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You Don’t Insult The Cos!

I’m going to get somewhat serious & political in today’s post. I have been trying to keep this blog fairly clean of personal stuff, but this week I’m overriding that. I heard this morning that Donald Trump insulted Bill Cosby and that cannot go unanswered.

Admittedly, Bill instigated it a bit. Bill Cosby and Donald Trump were on Meredith Vieira’s show on the same day. Trump went on the show first. His presidential run must have been mentioned. Cosby reacted, but not in a way that I would consider hateful, just frustrated:
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Honestly I am hearing, ‘Shit or get off the pot, Donald.’ Which isn’t saying anything about his political views or how Bill Cosby may feel about him personally (although he probably doesn’t like him now). It’s basically saying you need to make a decision because you are showing you aren’t a decision maker; you can throw your hat in anytime and it doesn’t/shouldn’t matter. It doesn’t seem like Cosby has faith in Donald anyway. He’s no Ahhnold. He’s no Reagan. Being rich and famous doesn’t automatically get you a seat at the White House. Donald Trump doesn’t have the charisma and seems more like a Ross Perot. Okay, he has charisma, just the wrong kind.

He may be especially doomed if he’s saying this kind of shit about a beloved human being like Bill Cosby:
“In any event, as I watched the show, the subject of Donald Trump came up. I was surprised to hear him blabber, somewhat incoherently “you run or shut up.” The hatred was pouring out of his eyes when he said this. As I am sure he must know I cannot run until this season of Celebrity Apprentice ends. I know that he has taken a lot of heat over the years in that he seems to be talking down to the people he’s talking to and purportedly trying to help. Actually, based on the way he acted, things are not looking too good for Cosby. I wish he would be more honest, and if he doesn’t want me to run because he’s obviously an Obama fan, he should state the reasons and not come into my “green room” in front of numerous witnesses and treat me like his best friend, only to denigrate me when I’m not around. Sadly, he got more attention talking about me than he did on the merits of his own appearance–maybe he is not as dumb as I thought.”

Maybe there is some truth. Perhaps Cosby was mentioning Trump in order to bring light to his message at the end, but instead of questioning him on that, Trump reacts vehemently. Any people who loved Cosby and grew up with him (I did, I don’t know about the rest of you heathens) are now at odds with Trump. Although, anyone who grew up with The Cosby Show probably isn’t a fan of Donald’s politics anyway.

Confession: I am biased on this. I have seen almost every episode of The Cosby Show. It was almost bread and butter in my family growing up, like Seasame Street. Also, Sarah has been buying seasons and we watched the episodes together so I’m caught up on my childhood. Here’s a reminder on why we love and support Bill in these times:

(Yay! Another now-defunct website I have located in the annals of Internet Time.)


In other news of the weird: In doing research for a Trump/peacock/NBC allegory ~which didn’t pan out~, I wound up on Wikipedia and found this:

“Melek Taus (ملك طاووس – Kurdish Tawûsê Melek), the Peacock Angel, is the Yazidi name for the central figure of their faith. The Yazidi consider Tawûsê Melek an emanation of God and a benevolent angel who has redeemed himself from his fall and has become a demiurge who created the cosmos from the Cosmic egg. After he repented, he wept for 7,000 years, his tears filling seven jars, which then quenched the fires of hell. In art and sculpture, Tawûsê Melek is depicted as a peacock. However, peacocks are not native to the lands where Tawûsê Melek is worshipped.”

I don’t believe this applies to Trump in any way. I feel this is more applicable to other major NBC players, like Alec Baldwin. I adore that man. ALEC BALDWIN FOR PRESIDENT 2012! Hell yeah.

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Yessir Yessir, Nine Vials Full

Warning: If you are disturbed by mental imagery of blood, needles, stories about nausea, angry lesbians, waiting rooms, or you just hate my personal medical stories you may want to skip this post. The final hurdle of the neurological exams was blood work.

