Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav


I am very happy to see that the Gulf Coast local and state governments as well as the PEOPLE in those areas are taking heed and evacuating the areas about to be hit by Gustav. I am thrilled that New Orleans is handling this evacuation so well. Wrist bracelets with contact info to keep people and their families and pets together, pet carriers available for evacuees, the ability to take your pets with you in the evacuation, this whole thing as it looks now is being handled so much better than with Katrina.

I feel for all the people who will lose their homes (and businesses) in this storm and make no mistake many will lose them and have to start over. Some people on the Gulf Coast are STILL living in FEMA housing, they haven't even rebuilt yet. I cannot even imagine what it is like to have to start all over again. A lot of people have no insurance or do not have enough insurance and for those who have enough insurance, it still doesn't make the loss any less devastating. I wish by some miracle the storm would get weaker and just bring some rain and a little wind, but nothing like what they are predicting. Sadly though, it looks like it's going to be pretty devastating.

I've got a friend down in that area, Jim, who is retired Coast Guard, and his lovely wife Gwen. They spend their retired years taking care of animals in the shelters. They lost their home in Slidell in Katrina and the shelter was lost too. They stayed behind last time to care for the animals, now they are evacuating, the animals are going too. It took them forever to rebuild and I worry they will lose their home and the shelter yet again. Then there's Andi and her family in Mobile, I hope they'll be ok.

Let's all think positive thoughts for the folks in path of this thing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Since we're talking Joan Crawford here...

This video is just so good. Whoever put this together is a genius! Thank goodness for Youtube eh?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why?

Why is it every time I hear Hillary Clinton speak, it reminds me of...well...maybe you better click here because it's really the only way to explain it.

But here's a hint...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Can someone tell me how I am disadvantaged?

One of the women at the DNC today (I heard her but can't remember who it was right off hand) made a speech and she said there are policies in place which hurt working women and families. Can anyone tell me what those policies are? Because frankly, as a working woman I don't feel disadvantaged. I feel I have many opportunities, not because I am a woman but because I live in America.

Here are some of the many women I know....you tell me if they sound disadvantaged. And oh by the way none of these women are rich, none come from wealthy families, none are married to wealthy men, none have famous rich connections. What they did, they did on their own for themselves, by themselves, with moral support from family and friends of course.

Deb has a Master's degree and a great job, she's intelligent and successful and yearns to eventually start her own business. She also raised a fantastic son.

Jeanette was in the Air Force for four years, she eventually married and she has a great job where she works the hours she wants to work!

Connie doesn't have a college degree but she started young doing hair, eventually she worked in a salon and for the past decade she has owned her own salon and is doing great.

Jennifer has a Masters Degree and is currently teaching economics to undergraduate students.

Nicole has a Bachelor's degree and is a police officer.

Kaley is a nurse making great money and working on her Masters Degree.

Cindy is a highly trained nurse who has worked in many places around the country as part of the Traveling Nurse program.

Valarie has a college degree, works in public relations and raises two kids while being married to a military man.

Samantha Alice enlisted in the Army in her thirties and is working on getting her Masters Degree and counseling soldiers.

Kelly is a single mom working on her Bachelor's degree while raising some awesome kids.

Sara finished her Masters degree and is working as a civilian for the US Navy.

Diana is a retired college professor, married with children and grandchildren, who works in advocacy fighting for autism awareness as well as many other worthy causes.

My mom didn't go to college, she made choices that took her in another direction. You may sometimes hear her say she wished she'd gone to college but you'll never hear her say she regrets her decisions which were getting married and taking care of dad and three kids!

My sister hasn't been to college and don't know if she will ever make it and she has struggled through many life altering events and many jobs, but you will never hear her blame her struggles on someone else, she always says it's because of the choices she made.

Susan is a stay at home mom for the past 20 years, has three great kids and not a day goes by she isn't happy about the choice she made in taking care of her family first.

Stephanie is a former military wife, stay at home mom with four kids (one is special needs), a husband and she's just begun her own photography business from home.

