Friday, March 5, 2010

Miseria, Rhymes with Nigeria

On March 2, 2010 an anonymous Nigerian infiltrated my Gmail accounts, both of them, and deleted all my emails and contacts. "He" (although to be fair and balanced he could have been a "she"...uh, yeah right) sent emails to my friends, family, acquaintances, associates, members, ex's, and even those random Craig's List reply coded emails like Don't bother checking, the lawn mower has already been sold. In other words, everybody in my contact list...which numbered 2682+. I know this because I backed it up on March 1...thank you angels!

The scam, spam, phisher man email was sent as if it were from me, and he sent it from both of my Gmail accounts, so people got it twice, which in a way is good, because it gave it the subtle, if not over-salty, flavor of spam.

I feel bad for those poor victims, and you, if you are one of them. They received an email from "me" entitled "i need your help." It was signed "Lori" and the body of the email informed them i was at a funeral in England and i needed money. And if you're wondering why I don't feel "badly" it is because this event did not impair the nerves in my hands...but that's another hammer to pound.

As it happens, my friends who are least able to afford it were the ones who offered to send me money. I gained comfort in knowing my friends would do that for me, even though I probably would have spent the money on a round of black and tans for the whole pub, so if I'm in England, don't send me money...unless i use a capital I...because if I can't shift, I'm drunk.

I would NEVER use a lower case i when referring to myself. I can't even stand it when YOU use lower case i, but that's not my point. My point is I don't talk like this: "How are you today? I hope everything's alright. Please I need you to help me out with something. Can I get a loan from you very urgently? I`ll reimburse you under a week, I promise. I need to solve some personal problems at hand which have been giving me great worries. I`d also prefer if we discuss this through email as I`m presently in England for a friend's funeral. I`m sorry if I didn`t inform you about it, but please try and understand. I`ll let you know how much I need if you are willing to assist me. Thanks, Lori"

I`m "presently" at a friend's funeral?...problems "at hand"? Who talks like that? The syntax, the vocabulary, the staccato, it sounds like C3PO is translating for Yoda. And what's with those backwards apostrophes? They are much too left-leaning for my taste. By the way, it's that key on the upper left side of the keyboard, under the muy pequeño tilde. As far as I'm concerned that key's only function is to indicate THIS EMAIL IS NOT FROM LORI!

Anywhays (and this is as good a place as any for me to introduce you to my little friend "anywhays"--the mutant spawn of anywho and anyways) as I was saying, it was apparent from the every first LETTER that this letter was not from me. Trust me on this, if I can't hit the shift key, it means I am at the funeral of my left pinkie. No amount of money is going to bring that finger back.

Speaking of fingers, I have a special one for GMail and the folks at Google...who I am presently no longer a fan of...dangle, dangle...because they let me down after I entrusted them with my cyber-journal-of-life which is not this blog, but my email archives. This blog is where I blather and flail in a way that gives us all a chance to chuckle about how life sucks, but my emails were dated and time-stamped correspondence between me and the whirled. I trusted you, Google, to store my precious letters in a sturdy box under the bed...or better yet, on a secure server with state of the art backup technology. I guess the box would have been safer, huh.

Now what? Now I wait. I wait to see if the lowly Niger goes the extra mile and steals my identity. And if he does, there WILL be a funeral, only it will be in Nigeria, not England. And it won't be a person, or a pinkie finger, it will be an IP address. This one: or this one:, or this one:, or this one: Or maybe all of them. They'll call it The Great 41.155-o-cide of 2010.

If you are a White Hat hacker, would you please take this Black Hat a-hole down? But first, grab the box under the bed and return my life to me. I am saying this most humbly, "i need your help."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Honoring the B in D.O.B.

Gotta love the Age of Technology! Today, March 1, I received an email reminder (from myself) that I was born on March 3, 1954. My Google Calendar has been instructed (by me) to remind me 2 days in advance of important dates. This started me thinking--does any date carry more importance than the date of one's own birth? Well, yes. And no.

I suppose my own date of birth doesn't matter at all--which is not suggesting my fact of birth is equally meaningless. If I found out my real birthday was March 2nd or March 4 because some random, tired-eyed clerk typed a number wrong on my birth certificate the revelation would not elicit much beyond, "Cool! I think I'll post a blog about that!"

However, if I were never born...THAT would matter a lot! Not to me, of course, since there would be no me to be bothered. It would bother my mom. She tried like the devil to get me to this place called life, and she sacrificed a lot of herself in the process.

My dad started smoking on the day I was born, right there in the waiting room...and subsequent to that he died of lung cancer. But if you asked him today, he would not trade my birth for his life even if you threw in a positive cash flow mobile home park.

My sister, Julie, might have been spared some personal misery if I had never been conceived. As it happens, she had a little friend who innocently shared what her adoptive parents had told her, "We adopted you when your mother died." which being a child and quite literal she took to mean when any baby is born the mother naturally dies. When Daddy left for the hospital he told Julie he would bring back a baby sister or brother, and she asked, "When do we bury Momma?" Safe to say my birth mattered to her if for no other reason than to give her a sibling to have her back while she kicked that adopted girl's ass.

My sister, Cindy, is another story. My birth preceded hers. It is impossible to say whether her life might have been better or worse or exactly the same had I not been born at all. If one were to guess, the odds are one would guess wrong. Do the math. There are countless possible answers to a what if scenario...and only one right answer.

It's safe to say my birth has had the most direct impact on Katie and Joey. I think we can safely say neither child could have been born if not for me...oh, and Bob.

I love thinking about the fact that I am the daughter of a daughter of a daughter...and Katie is my daughter. She may be the very last of our gender-kind. Or not. The arrival of her daughter will decide that. Just thinking about that long, long line that goes down to the corner, and around the block, all the way back to the first woman--hundreds of mother-daughter-mother-daughter pairings way back in time--it gives me the chills.

And my question is, if this is the end of the line, why does it feel like the head of the line? Could it be being born is like getting cuts in line? And does it matter if your tickets are Row 3, Seat 3, or Row 3 Seat 4? No, it doesn't. What matters is you have tickets to the show.

And what about Joey? He's a son. Where's the "oh, oh, oh it's magic" in that? I suppose you could say he's the son of a father of a son of a father-son pairing going around the block, too. I guess the fine line is mothers actually produce the show, where fathers are pretty much limited to executive producer credit.

And although we can't create our own mate, we can create a mate for another woman. And to do so is an honor, just so long as the little hussy is good enough for him.

So there you have it. My birth is important enough to warrant a reminder from Google Calendar, but my Date of Birth not so much. I can live with that.