New Review in Review Section: Master of Crows

I am actually not sure which is the better route to take–to post the reviews here or have a dedicated place to put them. It seems neater to put them in their own little spot, but I’m not sure if anyone reads them over there. I posted the review for Keeping the Castle here because I really liked it and I’d needed something to cheer me up, and I know at least a couple of people at least looked at it (thank you very much). If anyone has any particular preferences, I’m open to suggestions.

Alright. This is not a direction I had planned to go. At all. It isn’t entirely random–I ordered something from Ireland–it’s probably the closest to actually going there I’ll get in a long time. I received an e-mail from them last week confirming the order, which was supposed to ship yesterday, but I hadn’t heard anything, so I thought maybe an email saying it had been shipped had gone to my bulk mail folder. Of course, the information that it was shipping yesterday was in the email last week, so there very well might not be an email saying it shipped, since they already told me when it was shipping. Little normal things like that can escape one’s attention in the age when you’ve been Amazonified and are sent an email or text everytime your package sneezes. Not that Amazon sells anything that sneezes, that I’m aware of. Maybe I should check. Anyway, the bulk mail folder. It’s one of those places I never go until there are about 400 emails in it, then I empty it, end of story. But no, today I opened it. No dice on the email. I think the one last week was telling me it was going to ship yesterday. Sort of like correspondence before computers, remember that? Hm. I’m dating myself. Actually, that could prove incredibly awkward. What if I decided it wasn’t going to work out? How do you handle the break-up? You’d still have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.

OK. A little too much sugar. But, to be fair, at least spam doesn’t seem to discriminate.

For example (and these two were colluding next to each other):

From: “Expess Pharmacy” <>

Subject: Open up the new edge of fantastic sex with the premium package!

From: “Expess Pharmacy” <>

Subject: Shoot massive loads and have bigger size

First off, I don’t know if I’d trust a place called “Expess Pharmacy.” I know from my elbow injury it is hard to type with one hand. That meant I had to proofread more closely. And aim things away from the computer–but see, that’s the point. I can’t “shoot massive loads.” It was very nice of them to think of me, but I’m fine, thanks. There are other options to that I’m not even going to delve into. Now, if there’s something that accomplishes both claims, I do have an area I wouldn’t mind having a little bigger, but I don’t think men want that on themselves. Or do they? Has anyone seen the episode of Red Dwarf where Holly turns Rimmer into Kochanski for a while and when he’s switching Rimmer back forgets something–at first, Rimmer is upset, then decides he’s just going to go to his bunk for a while. Apologies to anyone to hasn’t seen Red Dwarf. I think people either like it or they don’t. We can’t forget the first one, also from “Expess Pharmacy” (of the two words, which is the harder to spell?). From the subject line, I can just imagine a fast food restaurant menu, with a chirpy teenager asking, “And what kind of sex would you like to have today?” Starbucks has three sizes, sometimes four. We’ll stick to three. Mediocre, Cool, and Fantastic. But then you already know the next question, “Would you like to supersize that?” Well, that takes care of the next email, doesn’t it. It would be like a happy meal, only instead of toys it comes with condoms. I think that covers that genre of spam.

From: “Christian Mingle” <>

Subject: Meet Christian Singles Today

Date: February 14, 2023 6:19:40 AM PST

The task of looking for a mate took on a whole new dimension with the advent of the internet. Now, truthfully, once you’re out of college and your co-workers are no longer the perky people your age, and next thing you know you’re the oldest one in the office with people at least ten years younger than you (not that I think there’s a problem with that by any means–compatibility is compatibility, regardless of age, once you’re past a certain point) and things start to look, well, a little drab (insert bleak if desired). Much like in Bridget Jones. Only not so funny because it’s happening to you, and you’re not nearly as clever as Bridget Jones, because even the stupid things she says are funny. This email subject line is actually very tame, I just don’t like the term “mingle.” It looks funny, it sounds funny–say it a few times. It does, doesn’t it? Maybe I just don’t happen to be among those who do mingle, and it’s commonly used and I’ve completely missed the mingling train. Did a teacher ever ask you in high school, “Hey, what are you kids doing mingling over in that corner?” What if I prefer to mingle on my own. Do you get labeled if you’re more of an introvert? “Oh, don’t mind her, she’s just an anti-social non-mingler.” It just occurred to me that if you replace the “i” with an “a” it seems more truthful as to what things like this could actually be like. But it makes for a more interesting conversation (not to mention that this mingle isn’t happening for another ten years, or is that just the date it was sent? On Valentine’s Day. How cute) when you go to work or whatever you do on Monday or your next day at work after work. When someone asks what you did over your weekend, it would be much more fantastic to say that you went to a Christian Mangle as opposed to a Christian Mingle. Because that leaves you wriggle room. With the former, I think getting together with some of your friends and watching Carrie counts. And is probably a lot more fun. (Disclaimer–for those truly interested in Christian Mingles, for goodness sake, mingle away, who am I to mock something that I don’t even know what it really consists of?)

