A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

29 December 2006

Out With The Old...In With The New

I was going to label this blog "Top Ten Things I'd Like To Do Before I Die"...but as I own/run an online comedy website...here comes my "shameless plug" for my site, www.HumorMeOnline.com, as Kyra Phillips (of CNN "microphone left on talking about Bush and her sister-in-law whilst in the bathroom" fame) once called it when she interviewed me after I won the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest in 2003...I would only attempt to make them "funny" and "somewhat amusing" for your benefit. (Talk about being able to shamelessly plug so much in so little space.) So...I won't do that blog...well...just yet. But I will elaborate about one of the items that would be on that list somewhere: I would LOVE to go to a gala-terrific-type New Year's Eve party.

Oh, I'm not talking about a few friends over to the house or vice-versa...I'm talking one of those types of shindigs that could have cameras panning in on uber-rich Paris Hilton-dressed "girl-women" as they gyrate around the dance floor with silly grins on their faces after having way too much champagne poured down their Harry Winston-adorned throats. That kinda party. A full-blown "could have has-been singers like David Lee Roth and The Captain and Tennille singing there" celebration. Okay...the more I think about that scenario...the more I'd opt for some unknown cover band instead. I do want to drink, after all...but I'd rather not get sick.

Why? Why would I want to go out and get all dressed up and festive-like and hang with people I'll never talk to again in my entire life? Because I haven't done it. That...and the fact I'm an extremely social person. I'd have parties and host dinners every weekend at my house if I could afford it...I could single-handedly keep the conversation going if I had to and I can cook remarkably fantastic if I do say so myself (and I am). Here's where I could say a bunch of stuff about my eventually to be ex-husband being just the opposite of me...but I won't. I'll just casually mention that the next time (if I ever get remarried)...well, I'm going to get all gussied up and taken to a New Year's Eve party...and ya know what?

Maybe, just maybe...I'll despise it! ;)

25 December 2006

Holiday Wishes

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish each of you out there who take the time to read this blog, "Merry Christmas" (and a belated "Happy Hanukkah"). I hope each of you are enjoying this day with your family and are having a wonderful time...but I know that this is not always the case...we don't live in an "Ozzie and Harriet" world and bad things happen and depression sometimes prevails during the holidays. To those people, especially, I would like to wish them serenity and guidance...and honestly hope they find a gladness to replace their sadness.

Happy Holidays...and happiness to everyone!


20 December 2006

The Way Too Many Gifts of Christmas

Gone are the days when I knew what to buy everyone for Christmas. Christmas isn't special to me anymore...at least the gift-giving part, and it seems that everyone I run across shares my same feelings. Let me elucidate...

I was speaking to a man who works in the vegetable/fruit section of a grocery store I frequent (for the purpose of not getting anyone into trouble...I'm not naming which) the other day...and for the sake of this story he shall be named "Pete". "Pete" pointed out that a little package of what appeared to once be mushrooms, had fallen underneath this draining table they use to collect the water into when the ice melts. He picked up the package and commented that it had been there a couple days...but he was interested in seeing if anyone else would attend to it. They didn't...so he reluctantly got on with the job himself...commenting that people, and especially kids, aren't usually interested in going out of their way to do little things like that without being told...really just a lack of motivation...yet they expect so much to be given in return. I went to the deli counter and bought some prosciutto...and I apologized beforehand for her to drag the whole leg out just to give me a taste (sometimes it's very salty and not so great tasting...sometimes it's fabulous). She gave me my taste and I opted for 1/4 pound of it...sliced very, very thinly...I didn't have the heart to make her stand there for 30 minutes cranking out 47 little slices each separated by a sheet of plastic so you can "unstick" them readily later on...and I told her this. I told her I wouldn't eat all of it as I was the only one in the family who eats it and the other 1/4 pound would undoubtedly go to the cats eventually. Lucky cats...that stuff's 'tres expensive'. The other deli lady who was there overheard our conversation and remarked about having to cut two pounds the other day for some woman...but super-incredibly thinly sliced...and didn't even get so much as a "thank you" out of the deal. What IS wrong with people?? I believe they think they alone count. Someone else will pick up that nasty mushroom package...you are just a deli worker...you work for the store...that's your job...I don't need to be pleasant with you...you are here to serve ME. Well, my friends...that mentality sucks...and I see more and more of it...oh, yes, I'm a great observer of humankind.

