A Bit About Me

My photo
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".

31 December 2012

You Can't Make Great Wine with Sour Grapes aka My Look Back at 2012

You can't make great wine with sour grapes.

Well, maybe you can, I don't know as I'm not an oenophile...but I know one thing's for certain: If you lie on your back long enough "woe-is-me-ing" the day away, not much gets accomplished.

I was going to write a catchy little end-of-year blog...a summation of what I experienced in the past year. I was going to do it really interestingly like my friend, Meleah, did with hers...but as I laid there, on my bed, woe-is-me-ing" away...I realized, "By God! I don't have anything really worthy to say!"

Oh, sure, I participated in Ziva's month-long "30 Days of Photographs" non-contest in April...and I enjoyed he heck outta that one, but, other than that...what could I say?

In September my daughter accomplished being named "National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist". Yep...it's all MY fault right there.

October brought Hurricane Sandy ashore to mess up parts of New York, New England, and my beloved New Jersey. Even with the devastation, I longed to be back there. Geez, I miss Jersey.

Then in July and December I cried a lot - I don't like mass shootings...so shoot me. Yeah, not so funny, anymore, is it?

I also had plans of talking about a wonderful person, a stranger really...who wanted to remain anonymous and be given absolutely no thanks whatsoever. This person showed up out of Internetland...and made my daughter and I cry again...but this time it was with tears of joy and love. I won't go into details as that is what they wished...but what transpired showed me that there truly are wonderful people out there. The only thing this person requested...was that one day...I should do a like kindness. Perhaps not the same kindness...but a kindness...a kindness which I can do in some way. I will, one day, honour that request.

I had all those plans...but there I was, still lying around like a dead carp -- and still thinking about how pathetic my little life was and how I was rather looking forward to the demise of the world, Mayan-style, on the 21st of December. It would have solved a lot of the world's problems, mine included, but then I got some much-needed sense knocked into me.

I started thinking about the ills of mankind throughout the ages...and what "age" I rather would have been born. I thought about this thoroughly. I went through all the countries, too. France, England, the US...and all the others I had some vague historical knowledge about...and thought where I would have been happy...and most importantly, when.

This progressed to visions of political imprisonment -- thrown in and left to rot...just for voicing that you were against...and then, later, were for...Napoleon (or any of a myriad of tyrannical leaders). I thought about the strife of coming over to a new land, kicking people off theirs, and claiming it as your own. I thought of poor little Dickensian orphans, working their fingers to the bone in the dead of Victorian winter like so many Hans Christian Andersen "Little Match Girl" characters.

I thought of so many wars throughout the world...throughout history...and throughout my lifetime. Where would I feel safe? Where could I go? When would I pick? When are things in MY life going to get better?

Then I thought how I probably would have died from Black Plague in the 1600s, succumbed to Tuberculosis in the 1800s, been a statistic in the 1918 pandemic, or just even one of the unremembered thousands upon thousands who died during childbirth. More realistically, I would have been dead at 41 because of my lung...had I had my lung problem prior to the mid-to-late 1900s. And -- I would surely have died living in the brutally cold and hostile environment of the Russian Ural Mountains since I can't even tolerate the temperature in my house getting down to a "frigid" 69.8.

Lastly, I will stop "woe-is-me-ing" (or at least greatly curtail) every single time I read about the fortuitous happenings regarding a viral blog writer, or a blog writer turned book writer, or a book writer turned blog writer, or anything with the word "writer" in it...because it's only my own damned fault I'm not famous because apparently I'm not sticking these things, called words, in the correct order.

Plus, first and foremost...I'm just not sticking to it.

But...I'm going to really try this year...basically because I'm just so tired of swallowing that bitter whine of mine...and there's no better vintage than now to get started.

06 December 2012

Just A Holiday Cat Blog

It's almost Christmas - and that means that some of you will put up a tree. Some of you who put up a tree also have cats. Some of you who put up a tree who also have cats are also uninformed about things, so I'm going to chime in at the risk of sounding like a jerk. I do love cats...so that's why I'm saying it.

Tinsel. Cats are notorious for doing things like going after strings. I've had to yank a yarn piece out of my cat's mouth once that was about two feet long. About a foot and a half of it was way "inside" of my cat. I love the film "While You Were Sleeping" - but I get so mad at the part where Sandra Bullock goes to open her door and drapes the strands of tinsel over her cat's head. Tinsel doesn't "digest" like a natural fiber and can strangle a cat's intestine and doesn't always pass right through the cat and out into their litter box. Please, if you have cats, use something else that isn't so fascinating for a cat.

Dangling ornaments. If you are going to have them, and your cat is prone to knocking them off the tree...please just use string instead of one of those metal hooks to tether them to the tree. Trust me...the cats have a much harder time trying to unloop a string than to bat a hook-type ornament off. Plus, the likelihood that your cat ingests a broken ornament or the hook (and we used to use actual fishing hooks when I was a kid) is greatly decreased.

Tree-toppling. Yes, we've had our tree knocked over because the cats climbed it. Nothing "better" than hearing a crash sound and seeing a cat running. Do what I do. Buy some of that thicker fishing string (again - the fishing motif here) as it is "clear" and unobtrusive...and hook at least two sides of your tree's top to opposite sides of the wall or ceiling (a triangular pattern is best, if at all possible). If the cat climbs up...and it's prone to falling over...it won't. The most it will do is wobble...this works, I've done it every year since the tree-toppling incident. Granted I don't have 12 foot ceilings or anything - but with a regular-sized tree - they haven't gotten it to fall over since.

And, if someone has figured out how to get a cat who loves to pee on the tree skirt...to stop peeing on the tree skirt...especially while all the pretty boxes are under the tree, absorbing the pee...feel free to let me know. I have one cat that apparently thinks the tree skirt is a fancy litter box to use during the holidays.

(I dispensed with mentioning chewing on wires...as we have wires throughout the year -- and chowing down on pointsettias...because your cat would have to eat a whole lot of them and there are many more poisonous plants to worry about than just those.)

04 December 2012

Having a Weight Problem

I have a weight problem. I know, I know...lots of people have weight issues - but every time I mention mine I get this response, "I WISH I had your problem!"

Um...no you don't. I'm all of about 99 pounds now. Sure, when you weigh 250, losing a few pounds is great, but not when you are about 115 to start with. And when you can see all the bones in your body without needing x-rays, it's pretty much hell trying to gain back any weight no matter how hard you try. Trust me.

Over the past year or so - I've lost enough weight to easily slide out of my pants and I can fit into all my stuff I had (pre-marriage days) when I had a job, only now I don't have a job...and dressing to the nines just to post Facebook posts or clean every once in a blue moon, is pretty weird. But...I'm worried about it - and, whenever I worry...I either do one of two things...or maybe three. Okay, four...but no more than four.

1. I Google. It's on WebMD or MayoClinic.com - so it's not like I'm going to BobsDiseaseoftheMonth.com - but, within three clicks, I'm usually dead. I've been placed on "Internet Restriction" by so many doctors...it's actually kind of comical...in a sick, morbid sort of way.

2. I cry. I cry and then I post on Facebook or I call a friend and cry. Tonite I cried after a friend called me. That was nice for a change. The fact that someone called me...not that I was crying again.

3. I call up an on-call doctor or make a doctor's appointment the next day. See above two reasons. This is my justification for doing this.

4. I think "Hey, that would make a great blog idea!" Unfortunately, I don't ever write these things down and by the time I think about them again, six months later, they have lost something in the time span...mostly the initial funny and the interesting bits.

For example, here is a partial bit - it was much funnier about a year ago when I first thought of it...so add in all the stuff you think would have made it funnier and more interesting, as that's the way it was meant to be.

Being obsessed with weight has been an issue for millennia. It wasn't just those Roman vomitoriums I'm talking about, either.

You have your fairy tales...like the one where Snow White or Sleeping Beauty falls asleep for 100 years...or at least long enough to drop those 50 extra pounds she had before she was "thin enough" in that vain Prince's eyes for him to finally want to kiss her.

Then there's "The Princess and the Pea". Face it, only a bony chick would feel a tiny lump under 20+ mattresses. And only a really skinny chick could have scampered up all those mattresses to start with...especially since they probably made ladders back then out of twigs and vines.

And then there are Greek myths. Now, I love Greek myths - but the Greeks were obsessed with beauty to start with, after all, they did give us Narcissus, who (undoubtedly) basically starved to death after falling in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.

