Because I'm up really early, I thought I might catch up on the news, but it seems nothing really important is happening. Other than the obvious fact that we continue to lose soldiers who are fighting for something I don't understand in Iraq. It's too early to think about that, though. I will fret about that over lunch.
In other news...
I'm starting to think I'm the only one who does not care about Rosie and Elizabeth. I'm trying really hard to avoid that story...it makes me a little uncomfortable since I used to really like Rosie. You know, before she went off the deep end and all.
I also don't give a flying rat's ass about Britney Spears. Sorry.
Nor do I care about that pathetic Lindsay Lohan. Again, sorry.
For years I have had nothing good to say about Michael Moore. Talk about uncomfortable. BUT, in light of my recent worrying over our national health care issues, I think I might want to see "Sicko." I said, "might." Don't invite me to go with you. I will have to do this on my own terms...in a way that will insure my father doesn't find out.
And I'm glad to know Taylor has a girlfriend.
So, it's a slow news day...especially if you don't need the celebrity news. I don't need to read it because Bobbie Jo keeps me up to date on all of that. She reads all the rags while she hangs out at her "sub-station" (The Kangaroo Mart) all day dodging crime. Of course, she hasn't mentioned Taylor's girlfriend. How did she miss that?
I'm not sure why Clover has chosen 3:30am as her new wake-up time, but here we are all ready to start our day. Cowboy and PJ aren't buying into it. I seriously need more sleep. I was ready to go to bed at 7:30 last night and had to force myself to stay awake until 10:00.
I guess I will use this time to read. I'm rereading The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. What a great book.
I'm thinking today will be another good day. Someone is off again. So as long as the barista and Sirius cooperate, I may make it. Enjoy.
So far (and it’s already almost noon) today has been good…you know the kind of day when the barista gets the strange concoction I always request just right, Sirius plays the good stuff, and someone who makes me nuts is OFF! Things just really aren’t that big of a deal today. This makes me question why I let things bother me so much on other days. I have to wonder if my “chemical imbalance” (code for crazy ass depression and free floating crazy making anxiety) have anything to do with it? I mean, seriously, I am so damned sensitive at times. And oddly enough, when I am overly sensitive, I tend to say the most insensitive of things. I make people hate me so they will leave me alone. So, of course, what follows are several days of a vicious cycle of hurt feelings, fretting and lots of emotional eating. Never good.
Speaking of hurt feelings...I have some thoughts…some stories.
Several years ago, Bobbie Jo and I went on a trip to Orlando with my sister and her children. I’m thinking my nephew was 5 or so then. And although he was a very cute child and seeing him see Mickey was quite entertaining, the whole experience was a bit overwhelming at times. So, one night Bobbie Jo and I took my nephew to Wal-Mart. (Before you say anything, this was before I knew what I know now about Wal-Mart. This was also before I knew what I know now about children.) Anyway, he was awful that night, testing the patience of both of us and just trying his best to get in trouble. And he succeeded. He got a pop on the butt from Bobbie Jo which I’m sure he could barely even feel, but it embarrassed him and sent him into a wailing fit for what seemed like hours. He wouldn’t speak to Bobbie Jo for a couple of days. Finally, my sister grew tired of his bratty behavior and told him he had to apologize to Bobbie Jo. She had talked it out with him and had told him to tell Bobbie Jo he was sorry at breakfast that morning. When Bobbie Jo walked in that morning after her run, my nephew sheepishly walked up to her and said, “Bobbie Jo, I’m sorry you hurt my feelings.”
My kind of apology. Never admit guilt.
In what should be unrelated (but it never is) news…Monday was my mom’s birthday. We had thought about going over to her house on Sunday since I knew I would have to work Monday, but we never made it over that way, and I just assumed we would all be getting together Monday evening (since Monday was a holiday and the actual day of her birthday) to celebrate. So, I called her Monday morning to wish her a happy birthday and to listen to her litany of ailments. (Please God, don't let me act like I'm 100 when I'm 65. And no, my mom doesn't read this blog, so don't freak out about it, PJ...now back to the story.) Trying to turn the conversation to a brighter topic, I asked, “So, what are we doing for your birthday?” She replied very matter of factly, "We did all that yesterday." She then proceeded to tell me that my stepfather had grilled steaks and my brother and Banana and my sister all came over for a little celebration. I didn’t hear much else after that. She went on and on about the gifts she got and how excited she was that my sister had actually come over. I just wasn’t sure what to say after that. I ended the conversation and finished my day at work. On the way home I thought about what I could have done to have caused PJ and I to be excluded from the birthday dinner, but I couldn’t come up with anything really. Usually I know what’s bothering her no matter how ridiculous it is. I can usually see it coming. This time I'm stumped. Maybe she just didn't want us to participate? And what am I supposed to do with that?
Maybe I will call her and say, “Mother, I’m sorry you hurt my feelings.”
Maybe not. Maybe I will just go on about my life as usual…trying to make my life as different from her life as I possibly can.
