Sep 29, 2009

Whip It

I saw the movie Whip It tonight at a sneak screening. It was sooo secret, I went out to get a pop and then almost got lost because the theater we were in said "Jennifer's Body" on the outside and then I wasn't sure where I was going until I listened for the theater filled with 30 or so raucous derby girls in pink and black fishnets. After the movie people and the local stations gave away tons of movie merchandise and we talked about Houston Roller Derby to the audience we all settled in to watch what I found to be a very cute movie. I would not hesitate to bring my kid to this movie (some language, a little derby violence and a few make out scenes - meh, nothing she hasn't already seen in real life.)

Two things stuck out to me after this movie was over. #1 I miss my Dad, he always came to every roller derby bout and cheered as loud as Dan did and I'll miss that here. #2 There's a short scene where the main character (being in TX) sings "The stars at night, are big and bright..." and the ENTIRE audience around me clapped. Four times. No shit. Then the character sings "...Deep in the heart of Texas." And then nobody giggled about it - just me - but only on the inside, cause I didn't feel like getting my ass kicked at the theater tonight.

So what do I recommend? If your a derby fan go see it. If you have a daughter go see it and take her with. If you liked Ellen Page in Juno go rent Hard Candy (still her best movie) then go see Whip It. Need a light hearted movie on a Saturday afternoon - go see it. Wanna see Jackie Daniels from the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls kick some butt - go see it.

Whip It
opens Friday, October 2nd.

Sep 28, 2009

Imaginary

video

A list of seven things I like

1. Houston
2. A new pen
3. A tablespoon of instant coffee stirred into a glass of ice water
4. Tiger balm
5. Clothes pins
6. Palm trees
7. Dan Bull's quote: "When you’re between the devil and the deep blue sea, you need to stop worrying about pirates, and adjust your sails"

Sep 27, 2009

What's new with us

I've had derby practice 5 out of the last 7 days and it was glorious, though I am glad to let the muscles and blisters heal up and just watch my team on the internet play at regionals the past two days. Tuesday I'll get to go to the advanced screening of Whip It and Wednesday back to practice again. I also have this to say about housewifing - living in an apartment is amazing in that it takes me 10 minutes to vacuum the entire place front to back and another 5 to sweep and dust and I'm done, if we ever buy a house again it'll be small for sure.

Ella is loving school, and making lots of friends. She's doing great because she likes rules and is happy when everyone is following the directions. Since it's cooling off outside and only in the 80s and 90s we can do something more than sitting in the pool, she dons the little pink helmet and scooters around on the sidewalk like crazy. Also blanket forts have made a heavy comeback and have me wondering why exactly we moved forty boxes of toys when a blanket would do.

Dan has found his people at a local game store called Little Wars and our closet has exploded out into the bedroom with miniatures and paints. Work is still good, though the economy suffers here too, it's still a thousand times better than it was in IL. Do you believe people in TX still threaten to quit when they don't get their way?! It amazes us too. We celebrated our 13th anniversary last week by doing nothing. We were going to go out last night and opted for drinking Miller high Life, watching HRD play regionals on TV with a team mate and later ordering Chinese (thank you Dan - best 13th anniversary present ever!)

Also, it's not autumn here, it's mosquito season. I miss the crisp air and crunchy leaves, but in a few months I'll have a little bit of crisp air and nothing to shovel off my sidewalk so I think I'll get over it.

Sep 25, 2009

Crazy Optimist

I would just like one company to not try to wiggle out of what they promised today. Perhaps the skate company can send me the right bearings, the car company can find the part they ordered, the guaranteed ten day flowers won't wilt on day three, the realtor will post interior pictures of the house, the school will send home notes in English (not Spanish), the bag of apples won't have a rotten one in it, the ants will stop coming in the front door and the insurance company employees will find their soul.

I just don't understand how soo many people can get up in the morning, drink a coffee, drive to work and walk through the door to get paid for un-helping people? And when I say un-helping I don't mean just not helping them, it actually goes beyond that, because you think you are getting helped and so you don't make a back up arrangement, you actually count on a person/company to do what they said they would, you get lulled into believing that you can cross a thing off the list and relax and then Kablammo! I refuse to believe that I have the uncanny ability to pick the one agent, the one representative, the one company where the boss said

"You know what? That Integrity thing... too much overhead. We're cutting that today. Instead do everything to avoid delivering any sort of product to customers and we're going to see how that works out. Oh, and the automated circular customer service line is now open from 1:07 to 1:42 Australian Eastern Daylight Time."

