Kiss my trash.

By condo, hazards to my well-being, not ruling at life, posts in the form of letters, roommates, top notch communication blunders One Comment

Dear neighbor who had the audacity to leave a note written on a piece of trash in my door handle,

If you have enough spare time on your hands to rifle through my trash, let me offer you some advice. Get a life. Or a job. Or at least some sort of hobby that will fill the void in your life and make you realize that there are much more rewarding ways to spend an afternoon. I understand that the condo rules prohibit trash from being put out on the curb on days other than Tuesday and Friday. Thanks for reminding me of that with your impeccable handwriting on the back of a crumpled up envelope. You know what I think the condo rules should also prohibit? Your busybody neighbors leaving shit on your door.

I take it you didn’t rummage through the bag deep enough to find anything with my roommate’s name on it. He’s the one who left the trash outside anyway. I’m not home enough to even produce any trash, much less drag it downstairs and leave it outside on the wrong day. To be honest, you’re lucky I even saw the note. If you have a complaint, call up that useless association president, and have him fine me, you idiot. You know what I’m going to do now? I’m going to shred all evidence of my address and keep letting my roommate leave the trash outside.

Speaking of idiots…

Dear condo association,

I think the presence of debris in the form of siding and roof shingles in our parking lot is a pretty clear indication that you need to redo that shit. And can someone please tell me why there is a fucking satellite dish on the ground near the stairs of my building? What  the hell do I pay you for? There’s a freaking water meter leaking into the damn parking lot again.

Dear future real estate appraiser,

I’m embarrassed that you’ll be faced with putting a dollar value on this. Good f-ing luck.

Dear mortgage company,

I thought you were going to call me back! This is so not worth it. Do you see what I’m dealing with? Why am I paying you interest on this crap?

Vengefully yours,

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: aggravated
And I’m singin’ along to: The Catalyst – Linkin Park

Let me get this straight.

By bills, condo, drama, financial wisdom, hazards to my well-being, mortgage, not ruling at life, posts in the form of letters, top notch communication blunders 3 Comments

Dear mortgage company,

The last time I spoke with you regarding my loan, you finally offered up the first viable suggestion I have heard in years that will actually solve all of my problems. It will get my co-borrower off the loan, lower my interest rate, and even lower the principal of my loan so that I won’t be upside down in my condo anymore. So, I found a lender willing to find a program for me, and she did! Amazing! All this time I’ve been asking if I could short-sell to myself, I was actually on to something! I’m a freaking genius!

However, when I called back this evening (and sat on hold for close to two hours), your customer service representative said she had never heard of such a thing. And then she said she didn’t know what I was talking about and that chances are I wouldn’t get approved for that anyway because I am current on my payments and haven’t ever made a late payment. Are you insinuating that I should default on my mortgage? Because I wouldn’t qualify for this FHA short-payoff refinance if I was late on my mortgage payments, you bumbling morons. You have no freaking idea what you’re talking about, do you?

What is that? You want me to send in my paperwork for a HAMP modification? AGAIN? Give me a freaking break. It’s hard for me to believe that when you took over servicing the loan from First Horizon, you didn’t receive ANY history on my account. I’ve been denied for that program six times. SIX TIMES, mortgage company. Did you catch that? Maybe you should write it down. Just like maybe you should write down my phone number, the fact that I do not have any other liens on the property, the name of my condo association and the amount of my monthly condo fees so that you won’t have to ask me, not only every time I call, but every flipping time you even transfer me to someone new.

And while we’re at it, let’s discuss one last thing. Seeing as that your parent company, IBM, is one of the most prominent computer companies out there, I’m insulted by the fact that you would lie to me and tell me that your representatives have neither e-mail addresses nor direct phone numbers or extensions. I understand that your mission as middle-man between the lender and the customer is basically to get us to stop calling and continue paying, but you’re living in a dream world. I’m going to make you miserable and call you six times a day until you get your shit together and figure out what an FHA short-payoff fucking refinance is. And the next time I call, you’d better not tell me you’ve never heard of one of those. Use our phone conversation you recorded for training purposes and train yourselves with it.

