Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mom joins facebook; status update: confused *UPDATE*

The following is an update re: this.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: FW: Franchise Your Business!

Okay! Quick question: what if I don't have one?

Thank you for speaking with me today.

I did not! You're welcome!

Per our conversation,

We didn't have one! Everything you're about to say is a lie! I'm all ears!

here is some information about how you can franchise your business.

Do you have any information about starting a business?

We will be pleased to speak with you further,

Or: a first time.

and answer any questions you may have.

I have lots of questions. Why are you doing this to me? is one of my questions.

Thanks for your interest in

I expressed no interest.

AdvantaFran Franchise Consulting services.

ADVANTAFRAN FRANCHISING??? OMG that is a terrible name.

Sincerely,

Rose Baca


Why the hell isn't your name Fran, Rose? Also, I have another question. Do you have a picture of what it's like, emotionally, to franchise your business?


Cool!



I JUST FRANCHISED MY BUSINESS WHERE'S THE COCAINE AND DEODORANT THIS REACTION IS NATURAL



Hey ladies, I just franchised my business. What do you say we go back to my place and I help you two franchise your businesses with my business?


Derrrr



SOFTECH IS NOW OPEN IN A NEW LOCATION WHERE WHITE PEOPLE LIVE. YO DUDE IN THE BACK, SHOULDN'T 'VE WORN SANDALS TO THE SOFTECH JUMPOFF, SON.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Words a mere window to my appreciation of windows

There were no windows near the cubicle-type area at which I used to reside here at the newspaper. Feeling somewhat suffocated, I would often make up goofy reasons to venture outside for a minute or two like, “I better recycle this post-it note,” or, “I should take this personal pretend call on my cell phone outside.”

Well, you know what they say—write enough columns about your colon and daughter and eventually you’ll get promoted at the weekly community newspaper you work at, as long as you also do more productive things with your time than write about nonsense. And that is what happened to me. Keep dreaming, kids, and you, too, can be whatever title they gave me.

Not only did I get an office, but the office has a window. The importance of this did not dawn on me when I was setting up the office by tangling myself in computer wires. But now that I’ve been settled in for months, I have developed a great appreciation for this specific window and also windows in general.

The best part about windows, to me, is that you can see out of them. It’s important for your subconscious to have an awareness of the day’s weather, so that the day itself may resonate. For example, say something awesome happens at work, like you win a Pulitzer Prize for your column about windows. You’ll always remember what it was like outside when you got the news because of your window. You’ll be like, “I remember, it was sunny and hot that day …” or “I remember, it was sunny and hot that day …” But if you don’t have a window, it’ll be like every other day, and eventually you’ll forget everything important about your life, and then die alone probably.

My window is also good for natural light. Don’t get me wrong—office track lighting is extremely pleasant, warm, and inviting. But there’s something about the sun’s light that is super special. For instance, in the morning the sunlight in my office is so bright that it’s blinding, and anyone standing near the door cannot even see, so nobody bothers me in the morning.

"The best part about windows, to me, is that you can see out of them. " -- Mike Kenny

I also like to stare out the window like a zombie and clear my mind of coherent thoughts. You may think, in this case, that windows are counterproductive, but apparently you haven’t talked to science. According to some link I just pulled up while writing this, “daydreams have been found to have a productive facet, especially in areas related to creativity and conflict resolution.” That is why, when there is an interoffice conflict, I close my office door, stare out the window, and fall asleep.

Yet another great thing about my window is being able to see all the stuff that happens. And working in downtown Glendale, there is plenty to see! Hey, there’s a guy with no shirt on yelling across the street to nobody. There’s a rather large woman wearing a bikini top jaywalking her stroller across four lanes of traffic. Looks like the tattoo parlor is under new ownership. There is a barefoot man running with his dog to catch the bus. Looks like they are not allowed on the bus. Because of the dog, I guess. That is strange. Since when are pit bulls not allowed on public transportation? I love you, window.

Sometimes I feel bad about having a window when not everyone else at the office has one. So I try to keep it cool by not mentioning it a lot. That type of sensitivity to other people’s feelings is probably part of the reason I have an office window.

