If you are the perceptive type, you may have noticed I haven’t been writing as much lately. That would be because my life has suddenly become insanely busy. And not busy with things that would be very interesting to write or read about. (But perhaps I overstep myself – if anyone is interested in Canada’s Income Tax Act, let me know. I am a fountain of information.) … (That doesn’t mean I’m offering to do your tax return for free.)
Between work, tax class, payroll class, pilates class, swing class, reviewing shows at the Fringe, fundraising for juvenile diabetes research (thanks to everyone who helped out with that, by the way), studying for my classes, and trying to shoe-horn in a bit of time with the man of my dreams, I’ve been pretty swamped. So swamped, in fact, that I’ve bought a day-planner book so I don’t miss anything or double-book. That’s right: a book; no new-fangled blackberries or iPhones for me.
Anyhow, all this activity is very positive. I am having fun with the dance class; pilates tends to keep away the evil demons in my lower back, and the classes I’m taking are broadening my work-related skill set. But the thing is, even if chaos is positive chaos, it’s still pretty stressful.
My favourite way of dealing with stress is to find things that make me laugh.
This isn’t as easy to do as you would think. This is a cynical world. A lot of what passes for funny is really just mean. I think people instinctively (and rightly) feel that laughing makes them seem human, so they laugh at things that aren’t actually funny. Or, with the internet, they pretend to laugh. Seriously, think about the last time you wrote lol on something. Were you actually laughing out loud? Be honest, with yourself at least. I’d be willing to bet that in 95% of the situations, the answer is no. (Those little acronyms drive me mental. Every time you use them, I judge you. If I like you enough, I get over it, but still – must you?)
The problem here, as with faking any emotion, is that there will be people who assume you are sincere and will continue with their unfunny activities in the mistaken belief that they are being funny. The comedic world could eventually be over-run by these people. It’s a wicked path to a world without real humour folks. Don’t do it. (Stephanie’s public safety message of the day.)
So, I have been actively seeking out things that will make me laugh – honestly and simply. (And I am going to share the joy of my successful findings.) The Fringe was fantastic for that, actually. It can be very hit and miss, but I managed to pick all excellent and hilarious shows to see: Wicked Shorts, A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup, and Limbo.
Also of note was whoever picked out the outfits people from my work would wear to the JDRF ride. In theory, the theme was “80’s,” but in reality, it was “Neon Monstrosity,” combining neon shirts, sunglasses, and knee socks for a headache-inducing and very amusing look that could be spotted by passing planes. Myself, I won the fashion jackpot, having been given some fantastic striped socks with all the colours of the neon rainbow. And from what I’ve been told, I get to keep them. Pretty excited about that.
I also saw a great movie for laughs, Easy A. The main girl was excellent, but it was the parents, played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson, who just made me laugh every time they opened their mouths. Brilliant. (And extremely impressive considering how well Tucci played a serious creepazoid in The Lovely Bones.)
I also bought another Pearls Before Swine treasury the other day, and read the whole thing. Why do I get such joy from dumb crocodiles who are unable to eat their next-door zebra neighbour? I have no idea, but the formula tickles me every single time.
Also awesome is this video. What kind of people put their baby in a watermelon? I guess who cares. I for one am glad they did. (Actually, we can probably blame Anne Geddes for this kind of carry-on.)
I also dig YouTube videos of Tim Minchin, Eddie Izzard, and the Old Spice guy, who all crack me up, even after repeated watchings.
So this is my life right now. Datebook chaos countered by sought out moments of artistic media hilarity. It’s exhausting, but the formula seems to be working for me at the moment, so if you have any ideas on funny things I should be checking out, let me know. You will be positively contributing to my mental health.