Friday, March 28, 2008

Relationship Injustice Part 10 - this is where it all......ENDS

It's been difficult finding an adequate way to wrap up my much ignored "Relationship Injustice" series. By writing all the past articles on this topic, my thoughts revolved around one basic premise: People, by virtue of their own free will, are inherently out of our domain and beyond our control. It's frustrating, but simultaneously selfish and self-ingratiating to think that the people closest to us could be "steered" in various directions. As such, it's an ignorant mistruth to assume that people that were once closest to us would likely be of such a comparable mindset if we were to change or endure less than wonderful times. I found that friends, be they on a somewhat valued level (close or intimate) are a precarious lot. The injustice, in the end, is that those close friends will walk away and cut ties for, as expected, their own reasons and justifications. Those perceived justifications might be irrational, rational, perceived or factual, but everyone is entitled to their own decisions and actions. The rich irony is that the people that were once closest to me, who were supposed to be there through thick and thin, are now the ones who've since decided that I am a complete stranger to them, and have cut me off from all acknowledgement.

I'll explain this entry's title with a somewhat allegorical tale from the Monterey Pop Festival, way back in 1967. One of my personal heroes, Pete Townshend, after having been challenged to follow Jimi Hendrix's guitar inferno of an act, needed to state things in his own way. Before the destructive and chaotic finale that was to be their rendition of "My Generation", Townshend merely stated "This is where it all...ENDS." There was not to be any feigned encore, or tapering off into the Californian night - this was it. The band was going to play the song, destroy the equipment, and the end was definitive. The interaction with the audience was to end, for the night, and such have been many relationships, well beyond a given night. Endings...

A basic premise to be learned from such separation is that time does not heal all wounds. After having been close to various people for significant lengths of time (ranging from 3 to 20 years), it seemed all too easy for people to forget those with which a close bond had been forged. What's frustrating on a personal level, is that despite the irony of the closest of friends having become the most distant, the time of separation has not imparted any effect upon any type of resolution to that initial estrangement. In a personal sphere, I found that I misjudged the loyalty that close friends once proclaimed to me in moments of earnest friendship, regardless of where my personal situations might have stood at any given time. People with whom I spoke on the most intimate levels, on a daily basis, are the ones that regard me as a stranger, and despite years of estrangement and attempts to patch past gaps, nothing will change. Not to pound the idea into the ground, but these were people that I loved, claimed to have loved me, knew of my pitfalls, and were close to me for all times good and bad - be they bad times in their lives or my own. While never having been divorced, I can externally empathize with that level of separation from those with whom so much closeness was once treasured and valued. Male or female, when you know a person's middle name, date of birth, deepest thoughts and hopes, it's a harsh and unfair reality to be categorically ignored and treated as one that never existed or cared in times past.

I should apologize if this entry resembles a personal rant, but perhaps I needed to unload a bit during one of these articles, and it may as well be this one, especially if this is to be the final entry in the series. Call me stupid, (just don't call me collect), but I never would cut ties with someone (nor have I purposely decided to cut ties) for reasons of a friend's status, peaks and valleys, etc. During my darker times in the past, a select few stuck by my side, and the rest decided that, for whatever reasons, it would be too encumbering or inconvenient to stay in touch even in a casual or slightly caring context. Those that decided that I was no longer "fun" had summarily pronounced their philosophy regarding the value of close relationships and cast the die. Let me say that I know for a fact that despite rough patches in years past (as in like 2 or 3 years past), I personally never chose to wrong someone close to me or act so inappropriately as to deserve the subsequent relationship "death sentence" from close friends of the time. With the finality of "endings", as it were, I had been forced to forever drop all respect for those that were my dearest friends and had since cut ties, and warmly shine the highest regard for those that are still there for me, and vice versa, after years of close interaction and care. In all fairness, there have been some people that I had since reconnected with, and they understood that people change, endure various rough moments, and still care after all is said and done.

