Alright, the phone lines in my apartment (and in the building's walls) are not as old as the phone in the photo. But the old twisted pair wires inside the walls are probably going bad and could be the cause of the noise on my line that prevents me from making or receiving calls.
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I got up and moving early this morning, as I was expecting a call from Maria at 9:00 am. When she called, I found that I couldn't hear her amidst all the noise on the line. So we spent time shifting over to Marian's cell phone which had unlimited minutes and texts. She got confused because of all the different numbers I have, then after an explanation, got down to talking about her life.
Maria has two big problems: a daughter who is not emotionally fit to be raising Maria's grandson, and a husband who is both a drunk and a deadbeat. She needs to vent, but has little opportunity to do so with all the responsibilities she has before her. Maria sees her grandson being mistreated by a daughter who can not stay focused on any task without scaffolding, nor can she see that actions have their consequences. In short, she is ill equipped to be a mother, and Maria has to take on her daughter's responsibilities in order to protect her grandson. Her husband does not contribute his fair share to the household expenses, and nickel-dimes his wife every chance he gets. If Maria had known things would get this bad when she met him, she'd have taken a pass and looked for someone else. Alas, they have been married for more than 10 years, and he would be entitled to some of the money and property that would be hers in her own right had she been smart enough to have a pre-nup before their marriage.
Once I was done with Maria, I went to the GLBT center to do my weekly stint. They had me doing some last minute things for their yearly fund raiser, as well as editing their online presence. Sadly, one of the people who would have been at the fundraiser, Edie Windsor, has just passed away. And I think there will be a touch of solemnity over this year's gala because of her passing.
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Next, it was back home by way of Panera Bread. When I finally made it home, I found that the cleaning lady had finally cleaned up the place. And this gave me the freedom to pull things apart so that I could figure out whether my phone lines were bad, or whether the problem with my phone service was on Verizon's end. Since I couldn't prove it one way or another, I decided to make a change - and switch over to the Cable Company's phone service. After about an hour on the phone with the cable company, I got a promotional deal. The price for my service will go down by $5 when phone service kicks in. This means that I'll save almost $900 in one year, and then save a little less than if I kept phone service with Verizon. Now, all I have to do is wait for the new cable modem to be delivered and install it.
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Eventually, I made it out to game night, and got there as the first game was starting. As usual, I didn't win any games (I'm a horrible strategist), but I enjoyed my time with the gang. Sometime around 10:30, GFJ texted me to let me know that she was going to bed early. Given her sleep doctor's advice, I doubt that she'll be wanting any 11:00-11:30 calls on the way home anymore.