Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: RE: BREAKING STUDY: NBA Finals Sets Online Viewing Record - For Least Adult Website Views (Full Study Inside)

Quite possibly the greatest subject header involving the NBA and porn studies that exists. Also, "BREAKING STUDY" is a thing, I guess? Before I comment any further, let's go inside to see the full study, which is inside. The computer.

Hey there,


How’s it going?

Pretty good, I guess. Still catching my breath from watching the NBA Finals while NOT simultaneously watching online porn. You?

Last night, one of the best NBA Finals series of all time came to a historic climax – and beyond the King getting his second ring, the games did the seemingly impossible – took viewers away from online porn.

Cool use of climax there. I suspect this entire email could serve as one, big "that's what she said," and I will try my best to refrain from going there. I don't want such immaturity to infiltrate this very important and relevant topic about basketball and online porn and how they do or do not coexist.

That’s right – the statisticians at

Bill: Well it's nice to meet you, Pete. Tell me, what do you do for a living?

Pete: I'm a statistician, actually.

Bill: Wow, really? Pretty neat. Math nerd, huh? Ha, ha ... just kidding! Where do you work?


Bill: (swallows piece of shrimp cocktail whole)

Pete: I know about you, Bill.

carefully analyzed each game of the Finals to track traffic changes in Miami, San Antonio, and across the US by the hour; comparing variables like arena locations, game winner, and more.

Inside's studios during Game 7

Pete: These online porn statistics are through the floor! Online porn in Miami is down 12 percent RIGHT NOW!

Greg: Do you think maybe it's because people in Miami are watching the game or AT the game and thus are not watching porn?

Pete: Who knows! No time to draw conclusions yet! Still collecting data! William, any findings?

William: ANY? How about - check out San Antonio! It's like online porn just stopped in its tracks! And we haven't even had a "game winner" yet!

Greg: More like "game wiener" ... or should I say lack thereof!


Pete: Guys, check it out - according to my arena locations, people near other arenas right now are watching online porn, but some are not ... this is difficult to parse right now, but ... MAN, ya' know? I feel like we're in the middle of history right now ...

William: No doubt, no doubt. Working on a chart right now ...

Greg: Are you TRYING to make this bar chart look like upside-down boners?

Everybody: GET OUT GREG!

William: Jeff, what about you? Are you seeing this?

Jeff: (logs off online porn, toggles furiously through spreadsheets) Uh, yeah, this is ... crazy!

Feel free to use the info and stats as you see fit.

I can't think of a scenario off the top of my head that WOULDN'T be fit for this info. Writing up a huge feature for our local community newspaper right now titled, "Basketball the new porn, sayeth porn-tracking company Pornhub." Gonna call my dad, too - he's a Catholic deacon, so maybe he can get a homily out of this great new information. "'Watch basketball, not porn,' is what St. Paul was saying to the Galatians there, in a way, when you think about it." These are just a couple scenarios I have thought of where this information comes in extremely handy, so the possibilities are obviously endless.

Have a great weekend.



The Pornhub Team

Thanks, Pornhub Team! Have a great weekend, too!

/Game seven ends; online porn statistics revert to normal levels/

*NOTE: Can't wait for all the new porn-related spam/ads I will receive as a result of this post. I REGRET NOTHING.

UPDATE: I received another email of this ilk after the NHL Finals. Other media outlets did as well, and this nonsense somehow made it mainstream. So, rest assured - mass media takes junk email and makes it "news."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The trials and tribulations of our daughter, part III

Read part I here; part II here.

Our daughter, DLG1, is beautiful, sweet, smart, funny, active, warm, and extremely outgoing. You could meet her, as many have, and find her to be no different than the average child. Even our extended family often has a difficult time believing that our nurture did not easily overcome her nature.

The truth of the matter is that it has not, and never will.

We see life through the lens of our own experiences, and because of that it’s nearly impossible to understand, much less relate to, a child who was born not to a mother but to a system that passed her around until God intervened. Even we, her parents who have been there since day … (counting) 111, have difficulty with it all. There is an extreme temptation to say, to believe, she’s been with us essentially her entire life, and she doesn’t remember being abandoned; she was just a baby! And even if she did remember anything, it must have been terrible, and life is much better now. Everything is fine. These behaviors are … normal?

