sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
From the Columbus Cottonmouths Website

"Micro Wrestling Federation brings their show to the Snake Pit on Saturday, Jan. 28, presented by Ride on Bikes and PTAP. To accommodate, the Snakes have moved their game up to 6 pm with gates opening at 5. The first 1,500 fans to come through the gates will receive a free chicken basket, courtesy of Centerplate. This is not included in the season ticket holder guaranteed giveaway package as it a promotion through Centerplate. Midget Wrestling will take place shortly following the game. The cost of the hockey ticket includes the Midget Wrestling show, which will be approximately an hour and a half. Due to the shared venue with the Micro Wrestling Federation, no coupons or free ticket vouchers will be accepted for this game."

Why am I ridiculously excited at the prospect of the Micro Wrestling Federation performing after a minor league hockey game? And why am I going to pester my husband until he buys me tickets? XD (to be fair he's the one who told me about it! So, I blame him for this).
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
I feel like all I do is complain these days on LJ/DW. So, I'm going to try and lead off with a positive entry for the new year.

I had a very nice Christmas with my husband. We did a lot of nothing on Christmas Day, mostly we just watched cartoons and movies and hung out together. I really enjoyed that.

I got a couple of new games and I had a lot of fun with those (Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7). Mario 3D Land is really good and not terribly difficult, Mario Kart 7 is brutal but kinda fun anyhow.

One of my favorite new things to play with is Swap Note, which is a little note writing/drawing application that is free on the 3DS. You can send notes to strangers or you can send them to people on your friend list. You can get really creative with it because it allows you to design pictures in 3D (two layers: a front and back) and you can add stupid attachments like pictures and recorded sounds XD Unfortunately, I only have my brother's friend code, so he is the only one I can subject my silly doodles to. But man, it is way too much fun to play with.

We went to Pittsburgh for the New Year holiday. My parents just fixed up the master bedroom in their house and we got to stay in it. They did a NICE job on it and it's easily the best looking room in the house right now. My poor dad was beat when we visited from all the work, and it didn't help that the county is trying to raise their taxes by claiming their house is worth $40,000 more than it would ever sell for 9_9 So, he spent a lot of sleepless nights angsting over it, trying to build a case to have their assessment lowered and that meant he slept a lot during the day (this has happened before and he successfully got it lowered, but you have a limited time to make your case). I got to spend a lot of time with my brothers and that was special.

I made a LITTLE progress on my book. I am now on "book 2" in my little epic. I have about 40,000 words done in book 2 (as mentioned before, book 1 was about 75,500). My goal is for this one to be slightly longer than the first. I seem to be on track to achieving that goal. Still no illustrations for either... but I think I just want to get all my thoughts into rough draft form before I go back and draw up some designs. I spend the better part of my free time daydreaming about it, and I spend most of the ride to work going over important scenes/events in my head. I'd like to get them written down before I forget them.

Honestly, working on the book is probably the most exciting thing I do these days, which isn't saying much. It just feels like something I need to do right now... People who have seen some of my "vacation" photos know I tend to take pictures of EVERYTHING. My husband's family made fun of my photos of Turkey, calling them my "pictures of rocks." I tried to argue that those rocks had carvings of flowers and other things on them, but it was kinda lost on them. When I went to China with my aunt several years ago, I spent a lot of time taking pictures of every little detail I could. I apologized at one point for taking so long and I told her that I didn't know why I had to take so many pictures, only that it was "important."

I think I know why it was so important now...
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
Well, I can't say Skyward Sword has supplanted Twilight Princess as my new favorite Zelda... but it was ok overall. Twilight Princess still wins in my opinion and the non-spoilery reasons are as follows:

1) Twilight Princess had an awesome NPC cast.

Skyward Sword was a little lacking in the likable NPC department. Most of the NPCs were really generic and lacked personality. In Twilight Princess I liked all kinds of people: the lady in the bar, the bug girl, the 'fro-guy, Yeto and Yeta... and I liked Midna even when she was mean to you in the beginning of the game. There were a lot of reasons to feel good about kicking ass and taking names. In Skyward Sword, Zelda was pretty much the only person you worried about.

2) Areas felt small and repetitive.

Without saying too much, I felt like I was running in circles a lot and going back to the same places over and over again. I mean, I guess you can say the same about running all over Hyrule Field in other Zelda games. But for some reason in Skyward Sword, I kinda wanted a little more Dungeon, a little less running around.

