Humor · spirituality

Church Chat

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If there’s one thing I dread discussing — it’s religion.

All those pesky questions: Who created us? How did we get here? Why are we here? Where are my car keys? I just had them a second ago and — oh. Someone put them in the fridge. Ahem. Anyway. So yes…lots of questions. If you happen to think you have a good grip on some of the answers, there will always be some jackass to say that you are “wrong, wrong, wrong!” –and your ultimate fate is burning in hellfire for all eternity.

The two ultimate goals in my lifelong spiritual path?

1) To get to the actual truth.
2) To not be that jackass.

I was raised to find my own way, discover my own mysteries in life. I took cues from my grandmother who was deeply religious yet hardly talked about it. My parents tried not to cram their views down my throat. They allowed me to get to know either God or Buddha or the Big Void of Nothing in my own time.

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My earliest memory of church-y things was when I was around 6 years old. My dad had a part time job cleaning the local Baptist church and once dragged me and my brothers along on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I was mesmerized by the giant stained glass Jesus peering down at me as I skipped around the empty pews. Hmm….he seemed like such a nice guy! Maybe he could be my friend? His eyes were warm and understanding.

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((Cue the angel choir))

Suddenly my bowels cramped, gripping me with fear. Oh no! Would Jesus be mad at me if I pooped in the church bathroom? Jesus seemed to wink down at me and chuckle, “Well, my Dear One, God created you AND your need to poop. So it’s okay, go on. Poop away, my child, poop away. I love you and everything about you. Even the poopy parts.”

And so began my lifelong relationship with God*. As I grew older there were a couple things I knew for sure in my heart: He was good. He was all about love, acceptance and forgiveness. He was like a close friend of mine, always there if I needed to talk. And He was hilarious.

Of course, my spiritual beliefs weren’t always so solid. I read the Bible many times as a kid, purely out of curiosity. (Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case was out on loan.) Then I entered college and read it again (Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers was out on loan). Only this time with fresh eyes, more cynical. I used my Big Brain and thought, well I’m much too smart to believe in something that I can’t prove, right? This book was written by mere mortals after all. There were lots of parts I didn’t believe in (and still don’t.) I thought maybe religion was for suckers. For people who have their own sins to hide, so they use religion as a shield to protect their own personal ego and pride (I still think this to be true for some).

I flip-flopped between believing in some Big Creator and thinking, maybe there really IS nothing else? How clever I was! I had discovered the real truth! Maybe others who believed in God were brainless sheep?

But I remembered that fateful poopy day in church, I love you no matter what. And that experience of feeling completely accepted and loved, plus the countless personal experiences that I’ve had with God since (none involving poop) have shaped my faith over time and made me the person I am today.

So I’d like to stand up now and say something.

Hi, my name is Darla and I believe in a Creator*.

The most important thing I’ve realized in my quest? This is my story. These are not your memories. This isn’t about what you believe and don’t believe in. I am me and you are you. And we are all together. Goo goo g’joob. So how can I possibly condemn others for their own views? I don’t care if you believe in God, Buddha, The Big Nothing or Justin Bieber. Whatever works for you and brings peace to your heart (OK, I take back Justin Bieber) because you are on your own path and finding your own Truth in your own time, just like me.

I’ve never understood religious fanatics who pound on my door to tell me they know the answers and it’s their duty to tell me. It’s like they’re carrying a punch-card: Convert 10 People and Win a Free 6 inch Subway!

Eat Fresh!
Eat Fresh! And Repent Your Sins Now with Double the Meat!

Well, you don’t need to convince me of anything. I’ll be fine, really. Because when I am dying and facing the reality of things, you won’t be there beside me, will you? No one will — it’ll just be me all alone, facing my own deep and intimate relationship with the Source and the Unknown. And when it comes down to it, all that matters in the end is what I know in my own heart to be true.

My simple truths (not yours, mine, so take a chill pill) about religion and spirituality:

None of us knows for sure what is the Ultimate Truth of All Things.

For crying out loud, we can barely figure out how to program a DVR or how to make a good cup of coffee.

If you do believe in something, great. If not, fantabulous.

But try not to tell others they are obviously wrong.

