Today, while on my way to  Dr’s appointment ironically, I saw a billboard adverstitinsg a local hospital.  It said, if you have a  problem (and really, who goes to the hospital if they don’t) they guarantee you will be seen by a Dr is 24 hrs!  They are going to go out on the limb that is 24 hours you will actually have some face time with a medical professional…and they think this is something to brag about.  Getting care in 24 hours is something they want you to know about them, because this apparently sets them apart from the rest.  It got me thinking about the status of health care in this country and regardless of your support for the presidents new plan, I think we can all admit something has got to change.  I don’t know what the right answer is but I believe in order to address the problem we need to face some simple truths.  Here are 5 truths that I believe.

1)  I believe that our current heath care crisis is not one of the state of health care at all but rather a crisis of class and by extension race and sex. I believe that we can not address health care until we are willing to admit to the class crisis in our country and deal with that too.

2) I believe that all people have the right to health care.  I believe it is as fundamental as my right to freely speak about its importance or someone elses right to pray for change.  I certainly believe it is as important as the right to carry an Uzi which people seem to get all bent out of shape about.

3) I believe that it is the responsibility of every person to do their part to ensure everyone has access to quality health care.  We live in a society and as members of that society we agree to certain social contracts.  The contract that causes you to stop at a red light so you don’t plow into an unsuspecting pedestrian is the same contract that should provide that pedestrian access to a good Dr if you do.  It is no less homicidal to deny someone cancer treatment as it is to use your hard earned Uzi to off them.

4) I believe that no heath plan can be considered comprehensive until it includes ‘luxeries’ like preventative care, well care, access to good nutritional information and yes, I am going to say it, reproductive care*.

5) I believe that these are my beliefs and I do not believe that you have to agree with me.  But, I do believe that it is your responsibility to find your own beliefs and talk about them.  I started talking about health care 10 years ago when a family friend asked my father for his old ear drops because he could not afford drops of his own.  A hard working man in his 50’s could not afford medication to treat and prevent something that my father could get for an $8 copay.  If you tell me there is something right about this situation, I will happily admit that my beliefs are wrong.

*I am still waiting for someone to explain to me why my insurance will happily cover Viagra but will not cover birth control pills.  If you have a good explanation for this, I would LOVE to hear it.


I was visiting some friends a few weeks ago and the conversation turned to facebook.  Someone asked me, “why aren’t we facbook friends?”  To which I replied, “um, I thought we were real friends, and…I am not on facebook”.  A hush came over the room and 12 people proceeded to tell me why I HAD to join facebook.  Now, I don’t believe I HAVE to join anything (other than the ranks of people who curse their bad luck and show up for jury duty once every 5 years), but I found myself having to defend over and over why I have not yet, and don’t plan to ever, join facebook. Here are the top five arguments and my response.

1) People say “It’s great, you connect with people you have not spoken to in years!”

I say: I am sure there is a reason I have not spoken to them in years.  Probably, because I decided I did not like them

2) People say: “But you can post your wedding pictures, and look at other peoples pictures and babies”

I say: I did not even make a wedding album to show my family, I have no desire to post pictures of a private and sacred day ON THE INTERNET for strangers to look at.  And any kids I want to see, I have seen.  You know, in person.

3) People say: “It is a great way to keep in touch”

I say:  I believe that having dinner is a great way to keep in touch.  I believe talking on the phone or sending ‘gasp’ an actual letter is a great way to keep in touch.  I believe that mass updates on what you are doing is a mediocre, at best, way of keeping in touch.

4) People Say: “It is easy”

I say:  So is easting fast food, using automatic bill pay and wearing sweatpants to work but I don’t do any of those things either.

5) People say: “You can re-connect with people you went to high school with”

I say: My point exactly!

PS:  I have been meaning to write this post for a while, but I was finally inspired by this very funny post over at Learning to Fly.

Almost within reach

June 3, 2009

As some of you know, D and I purchased a house a few months ago and have been fixing it up little by little.  We are hoping to move in some time next month and are starting to look at what new furniture we will need.  I had hatched a moderately evil plan to take my grandmothers dinning room set but as she told my mother last week, she is not dead yet, and that plan failed miserably.  Appalled by the prices of decent looking dinning sets I started to look on Craig’s list and other places to find a table we could live with until we could afford the table we wanted.  Then, yesterday, at approximately 3pm est, I hit the craigs list jack pot.  In  the pages of hideousness and crap, nestled between an Ikea coffee table and a used mattress* there is was… a Design Within Reach 6 person dining room table for $200.  The moments that followed were a little hazy but I am pretty sure the discovery was followed by the following five things.

