Posts Tagged ‘funny cards’


Grab Bag Wow Moment:

Check this out… this video was edited to look like a stop-action film, with some filters added to appear as if this might be a miniature city.

For some reason I found this microcosm of human habits endearing. With that suggestion in mind, enjoy Miniature Melbourne.

Miniature Melbourne

Grab Bag Crisis Convo Coaching:

Pulled from the pages of the Wall Street Journal online, here is an article by Letty Cottin Pogrebin with an excellent set of guidelines for avoiding the most common mistakes when trying to converse with someone facing serious illness – I think I may have made some of these mistakes myself 😦 :

Hospital visit

‘A closed mouth gathers no feet.” It’s a charming axiom, but silence isn’t always an option when we’re dealing with a friend who’s sick or in despair. The natural human reaction is to feel awkward and upset in the face of illness, but unless we control those feelings and come up with an appropriate response, there’s a good chance that we’ll blurt out some cringe-worthy cliché, craven remark or blunt question that, in retrospect, we’ll regret.

Take this real-life exchange. If ever the tone deaf needed a poster child, Fred is their man.

“How’d it go?” he asked his friend, Pete, who’d just had cancer surgery.

“Great!” said Pete. “They got it all.”

“Really?” said Fred. “How do they know?”

Later, when Pete told him how demoralizing his remark had been, Fred’s excuse was, “I was nervous. I just said what popped into my head.”

We’re all nervous around illness and mortality, but whatever pops into our heads should not necessarily plop out of our mouths. Yet, in my own experience as a breast-cancer patient, and for many of the people I have interviewed, friends do make hurtful remarks. Marion Fontana, who was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years after her husband, a New York City firefighter, died in the collapse of the World Trade Center, was told that she must have really bad karma to attract so much bad luck. In another case, upon hearing a man’s leukemia diagnosis, his friend shrieked, “Wow! A girl in my office just died of that!”

You can’t make this stuff up.

If we’re not unwittingly insulting our sick friends, we’re spouting clichés like “Everything happens for a reason.” Though our intent is to comfort the patient, we also say such things to comfort ourselves and tamp down our own feelings of vulnerability. From now on, rather than sound like a Hallmark card, you might want to heed the following 10 Commandments for Conversing With a Sick Friend.

1. Rejoice at their good news. Don’t minimize their bad news. A guy tells you that the doctors got it all, say “Hallelujah!” A man with advanced bladder cancer says that he’s taking his kids to Disneyland next summer, don’t bite your lip and mutter, “We’ll see.” Tell him it’s a great idea. (What harm can it do?) Which doesn’t mean that you should slap a happy face on a friend’s grim diagnosis by saying something like, “Don’t worry! Nowadays breast cancer is like having a cold!”

The best response in any encounter with a sick friend is to say, “Tell me what I can do to make things easier for you—I really want to help.”

2. Treat your sick friends as you always did—but never forget their changed circumstance. However contradictory that may sound, I promise you can learn to live within the paradox if you keep your friend’s illness and its constraints in mind but don’t treat them as if their illness is who they are. Speak to them as you always did (tease them, kid around with them, get mad at them) but indulge their occasional blue moods or hissy-fits. Most important, start conversations about other things (sports, politics, food, movies) as soon as possible and you’ll help speed their journey from the morass of illness to the miracle of the ordinary.

3. Avoid self-referential comments. A friend with a hacking cough doesn’t need to hear, “You think that’s bad? I had double pneumonia.” Don’t tell someone with brain cancer that you know how painful it must be because you get migraines. Don’t complain about your colicky baby to the mother of a child with spina bifida. I’m not saying sick people have lost their capacity to empathize with others, just that solipsism is unhelpful and rude. The truest thing you can say to a sick or suffering friend is, “I can only try to imagine what you’re going through.”

4. Don’t assume, verify. Several friends of Michele, a Canadian writer, reacted to her cancer diagnosis with, “Well, at least you caught it early, so you’ll be all right!” In fact, she did not catch it early, and never said or hinted otherwise. So when someone said, “You caught it early,” she thought, “No, I didn’t, therefore I’m going to die.” Repeat after me: “Assume nothing.”