If I could find a company that delivered what it actually promised they'd have me. I'd shop there forever, I'd blog about them, I'd recommend them, I'd invite them over for Sunday dinner.

Signed,
Loyal Consumer on Strike

Sep 18, 2009

Yeah! What they said!

Excellent post from Margaret & Helen you should read HERE.

"...The biggest problem facing America today isn’t the war, the economy, healthcare or even racism. The biggest threat to America is the lack of news coverage in our newscasts. Honestly I don’t give a damn what LaToya Jackson thinks, what Paris Hilton ate, what Hillary Clinton is wearing or who Brad Pitt is dating. And I especially don’t give a rat’s ass what 78,000 peckerwoods with too much time on their hands think about something as complicated as Universal Healthcare..."

And in case you aren't already rilled up this Friday you can go read about how insurance companies think a c-section is a pre-existing condition HERE. Some of the comments are great.

"misscoleopteramolly says: Lemme get this straight. When insurance companies won’t pay for childbirth, abortion, or contraceptives, what’s a person to do?

Oh. Right. Don’t have sex at all. Not even if you’re married. Because having sex is a “choice” — isn’t it?

So why do insurance companies pay for Viagra?"

Sep 17, 2009

The Note

Dear Teacher,

Please excuse kiddo from being tardy. It's not her fault. The Houston Roller Derby announced team drafts last night and I made the Bayou City Bosse$. Then I had beer with my new skatey mates and went to bed without setting the alarm.

Thank you,
Bombadee #00

Sep 16, 2009

Hard

Remember the scene in Conan the Barbarian where Conan is turning the big wooden spindled thing. What the heck - was it a well they were digging? A mill? Maybe it was just a torture device, anyway it's what makes him into Conan The Barbarian and then he's muscle-y and can't be beat. Well, Houston Roller Derby is kicking my ass like that and when I am on the 73rd pushup and my arms are threatening to go on strike and send my nose straight into the floor, I think of this scene and how I will be able to lop off Jame Earl Jones' head with one swipe at the end of these next few months of practices. I'll be loosing weight on two fronts; through the sweat valve that turns on by simply moving while in Texas and my inability to lift a fork to my mouth after practice. I'd like to post a before and after picture but I can't lift a camera. Also, I think HRD doesn't stand for Houston Roller Derby - it's just meant to be pronounced "hard."

(I looked it up - it's called "the wheel of pain" fitting with it's counter clockwise motion.)

Sep 14, 2009

Top 40

When I moved to Houston I spun the radio dial (another phrase that won't make sense to my kid) until I found 10 stations to program into my car and one station I could listen to in the morning with traffic, weather and a couple of playful hosts. I wake up to 95.7 and the hilarity that ensues with segments like "Whatcha Doin' at the Courthouse?" where somebody tries to justify running over a cop or insists they don't "fit the perscription" of the perpitrator and this morning I heard the gameshow "Are you smarter than a drunk girl? " I like Sarah and Booker, they're funny. Here's what I don't like and maybe this is how these whipersnappers do it these days and I'm just old, but they play the same 10 songs every morning. I keep changing the channel hoping to find a different morning show but dangit if I don't keep comming back. I just need to figure out how to fast forward or totaly skip those 10 songs.

Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling", Cobra Starship "Good Girls Gone Bad", Keri Hilson "Knock You Down", Lady Gaga "Love Game", Pitbull "I Know You Want Me", Sean Kingston "Fire Burning", Kate Perry "Waking Up in Vegas", Jordin Sparks "Battlefield", Drake "Best I Ever Had", 30H!3 "Don't Trust Me"

You can hear these half way down the page at www.hothits957.com - it's the red box on the right. I know them all by heart now. Not because I like any of them, I mean I might like them, but it doesn't even matter because they keep playing and playing and playing them and I think even if I could've liked one of them, now it's bruned into my ear drum and I don't ever need to hear it again. I did get a kick out of "I'm in Miami Trick" and here they play "I'm in H-Town Trick" it has just the right amount of ridiculous and screwy dance track and I get the feeling the musicians don't take themselves too seriously, with the name LMFAO, how can they? Then it was nearly ruined for me when I accidentaly flipped the television past the Kardashian channel and heard the song used in one of their shows. Still despite the masogony and it's use in the Kardashian mess - I still listend to this song three times while typing this blog post. (I know! What is wrong with me!?)

