Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Flipping out in antique shops my new hobby



I’ve always thought downtown Glendale would be just a little bit hipper if, instead of having approximately 138 competing antique shops, it had literally anything else. Not to say the antique shops aren’t fine, but it always seemed like overkill. Replacing just one of them with, say, a cool bar or a vegan lunch spot (LOL) would, I always thought, go a long way toward attracting a more diverse clientele.

I held this line of thinking, however, without ever having stepped foot inside one of these antique shops. Not that I ever had anything against antiquing (legitimate verb, apparently), but I don’t know a good antique from a bad antique, and my perpetual mission in life is to get rid of stuff, not acquire more stuff. If my wife and I were both acquiring stuff, we would be on “Hoarders” next week and I would be buried in scented candles and children’s toys.

Walking through downtown Glendale after Oktoberfest last month, my wife and some of our friends did a little window shopping at the antique stores, and expressed a keen interest in several items. I decided this would be a good opportunity to get some Christmas gifts, which would make for a wonderful surprise for my wife and friends were I not writing this sentence right now. So … shhhhh!

This forced me to venture into several downtown Glendale antique shops during my lunch break at work, and guess what? It wasn’t so bad! I even did a little casual browsing—CAN’T TALK NOW, I’M ANTIQUING. The general feeling was like walking through a giant house occupied by 100 grandmothers on steroids, but, in several stores, I did locate something that caught my eye: records.

I have a turntable at home. Two, actually, because when I’m not wearing khakis while working as publications manager for two community newspapers, I am DJing the hottest clubs in the area. My favorite club is called “our dining room,” and I spin some sick beats from underground artists like Billy Joel and Ella Fitzgerald. You should come by and check it out. Two drink minimum. Club closes at 8:30 p.m.

My point is, I love record shopping. And I prefer to find records the old fashioned way—at a garage sale or because somebody died—not at some hipster record store because my hipsterdom is genuine and not contrived. (I am proud to say I have owned turntables for almost all of my adult life, not because they are cool again now. And yes, the reason for this is because I hilariously imagined myself to be a DJ in college. Let’s move on.)

So now, not only did I find myself in various antique shops, I was camped out in them, flipping through crates of records. Did I have any success? Depends on whether or not you think the Beatles freakin’ WHITE ALBUM ON VINYL is a success, or “Elvis Sings Christmas Songs” is a success (mos def), or basically any Dan Folgelberg album is a success (not really, but still). Speaking of Caucasian musicians, I have also discovered that Conway Twitty was an actual person and not a hilariously named country caricature. My bad, Conway Twitty! You have a lot of records.

I also discovered this:


I guess what I’m trying to say is, I take back everything I’ve thought, and maybe said, about the surplus of antique shops in downtown Glendale. They are all cool and hipper than they even know. We should have more, actually. Let’s tear down Subway. That place is the worst.

Note: This column appears in the 11/27 issue of The Glendale Star and the 11/28 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: yard sale watch

Cool. I could use a watch from a yard sale. And email seems like the perfect place to get it.

My name is David Bailey and I created a FREE yard sale
app called " yard sale watch " for the Iphone.


I bet Mr. and Mrs. Bailey are proud. And that's coming from someone who creates FREE spam email writeups on his blog.

If you see a yard sale or if you are having a yard sale, just click the blue house button on the app and it pins your location. You can add up to 3 photos, share it on facebook,twitter

Here is me doing that:

I just checked in at [total stranger's driveway]. Trying to talk them down on this: (picture of XXXXL Sean Jean t-shirt on hanger) and this: (picture of Warren Beatty-signed Dick Tracey movie poster) If you're on #yardsalewatch holla atcha boy. (selfie) Oh, and anyone out there know the market price for this? [404 ERROR - YOU HAVE EXCEEDED MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF PICTURES ALLOWED ON YARD SALE WATCH APP. PLEASE CLOSE APPLICATION AND RESTART.]

and when your done,

It's almost as if they don't teach English at yard sale app design school.

just delete your post its that easy.

