Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm Begging You

Dear Election PTB:

Enough's enough. Next time out, how about we have one national primary day, followed in two months by one general election day? Huh? Save my sanity and save everybody a buttload of cash.

I can't take it anymore. Let's just vote already and be done. None of them mean what they're saying anyway, so what difference does it make?



Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Really Good Movie

This is a few years old but we just saw it last night. After the first half-hour, I couldn't rip myself away. Gandolfini and Redford are amazing in it. Two thumbs up!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Super Sensitive

Saturday morning, I woke up with goopy eyes.

"Fantastic," I thought. "First the flu, then a sinus infection, and now pinkeye." But my eyes were itchy, not burny and scratchy like with pinkeye ("burny" is a technical term, by the way). Which occurred to me mid-day as I resisted clawing them out from behind my glasses.

Then, I thought it was allergies. We were spending the weekend at the lake house. "Somebody's had a cat in here," I snarled to DH, trying to think of which of our friends has a cat. Spent the rest of my day flushing my poor, red orbs with saline and throwing back the Zyrtec.

Sunday wasn't much better. But it didn't go away when we got home, which killed my cat theory.

Yesterday, it finally hit me. I tried a new brand of mascara over the weekend. Sure thing, that was it. Mascara made my eyes go goopy and red and miserable. It should have hit me earlier--I'm the person for whom a laundry detergent change can induce days of red itchiness. I get chemical burns from most acne medications--seriously. New shampoos make my face break out like a teenager. And every brand of eye shadow except one makes my eyelids get dry and red and peeley (another tech term, for you laypeople) and miserable.

And now, mascara.

I'm a sensitive soul. ;)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Open Letter

Dear Verizon:

  1. The phrase "I'd like to add a phone jack" does not mean, "I'd like you to install a phone jack and then disconnect all of my pre-existing phone jacks."
  2. If I call and ask you if you'd prefer to install cable on a television either mounted on the wall or sitting on the floor and you choose the former option, I'm going to mount the TV. Then, when the installer shows up and says he cannot, in fact, install the cable with the TV on the wall, I'm going to get upset. It weighs 90 pounds. I cannot take it down by myself. Which means the cable is left unhooked-up. Please educate your tech support people or teach them to say, "I don't know, but let me find out for you." This way is irritating.
  3. Your voice-recognition software cannot, in fact, recognize words. You should know that.
  4. When I say I need work done on my phone service, cable service, and internet service, I pretty much anticipate that someone will show up who can do all three. Your leaving the internet service off the work order and then telling me I have to wait another five weeks to get that hooked up pretty well makes my head pound. Especially when I then have to talk to eleven people (I am so not making that up) to get someone who can fix it relatively quickly. That's government tactics, my former friends. And you are not the government.
  5. That five-week wait, by the way? Totally unacceptable. Hire more people. Train them. Get them out installing. You charge a lot of money for basic services. You can swing it.
  6. I thought Comcast sucked. Right now, they're looking pretty good.

Your move...



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Silence As Golden

Dear Navy:

I understand that you've got to shoot the satellite down. It's full of toxic yuck and it's packed with super double top secret spy stuff and it's, like, huge and all. And it's about to plunge out of the sky and whomp down on earth and do all kinds of icky stuff to the people unfortunate enough to live near where it crashes.

But could you just shoot it down and shaddup about it already? You're making me really, really nervous.

Happy in ignorance-


Monday, February 18, 2008

Hang On...

Sorry for the lack of blogging. My computer died. AGAIN. The computer guy just picked it up and I should know tomorrow if I'm fixing it or ordering a new one. This has me very, very grouchy. (Anyone with decent discounts at Dell would help my mood, by the way. Stupid expensive machines. And how come Macbooks are like twice as spendy as regular computers? Huh?)

Back soon...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ode to V-Day

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
The kids came home from school all sugared up,
And DH has the flu!!

Hooray! Plbthth!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

To Whomever's in Charge:

I have had a sick person in this house, sometimes overlapping with another, since last Wednesday.

Poor DS, the latest to succumb, couldn't rest yesterday because darling DD wouldn't leave him alone. She was off school for election day. Never mind that her school isn't a polling place. They closed. And she spent the day alternately shouting at him/poking at him/punching him and being sent to her room for those actions. Not fun for anyone.

