Wednesday, June 25, 2008

But I want to give you my money!

Sallie Mae sucks. Their website sucks, their Indian customer service reps suck, they all just suck. All I want to do is make my student loan payment. It's not that hard. Log into my account, make a payment, right? Wrong! After I get my user name and password entered, then I answer my challenge questions, then it tells me I have no account. I call the customer service number and reset all my info and tell me to wait 2 hours to log in. Repeat process. I have spent nearly 18 hours trying to pay my damn bill. Of course, I can go the "phone payment" route and pay an extra $10 to do it, but I refuse. I want it done online, now, and free. Of course, the automated system tells me things are much better if I just go to the website, and all the emails they send tell me the same thing. Stupid website.....

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Adventures in travel and investment advice: All-in-1

Alexis got cut in the first round of the auditons, but I had already made my reservations to join them for the weekend. Of course, the Maryland/DC area was hit with a snow/ice storm on Thursday evening. Since I was flying out of Reagan, I left extra early for my 7am flight in case of traffic delays. (more later)

Adventures in Travel

Mark and Alexis went to Chicago for the American Girl auditions in January. It was decided that, rather than pay the parking at the garage for the possible 8 day trip, that I would just drive them to BWI and drop them off. We got up very early, drove to Baltimore, dropped off the "packages", and I headed home, almost getting there before the sun came up. I crawled in bed for a few hours.

Mark finally called to say they had arrived, though late. It turns out that when they boarded the plane, the only pilot was the first officer. The van that was picking up the captain, locked the keys inside, and they were waiting for a locksmith to let them into the van to get the captain there. So, everyone was kept waiting for nearly an hour. (Paul, I'm holding you personally responsible for this oversight. And it is abundantly obvious that this incident is the direct cause of the new baggage limits because you lost so much money by refunding all those tickets!)

My question: Why make all the people wait? Why not grab a cab or the hotel shuttle? Must the pilots only travel in the ascribed vehicle? If so, sounds like another 9/11 idiotic boondoggle to me.

To the other end, when I finally got up and moving, I decided to run some errands, only to find there was a giant nail in my tire. Always an adventure....

The Lipstick Bitch

I was getting the brakes on my car replaced a few weeks, which forced me to drive the truck. Ya, know, the one I like to drive over raised flower beds? Yeah, so anyway, I had to drive it to school. Since I didn't have time to drive by the campus police station to get a temp permit before class, I parked in some free parking a few blocks over and hoofed it to my building. (You don't dare park on campus without a permit, lest the Nazi's will be on you like crows on roadkill) So after my first class, I moved the truck into the parking lot. Now, parking on campus is hard to come by, especially at certain times of day. When I moved the truck at 3:30, most of the day students are finished,so finding a spot is easy. It gets harder as 6pm rolls around and all the night classes start. It is not uncommon for people to "make" their own spaces along the outside aisle of the lot. That's generally not a big deal if I'm driving my little Hyundai. However, I need a whole lotta room to swing out the F-150 Supercrew (that I suck at parking and manuevering in general!). You know happened. Some dumbass decided to park me in. And of all things, the "NO PARKING" sign was right behind his car. Of course it was a dark and rainy night....but I was fortunate enough to have some kind fellow trying to help me get out of the space. It was a lot of back, turn , pull up, cut it, pull forward, and so on until I was about 2 inches from the Mustang off my nose and 3 inches from the Cavalier that had me blocked in. At that point, I gave up, pulled in and decided to call the campus police to have the bastard towed. I thanked the poor, wet, Samaritan who had been trying to help me. Just then, the girl parked across from came out and left! Yay! I could now pull through and escape! But not before taking my lipstick to the windows of the idiot who parked me in. In nice reverse letters, I wrote "No parking dumbass" across his windshield. I'm sure it was a lovely sight when he turned on his wipers to clear the rain!


In children, one expects irresponsibility, even though it is frustrating. In adults however, irresponsibility is unacceptable. Take the phone incident that we've been dealing with for the last week.

