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I feel like blogging, so I think I’ll just do a weekend wrap up and see where this goes.

On Saturday morning, I got a recorded phone call from American Express, telling me my credit limit had been reduced almost $4K. This new limit brings me into a dangerous position: I am now only about $450 from maxing out my card! I am so annoyed by this, I could punch someone. I have excellent credit. I never miss a payment, or get it in late. And I always pay several times more than the minimum payment. So to have this happen feels like a punishment for no good reason. I looked into it, and it turns out a lot of credit card companies are pulling this stunt these days. It’s a way to possibly get more fees out of cardholders. The closer you are to your limit, the higher your APR can go, I think. Also, they seem to be counting on catching people mostly by surprise so that they unwittingly max out their cards when they least expect it. Sure, they are supposed to send out a letter and inform you as soon as possible when they decide to do it, but there’s always that chance you won’t get that email, call or letter in time. So sneaky.

If I’d known they were going to do this, I never would have bought my new iPod on Friday after work, using that credit card.

And I don’t have another general use credit card: AMEX is it. I’ve got a Sears card and a Best Buy card, so that’s not any help in an emergency. Because that’s mainly what I use the card for, anyway. The current balance is what it is primarily due to vet bills, car repairs and buying furniture when I moved into this house. I was about to take Olive to the vet for some allergy testing, but that’s going to have to wait until I have the money to pay in cash, or the card’s paid down enough so I feel safe putting anything else on it again. I just don’t like being this close to a limit. It’s never happened to me before and admittedly, I am panicking. I need to calm down.

Well, in happier news, it was a pretty mellow, nice weekend. I took a very long bike ride on Saturday, which was great since it broke the long streak of not exercising, but bad because it was about 100 degrees outside and I went a little further than I should have. On the last stretch I was feeling dizzy and a little like I was going to pass out. This is how I am stupid: I get all gung-ho, weekend-warrior and overdo it when I fully know better. Oh well. It was still good, in retrospect, and nothing a cool shower and lots of water couldn’t fix. Later, I finally caught up on all my DVR shows, so I saw the finales of Fringe and Dollhouse, as well as 30 Rock and The Office. All of them were excellent. I also laughed my ass off with an epic IM conversation with DFMP. Somehow we ended up trying to outdo one another with impressions of “Vietnamese whores” and it was so stupid it amazed me how long we kept it up. Felt like we were back in high school, being dorks on the peripheral again. It’ll be fun when he visits. My sister and I can’t wait to take him to some of the stranger places out here. Like the pizza place with the organ players and dancing cat puppets.

Yesterday we did a spur of the moment barbecue lunch. Our Mom came over, and my sis made homemade burgers with basil and scallions (mmm) and an awesome macaroni salad. She makes it with very little, if any, mayo and it’s so delicious. I bought a watermelon and hacked that sucker up. In fact I almost ran out of room for all of it. So I guess I’ll be eating lots of watermelon in the next few days, even though I sent my sis and BIL home with a container full, and Mom took some, too. Good thing I love watermelon!

Overall, it was just a fantastic feeling to not be worrying about losing my job all weekend. On Friday we got word that no more staff reductions would take place, as enough people volunteered to leave with the great severance package to spare others their much-needed jobs. Seriously, isn’t that so nice? It’s nice that our company offered this option, and it’s even nicer than fellow co-workers took the offer at all. I’ve never heard of this kind of voluntary layoff thing before, really. And it sounds like the people leaving are pretty optimistic about it. My friend D is one of the people leaving…which is very sad because she’s my friend and I am going to miss her lots, but it’s great for her, personally, because now she can spread her creative wings and put time and effort into things she could never do in the many years she worked here. So I’m happy for her, for this opportunity for her.

Last night I did another dumb thing: I walked the dogs in flip flops. Nothing happened to my feet (for once; I’m forever getting little sores where straps rub my skin wrong). But my calves were feeling it. I guess my feet just instinctually wanted to grip onto the flip flops so they didn’t go flying off, so my toes were curled. And of course, I’m thinking: “Ooh, this feels like a good workout for my legs! Nice side effect!” But this morning, the truth became apparent when I woke up with a completely stiff and sore lower back.

Since walking that far in flip flops, right before bed, is the only crazy thing I did yesterday, I know that’s what caused it. It’s surprising how many things can affect my lower back. Especially the day after. Washing the dogs is one that almost destroys my back every time. Something about that position of leaning over the tub edge is really bad for me. If I am standing in the kitchen on the hard floor (not carpet) for over an hour, cooking or baking, the next day my lower back is a mess. And yet I can go hiking…climb up on rocks, taking huge steps that I do feel in my back at the time… stopping myself mid-skid when I lose my footing…and even jogging on trails…and not have a sore back the next day. But ask me to rake some leaves and it’s a recipe for trouble. Clearly, I am not meant to do menial chores! J

I want to give my friend Dana a plug because she just got word that she is a finalist in the fantasy novel category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. This is her second published book and she is doing well with it so far. I just bought my own copy to support her, and plan to read it as soon as I am done with The People of Sparks. Her book is called Desert Magick: Superstitions. Dana inspires me so much, because she makes it happen: she writes a lot and finishes stories on a regular basis. That’s huge! She’s also the first published author I befriended in real life, and she’s given me some fantastic advice and critiques on my own book. I’m hoping her books will someday soon go more mainstream.

Well, that’s it for now. Speaking of writing, I had better write something for one of my articles I’ve got underway. I just found out my job is safe; and yeah, I think I should show my gratitude for my company by actually meeting a deadline.

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3 responses »

  1. Sounds like a fabulous weekend! I haven’t had a good barbecue in a really long time but I did buya watermelon the other day. YUM! It was so much cut up but we have had no problem eating it all!

    I am glad you were not laid off. I am sure this was a scary week for you and it is sad to see people go, but at least you still have your job. And it sounds like your company handled it the right way which is nice. Not many companies are informing people ahead of time or giving them options, they just cut.

    Our credit got dropped too and we have never missed a payment and always pay on time, 99% of the time we pay off the balance immediately. But they are doing this with all credit cards, hopeing to trap people and get more moeny. Which to me is praying on people who may need that credit card just to survive. Nice job assholes. Way to make us like you more.

    My back is always killing me after I clean the tub. Must be the way I twist or turn to reach inside since it is so deep. Weird how we can hurt ourselves doing menial work.

    I have a feleing you are going to be like Dana one day. 🙂

  2. Wow, what a dick move on AmEx’s part. As for your back, maybe you could wear running or hiking shoes when you’re doing stuff around the house? I know it sounds like overkill but it might make a difference.

  3. VP- Oh, darn it, I just realized I forgot to grab some watermelon to bring to work with me today! It’s so good. Guess that just means I’ll be feasting on it tonight! As for my job, I am really so incredibly grateful. Even if AMEX is dicking me around, at least work isn’t. So yeah, I know it could be a lot worse! And thank you for the compliment, too… I sure hope I get my act together and finish some of my stuff for once!

    Fraulein- I don’t think wearing good sneakers around the house is overkill at all! In fact, I usually do wear my good sneakers when I’m going to be on my feet a lot around the house. And normally I always change into my workout sneakers when it’s time for a walk (it’s to the point that if I so much as pick those shoes up, the dogs assume it means we’re going for a W-A-L-K and freak out!) but the other night I was just lazy or something. I won’t be doing that again! My back is still stiff today. I could really use a quiet room to stretch out in, followed by a massage. Oh, damn. That would be awesome, 🙂

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