When I first received coverage, my insurance informed me that I had to get a doctor’s recommendation to see a neurologist. The general doctor (who was obscenely adorable) requested more blood work than I thought necessary, but I haven’t had a basic check-up in several years and had no recent records. I didn’t do the requested exams right away. I hate blood work. Also, my first priority was what I had come to him for. Off to the brain doctor was I.

The neurologist had requested all the previous tests I’ve described: two EEGs and an MRI. Then he wanted some blood levels tested for my medication. I made an appointment for Quest Diagnostics to get this all done plus the previous doctor’s requests and figured this could all be done with the same blood. Maybe a vial or two. No biggie. (I be dumb.)

Did I mention I had made an appointment? I did. I went onto Quest’s website, as was recommended, and set it up, but the office was packed with walk-ins. I stepped up to the desk and signed in. There was no receptionist so all I could do was sign in. I couldn’t ask about time or paperwork. I had to wait and then harass a nurse. It was frustrating.

So I waited and waited in the room with a strange smell full of strange people. They were being called up in order of arrival. There was no regard to my appointment time. I hate getting blood work done. I hate waiting rooms. I hate strangers. Plus one guy obviously had brought in some sort of “specimen sample” case.

Finally I was brought in and found I had the angriest lesbian** nurse I have ever met. She looked at my orders and was, to put it mildly, consternated. Their computer systems were down so she had to look up several items by hand and wasn’t positive where they all were so it took awhile. At one point I had to go to the bathroom and she said, “Hurry up!” If you say that to someone and you are angry about it, it makes your subject nervous and tends to have the opposite affect. She also asked me if I had been fasting. This was around 1pm. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to fast so I didn’t eat that morning, but told her I had dinner. She said that was fine. This is an important detail for what comes next.

So I’m all seated and ready to go. How many vials did she just pull out? Five, six, nine??? For all the tests requested between the two doctors I saw more vials than I had ever seen requested for one go. I was full of utter dread. Some of them were smaller than others, but that doesn’t make much of a difference. On goes the tourniquet. (I don’t mind the needle so much. It’s the tourniquet that brings on the misery.) Needle in… and go. And go. And go… feelin’ woozy. She actually asked me if I was alright and I told her sort of. She kept encouraging me by telling me how many left. She was like, ‘just a couple more!’ ‘Only two more!’ ‘Okay, this one’s just a little one!’

When it was finished it took a second for it to hit. I was down. Thankfully I didn’t completely black out and I was still in the chair, but I was so sick and so dizzy that I couldn’t move. As the nurse was attempting to move the patients in and out quickly, frustration seemed to return to her. She was kind enough to bring me water and a wet cloth, but she wanted me out quickly. She showed mild concern and when I improved she asked if I had gotten my “sea legs” back and asked if I was good to go.

It took about two or three minutes, but when I finally got it back together, I stumbled out. I managed to walk outside where Meg was waiting patiently. She had a look of utter shock and horror. My face was white as a ghost. I ate Wendy’s on the way home and then slept for about three hours. I still didn’t get my strength back to full until this morning.

So that’s my terrifying bloody experience. This is why I don’t give blood.

(Via an ehow Health article. The blood tests defined in it are probably what I was getting.)

**Fairly positive: short hair, dressed in a masculine way, deep voice, listening to an all-sports radio channel.

There Be Ghosts in the Machines

Last week I kept threatening to post something serious about Internet security. I had gotten all worked up over the kerfuffle involving HBGary Federal. (Although this particular article bothers me in part because someone in New Zealand tries to explain the pronunciation of pwned. Good luck in your future endeavors.)

