Category Archives: the pile

everything that is not itemized for tax purposes

My Heart Broke a Little Today.

My Heart Broke a Little Today.

Not because of the time of year it is, though many would understand that. No, it was a different kind of loss. It was the loss of hope which caused my heart to break today. No, not the hope one has for their life, their plans and dreams, though I do suspect those plans and dreams may eventually be shattered by what is now breaking my heart. It was not the hope you hold out for your children, hoping they will make a good life for themselves, though I suspect that will be affected as well. No, my heart broke today because of my loss of hope for our nation.

I do not say this lightly. As most people know, I am not a doomsday – all is lost – kind of person. But with this election cycle, it is hard not to be. When you look at the mud being slung, that has been slung for so long, between the two parties, it can be no surprise that this election cycle has been one of the most volatile in recent history. When people’s minds have been twisted by hatred and fear for so long, is it any wonder people are willing to make irrational choices to try and change things? No, it is not a surprise to me that many people have turned to someone, anyone, outside our traditional political structure to try and save the day for them. What does surprise me is the desperation to make that change which has grabbed ahold of people I thought were rational and could take a real look at the facts and understand that this election cycle – with the only outsider running being so vile a person, being such a poor businessman, with his misogynistic tendencies that he has displayed for years, who himself once said these kinds of people do not change – is not the time for it.

Sure, many of them reference the constant talking points Republicans’ have used for years, despite the fact that so many of them are now coming forward to indicate their charges were all trumped up.  They point to things like the constant investigations into Benghazi (which they have found nothing on and have even admitted was not her fault), those pesky emails (none of which have actually proven she has done any wrong) going on about how she should have been using a secure government server (though at the time she was in office it was common to use private servers and it was in no way illegal), calling her Killary though there is no evidence that she has had a hand in anyone’s death, including Benghazi. These things and more have been so engrained into the public’s brains that it is no wonder so many people still believes these lies, even while those who had previously attacked her are now recanting their efforts. They try to use things her husband did, or is accused of doing (despite no lawsuits other than the one for lying about an affair) as an excuse not to elect her. They will look at anything but the real track record, which indicates a good person who will fight for the rights of all. Is she flawed? Yes. No one is perfect. She stood by a man, and still does, who cheated on her regularly, hoping to believe the best about him. This is no more than the majority of women who have been cheated on have done at one time or another. And she is unfit for president because of that? No. People feed into all the other hype that has been spread for years about her, even though these things have been proven time and time again to be false. But this is still not why my heart is breaking.

My heart is breaking because today I saw a post from a young lady who I love dearly; someone who I always thought of as a strong feminist, a rational intelligent human being, who could never get drawn into the kind of lies that have been spread for years, and especially this election cycle. But she has. She has aligned herself with people who think racism is fine, treating women as less than is perfectly normal, that grabbing someone unconsensually is what men do. She has aligned herself and chosen to vote for a man who has a child rape case against him, who has peeped in on teenaged girls as they got ready for a beauty pageant.  The list of disgusting things this man has done is so great I won’t even go into them all. But beyond that, even if his crimes against women were not an issue (and believe me when I say they are) she has chosen to ignore the facts about her chosen candidate.

Business facts which clearly show he has never been out for anyone but himself by refusing to pay the kind of people he now says he will protect: by running business after business into the ground, by bankrupting not only his own companies but those of small businesses which have done business with him, by alienating everyone, even those other billionaires who know him. His ties to other countries, countries which are NOT our allies, are blatant by the sheer fact that everything he makes is made in another country. He wants to lower wages for those who are already scraping by.  Experts say his financial plans for our country would add 14.5 trillion dollars to our deficit (while his opponents would only add 200 million, a vast difference). The fact that other countries have said flatly they want nothing to do with him, they won’t deal with him as a president, and that they may even bar him from their countries. He wants to withdraw us from the UN, a peace keeping union, so that we can blatantly go about the world killing off those who are possible terrorists AND their families (something the US could easily be accused of if this plan come to fruition).

She, and so many others I know, are either choosing to ignore facts or really do not understand the consequences of having this man become president. I am quite frankly shocked at the lack of critical thinking, especially from people who I know are taught how to think critically in college.

But it was not these others who broke my heart, it was her. It was this woman who I always thought of as a fierce feminist and strong woman who has decided to vote for a man who would strip her rights away if he can and make her nothing but the subject of men’s unwanted aggression. I just can’t wrap my head around it. It was her who broke my heart, and I am weeping for our country as a result.


