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".

31 March 2008

New Blogger Links

Well, the people at the Montgomery Advertiser are refurbishing their website and, unfortunately, these blogs do not automatically carry over. The new link for the blogs to come is here...

...or here - if you want to just read my own blog: Blogged Down at the Moment

I believe they are in the "beta" mode - so hopefully they will look more "eye-catchy" later on.

Anyway, that's where my new posts will be going if you want to continue reading them.

Thank you -


30 March 2008

No news...

...is not necessarily good news. Been waiting for some word on this, but no one has said anything, and I'm not the only one who is baffled as to why.

Now that I've hopefully raised your curiosity factor...my blogumn will follow tomorrow.

Oh...and it will be about good and bad news. Stay tuned.

21 March 2008

Reading isn't always fundamental...

"Read the book!" "But did you read the book?" "I've read the book and..."

These are just a few of the comments I'll find when perusing the comments on the Internet Movie Database's (IMDb) forum whenever I go there...which happens a lot. My routine is pretty straightforward and simple: 1) Start to play movie; 2) Open up the IMDb to read who is playing which role; 3) Rejoice because I knew who the guy who says three words of dialogue was indeed in that episode of "Frasier" (or any other minute bit part) - gotta love IMDb; 4) As credits roll...look up trivia, goofs and comments for the film. I don't deviate from the routine...that's what a routine is there for...and in this case, deviating would be...well, devastating.

There is a thing out there in filmland known as "the spoiler"...and if you are no stranger to film-talk, you know exactly what I'm talking about...if you don't have a clue, read on...and if you do, read on as well. Sure, you will see many variations: "Spoiler alert" "Here be spoilers" "Warning: Spoilers"...but they essentially all mean the same: "Don't read any further if you haven't seen the film because we are about to give away an integral part of the film. Don't say we didn't warn you."

Most people are cautionary when you delve into the forays of filmdom...some aren't, for whatever reason they prattle off some little detail, oh, say...like the ending of the film and before you know it...you know the end of the film. I don't know about you, but I like to have my ending at the end where it belongs and not told to me by some guy who doesn't realize the courtesy of the spoiler...or who just wants to ruin it for everyone on purpose. Consequently, that's why I don't read any of the comments made by people until AFTER the film has ended...which brings me to my initial thought...

WHY do so many people insist on telling people that they should have "read the book"? "Oh, you'd understand why he did that if you woulda read the book"..."They made it clear why he did that IN THE BOOK"..."Well, did you read the book...because I read the book and they did it differently in the movie...I think it was better in the book because..."

If I wanted to read the book...I wouldn't have WATCHED THE DARN FILM! (This blog is for the Montgomery Advertiser's newspaper, so I am keeping content "clean"...otherwise I would have said "damn".)

And it seems to me that the people who even read the book aren't even 'on the same page', so to speak.

Let me elucidate a little...

I recently watched "No Country For Old Men"...and true to my own "rules"...I didn't read anything on the forum/trivia/goofs part of the IMDb...because of my reasons mentioned above. But after the film, (which, I won't give anything away here if you haven't seen it) I wanted to see if anyone had similar thoughts...like mine...so I went over to the comments portion.

Now, granted, there are intelligent, middle-of-the-road, and stupid people out there on the film forum as there are anywhere in society. Being in any one of these groups doesn't necessarily curtail anyone from speaking their mind...even when they fall into the third category and there is very little of it doing the talking. Be that here nor there...I welcome reading opinions across the board...I am not certain where I fit in - in my "tri-angle" of types I mentioned...I'd like to think I would fit in the upper-middle part, but I'm not very sure when I start reading comments. Sometimes I think I'm in the fourth realm I didn't mention..."total genius". Other times I am in the fifth: "total bumpkin".

For this film I felt kinda like a moth who had been spat back out of a cat's mouth, lost its wing dust, and was just spiralling blindly toward any light...but smacking into everything else in its path instead. I think I wasn't so much "going toward THE light" on this movie, because I clearly was NOT being illuminated by anything anyone said there.