3) I had no idea what I was doing half the time.

Skyward Sword keeps you in the dark regarding the plot for about half the game, and not in a good way. It's kinda like, "Well, I'm just doing this because the weird spirit that came out of the sword [Fi] told me to..." I had no idea WHY I was doing any of it until a little past the mid-point in the game (I mean besides the obvious, "I'm the hero trying to save Zelda," thing).

4) Fi is no Midna.

I like Midna because she had attitude and started out as a total bitch but then she kinda softens up a little without losing her spunk. Fi, comes off as cold and mechanical, more like a operating system or diagnostic tool for the sword, than a spirit. She is particularly annoying because she constantly speaks in statistics (giving you random percentages in dialogue sequences, and keeping actual track of your battle performance on certain enemies).

I got a little tired of her telling me things like I only have a "60% chance of making it to the end of this room." (When I wasn't even doing poorly, that was just how the dialogue was written). Once I messed up so many times she more or less told me that the probability of me passing the trial was decreasing every time I screwed up! (Which was untrue because I was learning the layout and I was getting slowly better at it). And people didn't like Navi yelling "Hey, listen!" every few minutes. Fi left me wanting to scream at her like Han Solo, "Never tell me the odds!"

5) I cried like a baby at the end of Twilight Princess.

Every time I play Twilight Princess, or even just load my game and beat the final boss, I CRY like a BABY when I watch the ending. The whole deal with Midna makes me cry every time and I mean full blown tears. In Skyward Sword, I think ONE tear nearly escaped when one character disappeared during the ending sequence... and that was about it. It just didn't have the emotional impact that Twilight Princess did :\

The Good:

The new controls were pretty cool and the Motion Plus sword action was easier to control than I thought it would be. I liked some of the new elements in the game such as upgrading equipment (though breakable shields were kind of annoying). The game was very colorful and the visuals were like a mixture of Wind Waker cel shading and Twilight Princess' more "realistic" look.

The Bad:

Too much repetition, not enough dungeon action. Plot/Story was a little ordinary. NPCs were generic and dull and I didn't care about any of them particularly. They left you in the dark about the main plot a little longer than they should have (had they told me more earlier on, I may have felt more invested in what I was doing).

The Ugly:

Fuck you Din, and your fucking trial near the volcano. I also didn't care for fighting "The Imprisoned" every few minutes near the last 1/3 of the game. The last couple bosses were also a pain in the ass, so I "cheated" like a little bitch and made some super special awesome potions to help me with the very last boss. I am not entirely proud of that...

Overall, it is about what I expected, but I think part of me wanted it to be a little more epic. It felt good going in, but by the end, it was pretty clear that Twilight Princess still 0wned.
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
My husband was talking about house hunting with one of his co-workers. She is newly married and is a few years younger than us. So, she is just starting to look at homes and is dreaming big.

He began telling her about how we have been looking for some time. They began comparing numbers and notes and she tells him, "Oh we are looking in the $170,000 range."
He says, "We're looking in the $150,000 range..."
"Oh, but we think we can get mortgage payments of about $700 a month," she tells him.
Not wanting to crush her dreams outright he says to her, "Um, have you talked to a bank yet?"

Yeah you can get a theoretical mortgage at $700 a month, before you factor in the home insurance, possible mortgage insurance (if you put less than 20% down), and taxes. Our goal is to come in below $1,000 a month, and we are likely going to be in the $800-900 range if we put down about 15% and get a rate of about 4.25% (which is honestly one of the lower rates you will get on a traditional mortgage-- only non-traditional ones like adjustable ARM mortgages are the ones where you can get crazy low 3% rates, but that rate could change at any time and mess you up later).

Anyhow, the only way we can get in under $1,000 a month is with a decent down payment and a house that is in the 150-range. So, unless she and her husband have a combined income that is substantially more than our combined income, I think she is looking outside of her financial comfort zone... (and since she works for the same cheap ass company he does, I seriously doubt they are pulling in that much more than we are, my guess is a little less because I think her husband is a teacher too and I don't THINK he has as many years in as I do, and he doesn't work for the same district).

My husband then asked her what she was doing about the down payment and she said she hasn't thought about it yet. She then said, "Who has $10,000 to put down on a home?"

Um, we do. Right now, actually... and any SERIOUS home buyer would have that AND more (we are still working on the "more" part... but we have well over $10,000 this point and are working our way up to $20,000, plus we have "secret stash" money that we hide in another account and pretend doesn't exist. We plan to use it for fees and other incidentals).

Another mistake she is making is her realtor is ALSO one of their co-workers... My husband brought up this same idea to me a while ago. I told him, "NO!!! DO NOT ask your co-worker to be your realtor!!!" Because if they have some sort of disagreement over a price, or if she is somehow invested in the property (as in working for the owner for example) then if there are any disputes over the final outcome, that will no doubt carry over into his workplace and screw up his work relationship! So, I think she's a bit foolish doing that, but maybe it would work out in her favor too...

So, my husband didn't want to destroy her lofty dreams, but I hope she gets real about this and doesn't do something stupid like put down 3% on a home and take on a massive mortgage like so many OTHER people did. I'm nervous enough about taking the plunge with only a 15-20% down payment and a price range I think I can afford. :\

In other related news, the house we call "Airport House" has dropped in price recently. It is now $153,000 (down from the original asking of $169,900 -- which was too much for that neighborhood, in all honesty). That house is almost cheap enough for me now! XD I liked it because it was totally redone with 4 bedrooms, plenty of space, a nice back yard (flat and mostly grass), a nice fireplace, and a little room that I could make into a library. If "Airport House" is still available in April (and still looks as good as I remember) and there's nothing horribly wrong with it... *I might consider it.

*Note: The little local airport isn't that loud, I already live near it. So, unlike in a larger city, it's not a huge drawback to live near the airport.
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
Ok, I LOLed when I saw this video.

sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
Today at the end of mass, the priest let our Deacon candidate talk for a bit about stewardship and volunteering opportunities at the church.

So, as part of his speech he starts addressing the kids talking about some of the things they can do to help. Trying to get on their level he brings out this box wrapped like a gift and he says something like:

"Ok kids, you all know what this is, right? It's a gift. Can anyone guess what's inside?"

All I could imagine at this point was the "Wheel of Fish" scene in UHF.

Kuni: Let's see what's in the box! ... Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Stupid...! You're so stupid...!!

XD I tried so hard not to laugh in the church. Oh God, how I wanted him to pick up that box and show us that there was nothing inside!

[For those who are curious he went on to address the kids saying that "you" are inside the box and before each of them was born God placed a gift inside them... but it was too late, my mind was imagining Kuni up there].
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
Yesterday marked our 3-year wedding anniversary. We have officially reached the average length of a US marriage ;p It honestly, has not felt that long and I think we are both quite happy ^_^

We went out to dinner at a local steak house (we never went there before and it was pretty good -- but not as good a Conestoga in Dothan, AL). We then had some cheese cake at a coffee shop around the corner.

It was a very nice evening ^_^ I hope we have many more.

<3 Robots

Nov. 8th, 2011 07:02 pm
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
I'm really impressed with the improvements they have made to Asimo.

Yay for Japan's Atom Project!
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
So, my husband is going to RCIA classes (Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults) because he wants to know more about being Christian and what it all means (not necessarily to convert). I am attending the classes with him and reading the book.

So, in this week's chapter I come across this confusing little analogy tidbit:

"Indeed, our best way of understanding [Revelation] may be to see it as a biblical 'Star Wars,' that is, as an epic presentation of the battle between good and evil. As in the 'Star Wars' movies, good is threatened as all kinds of monsters are unleashed by the forces of evil, but these are vanquished."

I don't think this guy has even seen "Star Wars." While I kinda agree with the first line, I seem to recall something about an evil empire, an angry kid who becomes Darth Vader and the Death Star... there really weren't that many monsters in it... (alien races are not monsters by default).

Wouldn't "Lord of the Rings" be a little more accurate in the whole monster department? :p
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
My friends Onezumi and Harknell had an interview recently with "Geek Out!" and it will be posted on the CNN homepage Sunday and Monday. Check it out early here! In the interview they talk about how they got started in Webcomics and how they began their convention "Intervention." :)
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
I decided to goof around with "Chrono Trigger" again. I was so happy to see that the Wii Virtual Console version of the game is the original SNES version (and not the PS1/DS retranslation). Some of the original lines in the SNES game were so stupid that they were funny. The newer translation just isn't as fun, it really has less character. (Also I only played this game a million times when I was in High School, so I get annoyed when things aren't said the same in the new ones :p and honestly the video files don't add much to the experience, the game was solid on its own).

