Fairy Kisses and Nonsense…or My Attempt at Writing for Children

In Book Publishing Overview, we had to follow the creation of a book from initial manuscript to its publication. We created our own press, designed our covers and our text pages, and figured out the print run and distribution plans. I received a manuscript for a children’s book (my sample title page is on the left) and after reading the manuscript—this was several months ago—I thought I could try writing my own book for the little ones.  I only wrote a few pages, but I will be posting them in parts every now and then. If I get positive feedback, then I might actually try to finish the darn thing eventually. But for now, here is a brief segment of my first attempt.
Once Upon a Raindrop, Part I  
     It was on this type of day it always happened, always expected and not expected. I would prepare myself for months, then the memory of what I was supposed to do would pass; and then there would be rain, and for a second I would feel like there was something I should remember. 
     When I was two, a fairy pinched me. Her two beady eyes looked angry, as if she were jealous of my stuffed rattle-worm with the missing eye button or my China doll with the tattered dress. The fairy’s clothes were too pretty: she wore a body suit that looked to be sown with glitter. When she moved, light would glint off her outfit, then off her wings, and she would circle around my head then pinch and pinch and pinch. I hated her then; she always watched me through my window. When I slept, I knew she was there, wishing she could wake me. 
     When I was five, the fairy bit me and I slapped her to the floor. How I wanted to squish her then, but I was too kind. The fairy limped to the window and flew upward toward the stars. 
     For years I did not see the fairy. I was six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve before she found me again. I was pulling brown strands of hair from my comb when I felt a tap on my shoulder. 
     A whisper made me still. “You have something of mine.” 
     I turned and smacked at the air with my comb and a faint “oh” faded into the air like dust. When I looked down, I saw her; she swatted in front of her nose. 
     “What was that for?” 
     I stared at her, wide-eyed. “It’s you!” 
     “Yea, Now you understand—” 
     “Understand? What’s there to understand? You tried to bite me again!” 
     The fairy shook her head and laughed. “No. Now you understand me. The way I talk.” She made a motion with her hand to look like a mouth. “You know, because you used to have trouble listening, what with you being so little.” 
     I bent down and put my hand next to her. I promised to pick her up if she promised not to bite. The fairy agreed and she walked upon my palm. Her little feet felt heavy, despite her size and she twirled once, shaking off some of the lint from the carpet. 
     “I see you haven’t gotten any cleaner,” she said, picking bits from her hair. 
     I held my breath and placed her on my dresser. 
     “So what do I have that you want so badly? What can I do so that you’ll leave me be?” 
     “Future.” Her voice shook and repeated the word. 
     I, twelve-year-old Maggie Faye, did not have the fairy’s future. She’d been following me for seven years on a silly notion. 
     “Did you hear me?” 
     I nodded, grinning wildly. “I think you’re mistaken. I have nothing of yours. I don’t even know what my future is. How do you know I have yours?” 
     “Look. I know you do so just give it back.” She pumped her fist as if to hit me and hopped up. 
     “You should go. You’re not getting help from me.” 
     She stomped her foot down, but it didn’t sound like a stomp at all. “I’m not leaving ‘til I get my future back.”
     I plucked the fairy up by her wings and flung her glittering body out the window.

Drunken Kisses are the Worst

I was going to try and write an in-depth review of a book I just finished, but realized I didn’t want to about two minutes into my first paragraph. I deleted the words in hurried keystrokes, backtracking until the text box was blank. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book; it is this: I have an awful memory, an obscenely limited vocabulary to express how I actually feel about the book, and I know I wouldn’t do the text justice. OK, so I realize I should have said the title decades ago: Dry by Augusten Burroughs. I picked it up from Brookline Booksmith on a whim (I had read Running with Scissors and thought it was slightly fantastic). It’s about Burroughs’ struggle with alcoholism and the impending death of his close friend, Pighead. He takes you with him to Group therapy and AA meetings, into crackhead apartments and seedy bars. It hit close to home, as the cliché goes, but only because I know a recovering alcoholic. For the first time, I could actually get it, you know? What she went through. The constant internal struggles and the consistent realizations that she might lose everything, but she’s just so damn comfortable this way. The story is great so I’d recommend it to anyone (which is why I deemed it worth mentioning in the first place even though I didn’t go into much more detail). 
Besides the reading, everything else is pretty great, too. I enjoy my internship (I’m a publicity intern at Da Capo) and I’m lazing away the first half of my summer. I wake up early and I come home at five or six. I watch television with my roommate; I eat pasta, then Oreos; and I dye my hair red just because I can. This is my hurricane eye. These are the days I can rest before the stressful takes me and tugs on my hair and tells me nothing is really OK. I know what is coming at the second half of my summer. Summer classes. Grades. A trip to California that may surprise me in the worst ways. But it excites me, too. The thrill of the unexpected. My heart beats rapidly in my chest just thinking about it.
Oh snap.

