October 18th, 2002

bundled up, walkabout, snow

It's official, I hate paying bills

When I started this post, it was "I hate Alltel", but it sounds like they're going to do what I thought they were going to do last month, and I just mostly hate the amount of time and frustration it takes to get these things handled.

Last month, I called them to tell them I'd be late paying my bill, and that I was disputing a third party charge that was included on my bill. (My phone call to MCI/Worldcom was singularly unsuccessful, at negotiating down what they charged us for two collect calls from Brazil; and I haven't heard back from them since the first phone call.) This month's bill had no acknowledgement that I was disputing a portion of the bills, and the payments received wasn't detailed, so I couldn't tell if it reflected the check I sent them. When I called regular customer service, she couldn't do a lot for me, and transferred me to the payment arrangement department. I had to sit on hold long enough and explain myself over and over long enough, that I started this post. But before I finished typing, she found the charges, adjusted them off my bill, told me the current amount due, and even took my bank routing information so I saved a stamp. Whew.

So I only have one bill that's urgent to send (the water company) and I'm stuck with doing a comprehensive catch-up and report on Sunday, since it's obviously we don't have enough money to pay all the bills that are overdue, due and coming up, so once again we'll play pick and choose, and like that. Grr. Argh.

But now I'm off to Lousiville, finally! YAY!

I got the cake made last night, after I wrapped presents. I'd forgotten how much time the little things soak up. Enough that I had no time to twiddle my thumbs during a total of 2:10 hours of baking time for two sets of pans of hard meringue. But I think the result is beautiful, even if I was too tired to take a picture of it last night. I had even spare pieces and parts to make two miniature cakes (for Critter, since he won't be at the party, and for Flar, in case he misses the cake, since he's coming late to the party; Tigger doesn't like chocolate), *and* I cleaned the kitchen of most of the cake-related mess.

I was also slowed down by discovering at the last minute that we only had a tablespoon of Cocoa. But on my one-item trip to Wal-Mart, I found out that Wilton sells violet frosting-in-a-can. Since I wasn't actually decorating the cake, so much as labelling it with Happy 30th Birthday, it was a savings not to have to spend the time to make enough frosting just to write that much. Mind you, the pressure in the can is strong than that I apply to a pastry bag myself, and the frosting thinner than that I ordinarily use for decorating, so the words are a bit wiggly.

And now, I'm outta here!