Tuesday: Alexis left her phone, yes, the one she's had for only 2 months that she got for Christmas, in the carpool mom's backseat. The carpool mom called to say she had it and would drop it by. She never showed.

Wednesday: So, we expected to get it back the next day at school, but it wasn't sent with her son, and Alexis rode home with a different carpool because of choir practice. I left a vociemail with carpool mom to see if there was a time that we could just come over and get it, or just send it with her son tomorrow. Alexis called the house and the son said they were heading out to a basketball game and that he would bring it tomorrow.

Thursday: Again, the phone wasn't brought to school. The other carpool mom picked up the kids today. So I called the first carpool mom and left a voicemail telling her that perhaps we could swing by before or after dance class to get the phone. Besides, they only live in the next subdivision over! I also called the phone itself to see if anyone would pick it up. I didn't get a call back, so we stopped by about 7:30 anyway. Dad answered the door, said Mom wasn't home, and that it must still be in her backseat. Alexis could get it tomorrow since she would be picking up the carpool again.

Friday: Alexis came home from school early because she was sick, and Mark took her to the doctor. I called carpool mom to ask her to bring the phone by after school, as both Mark and Alexis would both be home. She was completely flabbergasted that the phone had not been returned. She had told her husband to get it out to send back with the son. Out of frustration, I called the phone several times, hoping they would hear it in the car and find it. We went to dinner and the theatre to see Hello Dolly and got home around 9:30. There was a message from the son saying they couldn't find it. Alexis called back, but there was no answer. Thinking it had been lost, we went online to check usage. Nothing out of the ordinary was on the account, so if someone had found it, maybe they had turned it in at lost and found somewhere. In any case, we called Sprint and had the phone service disconnected.

Saturday: Since we didn't get to talk to them last night, I tried calling all three numbers listed in the school directory, but got messaging on all of them. I didn't leave a message. I'm tired of playing phone tag. I want to yell at these people myself. About a half hour later, carpool mom called to say they found the phone between the seats of the car when they heard it ringing (ha! my plan worked!) and she would be bringing it over in a couple of hours.

So, the point is this: Why, when you live two streets away and say you are going to bring it over, didn't you do it? And furthermore, if someone leaves something small behind in your car, don't you think you should put it somewhere safe where it won't slide around, onto the floor, and maybe out the door at God-knows-where when people are getting in and out of the car? I'm frustrated with Alexis for being irresponsible. I'm angry at the carpool mom for being irresponsible, disappointed in her non-chalant attitude in resolving the situation (it's a $200 phone, not a lunch box), and frustrated with the excuses that she was too busy to drop it by. I live two blocks away, right off the main road! She had to have driven past here at least once a day!

Responsibility: Get it, use it!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Investment Advice

A couple of weeks ago, Mark's immediate boss hosted a Christmas party at his home in Chambersburg. I wanted to make something to take and share with everyone, though the event was not a pitch-in affair per se. Wanting to do something besides the standard cookies or brownies, I decided to make a crock pot of my favorite soup....fiesta black bean. My mouth is watering just thinking about the rich, spicy broth, the tiny diced bits of ham and potatoes, the black beans, jalapenos, and onions. MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmm...........

So I had gotten up early, diced and chopped and defrosted and all that, and put it in the crock. As we approached our departure time, the potatoes weren't yet tender, so I removed the crock and microwaved it to finish them off. With tender taters, we hopped in the car and drove north, crock pot stowed safely between my feet in the front floor of the car.

Mark took a wrong turn on the backroads of the greater Chambersburg area and had to turn around. My old age was catching up with me, so I shifted my legs a bit to relieve the pain in my.......hip (I know what you were you were thinking!). Mark came to the next stop, and when he hit the brakes, my delicious soup went flying forward, spilling all over the floor! As the windows steamed up, I scrambled to keep my feet and pant legs out of the beans.

