30 June 2005

The Nudists Are Gone

For a week each summer, a resort down the road hosts a group of nudists. Apparently there was some fuss because the tennis courts are easily viewed from the road, so they started wrapping them in black plastic for the duration of their visit each year. I keep thinking that must make the courts really hot even if you are naked.

It would be easy to say the resort is giving in to Puritanical attitudes (which they are), but the tennis courts come right before a hazardous intersection, and the last thing they need is bunch of collisions at their entrance spawned by doubletakes.

The plastic is gone; therefore so must be the nudists.

You know you're into blogging when...

Last night I dreamt about getting body piercings for the first time, and then in the dream I thought of blogging about the experience.

28 June 2005

A Prelude to Bewitched

We sat down. Dad balanced the popcorn on his lap, and I handed him his soda. I poked a straw into my rootbeer and set it in the cup holder.

"These seats are small, aren't they?" Dad commented.

"Yeah." I've seen many movies on various screens at this theater, but this was the first time the seats had seemed this narrow. I felt claustrophobic. To reduce my width, I pulled out the water bottle I'd smuggled in from the side pocket of my khaki cargo shorts.

Maybe it was my imagination, but the seats in front of us looked wider. I pulled out my keys, stretched my pocket measure from armrest to armrest, and then leaned forward to measure the seat opening in the next aisle. The armrests taper in to the seat back, so I measured both again making sure to measure at the same point just in front of the cup holders.

"They seem a little wider," said Dad.

"They are wider. Over an inch." I scrutinized the rows ahead and observed, "Every other row has smaller seats."


"Yeah. Get up."

"I'm not moving, I just got settled in. They just seem wider," argued Dad.

"No, they are wider. Get up." I put my water bottle back in my pocket and picked up my rootbeer. Dad reluctantly wiped his buttery fingers on a napkin and picked up his drink and popcorn.

Since there were people in the row in front of us, we moved up 3 rows. We sat down.

"These are wider," Dad conceded appreciatively.

"Yeah, I know," I said with a grin.

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27 June 2005

tip, part 2

Remember that when a customer service rep tells you something that doesn't seem right, it's quite possible it isn't. Call back and phrase your question differently to someone else.

I called back to get more info on how to follow through with canceling by fax and such only to find out they could send me a proof of creditable coverage letter that would reflect the fact that I'm currently covered. So, having called in a favor to have the fax received elsewhere, I know have the letter I need. Finished the application and just got back from faxing it off. It's the best I can do under the circumstances, so I am relieved that it is again (for a while) out of my hands.

May be time to hit a matinee: it's damn hot today.

tip of the week- changing health insurance

So it turns out if you want a 'proof of creditable coverage' letter from your current health insurance plan to use so you can waive the 180 day waiting period with a different company, you can't get an up-to-date letter until you've cancelled your policy. Since you need this letter to go with your new application, the only way you might swing continuous coverage is to cancel your policy two months in advance.

For example: you pay your premium to cover the next two months (July and August), but also say you want to cancel your plan at the end of that time (August 31). In theory they should automatically generate the 'proof of creditable coverage' letter once they get your cancellation notice. Don't count on it. If you haven't received it and they've had ample time to receive your notice and respond, call and ask for it. If you have a fax machine or access to one, now is the time to use it; if not, keep an eye on your mailbox because actually receiving this letter (with the correct dates on it) could take all of July.

Go ahead and fill out your new application so as soon as you get the letter, you can send it in. That should leave the month of August for the new company to work through all their steps and hopefully approve your application so coverage can start September 1.

Hopefully this isn't the case with all health insurance companies; it is with mine. I have to switch because I moved out of state, but there's no mechanism in place to make this simpler even though it's a national company. The simplest solution would be to find a job with health benefits, but that's easier written than done.

26 June 2005

bugs do like the light

The Roman shades are drawn, the lamp made from a firehose nozzle is on, and copious bugs from tiny to distressingly large are crawling on the windows. Damn. That huge freakin' moth just scared off the lightning bug I was watching. The light blinked once catching my attention and then again, but so fast I wasn't sure I wasn't imagining a green LED (not that I know why I would imagine that). Then like the watched pot that refuses to boil, the lightning bug really did choose not to blink again while I was watching. I was hoping while I typed I might catch it peripherally, but the moth has blown that.

