Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Greetings From Kiev, Email Scam--NSFW


Yesterday, my mother's email was hacked (again). I exchanged emails for a bit with the scammer. Personal contact information has been removed. I'm RJ writing in BOLD. Mel is the scammer in italics.        ____________________________________________________________________

 Greetings,

How are you doing? Please i need a great favor from you. Please reply as soon as you get this mail.

Mel



How is it going? I haven't heard from you in a long time. Is it my feet? What can I do for you?

Hope you are well. Byeeeeee!

RJ



Good to hear from you. I'm sorry to bother you with this but it is a bad time for me . I had to make a sudden trip to Ukraine due to some urgent matters to help my sick sister, she was diagnosed with (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) a type of Blood Cancer and had been undergoing treatment lately. The news of her illness arrived to me as an emergency.

The hospital management is demanding for a deposit before they can carry out the surgery operation to save her life and I traveled down here with little money because I never expected things to be the way it is right now. Can you assist me with a loan of $1,850 USD or any amount you can afford at the moment? I'll surely pay back as soon as I get back home.

Please, let me know if you can be of help so I can advise on how to transfer the funds. I’ll be happy to hear from you soon regarding my request and please remember to keep this private.

Mel


[Scammer attached photo/scan of my mother's passport, which must have been in her email]




Hello Mel,

Oh my goodness! What horrible news! I nearly burst into tears! Nearly! Your poor, poor sister. She must be out of her mind to be in Ukraine! "People that live there are absolutely nuts," is something my Russian neighbors tell me. "Ukraine is full of gay wolverines," my Slovenian neighbors will chime in.

I always like to ask a series of questions when I'm surprised with tragic news like this. Here it goes: Are you able to fly your sister home? Where in Ukraine are you? How is the porridge there? Incredible I bet. Do you think your sister will make it? Can I have her TV if no? Why do I have to keep this news private? I will do my best but I've already told Linda, my coworker, who has a big mouth but not about this. She promised.

How can I get you money ASAP? Please tell me it's through Western Union. Please! I have some money but I'm afraid only about $1,000. Will that do for now? Maybe Linda has a few bucks she can lend me. I bought the lady coffee this morning and listen to her complain about her ex-husband for Christ's sake.

Lymphoblasticly yours,

RJ



Thanks for your response, please proceed with he amount you have at the moment i will explain everything to you when i get back home. The fastest means of getting the money to me now is via Western union Money Transfer or Money-Gram Transfer. You can have it wired to my name via any Western Union Or Money Gram Outlet around.

All you need is the name on my passport and location below.

Receiver Name:
[Mel]
Location: 1, Andriya Malyshko Street, kiev ukraine
State: Kiev
Post Code :02192
Country :Ukraine

As soon as it has been done kindly attach the transfer receipt to me which is all i will need to pick up the money here.

Please let me know if you are heading out now.

Waiting to read from you.

Mel


Hello Mel,

Thank you for the quick email as I also was waiting to read from you! Reading from you is giving me life, pure life!

I am dashing out the door this moment to see if I can get to a Western Union before they close. I do have some bad news however--not Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia-type-bad-news, but Linda spilled the beans! I was out getting a drink of water and I passed by her whispering to Jeremy. I overheard words like "Ukraine" and "sick sister" and I knew she was not keeping things private like you asked. And Jeremy has a really big mouth and also is a sex idiot. There's no telling how many people he'll share the news of your sister's illness with during pillow talk. For example, after coitus one night he told me that our boss Just-For-Mens his chest hair. Can you believe that?! Oh the fuckery of it all!

I'm seeing if I can get more than $1,000 but it could take me a few days. I fully trust you and hope I can help your sister out, even if it means selling all of my roommate's belongings on the Black Market! Have you asked other people for money? I'm sure we'd all be willing to give whatever we can. I've never wired money before. Hope I don't run into any trouble.

