Friday, May 29, 2009

100 Things.

In honor of this, my 500th post. (Not all 500 are up for your viewing pleasure; I took several down a few months ago for personal reasons. Just trust me when I say there are 500 of them.)

1. My parents couldn't decide on a name; my dad liked conservative stuff and my mom liked less common, hippy stuff. They settled on naming me Elizabeth but calling me Buffy.

2. I have never been called anything but Buffy.

3. This has caused a lot of problems at doctor's offices and pharmacies.

4. I never met my maternal grandfather, since he died before I was born.

5. When I was very little, I told my mom and my aunt that I missed my grandfather whom I'd never met.

6. When I was little I stayed with my maternal grandma whenever my mom had to run errands.

7. My grandma and I would play board games, like Parcheesi and Sorry, and watch soap operas.

8. My mom was a stay-at-home mom until I was a teenager.

9. I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.

10. My dad and I can't seem to understand each other.

11. My sister and I were very close when we were growing up.

12. We aren't so close now.

13. My sister is 5'9 and weighs 108 pounds.

14. I have a half-sister and a half-brother who live in Tennessee.

15. The person I refer to as "my sister", India, is really a half-sister as well, but we grew up together so we've never really recognized the "half".

16. I have always said I wanted to have three children, all boys.

17. I have two step-sons, Kane and Jude, and one son, Reed. GO AHEAD AND LAUGH GOD SINCE YOU GAVE ME WHAT I WANTED.

18. I sometimes worry about what kind of person I must be considering what kind of person Jason's last wife is.

19. My earliest memories are of sitting in my window in our house in Centerville, and my mom telling me that if I listened hard enough, I could hear God talking to me.

20. It is a happy memory for me.

21. I also remember sitting in our dirt driveway with my mom, digging doodlebug holes and singing for the doodlebugs to come out.

22. I thought going to college would guarantee a decent job and few money problems.

23. I was wrong.

24. I am wrong a lot.

25. I am surrounded by people who aren't afraid to stick by me even though I am wrong so much.

26. I am right a lot more often than I let myself admit.

27. I worry all the time about us having let Kane and Jude move back in with their mother.

28. I have some very deep and intense feelings of resentment and pain that I can't seem to let go of.

29. Jason astounds me all the time with his wit, intelligence, compassion, and humility.

30. I hope one day I can have all those traits.

31. I have a degree in Philosophy. I really like to talk shit.

32. My favorite animal is a possum.

33. When I was little my mom called me Possum Pie.

34. I have been to New Orleans seven times, and every single time I have felt like I was finally home.

35. I wish that I had the balls to move away, but I would be so sad because I really don't think I want to move.

36. I like my job.

37. This is the first job I've ever had in which I've felt respected and appreciated.

38. I love Coca Cola.

39. I love cheap beer.

40. One of my favorite things to do is sit on my front porch and drink a beer with Jason and my friends.

41. Jason and I have worked very hard to make our marriage work.

42. Jason is my best friend.

43. I also have girlfriends including my mom who are my best friends too.

44. I believe in Jesus. I think he loves us.

45. I try very hard to be the sort of person Jesus would want me to be.

46. I do not always succeed.

47. I try very hard not to pass judgement on other people.

48. Unless they're wearing something really stupid.

49. I get my feelings hurt pretty easily.

50. That is something I am striving to change.

51. My friends/family/whomever can make mistakes and know that I will not judge and my love for them won't change.

52. I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana.

53. I know that two spaces are supposed to go after a period when you're typing.

54. I make really good brownies.

55. I can't think about, talk about, or watch gross stuff while I eat, because then I can't stop thinking that whatever is in my mouth is whatever gross thing I've just thought about, talked about, or watched (bugs, snakes, surgery grossness on tv, etc.). The only other person I know who has this problem is Lindsey. We weird.

56. Some trends that I initially disdained but now like include skinny jeans, slouchy boots, and pointy-toed shoes.

57. I have never liked Burger King.

58. I am bad with money.

59. I am a youngest sibling.

60. I am currently reading Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Heather Armstrong's most recent book, and a parenting book.

61. I got in trouble when I was a kid for stealing an arrowhead from my 4th grade teacher.

62. I totally freeze up in the presence of famous people. I just can't act like a normal human.

63. That probably applies to life in general, not just being around famous people.

64. I had a pretty easy pregnancy.

65. During my pregnancy those Mastercard commercials with the lost dog would come on and I would cry my eyeballs out.

66. I also frequently literally laughed until I cried; I mean I would laugh and then immediately start crying. Pregnancy hormones: scary as fuck.

67. I loved being pregnant, and if Jason and I could afford another baby I would totally want one.

68. I would have to trick Jason into it, as he's already said, "FUCK, BUFFY, I have three kids. That's enough."

69. My cousin is Caitlin Kiernan.

70. If I didn't have to worry about working, I would stay up late and sleep late every day.

71. I can eat box after box of wintergreen Tic Tacs.

72. I once ate an entire box of wintergreen Tic Tacs at one time.

73. I can also tell you that that means I ate exactly 40 wintergreen Tic Tacs at once.

74. I think maybe I know too much about Tic Tacs.

75. Reed is named after my great grandfather, Reed Roe Ramey. Here is more info about that.

76. I would really, really like to have a little girl in our family. (Lindsey, I really love Ava, but I wish I had one that I made.)

77. I am scared that talking on my cell phone too much is going to give me brain tumors.

78. I am sad that Reed will never again be a tiny baby who drools on my shoulder.

79. I am still glad that we are on our way to being potty trained and not throwing writhing, bucking fits on the floor.

80. I took piano lessons for 13 years.

81. I cannot write fiction for SHIT. Seriously painful.

82. When I was a kid I liked to eat the powdered cheese that comes with macaroni right out of the packet. With a spoon.

83. I was also known to eat the powdered hot chocolate mix right out of the packet.

84. I am sometimes proud of myself.

85. I am sometimes ashamed of myself.

86. My paternal grandparents are both pretty sick, and I can't bring myself to visit them.

87. Mortality, my own and that of others, scares the shit out of me.

88. This swine flu thing scared me at first. Now it seems to have dropped off the planet.

89. I voted for Barack Obama.

90. I support freeing Leonard Peltier.

91. I drink a lot of water.

92. When I was 11, my mom and I drove from Leeds, Alabama to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It took 2 1/2 days.

93. On that trip we had a flat tire. A really nice young man stopped and changed it for us and told us he had just come home from Desert Storm because his wife and baby died in a car wreck due to some problem with driving on a spare. He asked us to be careful.

94. I like the Beatles, They Might Be Giants, Ben Folds, and Deee Lite.

95. I am obsessive about washing my hands after doing things like taking out the trash, scooping out the cat litter, sweeping the house, and other general cleaning activities.

96. When I was in high school, I either wanted to grow up to be an actress, a lawyer, or a pilot for the air force.

97. I feel devastatingly uncool when I'm around hipsters.

98. I generally trust people too quickly and easily.

99. I can't stand to step on bugs.

100. I really like the book Confederacy of Dunces.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Had I mentioned that Marianna Jones is what he calls Indiana Jones?

So a few weeks ago Reed suddenly dropped what he was doing and said, "I gotta go use it!" which means he had to go to the potty. He then specified, "I gotta go POOP."

So he went and sat on the toilet for a while. Suddenly he yelled, "Mommy! Daddy! Come here and look at this!"

It's always fun to get called into the bathroom to "look" at something.

So we go and he is standing in front of the potty, pointing into it, vibrating with excitement.

"Mommy, daddy, loooook! I made a Marianna Jones snake!"

Leonard Peltier.

The following is copied directly from my mom's blog:

Leonard Peltier has recently applied for a parole hearing. That hearing is scheduled for July 27, 2009.

Leonard Peltier was an activist in the American Indian Movement who had gone to help the Oglala Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation in June 1975 when a shootout occurred with FBI agents. Accused of the murder of two agents, Peltier fled to Canada, believing he would never receive a fair trial in the US. In February 1976, the FBI knowingly presented the Canadian court with fraudulent affidavits, and Peltier was returned to the U.S. for trial. In a controversial trial in which evidence was fabricated and witnesses threatened and coerced, Peltier was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.

While in prison Mr. Peltier has won awards for his work and support of humanitarian causes and twice has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Although limited by the prison environment, Mr. Peltier has emerged as a master of Indigenous Art. Leonard’s artwork reflects his beliefs and commitment to Native American culture. It is The People’s struggle to survive and his desire to portray their cultural beauty that inspires Peltier to paint. Art professionals marvel at the number and quality of the paintings Peltier produces. By donating his paintings to the Leonard Peltier Charitable Foundation, he was able to supply computers and educational supplies such as books and encyclopedias to libraries and families on Pine Ridge Reservation.