Cheers to summer nights!

At least 5-4 gets publicity

"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," O'Connor wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."


Another Sunday of Classys

With the 'net I could scan the local listings everyday, but that's just too much effort wasted on ads for jobs I'm not qualified for or have no interest in. The rest are mainly office jobs with no benefits that just won't pay enough. The catch is not knowing what I want to do clearly enough to pursue it in a more fruitful manner (aside from winning the lottery of course). The other catch is not wanting to do the jobs I've already had nor much of anything related to my degrees. That's not entirely true, but for the sake of feasibility let's say it is.

I need to psych myself up for change, but it's difficult because there is no change I need to make that I can achieve in small increments, and any single large change will set off an avalanche of others. I doubt I'll ever be truly ready for it, but I wonder when I'll just get up and do it.

pickled beets

Their flavor is reminiscent of dirt, but in an ok way.

25 June 2005

Where's My Inuyasha?

It's Saturday, it's eleven. Grrr. Must investigate.


There's nothing like dealing with health insurance companies to make me livid, though truthfully this latest screwup has me mostly resigned since I'm still grogged out from yesterday.


June 9: I call and ask for a proof of coverage letter. I'm out of state and have been long enough I have to switch to the more expensive local insurance.

June 20: I still haven't received it, so I call and ask them to send it again. At this point I bemoan the fact my printer/copier does not have a fax. Can they email it? Of course not.

June 25 (today): I finally get the letter and it's dates are so completely wrong as to make it useless. They have no customer service on the weekend, so I must wait until Monday. I believe it's time to call in a favor and borrow someone's fax number, so I can deal with their screwups more precipitously.

I was hoping to have this sorted out so I could start my local coverage July 1, but it now looks like I will have endure some gap of no coverage thanks to those inept twirps.


In other news, I had a lovely time walking around Cambridge yesterday and hanging out with one of my dearest buds. Wednesday night I'd had an irritating dream about missing turns and getting lost, but in the dream I wasn't the one driving and felt that if I had been, it would've been fine. And so it was in real life. There were a couple of accidents on the highway, but after those the moderately heavy traffic picked up to speeds I probably wouldn't have gone had the road been empty, so I made great time. Though Cambridge does involve crossing a river, it was much easier to navigate than I found Pittsburgh to be with it's rivers and tightly packed one-way streets.

Later on, we met up with her bubbly, accomplished little sister and on her recommendation went to Darwin's, Ltd. to grab a bite for dinner. The prices were really reasonable for the quality of food, and many places charge as much for pitiful sandwiches. For $6.50, I got the Hubbard Park: hummus, avocado, apple, carrot, lettuce (since they were out of sprouts), cheddar, and honey mustard sauce on pumpernickel. It's the healthiest thing I've eaten in ages, and it tasted great. I think there are a few franchises in the Boston area, so if you come across one, I highly recommend it.

23 June 2005

Eminent Domain

This Supreme Court ruling is appalling. It allows municipalities to seize private property for commercial ventures. Say you've found the house of your dreams; you plan to live there for the rest of your life; if the city decides your neighborhood would be better as a shopping mall, they can seize your land.

I want to own a home someday, but now even if it was all paid off, there's no guarantee I would get to stay. That feels like one deep stab to the American Dream. Usually such a concept is not something I would give much weight, but owning your own home- the best investment you can ever make- is such a fundamental piece of that dream.

It gives developers an unfair advantage as the taxes their projects will generate will far outweigh what comes in from a working class neighborhood. Sure it's easy to argue it's better economically for the city as a whole, but that doesn't make it right to seize people's homes.

The LA Times article describes this decision in better detail.

Not cutoffs


22 June 2005

Mini roadtrip

Looking forward to seeing a west coast bud in my relative vicinity on Friday. I'm going to drive optimistically 2.5 or realistically 3 (or more if I get lost) hours to see her and then back. I could stay over which would be the reasonable thing to do because I could do so without fronting cash, but for reasons I can't quite discern the thought jars self-consciousness from my pores in a way that makes my skin crawl. I would rather have a long day of it and drive home. It has nothing to do with her- it's more like a primeval attack of shyness because I've been so reclusive this year.

