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".

26 March 2009

Earth Hour '09

Well, I was going to do a blogumn about all my ills and my doctor visits and whatnot and bore you all to tears...and then a friend of mine wrote me suggesting I write something totally "off the wall" and unexpected. Keep in mind, I have this handy-dandy notebook (geez - I miss that Steve guy from "Blue's Clues") which I drag along to place with me to look remotely like Johnny Depp did in that "Finding Neverland" movie where he played Peter Pan's creator, James Barrie. But, I will never look that good no matter how hard I try...but yet again...here I go digressing.

So, while I mulled over which "doctor piece" I should ram down your throats...I could nearly hear the collective sighs of "Poor, poor Mariann...just shut up and get a life already..." - but hey, at least I didn't blame Obama for my health...and I decided I would write something else. Now, this decision of mine was a few days ago...and here I still sat debating if I really should write up what I wrote or write about my new cat toy. My new cat toy IS phenomenal - by the way. And while I sat, with the distant sound of thunder off in the distance and thirty minutes to kill before "The Grapes of Wrath" comes on at 5:00 a.m., I made a switch to "The Weather Channel" to take up that interim space.

And what inspired me to get my little fingers in gear? What could possibly be so interesting (besides looking at Jim Cantore) on "The Weather Channel" to get me to toss all my other ideas off on the sofa next to me? Well, to paraphrase Alfred Doolittle (of Shaw's "Pygmalion" and "My Fair Lady" fame)..."I'm willing to tell you. I'm wanting to tell you. I'm waiting to tell you."

A little public service announcement of sorts - of theirs...came on - all about "Earth Hour '09". I vaguely remember seeing some online headlines about this and a couple emails which I failed to open, so when I heard this, I stopped perusing things on the computer and looked up.

Now I don't have a fancy degree in television broadcasting, no formal journalism training other than two years in high school and ghost writing for the Times Advertiser and The Burlington County Times a couple times when my Journalism teacher, Mr. Bauer...who also worked at the local paper, tossed a few stories my way to do up for them. Unfortunately, come to think of it, I don't have any degrees...but apparently I DO have something THEY, over at their fancy schmancy Atlanta headquarters, don't: The ability to spot stupidity when I see it. Oh...not to demean your intelligence...but let's see if you can figure this out, too. It pretty much went like this (TiVo is great for purposes such as these)...

The spot starts out by featuring a few places which have turned off their power in the past with a voiceover stating X amount of people participated during Australia's outage in 2007 and so forth...which then segues into their talking about turning off our power for one hour, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, the 28th of March...to help fight global warming. Okay, nice thoughts and isn't that lovely and all, right?

Then they add "Tune in to 'The Weather Channel' for 'Earth Hour '09'"...and at the bottom of the screen, the words: "Join us. Turn out. Take action".

Now, again, I reiterate, I am no great genius, I don't even purport to be that darned astute - heck, I can only do two sides of a Rubik's Cube...but I CAN tell you that if you have no power on between the hours of 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. - you certainly aren't going to be able to WATCH "The Weather Channel's" broadcast regarding it. And to take it one step further, isn't it a bit of a hypocritical stance to BE broadcasting about NOT having your power on...when you are telling everyone to turn it off??

So...I did what anyone in my predicament would do. I wrote an email to them. Oh, I've written to "The Weather Channel" before once - long time ago. They had a link to a dating site on their home page - they wrote me back saying "Oops...I guess a disgruntled web monkey put that there as we sure didn't approve it...thank you so much for bringing it to our attention and NO, you can't have an autographed photo of Jim Cantore...stop asking already!" Well, okay...they didn't add that last bit...but to be fair, I didn't ask for one.

The only problem I had was that I was restricted to using only 500 characters/spaces...and, if you know me...brevity isn't my strong point. And yep, you guessed it...I used them ALL. This is what I sent:

I am watching your broadcast and an announcement comes on regarding "Earth Hour '09", relaying information about when it is and what it is and how I can be part of the "one billion people who will switch off their power for one hour".

Then it goes on to add "Tune in to 'The Weather Channel' for 'Earth Hour '09'". Then at the bottom of the screen: "Join us. Turn out. Take action."

Please tell me how I am to turn off MY power and still watch YOUR broadcast of the event if WE are all off?

I'll keep you informed of what they write back...if they write back. Hey, it's either that or a long-winded blog about some doctor's office visit. You decide. :)


  1. Ah, the irony. I like the "My Fair Lady" reference, by the way. Nice touch.

    My bigger concern is your choice of television programming. The Weather Channel? I have a weather resource too, but it's called "living room window."

    I'm just busting your chops. Nice work as always, Mariann.

  2. Hey..."The Weather Channel" is fun. And did I mention it has Jim Cantore back on it? He was gone for a while - no clue why - but he's back now...with his same sarcasm and "TWC" is nearly back to the same level it had achieved years ago.

    I don't know if you ever caught those commercials they would do for "TWC" or not - they were really, really funny. Someone there has a sense of humour - or at least they used to - haven't seen one of their commercials for years.

    And looking out my window would require me to actually get up off my sofa. ;)