Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't Get Me Wrong, AT&T Still Sucks.

I found my iPhone! It magically reappeared. I am very happy. I am not sure if it was just lost, or if it was taken and then given back. I don't care. I sent a few celebratory messages and then the realization hit me. "I have to call AT&T to get them to take the block off my phone."

Oh shit.

I borrowed Mr. Misha's phone one last time and dialed 611. The lady that answered the phone was quite pleasant and nice, but informed me that ONCE AGAIN, their computers are down. They were down the night I called to tell them the phone was stolen. She told me she thought she might be able to get me unlocked if I didn't mind waiting a few minutes. I said sure and started playing Free Cell on my laptop. After a while, she said her computer was frozen, but her co-workers' computers were working. Instead of transferring me to one of them, she told me to call back.

I didn't want to be a bitch, so I hung up and called back. I went through the stupid phone tree thingy again. My call was answered by someone who also had a frozen computer. I asked him to transfer me to a service rep with a working computer. He transferred me back to the phone tree thingy and I started pushing all the buttons again. I was starting to get pissed. When my call is finally given to a human, I get the guy who apparently has a mouthful of porridge. I cannot understand a word this guy is saying. When I tell him I can't understand him, he just speaks LOUDER through his mouthful of porridge.

I take a few deep cleansing breaths and say, "Is your computer working?" He responds in what I believe to be the affirmative. "Can you activate my phone please?" He replies, " Yursh malm. Jush un mermont". I patiently wait. He then says "Malm, ishl be gedd ferns cerl". And then my phone rings. I hang up the iPhone and ask him if he could please send me a text, to make sure that is working. He replies, "Shlure malm." I get a text from him and quickly say thank you. As I was getting ready to hang up he says, "Tanshk fersh..." I just hung up, I couldn't handle being called "Malm" one more time.

Some dude from "The AT&T Executive Team" left me a voicemail yesterday. I am going to call him back and see what he has to say. I am going to try and remain cool.

In unrelated news:

Joanie is having surgery today. She is having her rotator cuff repaired @ 1:30 Pacific time. Send her some good vibes, or prayers or intentions or whatever, if you can.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


I have had my wireless service with AT&T for over a decade. I have always used AT&T for my land line and I have used AT&T for my internet services for the past 4.5 years. This summer, I purchased an iPhone. Last night, it was stolen. 

I called and made a police report. I called my insurance company and reported the loss. I called AT&T to report my stolen phone. The computers were down and no one was able to give me any information regarding replacing my phone. This morning, I called the Vallejo store and spoke to a very rude person who told me that I was going to have to pay full price for a replacement phone since I was not eligible for a new phone. 

 I was sure this must be a mistake. AT&T would not penalize me for being so unfortunate to have my phone stolen. I figured the woman was as stupid as she was rude, said thank you and hung up. I then called AT&T customer service number. While both people were pleasant, they informed me that, in fact, what the incredibly rude woman at the Vallejo store said was true. AT&T was going to try and bilk an extra $150.00 from me to replace my phone. 

I couldn't believe it. Normally, I would just grin and bear it. But my home phone has been out of order for almost a month and AT&T still has not been able to fix it. I am left with NO PHONE. Heaven forbid I would have an emergency or a health problem, I doubt that 911 would respond to an urgent email in a timely matter. 

I am seriously considering taking all of my business away from AT&T. Everything- internet, wireless, home phone. I want to be treated like a valued customer. I want to be treated with respect. I want a new iPhone without being screwed. I am posting this letter on facebook, on myspace, on my blog, I am sending a copy to Apple and I WILL TELL EVERY SINGLE PERSON I KNOW HOW HORRIBLE I HAVE BEEN TREATED BY THIS COMPANY.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blogging Against Hunger

"To admit the existence of hunger in America is to confess that we have failed in meeting the most sensitive and painful of human needs. To admit the existence of widespread hunger is to cast doubt on the efficacy of our whole system." -George McGovern, 1972

This past June, my friend Lauren asked me to join her in a pet project of hers, Blogging Against Hunger. (You can read my previous post
here.) I wrote a lengthy, fact-filled post about how hard it was to feed a family of four in my county. I wrote about how food insecurity affects children. It was quite verbose. So when it came time to participate once again, I felt like I little left to write about.

But now things are worse. Family homelessness is
rising in the United States. 2008 has been declared the year of global food crisis. Food banks are experiencing an increased demand for groceries along with a decrease in donations of food and monetary gifts. As the holiday season approaches, many Americans are not worried about putting presents under the tree, but how they are going to put the next meal on the table.

When I look back, I was probably considered "Food Insecure" while I was in nursing school. At the end of each quarter; my student loan money would be running out, my work hours were decreased so I could study for finals and my cafeteria card was often "frozen" and useless until I could pay the balance. For two weeks, my roommate and I would eat ramen noodles, rice and canned goods that had been passed over when times were better. When we went to work as nurse's aids in the hospital, we would load up our pockets with crackers and broth from the patient "kitchens". My mom would offer to take me to Costco, but I couldn't afford the gas to drive to pick it up. As desperate I thought I was back then, I never went hungry. I never went to a food bank. I never went to a soup kitchen. I never faced what many families face now.

The other night at work, while examining one of my patients, I heard her stomach growl. A pregnant lady with her stomach growling. After I finished my assessment, I raided the kitchen. I pulled out turkey sandwiches, pudding, fruit, juice, milk, crackers, whatever I could find and brought it into the room. I told her kids to hop up on the bed and have a picnic with mom while I went and called the doctor. After I discharged her, I wondered, if she hadn't come in that night would her kids have gone to bed hungry? This woman had a job and so did her husband. They had health insurance. But they didn't have enough to eat. It's happening here, in America, people are going to sleep hungry. Parents are going without food so their kids will not.

