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".

23 February 2007

Show Me The Funny...

My online friend alerted me the other day that late nite talk show host (and my personal fav), Craig Ferguson, stated he wouldn't be doing any more jokes about Britney Spears as undoubtedly this woman has a problem...which, when it all boils down to it, isn't exactly funny...and less funny to poke fun of considering how much other celebrity fodder there is out there. I watched Craig that nite and sure enough he mentioned how this statement of his was getting around the Internet and how big and out of proportion it all was...he just isn't going to make fun of her for needing and trying to get some help. I, and my friend, wholeheartedly commend him for saying this.

When exactly do you draw the line on a celebrity and what you can and cannot make fun of about them? Some of you probably know that I have an interactive online comedy website, HumorMeOnline, and have made fun of Britney, Anna Nicole Smith, and Michael Jackson more times than I could count. But, call me a comedy killjoy...there are certain things I personally don't find funny: Child molestation, untimely death, and making fun of God. I just won't go there in most cases...oh, sure I've picked entries from people dealing with the whole Michael Jackson thing...BUT once it was pretty much a given that he probably did molest children in some way...I stopped. Priests and clergy molesting children? I don't see the funny...we are talking about innocent children here...how can anyone, when you seriously think about it...think it's funny?

When Anna Nicole Smith died the other day, the FIRST thing I thought of was "Leno's going to crack some joke about her"...my friend online at the time, whilst I was watching Letterman stated "Leno just did an Anna Nicole joke". How insensitive. How downright disgusting. At least to me...and from everyone I've spoken with...to them as well. Here is this woman, surely one of the greatest people to come along to pick on...a ditzy blonde built like most women wish they would look like...the closest thing we had since Jayne Mansfield to poke fun of (Mansfield purportedly had a 160 IQ). But, here is this woman, Anna Nicole, surely a caricature by her own design (she couldn't have been that stupid to get to where she was neither if you ask me) - and granted, she sure did some things to make fun of...and a lot of us took advantage of all of that.

I, unlike a lot of people, HAVE to keep abreast (no not an Anna Nicole joke...not any more) of things such as these...it's part of my "job"...I host my comedy website...without knowing which celebrity isn't wearing underwear today...leaves me at a deficit. I don't subscribe to People magazine, or watch Entertainment Tonite very often...I've never bought a National Enquirer and I don't intend to. This stuff is all over the Internet - why should I waste my hard-earned cash to know something that's already up there for free? So, when someone rattles off an entry containing the words "Suri", "the breakup video on YouTube", or "Chicken of the Sea isn't chicken?"...I know who or what they are speaking about. I don't necessarily care that topless photos of Jennifer Aniston were on Perez Hilton's website...but I know it...I HAVE to know it.

And that brings me back to Anna Nicole. I knew she had a son...I knew she loved him a lot. EVERY single photo or video I saw with her and him...she was glowing...she was doting...she just loved him so much. She couldn't have been faking all that...honestly, I saw her on her reality show...she wasn't that good an actress. This was genuine. I heard John Travolta talking about her the other day on some show saying how, when she was in a film with him, all she did was talk about him...nonstop - she just went on and on. This is not the actions of someone totally focused only on themselves...this was a woman who was also a mother. A caring mother who loved her son...who also loved her newborn daughter. But her son died in the hospital coming to visit her when she had her daughter - talk about traumatic. How can anyone get over something like that? How do you deal with that? How can you possibly deal with that under the microscope of all those cameras? And she had to lose weight I'm sure...being a spokesperson for TrimSpa...with a lawsuit slapped on the company, and I'm sure the company breathing down her neck...well...you try to lose weight right after you have a baby. Just because they are celebrities, they don't have magic pills...they have the other ones other people have used for years...but most people aren't scrutinized and expected to do things like a lot of celebrities have to.

