Prescription Hell Wednesday, Feb 27 2008 

Most of you know that I’ve been sick for quite some time.  If you count the first bout, it has been almost two months, including a two-week somewhat healthy period in between.  I’ve had two colds, then bronchitis and an ear infection, and though I felt like I was getting better in New Mexico, it didn’t last.

I called my doctor during my lunch at 2:30 PM today, and she told me she’d like me to try a different prescription, and if that doesn’t work, to come in for an appointment.  She asked me my pharmacy; I told her it was the CVS in Davis Square.

I went to CVS right after work.

They didn’t have it.

I realized I had a voicemail from the doctor.  I checked it.  They couldn’t find the CVS in Davis Square — it’s only been open a few months, but come on, it’s on Google Maps! — so they called it in to the one on Medford St.

I asked the pharmacy assistant to check and see if it was at Medford St.  She said that nothing was there.

I called my doctor.  The office was closed for the night and only the answering service was there.

“Is there any way you can look at my file and find out what the prescription was for and whether you can call it in if it wasn’t?” I asked.

“Oh, no,” she replied.  “We’re not allowed to look at folders.”

“….okay,” I said.  “What do you suggest I do, then?”

“You could come to the urgent care center.”

“That closes at 7:30.  I’m in Somerville and it’s almost 7:00.”  (The UCC is up in North Reading.  I really have to switch to a closer doctor…)

“Well, I could give you the number of the doctor on duty.”

“Does he have access to my files, electronically or otherwise?”

“He might!” she said enthusiastically.

I called the doctor on duty.  I left a message to have him page me.

In the meantime, I decided to call the CVS on Medford St. myself.  I was immediately put on hold.  After about five minutes of holding, the doctor called me on the other line.

I explained the situa —

“Can’t help you.”

“Is there any–”

“Emergency room or nothing.”

“Well.  Okay.  I will let the answering service know, because they thought you might have access, and if they had known, it wouldn’t have wasted your time as well as mine.”

He warmed up after that.  “What’s wrong?….Oh, yeah, I know what they probably called in for you.  Wish I could help you out, but I just can’t do that over the phone.”

I thanked him and hung up.

On the other line, I WAS STILL ON HOLD WITH CVS.

I waited another five minutes until I decided to just hang up and try again.

I called again and kept count.  Four minutes into the call, someone answered: “CVSPharmacypleasehold.”  She put me back on hold before I could get a word out.

Twelve minutes later (!), she finally picked up the phone.

I did not have the kindest words for her.  Waiting on hold this long for a store is one thing, but this is a pharmacy.  People have medical needs.

“I’m sorry.  There aren’t a lot of people here.”

I asked her to look for my prescription.

SHE FOUND IT.  SHE ACTUALLY FOUND IT.  Even though my doctor had called in hours ago, nobody had bothered to put it in the computer.

I handed my cell phone directly to the pharmacy assistant.  They talked it over and filled the prescription.

(But they only had enough pills for three days.  They told me to come back tomorrow to get the rest.)

And I am now happily medicated…but I’m going to go to the doctor on Monday, anyway, just to make sure this isn’t pneumonia or anything like that.

Betty White is one hot ho! Wednesday, Feb 27 2008 

Most celebrities getting into their eighties tend to slow down in painfully obvious mental and physical ways.  (Barbara Walters and Peter O’Toole immediately come to mind.)  Not all of them, though.  Betty White is still as sharp as a tack — and fucking HILARIOUS!

Check out this interview Craig Ferguson did with her on his show.  Her comedic timing is fantastic.

BSC books we wish existed Monday, Feb 25 2008 

I was looking around the Baby-Sitters Club Online Community (which pretty much consists of grown-up girls in their twenties and thirties who thoroughly mock each and every book with plenty of snark.  The best example of this is Claudia’s Room — it’s brilliant.

People always talk about the books that should have been.  One reader, thesilverstrand, created a ton of great icons with the book tales that we wish existed!  Check them out:

bsc2.pngbsc4.pngbsc3.pngbsc7.png

bsc6.pngbsc8.pngbsc9.pngbsc1.png 

Hilarious.

Bluelistin’ 2008 Monday, Feb 25 2008 

I just bought the 2008 edition of Lonely Planet’s Bluelist.  This is one of the best travel books out there if you’re looking for the latest, trendiest and most outlandish in travel destinations.

This edition is much more unusual and outlandish than 2007’s.  Because of that, I’ve done hardly anything in the book!  (With stuff like space travel, jailhouse hotels and the most dangerous travel experiences, it’s tough to do any of them!)

I recently visited my first of the top travel destinations in 2007: New Mexico.

2008’s top destinations include Eritrea; Armenia; Australia’s Tiwi Islands; Damascus, Syria; the Raan region of Nicaragua; the Bolivian Amazon, and the Azores (where you can fly DIRECT FROM BOSTON now!).  The ones most likely to be done  by an American are Colorado and Miami, and I’ve visited neither.

So, without further ado, the destinations and travel ideas that I have experienced myself:

Destinations:
–Bologna, Italy (many times, but always briefly)

Countries with the Largest Islamic Populations:
–France (4.8 million, or 7.5% of the total population)
–United States (3 million, or 1.0% of the total population)

Bluelists:

Now you see them, now you…. (Disappearing Destinations)
–Venice

“I’ve been everywhere, man” (Travel Bragging Rights)
–Romancing

Best Brews
–Yuengling in USA
–Guinness in Ireland

Friendliest Countries
–Ireland
–USA

Like the Song? (Best Destination Songs)
–“Life on Mars” by David Bowie
–“Girl from Ipanema” by Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto

Food Wonderlands of the World
–Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, USA
–Hershey’s Chocolate World, USA

Metropolis Mania (World’s Most Incredible Cities)
–New York, USA

Know Your Travel (Travel Type Trends)
–Armchair Tourism
–Pop Culture Tourism (white chocolate statue of Michael Jackson, aka the main reason why I went to Budapest!)

By the Seat of Your Pants….Literally (Strange Ways to Sit)
–Paragliding
–Gondola ride in Venice

Check out below for the dreamed-about destinations.

(more…)

My favorite Oscar gown Monday, Feb 25 2008 

Black was definitely the dominant color for Oscar gowns this year, with a few red ones thrown in.  I usually love the style of the pregnant-and-absent Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie (as well as new mom Jennifer Lopez), but nobody really stood out to me this year.

Except for Johnny Depp’s longtime girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis.

I love, love, love, love this gown.  I would wear it in a second.  It’s very me.

While Vanessa doesn’t always have the best gowns, this one is fantastic.

Smile with your eyes! Sunday, Feb 24 2008 

On America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks tries to get her contestants to “smile with their eyes.” Whenever Tyra does it, she looks like some kind of lizard.

Here is the attempt that Callie and I made to do so:

Ahhhh, it’s so hard to smile without moving your lips!

Hott 90s R&B Mix Saturday, Feb 16 2008 

I ended up downloading several of my favorite sexy and semi-sexy R&B songs from my youth — around 1995 or so, when I was 10 or 11.

Check it out:

  • Jon B, “Someone to Love” (“Pretty Girl” isn’t on iTunes)
  • Brandy, “I Wanna Be Down”
  • Babyface, “Every Time I Close My Eyes”
  • Keith Sweat, “Twisted”
  • Keith Sweat, “Nobody”
  • New Edition, “Still in Love”

I’m digging a bit to find other sexy R&B songs from the mid-90s that I used to love back in the day.  Here are some:

  • Tony Toni Tone, “Lay Your Head On My Pillow”
  • TLC, “Red Light Special”
  • TLC, “Take Our Time”
  • Soul for Real, “Candy Rain”
  • R. Kelly, “Bump n’ Grind”
  • Jodeci, “Freek’n You”
  • En Vogue, “Don’t Let Go”
  • SWV, “You’re the One for Me”

Such a hott mix.  Play some of that stuff for your significant other and the clothes will just fall off.

Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” video Thursday, Feb 14 2008 

You have to watch this video.  Watch it now.  On this Valentine’s Day, some will find this especially appropriate.

Note — this is not quite safe for work, unless the co-worker sitting next to you asks to watch it after you give him a play-by-play and tell him he has to see it.

I love Kanye West.  “Flashing Lights” is my favorite track on Graduation, and I always thought the song had a sexy, sinister air to it.  It’s a great song to walk along with in anger.  He definitely capitalized on that.

Creepy, huh?

Edit: I’ve already had to change the video.  Universal isn’t allowing embedding, so the only embeddable ones keep getting taken down for copyright infringement.

I’m voting for Barack Obama. Here’s why. Tuesday, Feb 12 2008 

 

Last night, I was thrilled when my sister asked me questions about Barack Obama.  Sars has always been apathetic when it comes to politics, except for the time when she stole a Kucinich sign and put it up in her room because it made her laugh.  But now she’s interested.

As for me, I am completely obsessed with and consumed by Election 2008.

Every morning when I wake up, even before my thoughts are coherent, I immediately start thinking about the election.  Lately, my first thought in the morning has been John McCain.  It used to be Kucinich.  I’ve dreamed of being Romney’s secret girlfriend and of being interrogated by Hillary.  (Literally dreamed — not wished.)

There is so much that I want to write about this election, and I could never fill this blog with all my thoughts, even if I wrote for hours every day.

For this entry, I will describe why I am voting for Obama.

