Monday, November 14, 2005

Sheryl, Marcus, and Kashwandra are bitchez

Sorry for the blog lapse. I have been busy. Among other things, a couple of crappy events occured:

I found out my passport was expired and had to apply for an expedited passport renewal for my trip to London. To get an expedited passport, this costs $127. I suppose this lasts 10 years, so that's like $12.70/year right? Plus I got a cheap airfare so I figure it all balances out. But this was small beans in comparison to the real clusterfu**s that happened in the last couple of weeks...

Clusterfu** #1:

I enjoyed an evening of They Might Be Giants performing at Bimbo's 365 with friends in San Francisco, only to discover at 11:30pm at night, that my two friends had parked the car in a garage that closes at 10pm. (Let me just say that I was not present when they chose to park in this garage.)

On top of that, it was starting to rain. And friend #1's computer was in the car, which he needed for work the next day. And friend #2 left his cell phone in the car. (Luckily I had my cell phone.) And it would cost $80 in cash to get the car out. And the next and last Caltrain back home would be at midnight... if we even had time to catch it. And even if we got on it, friend #1's place was nowhere near the station. I was NOT happy.

I was ready to crash at someone else's place in the city for the night and sort it out in the morning. But Friend #1 and #2 were not up for making such an imposition. However, Friend #2 found it acceptable to call up friend #3 (who lived in San Francisco) to drive us all the way to Palo Alto (40 minutes x 2, to get us there and back). Luckily the gracious friend #3 didn't have to do that, because I eventually reached the garage supervisor, and friend #2 found $80 to cover it. I didn't get home until after 2am.

Lesson #1: Make sure you and your friends check the garage closing time.
Lesson #1.5: Keep a powered cell phone with you for emergencies.

Clusterfu** #2:

While karaoke-ing at The Mint for Todd's birthday (after some fine dining at First Crush), my purse was stolen. Be aware, that dark karaoke bars are a great place for thieves. It's dark, people are always switching seats and moving around, half the people are drunk, and everyone is distracted by the entertainment on stage. I was there with about 6-8 other people I knew, and nobody saw my purse get stolen.

Lesson #2: Watch out for your friends' stuff and keep yours close by (touching you) and keep it inconspicuous. Be especially careful in SF, in a dark, busy bar. Better yet, don't carry a purse and keep your stuff in your pockets.

(But I love purses, so I'll just have to keep mine closed and close by)

The other thing that sucked is that I did have my phone and wallet in my pockets initially but then I put them back in my purse before it was stolen. Also earlier in the evening, my bag spilled open to display all its glorious contents, which was basically a big ad saying "STEAL ME."

I took this rather large damage rather well, probably because I was at least relieved that I had left spare keys to both my apartment and car with Todd just for this sort of emergency, and he was with us, so I could at least get back home. Also I had a spare credit card at home, an old expired driver's license, and I still had a week to recover everything before my trip to London. And I didn't want it to ruin the fun evening we were having for Todd's birthday.

But the full impact of this damage was not realized immediately. You'd think it was bad enough that I lost my purse, phone, keys, and wallet, but I also lost a makeup case, a gift certificate, cash, purse, and digital camera!!! This includes my driver's license and a reciept for the aforementioned passport replacement order.

This sounds crazy, but I was most upset by the loss of my makeup bag. I don't even wear that much makeup. But in my mind, that is the most frustrating thing to replace out of all the items I lost. Credit cards are all replaceable, and these days, most cards do not make cardholders responsible for fraudulent purchases. My digital camera didn't have any photos on it, so there was no sentimental loss there. My camera, wallet, and purse were all getting pretty beat-up, and I was probably about due to replace all of those anyway. Keys are expensive, but also replaceable. The phone is a standard model camera phone, and they always make better phones.

But I was carrying a pouch of my favorite makeup. When a woman buys makeup, each product is carefully chosen for its flattering color and quality, and sometimes makeup gets expensive. Good, flattering makeup requires a LOT of hunting around, testing it out, and it's all very subjective. Sometimes they stop manufacturing the color that you like. So in that makeup pouch, I probably had 3 lipsticks, 3 lip glosses, brow cream, brow gel, eye shadow, concealer, powder, eyeliner, etc. Trying to find all those right colors again, paying for them AGAIN, is depressing. I now realize it was more than I needed to have with me. But I threw them all in a pouch so I wouldn't have to think about it when I went places. Now I know better.

With each passing day, I realized one more thing that I forgot was stolen, or one more thing that would be affected by it. But I did report all my credit cards and whatnot. I replaced my locks, made a police report, yadda yada.

Despite reporting the stolen cards within an hour of the crime, the thief managed to book 3 flights and go on a shopping spree at Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy's, DSW warehouse, a gas station, Safeway, The Gap, and a few other retailers.

To add to the intrigue, today I got a major clue to track this thief down; I recieved reciepts and flight itineraries in my snailmail, for 3 people flying from Las Vegas to San Francisco, scheduled 6 hours after when my stuff was stolen. I called the police, but they said at this point, after reporting the credit card theft, the fraud victim was the credit card company and not me, so it was more up to the credit card company to investigate the crime.

So I at least called the credit card company to give them the names on the itineraries. So if you're in Vegas or SF, watch out for these shysters:

Marcus Duty
Kashwandra Megae
Sheryl Brooks

Then again, the police said it was possible that these names were stolen identities as well. One can hope that karma will bite them in the ass. However I assume these are friends of the thief, since they were flying from Vegas to SF 6 hours after the card was stolen. So I don't know the name of the original thief. (Where is Monk when I need him?)

Anyway, there were some positive things that came out of this; I realized I was lucky enough to have a support group of friends who called and emailed me to make sure I was okay. I'm lucky I have a trusted and giving friend like Todd to keep my spare keys and lend me lunch money and a cell phone. I'm lucky that I had enough resources to keep spares of the important stuff.

I'm lucky I work at a place that is flexible and understanding enough to give me time off to work out this mess. I'm lucky that Visa doesn't make me pay for the fraud. I'm lucky I have really smart designer friends to advise me on what camera to get. I'm lucky I have a super nice landlord who happily replaced my locks the day I requested it.

And hopefully I've learned a good lesson so that I'll be especially careful on my trip to London.

Right now I need to shop for a camera and find extra documentation to make sure I can get my new passport this week. So I think will be okay. I have a nice place to live, a stable job, supportive friends, sunny weather, a fun car, lots of shoes and purses, and plenty to keep me happy. I even have vacation and a fancy year-end party to look forward to. It takes a lot to bring me down, thieving bitchez!

I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Thanks everybodee! I love you guysss!

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Blogger me@co said...

bummers and bastards! i hope this week is much much better for you!

11:10 PM  
Blogger tatertot said...

i'm glad things are working out! :) how did that other thing go on sunday? and when do you leave for london?

10:11 PM  
Blogger copykat said...

what pootertons! thieves stink. take care of yourself and take advantage of the sephora friends & family discount to go on a makeup shopping spree. i'd be happy to come along. :p

have fun in london!!!

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Friend #1 said...

Regardless of the suckiness factor, you got to hand it to Kashwandra for having a name so unique that it returns just 1 search result in Yahoo! (this one) and 0 in Google.

1:01 PM  

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