Tuesday, December 09, 2008

AAH

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The turtle has requested that I put this up on my blog, and offer a small prize to the first person to recognize me on the photo. The turtle is under the mistaken impression I can afford a small prize.

However, I think the more interesting contest would be to see which of the following nicknames belonged to me: Flea, Turtle, Cock (Turtle uses this name. I think I prefer Rooster), Snail, Dog, Duckling, Teddy Bear, Piggy, Chicken Egg, Elephant, Hippo, Crow, Sheep or Ox.

Oh, and the title of this post? AAH stands for Asian Animal House. No, we were NOTHING like Animal House the movie. In fact, we were a studious bunch (well except me of course.) We just realized almost half of our group already had animal nicknames and by giving the rest animal nicknames, AAH was born. College silliness.

Anyone willing to guess?

 
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Music Lists

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Ever feel like just cause you didn't listen to a certain band, they'd oust you for not belonging? For example, I have no Indigo Girls. *listens for the collective gasp in the lesbian community* Another example, I have only one Peter Gabriel song. However, I do have some Phil Collins, does that count?

I'm sorting out the list I want to listen to, because I have a good 5 hour drive, then a 14 hour drive on Saturday, so I don't want to keep paying attention to forwarding music that won't put me in the driving zone. But looking over my culled list, I find that my tastes in music really has no cohesion... It literally jumps all over the place from corny Carpenters music, to musicals, to Punjabi dance music, to Canton Pop from the 70s.

Perhaps it's because I'm a visual person and thus the three common things through my music are: good beat, has a story, or it makes me laugh. If it accomplishes all three, like Alice's Restaurant Massacree, it quickly rises to the top of my list.

What ties your music together, do you know?

 
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Owed a "Hot Chat Topping Session"

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So last night, I had the fortune of spending 45 minutes on the phone with Scarlett O'Hall. This is the friend I first made on my own, when I moved up here to the Bay Area. Scarlett (Name have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent) was a fascinating character I really had to good fortune to meet through a BBS.

Okay, for you youngsters fairly new to the internet, a BBS was a Bulletin Board System back in the dark ages of the internet, long before there were images, ebay, amazon or even AOL. Yes, I was an early geek. Anyway, back in the 90s when I first moved here I was a lonely 28 year old and longing for any sort of company. When I found out there was a BBS for lesbians, well I jumped to log on.

Scarlett was the first person I met through the internet and our friendship was fast, furious and funny! Her apt was on the way home for me so often after work, I'd drop in on her, calling through the intercom "Short girl bringing Tall Boys". Tall boys were the long tall Buds. I used to get soooooo drunk with Scarlett.

It was through Scarlett I met Lone Wolf who remains a close friend to this day.

Anyway, Scarlett was a bit down in the dumps because it was the anniversary of a memorial service for a close friend of hers, one I had known. We talked, and I was able to commiserate with her, due to the sudden death of JoEllen when she had just turned 30. Apparently she and her significant other has experienced a ton of deaths lately and she was wondering if that was all life had to offer anymore.

I pointed her gaze to the future, where her little girl was poised to take over. Her child is 4 and there are so many more firsts in her life... that's where the future is. Death is inevitable... the 80s and 90s taught me that. To see it as the future is to condemn yourself to a future of closing doors. Yes, it will be that, but that's not all.

Oh, the title of the post? I was telling Bratworse about Scarlett's and my history together and I told her how I stopped playing on the BBS when my GF at the time asked me to, but before I stopped, I engaged in a "Hot chat" with Scarlett and how I was promised a return chat which never occurred.

I SERIOUSLY doubt that anything like that will happen nowadays, with all of us older, wiser AND more tired. lol

 
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Pages of a Dusty Book

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That's what this feels like, like reading pages from a dusty book.

Lives intersect at different junctures and there are lives that interweave throughout time. Perhaps it happens more often to someone like me, but right now, many lives are intersecting with mine due to the tool called Facebook. Some are current friends, some are old friends popping out of different periods in my life.

The one that's just jaw-dropping to me is the one connection to probably one of my closest friends as a child, back in Singapore. As I read about her, I realize her world and mine would only have intersected as children and now, through this tool. We run in vastly different worlds.

I hope the fondness we both feel evaporates any differences. I feel like though we have differences - here I go again with my feelings of alienness - both of us seem to have the philosophy of live and let live... a philosophy that should lead to a somewhat harmonious life.

Anyway, this contact with her... the tentative reaching out, it's been feeling like reading pages from a dusty book. Some words stand out, others obscured, and with each contact, more dust is blown off and more words become readable. The memories start to stitch together (how's that for mixed metaphors) ... bah, I derailed my own thought.

All this to say, I'm enjoying myself.

 
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

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My mother just called to apologize for last night's phone call saying she was upset at losing her glasses and she took it out on me.

I'm trying to pick my jaw off the ground. This old back just takes its time bending nowadays.

 
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

God Gave Me TWO Daughters

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Called Mom today just cause. After her greeting, she told me it was okay that I wasn't coming to visit her for Christmas. "Oh?" I asked while thinking since when was I asking permission not to visit?

"Oh yes," she said almost triumphantly. "God gave me TWO daughters."

A soft snicker escaped me despite my best efforts. "I'm glad you're thinking that way, Mom."

"Yes, so you go and stay in Oakland. I've got two daughters."

"Yes Mom."

As I hung up the phone, I found myself counting the minutes until next week when I surprise her on Thanksgiving. Part of me is being pure Chinese and thinking, Oh, so you're going to look down on me, eh? Well, I'll show you.

Trust me, it sounds *much* better in Chinese.

 
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A Tale of Two Jewelers

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So we have two jewelers as customers. One's retail, the other is one that handmakes jewelry... probably in the under $200 range. The retail store on the other, deals with jewelry in the thousands range.

I get calls from both of them today. One of them tells me to keep the plan going even though there are layoffs because well, the people need their healthcare. The other one tells me to cancel their plan for all their employees.

And guess which jeweler did which? And people wonder why I don't want to work for rich people.

 
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Frustrated Scorpio

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Ugh! I made calls to both Boxer and Feinstein saying Kick Lieberman out of any leadership positions. Nothing says "WUSS!" more than being kicked and then saying "Here's your reward for kicking me." I wish Barbara Lee was my Senator and not these two. I hope there's a better choice for Democrats in our primaries for Senator next times. Damn it, I wanted retribution against Lieberman!

 
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

so what's the song

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on my iPod this morning? You really fucked up

 
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Facebooking

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So, after several people had asked if I was on Facebook, after watching Stephen Colbert tease Jon Stewart about being out of it... I succumbed to the forces of conformity and signed up.

The first thing that popped up upon signing? Alison Blanchard's face greets me and wants to be my friend.

Awwwww!

So not being able to resist a gorgeous red-head, I accepted of course. Well! Numerous faces greets me upon this acceptance and amongst them I spy tons of faces from my past, from acquaintances long-forgotten, to ex-clients to friends no more. Wow. A name... seemingly familiar when the memory snaps into place and I am transported to my past, somewhere in L.A., on a hot summer day. Another name... and again I am transported, this time to a crowded convention floor.

I start choosing people to ask to be my friend. Safe choices at first, ones that I know will welcome my advances. Weasel is the first to accept. It'll be nice to stay in contact with Wease and his wife.

Part of me is screaming at me, How will you maintain hermitude???? The other part is soothing me, It's okay, time to come out of your shell. I guess time will tell if social networking will work for me or not. But damn it, I am not going to be ignorant about these types of programs any more.

 
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prop. 8

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I've been looking at Idealist ever since this proposition was called, asking her why?

Numb with shock at what happened. It's been hard for me to understand.

Months into our marriage certificate and we're reminded just how much a dream it is. I had a really difficult day, cliched bittersweet. Proposition eight passed, they interrupted my dream. I cried on the phone to Idealist, to Verve, to Vito, as they expressed love, embarrassment and support. Then alone, rubbing my eyes to make sure I was really seeing what I was seeing. They were there, willing to hold my hand, to let me know that even though I have to check 'other' in a lot of cases, it's okay.

