I had a title, but it got cut off at the knees.

When I graduated high school, I got a job and got an apartment and bought a piece of crap car. I also applied for a credit card, because I assumed that was just what you did when you were setting up shop as a Person.

They turned me down.

My 18-year-old feelings were kind of hurt but I figured, that's okay, I haven't been at my job long. I waited a few months and applied to a different company.

They turned me down.

I found this a little infuriating. I was an upstanding citizen, I paid my bills, what the hell was the problem? The credit card companies would never give me an actual reason so I asked a friend that worked at a bank.

Basically? They wouldn't give me one because I didn't already HAVE one, and because I was perfectly capable of paying it off. I swore a lot and stuck a few pins in voodoo dolls marked "Visa" and then forgot about it.

The next year, I went away to college. Credit card applications are rampant on campus; there are even people whose job it is to wave them in your face. To test a theory, one day I filled out the form and mailed it away.

What a shocker - though I had no discernible form of income whatsoever, not even student loans, they gave me the fucking credit card. Knowing that their insidious plan was to let me rack it up and then barely make the minimum payment, and that I would probably do just that, I froze it in a block of ice and stuffed it into the freezer.

It stayed there until I had almost graduated, at which point my stupid cat got hit by a car. To pay the vet for her treatment, I needed to use the credit card.

(The stupid cat survived, by the way, and lived for many more long and vindictive days.)

After that I graduated and went to summer school in Banff, where I had even LESS money, and MasterCard commenced sending me rather angry letters. At the end of the summer, I came home, got a job, and went into the bank as soon as I could to pay them.

"We're, uh...we're going to have to keep the card," the teller told me, and cut it up right then and there. Though the last thing I wanted was to be given the card back, I felt about 2 inches tall, and a shamefaced 18 years old all over again. Even though it had been my own mocking experiment, because I thought getting a credit card and then not using it was the ultimate way to show them I was on to their game. Or something.

Fast forward to NOW, many years later. I haven't had a credit card since then - in fact, I wave away those obnoxious people in the supermarket with a "I don't believe in credit cards, thanks," - but I have had car loans, student loans, and lines of credit. And I've paid them all off, with a few close calls but never in arrears, always a loanee in good standing. Last year, we remortgaged the house and paid it ALL off.

I wish someone had told me that a mortgage doesn't count for your credit rating.

Because I've recently noticed that despite the fact I wrote maybe three checks total between the ages of 16 and 30, now that I have a house and a kid, I write them all the damn time. And nobody ever cashes them immediately. Also, I pay for a lot of things online, which could take anywhere from 3 to 15 days to go through. I don't keep track of this shit; I'm a busy woman, and the last time I balanced my checkbook I was twelve years old.

Which means that maybe, OCCASIONALLY, lately I've been overdrawn by like twenty bucks. Simple enough - I went to the bank and asked for an overdraft protection on my checking account. They said, sure! We'll just...oh...wait. You don't have any revolving credit, you've been silly and living within your means, so your credit rating is precisely ZERO. You need to see a lender.

Ugh. Fine. I'll go see a lender. For a $500 overdraft on my fucking checking account.

So I made an appointment to see a lender, at the bank I've been banking at for 20 years. My old loans officer has since retired, so I got a new one. She greeted me cheerily, introduced her 20-year-old trainee, and shook my hand with both of her hands.

For some reason, that irritated the shit out of me.

Then she proceeded to talk and talk and talk, and peppered her speech with comments about how obviously I was a valued customer since I'd been banking there so long, and all my previous loans had been paid off in good standing, and would I like an explanation of the simplest banking procedures? And I couldn't figure out who she was condescending to, me or the trainee. I figured out that it was ME right around the time she actually started crunching numbers and said,

"Oh! Well, your serviceable debt is about 41% of your income. We need to see that under 40%. In order to get this loan approved, you'll need to add your fiance's financial information to this profile."

And just like that, I was 18 years old again. Financially infantilized, in one fell swoop. Sure, we can give you $500, sweetie, but you need to get Daddy to sign here in case you fuck it up, okay? There's that ONE PERCENT, dontcha know.

I gritted my teeth and smiled and thanked her, and she mentioned my upstanding record with the bank one more time and shook my hand with both her hands (Hey! Figured out why it bothered the shit out of me - more false deference! Also, it makes it harder for me to punch her in the throat).