One of my cousins, Deb, is older than me by two years, she has a husband and three teenage children, and she is back in school just like me, working on her Bachelor's degree and wants to be a teacher.


I know many who have chosen to be stay at home moms because that was more important to them than a career outside the home. I know women who are retired who never went to college (but wished they had) but never do I hear them say it's someone else's fault. I also know women who don't have kids who are in the workforce and love what they do. I know women who made the choice to take care of their families early and when the kids were older, the moms went back to school or to work or started their own business.

I know a lot of women (as you do) who might say "I wish I'd done this" or "I wish I'd done that" I mean who of us hasn't said that? We're only human for crying out loud--every decision can't be perfect. But smart women don't blame their situation on someone else because when it comes down to it, with some exceptions, most of us have the ability to make our own choices and we are responsible for our actions and are capable of understanding the consequences.

So for any highly intelligent, college educated woman, such as the old tired broads at the DNC, to talk about women being disadvantaged in America, I find it highly offensive. The women who came before us gave great sacrifices to bring change that made our lives so much easier today, we owe them by not whining and complaining about how men are holding us back.

If you're being held back, if you feel disadvantaged, it's your own damn fault.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My pal Jennifer and I worked late Thursday evening, I on last minute preparations for the barrage of new grad students and she on her course syllabi and preparation for teaching yet another few hundred clueless undergrads beginning Monday. We had a nice talk, one which led to our futures and what to do with our lives. She finished her MS and is lecturing now, to undergrads and she said she never realized how hard teaching is, and of course the conversation swayed towards my direction and the big question about what I'm going to do with my life.

I told Jenn about the Institute for Justice also known as IJ (www.ij.org) and the great work the organization does on behalf of the American people. If you don't know what they're about, you should because one of these days you might need them. The IJ is the only non-proft libertarian public interest law firm in the United States.

IJ's mission: "we engage in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government--like the right to earn an honest living, private property rights, and the right to free speech, especially in the areas of commercial and Internet speech. As Wired magazine said, the Institute for Justice “helps individuals subject to wacky government regulations.”

Their areas of expertise:

Economic liberty - challenges to occupational licensing regulations and government-created monopolies

School choice - defending parents’ use of vouchers and tax credits

Property rights - defending against unjustified takings of private property by the government in such areas as eminent domain abuse and civil forfeiture

Free speech - defending the right to speak about politics and commerce.

That's the kind of organization I'd love to work for because what they do is good, honest, decent work. They work on behalf of Americans for the cause of freedom. What could be better? It is a shame that in this country we have to have organizations that work to protect us from constitutional abuses by government but sadly, the larger the government, the more frequent the abuses. I first learned about IJ watching 60 Minutes several years ago when they were running the story about the eminent domain abuse cases in Connecticut and Ohio, just to name a few. I wrote a research paper about eminent domain abuse and IJ was a fountain of information for me. After that I became a huge fan of IJ because of the kind of work they do to help their fellow Americans.

If I ever went to law school it would be to do work like this, what great research and litigation skills one would need. Jenn thinks I'd make a great "mouthpiece" LOL yeah I guess I would eh? But even if I just go to grad school and specialize in an area of history, I think I'll include some kind of Constitutional studies too. I think it's important to understand not just the who, what, when and how but also the WHY.

Come Monday I'll be starting three more courses and ending my final term of my first two years of college, which has actually taken me four years, but it's been well worth it. I hope I can kick ass at UF in January as much as I've kicked ass these last four years.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why I’ll never buy a Fleetwood…

