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This Journal has moved! [Jun. 21st, 2005|09:16 pm]
Kevin
I kind of forgot to mention that I moved my blogging activities over to Yahoo!360. Y!360 is invitation-only like LiveJournal, so if you want an invitation, just email me kevinmmccormick @@@@@@@@@@ yahoo ... com

If things change or Y!360 ends up sucking a lot, then I'll move back here.

My new blog address: http://360.yahoo.com/kevinmmccormick
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Drop it like it's hot [Mar. 12th, 2005|12:00 am]
Kevin
[Current Mood |goodgood]

Call me ignorant, but it was only a few days ago when I first heard a girl in a non-sarcastic and non-lesbian tone, in regular discussion, refer to another woman as 'hot'. Today I bring a collection of thoughts on being hot.

Being the self-conscious persion that I have been for so long (see my entry from around a month ago), I have thought many times about what it means to be hot. To me, and I would presume to many, being considered hot is the pinnacle of social acceptance. I mean, once you're hot, where do you go from there? Super hot?

Part of the frustration of reaching the "goal", of course, is that whenever you try to get a definition of 'hot' out of someone, you can never get what seems to be even a remotely clear description. If you ask a guy to describe the attributes of a hot girl, the best you'll probably get out of him is something like "uhhh.. big boobs and not fat?" Of course even he knows that the statement is basically false, and the truth is that he can't put his finger on what it is. Yet, give him a yes or no question about a magazine picture, "is this girl hot", he can somehow generate a definite answer. Just as a side note, it is not just about girls: try asking a girl what a hot guy looks like, and you get something not much different: terms like "musclely" or "tall" come to mind.

It is because of these vague shots in the dark to define attractiveness that occasionally show up in magazines that people are rushing to the gym and the plastic surgeons, only to come out as un-hot people with better bodies. When I was doing some googling around before writing this entry, I came across an interesting commentary on Teen magazines for girls (http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/17124/). Coupled with my own reading of my teen sister's magazines (gross), I can verify the truth in the article - and most girls are out there picking the right eye-liner hoping one day to be hot girls.

I then came upon two great articles by looking up "how to be hot".

1. "How to look hot": http://www.popgurls.com/article_show.php3?id=22
2. "How to act hot": http://www.popgurls.com/article_show.php3?id=53

These articles are beyond superficial - upon their first reading. But go ahead and read them again, trying to ignore their personal preferences in style (worn jeans are cool but are they cool to everyone?). Underneath you can see that what they see as "hot" isn't "being" hot - hot is not something that you are by default or by gift, it is a definition of how much effort you put into being attractive and meeting needs of the opposite sex. I can pull a few things out of these two articles:

- Having confidence. The comments about dancing, being decisive, and being aggressive are all confidence things. Confidence is clearly attractive, and attractiveness is hotness.
- Stop worrying. A dumb on-the-fly silly remark comes across much better than a rehearsed joke, even if it makes little sense or is unfunny in a literal sense. Really more of the previous, but more along the lines of "stop trying to hard to be impressive - once you have built yourself, let it run its course".
- It's OK to follow a trend (fashion, etc.). Uniqueness is not all it's cracked up to be, especially if you are trying to attract people on the basis that they can relate to you. Unless you are at a Star Wars convention, perhaps people around you really have no idea what you are like, and the least you can do is make them feel comfortable with a style that they are familiar with. Save your special features for later.
- How you look is comprised of several things, all of which generate your physical appearance. Beyond this, they tell more about you than you think. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but 90% of the time, you can learn a lot about someone just by looking at a posed picture of them. All of these things generate your physical appearance: your build (obviously), your style of clothing, your hairstyle, your posture, your facial expression, and what I would call your "action", or how you move. Some of things you can choose to change, like your hairstyle or your clothes. The build, you can just diet and exercise (though easier said than done, we should all be doing it anyway). The others are a direct coorelation to your mood, confidence, and outlook. Body language is hard or impossible to fake or deliberately improve upon.

So, if you take the pointers in the article, do you instantly become hot? No. There is no such thing as being hot by nature - only consistently putting in the effort to look and feel hot, and believing that you are hot is what makes you hot. First of all, everyone knows that first impressions are everything. If you are going to be going somewhere where there are going to be new people, you better start looking and feeling hot to start out with. I have known plenty of people who have occasional "good days" where you briefly think, "wouldn't it be great if that person were always like that"? Those people are not hot. The people who are hot are those people who you never see with their guard down. I was having a discussion with someone about this, and it was pointed out to me that most people begin constructing an image of you from the moment they see you for the first time, and once this image is strong enough, it is very difficult for it to change. This works both ways. If you are having an off-day and meet someone for the first time, you might have to try harder the next time to make them see you as more attractive. Likewise, if you are consistently hot for several days and then have an off-day, most people will still see you as a hot person. Second, any effort you put into your appearance is only worthwhile if you have the confidence to back it up.

Now it kind of makes sense why so many hot models are quickly labeled "sluts" by so many non-hot women. The hot person is more attractive and obviously wins out in the game (whatever game it may be: dating, mating, whatever). Perhaps there is a point where you are trying to hard beyond acceptability, but I can assure you that in reality there is no such thing as being "too hot". What I'm saying here is that non-hot girls say this to keep girls from going to the winning side. The rationale, I believe, is that if you call another girl a slut, she is going to feel bad and is going to stop trying to be hot in order not to hurt a friendship or whatever. However, why not just be hot and join the winning team instead. Girls tend to be pretty cat-fighty and jealous at every level of the social pyramid (see: Mean Girls), but for every girl that calls some chick "slut", there is another hot girl who will say "hey you look hot today".

Case in point: Britney Spears. Search google for "Britney Spears is hot" and you get over 6,000 results; search for "Britney Spears is a slut" and you get less than 400. While an inexact science, it is pretty clear that the dominating truth is that she is hot, and not a slut. Let's go back to my comment earlier about a girl saying that another girl is hot. How did she know that she was hot? Because this girl was hot herself. One of the lessons I have learned recently is that hot people can relate with other hot people very easily. The main reason is that they all share a strong confidence and a strong interest in being attractive humans. The telltale sign of a hot girl a few years ago was seeing a girl's computer and seeing a sexy Britney Spears wallpaper on it. She didn't have it on there because she thought she was a slut, she had enough insight to realize that Britney was a hot female and that she could relate to that.

