Thursday, October 3, 2013

No Cure For the Common Cold. Or the Common Douchebag, Either.

I woke up sick early this morning, but for the first time in years, I'm not panicking. Maybe it's because I work a job where people actually give a shit about me, (they DO exist!) Maybe it's because I started the enrollment process for the ACA last night, maybe a little of both. I've been listening to people debate the pros and cons all day. Whenever I feel strongly about something and I hear negative reactions, I want to persuade someone to understand my side of things. I also try to be fair and open minded to constructive criticisms directed at the issue. But, allow me to be blunt: when it comes to hearing out the opposition on this one, I don't give a fuck, so keep it pushing, bitches. Health care, even crappy health care, has not been an option for me since I was 19 years old. Since that time, I've had a couple jobs that supposedly offered medical, but there was always some obstacle that made coverage just out of reach. For too many years, I've been stuck in the dilemma that young, (or not so young) single, childless people all over the country face: Barely making a living wage does not have leave room in the budget for insurance, definitely no room for paying cash for an office visit or prescriptions. Yes, there are government programs, but with no dependants, those are as out of reach as rain during a drought. So, every time I feel a cold coming or I twist my ankle, I panic. Go to work sick or lose a day or more in pay. Call in sick or get fired for not being able to produce a doctor's note. Take out a personal loan to get a crown and a root canal or try a more cost effective method of pain control, which is when you just pray that the tooth will hurry up and fall out so the pain will stop. Since I was diagnosed with cervical cancer last November, I've maxed out everything that California Family Pact will cover. I've been coming up clean for almost six months now, but if the cancer does come back, I'm on my own. So, because I can't afford thousands of dollars in treatment, do I deserve to be rendered barren by a hysterectomy or possibly even die? Fuck that. And what if something else happens? You start putting off procedures in hopes that someday you'll hit the lotto before you die from whatever ails you. The worst part, however, is the knowledge that you are working hard and paying your fair share, and you're still getting left behind. Bullshit. So, to all of the dissidents out there, I'm sorry. I'm selfish. I want affordable (not free) health care. I want to go to a doctor when I'm sick, instead of taking expired antibiotics and generic nyquil and hoping for the best. I work, I pay taxes, I take care of my family, and wanting my basic needs met without turning to bank robbery or prostitution sounds pretty good to me. If you dont like it, call our therapist and set up an appointment. Don't trip, your HMO will cover it. You know, the one you've had for years and is NOT being taken from you. If you disagree and are preparing a rebuttal, save it. Tell it to someone else.  Because if you missed it, allow me to reiterate: I don't give a fuck! Purely selfish, I know. I'll make an amends later. 2014 is gonna be my year! Here's to not dying from treatable disease!!