Oh...they don't tell you the "starved to death" fixation...but I am certain it was a running issue with the Greeks back then.

Take Icarus and Daedalus -- no one (in their right mind) who weighs 300 pounds would envision thinking they could make some wings out of a bunch of feathers and wax and actually fly to the sun. Only a person starving to death has thoughts like that. That's probably the last thing you think of before dying of starvation...or dying, period: going toward the light. Well, in this case, that light was the sun...and Icarus, being delusional from not eating for weeks on end...figured he was light enough to fly up to the sun. Sorry...no one's that thin...and, yes, you CAN be too thin -- so much for that myth.

Then, to round out my point, there's poor Persephone. Persephone was kidnapped and taken to the Underworld by Hades...but, she didn't want anything to do with him...and her mom, who just happened to be the goddess of the harvest, pined away until Zeus finally fessed up that Hades had her. (Zeus was a jerk and liked to screw with people, by the way.) Somewhere in the bargain Persephone is given a pomegranate to eat, and unbeknownst to her, the number of seeds she eats is the number of months she has to live in the Underworld. Let's just say everyone was lucky she could only kick back a few seeds.

Do you have any idea how fattening a pomegranate seed is? No one does. It's like negative calories...like celery. It takes more work to eat it - you expend calories just trying to eat the edible bits. She must have weighed all of 99 pounds...and was probably in her own personal hell just like I am...

...but in more "weighs" than one.

02 December 2012

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Well, all this month I am challenging myself to start writing again by attempting to do a blog every other day. Yes, I've seen people do that "blog a day" thing - but I don't like being a sheep...so I decided "every other day" would be much, much, much more original.

I must admit that I used to have some belief in myself that I could write a book...but upon going to Barnes & Noble the other day, I have decided I have no chance in hell as everyone has a series and no one writes just one book at a time anymore. You have to have a set - and they have to be all about sex and clowns and vampires and horror...and basically, I've had the life sucked out of me by a clown I used to have sex with and I don't want to relive that horror by writing about it over and over again.

So, here goes my feeble attempt at writing again. Bear with me...I might take a few tries to get back in my stride, that is, if I ever had one.

(Some of the blogs this month were thought of quite a while ago...but I thought I would write them anyway.)

The Times They Are A-Changin'

So, I laid in bed again until the sun was set. This is nothing new as I'm not a morning person...which baffles most people altho I haven't a clue why. I can totally understand someone going to bed at 8:00 and waking up at 4:00 regardless of the a.m. or p.m. factor.

The only problem I have with it is that other people like to phone me up whilst I'm in my Ambien coma...and then they expect me to carry on a normal conversation which they expect me to remember later. I pretty much answer the phone with a disclaimer, "Hello...uh...since I'm Ambien right now, could you possibly call back later so I can have some idea of who you are or what we just said...or just leave a message on my answering machine?"

But, most times they won't understand, and they keep on talking altho it is clear to anyone listening to me...that I am not listening to them. Now I know I am prone to droning on and on and rambling - but usually not rambling incoherently like I do when I take my Ambien. Then, when I call them later (usually doctor's offices) they act like I should remember my conversation - but they are well aware of what Ambien does to a person...and I find that disconcerting as I am entrusting these people with the welfare of my health.

Anyway...I do digress...

...another problem with waking up much later than everyone else has to do with the time change. Why they still flip-flop the clocks back and forth is beyond me. Supposedly it was because of farmers and the daylight and their sheep being startled when the sun set earlier (like who hasn't used that excuse with the sheep...am I right Scotland?)...or something dealing with their crops and plowing.

But, as I get no sunshine in my body because I see no sunshine...I am left probably feeling like I do because of a huge lack of Vitamin D in my body. Truth be told I could easily be a vampire if it wasn't for that whole biting the neck and drinking blood bit...not because I dislike the taste of blood - I find it kinda tasty, at least my own...but I would be all germaphobic and would have to wait until the tests came back and by that time my victim would be long gone and I'd be toast as the only time the doctors ever call back is during the daytime.

But...honestly, why do they need to switch the clocks around anymore? They've found (the same "they" as always - "they" know stuff we don't) that losing that hour makes people more prone to health issues, causes more traffic accidents, and makes everyone pretty unbearable for half the year. And just when everyone is getting back to normal...they switch it again and everyone is off kilter again.

