Wednesday, March 11, 2009

bill me later.. why when you can screw me, NOW!


Bad service is bad service. Today's installment is about Bill Me Later (billmelater.com / bill-me-later.com). They seem pretty popular and in late 2008 they were acquired by eBay. Maybe they're too big now to extend some credit to lil' ol me?

The history: I have been a Bill Me Later customer since May 2007. Back then (in the day for you young unz), I had shit credit. I mean we're talking AWFUL. I’m fairly sure that a hobo, crack-whore child molester on a watch list could get a loan over me. I was pretty excited about the concept of Bill Me Later, as it didn't require a hit to my credit. My first purchase was about $400. I promptly paid it off before my 3 months no payments, no interest offer ran out.

Since then, I've increased the amount of my purchases, steadily, and then paid off my balance in full before the no payments no interest dance ended. Yes, I slowly leveled up in Bill Me Later Land and had made 4 or 5 purchases. I also managed to acquire some skill points in the credit area. Score. My largest and most recent approved purchase on Bill Me Later was in the $1600 range. All went fine, and I recently was happy to pay it all off, again, before my no payments, no interest timeframe ran out.

I should point out that outside of my Bill Me Later shopping escapades, I have cleaned up my real credit, gaining nearly 100 points, bought a house, bought 2 new cars and now have more than a few credit cards, all in GREAT standing, most with a $0 balance, and never a late payment on my bills for nearly 2 years. Except that oops on the cable bill, but that was my hubby’s fault. Seriously ladies you gotta keep your bitches in check.

Wanting to pick up an anniversary gift for my hubby before the actual anniversary date (guys, this is a free tip, really, no charge), and still anticipating my tax refund (hello, government, please give me my damn money back, ok), I decided to use my Bill Me Later account on a recent purchase at newegg.com. The total purchase amount was just below $500. So, being the fiscally responsible Bill Me Later customer I have been (this time sporting a fresh Kool-Aid red haircolor), and knowing that Bill Me Later knows me and values me – I put my purchase through.

I was declined. I was really taken aback.

OMG WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT THE FUCK? HOW WILL MY HUSBAND EVER LOVE ME WITHOUT THIS NETBOOK? I cried and screamed.

So, thinking something HAD to be wrong with the system, I called customer service at Bill Me Later. I’m fairly certain their call center is in the US as most of the representatives sounded woefully uninspiried and were probably waiting for their layoff notices. I am also sure they were celebrating something that sounded like a woman who was giving birth to three hysterical hyena cubs, anally, while standing in a wind tunnel and gargling Jell-O with chunks of ham in it. Seriously, Bill Me Later can’t be that busy, after all, they were having a damn party.

I, however, was not having such a party. But hey, this wasn’t the customer service person’s fault. So I put on my happy voice and tried to find out from the rep why my purchase was declined. You know what? Trying to get a straight answer from a Bill Me Later customer service representative is like asking a Magic-8 ball what color Tara Reid’s dealer’s car is. They only have 8 programmed answers, none of which helped.

Then the customer service person said “It’s the economy.”

Fuck me? Something is wrong with the economy? Really. Holy god. But… more on that later. Fucking trickle-down bullshit.

At that point, I knew this was an exercise in futility. Much like me going to overeaters anonymous. I mean nothing makes me more hungry than talking about food with other fat people. Oops. I digress..

So, figuring that maybe answer #3 the rep gave me was true, maybe I tried to get too much money approved, I then put the purchase back through for a bit less than $400 and was again declined.

Let me be honest here. I love America, apple pie (mmm apple pie), freedom, the end of slavery, climate change, capitalism – and I believe businesses should be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, abuse children or cause diverticulitis. And, because I love this amazing country and freedom and choice and all that comes with being a a free society, Bill Me Later has the right to decline a transaction or to decline issuing me credit for any reason. I mean maybe they were just having a shitty day because they found out that they have cancer and that their spouse is having sex with Google Checkout (and, by the way, I heard Google Checkout has herpes).

But this is TERRIBLE service. This is a horrible way to treat a customer. I mean at least give me an actual reason I’d be declined. I have been a good, no, GREAT customer. I have told others about their great product and Bill Me Later helped me when I had no other options. But let’s be real here: I’m awesome. They should WANT me as a customer, cause they know they’re going to get paid. I'm not sitting in my house while the foreclosure notices roll in just waiting for my government bailout because I was too fucking stupid to read the fine print on a contract for an amount that is, quite obviously, more than I will make in the next 50 years of my life as a janitor. I'm not filing banktruptcy to clean up my credit. And I'm not waiting for this country to become more of a welfare state so I can sit on my 300 pound ass and let those who are smarter than me, with more common sense and more ambition than I could ever muster bail my ass out - all while calling them "rich".

