i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on
Heroin... or Death?
July 4, 2008
This morning I got an email from some jackass referring to himself as Timothy Stuff. Already intrigued by the subject line: "Hi Moira Buy Heroin, cocaine and other shit from timothystuff," since, you know, I buy all of my illegal drugs online, I opened the email to read the following:
"Welcome to the site timothystuff dot com, it's us again, now we extended our offerings,
here is a list:
1. Heroin, in liquid and crystal form.
2. Rocket fuel and Tomohawk rockets (serious enquiries only).
3. Other rockets (Air-to-Air), orders in batches of 10.
4. New shipment of cocaine has arrived, buy 9 grams and get 10th for free.
5. We also offer gay-slaves for sale, we offer only such service on the NET,
you can choose the one you like, then get straight to business.
6. Fake currencies, such as Euros and US dollars, prices would match competition.
Everyone is welcome, be it in States or any other place worldwide.
ATTENTION. Clearance offer. Buy 30 grams of heroin, get 5 free.
Prepay your batch of rockets (air-to-air) and recieve a portable rocket-lacuncher
Transfer money to our account and call phone number below:
Bank name: Five Star Bank
ACH Routing: 022304030
Contact us NOW:
If you think you are receiving this message in an error - call here to unsubscribe - 1-585-237-3346
You can buy it from my local address:
12 Genesee St,
Timothy Sinclair Stuff."
Rampant misspellings aside, I was thrilled to know that I could buy both liquid and crystal heroin, tomahawk missiles, and gay sex slaves all from the same dealer. Screw all that calling around, I'm going straight to Timothy for all my, uh, stuff.
Yeah. Right. I immediately dismissed the email as some sort of weirdo spam and ignored it. Only, a few hours later, I got this one from the same person:
"I am very sorry for you Moira, is a pity that this is how your life is
going to end as soon as you don't comply. As you can see there is no need
of introducing myself to you because I don't have any business with you,
my duty as I am mailing you now is just to KILL you and I have to do it
as I have already been paid for that.
But I give you a chance. Call my neighbor 315-678-2789 and say password "there is time to save my skin" and if that would sound convincing, I will forget about you.
Tell him this password for Timothy Sinclair (be sure it is not my real name).
WARNING: DO NOT THINK OF CONTACTING THE POLICE OR EVEN TELLING ANYONE
BECAUSE I WILL KNOW."
Freaky, right? Lucky for me, I'm currently out of the state, so even if Timothy "Killer" Sinclair showed up at my house looking to put a hit on my ass, he'd find only my roomies (sorry, guys!) and my cat.
At first, I racked my brain trying to think of who might be angry enough with me to pay a hitman. Was it my fella, annoyed at not being able to hit this until I got back to Providence? Nah, that didn't make sense... he coulda spend his dime on a pros instead of a killer. Had someone overhead me talking shit on his or her ass and decided to end my gossipy ways once and for all? Maybe, just maybe, that fella from whom I stole an accordion before screaming at him over the phone that he was, and I quote, a "junky asshole" managed to scrounge up enough cash to order the hit? Nah... he's way too cheap for that.
So, I thought, duh, google the asshole.
Apparently some sort of Independence Day prank, Mr. Timothy Stuff Sinclair, has been sending out these emails all day. Respondents on Whocalled.us have determined that the sicko hacked into Monster.com and used that information to send out these rather scary emails.
Anyone else out there get it? Seems a lot of people on the net did. Chances are that enough people out there have already reported this email to get the sender in some serious trouble, but you can report the incident to both the Internet Crime Complaint Center and your local FBI office:
3311 East Carson St.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203
Or, you could just call the phone numbers listed in the ad from a blocked number and have a little fun of your own. Your call.
Christopher Walken Eats Babies
March 12, 2008
(x-posted from Literary Tease)
For many years, I've known that Christopher Walken was, in fact, a very advanced robot. He'd come from the future, in the age that came after the Death of Cinema (which came very shortly after The Fucken Apolocaylpse, ala Walmart Charges $100 for a Pack of Gum, circa 2012). But I didn't know why.
The Online Christopher Walken Fan Club claims that Christopher Walken admitted to being an alien: "Being raised in showbusiness, Walken often says he is from another planet. When we met him, he seemed like an Earthling as far as we could tell." A highly-evolved humanoid robot is more like it.
I knew it was bullshit. He was definitely a robot, and having people think he was an alien was a great cover. I knew something was fishy about the whole deal.
