31 October 2009

NextRX is the Suck—A Dissatisfied Customer

I got a phone call from my doctor's office yesterday, concerned about the "amount of asthma medication I've been using lately." I needed to set up an appointment ASAP to the tune of a $30 copay, so I could explain myself to my doctor.

My doctor knew about the "amount of asthma medication I've been using lately" because my pharmacy called her. The pharmacy I am obligated to use if I want to pay $50 instead of $75 every three months for my inhaler(s). I get one inhaler a month, twelve a year, three at a time. Enter NextRX.

For starters, they are a bitch to deal with. I can't find a list of medications they cover anywhere on their website, even though they point out their handy, easy to see link to print out covered medication. I go to their site through my health insurance provider's proprietary link, not to the NextRX website, so there should be a list of covered meds, but they refer me back to my insurance provider's website. Useless.

My second complaint is that they call. All the goddamn time. Any time a prescription is up for renewal, they call. And they call and they call. And they don't leave messages, because it is a moronic automatic system that can't even leave a voice mail. You can't opt for email, you can't opt out of the calls. Your only option is to get the phone calls. They always call at the worst time, i.e. during the week wasting my daytime minutes, every two hours until I answer and go through their automated routine. It's a machine. It can't work on weekends?

So because it's easier than writing a lengthy email to the company, I just refill the stupid prescriptions. It's better than having my phone ring incessantly. I guess I could say no, but then I have to remember to do it myself. It's not a big deal, but then I'd have to refill them even sooner than the machine calls, and the machine calls roughly halfway between the pre-order time and the refill time.

So they "snitched" on me to my doctor because I was refilling so "frequently." I don't know what they said to her, but my doctor was concerned even though my prescription hasn't changed in the four years I've been seeing her.

Am I using more medication than they want me to? I'm not using more than I've been prescribed. Do they not want to have to pay for it? I don't really think that's their call. What if I needed more than what I currently take? PS, my asthma is stress induced. THANKS, NEXTRX.

I called my doctor's office and told them I'm not paying $30 to let her listen to my chest for no reason and sort this out. Because even if I could afford it, it's a hassle to go out to Arlington, MA to see my doctor, and I only like to do it when I'm sick or need my yearly violation and prescription party.

I don't know what NextRX's problem is, but I'm not the only one who hopes that they all go to hell. Here's a webpage with some stories of really shitty things they've done across the country:

29 October 2009

Things I Love Thursday

Season Change

My polarizing filter, which I finally figured out how to use • H&M for making such fabulous clothes • employee discounts at Macys (I will not abuse. I will not abuse. I will not abuse) • scarves, mittens and leg warmers • new business cards that say what I do! And were designed by me! • being a regular at trivia night - and now being applauded, hugged, or wolf whistled at by the bartender whenever I arrive • spinach quiche • this video of Sleepyhead by Passion Pit:

27 October 2009

How I've Tried To Save Money

I've been talking about saving money a lot recently, and I figured I'd share some of the ways I have managed to do that. The biggest savings I have seen in recent months has been in school supplies. I searched high and low for an inexpensive binder for all of the materials my professor has been giving us, but ended up going with something at Target that was functional—I was looking at the start of the school year, of course, so I was left with the bare bones. A day later, while we were at the recycling center, J pointed me towards a whole box full of binders! They were basically brand new, and after cleaning them off, they were even better than the cheapo one I'd picked up at Target for nearly $4 (after taxes)! So here are some of the ways I've been saving:
  • Getting binder from recycling center ($4)
  • Finding my T-square at Goodwill. They usually run around $20, and the wood ones can be even more expensive, but we'll just say that after paying $7 for this barely used wood T-Square at Goodwill, I saved ($13)
  • Getting my textbook from the library. I did end up purchasing it after reading it, deciding I'd use it long after the class was over, and getting a 25% off coupon from Borders.com. I also had it shipped to the store to save on shipping costs (they were out of stock at all of my local stores and amazon, so shipping was necessary). I ended up getting a $21 (at brick and mortar stores) $17 (online) book for $13 ($8 if for some reason I had needed to buy it Right Now at the store, $4 if I could have waited for shipping, but not a coupon).
  • I use cereal boxes to ship things that I sell on half.com and ebay. They're sturdy, and we're going to recycle them, anyway. If I cut them correctly, I don't use that much tape, so the cost of supplies I might have to buy is negligible. To pad them, I use newspaper or packing materials from things we've had shipped. I doubt I've saved much (since you can usually get packing materials on the cheap with very little effort), but it also saves me a trip to the post office/store, and thins our recycling pile, which brings me to the next item:
  • Buying my postage online. You can get free priority boxes delivered to your address (I usually only use cereal boxes when my stuff doesn't fit in these boxes). If you purchase priority shipping on usps.com and print it out yourself, you save 10¢, and you get free delivery confirmation, which is a savings of about 85¢ per box shipped. I still have to go to the post office if the package is too big for a mailbox drop, but it's a faster trip. (I've saved $4.25 in the past month)
  • I downgraded my cell phone plan. I'm lucky enough not to be under contract, so I have some options that I can easily change on a month-to-month basis. I'm contemplating a change in carrier in the near future, but for now I determined I could save $5/month by downgrading my daytime minutes. I rarely use my phone at the moment, anyway. ($10 so far)
  • Taking reusable bags to the grocery store. I usually need two bags, which gets us a 10¢ discount (5¢/bag). Since we've started cooking more, I've gone to this store about once a week, sometimes less sometimes more, but I'd say it averages once a week. It's kind of insignificant at 5¢ a bag, but over a year we end up getting $5 for doing something we are already doing. Our local Target has now implemented the same policy, which I think is a great reward for a habit we already have. (~$5 this year)
  • Buying generic milk. We both drink different kinds of milk, but I buy half-gallons for us every week. The generic is not only 50¢ cheaper, it's equally sustainable as the name brand we used to buy. This will save us up to $52 in a year. ($4 so far)

