Sunday, December 4, 2011
Tighten up those pubococcygeus muscles, here we go again. Two phrases you will have nightmares about before the next election “Make no mistake” and let’s “Come together” to do something or other. Every time I hear “Come together”(common political rhetoric) it reminds me of an audience of taxpayers sitting there smiling and doing kegel exercises because that’s the only way they are all going to smile and say “YES!” together.
Obama is trying to raise $1 billion for his political campaign. I have to ask myself, why? After all, he keeps telling us to be frugal. Doesn’t he realize that a campaign plan for only $1 million would get him more votes than a $1 billion spending spree?
When you are already at the summit, Mr. President, why do you need to buy more mountain climbing equipment?
You could start with a fireside chat on YouTube announcing that since you are already the incumbent President, you don't really have to spend $1 billion for political exposure. We know you're there, we know you want it - now spare us the $999 million.
The only competition from the Republicans will be Newt and I just can't see the justification in spending a billion dollars to keep a salamander out of the White House.
The way I see it, Mr. President, bi-weekly fireside chats with status updates on all the work that has actually been accomplished on Capitol Hill is what’s needed. You know, a nice warm fire; you; Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog; and a Sony Bloggie to record the cozy conversation on YouTube. Some weeks you can give us the “Slug Report” on Congress, other weeks actual progress.
This is the “change” we have been waiting for - a frugal political campaign.
$1 billion dollars, Mr. President? Have you ever considered therapy for your compulsive spending addiction?
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I was looking for something to read the other day and the following summary of "The Bridges of Madison County" appeared on a film-oriented web site. However, if you are a laid-off, career-oriented, "A" personality like myself, I would not recommend that you read the book:
"The path of Francesca Johnson's future seems destined when an unexpected fork in the road causes her to question everything she had come to expect from life.
While her husband and children are away at the Illinois state fair in the Summer of 1965, Robert Kincaid happens upon the Johnson farm and asks Francesca for directions to Rosamunde Bridge. He explains that he is on assignment from National Geographic magazine to photograph the bridges of Madison County. She agrees to show him to the bridges and thus begins the bittersweet and all-too-brief romance of her life.
Through the pain of separation from her secret love and the stark isolation she feels as the details of her life consume her, she writes down the story of this four-day love affair in a 3-volume diary. The diary is found by her children among her possessions and alongside Robert Kincaid's possessions after Francesca is dead.
The message they take from the diaries is one of hope that they will do what is necessary to find happiness in their lives -- whatever is necessary. After learning that Robert Kincaid's cremated remains were scattered off Rosamunde Bridge and that their mother requested a similar disposition for her own ashes, the children must decide whether to honor their mother's final wishes or bury her alongside their father as the family had planned.
Adapted from the novel by Robert Waller, this is the story of love that happens just once in a lifetime -- if you're lucky."
Why not read it, you ask?
I hate to tell you, but this story reminds me of a silent film Concertino for Violin. If you are an A-type working mom or dad, you will never figure out how a four-day fling can turn into a life-long tear jerker.
If you want to read about boredom, imagine yourself as a stay-at-home mom or dad of several children living in a place like Madison County. After about one week of unemployment, while the kids are in school, you will put on your kid's Y-Gen jeans, just for the hell of it, to see what your butt crack looks like in broad daylight; put the baseball cap on backwards; hang a Dora doll with a slip-knot off the banister before running the vacuum cleaner; then, you will get out the baseball bat and beat the crap out of a cabbage patch doll, which will someday cost you a VAT Tax at Toys ‘R US.
If you are a sheer genius, you will understand that any strange guy in a pickup truck, like the one in Madison County, who rings your door bell to ask for directions is probably also in the sex offender database and has been casing your property for the last three months; plus isn't "Rosamunde" something Houdini was supposed to say if he ever came back from the dead? Obviously, this guy is going to eat and run, and steal a six-pack, so you would never even let him in the house.
Another thing to watch out for are encyclopedia salesmen, telephone solicitors, and motivational speakers, who try to suck you into MLM plans. Somehow, these people get your e-mail address from the unemployment office and do a great job trying to get your $29.95 to "cold call" on your friends and family. You end up not only being unemployed, but your whole family hates you and your friends think you are just another Ponzi schemer.
So, what should you do with your spare time?
Turn your basement into a microbrewery. This way, you can enjoy what you do and sell a good product to your friends and family. You can also make your new business eco-friendly, by having your customers come over with a refillable jug, reusable bottle, or other reusable container to transport the beer - just like the old days after prohibition and before the stock market crash.
You can also go into the kids' computer room and give the Numa Numa Guy a run for his money on YouTube; write jokes for Jay Leno; or you can do standup comedy. For instance, just the other day, I was standing outside Starbucks selling #2 pencils to pay the electric bill, when Jay Leno decides to go Jaywalking. He comes up to me with a mic and asks "Who wrote 'Who Moved my Cheese?" I stood there for a few seconds, dumbfounded look on my face, and the most logical answer I could think of was "Chaz Bono?"
It gets better, watch:
The book is available online at Smashwords.com
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I’m asking all of my writer friends to join the NSNC via its website http://www.columnists.com. We are embarking on an exciting year. The organization is open to authors, freelance columnists (newspapers and magazines) and bloggers. Membership will benefit your writing career.
Recently, I teamed up with Giovanni "G-MAN" Gelati of BlogTalkRadio and produced a digital short story for you. It is a face-off in a fictitious Philadelphia comedy club titled "Dueling Microphones." He will be interviewing several NSNC members during the next few months about their new books in the GZONE.
We had a great time writing "Dueling Microphones" and promoting it on all the social networking sites, and I will be performing one of the sets live at The Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., Philadelphia soon. It would have been last Saturday, but Irene upstaged my act. I will have something up on YouTube for you.
This week, I am one of the guest comedians at Stupidassquestions for 5 days. You can log on to the website and ask any stupid ass question you like, 24x7. Someone will give you a stupid ass answer.
Click here to buy a copy of “Dueling Microphones” at The Amazon Kindle Store for only 99 cents! You will love it!
We are trying to get it into the top 10, so help us out and buy a copy.
As if that isn’t enough, I just finished a sketch comedy writing class with Brian Kelly at the Philadelphia Improv Theatre (PHIT). If my family doesn’t disown me for being the brunt of a parody or two - like Uncle Harry the hoarder, who also has a foot fetish and keeps a pair of red stilettos on his night stand, I will bring a few sketches to the Shubin Theatre on a Friday night this Fall. Show times are every Friday night at 11:00 pm.
As always, you can pick up a copy of “Sitting on Cold Porcelain” at SMASHWORDS for only $2.99 (less than a gallon of gas), in all digital formats: Kindle, Nook, eBook, Sony, PDF, etc.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
The news channel was reporting a nightmare. Aerial images of Hurricane Irene looked like the sky in the film “Independence Day.” I was babysitting with the grandchildren. They were scared, so I turned off the TV for a while. There were several emergency trips to the bathroom. Yellow journalists from as far away as Seattle, were taking pictures of downed trees in Hoboken, NJ.
I spotted a family of ducks running for their lives:
Storm damage in Central Park amounted to a pile of pine nuts and fallen cones:
Each of our vehicles was equipped with a window punch, batteries, flashlight, cases of bottled water, and giant boxes of Cheerios from Sam’s Club in case of a flash flood. The Jiffy peanut butter took the back seat.
All the airports and public transportation were closed.
I said a quick prayer to St. Anthony of Padua; I hadn’t been able to find my dentures for two days. I finally found them in the fish aquarium. No, the lights were not out; in my haste, I missed the cup.
The Angel fish were getting high on Fixodent. They were performing more aerial maneuvers than Asian carp. I was nervous as a cat, but not strung out like a chihuahua yet, and the kids were terrorized.
