Denise McDonald Dorman

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Undercover Boss…REALLY?!?

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2010 at 12:56 am

Imagine you’re earning under $50k a year,  or maybe under $30k. All of the sudden a film crew magically appears to tape you training a new employee in how to, say, clean hotel rooms, shovel shit out of horse stalls at the racetrack, or drive a garbage truck with zero time to take a pee break. Chances are, you’re co-starring in an episode of Undercover Boss. I’ve watched enough episodes to say with confidence, these on-camera CEO trainers may not be in the 39% tax bracket, but it’s no reflection on their I.Q.’s. I secretly hope they’re amping up their tales of woe just to win that promotion or raise they always seem to get at the very happy ending portion of the program. I think they’ve earned it just for willing participation in this  “city mouse-meets-country mouse” reality TV charade.

Oh, what I would give to see my BFF Christina Bouvier in an episode of Undercover Boss, training some C.E.O. in her Midwestern manufacturing plant.  With a straight face, over an Oliver Twistian lunch of water and stale Melba toast, she would spin a yarn so tragically sad that even Donald Trump, tear-soaked silk hankie in hand, would be begging her to move into his carriage house by show’s end. Within a month, she’d be living rent-free in one of his spare penthouse suites. Within six weeks, she’d be telling Trump “You’re fired!” on his own TV program. To quote Gordon Gecko, “Greed is good.”

Advertisements

Depraved Fun with Dictionary.Com

In Life Observations on September 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm

It happens to all of us — over time, that patina of newness and your partner’s eager puppy unceasing attention to your every utterance fades to black. You’ll know just when it happens – that moment when they forget to check first if you’re showering, and just flush the toilet at will, scalding you in your soaped up birthday suit…or that moment when it takes an act of Congress to get your partner’s attention over the din of the TV (in my husband’s case, shows like “Japanese Iron  Chef”) or the Sunday paper. My creative BFF Christina Bouvier has taught me her stealthy ninja secret to interrupting Dave’s TV coma. She has used this technique on her husband with a high degree of success. In her case, he gets sucked into old Twilight Zone episodes, or anything on the SyFy Channel (btw, the most brutally ridiculous brand name change in the history of TV – it should have remained SciFi Channel, imho. Are we supposed to pronounce this “Siffy”? WTF?!?).

So, if you’re looking to suck your husband’s…wait for it…attention…from the vortex of bad TV, here’s a great online tool to make it happen:

Go to Dictionary.com and find the most titillating term – perhaps at your house, it’s titillating? Anyhow, Bouvier usually types in “vagina” or “penis.” On Dictionary.com, there’s an audio option, so she just keeps hitting that audio button, over and over again–ad nauseum–as the robotic voice says “Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!” Eventually her hubby breaks his eye lock on the flat screen and looks up at her with disgust from Twilight Zone. The victory is all hers.

Kids, try this at home, and let me know how well it works for you!

Stainless & Granite: The Unenlightened Think It’s the New Black in Kitchen Design

In Life Observations on September 7, 2010 at 4:09 am

In some households, the cacophony of couch potatoes screaming at the flat screen might smack of football season. At our house, it means I’m watching my favorite new porn: HGTV’s House Hunters, or its skinnier, richer and even bee-yotchier sister, House Hunters International.

Today was House Hunters International’s HGTV marathon. (I guess they don’t think my ass is big enough already, so they’re adding several hours to my non-aerobic activity). Imagine my delight and surprise when interviewing world-renowned artist Scott Hampton for Dave Dorman’s & my podcast, “It’s Comic Book Day” (free on iTunes, folks!) and discovering that he, too, shares my addiction. Scott summed it up best: Who knew you could buy a chateau in the south of France for a mere $500,000?!?”

I’ve learned much from observing – and cursing out – these clueless home buyers. Are you selling a home in the near future? Take careful note. The new rules for staging homes can be summarized in a couple of bullet points:

#1. People today are way too stupid to notice the true and lovely bones of a home and the potential of its land. They will NOT see past the paint palette or wallpaper that somehow offends their precious sensibilities, so keep that wall cover neutral, folks! Just take your paint cues from some old Pottery Barn catalog (don’t worry, the catalog can be from 10 years ago and the design won’t have evolved at all) and be sure to fill a giant, useless and extravagantly expensive clear vase (say it like you’re from Connecticut and pronounce it “vaahhhzzz”) with useless balls that look like Martha Stewart rolled up some brown old grape vines after her Kobe beef herd shat on them. Wall colors can be khaki, ecru and egg shell. Don’t get too imaginative. Wall art must always be framed in black.

