Oh ... Really?

Category: Personal

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ripped off!

Shit. I just can't win for losing. Two steps forward, three steps back. Have I mentioned how much I hate cars? And car sales people? Especially ones that rip people off ...

When I bought my new-to-me car last year, I kept the old Saturn for my kids to use. Well, it finally bit the dust. The tranny gave out and that is just too expensive to replace in a 13 year old car with 150K+ miles on it (the odometer quit turning at that point a year and a half ago) that is used by teenagers. But, having to get to school and work and all around town, my darling daughter needs wheels. I'd have to pay insurance on her anyway, might as well make use of it. So, we went car shopping. My idea was to catch a trade-in at a dealership somewhere that they would be willing to let go cheap. I couldn't go for anything that cost too much ... I have no cash at the moment. I didn't want to finance, because then I would have to pay for full coverage on the insurance as well. But I have plenty of credit. Too much, in fact. A downright scary amount of credit.

So we found a nice little 9 year old Pontiac at a dealership. Right off, I could see it needed new tires. Upon test driving it, I could tell it also needed an alignment. And brakes. But the engine ran smooth and clean, was not too grimy and it didn't smoke. The salesmen (two of them, we were being double-teamed) kept telling me it was a nice little car, good deal, runs great, etc. Traded in by a young couple that was going to have baby and needed something more family-like. At $1370 + TTT and license fees, it seemed a decent deal. $2000 exactly, out the door.

I drove it home ... a fairly good distance, too, and it did fine. Pulled to the left when braking and shimmied a bit over 60mph but otherwise ran pretty darn good. Or so I thought. Then I took it into my mechanic.

Now, before jumping to the conclusion that the mechanic was out to get every last penny out of me, let me tell you about this guy ... my dad has been taking cars to him for 30 years. Never once has he done us wrong, he always bends over backwards to do better than right by us. His is a family business that has been in this town for a long, long time ... and you don't last in this town if you rip people off. That said ...

I called after he had a chance to look at it. He was seriously pained by what he had to tell me. Not only did it need new tires, it was on the verge of a blow out on at least one of them, with the steel belts poking through the treads. The cylinders on both back wheels are shot and need to be replaced. He's doubtful about the integrity of the back axle. But that's not all! The heater core, radiator and most of the cooling system will have to be repaired or replaced. Plus the brakes and alignment. Total quote ... $800-1000.

So, I call the dealership back. Ironically, they had just called to make their follow up courtesy call. Too bad I missed it. But I spoke first to the salesman that sold the car to us. Then the general manager, then the sales manager. The general consensus from all of them was, "Tough shit, chicky."

Heh ... ya'll don't think I will sit still for that, now do you?

I wanted them to let me bring it back, and them give me a refund. I'd even pay for the towing back up there, and pay a "restock" fee. Failing that, they could give me $500 towards the repair bill. After hammering on them a bit, they finally offered $200, which is absurd. An insult. They threw all the blah blah about buyer beware, bought "as-is" and other horse crap at me. I countered that they may have the law on their side, but by the same token, the law doesn't prevent them from doing the right thing by me. It's not a matter of "can't" it's a matter of "won't" ... they could make things right if they wanted to.

The general manager laughed, called me crazy, called me a liar and then hung up on me. Now this could become either a public relations nightmare or a blessing for them, depending on how they play it. I sent them an email outlining the two different scenarios ... one, in which they become known as the dealership that ripped off the single mom and then treated her like crap. Or they could be known as the compassionate business that really cares about their customers and their safety. This could cost them way more than the $2000 they got from me in bad PR, or buy them a priceless amount of good PR.

They have 24 hours to make me an offer that I consider fair ... and then I will name the dealership and managers here, and write up press releases for every media outlet in East Tennessee.

Oh, and is anyone interested in a 93 Saturn with a busted tranny? It has some good parts in it ... new water pump, fairly new starter and alternator and some decent tires. I'm also accepting donations to my pity party ... Paypal or Amazon links over on the left.

Posted by LissaKay on 10/25/06 at 08:26 PM in ~ Personal
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Thursday, September 21, 2006

One whole year without a monkey on my back

Right at about this time, one year ago today, I smoked my last cigarette. It was not a pretty journey, but here I am ... and pretty darn proud of myself. I have since discovered that smokers are less affected by caffeine than non-smokers, so that was part of the insomnia. The jitters are the physical withdrawal from nicotine, so a patch or gum would have helped with that. In the year since then, I have experienced the upheaval of a company change at work, a lay-off, six weeks of unemployment, the break-in and theft of items from my home, the never-ending trials of dealing with a teen with bipolar disorder, a job that I hated so much I would have preferred poking my eyes out with toothpicks, my dad in the hospital three times, a new job, my daughter moving in with me, a move to a new home.

