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.

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Since it has become painfully apparent that some of our political figures are in desperate need of a review session; here are five points they may want to remember. 

1) In the United States of America we have something we call a Democratic system.  In that system, the people elect officials to serve in various capacities in government.  Those elected officials are responsible for making laws and providing services.

2) Some of the laws and services require money to run.  To pay for them, the officials collect money from the people through something we call taxes.  The people pay taxes on everything from chewing gum to income and no one is exempt*.

3) Sometimes the taxes can get confusing.  Some people are very good at understanding taxes and we call these people accountants.  You can hire an accountant to do your taxes if you are unsure how to pay for the private limo service someone has given you or for your second maid. 

4) If you don’t pay your taxes you get in trouble.  If you don’t pay your taxes and you are in the running to be nominated by the new president for an important post, bad things happen.  Not only do you make yourself look like a greedy moron, you make your party looks stupid and you force people to question the vetting system of the the party leader (in this case, that would be the president). 

5) So, lets review.  PAY YOUR TAXES.  Yes, that includes all of you who think that you are better than us little people, above the system or impervious to the law. After all, you idiot, you ARE the law.

PS: If anyone recognizes the where this post title is from, you have great taste in music. 

*Not-for-profits are sort of exempt, but they are organizations not private citizens and quite frankly, it seems like you profit from just about everything.

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.

Five signs you may be in for a really long flight…

1) While sitting in the waiting area you are informed that one of the crew members has become violently ill and they will need to wait for a replacement. He may have the flu, he my have the bubonic plague…they just don’t know.

2) You go to take your seat and find that you are sitting in front of a 2 month old infant and her two year old sister,. There is one poor parent and a lot of snacks which are quickly turning into a pile of crumbs at your feet. The infant immediately starts to cry.

3) Before you can even get into your seat belt the captain comes on and informs everyone that due to an unusually strong headwind the normally easy 5 1/2 hour flight will be more like 6 1/2 hours but not to worry, you will be there before you know it. The infant continues to cry.

4) The man in the seat directly next to you clears his throat every 10 seconds. Literally, every ten seconds. You know it is every ten seconds because you become so infuriated by the mucus dislodging clearing of the throat you begin to count how many times it occurs in a minutes. An average of 6 times. You calculate how many times you will have to hear the mucus rumble and nose snorts oer the course of the next six and one half hours (apx 2340 times). The infant continues to cry.

5) The throat clearing evolves to a constant wheezing cough and asthmatic mucus rumble. He will not stop! You long for the moments when he was just clearing his throat every ten seconds. Your thoughts begin to alternate between homicide, suicide and general concern that the man sitting DIRECTLY next to you has caught the bubonic plague from the fallen crew member. The infant continues to cry.

Saturday I spent five loving hours at a good friends baby shower. After hour three of ohhing and ahhing over little socks and crib sheets I looked over at my friends loot and it occurred to me…I had no idea what half of this stuff was, or what it was used for. Call me crazy, but I assumed all a kid really needed was a place to sleep, something to eat, a whole mess of diapers and a few sets of feetsy pajamas. Here are five things I discovered all new mothers and infant babies apparently have to have.

A Hooter Hider– this is essentially a big old bib for moms to cover themselves with so they can breast feed in public. Apparently, a blanket will not do. I don’t know why. On the website they boast they they are the Nursing Covers for Chic Mothers. So, if you want to blow $40 on something that will make you look chic, this is the place for you.

A Swaddleme Adjustable Infant Fleece Wrap – Do not think that you can just wrap your infant up in a plain blanket. You must have specialized item for turning you baby into a burrito so it will sleep comfortably. You must have the Swaddleme Adjustable Infant Fleece Wrap! You must have two!

(If this baby could talk he/she would be saying “I can’t believe you just paid $9.99 for this weird origami blanket. Are you saving for my college education?” )

The Babybearshop All the Better to Kiss You With Lip Balm – Do not think you can kiss my baby un balmed! Want to hold the baby, wash your hands. Want to kiss the baby, apply lip balm. NO, not your lip balm, my super all natural lavender better to kiss you with lip balm.

Baby Leg Warmers – These are perfect for those times when your baby’s legs are cold, and you have no pants. Or, if you have named your child Jennifer Beals and want her to get started young. Do they make cut sweatshirts for babies too?

