Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Requesting for a Sponsor Post

This seems real.

From: peetar parkar [burjadvertising@gmail.com]

Peetar Parkar: the Spiderman of spam


Hi, Peetar!

Hope you’re keeping well!

I am! I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how well I am keeping. In fact, here is a list of things I am keeping right now:

  • well
  • it real
  • on keeping on
  • safe
  • my distance
  • pepper spray on me just in case we ever cross paths

But mostly I am keeping well.

I’m Peetar, an avid reader and Media blogger, a passion which I think we share.

Peetar, if you're like me - Klaark Kennt, which is totes my name - the passion you have for reading and media blogging will never be satisfied. I literally cannot see a media blog without blogging about it on my media blog. Have you read my media blog?

Your blog "http://www.glendalestar.com/" is by far the most interesting I have come across in the recent past, hands down!

I have several things to say about this:

  • That is not my media blog; it is the website of the company I work for. You see, blogs and websites are differen- ... OK fine it is my blog.
  • THANK YOU! I will tell my publisher that our media blogsite is really connecting among the fake superhero demographic.
  • Your passion for community media blogs is palpable and radiating through my computer screen. So I have to ask: What has interested you the most regarding my (company's) media blogsite? Was it this or this? I guess it depends on what gets you more aroused - fair housing or Manufacturer's Month. Did I say aroused? Ha ha ... I meant sexually aroused.

The writer in me is yearning

OK you are definitely sexually aroused. That is good.

to write a piece for your blog, maybe around 600-1500 words, or whatever you are okay with.

I am okay with zero words.

For your part in this arrangement, I would look to pay you for this benefit.

You certainly have a firm grasp on how the writing process works. Please have zero words on my desk by Tuesday morning on the differences between a blog and a website, and then pay me $5,000 to run it on our media blogsite.

Awaiting your reply.

Btw I am not going to run it. It is terrible.

Peetar Parkar

Keep well, Peetar Parkar. You are by far the most interesting non-person I have come across in the recent past, hands down.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Communicating with data – when to stop

I received a text message from my good friend VERIZON WIRELESS that read, “You’ve used about 75 percent of your 3GB data plan (cycle ends the 10th).” It was the 19th. I texted my other good friend with whom I share the aforementioned 3GB of monthly data, my wife, like “What gives?” I immediately received a text back that read, “You’ve used about 90 percent of your 3GB data plan (cycle ends the 10th).” I put the phone down, slowly backed away, ran across the street and hid behind a tree.

Suspecting my wife’s phone was the culprit, it still fell on me to call Verizon because my wife is on the road all day. (My office job, apparently, consistently affords me the opportunity to take care of such personal matters. Can’t talk now, boss-I’m on hold with PetSmart grooming.) The first bit of information Verizon needed, because my wife is listed as the account holder, was the last four of her social or our Verizon password. Regarding the latter, infinity question marks. (One of my guesses was “Bosco,” a reference Daneesh emphatically did not get.) Regarding the former, should I know that? Because I didn’t. Still don’t, because I already forget it after receiving it via a text that officially sent our data plan over the limit.

Long story short—a cool phrase considering this entire column is the story—yes, it was my wife’s phone. We normally don’t even approach 40 percent of our available data, but my wife’s phone was, for some reason Verizon couldn’t figure, chewing up data even while on Wi-Fi.

The easiest solution was for my wife to get a new phone, something I’ve been telling her to do for the past two years, or at whatever point it was her phone reached a memory limit that rendered her unable to take pics, run updates, or basically do anything modern phones are supposed to do. If I had a nickel for every time she asked me, “Where’s your phone?” when a photo op presented itself, we’d own Apple.

So why hasn’t she? Two reasons. The latest iPhone is never good enough. She refused to get the iPhone 4S because “Why isn’t it the 5? What’s that (expletive)?” When the 5 came out, she said, “They keep coming out with them so you’ll buy them,” and so she refused. She couldn’t roll her eyes hard enough when the 5S and 5C were released, ironic considering my 5S is all she uses. The 6 is too big? I don’t know. If you’re wondering, my wife’s iPhone model is the negative 8.

More important than that, however, is her fear of losing her stuff in a phone transfer. Like voicemails. My wife literally said to me, while citing reasons why she won’t upgrade her phone, that she doesn’t want to lose her voicemail messages. I can’t even. I would bet anything at least of one of them is me telling her “I got the toilet paper. Love you.” I hope you can see now how difficult it is for me to get rid of anything in our house with even an iota of sentimental value.

It’s mainly her pictures she’s worried about though, despite the fact she has watched me back them up by uploading them to our laptop multiple times. She has seen them with her own eyes on the computer, yet refuses to believe they exist, or, more accurately, is concerned the second she switches phones, our computer and the external hard drive I use to back up that will both spontaneously combust. Her worst fear in life is losing pictures, the best of which exist in cyberspace in about 10 different formats, and the rest of which no one would have any desire to see again anyway.

My point is, because of her stubbornness, now I can barely use my own phone since we’re sharing data. I will henceforth communicate only through these columns, in which case I want all of you to know, I got the toilet paper. 

Love you.