People analyzed and sub-analyzed and even tho they all professed to reading the same exact book and hearing the same comments out of the Coen brothers' mouths...they all saw things differently. I couldn't help but think of that story of the blind men and the elephant...one feels the tail and thinks it is a rope, another feels the trunk and thinks it's a tree branch, etc. Each one "sees' the movie and interprets it differently...but no one is more right that the other. Only here...no one wants to admit they possibly could be wrong...or didn't see the "whole part".

What I did get was a whole lot of conjecture about a film that no one could see eye-to-eye on, altho the majority of the ones disagreeing with the others all claimed to have read the book. No one was on that "same page". "The nuances were lost"..."no they were there"..."no, they weren't there"..."they were in the book!" "I read the book"..."I read the book, too"..."I read the book better than you"..."I saw the film more clearly." "I talked to a guy who knew Joel Coen's barber's sister's friend...whose brother's cousin dated in him in high school...so I know better than you!" "Well, yeah...and uh...I read the book...TWICE...so there!"

It was pointless.

All I could deduce from the whole thing is that I didn't think Javier Bardem's character was creepy...but then again I never thought Anthony Hopkins in "Silence of the Lambs" was "all that" either. For all out demented creepazoid I still think Dennis Hopper in "Blue Velvet" had them all beat...but then again, come to think of it, I never did read any comments about THAT film. Nor did I read the book...was there even a book? But...I have heard the song from Bobby Vinton...so let me tell you what I think David Lynch REALLY meant by that whole "ear" thing...


20 March 2008

Blogumn to Come

I plan to get another blogumn up tomorrow...I have an idea and it's getting too late to think correctly enough under Ambien influence to arrange the words in the correct order...let alone put the letters in the right order so they will indeed resemble words.

Hopefully those words which are floating around in my head tonite will manifest themselves in an entertaining order tomorrow...and I can once again feel the sense of a very slight accomplishment, as it were, in comparison to the much greater deeds many people perform in much more timely fashions than I.

11 March 2008


Just shoot me now - they came out with "Electronic Banking Monopoly".

Yes...I guess the antiquated method of actually having your kids COUNT out money by 1s, 5s, 10s, etc., has gone the way of the dinosaur and home-cooked meals. Okay, okay, I know people DO cook dinner - but I did read a statistic, by the people who do statistics, which said the "average" family gets food elsewhere (rather than making it at home) three days a week. I also know that some people actually use real money once in a while...because I do.

So, I'm sitting here watching Alton Brown's "Good Eats" show on the Food Network (yes, notice the deliberate tie-in above)...and they show this commercial with this irritating little girl who rattles off some incomprehensible dialogue before I can understand her boasting that she does "everything totally fast" - even playing, and winning (the arrogant little twit)...Monopoly. Um...take my word for it sweetie, I've played Monopoly in my youth...'fast' is not an adjective I'd use to describe it. Anyway...thanks to the miracle that is TiVo (yes, I'm being overtly hypocritical in a way here) - I call my son out to witness this heinous "don't fix it if it ain't broken" abomination for himself, who then proceeds to proclaim, "Uh...wasn't that the POINT of Monopoly...counting up your money?"

Apparently the powers that used to be 'Milton Bradley' (MB)...decided to kowtow to the text messaging crowd and make an electronic banker board version of Monopoly complete with a credit/debit card swiper. I have some news for them: If your child is texting away on their cellphone chances are they AREN'T going to play a board game...no matter how many whistles and bells you throw on it. You'd figure they would have hired someone for some outrageous amount of electronic cash to do a study on this before they plunked down some more plastic-transacted money to churn out these games.

I can hear the kids at Christmas now..."Wow...an electronic Monopoly game! Who wants to be the banker?" "Whaddya mean there IS no banker?" Granted, maybe there IS a banker...but what's the point? And just how are you supposed to steal your friend's money when they go off to the bathroom or slip yourself $500 when you ARE the banker...now? What's the point of playing when you are a kid with real fake money if there IS no money?

