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dealing with idiotic doctors' offices

Scheduled my doctor's appointment (an annual) last July. They called to confirm Friday. I talked to the business office this morning.
Got to the 4:00 appointment at 3:55. At 3:56, they called to reschedule because the doctor was "at a meeting."
Sonia Gordon-Dole is an **amazing doctor** with an amazingly dense business office. I have problems with them every appointment. If they don't want me, they should just let me go.
I asked for my chart and am considering a complaint to the State's Department of Public Health.


What attracted me...

The daily newspaper has a daily interactive question for readers.  Wednesday's question (for today's paper, which I missed), asked what first attracted us to our mates.

A lot of it had to do with memories of shared friends, and with Andee's awesome personality and gentleness.  However, a lot of it has to do with the way he treats his kid.

Incidentally, said kid is now happily (I hope) living with us full-time. I love Poptart and am so happy that Poptart is with us full-time. <3    



Originally posted by scarybaldguy at Colbert
Originally posted by mountain_hiker at Colbert

Seriously, what kind of jackass thinks it's perfectly OK to deny other people happiness when that happiness does not in any way negatively impact them?


This occurred to me this morning.

President Obama was elected before he thought that gay people should marry.

He knows from experience that that "strategy" worked.

If he was ONLY making a statement to work toward re-election, dontcha think he'd go with the Tried and True?

My conclusion, and you don't have to agree: He spoke his mind, not his campaign.


In case you hadn't noticed, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, has come out in favor of gay marriage.  He said something that really hit home for me:

And frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change of perspective -- not wanting to somehow explain to your child why somebody should be treated differently when it comes to eyes of the law.” (from President Obama Supports Same Sex Marriage)

The President is getting some flack for having his opinions evolve at a time convenient to the upcoming Presidential election. I'm not buying that at all, no matter how many times my well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) friends try to "correct" me.  He's a smart man. The more he thought about it, the more he would realize that the semantics of "civil union" versus the word "marriage" were NOT just semantics, but actually cruel.  Over time, one would hope, his opinion would change. It did.

As far as "convenient time," that's bullshit. If his opinion changed at any point in the time since he began running for President to the present date, the naysayers would be able to tie that to an upcoming event and bitch about convenience.

Something to think about: My mom is a very intelligent woman. She told me, many years ago, that gay people should be allowed to marry but that the word "marriage" was for heterosexuals, and maybe they could come up with another word for when gay people married. I was horrified, I remember - my smart mommy had just said something that sounded really stupid to me. I didn't know the word "semantics" but I knew that changing a name of an action to single out people in one group, to separate them like yolk from an egg, was really unkind.

Years passed. My mom gave the topic a lot of thought. She realized that people who love each other should be allowed to marry if they wanted to.  Was her timely decision convenient to my formative years? To the years in which half my friend circle was made up of, purely coincidentally, gay men? How about when I worked at an internationally-famous university who was among the first to allow same-sex partners to have the same health insurance rights as their heterosexual co-workers? (I was pretty damn proud the day that was on the radio!!)

It never occurred to me that her timing was convenient TO anything.  I was just happy that she came around. Just like I'm happy that Barack Obama came around.

Don't comment to tell me that I'm wrong, that the POTUS chose when he would support gay marriage so that he'd get more voters. I have let other stuff slide but I'm standing firm, no discussion, on this one.

Barack Obama and Same-Sex Marriage

Please: if you disagree with people of the same gender being allowed to marry as two humans should be allowed, please just unfriend me.

Rebekah --

Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:

I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I hope you'll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality:


I've always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I've talked to friends and family about this. I've thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I've gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.

Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn't dawn on them that their friends' parents should be treated differently.

So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

If you agree, you can stand up with me here.