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Sunday, September 22, 2013


<a href="" id="gd791">dreamhost promo codes</a>When I was growing up,  my mom,  no matter how tight the budget may have been, always made sure that my brother and I had good shoes.  By "good" I don't mean the newest,  most expensive shoes,  but they were always decent quality,  name brand shoes that fit well and would (hopefully) survive at least half of the school year.  There were several reasons for this.  The first was something a pair of cheap vinyl sneakers would betray your trust shortly after the wearer donned them with one unmistakable sign: they would make your feet stink. Life has enough hurdles without being known as the kid whose feet smell like cheese.  The next and biggest reason for quality footwear was that cheap shoes worn now will cause problems that can only  be addressed by a podiatrist and a sizeable wad of cash in the future.  My younger brother actually has issues with his feet that are caused by a noticeably  absent arch that runs in our family.  Sounds contrary to my argument right?  Well I'm certain that if Mom had bought our shoes from the Wal-Mart clearance bin, double amputation by his 18th  birthday would have been the only treatment option available.
  The other day I returned home from work,  and my feet were killing me. My day typically consists of leaving home around 7AM to embark on a route that consists of three busses and 90 minutes to arrive by 9AM-ish at the salon I work at.  I then spend 7 to 12 hours cutting,  coloring,  and styling hair. Sometimes sitting down to pee is a relaxing break.     This is followed by a slightly longer bus ride home where I finally drag in around 8:30PM. And that's a slow day.  Anyhow,  the day in question found me wearing a pair of super adorable   and super cheap flats. My chubby little toes  didn't stand a chance. Blisters on both sides ,  and the ball of my foot felt as if I'd spent all day walking barefoot on hot asphalt. As I sat soaking my feet in Epsom salts,  I thought about what my mom would have to say about the situation. Although my mom lives over 100 miles from me,  I still  gave in to the urge to throw the shoes away. Outside. In the big trash can  at the curb.  My neighbors receptacle,  not mine,  as if Mom was going to show up and "catch"  me with the offending pair of spike studded ballerina flats. Some of you may be thinking to yourself, that I'm overreacting. Well, to you , my sad, misdirected friend, I say get the hell away from me before my mom catches me talking to you. Honestly, I am 32 years old, and I still struggle with the realization that perhaps, mother really does known best.
All jokes aside, I honestly adore my mother. The reason I'm writing this is because I feel that there is a strong similarity between how she felt about our shoes,and the the invaluable things she taught us about life.
Much like shoes, we should look for people and things in our lives (including ourselves) to be genuine. Anyone can spot something esthetically beautiful. However,will it stink after a time? After a little sweat, will you wish that you had invested a little more money, or even just a little more of yourself? All that glitters is not gold. Scratch the surface to discover what lies within.
 My mom has always told me that I'm beautiful. More importantly, she also always told me that I'm smart , funny, and unique. She's never been one to brush my mistakes under the rug or allow me to make excuses for any poor choices I made. Because, again, just like shoes, pretty on the outside but deceptive and poorly constructed on the inside leads to nothing but misery Some shoes.just by merit of a large, expensive ad campaign, will cause consumers to run amok, camp out in front a Foot Locker, and brawl in mall parking lots just to drop two weeks salary. Unfortunately, popularity does not equal value. In order  to have a solid product, you have to start from the bottom up. It takes time to make sure that the seams line up and all the loose ends are secure before finishing. If you don't take care, your end product will begin to fall apart, regardless of that gorgeous Italian leather upper.
Once you've constructed a shoe that an old school cobbler would drool over, it's time to lace up and take your new footwear for a spin. Keep in mind, every new shoe needs to be broken in. Once you've set your sights on exactly what you desired, its only half the work. Try it on, walk around, try different terrain. In the beginning, things may be awkward and stiff, but if you've chosen the right shoe, it won't be long before you're comfortable and they fit like a second skin. However, if you continue to be uncomfortable, even if it's just a seemingly small irritant, you may want to reconsider your choice. Too often,we ignore the molehill that may become a mountain. That pain, a strange tingle, is a warning sign. What starts as something just rubbing you the wrong way will eventually become a blister. Further ignored the blister becomes a painful, weeping sore. Often, we tell ourselves that its just easier to disregard it, because it's just too much effort to throw out the offending shoe and select a new one. We may also come to believe that since we picked it out ourselves, that we deserve to be stuck with our faulty choice. The thought of trying again and sifting through other options is just overwhelming. So, instead, we grit our teeth, suck it up, and eventually, the blister becomes a callus, a permanent and constant reminder of what used to be.
 Occasionally, we will try on a pair of shoes that just don't look like anything we would ever consider putting on. For some reason, we try them anyway, and are startled by the fit. It's as if they are custom made for us. Sometimes, we decide, for whatever reason, to put them back on the shelf, insisting to opt for the beauty and the pain at least one more time. Sometimes we just have a learn the hard way. You can only hope that you realize the error before the calluses take over entirely. We must learn that a perfect fit is often hidden under a less than beautiful exterior.
 After years in good shoes ,bad shoes, and everything in between, you might have a sudden urge to take them off altogether. Kick them off, walk barefoot in the grass or sand. Flex your toes and stretch. Appreciate the feet that have carried you all this way, Up, down, backwards, forwards.
You may never get the pair that are "just right". Maybe they don't exist, or haven't been invented yet. But the important thing is quality, not quantity. A pair that makes you content at least,is far better than a pair that makes you want to run and hide them in the neighbors dumpster, after all.
Right now, as you're reading this, go to your closet. Look at how many pairs of shoes you have but don't wear. Because they're scuffed, ill fitting, or lost their luster once you got them home. Clear them out. They're weighing you down. Mom used to tell me I make my life harder than it needs to be. She was right. But I'm trying to throw out all these damn shoes so that I can walk barefoot in the sand with her.