Easier would be: not having to delete it. But OK.

Go to the app store and get it today.

No.

We have 40 users to date, it just released yesterday.

Neither of these things are convincing.

Download here:
https://appsto.re/us/MAQk1.i


Nope.

website:
www.yardsalewatch.com


This app has a website?

Oh, the website is a Facebook page and it has more than 4,000 likes, which is approximately 3,900 more than this very blog. Maybe I should post more stuff like this:


THERE IS NO DISTANCE OR OBSTACLE GREAT ENOUGH TO PREVENT ME FROM GETTING TO THIS YARD SALE

and this:

COOL WORDS ALBA. UNFORTUNATELY I WILL BE UNABLE TO PICK UP YOUR HOUSE EVEN THOUGH THAT SEEMS LIKE THE EASIEST WAY TO GET YOUR TABLE. I WILL PHONE CELL YOU THO.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nontraditional traditions make Thanksgiving special


The big Thanksgiving traditions are properly acknowledged—ad nauseam, if you ask me—every year. There are, however, some important Thanksgiving traditions that have not been given their just due. So today I would like to do just that.

The famous Thanksgiving salmon. If you’re vegetarian like my wife and I, then you shirk the traditional turkey in favor of something that contains considerably less bird meat. (By the way, as vegetarians who eat fish, we are technically “pescetarians,” but I am not even going there. Most people we meet in Arizona are already flabbergasted by the term “vegetarian.” There’s no need to make it worse.) And the closest thing to bird meat is a dead, pink fish. It’s not like we’re going to eat some flimsy tilapia. I mean, it’s Thanksgiving for crying out loud, not Memorial Day.

If you think family rolls their eyes at your vegetarianism the other 364 days a year, just wait until Thanksgiving. I remember our first vegetarian Thanksgiving like it was yesterday … (dream sequence)

Mother-in-law: You mean Uncle Paul has to make the turkey, the ham, AND salmon?! Oh Jesus, Mary and Joseph you two … (performs Sign of the Cross) … I don’t know how I’m going to tell him this. You can’t give up this crazy idea for ONE DAY?

(end dream sequence)

Ha ha! Good ol’ Thanksgiving fish tensions, just like the Pilgrims experienced. Another neat thing is trying to pass the salmon around to the rest of the family—“WOULD ANYONE LIKE TO TRY THE SALMON? IT’S DELICIOUS.”—and everyone has to restrain themselves from angrily knocking the plate of salmon out of your hand.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Nothing says Thanksgiving like a weird British musical about chocolate and a purple girl who might implode. The first and only time I ever watched this movie from beginning to end was when it aired on a Thanksgiving Day of yore during that awkward time after a cinnamon bun breakfast (another tradition) but before football. Why I assigned the airing of this movie that one time to holiday tradition instead of pure chance is beyond me, but there are other people who share my suspicion that Willy Wonka is, indeed, a Thanksgiving movie.

In fact, I Googled “Willy Wonka Thanksgiving movie?” and while most of the search results could not parse this combination of words, I did discover at least one (only one) site on which the movie was included in a list of “Top 10 Thanksgiving Movies.” So there. I don’t even know if the movie airs anymore on Thanksgiving, but the point is not to watch Willy Wonka Thanksgiving Day, it’s to think about Willy Wonka. And like, be thankful for it. Or something.

Lady Gaga. Thanksgiving Day 2011, ABC aired “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving.” It was everything I thought it would be and then some. It was basically Lady Gaga walking around a piano and singing while talking about her life, and featured guest stars Katie Couric and Tony Bennett, because of course it did. Oh, and as Wikipedia reminded me in its synopsis, “American chef Art Smith accompanies Gaga with a turkey dinner and waffles. In another scene, a small group of children gather around her as she blows glitter on them.”