Thank you,


G-d Squad - "Eating Meat Is Not Evil"

G-d Squad - "Eating Meat Is Not Evil"

Eating meat is not evil

Q: If God loves all of His creatures, why did He create a fierce life situation where to remain healthy His creatures must (kill and) eat other living things? -- N., West Babylon, NY, via godsquadquestion@aol.com

A: One of the reasons I love the Bible is that it teaches us on many levels how to do the right thing. There's a low level teaching for most ethical problems in the Bible which shows us how to do the right thing on a very low, but still morally correct level. There are also teachings that challenge us to do the right thing on a much higher level.

The teachings of God in the Bible are a ladder lifting us to ever higher levels of kindness, love and forgiveness without ever forgetting the low level of moral weakness where all of us begin our journey to a life of virtue. Such is the case with vegetarianism. Genesis shows this two-tiered approach to the moral issues of deciding what we will eat perfectly. In Genesis 1:27-30, we read:

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so." (KJV)

So even though people and not animals are made in the image of God, the original intent of God for our diet is clearly vegetarian. There's no permission here for people to eat animals...yet!

However, later in Genesis (chapter 9:3-7), in the covenant with Noah after the flood, we read God's carnivorous concession to human weakness:

"Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein." (KJV)

Eating meat is the low level ethical choice. It is permitted because animals are lower on the order of creation, but it is not the high level choice that God intended at the beginning of Creation. I agree with God. Killing animals for meat is not murder. Animals are proper food for humans, but they're definitely not the most proper food.

We can ingest all the protein we need from plants and we can save animals from the torture of factory farms and save the earth from the depleting effects of raising large numbers of animals for meat. It would be easy to go the next step and claim that eating meat is not ethical, but that would not be true.

In our real world, there's almost always a high moral goal and a lower moral minimum. The Bible teaches this high/low version of morality over and over again. We should not wage war, but if we go to war, we're forbidden to cut down our enemies fruit and olive trees (Deuteronomy 20:19). If we eat meat, we must only eat meat raised in stress-free conditions, but we must always remember that eating meat is a concession to our moral weakness. It is moral, but only barely.

I believe this text lesson from Genesis is true for people who don't even read the Bible or believe in God. I believe it's philosophically true that eating meat is ethical, but on a low level. Just like giving only a little to charity is ethical, but also only ethical on a low level. Because we can do better doesn't mean that what we're doing now is morally corrupt. This extreme dichotomy is false to the ethical complexities of life.

Good people eat meat and some thieves are vegetarians. Life is messy and one of the things I truly love about the Bible and the wisdom of God's teaching in the Bible is the gentle way it tries to instruct us from the place we are in the hopes that it can bring us to the place we should be.

(Send QUESTIONS ONLY to The God Squad, c/o Tribune Media Services, 2010 Westridge Drive, Irving, TX 75038, or email them to godsquadquestion@aol.com.


Read the whole thing, anyway.

Sleep Study

Yesterday was Andee's birthday and I really wanted to spend it with him.

However, a sleep study needed to make the insurance company happy... long story.

Despite the stories I heard, it was fine! I missed sleeping with Andee, and I had to sleep on my back. (Couldn't do anything about the Sleeping On My Back part, but I Built A Boyfriend out of pillows. Hardly as satisfying, but there was something to my left and it was better than nothing.)

The room... I was expecting a bright hospital room. I got what looked like a hotel room except for wires peeping out behind things. (The oxygen that some people need is behind a picture on the wall.) The lights were pleasant, and were shut out when I went to bed. Cameras were allowed, so I took some pictures of the room and the pile of pillows that was a poor surrogate for Andee. I also took a few of myself.

The technician lady brought me herbal tea and, after hooking me up to everything, checked in once an hour until I was ready to sleep. After House, I put on American Dad and had the lady hook my wires to the wall.

It was so quiet that you wouldn't have known that there were four studies of snorers (I understand that I was loud, myself, since I had to sleep on my back) at the same time.

I don't like sleeping on my back, but I made do. I wake up a lot, and last night was no exception. At least it's all recorded for Insurance.

