Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Surgery Journal, Chapter One

It's considered elective surgery but it couldn't be any more necessary to me. Sparing you gory details galore, I'll just say that I meet every single qualification necessary to have this procedure covered completely by insurance.

Except that these days insurance companies will balk for the flimsiest reasons, whether for denial of new cancer-fighting drugs because of "insufficient scientific research and/or long-term testing data", or denial of money-saving and good-for-everyone laser eye surgery.

My surgeon assures me that he's worked with my insurance company before and said he hadn't seen a case before where the patient met and exceeded qualifying conditions, as I apparently do.

If I haven't heard back from the doctor's office within two weeks I'm to call them and check on the progress of my pre-authorization claim.

If I am denied and denied again on appeal, I shall be forced to sell my plasma and possibly start walking the streets to pay for my surgery.

If I am approved, I go under the knife within 6 weeks.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Sparkles and Bosch

Matthew Sullivan wrote that title in my yearbook. Whenever I encounter incongruous happiness I think of that phrase and I think of Matthew Sullivan.

Matthew (not Matt) was always a big fish, even in junior high. Not only was he imposingly tall, he was loud, brash, and contrary. Even teachers gave him a wide berth, lest he lay them low with cutting remarks or revealing comments. The principal was thoroughly intimidated and usually chose not to have Matthew in his office for detention.

For whatever reason, Matthew and I were always friendly to one another and I was spared his venom. By high school the other boys grew to Matthew's height and were no longer worried about his savage verbal beatings or his turbo wedgies. We were both weirdo outsiders in our high school, me of the punker chick variety, he of the tortured artist variety. Man, could he draw! I remember the idiot jocks calling him "fag", or whatever, because he was an artist who looked like a linebacker and talked like a college professor.

I saw him rarely, but when I did we usually would hang out for a few hours talking about our dreams for the future and the latest gossip. It was the last time I saw Matthew Sullivan that I handed him my stupid yearbook to sign.

He drew a crazed cartoon version of himself behind the wheel of a futuristic bubble car, waving madly. "Sparkles and Bosch!" he wrote, "I'm off to be a famous artist!"

Years later I had a roommate who apparently went to college with Matthew. "You KNOW Matthew Sullivan?" he asked, mouth agape and eyes wide.

I'm having a Sparkles and Bosch kind of week. How about you?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not Again

Sometimes I am overly enthusiastic about my job, and overshare information with people who then endeavor to use me, exploit me, and otherwise tempt me to plan their bloody, heinous demise.

The problem lies in my wanting to partner with people or help them in their own jobs. I'm peace-loving and obsessed with justice and fairness. I'm not the devious, back-stabbing sort like the people regularly promoted on reality TV. Those people are as cowardly as human beings can be and I despise them. When I do bad things to people it is always well-earned and the unlucky soul pre-warned and given plenty of chances to make right.

For example, I answered an employment ad for a TV show host. My interview with the producer went extremely well; I liked his previous work and he liked my credentials. At his request I pitched a story and together we met with the source for the story. This producer came off clueless and grasping and I saw on the source's frowny face that he wasn't buying this schmendrick's Hollywood-in-Des Moines spiel. Embarassed, I did my best to redirect the conversation to the topic.

Fresh from success in my real job, I speak to this producer about a lead I'd given him. "Right! We'll be there covering the story. Can you send some questions so our host doesn't look like an idiot?"

At least for now, I'm going with the idea that this guy is clueless rather than diabolical. He'll not hear from me again unless he does something really stupid, like contact my sources. Yes, of course I will alert those sources to my diassociation with this fool, but if I find he steps out of line he will feel the wrath, the terrible wrath, of Trouble.

UPDATE: Happily, I was wrong about the producers intent. One hide saved!


Monday, January 21, 2008

My New Haircut

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Thursday, January 17, 2008


After all that kvetching, I had an insanely wonderful time in Arizona. About which I shall post after about a year's sleep.

Anonymous Assclown: I wasn't on I-70, except to pick up and drop off the rental car. But I'm waving now!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Intolerable Aggravation

All I want to do is go on my business trip, come home, and write the story.

All I get is undermining relatives and systemic retardation on the part of travel companies.

Flying from Denver to Phoenix for a few days shouldn't be this much a colossal clusterfuck. Really, people.