I had to order groceries online today because we haven't left the house. And I had to get them from Giant because Safeway had no delivery windows available...I hate Giant. I give it a 50 percent chance of being a complete order--and I have to make 30 cupcakes for DS's class V-day party tomorrow. Sometime after the supposed delivery. Which will, in theory, include both the cupcake mix and the icing and the red sugar sprinkles that accomodate the peanut-allergy kid who can't have anything else on his sweets.

Last night, we had an ice storm. Everything is coated. Which means no school for DD. Again. She's exceedingly unhappy with this development. Thus, we're all suffering.

And the crowning glory: DH has had a guy night planned for tonight for weeks. He just called. The host has no power, thanks to the aforementioned ice storm, and is cancelling. No night out for DH. No break for me

All of which begs the question...

What the heck did I do to you????



ps--Al Gore can kiss my conservative Catholic behind. I am *totally* in favor of global warming right now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Excellent Product Idea

You know those canned bug bombs that you set off, run like heck, and in like two hours any critter in your whole house is dead from the resulting chemical cloud it releases?

They should totally make one of those filled with Lysol.

Open Letter

Dear Family:

When Mommy is sick and laying on the couch for two days praying for death to relieve her fever-induced misery, it would likely not kill you to put a few dishes in the dishwasher or drop a toy into the toybox here or there.

FYI, when the fever finally does leave and Mommy stumbles downstairs to a complete house disaster, she's going to be really mad.


Friday, February 8, 2008

The Great Ad Controversy

DH takes Lipitor--he has genetically high cholesterol that's unaffected by his diet--and we've been following the controversy about their ads as a result.

You know the ads--they feature Dr. Robert Jarvik, who invented the first artificial heart, talking about how he's dedicated his life to heart health because his father had a heart attack when he was a child. They show him rowing and running with his son and endorsing the drug as being great for heart health.

But the ads are so potentially misleading that a Congressional committee is investigating them, trying to decide if the pharma company should be prosecuted for false advertising.

For starters, Jarvik is a researcher and inventor, not a cardiologist. He does hold a medical degree but has never been licensed to practice medicine. Never completed an internship or residency, never sat for the board exams. He did invent the artificial heart, but he's also invented a lot of medical devices that have nothing to do with the heart, and he has no specialized training in cardiology.

And then there's the video. Jarvik doesn't row. That's a body double, my friends. And he doesn't run either. From all indications, he's a couch potato. A slug. He just doesn't eat much.

He also got paid for those ads. A lot--$1.3 million over two years. He's done no independent research about Lipitor, has never worked for the company, basically knows nothing about it other than what he's been told.

The thing is, the Lipitor ads have been incredibly successful, particularly among elderly Americans. They all want Lipitor. They believe, according to surveys, that Jarvik is a prominent cardiologist and that he truly believes in this drug.

I can tell you how vulnerable older people are. My in-laws have become amazingly trusting and easily confused in the last five years. They're smart people, but they'll had over their credit cards to just about anyone who asks for them. They give out information over the phone despite our repeated lectures and please not to. Wouldn't have happened ten years ago, but they're older and softer and they've lost a step or two.

Lipitor is a great drug for people who need it, says my husband's doctor. But the vast majority of people with high cholesterol need to alter their lifestyles. Cut the fat, increase the activity. It is a drug and like any drug, it has side effects. And quite simply, drugs aren't great to take over long periods of time if you don't truly need them.

I get that it's advertising. I totally understand that people shouldn't go running out for medications just because they saw one on TV. But the fact is that many, many people are undereducated or older, and they do believe what they see on television, and they go running to their doctors for the meds. And doctors are rushed and pressured and living in a godawful existence of wanting to help people vs. wanting to be paid (by HMOs for the most part) and it's sometimes easier to just give people the meds and hope they get healthier. It's not right and it's not justified, but that's the way the world works.

I have a real problem with these ads. I'm an educated person and I believed Jarvik was a cardiologist from their content (g' me stupid). I don't take the drug or want the drug, and I feel misled. I'm angry on behalf of all the other people who were duped and all the doctors who faced pressure because of the dupage, and all the money that's gone to Pfizer because of it.

