3.29.2011

RIP Beckers717 (...almost)

You're all most likely aware by now that I have a hard time letting go of anything that has even a slight connection to my past. Hence why I still have my AOL screenname from 3rd grade: Beckers717. As of late, this screenname has been demoted to the junk e-mail account I give to stores so I can get free coupons and what not. All fine and dandy.

Until recently.

Somehow my childhood e-mail account has been hacked and taken up the task of spamming everyone I have ever had any sort of connection to since elementary school. Basically, it's spamming the entire world. At first I ignored the spamming, hoping it would stop...but things started to get out of hand real fast. My friends started complaining to me that I was attacking their inboxes. The final straw: last week Beckers717 decided to contact all my fellow Zoo employees about the wonders of Viagra. Greeeeeat.

Today I decided it's time to let go. I took charge of the situation and created a new junk e-mail account, re-signed up to get all my coupons sent there instead, and went to complete the final step of the process: canceling the Beckers717 account. Sniffle Sniffle. A little bittersweet. I paused for a moment to reflect on the good times, forwarded myself some funny e-mails I wanted to hold onto, and forged ahead with the cancellation. Then the emotional bonds broke and I just got angry. Why? Well, have you ever tried to cancel an AOL account? IT'S IMPOSSIBLE.

After spending an hour trying to sift through AOL's "help" page, I resorted to calling a 1-800 number.

Let's talk for a second about how automated phone calls are THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. By the time I get to talk to an actual person (if that ever happens), I am no longer a nice person. Which is such a shame for the person on the other end of the phone. I try to give myself a mental peptalk before these dreaded phone calls: "Keep your cool, Becky. Speak clearly and press the right numbers when the stupid computer voice asks you to. And remember when you talk to a real person that it's not their fault the system is faulty." Despite my peptalks, things never end well. But it's only because the automated part always goes like my experience with AOL's phone service went today.

My side of the conversation:

"Yes."
"YES."
Presses 1
Presses 2
"Cancellation."
"CANCELLATION."
"74137"
"SEVEN-FOUR-ONE-THREE-SEVEN"
Types in 7-4-1-3-7
"Beckers717"
"B-e-c-k-e-r-s-7-1-7"
"BEE-EE-CEE-KAY-EE-ARE-ES-SEVEN-ONE-SEVEN"
(frustrated grunts begin)
"Phone number"
(I say my home phone number that I'd rather not give out to the Internet world)
(I type in my home phone number that I'm still not giving out to the Internet world)
"74137"
(I start mumbling frustrations under my breath)
Types in 74137
"B-e-c-k-e-r-s-7-1-7"
"B-E-C-K-E-R-S-7-1-7"
"BEE-EE-CEE-KAY-EE-ARE-ES-SEVEN-ONE-SEVEN"
"Yes! They found my account!"
(Pause)
"WHAT?!"
Slams phone down in frustration
"They said I should visit the website's help section for immediate assistance or press 2 to upgrade my account. I don't want to freaking upgrade my freaking account!!!!! I just want it to go away!!!!"

Not only was Peyton (my office mate) laughing at me, Kelly across the hall heard my entire exchange and was laughing as well. Meanwhile, I was just angry. And back at square one. So I decided to take to Twitter to vocalize my frustrations.

Beckyjlong: "Currently LOATHING @AOL for making it impossible for me to cancel my ancient e-mail account that is spamming the world.  #sendinghatevibes"

(Alright, it might have been a bit hostile. Clearly I was still fuming from my failed phone call.)

Check this out: AOL replied to my mean tweet!
AOL: "@Beckyjlong Hi - if you post your issue to this forum someone from AOL Mail can assist you http://aol.it/AOLMailForum (CC:@AOLSupportHelp)"

I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA!!!!

I posted a question to the forum and actually got a response within minutes that told me to e-mail some other e-mail address and ask to have my account canceled. Magical! Still waiting to see if that works, but it's progress!

Screw you automated phone calls. I don't need YOU. I have Twitter.

Despite my small Twitter win, Beckers717 still exists. At least for the time being. Therefore, I would like to send a warning to all of you out there in the world: Beckers717 could go on another spamming rampage at any moment. And just so we're clear...Beckers717 thinks you should try Viagra, not me. Be on the alert.

3.13.2011

TO DO: Learn how to be an adult

The real world is coming for me VERY soon (as in, less than two months from now). I have had more than my fair share of freakouts/emotional breakdowns in coming to accept this looming concept otherwise known as "adulthood." However, I think I'm finally ready. My brain is completely crammed full of university knowledge, and I need a break. If that break means getting a full-time job, fine. Onward to the realm of grown-ups I go!

There's just one problem.

I'm coming to realize there are some parts of the adult world that I'm completely clueless about. I'm sure this is normal for graduating college seniors who are used to having these types of things taken care of by some wise adult figure, but it is still a problem.

For example: today I found my W2 from last December stashed away in the bottom of my desk drawer. My initial reaction: "Hm. I know these things are supposed to be important, but what does one actually do with a W2? I have no idea." After turning the the sheet of paper over and quickly becoming overwhelmed by a vast amount of boring tax-related terms, I promptly turned the paper back over and got out my phone to speed dial Ricky. This is often my initial reaction for any questions I have that are money/work related. Call Ricky; he'll know.

