Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Spam email of the week

Subject: Business matter

Vague enough to evoke skepticism yet businessy enough to spark interest.


It is understandable for you to grow apprehensive reading from me today since there was no previous communication between us.

I am always apprehensive of people I have never heard from before. That is why I literally do not know or talk to anyone. I am willing to make an exception here, but only if you have a dope name.

I am Han (Mr.),

"My name is Han. But let us skirt the formalities. Please - call me Han Mister."

a managing attorney and a Malaysian national.

"Actually, call me Esquire Han Mister, or Mister Malaysia (Mr.), 2008."

I came across your contact via scrupulous search conducted by an IT specialist whom I have employed for the purpose of same.

Han Mister: One thing I really like is scrupulous searches for potential partners in business matters.

IT Specialist: Samsies.

Hans Mister: YOU'RE HIRED.

The present communication is prompted by a legitimate business interest I have to share and ensue with you. I have left out the detail of the business matter until I hear from you as measure of security.

Well I have left out my response until I hear details from you as measure of security. WE'RE CIRCLING THE WAGONS, HAN MISTER, YOU SCRUPULOUS BASTARD. Whatchu think, this is my first business matter? Pfft. (It is.)

Please be reminded that I would not have incurred great efforts to contact you for a matter of nonentity or to waste your time or mine.

It's quite obvious this is not a waste of time, Han Mister, Malaysian national. Please, allow me to validate your hard work by featuring this email on my business blog.

Further, be confident that the matter in question is beneficial and legit with no ramification of any sort;

(searches Internet) It says here the English translation for the Malayasian phrase "no ramification" is "mucho ramifications." Is that right? Awww forget it, I am confident.

Kindly, revert to me accordingly for further exhaustive dialogue.

Do you sweet talk all of your business partners like this, Han Mister? After all, I like my dialogue like I like my research: exhaustive and ultimately pointless.

Thank you for your time as I am looking forward for yours and business relation.

You're welcome. Is it cool if I put that sentence in a blender, then set fire to the blender, and then throw the burning blender into a volcano? Cool? Cool.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Parental reward

When the kids say something painfully idiotic, my wife will often respond by saying, “Thanks, Copernicus.” It’s been going on for so long now I can’t remember for sure, but I think it stems from a Brian Reagan routine. Either way, this is what we do. We are great parents.

And like any great parents, our girls are starting to mimic what we do. Not the good stuff, of course, like having manners and not interrupting and consistently urinating in a toilet. Everything else.

So let me set the scene. I’m driving the girls home from school/camp, and our game of 20 questions involving characters from movies or TV shows has devolved into anarchy because they cannot tell the difference between cartoons and real people. (To be more specific, I spent 10 minutes racking my brain trying to think of a “definitely REAL-PERSON” boy who has a cat and a family, only to discover the boy is Caillou. They are almost 5 and 6, by the way.) So we’ve decided to switch up the game. Now we have to throw a letter out there and someone else has to name an animal that begins with that letter. For a reason I cannot recall at the moment, but more than likely involved extreme frustration with the game’s proceedings, I have recused myself. Now the girls are playing on their own. Here we go …

Girl 2: Okay, your letter is … C!

Girl 1: Ugh, that’s so easy. Cat.

Girl 2: No! A cat is not an animal. (said with confident satisfaction, as if the Riddler strikes again)

Girl 1: A cat is too an animal!

Girl 2: Sorry, Copernicus.

Girl 1: YOU’RE Copernicus! Daaaaaaaad, she called me Copernicus!

(We regret nothing.)

Spam email of the week

Subject: 20/20 Vision In 14 days (urgent)

I'll say.

I just got one of the most eye opening emails ever…

This is the best opening pun of any vision-based spam email I have ever received, and eye ain't kidding.

It came from Dr. William Kemp…


If you follow vision science

I do.

you know this guy well.

Uh, we're pretty much besties. Dr. William Kemp sleeps on my couch if he becomes fatigued from all of the vision science he does.

Really nice guy too.

A lot of people say, "I don't need my eye doctor to be nice. Just fix my eyes, man (lady)!" I disagree. I like it when eye doctors are nice. I don't know. How I was raised, I guess.

But this email wasn’t nice.

Oh sh*t.

There was no “hello”.
There was no “how are you”


Just the words.

I enjoy the distinction between"hello" and "how are you," which are words, and words in general. Dr. William Kemp has no time for niceties, only cold, hard, motha freakin' words. He ain't playin', is the point.


I find it pleasantly ironic that the basic instruction of an email claiming to help people with eye problems is "WATCH THIS."

And then he posted this link

What did you do?

I followed the link...

Cool story, bro.

And a few minutes into watching the video...
I can’t explain it...I just uncontrollably got out of
my chair and couldn stop jumping...because
realized he was 100% right.

