Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Thing #373

Okay, let's start with the fact that some meatball named Joey Stenucci wrote the Mercury calling me a "C-list opportunist". I mean, really. I thought I was at least a B-list opportunist.

Then I crammed my brains out because the planners of the Celebrity Spelling Bee gave us all a study guide with 900 FRIGGIN' WORDS, a large majority of them in German, which should have been the first tip off that this would be a cruel Nazi event.

So I was already a nervous wreck when I hit the stage and was joined by the other contestants, one of whom is the 8th grade statewide champion. Noting his cell phone on his hip, I leaned over to him and told him he would need to put it away as there would be no texting during the bee.

"That's not my cell phone," he said. "I'm diabetic."

Yes, I tried to take insulin away from a diabetic child. In front of 700 people.

So is it any wonder I choked--yes, choked--on my VERY FIRST WORD: cravat. Chances are they gave it to me figuring the gay guy would know his fashion terms, but they underestimated my innate pretentiousness, in which case I gayed it up to "cravatte."

My only consolation was that my buddy Courtenay Hameister also bombed out in the first round, panicking on whether there's an extra n in "buccaneer." There isn't.



Naturally, we sat out the rest of the bee knowing how to spell EVERYTHING else, including all the sadistic Nazi words like springerle, realschule and pfeffernuss.

Now I know why I've never done a spelling bee before. My only other consolation is the event raised $195,000 for School House Supplies, the worthy cause which provides school supplies to kids who can't afford them. By torturing C-list opportunists.

8 comments:

Anna del Mar said...

I listened to you on The Buzz on my way home from work yesterday. You were great! Sorry to hear about your belly flop at the spelling bee.

viejecita said...

Maybe you did not spell cravat properly, but you sure know how to choose a beautiful one.
And, by the way, your hair keeps getting better and better

marĂ­a

Ellen Kimball said...

Yeah, I know that feeling. In eight grade, I believe, I lost bigtime on the word "archaic" -- I put in an extra "e" somewhere. I was mortified. But you got me beat on the other words. Hey, I'm Jewish and I don't know those German words. Let's see... "pepper nuts"? There was a girl with the last name of Nussbaum in our synagogue in Florida. Is that "nut tree" or something?

LUVYA,

EK

Ellen Kimball said...

Re: The comment in the Mercury. The person is flat out dumb and quite wrong. You are a truly talented gay man whom I have enjoyed knowing just a little bit in the past decade. I am a liberal Jewish woman from Miami, Florida who is a "friend" of a welcoming Unitarian Church in Tigard. My role model in high school was Ernest B. Montgomery, my English and Drama teacher. I worshipped the man, and he was a closeted gay. It was the 1950s. He was involved in some minor scrape at the school. On May 15, 1956, he turned on the gas stove in his apartment and killed himself. I never forgot this.

Here is the last I heard from one political website which I joined in 2004. I got called a lot of names like "drama queen" (which I consider a compliment, actually). In July 2008, with the background of a black man and a white woman running for president, the hate conversation wouldn't stop. It was sickening.

In late July, after I discussed Mexican tamales (!) sold to me at a garage sale, and the popular Spanish songs which I love, they finally banned me with this delicate message:

"Dear Radio_Lady,

Despite two warnings, a suspension, and respectful PMs from the Moderators, you seem determined to continue making posts insensitive and often condescending to others different from yourself.

Your posts have run the gamut from insensitive toward Asians and Muslims to insensitive toward Catholics and the gay community. This is not acceptable. Please consider this your final warning."

Within days, I couldn't do anything right. I signed in one morning and my membership had been revoked. My web journal was turned off. I was "banned". They put up a grave stone for my screen name. It said, "Here lies a Disruptor. He disrupted badly."

I have never felt so misjudged in my entire life. It didn't stop there. Many of my so-called fans did their "grave dancing" in wonderful style.

Put my screen name "Radio_Lady" into Google. (Don't forget the underscore) You get about 9,000 posts. I was a great contributor, one of the best. I had survived verbal abuse for my age, my sex, my political viewpoints, my relationship with CNN's Larry King -- and even for my views on movies.

Thanks. I feel better already.

LUVYA,

Ellen

therese said...

You're A-List to me. Even if you can't spell. Thanks for taking the time and energy to support School House Supplies!!

Regarding the Mercury:
I wish I was there to see what the complaints are about. How are you an opportunist when you were the energy behind the rally for Sam? What did Mr. Stenucci do other than stand in the back of the room?

I'm assuming you and Storm made an effort, for all the people to feel glad they made the effort, to rally in a call for Sam to "Get Back To Work".

Again I say, A-list, some may see you as an opportunist, I admire the way you seize the moment.

David said...

I made my mom reschedule my dentist appointment in 8th grade when I made the school finals for the spelling bee, then bombed out in the first round with "parallel." I will always know it has an "e" now.

Ellen Kimball said...

I haven't told anyone about this in a very long time.

Confession: I won a speech contest in Junior High and represented my school in a Dade County, Florida event. I believe it took place at the Dade County Auditorium (address unknown).

I remember standing at the podium, with the speech in my hand, all written down, opening my mouth, trying to read, and -- NOTHING came out. After a few minutes, someone came up and gently guided me backstage.

I went to the Ladies' Room and cried in a stall, vowing that would never happen again. It didn't.

My drama teacher selected me for the lead in the senior class play, "A Man Called Peter." I played Catherine Marshall.

I haven't stopped performing and talking to audiences since.

The following year, I became a minor TV celebrity on WTVJ, Channel 4, Miami, Florida, at age 17 and 18, as the first co-host of a popular local kid's show, "Popeye Playhouse."

I went on to become one of the first women radio talk show hosts with a full-time call-in radio program in Miami and Boston.

(Pictures and details are up at my website.)

There. That feels much better, knowing I'm among cyberfriends.

Cara said...

I definitely spelled "appropriate" wrong in my 8th grade bee. I sat down having no idea what I did wrong. My parents informed me I forgot the final "e." I had no idea I didn't say it. I maintain that someone slipped something into my water bottle.