Do you have any idea what kind of treatment they are giving your sister in that backwards country? Can you give me the number of the hospital? What's the doctor's name? Maybe I can just give the hospital my credit card--or are they not that advanced in Ukraine? Oh, please be careful! I'm worried sick and don't know how much Netflix I'll be able to binge tonight under these conditions.

I'll send you a receipt of the transfer as soon as I get it. How fast do you need it? Probably pretty fast I suspect. Please send me news when you can. In the meantime, these have always brought me luck!













Irrationally yours and ready to part with my money,

RJ



Thanks for your love and concern towards my predicament i wish i could call you but am unable to secure an Ukrainian number yet since i didn't plan to stay long here, Please i don have much access to the internet proceed with the transfer once is done kindly get back to me with the transfer details or receipt so that i will be able to pick it up here.

Awaiting for the transfer details.

Mel



Messy Mel,

I do love your predicament and am concerned, mostly about your English. You didn't catch your sister's Leukemia I hope! I hear that the Ukrainian variety of this blood disease gets into your bones and goes straight to your grammar vortex. I'd get checked out or you'll go the way of your sister faster than a Ukrainian Gypsy can hex you for throwing hot tea in her face!

I'm afraid the Western Union is closed for the night! What a terrible turn of events, but still better than being laid up in Kiev with a cute blood disease.

Can I send you money in the morning? Are you safe? Keeping your sister calm? What have the doctors told you?

Please send some good news that I promise to keep all to myself this time. I'm a worried wart over here! Should I fly there to see you?

RJ

P.S. What do you think of this lipstick? Be honest.























Good morning dahling,

I had a good night rest. I dreamt I was a rack of lamb and Al Roker was basting me with herb sauce.

Western Union won't open for a few hours. Just checking to make sure you are doing alright. I'm so worried about you and your sister with a type of blood cancer (How many types are there?--I'm placing bets). Please let me know that everything is alright.

Awaiting for the details of number of types of blood cancer.

RJ



Please let me once you are done with the transfer i don't have much access to the internet keep me posted as soon as it's done.

Mel



Hello my little polyp,

What information do you need exactly? Does Western Union call you when my no-strings-attached money comes through? Do they give you cash?

When did you go to Ukraine? Didn't you think to bring money or did you dart out the door in your Spanx and curlers the moment you heard of your sister's cute blood cancer? Seems hasty if I'm being honest.

RJ

P.S. I'm growing out my mustache. Thoughts? Don't flatter me.





....end of exchange....


Friday, May 20, 2016

Insensitive to Sensitivity

(Morning, busy office. People are running around prepping for an event.)

(I unfurl two tablecloths and inspect them. Administrative Assistant, Brownie, wearing a maxi dress with not-matching hot pink sweater, walks by with an arm full of catalogues.) 

Brownie: (speaking in a baby voice) Ooo, dose are nice. What'er they for?

Me: (rushing) They are going to be table covers for [a big event]. I'm in charge of the volunteers selling merchandise and we added an extra table...soooo, I needed another tablecloth. (starts to exit)

Brownie: (normal voice) I have a black tablecloth if you need one.

Me: I don't. Thank you, but I think I'm fine with these ones. They need to match.

Brownie: Mine is nice. It's, I think, 6 or 8 feet. Though, maybe it's 9--

Me: I'm okay. I don't need it. But thanks for the offer.

Brownie: I got it a few months ago for the office, you know, just in case we need it for stuff like baby showers or office parties--

Me: Thank you but no thank you. (exits)

(An hour later. Co-worker Mabel comes to my desk. I'm typing furiously on my computer.)

Mabel: (hushed) What did you do to Brownie?

Me: Did I do something?

Mabel: She said she was trying to help you and you just walked away.

Me: What? This morning? She was asking if I needed a tablecloth and I didn't need one.

Mabel: Well, maybe you should apologize. She's working very hard you know.

(I go visit Brownie's desk. She's pouting whilst eating yogurt.)

 Me: Hi Brownie. Sorry if I was short with you this morning.

Brownie: (mouth full of yogurt) I was just trying to tell you about my tablecloth and you didn't care!

