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I just finished my sporadic spam-folder check, and once again I am bemused. In addition to the usual offers to "bigger my short d1cck" and one attempt to convince me that I've won a lottery I never entered ("we don't sell tickets, we just use a 'cyber ballot system' to pick a random email address as our yearly winner--because we want to 'reward individuals who spend their time and resources surfing the web'")--oh, and one notice from a bank where I don't have an account, telling me they might have to suspend my account unless I clear up these reports of suspicious activity (read: tell them my credit card number), and quite clearly addressed to ten people besides me *snerk*--I've also received two pieces of blank junk mail. No subject, no text, and no sender either--so it's not even possible to reply to it.

Is this just a preliminary attempt to see which addresses don't bounce, or what? You wouldn't think they'd need to bother with that, right?

It's actually kinda eerie. I feel like it must be a setup for something weird, 'cause if it isn't, I can't explain it at all.
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Lesson of the day:

When you attempt to buy stamps from a post-office vending machine, and it takes your money and you make your selection and it makes a whirring noise and says THANK YOU but nothing actually drops into the little tray, you may be tempted to thump on the machine in case the stamps got stuck halfway down or something.


Evidently, the USPS takes potential vending-machine vandalism very seriously. As an institution, that is; the individual employees don't seem to take it seriously at all, judging from the truly impressive job they did of ignoring the EARSPLITTING ELECTRONIC SHRIEKS on this occasion. Then again, perhaps that was simply due to their knowledge that it would stop in a few minutes. I, having no such knowledge, was slightly more distressed--plus I wanted my eight bucks back, which evidently required me to stand in line at the counter just to get anyone's attention, and then fill out a form that asked for such things as my nine-digit ZIP code (who the hell knows the last four digits off the top of their head?) and the six-digit serial number of the machine (I looked, and the machine didn't have one. It did have a "#19" on it, so I wrote that down along with the name of the post office branch and hoped for the best.)

If I don't get my refund I am gonna be very upset. I might even vandalize a stamp machine for real next time.
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Seen on the bumper of a minivan this morning:

"How can there be too many children? That's like saying there are too many flowers."

....I have no words.

On a not unrelated note, why the hell do so many people have vanity plates that just state the make and model of the car? Do they think we won't notice how cool their car is if they don't point it out to us?
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This is very weird.

Last year when I was working the polls, there was one voter who seemed vaguely familiar, and her name seemed even more familiar. I was sure I'd seen her or heard of her somewhere else, but couldn't think where, and it drove me nuts. I even posted a Missed Connections ad on Craigslist--nothing too creepy, just "help me figure this out"--on the off chance she'd read it, but apparently she didn't.

Today I was picking up a package in the manager's office and saw her name on another package. Apparently she or someone with the same name lives on my floor.

In other words, either this woman who I'd seen or heard of somewhere just happened to live somewhere near me last year, and then just happened to move, at about the same time I did, to the same building, nowhere near the old neighborhood--specifically to the same floor of the same building--or else there are just too many people sharing this one name. But I Googled it and it doesn't seem to be a terribly common one.

I really really want to contact her and figure out what the deal is. This seems too much like one of those weird fate things, though I can't imagine what the purpose of it might be. But I don't think there's any way to get in touch with her and come across as sane. Le frustrate.
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So I think my geometry final went okay. I became very frightened very quickly when I walked in and was handed back my midterm, and found that the prof hadn't given partial credit on one problem where I'd hoped she would and had given me a zero on a problem I thought I'd done a very thorough job on. If she'd graded the midterm this inexplicably harshly, I was horrified to think how she'd grade the final. I nervously worked my way through it, and felt I did pretty well by my own standards--there was one problem I didn't get anywhere on and two I only got half-solved, and two that I felt I solved perfectly well but worried she wouldn't find my intuitive proofs rigorous enough, and the remaining three I think I solved in a way that no one could find fault with...but of course I was no longer confident that reasonable fault-finding standards would apply.

Then, after turning it in, I asked her to take another look at the problem on the midterm she'd given me no credit for. It appeared that she'd somehow gotten confused about what I was saying--like, she'd thought when I stated an axiom at the beginning that I was saying that was what I was trying to prove, instead of saying that was what I was going to use to prove it. Don't know how that kind of muddle happened, as I'd thought my phrasing was perfectly clear. Granted, she's not a native English speaker, but most of my math profs haven't been and they've never seemed to have that kind of trouble figuring out what I was saying. So after I'd cleared up a couple things of that nature, she puzzled over the proof for another minute or so and concluded that it was in fact without error. She proceeded to note the grade change--rather a relief, as that one problem was worth (I think) six percent of my grade in the class--but I'm still a little nervous about the final. I now know she's not in fact a ridiculously hardassed grader, but a befuddled grader isn't a whole lot better. I foresee "consulting" with her about my final grade in a few weeks' time.

On the upside, I did overhear some guys afterward talking about one of the problems to which I'd applied an insight they apparently hadn't had. When I told them how I'd done it, they had that "I wish I'd thought of that" reaction and declared that it would've saved them a lot of work. It's nice to know I still have some talent for this sort of thing. No doubt I'd get reassured of this much more often if I could actually bring myself to socialize with my classmates. I used to have a good friend and study partner who told me rather often that I was a genius. I miss him.

