01 December 2007

Please be patient

I am learning iMovie. This is my first attempt to put some pieces together. Love my mad movie making skillz. You may notice that I am not exactly Spielberg yet. I mean, there is no plot...but there is a lot of wind. Doesn't that count for something?

The video is shot on my still camera's video feature - so the quality is frankly crap. I also had end titles that somehow didn't make it to YouTube. Next time, grasshopper.

30 November 2007

The Whine Festival

Mea culpa, bitches. I apologize in advance. You don't have to read this crap, but I feel compelled to write it.

The day began at 2 a.m. when it started raining and my dog woke me up to point that out to me. It hasn't rained in 8 months, so my big strong dog was AFRAID OF THE SOUND OF RAINDROPS. I was not that sympathetic to her plight. I am bad, bad dog mom.

Then she woke me up an hour later with the lightning and thunder. THAT I can sympathize with. I cried into my pillow a bit and so did she.

4 a.m.? Gunshots! Sometimes if there are lots of gunshots, I get on the floor because I am a big chicken. But I decided to stay in bed. Goldie hid in the closet with the dirty socks.

And a power outage to boot! I decided to skip showering and making breakfast in the dark and sleep in a bit. Hey, my hair looks GREAT all bent and greasy.

Off to work. Computer still broken. Rush job due. I moved heaven and earth to find a workstation I could borrow for an hour to get it done. Done! Yay. I am hero.

But the rest of the day...hanging out. No work, no computer. The message on the screen, after 4 tries by our tech, is "No system present." Oh yay. Boring as hell. Pass time by making fun of the girl who sings in the next row of cubicles and eating the last of the cookies Jean brought in.

Time for a teeth cleaning! With the new, not so good hygienist. I am usually pretty calm, but I felt like climbing out of the chair before it was half over. I almost lost my shit. I imagined tossing the suction device on the floor, standing up and screaming "OH NO YOU DON'T!" My gums felt like pincushions. Agggh!

And then physical therapy on my shoulder. It isn't so bad but I was done being poked and prodded by then.

That's all. Friday. Over. Whine fest.

Well, it's almost over

NaBloPoMo - did you make it? Why or why not? Good, bad, indifferent?

29 November 2007

Move along, move along

Recent google searches that somehow found this blog:

carrot in the butt parade I think we have a different idea of what makes a good parade entry

wetting my pants there are several of these every single day

pissing in my pants see what I mean?

red stapler finally! a sane one

wax crotch men Don't do it! Read Christopher Hitchens' article first, at least, so you'll know what you're in for

no crotch women I'm not sure this is possible

motorway, i am going to pee my pants I told you that you should have gone before you left. Let me guess - sent from your Blackberry?

the worlds beautifulist dog Yes, this is the place

cheese kills Damn vegan googlers

movie idoits frozen 45 years the spelling here enhances my enjoyment

28 November 2007

Is it just me?

Do you have real, serious problems with almost every medical bill you receive?

Just this week I have had 2 egregious mistakes -

1. About 3 months ago, I got billed $1025 for a procedure done 11 months ago (needle biopsies in both breasts). At the time, they only billed my insurance for one breast, so then they waited almost a year and billed ME for the rest of it. I wrote and told them to go back to my insurance company. They billed me again. I called them. They said it was taken care of.

They just sent me a FINAL NOTICE. When I called, they said they would look into it and call me back. I waited all day but they never called. I called at quarter to five and the same rep I talked to the day before said "Oh, I was wondering why that file was on my desk all day!" They promised to rebill. I have little hope.

2. I got a brief exam of my shoulder. The doc billed my insurance for draining the bursa and injecting me with 2 drugs as well as $375 for an exam. I contacted the insurance company's fraud department.

The moral of the story? Keep all your EOBs. Examine them with eagle eyes. Match them up with your dates of service. Question everything. Note who you talked to. Get their extension #. Report irregularities. No one is going to do it for you.

This is assuming, of course, that you are lucky enough to have health insurance.

27 November 2007

Sadness vs depression

I love to read Sister Wolf's blog "Godammit.com" because she so often has a perspective that I haven't thought of before. For instance, she has passionate views on the ethics of surgically modifying children to appear more "normal" if they have congenital "deformities."

She recently wrote regarding a NT Times book review of three books on the pathologizing of common conditions like shyness and sadness.

During my annual visit with my primary care physician I told her what a crappy year I had had. Well, she asked. Foremost on my list of crap things were breaking up with the exMrStapler and my sister dying.

She was sympathetic - and then she offered to medicate me. I demurred. She pressed, saying, "Well, you know if it gets bad you can always call me and I will fix you up."

Memo to Doc: I'm not clinically depressed. I am grieving. Can I do that?

I don't know about you, but I don't think all pain can or should be avoided. To me, not feeling this pain and loss would actually be worse than feeling it. As I said in my comment to Sister Wolf, I think I would be a monster if I didn't hurt like this.

I wonder what Emily Dickinson's poetry would have been like if she were medicated out of her social anxiety. Van Gogh clearly could have used medication for his bipolar disorder, but...I'm too chicken to say this, but his art and his illness seem so bound up together. What would be the ethical thing to do with someone like him? Would it be better to end his suffering, if it ended his genius? (Please note: I'm not saying you have to be mentally ill to be a talented artist or that people who are on medication can't produce great art.)

When I was a kid, the 18-year-old son of our neighbors 2 doors down ran out of air while SCUBA diving, a dumb macho kid mistake. He got the "bends" which left him unable to feel his legs.

He could still walk, but his pain receptors were gone. This condition turned out to be very dangerous, because he often cut, bruised and sprained himself, even once broke a bone, without ever being able to feel it.

Is there a parallel in our society? Where there is pain, is there also necessarily illness? And what are the dangers that come with being chemically removed from our deepest feelings?

Edited to add: I just want to be sure that you know I'm not doing a Tom Cruise and saying that psychiatric medicines are unnecessary. I know that many people need them, just as diabetics need maintenance drugs, and that there should be as little stigma involved in both. I am concerned, though, that a family doctor would offer to change my brain chemistry after a 3 minute conversation because I mentioned being sad.

26 November 2007

Norma Rae, where are you now?

I am always on the lookout for freelance writing gigs, so I headed over to the Problogger job board to see if I could scare up some joblets.

Pretty soon my mouth was hanging open. Most of the ads were for bloggers with fairly specialized knowledge and/or semi-fanatical passions as well as a great deal of experience. That's not the part that scandalized me.

They were also offering as low as $5 to $10 per post, a couple posts a week max. Or something like $250 for a post a day, every day.

'Da hell?

Are people REALLY whoring themselves and their writing and blogging skills out for that little? "Whoring" hardly seems fitting, because any decent sex professional gets paid much better than that.

This is so wrong, people. Don't sell yourself for chump change. It lowers the bar for all of us. Is it time for a union?

And now...my first video! 10 whole seconds.

25 November 2007

This comment deserves its own post

I wrote a post about the morons that stand around at Jets football games and harass women.

One of the quoted men was a guy named Marco. A few days later I got this great anon quote:
Anonymous said...(edited for clarity)

i go to school with marco and either way he'll never get pussy. he looks like a scrambled egg headed alien. give the kid a break those tits at the jets game are the only ones he'll ever see

And as usual, there is more brilliance up at Linkateria than you can stand. Now featuring links to great posts by Mommy with an Attitude, Motherhood Uncensored, Moosh in Indy, and more.
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