As Senator Clinton said last year during one of the debates, “The differences between us are minor.  The differences between us and the Republicans are major.”  She’s right.  And in this election, I would have supported the Democratic nominee, whether it would have been Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Biden, Dodd, Richardson or even Kucinich (not that crazy crackpot Gravel).

Democrats want to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, raise the minimum wage, combat climate change, improve our educational system, support LGBT rights.  That’s what I believe in.  They will also appoint Supreme Court judges who will not attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Obama and Clinton are very similar, but there are areas in which I think that Obama would do better.  Here are just a few of them:

  • After going back and forth between him and Clinton, I think that he has the best and most realistic plan for healthcare.  We need to make it affordable and available to all, regardless of pre-existing conditions, before we can have it successfully mandated for all. 
  • He has always opposed the war in Iraq, and he didn’t allow the Bush Administration’s fearmongering to sway him.
  • His relative newness to Washington means that, in a nutshell, he owes fewer favors to fewer people and will be able to start his presidency without being forced into what Washington leaders think he should be.  It’s the closest thing to a clean slate that we can have.

The most important concern me in this election, however, is electing a leader who can repair our frayed relations around the world.

Obama has said that he is open to dialogue with the leaders of Cuba, Iran and other countries.  I think that this is essential, and not just because I’m dying to visit Cuba.

The Bush Administration’s policy of not talking to anyone they don’t like has given us absolutely no positive results, and it has further strained our relations with Iran.  Obviously, Iran will not be becoming an ally anytime soon, but exchanging a civil dialogue

Do people out there honestly believe that refusing to speak to certain countries will IMPROVE their relations with us?  Will that make them suddenly turn nice?  You’ve got to be kidding me.

At this time, China is emerging as a new superpower, and we can’t afford to be stagnant.  We need to be proactive and communicate with these nations.  Does this mean that we are ignoring threats of terror?  Absolutely not.  It also doesn’t mean that we will be negotiating with terrorists.  It is imperative to have a dialogue with all countries.

Obama’s background is an incredible asset as well — his living abroad has given him a perspective that has been sorely, sorely, sorely missing in the Bush Administration.  He would never have assumed that the Iraqis would welcome us with open arms.  He would have known that Iraq, with its three warring ethnic groups, would not be prepared to come together to run a government.

Obama is hypnotizingly dualistic: he has experienced life as black and white, rich and poor, ignored and prominent, destined for success and destined for failure.

For those who say that Obama is too inexperienced, it’s important to note that no presidential candidate is an expert on everything, no matter what he or she says.  This is why presidents surround themselves with experts.  I’d love to see Wesley Clark (whom I initially supported in the last election) as Secretary of Defense, John Edwards in a new Cabinet role focusing on poverty, and if only Joe Biden hadn’t already refused to consider Secretary of State!  He would have been perfect!

What we need is a strong leader at the helm — a president who became president based on his merit, his intelligence, his character, his hard work, his higher calling.  Barack Obama is that leader, and his time is now.

And he inspires me.

A bad drunk ruins things for everyone. Sunday, Feb 10 2008 

I went out to the Hong Kong in Boston this evening.  It’s one of my favorite dive bars.  The occasion was that my friend and former co-worker had left our company and she was celebrating with friends.

As I got there — at around 9:30 PM or so — there was one girl in the group who was substantially more drunk than the rest of us.  She was GONE, and it was pretty early in the evening.  She hadn’t paced herself.

Yet again, I have a horrible cold.  When she reached out to shake my hand, I gave her a wave, a thumbs-up and a Japanese bow, as I didn’t want to shake her hand.  She seemed to be seriously offended nonetheless.

The next hour was normal.  We hung out; we ate the Hong Kong’s signature Chicken-On-A-Stick-For-A-Dollar, and we had a good time.  This girl had a good time.  Then I mentioned that Martin Scorsese had a recent casting in Boston.  God, if I had only known a day in advance!  He was looking for women to be extras as nurses — and women with natural hair, no highlights!

I haven’t gotten highlights or dyed my hair since I was 17!  I was a perfect candidate to be in Martin Scorsese’s latest film!

Anyway, I talked about Massachusetts’ new and prominent role in the film industry, and we had a great conversation.  Then, the girl had to speak up:

“You look like a piece of shit.”

“Excuse me?” I said.

“I said that you look like a piece of shit.  Your hair looks like a piece of shit.”

I was dumbfounded.  “Don’t you know that that’s a mean thing to say to someone?”

“You look like a piece of shit.”

She then proceded to tell my friend Michelle’s boyfriend, Tim, that she liked him but she didn’t liek me and Michelle.

God, can you believe the nerve?  And, apparently, she hadn’t had very much to drink.  My friend, Holly, told me that she and her boyfriend had broken up recently, and she had been acting out in reaction to the boyfriend.  He never treated her well.