Another friggin pen

This makes three in about nine months. This time I even sort of knew the pen I'd been carrying was missing as I'd had to snag another one. I'd casually looked in a number of places, even checked my dirty laundry for it, but hadn't found it. At least not until today when I saw it resting uncapped at the bottom of the washer. Again thankfully unbroken, but I feel at the outer limits of luck, so I must get better about checking my pockets or stop carrying pens. Didn't notice any pen streaks but then I decided not to really look for them until later. It might be good if I did find some, might stress me into working out today.

Mmm, Bacon

Ever have one of those moments where a scent memory wafts through your consciousness? I just did and it smelled like bacon.

And now I crave some, but my best chance of getting any is to dream about it. So here's to lucid dreaming!

21 June 2005

The Caped Crusader

Well, if you were only ever going to see one Batman movie, Batman Begins should be it. The visuals are beautiful, the name actors do not detract from the story, and for once the plot is as important as the special effects.

The lever in the batmobile reminded me of the one I had when I was little. It was a sort of Big Wheel batmobile, purple with yellow trim, but designed so you'd lean back more than in a standard Big Wheel; instead of a steering wheel it had two levers you would pull to go left or right; it was awesome.

20 June 2005

tip of the week- UK cell phone usage

My friend Marc recently returned from a trip to the UK having discovered that calls to a cell phone there are very expensive. Though this was noted at one of the places he stayed, it didn't sink in until he was home and received his bill with two calls at SEVEN DOLLARS PER MINUTE. So if you're abroad, do a little research on cell fees first.

Is there Kryptonite nearby?

Though I desire strongly to nap through my presumably pollen-induced haze, I am determined to post instead. Once again Nickerblog has inspired me to sit still and write. He talks about having the opportunity to have additional lives, say 3 in a row, though you don't know until the end of the first that you'll get another shot. I'm not sure if you get to remember your previous lives or not in his scenario, but it triggered some recent thoughts of mine regarding time travel.

I often ponder choices I've made, experiences I've had, and how they affect who I am today, as well as how far back I'd have to go to change the course of my life in any significant way. I always end up thinking that I would probably need to start from grade school, and the very thought of reliving those years with the memory of a 31 year old is enough to make my present life quite palatable. It's the 'if I knew then what I know now' scenario, but the flaw would be retaining the original memories which would still influence who you were even if you lived things differently. I suppose ideally one would get the opportunity to relive past moments differently without knowing it; perhaps a subconscious memory would serve as one's guide. Shy of having a perfect life, I think I would take any opportunity to relive things differently for the sake of new experience just so long as I didn't have to cart around my current memories. But then I would cease to be myself, wouldn't I? So perhaps not. The key would be to relive in one's own skin while overcoming certain genetic predispositions.

In Shane's scenario, you get three shots at life, but have more control over your state of being. Essentially, you're able to achieve whatever you would choose with enough knowledge to try something different each time and enough lack of memory to keep you from squandering a lifetime. If we assume this is my first life, then for my second, I would choose to be fearless, one who seeks the extremes of adventure and sensation even though that might make for a short life. The third would then combine the best traits and temper the negative ones of the previous two to result in something remarkable: a life fulfilling its greatest potential in every way.

Too vague a wish for any of the creatures in stories which grant them, but I like the sentiment all the same.

18 June 2005

Parlez vous?

Suddenly those 5 years studying French starting in 7th grade no longer seem a waste. No, I'm not on my way to France or any other French-speaking land. (I did go on a scandalous weekend trip to Canada in 10th grade, but pretty much everyone there wanted to practice their English with us.) No, what I have found upon clicking referral sites from sitemeter is that I can read blogs en francais. All the answers from those interminable Mondays: what did you do over the weekend? Fridays: what are you going to do this weekend? and everything in between: what do you like to do for fun? in our quest to conquer chitchat can now be found in the 'About Me' of many a French blog.

tony pierce

I'm not fond of rules for blogging since they generally patronize and often miss the point of embracing an opportunity to express your own voice. Tony Pierce's rules, however, encourage the blogger to write more, write better, be honest, be forthcoming. I can dig that.

