Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More good news...

...Fiance will be home a day earlier than expected!! Less than a week!! Yippee!!


Monday, September 28, 2009

My "new" car.

On Saturday, Dee dragged me to our local dealership for a little browsing. We were immediately set upon by a pleasant man named Juan (these guys do NOT waste time, they should make an Olympic sport out of this). He showed us the 2010 Ford Fusion, and I asked if they had any 2007s or 2008s. He showed me a few, including a 2008 that was a lovely shade of red, but the one that caught my eye was a 2007 SE with a price tag under $14K. Dark blue with less than 28K miles on it, I was intrigued. I explained to him what I was looking for in a car: safety, fuel efficiency, and a low price. It already met two out of three, so he explained the safety features to me. I like what I was hearing.

After making a few ominous references to the middle-of-nowhere dealership from hell that I had recently visited (okay, I'm exaggerating, but they still suck), he finally asked me, looking a little surprised and confused at my hints, where I had gone. "Reiss Ford," said the Dread Pirate Davi. Juan's reaction was to roll his eyes. That spoke volumes right there about Sucky Dealership's reputation. I explained to him my confusion over what I thought to be my decent credit score. We sat down, go to talking, went over some options, etc etc. They came up with a figure for the trade-in value of my 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS, which was $1K ovver blue book value (and, conveniently, a hundred dollars over the payoff price for the loan...sweeeeeet). After coming up with guestimated monthly payment, I decided to go home and sleep on it.

After class the next day, I went back. I was told that my credit score was not what I thought it to be (thanks for nothing,, and the obstacles standing in the way of my taking home the car that day. Without going into boring details, we managed to clear them. These people were really working hard to get me the best deal possible. The bank they were working with (who, according to the finance officer, is a bad subprime lender...I'll have to look up the exact meaning of that) would not seal the deal without a $1600 down payment. So they gave me another grand for the trade-in value, which would go towards the down payment, and I just needed to give them $600. I could live with that. Finally the finance officer sat me down, told me my actual credit score (so appalling that I will not share it with you), and even explained to me why it was that low and why the bank they were working with was going with an APR of...take a deep breath, sit down, grab the nearest bottle of liquor...19.9%.

(I can see Laggin having a stroke as she reads this. Breathe, Laggin, breathe!!)

I felt so defeated. My payments would be around $370. I wouldn't be able to afford extending the warranty. But I took the deal. Why?? As I spelled it out for Fiance (necessary, because I die of swine flu, the poor man will inherit all my ghastly debt):

1- Even with taxes and what have you figured in, I was getting the car for less than blue book value.
2- The dealership was giving me the payoff amount for my car and more ($2K more than it's worth), and I don't see anyone anywhere giving me that kinda deal; Reiss Ford was only giving me $2200 for it. The Santa Fe will be paid off, and I have a down payment.
3- The Santa Fe has 111,000 miles on it. And I'm still making payments towards it?? No thank you.
4- It's a simple loan, which means I can pay extra towards the principle without incurring penalties.
5- I plan on refinancing in six months to get my interest rate down.

I signed the paperwork, but the finance officer said he might be able to get a better deal come Monday. I did not hold out hope for this. But at least I had a "new" car.

I missed a call from his this afternoon, and listened to the voicemail later. He told me that he had indeed gotten a better deal, and that my payments were now $327 with the warranty. Happy dance, anyone?? I just needed one document, and the deal was done.

I obtained said document, and headed over there with Dee. Juan was waiting, and he brought us in to see Anthony, the finance officer. He said he had found a better bank to go through, and showed me what the numbers were now like. He ripped up the old forms, and brought out the new ones for me to sign. I asked what my APR was now, expecting something between 10 - 15%.

"Seven point seven-five," says he.

My jaw dropped, and I turned to Dee who mirrored the expression on my face. I was in shock, and I was so thrilled!! I could afford the warranty now!! My payments would only be $18 more than before!!

Juan put my new plates on my car, and even did a favor me (beyond what he had already achieved for me!!). When I was in Puerto Rico last summer, my dad bought me a car decal. It has the American flag, and next to it the Puerto Rican flag. Beneath it, in Spanish, it says "Orgulloso de las dos." It means, "Proud of the both." Which I am. When my dad bought it, I said I would not use it until I had a new car to put it on. And now I did. So Juan, being of Puerto Rican himself, was happy to put it on for me - - oh, I just realized something. I had him put it right above the break light at the bottom of my back window. My poor car has a tramp stamp!! Ha ha...Now, to come up with a name for her...One that isn't too prissy for her "tramp stamp"...I've got it. I shall name her Bella, short for Isabella. And it has nothing to do with Twilight. I liked that name long before Stephanie Meyers was writing.

As I have denounched Reiss Ford of Marissa, Illinois, so shall I praise Auffenberg Ford North of O'Fallon, Illinois. I want to thank Juan Cruz, Kim Robison, and Anthony Brinker for all their help in putting me into a new car. They were friendly and helpful beyond belief. Thank you.