I didn’t know what else to do, we watched “Charlie Bit My Finger” 25 times on YouTube already, so I made up a Pooh story. I didn’t end the story. I told the kids we would do that in the morning. I was considering three endings. One of them involved Noah’s Ark, another how Piglet forgot to waterproof the house; finally, the blustery day.
This morning, I logged on to Facebook to find out if my friends were still alive. They are!
The kids are eating omelets, “Charlie Bit My Finger” is playing on the PC, and “Baby Monkey Riding Backwards on a Pig” is our family theme song of the day.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
While the Philadelphia Phillies prepare to beat the San Diego Padres, they reactivated former closer Brad Lidge. He has not pitched due to elbow and shoulder injuries. Lidge is the reason the Phillies won the 2008 World Series.
To paraphrase Maurice Chevalier, "Oh yes, I remember it well."
It took 28 years for the Phillies to take the World Series Championship; they did it with a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on October 29, 2008.
South Philadelphia fans went nuts as Brad Lidge and the Phillies took out the Rays in a three-inning game, which had been suspended due to weather conditions. It is the first victory since 1980 for the Phillies and the end of the alleged Billy Penn curse.
The Billy Penn curse affected all of the major Philadelphia sports teams since the construction of the One Liberty Place skyscraper that had the audacity to tower over Billy’s head atop City Hall. It was built in 1987. From 1987 to 2008, no Philadelphia sports team won a major league victory. Then in 2007, Comcast decided to put a Billy Penn statue atop the Comcast Center, the tallest building in the city. Billy liked that.
When the Phillies won in 2008, it ended the curse.
Tens of thousands of fans were celebrating in the streets, as South Broad Street was closed to traffic all evening. Seventy six arrests later, Police Commissioner, Charles H. Ramsey, was overheard saying "I got a touch of a hangover, don't push me," in response to a fan yelling "Where's the whiskey Mr. Macklin?"
Mrs. Giordano took off her usual black mourning attire for the occasion and wore a long red dress by Target. She was so excited over at Mama Mia's that she took the "evil eye" off of the Ray's Evan Longoria free of charge. Philly cheese steaks were on the house.
"Hey Vito, looka Joey! He looka just like that guy, Spencer Tracy, alone ina his boat," she said, refering to her favorite Tracy film "The Old Man and The Sea."
Vito Salerno took pity on Joey Maddon after he found out that the Rays got thrown out of their hotel after the last game was postponed and they had to find accommodations at a stable in Wilmington, Delaware. The fans had everything else booked within a 100-mile radius.
Vito bought Joey a few boiler makers, broke out his Castiglione, and sang "O Solo Mio."
Mayor Nutter was telling fans, who were planning to call out sick from work, to wait until Friday. The World Series Parade began at noon on Friday, at 20th and Market Sts. and ended back at the Sports Complex.
"You can be joyous, but you can't be a jackass," he told news reporters. I think he was referring to media behavior at the parade, especially pinhead Bill O’Reilly, who doesn’t know Jack Schitt about the legal system or baseball.
© 2011, Valenta, All rights reserved.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I didn't get a chance to ask Joe McNally of National Geographic if he took this photo in Moscow, but now scientists are convinced that all of us have some Neandrathal DNA. If I'm not mistaken, Nikita had a woolie fetish and was obsessed with shoes and wrestling.
Now I know why we humans have such a tough time supressing our primal urges, like throwing the TV remote control out of a 10 story building in a single bound and sympathizing with Black Eyed Peas. It also explains loud snoring, culinary oddities like eating undercooked steak and eggs, and hanging out in sushi bars.
Read the article Click here
I won't even go into fast cars, contact sports and Olympic Games, Okay? I have enough trouble understanding Bruno Mars music.
When was the last time your husband mimed "Get me a beer" with a mouth full of buffalo chicken, while you cupped your ear "ey?" and grunted, right?
Now we know!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
All rights reserved for average t-shirt franchise
Somewhere along the way “Average” has become an adjective that applies to everyone else. Parents are screaming about testing, obviously inaccurate, that shows that their child is average. I have adopted the position that being average makes my child stand out from the crowd.
Think about it. In ballet class, every parent thinks their ballerina is superior, above average. My child is an average dancer, the only one it seems, so when the recital comes around, the entire superior above average dancers will be crowded onto the stage all dancing together and being compared to each other. My average dancer will be dancing a solo, since there are no other average dancers at the studio. There will be no one to compare her to; therefore, she will dance beautifully with no discernable mistakes and receive a standing ovation.
Then there are those SAT test scores. My child is average and will score that way on the SAT test. Because of this, others will look much smarter and more intelligent than they really are. In fact, the worse my child scores on the test, the better others will look. I can foresee desperate parents recruiting average students to enroll in classes designed to help them dumb-down before the tests in order to tilt their child’s scores upward. However, because my child is just “average”, she may qualify for all kinds of grants and incentives to help colleges and universities look like they are non-discriminatory and serving the needs of the average person as well as the super elite.
Being average can also keep you from being clobbered in dodge ball in required P.E. classes. Far superior athletes will be chosen first. The average will be chosen in the middle and the poorly skilled will be chosen last. During the game, the far superior athletes will go after the poorest players first. The average person, hiding in the corner, will be pretty much ignored until the end. By that time the far superior athletes will have worn themselves out pulverizing the easy targets and will lose their steam when it comes to attacking the average. The average players will take advantage of the situation and will triumph. Having defeated the top far superior athletes, the average will come to the attention of professional dodge ball coaches who are recruiting.
The Olympic coaches will then rethink the average child’s abilities and increase their interest. The professional recruiters will then become more aggressive and will up their offers. Once your child accepts, signs the five year no-cut contract, and is shuffled off to training camp, you can relax. Soon the coaches will discover that your child really is average and will be benched, safe from being pulverized by other powerful dodge ball athletes…but the no-cut contract is binding. The money keeps coming in and average wins again.
With the income, your child can open an Average Store. T shirts could sport logos that say “Robbers, don’t bother. All credit, no cash”, or “Jenny Craig, Go Away, My weight is Average”. The IRS would ignore your child’s business, because, after all, it’s just average. It’s a win win situation.
So the next time your friends begin bragging about their super superior children, just smile and say “No need to thank me; if it wasn’t for my child, yours would just be average. Want a t-shirt?”
I hope you enjoyed this guest post today by my friend, Jody Worsham. She adopted two children while in her 60s and has a humorous perspective on parenting. Please visit her website The Medicare Mom at the link below:
“When I found myself in the role of parent at age 61 to a one day old and a three year old, I began writing humor; actually I began living humor. This age and stage has given me a different perspective on car seats, potty training, homework, and the golden arches. Oh, and let’s not forget the fun and fumbles of parenting-past-your-prime which has resulted in The Medicare Mom - http://themedicaremom.blogspot.com ” ~ Jody Worsham
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Thank you so much to everyone who left messages on my Facebook page and Twitter account.
I am looking forward to attending the NSNC "Rebound in Motown" Conference in Detroit this week. I will be posting photos. Details of the event can be found at http://www.columnists.com.
If you are a columnist or blogger, check out the entire website, then click on the *Join or Renew* Tab to find out how you can also become a member of the NSNC. Testimonials are about half-way down the page.
Of course, I don’t need to explain why networking is so important to you for achieving career goals and enhancing your personal development as a writer. It is one of the main reasons why many people join. It is an invaluable learning experience. Exchanging ideas with other writers will motivate you to get back on top of projects that you might have put aside because you needed mentoring or the information necessary to get your work published or syndicated.
