Random Ramblings: Wednesday Night #Comedy

If I suddenly had a full head of hair again, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. Not a clue.

I wonder if anyone has ever been killed by a big sculpture. “Cause of Death: Art.”

It should be illegal to name someone William Williams, Robert Roberts or any other variation.

The gym parking lot should have mandatory workout stations.

I wonder what the longest URL ever was/is. Is there a limit? Could you put an essay before your “.com?”

If you haven’t been to a McDonald’s PlayPlace since you were a kid, do NOT go. You will be insanely jealous of how awesome they are now. 

Not sure I could ever get one of those car wraps to advertise while I’m driving. Because sometimes I am impatient with other drivers and make mean faces.* (*Understatement.)

I haven’t been to a banquet in a really long time. I haven’t received an award in a really long time. Connection?

Actually, I lied. I won my 2010 fantasy baseball league. And it was glorious. But no banquet.

Dear Guys Who Use an Electric Razor to Shave While Driving: So you just go around all day with little hairs all over your neck, shirt and pants?

Oh, Rick Springfield on a billboard. Your stubble makes you relevant.

If your company has a “combined 140 years of experience,” that means something. It means you can do math.

New Policy: If I see another driver picking his/her nose, I will hold up my phone to pretend I am snapping their picture.

I want to study the psychology of numbers that end in -9 and prices that end in $0.99.

Passed by “Ultimate Furniture.” Immediately imagined The Ultimate Warrior running from end to end at top speed and giving rambling speeches over the P.A. system.

When someone says to you “don’t be a stranger,” you should respond with “I couldn’t possibly be a stranger. I’ve been your nephew for 39 years.”

 

A Tribute to Sally Widman: Mentor, Colleague & Friend

As much as anyone in my life, I owe my career (and therefore, much more) to Sally Widman.

Sally passed away this week, and I grieve the loss of her presence in our world.

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When we met in the fall of 1990, she was Director of College Communications at my undergrad school, Ursinus College. (If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a small liberal arts institution in Collegeville, PA.)

I was fortunate enough to end up in her office one day, seeking a work-study position as a student writer. And let me tell you, after a brief job as “morning-after campus trash-picker,” a desk job sounded pretty sweet.

Because I had no writing samples, Sally asked me to write up a press release. Of course, I did what I thought was the most brilliant thing ever — I wrote a news release announcing my hiring, complete with glowing (and fabricated) quotes from Sally herself.

She got a kick out of this what-I-now-know-to-be-hackery, and promptly hired me. And for the next four years, I happily spent five to ten hours a week crafting news releases on Berman Art Museum happenings, faculty and staff hirings, Handel’s “Messiah” performances and much more.  

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Under Sally’s tutelage, I learned the intricacies of PR writing. I learned the basics of journalism from her (despite also having taken Journalism 201) because I was applying them frequently. I had my first real “office work” experience, which was surprisingly warm and friendly — a reflection on Sally and her staff.

Eventually, she became advisor to “The Grizzly,” the student newspaper for which I was a columnist, then assistant sports editor and finally sports editor. It was her role to maintain the paper’s standards, and I made sure to do my best to support her in those efforts.

It was Sally who helped us upgrade (buckle up, Millennials) from MS Word-printed copy, hot- waxed to big mechanicals to PageMaker software. Learning that program gave me enough basic skills to be able to adapt years later to Quark XPress and other DTP software that I’ve worked with as a professional marketer.

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My first job was writing highly technical press releases and newsletter articles. Getting that job and keeping it would never have been possible without the learnings and experience I got by working with Sally. (What, you think I could have written the “Fiber & Fabric Finishings” newsletter for the textile/nonwovens industry without any training?)

I eventually moved over to the advertising agency world, and although I’ve had many positions and worked with clients in a wide variety of industries, I will always carry the skills and experiences I earned by working with Sally.