It has rained nearly nonstop with just a few breaks for the last two days, a perfect opportunity to test roof repairs. I went into the second bathroom this evening to fill up the kitty kats water bowl and what do I see? A slight wet pot in the ceiling above the shower and it's in the same damn exact place that was wet before the roofer (who we trust) came over and fixed it last time. I'm just like "WTF!" because he did a great job fixing it it earlier this year. It was a leak in the angle of the roof where it pitches up (kinda like a triangle). Well something in that area is leaking again and I'm not happy about it. Just two weeks ago our roofer had to patch an area that was causing the ceiling in one of our closets to go soft. He got it just in time, had he not fixed it before Fay it would have been awful. Turns out the previous owners put a piece of PLYWOOD over the hole. He worries of course that LL will get tired of having to pay for repairs and decided to sell it. We've been in it just over two years and we asked for a new lease of three years because DH and I should be done with school by then, and right now it's a good thing for LL that we're here because we pay our rent on time every month and we take good care of the place. Our plan eventually was to consider buying the place if LL decides to sell (he's a nice guy, said he'd give us first dibs) but I don't know. There's just too much that can go wrong with one of these things. I don't care what anyone says, they are STILL manufactured homes and they still suck. We hate renting but this place is only $625 per month and we have 1550 SF, three bedrooms, two bathrooms one of which is as big as one of the spare bedrooms (!), a rather large kitchen, and plenty of space not to mention five wooded acres of land. It's a very quiet and nice place to live. It's worth the gas to live in the rural area 45 minutes from work.

Every time something goes wrong here it makes me less interested in possibly buying this place eventually. Our LL would be smart to shell out the $$ and get a new roof on it, perhaps a nice metal roof would do the trick. Now this is a 1999 Fleetwood and it's NOT even a decade old yet, AND it's a Fleetwood which is supposed to be top of the line. The previous owner (I tracked her down when we moved in) told me that this had been a floor model, I guess it got a lot of wear and tear. But I'm telling you that there should NOT be a condensation leak in the bedroom in a place on the ceiling where the seam meets, holding it together. There should not be occasional small pieces of insulation blowing from the a/c into the vents. The floors should be level, the windows should work (there's one window that will not close all the way, there's about a 1 1/2 " gap and we had to put tape over it on both the inside/outside of the window. The damn thing won't close all the way, if you try it, it cracks more than it already is. When I did contact the previous owner she said that she had contacted Fleetwood and even their tech had come out here and said they couldn't fix it. Umm hello??? They build the damn thing, it's their job to put a new window in—one that works! There should not be a lot of things going on in this nine year old house. I'm thankful to have a roof over my head and overall it's a decent place, it's clean, spacious and the rent is good, but the longer I live here and see the shit that can go wrong, the less I want to buy it. If we did buy it, we'd have it inspected top to bottom and we'd want everything fixed from top to bottom before we bought it – or – take the full cost of the repairs off the price.

I am definitely going to email Fleetwood and tell them that I think their manufactured housing is shit.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Budget cuts & larger class sizes...go figure...

How did this happen? How do we cut the budget and wind up teaching more students?

Faculty in our department are teaching larger classes than ever before. In fact, course sections all across campus are bursting at the seams. This in the midst of a severe budget cut. Many of these new students are at the upper division level which means they're starting their junior year. Lots of transfer students coming into UF, not every college is cutting admissions. One faculty member is teaching four sections with more than 100 students, another faculty member is teaching 140 in a section where it was once 100. More students = bigger classes, more faculty needed to teach, more office space to house them, more staff to assist them, more upkeep to the infrastructure, more housing on and off campus, higher electricity bills, expanded public transportation, more and better highways..the list goes on and on. A larger population of students affects everything in and around UF. It's about to get really nasty. The population at UF is growing, so fast that we can't handle it. There are students who cannot get the courses they need to graduate. I'm telling you right now, I am very concerned about my future as a student at UF. Given my schedule, I am not as flexible as others in choosing courses. I can't just go to class any time. This is going to be a frightening experience. We've been telling every young person that the means to any kind of future is education, well now they're wanting it and what are we doing to do?