I admit, when I first read that Anna Nicole died, I thought "Okay, not a funny joke...what type of publicity stunt is this now?"...but it wasn't. To me...it was sad. Quite sad. But the making fun of her and her infant daughter which ensued directly afterward and goes on still...isn't sad, it sickens me. I can't tell you how many entries I received at my site alone joking about just that...and these people have to know by now I don't even gravitate toward that type of humour...and I won't...but the people who come to my site don't see the "behind the scenes" things...but that doesn't mean we don't get them...and worse. Oh, much worse sometimes. Yes, once in a while I still get World Trade Center jokes submitted...and Holocaust ones. Talk about some hilarious topics, huh? They say comedy isn't pretty...let's get real here...sometimes it's downright ugly...and sometimes it's just not funny.

Which brings us back to Britney...maybe she's on a big publicity campaign, maybe she's always just been bonkers...but one thing is certain "normal" people don't act the way she's been lately, and if it is depression, drugs, a last-ditch effort to keep custody of her children...well I don't think we should all jump on the comedy bandwagon and make fun of her continually. When do you (or comedy shows/sites) draw the line and say "Wow, maybe she has some mental issues here? Maybe we should just give her a little time to get help and sort out whatever demons she has to deal with. Maybe we just need to back off and go chase Paris Hilton for a few weeks instead." And THE ugliest portrayal of something disguised as comedy I've seen so far...and by far? AOL's main screen page, showing a photo of a giant squid, the four-legged duck, and Britney smack in the middle with this lead-in line above: "Take a Peek At These Freaks" - how calculatingly callous can they be...and this is entertainment? This is a news service? More like disservice if you ask me. That was, at least to myself, exceedingly offensive. To be on the receiving end of it all...poor Britney, she's still a human being after all. Show SOME restraint people.

So, I, too, will show some restraint...and until that day I see her being her usual "wacky Britney-self" again, I will try my hardest to go and haunt some other celebrity...there's so many of them out there...plus I really haven't "officially" picked on Rosie and Trump - I'm sure they will be in the news here again any second now...any second...

15 February 2007

What Price Romance?

Well, I've been remiss in doing a blog here it seems. I've had a couple people write to tell me that they've missed them and wondered when I was going to write another. That, of course, made me feel good...as not everyone out there who reads these things comments on them. I know a few bloggers here have mentioned the lack of comments on their own blogs and I just wanted to assure them here that this alone is not necessarily any indicator that theirs aren't being read and thoroughly enjoyed. Now with that said, I will try my utmost to remember this myself and get a few churned out each week.

I know, I know...I said I would do the "gun blog" as a few of you have pointed out...and I will...and I also know you are perched on the edge of your seats with bated breath just anticipating when that day may indeed come. Yes, that was tongue in cheek there...but since some of you did ask, I only wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten. I just thought a "romance-themed" one was more timely as it was indeed Valentine's Day yesterday (oh, don't tell me you forgot)...so here goes...

Valentine's Day...just what is it? A day to remember your sweetheart...a day the stores made up to get rid of all those items you returned at Christmas...a day to show off to your friends in the office that you had a bouquet of roses, a teddy bear and balloons sent to you...and nobody else did? Well...I think it might be a combination of those. Yes, I'm cynical and bitter because, well...I come from Jersey and it's a birthright...BUT I am also a diehard romantic at heart.

No...seriously, I am.

I was watching Craig Ferguson last nite...love Craig Ferguson by the way...but he pointed out about the "romance" factor as well...as I'm sure every late show host did last nite. One question he asked was, in essence, "Why do women think that a horse-drawn carriage ride around Central Park is romantic?" I'll tell ya why, Craig...because 99.7% of us haven't EXPERIENCED one yet. And therein lies the crux of the matter in a nutshell.

