Archive for the 'Current Events' Category

Published by PaintingChef on 25 Mar 2010

And on the heels of religion? Politics. Why the hell not?

It’s no secret around these parts that I’m a left-leaning individual. A VERY left-leaning individual. Also not a secret? I don’t like to talk politics or religion or uber-controversial stuff like that too often. Why would I when instead I can dazzle your mind with the state of my uterus or a deodorant diatribe? And so why, mere days after forcing you to wade through a stream of consciousness hot mess of an entry about religion would I then be so ambitious as to tackle politics?

Recent events have made it necessary for Patrick and me to investigate the scary market of individual health coverage. No worries, we both still have jobs, daddy hasn’t fired us. It’s just that the construction industry, like every other industry (oh! Except for health care!!) is in the shitter and covering a portion of the premiums for our employees is no longer an option. At least for the time being…

Patrick is, of course, healthy as a horse. He’s been to the doctor a grand total of 3 times in the past 5 years. Once for a sinus infection (and that was under threat of sleep-smothering from me), once for the flu and once for a physical. Each time he visited a walk-in clinic because he doesn’t even HAVE a doctor.

But… those of you playing along at home know that my health care expenditures over the past year have been significant. Infertility treatments? Not so cheap. Also? Not so much covered by insurance. So when we started applying for individual health insurance, I was not worried. Yes, I have PCOS but surely that is a common enough condition that underwriters wouldn’t blink an eye. And why would they care about the infertility treatments I’ve had if they aren’t going to cover them anyway?

Yes… you may all laugh loudly at me now. Go ahead… I’ll wait. I need to warm up my caps lock key anyway…

One week later and I had been denied coverage by FOUR major health insurance companies. My infertility was a pre-existing condition. I was denied health insurance because of a condition that they wouldn’t cover ANYWAY. So I applied for a FIFTH policy leaving out all mention of infertility treatments and only mentioning my Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome on the questionnaire. And my PCOS? A condition that millions and millions of women suffer? Qualified me for an IMMEDIATE and NON-NEGOTIABLE 90-100% mark-up on the policy. Guess what else INDIVIDUAL health insurance doesn’t cover? MATERNITY CARE. Oh yes. Maternity care can be an extra two hundred dollars a month. And you can’t add it once you get pregnant. You have to have it ahead of time AND it has a nine month waiting period! (How convenient) But if you are pregnant when you are applying for health insurance? Oh yes friends… THAT is a pre-existing condition and it isn’t going to be covered.

At this point, for the record, we would be spending over $900 a month for just MY health insurance. And for that amount of money, it wasn’t going to give me a baby with a fully stocked nursery and a team of dedicated, round-the-clock caretakers. I checked…

Needless to say, the decision we made was to keep me on the current employee health care and shell out the money for it while Patrick shopped around for his own policy.

But what I’ve learned is that reform IS necessary. Health care companies are out of control. I don’t necessarily think that the reform passed on Sunday will do the trick but I’m pleased that steps were taken to remove the pre-existing conditions and lifetime maximum coverage clauses, even if the penalties for denying coverage are laughable. And why 4 years? Why not tomorrow?

I DO think infertility coverage should be mandated in all 50 states, not just the 10 or 12 that have already made that decision. It is a medical condition. As for the people who have said to me (and to the millions of women struggling with infertility (because we’ve ALL heard it) “why don’t you just adopt and not spend all this money?” Guess what. Adoption is expensive too. Usually MORE expensive than infertility treatments and there are tax credits for adoption. Aside from which… as I’ve said before… adoption is not solely the cross of the infertile community to bear.

I did the math. And right now, my barren uterus carries the approximate cash value of a lightly used Honda. I’m thinking of getting t-shirts printed…

Published by PaintingChef on 04 Mar 2010

But it will probably make for damn fine television.

It’s official. You knew it would happen, that it was only a matter of time but it has finally fulfilled its destiny.

“Dancing with the Stars” is the new “The Real World.” (Does MTV still film “The Real World”? Are they now filming like “The Real World: Bucksnort, TN” or did they just give up and replace it with Jersey Shore and The Hills? You know… since THOSE people are SO real…)

But I digress. “Dancing with the Stars” is the new “Real World”. They are no longer looking for people who are just a few slightly has-been celebs or daytime stars. Oh no. They are now casting for… DRAMA. I’m sure of it.

Why? Brenda. Walsh. You do not invite Brenda Walsh to a party unless you want drama. She has been cast as the troublemaker. Which, let’s be honest, is going to piss off Kate Gosselin AND her hamster hair extensions. (It troubles me to no end that Microsoft Word recognized Gosselin as a word.)

Jake the Bachelor? Doesn’t he have enough on his plate right now? Didn’t he just get engaged or dumped or married or divorced or something? To some girl named Sausage? Or like… a Disney princess? Erin Andrews looks an awful lot like those girls, hope he doesn’t get confused… that would be awkward for everyone.