Our daughter’s behavioral therapist—who is truly breaking through with my wife and I as much as she is with her—has reiterated the omnipresent theme of abandonment and what it means. Here is what it means: our daughter was abandoned. No matter how horrific her nine months in utero, or how traumatic her first days on Earth, she was abandoned. That familiar voice, no matter how loud, silent, or profane, was gone the very instant she entered this world. She’ll never get over it. Our job is to help her cope.

Fear of abandonment takes on many forms, but the form most closely associated with me losing my mind once and for all is DLG1’s absolute need for control. Combine that subconscious fear with all the fantastic work that drugs did to her developing brain and you get quite the exciting ride down parenting lane! Wait, I just thought of a poem:

Subconscious fear
Drugs to her brain
Will not help you steer
Down parenting lane

Thank you. (I premiered that during an impromptu slam poetry session on a Phoenix street corner to mixed reviews.) (I did not.)

Anyway, our daughter is on a neverending quest for control of her environment because she does not yet fully trust that we, her parents, will always be there. Surrendering her will to ours makes her feel very unsafe and extremely vulnerable. This means everything from going absolutely INSANE because I handed her the blue toothbrush when she wanted the green one to sabotaging every possible good thing we provide her by demanding more. Our daughter never wants anything—be it a treat, TV show, time at the pool, people visiting, whatever—to end because it means her surrender to forces (usually us) beyond her control. In her subconscious mind, the last time she surrendered she was left all alone in a cold hospital room. She'll be darned if she let's that happen again.

You wanted to cry a little bit there, right? Me too. But guess what? When you’re in the throes of one of these episodes, and it’s the fifth one that morning, it’s pretty difficult to draw upon that reality. It’s pretty difficult to supplant discipline with sensitivity. Where is the line?

These constant assaults on our senses have made us—or at least made us feel like—unworthy, inconsistent parents, forever trying and failing at new ways to handle everything. Each night when we close the door to the girls’ bedroom (usually to incessant wailing), my wife and I spend the next 20 minutes or so staring blankly at the ceiling, painstakingly detailing every wrong parenting move and cowering in fear at the prospect of the teenage years of this drama or, worse, some medicated version of our beautiful, sweet, smart, funny, active, warm, and extremely outgoing little girl.

It’s draining. Thankfully, there are occasional microbursts of perspective, be they from our support system of fost-to-adopt parents, parents of regular ol’ biological children (who knew?), God, or our family, which remind us that our only real job is to love her. Which we do like nobody’s business. There is hope, and our challenge is to trust that everything will work out the way it should if we just keep at it. Keep on truckin’, keep on keepin’ on, keep on rockin’ in the free world, keep on giving proprioceptive input, and all those other inspirational song phrases.

I sure hope things start to work out sooner than later, however, because DLG2 has a WHOLE ‘nother set of issues.


But one girl at a time (for this article I mean—we take care of both of them simultaneously, honest). Sure, our daughter can be a handful sometimes, but few have any idea where she’s come from and besides, I got this, okay, so BACK OFF. She is going to make it, gosh darn it, and so are we. She’s overcome so much already, and will continue to do so.

One day she will jump farther than anyone thought she could.

Note: This column appears in the 6/27 issue of The Glendale Star and the 6/28 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: File Number (UNO-154/4456/013)

Look at all those letters and numbers! This email couldn't be more official if it had a seal. Who sent this joint, yo?

From: United Nations Trust Funds []

UNITED NATIONS TRUST FUNDS? Daaaaaaaaaaaag. I didn't know there was a united nations of foreign diplomats who convene to decide which email users randomly receive trust funds! This is great news. I know there's war and poverty and all that, but sometimes the world gets it right, you know?

I'm pleased to inform you that you've be selected by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for its Grant Award.

It's humbling to know that I've "be selected" for this, along with all the other esteemed "undisclosed recipients" copied here. I will use this grant money to finally set up my pediatric nutrition foundation, which teaches kids about GMOs and the benefits of organic produce J/K GONNA BUY A FLYBOAT CAUSE I'M FLY.

