Monday, September 28, 2009

Making A Real Effort

About a week and a half ago, I joined the local YMCA. First of all, IT'S HUGE! It's like the size of a middle school. Seriously, it's big.

[Aside: Oh my gosh, we are disgusting. And by we, I mean my SO & I. Seriously, I kiss him before bed each night. I do silly girlly, I-would-hate-myself-if-I-saw-myself chic talk, both at home and over the phone. We are gross, though thankfully not when anyone is around. Sorry bout this; my SO called to ask me to meet him somewhere other than work later on today. Now, back to the post. /Aside]

I found the Y on a Wednesday, stopped by on Thursday, and signed up on Friday. We were lucky enough to sneak in while they were waving the $100 joining fee. Instead, we just spend $75/mo for unlimited access during business hours, as well as a host of free classes.

Speaking of free classes, my ass is making a good faith effort to get to the gym. There is a 5:45a Studio Cycling (Spin) class MWF. I was able to make it last Monday and this Monday, but both Wednesday & Friday last week the SO needed to be at work at 6a and 7a respectively, making it a no go for classes those days.

Lessons I have learned thus far from my YMCA experience:

1- Waking up at 5a isn't so bad, as long as you go to bed by 10:30p.

2- Bike shorts are a gift from God, well worth the $85 I spent on two pair.

3- Anyone, and I mean anyone, can handle a Spin class. My first day was hard, but my instructor insists on going at your own pace. The ages ranged from me (the youngest) up to a woman who, most likely, gets a Social Security check each month. And all of us did fine.

4- Resistance is beautiful torture. I did not anticipate how hard the class could be, if you push yourself, nor did I know how good I would feel each time I left. Yes, my legs burned and my bum wasn't roses and sunshine, but I felt good. Really good, in fact, which is why I want to stick with it.

5- Weight training is in order. Spin is awesome, but there is nothing like strengthening your muscles and joints. My plan is to do Spin Mondays and Fridays, leaving Wednesdays for free weight fun.

I have a plan. Now I just have to stick with it. Who knows? I may end up in such good shape next year, I will not laugh when a work colleague asks me if I want to train for a triathlon (which is what happened on Saturday, including the copious amounts of giggling.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Third Time's the Harm

It happened again, and I can't say I didn't see it coming, but I thought it wouldn't be so soon.

Okay, explaining that odd opening statement: my mother asked me for money, again. And I said no, finally. I cannot tell you how much this both pisses me off and makes me feel like the dirtiest shit in the street.

My mother called me while I was driving home from work. As soon as she said, "I need your help," I recognized the meaning of that phrase. She needs a new roof. My mother expected me to pay for a new roof. WTF!

I love my mother with all my heart, by how can you ask your child for something like that when you know they are not rich? Just because I got some money when Ella died doesn't mean I am this bottomless pit from which to solve all of her problems.

Truth be told, a lot of that money went to my debts. I was a recent college grad with a car note, student loans, and two credit cards to pay off, when that money fell into my lap. I did what I thought, and what ultimately turned out to be, the smart thing at the time and paid 90% of my debts. The rest I stuck in an emergency fund and a CD, where I wouldn't be able to touch it. And low and behold, seems like that was a good decision.

I've digressed from the point. I am not a money purse. I am not my father, a medical doctor with a private practice and enough money to lend my mother when happenstance comes her way. I am a 26 year old aspiring (meaning not yet published and just trying to find someone to read my work) writer. I am not a bank, a lottery ticket, or a charity.

What blows my mind about this is the amount of money I would have to pony up to help her and the fact she didn't even realize what she was asking. I tried to make the analogy that asking me to pay for her new roof was like asking me to buy her a new car. It just wasn't going to happen, though of course I said it nicer than that.

My mother currently owes me over $3000. While Ella was sick, she was trying to pay for an Alaskan cruise. Talk about bad timing, this was when I needed her to help me pay Ella's rent. Before she got sick, I paid Ella $250/month, while I tried to get regular tech work. When she got sick, she stopped working, and it fell to me to try to get the rent paid each month. I asked my Mom to help, but that lasted for about three months. I some how found a way to get us by.