Note: This column appears in the 12/25 issue of The Glendale Star and the 12/26 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: News

Of the good nature, I hope.

Good day.
1) Yes, Putin is the maniac, killer, bastard...

This is not good news.

Tell me the population of Japan.


It is about 140 millions or smth...

Yep. I just checked populationfacts.org, and it says "The population of Japan is 140 millions or something. Whatevs." Now that we've got the population of Japan out of the way, let's talk more about that maniac killer.

They live at island.


South Korea has 40-50 millions, who live at peninsula.

I live at desert land mass. My name Mike. Population: ones.

Russian population is 120 millions lives at 20% of earth.

"Welcome to Russia, a.k.a. 20 percent of earth. Try our gazpacho, and maybe keep a low profile."

And this idiot every day occupies new territories. Crazy stupid ass, and nothing very much.

This is a good political editorial. Really makes you think.

There are hundreds and thousands of Putin's tanks, which goes to Ukraine day and night to kill us.
Putin is mentally ill and conversations with him these days are the waste of time.

This seems to imply that the person who wrote this has an audience with Putin, which seems far-fetched.

Putin: I built some new tanks. What do you think?

THIS GUY: You're a crazy stupid ass.

Putin: LOL, you're right. (to guards) Kill him.

Also, I'm thinking maybe, with everything going on these days, I shouldn't have posted this particular spam email on the blog? I hope everyone understands that I'm just the messenger.

2) Neither USA nor NATO gave nothing to ukrainian army because US president has no balls.

Well then. Whoever said change comes with gentle, open-minded discourse should grow a nutsack.

Republicans say that Ukraine must wait two years. But in 2 years Ukraine will be destroyed completely.

Short recap:

Putin: Crazy stupid ass maniac killer bastard

Obama: Bereft of testicles

Republicans: Tout Ukraine policy in two-year intervals

3) Did you read Mexico news?

Pfft, who hasn't? (grabs newspaper, points emphatically to headline that reads, "Mexico Falls Off Earth" subhead: "Russia Now 23 Percent of Planet")

Terrible, isn't it?

I guess?

Several years ago mexico people told me

#mexicopeople How did this op-ed not get published?

that all killed people were with drugs.

This sounds like every person who has ever been killed in Mexico's history was pregnant with drugs or holding hands with drugs at the time.

Now situation changed and drug kings kill everyone...

Are there any facts to back up these cl-

Why Mexico president is silent? Is he a drug king as well? Why police serves the drug lords openly?

(shrugs shoulders) Dunno. (takes bite of hot pocket)

Then such president should be fired to street.

I don't know what fired to street means, although it sounds tough but fair. Just to be clear, because we've covered A LOT of stuff here today - South Korea is a peninsula?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Spam email of the week



I am Rev. Tody Anderson. a computer scientist working with central bank of Nigeria. I just started work with C.B.N. and I came across your file which was marked X and your released disk painted RED, I took time to study it and found out that you have paid VIRTUALLY all fees but the fund was not released to you.

You may or may not recall that I’ve been down the CBN/red disk road before, courtesy of our good friend, Miss. Faith Okeke, a real person who is real. Like Miss. Faith before him, Rev. Tody Anderson mentions how life in Nigeria is similar to life in the mafia. Unlike Miss. Faith, the good reverend gets hella specific.

Listed below are the mafias and banks behind the non release of your funds that I managed to sneak out for your kind perusal.

While I appreciate being provided information about the multiple mafias responsible for my seat within middle class, you can rest assured, Rev. Tody, I will NOT be perusing this list kindly.

1) Mr.ALfred Daniels
> 2) Mr.Dr.Kofi Hassan
> 3) Mr.Thomas Brown
> 4) Pastor Mailer Desmond

Get it straight, Desmond—are you a pastor or a mailer? You can preach the Lord’s word, and you can mail out packages, but ya’ can’t do both, bruh.

> 5) Mr.Fred Rex

We’re only at No. 5 and you’re not even trying, Reverend.

> 6) Mr. perter Anderson
> 7) Barrister Ucheuzo Williams
> 8) Mrs. Bisi Carson
> 9) Dr. Patrick Aziza
> Deputy Governor - Policy / Board Member
> 10) Mr. Tunde Lemon
> Deputy Governor - Financial Sector Surveillance / Board Member
> 11) Mrs. W. D. A. Mshelia
> Deputy Governor - Corporate Services / Board Members
> 12) Mrs. Okonjo Iweala
> 13) Mrs. Rita Ekwesili
> 14) Barr Jacob Onyema
> 15) Dr. Godwin Oboh: Director Union Bank Of Nigeria.
> 16) Mr. John Collins: Global Diplomat Director.
> 17) Foreign fund diplomatic courier

Ms. Fund, if you’re nasty.