The strange thing is that not everyone observes it...and you could be working in a place up the road that doesn't...and just think how incredibly annoying that would be half the year. Also, why does Alaska even use it? Isn't it dark half the year there anyway? How would they even know what time it was by looking outside? Why would they care? They could shave off three hours and no one would be the wiser...and it's not like they are plowing a whole hell of a lot of crops in Alaska with the no hours of daylight...unless they are a big mushroom producer (because mushrooms grow in the dark), which they aren't...and I know this because "they" have told me that Pennsylvania is the mushroom capital of the US.

Heaven help me...I know trivia about mushroom production...and with that, seriously, I need to catch up on some sleep. That was sleep, not sheep...so don't you all try to blame it on the Ambien as we are on MY time now and I know what I'm saying even if you don't remember what I've said.

08 November 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...in Autumn

I went into Starbucks last Saturday and they already switched over to Christmas - or how they referred to them, "holiday", bags. It's like um - waaaay before Thanksgiving. No, I won't bore you with a tirade about how it was when I was a kid and they didn't stick Christmas stuff up until the day after Thanksgiving.

But, I'm thinking...isn't it about time to capitalize on the 21 Dec 12 thing? I mean, that comes before Christmas. Where's my "Doomsday"-themed Starbucks bag? How come I don't see any Doomsday decorations up -- but they put up Christmas ones? That's a bit presumptuous of them, isn't it?
My "holiday" bag from Starbucks.  The other side has a snowman.  I guess you could say these are "winter-themed" but I clearly heard the Starbucks person use the word "holiday".  I doubt they meant Thanksgiving - but it wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong.


20 October 2012

It's Always About Me, Isn't It?

After quite a long hiatus, I've decided I'm going to start writing again -- but not because I'm a writer...as my son clearly keeps reminding me - that, since I only write a blog (and sporadically at that) this does not a writer make.

I am doing this because I need to -- not because I want to -- altho I do...I did some inner soul searching and it IS actually more of a need. It's definitely right up there with me needing water, food, and air - I also need to have a voice - even if only a handful of people ever "hear" me.

Oh, I'm not remotely suggesting anything I have to say is ground-breaking or Earth-shattering - it's not even in the realm of mind-boggling. Head-shaking, perhaps...grimace-producing, sleep-inducing, and just plain whack -- yeah, a definite strong possibility.

And, be forewarned, they're about me. Everything is about me: my thoughts, my observations, my life, and my misconceptions -- and how things influence me in some way - and inspire me...at least enough to write about them.

So, despite what my son says about me...I remain steadfast in trying to convince myself that, if Shakespeare were alive today...not only would he be very, very, very old...but also "just" some blogger trying to have his voice heard as well -- albeit speaking it MUCH more eloquently than I ever could.

But, hey, he's also got a LOT more years doing this kind of thing than I ever had...so don't discount me just yet. 

(I felt like I had to do a quasi-biographical announcement as I haven't been around a while. While this might sound a bit silly, ludicrous, or just plain bombastic - I felt like a re-introduction of sorts was in order. So, there you have it.)

04 August 2012

Challenging the Gold

When I was younger, one of my dreams was to write a book...the other was to win a gold medal at the Olympics. So far, I'm pretty much 0 for 0...which isn't bad considering some people out there who won a gold medal in the Olympics didn't really win gold ones...and some...they probably just keep in the box on their mantle behind that commemorative plate of Charles and Diana. (Hey...it's being held in London...I thought I'd "Brit" it up a bit.)

Each Olympics they basically give someone the incredible honour of designing that year's Olympic medal...and when you think of gold medals, you usually (if you are old like me) have the image of Mark Spitz' gold-laden chest indelibly stamped into your brain.

Some Olympic medals...eh...not all that photogenic.

This got me thinking (when I was talking to a friend) that I remember one of the medals a few years back which basically was this chunk of crystal. Yeah, crystal might be nice in chandeliers and fancy wine glasses...but, me personally, would have been highly let down if I won a gold medal predominantly made of high end glass. "Cheers!" Sigh...it's not only made of glass...but it's ugly. I spent a dozen years of my life training to win something I might break if I drop it?? Great. Thanks Olympic medal picker people...thanks for shattering my dream and making it look like something the luge gouged out.

