Video – Where Have I Been?

Here’s a long ramble, split in two, with what I’ve been doing and where I’ve been.   Hope you like it…them…whatever.

 

 

October in an Even Year

You all know that I’m crazy about baseball.   You probably also know that I love the Giants specifically.  You may have also noticed that it is October in an ever year.   So, it should come as no surprise that the Giants have made it to the playoffs again, and I am freaking out.   Let the fun begin.

Expedia Sucks

This could end up being very long, and if you don’t really want to hear about it, please feel free to not read ahead.  Please don’t read to the end and then leave a comment telling me what I should have done.  It’s clearly too late for that.   I am pretty much throwing this out there as a last ditch effort, as I have been told by several people that throwing a hissy fit on some social media is a really good way of getting the attention of a company that doesn’t want to pay attention to you, or is trying to avoid your issue as hard as they fucking can.  At this point, that’s where I stand with Expedia.

So, as you may know, if you read this blog regularly or follow me on twitter or instagram, I broke my leg in March.   It was a massively unfortunate accident, and it derailed several plans about how I was hoping to spend my summer.   Initially I had hoped to spend two weeks or so in Portugal over the summer.  I have never been to Portugal, and it would have been my second ever trip to “The Continent”, the first being in Paris over New Years.  One of the things I was looking forward to doing in Portugal was spending time at the sea, and of course, surfing.  When I broke my leg, I knew that a big summer trip was out, and that if I did go anywhere, it would be nowhere near any ocean, so that I would not have to sit and look at it, knowing I couldn’t enjoy it.  I did that once before in Kauai.  It sucked.

But I did want something to look forward to over the summer, for “after” the injury, when I could walk again.  Not something overly taxing, and I didn’t want to be away from home for too long.  I decided to look for some place that I had never been, in the United States, where I could I stay in a really nice place, and just kind of be away.   In April, I hopped on Expedia, and looked at several cities that I had been curious about, and found a lovely hotel that I was really excited to visit, and so I booked my airfare and hotel for a long weekend in June in Nashville.    And at that time, I opted for Expedia’s trip insurance, just in case my leg wasn’t good enough to go.

As the time drew near, I realized that I would be able to make the trip, and I was looking forward to it.  I knew it would be a little bit difficult with my leg, but I thought it would a great idea to sit in a beautiful hotel, with my leg up, writing and reading, and whatnot.  I bought a ticket to the Grand Ole Opry, just because “when in Rome.”

The only downside of the trip that I booked was that a non-stop wasn’t available, and so in order to make the timing work the way I wanted it to, I booked a red-eye out of San Francisco.

Fast forward to the day of my departure in June.  I was mostly packed, just throwing the last of my stuff in my bag, and about to head out the door around 8:30 or so for an 11:30 flight.  I was going to get a ride to the train station, and take the BART into the airport, which takes awhile.  Just as I was throwing my toothbrush into my bag, double checking my packing list, and putting on my shoes, I got an alert that my flight was cancelled.    Thankfully, I hadn’t already left.

I got on the phone, and called the airline.  I sat on hold with them for over an hour.  At that point, it was getting really late, and I was tired.   As I was sitting on hold, I got an email from Expedia saying that I had been rebooked on a flight in the morning, and to call immediately to confirm.  I hung up on the airline, and called the number in the email.

When I spoke to the representative over the phone, she said that the airline had booked me already for the 6:00 am flight, which would connect through Dallas, and I wouldn’t get to Nashville until about 6:30 that evening.  This meant I would lose a day of my long weekend, I would miss the show at the Grand Ole Opry, and oh yeah, I had no way of getting to the airport by six in the morning, since the BART doesn’t run that early, and it was too late to call for a shuttle to pick me up.  I was already exhausted, so I asked about the trip insurance.   The representative told me that since it was before the time i had booked the flight to leave, and since the cancellation would be due to the airline (American Airlines, for the record) that I would qualify for a full refund of the hotel and the airfare.  I told her that I would like to cancel.

She explained that I would have to wait on the line, because she would have to contact the airline with me on the call to cancel since they had already booked me on the 6 o’clock flight.  She put me on hold, and I continued to hold for over an hour, again.

And then I was disconnected.

I called back, and explained my whole situation again, and the person I spoke to said that they would continue to try to get in touch with the airline, and that someone from Expedia would call me back once the airline was on the phone, so that we could complete my cancellation, and get my refund.  Meanwhile, they had already processed the hotel cancellation, and I should expect that refund in a few days.

It was close to midnight when I got off the phone.  I tried to stay up for a little while, expecting someone from Expedia to call me   back.  At some point, I fell asleep.   They never called me back.

