Please Pass Conyers’ Bill

Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary committee, John Conyers, is planning to introduce a bill called HR 676.  This simple plan would create a version of Medicare where every US citizen is eligible for healthcare.  The plan, if passed, would effectively put private insurers out of business.  Considering I believe private insurance companies are largely responsible for the healthcare mess in this country, I think such a system would be a boon.

Naysayers claim such a system would put all those insurance employees out of business.  Not necessarily.  Their experience can be transferred to the new US system.  The bill creates such a provision.  Specifically, “The Program shall provide that clerical, administrative, and billing personnel in insurance companies, doctors offices, hospitals, nursing facilities, and other facilities whose jobs are eliminated due to reduced administration (1) should have first priority in retraining and job placement in the new system; and (2) shall be eligible to receive 2 years of unemployment benefits.”

The bill has been introduced before.  It went to die in committee.  We have a new group in Congress today and a new president.  Let’s hope this bill will receive the consideration it deserves.

To see the bill in its entirety, click here.

Gee thanks, Benson

The Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon has decided to stop playing live music.  They gave the musicians who had been playing there for years one day notice.  Not long before they had installed a flat-screen television in the bar.  I guess sports or Fox News is preferable to any sort of culture.  Nothing like treating the people well who worked for you for years.  You never comped meals or parking, I guess there actions should not come as a surprise.

We still do not have the internets.  We are expecting the installation Friday.  I am really looking forward to having the internet at home.  I have so much stuff to post here, plus TONS of work to complete for my scholarship application to Columbia and Milla’s application to the Waldorf School here.  I have been hanging out at Starbucks, starting the process, figuring out what information is needed, heading back home, finding the information in all the boxes of crap, making another trip down, and on and on, so it goes.  The deadline is Saturday at midnight, so the internets better be hooked up Friday or I’m screwed, that’s just all there is to it.  I’ve been trying to get all the stuff together, but certain pages will not let you access them until you have entered information on the previous page.  So I gather that info, enter it, am allowed access to the next page, only to discover I need another 20 years’ worth of crap.  So much fun.  Um, not really.  I also have a bunch of blog posts, and a photo journal from our trip to post, but those things will have to happen after the financial aid apps are done.  I guess my February work is cut out for me.

Update:  So my boyfriend spoke to one of the lead musicians today.  It turns out that while the Benson decision to dump the musicians with one day’s notice was poorly timed, their reasons came from critical money problems.  The hotel has operated at 20 percent and below capacity all year.  Their bar costs more to operate than it brings in.  They are suffering economically.  To cut a $400 a night operation seemed a necessity.  Plus they are in talks to bring the musicians back as soon as they can afford to.  I get it–they couldn’t afford it.  I just wish they would have given the players the two weeks’ notice they were contractually obligated to supply.

He’s Just Not That Into You

My boyfriend does not want certain people to know we are together. I am not sure why exactly; he does not provide an explanation, instead turning the conversation around to my perceived insecurities. And perhaps he is right. Perhaps I should not care that I do not have a boyfriend so proud of my existence he wants to tell everyone. Perhaps I should not mind he rarely has photos taken with me, let alone posting them publically on his networking sites. Perhaps I should not care he does not want his grandparents to know about me because we aren’t married and because, gasp! I am older than he is. He continues to list himself as single on myspace. He says nothing on Facebook. He made sure to keep me out of his Facebook status updates while we were driving across the country together. And like I said, definitely no photos. Perhaps in keeping the fact of my existence from the public it will make it easier for him when someone better comes along, I don’t know. I am left only to speculate and try not to be insecure. There is just something in his unwiilingness that makes me wonder.

When I suggested moving in together in New York he made sure to point out living together would not mean we were engaged. The thought had not crossed my mind, but thanks, duly noted. When I ask if he would have moved in with me if we had stayed in Portland he answers, “I don’t know,” which is his way of answering when he knows I won’t like the truth. This “I don’t know” has a different quality than true “I don’t knows” do. It is the same answer I got when I asked if his ex knew about me. And he wonders why I think he moved in with me to make his move into New York an easier transition and not because he loves me and wants to be with me all the time.

