Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Blue in the face

I wonder if any of you would actually recognize me if you saw me in real life outside of my blog. I don't think my face is really very distinctive when it isn't grafted onto a black bear or the Pope. I am one of the people who tend to blend into the scenary and become invisible.

Not that I know what makes a face distinctive other than what the media dictates to us should be distinctive. I suppose a face becomes distinctive once you've seen it many times. Or at least familar. So I suppose my face is distinctive to some.

But still would you recognize me? And if you did, would I be what you expected? Would I match my blog?

When I was in college, I wrote a humor column for the college newspaper -- Healyums (I didn't choose the name, the A&E editor did). Every week at least 4,000 copies of my column were read religiously (it was a Catholic university). On the first day of a Philosophy class I was required to take, the professor was reading the class roster. On hearing my name, a young lady in front of me turned around and asked, "Are you the guy who writes that humor column in the school paper?" I said, yes. She responded, "You don't look funny."

One could take that in many ways. But I think she really just thought I didn't look like person who could was humorous. I suppose that is okay because everyone thinks Bill Cosby and Jerry Lewis look funny, but I understand that in real life they are assholes.

So maybe I look like an asshole, but I'm really funny. Or maybe I'm both.

I guess you can't judge a blogger by his cover.

Oh, I'm not really blue, either.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The bearable likeness of being

I'm going to ask you to bear with me now as I launch off on another series of me Photoshopping my face on things. It amuses me if no one else. Actually my 19-month old daughter seems to be getting a kick out of it. Every now and then she toddles by, points at the screen and says, "Da Da!" I love how she just accepts it as me and doesn't judge.

We all could learn a lot from toddlers. Well, except for attention spans. They pretty much don't have any. But that does make them a perfect focus group for what works on the Web.

But I digress.

I think if there was a Guinness record for Photoshopping your face on things I'd have it hands down. I pretty much will try to Photoshop my face on anything. I am willing to bet I am the only one who has ever Photoshopped their face on whale vomit. There is a certain distinction in that. The only thing that has really stumped me so far is trying to Photoshop my face on an elephant. Some day I'll figure that out, too.

I don't apologize for grafting my face to things. It is a harmless diversion. Though one person did get pretty ticked off when I put my face on a Picasso painting. They seemed to think I was defacing fine art. I actually thought I was making them my own. Regardless, I didn't feel bad that the person was offended. I was more offended that they were offended. I was nice about it at the time. I shrugged when I really wanted to flip them the virtual finger and tell them to go darken the towels at someone else's blog.

That person eventually stopped dropping by anyway. Most people do. I suppose there is only so much interest anyone can have in a blog essentially dedicated to Photoshopping the blogger's face on things. Though I like to think I slip in a little philosophy and off color humor in there now and then to spice things up.

Wait, I just told my daughter to take the Swiffer Dust Wand she is running around with and dust the cat. I want to see how it plays out. Just a second. I'll be right back.

Okay, that wasn't quite the good idea I thought it was. Oh well, we have other cats. Anyway, as I was saying, it is hard to maintain a high interest level on any blog unless you mix things up now and then. That's why I go back and forth between nasty rants, heart tugging reminiscences about my childhood and just plain old brain farts. Rest assured that the one thing that remains consistent about my blog is my face. Somethings may not be pretty but they bear repeating.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Making a Pope out of myself


This photo is not unlike my previous photo. For some reason I am reminded of the Coneheads. I have to admit the coolest thing about being the Pope would be to wear all of those funky hats.

But back to making myself the Pope. This is not something I would be allowed to do if I was paid to create this crap. Everyone I worked for would panic thinking somehow they'd be blamed for Tim being too colorful. That could lead to lawsuits and firings. The Vatican has a bigger legal department than Elvis Presley Enterprises. So at some level my judgement would be overturned by some one's act of self preservation and I'd be forced to post a photo of me as a bunny or something less controversial.

Which is just one more reason I'm glad I'm not wildly popular. Even if you are just standing on a dung heap, someone is bound to be pissed because you have a better view of the swamp.

Note to self: Start keeping a list of your original colloquialisms for submission to a publisher. Perhaps working title should be the Idiot's Guide to Colloquialisms.

Note to self: I can't believe I spelled colloquialism correctly without running a spell check.

Back to talking to you (whoever you are):

It is not that I don't have limits. Even I think some things are beyond good taste. I can't think of one right off the top of my head, but I'm sure I'd know it if I said or did it. I happen to think most of what Howard Stern (the radio shock jock not Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer) says and does is in remarkably bad taste. Degrading people isn't funny, it just illustrates you have pretty low self-esteem. Personally I've always thought Howard Stern looks like a drag queen doing a bad impersonation of Cher.