There are many morally ambiguous questions when it comes to “hacktivism” and the future of Anonymous. My personal stance is that I hope “they” start coming up with a better plan instead of lashing out. This idea of vengeance to those who anger them – the cultural war as it were – needs to be understood as a method of fear. It’s the same method their enemies are using and in the end may get the opposite of what they want (as many bloggers are saying). Those participating in the attacks are on the borderline of cyber terrorism, though some see it as a form of social activism and the only way to actively struggle against increasing rules. Everyone involved has different views and some of Anonymous doesn’t even take part of DDos, but actively discusses ways to fight for the freedom of the Internet (and the take-down of Scientology). Unfortunately, security groups want to find the main attackers and bring them down and say: “These are the leaders of Anonymous. These are the people who represent an entire body of beliefs.” You cannot defeat the Internet Collective that way. There is no Borg Queen.

techdirt wrote an article examining each and every player. We have Barr & Co. We have WikiLeaks. We have Glenn Greenwald (of Salon). We have Bank of America. And of course, we have these mystery names of Anonymous that Barr claims are the leaders. Whether or not they are and whether or not they could just be replaced and whether or not these are just the leaders of the attacks he focused on is not discussed. It’s just a big clusterf**k. As Lewis Black says, “I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the energy.” Even though this attempt has been partly curbed by Anonymous, I fear we will see before the end of the year an even bigger meltdown if these companies wizen up and focus on the overall security of the Internet and start breaking down Net Neutrality. That’s going to hit us all where it hurts.

And don’t forget, these security groups have Gene Simmons working for them. He is working hard day and night to get the names, faces, and IP addresses of those who have hurt him and his family by taking down his site. He probably believes it’s as easy as fighting robots in the park. Don’t worry, Gene, you’ll get ’em:
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Grumble Britches

I didn’t post yesterday due to several personal issues. Suffice to say, hot chocolate repairs *most* ills. I don’t have the energy to do a creepy hit-that post, which I’m sure some people are grateful for.

This morning I was rustled out of bed, bleary-eyed and testy in order to shovel 15 inches of snow. After several complaints, being that this was some of the thickest snow we’ve seen and Dad was dead-set on doing it himself this time (he had paid people to shovel the last few times and it was starting to thin his pockets), my step-mom began rummaging through the garage. An ancient, cobweb-covered snowblower was produced. We had a snowblower? Seriously? This is the forth or fifth time we’ve had to deal with half a foot or more of snow and we had a snowblower? There’s a catch: This snowblower is older than I am. My parents do not throw anything away. They are from a time when American ingenuity meant that things were built, according to some sort of unspoken ethical law, to last. Once we got it going, it went, but it is taking some muscle power to run. It is better than shoveling, but probably not quicker. It’s like cutting your grass with one of those really old grass cutters that just rolls along, but knowing it’s better than using a scythe.

Another issue I had to complain about that happened yesterday (one of the reasons yesterday was just falling apart) was that my new netbook refuses to connect to the home wireless. It will acknowledge the wireless. It will connect to the ethernet. And like a filthy prostitute it will connect to any open wireless network in the area. If anyone can answer this query, let me know. I think I know the problem: I tried to set up a “home network” to just connect my computer and the netbook, but I made the mistake of letting both computers know that there was a third computer that was the network home (my Dad’s computer). When I decided the whole thing was a bad idea because it was going to require getting his computer involved, I dropped it, but now the netbook is like, “wait, weren’t we doing that thing? Hey, guys?” and now it doesn’t want to do Internet, it wants to network. Yay…. Here’s your pic for the day:

Hostility Insurance Part Two

When we last left our heroine, she had obtained health insurance from a company that took pity on her circumstances. The benefits of this relationship filled her with utter disdain and enmity. Her are the rest of her tribulations:

I had an option to use this insurance for doctors’ visits (even specialists, which is the important bit here). Since I was being bled dry by their premium, however, I ended up chickening out on the only appointment I had set up during the coverage. $50? Now, the insurance that I had when employed didn’t have a much lower copay, but I was getting paid. (Though looking back, I was getting raked over the coals with that company as well… hahaha.. I’m laughing so I don’t cry.)

My neurologist wanted to see me to make sure I hadn’t had any seizures. The job I had was causing these seizures. Without the job, the medication was doing what it needed to. Ipso facto, I was fine and didn’t need to tell the doctor that in person. It would have been a waste of time and money. I know you can’t really waste an unemployed person’s “time”, but recently the doctor I was going to had an hour’s wait before I saw her. I like to think she was making herself pretty for me.

