Christmas Past, Present,Future it’s all about the ghosts

December 18, 2009 at 3:29 PM (Uncategorized) ()

What to do, when neither funds, nor merry friends are around for the holiday…

Dust off some of the old ones.

1968? or so?

I was jealous.  She had a walking doll…and I did not.

I’m not a ‘good sport’  I don’t share well… I was  prickly and guarded and territorial, even at age seven…but my cousin was made of freindly and open, and she did….very different attitude.  We hid under my grandparents big table while it was getting full of food…and played with her doll.  because I was getting prickly and guarded and territorial, even at age seven…And my mother was mortified, because there *was* a walking doll. Waiting at the next house….

1977.  It’s morning.  Before ten, so while  the presents were opened, myself and my parents were still nightgowned, robed and pajama’ ed.

And a copper Olds Cutlass pulled very unexpectedly into my driveway…the one driven by the barely seen boyfriend.   In fact, this would be the last time I’d see him until 1985. (It wasn’t meant to be set up that way, just happened…)

My Gawd!  The boyfriend….! Cover, cover brush brush, clean the glasses….brush the teeth.

I was fumfu’d.  I said nothing coherent. Neither did he. We were annoyed that my parents were there, but nothing to be done about that…  (Turns out that was kinda a pattern for later moments alone,  but we didn’t know that. )   He handed me a copy of Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion, inscribed with his best wishes and “Christmas 1977.” I still have it, though the jacket is long gone.  It had both sentimental value and practical usage.  From 1977 until 1982 or so, no one would believe I had had a boyfriend (the old ‘gimps don’t have boyfriends,’ thing.)..I’d pull the book out and say “Does this LOOK like my handrwriting?”

1979. The Western Reserve Historical Society — all Dickensian that year….I had achieved Chamber Choir…this was not the big sloppy seventy voices, but the elite sixteen. Four each of bass, soprano,alto…and it was a necessity

because in high school, being a good tenor was still risking the ‘sissy’ label if you were a guy…two guy tenors and two girl tenors, of which I was one.

The auditions were tough, the venues were cooler….all standing on a staircase in royal blue (with obnoxious white collars on the dresses – – Yuck) …but it was the standard carols…above, behind and beside and around the tourists…someone suggested I raise myself up on my crutches and shout “God Bless Us Every One!” I smacked them with a crutch and declined…

Any Christmas at my aunt’s house.  TV Christmases really do exist.  They happen.  They’re at my aunt’s house (and no I won’t tell where, otherwise too many party crashers would show up. ) They’re not wacky dysfunctional Christmases where the guests use the time to explain how they’ve always hated each other.  Nope.  It’s the  Waltons, or Little House, or Leave it to Beaver.

No. Grinches. Allowed.  Great food, great music, great stories (and all because I just couldn’t wait to go to the movies one year, ) a partial desertion of the family table by several suspiciously sci-fi loving guests… at the end of the night if the movie was work seeing….And Christmas will come there,  even if I cannot.

God bless those Christmases.  Every one.

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I admit I don’t know…

December 17, 2009 at 11:04 AM (Uncategorized) ()

The best road, at this point.  But I think I have the beginning of a handle on the choice we’ve been given. It’s called Hobson’s choice.  And it’s beyond crazy that we’ve been given it by one guy.  Not a Republican (Yet).  Not the President.  Not the head of Health and Human Services.  Not a doctor. Not the Supreme Court.   But it’s all come down to a single Senator.  WTF country is this?  The Monarchy ended here in the 18th century…or so I thought.  But here are the choices.

Status Quo:

1. Economic Rationing

2. Denial/rescission (Cancelling of Policies) for Pre  – Existing Conditions

3.  Crazed Premium Increases.

4.  Not forced to buy coverage

5. Forced into free clinics or the ER  even for primary care, driving up costs.

6. Lifetime coverage limitations


1.  Rationing by Procedure (If you have cancer, we can’t drop coverage anymore but we can decide not to pay for chemo, which of course, to a terminally ill person is the same as remission.= Privately Run, for Profit “Unlikely to make it ” Panels)

2.  Insane Premium Increases if you get older.  (I can see it now.  “Don’t Get Older! Avoid the Rate Hike! ” WTF is this, Logan’s Run?)

3. Insane Premium Increases if you get sicker.  ) “We’ll deny the chemo *and* give you a rate hike! a Two-Fer!)

4. Annual Coverage Limits: “Say, can you hold off on that life saving transplant till January?  Because you’ve *used up* your coverage by September…Thanks.”