If you are not a writer, but came here today looking for something funny, here goes:
I have been procrastinating mulching my garden and also submitted an Extension Form with the IRS to file my taxes late. True, I enjoy fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruit; but messing with earthworms is not something I like to deal with. Plus, I’m allergic to fertilizer. I break out in hives. So, I’ve been looking at all the limp stuff out in my back yard that require food and water. I am my father’s daughter, and Dad could have won the National Sandbagger Championship back in 1955, when he sent “Nothing to Report” on a 3"x5" index card to the IRS because there was no such thing as an Extension Form.
I made coffee and started listening to "Crushed Nuts," a hilarious set of CDs (yes, two of them)by The Bob & Tom Show. I was on Track #28 "Red Flag Accounting," when this article pops up on my laptop about a guy finding 650-year-old treasure in his herb garden click here to read it .
Excuse my lack of typing skills right now, I have five earthworms hanging off my index finger and a beetle just scurried under the “A” key.
© 2011, Valenta, All rights reserved.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Move over NY and LA, here comes Philly! Philadelphia Comedy is gaining a stronghold. Folks who love comedy will find all art forms represented in the City of Brotherly Love: standup, sketch, and improv. The main source of information is a Philadelphia Comedy Blog called WitOut http://www.witout.net, where you will find a complete listing of performers and venues.
Last year at this time, I signed up with the Philadelphia Improv Theatre (PHIT) to take an Improv Level 1 class. My instructor was Rick Horner. I recently signed up for sketch comedy writing at PHIT and attended standup classes at The Helium Comedy Club with Brad Trackman. Yes, that's in addition to writing a humor book called Sitting on Cold Porcelain. Okay, so now I can stand in front of a mirror with a mic and command all my funny extremities to become double-jointed and write my own press release. I can't decide on a favorite comedy art form, I like them all.
I have kept in touch with Rick Horner via Facebook and found out that he has organized the 1st Annual F Harold Comedy Festival for people like me, who love all forms of comedy, so I attended opening night on June 7th, and asked for an interview. I was amazed at the talent represented on stage. His goal is to give the Philadelphia community an "opportunity to see a cross-section of local talent."
The Festival runs until June 12th, so you can still buy tickets at the Walnut Street Theatre, Studio 5, box office.
You will love it!
Following is my interview with Rick:
Opening night at the F Harold Comedy Festival was fantastic. Can you tell me more about the performers in the lineup?
What an opening night! John Kensil is a popular local stand up comedian I was fortunate enough to book, The Hendersons are a brand-new long form improv group debuting an awesome show at the F. Harold!
Rosen & Milkshake are an incredible rockin' Philly favorite, hot off the heels of a dynamite performance at Duofest (an improv festival specifically for duos only), and Carolyn Busa is one the hottest comedians performing all over Philadelphia!
Grimmacchio, who also had a terrific performance at last weekend's Duofest, delighted audiences Tuesday to a sold-out crowd, and Ryan Carey had a tremendous set of his stand-up! Aaron Hertzog can be seen all around Philadelphia either doing solo stand-up or performing with one of his improv groups, Hate Speech Committee, Get a Room, or The Hendersons!
I was lucky to have Pat House close out the night with some of his wonderful stand-up - and Pat will be hosting all of Sunday's shows as well. All talent, all Philly, all handled beautifully by a great group of volunteers - Emily Davis, Cara Schmidt, Mark Dames, and Greg Maughan.
Where do you yourself perform Improv in Philadelphia?
I perform in three duos!
WhipSuit (performing tonight!) has a regular performance every third Friday of the month at O'Neals pub, 611 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (great food and drink specials!) at 8:15pm.
Horner & Davis (performing Saturday night!) and Suggestical, An Improvised Musical perform all over town, with the Philly Improv Theater at the Shubin Theatre, 407 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147; and with Polygon Comedy at other venues like Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
I also coach improv (currently coaching Rintersplit (performing Thursday) and Iron Lung (performing Friday night!) I am available for additional improv coaching gigs at email@example.com or 267.278.5250.
I also run the Improv Incubator weekly at the Community Education Center in West Philadelphia (3500 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia PA 19104) which is a social and creative mixer where the entire Philly improv community is invited to meet, play, and perform scenes.
Did you grow up in the area?
I grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and I love Philly and all of the amazing talent inside and all around it!!! Now I live in Telford - if you can find it, come visit me and I will have coffee with you.
What do you do at PHIT?
I am a recently-retired House Team Director at PHIT (former House Team Activity Book). I am also one of the many instructors there - actually I have a class that is starting soon, Improv Level 201! Improv Level 201 is Wednesday nights from 7 to 9:30 starting Wednesday 6/22/11 , and there are 7 spots left (plus if you register by 6/15/11 you can save $50)! Commercial over. You had me as a teacher Rose, so you know I'm all about making students work hard, get better, and look good.
What are your long-term goals for the F Harold Comedy Festival?
It is so amazing that so many great companies are producing great comedy — PHIT, ComedySportz, PHIF, PJI, The N Crowd — I could go on and on. F. Harold is a little different from other things happening in Philly because it is a blend of the parts of comedy that seem to be finding so much overlap in the city already, thanks to Philly Improv Theater and The Philadelphia Joke Initiative. They have fostered a true sense of cohesiveness between stand-up, sketch and improv and the goal of the F. Harold is to allow all the talent Philly has to offer the opportunity to both demonstrate and exhibit each other, and showcase new ideas and people.
If people from out-of-town want to get a feel for Philly comedy, where are the best places to go?
I am going to give you some websites:
Philadelphia Improv Festival (http://www.phif.org)
Philly Improv Theater (http://www.phillyimprovtheater.com)
Philadelphia Joke Initiative (http://www.contactpji.com)
Polygon Comedy (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_223016407708844)
The N Crowd (http://www.phillyncrowd.com)
Helium Comedy Club (http://www.heliumcomedy.com)
Do you have a blog, Facebook page, twitter account where folks can learn more about you and F Harold?
Yes! The wonderful web page developed by Jess Carpenter (performing Saturday night!) with logos and flyers created by Cara Schmidt and Chris Calletta: F Harold Presents and links to all other social media.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
"...And, as a guy from Brooklyn, there's no way I'm backing down." ~ Anthony Weiner (not TheKidFromBrooklyn.com).
I recently told someone that I wouldn’t touch this topic with a ten foot pole, but I’ve changed my mind. I suppose you could say that people like me, who used to be called “The Silent Majority” are no longer silent. We are now labeled “Fed Ups.” We just want things to work effectively and people that we elect to behave themselves and do a good job for us. We pay their salaries, right? We expect our money’s worth.
No matter what occupation one has, there are certain expectations. If you work for a company that has a dress code and you seek to succeed in your career there, you won't wear jeans to work. You tend to adapt to the culture, no matter what it might be. If you are an elected politician, you are expected to be dedicated to your job and keep your zipper up for four-to-eight years. We know its hard, but you have to deal with that. If you plan to fail, however, that’s a whole different scenario, like some politicians we all know.
The funny thing about political sex scandals is the culprit doesn’t expect to get caught. Keep in mind, however, that hidden somewhere deep in the recesses of the individual's mind, he or she really knows that they are always in the public eye via news media, and there is actually no place to hide.
I’m still not quite sure if some politicans wear horse blinders or are just plain stupid. Maybe they really think no one will notice personal misbehaviors?
I saw a movie like that once, where people ran around naked and didn’t think anyone noticed. It was called "The Emerald Forest." They applied some green paint and poof! they were invisible.
Maybe it’s a new mental health disorder that needs to be studied called Emerald Forest syndrome.