I can't imagine a degree of news that would result in uncontrollable jumping, but then again, I have been blessed with 80/100 vision and astigmatism. Anyway, that was the end of the email.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How Sex Works, part IV

Read parts I, II and III for very important background information.
We left off with crazy and charismatic 17-year-year-old Charlie falling off the bed while trying multiple sex positions. Let’s see if Polly can one-up him in this very important book called, “Embarrassing Teenage Sex Stories” …

The first time I tried to put my diaphragm in, it slipped out of my fingers, flew across the room, and bounced off the wall. We just couldn’t stop laughing, and it really helped me relax. – Polly, 17 years 
Thanks, 17-year-old Polly! Hopefully, your diaphragm story will help a 15- or 16-year-old learn to relax before sex. Just launch a contraceptive across the room, laugh, take a deep breath, and dive right in. Minus 1
Neither here nor there, but if you showed me Polly’s picture sans a name and I had to guess Polly’s name, my guess would definitely be: Polly. 

Yo, nice Cosby baby sweater, BABY. Don’t you know Cosby isn’t chill anymore? And it’s super insensitive to bring him up considering the nature of this book. Man, I’m embarrassed FOR you, baby. Minus 3

I’ve heard that if you shake up a bottle of warm cola or any carbonated drink, and squirt it up into your vagina after you have sex, it will stop you from getting pregnant because it washes all the sperm back out. Is that true? – Lucy, 15 years
What. The. Hell.
First of all, shaken-up cola urban legends begin and end with combining one with Pop Fizz and exploding internally. Secondly, LUCY, nothing kills the romanticism of love-making more than interrupting the post-sex cuddling to squirt some Pepsi into your vagina. I mean, I understand you’re 15 and might lack the maturity to view sex as something more than a physical act, but c’mon.
For real though, we got Charlie falling off the bed, Polly flinging diaphragms around like Elaine Benes, and Lucy squirting cola into her hoo-ha … this is like The Lord of the Flies of teenage sex. Minus 1

You look super comfortable holding that baby, frizzy-haired woman on her work lunch break. You’re a natural! Plus 1
Once the baby is born, many girls find that they can cope as well as women twice their age, and enjoy motherhood.
I’m sorry—have we reached the point where the book is outright promoting teenage pregnancy? You might be unsure about getting pregnant because you’re, ya’ know, 16, but trust us—once the baby is born, all will be well! In fact, it’s easy. Just put on some tights, a mini skirt, and some flats (you want to be comfortable!), kneel down awkwardly and hold the thing until it falls asleep or whatever.

We’re off the see the Wizaaard, the wonderful Wizard of Allentown, Pennsylvannia. Plus 2

My boyfriend’s always been a bit wild. I would really like to have a baby with him. Do you think it would settle him down? – Angela, 17 years
Totes. Best idea I’ve heard all day. Nothing settles down a wild teenager (btw, is your boyfriend a horse?) better than being burdened with the responsibility of caring for a precious life forever and ever. And nothing is better for the baby than being born into a world where his/her father is either a horse or a human who can no longer TURN DOWN FOR WHAT because he/she now exists. WIN-WIN. Let’s see what Liz and Dick have to say:
It’s just as likely to make him leave.
Have a baby to when your relationship works, not to make it work.
More sound advice for the 17-year-old demographic. Have a baby when you’re in a more stable relationship. Even if it means waiting until you’re 18.
Liz and Dick are the best. Plus 1

Thursday, June 04, 2015

How Sex Works, part III

For parts I and II, there ya' go.

I don’t know, I’m not buying them as a couple. This is too college brochure-ish for a publication claiming to keep it real re: sex. Just because Lisa Turtle and Zack Morris kissed one time doesn’t mean MC Lyte would date William Zabka. I mean c’mon. Minus 1

And from that forced diversity we get to the whitest birthday party ever. I don’t know what’s so funny, but it was probably a racist joke. Also, eat fruit much?

Happy birthday to you 
Soon you’ll grow some pubes 
Here’s a tiny-ass cake and lots of fruit 
Oops who was supposed to invite Jamaal? 

Minus 1

“My parents are so concerned about the furniture. I couldn’t ask my friends home. Something would get broken. It’s better to hang out at the mall or in the park.” John, 17 years 

Trust me, John, you’ll understand when you have furniture. It’s very important to have furniture when you’re an adult. I’d probably be more sympathetic if you were like, “It’s not like we’re going to break the couch in half,” because honestly, your parents’ specific concern for the furniture is hella weird. But nah—you’re like, “Yep, my friends would break everything.” What the hell, John? This isn’t mother freakin’ Animal House. It’s a detached single family home with furnishings your parents WORKED THEIR BUTTS OFF TO AFFORD. Do you have any idea what it’s like to go furniture shopping, John? It’s like going car shopping, except you don’t get a new car. You get a stationary chair that’s so expensive they have to run your credit. And for what? So Fat Jimmy can come over on a Wednesday afternoon and break it because it’s funny? NO WAY, JOHN. NOT ON MY WATCH. So yeah, go to the mall or park where you and your friends can break all the armoires you want. Minus 2

Why is it that I only have two or three drinks and I start feeling drunk very quickly? Naomi, 16 years 

I don’t know, Naomi, maybe because YOU’RE 16. My wife is 37 older than 16, and three G&Ts would have her hiccupping up bubbles like a cartoon character. Pretty sure you’re not supposed to have a wooden leg when you’re two years removed from eighth grade.