To my great chagrin, this was a one-time special as opposed to an annual one. But our family still tries to acknowledge the wonders of Gaga every year by listening to any number of her famous Thanksgiving songs, like “Poker Face.”

And hey, who knows—maybe your family celebrates Thanksgiving with other, lesser traditions than these. The point is that you have a happy Thanksgiving. So like … do that.




Note: This column appears in the 11/20 issue of The Glendale Star and the 11/21 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Furniture quote

Part of me wants to believe this is a legit email requesting a quote on a classified ad for furniture. But the rest of me knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is a bonkers spam-jam that will try to sell me a recliner. Are my instincts correct? Let's see who this is from.

From: Chair

OK.

Respect Director,

Whatever happens though, this is dope. I like this. Respect Director? Maybe that is not technically my job title right NOW, but it will be when all is said and done, even if I have to agree to a 25-percent pay cut in the process. But it won't even matter because I will immediately turn around and fire my boss on account of that blatant disrespect and give myself a raise out of respect for myself. Any questions? Didn't think so. Now everyone get back to respecting one another, aiiiiight? If you need me, I'll be in my office, a.k.a. the Chamber of Respect. Mad respect, son.

We are Chinese chair and sofa factory locate in Foshan, Guangdong Province.

Thank you for making known your specific province. Sure, my full-time job is that of respect director for a weekly, community newspaper, but I'm well versed in the provincial status of various Chinese sofa factories. And Guangdong has a stellar reputation for making dope-ass sofas. So please, continue.

Professional in seating furniture system,

System is an appropriate word to describe the various hunks of matter we put our butts on. Take it from a respect director - it's about time these things earned some respect for their complexity. This email is going to be the like West Coast Offense of couches.

such as leather chair, fabric/mesh chair, leather sofa, fabric sofa, etc.

See? I'm already lost. "Fabric/mesh chair?" Meshing together fabric and mesh? Meshing mesh itself ... and then sitting on it? How is that even possible? Freakin' science, man.

If there were demands of chair or sofa, feel free to contact us,

Is there ever NOT a demand "of chair or sofa" in the newspaper industry? How do you think we do newspaper stuff, standing up? Get out of here with that mess. And get in here with that mesh.

We can produce your wanted chair and sofa if with a certain quantity.

So basically what you're saying is, if I order chairs and sofas in unspecified quantities, you cannot fill the order? That's kind of absurd, but whatever. I'll chalk it up to the Guangdong Province's renowned attention to sofa detail.

Feel free to reply this email, we will send you wholesale list with photos quickly.

If doing just that would not undoubtedly unleash on me an infinite amount of Chinese sofa-related emails from which I'd be unable to unsubscribe, I would totes do it. For the pics.

Yours faithfully

Mr. Jackie


Thank you, Mr. Jackie. Your nickname - "Chair" - tells me everything I need to know about the confidence and faithfulness with which I can order chairs from you. Mad respect, son.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: RE:Your Abandoned Package For Delivery

Welp, looks like my abandoned package is finally ready for delivery. This is going to sound weird, I know, but I've been waiting for an abandoned package to be delivered to me by my good friend, former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. So let me just check who this is from ...

From: "Michael Bloomberg." {daan@petrokimia-gresik.com}

Word. True story: My friend Michael Bloomberg's email address used to be mbloomberg@nycmayor.gov, but since he left office, he wanted to keep a low profile, so he changed it to daan@petrokimia-gresik.com, which represents a bunch of inside jokes that only me and Michael Bloomberg are privy to. He's actually hilarious, Michael Bloomberg. We LOL.

 VERY IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION,
Michael Bloomberg.


But this sounds serious. What's up, Michael Bloomberg? Is everything OK?

 How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope
this mail finds you in an excellent condition of health. But if you do
not remember me, you have received an email from me in the past


Uh, pretty sure I remember you. We're basically best friends. And you also used to be mayor of New York City, duh. The family is fine, thank you, Michael Bloomberg.

 regarding my late father inheritance multi-million-dollar business
proposal which we never concluded at that time.I am using this
opportunity to inform you that my late father inheritance which was
WILL in my name have been concluded with another Greek Merchant who
financed it to a logical conclusion.