So, $50 later, I thought it was worth documenting. There are lots of little things I do these days that don't take much of my time, but because I do have the time (and not the money) it's worth the extra effort to save a few dollars. I could further calculate things like making our own pizza, which I know for a fact saves a ton of money (as often as we eat pizza!), but I thought I'd stick to things I've consciously done in the last two months.

Even though I can't fathom the time when I can start markedly saving up again, I have some significant financial goals I'd like to reach sometime in the next five years. If I can learn to live like this when I have a more appreciable income, it will be so much easier.

22 October 2009

Things I Love Thursday

This video from Improv Everywhere:

People breaking out into spontaneous song and dance? Count me in! I wish my life were a musical.

Getting great news . Good news is one thing, but getting news that makes me jump up and down and want to dance...well, it made my week is what.

The Tightwad Gazette . I got this book from the library and the lessons inside were pretty inspiring. It came into my life in a time when we really need to start cutting back, and while some of the methods she employs in the book are a bit extreme (read: "cheap" rather than "frugal"), the overarching lesson is great. It made me sit down and evaluate how to reach some bigger financial goals, even now that times are tight. You can get it here at Amazon, or pick it up at your library (funnily enough, buying the book goes against the whole purpose of the book :)

Glee . Glee is the best new show on TV. If you're not already watching it you should be. If you are, well, then you already know.

21 October 2009

The Official Resume of Mac and Charlie

"Duties that include ordering supplies and taking care of business..."
"For several years, I've been in complete charge of pretty much everything in my life."
"I don't miss a beat."

Relevant because after a conversation we had yesterday about client relationships and freelancing and being my own boss, J said, "I know just the thing that you need," went over to his desk, grabbed the following newspaper clipping and taped it to my computer.


Things I Value More Than Money

Mental health . Being able to express my feelings in a healthy way, finding someone who can relate to me and sympathize with my problems, and being capable of addressing issues when they bother me. Seeking professional help when all of these options fail to make me feel better. Being free of anxiety and depression; feeling a sense of contentment and a zest for living life.

Physical health . Getting up and moving around every day. Not huffing and puffing when I walk up a flight of stairs. Eating better, exercising more, and making choices that will make me fitter, healthier and happier.

My relationship . Bringing someone else into my life who accepts me in a non-judgmental way. Someone who helps me grow, who supports me no matter what I want to do. Someone who I can open up to, who I can let into my whole world. Someone who knows the best and the worst and still wants to wake up next to me every morning.

Friends & family . People I care about who share my interests, whose relationships with me involve shared experiences. People who make my life richer and fuller just by being present.

Experiences . Interacting with people, seeing new things, facing my fears. The rush I get from experiencing something new and exciting isn't something I can buy.

Personal passions & hobbies . Activities that make me feel truly fulfilled, things that excite me and get me out of bed in the morning. Hopefully finding that seeking my passions can lead to a career, and eventually even making money doing something I love.

Personal Growth . When I look at how much money (and time) I've "thrown away" towards therapy, I remind myself how much I've reshaped and defined my life in the last two years. I have found many opportunities to grow as a person, to change my behaviors and my beliefs, to challenge my life's narrative and re-write a new story for myself. In my case, working to grow as a person has cost me a lot of money, and a few personal relationships as well. But knowing that I can change my outlook on the world for the better is invaluable.

18 October 2009


Here's a video about Idaho's "Rolling Stop" Law for cyclists. It is highly rational and educational about things like momentum and how a rolling stop is not "blowing through a stop sign."

Also Here is an article from Slate about how to get cyclists to obey the traffic laws. Written by a cyclist, of course, and offering no new information, but still well written, presenting both the "vehicularist" and "facilitator" arguments towards cyclist traffic laws.

16 October 2009

How to Work Out From Home

Gala Darling posted this video on her website today, and I couldn't stop laughing. This guy reminds me a lot of Charlie Day, or maybe more specifically his character in Always Sunny. You know, if Charlie had kids.

