Thursday, April 10, 2014

Target, Bodega ATMs, and "I was ROBBED!"

If there is one positive thing I can always say about Wells Fargo bank it would be "There fraud department does NOT play." They are always on it! Let me tell you what happened THIS time...

First off, I live in Brooklyn. There are no Wells Fargo banks or ATMs around, and for some odd reason, the stores near my house do not give cash back on purchases so most of the time, I hit up the Bodega unnamed ATM to take out cash. I'm actually trying to stop this because on average, I get hit with a $5 fee (total) to do this. This amounts to about $20 a month I'm spending to get money out of a shady ass ATM. Secondly, I use my bank card at Target all the time. I even used it around the time of that Target hacking situation. However, I thought I was safe. Apparently, I was wrong.

Last night while I'm enjoying a quick nap, my phone rings. It's Wells Fargo. Of course, I missed the call, so before I call back I check my account online. I see TWO purchases I did not make. One in TN and one in CO. I'm in Brooklyn. This isn't right...I call. "Of yes Ms. Baltimore, someone tried to charge $550 at such and such hotel, but we declined this. This wasn't you?" HELL NO. And then here comes the whole let's go through the last week of purchases and credits to see if any other suspicious activity has happened. It's only the two charges, and they total less than $100.

"Ms Baltimore, do you make online purchases?"  DUH I'm thinking. I was about to buy a cute pair of python flats from Zara before you guys called. Now...I guess I gotta wait. I'm told I shouldn't use my card online no matter how safe it seems...get a pre-paid card or generate another card number on my account to use just online...blah blah you saying I gotta go through changes to buy things I really don't need online (I do need those shoes though...)

Not thinking about how I'm going to live I tell them to cancel my card. DELETE ALL THAT SHIT. As I'm sitting there talking to fraud, I realize...I only have $10 to my name. I didn't think...let me run to the Bodega ATM and take out xyz. I'm told 7-10 days for a new card (sent to my mom's house in add another week for me to get it). I can get a temp card but alas, there is no Wells Fargo in Brooklyn or the Bronx so I'd have to take off work to go get a new card. Le sigh. I hang up, stressed and defeated.

I'm not too concerned with the money because I know I will get it back and it's a small amount. But this is the second time this has happened since I moved to NYC. I can't pinpoint where I'm getting got and I doubt it's online because this never happened before! I been buying things online since 2005! I know how this works! So I don't know if this is the Target scam still going on or if it's the shady Bodega ATMs (ironically I used the ATM at McDonalds the day before so maybe it's the shady 99 cent ATM). I have no clue but my advice to everyone out is king. Keep money  hidden in your house just in case this happens and you can't go to the bank. Also, have a back up account at another bank (I do but I don't know the pin to the ATM so WHOMP. Yes I know I can call to get it). 

So basically I'm officially broke until I find a way to get to the bank and get a new card. Thanks petty ass thief.

p.s. I am thankful that these ppl really didn't get me for more money or that losing this $100 won't affect my livelihood. If this was 3 years ago, I'd be at home crying on the floor.
p.p.s. I would change banks, but Wells Fargo is so good about things like this...they just really need more ATMs around.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

PROSE: The War (because suicide is real...)

I fought for today to be a good day.
I really did.
And no matter how hard I fought, it felt that I kept getting knocked down.
Fall down 20 times, get back up 21. But on that 21st knock down, I gave up.
I FOUGHT for today. 
Through the hopelessness, despair, the pain, the turmoil
I continued to fight. 
I tried to look at the positive. I looked for that silver lining. 
I looked for that light at the end of the tunnel.
But this battle was bigger than me. 
I am a beautiful tormented dreamer who takes pride in rising above the pain.
But sometimes that pain is too much to bear.
But I kept fighting
I kept screaming for help until I lost my voice. 
And in that one moment, I gave in. And I cried.
Not just for myself but for those who didn't ever have a voice
For my ancestors who fought every day of their life but never had a good day
For the children on the streets 
For the homeless.
The sick. The vulnerable. The lost. The misunderstood. The ones in pain and don't know why.
The ones who also fought for today and gave up on not just today, but on every day. 
I cried for them. I cry for them.
I let go and I lost today's battle. 
But I refuse to lose the war.
Because I am here for a reason. I am beautiful. Extraordinary. Amazing. Talented. And fuck being humble, I was made in the image of God. How could I NOT be great?

You are great.
You are amazing.
You are perfect the way you are.
You are loved. 

And if no one told you today, I told you. 

NOTE...I am not suicidal. but there are many who are. and i was reminded of that today. despite how happy you look on the outside, the pain on the inside is what is real. if you are feeling down and out, know there is help. you are not alone. we all lose the battle once and a while, but the war is what we are fighting for. the war is what we will win.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"So You Can Keep Your New Year's Revolution!"

