Monday, December 27, 2010

Pub Laughter

I don’t drink alcohol. I haven’t for years. Now my partner doesn’t either. Doctor’s orders.

Yet we’re regulars at Third Place Pub. We go for the laughs and for the community. Which of course go hand in hand. And we go for the burgers.

If we can catch a seat at the bar, we’ll do it. I sheepishly ask Joey if it’s okay to order a bottle of Pelligrino between us, sharing it like a bottle of wine. “Is that gauche?” I ask. “It’s adorable” he quips back.

Third Place Books is dedicated to the idea that everyone should have a third place to go. One being home. The other being work. And the third being a place of community.

Their main store is in Lake Forest Park. Their second store is in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle. It used to share space with Honeybear Bakery, now replaced by Vios, a neighborhood Greek restaurant. The newest edition to the trio is the pub downstairs. There’s no hard alcohol, just beer and wine.

Frank is your quintessential bartender. He’s a native New Yorker, loves the Yankees, is very friendly, can talk sports as easily as he can pour you an interesting Northwest beer, and makes it a point to know your name. We love Frank.

Caleb and Jake are the young guys behind the bar. They’re poets. That breed of interesting and creative young, working in the food and beverage industry while honing their craft on the side. It slipped out one night that Caleb has a Master’s degree in Poetry from the elite Bennington College in Vermont. Amazing.

And then there’s Joey. Joey’s so New York. But he’s at home in the Beautiful Northwest too, a regular yoga practitioner, a relaxed and jovial kind of guy. He once told me my food was “full of deliciousness”. Joey’s pure fun.

We love the pub for its community. Where there’s community there’s laughter.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Boxer Shorts

I was once a nanny.

Burnt out on teaching preschool, having 24 adorable energetic creative enthusiastic active four year olds under my charge, leading their young minds to a higher place, working ten- hour shifts, I needed a short break. So I became a nanny for three delightful children for roughly a year.

Though the children were a pure joy, the dad was a bit of a trial at times. We had our moments of tension.

But at Christmastime I found the perfect gift. I’m very intuitive when I shop. My radar leads me directly to the perfect thing. Almost every time.

This time was no different. I found myself in front of boxer shorts – fun ones. White shorts with black ants. Colorful shorts with martinis. Immediately I knew they were for the dad. But then my rational mind opposed: “Isn’t this a bit too personal for someone who is essentially my boss?” Unsure, I went with my intuition.

Well the shorts were a big hit. Not only at Christmas, but as a joke forever after. Causing us to laugh about it over and over. The year I bought him the ants in the pants and the martinis straight up.

I had no idea this would happen. But the humor eased the tensions that sometimes existed between us.

If you have anyone in your life that you have a bit of a strained relationship with, I highly recommend buying him or her a joke gift. Or at least something that will make you both laugh. Even if you’re not one to purchase material items during this shopping-crazed season. Your boss. Your co-worker. Your mother-in-law. Your estranged friend. The humor and the laughter are healing. They always are. And it’s something you can return to again and again when the going gets rough. “Remember the time you bought me such and such.” Ha-Ha-Ha.

If you’re guided to boxer shorts too, here’s a website:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Marilyn Rocks!

My friend and fellow Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Marilyn Fogelquist made the front page of the Redmond Reporter featuring her laughter club at Emerald Heights. Her club is going on 5 years now, with a second club just beginning at the Redmond Senior Center. Marilyn, a youthful 83 years old, most certainly rocks with laughter.

Go Marilyn!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Phinney Laughter Club

Check out this video of our laughter club. We’re doing the toss the scarf laugh.

A Laughter Club is an organized group of people who come together to “laugh for no reason”. Our method is called Laughter Yoga and was developed by a medical doctor in India named Madan Kataria. This body/mind/spirit practice combines gentle stretching, yoga-type breathing, and playful laughter exercises.

Drop in anytime you need more laughter. Or become a regular member and watch the laughter grow in your life.

We meet the 2nd Tues of the month at Phinney Neighborhood Center in Seattle, downstairs in the Blue Room at 7:00 p.m. $5.