Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wienerdog Wednesday, How do you take yours? edition

I have no idea what assignment the Life photographer was on when he/she snapped this photo of a leggy lass grinding coffee beans while being supervised by a dachshund. I'm definitely going to be a coffee hound today, though...and I take mine black, please.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Meh. Meh.

I wish.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Funky Friday, don't-believe-everything-you-read edition

Decades ago, I figured out that as long as I didn't believe in hell, I didn't have to worry about going there. I've had a much better quality of life as a result.

Of course I realize that just because I don't believe it, it ain't necessarily so ... but I'm okay with being surprised later.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wienerdog Wednesday

Dachshund Jedi warrior by artist Brian Rubenacker.
See more of his fun canine creations HERE.

Monday, March 21, 2011

mondah meh, all things being equinox edition

Sad Spring, Wilhelm Lachnit

Spring, as only a German in 1933 could see it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Funky Friday, Yesterday & Tomorrow Edition

In observance of Thursday's St. Patrick's Day and Saturday's "Mega Moon" I wanted to post a video of Irish singer Van Morrison performing "Moondance." As iconic as this is however, video pickings on YouTube are very slim.

I was happy to find THIS very cool but un-embeddable video of an all-star jam of the song where Morrison is backed by Carlos Santana, George Benson, Dr. John, Tom Scott, and Etta-freakin James. Go watch it now, then come back and thank me. Go on.

So, what do you think: Is the Mega Moon going to wreak havoc across the planet? Will you go outside after dark and howl? Can I just have one more Moondance with you?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wienerdog Wednesday, 15 minutes edition

What is it about wienerdogs that has inspired another great 20th century artist to give them their 15 minutes of fame? As far as being a muse goes, my own Scooter Pie provokes impatience, not inspiration. Oh, well...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My religion

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

--- Wendell Berry

(I stumbled across this poem and it really resonated with me. The photo is of intellikid at Roan Mountain Bald, around 10 years ago.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Meh

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Adventures in Health Care

The future is now. At least the scary-socialized-medicine-the-pundits-warned-you-about future is already here. Or so it seems from my recent adventures in health care.

Call me a freak (it's ok, I've been called worse), but I've been fairly lucky, and fairly healthy for the past decade. Unless there is organ failure or bleeding from a major artery, I tend to take a less-is-more approach when treating any physical maladies I experience. No doubt this behavior was something I adopted during the years 1999-2006, when I was also without health insurance. Anyway, as a result of my relative good health, I don't have a "Primary Care Physician" but instead visit the nurse practitioners at the local one-stop medical center when suffering from something that Ibuprofen, rest, and the judicious consumption of whiskey won't cure.

When my knee recently decided to go rogue, however, I decided it was probably best to go shopping for a physician. I had run out of good knees. And I had turned 50. Probably time to let someone have a look under the hood, so to speak. After all, I have employer-paid health insurance now! Better use it or, the way budgets are being pruned these days, they might decide I don't "need" it! Anyway, finding a physician in Bubba County who would accept a new patient within the week - or the month - wasn't going to happen, but I was able to get an appointment with the nurse practitioner.

I arrived in plenty of time for my 1:30 appointment and took a seat among the dozen or so others waiting. I was thankful for the free flu shot I'd received, and hoped there were still antibodies swimming around my bloodstream from that upper-respiratory "thing" I had in February to protect me from the, er, mucousity of my fellow patients-in-waiting. I wished I had brought a book to pass the time -- there was no way I was touching any of the reading matter there! Instead, I memorized the fliers posted on the receptionist's window and practiced some slow breathing so as not to inhale too much of the unsavory ambience.

At about ten past 3 - that's no typo, folks - it was finally my turn to be seen. Various measurements were taken, my knees were poked & pushed, and it was determined that an MRI should be had to determine the extent of the damage. I was told that the my insurance company's approval was required and I would get a call when said approval was obtained (or not). Meanwhile, with continued self-care, my knee continued to feel and work better, but I don't feel I can "trust" it to do what I need it to do, consistently and reliably. It is my hope that I will get sent to a brawny physical therapist so I can properly and expeditiously rehabilitate this wayward joint, and hopefully avoid future injury, too. But first, they need to know what the heck is wrong with my knee.