People with Emerald Forest Syndrome will take a public servant position for a certain number of years, knowing that news reporters, who are following them around all the time, are part of the package, and then, they self-destruct. Maybe the journalists with the cameras won’t see him going into the restaurant with a hoochie mama; after all, he applied the green paint before making the date. He will sexually harass his subordinates because he is in power and the subordinate needs the job and won’t tell anyone. Besides, he is wearing green paint. Pay no attention to the little guy behind the camera, there is always an alibi. After all, his boss, the ones who make payroll, the American tax payers, are oblivious. Besides, he is wearing green paint.
Only if caught red-handed will the Emerald Forest Syndrome sufferer call a public news conference, cry a lot, apologize, beg for forgiveness, and claim temporary insanity.
Recently, US Representative Anthony Weiner was called on the carpet for using social networking sites to send lewd photos of himself to strange women. Maybe he expected the Dallas Cheerleaders to jump on Twitter and RT his weiner...
Let's get physical
Let's get down,
get hard, get funk
And beat that other junk!
... who knows? His initial response really ticked some people off.
Horse blinders or Emerald Forest Syndrome?
See the YouTube Video.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Discover how the great Robert Benchley – columnist, actor, New Yorker critic, Algonquin Round Table regular and the man who quipped “The free-lance writer gets paid per piece or per word or perhaps” – can inspire you to tackle the silly and absurd side of life at the 2011 “Rebound In Motown” conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
Thom Saunders has uncovered Benchley’s little-known essays from the rarely explored archives of the Detroit Athletic Club’s private literary magazine and collected them into a new, award-winning book, “The Athletic Benchley” – a surprising title when it comes to the author of “How to Sleep” and “I Like to Loaf.”
Saunders – winner of the Robert Benchley Award for Humor in 2005 – will be joined by Benchley fans Ken Voyles of the Athletic Club as well as New York Times bestselling humor author, 2006 Benchley Award winner and Columnist of the Year Bruce Cameron; Erma Bombeck Award winner Mike Ball; and Radio Hall of Famer and Detroit comedy icon Dick Purtan. They’ll explore what you can learn from the man who wrote “The Sex Life of the Polyp” while attempting to heed Benchley’s warning that, “There are no lengths to which humorless people will not go to analyze Humor.”
Panel topics include:
• Don't be funny – be funny consistently
• No one cares about your dog except you
• Building funny platforms and sidestepping OSHA
• Algonquin humor – without the three (or 12 martinis)
• If you think you have been funny, where do you send it? Humor's sordid side.
The panel takes place on the afternoon of Friday, June 24, during the Rebound in Motown conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, June 23-26 at the restored four-diamond Westin Book-Cadillac in Detroit.
A conference special rate to all members in good standing of the Robert Benchley Society and the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop is available for $299 with a registration for two or more nights at the Book-Cadillac. You can find a complete conference schedule here, special discount hotel registration here for $124 per night with free Internet and discount valet parking, airline and rental car discounts here, and conference registration here.
See you in Detroit!
Sunday, May 29, 2011
The announcement came last spring: National Broadband
Now that it is being implemented, editors are frantically asking "What will we do with the white space?"
“White space” is a term used by many national print newspapers and magazines that need some kind of fill (article) to complete the newspaper’s content. When they have too much white space, they will resort to printing a lame story like “Stray Politicians Checking Into Cheap Motels Are Warned by Homeland Security Not to Sign-in as Lars Vilks” or "What Did Horace J. Digby Jr. Mean When he Said 'You only need one real stroke of genius to make it through life . . . Gee I hope that wasn't mine!" just to fill the remainder or white space.
If its just a small amount of white space needed, you will notice that the text in the newspaper or magazine is a tad larger than usual or column lines are a bit shorter at the end of each page.
You will also see newsletters filling white space with blurbs from Canadians bragging about their Olympic prowess.
With broadband technology, the white space can now refer to either seconds of broadcast time or "fills" for text content. You will be glad to know that The Onion has found an ingenious solution for filling broadcast time, so we can all keep up with current events 24x7:
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Photo courtesy of W. Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon, and Tucker
I was so pleased when W. Bruce Cameron granted me an interview. I have admired his work for many years, especially after the success of his sitcom 8 Simple Rules in 2001. I met him at the 2006 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop where he gave the keynote address and autographed his book for me. I was impressed with the ease in which he spoke to the entire group for over an hour. I had been struggling with public speaking jitters, so I was focused on his performance. It was flawless, as if he was born with a mic in his fist and an innate talent for effective communication. I asked him about it later, he just shrugged and said, “I Just do it.”
Although Bruce is on top of his game now, the journey to success has not come easy. He worked at a variety of day jobs to support his family while simultaneously submitting manuscripts to literary agents, but he always knew that his true passion was being a writer. He wrote his first short story in the fourth grade and sold his first short story to a publisher when he was only 16 years old, so he knew. In college, he worked on the literary magazine and Westminster student newspaper. However, it wasn’t until 1995 that he managed to get his "Cameron Column" syndicated via the Rocky Mountain News. Then, in 2001 with some help with a book proposal, he published his first blockbuster 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter, which was immediately chosen for both a Disney feature film and the popular sitcom. The story was based on Bruce’s real-life family adventure - father of three.
Bruce has also written How to Remodel a Man, 8 Simple Rules for Marrying My Daughter, A Dog’s Purpose, and Emory’s Gift, which is scheduled to be released in September 2011. He won the 2006 Robert Benchley Society Award for Humor and has twice received the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC) Award for Best Humor Columnist . He was recently named Best Columnist of the Year by the NSNC. I will be attending the awards dinner at the NSNC “Rebound in Motown” Conference in Detroit, to congratulate him personally on June 24th.
Bruce’s nationally syndicated column is published in more than 50 newspapers. His fiction debut, A Dog’s Purpose, is a New York Times, USA Today, and Los Angeles Times bestseller and is soon to be a major live-action film from DreamWorks Studios. He will be writing the screenplay for DreamWorks with his beautiful new wife, actress Cathryn Michon. Again, the story is based on a real-life interest in animal rescue, thanks to his daughter, 28-year-old Georgia Lee. She is the founder and president of Life is Better Rescue, a non-profit rescue organization. No date is set for the release date of the film.
Following is my interview with Bruce:
How did you get started as a writer?
That’s almost like asking me how I got started as a human. For as long as I can remember, I’ve written stories. For many years, I held down day jobs, including a career with General Motors, but I always wrote.
Other than A Dog’s Purpose what is your favorite project that you have worked on?
I have a book coming out in August - Emory’s Gift. It’s my favorite.
When your book, 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter, was selected to be made into a sitcom, how many writers worked on that project for the show?
When it started, it was just the show runner, though he did go out to some other writers for help, which is typical. He and I had lunch and I’d pitch him ideas, some of which made it into the pilot.
How is that type of writing different than writing a book?
Writing a book is a solo effort. Sort of like the movie 127 hours: you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, and eventually you have to cut your own arm off. A TV show is more like a high school prom, with everyone terrified and eventually you wind up going to the dance with someone you don’t even like.
Were you surprised at the success of the show?
We had a great cast and the show was about my crazy family. I thought all other networks would simply give up and cease broadcasting.
What was the impetus that made you decide to write A Dog’s Purpose?
The book crawled into my head and kept chewing on my brain. I had to let it out before it wrecked the furniture.
I understand that you and Cathryn are now writing the screenplay for DreamWorks. How did that evolve?
When I sell a property, I make sure I’m attached to write the adaptation. And I wouldn’t think of doing it without my writing partner, who is not only a successful author but has a solid track record in both TV and features.
What is the most challenging/stressful part of your career?
To be a successful author requires lots of luck and lots of marketing effort and skill. The less luck you have, the more marketing you have to do. What’s stressful is trying to write full time and market myself full time.
What is the most rewarding/exciting part of your career?
I love the e-mails and Facebook messages I receive from my fans. It’s truly gratifying.
How have your career goals changed since you started out?