That is my office window. And my hand sanitizer. Aren't they glorious?

Note: This column appears in the 3/28 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/29 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: Wall clock Supply????????

Hmmm, excellent question. How IS my wall clock supply? Looks around. I have no wall clocks.

Dear Sir or Madam,

May I distinguish myself as the former. Honestly, it's my fault that my email address isn't more gender specific. To recap, I am MAN who is VERY interested in wall clocks.

We are factory specializing in the manufacture and export of wall clock.

That must be a pretty awesome wall clock if it takes an entire factory to produce. I am not sure if I have a wall to accommodate such a behemoth of a wall clock. Nevermind, I will make room. Also, I bet your favorite song is Sister Sledge's "We Are Factory."

We are factory
We have wall clock to export
We are factory
Get up sir or madam, purchase

We have profuse designs with series quality grade.

I expect nothing less in a line of wall clocks. Nevertheless, good to know. Nobody wants to look at a wall clock and not be lured in by its exuberantly plentiful design. (I Googled "profuse.")

we develop new designs nearly( pls check attach picture big new wall clock)

Sometimes, in AMERICA, sentences begin with a capital letter. Other than that, this sentence is perfect. Hold on while I check the attached picture of big new wall clock ...





Yo dude what time is it?

Oh it's ... Mona Lisa o'clock.

Wtf?

I can't see the second hand or hour hand.

You're an idiot. Let me check ... this is a mirror.


If you have interest in it, it`s my pleasure to offer news to you regular.

No, no, it's "news ON the regular," if this were 1998 and you were recording a hip-hop song about wall clocks.

Anyway, I think we can all agree that wall clocks are extremely essential during this time in history when it's near impossible to discover what time it is at any given point of the day. I would like to order your best wall clock, please! Charge it to the game. (I'm still pretending it's 1998. This is fun!)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Parental milestones witnessed and mishandled from afar

My parents have experienced a lot of milestones lately.

This has been an interesting thing to witness because my parents were always younger than the parents of my friends growing up. They were high school sweethearts like Jack and Diane, except for all the other terrible stuff in that song, like that part about suckin’ on chili dogs, which is the worst phrase I have ever heard. My mom had my older sister when she was … 22? 23? I forget how old my sister is.

My mom turned 60 last year. We had a big party and everything, albeit three months after her actual birthday because we couldn’t get our crap together. Also, I was not even there because I live in Arizona and couldn’t really afford to fly there. I did, however, send money for the alcohol, so I was kind of the hero of the party when you really think about it.

Then my parents celebrated 40 years of marriage in February. This was an extra special deal because I’m pretty certain my sisters and I did nothing for them on their 25th wedding anniversary. See, that’s the thing about them being too young—when they celebrated 25 years of marriage, I was 19 years old and couldn’t have cared less about anyone but myself. I thought being in college was a free pass to shirk all my other responsibilities as a human being. My sisters should have propped me up as usual, but they didn’t. I’m not even sure if I sent a card. Hopefully my parents had a great time. If they had waited a little longer to have kids, I may have been mature enough to do something to help make their 25th anniversary special, so that was pretty much their fault.

The point is, we tried to do something special for them this time around. We found out what restaurant they were going to after a day spent seeing a Broadway show in NYC, and I called the restaurant and arranged a special table, bottle of bubbly, and the meal was on us kids. My parents, however, had not made a reservation, so the restaurant staff would have to identify them, and I helped in this matter by sending a picture. I also sent a heartfelt note from us that the server would read to them over this undoubtedly romantic meal. In what has come to be known as a typical “Kenny-planned situation,” no one at the restaurant recognized them and nothing special happened. My dad thinks it’s possible they weren’t recognized from the picture because he’s since lost 17 pounds thanks to a new technological device he wears all day long that processes calories.

Of course, because they are awesome and sweet and forgiving, they weren’t disappointed and were ecstatic about the mere thought and effort. Besides, they had a gift card to the restaurant anyway that matched the exact amount of their meal, which pleased my dad to no end. Taking that opportunity away from him would have been terrible, so it all kind of worked out?

