Denise McDonald Dorman

Archive for the ‘WriteBrain Media’ Category

Oy Vey! New Apple iPad App JUDOKU Teaches Users About Judaism

In Acme Digital Laboratories LLC, Andrew Charon, Apple, Entertainment, Humor, iPad, iPad App, Jewish Culture, Judaism, Judoku, Pop Culture, Public Relations, Uncategorized, User Experience, WriteBrain Media on July 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, July 27, 2011–Oy vey! Move over, world of Sudoku apps targeting Jewish youth…there’s a new game in town! Okay, so maybe the Jewish Sudoku mobile gaming market isn’t huge, but it’s just grown by one. Today the Apple App Store published Judoku(TM), an educational Sudoku puzzle game aimed at educating Jews and Gentiles alike on the basics of Jewish culture.

Judoku (rhymes with Sudoku), developed by ACME Digital Laboratories LLC, is not your everyday Sudoku app. The iPad game, which sells for $1.99 on the Apple App Store, can be played as a traditional Sudoku game, with numbers 1 through 9 ordered across columns and rows, or by using Jewish symbols or the Hebrew alphabet in place of numbers. The game also includes humorous explanations of the Jewish components to further engage and educate players.

Judoku creator Andrew Charon, who was lead developer on the Webby Award-winning Yearbook Yourself app with its 450,000 visits, said “I’ve been creating educational games for companies like General Mills, Colle+McVoy, takemefishing.org and Blue Earth Interactive for many years, and most recently, I created a successful mobile app Sudoku game. My whole life people have asked me questions about Judaism, and then it occurred to me–here’s the opportunity to merge both into one fun user experience! I wanted a captivating tool I could use to teach my own children about Judaism. Learning the Torah was competing for their attention against Angry Birds and Justin Bieber Tweets. I figured if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! That, and frankly, I really just wanted to create something called Judoku,” he added.

According to Charon, whether or not Judoku will be released for devices, such as Apple’s iPhone and iPod, or for Android and Blackberry devices will depend on the demand for the game from users of those devices. “I’m eager to hear how people are using the game, what they’re finding useful, and just getting their overall feedback. I’m expecting a lot of questions — it’s sort of a Jewish thing.”

For more information on Judoku, please visit http://www.judoku.net or http://www.acmedigitallabs.com; for review copies of the game, please contact ACME public relations firm WriteBrain Media by phone at 630.215.5623 by email at denise@writebrainmedia.com or via Twitter.com/writebrainmedia.

ABOUT ACME DIGITAL LABORATORIES LLC (ACME)

ACME Digital Laboratories LLC (ACME), founded in Chicago in 1997 by Andrew Charon, is now a Minneapolis-based creative software development company specializing in web and mobile application development. Judoku(TM) is the latest app developed by ACME. Previous mobile applications include The Crazy Monster Matching Game (iPhone) and The Monster Madness Memory Game and Sudoku Mania (iPad).

ABOUT ANDREW CHARON

Andrew Charon, the Webby Award-winning lead developer of Yearbook Yourself, has been working professionally in web development, design, and marketing since 1996. The Rubik’s Cube may have been the impetus for his award-winning career. At age 11, Fargo, ND native Charon was featured on his local ABC-TV affiliate for solving the Rubik’s Cube in record-breaking time. Currently, Charon is a full-time contractor at General Mills with a focus on creative software development, user experience, design and interactive strategy. Previously, Charon was employed at Minneapolis-based agency Colle+McVoy as a Sr. Creative Developer. He was a significant part of the agency’s transformation from a traditional to a highly interactive-focused agency, and while there, lead many award-winning projects for clients such as Yahoo!, Johnson and Johnson, Taubman Malls, Manhattan Toys, Kiehls and Rhymsayers Entertainment. With an undergraduate degree in fine art, Charon is continuing his education at the University of St. Thomas masters program in Software Engineering and Information Systems. Charon enjoys spending time with his family, long bike rides, around Minneapolis, soccer and listening to and composing his own music. When he’s not developing games for his clients or his children, he’s…sigh…still developing games.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Denise Dorman | WriteBrain Media

P: 630.845.4694 | M: 630.215.5623 |E: denise@writebrainmedia.com

Twitter.com/WriteBrainMedia | Facebook.com/writebrainmedia

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Yes, I Am 12…and Not in Dog Years

In Comedy, Dave Dorman, Denise Dorman, Humor, Life Observations, Practical Jokes, Pranks, Wall Street Journal, WriteBrain Media on January 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I‘ll admit it. I’m not the most sophisticated when it comes to humor. Frankly, I am 12.

