Thursday, June 28, 2007

Truly the Best Buys: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love like Canadians

Fact: I'm a sucker.

Allow me to expand on that very correct and concise statement: I'm a sucker for sales. There are two types of sales I can not turn down.

1) Supermarket "volume sales" - I went to Vons looking to pick up some 1% milk (that's right, since moving to LA my roommates have weened me off whole milk. It seems the same now.) Somehow on my way to the milk i ended up with 12 vitamin waters, 12 gatorades, 6 boxes of french bread pizza (2 in each box, equalling, that's right, 12. Its a magic number) and 5 boxes of cereal (two crispix, and three rasin brans). My fridge now looks like a deli case and even worse, there's less room for beer. On the plus side when my parents watch my episode of MTV Cribs they'll have a false sense of pride thinking that I'm taking care of myself. Not true Fran and Del. Not true.

2) Best Buy "bargain dvd sales bins" - I took a nice leisurely stroll to Best Buy today because a friend needed to pick up some headphones. Of course I made a b-line straight for the DVD bin. Normally its consists of titles that can be purchased for $5. Today it was $7.50, I think because of the stellar quality of titles to choose from. Regardless of the mark up its still a steal. AT the low low cost of $15 I can now add "Three Amigos" & "The Great Outdoors" to my collection. Two great movies, starring the Canadian Frat pack of the 1980's: Martin Short, John Candy, and Dan Akroyd. People always shit on Canada, present company included, but they did give us those three guys, plus "You Can't Do That On Television" and some real solid bands (Arcade Fire, Stars, Broken Social Scene). All of that AND Pamela Anderson!

Even still I CANNOT forgive them for Nickelback!
Who buys their albums!? Seriously.

Back to the dvd. The Three Amigos case looked pretty old, possibly the first dvd ever. No mention on the case if it was wide screen or full screen. I flagged a salesperson down and reeking of last nights redbull & vodka I said, with a straight face "Excuse me miss, is this Three Amigos dvd wide screen or regular? If its full screen its kind of a deal breaker!"

The look of disgust on her face was priceless.

Truth be told I didn't really care. I was buying it regardless of the film format. I just didn't think I'd ever have an opportunity to vocalize such a ridiculous question. You have to embrace the opportunities life, and Best Buy, throw out at you.

This made me think. I'm throwing the gauntlet down. Go out and try and spout some nonsense to a stranger. Any venue any statement. The more ridiculous the better. Go out and try and top me. I'll add it to the bottom of the blog.

Consider it a challenge. Like Fight Club, but with less blood.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Roommate for hire or: How I learned to Stop worrying and love Mrs Rain Man

As stated in my last blog its the end of an era. Alaina is officially moved out. Sadly her odor is here to stay. I kid, i joke....sort of.
(FACT: when someone came to check out the empty room they entered it and said "OOH, i thought the lease didn't allow for pets?" I laughed and said "No, you're right it doesn't.")

ed note: that fact was a blatant lie

We all knew this day was coming, but sadly it creeped up on us faster than expected....due in part to the frequent blackouts I'm guessing. Knowing we had big shoes to fill i started posting on Craigslist early. I initially posted a rather basic craig's listing to try and recruit a new roommate. It was all business. Schtick Free. Sadly these are the types of people who responded to it:

  • Hot "Nigerian" students looking to finish their studies in Santa Monica. (Scammers)
  • FOUR, that's right FOUR Turk grad students...who wanted to split one room. I'd hoped they were scammers...because that would make more sense. S adly I met them and they were serious in their intent to divide the room four ways.
  • A plethora of boyfriend/girlfriend pairs that were ready to move in together, but not ready to be just by themselves...."so why not move into a three bedroom!"
    That's TOTALLY not weird or awkward. Sounds like a rock solid relationship.
  • Some dude whose hobbies included hunting and trapping animals! I don't know why he left off pillaging and plundering.
  • A Go-Go Dancer. (not all were bad!)
There were others but I tried blocking out their creepy emails and their even creepier visits.

To regroup we reposted on craig's list and added the following:

We are two laid back guys in our late 20s. Our other roommate
just moved to NY and, if we are the heart and soul of this apartment, I
feel like she was the sense of humor. To be honest, I didn't think we would
have to find a new roommate because I never believed that she was actually
moving until she packed up all her stuff and got on the plane. But, alas,
she's New York's problem now and it may just be your lucky day.

We are looking for the right guy or girl that can fit the vibe of our apartment.
Our interests include football, wiffleball, frisbeer, Sunday drinking,
cleaning up after ourselves, Netflix, baseball, bombs (especially of the
Jagger, Irish Car, and Sake varieties), and paying our rent on time.

