Archive for the ‘Laughter’ Category

Daily Cupcake: Love Notes (Recycle Them if You Wish)

In Laughter, life, Love, Thoughts on November 30, 2012 at 6:09 am

I love you because it’s perfectly imperfect. I love your nose, and how you say I’ll get a right chuckle all while having a whale of a time. I love your art.


Day 70: Internalize the Rubric

In Education, English Major, Laughter, life, Teaching, Writing on September 15, 2012 at 6:36 am

I was standing in the meat department of the grocery store the other day staring blankly at the chicken cuts when the guy behind the counter looked at me and asked,

“what do you want?”

I looked directly at him, and I said.

“I’m sorry sir but I don’t know what I want. I don’t even know what day it is, and if you were to ask me my name at this very moment, I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’d be able to tell you what it is.”

I think he thought I was joking at first, but then after I stood there for about 5 minutes with a continued fixed-chicken thigh-gaze, he finally got it.

Skipping forward a few days, today I found myself at a gathering wherein I was told to internalize writing rubrics. After five years of undergraduate work, an almost complete masters degree, and countless graded papers (both my own and those of my students), I couldn’t help but return to my meat department moment (and gently kick my colleague under the table). I was under the impression a paper was either an A, B, C, D, E, or Failing. Maybe my internal grading rubric is slightly off kilter–or maybe I’m just starting to lose my sanity after several years in grad school (I did just notice my accidental E in there). I’m just lucky I am getting an identifiable name, albeit correct, on my own papers. I’m sorry professors. It was kind of like a moment in class last week wherein my student looked at me, and then he asked who was going to be the professor the following week…?

Um, me.

OK, so whose going to be the professor all semester?

Um, me.

Sorry kiddo, I’m not going anywhere whether you like my rubric or not. The good thing is though, I can’t remember my name half the time so guess what? You don’t have to either. I promise, I won’t take points off for that.


HOLSTEE AUGUST: Remember to Love Because It’s What Makes You Real

In Books, Esteem, Friendship, Happiness, Holstee Manifesto, Humanity, Laughter, life, Love, Teaching, Thoughts, Writing on August 3, 2012 at 8:40 pm

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Love is such an interesting emotion, it’s one of the things that makes me feel vulnerable, but being loved is truly what makes us real–just like the Skin Horse says. It doesn’t happen to people who break easily because love takes toughness, endurance, and perseverance. Love is not like the romance film, it’s much more real than that, and I oftentimes wonder if the people in this world, the ones who truly know how to love, are only those who have endured an entire lifetime giving it to someone. I think it just might take those loose joints, lost hair, and shabbiness to truly understand what it means to love. Perhaps that’s why we’re given an entire lifetime to pursue it, perfect it, and understand it.

In looking through the Holstee Manifesto and it’s proclamations, which we have now made it through in entirety, the only words that appear more than once throughout are: life and love. This provokes something in me, it reminds me of the importance of living a life of sought love. That’s what the manifesto begs. It’s not easy, it will hurt at times, but it’s like this quote states:


HOLSTEE JULY: How I Seized Life Through An Air Freshener

In Holstee Manifesto, Humanity, Laughter, life, Love, Men, Romance, Teaching, wit, Women on August 1, 2012 at 8:14 am

We’ve almost made it through the Manifesto. Sad but true.

Anyway, I was trying to figure out how to fit the following experience into one of the last left proclamations–attempting to create a moment of inspiration. We’ll see how it goes.

This last week my boyfriend stayed at my house (he works away mostly and it seemed better than him renting a hotel for the short duration of him being back in town).  He decided to get me a gift, one to say thank you for putting up with me, my dirty feet, protein powder spillage, and changing my 3 year-old’s diaper blowout.  Mostly though, he wanted to say thank you for letting him use my bathroom for his ‘starbuck’s special’ as he has entitled them.

His gift was very thoughtful given the aforementioned.

He brings in the Target bag, and pulls out whatever else he has purchased, then leaning towards me as he is simultaneously pulling my gift out of the bag too says, “here, I got this for you. I thought about getting you a couple new soap dispensers (since I cracked both of mine in my move) but I forgot to hit that aisle.  Then he proceeds to hand me an AirWick Limited Edition Air Freshener (OK, it was a little fancier but this is funnier).  I was taken aback, I immediately hugged him and thanked him as he set it up over the toilet (I have since moved it to the bedroom now that he is no longer using my loo for his starbuck’s specials).  He was proud, very proud.