Oh yeah, Bill Me Later - They are making money hand over fist, as they should be, but not treating their customers with respect or valuing their business is a HUGE mistake. And, hello, obviously Bill Me Later has never had a puppy or they’d know that positive reinforcement is the best way to avoid accidents.

Bill Me Later, maybe you need a puppy.

I distinctly remember in the past seeing something about building up a reputation with Bill Me Later, which influences your purchase ability. Maybe that got taken away by eBay. I dunno, it’s just shitty. And it makes me upset. Both make my hemorrhoids flare up.

While I can't prove it (though I can prove that Google Checkout causes stillbirths), I have this feeling I’m being declined because over the past 2 years of being a customer, they’ve not been able to milk my average-sized teets for even a penny of interest. I mean come on, 19.99% interest is a great motivator to pay that shit off. I wish I’d have had that much interest in me during high school and I may not have been the naive woman I was on my wedding day. Just sayin.

I think the vendors who use Bill Me Later should be made aware of the negative decisions that impact their business. Potentially good customers of your sites are being turned down.

While deep down I know it wasn’t any vendor’s decision that caused my purchase to be declined, the negative taste left in my mouth from this Bill Me Later experience has resulted in me seeking out the product I would have purchased from newegg.com at another vendor, simply because the other vendor does not have a relationship with Bill Me Later.

I type all of this to say: Bill Me Later, I hate you. I hate you and your stupid face. I hate that you have shown me, once again, that being a loyal customer is only ignored. Thank you for renewing my faith in Visa, MasterCard and Discover – all of whom will make more money from me than you will (oh, and I get points from them too, so eat that, douchenozzles). And it’s a shame, cause I’m fucking loaded!
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

all the right/wrong reasons


I was raised Lutheran (ELCA). It was pretty much an unsaid rule in my house that Sunday School was a must. Until my junior high school years, church services were like torture. Well, except when I got to sing. I was the star in our congregation (which, at its prime was probably well over 400 on a Sunday, no small feat for a ‘country church’). I was the lead in every church musical. I sang solo after solo. I was the special music for every major holiday.

Sometime around Junior High I started taking church more seriously. I’m not sure if it was that it was a safe, social thing to do (as a whole, I was a loser during my school years) or that I really felt pulled, spiritually. Looking back, I think my motivations were based on the church kids being more accepting of me; after all, Jesus loved everyone, right? I wasn’t annoyingly Jesusy, I don’t think…

Much to my parent’s chagrin, I went to the before-school Bible study, youth group, sang with our church’s worship team, went to some other church functions, spent time online in Christian chat rooms, etc… other than orchestra, it was my social outlet.

Again, looking back, I think my intentions were mostly pure, though maybe my motivations weren’t. I think I got “saved” twice or maybe three times during high school.

The day after high school graduation, I packed my car and moved to Kansas City. Though I could expand hugely on this story, I met some Christians while there, and found myself joining what some label as a cult – the International Churches of Christ. The next few months introduced me to the darker side of Christianity – where people abuse and control others using the Bible as a weapon. At the point I realized what I was involved in, it was too late – I was already broke, depressed and completely convinced that my departure from the ICC would spell certain damnation.

But I left.

Over the next few years, I tried desperately to hold to the good parts of things I learned in the ICC. To love others, to love Jesus… I started an organization that helped others get the gumption to leave the ICC and gave them support once they left, I met my husband (he’s also a former ICC member), I believed my call was into full-time ministry to others in some capacity. I was trying so hard to fill that space in my life that was so controlled by an organization, I lost sight of God. The experience I had in the ICC spiritually scarred me. And those scars I have to this day.

As much as I hate to admit it, I was really na├»ve. I believed that Christians were only there to help me, to support me and to love me – and I, them. But I found most of my experiences to be one-sided… with a whole lot of taking from them and not much giving – except from me. I did a short stint in Bible College, but honestly, I felt the whole thing was contrived. I’ll be the first to admit I was a bit more of a head case back then, but Bible College, like most churches I’ve been involved in, wasn’t about ministering to anyone except themselves.

