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I've really been struggling with planning this trip because of the many "Terms and Conditions" that Wells Fargo applies to redeeming credit card points for air travel.  For weeks now I've done research, visited the reward site, tried to figure out the limitations and how to book from the site, etc.  Only recently did I just give up and look for a phone number to call.

I called, worked with the agent at Wells' contractor (Quality Rewards Travel), and was almost entirely through booking it, I was even given a confirmation number.  But then the agent noticed I was booking less than 21 days ahead.  So now instead of my 40,000 points being worth $800, they were worth $613.  I was really upset.  Particularly because Wells charges you $24 for the privilege of redeeming your points (and it says that nowhere on the website that I could see). Now instead of paying $157.30 out of pocket for a trip to London, I would have to pay $344.30. I decided to hold off so I could check out my options and decide whether I was going to have to give up on this trip entirely.

I was completely awash in anger and depression.  I tried to see alternatives that would still allow me to take the trip on the dates I needed without going further in the hole.  I couldn't.  I very seriously considered calling it all off.  But I realized my depression would get worse and worse (and we're going into winter anyway) if I had to wait 'til spring at the earliest to go on my trip.  Plus I couldn't guarantee I'd have the $ or the ability to leave.

I called them back.  But that's not all.  I had the option of using some of my points to pay the $24 fee to Wells so I did.  When we backed out of the first transaction, I didn't get those points back. They're in limbo until the "billing dept." could review them and give them back to me.  End of Monday at earliest.  So when I finally caved and decided to get the flight at the crappier point rate, I had to pay $24 in cash/credit because I didn't have another 1,600 points leftover to double for the ones in limbo.

I just finished writing a letter to a Wells Fargo executive though I doubt it will do much good.  I'm pretty depressed right now.  I tried so hard to follow their rules and I was careful about what I did because the tickets aren't changeable without stiff penalties.  Yet another example of where my rules-awareness holds me up.  If I were more reckless and had gotten the tickets when I first starting looking nearly a month ago, I'd have been better off.
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I think it was a Buffista who first turned me on to the essay "Hack Yourself". It used to be on the Blood Letters site but I was just revisiting my Firefox bookmark and it looks like it now has its own domain (and a background that is less literal about hacking yourself... I actually like the old bloody background). I was going to Digg it and was surprised it hadn't been Dugg yet. So I did that. Anyway, I'm reading it again. Because I need to.
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This may explain things a bit. It's not like I don't feel like committing suicide at least once a year even when I'm taking no medications, but it's true that I've been on Lyrica for a couple months now.
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I spent my third weekend in a row sleeping and being morbidly depressed when not sleeping. I reminded myself that when I get out and garden I usually enjoy myself. I told myself that it was better to do *something* than nothing (actually, I read "Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince", but that isn't quite as much something), but I couldn't make myself budge.

I was invited to a bbq on Saturday and thought I'd make myself go but I examined things and realized I felt almost nothing but dread about it. The friends that are hosting it seem fed up with me and have seemed that way for months (not so much the husband as the wife, though). Then there was the difficulty of going somewhere where it was very likely I'd be the only single person there. Not because I'm on the make and want other singles there for dating possibilities, but because it just reminds me of how alone I am. It makes me feel unloveable. I had thought about going to practice. I had thought about getting my drink on before going simply because that's the easiest way for me to banish my pessimism and self-consciousness. When I realized I didn't have many positive expectations for this bbq, and I was having trouble getting my ass out of bed anyway, I decided not to go.

This morning I had a much easier time. I had to go to work today. And it made me realize that if I can't get my internal locus-of-control to be more powerful, perhaps I ought to beg someone to help me or pay someone to check in with me on weekends. I had expected my friend P to come over on Sunday but she didn't. And I didn't call to chase her down. I'll have to figure out some way to inject enough structure into my free time to make me move, but not so much that I feel like it's drudgery.

My dad is in Eugene helping my uncle recover from a triple bypass surgery. That seems to have gone well. My uncle is out walking a bit. And has many friends up there, which is great.

Tonight I go to Final Cut Pro class. Luckily I managed to dig into the clutter at my house and find the VHS to which I had numerous Super-8 home movies transferred. So I'll go to Berkeley Community Media earlier today and try to get all that footage digitized. I know my family would be happy about it if they had easier access to it (which was what putting it on VHS was supposed to do but media formats march on...)

I see my GP today and that's happy-making. She's really cool. I hope to god that wherever I end up next that I'm able to keep her as my GP.

I got a couple notes from folks from DWS and that was happy-making, too.

I watered a bit of the front garden before work this morning and I'm proud of the job I did planting things. Right now there are several stands of cornflowers (which the wind threatens to blow over), some lavender larkspurs, love-in-a-mist, cosmos, alyssum and cerinthe. I'm especially glad about the cerinthe because although it is trendy as hell in Berkeley, I've wanted one ever since I first saw one. The colors go perfectly with the house. All the aforementioned flowers were grown from seed so it's especially magical (and cheap!).
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Today is my last day at work. As well as the last day for 7 other people who were hit in this round of layoffs. I'm oddly chipper. While my future is by no means secure (I have no savings and live from paycheck to paycheck), temporarily at least, I feel a great weight lifted from my shoulders. There were things about this workplace I really liked and I'll be lucky if I get those traits in my next job, but my position itself was dead end and completely disrespected. So I got bitter and began having trouble shifting myself out of bed each morning.

I was very resistant to taking anti-depressants again, but it's been a good thing so far. I'm much more positive. I can see the bad points but I don't let them overwhelm me the way they used to. Which is INVALUABLE in my current circumstances. So today I'm feeling a bit up, eager to get out and get on with my life. I have a lot of work ahead as this layoff comes right about the time construction is finishing on the house. I will have a SHITLOAD of cleanup work to do from 1.5 years of lead paint, wood, and other toxic dust as well as having my stuff tossed around the house more times than an irate Skycap could have accomplished. I have lost things I have to find. I have to consult a lawyer to negotiate the weird territory of having renters but being a landlord-on-premises. Then I have to start the always yucky process of looking for housemates. And pray I can find people I can get along with before my money runs out. Even sooner than this comes the mad rush to look through construction debris for my 2005 medical receipts so I can file my taxes.

Then there’s trying to give my life structure so I don’t fall into depression. Thank god it’s spring. It’s a sunny day today and gorgeous. This will make it easier to go out and take walks and ride my bike. I need to get back into a regular exercise habit and unemployment is the perfect time to do it. I need to make time for my art and this will be a huge challenge because the voices my parents installed in me will be screaming that I’m too broke to afford such fripperies, that I should be looking for a job 24/7 and that I should take anything because everyone works at jobs they hate and why should I think I’m so special as to deserve a job that’s actually fulfilling?

Today, anyway, I feel up. And I feel like it’s possible to meet these challenges.

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