Monday, September 29, 2008

Damn: A Public Service Announcement

So, this morning I get a call from my credit card company about some suspected fraudulent charges on my card. Apparently someone tried to purchase $1,800 worth of stuff at Best Buy in Pasadena on Saturday using my credit card number.

Funny that, since I was in Austin, WITH my card, on Saturday.

Not funny ha-ha. Funny The Tyrant is Mad.

Thank goodness for my credit card company recognizing the ridiculous charges and taking quick action. It's an inconvenience, but they've canceled my card and a new one with a different number is on the way. Unfortunately I'm without a credit card for about a week.

Although . . . I was just thinking this weekend I need to quit spending so much money. Without a card in my hand, that will help.

Weird way to go about that, but whatever.

And, I'm not responsible for the charges. But, I'd kinda like to see what I bought. Hopefully I have good taste.

Needless to say, I'm pretty mad. And I feel a little violated. I'm super careful with things like credit cards, bank information, etc. I don't like the thought that some petty thief has outsmarted me, even as careful as I am.

Also, the timing on it sucked because the call came this morning a few minutes before my clients arrived at my office. Hard to take them to lunch without a credit card . . .

Of course, I've been obsessed with figuring out how this person, this Frauder, got my card number. And yes, I will find you. Mark my words. I'm very resourceful.

I have a few ideas already:

  • If you are a reader of my blog and it was you, I will hunt you down and, of course, expose you mercilessly on my blog. Plus, shame on you. Don't come here into my world then steal from me.
  • It might be an angry David Blaine. It's possible he read the post below, magically read my card number while recovering from his Dive of Death, then bought himself a present at Best Buy. Just to spite me.
Ok, on a serious note, here are my thoughts:
  • We had possibly the worst waitress ever on Friday night. We were as patient as we could be, but after sitting there for 25 minutes before our drinks even arrived, we had to say something. Another waiter ended up taking our cards to run the transaction. I'm always nervous when folks have to take my card to where I can't see it to run transactions. You never know if they are also keeping the number for themselves. If she was not only a bad waitress, but a spiteful one, maybe she (or the other waiter who actually took the cards) snuck my card number.
  • I went to dinner the week before with my girls and the waiter was probably the worst waiter ever. Maybe he's related to the waitress above. He took off with our credit cards for an unreasonably long amount of time, to the point that we were all wondering what he was doing with them.
  • I recently made some purchases online for some fundraisers for kids of some of my friends. I'm not saying it was them, but they raise my suspicions because they are not well-known companies and I have never purchased through those companies.
To anyone who has been with me in the past couple of weeks and used your card at places where I used my card, you might want to check your credit card statements for any purchases you did not make. This is my Public Service Announcement for you. Because I care.

To anyone who was with me in the past couple of weeks, STOLE MY CARD NUMBER, then went to Pasadena to buy some presents for yourself at Best Buy, we are no longer friends. You are dead to me now.

I make the jokes because it's how I deal with stress. But it's not a laughing matter. It's a fairly common occurrence these days, and honestly as long as I've had that credit card, it's only a matter of time until Frauder struck. Let this be a lesson to all of you that if it can happen to The Tyrant, it can happen to you.

As soon as I get my new credit card, I'll check my credit report. (Yeah, without a valid credit card, I can't even check my credit report!). I recommend you do the same.



P.S. I came home today and found that someone made off with the fence on half of my yard.

What the heck is going on today?!?!? Everything is falling apart . . .

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear David Blaine,

You just took up two hours of primetime television performing a "stunt" I had never heard of until yesterday.

Of course, the "stunt" took up maybe 20 minutes of those two hours. We periodically saw you hanging upside down for "the past 60 hours," even though we know you weren't upside down that entire time (thank you, FOXNews, for busting Blaine on your web site today with the important news of his "cheating" by standing upright periodically throughout his "stunt").

I can't blame you for needing a few upright breaks. But, don't call that 60 hours of hanging upside down. It's like calling a bike event a 100 mile Century, but only marking out 85 miles. If it's not 100 miles, it's not 100 miles, and therefore it's not a century. Don't tell me that it is.

That didn't happen to me, by the way. I swear.

Anyway, for the rest of the two hours we watched you do the same card trick to random people all over the country. And then you "caught" a bullet in a tin can in your mouth. That was sort of exciting, until we watched 15 minutes of footage of all the prep work that went into it. Then it was kinda like you'd be an idiot to mess that one up after all the precautions.