Now, I've figured it out. His mission, set forth unto by He That Remembered the Seeds in the Middle of Antartica, was to save the world. And how does one save the world but... that's right! Eating Babies!
Thank the Higher Powers that Christopher Walken is on this earth eating babies. Someone has got to eat the babies, and he is just the man* to start the movement because everyone knows he's creepy as hell, being the Angel of Death and all. (Actually, despite what the previous post might lead you to believe, Christopher Walken is -not- the Angel of Death. People just think it's clever to say that he is the Angel of Death, but it's not, since *he's a baby-munching robot from the future.)
Christopher Walken is creepy, but he's also one Bad Ass Mother. If anyone's got the sway to make the plebeians of the world eat all the babies they should, it's a Bad Ass Mother. If a BAMmy like Christopher Walken starts walking into restaurants, getting that VIP treatment, and ordering babies, the world will take notice, and you can bet your sweet ass that someone in that restaurant will bring the man the baby he wants, cooked however the hell he wants it.
("Medium-rare, side of bacon. Mashed potatoes, the red ones, with gravy, lots of it." - Arlene Mercutio, head waitress, Ruby Tuesday)
Soon, all the restaurants in town will be serving baby and the world's overpopulation problems will decline rapidly as lesser stars like Britney Spears and Michael Jackson (separate tables) start ordering the Christopher Walken Baby Specials that will be popping up in big cities across the States. It's only natural that the plebeians will see the tabloid pictures and copy the behavior. We really should thank Christopher Walken for his contribution to the human race.
I'll start the rousing cheer: "Thanks, Mr. Walken, sir, please don't eat my cats." (The cats are special to me. Babies? Not so much.)
On Becoming An Artist
March 3, 2008
(x-posted from literarytease.com)
I'm currently teaching jewelry design as a part of an afterschool program here in Providence. The class started last week, and so far, it's been a lot of fun. Unlike the last jewelry design class that I taught, this one gives me complete freedom to do whatever I want. For my last class, a syllabus had already been designed by the person who was supposed to teach the class. When that person backed out at the last minute, my lucky day, I was hired two days before the class started. Despite the fact that I had no formal training in jewelry, had never been in charge of a classroom, and had very little experience with kids, it was an amazing experience! The students loved me and loved the class, and I loved them and woke up on class days brighter than I did on non-class days. Despite that, the projects that we did weren't really my style of jewelry design.
My strength in jewelry design, and in most things non-jewelry, is creative thinking. Who wants to wear the same old thing that everyone else is wearing? Not me! Each piece that I design is completely one-of-a-kind, and my skills have vastly improved in the last few months, in part, due to the skills I needed to acquire in order to do my job! I was hired to teach a bead course, but my work with beads had been minimal. I bought a pair of crimp pliers, googled instructions online, and flew by the seat of my pants.
In many respects, this new line of work feels like exactly what I'm meant to be doing. Six years ago or so, I learned how to macramÃ© hemp necklaces. When the thrill of making the same old necklace over and over again wore off, I started imagining new ways to make hemp necklaces. I'd do double strands of hemp, and I invested in fancier beads that the plastic pony beads that got me started. I learned the macramÃ© was a huge to-do back in the day so I found "new" knotting techniques in old books, even learned a funky lacy kind of macramÃ© that I used to make an utterly fantastic belt, sadly a few sizes too small for me when it was finished. I experimented with colored hemp and started making my own pendants to use as focal points.
I got compliments on my jewelry on a daily basis. People started asking me where I'd got something, and I loved telling them that I made it myself. When people started offering to buy the necklaces right off my neck, I knew I'd hit on something big. My friend and I started a business, and we traveled to flea markets and craft shows to peddle our hempen wares. We both worked as waitresses and found quite a market in the food server crowd. I guess when you have to wear a uniform, you gotta add some oompf with jewelry -- worked for us! We even sold our creations on consignment in a local vintage-style clothing store and started a webpage. We probably would have continued with our venture, but things turned sour between my business partner and me when, a few months in, she decided to hook up with the man I'd been seeing. Business and pleasure don't mix, for sure, and we parted ways soon after. I'm not much for forgive and forget, I'm afraid.
A few years later, I started the CRAFT club at Seton Hill. Thanks to the sage words of our wonderful adviser, I began to think of all the crafty things I did just for fun as "art," which had always seemed to me a high-falutin' term. What I was doing wasn't art, I thought, just something fun for a rainy Sunday. It kept me busy at least, right? Once I started thinking about my "craft" as an "art," I got more into it. I went overboard, as I tend to with every new project, spending several hundred dollars on supplies in one long weekend, and I spent all my free time making cool stuff.
One day, I finally thought to myself, "Hell yeah I'm an artist!"
When I told my sister, she said, "Uh. Duh." Like she, and a lot of other people, had known something I hadn't. I'd always thought I could only be creative in one area -- like, if I was a good writer, I couldn't possibly be an artist, too. Instead, it seems the two go hand-in-hand, and negotiating the difference between the different types of creation, physical versus metaphorical, has strengthened my abilities in each.
Now here, I am, a jewelry design instructor, currently showing art work (aka my cool crafty jewelry) in not one but two different galleries, in two different states. If you had told me back when I first approached Maureen about being the CRAFT club adviser that I'd be living in Providence two years later, showing my jewelry in galleries, and teaching a course in the same, I'd have scoffed! And yet here I am. Funny how life works, eh? (P.S. Thanks, Maureen!)
My Friends @ Club Cafe!
January 3, 2008
I'm so excited for my friends Ali & Chuck! Their band, Lovebettie, is performing at Club Cafe tomorrow night. Shows starts at 7pm & costs $7. Here's a link:
P.S. Ali is a SHUster! ;c)
Full Circle - In Memory of My Dad
November 28, 2007
Last month, my father came to see me in Providence and we spent a long weekend together. We traveled to Plymouth to see the landing point of the pilgrims, and while we were there, he told me that he felt he had come full circle. When I was small and we still lived in England, we visited the launching point so he had visited both sides of the pilgrims journey. Something about the comment struck me, and after he left, I cried for an hour because I had a feeling that I would never see him again. I managed to convince myself that I was just being morbid, overly sentimental, but on Friday night, when I received the phone call from my mom, I knew what she was going to tell me before she could say the words.
My father died on Friday from a massive heart attack, and while I am still reeling from the shock of it, I wanted to share the poem that I wrote to read at his funeral this morning. My voice shook, but I managed to read the poem without crying. I know he would be proud. I wrote this poem to honor my father: poet, artist, writer, carpenter, coin collector, and so much more. I will miss him forever.
by Moira Anne Richardson
In Memory of Robert Norman Richardson
November 4, 1948 - November 23, 2007
I am the twinkle in your eyes,
Eternal laughter sparkling,
Strong and silent,
I will think of you,
in backyard apple blossoms
and falling leaves.
With the scent of fresh cut wood,
And of cigarettes, like the ones you never quit smoking,
even though we all knew that you should.
I will remember you,
Standing beside the ocean;
We collected rocks and shells,
Our memories of the sea,
Quiet man, what did you see
In the swells of rising water,
In the waves that crashed on the sand?
The words left unsaid
will haunt me,
So much that none of us can know.
Like two ships passing in a silent night,
but I know you were ready to go,
A journey come full circle.
You were a pilgrim,
An explorer of the unknown,
Traveled from Scotland to Plymouth,
Following a childhood dream
Of crossing the ocean
And beside you,
Your last glance at the sea,
I with you.
My New Passion: Jewelry Design for Kids
November 8, 2007
I haven't blogged about my latest job, mostly, I think, because I've been so busy doing it. I got hired at the end of September to teach jewelry design at a local middle school in Providence. I still can't believe that I am being paid to do something that I love so incredibly much. My company just posted a blog with some interviews with the kids I've been teaching, and I'm too excited about it not to share:
This class is the coolest class ever! I have twelve students, all girls between the ages of 10 and 13. We make jewelry, discuss why people wear jewelry, and are having a huge jewelry sale in December to sell the projects we've been working on. The first day of class was nerve racking, to say the least, since I had little to no experience with kids, none in the classroom, and no formal training as a jewelry designer. I have to say, though, that being in front of a classroom has come so naturally to me! I know the kids love me, and I absolutely love them. I'll be so bummed when the class is over, but I'm hoping to stay in contact with my students afterwards.
What I love is that I know that this class is having an impact on the lives of these girls. I send them home with beads as much as possible (the homework assignments mentioned on the VIPS page), and I try as much as possible to get them thinking about possibilities. My friend Kat is a nineteen-year-old jewelry designer who has been selling her own work since she was nine, so I had her come to class to talk about her experiences, and, I hope, to inspire my students to become mini-entrepreneurs.
The girls have blossomed in the last month. Some who started out really shy are talking more and seem much more confident in themselves. I do my best to make sure that I give every student personal attention, and I've had their names memorized since day one. I greet them by name every day, and if a student missed class, I tell her we missed her! I love remembering something they told me in a previous class and their delight when I ask them about it later. For instance, one of the girls told me she'd be missing class for her birthday, and when she came back, the first thing I asked her was "How was your birthday?"
Last week, we had a halloween bead party, since Halloween was one of our class days, and I brought in orange and black beads and candy to share. It is amazing when this rowdy bunch gets so absorbed in their projects that the room is silent, so sometimes I bring in a radio for music, which is their reward for listening and sitting still.
I love having an excuse to make and wear pretty jewelry, and I love it even more that the girls always ask about the jewelry I am wearing. We only have a month left, and I am going to be so bummed when this class is over!
On another note, I received a call last week from a woman who runs a similiar after-school program at a local high school, and I have an interview there tomorrow concerning that. How cool is that? They called me!
Providence is definitely where I am meant to be, and don't be suprised if I end up hanging around her for a while. My lease is up at the end of December, but the woman whose apartment I am subletting hasn't been heard from in months. If she hasn't contacted my roomie (who is AWESOME!) and I by Thanksgiving, we're going to be able to stay in the same place for another six months (maybe longer!). If she does come back, I'm already looking for apartments in the same neighborhood. Cross your fingers for me!
I'll write more about my classroom experiences soon, but for now, enjoy the kids' interviews posted on the VIPS (Volunteers In Providence Schools) website:
Ahh, look, my students!
(Haha, Miss Moira! That's me!)
Book Discussion: Cult Fiction
October 25, 2007
You'd think a book called Cult Fiction: Popular Reading and Pulp Theory would be fascinating reading, well, you would if you were me, but if you were me, and you thought that, you would be so wrong. Not fascinating reading, though there are a lot of points of interest. Lots just went, whoosh, over my head. Other things droves me nuts, like the typos, lots of them throughout the text or the big example, the one I looked up online just to be sure, was the pin-up queen Ms. Page spelled with a -y not an -ie. No wonder I spell it wrong half the time anyway, but the book was published that way: "If Betty Page is the queen of trash art then she will return speaking Klingon."
I was way confused about the definition of pulp: "Pulp is both a desire for respectability and a refusal." And I spent a good chunk of the first chapter wishing for a better definition because I had too many questions about it. After a while, I sort of get what Bloom is saying about pulp because in many respects of my personality, I suppose I could be considered "Pulp Moira." Like, I want to be considered respectable and "cool" but I don't want to be a part of that culture at the same time. For instance, and this has little to do with anything, I am currently sitting in the library at the Rhode Island School of Design. The people who hang out at this place are pulp to the extreme, and if libraries can be pulp, this one is definitely pulp. (Did I mention one of my new favorite activities is to drink gin & tonic from a thermos at the library? Perhaps not...)
Pulp, Bloom asserts, is the child of capitalism, and if that's true, then so is the novel, which essentially evolved with the publishing industry (i.e. one could not exist without the other). The separation between literary and popular fiction started with people began catergorizing fiction for the academic canons of lit-ra-chur. Unfortunately for the literatis, who write for each other and not for the masses, god forbid, "... late twentieth-century art cannot be art without the market."
"It is this accommodation and uneasiness between commercial interest and aesthetic or ethical goals which marks literary works in a way other forms avoid," Bloom writes. With a novel, this link is seemingly inextricabl; It's not "If you write it, they will read it," but instead "If they buy it, then it's culture." Only, if they buy it, it probably won't be classified as lit-ra-chur by the powers that be. Pulp fiction, like the kind of mass market paperbacks without covers that I find freqently in dumpsters, is inherently ephermal:
Excluded in all accounts of literature's history, disregarded by critics and usually unknown to academics such works and their authors belong to a twilit existence where they very act of writing and their publisher's commitment to market their work seem, as if by magic, to cancel by those acts their value either as books or even as products.
Despite this, pulp has influence, invisibily shaping culture at the same time it refutes it. The genres popular today (fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc.) had their shady beginnings in the underbelly of pulp. Bloom even discusses the reader expecations within the genres and formulaic plots, which, Bloom says, won't fool the true reader of pulp, because he or she is never fooled. Is that really the case? Sure. That would account for why one book becomes a best-seller and why a slew of copycats in its wake never achieves the same acclaim. That original book held something real while the others, enjoyed perhaps for a one-night stand, didn't have the staying power of true commitment. Or something like that. (Bloom says this very instability and unpredicatible nature of the pulp is what gives it power.)