Speaking of my dad, now he turns sixty this week, completing this trifecta of parental milestones. It’s uncertain how my family and I will botch this occasion—I recommended a “60 and still burnin’ calories”-themed party where there is exercise and no one eats anything—but I have already sent the appropriate funds, so my hands are clean.

In all seriousness, it’s tough being in Arizona when special occasions like this happen for my parents, who sacrificed so darn much for us growing up. They are amazing people and my sisters and I are extremely blessed. If anyone reading this has parents like mine, then you are extremely blessed, too. Love you, mom and dad.

Note: This column appears in the 3/21 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/22 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: [WARNING: VIRUS REMOVED] THE WESTERN UNION TRANSFER

OMG YOU GUYS THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE THANKFULLY SOMEONE MAYBE IT WAS MACGYVER REMOVED A VIRUS FROM THIS EMAIL ABOUT THE WESTERN UNION TRANSFER I DIDN'T MAKE

I VE JUST COME FROM WESTERN UNION

AND BOY ARE MY ARMS TIRED THAT WAS A JOKE

AND HERE IS A SCANNED PHOTO FROM THE TRANSFER MTCN

THAT IS NOT A WORD OR ANYTHING RESEMBLING A THING I UNDERSTAND. THE ATTACHMENT ON THIS EMAIL READS "Removed Attachment.txt (362 B)" AND THERE IS NO ATTACHMENT BUT MAYBE THAT IS GOOD BECAUSE 362 BIGABYTES? IS TOO BIG FOR MY COMPUTER

MTCN : 6255579485

THIS INFORMATION IS HELPFUL HOLD ON LET ME PRINT OUT THIS EMAIL AND HIGHLIGHT THIS FAKE TRANSACTION NUMBER IN CASE I NEED IT FOR MY MONEY

HELLO SIR I'M HERE TO PICK UP THE MONEY TRANSFERRED TO ME FROM THAT EMAIL ABOUT THE THING

"I'm sorry, sir, I'm going to need you to be more specific, and also please stop yelling."

I HAVE A MTCN THINGEE SEE RIGHT HERE LOOK AT THE NUMBERS TOTALLY OFFICIAL I'D LIKE THE MONEY IN AN ENVELOPE AND A LOLLIPOP FOR ME I MEAN MY DAUGHTER

"Sir, our transaction numbers begin with a letter, and this email you have here is from ... squinting ... 'Tessy Caring,' who has a Yahoo email address and who is probably fake."

YOU SIR ARE A VIRUS AND I'D LIKE YOU REMOVED PLEASE

THE AMOUNT IS 500 $

SOME PEOPLE PUT THE DOLLAR SIGN AFTER THE NUMBER AND ALSO AFTER A SPACE KIND OF A BRITISH THING TO DO REAL FANCY. LEAVES YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT

THE AMOUNT IS 500     CHICKENS J/K
THE AMOUNT IS 500     BIGABYTES LOLZ
THE AMOUNT IS 500     LBS THAT GUY LOST ON THE BIGGER LOSER J/K BUT HE DID LOSE A LOT OF WEIGHT SERIOUSLY GREAT SHOW
THE AMOUNT IS 500     $

HOPE YOU ARE NOW SATISFIED

I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING

AND MY BEST WISES AND GOOD GREETINGS.

GREETINGS LIKE DOLLAR SIGNS COME AT THE BEGINNING NOT END TRADITIONALLY

GOOD LUCK

WHO NEEDS LUCK WHEN YOU HAVE 500  $ OF STRAIGHT CASH HOMEY BOUT TO BUY A YEAR'S SUPPLY OF BERT'S BEES LIP BALM THAT SHIZZ IS EXPENSIVE YO LIKE 4  $ A POP #THUGLIFE

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Patriarch of the month reflects on prestigious award

I picked my daughter up at school last week and the first thing I saw was a note attached to her file. As you may recall, these notes are almost always bad news. A paper in the file means a) your daughter hit someone, so please sign in case we get sued, b) your daughter fell off the slide on her head and now has a bruised forehead, please sign so you don’t sue us, or c) our rates are going up, please sign and pay us now (also, your daughter hit someone, please sign the second line).