Me and former mayor Michael Bloomberg used to have this saying: There are only two things Greek merchants are good for - affordable hummus and financing inheritances to their logical conclusions. Ha ha. He was kind of racist though, Michael Bloomberg.

 I thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transfer of the
funds into your account, due to one reason or the other best to known
you at that time.


Little known fact: Every single thing former mayor Michael Bloomberg ever said publicly was written for him. He actually has the language skills of a second-grade chalkboard.

Due to the effort, sincerity, courage and trust
worthiness you showed during the course of the transaction, I want to
compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of
$5,900,000.00(Five Million Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars).


But he is also sweet and generous. Thank for the five million nine hundred thousand dollars, Michael Bloomberg, from when your dad croaked. I always knew my courage for sitting idly by while Michael Bloomberg's dad died would pay off.

I have left
an international certified bank draft for you, worth about
$5,900,000.00(Five Million Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars). cashable
anywhere in the world.


Well thank you for that, Michael Bloomberg. Wouldn't you know, a few months ago the former mayor of Tallahassee left me a $6.7 million certified check, but it was only cashable at select Florida-based Loan Marts! You can imagine my embarrassment when I attempted to cash it in Estonia. Suffice it say, we are no longer friends.

 My dear friend I will like you to contact Bar John Owen so that he
will send the draft to you without any delay.


Certainly, Michael Bloomberg. "Bar John Owen" sounds like a person.

At the moment, I 'm very
busy here in Paraguay South American,


As any former mayor of New York City would be.

trying to invest my money with
the help of the Good Samaritan who hears my cry and assistant in the
release of my funds with the bank.


You've come a long way from being the billionaire mayor of New York City to crying on the side of the road in Paraguay - WHAAAAH! NO ONE WILL HELP ME INVEST MY MONEY! WHAAAAH! PARAGUAY IS STUPID, DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHO I AM? WHAAAAH! - and being assisted by a Good Samaritan. Neither here nor there, but the Good Samaritan from the Bible helps someone not die, so using that term in the context of someone who helps you "release your funds with the bank" is good and nice.

 Thanks you in anticipation for your past efforts and God bless you.
Regards.

Michael Bloomberg.


Thanks YOU, former mayor Michael Bloomberg. By the way, what ever happened to my abandoned package? Forget it - I will ask Bar John Owen.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

On giving two sheets, and folding them, too

My wife and I do not fight often. We share a similar, oftentimes offensive, sense of humor, and are alike in enough ways to where we’re rarely at odds. When we do fight, however, sheets are almost always involved. And no—we’re not between them.

We are either folding them or putting them on the bed. Both of those things are THE WORST, but if I had to pick one that’s worse than the other, I would pick both.

Folding the regular bed sheet isn’t so bad. As long as I am standing at a proper distance holding my side tightly, ensuring no wrinkles, and, when it comes time to fold over, I fold in the same direction as my wife, which is something I have to guess at because she doesn’t tell me, and I never guess right. In her defense, if she were to say, “Now fold to the right,” by the time I was able to process whether she is talking about her right or my right, she would have already folded her side and be extremely annoyed that I was still standing there with my mouth open like a fool.

Folding the fitted bed sheet though? I mean, really. I don’t even understand why that dang thing needs to be folded—it stretches out the wrinkles DURING USE—much less folded in the complex manner my wife demands. I cannot even explain with words the process I must follow for properly folding the fitted bed sheet, and I also cannot physically do it. I pretty much stand there staring at my side of the sheet while my wife yells, “Find the crease! FIND THE CREASE.” I can never find the crease. Exhausted by my idiocy, my wife will hand me her side, for which she’s already located the crease, and then I’m supposed to hold it with my finger or something and loop it under the other crease? I have no idea.