Then there are the grown-up questions that require my mother. These questions usually come up while filling out a form at the doctor's office ("Does our health insurance cover this?" "When was the last time I had my teeth X-Rayed?") or the grocery store ("What exactly is the difference between tomato paste and tomato sauce?" "Is a clove of garlic the whole thing or one of the little things inside?")

Do YOU know the difference? I still get confused
It seems like adults just have this innate know-how with little questions like these. I'm hoping post-graduation a light bulb will go off and I'll have the know-how, too. If not,  I may have to buy some of those "______ For Dummies Books." Either that or I'll just continue to call my parents every time I have a clueless moment. Alright, more than likely it's going to be the last option.


I'm probably much better equipped than some other college graduates. I mean, the fact that I have a W2 to speak of in the first place gives me a slight leg up, right? Nonetheless, the control freak in me has started to make a list of the things adults know how to do that I want to know how to do. Hopefully in the near future, I will be able to...

1. Garden
I really have absolutely no interest in gardening, but I know that I'm not going to be able to afford my own gardening staff for a looooong time.
2. Change an air filter
Tried to do this with my roommates and failed.  In our defense, it took our landlord 30 minutes to figure it out, too.
3. File taxes
As previously mentioned, this is clearly going to be a struggle.
4. Possess my own personal credit card and an accompanying rockin' credit score
I'm getting on top of this one at present. Someone please approve me for a card! I'm currently non-existent in the credit world!
5. Cook an entire meal that is warm and ready all at once
This is so hard.  Got close with my scrambled eggs and waffles this morning, but not quite.
6. Hand out business cards like the hardcore businesswoman I plan to be
Nothing says "I'm an official, important adult" like business cards.
7. Know and understand the majority of what is going on with current events and politics
At the moment, my knowledge in this department usually only goes as far as CNN and The Wall Street Journal's tweets. The 140 character limit is a bit of an impediment.

So where is my W2 now?  In the mail on its way to el padre. I tried to read him some of the tax mumbo jumbo over the phone, but it didn't go well. So it appears there will be at least another year lapse until I figure out that one. Hey, I haven't graduated yet so I don't feel that it's absolutely necessary to take care of this adult task just yet. It's a process. I'm soaking up my last months of oblivious living, thank you very much.

On a positive note: I am always on top of balancing my check book, I bleached a shirt ON PURPOSE for the first time the other day, and I have concluded that I am already much better at being an adult than Charlie Sheen. Winning.

My gift to you: kids parody of The Sheen

3.04.2011

Forgotten movies of the 1990s

As I've already proven time and time and time again, I like to take walks down memory lane quite frequently. The inspiration for today's post came when I was aimlessly clicking through YouTube last weekend and stumbled upon this little gem that took me back to the yester-years...


Not just a clip or two from Blank Check. No no no. Some saint who loves classic movies of the 90s almost as much as I do went to all the trouble to upload Blank Check IN ITS ENTIRETY on YouTube. A Sunday afternoon well spent, wouldn't you say? I thought so. Hence why I spent a good chunk of my Sunday looking up some of my favorite movies from adolescence. Some of these you've probably heard of; some of them you probably haven't. I've provided some of my fav quotes (thank you, IMDB) so you can either remember the magic or become convinced that these movies need to go to the top of your Netflix queue ASAP.




Shay Stanley: What exactly does Mr. Macintosh do anyway?
Preston Waters: A little of this and a little of that. You know.
Shay Stanley: No I'm afraid I don't. Is he an entrepreneur?
Preston Waters: No, he's an American.



Snowflake: We're too young to swim and there's no way back so we're trapped!
Scamper: Oh Snowflake, you should try to look at this as an adventure.

Whale: Hello penguins!
Scamper: Could you please give us a ride home?
Whale: It would be our pleasure.

Life as a penguin sounds pretty great, don't you think?   



YOU HAVE NOT LIVED UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THIS MOVIE. It's a right of passage.

Benny Rodriguez: Anyone who wants to be a can't-hack-it pantywaist who wears their mama's bra, raise your hand. 

Ham Porter: Hey, Smalls, you wanna s'more?
Smalls: Some more of what?
Ham Porter: No, do you wanna s'more?
Smalls: I haven't had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing? 
Ham Porter: You're killing me Smalls! These are s'more's stuff! Alrite now pay attention. First you take the graham, you stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the 'mallow. When the 'mallows flaming... you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end. Then you scarf. Kind of messy, but good! 

Squints: I've been coming here every summer of my adult life, and every summer there she is oiling and lotioning, lotioning and oiling... smiling. I can't take this no more! 

Squints: Where did your old man get that ball?
Smalls: I don't know. Some lady gave it to him. She even signed her name on it... Ruth. Baby Ruth.
All: BABE RUTH?!