Oh, I can grasp and laugh at Dennis Miller’s obscure metaphors 90% of the time–admittedly with a little help from Wikipedia. I revel in the clever comedy stylings of Christopher GuestMonty Python and The League of Gentlemen…but it’s the really immature stuff that sucker punches me. Blazing Saddles. Kathy Griffin. Pee Wee Herman.

What does it say about me that I can’t sit in a board meeting and hear the word “titillate” without smirking? When someone lets go of a squeaker in church, I’m a goner. I’ll admit, I even snuck in a quote about farting when the Wall Street Journal interviewed me a few years back. While I haven’t researched this carefully, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume I’m the very first.

Yes, I am 12.

This has made parenting a six-year-old boy an enormous challenge for me. My “pause laughter” button has never materialized. I spontaneously erupt at his every precocious declaration and sound effect. This is doing neither me, my husband nor my son any favors. I might as well be telegraphing, “Want to avoid disciplinary action? Just make that well-timed comment or fart sound!”

I’m so lucky to have a mature partner in this parenting endeavor–my husband Dave. That’s right. The comic book artist is the mature one in this dynamic duo. Who’d have thunk it? Like my BFF, the brilliant prankster Christina Bouvier whom I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Dave has somehow trained his facial muscles to hide his gut reaction. This comes in handy on occasions like last Friday, when our son informed us in his wide-eyed innocence that “cows have gutters.” Dave’s a true poker face.

Here’s just one example: Once upon a time not long ago, Dave and I stood together in a long checkout line at Lowe’s. Deep within the bowels of my hobo bag, I had forgotten about my new key chain…the one with the cursing man sound chip fob. I never meant to actually use it in public. It was one of those impulse buys I intended to use on Bouvier. It seems my wallet shifted inside of there and jammed the key fob’s talk button. “You’re an A-hole! You’re an A-hole! You’re an A-hole! Eff you, Eff you, Eff you!” the key chain chirped incessantly…and loudly. People in other checkout lines were staring me down. My purse was plagued with Tourette’s Syndrome, yet Dave didn’t bat an eye.

One day my son will be 12, and we will be equals.

 

Mashable names PSGive.org “Most Promising New Company”

In Charitable Giving, Mashable, Not-forProfit, Philanthropy, Pop Culture, PSGIVE.org, Public Relations, Social Good, Social Media, WriteBrain Media on January 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Mashable names PSGive.org “Most Promising New Company”

PSGive selected over renowned sites Quora and Instagram for the win

Las Vegas, NV – January 7, 2011—PSGive.org is pleased to announce that they were presented with the Mashable Award for “Most Promising New Company.”  Their win was announced last night during the fourth annual Mashable Awards at a gala event kicking off the 2011 International CES® conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“It was an honor simply to be nominated in the company of such great organizations as Quora, Instagram, Badgeville, and Getaround,” noted Sean Steinmarc, co-founder.

The Mashable Awards recognize the year’s best of tech and the web, per votes by the Mashable community who cast more than 1.3 million votes in 25 categories. “The Mashable Community has really grown the Mashable Awards program over the past four years,” said Pete Cashmore Founder & CEO of Mashable.  “We are grateful to our readers who made this year’s program such a success.”

PSGive.org was born of two lifelong friends, Paul Feldman and Sean Steinmarc, who had spent six years supporting non-profits dedicated to curing diabetes, a disease with which Feldman was diagnosed at age 25.  While researching methods to increase support, they identified that the non-profit community’s limited resources made it difficult for many organizations, not just those focused on diabetes, to reach and engage a wider supporter base. From that revelation, Paul and Sean developed a solution to this problem: PSGive.org.

