chemaccino good, but not good for you

Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Health Insurance is the new black
Full heath care coverage, the plan where you have co-pays and primary care physicians and the like, is really expensive. It's expensive when you have a job and some of the monthly fee is deducted from your paycheck, but it's even more expensive when you go on COBRA and have to pay the full monthly bill. That monthly bill is around $350 for a single person for Blue Cross Blue Shield, last time I asked.

I don't have full health care coverage. I've been out of full-time work so long that my COBRA ran out, and I wasn't really able to afford it when I did have it. Now I have a "Catastrophic Hospital Expense Plan." It's basically just a plan to keep my family out of immediate bankruptcy, should I be hospitalized. It only works for the lucky few of us who don't have chronic conditions, we the "warm little center[s] that the life of this world crowded around."
I am Jack's functioning infrastructure.

How many people do you know who don't have at least one prescription drug in their daily regimen? How many people do you know who have NO HEALTH INSURANCE AT ALL? I'm guessing most people who read blogs, in general, tend to have jobs and health coverage. It's not true for everyone, though, and the current "health-care system" is just not working well for most U.S. residents. Or, for 45 million, at all.

If you are interested in learning about alternatives, this clever flash piece on the single-payer system explains the concept in ways non-health-professionals can understand. I don't know what would be best for the country, but I do believe that something is better than nothing when it comes to health care.
Much thanks to blogborygmi for the link.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
HUGE DRAMA IN THE BLOGOSPHERE I the only blog not ripped off by this deranged woman? It's possible.

Nutshell Edition:
An Australian woman has been keeping a blog in which (almost?) every post is copy-and-pasted from someone else's blog, and passed off as her own. Irate plagerized bloggers have looked into this woman's background and have discovered that, as her day-job, she gains employment as an au pair by using a fraudulent resume and dummy email addresses as her references.

To read more, try some of these links, listed in my suggested order:
This Fish's original post ...with many comments. The comments are worth scrolling through, if only to see how several other blog authors, visiting the plagerizing site out of curiosity from Fish's post, found their own work reproduced as well.
Tequila Mockingbird's followup ...again, with lots of comments
The Spin Starts Here ...digs, and gets the dirt. (Warning: freaky photo)
Blacklisted au pair ...two complaints listed; another is here.
Crazy Lady's resume ...actually, she has two on the same site. Here's the other.

Those links will tell it better than I could, and they include links to the offending blog right near links to the original authors' posts.
For those of us who have been lurking the blogosphere for a while, this has shades of the Bryan Lamb Incident of Yesteryear, and everyone is wondering Where is Sour Bob?

UPDATE, Thu. 5:45pm
SourBob is indeed on the case. But I'm starting to wonder if this crazy lady is the plagerizer, or if she's being set up? I mean, to pass off so many people's work as your own AND post your own picture next to it? She must read a lot of blogs in order to steal from a lot of blogs, so I would think she wouldn't (literally) show her face. SourBob's impending character assassination will certainly entertain, but if this girl is being framed, then I don't feel good about SourBob doing something that he'll end up regretting.

Unrest Stops
As mentioned last week, I went away for a long weekend. It was a four-and-a-half hour drive to our destination, and we stopped twice along the way.

Our first stop was for lunch, and we exited with the promise of Food - Gas - Hospital. We really only needed the food, which turned out to be Pizza Hut, and worse, a sit-down-only Pizza Hut. So sit we did, and endured the understaffed pokiness that one must expect on a weekday afternoon at a place that offers a salad bar.
Usually, one doesn't notice whether a restaurant plays music unless it is intrusively loud, or until it abruptly starts or ends. It was about ten minutes into waiting for our meal that we noticed music abruptly start. Beatles! catchy! but... something is odd about it. It's like they're mumbling. No, that's not mumbling, because here's more lyrics. German? She Loves You in German?
And the song ended, and there was no more music.
I thought perhaps I had hallucinated it.
I checked with my companion.
Did they just play "She Loves You" in German in here?
Yeah, I think so.
Oh, good. I'm glad you heard it too.

The second stop was at a Wal-Mart an hour from our destination. Primarily, it was a pee-break, but I also find that rural Wal-Marts tend to carry pretty good inventory, compared to urban/suburban locations, and I needed a t-shirt or two. Beau went off to look at watches, and I poked through the t-shirts. Having found several promising candidates, I secured a changing room. As I tried on tees, I was entertained by the changing-room-lady's employee radio, which was turned up quite high. There was a little of the usual Laura, call for you on line 2 and Someone please report to Domestics, but then things on the radio took an ugly turn.
We have a report of a dog loose in the store; all employees be on the lookout for a dog.
(Aww...) I thought to myself,
(someone's tiny dog hopped out of a handbag)
(After all, dog's aren't allowed in, so it must have been an overlooked pocket pooch.)
Hey, Bill, what kind of dog is it?
...It's a rottweiler. Last seen in Hardware.

