Thursday, April 23, 2009

Amusing Spam

Beyond emails that assure me that they can increase the size of my manhood, I found a real gem today. It was an ad for religious schools. Whomever sent the email asserted that they could help me find a college that supported my faith.

Poor bastards never stood a chance in my faithless world.

Maybe that's not as funny as I thought.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In Restless Dreams

Jazz here... once again awakened like a shot in the dark by the same damned dream I've been having for three straight nights.

We're in the past. Georg and I are not married yet, but the day is drawing close fast. There are problems with the arrangements... nothing serious, like place settings or something, but it's one of the few things that I'm responsible for and I've not worked it out yet. But instead of the rental where we were actually residing, we're living on the third floor of the middle school I attended while growing up. It's an old, fifties era, blockish red brick affair. But the third floor has been converted to apartments in an almost college dorm style, with sets of three apartments opening up onto one joint lounge / entry area. Oh, and in real life, one end of the school wasn't jutting out into this dark, oily body of water (think of the tarn in Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher" for imagery) coated with a slight greenish scum on the surface.

So we're in the lounge area in front of our apartment - me, Georg, her friend Sheri, and some black guy I don't recognize. He's a real sleazeball, with the too baggy pants, hat on wrong, bling chains... the works. I don't know who he is, but I know he's a criminal. Unfortunately, he's also a friend of Sheri's, apparently, so I've been informed that I have to tolerate him. We're talking about some detail of the wedding plans, but there's this pay phone ringing in the lounge and NOBODY is making any move to answer it. (For you younger, cell phone generation kids, there used to be phones in public places with the handset attached to the main body of the phone by a wire. You'd put a quarter into a slot on top of the phone and you could make calls.) It just keeps ringing and ringing and ringing.

Finally I'm exasperated and I storm over to answer it. Nobody there. In fact, nothing at all - no sound of somebody breathing, no clicks, not even a dial tone. I realize that the phone is, in fact, dead. For some reason it doesn't strike me as odd that it was ringing. But that's also when I realize that I need to make a phone call to work very badly. There's something important going on and I can't afford to lose my job now, particularly just when I'm about to get married. The slick looking black guy informs me that I should probably use the phone on the roof at the far end of the building over the water. Amazingly, this also fails to strike me as odd.

Now I'm on the roof, but the building isn't exactly square in shape any longer. It's got those rounded, tower like attachments at the corners such as you see on medieval castles. This has the effect of allowing you to look down from the roof and see the corner of the main building below you at a sharp angle. There, on the outside of the third floor, next to some painted over windows, is another pay phone attached to the wall of the building. And it's ringing. The same ringing I heard in the lounge. Now I have got to answer the damn thing. And I still need to call my office, too.

I jump lightly, almost cat-like, and land on a narrow, decorative brick ledge which encircles the building below the third floor windows. Using the word "ledge" is being generous. There's barely room for my toes and the balls of my feet. I make the jump easily and am momentarily proud of my athletic prowess. I grab hold of the pay phone to catch my balance and lift up the receiver. A recorded woman's voice, pleasant and helpful, says, "The IRS has detected recent work performed in another area code..." (Here the recording breaks for a moment and is replaced by the voice of a different woman who obviously recorded herself saying all of the individual numbers) "Two. One. Two." (it switches back to the original recording) "We have now added this area code to your cell phone for your convenience." Holy crap! I've got a cell phone! What the hell am I doing using a pay phone stuck the outside of a three story building???

(In waking life I just returned from a two day business trip to Manhattan, so I guess that's where that came from.)

I'm reaching for some change in my pocket to call my office when the unstable nature of my current position finally hits me. It's a long way down to the water... much farther than it should have been. The mortar between the bricks of the tiny ledge I'm perched on is crumbly and old. The rusty bolts holding the pay phone to the wall (which I've only just now noticed) look very insecure and the body of the phone is rocking back and forth a bit. A slight breeze has come up, rippling the oily waters of the tarn below. I'm in trouble.

I turn and look back where I came from... the edge of the roof above. It's a fair gap, but I can probably make the jump. I look down. If the water is deep, I'd probably survive the fall into it. But I have no idea how deep or shallow it might be. Visions of ancient masonry fallen from the building and lurking a foot or so under the surface come to mind. This won't do at all.

I turn my attention back to the ledge. Behind me, the bolts on the pay phone are creaking. They're going to give way in a moment. I have no choice. I jump for the edge of the roof. It's a lot further than it looked. I'm clearly not going to catch the edge.

And I wake up.

So, are any of you expert dream analysts? It's taken a few runs of this for me to remember all of the details upon awakening, but tonight I got up to set them all in my mind and logged on here to jot them all down. What does it mean?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Free Giving - What?

Today I got an email from Crate and Barrel saying that they were giving me 25 dollars to give away to I didn't get the money of I didn't immediately give it away to the charity that they named. Unbreakable strings attached.

Donor's Choice seems like an interesting place. I logged on, read about some projects that were requesting funding, and tossed Crate & Barrel's 25 bucks at a program to help kids learn to read.

So it's publicity, really. I might not have known that Crate & Barrel was donating to this group if they hadn't made me look around the website. Kind of slick. I feel as if I've been tricked into helping someone by an adorable bunny or something.

It's weird.