It's easy to conclude that this entry is some type of salvo against those with whom I no longer associate. A confederate might say to me "to hell with them, who needs them." Unfortunately those estranged past friends will always be people that are of concern to me, and that history can never, in my mind, be undone. Apparently with others, that is not the case. It's hard to end anything, such as this series, and I will be constantly perplexed as to how a person can impart an ending to a close friendship for reasons beyond one's control. To further the irony, the people (be they a chosen few) to which this final article was directed, will never see this piece, or even think of making the effort to test the proverbial waters and attempt a reconnection. In kind, I'd chosen a final entry to this series as a viable venue for acknowledging that I've given up on such aforementioned hopes. While this entry is likely to seem pathetically personal, I realized that most of these "Relationship Injustice" articles were personal in their own ways anyway. Yes, this is where it all ends - at least for this series. For those that opt toward friendship finality as well, good luck. Let the eulogy of such similar relationship injustice be not spoken on your behalf.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spam Review #8

These will be mostly just catty one-liners, but I'm just trying to get to ten of these articles...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The HudForeclosed Team <>
Date: Mar 12, 2008 1:51 PM
Subject: Looking for Foreclosures?

No, I'm actually looking for FIVE closures! Folks! (cue the Muppet orchestra)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Great Stuff from Reunion>
Date: Mar 13, 2008 2:20 AM
Subject: Are old friends looking for you?

No, the really old friends are looking for their homes and long-deceased pets. That's a tasteless Alzheimer's joke for those that aren't following along.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Christian Debt Removers Center <>
Date: 12 Mar 2008 18:12:21 -0300
Subject: Stop creditor phone call

Oh thank you so much! I had been dreading that one creditor phone call.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: LottoPrizeNetwork Update>
Date: Mar 12, 2008 1:34 PM
Subject: Scratch and Win Instant Game

Oh, I scratched and scratched and scratched. Up here, down there, you name it. No instant game. Whatta scam.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Davison Inventions Select <>
Date: Mar 12, 2008 1:23 PM
Subject: Start Your Idea Today.

We have over 240 Inventionmen(TM) who are waiting to
work on your product idea. Click Here to Submit your Idea

Ok, my idea is for a procrastination machine. I'll start that idea tomorrow. Folks! (Cue Muppet music again) Are your 240 Inventionmen (TM) really inventor types if they're just waiting for a poor shmuck's new idea? I would call your Inventionmen (TM) Ripoffmen.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Today from LifeLock <>
Date: Mar 12, 2008 1:00 PM
Subject: Your Identity is priceless. Do you have protection for it?

Close. My identity is worthless. Do you have protection against it? Ya better, Zippy.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: GroupLottoPromoOffers>
Date: Mar 12, 2008 4:03 AM
Subject: ^FNAME^, is there cash waiting for you?

^INCOMPETENTMAILMERGEIDIOT^, is there training waiting for you?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Christian Living Ministry <>
Date: Mar 11, 2008 9:53 PM
Subject: You could get access to Multi-Media Bible Narations

And you can get access to various spell-checking tools. And God said, "Let there be literacy."

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: 411TaxRelief Solutions <>
Date: Mar 11, 2008 9:13 AM
Subject: Have you received an IRS Letter?

You Could Settle Tax Debt before 2008
The IRS could increase collection efforts in 2008.
You could settle your back taxes in the new year

This was sent in March of 2008. Anyway, yes I've gotten an IRS letter - I got the "I". Now all I need is the "R" and "S" and whoopie!! Gotta keep checking my bottle caps.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: KaplanUniversity Next Level <>
Date: 10 Mar 2008 18:07:45 -0300
Subject: Which schools could offer you financial aid in 2008?

Which schools can notice that it's already 2008?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: From Mate1 <>
Date: Mar 12, 2008 9:31 PM
Subject: Firstname, annoyed of meeting people at the bar

Oh, I am a very grateful Firstname. I keep looking for girls in that crazy bar scene and end up with unexpected people named "Bill" around. I'm tired of them.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Women Cash Alliance <>
Date: 12 Mar 2008 22:18:22 -0300
Subject: Unexpected Bills? We Could help!