I was very fortunate to keep in touch with her after graduating, even in a “social media” kind of way. We shared a similar worldview and sense of humor. And she always took time to wish me a happy birthday or tell me that she thought the Facebook photo of my kids was cute.

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It’s been 18 years since I’ve graduated, and I’m 1,400 miles from Ursinus. But Sally Widman will be with me wherever I go in life, and I’m truly grateful to have known her.

I send my heartfelt condolences to her family and loved ones.

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[Re-posted from Sally’s Facebook page]

Sara Elizabeth “Sally” (Howard) Widman, 67, husband of George Parker Widman, Marian Ave., Trappe, died Tuesday morning, at Phoenixville Hospital.

Mrs. Widman was born on April 26, 1945, in Cincinnati, OH, and was a daughter of the late Benjamin and Betty (Slimp) Howard. She was a graduate of Withrow High School, Cincinnati, and the University Of Cincinnati.

A former newspaper reporter in Binghamton and Utica, N.Y., Mrs. Widman began work at Ursinus College as a part-time alumni magazine editor and writer in 1983, and was appointed fulltime editor in 1986. In May 1990 she was named Director of Communications, and in 2002, added to her title, which became Director of College Communications and Web Information. She retired in March, 2009.

Mrs. Widman wrote and edited major college publications and reports, and oversaw a Communications operation that resulted in high visibility for the college during the terms of two former presidents. She directed the web team/oversaw the website and led the effort to redesign the College’s online presence. As the college’s public relations officer, she was known throughout Collegeville, and wrote and edited most of the content in the Ursinus alumni magazines until the mid-1990s. She was a member of the College Choir and Arts & Lectures committee, and many planning and policy working groups.

Mrs. Widman was member of the state organization, formerly called College and University Public Relations Association of Pennsylvania (CUPRAP), now the Association of Communicators in Education, and was elected CUPRAP president in 2005. She was the recipient of the Don Hale Award for Service in 2009.

Mrs. Widman was a member of Trinity Reformed Church, United Church Of Christ where she sang in the choir and was a member of Heavenly Harmony. She also volunteered with local Democratic Party election efforts.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Widman is survived by her sons, Robert Duncan, husband of Irais (Olguin) Widman, Long Beach, CA, and James Parker Widman, Limerick Twp.; her grandson, Ethan Parker Widman; and her siblings, Frederick, husband of Michele Howard, Valley Falls, NY, and Lucy Hastings, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

The funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM, Friday, at Trinity Reformed Church, UCC, with the Rev. Dr. Martha B. Kriebel, Pastor, officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call from 9:30 to 10:45 AM, Friday, at church. Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Reformed Church, UCC, 532 E. Main St., Collegeville, PA 19426; or the Trappe Ambulance & Fire Co., 20 W. 5th Ave., Trappe, PA 19426. Arrangements are by Holcombe Funeral Home, Inc., Trappe.

Phillies: What If…Everything Went Right?

Thanks to my constant suckage at fantasy baseball, I’m used to rebuilding — and recognizing the signs that it’s time to rebuild.

But I’ll do that blog post later. This one is about how the Phillies could potentially win the National League East.

It’ll take some minor miracles, but here we go (in order of likelihood):

1) The healthy return of Roy Halladay. If Doc comes back fine, the Big Three starting pitchers can keep the team in games and allow the bats to do their work. (This one is pretty obvious.)

2) Improvements in the bullpen. Whether we’re talking about these guys buckling down and getting the job done…or Ruben Amaro, Jr.  buckling down and doing his job to find some solid middle relief arms via the trade market or free agency.   

3) The healthy return of Ryan Howard. If the Big Man comes back healthy and does his thing, that is a huge boost to the lineup (clearly). He and Hunter Pence make a solid lefty-righty RBI combo and take the pressure off Ty Wigginton and John Mayberry, who most likely will perform better with slightly less playing time.

