Category: Humor

From Hell’s Heart, I Stab at Thee…Fed Loan Servicing.

Khan I would like to claim I knew that line was from Moby Dick…but I just knew it from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. But, in my defense, The Wrath of Khan was way better than Moby Dick.

But that’s beside the point. My current source of wrath is my law school student loans.

It could be that they are more than six figures.

It could be that I’m paying over 7% interest on them. (Thanks, Government! We love your commitment to higher learning! Even though my student loan interest rate is nearly double my mortgage interest rate, you assholes.)

But, truly, the current source of my fury is the Morlocks working for Fed Loan Servicing.

So, here’s the thing.

I signed up for automatic withdrawal for my student loans (so I could save that *amazing* 1/4% interest rate!). They say “keep making your payments – it could take a couple of months for this to get set up. We’ll let you know.” Total lies. They do NOT let you know.

Consequently, I made my NINE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIVE DOLLAR student loan payment on MAY 29. But guess what?? They set up my automatic withdrawal (without telling me!) and so on JUNE 4 (6 DAYS LATER), they took ANOTHER $935. Seriously. Six days later. Oopsie. Bastards.

So, I called. They said “Sorry.” Then they said, “How about we credit this toward July?” Grrr, but ok.

Then I got a notice from Fed Loan Servicing saying, “Your next automatic withdrawal will be July 4.” What? You’re supposed to skip a month.

So I called. They said “Sorry.” Then they said, “No really; we really have it set NOT to take another $935 for July.” Okay. Dubious, but I’ll take the leap of faith.

Then I got a bill saying, “No automatic withdrawal this month so be sure to make your payment!” No. It can’t be. How many Fed Loan Servicing agents does it take to screw up one correction? Turns out, one more than I had talked to.

So I checked my online account.

DELINQUENT.

Rage. White-hot, blinding, whiskey-drinking, rage. I shit you not. They never bothered to apply that extra payment forward – they just suspended the automatic payment for a month.

So I called. They said “Sorry.”

I said, “From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; for hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee!” Okay. Not really. But I did tell him they were making me crazy. In a very sarcastic, hopefully day-ruining, tone of voice.

P.S.

In case I stumped you on the “Morlocks” thing – I direct you to a photo of the night-dwelling, cannibalistic Morlocks from the 1960 classic, “The Time Machine.” Morlocks And now your life is complete.

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The Fairy Tale Law Firm – Warning: This Warning May Cause Cancer.

the fairy tale law firm

Long, long ago in a far-away, entirely fictional kingdom called California, there was a lord called ShortSightedLawmakers. This lord really liked to hear himself talk so he summoned his barrister – assuming she’d enjoy listening to him talk about stupid crap as well – and went for an inspection of his kingdom.

Lord ShortSightedLawmakers stopped in many storefronts as he passed through the villages.

“Lady Barrister,” he said, “I am very concerned by some of the compounds being used by the shopkeepers.”

“Such as what, My Lord?”

“Well, the tannery uses tannin.”

“Yes, I believe it is necessary to their work.”

“But I believe it causes cancer. People have a right to know when they are exposing themselves to such dangerous chemicals. I think they should be required to post such a warning.” (I know. This is sounding vaguely familiar.)

“Well, My Lord, I suppose I understand your concern, but how would it be enforced? Our law enforcement officials are overburdened as it is. I’m not sure we could expect them to police tanneries as well – simply to see if they are displaying proper signage.”

“Not just tanneries,” he bellowed. “Any vendor that utilizes frog’s legs! Or aspirin! Or lye!”

“My Lord, are you certain all of those cause cancer?”

“No!” But I’m not certain they don’t! And salt! I don’t think that’s good for you, either! And vinegar! Because I don’t like the smell. And there is something sinister about tea leaves!” And the Lord rambled on and on, naming chemicals he felt were vaguely threatening in some way.

The barrister sighed. “Again, My Lord, I do not see how we can put enforcement of such a law on the shoulders of our law enforcement officials.”

“Then we’ll let the people enforce it!” (Perfect. What could possibly go wrong?)

