The Door: It’s a two-for Tuesday!

image Don’t bother giving your coffee an extra stir, or rubbing your eyes in disbelief, because you read it right! After missing last Tuesday’s posting of The Door due to a myriad of excuses I felt it only right that I make up for it by offering not one but TWO… Two…two (that’s an echo) items from The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance) here at the Siuslaw News.

For those of you knocking on The Door for the first time…

Go Away!

Haha! Just kidding! The more the merrier! In fact, “the more the merrier” is what the fire marshal has deemed to be the maximum occupancy level, depending on whether anyone in the group has eaten lunch at the Enfermo Taco.

Before we begin, as always, we must join hands and repeat the following mantra in a slow, monotoned voice:

The Door serves as a beacon, drawing us into the jagged rocks of journalism.

OK, come with me now as we go back in time through The Door, where journalists here at the Siuslaw News have been taping and gluing their favorite newspaper faux pas since the 1970s. Continue reading

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Why I’m not in advertising…

You may find it hard to believe, but I’m not a fashion icon. No, really — it’s true. Unless it includes denim and lace-up boots, I rarely wear it. So it should come as no surprise I wasn’t aware that Old Navy and The Gap joined forces in 2011. Why wasn’t I made aware of this?!

Oh, that’s right: Because I don’t care.

In fact, I didn’t care until yesterday, after my wife and daughter returned from an all-day quest for the latest fashion trend: colored jeans. While listing all the places they searched, my wife explained how going to both Old Navy and The Gap was a waste of time since they are basically the same company, offering the same things.

My next thought illustrates why I never pursued a career in advertising…

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My greatest childhood fear? Being bitten by a radioactive moth

(It’s Sunday and a time for reflection, unless you’re so hung over it hurts to look in the mirror. It’s also the time we dig deep into the archives during another Flashback Sunday, revisiting a column or blog post from the days back when I thought “Freshly Pressed” was a site for French press coffee snobs…)

I still live in fear of being bitten by a lame radioactive insect, like the newly discovered “Poodle Moth.” (goggles are optional)

For most of us, there comes a time in our lives when we must face the truth, and accept the fact we will never actually possess any type of super-human powers. This includes the ability to fly, shoot laser beams out of our eyes, or look good in a skin-tight costume.

As a child, I spent countless hours thumbing through comic books and dreaming of the day I would be bitten by a radioactive insect — and knowing full well that, with my luck, it would probably be something stupid like a moth:

“Curses! It’s Moth Man, here to foil my evil plans! HOW CAN I STOP HIM? Hey — maybe I’ll try this porch light…”

In fact, I was so sure that I would end up as a lame super hero that, with the help of my friends, we came up with a plan to MAKE me into “Spider-man” before there was any chance of me being bitten by a radioactive moth, ear wig, silverfish or stink bug. Continue reading

Your publishing contract; time to learn a foreign language

In these times of economic instability, isn’t it great knowing each Friday, no matter what the NASDAQ is doing or how much your stock in Nike’s new Cat Sweater Division has taken a dump, that Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing is still only 5 cents?! How do I continue to keep the price so low? Simple! I guest blog on the literary website Gliterary Girl each week, without their knowledge, and pass the savings on to YOU! So until Sara O’Connor finds out, or someone realizes I’m the only male blogger on an all-women website, I’ll continue to offer my nickel’s worth of advice at this bargain price. Payment can be made by fax, email or strapped to the leg of Hedwig…

Foreign language shirtI literally just returned from my first sit-down meeting with the publishing company that wants to publish my book, Humor at the Speed of Life; a Brief Look at Bruce Jenner’s Anatomy.

OK, fine. Leave off the part about Bruce Jenner and you have the real title.

As I’ve mentioned before, after 15 years as a syndicated columnist, this is my first venture into book publishing. I am now sitting here with a cup of coffee and the contract, which I haven’t signed yet, looking at words in all-caps, such as “AUTHOR,” “GUARANTEE” and “WARRANTS.”

