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July 27, 2005

I got identity thefted!

And I'm not even the first person to come up with the term "identity thefted," sadly.

The other day, I got my bill from my credit card company, looked it over, everything looked okay. I went online to pay the bill, and it said there was an error in logging me in and I should call some number. Well, whatever, I thought, they're stupid, I'll do it later. The next day I tried to buy something online with the card, and it was denied. It seemed like it was worth it to call now.

As I waited on hold for a little while, I realized that I had probably set off some warning in their system by buying a new computer and blowing some money in Montreal. I'd tell them everything was fine and to stop being a bunch of nervous nellies with my damn card. When they got to my call, I had trouble convincing them that I was, in fact, Will Carlough, since I wasn't calling from my home phone number (a number which is now defunct) and I didn't get the security question that I had come up with five years ago right, for reasons I won't go into, in case there are any prospective identity thefters reading. (Fuck, I didn't come up with identity thefter either.)

So the guy started listing off things that were bought in The Philippines and Great Britian that I had never heard of: A cell phone bill, an ebay purchase, I forget what else. Nothing too exotic, it all seemed rather mundane, other than the locales. I'm a little disappointed my thief didn't have more fun with it. The guy on the phone wrapped up the list, told me to cut up my card, they'd send me a new one, and they wouldn't charge me for any of the stuff. (I probably should have told him my computer and the Montreal trip weren't me either.)

I went back to my desk and was ready to forget about this petty annoyance. I was in the middle of an instant message conversation with my friend Michelle, so I told her about what had just happened. "You must feel so violated!" she said, or something to that effect. Hey, you know what, I hadn't thought of it until then, I was still on my kick of being annoyed by my stupid credit card company for making me call them. Maybe I did feel violated. I started to think, how could my card have been leaked? I'm usually fairly careful. Was it that tape stock I bought over the phone the other day? Did someone out there have more personal information on me? I'm stealing wi-fi from my neighbor, could he have intercepted something?

Well, who knows. My neighbor's probably out, since he can't even figure out how to password protect his wi-fi network. I vaguely remember an episode of CSI: Miami about identity theft, and they said that most identity theft is all about just garbage picking. I think. Oh, and my friend Peter claims that what happened doesn't qualify as identity theft, because no one actually assumed my identity, they just got a hold of my credit card number. I think he was implying that identity theft is more pervasive than just a credit card. It's true, that lady on CSI had to carry around paperwork proving that she was herself. And then the thief started doing the same thing, it was crazy! Well, you had to be there. And that's how I became an identity theftee. (Finally!) More from Montreal next time.

Posted by Will at 11:52 PM | Comments (2)

July 24, 2005

Montreal continued

So, it was off to the movies. First up was Godzilla: Final Wars. There was a line going around the corner, but Fantasia had given me a VIP pass, which I could use to skip the line and go right on in. That trumped being in first class easy. The theatre was pretty big and the crowd filled up the entire thing.
Now, I've seen a bunch of Godzilla movies. And I've seen a lot of episodes of the Godzilla cartoon show that had Godzuki on it. And I want to like the Godzilla movies, really. But, geez, they're tough to sit through sometimes. I like seeing giant monsters fight each other as much as the next guy, but I always find it a trial to have to sit through the all the travails of the human characters in-between. And I know that nobody could actually sit through more than maybe fifteen minutes of straight monster vs monster combat, but you'd think after fifty some years of these movies they'd be able to figure out a good balance.
Watching Godzilla with the Fantasia audience was weird though. I'm not sure if it was because they were Canadians or what, but they were more excited than the audience I saw Revenge of the Sith with on opening night. They seemed to really love this one guy, the only English speaking character in the whole thing (everyone else spoke Japanese with subtitles). Their affection for the guy was so immediate and intense that I assumed he was some beloved Canadian actor but according to his imdb page, he's American and that was his first movie. He looked kind of like Sergeant Slaughter, maybe they thought it was him.
They cheered for all the action and monster fighting (all the monsters were guys in rubber suits with the exception of a brief appearance by the CG American version of Godzilla, who the real Godzilla defeated easily), and laughed at most of the intentionally funny stuff as well as a good chunk of the unintentionally funny stuff. They seemed to like the movie because of, and not despite its flaws. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think an American audience would be able to make fun of a movie and then sincerely cheer for it a few minutes later. Every time I visit a city, I try to get a sense of what that city is about and I rarely get any insight other than that they sometimes have a different flavor of potato chips from what we get in New York (Washington DC has dill pickle flavored Lays). This was one of the few insights into the mind of the French Canadian that I was able to take home with me. Although I really doubt that rabid Godzilla fans are a good cross section of the population of Quebec.