I thought long and hard about this gift.  It really was very thoughtful seeing as he uses the toilet 2, sometimes 3 times per day.  In his mind, he really did have my best interest at heart (or he just couldn’t find the soap dispenser aisle).


Seize every moment, whether it’s what you expect or not–just like I did as I was handed a target bag with an aromatic device.  It was really more than an airwick, it was an opportunity for compassion and thoughtfulness.  It’s a smell I cherish now that he’s gone–I love it because it reminds me of a moment, an opportunity, that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

a chicken whit.

Day 59: on being wholehearted

In Blogging, Esteem, Faith, Happiness, Humanity, Laughter, Love, Men, TED Talks, Women on July 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Today I am on a flight, again.

I had the privilege of visiting NY, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, all in less than 5 days–whirlwind trip. Very fun, though.

What I am thinking about mostly right now, though, is a TED talk that I listened to on my flight into JFK. I was having a long day, sleep deprived, and I just happened to snap on one of the 5 free Delta radio channels (for the record Delta is a joke). There came words I needed to hear and I find it no coincidence that I started to listen to that very station when I did. For those of you that know TED talks, the briefers are limited to a less than ten minute time period to present their research in the most imaginable and insightful way, so the fact that I caught this particular one is quite lucky.

This talk wasn’t focused on the customary scientific findings surrounding most, no, it was centered more on an emotional type of research that could be classified in the psychological jurisdiction; however, I still felt it to fit its own category of sorts having listened to several TEDs and never encountered one quite like this previously.

The speaker, Brenda Brown, was presenting her research on the topic of wholeheartedness. That is, what constitutes a whole hearted individual. She goes on to explain that she had spent several years interviewing several individuals categorized as wholehearted and then those who live, well, unwholehearted. The first problem, if you could call it that, that she encountered in her research was the notion that those who portray a wholehearted esteem recognize that to be wholehearted one must first accept that this requires making everything that you desire to be certain, uncertain. This was problematic for Brenda because, well, she’s a researcher and to be a researcher is to seek the definitive. She segues to note this first encounter required her to take a 2 year research break and attend weekly counseling, lol. However, once she overcame this realization she was able to even further delve into the information that would enlighten her as to what the belief system requires amongst the wholehearted. She goes on to note:

The way to live is not to control and predict, rather, it’s through vulnerability, the wholehearted live with vulnerability because this is the birthplace of love and happiness. The wholehearted let themselves be seen and they love life with their whole hearts even though there is no guarantee. The wholehearted recognize that you cannot selectively numb emotions. You see, when you numb anger, fear, disappointment, you cannot do this without also numbing love, happiness, and laughter. The wholehearted stop catastrophizing and believe in good, they are grateful because of this. They ask themselves, what makes me vulnerable and then they face it head on. They realize that it is this vulnerability that allows them to be them and to live.

Most importantly though, above all else, Brown’s research found that the wholehearted always believe this:

They believe they are enough.

Brown posed the question on her blog, what makes you feel vulnerable? She felt getting to the heart of this might help individuals to reveal their wholehearted nature. She received thousands of responses.

Waiting for doctor results
Initiating sex with my partner
Saying I love you
Getting a mammogram
Going to the doctor
Looking for a job
Going on an airplane

So I pose this question here, what makes you feel vulnerable? How do you find your way through that vulnerability, or do you?

a thinking whit


Day 58: thankful.

In Family, Friends, God, Happiness, Health, Humanity, Laughter, life, Love, Mother, Parenting, Thoughts on July 20, 2012 at 4:46 am

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the following:

patience. and

loving what you have/what you are given.

It’s so easy for me, or you, or anyone, really, to get caught up in wanting things beyond what one has or is given. I have, and sometimes I throw myself a pity party about it, but the reality is that there is always someone who has it worse or is embedded within circumstances that are less fixable.

One of my best friend’s husband is dying of cancer. He only has a year to live, at best.

I think about her situation quite often, and it makes everything in my life seem so manageable despite the hardship that I face within my own circumstances. I am thankful this week that I have those that I care about close to me and healthy. I am thankful that there was and will be the laughter of little kids in my house–I’ve been missing that.

I’m so thankful–for the little things.


Daily Cupcake: Holstee July LOVE.

In Holstee Manifesto, Laughter, life, Love, Men, Romance, Thoughts, Women, Writing on July 15, 2012 at 8:13 am

If you’re looking for the love of your life, STOP. You will find them when you start doing things you LOVE.


HOLSTEE JULY: Going to Lunch With Grandma

In Holstee Manifesto, Humanity, Laughter, life, Thoughts on July 2, 2012 at 2:03 am

Hello HOLSTEE July, honestly, I should have just extended this thing throughout the entire year.