> 18) Barr. Becky Owens
> 19) Rev. Steven Jones
> 20) Bank of Africa

> 21) Mrs. Debbie Hargrove
> 22) Mr. Michael Wagner
> 23) Barr. Isa Farid
> 24) Dr. Raymond Faye
> 25) Ibraheem Fashola
> 26) Dr. Leslie Fawaz
> 27) Mercy Fajaroo
> 28) Walter K. Falana
> 29) Azeez Fatou
> 30) Ibrahim Fabumi
> 31) Daniel Faras
> 32) Michael Faras
> 33) Minassa Fernandez
> 34) Viresh Fernando
> 35) Deacon Diende Fernandez
> 36) Ben Felix
> 37) Dr. Ige Femi
> 38) Chen Hsiu Fei
> 39) Gloria Festus
> 40) Lopez Fernando
> 41) Aloye Fidelis
> 42) Augusto Fish

Augusto Fish is my all-time favorite person who has never existed. Even though he conspired to steal my money. I can't stay mad at you, Augusto Fish!

> 43) Dr. Raymond Fingesi
> 44) Dr. Martin Fibu
> 45) Joseph Finn
> 46) Ogom Fidelis
> 47) Jennifer H. Fiedler
> 48) Dr. Jimmy Fowler
> 49) Robert Fortin
> 50) Dr. Sharon Forrest
> 51) Prince Michael Fofano
> 52) Sarah Fofano
> 53) Tony Foster
> 54) Dr. Koman Fofar
> 55) Samuel Fona
> 56) Grace Fona
> 57) Funmi Folorunso
> 58) Mike Franklin
> 59) Egbo Francois
> 60) George Freeman
> 61) Senator Jude Fred

Senator Jude Fred is like the corrupt senator from The Godfather Part II who accidentally killed that prostitute. I imagine. Not saying Senator Jude Fred did that. (He did though.)

> 62) Paul Frank
> 63) Dr. Francis Fregere
> 64) Walter Frank
> 65) Olu-Segun Fredrick
> 66) Justice Philip Francis
> 67) Raul Franco
> 68) Desmond Fred
> 69) Madu Frank
> 70) Rita Frank
> 71) Godwin Frank
> 72) Dr. J. Frances
> 73) Frank Francis
> 74) Derrick Frans
> 75) Kingsley Fred

If anyone is counting, that makes three people on this list of Nigerian mafia names whose last name is Fred. Last name. Of these three, Kingsley Fred is the winner. There are also five mafiosos whose last name is Frank, six if we include Frank Francis, which I am reading as Frank Frank. So yeah, let’s make it six.

> 76) Dr. Carlos Frederico
> 77) Dr Ola Funmilowo
> 78) Alan Fumbi
> 79) Vincent Fuso
> 80) Dr. John Fugar
> 81) William Funsho
> 82) Michael Funsho

No relation. J/k IT’S THE FAMOUS FUNSHO BROTHERS, Y’ALL. (circus music plays) Bout to take the Nigerian mafia—and your money—to new heights. (Funsho Bros. walk on tightrope while holding wads of cash; crowd oohs and ahhs)

> 83) Shahla Ghasemi
> 84) Ali-Reza Ghasemi
> 85) Martins Gambari
> 86) Jim Gallo
> 87) Paulo Gato
> 88) Ben Gafhar
> 89) Byron Gate
> 90) Arthur Gai
> 91) Shinder Gangar
> 92) Lopez Garvin
> 93) Abdul Gafah
> 94) Dr. Rufus Gaba
> 95) Alhaji Garba
> 96) Dr. Frank Gani
> 97) Brigadier Williams Gal
> 98) Egonna Duru Gal
> 99) Lucky Garbi
> 100)Sadique Gadaffi
> 101) Federick Ike Ganziri
> 102) Dr. Dennis Gavey
> 103) Jose Sanchez Garcia

This list is racist.

> 104) Ahmed Gana
> 105) Jose A. Garcia
> 106) Major Archie Gates
> 107) Bavolleni Gallilo
> 108) Musa Galadima
> 109) Shehu Galadima
> 110) Barr. Imam Galadima
> 111) Barr. Jerry Galadima
> 112) Mustapha Gambo
> 113) Dr. Isah Gambo
> 114) Usman Gambo
> 115) Engr. Isaac Garuba
> 116) Alhani Azeez Garuba
> 117) Engr. Sule Garuba
> 118) Idris Garuba
> 119) Mustapha Garuba
> 120) ADB Bank Ouagadougou Burkina Faso
> 121) FSA UK
> 123) ECO Bank
> 124) Credit Bank
> 125) Barr Greg Thompson
> 126) Mr Bello
> 127)Jones Williams
> 128)Scott Daniel
> 129)Thomas Brown
> 130)Kealvin Jeff
> 131)Peter Jeff
> 132)Patric K.

“We’ve run out of names.” – Mik E.

> 133)Bisi Carlson
> 134)Dr.Malasy Honju

And there you have it folks, the 2014 Nigeria mafia. Let’s give them a hand! And, better yet as my good buddy Mike G. points out, only 134 people stand between me and my fortune. One hundred thirty-two if the Funsho Bros. “accidentally” fall off the trapeze. Anyway, gotta get to work!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The greatest gifts part three: scenes from a recliner

My Uncle Mike is my Godfather. Growing up, our family tradition was that, among extended family, only the Godparents provided Christmas gifts to the kids. For this, my Uncle Mike was also the Godfather. Of giving the best gifts.