Besides, the new translation leaves out the best escape plan excuse ever: "Belly button pain." I am totally going to rock that "Belly Button Pain" event when I get on the Blackbird (I believe Frog has to be in the middle of your party to trigger the line).

... So... even though I have played this a million times, I still kinda wonder why Frog is the only person in his time period who talks like he's at a Ren Faire. He must be the local nerd or something... ^_^; Now I like him even more.
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
So, I was healthy for about ONE WEEK after taking those antibiotics. I felt good and when I went for my follow up, all was well.

Three days later on Saturday, I began to develop a slight sore throat. It got worse and worse and by Tuesday I was really worried that I was getting some kind of crazy tonsillitis. I managed to get an appointment Tuesday afternoon and saw the doctor again.

He did a double take when he saw me. I told him I thought I was coming down with tonsillitis now and he was surprised to find that I was swollen and had a fever. (Ya know, as if I like going to the doctor every week).

He put me back on the antibiotics I just took -- which makes me nervous because of their many side effects. I'm getting some of the side effects again and I keep wondering when the one ambiguous one crosses from being "normal" to being on the "severe" list... because it's on BOTH. (My guess is frequency???) In any case, it has been mild but if it continues I guess I'm going to have to talk to a pharmacist and see if this requires medical attention this week. On the plus side, my throat is better :p

On top of this, I seem to have contracted a cold or mild flu (the symptoms of which can also be a "severe" side effect -- but I think only if it ISN'T an ACTUAL a cold/flu). I know for a fact that there is a cold going around school. I saw kids earlier this week sniffling/sneezing all over the place. When I questioned one, she said "Oh no it's allergies." Bullshit, your mom/dad sent you to school SICK.

By Friday I caught kids getting up about once every 2-3 minutes to take tissues. One kid used about 15 tissues that class period. On Friday, I too was using about 15 tissues per class period ;p Then one of my co-workers picked up her class. She saw me blowing my nose. Her voice was all raspy and she said, "I'll bet one of my kids gave it to you!" I told her that everyone in the school seems to be getting it ;p (and I see half the school in one day on both Wednesday and Friday, so my chances of getting something that is going around are pretty high).

I really don't know what to do anymore. It's beginning to feel like I'll never be "well" again.

Maybe I should start wearing latex gloves at work ;p Because I really can't take any more of this. My poor immune system seems to be spent and it needs recovery time.
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
Well, we finally closed our Wells Fargo account today. My husband (who hates to do the talking because he's foreign and is worried about discrimination) left me in charge of the conversation.

This probably wasn't the smartest idea, considering my tendency to rant and be blunt about things -- fine qualities that I got from both my mother and father which, when used in combination, make me a pretty irrational, irate customer (though I don't usually bring that side of me out).

I honestly thought I was behaving for the most part -- as he would gently nudge me under the table with his knee, reminding me that whatever I just said was a little mean. He nudged me about 3 times while the lady asked me why we were closing the account.

I warned her after the first question, telling her that she "really didn't want to ask me that" and that it had to do with "certain policies that they were enacting in the next 2 months." She prodded me more so I began to tell her that it was most specifically the checking account changes that targeted poor people who didn't have steady income and the fees to access my own money via debit card. (This was my first knee-nudge).

She puts in our information and comes back with, "Oh what's your address?" and we tell her (she HAD our licenses, so it should have been obvious). But nope, according to her, it turns out that for SOME REASON they thought we still lived in Alabama... Furthermore, the address they seemed to think we lived at is one that is more than 3 years old and wasn't even our last AL address (it was the address that was used to open the account). So she says, "You don't have to pay those fees on your debit card because they think you live in AL and they are only imposing that new fee in GA right now."


I tried SO HARD not to come back with something nasty... I honestly was very nice because I didn't tell her how stupid that logic was. First of all, we did a MORTGAGE inquiry with them THIS SPRING to see how much they would have pre-approved us for. They should have KNOWN at the very least from THAT, that there was a conflict in our address, but it was never brought up. Secondly, my husband is obsessive about finance, I seriously DOUBT that he never changed our address. So instead I told her, "It would only be a matter of time before everyone had to pay these fees."

