Thinking of leaving Sprint for T-Mobile… advice?

After two years with Sprint, I am thinking of breaking my contract and going back to T-Mobile because I am tired of Sprint charging me for crap I am not using. I had t-mobile for many years before switching in 2003, and the only reason I switched was because my contract was up and I starting thinking I needed a carrier with better coverage.

I love my phone with Sprint and my coverage, but I cannot afford to keep paying up to $20 a month in bogus charges. T-Mobile has great plans (see below), but the only thing I am worried about is coverage. When I left in 2003, I had great coverage in homes and outside, but not so great in some big buildings (like the hospital or grocery stores.)

Does anyone have any T-Mobile or Sprint experiences they’d like to share with me?

And, Verizon users, I love you all and I know Verizon is the best carrier, but they are waaaay too expensive for me so I am not even considering them at this point. Below is a comparison of the T-Mobile plan I’m looking at and my current Sprint plan:

T-Mobile
For $39.99 I get 300 anytime minutes, unlimited nights and weekends (starting at 9 p.m.) and unlimited anytime minutes to my “fave five” (I get to pick 5 numbers–any carrier, can even be landline numbers–and have unlimited anytime minutes to and from them. I can change these numbers once per calendar month. This is freaking sweet.)

Internet is $5.99 and 400 texts are $4.99 per month (texts can be text, pictures or video).

Sprint (Current plan):

$50.00 a month for 400 anytime minutes, nights and weekends are unlimited and start at 6 p.m. (I pay an extra $10 for this because when they started at 7 I went over A LOT, but just because I talked to a few people on the way home… another reason the T-Mobile “fave five” plan is looking great to me.)

Internet is $15 a month (yes, FIFTEEN FREAKING DOLLARS) and 300 texts are $5 a month (but they’re text only, to send or receive picture texts it’s another $5 a month and I don’t know if you can send video.)

Plus I get charged for bogus usage (saying I used data when I didn’t, saying I went over texts when I didn’t, etc.), about $15-$20 over my plan a month and have to spend several hours on the phone to get the charges resolved (or not resolved, and I have to eat it.)

After arguing for weeks with a customer service rep I was told that the only way to avoid being charged for bogus Internet usage with Sprint was to pay for the Power Vision ($15 a month) as sort of an “insurance” policy, and that I should add a text plan to avoid paying overage charges. Now I’m being charged for sending international texts and downloading games. Bullshit.

So… I am about 90 percent sure I am going to switch back to T-Mobile… I believe they have a two-week trial period so I can make sure the coverage is adequate, but, in the meantime, does anyone out there have any experiences they can share with me? Feel free to comment here or e-mail me.

Thank you!!!

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I’ve moved my photos…

I’ve decided it was getting too disorganized and time-consuming to continue hosting my photos on my own server (well, the .Mac one, but still), so I have moved them to a Flickr account. I am in the process of redesigning my site (really just making a new home page), so pretty soon I will redirect megangoodchild.com to point to my flickr account.

Anyway, until I set up the redirect, you can view the pics–and comment on them!!–at www.flickr.com/photos/megangoodchild/sets. Let me know what you think!!

Thundercat

Thundercat had been missing for almost two weeks, and we found—and buried—him yesterday. I had gone to the pound looking for him, and when I got home I put up signs describing him. Later that evening a man across the street called and said he found him. He brought the body to us, and then offered to let us see where he was found.

He had gotten his head wedged under the tubing that connects the airconditioner to the house. We think he choked to death or possibly broke his neck. He must’ve been after something and gotten wedged and tried to get out. His nose was bloody.

The last two weeks I could’ve sworn I heard meowing in the morning, but there’s no way, when we found him, that he was dead more than a day or two, if even that. He was not stiff yet, and he was still quite heavy. He had not gotten stuck and starved to death.

I figure that someone had taken him in to their home while it was cold, and maybe I was hearing him meow from their house… or maybe I was just hearing things. But the way he was caught under the airconditioning, he probably could not have meowed. And he was such a loudmouth, the people who lived in the house definitely would have heard something. They heard nothing. They only found him because the man went out to start the grill and saw him there. He had just seen the signs I put up a few hours earlier.