(I must acknowledge here my Godmother, Aunt Carol, who also gave fantastic Christmas gifts. I truly lucked out in the Godparent gift department. Many a Christmas Day my younger sister bitterly lamented my good fortune while unwillingly wearing an ill-fitting sweatshirt with a bedazzled giraffe on it.)

There were two hallmarks of an Uncle Mike gift—unexpected and masculine. Regarding the former, they weren’t unexpected in that I didn’t expect to get a gift. Oh no, I definitely expected a gift. But it showed poor taste, apparently, to request a specific gift, something I discovered when I innocently asked my mom if I could make a Santa list and an Uncle Mike list. So my mind would race with the possibilities of what it could be, and I was always way off, and what he got me always seemed to be better than anything I had imagined.

Regarding the latter, there could never be any mistake that my gift from Uncle Mike would clearly identify me as a boy. He was in the same blue-collar, plumber/pipefitter trade as his brother-in-law, but while my dad had to toe the line and share billing with Santa (and, by that point, my dad must have been well aware of my manly inadequacies), Uncle Mike was free to indulge in purchasing strictly masculine gifts for his nephew. He got me my first Hess truck. There were Matchbox cars and train sets. He introduced me to baseball cards. If it were up to him, I’m pretty sure he would have been content to buy me a bottle of Old Spice cologne and a hacksaw every year. While these gifts inherently prevented me from having to share with my sisters, they also gave me a fleeting, false expectation that I may one day grow up to be an actual man, an idea I abandoned a long time ago.

In fact, by the early 90s, as I embarked on the awkward teenage years, it had become clear I was inept at anything that involved building stuff or exploring the intricacies of manly modes of transportation. The only shred of hope left was my love of sports. Especially basketball and baseball. Especially the Yankees. Especially their iconic first baseman, Don Mattingly.

I was sitting in my grandfather’s recliner—an unheard of risk that I somehow survived—that Christmas when Uncle Mike handed me my gift. I tried to open it as casually as a too-cool-for-school pre-teen could, but my excitement got the best of me. And it was warranted, as inside the box was an authentic Don Mattingly-signed baseball.

“WHO DID YOU KILL TO GET THIS?” was what I would have screamed had I been able to verbalize my emotions. Instead I guffawed like a doofus while simultaneously wondering if there was some mistake, if this was all real.

It was definitely real. As real as the ball that remains on a shelf in my home today.

But that wasn’t the best Christmas gift Uncle Mike ever gave me. 

Last year, so many Christmases removed from him buying me my last gift, he sent a package in the mail. It was a video that featured, among many things, the Christmas scene described above. 

Uncle Mike had converted all of his camcorder-taped Christmases to DVD, and there I was, in an ugly-as-sin, blue and white Cosby cardigan opening my signed baseball. We watched as a family, and my girls got to see me as a boy, their aunts as girls, their grandparents as young parents, and a great-grandmother they were never able to meet.

Me? I got to indulge on a trip down memory lane, and experience once again the sheer joy of opening that gift. Fighting back nostalgic tears of joy while watching the video, it was the first gift Uncle Mike ever got me that didn’t make me feel like a much of a man. But that was quite alright. I abandoned that idea a long time ago.

Note: This column appears in the 12/18 issue of The Glendale Star and the 12/19 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: VL: China Juparana surface and size

Guys, Connie is back. CONNIE IS BACK.

Granite, Marble, Slate, Limestone, Artificial Stone, I'm willing for you!

And she's still kind of slutty. #slabslutty

Nice day to you dear friend,

I just want to mention that, in the email, the little photo there rotates around like a gif. I couldn't figure out to post it here like that because, apparently, Connie is better at that stuff than me. Connie is the best.

Not updating our production photos to you for a long time, due to the G603 promotion in September continued a whole month.

If anyone out there has actually followed these weird exchanges with Connie and her company (which used to be called Wuhan but is now called Xiamen Vinstone because of course), you're aware the emails always begin by acknowledging the problems encountered during their previous slab release and how everything is cool now. And here we are again. The G603 promo took a whole month? I'm no marketing major, but a G603 promotion should never exceed two weeks. Everyone in the #slabbiz knows that. Honestly, Connie - at this point you need a new slab manager.

And today I'd like to introduce our China Juparana to you,

Of course you would. China Juparana. I feel racist just repeating it.

this material is also very popular among many countries,

Seems vague. Can I have one of the country's phone numbers to call and confirm satisfaction?

due to it's special veins and not so expensive price.

I sort of wish I could unread that sentence. Special veins?

No matter for tombstone or contrustion material, it is a good choice.

Connie, are you trying to sell me slabs for tombstones by informing me they have special veins and aren't THAT expensive? I probably should have asked you this three emails ago, but what kind of work do you think I do? Because I am the head purchaser at an affluent but fiscally responsible company called Unique Tombstones For When You Die, LLC, and I would like to place an order.

Well, photos speak louder than any words,


then kindly invite you check latest products of China Juparana.