After talking about that...and finding out how difficult it is to find a pictorial history of Olympic medals while the Olympics are in progress...I managed to find all the medals given out since the onset of the Modern Games...dating back to 1896. Talking about a let down - they gave the winner a silver coin and a laurel branch. The runners-up...only got the branch.

While branches wither and die...unfortunately, these medals live on...

Designed by Lalique -- Albertville's 1992 Winter Olympics medal:

I didn't know that "crop circles" was a Winter Olympic event...I'd have guessed it was a Summer one -- Grenoble 1968:

Sapporo, if I remember correctly, was where those cute little snow monkeys liked sitting in the hot springs. Apparently, they also designed their wacky Winter Olympics medals as well:

You thought monkeys designing medals was a bad idea, right? No, you are wrong...having your two-year-old kid design one on their Magna-Doodle is worse. I present to you, Lillehammer's 1994 Ski Jumping medal...if you look at the jumper as if they are going in the other direction...it looks like a Zombie on skis. While I'm thinking that would have been a really awesome medal design...they had others...for each of the Winter events. This one is, by far, the best:

Hey, cool...I always did wonder what they did with all those old Korean coins...kind of odd they gave them out at the 2006 Turin games in Italy, tho:

You can't really tell - but these Vancouver 2010 medals were all misshapen and did not lie flat...they were also made with recycled electronic waste materials for their base. I guess that's one way to get rid of your country's toxic garbage:

Nothing screams Olympic games like "naked guy on a medal", as after all, the ancient games were played in the nude. London's 1908 and Stockholm's 1912 games both featured identical full metal porn:

Not to be outdone in the porn category, the medal in the 1924 Paris Summer games...well, I'm sorry -- I'm just hoping that they are only shaking hands:

There was a long stretch of time where the medals showed more tasteful depictions of winning...but then the 1972 Munich games came and went with much heartbreak. While they will also be remembered by stellar performances by American swimmer, Mark Spitz, and Soviet gymnast, Olga Korbut, they will, unfortunately, always be marred by human tragedy and not "naked aliens on a medal" only tragedy, like they rightfully should have been:

Thanks to "BBC News - London 2012: Olympic Medals Timeline" for all the Olympic medal-abilia.  Go and check out the link -- it's absolutely fascinating and fun!


(I have been wondering if the 2012 London games' medals are the largest in diameter [85 mm], as they certainly take up a lot of chest space...but they are not -- the 2009 Turin games takes the top spot with 107 mm medals.  Also, not to take any glory away from Michael Phelps...but in my mind, Mark Spitz will always be remembered first.)

01 May 2012

30 Days of Photographs II - Outtakes

Well, it's outtakes time! 

("What the heck are you talking about, Mariann?"  Go here and find out:  "30 Days of Photographs II"

I don't have a bunch of photos of different things all over the place as, if you were following along, all my photos were done while I was Ambien'd out...or my post was.  Most times, both.  As such, I don't have beautiful striking vistas and gorgeous architecture from area buildings.  The closest I got to that was when I ventured out with my son and took a photo of the "Bibb-Graves Bridge" in Wetumpka, Alabama, which was used on the set of the film "Big Fish".

So, these are going to be relatively boring.


I believe this one was originally done up as "Silence". I was trying to convey covering up the keys would render the piano silent. Yeah...it was stupid. But going thru them again I realized my cat was in the photo if you look at the reflection of the white object where the "Yamaha" logo is. I then realized I could have used it for "Mirror" - but I actually like my "Mirror" one...plus look at all the crap on the floor and all the cat fur all over the felt key cover thingy. Yeah...major Photoshopping there which cannot be done well on Ambien.

What can I say in my defense?  I like Martinis.  I was making a Pomtini one nite, days before "Nude" and I thought, "Hmmmm...'Sugar in the Raw'...raw...nude?  Yep...let's get this shot before I forget".  Then I remembered my "banned bottle of wine" and scrapped the whole "naked sugar" idea.  Plus, no matter how I arranged those items in the photo - it never looked unstaged.  Badly staged.  Very badly staged.