Cathryn and I shot an independent movie a few years ago and I want to do more of that.
Who has been your favorite actor/director/producer/writer that you've worked with?
I’ve only worked with one actor/director/producer/writer, and that’s Cathryn Michon. She’s my favorite.
Are you planning to write a subsequent novel or screenplay?
I am writing a sequel this year. We’ll see if it turns into a screenplay!
What would be your words of wisdom to someone starting out in this industry?
Develop the personal and presentational skills you’ll need to get noticed. With electronic publishing, anyone can be a published author. You need to attract attention in a crowded field.
Do you have a website, Facebook fan page, Twitter account, and other social networking sites where your fans can learn more?
Yes! My author site is www.wbrucecameron.com. For A Dog’s Purpose, I have a website, www.adogspurpose.com, and also there’s the Facebook fan page, where 34,000 fans (and growing) go to talk about their dogs, share stories and pictures, and continue important conversations.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Grandparenting has evolved from feeding baby food to a toddler wearing a Disney character on his bib, to feeding spinach to a Neanderthal wearing a “Got MILF?” t-shirt – no bib.
That isn’t the only thing that has changed. This morning I got up and they were discussing media ethics on the news. I wish they would have thought of that when Clinton was President. You can't v-chip the news, so back then, you had to use the TV remote control like Morse Code, dit dit dit dah dah dah dit dit dit (Save Our Ship), while helping the kids with homework. Whatever happened to late-night? NOW they question ethics...too late...little Johnny already has a cigar-smoking Oval Office Masters Degree.
Read article: Media Ethics
Parents can't be too careful about children's safety these days either. So, I try to help out. I tell my grandson "If you find yourself in a strange place, always look like you know where you are going. If you are driving, never yell 'Who's your daddy?' out the car window in Arnold Schwarzenegger's neighborhood."
What’s happening to our culture? We live in a sick world.
Have you been listening to their music? The hip-hop generation is insane. They idolize Rhianna and Cee Lo Green, when they should be listening to healthy lessons about losing their dog, like “Old Shep” by Red Foley.
I went on YouTube after my youngest grandson left for school and learned a few lessons of my own. No wonder they are predicting the end of the world. Not that I believe in that sort of thing. It’s just a lot of scare tactics, like the 60s when some Tibetan banshee would be out chanting on the street corner, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama…” and a 7th Day Adventist would carry a sign “The End is Near.” Now it’s 2012.
This is what is scaring our kids. No wonder they don’t want to do homework. It is all being mapped out for us by none other than Jesse Ventura:
Seriously, guys, can’t we go back to scaring the kids with harmless Boris Karloff movies?
Pick up my book, “Sitting on Cold Porcelain,” at SMASHWORDS.COM
Thursday, May 19, 2011
After the fire engines left my friend Mary Frances’ house, she told me in confidence what had happened.
“But, what did he do?” I asked.
“Nothing actually, he just looked guilty… and then the fight started,” she said. “I have to go to confession.”
Thank you, Arnold Schwarzenegger. You have just screwed up the love life of some of my best friends. Mary and Patrick O’Leary have been married 30 years. YOU should have to listen to all the fallout!
The insurance adjuster showed up the next morning as Mary, our friend Helen, and I were discussing the situation over Mimosas in her kitchen.
“How did you say this happened?” He asked.
“A scented candle tipped over in LA...er...I mean my bedroom, when I had to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to my husband, who was in the next room watching Fox News.” Mary responded.
He panned all of us sitting at the table and the bottle of wine. “Where is Mr. O’Leary?” He asked.
“He’s over at the incinerator with Father Murphy saying an Act of Contrition and burning his porn collection.”
After the adjuster left, we started Googling all the news about Schwarzenegger, while consoling our friend.
“I think a shrink would call this ‘reaction formation,’ Mary.” Helen said. “Did you always have the hots for Arnold?”
“No, it wasn’t that,” she insisted. “Patrick just looked guilty. I know that it’s profiling and he should be considered innocent, but I kept thinking about the time last year, when I hired Frieda on The Spot to clean our house for Judy’s wedding. I was at work.”
“That’s called jumping to conclusions,” I said. “It would never hold up in court.”
“The house was spotless. Servicing the help didn’t even enter my mind, until last night.”
Helen was pensive and half shot already. “Isn’t Frieda’s closed now? Someone said that she was an illegal alien.”
“Yes, and Patrick would never do a thing like that. He supported Arizona SB1070. I mean, if he was going to sleep with her, he would have asked to see her papers. What have I done?”
“Here ya go!” Helen said. “This is why Frieda left. They had a hidden camera in the bathroom. You guys should just stop watching Neil Cavuto during sex.”
Pick up my book, “Sitting on Cold Porcelain,” at SMASHWORDS.COM
Sunday, May 8, 2011
As a mom, you have to take responsibility for everything from wiping away tears to forming good character, and maintaining a balanced diet. You read Dr. Spock's books on parenting and Dr. Seuss for bedtime stories, although I always got the feeling that talking about green eggs and ham before sleep inspired nightmares. It also spawned creativity in people like Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, who made all the rest of the kids think about the scary hairy creatures hiding under the bed. Thanks alot, guys!
As a grandma, you forget about the balanced diet and load the kids up on sugar cookies and chocolate ice cream, while grandpa teaches them that there is nothing more important to maintaining good character than a pair of brass knuckles, so you can beat the crap out of all the hairy creatures hiding under the bed. Plus, grandparents don't have to make kids eat their spinach and actually prefer a good game of Wii in lieu of a bedtime story.
Where little Johnny's mom would ream him another one for uttering a swear word, grandma often laughs and then teaches him all the synonyms, so he can entertain her Red Hat Society friends during cocktail hour.
Happy Mother's Day to all the famous and not so famous Moms, Mr. Moms, favorite aunts, and grandmas!
Friday, May 6, 2011
What else are we paying for besides the high price of gasoline?
We are paying for the U.S. Senate hearings on the use of the code word “Geronimo” for Osama Bin Laden. They could have used the “F” word, but although fitting and proper, it would have offended everyone else. So, yesterday there were Senate hearings at our expense. Even if they rule in favor of Geronimo’s descendants, the fact is they said it, and the word “Geronimo” will forever be linked to Navy SEAL Troop 6 and US Special Forces.
Read the News Article
Is it such a bad thing?
When I was growing up, we used to play cowboys and Indians all the time. Most of the kids wanted to play Geronimo. It was no fun playing Cochise. If you were Geronimo, you could kick ass. So, it was actually a compliment. “Geronimo!” is yelled when Paratroopers jump out of airplanes. It was yelled when the SEALs got the job done. It has good connotations. So, what’s up with the expensive hearings?
It’s all Bush’s fault. Back in 1918, Prescott Bush, Dubya’s grandfather, who was a member of the Yale Skull and Bones secret society allegedly stole Geronimo’s skull and other bones from his burial site in Fort Sill, OK. The society members then transported the bones to “The Tomb,” the society’s sacred building. A lawsuit ensued and Geronimo’s descendants demanded their return. This is how the fight started.
President Obama can now blame Bush for the negativity.
I want my money spent on gasoline hearings, guys! Give them back the bones and tell everyone to toughen up.
Pick up my book, “Sitting on Cold Porcelain,” at SMASHWORDS.COM
Monday, May 2, 2011
It’s official, Osama Bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs and his body confiscated by U.S. ground forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, about 80 miles north of Islamabad - long overdue!
Rumor has it that he will be buried at sea according to Islamic traditions (before the next prayer service). Speculation is that a quicksand pit at the Dead Sea will be chosen. This way, if terrorists decide to make it hallowed ground, we can wipe them all out in a single pilgrimage. The Dead Sea pit will absorb the bodies and there will be no leakage into any body of water.
