Nurse Jacki

I know posting’s been rotten lately, but I have a good excuse. A friend of mine suffered a collapsed lung, and we’ve been at the hospital since Wednesday. It’s quite the adventure. Here are some of the things we’ve learned over the past 5 days:

1. Just when you think the food can’t get any worse, they send up a block of egg masquerading as an omelet.

2. The gap between a good nurse and a lousy nurse can be HUGE.

3. Dropping off Christmas cookies at the nurses’ station helps but doesn’t hold the weight you might expect.

4. Doctors LOVE it when you do research online and tell them all about your condition and the equipment they’re using. Who needs medical school when you have the Google?

5. It’s $10/day to watch TV. There is little on TV worth $10/day.

6. Sleep is not only impossible but actively thwarted. The parade of annoyance starts around 5am and continues at 30-45 minute intervals for hours on end.

7. If you have an unavoidable altercation with a totally obnoxious, insensitive, and power tripping night supervisor, word gets around.

8. No matter how rotten the situation seems, the guy in the next room screaming “Nurse!” whenever the mood strikes his fancy reminds you to be grateful that you’re just sick and not crazy.

9. A man on codeine who’s been cooped up for four days should not be allowed to operate the adjustable bed remote unsupervised.

and finally…

10. You cannot leave the seat up on this puppy. I could drown:

Bake Two

Second attempt at Key Lime Pie considerably more successful than the first. Turns out it does help if you have a mixer.

Who Says What And How

A couple of times now I’ve posted videos featuring animated characters talking about politics. Those posts are here and here.

Another similar video popped up on The Huffington Post a couple of days ago and then Facebook today. This one talks about the Fed and quantitative easing:

I don’t know enough about economic policy yet to verify all the information in this particular video (and I suspect it may be a little off), but I did start to wonder about who’s making the movies.

Turns out it’s lots of people. Anyone, actually. A website called xtranormal lets users who sign up convert text into animated films. The obvious upside is what we’ve seen so far. Cute characters saying stuff that resonates is a recipe for viral video success. But I wonder what happens when misinformation hits that same animation, and it spreads like wildfire. For instance, is the Fed video 100% accurate? And if not, how hard will it be to set the record straight once it’s been watched by millions?

It looks like xtranormal has been around since at least early 2008. Clever concept. It will be interesting to see how an increased use of this medium unfolds – if it does – and what impact it has on political communication.

So You Think You Can Golf?

Don’t ask me how I got this far in life without ever having hit a real golf ball (mini golf aside), but somehow it happened. So when my friend Sean invited me to check out a driving range and learn how to play, I jumped at the chance.

We went out to Hains Point yesterday and had a blast. Sean’s dad was a golf instructor so he knew how to teach and stay patient while I picked up the basics. I was really proud of my prowess on the range as it didn’t take long to connect and get some impressive air and distance on the ball. There were only a couple of near misses, and by the end of the lesson, I felt like I had enough info to head back on my own sometime and practice.

After driving for a bit, we went out to the putting green. I was a tad less successful in that arena. My biggest challenge was gauging how hard to hit the ball to make it to the hole without overshooting. Sean wanted me to make each putt in two. My average was closer to four. But at one point, he said if I could make the shot in two, he would buy me lunch, and at that moment, I did it. Sean’s response became the quote of the day:

“You putt like a mutant until there’s food on the line.”

I’m nothing if not determined. A girl’s got to eat.

We took some video of the adventure, and I used my newly acquired iMovie skills to create a recap of the day. Enjoy.

Out of the Hands of Babes

I helped my friend’s 6-yr-old daughter with her homework last night, and she made me a thank you Napkin Card. We were working on writing letters. We didn’t get to “J.”

It’s Ok To Say No

You know what’s even more absurd than the fact that this totally made-up story got any traction whatsoever?

The fact that you’ve got to read four paragraphs in before Yahoo! News admits it’s bullsh*t.

Talk about burying the lede.

If the media wants to be taken seriously, it needs a better doorman. This crap is like the annoying overserved guy in line at midnight. When he throws up outside (and that’s exactly what these fabrications are – desperate right wing vomit), you don’t let him in.

My Diagnosis

In the immediate wake of the elections, I’ve gotten some questions as to what will happen to health care reform. The short answer is that I don’t know for sure. No one does yet, and anyone who claims otherwise is full of it.

But the longer answer – and my opinion – is that some Republicans will attack parts of the law as a distraction, attempting to draw attention away from the reality that they have no substantial solution to the economic and jobs crisis they got us into in the first place. They may go after the mandate, which ironically is in place to protect their friends in the insurance industry.

See, if we want to require insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions, it’s going to be more expensive for them to do so. It’s why they played that denial game in the first place. So the deal they cut is that they’ll cover everyone if everyone is in the system. That means healthy people have to buy health insurance too. The bigger the pool, the wider spread the risk and the better business model for the health insurance industry.

It’s not about infringing on people’s personal freedoms. It’s about protecting the insurance companies. It’s also about finding a way to get coverage for people the insurance companies historically refuse to insure.

They may revive the ridiculous “government takeover” meme which is so easily countered if Democrats would just stand up and shout from the rooftops, “Show Me The Takeover.” Seriously. It’s that easy. Ask Republicans to show where exactly that alleged takeover exists in the health care reform bill. They can’t. It doesn’t. Game over.

So what do I think will happen? I think more stories like this will emerge. I think some Republicans will huff and puff but blow nothing down. I think – as President Obama said yesterday – no one wants to rehash the legislative battles of the past two years.

People want jobs. They want to be able to pay their mortgages. They want to see the economy bounce back more quickly than it seems to be doing. They want to feel better about their lives.

If the health care reform provisions are enacted properly, they’ll make a huge positive impact on the lives of the people who need help the most. The people complaining about an infringement on their personal freedoms won’t notice a thing until they get sick and need care. Then they’re going learn very quickly how wrong they were to protest reform in the first place.

It’s all going to take a little time. But if the Democrats recognize they have the moral and legislative high ground and act like it, I think the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be just fine.

Truth in Animation

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

I Give Up

We used to have a semi-regular feature around here called “Seriously Florida, WTF?” Miss Lindsay would send me stories of ridiculousness from my home state – things like this and this and this.

Well, Rick Scott’s win tops them all. I cannot believe this man now holds public office. I cannot believe he’s going to be Governor.

Seriously Florida, WTF?

Rocks and Votes

I spent yesterday as a tourist in my own town and went to Great Falls Park for the first time. The weather could not have been more perfect. Unfortunately, my camera ran out of juice fairly quickly so I wasn’t able to take as many pictures as I would have liked, but the ones I got came out well. Here are a few:

I’m going to head out shortly to vote which is really just a token exercise in DC. But I do very much hope that those of you in states with serious races turn out and weigh in. It’s incredibly important.

Here’s a great video that’s been making the rounds on friends’ blogs and FB. It does a fabulous job of summing up what’s at stake.