Who’s driving the bus? Taking control of your brain

I’m leaving my sense of humor at the door just this once to write about a serious subject. Okay, maybe just a few snarky remarks thrown in here and there, but for the most part this is going to be a straight-up, no-nonsense kinda blog, so fasten your seatbelts.

So, what I want to ask you is… ‘Who’s driving the bus?’

Are you the master of your own brain or do your thoughts control you?

What brought this question to  mind was a recent spate of purchases of one of my graphic designs called ‘Positive Focus’ … wondering about the customers who bought this design…and sincerely hoping that they can focus on that big golden YES in the middle.

Positive Focus

I made this graphic based on… not exactly a philoshophy…. but the way I choose to think. This is major, so I’ll repeat it…it’s the way I CHOOSE to think. This is such a simple, basic concept but it’s amazing to me how many people do not seem to be aware of this fact …you can choose what to think. I know…what a shocker right?

The thoughts floating around in your head right now are optional! You can stop them, start them, create new ones. Right now, right this minute, I decided to think about pink frilly tights. Why? Because I like pink frilly tights. Not on me of course, but what the hell, it’s my thought and I can put those pink frilly tights on my old butt and even make them look good if I imagine it so.

Technically your brain is an organ, not a muscle, but it behaves like a muscle. It grows and strengthens with use.
And like other muscles, the more you exercise it, the better control you have over it.

I’m not a pollyanna…or an ostrich…I know there are horrific things going on all around me. What  might be considered horrific things have happened to me personally. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint. I have been raped. I have been in an abusive relationship. So life is not all sunshine, but I choose to look for the sunshine….or more accurately, I make the sunshine.

Poor, Poor Dear

Many of the things people choose to focus on are  frivolous worries, like poor, poor dear above. (providing me the opportunity for poking fun at people’s foibles; thank you Lord for foibles). Another sneaky trap that catches thousands of people and they are totally unaware that it’s got them in it’s grip is ‘righteous anger’.  Let me give you an example of what that expression means.

Let’s say, for instance, that you are out shopping…… and hey, why wouldn’t you be?…it’s Saturday. The sun is shining. It’s a holiday weekend and everyone else is out enjoying the day.  They’re not stuck at home (like me) writing some bloody blog. They didn’t have their car broken into on Thursday night (like me) and the ignition totally thrashed by vandals so you can’t go anywhere even if you wanted to. Okay…I’m working up a good head of steam here on my righteous anger….I could go on with this trainwreck of thoughts until I was well and truly p….d off.

I have a right to be angry don’t I? Course I do. All the facts are on my side. After hearing the above circumstances you’de sympathize with me wouldn’t you?…I could get good and ticked off and be justified in doing so. We love to have confirmation of our right to be angry.

So am I angry? Nope. Good guess wonderchild…you win da prize.

Why? Because I don’t want to be. That’s it. No secret formula. My brain, my thoughts, my choice.

I have control of my brain and all the drivel that emerges from it is my own creation. If you have a choice (and you do) between happy or sad, anger or laughter…why  continue to choose sad and angry? I don’t know, but I’m not inclined to think about it too much right now…I’m busy planning a convention. Any other non-conformists out there who want to join the NC-U with me?

Non-Conformists Unite


What women want….. buying gifts for women made easy.

Most men are clueless. That’s not an insult; it’s a fact.

Sorry guys,  you know it’s true….most of you just have no clue how to buy gifts for women.

Knowing this fact, I’m going to demystify the gift-giving process for all you non-sensitive, but well-meaning studly types.
I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to
pick the perfect gift..for mother, girlfriend, wife…any female in your life…for any occasion.

I’m not just going to give you a list of appropriate gifts…. lots of sites already do that and men still don’t understand WHY one gift works and another one gets them booted out of the house for a week.  What I’m going to do is explain female logic (yes we DO have logic) so that you can pick a gift yourself without all the angst!

Here’s the one thing that all women want…it’s not complicated.

Proof that you love them.

That’s it. Now what’s so difficult about that?

Quit muttering and groaning like that, you’ll scare the dog.

Okay, I’ll expand on the idea a little just ’cause I can’t stand watching a man cry.

How the h…..  do you prove that you love her?

That’s easy too.

You think about them.

That’s it. That’s all you have to do. Really.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money; just prove that you thought about her for more than two minutes (in a non-sexual context) and she will believe you are a king among men.

