I’ve spent over a year experiencing “firsts”. I’ve finally accepted the fact that the Universe is throwing lessons my way and if I keep closing my eyes and going “la-la-la-la-la”, this train ain’t gonna’ stop. I’m going through a period of growth and change in my life. Again.

Tomorrow I get to experience another “first” – one I’m really not looking forward to. One that terrifies me. I’ve debated blogging about this, though, because this particular experience is nothing new to a lot of people out there. I may come off sounding like a whiny little snit. If I do… :: shrugs :: I can’t help it. Try to see things from my perspective.

Tomorrow I will officially be uninsured. My COBRA insurance expires at midnight tonight. Because of my epilepsy, I can’t get healthcare coverage through any of the insurance providers. My COBRA coverage can’t transfer to an individual policy because they’re based out-of-state (something to do with insurance companies not being able to provide coverage across state lines, even though Blue Cross is Blue Cross in WA and in TX). The only insurance I can get right now is the State High Risk Pool, which is ungodly expensive. My other choice is to go 6 months without any kind of coverage and apply for the Federal High Risk Pool, which is affordable. But asking someone with epilepsy to go 6 months without healthcare coverage is asking a lot. Just like asking someone who has a heart condition, or asthma, or any other condition that required regular visits to a specialist and expensive medication.

I haven’t been without insurance coverage since 1987. Yeah, I know… last year I was saying I hadn’t been without full-time employment since 1987.

I don’t like being afraid, damnit. I feel like my last “safety net” is going away.

Some Ramblings on the Public Reaction to the Tragedy in Colorado

I have not posted about the recent events surrounding the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. Families are in shock and/or grieving. The media is covering the story, as it is, and unfortunately, people are trying to attach a political agenda to this event. 

Last night, Mr. Magick Man and I went to see the new Batman movie at Studio Movie Grill. They were running a bit behind schedule in clearing the theatre, so there was a line of people waiting to be seated. I could not help but overhear the conversation of the couple sitting next to us… the woman was talking to her husband about the shooting in Colorado, and she was genuinely nervous about something happening while we were watching the movie. She said there are “all sorts of lunatics” out there. I couldn’t help myself… I turned to her and laughed, and said, “Hon, you must know half my family!” Obviously, her husband was trying calm her anxiety by inserting some sense of realism, but he wasn’t doing a good job of it… When she said something about how the guy just started shooting, Mr. Magick Man finally said, “Yeah, but here in Texas, we shoot back.” I don’t know if that made her feel better or made her even more nervous, but she stopped talking about the shooting.

What got me to writing about this today is, people are watching so much of the coverage on this tragedy we have people living in fear. The political agenda people are pushing on this – that it wouldn’t have happened if we had stronger gun control laws or if people weren’t allowed to own guns at all – has the general public living in fear. Why? Because they’re spinning it as though all gun owners are freaking lunatics or criminals.

What happened in Colorado was a terrible, terrible thing. IMHO, James Holmes either snapped and had some kind of psychotic break, or he’s just pure evil. The defense is probably going to play for the psychotic break. Would this have happened if we had stricter gun laws? Yes. He just would have found some other type of weapon. Homemade bombs… purchasing weapons on the black market… where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Should we live in fear because there might be a psychotic lurking around the corner? HELL NO. Life is too short for that kind of attitude. Better to live life as you normally would and be capable of defending yourself and your family if necessary.

A Political Rant on Outsourcing

We’ve seen quite a bit of mudslinging lately between Obama’s campaign and Romney’s campaign. Personally, I don’t support either candidate. Once again, the American public is faced with voting against the other candidate rather than voting for someone they like. Ahh, but that’s another rant for another day.

Let me give you a little history on Outsourcing… see, it all started with NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement)

NAFTA was:

  • Signed December 8, 1993, by President Bill Clinton
    • Eliminated all tarrifs and trade restrictions between the U.S., Canada and Mexico
    • Heavily criticized by Reform Party candidate Ross Perot, who argued if NAFTA passed, Americans would hear a “giant sucking sound” of American companies fleeing the U.S., finding employees who would work for less pay and without benefits (predicting what we know as Outsourcing, today).
  • NAFTA took effect on January 1, 1994

Mitt Romney’s role at Bain Capital (or, Seriously? You’re telling us you never outsourced, ever?)

  • Romney has been under attack in the media for outsourcing positions at Bain Capital
  • Romney says the outsourcing occurred 2 years after he left the company. I can’t find an unbiased media outlet to confirm or deny this information.
  • Regardless, I’m sure outsourcing occurred while he was there. All the major corporations outsource. It’s “cost effective”, and it “improves the bottom-line”.