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In a better place

I kinda felt bad when Lynn from the Animal Shelter arrived at the house this morning and picked up the little smoke colored kitty. She understood though that we just couldn't have a third cat for several reasons. She did get to see our kitties and thought they were so cute (of course they are). I asked DH to give her $100 cash when she picked up the kitty so that it would help take care of her. Lynn called me at work and told me that the $$ would indeed help, it would buy some canned food and pay for her to be spayed which would make her more likely to be adopted by an individual or a rescue organization. I thought "well the kitty could be running around free and not in a kennel" but if she were running free she would 1) have been caught in the tropical storm, 2) possibly be picked up by a hawk, or 3) hit by a car. No way could we let that happen. Even though she's in a little kennel, she's still better off. I hope someone adopts her soon.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Congratulations US Postal Service

...on yet another example of outstanding service.

Over two weeks ago, one of my students paid $4.80 to mail me an important document from New England, via priority mail.. She arrived here before it did. This afternoon, August 18, 2008, I finally received the priority letter envelope postmarked August 5, 2008.

According to the USPS website, priority mail in a regular envelope takes two days and costs $4.75.

Once again I present you yet another efficient government-run agency!

This my dear Susan...

...is a Toblerone!














Toblerone (pronounced /ˈtoʊbləroʊn/ in English, and /to.blɛ.ˈʁo.ne/ in Swiss German) is a chocolate bar made by Kraft Foods Switzerland. It is best known for its triangular chunks (representing the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps)

Toblerone was created by Theodor Tobler and Emil Baumann in Bern, Switzerland in 1908. The two gentlemen developed a unique milk chocolate including nougat, almonds and honey with a distinctive triangular shape. The product's name is a portmanteau combining Tobler's name with the Italian word torrone (a type of nougat).

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm convinced part II...

that I need a makeover. Not anything drastic. Just enhancing the me that is already here. Making the me that I am----better.

Folks, I have no fashion sense. Ok maybe a little, I like jeans with tee shirts, jeans with sweaters, jeans with loafers, comfortable shoes, soft socks. I don't wear makeup, haven't worn it in years, well sometimes I do, but really most of the time I don't. I don't wear jewelry either. Don't care for dresses or heels either. And oh yeah..... I wear white after Labor Day. I still can't figure out why that's not ok especially in the south where it's friggin hot. Who cares what you wear after Labor Day?

I'm just tired of hiding under the same old shit. I don't want a fancy hairstyle that is a bitch to maintain, I don't want a whole new wardrobe or a toolbox full of makeup. I just need to figure out what looks good on me. I'm tired of wearing jeans and sweaters or jeans and long sleeve button up shirts open over v-neck shirts underneath. Isn't there anything better? I wish I could get a makeover, I mean someone to really help me figure out what looks good on me, how I should wear stuff, and work with me as I lose weight.

Guess as I get closer to 39, I'm just tired of being overlooked, the girl nobody notices (oh yes they say she's got a great smile and a great personality, but sometimes we need more than that!). I'm tired of being the one who hides behind everyone in the room.

I know it's more than a makeover, starts with attitude and I'm working on that. Let's put it this way---I feel like I'm in an old "black and white" film.

Am I making sense?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I am convinced...

that clothing sizes have actually shrunk over the years. Sure I've gained a few pounds over the years, who of us hasn't? But...for some strange reason while we gained weight, the clothes shrank more than they should have. Got a whole bunch of clothes I ordered online today and I'm sorry but the size I ordered could NOT have been the right size. Oh they said it was and I haven't gained weight mind you---those pants were actually the same waist size I wore years ago.

I'm convinced the clothing industry thinks every woman in America is a size 8.

In the meantime I am still "pantless" for my event on Friday. Oy vey!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Holiday Inn crappy customer service

The Holiday Inn Express in Petersburg, Virginia needs a lesson in customer service. DH asked them for a wake-up call at 5 am and then he asked me to call him same time just in case they didn't. Sure enough, I called the hotel at 5 am and nobody answered. Every time I called, no answer, where was the front desk clerk ya think? Probably sleeping! To add to that, they NEVER gave DH his 5 am wakeup call. Good thing he had his cell phone on and I was able to get a hold of him.

So much for customer service...you'd think for $135 a night you could at least get your wakeup call on time eh?

Monday, August 11, 2008

RIP Bernie Mac and Isaac...

