Saturday, February 26, 2011

Neither a borrower nor a lender be-

Okay, so I will be the first to admit that yes, right now, Jason & I owe people money. We have full intention of paying the total amount back when we get our Federal tax return. The people we owe to are aware of it and we are in mutual agreement & harmony. Please see earlier blogs for why we haven't gotten our Federal return yet. But that's not really the point of this-it was more thrown out in a c.y.a. style, because man do I hate being called a hypocrite. Fewer things make me more mad.

Back in late August or so, Jason's & my friend Molly came to me and asked us to do her a "huge favor". Okay, we thought, we can try. She explained that hers and her husband's cell phones were the pay-as-you-go type and they were ready to get rid of them and get newer ones so they'd have decent service and capabilities. Could we add them to our cell phone plan? Jason & I thought about it and told Molly that if we did it, they'd have to make sure they could pay their bills each and every month because we did not have the financial stability to cover for them. (up to that point Molly had demonstrated a loose grasp of financial management, to say the very least) Molly assured us it would be no problem, and one night we all met at the Verizon store downtown and added them to our plan.
The first month or two, everything was flawless. Then a little before we were all due to move down to Alabama, I got a bill from Verizon and it had jumped up another $200. I was in shock and read it over & over trying to figure it out. I noticed then that somebody had added a Mi-Fi device (personal Wi-Fi) and added it to the account. I thought it had been a mistake, so I called Molly to see what she knew about it if anything. She said that yes, Fred had done that the other day to make it easier on himself to have internet capabilities when he's out in the middle of nowhere working as a landscaper. (lets ignore the fundamental problems I have with that statement for now) The bigger problem is this, of course-Fred should  not have been able to add anything to the account unless he pretended to be Jason; or if he said that he was adding it to the account "owned by his friend", Verizon should have called Jason to verify this as an okay thing before going ahead and doing it. Neither happened. I informed Molly that it had made the bill jump up $200, so their monthly owed amount would be $350 for right now. She said that was fine.
Then it came to moving and they were pouring all the extra money they had into being able to move, just like we were. Well, we still had the Verizon bill to pay.
We all moved to Alabama, and Molly had a job, just like Jason. It only took me a couple weeks to be able to find a job as well, and we were communicating regularly about the owed money. I made a couple of off-color comments about it on my FaceBook which Molly took as majorly offensive and we didn't speak for a while. We smoothed things out, although they never have quite been the same. In December, Jason & I started asking her again about the money for the phone bill, because we have been, at this point, on a payment plan with Verizon to keep our phones from being shut off. Molly assures me that since her husband has been working and getting paid regularly, that they will be able to pay us, and gives me a payment date & amount. Day passes, no money. We again go through the same thing-this much money by this day. Day passes, no money. Excuses from her about not having any money to do anything, this-and-that happened.
Jason & I have tried to be sympathetic. Empathetic, even. About 2 weeks ago or so, Jason sent Molly a message effectively saying "enough is enough" and he would be giving them a couple more weeks and then sending a letter indicating his pursuance of the matter through Small Claims Court. She messaged him back saying that they didn't have anything, so it wouldn't do him any good. She did  say that when she returned from her work-travel to Memphis, she would send Jason hers and Fred's phones and the Mi-Fi thingy. We heard nothing further and have received no equipment.
A few days ago Jason sent her a certified letter explaining how much she owes, the bills demonstrating what she is responsible for and saying that she has two more weeks to show progress (make a payment, make a payment arrangement) or he would indeed file in Small Claims Court as he had mentioned. The card came back in the mail yesterday showing us that they had received the letter and information.
Molly, in her infinite maturity, defriended Jason, me and MIMI from FaceBook as well as off her son's FaceBook. Apparently since we are holding them to what they said they would do, we can no longer be friends. And not only can we no longer be friends, our children can no longer be friends. Very mature. Thanks. So now I get to explain to my child why she can't be friends with Molly and/or Greg anymore, much as I hope Molly will explain it to her child. I just hope she tells the truth.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five Question Friday

1. Can you drive a stick shift?
Yes I can. Learned on an ex-boyfriend's Neon about a year after I got my license. Its been years since I've driven one, though, so I don't know how good I'd be at it anymore.

