Thursday, November 25, 2010

Laugh

I can't believe it: I finally have another baby, and I'm neglecting it!

Okay, it's just a baby blog; and it's certainly preferable that I neglect that "baby" than my real, beautiful six-year-old "baby" girl. Still, I don't want to leave my precious readers empty-handed. (Empty-eyeballed?)

So my humble but delicious offering is the recommendation of this book: Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar..., subtitled Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes - by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein.

It's essentially a silly version of Philosophy 101, a breezy introduction to the subject, with all ideas illustrated by jokes. Some of the jokes are really, really funny. Many are terrible groaners - terrible in the way that only jokes can be terrible, yet still be good. I laughed out loud a lot, which doesn't usually happen when I'm reading. (...as one might imagine, considering I tend to favor the likes of Hamlet. Ha!)

Here's a one-liner from the book, on the subject of ethics:
A sadist is a masochist who follows the Golden Rule.

Another quickie:
Secretary: Doctor, there's an invisible man in the waiting room.
Doctor: Tell him I can't see him.

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving! If a chuckle isn't something to thankful for, I don't know what is.

With sincere gratitude for you, dear Reader,
Lady MacBeff

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tip Me Over and Pour Me Out

So... (master of transitions, I am!)....
I began to blog recently, with half a decade of churning thoughts and emotions and a w i l d l y unbalanced sleep budget synthesizing to spawn in my mind reams of blog-ready rants (or posts, if you prefer less alliteration).

Now in the meantime, something nice veryveryvery suddenly and unexpectedly happened. It is a total surprise to me. And it's been making the Sweet seep in ever so slightly deeper and determinedly squeezing out little drops of Bitter and Salty. A teensy vent has been tapped (gently) into, and a wee stream of steam's been released. (For now. If, like the little teapot, I get all steamed up again, you'll hear me shout.)

But for now, in the way a GPS is forced awkwardly to re-calculate the route if you make an unexpected turn, I feel like my creative m.o. unexpectedly is in a little phase of disorientation and adjustment.

(And no, I won't go into the details: I will leave everyone to work out for him/herself what I might possibly be talking about. And there's no extra credit for showing the work if you try to solve the equation.)

Incidentally, last night I got to do something I've had my eye on for years; namely dine at a restaurant that is the only Basel item in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. If you run into me and catch me with a moony expression on my face, I may be recalling how exquisitely the red wine tangoed with the rucola-pimento polenta. So ridiculously wonderful... sigh.....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lifting Curses

When something bad happens, sometimes you can't help feeling you have rotten luck. It's probably crossed your mind if, say, you've ever missed your bus and it was raining so hard and you forgot your umbrella. Let alone if you've lost your job or your baby or your husband crashes into an Alp or some other tragedy occurs. Sometimes a string of trouble seems to follow, and it all feels connected. Sometimes it makes you feel alone, like an alien freak. Or like you're cursed.
(Note: Those feelings are not to be confused with rational thought, and do not call for any form of metholodolgical disputation.)

Writing, joking even halfheartedly or full-blown laughing about it can help 'take off the curse.'

That's been darting through my mind for the last five years - since I read Christopher Reeve's autobiography, Still Me - shortly after Oli's spill. Christopher Reeve was the iconic Superman movie star and became quadriplegic when he had a horseback riding accident.  

On his first major venture from the rehab center after his accident, propped in his new, hulking electric wheelchair and loaded with breathing equipment, Christopher Reeve went to a huge event where he would have to speak. Upon seeing him, people applauded, then fell silent. Who knows - they were frightened, embarrrassed, sad, awash with pity?

But the comedian Robin Williams was an old friend and joined Superman on stage. He started joking about the wheelchair, telling people to beware in case Reeve lost control of the wheelchair and popped a wheelie into the audience; joked that the breathing tube was a fashionable new kind of necktie. He lifted the curse, as Superman wrote, and people could exhale, laugh, talk, maybe ask questions. Phew. 

Blogging may be one way of dispelling our curse.

http://www.christopherreeve.org/

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

i Am a Star (or not)

Before returning to the hairy tales of the online love connection scene, which seem to have aroused some curiosity, here are a few thoughts on... why the blog and why now?
It's something I've contemplated for a while. When we were moving to Switzerland in '05, I had already set up a blog to recount our anticipated Alp-and-dairy-filled expat adventures to family and friends. Since Oliver's mishap, too, I've occasionally mulled blogging. I am a writer, but lost without an audience or a deadline.

Most importantly, in a perfect world, my scrawls could help people who are feeling lonely or lost in somewhat similar situations, looking for someone who might understand*; or maybe even help me forge connections with others who could somehow relate to what I/we have been going through.

But why now, after so long? After so long... partly because I don't do anything without torturing myself for at least 12 months by wondering whether I should do it or not!

But I may also have pinpointed another motivation. The surprising conjecture is that... I maybe can trace my sudden blogaciousness to... the acquisition of my iThang. (Yes, this would be the same new iPod Touch that busted its keyboard after just a couple weeks - unleashing its maniacal auto-spell checker, and thus making me blog about Flemish rugby beetles in conjunction with my (non)lovelife.)

Perhaps, I think, the iThing has made me more self-centered. Or at least, more prone to translating my thoughts into narrative. With the iPod, my life suddenly has a soundtrack. The sound is so good and cloaks my brain in mostly handpicked songs, so I walk around feeling like I'm in a movie starring... yours truly, of course. I get in character a little, like last week: Lots of Clash songs made me get all jaunty, maybe even a touch more smartassical than usual. (Dangereuse!) I do not know if this is just a freakcake thing, or if other earbudded heads out there feel the same? The old Walkman, or Discman, just didn't have this effect.

But even as I shutter out the universe a bit by plugging my ears with little buds, this blog is meant to open my window to the world a little wider. C'mon in, world. Let the communing begin!
*Please feel free to share the blog/ invite others to subscribe if you know anyone who might appreciate it....