#2. The home could have a crumbling foundation and the most labyrynthine layout, but so long as that kitchen boasts “stainless steel appliances and granite countertops,” that home is…to quote our moronic ex-Illinois Guv Blago…”Effing GOLDEN!!!”

Every single time I see some uninformed couple walk into a kitchen and gush over stainless and granite, I scream at the TV. I’m confident Dave jests when he tells me I learned English from “longshoremen,” whatever that means. Surely Tony Robbins is intricately involved in some conspiracy…like the kitchen design lobbyists got to him, and the next brainwashing session he held down at his Fiji compound was dedicated to selling future home buyers on bad 1998 kitchen decor. Do these people just really not know what a pain in the ass it is to keep fingerprints off of stainless?!? Or how easily stainless steel appliances dent?!? Or how dated these kitchens are going to look in no time?!?

When I think of these house hunters, I can’t help but think of the lyric from The Police’s most excellent album, Synchronicity: “Packed like lemmings into shiny, metal boxes…contestants in a suicidal race.” But these house hunting lemmings are all converging toward one giant design suicide. From everything I’ve witnessed over countless episodes, home buyer individuality is deader than Paris Hilton’s welcome mat at LasVegas Wynn Properties.

All this talk of The Police has made me, in my true A.D.D. fashion, think of the hottest Baby Boomer on the planet, Sting. He should have at least a cameo role on my favorite vampire porn, True Blood. Don’t you agree?

Why Denise Dorman is So Anal About Grammar…

In Life Observations on September 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I‘m in this hyper-private mastermind group, so I can’t say much under threat of my own demise, but one of my favorite cohorts just offered up this beauty, fresh off of Twitter:

Grammar is Important. Capitalization is the difference between “Helping your Uncle Jack off a horse” and “helping your uncle jack off a horse.”

That was sheer brilliance. That might be in one of my favorite books, “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.” Yep. I’m the dork who bought that book.

Witness Jeff Deck, and a couple of his college friends, who have spent the last year traveling around the United States fixing grammatically incorrect signs from Hoboken to Hot Springs. I am their biggest fan. While my BFFs lie in bed at night fantasizing about True Blood hotties like Joe Manganiello, I lie in bed fantasizing about making my mark on the world’s typos with a giant Sharpie. Even restaurant menus cannot escape my eagle eye for Parmasan v. Parmesan and Riesling v. Reisling. Musicians listen to a concert and hear that one wrong note that we mere mortals cannot identify. That’s how I read…everything.

I once dated someone who sent me romantic poetry via email. Since he had never done anything like this before, I was puzzled by the email and simply had no idea of its context or social cue. It was truly my adult Asperger’s moment. I emailed it back with grammatical corrections, only to be mortified that this love poem was written solely for me. D’oh! (That was the first of many nails in the coffin for that relationship.)

I once patronized a local dry cleaner, owned and operated by a lovely Asian couple for whom English was a second language. I really liked them, especially since the owner went to NIU–my alma mater–for graphic design. I was infuriated one day when I discovered they had paid hard-earned money for a giant sign on their front window, 3 feet x 6 feet, announcing: “Snirts: 75 cents.” I walked right in, past the line of astonished patrons, grabbed the marker off of their counter, and went to town, turning “Snirts” into “Shirts.” I was too busy fulfilling my fantasy, no, make that my destiny, to notice that I might be perceived by the wildly curious line of suits and middle-aged moms as, say, eccentric. I was merely correcting an unspeakable, giant bowl of WRONG and helping out some friends.

You could say I’m a little over the top when it comes to grammar and punctuation. When fresh college grads send me their resumes, I always point out, gently, that my last name is Dorman, not Doorman, and “perhaps if you’re pointing out your attention to detail, that typo might come under your purview.” Do you think that’s a little too harsh? Not me! I enjoy deflowering the “I’m-too-precious-to-criticize” bubble surrounding today’s Gen Zs. My biggest pet peeve? When people use “it’s” instead of “its.” That one sends me nonlinear.

Now I’ll share my own gaffe, but I refuse to own it. My well-intentioned spell check on my iPhone was the culprit for this big boner. I have a client named Idit for whom I have enormous respect and admiration. I flew in to Jersey to meet with her. I sent her a message and hit the send button a nanosecond too quickly – with the salutation of “Dear Idiot.” For me and my personal brand of grammatical exceptionalism, that moment was as deflating as a Pulitzer Prize winner getting busted for plagiarism. Idit was too polite to acknowledge it, but I’ll admit, her projects have benefited from “The Big Boner Discount” ever since.