I'm still loved, and I don't know about everyone else, but all I want is to spread happiness in a way that makes me happy to. I am so thankful and in love with the people that love and support me. They remind me when I most need reminding that I'm not alone, they're right there with me. Accepting and inspiring the way I dream.

 
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Lieberman on a Tight Leash

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So Ranger Robb and I were watching Monday Night Football and discussing politics, as any two good leftist dykes are wont to do and we got to the discussion of Joe Lieberman otherwise known as Stinkpot, Asshole, and various other apt labels.

Ranger Robb wanted to see Lieberman stripped of everything. I did too, but then I told her the latest news I had heard earlier that day - that Obama was signaling to leave Lieberman alone.

"And you know what? Obama even CAMPAIGNED for Lieberman when he WASN'T the Democratic nominee! Ned Lamont was the nominee...." As my voice trailed off, I started to think, now why WOULD Obama 1) campaign for Lieberman, 2) let Lieberman hang himself with his own words without a single blowback, and 3) now signal hands off?

Light bulb goes off.

Assuming Obama is a fairly strategic and far-seeing in terms of goals, numbers were showing Obama in the lead. Why not let Lieberman shoot off at the mouth and hang himself? If McCain won, well, Lieberman showed his true colors. But if Obama won, then they had all these evidence and well, words can be swords of Damocles too.

Follow my logic here. Right now, the Democrats have 56 votes with two senate seats still up in the air - Alaska and Minnesota. With Lieberman, that'll make it 59 and Bernard Sanders would make it 60. And even if supposing that we don't turn over those two seats in Alaska, how hard would it be to get a Republican to switch votes in this current toxic environment? I'm sure there's a number of vulnerable seats in two years.

Anyway, all I ask of Obama is, yes allow Lieberman to stay in the caucus but please please please strip him of all chairmanships. Please. Especially the one that does investigations.

UPDATE: Kos is now saying that Obama's people are leaving it in Reid's hands, as are other democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton. Another relatively smart move. Reid is Senate Majority Leader. If he wants a headache, he'll keep Lieberman on as chairman.

 
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

One More Comment

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Both Bratworse and I gasped when Barack Obama mentioned gays in his acceptance speech.

This is how much of a second class citizens we are - that the MERE mention of us by our president-elect would send streaming tears down my face.

My exact thoughts at that moment were: Did he just... OMG! He did! He included us. Bah! If only he had come out AGAINST prop 8 instead of that lammo ad with Diane Feinstein. I can't believe he actually said "Gays". But sheesh I'm happy about a word when my marrige might be... no, can't think about that.

All those thoughts flashed through my mind between the time Obama said gays and he finished his litany of labels, which was about 40 seconds or less.

I don't think Bratworse realized how momentous that occasion was, to be included. For fuck's sake, Reagan couldn't bring himself to mention the world "gay" in ANY speech, during the entire AIDS crisis. 8 friggin years and he couldn't say the damn word.

Correction: Bratworse just informed me that during the speech when Barack mentioned people, through my tears, she told me "He said 'Gays'!" and my response to her was, "I started crying so I guess in trying to hide my tears from you, I didn't hear you"

So she DID realize and I'm deaf.

 
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A Couple of Observations

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1) I wonder how the cities and counties of California feels about Prop 8, knowing that one of their FEW GROWING REVENUE STREAMS is about to dry up. Can you imagine what those cities and counties were feeling when the Supreme Court of CA decided to overturn the gay marriage ban? At a time of shrinking budgets, a sudden manna from heavens of a sort, dropped down on them with money to spend on weddings.

Now, California cities will watch those revenues flow to Massachusetts, Canada, elsewhere but here. Nice shooting yourself in the foot but then again, that's human nature.

2) Back when I thought I needed Jesus to save my life, I was always most impressed with the song "They'll know we are Christians by our love."

Well, between all donations for and against, there was about 70 million dollars spent to convince people to take away our rights or let us be.

Just imagine if those 70 million dollars had been used to help the needy right now who are being forced out of homes, or watched their retirement savings swirl down the toilet.

Can you imagine these people's day of Judgement? "When your countrymen was aching for relief, where did you spend your money?" "Umm... I spent it to do YOUR will" "Feed the poor, clothe the homeless, those were my instructions." "But but but... those gays! They wanted to convert our children!"

So now we know. We know they are Christians by their stupidity and ignorance and intolerance. And they wonder why I left. I left because I couldn't stand to be part of bigotry and small-minded thinking.

And yes, I AM talking about my family members. *sigh*

 
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On the Brink

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Well, just as hope overflows with our tears of joy, we mingle them with tears at sadness at the vindictiveness of Christians, Mormons and other folk who just wants to inflict their morality on others.

We went to bed exhausted, and filled with dread at the prospect of our marriage being disintegrated for that is what this act does, it disintegrates this piece of paper that legalizes our joining together. I went to bed with my iphone, checking for updates and at midnight my eyes finally closed from sheer exhaustion.

This morning, I feel/hear Bratworse leave my side and go out to the living room. I screamed out her name and I could not tell by her response if it was good news or bad. A minute later, she walked in sobbing her eyes out. "We're no longer married."

So biting back my own disappointment, I set forth to tell her about what I've seen and experienced in this world.

In my 45 years, I have gone from being told I HAD to learn how to cook and sew and clean house to experiencing an electoral election where California wanted to incarcerate people for TESTING to see if they had the AIDS virus, to being married to the love of my life.

As the ad said, we've come a long way, baby.

And obviously, from this election results of Prop 8, we still have a long ways to go.

But you know something? I actually DID get married before a black man became our president. This... is a setback and the churches know it. Just as there was a repudiation of the republican party, there WILL be a repudiation of this inability of church-goers to even give respect to us. What WOULD Jesus say to this? (I say this as I imagine him walking around the lepers giving them respect and hope)

I have faith. I have faith that the human race will one day actually grow up and realize being nice to your neighbor REALLY doesn't cost much, and that your neighbor may be yellow, brown, black, white, straight, gay, red, green, whatever, it just really doesn't cost much to be respectful.

I lost faith with the Gods a long time ago. My faith in humans keep getting stronger, like watching Obama last night be dignified and gracious.

My faith was just renewed. We just got a call from our best man at our wedding, Chief Fireman, telling us how sorry he is and how sorry his whole family is.

You know people who voted for Prop 8? I just wonder if you guys had lost, whether you guys would be sobbing today like we are. This is the difference. Yes on Prop 8 wanted to hurt us. No on Prop 8 just wanted things to be left alone. Yet you "christians" and people of supposed mercy, actively sought to hurt us. Well, you did. We are sobbing but more determined to get our rights as we deserve.

 
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Did You Vote?

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So we left our house about 7:05 this morning to cast our votes. There were about 20 something people in front of us and by the time we left, the line built up to about 30 or 40 behind us. I was 24th in my precinct and Bratworse was 26th in our precinct to vote.

There was a dyke in front of us who was ebullient. She was talking with a black couple. Behind us was a young Jewish woman with a 6 and a half month old baby. I declared "His first election!" and his mom beamed back at us.

We just dropped off some donuts for the poll workers cause for the first time in my voting life, I asked if there would be shifts for the volunteers. They said no, just breaks. Hence the delivery of Krispy Kremes.

The buzz is affecting this side of Oakland, CA too. The lines were definitely longer than usual, and the cheerfulness of everyone involved in the process is just contagious.

As for Prop 8... I don't need to voice my views here, having blogged about our wedding. You want to know my sadness? That I have a feeling I know what my family who votes, voted for.

 
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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bats Day

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If you are going to Bats Day at Disneyland, November 8, look for Bratworse and I there. We'll be one of the many in all black but probably without the face make-up.

 
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Asthma Conditions

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This week, I attended a clinic for Asthmatics. I'm really glad I did. I was given slightly stronger medicines, and hope.

The doctor, literally a giant of a man (he's 6'8") told me that not enough research has been done, but that he's seen worse cases than mine recover to near normal levels.