I suppose there is a fine line between making fun of someone and pointing out the obvious. George W. Bush is a perfect example. Even late night talk show hosts have given up trying to make fun of him. It's like pointing out the village idiot every day. It may be funny the first time, but then it is just sad.

But generally I've found, you can find offense in anything if you look hard enough. Any presidential candidate can tell you that. If people spent as much time looking for good in things as they do for reasons to feel offended, everyone would be happy.

If I really was the Pope I'd issue one of those Holy Writs (or whatever they call them) making it so.

Note to self: Holy Grits would be one hell of a name for a breakfast cereal in the Bible Belt. Maybe the Pope would endorse it. If not I could. "Holy Grits make for one hell of a breakfast" or "Holy Grits fortify the spirit and the bowels" or "Holy Grits: Moral fiber for your next religious movement."

Note to self: I think I've discovered another one of my limits of good taste.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Colorful character

I often wonder what people think about me. I imagine more often than not, they don't. But please shoot me if anyone ever starts referring to me as a "colorful character." It's right up there with being referred to as a "delightful old codger."

Oh, I think it is okay to have a colorful character, you just don't want to be a colorful character, especially if you are middle aged.

I actually think I was more of a colorful character when I was a young man. I remember going to a company Christmas party dressed in black jeans, a white double breasted tux jacket, a black turtleneck with a native American choker and black boots. I also had a ponytail and an earring. Our finance director introduced me to his wife as "our resident Bohemian." I have to admit I did fancy myself as part of the artist fringe crowd. Now I would have just called myself a poser.

I've mellowed quite a bit in my old age. I don't regret losing the ponytail, though. There isn't a middle aged man in the world who looks good in a ponytail. Or an earring. Life after 4o for men is pretty much Tommy Bahama, Dockers, t-shirts and sweats. I am grateful that leisure suits peaked when I was in my 20s.

Perhaps I should design a fashion line for middle aged men. Every thing would be in black gray or dark blue. It would have to include fashionable slacks cut full and discretely expandable at the waist. Shirts would all be untucked and oversized to mask the belly. The collar would somehow lift and pull back the double chin. I'd market it as the Fountain of Youth line. It would make you look 20 years younger. I'd open up shops in malls. Maybe I'd call them Methusala's Closet or Wrinkle in Time. I'd make it hip to be old.

Sometimes I amaze myself.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Recline of civilization

"I sit therefore, I am."
--Tim Id

Everyone should have a chair. More precisely, everyone should have a chair that is pretty much their chair and not subject to free range sitting.

Mine is a leather easy chair with a matching ottoman. Before I was married, my chair was a faux leather recliner. Before that it was a thrift store orange velour recliner that had a tendency to lose parts when you reclined.

I'd say my butt has come up in the world.

My father never really had a chair. He had one end of a sofa. It wasn't even strategically positioned to have the best view of the television. He liked sitting on the sofa, though. He used it to spread out his maps, treasure magazines, books and notebooks that he used to take notes about the lost treasures he hoped to one day find.

He never did. So he might as well have had an easy chair and enjoyed his leisure time in comfort.

My easy chair is positioned in the best position to watch our big screen television and the optimal position to appreciate the surround sound. It is also a great place to sit with my laptop and peck out blog posts when nothing worth watching is on the big screen television (or sometimes when something worth watching is on television).

Actually I'm watching the season finale of Desperate Housewives right now. I'm not sure whether I classify it as worthwhile or not. And did you hear they cancelled Men in Trees? I'm telling you, it was the writer's strike that ruined television as we know it. And now we're heading into the summer with nothing but America's Got Talent, Last Comic Standing and a Nashville version of American Idol hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus.

But I digress.

With television sucking the way it has of late, I may resort to using my favorite chair for...gasp...reading a book.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Timwulf


Every now and then I feel a surge of testosterone and get the urge to watch films that appeal to the warrior guy in me. Braveheart was one of those films and 300 (the film about the 300 Spartan warriors) was another. Pop those puppies in the DVD player and you immerse yourself in some good old fashion sword slashing mayhem. I say, "hoo yah."

So when I saw the film Beowulf was available on Netflix, I slapped it into my list thinking I was in for a macho treat of blood and guts in the Braveheart tradition. Okay, there was plenty of blood and guts, but Beowulf is really nothing more than a computer-generated comic book.

Bummer.

The film had some well know stars like Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich. You can recognize them in their CGI (or whatever technology it is) doppelgangers, but they are freakish in the same way the characters in Tom Hanks Polar Express were. They are lifelike in a not lifelike kind of way. These characters were like Shrek on steroids.

