What more can you say but WOW. The first part is amazing but make sure you stick around to see them flying through Dubai and buzzing the Burj Khalifa.
My “profession” has slowly become the 21st century snake oil sellers. Give a charlatan a slick design, pretty pictures and a “telling it like it is” attitude and watch as they profit on fear and misinformation. The Food Babe is the Fox News of food bloggers and far more bloggers are like her than you think.
Credentials. Sources. Facts. These things matter, not pretty websites.
I often tell people I had Cancer Lite. Gun to your head, you’d probably go with testicular. It’s not that I make light of my experience, as certain aspects of it were hell, but all things considered it was a very treatable form with a very high chance of cure / treatment / remission / whatever the hell I’m in now.
Two weeks ago Steven Brill was a guest on The Daily Show. He’s a journalist who recently wrote a cover story for Time magazine shedding light on the absurd health care costs in our country. My Kindle pegs most articles I read at 15-20 minutes long. This one? Over 90 minutes.
You need to read it. The opening paragraphs details Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old man with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who was charged $83,900 for procedures that only cost around $15,000. He paid $1.50 for a single generic Tylenol. It cost him $283 for chest x-rays that Medicare patients get done for $20.44. The list goes on and on (and on and on and on and on.)
The article got me thinking about my own foray into the health care industry. To be completely fair, I had health insurance that didn’t try to screw me, by which I mean they upheld the agreement we made when I read the fine print and signed on the dotted line in 2009. Maybe I lucked out and got one of the good ones, maybe my insanely high yearly deductible was enough to satisfy them, or maybe it’s because they were happy to have an excuse to jack my premiums every year since (which they have.)
In 2010 I discovered the lump, had outpatient surgery to remove it, and there were a few doctor visits before and after both events. In 2011 I had monthly checkups, each taking around 15 minutes of “doctor time,” in addition to standard monthly blood tests, quarterly chest x-rays, and a few CT scans. Those led to discovering the tumors, which led to thirteen weeks of chemotherapy. Although if I recall correctly, I was only in the hospital for a total of 22 sessions, ranging from four to six hours each. In 2012 I was back to periodic exams and basic tests. The cost? Just over $75,000. And it’s not over yet.
Remember, this is Cancer Lite we’re talking about here. It wasn’t non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or even stage III testicular cancer. Had I not had health insurance, I might not be bankrupt, but I’d be seriously fucked financially.
The quality of health care in this country is outstanding. I’m a living testament to it and not many people are trying to argue otherwise. But the health care industry? It’s fucked. It’s beyond fucked. There’s a reason every other industrialized nation in the world, and even half of the third world countries like Cuba, look at what we’ve set up here in the states and shake their heads.
Now how about we do something about it?
Aaaaaand that’s a burn.
Here’s a surprisingly compelling mini-documentary. Seven strangers each have five minutes in an fMRI machine to “love someone as hard as they can.” The winner is the one who can generate the greatest level of activity in the regions of the brain associated with love.
Despite my affection for quotes, there are some that annoy the hell out of me. “Only boring people get bored.” Really? Is that so? Then I’m one hell of a boring guy.
Whenever I find myself bored and allow that quote to sneak into my head, I almost get angry. Partly at whoever first said it, partly at whoever keeps propagating it, but mainly at myself for allowing it to sneak into my head. And that’s when I invent games.
I know I’m not the only one to Gamify their lives. Heck, I distinctly remember putting a huge section of games I made up as a kid on the first rendition of Shyzer. SWAT, Milk Jug Volleyball, King of the Raft, and Skill Ball were the shit!
I found myself dangerously close to boredom the other day and it’s hard to play your sibling childhood games when you live alone. I had been writing all day and had word games on my mind. I don’t really know how, but I ended up picking a random number, shuffling my iTunes library, and plucking the 48th word from the first 30 songs to play.
All way the like I
Given moment that open monkey
Queens your matter car they’re
Pieces step oh Berlin ripe
Forever do the final washed
Her the lonely I’m summer
Hmmm. Not sure what I was expecting, but that wasn’t it. I figured what the hell and why not use only those words to write something that at least made sense.
Oh, I like the given moment
Do your way
They’re all that matter
Berlin, ripe, forever summer
Her final lonely step
I’m the washed open pieces
The queens monkey car
Hahaha, that final sentence was quite the leftover.
I probably did that for at least two hours before deciding to let the songs themselves do the work for me. I picked a low number, because actually counting 48 words into a song was fucking tedious, and pulled the 8th line from 30 shuffled songs.
The sun don’t seem to shine, on that ol’ County Road
And cut them in two
And it cried to see your face
I am cured, when I’m by your side
I haven’t got fucking anything
New born son
To love you, love you, love you
Make a decision
Put the butterfly in the bill jar
Who’s ever felt this way?
I’m gonna get on that riverboat
Face away and pretend I’m not
Tight against her hollows, her unholy child
Life in slow motion somehow it don’t feel real
In my best clothes
Of yesterdays hurting child
Somebody who I’m really not
Make me somewhere I can call a home
Tell them to stop
I wanna be a self-made man
Everyone keeps on talking
And I really want to see you tonight
I wish you woulda put yourself in my suitcase
Behind a cigarette
Flipping through a thrift store magazine
And we’ll leave the rest
As I whisper the joy of this pain
We keep all our promises, be us against the world
And I knew the odds were I’d never win
Well, that didn’t really make any more sense, but we’re at least getting somewhere. Problem is a good chunck of the songs it played were pretty shitty. At the very least, it’s not stuff I listen to anymore. So I decided to pluck the 6th line from anything I’ve played in the last 6 months.
You could say anything
I’m reaching you my hand
Dreaming of way back when
There will be a next time
And that’s you’re big mistake
I wanna feel the cold raising hair
I just came to say hello
You want to be European
So I shake off defeat and I start again
I got pretty music in my ear
Every time I look at you
I will be chasing a starlight
And you don’t know which you need the most
Burning off alone
But when all is said and done
You can take a picture of something you see
But now we’ve found it
To judge but when they spoke, said “Not at all”
Can someone send a runner
Damn, that sounds close enough to an actual song for me. My work here is done.
So what games do you play?
Originally drafted on July 16, 2011. This is part of a new series where I clean out my Drafts folder.
Smile. Big and often. It’s your best defense around the swirl of death and depression. Remind yourself that you’re young, relatively fit, and survived dozens of idiotic activities as a kid that should have killed you many times over.
Find something to do. Reading sounds fun, but it’s hard to follow the words. Same with movies. Never underestimate sleep. But the real treats are in comedy albums. The laughter helps. Music is great as well. Shuffling through albums you haven’t listened to in years is always enjoyable. Try to find something new though. An anthem makes all the difference in the world and it’ll be yours forever.
Learn the nurses names. Learn which know how to put in a needle and which are receptive to your charm. Realize how lacking you truly are in the charms department.
Don’t eat your favorite foods. Don’t even think about them. The last thing you want to do is pick up a peanut butter & jelly sandwich 10 years later and put it down because it still reminds you of throwing up. Don’t try to eat healthy either. You’re already going through hell, why exacerbate it with vegetables? Eat whatever calories you can shove down and move on.
On a personal note, Kale can go fuck itself. It holds a special place in Hell along with Quiche now.
Don’t be a bitch. Accept help when needed and don’t be afraid to ask, but find goals to accomplish for yourself. It’s amazing how empowering it can feel to do your own laundry or drive yourself to and from chemo every day. You can’t do everything alone though. Lean on your friends and family. If you don’t have any, get in touch.
Keep your head up. You got this shit.