I'm done changing plans and accruing penalty fees because the people I depend and rely upon are undependable and unreliable. And useless.

I'm not important enough to have the publication I write for cover travel expenses and I'm not wealthy enough to not care. $100 penalty fees (each way) for changing airline reservations matter to me. Budgeting for little things like restaurant gratuities is very serious business.

So instead of going for next weekend, as was originally planned, I am going in a few days, I'm driving, and I'm couch-surfing at a family friend's house. Journalism is glamorous, nu?

But I will write the ever-livin' Hell out of the story and it will all be worth it. Besides, I'm going somewhere that warns of low temperatures of 70 degrees, in January, and I am taking a race car driving course. There's a good chance that all the stress and strife of this past week, all the yelling at customer service people on the phone, all the threatening to maim my relatives; it just might be worth it.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

This One Bears Repeating

I don't know how to re-post old diatribes so you're going to have to click on the title to see what I'm talking about.

Britney, that is.

If I may vent for a moment: I am so motherfucking glad I'm not a celebrity and wasn't hounded by paparazzi night and day, everywhere I went, when I had my breakdown. Whatever her relationship with her kids, the trauma of having a celebrity mom has to harder on them than having a bipolar mom.

I wish Britney had someone she could trust, someone she could rely on to recognize when she's not herself and spinning out of control. Someone who's opinion she cares about, someone who hasn't already let her down.

Like Britney, I had people around more than willing to exploit my condition. It's likely she distrusts everyone she knows right now and feels desperate, lonely and hurt. Hopefully , like me, Britney will have a moment of clarity long enough to surrender to the help she needs.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year Hopes, Wishes and Dreams

I hope America sees a presidential election in which Bloomberg runs against Obama.

I wish reality TV would replaced with interesting and worthwhile television programming.

I hope Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly battle to the death over who will replace Dick Clark. And both lose.

I wish more women with lovely voices would become successful, instead of histrionic Mariah-wannabes and the loathsome parade of breathy, baby-voiced twats (I'm talking to you Feist, Colbie Caillat, Ingrid Michaelson, Lily Allen, etc.)whom I'd like to punch in their throats.

I hope social networking sites become obsolete.

I dream I'll get married this year.

I wish they would really find a cure.

I hope China doesn't team up with the Middle Eastern Scaries.

I dream of retiring to Hawaii.

I wish I could lose weight by glaring at myself in the mirror.

I hope my friends are well, warm, happy and having fun--wherever they may be.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hi-dee-ho, Neighborinos!

Me busy being sick and such spared you from any sort of year-end list. And we are all so fond of those lists, aren't we?

At this point in my life I go to the movie theater about four times per year. I was excited to see the new Pirates movie and psyched about National Treasure II, but we actually went to see Surf's Up and other Disney fare with the kids. Matinee prices, with a coupon. On the other hand, we buy DVD movies like wildfire.

I don't buy CDs, as a rule, so you can't make me care about whatever Arcade Fire bullshit is the hotness of 2007. My IPod is chock-a-block with all the music I like (disco, funk, "baggy" house music, classic rock) and did you know that a wealth of music CDs — along with movies, books on CD and regular books — are available to check out, free of charge, from your local library? No doubt it is illegal to then upload those to your IPod, but really; enough with music indusry greed already.

2007 was notable for our cross-country move, being reunited (and it feels so good!) with Trouble Jr. and the Troublets, dodging major medical bullets, and making a happy home for our little family in the Mile High City.

Also, as I may have mentioned, Robert Plant and Allison Krauss produced an album together, entitled "Raising Sand". It is so awesome, that Bob is touring with Allison this summer, rather than making obscene amounts of money doing Led Zeppelin reunion shows. Have you heard this CD yet? Whatcha waiting for?

New Year's Eve. My BFF JMe throw a lovely dinner party for her friends and admirers and we had a swell time eating, drinking, disco dancing and playing Wii. Who knew I was so good at Wii Bowling? Anyway, I gave up on my champagne-only rule at some point and the resulting pukefest was attended to by both paramedics and the fire dept. Oy and VEY.

I haven't rung in the new year with a hurl since the '90s! Oh, well. My absolutely sober and wonderful Superfly took very good care. Plus, we found a product that cleans puke out of car upholstery like nobody's business!

So, uh, what's new with you?