The neighbor said he didn’t want to call us because he felt horrible, but he couldn’t do that because he knew he would want closure. I am so glad he called. That was a very humanitarian thing to do.

He brought him to us in a bag, and Ian and I went to a friend’s house to borrow a shovel. We dug a hole behind our house in the field he used to play in, and buried him. We did not mark the spot. I did not say any words. I might take a picture of the field today.

Thundercat was a great cat. He was exotic and rare. He was so skittish when he first came to our house, but he would come up to me. This was odd, as animals normally like Ian better. But he came and sat by me. I bought him a small dog house and a heating pad for shelter last winter, and he loved it. He had used it almost every day this winter up until he went missing.

When the tornados came thru earlier this year (the ones that destroyed parts of Gallatin), I came home from work to find him faithfully at our door. I sat on the front step in the rain for almost an hour with him on my lap, under my jacket for protection, so he wouldn’t be scared. When it started hailing, we brought him inside and tried to keep him in the basement. He would not be contained. We let him out the back door and he took off, but he returned the next day, unharmed.

He was a hoss of a cat, and made biscuits on concrete. We called him a “he,” but we never made it to the vet to find out if he was a he, and if he was neutered. We were planning on taking him the next time we saw him, and then trying to integrate him into our household so he’d have an inside place for the winter. BK hated him, but we think it’s just because she knew his beauty rivaled her own.

He was a cool cat. People probably think I’m nuts for being upset about a cat that didn’t even live inside, but he was special.

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Bah

I can’t help but feel stressed right now. I’d like to blame it on the holidays, but I don’t think it’s all their fault. I mean, I do still have to buy a few more presents on a shoestring budget, but I know what I’m going to buy and pretty much where to get them.

I’ve got a story due for work tomorrow that I’m a little stressed about, though I don’t know why. I write all the time (duh, that’s my job), so I don’t know why this one is stressing me out. So I’m blaming it on the holidays.

We were in Kroger tonight and heard James Taylor’s version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and I realized that Christmas music does not have to suck, contrary to popular belief. Well, contrary to my belief, I guess. Some people really fancy it, apparently. I think the only songs I really like at Christmastime are Carol of the Bells, Greensleeves… and now that James Taylor version. Ian told me he has a Christmas album; maybe I should check it out.

Maybe not.

It wouldn’t be the same to listen to Christmas music at home without a Christmas tree, and we can’t have one of those because our cats are assholes about them. Well, at least Gordo was when I tried to have one a few years ago. He pulled all the ornaments off and hid them under the stove. I don’t know how BK would act, but in general she’s got an attitude problem and is scampy as hell about everything else; I’d assume she’d climb the tree like Mt. Everest and plant her little cat flag, then tear its branches apart on her way down.

So, no Christmas music for me. No Hanukah music, either. I’m not Jewish, but my dad runs a Jewish deli in a suburb of Chicago and I had several Jewish friends growing up, so we always learned about the Jewish holidays and sometimes celebrated them. We didn’t get to have a menorah—and definitely didn’t get eight goddamned nights of presents, that’s for sure.

On that note, I’m off to wrap some presents for two of my friends with whom I’m having dinner tomorrow night. We usually don’t get around to celebrating Christmas until January (I think one year we could have called it a Valentine’s Day celebration), so I’m looking forward to being ahead of the game with them tomorrow evening.

Peace.

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New cat condo+new camera+catnip=good times

The cat condo we ordered for our cats for Christmas came today, and by the time I got home Ian had put it together and the cats were checking it out. To mark the occasion we broke out the catnip—and I broke out my new camera to catch it all on… digital? (What the hell do you say now?)

Anyway… here’s a slideshow of sorts (read the captions for the full effect):


New cat condo!! Let’s eat some catnip to celebrate!!


Ohmygod you guys!! YOU GUYS!! Um… I am soooo high. Gordo, you want some more??


Nah, man, I’m cool. All is gooood.


OH SHIT I HEAR THE COPS!!!!


