Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Re:Best Selling High Quality eGo-C Twist CE4 from Kapopo , ego c twis t 900ma h,ego c twist 6 50best pl ace to buy ego t wist

This is a good subject. It is nice.

Dear Friend,

I have no friends.

Good day

Is it, friend? Is it? With so much strife in the worl-

I am very glad to know you from your professional website,

You must be talking about glendalestar.com, the very professional website I manage but also a place to learn a lot about me, personally, like that time I Council hears updates on Loop 303 improvements or how I always Property taxes go up 2 percent. I put myself out there, I guess.

you are the leading company of e cigarette products.

We are? Just kidding. We are. Our motto is: The Glendale Star: Glendale's community weekly since 1978 - news best enjoyed while inhaling an e cigarette (which we also manufacture)

I also notice that you pay much attention to lower your cost for quality e cig.

Weekly editorial meeting

Editor: And Mike, please make that correction online because that item is not included in the city's budget.

Me: Got it.

Publisher: Now, I need to make a point here. How much attention are we paying to lowering our cost for purchasing quality e cigarettes?

Me: I'll take this one. Boss, let me answer that truthfully, because I know it's been a point of contention among everyone in this room for the past few months. We are paying zero attention to lowering the cost for purchasing quality e cigarettes. But that is only because we do not purchase e cigarettes. We are a weekly newspaper.

Publisher: Is there anyone that can be of help?

That is where I can be of help.

Me: I think I know someone who can be of help. Let's just say it's a good friend.

When you next consider your arrangements for e cigarette products, I would welcome the opportunity to understand your requirements and situation.

Here are our requirements and situation, for your understanding. I wasn't exactly sure what you meant by situation, so I played it safe.

Requirements: zero e cigs 

Situation: not an e cig manufacturer 

Situation:



I will send you more detailed information regarding this product in another email.

Please don't.

Best regards

Martina


Martina, may I have your address so I can mail out my e cig requirements?

Address:9F,No.4 Houdishan,Xinsha Road,Bao'an District,Shenzhen,Guangdong,China

(writes out letter expressing love for low cost e cigs, mails to:)

Martina
9F
No. 4
Houdishan
Xinsha Road
Bao'an District
Shenzhen
Guangdong
China

(letter returned to sender eight weeks later with note that reads "Xinsha DRIVE")

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Frozen out by ‘Frozen,’ dang Disney



I’ve mentioned before our family’s distaste for Disney, but allow me to briefly elaborate.

Specific to the realm of raising two impressionable young girls, we—when I say “we” in this regard, people may assume that I mean “my wife,” and while she does spearhead this line of thinking, I honestly couldn’t agree more—feel that Disney, generally, too heavily markets the princess aesthetic to girls. Realizing the fantasy life is omnipresent during childhood, we’d prefer our girls be less influenced by a non-working, male-reliant position within a fundamentally un-American monarchy whose “job” is to, essentially, look pretty, than, say, virtually anyone or anything else (sans Katy Perry, of course). I mean, even Dora explores and is bilingual.

However, over the course of the past year or so, our stance on Disney has ever so slightly—gasp—softened. This is a result of equal parts our sheer inability to escape its wide-reaching entertainment net and, more specifically, Frozen. Though it touts not one but two princesses, its overriding theme is the love between sisters. That combined with its lack of bare midriffs and the color pink made it more palatable.

As if we had a choice anyway. Our girls are two of millions upon millions obsessed with the film. So, when my wife saw a post on Pinterest marketing the fact that, if your child writes a letter to a specific Disney character, Disney will send your child back a signed photo from that character, she jumped at the chance.

The timing was perfect. Our oldest, enamored with Elsa, is forever eager to practice her writing, and that very week at school she was learning how to write letters. My wife sat down with her and helped her pen a letter to her favorite ice queen:

“Dear Elsa, I love you. How is your ice castle? Please say hi to Anna and Olaf. (sporadic pictures of Elsa, hearts, and, I don’t know what that is … a shark?)

It’s entirely possible that, without compromising our ideals, our stance on Disney could have softened to mush had we received what was promised. No doubt my wife and I were more excited than our daughter to hear back; our daughters’ joys are our joys times two, and besides – they cannot see their own faces.

