BMT Day 42: Marriage Equality! People Posting On My Blog! I Need A New WordPress Blog Theme!
Friday June 26th 2015, 6:25 pm
Filed under: Attack Of The Internet!, Friends, Leukemia, Liberty!

First off, I want to remember that today was the day we achieved marriage equality in the US.  What a wonderful feeling!  Now if we can just tackle racial and gender equality, we’ll be golden. 
Second, thank you for the overwhelming response to my last post.  I especially liked that so many people commented directly on my blog (on my blog not about my blog) instead of on Facebook.  Facebook comments are good, too.  But it’s nice to get comments at the bottom of what I’ve written.  I didn’t respond to everyone, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t read or consider everything. It’s just hard to respond to everyone.  Consider yourselves all thumbs-upped.

Which brings me to this. I think I need a new blog theme that lets folks respond in a hierarchical fashion and also lets people subscribe to either individual posts or my entire blog.  I switched to a new one earlier this year, but it turned out to have a lot of bad code in it.  So if anyone has a WordPress theme in mind or good theme libraries that’re more current than mine (not hard, mine’s over ten years old), please recommend away!

Finally, today, I was told by my psychiatrist today that I needed to write at least one sentence in my blog a day and publish it.  I thought I was just going to write, “very tired, can’t sleep… going to try again.”

Instead, that’s just what I’m going to do now. 

Thanks for reading!


BMT Days 15 – 22: “Should I be blogging? I should be blogging, but I’m too tired.”
Thursday June 04th 2015, 8:36 pm
Filed under: Attack Of The Internet!, Family, Friends, Leukemia, Me, Myself, and Reid, Sodapopcornculture

Every day since through the bone marrow transplant process begun, every day has had a number.  The day of the BMT, itself, was Day 0. The numbering of days climbs from there.

You may be wondering whatever happened to Part 2 of that last post, where I talked about the countdown to BMT.  I’m still working on it.  Days 1-14 are all coming together in a blog entry, but I’ve decided not to make it my primary concern right now, so that I can instead post more frequently about more recent days and their goings-on.  As predicted in my last post, I have been saying to myself, quite often,”I went to the outpatient BIC today and slept the rest of the day. Should I be blogging?  I should be blogging, but I’m too tired.”  Well, I am too tired right now, but please allow me to present last week through today, anyway, where we begin with last Saturday, Day 15:

Day 15. Saturday, May 30th.  Dad and I visit the outpatient Bone Marrow Infusion Center (BIC).  They drew blood like they normally do.  Dad and I both fell into a daze, then a doze, even though we’d both brought work to do.  I brought my iPad for blogging, but that sure didn’t happen.  Unfortunately, for just checking my blood counts and electrolytes, it takes much longer than anyone might expect.   After my blood is drawn, it’s sent down to the lab, which I gather only has one working machine, that is operated by a badger or maybe a ferret, because it can take up to two hours to get my results back so I can be released from the BIC.   And if something shows up way out of range, even though we’re looking for all the parts of my blood to be going down, I sometimes need to get a transfusion, which adds additional hours of BIC time.

But everything was just fine today.  Day and I awoke to the great news that I would no longer have to visit the BIC every day of the week and weekend.

I took a short nap when we got home.  I woke up for dinner with my maternal grandparents, Gigi and Papa (not their real names).  It’s always nice to see them and I think they appreciate seeing me and getting real-time updates about my health straight from the horse’s mouth.  Fun fact: my handlers put peanut butter in my mouth to make it look like I’m speaking.  I go in and do the voice overs later.  No wait, that’s how they did Mr. Ed.  I get us confused all the time.

As soon as Gigi and Papa left, it was time for more of the BBC’s Sherlock on Netflix.  We watched the final episode of the first season, “The Great Game,” which, like most season finales, was a big cliffhanger.  We couldn’t stand not knowing what happened, so we moved right on to the first episode of the second season,”A Scandal In Belgravia.”  I sense a particularly big problem with binge watching this show: there are only three episodes a season and there are only three seasons!  But man, this is just too great a show; we can’t slow down now!