Men...let me give you a little advice...well, only those of you who need advice...and there's only about .3% of you who don't need it...so I'd listen up. Trust me...I'm female. We all yearn to be that woman in the office who gets the roses...we all want to trip her when she goes out to her car with the roses, precariously balancing her teddy bear and cellphone in one hand and her purse and flower/balloon dealie with the other...we want to see them hurtle to the ground and fall in a puddle as she tries to retrieve her car keys...that's how badly we want to be that person. It's not because we so badly want a dozen roses that go for triple their market price one day a year...we don't want any stupid teddy bears...and we certainly don't want any mylar balloons (well, okay...maybe the balloon...but only if it's really nice)...what we DO want is some recognition that we indeed are admired. Admiration is a good thing...when that admiration comes from Marge in the office who didn't get any flowers sent to her, it's nice...when it comes from a man who would take the time to send those flowers...or bring them in himself, well, it's even nicer.

And...it doesn't stop there. No, it doesn't. You don't get off that easily...and you won't be...if you catch my drift...because one day a year should not cut it. Tossing some candy down on the table with a card on your way into the house as nonchalantly as you would your car keys and coat is not romantic. Now, I won't say it here...but we all know what guys want in return for that candy and card...and if your woman has any sense, she'll take about as long at it as you spent picking out that lame card. You reap what you sow...so put some time and thought into it...and do it more than one day a year. I bet if you left some "silly little romantic notes" around the house for your lady throughout the year...you'd find out she'd be a lot more accommodating. Carriage rides? Oh, yes, they might be corny...but I've never been on one...and you can bet if I had been whisked off to a surprise romantic dinner (not too surprised...we want to look good, you know) once in a while, had some romantic notes placed around where I could find them, and given flowers without "expecting" anything in return...well...you do the math.

It's all in the presentation...you've got to have feelings involved...you just can't go thru the motions and then complain when we "go thru the motions" without having any emotion behind it. Why can't you prepare a nice candlelit dinner for your lady once in a while...and on no special occasion...just "because you appreciate her" should be occasion enough. Don't wait for some obligatory holiday to roll around once a year to force you to be one of a pack of lemmings: "Stand in line...buy card...stand in line...buy flowers...stand in line...buy candy." Romance isn't all about that stuff...it's about being made to feel special...and you don't need a Donald Trump income (or at least you shouldn't - if you do, you're with some unappreciative lady) in order to romance someone. Take time to see what you both like...because it really should work both ways. If she likes planting things in her garden...get up early one day and pull some weeds out for her...or hide a homemade card for her where she'll find it. Trust me...homemade cards, where you write your own sentiments...worth more than any Hallmark store's complete inventory. If he likes to watch football...go online and Google "football terms", learn some and toss some out randomly just to see his reaction. Take the time to KNOW what's important to each other...and that doesn't cost a thing. You see? Silly, no?

No...I don't think so.

07 February 2007

Houston, we have a problem...

I'm sure by now all of you have probably read or heard about the NASA astronaut, Lisa Nowak, who, by the way, holds a master's degree in aeronautical engineering, went rather "out of orbit" yesterday brandishing a wig, pepper spray, a BB-gun, and various other incriminating implements (rubber tubing, a mallet, a 4-inch bladed knife, and large garbage bags) most people just don't carry around with them on most given days...and undoubtedly attempted to get inside the vehicle of Coleen Shipman, a woman whom Nowak believed to be her romantic rival getting in the way of her endeavours to woo fellow astronaut, William Oefelein. Whew! With me so far?

These are the things soap operas are made of...or they will be by next week. Anyway...the alleged story goes that Nowak had something "more than a working relationship but less than a romantic relationship" with Oefelein.

Here's my take on it all...and purely my take: In female terms, in a nutshell (no pun intended): Nowak wanted him to feel the same about her and return her affections and so far it just hadn't worked. So...what to do...what to do? With the breakdown of her 19-year marriage, which may or may not have been hurried along because of her unrequited feelings for Oefelein, who is unmarried, by the way...she probably felt she was at an impasse and HAD to do something or she would lose her man...whom she didn't have yet. But, by golly, evidenced by her reactions yesterday, she sure wanted him badly enough to not only scrap a job most people could only dream of...but also ruined any chance to remain a mother (she will, of course, remain their mother...but probably from a jail cell for a long while) to her twin 5-year-old girls and also her 14 or 15-year-old son. Now, I have two children...and I tell you...it would be a cold day in Hell before I put myself first...especially in this type of context...over my responsibility to be there for them as a mother. Ain't gonna happen.

