Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for December, 2003

MORBID, I KNOW

Wednesday, December 31st, 2003 by Dawn Summers

MORBID, I KNOW

Dying on December 31st has always been one of my big fears. (Dying the day before my birthday or in a completely humiliating way, a la, falling airplane waste crushing me to death are the others.)

The not-at-all-appropriately-named Dailywire :) expounds on this subject a bit more, here, but when you die on December 31st, it’s too late to get in the montages for the year in which you die, but no one is going to put you in the montages for the new year because it happened so long ago and in the wrong year.

Embarrassment of Riches

Wednesday, December 31st, 2003 by Dawn Summers

Embarrassment of Riches

Ladies and gentlemen of the blogoshere, I present to you…. Da da da daaaa….Flex-dollar Spending Woman.

Due to some severe miscalculations and unforeseen assignments, I was left with $852 in my flexible spending account as of December 18. For those of you unfamiliar with this program, basically the federal government lets you pick a number, any number and then allows you to spend that amount, tax free, for medical expenses— but any amount leftover at the end of the year goes to Uncle Sam. A Brewster’s millions scenario but over 365 days.

Now last year, I blew through my flex spending account by mid-April. I bid too low and ended up paying the price with after-tax bucks. No good. So last December, determined not to make the same mistake I bid twice as much!

That would have been fine, except I ended up assigned to two, nay, three hellish cases and was unable to schedule a planned surgery or visit the many exotic doctors that I circled in my Provider book ( seriously, what is the difference between an opthamologist and an optometrist?)

And so, on December 18, I faced the daunting task of spending more than 800 dollars on medical services without suffering through any painful procedures.
God bless my friends and their many suggestions:
“Laser-Eye surgery!”
“Braces!”
“Ooh, buy up contact lens solution and sell it half price on the streets.”
“Botox!”

Given the many holidays smack dab in the middle of my 13 day medical marathon, there were many who said it couldn’t be done.
“It can’t be done,” they’d say.

And certainly this was no task for any mere mortal…. But for “Flex-dollar Spending Woman,” no problem.

That’s right, mild-mannered Dawn Summers blogs by night, but by day — she gets expensive, relatively painfree medical services.

Day 1: I went to the dentist for x-rays, got a teeth cleaning with the oral hygenist, visited the optometrist and bought a pair of glasses: $10
Damn managed care.

Day 2: I went to the pulmonary specialist for refills on my asthma medicine. She said I was progressing wonderfully from my near-fatal relapse in 2002, and cut me back to one inhaler.
Good news, but I was banking on her for at least four prescriptions… however, she did recommend I follow-up with an allergist, hooray!

I called the allergist to set up an appointment for the next day, but they would not see new patients during the last two weeks of December. Not realizing she was dealing with a bona fide superhero, the secretary kept hawking some dates in January.
Finally, she relented and said if I could get to the office in the next hour, the doctor would see me.
Fifteen minutes later, I was in the waiting room filling out the new patient forms. He was good for the co-pay, but then decided to give me samples of the medicine instead of prescriptions to “see how I reacted” blah blah blah…

All in all I spent $65, but I managed to score a return appointment with the allergist for the following week, being a brand-spanking, shiny return patient and all.

Day 3: I had a session for deep-tissue muscle, back, neck and thigh therapy.
Gotta love the Swedes: $75

Days 4 and 5 were unproductive weekends, lousy no-goodnik doctors. Why don’t they work on weekends??? People get sick on weekends. People die on weekends. People need to spend flex dollars on weekends.
I was feeling pretty discouraged now. Suddenly that whole “buy lots of contact lens fluid and sell it on the street” idea didn’t seem so crazy.

Day 7: Returned to the allergist. He recommended HEPA filters for my apartment, gave me a painful allergy test L and wrote TWO prescriptions!!!
The cost: $588

I then took a big gamble, I made a New Year’s Eve appointment to return to the dentist to repair a couple of fillings. If all went as planned, I would spend all the money on the last possible day — but since I was waiting until the last day of the year, if anything went wrong, I would forfeit more than 100 dollars.