Day 16. Sunday, May 31st.  My first day not attending the BIC since my BMT (discounting that stupid weekend I spent in the hospital).  Originally, I attended the BIC all seven days a week.  From now on, I’ll only be attending the BIC on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  I still can’t travel anywhere besides doctors’ offices, the hospital, and home.  Since the BMT, I’ve been very fragile, like a fabergé egg.

I got to play my Star Wars RPG with my normal group of in-town nerd friends, but we played over the Internet because of my fabergéness.  They’re good friends for putting up with my schedule and fatigue and playing over video chat when I don’t feel well.  Yes, I just admitted to what is probably the nerdiest thing I do.
I took a nap and woke for dinner.  We took a break from watching Sherlock, because I was so exhausted and in pain, and I because I wanted to watch Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.  That show is so up-to-the-minute that I feel like I have to watch it live or I’ll be out-of-touch with all the jokes and the no-longer-surprisingly great journalism about things I previously had no clue about.  That last sentence sure was filled with lots of hyphens.
Day 17. Monday, June 1st.   I saw my psychologist in the morning and went to the BIC at 1:00.  At the BIC, they draw blood from my trifusion line, which, just to remind you, has three catheters suspended outside of my body, dangling on my chest.  Those free me from needing to get poked with a needle when they take my blood or infuse me with anything.  They’re looking at my blood to monitor two important things: first, my blood counts, things like my white cells, my hemoglobin, and my platelets.  They want all those things to go down, and that’s the way they’re going; I can literally feel it.  The other thing they’re looking at are my electrolytes, things like magnesium, potassium, and my ability to sweat in cool neon colors while dunking the ball, like in those Gatorade commercials.  Sometimes they need to supplement my electrolytes so that certain parts of my body–like, say, my heart–continue working.

I am being monitored as all my blood counts hit rock bottom which precedes–I’m told–my counts eventually going back up.  This whole “moving to three days a week” thing means that my doctor has confidence in my progress, even though I’m feeling so lousy.

I came home, where I tried to continue blogging, but fell asleep.  I woke up for dinner and an episode of Sherlock, called “The Hounds of Baskerville.”  I love how how so many things in this show–including this title–refer to original material by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Plus, I found out while Wikipediaing (a totally legitimate hobby), that there are references or allusions made to many of the early movies, which began in the silent film era (which quickly became the age of talkies because people really hate reading) (but please don’t stop reading this).

(Thanks, I just knew I could count on you!)

Day 18. Tuesday, June 2nd.  A day of rest.  Mom wasn’t feeling well and had to lie down on the couch.  That’s supposed to be my job.  I fell asleep in the armchair holding my iPad, which I intended to use for blogging, until  I received a screening call from a coordinator of an online cancer support group in which I’m going to take part this summer.  They already gave me a brand new iPad Air, on which I would video chat with other people that are going through something to beat cancer (chemo, radiation, BMT, etc.), if I did not already have a better iPad that my friends gave me.  I think I’ll probably sell this new one.  Oh, and as for the screening, I am apparently sane.

I eventually went to bed and fell sleep for a few hours.  When I got up, we ate dinner and watched the final episode of the second season of  Sherlock.  It’s called, “The Reichenbach Fall,” which is a great title, though a spoiler for anyone that’s read the books.  I can’t recommend this series enough.

Day 19. Wednesday, June 3rd.  Back to the BIC.  Today, we see a Nurse Practitioner (NP).  They’re generally in charge of everything both in the BIC and back in the inpatient cancer floor.  They talk to the doctors and carry out their will.  Every so often, I get a pre-planned visit in the BIC from an NP, my dietician, my oncology psychologist, or even my actual real BMT oncologist (a rare, but always informative event).