2007 Ford Fusion SE 4D.
Front-wheel drive.
< 27,000 miles.
Between 25 and 31 mpg.
ABS and MP3 multi CD changer.
Dark blue.
Tramp stamp on the rear window.
Named "Bella".

PS...Juan told me to blog about this, but he might not have thought I'd actually do it. So, if you go there, and you deal with him, tell him about this post.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


On Monday, I received an ad from a dealership informing me that I was a guaranteed winner of one of five prizes, and that the dealership was having a huge sale on top of that. After reading the fine print, I was convinced it was legit. So Tuesday, after work, I drove 40 minutes to the small Ford dealership. Once their, I allowed a man named Bill to show me some of their used cars. I was particulary smitten with a black 2006 Ford Fusion SEL with black leather interior and a moon roof. We took it for a test drive before we went inside to get my prize and talk financing. I wasn't really serious about buying a car, but I would like a change in vehicles, and I was curious. For one reason or another, they couldn't come up with the numbers right there. So they gave me my prize, and they let me take the Fusion for the night.

Now, as I said before, I was a guaranteed winner of one of five prizes: $100 in cash, a $250 WalMart gift card, a Ford Edge, another cash prize...and I forget the last one. I won the gift card. I was pleased.

Now, to make a long story short, it was not going to work out with the 2006 Fusion, so the dealership tried to get me to buy a 2010 Fusion. Finally, I told them this afternoon that it just wasn't going to work on my end, and Bill said that with my permission, he would keep looking around to see if he could find me a 2008 and call me if he did. I said this was fine.

I got off work and headed to WalMart to spend my gift card. I got some groceries, and then grabbed $238 worth of clothes, shoes, bedding, picture frames, a book, and a dish rack. I headed to the register, and the total was $403. I gave the cashier the gift card and told her I would use debit to pay for the rest. She swiped it, and my new total was $398.

Three hundred and ninety-eight American dollars.

I blinked, and said, "That's it?!" She said, "Yeah, it only had $5 on it."

Five American dollars.

I blinked again. I'm pretty sure I turned red. I paid the balance, and left.

My friends, I am livid. Tomorrow I am calling Bill to give him a piece of my mind. If you live in Southern Illinois, do NOT go to Reiss Ford. Avoid them like the fucking plague.

Update: I just left them the following message on their website.

On 22 September, I went to your dealership with an ad in my hand stating that I had won one of five prizes. My prize was a $250 WalMart gift card. This evening, on 24 September, I attempted to use that gift card. IT ONLY HAD FIVE DOLLARS ON IT. I cannot believe how close I was to purchasing a brand new 2010 Ford Fusion from Bill Range. I will never come anywhere near your dealership again. Furthermore, I will inform all of my acquaintances within a fifty-mile radius to avoid your dealership. I am absolutely livid, and frankly disappointed that my good impression of your employees has been shattered. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Good Left Undone.

In fields where nothing grew but weeds,
I found a flower at my feet,
Bending there in my direction,
I wrapped a hand around its stem,
I pulled until the roots gave in,
Finding there what I’d been missing,

But I know…
So I tell myself, I tell myself it’s wrong.
There’s a point we pass from which we can’t return.
I felt the cold rain of the coming storm.

All because of you,
I haven’t slept in so long.
When I do I dream of drowning in the ocean,
Longing for the shore where I can lay my head down,
I’ll follow your voice,
All you have to do is shout it out.

Inside my hands these petals browned,
Dried up, fallen to the ground
But it was already too late now.
I pushed my fingers through the earth,
Returned this flower to the dirt,
So it could live. I walked away now.

But I know…
Not a day goes by that I don’t feel this burn.
There’s a point we pass from which we can’t return.
I felt the cold rain of the coming storm.

All because of you,
I haven’t slept in so long,
When I do I dream of drowning in the ocean,
Longing for the shore where I can lay my head down,
I’ll follow your voice,
All you have to do is shout it out.

All because of you…
All because of you…

All because of you,
I haven’t slept in so long.
When I do I dream of drowning in the ocean,
Longing for the shore where I can lay my head down,
Inside these arms of yours.

All because of you,
I believe in angels.
Not the kind with wings,
No, not the kind with halos,
The kind that bring you home,
When home becomes a strange place.
I’ll follow your voice,
All you have to do is shout it out.
Rise Against
The Sufferer and the Witness

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kanye West vs Beyonce.

Kanye West : Terrible music. Stupid popped colors. Drinking Hennesy straight from the bottle on national television where all the kids who idolize you can see. Humiliating a young girl in front of the entire world as she wins her first Moon Man. Being such a jackass that even our President admits it out loud. I could go on, but I'm the middle of a writing frenzy.
Score: Negative-inifiniti cool points.

Beyonce: Great singer. Great dancer. Class act. Gave a poor girl her interrupted moment of glory.
Score: A bajillion cool points.

Yes, Kanye, your mother would be very ashamed of you. The higher you climb, the farther you fall. One day, you will wake up to find yourself alone, with nothing but your arrogance and your $12 million-dollar music videos to keep you company.