The big day arrived! Today…. would Uncle Sam beat me? I showed up for my dental appointment 3 minutes early… ten minutes later I was in the chair. Mouth-washed and bibbed up… here he comes.
“Sally, bring me the flaxalator… the saw-y thing”
Gulp. Saw-y thing? Who is this guy? Did he say ‘saw?’ Hmmm… Uncle Sam could actually use that hundred bucks for …
“You know, Dawn… this is going to be tricky. The way the previous filling is set-up, I would have to…. Blah blah blah bloopie, bloopie, bloopie … so I would just leave it alone until it’s bothering you.”
Yesss!
I rip off the bib (sweaty, knuckled fists of fear beat paper everytime!) Leap out of the chair and head for the exit.
The elevator ride down was very calming, but, as I left the building I felt defeated, cheated, bitter.
Gray Davis, I hardly knew ye.
As I headed to the subway station, I realized I wasn’t very far from the eyeglasses shop I visited on Day 1.
Credit card in hand, I rushed over to the shop and surprise! They were open on New Year’s Eve.
“Hi, I was in here last week, to buy a pair of glasses. I got a pair that my vision insurance pays for, but would it be possible to buy another pair or prescription sunglasses? Maybe something in Gucci or Burberry?”
Now, I would be lying if I said the saleslady’s eyes, spun round in her head like a Vegas slot machine and changed into flashing dollar signs — but dude: cha-ching!
For the next twenty minutes I was trying on frames and getting oohed and ahhhed by the fantastic salesteam at Fulton Street Eyewear, until I finally settled on a pair for 150 bucks!

Sure, I spent twenty bucks more than I had left in the account, but take that, Uncle Sam.
HA!

Now, for the moment in the dance of jubilant excess, where I wonder who really benefits from this “use or lose it” flexible spending plan. And give a shout out to all the starving children in China and Appalachia who do not have Hepa filters at all.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

President, Hillary most admired

Tuesday, December 30th, 2003 by Dawn Summers

President, Hillary most admired

Hee hee “President Hillary”

My question:
who are the people responding to this poll?

Enough said.

Monday, December 29th, 2003 by Dawn Summers

Enough said.

I post this without comment. If you are a lawyer, were a lawyer, want to be a lawyer, know a lawyer, watch lawyer shows on tv go read it.

Good News for I.

Monday, December 29th, 2003 by Dawn Summers

Good News for I. P. Freely

Paris Hilton is now the Number 1 fake name for pizza deliveries.

LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON…

Sunday, December 28th, 2003 by Dawn Summers

LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON…

In October, Laura Bush addressed an audience at the National Book Festival gala. In the speech, the first lady claimed that although she wouldn’t usually share something “so personal,” she would share with the crowd a poem written for her by President Bush. The poem:
was widely reported in the media. Of course, what wasn’t mentioned was that the President didn’t write the poem at all.
On Meet Press today, Laura said that although he didn’t write the poem that she said he did, “a lot of people really believed that he did,” she said. “Some woman from across the table said, `You just don’t know how great it is to have a husband who would write a poem for you.’ ”

Mrs. Bush laughed as she recounted the story to Tim Russert.
I laughed too.
How amusing that people continue to believe anything that these people say.

Hysterical in fact.

DEAN, BUSH SEPARATED AT BIRTH?

Saturday, December 27th, 2003 by Dawn Summers

DEAN, BUSH SEPARATED AT BIRTH?

The NYT thinks so.

“The two are sons of established blueblood families dominated by powerful fathers. They attended top prep schools and Yale. And they settled far from traditional power enclaves, reinventing themselves as archetypes of their chosen new homes, President Bush in swaggering Texas and Dr. Dean in outdoorsy Vermont.

They were known for hard-partying, hard-drinking in their youths, but those days ended when they simply gave up alcohol as adults. Each man’s character was shaped by the loss of a sibling: for the president, a sister who died of leukemia at age 3; for Dr. Dean, a younger brother who disappeared in 1974 in Laos while on an around-the-world trip.

And although each has a distinct political style, as governors they developed reputations for carefully bridging the political divide between liberals and conservatives, a skill that has thus far eluded them on the national stage.