I’m feeling lousy.  Really lousy.  I’m assured that for Day 19, this is perfectly normal, and what they want to be seeing.  Why are they looking for my counts to hit rock bottom–to hit my “nadir” in sciency terms?  Because they want my cells so give Rachel’s cells free passage into where they need to be, and grow the way they need to grow, and they need Rachel’s healthy cells to clobber my previous immune system, which will be easier if my immune system doesn’t fight back.  I would never fight Rachel.  She would kick my ass.  Which really makes her my perfect donor.

So the reason I’ve been so extremely exhausted all of the time is because my body (well, except for my old immune system, which is hopefully off dying somewhere)is devoting all of its energy to the grafting process and building a new immune system with Rachie’s cells.  And I’m in constant pain because, I suspect, all of the stem cells are going into my bones, which is not the direction they normally go, and certainly not in such high volume.  So, while I’m feeling physically flat-out bad, I’m mentally and emotionally happy to know this process is working as planned.  Only narcotics and my bed can sooth me in any noticeable way.  I do not like narcotics and and I do not like spending all day in bed.   I try blogging, but I’m too tired.  I play the piano mindlessly for a while and then go to bed.

I wake up for dinner and an episode of Sherlock.  First, we watch the BBC mini-epidose interlude between seasons two and three, called “Many Happy Returns,” on the BBC YouTube channel,  Then watch the first episode of the third season on Netflix.  It’s called “The Empty Hearse.”  This is the first time having a smart TV has allowed us to do anything really cool to justify its existence, going between YouTube and Netflix on the TV.  I’m just happy for the extra bit of Sherlock.

Day 20. Thursday, June 4th.  I have noticed over the past few days that my beard is falling out.  Yesterday, I asked the NP about it, who told me that any follicle growth within six weeks of my chemo might not be stable.  Boy, was she ever right.  When I wash my face and put lotion on it, big handfuls of beard hair fill me with grief.  I think this was my best beard ever.  But it’s clearly going to have to go.  I get out the trimmer, chipping away at pieces of my beard so it looks funny, until finally… it’s gone.  I have a babyface once again.

My PT and friend of many years, Jackie, stops by to see me and my mom, and of course, Ferris.  She’s just one of those people that has a way of brightening our day whenever we see her.  That was great.

Worried that the calluses on my left hand are wearing away, I get out my guitar, put the strap over my shoulder and back around my neck.  I set my fingers to play a chord.  Suddenly, the guitar feels very heavy, so I set it down and open my computer to blog.  I’m seeing two of everything.  Time for a nap.  If there was dirt in here, I would kick it.  At this point, I’m really annoyed with myself for not blogging in such a long time.

No Sherlock tonight, because Dad’s out on official business.

Day 21. Friday, June 5th.  Mom takes me to the BIC.  I have decided that the best thing to do in regards to my blog is to forget about following the last entry up chronologically, and just write about the past few days, and eventually get back to filling in the days between my last entry and this one.   I brought my iPad to the hospital, took a painkiller and promptly fell asleep for the entirety of our time there.  Nothing noteworthy happened at the appointment except that my white cells have jumped up a bit (I believe this means the coup d’etat on my immune cells has been successful by Rachel’s forces).  After lunch, I slept.  I woke up for dinner with my Aunt Kadra and my Uncle Danny, who brought over Piccolo Pizza, which was delicious.  It’s always a joy to be around them, because they’re both really interested in finding out about my health and they amuse me so much by just being their normal selves.

After they left, we watched the second episode of the third season of Sherlock on Netflix.  This one was called “The Sign Of Three,” and like all the others have been, was spectacular.  My parents both wanted to watch the heretofore final episode of the series.  It will be the last one until a Christmas full-episode special the BBC is making right now and then season four will come out sometime in 2017.  However, none of this had to do with my hesitancy to watch the final episode.  I simply felt I couldn’t stay awake for it.  So I went to bed, confident we’d have something nice to watch tomorrow night.