At the same time, I had an obvious void in my life because of my love of church and, whether a product of or vice versa, God – so I filled it with more church, more church activities. I went into full-time ministry as a youth director and worship leader. I was on paid church staff, worked at church camps and dedicated my time and energy to God’s work. It was troublesome, though, that the imperfection of God’s people became an excuse to treat people badly – because people were imperfect, it made it somehow ok to treat people like total crap.

At one church, I was accused of stealing money from my own youth fund – over $2000. Though I managed to prove beyond all “reasonable” doubt I was not the thief, a few angry parents managed to convince the Christian education board not to remove anyone from suspicion. I resigned immediately upon receiving the letter that was sent out to the entire congregation, on a Saturday afternoon, leaving the church with no worship leader or youth director for the next day. Then there was Fellowship Church – who made me one of only 17 worship team members in a church of 15,000. Until my career (my work on an Oprah-esque website) and my weight made me unfit to be on the platform… I was removed from being a worship leader. Then there was COS, where the gap between the traditional and contemporary worship styles was not to be bridged and traditional “won out”. Then Bear Valley – my last straw – where I came in at the right time, when the founding pastor’s wife wanted a break from leading worship/playing keys… but when she was rested up, and when I voiced my upset after being treated badly at a retreat, I was removed from the worship team – I guess I went out at the right time, too. Their time.

I have just watched too much horribleness at the hands of Christians to look past it and to find a way to get past it to go back. I’ve watched as dear friends have been told that they aren’t good enough to be Christians, much less church members. I’ve watched as my friends on church staffs have been abused. I’ve watched as people have been used for money, talent and their giving hearts. I’ve watched as Christians use Jesus and God as an excuse to get out of sticky situations – God as a scapegoat – nice.

I truly believe that churches are nothing more than businesses – they have products and services to offer and a congregation that works for them – so that the leaders can get richer and gain acclaim in Christian community. Numbers are all that matter – whether offerings or membership or conversions.

I don’t want to be one of them – I don’t want to be around them… and I believe they are more the rule than the exception.

Recently, however, I’ve realized that I do have a void in my life. I realized that in some strange way, at those moments I was on the platform, in front of a congregation, leading worship – those were the moments I connected with God. It was never about being in front of anyone, it was never about there being a group of people hearing me or watching me… in those moments, it was completely and totally about me and God. It’s not a connection I got being in the congregation, I didn’t find it when I was rehearsing or in Bible study or anything like that… but there was an inexplicable connection for those few hours a week – where it was just what it was supposed to be: me connecting, truly, with God.

I’m not saying that was it – but those were the times I was keenly aware of God and His massive part in my life. So aware and tuned in – that I think it became a craving… a strange drive to make it from those moments to those moments… which made me have more drive between those moments to fill them with service to Him.

But that’s not enough – that “feeling” or that “awareness” to convince me to go back to church. Quite honestly, the thought of going back to a church makes me physically ill. You see, I can’t just go – I have to be involved. And I can’t be involved without people in the church being involved in my life. And I can’t be involved and lead worship without being a member. And membership comes with the necessity to let people into my life.

I don’t want anyone at any church to be more than casual acquaintances. I don’t believe have anything to glean from them, and they probably don’t have anything to glean from me because, frankly, I’m not willing to offer anything. There’s enough of Christ in the folks I know outside of a church, for me. I see more of Christ in those in my day to day life that I am friends with and am close to. There’s enough accountability and discipleship and all those Godsquad buzzwords without faking it and lying to be able to get that connection I miss.

So that’s it… the void and what to do about it. I want all the right reasons… but it seems the reasons are really all wrong. If I go back to church, I will be forced to lie to others. If I don’t go, I’m lying to myself.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

blinded by the fries...


To celebrate the launch of a project, we went out for lunch today at a local fast food restaurant (the project was for said restaurant, so that's why we went there, not because we're gluttons or gluttons for punishment) to celebrate.

5 of us are in line -behind the corral rail thing - and there's a group of folks in front of us who had ordered and were waiting for food. They were mostly teenagers (school's not back in yet here). There was also a lady with white pants on (I'll call her "WPL" from here on out).