Seriously, though, does that make it an excuse for her to turn on the rest of us, including me, a girl she hadn’t met until this evening?

Watch what you drink.

After that incident, my friends and I were so disgusted that we headed to Boston Rocks.  I had never been to Boston Rocks before, but it fit my expectations — largely suburbanites who make their annual trip to the clubs in Boston.  Good music, though — we had the best time singing DMX’s “Party Up”!  “Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind, up in heah, up in heah…”

Earlier in the evening, I had to literally pull her off the bouncer.  She kept hugging him, jumping on him, wrapping herself around him.  And he kept signaling us to pull her off him so he could do his job.

Seriously.  THERE IS A TIME AND PLACE FOR THAT, AND IT’S CALLED COLLEGE.

We’re too old for that.

Newsweek Prediction Friday, Feb 8 2008 

I’m going to make a prediction about this week’s cover of Newsweek.

I’m going to guess that it’s going to be Obama and Hilary on the cover.  The headline will say one of the following things:

  • “Now what?”
  • FACE OFF (I hope not — that’s tacky)
  • Deadlocked or Neck in Neck (or something along those lines)
  • If not a few words like these, it will be a short but powerful phrase about the possibility of a brokered convention

Material from the newest issue is published on Newsweek‘s Web site on Saturday evening.  Just wait and see!

I’m going to New Mexico! Wednesday, Feb 6 2008 

I’m going to New Mexico in 10 days, and I’m so excited!

I am SO HAPPY to be going on vacation, FINALLY!!  I have a WHOLE WEEK off from work, which has never happened at my job (and I’ve been there over a year and a half).  NINE DAYS AWAY FROM THE OFFICE!!

I’ve taken a few trips — to Quebec and Texas last March, and to DC last June — but each of those were only for a few days, and I haven’t taken off more than a day at a time since then.

I’m going with my mom, who was planning this trip for a while and invited me along spontaneously.  One of her best friends, Roz, moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico in quasi-semi-pre-retirement.  My mom has visited her a few times and she absolutely LOVES it there.

Las Cruces is located in the south of the state.  It’s a fertile valley in the middle of the desert, and the city is home to New Mexico State University.

We will be flying into Albuquerque, in the north of the state, and road tripping down so we can see more of the state, including the white sands reservation and Santa Fe (I hope!).  All of the family vacations I’ve ever had (excluding camping) were always go-go-go, do it all, pack as much into as little time as possible.  This is going to be relaxing.  And I need to relax, especially in a warm, dry desert climate!

Who is that snowy fox* next to John McCain? Tuesday, Feb 5 2008 

*Snowy fox = silver fox, only there’s no silver remaining and it has gone all white.

Hottness.

I bet this isn’t what Tom Brady pictured when he left his pregnant girlfriend. Monday, Feb 4 2008 

It’s been over a year.  Surely, Tom thought he was off the hook by now.

We don’t know all the details of what happened between him and Bridget Moynahan.  However, we know that he was never even close to being 100% innocent.

Tom Brady was well aware that what he did was wrong.  If not, he would have handled the situation much differently — for example, actually attempting to communicate with her.

There have been all of these hardships that happened to him over the past year, and every time, he figured that this was it.  This was his karma.  His baby didn’t have his last name.  He barely got to see his baby.  He had to go through a messy PR campaign and endure the humiliating OK! magazine headline of “Life Without Daddy” as little John clung to his somber mother’s shoulder.  There were many more that we know nothing about.

He probably thought that these were examples of his karma, stinging him where he least wanted to be stung.

He NEVER thought that he would lead his teammates to the ultimate record-breaking season, only to screw up in the fourth quarter and watch it all slip away as a crappy team claimed the ultimate victory.  They were so close.

Somewhere in California, Bridget Moynahan is smiling and pouring herself a glass of wine.

I am proud to say that even as a Massachusetts-born and -bred girl, I do not care one iota for sports of any kind, even Boston sports.  They fail to hold my interest in any way.  I’ve tried, and it’s never worked.

This is why I didn’t care whatsoever whether the Patriots or the Giants won the Super Bowl today.  I spent the game curled up on my mom’s couch, surrounded by my usual stack of travel books, as the game played in the background.  (I came for the food and to see friends.)

But I do care about the unexpected effect of this game’s outcome — the reverberations that are felt throughout Boston and New York.

Wow, this sucks, huh?  The Patriots were going to make history.  They were going to be undefeated.  This was going to be the best football team in history, to go along with the Red Sox’s stunning win this year and the Celtics’ winning season.  It would have been beautiful.

It’s too bad they choked in the fourth quarter.  Can you believe it?  The Giants aren’t even that good a team!

I just hope this wasn’t the only thing you had going for you.  You wouldn’t want this to get under your skin.