THE COPS?!?! OH SHIT!!!


Pfft. Losers.

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My first holiday celebration of the year…

was Thursday night: my company’s Christmas party. I had heard ever since I started that Hammock parties were legendary and unforgettable, and now I know why. This was the most off-the-hook (am I too much of a cracker ass to use that phrase?) company party I’ve ever been to.

The night began with cocktails and then dinner at The Mad Platter in Nashville. The food was awesome and the was atmosphere very cozy and celebretory. It was nice to meet (or see again) all of the significant others of the folks I work with, and to hang out outside of work. After the dinner we did our gift presentation to my boss/the owner of the company, and then we were given our company gift. Holy shit. We were given a Canon SD600 6.0 megapixel camera. WOW. I think the people at my table could tell I was shocked, because I just sat there and stared at it for a few minutes to let it all sink in. I thought back to the days of $15 Kroger gift certificates that were taxable unless donated, the days of “employees get an extra 10 percent off all non-sale items in the store” as a present, and felt so lucky–and grateful–to be part of this company that does such a great job of thanking and appreciating its employees.

This was almost the exact camera I have been begging Ian to buy me forever, too. I think he was a tiny bit bummed that someone beat him to his Christmas idea, but he says he’ll think of something else. ;)

After dinner we all boarded a double-decker party bus, complete with wine and beer and music and lights! We cruised all over Nashville, though I’m not really sure where all we went, since the bottom half of the bus didn’t have see-through windows so I couldn’t really tell.

After the bus ride was over (about 11), Summer and Cole gave us a ride back to our hotel (we stayed in Nashville that night so we didn’t have to drive all the way home, and so I didn’t have to drive all the way back to work the next day–Ian had the next day off–stinker! :) ) and we crashed.

Then the icky stuff started.

I had been feeling ill the day before the party, but didn’t think much about it. Well, I woke up in the hotel Friday sometime in the middle of the night feeling like total asscrap. I was freezing cold, but sweating, and I was shaking. I got up to look at the thermostat in the room and could hardly walk I was so dizzy. It was 78 degrees, so I knew something was not right with the shivering. I lay back in the bed, and a few minutes later I felt like I was on fire. I think I drifted in and out of sleep for a few hours, and the next time I woke up I was shaking uncontrollably. I begged Ian to get me a Sprite, which he did (thank you!!!), and downed almost all of that in minutes. I’ll spare you the details of my stomach upset, but needless to say I called my boss around 8 a.m. to say I was not going to make it in by 9. I finally got to feeling well enough to stand up and take a shower, and made it in to work by noon, but just to gather my computer and head home.

It was embarrassing, though, to show up at the office, because when people saw me I think they just assumed I had too much to drink the night before and was hung over. Trust me, I told one colleague, I only had four drinks from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. If I were hung over, I’d be pissed–I didn’t even get to drink enough to warrant a hang over!!

I felt pretty fluish the rest of the day–feverish, shaky and my entire body ached. I felt pretty crappy all Saturday, but today I think I am recovering for the most part. I finally felt like I didn’t have a fever at all today, so I’m going back to work tomorrow–hopefully not to any taunting by fellow co-workers. I was asked to give a speech at the party, as one of the new-to-the-company people (though I’ve been there a year, I started just after last year’s holiday party), and had downed two of my four glasses of wine right before I gave it, so I’m afraid I sounded ridiculous (Ian assured me I just sounded mushy, not stupid). I guess I’ll find out tomorrow. It was the first time I’d drank around my co-workers, and I really don’t want them to think badly of me, so I’m hoping I’m remembering it worse than it really was.

The biggest bummer of being sick all weekend was that I missed getting to go out Saturday night with Summer and Cole (who were in town from Austin), but I just felt shitty–and definitely didn’t want to give them any germs to take back home with them. Ian even woke up sometime in the middle of the night Friday saying he felt crappy and hoped he wasn’t getting sick, so the two of us together could have been bad news for our healthy friends. Hopefully we can get a raincheck from them for the next time they’re in town.

Well, this has turned out to be a long and rambling-ass blog. Sorry. It’s been a rambling-ass weekend, I guess. I’m going to bed. Peace.