The next morning, I called again. I was placed on hold again.  I was disconnected after a long period on hold again.   I called back.  I was told again that someone would try to get through to the airline, and then call me back, and that I didn’t have to wait on the line, as long as I would be available to take their call.   I hung around my apartment all day, waiting for them to call me back.  My vacation turned into a staycation, and then it turned into being stuck in my apartment, waiting for a call back.  Yes, I could have taken my phone and left the house, but I didn’t want to risk missing the call, so I thought it was best to stay home where I knew I would hear it ring.   They never called.

Over the next several days, this cycle repeated.  I would call Expedia whenever I knew I had a couple of hours to spare, be put on hold, put the phone on speaker, try to relax and enjoy my time off, eventually get dropped from hold without resolution.  I was told almost every day that if I got dropped off the call, they would call me back as soon as they got American Airlines on the phone.  That never happened.   Finally, a day or two before I had to go back to work, I was told by a supervisor at the call center not to worry about the refund, they would take care of it, I didn’t have to call anymore, I would just get an email in a couple of days to confirm my cancellation and refund.

I waited five business days, and I didn’t hear anything back from Expedia.  No phone call.  No email.  No refund.    I called them again from work.

This time I was told something completely different.  I was told I would have file a claim with the travel insurance company.  This is the first I had heard of another company being responsible.   The person I spoke to from Expedia transferred me to the  insurance company – Aon Affinity/Berkely Travel.

The representative from the insurance company, after I explained the whole situation, told me that I would not qualify for a refund, based on the policy I had purchased, and that all I could get was a credit from the airline.  I was so angry and flustered, and I explained that I had been told exactly the opposite by Expedia.  He said I would have to file a claim, and that I would find out what I was eligible for.

I thought that the phone call was what was needed to process the claim.   I got an email from the insurance company a few days later, and because I was irritated, I didn’t read it closely.  A few weeks later (admittedly, I’m not sure exactly how many weeks), I double-checked the email, and realized that I had been mistaken.  I still had to file paperwork in order to get a refund or credit.   If someone had said that first night that I had to fill out paperwork, I would have done it then, but at this point, I was tired of dealing with it, and for some reason, kind of embarrassed that it hadn’t been resolved.  I shouldn’t have been embarrassed, though.  None of this was my fault.  I did the responsible thing by purchasing the insurance.

So, it took me awhile to get over all that and fill it out, but I finally did, and I submitted it.

Last week I got a letter from them.  According to the letter, the type of  travel insurance that I purchased from Expedia at the time that I booked my trip was not provided by their company.  The policy I had purchased was Expedia’s own, and they were the responsible party for dealing with my cancellation and refund, and that I should contact Expedia.

I have not tried to contact Expedia.   I dread dealing with Expedia.  I don’t ever want to deal with them again.  Their customer service is a nightmare.

I know now that I should have been taking better notes, getting the names and IDs of all the people I spoke to, and logging the dates and times.  I should have stayed more on top of it, instead of putting off dealing with it.   I should emailed them, and called them more.

But I already missed my trip.  And spent hours of my time dealing with this.  I didn’t want to give them any more of my time.    I missed my trip, but I thought it would be alright, because at least I could spend the money on something nice for myself.

So, Expedia sucks.  American Airlines probably sucks, too.  If I could have gotten in touch with them in the first place, I might not have had to cancel my trip at all.  I wouldn’t have had to call Expedia at all.

But I’d rather know that Expedia sucks.

Aon Affinity / Berkely Travel isn’t all that great, either, since they could have told me at the beginning that they weren’t the ones who I had purchased the insurance from.  How hard could it have been to look that up?

Has anyone else out there had a horrible experience dealing with Expedia and trip cancellations?   Or any bad experience with them at all?   Let me know about it down in the comments.  Let’s vent.

 

Oh, and for my trip to New Zealand in a few months, I’m booking the hotels and stuff myself.  No more Expedia.

This Week’s Throwback Thursday

Usually on Thursdays, people post (embarrassing) pictures of themselves from “back in the day”.   I do it a little bit different.

Click on my First Grade School pic for a classic Just Sayin’ Blog post from “Way Back When”

Throwback Thursday

Ambivalence

One of my pet peeves is the misuse of words, and probably the word I hear misused the most, at least in my life and circle of associates, is ‘ambivalence’.  People use it when what they really mean is ‘apathy’.   ‘Apathy’ means you can’t be arsed, or you give no fucks at all.   People often talk about being ambivalent about things they don’t care about.  That’s not what that word means.