When Ella passed, and I had received life insurance pay outs, my mother asked me to "help her" with her Alaskan cruise. At the time, I understood she wanted a break from the heart ache. But, to do so I had to put it on a credit card. Not only that, she asked me, closer to the event, for some spending money while she was there. Fine, I thought, but she will owe me interest, a fixed amount of money I added to the total.

[Aside: What most angered me about the situation is that my mother had the opportunity to back out and recoup about half her money. When she saw she wasn't going to be able to pay, she should have done that. But, by this time, she had waited until the very end, when paybacks were no longer possible, and came to me.]

More recently, my mother asked for my "help" to fix her car. I understand the situation, being without a car. What I don't understand is why couldn't just save up the money to fix it instead of asking me for it. She can bus to work. Yes, her church is kind of far away, but she still could have carpooled with someone or left out very early to take public transportation. What made the situation worse during the car incident was a repeat of the past, her needing me to help twice for the same problem. You'd think I would have already learned.

And now there is the roof. That's it. I'm done. Until she pays me the $3000+ she still owes me, no more. I just can't. It makes me angry. It makes me feel used. And it makes me not want to be around her when she does this.

Having said all this, I know I could afford to pay for her roof, but I shouldn't have to. I paid for her cruise and I paid for her car. I think $3000+ worth of my help is MORE than enough for good daughter status.

When am I suppose to stop? When all I have left is my emergency fund? Or do I have to give all that up, too?

It's time my mother learned how to deal with traumatic financial situations, without an all saving hand to intervene. I've gone through them and handled it. It's time she did, too. In short, it's time for my mother to act like an adult.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

He Did Well

Last night, millions of Americans tuned in to watch our President give a speech about healthcare reform.

Many people will analyze it, going over each sentence with a fine tooth comb. I, however, am not one of those people.

Instead, I thought I'd post my Tweets from the event. I sat on my couch, furiously typing away, completely taken hold of by the event. Included are a few colorful comments from my SO, who sat and watched with me.

- Michelle's face: "Mmm hmm, ya'll clapping for him now, but let's see what happens in the next few weeks."

- A woman and a black man in two seats of power; nice to see, even if under these circumstances. #speech999

- Starting with the economy; good way to base #HCR in the necessities of today. #Speech999

- SO: "Kerry looks like Herman Munster." #Speech999

- "I am not the first Pres. to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last." #Speech999

- John Dingle, example of "good" nepotism? #Speech999

- Pre-existing conditions exclusion from HC = ME #Speech999

- 14,000 Americans daily loose coverage #Speech999

- True HC stories, bout damn time! #Speech999

- Michelle face: "Get 'em, Barry. Preach truth to fools." #Speech999

- "Our HC problem is our deficit problem." #Speech999

- Single payer ain't happening, but you got the shot out anyway. #Speech999

- Calling the far right to the carpet. Go Barry, Go! #Speech999

- Boehner face: "Crap, he's doing well." #Speech999

- "It will be against the law for Ins. companies to deny you coverage for a preexisting condition." Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus! #Speech999

- Limit on out of pocket expenses; can't drop you if you get sick. Keep it coming Mr. President. #Speech999

- explaining the nuts and bolts of the public option; you get what Congress gets #Speech999

- FOUR YEARS! for the exchange; low cost plans now for those who can't afford it #Speech999

- You HAVE to have health Ins., businesses and healthy people alike #Speech999

- Here we go; time for the death panels, abortion, & VA #Speech999

- "It is a lie, plan and simple." #Speech999

- All the Dems stood up for airing out the lies; All the Reps kept seated; Somebody had the nerve to call out. WTF #Speech999

- "Consumers do better when there is choice & competition." "In AL, Ins. controlled by ONE company." #Speech999

- Ins. companies are rewarded for dropping the seriously ill; Wall Street's relentless profit expectations. #Speech999

- SO in response to person who keeps shouting out: "He looks like he wants to jump out in that crowd." #Speech999

- Public option: less than 5% of Americans would sign up #Speech999

- Public option: only one part of my plan #Speech999

- RT @chrislhayes Can we add "douchers" along w/ birthers and deathers to describe the GOP house members who just booed illegal immigrants?