Have you ever seen one of those TV talk shows where they do makeovers and turn the moderately attractive woman into an stunner? After they come out of the "magic room" backstage where they get professional styling and designer clothing, sometimes you can tell they just had no fashion sense and look great after the makeover, and sometimes (and you can see it as soon as they appear) you know it just isn't working for them. And it is not because of the clothes, or even because of their bodies. Invariably, this person who has never worn their hair down or has never shown cleavage sits down and, even though the audience is cheering her on, says "but I feel like a slut in this outfit". And it kills it. She goes from potentially hot to stupid and un-hot. This leads me to my next point of ponderance: why are girls so afraid of being considered a slut by other girls? I will be honest and somewhat naive, I am not sure what is so bad about people thinking that you are more likely to have success in getting a sexual partner than them (I think you know the answer, and it starts with a J and it ends with ealousy.)

I actually even have a better example. I was watching a show on E! last week about a girl who wanted to pretend that she was a bikini model. She was definitely a cute girl (by the way, being called cute means little on the attractiveness scales, it only means that you have potential, not that you are actually attractive), but after seeing one of her first photoshoots on the show, it totally killed it. You could tell just by the images on the screen that she was uncomfortable wearing revealing clothing (a bikini) which affected her posture, her facial expression, and her attitude. Seeing her commentary afterwards only confirmed this: I could tell before a word came out of her mouth. If I can tell, then anyone can tell.

Well, that kind of wraps up my thoughts on being hot. Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call for the too-many people who ignore the most basic rules of human attraction, because the reality is that it is a very real thing that means a lot to most people, and most importantly, there is nothing wrong with it. My current stance on being hot is that it is the rawest form of human existance, where we are closest to our animal desires to attract and mate. And, oh how satisfying it is to satisfy our most primal desires.
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Tiny House [Mar. 3rd, 2005|12:52 am]
Kevin
Well, it appears as though somebody beat me to the punch, as I was going to put in this entry how they should turn the GEICO Auto Insurance TV Commercial, "Tiny House", into a real TV show. However, 340 people ahead of me already went ahead and started and signed an online petition. I have never been so tricked by a TV commercial before. When I saw it, I was (believe it or not) very excited that such a ridiculous show was coming to TV. If they can make tricking someone into marrying you a great TV show, this would be the icing on the cake.

Sign the petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/4205454/
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I finally did one of these quizzes. [Feb. 15th, 2005|01:24 pm]
Kevin
Everyone who is anyone puts quiz results in their LiveJournal. So I opted to do the geekiest one possible.

You are Windows XP.  Under your bright and cheerful exterior is a strong and stable personality.  You have a tendency to do more than what is asked or even desired.
Which OS are You?
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A dedication to those who failed, tried again and failed, and don't want to try again. [Feb. 5th, 2005|12:17 am]
Kevin
It occurred to me around the 7th grade that I didn't want to be me anymore, but I wanted to be someone else. I spent most of my time in elementary school under either ridicule or sheer avoidance from most of my peers. My friends basically consisted of people that were in the same situation. We became friends to serve as an outlet for our unusualness. We all knew that there was some kind of issue that prevented us from being your typical happy-go-lucky MTV-generation kids.

This, of course, has its good points because some say the MTV kids arguably aren't going anywhere with their lives. On the other hand, who cares if you aren't going anywhere if you're happy anyway? Isn't that the true measure of success?

So, as I was saying, around the 7th grade I got the first hint of why the 'popular' kids were popular. They were happy. The members didn't fear separating from the group and being ridiculed on their own. Were these kids really any smarter or better looking? In reality, perhaps, but in many cases the true requirement was some confidence and self-acceptance. So, the first thing I did was to just do the opposite of what I thought I had been doing all the time. I started to care more about things that I didn't care about, and tried to stop caring about things I previously cared about. This meant that in the 7th grade I finally gave up wearing sweat pants to school, and starting to pass notes during class.

Turns out this might have worked - a little, but the truth is that it was too unnatural for me. What I really began to do was act, not become. I really thought it was possible to just change my outward behavior to stimulate a change from within. Obsessed with the idea of becoming popular, I began to obsess too much of the outward end of being popular and I started to pick up on some of it. I came accustomed to monitoring the tone of my voice, my body language, the phrases I said, how I acted in class, pretty much emulating the popular person to the point where I really thought I was becoming it. Like I said, it worked a little. Perhaps I suppressed some of the things that made me outcast in the first place, but in no way was I happy. People, especially popular people, can see right through that and realize that you don't have the internal strength that they enjoy being around.

In any case, I kept this up until high school began, at point in time at which I felt I had built up enough of a social vocabulary that I could join the ranks of those with a girlfriend. I was intensely attracted to a girl I had met at summer camp, largely because I had fun with her during a drama craft that we helped to counsel (OK, technically we were in training). By the end of the summer I had convinced myself (through some very heavy obsessing over the idea) to call her and ask her out. I suppose my plan had worked so far.

What happened, and it happened quickly, is that my "vocabulary" ran out real fast, and all that there was left was the empty, shallow, and fearful me who really couldn't hold a candle to any type of real relationship. She probably thought I was crazy. Though I can never say for sure, I probably appeared as normal at first to her, and then insanely did a complete 180 after "the well ran dry".

The relationship did not last very long, but the one thing I got out of the relationship that I have never gotten out of in such magnitude since was a huge amount of feedback. She regularly told me that my number 1 issue was that I was too self-conscious and that I could not take control of myself or the relationship because of that. She was completely correct.

However, where did that leave me? Without the self-monitoring, I was an outcast. With the self-monitoring, at least I felt accepted, but suppressed all my natural tendencies. Talk about feeling completely socially inadequate.

For a period in time I thought that perhaps the best approach would be to settle with the type of friends that rely on you more as a shield than as a peer, and in a way can be rewarding. But, as Seinfeld would say, I would eventually come to ask myself, "THESE are my friends?" I ended up making a lot of friends that were much more desperate to be my friend than I was to be theirs. Even a few girlfriends were like that too. I derived lots of acceptance from these people, but still no happiness, gaining no confidence in myself and what I was capable of.