So we're standing there, chatting, waiting in line forever, and this kid turns around and starts walking like he's blind - I mean arms out, eyes wide open - If he were faking it was the best fake ever. Give this kid an Emmy. My first thought was he was blind and just was disoriented. He was reaching for his friend -but the kid to his right didn't know him and said "Hey man, what's wrong?"

The kid kept kinda reaching around and walking and said "I'm really sorry I just kinda can't see anything right now, like I'm blind!" He wasn't overly animated... or excited or just - it was just weird.

So I said "Can you see anything? Are you blind normally?" He said "No, just now. I just need a glass of water." I asked if he's had this happen before, is he diabetic or has he had a seizure before.

I start calling 911. The kid says, "No, don't do that, I'm fine." His lips are kinda blue, he's shaking - more like trembling.

So Justin, my co-worker goes and gets him a chair and WPL gets him a glass of water. I should say here that the staff staff were totally not caring. WPL had to ask 3 times for a cup for water!

So the kid kinda comes back to and says "I'm fine." I'm already on with dispatch.

So then WPL hands the kid the cup of water, he kinda goes out again - with the whole stare/blind thing and obviously cant' see me or the water or WPL.... and WTF?!? I'm talking to dispatch... he kinda comes back and is like - "No, it's ok... I don't need an ambulance". And then WPL takes him over to sit at a table and eat his lunch.

Dispatch says that if he leaves to call them back and let them know where he headed.

So I go tell WPL that paramedics are coming. Kid seems kinda nervous, but not upset or anything. But seems to be seeing fine. He eats his lunch, WPL eats lunch with him. Kid says he'll stay to be checked out.

EMTs arrive in record time. They do the basic checks. Meanwhile WPL has convinced kid to call his mom. WPL talks to mom. Sounds like he's had this happen before. Kid tells EMTs he has no medical issues. EMTs continue checking basic vitals. Then Kid's dad calls kid's cell. Dad talks to EMT who ask dad if he's on the way o get his son. I'm at least 6 feet away waiting for my food and I can hear the dad yelling at the EMT asking how the kid got there.

Kid says he rode his bike. Dad yells at EMT something like "Well if he rode his bike there he can fucking ride it home". EMT relays the message to kid though the EMT obviously thought the kid should have a parent there.

EMTs finish up, leave and the kid rides his bike home. WPL thanked me, I thanked her, and we are both convinced something is not right... ate lunch. Got shakes to go.

But he rode is fucking bike home. I hope he made it.
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

wrestling with vapor


We all get them - the spam-like friends requests on MySpace and Facebook from folks who want nothing more than to make a few bucks... I got one of those requests the other day, and instead of doing my standard "report as spam and delete", I decided to reply.

This one came from a profile created by a group who apparently do websites for entertainers (I'm not going to bother saying who this was or giving them any free advertising here). They were advertising a $99 website. I looked at their profile (which is broken, by the way) and then at their website, which is nothing but an unreadable one-pager with links that don't work, banners that don't link anywhere and use of typography that could only be described as ridiculous. Not to mention that there was no personal identifiable information on anyone who worked for this company, their history or experience as web professionals or the like.

So, I replied:
"It's people like you who are wrecking the name of true web marketing professionals."

I was amused (and surprised) when I got a reply...
"and what makes you think that we are not true web marketing professionals? tell me, better yet call me, and tell what you know about our company or what we do. we are a legitimate company helping up and coming artist and we are doing it right. sorry that we tried to extend our services to you. we were just trying to help you. We guarantee you if we were to help you, you would have an increase in booking and a bigger fan base. were not the ones you should be mad at, for what ever reason you are angry I don't know. we are working comedians, actors and musicians who know exactly what we are doing and we use our skill and connects to help promote and book talent to build a bigger better scene for up and coming entertainers. what are doing to help the scene?"

Besdies the aforementioned issues with their work - which was, in fact, limited to their own masturbatory creations, they don't have a portfolio, don't list the websites they have created or anything that is fairly standard in the web development community (freelance or otherwise).

Not one to back down from a fight, I went ahead and again replied:
"$99 websites? Please.

To begin with, I use correct punctuation and grammar. I'd never, ever, hire a company or "professional" who could not even communicate in a way that is reflective of business pursuits.

Furthermore, your "guarantee" is, frankly, baloney. You can't guarantee that a $99 website will increase bookings or a fan base any more than you can guarantee that using the word "professional" makes you one.

I'm not angry at all, I just find it very suspect and extremely questionable that *ANYONE* claiming to be "professional" would advertise a $99 website and then claim to guarantee results with no measurable data to back up such a claim.