So, let me get this straight. You took over servicing a bunch of loans because you have the best automation software on the market to do it and keep your costs down; however you want me to believe you have no direct phone numbers, no e-mail addresses, and no clue about what FHA loan I’m talking about. You won’t approve me for a short sale or a short refinance until you’ve already denied me (again) for the HAMP program, but you can’t give me a straight answer about how long that will take.

You’re making me very angry, mortgage company. Very, very angry. I haven’t decided what to do about it yet, but I’m working on it, and I can’t wait until I don’t have to pay your dumb ass more than $900 a month in interest any more. No, maybe being upside down by a few thousand dollars doesn’t qualify as a hardship, and perhaps it’s my own fault for assuming that I’d be able to refinance in two years when I signed the papers on a loan with a nearly 7.5 percent interest rate, but I’ve been a really good sport up until now with this whole situation, and I’m freaking sick of it. Yay, I have a good credit score! F- my credit score. Money is more important to me than my credit score, and I’m getting out of this negative equity whether you like it or not.

You’re going to lose this argument or gain 1,010 square feet of carpet that needs to be replaced. I promise.

Your (perpetually on hold) customer

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: enraged
And I’m singin’ along to: You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet – Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Financial Views

By bills, breaking news, condo, drama, financial wisdom, mortgage, shopping One Comment

The government wants to spend $700 billion to bail out financial institutions that have acquired so much bad debt, they can’t recover. I’m no financial expert, but when I read sentence fragments like, “saddle the taxpayers with $700 billion to buy bad assets,” it makes me angry. I’ve been wondering, since it’s become socially acceptable to settle for foreclosure on your real estate, am I eligible for some sort of reward for being responsible and paying my mortgage every month? I mean not to sound spoiled or anything, but so many people have been defaulting on loans, I feel as though I deserve some sort of good citizen recognition or at least a thank you note from my mortgage company.

People need to be held accountable for their own financial decisions. Sure, we blame the banks for handing out subprime mortgages like Halloween candy, but shouldn’t we also blame the people who signed the paperwork and agreed to make the monthly payments on loans they couldn’t afford? How spoiled can people be? I don’t know about everyone else, but when I agreed to sign a stack of legal documents for the loan on my condo, I asked, “By the way, what’s the monthly payment on that? Is it going to change? What are my options when I decide to sell or refinance?” You can’t pay your debt? Stop incurring it! Get a second job. Walk dogs. Wait tables. Pay your damn mortgage.

Do you know why we’re in trouble now? It’s because everyone loves a crisis, and no one has the financial knowledge to figure out how the economy is affecting them directly. People are thinking, Hey! We have no clue what we’re talking about, but the country is in a financial crisis! I know because all the reliable news headlines that I glance at while I’m Googling something less important tell me so!  Let’s all panic and sell our stocks because we don’t know what else to do! Everyone wants to get involved and do something, but no one understands that they best thing to do is sit tight and calm the fuck down.

Investing in anything involves at least an inkling of commitment. Nothing is a guarantee. If you purchase a home or invest in a stock, and its value begins to decrease instead of increase, you can’t just run away. You suck it up, keep making your payments and wait for the market to turn around.

We really need some system for educating U.S. citizens about money and managing personal finances. I spent a total of 17 years in school, and it blows my mind that I learned about everything from Hamlet and calculus to copyright law and nutrition, but not once did a teacher or a professor or a guidance counselor sit down and show me how to balance a checkbook or create a personal budget, much less manage investments wisely.

Granted, there are exceptions. I understand that, and my frustration with our current economic situation is not because of smart people who take risks on businesses and investments. They’re the ones that have crafted some of the best businesses of all time, and sometimes they encounter difficulties they’re unable to recover from. Those are the businesses and people who government assistance is there to benefit –for emergencies! It’s not there because spoiled Joe Shmoe wanted to live outside his means and knowingly signed the paperwork on a five-year ARM that he couldn’t ever afford in the first place (and his mortgage broker knew it).

Seriously, people. Get a grip. You’re making our country look like a bunch of spoiled brats. And morons. Just use some common sense. If you don’t have the money to buy something…don’t buy it!

