Tag archives: humor

Where On Earth
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   November 22, 2022

There’s a saying in the Real Estate business that, in considering the value of a property, only three things really matter: Location, Location, and Location. But, if that means where a place actually is, many factors enter into play – such as what it’s near, and not near. We are often reminded that “it’s a […]

Fortune and Misfortune
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   November 15, 2022

Some people (it is often said) have all the luck – implying that not much is left over for the rest of us. The British, with their love of ironical humor, have an expression wishing someone “the best of British luck,” suggesting that the recipient of the wish has not much chance. But, in the […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   November 8, 2022

I have been asked to write something about Jealousy. For me, this was a difficult but challenging assignment, because I have rarely felt jealous of anybody else, and, as far as I know, I myself have not generated that emotion in other people – although I suppose it isn’t the kind of feeling you readily […]

Rock of Ages
By Ernie Witham   |   November 1, 2022

It was raining now and blustery. The temperature, which had been hovering around nippy, was heading toward less romantic sounding terms like “freezing my tuchus off.”  “According to legend,” our guide was saying at a volume that came with weather-related experience, “the Rock originated in a high mountain located around 20 miles north of here […]

Hunters and Gatherers
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   October 25, 2022

Despite my own attempts, through the jungles of information on Google, I’ve been unable to track down the originator of the term “hunter-gatherer,” as used to describe a lifestyle. But it appears to have been an invention of that branch of modern science which studies human origins and may fall under the rubric of Paleo-Anthropology. […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   October 18, 2022

Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest is credited with the idea (often quoted in various forms) that military victory depends on “getting there first, with the most.” It might be added that what matters most in life generally is getting there at all. But in the 1950s, when trans-oceanic travel by sea was beginning to encounter […]

What They Say
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   October 11, 2022

In Shakespeare’s classic monologue about “The Seven Ages of Man” (from As You Like It) he ascribes the fourth Age to a Soldier, who is “Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,Seeking the bubble reputation, even in the cannon’s mouth.” That metaphorical bubble is a fitting image for the attractive but ephemeral concept of […]

The Fickle Finger of Fate
By Ernie Witham   |   October 11, 2022

The woman up the aisle from me was staring at the floor of the LUAS tram, now speeding toward Dublin. I followed her gaze and spotted the three large drops of blood she was fixed on. Would she call the police? Would Cassie Maddox and Rob Reilly of Dublin Murders television fame be the ones […]

Have a Heart
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   October 4, 2022

Contrary to what someone might think, a cardiologist does not collect cards – not even such collectibles as those my little Company produces. The word comes from the Greek kardia, meaning “heart,” which has given us such spin-offs as “cordial,” and the French and Spanish “Coeur,” and “Corazón.” Where I live, there is a local […]

A Brilliant Thing Coming to Town
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 27, 2022

Every Brilliant Thing starts off as the story of a seven-year-old boy whose mother has been hospitalized with suicidal depression. In an effort to lift her spirits, he begins creating a list of the joys of life from his perspective, from ice cream, water fights, and badgers, to, as time goes by, Christopher Walken’s voice, […]

Too Much Love
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 20, 2022

Loving one another is OK – but let’s not overdo it. Can there be too much love? We’ve all heard of “smother love” – a kind of emotional swaddling that comes near to stifling the object of affection – particularly associated with over-protective parents. Some people are surprised to hear that my own parents, when […]

Laugh to the Tune of Improv
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 20, 2022

Chris Shurland, one of the improv instructors and company members at both Santa Barbara Improv and the recently revived Carpinteria Improv at the Alcazar Theatre, has a confession. He really doesn’t like doing musical improv. Or, it turns out, singing at all.  “I’ve done karaoke one time in my life, and that was literally the […]

Not What You Think
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 13, 2022

“Fool me once, – shame on you –Fool me twice,Shame on me.” It may surprise you to realize in how many ways our lives, literature, and entire culture are based on misleading each other and our fellow creatures. To start with, there’s the matter of clothing, and all kinds of other things we put on […]

On the Move
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 6, 2022

One line I remember from the many years I spent listening to radio comedy was this: “You know I think the world of you . . . And you know what everybody thinks of the world these days.” Be that as it may, we can probably agree that, if anything is certain about what we […]

Let the Ibuprofen Games Begin!
By Ernie Witham   |   August 30, 2022

“Why are you grimacing?” my wife asked. “Shhh. I don’t want the others to know I’m injured.” Pat looked around. “By the others, you mean…” A couple of eight-year-olds walked by. I quickly stopped rubbing my shoulder, smiled confidently and whispered, “that boy was good, but his sister caught a dozen pom-poms in a row.” […]

Where We Came In
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 30, 2022

There was once a common expression, “This is where we came in.” The meaning was originally quite literal. In the early days of movies – and at least into my childhood in the 1940s – when movies, especially new releases, were still something most people went out to, rather than seeing them at home – […]

Please Be Seated
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 23, 2022

Because of the way our bodies bend, the most comfortable position, when not prone, tends to be with the buttocks emplaced some distance above the ground (depending on the length of our legs) and our backs resting, if possible, against a vertical surface. This is known as “sitting,” and, for all the improvements, in housing, […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 16, 2022

There used to be a comedian named Rodney Dangerfield (a name which is somehow funny in itself) who built his whole career on a five-word catchphrase: “I don’t get no respect.” This too had its own built-in funny-ness, because we tend to have less respect for people who use grammar incorrectly. But Dangerfield specialized in […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 9, 2022

There’s only one reason why the following lines linger in my mind. They’re from a poem called “Daisy,” which we studied in English class, when I was at school in England. The poem, by Francis Thompson, describes his encounter with a little girl, who, to him, was clearly the personification of innocence. But the reason […]

Getting There is Half, a Quarter, Hardly Any of the Fun
By Ernie Witham   |   August 2, 2022

Our plane from LAX to Charlotte was late. “We will begin boarding as soon as the arriving passengers are off the plane,” the gate attendant announced. “What’s the holdup?” I asked. Before he could answer, the scheduled departure time advanced by 30 minutes. “It needs to taxi to the gate… as soon as it actually […]