Wednesday, November 23, 2016


 “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
      A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh 

There is much to think about, worry about, and focus on this year. Our world, our country, our towns, our families. As we pause on this holiday to reflect on things we are thankful for, may we all be able to find our own gratitude. May we be able to share the feelings of gratitude with friends and loved ones, and may we be able to put aside troublesome or divisive issues for a short time. 

I know for some this may be hard, even impossible. For some, it may be a quiet, reflective holiday spent in sadness or grief. To those people I send out healing thoughts with the hope that time will bring peace, repair relationships, and restore happiness and a life that provides much to be grateful for. 

Dare to Be

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!
                                 Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free  

thanks to Goodreads, where I found these quotes.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Laugh Along With Me! A good thing for ANY day!

I am re-sharing this today in recognition of the fact that there may have been a longs stretch for some of us in between laughs. Please give this a try and help yourself move forward through all the difficult things that life can hand us — personal, political, global, universal, internal and external.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Paint, Panic, and Physics

Orange is the new hue on my house.

Today was the big paint-the-outside-trim day. It had taken quite a while to decide on just the right shade of paint that would complement the new roof's color ("Terracotta"), pale yellow house siding, and the brick on the front of the house (not quite red, orange or pink). I took the opportunity to wash the outsides of the windows, and also wiped down the brick trim before I started painting. It all went smoothly.

Of course, actual painting is only half the job. Afterward comes the clean up; including scrubbing my paint-covered hands and fingernails, and cleaning the brushes. I live in a small house without the kind of slop sink that is often in the basement  or laundry room. My old house had one that was great for cleaning all sorts of icky stuff. But with only a kitchen sink and a bathroom sink in this house, it was a dilemma to decide how to clean the brushes.

After shuffling the job between the two sinks and scrubbing each one sparkling clean again, I returned later to my brand new, just-installed kitchen sink to see a sizable smear of reddish-orange. It was pale, but definitely there. I took a sponge and soap and scrubbed it away. However, when I moved my hands, I saw it was still there. More soap and more scrubbing. Gone for sure now. I lift my hands to grab for a towel to dry the spot and there is the paint, still there. Now I took one of those miracle scrubbing pads that seems to get grime off of anything. The same result it looked like it was working until I moved my hands out of the way.

I began to panic. Was my brand new sink ruined? I stared at the stain, it was faint, but that didn't matter to me. As I stared at it, willing it to go away, it actually disappeared. What the heck? Then it came back. And then disappeared. And came back.

Suddenly I realized what I was dealing with. I reached up and moved a colored glass vase that was sitting in the sun in the garden window behind my sink. The stain disappeared. Yes, I had been trying to scrub away a beam of light. I can hear Neil DeGrasse Tyson laughing.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thoughts on The First Day of Summer 2016

Sometimes, life is going along so well I forget to spread the wealth and share the laughter and happiness I see and feel around me. And sometimes, there is such horror and sadness in the world, that it is hard to dig down into that reserve of resilience. The past few months have been a jolting ride not just for me personally, but for the United States, and the world. I can't help wondering if the rest of the universe is beset by such extremes. Of course, it must be, for as Neil deGrasse Tyson noted, "We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us." So, if for no other reason, we owe the universe to keep our tiny little corner of it peaceful and orderly.

Today is the first day of summer, the longest day of the year as calculated by the number of hours of daylight we can bask in. For many, it heralds the arrival of the season of outdoor activities, garden tending and vacation-taking. The time to build up our reserves of vitamin D and happy moments to bolster us when things are not so sunny. And after today, while the summer activities begin full-tilt, each day gets a little shorter. The universe keeps on moving the seasons along, spinning our Earth around the Sun, no matter what joys and sorrows collect on what Carl Sagan called "this little blue dot."

May you all find something to be joyful about today, on this Summer Solstice, and may your tiny corner of the universe be filled with laughter and happiness to strengthen your ability to deal with the darker days of winter.