Me: I told you I didn't need your tablecloth but thank you for offering.

Brownie: I was trying to be helpful and you didn't even want to hear what I had to say. I'm dealing with all these expense reports and I have to do Mary's transmittal forms and I don't even have time to take a lunch. I was here this morning at 6:30 just so I could catch up on emails and reply to voicemails.

Me: Tell me about your tablecloth.

Brownie: If you don't want to hear about it you don't have to hear about it. I'll tell somebody who will listen.

Me: Well, I don't want to hear about it, but if you want to tell me about it I will stand here and listen.

Brownie: That's okay. It's a really great tablecloth though. You're missing out.

Me: (mustering every bit of energy to look happy) Is it plain black?

Brownie: Yes. It's great and no one has used it yet and it cost, like (whispering) $300. I think it's 6 or 8 feet--.

BLACKOUT




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

ALC 2016: 75 Days Left, 13% of Goal


THANK YOU
It's been roughly two weeks since I've updated and wanted to give a much overdue thank you to my sister, Lisa, for her donation bringing me to 13% of my goal. I have to start kicking my fundraising efforts into overdrive as I'm a lot further behind than I should be. And if you care, once I reach my first $1,000 I'm going to change the gif above. Sooooo, if you are feeling generous and would like to skip a fancy dinner out, pass on a new pair of kicks, cancel your honeymoon and use that money for my ride--you can give it to me by CLICKING HERE.

RAINING RAIN AND TRAINING
If you've been in Northern California in the last two weeks, chances are you've experienced rain falling from the sky. That has kept me from actual rides but not from training (Spin). I've been hitting Spin class like it's my job to make sure I'm not falling behind. I've even had to suck it up and go to that class with the instructor that hounds everyone to smile, smile, smile.

This Saturday was my first ride and one I've not done before. It wasn't really a pretty ride, but it was so cool and wound through all the industrial parts of the Carquinez Straights. We started in Orinda, through Pinole, out to NuStar Energy, Crockett, over the Carquinez Bridge (which, I didn't know you could ride over on a bike), into Vallejo, over to Benicia and across the Benicia/George Miller Jr. Memorial Bridge (which, I didn't know you could ride over on a bike), Martinez, Concord, Pleasant Hill, etc. etc. etc. It was 60 miles ya'll and it felt great! I made new friends and when I got home Jon treated me to Korean dinner. So worth the soreness the following morning.

Early ride out, 5:30 am, Julia is very clingy in the morning.

Crockett, first rest stop.

PUSH POINT
There's a term I've heard in Spin class a lot -- push point. It's a point in which you are making an effort to spin the wheels, a point in which you can actually feel yourself working, but not exerting yourself. It's also different for everyone. My push point is not your push point.

I've thought a lot about this idea lately and have been trying to quantitate it without much success. Instead I've developed my own scale as it relates to my different states:
  • -5 -- MAKE EXCUSES, BLAME OTHERS
  • -4 -- BED SORES, DORITOS FOR BREAKFAST
  • -3 -- AWAKE BEFORE NOON, FEED KIDS
  • -2 -- SHOWER, PUT ON CLOTHES, GO TO STORE
  • -1 -- READ THE NEWS
  • PUSH POINT -- GO TO WORK/GO HOME
  • +1 -- MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS, BREATHE, BE PRESENT
  • +2 -- CALL YOUR MOTHER, MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR, VOLUNTEER
  • +3 -- GIVE THANKS, BE GRATEFUL, PICK GARBAGE UP OFF THE GROUND
  • +4 -- COMMIT RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS, EXPECT NOTHING IN RETURN
  • +5 -- BE THE POSITIVE CHANGE YOU WANT NO MATTER WHAT

WAYS TO GIVE

  • Online: Give to my ride online by clicking here
  • Post: Print form by clicking here and mail donation to:
    AIDS/LifeCycle
    c/o San Francisco AIDS Foundation
    1035 Market St, Suite 400
    San Francisco, CA 94103

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

ALC 2016: 96 Days Left, 11% of Goal


 

THANK YOU
I'm in double digit percentages of my goal!--And all my donors this week were from couples. Thank you Cori Cunningham and Lauri Jones, Nicola and Jim Foley, and Chrissy and Rich Haring! I'm working harder every day to condition myself for this ride and deeply appreciate your support.