Oh thank you!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Spam Review #7

These spams just write themselves.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: GuideToKitchenRemodelingOpportunity
Date: Feb 17, 2008 3:39 AM
Subject: Find a kitchen remodeling company fast

Yes sir! Dialing my phone like crazy. I'm calling everyone in the phone book!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: BigWin Update <>
Date: Feb 17, 2008 9:47 PM
Subject: Golf Nuts Club Offer

Some people had tennis elbow, back in my college days, I had a bad case of golf nuts. Talk about some pain. There was no such thing as wearing tight pants back in those days. Lots of warm baths and kilts for yours truly.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Flip Marston <>
Date: Feb 17, 2008 5:44 PM
Subject: Give her a gigantic tool to hold.

I gave her a Skil circular saw, then followed it up with a very nice drill press. Regardless, I've always wanted to hang with a guy named "Flip". I have a running list of people I've always wanted to know; I've wanted to know a few people named Flip, Wes, Groucho, Kukla, Cecil, and Soupy. And now, part of this wild dream of mine has been already fulfilled. This keeps me going back to the bowling alley. I'm crazy.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: MiGenteOfferPromotion <>
Date: Feb 18, 2008 2:04 AM
Subject: Find the Latin singles you've been looking for

Fantastic. I had been searching for a 45 of "La Vida Loca" for ages. I owe ya one! What about that Macarena thing or whatever it's called? Forget it, I'll ask Flip. As for your subject header, a grammatical guideline is that you should never end a sentence with a preposition. That's something that you should look for.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: SinglesNetMessage <>
Date: Mar 7, 2008 1:21 AM
Subject: Search compatible singles by zip code

By zip code? And technically, it's ZIP code. Zone Improvement Plan, wise-thing. No, I'd rather find my dream girl by longitude, elevation above sea level, relative humidity, wind speed, and the amount of Farads contained in one's favorite capacitor. Siddown, WOPR.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: eHarmonyOffer <>
Date: Mar 7, 2008 1:16 AM
Subject: You Could Meet the Love of Your Life Today on

Ok, Orville Redenbacher, I'm pretty much done chastising your lousy site and its obsession with compatability. Clearly your commercials, featuring those clingy blimps and middle-aged perverts aren't pulling in the big bucks for your creepy site. Now eHarmony has resorted to spamming. Knock yourself out, ol' buddy. See ya in the "dot com" bone yard, Bucky.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: University of Phoenix <>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 19:28:57 UT
Subject: University of ditch the cube

Oh, count me in! I will suffer no longer under the looming power of Rubik and his evil cube. 28 years is long enough. Sign me up!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: University of Phoenix <>
Date: Mar 4, 2008 9:17 PM
Subject: University of next level, here I come

Aw c'mon, I just signed my letter of intent for attending the University of Ditch the Cube. It's like the fox and the grapes (obscure Aesop's fable reference, sorry).

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: OptionsfromSinglesNet
Date: Mar 2, 2008 12:31 AM
Subject: Looking for a date?

Is she cute?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: BBOS Handbag Bliss
Date: Mar 2, 2008 4:29 AM
Subject: You can rent a designer bag

But is she cute? FOLKS!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Prize America WebDeals>
Date: Mar 4, 2008 2:03 PM
Subject: Sweepstakes Entry Ticket
Play scratch and win for FREE!
Match 3 and win Play now!

Oh yes! Count me in! I'll gamble my family's health on this one! Let's go!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: LowPriceHealthOfferSpecial
Subject: Are you gambling with your family's health?

Oh, come on, you were reading my last response. Jerk.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Fun With Phobias

During a recent discussion with a friend, she mentioned a fear of bread, and as such, I wondered if such a phobia existed. In a sense, it did, and as the exploration grew stranger, I decided to explore the world of phobias. Here are some that I found which might be amusing, if it weren't for the sad truth that they are actually real phobias. For the record, I'm skipping over the more common ones, like fear of heights, enclosed spaces, the number thirteen, spiders, etc. So there.

