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 July 2007

In Hog Heaven

Here's a story I could really sink my teeth into...and definitely would for the "sowbucks" both these people managed to trot off with. Yes, I'm in a silly mood tonite, and in honour of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest to be releasing their winners this Monday...and also as an homage to their "Vile Puns" section, I'll be doing most of this commentary in puns...puns - good and bad...all right, puns mostly bad. But this isn't at all a work of fiction, but rather a real-life story that is definitately prime for a good ribbing. If ever I find myself in a similar situation I just might bite, too.

"But what is she going on about?" you are undoubtedly asking your collective selves. "Is she just too long in the tooth to write a coherent sentence, let alone a paragraph...dare I say, story?" No, I'm not just going to pepper the whole story throughout with vile pig and dental puns, but rather, make it replete with them. In fact I'm going to hog up every one I can...and then drill them into your head...and with any luck it won't be boaring.

The process one goes about choosing a befitting blog is a difficult chore for some - for others it comes quite easily, but most aren't nearly as verbose as mine...I tend to put pen to paper and hog up a great deal of words by the time all is said and done and at the virtual table. So, I am picky doing my blogs...certainly I have many I can choose from - a whole herd of them...and many ideas which have come before me I've read that I would have given my eyetooth to have thought of first. But I just grit my teeth and muddle through to the next topic which catches my mind's eye.

This blog was inspired by an incident which occurred recently in Olympia, Washington which I only read a few moments ago. I suspect some people reading this slice of life might go hog wild on this one...others will probably just give it nothing more than a grunt and bury it under the other daily things they are doing, never to give it a second thought. The story is about an oral surgeon, Dr. Robert Woo, who, while giving his female associate, Tina Alberts, two new dental implants, thought it would be a silly, harmless prank to pop a couple boar tusks in her mouth while she was under anesthesia, take a couple of photos unbeknownst to her, pop the tusks back out and finish up the job...all the while never giving it as much as an afterthought. It was, what he whole-heartedly believed, just a little office prank done to a colleague who would always bring up the fact her family raises potbellied pigs...and these pig conversations were pretty much joked about in some manner or form in the office for years.

Now, I don't know if the oral surgeon thought this alone was funny or if he was just sick and tired of hearing the ongoing pig stories. Regardless, Dr. Woo didn't show the photos to Ms Alberts...which makes me think it was more of a joke done not for her amusement, but for the others, and as the workers circulated these photos amongst themselves...you got it...they eventually made their way to Ms. Alberts.

One thing led to another as quickly as you can say "I have a lawyer in the family" or "I know someone whose brother's uncle's friend's sister is a lawyer"...because the next thing you know, the assistant is claiming these distressing photos caused her to quit her job because of the ongoing humiliation. Now someone has to pay and her boss is just the guy to do it...and one could naturally assume he's probably living pretty high on the hog owning his own business and all.

Now keep up...this part will go faster than Boston Butts on sale at a church fundraiser. So, Ms. Alberts goes to sue Dr. Woo; Dr. Woo in turn, turns to his office insurance company to root the money out of them and they say "no dice...what you did wasn't standard office procedure and therefore wouldn't be covered". Sounds logical to me. The next step is that they settle out of court and Ms. Alberts walks away $250,000 richer. All's well, that ends well, right? No...Dr. Woo decides he's not exactly satisfied with the ruling the insurance company initially doled out and decides he's going to sue his insurance company right back...to the tune of $750,000...making a whole lot of bacon if it works.

Well, it did indeed work and now he's sitting pretty after clearing nearly half a million (give and take lawyer's fees and Ms. Albert's initial $250k cut)...and Dr. Woo has definitely learned an "extremely costly lesson": Do not mess with people or play practical jokes on unwilling victims. Unless, of course they can't take a joke...then, by all means, do your best...or should that be wurst.

Perhaps there's a "Practical Office Joke Book For Dummies" book deal in the good doctor's future. Obviously, by these lucky turns of events, Dr. Woo's a master of turning on the charm and flashing those pearly whites...by all accounts, a natural ham. I wouldn't doubt it if he even has a few publishing houses interested in him right now, and if he doesn't, I'm sure his finding one would be relatively easy. As easy, you might say, as pulling teeth.

19 July 2007

No Extra-Censory Perception

"Hot and steamy and served right smack in the middle of the 6 o'clock news." Now I'm not talking about dinner, first off I never eat that early and secondly, had I been eating I undoubtedly would have gagged. What I am referring to are a couple previews for movies and shows on television here recently.

I certainly am no prude, but when I see a scantily clad woman crawling all over some guy in the back-seat of a car and a bevy of overly anxious would-be paramours to a 30-something tennis player school-girlishly giggling about how one of them would "just like to see him naked", well that IS a bit much. But what really got my ire up (and would have my food as well) was this clip of Cloris Leachman clad in a German housefrau-type waitress outfit being more than friendly "handling" a sausage before serving it up to some guy.

Now I know that sex sells, well, not usually with Cloris Leachman, but that's not my point here...my point is that these two specific previews, from NBC's reality show, Age of Love, and the movie, Beerfest, respectively, really should not have been aired at that time, if at all. My 12-year-old daughter even asked me what was up with the Beerfest one...and honestly, I rather would have spent the time looking at Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" instead, considering IT lasted all of 1/100th of a second. The Beerfest clip, unfortunately, didn't.

I don't watch too much "big three" television programs, mainly I'm tuned to The History Channel or Turner Classic Movies, so I rarely glimpse any mainstream commercials/previews, but if this is the type of sensationalism these stations have resorted to airing in order to pay their costs, well, that's just sad commentary as to what they perceive their viewers want to see.

What ever happened to a modicum of class and dignity? I remember reading, many years ago, before the age of the Internet, that Prime Time was "family time" and oh, my - the fervor that Charlie's Angels' "T&A jigglefest" caused in the 70's...and that show, I believe, used to air 9:00 p.m. ET. And the outcry of thousands upon thousands of outraged viewers years later when that NYPD Blue guy bared his butt in the same time slot. Then, years later still, who could forget the gobs of people who complained when Janet Jackson's "less than perky" boobie was shown before the masses at the Super Bowl? And if it weren't for the Internet, VCR's and TiVo, that would have remained nothing more than a brief flash...in the pan.

Well, I say we need to address these more recent turns of events...I cannot be the only one with children who has witnessed this and been annoyed by it. I can and do choose not to watch these shows and change the channel to watch other programming during their view times, but I CANNOT stop my child from witnessing a movie/television preview for them during a whole other show. And I shouldn't have to.

12 July 2007

Out of and Insomnia

Random thoughts were popping in and out of my head tonight...even hackneyed phrases seemed glorious to me - my mind was whirring, I was stringing words together that I'd all too long missed doing for what seemed like an indeterminable epoch. What exactly was going on here?

I was lying in bed just a few moments ago, unable to get to sleep...my usual state of being during my "pre-Ambien" age - an era I had nearly forgotten all about, but dreadfully missed: But there I lie - "creating", "cataloguing", "shelving" and "playing" with words and thoughts that I really don't do anymore. Certainly, one can get creative in the daytime, but I really don't believe it's the same as when you are trying to drift off to unconsciousness. There's a higher level which is achieved when you do that without external stimuli vs the daytime state.

Dreams are needed and I have mentioned this before in my blog I'm sure, and I've complained about it to my friends online...I don't dream when I take Ambien. Oh, sure, you can assume I just don't remember as Ambien is a hypnotic drug. But I know when I dream, I get up with a whole other outlook than I do with my Ambien life...or should I really say "half-life"? It does make me feel I'm missing something - and I think I've found that missing link or puzzle piece.

Here is my theory: We go through the day gathering up bits of information and disinformation...certainly our brains have the capability and capacity to keep all this information, what with all those snake-like convolutions in there giving that little space we call "the inside of our head" the best usage of surface area to store, retrieve, and transmit neuronic data. The brain is a wondrous thing...but artifically turning it off at night, the way Ambien seems to do...well, isn't, if you ask me. Something is very amiss, especially over time, when this doesn't routinely happen...and I say it doesn't occur when I take Ambien...at least not to the extent it should.

I was reading a bit of a study the other day online about how they possibly figure insomnia is the cause of depression and not necessarily the other way around, which was typically the accepted theory most people buy into. Now, I can write volumes and volumes about not sleeping as I have been without it for as long as I can remember...since three years of age. Of course, to take advantage of it all...I'd probably write these volumes at night...but I digress. I likely could have been the proverbial poster-child for insomnia, the proverbial poster-teen and now the poster-adult for it...I'm sure if I live long enough, I will be way post my prime...but still remain a prime example of what not getting a good night's sleep can do to someone.

All this automatic shutting off of my brain by outside means might seem like a terrific idea, especially given my history of never sleeping...but I know something inside my head isn't doing what it's supposed to do...and that, in itself, is making me depressed. I wake up groggy...I wake up feeling "not like me"...my brain doesn't "get started" for what seems like hours...I also have difficulty clearly remembering things from previous days/nights...and I just feel "abnormal" in my thought processes. My brain doesn't seem to make those rapid-fire synapse connections...it just feels like it's on permanent vacation...and it certainly doesn't seem to feel refreshed and "up and at 'em". My creativity level takes a while to jump-start and when it does, it seems like it's rehashing the same few items, not delving deep down in my unconsciousness to retrieve those tidbits that haven't been out of the "drawer" for quite some time.

Tonight I noticed it doing that again...I know this seems probably very silly to most people, but I was thinking of bad opening sentences for novels...aka 'The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest'...a very prestigious contest I managed to walk away as the winner of back in 2003...pre-Ambien age, in case you were wondering. But while I was lying there, I ruminated through all sorts of sentences that leisurely flowed into my head like so many cows coming home. I actually had lain there and thought about which ending for the word "Esperanto" would be funniest. Yes, for a Bulwer-Lytton entry...but these ideas have to manifest themselves somewhere and usually it's somewhere deep inside your head, those two hemispheres like some twisty plot line making a connection not only between themselves, but with the reader...even if the reader was just myself.

I liked what I thought tonight lying there just thinking anything that rose to the "lake surface" of that tiny great expanse that is my brain. It gave me hope again...hope that the hazy grey veil in which Ambien seems to encase my creativity with like some medical shroud can still be lifted...and that the grey matter inside my head can still rise to that surface (even if only for a Loch Ness Monster-like instant) and indeed prevail.

03 July 2007

Who let the blogs out?

This, being my 100th blog for the Montgomery Advertiser, I just felt compelled to tie in both blogging and news, as that would be most appropriate on this "momentous" occasion of mine...or so I think...

Okay, I have to shout out what voice I have here to say that I'm pretty annoyed by the fact that when I click on what appears to be "a legitimate news link" I am handed over to some blogger's blog. Who exactly started this trend and, more importantly, how can I be in it?

AOL's main news page is notorious for doing this, I'm not too sure about the other online places such as Yahoo and Google. Then, even IF it takes you to a news story, there's that "Digg This" thingy at the bottom of the page. How exactly DID Digg.com get so darned popular? Did they have a bazillion dollars to start with? Did they hang out at chat rooms for teens and hand out links to their site like candy? Furthermore, how do I get to parlay my little website, which is darned entertaining if you ask me, HumorMeOnline.com, into some mega-giant worth gazillions in no time flat?

Now, when I want to read some guy's blog about how he finds Paris Hilton's or Britney Spears' choice in (or lack of choice in) underwear interesting enough to write about, I'll go do a search on it...I don't want to be segued to it via a link on a news page for something entirely different, say, what the job markets are in various areas. How unemployment figures are remotely tied to Paris' or Britney's undergarments is entirely baffling to me.

Now, I realize that, historically, the stock market would go up and down depending on what women's skirt lengths would be...but Britney's underwear? Let's see...it's going to be a bull market when we see a doctored photo of her nether regions...or perhaps it would more appropriately be a bear market?

So, in the future I predict that all news will be heralded by bloggers with absolutely no idea of what they are talking about...but apparently have tens of thousands of people believing and hanging on their every word. And you can trust me on that...because...well, because I am a blogger.