Never treat anyone with disrespect, no matter what they believe in.

Unless it’s Justin Bieber.

Don’t go pounding on doors to tell people they’re going to burn in hell if they don’t go to your church.

Especially when I’m in the middle of a Golden Girls marathon and still wearing my bathrobe. I appreciate your concern, but I think I’ll be just fine. It’s a nonflammable robe.

Everything in life is about two things:

LOVE and ACCEPTANCE.

We are here for only three things:

  • to experience
  • to learn
  • to eat chocolate

Get it? Is that so hard, people? Sheesh.

And finally,

If you have to poop in a church bathroom, it’s okay.

I know God is laughing at me right now for that last one.

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*Creator, God, Source, Spirit, He, She, It…whatever.

Image result for church lady snl
Amen, sister! (Betcha didn’t even notice I Photoshopped the pic from above the post. My resemblance to Dana Carvey is uncanny!)
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Humor

Don’t waste your money because I will win.

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The odds of winning this week’s Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.

I’ve written about Powerball before in Why can’t I get struck by lightning just once?

But people still think that they might win the 1.3 billion (about 20 bucks and change after taxes)? Get real.

Please, that’s like saying Justin Bieber might not have ruined the Mayan ruins forever.

To help you put things into perspective, here are some other odds:

1 in 292.2 million: The odds I will find even a single dirty penny on the ground.

1 in 500 million: The odds that Justin Bieber will visit a highly-respected location and not drop his pants.

1 in 3: The odds I will drop my pants at any given time.

1 in infinity X infinity to the nth power: The odds Donald Trump will say anything remotely intelligent and/or not offensive.

1 in 2.3 trillion: The odds Donald Trump will get struck by lightning, rendering him permanently speechless.

1 in 1: The odds I will open the dishwasher and get in an argument with my husband over whether the dishes are clean or not.

1 in 1: The odds I will look in the mirror in the morning and die a little inside.

1 in 1: The odds my mother will find some way to work guilt into our conversation.

1 in 1: The odds I will not win the Powerball.

Okay, I’d love to crunch more numbers for you guys but I have to go wait in line to buy more tickets. Wish me luck.

And if I win, I promise you will never hear from me again.

Because I’ll be too busy droppin’ trou in Justin Bieber’s front yard.

So, if you DID win, what would you do first?
And the second thing would be to give me the rest of your money, right?

Humor · She's A Maineiac Greeting Cards

Love is in the air…or is that cabbage I smell?

Valentine’s Day greeting cards for that special someone in your life.

For your nursing home roommate:

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For your celebrity spouse:

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For your pet human:

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For your cellmate at the state penitentiary:

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For Justin Bieber:

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For your newest blog follower:

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Humor

I’m Angry Because I’m Not Angry Enough

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Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

Mark Twain

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In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.

Buddha

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einstein

Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.

Albert Einstein

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Anger happens. Deal with it, learn from it, then move on, people. Sheesh. Hey — did you notice Albert Einstein said ‘bosom’? Yeah, that made me laugh and now I’m not mad anymore. Good one, Einstein.

She’s a Maineiac

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Thanks for lightening up the room, Al.

Holy hell! What is up with everyone these days? Dang, people are mad! Everyone is so ticked off! Have you noticed this? Maybe you’ve been trolling the latest viral post? You know the one where someone says something that inevitably ticks off someone else and then grown adults start fighting each other in the comment section like kids in a sandbox?

Seems being upset or having an opinion is all that’s required to become a social media sensation.

It’s always: “I think this!” vs. “Yeah, well, I think that, so bite me!”

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C’mon man. Just chill out, duuuuuuuuuuuuude.

What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding? Whatever happened to trying to see the other person’s viewpoint? Putting aside your own knee-jerk reaction to discover that gee, some people might have different experiences and therefore believe different things?

For instance, did you know that all the mysteries of the universe were revealed to me by a giant colony of gummy bears who live deep in the Nevada desert? And that you really shouldn’t inhale an entire bale of weed in one sitting?

Maybe if you’d stop being so darned pissed off all the time and thinking you know everything while everyone else is obviously wrong you could ….uh…what was I saying again? Oh yeah. You could, I don’t know….grow and learn a little? Possibly become a more informed, well-rounded human being? Be more respectful of others? Hand me the bong?