Before you say "AAAAAWWWWWWW." Let me tell you this. She bites.
I realize she's adorable. She's Clover's sister...belongs to Sheri. (Sheri's the one who calls everyone "darlin'" so I think Coco thinks her name is Darlin' instead.) Anyway, Bobbie Jo is keeping Coco while Sheri and crew are at Disneyworld. So, Clover wanted to go visit and well, it was interesting. I made the mistake of trying to break up one of their battles and Coco accidentally took a chunk out of my leg thinking she was chomping down on Clover's neck. It hurt...still hurts. She has some very angry teeth. Coco really liked Cowboy the best. She followed him all over the place like she had a big ole crush on him. It made him nuts. He can't be bothered with girls. He's a mommy's boy.
Since we were over at Bobbie Jo's and her AC actually blows cold air, I decided to take a Sunday afternoon nap. Well, that was interesting, too. Just call me Dr. Doolittle.
So, that was the entertainment for the weekend...
There was no traffic on the way to work this morning. Do you know why?
Because NO ONE in their right mind opens their business on Memorial Day. That's why. I'm a little bitter about it.
As most of you know, I recently spent what seemed like 27 years in the hospital. I was actually only there 12 days and a few odd hours. If you missed all of that, you can click here for the 411. Anyway, I received the bill from the hospital a few days ago and thought I would use this opportunity to express my opinion about said bill. I know my insurance company will pay it. I have good insurance. So, I'm not worried about it, but I'm shocked and more than a bit confused. And this is just the hospital bill. I've already seen the bills from the surgeons and anesthesiologists and radiologists.
Seems that the total cost for my little hospital adventure comes out to well over $100,000.00. In case you aren't good with numbers, let me say it this way, "One hundred THOUSAND dollars." Does that make sense to you? Because it makes no sense to me. Let me break it down for you. The room and nursing care was $11,248.00. Not too bad since I thought the nurses were quite good (except for one or two and I can't get into it now). My two or three day stay in ICU was only $7,506.00. The respiratory therapy I received while there was a mere $11,419.00. It's the charge that made up the majority of this bill that has me flabbergasted. And I don't flabbergast easily. But, there's a charge of $60,778.00 for "pharmacy" on this bill. Again, for you all that are challenged by the numbers - "SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!" For pharmacy?
I'm not going to pretend to know much about the insurance debate in this country. We discussed it and argued about it some in grad school, and mostly it just made me tired to think about it. But, this invoice, which I'm sure will be taken care of by my very well established and reputable insurance company, has me wondering. Wondering what say, my sister, would do if this happened to her. Sissy just got a job with benefits after a long period of no insurance coverage. Her insurance won't kick in for 90 days and will cost her $75 a month. So, what if Sissy had gotten a bowel obstruction that night and had gone to the ER thinking it was a bad tummy ache and subsequently landed herself in the hospital for 12 days and some odd hours? What would she do with this bill? I probably know what you are thinking. You're thinking that if she didn't have insurance she wouldn't have gone to the same hospital as me? That they would have sent her to the one that takes the folks without insurance? Or that the hospital wouldn't have kept her as long? Or that she would have never gotten charged as much as me? I don't know. I don't know how it works. But none of those options sound very feasible. The thought of her receiving substandard care angers me, but the thought of her receiving a bill for over $100,000.00 when she can barely make ends meet, angers me even more.
Many of you have heard the story about my evening and well into the night adventure in the ER. Turns out there's only a $916.00 charge for that horrific experience. But now I keep thinking about all of those people that were in there with me that night. Many of them were moms with little children. Little sick children. These women waited hours longer than I did to see a doctor. They were not there because of an emergency. They were there because their child had a fever and they didn't have insurance. The ER was the only place they could go without being turned away.
So I don't have the answers. I'm not sure I understand the problem. But, you would have to be an idiot to think things are fine the way they are. An idiot to think I used $60,000 worth of anything in that hospital. So, yes, there's a problem. Why is that? When I think about it, I'm more than conflicted...as I am about lots of political issues these days. And yes, this is a political issue.
I feel like I'm in the 3rd grade and the teacher just read out one of those long word problems where you have to show your work. Something about a train leaving San Diego traveling 60 miles per hour passing a train leaving Dallas traveling 62 miles per hour...it makes my head hurt.
There's this lady at work who never uses any curse words. Or as we say here in Dixie, "She don't cuss." I've never heard her even say the words that don't count. (I'll tell you later which ones I think don't count. There are many. For example, "pissed" does not count. Even though I got my ass whipped for saying it as a child - it doesn't count. Neither does "ass.") Now, don't get me wrong - I've seen this woman get mad. I've seen her really irritated with people, but she never even lets one slip. It's impressive. But, it's not a trait I'm likely to pick up anytime soon...especially if I keep working here.
This same lady who does LOTS of things for me (and never complains about the LOTS of things I ask her to do) just responded to an email of mine with the statement, "Remember, Mandy, no one likes a donkey who has been to school."
So, that's how she does it...