This weekend is going to be a cold one. Evidently we're going to be getting SNOW! Ack! Yeah, this is why I moved to the East Coast (seasons, y'all), but SNOW? In OCTOBER? Yeah, it's not supposed to stick or anything, but still. Stay warm, everyone.

15 October 2009

Things I Love Thursday

This dog as a taco, which was in a link J sent me today. See more puppies dressed as food here.

Pub Trivia. I like that we now have more people coming to trivia. Not that it wasn't fun when it was just me and Jess, but more people means more answers. Usually. Sometimes.

Law and Order: SVU. I Can't. Stop. Watching. Thank you, Netflix.

14 October 2009

Cute Squirrel Crashes Photo

I saw this image on cute overload, along with the explanation of why it's not photoshopped on the National Geographic blog.

What a great capture! So lucky.

13 October 2009

Earplugs and Vodka

Today has been a test of my patience. Like, the SATs of patience. Upstairs neighbor walked around in his shoes for about 20 minutes this morning, then when he was taking a shower, stompy tried on some stiletto heels.

Then, the construction workers who are working on the house kitty-corner to our apartment building joined the chorus with their drilling and sledgehammering. That was fun.

So I came to the front of the house. And DPW started jack-hammering in the streets. Yey.

There was some peace for about two hours, but then stompy dragged a dead body down the stairwell did something so noisy in their stairwell (which is adjacent to the length of our apartment), I couldn't even imagine what was going on. Turns out she was sweeping. SWEEPING!

I know this post is going to come off as typical angry me, but the reason I even felt the need to write it down is that I think that today wasn't actually so bad. These things happened, almost consecutively, and for long enough to cause disruption in my work flow, but I got through them. If I'm not going to have a heart attack at 26, then I should probably learn how to let these things happen without my anger, because they're going to happen, anyway.

Every day is a new day. I would go upstairs and reintroduce myself to stompy, apologize and gift them a bottle of wine (and maybe some slippers), but that would require I be a bigger, better person. I'm not quite there, yet. For now I'll stick to earplugs.

11 October 2009

David Cross: An Open Letter to Larry The Cable Guy

I can't wait to pick up a copy of this book from the library (it's waiting for me at the front desk)!

The following YouTube videos will play an excerpt from the audiobook I Drink For A Reason, by David Cross. The backstory is this: Larry the Cable Guy apparently wrote some stuff about David Cross in his book regarding a (mis)quote of David Cross in Rolling Stone magazine. "I have to warn you that this letter is nearly 11 pages long, but...who gives a shit? You're not reading it, I'm reading it to you—so don't be lazy." —David Cross

Part One

Part Two

08 October 2009

Things I Love Thursday

New Couch Pillows - I finally used the marimekko fabric I bought last year for its intended purpose and made my couch pillows. They're a little...really bright orange, but they make me happy. Maybe I can find a way to bring another pop of color into the room to make the pillows look a little bit less OHMIGOD, PILLOWS, but I'm really happy with the way they came out.

A Day at The Magic Kingdom Park - It has been quite a while since I last went to Disney World, and I'm not a fan of crowds, but there is something so magical about this video; I kind of look forward to the distant future when I have kids with whom I will be able to share this joy:

Earplugs - Take that upstairs stompy neighbor, passersby and traffic. Especially stompy. Yeah, my computer needs to be a little bit louder, and it's taken some adjustment, but it's remarkable how well this solution is working!

Autumn Leaves
- I got a polarizing filter for this autumn. I can't wait to see some leaves a'changing. Let's go fall! Also, I really wish I lived here:

image by lidarose

07 October 2009

Ten Ways To Feel Better in 60 Seconds

Ten Ways to Feel Better in 60 Seconds

Usually I see posts like this one and I roll my eyes because it's the same old stuff, and none of it ever works for me. Maybe this post was different, or maybe the way it was written resonated with me, but I liked it so I thought I'd share.

Drinking water and sitting up straight are two things I really need to work on. If I ever find a way to really de-stress, though...I'll let you know.

03 October 2009

Things I Love Thursday: Special Sunday Edition

Dachshunds: I love little wiener dogs. Ever since we puppy sat, I see wiener dogs everywhere, and I love their little legs and their floppy ears. They're so long! And cute! Here are two Pedigree commercials that demonstrate how cute dachshunds are, and also how adorable David Duchovny is (even though he is a sex addict):

And don't worry. There are a ton more commercials where those came from—probably to be featured in a future TILT. Here's a photo demonstrating how unnaturally long a wiener dog's tongue is:

And yes, I paid dearly for being that close to a dog for five days straight. How could I not let her sleep on my lap, though?

And if you're not convinced yet:

Joann Fabric: I get their e-coupons all the time, and usually don't even bother until there's a 50% off coupon, which happens a few times a year. Most of the time I don't need anything that badly, but this time I got a giant cutting mat (good for graphic design classes) that basically came with a free rotary cutter and quilting ruler. After the 50% coupon, there wasn't a better deal to be found. Yey, cheap school supplies!