I really liked Bernie Mac, I thought he was genuinely funny. He was a great talent and a real honest to goodness family man. Long lasting marriages are not common in Hollywood but sometimes you find them--Bernie Mac and his wife Rhonda were married for thirty years up until the time of his death. He also leaves behind a daughter, son in law and grandchild, not to mention millions of fans and a legacy of laughter.

And then there's Isaac Hayes. So much can be said about Isaac Hayes, but I'll just let this sum it up:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bridezillas...

Oh my goodness, I thought I'd seen it all. Today I got sucked into watching a couple of hour long episodes of "Bridezilla" and I'll just say that those women need a good old fashioned ass kicking.

First we have bitch tyrant 34-year old Lisa Coppola from Jersey who was marrying her ex-husband Andrew for the second time. She smashes cake in the face of her father for bringing a birthday cake for someone at the rehearsal party. She screams at her bridesmaids. She wanted her 16 year old daughter to stuff her bra for the wedding pictures! Not just that, but she wanted most of her bridesmaids to stuff their bras too! She said that it was HER wedding and she wanted them looking HOT for the photos! She also demanded all the women wear corsets so they looked thin.


Lisa was rude, demanding, insulting and overall just a mean bitch. I mean she was downright nasty. When her bridesmaids told her that her wedding veil didn't match her dress, I mean they were being NICE to her. She began screaming and and ripped it into shreds. She also showed up forty minutes late for her nail appointment and insulted her nail tech and another customer. To this customer she said "do you know who I am?" and the lady was like "no!" and Lisa said "don't you watch TV?" and the lady was like WTF?

Then there's the couple from Michigan--a young hairdresser named Monica Miller marrying a redneck mechanic named Ryan or Brian. Well they were talking to the caterers and her fiance found out that Monica had already pre-paid $4500 on the catering bill. When he asked her where the money came from she said that a check had come in the mail for him and so he wouldn't spend it, she gave it to the caterer. It happened to be a check from a job he'd done. I'm thinking OMG can you believe she never even told him? Never even asked him???

Monica dyed her mother's hair for the wedding but refused to dye it a color that looked good on HER mother, instead she said she dyed her hair a color that would MATCH the rest of the wedding party. She said it's not about her mother looking good, it was about the wedding party looking good.


Then there's Dawn and Jeremy of Clearwater Florida.

Dawn henpecks her fiance constantly, making fun of him, telling him that he eats like a slob, dresses like a slob, has no manners etc. (Has she looked in the mirror lately?) Yes both of them are extremely obese but he never ever criticizes her about anything, she criticizes him all the time!

She constantly pokes at him and yells at him about his looks, about his manners, about how he talks, just about everything. I mean OVER AND OVER AGAIN. She said that he embarasses her in public. She doesn't like anything he does, nothing is good enough for her. In fact she said she loses her appetite watching him eat. Jeremy just about had a fit when he found out his fiance hired an etiquette coach. Man I don't blame him for being pissed. How embarassing! She complains that he shoves food into his mouth and that he is a pig. HELLO WHAT ABOUT HER? She's as big if not bigger than he is! And you should see HER eat! He should have dumped her ass a long time ago. Even the etiquette coach noticed how shitty Dawn was treating her fiance.

Anyway continuing the shitty treatment, the morning before the wedding Dawn gets Jeremy up at 5 am and takes him to a local fitness center (not before berating him for not wearing socks!) so the trainer can run him around and get the water weight off of him so he will fit into his tux. What does she do while he's exercising? She eats a good dozen doughnuts laughing at him. She actually said she thought the whole thing was funny, watching him out there. At dinner the night before the wedding Dawn jumps all over Jeremy at the dining table in front of everyone telling him to "sit there and behave" and then insulting him telling him his fingernails were dirty and that he was disgusting. She was acting like a real bitch. I just kept thinking "man just slap her"

Dawn is also very ungrateful. She dumped EVERYTHING on her matron of honor Nicole, without even thanking her. Her matron of honor is married with a baby and constantly gets all this shit dumped on her. And when Dawn is stuck in traffic and running late she expects Nicole to pick up the slack. She hasked her Nicole to do the seating chart but doesn't like the girl's penmanship and keeps harassing her about her handwriting. The bridesmaid is a very thin girl and her dress is really cute but Dawn is upset that the bridesmaid dress looks so good on her. Of course she is berating her bridsemaid too. Dawn you see is afraid that her bridesmaid looking so good in her dress will take all the attention off of her. She doesn't want ANY man at the wedding looking at anyone but the bride.