We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.
Read more at:
We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.
Read more at:
We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.
Read more at:
We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Read more at:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May the Fourth Be With You! (And Also With You)

'Tis the merry month of May, although here in New Jersey it still feels a bit like early March. April has gone out like a wet sponge, and the May flowers are shivering as they peek their heads above ground. The forsythias have faded while the dogwood is in full bloom. Each day, on my commute to work, I pass under a canopy of tall trees that are slowly changing from bare sticks to budded limbs. Soon their leafy arms will shade the morning sunlight. If it ever stops raining, that is.

After the poetry-writing break of April, I am returning to the challenge of Living on the Smile Side of Life (although, I could say that a poetry writing break IS living on the Smile Side of Life, even if the poetry is not humorous). I am currently taking a class called the Science of Happiness and am reading quite a bit of research and scholarly opinion on the subject of happiness; what it is; where it comes from; what purpose it serves in life. 

It has made me think deeper about humor and laughter in life, and how they affect happiness. Most especially, when we practice laughter as an exercise, what is the effect on mood and a person's interpretation of happiness. We already know that, in some respects, we can fool the brain into releasing endorphins by smiling even if we don't feel like it, and laughing as an exercise, especially in a group. Do those things, and others, affect our happiness? Is it momentary? Is it cumulative? These are the things I would like to research; things that perhaps I can ask people who attend my laughter wellness sessions with specific before and after questions about levels of happiness before and after a session. And maybe, if people are willing, how they feel later; does the affect of the session stay with them? I am sure others have done this kind of research and I will be looking to track it down, and then, as a way of improving my presentations, see how "my" groups do.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has already looked into the particular connections between laughter wellness or laughter yoga and happiness, and also, anyone in my area who would like to maybe form a small group to meet over a certain period of time to participate in laughter wellness sessions and track their happiness over time.

And in the meantime, I will continue to look for the humor in life, because, my life alone is still providing plenty of examples. Coming soon, the closet door installation adventure.

And, to celebrate Star Wars Day, here is a little video.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Cruelest Month NAPAWRIMO 2016 April 20, 2016

Spring Morning Birds

Urban roosters herald a new day,
escaped again from their enclosure
to feast in the overgrown yard next door.
They compete with the tiny Carolina Wren for volume,
their music discordant and distracting,
winning the contest for annoyance.
later I will chase them out from under my car,
while the crows call each other impatiently
and the woodpecker fruitlessly hammers on someone’s metal roof.
When the Canada geese pass overhead,
they dominate the feathered orchestra
trumpeting their arrival in a rising and falling crescendo,
to end the Get Out of Bed symphony.

©2016Noreen Braman

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Cruelest Month - NAPOWRIMO 2016 - April 12, 2016


details, details, details.


repeat, repeat, repeat.
©2016 Noreen Braman

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Cruelest Month - NAPOWRIMO 2016 - April 11, 2016

Out of Step

There was trick we used in marching band
to get back in step.
It took some practice, especially if
We were playing a tune at the time.
Far harder is finding the footwork
to get back in step with you,
difficulty magnified by rarity
discomfort multiplied by contrast
to our normal synchronicity,
despite agreeing that agreement isn’t constant
different drummers are playing for us.
©2016 Noreen Braman

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Cruelest Month - NAPOWRIMO 2016 - April 8 & 9

Haikube Experiments

#1 A Tirade About My Romantic Life

Happy heart with you,
I have life balance through time,
stay inside my home.

#2 A Dream About My Future

Glorious dancing,
I return for her smooth charm,
silly baby cheeks.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Cruelest Month - NAPOWRIMO 2016 - April 7, 2016

Maiden, Mother, Modern Woman

Through the wealth of experience
lived as maiden, mother and modern woman,
my time now is for guiding, creating, learning,
with a heart living in the realm of loving family, friends,
And spirit flying free above traumas of the past.
©2016 Noreen Braman

The Cruelest Month - NAPOWRIMO 2016 - April 6, 2016

Toll Booth Nostalgia

Ez-Pass allows zooming without delay
a technological thingy insures you pay
the usage fee for turnpike or parkway
or bridge or tunnel, you understand
the required toll that they demand.

It’s easy! It’s quick! Over in a blink!
As long as you have credit you don’t have to think!
But gone are the days when it was fun to sink
A quarter in the basket, tossed over the car
From passenger window, not really that far.

But requiring timing, skill and repetition
And a driver who slows the car with precision
And goes along with the risky decision
To try this maneuver which may not succeed
But then again could be a remarkable deed.