I know for many, times are tough. But I am asking you to help your local food bank. Anything you can give will be helpful. It can be as easy as changing the day or store that you shop for your groceries! On December 9th, Whole Foods will be donating 5% of the day's net sales to local charities like Bay Area Food For Families and Coats For Kids. You can check their website to see which charity they are supporting in your area. Find out other ways you can give (or get) assistance through the links below:
The Hunger Site
America's Second Harvest
Mercy Corps
Bread For The World

If none of those sound appealing to you and you live in Northern California, Mr. Misha has a fun and easy way to help. When the nieces and nephews of the his clan were still believers, he would dress up as Santa on Christmas Eve and hand out presents to all of the good little boys and girls. His mom was going to give the suit away, but Mr. Misha said, "We have friends with kids who still believe in Santa!" So, he has brought the suit home and I am taking reservations for those of you who would like to visit your house this December. He will be busy on Christmas Eve delivering presents, but any other day between Thanksgiving and the 23rd of December is available on a first come, first served basis. All he asks is that you make a donation of non-perishable food to your local food bank. You can either drop it off yourself or give it to Santa when he visits and he will drop it off for you! Contact me off blog if you want to schedule a visit.

If you would like to participate in Blogging Against Hunger, you can find out how at these links:
BAH- Blogging Against Hunger (myspace group)
BAH- Blogging Against Hunger (facebook group)
Cross posted

Thursday, November 06, 2008

For Barney, the only occupant of the Dubya White House I will defend.

When I finished nursing school, I made a list of things I had to get as soon as possible:

A reliable car
A house
A dog

I bought a Volkswagen Jetta. I bought a house in a sleepy little town about 20 minutes away from the hospital where I was learning how to help women birth their babies. The first two purchases were pretty easy decisions. When it came to getting a dog, it was difficult. Every dog in my family had been a rescue, a stray or a hand-me-down pooch.

I didn't know where to start, so I went to the pound. What a sad trip that was. The only dogs available for adoption at the time were pit bulls. My boyfriend at that time, Evil Steve, was ignorant (like many people are) and did not want a pit bull. No matter how much the volunteers tried to reassure him that they had temperment-tested all of the dogs before putting them up for adoption, he wouldn't budge, Pit bulls would attack and kill us.

I asked friends and co-workers for advice on what kind of dog to get. I worked with a bunch of English nurses and they all enthusiastically recommended the Parson Jack Russell Terrier. So I went to the library, because that is what you did before the Google, and read up on Jack Russells. They sounded wonderful. Energetic, funny, loyal and smart. I was hooked. I started looking for a breeder. I found a local breeder and picked out a cute little male that we named Cosmo.
Cosmo came home with me when he was 3 months old. I crate trained him, I took him to puppy school, I potty trained him. He was hysterical, not a day went by that Cosmo did not make me laugh.

Evil Steve did not find Cosmo as wonderful as I did. He didn't like the willfulness of our Terrier. He bullied him, yelled at him, and I suspect, when I wasn't around, he beat him. Cosmo became so afraid of him that when Evil Steve would come home, Cosmo would cower and pee on Steve's feet.

Not long after, I realized that Cosmo wasn't the only one being bullied and I kicked Evil Steve out of the house. But the damage was already done. Cosmo bit me. Tore my lip in half. Then he bit my mom. Then he bit my uncle. I took him to the vet for advice. We made sure there was nothing wrong with him medically. We put him on medication. It didn't work. I hired a dog trainer who was a little too "New Age" for me and told me that Cosmo was possessed. A priest came to my house when my grandmother died and my Godmother asked him to bless our dogs. The other dogs sat quietly as Father Tim sprinkled Holy Water on them. Cosmo jumped, snapped and snarled at the water as Father Tim blessed him. I gasped, remembering what the trainer had said. Father Tim just smiled and said in his Irish brogue, "I think that little one needs more than a sprinkle of Holy Water!" I couldn't imagine how one would find a dog exorcist.

So I took him to UC Davis, they had a Behavioral Medicine department at the Veterinary School. He was enrolled in a research trial. I followed their instructions, but he was still snapping and snarling. I tried for over a year, but I couldn't fix him. The Vet said I should put him to sleep. I couldn't do it. I called Jack Russell Rescue; they said to put him to sleep. I called UC Davis, they said to put him to sleep. So one afternoon, I took him to the vet and had him put down. It was the worst feeling in the world.

A few months later, I got Lola
. She is the sweetest, most loving, docile, little Terrier that you will ever meet. This little dog pushed all the bad memories of Cosmo and my failure back. Then Cesar Milan came along. Each time I watch his show where he takes a biting, snarling dog and turns the pooch into a loving fur ball, I cry. If only I had known about The Dog Whisper. He might have been able to save him.

I still love Terriers. I love their intelligence. I love their humor. They are great little dogs, if you treat them kindly and show them respect. So don't fuck with them.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Whore Underwear

When I was in elementary school, I wanted a blue satin jacket with a picture of Sean Cassidy on the back. My mom said no and told me satin jackets were worn by cheap women. As I approached the middle school years, I wanted to dress up for Halloween like naughty Sandy from the movie, Grease. My mom said no once again, saying that only trashy women wore satin pants and red shoes. When I was a teenager, my mother would never let me wear red bras or panties. She told me only WHORES wore red undergarments.

A couple of years ago, I went to New York with a friend of mine and we went to this wonderful store called Intimacy for professional bra fittings. One of the bras I ended up buying was red. When we left the store, I immediately called my mother and yelled into the phone, in the middle of Park Avenue, "I BOUGHT A WHORE BRA! IT'S RED AND I AM WEARING IT RIGHT NOW!"