Zany: I resolve not to be resolved

152766728_3428d17ef8 I am not fond of resolutions. I prefer to set goals I work toward fulfilling. Perhaps I will not complete this year, but the objectives I set to support my goals keep track of my progress and depict I am moving forward. One lump sum resolution is not fulfilling.

One of the many objectives I have set this year for personal and professional development has been to increase my meditation time. Last year, I allowed circumstances to control my life and could never find time for me. Such neglect led to the insanity of making the same mistakes multiple times.

Meditation and the creative process go hand-in-hand. I invite you to read this article by Centeno, The Meditation: The Creative Process. Please share your mediation techniques. Take the time to nourish yourself this year. Doing so will help you and those around you grow in abundance!

(Photo courtesy nsmchris.)

Zany: Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me

2540307471_3d3ab02057 Disclaimer: This is not a futile attempt to build my personal brand! Ha! Ok…had to say that because I was tagged by dear friend, Geoff Livingston.

  1. I used to do a spider dance before going to bed to keep spiders from biting me while asleep….deep rooted arachnophobia because I lived in a renovated basement in Oklahoma where brown recluses are abundant…of course, this also stems from OCD!
  2. I despise drinking water.
  3. My dream of seeing Paris in winter is finally coming true.
  4. I named my daughter after a title of an Anne Rice novel.
  5. Diamonds are not this girl's best friend. I prefer emeralds, moonstone and amber gems. Although I will not frown on anything that appears in a blue box.
  6. One day, I would like to complete falconry training.
  7. Ketchup belongs on everything.

Here are the peeps I would like to hear from:

Lauren Fernandez; Terry Morawski; Trish Forant; Laura P. Thomas; Leonardo Souza; Sherry Carr Deer and Barbara Nixon.

(Picture courtesy parakeetpeach.)

Zany: Or not so much…Protect yourself from identity theft

2913211897_efdc86024dIf you don't think it can happen to you…think again. Identity theft is on the rise and you may be the next victim. Be proactive.

Yes, I live my life online, but the theft of my identity did not happen online…it began with my mailbox. The day before I left on vacation, I placed the only two bills I pay by check in my home mailbox. When I raised the mailbox flag, little did I know I was also waving the red flag for the bull to come charging and steal both bills and checks from my mailbox. From there, the thief bought blank checks from an Office Depot or Wal-Mart, copied my personal information, bought my drivers licence number online and wrote almost 50 checks with my account number and name.

By the time I caught the checks clearing, my account was virtually wiped out. I spent the next two days at my bank and local police department. I was surprised that my bank was not familiar with any procedures of what to do in the case of identity fraud. I filed a report with my local police department, but because none of the checks were written to merchants in my city, I had to file separate police reports in each city the checks were written. A nightmare! Did I mention the kidlette was sick with the flu during this time? This single mom was flying around the metroplex like my hair was on fire!

It has been two weeks since I realized my identity had been stolen. After multiple account and ACH/Direct Deposit errors, my bank may have things in place now. No matter, I am switching banks. The lack of associate education about identity theft and institution's disregard to assist getting my finances in order were despicable. I am disgusted with the way one is treated when identity is stolen. All of a sudden I have become the criminal. Multiple suits have been filed against me by the merchants who had checks returned. My name is also on a national registry to not accept checks through digital readers.

I tell you all this not to complain, but perhaps I can prevent this from happening to you! Please take a moment to visit the FTC Identity Theft site. Begin by reading the Avoid Identity Theft Tool Kit. If you have been a victim of identity theft, Take Charge and Fight Back! (Even if you have not been a victim, please read this and stay alert.) The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.

How do thieves steal an identity?

Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personally identifying information such as your name and Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information. For identity thieves, this information is as good as gold.
Skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information, including:

  1. Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
  2. Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
  3. Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
  4. Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.
  5. Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.
  6. Pretexting.  They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources.  For more information about pretexting, click here.

Protect your identity!

  1. Minimize the amount of personal information you carry.
  2. Keep personal information in a secure place in your home. Shred before throwing away sensitive information.
  3. Do not give sensitive information to unsolicited callers
  4. Shield your hand when entering your PIN at a bank ATM. Take your credit card receipts and ATM slips. Shred them before throwing away.
  5. Pick up new checks or reissued debit/credit cards at your bank. Do not have your SSN or driver's license number printed on your checks.
  6. If your bank or credit card statement does not arrive on time, call the issuer to make sure it is being sent to proper address.
  7. Do not mail sensitive information from your home address. Choose to mail from a secure mail location.

(Photo courtesy e453753.)

Zany: Top Ten Favorite 80s Songs

1816448695_7bc5fef246 Friend, Geoff Livingston, tagged me in meme to list my all time top ten fave 80s songs. Ah, I loved the 80s! Whenever VH1 features Best of the 80s, it is a must-see!

  1. Purple Rain – Prince (1984)
  2. Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (1985)
  3. Girls, Girls, Girls – Motley Crue (1987)
  4. White Wedding – Billy Idol (1983)
  5. Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N' Roses (1987)
  6. Sweet Dreams – Eurythmics (1982)
  7. Livin' On A Prayer – Bon Jovi (1987)
  8. Every Breath You Take – The Police (1983)
  9. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran (1982)
  10. Thriller – Michael Jackson (1984)

I want to know what your fave 80s songs are: Leonardo Souza, Mihaela Vorvoreanu, Karen Russell, Kami Huyse and Trish Forant.

(Photo courtesy Sakurako Kitsa.)