30 October 2008

when it rains, it pours


i have to have my upper wisdom teeth extracted. i had a dental emergency the other morning, and went to dr. papazian. he sed they had to go. referred me to an oral/maxillofacial surgeon over in long beach. my consult and panoramic x-ray is the 12th.

get this - the thing in my parotid gland will probably show up in this x-ray. i will definitely be informing the doc of all my recent medical adventures at my consultation.

i wish i'd had the damn things taken out when i was a kid, before they ever came in. my ma had killer dental insurance back then. they paid like 75% on my orthodontia killer. instead, they started coming in around the time i was 27. my bottom ones have never fully erupted, but the upper ones did.I probably haven't been as diligent about the hygiene as i should have been, but these teeth are right against my tonsils (another relic i'm still equipped w/), and i gag like a bitch most of the time.

the bottom ones should come out eventually too, but thus far they're ok. no cavities or much decay, and they can wait.

i tried to have this all done a couple years ago, when wen'l and i had dental ins. the damn company denied my claim. that pissed my dentist off to no end. "they weren't pathological?" he almost seethed! the place the ins. co. would have wanted to do the damn procedure scared the shit out of me though. perhaps it's a good thing i'll be having it done by this guy.

i heart my dentist. i always have. he didn't charge me for the visit, or for the x-rays he took to give this surgeon. i just hope the dude will work out some sort of payment plan with me.

28 October 2008

primus sucks

too many puppies are being shot in the dark.
too many puppies are trained not to bark.
at the sight of blood that must be spilled so that
we may maintain our oil fields.
too many puppies
too many puppies are taught to heal.
too many puppies are trained to kill.
on the command of men wearing money belts that buy
mistresses sleek animal pelts.
too many puppies.
too many puppies with guns in their hands.
too many puppies in foreign lands.
are dressed up sharp in suits of green and
placed upon the war machine.
too many puppies are just like me.
too many puppies are afraid to see.
the visions of the past brought to life again,
too many puppies, too many dead men.

that's from 1990, people. located on "frizzle fry", an album that was called the bastard child of dr. seuss and frank zappa.

20 October 2008


lest you think my mind is all on myself tonight, it's not. tonight i heard the number i've been dreading for months - keith olbermann said tonight that it was the 2000th day since the declaration of mission accomplished.

i have a cousin over there.

there are much worse things in the world, even in my tiny one, than a tumor in my parotid gland.

sometimes i wish i were the kind of person who prays. sometimes, when things are really bad, i have a conversation with my late cousin stephen. (who died from a lack of health care btw. i remember all too well and it makes me scared in a way i can't adequately explain.). this conversation occurs only in my mind, but i remember having a very frank talk with him a few weeks before he suddenly died, and it brought me a very profound peace. i suppose it makes some sense that an atheist like me would have to have a vent (if you will) like that. i haven't yet had that conversation with him, so things can't be as bad as i was afraid.

stephen's been gone for 14 years now. the ache i feel at his absence is much deeper than what i feel for my own mother. that may sound pretty fucked up, but i'd known for 9 years that it was going to happen with her. he was alive, and a day later he wasn't. i think it's his being snatched away from us like that left a mark on me that will never go away.

i got to (just) long enough to say that life is long. trust me, even when i'm whining about how fucked up things are, i am incredibly grateful i've gotten to be here long enough to earn saying that.

fuck me

well, the doc called this afternoon about quarter till five and said i need to get a ct scan of this thing, my "suspicious" parotid gland. too bad i had to blow the $ on the damn ultrasound to find that out. it might have provided me with a down payment on the damn thing if nothing else.

so i have to go pick up the report from her and take it an ent, who will invariably schedule the super-expensive test.

two things:

1. i'd be considerably less fucked if i lived in los angeles county. they have hospitals up there where i could receive treatment regardless of my ability to pay for it. no such safety net exists here in orange county, because they don't give two shits about poor people... i suppose back in the day if you didn't have insurance it was because you were poor. for whatever reason, you were poor. these days though, you can have a decent paying job, and not have it. or be eligible for it but not be able to afford it (our current pickle... it would run us in the neighborhood of $700/mo and that just not doable). there are supposedly some low-cost "alternatives" here in the OC, but sliding scale isn't going to be cheap for me.

2. i also wouldn't be in this pickle if the governator, mr. schwarzenegger, hadn't vetoed SB 840, which would have provided californians a single payer system. from the los angeles times, dated september 6, 2006:

An analysis commissioned by Health Care for All California, a nonprofit group that favors universal health insurance, estimated that universal coverage would have cost an extra $17 billion, but the state would have saved $25 billion through bulk purchasing of drugs and eliminating the multiple bureaucracies now required for hospitals and private insurance companies. The report was prepared last year by the Lewin Group, a Virginia-based healthcare consulting firm.

i wonder how much insurance company money has flowed in ahhhnold's direction since he took office. (*) this is going to become an even bigger problem in this state, and sticking his head in the sand and refusing to be the one to deal with it was the behavior of a very girly man.

* - apparently it's over a million dollars.

16 October 2008

today's the day

i'm having that ultrasound the doc threatened me with a few weeks ago this afternoon. i really need it to be something that doesn't require immediate (and expensive) intervention. we're barely squeaking by right now as it is. i don't need to be dumping untold thou$ands worth of medical bills on top of my current liabilities.

those of you out there with health insurance should consider yourselves lucky today, and don't ever take your benefits for granted.

