Monday, January 26, 2009

How to Call Your Health Insurance Company (in ten easy steps).

Step 1: Press Buttons

Please Press ONE to Speak with a Customer Service Representative
Press TWO if you are a doctor or pharmacist

--If you are calling about mental health benefits, say YES
--If you are calling about the status of a claim, please hang up and try again later.
--If you have just shoved the phone into your eye socket, please hang up and dial 911 (be advised however that frontal lobe damage is not currently covered on your medical plan).

Step 2: Explain the problem

From the beginning, v-e-r-y slowly, and multiple times.

Step 3: Transfer to another department

Explain the problem again. Wait while the representative Googles your particular medical ailment.

Step 4:

Engage in circular argument about whether the problem is

a) your particular medical need
b) the doctor's office
c) the insurance company

(Hint: The correct answer is a combination of a and b)

Step 5: Hold while the representative speaks with a supervisor (aka. plays her online Scrabble turn, writes on her roomate's Facebook wall and goes to the bathroom).

Step 6: The representative will tell you there's really no problem, you are one hundred percent covered for whatever you need. You're smart though, and know this is a BOLD FACED LIE. It's probably the way you're phrasing your question. Try re-wording your original inquiry.

Step 7: Sit patiently while you recieve same bullshit answer, but worded differently.

Step 8: Sigh heavily into your receiver.

Step 9: Bang the phone on the desk multiple times. Make sure to really put your back into it for maximum effect, but be careful not to throw your spine out of alignment, you don't want to have to call these people back for something else.

Step 10: The representitave will ask if there's anything else they can do for you today. Tell them exactly what can they do. For example: Start by taking your codes and claims and forms, stuff them into a burlap sack. Poo in the sack. Drive over to the CEO's office. Dump sack on CEO's desk.

Step 11: Hang up and call again later when your claim is not paid (repeat steps 1-10).

Step 12: Put an end to the slimy, greedy insurance companies. Go to and send our new President a message to support single payer health care and Bill HR 676.

Step 13: Try not to get sick, have any accidents, children, or really leave your house at all until the above is in place.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Queen of Cornhole

“I think I’m the queen of cornhole.” I said to my dad, “Wait, that sounds nasty doesn’t it?”

My dad shrugged, “You are what you are, Steph. You are what you are.”

It was Christmas day and my family and I had taken a walk down the beach before dinner. And after just having been in Ohio, I was loving every minute of sunshine and blue sky.

I grew up in Ohio and Illinois. I played in the snow, went sledding at the park, stayed inside when the news said your skin would freeze if exposed to air longer than a minute. I remember this, my body however does not.

My husband, Danny "Is this a snowstorm?" Gimenez, was in Ohio with me. He grew up in Miami and has maybe seen snow and freezing temperatures once or twice. This though, did not change the fact that the both of us stood huddled and begging for mercy anytime we were forced to be outside. Upon arriving somewhere we often ran from the car to the building like banshees escaping laser eyed baboons (those aren’t real by the way, I made ‘em up).

Anyway, on the 18 hour drive back home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky we were to get to go home to a land where winter means a few brief freezes, a land where "cold" means grab a light coat or sweater, not frostbitten toes and scraping ice from your windshield every morning.

I have taken Florida for granted. My Christmas holidays are annually spent between Miami and a tiny little island on the Gulf of Mexico. Christmas Eve and the days preceding are spent enjoying the tropical flora of Miami and Christmas finds us driving across barrier islands.

On our Chistmas day beach stroll, my family and I stopped at one of the beachside bars. They had adirondack chairs set up in sand and a volleyball game going. People were tossing bean bags back and forth and we decided to play. I asked someone how. “See that bean bag,” he pointed with his cigarette, “throw it into that hole.” He gestured with his beer can hand to a board with a hole in it about 30 feet off.

I played for awhile with Danny and my brothers, and earned the title of cornhole queen (Okay fine, I gave the title to myself, but I’m still counting it.)

After we were done we stayed there for awhile. Enjoying our Christmas day shoreside at a weather worn drinking hole called the Cottage. My mom and dad were perched on barstools behind me, looking out onto the Gulf. The sun was sorbet orange as it started to set. My feet were in the sand. Danny was playing beach volleyball.


Yeah, Danny “I’ve-only-seen-his-bare-feet-once-since-we’ve-been-married” Gimenez was playing beach volleyball….with strangers. And he was pretty good too. Eventually my brother and my cousin joined in until they were a regular bad news bears success story of the sand court set.