So far, the medicine I'm on seems to be working better. I'm finally sleeping through the night (as is Bratworse, an innocent victim) and being able to breathe when I wake. I am so full of chemicals though, that it's kind of hard to distinguish what's really happening to my body as a result of natural causes or these new chemicals coursing through my body.

I am on a nasal spray to prevent post-nasal drip. I am on a steroid powder inhaler to prevent inflammation of my bronchial tubes. I am on an emergency inhaler to relax the big muscle around my bronchial tubes. Also on anti-biotics for an infection that seems to give me sporatic fevers. I WAS on prednisone earlier, but that's tapered off.

I cannot wait to be off all these medications.

 
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Reincarnation Placement Exam

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Your result for Reincarnation Placement Exam...

Spy

49% Intrigue, 54% Civilization, 67% Humanity, 28% Urbanization.


Live well, ride fast, and die


If you want to try this test, go here

 
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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Pattern Discovered

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Aha! Now I get what the republicans' pattern is.

1. Convince people that privatizing is good.
2. While privatized, rake in all the money while the going is good.
3. Bankrupt the private business.
4. Government steps in and takes over.
5. Government stabilizes business and starts making profit.
6. Repeat step 1.

 
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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Enjoying Myself a Tad Too Much

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Are you all enjoying the meltdown of the Selfish White Party otherwise known as the Republican Party as much as I am?

Favorite line so far... Lieberman, shunned by both parties.

Obama's over 50%. I'm now predicting a 15+ lead when November comes.

I pride myself of not being a looky-loo on the freeway when there's accidents, but you seriously can't use that analogy here. This unravelling is a natural consequence of their behavior and attitudes of Rules are for everyone else but the ruling class.

Here are some of the websites documenting this rather quick unravelling.
Talking Points Memo
The Huffington Post
Andrew Sullivan

Go on. I know you can't resist it. How can you? Doesn't every time someone say that Sarah Palin has foreign policy experience because Alaska is right next to Russia, just absolutely fill you with snickers? Oh yes, just because I live next to a Argentinan, I know all about South American politics. Get real.

 
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Swiffer Commercial!

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We were watching Wild Kingdom on Animal Planet when we both looked up at the Swiffer commercial.

'Alison!' I cried out.

Bratworse looked up and confirmed that it was our friend, Alison Blanchard.

When I can, I'll post a Youtube of the commercial.

 
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Tactics for the Democratic Party

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Watching and listening the last couple of days, I'm finding myself agreeing with those who say that "McCain = more of the same" isn't enough. You see, you have to get under McCain's skin. Lose that famous temper of his. What'll set it off quicker is by saying he is *much* worse than Bush. You see, he has nothing but disdain for Bush. And by saying he's worse, it will get under his skin quicker than a tick would.

From everything I'm reading, McCain will be worse, because he is threatening to invoke the draft if there are enough resources with a volunteer army. Do you want your loved one drafted?

 
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McCain, Bush's Sidekick

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Best quote of the convention so far:
John McCain calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush more than 90% of the time...that's not a maverick, that's a sidekick.

Thanks, Senator Casey.

 
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Doomed for Divorce

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So, this past week, I went to see my mother. While there, after she had told me what I was doing wrong with my life one too many times, we had one of our fights.

The fights go like this.

Me: Hear me Mom, this is what I need.
Mom: Why should I hear you? You just hear what you want to hear anyway.
Me: Well, that's cause when it's all you hear, how can I hear any different?
Mom: You, you, you. You only talk about you.
Me: I only start talking about me when I feel like you're not hearing me.
Mom: Well that's all you talk about. That's what's wrong with you.
Me: Argh. Stop telling me what's wrong with me. I only talk about me when you can't hear me.

And on and on it goes, until my mother goes too far and draws blood. Only then, will she back off and start hearing.

What did she say this time that went too far?

She told me I should never marry, that if I marry anyone, it's doomed for divorce anyway, so why bother going through the motions?

Don't I just have a warm cuddly mother?

 
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Can you see it?

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Bratworse was in Florida, visiting her grandparents' property and taking a nice stroll around the premises. Along the walk, she spotted this next to her sister.



What? You can't see it? Here, let us highlight it for you.

There, is that any better?






No?

Okay, we'll go closer up. Any better?





Still no, eh?

Okay how's this? We've pulled closer up.






Yes! There it is.

Yes, that was a hidden snake next to her sister, and Bratworse managed to spot it from about fifteen feet away. She called it a "pygmy rattlesnake."

Okay, if you still can't see it, click on the picture. Click on any of the photos and you'll get a bigger photo.


Here, let me show you again how far away it was.

 
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stress Points

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I'm visiting my family tonight for my sister's 50th birthday and well, I am totally stressed out over it. Bratworse came home last night (Yay!) but she's really pissed at me for some reason and I've no idea why. Plus on top of that, my asthma's been acting up again and that's been stressing me out a lot. I can feel bags under my eyes, I want nothing better than to crawl under my desk and curl up next to the heater and sleep. Work isn't that stressful but walking in today, I was met with immediate incompetence on the part of a carrier (any surprise?) which meant I had some explaining to do, with a client.

I'm so tired of having to be clenched all the time. I'm clenched most of the time now due to the asthma and not being able to breathe and clenched most of the night because I wake up with my lungs filled. When that happens, I want to stay in bed until the hacking is over but I think I'm going to have to brave the cold with a blanket so Bratworse can sleep in. It's just not fair that two have to suffer due to one. When I was a kid, I couldn't stop my mother from suffering along with me, but now that I'm an adult, I should be able to stop Bratworse.

Gods, watch. I'm going to go visit my mother, and she's going to be all nice and worried and then BAM! Suddenly out of the blue, she's going to get pissed for no reason and everyone will have to walk on eggshells around her for a while. I hate this.

 
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gay! He Bonked Me.

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Last week, I spent a very very nice time with my young two year old friend, the Future Snowboarder. When I walked into her house, the first thing her mother told me was she was potty-trained! Followed by instructions to take the FS to the potty, of course. Well, after we visited the bathroom, the FS asked if we could play in the bedroom instead of going out to the living room. So off we went to her bedroom.

In there, I asked her if she went to Mortician's house for dinner the previous night and she nodded. She then proceeded to tell me all about the previous night, culminating with "Gay! He bonked me!"

Now, mind you, I was sitting there trying to understand her speech (two-year old speech can be a little hard on the ears) and when I heard the word "Gay" I just blinked, trying to figure out exactly what she meant by that.

She gave me this look like, Why don't you know what I'm talking about? My mind screamed out, Mortician's son! What's his name? so I took a stab, "Is Gay a boy or girl?"

Well, this question was met with a look that conveyed You have got to be shitting me quite clearly. "Boy! Finley girl."

The dawn was a long time coming in my brain, but the light finally came shining over the horizon. "Oh! Gray! He bonked you?"

The look of pure joy at being understood fell over her face as she nodded, saying, "Yesh! I cried. Mama came, hold me." At this point, her mom showed up in the doorway, grinning showing that she overheard most of this conversation.

"Did Gray say he was sorry?"

'Yesh. Gay say sorry."

******

Later, she was sitting on my lap after dinner, playing with various jewelry I was wearing, when she looked at me and asked, "Married?"

Both her mom and I nodded at her, saying "Remember? You were at the wedding." We pointed at Bratworse.

She just smiled and settled herself into my arms. Is there any wonder part of my heart belongs to this little girl?

 
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Note Fairy Came! The Note Fairy Came!!!!

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When I was a wee li'l girl, my amah sat me on her knee and told me all about the Note Fairy. Ah Lan Tseh said, "Chue Mui, if you're very very lucky in this life, you will get visited by the Note Fairy. The Fairy only comes if you are missing a person in your life that loves you more than life and that person has left for parts unknown to you, in a strange and distant land. This person will offer the Note Fairy food, money, bribes and if the Note Fairy is in a good mood, the Note Fairy will then offer that person chances to take notes on their behalf."

Well, last night, after I had worked half a day without hearing from Bratworse, I reached into the refridgerator and lo and behold, the Note Fairy had brought me a note from her. The note read, "Happy Drinks for my love."

Later that night, when I was suffering with pains in my tummy (I have IBS. Do not get IBS unless you are prepared to spend about 1/20th of your life sitting on the toilet), I reached for the book I was reading and a note fluttered out. Again, words of love and missing me sought my eyes.

This morning, I reached for my underwear and another note graced my fingers!

Thank you Note Fairy! Thank you for bringing words from my wife to me.

 
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Left on My Own

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The Bratworse has left for home territories.

What havoc should I wreak? Should I eat ice cream for dinner every night? Should I turn on all the lights in the house? Should I buy expensive treats for the cats?

Maybe I should .... Gah!

This is only fun when I'm really not allowed to do anything. But Bratworse basically lets me do most things I want (except turn on all the lights in the house, which shhhhh, they're on).

Anyway, a week without her. How long d'ya think I'll last before I get arrested?

 
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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How Many Of You Wants To Sue Apple & AT&T Over the iPhone 3G?

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So, here's our situation:

We get AT&T for our wireless about 5 years ago. About 2 years ago in December '06, Bratworse and Sugarmesweeeet get new razors and new contracts. Then about a year ago in March, we make all the phones CA phones instead of NC phones. No new contracts or phones. Got that?

Three lines, two got new phones in 12/06. One of the lines with the new phone gets dropped off the family plan.

We get told on Thursday May 10th, that all we have to do buy out the contract for Bratworse's phone for $90 and she'd qualify for the $199 price for the iPhone 3G. My phone has never been upgraded. Mine qualifies.

We go to get iPhones on Sunday. Lo and behold, we have to pay $399 for EACH PHONE!

Since then, I've spent about 6 hours of my life with AT&T fighting. So far, almost every time I walk away from the phone with one or two managers telling me at least ONE phone qualified for the subsidized price. Strange, the ONE time a supervisor didn't say that was when they knew I was recording the call.

Every time I've talked to AT&T, I mentioned it was our wedding gift to each other.

So far, almost a month later, we've gotten no refunds, nothing. No responses.

Anyone else out there who has complaints about the switch and bait AT&T has been doing? (I can't blame Apple for this, they are using AT&T's records).

I'm so sick of these assholes listening in on our conversations, making notes and not telling us what the notes are and NOT GIVING OUR MONEY BACK!

Let's get a class action suit going.

 
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Friday, August 01, 2008

Relaxin' at Home

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Here's Bratworse relaxing after finishing her last class of the last term of the last semester.

Yes, that means she's done with school and about to hit the workforce. Watch out world!

The stern look? Don't be fooled. She's just trying to ignore the pest with the iPhone.

[taken with the iPhone]

 
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Thursday, July 31, 2008

OMG! He Thinks He's Got Another 8 in Him

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If you follow the pattern Billmon sets up in his diary here in the Daily Kos, then McCain believes he's got another eight years in him and he can run for president in 4 years again.

See, he's got Rove's boys working for him. And if he follows the pattern set up seen in Billmon's diary, then he'll fire Rove's boys and decry their methods saying he was led astray by the shiny badge of the presidency, but now he knows better.

Think in 4 years, he'll get the hang of running for president? He'll only be 76.

 
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John McCain - Celebrity

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Click here to see Google's cache of McCain's website before they and the media went off on Obama's celebrity.

McCain equals hypocrite.

 
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Billmon's back!!!!

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Who is Billmon you ask and why do I seem so... so... excited about this?

Billmon was the proprietor of Whiskey Bar, a writer whose prowess I could only admire from afar, much like Digby of Hullaballoo. I have Whiskey Bar still linked on some of my old blogs but the link's been dead since soon after the last elections.

He visited Egypt and the descriptions he wrote made the air around me seem as hot and arid as he described, while scenes of Egyptian streets and life unfolded in my mind's eye.

He calls it as as it is and he doesn't mince words. And he's as disgusted as ever over the media and our politics.

Go on, read. Drink in every word as if it's smooth whiskey. Then, when you're done, exhale. He's great, isn't he?

 
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Burn..."

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Yesterday, L.A. had an earthquake of 5.8. Somewhere in downtown L.A., Danceteach was stuck in a building which had to be inspected for damage before they'd let anyone out. During the time of imprisonment, Danceteach texted me his complaints and told me how the rollers in the building exacerbated feelings to the point where people screamed. I forgot to ask what floor he was on.

I blame Danceteach for the following.

At 6 this morning, my mind dreamt this. Oh, I do so love my mind sometimes.

Bratworse and I were in San Francisco, in a building somewhere. We split up and I went to go find the person whom I was supposed to be meeting. Along the way, my dream-self ran into some people I was hoping to avoid, but of course in dreams, we HAVE to run into them. As I said my goodbyes to them, an earthquake struck.

Flashforward (as dreams do). I'm in a hallway, surrounded by pushing people. I'm looking for Bratworse, my panic increases.

Flashforward again. I'm spilling out into the streets with throngs of people, screaming out her name when I look across the street and there she is, standing with two people and waving at me.

Flashforward again. I'm by her side. Turns out the two people by her side are my mom and her sister, my aunt. Funny how in dreams you don't question such obvious contradictions... Bratworse wouldn't be able to pick my mom out of a crowd I think. I'm looking around frantically for what to do next when I see a HUGE ASS LINE across the street and policemen are trying to get people to go to the back of the line.

"I think that line's for the Bay Bridge." I gesture to the three of them.

My aunt waves a hand, "You go ahead. I'm not going to make it."

My mother starts harumphing and saying, "If that's what she wants, let her."

"Come on," I urge, "We'll be with you the whole way. Just..." Right then, out of the corner of my eye, I see a caucasian duck into an alley, carrying a bundle of satiny clothes. That's strange, I thought to myself as I urge my aunt more.

Just as I get my aunt to her feet and I point out to her how far the line's dwindled (There was actually no line to speak of at this point), I notice the caucasian emerge from the other end of the alley, wearing priest vestments and holding a picket sign. He starts yelling out something about gays and lesbians....

And my dream-mind snaps.

There was just an earthquake. I have Bratworse with me. I have two crotchety, stubborn 70 something year old ladies (and I use the terms loosely) who have spent their entire lives one-upping each other and arguing, with me. We have to walk like 20 miles to try and get to safety. And this guy... this guy wants to get in my face and tell me my lifestyle caused this earthquake.

I pick up a stick and start chasing the guy, just as other fags and dykes and queers around me do. I run after this "priest" and as I hurl my stick at the fleeing figure, I scream out "BURN IN HELL!"....

only to find out I screamed out in real life "BURN...." and managed to suppress "in hell" in time to stop from really waking up Bratworse.

I sit up in bed, pissed and wheezing. Only then did I realize my brain concocted this whole thing to get me to wake up and adjust my body temperature to stave off an asthma attack.

 
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Emailing on the iPhone

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So far I've been happy with most of the iPhone's features. The one that I'm having the most trouble with, is the email program. For some reason, my iPhone has a hard time updating my emails. It's very frustrating.

From what I can tell, it has a hard time going from one network to another... so getting emails on the run is hard. If you go from an EDGE network to a wifi to a 3G while it's trying to get the emails, it seems to get hung up.

If it starts while it's on one network and stays on that network, the emails are okay but for me, I work in a really lousy network area. Literally rolling the car forward 6 inches can mean no network to a 3G one.

Other than that, I'm still deliriously happy with it. Wish this can be fixed though.

 
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Monday, July 28, 2008

Three Branches

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So I'm reading responses to ABC's U.S. Headed for 'Heightened Alert' Stage which is another name for U.S. Crying "Wolf" and I come across this little response from a right-winger down in Florida.
"In the U.S., the Republicans are in charge of 2 of the 3 branches of government."Last I heard Pelosi was the MAJORITY leader in the House and Reid was the MAJORITY leader in the senate. they are the ones who bring bills to the floor, as I am sure you know. so, to me, they are the ones in control of our government
Umm, last I heard, The Senate and House were both part of Congress and that is only ONE branch of the government, the legislative branch? The other two branches are the executive and the judicial. Sheesh, at least get your facts right. Oh but wait... I forgot... these are the people who care more about having a president you will drink beer with, than facts.

