Thursday, September 30, 2004

You're policy doesn't cover that

To be as inelloquent as possible, the state of health coverage in the U.S. sucks. I've become intimately aware of this problem over the past couple of years as I've seen my family impacted. My mom discovered she had cirrhosis more than a year ago. They don't know why she has it, but there it is...a bum liver. As you can imagine, this is a serious problem that will eventually require a transplant. Continuity of care is important to ensuring her health is being properly monitored; however, I swear that over the past couple of years her company (where she has worked for more than 20 years) has switched her health insurance 3 times. This means she has had to switch doctors 3 times. At one point, her insurance didn't even give her the option of seeing the only liver specialist in town. She has a freaking potential terminal illness people...doesn't she have the right to the best care available?! Got the idealism beaten out of me with that one. My grandmother, on the other hand, has been able to stay with the same doctor for many years but is finding the cost of prescription drugs is forcing her to choose which pills she can afford to take. Hmmm....should I get medicine for my blood pressure this month or do I want to get the pain pills for my arthritis? What the hell is wrong with this country?! Somehow we can find more than $150 billion to spend on the war in Iraq, but we can't manage to come up with a health care system that works. Now I, who religiously pays for my health insurance every month and rarely goes to the doctor, find out that a medical procedure I'm looking to have done is not covered. Why I found this surprising is beyond me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Power tripping

NPR's Marketplace just finished an amazing series on lobbyist-funded trips for members of Congress. The final piece, which aired yesterday, features statistics that simply blew my mind. Senator Breaux abuses these "fact finding" missions more than anyone else. He has taken 56 "free" trips provided by lobbyists in the past 4 years at the cost of more than $158,000. The average amount spent on these Breaux trips each year is more than the median income in Louisiana. Evidently, the week following a key vote on the medicare bill (which passed by one vote), Breaux was given a trip to Palm Springs, Florida and the PGA National Resort and Spa...all at the expense of the a lobbying firm with a drug industry client. To listen to the full report and search NPR's database of Congressional trips, follow this link to the Marketplace archives and scroll down to the feature on Power Trips.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Noise as a status symbol

Why is it that some people are so freaking loud? I'm not talking about yelling and screaming here; I'm talking about how they talk in their everyday conversation. Talking louder doesn't make you more important and it doesn't make you more persuasive. It does annoy the hell out of those around you and make them want to pelt them with tennis balls. It makes you dread being around people you might actually like if they weren't so freaking loud.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Avoidance and more of my favorite pasttimes

Monday morning...that dreaded first day of the week where getting up and getting started is so hard. A week of possibilities or of the same old drama?

I've fallen into this habit that I really need to break. It's not like it is a recent addition to my personality but more something that has begun to emerge throughout the years...I'm an avoider. Whenever there is a reality I don't want to face, bill I don't think I can pay, goal I'm too lazy to accomplish, etc., I ignore it. I've become quite adept at putting these things in a lockbox in my mind and hiding the key. As I'm sure you can imagine, this has hurt me in the past, so I'm working on prying the lockbox open and trying to figure out why I felt the need to purchase it in the first place. Once clarity comes, I just may share.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Witch hunt on the Apprentice

What the hell?! I was BLOWN away by the blatant racism that was the Apprentice on Thursday night. I know reality TV is only a mirrow on society, but the fact that Donald Trump out and out validated the racist witch hunt that was Thursday night made me see red. Yes, the Apprentice was racist last season (reality tv just keeps showing us how racist we really are), but this was my final straw. I refuse to watch the show and validate it with my "Neilsen Ratings" (if by some freak chance they're magically captured).

Did you see it? From the beginning none of the other girls have liked Stacy J. (the only African American female) and have used the fact that she got a little spastic (or at least was edited to appear that way) as a reason to get her kicked off first. During Thursday evening's boardroom, the other two people up on the chopping block started talking about how during the first task they all thought Stacy went a little crazy and how scared they were. Trump then calls all of the girls back in to the boardroom to validate this and talk about how crazy Stacy is and how scared they were. Then he fires Stacy J. because he "believes" the other girls?! No indepth questioning...just the word of a bunch of backstabbing bitches who can't seem to handle anyone who isn't like them. Unbelievable. A rubber stamp for that kind of fucking racism right on camera. I shouldn't be surprised...really I shouldn't, but I can't help it. Will this bullshit ever end?

Boycott the Apprentice. Write Trump and NBC.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Recent awesome reads

I've been on a nonfiction kick as of late and have come across reads that are sure to ignite the passion in others to go out and kick butt in the name of human rights. I know I'm not doing the books justice, but...

Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures
by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait, and Andrew Thomson
This book reignited my desire to save the world. Perhaps it was meant to serve as a reality check on the limit to what we human beings can accomplish, but it instead demonstrated how each of us can make a small impact on the situation of others. Emergency Sex is the story of three UN human rights workers on missions that land them in Cambodia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Somalia. Told more as a moving memoir than a political diatribe, the authors still manage to tell their story with a gritty reality that doesn't sugar coat the human rights atrocities going on around the world nor the oftentimes ineffectiveness of the the United States government and the United Nations. The book also manages to shine a light on the fact that these are real people with real flaws doing what they can to help others. They have sex, party hard, and still get up each morning to ensure others have the right to do the same.

Nine Hills to Nambonkaha
by Sarah Erdman
Nine Hills to Nambonkaha is the story of Sarah's two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the African village of Nambonkaha. Sent as a health care worker, Erdman manages to stay away from preaching to us and to the villagers as she navigates a mine field of AIDS, female circumcision, childbirth, breast feeding, and preventive medicine. Instead, she allows herself to truly absorb their culture and use village traditions to affect change, both the village and Erdman walking away richer in the end. Having harbored a not so secret desire to join the Peace Corps for many years now, Sarah Erdman's book gave me hope.

Worrying out loud

It seems like all I have been doing lately is worrying. Worrying about Charlie (my brother)...worrying about my mom...about my grandmother...about paying both of these freaking car payments...about the IRS...about not praying enough...about the fact that we may have to put up with our fucking "president" for 4 more years. This kind of worrying takes over my brain and leaves a mere lump of coal. How can I let my radical flower power shine through when I my mind is flitting around like a hummingbird on crack?!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

A work in progress

When searching for a way to apologize for the blandness of this site , I couldn't help but be reminded that my life, like this site, is a work in progress. I struggle daily to make the right decisions, do the right thing. One day at a time sometimes feels like two steps forward, one step back.

Anyway...what I have to say probably won't get much more interesting, but I do hope there will be changes and growth in the coming days and weeks as I flex my Web skills and learn HTML. I am a work in progress.