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".

08 December 2014

My Tribute to John Lennon

A sad, sad day in history. John Lennon was murdered.

I remember talking to my mother in the living room when my father came out of his bedroom about midnite and said that John Lennon had died. I told him that I didn't think his joke was at all funny (my father was notorious for thinking his "jokes" to piss my mother off were funny - so I assumed this was one on me) - but he insisted he just saw one of those "We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for this special news bulletin..." things they would run before the dawn of 24-hour news channels on television. I flipped the television on and there was nothing...so that furthered infuriated me that my father would make such a flippant remark regarding the death of someone I "grew up with" and loved. Then I turned to the radio station, WMMR in Philadelphia, as no one in their right rock and roll mind in the vicinity of the broadcasting airwaves of WMMR would listen to anything other than that.

They were playing a Lennon song. I thought to myself, "Well, that's quite coincidental..." but as they did typically play Beatles songs...and songs of them individually, I thought the timing was a bit odd...but, again, in disbelief that he had died, I waited. The next song they played was another Lennon one, but figuring this was, technically, Tuesday...and "MMR" (as we called it) played "Two for Tuesdays" songs, this was again, nothing atypical.

When the next song was his...then it began to have some credence. When they broke after that song, they did indeed state that "Lennon had died of an apparent gunshot wound."

I don't think I will have to describe what anyone with any regard for life was thinking. I was thinking this was not true...that someone couldn't have done this...this is a man who, while sometimes embroiled in controversy, was just a man who sung songs we all enjoyed at one point or another in our lives. Hell, my father, who was born in 1914, and always told us to "turn that damn music down already" had asked me once who was singing a song that I had on...it was "Happy X-mas (War is Over)" by John and Yoko. He said it was "really pretty".

This man, who even made my father say a nice thing about a "hippie with long hair", was now dead -- never to pen another song, sing another note, nor cause another issue for the media to blow out of proportion.


I don't know how many of you have ever seen "A Hard Day's Night" - but, if you haven't, you really should -- it's one of the best films ever made and, in it, you will probably fall in love with the extremely likable persona who was John Lennon. While I used to love Paul back in the day...I grew to like John later in life...and then later still, after his death, I grew to admire and respect George most of all.

But John will always hold a special place in my heart...and that heart broke...along with so many others'...when that bullet broke the silence back on this December day in 1980.



(You have my permission to share this write-up/article. If you like it, please share away.)





06 December 2014

Hollywood Re-do-over and Over and Over...



I'm going to get back in the swing of things and start updating this again.  I think not writing makes me more depressed.  With that said, I belong to a "Classic Film Page" on Facebook, and about a month ago we started playing "a game".  This game was pretty much the same as many of the contests at my humour website, HumorMeOnline - specifically the "Tweak of the Week" contest, where I invented a LOT of contests featuring films.

While I don't have the passwords (long story - go ahead and ask) to update my contests any more, a couple people decided to monopolize the thread on the old film page and "tweaked" a film title and the plot as well -- and then sat back and waited for people to laugh and laugh.  Well, that last part didn't happen too much, but I saved a lot of my movies for purposes such as "Updating My Blog One Day" and that time, anyone who is reading this now,  is now.  I hope you smile at least a little with one or two of these.  Also, it helps if you know OLD films.


"The Wizard of Ozzie" -- Ozzie Osbourne sets off on a journey with a couple roadies to find his brain...but, along the way...the Wicked Witch of the Rest...of Black Sabbath -- tries to foil his plans by making him fall asleep on a field of opium poppies. When he wakes up, Ozzie totally forgets what he was doing (easy to do without a brain) and now is too "paranoid" to continue...muttering incoherently to himself and calling out, "Sharon! Can you ******* believe it.? Poppies!"

Okay, I think you get the gist of it...I will continue...on and on and on...kinda like when I talk.  ;)


The King and A.I. -- Yul Brynner plays the King of Siam who hires a robotic boy to teach his children English. As time passes he begins to care for this child and would like to adopt him as his own. And, as a sign of good faith, decides he, too, will learn the ways of the boy's land...in fact...changing the whole culture of Siam and renaming it (yes, wait for it)..."Westworld".
Mr. Blandings Un-Builds His Dream House -- Cary Grant and Nathan Lane team up for uproarious farce about a couple of guys who have to take apart a glorious house, piece by piece, in rural Connecticut just to rid the place of a pig. Armed with an arsenal of weaponry all along the way they continually try to pummel the poor porcine to death to no avail -- until their sassy maid steps in, hands them each a baseball bat and remarks, "If you ain't going 'wham', you ain't killing ham!