It's enough to make a person go out and rashly apply for a credit card.

At least they're a little more upfront about fiscally eviscerating you.

The wind beneath your corporate wings was probably blown out of someone's ass

Yesterday I had to go downtown to a government office for a design meeting. In the hallway they had a whiteboard used to indicate who was in the office and whether they were available.

At the top was scrawled the bullshit inspirational quote of the day. Something to do with not just weathering the storm and learning to dance in the rain, instead. Or whatever.

Underneath that was written:

Rick Beech* - In an all-day "strategic planning" meeting (I HATE MY LIFE)

...guess he didn't feel like dancing in the rain.

*Names have been changed to protect the suicidal

People suck and sometimes so do their books: Random Tuesday Thoughts

randomtuesday

Wow, I can't believe it's that time of week again. Time just flies by when the highlight of your week is a blogging meme, doesn't it?

Um, I mean, not that this is the highlight of my week. Far more interesting things happen to me, on a regular basis. Daily, even. Really.

*cough*

So - shall we begin?

I almost forgot about this again because today is a holiday. It's "Family Day". It's a relatively new holiday. I think they called it that because "Long Weekend In February To Keep Our Citizens From Committing Murder-Suicide During The Bitter, Sucky Winter" was a little too long and unwieldy. So instead, they apply undue social pressure to have happy family time. It's a very balanced government.

So, um, Twilight. I keep feeling like I have to apologize for this opinion, but: Meh. Seriously. I understand that it's written for teenage girls, so maybe I'm just really out of touch with my inner teenage girl (everyone stop thinking about touching teenaged girls, please), but it was a little boring. Bella started out kind of interesting, but add a dash of vampire and she's all, "Save me! Save me! Even though I'm super self-absorbed and a little whiny!". It took someone wanting to kill her to even pique my interest (possibly because I empathized), and that didn't happen until 2/3 of the way through the book.

So, yeah. I didn't hate it. But there was no "squeee!" factor. I can see the appeal for teenage girls. The rest of you have no excuse.

(sorry)


Is it just me or does a certain circle-shaped cereal taste a teensy bit like...fish? Sometimes when I burp them up I think, "ew, fishy". And this morning when I was chowing down on my healthy breakfast I caught the scent again. Not even good "yummy fresh sushi" fish. More like "3 days in the back of a pickup" fish.

WHY IS THERE SEAFOOD IN MY CHEERIOS CIRCLE-SHAPED BREAKFAST CEREAL??

(trying to avoid a lawsuit here)

(how'm I doing?)

Someone stole my wallet yesterday so I'm grouchy and feeling kind of naked. And not in a good way.

Yes, Cameron, there's a bad naked. Imagine being starkers at maximum shrinkage in front of your grade 7 crush. There, see? Bad naked.

Anyway. I hope whoever used my credit card to go on a shopping spree at least had the decency to use my points card at Best Buy, too.

Also, I'd like my coffee shop punch card back. I had a free bag of beans on that sucker.

I was angrier about this earlier but while I was at the police station filing a report there was some poor woman there hysterical because her ex wouldn't give her 10 year old son back, and wouldn't let her talk to him. Which I think was the universe's way of telling me, "quit whining, you stupid cow, it could be worse".


And your random thoughts could be better! Want to play? Grab the button, cobble a post together with stray thoughts and duct tape, and leave your link in the care of Mr. Linky! Happy Tuesday kidlets!


Spare a Minute?

(Edit: The info on J's site has been taken down at the request of their DCFS office, as they unknowingly broke confidentiality by posting some of their story. They are still allowed to take donations for the lawyer, and have already raised enough to pay for their first visit next week!)

This blog is mostly for a laugh. It's a game. Now that I don't have as much time to play my beloved MMOs, I make up for it by blogging.

Back when I was playing MMOs, I made a lot of internet 'friends'. I 'knew' people in Florida, Washington, exotic Ohio (heh). Some of them I even keep in touch with now, on Facebook and Twitter. I may not have ever met them in real life, but I still consider them friends. WITHOUT the quotation marks.

One of them has asked for help, so I'm helping by blogging. He needs to keep his family together. You can read his story here. If you have a spare dollar or two, you can help out here, or if you have a blog, please blog or Twitter about his family's need.

I try to keep this joint light and entertaining, and save the lecturing for my other blog. But this time it's important, so if you can help, I'd really appreciate it.

"Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten."