NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

I Love to Laugh

I’ve been reading the Brotherband Series by John Flanagan recently and I was struck by one character’s action. The whole group or brotherband as they are known were worried about one of their group who was injured and left behind to recover and also missing the constant bickering that usually came from that member’s presence. So this character, Thorn, decides to create some bickering with another crewmate’s help and soon everyone is laughing and enjoying themselves again.

I’ve also been rewatching a lot of Marvel movies with my sister, and each of these movies intentionally adds a lot of comedic scenes and moments into their plots. I think this is part of the reason that they are so well liked.

We all like to laugh, to smile, to experience joy. It’s part of our human nature. Now laughter may not always be the appropriate response, it could be seen as offensive or hurtful in certain situations. Just as Solomon writes there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4a). Sometimes it is not a time to laugh. But laughter is important. Whether it’s laughing with friends at an inside joke, or a funny line in a movie, or book, or just at a punny situation, laughter is part of life. And often, it’s the best medicine.

Laughter breaks up boredom, releases tension, heightens enjoyment and has many other physical benefits.

So I’m thankful for all the people that make me laugh: my family, friends, and even the comedians online or on TV. I hope you have a good laugh today. Remember to enjoy life, laugh at the awkward situations you find yourself in, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Sometimes all someone needs to brighten their day is a little laughter.

So here’s a clip to help you laugh a little today. Enjoy!

 

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The Lego Batman Movie

The LEGO Batman Movie logo

This past weekend I went to see the Lego Batman movie with a friend. I knew from the previews that it would be very similar to the original Lego Movie, in that it was highly comical and would reference other fandoms. However, I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy it, until the movie started. From beginning to end, this movie throws out funny tidbits and references that keep the audience, especially the adult audience, giggling. Even the opening credits are included in this wave of hilarity. Batman narrates the opening black screen, studio logos and quote, and then continues to bring us hilarious dialogue throughout the movie.

Yet even with these continuous comedic elements, the film still manages to bring in a fairly good story line. Batman especially, realizes flaws about himself and chooses to make a change, making him more of a hero than when he just saved the city from criminals.

I also loved seeing so many other characters from other franchises popping up in the story. Sauron from Lord of the Rings makes an appearance, as does Voldemort from Harry Potter, and the Dalek from Doctor Who. And I especially loved the references to the previous Batman movies and Batman’s unending competition with Superman.

So if you love Legos, or Batman, or just want to sit back and laugh for an hour, go see the Lego Batman Movie.

Here’s a preview, if you’re interested:

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Limitless

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Recently I’ve been watching a TV show on Netflix called Limitless. It’s based off the movie of the same name that came out several years ago. It’s been really good so far, so I thought I’d do a blog about it.

If you like crime solving shows doused with a bunch of humor, this is a great show. It reminds me a lot of Psych but with a bit more maturity. Sean Spencer can be a bit egotistical and childish. He is funny to watch, but sometimes his antics can get a bit old. Also some of the Psych episodes become predictable. There were several episodes I can recall where they thought they knew who had ‘done it’ halfway through the show and then they discover that that character is dead too, so it couldn’t have been them. It’s still a great show, but I’m enjoying Limitless even more.

Limitless centers around Brian Finch, who is an average guy that most of us can relate to in some way. He has his odd quirks and in some ways he can be childish and amusing. But unlike Sean Spencer, he has a deep love for his family and much of the plot involves his desire to protect his family. I think this makes Brian easier to relate to and in turn helps me enjoy the story better. However, Brian still has jokes and quirks that remind me of Sean Spencer. For example, he really wants a “Headquarters” at the FBI and when he finally gets an office deemed HQ, he fills it with pinball machines and margarita makers and anything he can find that is fun.

The show’s plot revolves around the drug called NZT which originally came up in the movie. Brian Finch is allowed to take the drug in order to assist the FBI in cases and is secretly given an injection to prevent the drug’s side affects. So, for half of the time he is our normal, average, lovable Brian and for the other half he is super smart and able to solve cases and problems easily. It is very entertaining to watch and sparks the desire to be able to cope with life’s problems with a similar antidote.

Even though NZT doesn’t exist, I’ve found myself wondering what it would be like if it did. It sure would be nice in some situations. And, as a Christian, I’m actually hopeful that one day I will get to experience something similar to it. Jesus promised that those who follow Him will live with Him forever and that He will give them a new body. All of the brokenness, disease and shortcomings brought on by sin will be gone and I have a feeling what we’ll be able to do in our new bodies will be amazing. So anyway, if you’re looking for a new show to check out, I highly suggest Limitless. And if not, just know that any kind of superhuman ability can point us back to the hope we have in Christ of a better future and a new life that will be better than anything we can imagine.

