Saturday, March 6, 2010

Beware the Brides of March

(h\t to Kassie)

Laughing Squid
reports an upcoming pub crawl that features people (men and women) in wedding dresses, happening in a few cities (including Portland) next Saturday, March 13.
 
This is fantastic, since I was unprepared to see dozens on Santas on Interstate Avenue last December--they were part of a Santa Pub Crawl and had just finished decorating Mayor Sam Adams's house.
Anyway, you've been warned.

Here's why automatically retweeting is a bad idea

Click to embiggen.

On its way to worst of the century

The Razzies selected Battlefield Earth as the Worst Movie of the Decade, and I have no problem with that. Unwatchable is a word that I might use to describe it. I don't think I made it past 40 minutes--if you think movie critics have easy jobs, imagine enduring this on a regular basis.


Anyway, congrats, I guess. It's definitely well-deserved.

No next of kin... again

So he's behaving unethically, and he wants ME to be honest? Fuck that.

From the Desk of:
Peter P. Ekeh
Reply me thru this e-mail "petrekeh@aol.com"

I wish to seek your assistance for the transfer of US$25M depository made by a foreign investor (an Oil consultant/contractor) for an investment programme that has remained dormant for years now. I discovered that the account holder died without making a WILL on the depository.I have secured from the probate an ORDER OF MANDAMUS to locate any of deceased beneficiaries I have made several enquiries to his embassy here in Nigeria to locate any of his Extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful to locate any member of his family. Now the management of the bank has issued a notice to provide the next of kin to claim the funds or they have the account frozen. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for years now.

This money cannot be approved to a local bank account holder, but can only be approved to a foreigner. If you will stand as next of kin to the fund, it will be shared 50%/50%. As this is a TWO-man business deal transaction.assuring you a 100% risk free. Your percentage will also be a source of up-liftment. You have absolutely nothing to LOSE in assisting me instead, you have so much to GAIN. Be rest assured that this transaction would be most profitable for both of us I shall provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction. I need your assistance and co-operation to this reality as I have done my Home-work and fine tune the best way to create you as the beneficiary of the fund. My position as the branch manager of the bank will be used to advance this deal.

I will like you to provide immediately your full Names and Address, Date of Birth, Occupation, Tel & Fax Numbers so that an Attorney will be able to prepare the necessary documents and affidavit which will put you in place as the next of kin. The Attorney will draft and carry out the notarization of the WILL and also obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in your favor for the transfer.

Finally, I have made an arrangement with an attorney who will work on your behalf and secure all the necessary legal documentation that would indicate you as the Beneficiary of the fund to back up this claim, and this I must do to make sure that this fund is not wasted or end up in the wrong hands.

All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us sees this deal through and secures all the legal documents. I guarantee you that this transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and I from any breach of the law.

I will appreciate your early reply for commencement of business. Contact me for acknowledgment thru this e-mail"petrekeh@aol.com" and whereby you are not interested; please indicate in your reply so that I can seek for the assistance of someone else.

If this proposal is acceptable by you, I expect that you will not take undue advantage of the trust I Will bestow in you. I await your urgent response.
Thanks with great regards.

Peter Ekeh

Reply me thru this e-mail "petrekeh@aol.com"

Citibank + Nigeria = win!

National City Bank Group.
No. 1 Idowu Taylor Street
Victoria Island, Lagos ? Nigeria.
TEL: +234-704-039-1332
Email: ncb41group@live.com
Ref: NCB/CMB/324/09

Dear Beneficiary,

REF: YOUR PAYMENT VIA NATIONAL CITY BANK MASTERCARD DEBIT CARD

This to acknowledge you that your e-mail address is found among those that have been scammed, and the competition have been approved from the supreme high court here in Nigeria and we are asked to contact you by the Nigeria president on how to send you the ($6.3) via ATM DEBIT MASTER CARD.

Due to the numerous fraudulent activities, we have resolved to implement the use of ATM DEBIT MasterCard for the release of your payment which will be issued by our bank National City Bank {NCB}. In this proposed payment scheme, your funds will be credited into a Citibank MasterCard account which will enable you either to make withdrawals at any ATM point or at any Citibank branch close to you.