4) The healthy return of Freddy Galvis. If the offense is good enough, they can bury him in the 8 spot in the lineup and enjoy his defensive wizardry.

5) The healthy return of Chase Utley. Good Heavens, we’re stretching now. The mysterious knees of Mr. Utley are a conundrum, an enigma shrouded in a mystery of riddles. But if he came back and gave the team a couple solid months of offense? Wow.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Take a look at the 2008 lineup, rotation and numbers here. While there is no way the 2012 team can pile up the offensive numbers of the 2008 version. But good health and solid performances from the returning DLers could go a long way.

Rotation-wise, 2012 should destroy the 2008 version. And if you’re telling me that the Madson/Durbin/Condrey/Romero/Seanez bullpen combination can’t somehow be duplicated, then I’m not sure I want to watch any more baseball this year. (Papelbon should be very good, if not Lidge-esque.)

So it’s all about health and RAJ making a good move or two. (Or the coaches getting the current bullpen guys to pitch better.) 

And if it all goes according to plan and the Phillies climb back into contention, the medical staff will be the real MVP.

Twins Update, 9/28/10

Amazing progress for our girls.

Norah = walking pretty much everywhere, mostly looking like little old drunk lady; crawling up stairs at a high rate of speed; little buds of teeth FINALLY poking out thanks to pretty much an entire lifetime of painful teething (poor girl!); some tantrum-throwing, but we think that’s related to the teething; grabs stuff from her sister but sometimes shares back; serves as my alarm clock, talking loudly between 8 and 8:30 every morning.

Alex = crawling up stairs all by herself, pulls herself up, starting to stand on her own…walking is next on the agenda; repeating certain words, loves counting along with Mommy (especially “two” and “FIVE!”); loves to read and constantly brings over books for us to read; seems to enjoy selecting from the two outfits I hold up each morning; early signs of “neat freak” — stops every fourth step while climbing to hand us carpet lint, won’t take next spoonful of food sometimes unless she hands me a bit of leftover Cheerio.

Seventeen-and-a-half months of awesomeness.

Twins Update: 9 months old

To celebrate their 9-month birthday (which occurred on January 16), the beautiful Alexandra and Norah accomplished the following:

1/14/10 = Norah crawled for the first time. Twenty minutes later, Alex responded to Shannon saying “Hi!” with a boisterous “Hi!” of her own.

1/18/10 = Norah was able to identify “nose” and “eyes” on Curious George. Not to be outdone, Alex (a renowned kicker) somehow kicked hard enough while seated in her bouncy seat to move forward about four feet. (Maybe trying to get closer to the TV, I don’t know.)

This fatherhood thing is crazy awesome. When they call me Dada for the first time, I will likely melt into a puddle.

New entries coming soon!

We’ve been through the wringer…then again…then once more…then turned upside-down…then once more through the wringer.

But the girls are doing better, and maybe even close to coming home!

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting the blogs I wrote during the hurricane that was the past several weeks.

Including photos. “Awws” and “Oohs” gladly accepted.

Thoughts on a windy Tuesday (MySpace blog from 1.29.08)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thoughts on a windy Tuesday
Current mood: froggy

A song on the radio or MTV caught my ear, and I haven’t really dug a song like this in a while. It’s Sara Bareilles’ “Not Gonna Write You A Love Song.” Check it out if you haven’t heard it. It has a really cool if-Ben-Folds-was-a-23-year-old-woman-banging-on-the-piano vibe. And it’s catchy as hell.

First I was here on MySpace. Then LinkedIn, for the “hey, I’m networking” side of me. Then Facebook. Now somebody got me onto NotchUp, where they will allegedly arrange for you to get paid for job interviews. I guess this is Web 2.0, social networking, and the beginning of The End.

I love living in a world where there’s a betting line in Vegas on how long Jordin Sparks takes to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. You can really tell that Fox is running the show. Jordin Sparks? Seriously?

