Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Modern day hair dilemma

A girl could write about worse crises, but why? Right now what I'm concerned with is my obsession with bangs. I've been wanting to cut my hair and add bangs for months but keep talking myself out of it. I just know it's going to make my round head look even rounder. Still, I obsess. I want bangs like the ones below.

Source: here, here, here, here and here

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Creating Christmas Memories

Christmas this year has been special. Sometimes difficult, but special nonetheless. It's the first Christmas without my grandmother, the linchpin in all things Christmas, so I made it my job to ensure we've spent the holiday season being busy Christmas elves. I've been so perky about Christmas that I think I might be vying for the position of Mrs. Claus. We've baked, cut out paper snowflakes, and, yes, we even made elf hats for our Christmas photos. The photo below is from our attempt at a family portrait. As you can see, all we got was the top of Charlie's elf hat. This picture makes me laugh so hard a cry.

Monday, December 21, 2009

a little letter you might not want to read

Dear People in Charge of Healthcare:

The system is broken and allowing extremists to peddle broad generalizations and scare tactics only shines a brighter spotlight on why accomplishing something meaningful is near impossible. My grandmother spent 20 months in a nursing home. When she was 4 months in, her insurance coverage ran out. Conveniently, this was right when we could start to see rehab working. My family was faced with bringing my grandmother home (even though she was not well enough to be there) where she would have to be alone 5 or 6 hours a day (my family can't afford not to work) or paying an exorbitant monthly rate for her to stay. Because there was no way they could afford to pay for the nursing home out of pocket, there really was no choice until Medicaid stepped in. Medicaid allowed my grandmother to remain in the nursing home and receive around the clock care, vitally important to someone whose health saw more peaks and valleys than a rollercoaster. While Medicaid would not pay for any rehabilitation so that she could walk again, the nursing home provided some basic therapy anyway. It was about more than walking. It was about regaining her dignity and never giving up. After my grandmother died, I learned about a new reality of our healthcare system. Medicaid sent my family a letter expressing sympathy for our loss, while in the next breath informing us that they would like to try to collect on the money they spent trying to keep her alive. Please let them know about any property she owns because they will need to sell it to recoup their losses. What? She died, so she wasn't worth the investment? Do they think we suddenly hit a windfall with her passing and are in a position to now pay tens of thousands of dollars? She had no life insurance. No job. No car in her own name. Her name is on the house she shared with my grandfather. Basically where it's falling out is that, because my grandfather is still alive and living in the house they owned, they probably won't try to take it. It's like one of two potential "outs" they give you. I'm guessing they won't hear officially for another month or so. Evidently this is standard practice with Medicaid, but to me it feels like a slap in the face. A system like this doesn't need fixing?


Ms. Radical

Monday, December 07, 2009

Of unicorns, beer, and other mythical creatures

The holidays aren’t usually the time of year for goodbyes. It’s usually the one time of year I can almost guarantee that I get to see people I love. The past two weekends, however, have been spent saying farewell to one of my besties as she prepares to move to Heidelberg. One thing we manage to do well is to celebrate.

While everyone else stormed Old Navy at 3am and tried to avoid getting trampled at Wal-Mart, we headed to West Virginia on Black Friday for dinner at the Bavarian Inn and sprinkled a little Christmas magic on a cabin in Harper’s Ferry. The photo below isn’t our cabin, but it’s pretty damn close. Paper chains, twinkle lights, and a real Christmas tree in a cabin with my closest friends. Spiked cider, a holiday playlist, and strolling down memory lane made it complete. (We all wait in anticipation for Terra’s pictures!)

This past Friday we headed into Old Town Alexandria for a more traditional round of goodbyes over drinks at Pat Troy’s (who, btw, have a unicorn in their sign!). Mixing old friends and new, we took over the back of the bar and invited our friends Bacardi, Juengling, Harp and Smithwick to join us. This time around memories were shared through our favorite drinks. Remember those $5 Jaeger Bombs in Fredericksburg? Guess we’d better do one since you’re leaving. Remember Steven and Allie racing to finish Irish Car Bombs at Ravena’s? Guess you’d better do one since you’re leaving. Before long everything became a memory to be celebrated, and everyone had a new nickname. Whereas Harper’s Ferry was sentimental and intimate, Pat Troy’s was silly and joyous.

We had a great run in Virginia, Delegge. Can’t wait to visit and add some European road trips and shenanigans to the list.


1. texasbell01 2. platinumblondelife 3. martin_kalfatovic