happy and giggly right ankle turned in, popped and caused me to land on the hard wood floor in a thud louder than 10 sacks of potatoes being air dropped from 100 feet (ok, I don’t really know what that sounds like, but seems it would be really loud. I’m just sayin’…).

Needless to say, I cursed like a longshoreman as I was hitting the floor.

#@*%#@*% #@*% #@*% and argh!

Thoughts and curses raced through my skull…

  • How in the world would I lead my Giggle On Team 2 days from now in a charity walk with a fubar’ed ankle?
  • How would I skip rope, rally the troops and do the fa-la-la dance?

?????

Victory for Laughter!

Finishline

With the help of my family, friends, a wheelchair (thanks Tony), clown nose, kazoo, jester hat and kazoo I crossed the finish line in a fit of laughter.

And no, that’s not a human herpe ball or herpe plush toy pushing me to victory.

So I say: Don’t Give Up! Giggle On!

Spazzy Herpe Ball may have slowed me down but he did NOT kill my giggle.

Giggle Score

Christa:  1

Spazzy Herpe Ball:  0, zilch, nada

6 weeks later

6 weeks after the SHB incident I’m still on the mend. I may never play with herpe ball again (no love lost for me) but I’m eager to get back to training and back into my normal fitness routine (and yes, that includes both my ankles).

It wasn’t “fun” or funny hurting myself but as Carol Burnett once said,

“Comedy is tragedy plus time.”

We all face struggles. I’d rather laugh than cry. How ’bout you?

For all ya’ll who waited patiently for photos of Team Giggle On, the wait is over. Enjoy!

For those of you who participated in the walk, run or made a donation, please accept my heart felt thanks. Team Giggle On had 74 participants and we were recognized for having the largest and most gigglicious team the MHA of Delaware has ever seen.

The MHA filmed a video of event and many members of Team Giggle On are on camera. I’m also interviewed at the 23 second mark talking about the benefits of exercise and laughter.

Giggle On! and thanks again!!!

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The Giggle Peace Prize

Like many of you, I am shocked by recent Nobel Peace Prize news hitting the airwaves today.

In the spirit of giving (to myself) and receiving (again, all me) I decided to nominate myself for the first Giggle Peace Prize.

Giggle Peace

I don’t know how much I have accomplished in terms of a global giggle peace but I have a BIG PLANS about spreading smiles. I have only just begun here at Giggle On – there’s so much to do, so many smiles to be uncovered, so many clown noses to distribute.

Regardless of the “specific plan” or any actual accomplishments, I’m asking you to vote for me anyway. What could it hurt?

I obviously already have the ability to make a great peace sign with my fingers (noted above) and just look at that Hollywood smile!

VOTE FOR CHRISTA!

Vote early. Vote often.

[poll id="5"]

If you would like to be considered for a specific peace prize, please leave a comment below and include the type of prize you are nominating yourself for and why you feel you should win.

Thank you. Giggle On!

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Grieve, Give, Giggle

GiveLaughter, an Antidote to Grief

Neil Chethik, editor for the Open to Hope Foundation, posted a question to his contributing writers last week:

How has giving helped you in grieving?

My immediate thought was “Great Question” and I set about to write a brief synopsis about grieving, giving and giggling called, Using Laughter and Playfulness as an Antidote to Grief.

The minutes, hours and days of deep grieving have past for me but I still have moments where I cry and reflect about what happened 4 years ago today, the day my friend Jim died by suicide.

The tears are infrequent now. The incessant crying, desperation and wrenching guilt I felt has been replaced by lots of smiles and laughter.

Life is good!

In reality, the loss of my friend turned into a gain. It gave me the opportunity to examine my life closely and make better choices about how I was living each day. The simple things in life give me a lot of pleasure now like riding  around in my truck and drinking beer after a hot yoga class. *smile*

Rock and Roll, Tonka Truck & Post-Yoga Beer

For those who don’t know me well, let me tell you a not-so-secret, secret. I LOVE MY TRUCK. I don’t love it in a “let’s date” kind of way.

My truck is an extension of my personality. My adult Tonka toy is practical, hard-working, down-to-earth, ballsy and unpretentious.

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I enjoy driving around blasting rock-and-roll from my cheap-ass speakers every chance I get. Give me Green Day, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Creed, Pearl Jam, classic rock like AC/DC, 80′s hair bands, grunge, great drum solos and anthematic tunes sung by rock’s patron saint, Freddie Mercury. WE WILL, WE WILL, ROCK YOU!