I've got news for her, and while I'm not normally critical of someone's looks, because of course NONE of us is perfect, I'm going to be critical of Dawn because walks around acting like she's perfect but she needs to look in the mirror first before she begins putting down her husband. She's extremely obese, everything on her is huge, so while she was sending her fiance to work out maybe she should have been there with him. Maybe if she was so concerned about her bridsemaid looking better than her she should have gone to the gym and tried to improve herself.

Oh and one more thing---AFTER the wedding Dawn and Jeremy went to the hospital to see her mom who had been hospitalized a day earlier. Going in the hospital, you could hear her yelling at him "Quit stepping on my F*CKING DRESS!"

Later, when they were leaving the hospital, Jeremy opened the door for her (see, he did learn something from his hour long etiquette teacher) and when he was helping her into the car she said "Will you just shut up?" and as he closed the door she yelled at him "Can't you do ANYTHING right?"

Man he should dump her sorry ass. Yeah the guy has a lot to learn but he didn't deserve the way she was treating him. She treated him like a DOG not only in private but in PUBLIC too. It was HORRIFYING!

I can tell you this--Dawn is a very insecure woman and it makes HER feel better about herself when she picks on the weaknesses of others. I'd love to see a Bridezilla revisited in five years because I am pretty damn sure that if Jeremy hasn't beat the shit out of her (not that I condone it, but I could certainly see her pushing him to his breaking point) then they will be divorced.


I had to add this one in late. This one is about Brandi.

She and her husband have a tight budget for the wedding yet they are having it in a very luxurious place in a downtown Dallas high-rise. During the filming she said she needed $1,000 for something. Her credit cards are maxed out, her checking account is overdrawn and she wanted to go to one of those sleazy places for a "payday loan" but didn't want them to do a credit check or have to provide them with any of the bank statements or other paperwork they require. Meanwhile she's got this fancy dress, fancy location for her reception and drives a fancy Ford Explorer. I don't get it. I mean she's got NO money but she's having this huge wedding. At least she didn't seem as rude as the others, but man she is just too much.

I know, I didn't have to watch it, but I am glad I did for it reminded me to be thankful I wasn't brought up to behave like these women or treat people they way they do. It is shameful and disgraceful.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Another politician who thinks he's above the truth...

It's easy to play Monday morning quarterback in politics. If only so-and-so would have just come out and told the truth at the beginning at least the people would recognize that yes, he's fallible, but at least he admits his mistakes and doesn't take his constituents for fools. We can reasonably assume that the elected official who is honest and admits his or her mistakes, is, for the most part, reliable and trustworthy. What we want are people who will use good judgment and not take for granted that because they are in office, they are above the law, above reproach or above accountability.

John Edwards vehemently denied having an affair with Rielle Hunter. When he was asked, he came right out, faced the American people, the press, his own staff and without any hesitation, denied it. Now the way I see it, what happened with he and Hunter is for them and his family to deal with, it's not my business.

What is my business, and yours too, is when an elected official is asked about wrongdoing and denies it and then later it comes out that person lied. And it isn't just that they lied once, they adamantly DENIED any wrongdoing over and over again. If said person will go through that much effort to lie, what's to stop them from doing it again only next time it's concerning something much more serious which affects our national security?

John Edwards was quoted in an AP article saying:

"In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up — feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself.”

Well, egocentric and narcissistic is nothing new when it comes to politicians. If this story had never come out he never would have admitted it. We've got to expect better than this of our leaders and not just at the level of President either, I'm talking all the way down to our city officials. While we understand that elected officials are merely human and will make mistakes, we also have the right to expect them to be honest and forthcoming about their mistakes. If only they understood that their constituents could be much more forgiving if they weren't taken for ignorant fools.

