Thursday, February 28, 2008

High-Five Fridays #7

#1 Fascinating foods for thought by Claudia.

#2 A silly look at what you all 'need' to have as a dog owner.

#3 If you still need more doggie lovin' check out Miss Janey's Mutt Musings.

#4 Did you hear the one about Bob Geldorf & George W. Bush?

#5 Lastly, Elizabeth gets good news!

Want to give high-fives too? Find out how to give your High-Five Fridays here!

The purpose of this meme is to give high-fives to 5 people, posts, blogs and/or websites you've admired during the week. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 5 high-fives on Friday. Trackbacks, pings, linky widgets, comment links accepted!

Visiting fellow High-Fivers is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your High-Fives in others comments (please note if NWS).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Simple Political Post

From, via Ridiculon.

Feeling Blue? Put On Your Bra & High-Heeled Shoes

It seems lazy fashion habits may be a part of my fatigue and general malaise.

Slip says not wearing a bra can lead to depression -- and while she's got no science to back her up, I'm beginning to see the facts in my own 'working from home' life.

Also, it seems that Slip's found evidence that high-heeled shoes offer health benefits with some super improvements in your sex life too -- not that I'm suffering there. Yet.

But truth be told, while the motivation to work isn't a problem, the reality is that I do not dress like I am at work. While that once seemed a huge part of the appeal of working from home, I'm beginning to see/feel a slide in attitude and yes, I'll admit it, muscle tone. Thanks to Slip, I now have two simple things I can do to help turn things around.

From now on it would be appropriate for you to picture me wearing a bra & stilettos as I sit and type here. I'll have to wear at least a robe, otherwise I'm sure my sex life will consume my work time -- *giggle* -- but for now, it seems this will be my work attire.

Friday, February 22, 2008

High-Five Friday

1) A high-five to Cafe at the End of the Universe -- not only for the 'Who Needs Perfect?' award, but for putting me on the Magnificent Mamas of the Universe list. Thanks!

2) Random Acts of Vintage speaks of girls and nerd boys.

3) FrogDog has posted 13 Idiotic Quotes from PETA & Ingrid Newkirk, which got me thinking, again.... I don't think many animal lovers who claim they love PETA realizes some of what PETA stands for (and against). Worth your time reading this just to be sure you know who & what you are supporting.

The British are coming -- the British are coming! I sure hope they understand high-fives...

4) Bella Mocha has the most charming post on US culture-shock -- you have to read it!

5) Nicholas has a list of British idioms (not idiots, idioms) that are so neat it makes me wanna start working them into conversation.

Want to give high-fives too? Find out how to give your High-Five Fridays here!

The purpose of this meme is to give high-fives to 5 people, posts, blogs and/or websites you've admired during the week. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 5 high-fives on Friday. Trackbacks, pings, linky widgets, comment links accepted!

Visiting fellow High-Fivers is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your High-Fives in others comments (please note if NWS).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Withdrawal Ain't Pretty; Insurance Companies Are Uglier

I've been trying to quit smoking -- again.

This time, I'm down to 2 packs a week-ish (one pack for 3 days is probably more accurate). I've done this by breaking some of the habits, such as changing when and where I allow myself to smoke, chewing sugarless gum, etc. But I'm still stuck. "Addicted."

I asked about possible meds to help with the last bump, hoping for something to take the edge off the need. Patches didn't work past the first few days. Perhaps it is because I am now smoking less than the patch 'steps'... I don't know. The point is, I asked for some chemical assistance with a chemical addiction.

I must say here that I realize this is somewhat like 'trading' one thing for another, and maybe not the healthiest choice in that regard, but I am trying. In my discussion with the doctor, I mentioned this as well as how much more difficult quitting is for women than it is for men because tobacco etc. winds itself about and insidious inserts itself within our hormonal system.

We talked at great length about the options and eventually decided that Chantix would be a good option. (Interestingly, this was also the med recommended by the pharmacist at Wal*Mart when I was talking with him about the lack of success with the patch.)

I got my script, and off I went. To Wal*Mart. Where I was told my insurance would not cover it.

At $200+ (for the first month) I wasn't going to be able to cover it either.