It's like, do you have any IDEA how involved it is to apply for a grant? Seriously - I am asking. I have obviously never done that. I imagine, however, it's a lot of paperwork, background checks, essays ... probably need a W2 or whatever. So to just be sitting here at work, toggling back and fourth between Twitter and a Buzzfeed list about the Top 15 kangaroo memes working real hard, and finding out via email that I've earned a grant based on absolutely nothing? It just ... it means a lot to me.

Please contact us for more details with the information below.

Yeah, you'll prolly need my name and stuff.

Mr. Jan Knutsson

Mister Jan Knutsson? You givin' ME money? You nuts, son! (sorry that was stupid)


Phone: 1-866-352-9792

Hello, you've reached United Nations Development Program

"Gimmie my mon-NAY!"

If you're the Better Business Bureau, please hang up and try again, but also don't.

"Got my file number!"

If you're calling to accept your Grant Award, please press 2

(press 2)

Hello. At the beep, please leave your social security number, routing number, and blood type, which we require for processing grant funds. Expect your grant to arrive in 10-12 business days.
grantmayormaynotbearubberchicken. BEEP!

Okay so I actually DID call. "The toll free number you have dialed is currently suspended." Ha, ha UNITED NATIONS JOKE: They can't get anything done, amiright? Idiots.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The trials and tribulations of our daughter, part II

For part I click here.

My wife’s background as a therapist enabled her to notice things very early on with our daughter that many might have missed. By "many" I mean me and by "might have" I mean did. In fact, the only reason our daughter (daddy’s little girl, DLG1) never received speech therapy is because my wife is a speech therapist, so our daughter has been unconsciously annunciating since she was a baby: I saaaaaid, “Wah, wah.” What can’t you understand about that, father? Now please hand me my bottle before I flip out. DLG1 does, however, currently have three non-speech therapists.

Her physical therapist has done wonders with the four-month-old we handed her who could not hold her head up. Not including illegal narcotics, DLG1 did not receive any pre-natal care, which caused her to have the physical strength and stamina of banana pudding. Now she is more athletic than most kids her age, and last year won “a long jumping contest” at school. On those days when she’s being particularly difficult around other well-behaved children and their parents, I walk away thinking smugly, “Don’t judge us—she can jump farther than ALL of you!”

She also receives occupational therapy, where she works on the fine motor skills of everyday life and gets to do physical things that stimulate her brain activity. At first I thought occupational therapy was going to find her a job, although that unfortunately has not happened. Yet. Jokes aside, her PT and OT, who have seen her since she was a baby, are God-sent angels from heaven who have taught our daughter how to walk, run, swim, and live, and who have the patience of 10 Mother Teresas. It’s like, who taught your kid how to walk—you? Pfft.

Our daughter also had other therapies when she was younger that were called … something, and where she did … things. Who can keep track anymore, amiright? (high fives no one)

Finally, our daughter has straight up behavioral therapy. That’s right—DLG1 sees a child psychologist. Your kid had a tantrum in the grocery store? That stinks. My 3-year old is in therapy, CHECK-MATE. She’s sitting on the couch looking at flashcards of blurry images and telling her therapist they look like the monsters that scare her in the night.

Because, yes, our daughter has night terrors. I’m sure it has nothing to do with spending nine months in a meth womb. She doesn’t even know where she is or who she is when she “wakes up” from these episodes. She’s completely out of it. My wife, while soothing her, will do her best Cher impression and say, “Snap out of it!” and then slaps me in the face. I don’t get this, but it seems to help. (Not really.)

DLG1 has had several sleep studies performed, during which she has what seems like 2,000 wires attached to her and my wife gets to spend the night at Phoenix Children’s Hospital on a cot. The only two restful nights of DLG1’s entire life thus far have been during these respective sleep studies—ha, ha, little stinker!—and so results have been inconclusive. Less inconclusive: every other night.