This is a Citibank new working initiative with the Nigeria government which was put in place to curb the constant fraud activities associated with payments such as this. However for the purpose of official verification among other relevant details,it is imperative that you supply us with the following requirements:

1. YOUR FULL NAME(S) AS WOULD REFLECT ON YOUR CARD.
2. FULL ADDRESS (SAFE FOR THE DELIVERY OF YOUR CARD)
3. TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS
4. ANY FORM OF IDENTIFICATION.

Your card will come with an already programmed pin. You will be required to change this pin to any four digit of your choice at any Citibank branch close to you. All legal documentation including the anti money laundering your favor are intact.

On receipt of your response, further directives shall be made available to you.

Yours Faithfully,
Mr. Barry Wilson
National City Bank Nigeria.
TEL: +234-704-039-1332
Email: ncb41group@live.com

And now the IMF is involved

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
Counter-terrorism Division and Cyber Crime Division
700 19th Street, N.W Washington, D.C. 20431. USA

ATTN: Beneficiary,


With the supporting evidence before the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) in respect to your long awaited fund. We wish to inform you that we have thoroughly Investigated your payment matter which have been long overdue with the help of our Global Financial Intelligence Monitoring Network System (GFIM) that you are having an illegal transactions with Impostors claiming to be what they are not.

During our Investigation over your fund, we found out that the reason why you have not received your fund was because you have not fulfilled your Obligations given to you in respect to your Payment and at the same time you have choose to deal with the wrong people over your payment, which is the main reason why your payment have been delayed, After much complains over beneficiary not been paid the situation was brought on our office.

Therefore, we have contacted the Federal Ministry of Finance on your behalf and they have brought a solution to this problem which is been faced, by normalizing in your favor a part payment in total of $2.5million USD in a DEBIT CARD for this first quarter of this fiscal year, and the DEBIT CARD FUND REMITTANCE INC. who are partnering with some bank to make sure all beneficiary receive their fund. You will receive your Debit Card after your payment has been approved, you can use your DEBIT CARD to withdraw money from any ATM MACHINE CENTER from anywhere in the world with a maximum of $20,000 United States Dollars daily limit. You now have the lawful right to receive your fund in a DEBIT CARD after proper verifications.

All you have to do is to contact Mr. Ken Wright of the Federal Law Chambers Nigeria on the below stated email to receive directives on how to receive your fund from the Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc.


CONTACT INFORMATION:

ORGANIZATION: Federal Law Chambers Nigeria
NAME : Mr. Ken Wright
EMAIL: mrkenwright11@gmail.com

Do contact Mr. Ken Wright of the Federal Law Chambers Nigeria with your details:

FULL NAME : .....................................
HOME ADDRESS : ..................................
TELL/CELL : .....................................


NOTE: Do Contact Mr. Ken Wright of the Federal Law Chambers Nigeria Office to proceed. Do disregard any email you get from any imposters claiming to be in possession of your ATM CARD, you are hereby advice only to be in contact with Mr. Ken Wright of the Federal Law Chambers Nigeria who is the rightful person to Assist You so the DEBIT CARD FUND PAYMENT INC. can Approve your fund and send your Debit Card to the address you provided.


Best Regards,
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF).

Do you forget your bank accounts?

I never seem to lose track of my millions, but others seem to have that problem. Also "tin air" does not sound healthy.

Hello,

I am an investment consultant working with Bank UBS AG Zurich at their offshore department Zurich Switzerland . I will be happy to work this deal out with you if you have a corporate or personal Bank Account and if you are capable to keep TOP SECRET.

During one of our periodic auditing I discovered some dormant accounts with holding balances of {Seven Hundred And Fifty million US Dollars only} Sometimes a person will open a bank account,deposit money, and then disappear into the tin air. Banks are not always able to find out what has become of these silent customers, or to know whether they should follow up on requests from people who claim to be heirs to the accounts. The main problem is that the customer resides abroad and, due to bank secrecy, the bank cannot publish notices in the international press to locate the depositaries. This has led the majority of Swiss banks to refrain from opening small-deposit accounts for foreign customers; for fear that they will forget that the account exists.

It has happened in the past, however, that customers pass away and their heirs can neither prove the death, nor their heir ship. This was a frequent occurrence during the wartime periods, and the banks have now set up a simple, rapid resolution procedure operating to their customers’ advantage. Dormant assets are defined as any assets deposited with a bank (i.e. an account, a custody account or a safety-deposit box) for which there has been no contact with the customer in the bank’s files for the last ten years or more.