Day 22. Saturday, June 6th.  Today.  I have not felt well all day.  I woke up, ate breakfast, took a dilaudid (narcotic painkiller) and went back to bed.  I got up for lunch and decided I was really going to hunker down on my blog.  Especially since I’d received a few messages today checking in on me.  While that was very nice, some people didn’t realize I was out of the hospital and some who did, didn’t understand that they could come visit me.  So I want to clear this up right now:  I haven’t been an inpatient in the hospital for two weeks, I’m at home and if you give me a call, we can plan out some time for a visit.  It would so awesome to see you!

Today may have been the only day I wrote about, because I wrote it and then went back to sleep.  But I couldn’t sleep well due to being I’m in so much pain.  So I got up, figured this would be a distraction from the pain, and I wrote back a full week, which sort of surprises the hell out of me.

I’m going to try to sleep now for a while, before I get up to eat dinner and watch the last episode of Sherlock (for now).

Forgive me if this entry is sort of jumbled–that is what my mind has been since BMT.  I feel like I’m in a fog and can’t think as clearly as I want to.  Certain words hover just out of my thought process which makes both conversation and writing slightly frustrating.  I think this could be the result of some good ol’ chemo brain, which I certainly had last time and even for a few years after treatment ended.

Oh well, I’m pleased I’m finally getting a blog posted!


P.S.  If it’s not clear by now, I highly recommend the BBC’s Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

I Forgot To Name This Blog Post Before I Posted It In (On?) My Blog.
Thursday August 08th 2013, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Attack Of The Internet!, Friends, Health (Not Cancer), Technobabble, Who Knows?

Dear blog,

I wanted to make sure to write in you today, so that I could have some kind of a streak. That way, when I inevitably miss a day of blogging, I can tell people, “Yeah, I may not have written in my blog today, but I happen to be the guy that wrote in his blog on two consecutive days. I know, I’m impressed, too.”

1) I went to the hospital this morning, where I had a bunch of tests run to gather data for my immunologist. Together, all the various weird tests were completed two hours ahead of schedule! Yippee!

2) As soon as I got home from the the hospital, I received a telephone call informing me that I needed to go back to the hospital because they mistakenly did not suck enough of my blood while I was there. I knew I wasn’t feeling lightheaded enough! Ha ha! Phlebotomy jokes! Yeah.

3)Those two hours I saved seem slightly less impressive now. But only slightly.

4) As a result of getting out two hours early, I was able to have lunch with my friend Summer today. You probably know Summer from the season named after her that is currently taking the entire Northern Hemisphere by storm. Ha ha! Meteorology jokes! Yeah.

4 again) Anyway, spending even a bit of time with a friend in the middle of the day gave me a big boost that got me through the rest of my considerably-less-interesting-day. It never fails!

5) It occurs to me that I don’t know whether what I’m doing right now at this very moment is writing in or on my blog. I thought I knew what I was doing all this time, but now I feel like a big phony.

6) It occurs to me that I’m using a lot of italics in this post. So here’s a big thank you to Italy for giving the world leaning letters to match your whimsical leaning tower:


7) I’m much more proud of the CSS I just wrote from memory than the really lame joke I used the CSS to create (I used geeky Internet code to make those letters bigger).



P.S. I made a few edits after I published this, which broke my self imposed deadline. I only spent a few minutes touching things up, though, instead of several months, only to totally rewrite the whole thing and then never show it to anyone. Getting better!

P.P.S. Argh. I’ve been editing and adding and rewriting for 30 minutes. That’s it, though, I’m done. I’m unplugging my computer now. Goodnight WordPress and goodnight editing. Goodnight, blog and goodnight rewrites. Goodnight, Web.

P.P.P.S. Oh no! My computer is a laptop!

xkcd: Electoral Precedent – A Web Comic About Presidents And How I’m Tired Of Dumb Stuff
Sunday October 21st 2012, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Attack Of The Internet!, Liberty!

I really like the web comics over at xkcd, because they’re usually very clever and/or very relatable.