Welp, last week we received something back. It was a postcard featuring every Disney princess ever—the gentrified African-American and Middle-Eastern princesses stand out like a sore thumb amidst the sea of Caucasianness, as if Disney were unwittingly bound by Affirmative Princess Action (recall this is the same company that introduced this character as "Latina")—sans, of course, for Anna and Elsa, on the front. On the back is the well-thought out note, “May all your dreams come true,” signed by “Cinderella and my royal friends.”

Thanks for the meaningless cliché, Cinderella, but our DREAM WAS TO HEAR FROM ELSA, YOU WITCH. NO WONDER YOUR SISTERS HATED YOU.

We haven’t even told our daughter yet that anything has arrived in the mail for her because we’re not sure what to say. “Honey, I’m sorry, but the multi-kajillion-dollar corporation you wrote to couldn’t afford to mail you back a generic 4X6 photo with a stamped signature. But remember Cinderella? That movie we won’t let you watch because of its misguided ideals and because Cinderella is the worst? She sends vague well wishes.”

She will cry, but I will promise her that she can and should help forcefully release Disney’s chokehold on capitalist America by one day running for princess oops I mean senator.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, we’re back to despising Disney WITH MORE FERVOR THAN EVER. Won’t you join us? It is fun.

                                                  BELIEVE IN THE STARS
 
Note: This column appears in the 7/24 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/25 issue of the Peoria Times.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Wine Order Needed

OK, that is nice. This is a newspaper.

My name is James Adam i WANT TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE THESE Products IN STOCK OR YOU CAN ORDER THEM FOR ME.

Hello James. My name is Mike Kenny and WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME only I can use ALL CAPS SO EASE UP, SON.

Also, I am hoping the products you are looking for are newspapers because this is a newspaper.

1. Louis Roederer Cristal 2005/06, 12  bottles 2. Dom Perignon Vintage 2004, 12  bottles

Unfortunately, because this is a newspaper, we don't carry expensive champagne. We produce newspapers because we are, again, a newspaper. However, I guess I could order these for you? I mean, I have no problem ordering champagne for you, but I feel like I should mention - and I'm not saying this to be a dick; I just want to make sure you're aware of this fact - that another person who could order this champagne for you is: you.

Again, not trying to be a dick. I just feel like all the effort you've put into emailing entities like newspapers to question whether or not they can fulfill your champagne order would be better directed toward logging onto like, I don't know, a champagne website that could definitely fulfill your champagne order because they have champagne.

Forget it, I will order the champagne.

I want you to give me the total cost for everything it will be picking up in your store

Were that a sentence, I would respond thusly: The cost is $700,000. (Don't blame me, James Adam - your taste in champagne is Biggie-esque, and such excess comes at a price, both figurative and, in this case, literal.) I would humbly recommend starting with a lower end champagne since, judging by your subject header, I am skeptical you know the difference between traditional wine and sparkling champagne and run the risk of spitting out in horror your $700K investment. Most champagne is nonreturnable, including the champagne I just ordered for you, so forget what I just said.

ANYWAY, the store you will want to look for is our newspaper store. I will wrap the champagne in newspapers for its safety. (I will not, actually, because I will get in trouble.)

so that i will give you my Credit Card information for the prepayment prior to ordering.

Are you trying to reverse spam me, James Adam? Please don't try these tactics on me - been in this game for a minute.

You can email me the total quotation for everything with tax and how   soon can u have them  ready  .

Is this your first time using a keyboard? Here's a tip: press the "Print Screen/SysRq" to take a screenshot of your lunacy.

i will be expecting your response as soon as possible.Thanks

Don't put ASAPs in my mouth, James Adam. I work at my own pace. Also, you're welcome. The wine is ready. It is champagne and I drank most of it during a recent stay at the VIP section of a hot local club called "the bathroom of our newspaper store." You still owe me though.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Glendale Glitter and Glow block party rocks downtown Glendale ... 2014-06-13 3:29:35

So this initially didn't strike me as SO odd because the Glendale Glitter and Glow block party is an actual thing, something we cover and an event posted in print and online. But it was still kind of odd because the Glendale Glitter and Glow block party happens just after Christmas, and also:

From: ALan

Listen, I know to a lot of you something seemingly subtle like the first two letters of a name being capitalized can be perceived as an honest mistake, but let me tell you - as someone who's been in the spam game for a hot minute, that kind of stuff is crazeballs. Not to mention:

[alan@alan888.9299.org]

This is the most terrible email address. I hate this email address. It is offensive. I am offended.