Upon hearing the news, I donned my press badge and collected eulogy comments about the event including some from his designated pallbearers:
“It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. My boyfriend, Kermit, and me just bought scalper tickets to Next Restaurant.” ~ Miss Piggy
“I have decided NOT to become a sheepdog after all. This is too much fun. BTW, who gets to keep the bounty?” ~ Babe
“It was a Noble thing.” ~ Piglet
“We are throwing a party in Woodcock Pocket; you are invited.” ~ Toot and Puddle
“Risu and I are making a Hello Kitty body bag for him.” ~ Pippo
“It’s milk and apples on the Animal Farm tonight!” ~ Squealer
"As chief pallbearer, they call me MISTER Pig!" ~ Pumbaa
“They huffed and they puffed and they blew him away.” ~ Three Little Pigs
“Zuckerman gave me the day off to celebrate this event.” ~ Wilbur
“Hyvästi!” ~ Wagner the Pig
“He is now a dead wuz-wolf.” ~ Peter Porkchop
“It’s a clap hands celebration!” ~ Hamm
“I like my bin laden sausage with fennel seeds, please.” ~ Gordy the Pig
“Jolly good job!.” ~ Johnny The Pepermint Pig
“I am feasting on TWO Buster Bars.” ~ Noelle
“I knew he would get it. Can I put an apple in his mouth?” ~ Arnold Ziffle
“Can I have my old name back for the services?” ~ Pork Chop (a.k.a. Ferrous)
"Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-That's all, folks!” ~ Porky Pig
"I just love Stuttering pigs, don’t you?” ~ Petunia Pig
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Are you confused?
I will help you.
Last year at this time, I was out in Dayton, Ohio, attending EBWW 2010 with about 350 other writer humorists at the University of Dayton. We left there with a mascot (E.B. Heron, named after E.B. White); many new friends; and Facebook/Twitter accounts to look up, join, or send friend requests. We also left there with a feeling of kick-ass enthusiasm, we were among the “We can do this!” success group. My tape recorder, business card slots, and notebook were all full. I was armed and dangerous with perceived leverage and a little chutzpah. I miss my friends there now, and can’t wait for EBWW 2012.
During the last year, most of us have joined everything including the NetWits, Southern Humorists, and humor writers newsgroup on Yahoo, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC) and the Robert Benchley Society. The criteria to become a member of those groups, of course, is that you write humor in a forum, newspaper column, blog, or book; or just drink and aspire to do so. We are competitive, keeping everyone in the loop for things like interviews, new book releases, awards, contests, and book launches. You could also say it is a training ground for learning great communication skills. We also post failed attempts, but we downplay those. I believe we’ve finally made it into the A Zone.
Many of us have come a long way in just the last 12 months. Baltimore comedian, Michele Wojciechowski, has syndicated her column Wojo’s World , as did Joy Steele (bunny slippers), and Tracy Baron Beckerman with Lost in Suburbia. Of course we all knew Tracy would excel, since she had Mo Rocca following her around at the Workshop all weekend with a camera crew for a CBS Sunday Morning interview. This year, she won The Balancing Act Top Blogger award and has been on Lifetime television.
New book releases include Y-Mee's A-B-C Book of Emotions by Wanda Argersinger, who is now authoring another one; Leave it to Boomer by faculty member Jerry Zezima, who also writes for The Huffington Post; Sitting on Cold Porcelain by yours truly, with syndicated columns at Senior Wire and Associated Content from Yahoo; A Dog’s Purpose by 2008 keynote speaker and award winner, W. Bruce Cameron, Crossbow by 2008 faculty member and award winner, Gordon Kirkland; and Got MILF? By Sarah Winer Maizes.
New blogs include, Lighten Up! By Dawn Weber, The Medicare Mom by Jody Worsham, Barb's Blast by EBWW award winner Barb Best, Health and Humor by faculty member and comedian Dave Glardon, and The Energy Writer by Sharon Dillon. You can find links to those at the bottom of this page.
If I missed anyone, I apologize, feel free to pat yourself on the back in the "comments" section.
Like I was thinking this morning, there are another 12 months to go and we all got the mojo - you ain’t seen nothing yet!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Amid the cherry blossoms, House Speaker John Boehner has called a conclave similar to electing a new Pope to approve the Spending Bill. Will the emitting smoke be black or white?
Scheduled to be closed are National Parks, museums, monuments, and passport services; so. If you want to see the cherry blossoms or get a passport, get a move on.
About 800,000 government workers will be furloughed, which should make clogged traffic arteries a living nightmare, if you see black smoke. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge will be bumper-to-bumper, making you want to jump into the Potomac; and prison inmates will be called in to pick up the slack, so watch your wallets.
Our deployed troops might not get paid on time, adding incoming fighter jets and bazookas into the mix, and a Million Man March of senior citizens want their checks.
Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog, is worried that Obama will cut his favorite Nylabone treats, Michelle is on a “No Bonpoint” ration, and Boehner has suggested that the Obama’s sign up for a Sam’s Club membership, which is also agreeable with his campaign manager.
Cerritos’ stepped in and suggested that the President’s VIP Lincoln be replaced with something more frugal…
NPR begged Congress not to cut funding:
The President was sent into rehab after giving a college student a new car:
Then, FINALLY, Senator "Motor Mouth" Sanders showed up in his Batmobile to lambaste Bernanke:
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The Ustream link has all the videos taken since March 31, 2011 and a "live" broadcast:
These videos have been going viral today. Check back often.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Yesterday, I went to see the Peter Nero and the Philly Pops’ performance of “Music and Comedy” at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia; it was flawless. My daughter went with me. She got the seats up on Tier 3 and we were getting rather air sick. A docent from the Avenue of the Arts was handing out samples of Dramamine and hawking tickets to see "Mary Poppins." The next time we attend, my daughter promised orchestra seats. You should put this one on your “to do” list, while visiting Philadelphia. The best seats are in Tier 1.
Comedian, Robert Klein, was featured during the second half and gave a dynamite performance. His humor appeals to the over 50 crowd and he nailed it every time. This YouTube video is representative of one of the classics he did at the Kimmel Center:
After the show, we were laughing so hard, we decided to go to South Philadelphia and catch the steak wars on South 9th Street at Geno’s and Pat’s.
If you are a native Philadelphian, you are aware of the famous steak wars. If not, it’s a blast. They are the Tommy and Dickey Smothers of South Philly “Mom Always Liked You Best.” They are rivals on opposite corners at 9th and Passyunk Avenue, in the Italian Market area, but not actually related. I think Geno is a "come here" from Palermo.
Flip a coin and go to either Geno’s or Pat’s to order a scrumptious steak sandwich. You know you are at the right corner, when you see two lines of about 100 people wrapped around two buildings flipping the bird at each other. You can also split your group in half and go to both establishments, share the sandwiches, and decide for yourselves, which one has the best Philly steak. I like them both, but lean towards Pat’s.
At Pat’s there is a sign that tells you “How to Order a Steak.” It would make even Robert Benchley proud. If you don’t get it right, you must go to the back of the line and start over. I took a picture of it, so you can memorize the routine.
Geno’s? Well, you can tell by the flashy colors, he had to work at getting attention; Mom didn’t always like him best. At night, the bright neon signs have actually lured several Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets away from International Airport that were trying to land in Philadelphia.
"Hello, this is your Captain speaking. Upon our approach, our left engine just sucked up twenty wit from Geno's. Nothing to be alarmed about."
As you can see, we had a fun time at both events in Philadelphia.
© 2011, Valenta, All rights reserved.
