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Apr. 2nd, 2009

(no subject)

meet henry!Collapse )

Oct. 12th, 2008

Help...

I am in the process of finding some new books to read. Lately (and I mean the past two years or so) I have been reading a lot of political, ecological, religious (atheism), zoological, and general scientific books and essays. I haven't gone out of these themes since Heather mailed me several books right after my surgery.
So I have a request for each one of you.

Please give me some recommendations.
Fiction, non-fiction, anything. Let's say your top two recommended reads from each. That way I can get my hands on something outside of my current (and long lasting) trend.
I am on the verge of finishing "Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries" by Naomi Wolf. I need a list of things to purchase once finished.

HELP!!

Oct. 10th, 2008

I must make a commentary

Okay. I have to comment on a disturbing trend.Collapse )

Sep. 26th, 2008

Ok Seriously....

I am no economist. I don't pretend to be. In fact, I don't fully understand the implications of this "financial crisis". Sure I semi, quasi understand the root causes, how we got where we are...but I don't understand how we arrive at the conclusion that the nation will fail if we don't hand this money over to Wall Street. Economics aren't my strong suit.
In all truth, I am better off right now during this down turn than I have been at any other point in time. (Knock on wood). I have about enough money saved to pay a month's bills if something happened to me. Granted, that isn't a lot--but it is more than I have ever had in my bank account at one time since college and overage checks. My credit card balances are down, and most of them are nearly paid off. In fact COULD be paid off if I wanted to spend my "cushion" on them. I know a lot of people are not in my situation, though. I know the struggle to pay bills, feed and clothe yourself, buy gas and get to work. I am not that far removed. I also know how easy it could be to manipulate someone who lives in constant stress over paying the bills.

This is a disaster.
This is the economic Pearl Harbor.
Life as we know it is in danger.
Etc. Etc. Etc.

My big concern with being thrown a $700 billion tax bill without thorough explanation is that the government is trying to scare us into going along with its erroneous plans one more time. If they use enough scary language, big words, negative associations, Americans will be too frightened of the consequences of NOT going along with this plan to question it. I am tired of the use of fear for controlling purposes. Americans have gradually been trained to turn off their brains, be patriotic, don't ask questions--do what we say "Or else...(insert something terrible)..."
When it comes to money and finances, when will we stop supporting the top-down idea? Why do the people who make the most money always get the most benefit? If I wracked up $700 billion dollars of debt and couldn't fix my finances, my life was going to crash and burn, and I would no longer be able to lend lunch money to Geneva--would the government swoop in and bail me out, too? I know my personal finances don't have the overarching effect that the current crisis does, but seriously...why is it my responsibility to pay $2,000 in extra taxes to purchase someone else's foreclosed home? Again, I am probably missing the point or details, but at least I am thinking.

I have proposed my own solution. I will establish a taxpayer bailout fund. Let's gather the assets of the top ten executives of every single one of these failing companies. Tax everything they own, all their investments, all their savings, everything...at a rate of 99%. Divert funding from faith based initiatives into the taxpayer bailout fund. Divert funding from the war on drugs into my new account. Suspend the president's salary, take back the last 8 years of it and tax his investments, too--just because he has been in denial. Put those pennies in the fund. Tax all the oil profits of the last 5 years at a rate of 80% and send that to the fund. Bring home the troops and send the money for the Iraq war into the taxpayer bail out fund. After we have accumulated the money we have lost due to lies, abuse, price gouging, and corporate greed...redistribute it amongst all of the Americans who make less than $250,000/year. Pay off half the debt (or whatever number can feasibly be paid) of every one of these people--starting with those who are having trouble with their mortgage. Give the American people a check, with the only restriction that is has to be used toward existing debt. Voila! Suddenly every middle class American has the ability to spend more money per month when they don't have to worry so much about the bills. All this extra money will stimulate the economy. The perpetrators of the entire mess will now see what it is like to scrape by and worry about how you will pay for your home, the troops will be home and out of danger (at least for now), and useless spending on fruitless activities will be reduced. This plan works in my fantasy world.

I would have no problem paying extra taxes if it were for the benefit of the people. An extra two grand to fund healthcare for everyone, improve infrastructure, better our education system, develop alternative energy sources and make them affordable, make college education more accessible, or any number of social programs to make life easier and less stressful. I just have an issue paying for a problem that I didn't create and that may not even benefit me if this solution doesn't work.
Maybe I need a greater understanding or more education on why this is the best course of action. Really though, I just feel like it's another doom and gloom scheme designed to beat us into total submission.

Thoughts?

Sep. 16th, 2008

Did anybody see this?

This could be the funniest SNL skit in a very long time...




