Saturday, May 28, 2011

oh, hello there

I am annoyed about many things. The sellers' stupid bank still has not gotten back to us about our offer, which was good for a whopping 90 days and has now expired. We have signed a 30-day extension (until June 26), because a few days before the original 90 days ran out, the sellers' realtor transferred the matter over to someone in her office who has done a lot of short sales and is a bit more aggressive (we hope).

The evil, hateful, inefficient, not-even-capable-of-pursuing-its-own-self-interest-competently bank in question is none other than Bank of America. Do not ever buy a home from Bank of America.

Also, do not ever bank with Bank of America. That is currently the personal bank of Mr. & Mrs. Misfit, but not for long. Yesterday, I went to the bank to order more checks (I didn't realize I was on my last book). And they charge $12 for checks, which I think is ridiculous. The teller had a look of anxiety as if I had just asked to close out all of my accounts so I could buy a boat, cash, in small, unmarked bills. Then he proceeded to tell me that I could either pay $10 apiece for cashier's checks (postal money orders cost, what, two dollars? And I don't have money on deposit with the post office), or I can get them for free if I join the BoA "Advantage" customers, which merely requires me to have a minimum bank balance that I already have - and sit down with a customer service twit to listen to an explanation of the exact same terms the Terrified Teller had just explained to me. But first, I would have to wait in line for half an hour for the privilege. And no, you can't do this online or over the phone. I was in a huge hurry, so I said no to the explanation/signup process, and so of course the fellow realized that I easily qualify and $10 apiece for cashier's checks is extortionate and especially in this time of reduced availability of credit, they want to keep the business of someone who has a lot of money on deposit with the bank (still not as much as the student loan debt, though), and that not yet having signed up was just a technicality, so he gave me the Advantage customer discount on the cashier's checks anyway.

Wait, no, that's what happens in the alternate reality in which BoA is a competent institution that trains its employees in good business practices. In actual life, the Terrified Teller, looking even more terrified, pawned me off to one of his colleagues (he was emotionally incapable of providing the cashier's checks), who told me that I would still have to pay the $10. After I waited another ten minutes to find this out. I should clarify here that at no point during this circus was I brandishing, or in possession of, any weapon or anything that resembled a weapon.

So, who has a bank they actually like, with offices in a lot of locations (including DC and VA), tellers who are both efficient and helpful, no foreign-ATM fees, and free checks? Maybe even some percentage of interest available on savings accounts?

Also yesterday, I had my RE appointment. In summary: femara doesn't really seem to be helping, so I will be doing HCG shots starting next cycle. Okey-dokey.

Things in the misfit household otherwise continue to be difficult. Some things are better and some things are worse. I finally got an appointment with the counselor who works with Father, for two weeks from yesterday (i.e., on my day off). Sooner would have been better. Mr. Misfit has gone from generally not well to generally not well plus, specifically, very very depressed. While I have to give him credit for doing a lot of constructive things - trying to eat a bit healthier, working hard at his job, getting a lot more exercise - it is very hard to live full-time with a really depressed person.

I also know that the fact that I am now totally tapped out is not helping. I am worn out by all the negativity. After being the chipper princess (so not my personality) and uttering "but on the bright side" statements in the face of everything for days, I lose it completely, and scream and swear at him for being a horrible person. I have cause, but I am not helping the situation, and that is no way to talk to someone I love.

Finally, though I am frustrated over (STILL) not knowing whether the house will go through, I continue to decorate in my head. Here is today's inspiration photo:

I just love the feel of this outdoor space. I have to have it - or at least my version of it. Here's what I'm planning to do. I'm not going to use a deck (partly because the house doesn't have one). But in the backyard there is an ancient tree so enormous I couldn't possibly get my arms around it. Sadly, it's just outside this picture, off the lower right corner:

The giant tree will form one corner of my little area. The other three corners will be made by these arches:

Then I'll use some of that inexpensive tension curtain-hanging wire between the arches (and tree), and hang painter's drop cloths from them as inexpensive, rustic curtains, tied back with some fabric.

Since I don't have a deck to serve as a floor, I'll need an indoor/outdoor rug. Now, while I love the inspiration photo, I don't want to go too literally Moroccan, as that's not consistent with my personal history or the rest of my style. So I'm going to stay away from a really Eastern textile palette, and stick with something simpler - maybe sort of nautical colors. Something like this might work:

I just found these chairs on craigslist for just $50 (for both!), and I'm hoping they're still available. They can go on the glassed-in porch during the winter and rainstorms, but for hanging out outside, they are going under my tree.

I think I'd also like a pair of these ($70 from ikea):

And I have one of these chairs (though this is not my photo), and I am on the lookout for another:

That makes six chairs, which seems like plenty. Maybe a little weathered wooden bench would be a good idea to expand the seating in a pinch.

I would be happy to find a heavy wood vintage dining table that's seen better days (as in the inspiration photo) and varnish it to give it some protection from the elements. I also like the idea of a zinc-topped table, which has a similar rustic feel and is also somewhat weather-resistant:

And finally, I think a smattering of pillows could bring in some more intense color.

And finally, the crowning touch. The minute I saw this rustic sort of outdoor chandelier (on Design Sponge), made out of Mason jars and tea lights, I knew I was eventually going to copy it. I'll hang it low enough to pose no threat to the tree, of course, but still overhead.

There. I think I can be patient for a few more days, at least.


  1. oh what a lovely spot! I hope the bank gets their sh!t together, and you're able to recreate it..

    sorry to hear things aren't a whole lot better relationship-wise... *HUGS* good luck with the counseling.

  2. i love the look of that backyard!! it is funny how people have such differing opinions of banks. our house up there is financed through SunTrust, and we have had an AWFULLLLLL experience with them (customer-service-wise). our loan officer there, who was recommended by our realtor at the time, treats us like we are 15, and WILL NOT return any of our calls about possible refinancing. our house here is through BOA, who we have LOVED working with (we bank there, too). i hope they get their act together for you and get back to you on your place!!

    continued prayers for you and your hubby (HUG)

  3. I love your decorating ideas!!

    OK, so I too loathe BoA, it's where my credit card account is, and I just got hit with a NEW annual fee for having a balance on the card (not late on any payments, mind you) of $66. WHAT???

    I used to absolutely love Citizen's Bank, of which of course there are none in my area now, but it was perhaps the only thing I liked about the entire state of Massachusetts. Now I bank with TD Bank, and they do charge for checks but they're MUCH better than PNC (who I dislike almost as much as BoA).

    Good luck with the hCG, are you doing it as post-Peak support? How did you know the Femara didn't work, did you get ultrasounds?

    Come visit and help me decorate and we can complain about our husbands ;)

  4. Argh banks! We don't have nearly as much choice up here and am generally happy with our bank, but we've had more than one frustrated phone call with them as of late (we're with TD who are trying to gain popularity in the US).

    I am so sorry that your house is taking so long! Hopefully this realtor can get things moving and soon!

  5. You mean that's not your bright blue stuffed frog and teddy bear? Haha :). Love all the outdoor decorating ideas - especially the mason jar chandelier.

  6. I re-financed my house through B of A, and it was incredibly stressful due to their lack of responsiveness and general incompetence. However, it was worth it in the end for the low interest rate.

    For checks, may I recommend I bank with B of A as well, but I buy my checks through Walmart. I can't remember how much it costs, exactly, but it's a good deal.