Tags: primitive lifestyle

shiny jen

cheers, federal regulators

Times this morning:

As the nation’s obesity crisis continues unabated, federal regulators on Monday issued their bluntest nutrition advice to date: drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables and cut down on processed foods filled with sodium, fat or sugar.

This makes me so angry. How about federal regulators quit subsidising corn, which is used to make CHEAP SUGAR and CHEAP MEAT, and start subsidising vegetables? How about adjusting rental laws so that landlords have to provide fridges and cookers so that low-income renters can actually produce and store that unprocessed food? How about they investigate what's in the water, so that people don't drink so many hormones and carcinogens?

Yes, I admit it's an advance on "Eat more lean meats like chicken," but it's not THAT much of an advance.
shiny jen


Large beast roaming the new apartment. Beast is probably very small and light, except for its fangs, and its sacs of poison, which are almost certainly the size of table-legs and bean-bags respectively. Probably winged, or equipped with a ladder or abseiling gear.

Judging by results, anyway.

That is to say, I am covered in the most impressive lumps. I look as though I've taken a cricket ball to the forehead...and to the arms...and to the legs...and I'm not at all sure how my toes are going to fit into my sandals.

Now, I grant you I was absolutely asking for it, sleeping with NYC windows wide-open in mid-August before installing bug screens. And perhaps I should have tacked up nets - something, anything - but I thought I'd chance it until getting around to buying bug screens, and this is the result.

I should perhaps Lie Awake with a Baseball Bat tomorrow night, so that when the Beast returns I can beat it to DEATH, but I rather doubt the efficacy of such an approach, and think that perhaps blow-torching the bedroom would be more sensible. I mean, I am awake right now because of being unbearably itchy, but I rather think the Beast has retired to its lair for tonight, overblown and corpulent, to digest the couple pints of my body it's extracted.

Hey. You'd exaggerate too if you were me. It's half past four in the morning!
shiny jen

damned infuriated

The offices of Dr Robert Morrow, of Riverdale, are staffed by idiots who can't follow simple instructions.

Since January of 2008, we've been having the following conversation:

Me: My insurance is XYZ. Bill them for this visit.

Them: We billed Insurance 123 and they will not pay. You owe us $100.

Me: That is because my insurance is XYZ, not 123. Bill insurance XYZ.

Them: Oh, okay. The last girl who worked here was a bit of a ditz.

Months pass.

Them: We billed Insurance 123 and they will not pay. You owe us $100.

Me: That is because my insurance is XYZ, not 123. Bill insurance XYZ.

Them: Oh, okay.

Months pass.

Them: We billed Insurance 123 and they will not pay. You seriously owe us $100. Pay up or we will set the dogs debt collectors on you.

Me: What part of "bill XYZ not 123" do you not understand?

Them: Oh, we need to bill XYZ? Sorry, the last girl who worked here was a bit of a ditz.

Months pass.

Them: We billed Insurance 123 and they will not pay. You owe us $100.


Insurance: Claim denied. Reason: Claim Not Filed By Filing Deadline.

It infuriates me - INFURIATES ME - that I pay $370 a month in health insurance plus office visit fees to enable this kind of idiocy.

Is there an adult way of saying to the office "Don't even THINK about trying to bill me for this. This is COMPLETELY YOUR OWN FUCKING FAULT and if you try to lay this one on me I am probably going to come up to your stupid office and scream and throw things"?

So yeah. Dr Morrow of Riverdale. Office of fools. You'll probably go in for antibiotics and he'll cut your foot off. Steer clear.
shiny jen


I'm trying to develop the habit of anti-grumbling. This is an anti-grumble about AT&T's customer web interface. [ETA: Yes, really! I wasn't being sarcastic!]

It is pretty damn good.

Right now I am happy because I have two phones, and I wish to move my contacts from phone A to phone B. Moving contacts isn't something I do much, so I am looking for the manuals.

Well, the site has a .com/copycontacts. It knows what model phone I have, so when I say Copy From, it gives me all the options but puts my phone at the top of the list as the most likely. That is Good Design.

Then I told it what my new phone is, and it gives you the choice of the available methods - sim card, bluetooth and so on. You choose. Then it brings up the appropriate instructions, with model-specific pictures and everything. One nice neat Copy From tab, one nice neat Copy To tab, all dead smooth and easy.

AT&T get cookies.

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth. I'm re-enabling comments over here because dreamwidth fail at making openid easy to use and I'm tired of hanging abou
shiny jen

(no subject)

Having received an unexpected bill from the doctor's office, I gathered my metaphorical spoons, girded my metaphorical loins, and telephoned the insurance company.