1) Freak.  Assume that my eyes have failed me and there is no WAY the DWR in the description really  means it is from Design Within Reach.

2) E-mail D to see what he thinks.  Sit at wait for his response with all the calm and patience of a Labrador puppy.  Receive confirmation that D loves the table.  Become obsessed with hearing back from the owner to see if table is still available.

3) Continue to act like a Labrador puppy.  Check my e-mail 18 times in the next 10 minutes to see if he has responded.   Hear that the table is still available and do a victory dance at my desk. 

4) Do not even try to keep my cards close to my chest. Confess to the owner that I really want that table and am happy to come by in 2.5 hours to get it. 

5) Realize that there is no way the table is going to fit in or on my car under any circumstances.  Call D freaking out.  Develop a strategy to borrow an SUV from anyone who will lend it to us.  Make a plan to go get the table after work the next day.  Spend the next 12 hrs obsessing over the table. 

We are planning on getting it today after work.  Is it way too much to ask for it to still be there and to be as sturdy and heavy as I have hoped?  I am serious about that table. 

* Who buys a used mattress?  I am all about vintage and recycling and being green but there are just some things in this world you want new.  A mattress has got to be one of them.

Yesterday on my way home from work I heard this story on NPR.  If you don’t have the time or energy to read it, I will sum it up by saying that there is a Dr who believes any spiritual connection or feeling that a person experiences can be attributed to a specific part of the brain.  People who have religions visions or feel a presences of a spirit around them are simply experiencing a deformity or irregularity in this part of their temporal lobe.  Now, I am not going to claim to be an overly religious person.  I don’t attend religious services with any regularity and quite frankly I could use a good review of those ‘Thou Shall Not’s’ every once in a while.  But I firmly believe that faith should be taken for what it is…faith.  The blind belief in something not because you have evidence or proof but because you choose to believe.  Anyway, the whole story kind of ticked me off and got me thinking about other things I really do not care to know more information about.  Here are five.

1) The fat and/or calorie content in my favorite She Crab Soup at a local restaurant.  They only serve it when the season is right and I only order it when I can spend time sitting at the bar on a dock watching the sun slowly fall into the Atlantic and am preferably alone.  I can only imagine the rich broth they pour over the delicate crab right in front of you consists of butter, heavy cream and something magic and I just don’t care. 

2) The number of sexual partners anyone I have slept with has had.  I went to college during the late 90’s and trust me and I KNOW how important it is to talk about ones sexual health and use protection but I have never been a numbers girl.  I honestly don’t want to know and quite frankly, I don’t want to tell.

3) What happened to all the members of the US Olympic  Hockey Team of 1980.  After that movie Miracle came out a few years ago a whole bunch of documentaries started popping up on where they all are now.  Frankly, I found it a little depressing.  Sure some are doctors and hockey coaches, but some work at gas stations and are presently unemployed.  I prefer to think of them perpetually in 1980, as the greatest underdogs of all time, fighting for an Olympic medal, the Cold War and kids everywhere who blindly believe hard work pays off .

4) Any information about how, when or where I was conceived.  Actually, any information about how, when or where anyone was conceived.  I just really think some things are better left private. 

5) The inter-workings or any explanation about what makes my car go.  Through years of reminders and pestering by my father I religiously get my oil changed and I ask them to ‘check the fluids’ while they are there.  And when something specific breaks I listen long enough to relay the information to a more qualified person but ultimately…I just don’t care.  I am not a car person, I have never been a car person and as long as it starts when I need it to, I am a happy camper.

I know you were all waiting for some sort of post about how amazing Hawaii was, and I hate to disappoint*.  BUT, this morning I was driving to work and I heard this story about the ShamWow guy getting arrested in Miami last month.  I know some of you are big fans of the ShamWow so I could not let this event go with out mentioning these five questions about this amazing story.

1) How is it that Mr. Schlomi was arrested a whole month ago and we are only hearing about it now?  You would think that the news had an international financial crisis or a migrant ship capsizing off Libya to report on.  Doesn’t the NY Times have room for this now that Blagojevich’s hair has gone away and Madoff has stopped smuggling jewelry out of his apartment?

2)It costs $1,000 to have ‘strait sex’ with a hooker?  Someone should tell these guys that for $40 worth of booze they could impress a girl at bar and get laid for free.  You would think for a grand she would toss in a little something extra.

3) What would possess anyone to bite someones tongue?  Didn’t people watch Real World San Francisco?  Have we learned nothing from the woes of Puck?

4) How did the police possibly keep a strait face while they brought this guy in?  Is there any possible way they made it to the station with out making a joke about cleaning up ones own mess?

