Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And we wonder why health care is so expensive …

If you aren’t tired of hearing about the stereotypical antics of upper management, you’ll like this article.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iTp7zHfVyGPpaDs1oBlnUsbLYZlAD8UD3JSG3

I loved the writing in this story because it was just injected with a play on words and so much humor. It may be a little biased, but it’s hard not to be in this case. The story speaks for itself because it is so outrageous.

I think the irony of it all is that this former CFO of one of the largest health insurers actually perpetuated the health care problem in our country, with his spreading of STDs and most likely, depression. He even allegedly stopped payment on health coverage for one of his lady friends after she had a kidney removed.

I have to highlight some of my favorite lines:

Colby … “is depicted as a corporate Casanova — a world-class, love-'em-and-leave-'em sort of guy who romanced dozens of women around the country simultaneously, made them extravagant promises and then went back on his word with all the compassion of a health insurance company denying a claim.” That last part was especially clever.

Colby is … “a pudgy, bespectacled figure with salt-and-pepper hair” – I guess money is good for something. Sounds like a real winner.

One woman claimed he paid her $100,000 to make her feel more secure. This is because she just found out he was still married three days prior. There's an easy way to make 100K.

From someone’s quote -- “Modus operandi.” I haven’t heard that term in a long time. I actually used to know someone who used it a lot. I vote for it to come back into everyday use.

One judge threw out a case by a woman pleading emotional distress saying, "Although Colby's conduct may be ungallant, it simply does not rise to the level of being 'utterly intolerable in a civilized community.'" Oh wow.

And lastly, some of his text messages – “I chose you! Goodnight!” “ABORT” in reference to one woman’s pregnancy with his child.

You can find out more when SilverCreek Entertainment makes a book and movie on the story.

I guess it makes sports stars and celebrities look like angels … for a day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lostie

We are uber-excited for Lost Thursday night. You don’t have to tell me how nerdy this is. I am fully aware. Of course our soccer game interferes with the show time this week, so we are going to have to tape it. But, this is a good thing. At least we can have the ability to pause, rewind and study all the subcontext clues snuck in the episodes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Birthday Shout Out

Today is Roid’s 30th birthday! For those who don’t know Roid, he was one of my five roommates that I lived with when I first moved to Phoenix in 2000. Roid now lives in Boston. He claims I followed him here. Clearly not the case.

This is a big year for Roid. He is getting married in July and is planning to move to Louisville (pronounced Loo-ville for those who don’t want to get the smack-down from Roid). I’m especially excited for Roid’s wedding. This means the former roommates (and their significant others) get to reunite, which we don’t get to do often. We just saw each other at QuietMouse’s wedding in Indianapolis in December. We did a pretty bang-up job there (see pictures below: Roid and Mouth attacking QuietMouse; Caliente, Roid’s WTB, Roid and J in the background). Around 9pm, QuietMouse’s mother told the bar to stop serving us. She eventually rescinded the request, as we convinced her that some of us were indeed sober and that even without the alcohol, we are that wild. QuietMouse’s mom really does like us; she was just concerned for our safety, rightfully so.

Getting back to Roid’s wedding. He is nearly the last one of us to get married (we gave up guessing when Mouth and NHBound will get hitched). Roid found a fantastic match for a partner. The wedding will be a blast because we are all together. No, really, we make the party. We’ve gotten pretty good at our wedding routines. In 2006, of course J and I had our wedding in NJ, then again in AZ. And Caliente married theFr in Ohio a month before us. It will always be a work-in-progress, but we do our Thriller routine, Basketball, jump rope and other various crazy stunts. Last time, we attempted, but failed, to do our “It’s Gonna be Me” dance. Who knows what Roid’s wedding will bring?

So happy 30th old man!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekend in Review

Another weekend gone … why does it feel like they go so fast?