17 June 2005

No Ben Franklin for me

"Most likely to succeed." At what? I often wonder 14 years later. Pages of girl-boy pairs voted most or best. Our "most" nomination was uninspired: valedictorian, me; salutatorian, him. Post-vote, I overheard a classmate comment, "I don't think getting good grades means you'll be successful."

My friends now assure me, "Success is relative." Of course, to each individual. I know what I mean...

That leaves three years to transform into the confident, fulfilled, successful person I wish to be by 35. But as the weeks wear on with little change, I wonder if she'll ever reside here. I guess she's waiting for me to move out first.


Though I was up until 3:30 last night, I woke up earlier than I have most of this week.


There's nothing quite like that sound riveting your brain in the morning. It cracked that door to wakefulness in such a way that trying to nap would result only in me tossing and turning. At least I don't feel nauseated; often heavy fatigue manifests as a hangover for me, never has seemed a fair result when no alcohol's involved. There's only one thing for it, so I'm going to breathe some fresh air and work out.


I really had no intention of staying up this late; I meant to go to bed earlier than I have these past few days, but I watched Thirteen and was so taken by it, I watched it again with the commentary. The kids' performances are so great in this movie, and Holly Hunter's always good. The rest of my thoughts are not presenting themselves lucidly, so it's time to sack out.

15 June 2005


The temperature finally dropped from the 80s to the mid 60s today, so there was no excuse not to work out, but I still didn't do it. Instead I've been mulling over my life, what it is, what I want it to be, and the deep chasm between the two; and how to reconcile the struggle when I'm an existentialist at heart. Any ideas?

14 June 2005

Bad title, Good movie

I choked on the title when I was buying my ticket, thinking 'yes, I'd like a ticket for the worst title ever,' but then I wasn't sure if Sharkboy and Lavagirl was playing yet, and I didn't want to confuse the guy, so I sputtered out 'the sisterhood.'

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a good female coming-of-age film. I hate knowing too much about a story before I see a movie, so I won't comment on that, but the performances are good across the board. If you'd like Hollywood to make more films about women, you should really go see this in the theater to help prove there's a market for them.

13 June 2005

tip of the week- dispel summer heat

If you've got sash hung windows, open a few from the top to let some heat out (since heat rises). If you can't just get it to go down after unlocking the window, open the window from the bottom and then reach up behind that pane and pull down on the upper piece. Then you can lower the lower pane.

This is also helpful when you want to leave your windows open while it's raining. Just make sure the storm window is raised, lower the top pane, and air will be able to escape without letting rain in.

12 June 2005

It was not there (note preceding post)

But then the box wasn't actually the one I thought it was, so there was lots of stuff that wasn't in it. There are other boxes in a stack there, but I was too irritated to continue just then. I know where the letter used to be: on the second shelf from the top of a bookcase in my bedroom 10 years ago. I left it at my parents' house thinking it would be safer there. When I moved to Florida for grad school, I took all my bookcases with me. I thought I put the letter in one of the drawers beneath my bed with other saved correspondence.

It was only last year that my parents finally got rid of the bed so that my mom could make the room hers. (For years, she'd complained about not having her own space in the house while my room sat unoccupied.) A few months ago, I looked through the boxes of stuff from those drawers, but it wasn't there amidst the other letters, notebooks, toys, and old awards. My old room still has some things of mine in it but has been overwhelmed with additional clutter. I don't believe it's in there loose anywhere, but it's very difficult to be sure.

The upshot of my frustration, however, is that I worked out for the first time in several days.

Time: 30 minutes on the bike plus cool-down stretching

Viewing: the ends of both Pretty in Pink and Good Will Hunting intermingled. Always up for a dose of OMD.

And since I nearly closed this tab by mistake while getting those links, I'm calling it quits here.