One other odd thing happened: I ran into a fellow at the bus stop whom I'd apparently tutored once, and he seemed not just curious but pointedly curious about my post-graduation plans. When I mentioned looking for work, he wanted to know what kind of jobs I was looking for, and how long I anticipated staying in the work force before applying to grad school, and when I wanted to start working...the way these questions were going, I started to wonder if he was about to offer me a job himself, or tell me he knew of one. But then his bus arrived and he got on it without handing me a business card or anything. Don't know what all the questions were about, then.
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Weirdness. I just got an email to which Gmail didn't see fit to attach any ads at all. It was very short, just a line or two about the time and place of an upcoming rehearsal, so that might be why--but then, I got another very short email within the last couple of days that had some completely unrelated ads attached to it--ads for domain hosting and suchlike. I can see why they'd throw in random ads if there weren't enough keywords for targeted ads, and I can also see why they'd just skip the ads in a case like that, but not why they'd alternate instead of doing one or the other consistently.
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Apparently that bike horn that I've been hearing across the street most afternoons doesn't belong to a small child as I'd assumed, but to a guy walking down the street with a shopping cart that has bags of something orange hanging from it. Presumably he's selling the orange stuff, and thus using the horn in an icecreamtruckish fashion (I have to say, I rather prefer even crappy music to this more distracting honking), but from this distance I can't figure out what on earth it might be. Cheesy popcorn, maybe? It's the right size but the wrong color for cotton candy.
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My portable fan is not working. I have another one somewhere, but I have no idea where.

It is going to be a miserably hot night. As if I weren't sleeping badly anyway.
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Why is the living room so much cooler than my bedroom when the windows in both of them have been open all day (and face the same direction)?

And why is Ki meowing piteously at empty space?
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There's a flashing banner ad on a web page I'm looking at that says "Congratulations! You've won a free Xbox!" No fine print, no other text at all.

Isn't that an outright lie? How is that legal?
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So I did the interests suggestion meme, and most of the top interests are things like "music" and "reading" which I don't have on my interests list because they're so generic it's pointless to mention them. But number 8 on the list is "Tori Amos."

Boy, am I curious to know why she and no other specific artist made the list.
vvvexation: (silly)
The latest silly spam: "I just want to say i love you and the crabs"

(followed by a large blank space and then seven words that seem to have been pulled out of a hat)

I'm touched. Some crustaceophile out there loves me enough to be cryptic at me. I'm a little sad, though, that they didn't tell me their name so I could show my appreciation. Apparently "123host255330@rogers.com" would rather adore me from afar. But really, you'd think someone who loves me so much would've included a link to the private website that they'd put up with the help of some friends as soon as they turned 18, wouldn't you? I mean, they must have one. It's a legal requirement before you can spam people. Either that or you have to be a prestigious non-accredited university. Emphasis on prestigious.

Come to think of it, the subject line does say "You too can have a college degree, easier than u think! x5m2." But that's kind of useless if they're not going to tell me how, n'est-ce pas?

In other news from the weird, a couple blocks down from my house there's a square of sticky paper attached to a tree trunk labeled "Government Insect Trap: Do Not Remove." I am highly amused by the notion of government flypaper--it's almost funnier than government cheese. I presume they're collecting data on how many of each type of insect are flying around various places, rather than vainly trying to reduce the number of pests that populate the great outdoors.


May. 21st, 2004 10:18 pm
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Yesterday, when I rode the elevator in Evans hall, I noticed a row of stickers high above the door that said "I TOOK THE STAIRS."

There appeared to be smaller text underneath saying something about a National Get-More-Exercise Day or something, so evidently it wasn't some kind of elevator boycott, but whatever it was...the person who put them there obviously hadn't taken the stairs, had they? There were enough of them and in a hard-enough-to-reach location that there's no way someone just reached a quick arm in and stuck them there--they'd have to have stood in the elevator for a good minute at least. So either they were in fact riding the elevator or they had a compatriot hold the door open, thereby keeping everyone else from using the elevator--which last, come to think of it, might indeed have been a rather heavy-handed attempt to enforce this get-more-exercise thing.

So, guerilla personal-trainer tactics, or merely deliberate irony through conscious self-contradiction? Or worse, plain and simple unconscious self-contradiction?

(Wow. Instead of parentheses, this seems to be an Entry Full of Hyphens.)
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According to an email sent out by my school, "The Beaumont Foundation of America (BFA) is awarding grants of technology for undeserved individuals."

Upon first reading this, I couldn't figure out what the hell it might've originally said. When I checked out their website, I found they'd left out an R from a rather uncommon word.


Apr. 6th, 2004 06:35 pm
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A guy walking past me on campus today was saying to his friend, "So, I went to this Passover Seder last night that was basically all sorority chicks."

I couldn't hear what he said after that, but I wasn't sure I wanted to. The mental images are frightening.
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The latest piece of spam in my inbox reads "You Must be Stupid if You dont Sign up for a FREE Membership To Watch White Trash Girls Doing Big Black Meat for a Cigarette!"

Apparently their product is doing such a bad job of selling itself that they've had to resort to attacking people's sense of self-worth in much the same way those penis-enhancement folks have been doing. Somehow, I doubt shaming people into viewing pr0n will work nearly as well as shaming people into trying to enlarge their weenies--superficially related as those things might seem.

(Personally, I think they could improve their luck a lot more if they tried leaving out the cigarettes. I know I'd be more inclined to watch porn that didn't have cancer sticks in it.)


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