Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Harmonic convergence

Today’s eclipse might be impressive and all, but it’s really just planets and shadows—a mere parlor trick even Dubya could master. Once he learns his alphabet. And how to tie his shoes. And run a country.

The REAL harmonic convergence occurs April 1. At least it’s scheduled for April 1, but through the magic of being a little more organized than I’d planned, it’s already happened. You see, as an adult of a certain age, my body operates on two different cycles. Neither of which involves bleeding. One is on a three-month pattern and one is on a four-month pattern. And every April 1, they cosmically occur at the same time. Except this year, when they both occurred last weekend. Because they both seemed more interesting than starting my taxes.

Cycle #1: My mattress
I wrote JFM, AMJ, JAS and OND in thick black magic marker on the corners of my mattress when I bought it in 1993. And if you think I did it because they’re the initials of the members of my favorite boy band, that would be a good guess. But you’d be wrong. Because they are actually the initials of months, organized into handy little three-month chunks. And at the beginning of each of these chunks, I rotate my mattress so the appropriate initials appear right-side-up on the southwest corner of my bed. Then I spray the whole thing with Lysol to kill off any residual stench from the dead hooker. And if I had a bedwetting problem, I’d take this opportunity to wash copious amounts of dried pee out of my mattress pad as well, but I don’t have a bedwetting problem, though I wash my mattress pad at these times just to be safe. Because nobody wants to sleep in dried pee. Even if it is hypothetical.

Cycle #2: My credit
Ever since my fun (but mercifully short-lived) little adventure with identity theft last year, I’ve been extra-diligent about my credit cards and reports and ratings. And carbs.

Fortunately, about the time I got hacked, our financially responsible (HA!) congress and the fine folks at appeared on the horizon with their guarantee of three free credit reports a year for everyone in America. You can order them all at once (you get one from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies) or you can space them out over the year. I opted for the latter, and I carefully wrote TransUnion, Experian and Equifax in my calendar on the firsts of April, August and December so I wouldn’t forget.

The reports are kind of long, but they’re packed with interesting information. And if you order one every four months, you don’t get overwhelmed. At least not totally overwhelmed. And it gives you time to correct any weird stuff you might find so your next report will be all the more accurate.

While the credit reports are free, your credit score is not, but you can buy it for about six bucks when you run your report. Just be sure you’re attached to a working printer. The whole process takes under 10 minutes, assuming government agents don’t peek through your cable modem and see how responsible a consumer you’ve been and come swooping in to haul you away to some secret church basement where you’re forced to teach Dubya and the other kids in his playgroup how to balance a freakin’ budget.

Which hasn’t happened to me yet, but I’m keeping my Lysol handy just in case they let me touch their toys.

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