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!

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.

Regards,
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.

Uh

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.

what

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


Subject: THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR FUNDS.

Finally.

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
> 122) NATWEST BANK
> 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,

Preach.

then kindly invite you check latest products of China Juparana.

Let's.



LOOK AT THOSE VEINS


HERE LIES BILL, 1943-2014
HE LOVED SWIRLY VEINS



IF THE G603 PROMO DIDN'T TAKE SO LONG, THESE CHINA JUPARANAS WOULDN'T BE STACKING UP, SON.

WE GOTTA MOVE THESE CHINA JUPARANAS.

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?

No.

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...
To:


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!

OK!

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


Uhhh

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

Subject: ZENITH BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC.

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 BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC.
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,


omg

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.

OK.

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


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.

soml

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?

Good Egg Mike: I READ THE LETTER WITH MATURITY AND I'M NOT DEAD, THE BAD EGGS OFFICIALS ARE TRYING TO TRICK ME I WANT MY $2 MILLION BACK, DON'T GIVE IT TO CYNTHIA

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.