5. Get the facts straight before you open your mouth.Did your friend have a heart or liver transplant? Chemo or radiation? Don’t just ask, “How are you?” Ask questions specific to your friend’s health. “How’s your rotator cuff these days?” “Did the blood test show Lyme disease?” “Are your new meds working?” If you need help remembering who has shingles and who has lupus, or the date of a friend’s operation, enter a health note under the person’s name in your contacts list or stick a Post-it by the phone and update the information as needed.

6. Help your sick friend feel useful. Zero in on one of their skills and lead to it. Assuming they’re up to the task, ask a cybersmart patient to set up a Web page for you; ask a bridge or chess maven to give you pointers on the game; ask a retired teacher to guide your teenager through the college application process. In most cases, your request won’t be seen as an imposition but a vote of confidence in your friend’s talent and worth.

7. Don’t infantilize the patient. Never speak to a grown-up the way you’d talk to a child. Objectionable sentences include, “How are we today, dearie?” “That’s a good boy.” “I bet you could swallow this teeny-tiny pill if you really tried.” And the most wince-worthy, “Are we ready to go wee-wee?” Protect your friend’s dignity at all costs.

8. Think twice before giving advice.Don’t forward medical alerts, newspaper clippings or your Aunt Sadie’s cure for gout. Your idea of a health bulletin that’s useful or revelatory may mislead, upset, confuse or agitate your friend. Sick people have doctors to tell them what to do. Your job is simply to be their friend.

9. Let patients who are terminally ill set the conversational agenda.If they’re unaware that they’re dying, don’t be the one to tell them. If they know they’re at the end of life and want to talk about it, don’t contradict or interrupt them; let them vent or weep or curse the Fates. Hand them a tissue and cry with them. If they want to confide their last wish, or trust you with a long-kept secret, thank them for the honor and listen hard. Someday you’ll want to remember every word they say.

10. Don’t pressure them to practice ‘positive thinking.’ The implication is that they caused their illness in the first place by negative thinking—by feeling discouraged, depressed or not having the “right attitude.” Positive thinking can’t cure Huntington’s disease, ALS or inoperable brain cancer. Telling a terminal patient to keep up the fight isn’t just futile, it’s cruel. Insisting that they see the glass as half full may deny them the truth of what they know and the chance to tie up life’s loose ends while there’s still time. As one hospice patient put it, “All I want from my friends right now is the freedom to sulk and say goodbye.”

Though most of us feel dis-eased around disease, colloquial English proffers a sparse vocabulary for the expression of embarrassment, fear, anxiety, grief or sorrow. These 10 commandments should help you relate to your sick friends with greater empathy, warmth and grace.

Next week, we’ll explore Part II of Crisis Convo Coaching, and I’ll share a diagraming exercise that neatly suggests how to support someone while processing your own feelings at the same time.

Grab Bag Random Kindness:

If, like me, you have found yourself extracting foot from mouth, here are a few inspirations to rebalance your karma :-):
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15-random-acts-of-kindness-faith-in-humanity14 15-random-acts-of-kindness-faith-in-humanity10

Grab Bag 50 Ways to…..:

… not “leave your lover”, but Eat Healthier!

50 recipes to inspire a healthier mealtime from WhatsGabyCooking.com:

What's Gaby Cooking?

Grab Bag Brain Game:

A Japanese-inspired graphing game of deduction:



Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Don’t shoot the messenger… I didn’t write these 🙂

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Grab Bag Wow Moment:

One of the beauties of the tech age is that we can experience things we would never get a chance to otherwise. Such is this video…. a fantastic voyage through the International Space Station, giving us all a small sense of what life is like 222 miles above us, traveling at roughly 17,227 miles per hour:

Space Station Tour

Thanks to Corinna G. for sending this in.