"Oh but you should have come in earlier, there are still ways to avoid those fees. We could have worked something out! You had options." There is NO WAY a bank is going to pass up $36 worth of fees a year without secretly taking it out of my ass some other way. Like say... you have to keep some crazy amount of money in checking or savings at all times, or possibly sign up for some annual fee laden, super-special-platinum-rewards card that never actually gives you rewards. Please, how stupid do I look? They aren't going to "cut me a deal" unless there is something in it for them.

So, in response to that I say, "I know I had options, that's why I'm closing this account!" (I got a long knee nudge for that one).

"Oh but it will only be a matter of time before all banks charge these fees. It's the Federal Government, they just imposed all those new rules." Yeah I remember when the Fed said, "You can't charge retailers more than X-number of cents for a transaction through your bank system, and you can't impose whatever kinds of fees you want by forcing them to use your routing system. We know what it costs, so stop pretending it costs more." So, now we see this is their secret way to get around that new rule and make some quick cash until the Federal Reserve has to write another new rule that says, "No, you can't do that either..." Way to take advantage of bureaucratic red tape, Wells Fargo! You get the "Scrooge McDuck Award" for being Epic Misers.

I responded with, "That's not the answer I got when I e-mailed Wells Fargo. They told me in the letter that they are doing it 'because everyone else is' and just because everyone else is doing it, it doesn't make it RIGHT!" (I got the third nudge for that one).

See, that IS what they told me in the e-mail. None of this whining about the big bad Federal Government taking their profits for transactions that should cost pennies to make! The e-mail I got from Wells Fargo said some corporate BS like, "Every once in a while we have to analyze the fees and practices of our competitors and make adjustments to our policies in order to stay competitive." That translates to, "We're doing it because Chase thought it was a good way to make some fast cash. We wanted to see how many people will just bend over and take it, and how many people will be smart enough to flee." I don't see anything in there about the Federal Government forcing them to allow retailers to choose who to route money through. (As if overdraft charges and ATM fees when people are on vacation won't make up for it somewhere else).

When the lady went to go get our cash, my husband told me I shouldn't be so hard on her because she just works there. I am well aware of that. I am also aware that she has a script that she is supposed to follow and the company tells her what to say. But I honestly wasn't that mean. I didn't say anything that was "untrue," and I didn't yell at her. I was just a little curt and didn't beat around the bush.

So, we are done with them. As we were leaving she again reminded me that we "had options for our checking account" and "it will only be a matter of time before everyone imposes the fees." Yeah, ok whatever. I belong to a Federal Credit Union now, and they are generally not lumped into the same category as banks. So, I think it will be a while before they get crazy with the fees. Furthermore, the reason why you have a one-time membership fee with Credit Unions is because they "belong" to everyone who is a member you essentially own a piece of their stock.

The Federal Reserve's policy targeted only big banks (those who are worth $10 billion or more) who were taking advantage of retailers and were forcing retailers to route the transaction exclusively through their network thus allowing them to charge whatever they wanted for said transaction -- which was up to 44 cents per transaction before the rules went into effect. Heck the Fed even back paddled on their initial decision and upped the cap banks can impose from 12 cents to 21 cents! No one is hurting here! It doesn't cost you 21-44 cents to move a few bytes around in your server to change the number of dollars in my account, I'm willing to bet it costs less than 3 cents. (And I don't want to hear some BS about fraud protection, because last I checked that was about 1 cent per transaction-- so 4 cents does not explain what the other 17 cents are for!) This nonsense is about pure profit, you got called on it, and now you are looking for more ways to get that profit back. Anyone who is foolish enough to think that the new regulations are some kind of hardship on large banks (especially the revised ones where the Fed gave in, in order to prevent what is currently happening from happening), deserves to pay $36 a year to use their card.
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
I gotta say I'm getting pretty pumped about the Zelda 25th Anniversary.

There is talk of a Super Special Awesome bundle for Skyward Sword.

Although, I really don't NEED another wiimote... the idea of a special gold Zelda wiimote with the built in "Motion Plus" makes the fangirl in me drool like a rabid raccoon.

So, I may have to go back to Gamestop and ask them if I need to reserve AGAIN if I want the super special one instead of the normal one...

Also, I have to say that the Wallpapers on the Official Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary site make me smile. Especially that one of classic Link laying in the grass free-balling. Because, as the Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past manual taught us, real heroes don't need to wear pants.