Lately I've seen a lot of posts on Facebook and The Twitter saying "No one wants to see your resolutions! It ain't like you gonna keep them", and other variations of the sort. I'm always amused when it gets to be this time of year and people are so negative because THEY couldn't keep their resolution, and neither could their friends or whoever, so they just want to go ahead and put it out there that they don't wan to see what you have to say. And that's cool. Y'all know what works amazingly well? Unfollowing those people you don't want to see...Try it sometime.

Now I don't feel any way bitter about this, I just want to state that fact. This is the thing about resolutions to me...they are personal and they are your own goal. To write them down sometimes solidifies the choices you are making (and you can always look back to see what you said, and to do quality checks. "Am I meeting this goal?) . Sharing your goals with others opens yourself up to support but mainly critique. It's a slippery slope but I personally find motivation in reading and hearing other people's resolutions and seeing that person reach their goal. I like to see good people succeed.

Last year I did a "Getting To Happy" post in December where I set NO Resolutions for 2013. I wanted to continue on the path I was/am on and to see where it leads me...I wanted to try something new. Now I see people recount 2013 and most of it is "This year was so hard...this was the worst year yet...I'm so tired of this..." and for the first time in a long time, I have nothing to complain about. I won't pretend 2013 was spectacular but I can't point out one negative moment that made me sad. That includes losing a friend because honestly, when you stop being negative, all of the negativity in your life will begin to cease. I'm not 100% where I want to be, I still have my times when I backslide, but so many stressors in my life have disappeared over the past year that I can't even begin to open my mouth to complain. I'm happy with 2013 and NOT having a resolution means I'm not beating myself up over what I could have done but didn't. I think I actually accomplished quite a few goals I didn't think I'd ever do. Some goals I faltered on, but I didn't give up on them. I just modified them and set a more reasonable expectation for myself.

But I'm a work in progress. I have begun to set lots of goals for myself for 2014. These aren't resolutions...just goals I want to accomplish. Some are changes I want to make. Some are just things I want to do before I die. Can I share a little secret with you guys? A secret to feeling better about yourself and being more positive? One that I use?


This means...set small obtainable goals for yourself. "I will go to the gym today" (you don't even have to work out, just GO!) and then go. Look, you won! And then after a few weeks of this, modify your goal to make it more challenging. "I will go the gym and do the threadmill for 5 min!". People will say this isn't challenging but it's motivating because once you feel good about the accomplishing even the small things, you will realize it's not that hard, I can do this, I GOT THIS! And as always, your goals should be positive not negative.
Ex. "Stop eating out so much" =negative. "Cook more often" = positive.

Live it. Love it.

If you made it this far, I thank you. I thank everyone who reads my blogs, the ones who leave feedback and comments (whether it's here or in my email), and everyone who supports me in my day to day endeavors to become a better person.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bucket List Item #1: My First Time...

NOTE: This blog probably isn't the greatest one for my older family members to read. I mean it's not
BAD but it may be TMI. That said, read at your own risk and please don't text me or ask me about this later (MOM: this means YOU)

In my quest to bring more enjoyment to my life, I have been slowly (but surely) trying to delete things off my bucket list. This blog will be about item #1: GET A BRAZILIAN WAX. Okay Okay...I know you're laughing right now...why would that be on my bucket list? Well several reasons:

  • I have never had one
  • Women think their awesome and apparently so do men. 
  • It's a new experience
I mean I try to stay groomed but really I don't concern myself with it too much. I haven't had complaints and I'm of the belief that pubic hair is necessary and healthier to have. I won't get into that now but I equate hair to being grown, so the preference and desire to be hairless is so childish. However, after a few inquiries into why I am so anti, I decided to give it a try. I bought a groupon but never went through with it (it's still good right?). I talked to friends, I read up on it online, and I consulted several places but I was still in that "hell no" mind state. Until recently when I went to a hot yoga/pilates infusion class and pulled off my sweats. I had on yoga shorts but they had rolled up and OMG, I was looking like a wooly mammoth. I wasn't caring and was just oh so lazy. So because of embarrassment, the next day I went to the new spa place across from my job. They had a $50 special (for two Brazilian waxes). I opted to just pay $30 for one. Thanks to my boss for our Christmas bonus monies!  Anyway everyone had said to take tylenol so it won't hurt as much. But I didn't. I don't know if that would have helped or not. 

Anyway the lady tells me to strip down and lay on the table. She then says "Oh first time?" while dousing me in baby powder. At this point I'm self conscious. I never read about baby powder before, am I funky? I tried to clean up before I came (I didn't want to be THAT woman) and I took a shower that morning. She then begins to rubbing some warm liquid all over me. This isn't too bad. I am on my phone, tweeting "Beyonce Think Pieces" when she puts the first strip on me. I have a high tolerance for pain so I'm just laughing. THIS IS WHERE THINGS CHANGE. 