We made it to the party, but we were soupless. The liquid soaked into the floor and we scooped out the beans, peppers, and ham. However, my car now has this lovely aroma of spicy soup. Everytime I drive the car, I get these cravings for Mexican food! So, if you are looking for someplace to invest your money, might I suggest stock in Taco Bell? I think they will see an increase in same store sales this quarter!

PS. As always, please note that it's all Mark's fault! If he just hadn't taken that wrong turn.....

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Stupid people make me ANGRY!

OK, I just need to vent, so forgive me loyal readers if I come out sounding harsh. As you all know, I am planning to graduate in May (finaalllllly!). I finished my fall semester with 4 A's and (gasp!) a C.....the first in many years and it was rather painful. I love history, but it apparently doesn't love me!

So anyway, I had to register for my final classes back in November. Being the paranoid type that I am, I emailed my advisor to make sure everything was cool:

From: Christina Barone []
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2007 10:01 PM
To: name deleted to protect the stupid
Subject: spring scheduling questions


Just looked at the spring schedules and I had a question about one of the classes. RELG 399 and HIST 399 appear to offered together at the same time (TR 3:15-4:30). Is that correct? Is it worth 6 credits or only 3? I'm not too familiar with the ST class formats, so I'm a little confused. And I just wanted to confirm that I will only need 12 credits in the spring to graduate in May. (sorry if I'm sounding paranoid.....just don't want to find out that I'm not graduating because of a foul up somewhere!)



My adviser then responds with:

From: idiotic advisor's name here
Sent: Mon 10/22/07 12:02 PM
To: Christina Barone (

Good Morning Chris—I haven’t had a chance to look at the Spring ’08 schedule, but I’m assuming a student can sign up for either, not both—and it would be only 3 credits in total. Since Academic Advisement does not begin until October 31, we have not even checked all the Advisees’ mid-term grades, but you can do the math—you have 101 credits on record and 15 in progress for a total of 116 credits. You need 128 for graduation, which leaves 12 credits. You will have completed all of the required areas for the RBA degree, except for one upper division credit, which can be part of the 12 you take in the Spring. Just be very careful not to repeat anything—that is probably the hardest thing for me to catch. I have a sign up sheet on my door for Advisement, or you can schedule an appointment via e-mail. I can also give you your pin number after you send me a copy of your schedule.


So life is grand and we exchange advisement information:

From: Christina Barone []
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 5:28 PM
To: idiotic advisor
Subject: RE: spring scheduling questions

Ok, if I only need one upper division class, here's my schedule:

Personal Health HLTH 103 TR 1:50-3:05 41021
HIST 102 TR 3:15-4:30 40620
Nutrition FACS 318 TR 5:00-6:15 40665
Span II SPAN 102 TR 6:35-7:50 40580


To which she says:

From: idiotic advisor
Sent: Wed 11/14/07 1:01 PM
To: Christina Barone (

Great—400941—you can register at any time now…

Ah..... life is organized, my books are ordered, classes start in a week, I'm enjoying my last week of vacation, I only have to go to school two days a week this semester. The year is off to a lovely start! Then......

From: Stupid advisor's assistant
Sent: Thu 1/03/08 7:03 PM

Christina, in reviewing your latest transcript I note some potential problems. You have 116 credits and have signed up for 12 hours. That will give you the necessary 128. However, since you dropped or withdrew from several upper division classes this past fall, you are lacking in that area. You have 33 upper division hours and need 40. You will need to have 7 upper division hours this spring in order to qualify for May 2008 graduation. I hope this helps in your planning.

Moron's grunt

Helps in my planning?? It would have helped in my planning 3 months ago, not a week before school starts!! So, now I am left scrambling to find upper division classes a week before the semester begins, I have to send back all my books to amazon (hopefully!), and what are the chances that I can fit it all into Tues/Thurs so that I don't have to drive down there 5 days a week??!!

Stupid people make me angry!!!!!