Location: Colorado, United States

    35-year-old mother of two, wife of one, instructor at a university and free-lance writer, editor, researcher. I promise, I'm more fascinating than this "about me" and my favorites.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Brain dump

Don't believe what you read

I got a bill from a local hospital for some lab work a few months ago. Turns out the front desk at the doctor's office wrote the wrong insurance provider down, prompting my insurance to make sure I wasn't two-timing. So I got bills from the doctor and the hospital. I filled out the paperwork where I proved my fidelity and 60-90 days later things were taken care of. Then yesterday I got a bill for $45 -- the portion of the lab work my insurance wouldn't cover. I considered just paying it, but then I realized I never paid for lab work before. I called the hospital. I was on hold for only about 10 minutes. Then I explained I thought it was strange, and perhaps I should call my insurance. But the nice woman on the other line said something about having a contract with my insurance provider and she would just take care of it.

I just wonder how many people would not take the time to call and just pay the bill. How much overpayment is going on out there in the world, and how many companies are righting the wrongs when we do overpay? Goes to show you, question everything!

This does bring me to another point that has always bothered me. The way insurance just says to medical providers, "You charged $100 for this, we only approve $75." And the medical provider accepts that $75 and calls the $25 an adjustment. Do people without the insurance industry have that power? Sorry, I won't pay that amount, you WILL accept this. If only we would decide that the service was only worth $75 to begin with, then we might save a lot of money on medical care and insurance because there wouldn't be thousands of people employed arguing over that $25 difference. I'm so naive on all this crap, but it just seems to make sense to my simple mind.

Pre-reading fun

Madison was reading some pre-reading books (yeah, I know that makes a ton of sense) last night. They're the ones that give confidence to the pre-readers. It's really a trip as she figures out the formula and then "reads" entire 12-page books. For instance, in The City, I read the first page: I see the police department. Then she gets the rest by the pictures. "I see the post office."

Some of my favorite moments come when she reads her own way. In the book about opposites, she read, "Wet and ... not wet." Can't argue with that. Another book describes where animals sleep. Madison read, "Camels sleep in ... the hot!" Back to the city, for some reason Madison calls police, "police cops" (and when we saw one recently at a stoplight, this 4-year-old said, "He's going for a donut!" I promise I did not teach her this gem.), where she was supposed to see the fire department, she saw "the fire cop."

An open letter, of sorts

Dear Academy Awards, Golden Globes, SAG awards, Emmys, etc. etc. etc.,

Let me begin by saying yes, I am a bit resentful. But I think I'm speaking for a large portion of the viewing public and fans of awards shows when I ask: Are these presenter and nominees gift "bags" really necessary? We see the irony in loading up these celebrities, who are at the top of their games, who really can afford all of these fabulous items not intended for mere mortals.

I know why the manufacturers of the booty do it. First, if the celebrities have these items, the rest of us must want them. Second, there's always good press in giving your goods to these poor celebrities. You just know that Extra, Entertainment Tonight and any number of other entertainment media will tell us entertainment junkies everything that the celebs get.

Yes, I really want one too. Unfortunately, I don't see myself ever being selected as a nominee or a presenter (things could change, but my career path just isn't shooting in that direction right now). I'm jealous of these fantastic items and these lucky people (much like I am every time Oprah hosts her Favorite Things show). You might see this as me begging for your generosity and just sending me one, but that's not what I'm asking.

I am making one suggestion (not in my personal interest because just as I cannot afford the items in these gift bags, I could not afford to be in the running for this suggestion): Collect one or two more of all of these give-aways and have an eBay auction. (This goes for you and your favorite things too, Oprah!) Or maybe some of the celebs who realize while it's fun getting free stuff, they can easily afford all this groovy crap, could donate theirs to an auction. Raise money for tsunami victims, raise money for your favorite charity, raise money for scholarships. Whatever, just think about giving to others at the same time you're giving to the not-very needy.

posted by Laura at 2:09 PM |


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