“A day in the life….”


Here goes.

My entry that will forever float in the virtual/internet community.

File it under “s**t happens,” or the “Randy does stupid s**t” file.

But how do I begin my absurd, tragic, comic, mystifying, mundane tale?

When all I could do for about an hour after I logged on to my credit union checking account last night and saw the fraud alert was curse myself a blue streak:

You f*****g idiot, you are such a stupid s**t, you think you’re so f*****g smart and then you go do this, you shrippin’, fricken’, fraggin, rickin’,… and on, and on, and on….

I was planning to write last night after I checked my account status.

Had it all figured out:

I was going to make some pretty comments about my guilty pleasure, my intellectually shameful obsession, my desire for “Dancing with the Stars.”

I was going to make a connection between things, ideas, data that seem totally unrelated, for that is what I do.  I see analogies, parallels, comparative value where others see only discrete unique events or experiences.  I try to make sense of things that superficially don’t make sense, that don’t seem to have connected meanings.

So seeing “order” in different spaces and time—comparing the bodies and organizing spaces of “Dancing with the Stars” and the LDS General conference which was held this past weekend–and tying it back to my previous post on “order” might have been an interesting exercise.

(I’m thinking of the importance of the flashing, white, straight toothy mouths, incredibly smooth, fit, young, flexible, powerful, mostly hairless, and uncovered (especially female) bodies of the dancers in contrast to the images of seated, covered, imposing, authoritative, self-contained, and uniformed gerontocratic bodies of the LDS church leadership seated taciturnly in the LDS tabernacle.)

I could have even tied it back to my comments on the surreal documentarian, Mr. Burns, and his desire for reasserting “order” into the distraught American imagination of itself.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I had to figure out how to process my self-loathing.  Especially if I was going to get any sleep.  So I did some stretching and meditated for a few minutes, focusing on my breath and letting go of my frustration best I could.  And it seemed to work. Acknowledging the limits of my powers to control events and things and letting go of my self-importance and the need for drama as a way to imagine myself in control helped me move through the frustration.  Ranting and raving served no purpose except to further frustrate and weaken me for more important matters like actually doing the work of resolving what was troubling me.


It was one of those days.  You know, when you are humbled, ideally, but not usually.  When you are reminded that you are not exceptional because you can make stupid mistakes, forget what you are doing mid-task, and are incredibly self-obsessed.  You know, when your balloon is burst, your vulnerabilities are made transparent.  When your deepest fears are manifest whether to others or, sometimes, most troublingly, to yourself. (If, in rare moments of insight, you’re open to seeing and feeling them.)

There was nothing out of the ordinary happening yesterday morning.  I wasn’t particularly productive working on my web site or on any computer-related task.  I made waffles for me and my father for breakfast.  (I figured since I was prescient enough to buy pre-made whipped cream for such a comestible, I should make something to apply it to.)

For lunch the plan was Tex-Mex: a couple of enchiladas smothered in red chili, lettuce, and a can of vanilla coke while I watched Law and Order: Criminal Intent or something on Comedy Channel. (Often there is 30 minute stand-up performance I can watch while I eat lunch if I’ve seen the LOCI episode too many times or if one of the other LO series, which are substandard, is on.)

But as I was preparing my lunch, heating a flour tortilla over an open oven flame—our family’s preferred heating method from the time we operated a Mexican food restaurant during my teenage years here in Springville—the front doorbell rang.

I went to the door kind of mumbling something to the effect, “Now’s not a good time,” or more likely, s**t!”

But I was pleasantly surprised to see my friend and fly fishing buddy, Craig, “Stormin,” “Troutbum,” “Melon.”  (Ahhh…nicknames…)

He brought by some items I left in his car from our fly fishing trip to the Green River a few weeks ago.  I hadn’t even missed them even though I felt like I might have left something behind.

We chatted about golf.  He said he thought he saw me earlier in the morning leaving a local craft store while he was there with his wife on an errand. I told him that while I was there browsing for replacement snaps/rivets for a wading boot, I heard a woman talking who sounded a lot like his wife. But I guess we were just passing notions of familiarity in a strange public setting for the two of us. Just out of reach because we were hints, nothing more at the moment.  (Poetic, eh?  hee, hee….)

After he left, I went back inside—we were on the front porch talking—and the house was filled with smoke!

Now we should have smoke detectors in the house, but we don’t.  (No excuse, but my father wouldn’t hear them even if we did.  But I would and I suppose that’s the more important point, right?) It was only when I returned inside that I remembered the tortilla I had left heating on the burner in order to answer the door!

S**t!!!!!   (Repeated many times and probably heard through much of the house by hidden spiders, lounging cats,  and surviving plants.)

I turned off the flame, opened all the windows, and found a fan to circulate the air.