I think my favorite part is about the Bush doctrine...
Tina Fey is great.

Jul. 16th, 2008

Opinions, please.

I have noticed a lot of media coverage of the "shift" toward the center in Obama's views/policies. Troop withdrawal, NAFTA, and taxes among other things. Given the whole mess of the flip flop phenomenon during the 2004 election, I felt a little alarmed. It seems as though the media is whipping the liberal left into a whiny frenzy, and feeding the fears of another run-of-the-mill politician.
I will admit that upon reading the first couple of articles relaying this information, I was feeling a little emotional. After reading this article:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-kasssun_bdjul13,0,2158455.column
I felt a kind of depressed. It left me with the feeling (as it intended to do, I believe) of being used for my liberal stance to help Obama capture a nomination, just so he could show his true colors.
After careful thought, though, I have decided that this is a ploy to get the left worked up. I also believe that while Obama may be talking of changes in his views, it is just to court the Reagan democrats, the ex-Clintons, and the middle of the road voters who aren't yet convinced. He is trying to widen his base by playing both ends of the spectrum, and I believe (i HAVE to believe) that when he finally is elected, he will settle somewhere in a happy medium.

So what does everyone else think? Was the agent of change just a ploy? Is he not as spic and span and shiny as we all thought? Or are we being played?

Opinons...please.

Jan. 10th, 2008

It's alive....

Just a post to let everyone know that I survived sugery and am slowly recovering. Thanks for all the well wishes and good thoughts.

I was throwing up and drugged like whoa for the first four days after sugery. I lived on water and toast, and quickly lost track of time. I slept through Laura's birthday and New Years. I have been more alert for the last few days, eating normally, and trying to stay upbeat. I had my first follow up with the doctor on Monday, and he removed all my bandages and staples in my incisions. My poor leg is bruised and ugly. Not to mention the fact that my thigh and calf muscles are all but gone from 10 days of inactivity. The doctor informed me that my ACL tissue graft came from a 21 year old guy who was killed in a car accident. Not on the order of a kidney or liver, but I still have a sense of thankfulness and gratitude for being given a chance to have a normal knee joint.
I started physical therapy this week. I had a visit Tuesday, a visit today, and a third tomorrow. I will be going three times per week for 8 weeks, and one time per week for 8 weeks thereafter. It is incredibly painful right now, because my joint is very tight and agitated. I thought the first day was bad, but I was on the verge of tears today. I cannot bend or straighten my leg entirely, and it is impossible to walk since I have no muscle left to support my body weight. I know that PT will be ramping up over the next week, but I am going to really throw myself into it.
I am pretty much homebound right now, and have only been outside three times in two weeks. I won't be given any driving privileges for another 2 weeks, but since my car is a stick shift, the doctor said definitely not for at least another 6 weeks. Given that I can't drive or walk, I have been doing a lot of reading, and watching a lot of TV. I have a full leg brace that I have to wear most of the time in order to keep my leg straight so the ACL graft will heal correctly. To sum it up, life is uncomfortable and boring right now. However, I am happy that I have the chance to fully heal at home without fear of losing my paycheck. That is a major bonus.

Also on the bright side of things--I received an acceptance letter from Evergreen State College in the mail last week. Laura and I are discussing it, and trying to decide if that is someplace we would truly like to be a year from now. I still have two more applications to send out, so I'll see what else comes back over the next few months.

That is pretty much all I have to report. Just wanted to let everyone know that I am alive and recovering. I hope everyone is doing well in 2008, and I'll try to keep you all posted.

Visotors are always welcome...

Dec. 27th, 2007

(no subject)

I found out today that my health insurance will not cover the portion of my operation that involves replacement of my ACL. They will pay for everything else, but not the grafting of tissue to create a new ligament. I have to pay for that out of pocket. $1600.
Bastards.

Anyhow, I am scheduled to be knocked out and stitched together at 2:30pm tomorrow. Send me some good thoughts.


I am glad that christmas is over (winter holiday, whatever). I got some new pots/pans and a kitchenaid mixer from laura (she is telling me where I belong), as well as the tickets to Wicked. My parents got me a sweatshirt and some jeans, and grandma gave me a gift card to the mall. Geneva got everything she wanted and more. Today is Geneva's birthday, so she will be getting even more stuff. Woo.

I am tired and had been fighting a mild case of the flu all week. I finally feel somewhat normal, which is good because surgery would have to be delayed if I had a fever.

My second grad school application is on its way to OU. Only two more left to send.

I get off work in 20 minutes, and don't have to be back in this place again until mid February.

That is pretty much all...

Dec. 14th, 2007

(no subject)

2008 is quickly approaching, and I can't believe it. I feel like this year flew by, but I guess that is how it goes as we get older.