On the second floor of my house next to the stairs, there's a short stretch of hall with a closet in the wall and a window at its end. It's made narrower by a shelving unit on wheels and cluttered with 2 rolled up rugs, boxes, laundry baskets, as well as fabrics and curtains slung over the railing. I was just about to move the laundry baskets and crawl over the rest to get a box of mine in search of a lost letter from Katharine Hepburn when I noticed the ceiling above has a distinct sag. I've always had a great sense of level and the trap door for the attic is definitely sloping down away from the wall; it levels out again where the track lighting is above the stairs.

I have a feeling it's always been that way (at least since the first time I moved here 17 years ago), and I'm disturbed just as much by the fact I didn't notice it until now, or that I'd forgotten I'd noticed it, as I am by the slope itself.

after midnight

Perhaps in the cool of night I will be able to think. To think more than the heat-drenched days allow.

09 June 2005

It's a fat girl's name

It really doesn't seem like it's been TWENTY years since I first saw The Breakfast Club. The MTV Movie Awards honored the film, and seeing a hunky grown up Anthony Michael Hall, filled out Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy made me feel old; but it's also reassuring since I thought they all looked great.

Seeing the clips reminded me of all the people who felt compelled to comment that I have "a fat girl's name" as though I'd never heard the line before or in some failed attempt to get a rise out of me. Oftentimes, it was just a reflex reaction to hearing my name: lucky me. In actuality, my high school life was more in tune with Sixteen Candles, but that's a story for another day.

After praising the ease of audioblogger in a comment elsewhere, hopefully tomorrow will bring the log in my head to fruition.

Peak hours apparently

Well damn. I keep getting a busy signal. Everyone must be audioblogging during their lunch hours. Oh well. It'll be up later today.

07 June 2005

Rare Fortune

As we walked to our table in my favorite Chinese restaurant, we passed a young couple in formal wear. Must be the prom, I thought to myself. My parents sat opposite me as I headed straight for the buffet. On my way back, I caught a peripheral glimpse of her gown and then kicked myself for not rearranging the placemats so I could check out her dress discreetly while I was eating. They must've ordered dinners since they weren't going up to the buffet. Good job, I thought of the tuxedo-clad boy.

The next time I got up, I saw that her sleeveless gown had an open column down the back with criss-crossed lacing. It gave the dress an edge and made me think it wasn't something I'd have the guts to wear. The gown was floor length, a pale lime green, with a fitted bodice.

The next time I walked back, I noticed that the bodice had some detail to it and that her long blonde hair was pinned up in a complicated coiffure with perfect curls. I also noticed her noticing me. It was still near 80 degrees when we left home, so I hadn't changed clothes: white t-shirt with a simple museum logo, thin blue and white plaid cotton shirt open, and what really drew her eye: my pale faded denim shorts. At the front edge of each leg, the material has unraveled from the hem leaving two stringy holes. Most of the seams are frayed from wear, and in several places worn patches presage an epidemic of holes. At that moment with her shoulders slightly slumped, it looked to me like she wished she was in shorts too.

A few minutes later, they were outside standing by his car, smiling, laughing. The late sun caught the details on the bodice and sparkled; the dress had a pale peach sheen; and they were having a good time.

As unexpected as seeing the prom goers was receiving an actual fortune in my fortune cookie:
A golden egg of opportunity falls into your lap this month.

You better believe I played those numbers.

The Treehouse

The right book later than I would've liked, but not too late: The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom From my Father on How to Live, Love, and See by Naomi Wolf. If I'm honest with myself though, I probably would've resisted the lessons I'm growing to accept on my own if I'd read the book earlier. Much of her dad's advice echoes choices I've made in my life though I've still many kinks to work out, lessons yet to embrace, and a ways to go before I can believe these choices are my life's success.

I clearly remember enthusiastically and aggressively discussing The Beauty Myth with my parents over dinner over a decade ago; we were eating cheese fondue with bread and veggies, drinking Earl Grey tea. In storage in Florida, there's a videotape of that meal that I made to show my best friend what my family life was like. When we watched it back at college, people passing through kept asking if it was scripted (it wasn't), expressing disbelief that my family ate fondue at home (we did), and wondering what sort of accent my parents had (mellowed Virginian).

