In quest of the ultimate tacky souvenir

Donald Trump bottle opener

This year for our family vacation, we spent a week in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina in April. As always, we had a great time exploring the area, hanging on the beach and enjoying some much needed sunshine after a long Canadian winter.

Just like most tourists, we scour the souvenir shops looking for the perfect souvenir to remember our trip.

This trip I SCORED BIG.

I found one of my favourite souvenirs of all time, and it didn’t cost me a dime. I ordered a Shark Bite, a refreshing mix of rum, blue curacao and grenadine, and it came in the most classic, Jaws-dropping, great white and blue shark mug.

And then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I found a souvenir that scored 11 (1 better) on the tacky souvenir scale.

It’s a fridge magnet bottle opener of Trump with bright orange hair in a blue suit. The hole where you crack open your beer is Trump’s pie-hole flashing a ghastly teethy grin, like he’s hailing-to-the-chief expletives at Omarosa, Spence or Comey or defending himself at his impeachment hearing in Congress.

I will treasure it for always.

This week’s #HappyAct is to seek the ultimate tacky souvenir. I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. See if you can trump mine.

souvenir shark mug

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The best advice for uncertain times

trumpocalypseThe Trumpocalypse is officially here.

I was astonished how many people refused to watch the inauguration. I’m not sure if they believed by watching they were endorsing what was happening before their eyes, or if it just sickened them too much to witness the carnage.

As a history major, I wasn’t about to miss this historic moment and witnessed Trump get sworn in with Dave and some colleagues at the Brew Pub, swilling our sorrows in beer.

It was all so surreal. Trump’s stump speech, evoking the vision of a country in decline and decay when unemployment is at one of the all-time lows and the United States is enjoying a period of strong economic growth. The cutaways to delusional loyal Trump supporters, crying in the sparse crowds of the Mall, fooled into thinking this man will make America great again.

The most fascinating part of Friday’s proceedings was seeing the reactions in the faces of the former Presidents and first ladies.

Bill Clinton had a plastered smirk on his face. Hillary sat by his side, with pursed lips and a glint of condemnation and disbelief in her eyes.

Barack Obama probably played the part best, and true to self, was gracious, putting the situation above himself.

But it was Michelle Obama who spoke volumes without uttering a word in her every move, gesture and look. Her sideward glances, lowered eyes and stalwart, I will get through this façade were those of a woman crestfallen, who knew everything she loved and cherished and had fought so hard to build would be disassembled in days by a man she abhorred.

Yes, the Trumpocalypse is here, but don’t despair. There are news reports by the dozens of Americans who are depressed and angry about the state of their country.

The best advice I’ve seen for weathering this storm is from advice columnist Ann Landers. A 24-year old woman wrote to Ann to say with all the conflict in the world and uncertainty, she was experiencing feelings of depression and anxiety.

Ann’s advice to her is this week’s #HappyAct: volunteer in your community. Do something to confirm or restore your faith in humanity. We can’t control the world around us, but we can make a difference and help make the world a better kinder place in our own backyard. It’s a start.

Top Ten Predictions for 2017

 

top predictionsHere are my predictions for 2017 from the world of entertainment, social media and the home front. I’m not sure if any of these will make the world a happier place, but they may make you smile.

  1. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and Donald and Melania Trump will divorce. Kanye and Trump will shack up together in the White House and become the new “it“ power couple, The Donkan, which sounds a lot like donkey
  2. Justin Trudeau will become the host of a new TV news program, “Joint, Counterjoint” where he and his guests will get high each week while solving the world’s problems
  3. My dogs will get off the couch before 11 a.m.
  4. Justin Bieber will post a picture on Instagram where he is actually smiling
  5. One of our chickens will lay 8 eggs at once, creating an new internet sensation, Octochick and getting Clare into the Guinness Book of World Records
  6. Fifth Harmony will become Fourth Discord—wait, that one’s come true
  7. One freaky Friday, teenagers all over the world will morph into the pig-like creatures they post on Snapchat
  8. Beyonce will score big with her next hit release, Orange Juice
  9. Our friend Jack Patch will become obscenely rich from inventing the newest social media craze, Assbook (happy birthday, Jack!)
  10. Hit reality show The Bachelor will experience its lowest ratings ever in January from choosing despicable Nick, and be pressured by fans in Batchelor Nation to change the show’s name to The Loser

There you have it. My top predictions for 2017. What are your predictions or New Year’s resolutions for 2017? Happy New Year everyone!