Lady Barrister’s mouth hung open a moment. “But, My Lord, doesn’t it seem that there are greedy, unscrupulous, self-serving, sleazy individuals that would exploit such a law to the detriment of poor business-owners who do not realize they are violating the law?”

“Nonsense. It will work.”

So the law was passed. And money-grubbing barristers all over the kingdom learned how to exploit the law, finding plaintiffs they could sue on behalf of and bringing lawsuits against business-owners who had no notion that they had done anything wrong. And they sued their pants off –  despite the fact that the “plaintiffs” in those cases had never been harmed by any chemical found at the business. And those “plaintiffs” and barristers made mountains and mountains of gold and business-owners were afraid and so started posting signs in every store stating that they *might* use chemicals that *might* cause cancer, simply to avoid being prey to such a lawsuit.

And all of the people Lord ShortSightedLawmakers intended to protect with his warnings, found the signs, which were now freaking everywhere, utterly useless because (a) they were EVERYWHERE (like I said), and (b) they didn’t know what the chemicals were, how much they were exposed to, or whether they even were actually harmful! Add to this the fact that the lord’s list, which initially had a few chemicals on it when he started, ended up with HUNDREDS of chemicals on it.

So, there are two morals to this story. The first, life causes cancer. Seriously. (Okay, to better illustrate – when you roast coffee beans, a side effect of the roasting process creates acrylamide – all on its own! Not man-made. Just by roasting those little bad boys. And acrylamide is on the list. Consequently, every friggin coffee company YOU know has been sued. So, next time you go into Starbucks, enjoy your warning sign. I’m sure you all stopped drinking coffee as soon as you saw that oh-so-important sign informing you that your coffee may cause cancer (if you drink 37 cups a day, 7 days a week for the next 18 years).)

Oops. Forgot I was at the “Fairy Tale Law Firm.”

Okay, second moral to this story: please, for the love of all that is holy, read laws BEFORE you vote for them. You need to consider more than whether a law would be “a good idea.” Does it have an enforcement vehicle that actually works? Because bounty hunter clauses are making asshole plaintiffs and asshole attorneys into millionaires. And I doubt that was part of what you thought was “a good idea” when you marked your ballot.

Okay. I’m off my soap box. Sorry about that. And not to make this post overly educational, but here is a link to the California Attorney General’s record of Prop 65 lawsuits for 2013 – in case you thought I was exaggerating. 73% of all amounts recovered under these lawsuits went to the attorneys! I’d like to take a moment to thank those attorneys for furthering the stereotype that lawyers are basically bottom-feeding scumbags 🙂  Thanks, guys!

By the way. WARNING: This blog may contain chemicals known to the kingdom of California to cause cancer or other reproductive harm.

Side Effects May Vary.

I’ve always been a “seize the day” kinda girl. (Granted, sometimes it feels a little more like “don’t look before you leap” girl, but let’s not split hairs.) Point being, you do only live once and you should seize the day because, God knows, you never know how many more you have.

So take this personality and add to it one prematurely-deceased, healthy, spunky parent and you get some interesting side effects.

No, I didn’t book a skydiving excursion. (Yet. That will happen, eventually.) I ate pork. (Gasp! The hell you say!) Okay, follow me. About 32 years ago, my mom decided the family was only going to eat poultry and fish. Her father had died young of colon cancer, but she also just didn’t like hurting the little animals. So, in more recent years, my siblings went back to eating all meat and my mom went full vegetarian and had been for the last 12 years of her life. And me – aside from a couple short-lived periods of actual vegetarianism – I stuck to the poultry and fish thing. For the last 32 years.

There is this awesome Jon Favreau movie called “Chef.” (This segues back – trust me.) I think it’s on Netflix. Seriously. Watch it. It’s kickass.

Chef

Jon Favreau is a chef who has a meltdown that goes viral on social media and he ends up with a food truck where he makes the most epic Cuban sandwiches. Obviously, there’s more to it. But for our purposes here, I’m talking about the sandwich.

Cuban

I even linked this picture to the recipe from the movie…in case you’re inspired.