S*it Happened One Night -- Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert are at it again in this sequel to "It Happened One Night" - but, due to them both being on an alcohol bender, neither knows what happened -- all they DO know is that something happened because they both wake up in jail. Going before the judge, the still somewhat drunk and quite profane Gable (probably influenced by Carole Lombard who was known to curse like a sailor) retorts, "Well, judge...s*it happens! In fact s*it happened one night!" Everyone laughs and the judge, who is clearly on the payroll of Ellie's rich father, let's them all go.

Don't forget to stay tuned for the sequel to the sequel, hitting theatres this summer: "S*it Happened One Night Again?"



This might be my personal favourite:



"Snow White and the Se7en Dwarves" -- You thought sloth, greed, gluttony, lust, pride, wrath, and envy where bad? A young and innocent girl comes to learn the ways of seven little men when she enters "The Cottage". Set among a pleasant forest back
drop dwell a group so depraved mere words cannot describe. Led by someone they call "Doc" -- they all whistle a happy tune while scenes too shocking and too disturbing unfold. We WILL NOT be held responsible for what happens after you sit down. Dare you set foot inside your own local theatre this coming Thanksgiving Day? The screams you hear just might be your own.
This film is rated PG Se7enteen.


Or maybe this one is:



"A Bard's Day Night" -- The "Fab Four" are off on another escapade, but this time, the English they're speaking is Shakespeare! Yes, you heard it right, all you mods and rockers -- instead of John asking, "Please mister, can we have our ball back?" and George saying "I wouldn't be seen dead in them. They're dead grotty." they'll be saying such gems as, "What round orb through yonder window breaks? Please, O kind and most noble sir, can we perchance have it back?" and "I'd gladly suffer the sting of a bare bodkin to mine own eyes and pluck them hither to lie with my worm'ed corpse ere I'd touch the skin of that fabric to mine own nakedness!"


So get on board with "The Beatles" as they prove yet again...all the world's their stage and they are merely players...of their new hit album due out in record stores, January 5th!


"Quits a Wonderful Life" -- George Bailey's bank is missing $8000.00 and he figures life would indeed be easier for his family if he just ended it all after the town bully/curmudgeon reminds him that he's "worth more dead than alive." An angel steps in to intervene and ends up tagging along relentlessly all day and nite, constantly droning on and on and on and on. George then realizes the only way to get him to shut up already is to go back to the bridge and actually finish off what he originally planned.



Or maybe I like this one -- I know it's one of my top three:


"My Bare Lady" -- Professor Henry Higgins takes a draggle-tailed guttersnipe under his wing to teach her the proper way to speak the English language. Unfortunately, Colonel Pickering never showed up from India and, without his help, Higgins never seems to have any money to clothe her. Let's just say there was a bit more "bloomin' arse" at Ascot than anyone ever expected.



"Beer Window" -- Jimmy Stewart spends his days and nites stuck in a cast, stuck in his apartment, and stuck drinking copious amounts of alcohol the entire day. To occupy his time he's taken to staring at the every movements of his neighbours across the way with a pair of binoculars. When he happens to witness a murder committed by a beautiful girl, who turns out to be a middle-aged somewhat unattractive man, his girlfriend and physical therapist confiscate his high-power "beer goggles" and toss him out the window.


Not bad for a film I've never seen or really heard of...Google is a wonderful thing...



"Come Back, Little Bieber" -- Burt Lancaster and Shirley Booth star in this poignant story about an alcoholic doctor and his disinterested wife, who spends her days just listening to crappy songs on the radio for escapism. After they take in an attrac
tive female lodger, things get moving fast...but then one day, without her knowledge, Doc gets rid of the radio but tells her it's in the shop getting fixed. She then spends the rest of her life having hope that one day her "Little Bieber" will indeed return to her.