On a more personal note, I have developed some kind of tonsillitis now and I'm back on the potentially gut-destroying antibiotics that also leave that rusty taste in my mouth. This time, I'm on them for TEN days instead of 7, lucky me.
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
Let me start off by saying that the ONLY reason I even have an account with Wells Fargo is because of a series of life-changing events:

1) I got married and joined my husband's account.
2) Said account was with Wachovia before they were bought by Wells Fargo.

I was taught a harsh lesson at a young age about the evils of large banks. My parents used to have their money with Mellon Bank. Mellon decided somewhere along the way that they no longer cared about the little guy, and wanted to focus on their larger, corporate accounts. So, they began instituting policies that were a hardship on working middle-class families. The policy that did my parents in was that the bank would not recognize their deposited paychecks until a full week after they cleared. As a result, bills were coming, the money WAS there but the bank was artificially creating a situation where they were overdrawn nearly every week. My parents looked for a solution and found one in Tri-Point Federal Credit Union through my father's previous employer.

I remember my parents fighting about the money that WAS there but inaccessible with Mellon. They told me that banks didn't care about regular people. Tri-Point was good to them and had no such policies. When I got my first job, they became my very first financial institution.

When I graduated college and moved overseas, I needed something that I would have better access to. At the time, Pentagon Federal Credit Union had a branch on the base I worked at. I still was wary of banks, and I immediately joined them instead. I still have an account with them (for emergency funds only) and they have mostly been good to me over the years. They have only instituted one policy that I wasn't fond of, but it was nothing like what Wells Fargo has done in the last month.

In the last 30 days they have announced two policies that I feel are a direct attack on the middle class. First, they decided to change a policy in our "Essential Checking" account. The policy from their website reads as follows:

"Effective September 12, 2011, a $7 monthly service fee will apply, which can be waived with the following:

- Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance, or
- The total amount of qualifying direct deposits each statement cycle into this account must be $500 or more"

The first option is ridiculous. Keeping large sums of money in checking at all times becomes more of a liability when it comes to loss of your card or theft. On any given day we are likely to have about $500-$700 in our checking account, but rarely do we have over $1,000 unless it is payday or we are paying rent. Who has $1,500 to leave in their checking account at all times? Any normal person would put that in savings so they can receive that paltry .05% Wells Fargo calls interest.

The second option actually makes us exempt from this fee. Basically, as long as our direct deposit checks from our employers are greater than $500 a month, the fee is waived. But what I find insulting about this policy is how it negatively affects those who do not have regular income, are working part-time, working minimum wage, or are currently out of work. Any working person could lose their job at any given moment due to layoffs, illness, injury or other misfortunes. This could be you, me, or anyone, and just because it does not affect me directly, it does not mean that I am "ok" with it.

The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back came today when I heard on the news that Wells Fargo is planning on "testing" a new fee for the use of your debit or ATM card for purchases. Essentially, they are going to charge me $3 a month, so I can access my OWN MONEY.


So, let's do a little 3rd grade math: $3 x 12 months = $36 a year.

Wells Fargo just created an annual fee for my ATM/Debit card.

Do I seriously look stupid? I know for a FACT that I don't have to take this kind of abuse from them. If this is an attempt to force out all of Wachovia's former, working class customers so that they can focus on big money and corporate accounts, it sure is an efficient way of doing it! After hearing that I was living in one of the states that will be part of the test group in October, I set straight to work on voicing my displeasure with them. I promptly wrote them an e-mail through my account, and I composed a letter that I sent to their corporate headquarters announcing my intent to take my money elsewhere if this policy is to go into effect.

Although I made it sound like I might reconsider in the letter, I already know my mind is made up. I want out. I want out NOW before I give them any more opportunities to screw me. They ruined this business relationship by instituting too many ridiculous polices in a short period of time. There is no loyalty or trust here.

It took me less than an hour to find TWO viable alternatives in the area. There are at least TWO credit unions that I qualify for within the city. One has a worldwide presence and offers .30% dividends on savings.

That's not an error in the placement of the decimal:
Wells Fargo: .05% interest, Federal Credit Union equivalent: .30% dividends

Gee, I wonder which number is bigger?

Wells Fargo not only will lose our checking, savings and credit card business, but I will also not use them as a mortgage broker when I go to buy a home. I'm fairly certain that I will get better rates from a Federal Credit Union anyhow.

