Reading in the Rain

I know I’ve talked ad nauseum about how much I love to read outside. I LOVE it, it’s just the best thing in the world. I’m honestly surprised I don’t go into depression when I can’t for nine months out of the year.

At my house, I have a three season porch off my living room, which is on the second floor, that means my patio has a roof, the floor of the porch. I have my swing  hanging from the porch and that’s where I spend 99.99% of my outdoor reading time (once it was too sunny and I sat on the bench for 15 minutes, that’s the other 0.01%). Because of the way the three season porch is designed, it doesn’t get wet underneath. The rain has to be blowing virtually sideways to get rain underneath. The same is true inside the porch, so I’m lucky I can leave those windows open day and night, from April to October.

Okay, so this means I don’t have to stop reading when it is raining. This is a HUGE plus for me, especially this summer when it has been super rainy. And since rainy days are prime reading days, it’s basically heaven on earth for me.

Cut to Tuesday night. I was out reading and it rained a bit. No big deal. Then it got dark and a storm blew in. It was rapidly cooling off outside and I was considering heading in (I was reading on my iPad, so the dark didn’t matter) but it was a good part of the book and I was enjoying the sounds and smells of the storm, so I stayed put.

Suddenly, something wet and slimy landed on my bare leg. Okay, I just got a chill typing that. Truly. It was dark outside, so I couldn’t see it. Instead, I just freaked. FREAKED. Remember this? It wasn’t quite that bad, because I wasn’t naked, but still, I was in capri pants and it was on my bare skin.

So I freak out and start kicking both legs, which were previously resting on a footstool. Kicking like a maniac with one hand holding my iPad to keep it from crashing to the ground, I felt whatever it was leave my skin.

I calmed down and finally brought my legs to rest on the footstool when whatever it was touched my other leg! Again with the freaking and kicking and not knowing what the hell was happening. So I removed my feet from the footstool, but I was so freaked out I didn’t want to put my feet on the ground because I didn’t know what was happening and I was barefoot (my sandals were under the footstool where I had slipped them off) so I simply stuck my legs straight out. And, naturally, because I was on a swing, I start swinging wildly about in the dark with nothing to anchor me. During this time I was chanting, out loud, pleasebealeaf, pleasebealeaf, pleasebealeaf.  After maybe 20 seconds, my legs were starting to hurt, but I was calming down and I realized I needed to figure this out. On the heels of that thought was the reminder that I was holding an iPad IN MY HAND and it emits light. Um, duh?

So I flipped the screen toward the ground and, obviously, saw nothing, since the fear of the ground was all in my imagination, and finally put my feet down. As I stopped moving I was able to turn toward the footstool and I aimed my iPad again.

There it was, the source of all this drama.

A tiny green tree frog. Okay he wasn’t tiny, like maybe 1.5″ long. Which is sizeable, but by no means terrifying. Frogs do not bother me in the least. Except when it is storming, and dark and they are wet and land on my skin, uninvited, then, I guess, they bother me plenty. But I was laughing as I saw him, and I leaned forward and pushed him off the footstool with my hand. Because frogs don’t bother me. I touched him, he hopped off, I resettled in my spot and dove back into my book.

But something was bugging me, niggling in the back of my brain…

Finally, I switched over from the book to my browser and googled how high tree frogs can jump. I mean, I see frogs and toads frequently and they hop a bit, I’ve seen them jump great distances, forward, but never have I seen one jump high. Maybe and inch or two off the ground, but that’s it. However, this particular frog landed on my leg, on the footstool, which I am guessing is close to four feet off the ground when all is said and done. Four feet in the air! So my brain was wondering if he was on a tree or something and got blown onto my leg? I mean, it sounds crazy, but how else did he get there.

And then Google told me that tree frogs can jump up to 7 feet in the air, or 50 times their own body length. Wowza. I mean, that’s impressive, but also strange that I never knew that. Now I’m a little creeped out. Before I saw frogs and thought nothing of it, but now, knowing that if I am walking and see a frog on the ground, he could literally leap up and land on my head. That’s a little creepy.

Anyway, I filed that information away for later and finished my book. I was so close that even though I was cold and living in my own private dramedy, I wanted to finish. So I did. As soon as the book was done, I shut off the iPad and lifted my feet to the ground. I stuck my left foot under the stool and slid it in my flip flop. Then my right, but I couldn’t quite reach it, it may have gotten moved in the frantic flailing of the aforementioned dramedy. So I stood up on my left foot and reached further and my toe caught the edge of my shoe. I scootched it toward me and finally slid my foot in…and my toes met something slimy!

