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".

20 September 2007

Map Quest

No doubt all of you have heard or read by now the disjointed remarks made by 18-year-old Miss Teen USA contestant, Caitlin Upton, representing South Carolina, responding to the question "Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?"

If you hadn't seen it, it can be watched here: Miss Teen USA excerpt...and if you can't stop laughing or crying long enough to hear without replaying it 17 times, you can read it here in all its "glory": "I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, um, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq and everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future."

Now, I don't know about you, but if that alone doesn't further emphasize and substantiate the claim that the average U.S. student can't point out China on a map, I don't know what does.

I don't purport to know where the Lesser Antilles or Myanmar (yes, read my blog below to "get" this one) are...but I darned well could point out where Argentina, China, Tasmania, or Norway is on a map...or get plenty of other countries at least "in the general vacinity"...not a haphazard "Pin the Tail on the Donkey, spin me 'round and maybe I'll get it right" kind of blindfoldedness about it all. I probably wouldn't stake my whole wad of cash on a 'Final Jeopardy!" answer on Geography...but I'd wager at least $500.

Where is all this getting to? Is there a point to all this silly banter? Yes. I have, as Archimedes reportedly exclaimed, had a "Eureka" moment the other day where it all became abundantly clear to me "why" we are a nation of geographically challenged inhabitants.

"We" don't typically listen to BBC News.

That's it in a nutshell.

Lately, I've been stricken with another affliction besides insomnia: Watching BBC America's "Cash In the Attic" at 4:00 a.m. Sure, it's not first run programming, but I haven't ever seen any of the episodes, so it's all new to me. And what else is new to me is watching the BBC News which follows at 5:00 a.m.

In one short week, I've found out things I wouldn't ever know otherwise...from Moscow's serial killer, Alexander Pichushkin, to Belgian's winning lawsuit against Microsoft to who the Australian Prime Minister is - John Howard, by the way. Yes, to even the mundane fact that Australia HAS a Prime Minister. Heck, I've been walking around for the past 46 years never knowing what the head of state was called in Australia...for all I cared they could have had the title "Grand Poohbah" bestowed upon him as, in all my years of watching American news, I don't think they've ever mentioned him. They would have if Paris Hilton partied with him...I knew all about Prince Albert of Monaco and the fact he dated supermodel, German-born Claudia Schiffer, a few years ago. Oh, that is "must know" information...but where Monaco IS? "Oh, who cares...didn't that old dead guy, Humphrey Bogart do a movie about that place way back when...'Casablanca' was it?"


And this is why people here in the United States, and school-aged children especially, should be strapped to chairs and their orbits forcibly pried open à la Alex DeLarge in Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" - only being made to watch further eye-opening, globe-trotting, mind-expanding broadcasting such as BBC News.

Our news channels should worry less about which ratings place Katie Couric is in, which set looks better, or if reporters should sit or stand while reading the teleprompter...and focus on what is truly important. The citizens of America shouldn't solely get their knowledge of where foreign countries are based entirely upon what countries Madonna's, Angelina's, and Mary-Louise Parker's babies were adopted from.

We, as a nation, deserve more...and we should demand nothing less.

17 September 2007

Remiss in Writing

Well, I've had a few things come up here lately and I've been a little lax on my writing. I intend to write something later today...either along the lines of "Confessions of a Former Semi-Hot Chick" or "Eureka, I've Figured Out Why U.S. Kids Can't Find Burma On a Map (other than the fact that they officially changed their name to 'Myanmar' in 1989)!" - but I may just end up doing one and then the other later on this week. So consider this fair warning. :)

09 September 2007

The Science of Cleaning

Defusing a bomb, neurosurgery, and keeping my house clean. What do these seemingly uncommon things have in common? They are all things I simply cannot do.

Oh, sure, you might say, "Well, not many people can do the first two...but, c'mon, the third, who can't do that??" I'll tell you who: ME! No, seriously, I have tried and tried. Now, granted, I have two kids and lots of cats - but I stay up pretty much all night and no little elves scurry about at 2:00 a.m. and wreck the place. No poltergeist manifestations, either...so I can't place blame on anyone but ourselves.

How does it get into this state - that's what I want to know. I clean all the time - I don't come in and drop things down on a whim...but still it stays cluttered. Even if you took a scientific approach to try to solve this dilemma, say, Newton's Third Law of Motion (and trust me, something's moving this stuff around)...which states "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". Well, once again there's some strange vortex, black hole, or anti-matter phenomenon taking place in my house because we are definitely an anomaly in the world of science. I just can't explain it...I doubt even Einstein, Newton, Planck, or even Fritz Zwicky could either...altho Zwicky did have the most plausible explanation for it all: dark matter at work...because in my own little "home galaxy", far more matter exists here than previously thought. And those neutrinos they can't ever find? I bet I've got some here...bet I have a whole darn box of them lying around...and a few stray ones right here on the table getting batted off periodically by the cats...the ones I end up stepping on and then jumping up...thinking it's what's left over from some dragged in mole.

Someone, probably high up in the physics realm, needs to crack the code here to let me know how it is possible for an area to get more messy/cluttered when more things are put away than taken out on a given day. So, if one person out there actually exists who knows what phenomenon causes this, or better yet, can actually show me how it can be accomplished so it doesn't come back two and four-fold the very next day...you are more than welcome to come here and attempt to prove my theory wrong and yours right. Just pick a day...only make it later in the afternoon as I'm always "on duty" at night ensuring no wood sprites are retaliating for all those trees we cut down years ago when we first moved here...just in case.

So, drop on by...you'll easily recognize me - I'll be the awake one banging away on the laptop perusing the "help wanted" adverts trying (for what seems) ceaselessly to procure a job...as that's another thing I apparently cannot do.