This isn't going to work if you are easily offended, a vegan, a recovering
alcoholic (or never been an alcoholic), a ginger, a supporter of Cal Ripken,
a Holy Cross alumnus, a Canadian (we will make an exception if you are
Rachel McAdams, Elisha Cuthbert, or Rick Moranis - Celine Dion, Alan Thicke,
and Alanis Morissette need not apply), or if you have a problem paying
your rent on time.

After posting this the floodgates opened up. Lots of people replying back and expressing their hatred of Canadians and Gingers. Nothing like soliciting strangers for hate emails!

(ed note: i accidentally forwarded our anti ginger stance to a ginger who was inquiring about the apt. Shockingly I never heard back from her.)

Good times.

What was not a good time was the potential roommate who showed up last night. Brutal on just about every human level. She was so socially awkward...and 40! The worst part is she WOULD NOT leave. It was painful. She would not stop talking (weirdly enough she had nothing to say, and her mouth didn't really move, but she wouldn't stop).

What I mean is, she had diarrhea of the mouth, but it was runny and there was no substance to it. If she wasn't yapping about one of her sisters, or her sister's husband, or her sister's husband's dog, or her sister's love of George Bush (she thinks he's dreamy!) she was rattling off stream of conscience points of interest of Santa Monica. "The Pier.........................awkward pause.........Main Street............................Shutters!..............The Promenade....err, shops, restaurants. " It was like sitting in a room with Rain Main.

All i could say was "Yes, it's a great location.....and you will be far clear of it if I have any say!"
(small font = said under my breath)

She happened to be a HUGE Yankee fan...and i made the mistake of having Baseball Tonight on. She was mesmerized. She was equally psyched because it gave her a chance to go on another long tangent about her sister's husband. At this point I made a B-line for the fridge to find something to dull my senses. Vodka, all out. Miller Lite Tall Boys, all gone. I was screwed.

I went out to the mailbox to pretend like I was checking the mail and into a neighbor's apt to get a breather while Pat was stuck with her. My theory was if it was a one on one dialogue there would be a far greater chance for awkward silence. EVERYONE knows the awkward silence is the social cue for "OK, we're done here, move along". Not this girl. It stands to reason that every waking moment of her life, whether it be silent or not, is 100% awkward. So she NEVER picks up on these cues. I shit you not she stood there and watched HD Sportscenter oblivious to the world. After an hour of her yammering and TV watching I i couldn't take it anymore! I said:

"I'm sorry, there's no beer here and i really need a drink so you're gonna have to leave...NOW!"

I know it sounds mean. What would have been really mean is if we went to let her out, and instead of walking out with her we closed the door on her face and locked it.......and then laughed at her through our mail slot.

(ed note: we don't have a mail slot...but it would be funny if we did.)

Needless to say she will not be living with us. She's a chef though. So if any of you are in the market for a roommate feel free to look her up.

UPDATE: I think we found our center. Her name is Brittany and she is a solid wing-woman and a fan of Tom Petty. Can't really ask for more. She's earned the Master bedroom.

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Spanish Prisoner 2.0 or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nigeria

It's then end of an era people.

That's right, My roommate Alaina is moving out in 26 short days. Before she goes I promised I'd write a blog about her. Don't get too excited, this isn't it. If I'm going to do her blog justice it will have to be when she's 3000 miles away so I won't have to feel the wrath of the drunken Bihler voice. (sounds like a higher pitched, slightly hornier Scooby Doo)

No my friends this blog is a horse of a different color. This is about "The Spanish Prisoner".

Allow me to wiki-del this:

The Spanish Prisoner is a "confidence scam" when the scammer ropes in a naive fool with the promise of vast amounts of money and or goods by simply giving some info to handle fees (processing, clerical, maybe even bribes). Once the fees have been sent, or even worse, once the scameee hands over his bank account and routing number (for depositing purposes) they are too reap the vast exotic rewards...most likely exotic Nigerian rewards.

Of course what really happens is you get robbed. You LIT-TRA-LEE open the vault.

So you have to ask yourself a question:

Who the fuck falls for this?

Well people must fall for this because it happens all the time. Luckily my parents can not work their PC because I have a sneaking suspicion they've been waiting for their chance to help the relatives of a deposed African dictator. They've never mentioned it...but they mostly keep to themselves.

The wheels have officially come off the tracks.

Lets get back to the point. Alaina (ironically enough has a friend who fell prey to a scam of this nature....shocking i know) is leaving the drunk nest. Since she's moving soon I decided to post a Craig's List "room for rent listing". Along w/ that I also placed a listing on My Space. The Craiglist hits have been pretty decent....but oh myspace...what a show.