If there are any Wells Fargo customers out there reading this, I strongly suggest that you tell them where to stick it and seek a different financial institution with which to do your business. Just a couple years ago, we Americans bailed their sorry asses out. It seems that they have not learned from this and are continuing their poor business practices. I say they are undeserving of the second chance we gave them and I have no reason to continue doing business with them.
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
My husband says this will be me someday :)

sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
So, I'm still kinda battling that sinus infection that started in July... I usually get over these things within a week at worst. This one has been some kind of mutant infection that keeps changing what it does and where it is located. I haven't had a "fever" since the first week of the infection but I haven't been right since mid-July either.

So, last week I thought I was finally almost done with it, until Saturday when it moved back into the sinus cavity directly behind my nose (it was previously inhabiting my throat and I thought I had it on the run). Since then, it has also clogged my right ear (but only in the mornings) and I have woken up with pain in my neck (probably swollen lymph nodes) which diminishes as the day goes on.

I decided to finally call a doctor to see if I can get something to nuke this thing, because, I'm getting tired of it changing tactics on me. I was quickly reminded of why I don't bother with doctors unless I feel like I'm dying.

The first place I called gave me a lot of BS. I have not been to a doctor in a couple years (other than specialists) and I really have no reason to see a physician unless I am sick. So, I called the office my husband visits. I told them I'd be willing to see ANY doctor that was free this week and they said:

1) They could fit me in this afternoon but only if I come in before 3pm. I explained to them that I could not be there until 3:30 because my last class is 2:45 and it was too late to get a sub, but I'd be happy to ask my boss if I could leave early and come in then (he's reasonable, he'd let me go). They told me that they "don't usually see new patients after 3pm..." um... ok... [but you're open til 5 right? ;p]

2) They said they COULD give me a nurse practitioner (which is better anyhow, they tend to actually LISTEN to you) but I would have to see a regular doctor first... which puts us back to problem #1.

3) They could fit me in on August 18th. Um, yeah I'll either be CURED by then or DEAD.

I made a few more calls and got another office to take me, but not until Thursday afternoon 9_9 By then I will either be REALLY sick, or I will be back to seeing diminishing symptoms and they may not take my infection seriously. I obviously can't fight this on my own for some reason. I think I earned drugs at this point. I TRIED to fight this with my own immune system and it failed.

This is exactly why I don't go to doctors unless I absolutely have to. You call them with a problem that needs immediate attention, and by the time they can fit you in, you are either better (and just wasted $20) or WAY worse. I'm sick now guys, not next week. I want to be seen NOW. What am I supposed to do, plan my illnesses ahead to fit your schedule??? Who goes to a doctor when they feel fine???

I am requesting the afternoon off Thursday. I hope I am sick enough that he gives me something, because if he says I look fine and I get sick again NEXT week, I'm going to be hella pissed. I'll decide later this week if I will even bother taking Friday off too. For now, it looks like I'll just be showing up at work...
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
We got the master schedule today. Last year I had 6 classes on Friday with both 5th grades coming that day (and the worse one was LAST period).

They gave me 6 classes on Friday AGAIN this year. I think I paid my dues last year, guys!!! Not only that, but I now have TWO days a week where I have six classes in one day D: This is because they took "Guidance" out of the rotation (so the counselor could focus on actually counseling) and we only have 3 specialist classes (music, PE, and art). In my old school we had FIVE specialists and I think MOST schools now offer at least a foreign language special (but not ours for some reason -_-; ). (PLEASE add a foreign language or computer class or something next year guys!!!)

I will see 25 classes a week, which is actually the same number I saw when I saw 550 kids (we only have about 300 as of last year). The difference here is the distribution and the frequency. In my old school I only saw each class ONCE a week. This year, I am seeing all but one of them TWICE (which means they blow through lessons twice as fast). Also, I never had more than 5 classes in one day at my old job. Here, I have the two days of 6 because on two other days I only have 4. (I would honestly rather have 5 classes per day across the board than kill myself with 6 on two days).

The "good" news this year is:

1) They took Pre-K off the schedule, which wasn't a huge deal because they only came for about 20 minutes. But, that's two less classes I have to see.