Tomorrow: I see a French movie with no subtitles and the world premiere of Robin's Big Date!

Posted by Will at 2:27 PM | Comments (4)

July 19, 2005

Montreal and me

This weekend I went to Montreal for The Fantasia Film Festival and the world premiere (offline anyway) of Robin's Big Date. They had found the movie online, and had asked to show it, and I said, hell yes, and I'm coming up for the weekend to crash your festival too.

My plane left at 5:00, and due to a number of reasons, like my being bored waiting at home for the time to leave, I ended up calling a car to take me to LaGuardia at 1:30. You're supposed to get to the airport well before the flight, for security and stuff, but even for someone who strives for punctuality as much as I do, that was pushing it. I was all checked in and at the gate for my flight at about 2:30. It seemed like I had a long wait ahead of me. That is, until ten minutes later when they announced that my flight was cancelled. "What am I supposed to do?" I asked the Air Canada people. "Get on the plane that's leaving right now," they said. So it pays to be a couple hours early for stuff every once in a while.

I was put into first class, a first time for me and I wouldn't be surprised if it was the last. I was put next to a young British business man who looked pretty annoyed that I was taking the seat next to him. He looked sort of like Jason Statham and he was doing one of those number square puzzles that are supposedly all the rage in England. I kind of wanted to whip out my computer and play Castlevania III on an NES emulator, but that seemed decidedly un-first class, so I decided to read the incredibly dry biography of Spiro Agnew that I had with me. Jason Statham didn't seem that impressed.

As far as I can tell, first class is pretty much the same as whatever class I had flown in before, except the seats are bigger with more legroom and you get your drinks in real glasses instead of cups. Maybe on longer flights there are more benefits. Or maybe that wasn't even first class, and I have no idea what first class actually is.

When I got to Montreal, Stephanie from the festival was there waiting for me (I had frantically called her as I was getting on the plane to tell her I'd be early). She was holding a sign that said "Will Carlough" which also seemed very fancy to me. I think there are certain things in life that I may never stop thinking of as luxuries, like air travel, air conditioners, taxi rides, and microwaves, even though I've come to realize that air conditioners and microwaves are everywhere and pretty cheap, and air travel and taxi rides are actually pretty unpleasant.

Stephanie drove me to my hotel as I asked her a bunch of dumb tourist questions about Quebec, like "What's the deal with you guys and French?" She didn't seem to mind, and told me the festival had been going well so far, but she hadn't been able to catch many films yet. Seemed to me like the whole point of working for a film festival would be to see movies, but she said she had been too busy to get to the theatres. So she dropped me off at the hotel, and I checked in and went off to the festival.

To be continued

Posted by Will at 5:24 PM | Comments (3)

July 15, 2005

Knock knock continued

Knock knock.
Who's there.
The Hazzards' new video Shut Up and Make Out!
The Hazzard's new video Shut Up and Make Out who?
The... No, wait. No, that's it. Just the video.
What about the knock knock joke?
It was just a pretense for introducing the video.
But I wanted to hear the joke.
Just watch the video.

Posted by Will at 12:38 PM | Comments (1)

July 9, 2005

I guess I was wrong.

Blogging is a hard business. Sure, the pay is awesome. But when you lead a life as action packed as mine, a lot of the stuff that goes down just isn't suitable for the virgin ears of the web. Hence my lack of updates recently. It's tough coming up with something dull enough for people to handle. Rest assured, I'll catch everybody up when I release the third volume of my memoirs, Will Carlough Eats Some Sandwiches and Takes a Nap.

So, this month/week, or how ever often I claim to update, I'll leave it to a commenter, a fan of Margaret Cho who found one of my old entries about the comedienne and identifies themselves only as "JesusSays." There's some other comments there, some of which are also kind of amusing.


PS: Who am I kidding, JesusSays is clearly Margaret Cho.

Posted by Will at 11:13 PM | Comments ()