I moved from Atlanta to New York state, thinking I was taking my insurance with me. Oops. I called to renew and found they don’t cover my new state. That was odd to find out since the parent company was based in New York. I have decided not to call the parent company and go through that nonsense again. I checked out New York State’s Insurance website. Thankfully, New York seems to be a bit more understanding than Georgia. I wonder why that is…

In my new search I have come across several state programs, however some are solely directed at the employed, people only living in NYC, or if you have a pre-existing condition you can pay $400/mo out of pocket. Well that’s helpful [RAGE]. I decided to check the companies listed on the site and call some individually. One said they don’t cover my county (I am not in the city if you can’t tell). So I’m now waiting on an appointment for a sort of welfare insurance? I have to basically present my entire life humbly and tell them I am desperate and broke. Being unemployed is full of new and exciting experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I have not lived a life of privilege. It’s just that had always thought my college degree would take me on a journey of *marginal* success and I’d never be in a situation of struggle like this. Welcome to the real world.

Happy Bunny Graphic #4
via ScrapsYard.com

Edit: I figure I should post the link to part one here to answer any confusions for people only encountering this article.

Hostility Insurance Part One

As a personal favor to my mother (she is urging me to be some sort of “real” writer), I am going to chronicle all of the hoops I’ve had to jump through this last year. Between being unemployed and having to move, I’ve dealt with public and private human services departments with policies that baffle me. This may be a good outlet for me to deal with the utter abhorrence I feel and a way for others to find some kinship in their personal frustrations. I have several stories, but I will try to keep them down to a handful of posts & they will only be put out on Mondays.

Health Insurance:
This saga starts where my job ended. I looked at COBRA, but realized I could find cheaper health insurance in the private sectors. What I didn’t understand was I was jumping into shark-infested waters. If you put your information out there about any commercial enterprise, be prepared for an influx of calls within the hour. I spoke with several *very cheerful* young women who wanted to let me know that if I held off for more than a day on the deals they were offering that the price would double and I would die in the gutter due to spiders laying eggs in my ears and boils on my kidneys because my insurance wasn’t good enough.

I finally ended up speaking with a real broker. He was a Jewish New Yorker lawyer. He was angry. He wanted me covered by health insurance. NOW. Because I have a neurological condition he found it hard to get me a good deal, but he set me up with Standard Security Life Insurance.

I spoke with that company several times (after making sure my broker got his fair cut) and it seemed there wasn’t too much to do to get it arranged. Except I then entered their special pharmacy hell. The main reason (other than my fear of splitting my face open again and needing coverage for that) I needed insurance was for pharmacy coverage. At first they forgot to set me up. No big deal. I just called them back and had them tap that on. Then… they wanted to add an additional set up fee? I was told the original fee covered the RX, but their dumb CS didn’t add it. Wat? So I argued for an hour with several “specialists”,* had it enrolled, and had the fee waived. Hilariously, it wasn’t a huge fee, but as one of the rather uncouth reps put it, “That’s, like, a couple of meals for you!”

So what does an independent health insurance company like to cut for medications? Next to nothing. I’m on two generic drugs that are disproportionately expensive and on the RX program they were still about 25% of the cost or more (especially since the charge was per 30 pills, not per total script). So I ended up, after all that nonsense with the fee, dumping the program. Thankfully it was within 10 days and they allowed a refund. But only because it was within 10 days. Beyond that, go screw yourself.

With this chapter at a close, I will leave you with this: I ended up finding my medication through an online service called Health Warehouse. I know people are a little hesitant when it comes to online drug services, but I’ve been ordering from them for over six months and have had no problems with the meds or my prescriptions. In fact, since they don’t do an exact amount, if you have a script for, say, 150 pills and you can only order in packs of 180, you end up getting a boost for a few extra days. I know this wasn’t as weird or funny, but I’ve got more interesting stuff and I’ll share as the month goes on.

*pernicious whoresons

Edit: Part Two

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