Shannon and I are completely sucked into the vortex of reality shows, both terrible and awesome. The terrible include Rock of Love 2, Scott Baio is 46 and Pregnant, and the soon-to-be-aired Flavor of Love 3. The awesome include Project Runway, Top Chef, Top Design, The Next Design Star, Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (US & BBC), and our new favorite, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

A quick rundown of each show, since I know you all respect my vast and superfluous pop culture knowledge and opinions:
–Rock of Love 2 = Skankalicious. Skanktastic. A skanktastrophe.

–Scott Baio… = Boo hoo, Scott, you’re 46 and it’s time to grow up and be a man. Guess what, you are no longer the center of your universe.

–Flavor of Love 3 = Man, can’t Flavor Flav find true love? Someone to be a momma to his 7 kids? Someone who likes kissing a mouth full of gold and gums?

–Project Runway = Always dramatic, the judges are witchy with a capital B, Heidi Klum is annoying, but Tim Gunn is way cool and I respect the creativity and ingenuity of the contestants under tight deadlines. Reminds me of my job.

–Top Chef = Almost the same as Project Runway, but with food.

–Top Design = Almost the same as Project Runway, but with interior design.

–The Next Design Star = Almost the same as Top Design, but with the added challenge of being a TV host.

–Hell’s Kitchen = Renowned chef/restaurateur Gordon Ramsay yells at/trains chefs while they compete for a dream job/their own restaurant.

–Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (BBC) = The original, where Ramsay spends a week at a dying restaurant and tries to help them save the business. Shows that he can be a good guy, he’s very smart and creative.

–Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (US) = Same thing, just Americanized and more dramatic. The American restaurateurs that he meets are usually not as welcoming or open to his ideas, which is incredibly stupid of them.

–Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew = Wow. A bunch of random F-list celebrities with drug and alcohol problems are in Dr. Drew’s (heckuva nice guy) rehab facility in California. Really rooting for some of them to overcome their problems. Jeff Conaway is both freaking insane and pitiable.

What else can I blather on about…

I turned 35 years old 16 days ago. Meh.

I’m not happy that the gym is getting crowded at 6:35 AM. Go away, fellow complex residents, so I can get the good elliptical machine and crank the morning news or Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN2.

I am happy that although I’m not losing weight as fast as I’d hoped, I’m muscling up. You feel lucky, punk?

Why do clients pay us like $100/hour or more and then completely disregard our recommendations? It’s like our experience and talent aren’t worth anything, but they have a budget so they might as well spend it on something.

I’m already tired of the 2008 candidates. Although I am kind of psyched to see the final two, whoever they are, go at it over the summer. Just thought of something interesting…heard that McCain was considering Joe Lieberman as a running mate. So our big race could come down to a Republican ticket with a 70-something war hero and a Jewish guy versus the Democratic ticket headed by either a woman or an African-American man. Maybe there’s hope for this “melting pot” yet. Although I’d still love a legitimate 3rd party. And 4th party.

Actually, Chris Crocker or whatever your name is, Britney should NOT be left alone. Somebody should grab that crazy girl and put her in a secret rehab in Nebraska or somewhere away from the jerks with cameras who are profiting off of her problems.

This might be my longest blog ever. And it’s all killer, no filler.

Recommendation: Sign up for the e-mail lists of your favorite stores and restaurants. They will send you discounts and birthday freebies and stuff. It is easy and it works.

Back to TV, because it always comes back to TV. Watch E’s “Chelsea Lately” with Chelsea Handler. She is funny like 85% of the time, which is 60% better than Robin Williams.

Man, I really wish the writers’ strike was over. I miss Heroes.

I love most of what Ricky Gervais has done: The Office (the original) and Extras being the two biggies. He really did take a sharp left with that Extras finale, though. Ruminating on the follies of fame and celebrity and all that stuff, it was the darkest finale of a comedy series ever.

All right, kids, get back to work.