So the movie was about family, and following your passion, and simplicity, and, of course, food. So, last weekend Steve and I were celebrating one of my best friend’s birthdays and we went to this great restaurant in Sonoma County called Bear Republic Brewing Co. And on the menu they had a Cuban sandwich (there’s that segue I promised you) and Steve ordered it.

And I had to try it. So I took a bite (ok, four) and it was delicious. So good. So, for no other reason than “what the hell,” I ate pork for the first time in 32 years. Is it because mom isn’t here to be disappointed in me? Maybe. Is it because, if I take after my mother and grandmother, I may only have another 20 years and that I need to carpe diem (or in this case, carpe porca)? Possibly. So I tried it. And you know what? No one died. (Well, except for the pig.)

On a side note, I found these socks (courtesy of the Bloggess) and I think I need them.

Carpe Diem Socks

I included the link for this as well in case you need them, too.

So go out there and seize the hell of the day, my friends.

Friday Happy List.

It’s Friday so I thought I’d share with you a quick list of awesome things that make me happy.

  • Fridays. I have yet to meet one I didn’t like.
  • The new show, iZombie (which may be further proof that I am actually a 15-year-old girl trapped in a woman’s body). Whatever. It’s a delight.

iZombie

  • Wine. Because it’s amazing. This picture of wine is also amazing. So two for one on this point.

Wine

  • My new bamboo sheets. Seriously. Who knew you could make fabric out of bamboo? And why is it the softest thing in creation? And why have I been having so much trouble getting out of bed in the morning? More questions than answers, really.

bamboo sheets

  • This sign. Because it always makes me picture a little bird with a French fry. And how does that not always bring a smile to your face? ‘Cause that little bird just hit the mother lode.

Bird with a french fry

  • My dogs. Because every time I walk in the door, they act like I’m a combination of Joe Montana, Geddy Lee and Jesus Christ. (My dogs are big Rush fans. I blame Steve.)

Jack & Sawyer

Enjoy your weekend and take your happy wherever you find it.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.

So, this doll over at The Pretty Platform nominated me for an award. No, seriously. Look how cute this girl is.

Elke at the Pretty Platform

Right? Adorable. So, Elke, because you’re too cute to say no to, I accept 😉

sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award

Okay. Here are the rules!

As I accept this nomination, the following must be accomplished:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
2. Put the award logo on your blog.
3. Answer the ten questions sent to you.
4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Nominate seven blogs.
I got this.
The Answers
  1. If there was a book written about you, what would it be titled? At Least She Meant Well.
  2. If you could go back to any age in your life, which would it be, and why? Well, I have made splendidly horrendous mistakes at every stage of my life, so I wouldn’t say I had any desirable “stage.” And I’m 42 now but have never minded the journey of getting older so there isn’t a younger age I’d want to be. That leaves the obvious – I would go back to any time prior to December 15, 2014 when I still had my mom and best friend.  That was all the best stage.
  3. What single accomplishment are you most proud of? I’m proud of my three as-yet-unpublished novels. Because I never quit. Even when I came so close the first time only to suffer a huge disappointment – I just moved on to the next book. Full-time job, kids, law school – didn’t matter. A writer writes.
  4. Country living or city living? Suburb living looking to escape to the country. I want chickens. And a goat.
  5. What’s your favorite joke? Do tell. The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.
  6. Are you an ugly or pretty crier? I’ve actually become an expert in the matter. I’ve got the pretty cry, the ugly one, the rogue-tear one, the cry-till-you’re-hoarse one, and the I-swear-to-god-I-seriously-need-to-stop-crying one.
  7. If you could donate money to one cause, to one organization, which would it be? St. Jude’s Hospital. Anything for children. And it was my mom’s favorite.
  8. What do you think should be taught in schools today that isn’t already? I’m not a huge proponent of shock value, but after I saw “American History X,” I thought it should be shown in high schools. With all the language, violence and hard R rating intact. I don’t know that I’ve seen another movie that more accurately embodies the futility and tragedy of hatred more than that movie.
  9. How do you like your steak cooked? I don’t remember. Haven’t had a steak in about 33 years.
  10. What vacation spot did you enjoy the most? That’s tough. I love love love to travel. I guess I would say Blarney Castle in Ireland. Sad that it’s only known for kissing that nasty stone. The grounds are so beautiful, I could have stayed for a year.