From: “Fraud Monitoring Offer” <>

Subject: Your Credit-Scores may have been Updated

From: “Loan Pre-Approvals” <>

Subject: Re: ✔✔ Your $2,500 Same-Day Deposit Has Been PreApproved. ✔✔ 100% ONLINE – ALL CREDIT OK! ✔✔

From: Resolution Center <>

Subject: Your PayPal account access has been limited

Alright. There may be truth to the first one, because as I’ve been pasting the headers in, they’ve been opening, and I’ve been deleting the contents, but the three credit scoring companies it listed were all the ones you really can get free copies of your credit report from every year. So I’ll reserve judgement on that one. Now, these deposits being approved and all they need is your bank account number are ridiculous. I didn’t have any of these this time, but I have. No one in my family has died and left me a million dollars for which you also need my bank account number. If that were the truth, 1) i didn’t know them, and 2) I would either be receiving correspondence from a lawyer or a phone call from a lawyer. Not a shady email with multiple errors in grammar and spelling. I have pondered that question, though–it would be sort of cool if some elderly relative I never knew I had and who had led a happy, long life left me a million dollars. However, even with that million dollars, my PayPal account continues to suffer. There were only two spams on that one, which isn’t bad out of roughly 150 spam emails. For people who do use PayPal, I could see that causing a momentary heart-stopping moment. I don’t use PayPal, mostly because of a very roundabout civil discussion/argument I had with one of their representatives. I had forgotten my password because I hardly ever used it, tried everything I could think of, also couldn’t remember my security question answers (I have no idea what I was thinking when I started my account). The representative wanted the account number from the bank, and it didn’t match up with the bank I have now. I decided I must have started it before I moved to Oregon, years ago, when I was with a different bank, and didn’t remember the account number (of course). I explained this, but since I still couldn’t give them the account number, they said they couldn’t help me. They said to try a different card. So I put in my debit card, but it wouldn’t work either. I called back, but still couldn’t answer their questions with the right answers (it was like having a nightmare about a pop quiz). So I couldn’t use the account. I realized much, much later (months) that it was the account I have now, which is why the card wouldn’t work (but why not? I don’t like things like this. They fluster me easily. It makes me want to call them back and cry into the phone “Soylent Green is people!” and then hang up. My partner has been saying that constantly lately. It could be the effects of having a frozen food diet for a while now).  Neither of us feel like cooking. I did make some soup a few months ago. He was going to make some soup, bought the veggies to put in it, but them in the veggie drawer. That was months ago too. I’m just as guilty of consigning veggies to their fate down there. It’s as bad as being sentenced to Siberia. Only there they would freeze and not slowly dissolve, coating the bottom of the veggie drawers with a thick layer of something. One of them was removed at arms length and taken outside (about three or four days ago now. Whatever was in the bottom is beige now).  Now that I think on it. I think that’s about the same time the Soylent Green thing started popping up. Hey, not everyone has their very own slythy toves in the refrigerator. I actually think you could take about any part of that and claim to be growing it in your refrigerator. You’d need one mean set of leftover containers to keep it out of trouble.

From: “SENSA” <>

Subject: Eat Yourself Skinny.