Patou: Now, I know an everyday sunrise may not seem like such a big deal to some folks.  But, imagine for a moment: if instead of rising up like this one morning where you lived, she took a look around and decided to go back to sleep. It happened once to us. Let me tell you about it.

Grand Duke: If I kill my nephew, would it be murder or charity?

Peepers: My lisp elevates and isolates me and makes me a rare specimen. 

I think this might be one of those that a lot of you have never seen/heard of. Lucky for you, IMDB has the whole movie posted for your viewing pleasure here!  (I highly recommend) Another little known fact: The narrator/Patou is also the voice of Baloo in The Jungle Book and Little John in Robin Hood.



I practically laugh from start to finish every time I watch this movie. Every. Single. Time. If you are capable of getting tired of this movie, I feel sorry for you.

Sanka Coffie: What I am saying to you, is that you are the kind of club-toting, raw-meat-eating, Me-Tarzan-You-Jane-ing, big, bald bubblehead that can only count to ten if he's barefoot or wearing sandals. 

Sanka Coffie: You mean winter, as in Eskimos and igloos and penguins and ICE? 

Irv: Always remember, your bones will not break in a bobsled. No, no, no. They shatter. 

Sanka Coffie: Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! COOL RUNNINGS! 

Sanka Coffie: So what are we gunna name the sled?
Junior Bevill: How about... "Tallulah?"
Sanke Coffie: Tallulah! Hahaha! Tallulah! Sounds like a 2 dollar hooker! Where you come up with that?
Junior Bevill: That's my mother's name. 
All mumble: Oh yeah...Tallulah...yeah sure




Joseph Gordon-Levit: I love you today and I loved you 15 years ago when this movie came out. And while we're on the topic, where the heck have Danny Glover and Tony Danza been lately?


Roger Bomman: God... if there is a God... if you're a man or a woman... if you're listening, I'd really, really like a family. My dad says that will only happen if the Angels win the pennant. The baseball team, I mean. So, maybe you can help them win a little. Amen. Oh, A-woman, too. 


Photographer: It looks like a prison photo


JP: Look! it's God's thumbnail!



Calvin Fuller: Geez!  This always works in the movies!


King Arthur: Let all who witness this know: it does not take a sword and stone to make a hero.



Annie: I'll be twelve soon. How old are you?
Meredith Blake: Twenty-six.
Annie: Only fifteen years older than me! How old are you again, Dad?
Nick Parker: Wow, suddenly you're so interested in math!


Elizabeth James: Oh, Nick. We were so young. We both had tempers, we said stupid things so I packed. Got on my very first 747, and you didn't come after me.
Nick Parker: I didn't know that you wanted me to. 


Nick Parker: Okay, honey... I want to know what you think about making Meredith part of the family?
Annie: Part of our family?
Nick Parker: Yeah.
Annie: I think it's an awesome idea. Inspired. Brilliant really.
Nick Parker: You do? Really? You do?
Annie: Totally, it's like a dream come true. I've always wanted a big sister.
Nick Parker: Oh... um... Honey, I think you're kind of missing the point.
Annie: No, I'm not. You're gonna adopt Meredith. That is so sweet, Dad.


Oh Lindsay...where did you go wrong? Personally, I think we can pinpoint the downward spiral to her remake of Freaky Friday. Awful highlights + wacko wardrobe choice + thinking she was a rock star = doomed for disintegration of another childhood star



Fact: I own this movie on DVD. My mom special ordered it for me on Amazon.com from Australia. Now that's love. 


Hydia: Why can't you be evil like I taught you? Why won't you misbehave the way you should? You never use the guillotine I bought you! You just aren't bad enough for your own good!


Fizzy: Gee, I don't see why a little pony can't be a little enthusiastic once in a while. 


Buttons: Look. It's the witches from Volcano Mountain. They look cute.
Draggle: Cute? Did you hear that? They called us cute!
Reeka: How embarrassing. 

Zenon: Zetus lupetus! 


Zenon: ONE sin minor and my life is a living black hole! 


Mr. Windom: I refuse to engage in a name-calling contest with a teenager.
Zenon: That's because you know you'll lose! 


Proto Zoa: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom.  Make my heart go boom, boom.  My super nova girl.


Sidenote: If you're curious, go look at Phillip Rhys' IMDB profile. It's so strange seeing him without his Proto Zoa frosted tips!
Now some of you might be wondering, "Becky, where are the Disney movies in this list? How did you have a childhood if it was devoid of Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin?"  


To answer those questions: Yes I did have a childhood and yes I do love Disney movies. In fact, I love Disney movies SO MUCH that I can't even fathom putting them in the same category as the above mentioned movies. Disney is a whole different caliber of amazingness. You see, the movies on this list have seen their hey day, but no one forgets Disney movies. They don't have a hey day period, they have permanent hey day status that is especially intensified whenever Disney gets around to releasing movies from that dang vault it likes to lock them away in. (I had to wait YEARS to get Beauty and the Beast on DVD and it nearly killed me.)


Disney, I love you. And movies above, sorry I forgot about you. Still love all of you, too.  


Happy nostalgic thoughts to everyone reading. Did I leave any of your fav childhood classics out?