This particular comic (look down), posted last week, happened to particularly strike my fancy (don’t worry, we exchanged insurance info). Maybe it’s because I’m a huge presidential history nerd (I guess I could’ve simply said “nerd” and that would have sufficed… oh well). I don’t mind political analysis based on things like numbers and facts and the truth, but I’m really, really tired of analysis that is just dumb. I realize that this is a bold stance and that I am very brave to stand like this. Thank you.

PRO TIP: If you have trouble reading the comic because it’s too small, you can click on it for the original, big, readable version! If you have trouble reading this comic because it bores you or you think stick figures are lazy cartooning, you should probably just keep that to yourself.


Twitter Science Experiment
Sunday March 11th 2012, 12:30 am
Filed under: Attack Of The Internet!, Who Knows?

What happens if I try tweeting a tweet with a link that Twitter says it will shorten, but that doesn’t fit before shortening?

Your Tweet was over 140 characters. You’ll have to be more clever.

Hmn. Okay. That’s too bad.

Whaddaya Know, I Fixed My Blog! Also: I’m Championing Women’s Health!
Sunday February 05th 2012, 11:53 am
Filed under: Attack Of The Internet!, Leukemia, Liberty!, Sodapopcornculture, Technobabble

I did it! Reid Levin Dot Net is officially fixed and back online in working order! Woohoo!

What do you mean you didn’t even notice it was gone or busted up? Listen here, you, just because I’ve restored the ability to comment doesn’t mean you can talk back to me! Oh… wait.

Unfortunately, the couple of posts I made in January that weren’t about my blog breaking reverted back to early draft versions of themselves. I may try to re-write and finish parts of those, or post them as they are, or ignore them forever and go about my business. Even more than losing those, I’m been very troubled by having to deal with some things over the past few weeks and not having had a place to write about them privately for everyone in the world with a web browser to read about.

Not only that, but I had a really amazing line for The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation when they pulled their funding for breast cancer screening from Planned Parenthood earlier this week. I kept not posting it, though, because I was so damn certain that I was going to get my blog back online that night. But as every night passed, and I didn’t get the site back up, my amazing line became closer and closer to useless. Finally, Komen relented to social networking pressure before I got my blog up and running again, and before I released my amazing line upon the world.

And now? It’s totally worthless in this context! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy they relented and all those lower income women will get their breast cancer screenings. I’ve just always kinda had this small childhood dream of being acknowledged as totally super awesome, is all. It’s always been a tiny goal of mine. One day, maybe. I’m sure there’s a lesson in all that.

I think it’s probably to use one liners on Twitter and Facebook when the time’s right–regardless of whether or not they will appear on my blog or not (heh, heh… Bloggernaut). Like my great Ron Paul line that, even though it was so great, I won’t repeat it here because it’s outdated now. It’s still great–I mean, really, really great–but, it’s a week or two out of the 24/7 news cycle and I don’t want to be tacky and repost a slightly outdated bit here just because it’s so great. I already posted it on Twitter and Facebook when it was fresh and new and that made its greatness really shine. I was smart back then. All the way back on January 22. Man, such a great line.

Hmmm… maybe this new amazing line would make a good bumper sticker, just a general line, not really directed at a specific organization, but more at those who would tamper with women’s health issues in general. Like conservatives, and ehm… bad doctors:


Yeah, that’s a bumper sticker right there.


Tweet: The American “King’s Speech”
Tuesday March 01st 2011, 10:56 pm
Filed under: Attack Of The Internet!, Tweet Tweet

Checkout the trailer for the new, American version of The King’s Speech. It looks pretty amazing:

People Online Are Dumb, pt. 2: The Clearing-Upening
Wednesday February 16th 2011, 4:51 pm
Filed under: Attack Of The Internet!, Better Than The Machine, Me, Myself, and Reid

Two nights ago I posted an entry called “Is It The Rest Of The Internet, Or Am I The Dumbass?” from which I cut three paragraphs yesterday. I did this because yesterday morning I found that I had several responses to that entry that, while supportive, did not address what I thought I had written about. It became very evident very quickly that what I had written suggested some things I did not mean to suggest. So I’m go to address a few things about that post, including what I meant to convey.