Grab Bag Hotel Hack:

This is a pretty solid idea from Lifehacker.com that is worth a try, should you find yourself within the penalty period for cancelation of your hotel reservations:

Most hotels will charge you a fee if you cancel your room booking less than 24-hours before you’re supposed to check in. Ideally, that shouldn’t be a problem, if you’re not going to make a trip or vacation, you’ll usually know it ahead of time. However, if your flight is cancelled, re-routed, or there’s another emergency, Redditor drwired has the solution: don’t cancel the room, push your arrival time out by a few days, hang up, call later and then cancel it, once you’re safely more than 24-hours from your check-in date.

hotel bell

Grab Bag Tie One On:

Men, let’s get back to the real deal. Tie one on like a REAL man. A useful and well done video… I will put a permanent link in the Information section on the right, for those times you need it.

Grab Bag Zit Zap:

Also from Lifehacker.com, and a good tip for any acne-prone face:

Sleep with a clean and freshly washed towel or pillowcase on your pillow every night. It is said to be more effective than acne meds.

I researched this a bit and there are lots of comments on sites like acne.org and others that all say using a fresh pillow case or fresh towel over the pillow every night makes a BIG difference for acne.

pillow cases

Grab Bag Breakfast Bonanza:

It truly is, at the risk of overstating it, the most important meal of the day.

There is irrefutable evidence showing that consuming a healthy, balanced breakfast helps in a plethora of health aspects, foremost among them your weight, your blood sugar and your energy levels; three very good reasons why you need to eat healthy as the day begins.

Do not come with the, “I’m just never hungry in the morning” or, “I never have time”. Not listening.

Here are 8 healthy breakfast suggestions from Prevention magazine:

Yogurt With Almonds

1. Greek yogurt is a powerhouse breakfast, packing up to 18 g of protein into just one 6-ounce container. Plus, one serving of plain can tally only 100 calories and 0 g of fat. Mix in some almonds and a fiber-rich fruit, like fresh pear, to round out the meal.


2. Grab a bar, but not just any one: Many are laden with sugar and fat. Try Kind fruit and nut bars, which have up to 10 g of protein and 5 g of fiber, plus antioxidants.

Spinach Feta Wrap

3.  If the drive-thru is your only option, avoid morning calorie sinkholes like muffins, bagels, and pancakes, and order a protein-packed egg sandwich instead. To save calories, hold the cheese. (Note from LK: Starbuck’s has a couple of clean options… spinach feta wrap and low-fat turkey bacon and egg breakfast sandwich.)


4. If your body’s not used to having breakfast, ease yourself into it by sipping on a smoothie (we like Odwalla) throughout the morning to start your day with vitamins and nutrients. Also, curb late-night snacking, which can suppress your morning appetite. Up for making a smoothie yourself? One of these 20 delicious smoothie recipes will totally hit the spot.


5. If you need to fuel a workout, carbs and protein are essential for repairing your muscles post sweat session. Kashi’s 7 Grain frozen waffle has 7 g of fiber and 4 g of protein per serving. Pair it with a protein-packed serving of peanut butter, some sliced bananas, and a glass of fat-free milk and you’ll have a winning start.


6. If you’re trying to lose 10 pounds, swap your morning cup o’ joe for a mug of green tea—research shows that it can rev your metabolism. As for your main meal: Fill up on two eggs any way you like ’em. Studies show that people who incorporated eggs instead of bagels into a reduced-calorie diet lost 65% more weight. (Note from LK… I told you so, on both these counts!)

Breakfast Burrito

7. If heart health is your priority, try a breakfast burrito chock-full of heart-friendly monounsaturated fats. Fill a whole wheat wrap with sliced avocado, scrambled eggs, and a splash of salsa. Also check out these other tasty breakfast burrito ideas.


8. If you need more fiber, don’t settle for a cereal with fewer than 5 g of fiber per serving. Some varieties, such as Fiber One, contain as much as 14 g. To add even more fiber-filled food (and flavor): Toss in raspberries. (Note from LK: Kashi Cinnamon Harvest is one of my favs!)

Grab Bag Brain Game:

A variation on the “Stroop” effect, this game asks you to click on the color of the word, not the color that the word actually spells.

Adding to the challenge, the color of the background is changing as the words and their colors are changing also. Give it a few rounds…. you’ll get better…. and it will improve your focus and concentration.


Brain Bender

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:





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