Today with the tolls going higher each day,
Tossing handfuls of quarters wouldn’t work anyway.
©2016 Noreen Braman

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Cruelest Month - NAPOWRIMO 2016 - April 5, 2016

Uneasy Seas

the undercurrent of life
flowing motion of darkened waters
where self fluorescent creatures dart
too quick for the eye, too slow for the spirit,
their unknown intentions breaking the surface
leaving swirls spiraling outward,
contrary waves against the flow
causing heightened awareness in the depths
and fearful pauses on shore.

©2016 Noreen Braman

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Cruelest Month - NAPOWRIMO April 3 and 4



spaces of longing and mourning

what was, what is, what will be, what will never be.

beginning where once only one walked the world

then others who shared the blood, the air, the milk of life,

arms reaching, legs walking, eyes looking for how far to go –

pushing how large their orbit will be,

while those on the ground wait to see

how much time for the comets to return,

blazing in the sky of home.

©2016 Noreen Braman


April City

Not the Spring day of years before,

no red-shoed woman sipping coffee in the sunshine,

no flowers handed out to young performers at Carnegie,

and the spired aeries are shrouded in clouds.

the great lady has set aside her jewels

and her gaze is cold and sullen

she refuses to shine on opening day

as her rain-splashed children dash between shelters

while Spring plays hardball with the city.

©2016 Noreen Braman

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Cruelest Month - NAPOWRIMO 4-2-16

©2016 Noreen Braman


Companion and protector

comedian and mischief maker,

shredder of garbage

digger of gardens,

she of guilty eyes

and wagging tail

grows old in front of me.

Hesitant of step

except where squirrels are involved,

failing sight and hearing

unless forbidden treats are unattended,

still joyous doorway greetings

and toys flung across the room,

canine behavior once taken for granted,

and sung in poem and story,

now cherished as time counts down.

©2016 Noreen Braman

Friday, April 1, 2016

March flew past in a windy blur, and now, April, the cruelest month, begins

©2016 Noreen Braman
April is here, the month of my birth and all manner of celebrations and commemorations. Here, in New Jersey, it is the month where we expect Spring to kick into full gear, but snow and freezing temperatures can still make an appearance. Yellow, in the form of forsythia and daffodils, creeps across the landscape, followed by the whites and pinks of flowering trees and shrubs. Hyacinths, tulips and other early spring bloomers fill in the palette with assorted hues of purple, fuschia and orange. Before most trees have leafed over, there is a riot of color in my area.

Yet, T.S. Eliot referred to April as "the cruelest month" in the opening line of The Waste Land, and what he means by that is the stuff of college literature classes. For me, I have adopted his line as the working title of the collection of all my poetry written in April for National Poetry Writing Month as a sort of tongue in cheek complaint about how difficult it is to write a poem every, single, day.

And that brings up another April designation - it is National Humor Month. So appropriate for the month that starts with April Fool's Day and concludes the first Sunday in May with World Laughter Day. This makes April almost the perfect storm of creative outlets for me. If I find out there is some photography or graphic design designation for this month I may need to take a month off from my job just to keep up! Out in Arizona the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor is holding its yearly conference, and in Ohio, the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop (both of which I have previously attended) is holding theirs. Much of what I do as a Laughter Wellness Instructor is important to emphasize because April is National Stress Awareness Month. My plate is getting fuller by the minute! The more I look on the web, the more things I find that have declared April as their awareness month, and all are deserving of attention: autism, animal cruelty, jazz, volunteers, mathematics ... and on and on.

So welcome to The Cruelest Month, where I will endeavor to keep up with writing a poem a day, as well as focus on humor. This doesn't mean every poem will be funny. (or good, for that matter). And I will try to stay away from telling jokes. The reality is, I piled up a bunch of life experiences in March which may bring a smile to your face, if only because it didn't happen to you.

In the fashion of Rod Serling's introduction to an episode of The Twilight Zone, submitted for your approval is my first, brief, poem of 2016


An assortment of declarations
Provided by various sources
Revealing special interests
Issues and commemorations
Leading to events and challenges
For those who follow the cause.
Oh what a list of celebrations
Observations and awareness campaigns
Leaping for our attention and sometimes
Soliciting our donations.
                                        ©2016 Noreen Braman

Monday, February 29, 2016

February - The Least Laughable Month of the Year?