Dear sir or madam,

Here we go.

How are you?

Ugh. Fine. I am fine, ALan. What do you want?

This is Alan from Ningbo Prolin, China.

ALan from China is emailing me about Glendale Glitter and Glow, got it.

which is professional Bar&Home ware manufacturer and supplier,barware, wine cooling... especially ice bucket,

Welcome to Ningbo Prolin! Please feel free to browse our fantastic display of barware and homeware, and PLEASE - form a single-file line near the ice buckets. We realize most of you are here to browse the ice buckets, and we only ask that you respect one another while doing so. We have plenty of ice buckets to go aroun- ... hold on, I am being told that several of our most popular ice bucket models are on backorder. EVERYONE PLEASE, MAINTAIN ORDER WHILE I CALL FOR BACKUP.

I'd like to recommend two hot-selling cup to you.

If I had a nickel.

This is classic ALan - reel you in by mentioning a Christmas show specific to your locale, and then close the deal by selling you the two hottest cup(s).

1.induction cup

  capacity:301ml-400ml

  material:plastic

  description:the cup will change color when you pouring the liquid.


Pfft, ALan, seriously, cups cannot change color while "you pouring the liquid." What is this, the future? I mean-




PUT ME DOWN FOR 30 INDUCTION CUPS.

2.size:12*5.5cm

  capacity:301ml-400ml

  description:the shape is unique


The description of this cup is: the shape is unique. I realize you just read that, but I feel compelled to remind you. Let us see if this description is accurate:




What is ... what? This cup looks like a science experiment and/or a headless rodent, but it definitely does not look like something I want to drink out of.

J/k I would definitely drink out of this:

Waiter: Which brings us to our finest red, an '86 Tuscan merlot, which is $229 per bottle; $38 per glass. Care to try?

Me: TOTES PUT ME DOWN FOR THE WHOLE SHEBANG.

Waiter: Lovely. (pulls out glass)

Me: HOLD UP THERE, CHIEF. GOT A BYOG SITUATION - BRING YOUR OWN GLASS. POUR MINE IN THIS BABY, IT'S FROM CHINA.

Waiter: Ummm, I just-

Me: IMMA DRINK IT OUTTA THE TAIL LOL.

We do hope there is a chance for us to cooperate with each other in the near future.

If a weird cup manufacturer from China can't cooperate with a newspaper publications manager in Glendale, Arizona, then I'm sorry, but I've lost my faith in mankind.

Any questions,let me know.

I have nothing but.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Poor pity, pondering pool problems, private probe

Growing up, our neighbors across the street had a pool. More important than this, they had a sign on the deck of the pool that read “Please don’t pee in our pool; we don’t swim in your toilet.” At the time, this was the absolute zenith of comedic commentary for me. A party at our neighbors’ house meant not only that we could swim, but also that I could stare at that sign and, in my head, break it down to bits until all the humor was lost, which was, of course, impossible. Swim in the toilet! Can you even imagine?

I still think about that sign* today, for several reasons. For one, the first time I laid eyes on it, my dream in life instantly became to grow into an adult, get married, have a family, and buy a house with a pool, all as mere means to my true end of posting that sign, claiming it as my own, and basking in the revels of its comedic glory. Where did you get that sign? Is there no end to your brash hilariousness? A toast to Mike!

Also, since I haven’t yet realized my ultimate dream, and our family is faced with the indignity of using our community pool (#firstworldproblems), I often wonder if we are, in fact, swimming in a toilet.

I was talked out of having a pool when we first moved here. You have a community pool for which you pay HOA fees, they said. Plus don’t forget about all the maintenance of a private pool, they told me. And the cost, they said. Besides, it’s not THAT hot, and you won’t use it as often as you think, no one said.

