I’ve been thinking that I really should dust off this site a little by adding a new post. Unfortunately, that process requires me to come up with words. There is one way to get around that requirement, however, more or less. My brain whispered to me (it’s nice when it does that, reminding me it’s still around) – Psssst, it whispered, just dig out an old photograph, ya lazy basstad. Well, there you go. Not a bad idea.
This was the sunset out my door several months back. I happened to catch it at a lovely moment.
Yes, I know it’s been quite a long time since I’ve posted anything. One dear reader and fellow blogger, twistingthreads, left me such a nice little comment recently that, not only did it make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, it also gave me the inspirational boost I needed to break my current blogfast. Never underestimate the power of a few kind words, I say. Or, perhaps, how badly they can backfire. I daresay in a couple of minutes, after reading this post, my intrepid fellow blogger may regret her words. I shall, however, carry forward as if you, my dear readers, will find as much humor in my most recent late-night ruminations (conveyed herein) as I do.
You may notice upon close inspection that I made a slight addition to the tagline above the title of this website — I decided to add the word inventor since most recently that’s what I’ve been spending some of my time doing. I don’t feel it’s too terribly presumptuous of me since I did get one patent several years ago, and have just in the last couple of weeks started to seek licensing for a new little invention I’ve been working on prototypes for. If anything becomes of it aside from me learning that it was a stupid idea after all, I will let you know.
More to the point of this post, though, I have also secretly been developing a few other products that I’m pleased I am now able to disclose publicly. My family and dearest friends have not even, until now, known about these projects, and perhaps after reading a little about them, you will understand why.
I’m not going to go into great detail yet, but I thought that today I’d just tell you the names of each of these new products along with their marketing tagline. So here goes:
“Improves your joint health with an attitude.”
“Who needs drugs to treat E.D. when these photos of this stunning model will do the trick.”
“Compact backyard design. Have family fun, get top-notch exercise, and consume your RDA of iron all at the same time.”
“New and improved cleaning product that doesn’t make any sense.”
- Ginkgo Insurance
“Save 13% or more by switching to this all-natural insurance remedy.”
Here are a few more of my thoughts. I have them once in a while.
- My new motto, when I feel like using it: ”What doesn’t kill you makes you angrier.”
- I just got back home a couple of days ago from a two-week trip to spend time with my six-year-old daughter. Healing for the soul. Plane ticket cost: About $440. Hearing her giggle with delight after hitting the old man with a snowball: Priceless.
- Sorry, I just ran out of thoughts for a minute.
- Q. Why did the dinosaur cross the road? A. Because chickens hadn’t evolved yet.
- Looking at my clock (now late at night), I realize it is Super Bowl Sunday. I am excited because today I can order gluten-free chinese for 20% off.
- Got a new follower on Twitter the other day. ’Bout time. I’ve been trying for months.
My own daughter, blessedly safe and sound on the other side of the continent from the tragedy in Connecticut, is six years old. When I first turned on the news of the massacre on Friday, before I even knew that so many of the victims were her exact age, my thoughts immediately turned to her, as no doubt happened with millions of parents around the world — their thoughts turning to their own children or grandchildren, in a torrential mix of empathy, sadness, horror, and relief.
In my case, I am separated from my daughter most of the year by half a continent, due to current and sad but decidedly less tragic life circumstances.
As over the last few days I watch the news and share in the uncomprehending grief and tears of a small city and a nation, my arms ache to hold my daughter, some 1700 miles distant now. My heart aches to have her close, to see her, to be reassured by her presence. Most likely, I’ll have that opportunity, that joy, within a few weeks, on my next visit with my little girl. My prayers go to those parents who lost so much — least of which, perhaps, is that simple hope that the ache of separation can soon be filled again.
For about the past week I’ve been fighting a urinary tract infection. Unfortunately, they are an all-too-common occurrence for me. Over the years, many doctors/specialists have failed to figure out why I get them. Nor have various valiant attempts at preventing them from recurring with extended courses of medications been successful.
Right now, with this particular infection, I’m on my second antibiotic. Later today, presumably, final culture and sensitivity results will be in, and my medication may change yet again. I hope not. The last prescription, for a week’s worth of pills, cost me $31.99, thanks again to the oddities of health insurance in the U.S. That’s $2.28 per pill, for a generic antibiotic that’s been around for decades. A few years ago, I bought the same medication for about $0.20 per pill.