If I was addicted to an illegal drug, say heroine (which, by the way, is documented as easier to quit than nicotine), then boy, I'd sure have insurance-covered options. Not just my prescription would be covered, but so would my counseling, my housing, my return to college (as part of my vocational rehab) -- and I'd be allowed lovely spa visits. Yeah, they'd be called rehab on the insurance forms, and I'm sure the emotional & other work there is a bitch, but they get prepared meals to help with withdrawal & cleansing, a personal trainer, maid service, no bathrooms to clean... Where's my freakin' Betty Ford clinic for smokers?

In a society where smokers are regulated like more than criminals, where our civil liberties are diminished, where children are encouraged to nag their parents, where we are the damned to be openly judged and lectured -- all for a legal substance which has no documentation supporting it impacts our abilities to function like alcohol or other drugs -- you'd think that we leper-addicts would be allowed actual medical treatment for our problem.

But we aren't.

If tobacco is the giant cancer causing menace, and my medical insurance company is supposed to be about my health claims; if all the regulations and limitations put upon me as a smoker are supposed to exist to protect 'the innocents' near me; wouldn't it make more sense to really help me quit rather than just finger-point and accuse?

So pissed at it all, I naturally light-up a cigarette.

Great job, BlueCross BlueShield. Are you sure the 'BS' in BCBS isn't for 'Bull Shit'?

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Tree Blooms In Fargo

In the middle of our harsh below-zero winter, my jasmine tree blooms.

Yes, it's indoors, but after leaving out very late this year I didn't think there was any hope of it returning this year.

Normally it resides outside, on the deck, and then is brought in after the first frost or two. This way the plant actually blooms inside, in winter, and fills our house with its pretty scent. This year, however, we neglected to do so and you can see the toll it took on the plant with all the dry scrubby dead branches.

The wonderful thing is that even with just 3 full flowers open, the scent of jasmine fills the bathroom.

It's definitely a living metaphor for 'against all odds'.

Now I have lots of pruning to do. *wink*

Mean Companies: The CBS Edition

According to the AP, Autism Group Demands Apology From CBS.

As I began to read the article for my husband, I got no further than the headline before he blurted, "Oh, for Boston Legal, huh."

Which surprised me because I am a huge Boston Legal fan and watch it every Tuesday -- which means he has seen nearly every episode as well. So I said, "Really? You'd think of Boston Legal? I find the characters to be treated very warmly, created with integrity. Sure, they have funny quirks, but they are high-functioning & interesting, certainly not treated or created in 'ick'. And, besides, Boston Legal is ABC."

(I'd also like to hereby state that the matter of 'warm, interesting, high-functioning characters created with integrity and warmth' is a problem afflicting many shows, regardless of any connection to Autism.)

Anyway, back to the news story.
The complaint with CBS is over a recent Big Brother episode.

On that episode, a contestant named Adam, who claims to work for an autism foundation, said he would spend his winnings on a hair salon for people with developmental disabilities "so retards can get it together and get their hair done."

His partner, Sheila, told him: "Don't call them that."

Adam responded: "Disabled kids. I can call them whatever I want. I work with them all day, OK?"

Isn't that the fear of any parent, any family member? That some jack-ass is going to take the pay and be snide and heartless as they walk away? I wonder just how Adam does deal with the kids each day...

I doubt that CBS can be held liable for 'contestants' on reality shows... I'd think the whole freedom from a script thing combined with the nature of such games would have some sort of contracts with riders protecting themselves from just such stupidity. But CBS ought to do something in responsible response.

Just not another one of those PSAs which suck. Do something real & meaningful for Pete's sake.

If not, then it makes me wonder if CBS has some sort of impairment which affects their ability to perceive and deal with emotions...

Naw, it's just a sign of being mean, heartless and money-grubbing.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Potty Training Parents Get It

Unmentionables, The Comic:
Being a three year old’s first pair of underwear is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.
After seeing what happed to the diapers, Tinkle hopes it’ll be somebody else.

As a pair of kid's superhero underwear designed to look like the famous cod piece worn by “Tremendous Man”, Tinkle had hoped to live a more heroic, cleaner life style. But unfortunately he's destined to follow in the skid marks of his working class father Jim Shorts, a sweat stained pair of tightie whities , or worse, his grandmother, a loving, but rancid pair of weathered, granny panties.

Tinkle spends his first few days on the job, desperately trying to avoid his underwear duties, or any doodies for that matter. But when his disgusting, yet beloved, grandmother is hauled off to the thrift store, Tinkle sets off with the hope he can save her, the hope he can become a real hero, and the hope that things don’t get messy.
The other characters are a riot too, so check it out.