There are things in the world that are just wrong, despite circumstances and despite what "should be". This is one of them. The ads need to be pulled and both Pfizer and Jarvik need a hand-slapping.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Open Letter

Dear Slimeball:

Seriously? You had to pilfer my credit card number?


I hope you enjoyed the two international phone calls you were able to make before our bank caught you and shut the account down. I also hope you rot in hell for getting caught just as I was trying to pay for groceries, so I got the extreme pleasure of having my card rejected in the checkout lane. Those of us who pay our bills on time take great offense at having that happen (because it generally doesn't). You are very lucky that I had another card on me to pay for the food with, or I'd be out hunting you down myself.

It's going to take me several days if not weeks to update all of our automatic payment plans with the new account number. Appreciate that--I was wondering what on earth I was going to do with all this free time! I've already gotten an email from Blockbuster telling me our card was rejected. And yeah, rejections by email are still humiliating.

For future reference, the banks are onto internet long-distance phone calls. They're also onto automated gas purchases. No cashier--you don't get nailed when the card's reported as stolen. If you're going to do it, do it big. Hit Best Buy or something. Buy yourself something nice. It's on me, after all.

And while you're doing that? Get a life. Mine's pretty much spoken for.

Hope you rot.



Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Brain farts...

So I hopped on the National Zoo's website today to check out birthday parties for kids. The prices are excellent and the stress factor is zero--both huge in my book. Then I pulled up the calendar. Holy forward-thinking, Batman! There was ONE timeslot left in June. And everything before that for the whole year was sold out already. Good grief!! I, um, snagged that one timeslot for a joint party for my summer-born boogers. Each kid gets five friends to come, we'll have an hour-long tour of one exhibit with a zookeeper (I'm thinking sea lions right now) and then cake and goodies. Everybody gets a safari hat and goodie bag, and the birthday kids get stuffed animals too. Done, done, and done.

Got a new client today. Out of the blue. And the funny thing is that I've sort of been thinking for years that someday I'd like to write for them. Thanks, fate!

A friend brought me flowers this morning. Made my day. :)

I took Fat Tuesday to the extreme today, my dear friends. Ugly. But I'm giving up crap for Lent. Throw a little Catholic guilt at the waistline, see? Wish me luck. I'd loooooooove to drop a few pounds between now and Easter. But today, it's been Chocolatefest. Cuz I'm mature like that. And sugar addicted.

Watched The Bourne Ultimatum last night. Thought it was outstanding for the action/adventure it was. And there are worse ways to spend two hours than gazing at Matt Damon. Heh.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Don't Make Me Come Over There

Dear Insurance Company:

I pay premiums.

You pay claims.

See how that works? You profit and we get health care. Nice and tidy.

I'm not really sure why I keep having to play intermediary between you and doctors and hospitals for things like routine annual checkups and justified emergency room visits, but it's getting to be a tad annoying. At this point, I'm relatively confident that any use of any healthcare facility by any member of my family will result in my getting a bill from that facility six weeks later because you've denied the claim. I call them, then I call you, then the doctor's office calls you, then they resubmit, and then eventually, you pay.

Cute dance. But honestly, I had a crappy weekend and I'm still battling this sinus thing that landed in my face last week, and I am very simply not in the mood. I am especially not in the mood to pay $400 for my daughter's well-visit from last September because you have it in your head that the doctor's office billed you twice for it. (For the record, I have two kids and they both had checkups on the same day. You got two bills for two different children. See?)

I'm feeling about you right now the way I'm feeling about Exxon: nice profit, but must it all come out of the consumers' hides? Just because you can do it?

I'm going to keep paying premiums. How about if you, then, start paying the bills without my having to nag you about it every stinking time? Sound OK? Because if not, I'm seriously going to start unleashing the mommy-wrath all over your higher-ups' private parts. And nobody wants that.

Frustratedly yours-


Friday, February 1, 2008


I got my shipping fee back from LL Bean this morning. I'm still annoyed and I'll never order big furniture from them again, but it's slightly less painful with the extra money back in the bank. I'm back to being OK with their other stuff.

And I'm sick today. Which is making me mad. DS has a scout banquet tonight that I was looking foward to. But I can't go share my germs with all the kids, you know? Wouldn't be right.


I'm going to go snooze on my new couch for a bit. Now that it's in the house and all...