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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Because bitches will be bitches...

This post intentionally left blank for the purpose of remaining an adult in a childish situation. Gotta love mean girls!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Why...

...won't people let me help them? I just don't understand. As a patient account rep, I try my best to be pro-active when it comes to a patients outstanding balance. I talk to them early in the process, and work out something that will keep their balance from going to an outside collection agency, and ultimately on their credit report. It's for their benefit, not me. When a patient tells me they don't care, then why should I?

This also goes for asking the patient to take an active role in their care and management of their balance. I cannot do everything for a patient when it comes to their finances. Patients have to participate in the process and do some of the dirty work. Nothing frustrates me more than a patient telling me I am prolonging their agony because they do not want to make a ten minute phone call to their insurance company to give them the information they've requested. I can only do so much.

*sigh*

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chemicals a no-go....

Lately I've been a bit anti-chemical, and I'm not sure what triggered this feeling.  It may have been the No-Poo blog post, or my trips to the Downtown Farmer's Market.  All I know is I've been cringing at every shampoo and baby wash label I read.  What ARE we putting on our skin, the largest organ we humans have?!
 
In regards to baby wash, it's much, much worse.  I look at what I currently have in the cabinet for Caris, and I want to throw it all away.  The only exception is the bar of Hugo Naturals Baby soap that I received as a gift from my wonderful long distance friend, Diane.  Even products claiming to be natural, with the exception of the Hugo bar, contain chemical after chemical!  I had switched Caris over to Aveeno, but I've discovered all that did was add oatmeal to her bath products.  UGH!  Not that oatmeal is bad, of course, but that seemed to be the only thing that made it more natural.  I did a little research and after a Facebook discussion about baking soda and vinegar techniques, and checking the cosmetics database for hazardous chemcials, that gift of a little bar of soap and a froggie to apply it with has now started something. 
 
Then I think about my own hair and skin.  At 30, my flawless skin decided to rebel and break out dramtically.  At 35, it's still a problem.  I'll find a cleanser that takes care of the problem, but the minute I buy the second tube, the problem comes back.  *sigh*  I've spent tons of money on cleansers that claim to do this and that, and all leave me with the same problem.  So now I'm wondering if it's the chemicals in what I'm using that are the true culprits.  So, I've been searching for new stuff for me as well.  I love LUSH, and I really want to try their shampoo bars very soon.  Sadly, the closest LUSH is in Chicago, and while I really don't need an excuse to head up to the Windy City, going for shampoo probably isn't reason enough.   So, I will choose with the help of a few friends (thanks Jenn and Manda!) and place an online order while crossing my fingers.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One lump, or two?

The other day I saw a post on my Facebook page that caught my eye about bringing back afternoon tea time, with a link to a story in Country Living Magazine.  I was curious so I checked it out, and basically the magazine is pushing to bring back afternoon tea at 4pm.  They even went so far as to suggest inviting friends and family over for a light repast of sandwiches, scones, cake, and tea.  A nice idea, and as one who loves most all things British, it is most definitely my cup of tea.  Perhaps everyday at 4pm I'll make a cup and take a break, since I'm usually at work at this time.  Hrm...must fine proper teacup for office.
 
So this thought led to my next one...what other things are we missing out on?  Afternoon tea was created by a duchess who could not wait until the evening meal to have something to eat.  Back in the 1800's, the aristocracy kept late hours, meaning dinner was usually no earlier than 8pm.  So 4pm would be a good time to have a "snack" or "tea' in order not to starve before dinner.  This has gone by the wayside in this country, as power lunches and dinners have become the norm.  Add to that families rarely sitting down to the table together for dinner, and you have many traditions being cast aside for the quick, efficient meals that allow one to get back to what they're doing that is so important. So while we're all rushing to go here and there, what are we missing out on?  Where does family come into play?  Our society has been on fast forward for ages, stressed out and pushed to the limits.  When you look at other societies and cultures, you see theirs is not so fast paced, and things like spending time with family are important.  We say it's important here, but is it?  What kind of quality time are you getting by running your son or daughter to two and three activities in one evening?  Perhaps because we're not to that point yet is the reason I don't understand.    
 