PSGive.org was founded in May of 2009 and launched in October 2010, attracting donors with online “events.” Each event is assigned to a single charity, where supporters compete online to win prizes like luxury trips, electronics and more. Most recently, donors won an iPad for $4.49, a Kindle for $14.48 and a Flip Ultra HD for $16.53. Revenue from the events is generated by participation, allowing for these item discounts. Other benefits to the site include the following:

PSGive.org is fun: Each charity is assigned an event, where supporters can compete online to win prizes like luxury trips, electronics and more.

PSGive.org is affordable: There is never a membership fee for charities or supporters. Virtually everyone can afford to participate; tokens start at just $0.50 each.

PSGive.org is social: Members earn free tokens by referring friends; the “Share Button” at the bottom of each charity page and its event pages helps broadcast the message on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere, further raising awareness.

PSGive.org is accessible: The site is accessible via smart phones such as the iPhone, Blackberry and Android.

“PSGive.org is engaging a myriad of new supporters to give small amounts rather than hunting that one lump sum from a wealthy philanthropist. This does a better job of raising awareness of the charities immediately, thus raising further revenue in the future,” Feldman explained.

For more information, please visit PSGive.org, watch the founders’ in a TV interview, visit our press room and visit the following pages:

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

About PSGive.org

Founded in 2010, PSGive.org is an online community specifically designed to increase awareness of and revenue for non-profit organizations. PSGive.org allows nonprofit supporters to compete for amazing deals in online events benefiting their causes.

Media Contacts:

Stephen Crane

stephen.crane@psgive.org

951.732.7010

Denise Dorman

denise.dorman@psgive.org

630.845.4694

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PR, Communications & Social Media Job Seekers: Check This Out

In Career, Communications, Denise Dorman, Employment, Facebook, Job Opportunities, LinkedIn, Public Relations, Recruiting, Social Media, Twitter, WriteBrain Media on November 10, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Dear Friends,

Some of you following me work in the same universe as do I – communications and content creation. To that end, a friend from a private online group posted information today about this new niche job board, which I’m sharing with all of you in the event that it helps even one person find work in this tough economy. So here it is– “Hoojobs”:

Hoojobs (http://hoojobs.com) is a niche job board for the public relations, communications, and social media community. We just launched to job-seekers yesterday. Several employers and recruiters have positions posted and it’s growing daily.
Hoojobs features:

– Simple, clean, easy-to-use design.
– A live search tool to quickly find relevant results.
– Job alerts via email or RSS based on keywords or categories.
– Integrated social media tools to allow users to quickly share job leads with their networks via email, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
– Real-time job postings – Job posts are only posted for 30 days unless the employer re-posts the position because it is still active. No more out-of-date jobs!
– A niche site marketed solely to communications and marketing professionals resulting in more qualified leads for employers than the large job boards.
– Backing from Paradigm Staffing, a recruiting agency with over a decade of serving the PR and communications industry.

Please visit and let us know what you think! We’re still working on some minor details and will be improving search and the alert features to make it even easier for the job seekers to be notified immediately about opportunities in the field of interest.

We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.
http://facebook.com/hoojobs
http://twitter.com/hoojobs

I hope this helps someone out there find work. If it does, will you please share your story here? Good luck!

I’m NOT One of the Top 50 Mommy Bloggers…But Who’s Counting?!?

In Chinese, Dave Dorman, Entertainment, Fortune Cookies, Life Observations, Pop Culture, Practical Jokes, Pranks, WriteBrain Media on November 9, 2010 at 8:29 pm

So today they announced the Top 50 Mommy Bloggers. Apparently I haven’t done enough drinking and bribing with the judges.  That’s okay. I appreciate all of you, my gentle snowflakes. Each and every one of you.

A little Facebook exchange today reminded me to share with you one of my favorite practical jokes. I executed this operation when I was first getting to know Dave’s family. I had just moved to Shalimar, Florida and it was right around the holidays. Dave’s brother Jeff, sister-in-law Vicky, niece Stephanie and nephew John came down to celebrate with us and Dave’s father, USAF Lieutenant Colonel Jack Dorman.  Dave’s niece Stephanie and I hit the mall for some Christmas shopping and happened upon one of my favorite practical joke prop stores of all time (cue up the choir of angels): Spencer’s Gifts.

While perusing Spencer’s, I discovered the most delicious x-rated fortune cookies. As luck would have it (no pun intended), the whole family was going to Dave’s favorite Chinese restaurant that very evening. Stephanie and I were just buzzing with anticipation.