HERE LIES BILL, 1943-2014



Well, above are just some small basic information of China Juparana, and photos are also a small corner of the products we exported,

Here is a list of common sayings about pictures:

  • a picture is worth a thousand words
  • photos speak louder than any words
  • take a picture - it'll last longer
  • photos are also a small corner of the products we exported

so, if you are interested in them or are planning purchasing, please kindly let me know, much glad to check our latest price for you to refer to and compare.

(pounds chest twice, kisses hand and gives peace sign) Much glad to you, too, girl.

Is that ok?


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: FW: FROM SUPREME COURT OF BENIN REP BRANCH: OB/OP/1234 PLOT AKPAKPA, COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC. OUR REF.CODE:BSEL/773/AWN/021/ 09 Phone;+229 68734461, Urgent Attention, You Are Expected To Call Us +229 68734461 Once You Receive These Email. Please my dear

That was the subject.

Please my dear the entire Supreme Court Of Benin Republic are here

Not just one or two guys, in which case I could have easily ignored this email. Nah, yo, errrybody be there, which is a statement about as grammatically potent as the one above.

to make it to be clear to you that there was a case that we have been handling here since concerning your funds because we got some reports that you did not received your funds since after every story you have being hearing regarding the funds and all types of payments you have be paid to receive the funds but none is received by you.

That was one sentence, fwiw. I mean, it wasn't a sentence sentence, but it felt like a sentence, in that reading it felt like punishment for something I did wrong.

And we are here to know the truth because the person that is in charge of the transaction said in this court here that you has received and confirmed to him that you received your funds and we are here to hear the truth from you.

That dude is a perjurer, yo. #truth

Please here bellow is what we want

(bellows extremely loudly)

OK, I held up my end. Where's my money or whatever this is about?

you to answer to us to enable us to handle this case normal the reporter said it has been done to you.

Certainly. I would like nothing more than for this case to be handled as normally as the email outlining its details, in which case Imma show up to court in a clown suit accompanied by my lawyer, who is a baby giraffe, in order to state my case to a jury of popular 80s cartoon characters. What do I need to do now?

(1)Do you...

That is the end of the email. Thanks for stopping by today, everyone.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The greatest gifts part two: Bootcity

This month we're examining our favorite Christmas gifts of yore. For part one, see here.

One of the greatest Christmas gifts of my awkward youth was received in good ol’ 1991, and was, as I’m sure you guessed, a cassette tape of Bell Biv Devoe’s remix album. The name of the album was “WBBD-Bootcity!: The Remix Album.” To this day, I do not know what the “W” in the title stands for, and I also don’t know what or where Bootcity is. But this was definitely a remix album.

Part of the reason I pushed so hard for this was because one of the songs contained therein was a New Edition reunion track called “Word to the Mutha!” which might be the most 90s thing that ever happened. It’s not everyday you get to hear Bobby Brown jamming and rapping with the crew again, and I needed to have this song forever so I could listen to it over and over again courtesy of an everlasting medium that would never die—a cassette tape.

The challenge was getting word to MY mutha that this was something appropriate for her to buy me in honor of Christ’s birth. Because it most certainly was not. Bell Biv Devoe, you may recall, was still riding high on the coattails of the hit, “Do Me,” which was controversial at the time and somehow manages to sound 10 times more offensive today. Obviously, my pleading won out, and it ended up being the most Bootcity Christmas ever. I took the tape right upstairs, leaving the rest of the family to enjoy their meaningless, non-BBD-related gifts together, and I played “Word to the Mutha!” over and over again in the privacy of my bedroom while pretending to be in the video. Until it was time to go to grandma’s. Holla atcha boy.

Going back 24 years later and examining the track listing, I have to wonder what was going through my mom’s head when she went to The Wiz in East Brunswick to purchase this bad boy. (Speaking of bad boy, New Edition would, years later, sign with Bad Boy, which was the second most 90s thing to ever happen.) My guess is that she blindly found it and bought it, no questions asked, just check it off the list. After all, you don’t want to venture too far into Bootcity if you don’t have to.

But, that said, let’s:

Intro/D.J. Opening

It’s not like you’re going to put out a remix album and NOT have an intro/DJ opening. C’mon. An album of this magnitude needs to be prefaced.

Word to the Mutha! (feat. New Edition)

Damn right featuring New Edition. It’s worth mentioning that Bobby Brown’s rap in the song is just him referencing other Bobby Brown songs. Bobby Brown is the best.

Ain't Nut'in' Changed!

These exclamation points are courtesy of Bell Biv Devoe and not my doing, although they do adequately express the excitement I felt at the time.

B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)? [DJ Mo Grind Time]

This is the DJ Mo Grind Time version. If you’d like to hear the original version, you need to cop the original album, son. I don’t know what to tell you.

Do Me! [Smoothe]

Don’t worry, Mom—this is the smoothe [sic] version. Nothing sounds quite as offensive when it’s being sung with optimal smoothness. This might as well be a wedding song.