I forgot which theme this was for - I think it was for "Tragedy" - but it didn't turn out with the correct perspective.  What it is, is the gully next to my house which was formed when the Wetumpka meteor hit many, many, many years ago.  What we got (and I made my son take the photo as I don't like heights at all, plus it makes you get vertigo if you look down - it's really, really, really deep) was a crappy photo of kudzu with no real depth showing up.  Perhaps if there would have been a beaver in the bottom - it would have shown up better.

"Wheels" was the theme and this was the discarded photo.  Yeah...it's ugly.  The bricks are ugly...the desired pretty was lost when I took this photo as it was totally ugly.

"Wheels" again.  I redesigned the set-up as I really wanted that Lotus (third one back - center - totally obscured) in the foreground.  The bad thing is, the two really old vehicles (first two - center) here look much better in this photo than they did in the other photo...so, now you can see more detail on those two.  I am now happy.  :)

"Eeek eek eek!"  Can't you just hear the "Psycho" theme song when you see this photo?  No?  Neither could I.  (Psycho wallpaper job, maybe.) So, I scrapped that idea for "Fear" and replaced it with the "looking for the bogeyman beneath the bed" one instead.

I REALLY like this "Wood" one.  But it was just too up close and you didn't get the size of the wood and it was also too much detail for just "Wood" if you ask me...so I opted for the panned back one.  Glad I got to show you how pretty the curly bits were.

This one was for "Portrait" I think.  It might have been for "Fear"...or maybe it was "Wood".  Either way I didn't use it.  It's a Korean cabinet in the bedroom and that "face" always reminded me of Edvard Munch's "Scream".  Had there been a "Scream" theme...this is the one I would have used.

I originally took this one morning for "Moon" -- I thought it was such a pretty sky except for the fact all those crappy lines were in the way.  I wanted to show everyone how ugly the skyline is now - but I found that "by chance 'Moon' one" instead.  I was actually thinking of putting this one up for "Lines" - but I went with the statue instead.

Last one - and not too soon, right?  This one was a photo of my creepy dolls for "Devil".  I'm not sure which photo was creepier...I think the one where they aren't meant to look creepy...as they are creepy enough on their own.  This is my lame attempt at "really dark and creepy".

So, there you have it - my outtakes that didn't make the cut for the reasons listed.

Again...I thank Ziva and Mike for inviting me to join their non-contest.  :)

(I apologize in advance if the spacing is all wonky - I am tired of redoing my blog a million times since Blogger revamped their site - and this has already given me such headaches with the photos being larger than the width of my blog...but, once the post gets old - the entire photo shows, so check back in a few days.)

30 April 2012

Day 30: The Devil

This is the last day of our adventure into photography with Ziva and her friends.  I have had a lot of fun playing (altho I took it seriously) and I had a lot of respect for what each person managed to muddle thru each and every day.  Now, before I get mushy...please look at my fellow non-contestants...and don't forget to thank Ziva for coming up with this idea...

Day 30 --  The Devil:

Allow me to quote a couple lines from one of my favourite films:

Pete: I've always wondered, what's the devil look like?

Ulysses Everett McGill: Well, there are all manner of lesser imps and demons, Pete, but the great Satan hisself is red and scaly with a bifurcated tail, and he carries a hay fork.

Tommy Johnson: Oh, no. No, sir. He's white, as white as Mariann's dolls, with empty eyes and a big hollow head.

Okay, I took a little liberty with that last line up there from "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" But I only did it to prove a point.

Look for yourself if you don't believe me:

Notice the white area around the one doll on the left with the wonky eye.  I took about three sets of six or seven photos each (damn camera battery)...and that was the only photo which showed that little whispy emanation...all the others were clear as a bell.  Yes, be afraid...be very afraid.

A little back story. Long ago when I was growing up, my mother had this little hard plastic doll which never had any clothes on. She would keep it in her bureau which had nine drawers...three rows of three. When I would go into her bedroom, usually only when I was mad in order to "un-pom-pom" one of the hundreds of tiny white pom-poms on her bedspread (always in an inconspicuous space - I thought), I would sneak a peek inside that middle top drawer...and "it" was always in there staring back at me. It creeped the hell out of me. This same scenario went on for more years than I remember. Then one day I was rummaging in the kitchen drawers and there "it" was!