‘Ambivalence’ is when you’re of two minds or have mixed feelings about a thing.

For example, I am ambivalent about intimacy.   That’s right, I have two minds about human touch and emotional closeness.

Almost every night, as I climb into bed, I long for someone to hold onto, but as I stretch out like a starfish, face down with four limbs splayed out in each direction, I appreciate the luxuriousness of a queen-sized bed for me and me alone.  I imagine how nice it would be if there was someone to say goodnight to, but I’m glad it’s quiet and cool, and I don’t have to lie awkwardly still, while someone drops off to sleep, always first, beside me.  I sit here, day after day, so glad to live alone, with time and space to study, read, film videos, and write, all the while feeling that I wish there was someone to sit next to me and read over my shoulder or tell me about their day.  But then, if they could only stay for a short time, and go away again, that’d be good.   I love to sit with my friends and talk for hours about how I just need to have more time peace and quiet.   I love looking straight and deep into my friends eyes when they’re telling me a story, but I wish everyone would stop looking at me.

I crave it, and I don’t.    I avoid it, and miss it.  I wish I had it, and I run away from it when I see it coming.   That is ambivalence.

So, if you really don’t give a rat’s ass about Fantasy Football, you’re not ambivalent about it.  You’re apathetic.

Just sayin’.

I’m leaving it all undone

peggyluwho:

A reminder….getting stuff done isn’t everything in life.

Originally posted on kelzbelzphotography:

image

I’m leaving things undone today. Not matter how much my mind is urging me to clean and work. I must let my body recover. Im nothing to myself or my children, if I’m physically and mentally drained.

View original

Tired of Being Sick, Sick of Being Tired

I’ve been sick for over a week.  Without getting too graphic, I’ve been having sinus trouble that’s been causing me to have a nasty cough.    There are times during the day when I stop coughing for a few hours, and I think that I’m getting better, but it hasn’t lasted.  I’ve tried everything that I can think of to try to cure my problem, or at least bring me relief.  Some things help for a short time, but nothing has been permanent, obviously.

I’m a fan of herbal and home remedies, if you have’t noticed.  I’d rather use something natural or chemical-free to fix my ailments, whenever possible.  So, I’ve been using a plethora of products and methods.   I have some herbal drops that I’ve been using to make tea, things with names like “Sinus & Lung Blaster.”   I also sat the other night with my head hanging over a bowl of boiled water with eucalyptus oil under a mini-tent created by a sarong.   Yes, I’ve been using the neti pot.  And when all else has failed, I’ve even taken Mucinex.   The thing is, unless I’m constantly drinking some beverage or other, sooner or later the stuff from my sinuses that’s ending up in my throat makes me cough.  I’m well hydrated.

The other thing that stops the coughing is being asleep.  I’m not having any trouble with being tired; I’m exhausted from all the coughing and running to the bathroom to return all the water and tea I’ve been drinking.  The problem is balancing my desire for relief from both the coughing and the exhaustion with my previous and well documented insomnia problems.

This evening, I screwed up.  I just couldn’t help it, and I couldn’t take it anymore.  As soon as I got home from work, I went straight to bed.   I really couldn’t help it, though.  And it was delicious.  I slept so good, and I wasn’t coughing.  Even when I woke up, for a little while, I just laid there, and felt better than I’ve felt in over a week.  Mr. Darcy, my cat, even came and laid next to me and purred for a little while I scratched behind his ears.  It was cozy, and nice, and everything good.

The problem is, I only slept for three hours.  And now here it is, 1 a.m. and I’m awake.

Because as an insomniac, the last thing I should ever do is take a nap after work, or nap for longer than 25 minutes ever. And I know this.  And I did it anyway.

I should be going to bed every night at the same time, and getting up in the morning at the same time.  I should follow the same routine every night before bed.  I should never sit on my bed, or do anything on my bed, except for bed stuff.   I should avoid caffeine after three in the afternoon.   I should never drink alcohol.   I know how helpful sleep medication can be, but habit forming, and I know the pitfalls of relying on them.   I know that vanilla, chamomile, and lavender can make you drowsy.  I know to turn off my electronics at least half an hour before I try to go to sleep.

I know all these rules.  I live by these rules.  I know the consequences of not following these rules.  I also know the effects of sleep deprivation all too well.  And I know there’s less of a chance that my immune system will be able to evict whatever is causing this sinus problem without proper sleep.  In short, I know better.

But god damn was that nap worth it!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pee for the 500th time today, and then I’m going to try to find something really boring to read.

Just sayin’.

 


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