Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The last day of the year.

You know, for some reason I felt like 2000-and-8 was going to be a better year than it turned out to actually be.

And above is the image that sums it all up for me. Chicken butt.

It has been a chicken butt kind of a year. It started off well enough for most I think*, but then chicken butt happened and everything went south. Not a wholly offensive year, with the occasional good egg event thrown in to keep us all from hurling ourselves off the cliff.

I suppose I am not alone in saying goodbye and good riddance to 2008.

And I am not thinking that I am going to wake up tomorrow and magically everything will be different, like in Sixteen Candles when Molly Ringwald's character thinks she is going to wake up on her birthday to newly grown boobs and a gift-wrapped car in the driveway.

No, I am pretty positive that tomorrow is going to be about the same. But it's just that it is easier to be more optimistic on the brand new day of the brand new year.

Chicken butt! Hopefully Oh-Nine will bring everyone a golden egg. Including YOU!

*I also started off '08 on a good note, seeing a really terrific guy who sadly would later prove to have a two-timin' sonofagun issue. Furthermore, I would just like to point out that in September, when I found out about that little hiccup in our relationship, the national and global financial markets collapsed. So yes, everything you've ever heard about a woman scorned is in fact true.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My poor temporary neighbors

Ok well after listening to my temporary neighbors (turns out the Boy and the Girl are visiting through New Year) fight last night, I am returning the favor today by making them listen to my bipolar music mix.

Not intentionally mind you.

It's just that recently there has been a weird electromagnetic issue in my area and now it affecting my sound system. Usually I just plug in my little MP3 thingy and turn the player on. There is a volume dial and you simply twist the dial for various levels of sound.

However something happened and now I have two settings: shhh-whisper and REALLYF*CKINGLOUDQUICKTURNITDOWN!

Which always startles me. I am trying to wrap Christmas presents (and yes, before you ask, I did get you something. A pony. I hope you like it.) and I am listening to Thin Lizzy and Pilooski and CSN&Y and Kenny Chesney and Bon Iver and it's going a little something like this:

"dancing in the moonlight, it's got me in its spotlight, it's alright, it's alright, this moonlight..."

It's unnerving. I probably should turn it off while I am cutting up wrapping paper before I cut off my finger or something.

Do YOU know how your medical care is decided?

I am not a great big fan of health insurance. I think it is basically a scam. But at least I have employer subsidized health insurance, and for that I am pretty grateful. I would really resent having to pay it entirely out of pocket.

Years ago I lived and worked in Ireland and I have a very vague memory of earning points towards health care, if you paid taxes you got health care - something like that. The few times I had to go see a doctor (or GP as they are called over there) I seem to remember they decided my payment that way. I dunno, it could have been sliding scale maybe. Eh, I could be imagining it.

However, I still think that forcing people to buy health insurance is a bad idea. It's insurance, not health care. You can pay for health insurance and still not be able to afford health care. And here in Massachusetts if you don't get health insurance, you'll be fined per uninsured month. And the fines aren't cheap.

Univeral health insurance is a misguided plan. And every single person who tells me that it is GREAT that EVERYONE now has access to HEALTH CARE is someone who a) doesn't pay full price because they either are covered through work or by a spouse, and b) doesn't get the difference between health CARE and health INSURANCE.

I've gone through uninsured times and I used to go to the community health center. Because I made a little too much money for free care, I paid on a sliding scale, usually between $30 and $50 a visit. Luckily I am a pretty healthy person. However now you can't even do that anymore. The only option to any uninsured is to go to the emergency room. If you want to test this theory out, call up the Joseph Smith Health Center in Brighton and ask them if they will see you even though you haven't got insurance. I give this example because when I was most recently without health insurance I had a terrible sore throat and called them up to see if I could go be seen by a doctor there. They said no, not without insurance and that without insurance the only place to be treated was the emergency room. Great.

The other draw back of being uninsured is that the prescriptions would kill me. An inhaler for asthma would run me $70 bucks. A pack of baby stoppers would run me $30. Because when you pay $7 or $10 for a prescription with insurance, that is the insurers negotiated cost. Not the street cost. It's a fricking racket.

And I think that things are going to get worse. The Globe is running a health care spotlight. Kind a tedious read, but worth it. It's a frightening thought to consider that one day just one or two insurance companies could run all the hospitals. That would suck if you were considered to be a high-risk because cancer runs in the family, or maybe you have multiple sclerosis. Or diabetes. I wonder what your premiums would be like then? And I also wonder, how will people start to feel if employers start dropping the health care benefit? It's a benefit after all, not a right.

