Tuesday
Jun232009

You Spin Me Right Round

I don't carry cash. Mostly. That is, I withdraw $15 every week or so, and that is the money that I use to function. It covers my lunches, my dates with Chef Vending Machine, and my voyages to Starbucks. If I run out of cash too quickly, I'm out of luck. Sir Debit Card is sometimes invited to come out to play, but only for higher priced basic necessities like gas and groceries and such.

What I'm saying is that I really don't spend money. On my own. Rather, I wait until the weekend to go wild and crazy and then I make Mr. Husband use his debit card. It's more fun that way, and it's totally all his fault if "we" spend too much.

So, when I got word that there was a message on our voicemail from our bank regarding some sort of problem with my debit card, I wasn't worried. I still had $10 of my "allowance" floating around in my camera bag (I gave up on carrying a purse when I had Mr. Canon permanently attached to my face) and I knew I hadn't been anywhere freaky. If there was a debit for a strip club party or new car, I knew very well Mr. Husband would have mentioned it. Unless he was the one who did it.

Anyhoooo . . .

It took me a day or two to follow the directions in the voicemail and call the bank back. I knew it was regarding "suspicious activity" but I just couldn't be bothered to put on my care face. When I did finally call, it ended up being past regular business hours, which basically meant that I got to talk to some chick in India who didn't actually have access to a computer. Or speak English. She placed some sort of voodoo hex on my card and told me to call back between 8 and 4 the next day.

I did.

Unfortunately.

I love my friends who work for PNC Bank. I really do. They are some of the bestest people around, but OMG, they work with idiots. Truly. Primo idiot was the guy I got to talk to when I called the second time (after playing Duck Duck Goose with three other people, I might add). Mr. I Work in Fraud, but Don't Take that Word "Work" Too Seriously was all, "What number did we call?" I was all, "412-somenumbersIcouldprobablyputherebecausenobodyevercallsus." He was all, "No we didn't." I was all, "Yes, you did." He was all, "What other number could we have called." I was all, "THAT is the number you called." He was all, "No, we didn't." I was all, "Yes, you did." He was all, "What other number could we have called?" I was all, "THAT is the number you called."

And so on.

Really. We repeated that same spinny conversation FIVE times before I finally just hung up on Mr. Work? No, Thanks.

Because I am a moron, I dialed the 800 number again. This time I was told that my debit card number didn't exist.

Cause, you know, I never learned how to read numbers when I was in grade school.

Annnnnd I hung up again. And dialed again. And asked for a manager. And then asked for her manager. Finally, I was connected to someone who was capable of hearing the words that were falling out of my mouth.

After some hemming and hawing, she blurted out that she couldn't see a reason for a fraud alert to have ever been put on my debit card, so she lifted the hold and advised me to go on a wild shopping spree.

I obliged. I went to the grocery store and snagged $20 worth of necessities. For some reason, I didn't go to the Be Your Own Slave Checkout and instead let some Miserable Teen slowly drag my ice cream and Lima beans across the scanner. 18 years later, I swiped my little debit card, and was . . . DECLINED.

As the Miserable Teen informed me of the situation, I shot her the You Have Got to be Kidding Me Face. She returned a You Are SUCH a Loser When You Get Declined Trying to Buy $20 Worth of Food face. Touché, Miserable Teen. Touché.

So, I went home and called the bank. Again. And AGAIN I was told that the hold was removed.

Liars.

Finally, a week after this whole hot mess started, I walked into our local PNC branch. Doing so is sort of like voluntarily entering a room full of Miserable Teens. Lots of staring, almost no doing. I waited. And waited. And waited. In the interest of full disclosure, I would have ran out of there after the first And waited, but my allowance was long gone. Today was Day #3 of the unintentional fasting because I didn't have any money for lunch. I was too weak from all the hunger to actually walk out.

When, at last, I finished playing Duck Duck Goose and got to talk to someone who could actually help me, I didn't learn much. The card had been closed (WTF?) due to a potential "compromise" (read = I once, long ago, used my card at TJMaxx and some hackers maybe hacked into the file that contained my card number--MAYBE). Nobody thought to send me a new card. Nobody thought to TELL ME WHAT THE FARK WAS GOING ON. Nobody thought to even apologize that at that point I had spent a total of six hours trying to get my lousy $15 out of our account so I could have a Mocha Frappuccino and maybe stop biting people's heads off because OMG I need Mocha Frappuccinos like normal people need oxygen.

*Ahem*

I'm getting a new card next week. Allegedly. In the meantime, the *cough*not*cough* helpful person at the branch suggested I just ask my husband to get me some money since his card is still all dandy.

Um, The Bank of Mr. Husband asks more questions than a mortgage lender.

Me: "I need $15, please."

Him: "Why?"

Me: "I need to buy lunch."

Him: "Why don't you just take your lunch to work?"

Me: "I need $15, please."

Him: "Why?"

Me: "I need to go to the grocery store and buy food to take to work for lunch."

Him: "Isn't there something at home you could eat?"

Me: "I need $15, please."

Him: "Why?"

Me: "I need to buy gas so I can run home and see if there is anything at home that I can take to work with me for lunch."

Him: "Why?"

And so on.

I hate you, PNC. You make me dizzy, mad, and sporky.

It's not an attractive look for me. I guess not all of us are lucky enough to be cute when we're mad.