Agoraphobia - Fear of open spaces or crowds.
Ok, I'll give ya this one.

Koinoniphobia - Fear of rooms.
Go trade places with the agoraphobics.

Amaxophobia - Fear of riding in a car.
Depends on who's driving.

Barophobia - Fear of gravity.
Oh come on, go take a space walk, Buzz.

Bibliophobia - Fear of books.
Sounds like every drunken college student. Folks!

Scolionophobia - Fear of school.
Toga! Ibid.

Cacophobia - Fear of ugliness.
After a few drinks, this fear disappears.

Chromophobia - Fear of colors.
I think the Klan owns this one. It's not quite a black and white issue. Hoo! Jeez, without colors, that only leaves black and white, I suppose.

Leukophobia - Fear of the color white.
Oh, man! After the chromophobes have their way, and now these leukophobes, all that's left is black.

Melanophobia - Fear of the color black.

Coulrophobia - Fear of clowns.
Ok, clowns are just inherently creepy. I don't disagree with this one at all. They make kids cry, parents rage, and elephants poop.

Dystychiphobia - Fear of accidents.
Oh, how irrational! Who doesn't love accidents?

Ephebiphobia - Fear of teenagers.
There they are - off in the corner - plottin' and schemin'. With their backward hats, breakdancing, boom boxes and Foghat records. Ya blasted punks!

Genuphobia - Fear of knees.
Oh come on now. Except for the occasional double amputee, there's no escaping this one. How can one be afraid of something that comprises the body? What next, fear of feet?

Podophobia - Fear of feet.
Ok, I had to see it coming.

Obesophobia - Fear of gaining weight.
So what, you end up being shaped like a figure 8.

Octophobia - Fear of the figure 8.
Damn, you be harsh!

Phobophobia - Fear of phobias.
Ok, this one fascinates me. If you are afraid of being afraid, then you're always going to be afraid. Too much for me to process.

Venustraphobia - Fear of beautiful women.
Wow, that would not be good for those eligible bachelors.

Gynophobia - Fear of women.
Forget it, then you're either a nerdy misanthrope or are gay as a French horn. Then again, the "festive" types love hanging with the chicks, so who knows. I'll just stick with the "nerdy misanthrope" zinger.

Porphyrophobia - Fear of the color purple.
Hated that movie anyway.

Technophobia - Fear of technology.
Who let the Amish out! Whoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! Who let the Amish out!

Cyberphobia - Fear of computers.
Couldn't they just lump this under technophobia?

Chronomentrophobia - Fear of clocks.
Hey what time is it. I need a WATCH. No, a watch, a sundial, or a long stick. Not a clock.

Botanophobia - Fear of plants.
I can understand this one. I think it was either "The Carol Burnett Show" or an old "Monty Python" skit where a plant ended up attacking someone, and I was oddly scared of any tall plant for quite a while. At least I wasn't afraid of, I dunno, ferns.

Pteridophobia - Fear of ferns.
Of course there's one in every bunch.

Dendrophobia - Fear of trees.
I'm sure the "Wizard of Oz" movie helped kick this one into high gear amongst the phobic...

And under the "duh" category...
Nosocomephobia - Fear of hospitals.
Lilapsophobia - Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes.
Dentophobia - Fear of dentists.
Agliophobia - Fear of pain.
Catagelophobia - Fear of being ridiculed.
Pathophobia - Fear of disease.
Necrophobia - Fear of death or dead things.

Mageirocophobia - Fear of cooking.
(Insert typical blue collar husband voice) "Well the little lady must have this phobia!! Hoo hoo!"
Microphobia - Fear of small things.
Then the "little lady" responds with her microphobia. The husband and wife get into a fight, which leads to her leaving him, and thus incites...
Ataxophobia - Fear of disorder or untidiness.
Autophobia - Fear of being alone.
Clearly the guy had...
Gamophobia - Fear of marriage.