She speaks too quickly, but this is hilarious!
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Maybe it's the fluorescent lighting. Or the carpet.
Yeah, it's the lighting and that shitty carpet pattern. And no magazines in a rack, like in every other waiting room lobby I've ever spent time in. Nothing. No television monitor on the wall, not even one playing a hospital video with uplifting music and inspirational screen shots. Nothing at all to distract, except the incessant beeping and ringing of phones. Phones in the pockets and pocketbooks of patients and their families, phones behind the reception desk where the perky young women click on their keyboards with those fingernails... Nothing to distract from the utter bleakness of the place. But more than anything else, it's the conversations. The muted, hushed whispers of the others who shared the room and that particular moment. And the moments that followed. And the ones that followed those. It went on all morning. It was going on when we left this afternoon. It's still going on, and will pick back up again first thing in the morning when the next group of cancer patients arrive for their infusion treatments. The place will be packed, just like today. Every seat taken, and folks in wheelchairs with bored, depressed, stressed out looking people standing around them, looking at watches. Answering phones. Filling out more paperwork on clipboards. And they'll be talking about $5000 copays, and astronomical deductible fees, and lawsuits filed against insurance companies. They'll be talking about the lack of sleep, or what they were able to eat and keep down in the last twenty-four hours. They'll whisper things to one another everyone else can hear, because other than the ringing and beeping of phones, that's all there is to hear. And at the reception desk, new arrivals to the room will announce their names to the perky ones behind the keyboards, and then they'll tell everyone in the cancer treatment center the exact date of their birth. And a lot of them will have birthdates that are many years closer to today's date than my own birthday. Some will have birthdates that are many years after the date of my high school graduation. And some of them will be wearing ill-fitted wigs, while others wear bandanas. A few will do little to hide the fact that great clumps of their hair are missing. And for every person who seems defeated and worn out, there are three who are as cheerful as songbirds on a spring morning, doing their best to keep up the spirits of the caregivers who have helped deliver them to this sad room in this sad place. Every morning. Every afternoon. Every day.
And that was just one treatment room in one hospital, in a city with dozens just like it. Cancer is epidemic, if you want to know how it affected me today. You can't ignore the fact that young and old are among its victims. Some of those who shared that room with us today won't be here this time next year. Maybe they'll be in complete remission, healthy as mules, with nothing but fond memories of the fine treatment they received at the finest teaching hospital in the capital city of Tennessee. Or maybe they'll be dead and buried, and their frazzled caregivers will still be in mourning.
All I know is this: cancer doesn't give a fuck if you're happy, rich, young, or old. Cancer doesn't give a fuck if you have plans, kids, a bright future, or if you're a derelict living behind a dumpster. It's an equal opportunity destroyer of lives, and it affects everyone in every family it strikes.
And those sad rooms in those sad places are full of people who deserve better.
Posted by squatlo at 4:28 PM
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Yesterday afternoon it hit me... I was on hands and knees in the yard, plucking dandelions, and a car passing behind on our little street slowed to a crawl. I sat up on my knees, looked straight ahead, and thought, "Oh dear god, I hope that's not one of my friends!"
You see, I wasn't always willing to pluck dandelions. In fact, I told some friends of mine (on more than one occasion, which is why I was worried yesterday) "If you ever see me crawling around plucking weeds out of a lawn, just shoot me, okay?"
And heads nodded all around. Several of my friends swore allegiance to my strange request, and promised to kill me on the spot if they ever saw such a thing taking place. When you're happily single, living in a nookie-filled apartment complex, the idea of tending to a lawn was as ridiculous as the thought of volunteering to have both legs amputated. Sane people don't do such things, so anyone afflicted with THAT degree of insanity might be better off dead, right?
But there I was, grass stains on my knees, hunkered over like I was praying to Mecca, a five gallon bucket of dandelions at my side, when a car suddenly (and suspiciously) slowed to a crawl behind my ass.
And thus the epiphany... I had made true friends of mine promise to mercifully end my life if I ever sunk to such depths.
Okay, here's the deal...
I want to revoke that earlier oath/promise, and ask forgiveness of all who might have been witness to my prior request. Sometimes we end up doing things we swore we'd never do. I know a good guy who once voted for a Republican. He's since repented, but still... it made me question his character at the time. I've gotten over it, because he seems to have seen the light. But for a while there it was touch and go...
If any of you see me doing something totally out of character, please be tolerant. It might be that I'm working on some odd performance art routine. Don't jump to conclusions.
On another note, if anyone is making dandelion wine and needs basic supplies? C'mon over and help yourself! I've got a yard full of ingredients, and you can pluck all ya want!
Posted by squatlo at 11:26 AM
If you skip down to the next post, you'll find my latest rant about U.S. Reprehensible Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee's unabashed, noisy version of Texas Rep. Louie "Don't disparage my asparagus" Gohmert.
A woman running for General Sessions judge in Nashville wants everyone to know she's a proud Democrat, and while she might share the same last name as a certain political hack, she's "not Marsha".
I love this commercial, and think the music is fine, too!
Posted by squatlo at 8:59 AM
Friday, April 11, 2014
There's her face. You've all seen it on your television screens. Whenever the cable news folks need to find a teabagger to interview about whatever is happening in Washington, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) is always more than willing to hold forth for the cameras. It matters not if she's clueless about most subjects. It matters even less that she almost always refuses to directly answer questions without spewing an endless stream of conservative talking points. No, what matters is that you've seen her face, and you've heard her name.
One of Marsha's mouthpieces has let it be known that the Congresswoman from Tennessee's 7th District is considering a run for the White House in 2016. Seriously. She's testing the waters. According to this article, Blackburn has a speaking engagement at a GOP lovefest in New Hampshire this weekend, and they're proud to have her:
Blackburn will speak on Saturday at the Manchester rally, which is being hosted by the conservative groups Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity.
The event will feature addresses by at least three other potential 2016 contenders: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
"Marsha Blackburn has been a conservative warrior in the House and we are excited to see her here in the Granite State in front of many grassroots activists at the Freedom Summit,” Citizens United President David Bossie said in a statement to RCP. “Marsha is a serious legislator who should not be overlooked on the national scene.”
This is a woman who signed on as a co-sponsor to a birther bill a few years ago. She's been named one of the 24 most corrupt members of Congress by CREW for not filing accurate campaign finance reports. She's a frequent critic of climate change advocates, despite a complete lack of scientific understanding of the problem. She once warned folks that giving the EPA the power to regulate greenhouse gases would result in taxes being levied on cow and pig farts. In short, she's a total embarrassment to the state of Tennessee.
But with Michele Bachmann stepping down, a void has been created. There is a vacuum in the female Tea Party delegation, and Marsha Blackburn wants to take up the standard for the Republican Party.
She's that clueless. Not satisfied to shame her own state on a daily basis, Blackburn seems determined to parade her special brand of stupidity on the national stage for all to see.
Folks, let me prime the pump for the upcoming Republican Party presidential debates. If this woman actually decides to enter the race, set your DVRs and record every debate you can catch. You'll hear some of the saddest/funniest shit you'll ever witness.
President Marsha Blackburn.
Posted by squatlo at 9:32 PM