You May Kiss the Bride…or Food for Thought

Written Sunday, May 30: 
She threw up out a window at 60 mph. The side of the car was painted pink. Even her puke is cute, that bitch, another bridesmaid said. We laughed, bacon and lettuce thrown to complement the rest of it.
And this is how the bachelorette party ended: full of laughter and quotables. A night of friendship and risk, of adventure and hilarity. Ashley (in the beginning), Courtney, Brittany, Jessica, me, and our bride, Lizzie. We danced, we sang, we drank, and we dared the world to stop us from having a good time. There were firemen and moving poles, hola gatos and an itsy bitsy spider, tall boys and marines. Photos. Pecks on the cheek. Pink and black. Cards. Numbers. Facebook stalking. Dirty feet and dirtier minds. Lizzie spoke: I looked so cute; now I look like Ke$ha
Written Monday, May 31:
I sit in the Orlando International Airport watching The Princess and the Frog for the second time. It is 5:20 in the morning, but I arrived here almost an hour ago. I slept three hours last night and until I slept, I recounted the events of the past week. I thought of the bachelorette party, sure, but I also went over Lizzie’s wedding, bowling, humidity, algebra with my little brother, movies (Shrek: Forever After, Sex and the City 2, and Prince of Persia), sleeping (and not sleeping), and the constant trips for food from arepas de choclo (excuse me if I misspelled) to chocolate chip pancakes.
La Placita, a Colombian bakery in South Florida  

Pandebono, Colombian cheese bread

  

Arepa de Choclo, con Queso
 

The Village Grille in Ft. Lauderdale. Home to the Boston Bar.

 
 

 FirstWatch

When I’m human, as I hope to be…
The wedding was Thursday. I was a bridesmaid, so I wore a shamrock green dress and had my hair wrapped in curls and twists. I carried a bouquet but did not catch one. I looked on as Lizzie’s now-husband stared into her eyes. He loved her, you could see it. My eyes watered; we were just so happy for her. We knew our Lizzie was with someone who would keep her calm, charmed, and inexplicably content.
I sang their first dance song; the music for At Last played in the background as I worked through my nerves and pronounced the lyrics. I watched the new husband and wife dance, Lizzie’s dress casting shadows on the floor. Congratulations, Elizabeth.
Look how she lights up the sky, ma belle Evangeline…
When you find out who you are, you find out what you need…
So it is with sadness and anticipation I await my flight. My plane has just arrived and the movie has almost ended. I am going back to Boston, but I will miss parts of Florida: my friends and family, the memories they create. But I know I need to go back to Massachusetts, to my job and my internship. To my future. Goodbye, Florida; I’ll miss you.

Say cheese.  
  

My Kisses…or Shadows, Grandma, Grandpa, and Fish

A little poem about little me…
My Shadows written November 30, 2006
by Alexa L.
Opening the book, she said
“My Shadow” and smiled.
She looked down at me,
little me—and read—
line by line
and I followed
word by word. Breaths taken;
her hand shifting toward the corner
and my hands tucked together
at my grandmother’s side.
But her hand still lingered upon the page’s edge,
hands that moved with practiced grace,
browned spots speckled over the backs,
wrinkles embedded like trophies of experience
flipping pages.
And my hands stayed tucked away,
until I moved them to the corner too.
But I grew up.
My hands grew older.
The pages grew heavy
and the books and shadows crept to the end of a newer bed.
Nearing the edges of sleep,
I gazed at the twinkling lights outside the window
and thoughts shone through in glimmering specks of stardust:
If only life were so easy as to be almost overlooked
that we could sit as stars do.
Shine and die.
But we are not so lucky.
We do not die, we fade away
like shadows of the universe,
words from the lips of a grandmother,
or a fish that’s escaped a child’s hook.
And so I dreamed,
my mind wandering backward to where the lake
that lay behind the old house sat,
waiting for me and Grandpa.
I walked to the edge of the wood and leaned
over the water, searching through the shadows
that hid under the dock.
I smelled the fish, but couldn’t see them,
as if they were tucked between the shine of the onyx water
and the depths below.
My grandpa handed me my fishing pole,
bright red under the sunlight,
and I whipped the line outward,
beyond the shadows and the smell of fish—
to the center of the world.
I held my breath and pulled my pole back toward me
in an awkward hug,
furiously winding.
But all I caught was my shadow
and the sunlight that reflected in the eyes of me—
little me. I smiled.
Back in bed alone,
The stardust lost into the depths of night,
I woke to nothing.
My book was hiding in the shadow at the end of the blanket
and my grandmother’s hands were in her own bed,
in the shadows of her room now miles away.
But my grandpa hid beneath the dreams—
in the shadows of my past.
Note: I wrote a lot about my grandparents all through college, and even now. What can I say? They raised me.
Fishy.

Kisses in a Bottle

I sat at my desk by the printers of MIT Press and looked up at a cardboard blowup of one of the titles: Sky in a bottle. And it was then I thought to myself, wow, that should be something. So below is the result of both my boredom and my attempts at creativity (also, I have no idea as to what the book is actually about).
Sky in a bottle, a tribute in narrative form
by Alexa L. 
Play a song for me. A wish. But grasshoppers only sing when nobody looks, you know, like me when I go in the backyard to dance. No one can see the twirls and twists, the way my skirt moves under the cover of the trees. I dance to the music of the grass, to the hum and buzz and chirp of nature. It is when I fall backward and sink my feet into the dirt that I hunt for my orchestra, my jumping bugs. And the ones I catch between my palms aren’t always green. Sometimes they have brown speckles or charcoal-colored wings. They hop in my little hands, then out them. And I follow, casting shadows and chasing sounds. 
It was on a day like this I found it, peeking from the grass like a gem. A present for you, something whispered, a voice that reminded me of peanut butter and jelly, or playing on swings. “For me?” I gestured with my hand, then looked around.  I could see nothing but the brown of my fence and the glass doors that welcomed me home. Well then, aren’t you going to pick it up? The voice again, louder than a whisper now.
I walked toward the glint and knelt down to look. It was just a bottle, small and made of glass. When I picked it up to examine it further, I noticed a tiny grasshopper on its lid. Be careful, please.
“What’s in it?” 
The sky, my dear. For you, the sky.
I peered into the glass, as careful as could be. The inside of the glass held sunshine and rain, clouds and birds and snow and wind. The sky in a bottle. A present for me from my orchestra.
The sky, my dear. For you, the sky. 
I lifted the grasshopper to my lips and whispered thank you. He bowed, his wings moving backward like the bow on a violin. He sang as I danced, with nobody looking on but us and the sky.

(So I had to leave for my softball game before I could write any more…didn’t seem right to finish it outside the press. Or maybe that is the end. Who knows?)

Chirp.

You Get a Kiss for Effort

In honor of receiving my grades back for my second semester of grad school, I’ve decided to share some of the many songs I (or my friends and I) have written for school projects. Basically, if a creative project was assigned, you can bet I probably sang something. Eventually, I will record these to share via video, but until then, I hope you enjoy my cheesy, school-related lyrics.

Somewhere Over the Ocean (to be sung to the tune of Somewhere Over the Rainbow)
AP Project
written November 9, 2009

Eds. Note content of 4th verse.
Somewhere over the ocean
Way up high
There’s a land that I’ve heard of more than once in a style guide.

Somewhere over the ocean,
way offshore
I dream of an oasis, clouds made of something more.
One day I’ll zigzag ’cross the sky and wake up with the ZIP codes far behind me
Where troubles split like Oreos, and life’s better when you’re with those
who make you happy.

Somewhere off the horizon, seagulls fly
Gulls fly over the ocean
Why, damnit, why can’t I?
OK, if little seagulls fly beyond the ocean
Why, oh, why can’t I?