Saturday was a big day for us, as REI was having one its “garage sales.” For those that don’t already know, REI is our all-time favorite store. But we don’t just shop there anytime. Instead we try to hold out for their garage sales to stock up on gear. REI has a policy that they cannot restock returned items, so they hold onto them, slash the prices drastically and hold a big sale. There you’ll find everything to “never been used” to “seen better days.” J and I have been to several garage sales in several states now. Because, well, gear is freakin’ expensive. And we have a lot of it. We try to get there early, because gear addicts alike line up for these sales. In AZ, people line up around 4am. Some have camped out overnight. Since our move from AZ, distance has proposed a challenge (in VA, the closest REI was 76 miles). Now, we live approximately 65 miles from the closest REI (three of them), but need to venture into the heart of Boston.

So Saturday morning, we set out around 7:15am, hoping to secure a spot near the front of the line. After getting lost in Boston for about an hour, we finally pulled up to the store around 9am, knowing that we would be lucky to be number 50 in line. This wasn’t the case at all! We secured the first spots!!! Maybe it had something to do with the temperatures struggling to reach the high 20s, but we figured New Englanders were tougher than that. In any case, by 9:20am, there were about 40 people in line and by the time the doors opened at 10am, there were about 150 people. It was madness as usual. J and I split up to hit the different sections – shoes, sleeping bags and other odds and ends. We had a shopping list and some gift certificates. Here are some of our best buys.
2 Thermarest Prolite 1/2-length sleeping pads (from our shopping list)
Price as new: $75
Our price: $15.83 (after some wheeling and dealing by my hubby, cause that’s what he does best)
What was wrong with them? NOTHING!!!
Teva Karnali Wraptor Water Shoes (from our shopping list … for me since I accidentally left mine at the bottom of Havasupai Canyon this summer)
Price as new: $100
Our price: $34.95
What was wrong with them? The person who returned them said they were too small
Marmot Gravity Soft Shell Jacket
Price as new: $150
Our price: $39.95 (after some wheeling and dealing)
What was wrong with it? A slight stain on one of the pockets … Who cares? It’s bound to get dirty!
I actually debated over that last item, since it wasn’t on the shopping list. But it was too good of a deal to pass up. After two hours of sorting through our finds, I think we did pretty well overall.

After REI, we ventured over to Baja Fresh, our favorite “fast-food” Mexican place. Good Mexican food is hard to find on the East coast, but Baja fills our needs. Still, it’s hard to find Baja locations close to where we’ve lived. Luckily, there is one pretty close on our drive to Boston. REI + Baja=a good day.

After Baja, we stopped at the Omaha Steak store to use a gift certificate we got from J’s dad for Christmas. Omaha steaks=yummy in the belly.

Sunday turned out to be a pretty good day, but far from our original plans. We woke up with the intention of driving to meet my sister (Still JK), her husband and their kids (Bones and Cutie) in Deerfield, MA. It’s a halfway point between us. But, we woke up to 4 inches of snow (even though weather reports only called for light flurries) and more to come. J suggested we give it a go since we have a 4-wheel drive truck and that’s what it’s made for. But after 25 miles of slow-going and a witness to 2 other trucks flipped over, we decided to turn around. This was before we hit the real treacherous roads that would take us there, described more than once to us as the “deadliest roads in the NE.” So we came home and enjoyed the snow from indoors. We caught up on some reading, housework and listened to some good tunes.

And now it’s back to the grind …

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Final Score: 7-2

Did I mention that J and I play indoor soccer? Well, for the first time since we’ve been playing in October, we won last night!!! Yeah, I know, that means we lost a lot of games. But in our defense, we were strangers playing together and never had time to practice. There are teams playing back-to-back at this facility. Basically, you show up for the game and have maybe a 5-minute practice period. So last night started our second winter session of playing. We used our first session to “practice” … and lost every game.

I really enjoy playing soccer. I never played growing up (I played field hockey and ran track in high school), but for some reason always wanted to. I have been searching for some sort of adult league in every state we’ve lived in, so I was elated to find a huge indoor soccer center very close to us. J was always a soccer player and it shows. He has control over the ball and kicks really well. Me, well, I’ve definitely improved during the past few months, but I’m no Pele yet.