In my experience, the word “warrant” has never led to anything good. Continue reading

Overcome your fear of flying by getting totally Flugtagged

Flugtag Pig It’s been 100 years since the Wright Brothers proved that manned flight was possible. This eventually led to the very first commercial flight and the discovery of something just as important in man’s pursuit of the sky:

The air-sickness bag.

You may not think this was an important discovery, but trust me: Anyone who has sat next to me during a flight on anything other than a coin-operated spaceship will tell you the only thing more important than the discovery of the air-sickness bag itself is discovering how to get rid of it once it’s been used.

For me, problems generally begin once we’ve reached our cruising altitude. This is when — for reasons I don’t quite understand — all pilots are trained to address their passengers by informing them exactly how high they are and how fast they’re going. I DON’T WANT to know these things. If I did, I wouldn’t be curled up in a fetal position with my thumbs in my ears and an air-sickness bag pinched between my knees. Continue reading

This week on… The Door

Our actual door It’s Tuesday, which as we all know is like the 23rd birthday of the calendar week. Not particularly significant. It doesn’t have the distinction of being the dreaded beginning of the work week, or the catchy nickname of “Hump Day” to endear it, and no one ever exclaims: “Thank God it’s Tuesday!” For this reason, I chose to perk up Tuesdays by making it the day we highlight The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance), a piece of journalistic history here at the Siuslaw News that has had greatness thrust upon it. And while it’s rumored that other things have been thrust upon it over the years, we will be focusing on the multitude of newspaper headlines and clippings posted there by journalists since as far back as the 1970s. For loyal followers of The Door, let us repeat it’s mission statement (For added effect, say it slowly in a monotone voice):

To serve as a beacon, drawing us into the jagged rocks of journalism. Continue reading

At this moment, someone might be staring at my blog

For my regular readers, and by that I don’t mean those of you who regularly have a BM at this time of the morning, you know it’s Flashback Sunday! For those of you who aren’t regular, you are probably irritable. Reading this blog may help. Sundays is when we go back into the archives and pull out some of the earliest posts, back when I thought “Freshly Pressed” was some snooty wine enthusiast blog. Today’s entry was my very first post, which also ran as a newspaper column. The subtle innuendo raised a few eyebrows. It also got me a raise because circulation jumped. I’m not sure what that says about my readership, but…

Haha! Who are we kidding! We know exactly what it says! Which reminds me to say something else:

Thank You.

And Happy Flashback Sunday… Continue reading

The Matrix just reloaded itself in my email

Matrix... reloaded? As many of you know, last week I went to the printer at work, which I often do, and expected to find a copy of my potential Pulitzer-winning column on the dangers of battery-operated toilet plungers. Instead, I found a nearly blank piece of paper with the following three words:

trust and obey.

Yeah, pretty creepy.

Being a person grounded in hard journalistic reality and not prone to wild speculation, I quickly deduced it was a message from Lawrence Fishburn, trying to reach me from somewhere within the Matrix. And because many of you are also realists, the consensus was that I should prepare for my surroundings to dissolve into a series of green number codes at any moment. Continue reading

Emails from readers — and why I probably need more disclaimers

Ned's Mailbox copy It’s been almost three months since I began guest posting weekly writing advice at Gliterary Girl and, as I’m sure you can imagine, my email account has been flooded with questions and feedback.

In fact, we’re going to imagine some right now…

[Insert gauzy dream sequence of Ned, sitting at his computer, thoughtfully scanning through the hundreds of emails he receives each day for male enhancement products…] Continue reading

Inflatable church could have couples bouncing off the walls

100_0347 The creation of the inflatable church is without question, from a man’s perspective, the most exciting matrimonial advancement since the bachelor party because it means the fun no longer has to end the night before the wedding, somewhere in the general vicinity of a commode. That’s right, the excitement can continue the next day as the groom, flanked by his best man, bounces to the alter in his tube socks to await his blushing bride.

Because a fellow journalist friend and her sister are very close, and because I know how important it is that everything be perfect, I enthusiastically suggested the idea of an inflatable church for her sister’s wedding.

And because she knew I was really trying to help, she smiled and told me I had an inflatable head. Continue reading