If you believe you have claim to a Swiss bank account for which the holder (e.g. an ancestor) has not been in contact with the bank for over ten years, there is a fairly simple procedure to follow, depending on the date the account was opened this account has not been operated for the past years. As at this moment, I am constrained to issue more details about this business until your response is received.If you are not familiar with Swiss Dormant Accounts and profile, please take a moment of your very busy schedules to read about Swiss dormant accounts:
If you know that you are capable to handle large or small amount on trust and can keep secret and ready to take 40% of any amount I transfer to your account from the dormant accounts and I will take 60%,send your account information’s by return mail. Tell me more about yourself, while I look forward to receive the above information.
I want to re-assure you that this business is risk free and you can send an empty account to receive the funds, provided that the account is capable to receive incoming funds. Send your private mobile phone number where I can reach you now. and let me hear from you. Thank you for your time and attention.

Warmest regards,
Mr. Jerry Williams.

An urgent business deal

FROM THE DESK OF:PETROS ALEXANDROU
UNIVERSAL BANKLTD,NICOSIA
CYPRUS
4/3/2010.

Your Attn,

Compliments of the season and good day.I am Petros Alexandrou,the treasury and planning department manager at the Universal Bankltd here in Nicosia, Cyprus, i am writing this letter to solicit for support and assistance from you to carry out this business opportunity in my bank.

Lying in an inactive account is the sum of Four Million Euros(4,000,000euros) belonging to a foreign customer(Caripides William) who was a gas consultant here in Cyprus,he happened to be deceased during a business trip with his wife and only son (Caripides Gabriella and Peter) on board the Swissair Flight 111 , which crashed into the Atlantic off Nova Scotia in september 2nd 1998.

Info of this crash was on the news which we have tried to notify his relatives but to no avail.

Ever since he died the bank has been expecting his next of kin to come and claim these fund which cannot be released unless someone applies for it as next of kin, as indicated in our banking guidelines,unfortunately he has no family member in Cyprus or Over-sea who are aware of the existence of the money,at this juncture, i hav decided to do business with you by soliciting your assistance in applying as the next of kin to the bank then the money will be released to you,as i do not want the money to go into the bank treasury as an unclaimed bill,because the banking laws and guidelines stipulates that if such money(s) remains unclaimed for a period of eleven years(11yrs),the money will be moved into the bank treasury as an unclaimed bill.

My request for a foreigner as next of kin is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and a Cypriot cannot stand as next of kin.

50% of the money will be your share as a foreign partner and your assistance to actualise this deal,thereafter i will visit your country with your help once the money hits your account for disbursement according to the percentage indicated.
To effect the immediate transfer of the fund to you as agreed,you must apply first to the bank as the next of kin to the deceased,then we will follow up all formalities for the transaction.

Upon receipt of your reply, i will send to you, the text of application you are to send to the bank,and further clearify you in other issues as to effect this business.
Awaiting to hear from you urgently.

Best Regards
Petros Alexandrou.

Song of the day: "I Lose My Heart"

From his Mr. Lucky album, it's Chris Isaak with Michelle Branch. If you haven't seen Chris live, you're missing out.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Flashback song: "Lovergirl"

My blogging has been light due to heavy work stuff, but I've been meaning to make this a flashback for a few weeks--I have this song saved to my phone and it's come up on my morning commutes a few times.

The song is a fantastic 80s classic, and the production is classic Rick James (and there you have a highly unlikely phrase "classic Rick James"). And today's Teena Marie's birthday.

Happy birthday girl!

Song of the day: "Almost There"

I figured I'd use up the last of the Oscar nominees for Original Song, "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog. Music and lyrics by Randy Newman--his 2 nominations this year are his 18th and 19th Oscar nominations (he won for the Original Song from Monsters, Inc., can you sing it? He probably can't either).

It's mildly forgettable, but I haven't seen the movie. When nominations songs, Academy members watch a clip of the movie that features the song in the context of the film. A few bloggers I read say this makes the process favor songs used within the movie as opposed to over beginning/end credits. Um, okay. To me that's like saying "you're favoring 98% of the movie"--you mean most of it? Anyway, it's entirely possible that when I see it in the movie I will say to myself and/or whatever dogs are around "yes, I can see it now" but I'm really not betting on it.