Even with this, though, I realize I am extremely fortunate compared to many. Countless many. Both in the health issues I deal with, and in the cost of my healthcare. Yes, I breathe a prayer of gratitude every time I am able to empty my bladder in a normal fashion, without the need for a medical appliance. When it happens totally without pain, it is an extra special blessing.
Please join me . . . when next you find yourself in a predicament and you must do the pee-pee dance to hold it in . . . just give thanks that you can still dance.
Earlier today I participated in a small way with what we here in the U.S. refer to as Black Friday, a typically huge and frenetic shopping day (the day after our annual Thanksgiving holiday), the day when many retailers first start to turn a profit (or go into the black) for the year.
I typically avoid shopping on this day, as I don’t like contributing to or dealing with the crowds that can amass in stores and parking lots. Today, however, I found a couple of good advertised deals that I could sink my newly crowned (see below) teeth into, figuratively speaking.
While many, many folks may spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for holiday gift-giving on this one day alone, I confess my expenditures were significantly more modest, and undeniably more selfish. While on my way home from my jaunt this morning, I even thought about taking a picture of what I bought and posting it here as my own mildly humorous take on the big day. Well, the photo, I’m sorry to say, never happened, but here’s what I bought (all at substantial discounts, of course):
- A bag of dog food
- A small bag of rawhide chew treats (free with the dog food purchase)
- A tool bag — for myself, to help me organize
- A 2-pack of aerosol spray foam insulation
- 3 plastic shoe storage boxes, again for organizing
All in all, a good trip for me. I came home, happily stocked and arranged my new tool bag, and took a nap.
The day became a little bit blacker (mood-wise) for me this afternoon, though. I got two letters in the postal mail. One was an unexpectedly large bill from my dentist. You see, I recently got some new crowns (finally), that I had needed for a long, long time. I was not surprised to see a bill in the mail, as I had suspected that my dental insurance would not pay as much as my dentist’s office had estimated they would. What I had not expected was that my dental insurance would pay exactly nothing for the work.
Now, I’m not new to this insurance company tactic. Unfortunately. And I can’t say that my past experience makes me now view this type of response from a huge mega-company with any greater degree of equanimity than I used to. I was a bit ticked off. Even more so after huffily looking up my claims and benefit information online and in the printed material to make sure I was in the right. Turns out, as near as I can figure, that yes, they should have paid some. But due to other limitations notwithstanding the maximum annual benefit amount, which I was cognizant of, they also have a coverage limit of one — count them — one — crown per year. Okay, yes, I should have done more research if I’d expected a better outcome. Doesn’t make me hate my insurance company any less right now, though.
As I said, they still should pay some. I looked up the phone number and called them, then chatted for a while with their automated system. Once I reached the limits of its usefulness, however, I lost patience and finally said, “Representative.”
“Okay,” the perky female voice said. ”Please wait while I connect you with a customer service specialist.” After a mercifully short wait, another voice came on. I had double-checked the customer service hours before calling. Good, I had seen, they’re open 7 days a week for extended hours during this time of year. Uh, except, evidently, on Black Friday. The voice said the office is closed for the holiday. It hung up on me.
Have you ever noticed these types of situations seem to always come up on holiday weekends and late Friday afternoons, so that the pain and upset must be drawn out for days until you can even begin to work out a resolution?
So anyway, as I mentioned before, I got 2 letters in the mail today. One was the huge bill from my dentist, essentially indicating to me that my insurance company had grinned and given me the finger by proxy.
I looked at the second letter. It was from my insurance company. Great, I thought, what now?
It stated that I may be due for a colorectal cancer screening. I should contact my doctor to discuss my options, it said — one of which may be getting a colonoscopy.
Nice, I thought.
So on the same day, from two different sources, not only did my insurance company flip me the bird and tell me they’ve denied a claim that they actually should be partly responsible for, but they also suggested that I should get something shoved up my @$$.
Earlier tonight I dropped one of my sisters off at the train station. She’s going to California to visit her son and some other relatives over Thanksgiving weekend. I hope she has a good time. She rarely travels, and was nervous about the trip.
After I helped her haul the five suitcases that she’s been packing for the last two weeks into the waiting area, I assured her she’d have a great adventure.