2016 is a leap year, and today we enjoy the gift of an extra day on the calendar, thanks to science.  The explanation for doing this is based on the fact that our calendar year is based on the time it takes the earth to wobble its way around the sun. A time period that takes about 364.25 of our 24-hour days. Well, actually, that would be 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds. And then there is true solar time, which can vary the “real” time of midnight by up to 146 seconds.  So, an extra day is added every 4 years, except (as I learned here at CNN,, by “century” years that are evenly divided by 400. And that, my friends, still doesn’t get us synched up exactly with the Universal Timekeeper. 

I tell you all this because, to me, the month of February is long enough at 28 days.  When my children were growing, it seemed that February was the month of flu, bronchitis, frozen pipes and blizzards. Thanks to the modern marvel of Facebook, I now get daily reminders of previous February misery packaged as my “memories.” Ah yes, the sick days, the shoveling, the shivering. Not much to laugh about there.

Or, so one could assume. No doubt that trying to laugh with bronchitis is painful. But if laughing for the health of it is something we only do when it is easy, it isn’t much of a practice, is it? February, as it turns out, is a great month to get together with friends for a laughter night. Queue up a funny movie (this month, we enjoyed  watching, and laughing at, “The Intern.”) It is a wonderful month to bring a Laughter Wellness Program to your place of employment; a real stress-buster just when we feel as if winter is never going to end.  The staff at the tech company I visited last week was ready and willing to get their endorphins flowing! And, the challenge of more indoor time with restless toddlers and older children can be broken up with time specifically devoted to laughter and dance. Go ahead, get out those old dance/exercise DVDs and challenge your kids to bust a move with you. Once you’ve got them moving and laughing, you may even get them to help you shovel the driveway. Before you know, February, even in leap year, will have passed and Spring will be in the air. (Please, don't write me to tell me about your March and April snowstorms and strep throats. Let me live in the fantasy.)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

You Can't Spend Winter Waiting for Spring

A window with star shaped frost on it, with the soft shape of snow drifts and a small brick house bathed in rising sunshine.
©2016 Noreen Braman

 It's cold.

It's dark.

My clothes are full of static.

I have to leave my faucet dripping so my pipes don’t freeze.

There are wet boots in the living room.

There is a wet dog in the house.

My shoulders ache from shoveling.

I slipped on the ice and fell on my butt.

I could probably keep going on and on with my list of winter misery. I am not a skier or a sledder or a snowboarder, so there isn’t anticipation of that fun to bolster me. I don’t have a roaring fireplace to snuggle in front of, and no Scandinavian relative or friends to teach me the art of going from steam room to outdoor hot tub when the weather is below freezing. No wonder people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. See the list above.

Jagged frost on a window reflects rising sunlight with trees and a small house in the background.
©2016 Noreen Braman

But, you can’t spend winter waiting for Spring. Here in New Jersey, winter can possibly be with us from November through March – and snow in April is not unheard of.  Five months is a long time to mourn the loss of warm temperatures and long days. So what’s a non-snow bunny to do? For me, it is looking for the beauty of winter. Looking for  vistas and scenic shots that can’t be had in the warm weather. Looking for the sparkle and clarity that only comes with cold air.

Things that make me smile, even when my teeth are chattering.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Family That Laughs Together

Some of the family demonstrating their smiling skills. ©2016 Noreen Braman
This weekend I attended a surprise 75th birthday party for my Aunt. This party gathered together relatives and old friends from my mother’s side of the family; many people I have been woefully out of touch with since my mother died. I actually reconnected with this side of the family at a surpise party for my 60th birthday last year. That was a wonderful, emotional gathering of extended family from all sides and longtime friends. We smiled, we laughed, we cried. We vowed to not let another 20 years go by without seeing each other.

This weekend’s party was a joyful reaffirmation of that promise. This time, my aunt’s side of the family was there; people I haven’t seen since I was a teenager and even younger. All we needed was to hear the names and out came the stories. The “party days” of the innocent times when I was just a toddler. Memories brought back by some recently scanned photos from 50 and 60 years ago. Comparisons of how all the families have expanded and the amazing similarities discovered.