It was depressing. Very, very, depressing. So after a while I started mixing in everything that I knew. I was, at a minimum, acceptable in the eyes of the popular and semi-popular, and sort of the hero of the un-popular. Needless to say, I still had no real friends. Always monitoring what I was doing, who I was appearing with, what I said, and how I acted. And until fairly recently, nothing has changed.

Keeping up such a fake lifestyle can only last for so long when you finally realize that your real self has been inside you the whole time crying to jump out and just be me. I have reached a point where I have tackled a lot of the things that outcast me as an elementary school student (yeah, stuff like pimples really leaves a nasty mental scar) and I have worked on my confidence. The last step, which I am struggling with, is just completely letting go, and just let myself fly with what I've got. I have no choice but to just be happy with who I am and have a good time with myself. I just have to accept that there is nothing wrong with me and I am allowed to just be happy.

It's hard to do because it's kind of like stepping off crutches for the first time in 10 years. There is a lot of uncertainty that I am risking because I have the fear of being outcast again. I have come to conclude that the solution is to ignore the risk because it does not exist.

When I began this online journal I said something to the effect that I would never talk about myself much because I didn't want to become introverted. It was a lie, because what is more introverted than putting your own silly ramblings on a public website, hoping for recognition and praise for some of my senseless insight.

While I am not directly saying that I will not continue to post to this journal ever again, my point is that my obsession over "being acceptable and normal" is over because I am inherently acceptable and normal because I am a person like everyone else. And, hopefully, also happy.
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African Espionage, the Final Chapter [Nov. 23rd, 2004|11:07 pm]
Kevin
(If you haven't read my past two posts, you should probably read them first)

Apparrently clearning things up for him so clearly didn't work so well, so immediately he asked me for my telephone number:

--- "donald MC.Entire" wrote:
 
hello,
 
can i have your mobile phone number inother to
communicate as soon as possible.

thanks

I figured, why would he want to talk to me?  I bet he would rather get the movietimes from Moviefone instead:

"zmrgroovy@yahoo.com"
wrote:
Yes,
 
My telephone number is 908-777-3456, I look
forward to hearing from you. I have already shipped the bacon, you should receive it tomorrow morning.

Best thanks,
Zip Martin


I am guessing he called and wasn't interested in seeing The Grudge and was interesting in closing this bacon deal.  He gets very angry with me:


"donald MC.Entire" wrote:
 
hello,
 
are you joking with me or what .
 
what is really going on .
 
can you pls let me know .
 
this is an international sales .
 
reply right now

Right now, huh?  Nobody gets pushy with me.  Oh well, I decided to brush it off and continue into this whole "house of games" before I lose him:


"zmrgroovy@yahoo.com" wrote:
Donald,

This is no joke. I have received your money and have shipped the bacon with no delay. I am sorry I did not have a chance to answer your telephone call, however the time here is 9:00PM which because of my religion requires me to pray.

I have stolen a large quantity of goods that I would
like to send to you as soon as possible so that I am
not held accountable. I look forward to hearing from you soon, as I would like to send more items to you in the near future.

Pleasurely,
Bradley Pitt

Yep, he's definitely back in to thinking I'm still sent the bacon (it must be waiting at the depot in Africa!). I got this response:

--- "donald MC.Entire" wrote:

HELLO,
CAN YOU PLS TELL ME THE ADDRESS YOU SENT IT TO .
PLS VERY URGENT . AND TELL ME THE AMOUNT ON THE
CHECK YOU RECIEVED.
THANKS


I figured I would play off of his memory, since he probably has like 50 of these schemes going on at once. It's bad enough I keep changing my name, might as well change my story too:


"zmrgroovy@yahoo.com" wrote:

Donald,

As we agreed on the telephone, I have shipped the
bacon to my shipping agent in Argentina, who will be
contacting you shortly to send the bacon directly to
you. I received a check of $9,000 and have sent you a check of the difference as well ($4,000). My shipping agent's name is Rudolpho, he will be sending you an email shortly to arrange for shipment to your country.

Best eagle,
Thornton
</zmrgroovy>


OK, now here's where it gets very interesting. I registered a new account at mail.com called baconshippingagent@samerica.com. I decided Rudolpho should contact him:


barlick howe (baconshippingagent@samerica.com) wrote:

DONALD,

MY NAME IS RUDOLPHO AND I AM SURE YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH THE FORTUNATE CONTACT OF MY COMRADE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR A GREAT SHIPMENT OF DVD BACON. I AM FROM THE GREAT LATIN COUNTRY OF ARGENTINA. I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT YOU MONEY HAS BEEN SECURED AND I HAVE RECEIVED THE ORDER FOR 400 PIECES DVD BACON. PLEASE TELL ME THE ADDRESS TO MAKE THE FINAL SHIPMENT, AND I WILL SECURE THE NECESSARY FUNDS TO MAKE THE FINAL SHIPMENT.

I WILL BE SHIPPING USING UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INTERNATIONAL SO YOU MUST TELL ME OF A LOCATION THAT CAN RECEIVE THESE PACKAGES.

HOWEVER, BECAUSE OF SUCH A LARGE ORDER I REQUIRE A SMALL GUARANTEE PAYMENT OF $100 THAT I WILL GLADLY REFUND TO YOU WHEN I CHECK THE UNITED PARCEL SERVICE TRACKING NUMBER FOR YOUR RECEIPT. WHEN THE PACKAGE HAS BEEN RECEIVED I WILL GLADLY SEND YOUR GUARANTEE PAYMENT PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $100, SO YOU WILL RE CEIVE $200 IN RETURN.

IF THIS IS ACCEPTABLE AND I THANK THE ALMIGHT GOD FOR YOUR BLESSING, I WILL HEAR FROM YOU SHORTLY.

SAVE PEACE,
RUDOLPHO
</baconshippingagent>


I think this convinced him that the deal was really going through, though the guarantee payment kind of caught him off guard. He email both Rudolpho and myself with instructions on how to resolve the issue.


hello,

I GOT YOUR MESSAGE. YOU CAN SHIP THE BACON TO THE ADDRESS BELOW.

MR BOLAJI WISDOM

NO 20 KAMORU ADEYEMI STREET .

OKOTA,

ISOLO,

LAGOS

NIGERIA.

ZIP CODE- 234-01

I WILL BE EXPECTING THE UPS TRACKING NUMBER TODAY.

