Friday, April 25, 2008

What the Credit Card Company Giveth ...

The other day I got a single piece of mail in my mailbox. Normally, I wouldn't bother opening what was clearly an annoying mailer from my credit card company, but I was bored during the elevator ride upstairs so I opened 'er up.

Instead of the useless offer I was expecting I saw this American Dream crushing statement.

A few months ago we increased your credit limit because you are such a good customer. But since you haven't used the increase we assume you don't need it and so we are decreasing it again.

Upon reading this, this is what my face was saying: !&!^(#)!!

And this is what my mouth was saying: !&!^(#)!!

And no. I don't need a crazy high credit limit. BUT I WANT ONE!!! It makes my credit score better (at least according to Suze Orman, and she'd know more about that than I do). AND I can pretend to be a playa much better when I can throw down the plastique with confidence. But more importantly, I don't want them making arbitrary decisions for me based on what they think I need. How do they know that THIS isn't the month that I finally buy that speedboat I've been eyeing? They might think they are omniscient, but hey, newsflash credit card dudes, you're not.

Plus, isn't the whole point of being a good consumer to get good credit and be eligible for a high credit limit? It's like the best financial thing I've got going for me ... and they think they can take it away just like that? Harsh. Way harsh.

Obviously, this deserved a call to the Customer Service Center. Who promptly did nothing for me. They didn't even give me a good excuse like saying that they aren't interested in supporting people who pay their balance monthly and are therefore deadweight to their money grubbing business strategies. Nope, all they could say was that they might review it again in the future. To which I said, "Well, I am VERY DISPLEASED. And I will NOT be encouraging others to get one of your cards, jackasses."

And then I hung up and while still in a fury, promptly requested a copy of my credit report - just to see if there was something that they knew that I didn't know. If their meddling had caused any dings I would have been SERIOUSLY displeased. Luckily for them, my score was higher than ever. So suck on that, you sucking jerkface suckers.

The moral of this story is that if someone is willing to give you something you better use every last bit of it immediately or else it will be taken away. Silly things like responsibility and prudence are so passé. These days its all about Greed, baby, Greed!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Success Really Takes A Lot of Work

I went on a date this Saturday. I think this was the first date I've been excited to go on since my Senior Prom. I forgot that when I'm excited to go on a date, I care about making a good impression. And like, what if he comes into my apartment, and the throw pillows aren't properly plumped!? Obviously, that's the kiss of death to any budding relationship. So I spent all last week stressing out about getting everything shipshape.

Monday - Got serious about my salad-for-lunch diet and do not, under any circumstances, let the IT boys persuade me to go out to eat. Rocked it at the gym for a couple of hours.

- Cleaned my kitchen, including sweeping and mopping the floors.

- Researched spray gel and spray shine; the right hair product is essential! Then went to the gym, and vacuumed my house.

- Went to Sephora to get some expert advice on the spray gel and spray shine.

- Consulted at length with my girlfriends about what's better to wear on a first date (dinner, possibly dancing): jeans, skirt, or pants? And what kind of top? FOR THE LOVE, WHAT KIND OF TOP??

- The big day! Last chance work out at the gym. Checked Macy's, Target, and some local boutiques for a cute top. Couldn't find one (shocking!) so had to settle for something I already had, which was fine, but still nerve-wracking (there's something so confidence-boosting about new clothes). Cleaned my house to within an inch of it's life. Showered, shaved legs, plucked eyebrows, dressed, did hair and make up with extra care, put on perfume, and selected jewelery. Finally, I watched the news until he arrived to cram some current events into my brain, so I'd seem smarter.


Now, after all of that work you can imagine how nervous I was that we would have a terrible time, or that I wouldn't like him, and all of that work would have been worthless. Yup, I was pretty nervous. But that's nothing compared to how nervous I am for our second date! At least my house is clean this time, which fortunately leaves more time to track down a cute top.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pope Slapped

Camie and I watched the first episode of The Biggest Loser together, and so we thought it would be fun to get together last night and watch the finale. Did you watch it? All season long this show has been bringing me to tears as I watch all of these huge dudes cry and tell each other how they are the wind beneath each others wings. It's totally motivational, and I was excited to watch it with Camie. No one likes to cry alone. The Pope, however, had other plans.

His Popeness is in Washington DC right now, as you might know if you (unlike me) pause between flipping between E!, TLC, and Bravo long enough to see the news. Whenever there is any event such as this, roads are usually closed, and if roads are closed you can bet your 401K that traffic is going to suuuuuuuuuck.