"The Man in the Green Mask" -- What do you get when you put Jim Carrey in dual roles in Alexandre Dumas' classic tale? Well, we're not quite sure...but it's SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSMOKIN'! ! Yes, Jim plays twin brothers separated at birth in this in this tale about intrigue, morality, vengeance, and well, just plain hi-jinks thrown in for laughs. When King Louis XIV finds out about his twin, he has him imprisoned and condemned to wear a green mask over his head so no one can ever gaze upon his face again. But things don't go as the King plans, as the mask he puts on his brother is none other than that of Loki, Norse God of Mischief. Hilarity ensues when the Three Muskateers enter in upon the scene and switch the characters around. A swashbuckling...over in your seat with laughter...film!


"The Sound of Muzak" -- Maria gets "trapped" in the elevator with the kids and is forced to hear her own songs as sung by Austrian "singer" Arnold Worsethanever.


"Paws" -- Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw star in this fast-paced, seat-of-your pants film which will have you terrified you ever went near the water. A giant white cat needs to be bathed and people are getting terrified to go near the water with her in it. Hear the blood-curdling screams as the water fills with red as the claws extend from...those paws! Shaw steps in and takes the challenge head-on, rigging a giant raft on which to hold her steady as they try to aim and shoot water from a hose at her...but the tiny inflatable is no match as she unsheathes them once again -- prompting Brody to state..."You're gonna need a bigger float."



"Goodzilla" -- Tokyo's favourite monster is back...but this time, instead of smashing the city up...he's helping to rebuild it! When a massive 7.8 earthquake hits, Goodzilla comes out of the sea...to see what he can do to help! Yes, he's letting kids ride on his back to take them to school and helping stranded people off their apartment rooftops so they don't end up late to work...in fact he's so good, even the mouths synch up with the words this time! So, for a devastating...ly good time...be sure to watch this film! We're sure Goodzilla would say, "Domo arigato, everyone!"

Yes...I loved playing this...could you tell?


"My Plan Godfrey" -- Society socialite, Carole Lombard, has a plan to wed a likeable forgotten man, played by William Powell in this madcap and zany screwball comedy. Powell, we find out later, was from a super rich family himself and ends up helping to restore the riches from her father whose stock tumbled in the market. Lombard's bitter, spoiled sister, Cornelia (played by Gail Patrick) learns a lesson in humility and trust. In the end Carole ends up with her man, as originally planned.
Yes, this was the exact same story as the real movie -- but then again...that was her plan, right? The titles could have been used interchangeably if you ask me.


"Bell Book and Candelabra" -- Liberace (kinda) stars in this tale about a man who is annoyed at the fact his hated friend is marrying the guy next door...so he casts a spell over him. After tinkling on the ivories a bit and saying a few incantations the man is suddenly under his spell...or is he? Michael Douglas reprises his role as Liberace and Matt Damon plays the love interest...just like in "Behind the Candelabra" only this one is a bit different. No, seriously, it is. No fooling. Honestly. We promise.


"You Can't Take it with Pooh" -- Christopher Robin's gang of friends are being kicked out the "Hundred Acre Wood" because the big real estate people want to put huge stores and fancy apartment buildings up in it. Winnie and pals are delightfully zany in this film as rabbit blows stuff up in his rabbit hutch...and Tigger dances up a mad frenzy in the living room with Piglet -- all the while Christopher (now a grown man) is trying to impress his quite rich fiance's parents who show up on the wrong day. They even send poor Eeyore to the store to buy some canned salmon because there's nothing in the house to eat...Grandfather Pooh sees to that -- he's always got a rumbly in his tummy. By the time Eeyore moseys on back after walking one hundred acres and back again...the damage is already quite done. Will true love conquer all? Will the "Hundred Acre Wood" still remain...or will it end up only being "Owl's Little Acre" in the end?


"Last Mango in Paris" -- Marlon Brando is a very hungry American ex-pat living in Paris -- desperately walking the streets day and nite looking for a mango to eat. When he finally does find one...it's old and very, very fuzzy.


I rather liked this one, too -- altho I might go to Hell for it:



"The Zen Commandments" -- Charlton Heston IS Buddha in this Cecil B. DeMille production. Watch as he leads dynasty after dynasty to enlightenment while trying to be stopped by Yul Brynner at an airport. "He is the one...who is one with everything!" Yul finally declares as he is brought down helplessly to his knees. A film of not really Biblical proportions really...coming to a theatre this Christmas. Um...can we say that? Christmas...really? Buddhists don't celebrate...uh...well...be sure to see it soon!