Nah. What’s the point of that? No drama. That would never go viral. Because what’s more important than showing genuine compassion for your fellow human beings?

Being famous.

So I’m going to give it a shot with my own attempts at going as viral as a bad antibiotic-resistant rash.

[Disclaimer: I know some of these topics might incite the reader to get quite upset with me and for that I am not sorry nor will I ever be sorry.]

My Viral Post Ideas:

  • Why I Think Granny Panties Should Be Required Wardrobe for Women Over 40. And for Men. Of Any Age.
  • 10 Reasons Why I Feel Oatmeal Tastes Like Shit
  • An Open Letter to My %$**ing Chin Hair
  • This Post is Making Me So Mad I Can’t Even Come Up With A Title That Illustrates My Anger and I….Just…GRRRRRR!!!! OOOOH!!! Now I’m REALLY PISSED OFF! And It’s All Your Fault, You Stupid Post with the Stupid Title! I Hate You!
  • No, I Did Not Love Being Pregnant. Actually I Found It Rather Uncomfortable at the End. Boom.
  • Duck Dynasty’s Lame, I Don’t Much Care for Beards. And for People Who Say “Boom.”
  • Kids are Hard. They Make Me Tired. Discuss.
  • Why Parents, Childless Couples, Gay People, Straight People, Religious People, Atheists, Agnostics, Old People, Young People, Middle Age People, Employed People, Unemployed People, Single People, Divorced People, Married People, Alive People, Dead People and Justin Bieber are Flawed But I Am Not
  • How Your Life Choices Have Affected My Life Choices Not At All in the Slightest But I Have To Blame Someone
  • 1,001 Reasons Why Betty White is the Root of All Evil
  • I Like Cheese.

So what do you guys think? Were you reading these titles and thinking, “Oooh, that Darla! She’s gone and done it again! Stirring up the controversy! Hot damn! She is really making my blood boil now! I’ll have her know cheese is actually very binding to the digestive system! How dare she!”

I dare because I care.

To go viral.

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Because you would like me when I’m angry.

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If you have any other hot button issues that you’d like me to get all pretend angry about, let me know in the comments with a title of your own.

I’m kidding. I could never stay mad at you. Unless it means I’ll go viral and be pretend famous one day.

Humor

Time Marches On…and All Over My Face

It’s a scientific fact that once you hit your 40s, time speeds up. Days go by in seconds, years are like minutes. Unless you start paying attention to the presidential race.

Not only does your concept of time change, but the signs of aging increase exponentially. Where once before, it might take a decade for a new, tiny wrinkle to emerge, now things move at breakneck speed. Is this due to extreme stress? Or is it just the natural order of things? You decide.

“Mornin’, honey.”

“Morning.”

“Ahhh! GOD! What happened to your hair?”

“Huh? Oh, you mean this huge crop of white hair? That’s sticking right out in front in all directions, with the texture of a Brillo pad?” (Sips coffee.) “Well, our son told me yesterday he’s getting armpit hair and wants to start wearing cologne.”

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“Mornin’, hon–oh, holy crap! Jesus!”

“You’re looking at the giant crease across my forehead aren’t you.”

“Why…no…I didn’t even notice it. Ha, ha. I have no idea what you’re talking about. You look fine! Perfectly normal! Beautiful even! It adds character!”

“Yeah, I got that little gift after our daughter told me yesterday she wants to marry Justin Bieber and have his babies. And she plans on living with all of them in an apartment above our garage until she’s 30. But it’s okay. I’m perfectly fine with the fact that there’s a ridge deeper than the Mariana Trench dividing my forehead into three places. Truly. So what if I look like my face is in a permanent state of scowling. Most likely that’s how I feel inside anyway, so it all works out.”

“Wow. And it’s so…deep. And it’s still there! No matter what expression you make! Now it’s getting even deeper!”

“Shut up.”

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We love to point out how quickly people age. Apparently this indicates a person was under a severe amount of stress.  Take for instance, our presidents.

George W. Bush, before and after his term:

Obama, before and after: (I have a sneaking suspicion these photos aren’t very accurate)

 And the final proof.