2.  What are two foods you just can't eat?
Liver and scrapple. Real scrapple, not the made-from-meat stuff you see showcased on "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives". If it has meat in it, it isn't real scrapple.
And liver... its an organ... that processes stuff through your body. Um... I'll pass.

3. Do you buy Girl Scout cookies and what's your favorite kind?
Yes we do. My personal favorite are the Thin Mints. I've been known to eat an entire sleeve at once, not that I should.

4. How do you pamper yourself?
Pamper myself? Surely you jest. I consider that I'm "pampering myself" if I get a chance to shower alone for longer than three minutes and/or if I get time to read my book at night. That's pampering.

5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?
I have a couple nicknames. Most commonly "Mama". That was from my niece Anna when she was just 6 1/2. She called me Mimi & Lizzie's Mama, and that's then what they started calling me, and that was 8 years ago! Now Anna & Maddie call me "Aunt Babe". Long story there.
I'm Mommy, of course, to my babies-all of them, here recently.
My friend Jay calls me Lissa (and is the only one to get away with it).
And last we have the ever-present Mel. My sis-in-law started calling me that when we met, she's Filipina and didn't speak English well at that time, so I doubt she could say "Melissa". It stuck, and here I am. My boss calls me Melly-Mel, and my Mel Prime and my Nora call me Mel Squared. Even Mimi occasionally calls me Mel Squared because she gets a raging kick out of the fact that she is Mel Cubed.

Hypocrisy, Southern differences & the Apple Bottom Jeans song

First-first... my big girl is going to spend the night with her Nonie tonight. For the first time away from Mommy & Daddy since she was too little to remember. We left her with my folks for the weekend when we went to Eastern State in 2008, but she was barely 2 then. She doesn't remember. Tonight she is going to spend the night with Nonie, just her... Bubs is staying home with us. Big girl. Hopefully this won't kill me the way leaving Bubs for one night did over the summer when we took the girls to Huntsville.

Next... hypocrisy. Really?!? Really?!? Somebody I know said, "do this particular thing this particular way because doing it any other way we are lacking in communication." So today, I did the thing in question the way I was previously instructed. I got a call shortly thereafter saying that I didn't need to do it that way because it "wastes paper". Wait... what? You just got through telling me to do it that way, so I do what you told me and now I'm wasting paper. Oh-kay...

Southern differences. Which ones now? So glad you asked.
We got a refund check in the mail today from the kids' pediatrician's office because our well-child visits don't require a copay, and we had paid one when the kids had their physicals in December. That was nice. The problem-it came addressed/made out to Jason. Just Jason. I was the one that took the kids in, and here's the kicker... the insurance is in MY NAME. I called them and asked why and they said that he was the "responsible party". I asked how that could be, given that I'd brought the kids in and the insurance was in my name. "Did he do the paperwork?" she asked. I again said no, he hasn't done the paperwork, I'm the one that brought the kids/brings the kids and its MY insurance, so I want it changed in their records. She said that "when they have a married couple, they just list the father first." I said that was nice, but I wanted it changed to reflect the way it really is. She sounded almost offended that I insisted on it, said they'd take care of it, and hung up on me! How polite! FFS, its not like I was asking her to pay for everything or something-just fix the account to the way it should have been to begin with.

Last, and I really have a rant that goes with this, but unfortunately there are too many people who could read it and get pissy so I'll refrain for now and just ask...
What does the "Apple Bottom jeans" song have to do with a professional working environment?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pisses off!

I had some cuddly-lap time with Bub earlier and that helped quite a bit. When I was first going to write this, I didn't think there were enough expletives for me to delete. These will be in no particluar order, but I will save my rant about TC for last.

First on my list today is people who talk to just hear themselves talk. These people that just randomly burst out in nonsense, making noise to make noise. Yelling, trying to entice other people into conversation with them for no particular reason other that its quite possible they will die if they're not talking. And then, when someone dares tell them to hush up, they start in about how much louder than that person the hush-er is and how that person should just hush themselves. Wait... what? That person wouldn't be tellng you to hush if you weren't sitting there mindlessly yapping about  nothing to begin with.

Because I'm eating while typing this, I really hate getting stuff stuck in my teeth.
I also hate that my son is almost 2 and doesn't talk.