Well, that sealed the deal there...I was never the same again. Years later, when I asked my mother about the doll, she believed it was from some U.S. effort to help support the Korean War. The doll did have short straight black hair...I don't think it was like real hair...it was like a plastic cap...the same material as the rest of the body.

I always thought there was a soul associated with that doll. It always gave me the same image in my little girl head as I was growing up. Someone died...someone's soul was trapped inside - and now it was "living" in a drawer in my house - apparently making the rounds from room to room.  I have no clue what happened to that doll - but, to this day, from time to time I think of "her" and wonder where "she" ended up.

Now, I was a Barbie girl - I loved Barbie and I still do. But larger dolls...no way.

Just like the little shiny hard plastic Korean doll...the larger Victorian era dolls...scare me. They always have. I'm certain they always will.

My mother bought me those two dolls (above) from an antique store years ago. I could not touch them. Moving them tonite to take their photos...was, to anyone not aware of my "issue", an act of comedy I'm sure. The kids don't like them, either...but that didn't stop my son from turning the lights out when I was taking their photos and asking me why I put them in the hallway behind me. I also would not be left alone when I took the photographs...and when I was done, my daughter asked me to remove them from her room as quickly as possible.

My son speculated that I've never gotten rid of them because they are "going to know" and "revenge me somehow for getting rid of them" - and you know what? He's absolutely right. I can't do it. They will "get mad". You don't want to get dolls mad which are home to little demons. As long as the little demons stay inside the dolls...it's okay I guess. But you are never to get the devil dolls mad...that's when they will show their true faces: red and scaly...and with a bifurcated tail.

(Lastly, I had such a blast doing this for the past 30 days...and I want to thank each and every one of you...especially Ziva and Mike...for inviting me to participate.  Thank you all...so much.)

29 April 2012

Day 29: Lines

On top of my piano is some sort of sailor or rescuer - a bronze statue with the lights where the flowers are done by Emile Bruchon. I found out what he was called one day - but I have long forgot.

The only reason he fits into this theme is because he is carrying a line attached to a life-saving ring. You can't see if very well...one is in one hand...the other is - in the other.  In fact...he doesn't even look like a statue - more like a painting - but again, I can assure you he is all statue.

I liked this shot because somehow he got all surreal and was lit up with colours that are not on the statue. He is bronze, after all. But there's all shades of colours - and trust me...they aren't there. In fact, he is rather a dark colour - but he looks very pale in this shot.  Because of that - we left him stay in all his technicolour majesty.

So, that's my photo for "lines"...the oddest thing I could think of - and I know I'm running late. It was the camera's fault - it would not let me take more than one photo at a time. Very frustrating.

Day 29 -- Lines

(The metronone serves no purpose in this shot - I took it away in subsequent shots but those didn't have him all peacock-shaded.)

Please also check out the work of my fellow non-contestants...and don't forget to thank Ziva for coming up with this idea...

28 April 2012

Day 28: Outlier

I have to admit I am a total dolt. You see, I am probably the only one participating in this non-contest who had no clue what an "outlier" was. I knew I was in trouble when both my kids knew what it was - and knew how to pronounce it...I still want to pronounce it like you would "uglier"...and not "liar".

When I looked it up - I still had no clue - that's now clueless I was. All those years of doing "It Pays to Increase Your Word Power" in Reader's Digest...and the ONLY word they apparently left off - was this one. Then I had an idea: I'll do up a SCRABBLE game - and use up a bunch of words (or variants) which we've done here at Ziva's photofest. So, I did it - and I put OUTLIER off to the side, all by itself, but attached to another word. My kids came over and mocked me.

THEM: "It can't be connected...it's an outlier - it has to be separate."
ME: "It has to be connected...it's SCRABBLE...the words have to be connected."
THEM: "You just don't get it, do you?"
ME: "Apparently not...explain it to me again."
THEM: "For example - if you have a bunch of kids..."
ME: "Where am I going to get a bunch of kids? I have to make up something with the stuff IN my house."
THEM: "Ugh!"
ME: "Ugh!"

Then my son suggested I get the plastic pull tabs of all the orange juices and other juices that we've been saving up for the past year - saving for no reason whatsoever...altho someone started to put happy faces on them...and to put happy faces on all of them - except for one with an unhappy face drawn on instead...and that one shall remain far isolated from the others.