- "If Amer.s can't find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice." No gov. or Ins. bureaucrat get btwn you & care. #Speech999

- "I will not sign a plan that will add one dime to our deficits or our future." #Speech999

- Provision in plan to come up with more spending cuts if the savings we promise don't happen. #Speech999

- OMG! Eric Cantor is fucking TWITTERING! Somebody slap him, now! #Speech999

- "Not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan." #Speech999

- Calling out Medicare Part D, another time the Ins. industry screwed the people. #Speech999

- "I will protect Medicare." #Speech999

- Repubs not even stand up for protecting Medicare. #Speech999

- Seriously, Repubs need to have a good ass slapping or at least a lesson in manners. #Speech999

- Centrist Obama: will move forward to help curb malpractice claims #Speech999

- SO on Repubs: Those guys just look sleazy. #Speech999

- My door is open, but I will not waste time with those who want to kill this bill. #Speech999

- "I will not accept the status quo as a solution, not now." #Speech999

- "We cannot fail. There are too many Americans who need us to succeed." #Speech999

- Ted Kennedy, from beyond. #Speech999

- "What we face, above all, is a moral issue." - Ted Kennedy letter, echoing his brother JFK #Speech999

- Talking about Teddy finally got people to shut up. #Speech999

- "When fortune turns against one of us, another is there to give a helping hand." #Speech999

- Social Security & Medicare, branded the same way #HCR has been branded now. #Speech999

- stop the hate; communicate #Speech999

- "We did not come here to fear the future; we came to shape it. I still believe we can act, even when it's hard." #Speech999

- New slogan for reform: "I still believe." #Speech999

- SO: tase him, bro! RT @jsmooth995 yep, Rep. Joe Wilson totally should get censured for that heckling tonight. And by censured I mean tased.

- Maddow: end of speech a defense of liberalism #Speech999

- Repub rebuttal: a heart surgeon from LA #Speech999

- Rep. Charles Boustany talking about affording reform and debt. #Speech999

- wants to start over; ain't gonna happen! #Speech999

- somebody please heckle this guy, please! #Repubresponse

- SO: Didn't the President just say everything he suggested? #Repubresponse

- he's stumbling; WOW, he just threw out a website; this is so pedestrian #Repubresponse

- Olberman: Rep. Boustany has been sued for malpractice three times #Repubresponse

- @Cecilyk RT @markknoller AP reporting was SC Repub Joe Wilson who shouted "You lie!" after Obama said no HC for illegal immigrants.

- RT @jeremyscahill Lord Bustany--er, oops.

- RT @ezraklein RT @bmockaveli LA has the worst health & economic indexes of any state yet Republicans contin. to run responses f/ that state

- RT @bugsact SC has been embarrassed enough by Gov Sandford.2 have their representatives acting a fool n DC is too much 4 one state to bear!

- ME: The only thing I like that's came out of SC is Stephen Colbert. SO: And BBQ.

- I love him, but that's what he should've been doing all along. RT @blurb Love how he's strongly supporting and explaining the public option.

- RT @jsmooth995 (for the record I don't actually endorse tasing or any other form of violence, except in their proper place, rap lyrics)

- SO on Rep. Wilson: That was in poor taste, there, Representative.

- RT @Cecilyk RT @JuliaRoberts1 Tell Rep. Joe Wilson what you think about heckling POTUS: call 202-225-2452 or

- SO tried to call Rep. Wilson twice; busy signal both times. I love the internet.

- On Rep. Wilson - SO: If I were to call him tomorrow and call him white trash... ME: Go ahead! SO: Peckerwood.

- Olbermann: Is bipartisanship feasible when Rep. Wilson can heckle POTUS f/ the safety of the crowd?