 
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Insurance Tips #1: Merging Companies

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If Company A is buying Company B in the middle of a month, Company B's following month's medical coverage will need to be terminated by Company B's broker/or Company B itself. Company A's broker can try to, but it's looking like insurance carriers use that as an excuse to disregard the termination notice and charge an extra month.

Can they do this and is it legal? Yes and yes.

Legally, only Company B and its representative, the broker, can make changes to their policy. Therefore, any notice by Company A and their broker can "legally" be disregarded by insurance carriers. Does it make sense common sense-wise? Hell no, but these ARE insurance companies we're talking about. Anything to maximize the profits, no?

 
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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dyke Ducks?

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So yesterday we went fishing with Ranger Robb and there were these two ducks swimming along. Mind you, in past years we've seen pairs of male and female ducks, but this time we were treated to the sight of two female ducks together.

"Dyke Ducks!" exclaimed each of us in turn as we sighted them. One of them had a more colorful head where you could see shimmers of a deep green. I pointed that one out, "The butch one!"

Even cross-species, dykes tend to hang out with each other.

Picture was taken with my iPhone and cropped by iPhoto but not touched up.

 
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iPhone blogging

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Well, I'm using the iPhone to blog this just to see how it'd go. A tad slow going but otherwise quite sufficient.

What do you all think?

 
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Still in Love, Though It's Cracked

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It skulked in the darkness, knowing that the gate would soon open and the enemy would show its face. Patiently, it waited for its owners to finish their discussion and sure enough, the gate opened!

At the precise moment, it leapt!

It glanced back at its owner as if to say wish me luck, then spun around in a slow twirl to face the enemy.

Alas, even though the ambush was picture perfect, it didn't count on the fact the enemy would be so unyielding in its defense. Not one slight fraction of an inch did the enemy give.


The impact of the ambush left its face scarred. Its owner snatched it up and cradled it as she examined the damage.

"It's cracked," said the owner.

The owner brushed a finger along the skin and pressed down to make sure nothing's broken.

"It's still working though," as a sniff crept into the owner's voice.

"You're kidding!" the owner's wife exclaimed in disbelief, her eyes blinking, stupefied.

"No, see?" The owner held it up and sure enough, the owner's wife saw the spidery crack up the side of the iPhone. "It hit the cement. Can we get it fixed?" The love in the owner's voice was obvious, as well as in the owner's wife's voice too.

Their concern touched it. It let out a sigh as it went back to sleep. Even though the enemy, the cement, won this time, there would be another chance.... it's owners were going to get surgery for it. It just hoped it won't be plastic surgery.

 
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On Hold

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If I didn't have the internet, my current job would make me go postal, I think. Most of my time is spent on hold, listening to jazzy muzak but muzak nonetheless.

I think the worst part of the job has to do with speaking to automated dumbasses on the phone. Everyone I've worked with here at one point has screamed into the phone "AGENT!" (Thanks Blue Cross, HATE your system)

I've been on hold with AIG now for 18 minutes. Sometimes I wonder if it's just a delaying tactic on their behalf... you know, keep you on hold until you hang up in frustration.

Earlier today, I had an experience with an ambulance company in which they said that it would take them 45 days (45!!!!) in which to process a check. I asked them if there was a desert between each desk and they had to go out and catch themselves a camel in order to transfer paper from one desk to another. My humor wasn't quite appreciated.

Did I mention I hate insurance people and the people that work with them? (I guess that makes me hate myself but on some mornings here, I really do)

 
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wedding Album

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Was poking around the Picasa site and just realized I could embed the photo album here.

Enjoy.


 
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Wedding Feast

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So after the quick nuptials, Bratworse and I head back... stupidly (and yes, it was MY idea) ... to Apple and wandered in line again. This time, there was a really obnoxious parent behind me, who made sure to let his kid know how much of a sacrifice he was making to stand there in line. What a huge difference in parenting methods. Earlier that morning, we had experienced one cool parent. Now we were subjected to the braying of this asshole. I wanted to apologize to the kid and say, not all of us adults are asshats like his dad. But... it was none of my businesss.

After close to three hours and after both of my calves cramped up in the stiff wind, I told Bratworse, let's get out of here. I was exhausted and we still had a dinner to go to.

Bratworse was an angel throughout this whole ordeal of the iphones. Me, not so much.

E&B had gotten us this wonderful wonderful Japanese hotel room with japanese baths and so we checked in, and got ready for dinner. Gorgeous G was the first to show, then Ranger Robb and her girlfriend, Playwright. So after, Ditzy and her husband showed up, then Ol' Time Hippie showed up with her new (and hopefully permanent cause we all approve!) gf. Lastly, Writerboy showed up, sans wife. *sniff* Writerboy's wife was home sick unfortunately.

Writerboy kindly took a picture of the whole table but I wish he was in it as well.

Much fun was to be had by all, and it was a good night.

Oh... iPhones? Yeah, we did get two... on Sunday.

 
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Wedding Photos

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So, were you wondering how the big day went?

July 11, 2008 will go down in infamy, I believe for the Cholotto Family.

First off, we went hoofing it down to the Apple store at 7:00 for the 8:00 Apple Store opening for our new iphones. Well, we found out the people at the front of the line got there at 5:00 am. Thus we were about the 200th people in line. By the time the store opened, the line had doubled.

During the course of the next few hours, we met a VERY VERY cool lady and her 15 year old son. This lady took a day off work to help her son purchase an iphone. She's also part of a local Berkeley band AND a geologist working in environmental conservation. Too cool. Wish I got her name. We also noted that the Apple store was eerily like Hotel California that day. You saw people entering but few leaving. AND the few that left that morning, none of them looked remotely elated. Strange we thought. We also found out that having cool people in line with you, just makes the process that much happier.

At 11:00 with about 30 people still in line, we decided that there was no way we could get out of the store in time to get married at the pre-ordained time, so with heartfelt congratulations ringing in our ears as we left, we made our way to the Alameda Clerk's office to pick up a license.

My dear friend who has known me since I was 17 was the person officiating at our wedding. Doesn't he look handsome? And to think, this man was a scrawny scrawny boy in his teens.

Well, after we got the license, (timing was perfect!) our best people, E&B showed up with their two children. All of us walked in a general direction and before long, a lake appeared before our eyes. "Let's get married at the lake!" so we all tromped over there. Over the next half an hour, we laughed, cried, hugged, took pictures and signed papers.

Look at how happy we all look.
To be continued.

 
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Monday, July 07, 2008

Weird Sights along the Highway

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The other day, Bratworse and I were driving back from fishing, and along this fairly deserted highway by a line of telephone poles, were a white van and two men. Neither men wore any uniforms (like a PG&E one or a cable one) but one man was in a suit and wearing really dark glasses.

I nudged Bratworse and pointed them to them, asking, "Special Ops?"

Then today, as I'm driving back from lunch, I see two men again with a van but this time it's tan. They're by the roadside which overlooks a development of housing. The distance from the road to the development is probably about 30-40 feet down a steep bank. I see these two men climb over the safety railing, with a pickaxe. A pickaxe, you know, the ones you see dwarves using to mine gems (if you've ever seen Snow White).

So any guess as to what these two groups were up to? My immediate thought for the first one was, warrantless wiretapping/searches by the government. The second... I am simply at a loss to explain. Digging up dead bodies? Ah, the imagination runs amuck.

 
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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Is It Just Me?

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Or has the air gone out of Raiders' fans?

Everyday I check the Oakland Tribune for some buzz about JaMarcus Russell, or Lane Kiffin, but every day, the same tired headlines greet me. It's friggin' July already. Shouldn't there be write-ups everyday? Or rumors to quash, or rumors to start up? Hell, even I might even welcome some lament about how we let Randy Moss get away (actually, that's going too far. The Raiders' do not miss *that* kind of egotistical non-contributor).

The crickets are chirping here in Oakland.