I'm getting really frustrated with the repeated coming-home-to-a-messy-house. It just never stops. We can leave the house picked up in the morning when we go to work and by the time we come home, the damn cats have gotten into this, that & the other and made a mess. Not to mention one of our cats thinking she's Beckham and she bends the kitty litter five feet out of the box. So every day, the first thing I do is sweep the floor, and then when I come home from work every day, the first thing I do is sweep the floor. I also hate finding kitty litter all over my desk because the cats jump out of the boxes, trot across the floor and immediately jump on my desk. So every day, I wipe my desk.

Never time to do it right, always time to do it over. People who don't know how to do their jobs make mine harder.

Am I up to the TC rant? Think I might be. Interestingly, back when she & I were still friended on FaceBook, I referred to her as TC and she thought it meant "the c*nt". No, it actually means "thunder c*nt", which is stolen from the 3rd Blade movie.
"Stop telling lies about me and I'll stop telling the truth about you." That just fits her so well. Perfectly well, as a matter of fact. Because anytime the truth about her comes out, she lies to cover it up and to be able to blame it on someone else. That's part of the reason she was weasel-ish and tried to change the email account associated with and Mimi's FaceBook password. What she neglected to realize was that FaceBook will automatically send an email to the original email account asking if you authorized these changes. Well... since Jason created Mimi's FaceBook for her back before Mimi could, all those emails go to his email account. How about that! So we went back in, adjusted everything and locked it up. TC was seen to have posted on FaceBook the next day something about "changing your passwords and letting someone hang themselves with information they got illegally"... well, not so much, but it sounds good when she is trying to play the victim and make everybody think everything is anybody else's  fault but hers.
The last bit for today is the most recent stuff crawling my ass. TC filed her taxes before Jason & I could and she claimed Elizabeth on her taxes. Or so we presume. I really should be fair and say we don't know for sure, because we haven't gotten a look at her tax return. However, when we filed our taxes and the IRS told us that someone else had claimed our child (and it was verified by social security number), we put 2 and 2 together. Uh... 5?
Anyway, I heard back from the girls' school principal today who confirmed that they are going to have a vacation week in April. We weren't sure, because there was talk at the beginning of the year about their vacation week getting nixed if they have enough snow days. They had six, so we thought for sure their vacation was toast. But in fine Putnam fashion, they instead tacked the days on at the end of the school year making Mimi's "promotion ceremony" on June 20th. WTF? Kids go to school almost until July and then are back in at the end of August. Doesn't quite seem fair. Didn't when I was a kid, doesn't now that its being done to my kids.
The upshot is that now that I know they are going to have a break, I started lurking around the web for airfare. It is outrageous! Tickets are $300 one-way per kid. That's $1200 for two round-trip tickets. Their vacation week is April 18-22. Is there something going on that week that I need to know about? What is making those tickets so dadgum expensive? I hate to say we won't be able to afford their tickets, but I think that might be the case. I don't know what crack of my ass I am going to pull $1200 out of, and we know TC sure isn't going to volunteer to help at all. And methinks especially not around that time of year-about then the old IRS should be processing our return and investigating why we claimed a child that was already processed. Hmm... she is going to be pissed at Jason & me, and somehow try to twist it around to make it our fault. Well no, not this time. We have the documentation from the court that says she did a bad thing. It warms the cockles of my heart to think of her not only having to pay back whatever money she gets from the IRS but also a penalty fee. What would tickle me even more is if our return started getting done before hers was all the way processed so hers got stopped. I seriously doubt I'm that lucky-I think she filed way ahead of time. Damn-if I'd filed a little quicker after learning that we'd had to... oh well... she'll have to pay it back and that will warm my heart too.
It absolutely pisses me off that we probably won't see the girls until June now. But I want them to ask me why we don't have the money. I will tell them the truth, and I can back it up with documentation. TC can try to lie... but it won't work this time.
And all we have to do is keep proving her lies are just those and the girls will see her for who she is. They do already, but I think the more chances Jason & I get to prove we've been telling the truth all along, the better.

100 book challenge~

My friend Nora introduced me to a book challenge for this year-and it is to read 100 books within the confines of the calendar year. I figure that here is a great place for me to constantly record my progress.

