Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stolen Identity

I don't know when it happened, but the most important question is - how it happened.

Recently, I've become a victim of stolen identity and credit card fraud. Out-of-the-blue, my credit card company calls me at 9 PM alerting me that someone's shopping with my card in wonderful Deutschland. I laughed at it first, and told the operator how could I be shopping in Europe while I'm right here in my living room watching TV. Then it finally dawned on me, oh my gosh, this is serious. Suddenly, panic and hysteria hit me at once. I asked the operator how did this happened? The operator said the criminal or stinkin' low life could have taken my info online or some other means, but most likely online. Could it be from my blog? My social networks? I couldn't think much less breathe.

I am so thankful that my credit card company caught the unusual activity and alerted me right away; I know He was watching over me too. The fraudulent purchase didn't go through, and that my people, yes, I have people, are now watching. When I hanged up the phone that night, I had to question how safe are we really online. The online world has taken bounds and leaps with regards to information dissemination as far as education, communication and research are concerned, but as we enjoy the fruits of such technology, we should never forget that the online world has its own criminals that surf among us - just as the physical world that we walk on. The only difference is, online crimes are much sophisticated and harder to track, but it doesn't mean that they can't be prosecuted. Here's what I believe - Crime always pays. It doesn't have to be this life, but criminals will answer their crimes to a higher authority.

I am obviously upset and angry about this even to the point of even curtailing my online activities. But the point of this post is to remind everyone to be safe online and to be careful with what information we post even our personal photos (yes, even photos are being used for scamming) because anyone can manipulate and use them against us.

Be safe everyone!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Looking Forward To Fall And More

I haven't been blogging for two weeks, but after my sulky entries on midlife crisis, feeling burnt out about work to finding white hair, I felt that I had to step back and redirect my negative energy somewhere else. Indeed, I stayed away from my computer (this was hard) when I'm at home, enjoyed the sun and summer warmth during the weekends, read books on my aging couch until I dozed off, and watched DVDs like there's no tomorrow. My energy level is yet to be charged fully, but I feel that change is ought to happen soon. Like seasons, I know this confusing phase will also pass.

Just as the warm and humid days of summer will soon be gone. Summer 2009 will be a mere memory. I feel that autumn is too eager to arrive as leaves have started to fall. In a few weeks, the temperatures will be cooler and tolerable. By October, fall foliage would have fully arrived in different shades.

Fall is my second favorite season. The air would smell of pumpkin and sweet potato pies, and kids wearing costumes would soon be knocking on my door for trick or treats. I'm more of a trick person, but perhaps I'll be nicer this year (maybe). The bad thing is, whenever I buy bags of sweets for the kids, I'd end up eating them. Is there such thing as a chocolate or candy monster?

I just can't believe how time has flown, but my head is swirling with sweet memories of old and new. I am now looking forward to fall and to what life brings.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Midlife Crisis Already?

Senate and Congress are officially on recess. Actually, recess officially kicked off on Friday last week, but I was still beating a few deadlines. It was only during the weekend that I finally got the time to think, settle my nerves down and looked forward to some slow paced work days. During the past few weeks, I had no time to think and I was too tired and uninspired to write any coherent blog entries. I would have a busy day filled with stressful events but would seemingly fail to write about them. I blame it on the insomnia attacks I've been getting; it felt like sleep has to be forced kicking and screaming just to get a decent shut-eye. The next day, I'd wake up with a throbbing headache.

There were times I kept re-evaluating over and over where my life is heading. Mauling on questions regarding career change, where to live/move next year, leaving everything behind and moving back to the homeland, and trying hard, in fact too hard, to answer the questions, "Is this it?" or "Is this really the life I want?"

Is this an early on set of a midlife crisis? Help!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


The lofty bookshelves sag
Under thousands of sleeping souls
Silence, hopeful -
Every time I open a book, a soul is awakened

(Xi Chuan, "Books," New Generations)

Monday, August 3, 2009

White Hair

Summer is in full blast in the DC area - hot and humid. The city is officially a huge, steam sauna. Lately, I haven't been blogging due to work demands and other self and social constraints (you can guess what they, but I thought I'd write a short update today. For now, my work is my life, and it's demanding more time than it should. I'm hoping normal schedule should be back as soon as the lawmakers get their recess and head out-of-town to their unbelievably gorgeous vacation houses. August and September should be sweet and slow. I hope.

I have no big summer vacation plans, but the stressed me really wants a vacation - somewhere quiet, peaceful and breezy should be nice. For now, a vacation is just a thought, but I'm already making plans for the biggies - Thanksgiving and Christmas. I still can't believe August is here and we're four months away from my favorite month of the year - December. I can't wait to start playing Christmas songs as early as September. I know, silly me.

Oh and wait, I think I am beginning to see white hair. I found a strand yesterday. I freaked out.