Los pensamientos de Ernesto: Un canción
based on Diarios de Motocicleta
written May 10, 2006

Es la revolución de la vida.
Es un tipo de alucinación
Sobre la gente y muchas aventuras
Para expresar un latido del corazón

Es la tierra cuando necesito mi familia
Es la tierra cuando estoy sin hogar
Yo soy pobre sin mi tierra de la vida
Estoy contento cuando yo voy a cantar

Canto bien, cuando tu estas aquí
Mi tierra, por favor, quiero vivir contigo
Las calles conducen a todas partes del mundo
Algún día, las partes conducen a mí.

Lo siento para mi acción futura
No puedo predecir el resultado
Ni un alma cree que tu voz contiene paz
Porque tus mentiras está al lado

Miento bien, cuando tu estas aquí
Mi tierra, por favor, quiero vivir contigo
Las calles conducen a todas partes del mundo
Algún día, las partes conduciran a mi

Es la revolución de la vida.
Es un tipo de alucinación
Sobre la gente y muchas aventuras
Para expresar un latido del corazón

Lead Project: Laws 19, 20, and 21
Law of Timing, Explosive Growth, and Legacy
written October 5, 2005

Once upon a time, not long ago
A leader was born, then made
He tried to get to the top of the heap
By climbing the foundation he laid

He was in luck, that lucky man
His timing was just right
The country was in need of him
He didn’t even have to fight

As leaders lead, so leaders go
The followers go, too
But all you need is honesty
And the path will soon lead you

Cuz’ then there was this other guy
Who tried to lead his pack
But since his timing was way off
His followers sent him back

This other guy, his timing wasn’t
The only thing that was wrong
He did not know how leaders lead
He sang a broken song

As leaders lead, so leaders go
The followers go too
But all you need is honesty
And the path will soon lead you

The lucky man, his legacy
Was something we respect
And every time you speak his name
What he did you’ll never forget

The other guy he did no wrong
Except I draw a blank
At what his name or legacy was
The man just had no rank

As leaders lead, so leaders go
The followers go, too
But all you need is honesty
And the path will soon lead you

Oh lead your leaders
Lead your soul
Oh lead your leaders now
And the business wheels will roll

As leaders lead, so leaders go
The followers go, too
But all you need is honesty
And the path will soon lead you
Oh the path will soon lead you
Oh the path will soon lead you

Desensitization: The Musical
written May 27, 2004

Take my hand
Watch me fall
I will go slowly
Watching the
TV screen
Deaths are still tolling
Media’s laughing when everyone’s down
We always treat death with a faraway frown

So watching the
TV screen
Everything’s real
What we watch today are
The things we can’t feel
The world is still waiting while drying their tears
The heroes we emulate never have fears

Chorus:
We’ve lost all our senses
Our reason to cry
We’ve put up defenses
When we see someone die

So take my hand
Watch me fall
There goes the world
Humanity’s left us as
Violence unfurls
Every year media takes many lives
They know that not all of us always survive

Chorus:
We’ve lost all our senses
Our reason to cry
We’ve put up defenses
When we see someone die

A+

Technokiss: An Interview with Maren Jinnett of Wired

In my magazine publishing overview course we were asked to interview a professional in the publishing industry. This is my interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
 

Wired Beyond Her Years


An Interview with Maren Jinnett of Wired, Assistant to the Editor in Chief
 
by: Alexa L. 

When I first contacted Maren Jinnett via e-mail, she confessed, “When I saw the subject line, I assumed it was an interview request for Chris (a normal occurrence!)….” Chris Anderson might be the king of free, but Maren, at only 23, maintains his kingdom. Maren moved to California in October of 2008. After five months of interning at Wired, she was promoted from gadgets intern to her current position as Anderson’s assistant. The following excerpts were taken from a phone interview on March 16, 2010.   

Alexa: So, what is your typical day like as Assistant to the Editor in Chief?  

Maren: It’s sort of a complicated answer because my typical day can really vary. Chris travels a ton. And depending on any given month, he may be in the office a minimum of six business days all the way up to a maximum of maybe 15. There’s almost no month that goes by that he’s in the office every single business day and sometimes he’s barely here at all.

A: What is it like when he’s in the office?

