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".

28 January 2008

Oh, the things you will learn...

Things I've learned since posting my last blogumn:

When you use a 1980s "one hit wonder" group's name as the title of your last hat blog and then proceed to show your online friend their video on YouTube which you used to sing en route to nightclubs with your wacky friend when you were much, much, much younger...that song will stay with you the entire weekend. Don't believe me? I triple dog dare you to go here and defy the power of a jump-happy tune: "The Safety Dance". Don't blame me if you also do the ballerina/picture frame move with your arms whilst you pseudo-dance around singing it. Some things I refuse to be held responsible for creating.

When you make Chicken Vindaloo...you will walk around and be mesmerized by just how fun saying one word over and over can be. That one word which kept pouring out of my mouth with the resonant conviction of Citizen Kane's "rosebud", Marlon Brando's "Stella", Rocky's "Adrian", and Al Pacino's "Attica"...was my "vindaloo". Vindaloo, it seems, is pleasing to both the tongue and the ear at the same time, thereby racing to the top of my cerebral cortex to get its justly position in my brain's "word bank". I feel confident that Vindaloo, with all it's pleasantries, pushed a few of the other words out of my brain's "file folder". Vindaloo there and then became the current cuckoo bird of my wordbank memory and proceeded to toss a few less used verbiage right smack into the firing line of prions...my neurons never had a chance...there was nothing I could do. Then the coups de grĂ¢ce...my friend on the phone who jestily asks "Oh, Vindaloo, huh?...like Little Cindy Vindaloo Who, who was no more than two?

It was then that I realized I could not readily smack or otherwise hurt or maim him...or at the very least stomp up and down on both their home and cellphone as they live in Texas...and I'm all the way over here. But that thought, in between "You can dance" stanzas, kept looking more and more like a good idea with each passing chorus.

Enter vindication: This same Texas friend who was responsible for me saying "Little Vindaloo Who/Little Cindy Vindaloo Who" and all permutations thereof, about 82,120 of them, proceeded to then bring to my attention that my previous blog comment "everything is on YouTube except my birth and that Joe Namath/Farrah Fawcett Noxzema commercial" was in effect, incorrect. "But, ha! What of the date?" I say in complete defiance of his accusation (because I like to be right). YouTube Date Input: 4 months ago...my blog's date: "I Just Don't Get It" - it is official, I am vindicated. Not only am I vindicated, the YouTube people undoubtedly read my blog, were incensed that clip wasn't there and that someone found out...and then promptly added it to TRY to cover their ineptitudinal tracks.

Ah...life is good once more...in fact...if we really so desired, we could, well..."We can dance if we want to..."

23 January 2008

Men Without Hats

So, while I will remain obsessed with my new purpose in life: pinpointing the precise moment that hats fell out of favour with the motion picture industry, I have a theory which I think holds more water than a ten gallon hat.

The incidence of melanoma has increased exponentially in direct proportion with the decline of hat wearing. What?? It's true. This thought has been floating around in my head for years and to me it makes perfect sense. Without a brim blocking out ultraviolet light...the incidence of skin cancer has gone up. Oh, sure...you can argue that the ozone layer has been depleted thereby letting more harmful rays reach our collective heads to begin with. But I can then counter-argue that advances in medical science and higher self-awareness should cancel each other out and the line on the graph should remain relatively constant. But they don't.

Take in consideration these studies from the National Cancer Institute's website...I broke it down into five year increments from 1950-1994 (1950 was the earliest year I could retrieve figures) because the trend clearly is more dramatic when viewed in such short time frames...the figures literally jump right out at you. There is no denying the rate of skin cancer has risen sharply...and in such a relatively short period.

Melanoma of skin (white males - all ages) (Click the preferences to get other figures.)

I'm thinking there's more to it than just going out in the sun...it's the combination of going out in the sun without a hat. We aren't working outside as much as we used to, sunblock usage has gone up and so has our overall knowledge of the subject in general...common knowledge would dictate these figures should be declining instead of escalating. While one could argue that years ago people died of melanoma but the cause of death was attributed to something else, I would surmise that only a small portion of doctors back then would not have recognized advanced melanoma.

So, I will stick to my hat theory and hope someone in the medical community uncovers these facts...and then perhaps we'll finally get a national cover-up we can all look forward to for a change.

15 January 2008

Hats In Film

It's no secret that I like watching old films...I've liked them since I was a little girl, I will, in all probability, continue to like them until I die.