YOU CAN CONTACT YOUR ASSOCIATE IN THE USA TO GIVE YOU THE $100 YOU

REQUESTED FOR.

THANKS


Ah, finally an address. I'll be sure to save it for later. Donald also sent me an email as well.


hello,

i got a message from your associate in argentina today .

pls, kindly tell him to ship the BACON TO THIS ADDRESS BELOW,

MR BOLAJI WISDOM

NO 20 KAMORU ADEYEMI STREET .

OKOTA,

ISOLO,

LAGOS

NIGERIA.

ZIP CODE- 234-01

THANKS


Then I figured I would make him sweat, so I did nothing for two days. Then, I got another message from him:


hello,

i have sent the shipping address to your associate in argentina for him to ship immediately.

and i want you to send $100 to him for assistance of funds in the shippment.

so, go to a western union outlet there in your location and send the $2,900 to me through their outlet today AND KEEP $1000 TILL NEXT WEEKEND.so, i will use it to seal the contract as i told you earlier. it will enable me to purchase more from you . and as you can see, we have about 200 members in our house of assembly .

so, we stiil have a transaction ahead. send it to the following information.

name- WISDOM BOLAJI

CITY- LAGOS

COUNTRY -NIGERIA

tell me if you.ve got a western union outlet were you will send the $ to me today . or a money GRAM outlet. i need the money this weekend. send the money today and give me the following as soon as you are through with the transfer of the funds.

1= test question and answer

2=MTCN NUMBER

3 AMOUNT EXPECTED IN US $

thanks


Apparrently he thinks that I am going to cover the $100 for Ruldopho. Heck no! He is going to cover it! At this point, I figured that I should stop since it was getting to ridiculous. Nonetheless, he sent me one more message, I suppose you have given up.


hello,
i tried your telephone and was not going through. it indicated a wrong number,
so, what kind of GAME are you trying to play with me .
anyway, i have sent you a check of $9,000 and i want you to act wisely with it . i have sent it to the address you gave me okay.
just expect it and get back to me as soon as you get it, cos i never knew you were planning to play pranks with me.


Though it is apparrent that something has been sent somewhere. I'm sure a few months from now it'll come back to him.
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Bacon is still on its way... [Nov. 8th, 2004|08:03 pm]
Kevin
Today I got the following email: (see my previous post if you haven't already)

hello,

payment have been forwarded . but i am surprize i recieve different names at the end of your letters . like

While baking,

Richard Nixon

Ringo Starr

sorry , why this different names,

reply

So I figured I better clear up this mess for him:
Captain,

Dreadfully, your bacon is ready to be sent.

Fervently,
Alec Baldwin
Not to mention he has sent his payment somewhere, yet I have never given him an address.  I wonder how this will go...
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Here Comes Bacon [Nov. 3rd, 2004|09:41 pm]
Kevin
About two weeks ago I posted on a local classified site that I was selling an old Philips DVD Player for $20, and I was successful.  A guy named Bill emailed me, and I met him at the local Staples parking lot and sold the player.  However, over the next few days, I started receiving a barrage of emails from potential "buyers" from other countries that they wanted to buy the player from me, as well as some IMs on Yahoo messenger, since I used a Yahoo email address for the listing.  Why these people surf the local classified ads is beyond me, but I figured I would engage in conversation with these people for the fun of it.  Here is sort of a best of:

The first email I get:

--- "parishcompa@juno.com" <parishcompa@juno.com>
wrote:

>
>
> HELLO SIR,MA,
> I SAW YOUR ADVERT ON THE SITE AND AM
> INTEREST IN YOUR PRODUCT YOU ADVERTISE AND THIS IS
> MY CHOICE OF THE PRODUCT DVD Player AND I WILL BE
> ORDERD FOR (20) PIECES OF THE PRODUCT AND I WILL
> LIKE TO INFORM YOU MY MODE OF PAYMENT WHICH IS
> (INTERNMATIONAL MONEY ORDER) AND LET ME KNOW THE
> QUOTATION OF THE PRODUCT AND WITH SHIPPING TO LOAGOS
> NIGERIA VIA FEDEX COURIER SERVICE,THIS WILL BE
> CONTINIOUSLY ORDER IF WE SEE YOUR SWIFT REPLY,
> THANKS,
> john

I respond kind of gently to this guy:

SORRY, I ACCEPT PICKUP ONLY NO COURIER, AND PAYMENT
VIA CASH ONLY. I ONLY HAVE ONE UNIT.


So a day passes and I get another email:

--- linus chudi <babybenzy2k@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hello seller,
> i saw the advert of your items and I will like
> to make an offer for the item which you want to
> sale:
> But i have the questions below to ask from you about
> this item.
> (1) Do you still want to sell the item?
> (2)What is the condition of it at this moment?
> (3)what is the best price which pleases you most as
> the selling price?
> (4)how is the shipping of the items?
> (5)how many pieces of this item do you have for sell
> and also what are the other items?
> I like to make my payment through Western Union
> Auction Payment conducted by Western Union money
> order (MONEY ORDER) because it will help to get to
> you in a short time like 4-10days money order
> payment.
> Kindly get back to me with all necessary information
> for the item and hoping for the best of
> transaction/business, Kindly contact me with all
> details directly : tayok4real@yahoo.com
> Best Regards
> MR Onejeme Charles I.


This time I respond a little more frankly:

Greetings,

The player is already sold. Nice try, scam artist.

Kevin

I keep getting more...
--- ken brown <brown_ken2004@yahoo.ca> wrote:

>
> HELLO
> MY NAME IS KEN BROWN, I AM INTERESTED IN PURCHASE
> YOUR{DVD Player }.I WANT YOU TO SEND THE PICTURE TO
> ME AND I WILL LIKE TO ASK IF YOU ACCEPT CERTIFIEDS
> CASHIER CHEQUE .SO GETS BACK TO ME IMMEDIATELY WITH
> YOUR LAST NEGOTIATABLE ASKING PRICE ? FORWARD ME
> THE EARLY CONDITION IT IS OK.HOPE THIS IS UNDERSTAND
> BY YOU .I WAIT FOR YOUR REPLY ASAP.
>
> MR KEN BROWN


I decide to get a little creative:
GREETINGS,

THE CURRENT OFFER FOR THE DVD PLAYER HAS REACHED
$8,750 (EIGHT THOUSAND, SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY
DOLLARS). I HAVE RECEIVED NINETEEN OFFERS SO FAR AND
WILL BE SELLING FOR THE BEST OFFER. I WILL ACCEPT
CERTIFIED CASHIER CHEQUE. SORRY I DO NOT OWN A
CAMERA.

