Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! I loved trick or treating as a kid - I wish I could still do it!

I was kind of a bore this year though. I put up decorations, but that was about it. The costume I wanted sold out, so I didn't go to any parties or events. :( I'm trying to drag M to see Paranormal Activity 2 tonight (for those who've seen it - did you like it?).

I'm already looking forward to next year! Maybe I can throw my own party. And buy my costume months in advance. ;)

IBR Update

Here is a post I did on what IBR is, and here was my last issue with signing up for it.

I ended up calling Sallie Mae a couple weeks ago and telling them I wanted all deferments ended, so that IBR could be processed on all my student loans. They complied, but then said I had to apply for IBR all over again. I did, except this time I sent in my tax return instead of form 4506-t (which lets SM access my tax returns at the IRS). I originally had sent 4506-t because I e-filed, and thus didn't have a signed copy of my return. The rep encouraged me to send in the return instead of 4506-t because the processing would be faster, and told me that they didn't need a "wet" signature and just to send in the confirmation page. That's proved to be a problem.

What I sent in was a copy of my status as provided by TaxAct (showing that my return was accepted by the IRS). SM didn't like that and sent me a letter stating that I needed to send in a signed tax return or, if I e-filed, the "signed confirmation page." I called SM again, asking them if I could just sign my tax return and send it in. They reiterated I should send this signed confirmation page, which was defined as the page where I put in my pin. I vaguely remember that page, but there was no reason to print it out. So I went to TaxAct for help. They basically said SM was stupid, and that what I had provided should have been more than good enough. "It would be more than you would get it if you had paper-filed," they said. They also said that the pin entering page was irretrievable.

So what did I do? I just signed the tax return. I should have done it to begin with, but I was being silly. I thought, "oh, since I e-filed, there won't be a signature block."

So I did that, except now I haven't heard from SM. They just sent me a round of e-mails, but not a word about the IBR. So I guess I'll have to call them again. Great.

Why does this have to be such a hassle?

Win a Copy of Quicken

Krystal from Give Me Back My Five Bucks is running a Quicken contest, open to US and Canadian readers. She has 4 copies to give away, so the odds aren't bad!

Go here for more details. The contest ends on October 31st.

Good luck to everyone (and especially good luck to me! haha).


I didn't go to the interview yesterday. Mostly it was the commute and salary. It was also located in a bad area. I likely wouldn't have been able to negotiate a title change. And the area of law is very specialized, and not something I'd be interested in doing long-term. So that's that.

Jenna commented on my previous post that it took her friend a year to find an attorney job, and that job was 6 hours away from her family. I really hope it doesn't take me a year to find a job (I'll start my own firm or go back to working as a biglaw legal assistant first), but even if it did, I wouldn't consider making a move like that. Because, you know, I'm not single (like I assume Jenna's friend is). My career is still very important to me, but so is my happiness. And it's also very important to M, as evidenced by the fact that he strongly discouraged me to go to the interview yesterday and explicitly "forbade" me to take the job. (I thought that was sweet; he knows he can't really forbid me from doing anything, but he wants to make sure I know he doesn't expect me to take a crappy job in lieu of his support)

I think December 1st is my d-day. If I haven't found anything by then, and I haven't passed the bar, I'll go crawling back to my friends from biglaw and see if they'll hire me back as a legal assistant (hello 3 mile commute and 55k salary!). If I have passed the bar, I'll start looking into opening a firm with my friend.

Until then, I'm going to continue to think positive, be productive, be appreciate of my lovely guy, and enjoy my bountiful free time. :)

Pros and Cons

I went in for part one of a job interview today. Part one consisted of (a) being unable to find the organization's entrance (it was hidden!!); (b) trying to call the org's number and hearing a message to "call back within business hours, M-F 8-5" (it was early afternoon!); (c) finding the lobby and then sitting around sticking out like a sore thumb (this org helps the poor and I was wearing a Theory suit and full make-up); (c) sitting in aforementioned lobby for 30 minutes because no one was at the front desk and no one answered when I knocked on the door; (d) feeling relieved when someone opened the door, only to be puzzled by the fact that she didn't know the HR person when I mentioned her by name, and that she asked me "are you looking for someone in [org]?" (Why yes, yes I am. That's why I'm here); (e) being taken up to a room with a busted chair when the HR person finally did come out (and nearly toppling to the floor because of it); (f) taking a one hour written test; and (g) finding out that the job was not actually in this building, it was in a building much farther away (13 miles from my apartment vs. 30 miles. they couldn't have put that in the listing?!).