As I mentioned earlier, PJ and I went to see Little Cousin play t-ball Saturday. Here are some photos. You just click that blue sentence you just passed and voila - you are linked to photos of the world's cutest t-ball star! Most of you got these photos sent directly to your mailbox because I thought they were too cute not to share. So, if you've already seen them you don't have to look again...you have my permission to move on.
We had an excellent Saturday, by the way. After the Farmer's Market, breakfast with cousins and the t-ball game, we found a really cool place to eat and hang out called "Bottle Tree Cafe." Here are a few shots from there...Pretty funky, huh?
I'm not sure why I'm loving up on this wooden post, but at the time it seemed appropriate. And when did my breasts start moving in the direction of my waist? Part of being 87 years old, I guess. Sorry - I digress.
I think it was Ben Franklin who said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
My husband, the rule breaker.
And sitting at the table across from us, who should we run into, but...
The Frog's! So good to see them.
We're going back...even though it's in a crappy part of town and used to be a gay bar named Miss Conceptions...we're going back. And even though the service SUCKED and they acted like we were really bothering them by coming in and spending money at their hip little place...we're going back. Mark my words.
Of course it will have to be during the day when none of the really loud music is going on. Since I'm now 87 years old, I can't take it. I couldn't even sit near the little band at the Farmer's Market. PJ does a dead on imitation of me protesting his table choice...like I was some old granny completely disgusted with all the young folk and that noise they call music.
There were far too many television options last night. I had to hurry and get set for 7:00 TV because I wanted to watch Idol as it happened. I wanted to tape Dateline because of John Grisham. And well, I hate to even tell you this, but I also wanted to watch the special edition of The Bachelor...the one where all the girls come back and face Andy now that he has chosen to marry Tessa. All of this was happening at the same time. And God love TiVo, but you can only tape one show at a time, so I had to flip back and forth between Idol and The Bachelor while Dateline taped. It was tough, but I managed. I was even able to give PJ a little Bachelor background info during commercials. He's totally clear now on why Tessa was the better choice and how Andy realized that once Tessa was able to just throw caution to the wind and tell him she "has feelings for him." Dear God! When did I become someone who watches The Bachelor? In my own defense, I only saw the last four episodes.
So, then it was 8:00 and time for Dancing with the Stars! My guy won! I think Apolo is amazing. I hate the word "amazing" by the way...mainly because I use it far too often. I need a thesaurus. I have one. I need to use it. Anyway, I'm glad he won. And that show lasted two hours, so I was up almost a whole hour after my normal 9:00 bedtime! And...I almost ran out of Milo's unsweet tea.
Don't think I'm not a party girl! I think I have a hangover this morning.
And is it just me or did Paula seem drunk off her ass last night?
And Tessa...well, she seemed less than overjoyed about her upcoming nuptials.
Friday afternoon I found out that a man I had just recently met had died suddenly. His name was Rickey, and I met him at a university function a few weeks ago. Rickey was 52. He was a photographer for the university and before meeting him, I had heard such great things about him that I was a little skeptical...no one could be that nice - could they? Well, he was. He introduced himself to me the minute I walked in the door, asked me what type photos I wanted and laughed at me when I requested something ridiculous. He had a beautiful smile and a very sweet personality. He giggled with me throughout the evening and I watched him charm parents and students with his quiet and peaceful demeanor. He gave me photography advice when I realized he had the same type camera Bobbie Jo and I had been fighting with, and he even took my picture a few times with folks in the crowd. When I got the photos back from the event, I was more than impressed. I was really looking forward to seeing him again. I thought I would get to know him better. Now I won't have that opportunity.
5/21/07 Edited to add this link to an article about Rickey: Click here.
I found out today that one of my favorite sorority sisters also died last week. Kristen was a year younger than me, and I haven't seen her in years. In college, I admired Kristen because she did what she wanted to do without regard for what the Zeta sisters expected of her. She was a bit of a rebel...even though a rebel at our school would have looked like Sandra Dee anywhere else. She was cute and smart and funny. I won't go into the circumstances surrounding her death now because I don't know the whole story, but it's all very odd...and suspicious...and makes me want to vomit, really. Kristen was 41.
5/21/07 Edited to add a link to this. Click here.
It's a beautiful morning here - the way Saturday mornings should be. And I'm psyched because we are headed out to the Pepper Place Farmer's Market in a little bit. We haven't been to the market since last year so I'm jonesin' for some Blackjack tomatoes and such. I would take the dogs, but they can't seem to behave in public if they are together. Separately, they behave well, but as partners in crime, they are way too much to deal with in front of people who might not appreciate me hanging one of them upside down on a fence post to come back and pick up later. But, I hate to leave one here alone pouting all morning. Ahhh - the decisions we face as mothers...it never ends. I think they are both staying here so that I can enjoy myself. Following the market we are off to watch PJ's little cousin play T-Ball. He's one of my favorite children in the world, and I can't wait to see him.
I love Saturdays in spring. Especially the ones I don't have to work.