Wolf's need to be right, to argue and convince, that she discusses in the new book resonates strongly with me even though I know I've changed too over these interim years. Nearly every argument I have now spawns from a desire to clarify, elaborate, and ultimately convince or correct something one of my parents has said. For their part, they have difficulty accepting that I have some areas of expertise that they do not share; my mother in particular resists learning if the knowledge comes from me. For my part, I often demand a precision undesirable in casual conversation; I want to be heard, and I want it known that I'm right. It's very difficult to apply the "I'd rather be happy than right" approach when you derive pleasure from being right; but as I get older and accept that my parents' time here is limited, I'd rather not be the reason my mom gets upset, so I try to remember that some things are better left unchallenged, uncorrected, even when my literal mind balks at acquiescence.


Time: 30 minutes of biking followed by a stretching cool down

Viewing: End of Buffy season 2 episode in which a boy from her old high school wants to turn into a vampire; a few minutes from the middle of I.Q.

06 June 2005


Time: 40 minutes on bike plus door push-ups and stretching

Viewing: Season 2 Halloween episode of Buffy-makes me laugh

tip of the week- opening stuck windows

If you're having trouble opening your windows (the old sash drawn style), try giving it a whack first as if you're trying to close it more. Sometimes the paint sticks, and the whack breaks the seal between the window and its frame.

The first time I saw my dad do this I was disgusted by how easily he opened the window after I'd been pushing on it with all my might. Whack, swush, voila! But since it works as well for me now, I admire the effectiveness of brain over brawn.

05 June 2005

I should have known

Of course there's a National Pygmy Goat Association, a Pygmy Goat Club, and various places on the web to buy goats. I keep picturing a little goat walking around the backyard; the vision has even overtaken my persistent affection for puppies. Apparently they make good pets, the pygmy goats that is. There's a picture on the bottom of this page of a goat on a barrel that I find particularly appealing. My dad said he could picture me walking with a little goat following me around, or perhaps on a leash. They come in all kinds of colors and I'd want a multi-colored one: black and white or brown, black, and white. Actually I think two would be good so they could play together. Melvin and Agador maybe...

04 June 2005

Um, what's wrong with this?

I keep seeing this ad with a series of women talking about how much they like this facial product that makes them look better- Olay's Regenerist, I think. One even specifically says it's not about looking younger but better for her age, but I digress. Below each woman's face is her age and occupation, and every time I see 'private investigator, 41' I wonder whose idea it was. I assume they're trying to add some glamour, a lifestyle of intrigue amidst the flight attendant and tremendously vague 'account rep' personas they've included, but if this woman was actually a P.I., having a national ad would severely compromise her effectiveness. Or maybe she's actually (supposing for sake of argument that she's not an actress) a P.I. in the way Agnes DiPesto might call herself one. Next time, let's see astronaut, deep sea diver, and stuntwoman next to CEO, teacher, artist, and real estate agent.

Day 4

Time: 20 minutes on the bike plus some cool-down stretching

Viewing: Longest satellite DVR ad in existence- seriously, it was just shy of 3 minutes;
the end of Star Trek: First Contact- when I first saw it I thought they were setting us up to find out that Alfre Woodard's character was actually responsible for warp drive, and I still think that would've made for a more complex and compelling storyline. They travel back in time and find their history is incorrect, but because their mission is to defeat the Borg and restore the timeline, they are faced with the moral quandary of having to leave Woodard's contributions unheralded while the buffoon Cochran is widely praised and revered. It would have to have been a longer movie to accomplish all that, but it could've been a cool commentary on our perceptions of recorded history.

And finally, the beginning of Mission to Mars, possibly the coolest near-future film I've ever seen. What I loved about it was that it treated space travel with many of the restraints that exist today: travel takes time, physics is respected, supplies are limited. All these things heighten the dramatic tension for one sequence that I recall so vividly. I'll let you check it out sometime for yourself.

03 June 2005

Sappy Socks

I've never been a fan of slippers. The only pair I ever liked was in the shape of bear feet, the claws extending from the front. Now I just wear socks. I walk out on the deck in them even though a few pine needles might hang on for a short ride. Today I walked out onto the front steps to tell my mom lunch was en route, but when I went back in my feet were sticking to the floor. I pulled off some pine needles and threw them outside, but my socks were still stuck in places to my feet. Sap. Round clear blotches on each sock were still tacky. I'll have to remember that about the front steps.