As for what I'm doing to help the scene, I have spent years helping folks understand web marketing and how it can help them build their brand. And I spent countless hours with clients who have been taken by claims like yours. $99 is a lot to an emerging artist - and should be spent towards a long-term marketing and branding plan, not a one-shot pony company who will take the money and offer little value in return. And any company that charges $99 is just that.

I wish you the best of luck, truly - it just makes me sad, more than anything else, that people will fall for your cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach that I later have to fix. I have to fix not only their perception of the web marketing industry, but also have to help them with the harsh reality that you get what you pay for.

Best wishes and best of luck to you -"

I think I did a pretty good job staying on-topic, eh? I mean I didn't get insulting of their persons, or their mothers, or their unadequate penis size. I simply pointed out the defects in what they were offering and how they were offering it.

For those of you still reading... a bit of a background on me. I'm originally a musician - was a music major in college, but realized it wasn't much of a career path. Not because I'm not good (I am good), but it was either performing or teaching, and I wasn't interested in teaching. Not to mention performing was a tight industry and I wanted to do things and have things and acquire masses of stuff I will never possibly be able to use. So, I continued doing music semi-professionally for a number of years, but not as my career choice.

About that same time, the internet was just taking off. I spent countless hours learning about HTML and web servers and code and "design" and got to be adept at coding and ok at design. I've never claimed to be a designer, but I'm a pretty damn good all-around web professional. Over the years I've done sites for clients that range from the mom-and-pop next door to projects you have seen and heard of - the US Air Force, Burger King, Mountain Dew, Pizza Hut, American Airlines, to name a few. And right now I work full time in the industry as a web project manager - managing projects for big clients. And in my spare time, I have a few freelance clients and help out individuals with simple sites.

My aversion and subsequent griping about a $99 website is because in all of my years in this industry, I have never seen a $100 website that was worth the money put into it. You see, a site is more than just a page with some unreadable text... you need hosting (where your site lives) - which, for a reputable server, will run you about $100 a year, and a domain name which is running about $10 a year. Right there, you're over the $99 tag. I think saying you get a website for $99 is misleading and doesn't give an accurate representation of the cost of actually having a website and keeping it online - not even to mention the design or development that goes into making something useful that works (for my clients and their users).

So, back to the point - I didn't get personally nasty at any time, but this group of "professionals" replied and spewed a bunch of nonsensical venom that I will post below. Of course, instead of this being about websites, it had to become about how I am a hack (and as an upcoming comic who works very hard to write her own material, even though she's surrounded by phonies), of course, is a ridiculous claim. Also, this company felt it necessary to lump me into the all-too-huge group of female comics who aren't funny. Well I know better. I am funny. I'm fucking hilarious. In fact, I'm sitting here right now and stroking my very own funny bone until I get a laugh ejaculation. Oh yes, that's how I roll.

So here's the nasty/nonsensical reply I received for your reading enjoyment:

"First off, we hate grammar. that's between us, and grammar and that beef started long before you sister! second off, "taken" what the hell? You REALLY dont know what youre talking about. and FIFTH, EVERYTHING we do is originally designed for these artist. You are really talking out your ass on this one. Allow me to educate you in a few areas.

We charge 99 bucks because people like YOU feel the reason to charge up the arse for something that really shouldnt cost that much. we are WORKING entertainers who know whats its like to struggle. we would NEVER do any of the things you are accusing us of.

I know you might think were new but we have running this game for years without any complaints from our actual clients. some of who you would recognize on MTV or Comedy Central, a place you will only ever hear of and never experience Im sure.

As far as cookie cutter, You must be referring to your act. Im grateful though, its women like you who have the whole world thinking that there are no funny female comedians. Its ok, just makes us work twice as hard. Its okay though, really.

I have been cleaning up after unfunny woman like you for years. I am now rolling in it! as a matter of fact I'm such a rare gem that I was able start this company and afford to help out a community I understand. Not only that ALL of our volunteers are pretty big, eating up the top ten spots in plenty of the comedy genres here. which is why we like to keep anonymous. I'm sure one day you wont understand.