We arrived at the Chinese restaurant and ever-so-casually pulled the server aside and asked her to serve our fortune cookies. I don’t know about your family, but our tradition is that everyone reads their fortune aloud at the end of the meal. Like many ugly Americans, when little ears aren’t present, we end the fortune with the words “in bed” or “between the sheets.” This particular night, we all held off on that tradition to be more appropriate in a public place.

I’d give anything to recall the entire fortune-reading-aloud segment, but all that I can really remember is Dave’s brother Jeff reading, “Tight butts drive me nuts…?!?” as he looked up quizzically with a half-smile on his face. Everyone raced to open their fortune cookies and read them. Dave got really pissed and declared to the server, “What kind of fortune cookies are you serving here?!?” and then he saw it: the tears of laughter rolling down mine and Stephanie’s faces. Once again, he was the victim of my horseplay.

If pranks don’t come naturally to you, I recommend that you, too, peruse Spencer’s Gifts. The props there are downright inspirational. And when you pull your prank, please share it with me here or email me at denise@writebrainmedia.com. I can always use a good laugh.

Nature v. Nurture: The Apple That Didn’t Drop Far From the Tree

In Entertainment, Life Observations, WriteBrain Media on November 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Gentle Readers,

Most of you following me know that I’m married to a famed artist and illustrator, Dave Dorman. However, unless you grew up with me, you likely aren’t aware that I, too, was a gifted artist in my youth. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a mentor like Dave to explain to me that there was “gold in them thar mines…” or real career opportunities for artists and illustrators.  Today Dave goes to grade schools, high schools and colleges and lectures students on career opportunities for the arts. I just wasn’t that savvy.  I knew no one who did art, outside of my art teachers, and there was  no way in hell I was going to suffer that level of abuse.  (Well, I did do a 3-year stint as a Sunday School teacher and was pretty good at it, but I digress).  With the residue from too much ’70s Woodward & Bernstein influence, I ventured forth into a “safer” creative field–writing.

So jump ahead a few decades, and here Dave and I are with a six-year-old son who is clearly showing artistic ability – freakishly so – and we are occasionally flabbergasted by his burgeoning talent. Yesterday was just such an example. Our son turned six this week, and we watched him draw this image below freehand, with no reference to copy. It was simply drawn from his memory. The character he drew, Cosmo from Nickelodeon’s The Fairly OddParents, was perfect in detail, according to Dave, who is well familiar with the character.  I cannot bear to watch that painful show, so I’m no expert. So here it is. Judge for yourself if this looks like the art of a six-year-old:

Dave Dorman's Son Shows Artistic Talent at Age Six

Left to his own devices, our son will choose to sit down and draw rather than watch TV or play videogames. While we praise his efforts, we haven’t given him any formal art training. Dave has insisted we give him the freedom to find his own “voice” in his art. Dave was in his early 20s when he found his voice, and that has worked out well so far, so I’m thinking this is the best approach.  But what do I know? What do you think?

As always, thanks for reading.

Denise

Twitter.com/writebrainmedia

Linkedin.com/in/writebrainmedia

Dave Dorman Interviews Alien & Predator

In WriteBrain Media on July 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Dear Friends,

I wrote this parody piece a while back, prior to AVP2 coming out with the “new” Predalien character, if you catch my drift. Dave did a “very similar” creature design as a work-for-hire project for 20th Century Fox years ago, and it became a little controversial when he noted online that the Predalien design in AVP2 was virtually identical to the one he created, and then he proceeded to post both of them for the fans to compare.  I’ve updated the interview a little, but here it is:

Dave Dorman Interviews Alien & Predator

Back Story: Renowned illustrator Dave Dorman, Alien and Predator are old friends, dating back more than 15 years ago to the days when Dorman was painting Alien v. Predator pieces to please the Dark Horse fans…today the threesome reunites for a pre-San Diego Comic-Con interview.

POV: We see the famed Eisner Award-winning  illustrator and two of his favorite creatures, lunching at a local White Castle.

Dave Dorman: Hi guys. Thanks for wearing pants today.

Alien & Predator (in unison): Ditto.

Dave Dorman: Let’s Q&A. How did you like being depicted as warring nemeses in your new film, Alien v. Predator?