Leonard Peltier has been widely recognized for his efforts and has won several human rights awards, including the North Star Frederick Douglas Award, Humanist of the Year Award, and the International Human Rights Prize.

Leonard Peltier's case is something that is very important to me, something that I feel very strongly about. If you'd like to read more about the details of his case, you should go and read about him at his website. If you'd like to sign the petition for his release, click here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A circus is a veritable...

Whew, this has been a long week.

Besides the SLEEPY!, my boss has been on vacation all week, and my department is made up of my boss and myself, which means that everything that had to get done this week fell upon myself. It hasn't even been bad; I have thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to prove myself and show that I am valuable. It's just been a little tiring.

We moved Duque's crate into the computer room Sunday night on account of he'd taken a shit in it while we were out for a few hours, and our bedroom STUNK. This is one thing to put on your "con" list for dogs: Cleaning shit out of a crate at 1:00 am. (Okay, Jason cleaned the shit out of the crate, but still.) On the "pro" list: Herds me around the house constantly. (This can also be seen as a "con".)

Not too long ago I had the distinct pleasure of watching Kristi and Chris' dog Myrna "bury" her bone in their leather sofa, and now I've seen Duque behave similarly. We bought him a few rubber toys and found that he has ZERO interest in them, but last weekend I bought him some rawhide toys and he LOVES them. I've discovered him on more than once occasion setting these toys on the rug in the living room or in Reed's room, and then nudging the rug over the toy with his nose and paw. If he sees me watching him, he'll get the toy back out and slink off to hide it somewhere secret.

These past few weeks have been kind of rough, and I'm not absolutely sure why. I am hoping to shake this funk off in the next few days, because I have really been having a bad time of things lately. I have cried more in the last two weeks than in the last three months all together. And I'm not saying that to be all "Look how saaad I am", it's just that I'm so surprised and taken aback by it. I haven't felt this nasty in a while, and I'm hoping that it's just a temporary setback that I can get past very soon.

I'm looking forward to a nice weekend of Drunk Psychology and good friends. Maybe that'll perk me up a little.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Much ado about some stuff.

I haven't been able to feel rested lately for some reason. I've been getting a pretty good amount of sleep; I just still feel sleepy. Last Saturday I spent almost the entire day in bed, and when I dragged myself out of bed at SEVEN PM I was still drowsy and woozy. Kane and Jude were there with Reed and I would sort of shuffle and mope into the living room once an hour to say, "Do you guys need anything? Is everyone alive? Anybody eat any Comet or anything else I should know about? Y'all haven't barbequed the dog, have you? Alright, back to bed I go". I honestly think I could have stayed in bed until the next morning. I don't know.

And let me tell you, if I'm tired enough to not give a shit that Kane is walking around saying that he thinks he has PINK EYE, then I must be pretty damned tired.

I honestly don't think he had pink eye, though. Friday night one of his eyes was pretty red and irritated, but on Saturday it was much better, just barely veiny looking in one corner and not swollen at all. He was like, "Well, I know whenever I get pink eye it always hurts real bad the first night and then stops hurting." I am no pink eye expert, but I think it would have been weepy with green or yellow stuff and I think the outside of his eye, his eyelid and whatnot, would have been red-looking also if he actually had pink eye. Either way we bought him some pink eye drops and he seemed fine and so far no one else in the house has gotten any eye problems. Kane also just started wearing contacts a couple of months ago, and I think he could have just had some kind of irritation caused by that.

WOW, this is some boring shit. If you weren't sleepy before you read this, I bet you are now. I'm sorry I don't have anything more exciting to offer. It's the damn sleepiness- I am just kind of "meh" about everything. I'll try to bring something more exciting next time. Until then.....


Woah! Sorry! I fell asleep. What was I saying?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Duque. Duke. Dookie. Duke-a-luke.

Oh, right, so we got this dog.

He is, by far, the sweetest, most well-behaved dog I've ever owned. He is crate-trained and house-broken and he heels and walks on a leash. We can actually take him outside without a leash on and he stays right by either Jason or me.