Again with the instinctive reaction, my foot kicked and the sandal went flying. Not far, mind you, just off my foot. STILL standing my my left foot, I leaned backward and grabbed my iPad, turned it back on and shined the light. My flip flop was about a foot away and now sole side up. I leaned forward with my hand and picked it up and that little frog was sitting underneath. Apparently, he thought he could make himself at home in my sandal.

Not true my freaky, jumping, little nemesis. This time I picked up the shoe in my hand, put it on, and grabbed my iPad to head inside. I kept the light pointed at the ground the whole time so I didn’t accidentally step on this frog, or worse, he didn’t hop right inside with me. As I stepped across the threshold, I turned back for one last look and the dim light from the screen could barely touch him several feet away, but it was enough to see the gleam of mirth in his froggy eye as he sat there mocking me.

Damn frog.

It’s Not Funny

At least, not to me.

Once upon a time, I wrote a post on YouTube videos, explaining my reaction to anything people mention as “funny” or “hilarious”. I’ve never, not once, seen one of these videos and found them even mildly amusing, much less actually funny or hilarious. The thing is, it isn’t limited to YouTube. It’s basically any crap on the internet. Point of fact, though, if people weren’t so lazy and wasteful with their words, and simply said, “this video is slightly entertaining if you are looking to waste one minute of your life” then I’d probably be a lot more forgiving. But if you describe something as hilarious, then I am actually audacious enough to expect hilarity. And therein lies the problem.

I simply do not find it funny.

That is not to say that I don’t have a sense of humor or that I don’t find things funny, I do, all the time, just not typically the things that you find funny. For instance, I was reading a book the other night. I was laughing out loud (literally) when Elena called. I was actually gasping with laughter when I answered the phone. When she came over about 20 minutes later, I was still reading that book and laughing at different parts.

Now, I could probably print, word for word what I read in the book, and I bet 99.5% of you wouldn’t so much as smile. And that’s okay.

Actually, let me repeat that.

That’s okay.

I’m fine with the fact that I find it funny and you don’t. The problem is that you aren’t fine with the reverse. You get offended when I don’t think your thing is funny. You try harder if I don’t think your thing is funny. You SEND ME MORE STUFF if I don’t think your thing is funny. I don’t get it. Why do you care? Do you get paid by the convert? The chuckle? The snicker or guffaw? Or is it only outright belly laughs? No, that’s not how the internet works. You get paid if I like it enough and am idiotic enough to forward it to every person in my address book, amiright? (And no, the irony of me mocking internet memes and then posting one to my blog is not lost on me. But I find irony funny.)

Not everyone thinks or feels or reacts the same way. That’s actually pretty awesome. Isn’t it? I sure think so, but for some reason people are flabbergasted when others don’t agree with their personal brand of humor.

Wanna know a secret? I don’t think Seinfeld is funny either. (Drives the men in my family crazy, that one….)

So, on to the point. A student that I like came in to visit me. Just to say hi. He’s a bit of a negative Nelly. But he’s a nice guy and I call him out on his crap. He was complaining about not getting taught well enough in a class. I just shrugged and said that he looks at it wrong, it’s not up to the teacher to teach him, it’s up to HIM to LEARN. The thing about this kid, the reason I like him is because A) he’s very sarcastic and I do find just a titch humorous and B) when I say stuff like that to him, he seems to think about it.

Scrambling to change the subject after I called him out, he said “do you watch Maddox?” I don’t know who that is. And I admitted it. He got all excited telling me about this amazingly funny guy….on the internet.

I cut him off and said, right up front, “I’m not going to find this funny. I’m warning you, I have never found anything funny on the internet.” (Okay that may be a slight exaggeration, but the essence is valid). He replied, as so many do, “No, you don’t understand, everything is crap, but THIS, THIS is the funniest thing you will ever read.”

I tried to explain to him that people always say that, no matter what it is, but I know myself and I know my own mind and I simply have never found comedic internet sensations funny. Never. Not once. He insisted, until I gave in, offering to look, but cautioning, very plainly, “don’t get your feelings hurt if I don’t find this funny.”

Here is the link to the thing he wanted me to read. Just because, somewhere out there must be the actual people who find things like this funny.

I read it. Every word. Twice. I didn’t even smile. I wasn’t even amused. It simply is not funny to me. It’s a bit whiny. Very annoying. Incredibly stupid and actually offensive in parts.

To his credit, after watching me struggle to diplomatically tell him I thought it was stupid, this kid looked at me and said in a very dry tone, “whatever, you’re clearly choking back laughter.” And I smiled.

Then replied, “actually, after you leave I plan to spew laughter from my very pores, probably until I pass out. Come back and check on me in 5, ‘kay?”

And he laughed. Then he said, “I hate your mockery out loud.”

And I laughed. Because that was funny.

But then, I didn’t read it on the internet. You did.