This trauma during sleep has caused her to have an extreme anxiety about sleep. So it wasn’t a surprise to us when she started exhibiting behaviors during nap time at school, purposely getting herself in trouble so she’d be sent to the office and miss nap (despite everything you now know of her background, DLG1 is whip-smart). After meetings with school administrators—fun! Did I mention she is 3?—we had to eliminate nap time altogether, which helped but also means she is spent by the end of the day. This then leads to its own brand of behaviors, making it impossible to tell if they’re the result of her being tired, her traditionally defiant age, or her specific issues. It’s cool when, after a long day at work, you pick up your kids and you try to leave school except your older daughter randomly decides to go bonkers in the hallway because the Velcro strap on her shoe came loose. “Hey, why not just re-strap it?” you say calmly but through clenched teeth, except everything just gets worse and now everyone is looking and before you know it you are flying high on a metaphorical cloud of confused rage. Ha, ha … that is called WEDNESDAY.

But what is the ultimate cause of these behaviors, these terrors, these anxieties? What has lingered from her trauma-filled human development and first weeks on Earth? And how has this affected us as parents? (Hint: It has not made us less stressed and unsure of ourselves.) We’ll discuss more next week. I hope you are having fun!

Note: This column appears in the 6/20 issue of The Glendale Star and the 6/21 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: hi

Oh, hi ... "keketa dakowa."

Hello dear, Nice to meet you ,how are you doing today in your

Is this what you consider "meeting" someone? ME TOO. I am doing great today here in America, thanks for asking. What's popping with you in your stupid country?

My name is keketa wish to have you as my friend,honest to
share a true relationship with you,

Oh, snap, this is cool and normal. I think the first step to building a true relationship with a complete stranger is to send that person an email and be all like, "let's have a true relationship my name is Keketa." Let us skip all of the mutual experiences and bonds of trust and get on with the relationship because honestly, who has the time? Quick question though: how do you define friendship?

for friend is all about Respect,
Admiration and love passion,and sharing of ideas,

Poetry. Did you pull this from the Psalms? Prolly. So dang true, though. Mad respect. A friend to me is all about clicking "accept friend request." Yo, Keketa, check this out, made it just for you:

Fun to be around
I ain't never had a better one
Everyone is mad jeals of my true relationship with you
Need I say more? One more thing:
Doing great in America, sharing ideas

am free and open
minded ,easy going and a great sense of humor.

Ha, ha! I can already tell you have a great sense of humor, Keketa, like the time you sent me that bonkers-ass email about true relationships. I am close-minded and live in a cage and laughing makes me involuntarily defecate, but you know what they say - opposites attract! (Paula Adbul)

hoping to hear from you
so that i can be able to tell you more of my self,


have a nice day
from love keketa,, my id email,,

From love you, too, Keketa! Bout to send you this dope meme about friendship that has a German Shepherd hugging a rabbit, gonna take our relationship to the next level. #bff

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The trials and tribulations of our daughter, part I

As usual one morning last week, I was only able to complete school drop-off after prying our older daughter off me like a wailing amoeba, and left to a chorus of, “NO DADDY NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” The phrase kicking and screaming is not usually literal, but that is exactly what our daughter was doing while being held back by several teachers as all the other children, including those much younger than her, looked on with both awe and disdain. As I walked down the hallway to leave, a mom who I kind of know and who was bearing witness to this whole thing looked at me and said, “Don’t you just wish you knew when days like this were coming?” I responded, “Ha, I know when I wake up it’s going to be a day like this.” I expected a normal parent-to-parent response to that, something like, “Tell me about it!” Instead she responded with a somewhat judgmental, “Really?”

Well, yeah, REALLY. My wife later said that I probably misread the comment because I was on edge. Perhaps. The previous evening our daughter had an epic meltdown. It was her singular masterpiece—her Mona Lisa—the kind of unraveling that makes you seriously reconsider if you’re even fit to be a parent. Ha, ha, yeah, THAT KIND. After talking, praying, and sleeping on it, we awoke somewhat reinvigorated by the idea that it was a new day, a new chance for her to react in appropriate ways to simple things. One of the first things she did that morning was flip the hell out because her younger sister put the step stool away before she could.

