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".

25 January 2009

Double Clicks/Double Cringes

So I'm sitting here watching "Ninotchka" on TCM just now - and I decide to peruse the bottom of the "news bar" on AOL. They have a few miscellaneous attention grabber clickables with a caption and photo...all designed to whet your appetite enough for you to bite. So I decided to bite - I clicked on one from WalletPop.com entitled "2009 Comebacks" - which tout 25 trends destined to make a comeback in 2009.

Now I don't know about you - but I sometimes get suckered into double clicking links that take me to these pseudo-web gurus which claim to...or at least purport to know certain things. Who the heck dubbed these people the authoritative oracles of whatever knowledge they perceive themselves to possess?

For example, in this "article" and I say "article" whilst I cringe and roll my eyes at the same time...they randomly (because there's no way it isn't) toss out 25 things which they see as reclaiming their heyday gloryness of days gone by. From Spam to the Camaro to Amway and camping...these people must have been leafing through a magazine or channel surfing at 3:00 in the morning and decided to add anything that struck their fancy to this list. The potato??? Sorry...but I never did get the "don't eat potatoes" memo that these guys undoubtedly did. (Yes, I am indeed cringing and rolling my eyes yet again.) Why a list like this was compiled is beyond me...but what was sticking in my craw even more so than why a list like this existed was the fact that I was duped into clicking it to start with.

Shame...shame on me. I know better than to do this. Whenever I click on anything AOL - I always get segued over to some inane site or blog from someone with about as much genius as my cat...only my cat is usually more entertaining.

Anyway...I shall now counter with a list of 13 of my own things (I'll spare you reading a full 25) that will be making a comeback in the near future...and all garnered from a quick walk around my house. Think of it as an "I Spy With My Third Little Eye" game. I'm about as enlightened as they were when I came up with it, after all.

1. Perfume with those little atomizer doohickeys: Yes, due to the retro-resurgence and a perfumed air of all things scentimental...plus a bunch of Jean Harlow films that have hit the airwaves lately on TCM...these things will find their way back into boudoirs all over the country. It will be marketed as a "green product" as the bottle can be refilled. The only catch is that you have to buy their bottle first to pour it INTO your bottle that you bought from them initially - but clever marketing ploys will conveniently leave out that detail.

2. Schoolhouse Rock: It's about time they bring it back - for no other reason than for a whole other generation to witness what trippy LSD-induced animation and catchy tunes can do to boost kids' IQ and memorization skills.

3. Bakeries that actually make bread that tastes like bread should: Okay...maybe this is wishful thinking...but Montgomery especially, needs one of these.

4. Dialogue in film instead of CGI effects and explosions: Again...wishful thinking on my part. Sorry.

5. People using the phrase "good morrow": It's ridiculous I know...but less ridiculous than the resurgence of the potato in the aforementioned "article" I read.

6. Mimeograph machines: Something has to inspire those trippy LSD-inspired cartoonists to draw those new Schoolhouse Rock animations...sniffing the mimeograph paper's ink ought to do it.

7. People actually telling jokes to one another: People used to do this - now they have the Internet to do it...jokes need to be told again. People once upon a time actually told jokes and talked to each other. I know it seems silly now, but they actually did and it was fun.

8. Unscented candles: Just regular candles - no bayberry, no cinnamon spice, no sea breeze, no cotton (like cotton really smells like anything anyway...trust me, this scent actually exists)...just plain candles...used for ambiance and lighting purposes only.

9. Telephone Exchange Names: Like in those old films you used to watch...when people would ask someone for their phone number they would say "MUrray 5-9180". This will at least catch people off guard - but they will think you are swanky and cosmopolitan...they will then go home and promptly Google "swanky" and "cosmopolitan".

10. Knickers: Not the British underwear version - the baggy pants that gather right below the knee. Sure, they are ugly as anything...but it's about time they come back into fashion to remind us just how ugly they truly are.

