08 January 2008

Rant Ahoy

It’s like this: I got the oil tank filled at the beginning of December. That cost about $600. (because oil prices are so high.) Dave informed me last night that the tank is now almost empty again.

I still haven’t figured out how to pay the December bill. Actually, that’s not quite true. You wanna know how I’m going to pay it? It’s going on a credit card. This makes me crazy because it’s a giant no-no to put cost of living stuff on credit cards. But where else can I find another $600? Although by the time I’ve paid for it, it’ll cost 600 bucks plus 12% interest for however long it takes me to pay off. Not to mention a late fee. And I'll get to perform this enjoyable task on my lunch hour, right after I post this entry.

So yes, it’s winter in New England and I should expect to have some heating bills. But the supposedly fixed price per gallon I signed up for when I opened an account with this heating company had me paying 2.29/gallon, when meant filling the tank cost about $400. They changed the prices (without any warning to me) to 2.79. I’m sure the higher prices reflects the fact that oil is now $100/barrel.

Potentially I could call the company and argue the prices/bill since it wasn’t the original terms of service. That assumes I’ve still GOT my first bill from two years ago, and also assumes the bill/original contract has no clause about prices being subject to change without warning.

Plus, did I mention that I work full time? In a cube farm where there is an unofficial rule about not making any non-work related phone calls, except on lunch. Where am I going to get the time and energy to research this? I’m not; I’m fucked, actually. Hey, don’t forget I’m planning a wedding during my lunch hours too.

Hey, guess what I did spend about $600 on recently though? Christmas presents for other people. Jesus. If I could turn back that clock…

Wanna know why else the oil tank ran out so fast? Apart from the fact that Dave’s got bursistis, which is affected badly by cold weather (which means that he hurts less if we keep the house at 65 rather than 60), the hot water in the kitchen faucet is leaking. It has been since we moved in, but the landlady’s idea of her responsibilities seems to begin and end with cashing the rent checks. The house is also on the market and we are the only tenants left, so we’re not getting any residual heat from other people keeping the house warm. Since the house is on the market, the landlady REALLY doesn’t give a shit about tenant complaints. And no, I don’t know how to fix a leaky faucet (leaking from the tap end.) So maybe we’ll just turn off the hot water in the kitchen at the spigot under the sink. That won’t be inconvenient at all. (but at least it would save a little money.)

Why not just move, right? Because the rent at our place IS cheap, and also because – had you noticed? – moving costs a bunch of money. We didn’t pay a security deposit for our current place, which means we’d have to come up with one to move, not to mention associated expenses of van rental etc. And we’ll need to hire movers for at least the bed, it’s a king. So that would be an outlay of a couple grand. Which, in case you hadn’t been paying attention, DO NOT HAVE.

Hey, guess what else? Zoe has diabetes. She needs special food, and she’ll need a blood curve every 4 months or so, and she’s going to need dental surgery when her blood sugar is stable. So all that will be, oh, I’m guessing in the region of $400-1000 over the next year. But! My company offers pet insurance (which I need to look into more, because does it cover preexisting conditions? The pet insurance only became available as of Jan 1 and Zoe was diagnosed in Dec. I guess I should research this during lunch.)

All of the vet stuff is a little bit down the road, since the vet has been out of the diabetes food for weeks and had it on backorder. (I need to call. During my lunch hour, I guess, which I am quickly using up by blogging.)

Other fun things: my company was acquired last year, and this month we are switching over to the parent company’s payroll system. The parent company pays a week in arrears. Fine, but the extra week is coming out of the January paychecks. For what it’s worth, my company did everything possible to ease the transition of the paycheck thing over, and I do get that January is

We both work full time, and Dave is going to school (not cheap, by the way.) We are not eligible for any kind of public assistance (which really I’d feel bad about taking. I am not the target for these social programs.) In a couple of years, when Dave is out of school and making more money as a nurse, this stuff will be easier.

