Pizza and a Movie: Spy

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Feta Cheese
  • Italian Sausage
  • Shallots




You may have noticed that my movie titles are getting shorter. (I can’t imagine a shorter one than this week’s selection.)

Spy was a good film, and very funny. Yes, it was a bit raunchy and had a lot of profanity, but even so, I thought the dialogue was great: well written and well delivered. There were so many funny lines (evoking laughs from the audience) that sometimes I missed the next (probably funnier) line, because I couldn’t hear it above the laughter. The physical humor was also funny, and I didn’t find it over the top. The story was entertaining, and unlike last week’s film, the movie didn’t dissapoint.

If you want to laugh a lot and you don’t mind bad words and silliness, go see it. I thought one of the supporting characters was even funnier than the star of the film.

Now for the pizza. I chose feta, and my husband chose the other two toppings. It worked out fine (even though we had Italian sausage another time, recently), but we agreed that next time, we ought to go for a vegetarian pizza, and make sure at least one topping is green. When I suggested arugula, my husband had a lukewarm reaction – but I have a week to work on him.

Speaking of working on him, our wedding anniversary is coming up later this month (as it happens, on a Friday). I’m sure that over the years, we’ve negotiated quite a bit about decisions, big and small – probably, tons more times than there are pizza topping combinations at Corner Pizza (click on above tab Pizza and a Movie for more about that number). However, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that many times.

Because, I’ve found that if you keep a sense of humor about things (and if you can laugh together), that’s way more important than getting exactly what you think you want, all the time.






Who to hang out with?

If you want to be smart, hang out with smart people.
– Anonymous

Okay, it’s probably not that easy. But maybe it helps..and it can’t hurt, I don’t think.

And – it translates into some of my other objectives, when I substitute any of the following words for “smart:”

  • creative
  • productive
  • a writer (or, an author)
  • a French speaker
  • or even, a person with a good sense of humor 

I work alone, but I like to connect with others, especially fun people, and those with whom I have something aspirational in common. (Is it really all about the 5 people you spend the most time with? Perhaps…)

Anyway –

  1. Creativity: People who like to imagine, design, and brainstorm (en français, un remue-méninges). These are fun people, and open to inspiration. They like music, dancing, art, and the challenge of coming up with something out of nothing (like a blank canvas or a blank computer screen).
  2. Productivity: People who work to achieve their goals, who are persistent and who don’t give in to discouragement, writer’s block, procrastination, or the idea that everything will just somehow happen. (Okay, I procrastinate, but I try not to, and always keep in mind how much better I’ll feel when I don’t procrastinate.) *
  3. Writing: Those who write, whether it’s fiction, poetry, songs, or non-fiction. Those whose books are published and those whose aren’t yet. Those who can’t not write. Those who want to have their work read/heard. I’ve learned a ton being around these people about how to write, what makes a good story, and how to make what I’ve written better.
  4. French: I knew my first novel would be set in France, and there was going to be a little bit of France/French in all of them. Donc (therefore), a few years ago, I set out to reattain my (youthful) fluency in the language, and I’ve gone from making un effort to succès.  I’ve been surprised at how many French speakers I’ve met in Atlanta. Hanging out with them is toujours une bonne idée. 
  5. Humor: Okay, this is an easy one. My husband can (still) make me laugh, and so can my dearest friends! Because without humor, life is, well, a life without humor, and that’s impossible.

* Now, to stop procrastinating and get back to writing that pesky WIP (work-in-progress), Book 4!

Why is that funny? and why le rire (laughter) est important

Impropriety is the soul of wit.

– W. Somerset Maugham

I always thought it was brevity…at least, that’s the saying in our house. But this version put a new twist on how to be witty, something I like my literary characters* to be, even if when I’m not.



W. Somerset Maugham

William Shakespeare

We all know that humor is important in life: Laughing makes us happy, and even provides health benefits. Being quick-witted is admired, though we don’t have to be quick  – or really smart – to be witty, or witty, to be smart. But looking for humor in life (and finding it) seems necessary and very important. Through it, “joy happens,” I dare say.

Inside jokes aside, I like laughing about things that others laugh about, and I don’t find it fun to laugh at another’s expense. Maybe because I’m a mom, sarcasm is out, too. I prefer the positive side of humor, not the negative. I love it when something unexpected and silly – maybe just a phrase or a word – makes me laugh uncontrollably (and may even bring tears)..and I love it when others join in. Typically, after several minutes – afraid that I’m going off the deep end – one of my kids brings me back to reality (“Okay, Mom, it’s not that funny.”)

So – why is “that” funny? Different people might have different views: some like slapstick humor, and some prefer the sophisticated kind. But there’s a lot in between. Take Carol Burnett, my favorite comedienne: watching her television show in the 1970s, I knew I would always find her funny, and some synonyms of the word “impropriety” remind me of her humor (goof, gaffe, inelegance and faux pas).

When I started dating (later),  if a guy couldn’t make me laugh, I couldn’t stay interested. It wasn’t that he had to crack jokes or never be serious. But he had to not take himself (or life) too seriously – especially since I had have a tendency to do so. Eventually, I found a partner whose sense of humor was the one for me, and it’s been a vital part of our relationship: I don’t know how we could have gotten this far in life together, without it. Fortunately, he doesn’t need me to make him laugh (though I do, at times, which is a bonus), but he still likes to make me laugh.

And usually without too much impropriety…

* for example, Lisa, one of Jenny’s roommates in my new novel MAKE THAT DEUX.

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