My little 3 mile commute from Bethesda to Silver Spring took a grueling 55 minutes. Camie, coming to my house from DC, really didn't stand a chance.

She called at 7PM and said, "I've been on the Parkway for 45 minutes and I'm only at the CIA exit. I'm turning around."

I nodded into the phone as I calculated how far the CIA exit is from where she'd need to get onto the Beltway. And from there, it was likely that if the Parkway was a mess, the Beltway would look like a CarMaxx parking lot. At this rate she'd be getting to my house at about 11PM.

"Oh yeah!" I said, "Definitely go back home. There's no way you're getting here tonight."

"Sorry!" she said.

"Don't worry about it. It's not your fault! You totally got Pope Slapped!"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wherin Laziness Is An Asset

Ever since my job finally got a grip on itself and started being a real job, I've had to give up my most favorite guilty pleasure of sleeping in. This is fine. I'm an adult and can totally deal with getting up at normal adult hours. (Besides, I'm an adult with no children so my "getting up early" is most people's "sleeping in." So I still feel like I'm ahead of the game.)

Anyway, today was the first day in a long time that I didn't have any meetings starting before 10 AM. I checked my calendar like six times since it's become pretty commonplace to have 7:30 AM conference calls. So when my alarm went off at 6AM, I said to myself, "shuuppppp!neeedsleeeepnoowork" Which basically translates to "Go ahead and hit the snooze bar a few times, lovey, there's no need to rush in to work today."

This was great news, because I was really enjoying sleeping. The night before I'd gone to bed with my window open, so the temperature in my room was very crisp on the outside of my duvet, but very warm and sleep inducing on the inside. I spent the next hour and a half snoozing, and sticking first one foot out into the chilly air before pulling it back into the warmth, and then the other. If I were the kind of person that felt good about calling non-food items "delicious" I would have called this morning's extended snooze delicious. Or maybe scrumptious.

But as delightful as this snooze-time was, I did eventually get up and get ready for work.

I was in the living room putting the last items into my bag (ipod? check. snack? check.) when SUDDENLY a power washer stream hit the window. Usually they are pretty good about letting us know when they are power washing or otherwise lurking outside of the windows. But even though it was a surprise it wasn't a big deal, so I grabbed my bag, locked the door, and headed down the hallway.

BUT THEN! I turned on my heel and went back inside.

Open bedroom window
+ Power Washing outside
One mother of a mess

How fortunate that I decided to be a little lazy today! If I'd rushed out early and thereby had my bedroom flooded, I would have been plenty pissed off.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Verbal Suicide

In my opinion (which is the only opinion that matters in my opinion) there are some words or phrases that are so loaded with social unacceptability and uncoolness that uttering them is the same as committing verbal suicide. And if you say them in my hearing or even worse to my face (!) my hands are tied, and you are DEAD TO ME.

So Please, for your edification, a short selection from the Kamikaze Dictionary:

  • Referring to something as "a choice experience"
  • Honest to Gosh
  • Cool Beans!!!!!!!

For the love of Merriam Webster, use this list with care (aka, never). Once you are dead to me, it will take some serious acts of coolness (or gifts of cashmere) to become undead.

(By the way, it also really bothers me when people say "anywho" or "anyways" with an S ... ugh and shudder ... but doing that doesn't quite equal verbal suicide. It's more like being maimed with a steak knife. Horrible. So horrible. And I basically don't want to be anywhere around you or know you at all. It's a fine, fine line.)

Do you guys feel this way too? Or am I the most shallow person in the room?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wherin I Suck At Easy Decisions

Here's the sitch:

  • I have 30 days of vacation that I must use before December 31. (35 if you count sick days).
  • After five years of gaining points on my miles credit card I have enough miles built up to buy a ticket worth around $1000. Which basically means I can go anywhere in the world, maybe twice. (I'd like to thank my ridiculous rent from the past 5 years for it's major contribution to this outlandish balance).
  • I finally faced filing my tax return, and somehow, magically, I am getting back a FAT return.
  • I have this sort-of half-formed goal of going to every continent (except Antarctica, brrrr!) before I'm married, or dead. Whichever comes first.

and now for the part where I make the obvious unnecessarily complicated .....