The Boon Snack Ball Container – Because everything is better if you have snacks, and snacks are just better in balls.

Really? It is only Week One?

September 10, 2008

I am not going to proclaim to be a huge football fan or even to be all that knowledgeable about the sport.   I genuinely enjoy the game, I follow enough to know what sports commentators are taking about, and I adore Bill Simmons (mostly for his well placed 90210 references).  After this first week of football, here are the five things I am already really sick of hearing about.

1) That the whole NFL is in mourning over the loss of Tom Brady.   Really?  The wholeNFL is sitting home wearing black mourning the ‘loss’ of Tom Brady?  Are we being a little dramatic here?  He is not dead!  He is hurt, this happens.  Football after all, is a full contact sport. 

2) Conversations about what the loss of Tom Brady will mean for Fantasy Football.  D drafted Tom Brady as his one and only quarterback so trust me; I am fully aware of the implications of being sans QB for the reminder of the season.  I hate to be the one to point out the overly obvious here but the reason they call it Fantasy Football is because it is pretend.  Can we move on please?

3) Commentators comparing everything Aaron Rodgers chucks into the air to Brett Favre.  “Now, THAT was a Brett Favre throw”, must have been said 28 times during the Green Bay game.  Are we going to compare everything Aaron Rodgers does to Brett Favre?  Aaron Rodgers throws out his coffee cup, “Now, THAT was a Brett Favre toss”.  Aaron Rodgers hands someone some athletic tape, “Now, THAT was a Brett Favre pass”.  Aaron Rodgers moves his jock strap, “Now THAT was a Brett Favre adjustment”.  AR should just change the back of his jersey from “RODGERS” to “NOT BRETT FAVRE”.  Lets give the poor kid a break. 

4) Comparing everyone and everything to Usain Bolt.  I know we are still fresh off the Olympic media high, and when TO said it on Hard Knocks it was funny, but do we REALLY need to compare every athlete to Usain Bolt?  Can TO beat him?  Can Venus Williams beat him?  How much of a head start would I need to beat him?  I give it a week before we start seeing car commercials boasting about how they can go 0-60 faster than bolt.  Well, yeah… you’re a CAR.

5) Dramatic statements about how this football season it is “any ones game”.  ESPN recently posted the following statement “After week one, the NFL power structure is reeling”.  Really? The NFL Power structure is reeling?  Did I somehow mix up ESPN.com with NPR.org?  Are we talking about the invasion of Georgia or conversations with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki?  Maybe we should just send Tom Brady over to have a little conversation with him?  Since the NFL has lost Brady as its clear leader, maybe he can earn his keep by helping with foreign affairs?  Or at least start peace talks with Bridget Moynahan.

Here are my top five pet peeves I encounter during a run.  

 

1 -Dogs who are not on leashes-  I know there are a lot of dog lovers out there, and I don’t mean to offend anyone but there is nothing worse than running around a corner to find yourself face to face with a  K9 and no owner in sight.  Inevitably, when I gasp and stop dead in my tracks someone will materialize and say, “oh, don’t worry.  He/She is VERY friendly.”  How am I supposed to know your animal you animal is friendly?  What if it suddenly becomes UN friendly?  What if it takes one look at me and realizes that the dry kibble it is getting for breakfast is not nearly as tasty as the fat content of my left thigh? I don’t go running around un-leashed through your dog park; please do not bring your dog un-leashed on my running trail.

 

2- Bikers who take over the entire road- To whom ever is in charge of the pack of road bikers wearing matching blue and yellow outfits.*  I am just as worthy of a piece of asphalt as you are.  Please do not think that just because there are more of you, I can be run off the road.  After two near death experiences, I jump into the nearest yard when I hear the wiz of the bikers approaching.  Getting hit by a car is one thing; getting run over by a bicycle is just embarrassing.

 

3- Nudie runners –  I live on the New England coastline and my morning runs occur sometime between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning. That means, even on the hottest of days it is approximately 72 degrees, max.  I don’t care what distance you are running or how high the humidity is, 72 degrees is just not too hot to put a shirt on.  Buy one of those sweat-wicking shirts or a cool comfortable tank top.  Please do not run around the neighborhood with out any clothes on.  It’s gross. 

