Monday, January 24, 2011


Here's what I did this weekend (because I know it is keeping you up nights wondering...):

On Saturday, got up at a ridiculous hour of the morning to get the kid breakfasted and into his Class A's (formal Cub Scout uniform) so he could head off to the Pinewood Derby with his dad. Pinewood Derby is an annual event where the kids (supposedly - I think there's a lot of dads who are frustrated race car engineers and see this as their "Big Chance") make their own cars out of wood and race them on a track.

Knowing I would have a few precious hours to myself, I promptly headed out to the movie theaters to see a non-kid-appropriate movie. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy taking the kid to see all the animated stuff, but I so miss getting to see more grown-up films and hate having to wait until they finally come out on Netflix (plus, some movies you just HAVE to see in the theater!)

Once there, I splurged on the ridiculously over-priced movie food and got myself a pretzel, because I just love me some movie pretzels, and sat myself down to watch "The King's Speech."



I loved this movie. I think both Colin Firth AND Geoffrey Rush should be up for Academy Award nominations for it.

One thing I don't get is how it ended up with an "R" rating, though. Okay, so there's one scene with some bad words in it, but there's no violence or sexual content and given the degree of stuff they are getting away with in "PG-13" movies these days, I don't get it. Besides, it's British profanity which somehow just does not come across as all that dirty. I don't know if it's the accent or the actual words or the combination, but anyway, just not that bad.

Afterwards, I took care of some errands. This included a visit to Chase Bank to close an account I have there. Way back in the dawn of time when I first started buying beads and such on eBay (Etsy didn't exist yet) and books on Amazon and using a Paypal account, I thought it would be a good idea to have a separate checking account that I kept a limited amount of money in to be used for on-line purchasing. That way, if anyone ever hacked the account, the damage would be limited because it wouldn't be my main checking account.

I even set up my direct deposit of my paycheck to split a small amount off into that account each pay period to keep it funded. Plus, I'd deposit anything I made from jewelry and bead sales, etc. into that account.

Worked great for many years and, in fact, never got hacked. Ironically, my main B of A account DID get hacked last November and it had nothing to do with on-line usage.

So much for my smart ideas.

But anyway, back to my point. The small account was originally with WaMu...who got taken over by Chase last year. About a month ago, Chase sent me a letter saying that they were going to start charging $10 a month in order for me to keep that account open unless I maintained a balance of $5,000 or more in it.

Um. Yeah. So THAT's not gonna happen.

And now they've made it not worth my while to even HAVE the account any more.

So, I turned off my direct deposit at work and, having verified that that change went through, off I went on Saturday to close the account. While I'm sitting there at the banker's desk waiting for the cancellation to be completed, I ask her why Chase has made this (to me rather stupid) decision because it seems like they are just going to lose a bunch of their small customers.

She tells me that within the next six months, ALL of the major banks are going to be doing this. Free checking is going away.


I went from feeling all superior and like I was really "sticking" it to dumb ol' Chase Bank for trying to charge me this stupid $10 fee to feeling like a complete idiot that I hadn't heard anything about this.

And then I wondered what the banking industry is expecting us to do? Start keeping our money at home in shoeboxes? 'Cuz I swear I'm pissed enough to seriously contemplate that. I mean, it's not like we earn interest any more or get much else in the way of benefits out of keeping our money in the banks, now do we?

Also, how come they always have to stick it to the small customer? Shouldn't there be free checking for small accounts and fees for the big, fat accounts that can actually AFFORD it?

What about some kind of "grandfather" clause that charges for NEW accounts being opened, but keeps the accounts that were originally OPENED as "free checking" with their original status. Because I don't think it's fair to change the terms AFTER I've already been a loyal customer for YEARS.

Just wondering - has anyone else heard about or experienced this? Anyone heard of a bank that's NOT going to do this...'cuz if there IS one, then that's where MY money is going.

Even if it's "Bank of Shoebox."

I went home in a rather deflated mood.

Kept that mood going by doing chores until the kid got home then took a nap for a bit and then it was off to weekly dinner with my Mom. We try to go out to dinner with her on Saturday evenings because that is when she misses Dad's company the most. We tried Lone Star Steakhouse for the first time and I thought it was pretty good. Every 20 minutes or so, the staff all drop what they are doing and line dance to country music all around the restaurant. It would be fun except they all look so dang BORED (and somewhat annoyed) while they're doing it.

My steak was good, though.

Sunday consisted of watching the football playoffs (yay, the Packers won!) and more organizational work on the ever-growing bead stash. I had run out of my wonderful compartmentalized trays from The Container Store so stuff was just piling up everywhere. Finally made a run back in December to get more trays, but didn't have time until yesterday to sort stuff into them.

Had a late lunch at a neighbor's house and then Ryan stayed to play with her kids for a couple of hours so I caught up on my DVR'd shows: the season finale of "Psych", and a couple of episodes of "Leverage."

Tonight I'm planning to check out a new show on SyFy called "Being Human." It's a re-make of a BBC show about a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost all sharing a house. I caught the first episode last week and was intrigued so I want to see if it'll keep my interest tonight.

What did YOU do over the weekend?



chacha1 said...

I think movies that are actually made for thinking adults are automatically assigned an R rating. I doubt the ratings board even watches them.

PG13 actioners get the more accessible rating probably due to massive payoffs. I have seen some ludicrous violence in PG13 movies and - just as you note - adult dramas with nothing but some relatively innocuous profanity get an R.

Re: checking: you may be able to find a credit union that still offers free checking. University Credit Union in LA does. There's always a catch about who can open an account, though!

Barbara Bechtel said...

i'm going for the "bank of shoe" box. and that may be a little large for me. is there a "bank of altoid tin?" or if i'm feeling rich, the "bank of coffee can" might suffice.

Kristen said...

I did nothing even remotely that exciting as it was just too darn cold. Banks! That's all I can say about them!


SallyAnderson said...

I haven't heard anything from Compass Bank about instituting fees for checking on those of us with free checking! I sure hope Chase was just saying that b/c they feel so stupid for making that change! My fingers are crossed. I've seen King's Speech twice and totally loved it both times.I hope it wins the Oscar and hope all the actors do, too.

SueBeads said...

Hey you! I had a steak at Lone Star and it was perfect! I ordered it medium and I'm telling you it must have been the best medium steak I ever had -melted in my mouth!!! Oh, and that bank thing ticks me off too. I got a letter from my bank telling me that my free checking is going to cost $2 per month...

Skylar said...

switch to a community credit union. no fees, great service.

kelleysbeads said...

Right now, I don't get monthly fees from Bank of America. They did start it up at one point, but I protested and they said as long as I automatically transferred $25/month into a savings account the checking fee would be waived. So far, they have not changed that.

Down with crummy banks and their stupid fees!