M: The bottom line with the job is that I have to split my brain into however many pieces are required of me on any given day, and one of those pieces is always where’s Chris and where should Chris be. So definitely, while I’m doing everything else, I have to keep an eye on conference calls that he needs to be on, or meetings that he needs to go to, or anyone who’s in front of me who’s asking to see him in that given moment…A lot of what I do is being sort of his gatekeeper. I make sure that he gets [to] places on time. I make sure that he’s—it sounds crazy, but I make sure he’s doing his homework. Like, I make sure he’s reading the parts of the magazine he’s supposed to read, that he’s handing off presentations that are due for speeches he’s about to give…I book all of his travel; so given that he does travel a lot, I usually have to make sure that I’m managing buying his tickets, creating itineraries for him so he knows what to do.  
     I think people are often really surprised when they realize that Chris literally has no idea what he’s doing from one minute to the next. He outsources that part of his brain to me. He’ll just come right up to me and say, “so what do I do next?” I literally manage every step that he takes. It frees him up to come up with all sorts of other things like ideas for the magazine.

A: And when he’s not around?

M: God, what else do I do? I handle freelance travel, I run pitch meetings—mostly logistics. I do research for Chris. So, research for story ideas, research for book ideas. But it’s very much the kind of job that as long as you can multitask and manage a ton of tiny details at once and be open to kind of going with the flow [with] whatever gets thrown at you, then no two days really do look the same.

A: What is it like being such a young assistant?

M: You know, it’s hard for me because I got picked from the intern pool to be his assistant. People had previously seen me as the intern they mostly ignored. It took me a while to kind of feel like people did respect me. And the person at my job before me was about ten years older than I was. And I knew that I was probably one of the youngest assistants [Chris] has ever had.

A: Then is age ever an issue with Chris?  

M: It’s not from Chris. Chris himself is someone who is mostly in awe of people who are fairly young and seem to know what they want. In his early twenties he was, you know, in a rock band and he was a delivery boy on a bike. I mean, he just kind of did his thing and was not the person who was super ambitious and had all the internships and, you know, crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s. That was not his background. So I think because he had that experience when he was younger, when he meets someone who’s in their early twenties who is achieving at a young age I think he’s mostly in awe of them. And it’s never a question of “oh, you’re immature, I don’t respect you”; it’s “wow, good for you for having your life together at a young age. That’s impressive.” No, I don’t feel ageism from him. But it’s in the air, it’s in the environment, especially in journalism.

A: I know Wired is all about technology. How do you feel about the subject matter?   

M: It’s so funny. I was super interested in tech before I moved [to San Francisco]. Here it’s technology. It’s like every single person you talk to wants to tell you about the start up they’re working on. All the guys work at Google, Microsoft, Facebook and I work at Wired and so there are times , actually, when I feel very suffocated by all tech, all the time. It was a little more fun when it was just sort of a passion and a hobby and now that I’m living in it, it’s kind of—there are moments when it’s a little too much. But it can be exciting, too.

A: How well do you think Wired has dealt with changes in the magazine market?  

M: I was here in September when Condè Nast went through a big shake up, cut a ton of magazines, cut a ton of staff members. I was here through all of that. I technically have the safest position at Wired, so it was a very interesting place to be while watching everything look so shaky for everyone else. It was hard to be that close to it. A couple of editors were good friends of mine and they got laid off. It was rough for a while. But I think that Wired is perfectly positioned to sort of reinvent itself now that people are really excited about new ways of consuming media, particularly graphic-heavy media like magazines…I think magazines still have a place. And I think our magazine in particular is extremely interactive, extremely visually laden…So Wired, I think is going to be fine.  

Note: This interview was cut down from approximately 44 minutes of tape.

Stay classy, San Francisco.

Stop Kissing Me…It’s Distracting.

In class I have a tendency to doodle, but tonight was a little different. I took phrases and bits of what my teacher said, of what classmates said, and morphed them into the poem below.
To Be Young, an in-class poem
by Alexa L., who most definitely pays attention in class
To be young
rewriting our lives
on college-ruled paper
and through texts
about lost love
and getting so drunk you can’t see straight.
To be young
presenting truth to the world
in passing out and passing notes
floating, flirting, flaking
on homework and textbooks, 
burning them in a thought of fire
     you know…
           like…
              umm…
                  totally…
I’ll rewrite it as long as it gets me an A.
What more can I say? I was, you know…like…inspired or something.
And just for nostalgia’s sake, a short poem from February 2, 2004 from a document I titled Flowers (I was 16).
Blushing in her modesty 
She turns her head to sigh 
And rosy cheeks do blossom such 
That clouds bend down to cry
Like, yea, ttyl.