I also enjoy playing on an adult recreation team. My one roommate in Phoenix, SmokinHot, played on a volleyball league while we lived together. She always had so much fun and I craved that kind of socializing. We have some interesting characters on our soccer team, but most of them are really nice, if you can get past the Boston accents. One that stands out is Handyman, who loves to yell at the refs and other players and get yellow cards. But he’s really good and that’s why we keep him around. Then we have Nazi, who needs no description, but let’s just say, he yells a lot … at his teammates. We are lacking in the female department. During the course of the first session, we had 4-6 females coming and going. But it seems none of them came back this session. One had an eye injury her last game, so I don’t blame her for not returning. This is why I wear my goggles during the game!! Mind you, we need two females on the field at all times. Which means I was forced, I mean privileged to play the whole game last night. Now I consider myself in shape, but playing the entire game of soccer is nearly impossible.

Anyways, let’s hope we can win more than once this session!!!

Nicknames

I plan to use a lot of nicknames in my blog entries. Not only do I think it will be kind of fun to do so, but it helps honor the anonymity of certain individuals. J and I are trying to come up with a better nickname for him. We have some ideas, but would like to hear from others. So comment back if you have one (keep it semi-clean).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wouldn't you like to work for Google??

Fortune Magazine released its 11th annual list of the "Best Companies to Work For." I actually covered the results for my job, but I'll be the first to admit I enjoy reading these kinds of articles.

Google again secured the top spot and for many reasons. The California-based Internet search engine firm prides itself on a number of unique qualities. Besides access to free onsite gourmet meals, free medical care, free transportation from train stations to worksites, subsidized exercise classes, onsite laundry facilities and onsite oil changes (you know, the obvious things companies should offer - ha), some highlights for this year included a $1,000 credit toward the purchase of a hybrid or electric car and a discount program for California residents who install solar panels in their homes.

On this list of the 100 best firms on Fortune's list, only 21 offered free health insurance to employees. I know free insurance is a thing of the past. One should be so grateful to even be covered under an employer at all! Workers in 29 agencies had access to onsite child care. What gets me is that there are some really great companies, like Google, out there. Then there are some not so great companies. We've come to expect that less is more in society. Sad I suppose.

Here's the complete list if anyone is interested:
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2008

No turning back now!

I finally jumped on the bandwagon. After months of sheepishly reading random strangers’ blogs, I decided it was time to start my own. My biggest fear in all this was the idea of putting my life “out there.” Since I played the voyeur role for so long to unsuspecting bloggers, there may be some of that coming back to me. But I think I am ready. Hopefully I can avoid saying anything that would get me into trouble. I just really want to write more. Time and time again, I have failed at keeping a journal. But since my computer is surgically attached to me anyways, I may find it easier to journal using it. Plus, knowing that others may be reading, I will be held accountable (sort of).

This blog will include a little of this and that, from updates in my life for those far away to random thoughts that come to my head. I may have very little to say, or I may have a lot to say. But I’m just hoping I can stick to it. I’ve invited my husband to participate, but I think he’d rather poke his eyes out. In fact, he said he said his lawyers will be contacting me if I mention him at all in the blog … hehehe.


For the strangers who are reading (I know, I know, I have no fan base just yet), here is a little introduction. I am 29. I have been married to the most wonderful man (we’ll call him J from now on) for a little over a year. I live in central New Hampshire. This is my sixth state I’ve lived in. I write health care news and research for a living and actually love my job. J is the recreation director for a town in NH and he also loves his job. We both like to stay active and especially be outdoors … favorites include hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, running and our newest activity, cross-country skiing. I like margaritas. I like to read. I love to travel. I like to sleep in on weekends. I like to make the most of each day and live in the moment. I love the seasons. I’ll leave it at that. I’m sure you’ll learn much more about me as we go along.

Thanks for reading!