This is me when I turned 40:

 And this is me today:

But if I’m in the right light and use the correct makeup, you hardly notice.

Humor

Too School for Cool: College Revisited

Well it’s official, kids! I am a student again. I just registered for my fall semester classes. Now all I need to get by is a hot plate, an economy-sized box of Ramen Noodles, a bean bag chair, and a giant bong.

Oh, wait. I’m not 21 years old anymore.

[sigh]

Well, looks like I’ll have to give up the noodles.  (Trying to watch my sodium intake.)

I am about to start a full course load for my associate’s degree. Last time I was in college was um…oh…about 20(cough) years ago. Wish me luck. I’m hoping I don’t end up at the geek table in the cafeteria. Or a jock saunters over, calls me Old Lady and knocks my tray to the floor, leaving me sobbing and covered in oatmeal, raisins and weak Earl Grey tea with a twist of lemon because it really helps settle my stomach and keeps me regular.

So far, I’ve only gone to my new student orientation, but I’ve already noticed how different things are this time around.

For three solid hours, I listened to the dean and an English professor tell us not only how to study, but that we had to study if we wanted to get a good grade. I know! I was as flabbergasted as you. Next they informed us that, yes, we have to show up for our classes. And take notes. Then they showed us how to take notes. Finally, the dean announced (I kid you not) we actually had to buy the books for classApparently, in the past some students thought this was an option.

What? Where? Why? Hey, isn’t it enough I showed up here? What?

It was all I could do to not let out a huge snort of disbelief. Seriously? Have we come to this? Students these days have to be told how to be students? Why can’t they just cut to the chase and hand us our final grades on the first day?

And they say our country is in trouble.

But for once, being an advanced age is on my side. I can already see how my college experience this time around will be very different.

Going to College:

THEN: Statistics class at 8 am? Fffft! Let’s blow it off and get drunk!
NOW: Statistics class at 8 am? Perfect! I’m already up at 5 am so why the hell not?

THEN: Eh, who needs to take notes? I can retain all the professor’s lecture just by using my half-assed listening skills!
NOW: Wait, slow down….I need to copy this word for word or I’ll never get it. What did you say after “Good evening, class, let’s begin”?

THEN: Dude! Let’s get wasted!
NOW: Now children, don’t waste this opportunity. We need to apply ourselves academically or we’ll never land that job in a few years.

Things That Have Changed Since Last Time I Went To College:

  • The chairs seem to be smaller.
    Or my butt’s bigger.
    I think I’ll go with the chairs being smaller.
  • The blackboard up front looks fuzzier.
  • The blackboard has been replaced by some bizarre space-age technocrappola PowerPoint nonsense gobbly-dee-gook.
  • The dean is my age.
  • The professor could be my son.
  • All of my fellow students look so young, they resemble Justin Bieber.
    When he was a baby.
    Inside his mother’s womb.
  • Instead of going to the library and looking up stuff on card catalogs, we are expected to have our own laptops and utilize this new-fangled thing called The In-ter-net.
  • I find all the professor’s lame jokes hilarious and actually laugh out loud at them.
  • I want to study.
  • I will study.
  • I will pay attention during class. Too much attention. I’ll even make eye contact and nod my head to whatever the professor says, like we’re in this together.
  • I will be raising my hand and asking annoying questions all the time.
  • I will answer all the professor’s questions by doing my best Horshack impression.
    (RIP Ron Palillo)

    OOH! OOH!OOOOOHHHH!
  • I will never blow off a single class because I know I’ll be paying for this with interest for the next 10 years.
  • Whenever the professor mentions “the real world” or “real life”, I’ll glance at my fellow 18 year old students and shake my head because they really have no freaking clue, do they? None. But I do.  I know about all about “real life” crap to last a lifetime.
  • I have become that ‘know-it-all old lady’ student I used to roll my eyes at when I was young.
  • Ramen noodles taste like chicken-flavored dishwater when you’re not stoned.

If you went to college, did you study or blow off class? How many pounds of Ramen noodles did you consume? Will you go to my 8 am  Anatomy class tomorrow and record the lecture for me because I have to go to this party tonight, but I swear I’ll do the same for you next week?