Pearl Harbor

By boys, condo, conversations, drama, home improvement, life-changing purchases, memories, not ruling at life, roommates, weather 2 Comments

Note: This entry is somewhat exaggerated for the purpose of being more entertaining. While it is loosely based on actual events, it is solely meant to be a satirical short story for your enjoyment. Thanks.

Pearl Harbor ruined my life. No, not that Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor, the Sherwin Williams paint color. It’s the color I decided to paint the master bedroom in my condo after obsessing over at least 47 different shades of tan and blue for three months. Personally, I like the color. It’s kind of a light coral/khaki color – neutral, but bright and kind of beachy. It looks great with white trim and the wood floors I’ll put down someday. But, that’s not the point.

I rent the master bedroom out to a girl who was out of town for the weekend. I had been telling her for weeks I was going to paint it. But, that’s also not the point.

Maybe I picked a bad weekend to paint – it was supposed to rain, but it ended up being the last beach weekend of the season. Maybe I should have been more prepared – I was still wavering on a color choice, and I had no supplies or ladder ready the morning we were supposed to paint. Or maybe I should have just painted the room blue.

Either way, on a partly cloudy Saturday morning four weeks ago, I woke up and decided my boyfriend and I were going to paint the room. And then I decided we weren’t going to paint the room. And then we checked the weather, and I decided we were going to paint the room. If I can offer you one tidbit of advice here, it’s this – don’t ever believe what you read about the weather.

“If it’s going to rain, then fuck it. Let’s just paint,” I said.

“Okay, just decide. I told you I’d help you, so, whatever you want to do.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. Let’s just paint the room if you want to paint it.”

So off we went to Lowe’s. We picked up the paint (I decided on Pearl Harbor) and the rollers, some tape and a few tarps. We drove back to my house (in the 80-degree sunshine) and began to paint. We painted all that beautiful day and then we finished up on Sunday afternoon.

When we finally made it to the beach – where I can assure you my boyfriend would rather have been all weekend – it was late Sunday afternoon, and he was barely speaking to me.

Let me tell you a little bit about my boyfriend. My boyfriend is my best friend. He’s an amazing person, the nicest guy I’ve ever met and always fun and easy to be around. However, he is very non-confrontational and not much of a communicator, so it appears that he’s afraid to tell me anything that might piss me off. For instance, “Baby, let’s paint next weekend. I’d rather be at the beach today.” Here, I can offer you some more advice – don’t be afraid of your girlfriend (even if she’s from New Jersey).

By the time this painting debacle was over, my boyfriend had decided that perhaps he was unsure about whether or not he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. He also decided that he was too strapped for cash to go on our vacation that we had been planning for three months. And last but not least, he decided he needed some space.

Some space? Over painting? What the hell is that? We never even fight! We always have fun! I know he loves the beach, but I had no idea how much my boyfriend must really hate painting.

Anyway, fast forward four weeks. My perfect boyfriend is taking a break from dating me. My roommate has her shit strewn haphazardly all over the master bedroom, so it sort of looks like the actual Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. And I am just trying not to go crazy.

The only thing I could think of to do yesterday to prevent an oncoming anxiety attack was paint the hallway. I figure if I paint the condo one wall at a time, it should be done by December. So, I got out the bucket of Pearl Harbor and started slathering it on the wall. My roommate didn’t even notice.

“Did you notice the hallway?” I asked this evening.

“What about it?”

“I painted it.”

“Oh. Really?”

“Granted, it’s the hallway,” I said, “but you didn’t notice?”

“No,” she replied.

“Well, do you like it?”

“No. Not really.”

What? I thought you said you liked this color in your room?”

“I did. But, I don’t anymore. Nothing matches it.”

So, there you have it. I have no boyfriend, and my roommate hates her bedroom. She’ll probably move out any day now, and I’ll be forced to file for bankruptcy because I won’t be able to pay my mortgage. And then my condo will be foreclosed on by the bank, and I won’t even have any more walls to paint Pearl Harbor to keep me sane. I’ll veer off course into a downward spiral of depression and anxiety attacks and most likely kill myself by the end of the month. And when I do, I guess you can just tell everyone Pearl Harbor ruined my life.