dual personalities

Category: humor

The thoughts you think

This made me laugh…

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newyorksocialdiary@instagram.com

And I have to agree with this…

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vegaslady42@instagram.com

I am not on Facebook or Twitter, but I do have an Instagram account, so I know about wasting time. But as you can see, it is not all a waste of time.

Classes have started up again at my flyover institute. Busy, busy again. Thankfully I got all my Christmas decorations taken down and stored away over the weekend. The OM and the boy even took the extra leaf out of the dining room table and the wee laddie freaked out, screaming that they were breaking the table (“my table”). Who knew he felt so strongly about the table? Life can be very disturbing.

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The wee babes are back in school too. It’s good to get back to a normal routine.

And lest we forget:

“When bad news is riding high and despair in fashion, when loud mouths and corruption seem to own center stage, when some keep crying that the country is going to the dogs, remember it’s always been going to the dogs in the eyes of some, and that 90 percent, or more, of the people are good people, generous-hearted, law-abiding, good citizens who get to work on time, do a good job, love their country, pay their taxes, care about their neighbors, care about their children’s education, and believe, rightly, as you do, in the ideals upon which our way of life is founded.”

― David McCullough, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For

Yes.

“And it’s all in a day’s work”*

My friend Carla posted this on Facebook yesterday and I have to share it because it made me laugh 😂.

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I mean really. They evacuated the street?

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I get it. Better safe than sorry, but you gotta love it. If it’s not giant raccoons, it’s the bomb squad, right, Carla?

Another friend sent me some beautiful pictures of his redbud trees (eastern redbud tree, Cercis canadensis), noting how their blooms originate from the branches.

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It has been a particularly great year for our mid-MO redbuds.

And here’s some news you can use.

*Dr. Dre (and others)

1066 and all that

The Norman conquest of England began on this day in 1066.  The invasion and occupation of England by an army of Norman, Breton, Flemish and French soldiers was led by Duke William II of Normandy, later known as William the Conqueror.

This made me think of the book 1066 and All That: A Memorable History of England, comprising all the parts you can remember, including 103 Good Things, 5 Bad Kings and 2 Genuine Dates.  

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The book is a parody of the style of history teaching in English schools at the time (1930), in particular of Our Island Story. It purports to contain “all the History you can remember,” and covers the history of England from Roman times through 1066 “and all that,” up to the end of World War I, at which time “America was thus clearly Top Nation, and history came to a .” [full-stop, like a telegram] It is full of examples of half-remembered and mixed-up facts, puns and really bad jokes.

The book is written in the manner of a bad test essay with most of the names wrong. It is also full of private jokes and you really have to know quite a lot of history to get them, so I can’t imagine anyone today being even slightly amused by it.

Truly it makes my own history-major head spin.

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Zut alors!

On the whole I prefer Nigel Molesworth: “a chiz is a swiz or swindle as any fule kno.”

All latin masters hav one joke.

Caesar adsum jam forte
or
caesar had some jam for tea.

No one knows anything now.

Loving observation and a boundless delight in all absurdity

As you know, I have been pouring over a pile of New Yorkers from the 1940s. The cartoons by Helen Hokinson really stand out to me–probably because I relate to the women in them. Never say that I cannot laugh at myself.

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I have an old book of Hokinson cartoons so she has been on my radar for some time.

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Her ladies remind me of Josephine Hull as Veta Louise in Harvey (1950) which I just watched recently. Her portrayal has Hokinson written all over it.

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“Oh, Myrtle Mae, don’t be didactic. It’s not becoming in a young girl. Besides, men loathe it.”

Anyway, Helen E. Hokinson (June 29, 1893 – November 1, 1949) was an American cartoonist and a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker. Over a 20-year span, she contributed 68 covers and more than 1,800 cartoons to The New Yorker.

Born in flyover country–Mendota, Illinois– she studied art in Chicago at the Academy of Fine Arts and began drawing fashion illustrations for department stores including Marshall Fields. From Chicago she went to New York where she continued her studies, worked as a fashion illustrator and tried cartooning with a comic strip which failed.

When The New Yorker was founded in 1925, Helen submitted one of her drawings to the editors. She was asked to continue sending drawings each week for possible publication. In 1931, she met James Reid Parker with whom she formed a business relationship. She created the drawings, he wrote the captions.

Her drawings for The New Yorker featured plump well-to-do club women who wore high heeled shoes and were conscious of hats, fashions, caring for pets, and gardens. Eventually she became worried that people were laughing at, rather than with, the buxom, strong-minded (but occasionally befuddled) women whom she had stamped as her own, and launched a crusade to defend and explain them. She was en route to one such public-appearance on November 1, 1949, when she died in the Eastern Airlines Flight 537 mid-air collision at Washington National Airport.

In the next issue of the magazine after her death, “The Editors” wrote:

“The news of Helen Elna Hokinson’s death in an airplane accident last week was as sad as any that has come to this office. Miss Hokinson’s first drawing appeared in The New Yorker on July 4, 1925. The magazine was less than five months old then, and it was singularly fortunate in finding, at its difficult beginning, an artist of such rare and gentle distinction. In the years since then, her pictures have appeared in these pages almost every week, and the ladies she drew have become perhaps the most widely known and certainly the most affectionately cherished of any characters we have introduced to our readers. If satire is defined as an exposure of anyone’s weakness, she was not a satirist at all, or even a humorist, if there is any implication of harshness in that. Her work was the product of loving observation and a boundless delight in all absurdity, none more than that she found in herself, and the pleasure she gave other people was really a reflection of her own. We can remember no unhappier duty than writing this final paragraph about an irreplaceable artist and a woman whom some of us have fondly admired half our lives.”

Well, what do you say we have a glass of wine and needlepoint?

Carpe Diem

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Today is Erma Bombeck’s (1927 – 1996) birthday.  Bombeck, you may recall, was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column describing suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. She also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers. From 1965 to 1996, Erma Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns, chronicling the ordinary life of a midwestern suburban housewife. By the 1970s, her columns were read twice-weekly by 30 million readers of the 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. Wow!

I suppose no one remembers Erma these days. She was unabashedly middle class and unsophisticated. People could relate to her. She was never “cool” like Nora Ephron, although really they wrote about similar things. Well, here are some wise words from this wise lady to think about today.

Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.

My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.

If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.

I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television … and more while watching real life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.

I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.

I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn’t show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.

When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.”
― Eat Less Cottage Cheese and More Ice Cream: Thoughts on Life from Erma Bombeck

Still as true today as it was 50 years ago! Let’s have some ice cream!