 

4- People who stop me to ask me for directions –  I am not sure what it is about me that gives the indication that I am a good source of information, but please do not try to ask me for directions while I am running.  I am sucking wind like an air tunnel, sweating like a pig and the only thing I can possibly think about is questioning WHY I took up this activity to begin with.  I do NOT want to think about where you can get a really great fried fish sandwich for lunch or if any of the boutiques have summer sales.  I just want to finish my run.   Please leave me alone. 

 

5- Runners who don’t say hello or good morning – I had thought that this rudeness was limited to perfectly tanned Ukrainian gymnasts but apparently the impolite epidemic is rampant.  We are all out here with the birds the waves and each other.  Please do not blatantly ignore me when I smile and say “good morning”.  If you are too tired to speak you can raise your hand or even nod.  In case you were absent that day of kindergarten, ignoring people is rude.    I hope you run into an unleashed dog around the next bend. 

 

*as a side note, when was it that every recreational biker decided to dress like Lance Armstrong?  Is this a fashion statement or are the truly concerned about aero-dynamics? I drive a car, that does not mean I need to dress like Jeff Gordon. 

Presently, I am on a beach vacation on the eastern shore.  Never one to miss an opportunity for some people watching, here are the five folks who are giving me something to talk about

1) The Family Man – This is the man who arrived at the beach with his full family in tow. He looked around, noticed the entire eastern seaboard was completely empty, and chose to sit right next to me.  Then, to really make me feel welcome and a part of the family, he put one blanket beside me, his chairs in front of me and choose to yell from one to the other while I tired to close my eyes and pretend the whole thing was not happening.  I will let all of you guess how long it took me to pick up my chair and walk off in a huff*.

2) The Innocent Daughter –  The one who is quite obviously on a vacation with her family (I jumped to this conclusion after hearing her call another women ‘mom’) and decided that the most appropriate swim suit she owned was an itsy bitsy silver metallic bikini whose bottom most certainly had a former life as a hair elastic.  To make sure the top covered as little of her silicone filled ta-ta’s as possible, she scrunched the triangles to thin slivers of nothingness and proceeded to apply oil vigorously. With all that skin showing, you certainly need to focus on your tan.

3) The Born Athlete – The man who tried unsuccessfully 8 times to board his surf kayak in the surf and after being dumped, clobbered, crunched and near drowned by the ocean, climbed aboard the flotation device and had three of his friends PULL him from the sand to the sea.  I don’t know who looked worse, the guy, his friends or the poor kayak who quite frankly, deserved better than that.

4) Father Knows Best – This fine specimen of paternal wonder apparently thought that the best way to teach his child to ride waves, was to stand at the edge of the shore and yell “go farther!  No, that’s not far enough.  GO FARTHER.  Whats wrong with you? FARTHER!”  I know he was hesitant to actually get in the water to help his son, for fear that he may get salt water in his ice cold Bud Light (at 11 in the morning) but perhaps his child has gone far enough.  Perhaps the child does not want to get swept to sea with his $11.99  boogie board  and the lingering words of his fathers advice for comfort.

5) The Good Samaritan –  This woman took it upon herself to call 911 to report dolphins were swimming too close to the shore and then felt compelled to go from blanket to blanket to tell us what she had done.  Now, are they going to arrest these dolphins for unlawful entry to a swimming area?  Are the going to keep them in a holding cell for questioning?  Do you think they can call flipper to serve as a jury of their peers?  The only thing I want to know more than WHAT was going through this woman’s mind when she frantically dialed 911 to report the dolphins, was the look on the 911 operators face when he/she took the call.

*I would like to note here that it is extremely difficult to storm off in a huff on the sand.  There in not nearly enough loud stomping sounds to be made and if your storming involves exasperated marching, you might trip up on the sand and fall down.  I suggest that if you find yourself in this situation, you give as dirty of a look as possible with out getting into a fist fight and walk away elegantly.

As aforementioned, I live in a coastal tourist town. By day, it is full of yacht-y folks sporting navy blazers with gold buttons and a Vineyard Vines tie or this seasons hottest Lilly pattern. However, by night… it s a full on drunken circus complete with a cast of characters worthy of an MTV real life episode. Here are the five classy individual’s who took a stroll outside my window at 1:30 this morning and the five things I really wanted to say to them.

