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".

22 January 2012

Driven to Tears

Every time I go into Montgomery, I see Eric...every time I drive up to Maxwell Air Force Base I see Joe and "Momma". Oh, I've never spoken to any of them...but I wonder about them every single time I pass by -- and I wonder how many other people do as well.

I don't know anything about these people yet they touch me...they've even brought me to tears...in fact, I'm crying right now.

"How can some people I've never met and know nothing about bring about such emotion in me?" you might be asking yourself...in fact, it might sound like it makes no sense whatsoever; but to me...and undoubtedly to some others, it does.

You see, I "see" Eric on the median strip of Eastern Boulevard; I assume proudly displaying some type of medal he won. I've never stopped my car to go up close enough to make out what it is...and, again, I've wondered -- about it -- and him. I "see" Joe and "Momma" on the Northern Boulevard, up a couple miles on the right after I merge onto it from Route 231.

I've never really "seen" them...what I see are what many people see every day: Roadside Memorials.

You know, you've seen them (not necessarily Eric, Joe and "Momma", but countless others like them)...roadside testimonials, erected by caring individuals, to signify where their loved ones lost their lives. Sometimes they are well kept up...other times, they fall into a state of disrepair...the cross' paint eroding at the edges and the faded flowers hanging by only a fragile thread; this "fragile thread" is...really all that separates us from their fate.

I've read, years ago, about some states or counties considering banning these markers. "They're too difficult to mow around" and "They're distractions"...were only a couple of the excuses the townships made in their defense...and while I can understand a huge mowing machine trying to delicately negotiate around them, it seems they do. I sense an immense reverence for them -- and for every worker out there who has taken the extra time to meticulously mow around these, I thank you.

There is also debate as to whether these are really distractions or do they, even for a very short while, make drivers take note and slow down...realizing the precious loss of life could easily be their own. A barely audible "There but for the grace of God, go I." mumbled under some passersby's breath -- or do people blindly pass them by...just a blur...a tiny, insignificant billboard they mindlessly catch out the corner of their eye?

I'd like to think they don't. I'd like to think they pause to remember someone they never got the opportunity...to remember.

And to Eric, Joe, "Momma" and all the others I've passed by over the years, I might not ever know you or your stories, but...you are definitely not forgotten.

17 January 2012

My Theory #1: Depression

"Modern Times" (1936) with Charles Chaplin and Paulette Goddard...the final scene where he tells her to "smile"...this is also Charles Chaplin's last silent film.

I have been thinking and thinking about why I've been so blah and depressed and have no energy for what seems like years now. And other than the obvious reason -- long, pre-divorce situation, and my health...I've decided there are things I used to do in my past which made me happy...that I don't do anymore.

1) Cook. I used to always get Gourmet magazine and before that one, Cuisine magazine - ever since I was 16 years old. I haven't gotten any sent to me in a couple years...and now I have no desire to cook. Sure, I love Epicurious.com - but, the mouth-watering photos you see in a real, honest to goodness magazine...can't be found "paging" thru some website. So, I'm going to start up another subscription.

2) Read Vogue magazine. For years and years - probably ever since I was about 15...I had a subscription to Vogue...and I always put on make-up and was impeccably dressed. Sure, I live in crappy Alabama and it's not the same as NJ...which is next to NY...and that, being the fashion capital of the world...knew how to dress -- but, I don't put a face on anymore and I dress like a better-than-average sloburbinite...so I'm going to start up a subscription.

3) Watch funny sit-coms on television. I used to watch hilarious sit-coms...you know, back when they had this thing called "writers"...and they used to pay these things called "actors" to be funny and read the scripts. For instance, the shows "Soap", "Taxi", "Cheers", "Seinfeld" and "Frasier"...now it's just a sea of endless crap on -- and all I watch are documentaries and old films on Turner Classic Movies...which isn't bad at all...but, late at nite I find myself watching icky things like "Unsolved Nasty-ass Crimes Upon Humanity" where they go into detail of the brutal killing of innocent people - and show graphic things and display graphic warnings about the soon-to-be-shown graphic imagery. And then I read the "horror killing of the day" on the news...which always tells you about some mother or father murdering their child in a more horrible way than the one the day prior. So, all I do...is get spoon-fed misery. I want to laugh again. I find myself not even watching Letterman or Craig Ferguson...both of whom I laugh at. I just sit here and probably think horrific things in my subconscious...and get more and more depressed...because the news is constantly shelling out dismality (is that a word - if not, it should be)...and I don't laugh...and laughter, unlike Xanax, is probably really the best medicine after all.