Holy crap. I done did good.


imageSo I got myself a little present ... a local yarn store is closing, and everything is 50% off.
Oh yeah ... over $200 worth of high quality yarn ... squeeee! And I spent less than a month's worth of cigarettes!


(Click the pic for biggie-size yarn pr0nage)

Posted by LissaKay on 09/21/06 at 11:45 PM in ~ Knitting ~ Personal
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Monday, June 05, 2006

The week I’ve had these past two days ...

Sunday morning ... I lay in bed in that drowsy half-wake, half-sleep state listening to the cat purr. My idea of heaven. It was to be short lived though ...

I heard the phone ring, and my son answer it. It's usually for him anyway. But no ... it's my mom. Daddy was out walking the dog and somehow fell. Hard. Hard enough to knock him out and scare the crap out of the neighbor. When you are 66 years old, with a brand new hip and reconstructed, stented cardiac arteries, falls are serious. Mom was calling from the ER where Daddy had been taken by ambulance. She was not sure that I needed to come right away, but I would have to eventually, as she had no transportation. I went, as soon as I could, without killing myself rushing. My son chose to go too, surprising the hell out of me ... he does still have some remnants of humanity!

Daddy has one hell of a black eye. Not a contusion or bruise, but pooling of blood below the skin. He has a fracture of the bone around his left eye, the orbit. He also needed 7 stitches on his scalp, and was further covered with scrapes and bruises all down his left side. The replaced hip is the right one, and it was not bothered. He also had a small sub-arachnoid hemorrhage, so they sent him to ICU for a day or two.

We spent most of the day at the hospital. Let me tell you, people ... if you ever need to go into the hospital, for something even minor, take someone with you that can and will deal with the staff. They will lie to cover up their own incompetence, thinking you, as a lay-person, are an imbecile. I encountered this crap several times in the 8 hours we were there yesterday. They left us sitting in the ICU waiting area for an hour after Daddy had been brought up, then lied saying they weren't told about family. They couldn't get it straight whether Daddy could have sips of water, ice chips only, or nothing ... I know damn good and well the neuro doc and the ER doc both said OK for sips of water.

I finally let slip that I was a paramedic, leaving unsaid that I am watching every move you bitches make. Funny the different reactions that gets ... the dumbass nurses become snooty, and even a little hostile. The good nurses talk to me like a peer, and watch their own asses. Docs and PAs love it ... they have someone that speaks the language. They direct their questions to me, and let me translate for my parents. I've been out of the biz for 5 years, but it still carries the magic.

We got Mom home that evening, and made her promise to stay there until morning and get some rest. My son was drafted to be her companion the next day when she went back. Mom gets flustered and lost in these situations, and just needs someone to be her anchor. He can also lift the heavy stuff and hold doors open. Exploitation of youth? Oh yes, indeed!

While they lolled about the hospital, I had to go to work. The dreaded place of misery. And I had a check-list of things to do ...

My health insurance has some issue with the chiropractic doc I've been seeing ... so I had to cancel my visits this week until that can be straightened out. I had to call a potential employer and turn down a job offer ... the pay is too low. Had to call the child support office to get some information, then call a bunch of other people ... rally the troops, so to speak, so I will be ready for our review in two weeks. I've been preparing for this for almost three years. I'm still nervous as hell ... the well-being of my two younger children depends on the outcome ... all my ex wants is to see me suffer financially. If all goes as it should, he will be left standing on his own crank. I do hope he doesn't act like a child and stomp his feet ...

Then the credit union called ... my 401K check has arrived, and I have to go sign papers to roll it into an IRA. While there, I applied for an increase in my credit line so I can transfer the balance of two credit cards ... and pay one third the interest rate. Why do I always get the feeling that my mom should be doing this stuff? She's the grown up! I'm just the kid! What am I doing applying for loans and opening an IRA???

Then the gut punch of the day ... I was offered another of the jobs I interviewed for last week (AT! Trifecta!) One that I have wanted for a long time (still not THE dream job though!) and I don't know why, but I had the most ungodly anxiety attack! I got the offer via email during my lunch break, and my gut was so clenched, I couldn't eat. My hands were shaking, my chest was tight and I broke out into a sweat. What a weird reaction! I think it's because I had myself convinced that I blew the interview and didn't have much of a chance. I know I sounded like a retard ... I blanked when asked what is NTFS. Duh!