Ms. Foreign Relations – Placing yourself in the center of the street and screaming at the top of your lungs, “but I WANT THAI FOOD” is not going to compel the lovely Thai family at the end of the block to open up their restaurant and cook for you. It may however compel me to throw blunt objects at your head. No jury would convict me.

Ms. Mass Communications – While announcing to the hundreds of people pouring out of the local bar that you have not gotten laid in TWO MONTHS and you NEED TO GET LAID NOW, will probably, in fact, get you laid… I can almost guarantee you will regret it. You seriously need to rethink your wing women (and your outfit)

Mr. Mergers and Acquisitions – I am sure that leaving the bar at 1:30 in the morning has your mind squarely on meeting your soul mate. However, this merger will not be easily facilitated by asking each and every person with breasts what they do for a living, where they live and if they are here for the ENTIRE summer or if its just a one nighter. Too bad you missed Ms. Mass Communications, you guys would have been perfect for each other!

The Sharks and The Jets – Please take your rumble somewhere else. I am sure that you are all in your fully correct frame of mind, and whatever has started this brawl is by all means worth it. However, I am in no mood to hear your shouting, taunting, threats or banter. It is not witty, it is not cute, it is not sexy or even very manly. It is actually quite pathetic.

The Local Police Force- WHERE ARE YOU PEOPLE!!!! I am sure you are extremely tired from your day of writing tickets to people with out of state plates, looking annoyed at traffic intersections and blowing through red lights to get absolutely no where, but there is a BAR BRAWL going on outside my window. Could you please at least show up and TRY to control it?

NOTE: I mean no disrespect to law enforcement officials, I know lots and lots of officers that I respect and admire. However, there have been four nights THIS month where I have been awaken to either a domestic disturbance, a bar brawl or the sound of a screaming woman begging whomever she was with to leave her alone. I have called the police on all occasions and have yet to see and actual uniformed officer show up. Its not easy being rational with out any sleep.

Needs Improvement

June 8, 2008

I just finished week three of I-don’t-want-to-BE-a-runner-but-I-need-to-do-something-so-I-am-going-to-run, and I am not getting any better. In fact, I think I may be getting worse and I have decided to start blaming my equipment. So, from head to toe, here are the five items that are letting me down.

1) My hair elastic. – Is it SO hard to create an elastic that can actually hold my hair back and up, without giving me a face lift or a migraine? We put people on the moon for Pete’s sake! The technology has GOT to exist.

2) My sports Bra – as aforementioned, I am by no means huge, however I have searched the world high a low for a sports bra that manages to give some actual support with out digging into my rib cage with such force, it leaves marks, swelling and scabs. (I would be happy to share a picture of these marks but I do not believe my body is ‘picture on the internet’ ready) Now in addition to dealing with the daggers shooting into my abdomen, I am forced to make peace with flesh tearing near my heart.

3) My Shorts – This I believe: I believe that you should not need a bikini wax to wear a pair of athletic shorts. I believe you should not have to consider your undergarments when choosing a pair of athletic shorts. I believe that when you pull a pair of athletic shorts on before a work out, you should be able to safely assume they will remain in a near location to where they started. Am I asking too much here?

4) My Shoe Laces – Aside from weather men (or women) I assumed that most other professions required you to actually understand your field before you entered it. I assumed that someone who was designing a pair of running sneakers had actually taken a quick jog or even worn a pair of sneakers once in their lives. I know this to not be the case, because if any of the Nike shoe designers had actually worn a pair of their shoes for more than 30 seconds, they too would discover that the laces DO NOT STAY TIED! It is hard enough to convince myself to go out for a run in the first place. It is not made easier by stopping every half mile to bend over (quite painful with the abdomen daggers) to RE-tie my shoe laces. Come on Nike people?!?! I know you are better than this!

5) My Sun Block- Dear sunblock people of the world, If you are going to advertise “Sports Block” that will not sweat off, drip down or sting your eyes they moment you start to perspire… you should actually deliver that in a product. Running is hard enough with out being blinded by a liquid chemical substance that is marketed to protect me. Its rude.