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The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

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One of the things I love about being an author is that I get to read so many other good books. They give me inspiration and help me see what my target audience already enjoys reading. Recently a friend let me borrow the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. This is a short series based in a fairytale world. However it takes a very unique perspective on the fairytales. Instead of following one of the common fairytales and maybe changing it up a bit, these books focus on characters who do not like the fairytale stories and don’t want to be a part of one. They see though the ridiculousness of how these stories are supposed to go and instead choose to live their own way and often give advise to other people in their world of how they can change their story.

The first book in the series is “Dealing with Dragons” and it follows a princess who does not want to marry a prince, or learn all the things a princess is supposed to learn. Instead she wants to do exciting things, like learn to use a sword, or read Latin, or practice magic. When she finds herself being forced to marry, just because that’s how things are done, she runs away and volunteers to be a dragon’s princess.

Each of these books follows the perspective of a new character and has a wonderful sense of humor. Many of the classic fairytale stories are mentioned and poked fun at. There is a giant who is tired of chasing the “Jacks” out of his house, and a dwarf that has to spin gold for people and somehow keeps ending up with their children because they can’t guess his name.

I’ve only read two of the four book series and I already love them. They are pretty short books and meant for a bit younger age, I would guess about 10. But they are enjoyable for any age reader and I highly recommend them. So if you’re looking for a book to take on a summer vacation, and you love a good laugh, pick up one of Patricia Wrede’s books.

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The Importance of Laughter

So while I was on the mission trip in Mozambique, I laughed a lot. Some people may think that hanging out with the same group of people for 2 weeks straight would be a nightmare, and it’s true that you can’t keep up appearances for that long. Eventually everyone gets upset or tired or stressed. But when you’re with a community, they can help you calm down, rest, or change your perspective on the situation. And one of the best ways we helped each other was by laughing. If you’re in a tough situation, and you choose to laugh instead of worrying or getting mad, the tension just dissipates. I’m so thankful for the many times I laughed with my team. So, I thought I’d share a few jokes or memories from the trip that our whole team laughed about. Enjoy!

C is for Cookie

One of the earliest jokes that entered our group was “Do you need a cookie?” It started when one of the team members started talking about how things would just come out of her mouth that she didn’t mean to say, and that maybe God had made her love eating so much so that she couldn’t say what crossed her mind. She just happened to be eating a pack of cookies when she was telling us all of this. So whenever someone in the group said something a little mean or inappropriate we would ask, “Do you need a cookie?” and immediately everyone would start laughing.

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Sarah writing her song about Mozambique

We also had a team member who loved to just burst into song at any moment, and it soon turned into a game. If a song came to mind because of a word or phrase that was said, he would just sing that line of the song. By the end of the trip I’m sure over 100 songs had been referenced by the whole group. And one girl had even decided to write her own song about her time in Mozambique.

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One of the beds that came with a mosquito net

One joke that I found particularly funny was when the girls were getting ready for bed one night. One girl named Whitnie had shared with us how on a past trip she had made the mistake of spraying insect repellent inside her mosquito net and then was caught in the fumes. I can’t remember if she shared it right before this next story happened or if she had shared it earlier in the week, but I remembered it and thought it was hilarious. So the girl on the bunk across from me asked if anyone had some bug repellent. I did, so I handed it to her and she put some on and crawled into her bunk for the night. Within a minute she started coughing and asked, “Can someone open the door to let it vent out in here?” The rest of us were already laughing at her mistake and then Whitnie said playfully, “No you sit in that poison and think about what you’ve done.” And we all laughed even more.

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The team waiting to go to the market

And the last story I’ll share happened when our missionary friends sent us to the market for some groceries. The plan was to get several items in order to make care packages to pass out throughout the trip and then fulfill the social interaction where you game something to a local and had a conversation with them. We were split into 3 teams and we soon decided that we were basically doing the Amazing Race. We rushed off to the market to find sugar, tomatoes and what I found out eventually was sweet potatoes. My team luckily found a man in the market that spoke English, so that helped us find out what sweet potatoes were. (Our list of what to get was written in Portuguese). The man also happened to be selling sugar (both white and brown). My team remembered seeing brown sugar in the missionaries’ home and it was cheaper, so we went with that. Then when we finished off our shopping we found a Granny (or caretaker of orphans) to give some money to and tell her Jesus loves you in their local language. (Jesu wakka rhandza wenu). I was really glad I had learned that phrase. Our team hadn’t run into the missionaries or translator so the only help we got was from people in the market.