Still, all my senses are honed for the onslaught of preseason football. After all, isn't that what HD is truly for? To see with visceral clarity, exactly how that knee drove into someone's back?

Let's just hope the Oakland Raiders will surprise us all. A winning season anyone? Anyone?

 
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Welcome to the Grand Illusion

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See this freaky funky thing? Cool, eh? Bratworse did that... with a teeny tiny tad of art direction from yours truly. It's a picture of a neuron. The purple moving flashes are supposed to be thoughts.

If you want to see more, come visit her new site, WestinaMation where she shows off her recently acquired skills. See, she's about to graduate so she's got a website and demo reel put together.

Come check it out. She's done some really neat stuff there.

Oh, and if you're in the medical field or science/scientific field, please do check this out. Bratworse is hoping to do animations for labs and presentors and documentaries.

Can you tell I'm just a wee bit proud of her?

 
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Extortion by ACT! Sage

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Unbelievable!

To me this shows how much faith a company has in its own product. Sage Software charges you $299 for a year for unlimited access to its technical department.

How does this work? Well, if you're a company which uses its software and suddenly your software stops working, you either pay for this unlimited service or pay $50 for 10 min. and $5 for each additional minute.

Doesn't that sound like another business model? Say.... something the Mafia uses?

Bah!

 
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Congrats

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How easy is that to say?

Apparently, to a Chinese, even one that broke rules like being the first in our generation to get a divorce, one that got married to a *gasp* Mexican (My mother reluctantly attended her wedding), "Congrats" is a hard word to say.

I was telling my sister about the upcoming nuptials after about 20 minutes conversing with her about her life when she suddenly said, "I have to go." After hanging up, Bratworse turns to me and asked, "Did she even say 'Congrats?'" I scratched my head, thinking back. "No.... no, I don't think she did."

Ah, family. And people wonder why I love sappy movies so much. Watching them, I have some glimmer of hope that there really are people out there who care about their siblings or children to listen.

Listening is an outdated artform.

 
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Living in San Francisco

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For the first time in my life, I am sorry that I live in Oakland and not across the Bay in the gay mecca, San Francisco.

Why?

Because there is a movement in San Francisco right now, called the "Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco," to rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant to the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.

How fitting for the president who flushed our civil liberties down the toilet, who flushed goodwill from other countries down the toilet, who let our sense of decency swirl into sewage.

So come on all you San Franciscans! Get together and give this president what he deserves: a memorial that'll make everyone who passes by it acknowledge the appropriateness of the tribute with an understanding nod.

P.S. picture of sewage not of the future George W. Bush Sewage plant

 
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The Reason I wanted to vote for Dodd

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Christopher Dodd seems to be the one of TWO Senators who are trying to stop the lawlessness of the Bush Administration.

He stood up yesterday and tied this telecom immunity FISA bill with the torture the administration has approved (and don't tell me they DIDN'T approve it because right now, all signs are pointing to David Addington and Cheney's office, with the politicizaion of most departments in the Federal government (INCLUDING the DOJ!) and countless other ways they BROKE THE LAW!!!!

Senators Clinton and Obama. You wanted to be president. So did Senator Dodd. Right now, HE is the one showing leadership. Where are you?

Senators Feinstein and Boxer - right now, I'm desperately wishing you two would grow spines and join Senator Dodd in his brave stance. Next time someone comes up against either of you who say that they are FOR rule of law instead against (which is what you'd be doing if you voted for this odious bill) I will be making my vote count against you! Bah! Hate cowards.

Addendum: Senator Boxer - My apologies. I should've trusted you more. Thank you for standing up to this administration and their lawlessness. Now if only the other senator had the same guts as you.

 
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Donations for Obama

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Hmm, I wonder if McCain or Obama's campaigns realize that there still are people like me around. I haven't contributed to Obama and even though I was going to vote for Dodd, I didn't contribute to his or any others' campaign in the primary.

Reason? I was waiting to spend my dollars here it would really count, against the Republicans. I only have so much to spend on politics and I wanted my money to go towards making sure shit like Abu Ghraib, Guantanomo, Cheney, the Bush Administration and their politicizing of EVERY friggin' department, would not happen again, at least without a fight.

I've just been watching to see when to send my measly contribution in. Actually since Obama weaseled out of FISA fight (let's see if he will keep his promise of filibustering the bill), I'm waiting to see if he's worth the contribution. I really hope Obama is the great hope of the future. I'm just glad right now though, I'm not one of his contributors who is kicking herself in the rear.

 
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Being Moved to Dance

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I'm sitting here waiting for a friend to show up so we can celebrate his birthday and I'm watching Bratworse move and dance to music. She won't dance in front of others but she'll attempt it in front of me. It's quite amusing. She's got this shit eating grin on her face and her head is bobbing as her butt is wriggling around to "Butt Machine."

It's a pleasant way to start off the day, I must say.

 
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Wedding Plans

4 comments
We are decided.

(Love that song... well love every song in Jesus Christ Superstar).

On July 11, Bratworse and I will be officially tying the knot. Next year, the date will fall on a Saturday and that's when we will have the ceremony.

None of our friends and family know. We're not exactly keeping it a secret (well how can it be a secret when it's up here for the world to see) but we're not really announcing it either.

So, Sugarmeesweettt, consider yourself told. :) You're probably the first of family/friends type to find out since you read this site.

 
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rats! Nixed.

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Well! I had the grandiose idea of putting up sequential pictures of my face as it morphs due to Prednisone's side effects. See, I went to the doctor's today and got put on a prednisone taper just like a few years ago. Only this time, the doctor put me on a shorter regimen due to my reactions to the last one. Anyway, since my face kinda morphed during the last regimen, I thought it''d be cool to take photos of me every day and just see the difference from day one to day five.

I just started really feeling the effects. My skin hurts - not on the skin but just under. Certain joints feel swollen and ache. After I took the first series (I took 5 tablets of 5 mg. each) of photos, Bratworse turns to me and asks me what I'm doing.

So beaming, I tell her.

"Was 'fraid of that." She goes back to her modeling in Maya.

"Why?"

She just shook her head. "Was just afraid of that."

Rats! Nixed before I even really started.

Oh well, weird experiments later... maybe when she's asleep.

 
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Breathing is Hard to Do

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When you have asthma. For some inexplicable reason, my asthma attacked on Saturday and since then, my chest has been rumbly, my back bent, my breathing wracked.

I'm hoping it'll be over soon. My ribs hurt from hacking.

Oh well. I was expecting the dreaded A back in my life. I'm still able to have some semblance of normalcy but damn, it makes life a little harder when every laugh you make, every few steps you take ends in a series of hacking spasms.

Hmm, it's time for more hits from my inhalor. Talk with you all later!

 
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Monday, June 09, 2008

Dumber than Bush?

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OMG!!!!

Can McCain be dumber than Bush in foreign issues?

Go here to Cliff Schecter's and watch for yourself.

McCain names Putin as President of.... {drum roll please} Germany.

If this wasn't so serious, I'd be falling over laughing.

John McCain, Angela Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany, you know, the leader. Putin (are you going to call him Pooty-Poot like Bush too?) is the president (well you got that part right at least) of.... {drum roll please} Russia!

You know, Ruskies. Fur hats. Borscht. Siberia?

Oh wait, I know, he just couldn't remember the details right? 74 years old might have contributed to this lapse of memory? Nah, John McCain's spry!

 
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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Seeing a Difference

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So are the gas prices affecting people's driving habits?

My first thought was, no.

But after today...

We went to have dim sum today at our favorite dim sum place, East Ocean in Alameda. We got there about noon. First difference: there was no line. Second difference: there were empty tables around. However, I must say I didn't notice a difference when shopping at Target earlier. It was as crowded/empty as it usually is on a Saturday late morning.

Later, we drove to Pacifica. Normally, to get there at 5:00, it would take about 45 min. or longer due to bridge traffic. Yet, we got there in 1/2 hour. It's been known to happen before on a Saturday so I didn't think much of it.

