Citibank bought my home loan. Dammit. I liked American Express PPH. I knw I have said this before, but when we first got the house, there was a problem where the bank accidentally split the house into two loans: a main one and a micropayment balloon loan. Those loans got bought and sold like four times in two years and it was hard to keep track of who to send the bills to for the current month. When we first refinanced, we consolidated it into PPH, and they had been our home loan ever since. When we had to get a second mortgage to fix the desk and parts of the roof, we went with... I forgot who we started with, but that was bought out by WAMU, and THAT was bought out by Wachovia. And when did I get that loan, 2006? Now I have to pay Citibank for my primary mortgage. I am not... all that happy with Citibank. I have had a bad past with them, although I haven't had much trouble with my current Citibank Credit card, which was once a different bank, I forget who. Even my local back, First Virgina, was bought out by BB&T, and they replaced the decent staff they had with the typical minimum wage drones like every other bank.
There's like no concept of customer loyalty. These mego-conglomo-corporations treat us like a commodity, like how we'd treat cash that comes and goes from our wallet. You ever form an attachment to a $5 bill? No, and the banks don't know you from anything, either. And all your personal information gets sold to another company. No wonder identity theft is so rampant.
On Sunday, I went out with the Heare kids and aksident to the DC national Zoo. I had a lot of fun, and I think they did, too, despite it never getting warm or the sun coming out. Poor aksident was freezing her legs something awful in these shorts she had. There were many reasons I took them out to the zoo: exercise (for me), the company, talking with them.
Scarlet is still 9, and already she's got a Bohemian streak in her I wouldn't have suspected just a few years ago. Her clothing choices are very unique, for instance, and her outlook of "pink and pretty princess" has faded away. I found she likes comics, and while I don't really get into them, boy has she found a good contact to someone who can hook her up. :) I wonder if I can get her some Tintin? Hey, my fellow comic book nerds, is there like a Tintin-like comic or graphic novel that has a female protagonist you'd recommend that's not like, "The Bratz Dolls Break a Nail" or "Hello Kitty Bakes a Cake" or something?
CR was supposed to come with us, but he had an emergency operation on his toe, and has been bedridden until yesterday. He has now been sick too many days, and it's official: he is not graduating this year. I haven't really spoken about it in the LJ because there was still hope for a while, but because of the way they do English, he's not going to pass. The options are he goes to summer school to finish English, or repeats his senior year and graduates in 2009. Both have advantages and drawbacks, but in order for CR to stay on our health insurance, he has to be in school. There is NO way we can afford his medical bills if he doesn't have insurance. He either has to get a job and get his own insurance, or stay in school full time. We're pushing for him to repeat his senior year to buy some time, but the school is resisting this because it's only one class. We have a meeting Thursday because I want everyone on the same page before we make a decision.
We can't afford to pay for his college, short and simple. I never had illusions otherwise, but our family's finances are stretched very thin, and we don't have any liquid assets. Haven't I played this record before? takayla is working 2 jobs, I have my job, and the bills keep piling up. Most of them are medical, because even with the insurance, we're spending several hundred a month on prescriptions and co-payments. Then there's gas prices because we both work very far away from home. The irony is our family is making more a year than we ever had, and I am still paying bills like I did in 1995, before I got my first tech job and I was making only $19k/year. A lot of stuff is leaning on our credit cards, so we're paying buttloads of interest, and the balances keeps climbing because, on average, we spend $200-300 a month over what we take in. And then there's the incidentals, like house repairs, unexpected costs like anyarm changing her wedding from here to Vegas, plus whatever else is "oh, we have to pay $300 for this thing..." This is ludicrous. So if we can stretch another year, CR will be legally an adult in July, and he'll be available for better financial assistance. The current plan is an electrician trade school of some kind, so we're looking into that. The pressure is on me to try and get the money under control, or I estimate we'll have to sell the house and move out by the end of this year. Right now when the housing market is collapsing. My emergency plans are to cash in my 401k in October so we can afford to live for maybe another year, but I really, really, really don't want to do that for obvious reasons.
But it's not all hopeless. Don't give up on me yet, guys, and don't give me free loaves of bread and jars of discount Mormon peanut butter out of pity. There are some rays of sun through these storm clouds, many which I can't mention yet, so I hope some favors I have in the world of karma come back to me.