"Thinner at Eight" -- A stellar cast shines in this glorious comedy all about a wonderful dinner party at affluent Milicent Jordan's house (played by Billie Burke). The trouble is...people are cancelling, they have an extra man coming, and, of all things that could go wrong -- the aspic just got dropped! Jean Harlow is wonderful as the bawdy glamourpuss from the wrong side of track trying to crack into high society with her low-brow workaholic husband, played by Wallace Beery. Marie Dressler is a riot knowing her looks are failing and so is her pocketbook if she doesn't unload some of her dear friend's (played by Lionel Barrymore) worthless stock she possesses. When everything comes to a head...right before dinner...and since that aspic was dropped - everyone gets to go home empty-stomached...but also a little bit lighter in their loafers. (Hey, "gay" used to mean a whole other thing in the 30s, too...so you know...they WERE actually lighter in their loafers - as no one got fed.)


"2001: A Space Oddity" -- David Bowie stars as "Major Tom" in this super stylized version of Kubrick's classic...but with a twist -- it's part musical. HAL's not the only one singing "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true..." this time around. And for those of you who are wondering...no need to worry -- David doesn't get nearly as naked as he did in "The Man Who Fell to Earth".


"Rosemary's Bringing Up Baby" -- Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are newlyweds in this sequel to the original...and she's about to give birth! They, of course, move in next door to some wacky neighbours who seem to be over more often than George likes. (You know how animals are always sensitive to these things.) As Cary finishes up his (now defunct - because they never existed) brontosaurus, Kate's about to give birth...to something that even Major Applegate can't flex his vocal chords enough to reproduce that sound. Hilarity abounds and will have you spinning...almost as often as that darned baby of their's head does!


"Rebel Without a Pause" -- James Dean stars in this motion picture about a teen who is filled with angst against society, his family, and his newly found out about past. He's so enraged that he gets on a rant and goes on and on and on and on; a never-ending diatribe, which...no one around him manages to ever get a word in edgeways.

(Yes, it's kinda like me once I get started. You should hear me on the phone...I NEVER shut up. )



Granted, some of these are not that great...


"Dr. No Thank You" -- Sean Connery stars in this James Bond spy thriller about an overly polite megalomaniac (played by Joseph Wiseman) who just can't breech the rules of etiquette. "I'm sorry...where are my manners? Please sit down and help yourself to this sumptuous meal my chef prepared just for you before I kill you...ever so sorry about that, old chap. Tut tut tut...that's the wrong fork, sir. Yes...no no - the one to your extreme left...remember, always work your way from the outside inwards as each course is brought 'round."


And some are just really not even remotely good...


"Vertiligo" -- James Stewart stars as a retired police detective in this film about obsession, who also happens to have a skin condition which causes him to lose pigmentation. He meets and falls in love with the stunning Kim Novak...but, there's only one problem -- she's not as blonde as he'd like her...so he forces her to de-pigmentize her own lovely brown locks in order to suit his obsessive desires.


"Mommy" -- Ann-Margret does more acting this time around than Roger Daltrey in the "prequel" to the hit musical, "Tommy". Find out the reason behind why there are bubbles, chocolate, and baked beans coming out of the television -- and why she's writhing in them like a drunken nympho. Find out why they cast Jack Nicholson in a film where he had to sing when clearly he can't. And, find out why creepy Uncle Ernie likes to fiddle about so much. (Just, whatever you do, don't Google this yourself -- or you'll end up like Pete Townshend did a few years back.)


Some require a bit more thought than others...



"Ben Hurdles" -- Charlton Heston stars in this all-star epic film set in ancient Rome. He plays a Jewish King sent into slavery by his former Christian friend who betrays him and sells him into slavery. As he seeks to get revenge there is a climactic "Chariots of Fire" moment where he runs as fast as he can, sprinting over hurdles, to beat all the other racers and win the gold medal in the ancient Olympics.

And some require less thought to be good...


"Planet of the Grapes" -- Charlton Heston stars as an astronaut who ends up crashing his rocket ship into the lush vineyards of San Simian. Everywhere he looks there are drunk people wandering around making monkeys of themselves and no one makes the least bit of sense to him. Kim Hunter co-stars as Zima.


Proof positive that not everything I think of at 4:00 a.m. is witty beyond belief -- as I always think it is when I think of it...at 4:00 a.m. -- but, at least I have enough wits about me at the time to realize it...


