Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I've been meaning to post this for the past few days and am now just getting around to it.

While most of us 'net savvy folks are smart enough to spot a phishing attempt from a mile off, there are some scams that are a little less obvious. Apparently the "excess funds scam" is a classic hustle being perpetrated on craigslist users.

I'm trying to unload some Pottery Barn furniture online and within a few hours of posting the ad to craigslist, I got the following email:

From: Richard Beks (

Would like to know if the item is still available for sale, its condition and price you would offer me??

Await Your Response.

Seeing as that most of the information that the guy requested was available in the posting (not to mention the sketchy grammar), I thought this seemed a little fishy, or more to the point, a little phishy. Thus, I responded with the following:

From: brigita
Hi Richard--The item is still available. All of the other info is in the listing. Thanks!

Again, within a few minutes I got this:

Well, i'm okay with the condition and price also ready for purchase. I could make payment via my business or personal check which could be cashed instantly or deposited for clearance so you can be rest assured all is okay before the pick up.

I'll be responsible for the pick-up and the movers fee will be included in your payment to avoid delay, cost of postage and to enable them schedule an appropriate time for the pick-up at your location as i have other properties to be moved.

Would love to view it but i'm afraid that might not be possible due to my work frame. Do send me more pictures of it. If you're okay with the plans do write back to me with your full name and address including your cell and land number so i can make out payment.
Hoping to read from you!

Payment by check? "Rest assured," you say? Sold! Except not.

There are no pictures in my ad (too lazy to take them without any expressed interest) and I said that they were somewhat damaged, so the fact that this guy was ok with buying a couple of relatively inexpensive items sight unseen and then have them shipped by movers when my ad expressly requests local pick-up only were some of the bigger red flags for me.

After this email exchange, I did a little googling to discover that "Richard Beks" has used that very name to try to scam other people in the past.

Apparently what these people do is send you a check that is far in excess of the amount of the item, with the requirement that you pay the movers, who you pay out of pocket, but then your bank contacts you to say that the buyer's check bounced or that the checks were stolen or some other nonsense.

I stopped emailing the guy but would love to get him in trouble without sticking my neck out too far. I'm wondering if I can report him to AOL (since one of the two addresses he used was theirs--who uses AOL any more anyways?) or if my local police can set up a sting (which would be so SWEET).

Anyone else have experience in this department?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another Lame-o Bullet Point Post

  • The only thing better than thrift shopping on 99¢ day? Finding a $10 bill in your cart on 99¢ day!
  • Vi has been occasionally singing the alphabet song (and correctly, at least to the well-trained ear), but the thing is you can't prompt her to do it, you have to catch her doing it. She was also batting about .800 on correctly identifying her letters in her ABC book last night (as in, when I ask her what letter "this" is, she would reply "G" or "R.").
  • As brainiac coincidences go, we were preschool shopping this past weekend. We've decided to apply to the two (of the three I saw) that had the best teachers. The fact that they're also the least expensive of the three is a bonus.
  • Keeping with the brainiac theme, I just burnt my tongue on some wickedly hot lentil soup.
Clearly, Violet gets her genius from me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Probably Would Have Left it on Too Long, Anyway

After making an early evening grocery run last night, I noticed that my Obama car magnet was no longer affixed to the rear of my car.

I'm not exactly sure when the magnet went missing--it could very well be lying in my slush-edged driveway right now--but I figure there are two possible explanations for its disappearance: (1) it was either permanently borrowed by someone jumping on the Obama bandwagon about a year too late or (b) it was nicked by a sore loser.

Either way, color me amused.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Check Out Those Sideburns!

From the depths of my neglected Flickr account:

Violent Femmes Concert, Seattle Summer 2005.

Back when our hair was as carefree as the rest of our lives... Ah, good times.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hope I Can Believe In

...Hope that she's actually going to go to sleep in a few minutes, unlike my two aborted attempts at naps earlier today...

[via DCoE]

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Four Days and a Wakeup*

Maybe it's the Kool-Aid** talking, but this headline (and first few lines of the story) made me cry:

Obama tells daughters he ran for president for them, all children.

People, the long, long winter of our collective discontent is finally drawing to a close.

*As we used to say in the Nav.
** Or the hormones? Please?

This is Simply Unacceptable

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

One for the FUCKING SHIT Files

A woman that writes one of the cancer blogs I follow has started in-home hospice.

She, and her family, is/are preparing for death.

Sweet merciful crap, stop monkeying around with inventing better and faster boner drugs and find a cure already.

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart Stimulate the Economy

...but retailers just. Won't. LET ME.

We've had these quote unquote bedside tables since getting our bed which we purchased shortly after getting married. The tables aren't tables at all, they're trunks, but they were shown at the side of the bed in question in the Pottery Barn catalog, so like a good little Stepford-bot, I bought them.

While purty, they have been driving us nuts--one of us more than the other--since getting them, as they are short, and while good for storing bed linens, aren't worth much with respect to hiding my nighttime sundries (moisturizer, lip stuff, etc.).

