Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Humor by Fred Klett

On a couple nights of our recent cruise to Alaska we had the privilege of having the very clean but HILARIOUS humor of Fred Klett.  I laughed the first night until my cheeks were sore.  And no kidding – one woman in the front row got TICKED OFF at his style of poking fun at those in the audience that weren’t laughing and she actually WALKED OUT!  I think that might have been even more funny!  He was doing a “reverse heckling” to the front row (and a few rows back too) and put the microphone in front of a couple of women to see how their laughing was.  You had to be there – it was pretty funny.  This next bit about the funny ways that different cultures speak – was one of the bits he did on our cruise that night.  Our cruise director, Mike – is from ENGLAND so you can imagine what grief the ENTIRE cruise gave him after that – EVERY time anyone saw him in public – such an easy target – and SO MUCH FUN!

Hope you enjoy – and if you like this one – be sure to catch his other bits on youtube.  He did most of these on our cruise too.  Clean humor is THE BEST!

God Bless

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30 Years Ago

This month marks 30 years that Greg and I have been married. So for the next five days (our actual anniversary is on Labor Day) I will be posting a “blast from the past” picture.

The above picture was taken when we became engaged the end of March, 1981. Look how young we were. Can anyone really tell what life is going to be like when you are that young? We certainly did not. We had not known ministry jobs and complications – financial reversal and two children – who would grow up to make us so proud. We only knew that for us – the world was pretty small – as we planned our upcoming September 5th wedding, and tried to get through another semester of college.

Where were you 30 years ago?

God Bless

Fighting Fair

Erma Bombeck

Image by Ujwala Prabhu via Flickr

Greg and I had an interesting verbal “sparring match” this morning.  It is very healthy to have these – as I have in recent years, discovered – and yet it is still somewhat foreign soil to venture in to the murky dark abyss of this type of “healthy exchange”.  We are still pretty new to resolving our differences this way.  Even after all the years we’ve been married.  It’s easier to say nothing than to deal with some things.

We’ve been reading one of Erma Bombeck’s hilarious books on relationships and in one chapter she writes about a very humorous exchange between she and her husband where she asks him, ‘Linda and Joe have meaningful conversations – why don’t we have any meaningful conversations’?  To which they both agreed, finally that surface conversations were safer in the long run.

Sometimes meaningful conversations between men and women are at crossed purposes and it seems easier to keep it simple.    I mean, since a man is NOT a woman – by any stretch of the imagination – it is difficult to get him to THINK like one.  I believe a meaningful conversation for my husband or any other guy friend of mine would be full of facts and information – sparring about this and that – displaying and ‘peacocking’ ambitions and accomplishments – news issues or politics – or for the Christian man – a debate on scripture or strategy on church leadership and such.

But women would rather talk about how they feel about issues – relationships and don’t care so much about the facts and figures.  And if it’s a news-worthy topic – it’s usually how people feel that are being affected – world events that talk about people and not just strategy and politics for strategy and politic’s sake.  Arguing or debating is not high on our list of ‘fun things’ to do.

Don’t get me wrong – I love a good sparring match – when it’s fun and harmless – debating about this or that – when it’s done right with no personal ‘shots’ or humiliating comments from the other party – and I can usually hold my own with any man on many topics – but it is difficult finding the balance in the sparring – when it’s your husband.

For some strange reason – over time, at least for us – we know how to do the “dance” of our relationship.  The things and words that push all of our buttons – and then have a hard time knowing how to defuse a situation after it IS into more than just a “healthy discussion”.  We know it’s important to not accuse and say things like, “YOU always says this” or “YOU make me feel lousy about myself when you do or say that” – instead we know to say, “I feel like bad when you say this” or “I am not liking what I think you are meaning by that” but alas.  Often times a discussion can turn south WAY before the intentions for saying the right thing is properly communicated.

I have learned how to have healthy and “meaningful conversations” with my husband out of necessity and out of survival – but sometimes we are not always successful – and occasionally – even we blow it.

Today I did not “stuff” my feelings as I would have done in years gone by – I spoke it right out!  It was a pretty stupid meaningless thing – nothing earth-shaking at all.  But it did have repercussions – as any discussion like this will.  And in frustration I heard myself saying these words, “Why can’t you be more like a WOMAN”?  Yeah right.  Really clever.  The problem is this:  Greg is my best friend – and he’s clearly NOT a woman.   He is a man.  He is also my husband.  So many problems with this arrangement – so much potential ammunition to want to KILL HIM at times – because he is A DUMB GUY!!