"Bedsnobs and Broomsticks" -- A witch in WWII Britain comes to the aid of her country all the while caring after two children who still have to remain prim and proper and have high tea and pip-pip cheerio, old chap! Yes, this film is jam packed (the finest money can buy in wartime Britain, you know) with hob-snobbery and snoot-hootieness. Even the animated fish have more class in their schools than they do in the U.S. (Sorry - it's late.)


"Dromio and Juliet" -- A couple of Shakespearean twins (played by Roger Daltrey), separated at birth, woo Juliet at the same time...all unbeknowst to her. One woos from the east and one woos from the west...only no one knows which is best. Juliet is so confused that, by the end of the play, she kills herself - but, in a most farcical kind of way.

Almost done, I promise...


"The Seven Year Snitch" -- Tom Ewell is a married man thinking about having an affair with a gorgeous blonde who lives above him after his wife and son go out of town for the summer. Marilyn Monroe plays the blonde who, oddly and ironically, has no name. Good thing she has no name as she's debating whether to tell his wife about it all...and since she's nameless...the disgruntled Ewell can never track her back down to retaliate.


"Forrest Chump" -- Tom Hanks plays a man who has always been picked on and taken advantage of his entire life. But he's in the Army now...and things really haven't much changed...but, he makes a really good friend, gets a girlfriend, and meets a bunch of famous people -- and ends up being rich in the end. And that, boys and girls, is definitely not chump change.


This is where I officially "Jumped the Shark"...


"House on Daunted Hill" -- Haunts, taunts, and especially daunts...this film has them all! Vincent Price plays a millionaire who offers people a bunch of money to stay in a spooky mansion overnite. The one who manages to do it will get the dough...but a lot of eerie things happen and it's much more daunting a task than they all initially considered.


"Peyton Manning Place" -- The soap opera secrets and scandals revolve around the town quarterback and his brother, Eli, who plays for a whole other team...if you catch my drift.


Altho I do like this one...which, fortunately for everone (at least for now) is my last...



"Slow Up" -- A 60s British photographer gets caught up in intrigue in the mod London scene when he snaps a posh bird in a toast and lark and gets his knickers in a twist over a tuggy muggy over some bangers and mash with his fiver in a twill.

Yes...yo
u'll not have a clue what is happening in this film...so bring along your Cockney Rhyming Slang to American dictionary and hit that pause button about 5,000 times, otherwise this thing just doesn't make a bit of "eighteen pence".



Anyway, there ya go -- I think some of these were quite fun.  At least I had fun coming up with them.  Ahhhh...it made me wax nostalgic...for old films and for an old comedy website I used to (and still do, technically) run.





       

24 July 2014

Famous (Doctor Who-themed) NYC Restaurant

(A photo of a kimchi and spaghetti squash dish I made because I didn't have any restaurant photos...because I never take any with my phone.)


So, like I usually do, I'm sitting here clicking away on stupid crap people shared on Facebook because I'm a pathetic loser and can't seem to muster up the intelligence and wherewithal to write my book I keep saying I will write.

Anyway, I click on this one about a "famous NYC" restaurant trying to figure out why they seat the same amount of people as they did back in 2004...only now it's 2014 and they don't understand why they keep getting bad reviews and people are complaining about how long it takes, blah blah. So they pulled out an old surveillance tape and compared it to a recent one, after hiring some firm to do some research, and they were bowled over by the findings.

Um...first off, if you are seating the same amount of people you were seating in 2004...and it's 2014...and all you do is complain about how much longer it takes as everyone is using their cell phone -- this doesn't add up. If you are getting the same amount of people in your restaurant as you did a decade ago...and you are serving the same amount of people...and you didn't add a whole other room or anything...this doesn't make sense. If you are complaining that you are getting half as many people and it's taking the same amount of time as everyone is pulling out their phones, then that makes sense. You can't do both. If you hired more waitstaff...and you serve the same amount of people...um...walk around the restaurant your own damn self and see what is up.

Secondly, I've gone to restaurants - it takes me forever to shut up and make my mind up. I don't need a phone to make me indecisive...I can do it all on my own. I don't see the problem with me taking 10 minutes to peruse the menu and talk to whomever I am with. If you have a problem with that, I advise you to get a fast-food chain instead.