5) Why am I so ridiculously interested in this story?  I went to not one, not two but three different web sites to verify its accuracy**.  I don’t think I have relied on that much media since the electoral college appeared on an ice map

* who am I kidding, no one really wants to hear that I spent 10 days in paradise where the weather was 81 and sunny every day and the balcony from my hotel room looked out over the ocean.

** if this story is not true, please don’t leave me a mean comment telling me to check my sources.  I am fully aware that my sources are absurd but lets face it, most of this blog is absurd.

PS:  I want to thank my husband D for doing an amazing and hilarious guest post for me while I was away.  He is literally that funny all the time.

Yesterday when my phone started ringing at 6:30, I woke up to my boss saying five of my favorite words “we have a snow day” and promptly went back to sleep.  It got me thinking about some of my other favorite five word phrases and in the tradition of ‘If I had to pick five’, here are five of them.

1) Said at a bar “This round is on me”

2) Said at my favorite retail store “That has been marked down”

3) Said by a police officer “This time, it’s a warning”

4) Said by the dentist “Congratulations, you have no cavities”

5) Said by just about anyone “Looks like you’ve lost weight”

What other good ones am I missing….

After a long day at work and a nice dinner out with D, last night I sat down to watch some brilliant television programs.  Since I only watch things that are meaningful and educational (lie, lie, total lie) I put on a Top Chef and an old Real Housewives of Orange County* and prepared to be entertained.  I don’t know how many of you watch programs like this, or will admit to watching programs like this, but if you have seen any reality t.v. at all…you know the drill.  Which brings me to the following.  If you ever plan on going on a reality t.v. show, you might want to refrain from doing this five things:

1) Cheat on your boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancee or spouse.  Why? Because their is a 100% chance that the minute you start messing around, hooking up or ‘inocently’ snuggling on the couch…it is going to make national television.

2) Say things that are racist, homophobic, bigoted or just plain stupid. Why?  Because the moment you utter something that is going to offend someone or make you look like a moron…it is going to make national television.  And, just in case we did not hear it clearly, they will put it in type at the bottom of the screen.

3) Take your clothes off, mock strip or run around naked.  Why?  This too will go on national t.v. and trust me…those blurry ‘modesty’ bars are just not as modest as one might think.

4) Get into any sort of physical confrontation.  Why?  Not only will they put this on national t.v. they will play in over and over and over again.  They will put it to music, they will play it in slow motion, they will play it backwards and forwards and backwards again.  People will be able to analyze the way you throw and upper right cut to Ozzy intros for years to come.  

5) Be a total drunken mess….every single day.  Why? We have all been total drunken messes.  In fact (due to the evils of cranberry and vodka) we have all done some fairly stupid things we would rather forget that somehow a more sober friend has caught on still film.  This happens.  But, when they show you on national telivision dunk out of your mind week after week, you begin to get a reputation.  Perhaps this is the reputation you want now, but some day you may actually want a job.  And think about it, would you ever hire Ruthie from the Real World to manage your 401K? 

*Yes, I know this show is terrible and if you want to judge me for watching a bunch of self centered spoiled obnoxious silicone filled and botox injected women run around making utter fools of themselves week after week you can.  But, it makes me happy and I don’t judge you.


January 13, 2009

As aforementioned, I have been in the market for an iPhone.  After thinking it over and hearing nothing but great things from iPhone owners I finally got one.  Here are five of my observations so far.

1) Being an iPhone owner is a little like owning a Jeep Wrangler or having a sports car with roof racks.  It puts you in a  little club.  You see other iPhone owners and you instantly know you have something to talk about.  You share secrets, advice and  info on the best apps to down load.  I have an uncle that I have probably said…literally 10 words to in the last 6 months.  Last night, he heard I got an iPhone.  The conversation went something like this:

me: oh, hi Uncle G

U.G.: M said you got the iPhone. You are going to love it.

me: oh, um, yeah.  I am still trying to figure it out a bit.

U.G.: Turn off the Fetch New Data.  Did you turn that off.  It is a battery killer.  And make sure the Brightness is set at auto.  Is it set at auto?  Those are the biggest battery killers.  And make sure you have the blue tooth off unless you have a blue tooth on.  Do you understand?  Now go to your apps.  No, don’t browse, it takes forever.  Go to search.  Get Urban Spoon and the Weather Channel.  You have to have them.  Don’t get anything about traffic, the map function has traffic.  No, you don’t need to down load the map function it is on the phone.  Go back.  Now…

This went on for literally 20 min.  I don’t think I have spoken to this man for 20 min…in my life. 