At my follow-up appointment two days ago, the obviously overworked nurse pulled out my chart and found the insurance company's denial form. The MRI was not approved, they said, because there was no diagnosis code on the request. The nurse scanned the forms and said that yes, there was a diagnosis code, and they would resubmit the request. That makes a ten day wait - plus however much longer I'll have to wait while the forms are resubmitted and re-scrutinized. It's enough to make a person sick!

But after all, I am one of the "lucky" ones - my mostly sedentary job also permits me to work from home on occasion, and in addition to health insurance, I have paid sick leave. If it was the dead of winter and if I wasn't tired of spending so much quality time with the couch and "House" reruns on hulu, I'd say let 'em take their time. Still, I hope I never have to "test" the system while suffering from anything more serious. And I'm going to look for a physician in the town where I work, in NC, in hopes that someone there will accept a new patient sometime before I'm eligible for Medicare.

I've just learned, though, that if I do need to be hospitalized, at least at the same facility (not in Bubba County, TN but in Charlotte, NC) where my boss recently had surgery, I will be asked to bring my own towels and washcloths. I guess nobody told that facility that kind of thing only happens in Cuba, or so say opponents of health-care reform.

The health of our health care system is enough to make you sick. Just make sure you get pre-approved.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Funky Friday, fill-in-the-blank edition

The funkitude is upon me this morning. Overnight I had two very intensely disturbing dreams, one of which I'm pretty sure I woke up screaming from. Or trying to scream - I hope I never feel that terrified and helpless in real life, needing to shout but no intelligible sound coming out.

I had a similar experience when I was still with T.M.F.K.A.H., but rather than help me out of the nightmare by waking me up, the bastard watched and waited, thinking my tossing and turning and moaning meant I was enjoying a fantasy lover's attentions, and he was hoping I'd name names. After I woke up and told him I dreamed that there was a homicidal intruder in the house, and I was trying desperately to escape, he wasn't the least bit sympathetic. Bastard.

But back to this morning: awake from the second weird dream at 4-something, I turned the radio on, hoping the lull of voices would help me get back to sleep. Instead I heard about the horrific quake and tsunami in Japan. I feel sad for the people there, and humbled by the power of Mother Earth. Maybe it is a bit hubristic to think that humans can destroy theplanet. While we are certainly capable of the deed, nature often seems much more efficient.

Speaking of nature, it's snowing again! But likely not enough to interfere with my trip to the airport later on. The bright spot in my day will come at 9pm, when intellikid's flight from Boston is due to land. Hugs will ensue.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wienerdog Wednesday, Urban Edition

The good thing about being a wienerdog on wheels is that you don't have that far to fall when perfecting your mad skilz, yo.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Meh, What-happened-to-Spring Edition

A Sunday afternoon snowstorm
coated Nor'east Tennyssee in a cruel reminder that spring is still 2 weeks away. I really don't mind these late season storms, as they're usually short-lived. However, I'm a bit leery of taking my still-mending knee out in the snow. Still, I can hardly tell anymore that my knee was out of joint, and I hope to be ready to kick ass again in no time.

(By the way, not everything about Monday is Meh: My alter-ego, Layla Eggers, has been invited by the chicks over at Hen's Teeth to contribute - c'mon over and have look at my her take on the topic of sitting. You, too, Mr.C.)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pas Mardi Gras, C'est Vendredi Funky

I've never been to New Orleans, but I know it's not pronounced like it's spelled.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wienerdog Wednesday, Working Dog Edition

Via The Long and Short of It All: Wienerdogs take to the streets in 1972 in support of Bellefonte, PA teachers' strike.

Scooter Pie urges all canines and their humans to support education!