Anyway, the pay is about the same, the bennies will suck for a few months because I will be a temp before I get fully hired. Then I get the bennies of a government contractor. Sweet! It's a help desk job, and there is loads of room to promote there, and it will look good on a resume, should I go on the job hunt again. I don't look forward to quitting this job ... yes, I do ... but I don't. Maybe that's where the anxiety is coming from ...

This has been one hell of a two days ...


Posted by LissaKay on 06/05/06 at 10:13 PM in ~ Personal
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Monday, May 22, 2006

Chiro-blogging

To any and all that have been wondering where I am ... unreplied to emails, comments, PMs via various sites, Yahoo Groups, etc ... I have been having some really bad back problems recently. Actually, the problems have been there for several months, it just got worse in the last couple of weeks. Anyway, sitting at the computer for more than a few minutes is quite uncomfortable. Therefore, a lot of online things have fallen by the wayside ...

I have taken measures to correct the back problems ... I started seeing a chiropractic doctor that was recommended by a co-worker. It is a slow healing process, and as sometimes happens, it gets worse before it gets better. I have bad days, and not-so bad days, but the pain is pretty constant. It makes me pretty darn cranky too ... go figure.

I went to a chiropractic doc many years ago ... after each baby was born, to get adjusted back to normal. In the intervening years, I haven't had the need, even with an extremely active job and lifestyle. I tended to minor aches on my own, using postures and stretching that I had learned during my natural health obsessive years. I don't know why I let this go so long, and get so bad. Denial perhaps?

If you've never been to a chiro, here's a little peek behind the curtains - the first visit is usually just an exam, x-rays and consultation. I was in pain, so they went ahead and did some electro-therapy. Two day later, I went back and we looked at the x-rays. I have a slight curvature of the spine in the sacral area, right in between the two dimples of the low back. Since last autumn or so, I have felt like there was a knife sticking in just to the right of the dimple on the right side. The curvature caused a misalignment of the sacro-iliac joint there. The pain radiated from there, causing muscular spasms and tightness. I also have some compression around T-12 ... that's where your spine starts being bendy as the rib cage ends. So, the game plan is to visit the doc three times a week for three weeks. Each time, he re-evaluates, adjusts me and then I have the electro-therapy.

The evaluation consists of me sitting on a stool in front of him while he gently moves my spine back and forth, from side to side and front to back. From this, he identifies the tight places, and bones out of place. Then he has me lean face down on a bed that is at a high angle. Once in place, he lowers the bed with me on it to a horizontal position. He places the heels of his hands over my spine and thrusts downward. My spine cracks, and to prevent to much pressure being placed on it, the middle of the bed drops away with a certain amount of pressure. Sometimes he uses a thumping gadget thingy on the muscles to help loosen those up.

Then I go to a low couch and lie on one side. Lower shoulder slightly forward, my arms are crossed across my chest, the upper-most leg is bent at the knee with my foot hooked behind the knee of the other leg. The doc pulls me all the way to the edge of the couch and I feel like I am going to fall off. But he has me held in place. With his knee in the triangle formed by my bent leg, he pushes down, pulls my hip forward while pushing my upper shoulder back ... cra-a-a-a-ck! goes my spine. Oh my ... I turn to jelly. I flip over on the other side and the process is repeated. Next is therapy.

The physical therapist has me lie face down on a bed with a conductive pad under my tummy. She puts some goo on my back and then runs an ultrasound emitting thing over the sore places. It feels like a super-high intensity buzzer. After 5 minutes of this, she places four electrodes around the problem area. The machine then pulses high-voltage electrical current between the electrodes. She places a hot pack over the whole thing and I relax for 15 minutes. I often drift off to sleep a bit.

When it's done, I have to move slowly because it leaves me a little light-headed. But the pain is mostly gone for a while. I am afraid to move too much, for fear of bringing it back. It does come back by the next afternoon or evening, probably due to the crappy office chair I have at work. But it is a little less each day. Today was bad, because I overdid it with stuff I had to do over the weekend ... laundry, changing bedsheets, lugging a 19 pound cat to the vet, too much standing and walking, carrying an armload of stuff around Walmart. Yep, I certainly paid for it today. But after my chiro visit, I am much, much better. And I had better get up from this computer while I am still feeling OK.


Posted by LissaKay on 05/22/06 at 09:59 PM in ~ Personal
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Monday, May 01, 2006

Violated!

In my previous post, I opined on some of the illogical arguments about illegal immigration. It's something that pisses me off a lot, these people who have broken the laws of our land and are now demanding extra rights and privileges for doing so. That was then, now I am enraged ...