John Edwards has screwed himself (literally) out of any future shot at the Presidency, hell he'd be lucky to get a city council seat in his own hometown. He thought that he could lie over and over again and then apologize profusely when caught, blaming it on a big ego. What a f*cking schmuck.

In the meantime, we the people should be seeing the signs pretty damn clear by now, this is yet one more warning to us---about the candidates who are "too good to be true", you know, the ones who portray themselves as pillars of their community, with decent values and morals and all the time spouting the loudest about the need for change, when really all they're giving us is more of the same old shit.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Of course there is an update!

Finally my med was called in around 11 a.m. DH and I got off work at noon so he could pick up the rental car, pick up our meds and get back home so he could pack for his trip. I had been contacting the pharmacy every so often to see if the doc's office had called in our Rx's. I know the docs and staff go to lunch from noon to 1:15 but I called and called and called for an hour and a half past 1:15 and nobody answered. I finally got smart and started dialing random extensions till I began noticing a pattern of extensions for the doctors and their staff. I finally got the billing office and explained to them the situation. She checked DH's record and there was nothing there. I also asked why nobody answered the phone and she said the telephone operators leave at noon on Friday because the staff and docs pretty much close up shop and it goes to the after hours message.

Well uh--the practice isn't closed so why do they quit answering the phone at noon? The patients don't know it is shut down after 12. A person could call and call and call and think they just forgot to take off the after hours message. Anyway, I called the pharmacy again and still no prevacid.

We got to the pharmacy and they recommended the generic for Prilosec which is OTC so we bought that for $20 (DH's prevacid only costs us $5!) When we got home FINALLY there was a message on the machine by the nurse saying that she had some samples of Protonix at the front desk for him, which would last him past his trip and until this matter with the insurance was resolved. I called her and let her know that we were already home and she lived near us so she brough them with her and we met her near home to get them. It was so nice of her to do that! She also told us that it is better that he take the Protonix than the generic Prilosec because it was just stronger. Apparently the doc was adamant about DH staying on Prevacid which is why she faxed the authorization through to AvMed.

So, let's see, where are my beefs here?

First---that AvMed never mailed anything to their patients notifying them that as of August 1st the PPI's (Proton Pump Inhibitors) Prevacid, Protonix and Prilosec would be affected by this change and that even if someone had open refills remaining, if they tried getting it refilled after August 1st they would have difficulty. Had they notified their patients oh--back in June or early July, people could have taken precautions and gotten with their doctors to fax through the appropriate paperwork EARLY so as not to miss a prescription.

Second---that it takes FOURTEEN days for AvMed to get back to the doctor's office with the approval.

Third---that the doctor's office does not leave an outgoing message stating that their office hours are actually Monday through Thursday 8:30 - 5:00 and Friday 8:30 to noon. At least people wouldn't keep trying to call on Fridays thinking that they are taking a long lunch or just not answering the phonel. I wasted at least 20 minutes on my cell phone redialing and trying to get someone.
Over a week ago we received a phone call from our pharmacy asking if DH would like his Prevacid prescription refilled and he said yes because he was running low. I was also waiting for my doctor's office to call in a reauthorization of my 75mg of Effexor which I take daily along with an additional 150mg. Well, I've heard nothing and on Wednesday, DH and I went to the pharmacy to see if the scripts were ready and DH was told there was a problem with the insurance. In the meantime his prescription is dwindling and he's going on vacation soon and I'm having to double up on the 150mg pills because if I take less than my prescribed dose it'll make me sick.