If people are taking photos of your food (and themselves enjoying eating it) and talking about you on Facebook and Instagram and you have an issue with that -- YOU have the problem. It's called "Free Advertising" and you are complaining? Seriously???

I could add three more things here, but I'll save you all the boredom...the article was written 21 July 2013 and you have 2014 figures? You should have known this ahead of time if you are capable of time travel. If you are capable of time travel - just pick the winning lottery numbers and get out of the restaurant business.

So...I call "bullshit" on this entire story...which can be found here:

Famous NYC restaurant

15 March 2014

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 - My Thoughts

Okay, I know I'm not that technologically advanced and all, but, in this day and age, you'd figure they have ways to implant certain technology (maybe hidden technology) into aircraft and big passenger conveyance-type vehicles...so, if they get lost, or crashed, or hijacked, or abducted by alien beings...we'd have some way of finding them.  At first I was thinking, "Okay...yeah...they 'lost' it...in other words, 'it crashed'.  They don't want to tell people it crashed until they get a visual verification.  They are being conscientious this time...no undue panic and hardship until proof is found.  No jumping the media gun...about time they think before they speak."
 
But...they can't find it at all?  No black/orange boxes chattering away?  No secret implanted code box they had installed without anyone's knowledge due to the 9/11 incidents?  No satellite surveillance enabled 24/7?  Nothing?
 
So, we are left pulling an "Amelia Earhart" on this one?  The technology she left the ground with, in 1937, is relatively the same as we have today?  I don't buy that.  I think someone knows something, only they aren't saying what it is.
 
This has conspiracy written all over it again - and, if you know anything about me...you know I love a good conspiracy theory -- but not at the expense of innocent lives.
 
Could be over one ocean...could be over another...could be over land...hell, we have absolutely no friggen clue.
 
Stolen passports, half-fueled planes, and possible suspicious pilots?  Yep, yep, and yep...it's all here, boys and girls!  Step right up!  Don't you want to know more?  Don't you want to get your money's worth?  Don't you want the suspense to last?
 
It's like they are just playing games with everyone.  Could be "Clue", "Risk", or even the real-world version of "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" -- and we're all sitting here...waiting for someone to play their next move.  Hell, it could even be us!  We can all become detectives from our own sofas. They are calling for people to become "digital volunteers" to pore over satellite images - and to report anything we see which looks like wreckage.  Heaven help the people who field those 20 million emails an hour.
 
And that flip-flopping around with the conflicting reports of finding the plane and then not finding it -- and then finding it again and then...nope...we didn't find it after all...reminds me of the Donovan song, "There is a Mountain", only replace the word "mountain" with "airplane".
 
To me, the verse he ad-libs towards the end there (when no one is joining in) sums it up best of all -- as there is a problem.  There's also a big problem with this whole "missing" plane scenario - and if this isn't a wake-up call to everyone out there, I don't know what is.
 
This isn't "Hide and Seek"...we've all counted to 100 already...it's time we open up our eyes.  It's LIFE, people...and it's not a game.





28 February 2014

Day 28: And then my brain exploded

Well, it is the last day of this month-long blog-fest over at "We Work for Cheese" and I've managed to plunk out all but two days' worth of them...so go on over there and see what we've each accomplished. 
 
Just a little (more like a lot) about myself regarding this month-long thing.  We were all given the same "prompts" - a word or words which we would incorporate somehow or another into our daily blogs.  I know it might seem incomprehensible, but I managed not to peek at the "word-of-the-day" until just before writing each day's blog...which, I would write at about 4:00-7:00 in the morning, mostly whilst watching the Olympics (hence the strong Olympic overtone in many of them).
 
I, like those Olympians, loved the challenge -- I liked to see what I could come up with in roughly 30 minutes to an hour.  Most times I would look at the word(s) and then an idea would spring to mind and I'd start typing...usually it went in a completely different direction than my original thought.  I like that things like that can happen inside my very own head. 

Coming up with that first word is supposedly the hardest, and I've known people to get some serious writer's block doing so. I used to be that way when I was younger, altho from an early age I knew I wanted to be a writer.  I loved short stories and, in my opinion, Ray Bradbury was the best at doing them. 
 
I had an English teacher once, oh, geez...maybe in 5th or 6th grade, whose name escapes me now -- but he gave me the highest compliment you can bestow upon a would-be writer of 12 or 13-years old.  

