Half-Baked, without the Spoon

My boyfriend makes me smile (most of the time).  He’s a big reason why Chicago was our current destination of choice.  Having lived here twice before with persistent dreams of making it big in the world of improvisational comedy, the second city continued to beckon his name way out in the Colorado Rockies.  With a little extra push from me, he was able to return to the Midwestern metropolitan, but this time, he had a sidekick to support him on the journey.

While the improv world is very much centered on performance, there are also other avenues that supplement this ultimate ambition.  One of these paths involves exploring the writing side of comedic expression.  Aptly, my poetic beau has been known to woo me with his words on many occasions, so this pursuit was completely second-nature for him.  With a degree in History, my creative aspirer found a way to merge his thrill for the Civil War and world antiquity with his passion for acerbic absurdity, and what emerged was a self-published book titled Half-Baked History.

I’ve kind of turned into his editor/PR rep, not only because I love him, but because it’s really that good!  If you own a Kindle and enjoy the likes of Colbert with a touch of scholarly satire thrown into the mix, then you have no excuse not to check out his first endeavor as an Amazon-accredited author.  The gist is this: there are “myths,” which, for the not-as-quick readers such as myself, are actually historical truths; and then there are “facts,” which are essentially a clever hodge-podge of fictional fabrications thought up by the ingeniousness of the self-proclaimed “Professor Bagnall.”

The following is an excerpt from the e-book regarding the highly misunderstood legacy of the prophet we refer to today as “Buddha”:

Fact:  Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha, was in fact one of the most materialistic and shallow false prophets of his day.  Born in Nepal to an upper-middle class family living in the suburbs of Kathmandu, he received a private education at The Tibetan Country Day School – an elite boarding school located in nearby Tibet.  Even at that early age, Buddha’s hypocritical and pedantic nature could be viewed on a day-to-day basis.  

One fellow student remarked about an incident during their senior year: “I was carrying numerous books to class and had to rid myself of a Luna Bar wrapper, so like any sane person, I threw the wrapper in a nearby trash can.  All of a sudden, I noticed the roar of a Range Rover engine as Buddha skidded to a stop in front of me.  He began screaming at me about the fact that a local recycling bin was located some 45 miles from where I was standing, and grilled me as to why I hadn’t walked there to dispose of my Luna Bar wrapper.  I tried to point out the fact that he was driving a Range Rover, but Buddha quickly changed subjects and made a remark about the sweatshop-made Target shirt I was wearing.  He then promptly told me to ‘F**k off,’ flicked a burning joint into my face, and drove off.  I was simply in awe.” 

*censored due to the innocuously wholesome nature of *Simply Smile*—but do know that all of the stories are no holds barred through and through.

*Smile Tip #6:* Hands-down, once you get your hands on some half-baked humor, you will have a permanent grin on your face through even the most mundane of days.  Additionally, for less than it costs to buy a grande latte at Starbucks that merely gives you a caffeine kick for a few hours, you can buy an everlasting outlet to hilarity; and better yet, you’ll feel good knowing that you’re supporting a starving (and deserving) artist—there’s really nothing more smile-inducing than that!

Express yourself

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Growing up a dancer, my body was trained to breathe life into emotions.  Even though we were expected to strive for technical perfection, the punctuating effect always rested on the power of passion.  Movement was an interpretation of a song’s energy.  Expression was a reflection of movement.  Each year when it was time to perform for audiences of judges (at competitions) and family/friends (at recitals), we had the opportunity to spread the spirit of our dance symphony.  The feelings and emotions that we developed a connection to over the months were finally able to be passed on to others.

The bulk of these dancing days have slowly faded away, but my interest in the impact of emotion has not.  Since so much of who we are rests on what we feel – or what I like to call “vibes” – I wanted to find an outlet where I could explore these positive vibes, and find out how they can be strengthened.  Whether emerging in planned special moments or random acts of kindness, by reactions to others or through self-reflection, these emotional spurts of cheer are both infectious and addicting.  There’s that old saying, “Frown and you frown alone, but smile and whole world smiles with you.”

To kick off this blog, I’ll get down to the crux of what it’s all about: simply smile.  Seek optimism.  Laugh—a lot.  Find your joy.

*Smile Tip #1:* Show that you’re genuine—don’t just smile with your mouth; smile with your eyes.