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".

16 February 2009

Rooms For Improvement

I have no real problem admitting to anyone that it took me...oh...probably a good ten years to find a living room table that 1) I liked, and; 2) I liked that wasn't over $1,000. I ran across the one I will keep for life while shopping at the now defunct Henredon Clearance Outlet in North Carolina. Oh, sure - they have another and another one as well...but not like the previous one. You could walk into the previous one and see rows and rows of extremely expensive furniture marked down to...well, something nearly everyone could afford. Save for a $10,000 sofa marked down to $2,000 that, IF I woulda had $2,000 it would be sitting here right now - directly across from me, never sat in, so I could just stare at it in wondrous awe. It was one of THE prettiest things I've ever seen. You can have your Renoirs and Picassos - I'll take that Henredon sofa I saw in North Carolina.

But, again I digress once more.

Not that the average person spends ten years looking for that one special piece of furniture - most of my things were bought at antique stores or by my mother (at antique stores) which I then commandeered from her (she would always say "I KNEW you were going to want that - that's why I bought it) on my visits home to New Jersey. The fun part of decorating your home is to shop...to seek out and mix and match furniture, artwork, and trinkets. The "'oohs' and 'ahhs', wishing and walking away, or happily walking away clutching that "buy of a lifetime" with a smirk on your face to rival the Mona Lisa's...making everyone who passes by you stop in their tracks and wonder what you just found that they just missed" experience. The whole enchilada: The coming home and placing that vase or bowl on your cabinet you bought three months before and going "SEE! It does look great...didn't I tell ya??" Plus, it's the satisfaction that YOU did it...face it, no one hangs your "masterpieces" on their fridge anymore...but that shouldn't stop you from getting that warm, fuzzy feeling that you did something that pleased someone - ever again.

But someone wants to yank our warm fuzzies right from under us.

I first noticed this gigantic omni-structure in Atlanta...and thought to myself "What is this gigantic omni-structure?? It can't possibly be what I think it is...that would be really stupid."

Well, now one cropped up in my very own town..."Rooms To Go". "Just what IS this thing?" I asked myself and set about finding out. Well, from what I've gathered, it's geared toward people who are just too lazy or unimaginative, or too much in a hurry, to throw together a room themselves. Now, don't get yourself all in a twitter...some people undoubtedly enjoy going into this store, as they have 110 stores scattered in the Southeast and Puerto Rico.

I don't know - I just don't subscribe to this "Garaminals" approach to furniture shopping. I think I would have a hard time if I were uber-rich and some decorator wanted to tell me what I liked...and what belonged with what...and why I shouldn't get what I like and to only get what they liked - because they know me better than I know myself...but I just don't know it.

I just made a quick "turn-my-head" around surveillance of my surroundings, and other than the fact I could use a maid, I really like what I threw together...with no help from anyone but myself. I like my cabinets, I like my mirrors, I like my antique throws, I like the pillows on my sofas which took at least four trips to that Henredon Outlet Store in North Carolina over the course of many years, I like the hodge-podge, "thrown together like I meant it all along" feel that my house conveys...and I REALLY like the fact I have a little memory...a story, if you will, which goes along with each and every piece of "stuff" I have crammed into my house.

And you can't get that from an "All-At-Once" type of store...but don't take it from me...take it from someone some store hired who probably just got fired from "Sonic"...after all, what do I know? I did spend ten years looking for a table, for Pete's sake. ;)

08 February 2009

Dirty Writing

I'm still in wondrous amazement how our little human brain managed to evolve the way it has.

We have tools that can make things to take us to the furthest reaches of our galaxy, yet people can't shake the internal desire to inscribe "WASH ME" on the back of a dirty automobile.

As I sat and watched the man now beside me, who was only a few moments ago behind me in line as I dropped my daughter off at school; my thoughts, like a long ago geared mechanism (I'd like to think of this internal process as my own personal Antikythera mechanism) took hold of my otherwise unthinking brain and catapulted it into warp speed. All occurring because the man who waited behind me was now next to me making a right turn in his much nicer, albeit much dirtier vehicle than mine - had that very same (pardon the pun) 'older than dirt' decry hastily smeared on his back windshield.

Now, granted, most people wouldn't have given this "event" a second glance...perhaps it's not even really worthy of a first - but me, being the self-proclaimed "writer" that I fancy myself - (and have even taken it upon myself to pen in "writer" each time the "occupation" blank in the countless forms I fill out...presents itself) saw this and a chain reaction of sorts...ensued.

It kinda went like this:

Who first scrawled "WASH ME" on a vehicle? How did it manage to catch on - I mean, really - had it been on a car in Slapout, Alabama, chances are it would never have attained the domino effect it once grew to become. So, with that deduced, it must have been somewhere countless people could see it. How about LA? Sorry - unless you count smog as dirt -- plus the people there are way too obsessed with cars. Nope...no car there, unless it was on a movie set, has ever gone long enough without a wash and wax.

Chances are it was someone driving cross-country who ended up in a place with attitude, done by a person who didn't mind getting their finger dirty after doing it. This leaves New York. Chances are also good once they did it, they shouted out "Yo, Vinnie, getta loada dis!" And then proudly flipped him the bird with the very same finger...and proceeded to do the same thing with everyone he knew the rest of the day. So, what originally started off as something silly some guy named Sal did on East 34th Street - caught on.

"But", I thought as waited to negotiated the left out of her school, "Do naughty Amish kids, in their best penmanship, carefully write "WASH THEE" on buggies, snicker and run off behind Brother Jebediah's barn to watch the hilarity ensue?

Maybe this has been part of our culture much, much longer than anyone could ever imagine. Did ancient Mesopotamian children, after that first piece of glass dusted over, take their finger and gleefully, unknowingly, leave their mark in history?

Or did any one [of any] of the Pharoah's dozens of children draw three wavy water lines and a Cartouche on their father's sandy chariot upon his return from an outing in the desert - and then point that same dirty finger at their "lesser" sibling to take the rap?

And then the light changed...