Alien: Well, the fans have been dying to see me kick Predator’s ass in a live action piece…

Predator, interrupting: Hold on a ****in’ minute. Whose ass did they want to see getting kicked by who?

Alien, continuing: I believe the correct word is whom…but Dave, you were the first one who actually depicted us dukin’ it out more than 15 years ago in your painting for Dark Horse Presents #36. It was that first fight cover in the swamp, remember?

Predator: That’s right! You made us fly down to your Florida studio and sweat our balls off posing under all of those hot lights. In the middle of summer, no less! That was the modeling job from hell. Just for that, you’re buying lunch today. And I’ll take an extra sack of sliders for the ride home.

Dave Dorman: Nada, Rasta-boy; you can afford to pay your own way! But that particular cover has been one of the most popular from my fans–and yours. You have to admit, Predator, you seemed to enjoy posing with that hot babe on the cover I did for Alien v. Predator #4.

Predator: Nah, she didn’t do it for me. Though I did like that slinky, latex costume.

POV: We see Predator struggling to fit a milkshake straw into his etiquette-unfriendly mouth.

Dave Dorman: Havin’ some trouble, Predator? Let me help.

POV: Dorman’s hand shakes nervously as he pours the vanilla milkshake into Predator’s gaping pie hole.

Dave Dorman: Hey guys, remember when I worked on those designs for that first attempt at the Alien v. Predator movie over 12 years ago? Did I ever show you my hybrid Predalien character?

POV: We see Dorman revealing the Predalien illustration to an astounded Alien and Predator.

Predator (sniffs with disdain): That is sick and wrong…unnatural. Not to mention chromosomally impossible.

Alien (lighting a cigarette): Humans shouldn’t be playing God with the mother race.

POV: Predator slaps the cigarette out of Alien’s mouth and his long claws rake against Alien’s jaw.  A few drops of blood drip onto White Castle’s stainless steel table, hissing as they burn steaming holes through it, then the floor.

Predator: Alien! How many times do I have to tell you? There’s no smoking in California restaurants! Besides I didn’t bring my inhaler.

Alien: Thanks, pal. There goes my goddam product placement cash from the tobacco industry.

Dave Dorman: You know, Alien, I have this persistent rust stain in my toilet and I’ll bet a few drops of your blood would take it right out.

Predator: I’m bettin’ it’s not a rust stain…

Dave Dorman (indignant): Niiiiice. And to think I painted your flattering side in that jail scene for the Predator: Race War piece!

Alien: He doesn’t have a good side. He’s a ****in’ four-toothed freak!

Predator (growling): Wrap it up, Dorman. I’m not sitting much longer with this slimed up gene pool abortion.

Dave Dorman: Right. So, guys, what do you think of my WASTED LANDS series?

Alien: I got your RAIL graphic novel, which definitely had some slick Schuiten and European influences, but my agent’s been hanging onto my complimentary copy of THE UNINVITED. He wants some cool beach reading in case Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman ever invite him over to their private Malibu sands.

Dave Dorman (offering Alien his book): Ah, well here’s an extra copy for you.

Alien: Thanks, man.

Predator: I thought the artwork and the stories kicked ass–just like I do with Alien on a regular basis–HAH!–however, I noticed you didn’t write any parts for me or Alien into your new series.

Alien: Yeah, we’re a little hurt. Remember, I helped you win that Eisner Award for your graphic story album Aliens: Tribes. Nice work with writer Steve Bissette…

Dave Dorman: I’d include you guys in a New York minute, but you have that contractual thing happenin’ with your movie studio. Since you liked the artwork, I’ll forward both of you my new book, “ROLLING THUNDER: The Art of Dave Dorman” from IDW Publishing and Desperado Publishing. It’s a career retrospective, including my pieces of you guys, plus my other licensed work and my Wasted Lands project.

Predator: Cool. Let me leave you with my home address this time so my agent doesn’t permanently borrow my copy.

Alien: What else ya’ got cookin’, paint-boy?

Dave Dorman: Promise not to get pissed?

Alien: I’m not promising anything except for some seriously stale White Castle farts in your rented van for the ride back to the studio.