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NOTE TO CONSTANT READER:

Just an FYI, (don’t you hate it when someone starts a sentence with ‘just an FYI’?) in case you’re wondering in the future where I am…I am either in class or studying. Or passed out in a rather large bucket of Ramen noodles. I hope to post on my blog once a week in the meantime. But if the rest of you could just stop blogging until say, December when the semester ends, that’d be great because there is no way in hell I can keep up with all the brilliantly funny and touching posts you people crank out on a daily basis. Thank you.

Catch ya latah, alligatahs.

Humor · Top Lists

Top 11 Things About Blogging I’m Not Very Fond Of….

(…because hate is such a strong word.)

11) If I don’t blog, I die a little inside. Then I curse myself for being addicted. And I die inside a little more. Then I write a post about blogging. Then I cry in my beer. Repeat ad nauseam. Then I look up the phrase ‘ad nauseam’ to make sure I’m using it correctly or if I spelled it wrong. Then I realize it’s probably spelt not spelled. Like whilst or learnt…? But isn’t spelt some kind of bread my mom eats that has the texture of cardboard? Then my head implodes.

10) When blogging cuts into my sleep time. Also my housework time. But never my eating time because, let’s face it, food is necessary to keep our energy up so we can blog some more.

9) When you leave a comment you think is clever and original, only to realize you just said the exact same thing as the person about 20 comments up. But yours is riddled with typos.

8) When you publish a post you’ve worked on for days and it gets tons of hits and comments–then after awhile you look back and realize you wrote their instead of they’re….you’re instead of your, spelled weird, wierd and left out the last paragraph.

7) No spell check on your comments. No ability to edit your comments. Or delete them entirely because you’ve realized when you typed it out the previous night, you were drunk and had apparently lost your ability to spell or form complete sentences or make any sense at all and so you ended up just rambling on and on and look like the world’s biggest idiot kinda like what I’m doing right now. [I’m not really drunk right now, the idiot thing comes naturally for me]

6) You want to leave a comment, but the pressure to be witty or sound halfway sane is too much, so you panic and type: Haha! Good post! i really loved the part where you said the funny thing and then the other part where you said the other thing! you so funny! I love you! But not in a stalkerish kinda way! I swear!

5) Whenever I hit the ‘publish’ button, a mixture of shiny quarters and Skittles doesn’t come cascading out of my computer monitor like a slot machine.

4) You spend hours crafting a post, writing several drafts. You think it’s the greatest thing since beer can hats. So you hold your breath and publish it–this deeply personal creation…this piece of writing you’ve slaved over with your blood, sweat and tears, putting your heart and soul out there–and no one reads it or comments on it. All you get are crickets. Sometimes even the crickets desert you. But the super short post you wrote while you were half asleep, sitting on the toilet? Yeah, that’s the one that gets the most hits. Because you used ‘Justin Bieber’ as a tag.

3) You get set to publish a post about something so specific and random, so incredibly bizarre, you know it’s original (like a story about eating Skittles while wearing a gorilla suit and rollerskating), only to see another blogger had just posted about the same subject hours before. And theirs was Freshly Pressed.

2) There will always be a blogger out there that’s smarter, funnier, and infinitely more popular. Sure, I have 700+ followers. And that makes me think my little blog is getting bigger (and I know, I know… I am very blessed to have them all because during my first six months of blogging I had exactly two followers. I am eternally grateful for every last one of you guys. Never leave me, ever!) But it took two solid years of cranking out crap to get to this point. And yesterday I was waiting in line at Walmart behind roughly the same amount of people. Also, Danny Bonaduce has 10,000 twitter followers. Kinda puts things in perspective.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough…and doggone it…people like me. But not as much as they like you, Danny.

and the number one thing about blogging I’m not very fond of….

1) Whenever I corner a relative at a get-together because I want to tell them all about my blog, they politely hand me their drink, turn, then jump out a window.

What things about blogging do you hate (aren’t fond of)? Or is it all just unicorns and rainbows and Skittles with you? If so, can you throw some my way? Does my blog make my butt look big? What? Well, who asked you!

 

images: invisibleassistant, wikipedia