Monday
Jun222009

Yes, More Giggling. And?

Mr. Husband and I have very different opinions on music. While I swing wildly from pop to alternative to opera (LOVE Phantom so, so much) to modern rock, he sticks mainly with what I would call "noise." He might call it heavy metal or death metal or whatever, but all I hear is screaming, yelling, and something that doesn't at all resemble music.



Alexis, for her part, is pretty consistent in her choices. Mostly she sticks with pop music. We've had the Justin Timberlake phase, the P!nk phase, and are now currently having our brains eaten by the High School Musical phase. In between those phases, however, she will listen to stuff that doesn't seem to fit the typical 3-year old mold. For example, thanks to her father and his -ahem- "music," she can read the word "Opeth" and can recognize a few of their songs.



Whatever. That's about all I have to say about that.



Earlier this evening, I sat on the couch drafting a whole other blog post (which I'll post later this week) while Alexis sat on the floor happily playing with her dollhouse. For whatever reason, she happened to take note when Mr. Husband grabbed his iPod. She asked what he was listening to, and somehow thought "Six Feet Under" was "Sixteen Number One." Just in case you are REALLY FREAKIN' LUCKY and don't know what Sixteen Number One might be, it's from High School Musical 3. It's the first track on the CD (thus, "Number One"), and is probably called Sixteen Minutes (I could look, but that would require that I actually cared. I don't.). Let's just say that Zac Efron screaming at the top of his lungs is NOT AT ALL like Six Feet Under. Not even close.



In the words of Mr. Husband, Six Feet Under is kinda like what it would sound like if Cookie Monster sang death metal. Sounds charming to me, but for some reason, Alexis actually listened to it for a few minutes. At first she was all, "That's not Sixteen Number One!" but then she settled in for a good long listen.



I think she may have liked it.



That might have a little to do with what she decided it sounded like.







Yes, she thinks the "music" sounds like incredibly rude burps. Funny, rude burps.



I think she might be on to something.

Sunday
Jun212009

It's Baaaaaaack

It's been a long time since I last mentioned the Saltwater Fish Tank of Horrors, and for good reason--nothing has been happening with it. Ever since the drama with the ghost crab, the domestic violence between the clown fish, and the tank itself exploding, not much has happened. I figured that it was the actual acrylic that made up the tank that was jinxed since the replacement tank has been pretty drama-free. Sure, there was the time that the Emerald Crab disappeared and I found him stuck in the filter system a few months later (alive and well), but other than that? Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Part of the lack of drama could certainly be attributed to the tank finally settling down from the initial set-up, and to the fact that I stopped paying attention to it. Short of cleaning it every couple of weeks, I wasn't doing much with it. The worms were tamed by a few carefully selected shrimp, but I hadn't even added any new fish in a very long time. Until a few weeks ago, that is.

We happened to wander into a local fish store, and the poopfaces just HAD to go and order two of the fish that I have always wanted. They had a Green Clown Goby and a Jawfish, and the prices were really low. Of course I had to buy them, even though it's ridiculously idiotic to go and add more fish when we have to move the tank in a month.

All was well. Alexis named the Green Clown Terminator (I can't make this stuff up) and the Jawfish was still trying to earn a name. Everybody was eating and happy and generally thriving. Was.

Today I figured I would give it a good cleaning and try to stack the rocks a little better. The Jawfish is a sand dweller and will bury itself in a little hole, only sticking its head out to look around. However, ours had taken to hiding in the rocks. I thought maybe if I made his beach a little bigger, he would amuse me with some shenanigans.

I started pulling the rocks out and carefully stacking them in a plastic storage tub. I hadn't actually taken inventory of where all the fish and shrimp were hiding because they always figure out what to do when I get all crazy with the aquarium cleaning. As I grabbed the largest rock and set it on the towel next to me, I heard a noise.

Flflflflflflflk.

I had no idea what it was and kept on cleaning.

Flflflflflflflk.

Then it dawned on me--there was a fish hiding inside one of the caves in the rock, and it was literally flopping around like a fish out of water. I quickly picked up the rock and stuck it back in the water, silently pleading with the fish to not go flopping out of the rock and on to the floor. Fortunately, I didn't even catch sight of who was flopping around all pissy.

When I finally finished the cleaning and restacking, I plugged in the pump. Nothing happened--the water remained calm. I tried scraping the pump's outlet and dislodged a little muck. Still, the water sat unmoving. I had no idea what the problem was, so I started dismantling the pieces. As I yanked one tube from another, I braced myself for a shower. The pump on that tank is pretty powerful, and I've had the pleasure of dancing in a salty rain when I accidentally bumped it off track once before.

Nothing happened.

Finally I reached down and pulled the entire pump out so I could try figuring out what was blocking the water flow.

And saw the problem.

Somehow, some way, the Jawfish had managed to squeeze through a very tiny opening and found its way into the small part of the tank that housed the pump. Even better, he had the genius idea to get really close to the inlet.

It wasn't pretty. The fish's head was turned all the way around so that the eyes were facing the same direction as the tail. And did you know that fish can get hickeys? Oh, he had a hickey. A big red circle made it real obvious that the fish had gotten stuck to the inlet, tried to fight away from it, but then died a real . . . uh . . . sucky death.

This had better not be a sign of things to come.