Granted, I will probably never attempt to hang upside for MOST of 60 hours. Nor will I travel the country blowing people's minds with a card trick. Nor will I attempt to catch a bullet in my mouth, with or without a tin can.

But damn you, Blaine. If you insist on taking up prime time TV and wooing me into watching you, I insist that actually do something remarkable. I watched those card tricks years ago when you first showed us that you can levitate. I'm over it.

But yes, once again, I kept the TV on tonight while America waited, and waited, and WAITED for something to actually happen. That "something" being this Dive of Death we heard about all the livelong night.

I mean, we're on the verge of an economic collapse that could happen mere seconds after you Dive to Death. David, we turn to you in this hour of need to doing something spectacular to remind us that we're all just Americans trying to make it in this world of Wall Street types who seem to need my meager income to keep their six-figure incomes, retirement portfolios, and penthouses intact.

So, imagine my disappointment when the time came for this death-defying leap from 44 feet above ground, but all I saw was you take a step off the platform, then float gingerly toward the ground, not actually getting close to the ground, mind you, before you were hauled away by a cable, slowly, ever-so-slowly . . . while the commentator seemed not to now what to say, and while the crowd that watched was underwhelmed into silence, as well.

What, pray tell, was that supposed to be? It would be more of a Dive of Death for me to stand on a chair then jump onto my soft carpet stack high with pillows and a snuggly blanket.

In fact, I tripped in the hallway last week and I'm pretty sure now that walking down the hall is more dangerous than what I saw as your dive of "death" tonight. I don't have any cables attached to keep me from falling to the ground, flat on my arse.

I mean, I'm not going to attempt a dive from 44 feet off the ground. I don't even jump off my step ladder, for goodness sakes.

But to think, I put my DVRed America's Next Top Model on hold when I turned on the TV and saw you hanging from some sort of contraption. I thought that maybe this time, this would be the time you actually do something exciting. Something perilous. Something, I don't know, that Cirque de Soleil doesn't do every night of the week.

But, no. I took a Dive of Death by laying here on my couch, watching you stretch a coin for folks holding plastic cups of what I'm guessing was not just water. That would impress me, too, if I were sipping the trashcan punch.

I know Tyra will forgive me for my lapse in good judgement. However, forgiving myself for this poor use of my time and energy, well, I only hope I can be as forgiving as Tyra is.

Your power lies in your ability to make me watch, even though with every fiber of my being and sanity, I fight you and your "stunts."

Damn you, Blaine. Damn you.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's not that I'm against Bread.

But I'm against picking bread out of my yard.

For the five years that I've lived in my house, from time to time I will see the old asian man who lives behind me come out of his house into his backyard with what's left of a loaf of bread. He then proceeds to throw it about his yard for the birds to eat.

At first glance, this could be a beautiful ritual from a kindly neighbor who enjoys feeding birds.

But, for the five years I've lived in my house, after the man throws the bread into his yard, for the next few days I will find disgusting, moldy, soggy bread scattered about my yard.

Apparently after the birds have the bread feast, they deposit their leftovers into my yard as though I am the busboy.

The other day, I found an entire half of what looked like it once was maybe a pumpernickel loaf, or perhaps some pumpkin bread. This is the hunk of bread that put me over the edge. I put some gloves on (because it was disgusting), picked it up and threw it over my fence, across the alley, and back into my neighbor's yard.

I am sick of his soggy bread leftovers.

I found a squirrel eating the remnants of the loaf back in my yard just a little while ago.

I don't want my yard to be made of bread.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Hunkered down for Hurricane Ike

Of course, by the time Ike gets up to my part of Texas, it will likely just be lots of wind and rain. But, I'm ready, nevertheless.

I can literally stay in here for days, should it come to that. And intend to stay in here for at least the next two days.

Cheese . . . check
Ice cream . . . check
Cokes . . . check
Books . . . check, check and check
Two Netflixes . . . check
DVR full of crap . . . check
No desire to shower . . . check
Oatmeal . . . check
Yard freshly mowed and ready for tons of rain . . . check
Unfortunately, if the power goes out, I will go hungry and be bored out of my mind.

It's all part of being hunkered down.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sarah Mclachlan Divorce

Today must be the day that Sarah Mclachlan's divorce was announced because my blog has gotten a bazillion hits today from people searching for that very thing.

All because I wrote a blog a couple of years ago about a Sarah Mclachlan Christmas song that I put on my ultimate Christmas mix.

Sorry, folks. No news about the big divorce here.

But you'll keep arriving, now that I've typed it.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Two-year-olds selling cookie dough

It's that time again. That time when I, having no children, have to financially support the children of all of my friends.