And so our dance continues.  I am learning to speak out when things bother me (this is so NOT like me in the past) and he is learning to dial it back a pinch when he has that incredible little imp that sits on his shoulder.  The Brat.  It’s not perfect – but it’s a life-long journey that we call marriage.

I suppose this is what they call “fighting fair” – having a healthy and meaningful exchange of words – really listening to what the other person is saying – learning what to say and what NOT to say to diffuse a situation and most of all – to remember to show a lot of love a grace when personal ego and pride are affected.  When your husband is a man and also your best friend – it’s worth the dance.

God Bless

“Bugsy Malone” Weekend

Well it’s finally here – the weekend we have all been waiting for.  The junior high theater production of “Bugsy Malone”.

I have been the music director for several years now and we have done “Bugsy” before – about 5 years ago or so – different cast and crew – but it seems a little different somehow this time.  Every time you have a different group of students – the dynamic changes.  It has been exciting and terrifying all at the same time, trying to pull this one together – and not a lot of time to do it.

The set is great and the costumes are wonderful – but most of all – the students in this are AWESOME.

Opening night is tonight.  I know that everything will come together just in time – it always does.  And I know that I will look back on this one – as being the best cast and group of people I’ve even had the privilege of working with.

With this production – I say farewell – my best wishes and hopes are in the future theater department – to Laura McGinnis, teachers, parents and students who will undoubtedly take it to the next level.  It has been a pleasure to work with music and to see how really great the students can be when someone believes in them – and how great they are when they believe.  I am lucky – I keep in touch with many of my students after they move on – go to high school, college and then go off and have their own grown-up lives.  They are all special and have a place in my heart – even when I don’t get to see or talk to them much.

And so – here we are – another group of students – some more pictures and unspoken memories which cannot be captured in a picture.  I keep those in my heart.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the dress rehearsal last night.

What Else You Got?

Cover of "Love Is A Decision"

Cover of Love Is A Decision

We have good manners (or at least we should) we have possessions and things and we have potential to be the best we can be.

But we are living in a society with failed marriages all around us.  They fail – even when people have all the above things in spade.

We get married because we’re in love.

We are well-mannered, and well-meaning – even bringing material things and all kinds of potential with us.

And still – many marriages fail.

So I ask the question:  WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

Love – check

Good manners – check

Well meaning – check

Some material possessions – check

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

You see – every marriage that fails – started out with these things too.  Yours is no different.  Or is it?

I have learned a few things being married almost 30 years.  It takes much more than just love, good manners, material possessions and well-meaning to make a good strong lasting relationship – that can go the distance.

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

When the bottom drops out – life goes sideways and things aren’t fun anymore?

When crisis touches your family – financial security goes out the window and illness comes to stay?

When you have nothing else to give and the emotion of love is gone?

Here are some practical things to think about when contemplating marriage or in trying to better yours.

1. Love – ah the very word just makes us all warm and tingly, right?  It is something that great songs and Hallmark movies are made of.  “Love is all you need” and “Love means never  having to say you’re sorry” blah blah blah.  Nice sentiments – they sound so good and sing well – but they are NOT true!    I wish it was.  And there was a time not so long ago that I really thought love would be enough – but it was not.  Love is great but it can only take you so far.  Love is the great leveler – but it can also mess with your emotions and blind you. It is not enough when emotions can be fickle – and that feeling of romance and newness wears off eventually with anyone – especially in a long-term marriage.  This can be a  problem for people – if they don’t feel it anymore. Love – is a decision, therefore – not just an emotion.  It is an act of our will.

2. Friendship is wonderful and much more solid.  And friendship in marriage is a must. How many times have I heard that a couple was “in love” but as time wore on – they discovered that they did not even really know each other well – and they were startled to find out that they were not even friends.  When the emotion of love and romance wears thin – you must have something left to fall into – something safe and comfortable.  A friendship of heart and soul can save you when your marriage goes through a rocky patch – as all marriages do.

3. Respect in a marriage is also a must.  Many partners lose respect for each other when times are not exciting anymore – they withhold love – aren’t friends and don’t like each other anymore.  This leads to so many problems – the first and foremost is a sabotage of their own relationship.  Respect is given – as well as taken.  You must respect your spouse – but they  must also respect you.  And it is hard to hold that line – if you yourself are not respecting them.  How many times over the years have I seen couples talking badly to each other – even in public.  That is not good.  But you must be the first to respect. If you show kindness and proper respect for them – they will not be able to help but return it.  But you cannot have it only one way.  And respecting  means supporting your partner through good and bad times.  Finding a way to encourage the hopes and dreams of him or her and being that safe person that they can trust when life goes sideways.