Today's workout: My head was pounding this morning so I didn't feel like it, but I took a vitamin B compound and some Advil and convinced myself to just bike for 10 minutes. Once I started it was easier to continue.

Time: 31 minutes of indoor biking and then some stretching

Viewing: mama bear moment on Star Trek: TNG, Worf pulls a metal rafter off his son though he and Riker together were unable to do so just moments before; also some bits of Roar to enjoy Heath Ledger's accent and Celtic warrior garb.

02 June 2005

Day 2- Umbros

Dug out a pair of Umbro shorts that were oh-so-trendy when I was in high school (yea for elastic) and did 30 minutes on the treadmill walking at a decent clip followed by some stretching.

Viewing: channel surfing until I came across Apollo 13.

And now I've got some serious hiccups happening. Hey, yea for blogging. I was just revising a sentence above and now my hiccups have stopped. Cool.

Not so bad, but no so good either

The phone calls weren't too bad. The first one eased me in with an automated system that would calculate a quote for you without having to talk to anyone. Unfortunately the quote was $466.23/month. I got to skip several calls altogether because the agencies don't sell plans to individuals, only companies. The next plan I was eligible for had a rate of $399.60/month. The $257 something plan that had seemed egregious to me some months ago was looking better. I called them back and pressed them for a cheaper option, and she very reluctantly told me that the $5000 deductible plan cost about $200 a month. She was being shifty, but I made her agree to send me info on that plan.

Honestly the whole experience left me wanting to send my residency verification letter back checked with "this is just my billing address" to San Francisco where (unbelievably to me) my insurance is much cheaper at $188 for TWO months. Basically I'm shelling out cash every other month so that I can say to some other provider that I have insurance and thus can be insured. I shouldn't have mentioned it to my dad because I knew what his reaction would be: "You don't want to do that. It's a waste of money." Of course my answer to that is just to drop it until I get some work and can afford it again, but he'd rather help me pay it then let me do that (which I also knew).

What's so aggravating is that I hate going to doctors and only go at dire need unless a rare wave of adult responsibility temporarily engulfs me. Ok, maybe I'm not quite that bad, but for the most part when I've had insurance, I still haven't been able to afford co-pays and prescriptions and most importantly the rise in my insurance rate for having had something wrong with me. Dad mentioned the best way to get around this was probably to get a job with benefits. No fucking kidding. Most of the jobs here are part-time or 35 hours a week for the precise purpose of not giving people benefits. But I don't even want those jobs. Before I talked to him, I felt accomplished even if all the news was poor, but now I'm just upset and frustrated. Breathe, kid. Time for some exercise.

My arch enemy

There's nothing like researching health insurance to make you feel ill. Will no company suck it up and post a base level of fees? Go ahead and put loads of disclaimers on it so I know that if I've ever been ill a day in my life the price will be higher, but let me get an idea of how much you're going to hose me before I bother calling. I can't think of an expense I resent more than health insurance. For the two years I had a regular job with benefits, I didn't mind, but all these other years of paying individual prices have sucked. I want to ditch it since I can't really afford it at present, and ironically there've been a number of times I would've been more able to get services if I'd had no insurance at all. However, I would hate to stick my family with exorbitant medical bills if something unexpected were to happen, and I'm well aware how hard it is to get insurance once you no longer have it. Gggrrr.

I hate making phone calls. I can do this. I'll feel better if I go ahead and get this over with- at least round one of comparison shopping. Ok, I'm going... really I am. ... now.

01 June 2005

This might work

I've been feeling stiff and creaky lately, so I deem it time to start working out again. Usually warmer weather helps my motivation, but for now being outside sets off my allergies. So today I rode the exercise bike for 30 minutes while watching the final episode of Buffy (season 1) and then did some stretching. Given my reluctance to posting my workout habits online, it may prove a good motivator for a while.

I won't kid myself though- even if I successfully exercise for several months, eventually I'll get sick of feeling it's something I have to do every day or so many days a week, and gradually it will fade into another period of idleness. For now, at least I've made an effort to begin again.