The song has a common structure for Newman (that's more polite than "cliche" right?) with the slower, almost spoken intro (see also: his other nomination this year). If I took out the vocals, it could pass for a song from Toy Story or Ragtime (other nominations of his). I don't have any songs from movies that I saw that I think are more deserving of a nomination--okay, there was that period piece from An Education, but that might just be my subconscious reminding how much I love that movie (it's not my favorite from the year, but it's definitely in my top 5). And if this is what it takes to keep the song from Avatar off the stage on Sunday, I can endure.

And despite what it sounds like, I don't dislike Randy Newman. The guy has written some sharp little pop songs in his time. It's just that Disney doesn't hire him to write songs like "Political Science" for their movies. Hmm, listening to a live version of it now, yes they do--listen to it here and compare the song structures. Apparently Newman has been re-recording this song with variations like 300 times. Now that's brand management!

The singer is the talented Anika Noni Rose on vocals. In addition to being the other one in Dreamgirls, she won a Tony for Caroline or Change. Here's hoping they let her perform on Sunday instead of giving it to Beyonce or Alicia Keys (yes, they are both ultra-talented, but you already know who they are).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Song of the day: "Do Wah Do"

New music from Kate Nash. I loved her first album, Foundations, so I have high hopes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This week's Congressional rock star

Is Anthony Weiner (D, NY). He kicked some ass today on... well, just watch.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Trust & Honesty

That sounds like the title of a country album, but it's not (well, it might also be); it's the subject line of the first 419 scam letter I've had in a while. Here we go:

Good Day,

My name is Mr. Leon Ngoma.; I am the Director of an Investment & Securities Company in a Country in Europe. I know this letter will come to you as a surprise but I want you to understand that my contacting you is divine because I want us to do this business deal together. I got your contact from an international brochure and decided to contact you for this business deal considering the fact that you will help me in the actualization of this great business deal. I am contacting you concerning a fund deposit valued @ $75,000.000.00 (Seventy Five Million US Dollars) stored with our Company by our late esteemed customer Mr. Abdullah Al-Tikriti, an Iraqi citizen and a former close associate of late President Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

He moved this money from Iraq to our affiliated Security Company somewhere in Africa for investment purposes with my help, but when he went back to Iraq to bring his entire family to this country in Africa at the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, he died in a bomb blast with his entire family. Click on this page below to read more about the money and the bomb blast: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm

Since I got the information about the bomb blast and the death of our customer, I felt bad because from my investigations I had gathered that all his family members were involved in the bomb blast thereby living nobody to claim the above mentioned fund. Based on this I would like you to act as a relative and the next of kin to our late esteemed customer.

I will give you more information about the fund, which will be useful for your application for the release of the fund to you as the next of kin to the deceased customer. This business is risk free; nobody will suspect you coupled with the fact that I will give you all the information about the deposit which will prove to our Affiliate Security Company in Africa that you are related or next of kin to the late depositor. Upon the successful release of this deposit to you, we will share the money 60-35% respectively. While 5% will be set aside to reimburse expenses that will be done in the process of claiming and safe repatriation of this fund into a bank account in a reputable bank preferably in the Caribbean.

Finally, be mindful that nobody in my organization knows that I contacted you for this business deal. To this effect you should please keep this letter confidential, whether you are interested or not, because if it is discovers that I gave out this information to you, it will affect my job. You should signify your interest in doing this business deal with me by contacting me through my private email address for security purposes. This business deal will not last more than 7 days if you signify your interest to work with me to actualize this golden opportunity. Contact me at: leon.ngoma@clix.pt ; for more details.

I anticipate your swift and immediate response.

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Leon Ngoma
Email: leon.ngoma@clix.pt

Flashback song: "No Souveniers"

I picked up a greatest hits disk of Melissa Etheridge's tonight from the library, and was reminded how much I like this song. But in looking for the video I ran across this cover on youtube. Virtually every song you've ever heard of has a cover version on youtube, to varying degrees of quality (this one is solid), and I've featured a few of them, but I think I'm going to look for more. This is the only video "lishter" has uploaded and it's only got 2 dozen views, so click on it and let's run those numbers up (to at least 35).

She does a great job, and I've got to give her some props for putting it out there.