And Evan Lysacek? Did I even spell that right? Must we really fall so far so fast my dear? You just won a gold medal. Go to Disneyworld or something. Make a Wheaties box. Isn’t there another pretty important competition right after the Olympics? But for the love of god man, whatever you do, stop slicking back that hair. It’s NOT a good look for you.

At least between Evan (with NON slicked back hair) and Aiden who plays a guy named Aiden on a soap opera, there will be plenty of eye candy. Those two will get arrested for bar fighting by the third episode. That’s what the cute boys do on reality shows, right?

Add to that mix Pamela Anderson and a guy who LEGALLY changed his name to “OchoCinco” because he has the mental capacity of a highlighter. I predict those two will be married and divorced before the show ends. The Pussycat Doll will be VERY jealous and between the antics of her and Pammy A, the show will no longer be broadcast live to allow for ample time to blur wardrobe malfunctions.

Buzz Aldrin and Niecy Nash? Archie and his adorable new haircut think you are too good for this shit…

Published by PaintingChef on 01 Mar 2010

Asking the Serious Questions.

Can we talk about curling? And how it is just drunken frozen horseshoes with some shuffleboard thrown in for good measure?

Then can we talk about how RIVETED I’ve been by curling? And how I can now play curling on the Wii?

And after we’ve talked about that can we talk about how it is the BEST Olympic sport because you can get all dolled up with earrings and lipstick and still be an OLYMPIC ATHLETE? (Although when the summer games roll around, be forewarned that I will reserve the right to point out how much faster those girls would run without the giant earrings and necklaces weighing them down).

Now can we talk about how I can picture the origin of very few sports but that curling is TOTALLY one of them? The other? Skeleton sledding. And I believe that both of these sports originated from large quantities of alcohol. We’re only a few years away from a US Beer Pong team, aren’t we?

USA! USA! USA!

Published by PaintingChef on 04 Sep 2009

And if we’re being honest… I’m a little pissed off at my non-cooperative hair too…

Have you ever just had a day where you can’t be described as anything other than “Fired Up”? Because today? That’s me…

I am fired up from multiple directions but the most pressing is this whole Presidential Address to the schools thing. WHY is that such a big deal? People are sending in letters that they don’t want their children subjected to Barack Obama’s speech. Schools are censoring the speech or just not carrying it at all. People are REALLy getting their panties in a bunch over this.

Here’s what I don’t understand…

Do people HONESTLY think that the President is trying to push his health care reform plan on second graders? Is he planning on officiating a same-sex marriage on television (that he doesn’t even believe in… boo on him)? Maybe perform an abortion? Oh my GOD IS HE GOING TO RECYCLE!?!?

Good lord. No. Of course not. He is going to encourage students to do well in school. To work hard and reach their potential. He is probably going to talk about volunteer work and getting involved in their communities. Since when is that message so dangerous to the kids in our schools?

Hey parents… here’s a new flash. Barack Obama isn’t planning on talking to your kids about taxes and the federal budget unless he says to them “Hey kids! Work hard in math class! This budget stuff is complicated, yo!” He’ll probably tell a story or two about when he was in school and talk about what he dreamed of doing when he grew up. It might even be… ENCOURAGING!

Why must we immediately assume that everything is political?

Also on my shit list today? My uterus.

Published by PaintingChef on 09 Jan 2009

View From the Couch.

Call it slackitude, trying to not get fired by my dad, distraction, LIFE (geez…) whatever… but a couple of months ago, I kind of let something slide past my writing radar. Something that I always meant to get back to and talk about but never did and then the timeliness passed and then it kind of became like that one friend you keep meaning to call but then you don’t and all that time goes by and then things would just be AWKWARD and so you don’t call and they don’t call either and… well… you know where I’m going with that one. And that situation is only useful in the breakup of two non-confrontational high-schoolers.

But the timeliness, she is giving me another chance. And by god, I’m not missing this boat again.

In a little over a week, Patrick and I will pawn our animals off on my parents (maybe I should talk to them about that…?) for a few days, climb in the car and make our way to Washington D.C. for the Inauguration. I’ve never been to D.C. and I think Patrick has only been on school and church trips and I have a feeling those didn’t include bars. (And if they did maybe I should rethink my whole church viewpoint…?)

(This trip though? Will totally include bars. And hopefully some REALLY tummy food. Any suggestions? And did I tell you that I’ve already bought tickets for the International Spy Museum!?!? A SPY MUSEUM!!)

The significance of THIS election being the one that finally brought Patrick and I to agree on a candidate is thrilling to me. I cannot wait to stand there with him, holding his hand and witness such a historic moment. It’s no secret that Patrick and I rarely agree politically. And I’m sure that in his mind he was just choosing what he called the “Lesser of Two Evils” and yeah… he’s probably just humoring me in going to the Inauguration.

But he’s going.

And so am I. Because sometimes a person just has enough of watching the world happen from the couch.

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