Monty Python 1969-2014

It was 1976 or ’77. I used to go with my friend Lori to keep her company while she babysat. There was no cable in those days, so the only thing we could find on TV at 11:00 besides the news was this show on channel 5 that had people turning into Scotsmen, blancmanges that wanted to win Wimbledon, and other crazy antics. Lori didn’t like it and kept trying to get me to change the channel, but I couldn’t stop watching; even though I didn’t understand what was going on, I knew I liked it. Eventually, I found out that this odd show was Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

I was hooked. Over the years, I would watch it whenever I could find it on TV. I saw all the movies. I taped what I could off the TV. I finally got the show and the movies on DVD. I could recite the dialog in the sketches, complete with British accent. I read books about the group and the guys. I even have a bit of a crush on Michael Palin. You could say I’m a fan.

Which is why Sunday found me and my brother, who is just as much a fan, at a movie theater in Bowie to see the live feed of the final Monty Python show ever. They did all the favorites: Dead Parrot Sketch, Cheese Shop, Argument Clinic, Four Yorkshiremen, the Lumberjack Song, and of course the Spanish Inquisition. The show format was different from the shows they did in the past. They still had Terry G.’s animation and a couple of the filmed bits they showed at the Hollywood Bowl show, but this show had a group of dancers who did production numbers for some of the bits. I’m not entirely sure I liked the production numbers, but it was a new way to look at the sketches. They even found a way to incorporate footage of Graham into the show.

At the end of the show, the screen at the arena showed “Doctor Graham Chapman 1941-1989” followed by “Monty Python 1969-2014.” I have to admit, when I saw that, I had, uh, something in my eye. Yeah, that’s it. Even though they split up years ago, it’s sad to think that they’ll definitely never do anything together again. Monty Python influenced countless comedians, but there will never be another group like them. Goodbye, guys. It’s been a great time.


Feast Your Eyes on…Flavored Water!

Although this summer hasn’t been especially hot so far, I’m always on the lookout for something interesting to drink besides plain water. I drink water most of the time these days, but even though it is good for you and doesn’t have any calories, it does get a little boring. I’m inspired by this blog post from Nancy Creative to try some flavored water. She says that the water is best drunk the day it’s made, but I think I could make a big pitcherful and strain or spoon out the fruit when it’s ready so it will keep longer. Do you make flavored water in the summer? Share your ideas in the comments!


I’ve always liked drinking my water with a slice or two of lemon–that extra little touch of flavor just makes water more appealing to me. There are a lot of other ways you can flavor water naturally. You can get really creative with it! Here are some ideas…

  • Add a slice of your favorite citrus to a tall glass of ice water…try lemon, lime, or orange slices. Or combine them…slices of lemon and lime…orange and lime…or try all three together!
  • Fresh mint is always a great addition to a glass of ice water.
  • Combine lemon slices with fresh herbs in your water…try lemon with mint, rosemary, thyme, or sliced ginger root.
  • Cucumbers are great in water, too! Slice up a large cucumber and add it to a pitcher of water…it’s really refreshing. You can also try cucumber with some fresh thyme added in. Or cucumber slices with lemon or orange…

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Here we go!

Welcome to Bubble Gum for the Brain! I decided to start this blog to track my progress on the 30-day challenges I plan to do and talk about my knitting and anything else that pops into my head. I don’t usually do this type of writing; I do business writing all day at work, so I feel a little self-conscious writing in a more casual style. Hopefully, I’ll get over my stage fright by the time anyone actually reads this.

I decided to do 30-day challenges after watching this Ted Talk. I’ve never  been much good at sticking with things, but Matt Cutts has a good point: you can stick with almost anything for 30 days. I decided to start July 1 with 5 burpees, adding 5 more burpees every 3 days until I end the month with 55. Now, if you know me, you’ll know that the most exercise I get is climbing the stairs to get to my office. On the second floor.  Once a day. I think you can see where this is going.

The first night, I didn’t even remember to do the burpees until 10:30 when I was ready to go to bed.  I can’t skip the first night! So I trudged upstairs, took a deep breath, and started the first burpee. Squat down. Pause. Kick legs back. Lonnnng pause. I’m out of breath already! Pull legs in. Another pause. Stand up. Oh my god, these things are hard! It took me almost 10 minutes to do them, but I finally finished the 5 burpees. How am I going to do this for a month?

The next night at knit night, I was telling the group about my challenge. Sarah said, “I was in the military, and even in basic training we only had to do 30 burpees!” She suggested I rethink my plan and start with something a little more manageable. It didn’t take much for me to agree with her and switch to sit-ups. I started the next day with 10, and I’ve been adding 2 sit-ups every day. I kept forgetting to do them until it was almost bedtime, so now I do them in the morning before my shower so I don’t forget. Since I have a standing appointment every other Tuesday at 8, I take Tuesdays as my rest day. That puts me on track to end the month with 60. That’s still tough, but it’s a lot more realistic.

I want to do other, non-fitness, challenges, but I think I should keep doing fitness challenges, too, so I guess I will be doing two challenges some months. I made a list with ideas I found on other blogs and challenge websites, things like take a picture every day, do 10 minutes of decluttering a day, don’t gossip for 30 days, and do something nice for someone every day. I’m open to suggestions, too. For August, the plan right now is to do tricep dips, but I haven’t decided on my other challenge. What do you think I should do?

OK, now that I’ve got that scary first post out of the way, the rest should be easier. We’ll see in a few days when I post again. Hope to see you then!