On Thursday morning I called the pharmacy to ask what was up and they told me that the doctor hadn't yet called in the prescription for the 75mg dose for me and there was a "prior authorization" hold on Dh's prescription. Nobody could explain what "prior authorization" meant so I called the doctor's office and they told me that they had done everything that needed to be done. I called AvMed that afternoon and asked about this "prior authorization" and they said that they were trying to get people who had been on PPI's (Proton Pump Inhibitors which includes Prevacid) to take the generics first then if they don't work go back to the original PPI. And so for DH not to have to go to a generic they needed a "prior authorization" from the doc saying he should stay on Prevacid. What nobody told me was that it takes 14 days to approve.

I called the doctor's office back about my Effexor and they said they faxed over a prescription for 75 mg but I talked to the pharmacy afterwards and they said they only received a 150mg prescription fax which was incorrect. I called the doctor's office again and they swore it was 75 while the pharmacy swore it was 150. So who was I going to believe? I gave up that evening.

Friday morning I called AvMed directly and asked "what's the deal?" and a nice lady explained first that there is absolutely NO reason my Effexor should be on hold. Then when they checked DH's Prevacid she said they had faxed our doc the form on August 3rd and it was completed and returned on August 6th so my doc did her job, to her credit. But she said that it still takes up to fourteen days to approve. Then she told me that the doc could simply call in a prescription for generic Protonix which is Pantoprozole or the generic for Prilosec which is Omeprazole (or is it vice versa?) Anyway, I called the doc's office and relayed the information hoping that sometime today they will call in a prescription for one of those for DH. I hope it will go through because DH would get sick to his stomach if he doesn't have his acid reflux med.

Next comes the good part. When I talked to the nice young lady at my doc's office about the fact that there are no insurance holds on my Effexor, she noticed something new on my record. She noticed that underneath a recent note where it says the prescription for 75mg was to be faxed, there's another note that says "no refills allowed till patient comes in for visit" so basically I have to take time off work , drive across town, and wait 20 minutes (there's always a wait) to see the doc so she can send me on my way after I pay my $25 copay of course. They don't need to see me, they just want my money, I think it's such bullshit. WTF? Why do I have to see the doc if there's nothing wrong with me? This also costs the insurance company because they pay the remainder of the unnecessary office visit. Such crap.

But because there was nothing I could do, I made an Monday afternoon appt with my favorite nurse practitioner because she's always taken care of DH and me and I trust her, she cares.

An hour and a half on the phone today to clear this up, you better believe something better get cleared up today or I'm going to raise holy hell. I'm sure there will be more to this saga so stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Wow!

I had a meeting with the President of my College yesterday and he asked me to be the surprise guest at the welcome back convocation in three weeks. I am going to speak in front of hundreds of faculty and students. This all stems from an email I sent him letting him know how much I have gotten out of my education there and how wonderful I think the programs and faculty are, and how important I think the college is to the community and the university system overall. Santa Fe is in the top ten community colleges in the country, it's open campus program is growing, it is an excellent school, and it is my privilege to be able to speak to the faculty and students about my experiences there.

Wow I'm still stunned that the President thinks I have something so worthwhile to say that he wants EVERYONE at the college to hear it!


Saturday, August 02, 2008

This is what happens...

...in a society where the government promotes the idea that it is ok NOT to use common sense and good judgment...

Bar Bouncer turns away Washington Governor; She lacked ID

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (GREG'-wahr) is taking it as a compliment: She was turned away from a bar in the state capital because she couldn't prove she's of legal age to drink.

The 61-year-old governor and her staff had served burgers at the annual Capital Lakefair last weekend and afterward went to a downtown Olympia bar called Hannah's to celebrate.

Gregoire says the man checking identifications at the door told her she couldn't get in without ID, even when others pointed out she's Washington's governor. So she went home, but her husband, Mike, went in. The governor tells Seattle's KING-TV she feels complimented the bouncer thought she might be under 21.

Hannah's owner, Todd Ruzicka, says his 23-year-old part-time bouncer needs more training.

Information from: KING-TV, http://www.king5.com/

Friday, August 01, 2008

In the words of this kitty kat..


















Did I not call this one?

Feel free to refer back to my post about Alaska Senator Ted Stevens back in August 2006.

Can I spot a schmuck or what?

No praise necessary, you're all too kind....