This morning, after I was unhooked (and the gluey stuff was melted and combed out of my hair by the nice lady), I got a nice surprise: the study group treated me to breakfast. In the cafeteria, I met a really pleasant man who was also part of the sleep study, and he asked me to join him. Because I was the last one let go from the study, it was later than I realized, and I got home missing Andee by about five stinkin' minutes :(

Well, we have Date Night tonight. I am going to nap sleeping on my side, in our own bed until Andee gets home <3

OCCUPY New Haven

Occupy New Haven celebrated its six monthaversary today. They advertised on Facebook an open celebration, and I went. I brought a box of books, a grocery bag of vintage science fiction magazines, and sliced apples and a fruit platter for the potluck.

I believe in the cause. I am not sure if the 1% even flippin' knows that Occupy New Haven still exists (one of the last). I believe in most of what they say. I'm proud that I, with my family, have donated clothing and books.  When the bulldozers attacked someone's home last week and the crowd on the sidewalk roared its approval, I'm ashamed to say that I didn't yell NO! with the people inside the encampment. I stayed silent.

I haven't really said much, actually.

I walked around for about an hour and a half, listening to the music and to the clergies' blessings of the garden. I barely talked to anyone, just two older guys who walked up to me, and to a really nice guy with a very sweet pit bull that I petted a lot. I took a bunch of photographs with my cell phone, which I'll upload to Facebook. I didn't take pictures of the little kids who were there, obviously, but I did watch the little kids playing happily.

One thing was cool. Last week, a lady named Sara got busted for basically blocking someone's home from being destroyed. I had talked to her wife at the time of the arrest, and had been thinking about them both all week. She spoke at one point, so I was able to figure out who she was. I was able to walk up to her and shake her hand, and point out that the media is quick to point out that she'd been arrested, but not that she had been freed. She is mostly OK, and I'm glad I got to see her even if she doesn't know me.

Politics with which I don't agree were the next topic introduced by the platform after that, so I walked out as silently as I had walked in.

The vibe I picked up was good, but not as great as it was when the police were threatening them last week. I'm glad that they - the people I saw - seemed healthy and happy, but their happiness didn't really do much for the funk I'll be in.  (I came home and wrote sympathy cards.)

I'm really glad I went, and wouldn't mind being more active in the dynamic.

Banking fun

Gotta love my big bank. I'm going to be calling the little ones today.

I'm about to get slapped with a $X fee every month because I don't have a directly deposited paycheck. This is on top of the $X fee - same amount - every month for online banking, which I have to pay if I want to bank online... because I don't have a directly deposited paycheck.

I emailed the bank to see if my unemployment check can count, since it's direct deposit.

Sure. As long as it equals $YYY per month.

It doesn't equal $YYY per month; it's 25% short of being enough! (It's UNEMPLOYMENT for crying out loud.)

So, what do I do.

I close my account and ask the State to stop direct deposit.

Then I get a paper check? Then:
  • I pay a fee at the bank on which it's drawn, if I don't have an account there (I only opened the account because my old paycheck was drawn on them and they charge $5/check to cash their own checks for non-customers); or
  • I sign the check over to my mother and
    • have her write my bill checks for me, and listen to how I don't bank right (it works for me - until NOW - even if it's not traditional) (and I do feel that it's an opinion she's entitled to have) OR
    • have her give me cash - then buy money orders for a fee for each one OR
  • I suck it up and keep my account, and pay the bank's emeffing fee.
However, the State has "gone green." I may have to settle for their debit card, and pay fees for my withdrawals. Then see the square bullets above.

In response to my email: a canned reply that they are sorry to see me go.

I look for jobs on Tuesdays; then I can see not only the weekend classifieds but also ads for positions in which someone has quit over the weekend (that are posted on Mondays). I should have applied for something like 72 jobs by now; I've applied for 249 and will apply for another ten today. I want to work!


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