Picture a chick (moi) smiling, wearing a purple baseball cap, red lipstick and sitting behind the wheel of a a black truck banging her head back and forth to a raucous rock tune.

This past Sunday Miss Tonka and I drove down to Newark, Delaware to attend my friend Joyce’s Harvest Moon Yoga class at Empowered Yoga.  I was cruising along on a perfect fall day with the windows down listening to WYSP, Philadelphia’s classic rock station at ear deafening levels (the ONLY volume for rock I might add).

I was singing, smiling and thinking about meeting up with my yoga buddies for some good old fashioned Hatha yoga action (with clown nose during balancing poses) and post Savasana beer. Yeah, yogi’s drink! We’re into fitness and yoga philosophy but we’re not anti-social. Sheesh. *giggle*

Inhale. Exhale..add a new cue… Guzzle! YEAH! (Special thanks to Twin Lakes for the Oktoberfest, delish man, delish!)

Lynyrd-Skynyrd-Free-Bird-Sticker-L

You are as Free as a Bird Now

My mood shifted from smiles, yoga and clown noses to thoughts of Jim as soon as I heard the first few chords of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird from my truck speakers.

I’ve been reflecting about him lately due to the time of year and all the work I’ve been doing preparing for the E-Racing the Blues event. Jim and I also shared a love of music. He also drove a truck. I often feel like he’s playing DJ for me when I’m driving around. Right after he died I would imagine him sitting in the passenger seat jamming along with me (hell, I still do now, who am I kidding).

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now,
cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see.

I shook my head in acknowledgment as little baby tears ran down my face. Of course I will remember you, dude.

Who could forget the great talks, breaking bread, philosophizing, drinking beer, fixing houses and laughing ourselves silly?

Immediately after Freebird ended, Coldplay’s song, Talk, started to play.  I first heard this tune when it was released in December 2005. At that time I felt like I had written the lyrics myself. All I wanted to do was pick up the phone and call Jim…and for a while I did, just to hear his voice on his cell phone greeting.

Oh brother I can’t believe it’s true
I’m so scared about the future and
I want to talk to you
Oh I want to talk to you

Was it coincidence this song came on the radio while thinking of Jim during my Sunday afternoon truck ride? I doubt it, I think James was playing DJ again. *smile*

Even for all the problems and the pain, Jim loved to laugh (as noted in this unflattering photo of me and Jim taken many, many years ago).

This picture is what it’s all about.

Giggling On…laughing with friends and enjoying life.

Christa and Jim Giggle On

There’s no pain, suffering, depression or sadness where Jim is now.

He is as free as a bird! It is my belief he is engulfed in pure love (and he’s also probably drinking a beer, smoking those damned cigarettes, wearing his tool belt and boots. *giggle*).

On this, the 4th year to the day since Jim’s decided to go traveling on, I commemorate his life and our friendship. I thank him for the gift he gave me, the gift of knowing my own life has meaning and purpose. I am glad I made the  decision to stay on the planet, give-back and Giggle On!

I know Jim wouldn’t want me to waste another moment crying or another breath feeling guilty about what happened. If he were here I think he would say…”Sweetheart, Giggle On!”

I Giggle On, Rock On, Love On, Yoga On and Give On. Join me!

An Invitation to Celebrate Life

Please join me as I celebrate the life and friendship of Jim Thompson on October 25, 2009 in the E-Racing the Blues event benefiting the Mental Health Association in Delaware.

As a tribute to Jim and his sense of playfulness, team members will receive clown noses, kazoos and bubbles.

I doubt Jim would have worn a clown nose, but he would have played a kazoo, blown bubbles and danced around shakin’ his booty in his own special and most hilarious Jimmy way.

Life is meant to be enjoyed...let’s do it together!

Join Team Giggle On today! :-)

Update: October 26, 2010 – three weeks after this post originally went live I learned my other friend Jim Sims died by suicide. Jim Sims inspired me to create this site. This year Team Giggle On walks in memory of Jim Thompson and Jim Sims. If you live in the Wilmington, Delaware area, please join us this Sunday. If you cannot make it and would like to make a donation to our team, we welcome your contribution.

Depression and Addition are Treatable! Please seek help for yourself or your loved one if they suffer from these diseases. God Bless.

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Related Posts:

Team Giggle On™ E-Races the Blues

Have Fun: Tips to bring playfulness into your life

How to Be Happy

Favorite things, relish in the good stuff

Have fun. Make up new words!

9 Tips to Boost your mood

5 Quick Ways to Get your Giggle On

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