The Idiot’s Guide To Everyday Life

Visas Are Frustrating – And I Don’t Mean Credit Cards
7.Jun.10, 21:03 pm
Filed under: Goals, Hopes, Plans, Rants, Tidbits About My Life

About a month ago I got word from my Immigration Attorney that she’d finally sent off the packet for my K1 visa petition for Peter. I’ve done my homework, so I know the steps to getting the approval.

  1. Visa Paperwork is received by the Vermont Processing Center (There are 2 K1 processing centers, California and Vermont. Oklahoma residents use Vermont).
  2. Check included is cashed and the Case Number is put on the back (you can get that as soon as it hits your bank usually).
  3. You can log into the USCIS website to track the progress of your case.
  4. The approval from the US side of the USCIS comes (2 to 3 months or more) from Vermont.
  5. The case is transferred to the NVC (National Visa Center) and sent to the London Embassy for their side of the approval.
  6. Peter obtains necessary immunizations, gathers necessary documents and has medical evaluation.
  7. Peter attends visa interview at London Embassy and is given final approval.
  8. Visa is sent in about a week from London to Peter.
  9. Peter comes over!!!

I called several times to see if my atty’s office had received my receipt number/case number, but nothing. Finally this morning I received an email from my attorney saying that my paperwork was being forwarded from Chicago to Vermont.

WHAT? Why was my paperwork even SENT to Chicago in the first place? Chicago doesn’t process K1 visas at all!?!?!?! If she really sends off as many visas as she claims she does, WHY would she send it to the wrong processing center???

Then she asked me if I was planning to contact my Senator/State Rep to assist?

WHAT? If she’d sent my paperwork to the right place to start with I’m sure the check would have already been cashed and I’d have a case number so I could track it on the USCIS website, and we would know how things are progressing. Without a case number, even a Senator/State Rep couldn’t get information out of the USCIS about my case!! I know I’m not the most patient person in the world, but COME ON!!! This is my family we’re talking about. I can’t get Peter over here till that visa comes through. Now we have a Fedex receipt to tell when my paperwork was received at the WRONG place, but no way to tell when/if my paperwork was received by the RIGHT place! I have no way of knowing if it’s sitting in a pile somewhere just waiting for someone to send it off, or if it’s in a mail sorting station waiting to be put on someone’s desk to be processed through.

I keep checking my bank account online every day to see if the check has been cashed, but so far, nothing. I’m getting worried. Most people are telling me that they see the check being cashed within a week of it being received at the processing center. Now, I don’t know when or if I’ll see it go through. I’m feeling defeated. This isn’t good.


The high cost of good health.
22.Sep.08, 17:14 pm
Filed under: Rants

For my friends on the other side of “the pond” please, I beg of you, NEVER TAKE YOUR NATIONAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM FOR GRANTED.

I’m about to move, and I know my allergies and asthma will prolly go haywire for a while once I get to a new place. It’s normal. I went to the doctor with my son last week and while I was there I asked him for refills on on my meds to take with me. My current health insurance has a separate prescription benefit plan through Medco Health, which has a policy that requires patients to send their prescriptions for maintenance meds (everyday meds, like my asthma inhalers, allergy meds, stomach meds, etc.) to their mail-order pharmacy. I am allowed 3 30-day supply local pharmacy refills on my maintenance meds per year at copay costs, then I have to send them in mail-order or I am charged full price. Non-maintenance meds, such as antibiotics, etc., are always available through the local pharmacy. The plus-side to the mail order would appear to be the fact that they send a 90 day supply at one time, so you have to refill less often.

This just started this year, and I’ve made due without going through them so far because I knew 90-day supply copays would be more expensive. I didn’t realize HOW expensive until today when I was calling to get the prices for the four prescriptions I have. MaxAir inhaler, Advair inhaler, Allegra allergy medicine, and Prevacid acid reflux medicine. A grand total of $523.81!!!!!! And the most expensive of them all???? PREVACID!!!! A whopping $280 for this little gem, which is only taken to keep my stomach acid from rising up and eating a hole through my esophogaus. For that price, I’d expect there to be crack cocaine hidden in the bottle along with the pills – and they’d better include a straw!

Why on earth are prescription prices so high????? I personally believe it’s because the pharmaceutical companies know we have no choice but to pay them. We NEED these medications, and our government is NEVER going to step in and do anything about the ridiculous prices we are being charged for the medicines we need to survive. My inhalers alone are $82 for my rescue one, and $153.01 for my preventive one. Without those I can’t breathe. Without breathing… well….. I think we know what happens.

That’s it. I’m leaving the country. I’m going to buy a rowboat and set sail for Cuba. They hate America anyway. When they see I share their sentiments for the American healthcare regime (or is it Reich?) maybe they’ll give me a welcome party.

There is a fungus amongus.
13.Sep.08, 13:21 pm
Filed under: Friends & Fam, Rants, Tidbits About My Life

I hate allergy season. The mold and pollen count are astronomical right now. Three days this week I woke up to my right eye swollen shut from watering in my sleep. My sneezing is out of control. I can’t breathe at the moment, and nothing seems to be helping.

Oh for better health insurance and the ability to go to the doctor when I need to!!!

I’m sneezy, wheezy and a few other dwarves all rolled into one. Hopefully the rains from Hurricane Ike will help dull down the allergens in the air.