The Questions for the Nominees

  1. What are you most afraid of?
  2. Star Wars or Star Trek?
  3. What is your favorite book?
  4. Now what is your real favorite book that that doesn’t make you look as intellectual as your answer in number 3?
  5. If you could trade places with any currently living celebrity, who would it be?
  6. Do you believe in ghosts?
  7. What is your favorite Pixar movie?
  8. What is the most impulsive thing you’ve ever done?
  9. What is your favorite genre of food?
  10. Who is your favorite Disney princess?

My Nominees

  1. Gone Catawampus – love love love these girls. Sorry to be redundant, cause I’ve nominated them for stuff before, but they never disappoint.
  2. Never Trust a Jellyfish – just the name makes me smile. As do most of her posts.
  3. Heather Christena Schmidt – Love her humor and honesty.
  4. The Stay at Home Philosopher – Quirky and clever. And I love quirky.
  5. Hacker. Ninja. Hooker. Spy. – AKA Aussa Lorens. Okay. She’s kind of a big deal and this is not news, but she’s just so damn funny.
  6. Some Offense Intended – because offensive is funny if you’re smart.
  7. Have You Seen My Glass Slipper? – because Kay is way more clever than I was at 18.

So, thanks to the lovely Elke. And I apologize to my nominees for the homework assignment.

Much love.

Erin

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” (aka “The Christmas Date-Rape Song”).

Baby its Cold Outside

Because nothing says Merry Christmas like a little GHB. So this song is catchy and disconcerting at the same time. You’ve all heard it, right? It’s a duet between a girl making poor decisions and a guy who is apparently a follower of the philosophy that 50 “no’s” and a “yes” means “yes.” Let’s look at the lyrics:

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
I really can’t stay
(But baby, it’s cold outside)
I’ve got to go away (Yes, girl. Run.)
(But baby, it’s cold outside)

This evening has been
(Been hoping that you’d drop in)
So very nice
(I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice)

My mother will start to worry
(Beautiful, what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor
(Listen to the fireplace roar)

So really I’d better scurry
(Beautiful, please don’t hurry)
But maybe just a half a drink more (Let the poor decision-making begin.)
(Put some records on while I pour)

The neighbors might think
(Baby, it’s bad out there)
Say, what’s in this drink? (DANGER, Will Robinson! Seriously?)
(No cabs to be had out there)

I wish I knew how
(Your eyes are like starlight now) (Undoubtedly from whatever you doped her with.)
To break this spell
(I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)

I ought to say no, no, no, sir (See what I mean? 50 no’s and a yes?)
(Mind if I move in closer?) (Creeper.)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
(What’s the sense in hurting my pride?)

I really can’t stay
(Baby, don’t hold out) (Getting creepier.)
Oh, but it’s cold outside

I simply must go
(But baby, it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (Seriously. Is anyone keeping count?)
(But baby, it’s cold outside)

This welcome has been
(How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm
(Look out the window at that storm)

My sister will be suspicious
(Gosh, your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door
(Waves upon a tropical shore)

My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious
(Ooh, your lips are delicious)
But maybe just a cigarette more
(Never such a blizzard before)

I’ve got to get home
(But baby, you’ll freeze out there) (Translated to: if you don’t spend the night with me, you’ll die.)
Say, lend me your coat (I have a feeling he isn’t gonna lend you a coat.)
(It’s up to your knees out there) (See?)

You’ve really been grand
(I thrill when you touch my hand)
But don’t you see
(How can you do this thing to me?)

There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
(Think of my life long sorrow) (Wow. Guilt trip much?)
At least there will be plenty implied
(If you caught pneumonia and died) (Once more, sleep with me or die.)

I really can’t stay
(Get over that old doubt)
Oh, but it’s cold outside

Yeah. Cheery little Christmas ditty. So what have we learned? (Aside from how creepy men in the 50’s were.)

