Tag Archive for: laughter

A Love Letter to Subaru

By AB Plum aka Barbara Plum

Laughter, so
goes the cliché, is the best medicine.

Some days
Colbert is not enough to counteract the news headlines. Some days, despite
their screams, the headlines seem to begin and end with a whimper. Some days
news headlines demand a prescription for twenty-four hours of nonstop laughs.

Enter a
canon of television commercials. (Okay, this statement may reach too far, but
curb your disdain at the apparent oxymoron and read on).

The carmaker
Subaru has been doing its part for a long time to bring a smile to our faces.
They began their dog commercials around 2008. In 2013, they introduced the
“Barkleys” (a canine nuclear family of four—3 Golden Retrievers and 1
yellow Lab Retriever). The dozens of 30-second shots guarantee giggles,
guffaws, and outright belly laughs.

delivered without a spoken word (nearly heresy for a writer of fiction heavy on
dialogue). All with ordinary dogs placed in ordinary human situations. All
presented with tongue-in-cheek humor that makes me think if the world’s going
to the dogs, we should let it go.

I do not now or ever have owned a Subaru. I do not now or ever have owned stock
in Subaru. I grew up with canine companions, but none of them was a Golden
Retriever or Lab.


AB Plum, aka Barbara Plum, isn’t chortling over the “Barkleys,” she
lives, writes and pats all puppies she encounters on her daily walks in
Silicon Valley. Her latest romantic comedy,
Crazy Daze and a Knight is
one of the very few books she’s penned 
without a
four-legged, furry companion. 

But … All Things Considered features a ferocious feline. If you have time to
laugh, check out the Subaru dog commercials
here. And if the commercials don’t
brighten your day, check out
National Make a Dog’s Day.

Clicking Our Heels – Movies That Makes Us Laugh and Cry

Clicking Our Heels – Movies That Make Us Laugh and Cry
Like books, movies impact emotions.
The Stiletto Gang thought we’d suggest some of our favorite films for a good
laugh or cry.

Dru Ann LoveImitation of Life made my cry. What’s
Up Doc
made me laugh.

Paula Benson – During times of stress,
I have three go-to-movies that always life me up with laughter and make me
ready to face the world again: Legally
, Bridget Jones Diary, and Shakespeare in Love.  Then, I have to admit a real fondness for Sneakers, due to all the wonderful
performers, the puzzles, and the conclusion.
Cathy PerkinsCollateral Beauty (made me cry). I watched this one on the plane
coming back from a business trip. Will Smith stars in this movie about a parent’s
grief over losing a child.
Juliana Aragon Fatula Gone With
the Wind
– Don’t listen to Miss Prissy. She don’t know nuttin’ bout birthin’
no baby. Yellowbird and Blazing Saddles always make me laugh.                                                                                                                     
Linda RodriguezSongcatcher is a movie I’ve loved that didn’t get a lot of
attention, but it’s a superb little film about the Great Smokies, the original
homeland of my people, and always makes me cry.
Bethany Maines Clue – A movie based on a board game should never work, but not
only does Clue work, it succeeds
brilliantly. The dialogue is razor sharp and delivered at a machine gun pace by
actors working at their best. Tim Curry anchors the movie with a wicked grin
and the rest of the cast from Eileen Brennan, to Christopher Lloyd, and
Madeline Kahn fill the screen with enough shenanigans that it needs multiple
viewings to catch all the jokes.  Added
to the acting is some brilliant editing that operates the movie in real time (a
character says “the police will be here in thirty minutes” and you can time it
yourself, the police do indeed show up in thirty minutes), and gives the viewer
a multiple choice ending. It makes me laugh EVERY time I watch it. I wish more
people were aware of it, because it’s truly a classic.
Kay KendallFrench Kiss (starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline, released in 1995)
has several scenes that make me laugh out loud, no matter how times I watch it.
Kevin Kline is a delightfully sly Frenchman forced to turn crook, and Meg Ryan
plays his unwitting accomplice, an American tourist running from her fiancé who
two-timed her.
Debra H. Goldstein – No matter how many
times I see it, the subtle and not so subtle lines in Miss Congeniality make me laugh. Similarly, as hokey as the movie
can be, there is a moment in An Affair to
that always make teary eyed.
Sparkle Abbey:
– There are so many!  Movies that make me
laugh in no particular order: The Princess
Bride, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Airplane,
The Great Outdoors, Steel Magnolias (it makes me cry too!), and
Some Like it Hot.  Movies that make me cry: Imitation of Life, An Affair
Remember, Penny Serenade, Marley and Me,
My Dog Skip, Old Yeller.
– Oh my, Ditto on all of Anita’s list. I cried for a couple of days
when I saw Old Yeller. Another for me
is Toy Story 3. I know it’s animated
but it always makes me cry. It is so funny and great for kids, but also
extremely poignant. The main “toy” story and the human sub-plot is all about
growing and changing. As far as movies that make me laugh: All of Me, Birdcage, Miss Congeniality, Airplane, and I loved The
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennae Phillippe – So many! The one
that comes to mind these days is Swing
about a group of rebel kids in Germany that listen to swing music and
go to dance halls – until they get caught stealing a radio and two of them
start to get indoctrinated into the SS. Only one manages to resist. The end of
that movie makes me cry every time, even if I only watch the last 15 minutes.
A.B. PlumWonder Woman – the hero’s reaction to WW
catching him naked coming out of a hot springs bath is laugh-out funny and
sweet and innocent. The scene that made me cry was Wonder Woman’s arrival at
the front line near the end of WWI.  That
was a gruesome war that definitely should have ended all wars given the number
of deaths, lives destroyed, and nightmares suffered by shattered survivors.