I think this "selfish motivation" might indirectly have its origins in Christmas and for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas...these same "me-tovated" acts still manage to find ways to manifest themselves. Now, I'm not saying everyone is this way...not at all...please don't send me hate mail...but the trend toward Christmas just being a day of obligation...and irrational expectation, is prevalent...in fact it's rampant.

Segue back to "Pete"...our conversation started about that leftover yucky, waterlogged pack but then mushroomed into one of ungrateful people in general and Christmas when we were kids vs Christmas today. I told him that I remember never getting any presents throughout the year...that Christmas was a real special event to look forward to as a kid...but my parents hardly went overboard...the gift I remember the most was a purple Schwinn bicycle with a silver glitter banana seat and those sparkly tassel things in silver and purple that would hang from the hole in the handlebar grips. Oh...that was some Christmas that year. He recollected a similar tale...his best Christmas was also a bike...and a bike he had for many, many years...there was no new bike for next Christmas...when we received bikes...they were there for the long ride. People today seem to give their kids "things" all year long. I know I'm guilty of it...perhaps it came from my never getting things thru the year...perhaps my kids are better at persuading me...perhaps it seems like I am obligated to as it's "the norm". When my kids open their gifts at Christmas they aren't overjoyed...it's just another day of "getting something"...only this time it has some paper and a bow on it. It's just not magical...it's just not special...and most times they know exactly what's inside. They have to...toys being as expensive as they are...you have to know ahead of time which colour Gameboy to buy...which colour controller they need for their machine...which games they want...because at $50 a pop...you can't afford to have one NOT played with. Pete nodded his head in agreement and spoke his like comments about it all as if it were dialogue we were reading...all scripted...Pete is a watcher of humankind, too.

We both can't tell you how many times we've actually heard this one..."My kid got 10 presents last year...he asked how many he was getting THIS year."...or "I got my kid $500, $1000, $2000+ worth of stuff last year...I don't know how I'm going to swing it beating that figure this Christmas". Now, what is wrong with your child being satisfied with what you give him? Why do you feel you have to one-upmanship yourself the following year? How are you going to manage it all as your child is only 5-years-old...what happens when he's 15?! I don't know exactly what will happen, but I'll tell you what MIGHT happen...he just might turn into that kid who won't pick up the icky mushroom pack because someone else can do it...or that lady who thinks that everyone is less deserving than herself...her possessions prove it.

I'll share a little story about my online friend who goes to college in Georgia. We've known each other for ages and talk pretty much every day even tho, as you guessed it, my age is a hair under twice his. He is a Wii-fanatic...he's been waiting for that thing to come out more days it seems than the company did. The links I had to endure over these months...I tell you! (Yes, I inserted that line strictly for his "enjoyment".) ;) He had a birthday not too long ago and was, as you can well imagine, disappointed that he didn't get one. Oh...it was a done deal...it's just that there are only so many and so many more people in line ahead of you. Well, he hit pay-dirt the other day and after waiting in line for about eight hours...managed to walk out triumphantly with a Wii in hand...even being accosted by someone in the parking lot offering him twice the going price if he'd part with it. Trust me...I know this guy...I don't think he would have parted with it for ten times the amount. Well...I don't know for certain...I'd have to ask, but I know I would have...even IF it would have been for my kids.

So...remember those of you who try to "buy off people" in 'Best Buy' parking lots, and push people aside at the sales the day after Thanksgiving, and show absolutely no good will toward men when you're trampling over people to get that last item...there's always AFTER Christmas, and after all...it's just another day...only with the paper and bows...even if it really shouldn't be. "Maybe Christmas", as the Grinch even came to realize..."doesn't come from a store. "Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

15 December 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, it's my birthday today...so I'm going to sit back with my birthday Grey Goose Martini and try to make the most of the remains of the day.

I'll write a whiney little blog tomorrow...I have several in my head that aren't whiney...but I think I'll just do it and be done with it and then I can move on. Everyone likes to read stories about people who are more miserable than themselves anyway...if they didn't, soap operas never would have caught on...so I'd be doing nearly everyone a service. ;)

Until then...cheers!