KEVIN
I still don't get any good response, but more emails come:
> --- Paul Lewis 
> wrote:
>
> > Hello,
> > i'm interested in buying your Magnavox/Philips
> > DVD-825 Player,and i want to know the present
> > condition of the Magnavox/Philips DVD-825
> Player,and
> > i want you to give me the actual price for it also
> i
> > want you to know that my method of payment will be
> > certified cashier check.
> > Thanks...
I figure if he's gonna try to get some money from me, might as well try to get a lot:
> "zmrgroovy@yahoo.com" <zmrgroovy@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> The current price is at $5,930 (FIVE THOUSAND, NINE
> HUNDRED AND THIRTY DOLLARS).
>
> Thanks,
> Kevin
Finally, I get a response from one of these guys:
--- Paul Lewis <paul_lewis190@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Hello,
> Thanks for the quick response,so am okay with the
> price and
> their no need for me to take a look at the
> Magnavox/Philips DVD-825 Player, becuase am far away
> from united states so dont worry about the shipment
> i have a shipping agent that carter for my pickups
> anywhere in the world.I will instruct my client to
> send you a cashier's check of $8,500 so what you
> have to do immediately the check gets to you just
> deduct the funds for the Magnavox/Philips DVD-825
> Player, and send the excess amount to my shipping
> agent so that they can be able to pick the
> Magnavox/Philips DVD-825 Player, up from you
> destination.I want you to forward me with your
> full name........
> address........Not.p.o.box
> zip code........
> cell phone number.........
> Expecting your response back
> Paul Lewis...
Finally we are getting somewhere.  I figure Eddie Munster might want a few bucks so I pass on his address.  I also figure why not try to get some more cash.
Paul,

Sorry, I have received a higher bid which is $8,500 so
I will not be sending any difference.

My address is

Owen Monie
1313 Mockingbird Lane
Atlanta, Georgia 41428

Thank you,
Sir William Cosby, III
Within seconds I get an IM from this guy:

Session Start (zmrgroovy:paul_lewis190): Sun Oct 31 13:30:13 2004
*** (Link: paul_lewis190)paul_lewis190 has added you to their contact list.  You may choose to (Link: paul_lewis190)accept or (Link: paul_lewis190)deny this action..  You may also (Link: paul_lewis190)add this user to your contact list or (Link: paul_lewis190)ignore this user.
paul_lewis190: Hello
paul_lewis190: this paul
zmrgroovy: GREETINGS
*** You have denied access to paul_lewis190.
paul_lewis190: yes
zmrgroovy: HAVE YOU NOTICED THE GREEN SKY AND ALPHABET SOUP
*** (Link: paul_lewis190)paul_lewis190 has added you to their contact list.  You may choose to (Link: paul_lewis190)accept or (Link: paul_lewis190)deny this action..  You may also (Link: paul_lewis190)add this user to your contact list or (Link: paul_lewis190)ignore this user.
paul_lewis190: no
zmrgroovy: RIDDLES FOR YOU
zmrgroovy: 1. If you look at numbers on my face you won't find 13 anyplace.
 2. Tear 1 off and scatch my head, what once was red is black instead.
 3. The 8 of us go forth and back to protect our king from the foes attack.
 4. We're 5 little items of an everyday sort, you'll find us all in a tennis court.
paul_lewis190: with is that
zmrgroovy: THE NINE ORBS OR THE ROMBULON OF VENUS
paul_lewis190: k
zmrgroovy: IF A PINK FLAMINGO LEAVES FLORIDA AT 6PM AND A GIRAFFE LEAVES AFRICA AT 3:15PM WHAT TIME WILL THE PURPLE DINOSAUR EAT THE YELLO LLAMA?
paul_lewis190: 7.00 pm
zmrgroovy: INCORRECT
zmrgroovy: FOOL
paul_lewis190: with time will wi be
zmrgroovy: WHAT SOUND DOES A RABBIT, DEER, AND SNAIL MAKE
Session Close (paul_lewis190): Sun Oct 31 14:01:48 2004

That's the last I heard of that one.  Perhaps I made it too obvious that I was joshing him.

Now I get another one:
> --- victor utibe wrote:
>
> > Hello,
> > Please,I just want you to get back as
> > regards the sale of the DVD PLAYER, if it is still
> > available.i will like to know the last offering
> > price,i would love to have the (or some) pics of
> it
> > as well as the present state.And as for the
> payment
> > i shall be paying via western union money transfer
> > and i hope this is ok by you.Hope to get the reply
> > as soon as possible.Thanks and have a great day.
> > Regards,
> > Victor.
I decide to give him another high-ball price in a language he can understand.
> "zmrgroovy@yahoo.com" <zmrgroovy@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Yes, the DVD PLAYER is available for $9,500
> (NINE-THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS). I own no
> camera so no pictures.
>
> Kevin
Obviously he is not happy with this price, he challenges me:
--- victor utibe <edvic700ng@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Kevin,
> i saw on the advert $20...anywhere what is your
> last offer.
Then immediately I get an IM from him:

Session Start (zmrgroovy:edvic700ng): Sat Oct 30 07:31:43 2004
*** (Link: edvic700ng)edvic700ng has added you to their contact list.  You may choose to (Link: edvic700ng)accept or (Link: edvic700ng)deny this action..  You may also (Link: edvic700ng)add this user to your contact list or (Link: edvic700ng)ignore this user.
edvic700ng: hello
edvic700ng: did the DVD still available for sale
edvic700ng: i hope you got my mail
edvic700ng: <ding>
edvic700ng: <ding>
edvic700ng: hello.....are you there
edvic700ng: Please,I just want you to get back as regards the sale of the DVD PLAYER, if it is still available.i will like to know the last offering price,i would love to have the (or some) pics of it as well as the present state.And as for the payment i shall be paying via western union money transfer and i hope this is ok by you.Hope to get the reply as soon as possible.Thanks and have a great day. Regards, Victor.  
edvic700ng: hello.......i am interested in your dvd player
edvic700ng: hello
edvic700ng: r u there
zmrgroovy: yes the dvd player is for sale the current price is $9,500
zmrgroovy: (NINE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS)
*** You have denied access to edvic700ng.
Session Close (edvic700ng): Sat Oct 30 12:37:41 2004