If she knows that you spent ten hours scouring stores to find the right gift for her…it doesn’t matter what gift you come home with…all that matters is that you spent ten hours thinking about her!  Really, you could bring home a stuffed pig and still get lucky if she knew you had spent all that time thinking about her! The problem with the pig-thing is how do you prove you were thinking about her? Unless she happens to be a pig farmer…then it works.  What you buy should prove to her that you were thinking about her personally. Does she even like pigs?

Think about her.Take a minute here to really do that.

Come on, quit blubbering,  you can do this.

Now,  write a quick  list of words that relate to the female you’re gifting. Nothing complicated.

Here’s are some examples:

1) what work does she do ….  nurse, teacher, jazz pianist, secretary, mother

2) where does she hang out…….clubs, gym, kitchen, barn, school

3) what  are her quirks (bites her toenails, wears too much purple, sings in the shower)

4) what are her hobbies ……running, cooking, playing music, humming Beatles tunes

(okay, that last might qualify as a quirk, but don’t be too anal about where you
list stuff, it doesn’t matter)

Alright…got your list done? You are now fully armed to go gift shopping.

Don’t panic, I won’t leave you on your own just yet. I know you’d flounder and drown if left on your own at this point.

Before I take you out shopping with your little prepared list, I want to interject a side note. If you simply took that list that you have just written,and transferred it onto a custom card for your wife-girlfriend-mother, she would think you were the sweetest, most sensitive, most romantic guy in the world.

Why? Because it proves that you thought about her. Ergo: you love her!

Realize the Love

If you’re the handy type, you could hand-craft something that related to the any of the items on your list…the proof that you were thinking about her would be obvious in the time you spent to hand make something for her. It’s not the gift that counts IT’S THE THOUGHT that goes into it…seriously!

If you aren’t able to make it yourself, there are many ways to customize a gift that will make it personal…more proof that you were thinking about her. Putting her name or picture on a gift is perfect. Putting your own words on it is even better.

Here’s an example; this ipad cover can be customized by just adding her initials to it. Note: if she doesn’t own an ipad, do not buy this gift. If she hates black, do not buy this gift! THINK ABOUT HER.

Black Diamonds

Keeping your list in hand, click here to visit my one of my favorite one-stop shopping websites. Now type in one or two words from your list into the search bar at top. Everything on this page is a potential gift. Any of these items would prove that you were thinking about her because they all relate to one of the things you wrote on your list specifically about HER.
Remember, that’s what it’s all about ... thinking about her=LOVE.
 Try different combinations of words from your list until you find the one thing that suits her perfectly. If you add a personal note or image or even just her name to one of these products that already relate specifically to her, you’ve got a winner.
Here’s another example. I found this great frame by typing ‘mother’ and ‘photo’ in the search bar.

Greatest Mother

I understand that men don’t purposely set out to buy dumb gifts, they sincerely don’t get it..that’s why we forgive them and love them anyway. So if anything I’ve said makes sense to just one man, it will be a major step forward in male-female communications.

My son says this whole thing is a lie…understanding what women want will NEVER be easy. He might be right, but the main thing is you tried; don’t give up. Tell your girlfriend, wife, mother that you read this blog. You’ll at least get a few bonus points for making an effort…be sure to add a comment and you’ll have proof that you were here.

10 tips for making your Deathday a day to remember

Funerals in this country follow a rather predictable pattern….some pretty flowers, a little heart-warming, tear-jerking music and lots of blah, blah about what a wonderful person so-and-so was. For many people, this routine is comforting. Personally, I’d prefer a less conservative approach.

The dear departed are probably going to a better place (seriously, how much worse could it be?) so it should be a day for rejoicing. The recent trend is towards a more celebratory atmosphere and maybe if funerals were as one-of-a-kind as the individual, we’d actually start to look forward to them. I’ve come up with a few ideas for deathday celebrations that you’re welcome to borrow, but don’t be afraid to improvise and come up with your own. We human’s are a diverse bunch of whackos, so make that final exit as unique as you are.

Party Line

When you’re making out your termination papers and setting up the plans for your family to follow when you’re outta here…there’s no reason it has to be another run-of-the-mill, hohum-another-dead-guy kinda day. The following list has a few ideas to get you started on your own path to perdition.

1)A movie theme might work well for some…if you were a couch-potato in life, request a comfy, couch-shaped coffin and a remote control.  Already, you’re half-way to a perfect deathday. Throw in a popcorn machine, a big screen TV and 3D glasses for everyone… now we’re starting to get excited about attending. Remember, it’s your day, so you get to choose the movie.