Looky what I made

Happy birthday Mom

My mom loves classic musicals. I picked this song for no particular reason except that I remember some random Sunday afternoon, a million billion years ago, watching it for my first time (possibly my only time) while she ironed my dad's shirts and sang along with every song. I get my vocal, um, quality from both my parents, but I get my enthusiasm for singing along from my mom.


Happy birthday mom, I love you!

Song of the day: "Genesis 3:23"

The Mountain Goats from The Life of the World to Come. I first heard the Mountain Goats about a year ago, but this recent album is their 17th studio album. Singer/songwriter John Darnielle is an amazingly prolific writer, and the songs have a somewhat brutal reality to them. They're not the happiest songs in the world, but their honesty makes them rewarding.

The power of persuasion

(h\t to Leland)
In this short film, Leland attempts to convince me to join Facebook. Or should I say Harry Potter attempts to convince a 1978 used car salesman to join Facebook. At least I'm thin.

Monday, March 1, 2010

How right she is

I haven't spent any time ranking my top albums for 2009, but Neko Case's Middle Cyclone is among the top. Her songs of dysfunctional passion are fantastic, and these lyrics from "People Got a Lotta Nerve" are so sadly true.

You know they call them killer whales
But you seem surprised
When it pinned you down to the bottom of the tank
Where you can't turn around
It took half your leg and both your lungs

Cute baby photo

(h\t to Jackie)
This is Avery Brook. Or possibly Avary. Or Possibly Brooke. And I'm not actually sure what her last name is. Maybe Gwyn. Or Gwynn.

She is my oldest nephew's baby.

If she'd been nominated for a Tony or an Emmy, I would probably know how to spell her name...

Happy birthday Alan Thicke

I never watched that show, you know, the one with Jesus boy. But I knew he wrote The Facts of Life theme (you know I love my TV themes)--but I didn't know he also wrote Diff'rent Strokes.




He was funny in the mediocre sitcom Hope & Gloria as a pompous local newscaster who said people kept saying he looked like Alan Thicke. But there are no clips (which is actually fine--I've just explained the actual funny aspect of the entire run of the show).

Happy birthday dude. Hope you get your 32 cents from my playing these songs!

Song of the day: "I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman"

From Canadian hip hop artist k-os.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The word for this is "madcap"

I went to the stage version of The 39 Steps this afternoon. It's based on the Hitchcock film (which is based on a novel, but this one is based on the film), and it's brilliant in its zaniness.

It's madcap people! Four actors play more than 100 roles (or so the PR leads us to believe), and the physical comedy challenges my vocabulary. I laughed my ass off (but then I've been told I do that too much).

If you're in Portland it runs through March 21 and is well worth a $20 rush ticket! Hell, I think it's worth the $43 I spent on a regular ticket.

Here's a clip from the Broadway production:

Happy birthday Kelly Bishop

If she'd only played Emily Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, she'd have a place in my heart forever. I guess technically that's the only way I know her. But she has a past before then.

She won a Tony for the original production of A Chorus Line. But while I can sing pretty much every song from that musical, I wasn't making it to NYC to see musicals much when she was in the cast.


She was Baby's mom in Dirty Dancing, which I haven't actually seen. I mean, I know that nobody puts Baby in a corner, but I'm not sure if that rule applies to Baby's mom. I'm thinking not.

Emily Gilmore is something of a thankless role--it's filled with motherly concern that comes out in judgmental sniping. She's a woman after my heart.



In its seven seasons, the show had some of the best writing on TV, and a fantastic cast including Bishop, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel and Edward Hermann--it's painful to think that it only got one Emmy nomination (for make-up, for "The Festival of Living Art" episode). I hoped for a Mrs. Kim/Emily Gilmore spin-off, but it never happened. Ah well... During a bout of unemployment, Gilmore Girls reruns and mild winter days at the dog park with Rebel and Midge kept me sane.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday Arnold Klein

Passionate, charismatic, and brilliant, Arnie is one of a kind. Which is a shame, cause the world could use like 8 or 10 Arnies, working in shifts.

And if you haven't had the honor of meeting him yet, just give it time. He gets around.


Happy birthday dude!

Song of the day: "Oh, the Divorces!"

New music from my beloved Tracey Thorn--her album Love And Its Opposite comes out in May.