The problem, however, with the community pool is the community. Apparently, selfish people like to take up the entire pool to swim laps (pfft) or conduct “swim team practice.” Two years ago, some neighborhood kids thought it would be funny to throw a bunch of donkey feces (our community pool is surrounded by wild burro because, of course it is) into the pool, which—let’s be honest—was pretty darn funny, if I lived in a different neighborhood. The association had to drain the entire pool and we couldn’t use it for two weeks. CLOSED FOR DONKEY POOP REPAIRS. COME BACK IN TWO WEEKS.

(The hotel pool, a close cousin of the community pool, presents similar issues. While on vacation a few weeks ago, a sign posted at our hotel’s pool warned that anyone with “active diarrhea within the previous 14 days shall not be allowed to enter the pool water.” That kind of peace of mind is not something every hotel pool offers, but we don’t stay at just any hotel. Only the fancy ones.)

Oh, and just getting to the pool is a hassle. The ratio of pool prep/commute to actual pool time is at least 2-to-1. Also, for whatever reason I am some kind of child magnet, and it never fails that, while trying to watch a 3- and 4-year-old in a pool, I will be awkwardly approached by children who aren’t mine and who say things like, “I CAN HOLD MY BREATH FOR THREE MINUTES, WATCH” and “MY DOG AT HOME HAS A DOG TOY.” (There is no doubt they are peeing as they say these things.)

My point is, I would love a pool. In my backyard. I’m trying to convince my wife that it’s an awesome idea to have bulldozers tear down everything in our yard plus our neighbor’s block wall at a cost of $30K we definitely don’t have. I’ll let you know how it goes.

It failed. Alas, I remain deprived of my life’s dream, relegated to being Clark Griswold, staring out the window at what could be. For now. Someday we will have a pool, and I’ll finally be able to hang up a hilarious sign that my wife will immediately take down because it’s “tacky.” Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s been 14 days and thus ... (puts on one-sided banana hammock) ... it’s time to swim.


*A similar pool sign of my youth read, “Welcome to our ool. Notice how there’s no ‘p’ in it. Let’s keep it that way.” Had I saw this sign first, my feelings might be different, but as it stands this sign is obviously the lesser. Too wordy. And yes, my entire humor background is strictly based in pool signs banishing urine.

UPDATE: I discovered after writing this that The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo himself had the "Welcome to our ool" sign posted at his above-ground ool in Brooklyn because: OF COURSE HE DID. So that one is now my favorite. Thank you.

Note: This column appears in the 7/17 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/18 issue of the Peoria Times.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Run, don’t walk – or, you know, walk – to donate to ‘Team Garlic’


My mom walks faster than she runs. This seems impossible based on the very definition of those two things, but it is true. During a road race, her hybrid style of mixing each means that she is actually resting when she is running. It makes zero sense, but you know what? It works.

It didn’t always work. It was maybe five years ago when my mom entered some race in my hometown of East Brunswick, and was literally the last person to finish. Like, the front bumper of the police car trailing the race was nudging her in the butt, the police megaphone yelling, “Please run, miss, so we can all go home.” Then my mom would start running and the police would say, “OK, that’s our bad. Please walk.”

Since then my mom has honed her style through extensive training. If there were a movie about my mom perfecting her routine, it would include a 45-minute montage of her run-walking up the Philly monument steps, but instead of jumping up and down with her hands in the air when she reached the top like Rocky, she would sit down and start drinking chocolate milk, which is what she drinks when she is done her workouts. The movie would be called “Judy: The Journey” and I give it five stars.

Earlier this year, my mom made the admirable, bucket-list-type decision to enter the NYC Marathon. She put a lot of thought into it, discussed it extensively with my dad and, although she was afraid and feeling inadequate and unprepared, she took the plunge and entered.

Then, a few months later when both sets of parents were visiting us here in Arizona, my mom, already knee-deep in training, mentioned to my father-in-law that she had entered the NYC Marathon, and joked that he should enter too. Without missing a beat he said, “Yes. Yes I will do it.” The ratio of thought put into this decision between the two of them was 1,000-to-1 thought particles in favor of my mom, and if memory serves me well, my father-in-law committed to this life-altering event while processing LPGA golf highlights on TV and throwing a tennis ball to our dog. My mother-in-law threw her hands in the air in frustration, having not planned to spend the remainder of 2014 supporting her husband’s extensive marathon training routine.