I watched this film in the same way you'd watch a train wreck. And then I watched the Making of Beowulf segment in the DVD's special features section. And I discovered the really disturbing part of the film. The actor who plays the megabuff Beowulf --Ray Winstone -- is a middle aged man with a major pot belly.

Okay, on one level this gives hope to the rest of us middle aged dudes with pot belly's who want to be buff heroes without working out. But on another level it creeps me out royal. This Beowulf spends half of the movie prancing around nude with his tally whacker hanging in the wind and having sex with Angelina Jolie. It was kind of okay when he was a mythic hero with major abs. But to find out he really is just a blob with more chins than Jabba the Hut is kind of like pulling the curtain back on the Wizard of Oz.

Okay and don't get me started on the guy who played Grendel the monster Beowulf slays. It's Krispin Glover (Marty McFly's father in Back to the Future). Grendel looks kind of like a cross between a zombie Popeye and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Freaky as the monster is, it is still less freaky than Krispin Glover in real life. Nuff said.

Oh well, I suppose this was pretty cool technology, but I don't really get the point of having real actors doing all the work only to turn them into moving mannequins with spooky eyes. I can see computer generating monsters and mythical sets, but why real people when you have them right there creating the scenes?

Though it would be sweet to have a six pack belly, major bicepts and being able to slay a dragon without having to do a single sit up. I guess I'll just have to settle for my own Photoshopped world.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Getting along famously

With the plethora of programs like American Idol, Survivor, Last Comic Standing, America's Got Talent, etc, it dawned on me that there will probably come a point when everyone in America is famous. Then what we will we do? What's the point of being famous if everyone else is, too? Who is going to take your photo, ask for your autograph or stalk you?

Perhaps we need to start developing reality programs that promote obscurity. How about Who wants to be mediocre?, Biggest Loser (literally), America's biggest victim, or Who can't can't dance, sing or tell jokes?

Just a thought.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Butt, who nose

I am well aware that many of my posts tend to be on the negative side. But let's face it, negative stuff is much more funny than the positive stuff as long as it doesn't get too mean spirited. Okay, sometimes even the mean spirited stuff is funny, too.

Other than calling Gary Busey a whack job and occasional jabs at George W. , I try to confine my insults to categories of people and things and not personalize it too much. And I try to balance things out a bit by beating up myself.

But enough apologizing. I get sick of apologizing for potentially offending someone. Perhaps it is a side effect from living in Seattle. This land of political correctness has so many special interest groups that you can't swing a dead cat without offending someone. Now I've probably offended PETA, cat owners, vetrinarians, and swing dancers.

Jesus Christ on a crutch. Now I've offended Christians and people with disabilities. Sometimes I think if I haven't offended someone, I'm doing something wrong.

Obviously I struggle a bit with this issue. Because part of me has always wanted to be liked. But you can't always be liked, especially when you point peoples foibles. Fortunately nine times out of ten, most people with foibles don't know what the word means.

Insults just come naturally to me. Ironically, more often than not, I insult people I like. It's kind of my way of letting people know I like them without actually revealing I do.

Wow, that sounds pretty messed up. And I called Gary Busey a whack job. Maybe it's my dogs who have treed the invisible raccoon in the wrong tree.

But, who knows?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Too loose law trek

I have never been real good with other languages, including English. I took two years of German in high school and a semester in college. If I am ever in German speaking country I am confident I can find the library as long as it is "um die Ecke" (around the corner). Unfortunately, once I am there, I will be unable to read a single book.

Spanish would have been a much more useful language for me considering all the time I've spent in Spanish speaking countries (including Texas). And I love the way Spanish sounds. German always sounds as if you are shouting while gargling. Spanish sounds like poetry...very fast poetry, but poetry nevertheless.

Don't get me started on French. French is incomprehensible and unpronouncible. Plus it reeks of arrogance and assholes. And I say that with the utmost respect.

English is blah. Americans got the short end of the stick when they got stuck with English by default of colonization. It is not an exciting language. Perhaps that is why we mumble so much.

Though I don't believe many Americans speak English English. We pepper it with slang and accents that identify what part of the United States we hail from and what our economic status is. If someone uses the phrase, "Wellll, sheeeeIt" alot you can bet they are from Texas.

Of all of the American accents, I think New York accents are the worst. Even hello sounds like "fuck you" coming from a New Yorker.

I'm not sure what kind of accent I have. It meanders through the English language with educated white trash overtones that defy geographic pigeonholing. Idaho has no accent it calls its own. Most western states don't. Our accents are the eroded ones from our east coast and southern ancestors migrating towards the west. Half the time I think we just mimic sounds we hear on television.

So I suppose it is a good thing this is a written blog and not an oral one.

