28 May 2012 @ 09:36 am
self-indulgent birthday post  
My birthday was full of ups and downs (but mostly ups!)

Morning: Woke up and read a few articles for my thesis. Built a better understanding of one line of research I'd kind of pursued for a reason which didn't really pan out (although the results are kind of interesting in themselves!)

Mid-morning: Headed out for an outrigger canoe session. It was my first time leading the boat, and um, man is it hard work up there. You can't slack off, since everyone is following you. I really don't envy the lead strokes on my dragonboat team.

Noon: Returned home. My supervisor's left a message for me: "Your draft looks good so far but I'm missing pages 41-50. Can you send me a PDF?" Oops. I'd printed my thesis in batches of ten pages, and I guess I skipped over those.

Afternoon: Read some more of Marcus Aurelius' Mediations. Had birthday cake. OM NOM NOM.

Late afternoon: Headed downtown for a) pants shopping and b) dinner with friends before concert! Unfortunately my shopping was cut abruptly short when my card got declined. I phoned Visa immediately and found out someone had put a nine-hundred-dollar charge on my card for online poker. WHHHAAAATTT. This happened to me a few years ago, so I had them keep my cell number on file in case of strange activity on the account. Why Visa decided my spending $900 on poker is not sketchy I will never know.

The card is cancelled now, so there's nothing left for me to do but wait for a new card and let the investigators figure it out. (And, uh, fervently cross my fingers that they won't put me on the hook for $900.)

I'm kind of half-heartedly trying to figure out how this could have happened. I'm pretty careful with that card. I only use it with reputable merchants; I have a student card I keep around for small online purchases, etc. My brother tells me skimmers will usually wait a while before using your details to make a purchase so it can't be traced to them.

Evening: Dinner was quite nice, with some friends I hadn't seen in a while (and one who's going back to HK soon! She's been here a month and I've only seen her twice. *sigh*) (For what it's worth, local readers: Twisted Fork has good food, but drinks were mostly a disappointment. Dessert was wonderful, though, probably the best part of the meal. Service was fine.)

Late evening: Coeur de Pirate concert! She sounds just as good live as on the record. And her English blows me away. "I'm doing all my interventions in bilingual tonight!"

I'm really glad I finally had a chance to see her. She's also six months pregnant, so I don't think she'll be playing that many more shows....
Current Music: Patrick Wolf - The City
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[identity profile] lusimeles.livejournal.com on May 28th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
Aw, Happy Birthday again Catherine!!! Wow, you really did have a day full of ups and downs - I guess this is one birthday you won't be forgetting anytime soon?

I'm SURE they won't charge you that $900 (if so you better call a lawyer stat, because that would be so unfair) - that's incredibly freaky! Hopefully your bank gets everything sorted soon, wow. That is one call you definitely do not want to get on your birthday of all days, so I am sorry that happened to you :(

The Twisted Fork definitely has pretty yummy food, though it gets crowded pretty quickly. I've never had their drinks, but IA about their desserts - totally delish. I had the creme brulee last time I went (about a month ago), but don't know if they've changed their menu since then.

Coeur de Pirate! I had no idea she was pregnant, but that's awesome for her. LOLING AT "INTERVENTIONS," THOUGH. What did she even mean...
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[identity profile] gemtiger.livejournal.com on May 29th, 2012 02:23 am (UTC)
Thank you! ♥

I'm a bit skittish about the fraudulent charges mostly because the CSR said it could take up to two months to resolve, by which time I will be out of the country :( On the other hand, the last time this happened, I'm pretty sure I just got a new card and they just quietly closed the old account. There might have been some paperwork involved, but it was fairly minimal.

We split desserts: chocolate terrine (divine!!!!), maple pear tarte tatin (delicious!!!), rhubarb crumble (a bit too sweet). We saw the crème brûlée as well, but decided to pass since one of us makes a pretty mean crème caramel. >:D

Interventions was in French, oops. I see how that might get confusing XD She was referring to the banter between songs. By the end of the night it'd go something like: "Et finalement, les gens les plus importants, I want to thank you guys. Playing in front of 600 people in Vancouver is a dream come true!"
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[identity profile] lusimeles.livejournal.com on May 29th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Ugh, seriously??? That really sucks. Fingers crossed. Can you bombard them with phone calls in your (limited) spare time or w/e until they get things done faster? Hopefully you can resolve things with minimal drama/effort/paperwork this time around again, though - it's not like you don't have enough on your plate to handle right now, after all.

Ah, I've had all those things too, except the rhubarb crumble... (I went with a group of my friends, we all switched plates... benefit of going with 5-6 people.) The creme brulee *is* good, but yeah, I think the others were better. The chocolate terrine = ♥ I think we see eye to eye on desserts!

Oh, I see. I was basically picturing literal interventions... in Franglish? (Like a spoof of a Woody Allen flick, or something.) Also, 600 people??? I had no idea she was actually that popular - I would've thought it was a much smaller concert since she's mostly an indie artist.
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[identity profile] gemtiger.livejournal.com on May 30th, 2012 06:21 am (UTC)
Heh heh heh, I saved room for dessert. I'm so glad I did >:D

Coeur de Pirate has a pretty limited reach in the Anglosphere, but I find there are so many Frenchies in Vancouver now (seriously, I hear French at least once a day on the bus) that they could probably fill up the concert by themselves :P I still think the crowd was mostly Anglophones, from what I heard ("so, the songs were like this wall of undecipherable melody").
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[identity profile] lusimeles.livejournal.com on May 30th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
I hear a lot more French these days too - I thought it was just me! I heard it all the time over on the East Coast because Toronto is so close to Montreal, but didn't really start hearing it more frequently here in Vancouver until quite recently.
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[identity profile] eiki.livejournal.com on May 29th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
Happy birthday :) Whoaaaa, you went to a Coeur de Pirate concert? That's awesome!

(Sucks about the VISA card though! I'm always worried someone will steal mine and use them for some porn or something. I don't know. Weird thoughts ;P)
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[identity profile] gemtiger.livejournal.com on May 29th, 2012 02:27 am (UTC)
You know about Coeur de PIrate?? How does a French-Canadian singer-songwriter make it all the way to Malaysia?

Well, it's happened to me twice now, so maybe you're right to be worried. :\ I remember the first time this happened and I called them, and the conversation went something like:

Visa: "Let's review some recent transactions. Did you spend $300 on the 23rd at Home Depot?"
Me: ".... no?"
Visa: "... In Michigan?"
Me: "NO. Definitely not."

I'm glad my credit limit is as low as it is... if it were much higher who knows how much more they could have charged to me :S
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[identity profile] eiki.livejournal.com on May 29th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)
Hahaha I do listen to "indie" artists now and then and it just so happens I have listened to Coeur de Pirate and some other French artists before - I haven't been following them for long though.

Yikes, now you're making me extra worried, my credit card limit is pretty high but usually the super-expensive transactions are checked by the bank people so I guess there's that?
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[identity profile] gemtiger.livejournal.com on May 29th, 2012 03:06 am (UTC)
Yeah, usually they do keep a fairly close eye on things: when I travelled to Europe I had to use cash the first day because the travel flag on my account hadn't kicked in yet, but things were fine the next day :)

And, for what it's worth, you're usually not liable for fraudulent transactions, but it depends on the card, so you might want to double-check your "Cardholder Agreeement" for your peace of mind. :)
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[identity profile] eiki.livejournal.com on May 29th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
Sigh, credit cards are more trouble than they're worth to be honest. The only reason I have them is because I need them for travelling matters. It sucks having to pay your debts every month but it's all your spending in the first place so it's not like I can complain too much LOL.
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