Girls shouldn’t try to keep pace with boys. 

Or because you’re a girl. Dammit that’s an awful answer. Is this book from 1994 or 1894? Minus 5

It’s at this point when the book gets into some deeper, emotional stuff that’s not exactly funny. So … let’s try our best.

The first thing dad said when I told him I didn’t want to play football was ‘That’s ridiculous, I was a great athlete and so are you.’ He just couldn’t believe I wanted to study art. – Mark, 18 years 


My friend picks on me about not having a dad. I want to tell him to shut up. What should I say? – David, 15 years 


Let’s see what a “professional” has to say.

Tell your friend you feel happy with your parent, and that he should stop looking at people as stereotypes but as individuals. Perhaps he isn’t such a good friend! 

Yes, perhaps the guy making fun of you for not having a father is not a good friend. That’s a good observation, Liz and Dick. It’s also, I believe, the theme of this book so far. Friends are the WORST. But don’t fret, teenagers—when you get older, you won’t have any. Just coworkers/acquaintances and their significant others, all of whom will typically shy away from berating you for having deceased or nonexistent parents lest they be outcast from your Google+ circle. Plus 1

From this point forward, the book starts talking about actual sex, which is a subject not appropriate for this blog. And while I get that the intent of the book is to educate and inform teens who are interested in sex and/or having sex, it’s still super weird to see a 16-year-old quoted about how she’s having lots of sex and why she [UNPRINTABLE]. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a doozy worth considering:

We both decided to try some different positions. Once I fell off the bed, but otherwise it’s been a good experience. – Charlie, 17 years

When I imagine Charlie falling off the bed while trying a new sex position, he is wearing this exact, half-turtleneck—and only that, obvs—and when he falls off the bed and his significant other looks to see if he’s okay, THIS is his expression:

Classic Charlie. It’s cool how Charlie describes everything sans falling off the bed as a “good experience.” WHOA CALM DOWN THERE CHUCK, YOUR PASSION MIGHT BURN THIS BOOK. As if a goofy-looking 17-year-old who is having sex all the time in lots of positions wouldn’t be able to descriptively distinguish that experience from a trip to Bennigan’s. Dammit Charlie. I hate you. Minus 2 

J/k, you’re the best. Hope you’re still falling off the bed somewhere. Stay safe.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

A naming ceremony on graduation day

We exited the pre-K and kindergarten graduation ceremony like we exit most things—in a heap of dramatic despair. Our youngest was refusing to budge because leaving meant she’d no longer be able to “shake my booty” on the stage that had become a pseudo dance party for a bunch of kids waiting for their parents to wrap up small talk. Our oldest was hopped up on pizza and performance adrenaline—when asked what she wanted to be when she grows up while getting her “diploma,” she forgot the word for coach (“coach”) and blurted into the microphone, “I want to be a swim … … … HA HA HA HA HA HA!” and ran off the stage to the sporadic applause of a very confused crowd.
What saved us from the continuation of these dramatic antics was their realization that their tremendous personal effort of not getting kicked out of the lowest level of school had earned them a parting gift—a tiny, stuffed bear wearing a tassel, insinuating that it, too, had recently graduated from school. Also, the bears came in a multitude of colors, just like real purple bears.
The graduation bears almost immediately became a source of both frustration and leverage—the girls fought over the purple and orange bears until they were taken away with the promise/threat that they’d only be returned after some consistent good behavior.
Six months later A few days later, they had earned them back to the point where I had allowed them to bring them in the car as I brought them to school, now defined as summer camp. As I spotted them playing with their new stuffed friends through my rear view mirror, I asked them what they had named their bears. Our oldest instantly blurted out a legitimate, well-conceived name that escapes me now thanks to what happened next.
Our youngest thought for a good 20 seconds, and then settled on “Toto.” This did not please our oldest, who informed her sister that Toto is a dog and she can’t name her bear after a dog. (I stayed out of this, btw.) About two minutes passed as our youngest was forced to implement Plan B. Eventually, she decided on “Sandy.” Our oldest, growing more frustrated, claimed that name was off limits too, since Sandy is the dog from Annie.
It was clear now that our youngest was going to have to come up with a name for her bear that was a) original and b) not a dog. This was going to require A LOT of thought, but she didn’t shy away. We were almost at school when she finally decided on the perfect name for her graduation bear:
King of the Dog.
Yes, when faced with the dilemma of not being able to name her bear after a dog, our youngest did the unthinkable and made her bear KING of the dog. Not king of all dogs, mind you—let’s not be ridiculous—but King of the Dog, singular. This marked the first time that I witnessed our oldest, a veteran of rolling her eyes, shake her head in disgust and just give up. It should also be mentioned that, at the time of its official naming, King of the Dog was being strangled with the tassels our youngest had managed to completely pull out of its graduation cap.
It’s a good thing she had already earned her pre-K diploma, because this may have compromised things a bit.
Two days later, after removing the car seats, I drove some coworkers to an event. One of them noticed King of the Dog and said, “Awww, so cute!”
“Do you want to know its name?” I asked.
It was a lukewarm reaction from a very confused crowd.