Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oy Chihuahua - Lympnoma Strikes Again!

You'll pardon me, as I have a headache from trying to follow the shenanigans and tomfoolery I'm about to lay down on you. Brace yourselves, readers - it's time for a tale of scamming, free stuff, and (fake) cancer. Lympnoma strikes again!

So a little background: about a year or so ago, a few product formulators and company owners started receiving emails from a woman inquiring about free products for her daughter, a young woman suffering from "non-Hodgekins lymphnoma" (her spelling). The emails were all strikingly similar, along these lines:

"Amanda's Wish
I am writing on behalf of my daugher, her name is Amanda and she
is 17 and she has cancer, non hodgkins lymphnoma, she loves your products and I was
wondering if there was anything you could send to her, anything would
be cherished and appreciated,Thanks her address is Amanda Neil"

Amanda Neil was the young woman's name, and the email requests for free products always came from the same source, her "mother." About 10 months ago, one of the formulators who received this email posted about it in the Regretsy forums, because something seemed off about the whole thing. Lo and behold, several other company owners and formulators stepped forward with copies of their own emails from "Amanda Neil," all asking for free product because of "lymphnoma." Please enjoy reading some of the back story on "Amanda Neil" here: Regretsy.

You might ask, "well, Soctopus, what's the big deal? Why not give the cancer patient a few free things to brighten her day?" Because when enough people became involved, some of them started searching for "Amanda Neil" on the interwebs, and *boy* did they ever find her. A list of Amanda's outlets:!!

There's a lot of info in those links! Whew, am I ever BEAT from all that reading. I learned about Amanda's blog, her make-up favorites, her music, her love for "BooBoo" Stewart (I can't even, with that name). You know what I didn't read or learn about? Lymphnoma. Because it's not part of her life. It's not even a real disease. Lymphoma, however, is - a debilitating and scary dyscrasia. People with lymphoma deserve support and respect. People who fake having *lymphnoma* in order to receive free stuff deserve to rot in a special hell. Thankfully, the ladies and gentlemen of Regretsy swiftly went to town on "Amanda Neil," leading to the deletion of her prior blogs/FB profiles/internet presence. Because she was caught red-handed. So what brought on this blog post, since all of this is circa 10+ months ago?

"Amanda" surfaced again, with the same scam, asking for free products from Solstice Scents, one of my favorite indie fragrance/B&B companies. Same exact email. Same exact request. Oy. So this blog post is for you, "Amanda Neil," to remind you that the interwebs never forget. Never. Not ever. Not when someone scams small businesses, and not when they scam in a small, tight-knit community. Although you were right about one thing, "Amanda" - Solstice Scents *is* awesome. Too bad you won't get some free products to try them. Better luck next time, and good luck with your lymphnoma treatments!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"Holly Jolly Holidays" Tag - You're It!


Merry Christmas, err'body! I got tagged in a post by the lovely BeautyInfinitum for the Holly Jolly Holiday tag, so here is my Christmas post! 

1. Do you start your Christmas shopping on Black Friday or wait until last minute?
I start shopping early, around Black Friday, and keep shopping right up until the last minute. I tend not to plan my gifts, but rather shop serendipitously.
2. If you could be in any Christmas movie what would it be?
Probably "Elf." Or "Black Christmas." I'm not one for super-sappy Christmas movies, so a horror movie feels right!

3. Which do you like better: Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
 I like both! Christmas Eve means the anticipation of Christmas morning is around the corner. I still get that sense of excitement when I go to bed on Christmas Eve, and the feeling of Christmas morning is incredible! 
4. When does your family put up your Christmas tree and who decorates it?
We don't put up a tree or decorations. The only holiday that gets pride of place in our house is Halloween. We do hang stockings and display our Christmas cards, however.

5. White lights or colored lights?
Colored lights! We decorated the unit at work, and everybody's favorites are the colored string lights around the census board. Night shift turns the hallway lights off, and the unit is lit by the flickering colored lights. It's amazing how much difference a few cheap lights can make.
6. Are you guilty of peeking at your presents or do you like surprise?
Never. I want to be surprised.
7. Would you rather live in a gingerbread house or Santa's Workshop?
Gingerbread houses for the MFW. I would LOVE to live in a gingerbread house. The smell alone would be amazing.
8. Tell us your Christmas Eve traditions!
We don't really have any traditions, per se. We usually have a late-night hot chocolate and promise to get up early and open presents. When we're in California, with our families, we go to the in-laws' house for Christmas Eve dinner, and celebrate Christmas Day at my family's house.
9. If you could be under the mistletoe with anyone, who would it be?
My husband, Snuggle Bunny. 
10. What tops your tree?
No tree, so no tree topper. :(

Now, for a few Christmas traditions and memories that weren't mentioned:
What was your favorite present?
When I was 4, I got a Snuffles Bear (by Gund). He's since been re-christened "Mr. Bear," now known as "Mr. OG Bear," since he was the first, and he still sleeps with me every night. He's not white or fluffy anymore, his eyes are cracked, and he has a new nose, but he's the best thing Santa ever brought me. 33 years later, he's still OG Bear.