As for me I am still lucky as far as my health goes. Knock on wood.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I am a listener. Perhaps not much of a carer, but I'll listen.

And then I will write about it.

Today I had the opportunity to hear a conversation between two of my neighbors. Actually, I don't think they are my neighbors. I think they are visiting my neighbors.

At any rate no one told them about the paper-thin brick walls.

Turns out the Boy was looking at another Girl last night while Boy and Girl were out on the town.

Girl called Boy an "asswad". As in: "WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SUCH AN ASSWAD ALL THE TIME FOR F*CK'S SAKE!!"

Which at first listen doesn't sound so terrible. But then the more I thought about it, the more I decided that what I DO NOT ever want to be is to be compared to something that wads up in the ass.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby it's COLD outside. And wet. Blech!

La Maman and I decided to brave the elements and walk over to Copley Place and find a few last minute gifts. Now I am home. My toes are nearly fully defrosted and I am about to make spaghetti with meatballs.

It was cold and wet and pretty quiet out there. For what it's worth the only packed shop was Williams-Sonoma. Read into that what you will.

Empty mall. Dangerous (but shiny! and pretty!) ornaments.

Oh and since when has there been so many sparrows flitting about inside Copley Place Mall?

Click on an image to make it BIGGER.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

WTF kind of snow is this anyway?!

First of all I really thought we were going to get more snow than this. I mean, for all the hype I thought it was going to be Blizzard of '78 all over again.

However I will just say that I think this snow is radioactive or something because the electronical crapola in my house is running weirdly. Let me explain.

Around 1 this afternoon I get a text from my sister asking me where I am. Seemingly she tried calling me a bunch of times and the phone would just ring and ring. So I called the cellphone provider and they couldn't figure it out either. I can make calls, but I can't get them and the callers can only get to my voicemail if they listen to about 20 seconds of dead air. Even then I don't get the voicemail unless I randomly call my mailbox.

Weird. But at least I have my land line. Which has been acting weirdly too. It will ring and when I answer it the person on the other end will wonder why I am calling them. And I am like "but you called me! I swear!".

The wireless internet is working intermittently and when I play music through my computer it skips (or hangs) constantly even though I am now using Winamp and it was working perfectly until today. I switched to my MP3 player and even that is acting up now.

It's weird. I really think that the snow is to blame. It probably really is radioactive.

Or something.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

About music

I once read an interview with Wayne Coyne in the New York Times where he said he was "looking forward to the day when music is a liquid they pour into your head".

Dood, I can totally relate.

Music scratches the itch on my cerebral coretex and makes me happy.

Right now though I am listening to my music via Windows Media Player and it is making me mental.

The music is constantly "hanging" which is probably THE MOST ANNOYING THING EVER after all the other annoying crap in the world. Especially if you like to sing along. It's like the computer keeps stopping to think.

Eh. Whatever. At least it's a step up from a Victrola. You know, like from the days of yore.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hidden in plain sight

Isn't that how it's supposed to work:

The TARDIS in Boston.

(Forgive my crayon-like approach. The closest thing I have to a graphic design program on my computer is Microsoft Paint. Eh, you do what you can.)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

First Snow of December

Kind of hard to tell from these photos. But I am pretty excited.

I think that even when I am 97 I will get excited about the possibility of a snow day.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Basic Tetiquette

Messenger bagged masses of the public transit system, please note: just because your bulky-ass bag is slung around on your backside does NOT mean you are not responsible for it.

(This pretty much goes for any bulky bagged rider of the MBTA, so take heed!)

I am tired of getting sucker punched by some dope, usually on the phone, totally oblivious to the 20lb wrecking ball they're slinging around out the back. Out of sight out of mind does not apply in this scenario.

The other day I was sitting next to a young woman who was in the aisle seat. First she got clocked under the chin by a dopey rider swinging an oversized tote under her arm. She then got a thwack on the back of the head from the same dopey rider who wanted to shift the bag to the other shoulder.

And the bag swinger knew she bonked the seated passenger because she then told her to "ooh, mind!" as if her massive tote was its own entity for which she wasn't responsible.

Seriously. WTF is wrong with people sometimes. There are millions of little annoying things about the T (people not moving INTO the bus/subway car, T drivers who abruptly smash the brake, riders who need to take up one whole seat for their bag) but for some reason it was the bag swingers who got me this week.

Phew! I just had to say that.