However, when we met up with the two other teams, we found out they had done things a little differently. One team, that had finished first, thought they needed way more tomatoes than they actually needed to buy and asked the translator if that was correct. He laughed and told them no, so they got a little help from him. They also ended up buying the white sugar instead of the brown sugar. But otherwise everything had gone smoothly for them.

But the last team had the most hilarious adventure. They had bought tomatoes outside the market which I guess isn’t allowed in the country because Police came running out and took the produce the lady was selling. She got mad and started throwing tomatoes at the police. So when the police left that team went back and bought onions from the lady too because they felt sorry for her. By that time the translator realized they were not in the market so he guided them to where they were supposed to go. And they decided to buy some skirts (with their own money). And by the time they got back to the car with the other two teams they hadn’t even bought the sugar. So then they started trying to haggle with the other teams and trade some of their produce for sugar. It was hilarious. And in the end our 3 teams came to be known as “White Sugar,” and “Brown Sugar,” and “Got Sugar?”

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Inside Out

If you read my last post, you know that I was very excited to see the new Pixar movie Inside Out. And I can say with confidence I was not disappointed, and if I ever make an updated list of my five favorite Pixar films, this one will be on it. Sometimes I set the bar too high for movies and end of leaving disappointed, but Pixar has done it again. They surpassed my expectations and left me wanting to see this movie again.

So before I get into the details of the movie, if you haven’t seen it, I’d say go ahead and watch it first. I’d hate to spoil anything for you. And if you still need some info before you see it, here’s a preview.

Alright, onto the review. This movie combines outstanding characters with an epic story. As only Pixar can do, the cast of this movie leaves the audience laughing at every turn. There were multiple times when I watched this movie that the audience or myself was laughing so hard, that I missed what a character said right after the funny moment. (This is one of the reasons I want to see it again).

One scene in particular that I found hilarious, was the dream sequence which began with the average dreams that pretty much everyone has experienced (reliving a bad memory, losing your teeth, and not wearing any pants) but the film pokes fun at these stereotypes by having Fear (played by Bill Hader) comment on the predictability of these scenes. Then as other characters, namely Joy (played by Amy Poehler) and Sadness (played by Phyliss Smith) try to change the dream, Fear is left wondering what in the world is going on, saying such things as “What the?” and “Stick with a plotline people.”

And this I think is one of the things Pixar does best, starting with Toy Story they have had groups of characters that feel so real, but say and do things that are just hilarious. I still remember Mr Potato Head saying “Look I’m Picasso,” and “What are you looking at, you Hockey Puck?” Inside Out has the same quality of one liners that leave you laughing. But just as Toy Story, and almost every Pixar film has funny characters, it also has an emotion filled story line.

I can honestly say, this movie made me cry… multiple times. It just knows how to tug on your heart strings, and take you from laughing to crying so fluently. Ironic right, since it’s a movie about emotions. But this is something that Pixar has perfected, even managing to make a 5 minute love story between two people that is heart wrenching in their movie UP.

One last thing I want to mention that I really enjoyed from this movie is how loss is handled. In the movie, Joy is always looking on the bright side and being optimistic and trying to make everyone around her, even Sadness, happy. But at one point she in confronted with a character who is heartbroken. Something they loved, that was really important to them was lost, and they’ll never get it back. (It reminded me of a person losing a friend or a loved one). Joy responds as she always had before, trying to put a positive spin on things, and distracting the character from the loss. And that can be such a typical response that we can give to someone else’s tragedy. But in contrast, Sadness listens to the character’s story and lets him mourn. She enters into his pain and lets him feel that it is alright to be upset. And that ends up being so much better for him, and for anyone dealing with grief.

I’ve been learning a lot about that in my own life now, with so many people around me and in my city experiencing tragedy. I want to remember to not try to fix everything or make someone feel happy, but let them be sad, validate their sense of loss and even cry with them.

So, I hope you enjoyed this movie too, and if you haven’t watched it and went ahead and read this, I hope I didn’t give away too much and you’ll still enjoy seeing it for yourself.

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