Archive for November, 2009

Three days post-gobble gobble, and I’m still in pajamas

Sunday afternoon is here and I do declare that I think Thanksgiving 2009: Family Merge was a success! Folks arrived in waves with my family coming for the game at 11:30 and Aaron’s family coming in two shifts — one around 1:30 and the next closer to 3:30. We ate around four and, of course, were done twenty minutes later. Ok, maybe the meal lasted longer than that but it’s always so much work and worry and getting ready and then — poof! It’s over. Though, to be fair, it wasn’t that much work for me since my role was more cleaning and catch-all while Aaron slaved away in the kitchen. And I mean that — he worked hard. And has the sweat stains to prove it. In addition to turkey, we served garlic mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts with homemade bacon, ginger and orange carrots, and garlic green beans (my favorite part of the meal). Aaron’s mom generously brought two kinds of stuffing — one sans ‘shrooms since I can’t stand them, as well as her signature dessert. Terry, Steve & Mags brought multiple pies (apple, dutch apple and homemade pumpkin), sweet potatoes and copious amounts of wine. My mom brought the hors d’oeuvres — chips and guacamole (Whole Foods), bean dip and salsa (both from Pasqual’s — the best); shrimp; cheese and crackers; crab dip; spinach artichoke dip; potato chips; and fruit. She also brought the cranberry relish and the rutabaga (blech!). What else? Oh! Aaron served his homemade smoked fish (white fish and trout). Ok, I think that about does it. So, in all, it was a lot of work but we also had tons and tons of help and I really had a good time. The star of the show, though, you might think was the turkey or the homemade bacon but, in my opinion, you’d be wrong. The real star was…my table! Gosh, how I love it. Second and third place can go to the other two contenders.

Gobble, gobble

Happy Thanksgiving, all!  I hope everyone’s holiday is safe and merry.  And I hope my own is a success…We are hosting Thanksgiving for 15-16 people, complete with two turkeys for a taste-off.  One turkey is Amish, billed as better since it hasn’t watched tv, and the other is the classic Bell and Evans.  Stay tuned for details, though I fear they may get mixed up during the day.  If that’s the worst that happens, though, I can live with it.  We’re also mixing families for the first time full-on, so we’ll see how that goes.  I don’t anticipate any problems, but wonder if families may take to their separate corners. 

Anyway, the kitchen’s a go and I’m incredibly nervous.  We scaled it back, but it’s still $$$$ and could be a total disaster.

Monday morning

This is sort of interesting.   I stress “sort of.”  I really don’t want to start Monday off on a sour note, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Go Packers!  That game was awesome.  Did you see the Sunday night game?  My only thought is that Bill Belichick had money on Indianapolis to win because that call on 4th and 2 made absolutely no sense to me.  I pinched myself because I thought I might have been dreaming when I saw they were going to go for it.  Nope, it really happened.

I’m almost done reading At Home in the World by Joyce Maynard and I really recommend it.  I flew through the first two thirds and stalled for a bit after the Salinger affair ended, but that was a mistake on my part.  The part of the book that takes place post-Salinger is really just as interesting.  I urge you to check it out if you haven’t already done so and are looking for a book to keep you turning the pages.

Zombieland.  We saw it Saturday night and it did not disappoint.  Clocking in at well-under 90 minutes, this newest zombie comedy is icky in its gory-ness, but fresh in its snappy dialogue, characters and plot.  Really, truly a cute, funny movie.  Woody Harrelson does not disappoint.  And while I tend to think of Jesse Eisenberg as a poor man’s Michael Cera, I enjoyed him for the second time in a movie that contains significant scenes at an amusement park.

Desperation

I am using this space to vent.  Bear with me.

I am refinancing my second mortgage from M&I to UWCU because my M&I rate is 6.75% and UWCU will do 4.99% with no closing costs because, it turns out, a second mortgage is actually a home equity loan.  Who knew?  Well, probably everyone but me.  In any event, what was promised me was a seamless, easy process.  What I have gotten so far is anything but. 

First, it costs $350 to have the appraisal done.  This is annoying, but fine.  Then, I actually needed to fax back some borrower’s something or other.  Fine.  Then I need my insurance company to get in contact with the credit union to get them the insurance info.  Fine.  I call our condo’s management company and ask them to forward the information.  Fine.  Only, wait, turns out they don’t have that information.  So, American Family, who apparently insures our condo, does have it and they will contact the credit union.  Ok.  Then I come into today to a message from the credit union telling me that I need to call AmFam because they “have some questions for me.”  What kind of questions could there possibly be?  I pay my dues, part of that goes to the insurance, what’s new?  So, I call and Sharon tells me that she needs the “mortgagee clause” from my mortgage company, Bank of America (who holds the first mortgage).  After going around in circles for awhile, I get from her all that she needs is some sort of address/contact info for BoA in the event that something happens to the condo.  Ok.  Apparently, though, AmFam has zero other clients with lowly Bank of America that this information is not available to anyone but me.  So, I log on to BoA’s website and can’t find the information anywhere.  In fact, it takes me forever to get to my own account and I cannot go to “account details” because everytime I click on it, a message comes up saying that my insurance policy expires at the end of the month and I’d better do something about it.  So, I go to the customer service section and call the number for “all mortgages or all states.”  This seems easy enough.   But when I call, I get a prerecorded message that says, “Get a pen and write down this number.  Call Ten Fifteen Fifteen Eight Thousand.”  And it just repeats that over and over.  I hang up and attempt to call this wack-job of a number, but, surprise surprise — it doesn’t work.  So, I go back to the website and try to “chat live.”  Well, after logging in, that feature is not available right now.  So, I find some other telephone number to call and after going through the motions (one for English, any other number not to talk about some fun promo they have going on, etc.), I am asked to enter my account number (which I cannot get to because of the previously mentioned insurance message prohibiting me from seeing anything resembling a detail on my account) or my social security number.  Hooray!  Well, of course I know that.  So, I enter it.  Three different times because I am continually told that it is “invalid.”  Yes, invalid.  After I use up my alloted attempts, I am asked if I would like to speak to a customer service representative.  Yes, please.  As I await transfer, a recorded message comes on that says, “I’m sorry, we’re now closed.”  And then I am hung up on.

And people complain about government.  I’m just saying, from where I sit, giant private corporations are pretty &^%#( frustrating.

On a positive note, I’ve had nothing but excellent, excellent customer service from CB2.  New table comes tomorrow!

Shameless plea for advice

What kind of phone should we get?  We no longer have a landline (haven’t for a few years now  — Ben and I got rid of ours circa 2007, I think) and Aaron and I both have pretty craptastic phones with contracts up so that we are free to do as we please!  Aaron is leaning towards an iPhone, but I am scared of the costs of service (not so much the phone itself as a one-time fee is something I can deal with).  I do want kind of a fancier phone as I’d like to be able to have a real calendar on it and all that.  But maybe that’s silly.  Of course, we also don’t have to do the same thing, but family plans seem cheaper and, of course, then there’s just one bill, which is nice. 

Help! Peeps, please advise.


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