After much store and soul searching, I finally find a worthy replacement:
Ah, what did I ever do before Target?

The answer to that, of course, is unnecessarily spend an assload of money at Pottery Barn.

They matched the bed's wood and general scheme, were the right price, and I had a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket. I bought a pair.

A few days after buying them, I received an email saying that while one table was en route, the second was seriously delayed. Since we had waited this long for new night stands, what was a few more months?

The first table arrived and while it was pretty, its cheap construction left much to be desired. Still, the drawers would provide lots of good--if not linen--storage and, most importantly, Jody liked it.

Today, the other shoe dropped. Target emailed me to say that the table as not available from "any of their sources" [in China] and that the remainder of my order is cancelled. Of course, I'm entirely put out, having to return the one table we do have and come up with another pair we can live with.

Hopefully that won't take another seven years.

Today's To Done List

  • Brought coffee, fixins, and eco-friendly containers to co-op day care. The other moms lurve me!
  • Dug out our driveway after returning from co-op to see all the snow the plows had thrown in there. Bitchcakes!
  • During Violet's going on 3.5h nap (yes, I know how spoiled I am), wrote the first draft of a pitch letter.
Mama isn't gainfully employable and desperately needs to start executing Operation: Pleatherbound.

Oh and PS, it's currently 2F. I bet you're a little less envious of me now, eh?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Thrifting Gods Giveth...

...and taketh away.

I've been on the hunt for a wool hat and mittens set and was pretty excited to find one at Goodwill yesterday, right on top of the hat pile. It was a block of black with small snowflakes on top of a charcoal grey block, meaning it would match all of my coats (don't deviate much from the black-grey-white pallete).

Too bad I went on post-thrift laundry autopilot and just threw it all in the wash together.

I don't think it would even fit Violet now it's so shrunken, even after soaking it in solutions each of hair conditioner (wool is hair after all), borax, and mild soap. BOO.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ponce de Leon, Constantly On

Stop the presses--I've discovered a foolproof way to feeling younger, if not looking younger.

Turn off The Real World.

DAMN those seven eight (WTF?) strangers are fetuses.

Facebook Killed the Blogging Star

I realized the other day that lately I've been making mental notes for clever Facebook status updates rather than blog posts, which has resulted in my only giving super condensed updates over @ FB and neglecting this here blog. So, here's the latest from Southern Canada:

Yesterday, Violet and I came home to a cold house. Now, I do tend to lower the thermostat when I know we're going to be gone for more than an hour, but this was even colder than that. After putting Vi down for a nap, I fiddled with the thermostat and furnace long enough to realize that I wasn't going to be able to fix the problem on my own.

Fortunately, the first heating company I called was able to dispatch a repair person (okay, repairMAN) within the hour. Turns out that the fuse had blown on the furnace because the filter was plugged full of dust and lint. Guess I forgot to replace the filter after our epic duct cleaning. Oops.

While that was a moderately expensive lesson in remembering such mundane tasks, it was somewhat offset by the fact that air filters were on sale at the local hardware store...ok, maybe not so much offset, but I'm all set for filters for the remainder of winter, provided it ends somewhere before or around April, but this is Wisconsin, so it could be Memorial Day before the final snow drift has slushed away.

I had said something on FB a few days ago about being on the cusp of getting fat. Now, I may have exaggerated a bit there, but it is nice to not see my ribcage or feel like my pelvis is jutting out like a rack of moose antlers.

I do need to watch it with the cookies and truffles (damn you Whole Paycheck!) since the Puerto Rico countdown will be starting soon...I know it's not metabolically possible to change fat to muscle, but I am hoping to firm things up before heading to America Adjacent next month.

Sadly, my ass has failed to respond favorably to my junk food diet.

Finally, I am officially outing myself: I am planning to write a book*.

I know, I know--I might as well join the ranks of the other 75% of people who think they have the next Great American Novel hidden away inside of them somewhere, but I've got a unique angle (young pescatarian mom gets coloRECTAL cancer!), a fairly good outline, and a title (to be revealed later).

Now I just need to put together a proposal (my self-imposed deadline is to have a rough draft by the time we leave for PR) and get my foot into a publisher's door.

This is where you, my fair, loyal (and pretty. Did I mention pretty?) readers, come in. If anyone out there in the InternEther should have a connection to folks in publishing, I would be forever in your debt if you could either point me their way or direct them to the old blog.

On that note, I'm going to go pick up a copy of Book Writing for Dummies.

*Or two, actually.

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's Amazing How Much More Relaxed the 2nd Year Is

Is just fed Violet [apparently] expired cereal but it's organic, so don't the two pretty much cancel each other out?

ETA: I might be so relaxed since Violet slept in until EIGHT THIRTY this morning. And here I thought I couldn't sleep past seven any more! Sometimes I am very, very happy to be proven wrong.