The End of pig as savory -- Mo's Bacon Bar --
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The End of pig as savory -- Mo's Bacon Bar --
Friday, February 13, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
So Rob devoted this last Sunday to 'fixing' the shower. Unfortunately he barely made a dent in Step 2 (that's w step 1 being 'Go to Home Depot and buy shit') -- when he pulled up the tile he found that ALL of the floor of the shower was covering what effectively had become liquified concrete... in fact I'm pretty sure it defies the laws of chemistry - what used to be concrete is now like really stinky wet beach... it's TERRIBLE... I will never be able to do this horror justice in virtual media - until they develop a USB powered smell machine...
SO we're starting to move out of paralysis. Rob's gotten a recommendation for a bathroom genie... does he come w a bottle and three wishes? We'll see...................
So for now - and for the first time since before we lived together, Rob and I are sharing a bathroom.
We've lucked out and had some awesome weather so at least we've been able to open windows and slightly dissipate the stench - which is in our master bathroom - which coincidentally of course is part of our master BR - the BR where we sleep every night :(
OH and yes you might be reacting like we did -
Why the hell wasn't this caught by the home inspection? And do we have any recourse? Unfortunately that's a 'who knows' and a 'no.' Home inspectors are smart w their 'if you take us to court and we're found liable, you'll only get the home inspection fee back' -- so really I don't think $300 is worth small claims court... my tune might change though when we get an estimate for fixing this disaster...
What about home warranty coverage?! Ahh well - instead of being caused by something 'major' - ie fundamental issues w plumbing... since this was caused by something 'minor' - ie no maintenance/upkeep on 28yr old tile (would it kill them to do some grouting?!) it's not covered under home warranty...
Flippin brilliant! ugg
Monday, February 2, 2009
In the quest for continual home improvement most of you know that I've recently made a new nemesis... WALLPAPER...
So how better to understand the enemy than to put some UP myself... by myself... (as I type this I think - WTH was I thinking?!)
So I took Friday off - I just needed a day. It's hard coming back from a long holiday and getting back into the swing of January - by far the crappiest month by my estimation. (No offense MLK Jr day) -- I'd add February into that if it weren't so short and included Valentine's Day -- formerly known as Singles Appreciation Day (sadly enough, 'S.A.D.') but now that I'm squarely in suburban almost-married life, I sorta like the chocolately celebration.
ANYWAY, so what better to do on a day off than procrastinate from putting away laundry?! How about putting up some wallpaper?!
It all started bc of a big sale at Target... BEFORE I opened the mail to the horror of gads of medical bills... I found and bought for $20 a pretty groovy roll of wallpaper... I thought I'd do the laundry room wall that has horrendous paper in it already over w this paper. However, when I walked into the laundry to plan it all I realized that in addition to the royal pain of having to move a fridge and dryer, that I'd have to work around the fuse box... water+electricity - never good...
I also didn't want to have to purchase any MORE than the 1 roll of paper bc of the recent bills...
So I arrived at doing the smallest wall in the guest room... and I think it turned out pretty well... this is the image on Target - though the metallic is a copper/tan not the silver they show here and the background color is a matte aqua (luckily perfectly matching 2 shams I got for supercheap post Xmas at Macy's - so decorating scheme DONE) ... it's very simple/asian inspiration - looks like those chinese brushpaintings of cherry tree branches...
And here it is in the room -- not too shabby... and coordinates perfectly w the neutral (boring) taupe paint and white trim that the former owners painted it right before selling (believe me - I found DARK BLUE on the lowest parts of the baseboards)
I had some snags - not enough paper to keep up the matching -- and old Mr Azmo walked in when I was on my last super long piece and stepped through the paper - leaving little VERY VISIBLE holes in one of the metallic flowers - so there's a big fat seam where I had to cut it out and match up w the paper a foot down... figgers!
Now onto the... Another
When I was doing the wallpaper on Friday, I was using my upstairs tub to soak the paper (self adhesive on back.) I noticed while doing this that there was a 'soft spot' in the tiled floor near the top of the tub. There wasn't any water underneath it - just what looked to be once saturated wood that splintered into oblivion and dried... damn... that means replacing the tiles... luckily it wasn't wet, there appear to be no leaks in the tub itself and I wonder if someone just didn't have a shower liner or something in place bc it's right by the nozzle where water can spray out if the curtain isn't drawn. Didn't feel too urgent - and at some point, we'll redo the entire bathroom... something to file to mention to Rob later...
So I did - and he came to the same conclusion I did.
Now keep in mind the story of our lives recently has been all about timing... like the Alanis 'Isn't it ironic?' lyrics...
Yesterday Rob comes downstairs to inform me that apparently HIS shower stall has a 'soft tile' patch - except under his is the equivalent of the sludge you see in a new housing development when it's rained for 2 weeks and there's just foundations dug...
So now we're scrambling to figure out if our home warranty comes into play here... and Rob's now using my shower... ugg
Here's the offending 'patch'
So if anyone knows a tile guy - or has some advice, we're seeking!!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
So I'm sure there will be upcoming developments on this front that's worthy of blogging...