I realize that I’ve commented on our daughter’s (let’s call her DLG1 from now on, daddy's little girl, which is corny yes, but true) behavior before in this column, and I feel I should elaborate a) so that you understand I am not one of those clueless parents you see on “Nanny 911” and b) so that I can remind myself about what this little girl deals with. As I noted last week, it’s all about perspective. Also, this is going to be a multi-part column spanning several weeks/months/years because that is the type of venting I need here. (Or, it will be three parts.)

When we tell people our daughter is adopted, I’m pretty sure most people imagine the movie/Broadway show/comic/unending soundtrack of my life, “Annie.” They think, “Awwww! How sweet! Happily ever after.” Indeed, I am extremely happy and I love our daughters beyond words. But my goodness, no—that is not the scenario. The movie ends with Annie riding a freakin’ elephant at a backyard carnival, but it should really end with Annie going out of her MIND so hard she passes out because Daddy Warbucks had the audacity to tell her to dismount the elephant because it’s time for bed. Then Annie punches the elephant in the face and walks away in slow motion while things explode behind her.

Adoption is not the movies. Quick background: DLG1 was abandoned at the hospital after nine months of a drug- and possibly alcohol-infused pregnancy. She was born addicted to, among other things, meth, and spent her first three days of life in detox. She wasn’t the first of her bio mom’s offspring, and with that less than stellar history, DLG1 was born right into the system.

We knew adopting a drug-exposed child out of foster care could present issues and behaviors. And DLG1, among other things we’ll get to, has sensory integration disorder. I don’t have the best grasp of it, but I know it’s real. My wife and I went to a training class on sensory integration disorder, and they passed out a sheet of symptoms and said, “Check whichever ones you feel like your child struggles with.” I was like CHECK, CHECK, CHECK, CHECKITY, CHECK-CHECK, CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF, DOUBLE-CHECK, CHECK, CHECK, INFINITY CHECK. My wife had the same results.

There are different levels, but DLG1 has the kind where she seeks and absolutely needs sensory input at all times. This means running, jumping, crashing into things, purposely banging her head on the wall, throwing herself on the ground in a heap of despair, doing somersaults on rocks, walking over hot coals … things like that. When she is 10 years old she is totally going to approach us and say that she wants to drop out of school and join the circus so she can be shot out of a canon every day, and I will say, “You’re not hangin’ with carnies!”

This serious disorder is actually kind of cool for me, as a dad, because I often find myself not knowing what to do. My go-to parenting move is throwing her up in the air 20 times or tackling her for no reason (watching football), which apparently helps. A lot. Her therapists say, “That’s great! Keep giving her that proprioceptive input.” Indeed, that was my plan all along. My wife is always like, “Stop throwing her so high, she’s gonna hit her head on the fan!” and I’m like, “Chill out, babe, I’m trying to do this propro-septic reboot.” Me parent good.

Oh yeah, the therapists. There are several. REALLY. We’ll cover those next week.

Note: This column appears in the 6/13 issue of The Glendale Star and the 6/14 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Spam email of the week

Today's email comes from "Micheal Gilbert," which is either Michael spelled incorrectly, a French person or something, or a thing that doesn't really exist. The answer is "C."

Subject: Ad Placement.

"If ya' can't spell yer own name ... ya' might be a spambot."

"If ya' be usin' puncteee-ation in yer subject header ... sorry, but ya' might be a spambot."

- Jeff Spamworthy

Good Day,

It was.

 I wish to place an employment ad and will require a price quote and your next publish.

That was almost a sentence. You were almost there. It was so close. I feel bad about how you can't formulate a sentence. I don't want to judge you, even though you are terrible. I wish you weren't so terrible. Please, go on.

Account Representative / Mystery-Shopper.

Is this the same position?

Person 1: So, what do you do for a living?

Person 2: I am an account representative slash mystery shopper.

Person 1: Oh, I have heard about that. Is that where you manage accounts using spreadsheets and stuff and then go shopping and the stores think you're a real person but you're really an account representative?

Person 2: Yes. It's pretty cool. One time I bought a blouse from this store and the guy was like, "Okay, miss, let me ring you up for that up front ... " and I was like, "BAM! Gotcha! I'm actually an account representative and you're under arrest for being a stupid jerk!" Flashed the badge and everything.