This guy sure is persistent:

Session Start (zmrgroovy:edvic700ng): Mon Nov 01 08:01:49 2004
*** (Link: edvic700ng)edvic700ng has added you to their contact list.  You may choose to (Link: edvic700ng)accept or (Link: edvic700ng)deny this action..  You may also (Link: edvic700ng)add this user to your contact list or (Link: edvic700ng)ignore this user.
edvic700ng: Kevin,    i saw on the advert $20...anywhere what is your last offer.
*** Auto-response sent to edvic700ng: I'm sleeping.
edvic700ng: i will really like us to chat
edvic700ng: ok
edvic700ng: talk 2 you later
edvic700ng: regarding the DVD
edvic700ng: WHEN SOULD I XPECT YOU ONLINE
*** You have denied access to edvic700ng.
Session Close (edvic700ng): Mon Nov 01 08:39:36 2004

Finally he catches me, on a MONDAY MORNING no less.  This made me mad.

Session Start (zmrgroovy:edvic700ng): Mon Nov 01 08:44:59 2004
*** (Link: edvic700ng)edvic700ng has added you to their contact list.  You may choose to (Link: edvic700ng)accept or (Link: edvic700ng)deny this action..  You may also (Link: edvic700ng)add this user to your contact list or (Link: edvic700ng)ignore this user.
*** You have denied access to edvic700ng.
edvic700ng: hello
*** Auto-response sent to edvic700ng: I'm sleeping.
edvic700ng: kevin
zmrgroovy: HELLO
edvic700ng: good morning
edvic700ng: how are you doing?
zmrgroovy: WHATS SO GOOD ABOUT IT
edvic700ng: what is the present condition of the DVD
edvic700ng: and i will like to know the last offer
zmrgroovy: THE DVD IS VERY BROKEN BUT IN EXCELLENT CONDITION
zmrgroovy: I HAVE RECEIVED AN OFFER FOR $9,700 (NINE THOUSAND AND SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS)
edvic700ng: ok
zmrgroovy: IT IS CURRENTLY AT THE RONDEZVOUS LOCATION IN BRAZIL
edvic700ng: go ahead a sell it
zmrgroovy: I WILL MEET YOU AT THE BUS STOP ON THURSDAY IN ARGENTINA
zmrgroovy: WITH $45,000 CASH
edvic700ng: bye
Session Close (edvic700ng): Mon Nov 01 10:51:25 2004

Once again my conversation skills seemed to kill the deal.  Oh well, maybe next time.

Finally I get an email I decide I will try to be as serious as possible with to see how far this guy goes.  I try to make it obvious that I'm being dumb but apparently he has not caught on yet.  I get this:
> > > > --- "donald MC.Entire" wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > hello,
> > > > > i am interested in purchasing your HOME
> > APPLIACE
> > > > > placed on this web for sale .
> > > > > i need it and keenly ready to purchase it .
> > pls
> > > > > tell me if still available for sale . i will
> > > take
> > > > > care of shipping myself. i have a shipping
> > agent
> > > > > that will take care of shipping . by coming
> to
> > > > your
> > > > > location to pick it up .
> > > > > thanks


Why he calls it a HOME APPLIANCE is beyond me, so I figure maybe he wants some bacon.
> > > > "zmrgroovy@yahoo.com" wrote:
> > > > You have won a life time supply of bacon! I
> will
> > > be
> > > > shipping it immediately.
Apparrently, he is interested:
> > > --- "donald MC.Entire" wrote:
> > >
> > > > hello,
> > > > can you tell me your last asking price in US
> $.
> > > > thanks
I give him a fair response:
> > --- "donald MC.Entire" wrote:
> >
> > > hello,
> > > i got the price .
> > > how many do you have for sales?
> > > reply .
> > >
> > > "zmrgroovy@yahoo.com" wrote:
> > > Hello!
> > >
> > > The bacon is currently $300 US!
> > >
> > > Fervently yours,
> > > Sir Alex Trebec, Jr.
I guess he doesn't get the Jeopardy reference, so he responds:
> > "zmrgroovy@yahoo.com" wrote:
> > Hello!
> >
> > I currently have 400 bacon packages, each priced
> at
> > $300 each.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Ringo Starr
I guess he hasn't heard of The Beatles either, cause he keeps going:
> --- "donald MC.Entire" wrote:
>
> >
> > hello,
> > i got your information.
> > i have forwarded it to my client and i have
> > instructed him to send the check asap.
> > you said you have 400 as at now . if you are sure
> > of this, then i believe we will make a long time
> > business partner. you know i told you initially
> that
> > i am meant to supply it for my house of assembly
> > members over here. so, i want you to get something
> > straight now . you will get a check of $9,000. i
> > want you to get your $3,000 from it and send
> $4,000
> > to me through western union the same day you get
> the
> > check cos i need to settle some important members
> of
> > the assembly that supported in winninig the
> contract
> > . and keep $2,000 for further purchase . i need
> this
> > money to get some gifts for them before next
> weekend
> > . i believe you will get the check by teusday or
> > wednesday cos he promise to send it by this
> weekend
> > . so, have you got a western union outlet there in
> > your location.
> > reply
> > thanks
> > donald
Hmm, interesting, Western Union.  OK this sounds legitimate.
> "zmrgroovy@yahoo.com" <zmrgroovy@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Harry,
>
> The bacon is packaged and is ready to ship. As we
> say
> in my country, "May the best banana win".
>
> In respect,

> Richard Nixon
I guess he doesn't get it at all.
--- "donald MC.Entire" <meat_enter@yahoo.com> wrote:

> hello,
> i know is ready to ship . what i want to confirm
> here is if you,ve got a western union outlet there
> in your location. so you will send the $4,000 to
> me through their outlet the same day you recieve the
> check .so, i will use it to seal the contract so i
> could purchase more from you . and as you can see,
> we have about 200 members in our house of assembly
> .
> so, we stiil have a transaction ahead.
> tell me if you.ve got a western union outlet were
> you will send the $ to me as son as you got the
> check. i will need the money the same day you
> recieve the check .
> thanks
> okay .
OK, this is the last thing I sent him, let's see what happens.  I can't wait to sell this bacon:
Donald,

My visa has expired but I will try to make up a social
security number to receive western union, which I will
take a plane to Wisconsin to receive. Please send the
check as soon as possible I will be eagerly awaiting
it, for the bacon may go stale.