Summer thinks I’m weird

But she is too, apparently. I was tagged by Summer to share six “weird” things about myself. Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to:

  1. I have five Macintosh computers. Yes, five. Although I’ve been using Apple computers since 1984, my current personal collection is as follows: An iMac DVSE 400 MHz Graphite Special Edition from July 2000, an iMac G5 1.8 GHz 20″ (rev. A) from February 2005, an iBook SE 466 MHz Graphite Clamshell (introduced Sept. 2000 but acquired via eBay in early 2005 as a restoration project. But doubtfully can be restored. Sniff.), an iBook G4 1.33 GHz 12″ from late Summer 2005, and a PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz 12″ from March/April 2006. (We won’t talk about my two iPods.) Also, I am resentful toward the switch to Intel processors.
  2. Most of the time, I enjoy my commute to work every day. Now, let me remind you I said “most of the time.” I drive 75 miles round trip to work every day and back. On a good day, the trip in will take 45 mins to an hour, but the trip home always takes an hour or longer. I could do without the long-ass drive home, but on a clear day with little or no traffic, I LOVE my drive in. I love the time to sit and listen to good music, clear my head and wake up. Perhaps the fact that there are no mediocre commute days (they are either good or they suck total ass) makes me appreciate the drives that are smooth sailing.
  3. I eat a ridiculous amount of candy. No, you have no idea. I constantly eat candy at work. If I do not have candy at work, I will spend my lunch break at Walgreens stocking up. I eat real food, too (though some do not believe this), but I cannot function without candy. And I am not a candy snob. I do not need some high-dollar chocolate; my favorites are the kiddie types: those dots you eat off the paper, gobstoppers, candy necklaces (no I do not wear them), licorice bites, you name it. I brush my teeth regularly, but one time I had nine cavities filled in one dentist appointment. Granted, only about two or three were actual full-size cavities, but my dentist went ahead and filled the rest of the small guys in to save me the pain of the return trip when they got worse.
  4. I hate suspense/surprises. Ian hates watching movies with me, because even if it’s not a scary movie I’ll still ask him 300 times what’s going to happen in the next 5 minutes. (I cannot watch scary movies at all, but oddly enough I love reading the plot details and spoilers/endings on Wikipedia). If someone says, “I have something to tell you later,” I will freak out and demand they tell me right that second.
  5. I make big, potentially life-altering decisions extremely quickly, but I can take for-freaking-ever to make small, relatively insignificant ones. My big decisions are ALWAYS well-thought out, but I listen as much to my intuition and heart about the choice as I do to my brain and reasoning skills. I made the decision to enroll in grad school in about two hours, and the decision to leave in about four. Carrying out these decisions took longer, of course (signing up for classes, getting loans, actually finishing the semester after I’ve decided I don’t want to DO this crap anymore!!), but the actual decisions were made rather quickly and matter-of-factly. And I have no doubt they were the right ones for the time. Now, when it comes to deciding on what to eat for dinner or what color sweater to buy, that can take a loooooong time, comparatively.
  6. I associate people/places/times in my life with musical artists and/or songs. I can listen to a song and think back five or six or however many years ago in my life and feel like I am right there again. There are certain songs that I have associated with certain people in my life that I still cannot listen to. There are other songs that I can listen to and get all nostalgic. It makes me happy to know that there are songs right now that my brain is processing, and one day a few years from now I will hear them and be taken back to a place in my life that was happy, recovering, challenged, etc.
  7. Bonus “why I’m a weirdo” confession (because I like you all so much): I associate colors with days of the week. Apparently my middle sister does, too. Monday changes (I think sometimes it’s light yellow), Tuesday is always baby blue, Wednesday is usually a shade of navy, Thursday is brick red, Friday is black, Saturday is red also (a different shade than Thursday though), and Sunday is usually white.

Now Patrick, Scott, Katie, Sue and Tabby, it’s your turn to come up with six things that make you weird. Yeah, that’s a lot of people I’ve tagged. You only have to tag two in yours, but I’m all about value here on this blog.