At least three generations were represented, and photos of the fourth generation, currently being brought into the world, were shared all around. Cellphones snapped pictures, Facebook connections were made and the hugs and kisses continued all day. It was, indeed, a massive lovefest and I felt so lucky to be there.

It was also very obvious how comfortable everyone seemed to be. It was as if the years of separation for some didn’t exist; it was as if we had all been together just last week. As I sat there and took it all in, I could see that, yes, the threads of family and love were there, weaving strongly through the group. But also there was laughter. Deep, hearty laughter and soft gentle laughter. Smiles on the faces of both the young and old, passed back and forth through touch, eye contact, and conversation.

Recently, I’ve seen stories of how laughter is helping refugees, victims of human trafficking and those dealing with mental health issues heal and cope. I feel fortunate that I come from an extended family who has naturally developed the use of laughter as a way of sharing, communicating, and loving.  May we continue to share the joy for a long time, and pass it along to the next generations.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

It Only Hurts When I Laugh

One week ago, I had oral surgery behind my bottom lip. Six stitches and some hardened packing material later, I went home with serious limitations on my ability to eat, talk and smile. Laughing was painfully out of the question, even a slight giggle caused me to grab my chin to try and stop the shooting pain.

I have since realized that being unable to smile or laugh without pain is a big deal for me. In fact, despite my qualifications as a Laughter Wellness Instructor and Laughter Yoga Leader, I was not really aware of how often I smile or laugh. Even before my laughter training, it was an embedded part of my personality; something that is born out by a lifetime of grinning photos (and believe me, at many times my life was nothing to smile about). My nephew once remarked, “I like Aunt Nor, she is always smiling.” It seems that I instinctively knew something that I now share in many of my presentations. Studies have shown that smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, fools the brain into thinking that there is something to be happy about. Feel-good endorphins are then released. This scientific fact is part of the whole reason for laughter wellness and laughter yoga.  The whole reason why I prefer to live on the Smile Side of Life.

But, having smiling and laughter as an intrinsic part of my personality makes me take it for granted. It is possible that I have expected it to be a part of everyone’s makeup — buried perhaps — but in there somewhere. This week, while smiling and laughing continues to be a painful thing for me, I have realized that for some people it may be painful all the time. Maybe not causing shooting pain across their faces, but causing inner pain, turmoil or confusion. Suddenly, I understand more clearly why some people at my presentations don’t “get it.” 
I don’t expect that everyone at a laughter wellness presentation will enjoy it or understand what it is all about.  Like any group activity, sport or exercise class, it is not for everyone. What has puzzled me, until now, is how strongly emotional the negative reactions sometimes are. In the same group I have gotten reviews of “we need more laughter in our lives!” to “the laughter [session] was a total waste of time, TOTALLY TOTALLY a WASTE of time!!!” From “Love the laughter training!” to “We are not children! I did not sign up for group therapy!”

The first lesson I learned from this is that there are more negative reactions in groups of people who are attending the session because it was mandatory, or it was just part of another educational presentation for their particular profession. In sessions where Laughter Wellness is the only topic, and a description of what will happen in the session is presented beforehand, this doesn’t seem to happen. And that is because the people for whom laughter is a painful experience will not come to a laughter wellness session. They are not going to laugh or smile in a group no matter how good it is for them.

The second lesson is, if there are people in the group for whom smiling and laughing is painful, they will let you know, in a strong and clear way, that this was not for them. And because it was not for them it is a ridiculous, stupid or frivolous idea. Sadly, these are people who would probably benefit the most from laughter.

And the last lesson for me is the realization that, once, a very long time ago, I also found laughter painful. Somewhere between adolescence and adulthood I lost much of my ability to laugh or see humor. Laughter had become a weapon in my house; used to belittle and punish. Bullies at school knew the power of laughter to intimidate and hurt. I remember being at a Mel Brooks movie once, wonder what the heck everyone around me was laughing at.