4. Lead with your head and your heart will follow.  If you always allow your heart to lead you – you will be in trouble – as the heart is fickle and changeable – like the emotion of love.  We can feel love for many different people we have chemistry with. That doesn’t mean it is real. This is a hard one for many to deal with.  A long-term relationship isn’t always going to give you “tingles” – and if you get bored easily or need excitement 24/7 –  then long-term marriage isn’t for you.   But normally something needs to happen in you first.  You can’t always change things for the better – but that is the place to start.

5.  Be the person of integrity and character that you expect your partner to be. Living a life of character is hard.  We are not perfect and slip and fall in so many ways.  It is a daily choice – and sadly I have not always lived up to this – and maybe you have not either.  Don’t give up.  If you blow it – Jesus forgives – get up and try again.  He has promised to be with us on our daily journey and He will be there to help and guide us – giving us words of encouragement through His word and speaking softly to us through prayer.  He understands that it is hard to go through life without temptations – in fact we need to know that THEY ARE COMING.  No one is immune. Brush yourself off – and begin again – each new day is another chance to get it right.

5.  Don’t play the “blame game”.  That’s way too easy – and such a cop-out!  “They don’t respect me” or “They’re withholding” or “They don’t understand me” or “They don’t meet my needs” – are very common things that are said when going through a serious problem.  Instead of blaming – try finding out what is happening inside of you.  Have you stopped respecting them?  Have you withheld to punish or teach a lesson?  Have you failed to understand because they don’t understand you?  Do you meet their needs?

6.  Be the best person, lover, friend and confidant that you can be.  It starts with you.  Marriages still fail – but not usually when couples are sensitive to each others needs – putting their feelings and needs ahead of your own agenda and even your own happiness.  What you sow into them – in love, compassion, understanding, respect and friendship it WILL COME BACK TO YOU. And you CAN turn even a bad marriage around.  You can rekindle a dying relationship – bring a spark of life because of attention and determination – disciplining your heart and your mind to honor and love first – and let the feeling comes later.  Wait for it – it will come.

When couples wants to get married because “they’re in love” – this needs to be our question for them:

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

God Bless

Charlie Brown In A Lucy World

Charlie Brown

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes I lay awake at night and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ then a voice says to me,  ‘This is going to take more than one night.'”

Charlie Brown

Ever feel like Charlie Brown?  I know I have.  I used to love watching the ‘bumbling through life’ character – who never hid what he was feeling – good or bad.  But now I have to admit – it’s painful to watch him try to ‘slug it out’.  Because I feel like I’m looking in a mirror.  Ouch.

I used to like to identify with the other characters instead – Schroder who says nothing – but just sits and plays the piano – YEARS above where he should be playing.  *Sigh* – but I am NOT Schroder.

Sally is shy and sweet – naive and innocent – but still with an attitude. And much as I want to think that’s who I am – (I have been accused of this) sadly I am not.

And what about Linus?  Linus who doesn’t have great personal hygiene – but who knows how to be a friend and how to give great advice.  Someone dependable and true.  I’d like to think that this is who I am – not the personal hygiene part – but you get the picture.  But I’m not always like this either.

I have WAY too much to say – like Lucy. And NO ONE wants to be like Lucy.  Lucy is loud and opinionated – quick to judge – first to abandon – slow to forgive.  VERY narcissistic.  But that is not me either – or is it?  I hope not.

In the end – I am mostly like Charlie Brown.  At least inside.  Bumbling through life – trying to get people to understand me – trying to fit it – saying all the wrong things – trusting too much – expecting things will always be good – or always be bad – down on myself – totally pessimistic and then totally optimistic.  That’s me.  And it’s probably you too.  Living in a Lucy world.  Trying to impress – do something great – leave my mark – only to have all the “Lucy’s” of the world say, “You’re a blockhead, Charlie Brown”.  Yeah – that’s how it feels some days.

Are you also a Charlie Brown living in a Lucy world?  Cheer up!  Charlie had a lot of problems – but he was the most authentic and real person – never down for long – always ready to pick himself up and try again – no matter how many times he got it wrong.  No matter how many times Lucy told him he couldn’t do something – or how stupid he was.  Charlie is not the brightest – or the best looking.  But he’s real – and he knows who he is.  He’s just Charlie Brown – nothing more.  We can learn a lot about him – and be encouraged.

It doesn’t make all the “Lucy’s” in our life go away – but in a way – it’s a nice reminder.  Be yourself – when you stumble – get up.

Here’s to you Lucy –  GOOD GRIEF – You will NOT win.

God Bless

Over The Rainbow

Below is the beautiful version of this classic song – sung on the show ‘Glee’.  This is sure to make you smile today!

 

God Bless

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