Monday, January 26, 2009
I about had a cow yesterday when sorting through the week's mail, I found bills for my surgery in early Dec - totally $4200?! What could this be?! I already paid $1100 at the surgeon's office beforehand. That's a fuckload of money right there. I mean this procedure is COVERED by insurance? $1100 sounds reasonable... pricey but doable -- and for my avid readers you already saw my rant about that bill...
Oh how I wish it were *just* $1100. (This of course on top of the $300 or so I'd paid already toward deductible.) Who would think my earlier blog rant about that only covered a small amount of the 'holy shit I'm going to become a dividedwefail commercial.'
"I had a job. In fact I HAD insurance coverage -- but the medical bills kept coming in."
Well FUCK. And eff my company for year by year making our plan shittier and shittier - but not really cheaper... and ironically they were touting how 'great' it would be for 09 since 'benefits weren't changing.'
So shock, disbelief, tears characterized Sunday. Seething anger began Monday morning.
Kate -- "But I have a max out of pocket each yr of $3500 -- I already satisfied my $1000 deductible and my co-insurance is only 30%!! And I already paid $1500 to healthcare in 08 - WTF?! "
Radiologist - "Call Aetna."
Surgeon's office "Before you call anesthesiologist ($800 bill opened Sunday) or St Mary's ($3400 bill opened Sunday) -- CALL AETNA"
Kate -- "Ok." so I call Aetna...
Astoundingly this poor woman was able to make me understand WTH was going on. Oh and by the way - 1 night in St Mary's (NOT counting surgeon's bill) -- $33K - HOLY SHIT. And w Terrible Teri to boot?!
Well apparently due to some strange LIFO type insurance payment scheme - or perhaps just really delayed billing from the surgeon's office, their claim was paid out last. Which means I should be getting a full refund of the $1100. Unfortunately that's bc I'll be LEGITIMATELY having to pay $4200 which satisfies my deductible and co-insurance max out of pocket for 08.
The only concession is that St Mary's allows you to take 10% off if you pay within 30 days - so you BET I'm gonna be racking up the rewards points w Chase as I pay that off to the tune of saving me over $300. Hoping all still goes well, my bonus in March will go COMPLETELY to medical bills and some 'we just bought a fucking house 6 mos ago' expenditures.
To add insult to injury, my fill -- that took all of about 15minutes (w 2hrs wait time) -- guess how much that cost?!
I'll give you a minute...
A 'negotiated' price of $3307. Negotiated apparenlty meaning that some pay MORE.
Which means I'm now smack dab into 09 with another bill coming soon from St Mary's for $1700 -- satisfying my 09 deductible at $1000 and already going another $600 into my max out of pocket of $3500 in 09.
So the moral of the story is 'multi-fold'
1. Insurance STINKS. PERIOD. Even if their bookkeeping was totally accurate - about which I am floored. The cost of healthcare is outrageous.
2. Put whatever you can in FSA. Worst case you end up with hundreds of dollars to blow at Walgreens EOY.
3. When in doubt, call and make them itemize upcoming expenses -- I figured my bandfills couldn't be that much since they *used* to do them in their office for a $50 co-pay. How WRONG was I?! Wish I'd done this and coulda padded FSA way more.
4. We'll never afford to get married. Great... fucking great... we haven't even ever taken a vacation together. And it's not due to spendorama - first it was moving to RIC and building up some $, then my 2nd back procedure, then buying a house - and now medical bills. DAMMIT - how at 29 do I feel like I'm telling the story of a 50yr old?
And as if that's not bad enough - of course BEFORE all this shit of the last week... I got my tax forms for all my accts. That includes my 401K - of which I lost $30K. Which was 30% of my total acct -- the acct that I started 8 years ago. How bout them apples? Thank GOD I'm not retiring anytime soon.
Oh yah and last Thursday we announced a loss - first time ever.
At least I still have a job (SO FAR) and a house to live in.
And if we elope, I can get on Rob's (also Aetna - eeks!) health insurance... it's the Aetna plan I had years ago - when I never even GOT a bill for my 1st back surgery.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I couldn't be happier having taped it based solely on getting to watch Nathan Hottypants for 2 hours. But much to my surprise (it also stars flippin Felicity... oh and Andy Griffith!) I hit the jackpot! I thought this movie was PHENOMENAL.
It's called 'Waitress' -- it absolutely qualifies as a chick flick but w/o the ultra happy and sappy bits that epitomize chick flicks. It deeply resonates with all things 'woman and love' but not in any feminist way nor perfect love story nor fairytale way - just in what is frighteningly real.
Anyway, I went to find out more about it - including what other movies the writer had done and found a tragedy belied it.
The writer/director Adrienne Shelley - many accolades - including for this movie - was an indie director - actually died while making the movie... actually -- was murdered.
There are a few other films she's written - though I've never heard of them.
Anyway, it's worth a netflix or trip to blockbuster. It so hit me that I *must* own it - for fear someday I might forget how wonderful it was, and then that it even existed...