Person 1: That is neat. I am a liability insurance agent slash dog groomer.

Somewhat related: at my old job in NJ we used to run a "mystery shopper of the week" photo of a local resident coming out of Foodtown. If they saw the picture in the paper (which they didn't because nobody read the paper) and confirmed their identity, they won a $25 gift card to Foodtown. This involved our sports reporter (who once, at a restaurant, ordered a dish called "broccoli RAPE;" I was there) camping out in the Foodtown parking lot and snapping pictures of unsuspecting consumers. Nothing about this seemed legal. Anyway, I would like to nominate him for this position. He knows nothing about mystery shopping himself or representing accounts, but he can be trained. (Probably not.)

Fibre to Fashion. A major supplier of Textile Materials, requires urgent employment of part time workers.

"Cool," says potential employee. "What are the requirements? A GED and proficiency in Power Point?"

Must have access to the internet.

"What does that ... what? Like from home? Is this a job working from home? Or will the rest of Fibre to Fashion be coming to my house to use my wifi?"

For more information do email as Phone inquiries will not be accepted.




Fibre to Fashion interviewer: Do you do email?

Job interviewee: Like have sex with it?

Fibre to Fashion interviewer: No like do it. Can you do it?

Job interviewee: I think I'm going to leave now, thanks.

Fibre to Fashion interviewer: Do you do websites?

Job interviewee: Thank you, you can shred my resume whenever.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Families: bonded through their dissatisfaction with everything

I don’t think people realize how much they complain until they actually hear themselves. Seriously, listen to yourself. Wow, you are ungrateful.

And we should hang out because I, too, complain a lot. This column itself is basically a drawn-out, weekly complaint. “I have pigeons on my roof, my clothes don’t fit, there are too many television shows on my DVR, wah, wah, wah.” I am sorry.

But here’s the thing: am I? I am not sorry. But I am trying to change. I am currently reading a book about perspective, and I am taking its advice by writing down something I am thankful for each and every day. Today was “I am thankful I’m not a MORON like that idiot on Grand Avenue.” It’s a work in progress.

All of this had me thinking recently—is the need to complain something learned or inherent? Nature or nurture? The reason I ask is because our daughters complain ALL THE TIME, and I do not believe they have already become so jaded by their stressful existence of playing nonstop and not having to worry about insurance.

Here are examples:

Three-year-old: Daddy, what are you making for dinner?

Me: Pasta.

Three-year-old: I don’t LIKE pasta!

Me: Pasta has been your self-described favorite food since the moment you could talk.

Three-like-old: It’s gross!

: I like pasta!

Me: Great.

Two-year-old: I don’t like pasta.

- - - - - - - - - - -
Me: Thank you both for reluctantly finishing your pasta. It only took you (checks wall clock)… two and a half hours. I’m going to give you a special treat.

Three-year-old: What’s the special treat, dad? Candy? Is it candy? I want three candies! No, four candies! FIVE candies! Can I have five candies, daddy?

Me: The special treat is apples and peanut butter.

Three-year-old: I don’t LIKE apples and peanut butter! You promised 10 candies!

Two-year-old: I want candy, daddy.

Me: (hand them apples and peanut butter)

Three-year-old: (flips out, loses apples and peanut butter, flips out worse)

Two-year-old: I like apples! I don’t like apples. Eww, gross, dad.

- - - - - - - - - - -
Three-year-old: Where are we going, dad?

Me: To the pool, your favorite.

Three-year-old: Yea! How long are we going to stay? The whole time? The whole day? FOREVER? Can we stay forever, dad, pleeeeeease?

Me: We’re going for about an hour.

Three-year-old: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (flips out, ends up costing herself at least 20 minutes of pool time)

Two-year-old: I like the pool! I don’t like the pool. (falls down)

So I guess it’s nature? Is this even normal? I have no idea.

I find that most of the complaining I do these days is complaining about how much our kids complain. Then again, I am also grateful that I do not complain as much as they do because I cannot fathom a life where every good thing that happens is actually terrible. So I guess it’s true what they say about kids—they really do give you perspective.

Note: This column appears in the 6/6 issue of The Glendale Star and the 6/7 issue of the Peoria Times.