On a happier note – Manu is here for the weekend riding out the storm!!!! YAY for friends who don’t like hurricanes!!! Love ya girlie!!

The parties are over…
19.May.08, 14:40 pm
Filed under: Friends & Fam, My Munchkins, Rants, Tidbits About My Life

My children both had birthday parties this weekend. This is the first year we didn’t have a single party for both of them and I’m really wishing we’d just stuck to that, but they’re getting old enough that they don’t want to combine them anymore.

I am completely exhausted, and BROKE.

My son’s party was low-key – we had pizza and cupcakes here and then he and his best friend got to go see Speed Racer at the new Warren Theater down the street. They loved it. Not many ppl came, but those who did enjoyed themselves.

Josie’s party, on the other hand, was a time-consuming ordeal. We had a tea-party at my mom’s house. I arranged for a teapot-shaped cake and made chicken salad sandwiches on mini-croissants, and we had a veggie tray, cheese cubes, fresh fruit, and chips with pink lemonade and tea. Everyone loved it, and there were three sets of grandparents and one set of great-grandparents there.

Both kids made out like bandits with clothes, and Jaden got a new razor scooter, Josie got a toy laptop. They both loved their gifts, and they both needed the clothes badly.

My ex showed up for Jaden’s party for 45 minutes and then left before we even ate. He didn’t show up for Josie’s at all. His mother showed up with her sister and Jeff’s other child. WTF??? Bringing my ex’s bastard kid that was fathered while he was still married to me to my child’s bday party??? HE needed to be at her party, not this other “sister”. There is a time and a place to facilitate relationships between half-siblings. Her birthday party is not one of those. I understand that to his mother, these are just her two grand-daughters. Not to me. He never sees Josie. This should have been a special day for HER. This should have been the one day out of the year that she didn’t have to compete for her father’s attention and affection. Instead, he skipped her altogether.

He’s a deadbeat of the worst sort. Yes, he pays child support, but that’s not where the line of parental responsibility ends. He never sees the kids. Rare occasions when his mother has them overnight (once every 3 to 6 months) when she coerces him into coming over for an hour or two does not constitute a parental relationship.

When I got home he was on messenger, so I asked him point blank, “Why didn’t you come to Josie’s party?” He never replied. He knows he’s a worthless tool. He has nothing to say for himself. That’s ok, it says something that the kids weren’t heartbroken when he left early and never showed up. They’re used to him not being around. They’re better off without him. What a sad thing to have to say about a “parent”.

19.Apr.08, 12:43 pm
Filed under: Goals, Rants

I believed that my entire tax refund was going to be taken by my student loans. I was ok with that, because I knew to expect it. Then I double checked on Wednesday that it was going to be taken and the IRS website said that my refund had been reduced by a small amount, but that the majority of it was scheduled to be deposited on Friday. A LARGE CHUNK OF CHANGE, mind you. I was ecstatic!! I called the people I was going to have to pay and told them to expect payment by today. I was going to pay off my van!! It was a great day!!

This afternoon I checked the mail to find a letter from the IRS telling me that the exact amount that was scheduled to be deposited on Friday was instead sent to the US Dept of Ed on my behalf. Um, hello! If it’s going to be offset, don’t list on your “Where’s My Refund” website that it is scheduled to be deposited!! I had plans for that money when I thought I was getting it!! I had plans for moving out!! I had plans for paying bills!! And now I have nothing!!

Today has completely gone to hell. I am officially pissed off.

Peace. Be Still.
9.Apr.08, 17:11 pm
Filed under: Rants

I can’t quite slap words together to adequately explain the thoughts that I’m having at the moment, except I fucking hate that people are no longer capable of discerning between truth and bullshit. I’m so fucking tired of it.

Pettiness overwhelms me
23.Feb.08, 18:11 pm
Filed under: Rants

Figuring out what to say to people who take offense to everything is challenging. There are some friends I have who would just laugh if I IM’ed them with the lyrics to “Little Bunny FooFoo” when I was feeling slap-happy. With other friends I have to guard my words carefully to avoid a tirade of epic proportions over the most minuscule of topics.

Why is it that some people just have to interject a personal affront into something that has nothing to do with them? Something that in the long run means absolutely nothing? To me, and this may just be a matter of opinion, that is an earmark of the truly self-absorbed. If you don’t have enough drama going on in your life you have to make some up by getting pissed over something that had nothing to do with you in the first place. It’s petty. It’s making a big deal out of something mundane that in a day will be forgotten. Why do people do this?

Is the mention of the mundane worth an hour-long tirade when it just leaves both people upset and angry and means nothing in the end? Is there no grey area where a person can just have a conversation and say, “Oh, cool,” at the end of it and then go their own way? Does saying something minor like, oh I don’t know, offering to design a graphic for the background of their SO’s website, have to be taken as an affront and seen as an attempt to undermind a marriage because the SO didn’t mention it first? Pardon me, but that seems like someone is fishing a little too far out in the bullshit pond. It seems like they’re searching for a reason to drive a wedge in the friendship. If that’s the case, then maybe they should just admit they feel threatened and go on with it. It wouldn’t change anything, but it’d let me know where I stood.

Please, people, there is only so much oxygen on the planet at any given time. If you’re going to waste it on a tirade, make sure that the subject of that tirade actually has merit. If not don’t waste your neurotic, self-absorbed, control-freak whining on me. I don’t want to hear it.

Now playing: Jason Mraz – Geek In The Pink