Thursday, November 30, 2006

C(r)apitol One

This is my warning to all who enjoy having their sanity - never
sign-up for a Capitol One card!

I have been a credit card user for about 12 years now. I have
excellent credit. I pay my cards in full and on time consistently.

A few months ago I had work done on my car that left me with a $700
bill. Yikes. So, you can imagine my panic when I received my credit
card bill and found I had been charged TWICE for the service from the
mechanic! ..

I went to the mechanic and because they use a third party to do their
billing, they couldn't just refund me on the spot. They did offer to
get a hold of the credit card company for me, or fill out whatever
paperwork the company required. And, I received a letter later in the
month from the mechanic apologizing for the error and that I was not
the only one of their clients to fall victim to a computer

I called Capitol One, expecting to be told I could deduct the amount
in question from my payment to them. To paraphrase - I had to make
multiple calls and was put on hold for extended periods of time and in
the end, once they got their heads out from under their bums, was told
they could find no record of this second billing in question anyway
(even though I could see it on my card activity record on their
website), I was told to fax a letter with about 52 facts included,
along with the auto bill I paid, receipts, my handprint, cheek swab,
and a signed letter promising to name my first kid Capitol.

Oh, and I had to PAY the charge in question (I had to dip into my
savings in order to pay it and keep my financial world balanced). I
have never had a credit card company insist I pay a charge in

It has not been settled yet, but once I'm reimbursed, I will be
canceling my account, for sure.

Oh, and in order to look into how many "reward points" I'd earned
through the account, I had to do a Google search for "No Hassle
Rewards" because it is in no way connected to the main website for
Capitol One. No Hassle my ass!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


A few days ago, I opened my front door to let Oliver to frolick in the backyard. Recently, when I attempt to take him out, he has started running to his food dish and eating the kibble he left in there from the morning. I'm not sure why he does it.

Maybe one time he came back inside from playing and noticed his bowl was empty, forgetting that perhaps it was he who ate it all earlier in the day.

"Oliver, it will still be there when we come back in", I told him.

He stood still with his face in the bowl, gobbling. I needed to get to work.

"Ollie, enough, let's go!"  I said impatiently, at which point he walked a few steps to the center of the kitchen, lowered his head, and opened his mouth letting about 15 completely dry, completely un-chewed pieces of kibble roll out of his mouth like marbles and onto the linoleum before stepping over them and heading out the door as if to say, "Fine but don't think I'm eating that up off the floor later, because I'm not gonna"

OK then.

Monday, November 27, 2006


I adopted Ollie back in June. Well, was given him, really.

Brought to believe that females are better dogs to have, I was
skeptical when I met Oliver at his foster home. That, and the fact
that he was white and brown (instead of black ad white) had me
hesitating. But, his foster parents were very cool. I could take him
home and keep him as long as I wanted and they would take him back if
it didn't work out.

So, I took the doggy, who is half the size of any dogs that I have
grown-up with (Old English Sheepdogs and a Beardie) and went home with
him. I talked to him in the car, "I'm not so sure about you" I told
him, assuming that it needed to be love at the very first site.

At which point he rested his chin on my arm, which I had resting on
the center consol.

OK, you're a keeper.
For now.

That was back in June. It was a very short period of time until I
realized he was for me. Well behaved, he'd sit and lie down on
command. Eager and sweet, he'd follow me all around the apartment and
still does. If he's extra needy, his nose will bonk into the back of
my knee if I stop short while wandering through the apartment.

When I got him, his name was Astro. Totally dumb name, if you ask me.

I sent an email out to my friends and family and received a huge list
of name options, including -
Cap, short for Capitalist Lap Dog
Imp, short for Imperialist Running Dog
Dogmatix, in honor of the French comic strip dog
Chad, a historically significant Florida foo foo.
Getoverhier (German)
Gedovaheaa (Boston)
Prince Buck.
Otis or Monty
Wilson, Max, Peter, Freddy, Oliver, Buddy, Sam, Lucky, Dakota, Gage,
Cody, Marvin.
Rochester (a little much to be saying all the time but I like it)
Wilkie (I Love this name in belongs to the writer Wilkie
Collins. I wouldn't name a child Wilkie, but I certainly would name an
animal Wilkie).
Wordsworth (a little heavy handed with the literary influence, but it
would be fun to say, "This is my dog, Wordsworth. And the name works
well with the "contemplative-investigative-monk" picture you have of
Mr. Mell
Bartleby (Bart or Barty for short)
Chewbacca (you could call him Chewie for short!)
Jodi just thought of Churchill!
Hermeto (named after Hermeto Pascoal, Brazilian musician)
Astro Joe Hakey
Bogart or Bogey
atrayu (Neverending Story fans?)
Leo, Otis, Louie or Edgar

But it was my friend Christina's student who suggested Oliver.
So, Oliver it became.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Entry One - why I signed up

Well, I've been hearing about this blogging craze for a while and frankly, it creeps me out. Anything that has everyone talking about it usually has me running the other way (except of course LOST, Grey's Anatomy and a long list of other mainstream things that I have fallen victim to)… OK, so I'm not as independent as I'd like to think. Fine, I'm a joiner, OK? I'm a big fat wannna be like everyone else joiner!

Peer pressure has gotten the better of me (thanks Nirvi) and I decided to sign up when I realize how frequently I had ridiculous stories about my dog, Oliver. Chatting with Shannon over dinner the other night, I thought it would be a fun place to chronicle my adventures with my little weirdo. So, really, I can blame Shannon, who encouraged me to give it a try.

Now, I'm not one of those crazed animal owners. I don't sleep with him in my bed, dress him up… not on a regular basis anyway, (I'll get to that), spoil him rotten, take him everywhere with me and assume that everyone loves them as much as I do. 

Still, he can be pretty hilarious.

Since I hate long blog entries I'm going to tell the stories, even the older ones, and separate blog entries. Being overwhelmed by too many words is the worst… that, and world hunger… And war… And other stuff which are far worse than too many words in a blog entry.