Dave Dorman: Okay, let me reiterate, I would have written you in if I could…

Predator (nods, knowingly) to Alien: He’s stalling…

Dave  Dorman: Well…it’s a new Wasted Lands sci-fi action adventure novel, featuring my popular character Iguana, called…just don’t get mad, guys… “A Thousand Angry Teeth.”

Alien hisses (dripping with slime and sarcasm): Gee, I wonder who inspired that title?

Predator to Alien: Last time I checked with the dentist, you weren’t the only one with a mouthful of sharp teeth, you cocky bastard!

Alien (revealing menacing, dripping teeth, slowly rising up from his chair): That ****in’ does it!

Dave Dorman: Hey, look!!! Isn’t that Harold and Kumar at the White Castle drive thru’?!?

POV: Alien and Predator–both cursed with short attention spans–look toward the drive thru’ window, distracted just long enough for Dorman’s quick get-away. Dorman flips them some cab money as he casually exits the fine dining establishment, relishing the fact that his van will be Alien fart-free for the drive home. Approaching sirens wail, tables overturn, plate glass windows shatter and fry jockeys quiver beneath the stainless steel counter at the White Castle as Alien and Predator stage their own private, kick-ass sequel. Were it not for the 20th Century Fox-licensed monsters, it would definitely resemble a scene from Dorman’s action-packed sci-fi series, The Wasted Lands. Don’t believe it? See for yourself:

http://www.wastedlands.com.

Two BFFs Discuss Today’s Oprah Episode

In Life Observations, WriteBrain Media on May 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm

This morning’s phone call with BFF Christina Bouvier was classic. Together, we were watching Oprah over the phone, trying to spot Bouvier’s bro in today’s audience – lime green shirt, folks – and today’s episode was celebrating a decade of O Magazine at Radio City Music Hall. One of their purported big “moments” on today’s show was the shaving of Dr. Phil’s moustache, which he’s had for the past 38 years.  I tuned in about 15 minutes late, so Christina Bouvier had to fill me in. Here’s the playback:

Christina Bouvier: So once again, Dr. Phil has hijacked the first 10 minutes of the show. That guy doesn’t know when to shut his mouth. Oh God. There’s his wife in the audience. I don’t know who I can’t stand more, him or his wife.

Me: She wrote that book a while back on women’s health – remember? She did that book signing at the Meijer’s in St. Charles. Lame.

Christina Bouvier: I wouldn’t read that fucking book even if it was lined with doobies!!!!

So…I discovered today that Christina Bouvier has a visceral reaction to anything related to Dr. Phil. I have no idea where this stems from.  I don’t really have an opinion on the guy, except for the one time I thought he was truly inauthentic – when he started that whole diet program, replete with an expensive series of pills one could buy at the local drugstore. I’m fairly certain he was laughing all of the way to his Beverly Hills bank.  Hey, admittedly, I’m a sucker from way back for people who can motivate me to lose weight – from Suzy Powter to Richard Simmons to Valerie Bertinelli to the most recent, Weight Watchers Jennifer Hudson–but these weight loss gurus must prove to me that THEY can do it before I will take the dive.

This morning, Dr. Phil looked bloated and about 30 lbs. overweight. A guiding light for the multi-million dollar weight loss industry? Not so much. I do know that, like me, Christina Bouvier despises liars. Maybe she’s on to something.

How I’ve Been Successful As A Mom

In Entertainment, Life Observations, WriteBrain Media on May 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Today, my young Paduan proved to me that he had graduated to Jedi Knight status… in the crucial art of practical jokery.

At breakfast this morning, my five-year-old insisted that I sit on a kitchen chair where he had gently placed his favorite fleece Clone Wars blanket, ostensibly to protect me from sitting down on a not-too-cold chair.  In retrospect, our kitchen chairs are upholstered, so that should have been my first red flag.  Something felt a little extra cushiony as I descended onto the chair….red flag #2. As the Whoopie cushion erupted into reverberating sound f/x that would have startled an elephant, I felt my heart grow 10 x larger, just like the Grinch’s after he experienced that first moment of true affection for mankind.  Every time my son makes me laugh like that, my heart grows a little more.