What I did not mean:

1) That I think all the comedy I make is good. I was sincere about taking responsibility for the bad videos I’ve put online, and I know there have been several. I mentioned Better Than The Machine putting up videos that we weren’t necessarily happy with because sometimes we just needed to put something up. There are a lot of comedy attempts both online and off that I look back on and wince.

2) That I am insulted by people that don’t understand or like the comedy I create. There have been times when I thought we had created a great video and then we put it on YouTube only to find out no one got it or no one liked it or both of those things. When that happens, I’m disappointed both in my inability to have pulled off what I was trying to pull off and that I had no clue that it wouldn’t go over well. That’s totally on us, though. It’s our job to entertain, it’s not the job of the audience to be entertained.

3) That I am offended by responses to our videos. I know better than to take all the things people say online to heart. Some people go out of their way to be mean on the Internet, and they feel comfortable doing so because they are relatively anonymous and not within close proximity to whatever or whomever they’re attacking. People attack our videos because they don’t like them, and being really mean about things you don’t like is cool to a lot of people on the Internet. Sometimes people attack our videos for no real reasonable reason whatsoever. So it goes. I’ve been on the Internet since I was six or seven; I know what to expect.

When I worked for the Huffington Post reviewing incoming comments people were trying to get posted in response to articles and blogs, I discovered a whole new level of horrible people on the Internet. They are racist, sexist and bigoted about anything else you can possibly imagine. These people threaten violence, and when they do, they go way beyond your run-of-the-mill Internet bullies that wish cancer or death or cancer leading to death on other people. There were explicit descriptions of violent acts they wanted to commit against other people, including child abuse and rape and murder, because these people are anonymous and feel empowered saying these things. (I must note that these sorts of awful comments don’t get past the diligent comment moderators of the Huffington Posts)

There have been nasty, personal comments made about all five members members of BTTM on YouTube and around the web. They don’t compare to any of the despicable things people would try to slip through the cracks on the Huffington Post, but there have still been some really terrible personal attacks for no reason. With no provocation whatsoever. We generally laugh at how messed up the people who make those comments are and we move on.

People can and do attack my material, and they can and do attack me on the Internet. And that’s it. I make it a point not to engage these people.

What I did want to express:

1) Nothing groundbreaking, nothing complicated, in fact, something you probably already know: lots of people on the Internet are dumb. I’m not talking about cyberbullies or the kinds of terrible people I described above. I’m talking about people getting online that are either natural morons that somehow managed to find their computer and turn it on, or people who are of average intelligence whose IQ’s plunge a good 70 to 80 points when they open their web browsers. That’s it. That’s what I was trying to say, but I built it up and I made it too focused on me and a project of mine. I was using that particular project to show people who weren’t reading an explanation and then were making weird statements because they didn’t know what was going on because they didn’t read a couple of sentences.

Thanks for your kind words and for giving me a chance to clarify the particular venting I needed to do that day. Ironically, I was trying to use an example about something being incredibly clear, but I did not write it clearly.


UPDATED, UPDATED and UPDATED AGAIN! – Matt And I Did Some BTTM Stuff And A Lot Of People On The Internet Are Dumb. (The Post Formerly Known As “Is It The Rest Of The Internet, Or Am I The Dumbass?”)
Tuesday February 15th 2011, 1:08 am
Filed under: Attack Of The Internet!, Better Than The Machine

(updated 2-16-11, 5:00 PM MST: For clarification about what I wrote in this blog post, read this other blog post.)

(updated 2-16-11, Some Horrible Hour MST: I didn’t get this done, I’ll get it done later today [Wednesday]. I’m tired and don’t feel good. Stop looking at me like that. That’s not fair at all. Okay, okay, I’m sorry! Jeez! Yeah, I know. You’re right. Okay, thank you. Yeah, I’m sorry too. Let’s never fight again. Especially about my shortcomings. I love you too. Okay, goodnight.)