2)Dressing up is considered de rigueur at funerals, to show respect for the dead. But if you hated wearing a suit and tie in life you could request mourners wear a copy of your favorite ‘Zombie’ tee (these can be pre-ordered if you’re the organized type) and start the day in a more relaxed atmosphere….unless you pop up out of your coffin with a knife and fork in your hand, then things might get a little tense. There are as many variations on this theme as there are favourite tshirts…so personalize, personalize!

Zombie Wall

3)If you’re an actor/actress, why not get a stand-in for the day? In this case, it’s probably even better if they don’t look like you… just pick any old body off the street. Seeing the wrong body in the coffin will surely stir up a little excitement and provide mourners months of additional entertainment trying to figure out who that was, and where you are.

4)This isn’t my personal favourite, cuz clowns kinda freak me out, but maybe a circus theme would be your idea of the ideal deathday. Jugglers, clowns, an elephant or two (optional) and twisted-balloon-animal handouts for everyone. This theme works particularly well if you ever worked for the circus, were a juggler or clown. Otherwise it’s just kind of weird.

5)Pinatas…let’s talk deathday pinatas. I like this one. A pinata is so versatile……have it made in advance to your specifications. If you were an accountant in life, why not a entertain your guests with a giant pencil-shaped pinata stuffed with dollar bills? Maybe they’ll even forget how boring you really were. Or if you happened to be an obnoxious bastard, attach a pinata to your coffin and let everyone take a whack at you. This release of tension is guaranteed to boost your ratings and maybe even engender a kind word or two.

Money is a Tool, If You Aren't

6)Music is an excellent way to adapt your celebration to suit your personality. Don’t settle for ‘Amazing Grace’ just because everyone else does. If you’re into Radiohead maybe “High and Dry” would be a better selection for you. I like blues, so “Someday the Sun Won’t Shine For You” by Jethro Tull might be appropriate for me. However I’d advise caution when making this kind of last request….it’s bound to produce more of that weeping and wailing thing that can quickly ruin a good party. A good DJ should know how to keep the party upbeat, so spending a little time now to find the right one would be a wise way to start your deathday planning.

7)Scavenger hunts are fantastic….I love ’em. Write out your list beforehand …if you need help coming up with a list, google has endless ideas for your search list. Here again, this is an easy theme to make your own….use some of your own belongings…or relate the items to your own hobby, etc. Make sure some of the items are hidden under and around you in your coffin; this way you will be involved in the fun as people dig around you looking for stuff.

8)Remember, you don’t have to take it lying down…..this is such a basic fact that most people forget to take advantage of the opportunity. Why just lie there if you can stand up in the corner, or better yet, sit yourself in the front row and sport your 3D glasses with the rest of them. There are endless variations on this basic premise…just run with it, so to speak. Buttresses, pulleys, and some simple frameworks can create some amazing effects.

This Way Up

9)The following idea can be time-consuming, so if you’re planning on making this idea part of your last hurrah, be sure to get on it now. To avoid all the usual blah, blah, pre-write everything for your friends and family to say at your deathday celebration. For goodness sake, take pity on those left behind and do this pre-planning now. I would suggest a selection of the best jokes you’ve ever heard. Alternatively, if you have no sense of humour,  just give us all the real dirt on your life…. you’re not the angel people would portray you as, so give us the down-low and we’ll have a bit of fun with that. This one’s a great crowd pleaser and is sure to attract an audience. …a perfect choice if you have no friends anyway.

Laugh Lines

10)Lastly, if you want to really go out in style…..make it a SURPRISE party. Don’t tell anyone you’re dead. Granted, it’s difficult to pull off, but it can be done. Unavoidably, one or two people usually find out ahead of time, but that’s okay.  Bribe the nurses and doctors if necessary to keep the cat in the bag and then have a trusted family member send out your pre-printed invitations. Tell everyone it’s come-as-you-are, potluck and voila….a perfect deathday celebration.

What are you’re last requests? I’d love to hear them, even if it’s just a request for me to stay the hell away from you and your family.

Hopefully, my own deathday is a long way in the future because I’m not finished my planning yet, but if some of you adopt these ideas at least I might be invited to a few fun funerals in the meantime.
Happy Endings!
(If you’re pre-planning, all the above merchandise can be found on my zazzle website…see link on right)