Our route, 40 miles.

TRAINING
I rode a considerably easier route this week--40 miles in Tiburon. Last week's route was 48 miles and believe me, there will be a day soon when I dream of only doing 48 miles. But for now, 40 miles feels right and something I can build on.

I found this guy who thinks about his routes by what animal he wants to "ride"
...maybe something I can aspire to.

SPIN and SMILING/NOT SMILING
Besides the actual training rides, I'm in the gym 2-3 times a week for Spin. I'm not really a fan of Spin classes but it's a good way for riders to build up endurance. This week, I went to a more advanced class, which is almost all climbs and a real challenge for where I'm at in my training. The instructor, who was there two years ago when I was a regular Spinner remembered me by name and called me out multiple times on her headset for not smiling.

I'm not really a smiley person in that when I'm walking down the street I'm not just naturally smiling. Am I angry? No. I'm just not smiling. But especially when hunched over a sticky bike, trying not to vomit in my mouth, I'm not smiling. Here's how I remember the class:

(Spin class is in session. Floors are slick with sweat. Sour body odor hangs in the air. Loud trance music with lots of distortion is pumping through speakers. The instructor rides in front of a determined class. She screams into her headset, which is somehow much louder than the already cranked music.)

Instructor: (screaming into headset) ALRIGHT, IF YOU'RE NOT ON LEVEL 9 RIGHT NOW, GET ON THERE. FOLLOW MY PACE. (Riders in class are breathing hard, barely able to keep up.) RYAN!!! I DON'T SEE YOU SMILING!! (I smile as best I can, making sure she sees me.) YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO BETTER THAN THAT! (I flash an exaggerated grin.) OUTTA THE SADDLES! PUSH IT PEOPLE! RYAN!!! WHERE IS THAT SMILE? I WANT YOUR SMILE ON A LEVEL 9, YOU'RE NOT EVEN GIVING ME A PUSH POINT SMILE. YOU MISERABLE EXCUSE FOR A RIDER, YOU SHOULD BE PEDALING SO FAST YOUR BIKE BUSTS OUT OF THAT STATIONARY STAND AND BREAKS THROUGH THE WALL--ALL WHILE YOU ARE SMILING. I WANT YOUR WHEELS CREATING FIRE, ENOUGH TO EVAPORATE ALL THIS SWEAT AND STEAM THE HELL OUT OF THESE WALLS, AND THROUGH THAT STEAM I WANT TO SEE YOU SMILESMILESMILESMILE!!!

BLACKOUT

Tom and I at Chrissy Fields,
just before the bridge. (PC Tom)

WAYS TO GIVE

  • Online: Give to my ride online by clicking here
  • Post: Print form by clicking here and mail donation to:
    AIDS/LifeCycle
    c/o San Francisco AIDS Foundation
    1035 Market St, Suite 400
    San Francisco, CA 94103

Monday, February 22, 2016

ALC 2016: 104 Days Left, 7% of Goal


THANK YOU
Ooooboy, am I in it now! Very sore but also energized today to get to gettin'. But first, HUGE thank you to Katy Streeter, Heather Forest and Sarah Morgan for donating to my ride. My body has been fighting me every step toward training and these contributions make it hard for me to turn back. Thank you all for the encouragement and support!

TRAINING
After a cold set my training back a few weeks, I jumped into it full force. Spinning, Spinning, Spinning and then yesterday a much bigger training ride than I was ready for. I met my riding buddy, Tom, out in Orinda for what I thought would be a short cruise by a field of cows. No. It was a 48 mile hilly struggle that has me creaking and grunting like an old man today. When I got home Jon presented me with flowers:

Jon: (holding up flowers) I'm so proud of you!