As soon as she snatches that strip away I drop my phone. I am like OMG! She senses my pain and tells me to "hold this" to make it not hurt as much. Basically I'm holding my skin taunt while she is pulling off all my hair! The first strip pull is the worse, the follow up "clean up" in the same area is okay. But each time she moves to a new area, I start to flinch. Someone calls her and she leaves, she's halfway through and I'm contemplating a 40 year old virgin move and leaving half done. But that's so tacky. I soldier through it. She talks to me about getting health insurance and finding a new OB/GYN who can  help with fertility issues. I recommend some in the building I work in, and casually watch the clock. In total, it took her about 15 minutes. When she was done, she put ALL the baby powder on me and smiled. "Come back in 3 weeks!" I tipped her $10. 

I go to the bathroom later to admire her work. I am completely bald. I haven't seen my vagina look this way since I was 11 or 12. It's so odd but interesting. I tell some of my girlfriends and they laugh at me. Of course the standard "Wait until you have sex" texts are sent to me. Is this why y'all do this? So sex can be amazing? Like there is no other way? "It drives men crazy!" WHAT?!?! 

Days later I am still in shock. I still stare at it like "Did I really just did this?" It's cool...different. I am not swayed toward it, but I am open to keeping this up for a while just for the simple fact that it IS different. 

I just gotta say this is a funny pre-Christmas blog but oh so real. Happy Holidays all (if I don't post again which I probably won't). 

P.S. I am knocking down my bucket list line by line!!! However, as I take off items, I add more. But I guess that's the point right? To enjoy life. I have already decided that when I do my 2014 New Year "Resolutions", I am just going to make the goal to complete 5 things on my bucket list. Oh look. There it separate blog necessary!

As always, follow me on twitter: @StephBMore

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Just "One Night" with Maroon 5 and Malibu Rum!!!!

A few days ago I said this weekend would either be a bust or amazing. Guess what!! It was AMAZING!!!!!! If you follow me on twitter you know that one of my favorite groups of all time is Maroon 5. No lie. If I could only have 3 cds for the rest of my life, "Songs About Jane" would be one of them. That album epitomizes my whole relationship to the point that I almost wrote a short story called "Songs About John"...But I digress. I know I'm being a super fan right now.

Anyway, thanks to Malibu Rum, I had the opportunity to see Maroon 5 last night for FREE. What makes this even more amazing is that since it was sponsored by Malibu Rum, we got free drinks all night LONG plus they gave us a $30 credit to use on Uber (it kinda sucked that it was only good for last night but it really makes a lot of sense. I didn't use it because the venue was right by the C train and I just didn't). Malibu featured four drinks: Malibu & Lemonade, Malibu Black & Coke, Malibu Margarita (that had tequila too, 70 proof), and Malibu Spice Island Drink. I tried one of each, all of them really good. I preferred the Malibu & Lemonade because I like to keep it simple. (And YES! I tipped the bartenders!!! Free drinks means more money for tips!).

Around 1030ish, Maroon 5 hit the stage and we all went crazy. I mean...this is my favorite group. I love love them and I have never seen them live, so for my first time seeing them to be free was like "Look at God". WON'T HE DO IT!!! The band came out to "One Night" and I was like OMG! I was tweeting pictures and videos (not a lot, like 3 pics and 1 video) and then I'm like "NO, I'm here to see Maroon 5." Let me BE in this moment.  (FYI all my pics are not edited. This is straight up from the iPhone 5s).

The band's set includes "This Love", "Shiver", "Sunday Morning", "Moves Like Jagger", "Love Somebody", "Misery", "Payphone",  "Stereo Hearts" (Adam did the whole rap for this song. Yes I have video but it's so blurry from me dancing) and other favorites. I almost lost it on Payphone because that's literally one of my fav songs by them.  They also did a cover of "I Wanna Be Your Lover" by Prince. (YALL KNOW I LOVE PRINCE!) Adam was look all sexy too.  I don't know if I am being biased or not, and I don't know if I was tipsy or not, but they were amazing. It's a rarity (for me) to see a band that has a smooth transition from song to song. James Valentine (lead guitarist) was amazing! I love a great guitarist and he reignited my urge to learn to play!  (On the keyboard in the back is PJ Morton! Love him).

Anyway, it was amazing. I am so thankful to Malibu Rum and Maroon 5 for the experience. And as always, I have included some video for you guys. Maroon 5 doing "This Love" (their second single from Songs About Jane).

P.S. Go to my instagram and see the video snippet of Maroon 5 performing Prince's hit (IG: Steph_Bmore)
P.P.S. Follow me on twitter because I'm awesome and when I find out about free events, I try to let you guys know. (@StephBMore)
P.P.P.S. Live in Philly? You NEED to follow me because I have a good opportunity coming up to see Drake on Dec 18th and I'm offering free tickets to some of my followers. (You will actually get to be in the Pepsi suite with me!!! might want to get on that. Not sure how many tickets I have extra but I will give away at least two).