From: “Weight loss now Free trials” <>

Subject: Expectant Britney Spears Debuts Her Bump

From: “No risk Jessica Alba Free trial” <>

Subject: Rapid fire weight loss Reese Witherspoon

OK. There were more weight loss ones than you could shake a spoon at. By far. The first one I picked reminded me of a project I thought of once but others didn’t seem to think was quite as funny: The Donner Party Cookbook. I thought a section on finger foods would be especially appropriate. Now, there’s the saying you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but boy, people sure do. I think the same can be said if you’re trying to market something through email subject lines. Really? “Eat Yourself Skinny?” No mention of any diet. So I’m taking the literal interpretation. And quite frankly, I don’t think it’s worth it. “Oh, I lost an arm and a leg over my last diet.” The thing is, the lengths women go to are frightening in the effort to look either like a stick or Barbie. Maybe that’s what needs to happen. Mattel can do their part in what they’ve helped create and design “Anorexic Barbie” and her cousin, “Bulemic Barbie.” They should come with truly informative booklets, online links, where to go for help, etc. I’ve had a problem for the last few years where I haven’t been particularly hungry and have lost a lot of weight. The doctors don’t know why, and we’ve gone through meds, numerous blood panels–thought it might be my gallbladder, which did have issues, so it came out last summer–no change. I’ve had CT Scans, ultrasounds (that was more fun when my sister was pregnant and going in for ultrasounds as well). I like sweet things, which is probably why I haven’t gone off the lower end of my BMI. The sick thing is, while I know it isn’t good for me, part of me was relieved I wasn’t as large as I was before. There could be some weird form of cancer somewhere in my body causing this to happen (there isn’t), yet the fact that I don’t have to worry about my weight so much makes it alright. I consider myself an odd but reasonably intelligent woman, who has tried to not pay so much attention to society’s expectations for appearance and fashion for women, but it’s still there in the back of my head. And when I mention it to other women, they say things like, “You’re so lucky, I’d love to lose some weight.” What part of “the doctors are trying to figure out why” is inexplicable? I occasionally worry I might have the potential to become anorexic simply because now that I’ve lost the weight and am at the lower end of where I should be, I don’t want to go back (did I mention the weight gain was a little present from Depo?) Ugh, onto the next one, another thing I can’t understand. Now, I don’t watch TV, I don’t know in particular who’s popular and who’s not, but I do realize this crazy baby bump thing is going around. Probably longer than I’ve been aware of. So, “Pregnant Britney Spears Debuts her Bump.” It doesn’t specify it’s a baby, but I’m assuming it is? Is debuting your bump going to become a requirement, like a coming out ball for debutantes? Sort of an unveiling? Are there large parties with chandeliers and sparkling cider with very chi chi invites that only other bump owners and, hm, one could really have a lot of fun with this, bump givers, shall we say, could attend? What sort of entertainment would there be? Small children running around pretending to be Humpbump whales? Tummybump painting? If one had a dance card, where exactly would it be fastened? Oh! On the wrist, probably. A good, safe idea. It won’t get bumped off there. There could be a DJ there playing “Baby Beluga” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider, the X-Jam Remix.” Maybe do a little Gangnum style? The buffet could be broccoli florets, baby carrots, and those little itty bitty sausages in croissant wrapping. But, to go on to the sender: Pregnant women do not go on diets to lose weight. The baby will be extremely unhappy and unhealthy. They can improve their diets, sure. Just not to lose weight. Unless there is some weirdly extreme case. Enough said. The last one I’m completely happy about: a free trial for Jessica Alba? Awesome. I don’t have to do anything. Apparently Reese Witherspoon in involved somehow–does the rapid fire imply dodge ball? Jessica Alba and Reese Witherspoon playing dodge ball. I imagine that might make some people happy. Maybe even really happy. But since they’re the ones doing all the work, fine by me. I’ll just sit here and continue to eat my Mother’s English Tea cookies.

OK, this is the last one, I swear. Pinky swear. With my good pinky.

From: ÔÆÊÀ½ç <>

Subject: 云世界邀请您免费开通个人云”waclements”并共同开发云世界

I really have no comment, because I honestly don’t know. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t respond, because I can’t read the message either. Free turtles? A $200 gift certificate at Powell’s for even more books that I have nowhere to put (OK, there is currently a bookcase out in the car that I am waiting for partner to help me unload. I also just got new glasses, which may seem random after that, but I really like them and they make me feel sort of perky and cute, and I got the glasses before I went to get the bookcase, and the young man who helped me, who I expected to get a cart, one of those big, long rolly ones, actually carried it himself all the way to my car. I had remembered to put the seat down and take the cover holder off (it’s a Subaru–anyone who has a Subaru knows what I’m talking about–it’s like a projector screen thing only it goes sideways and covers up the stuff in the back. And it’s black.) I think the current amount of unhoused books around my desk will fill it up, sadly.

I have a feeling, though, that I’ve inherited a million dollars and all I need to do is respond with my checking account number…


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