It's that time when I think my friends make up children I never knew they had just to get money out of me.

It's school fundraiser season.

I used to think I had a handle on this. It was a simpler time of Girl Scout cookies at the office. Coworkers would bring the order forms up to the office, I place my order for my Samoas. Then a few weeks later, the cookies show up at my desk.

No problem.

Then last year, my friend's two-year-old was raising money for her nursery school by selling tubs of cookie dough. I mean, cute as can be. I couldn't resist.

But since when do two-year-olds need money? How do they know how to sell cookie dough? They can't even SAY cookie dough.

This year it's the online stores. Seriously, the children's fundraising has hit the interweb. I mean, back in my day it was the boxes of candy bars that took forever to sell, and only sold when my dad would take them to work.

Now, the kids don't even have to personally ask me for money. Their moms send an email with a link to a web store. They don't even send a photo of their cute kids to woo me.

But so far, it works. It's terrible. I will spend more money on more kids this way because I don't even have to leave my couch to support their causes. Why are the children so smart these days?!?!

I blame our education system.

So far, I'm in for a magazine subscription for one kid, and probably some gift wrap for another kid. I can't help it.

I buy something from one kid, I pretty much have to buy something from all of the kids.

For the next month, I will be eating only Samoas while reading my new subscription to Entertainment Weekly while wrapping gifts and looking at my free gym bag that came with the magazines but that I don't intend to actually use. I'll put it next to the pansies that I told my boss I'd buy for her kid's drill team.

I'll be too poor to do anything else.

But, it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. It's for the kids . . . who better pay me back by supporting me one day when I'm old.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Scotch Guard: the most elusive product ever invented

I can never find Scotch Guard at the store.

If I'm looking for it, it's nowhere to be found. If I'm NOT looking for it and I don't need it, that's when I find it. But then I can never remember where I saw it the next time I need it.

Sometimes it's in Fabric Care. Sometimes it's by the camping equipment (which is the best kind because it's heavy duty for outdoors and mildew).

But I'm pretty sure it's never in the same place twice. In fact, I'm pretty sure it moves around the store when it knows I'm looking for it.

This weekend I was able to find Scotch Guard cleaner. This is not what I need.

Then I found Scotch Guard carpet protector. Also, NOT what I need.

Next time I find it, I'm buying all of it.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

I am obsessed with oatmeal.

I haven't always been obsessed with oatmeal. But over the past few weeks, oatmeal is pretty much my life.

Not the kind in a serving-size packet to which you add water and stick it in the microwave. I'm talking the real stuff. Comes in that cylindrical container and cooks for a whole five minutes on the stove.

The best part is that I've been obsessed with the oatmeal . . . for dinner. I've eaten it almost every night for almost three weeks.

I can't explain why. I have no idea. I just know that even though it's been summer and super hot, I have to have my oatmeal for dinner.

A couple of nights ago, I decided that I needed something new. Not because I was tired of the oatmeal, but because it might be a little bit weird that I'm eating so much oatmeal without getting tired of it. Even though that's the way I tend to roll. I will eat something everyday for, like, ever, and then one day I pretty much don't want it ever again.

So, a couple of nights ago I had hot dogs for dinner. I also really love hot dogs. So, this was a good change.

But, last night it was back to oatmeal.

Tonight? Hot dogs.

But I'm kinda sad that I didn't have oatmeal.

Don't judge me.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Tyrant through the years . . .

I recently received a letter about my 10 year College Homecoming festivities. I can hardly believe I've been out of college for 10 years. . .

Today I spent some time looking through old photos. I found some of my yearbook photos, more than I remember ever taking. Some more embarrassing than others . . .

Here's the first photo I found, from my 1952 yearbook. Don't laugh!

In 1960, I looked remarkably like my mother did as a teenager!

By 1968, I'd lost those lame glasses. Much better!

1978 was a good year for my hair. I'm actually not really sure how I got it to do that, but it worked!

By 1984, I'd toned down the 'fro and opted for more feather.

In 1986, someone talked me in to experimenting with gerry curl. It was a bad decision.

By 1992, I was back to lots of feather, and lots of Aqua Net! And a really tan neck, apparently.

Halfway through college, I experimented with blonde. It worked, but it was too hard to keep up.

By 1998, the year I graduated college, I was back to something normal to go with my really tan neck.

But, I'm sure glad I'm past that now! Man, 10 years really makes you glad you don't look as ridiculous as you did back in college . . .

That's hot.