Your house of assembly will not be disappointed.

While baking,
Reginald Powers
I'll keep you posted.
LinkLeave a comment

Let's talk about attention deficit disorder [Oct. 3rd, 2004|02:51 am]
Kevin
(Disclaimer:  I am not a psychologist)

I thought I might spend a little time describing AD/HD tonight to explain a little about the disorder and my thoughts about it.

First, there is the name of the disorder, Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder.  If there's one thing I don't like about it, it's the final phrase: disorder.  ADD, as it is more commonly called, is no less or no more a disorder than is alcoholism or depression.  Many psychology students will tell you when they learn about particular disorders or conditions that they often see in themselves.  It is common humor for a psych. student to come out of a psych course thinking they have every disorder they learned about in class.  This phenomenon, to me, proves one thing, a mental condition is not so much a matter of "yes, you have depression" or "no, you don't have schizophrenia", it is really a matter of degree: "yes, you have depression beyond the point that you can function as a normal member of society".  So, during this discussion, try to avoid associating ADD with being like a disease that you have or you don't.  Everyone has ADD to some degree, much like everyone else is sometimes depressed or even schizophrenic.

The hallmark symptoms of ADD are hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.  What this means is that a person with ADD has difficulty thinking before they speak or act, and have difficulty controlling when to pay attention, and how much.  What many people do not know is that there are primarily three types of ADD:  primarily hyperactive, where the person mainly shows hyperactivity and impulsivity, primarily inattentive, where the person shows mainly inattention, and a third type which is a combination of the first two.  The "hyper" kids are always the easiest to pick out early in school because they are the ones interrupting in class, jumping out of their seats, and picking fights with the other kids.  Those with inattentive types are often undiagnosed until later in life, when they come to the point where they realize they are incapable of handling themselves when controlled attention is required.

Inattentive types, like myself, have always struggled with things many other non-ADDers have come across numerous times in their own lives.  How many times have you forgotten to bring a pen to class, or forget to turn the light off in your room, or locked your keys in your car?  Perhaps a handful or more times.  Those with classifiable ADD deal with it on a much more regular basis:  forgetting to bring a pencil to class at EVERY class, regularly running stop signs and red lights, and leaving the stove on in the kitchen.  Inattentive types have difficulty doing things that many people take for granted, like forming an accurate self-image, carry a steady job or relationship, or even keep a bedroom clean for more than a day.

One of the basic explanations of ADD is that the ADD person is understimulated by regular conditions on Planet Earth, so they do things to stimulate themselves like jumping around, playing games, and daydreaming.  Ask any ADD person what they are doing and they will tell you "thinking".  Most people with ADD will explain to you the chatter they experience in their head all the time, searching for something new and exciting.  Imagine how difficult it is to get to bed with that kind of attitude?  When I was little one of the things I hated most was bedtime because I could never get to sleep.  I would just lie awake and think and think and think for hours and hours.

Where does ADD come from anyway?  The answer to this isn't very clear.  However, I can provide a reasonable explanation that seems to work for me.  To me, it seems like there is a combination of two factors:  one is the tendency physically to be ADD (i.e., from genetics) and the other is very early upbringing.  I am not sure which is more prevalent, but I feel that both are responsible for the presence or degree of ADD in a person.  When a person is very young (only a few months old), the brain learns a huge number of basic things that it uses for the rest of its life.  One of those things is attention, and as you grow up the brain becomes less and less flexible and, for the most part (with a few exeptions) you are stuck with a certain skill set for the rest of your life.  It is my guess that anyone in the psychological profession will tell you that major breakthroughs like "curing" someone of depression or bipolar disorder at the age of 50 are few and far between, and very far from the norm.  This forms a certain physiological mental architecture which one lives with for the rest of his life and will also pass some of those traits to his children, thus satisfying the genetical end.

The cause of the understimulation I feel in part is affected by environmental factors.  Living around things like video games, computers, television, billboards, and amusement parks don't exactly help a child learn to pay attention to the less "fun" things in life.  Also, I feel it is partly of a parenting by example failure - the amount of attention you pay attention to your kids, the more they will pay attention to the rest of the world.  Attention definitely doesn't come naturally to people, and the media and the rest of popular culture has no intention of promoting a relaxed, focused youth.

So why am I writing all of this?  Well a lot of it is just to kind of get it off my chest.  A lot of people just think ADD is for the wild kids who need to take some crazy drug to calm them down.  Some people see ADD as some sort of myth or made-up disorder to promote drug-use.  ADD has existed well before the medications that were developed to treat it.

This leads me into another topic which is really the controversial area that surrounds ADD: medication.  I have never been a parent and probably won't be for awhile.  I can probably be assured, though, that choosing to put your child on an ADD medication is probably not an easy decision, and a decision that probably had a lot of thought and consideration put into it.  A responsible parent does NOT "drug their kid" to shut them up or calm them down.  Medication is not required for ADD but it is definitely one treatment option that is highly affective.  Also, many people do not really understand what or how the drugs commonly prescribed for ADD work.  Let me give you a basic, non-scientific explanation of how they work:

Concerta / Ritalin:  This drug you are probably most familiar with, Ritalin is the brand name for a drug called Methylphenidate, which is a stimulant medication.  Believe it or not, taking a dose of Ritalin doesn't make someone feel "drugged" or "sedated".  In fact it does the complete opposite, since it is a stimulant.  Basically, the way it works is that it stimulates the unstimulated section of the brain that controls attention so that his or her energy can be focused on something more useful, like sitting still or doing homework.  Calm, yes - sedated, no.  Ritalin is a very old drug (I believe it goes back to the 70s) but is rarely prescribed in its pure form.  Concerta is much more commonly prescribed because it is released on a more consistent level into the body so it lasts longer and doesn't have a heavy "drop off" like the old Ritalin did.  Common side effects can include jitteriness, appetite suppression, and headache.

