Tag Archives: What the?

Same Time Next Next Year

I just got a bill in the mail for $145 from our Pediatrician for my daughter’s last well visit. She turned 8 in January and we took her to the doctor as we always do for her annual checkup. I was wondering why the bill was so high I thought that they hadn’t applied our insurance or something. My husband had taken her to this visit and the office was just changing over their computer system so there was a lot of confusion when they checked in. I called the office and they said that my claim had been denied by our provider United Healthcare because our benefit had been exhausted. I called United Healthcare right away because I knew for a fact that this year’s visit was exactly one year from last year’s visit. After bypassing the robotic system — I despise talking to robots on the telephone, they need to hire some Cylons so I can’t tell that they’re robots — I had to go through several customer service humans to get my answer as to why my claim was denied. My company, the global one who shall not be named, has decided to only cover well visits every other year for children aged 7 and up. WTF?

Needless to say this news started my blood boiling. The next day I told my manager about it and he referred me to our HR representative. She sent me a copy of our Health Plan and I saw it there myself. I had never noticed this before. That shows you how carefully I reviewed all that stuff. I wonder if this is a policy that is often found in other healthcare plans or is this just my company’s, the global one who shall not be named, policy? How about you Internets, is this part of your employer’s benefits plan as well?

Frankly I think it is terrible. If you look at all the medical services that are not covered under the plan, i.e., plastic surgery, private duty nursing, hearing aid repairs, various infertility services, etc., you can logically see why they would not be covered. But a routine physical examination of an 8, 10, 12 . . . year old child is not covered? That makes absolutely no sense to me at all. This is preventative care for a child not some fancy elective medical service?!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr! My HR rep said that they do have an appeals process which I guess I could try to slough through but that is not the point. I believe that they should cover routine preventive care for everyone, every year no matter what age. Most adults don’t get to the doctor every year anyway. At a minimum they should cover yearly exams for kids to age 18! Meanwhile my company, the global one who shall not be named encourages everyone enrolled in their health insurance plans to fill out these healthcare assessments every year by giving you a $100 Visa® gift cards. You can also earn another $100 Visa® gift card by completing a Weight Watchers or defined exercise program. This is a terrific benefit and I happily received my $200 in essentially free money last year but if it is at the expense of paying for my child to see a doctor for a physical every year, I just don’t know.

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What’s the one thing you dread the most?

Right now, it’s my Dad being mad at me. I know, I’m 44 years old and I’m still worrying about what this crazy old man thinks of me. We had a phone conversation earlier that didn’t end entirely well. I’m pretty sure that he is mad at me. We are getting ready to go there this weekend and I dread the thought of getting Mad Tony at the start of the visit. You usually end up with Mad Tony in the end but at least you get to have a little of the Happy Tony at the beginning. I’ve pretty much shot all chance of that to hell. We’re going to be getting off the ferry at around noon time and we were thinking of getting something to eat on the way to their house rather than rushing there hungry. We’re not going to have time for a lot of eating in the morning before we leave and I try to avoid buying the crummy pricey snacks on the boat. My mother wants to make a big deal and have lunch ready and waiting for us and I tried to tell her that we’d be doing something else. Then my father gets on the phone to ask me about something else and at the end says that we’ll all have lunch when we get there and sounds all hurt and insulted when I tell him our plan. You’d think he was freaking Emily Post from the way he acts. What a phony. Growing up our family was a train wreck. Where were all these niceties then? By the time we got off the boat, drove there and get inside with our stuff and eat it will be waaay after lunch time. Then we have to sit down and eat a gigantic dinner a couple of hours later as well. How many more ways can I diss him? Let me count them! I’m so so tired of this crap. When we were growing up we all tried to avoid upsetting my father because when he threw a tantrum he put babies to shame.

Even though I have such little respect left and even though I’m a grownup with my own family and even though I still have so much anger towards him over Mike . . . I still can’t stand it when I think he’s mad at me. I hate myself for this. Ugh, I am filled with DREAD.

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Because I love ya!

I’m a little busy this morning packing the cutes up for her big camp sleepover but I wanted to share this. Where else are you going to see a giant starfish that looks like Hitler getting its ass kicked? It’s no big. It’s just because I love ya!

Have a great day and stay hydrated.


Yoga Nude

This person is totally serious and I don’t mean to make fun but Yoga in the Nude? Really? It just brings up so many questions for me and many I usually try not to think about. In all fairness she doesn’t offer group classes which I think is probably best. It would be hard to find a good spot in the studio because usually I like to stay toward the back.