- Joe Wilson already is a Trending Topic on Twitter; you fuck up, we'll call you out! Seriously, people voted for you. Act like an adult.

- RT @Geniusbastard RT @cyn3matic Dem Rob Miller, who will challenge Joe "You Lie" Wilson in 2010 || I just gave him $25.

- RT @Geniusbastard RT @davidshuster Senator John McCain already saying that Rep Wilson should apologize "immediately." That's from the AP.

- RT @WestWingReport Photo of the Night: "You lie!"

- @questlove Pres. did very well, but (unfortunately) the big story is Rep Joe Wilson (SC) who yelled out "Liar!" when the Pres. spoke

- @questlove Pres. was able to debunk rumors, say what he wanted in the bill, appeal to the right, & invoke Sen. Kennedy; he was amazing

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

#02 Mr. President - Sir, You Need To Fight

The following is a letter I wrote to the President, concerning his upcoming speech on healthcare tomorrow.

“We are confronted with a moral issue.” -JFK

Mr. President,

You are to give an important speech this Wednesday concerning healthcare reform.

Sir, you need to fight. I know it is your nature to be the peace maker, the compromiser, but this is not the time for that.

Mr. President, why are you letting the people that lost, the people most Americans did not vote for, take hold of the conversation and morph this opportunity with lies and deceit.

Sir, we would love you more if you fought hard and lost, rather than settle for a compromise that will leave us left wanting.

Pres. Truman was the father of Medicare, 20 years after his initial defeat, because he fought, and lost, but kept on fighting.

“We are a very crippled giant, suffering from self inflicted wounds, that if we do not treat and heal, will in fact bring us to our knees and ultimately to our dome.” - Bill Moyers

Mr. President, you inherited one of the worse set of situations our country has ever faced, but I will not let you use this as an excuse to not live up to your promises. We lost the liberal lion, Teddy Kennedy, this past week. He died without seeing “the cause of his life” fulfilled. Invoke him as your mantel, this cause is his cause, and rally the people to fight against those who see patients as profits, the poor as pathetic liabilities, and say, “No more! No more will we allow you to deny coverage, to anyone! No more will we allow you to passively choose who lives and who dies! No more will we let the least of us be treated as less!” No more, Mr. President. No more.

This is your chance to help 45 million Americans without health insurance, thousands of Americans who've gone bankrupt, and thousands more who died because they could not get adequate care. There are literally millions of people who need you to NOT compromise, who need you to fight.

Please, Sir, fulfill your promises, screw up your courage, your grit, and yell as bombastically as Sen. Kennedy would have wanted you to, “NO MORE!”

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nothing Too Important

I'm writing this post mostly to get Dick Armey off the top of my post list. Still can't stand that man, by the way.

Last night didn't suck as much as I thought it would. I, being not rich, accepted a gig to work 8pm to 7am for a company based out of New York. A sometimes coworker called me up, asking if I wanted to work, and I, being also stupid, said yes. He even managed to wrangle me into getting my SO to work, as well. In retrospect I'm glad he did, considering it's easier to deal with annoyance and sleeplessness when you have someone to joke around with.

The gig itself was whatevs. The people weren't the best in terms of organizing all aspects, but they got the job done and acted respectfully to all. In my book, that goes a long way. Best of all, they let me go at 4am. Truth be told, I would have been happy to leave at 1am, and I'm not sweating the extra three hours not worked AT ALL. Leaving at 4am translated into me getting four hours of sleep and only being late to work by 15mins.

Currently, I'm munching on mini rice cakes, happy that my Red Bull headache has gone away. Of course, my sleepiness has also come back. I don't know if I'll do Red Bull anymore. Today was my first experience with it, and it wasn't the best. A coworker postulated it was the large amount of caffiene in the drink giving me the headache. Being as I don't drink coffee, tea, or more than two sodas on any given occasion, I would have to agree.

I am incredibly tired, but I keep focusing on the check coming in the mail. Funny what people will do for money; e. g. pimps, hoes, podiatrists, and personal assistants.
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