Today I took my grandma to lunch. She’s a very funny lady (although I don’t think she knows this herself).  We were talking a lot about what it’s like to, basically, sit on your ass and have nothing to do. Then with all sincerity she looked right at me and said that she is going to get some clay and start sculpting a statue of the dog. She said she’d do one of Ini too if I’d like it for my mantle.


A smile immediately spread across my face. As we grow older it’s amazing how much simpler life gets. Apparently so much so, you begin to think up things like casting household pets.

But really, as I dropped off grandma and begin to pull out of the driveway I was thinking a lot about my life.  I was thinking how busy I am and how sometimes I wish things were so much simpler than they are.  I was thinking about what it must be like to be old, eyesight fading, health declining, and to not be able to do the simple things that lead to all the complicated things that make life exciting and enjoyable. What would it be like not to be able to just jump in the car and go where you want to go? What would it be like not to be able to take a run because your joints disallow it? What would it be like not to be able to get your nails done because there is no one to take you?  It would suck.  So, I am so thankful for my youth and I am so thankful for being able to do the simple things that give me the opportunities to do all the rest–the messy, complicated, tiring rest.

On Tuesday, grandma and I are going to get her clay and paints so she can start her masterpiece of Smokey the dog (and possibly Ini).  I’m sure they’ll both appreciate the simple gesture.

Day 45: Moms

In Happiness, Laughter, Mother, Parenting, Women on May 14, 2012 at 5:07 am

I am so grateful on this Mother’s Day.

I was thinking about all of my blessings today, especially those revolving around my little e, having him in my life, that’s the ultimate happiness for me.  I am reminded time and time again what a gift a mother’s love is–a gift God gave me almost seven years ago.

I wish I could remember every little thing e has said to me over those years, it’s terrible forgetting.  There are certain moments in motherhood that I wish I could freeze forever and replay them over and over in real time.  Like the other night when little e and I had a conversation about his future career moves,

“Mooom, I just don’t think I am going to make it very far in life.  I mean, I don’t even know what I am going to do for a job yet!  Mom these are the types of things you need to start thinking about at my age (he’s a ripe ol’ 6).”

I was laughing, there at the table, and I couldn’t make myself stop.  I thought, “this is it, this is the best thing in life–ever–hands down.”  I remember being pregnant with e and being so scared–terrified really.  I was thinking, this thing, it’s in my body, and it has to come out–there’s only one exit door too!  Man oh man.  Talk about being on edge for 9 months, well, actually 10 when you add it all up.  But I was different, I was REALLY on edge and quite possibly, if I hadn’t been so sick, might have signed up to delegate him my uterus’ permanent resident.  I had no idea, not a clue what was to come.  I was a really weird pregnant woman (most are in their own special way), and I wasn’t really into the whole ‘I’m going to be a mom’ thing.  I didn’t feel connected to the baby inside me, and I didn’t know how that connection would ever prove possible.  Until…

he was born.

In light speed things change, an instant really.  I’d say its a tacked on blessing…God goes, wham bam, these two are going to make the best team.

and we do.

It’s not always perfect, but it’s always beautiful.  It’s worth every tear, every tantrum, every kiss, every hug, every goodnight, every good morning, every blowout, every midnight bottle, every lost blankie, every embarrassing moment, every millionth question, every why, every how, every what is that, every I don’t want to take that medicine, every story read, every broken vase, every homemade card, every soccer practice, every bit of throw up, every ‘just one more’ and ‘please don’t go,’ every mom ‘I’m scared,’ every timeout, every ‘do I have to,’ every ‘Mom, I love you as much as…”

a thankful mom.

Daily Cupcake: Saying Hi

In Friends, Happiness, Humanity, Laughter, life, Thoughts, Women on September 19, 2011 at 4:26 am

Today’s daily cupcake is just a bit of advice: talk to a stranger every once in awhile.  You might surprise yourself.

Today I randomly questioned a girl about her North Face backpack because I’d never seen one like it.  I figured she got it abroad.  It spurred an entire conversation about her recent arrival in the States as a Korean exchange student.  She told me, “you are the person I admire the most–the person who can speak the perfect English.”  While not always true, and her English was quite fantastic, it was a compliment that made my somewhat difficult day a little more cheerful.  We ended up exchanging emails and have become facebook friends.  She has offered to help me with anything I would like to know about Asian culture.

You just never know who you will meet by reaching out a little beyond “your zone.”  You might even make a lifelong friend and those are hard to come by.

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