Thursday, January 25, 2007

You have GOT to be kidding me

Blades of Glory

Please, PLEASE, just...go...away.


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Friday, January 19, 2007

Protecting America

As part of my loan application process, I have to sign this "Patriot Act Information Disclosure". It seems that because of the Patriot Act, banks must now ask to see identification when opening an account.

Now my question is this: what did we do BEFORE the Patriot Act? Could I have just gone into a bank and say "My name is Bill Gates and I'd like to borrow 10 million dollars"? I need to show my ID to rent "Snakes on a Plane" at Blockbuster. But it took the Patriot Act to get banks to ask for ID when I want a couple hundred thousand dollars?

I feel safer already.


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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Brokerback Mountain

I'm trying to refinance my mortgage. I have a mortgage broker. I would much rather deal with a real person sitting at a desk rather than a stranger's voice on the telephone, but that's the way it is. And my concerns seem to be valid: He sent me loan papers to sign. My birthdate is incorrect. Not a big deal. But in addition, the address of the property is wrong. It's listed in a different city. The amount of cash back to me is off by $10,000. The loan amount is calculated as if the financing fees are being incorporated into the loan AND that I'm paying them separately.

I felt that there were enough mistakes in the documents that he should send me new copies. He said I just sign them, send them back and he'd make the changes afterwards. I told him I wasn't comfortable with that, and he told me "this happens all the time, it's not a big deal." That's what the last mortgage guy told me, before denying my loan because "oh, we don't do high-rises."

This IS a big deal. If I'm supposed to be signing documents, isn't is reasonable to expect them to be accurate?


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Monday, January 15, 2007

Why Martin Luther King Day is my favorite Holiday

Most people enjoy holidays, but I think they mostly just cause stress. So let's look at the holidays from a stress standpoint:

Christmas is obviously right out.

Many holidays involve a social obligation. God forbid you stay home. Everyone wants to know "what are you doing for ? This includes New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving.

Halloween involves work if you need a costume.

Some holidays give you a 3-day weekend, but then people feel they need to DO something on the day off (the whole beach/picnic thing). Which is fine, except then you're stuck with "we have to get there early to get parking". Or even if you just have a BBQ in someone's backyard, you still have to deal with everyone else in the long lines at the supermarket. That eliminates Memorial Day, Labor Day, and 4th of July.

So if ignore days like Arbor Day, and stick with the days we get off from work (which is a good thing) that pretty much leaves MLK Day and President's Day. No gift-exchanging, no parties, no worries. MLK gets the slight advantage because in my experience, more people have the day off for President's Day. But on MLK Day, I get to stay home or go to the store or do whatever I want while many other people are still going to work. Columbus Day is probably similar.

So that's why Martin Luther King Day is my favorite holiday.

Oh, and he said neat things about equality and stuff.


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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Debbie Downey

I'm in a little bit of debt. OK, a lot. So I decided I would do the responsible thing for once and consolidate all my debts by refinancing my mortgage. I started the process about 3 months ago at Downey Savings Bank by speaking with Loan Guy Jim. Jim was pleasant enough, but kind of condescending. I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn't understand the process very well, and was asking a lot of questions. He actually told me "you worry too much. People refinance all the time, this is how they do it, it's no big deal." Well I'm sorry Mr. Bank Man, but these were Very Big Numbers to me, and maybe if I worried MORE I would be in better financial shape to begin with.

Jim and I filled out the loan application together and I figured that even if this wasn't the best possible deal, I would still be better off than where I started. A couple weeks later, Jim called me back and told me that because of my less-than-stellar credit rating, I wasn't eligible for the Super-Duper interest rate I applied for, but I could get a higher rate. Fine. It sucks, but it's still better than paying 18% on credit cards. But the process had to restart, so instead of being done in late December, I'd sign the final papers in January (which meant I had to make another month of interest payments on all my bills.)

I was supposed to have my closing today, and Jim did in fact call me. But instead of telling me to stop by the branch to sign all the papers, he told me "um.. yeah... it seems that Downey Savings Bank doesn't do mortgages for condos more than four stories." I live in a twenty-story building. Now why he didn't know this when I first filled out the application - which included the question "just how tall is your condo anyway?" - is beyond me. And why they didn't tell me this when my application was rejected the first time, is beyond me. I am a petty person, and I had no problem gloating to him a bit: "Remember a couple months ago when you mocked me for worrying too much? THIS is why I worry. Now, because Downey Savings couldn't tell I wasn't eligible for their mortgage to begin with, I have to start all over again, and I have to make at least 2 extra months of payments on my high-interest loans. YOU have cost me probably several hundred dollars." Jim said he was sorry.

You know what? He should be sorry. DOWNEY SAVINGS SUCKS.


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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Movie Review

Ever see a movie and tell people "this makes me want to puke"? Well, for the first time ever, I literally puked watching a movie. Not a lot, but green bile left my stomach, exited my mouth and wound up in the toilet.

I rented Jackass 2. It has some funny, funny stuff in it. I was in tears from laughing at one point. But then they did something beyond vile and I jumped off the couch, ran to the bathroom and started spitting up bile. This is the unrated version on DVD, so I don't know if this scene was shown in theaters. Since this is a mostly family-friendly blog I won't say what they did, other than it involves a horse.

The movie is hysterical. But if you rent it, be careful when you see the horse.


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Scientific Study

You would think that alcohol would greatly reduce your mad Guitar Hero skillz. Yet you would be wrong.


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Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Eve

Mister P. knows how to party.

Quicktime Movie


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