09 December 2006

Bubblefest 2006

Saint Bede's science lab "blew up" yesterday and everyone was happy about it. No, it wasn't a science experiment gone horribly, horribly wrong -- just the opposite in fact. Members of the school's award winning 4-6th grade Science Olympiad Team showcased their bubble engineering skills to the younger students in Saint Bede's third annual "Bubblefest".

Employing such everyday objects as straws, strings and a hula hoop, they dazzled and delighted the preschool through first grade children and their teachers alike. From blowing a bubble inside another bubble to being encased inside one themselves, the children were both entertained and educated at each of the seven event stations.

One by one the succession of classes filed in, and with each advancing age group, their interest and interaction changed. From the quiet reluctance of the preschoolers to "step into the bubble pool" to the hands-on exuberance of the first grade classes witnessing "frozen" bubbles, one could discern a building fascination and comprehension of what was being shown them. But one thing typically remained the same -- I posed a question to many of the students, "How often do you get to make bubbles on your table at home?" Six-year-old Annie Bach replied, "Ummm...never." That general sentiment was shared over and over.

Since it's inception, sixth-grade teacher Nicholas Bourke noticed something that has stayed constant as well...how excited everyone always get when a "Bubblefest" date is finally chosen, and how for weeks they anxiously look forward to the presentation. He further stated, "The 4-6th graders take such pride in what they are teaching the younger children who, in the end, take away how much fun it all was. If they don't realize how much fun science is at this age, they probably won't go into science-related fields in the future."

So, while most of the students came away today never knowing that dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide or that the nifty "cube within a cube" bubble they made was technically a tesseract hypercube, they did leave with a renewed outlook on bubbles and perhaps learning in general. I believe sixth grade Science Olympiad Team member, Conner Preston, summed up it up best when asked what he enjoyed most from this experience, "The best thing of all of this were the smiles of the kids."

03 December 2006

Montgomery's Going Through "The Change"

Had Joyce Kilmer been driving around Montgomery recently, all those years ago (a contradiction in time there I know)...he would still have penned "Trees". What you might not know is that Kilmer was from New Jersey, supposedly (according to a few sources) wrote "Trees" IN Jersey...and that I have my "roots", so to speak, there as well. Here in Alabama I've never heard anyone talking about making the yearly pilgrimage to New England to "see the leaves change"...in Jersey you'd hear it with each approaching fall. The fall here, of course, is skewed a bit datewise later seasonally than in the northeast...but routinely comes roughly about this time of year. And this year it is spectacular!

I was driving around last week and was amazed by how the colours of the leaves are so vibrant. Usually it seems that the leaves change quickly and go from green to "off the tree" with little "hang time" if you will. Also, the change is not so apparent...one tree goes through it, then another and another...not generally in unison enough to get the full-blown impact. This year that just isn't so...in fact if you were going to take a trip to New England to see them (other than the obvious fact it's too late) I would have told you to save your money and take a nice leisurely drive around town. Lawn after lawn, street after street depicts a landscape that is "picture perfect". There's this one ginko tree on Dalraida Drive that was such an awesome sight I would have loved to take a photograph to remember it...and had I been a poet, that image alone would have inspired me to sit down and try to capture it as well...in words.

But the time, like all these leaves, will soon pass...so if you haven't opened your eyes and observed what nature's own canvas can paint...I'd say you really are letting a once in a lifetime exhibition pass you by. And if you thought that poem about trees was just a silly ode to an oak or some other such leafy thing...read it again...and then look around you.

01 December 2006

Excuses Excuses

Well, seems the blogger site hasn't liked me the last couple times I've tried to go online...that and our Bellsouth connection that has been wonky for the last two months. So, on that note...after trying to sign on here for the past 30 minutes more out of curiousity than posting something since I've decided for the time being to forgo my previous "pity party/rantfest" blog which I would have posted had I been able. Maybe I'm being otherwise intercepted for a reason unbeknownst to me...hmmmm.

But tomorrow I shall do a tribute to trees. I wish I could find my digital camera so I could post a few photos...but we've misplaced it somewhere in the house, unfortunately. Finding it now would take three search parties and some type of high-tech sonar device...but we will find it, of course, when we are looking for something else.