By AB Plum

Laughter, they say, is good for the soul. In The MisFits, my dark psychological thriller series, few characters laugh. The question remains open, does Michael Romanov, the main character, have a soul?

This deep philosophical question leads my writer’s mind to ask: Do politicians have souls?

Too many of them, like Michael, are self-serving. Easily corrupted. Filled with hubris. Convinced they know more than the rest of us. Lacking in empathy—though they can fake compassion if it serves them. The list could go on, but this is a blog—not a book series.

If the above description sounds cynical, maybe I’ve been at my keyboard writing about the dark side of human nature too long. But I think Michael Romanov could run for president—and maybe win because he’s charismatic, straight-talking, ignorant about his ignorance, and a master manipulator. Oh, and did I mention proud?

Woe unto anyone who dares laugh at Michael. In his view, jail time for such an offense would carry mandatory hard labor as part of the sentence. (Or since he’s a full-blown psychopath, he might choose murder to save face).

If I sound as if I’ve slipped off the cusp of reality, have you read about the woman arrested for laughing at a comment about AG Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing? 

Yes, the arrest happened. The judge threw out the jury’s guilty verdict but allowed a new date for another trial. So, what should we believe now?
  • ·        Laughter is the best medicine?
  • ·        Laughter is against the law?
  • ·        Laughter is good for the soul?
  • ·        Laughter can put you in jail?

Once we answer these questions, others pop up:
  • ·        Does a snicker carry the same possible penalty as a laugh?
  • ·        Where does a laugh end and a guffaw begin?
  • ·        Can we still use LOL in emails without fear?
  • ·        Should we ban giggles, chortles, chuckles, titters, and sniggers?
  • ·        Are cackles okay in the privacy of our own homes?
  • ·        Are babies exempt from arrest or must we teach them to stop smiling and laughing?

Perhaps to play it safe, we need to ignore Abraham Lincoln:  “With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die.”

When AB’s not writing about murder and families, she laughs a lot on daily hikes, aerobic dancing, and watching old Nick and Nora movies in Silicon Valley, just off the fast lane. She’s allowing herself a big smile every day through Friday, September 15. That’s the date when The In-Between Years, Book 3 in the MisFit Series will go live on Amazon.

Resolved: 2010 will be healthier, full of laughter, and a book or two (poo, poo)

It’s that time of year again for a little extra contemplation and planning for the next twelve months. What do I hope for 2010 – personally, professionally? Let me stipulate, with plenty of poo, poos that the original Evelyn would insist upon, that I wish that 2010 be a healthy year for myself, my family, my friends, and all Stiletto Gang followers. Happy? Sure that would be great – but you first need healthy.

Beyond that, you bet I have some resolutions for the new year. Many have been borrowed from other sources, including t-shirts which seemed to have captured the essence of what I intend. Here are my top 3. What did I forget? What’s on your list?

Life’s short, eat dessert first.
Now I take this maxim both literally and figuratively. While on my recent medical journey, I’ve developed an intolerance for salads, so lettuce has been off my shopping list for the last four months. Frankly no major loss as far as I’m concerned. Had it been a chocolate intolerance – I would have insisted on some major telethon to discover a cure.

But beyond my love of chocolate, I want to remember in 2010 to savor the good stuff of life. Sure, we all have obligations and responsibilities – but I want to make sure that I deliberately choose to celebrate the simchas (Hebrew for joyous occasions) and focus on the affirmatives. It’s important to be realistic – but it’s probably more important to be a dreamer. In 2010, I want to be sure that the balance is to accentuate the positive.

Not only do I not want to write The Great American Novel, I don’t want to read it.*
I realize that there are a list of books that are considered classics that anyone literate has read – and I’m declaring publicly that I probably will never read any of them. That even includes some legendary mystery authors whose works are considered sacred. And you know what – I don’t have to!

I want to write (with the Southern half of Evelyn David) more of the books I enjoy reading. I like cozies and I’m not going to apologize or mumble when I say it. I like stories with happy endings, where the good guys win. Goodness knows in real life that doesn’t always happen, but in 2010, I’m passing on books and movies that show the seamy side of life with no hope of redemption. I’m not burying my head in the sand to the harsh realities of this world – but I sure don’t need to read/watch it as entertainment.

* I read this line a couple of years ago on Crimespace.ning. I wish I knew who wrote it, but kudos to the author. It captures my feelings exactly

If you’re going to laugh about it someday, try laughing about it now.
I’m not looking for a career change doing stand-up comedy at bars (although that might be an interesting challenge??). Nor am I minimizing the real problems in life. But I am going to try and see the irony, humor (wry and otherwise) where I can and laugh at myself and my foibles with ease. Too often I take myself too seriously – and that’s a waste of energy that could be better spent.

What about you? What are your resolutions for 2010?

And to all, best wishes from both halves of Evelyn David and all the Stiletto Gang for a Healthy, Happy New Year!

Evelyn David