The dialogue was usually wittier back then even though they do throw in a 'Bourne' film once in a while to show everyone they can still WRITE dialogue. Films now seem to rely on unbelievable special effects to get their point across at the obvious abandonment of any type of plotline. Sometimes there is no plot...just a series of one fight/car chase/pyrotechnics/obligatory boob shot after another. Yes...we know you have a nice CGI team...your action sequences are great, but let's not sacrifice art for the sake of a sale. Let's stop relying on this high tech compensation for your obvious lack of script prowess. You, Hollywood, are suffering from projectile dysfunction.

Now, I'm not saying that every single movie falls into this category...but a good many of them seem to try to dazzle you with cinematographic brilliance and nothing more. I just watched "Ghost Rider" the other nite...did this film even HAVE a plot? Did "Mission Impossible 3"? What they did have was a whole bunch of CGI fluff disguised as plotline if you ask me.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the 'Bourne' films...the first one more than the other two...but I loved them. What I loved about them was the fact that they weaved a plausible plotline into believable action sequences without the sacrifice whatsoever of dialogue. AND the dialogue wasn't so highbrow to make you feel like you were a complete moronic idiot...i.e., I could follow along without bringing a "Covert Subversive-English" dictionary with me to watch the movie.

Now, back to the original point I had (and I stress the word "had" as I've gotten off my original point entirely)...movies like "His Girl Friday" and "It Happened One Night" had brilliant dialogue...they also had something else movies lack today: Hats.

Hats, both men's and ladies' have gone the way of the dinosaur in a very short period of time. I have been wondering this for ages...just what happened in our history to totally wipe hats off the face of the Earth? I did some research on the matter and some blame John F. Kennedy because he didn't wear one, then other men followed suit (no pun intended)...and just like in "It Happened One Night" when men saw Clark Gable not wearing an undershirt...sales of these items plummeted. Jackie's pillbox hat, on the other hand, became an instant national necessity. So you could argue that while her husband's style evoked one mannerism, hers did quite the opposite...so I'm not too sure how that all works out in the end...and for the sake of this blogumn, I'm going to stick with movies and things of that ilk.

Watch any "I Love Lucy" episode and you will see a various cornicopia of hats if you will. There might not have been any money to get an apartment with more than three rooms, but, by golly, she must have had a closet in that place the size of Grand Central Station to house all those hats. A few episodes even centered on hats...or at least the buying, wearing, salivating over, and generally obsessing about them.

Hats in old films can also sometimes be incorporated into the script as a whole comedy piece. Take "The Awful Truth" with Cary Grant and Irene Dunn...well, you couldn't work a good 15 minutes of sight gags, dog tricks, and man-hiding-in-the-bedroom antics without them. Try that nowadays and it just wouldn't work. Drama sometimes also relies on clever "hat-in-hand" movie magic to engage their audience. Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope" begs the question...what DOES one do with a wayward monogrammed hat when you've already conveniently hid the body? I'll tell you what...you get found out by an astute hat-wielding James Stewart.

The hat, be it men's or women's...was a wardrobe accessory worn by both the rich and the poor...it was ubiquitous. You didn't have to wear a three piece suit in order to don one...Art Carney proved that in "The Honeymooners"...so it was clearly an established necessity in blue and white collar workers alike.

And just think of a whole portion of Hollywood without hats...just what would the massive movie musical have been without Fred Astaire crooning about "puttin' on his top hat", without Carmen Miranda's extravagant fruit-laden ones, without Minnie Pearl's price tag-adorned one, without Buster Keaton's porkpie one, and the derby so synonymous of Charles Chaplin?

But when exactly did people stop wearing hats in film, in real life and what, in my opinion, are the long-term ramifications? Well, I will attempt to enlighten you in my next hat blogumn next time.

13 January 2008

Tippin' My Hat...

...in my next blogumn. I'll try to get around to it tonite sometime. It's still in my head and shouldn't come out this early. But stick around.

03 January 2008

Writer's Cramp

Kudos to David Letterman (Worldwide Pants) and Craig Ferguson for reaching an agreement with their writers. As many of you know, I think Letterman and Ferguson are tons of times better than Leno and Conan...especially since Conan's people were considering having me on their show when I won the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest in 2003...only to say "oh, we don't think she could fill up six minutes". Oh, please, anyone who knows me knows I could fill up six hours...let alone six minutes. All I have to say is I wish Craig was on back then...his three year anniversary tonite by the way...as I'm sure HE would have had me on his show and I would probably NOT be on strike right now.

Oh, think about it. ;)

Anyway...glad to see you two back on the air, where you belong.