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Spirit Airlines – OR how to make air travel worse than it already is!

Wednesday, I took my first flight on Spirit Airlines. This will also be my last flight on Spirit Airlines. Here is what transpired to cause this.

When I booked my flight a couple of weeks ago the airline I usually use, Southwest, had prices aa bit higher than my pockets book for a one way to Chicago from Vegas. So I went in search via Expedia, hotwire, CheapOAir and a few other discount airfare sites. They all had the same prices, give or take a few dollars, so since CheapO Air was the lowest cost and I was on a budget, I booked through them. Spirit Airlines had the lowest cost, indicating that it was only $109 plus fees, which were supposed to total $122 and change. What they actually charged me was $152 and change. Ok, still cheaper than Southwest at that point, so I did not complain much. Then the day before travel arrives and I go online to check in and get my boarding pass. The web site for Spirit leaves a lot to be desired, like an actual link for your boarding pass until you leave the site after checking in and come back to it. Also, this is where I found out it would have cost the same as Southwest … they charged me $22 for a seat assignment (instead of randomly picked) and $35 for a carry-on bag! On Southwest, I can carry on my purse plus a bag for free. SO now we are almost at the same price I would have paid for Southwest.

xtra leg room? maybe for a 5 yr old child!

xtra leg room? maybe for a 5 yr old child!



Ok, I can live with that, it is not like I am paying more at this point, right? And I do have to say boarding was painless. The stewardesses were fun and polite, referring to a water landing as “in the event this flight turns into a cruise” and informing us that when putting on your oxygen mask to spot screaming first. However, this is where the nice stuff ends. As I write this, I have the gentleman behind me with his knees up my bums, and without the benefit of offering up some lube first. The reason this is more annoying than it should be (besides the need for lube when having anything to do with shoving something up the bums) is because I chose my seat based on their online claim that the seat I was choosing was in the area with more leg room. This is only more leg room if you have ever been to the small V Theater for a show, and I am short compared to most men. So while I understand why his knees are in my backside, it does NOT make for a pleasant flight for 3 hours plus.

But the lack of lube is not the only place where Spirit lacks. I understand it is a no frills airline, but … barely having room for the cart to fit through without having to ask each row of passengers to watch their elbows is a bit beyond me. Add to that the fact I am in row 6, they started serving from the front with a less than full plane (about 10 people in front of me) and by the row before me they were announcing they had no Vodka left … I do not drink any more but really? Isn’t vodka a staple for an airline? So many mixed drinks require Vodka. To not restock between flights is unrealistic, especially when I know the plane was sitting there for over an hour before departure. Yes, yes … I am one of those people that arrive hours early due to fear of missing a flight or being caught up in the pat downs pre-gate entry.

Ok, still, not horrible, right? And I figured that once in the air I could simply use the free Wi-Fi the booking site said they had (and their web site did not say they did not) to watch some movies on my Amazon Prime. HA! There I go, believing what is in print on the booking site and not discounted on their own site (at least I did not find it). Silly me. As I picked up their little flier to find out I would need to buy my snacks and beverage (not too unusual in flying these days I suppose) I find out they do NOT have ANY Wi-Fi! Not even for purchase!

I suppose if they had given me the option of purchasing Wi-Fi I would not be writing this. I would be just like the rest of the US citizenry and be sitting quietly in my gilded cage, irritated at the way things have become in this day in age, but still not irritated enough to voice my opinion about it. But alas, the lack of Wi-Fi to connect me to something outside this plane has left me with no other alternative but to remind people … YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR … and then you keep paying as a result.

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the good, the bad, and the worst of it.

When I first began writing this blog, it was because I am from a small town and moving to the suburbs of a large city was quite a change for me – something which I wanted to document to the extent my time allowed. I have been rather remiss in this endeavor. But today, I am reminded once more of the differences between small town life, where everyone knows everyone else, and the suburbs where everyone knows their next door neighbor, maybe, and that is about it. To that extent, small own people are more responsible when dealing with others, compared to suburban people, as they have the whole town to answer to. Things such as what I am about to describe would never happen in a small town, it simply would never be tolerated by the people there, nor those who employ them.

My reminder actually began last week but was brought to my full realization today, so I will begin with last weeks happenings in regards to our trash service. We have our waste services through Waste Management. For those of you who are not from around here, they are the biggest waste removal company in all of the Chicagoland area. As a result, they have apparently not only become desensitized to complaints, but seem to not care at all about their customers – knowing that in many areas they are the only option available unless one wishes to drive their own trash directly to the dump. In essence, they know they have you over a barrel and seem to enjoy holding that power over your head.