Fortunately the burn was limited to the tortilla itself and nothing nearby that it could have ignited.

But now the house is filled with the smoke from the scorched tortilla and will likely smell of it for some time.

That oversight, at some level, wasn’t so bad.  My father took it well.  I got over it.  I heated another tortilla and reheated my meal which I did remember to turn off originally—it was in the microwave heating when the front doorbell rang—ate and watched TV while I ate.

It was all good.

Smoke-filled houses.  Good friends drop by.


I eventually returned to my downstairs lair, my pondering, writing, sleeping chamber, away from the noise and drama of the upper, outer world.

I was trying to take care of a few financial internet transactions over the internet, but they wouldn’t clear with one of my credit cards.  It had been blocked, so I called customer service.  All the transactions were my own, but one of them came up as a questionable so they put a block on the card.  After I answered all the questions they asked about me about myself correctly, they unblocked my card.


But then, as I was watching television upstairs with my father as he massaged my feet—something he’s always done with his children, his wife/my mother when she was alive, and anyone else who would let him—the phone rang.  I answered it.

I should have suspected it was a fraudulent call: it was automated, it asked for credit card information with the pretext of my credit union blocking my card. But I didn’t suspect anything because I was primed to believe it was serious after my earlier dealings with the other blocked credit card and because earlier in the day I’d made two credit card purchases at the same store within fifteen minutes of each other.  I remembered something I needed to buy that I first time around so I returned to the store from my car and made another purchase on the same card.

I thought for some reason at the time that the credit card company might think two purchases like that might be suspicious.  I don’t know why, but I did. These days with fraud so prevalent and credit card companies’ ability to track purchases, odd purchasing patterns and extraordinary purchases might trigger a phone call or block or other credit card action.

So when I answered the phone in the midst of my reight foot being massaged I became worried and followed the automated voice’s instructions, retrieved my card and proceeded to affirm my name and give my credit card and pin numbers.  Even more amazingly, I didn’t think twice about it.  I simply returned to getting my foot massage, watching television, taking my afternoon nap, and just being with my non-traditional family: my ninety-one year old Mexican American dad, me (a single fifty-four year old Mexican-Scots-Irish, never married, smart ass son), and two cats.  Picture that, if you will.

So where was I?  Dr. Clueless F*****g Stupid.  Yep.

It wasn’t until after watching “Dancing with the Stars” in the evening and feeling almost ready to write a blog post after the evening news that I logged on to my online credit union web site to casually check my accounts.  That’s when I saw the fraud alert prominently displayed on the credit union’s home page:

***Fraud Alert***

We have had many members called saying that their card is blocked and it is requesting your card number. This is not us calling, please do not give out your card number. Remember we will never call you and ask for your personal information.


Friggin’, frackin’, shiggin’, triggin’, prikin’,….!!!!  (My shout out to  Mr. Parker, “The Old Man” in A Christmas Story when he hurts himself while changing a car tire or going downstairs to fix the furnace.)

And my heart started racing and I freakin’ freaked out!

Need I repeat my earlier reaction?  Just for dramatic effect even?

Okay. I cut and pasted so I wouldn’t have to retype: (feel the heat, if you will)

You f*****g idiot, you are such a stupid s**t, you think you’re so f*****g smart and then you go do this, you shrippin’, , fricken’, fraggin’, rickin’,…and on, and on, and on….

There was no phone number on the credit union debit card and I tried to find one to call on the credit card company’s website, but was unable to—speaking of my complete incompetence regarding this incident. (I wasn’t seeing anything very clearly at that moment.) And there was no way to address the issue in the middle of the night with the credit union through their phone assistance menu.

I did change the pin number on the web site, though.

And then I committed myself to waiting patiently until this morning to cancel the card, which I did.

I actually slept well after meditating and watching The Daily Show.  (Sarah Vowell was the John Stewart’s guest.  She’s very smart and VERY funny.)

And I did fine this morning up until the time the credit union opened so I could call and resolve the problem I created by not being more thoughtful and aware.  The agent who assisted me by phone tried to make me feel better—“I can understand why it was easy to be confused,” he calmly asserted, even though he didn’t know the back-story of my self-delusion—but I know it was a stupid mistake.

No way around it.

But I’m chalking it up, letting it go, writing it away, filing it under “learning experiences” for a virtual audience to read or, better yet:

Letting it be just one more meditation, one more moment of being.

¹ If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll understand the “fart” reference in this post’s title from the October 4 post, “Order.”

2 thoughts on ““A day in the life….”

  1. Hey, you know me. It’s all good. I tied a few flies tonight. Plan to go up Fairview way tomorrow. Wish you could go. Thanks, Melon. Doscats

  2. Sorry about your lunch………and your house, next time I’ll hang on to your stuff…….I did however, enjoy the post…..

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