Because of the location and the low pay (max 47k), M thinks I shouldn't even go to the interview. He thinks I "definitely shouldn't" take the job, and that interviewing would be a waste of time for me and them. I haven't totally decided yet. eemusings and Serendipity suggested I do a pros and cons list. So here we go. :)


  1. Intrinsically rewarding. Job involves helping poor people in a variety of ways.
  2. Any job is better than no job.
  3. Claims to include excellent benefits. I won't know if that's really the case until I interview.
  4. Close the gap. The gap in my resume has been widening ever since I took the bar.
  5. More litigation experience. Experience representing clients at hearings.
  1. Traffic and Gas Money. I would likely be sitting in traffic for 3 hrs/day, round trip. It would cost $7.37/day or $221/month in gas (I figured that out using Drive Pricing).
  2. Job title. I would be a Paralegal, rather than a Law Clerk or Associate. But I may be able to convince them down the line to either let me put Law Clerk on my resume, or - once I've passed the bar - be promoted to Attorney.
  3. Salary. My understanding is that the only reason this position exists is because of a grant. The max they have available is 47k, so there's no negotiating beyond that. This is 10k less than I made as a legal assistant!!! ack.
  4. No more free time. Right now I take & pick up M from work daily, I've started cooking a couple times a week, I do the dishes everyday, I see my parents weekly, I exercise daily, I read books, I play games, I write stories-- yeah, scratch that last one. :p But I could. And being busy from 6am-7:30pm every day is going to take that all away. Is this job worth having that all taken away?
  5. The Bar. If I don't pass, I'm going to need to retake it in February. And I'm going to have to study from December-February. Maybe I need to not get a job (well, unless it's a great opportunity) until I know how I did.
  6. Stress. I imagine the job is emotionally draining and high-stress. Mentally ill and/or very low-income clients with very sad stories. An org that is under-funded and over-taxed.
Can you guys think of anything else to add? Any readers who have a long commute and comparable pay? What made you decide to take the job (aside from necessity)?

Sallie Mae Woes

I mentioned that I signed up for IBR a little over a week ago. I also mentioned I signed up for an unemployment deferment. And that kinda screwed things up.

I got several letters from SM last week. The first one said I needed to send in paystubs for them to process the IBR. I called them and told them I hadn't worked since December of last year. They said to send in the paystubs from then (which is nonsensical to me since I provided them access to my last four years of tax returns, but whatever).

I had been logged out due to inactivity while I was on the phone. When I logged back in, I noticed that the previous letter was gone, and instead I had a letter denying IBR on the basis that some of my loans were in grace or deferment, and they usually process IBR for all the loans at once. I also had 1 letter denying my unemployment deferment and 2 letters approving it. The denial was for the only loan currently in repayment (the only one for which I wanted the deferment!! Denied because it's a private loan. damn). The approvals were for 3 loans that aren't due until December 1st. They were pushed to March of next year. I have other loans due December 1st, but for some reason they didn't get processed for the deferment.

So now I'm not sure what to do. The IBR denial letter said I could designate specific loans (the ones not deferred or in grace) to be processed under IBR. I have been typing up a letter in which I request that the deferments be canceled, and for all my eligible loans to be processed under IBR. I don't really think there's a benefit to having some loans in deferment, and some under IBR.

This is making me feel a bit overwhelmed... Consolidation might make things easier, but I'll lose out on the interest discounts I've been offered. I think not consolidating will be cheaper in the long run.

Any advice would be appreciated!

October Goals

  1. Find a job.
  2. Exercise daily.
  3. Write.
  4. Read. Currently reading (and being annoyed by) The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
  5. Keep apartment clean. Includes monthly washing of sheets, monthly scrub down of entire house, weekly vacuuming, and bi-weekly dish cleaning.
  6. Go to ENT. Ear, nose & throat dr - just for my annual ear cleaning.
  7. Do more cooking. I'd like to have dinner cooked at home at least 4 nights a week.
  8. Sell on eBay and Craig's List. I still have a pile of stuff sitting next to me that I haven't sold.
Goal number 1 remains my top priority. But goal 8 has been lingering for a few months - need to take care of it! Then I can make some major progress on my credit cards.

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