(updated 2-15-11, 10:30 AM MST: I appreciate all the feedback. However, I realized from that feedback that I was unclear in what I was trying to convey in the second half of this post. I’ve removed the confusing content and will update again later today.)

Today Matt Gallo saw an opportunity to update embarrassingly outdated Better Than The Machine things around the Webbernet. The group is on a hiatus that will one day be announced on the website as having been going on since April 2010. Matt and I updated a lot of things, like, the official home of Better Than The Machine on the World Wide Web! A whole new post! For Valentine’s Day! With videos! That are not new!

While picking out old BTTM videos even distantly related to Valentine’s Day for, I watched some other old videos I knew had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. I haven’t watched any of our videos in what feels like a very long time. I watched some of my favorite videos and some of my least favorite videos. In doing so, I was reminded of my general opinion of 95% of people inhabiting YouTube: they are dumb.

UPDATE (2-15-11, 10:30 AM MST): Confusing content removed.


Now playing: Barenaked Ladies – Life, In A Nutshell
via FoxyTunes

Monday January 31st 2011, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Attack Of The Internet!, Friends, Word Nerd

Reid A. Book Comics, Short Stories, Radio Dramas and Exotic Pets, Ltd. presents:


Vol. 1, #1: “Improbable Probability Probably Propable!”
A fantastic tale of sensational spectacularism by Reid Levin, E.I.C.

Drink Moxie!

It was a particularly cold Monday morning when my phone exploded with the sort of tone that sounded like it was trying to say, “Dios mio! Reid! Reid! Reid! A Facebook message of extreme importance has just arrived! It is critical that it be read immediately!!!” It was a quiet pleasant chiming noise, really, easily ignored as I spoke to my doctor and forgotten before I’d left the examination room.

Later that day, when I arrived back home, I activated my phone to reach out and touch someone. There was a notification on the phone’s screen about the bygone dispatch from my close confidant Mr. M. Gallo. I eagerly dismissed the notification so as to read Gallo’s message, only to be blocked by another notification.’s word of the day had been posted. A mere hindrance, a notification of no consequence when compared to Gallo’s important communiqué (the only kind of communiqué he ever sends). I dismissed’s irritating impediment of a message posthaste and proceeded to read my crony’s message of dire importance, cleverly titled “A message of not exceeding importance, but still…” so as to disguise its true import. A classic move by my old friend Gallo. With a tone that implied immediate action was absolutely necessary, he warned:

…it looks like sometime recently you friended someone on here named “Kim Wendy” probably because her profile says ‘Pace’ and she has many other Pace “friends”– but I don’t think she’s a real person- I think it’s a spam-bot-phish-fake account. Look at her page.
Just saying…

I read with growing unease his grave warning of a robotic flimflam man, a bilker, a bunco, a con artist, a crook, a cheat, a hustler, a scammer, a swindler, an all around shady and indecent machine until “Good Lord!” burst from my mouth as if shot from my trusty Kensington .25.

Gallo’s message was right, but it was too late. I had, in fact, had a previous suspicious encounter with this contraption of lies, which presented itself as a colleague. I’d been had! Duped! Swindled! Bamboozled! Hornswoggled! And then, the worst part of all: I ran out of synonyms! My fingers dashed to open the app to use it’s built-in thesaurus, so that I could fully exclaim just how hard that lying piece of Satan’s technology had megabit me.

I stopped dead in my tracks. The word of the day that I had earlier dismissed as inconsequential held my gaze; I could not look away. My jaw dropped in utter astonishment. The word: thimblerig, a verb meaning “to cheat or to swindle!” It was a coincidence of galactic proportions that gave me my final synonym. That no-good automaton thimblerigged me! Believe it… or not!


Drink Moxie!