Alpha 2 Zulu

When not feeling sad/guilty about all the posts I don't write (because I'm just a hack for the Yelp man, doncha know, as I try to hit 100 reviews before winter break ends), I like to counter the blank spaces with inane fodder such as follows:

What my browser autofills in for me when I type each letter of the alphabet.

(Hopefully nothing embarassing. Let's see.)

A is for, where I don't currently have a subscription.

B is for, where they're never going to list the Canon 7D for half-off Amazon's price, but I keep checking anyway.

C is for My apologies to my dad. I swear I must never go to URLs that start with a C because I usually go weeks if not months without checking this site. How in the world does it beat out

D is for Right on.

E is for eBay.

F is for Facebook. Sorry, Flickr.

G is for Gmail.

H is for some convoluted long URL that leads to HSBC which is where I make those 0% promotional interest-free payments on the television we finally bought last summer.

I (is for something else below, I'm using the pronoun here) almost wrote a whole post about credit card tomfoolery recently, specifically about how misleading the billing period and the payment date can be. To wit: I made a payment on the 5th of the month. The due date was on the 19th. I then made a payment on the 25th of the same month, anticipating that it would be applied to the due date of the 19th the next month. (In each case I paid at least 4x the monthly minimum.)

The next month, I made a payment on the 20th, remembering that I'd last paid on the 25th and not wanting more than 30 days to go by without a payment. (Because of grace periods and whatnot.) I also figured it was the earliest I could pay for the following month, since the due date had just passed the day before.

Ha! I was slammed with a $30 late fee, a new monthly minimum, an interest charge, and a new scary-number APR.

This happened because, and I know you already figured this out, although my due date was on the 19th, my billing period ended on the 26th. So, when I paid the next month's bill early, it was really just going on the same bill, even though the due date was almost a week earlier. Then, when I thought I was paying the next bill as early as possible (on the 20th), it thought it was a late payment for the month that had just passed.

I called HSBC('s headquarters in India, from the accent) and was very sweet and asked if, in the light of my history (always on time, always paying extra, sometimes making extra payments), someone might see if something could be done. I barely had the words out (again, SWEETLY) before Raj (or Jimmy, as I think he announced himself) in full exasperation started trying to explain where I'd gone wrong.

I stayed sweet (I swear!) even though if there's something on my grrr list it's a customer service person trying to calm me down before I'm become angry. I know they probably just had to deal with 100 ragey, abusive idiots, but I'm nice. Like, I usually end any customer service call blushing and skipping because I've been complimented to bits about how patient/nice/understanding/joyous I am. I'm a bit of a dream, frankly.

And thus I hung in there, acknowledging quite humbly that I totally knew it was my error (but perhaps someone could note that I'd clearly thought I was doing a good thing) and Jimmy-Raj said he would check to see what he could do, and by this time he realized that I was not the usual devil, so when he came back on the line, everything was great - all charges removed and the promotional 0% APR restored with full honors, and we were besties and blah blah honey flies vinegar bad etc.

I'm just sharing that because a) remember that your due date is not the end of your billing period, and b) sometimes life is fair.

I is for Really?

J is for because I celebrate the Feast of Winter Veil more than I do Christmas, these days. Sorry, Coca-Cola.

K is for - where I usually go instead of CNN. I don't know why. I don't even like the news. I think I went for one story then at some point just typing "k" to see if the news was still insipid became a habit.

L is for, our public library, now serving e-books to Kindle owners. (But not making it easy to search for e-books because the same database also includes digital audio books. Why? So, every time I see a title I want, I notice that it's only available in WMA format. Then I go steal the book off IRC... in my imagination, because I'm law-abiding. Very law abiding. That's not even my sarcastic voice. Some of us have future emigration to think about, you know. Remember Meg Ryan's character in French Kiss? I can't afford to be without a country. I don't want to live in an airport.)

M is for I like to stalk the places I used to be and street-view the places I'm about to go.

N is for Netflix. No, I didn't jump ship this summer. See also comments on new TV.

O is for OfficeMax. The August spent constantly checking flyers stays with me. Also, I have a gift card I need to use there.

P is for Pinterest. I love Pinterest so much, I will link my page of pins again: Pinterest!

Q is for I think it's my only starts-with-q Q-URL.

R is for Norwegian Pearl Roll Call on Cruise Critic. Odd. Anyway, it's not like I'm going to any meet and greets, so I'm guess I'm just a creeper.

S is for Subscribed threads on Cruise Critic. (One of which is the Roll Call. Heh.)

T is for, which I use to type this, because I haven't had a chance to convert everything to WordPress and do all the fiddly things to keep URLs intact.

U is for The Undermine Journal. You don't want to know. (Nerdy World of Warcraft stuff.)

V is for Someday they're going to drop those First Class rates, they really are.

W is for As in, "I have a post in progress saved from last month where I talk about all my Woot shirts, but I can't finish it because I can't remember them all, and this is why I no longer participate in Woot's mystery random shirts - that, and Mike keeps complaining about having to find more hangers, and let's not even get started on how I've never actually worn one. Like I said, a whole other post.")

X is for Did I even go here in 2011?

Y is for Of course.

Z is for ... a URL I think I'd rather not give out. It's a little too powerful for my taste. (In fact, I'm going to turn off comments so no one guesses.)

So there we have it, my personal dot-com Monopoly board. Now back to eating jalapeno gouda, watching Twilight Zone, enjoying those rare few weeks of open windows (61 = perfect!), and not thinking about next week.

Next up: everything I've learned over Winter Break. (Basically, cilantro granita will change how you think about food, and Arkansas Black apples are mealy and bleh, even if you buy them at Whole Foods.)

31 December 2011 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)