So much for my unborn grandchildren's dream of finding a game of Monopoly in the attic of the house they just moved into with actual real money in it so I can live off of them until I die. Well, here's to 'MB' making the "pull the plug on Grandma" version of 'Life' to put me out of my misery.

06 March 2008

"Pavlov's" Cats

Here's a totally hypothetical situation: You have a cat...everything is well and fine until you make the mistake one day of buying him a nifty little packaged container, which holds about as much as a half bottle of Coke...only what's inside is virtually "kitty cocaine"...the dubiously infamous "cat treat". Now, cat treats are in a league all their own...they come in little magically shaped containers, usually with a little lid on them of some sort and with strict instructions on the package to not feed your kitty more than five to seven of these a day. Honestly, they look like glorified cat food to me...but I'm just a lay person...what do I know of cat treats and cat treat production. Some tout on their packaging they take care of dental decay...others mention tartar control, some are organic, some are eco-friendly, some stimulate the finicky eater, and yes, some seem to nearly stop short of saying they make kitty's breath "kissible fresh". But - they all have one thing in common. A package of these things, which is typically 3-4 oz, will set you back about $2-4 on average. Well, that's a fair bunch of change to chunk down when you realize a bag of cat food on that scale would end up costing (on the average) $48 for a 3 lb bag. When you put it into those terms...it starts all making astronomical sense. Treats are big business.

I have mentioned it before that I have lots of cats...yes, we do...lots. And our cats, not unlike anyone else's cat, love those treats. Just shake that container and they come from the east, west, north and south...they literally crawl out of the woodwork to jockey for cat treat position.

They also each have their own ways of eating these things. One of our cats, Todd, will use the self-serve approach...he will stick his paw into the container and literally help himself. The others are much more demure...they wait until you shake them out to get them. A couple will take them from your hand...most would rather you put them down first so they can retrieve them themselves. One in particular, Barbie, picks them up and swallows them whole. I wonder how much dental cleaning consuming them that way can be taken care of...probably not much.

So, that got me wondering...hmmmm...what would happen if I just kept the nifty plastic treat container replete with lid after it was empty and just toss in common everyday "ho hum...THAT again" cat food in it instead. Yes, ladies and gentlemen...I have, in essence, replaced my kitties' "Folgers Crystals" with plain old ordinary "coffee"...let's see if they notice the difference. Absolutely...let me clear my throat here....a resounding absolutely NOT. My cats scamper around for plain old ordinary "turn my nose up at it otherwise" dry bits of same old, same old, boring cat food as if they have all somehow mutated and were now French pigs rooting for truffles. The only scientific conclusion to all of this: Packaging, packaging, packaging!

It doesn't matter what you put INTO the empty cat container once your cat has been acclimated to having cat treats pouring out from that "canister of happiness"...just seeing the cat canister has them salivating like Pavlov's dogs - and had Pavlov the sense to use cats instead of dogs the booming cat treat industry might never got its paws off the ground. But it has and in a big way. It's not just the isolated treat dotted around here and there, there are large sections of shelves devoted to stocking these yummies...and yes, we still go in once in a great while, when they are on sale...and plunk down a smaller fortune to buy a really good one. A really good container that is...because we will be reusing it for quite some time. Not that cats aren't smart...they know full well the same food from the cat bowl is inside of it...but they also know that you've never made such a fuss and hand-fed them bowl food before...and they are going to surely take advantage of this situation. They are probably laughing hysterically at you when you leave the room..."Can you believe she ACTUALLY pulled them out, one by one, and handed them to us??? What a moron our owner is...look, she's coming back...let's see if we can make her do it again, this is hilarious..."

Luckily the cats and I have this symbiotic relationship with the cat treat container...I would hate for any of us to look the fool...but I am absolutely sure, since I'm the one chucking out money for their food...regardless what container(s) I transfer them into...the cats do rather have the upper paw. Oh well...c'est la vie des chats!