This note, however, was different. I opened it to reveal the words, “Dear Mr. Kenny, Congratulations! Your family has been selected as our Family of the Month!”

This was very exciting. Our family has never been selected as anything of the month before. It has been a struggle to get along in life without ever being formally acknowledged as better than other families. In fact, whenever our residential development hosts some seasonal function and are there taking pictures, I always fantasize that our family will be chosen to grace the cover of the development’s monthly newsletter. But then I’ll get the issue and be like, “Pfft! They chose THEM? Why, because they have MONEY? It’s all politics, ya’ know.” So now I feel vindicated.

I still have to wonder, however, what exactly it was my wife and I did to deserve such an honor. Surely everyone at the school knows us, which had to play well in our favor. Granted, everyone knows us because we are in constant communication with everyone at the school re: how to control our daughter’s behavior. When I walk through the hallway there I ask every staff member I see, “How did she do today?” and they all know exactly who I am talking about. Even if it’s their first day on the job, they’ll be like, “Oh, you must be talking about {my daughter}. She did … okay.”

I mean, we’re so close with the school that the front office calls us on the phone all the time. One of us will answer that call with our heart in our throats, and the first words on the other line will be, “It’s not an emergency …” Whew! “BUT, your daughter blah, blah, blah so please pick her up immediately.”

Besides being famous/infamous there, I’m pretty sure they think we’re solid people. We’ve never forgotten to pick our daughter up or anything like that. Plus, if there’s ever an extracurricular function after hours or on the weekend, we never go, so they don’t have to worry about us. Also, I always remember the key code to get in the front door, except for when they change it and it takes me six weeks to learn it and I have to knock on the door like a doofus. I’m glad none of these things have gone unnoticed.

Well, either that or this selection was completely random or, worse, sympathy. Either way, I’ll take it and gladly add it to the ol’ family resume. Now I have to write a family biography and include a photo. I was thinking of having the photo professionally done so other families are well aware that we are Family of the Month this April and not them. You know, one of those pictures where we’re all wearing white flow-y outfits and laughing in a grassy field or on the beach or something. Real classy, like the kind you see in a dentist’s office. I’ll probably send it to our development front office too, just in case they want to use it for something.

Note: This column appears in the 3/14 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/15 issue of Peoria Times.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject:   WEDDING DJ NEEDED!

As publications manager for two community weekly newspapers, you'd be surprised how many solicitations I receive re: wedding DJ. I receive zero. Until today.

Full disclosure: I actually do own two turntables at my home. I used to DJ parties in college. By "DJ parties" I mean I would play records at parties until I got drunk and then whatever would happen and I'd wake up the next day and be like, "Where's all my record stuff?" and I'd spend the rest of the day trying to piece together the night and locate my stuff and eventually I'd find it except a lot of records were missing and somebody (me) barfed on the turntables. Also, my name was "DJ Pinfinger" -- I'm being completely serious right now -- because I broke my finger playing basketball and the doctor inserted a pin into my finger to straighten it. College was the best. To relive this nostalgia, my wife bought me a set of turntables for my birthday many years ago. Now people come to our house and they're like, "Oh wow, you DJ?" And I'm like, "Word up, yo. DJ Pinfinger on the one and twos." And then they're like, "Show me how to scratch!" And I'm like, "I don't know how to do that. I'm publications manager at two weekly newspapers." And then they scratch the record and it sounds terrible and everyone laughs. Anyway, my point is that it's a complete coincidence that I actually do have a history of being a (terrible) DJ, because there's no way this spam could have known about that facet of  my personal life. I don't think.

Hi,Been to your website.I'm Melissa

Hi, Melissa! On our website you must have noticed the surplus of wedding DJ information. For example, our top story is, "Wedding DJ DJs wedding" "Governing board gives OK to build district's 33rd elementary school."

John & I will be getting married soon.

Oh, John? Good dude. Solid dude. I know John on a first name basis through this email, and also you, Melissa, because you mentioned your name earlier. I always thought you two would end up together ... like Ross and Rachel, from that popular email. Did Ross and Rachel end up together or not? I don't remember.