Well, let the record show that:
* the phone was answered at once
* the person on the other end wasn't in a bad temper
* and communicated clearly, without using insurerspeke
* they agreed it wasn't my problem
* and are not denying payment
* it's just that the doctor's billing cycle and the insurance's paying cycle don't quite match up
* so it's okay
* and she didn't make like I was a fool for not knowing that already.

Thanks, universe!

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shiny jen

Being Human: It's For Everyone.

"being molested" is so ubiquitous that it is considered a normal part of growing up female

Source thread.

This was my first sexual experience: I was eleven. It was my first year in big school, in a technical drawing class. The teacher was out of the room. The Popular Boy groped me from behind while the rest of the class, girls and boys both, looked on and laughed. Through a fog of terror and utter humiliation, I managed to stab his arm with a pencil. It drew blood. As well as the shame of having been groped and laughed at, I was frightened all day that he would tell on me and I would get into trouble with the school authorities for having stabbed someone with a pencil. I guess I must have known on some level that being groped wouldn't be viewed as sufficient grounds for defending oneself violently.

Like other kids, I grew up being told about Stranger Danger and how if someone touches you in ways you aren't comfortable with, it is okay to tell on them. So, since I had been invaded and humiliated in a sexual, unwelcome, public, shaming manner, and since I was extremely upset, I tried to tell someone I trusted.

I got told to shut up and stop making such a fuss. Being molested is a normal part of growing up female, you know. So I shut up and absorbed that shame and embarrassment and knowledge that if you are molested, other people are going to laugh at you for objecting, and it is your own fault for being insufficiently invisible.

And it's only very very recently that I've realised that something doesn't have to be full-on rape to be Wrong, and it's okay to object to being groped, and if someone tells you to shut up, that's not because you suck, it's because they suck. Hear that? It may be normal to be molested, but that doesn't mean it's okay. It doesn't mean you have to shut up and stop making such a fuss. It's okay to want to be a human being, and to want to be treated as such.

Well, that's today's post. It doesn't have much to do with Torah. On the other hand, it has everything to do with Torah.

PS - Comments are screened and will stay screened unless you indicate specifically that you're okay with them being unscreened.

PPS. Telling women that they should learn self-defence IS NOT the answer. That validates and reinforces the assumption that molestation is the norm, accepts that such is completely inevitable, and plants or strengthens the idea that someone who is attacked is somehow at fault for not having learned to defend herself. A woman shouldn't have to learn self-defence in order to avoid being molested.
shiny jen

Why Latkes Win over Hamentaschen

or, Why I Like Hanukah More Than Purim.

Because parading your wife in public as a sex object isn't funny.
Because getting mad when your wife doesn't want to comply isn't funny.
Because governmental fearmongering with wild speculations about women isn't funny.
Because turfing out your wife in a fit of pique isn't funny.
Because government legitimising intimidation in domestic relationships isn't funny.
Because abduction isn't funny.
Because fetishising virgins isn't funny.
Because rape isn't funny.
Because imprisonment in a harem isn't funny.
Because your husband being allowed to kill you isn't funny.

Don't tell me I'm wrong in reacting to the text in a way that disturbs you.

Don't tell me I'm reading it wrong.
Don't tell me what the Midrash says.
Don't tell me to lighten up.
Don't tell me it's all just a joke.
Don't tell me it's parody.
Don't tell me that if I read it like you read it I wouldn't get upset.

Comments will be screened. Comments failing to understand the above will not be passed.

ETA: For instance, "Did you not notice that none of these things you complain of are supposed to be good or wise?" is telling me I'm reading it wrong. FAIL. Yes, I did notice. Pipe down and think.
shiny jen

(no subject)

Today I actually approve of the bank, for once. I'm spending a Large Amount Of Money on parchment, and using my debit card to pay for it.* The bank, spotting that I generally make smallish purchases in New York, declined to process a lone transaction in the region of $5000 in Israel. So I phoned and said would they please authorise this one, and they did. This is an example of Getting It Right. Good bank. Have cookies.

* okay, actually my agent in Jerusalem, but it comes to the same thing
shiny jen

(no subject)

I observe that these days, you are allowed to take pointed scissors onto planes provided they have blades less than four inches in length, yet you are still not allowed sealed cans of Coke. I don't know about you, but I think pointed scissors with blades three and seven-eighths inches long are inherently somewhat more threatening than cans of Coke. "Take this plane to Cuba, or I will drink this Coke and belch mightily at you" isn't especially compelling, when you think about it.

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As ever, I would rather the Israeli approach, which credits terrorists with sharp thinking, and reasons that if your adversary is cunning, original, and determined, it is better to counter him with personnel of similar calibre and outwit him, rather than attempt to thwart him with goons who would only be able to spot a terrorist if he put a twenty-pound bomb in his luggage tray, labelled ACME BOMB and with the string fizzing. And even then, you'd have to hope the goon wasn't distracted by any cans of Coke someone might be trying to sneak through.