Friday, April 1, 2011
If you miss it, here is the link to the MP3 Click here
If you enjoy a funny read, Sitting on Cold Porcelain is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Better World Books, the order desk of your local bookstore, and some public libraries. If your local library does not carry it yet, ask them to order a copy from the publisher, Xlibris. I made autographed copies available here on my website (see the left panel). There has been a large number of Kindle and Nook users requesting the book, so it is available in electronic format, as well. Click here to order it from The Kindle Store, or at Barnes and Noble’s Nook Store.
Relax and tune in to BlogTalkRadio this Friday night in the comfort of your own home. Spread the word to your social networking friends. We will all have a great time!
Monday, March 28, 2011
Uncle Harry was in his yard cussing out the local geese that had left their greetings on his patio right next to his favorite morning coffee chair. He stepped on one of them in his bare feet and yelled “Oh, horsesh*t!” while losing half of his espresso. If I was VanGogh, I could name the color combination of goose logs mixed with espresso a “happy sienna” that matched the wicker furniture; so, not to worry, it was still in keeping with Harry’s idea of Feng Shui.
“I don’t think that’s what it is, Harry, or you would be feeling lucky in between your toes and out buying Powerball tickets.” I smiled. I always get sadistic pleasure watching Harry lose his temper before breakfast. It makes my day.
“Why isn’t it goose season?” He complained. “I’m going to get those sumbitches with my 12-gauge on opening day.”
“Consider yourself lucky,” I said. “There’s a cobra loose in the Bronx this morning. They already have Judge Napolitano profiling him and discussing his rights. He is charmed by listening to Endgame and Deadlies, hates Foo Fighters.”
“I don’t want to hear your ‘sweating small stuff’ lecture this morning,” he said, handing me a paper towel smeared with happy sienna.
“What am I supposed to do with this?”
“Don’t sweat it,” he said. “Say, do cobras eat geese?”
“No, but the snake could serve as your hit man for at least five of them.”
“Awww, they'll probably catch him after he bites somebody in the ass on the #2 train. So, what else is new?”
“Charlie Sheen is bringing ‘warlock napalm’ on Denise Richards via Twitter this morning, and Ed Bassmaster is running for President on YouTube.”
“What’s his platform?”
“Well, will you look at that?” I answered.
“Look at what?”
“Just look at it.” I said.
“I’ve seen goose turds before, you’re not funny”
“Just look at it.”
“If you say that one more time, I’m going to have to hurt you,” he said.
I had my laptop on the patio and quickly looked Ed up on YouTube. He was out campaigning. He wasn’t kissing babies. I turned it around, so Harry could see for himself. “Just look at it!“ I said, while I turned up the volume and ducked.
© 2011, Valenta, All rights reserved.
Video © 2010-11, Ed Bassmaster
Sunday, March 27, 2011
This is amazing to me, coming from the “Goodbye Mr. Chips” generation, but it’s progress, I guess.
Apparently, in England, traditional wedding cake recipes are those awful dreaded fruit cakes that we have grown to dislike in the US, to the point that even adding whiskey or rum doesn’t cut it anymore. Here, fruit cakes have dwindled down to the $2.99 individually shrink-wrapped variety sold in Staples and Office Max stores, so computer geeks won't die of starvation. However, it is still a big deal in England.
Prince William has told Kate, his bride-to-be, that he can’t stand fruit cake and if they want to remain happily married, he wants his very own groom cake made with 17 kilos of chocolate and 1,700 McVitie “Rich Tea” cookies. Click here to read the Royal decree: Groom cake
While all this was going on, Abercrombie and Fitch was feeling rather left out of the limelight, so it introduced a line of risqué bikinis for young adults. Some of whom are only in the second grade. They were pitching the Jane Russell-type tops to young women, who are still in the development stage. Click here to read that fiasco Designer Bikini
I suppose Abercrombie’s head designer came home from work worn out one day, to find his 8-year-old daughter stuffing her T-top with rolled up socks, trying to look like Barbie; but not even thinking about what was running through Ken’s mind, when a light bulb went on and found another GE loophole. Yes, it's the same company that made headlines with a white t-shirt depicting Chinese laundry workers wearing conical hats saying "Wong Brothers Laundry Service: Two Wongs Can Make It White." I feel sorry for the guy. If he had been praying to Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writer’s block, that would never have happened.
When the smoke cleared from this week’s headlines, Abercrombie won hands down and some misguided toddler over in Liverpool was caught humping plush toys in Lewis’ Department Store. However, since the offense is not currently listed in Scotland Yard's handbook, it was ignored.
This is a bit scary, isn’t it? The Prince and Kate will be married on April 29, 2011. By September of 2019, they are destined to have a Royal heir in the second grade.
What will become of “Goodby Mr. Chips,” “Pippi Longstocking,” and “The Adventures of Taxi Dog;” while Abercrombie plays Rod Stewart's "If You Think I'm Sexy" out on the children's catwalk?
© 2010, Valenta, All rights reserved.
Monday, March 21, 2011
I have been submitting articles for syndication at Senior Wire and Associated Content for Yahoo and he is representing Carla, who lost her husband to cancer four years ago. Okay, so I’m a humor writer, but this request hit home for me, as my own daughter was diagnosed with cancer when she was only 16 years old. However, thanks to the wonderful doctors at University of Pennsylvania Hospital, who also had a practice at the Police and Fireman’s clinic in Philadelphia, and three years of chemo treatments, she made a full recovery. I will be forever grateful for this miracle in my life and the beautiful grandchildren that she has since given to me and my husband.
Carla’s book and her account of losing her husband, Laurence Starkman, I’m sure, will be helpful to anyone going through similar circumstances. It is so well written, that you can’t possibly put it down or come away from it without getting a little something personal.
I was more than willing to put aside the blog for a few days and speak with Carla. She was a pleasure to interview and has a terrific daughter, Cami, who has set up a fan page on Facebook for her Mother’s book, Afterimage.
The interview is posted at Associated Content from Yahoo. You can read it by clicking on this link: Carla Malden Discusses Her Personal Tragedy in 'Afterimage'
I hope you will read the interview and buy the book when it is released in May 2011. Carla's publicist is Charlie Barrett. He can be contacted via his website www.thebarrettco.com.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
On Friday night, April 1, 2011, you are cordially invited to another BlogTalkRadio interview at 7:00 PM EDST with Giovanni Gelati, who will be interviewing me on Gelati’s Scoop GZONE, click here: Gelati’s Scoop. You will enjoy Giovanni. He reads and reviews thousands of books each year and writes about them on his blog Gelati's Scoop: http://gelatisscoop.blogspot.com
Please mark your calendar and listen to the show. Thanks in advance.
Sitting on Cold Porcelain is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble online, Better World Books, and the order desk of your local book store. Electronically, you can order it for your Kindle, Nook, and other eBook readers. Autographed copies are available here at Rosie Renegade Humor Blog. You can also get the blog at the Kindle Store.
© 2011, Valenta, All rights reserved.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I looked out the kitchen window at my deceased clematis and sorry looking herb garden, while mentally planning planting season. Last fall, I went to the town dock begging for fish heads from the Watermen to use for fertilizer. I had to bribe one of them with some hand sanitizer and several empty Wal-Mart bags. As a result of holding funeral services for some sea bass heads and several small sandsharks, my Rosemary now stands out from the moldy sage like a giant Christmas green Japanese Yew.
I was rudely interrupted from my strategy plan by Uncle Harry, who was still wearing flip-flops, making divots in my yard even though it was only 50 degrees outside. I mentally ripped the darn things with my garden sheers, as he hot-footed on soggy soil over to my house hoping for free food and coffee. I can’t break him out of the flip-flop habit no matter how hard I try – not even with politics, about which he is unnervingly obsessed. My mind is never on politics, his? - always.