ShheeeeIt, yes.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Stop making sense

I was always a good headline writer. It's an art few outside the journalism realm appreciate. Because you don't catch a fish with the pole, you catch it with the hook. And a good headline hooks a reader into a story.

Or not.

Headline writers are notorious punsters. And not everyone appreciates (or gets) a pun.

It was my ability to write headlines that drew me to advertising and eventually marketing. Because I think good advertising is headline writing on steroids. Think about it. A good copywriter has 60 seconds, a sentence or one quarter page to attract you, reel you in and stun you with a fish whacker. It's like writing the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin.

Think of the ads that endure and how deceptively simple they are: Got Milk? The Real Thing. Just Do It! Be all that you can be! Where's the beef? Who made the salad? Have it your way! My weiner has a first name...You are in good hands...King of Beers...How do you handle a hungry man? Plop, plop, fizz, fizz.

Obviously I am a child of television.

My days as a headline writer and copywriter are pretty much over these days. I am what they refer to as a "client side" advertising manager. I pay other people to be clever and sit back and bite my tongue to avoid blurting out puns and clever sayings to the ad agency people who work for me. Because there is nothing more annoying to a copywriter than for someone else to give them suggestions. So I just smile and nod at the clever things I'm presented.

Sometimes I wish I was just a copywriter again. It didn't pay squat, but it was sure fun.

Oh well, my 60 seconds are up.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Blogging: So easy a caveman could do it

Technically, I suppose it should be that blogging is so easy that even a Neanderthal could do it since caveman is pretty much a generic term and lumps all prehistoric or early man in one big primeval ignorant stereotypical ooze. Regardless, the point is that it is so easy to blog that just about anyone does. Blogging turns writing in to one big paint-by-numbers kit for non-writers.

Okay, it's nice to have a hobby. But do we really need to cast Aunt May's paint-by-number masterpieces into cyberspace to float around in the ether when they should be in a trunk in the attic?

The problem with millions of people blogging is that we are numbing the judgement receptors that normally would allow people to tell "shit from Shinola." If Shakespeare was alive today and blogging, I imagine he would be struggling for hits and comments on Hamlet while some some illiterate S&M goat lover in the hinterlands amasses a small but significant following.

Such is blogging. It trades art for memes and nearly naked Thursdays.

But what should we expect from a country that thrives on reality television and celebrity fuck ups.

Og's head hurt. Must stop now.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

Today I blah, blah, buh blah blah blah. Then I blah, buh bah, blah blah blahed. It's not that I blah, blah blah. It's just that I blah, blah blah.

But I blah.

Blah, buh blahed, last night. The blah is still blahing the same old blah. It's as if I never blahed the blah blah. Then I stopped by blah. Same blah.

Why does everyone blah the blah blah? They blah blah blah and blah blah blah. I blah, they say, blah and blah. But they never really blah.

I refuse to blah, blah blah the same old blah, blah, blah. "Blah you, you bloaher," I say.

Sorry for the blah, blah, blah. It's just that blah blah blah really gets me blah.

That's blahging for you.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Is this thing on?

"A horse walks into a blog, the blogger asks him, 'Why the long face?'"

I love that joke. Maybe that is part of the problem. I see humor is the oddest things.

This blog for example. It cracks me up. And I don't say that in a conceited way. Because I pretty much think I'm in the minority here.

It occurs to me that blogging is a bit like talking to yourself out loud...alot.

I was coming out of the train station Monday morning on my way to work and while waiting at the crosswalk for the light to change (we wait for lights in Seattle) a street crazy struts up in a tank top carrying a large plastic bag and starts shrieking obcenities at the commuters. It was a racially themed tirade with political thread. It occurred to me that if the guy hadn't been a homeless raving lunatic, he would have made a great blogger.

But I digress.

I suppose in a way, I'm a frustrated standup comedian. I love making people laugh. I imagine part of it is trying to get people to laugh with me than at me. When I was in junior high, I was one of those quiet kids who would mumble funny things that only the kid sitting next to me could hear. I considered it a coup if I could make someone laugh out loud in class and get creamed by the teacher while I sat their innocently pretending I was taking copious notes.

I catch myself trying out new (and old) material on co-workers as I wander the halls at work as if it was open mike night. If something works, I may repeat it five or six times in a day until I've got the timing just right. And like a real standup comedian, I often go to far in the adrenalin stoked high of making people laugh and step over the line in my search for a laugh. Then there is this awkward silence and I slink on back to my office.

The problem is, I'm not a standup comedian. It's hard to foster a professional image and advance your career when you are always pretending you are warming up the room for the headliner.

But seriously folks...take my blog...please.

Ha, ha, ha...

Is this thing on?