You're someone I would encourage to, "quit while you're ahead" Here is a guarantee for you, I guarantee you if you EVER get anywhere outside of your hole in this business I will be on the other side of the table. The comedy community is a small one in lala land and the genuinely funny rule it. Like my partners and myself. You see, when were not designing websites, or writing, were sitting in the front row of the Hollywood Improv on Melrose booking theater shows across the country. see me ruling it. taking away your business. why dont you go work on a joke you read from your email this morning. Im sure youre a hack, you stink of it. Youre obviously projecting right now.

Sorry if our low prices unveil "designers" like you to be what you really are, thieves. You're blocked until you get better jokes. we couldn't help you anyways. we don't supply writers. that would be cheating.

pppps.

You're so great at both comedy and web design that your page is as hot as your act. Grow up, get a life, and write some jokes. even if we aren't here tomorrow we will be back and wont stop pumping out original shit for our clients. Funny anyone who has gone through us has nothing to complain about. Its always the pissed off web masters who realize the days of charging five hundred dollars for templates are dying. Guess you'll have to get a real job."

Wow. Heh. At first I wanted to write a lengthy reply defending myself, but then I thought, why the fuck do I care (oh and *I* am blocked, from *them*)? This is a nameless-faceless group of spamming fuckers who have convinced themselves that they are everything to web marketing and to entertainment. And so, they sit on their throne of idiocy and machismo and watch over this wonderful country, ummm, "ruling it" and "pumping out original shit". God. Damn. That is poetry.

You see, I never claimed to be great at comedy or web design. I never claimed to be anything other than someone who was offended by the audacity of an offer and guarantee that would only lead to struggling artists forking over a hard earned $99 to a group of spammers who aren't even willing to say who they are or show what they do.

So, my friends - and consumers, just a friendly "Buyer Beware." It's an old adage, but you get what you pay for. $99 is a small investment, yes, but it's better spent working with someone who is going to help you establish your entire web marketing plan and how it fits into marketing who you are and what makes you unique. And no, I'm not saying that you need to spend $500 or $5000 on a web project, but I am saying that there is never, ever a one-size-fits-all package that you should be put into. Your brand should be important enough to you to make it unique and different... whether that's your business cards, your head shots or your website.

And a real professional will work with you, no matter your limitations or your abundances.

But hey, THEY are "ruling it." What the fuck do I know? After all, I'm not in "lala land." It is obvious they are, in more ways than one.

Well, back to my Sunday! I enjoy my weekends off from my nearly six-digit paying day job that I've worked very hard to get and am great at. And I have a pile of emails with jokes in them I need to get to. Such a busy life.
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Monday, April 21, 2008

hey texas friends, i miss you. love, me



There aren't many things I miss about Texas. Chicago's just a much better fit for us - money-wise, weather-wise, opportunity-wise.

But I miss my Texas friends. And this weekend I missed them more than I have since I moved, I think.

Not that my Illinois friends aren't great, they are - but I'm just so fucking frustrated.

There's tons going on right now. We bought a house, and the hubby has a horrible schedule (10-7 in the city - so he's gone from 8a - 9p every day), so I'm left to do everything, really. I have to pack the house, do all the errands, work on the new house -except for Saturday and Sunday, when Mike is home. And to afford said house, I have to work my regular day job and do freelance. So I'm working 8:30-5:30 then doing freelance every night for a couple of hours and then eating dinner with the hubby, then an hour of freelance before going to bed.

Spreading things thin, I am - which is leaving me no time to do anything I really enjoy (like starting back at doing comedy again, or singing/writing music).. but that's life, and I chose what I have.

I guess yesterday I just got upset as I stood in my front yard, raking it all myself - hubby was off to pick up a friend from the airport... knowing that I have to pay movers, paying a painter to finish the house, paying a friend of mine to help me pack the house. I guess it just all got to me.

I guess I just feel like my Texas friends were more of the hand-lending type. More give and take. They would offer to help and show up and do what needed to be done. They weren't too busy for me. They didn't expect to get paid to lend a hand.

But I have it so easy, right - what with no kids to worry about, a good paying job, a new house... And I'm just frustrated right now. And overwhelmed. And feeling as though I really can't count on anyone to just be there for me when I need them.

It's fine, really - just frustrated and I needed to get this out before I took it out on anyone and regretted it.

So yeah, I miss my Texas friends. Not because they'd do things for me and more importantly with me - but because with those friends I guess I just feel there was give AND take.

And before anyone asks, this is not directed at anyone in particuloar or any situation in particular.- it's just how I'm feeling right now, in general.
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