I'm all for the re-introduction of afternoon tea!  Let's all take a break about 4pm for a cup and relax for a few minutes. Catch up with a friend, or simply pick up a book to read a chapter or two.  Maybe we can get back some of the tradition we cast aside years ago.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Moving on...

Today we talk about the writing process and book publishing, two of my favorite topics!

Yesterday I was having an email conversation with a friend who has decided to shop her manuscript around for publication. Another friend has also done the same thing, and both are discouraged. This discussion began with a comment about a debut book from a well-known and loved author that was complete crap, yet it was published. This of course begs the question, "why can't I be published if that crap made it?". A very good question, but before we talk about publishing, let's talk about writing.

As I've made my way through an English degree with an advisor with so much literary experience it shames me to be his student, I've learned to be a more critical thinker when it comes to writing and the art of storytelling. A book could have an amazing story, but if the writing is horrible, it means nothing. It could have an amazing airtight plot and completely flop because the author couldn't form a complete sentence. The writing process is different for everyone, but when an author doesn't take the time to think before they type, then there are problems. I will admit my mind runs faster than my fingers on this keyboard, and I tend to leave words out here and there. Before I ever hit publish, I go back and reread, it's as simple as that. Why then, do some books make it to the printer that seem to have never met a red pen? It boggles the mind.

When a new story idea finds me, I tend to bullet the main plot points. This sad, pathetic style could never be called an outline! But it gets me from point A to point B and lets me fill in the blanks in between. What matters is that it works for me. I go through this creative process so I know what to write. I will admit I don't always do this, and whatever I'm writing usually suffers for it until I go back and rework. You'd think I'd learn! :) Everyone has a process, even if they claim they don't.

So back to book publishing-- In my brief stint working for an online publisher, I was completely and utterly shocked at the manuscripts accepted for publication. They were riddled with errors of all kinds, and practically had to be rewritten. I couldn't tell you if there was a good story, because it was lost in the sea of spell check. Among the many reasons I left, time being the main one, was that I refused to rewrite an entire manuscript, which is what would have been needed. I love the editing process, because I want the story to be the best it can be. Right now my editing is done in fan fiction, but it's much the same. A story is a story, and if I'm editing I want it to be the best written piece out there. So I have to ask how crap gets published! Can someone explain this to me? Is it the story, and they overlook the writing because the majority of readers can look past the bad grammar? Is it the name? Why can't my friends, who both are amazing writers, find someone who likes their work enough to publish it?

Anyone?

PS: When I say "book publishing", I mean a book that has been submitted to a publisher, not self published. :) Nothing against self publishing!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Childishness of others....

I seem to be in a ranting phase, so please forgive me. I'll try to post something of substance this week....

On another message board, (see the bigger fish a few entries earlier) I was included in with 3 other people on a birthday thread. People can post birthday wishes, etc. One person, an admin for that board, and someone who I thought was a rational, mature adult, decided to go onto this thread and wish everyone a happy birthday, but me. Seriously.

Now, I do have history with this woman, but it's been months and honestly, I'm over all that drama. But now in light of this, it kind of brings it back home for me. Anyone who reads this thread now knows this woman purposely left me out of her birthday wishes for some snarky reason. Was it really worth it? Anyone who looks at this thread knows this woman left me out, and I'm sure they wonder why. Did she think this would make her look good in the eyes of the members? If I was a member who knew nothing about the history, I would think it in poor taste. It's a birthday thread, for crying out loud! You may not like someone, but be a freaking adult!

You may wonder why I care, and honestly, I can't explain why I'm even writing this, except to work it out in my head. I can't seem to wrap my head around why this person would take the time to do this. However, I am resolved to think on this no more, as soon as I hit publish. I just needed to get my thoughts out in order to move past such childishness.

Now onto better things....