Saturday, February 27, 2010

House of Jealous Lovers

This is awesome. I got my gmail and facebook hacked this morning. On its own that makes for quite a day, but I really think the hackers, some friends and I all conspired to make this a unique experience.

I'll start at the beginning, and since it's my accounts that got hacked, I reserve the right to decide the facts of the matter for now. Here's how I remember it.

At 9:30 I came upstairs from watching The Soup and VH1 videos, and Chelsey was still in bed. She had just awoken, and discovered text messages from my friends saying that my gmail had been hacked. She then checked her email and saw an email from me, telling her I was in London and asking for some money. The message said that I was robbed at gunpoint, and needed money for some bills I had racked up. Really dumb shit. But it gets better.

She tells me this news, and tells me that my phone has been ringing all morning. I check my phone and see missed phone calls from a coworker, my boss, and my sister and brother. What really gets my attention is that one of the Vice Presidents of Goodwill has been trying to call me. This strikes me as odd for two reasons. First, I was not aware that he had my personal phone number. Number two, I'm a little horrified that he has been mixed up in this.

So Chelsey posts something on facebook saying that I am not under gunpoint, and I call the Vice President back. He's not there, but in the process, I am looking at emails he sent my work email account, and from the looks of things, it appears he has taken this email more seriously then anyone else has. So I leave him a message, telling him I'm not in London, and that haven't been robbed.

After that I attempt to restore both facebook and gmail for a while. Gmail is impossible. There is a form that you have to fill out which asks for all this information that would be reallly easy to provide, if I had access to my fucking gmail account. So I make some guesses and submit everything. I then ask Chelsey if we can go to breakfast, because I feel like this bullshit has entitled me to chicken fried steak (one of my new years resolution is to eat more CFS).

As we are driving to Leos for breakfast, I get a call back from the Vice President. Turns out that he was online right when they hacked my account, and they started IMing with him. They actually act like they are me and tell the VP that Chelsey and I were just mugged and so on, and the VP is actually kind of buying it. he aks how much I (they) need, and they tell him 900 pounds (or $1400). Surprisingly, he is up for it! This is a guy I work with every day, but we are not friends. We don't hang out outside of work, but he's totally willing to wire me $1400. WTF?
Fortunately, before he sent the money, he asked them a question to verify that they were me. (What is the most important thing in the world to me? Answer: My corvette). They are unable to answer this question, and he says he's going to have to speak to me before things go any further. He also calls my boss and confirms that she saw me at work at 4pm yesterday. So getting to London and racking up $1400.00 seems unlikely. So the VP did NOT send any money (thank god), and we both laugh about it, and I go to Leos.

I eat the CFS. It's great. Especially since I am also hungover. Hacked and hungover. After breakfast, Chelsey and I go to Goodwill at 41st and Pacific - where my office is. While she shops, I submit another request to gmail to restore my account. Which is a good thing, because when I get to my work computer, I see that I have not provided enough information to for them to restore my gmail . There is a rejection email waiting on me. With the help of my work email, I can provide more of the information they are looking for (main contacts, the name of the this blog's url, etc).

We go home, and I realize that the hangover is now taking over, so I lay down and watch some tv. Chelsey comes down, and we watch Mad Men on DVD. During the third show, Gmail tells me I can have me account back, and I take a laptop to City Limits, so I can re-setup my account.

This turns out to be more of a challenge than I hoped it would be. All my contacts are gone, and I don't have any emails from the time I was hacked. I start sending emails to tell people I have me email active again, and I begin to notice that no one is responding to my emails. So I start IMing with my friend John (IM worked fine), and I have him send me an email, and nothing comes. So I figure that maybe usability is just limited.

Work ends, and Chuck and I decide to watch Hurt Locker on demand. While the movie is playing, I decide to poke around on my gmail settings and see if maybe I'm missing something that would keep people from emailing me.

It turns out I did. Because the hackers have set up my gmail so that anytime anyone emails me, the messages are forwarded to an email that they created called brent.koster@yahoo.com" and are then deleted from gmail. Meaning that all the emails that were sent to me today were forwarded to their fake email address and then deleted. So I stop this nonsense, and look in the Deleted folder, and discover all these emails that people sent. I also notice that they have entered an Nigerian phone number and associated it with my account. That's worth noting, since by doing so, they would receive text messages every time I reset the password. Great! Fuckers!

So I get that fixed, and gmail is mostly back to normal. I also make another plea for facebook to activate my account again. I also google "facebook has disabled my account" and read about all these people who have been waiting for months to be activated after being disabled. This makes me mad, so I contact yahoo, and tell them, about the brent.koster@yahoo.com account, and tell them they should disable it.

Now it's 1am. My gmail works. Facebook hates me. And I have to run 5 miles tomorrow for my half-marathon training. I can't fucking run that far.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Big John Shaft


I've had this song in my head all morning. It's a Belle and Sebastian song from the movie Storytelling. I was setting up the microphone system for our Goodwill "Town Hall" (a big meeting of all Goodwill Employees), and I had the urge to start signing it. And I think I would have as a mike check, but as soon as I switched the microphone on, this huge blaring feedback sound came out. So severe was the sound that it broke me out of my little "I'm going to sing to all these people" trance. I ended up just saying "check" a couple of times." This is weird for a couple of reasons.