But back to the story...Nowak is now released on bond, tethered to a monitoring device. Personally, I'd think she was pretty unstable and needed to go thru some mandatory court-ordered psychological work-up before sending her on her merry way. This woman is definitely NOT thinking correctly...I'm sure her lawyers and psychologists will come up with some fancy terminology to explain it all...let's see...hmmm...how about "Space Dementia"? "Yes, my client has been in space too long and the lack of oxygen has undoubtedly affected her brain. She never would have had these delusional thoughts otherwise." Can't you just see them force-feeding this line to a jury of her peers...which, seriously...how are they going to find a jury of her peers anyway? Shut down NASA for the duration of the trial? Anyway...this line of mental reasoning (mine by the way...purely mine...nothing verified) got me thinking: Doesn't NASA routinely kinda "screen" their workers, especially astronauts, for mental stability? Face it, they don't exactly want someone to go all wackadoo upon reentry or docking to some 200 billion dollar space doohickey. And NASA should have known about the commotion at her house leading up to the demise of her marriage, and I quote from the AP article written by Mike Schneider: "In November, a neighbor reported hearing the sounds of dishes being thrown inside Nowak's Houston-area home, and the police came. And weeks ago, Nowak and her husband separated after 19 years." Granted a neighbour just spouting off at the mouth to the press saying "Oh my yes...they were always yelling in there...I told my husband something was bound to happen...didn't I say that more than once, Harold? Harold? Harold, didn't I???" is quite different from the police being sent over and having it all nicely documented on some police blotter downtown. Shouldn't someone in some NASA capacity have said, "Ya know, let's maybe see if she is okay...maybe this whole divorce thing is really getting to her...let's get her in to see one of our psychologists...you know, just in case."

This is starting to make the movie, "Armageddon", seem a LITTLE bit more believable with each subsequent article I read...and that is sad.

I, as well, feel sad...very sad...not only for the woman, Shipman, whom Nowak is now charged with attempting to murder (in the first degree if I'm not mistaken...she did have those "things" in the car, after all...she went there all prepared)...because, no one should be stalked and then subsequently "done away with" because someone else thinks so...and thank goodness it didn't go that far...but also for Nowak's children. Losing a mother when the "inevitable time" comes is hard enough to take..."losing" one because of circumstances such as these, which were unquestionably preventable somehow (I don't claim to have all the answers here...I'm just saying someone should have gotten help for her, herself included) must be sheer torture. One minute your mom's on some space shuttle mission setting a role-model for all the little would-be female aeronautical engineers and astronauts out there, the next she's in jail for trying to off some woman...all for the love of some man...who, as far as we know, never professed any love for her. And, I feel sad for Nowak...a brilliant, challenging, and probably greatly rewarding career...gone. What I wouldn't give to have the brains to hold a NASA job...any of them (well, not janitor) - and she did. But with all that intelligence she didn't have sense enough to realize that no man was worth all this...and one thing shines clearer than any view from any window out in space: She definitely won't get him now.

01 February 2007

In Sickness and In Health

Well, my daughter has been out of school all week...she went to the doctor and they said (or so she thinks they said...I wasn't there so I'll ask my husband tomorrow) she has bronchitis...she is now taking antibiotics for whatever it is she has. So far we've all (my son and I) been spared getting anything this year - I have been getting flu shots since I've had my two, count them two, pleurodesis (or is that pleurodesi...or, as I like to make it when I pluralize it: pleurodesiseseses) lung operations (for my bizarre catamenial pneumothorax thingy)...and so far, they seem to have worked for me. Of course, since I've now mentioned it, I'll get sick.

Anyway, I've been a little lax on the blog lately and I wanted to let you know why - but I will try to type off my "gun blog" tomorrow - one that I did a little research about the other day and I'd like to finish it...so, regardless of how you stand on gun issues, you might want to give it a read.