Sep 10, 2009

SEPTEMBER SALE!

Somebody buy my lovely house. It's 6,000 square feet of light filled space in a friendly little farm town in a fabulous school district. Too many adjectives? Selling it too hard? Too bad, it's all true and I need to sell it. Let me also add, it could be easily turned into a commercial property (it was once before.) In fact we just lowered the price, it's only $69,500.00. Call Jesse at Dickerson Neiman about this listing! And let me lay this on ya - if you got a 30 year mortgage (nothing down is what I calculated) it'd only be $403.00 a month. I don't think you can even rent an apartment for that cheap anywhere.






.

Sep 8, 2009

Five Good Things

Last week I tried out for the Houston Roller Derby and got drafted! This is exciting for me as you can imagine. It'll be nice to have like minded women in my life and I look forward to being able to slam into them at full speed.

***

Over the weekend I got a lot of notes from family and friends about the previous post. Thank you.

***

I'm doing some web comics for Zombie Logic Press, go visit.

***

Sep 4, 2009

I Miscarried

You read it right. Twice in the last year. I didn't write about it because it's more than I want to put out there and really what was I going to say that would've been new? I think I had all the normal feelings of loss and sadness and all that - so I didn't mention it. But I write about it today because I'm finally off the old insurance and need to tell you about what they did to me.

Let me start by saying I appealed everything and as it stands right now I believe they are going to be paying, so I may be running a risk of screwing that up by writing but I am tired of hearing people say they aren't sure about health care reform.

In June we moved. At the end of June I was feeling dizzy all the time and decided to pee on the stick and see. We'd been trying to conceive up until Dan lost his job in May and we knew we'd have to take the COBRA insurnace, so we weren't aiming for getting pregnant especially in the middle of the adjusting to a new job, packing up the house, moving three states away, and unpacking. But of course it seems this sort of thing always happens when you relax and aren't thinking about it. We were delighted to find out I was. I should explain, I lost a pregnancy last November (at 11 weeks) and I'm 36years old, so I knew I would be labeled as "high risk" and knew I needed to see a doctor right away. I called my insurance to find out what to do, they said I was not covered in another state unless it was an emergency and I could go to the emergency room if I felt it necessary.

Dan and I carefully weighed what to do. If I had a condition that wasn't covered by insurance when I went on the new insurance, it could be considered a pre-existing condition, and may not be covered. We decided I couldn't wait another day and the best thing would be to see an OB, one that would be on the new insurance, just pay for the first visit out of pocket. I would be spending a week in Illinois in August anyway and could see my regular Illinois OB while there and get all the necessary ultrasounds and expensive stuff while I was there dealing with the house (we haven't sold yet) and the insurance would be happy I was in network. Then I'd be back in TX when the new insurance kicked in, for the next round of appointments. I got on the phone and made all the necessary appointments in both states.

After that first out of pocket visit was when the complications started. Abdominal pain (I'd rather spare you the details) and some unsatisfactory labs. My OB decided to get me on a prescription and monitor closely. During this time we tried get the insurance company to cover the appointments since the situation had changed. Again they said they would not cover anything in TX and I'd need to again pay out of pocket for all the additional labs and ultra sounds. The insurance company said it wasn't an emergency enough to pay because I wasn't going to the emergency room. I couldn't bare the thought of sitting in a large city's emergency room with a rambunctious 5 year old trying to get very detailed and careful ongoing care over the next three weeks, out of the doctor who happened to be on call. Instead, I continued to see the OB, I was sure it was where I was going to get the care I needed.

The week after, I went in to my TX OB for an ultra sound -no heartbeat. At this point, she ordered a DNC (they remove the contents of the uterus) and run several follow up tests on the tissue to try and figure out why. We scheduled the DNC and all the follow ups. The billing department called for the pre-approval, the insurance company denied it and said if I was having an emergency I should go to the emergency room and they would cover that. I asked my OB if I went to the emergency room what would happen, she said they'd send me home to wait it out. My body would expel the cells on it's own, sometime in the next month. Or if I was having severe pain they'd do a DNC and send me home. I asked - what about the follow up tests? She shook her head. I asked who would do the surgery she said the doctor on call.