11. Shampoo that, once again, doesn't tell you to "rinse, lather and repeat": Some company will make the command decision that we aren't really as stupid as all that...and also by leaving off 21 letters they would help save the environment by releasing less production fumes into the atmosphere by using less ink on their packaging. Also, they end up saving their company $4.7 million per year in ink cost alone. Just think how much they could save if they didn't add methoxydibenzoylmethan to it.

12. Chest hair: Men will realize that women used to like hairy chests and that we really aren't that attracted to men who look eerily similar to a Ken doll.

13. Absinthe: Only because I want to taste it...and...it will probably help me forget what I just double clicked on.

And please don't remind me that by adding their link, above, I ended up promoting them in a roundabout way. I know. Sigh...I know...

02 January 2009

The Time Is NYE

Well, my "New Year" has come and gone. And it has with about as much fanfare as all my previous ones. Oh, I know I've said it before (I've been doing these blogs for ages here now - so I have a backlog of archives and a backlog of laments, joyousness, and just plain "the way I see it" insights of the 'common man' who just happens to be a woman) but I wish one day to actually GO OUT to celebrate the new year being rung in.

I don't have to go to Times Square - I prefer a place with a bathroom anyway. I don't have to be wined and dined on some ocean cruise or being flown to Australia to herald in the first new year. I would just like, once, to be able to go to a place where they hand you chintzy hats and noisemakers which make kazoos seem wondrous in comparison. I just want to celebrate.

I was online "celebrating" this time around. I had friends call me - I called friends - I liked the fact that people actually took time out of their lives to talk to me at (and around) the stroke of midnite. I had my champagne in my oh-so-special Riedel champagne flute - with its steady stream of bubbles percolating from the bottom because that's what the Riedel people get the big bucks for...for convincing me that bubbles coming up from an etched "X" at the bottom of my glass is more special than "the others" - which don't sport this X-factor bubble phenomenon. Heh...they were free at a Riedel wine-tasting and most people left without claiming their champagne glasses...and me, due to my having absolutely no problem swiping glasses off tables which people left behind...got quite a nice set of these.

But I digress yet again - no - no resolutions to stop digressing. I like to digress.

Did anyone else notice how incredibly banal the NYE television shows are now? I have no idea who half these people are who host them - but I know I can do at least twice as good as they do - and at one-third the pay. There's some mathematical formula in there I'm sure - but, regardless - you don't need to know what X is - to know the shows were worse than ever. And there were more product placements in the Times Square celebration than lights in that NYE ball which I totally missed. My cable decided to give me the multi-coloured test pattern stripes a couple minutes before the Waterford crystal ball, which still reminds me of my sagging bustline, dropped. I have no idea why it did that...but it did - that's right up there with that "Emergency Broadcasting Test Signal Interruption" bit which always seems to occur around 2:00 a.m. when I'm watching some classic film on TCM. I seriously doubt it ever happens during product placement spots when "General Hospital" or "The Price Is Right" is on...but at 2:00 a.m. (somewhere between the advent of the Hays Act and those product placement paydays) it never fails to rear its ugly head. I just wish it would have shown up earlier during that New Year's Eve show with Carson Daly and the brain-dead chick whose name escapes me for just that reason.

Anyway, at least the Sci-Fi channel had the good sense to show a Twilight Zone marathon which is still going on as I write this. Show after show of imaginative creativity with absolutely no product placement whatsoever (yeah, one more reference to it won't hurt)...how did they ever manage to churn this stuff out episode after episode, year after year...while in the here and now, ringing in 2009, NBC felt compelled to air a plethora of less than mediocre fare - attempting to pawn it off as entertainment. Yes, indeedy...someone sure dropped a whole other ball on that one.

Perhaps next year I'll actually be OFF this sofa celebrating and being able to write a whole blog devoted entirely to the ridiculousness of spending X amount of dollars only to get a plastic glass of cheap champagne, a lopsided hat and some slowly deflating balloons to take home to the kids.

So I'll raise my glass and tip my imaginary lopsided hat to 2009...here's hoping we all have a little less to complain about and a little more to celebrate in the coming year. Or, at the very least - more trivial things to complain about and more momentous things to celebrate.