The Rime of the Ancient Kisser

Water, water, every where, 
Nor any drop to drink. 
from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Note: I realize I quoted a poem about an ancient mariner, death, curses, etc., but it seemed appropriate considering recent events in Boston where newspapers and news stations hail, “Don’t drink the water.” 


Oh, Boston. Oh, glorious Boston. You have sucker-punched the populace, stanched the flow of coffee to our veins, broken our pipes and boiled our water. When will you be well again, Boston? Twenty-four to forty-eight hours, perhaps. Like the water, it remains unclear. 
When headlines start focusing on the city’s want of coffee, it says something about the Boston culture; it highlights a Boston in need of caffeine fixes and constant buzz. The idea is readjustment, a quick change in livelihood due to a catastrophic event. This “water crisis” is simply a miniature representation of how our culture reacts to stress. We plunge into discomfort rather readily. We follow instructions; we do as we’re told. Crisis makes us listen. Our independence, if but a moment, fades in the communal worry surrounding potential sickness. Also, we finally gain a sense of respect for water. We cherish it as if it were gold. But when the faucets no longer drip with worry, water will again be used without restraint. All it takes is “the water is safe to drink” and it will be an end to caution and an end to the strange sense of community that once existed in shared dirtiness and a shared desire for a latte.
The Water Crisis presents: Inconvenient Activities for Alexa
  • Teeth brushing
  • Hand washing
  • Bathing (forget the occasional bubble bath)
  • Drinking from the tap
  • Ordering soda from a restaurant
  • Making coffee or tea or Kool-Aid
  • Washing clothes
  • Cleaning dishes
  • Preparing ice
*It is time consuming to boil the water, wait for it to cool, then somehow get just enough out of the pot to clean the toothbrush without spilling all that hard-worked-for water into the sink. I just don’t have that kind of time in the morning.
obstreperous: unruly
staunch: steadfast or resolute
The defense’s case holds water.

You Kiss Funny

There is a dollop of truth to a good laugh; a sense of joy or embarrassment or cruelty. You can laugh at a person or with him. You can crack up or cackle. A laugh reveals a person’s eccentricities, his sense of oddness. It is in laughter you gain personality, dimension, and reaction. 
You feel discomfort in people bereft of laughter. You tell a joke and feel offended by silence. You expect at least a titter of amusement. A giggle. A smile? But smiling is nowhere near as polite. Laughter forces the lips to curve. It grabs the abdomen and tugs at it like a rope. A belly laugh. A guffaw reminiscent of Goofy.
And where would villains be without laughter? The witch who cackles at the sleeping princess. Snidely Whiplash and his snicker. The Joker and his darker sounds.
Laughter is potentially an insult. You can laugh at someone’s appearance. You can laugh at speech. A laugh can be a destroyer of feelings…
or a savior of them. People who are genuinely funny deserve a response to their efforts. If a joke is good; the laughter should be equally hearty.
For those who attempt to fake laughter*, then laughter acts as a cover, a mask. It hides feelings and reveals them. A nervous laugh, a hesitant laugh, a laugh simply because you’re terrified.
I try my damnedest to keep the laughter in, hugging my stomach and holding my breath. Sometimes it gets so awful my eyes water and my face, redder than it was a few seconds prior, warms. I look at the person, then away, then back at them and start laughing again. But it has been a while since someone has said something so funny, I break down laughing in my infamous squeak. It has been so long I think I forgot how. I almost miss my embarrassing laughter. I miss making my friends laugh just because my face turns as red as a cherry. I want those happy tears and belly aches. I want those awkward looks from the tables at the other side of the restaurant. Please.
*In the era of lol and lmfao, it is impossible not  to lie behind the guise of humor. The Internet has perfected faux laughter. I lol so much; but the real laughter is in the actual sound, not its three word (or in this case, three letter) counterpart.
Note: Happy World Laughter Day!
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
e. e. cummings 
“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”
Lord Byron
“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.”
Woody Allen

Ha, ha, ha.