1. Big Bad Wolf-James Patterson
2. London Bridges-James Patterson
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Ugly Truth-Jeff Kinney
4. 9 Dragons-Michael Connelly
5. The Woman Next Door-Barbara Delinsky
6. The Devil's Punchbowl-Greg Iles
7. The Quiet Game-Greg Iles
8. Turning Angel-Greg Iles
(I reskimmed The Devil's Punchbowl, because it is 3rd in the Penn Cage series, and I'd read it first)
9. Blood Memory-Greg Iles

So apparently I can't blog from work...

Are you kidding me? This thing ate my post. Okay... so I guess we go back to old style, typing posts in Word and then copying them into here.

I had said that I wanted to talk some about the kids and other aspects of life...

Mimi is 13, finishing up 8th grade this year, which means she will be in high school  next year! Gak! When did that happen?!? She got accepted into Ellis Tech and Killingly Vo-Ag for high school next year, up there in the land of too f*cking cold. It upsets me that she is somehow thinking she won't be living with us so that she will have to go to high school up there. I'm hoping to change that perception. Unless of course, she WANTS to stay up there with her pathetic excuse for a mother... in which case that decision is hers and we will respect it. Howver, that does mean that Jason & I have four years before we have to pay for her to go to college. College?!? Seriously?!? We all know that if she wants to go to more than a junior college/community college and she is not living with us, who is going to have to pay for it anyhow.
Mimi was recently diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes! Scary! She has lost weight and her vision is better, which if there has to be a positive to it, I guess that would be it.

Lizzie is 10, finishing up 5th grade and about to jump to Middle School! Big girl! She is becoming more of her own person as she gets older and is definitely getting wise(r) about things she was too naive to recognize when she was younger. She is very vocal about wanting to live with Jason & me. I hope that we can make that happen for her. Lizzie getting big trips me out more than Mimi, I think, because when Jason & I got together Lizzie was still a baby, so I've watched her grow all these years.

Alex is almost 5 and going to "school". She will start Kindergarten "big girl school" in the Fall, but for now she is content to be going to "school" with Sebastian. They go to a wonderful daycare/preschool called Kids' Club and she seems to enjoy it very much. They work on letters and numbers in her classroom and color and play games.

Bubs (Sebastian) will be 2 in March, just a few days after Alex turns 5. He is going to the afore-mentioned Kids' Club with Alex and seems to enjoy it. There is a painting on the wall above his classroom that I just love-it says "for one so small you seem so strong". I had/have such mixed feelings about him going to daycare-he was home with Mommy for the first year-and-a-half of his life. I got all the milestones, at least. It is important for him to be there with other kids, socializing, and it is important for him to learn that there are other adults that will take care of him that he can trust. Those are good. I DON'T like that he has been sick pretty much the whole time he's been going there. I know its good for his immune system and blah-blah-blah, but I hate my baby boy having a fever and coughing and sneezing and just flopping over because it is obvious he doesn't feel good.

So what else?
We currently live in the great state of Alabama. We moved back here because we wanted to and had been missing it for quite some time. It was also the last bit of closure we needed from our earlier situation, which helped both of us (though more me, I suspect).
We are entertaining the idea that part of Sebastian's problem is allergies, not being sick-sick, so Jason brought up having him allergy-tested and then moving somewhere allergens are less of a problem for him.
We are also struggling financially, despite what some people would like to make others believe. Jason's hope & dream is to get a job using his degree in Business Adminstration. I'd like to get a Masters' degree or a J.D.; whichever one I get will be determined by where we live and what schools are close. I know what my options are here and I know what they are elsewhere, so we'll just have to see. I have also been accepted to the Boston University online program-but seeing the issues Jason is having with getting a job having a degree from an online university, I might just do brick-and-mortar instead.

I guess that is all for now... I am hoping that this will serve to be cathartic for me. I have been wishing for a while that FaceBook had a blog feature like MySpace-with doing my blogs this way and linking to FaceBook, it should be just as good.
Finally a quote that I saw on the Rescue Ink site-"stop telling lies about me and I'll stop telling the truth about you". That applies so well to people in my life. What about you?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First one!

First blog since I had my old MySpace page... I think the title sums it up. This is where you will find the ramblings of my (more-than-occasionally) cluttered mind.
More coming soon.