1) How did Big John Shaft get in my head? If anything should have been in my head, it should have been Dragon's Lair by Sunset Rubdown, which I watched the video that morning, but stopped before it was over - usually a sure-fire way to get a song stuck in my head.


2) That speaker and microphone have never done that before when I switched them on - and I do so every month. Is there a chance that there was some devine intervention at hand?


3) Do I have a good singing voice? I think I was recently videotaped signing "Love Boat" I should really look at that...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Speed Trials

Having completed about 6 weeks of half-marathon training, a set of realities have made themselves clear.

First, apparently, I am able to run long distances regularly. This flies in the face of everything I once held true about myself.

Secondly, in order to run these long distances, it is essential that I run mind bogglingly slow. Fifty-year old women who do not appear to be in very good shape regularly pass me.

Thirdly, my knee is awfully sore after running four miles. What will it feel like after 13? Will it fall off? Will it explode?

Fourthly, I also seem to have to poop after 2 miles. This is okay when one runs in a gym. But surely it wont be good when I am on an outdoor marathon course. I have already checked, and they do have porta-potties about every 2 miles (handy for me), but who's to say I will still have any get up and go to run after spending time in a porta-pottie?

Lastly, according to the Lincoln Marathon website, they will leave the course up for three hours. At my current aforementioned slow pace, I will finish the half marathon in 2.8 hours. That rate basically puts me just in front of the people tearing down the course. How humiliating will that be? Will it make me run faster? Or will I end up just stopping, and helping with tear down?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Welcome to Lent

I'm thinking that anyone who got to celebrate New Oleans-style Mardi Gras must be doing a big Lent now. So . . . what are you giving up?

I'm trying to rein in my food-eating madness and get exercise at every opportunity. Lame, but it just may work. I'm starting out with the worst cold I've had in years, so I should be able to limit my consumption of food I can't even smell.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Catching Up

So it's Febraury 12th, and I see that I have not blogged in a while. Since I last wrote anything, the Saints have gone to and won the Super Bowl. I have not felt elation like that ever before in my life. From being near tears when they made a field goal in ovetime to get there, to Tracy Porter picking off a pass to seal the victory in the victory in the Super Bowl, it has been an unbelievable past three weeks.

That said, the rest of my life hasn't really been going all that well. Due to my recent and future travels and some tricky timing on my job, the last two weeks have been really hectic. And on top of that, I came back from New Orleans with some bizarro bug that basically had me walking around for the last three days with a little fever. It finally turned into a big fever last night however, and I woke up drenched in sweat, but feeling a lot better.

So I now have one and a half day of feeling decent, in which I am going to have to work at Goodwill, work at City Limits, workout Saturday morning, pack, and hopefully see grandma. It's insane. Plus, I think my boss hates me for leaving out of town twice in two weeks, and Chelsey and I have to figure out some sort of Valentines Day celebration.

But I totally don't care about any of this stuff because the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shiver Me Timbers

It's becoming clear that as of today, Wednesday the 3rd, I am officially useless in the workplace. This could really be for any number of reasons, but I think primarily because the Super Bowl. I feel like it's 3pm on a Friday. Except it's 7:47am on a Wednesday. Here's a quick list of things I will be doing to pass the time until the weekend.

Talking to people. People always seem to want to talk to me when I am busy. Well now the shoes on the other motherfucking foot.

Drinking coffee. I am very good at doing this as a passtime. I will look at it thoughtfully, and take long meaningful sips

Shuffling and reshuffling things on my desk.

Driving around. Make up errands. Go on said errands. Make up more errands.

Talking to more peope. Fuck you other people. We are going to talk some more.

Eating hearty lunches. It's true that I am trying to lose weight. But it's also true that I have fallen in love with Lisa's Radial Cafe again. And that I am trying to eat more Chicken Fried Steak in 2010.

Planning a pancake dinner. Maybe a charity pancake dinner. I have not done as well in my pancake resolution as I have done on my CFS resolution.

Shopping in the store upstairs. I want some new sweaters.

Listening to Ray Price. How did I miss this guy? He's terrific!

Ed Norton is inexplicably in this picture of the rapture.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Run

I am partially committed to running the Lincoln Half Marathon in early May. I say partially because I have decided that it is not for sure unless the Saints win the Super Bowl. But I am training. So far I am up to 3 of my 13 miles. Three is getting easier and easier though. It's funny because the biggest issue at this point is time. I run so slow that in order to do something like 10 mines, I would have to clear out an entire afternoon. The actual race should take abour 3 hours for me to complete. Oh - and there are rules banning headphones at the race. I have an email into the event coordinators on this issue, because there is no way I am running 13 miles without an ipod. I will also no-doubt be dealing with a good deal of chaffing issues along the way. New underwear may need to be purchased. Otherwise, it's on.

Who's with me? You don't really have to start training until this week.