I am trying to get ready for Christmas, and I think I'm almost there. I've only got a couple gifts left to buy, and for the first time in the past 7 years or so, I didn't have to go up to my ass in debt to get gifts for everyone. Granted, I am pretty much broke at this point, but I bought everything with cash, and that is a good feeling. Geneva is going to have a good Christmas, and I am excited to see her reaction. She pretty much got everything she asked for, including a Nintendo DS, a microscope kit (score!), clothes, a science education board game (double score!), a skateboard (with a helmet and pads, of course), new shoes, books, and a couple games for her new DS and her existing Gamecube. Now we just have to figure out what to get her for her birthday (12/27). Hmm. I got Laura a couple sweaters, a new cell phone (since Louis has eaten pieces of hers), and a $150 gift certificate to a tattoo shop. For her birthday(12/30), I got her a gift package to a day spa for a facial, pedicure, and 60 minute massage.
I only know one gift that she got me, and it is because I totally guessed it. Are you all ready for this? You are going to be JEALOUS!
Laura bought tickets for us to go see Wicked when it is in Cincinnati. We are going Jan. 24th. 6th row floor seat tickets. I am totally excited.

I have also been thinking of some way to make Christmas much less like Christmas...and more like a winter celebration. I want Geneva to be able to form her own opinions about religion, and gods in general. I feel like celebrating "christmas" is hollow, because none of us believe in the Holiday. I am not quite sure how to make a transition to anything other than christmas without stirring up touble in the rest of the family. I've had a couple discussions with Geneva about Christianity, and she says she doesn't believe in god. I told her that I will not tell her what to believe or not believe--that as she grows and learns, she will be able to decide for herself. I think this is a correct way to raise a child where religion is concerned. A little girl in her class told her last week that if she didn't pray to jesus on christmas that she would go deaf. I think this is what happens when children are coerced into the beliefs of their parents--which they may not fully understand. Then they scare other kids, and it gets ugly. I can't stand it.

Anyways, I do also have a surgery date (finally). It will be the 28th of December. Which puts me out of commission for Geneva's and Laura's birthday parties as well as any kind of New Year's celebration. I won't complain, though. It is getting done this year, and that saves me quite a bit of money. I still don't have anyone to actually take me to the surgery center because everyone has to work and can't request off at this point. Who knows.
I will be off work from 12/28-2/11/2008 at minimum. Hopefully those six weeks will be long enough, because after that my disability pay gets cut to 60% of my base salary. In any case, you should all plan to visit me. I'll need to company.

Laura and I are heading to Nelsonville this weekend for the holiday gathering. I can't wait to see everyone and spend some quality time together.

I guess I better get back to work now. I've only got a few days left, then I don't have to worry about this place for several weeks.

Nov. 8th, 2007

(no subject)

Another quick update, in case anyone wonders...

I've been incredibly busy at work. 10 hour days are the norm at this point. I am doing my own analytical job, and I am also the microbiologist for the rest of this month. Two jobs, one person, long days. I work, eat, sleep. Repeat.

Geneva and I survived our time together while Laura was gone. No major meltdowns, it actually went really well. Her team won their soccer tournament, so starting this weekend they get to play in a state tourney. They had an undefeated season, undefeated tournament, and hopefully they will be able to win this state tourney. They deserve it.

I also survived the GRE. I will not mention my scores. They were actually better than I thought they'd be, but not as good as I wanted them to be. I did better on quantitative than on verbal...which makes no sense to me because verbal was my strong suit in all of my practice tests. Oh well, it is over, and I am somewhat satisfied with my scores. I just hope that my schools of choice are, too.

I went to the doctor Tuesday to get the results from the MRI on my knee. I will be having knee surgery sometime in the remaining two months of this year. Apparently my initial injury tore my ACL, PCL, MCL, and meniscus. The only thing still intact is my LCL, and it is stretched. Basically, Paul's dance routine tore every ligament in my knee...except one...and that one was stretched. I have nothing really holding my knee together at this point, and that is why it keeps popping and moving and hurting all the time. Duh. My doctor said if it doesn't get fixed soon I will have osteoarthritis in my knee within the next 10 years or so. Awesome. I go to an orthopaedic surgeon next Tuesday to get the low-down and hopefully get something scheduled.
Word.

I sent off my first grad school application on Monday. It is on its way to Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. I hope they like me, because I really like them.

I have also decided that I would like to learn how to snowboard. I wanted to start learning this winter, but who knows how long knee recovery will take. I don't know that snowboarding would really be the best activity to start learning a month after having reconstructive knee surgery. Just a guess. We will see what the doctor says, though...

There really is nothing else going on in my life. Just working and spending money.

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