  • None of my friends have any days of vacation, let alone 30 days.
  • None of my friends have any money to spend.
  • I'm sort of scared of traveling by myself. It just seems so overwhelming! All of that time - all day every day - to entertain myself - by myself - no one to comment on the prettiness to except strangers - strange strangers - who may or may not want to use me to smuggle cocaine or diamonds into the US - lots and lots of strangers - all speaking strange languages and using strange colored money - requiring me to convert their strange colored money which, as you know, I cannot do - and do you or do you not include tip here? - will my failure to haggle (or convert) leave me stranded in the street after dark? - with the mafia? - and stray dogs? - it's a bit overwhelming.
  • I'm a worrywart chicken.

Sooooooooo. I'm sure you can see how these two sets of bullet points have succeeded in canceling each other out, and thereby reduced me to a quivering blob of indecision.

Which is how I got to the point where I'm starting to seriously entertain the idea of Voluntourism. Have you guys heard of this? Basically you travel somewhere and do some volunteer work while you're there, and then you can travel around a little bit before, during, or after depending on the program.

Under normal circumstances this would be pretty much the opposite of what I'd want to do for a vacation. This is a definite do-gooders type of vacation and so the percentage of people apt to be wearing patchouli oil and hemp clothing is WAY too high for my liking. I'm not really a Build-A-Hut-In-The-Amazon kind of girl. But I read about this project where you work to reconstruct these historic stone buildings that are crumbling away. Oh and it's in the countryside in Provence. FRANCE. After a morning mortaring you can spend your afternoons ambling around the countryside. I mentioned the part about Provence, right?

So now I'm thinking to myself that this could be the best of both worlds. Perhaps this type of program would give me a little structure so that I'm not overwhelmed with the possibilities - good and bad - of how to spend my days which would otherwise cause me to freeze into stuttering spaz who can't make up their mind (see worrywart chicken bullet point above). It would allow me to also have some interaction with people in a safe and engaging way, but still have some time to be able to do my own thing. Yes! And Please!

Of course, it might not be that great. It could be a trip with a bunch of kumbaya drum-beating weirdos. And they're all jazzed to save the earth, and I'd be like, "Well, yeah the Earth is pretty great and all ... but do we need to smell SO bad to save it?" and they'll be all like, "Your global footprint puts Sasquatch to shame." And then we'd glare at each other from across the drum circle. So obviously we won't like each other but we'll still be forced to share mortar and get along! It will be torture!


See how easy that was? One little jaunt down Imagination Lane and I'm back to being a quivering blob of indecision. Help me, Internets, you're my only hope!

Should I travel alone? Or do Voluntourism? Or just stay at home and put my tax refund toward a house?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring on Sale

I've been feeling a little drab lately. I just can't get jazzed about anything while it's so chilly outside! I'm waiting for Spring to get it's butt into gear and get here already. And I think it's coming. I think it is. The buds and blossoms are saying yes, but my goosebumps are saying no. And like my own personal Groundhog, my goosebumps are the true indicator of Spring. Until they say Spring has come I will still wear my turtlenecks and refuse to participate in any outdoor activities without a significant amount of goretex.

All of this hunkering down in the house has caused me to wear out my sleepwear, since I change into it as soon as I come home from work or the gym. So today I went to Target to get more pajamas. (PS - are you guys in love with their Xhiliration sleepwear like I am? These little T-shirts and cotton pants are totally comfortable and really cute. I heart them.) And I'm sure you know how it goes. When you're in Target you never walk out of there with only the item you went in to purchase. I think it's physically impossible. Somehow another $50 worth of merchandise makes it into your cart. And anyway, I found this really cute dress!

It's springy! It's yellow! It's crazy comfortable! But most importantly, it doesn't require me to wear it with a cardigan or concealing cami. I mean, if I want to wear a cardi with it, I certainly could, but it's not required. And that's the main thing for a low-maintenance dress. And besides, at this point in this never-ending winter, $24.99 seems well worth it for a little bit of Spring.

I do want to take a second to point out that even though this dress is pretty cute, the shoes the model has with it are nothing sort of fugly. I am against white shoes in all of their manifestations (except for some really cute peeptoe slingbacks with gold studs from Seychelles. They are the only white shoes I've ever loved. They are awesome, and all of the other shoes in my closet are jealous that I love them so much.)

So if you want to imagine me in this dress, you should definitely imagine me wearing some really smokin hot heels. Like these, that I have in a funky "brush-off blue" color, which is kinda like this color. I couldn't find a picture of them in that color, just know that they are SO much cuter in blue. But still, you get the idea.

So as soon as the weather cooperates, I'll be able to start sassing it up. Happy Pre-Spring-Post-Easter-Dress to me!