On the way back, was when the difference really hit me. The streets were near empty at 9:00 pm. Okay, I exaggerate a bit, but we ran into no traffic on the way home. I was able to keep my speed of 60-70 mph the entire way. This also happened the last three times we drove to Pacifica but I dismissed the possibility that the high price of gas could've done away with the traffic.

But it appears I may be wrong.

 
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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Speakin' of Cousin....

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I don't talk about my cousins much. Well... actually, the last post was my fir... second one I think. I wrote about her younger brother once when I wrote about the Wii.

Music Teacher Cuz... She's the one closest to me in age. She is the middle child of my aunt's, who is the oldest sister of my mother. Got that? There is some affection between the two of us, I think we're actually quite fond of each other. I was just thinking back to how I used to get her gifts related to music... and how I only saw her and probably continue to see her as one note.

I suppose it can be done at this point... to have a closer relationship with her, but honestly, Music Teach and I are like a giraffe meeting a whale. Two entirely different worlds and I'm not sure that we don't look at each other's world rather dubiously. Yes, my double and triple negatives confuse me too.

I remember asking her what kind of music she listened to, once. She said she liked Jazz. But at the second I asked, a flicker of surprise? fear? wariness? crossed her face, like "Cuz, you're breaking the unspoken rules!" I never crossed that line again.

I don't asked many questions about my life.... nor do I answer many. I'm good at deflecting them and asking others about themselves... No, I used to be. Nowadays, I find it harder and harder to be interested, yet another reason I am not delving in Music Teach's life. But I do find myself curious... like is she happy with the path she's chosen? Did she feel forced to practice hour after hour or was it a nice escape like reading was to my sister and I? Is she, like us just waiting for her life to finally be her own?

Once, she, my sister and I were in a mini-van... first time the three of us got to be alone, as adults... no, as middle-aged women. You should've seen the knowing nods as we each one-bettered each other with tales of our mothers.

It was strange. As a child, I envied nearly everyone I knew, but I never once envied my cousin. I felt trapped by my sickness, my whole entire being defined by the one thing that limited me, but Music Teach? She was in a trap that was hoisted on her, I just never figured out nor will I ever, whether that trap was one of her own device or one set there by my Aunt. I've a feeling the truth is probably closer to both answers.

I wonder, most of all, whether I'll invite her to my wedding to Bratworse.

 
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My Life IS Mine

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Bratworse and I have been working on some preconceived notions I have. Mind you, I am a first generation Chinese woman, which means some of these thoughts have been culturally ingrained into me through thousands of years of ancestral DNA half-remembered influences as well as well... pressure.

First notion I have that needs work: that if I am in the middle of doing something, and Bratworse or whoever else comes over to watch, I DO NOT HAVE TO STOP. Poor Bratworse has had to deal with my bad moods and my bared teeth, because I've been working under the assumption that whatever I do, doesn't count and that I have to give up my pleasures simply because someone walked over.

This is what living with my family does to you... My mother does it, my sister does it and i probably do it. That if I come over and ask you for something, you'd better damn well drop what you're doing and accommodate me because well, in my mind, I don't ask for much so how dare you disregard my interruption!

I bet half of you people of Chinese descent are rolling your eyes right now, saying to yourselves, "I know *that* one."

Second notion I have. That whatever obsessions I have currently, I have to hide it and do it secretly or rather, privately because... well, no one wants to hear or know about it.

I am bored right now. I am bored mostly because Bratworse is busy with homework so she can't play GTA IV for us. She's asking me why I don't play RockBand and practice so I will get better. She's never lived with a piano teacher and or heard a cousin play piano for 6 hours straight (I'm talking scales for 2 hours just to get the fingers just nimble enough. I'm talking daily stretching exercises with the span of the fingers just so she could get past the one octave barrier) because said cousin was going to be a concert pianist. Granted, I have absolutely NO ambition to be a concert Rock Band drummer, just one that won't get embarrassed if I form a band with others.

I need to trust others will be more than capable of speaking up if they are bored with whatever I'm doing. I need to trust others to be adults. It's hard to do.

 
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Sustainable? Doubtful

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I filled up my tank today. $60 and still, my tank wasn't as filled as it could've been.

Anthem Blue Cross took over Blue Cross of California and immediately, prices jumped as high as 30% more. They weren't the only ones whose fees went up that high. It looks like Healthnet jumped up that high as well. Others were more moderate... only 11-15%.

Only.

Rents are going up, due to the high demand because of foreclosures.

Yet, salaries remained the same or is lower.

Put this scenario into ANY city-building game or any strategy type game and you will see the economy grind to a halt.

I hate working in insurance and knowing that by helping the system sustain itself, I am contributing to the woes of thousands. My boss says, you can't fix the system so just take the money because it's there anyway (broker fees are included in ALL healthcare fees regardless of whether you use a broker or not. Weird, huh? Hence the addage "50% of your fees go towards administrative costs"). I'm taking the money. I'm working to ease people's burdens of having to deal with this broken system. Still, the broken system irks me to no end.

Wish I was working in an industry where I'm proud to say I'm a member of that community.

 
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

R.I.P. Rory Root

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The following is what I wrote on one of his obits:

Alex Amado called me up last night with the sad news. Rory, there was so much to thank you for, I only hope the many times I walked into your store and walked out buying $200-300 worth of graphic novels helped. You were indeed a force of nature around for comics and you will be missed, even from ex-comics pros. Many were the days of tough, energy-sapping days at conventions, only to walk out for a cigarette and see you on the sidewalk with your mug of coffee and a grin on your face. My walk would speed up as you raised your hand in a gesture of greeting, even as you continued your conversations with three or four people standing around you. I knew around you, there were always interesting conversations AND somehow, by the end of my cigarette, I would feel revitalized and ready to face the masses again. Thank you, Rory.

A personal story. I had an alcoholic GF at the time but I wouldn't face it. She'd be at home drinking a 12 pack every day as I worked and finally I screamed at her to get a job. She didn't, and so I called up Rory to see if he had a job available. It turned out that he had a P/T book-keeping job so he gave it to my alcoholic gf. Within a month, she lost the job. Rory kept wanting to apologize for that, but I kept apologizing to him for inflicting him with my problem.

Rory, you were a great man. My ex-gf didn't deserve you as a boss. And it is because of you and your poker parties that I met Alex. I owe you so much, Rory.

Rest in peace because you, Rory Root, the man whose name Scooby Doo would have no problem pronouncing, DID make a huge difference in the world.

FYI, the first time I had heard of Ariel Shrag was due to Rory Root. He came up to me with her self-published comic and said "Read it, she's going to go far." Rory, you were right. I saw her name on "The L Word" as a writer.

*photo grabbed from Comic Relief website. Go there if you want to post memories.

 
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Going to the Chapel and We're....

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California Supreme Court says that gay marriages aren't unconstitutional. So now our civil union ceremony next year will become a wedding ceremony.

Bratworse, will you marry me?

That sounds SOOOOO MUCH better than -

Bratworse, will you become my domestic partner?

 
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Good Use of Money

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So, what's a good way to piss away money? Spending money on useless revenge tactics. It's been very amusing to experience and laugh about every morning when I wake up refreshed.

Thank you whoever you are. You've been an endless source of free entertainment for me the last two weeks. I really do hope you keep this up all year. The U.S. economy needs more fools like you to spend frivolous money to help bolster its failing economy. As P.T. Barnum once famously said, "There's one born every minute."

 
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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Frustrations... Is It Real???

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That's a line from an Oingo Boingo song... and as I sit here trying to keep my temper from flaring and trying to keep me from flinging the damn laptop across the office.

Boss-man wants me to set up the email and it's getting imperative since we're at 90% of disk space available... But asking me to take care of something so frustrating is not a wise move right now. Now when my emotions are constantly on razor's edge.

Now I find out I need his login. Argh.

 
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Crazed

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My boss says he can see the difference in me. Bratworse says she sees no difference.

Meanwhile, there's a part of my brain saying, "Stop shouting. Stop shouting. Stop shouting." and my voice just gets louder.

So what does it say when I feel crazed, but my significant other says it's par for course for me.