We are currently looking for an experience DJ to work with us in entertaining the guests on our special day.No preference in terms of what songs we'd prefer, just want a mix of the most popular inquired songs.

First of all, who is indifferent about what kind of music is played at their wedding? What kind of non-person are you, Melissa? Also, what does "most popular inquired songs" mean? It sounds like this might be your first time on Earth, and maybe you're just saying, "Play whatever earthlings are into these days." In that case I recommend you pop in Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 443 and let the night take care of itself.

We ask that you put together a playlist for us and just back with the necessary pricing information to discuss further..

Or I could put a playlist together. I've never been asked to put a playlist together for a fake wedding, but I think I can do it. Do you like a band called The Chalkboard Boners? Nevermind, it'll be a surprise. My price for making a playlist is $6,000. Also, when is the wedding, 2014 or 2015?

Wedding is Saturday, April 13TH, 2013.

Oh cool, the wedding is next month. You have prepared well, Melissa, by asking a weekly newspaper if they can DJ your wedding one month prior to the wedding. Let me talk to my publisher and see if he is also a priest, and maybe our editor can bake a cake. That way you won't have to worry about anything. I assume John's family is taking care of the flowers.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be more

Before the holidays we took our daughter to see “Annie” at Arizona Broadway Theatre. It has been nothing but Annie ever since.

It was my wife’s idea, and admittedly it seemed like a good one at the time. After all, “Annie” is a timeless story, and considering our daughter is adopted, we knew it would strike a chord with us as well. It got a little misty in there watching my daughter watch Annie find her forever home. Now I want to cry for different reasons.

It was her first show and she barely made it through. It was a huge risk to take a 3-year-old to something that has an intermission, but she somehow pulled it off, even if she could barely keep her eyes open at the end. Because of that, we rushed out of the theater and inadvertently became the first patrons to meet the cast. Yes, immediately after the show our daughter met Annie herself. It was the best and worst thing that has ever happened.

There is not enough Annie in the world to appease her. She knows all the songs and sings them around the house, and in the car, and all the time everywhere, always. I may have heard “It’s a Hard Knock Life” like five times in the past 34 years before December. Now it is the song I have heard more times than any other in my entire life by a factor of 100. The other day my wife had to calmly ask her to stop singing it and when prodded for a reason, my wife responded, “Or else I’m going to freak out.”

Of course we had to watch the movie version, which took things to a whole new level. (As a side note, I find the part where she influences FDR's New Deal by singing to him unrealistic.) More so than watching “Annie” clips or singing “Annie” songs, our daughter’s ultimate pleasure is pretending she is Annie. This means we must call her Annie, and also the dog is Sandy. I literally have to call the dog Sandy more often than his actual name which, I imagine, has become very confusing for the dog. Oh, and whoever has told her something she does not appreciate instantly becomes Ms. Hannigan. This role-playing is one thing my wife does not mind because it gives her great pleasure to hear me referred to as Daddy Warbucks. This past weekend I was in Kohl’s going back and forth about splurging on a $35 Marc Anthony shirt, and I could tell my wife was restraining herself from calling me Daddy Warbucks in the store. Luckily our daughter is not old enough to process sarcasm. In fact, when I dropped her off at school last week after yet another car ride of her being Annie, she yelled, “BYE DADDY WARBUCKS!” down the hallway as I was leaving. I had to sheepishly smile at all the teachers looking at me as I made my way out to my Rolls Royce Kia Sportage.

I remember being a kid and finding something I liked and bludgeoning it to death with my own indulgence, but to witness it from afar is mind-boggling. Most days are an exercise in restraining myself from yelling, “HOW ARE YOU NOT SICK OF THIS YET?” What kind of DNA do kids have that enables them to defy the human response to repetition? I mean, I don’t want to turn her off to something she likes—something we introduced her to—but my goodness.

She may be getting a sense of our angst. As our daughter was midway through singing her millionth rendition of “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” one afternoon last week, my wife hung her head at the kitchen sink. Our daughter approached her and asked, “You gonna freak out, Mommy?”

This is my life now.

Note: This column appears in the 3/7 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/8 issue of the Peoria Times.