Me: (barely standing) Thank you. I just want to take a shower and get out of these clothes.

Jon: What can I do?

Me: Can you whisper poetry into my ass.

Jon: (wincing) That is maybe the weirdest and grossest thing you have ever said to me.

Not true. I've said much weirder and grosser things. I'm sure of it. In the many training rides to come, I know I will look back on this and remember how easy it was.

About to set out.

EATING

I'd forgotten how ravenous training makes me--like almost inhuman. At lunch on the training ride we stopped at Lunardi's. They make huge, and in my opinion, over-priced sandwiches. But good. Tom and I both got tuna and a medium bag of chips. Just about every rider (there were 50 on our ride) got a sandwich. We sat around the front of the store and chatted while we ate. Many riders remarked, "These sandwiches are huge. How am I going to finish this?" Meanwhile my sandwich, in its entirety, and a bag of chips, and part of Tom's chips, and another rider's bag of chips were digesting happily in my gut. NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM!

BE CAREFUL
My thoughts go out to the rider this weekend who got into a nasty accident and is in a coma. I don't know any details but it happened on the same ride I rode Sunday. I don't take lightly how dangerous it can be out on those roads. I've seen people have nasty spills and have even fallen myself. Ride safe. Drive safe. Be safe.

GIF
My tribute to Scalia.


WAYS TO GIVE

  • Online: Give to my ride online by clicking here
  • Post: Print form by clicking here and mail donation to:
    AIDS/LifeCycle
    c/o San Francisco AIDS Foundation
    1035 Market St, Suite 400
    San Francisco, CA 94103

Monday, February 15, 2016

ALC 2016: 111 Days Left, 3% of Goal


For the past 5 days, I've been under gray cats and blankets, sick as a dog. I've watched more Netflix than Netflix has to offer. I've drank every stink tea a hippie store could sell. It's been rough and no, I've not done a lick of training this week for the ride. I'm feeling discouraged but that's all on me. Won't you help a sick rider in need?

BUT, I do have something else to share! An uncomfortable and gross email from the office! I really shouldn't be sharing this but it kills me not to. So here you go:



From:  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Sent: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
To: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Cc: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Subject: Notice of Unpleasantness in >>>>>>>> Envelope
Sensitivity: Confidential

 
Hi >>>>> and all:


I’d like us to keep the following information CONFIDENTIAL as not to
cause too much “chatter” about this incident.


>>>>> advised me that she received an >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> envelope from someone today who placed nothing but human hair in the envelope. Looks like could be pubic hair or hair from a very personal space. Ick.


Understandably we don’t want to investigate the contents too much more close up as it is very disturbing. I have asked for some gloves to be brought over from Chemistry so my gift processing staff can use them as protection while opening the mail from here on in should they choose to do so.


I am telling you all this because I want it to go on record that the
person or person(s) who sent the letter wrote: “From >>>>>! and the
boys” on the envelope in the return address area. The return address
was given as >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>. The address seems to be bogus but
they got the area and zip code right. They also wrote “>>>>>>>>>>>!”
on the envelope so it seemed like a donation would be within. However,
it was a trick to get us to open.


I just wanted to make sure >>>> knows about it so he can be aware and members of your staff to be on the lookout for anything from “>>>>>> and the Boys!” in the future. Including >>>>>> on this in case she sees anything in the mail from this return address in the future.


Kind regards,

>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 


Also, whilst medicine-induced, I taught myself how to animate. Random? Yes. Lookout Skywalker Ranch, I'm coming for you!

Valentine's Day cartoon for Jon (instead of flowers).

Logo for Camp Rewind, a summer
music camp  for grown ups.
www.rewind.camp

WAYS TO GIVE

  • Online: Give to my ride online by clicking here
  • Post: Print form by clicking here and mail donation to:
    AIDS/LifeCycle
    c/o San Francisco AIDS Foundation
    1035 Market St, Suite 400
    San Francisco, CA 94103

Tuesday, February 9, 2016