I'll keep you up-to-date if it's working...at least it's cheaper than therapy.

04 January 2012

Top Ten Things That Have Been Bugging Me

I've not written a blog in a while. I've not even tried.

It's my fault - I start doing other things like playing this online fake Scrabble game, or I sit around the house watching television, or I sit around wasting time on Facebook, or I sit around the house making up excuses...and then I get mad for not being scooped up by a prominent publishing house or movie studio, and I whine silently to a few of my friends (not so silently).

But, hey, it's the new year...time to put my aging butt in gear, right?

So, I sat and I thought and thought...or more like laid there and thought and thought...and I am drawing blanks left and right. I've come to the conclusion that nearly everything you can bring up, I've done some form of it in a blog already. Maybe I used up all my ideas...so I came up with this one instead...so be gentle as I know it's not going to be one of my best efforts.

A few things that have been rattling around in my brain...yes, they are in no order. So, let's just think of them as my "Top Ten Things That Have Bugged Me"...they aren't meant to be witty or funny...so if you're anticipating that, you'll be let down.

10. The 2011 Christmas "Doctor Who" show. C'mon Stephen Moffat...I waited like six months to see that??? I know you are capable of much better. I'd venture to say I'm capable of much better. Give me a shot, will ya? I'm older than you - respect your elders...hire me. I'll even do it for free...give me a friggen shot, okay? Please?

9. "Saturday Night Live", David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, hell, even Jay Leno...see #10 (only vary it to fit you)...a shot? Please? For free first - THEN you can hire me or fire me. Just one tiny little shot...that's all I'm asking. Oprah? Donald Trump? Rosie?? Someone?

8. To the "Dasani" water people (aka the "Coke" people) and the "Chick-Fil-A" people on Eastern Blvd in Montgomery, Alabama: You know what you did...it's been what, three years?? At least pay up for the Emergency Room visit already. (Yeah...I should write a blog about this - it's long so I can't put it here.)

7. You "Jersey" shows on television: I'm FROM Jersey...I never knew anyone who was like that in Jersey...stop making me seem like an idiot so no one hires me. Or hire me yourself...I promise I can be the idiot you are looking for in a writer.

6. Just to let everyone know...saggy boobs are "in" this year.

5. I didn't talk to my mother enough and I talked to her every single day. I should have written things down...the memories of what she told me of her youth in Belgium are getting muddy and I can't remember her voice so much. For everyone with a loved one...pay attention. Everyone tells you to pay attention and you don't realize they are right until after it's too late. My mother knew I loved her so I don't have to worry about that...but I miss the most stupid things...like the way she pronounced "Post Office"...and no one will ever say it like her again in my life. Ever.

4. All the people on those "person specific" news shows...like on CNN: STOP SHOUTING! If I can't hear you, I'll turn up the volume. Sheesh!

3. One day all you mean people will get your comeuppance. Personally, I'd like that day to be tomorrow.

2. Human beings should live longer...and have a nice exoskeleton so we're more impervious to the elements, like car crashes, bullets and crazy people in Walmart.

1. I know people believe in reading the Bible and things...like prayers. I have no issue with that whatsoever. However, I do have an issue with two things about that: a) Don't just memorize a dinner prayer if you're going to pray twice a year (you C&E people can relate)...make it come from the heart...make one up on the spot; somehow I don't think God will get mad if you improvise. b) That child's prayer which goes: "Now I lay me down to sleep...I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake...I pray the Lord my soul to take." That single-handedly creeped me out my entire life. Seriously...just think of an innocent child who has no concept of death yet...reading this. Now think of that same child a few years later, with a vague concept of death. This isn't so much a prayer anymore as it is a warning -- a good haunting one when you're just about to drift off to sleep: An 'Ooops...guess we forgot to mention it, Jimmy...God sends his boogeyman to take your soul at night while you're sleeping sometimes." I'm sorry...but this needs to be totally rethought out. It's not at all comforting and it's very, very, very scary. In fact, it's almost as scary as that first "Doctor Who" Weeping Angels episode Stephen Moffat wrote.

And with that...I've come full circle. "Happy 2012" everyone! :)