“I already like Mike Huckabee's political strategy. He writes a book ‘A Simple Government’ and launches it by saying ‘This is my entire platform.’ Of course the 800-pound gorilla in the room is Obama's $1 billion political campaign budget; but, who would you rather have balancing our check book? While Obama goes out and kisses babies at $129.95 a pop, Mike does it on a book tour at 75% off,” he blurted out, as he almost knocked me over at the back door.
After regaining his footing, he added "Do you think Obama will skip the country entirely and become a citizen of Rio, or are they just going there so Bo the Portuguese Water Dog can get laid?"
“Not again, Harry,” I interrupted. “If I have to listen to another one of your political rants this morning, I’ll need a barf bag. By-the-way, oatmeal and farina are your only choices for breakfast. The local market only had pale blue eggs with fleurs-de-lis stampings on them that read ‘Who Dat?’ so I assumed they were either a year old already because the Saints won last year, or the rooster was questionable, so I didn’t buy any.”
“Lookie here,” he said. “I downloaded a newspaper on my Kindle and it has an interview with Huckabee. This is what I’m sayin’ the whole time. This guy knows how to budget.”
“Look a little further,” I said. “He’s also against gay marriage and anything that ain’t Baptist.”
“So, what, did you jump the fence or something?” He responded sarcastically.
“No, it’s just that a President needs to address ALL the citizens, not just half.”
“You voting for Obama?” He was shocked.
“No, I’m voting for an objective candidate and haven’t made up my mind yet. If Huckabee sees the light outside of Arkansas into a multi-cultural society of taxpayers, I might vote for him. Right now, I’m debating whether to impose capital punishment on my poinsettias, put my Rosemary on a no fish diet, and/or separate my over-sexed gladiolus bulbs before Sunday.”
© 2011, Valenta, All rights reserved.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
If you have been following the Charlie Sheen meltdown, you have already seen these Ustream TV videos; if not, then you can see them via this link: Ustream Videos
I’d love to buy a ticket to a shrink convention, so I could hear the candid comments by experts. As a novice, I can only assume that his family and real friends are waiting for him to bottom out, so he can get the help he needs to get back to reality. If not, they are being sadistic.
For God’s sake, somebody! Please pull the plug on his camera and audio equipment and get him off Ustream! It’s just too painful to watch. He needs to stay out of the limelight for at least a year until he gets hold of himself and unloads the leaches.
We were sitting around drinking coffee the other night discussing the situation. However, we work nine to five jobs and can’t even imagine earning $2 million in 20 years, let alone a week. This is something genius Charlie doesn’t take into consideration. The majority of his fans are middle class. We work to provide the basic necessities for our families, pay our rent and mortgages, and a car that gets good gas mileage. When we want to be entertained, we watch something ridiculous, like Two and a Half Men. I say “ridiculous” because very few people perceive it as real life. For that, you would have only one fan – Hugh Heffner and he worked his ass off publishing Playboy; not a book of dark poetry - that was Poe. The economy is getting so bad; Poe’s biggest fan even stopped leaving a half-bottle of tequila at his grave site in Baltimore, on his birthday.
If someone offered us an acting job like Two and a Half Men for $2 million an episode, I don’t think any of us would refer to the producer as “Whatshiscock” on an international public forum and expect not to get fired. After taking a poll, at least one fan would wear a silly shirt; memorize the script; and shammy the boss’ Ferrari. So, Charlie should shut up already!
Charlie, this is coming from fans, who buy the products that support your habit:
Today is International Woman’s Day. The days of exploiting Goddesses and beating one’s wife are truly over. It’s passé, gone with the wind, a Bela Lugosi “I want to suck your blood” shtick; and he got so wrapped up in his role that he was buried in a Dracula cape.
Your enemies are enjoying the meltdown. Here is how to get even - sensibly: Don’t give them the satisfaction of falling apart in public. Get off the stage and do it in private. This way, they won’t have the satisfaction of knowing they got to you, “winning” right? Then, sign into rehab and get better. After that, Show’em! Sign up with another network sober and drug free, and star in a bigger sitcom than "Two and a Half Men," as Carlos Estevez. If you do that, all of your fans will be in your corner, your old boss will be crying in his Glenfiddich Rare Collection 1937 Scotch, and the weirdoes will leave the building. Plan better!
I have to go now, the price of gas just went up ten cents a gallon, my tuna casserole is burning, and I’m at Mickey D’s using their free Wi-Fi connection drinking a $1.59 container of coffee, which is stretching my budget, since I can buy the same stuff for $8.99 a pound at Sam’s Club. If I had $2 million I'd steal the Fruitcake Lady's old job (may she rest in peace) and my kids would be going to Harvard.
© 2010, Valenta, All rights reserved.
Monday, March 7, 2011
You have to give credit where credit is due. Thanks to Philadelphia’s Finest, we got there and back – safely! The Philadelphia Police Department has become a team of efficiency experts. I guess they have learned since the Phillies won the World Series. Notice how clean the streets are and no grease on the utility poles. Of course the Poppy Growers of America were not exhibiting this year and that helped:
I have an album on Facebook with more images. If you want to see them, send me a friend request. We had a fantastic time. We bought fresh cut flowers and wine. No DUIs guys, we took the train.
Are you ready for Mardi Gras? Whoo-hoo!
© 2010, Valenta, All rights reserved.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
What's dominating the news?
The kids tell you that BrainyQuote's database has crashed because Charlie Sheen has been posting messages on Twitter that say things like "@charliesheen Don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes, snorted a mile of my coke, drank a vial of my #Tigerblood."
You Google "news" to get away from the TV and find that Mother Jones suggests that the amniotic fluid surrounding Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin was contaminated by chemically sprayed peaches while he was still in the womb, causing the fetus to develop into a thing of misogyny.
The latest gossip at Wiki is the fact that Joe Biden does not currently have any Delaware schools named after him, though there is an erosion control method in Delaware's Cape Henlopen State Park bearing his name.
The icing on the cake?
According to Glenn Beck, God is now allowing dead soldiers to haunt Westboro Pastor Fred Phelps at 1,000 feet over his head, with "God Hates You, Phelps" aerial banners.
You, my friend, need a good chuckle. Why? The weekend looms ahead and you already know what to expect. The kids are home from school and a fist fight will break out, your DIY project is waiting, and Murphy’s Law is always alive and well at your house - breeding offspring. Sometimes I believe the more free time we have on our hands, the harder Murphy’s reproductive system works. You have to turn the tables, or else!
In my case, I wait until the crisis is over and write satire about it here on Rosie’s Renegade Humor Blog. You can also read humor books and blogs that address the conflicts you face, but with a funny twist. If you do that often enough, you will actually lighten up and see that humor really is the mighty mojo.
While my humor book, Sitting on Cold Porcelain, is designed to address myriad topics with a funny twist to entertain you, humor blogs have been underrated. There are hundreds of them that you can sneak read with your iPad or Kindle at work. Trust me, it will lighten your load.
Because of my humor writing, I have met the folks, who write some of the popular humor blogs. I have made friends with them on Facebook and have linked the best ones at the bottom of this blog page under "Short Stories and Links," so you can enjoy them also.
Just to name a few, we have a school teacher from Texas, Jody Worsham, who is retired and has adopted two children in recent years. She writes a blog called The Medicare Mom. You will love her mature witty take on motherhood. Marti Lawrence, a caregiver from Missouri, is very entertaining and writes Enter the Laughter. Wanda Argersinger is a Director of the Lupus Support Network, she loves to write humor books on motivation and authors a blog called Life in the Land of Confusion. The Director of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Matt DeWald, writes My Five-Minute Commute. Our baby boomer dad, Jerry Zezima, is a very funny guy. He just released a book called Leave it to Boomer and his blog is also linked at the bottom of this page. If you are really feeling down, Dawn Weber’s blog Lighten Up is for you. Please check them all out. You will get more than a few chuckles.