Sunday, August 23, 2009

If It Looks Like A Dog...

And smells like a dog, and has fleas like a dog, it's probably a dog.

I got caught by a phishing scam.

I have only possessed a debit card for about three weeks, and have been at college for a week. As things are, I am in a very pliable state. I had a good day, and was enjoying good food and a good television show when I got a call on my cell phone. It was "my bank" they stated, and my VISA debit card had been suspended. To reactivate it, I only had to put in my 16 digit number, my pin, and the expiration date.

Mom always said, be suspicious. If it's important, they'll call you back. Nothing in life is that convenient, either. Mom always said there are people who make their living tapping into strangers' accounts, and there will always be someone willing to sell a debit number and a cell phone number.

Please be gentle, and remember I am a bright-eyed college student, who is just discovering all of the wonders that the world has to offer. And apparently, all of the horrors and dysfunctions.

I entered my information, and just because I felt quite suspicious about it, I called my mom. Go figure. She told me that it sounded like a phishing scam, and I should call the bank immediately. In tears at my mistake, I called the bank. twice, because I entered the wrong option. After two minutes I finally managed to talk to a human being, who instantly froze the card number.

The bank had been getting calls about this phishing scam all day. I felt humiliated and embarrassed and ashamed that I had fallen for this, especially with all of the signs telling me it was bad.

I will get my new card in the mail in a week or so, and will be living off humiliation until then.

Please remember, if it looks like a dog, growls like a dog, and barks like a dog, be careful. It might just have rabies.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Okay, Maybe You Were Right... And Maybe You Weren't

I was just in NYC with my mother, wandering around Manhattan for four days. She wanted to see museums and cathedrals and do lots of touristy things, and I wanted to shop. I'm leaving for college in two weeks, and I won't have many chances to shop out in the boonies. After finding myself unable to avoid visiting at least one church, I grumbled and whined the entire 20 blocks up 7th avenue to the cathedral of St. John the Divine. It was recently devastated by a horrible fire, and only recently has it been restored to it's former glory.

I was not terribly fond of churches as a young girl. They were awfully dark, cramped, and everyone was far too quiet for their own good. As my mother and I approached the cathedral, we paused in the gardens. Besides the twenty-foot-tall statue of St. John, there were countless small sculptures scattered in the lush greens, all made by art students. It was fabulous and fascinating. I took picture after picture, not caring how silly I looked.

After spending more than half an hour in the sweltering heat, we moved to the cathedral for "a brief look around." i was awestruck at the beauty of the cathedral. I could hardly imagine people devoting their entire lives to creating one square foot of the beautiful structure. I reluctantly conceded that maybe, maybe, my mother had been right.

At the same time, something that had seemed far more interesting than sitting in a church for an hour was not so overwhelming. In fact it was quite underwhelming. Walking the high line, an old railroad turned nature-y walking path, has need of some growth. The trees need time to develop and create actual shade, and the plants need time to grow out of their transplanted circles. It was quite pretty, but not the overwhelmingly fabulous journey newspapers hailed it to be.

So it seems sometimes moms can be right, and sometimes they can be a little right. It was enjoyable, but I won't be skipping up the stairs if we go again.