Tom and Co never let me down. Below is an email reply from the lovely Hallen from Nigeria.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 4:41 PM

I went through your profile and thought we would be good roommates. I am very easy going and love meeting new people. I get along with almost everyone i meet. I am sincerely interested in the room you advertised as i will be moving to the States as soon as i leave here (Nigeria). Please contact me if you are still looking for a roomie, preferably through my email address, with the full breakdown details of the house as well as the total move in cost of the room(s) so that i can make arrangement for deposit prior to my arrival to secure the room since i'll be coming down from Nigeria and will love to move into a comfortable place on my arrival.
I'll also like to know abit about yourself. I sincerely do await your urgent response.



Pretty silly right?
Well of course i couldn't help myself. I HAD to reply via myspace:

From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 5:14 PM Hallen,

What brings you to the states?

Even though Nigeria's national motto is "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress" I have to say my faith has been tested greatly in the past. I had once before given someone from Nigeria some info to help out some relatives of a very important man there . It did not work out well for me. Can't be sure how it worked out for i never heard back.

I hate to judge an entire country on one negative incident, and You do seem to have an honest face...

Curious, Why such a barren myspace page?


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 5:30 PM you doing...well i will want you to explain what you are really talking about...coz i don't understand you very well....just explain very well and let me know was going to happen...

Clearly hitting a language barrier here, even though English is her national language. Let's smooth things over w/ this Nigerian goddess.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 5:51 PM


Sorry I may have typed too fast and missed a word here or there.
The apt is great. Open for rent in July. Very nice. Near the beach.
Close to your school as well perhaps. How would you pay the fees and deposit from Nigeria?


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 6:06 PM

Well is like you are about playing games....and am not inrested in such game....i came here nigeria for an assignment,and am through with the assignment,so that is why i needed a room to rent,and as am looking the way you mail me,is leting me thinking as if you are here for game...Well just be curious..

Whoa, "She" is feisty...and very very accurate. Game on.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 6:20 PM

Again I must say I'm sorry for any confusion. I'm just looking for clarity from you. I take my lease and finances quite seriously and I certainly expect the same from all interested parties.

The room needs to be rented by July 1st and I'd like to weed out all non-serious applicants. I'm sure you can understand that.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 6:22 PM

Thanks so much for responding to my introductory mail. Please i'll like to know the total move in cost of the room as well as the picture of the house as i'll not be able to check out the place until my arrival, so that i can make arrangement for payment prior to my arrival since i'll be coming down from Nigeria as soon as i'm able to secure a comfortable room. I'll also like to know abit about yourself.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Time to pour on the Charm

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 6:37 PM

(pretty name by the way)

The security deposit is $1600 and then rent of course is $950. So that's a total of $2550. If I'm up to date on the exchange rate I think that comes to $346,800 dollars naira. Yikes, that's a spicy meatball. Let's just say $2550 U.S. Dollars. Looks like less that way.

The pics you see in the ad are the only ones I have of the apt at this time. I'll take some more when i get home. Speaking of should have more pics too :)

Deltron 3030

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 6:51 PM

Well ca i ask you some question...where are you reallyb from....and what are you after,on me...
as am seing you will go away with my money...
Am scard...

HA, well played Hallen. Well played.
Genius really, trying to flip the switch on the dynamic. I'm on to you!

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 7:02 PM

you can pay on july 1st face to face. That way you can feel safe and secure. No monkey business. Of course I have to make sure my other roommate is cool with who I pick. He likes golf I bet he would be happy.

I don't golf. I do think Caddyshack is a very funny movie though...and even Caddyshack II. Have you seen those movies?

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 7:18 PM

Thanks so much for the mail. I'll be so glad if you can reserve the room for me and remove the advertisement as i'll love to rent the place.

However, i must confess i'm comfortable with the cost and its quite reasonable and affordable. I had like to make the payment for the first month ahead of my arrival, and then i will make subsequent payment thereafter as i plan to stay for more than 6months. So i'll call my financial advisor to see how you'll get the payment prior to my arriving date.

The things i will be moving in are as follow;
my HONDA vtec (2005 model) metalic green.
suite case containing my books
my 26' DELL PLASMA TV and DVD Home theatre
my clothes in three luggages
my desk top computer (COMPAQ) and pieces of furnitures.
Hope to hear from you soon

NOW I've gained HER confidence! PHEW. I was nervous.

Ed note: I removed her likes and dislikes from this she "likes" everything. What a masterstroke Hallen. How better to gain MY confidence! I'm hooked!

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 8:02 PM

Sounds good. When i get home I'll tell my roommate to check out your "likes and dislikes" and see what he thinks! He really likes playing "brickbreaker" on his cellphone (almost too much). Do you? Let me know what you need from me.


Good times.

"Hallen in Nigeria" I <3 You!
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