2) When you get your iPhone the magic iPhone people transfer all of your all of your old phone numbers to the new phone.  This means, you are going to have a lot of numbers you have not used in ages; ex friends, ex boyfriends, friends ex friends and ex boyfriends.  When you go to delete these numbers from your contacts list it is VERY easy to accidently call these people so BE WARNED.  No one warned me and I will let it be known that a whole bunch of one ring and hang up calls went out along the eastern seaboard last night.  Oops.

3) When you have an iPhone it is no longer your private means of communication.  It sort of becomes communal property.  People see it and want to touch it, play with it, try it out.  I could be annoyed by this but I remember the week I spent in Seattle on my dear friends S & B’s iPhone NON STOP.  So, sorry about that guys.  I totally get it now.

4) Since the iPhone can become communal property, you might want to think seriously about having your e-mail just ‘pop up’.  If your private e-mail account is or if you are getting e-mails about your strip club frequent customer card…you are going to want to think twice before handing your iPhone over to your mother in law or your boss.

5) Having an iPhone is a little like having a small child around.  Is the iPhone safe?  The iPhone can’t get too hot or too cold. Make sure the iPhone is in its little protective sleeve.  Is the iPhone wearing its rubber jacket? Have you moved the iPhone out of the reach of the cat? Don’t leave the iPhone unattended in the bathroom.  Granted, the iPhone does not wake you up screaming in the middle of the night…but it might call your ex when you are trying to erase the number and no matter how many times you explain it, that is painful. 

Thanks again to my iPhone focus group.  You guys rule.

Please ‘splain…

January 8, 2009

Can someone please explain to me…

1) Why a hospital bothers making my appointment for 7:45 am if they have no intention of seeing me until after 9:00.

2) Why they insist on playing elevator music in the waiting room.  Everyone knows that the reason they get away with playing elevator music in elevators is because you only have to listen to it for 3 minutes.  Over an hour of hearing these tunes while to watching the clock tick by 78 times could prompt someone into a murderous rage.

3) Why the exam rooms are set at a balmy 57 degrees.  For what I pay my insurance to pay them (and then what I pay out of pocket myself), you would think they could afford to turn the thermostat up a few degrees.  In case they have not noticed, those johnny’s are not designed for warmth.

4) Why the gurneys are always set directly under the spot lights.  “Just sit back and relax”, she says. Well, I will do my best but with the spot light in my eyes and the temperatureset to ‘frozen tundera’, it is not all that relaxing of an experience.  How about a warm blanket and the sounds of the shore?  A soothing lavender candle maybe? 

5) Why the radiologist can not find the decency to come into the room to talk to me.  I have waited over an hour listening to horrible music while freezing my butt off under an interrogation lamp and you can’t find 45 seconds in your horribly busy day to come in and say “things look ok, we will see you in 6 months”.  I hope you are a patient some day, really…I do.

Forget the calander…here are five ways you can really tell it is fall in New England.

1) People suddenly forget how to drive. Rain in April, no problem. Rain in December…FREAK OUT. And this is coming from arguably the worst driver to ever recieve a liscence legally.

2)Commutes increase by 20 minutes due to the number of mommies and daddies driving their kids to school. Apparently children born after 1990 have a lower core temerature than anyone born during the Carter or Regan years and have a serious risk of contracting hypothermia if the temperature drops below 40 and they, heaven forbid, have to wait outside. They have also stopped making hats and scarves and mittens or maybe they just don’t sell them at Limited Too.

3) There are pot holes in the road the size of Rhode Island. I don’t know how it is possible to have such large holes in the roads surface with out losing a small un-hatted child. Forget about  government works projects developing new roads and infrastructure….lets start by fixing the ones we have got. I and my tires thank you.

4) You are forced to check Accuweather three times a day to see what you should be wearing any time you want to leave your house. 65 and sunny Monday does not mean it won’t be 41 and rainy on Tuesday. Finally get out those rain boots out and they freeze solid on Wednesday when it is a whopping 8. Don’t get too comfortable.  Thursday they are calling for 52 with sun showers before that nor’ester moves in on Friday so you better stop for a show shovel on your way home from work.

5) Every local bar and pub has replaced their lovely regular beers on tap with some sort of winter-wonder-fest monstrosity promising to taste of cinnamon, clove or wrapping paper. Even worse, they insist on serving this potpourri of alcoholic artificial flavors in a sugared and spiced glass. I am not making this up*.

*I am really not making this up. Last week when I ordered a pint of beer at one of my formerly favorite bars, the bartender said, “would you like that in a sugared glass?”. “oh no” I replied, “I did not want a margarita, just a beer”. “I know” she said, “the winter ale comes in a sugared glass”. No lie.