Other, deeper similarities are apparent only to those who have spent significant time with each man: temperaments prone to irritation; political skills that play better in small groups than on television; rock-solid confidence in their own decisions.

In addition, each man is seen as being his own worst enemy on the campaign trail, President Bush for mangling his English and fumbling answers, Dr. Dean for creating unnecessary crises by speaking his mind too swiftly.”

I think Gephardt is behind this, first they accuse Dean of racism, then weak foreign policy skills, now this… for shame…what next? Baby eating?

BLAME CANADA

Saturday, December 27th, 2003 by Dawn Summers

BLAME CANADA

It worked for the black-out, ey. So why not mad cow, ey?

Scrooge This

Friday, December 26th, 2003 by Dawn Summers

I love the holidays.

Each year, I inevitably discover one more irritating act to add to my thank-goodness-for-gun-purchasing-waiting-periods list.

For instance:

Thanksgiving ’82 realized I really don’t like my perfectly nice three-syllable name shortened to a mono-syllabic half sneeze or made into a two syllable nursery rhyme a la “Dawnie.” And I still don’t care whether or not I hurt “Grandma Hall’s” feelings when I poured my milk on her cranberry sauce after she called me that for the third time.

Christmas ’84 discovered I hate when I get into trouble because someone ignored my advice.
I repeatedly warned my ten-year-old cousin Alex that our four and a half year-old cousin Jon was too little to ride our two wheeler, down suicide hill in the dark of night. (Oh my gosh, I used all the ‘to’ homonyms, correctly, in that sentence! Ms. Cattell would be so proud. )

Does he listen?
Nooooooooo…
“C’mon he’s almost five. When I was five I could do the hill backwards on one wheel.” I believe was his cogent retort.
Of course, Jon ends up pinned beneath a now-dented Huffy, with two scraped knees and a gash in his forehead on Christmas Eve.
Alex and I then get grounded for the next three days.
(Contrast this scenario with others getting into trouble because they ignore my advice, which actually amuses me. Like when my best friend parks in front of a movie theater at 6:45, in a parking spot that isn’t legal until 7 p.m., despite my protestations that we wait fifteen minutes. Of course, when we got of Jurassic Park two and a half hours later, the car had been towed by the lovely NYC Department of Transportation.)

Thanksgiving ’89 my favorite radio station decided to play all “holiday songs” starting on Thanksgiving day through Boxing Day. Realized I hate all “holiday songs” (Notable exceptions are the Adam Sandler Hanukkah song (only the first one) and that Snoopy and the Red Baron song.)

Christmas ’91 I had my first family dinner where all my aunts, cousins, mom’s close friends and their children were in attendance. Realization: I hate them all. Self-explanatory.

Christmas ’93 my friends got their early acceptance letters and decided they wouldn’t tell me because it would hurt my feelings since I hadn’t gotten accepted yet. I found out and ever since I am highly annoyed when people try to protect me from their good news.
I hate pity. Besides, I got my acceptance letter the next day, so there.

New Year’s ’95 stood in Times Square for four hours waiting for the ball to drop. Gave up at 11:31 p.m. due to frost-bite, exhaustion and hunger. It occurs to me quitting is a perfectly acceptable option and screw anyone who says otherwise.

New Year’s ’00 decided to try parasailing with some small boat company in Negril, Jamaica.
As I was strapped into my harnass, all my days in tort liability/personal injury class came flooding back — causing immediate panic and non-stop screaming. Realized I do not like people telling me to ‘calm down’ when death is clearly imminent.

Christmas ’03 — realized I hate people who tap my car window with their rings. Now, I don’t know how else you are supposed to get the attention of a driver who has the windows rolled up and is loudly singing the Evita soundtrack— but there has got to be a better way than rapping a 5 pound gold ring in rapid succession on my newly washed, finally paid for driver-side window.

Bah humbug.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Thursday, December 25th, 2003 by Dawn Summers

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Go, Jesus, it’s your birthday.

Go, Jesus, it’s your birthday. We gonna party like it’s your birthday. We gonna sip Bacardi like it’s yo birthday, and you know we don’t give a f— it’s not your birthday.

Hmmm…apologies to 50 cent are probably in order…. and to Jesus.

Definitely apologies to Jesus.