My father-in-law’s commitment was likely moot anyway, since entering the NYC Marathon is not something you can do on a whim. You either have to qualify or enter through an organization. My mom, for example, is a member of Team in Training, a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society-based organization that supports runners, walkers, triathletes, etc. and targets its fundraising for cancer research. It was unlikely TNT had any spots remaining, but my mom gave Tony the contact info anyway.

Less than 24 hours later, he was in, to the surprise of no one.

My mom had trained with TNT before for a half-marathon, and was familiar with, and inspired by, its mission. For Tony, TNT was initially a means to an end, but after meeting with their team’s coach and hearing the personal accounts of the loss and triumph associated with blood cancer, felt more committed than ever to the marathon and his fundraising efforts.

They’re a team, Judy and Tony - “Team Garlic” for reasons that are obvious to followers of this blog. Here is their team page. Maybe you will want to donate to them, for a good cause, certainly, but also for entertainment purposes.

You see, Team in Training is serious about, well, its teams and training. They have a rather regimented schedule of trainings and team meetings. Their coaches and trainers are experienced and they consider it important to utilize their vast network of support and encouragement. My mom is on board with this. Tony is … let’s just say he’s not exactly renowned for adhering to a routine. It’s more likely he considers himself a coach than it is he will utilize the support system at his disposal. Also, the NYC Marathon is in November. “PLENTY OF TIME.” – Tony

In all seriousness, I am super proud of these two 60-somethings for entering the biggest race in the world so they can run (run/walk) 26.2 miles in the effort of raising money for cancer research. They deserve your support, and if you can find it in your heart and wallet to donate, it’ll be worth it if only for the stories that will emerge from the ensuing months. 

I mean, you’ve got the fastest walker this side of the Mississippi, whose fuel is chocolate milk and revenge on the East Brunswick Police Department, paired with a man who once ran a half marathon with a hernia and a torn calf ligament and who will likely have to be reminded at some point in the next few months of the “exact date of this thing.”

Please also support my mother-in-law. Emotionally. 

Thank you.

                                   I mean, how could you NOT donate to these two?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Facebook meme(s) of the day

THAT WOULD BE HILARIOUS IF ANIMAL FROM THE MUPPETS HAD A MEME

THAT DUDE WAS CRAY 


LOL

THAT'S NOT HOW YOU DO IT, ANIMAL

YOU SQUEEZE IT IN YOUR HAND

THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID

HA, HA GUESS THAT'S WHY THEY CALL YOU ANIMAL

OTHER ANIMALS SLING FECES SO YOU ARE ACTUALLY KIND OF CIVILIZED

WHAT PEOPLE ARE STRESSING YOU OUT ANIMAL

THE MUPPET BABIES?

KERMIT'S LAZY ASS?

DOESN'T MATTER, THIS MEME CANNOT BE TOPPED, PLEASE END ALL MEMES



OKAY I GUESS

WHO ARE YOU EVEN TALKING TO

I DON'T THINK I'M THAT WEIRD - JUST SITTING HERE WRITING ABOUT ANIMAL FROM THE MUPPETS MEMES

OK THAT'S KIND OF WEIRD

BUT I TAKE SOLACE THAT YOU LOVE ME, MUPPET DRUMMER

NOT TO NITPICK, ANIMAL FROM THE MUPPETS, BUT THE FACT THAT THEY'RE "WEIRDOS" IMPLIES THEY'RE NOT ACCEPTED BY SOCIETY

SORRY THAT WAS TOO MUCH - SOMETIMES I FORGET YOU'RE JUST A WEIRDO ANIMAL PUPPET THING

NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT

I GUESS WHAT I'M SAYING IS, MAYBE COOL IT WITH THE MEMES CAUSE THE MORE YOU DO-



PRETTY SURE EVERYONE KNEW

YOUR NAME IS ANIMAL AND BASICALLY YOU GO APESH*T ALL THE TIME FOR NO REASON

NEVER THOUGHT I'D SAY THIS BUT THERE ARE TOO MANY ANIMAL FROM THE MUPPETS MEMES


YOUR "LOL" IS VERY PRESUMPTIVE

PLEASE STOP, HONESTLY


/THROWS FECES AT COMPUTER SCREEN/