But that wasn't the only movie I watched. Mrs. Ha has been going to bed early (stress, bitter cold, anxiety who knows), so I was able to watch Adventureland over two nights. Set in 1987's, it's about a socially immature recent Oberlin grad dealing with a sudden lack of family money, working at a grungy amusement park, and meeting an emotionally disturbed just graduated coed, set to an awesome 80's alternative soundtrack. That's the story of my life, well, no, that VU song didn't make it, but other VU and Lou Reed ones did. I liked it, but I suspect it may only appeal to those of us we lived through the 80's. Think John Hughes meets Juno. I do think Kristin Stewart is too skinny, and it's looking like Em or Lisa P is going to be as big as Maryanne or Ginger, see my poll!
As charter school parents, we're supposed to volunteer 20 hours of work to the school, every year. Saturday I put in three hours cleaning the fourth grade classroom. If the overnight counts, we're pretty close to 20 hours. When I got home I cleaned a bit to get ready for eight year old's playdate.
During the playdate, I made my Ren Faire tunic. The pattern was wack, the thing would have fit a sumo wrestler. I took about six inches off each side, and it fits. Next up breeches, a jerkin and a hat. I may buy some stuff, time is getting short, I'm getting tired of sewing. I'm still not sure if I'll wuss out and make long pants to cover my shoes, otherwise I have to wear tights and acceptable shoes, or at least cover my shoes in rags. I did pick up some brown linen/polyester mixed cloth that will do for the breeches.
Sunday we went to my parents to celebrate my dad's birthday (he turned 69 on the 30th). One of their old college chums showed up. They lived in the trailer next to ours when my folks were attending Penn State, main campus. I could claim his son as my oldest friend, but we haven't seen each other since the chum's wedding four years ago (or maybe it was a funeral, they've had three in the last seven years), but my oldest acquaintance certainly fits.
He's from Allentown, and was talking about his family's thirst for beer, so I had to mention the tap setup (tap and regulator) I got from his dad. When I pull a pint, I can mentally thank him for his tap.
With it being cold out I decided to read about somewhere warm. Frank's Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle fits the bill. It's definitive, a big Bible sized book, all about the fighting on, around and above Guadalcanal. Highly recommended.
We have new health insurance, just like every year for the past four years. I'm due for blood testing to check the level of my anti-arthritis med (sulfasalazine) and my Vitamin D levels. Like a good corporate drone, I went to the health benefits site to look for a local, in network blood lab. I put in my zip code, requesting labs less than 25 miles. The first 20 results were a slew of 800 and long distance numbers, possibly from the greater corporate owners. They weren't close long distance numbers either (716 or 315). The first one I called told me to look on another website, whereupon I found one only 37 miles away. I'm getting old and crotchety, when I was learning math 37 was greater than 25, not less than. The second number was the same place as the first, just a different name. The third number was for blood labs in Tennessee. Maybe I have Cadillac plan, maybe they'd pay for me to fly to Tennessee, get my blood drawn and fly back, or at least let me count the trip towards my deductible. Riiiiiiiiight.
So I called the place I've been going to, they didn't know if they were in_network, but gave me another number, who also didn't know. I called CIGNA, who didn't know, but agreed to a conference call with the lab I've been using. No one knew, we had a health insurance rep, a medical provider rep, and me, and no one could tell me if they were in_network.
On my third go around, a nice rep at CIGNA told me of a local lab chain. I'm going to go there when my current recquisitions run out in April, my current lab is probably outside the network (again, no one knows) but I'd rather do it today then call my Dr. to get a new requisition, and wait, and hope I can get blood drawn and results to the Dr. for a new prescription to mail order so I can keep taking those drugs that keep me from being crippled with arthritis (my current stash run out at the end of February).
Yeah, I took the high deductible option, I have to spend $2400 out of pocket before my health insurance does what health insurance is supposed to do. Let's just say my corp is kicking in $12,600 for my family's health plan, I suspect that's in the ballpark. If I meet my deductible and don't get any other health care, we're getting $2,400 worth of care for $15,000, what a bargain! Now, some of that missing $12,600 goes to people suffering catastrophic illness, and I'm cool with that, that's why have insurance and risk pools. I suppose some of that goes to subsidize Medicare, and the un and underinsured, which if they can't pay for it, I'm guess I'm cool with it. A chunk of it goes to the executives I imagine, but they must have colluded hard to set up this monopolistic health care system, who am I to condemn them for legal stealing. Some of it probably went to Senater Lieberman (I-Cigna), and some probably went to the ignoramus who coded the database to give me lab locations a 1000 miles from my home.
I guess I'm just jealous, if our execs had just bought better Congress critters, they could have passed a law restricting the sale of printers and copies in the US to US headquartered companies, we'd have a lot less competition, we could be fat dumb and happy.
Speaking of my job, for a tech company, we have some surprisingly technologically inept employees. Case in point, while listening to our divisions head talk about how rough 2010 is going to be, some of those dialed in did not know how to use their mute buttons. "I'd like to talk about specific cuts HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, EHHHHHHHHHHHHH, EHHHHHHHHHH" stupid mouth breather co-workers who can't use the mute button. After a decade of annual layoffs, I'm too burned out to worry, just do my best and stay in the profitable parts of the business.
Thirteen year old daughter is gifted mathematically, she and a boy were always neck and neck for the top at the charter school, so it was a shock to learn she got a low C on her midterms. Sure, the teacher has an accent and the class is disruptive, but she's going to have to deal with bad teachers or teacher she doesn't mesh with for the rest of her academic career, not an excuse. So last night we went over quadratic equations and set notations. I don't get that there's four different methods of set notation, sounds like overkill and inappropriate for eighth grade.
On tap for the weekend, kegging my honey lager, maybe brewing some Pilsen, possibly ice skating with the school Sunday morning, and maybe working on my breeches. Does it get more exciting?
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