14 October 2008


so southern california is burning again. we've got optimal conditions - a weak santa ana with temps (locally) in the mid-80's, humidity in the high single digits, etc. warm, but not hot enough to turn on the a/c, so everything is coated in this mixture of ash and dust. my eyes are also full of that shit, and i'm miserable. low humidity alone will make one's eyes feel shitty, but it's 10x worse with all that crap in the air.

and, my skin is driving me nuts. i cannot drink enough to keep up with the air sucking the water out of my skin. there isn't enough lotion in the world. i'm actually ashy!

11 October 2008


i'm here with the cause
i'm holding the torch
in the corner of your room
can you hear me?
and when you're dancing and laughing
and finally living
hear my voice in your head
and think of me kindly

i usually indulge my smiths jones when wen'l is at work. any guesses as to what song that is? and is karaoke dead? cuz i could sing the shit outta some smiths tunes, that one included. i think "heaven knows i'm miserable now" would be the one i'd be best at though.

so it's saturday night, and one of the side effects of being dead crackers broke is that old married farts can't go out and live it up. so we stay home, cook something yummy (and cheap! i think dinner tonight's gonna set me back about $8), watch some shit on the tivo, smoke a doob, and have a quick plook before going to bed early. things could certainly be worse. least i have some good company!

seasonal fruits and veg - fall 08

if you're like me, you've noticed with considerable alarm the increase in your outlay for provisions. you might also have a slight weight problem like i do, and have a definite need to add additional vegetation to your diet. perhaps you're already a vegetarian (snaps to kona :D), and you've grown bored with your usual lineup of stuff.

perhaps you're already familiar with the concept of eating seasonally, and perhaps not. if not, did you know one can eat better AND cheaper by eating this way? and did you know the vast amount of stuff other than the root veggies and hard squashes to choose from? in our increasingly dire circumstances, both financial and environmental, more of us ought to be giving more thought to what we're eating, and the time of the year we're eating it. take peaches for example. i saw some at the store today. $3.99 a lb, and they're from chile, for fuck's sake. they must be scrumptious.

so, without further ado, here's the list of the stuff that's currently in season, and most of it is widely available.

after the list, you will find a recipe for one of my favorite soups. it contains three of the things on this list. give it a try on some chilly evening. we're having it tonight. it's supposed to get down into the 40's for the first time since last winter tonight, and here in california, that qualifies as cold.

artichokes (second crop)
broccoli rabe (aka rapini)
brussels sprouts
celeriac (aka celery root)
eggplant (early fall)

grapes (early fall)

green beans (early fall)
jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes)
kohlrabi (late fall)

mushrooms (wild)
okra (early fall)

peppers (early fall)
quince [killer with manchego cheese!]
radishes (all types)
shelling beans (early fall)
sweet potatoes

winter squash

and now, the recipe... baked potato soup! and sorry, but this won't work for vegans. lacto-ovo's, sure.

4 oz. bacon, rendered and crumbled, reserving drippings OR 3 T butter (or oil, i suppose)
6 c chicken stock, hot
4 large leftover baked potatoes, halved. pulp scooped out and put through a ricer or mashed
1½ c buttermilk
½ c sour cream
½ c freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
2½ t salt (and don't use morton's for fuck's sake!)
1 t freshly ground pepper
2 T sherry vinegar
¼ c minced chives

in a dutch oven, over medium heat use the drippings or melt the butter and add the leeks. cook until the leeks are translucent and add the garlic. add the hot stock and whisk to combine. in a separate bowl, whisk together the potatoes, buttermilk, sour cream, and grated parmigiano-reggiano. add this mixture to the soup stirring constantly. season with salt and pepper. remove from the heat and add the sherry vinegar.

ladle into bowls and garnish with chives.

09 October 2008

did i mention that...

the suites those motherfuckers spent those nights in went for $1295.00 per? per night? per person? that's like a month worth of unemployment for one night at that pile. and believe me, nothing comes cheap at the st. reeeg. not even if one is sleeping, eating, and parking as a group, as those fucknuts certainly were.

another thing - am i the only person in the world that wants to wring that skinny, over-surgeried, can't keep her fucking yap shut mrs. mcsame's neck? she's so underfed i could probably do it with one hand. gawd, she needs to shut it. too bad her plastic surgeon can't do us all a favor and botox her fucking vocal chords, you know?

also, i'm beginnning to wonder where my 3 readers disappeared to.

07 October 2008

$400k+ for...

so this is where those AIG executives took a vacation on OUR dime: the st. regis resort and spa in monarch beach, california. now, i've spent a few nights at this place. back in the day, when wen'l was still working at neologic, the xmas festivities always took place at the st. reeeg. the only good thing i have to say about the place is that they had nice bath products (acqua di parma, to be exact). wait. one more good thing: their bars stock woodford reserve, my go-to bourbon.

anyhow, those execs, a week after we the people bailed their asses out to the tune of $85,000,000,000, flew to tacky-ass southern orange county and got spa treatments on us. ON US. motherfuckers need to pay us back and then find themselves applying for unemployment. no parachutes, golden or otherwise, for these assholes. they need to figure out how to pay their bills on $420 a week like the rest of us when we lose our jobs.