I Do Need You

The lack of an exclamation point here indicates, to me, that it’s slow jamz time. Any 90s hip-hip/R&B group worth its salt would always have at least one sensitive slow jam to balance out and blatantly contradict the intense misogyny of literally every other song. The track listings on virtually any 90s R&B album looked something like this:

  1. Freak Me Like That
  2. And Your Sister, Too
  3. Panties on the Floor
  4. Doin’ You on the Down Low
  5. I Want to Love You Monogamously Until Our Eternal Souls Part This World Together
  6. Feel it Real Good (Backdoor Party) feat. MC Schlong
  7. Imma Get You Pregnant on This Cutting Board
Interview/Uhh Ahh

I think this was just an interlude of sex sounds. Merry Christmas?

Let Me Know Something!


She's Dope! [EPOD Mix]

I want to put this track list in a time capsule and witness it being read by the intellectually elite members of a future utopian society.

Do Me! [Mental]

So many years later, I cannot say I remember “Do Me!” the “[Mental]” version. But here’s to hoping it displayed a sense of newfound maturity for the group, and included BBD inviting girls to do them … mentally.

(Quick aside: My favorite line from "Do Me!" is "Girl, what makes you think you can do me?" because I always imagine the girl responding, "Uh, my vagina?")

Poison [London Style]

I’m guessing this is a live performance of “Poison” in London—no doubt on par with Jimi Hendrix’s 1966 performance at the Bag O’Nails nightclub with the likes of McCartney and Lennon—but I’m hoping it’s a studio track of BBD performing “Poison” with British accents. (Never trust a large bum and a smile, that doll is poisoooon)

Unfortunately, this cassette tape did not make it to 2014. And The Wiz, apparently, closed down many years ago. I suppose I could purchase the album online, but I don’t really want to hear it again. It was but a fleeting moment of 90s panache that now only exists for its camp value. That’s what happens, I guess, when you build Bootcity not on rock n’ roll, but on sexual innuendos and smooth R&B that references Swatch watches.

Oh well. For one Christmas in 1991 at least, it had me saying word to my mutha. And that’s really, when you think about it, what Christmas is all about.

A very edited version of this column appears in the 12/11 issue of The Glendale Star and the 12/12 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: furniture

Again? This time it will be legit. Fool me once with furniture-themed emails, shame on you. For doing that. Fool me twice though with furniture-themed emails? Shame on you again because why are you doing this? What's that? You're totes not fooling me? You promise this is for realsies? OK. I am no fool.

Hello Sir,

See? They know I'm a dude. Hello.

Hope you are fine.

I am fine. Thank you. I hope you are fine, too. This is appropriate small talk and I am convinced this email is good and worthy of my time.

Glad to know you from online

OK, sure I guess. If by "online" you mean "Microsoft Outlook" and if by "know" you mean "have emailed" then what you say is true and nice.

and do hope this email will not bother you.

Awwww, you are sweet. And no bother. I mean, your email WAS repeatedly knocking on the bathroom door while I was trying to make a poopy earlier, but that is OK.

This is Maggie from Yuemingqi Furniture Co., LTD, which specializes in manufacturing and exporting a veriaty home furniture,

Grammar fun fact: There are a veriaty of ways to spell variety.

Furniture fun fact: Can't name your furniture business? Eat alphabet soup for 14 days straight, make a poopy and then, wala.

such as dining table, dining chair, coffee table and so on.

Thank you for providing these fine examples of furniture because I did not know what furniture was. Is an end table furniture or is it a crustacean? Maybe my good friend desk knows ... (rubs desk while saying, "Is an end table furniture, Deskie Weskie?") ... he doesn't know.

We have engaged in man


We have engaged in exporting for more than 7 years

(raises hand) Can we go back a sec? Earlier when you said "We have engaged in man," were you reverse coming out of the closet or did you start writing something, give up, and just leave it in there? Don't worry - either way I am buying like 35 coffee tables - I'm just curious.

and our main market are Europe (Spain, France, Germany, Netherland, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Norway, Russia, Belgium, Italy etc), Western Africa, Middle East, Australia, US, UK.

That is a lot of main market! Since "UK" didn't make the parenthetical "Europe" cut, I am going to assume that all the beds and desks at University of Kentucky are courtesy of Yuemingqi Furniture Co., LTD. Go Wildcats!

Our main products are coffee table (MDF, fiber glass, glass-metal), dining table (MDF with high glossy painting or covered with paper, glass-metal, MDF-metal)  and dining chair. And OEM and DIY design are available. If possible,I do hope we can talk more with you.

Me: Hello, Yuemingqi Furniture place?

Yuemingqi: Yes?

Me: I want to order furniture but I have a problem. I understand your most popular product is the dining table MDF with high glossy painting or covered with paper, glass-metal, MDF-metal. I want to order that but my wife is allergic to MDF metal and also glass-metal. So should I get a divorce or do you have another option?

Yuemingqi: Our other popular product is coffee table MDF, fiber glass, glass-metal.

Me: I feel like maybe you didn't listen to my problem.

Yuemingqi: And OEM and DIY design are available.

Me: OK. Is that good? What does that mean?

Yuemingqi: And OEM and DIY design are available.

Me: I think I might call Bob's Furniture Outlet on 59th.

Yuemingqi: We have engaged in man

Me: What?

Yuemingqi: ...

Me: I'm going to hang up now.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Spam email of the week


I have dealt with a lot of banks in my day - my favorite being BANK - but I've never heard of ZENITH BANK INTERNATIONAL.