BUT. Only a couple of buts, but still but.

For one thing, we have his crate in our bedroom. I still think that's probably best, but this dog is the wiggliest, loudest, weirdest dog ever in a crate. He doesn't freak out or jump around or anything like that. He just re situates very frequently. Also, any time he scratches or licks he has to brace himself with one leg against the side of the crate. Some day I will take a picture of this to illustrate, because that's the best way I can describe it. IT IS SO LOUD AT FOUR AM. We tried putting a towel in the bottom of the crate; he pushes it aside. We put his bed in the bottom of the crate; he doesn't like it.

Besides the crate noise, the hour-long lick sessions at three and four in the morning are getting a little tired. LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK NIBBLENIBBLENIBBLE LICK LICK. The sound of the licking on its own doesn't wake me. The crate-wiggling wakes me, and then I listen to the licklick nibblenibble for an hour or so.

Also, the motherfucking dog ate my sweet potato pie. Rather, he chewed on it and then spit it out. It was on a plate, wrapped in aluminum foil on the kitchen counter. He pulled it down, which broke the plate, gnawed open the foil and then bit the crust off of the pie, which he then politely spit in the living room floor. NO PIE FOR ME.

Also, he peed on the bottom of the couch. Just, tra la la, PEE. He is house-broken, and we haven't had any other accidents, so I can't figure this one out. He just walked up to the couch, with Jason standing right there, lifted his leg and peed.

Duque really is a good dog, and we love him so. Reed is pretty good with him, and has already started training him in the ways of letting us set things on his head. I don't have a clue why Reed thinks this is a good idea, but he does, and I agree. Duque is very quiet and calm and patient, and that is the perfect temperament for my temperament, also known as the If You Don't Shut The Fuck Up and Sit Down Right Now I'm Going To Throw Myself Out The Window. So, you know. It works.

Friday, May 15, 2009

On working on it.

So guess what? I argued and big-mouthed my way into Alagasco refunding the $394 deposit we had to pay. It's awesome, and it reminds me that sometimes you just have to speak up A LOT if you want people to listen. (Yes, in fact, everything in that last post I actually said out loud to an Alagasco representative.)

The bad thing is we're pretty far in the negative at the bank after having paid said deposit, after all the fees and whatnot, so the refund is kind of bittersweet. But it's better than nothing.

I've been trying to work through some stuff lately, some nastiness that is bleeding through the Prozac, nightmares and nausea and panic. I'm hoping it's going to fade in the next couple of weeks.

Kristi! In my love letter to you the other day I forgot to even mention YOUR WEDDING! How you're also getting MARRIED! Holy cow! In honor of that fact I have compiled this handy list for you titled The Secrets to a Happy Marriage:

1. Fuck all, really? Am I supposed to know this stuff? Okay, well first tell Chris to see Jason for a list titled How To Deal When You Marry a Looney.

2. I've said before, I'll say again: hide the hammer. You will have moments when you want to hit each other with it. Just going ahead and hiding it will save a lot of pain and grief, not to mention emergency room bills.

3. Later I'll make another list to give you titled How To Deal When You Marry a Laid-Back Hippy. It comes in handy when you're having a total and complete meltdown and your husband is sitting on the couch, eating all your lime-flavored tortilla chips. I would know.

4. Just work really hard, both of you, to help each other. That sounds really obvious and honestly I thought twice about bothering to type it. But it's important, and it's one of those things that can slip through the cracks when you're having a particularly boistrous game of NO I'M RIGHT AND YOU'RE WRONG AND I'M GOING TO ACT LIKE AN ASS UNTIL YOU VERBALLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT. I'm pretty sure Dr. Phil once said "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?" (oh, God, kill me now), and that's a good one to think about. Of course I really want to be right AND happy, so you know. That doesn't always apply, Dr. Phil, if that is your real name.

But the helping! Help each other get through each day, whether it's by doing the dishes when the other one is really tired, or throwing the other one's jeans into the washer as a favor (Chris, don't touch the good shirts and sweaters because, believe me, you could fuck those up pretty badly), or bringing home the other's favorite cookies from the store. This might all sound trite and meaningless, but as a married person who is nearly identical in craziness to Kristi and as a person married to a person who is very alike to Chris, I can promise you, IT AIN'T. Small efforts can pay off big time in your marriage. It took Jason and me a while to figure that one out, but we finally got it, and the landscape of our marriage is totally different in some very good ways.