So once again I’ve brought you to the end of a blog and I don’t have a point (oh stop complaining, I know you do far more useless things on the internet.) I suppose my point is this. As my dad said, I am what I am. I’d like to think I’m tough enough to brave the winter weather, but the truth is, I’m not, or at least don’t want to be. We may not have white Christmases down here, and it’s true we have cockroaches the size of schooners, but I’d rather be the Cornhole Queen of Ft. Myers Beach than shivering, shaking, and sloshing through ice and snow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Public Service Announcement pertaining to toys that come alive at night.

This "My Twinn (the just-like-me doll)" catalog was brought to my attention by my friend Lisa (she’s an actual friend, not a doll). And after thumbing through it I felt obliged to reiterate a very important point to my readers: These kinds of dolls are deadly and should never, ever, be allowed into your home. They will roam your darkened hallways the second you close your eyes.

Trust me. Look at this doll and tell me that is not the face of evil.

Are there people on the planet who do not think these dolls are creepy? I bet you any money the nightwatchman at the My Twinn factory pays a therapist beaucoup dollars just so he doesn’t go crazy from the nightmares and the pitter patters he hears in the warehouse.

Ways a My Twinn doll could kill you:

1. Deadly royal scepter. There can’t be two queens in the kingdom kids. Little Polly here might not know it yet, but as soon as she climbs into her canopy bed tonight that scepter is going straight into her eyeball.

2. Suffocation. Little twinn Katie’s wry little smile doesn’t fool me one bit, she’s got plans for when that bitch falls asleep.

3. Strangulation by garland. One of these monsters is bad enough, but get two in the same room and they will conspire together. These poor girls don’t stand a chance.

4. Poison. You’ve all heard the toxic toy warnings, these little demons are MADE out of poison. All little twinn Lauren here has to do is let her hand steep in that tea for a minute, wait for big sister to drink, and bam, service for one please.

5. Neck Breaking and/or spinal cord injury. Don’t be fooled by their supposed lack of dexterity. These dolls come highly trained. Think of them as evil miniature Charlie’s Angels.

6. Mortal combat. Just walk away girls. Your dolls are not posing, they are getting ready to take you down.

This is just a horror movie waiting to happen. If you come home and see anything like this in your living room, GET THE FUCK OUT. These ladies mean business.

I hope you all heed this very important advice. One safety precaution to take if you already own one of these little bastards is to get a puppy. I mean the dolls are deadly, but they can only move so fast with a knawed off foot.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Really Cooking

November brought a big change for me. Not just a new president, but an addiction to cooking like I’ve never experienced before. It’s mostly Rachel Ray and my friend Alisa’s fault.

Alisa for planting the seed of desire to do it in my head. And Rachel Ray for devoting her November issue to “Ultimate Election night party” which I bought for my own election night party and have since made nearly every recipe in the book.

My cooking spree didn’t stop there after the November issue. I don’t know what’s gotten into me but I look forward to cooking. Every Sunday morning I sit on the couch with cookbooks and coupons thinking about what I’m going to make that week and writing out the grocery list.

No need to adjust your dials. You’re not on the wrong blog. It’s really me, the same person who has almost started her kitchen on fire twice and who often burns herself because she forgets to put potholders on before pulling things out of the oven.

Here’s the thing though. For all the cooking I’ve been doing, there isn’t much funny to report. No small fires or missing digits. No chicken breasts charred black. No blaring smoke alarms or trips to the ER. And the food has been, well, pretty good.

I made sausage and fennel pasta which I swear is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Last month we had Turkey burgers with homemade guacamole, and spinach salad that was, get this, dressed with a dressing I MADE, not something that came out of a bottle.

What the hell is wrong with me? I’m not sure anymore, but I’ve made Arroz con Pollo, Chicken Cassoulet, Tuna Noodle casserole (from SCRATCH, not with Campells soup), Salmon with mustard dill sauce (that even Danny, my husband that subsists mostly on items found on children’s menus, adored.) I’ve made homemade fajitas, Chicken and Dumplings and Pork chops with spinach fritters. Fritters I say!

I’ve gotten cookbooks and…wait for it…ACTUALLY USED THEM, not just propped them up as kitchen decor. I watch the Food Network as if there is very important life saving information to be found there (instead of Bobby Flay challenging old ladies that he can beat their apple pie and Guy Fieri scarfing down chili cheese dogs in a diner.) I read food magazines before I go to sleep at night and eat the leftovers of meals I made the day before. I buy Cooking Light at the checkout line now instead of People.

I've found that when you cook, the vegetables you buy actually get used instead of sitting sadly in the dugout, ignored until they're covered with soft brown spots and mold blossoms.

It’s insane. It’s crazy. It’s really, really good.

So come on over sometime, I’ll make you dinner. And, no guarantees, but I’m pretty sure it will be edible.