Monday, November 10, 2008

Laugh 30 x/Day

Discussing Ol' Yeller (and Abraham & Isaac, in comments in last post) sure ain't gonna help me reach my goal of laughing thirty times a day.
(Or will it? I just snorted [this counts] at the incongruity as I wrote that sentence.)

I'm not really counting, but I like the suggestion to laugh 30x/day I found in Martha Beck's book The Joy Diet (nothing to do with weight loss, thank god).
I decided to start paying attention to what makes me laugh.
Yesterday I laughed a ton. I went to the Sunday night $1 improv performance at Dudley Riggs (best deal in town) and laughed at everything, even stuff I wouldn't laugh at if it were on-screen. Live comedy is great that way.

Plus I'm reading George Eliot's Middlemarch. I picked it up after writing about some of the influences on my life. I couldn't quite decide how it ranked on that score because I read it--one time--so long ago, I only remember remembering it, if you know what I mean. Rereading it, I'd say it was a huge influence--and I'd totally forgotten how wickedly funny Eliot is.

This made me laugh out loud at the coffee shop yesterday:

"Dorothea, with all her eagerness to know the truths of life, retained very childlike ideas about marriage. She felt sure she would have accepted... John Milton, when his blindness had come on; or any of the other great men whose odd habits it would have been glorious piety to endure; but an amiable handsome baronet, who said 'Exactly' to her remarks even when she expressed uncertainty, – how could he affect her as a lover? The really delightful marriage must be that where your husband was a sort of father, and could teach you even Hebrew, if you wished it."

Oh god! I laugh because the young Dorothea reminds me so much of the young me:
so in love with theory that she can't see her very own real desires.
It helps that I know that Eliot is going to snatch Dorothea from the monstrous jaws of her own self-- through the agency of Death and Will.
I haven't seen the film adaptation, but I approve of casting Rufus Sewell (left) as Will Ladislaw.

(Sewell as the narcissistic numbskull Seth Starkadder in Cold Comfort Farm goes far toward helping fulfill laughter quotas.)

For people who aren't such Dunderkopfs as Dorothea and me, Eliot provides plenty else to laugh at. Here's another quote:

"Women were expected to have weak opinions; but the great safeguard of society and domestic life was that opinions were not acted on. Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them."


momo said...

I get some of my daily laughter dose by dutifully checking CuteOverload and I Can Has Cheezburger daily. I have also discovered Mock, Scissors, Paper, which is usually good for a laugh or tow. Jon Stewart on Comedy Central is good for at least one belly laugh and several snorts. That gets me up to 10-15 laughs. Dose can be administered upon rising, or before bedtime.
Sometimes Rich over at FourFour puts up something hilarious about America's Next Top Model or his cat Winston.
Last night, I saw something about Otto the Octopus in Germany that was really funny, but I can't remember where.

LOVED Middlemarch! Also read Romola, but not really as funny.

fresca said...

Thanks, Momo!
I followed up your link to Laughing Squid on your blogroll and found a live stream to shiba-inu puppies:

I hereby deem that squeals of insane delight count toward the doctor's orders of laughing 30x/day. (Martha Beck is a PhD, so that makes it doctor's orders.)

I am worshipping at the altar of Eliot. She was a Scorpio... of course.

fresca said...

P. S. Huh. On a whim I checked dark and broody Rufus Sewell's birth sign: Scorpio.
29th of October, 1967.

I also checked the birthdays of the Star Trek TOS bridge crew + Scotty + Gene Roddenberry.
Not a Scorpio among 'em. Lots of fire signs (Aries, Leo)--no wonder they're STILL duking it out among themselves forty years later!
"I'm the star!"
"No, I'm the star!"
Scorpios would have just quietly poisoned each other and moved on... those left standing. : )

(You know I say all this with a grain of salt and a big affectionate smile, right?)

Sal said...

A dollar? Really? Will have to drag Mike to this sometime soon ...

fresca said...

Yup. Every Sunday at 8 p.m., but they take December off. It's a lot of fun, though you never know, of course, what you'll get and it's very uneven. That's part of the fun!

momo said...

yes, de puppeeeez! Mostly when I look at them, they are sleeping, twitching and rolling on their fat little bellies.
Rufus Sewell, he of the soulful eyes! He had a good role as a revolutionary in that movie Amazing Grace about Wilburforce and abolitionism in England.

fresca said...

Oh, yes, I saw that. A character in Middlemarch just mentioned Wilberforce--funny when one runs into characters (real-life or not) in different places!

Pupppeeeez were biting and squealing when I watched--what little darling orange fatties. I'm in love. I want to get two and name them Rufus and George.

Jennifer said...

30 laughs a day...what does it say about myself that that seems an extremely optimistic goal?

Hm, today I think I got five or six in while watching an episode of Batman: The Animated Series with my friends (we all get on chat and cue up the DVD to the same place and hit play at the same time) in which Batman ends up fighting mutant chickens and cows.

The first line of "Logic and Lubricity" from your other post certainly did the trick as well. I am inspired to start thinking of other versions in fandoms I know. :)

fresca said...

I too thought 30x/day was a lot.
Beck writes that studies show adults laugh an average of 15x/day, while little kids laugh an average of 400 (four hundred!)x/day...