5. Don't forget to compliment or thank each other for things. Don't forget how important it can be to say things like "You look hot" or "Thanks for walking the dog" or "I really appreciate that you swept" or "Those jeans make your high, tight ass look nice".

6. I'm out. I really think that's all I got on advice.

I am just so excited and honored that you've asked me to be your matron of honor, and I can't wait to be a part of all of this. You guys are both so sweet and you both deserve to be happy and to have a nice life together. I am just so happy that you both seem to have chosen the person who can give that to you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Funny time.

Here is something that I found that makes me smile.

And a very serious warning:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


You know I think it's something special that we've been such good friends for such a long time. I don't have any other friends whom I've been close to for this long, and I don't know anyone else personally who does.

It is with that in mind that I say GOOD LORD, we are odd people. I am really, really grateful to have someone in my life who is as much of a freaky weirdo on so many levels as me. I've written before about how we played leggies, but I'm not sure I mentioned our imaginary world that only we knew about and only we could get to, or our Barbie movies, or that time that we thought someone had broken into your mom's house and we armed ourselves with glass trophies. I'm pretty sure I've never mentioned how we've tried our entire lives to somehow become related. First we thought my mom and your dad should get married, then my sister and your brother, and now we're planning how Reed will marry your kid, even if it's a boy because maybe gay marriage will be legal in Alabama by then. And I'm starting to think that if gay marriage becomes legal, maybe they'll just throw in polygamy and we can just marry each other, FOR GOD'S SAKES WE MIGHT AS WELL JUST GET IT OVER WITH. Jason, Chris, Reed, Myrna, Duque, you, I, and little future Steamboat could just build ourselves a little commune and grow tomatoes and shit.

You should know that I am so proud of you for graduating from law school. This is a huge accomplishment, especially since you came so far to get here. And I'm not just talking about Texas, I'm saying you really had to do some traveling to get to this place. I am fairly certain that I would have given up some where along the way and picked up a healthy drinking habit. You picked up the healthy drinking habit AND STILL KEPT GOING, you're a multi-tasker if nothing else and that counts for so much these days. Be sure and put that on your resume.

And HOORAY for your first clients because now you get to be our lawyer! I just have a few felonies that I need wiped from my record. And some debts to erase. And a couple of people to knock off. That's what lawyers do, right? I am totally in to this.

I am happy that we are learning the ability to share our flaws. Because, shh, don't tell, I have some. Ha! ZING! That right there that's a loaded statement. Seriously, though, it is absolutely no secret that I am so far from perfect, and I am so lucky to be friends with someone who can deal with it, who can roll with my imperfections, because I know it is pretty difficult at times. I am not always an easy person to get along with. That's why I pick friends who throw trash cans, because if ANYONE can figure out how to deal with my crazy ass, it's a person who throws trash cans. Right?

Logic: I learnt it at university.

Really and truly, we are alike in more ways than we're different, and I will never know how to express to you how important it is to me that we remain friends. Jason is cool and all, but he cannot sing every word to Deee Lite's World Clique. FATAL FLAW.

Really I should probably also say thank you on behalf of Jason: I don't think our marriage would have lasted this long without you behalfin' some of my shit so Jason doesn't have to be behalfin' it all. YOU SHARE THE LOAD, and I'm pretty sure from that desperate look Jason sometimes gets that he's grateful to you for it.

I think our plan for Chris and Jason to head to Vegas whenever you get pregnant and for me to move in with you is a GREAT IDEA, by the way. Pregnancy is really really weird, especially for people like us who were already just a tad weird to begin with. I can't wait to share that experience with you. When I was pregnant I didn't really hang out with anybody who had been pregnant before, so there weren't a whole lot of knowing looks or understanding being passed around. I'm not trying to say that all of my friends weren't totally awesome and sweet and caring because they all were; but it's just like when I'm sitting there with somebody who knows how to balance a checkbook: I got nothin' for ya. I think it's rad and all that you can balance your checkbook, but I can't really share a whole lot with you about it.

When you're pregnant I am probably going to be obnoxiously all I know and oh, honey, I get it and here come the hemorrhoids and when you're in labor I'm coming in there to get me one of those epidurals and all that shit. Or, you never know, you might be one of those ladies who is a little kooky to begin with and when you get pregnant all those hormones just turn you into a normal person. And if that's the case I'm going to be like, bitch. Because I was kooky to begin with and all those hormones just turned me into kookier.

