Tabloids – (Rolling my eyes, shaking my head)

October 2008 Issue

October 2008 Issue

Because, I, too, would be devastated if my ex actually survived a plane crash.  Who wouldn’t, right?  Oh, and let’s put the actual survivor in a little circle and splash the famous women who are no longer a part of his life all over the cover.  Brilliant.

I’m going to stop now.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

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The Best 4:24 of My Day

…and it’s not even 10:00 a.m. yet!

I didn’t watch the Emmys last night.  I never do.  So, how was I to know that Josh Groban opened the program with a medley of television show theme songs?  I couldn’t know.  And maybe some of you don’t yet know that Josh Groban occupies a place in my heart that is reserved for angels and artist’s artists.  So, perhaps you can imagine my delight when I found this video while searching for Emmy video on Stephen Colbert ( in order to be informed when I watch his program tonight):

Even if you’re not a Josh Groban fan (Why not?  The guy can sing!), I’m betting you’ve hung around with your friends singing tv show theme songs on more than one occasion in your life.  Am I right?  You know I’m right.  So, to hear that grand tradition executed with such utter awesomeness has got to bring a smile to your face!  Me?  I just sat there with the biggest, dopiest grin on my face and soaked up every note, every image, and every moment.

As for Stephen Colbert, he won for Best Writing, but lost 2 other categories for which he was nominated.  I’m betting there will be some good comedy on The Colbert Report tonight.

Psalms 33:1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. 2 Praise the Lord with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. 3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. 4 For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Time for Some Campaignin’

I love JibJab…especially at campaign time.  It seems so many of us lose our sense of humor when there’s an election on, especially if our candidate is the one being made fun of.  But, the folks at JibJab just throw everything up in the air and make fun of everyone…so there’s no reason not to laugh.  Ya gotta appreciate that!

With that illustrious introduction, here is their very latest as we say goodbye to the Bush administration and hello to God knows what at this stage of the game!  It’s set to the tune of, “The Times They Are A’Changin’.”

Now, if you loved that…I mean, if you really loved it a LOT…you can visit the JibJab website and actually put yourself in the video.  Or, put someone you know (and have a good head shot of) in it and send it to them.  I put my Dad in it.  If you’re not expecting to see yourself show up at the end of the thing, it’s quite a trip!

And, if you like putting your head on other people’s bodies (and I do mean that in the most sociably-acceptable fashion), there are a whole bunch of other JibJab “Sendables,” to keep you amused and on top of your special occasion e-card responsibilities.

A little history on the minds behind the videos can be found on the JibJab YouTube profile:

Brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis founded JibJab in 1999 with a few thousand dollars worth of computer equipment, a dial-up Internet connection and a dream of building a global entertainment brand. In 2004, their election parody “This Land” spark an international sensation and was viewed more than 80 million times online. NASA even contacted the brothers to send a copy to the International Space Station! Since then, JibJab has premiered ten original productions on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and received coverage on every major news outlet. In 2004, Peter Jennings named the brothers “People of the Year.”

Not bad going for a couple of guys from Brooklyn just messing around!

Matthew 16:1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.

Many Me’s – Indulging the Urge to Characterize

Just so you don’t think I spend all day on the internet wasting time and making no productive contribution to society whatsoever, let me say right off the bat that I’ve collected these character-ized versions of myself over a period of time…months, even.  I’m interested to know how many of these you’ve done yourself.  I believe there is something deep-seated in us that makes us need to re-create ourselves in our own image.  Wait, that sounds kind of sinful.  What I mean is, if you send someone an email with a link to one of these sites where then can make a character-ized image of themselves, chances are they’re gonna put everything else on the back burner and play with that thing for a while!  So, let’s begin, shall we?

Doll Character

Doll Character

I think this is the first time I really sat down and did one of these. It comes from the Candybar website, which seems to have acquired a frighteningly large fan base since I last visited the site.  When I did this, there was a boy doll maker and a girl doll maker.  That’s it.  If you follow that link, you’ll see a page that offers about a dozen options for making characters of yourself or others…or even critters that aren’t human.  I actually did this one a couple of years ago to update one I had done even earlier…I changed the color and style of my hair quite dramatically and the old one just didn’t cut it any more!  And see?  There are my two kitties, Brian (on my head) and Sarah.  I live in Florida now, so the sandals and capris are part of my everyday life, where the near-black hair and lots of black clothing and dark lipstick were more reflective of my New York self.  I also went back to wearing glasses after my lasik surgery finally gave out to the aging process.