Last weeks pick up we had our usual garbage out plus a small tub with some empty mulch bags on top. In another can the top had a bag with a few handfuls of weeds (soil attached to get the whole weed) and under it was all our regular daily garbage. The third can is the kind which has a metal handle to attach to the dump part of the truck and be raised by automation into the bin instead of the garbage men having to lift it themselves. We also had a couch out, of which we were not sure they would take without a special a call and were prepared for that. When I came home from work, I found that while they emptied the can which could be placed on the lift, they had left the other trash can and the small tub with not much more but empty bags which had contained mulch in it as well as the couch. My husband called them and they indicated they would come back out to pick them up. Mind you, our house is up for sale, so normally we would simply bring them back in and take them back out the next week and they would pick them up when I am home. Later, when we had a showing and the trash was still at the curb waiting to be picked up, I called again to find out why they had not sent someone out to pick it up yet. I was then told the driver said the cans weighed over 50 pounds (which is a violation since they can only be 50 pounds – when I was a child they could be up to 75, which leaves me wondering if waste companies hiring weaker people or if in general workers are less capable) which was not true. I can barely lift 40 pounds and was able to lift it and move it back to the house when I discovered they were not coming. The woman on the phone kept interrupting and telling me over and over what their worker had said, and I kept repeating it was not true and he was lying. It is not the first time we have had this issue, which I told her, and she just insisted on repeating herself. Perhaps she had an off day or perhaps she should not be in customer service, either way, nothing was accomplished but to agitate me more. We filed a complaint but it was not until I tweeted about it that I got any kind of concerned response. I am still awaiting an answer.

Due to the lies of the Waste management employee (as I said, not the first time either) we had to go out and buy another trash can to contain all of this weeks waste. I woke up late and I came out to see that the trash had been taken – good, they finally did their job even though it may have cost us a offer on our house from several people in the mean time, what with extra trash sitting at my house and all. Later I go out to move the trash cans back to the house and find they have broken the new one! This would be the fourth trash can in 5 years, all of which are the ones they need to lift and dump into the can except for the first one, which was a nice one with the metal bar to put on the lift (also why I did not purchase a nice one again). So a $50 can the two $10 can and now the new one which was $17. It would be much less hassle and cost to drive the trash to the dump ourselves!

As a result, my husband has called a direct line to a manager named Ed and lodged another complaint … we shall see if that does any good. As for myself, I am calling to see if there is another company who can service our area or not. If not, then off to the used car lot I may go to buy an old beat up truck for the specific purpose of taking my own trash to the dump. Oh, and I will be requesting reimbursement for not just the trash can they broke today (which had and attachable lid so it would not fill with water when the lid blew away or was thrown away, as happen to the last 2 cans that left them to fill with water when it rains … but the lid is no longer attached after today), but every trash can they have broken in the 5 years we have been here. AND I want it taken not from the companies money, but from the employees money directly. After all, it is his fault, not the company, that he keeps breaking my trash cans.

Some of you may wonder why we have had such issues when other people in the area have not. It boils down to my ill advised attempt to HELP our trash man one day when we first moved in and had what I thought was extra trash at the curb. He was rude, condescending, and sexist when he addressed me. He also tried to get me to pay for the extra (which I later found out was within our limits of trash we are allotted put out) and when I did not, he left it. My husband called to complain about the left trash and the drivers attitude towards me when I had done nothing more than offer help, something that I have done in my home town in the past and it was always a welcome offer, even if they never took it. We suspect the driver received a reprimand, so when he has refused to pick up trash when I am not home since that issue, we have wheeled it in and actually added to it if we needed to in order to keep from having to buy another can, and wheeled it back out the next week! We did this so he would stop breaking our trash cans … it was not successful. But today was more evidence of it.

What this boils down to is this … the difference between an employee living in the area he works and having to answer to his neighbors for the quality of his service and not. If he lived in our neighborhood, if this was a small town, he would no longer hold his job! Small town people take pride and responsibility in their work because they are taught to and because they know their neighbors will not only be effected but will call them out if they are slacking. In a suburb like this, apparently there is no personal accountability for the people who work to provide our services. Sure, the suburbs are close to the big city and have a lot to offer in other ways, but the trade off to me sometimes does not seem worth it. Just saying …

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