As we continued with breakfast, over Lucky Charms (his) and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (mine), fiercely debating the real appearance of the Abominable Snowman (he insists the Abominable Snowman has orangey red eyes, whereas I insist his eyes would be blue to match his icy environs), I had a revelation. If I kick the bucket tomorrow, I could go with the knowledge that Jack  has  learned the greatest life skill of all  – an imaginative,  killer sense of humor. It’s what’s gotten me through all of life’s challenges – many of which have been arrows hurling towards me this past 24 months, but my sense of humor has always remained intact, the impenetrable armor protecting me. And now I know it’s protecting my young Jedi Knight.

I shared this revelation during my daily phone call with best friend Christina Bouvier, who informed me that this was the real reason she gravitated toward being my friend in 7th grade – I was the naive, perfect foil for her practical jokes, plus I’m quick to laugh at anything funny, so I was her best audience. Now I’m Jack’s best audience, too.

I purchased Jack’s first Whoopie cushion when he was four. My husband Dave was appalled, but I insisted it was a rite of passage. I’m glad I persisted. In the past year, he’s learned the fine art of sarcasm and eyeball rolling from Dave, but he’s learned pratfalls, practical jokes and scatological humor from me.  That, and a few comedic lines from favorite YouTube videos.

When Jack gets just a little older, I will teach him the lyrics to my favorite song, a clever tune from Monty Python, which sums up my life’s philosophy, bright-eyed optimist that I am and will always be:

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Words and music by Eric Idle

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best…

And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life…

If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing.

And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life…

For life is quite absurd
And death’s the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin – give the audience a grin
Enjoy it – it’s your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life’s a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the right side of life…
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the bright side of life…
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life…
(I mean – what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing – you’re going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life…

Our New Podcast: Wednesday is Comic Book Day!

In Entertainment, LinkedIn, WriteBrain Media on March 26, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Hi Everyone,

Exciting news! My mother’s worst fear has come to light:  Me with a Microphone.  Actually, our new podcast will star Dave Dorman with me as co-host, but we all know who, of the two of us, manages to cram in the most W.P.M.  I used to think “motormouth” was a lingering moniker from my previous career as a TV writer/producer in  motorsports, but I’m realizing it’s not…so much.

The new Dave & Denise Dorman podcast is called “Wednesday is Comic Book Day” through Farpoint Media, owned by friend and client (and former Babylon 5 actor/producer) Jeffrey Willerth. We are relying on the help of producers Michael Mennenga and Denise Gideon to make the production levels ear-worthy. The content of the show will be a fun mash-up of interviews with our wacky cast of pop culture characters, comic book industry writers, publishers, artists, inkers, letterers, pencillers, colorists, retailers, indie guys and the occasional sidebar of something quirky that interests Dave, whether it’s surfing, technology or the latest episode of  TV’s “LOST.”

The podcast will be available via iTunes initially and we will post it here and on Dave’s blog, both of our Twitter accounts, FaceBook & LinkedIn accounts when it’s up.  Hopefully we catch your attention in one of those spaces.

Additionally, I’m so proud of Dave and his friends for their new scholarship offering. They are doing a great thing for some deserving young artist. Their COMIX ACADEMY is offering a full scholarship for their intensive, 6-day course, held in San Diego just prior to San Diego Comic-Con. The purpose of this course is to bring illustrators up to the level of a professional comic book artist, and then introduce them to pro comic book editors and help them get their careers started. As Dave always says, “If only I had this sort of opportunity when I was starting out…”

This weekend Dave will be doing sketches, remarques & signing autographs at the Planet Comic-Con event in Kansas City. I was slated to attend with him, but alas, my videogame project is in its final production throes and I needed to be on site to put those loose ends to bed. I wish I could be there, as it’s a heavy Star Wars-centric show. Dave will be doing a Star Wars panel on  Saturday afternoon; I will pay some lucky prankster $5 to stand up and ask him what Bantha and Ton Ton poo poo smells like…

I’m also finalizing an article for HD Roadie that I think you’ll all find pretty interesting.  I will be sure to post links when the production magazine picks it up.

This has been a great week for reconnecting with old friends, like Mark Voss over at Post Maridian in Chicagoland, a post production house I’ve worked with many times. He’s a terrific, funny and brilliant guy and we’re developing a creative collaboration outside of our everyday corporate work. As I know more, I’ll post more.  My guess? Horror related.

Many thanks to your eyeballs for their time & attention,

Denise