I thought that idea was stupid. I wanted to do my SCRABBLE one - I friggen put all the words in there without cheating one damn time.

So...I Google'd. Right on the first image page is a bunch of happy faces...except for one, which was off by itself, with an unhappy face on it. They looked remarkably similar to the juice pull tabs.

Now I don't know about you - but that's just plain bizarre. What are the odds, right? I mean, seriously, what do they have to be??

So...I'm going to be different in a way...I'm going to remain with my first idea...even if I did acquiesce (yeah, THAT word was in Reader's Digest) and not connect OUTLIER (which I still think is stupid as all get out). So, in a way, I'm being an outlier? Right?


Forget it - I still don't get it.

Day 28 -- Outlier:

Two items I must point out:  1) We did not have to remain in/around our house as part of the rules -- I did because I either took the photo or did the write-up after ingesting Ambien (it was my "experiment").  2) The word "pill" here refers only to me (see above).

Please don't forget to look at everyone else's photographs:

27 April 2012

Day 27: Nude

Well, I know everyone has been waiting for "Nude" Day...and it's finally here. I, too, have been waiting for "Nude" Day - but much longer than anyone else. More after the introductions of my fellow non-contestants...and don't forget to thank Ziva for coming up with this idea...

MikeWJ, Nicky and Mike, Mo, Meleah, John, aka nonamedufus, Bryan, aka Unfinished Person, Malisa, Nora, LaughingMom, Tanya, Elizabeth A., 00dozo, Cheryl, Kristen, Katherine, and, last -- but definitely not least, Ziva.

Day 27 -- Nude:

Back in August of 2009 the powers that be which reside on the Alabama Alcohol Committee got their panties in a wad...over the lack of panties. A French bicycle ad from the 1800s was a tad too racy to slap on a product which is only sold to people over 21. And the thing is, as you can plainly see...it's not in a suggestive, full-on, horny-porny pose. It's just a drawing of a naked nymph...but, Alabama stated that children would see these wine bottles in stores (so, keep your kid away when you buy your alcohol) and their little brains could not handle a side-view of a stylized art depiction of a nude lady. What you are seeing here is a tiny button of a nipple and a somewhat Rubenesque tushie. Yeah...too much for the people at the Legislature and Alabama's Board of Alcohol Commission to wrap its dirty little heads around - so they banned it so we wouldn't be able to wrap our dirty little hands around any bottle in the state of Alabama...ever.

But...as you see...I have one! I bought it in Atlanta - and it's probably illegal for me to own it in my state...but that's just the rebel...or actually, the yankee...that I am. I am keeping my nude nymph'd bottle and giggle like a displaced New Jersian schoolgirl each time I look at it and think back about how this controversy was blown completely out of proportion and more than a tad too insane in this day and age. After all, heaven forbid someone drink a bottle of wine without a naked chick on the label and they end up butt naked; at least with this bottle -- there was truth in advertising, right?  "If you drink this wine you might get as naked as this labelled lady...don't say we didn't warn you!"

But I guess it's easier to walk around with your eyes totally open but your mind totally shut when you make the rules in this state.


26 April 2012

Day 26: My Toothbrush

Believe it or not I've actually been looking forward to the "My Toothbrush" theme and you'll see why in a minute.

Until then, please peruse the photography participants:

MikeWJ, Nicky and Mike, Mo, Meleah, John, aka nonamedufus, Bryan, aka Unfinished Person, Malisa, Nora, LaughingMom, Tanya, Elizabeth A., 00dozo, Cheryl, Kristen, Katherine, and, last -- but definitely not least, Ziva.

Day 26 --  My Toothbrush:

As you can probably tell...my toothbrush (the pink one) is in the bathroom trash can. In there is also my son's toothbrush. We threw them away as WE AREN'T SICK ANYMORE! Woohoooo! If you don't know you are supposed to toss your toothbrush after a cold or flu...you do now. Face it, you wouldn't keep reusing the same tissue over and over again - brushing your teeth with the same germy toothbrush you had been using while you were sick - is pretty much like swallowing a big cup of saved phlegm -- only, well, not as gross.

On that happy note...there you have it - and now you know why I've been so looking forward to photographing my toothbrush. :)