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« January 2002 | Main | March 2002 »

February 20, 2002
Movin' On Up

I've decided to move. PECO thinks my bills are normal. Whatever. "Whatev," as Greg and I say, when we're being jokingly saucy with each other. This, in common terms, is "the last straw."

So I've posted an ad to be people's roommates on like every roommate site out there. One site to avoid, I think, is Roomie Match, because Roomie Match likes to email you a lot. Roommate Service seems to be popular, however, and I think it's because you can sign up for a 3-day period and it's only $5.95. Other sites make you sign up for a month at once in order to contact people (posting is always free), and it's usually in the $30 range. Thus, Roommate Service is muy smart, because 20-somethings—the prime candidates for housemates—don't want to plunk down $30 on anything suspect.

But Certain Influential People (parents/bf) do not want me to house with males and/or homosexual females. Silly them. To avoid discord, I am going to try to go along with that.

Probably, I will end up living alone again. I should live alone. My decorating instincts are too rigid.

I'm rambling, and it's because I'm on my third (or is it fourth?) glass of wine.

Tomorrow, I think, I will post Interesting Responses to Rejection Letters I Sent to Potential Roommates.

I want to say more. I will tell you about how an improper birthdate is associated with my Social Security Number, thus causing Rejection of Tax Return. Sorry for all the capitalization, it amuses me. Improper birthdate causes Need for Beth to Go to Chester (notoriously shady area), Birth Certificate in Tow, to Rectify Situation. I will stop with the capitalization now.

Anyway, it is likely that for my entire life, the Social Security Administration (who are supposed to be capitalized) has had the wrong birthdate for me, and that this error is the fault of my dad, who apparently gave them my mom's birthdate instead of mine. This is so fascinating to you. I can tell.

So I sort of flipped out on the Social Security Lady last night when she informed me that I had to go to Chester.

Lady: Do you have your birth certificate?
Me: Yes.
Lady: Well, what you have to do is take that to your nearest Social Security office so that they can change the record.
Me: I don't understand why I have to go out of my way when it's not my mistake. [at this point not realizing that it was probably my dad's mistake]
Lady: [silence]
Me: You know?
Lady: [silence]
Me (reluctantly, in annoyed tone): Okay, I'll do it. Where is the nearest office?

And so on. I am usually extremely accomodating with telephone people, because I know they didn't make the rules. I should have apologized to her. But I realize that my idea of flipping out is rather sedate. My brother, now he has some good flipping out stories. Some really good ones. My favorites are the Wawa toothpaste one and the black and white photography one (b&w one produced the wonderful line, "Buddy, I work in a grocery store."). I laugh aloud when I think of that.

I should not write entries while drunk, ever again.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

February 13, 2002
Happy Valentine's Day, In Advance

Life is weird lately. I was expecting things to sort of dip, because nothing unusual or bad had been happening. So now there is the dip, and I want to say I am the chip being lowered into said dip, but that would be cheesy, and I am never, ever cheesy.

Oh, but since the V Day is tomorrow, here's a lovely e-card that was sent to my friend recently: «it's here». You probably don't get it, but you can sort of get it. She and I got it, and we laughed. You probably will not laugh. Those ads were so set in my parents' basement. It was as though during the night, camera crews and models sneaked in and created them. But I suspect many basements look like my parents' basement, and that that is totally what they were going for. At the time the ads caused their stir, I was sixteen and didn't see what the big deal was. Now I sort of do.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

February 02, 2002
Letter to my landlord

When two new tenants moved into this building last summer, I noticed a sharp rise in my electricity bill. I talked to my landlord (who is also my uncle) about it, and he said he'd look into it, and for all I know he did, but the problem has continued. His recompense: not raising my rent. I mean, yes, I should call PECO and attempt to work it out with them, but I don't want to. I think Tim should. But I wrote him a very nice letter anyway.

To: Uncle Tim
Subject: Electricity Bill

Hello Favorite Uncle Tim,

My electricity bill for the month of January is $171.89. My bill for January 2001 was $62.84. My lease states that I've been paying for heat since the start of my residency here. So the increase in the amount of the bill could mean a few things: 1) heat and/or electricity got WAY more expensive; 2) I wasn't actually paying for heat before (even in this case, I still think something is fishy); 3) I am paying for part of the electricity of other tenants; 4) PECO is taking advantage of me/us somehow.

I want to let you know that I don't use heat or electricity excessively. I keep the heat set to 66 or 67 (last year, I kept it at 70-72). I turn the heat off when I go to work and when I go away for the weekend (usually about 2 or 3 weekends a month). I don't keep any lights on when I'm not home, and lately, I've been trying not to use any lights, except when I'm cooking meals, reading, or getting dressed. I have a radio on for about one hour a day, and I watch TV for at most 2 hours daily, but usually around 1 hour. My computer and fridge are on all the time, but the computer monitor is off when I'm not using it.

I'm considering changing my heating and lighting solution over entirely to candlelight. It will get me in touch with the roots of Philadelphia, and I think it will solve the mystery of whether I'm really paying for other people's services. It will also (hopefully) keep me from paying any more $170 electricity bills, because I simply cannot afford them.

If there's anything you or I could do to avoid the candlelight solution, please let me know. Thank you Tim!


File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM