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 February 2010

A Different Type of Olympics

On the way home today I jokingly said to my daughter, "Well, you and Apolo Ohno have something in common." She replied, "What?" and I said, "Well, you both really screwed up in the Olympics."

It's no secret I adore Ohno...and, altho he did touch the one guy...eh, maybe a gentle nudge...but the Canadian guy did the same and he medalled - Apolo should have as well. Or, at the very least, they both should have been disqualified.

But I digress.

Today (Saturday) my daughter also was in an Olympiad competition: the Alabama Science Olympiad. If you don't know what that is, no problem...I'll enlighten you.

Kids from various schools study their butts off to take tests and build contraptions on their "off time" and trudge on up to venues in the wee hours of the morning; this time at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and compete for gold, silver and bronze...and the added glory of having their school place 1st, 2nd or 3rd overall.

All in all, it's an epic event and any child who participates, regardless of whether they win a medal or not...should be very, very proud indeed.

Oh, did I mention that their teachers expend countless hours of their own time and so do coaches? And parents quizzing their kids and helping their kids in between homework and regular tests and quizzes? Well, that, too.

The determination and the stamina of these kids really should be applauded. I went to the sprawling campus and watched as children (mostly of the high school variety) ran clear across campus in order to make it to the next event. Cell phones were employed to shuttle alternates to buildings which housed competitions which shut their doors to competitors who showed up after the designated hour. Scurrying around to get the proper paperwork (you can't get in to participate without your form) from students who were still shut in - in a prior event...because it was running late...knowing they were, in essence, forfeiting their own chance of medalling...all in the aspiration of teamwork and the overall good of their school.

No one wants to go home empty-handed...but everyone can't win. Even with 20-plus events, and three medals each...there's many more participants than places on the podium.

And I have to think back to the "real" Olympics. There are literally dozens upon dozens...I have no clue how many...countries which participate...and most walk away...empty-handed; but that doesn't stop them. I don't think I've seen anyone from Syria ever win anything (not saying they haven't)...or Vietnam...or Portugal. The top medal count always seems to have USA and Russia in it...but then again, they send like 200 athletes each - poor little Trinidad & Tobago probably have three.

Just like at the competition today...some schools had dozens and some had a couple...but that didn't deter their spirit. The cheers were just as loud...the glory just as great...and the defeat just as heart-breaking - and the perseverance just as prevalent.

And, no, in case you were wondering...my daughter didn't medal in her two events (she has, in the past, walked away with at least one in all the previous years she'd competed) - but I'm just as proud of her.

Sure, I would have been beaming from ear-to-ear had she whooped Montgomery's LAMP School Team 1 and Team 2 (geez...those kids were awesome...seriously awesome) - but, you know what...she shone, in my eyes, just as bright as any gold medal would have.

All the students did.

Apolo's got nothing on these kids. Ohno...yep...I said it. ;)


  1. I am very proud of her!! YAY Congrats to all the kids that participated and even tho she didn't come home with a medal, I applaud her and give her a gold medal for being there!

  2. Woooo! Way to Go, Girlie! We are all so proud of you!

    Your Ants ;)

  3. Thank you Nanners and Kitty. :)

    All those kids deserved a medal of some kind...and these are the types of stories we SHOULD be reading about kids instead of the ones where they shoot someone or do something bad.

    All too often the only types of things they report about young kids...is what they did wrong. It's about time they start reporting about what they did RIGHT!

  4. "It's about time they start reporting about what they did RIGHT!"...like chide their mother into judging and posting results for some contests at a warmly-famous humor website that hasn't been updated since Jan.24.

    Yep, I said it.

  5. Like most things in education, the process is infinitely more important than the end result. Great job!

    And for the record, I think contact should not only be permitted in speed skating, it should be encouraged.

  6. I'm with you. A little more like roller derby...that would be fun.

    And I'm all for steriods in the Olympics. I want to see super human feats of strength...I want to see them smash those previous records, I want to see the arms rip off when they weight lift 1823 lbs.

    Yeah...that would be awesome.

  7. Sadly, nobody seems to care about the brainiac Olympics as much as they do about the sporting Olympics. And yet brainiacs are much more important to our society in the long run. Why is that, anyway?

    Congratulations to your daughter and to you. I know how much work it takes to compete in anything.