A Difficult Posture


Hop Sing

I lived in Philadelphia for a while and worked at The White Dog Cafe. It’s a really lovely place. Before I worked in the dining room I used to wait on tables in the bar area. The bar was always very crowded and it took a lot of maneuvering to get from the service bar to the tables, especially when you were carrying a tray. One especially crowded Friday night there was a group of older guys who decided to try to stand at the bar right next to the service bar. Every time I had to pick up a drink order I had to squeeze my way around two or three of them. I decided to try to ask them if they would move away from the service bar and I politely said,

“Excuse me sir but that really isn’t a good place to stand.”

They ignored me. I went on with my job and had to squeeze by them a couple more times and had to ask them to move a couple more times. Finally, I asked one guy to move again,

“Excuse me sir but that really isn’t a good place to stand.”

“Not a good place to stand? Will someone tell Hop Sing that Danang wasn’t a good place to stand either.”

I was speechless. I went and told my manager what he had said and she threw them all out.

It’s funny cause I don’t think I look anything like this guy.

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Piper had her gymnastics recital last night. We “treated” her to a McDonalds Happy Meal on the way home for dinner. I had some too and not too long after, came the McGrets. You think I’d learn my lesson after all these years.



To my fellow drivers and other messages

Hello Everyone,

I’d like to say that we’ve been getting along fine out there for a while now but there are a few of you I’d like to have a few words with.

Mr. Dark Blue Pick Up Truck making the left hand turn onto the highway ramp

Hi there. It’s me, Red Minivan. Remember when you almost creamed me today? You thought you’d try to beat the red light to make the left hand turn across oncoming traffic. Unfortunately I was in your way. Here’s a tip, next time when you see a yellow light it means that it is time to s l o w  d o w n and come to a stop. Don’t just start to slow down and then change your mind and try to floor it across three lanes of traffic to get to the ramp. The highway isn’t going anywhere. It will wait for your light to turn green again. When I saw you almost about to crash into me I honked my horn and asked you what was wrong with you. I think I saw a look of disgust on your face. I think you know that you did wrong. Just want you to know that you made me burst into tears and cry for a mile or two after our little encounter. I was already having kind of a crappy day to begin with so I don’t totally blame you for making me cry but don’t ever do that to me again (or anyone else for that matter). I have typed. We’ll not speak of this again.

Owner of the car with the license plate frame that says, “DAUGHTER OF A FALLEN NYC FIREFIGHTER”.

First let me say that I am sorry for your loss but seeing this sign on your car has had me thinking since I saw it a couple of weeks ago. OK, I can understand that you want to honor your father. It would seem that he died in the line of duty and that is definitely something to respect and be thankful for. I have nothing but the utmost admiration for Firefighters, especially NYC Firefighters. Who am I to judge someone in grief? But I’m left wondering, who is this message really for?

Mr. Tan Pick Up Truck with the “America, Land of the Round Eyes” bumper sticker.

I have no words for you. I’m not sure how I manage to keep myself from rear ending your vehicle every time I see it in front of me.

And one more message to my Dear Neighbor with the overgrown furry plant in their front yard . . .

Hey, that thing growing on your lawn isn’t a giant weed with bark on it. It is not an extremely tall shrub. It is a tree. A cottonwood, I think. You used to care about it. I remember when you dug it a little bed and planted it there. Little trees do not magically grow into big majestic trees all on their own. You actually have to shape them and help them grow tall. Either prune the poor thing or chop it down before I feel compelled to run it over with my car.

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One Year Later

Our friend Kristine Kinsey passed away suddenly one year ago this past week. I found myself thinking about her, her husband Greg and their two young children this morning. I remember talking to Greg on the phone shortly after G’s accident. I think G was still in the hospital and Greg was calling to find out how I was doing. As we talked I definitely felt the connection between us. We both had horrible things happen to our spouses totally out of the blue and we both had our lives utterly changed in the process. The disaster of Kristine’s death is a couple of steps more tragic of course. We talked about getting the phone call where we found out what had happened. We talked about being at the hospital and waiting for answers. In Kristine’s case unfortunately she died at the playground where she collapsed. Then Greg went on to talk about having to deal with the organ donation people in the middle of what must have been a maelstrom of anger, fear and grief. My husband was horribly injured and at that point we still didn’t know what the extent of his recovery would be but I still knew how truly lucky we were. I was spared from having to go down the path with the organ donor questions. Then I started to think about my daughter and how much she has grown and changed in the past year and I am so sad for their family. In the past year Kristine has missed her older daughter starting Kindergarten and her younger daughter’s first birthday. The girls have missed their mother and Greg, his wife and partner. It is so cliche to say it (heck, it’s so cliche to say it’s cliche) but life is so very precious. Everything can change in an instant. Everything.