The Obama Administration and Outsourcing (or, What Have You Done For Me Lately?)

  • Who remembers Obama’s 2008 campaign rally cry of “Foreign aid, si! Outsourcing, no!”?
  • What has the Obama Administration done to stop outsourcing jobs?
  • Have any changes been made to make it more difficult for corporations to outsource?
  • Have corporations been given any incentives to keep jobs here in the U.S., where our unemployment rates are skyrocketing?

Mr. President, as far as this whole outsourcing issue is concerned I think the pot is calling the kettle black.

This isn’t a Democrat vs. Republican issue. This is about our economy. Period. This is about corporations making major donations to the candidate they think will win the election, and that candidate catering to the whims of the corporations.

What really gets me is seeing all the Facebook posts from people I know falling into this media frenzy. Whether they’re on the Left or the Right, I feel like it’s an “us vs. them” mentality. When, really, it doesn’t matter who we have in Office or what Party they run under. They don’t keep their campaign promises and they’re only “bought-and-paid-for” politicians anyway.

Just feeling a bit jaded today. Stepping off my soap box now.

Good Friends and Celebrations

Tomorrow is my birthday; a day in which I will turn another year younger. Someone asked if I have an odd portrait hiding somewhere in my attic. I’ll never tell. 😉

This past weekend we had a party at my house, and really, I was a bit overwhelmed at the response. I invited some of my close friends and family. But people drove from out of town! And, y’know, just hanging out with everyone and having a blast was the best present, ever. I don’t think I’ve thrown a party like that in quite some time.

I realized just how good the party was the next morning, when I woke up and got a look at the kitchen. No pictures were taken – it was that much of a mess. I think we’ll call it Hurricane Duch.

Best takeaway of the party: Krystie made a yummy plate of chocolates. I need the recipe, because the salted ones were oh, so good.

Hehehe… 🙂

Good morning, everyone! I’m off to have coffee now. Have a great day!

Little Victories

OMFG where have I been? Yeah, I’m still doing what I can to battle the monster of depression. I count myself lucky – I have a very understanding and supportive husband. I get the feeling he’s been through this before, himself. He’s one of those people who doesn’t let things get to him. Things just “roll off his back”. If he can’t control a situation, he has this uncanny ability to wait.

:: sigh ::

Control. Yeah. I’ve learned there are things you just can’t control and you just have to let go. That doesn’t mean I haven’t fought this lesson kicking and screaming.

As a result, I went into a bit of a downward spiral. Anyone familiar with the patterns of depression knows the routine. “Social-butterfly-me” had no desire to go anywhere or do anything. The kicker was my office. It was a physical manifestation of the chaos in my head. Oh, don’t get me wrong – I’d obsessively clean the rest of the house, but my office remained untouched. Of course, this was where I performed my job searches, etc… Of course, I felt inadequate. Of course, I wasn’t happy here.

This is where my husband stepped in last weekend.  We sat down and talked about the depression, the lack of focus, my big fears… then we made a list. What do I need to do in order to feel like I’ve accomplished something?

I won’t share the entire list with you; most of it involves projects I’m working on. But the first thing was to clean my office. I spent the 4th of July cleaning my office. It took the entire day. I declared my independence from the chaos in my office, and the chaos in my mind.

You know, it’s been just a little bit better since.

Tenacious Woodpecker

It’s been a rough week. I’ve been under a lot of stress and as a result I’ve really, well, just haven’t been myself lately. Things got to the point of impacting my health, and that was my queue to breathe.

While I was recuperating from that mess and gathering my scattered thoughts, we had a few storms blow through down here. It’s amazing what a good thunderstorm will do for the soul. I could always just sit at my window, close my eyes, and listen to the storm blow through. I find it very calming.

Evidently, one of these storms came through while we were sleeping last week. My husband woke up to a huge limb on the ground in our back yard.

I didn’t know at the time, but he’d asked our teenboy to take the saw to it and haul it to the curb for Friday’s pick-up.

Friday morning rolls around and I look in the back yard. The limb is still there. The limb is news to me (as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a bit out of it and not quite myself). So I ask about this limb in the back yard. Before my husband can answer, the boy says, “Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. A woodpecker knocked that down earlier this week. I was supposed to clear that away.” I looked at my teenboy, then looked at the damage outside. A woodpecker? Was he being serious? This is how the conversation went from there:

Me: “A woodpecker?”

Teenboy: “Yes.”

Me: “Damn…. That must be some tenacious woodpecker.”

Teenboy: “Um… well, maybe it was the storm… You’re going to blog about this, aren’t you?”

Me: “Yep. With pictures.”

I give you the Tenacious Woodpecker, in his natural habitat:

   Woodpecker…  :: snorfle ::