Just tell yourself, Duckie, you're real quite lucky.

– Dr. Seuss

No photo description available.

Calvin and Hobbes always was and always will be my very favourite comic strip. Many years ago, a dear friend (who is on this mailing list—thank you, JBB!) surprised me with the entire treasury of Bill Watterson's unforgettable work. I need to pull them out this summer and reread them. :)

Anyway, the strip above, from August 1, 1991, is among my top ten favourites. There's a similar one where Calvin asks Hobbes what he wants for Christmas. Hobbes replies that he'd like a tuna sandwich. Calvin nearly loses his mind. Why a tuna sandwich when you can ask for anything—and indeed Calvin's list is a mile long. Of course, Calvin doesn't get everything on his list, which upsets him. Meanwhile, Hobbes happily munches on his tuna sandwich. 

These are poigant illustrations of how our contentment and satisfaction have less to do with what we have and what we get, and more to do with what we want or expect, what we decide ahead of time we'll be satisfied with, and how realistic our goals are. 

It doesn't mean we can't dream big, but let's never forget that sometimes life's sweetest and most enduring joys come from the simple things that are right in front of us or all around us. Think of it as the Tuna Sandwich Principle (or the Big Sunny Field Principle). 

What will you wish for today? :)

P.S. Don't forget to enter the May giveaway (this month's prize is a $10 Amazon gift card!) by answering the Question of the Month: What are a few of your favourite websites or apps? Click here to respond. The deadline is midnight-ish on Saturday as I'll randomly select the winner on Sunday.

A few years ago, I discovered The Chase, a game show that pits a team of three contestants against The Beast—British trivia wiz Mark Labbett. (And after preparing this issue of Whimsy & Wisdom, I happily noticed that the show is back on Netflix!) Trivia is often completely useless and inapplicable to daily life, and yet it can be quite amusing if you come across just the right tidbit.

Today, I thought I'd keep things light and offer you some trivia.* If you can actually do something with this information, I'd love for you to tell me about it! Did you know that...

  • Pippi Longstocking's full name is Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraimsdaughter Longstocking?
  • Tarantulas can live for three years without food? Also, they can't kill you, contrary to popular belief (unless you are smaller than they are).
  • 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321? (I dare you to work that out long-hand!)
  • It is illegal to hunt camels in Arizona? (Um. What?)flight data recorder - Why are FDR's called "black boxes ...
  • The odds of dying in a car crash compared to on a roller coaster are 40,000 to 1? And yet people scream on roller coasters and not while riding down the street.
  • An airplane's "black box" is actually orange? 
  • John Lennon's first girlfriend was named Thelma Pickles?
  • The "pound" symbol (#) is called an octothorpe?
  • The Hawaiian alphabet contains only 13 letters (5 vowels and 7 consonants)?
  • Speaking of Hawaiian, it was a Greek man in Ontario, Canada, who invented Hawaiian pizza? (Yum!) 

If you think you just wasted five minutes of your life, you didn't. Studies indicate that learning obscure facts is good for your mental health (and you never know when they might help you win a trivia quiz!)

Having said that, it should be obvious that more important than knowledge is wisdom. Jesus' brother James had some good words about wisdom: "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you" (James 1:5) and "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" (James 3:17).

* I do not guarantee the accuracy of each of these facts. Please don't give me a hard time if there's an error. This is meant to be entertaining! :)

whimsy & wisdom from the world wide web

In the early days of COVID-19 (don't they seem so long ago now?) any new films or TV shows were completed productions that simply hadn't been released yet. Many months later, however, I realized a lot of new movies were being produced in 2020 and then in 2021. I wondered how they were being filmed with so many pandemic restrictions. I found an answer! If you had the same question I did, you might find this interesting. 

After nearly 30 years of writing professionally, I've picked up a few tips about what works or doesn't work when you're trying to get your work published. Here's a handy list for any of you who are aspiring writers or if you have friends or family members who might benefit from it. 

"It was my first (and much needed) job after immigrating. Nothing felt grounded. The last thing I needed to add to the moving pieces of my life, was a colleague humiliating me in front of team members whose names I was still learning." - In this article, my friend Paola Barrera shares about how a painful situation taught her what true meekness is. 


(v) sparkle

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.

– Socrates

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