Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cancer Bitch - Wednesday Edition

Routine visit with Doctor at Hopkins today. Very routine. He gave me 3 options for chemo treatment and ruled out radiology - for the time being. Now I have to wait for the clinical trial nurse to call and schedule chemo. We called it a day and had lunch in Little Italy.

Back to Hopkins

Back off to Johns Hopkins today (The Emerald City) to see what the wizard can tell me. Its cold, its miserable, and I have the distinct feeling that I will NOT see a decent crab cake today. I'm ready for them this time, too! I'm bringing an overnight back in case they decide to keep me overnight again - no butt-flapping hospital gown this time!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28th - the Birth of Cancer Bitch

I avoided it all day. The doctors at Johns Hopkins had told me that they wouldn't have the results of my biopsys until Monday - but I avoided calling until late in the day. And, since denial is not just a river in Egypt they told me the bad news - its cancer and its spread.
There was a lot of yadda yadda about treatments and clinical trials, but I just climbed into bed and put the covers over my head. I gave myself 2 and a half hours (til 8pm EST) to feel sorry for myself because the "Community" marathon was coming on NBC. I did tell relatives - and they blew up my phone. I figure this time I'll try a blog.....

My sister in law, who has also had health issues at Johns Hopkins, says you go from "Good Patient" to "bad patient" real fast. The "Good Patient" waits patiently for every test and endures every needle, hoping that someone, anyone, can tell her what's wrong. The "Bad Patient" wonders why the fuck someone has to wake you at 3am to take a temperature!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hide Your Children!

Remember post-racial America? Anyone? You know, the days when the President of the United States could tell kids to stay in school and study hard?
Back in 1991 it was okay for President Bush to talk to kids. Nobody yanked their kids out of school when President Reagan did it in 1986. Hell, his speech was a political tome about defense and "America's agenda for the future."

So, now President Obama is accused of trying to brainwash the young. That's their parents job. Only parents can teach their children to disrespect the President. President Obama actually told kids they could do what he did - work hard and stay in school.

"Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide." From

What everyone missed was that if you play his speech backwards, at slow speed, the President is actually telling students, "support the health reform plan and kill Granny."

Former First Lady Laura Bush told CNN its part of the President's job to encourage school children. She said while parents had the right to yank their kids out of school and censor what the kids hear, "I also think its really important for everyone to respect the president of the United States."

Former family-values Congressman Newt Gingrich (speaking on Fox News and the "Today Show") also encouraged kids to listen to the speech.
If only the protesters could take as strong a stand for education as they do against the President of the United States.

Meanwhile, Microsoft gazillionaire Bill Gates is launching his own education drive. Gates' "Get Schooled Initiative" is a 5 year plan to boost graduation rates among high school and college students. That is, if they're parents don't object.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Frugalista, Recessionista or just plain Broke....

Today's tip comes from Ed. T. Barron. Writing on DC, he says those in mortgage trouble simply have to demand the "Note" from their mortgage company. This buys them the time they may need to get it together:

"Send, via certified mail and notarized, a letter to the lending institution requesting them to “Produce the Note.” The note, of course establishes that the homeowner is indebted to the bank for the mortgage. It is interesting to note that almost half of the banks who have been contacted by potential foreclosees cannot produce the note. This can result in delays of foreclosure of up to nine months while the lending institution scrambles to find that silly one-page document. With banks selling mortgages to other banks, it is very likely that your note cannot be produced. It also gives the homeowners some negotiating leverage with the foreclosing lending institution."

Rhode Island's Attorney General has successfully used the "Produce the Note" strategy to fight foreclosures. It's not a way to prevent foreclosure, but it can buy valuable time.

Can't refresh your wardrobe like Laura Steins of Harrison, New York? The Washington Post reports she's just barely managing to survive making a little less than $300 thousand per year. I'd love to sympathize with her plight but:

  1. She refuses to fire the nanny
  2. She refuses to move
  3. She hasn't had to skip a mortgage payment
  4. She hasn't had to forego a medical procedure for any of her kids.

But goll-dang it, despite the $2.5 million 4,000 square foot house, the rugs are worn and she agonizes over buying a sweater from Ann Taylor. (She buys it). What's a recessionista to do? (First step - fire your financial advisor since you obviously aren't listening to him/her anyway)

A colleague pointed out to me that this really isn't a recession story - its about a divorce. Great blog about it from Frank James.

I've long been a fan of clothing swaps aka "Switch and Bitch." Suzanne Agasi runs a website devoted entirely to clothing swaps - how to do it - what to expect, etc. If you can't be bothered, just come to my next session.

Valerie Elizabeth is taking this frugalista business a step further. She's keeping an online diary - wearing the same black dress every day, but dressing it up with accessories. She says her "little black dress experiment" helps women get creative with the stuff they already have. Get a clue, Laura Steins...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Have you ever attended a town hall meeting?

(photo courtesy of ken_1001)

People are nutting out across the country about the health care reform bill. Well, the health bill is their excuse. Members of Congress are dodging chairs just like happy hour at a bikers bar. Maybe that's what they should be doing.

For so long, they would hold these boring meetings - an excuse to get back to the District - and they'd read their press release/prepared remarks and congratulate themselves for yet another snoozefest. Have you ever attended a town hall meeting? I haven't. I may go now - its cheaper than tickets to a World Federation wrestling match.

Even if many of the people attending the meeting aren't actually members of that particular Congressional District, lawmakers should be grateful for their presence. The media is breathlessly covering most of these town hall meetings. Look for incumbents running for re-election to recycle this free publicity - as clips in their ads to demonstrate their willingness to take a brick for Democracy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why Newspapers still dont have the answer....

Nat Ives argues in "Advertising Age" that Frank Rich's idea - newspapers should charge for their offerings like cable companies - is flawed because the product just isn't the same.