Last week, I came home from work one day to discover that I had been robbed. They took my laptop, a video camcorder, my son's MP3 player and skateboard. Someone came into my home, without my knowledge or permission and just helped themselves to what they wanted. My home. My stuff. Words cannot describe how this feels ... this violation, this betrayal. Someone invaded my home, my space. They may have needed the money for food. Most likely for drugs and booze. It doesn't matter why ... just that they took MY stuff. They had NO right.

So, as I watch thousands of illegal aliens marching in our streets, having taken our resources, our jobs, our classroom space, our medical care ... and now are demanding that we give them more. When we object, they call us racists, hateful, fascists. They talk of re-taking the southwest. My pissed-off meter is red-lining.

I am totally enraged about now, thinking very angry thoughts, violent thoughts ... of what I would like to do to people who invade my place and take my stuff, whether it is my home or my country. I hope there is a special hell for them ...

Posted by LissaKay on 05/01/06 at 03:50 PM in ~ Personal
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Getting back into the swing of things

I'm still here! Thanks to those who emailed/commented/IM'd birthday wishes. If I can pull it together a little more, I will get back to you personally. Getting back into a daily routine after almost two months "vacation" tends to be a bit disconcerting. And exhausting. Thanks also to those who conveyed congrats on the new job. I wish I could be excited about it, but I am just not. I had my hopes up too far that I would get something ... different, and I can't get myself over that disappointment. There is nothing at all bad about this job ... in fact, it is great on many levels. I keep meaning to take a picture of my door knob. On my door. Of my own office. With a big desk. And a big window. With a good, stable company with a name that is respected everywhere.

Maybe this is a midlife crisis? I keep wondering, "Is this all there is?" as I fight the werewolves of depression off my front doorstep. Oh how they howl.

I'm fighting the temptation to go bitch slap Cynthia McKinney. Dammit! I want victim status too! I want someone else to blame for this mess that my life is! Whaaaahhh!

BTW ... "The Taken" by Dean Koontz sucks. I think he let a 12 year old write this one. "Life Expectency" was great, and I hope he keeps going with the Frankenstein series. Odd Thomas too. Someone buy me "Forever Odd" would ya?

Koontz was a break between epic novels ... I read Lord of the Rings, and will be reading Chronicles of Narnia next. I still haven't read a single Harry Potter book. I've gone totally over Firefly and Serenity ... I am a Browncoat and I loves me some Cap'n Tightpants! Another Amazon gift certificate from one of those survey deals is buying me the "Serenity" novel, "Serenity: The Official Visual Companion" and "Finding Serenity" ... isn't that pathetic? But it's a really cool show and movie. Check it out ...

*wanders off still babbling incoherently ... *


Posted by LissaKay on 04/04/06 at 03:31 AM in ~ Personal
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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Moving right along

The last day of freedom ...

Tomorrow I start my new job. Yes, I have achieved employment once again. Note that I am not thrilled to the gills. That is because I had high hopes of getting a job in which I could use my computer/web skills. But, I remain in the insurance business. So as not to risk being Dooced before I even start, that is the extent of what I will say about my new job, other than it will be a very nice job, lots of good stuff with it, good money for easy work, close to home, easy commute, my own office ... no cubicle!!! If'n ya know me well enough to email me and ask whussup, I'll be glad to fill you in on a few more details.

These last few days, I have been watching Firefly episodes, knitting and being as lazy as possible. A new yarn store opened last week, and I volunteered to help knit up some samples. I am also going to teach some crochet classes, and perhaps some knitting classes. I also have a couple of projects of my own in the works. I have been forcing myself out of the house every now and then, mostly to go sit at the coffee house and surf on wifi. Fun, fun!

I have finally downloaded and installed iTunes ... I am probably the last person on the internet to do so. I will check it out for a while, then probably go back to using MusicMatch Jukebox. But perhaps I will get into the podcasting thing a bit more with this.

Now it is time to go wrestle kitty into his carrier and take him to the vet ... we have been battling a rather nasty eye infection for several months. We may have finally won. I certainly hope so ... the cost of the medications, 6 different ones so far, has been staggering. But this kitty is more than worth it. Maybe ... check back with me once the bleeding has slowed ... now I must don my Kevlar and set to battle. Ever wrestle with a 20 pound cat that absolutely does NOT want to do what you want him to? Pray for me ....


Posted by LissaKay on 03/19/06 at 07:04 PM in ~ Personal
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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Yummy!

Black Cherry Vanilla Diet Coke RAWKS!

Kiddo sez the non-diet version is good too.

Just thought ya'll would like to know ...