Adderal / Dexedrine:  These drugs are someone less commonly given but essentially work the same as Ritalin.  I believe the main difference with these is the strength:  these drugs are of a stronger stimulant variety and are more effective on more serious cases of ADD.

Strattera:  Strattera is slightly different than the stimulants because of how it works chemically on the brain.  Strattera works on a different chemical in the brain called norephedrine instead of dopamine and remains a constant level in the body all the time, so you get ADD treatment all the time.  However, Strattera is weaker than the stimulants, but is effective on less severe cases of ADD.  Side effects are fairly severe for some those, including nausea and insomnia.

These drugs are very safe and very effective when they are properly prescribed to properly diagnosed ADDers.  There is a lot of controversy over health effects, etc., etc., but one major thing to keep in mind is that when properly dosed, these drugs are safe and effective under the monitor of a licensed physician.

A lot of people have said to me, "why take drugs, why don't you just TRY HARDER or stop being so LAZY?"  To these people, I say only the following:  "if it was that simple, don't you think I would have figured that out in the past 21 years?"  In fact, these comments always come across as a major insult to me and anyone else with ADD.

That doesn't mean that there is no improvement ever for an ADDer ever.  A lot of improvement can be made in behavioral therapy to make gradual changes over the course of your life to learn how to cope and compensate for the disorder.  In my opinion this makes a huge difference.  In fact, it makes an even huger difference when combined with medication.  Even further, I would definitely NOT suggest using only medication to treat ADD.  That is basically like putting gas in a leaking gas tank to me.  Therapy can include seeing the school counselor, doing some personal reading on ADD, or joining an online or in person ADD support group (yes, they exist).

Many people with ADD stop taking their medications after they grow out of the hyperactivity (let's face it, your body gets tired!) but they will live with the other symptoms of ADD for the rest of their life.  Many ADDers at the age of 30 start taking their meds again after they realize the amount of stress they are under after not dealing with their disorder for years and letting things build up.  Many others continue improving throughout, and decide to drop meds or therapy down the line at their discretion to greater success.

I know I have been talking quite a bit in the theoretical realm, but perhaps a little personal history might put things into better perspective.

I wasn't properly diagnosed with ADD until January of this year.  I had gone 20 years without any type of medication or therapeutical intervention.  Sure, I had made it through school fine, but at what cost: lying to teachers about missing homework, cheating on tests, copying papers, etc.  I was constantly living with the frustration that I was the absent-minded professor who could figure out how to program a computer, but couldn't be reliable or smart enough to do all the basic things that the "other kids" could do.  I don't know about you, but no matter how smart you get in school, if all the other kids who got Cs in class could do things like remember to bring in their homework and the permission slip for the trip without forging a signature, you end up feeling pretty stupid for a long time.  Missing the bus after the 10th time kind of makes you feel pretty inadequate, too.  Running down the stairs to get something from the cupboard and forgetting what you wanted to get for the 500th time in a row gets awfully degrading.  I could go on for hours but at this point I'm beyond that.

My first step to getting help was educating myself.  I bought two books (on an impulse, of course) that very nicely give an overview of ADD.  Of course, I never finished either of them (I have a habit of starting and not finishing), but they gave me enough info to make me go see the doctor.  She understood what I was talking about and gave me a 30 day trial of Strattera (more on this later).  After that I went to see the school counselor (who is a doctor of psychology) to get a formal diagnosis.  When the diagnosis showed that I was ADD Inattentive, I decided to continue taking the meds and to continue taking therapy sessions.

The difference is completely mind-blowing from who I was a year ago vs. who I am now.  Both the meds and therapy have been critical to improving my daily patterns and staying focused in what I'm doing.  Plus, it couldn't have come at a better time.  College isn't exactly the best place to get by cheating and copying homework since few assignments let you do that.   All the people around me have noticed major differences, and most importantly, I have been so much more confident about my abilities and so forth.  I don't spend hours at night trying to go to sleep anymore.  I don't put off less-exciting projects to play video games or surf the web anymore.  I don't get in trouble for forgetting deadlines and projects (as much, I'm still working on it), and I don't have the awful anxiety I have experienced for so many years.  If you are interested in the drug, Strattera, it is very effective.  I take it twice a day with basically few side effects.  It helps regulate my sleep, and keep me going from one thing to the next.

Many people have said that ADD is overdiagnosed and during my quest I definitely realized that at a minimum ADD drugs are being dispensed carelessly.  HOWEVER, I would say that ADD is not properly overdiagnosed; in other words, the number of people who are PROPERLY diagnosed with ADD is not on the rise.  Family physicians I suspect are happy for one reason or another to say "yep, ADD" and hand out drugs to parents for someone unknown reason, rather than leaving it up to the psychologists who will take the time to learn about your specific situation, offer numerous tests, and help you through things.  When I talked to my family physician about ADD, all it took was mentioning ADD to get a prescription to Strattera, absolutely no joke.  I was in and out of the office in about 10 minutes.  So, that process might need to be reviewed.  This fallacy, doesn't mean that no one has ADD or that ADD can't be properly diagnosed.

I know this post is kind of unorganized but my thoughts are too long to catch at once (I can only type so fast).  I hope you found it informative at least.

If you want to learn more about ADD there is one book you should definitely read: Driven to Distraction, by Ed Hallowell and John Ratey, ISBN 0684801280.  If you want to borrow my copy let me know.
Link5 comments|Leave a comment

New! Personal Ads right in my livejournal! [Sep. 26th, 2004|04:34 pm]
Kevin

Narcissistic, unattractive, shy, insensitive, stubborn, and obsessive 22-year-old with no experience with women seeks perfect woman with voluptuous body, high intelligence, and intriguing personality who isn't happy with the millions of attractive and sensitive men who are willing to do anything for a gorgeous woman.  Must meet specific height, name, religious, and ethnic requirements and have willingness to never be right or do things correctly.  Woman must also hate all current trends including music, style, and all other pop culture.  Must understand "the rules".  Favorite activities include video games, having routine, identical, and uninteresting social outings, insulting you and your friends, and avoiding reality.  Completely unwilling to "settle" for anyone or change in any way for his potential mates.  Act quickly, as this bachelor is sure to find the woman he wants quickly.  Will make no attempt to contact you, so you had better find him.

If you would like your personal ad published on this site, feel free to leave your ad in the comments section.

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