Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sometimes, Loss is a good thing

Losing my purse, (and no, I haven't found it) is quickly becoming the best thing that could have happened to me.

Aside from the fact that my video camera was in there, and some gift cards, and my IPOD DAMNIT! losing my purse may be the best thing that could happen to me right now. I got a phone call today that underlined this.

Here's the thing. I haven't been very good with my credit cards lately. If I want something, I get it, telling myself that I can pay it off quickly. This is good in theory until you realize that TOO many things handled that way add up quickly. And interest compounds. (I'm waiting for my next AMEX statement so I can look into personal consolidation loans. Better to pay one bill than 2 and at a lower interest rate)

Since I lost my credit cards with my purse, I can't use them. I have not called for replacements because NOT having them, forces me to live within my means. It sucks a little, but I'm surviving just fine. It's amazing all the things I would have bought if I could. I don't need them. In fact, I had a guest over a few nights ago who said that my house was more organized than he'd ever seen it before (except that odd pile of file cabinet and such in the dining room? Never mind). I've been purging and not adding. It's awesome. (It helps that I've been exercising constantly so I don't really have time to shop)

So, a little while ago I received a call from a company that sounded like my credit card company offering to lower my interest rate. Heck yeah I want to lower my interest rate! When I started talking to a live person, things started getting a little sketchy. It turns out, he wasn't calling from MY credit card company, he was calling from a company that would contact my credit card company and have them lower my rate. Well, that doesn't make very much sense since I could call them myself and ask for a lower rate. Sometimes they do that, sometimes they won't. The company he named was pretty generic sounding. He said they were in Orlando, FL but that he was calling from a call center. The number that dialed me was in San Marcos, CA. Whatever, I look up some pretty interesting businesses every day (Tiny's Wiener Emporium!!), but the bulk of them sound pretty normal.  He started getting a little pissed when he asked for my credit card number and I couldn't give it to him. I don't have it. I can't find it, and I don't think it is on my statement, despite what he said. Which is GOOD. I don't want that information floating around for anyone to see. I'm at work. No access to the things he is looking for. He offered to give me his name, his ID number, all sorts of things to get my credit card number. I explained that he couldn't help me right now and finally said goodbye.

I looked up the business on Dunn and Bradstreet, it doesn't exist in Orlando. A search for the number on D&B pulls up a daycare. Maybe they exist but aren't listed, but I don't think so. I googled the number and discovered that I'm not the only one getting these calls. It reeked of SCAM, especially when he started getting pissed off at me for not giving him my numbers;  if it smells that bad, it likely is.

Thank goodness I lost my purse somewhere in my house. I'm not saying that I would have given him the numbers, I would like to think I am smarter than that, but I would be willing to bet that there are plenty of people who do. Especially when he started getting angry that I wasn't giving up the info.

For those who might be google searching that number like I did, it's, (760) 204-4226 . The fellow I spoke to had an accent that sounded Indian or Pakistani to my untrained ear, which made him sound a bit more legit considering how many American call centers are located in Asia. The business name he gave me was Financial Advising Center in Orlando Florida

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

I am so very lucky

We listen to a lot of Rob, Arnie, and Dawn, a radio show in Sacramento here in the cube. Not only do they have a morning show, but you can go to their website and listen to reruns all day long. We listen to Reruns all day long. Sometimes, I'll catch a story, but for the most part, because it isn't loud enough for me to hear, I don't even notice its on until it isn't, when the sudden silence causes me to pull my head out of computerland and remark on the silence.

Every so often though, I tune in and listen to whatever is going on over on Bratty's side of the world. Today (on rerun) I overheard a story about a woman who's in laws treat her son from a previous marriage (and her) pretty badly while being kind to the children from her current marriage.

And I remembered, again, how lucky I am that my mom married into the family she did.

I am quite blessed with grandparents.

I talk a lot about my father's mom, Ma, but not as much about my mom's parents. And I don't think I have ever mentioned Nana and Grandpa. It's not for lack of love for them.

This post though, this one is for Nanathana and Garypa. (which mixed their given names with grandparent titles and was a perfect solution for two little girls who suddenly found themselves with another set of grandparents and without a clue what to call them)

When my mom married their son, I was 5 and Seester was 9. Pie and Brother weren't even possible yet. We were the first grandchildren. A ready made pair with countless barbies and a distant relationship with our father's family. We, along with sister-cousin Lisa would take over the house, playing with anything that got in our way. We were mermaids in the jacuzzi. We rode skateboards in the alley, and we took over the family room with our Barbies. We went to Buford's candy store and ate Phony Baloney. Soon, another set of cousins came along and when they learned to talk, names had to be shortened to accommodate young child speaking patterns. Suddenly, we had a Nana and a Grandpa.

More children joined the family over the years. Some, the kind of grandchildren (and now great grandchildren!) that are related, some joined the family through marriage.

One of the wonderful things about Nana and Grandpa is that we all got treated the same. They are proud grandparents of ALL of us and no one was treated better for having shared the same genes. At least, not that I have ever noticed.

My parents are now divorced and have been for far longer then they were married.  Dadi remarried and now there's two more grandchildren in Nana and Grandpa's brood. They are my brother and sister. My mom is invited to the annual Christmas party.

My family taught me a very important lesson. That blood relation doesn't matter when you love each other and that you don't divorce children. I was blessed to be embraced by a family who feels this way. I'm glad I learned this lesson from them instead of the other kind of people, who don't understand that you can love a child, even if they are not descended from you.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Goodbye boy

I'm not sure if I ever told you about Booch.

Booch was a giant, clumsy, overzealous, lovable lunkhead of a dog. When I say giant, I mean that he was the most beautiful Doberman - Black Lab mix that you ever did see and he was so big, that he could rear up on his hind legs and lick my face without stretching out completely. It took two leashes to walk him, and those I had to wear like a harness.

Booch was approximately 1 month older than Chango so when I met his owner, he suggested that we start taking them both to the dog park. I insisted on waiting until my boy was just a little bit older than the 9 weeks he was when I got him, which is probably a good thing because it turns out, that Booch was at least twice his size. As they got older, they would vie for my attention.
Over the last 4 years, there was a lot of back and forth dog sitting and visits to the dog park. Despite his need for a whole lot of training, I loved that dog. He was bigger than me. His head, spanned my lap, where he would lay it during the times that he would stay with me. Chango treated him like an annoying big brother and Baby thought he was the bestest thing next to her own dog. He was a part of my little family.

Booch's owner has an apple tree. Since he was a giant horse of a dog, he ate the apples. A lot of them. All the time.  Which didn't really appear to be a problem until Booches was out for a run and the cyanide from the seeds finally hit his system.

That was three weeks ago. I found out about it last night. I'm heart broken. I'll never get to pull his long velvet ears again or complain when he steals a kiss.

This post has two parts. One to honor the memory of a critter occasionally referred to as Chango's "brother". And the other to beg you to watch what your pets eat. I know I'm incredibly lucky that aside from grass, Chango doesn't really eat anything that I don't tell him to eat. (except that one time when he ate my steak, but I can't really blame him for that since I left it on the coffee table) But I know dogs who eat anything they can get their paws on. I've heard stories of blockages and perforations, and now an accidental poisoning. Shit happens, unfortunately. And we can't control everything. And apples, we eat them all the time, right? but we take the seeds out. I knew you couldn't feed apple seeds to turtles or parrots, but I never thought about dogs.

I sure did go home and give extra snuggles to Chango last night.