So, looking at these two images, would you think they were the same person?  I sure woudn’t.  Yet, they both look like me in an odd way, though if I had it to do again, I would not have made my New York version’s chin quite so square.  Anyway, let’s not dwell here.  There are so many other characters in the sea!

Once I had spent hours upon hours making these dolls of everyone in my family, some of my friends, and a few celebrities, I was truly hooked on the process.  Then, some years passed and I thought I was over it.  But, I saw some people I know on Theologyweb.com using South Park charcterizations

South Park Me

South Park Me

of themselves as avatars and I just HAD to give that a go!  Now, see, you have something to compare.  Does this character look like the doll above?  I kinda think so.  Again, I went for the shorter pants, though I was not given the sandal or flip flop option this time.  And, I actually do have a shirt roughly that color with a big gold cross on the front.  The halo, however, is another story.  I have no idea how that got there. You can become a South Park character yourself here.

Around the time the Simpsons movie was on the verge of release, there was an awesome website that created Springfield and had a bunch of interactive screens.

Simpsons Me

Simpsons Me

I don’t think that’s there any longer (I’ll be honest, I didn’t really check), but the Simpsonization machine is still in operation here!  Are you starting to think you know what I actually look like?  I didn’t like any of the fashion options here, and I think I had to use a screen capture technique to actually get this image, but, hey, I’m a Simpson!  Not much to complain about there!  If you try this one, I recommend resisting the temptation to match your skin tone.  Just go yellow!  You won’t regret it!

The M &M print ads featuring celebrities made into characters is still popular.  You can make yourself an M&M, but the options are not nearly robust enough to create a likeness like those ads.  Still, I did one a while ago, and then again recently.  I rather like them both!

Old M&M Me

Old M&M Me

New M&M Me

New M&M Me

I’d honestly forgotten I’d already saved an M&M characterization when I went back and made a new one for this article.  The Starbucks cup and maniacal grin definitely complete the picture!

Getting out of the realm of rampant commercialism for a few minutes, there are also character-making machineries specifically for use as avatars…some aimed just at fun and some advertised as options for those who don’t wish to display their own photo on public forums or chat environments.

WeeMe

WeeMe

I use a WeeMe on AIM, but I hardly ever log on to AIM since I get my buddy list delivered right to my gmail interface and I love that!  But, I think people chatting with me from AIM do see my Weeme which does some funny stuff whenever I type certain things, like “LOL” or “;-)” for example.  But, here she is in still life.  This program actually allows one to choose a body shape that generally resembles reality…a new option for me.  No capris or shorts available, so I had to go with full-length jeans, but there are my flip flops!

Actually, WeeMes are part of “Wee World,” and you can get sucked into that black hole if you’re not careful with your time management.  But, you can also use WeeMes on Skype, and in other places, I believe.  I don’t know.  I’m afraid to go back there.

There’s a generic program called “Portrait Illustration Maker,”

Illustration Portrait Me

Illustration Portrait Me

that touts itself as, “Best ‘n’ Free Avatar Generater ! Available for blogs and SNS ! But Unmeasurable about the Combinations of parts.”  I suspect a BabelFish translation!  Actually, I didn’t find the combination of parts quite “unmeasurable.”  I like this least of all the characterizations.  I just don’t really see myself here.  I see Sarah Palin, sort of! With a little Dana Scully mixed in.  But, there you go, anyway.

Now, normally I wouldn’t do this on a blog, but I don’t see how you can comprehend the true awesomeness of my prowess at character-making if you don’t actually have an image of me to compare against the characters.

The Real Me

The Real Me

So, here I am, about a month ago.  I still change the color and style of my hair frequently, so don’t look for me on the street using this mug shot!

But, I’d love it if you would leave comments on this post.  Tell me about your own character-making experiences…let me know what you think of mine…post links to other sites with character making machineries!  Above all, have fun!

Cheers for now!

Isaiah 40:19 The workman molds an image, The goldsmith overspreads it with gold, And the silversmith casts silver chains.