That's what I thought.

 
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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Honey, the miracle drug

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Just went through two nights of throwing up. Usually by the end of the second night, I need to go into emergency and get rehydrated via IV. Well this time, I just didn't want to spend the money, so I looked up for home remedies for curing the inability to keep food down.

I read this one account from a woman who claimed that her husband and three kids came down with a stomach virus and she gave her kids one tablespoon of honey, then repeated it two hours later. Her husband refused and was still sick three days later. Their kids felt better after hours.

After reading this account, I dedcided to try it. Bratworse was loving enough to leave the house twice last night, the first time to get me crackers and soda, the second to get the raw honey.

Well, I ate a spoonful of honey at 9:10. Soon after, I was taking sips of water and holding the water down. By 10:30 I was feeling pretty okay, so I took a sip of Sierra Mist. A SIP!

My tummy started gurgling and the next thing I knew, I was worshipping the porcelain goddess again.

At 11:00 I took another spoonful then went to bed. Woke up at 1 am and took another spoonful. By this time, my teeth were screaming "sugar overload!!!!!" The next time I woke, it was 5 am.

It's now 3 pm the next day and I'm pretty much back to normal.

Honey. It's a cure for throwing up and not being able to keep anything down. One spoonful every two hours and two spoonfuls should do it.

If I ever find that webpage again with the original post, I want to shower that lady with jars of honey.

 
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fish! Tank! Anemone! Corals!

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This is our torch coral with other bits of coral nearby. See the mushroom corals in the upper right doing really well?




This is the bubble coral which is doing REALLY well in our tank as you can see. If you click on the picture, you can see the little dartfish swimming by it. It's pink and purple with white.


Here's our hammer coral which one of our clown fish has taken to hosting in. Can you imagine swimming through that coral and having it tickle you as you pass by? That little guy's starting to chase away all the other fish from the hammer.


Last but not least, this is our anemone. Bratworse hates it because she's gotten stung. I just like feeding it and watching it sway in the light current we have going in our tank. It's like the centerpiece to our tank now.

More pictures later!

 
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Friday, April 04, 2008

Irony

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It's so ironic that I'm working as an insurance agent right now. But I can because I'm helping my clients fight for their claims and stuff.

It's ironic because I am easily one of the worst customers an insurance agent can have. Just ask my car insurance agent. She is my friend from college and well, I'm not very nice to her people. I just can't help feeling like they're people who want something for nothing, as opposed to health insurance.

I mean does no one else see the weirdness in paying money every month and then having to either pay for the damages yourself because you don't want your monthly payments going up, or having to fight to get something paid? You're friggin' insuring against that!

So, ironic, eh?

 
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Saturday, February 23, 2008

McCain Can't Remember?

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Per the Washington Post:

"McCain attorney Robert S. Bennett played down the contradiction between the campaign's written answer and Paxson's recollection.

"We understood that he [McCain] did not speak directly with him [Paxson]. Now it appears he did speak to him. What is the difference?" Bennett said"

Two questions immediately spring to mind:

1) Does this mean that it might appear that McCain did have improper relations with Iseman?

and

2) Does this slip of the memory suggest that McCain might be suffering from memory loss?

Pfffft, what is the difference.... You know very well what the difference is, and if you don't, Mr. Robert S. Bennett, your mom didn't teach you very well.

 
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Energy within Companies

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Well, I found out earlier this week another one has left my previous company.

Why am I not surprised?

I've been paying attention to energies within companies and my last job, the energy there sagged and sagged. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that the owner didn't really care anymore and we had this one guy that went around telling everyone, "Why are you working on that? You know it's just a big game and no one's going to care whether you did it or not."

It's really hard to work up any enthusiasm when someone is telling you what you're doing is a huge waste of time.

The new company I'm with, has a MUCH different energy. When the boss is there, the energy's kind of crackling because my boss has so much excess energy it charges the air. To be honest, we all breathe easier when he's out of the office. We get a chance to relax a tad. Given that the boss is so dedicated, can he expect less from his employees? My old boss would go away on vacations five times a year, for weeks at a time!

Yes, there are days where I come home feeling beat up from my job, but right now, at least I'm fighting a good fight. Unlike last time where I was just getting beat up for nothing but money. No wonder I felt drained.

 
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Beating Up on Insurers

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So, one of the new things I'm truly enjoying about working for an insurance agent is getting to beat up on nasty empires on behalf of the people.

Right now, there's a spat of instances where one insurer offers dental insurance through another company, but when you sign up for it, there's an apparent disconnect between the two companies because the other company keeps denying claims and says those people aren't insured! Unbelievable eh?

I must say, it's quite satisfying, especially on PMS days.

 
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Desperate Times

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Apparently health insurance carriers are feeling the pinch of the tightening economy.

Get this. A person wasn't sure whether she could get on her husband's insurance after she went on leave at work, so she applied for Cal-COBRA. Well, she finally found out that she could late in the month and so over 30 days had passed when she contacted the carrier of her Cal-COBRA that she didn't need it after all, thank you very much.

She was being a conscientious consumer.

Well, this insurance company is saying that if she doesn't pay for the month, that they'll send her to collections.

Knowing that Federal COBRA means that you have 60 days to elect, then from the date of election, you have 45 days to pay and if you do not pay, you simply don't have coverage instead of owing money, I asked what would've happened to the woman had she NOT informed them of her choice, and simply didn't pay. The answer? Nothing.

She is being punished for being conscientious, and had she just been a slacker and just didn't bother to inform nor to pay, there'd be no repercussions.

Think health insurance carriers are getting so desperate they have to get this poor woman to pay premiums for double coverage. The system is collapsing in on itself as the economy worsens.

 
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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Getting a License

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So, I'm in school this week to get a license from the State of California to sell life and health insurance. Part of my new job, y'see. No, I'm not going to be selling life insurance, I'm just working for a broker who specializes in health so I need a license to do part of my job.

These types of schools are interesting. Our instructor is a wannabe standup comedian and it's perfect for him; he's got a captive audience for 6 days.

The interesting thing about this class is how much they DON'T talk about the catches. I mean, life insurance is a good investment IF you are of a certain personality type (something like Bratworse or my sister) who has never missed a payment in their lives if they can help it. But the majority of people out there aren't like them and y'know, shit happens. All you have to do to lose years of investment in life insurance is, miss more than a month's payment.

That's it.

How easy is that to do, huh? Think about it. It's near due date and the one you love gets into an auto accident... or there's a wedding soon in your family. Things get hectic and whoops, it's been 32 days since your payment was due. Sorry, you just lost 15 years of paying $50 a month.

But one part of the insurance business has caught my eye. If I had tons of money, I think I would go into buying out people's life insurance. Supposedly, that's how Warren Buffet got his start. Ah, if only I was enamored of money.

 
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Only in the Bay Area

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I'll take a photo later but this is the sign I saw outside a bank today:

"Please ASK your pet to remain outside unless he or she is a seeing eye guide."

Umm whatever happened to telling your pet or calling an animal "it"???

Only in the Bay Area.

 
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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Magic Trees

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Last night, we had Lone Wolf over for dinner for her birthday and among the many surprises we had in store for her, one of them is these cool cool crystal trees!

The cardboard has been sprinkled with crystal growing stuff. You then pour packets of pre-mixed liquids into channels the carboards are stuck in, and the cardboard slowly soaks up the liquid and forms these pretty crystals into a pre-made scenery for you.

It's great fun watching the crystals appear and so far, I've not found a SINGLE age-bracket that hasn't enjoyed this simple project.

Here's a link to Amazon for this.

Cheap fun! The best of its kind.

By the way, you can see from the picture above that our magic garden set isn't fully develop. It should take another 12 hours before we get the full vista I think.

 
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Fishies!!!!

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My new co-workers went to this blog today and saw photos of the damsels. 'Resigned Idealist! Is that your fish that you keep talking about?'

Sheepishly I had to explain how I haven't had much inclination to write and how those damsels are no longer with us and how we have new fish.

So, by special request, here's what's in our tank!

 
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