Now that the weather around here is getting colder I find myself worrying about my husband out there on his commute back and forth to the train station. The people around here drive like idiots. P and I were traveling to school just the other day when this maxi-pad-for-a-brain teenage girl decides to play chicken with a tractor trailer in her piece of s**t car right in front of us. I needed to pull over to the side of the road and almost stop so that she could just squeak by the truck. Did I mention that I had 4 or 5 cars behind me? Oiy! I’ve been playing the “what if’s” from that scenario over in my head ever since. I’m looking forward to when that particular brain loop starts to fade.

Just here to say – kiss your husband, hug your children, help your neighbor, smell the coffee, make Besta’s Soup etc. These are the true gifts in life. Grab hold, hug hard, NOW.

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Dating is tough in NYC

Occasionally, my daughter will ask me to buy some “pink milk”. She doesn’t really like the fake strawberry flavor but sometimes I’ll indulge her because she is showing interest in trying something new again. She wants to drink it because Lola on Charlie and Lola does. Now here’s a show I can get behind. It’s stylish, funny, creative, the characters are kind to one another and the theme song rocks! Wait a minute I digress . . . so I bought this bottle of “pink milk” last Friday 10/12. When I got it home I looked at the date and thought, wait a minute this crap has expired already! Then I looked again and realized that it was OK, I don’t live in NYC. This milk is fine to drink a full 8 days after everyone in NYC thinks it’s spoiled. What does NYC know that I don’t know?
Probably a whole heck of a lot.
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My Little Pony can kick DJ Lance’s a**!

Recently P has discovered the show Yo Gabba Gabba. I tape it for her on our DVR. She has also recently embraced her complete love for all things My Little Pony. At first we scoffed at her desire for the pastel colored ponies and their accompanying accessories, books and DVD’s. We didn’t want to encourage her interest in such corny, low-brow entertainment – especially those with so many merchandising opportunities! Soon after, G came home from work with a surprise for her – her very own Pinkie Pie. He said that he didn’t want to disregard her cultural choices. He felt that we shouldn’t be judging her in that way. I mostly agree with him and can make that leap with this particular set of characters. I’m not willing to do so with Dora however. She owns quite a few Dora related things but most of the little plastic figures found themselves in the garbage can recently when they showed up on the list of toys containing high levels of lead. She hasn’t asked about them and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

She and I have watched Yo Gabba Gabba together and she clearly enjoys the show. She often wants to play “YoGabbaGabba” and has expressed an interest in being Foofa for halloween. While I do appreciate some of the animation and music on the show I just can’t stand how achingly hip it all is. Does my 4 year old really need to be exposed to a trippy rave esthetic? I find most of the music to be just as repetitive and simplistic as the music on say, Barney. Even P noticed that the children on the show only say, “My name is insert name of child and I like to Dance”. She wondered why they don’t ever like to do anything else? The fact that they are trying so hard to appeal to the parents in the room (and no doubt the stoner college kids watching) just irritates me. There is a certain level sincerity that is lacking there. Everything feels mechanical and orchestrated to be as over-the-top as possible.

She and I have watched some My Little Pony DVD’s together and she clearly enjoys the show. She often wants to play “My Little Pony” and has expressed an interest in going to see a My Little Pony live show. Just like Charlton Heston, you will pry those tickets from my cold, dead hands! While I think the writing on these programs is basically atrocious. It makes me wonder if the writers have contests to see how many times they can insert the words; princess, crystal, rainbow, unicorn, magic wand, butterfly, etc., (you get the idea) into every script. At the same time the stories are always about helping others, teamwork, finding your dreams, etc., and granted the themes on Yo Gabba Gabba are about the same things too and these are positive messages for her to absorb. Somehow I feel a little bit better about her getting these ideas from a My Little Pony program or book. While everything in it may be impossibly girly and over-the-top ridiculous I don’t feel like anyone is winking at me from behind the camera saying, we know that this is soooooooo stupid too but isn’t our special version of stupid just so amazingly hip and cool? Stupid is just plain stupid to me.

I’ve already ordered two My Little Pony sets for her for Christmas and I think I may just “forget” to set the DVR to tape Yo Gabba Gabba soon. Heck, there are only 10 episodes of the show anyway. Call me un-hip, go ahead I dare you.

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