Anyways, the point is I will be there, and it will be fun and nutty and the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you, and I really hope you let me share it with you. Your body is equipped to build a person. Biology and shit: fuckin' 'ey.

I want you to know that I value every single thing that you bring to my life- your friendship, your sense of humor, your unfailing ability to withstand my finger in your face when you roll your eyes, your faithfulness, the intense love you have for your family, your ability to accept not only my flaws but every one's flaws. You are a beautiful person and I hope and pray that I can bring even a tiny bit of the wonderful things to you that you bring to me.

Because I love you eight days a week. And that's a pretty big deal considering that there are only seven days in a week. Just sayin'.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A couple of things...

My friend Lindsey writes a really neat blog for, and I've been lucky enough to attend a couple of shows with her to take pictures for said blog. You should check it out.

First, here's where we went to see the Ting Tings.

Second, here's where we went to see G Love and the Special Sauce.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The title of my autobiography:

Experiments In Big Hair: Make It Big: The Buffy Agan Story


The Bigger the Better: Teasing It Up With No Money or Food: The Buffy Agan Story


Don't Touch My Fucking Hair, But God I'm Hungry: The Buffy Agan Story


Why Do I Look Like Crap Today: Oh Yeah It's That Time of the Month: The Buffy Agan Story

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A healthy dose of maturity.

Alagasco hates poor people, and Ms. Little over there ain't nothing but a puppet for The Man. Damn the man, save the empire!!!

Fuck 'em.

Perhaps I'll bring a better attitude tomorrow. But don't be holding your breath.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

More from AlaSHITco.

From Alagasco to me, after one phone call with a message referring me back to their 800 number that I've called several times in the last few days:
Ms. Agan,
Thank you for your inquiry.
We have been unable to contact you at 205-370-2953.
Please advise us if there is a more convenient contact number for us to reach you. Or, you can call us at 1-800-292-4008.
If you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us via our website at
Thank you for choosing Alagasco,
Customer Service

From me to Alagasco, after I returned the phone call:
I only received one phone call from you yesterday afternoon while I was at work. I have just returned the phone call, and the representative I spoke with only wanted to reiterate that the deposit was required because my service has been disconnected more than 3 times in the last 12 months. None of my complaints that I have raised have been dealt with, namely:
The information you sent me is condescending and not at all helpful for the following reasons. You wrote: "Unfortunately, we are unaware of personal circumstances unless we are notified." I notified you on April 30th that I would be unable to pay a $394 deposit because of several hardships, including unemployment and home foreclosure. You wrote: "We urge all of our customers to contact us when the billing statement is received if the amount billed will not be able to be paid on or before the delinquent date." I never received a billing statement saying that I’d have to pay the $394 deposit. The very next day after I received the note on my door, I called and told two different representatives there that I couldn’t pay it. You wrote: "For real-time account information you will be able to view your gas account using the “My Account” feature on our website." Clearly you do NOT have real-time account information; that’s part of my complaint. I had to pay a deposit that wasn’t mentioned anywhere on my account online, and still today is NOT REFLECTED ON MY ACCOUNT ON YOUR WEBSITE. I am currently ordering an electric heat pump from Alabama power and will contact you to cancel my services with you as soon as possible, as I find Alagasco to be lacking in every area of customer service and convenience. I intend to report this story to any one who will listen, and have already been discussing with with Fox 6, NBC13, as well as local newspapers.

Rest assured that I will be taking this matter up with anyone who will listen, including my lawyer, since no one there seems interested in offering anything remotely resembling customer service.