(Say what? A rottweiler? Loose in the store?)
(At this point, I was looking around the changing booth, trying to figure out my best means of escape, should an escaped rottweiler come nosing under the door.)
(Use the hooks to scramble up onto the partition? That might work.)
Bill, ah, someone did come in the side door a few minutes ago with a service dog; that might be the one. We're checking.
(Changing-room-lady, commenting to what I assume is a fellow employee:) I never heard of a rottweiler as a service dog before.
You said it, sister.

I didn't spend much more time in the store, so I don't know the end to the Loose Rottweiler In Wal-Mart story, but I escaped unscathed, and Beau didn't know about it until I told him in the car.
Apparently, the lady at the watch desk is a bit more discreet with her radio.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
You've Got A Friend In ...California

my West-Coast girl-friends
are sunny and generous
they send me presents

Beau's grandmother says unlucky in cards means lucky in love, but I think in my case, unlucky in jobs means lucky in friends. As much as the stress of the past few years eats away at my corners like rust, there is always something to counteract it. From big things like out-of-the-blue gifts arriving in the mail, to small things like email updates, the friendships I've had for years make me lucky indeed. I won't say more about it, because then everyone will become Jealous JEALOUS of me and I'll get mean, jealous comments.

Thursday, August 19, 2004
Breakdown-Update-Vacation-Resume, but not in that order
Done with all requirements for paralegal course. Grades any day now.
I am sick SICK of living in a messy, half-unpacked rat den.
Unfortunately, after these past three weeks of moving and unpacking, just the ACT of unpacking puts me into a minor breakdown, so I have spent today avoiding unpacking, because yesterday I didn't avoid it, and it ended badly.
Badly how? Oh, it varies from day to day. Hyperventilation, overeating, racking sobs... it's a roll of the dice.

I might be a little stressed about recommencing the job search, too. Speaking of which, my resume is ready to roll. Hooray!
I sent it to a friend with a note that included a line about being good at proofreading, and he replied with a message pointing out that I had used the word "traingin" in my email to him. D'oh.
Long weekend out of town coming up, and I'm looking forward to it. I can't do much else right now, job-search-wise, and I could use some time away from this apartment.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Messy Messy Me
I keep trying to explain, but people never listen. I am very messy. That is why I have to be organized. I have to have places-where-things-go, and times-for-getting-things-done, and containers and schedules. Without it, my living space devolves quickly to a Hobbesian state of nature.
This evening, I couldn't find my glasses. Well, I did, finally, but it took ten minutes of me walking around thinking to myself, where are they, I know I took them off after the walk and put them on the table there with my hat, and I remember that when I did that I thought to myself I shouldn't put those there - that's a bad idea, but I'll move them soon, I'm sure but now they aren't there on the table because Beau thoughtfully cleared off the table for dinner, but where did he thoughtfully clear my stuff to? and now he's gone off to teach and I'm screwed and can't watch tv much less drive anywhere in case I have to drive somewhere, which I don't, but still, where are they, anyway?
As it turns out, they were on the bed, under the jumbled comforter. I was lucky I hadn't broken them when I had plunked Beau's large, framed diplomas onto the bed.

Why were the diplomas on the bed? Why, they couldn't be kept in the office, because we wanted to move that table into the office. But it wouldn't fit through the doorway, so now we have to take the table apart to get it in there, but by then Beau had to go to work, so we left the table where it was; in the hallway, blocking the doors to the kitchen and the living room. and the bedroom, a little, and the office. And the bathroom, but not as much.
It all depends on where you're trying to get to.

Thursday, August 12, 2004
Like a heavy load

Have you done the memo for your Real Estate project yet?
No; it's not due for another week.
Yeah, but this way you can get it out of the way.
You're right, I should totally just go do it.

I totally should go do it. I could have done it any day this week. But we all know why I'm putting it off, and I'm not fooling anyone: If I finish my paralegal program coursework, all that leaves is having to get a job. No excuses. And oh man, it was so nice to not job search there for a while. I worked on my resume yesterday, and couldn't handle typing up cover letters to people whose advice I'm soliciting for resume improvement. I would have needed antidepressants or an unhealthy relationship with liquor.

Does unpacking in my new place help? You judge:

Yesterday I set about deciding what books to keep handy and what to put in the attic. The books that have been handy the past few years had been hastily packed into shopping bags, and any of them that would go to the attic would have to be boxed up, so the best way to go about it is to dump it all out and look around at the stacks, and decide what I want to have readily available, and what I'd only need infrequently.
As a paralegal, I won't need any of my teambuilding materials anymore.
Over ten years' collection of books, manuals, binders, notes, games, progamming suggestions.
A shelf's worth.
A box full.
Into the box.
Into the attic.
This is what happens to a dream deferred.