I spent frantic hours on the phone with the insurance company fighting about it. One insurance operator said they would cover the proceedure with my OB, the next operator on the phone with the OB said they wouldn't, I would have to go to the emergency room. It was like treating the heart attack but not allowing the heart surgeon to do the surgery and asking for the emergency room doc instead, then throwing the EKG results in the trash all because a person is out of network. The OB's office gave up and said they couldn't schedule anything unless they received payment up front ($1,200.00 at the minimum just to reserve the operating room) or a pre-approval from the insurance.

I considered just staying home and waiting it out. Pictured myself home with Ella, while Dan was at work and nobody to call to come watch her. I pictured, emergency situations and an ambulance. I pictured paying for the operating room out of pocket. I imagined not knowing why it all happened and attempting this all again because I didn't know about some thing the follow up test would reveal. I was hysterical for two days wondering what to do and I called my OB in Illinois to see if she could order the tissue sent from the emergency room to her office in Illinois for follow up tests and at that time I talked long with my dear nurse practitoner. Then I called the insurance back and asked them some very specific questions. It became clear, if I was in Illinois, like I was last fall with the last miscarriage, the insurance would cover everything 100%.

Dan packed me, the kid and the dog into the car and drove me to my mother's that night. We left Thursday night at 5pm after work and arrived in IL at 22 hours later at 2pm on Friday. My doctor in IL rearranged her vacation and saw me at 2:15pm that day and scheduled my procedure for 6:00pm that evening. The insurance company wouldn't approve it because it wasn't at the correct surgical location. Both me and my doctor would have to wait until the approved surgical location was available on Monday. We waited, and on Monday it was all covered 100%.

Now let me put this in perspective, I miscarried and the insurance company made me drive 22 hours, 1500 miles to be in-network and then made me wait three days before they would cover anything.

I'm sure they would insist they would've covered any life threatening situation and this was not. They would be right, this wasn't an instance where I was going to die in that moment, it was an instance where somebody else was dying over a period of two weeks and they made me drive across three states before they'd pay. Again, in fairness, I've turned in all the old bills under an appeal, and the agent on the other end of the phone said she'd recode them as an emergency and it'd be likely they'd pay because of the outcome. But I can't help but think about if I hadn't lost the pregnancy. What then? - Crisis averted and the insurance doesn't pay a dime? I'd have piled up a hefty collection of ultrasounds and labs by now. I'd owe thousands.

So bloggies, I write this for several reasons, if you didn't see much of me when I was in IL, now you know why - I wasn't feeling well. If you missed me writing here and have wondered what was up, now you know why - I didn't know what to say, and most importantly GET BEHIND THIS HEALTH CARE REFORM! This quagmire of red tape, paper work and pre-approvals is effecting the care we get. The insurance company is dictating my health based on how somebody codes something. It's ridiculousness. If your argument is that you want the government to stay out of it so you can continue to make your own health care choices - I say to you WAKE UP! We aren't making our own health care choices and neither are our doctors. The insurance companies are.




Follow up: I'm fine. Still disappointed, but expected. The tests all came back normal and we'll be clear for take off next month. It's likely you'll not hear much more about it unless there is good news to share.

Sep 2, 2009

today

It is impossible to be in a bad mood when the sun is out and there is mambo on the radio.

Sep 1, 2009

How to Smooth Frizzy Locks

I don't want to. I'm sick of hearing that I should - so piss off hair product industry. My hair is curly, and in Texas, even curlier. There is no way I'm going to spend any amount of time with a flat iron, blow dryer or any other type of smelly, fiddly product when it's likely that I will step out into the actual fresh air today and play with my kid.

In fact most sauna-like days it's going to be pulled into a bun or a braid and then all the little frizzles and ringlets will get free and be who they wanna be in all their spinny, swirly glory. Or my hair will be soaking wet because I'm at the pool or it's raining at wich time it will be getting ready to curl up. I also like my grey hairs, it took me a long time to earn them, and I plan to keep them.













Also see Chris Rock's new movie "Good Hair"