5.  You have to by this stuff that will rarely pay for stuff….because it’s the law, and if you don’t you’ll pay a fine… [The reason I have a problem with this:  If I’m told by law I must carry health insurance, if I get cancer, I want chemo.  No guarantee I’ll get it with the bill as it stands now.]

6.  The actual good stuff. Young healthy people will have to buy into the system have preventative and primary care *outside of the ER* thus costing less to the system as a whole. And if everyone sees a primary care person more often, because they’re covered, fewer people will be dealing with long term illnesses.

But the ones who do….will be essentially uninsured….paying premiums all the while…that get higher, and higher and higher….

The only good answer that remains is reconciliation, but since that’s optional, not mandatory…there really is no good answer now.

Until the private insurance industry is wisely regulated in all 50 states, with limits on premiums, co-pays, deductibles and penalties for rescission or denial for pre existing conditions, and penalties for procedure, or coverage caps….

It cannot do the job. “The job” being: Coverage for US citizens because America finally proves it gives a damn about the health and quality of life of it’s citizens

Medicare for all (or at least for some more ) can, and is doable in reconciliation.  It’s not creating a new bureaucracy, but building on an existing one.

Americans like Medicare.  Especially the Teabaggers.

It’s the only road to go.

But I guess that road doesn’t go through Connecticut.

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I’m going to get into the thick of it

December 17, 2009 at 7:13 AM (Uncategorized) ()

If the bill is ‘killed’ that doesn’t require reconciliation. If the bill is killed isn’t there a risk run of simply stopping the process completely?

There’s been enough lack of backbone shone around the halls of Congress lately that if the bill got killed HCR would then just die.

I know that isn’t the intent of what Dr. Dean has said. He wants the bill killed so that reconciliation can happen.

That said, I’ve not seen such naked disregard for what the American people want from their public officials since Vietnam.

Congress is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporations. If we move ahead with that clearly in mind, nothing should surprise us anymore.

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The starting point is to *have insurance* Senator Lieberman

December 14, 2009 at 3:39 PM (Uncategorized) (, )

And for the record, my maternal parent, a lifelong Republican *agrees* with me on this small part of my screed:  “Those who act as though the current system does not need to be fixed are, and I quote from her directly, “Woefully misguided.”   I went a little further I think those against reform are high on something, but I’ll take the ‘Woefully misguided,” any day.

I’m going to do a little alternate universe modeling, since I’m a sci-fi geek.

I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1991.  I beat it.

The *only* reason I did.

I had insurance when it began.

In the alternate universe where I’d taken a job at something I’m actually good at: (Comedy, writing,  proofing, counseling) jobs that would have played to my strengths and undoubtedly kept me a working member of society a bit longer….but had no insurance….

I’d. be. dead.

Lake County, Ohio cemetery. Row 21. Next to the husband.  Probably even preceded him, my end date filled in, not comfortably empty like it is today.

So, Senator, you and the other obstructors, working for lobbyists for big insurance/big pharma, or just your own best interests….

Have you no shame?

What you’re really doing is condemning some unknown percentage of people to die.

(Not that ‘reform’ as it is constituted in the Senate now, with annual limits on care….won’t do that too…but it will do it less….I hate the eviscerated structure that exists in the Senate bill…)

But you’re in a class by yourself, Senator.

I understand.  Connecticut is ground zero for Insurance Companies.

I also understand…former family connections to big Pharma.

So, go home and work for them, for more money than you make now.  Instead of making those of us who get Senate speeches from C-span to avoid some bias….listen to you filibuster all alone…to make sure those businesses can continue to say no…forcing more people to free health clinics (Thank you, Countdown!), to untreated ilnesses, and eventually to just…dissapear…

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Who was I supposed to be…

December 8, 2009 at 4:48 PM (Uncategorized)

Here’s a large clue…also a clue as to why my father could be annoying, even when sober…

He wanted a son.  A son to be an athlete.  A stockbroker…a banker…tall, charming, charismatic, able to influence others to do what would benefit him.

If anyone has seen the series “Mad Men” on AMC, he was a less successful version of that sort of man, early in his working life, and wanted a similar sort to carry on.

Thankfully (or not) for my paternal gene pool  my uncle and my cousin seem to have managed that.

I,  a woman, am far from that.

All I got was the charisma.

But thank goodness.  I didn’t get the name.

I was supposed to be called (in lieu of either Bret or Bart after the TV series “Maverick,” which my mother had vetoed…)


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