50 No's and a Yes

Even at Christmastime, apparently. So have fun singing along with this song in the future and good luck not focusing on the fact that this guy kinda needs his ass kicked.

And to all a good night.

If It’s Good Enough for Jenny…

So, as I’ve mentioned, I’m a big Jenny Lawson (the Bloggess) fan. Jenny’s hilarious ramblings and questionable love for taxidermy always make me laugh and her occasional heart-warming, insightful posts always seem to be interjected just when we collectively need a little inspiration (or a kick in the ass).

Well, Jenny decided to play along with this thing going around the internet where you Google your first name plus the word “meme” and see what you get. And then she posted about it. And I thought it was pretty hilarious so I yes, I’m copying Jenny.

Here are my equally disturbing results:

53351650

Um. Thanks? For the nightmares.

54487478

Not sure why we need to make this about age, Ron.

b70c1b2c02cf6040c4236d516dd6f3118adb2f70691df9d8aa1d8335aa58eb42

Look at that adorable little demon-spawn. And this one doesn’t even have my name.

Who-the-fuck-ekfsnl

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that one.

images

I feel like this one is both a little judgy, but also sort of issuing a challenge. Thanks, Bill.

This was good – an exercise that’s both frightening and fun. And makes me think that people should probably have to submit to a breathalyzer before creating memes online.

They Forgot to Include ‘Zombie Apocalypse.’

I was reviewing radio contest rules today that included the most complete disclaimer regarding force majeure I’ve ever seen. Except for their glaring omission of “zombie apocalypse(s).” (I guess it wouldn’t be plural…one would probably take care of it.)

The Contest Entities are not responsible or liable to any entrant or winner … for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action, regulation, order or request by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action, regulations, order or request proves to be invalid), equipment failure, threatened terrorist acts, terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, volcanic eruption, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond the Contest Entities’ sole control.

Now, is that any ‘public enemy’ like Bin Laden or Kanye West? Or is that ‘Public Enemy,’ the rap group. Cause I would be pretty pissed if Flavor Flav interfered with my winnings.

Chicken Soup For the Soul…Unless You’re a Chicken.

I spent half the day yesterday making delicious, homemade chicken soup…‘for the soul’ as they say. Unless you’re a chicken, in which case I spent half the day boiling your dead and then barbarically ripping their flesh from their bones before unceremoniously dumping their ravaged carcass into the garbage.

Poor chicken

“Why, you rotten son of a bitch!”

Yeah. Sorry about that.

I Look Like a Movie Star.

If you’re a movie star from the 90’s with big, curly, red hair. I’ve gotten the whole, “you know who you look like?” question for decades. Inevitably, it is a big-haired, redhead that I don’t resemble at all.

Case in point, Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman. No, no, no. Not today’s more glamorous Julia and Nicole…the circa 1990 big hair versions.

Julia

Nicole

And of course, the one defining trait that makes this make any sense at all – me sporting the big, curly, red hair.

Erin 1999

Holy shit, right? I’d like to take this moment to thank the inventors of the ceramic flat iron. Anyway – point being – I don’t actually look like Julia or Nicole, but people could seldom get past the hair. The only other consistent I’ve gotten throughout the years, curly or straight, is Elizabeth Perkins.

Elizabeth PerkinsWhich, I guess I can see, but no offense to Ms. Perkins, I’ve never really taken as a compliment. Then this last weekend at a conference, I randomly was told that I look like the “woman on that episode of Agents of Shield who could control men.” Luckily, I’m a nerd who feels obligated to watch every Marvel show they throw out there so I knew he meant Lorelei (Elena Satine).

LoreleiWhich would be awesome (however unlikely) but I’ll take it if for no other reason than the fact that this chick is probably at least 10 years younger than me.

So – given the frequency with which I hear the “you know who you look like?” question, I went and found a Celebrity Look-a-like Generator online. This is what it came up with.

Celebrity lookalike generator Now, I’ve gotten Celine Dion on more than one occasion, but let’s skip right to the elephant in the room: Rob Schneider? I am an 86% match to Rob Schneider? Go home, Celebrity Look-a-like Generator; you’re drunk.