You know, I have read that book He’s Just Not That Into You. Boyfriend can tell me he loves me until he is blue in the face, but actions speak louder than words, and his actions are telling me one thing: ambivalence. I guess I really don’t know what to do with that.

Midwest Out of the Rockies

Here are some photos from Colorado, Kansas, and the Mississippi River.

Wyoming

Wyoming was scary. By the time we got to it, we had experienced two of our near death rocks in the truck and were fairly terrified. We decided we would stop in Rock Springs, then head out early the next day to reach Colorado and Milla in Boulder. When we woke up on the morning of January 9, we were greeted with an unexpected surprise: snow! The weather reports had all predicted temperatures in the 40’s. Unfortunately this forecast changed while were sleeping. The storm was a surprise to many and left many traffic accidents in its wake. A couple of the photos are of trucks we saw crashed on the side of the road. We had another truck rock in Wyoming and the final one we experienced on the trip as we headed south into Colorado. Needless to say, we were nervous wrecks upon our arrival there!

Welcome to Everywhere

We tried to capture photos of the Welcome To signs as we drove across. I left off the photos of missed signs (there were a few). We crossed California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and finally New York. Of these 14, we captured 8. The photos are below.

AAAAAACCCCCCKKKKKK!!!!!

Okay.  So I am going to spend a few minutes bitching and complaining even though I know that I am the person responsible for everything I am bitching and complaining about.  I get it.  This does not undermine my desire to bitch and complain, however.  I took it upon myself to pack all my shit in a moving truck and hike 3500 miles across the country with my boyfriend.  I get it.  I knew such an undertaking would result in chaos and disorder for a period of my life.  I get that too.  I underestimated how difficult it would be to reorganize having packed nearly all of my belongings over six months ago.  I also underestimated how long it would take to get things organized and situated within the tiny apartment in order to unpack.  I guess I really had no idea until I actually did these things.  I do know myself.  I do know that disorder and chaos for extended periods of time drive me batty.  I have been doing breathing exercises and working to relax through this transition.  As the chaos gradually turns to order, I have been moderately successful in these exercises.

Yet in the one area where disorder drives me the most insane is paperwork.  I cannot stand out of order paperwork.  I cannot stand not knowing how much I owe exactly, how much I have exactly, where proper tax documents are, etc.  I have taken to keeping all tax documents online in an effort to streamline this process and have been successful.  But this year is a mess.  All my stuff is spread between four boxes.  There isn’t anywhere to put anything.  I don’t know what I need, and I need to apply for scholarships and financial aid to two extremely expensive institutions.  On top of everything, both of these institutions require applications completed ONLINE.  Small problem.  No ONLINE.  No INTERNETS until next Friday.  One school’s papers are due that Saturday.  One’s are already overdue.  I cannot wait until Friday to work on these applications.  This necessitates running down to Starbucks to use the internets.  However the paperwork required for these give us all your information including the date of last intercourse applications is back at the apartment.  I get through a step.  I figure out what I need.  I go back to the apartment.  I look for the shit.  I find the shit.  I come back to Starbucks.  I discover another step not previously accessible.  I discover new paperwork requirements.  I have to go back home.  I’m losing my mind with this.

Today I discovered two MORE essays I have to write for the scholarship application to Columbia.  I have already written four admission essays and one scholarship essay.  The scholarship essays nearly mirror the application essays in some regard, at least two of them do.  For Christ’s sake, can’t they all read the same ones?  Apparently not.

So apartment chaos, financial applications, and lack of internets are all making me crazy as a nutjob.  I’m having batty stress dreams.  I also need to find a job and try to get the publisher I have been editing for to send me more work.  It’s enough to make me jump off a bridge.  If the water weren’t so frigid, that might be an appealing option.