Zenith Holdings Plc
8 Canada Square.
Victoria Island Lagos Airport
Road E14 5HQ. Nigeria.
Telephone: +2348120635166`

ZENITH BANK INTERNATIONAL is a bank at 8 Canada Square in Victoria Island but also in Nigeria. In an airport. You can doubt - though I wouldn't - ZENITH BANK INTERNATIONAL's zenith-ness, but you can never doubt ZENITH BANK INTERNATIONAL's international-ness.

                   Attention: Attention: Attention,

I know this letter will come to you as surprise one but I want you to read
this with maturity.

OK, poopyface.

This day, one Mrs. Cynthia Edward, came to my office
to let us know that you are DEAD,


and before your death, you instructed
her to come for the claim of your funds in the tune of US$2, Million that
was long abandoned in your name with this bank (ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK
PLC) this is what we want to verify from you before we make the payment to
who came for the claim.

You can convince someone they are dead, and you can convince someone they have $2 million in a foreign bank, but you can't do both.

"Oh yeah? Watch me." - this email

(:I) Did you authorize Mrs. Cynthia Edward to come for your claim?
(ii) Are you truly Dead OR Alive?

To answer question chubby face emoticon: no. Unless Mrs. Cynthia Edward is a spy who disguised herself as my loving wife for the past decade. In which case, maybe yes. Oopsies.

To answer question ii: here. Unless, is this Heaven? And I am STILL getting spam emails? Sheesh.

If (NO) you are hereby advice as a matter of urgency to reconfirm the
details of this message within 24hours, hence your funds shall be wired
into her account without any more delay.

I will do anything to stop this from happening. Can I send you my personal identification number, which is a thing? Will that help?

Your personal identification to enable us confirms you are not dead.


Furthermore, this bank discovered that you have been dealing with some bad
eggs officials whom SCAMED some money from you without doing the right

Bad Eggs Officials: We have a bunch of money for you. You just have to give us a little bit of money so we can get it to you. Honest.

Good Egg Mike: Something smells rotten.

Bad Eggs Officials: What? Pfft. It's probably you. You farted.

Good Egg Mike: Oh. Sorry.

Bad Eggs Officials: We are not SCAMing you. We want to do the right thing. Please give us the money.

Good Egg Mike: OK.


This message demand urgent attention, the bank is waiting to hear from
you; do call this below direct number.

Mobile Direct Hot Line: (+2348120635166)

Mobile direct hotline: Mobile direct hotline, how can we help you?


Mobile direct hotline: (Seinfeld voice) Who is this?

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The greatest gifts part one: Castle Grayskull

Today we begin a special three-part holiday series on our favorite Christmas gifts of yore.

When you grow up with two sisters, especially when one of them is older, you can easily be led astray. I watched “Dirty Dancing”—with interest—more times than I could count. I cried during “Steel Magnolias.” When New Kids on the Block emerged and my sisters scooped up all the albums and merchandise, I thought NKOTB were the coolest guys in the world and I wanted to be a member of their singing posse. Until I went to school one day and my third-grade friends started making fun of them, and I was like, “Ha, ha, yeah, those guys are THE WORST. I’m really into Johnny Cash these days.”

But there were occasions when my natural, unconscious masculinity shone through. For example, I was very much into He-Man. These days, people might view He-Man (and that previous sentence) with some homoerotic skepticism, but I’m telling you—He-Man was a healthy representation of manhood back in the day. He carried a sword and rode a green tiger for crying out loud. The green tiger wore a helmet! That is gangsta.

As such, the first Christmas gift to leave an indelible mark on my childhood was not a He-Man figurine, which I obviously already had (plus the tiger, Battlecat), but Castle Grayskull. 

Castle Grayskull was, as Wikipedia notes, “a fortress located on the fictional planet Eternia” and, more importantly, “a place of refuge for He-Man.” Underneath the Christmas tree, it was an absurdly ugly plastic thingee with a giant skull head that opened in the middle. To me, it was beautiful.

What resonated most about Castle Grayskull Christmas, as it would henceforth be known, was the sheer unexpectedness of it. I cannot recall if I asked Santa for the fortress, but if I had, I was certainly aware it was a shot in the dark to ask Santa to include such an ominous-looking gift in his bag of otherwise pleasant toys. It was more likely I didn’t even know Castle Grayskull existed in plastic form, or, if I did, thought it too luxurious a gift to even request. We were middle class! If you had asked me that Christmas morning to guess the market value of Castle Grayskull as compared to that of, say, my dad’s car, I probably would have guessed $100 for the latter, $75 for former, exposing my 5-year-old grasp of Reaganomics.

I just couldn’t believe it. It was to the point where I actually felt bad for my sisters. Here I was gallivanting my figurines’ way through the LAIR OF HE-MAN. Nothing they received could possibly compete with this, and their stares of jealousy penetrated my skin and tinged me with a sense of guilt, my first lesson that no joy this side of heaven can be experienced fully. (In retrospect, I now consider those stares of jealousy to have been stares of “What the hell is that?” as they brushed the hair of dolls that likely cost twice as much as Castle Grayskull.)