Posted by LissaKay on 01/11/06 at 05:57 AM in ~ Personal
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Asking the impossible

My printer crapped out on me. I need my printer. So, I ordered a new one from Circuit City. I chose to pick it up in the store. After I submitted the order, I got the instructions for picking it up ... bring my credit card, ID and a printed copy of the order confirmation they sent to my email.

This should be a fun customer service adventure ...

UPDATE: Much to my shock and amazement, this all went quite well. I mentioned to the CS folks the irony of the web site request. They laughed, and said all they need was the order number, which I had wisely jotted down the old fashioned way, with pen on paper! And even more amazing was what happened just prior to this ... I went over the the computer supplies area to price the ink cartridges for the new printer before I picked it up. A sales dude came over and asked if I needed help. I told him what was going on with the printer ... he suggested trying a new ink cartridge, even though the one in it was relatively new. It would be a $20 gamble ... if it didn't work, I'd have a broken printer and a brand new ink cartridge that I couldn't use. But better than spending $100 on a whole new printer, which BTW, uses cheaper cartridges, but they have less than half the capacity ... my esteem for HP is slipping quickly. Lucky for me, the new cartridge works and my printer is working once again. But I somehow doubt I will get 5 years of use out of this one like I did my old HP 672C ... which for all I know is still working at the inner-city boys' after school program I donated it to via Freecycle. But I am so used to Circuit City sales people cramming stuff down your throat ... maybe they have changed the way they do things, and CC will become a pleasant place to shop.


Posted by LissaKay on 01/11/06 at 05:53 AM in ~ Personal
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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sick ... Ick!

It got me. There's a nasty stomach virus going around. A bunch of people at work have been bitten, and it finally got me. Ugghhh ...

I don't get sick very often. I have always been pretty healthy, resisting colds and flus when everyone else was laid low. Then I spent nearly a decade working on the ambulance when I was an EMT-paramedic. I was exposed to all sorts of bugs ... and as a result, I developed an immune system that could take on the US Army, and maybe the Marines too. But when a critter overwhelms those defenses, it really wipes me out.

And I get cranky when I get sick.

I started out the day feeling OK. I ran a couple errands before heading to work. I took a rental DVD back to the store, and headed for the bank. Putting it delicately, that is about when my innards told me that I was not going to get much done. But I HAD to get to the bank. I also needed to get a stamp ... ONE stamp. Made it through the bank without ripping anyone's head off, but it was a close call. Then I headed for the grocery store, thinking I could get both the stamp and some sick bay items ... pepto, chicken soup, crackers, etc. They didn't have any stamps ... the price is going up soon, and apparently there was a run on them before that happens. The dude at the customer (dis)service counter only got a blank stare in return to his smirk. Lucky dude.

The next closest place was one of those mailbox places ... they package, ship and also provide mail and package receiving. Yeah ... them. They had a stamp ... but it cost 50 cents. I smoldered at the girl behind the counter. She was way to perky. I grumbled that it was a rip off ... my innards grumbled too. Time to head to the house with no further delays.

Made it just in time. Called into work ... the dude that takes those calls is very squeamish. He's also an asshole. It was a delight to explain exactly why I was not coming in. Heh heh.

I thought I could get some things done around the house ... in between visits to the boudoir. But the mild dizziness has kept me pretty much sitting in one place. Sitting. Laying down causes head spins. Dammit. So much for a nap. I tried to snooze propped up on the couch, but that was impossible ... maintenance was banging on something in the apartment next door, and someone was using a circular saw across the street. All. Freakin. Day. Uggghhh ... this is coming in waves, about once an hour. I feel OK otherwise, a bit tired though ... as long as I don't try to stand up.

I did get some knitting done, and got caught up on blog, forum and news reading. The news is rather depressing today though ... the miners in West VA, and Israel PM Ariel Sharon being the top news items. I figured the best place would be a knitting forum ... but noooo, someone there managed to piss me the hell off. My rather snarky response will probably get me kicked out. Right now, I care not.

UPS has come to the rescue though. They brought my new quilt set! Oh. My. God. This is beautimous! Amazon had one hell of a bedding sale ... I got a 300 thread count sheet set for 20 bucks, and this quilt set for 35. (Both are still in stock! And the sheets have gone down to 18 bucks! Lots more there! They're having an incredible Bedding and Bath sale!) Now, I need to see if I can manage to get my new bedding on the bed without passing out. Nothing like fresh, cuddly sheets when you're sick. This can almost make all the ugly people I have encountered today matter not ...


Posted by LissaKay on 01/05/06 at 02:08 AM in ~ Personal
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