Say what you mean

cat in the hat say what you meanWhy can’t people just say what they mean?

Being clear and honest would solve so many problems.

Relationships would be stronger because we would forge stronger connections from shared understanding.

There would be less uncertainty and confusion in the world.

We would make less mistakes.

We would save precious time from trying to interpret what the other person is saying or what they want.

Saying what we mean could also help advance our interests.

Look at Donald Trump. One of the key reasons he has gotten this far in the U.S. presidential race is because he says what he means. If Hillary Clinton stopped playing the political game, and just once, came out and blasted him, and said what she really felt, I wonder if she would see a spike in the polls in her favour.

Our reluctance to say what we mean is even more of an epidemic at work.

There are some professions where I swear they actually train you to speak in euphemisms and jargon. It drives me crazy.

Last week I got an email from a colleague. The first line was, “Here is the PPT that I presented to the RLT based on the work that the INV team did.”

Now, as it turns out, I actually understood the email because sadly, I’ve worked there long enough that half of these terms are second nature to me. But god help any new person in the organization, or someone who isn’t exposed to jargon and acronyms as much as I am.

Saying what you mean is even more important for some people, for instance, people with autism.

Because Grace has a tendency to interpret everything I say literally, I’ve learned to be as specific as possible in my language. For instance if I said, “I don’t care if you want to do X, you have to get your homework done first” or whatever the issue we were discussing, she would literally interpret it that I didn’t care about her. Having an autistic child makes you think about your language choice very carefully.

Of course, there are times, when it is better to not say what you mean. Here are some golden rules of communication to keep in mind:

  1. Think before you speak.
  2. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
  3. Always think about whether your words could be interpreted the wrong way or how they would make the person feel.

As Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This week’s #HappyAct is to say what you mean, keeping in mind the golden rules. Share a comment. Why do you think people don’t say what they mean?

What a joke

trump hell toupeeThanks to our holidays, killing time in the car and Donald Trump, I’ve heard lots of great jokes lately. Joke telling is a dying art, unless you’re a late night talk show host or you’re an internet joke junkie. My Dad used to be a great joke teller. I don’t have his gift, but luckily I do have one good friend who still loves to tell a good joke and make us all giggle.

Here are some giggles to make you smile this week. And in the interest of full disclosure, some of these were told to me by my kids or kids we met in campgrounds, so they might be a bit corny.

How is a wife like a hand grenade?
Remove the ring and your house is gone

What day does an egg fear most?
Friday

How did Captain Hook die?
He got distracted and wiped his bum with the wrong hand

What’s the difference between an angry circus owner and a Roman barber?
One is a raving showman, and the other is a shaving Roman

Here are some Donald Trump jokes. He started out as a joke, now he’s the joke, but the joke will be on us if he wins (shudder).

What instrument does Donald Trump play?
The trumpet

Why is it impossible to finish a Donald Trump biography?
Because every page goes back to Chapter 11

How does Donald Trump plan on deporting 12 million illegal immigrants?
Juan by Juan

What airline does Donald Trump aspire to fly?
Hair Force One

Whats Donald Trump’s favorite nation?
Discrimination.

And finally for the kids going back to school…

Teacher: “Kids, what does the fluffy chicken give you?”
Students: “Eggs!”
Teacher: “Very good! Now what does the pink pig give you?”
Students: “Bacon!”
Teacher: “Great! And what does the fat cow give you?”
Students: “Homework!”

This week’s #HappyAct is to tell a joke and bring a smile to someone’s day. I’ll end with this one on this week’s Happy Act:

“They say money doesn’t buy you happiness. Still, it’s always better to verify things for yourself.”