He asked me: "Where did you copy this from?"
 
Now, that might seem like a silly thing to ask -- considering in this day and age, you'd just pop online and copy/paste some portion of the text and find out if someone copied it.  Back then, it wasn't so easy.  Teachers couldn't know everything...and I certainly could have gotten something out of some obscure book and written it down and turned it in with my name on it.
 
So, when I was asked that question...I replied that I didn't copy it.  The teacher looked at me in utter amazement and asked, "Really?" I'm sure he had his fair share of liars over the years saying they didn't, but, I didn't...and I stood my ground.  He then said to me, and I'll never forget his words (even if I did manage to forget his name):  "Wow, you should be a writer...this is really good."
 
I was happy as a little clam and, in the following years, I would forgo taking study halls and lunches and gleefully filled up my classes with more English classes.  Not those English classes where you have to know what the "past present pluragative of a subjugated non-plussed noun" was, but actual "writing" courses.
 
I was all set to whisk off one of my stories to Omni Magazine...because back then they'd actually solicit submissions -- when the worst possible thing that could happen, happened. 

They published a Ray Bradbury story...and then one from another well-known sci-fi writer -- and then yet another.  My dreams were dashed, they'd never use some silly 15-year-old girl from New Jersey's stuff now...not when they had the likes of this stuff to choose from.  I pushed my pen aside after high school and that was it. 
 
Then, one day, many years later, I was sitting around making small talk to a little kid while his brother and my daughter were at a Science Olympiad (there's that word again) competition. I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, you know, the quintessential question every grown-up asks a kid...and he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn't know.  He seemed a bit embarrassed by the fact that a child of his "advanced" age, which was probably about twelve, had absolutely no clue yet. I remarked about how silly it was to ask children what they wanted to be when they grew up anyway...because pretty much no one really knows what they want to be when they're that young.  I told him that I did, however, know one kid who was always saying he wanted to be a "political speech writer" when he grew up...and we'd kinda look at him and go "Uh, okay, Eddie."  I then continued and said, "You know, when I was little, I wanted to be a writer, too." 
 
Then I went silent.
 
It dawned on me, that my tiny young self...knew what I wanted to do -- but, my grown-up self never did.  And, when everything was all said and done...I still wanted to be a writer.  Why I hadn't realized until then was anyone's guess.
 
It wasn't the greatest revelation; I mean it wasn't like I could tell you, "And then my brain exploded!" -- altho, being that I was at a science competition, it would have been the right place for it...and it probably would have been awesome, you know...for the other people to witness...kinda like one of those volcanoes everyone makes with the lava spurting out on top...but it wasn't even that type of science competition anyway, so it's probably for the best that it never happened.
 
But, it still amuses me sometimes when I sit here and think, because I do think about it a lot...and I will never know what would have happened had I just slipped one of my stories inside an envelope, slapped some stamps on it, and sent it off to Omni.  I'll never know if they would have bit.  It only would have taken one bite, too - and my whole world would have turned out differently.
 
Yep, I'll never know what would have happened, but you could be damned sure if they HAD published one of my stories...you wouldn't be reading this crap right now! 

As for Eddie...you know...that silly kid I told you about who wanted to be a political speech writer when he was like in 6th grade...and 7th...and 8th...and so on?  Well, I think this about sums it up: 

 




As for "writer's block" -- I actually have no problem whatsoever coming up with the first word to start it all...it's the ones after that which are the hardest for me.  I really need to stop talking about being a writer one day -- and be one.

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Thanks again to Nicky at her lovely blog, "We Work for Cheese", for giving me the opportunity all this month to enjoy a little bit of self-publicity, which, if you know me -- you know that I love nothing better. Well, okay, maybe I would love a chance to write a movie script...or a book...or...okay, I'm doing it again, aren't I?  Sorry.  

I managed to sneak in today's prompt, which was "And then my brain exploded" and the two I missed earlier on this month, which were "One bite" and "Liars".  I feel so utterly complete now.  


Lastly, I would like to take the opportunity to say to Ed Gillespie (who probably doesn't remember me at all): "Good luck with your Senate bid. I hope I didn't embarrass you too much by mentioning your name here. I know everyone (myself included) from your home town of Browns Mills, New Jersey, are so incredibly proud of you.  Here's wishing you only the best to you and your family...and, if you ever need a political joke writer...well, I'm here."