But in the meantime, I’m getting squeezed in the poverty trap. I have a homeowner’s problem (leaky faucet) but no incentive to get a plumber to fix it (and also no tax break for home ownership.) If I owned, I’d consider taking out a loan for triple glazed windows or something else to make the house more energy efficient, but … I rent. I can’t pay my heating bill outright, so I’m going to put it on a credit card, which means I will pay interest on the bill.

You know what else is really super extra fun? I’ve gone crazy again. I need to see the doctor (another call to make on my lunch hour*) and talk about resuming meds, because the panic attacks, while always enjoyable**, are starting to interfere with normal life, and my anxiety is starting to paralyze me. Luckily, winter’s low light has made Dave crazy too, so not only are we both crazy, we’re BOTH CRAZY AT THE SAME TIME, which means that instead of being able to actually support or help each other through a bad spot, we’re trapped in our own private hells and usually just end up making it worse for each other. Fucking awesome.

Now, does someone want to remind me why I should keep bothering to put one foot in front of the other? Because right now, I’m having trouble remembering why I bother. And all the crap I’ve complained about in this post is the tip of the motherfucking iceberg, man – we’ve also got stalker problems and family feuds, none of which I’ll go into detail on for obvious reasons. Oh, and my migraines. Not better. That might be because THEY ARE TRIGGERED BY STRESS.

* I totally love calling the doctor’s office with everyone in a 20-cube radius listening in while I describe my symptoms of CRAZINESS. Also I'm 100% positive my coworkers want to know that level of detail about my mental health.

** who doesn’t like hyperventilating and sobbing for an hour? Come on, you know you do.


Kaethe said...

Now, does someone want to remind me why I should keep bothering to put one foot in front of the other?

Because, you can either kill yourself, or you can shower and dress and go on to work. If you don't kill yourself, things might get better. Or at least, they might suck not as much. And eventually there will be some real fun and joy.

I find that looking at my options that way is a positive thing. So far, I've always chosen to shower and go to work.

Sorry it's all so wretched, though.

Cara deBeer said...

well, yes. Also I did note that I am currently CRAZY, with an imminent upgrade to BATSHIT en route, so that tends to color my perceptions. Things look like they will always suck this much.

In fact just whining for a while was helpful, since it helped me figure out next steps.

Lisa said...

Nothing but sympathy here, dear. I also spent a year putting bills on my credit cards, when I switched careers in my 40s (and went into -- heheh -- publishing!) and supported a teenage kid and a mortgage single-handedly. Plus my dear little dog got terminally ill and died and I put another third of my meager income on my cards trying to keep him alive for a couple of months.

But it gets better. Gets better, gets worse, gets better. Work on the anxiety, keep your head above water, and the wheel will eventually turn. Hang in there.

Leah said...

Kaethe, that's exactly the options I gave myself.

Cara, can I return the a***** favor? I have some spares.

Cara deBeer said...

y'all are nice.

Leah, I'm actually good; just annoyed at the thought of having to go back on medication at all. I really hate the side effects. (But they are better than, you know, feeling like life isn't worth living.)

Kaethe said...

That I understand. This time I hadn't gotten to that point, I just found that everyone was pissing me off all the time. So, back on the meds to keep from being a continual bitch.

Now I'm resigned to have a chronic condition for life. Thankfully, it's easier to be resigned when I'm on my meds. Best of luck finding something with minimal side effects.

Lyzzard said...

Boy Howdy, Cara. (To borrow a phrase from kat)

I'm thankful for my meds, and my side-effects are negligible. I hope you find some peace.

I hate money. Dealing with money. Dealing with bills. Dealing with people. (Well, OK, some people.)

I'm also glad you figured out some steps. I wish I had some sage words of advice. I can only listen & witness, ya know?

Ya know, you don't sound crazy... < winky> In fact, I really admire your ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other - and not drown in the mess.

I hope it improves sooner, rather than later.