At this point I am becoming melodramatic and impulsively angry, but I don't know how else I can deal with such mind-numbing stupidity/insolence/assholeishness.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Super-fun, super-interesting conversation between Alagasco and myself:

From me to Alagasco:
I have had an account with you for nine years. I'm sure it has been delinquent more than once, but I've always managed to get paid up.
Recently I owed $254. Last week, on April 20th, I paid $100. That was all I could afford and I figured we could pay the rest when I got paid today.
But yesterday you came while we were at work and cut the gas off, and left a little note on the door saying we owe $606. I figured that couldn't be right. When I got to work this morning I logged on to my account on the Alagasco website. It said that I owed $154, so I paid it and then called you. The automated voice on the phone said "Your account is past due. You need to make a payment of $154 to keep your service from being disconnected."
So I spoke with a representative who told me that because they had to cut my service off I had to pay a deposit of (roughly) $400 to get my service reconnected. I kept saying, "My account online says I owe $154, which I've just paid. It doesn't say anything anywhere about a deposit. It says that my account is current now that I've paid the $154." She kept on that I would have to pay the deposit to get my service back. I got irritated and got off the phone.
About thirty minutes later I called back and spoke to someone else. I explained that we have three kids and our hot water comes from gas. I told her that I was unemployed until recently, and we are in foreclosure, and paying $400 would take half of my paycheck. She replied that I would have to pay the $400 in full to get my service back. The amount couldn't be billed, and it couldn't be split into more than one payment. So I paid it at about 10:30 today. She then informed me that they don't do same-day cut-ons, and I'd get my gas back tomorrow.
I just feel like something isn't right here. I made a payment last week, and still my service was disconnected. Then I had to pay a high deposit on an account I've had for years. Plus the deposit wasn't and still isn't shown on my account when I view it online. Plus your automated phone system said I owed $154 and had to pay THAT amount in full to keep my service. It all seems wrong to me.

From Alagasco to me:
We understand your concerns. We understand that many people are experiencing financial hardships. Unfortunately, we are unaware of personal circumstances unless we are notified. Our goal is to provide excellect customer service. We urge all of our customers to contact us when the billing statement is received if the amount billed will not be able to be paid on or before the delinquent date. We are to assist any of our customers with scheduling payment arrangements. Scheduling payment arrangements will possibly avoid interruption of service and avoid additional fees, associated with the reconnection of services.

For real-time account information you will be able to view your gas account using the “My Account” feature on our website. Just access www.alagasco.c om, click on “My Account.” In the box labeled “Login to My Account,” click on "Register Now" and follow the steps to register for this service. Once you setup your username and password, you will be able to view your usage and payment history, view your current account balance, make a payment arrangement, enroll in the Budget Plan and more.

From me to Alagasco: Your response to my query was condescending and uninformative for the following reasons:
You wrote: "Unfortunately, we are unaware of personal circumstances unless we are notified."
I notified you of our financial hardships including unemployment and foreclosure on April 30th, the day that I found out we were being asked to pay the $400 deposit.
You wrote: "We urge all of our customers to contact us when the billing statement is received if the amount billed will not be able to be paid on or before the delinquent date."
I never received a billing statement saying that I’d have to pay that deposit. The very next day after I received the note on my door, I called and told two different representatives there that I couldn’t pay the $400 deposit.
You wrote: "For real-time account information you will be able to view your gas account using the “My Account” feature on our website."
Clearly you do NOT have real-time account information; that’s part of my complaint. I had to pay a deposit that wasn’t and still isn't mentioned anywhere on my account online.
I am currently working with Alabama Power to get an electric heat pump and will contact you to cancel my services as soon as possible.

More on this as it continues to force me to pull large, bloody clumps of hair out of my head.

Also, now we're -$500 in the bank. Awesome.

Monday, May 04, 2009


All you have to do is pick a (musical) artist and using ONLY SONG TITLES from only that artist, answer the questions below. Leave yours in the comments.

I've chosen They Might Be Giants.

1. Are you a male or female: How Can I Sing Like a Girl?

2. Describe yourself: Rabid Child

3. How do you feel about yourself: Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes

4. Describe your parents: Someone Keeps Moving My Chair

5. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriends: Women & Men

6. Describe your current boy/girl situation: Birdhouse In Your Soul

7. Describe your current location: I Should Be Allowed to Think

8. Describe where you want to be: Sleeping in the Flowers

9. Your best friend(s) is/are: Wicked Little Critta

10. Your favourite colour is: Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love

11. You know that: Everything Is Catching On Fire

12. If your life was a television show what would it be called: Who's Knockin' on the Wall?

13. What is life to you: If I Wasn't Shy

14. What is the best advice you have to give: Narrow Your Eyes

Friday, May 01, 2009

And here is what I do at work...

I am a very busy woman.

In other news, we're going to get our dog tomorrow. He's excited, too.

And this right here is a very informative swine flu website you should check out. And here is another one.