2) We are VERY HEAVY in the little ones this year. We have 3 Kindergartens, and 3 First grades. We also only have one true 4th and one true 5th and we have one mixed class of 4/5 (which will be a planning nightmare).

3) They switched the schedule so that most of the "older" kids come in the morning and the afternoons are heavy on the little kids. This means that I SHOULD be able to relax some in the afternoons, since babysitting a Kindergarten or 1st Grade class is pretty easy.

4) The new PE teacher got stuck with 3 days of 6 classes (but has a really light Friday). I do not envy her for having 3 days of 6 classes.

I honestly, don't know how to feel about the schedule yet. I think it will really depend on which kids end up in which class. Pretty much, I'm screwed no matter what, because I see everyone twice a week except one class. But there are a few kids from last year that I could not stand and I hope they end up in the ONE CLASS that I only see once a week. (I was unlucky enough to have them twice a week last year, I say I earned this).

But I won't know any of that until tomorrow.

I have a light Monday (which is a waste because we miss so many Mondays anyhow) and a light Thursday. (Though they are light in the MORNINGS, I'd rather have all my classes in the morning and have a light afternoon, but whatever). I foresee me being sick on a couple Wednesdays this year (one of my days of 6 classes). The other day I have 6 classes is Friday, and I will miss about 4 Fridays this year for in-service days or Federal Holidays.

I'm already wondering how to work around 2 problems: the 1/2 multi-age last year which has now been eliminated and the new 4/5 multi-age this year. The problem is making sure I do not repeat any lessons with these groups.

I'm already mentally finding issues with my 2nd grade lesson plans because the stupid multi-age did a couple of them last year (which means last year's multi-age 1st graders did a couple of the lessons I would normally do with 2nd grade!!!)

I also can't do my usual 5th grade tessellation project with the 4/5 group because if I do, the 4th graders will have done the project already and that means I can't use it in 5th grade next year. On the flip side, I can't do my usual 4th grade one-point perspective project with them either because the 5th graders will already have done it :p (and I am not going to try to teach both one-point and two-point at the same time just so the 5th graders have something new to do). So, that's two projects I can't do, and I essentially can't use ANY of the projects I did in 4th grade last year to fill in the time because of the 5th graders in the class (see how the problems with multi-age classes begin to add up?)

I'm good for the first month or so of planning though... but I think I'm going to be scrambling again for ideas this year to fill in the time :\

Present :)

Jul. 19th, 2011 08:21 pm
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
I have been sick with a sinus infection for the last two days :p So, I haven't been feeling my best. With my traveling this summer, and having company over, I haven't been keeping a close eye on all my junk-mail e-mail addresses.

I was really surprised today when the mailman came and wanted me to sign for a little package :) Nintendo apparently was filling the back-orders for the Ocarina of Time OST and my copy arrived today ^_^

So, I got the free disc after all (I'm one of the lucky ones, I know the offer is completely closed now).

That doesn't mean I've forgiven UPS or Amazon for putting me in that situation in the first place :p I went to the mall last week and pre-ordered Skyward Sword with the local Game Stop and I cancelled my Amazon order >:p I'm not going to go through this again if there is another give away for the 25th anniversary involving Skyward Sword later this year. I will probably continue to order games from Amazon when it is NOT time sensitive, but I am not trusting them to deliver Skyward Sword on time.

So, that was a happy surprise after feeling like CRAP for the last 48hrs.
sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
So, remember how Amazon and UPS screwed me out of that CD deal?

Well, turns out Nintendo revised the notice about being out of the discs and said they will now fill back orders on a "first come first served basis." They sent me an e-mail letting me know that I'm on the back order list.

So, it'd be nice to get a disc after all. Even if they never do send it (or I'm still too far down the list), it's nice to know they put me on a waiting list. I can't be THAT far down, seeing as how I only registered about 8 hours too late ;p

I guess we will see in the coming weeks.

Once July rolls around I will be registering some new things and working on that gold/platinum status for 2011-2012 XD I also plan to redeem some more of my reward points :) They do give away some nice things, if you buy enough of their first party stuff ^^; (and letting you carry points from year to year is nice of them too so you can save up for that special reward).

So, I guess I can stop being really mad at Amazon/UPS but I think next time there's a really important release, I will be doing my order at the local mall :p (Speaking of which: I'm wondering if I should cancel my year old Amazon pre-order for Skyward Sword now, and go to Game Stop... ;P )


sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)

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