Maybe it was that intrinsic part of my personality that brought the laughter back. Maybe it was just part of growing up. Maybe it was reading about smiling to fool your brain long before anyone ever heard of laughter wellness. Whatever it was, laughter has been with me and I have been sharing it as much as I can for many, many years. However, the experience of this past week, and the continued pain I get when laughing or smiling, has been a good thing. It has reminded me of what it feels like to be physically or emotionally unable to laugh; helped me understand why some react so negatively to a laughter wellness presentation; and it has motivated me to find some information, exercises or alternate pathways to help those I meet who cannot laugh.
Meanwhile, hold the jokes and memes, I am almost healed. It only hurts when I laugh.


Monday, January 4, 2016

The Funny Thing About Glasses - My first blog entry of 2016

Wishing us all a New Year full of peace, love, and laughter.
Wearing glasses adds an additional dimension to life, and not only the fact that they make the world more visible. They create their own ridiculous and sometimes hilarious world of rituals, products, and “situations.”

For example, consider these observations:

1.     No matter how diligent one is about putting glasses down in the same place every time; we spend a decent amount of time looking for those glasses.  This is a ridiculous chore because depending on one’s visual acuity without the glasses, they can be right there in front of you, but you don’t see them. They can also be, on top of your head, in between the nightstand and the bed, inside your shirt that you tossed into the hamper, under the couch cushions, next to the computer keyboard or on the floor (and hopefully, not found by the sickening crunch of glasses being stepped on). It almost sounds logical to have a pair of glasses to put on specifically for looking for your glasses.

2.     Nothing attracts filth, fingerprints and smudges like a pair of glasses. Dust, rain, pets, children, makeup, clothing and just air are attracted to your glasses, which exert the same gravitational pull as a black hole. There are cloths, wet wipes, and special tissues for cleaning them. More often than not, breathing on the lens and wiping with your shirt sleeve is the cleaning process of choice. Using the special spray solution on your glasses puts you at risk of actually spraying yourself in the eye, because, of course, once you remove your glasses to clean them, you really can’t see which way the sprayer is facing. And while I may not see the teeny type on the side of my eyebrow pencil, a speck on my glasses looks like a 16-wheeler about to hit me head-on.

3.      Unless they are made of titanium and you are some kind of ultra-careful superhero, glasses are constantly getting out of shape. Wire frames bend and collapse. Plastic frames warp and break.  Tiny screws loosen and fall out. Lenses wobble. For those of us wearing progressive lenses, there is a constant battle to keep the glasses on the right part of the nose so that all the various regions of magnification stay lined up correctly. I think more of us are walking around with damaged Harry-Potter-reminiscent glasses than the shiny pristine glasses worn by all those sporty people in the eyeglass store advertisement.

4.     Eyeglasses also interfere with a multitude of things that many people take for granted. Haircuts must be designed around the glasses; not so short on the sides that the glasses make the hair stand out from your head like a porcupine quill. Hats and caps can put uncomfortable pressure on the earpiece of your glasses, and a motorcycle helmet can just about implant those earpieces into your skull. Hugging someone will just about guarantee a huge smudge or even a nose injury. I’ve had pet birds who, while sitting on my shoulder, absolutely could not leave my eyeglasses alone (babies too!) And there is always the debate when swimming as to whether or not to wear the glasses and just sort of doggy paddle, or leave them off and risk paddling nose-first into the side of the pool.

5.     Glasses do have magical properties. They make Clark Kent unrecognizable as Superman. According to the back pages of some comic books, they can bestow x-ray vision on wearers, and now, computerized glasses can keep you in constant contact with the Internet as well as photographing everything you see.

As I write this on my computer, I am wearing my special computer glasses that allow me to see the screen better, let me read things on my desk, but blur the heck out of my eyesight when I try to look around. For non-computer work I have lenses that gradually change strength from distance, to mid distance, to close distance. That pair has a matching pair of sunglasses so I can see the road and the dashboard clearly. And then there is the pair of glasses with the bushy eyebrows and mustache attached. Those might not help me see better, but in many ways they increase my vision. In fact, they may be the most important glasses I have.

Read more humor, including my story, "Tracker Panic" in "Your Glasses Are On Top of Your Head." There are also lots of funny books here, including my book, "Treading Water." If you buy from this link, the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor benefits.