As I scrolled through Wikipedia during my romp down memory lane, it went on to say, “Castle Grayskull was made as a playset for the 1980s Masters of the Universe toy line. It was one of the more popular Christmas presents for pre-adolescent boys in the 1980s.” So I guess it turns out Castle Grayskull was not just a place of refuge for He-Man, or even for me, but it was such for countless young boys out there trying to avoid having to play dress-up with their sisters.

It would be cool if I still had Castle Grayskull, not for nostalgia, but so I could maybe sell it on eBay for like $400 to some He-Man nerd weirdo. As it stands, Castle Grayskull is but a Christmas memory, albeit one that will last from here to Eternia.

Personification of beauty

Note: This column appears in the 12/4 issue of The Glendale Star and the 12/5 issue of the Peoria Times.

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 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.


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

Neither of these things are convincing.

Download here:



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:


and this:


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


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 like the 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.

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.

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/



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.


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.


Friday, November 07, 2014

Spam email of the week


Because our fantasy high school girls volleyball commissioner is the WORST, that's why.

Good day,

Sometimes i do wonder if you are really, really with yourself.

Is that you, Plato? Not sure I've ever been hit off with the realness this early on in a spam email. Because you know what? I wonder the same thing sometimes. Am I really with myself? Or am I a dope rapper-turned-actor stuck in the body of a lanky, gray-bearded white man? Also, what is space? How did matter as we know it come to ex-

How could you keep trusting people and at the end you will loose your hard earned money, or are you being deceived by their big names?

Indeed there are few bigger names than Gen. D. Rubben Brett and the Rev. Al Green John Anderson, so you can't really blame me for being easily deceived.

Their game plan is only just to extort your hard earned money. Now, the question is how long will you continue to be deceived?

Can't stop, won't stop.

Sometimes, they will issue you fake check, fake ATM card, introduce you toe fake diplomatic delivery,UN-existing on-line banking and they will also fake wire transfer of Your fund with Payment Stop Order.

Listen, buddy - I'm just like any red-blooded American who's fallen victim to the ol' un-existing online banking (?), but the diplomatic delivery of that fake toe was not my fault. They had the wrong address.

Anyways,by the virtue of my position, I have been following this transaction from inception and all your efforts towards realizing the fund. More often than not, I sit down and laugh at your ignorance and that of those who claim they are assisting you, it is very unfortunate that at the end you loose.

You're kind of a dick. And what exactly is your position that you are monitoring the email correspondence between myself and Gen. D. Rubben Brett? Did you see the pics I sent him? Because that wasn't mine. It was a joke. You shouldn't laugh at that. All that said, yes, I have lost all my money. WHAT CAN I DO?

Although, I don't blame you


because you are not here in Nigeria to witness the processing of your payment in Nigeria.

It is true I am not in Nigeria. I'm feeling you on that.

 it is because of this truth they decided to extort you, the keeping collecting money from you both in Nigeria.

You should say Nigeria again.

The most annoying part is even fraudsters have really taken advantage of this opportunity to enrich themselves at your expense,

Hold up - the fraudsters are defrauding me not only for the sake of defrauding me, but also to enrich themselves? Gen. D. Rubben Brett never set my money on fire like he promised? Oh hell to the no.

I know the truth surrounding this payment and i am the only person who will deliver you from this long suffering if you will abide by my advice.Please i beseech you to stop pursuit of shadows and being deceived.Feel free to contact me immediately you receive this mail so that i can explain to you the modus-operandi guiding the release of your Payment. Do not panic or have fear for anything,i know you have gone through hell but time has come to reap.

A wave of comfort washes over me. I have been to hell and back chasing the shadows of spam email, but it will all be worth it when I reap what's owed to me: random wads of cash to which I have no legitimate claim.

Furthermore,all i need from you is trust,just give me the trust all your information is here with me,because i have work in UN office for over 8 years both in Africa and UK and there is no means of receiving payment that cost anything except court affidavit of claim if the owner is not there in person, which will not cost more than $185.

I like how you are up front about needing $185 off the bat. That shows me you are not like the famous Rev. John Anderson, who didn't inform me he needed a $235 processing fee until I was past the point of no return. Plus, he didn't have nearly the amount of tenure you have had in the UN office. I can't believe I trusted a reverend with no UN experience. That one's on me.

In addition, all the fees they ask both transfer cost or delivering cost, clearance  certificate known of them exist.

I have no idea what the eff this even means, but it feels like you are trying to tell me there might be additional fees in excess of the $185 you literally just promised me would be the max. It's aiiiight though, I trust you.

 If you really want us to proceed send me your direct contact or you ignore my letter if you are not interested.

Don't patronize me with reverse psychology. Of course I am interested.

Paul Smith

That is a relief. For a second there I thought I was dealing with one of those Nigerian guys for whom English in merely a second language, but I feel better knowing I'm dealing with a Caucasian American who has the education of a 4-year-old cat. I didn't mean that to be racist. I'm just trying to reap.

"Do not panic or have fear for anything,i know you have gone through hell but time has come to reap." - Proverbz