Thursday, January 27, 2011

GALLBLADDERS & AN ACTRESS

My oldest daughter recently had laparoscopic surgery to remove her gallbladder. Everything went exceedingly well. She went in the hospital early in the morning, and was home by late afternoon. UNBELIEVABLE. By contrast, twenty eight years ago, when I had my gallbladder taken out, I was in the hospital for TEN days. One of my ribs was cracked during the surgery... and both my arms and rear end, were completely black and blue, from being a pin-cushion for the nurses. Back then... removing gallbladders was a complicated procedure. I have a nine inch vertical scar on my abdomen to prove it. And, a container of disintegrating gallstones. I told my surgeon, Dr. B. that I wanted to keep them as a souvenir of the ordeal. He was tickled pink by the notion, and presented me with them, after I was wheeled out of recovery. Now, after all these years, those gallstones are almost reduced to dust. I probably should just throw them away. But I can’t. Gross, huh? Sorry. Been collecting things since I was a small child. I daresay, my daughter did not ask to keep hers. I guess I just have a natural curiosity about such things. Lucky for her, though, she has a measly four dots on her tummy to mark the occasion of her surgery. No big ugly scars, like mine. But... I can boast that... that scar was put on my stomach, by the father of a famous Hollywood actress, when he removed my gallbladder. Imagine that?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

ENJOYING THE SOLITUDE

It was late afternoon and I had a hankering to get out of the house and have a change of scenery. Snow was predicted for the next day and I wanted to ward off cabin fever. I decided to go to one of my favorite locally owned restaurants, read my Kindle and hang out for a while. When I arrived, there was nobody in the joint. I had the whole place to myself. Gave me a big thrill. I found a little table that was out of the way, nestled in the back, next to an antique ice chest and old Barq’s soda sign. I plopped myself down and ordered a raspberry tea. The jukebox was playing hits from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s to soothe the soul, and I got into the groove, humming along. As I sipped my tea and read my book, Salting Roses by Lorelle Marinello… I enjoyed the solitude. But it wasn’t long lived. Before long... more and more customers began to trickle in. And would you believe, they all gravitated to me. A huge empty room and they chose to sit in close proximity to yours truly. First one person, then two, four, half a dozen or more, until that entire side of the room was completely full. I watched in amazement as this unfolded. I was fascinated. People all flocked together, like a bunch of birds. What an interesting phenomenon. I got a refill on my raspberry tea and continued about my business, now ignoring the crowd. Eventually it thinned out... leaving me all by my lonesome again... just the way I liked it. I guess I'm just a different kind of bird.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

TERMINATED

I am in shock. I have been deemed irrelevant. After thirty years of loyalty, in one fell swoop, our insurance company did the unthinkable. Without so much as a letter, or phone call, they terminated our service. Wiped us right out of the computer data base as if we didn’t exist. “Sorry we are no longer paying for your prescriptions. You have to cough up the money, yourself.” I was never so humiliated when my pharmacist told me we no longer had coverage. I insisted we did, shoving the new insurance card I carried, right at her. She took it and vowed to check again. Came back with the same news. “Your coverage has been terminated.” What a way to start the new year. I wondered if I accidentally threw out my new insurance card and had kept the old one. Did I forget to pay the bill? I couldn’t imagine why our coverage would be terminated? I called my husband, to ask if he knew? He didn’t. But he was just as mad as I was. How dare they. It was after 5pm. Too late to call the insurance company to get answers. I needed my prescription, so I had to get it, regardless. The pharmacist told me the medicine would cost $200. My knees almost buckled out from underneath me. With insurance, I usually only pay $25 for the pills. This was highway robbery. Surely they couldn’t be that expensive? But suffice to say, they were. I had no choice, as I took my credit card out to cover the cost. According to the pharmacist, if we get the insurance debacle straightened out in the next couple weeks, and find out we are covered, after all... the pharmacy will reimburse me, if I save the receipt. Needless to say, I’m holding on to it for dear life. Meanwhile, the insurance company has some explaining to do.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

SMART PHONE, SMART CHOICE

With all this talk about Smart Phones in the news, my husband and I felt out of the loop. We were living in the Dark Ages. We hadn’t upgraded our cell phones or service for seven or eight years. Lagging behind, we were still carrying old flip phones with limited calling, texting and photography capabilities. Verizon owed us a free one, so we'd get two for the price of one, if we got a new contract. And we figured the extra cost per month, for having new SMART phones, after that... would be a drop in the bucket. So, following tons of research, heated debate and with some serious trepidation, we finally decided to bite the bullet and join the ranks of modern day society. Twenty-First Century, here we come. Out with the OLD and in with the NEW. Our choice was the DROID 2 GLOBAL. For a couple of armchair travelers this choice might seem a bit drastic, especially given where we were coming from. But the truth is, we wanted a real bang for our buck. And believe me, we got it with the DROID GLOBAL. Our world changed in a heartbeat. This mobile device literally does everything. I’m not kidding, being a telephone is the least of it. We now have a computer, camera, e-reader, video camera, TV, GPS right at our fingertips. It also works as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Has easy access to hundreds of APPS. It synchronizes with my Kindle so I can read my latest book without interruption, wherever I am. And the novelty of being able to check the weather, emails, search Google, follow the stock market, or place orders on eBay, Fidelity, and Amazon, will never wear off. Not to mention the fact, I can read, write, and edit my blog from it, too. There is no end to the things we can do with this little contraption. I can’t imagine my life without it. I don’t know why I initially put off my husband’s attempts to upgrade. I guess I thought the DROID GLOBAL would be too SMART for little old me to handle. But contrary to what I thought, it’s really the most user friendly piece of technology, I’ve ever been exposed to. We LOVE it. Greatest gift we ever gave ourselves. Brilliant idea. Did I mention it has a 3.7 inch touchscreen, slide out Qwerty keyboard, it includes Swype which permits continuous finger motion across a virtual keyboard, too. It also features a 1.2 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 5 megapixel camera with auto focus, dual LED flash, panoramic modesquality DVD video capture in slow or fast motion, it has a battery life of up to 500 minutes usage time, 8 GB of internal memory, expandable to 32 GB with a preinstalled microSD card, the ability to support voice or data in 200 countries, etc., etc., etc. Not bad equipment for a couple of old timers. Now… if we could just stop PLAYING with it, maybe we could divert our attention to something else?!?