At some point in the process I will say, “Why do we even have to do this?” My wife will blurt out something like, “Because this is how my mother taught me and how my Nanny taught her!” Honestly? Each passing day of my life is yet another step deeper into the confusing abyss of Italian-American culture, and at this point I’m convinced that when Italian mothers and daughters get together, all they do is fold sheets nonchalantly but perfectly while discussing how disappointed they are with other family members.

Of course, if we’re folding bed sheets that means we’ve already made the bed with freshly washed bed sheets. How did that go? Not well. It did not go well.

I always make the mistake of thinking I’ve succeeded making my side of the bed. Then my wife will ask, “How much on your side?” and as she asks this she’s measuring the overflow of her side with her elbow (!!!). I will just stare at my side, unsure how to respond, and then my wife will say, “I have too much. Pull. Pull. PULL, WHY ARE YOU JUST STANDING THERE?”

Then we have to tuck in the sheet at the foot end of the bed, which is the point in the process where I get berated for “not pulling tight enough.” But we save the best part for last: the fold-over on the sides of the end of the bed. It’s supposed to be like a triangle or something? I don’t know. My wife does her side—a crisp, tight, perfect 90-degree triangle that won’t move an inch over the next month—and then says to me, “How does your side look?” I don’t respond because I know she’s going to check anyway, and when she does, it is revealed that my triangle is limp and sick and might be dead.

She will do my side over while muttering something along the lines of, “It’s only been 10 years – you’d think you would have gotten this by now,” and then claim that the only reason we’re even changing the sheets is because I “make them smell bad” and that I smell, in general. I will slowly walk backwards out of the room, hoping she doesn’t ask me to do anything else sheet-related.

Actually, you know what? Now that I wrote this all down, it seems pretty one-sided. I guess my wife and I don’t fight after all! Cool.

Note: This column appears in the 11/13 issue of The Glendale Star and the 11/14 issue of the Peoria Times.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: http://www.glendalestar.com/

Sure.

http://www.glendalestar.com/

That's me.

SZFC International Co. is a factory and trader of color changing mugs located in China.

SZFC International Co. needs no introduction. But thank you.

What are color changing mugs?

Mugs that change color? I'm sorry, that was stupid of me. I hate myself. I don't know.

● To pour in HOT water, the mug changes colors magically ;

● To pour in COLD drink, the mug changes colors magically too.


This sounds very complicated. Do you have pictures of this mug magic?



What kind of sorcery is happening here? I cannot condone this type of black magic. J/k I would like 10 NesQuik bunny cups to impress my friends. I have to ask though, because according to the documentary Food Inc., the magic contained in color changing mugs is often toxic cow semen: Are these mugs FDA-approved?

With SGS approval, pass FDA.

Is that an answer?

We are audited by Disney, AVON CPA and Sedex are available.

Oh good. The last thing I wanted while drinking from my magic mug was to be complicit in some type of copyright infringement. Cool to know that Disney, a branch of the US government?, is getting paid.

We own a design team and they can make proof for the customers to illustrate how the mug change colors upon requested.

PROVE IT.



I think I just got served. These magic color changing mug warehouse pictures are undeniable proof that these magic mugs are not magic, but the result of hard work from blue-collar Chinese men and women and their giant machines. But they are also magic.

We're the first one manufacturer of color changing mugs in China.

Cool sentence. Is this a competitive market?

Over 25 years manufacturing experience , we supply over 50 countries hot and cold color changing mugs from ceramic mugs originally to plastic mugs, stainless steel thermo mugs, glasses and aluminumbottles.

I think I've learned everything I need to know about color changing mugs. Say no more. No longer will I be caught drinking from a mug that does not change color based on the temperature of the liquid inside. It's 2014, and ain't nobody got time for that. I look forward to supporting the Chinese warehouse/production industry, specifically the men who strap on their flip-flops every morning, climb atop the decal machine, and figure out what the hell got stuck inside.

TIME TO MAKE THE DONUTS DECALS