Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Not-So-Fantastic Voyage: My recent insurance odyssey

Monday, September 29, 2014 By

AUGUSTA, GA - I'm lucky to have excellent insurance - expensive insurance, but excellent.


Accessing those benefits can be more difficult that I had imagined. Come along on my journey that took place just a couple of weeks ago.

Emerson had complained about mild stomach pain for a couple of days. We treated it at home. Then one day, it wasn't so mild. Uh-oh. I called the doctor.

Only they wouldn't see her. No openings that day.

So I took her to the prompt care place that we have used for five years.

Only they wouldn't see her.

"We're not listed as her primary care physician," the desk clerk said to me. "It's an HMO, so they'll have to approve that change."

Commence epic phone call to Blue Cross Blue Shield. The wonderfully friendly customer service rep was happy to change Emerson's primary care physician... once I got her on the phone. Long hold, many numbers punched in, several false starts due to the automated voice recognition system picking up Emerson's incessant chatter in the back seat, then the system accidentally hung up on me, commence another long hold, etc.

My phone was dying, when finally she says, "Hmm. I'm finally where I need to be in the system, but I'm getting an age error."

"An age error?"

"Since she's under 15 years old, it says they won't treat her."

"But... they've been seeing her since she was four. They diagnosed her and treated her for pneumonia," I said, confused.

Then came another hold. Blarg.

Ten minutes later, she was back: "It looks like he changed his contract in July of this year."

Oh, great. Would it have killed him to send a letter?

"Well, thank you for investigating that. I really appreciate it. But I still need to see a doctor. Her primary care physician can't see her today. And, obviously, this place won't take her. Can you give me another idea?" I asked.

They sent me to another prompt care place 15 minutes away. "They're the first recommendation on the list," the rep said. Great!

Only they wouldn't see her.

"We don't take that insurance," the desk clerk said.

"But... my insurance company is who recommended you," I smiled. This was getting kind of ridiculous.

"No, we don't take that insurance."

"I'm... I'm... confused," I blinked, and tried to keep smiling. "Can you help?"

"What help do you want?" she asked, giving me the side eye. "We don't take your insurance."

"I guess I'm wondering under what circumstances my insurance company might tell me that you're a provider, when you're not. Is there maybe a practice with a similar name that might be the source of confusion? Or... something?" I stammered out an answer that was nowhere close to what I wanted to say.

She gave me a hard look, "We are not responsible for misinformation your insurance company provides you, ma'am."

Oh. She ma'am-ed me. And invoked "responsibility." I wasn't going to get anything further out of her. I could see her making a mental note of me as a "problem."

Just then a colleague of hers leaned into the window.

"You have an HMO, right?" she said, brightly, with a smile on her face. "We only take Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO patients if their primary care physician is a part of this health care system."

Do what?

There was no point in discussing it further. I kept my smile plastered to my face - hopefully they didn't notice the Crazy Eyes that went with it - thanked them for their time, wished them a good day, and carried Em to the car. Her stomach was hurting again.

In the car, I called the insurance company again. Cue the long wait, the multiple menu items, the false starts, etc.

"So, I'm out of ideas," I told the rep, trying to keep a cheerful voice so she'd want to keep talking to me. "My daughter needs to see a doctor today. She's in pain. The first prompt care place you listed for me won't see her anymore, and the second doesn't take the insurance."

"What do you mean they don't take the insurance?" she asked.

"They said they only see HMO patients if their primary care physician is an employee of their health care system," I explained.

"Well, ma'am, we can only give you the information that is listed in the system," she said.


"Yes, ma'am, thank you. I can appreciate that. I guess what I would request is that you flag the practice, or make a note, and perhaps someone can investigate this misinformation."

"We have no way of knowing that we're giving out incorrect information," she said, defensively. "The doctors update their information in the system, themselves. We go by what they put in. We would have no way of knowing if it is not accurate."

Great. Now she's offended AND I'm no closer to getting my child to a doctor. I smear a smile back on my face and hope it conveys through the phone line.

"I didn't mean to imply that it was in any way your fault, or that anyone at Blue Cross is not doing an excellent job. I've only spoken to super nice people today, who have gone out of their way to be helpful. I guess my concern is that I work for an organization with 13,000 employees in this area. We're all pretty much insured by you. If that is your number one recommendation, how many other customers are being misinformed? That's not your fault, of course. But maybe it wouldn't hurt for someone to follow up with the practice?"

"I guess I can tell my supervisor and maybe she can do something," she said.

"I would really appreciate that," I said. "Thank you."

"So as for other urgent care practices, I have only one more on the list that you haven't tried," she said, naming one I had previously used and to which I wouldn't take a stray dog. Their unprofessional attitudes in dealing with patients seriously made me question the quality of their patient care. Because whatever specialized education and training medical practitioners have completed, let's be clear: It's still about taking care of people. Listening to them.

In fact, in a study I read (okay, I reviewed a summary) some years ago, family practitioners said that a large part of their diagnostic tools boiled down to the conversations they had with their patients. This practice is incapable of listening. So, in my mind, they are incapable of doing their jobs well enough for me to entrust my child to them.

This is where things could have gone totally wrong. Because, essentially, I was refusing to walk through the open door they had presented me. She was out of options for me. She suggested that I call the primary care provider and ask again. She had tried. I couldn't fault her for my unwillingness to try her final attempt at a solution.

So I called the primary care provider again. They still couldn't fit us in. But Jill, the unlucky medical assistant who answered the phone when I called, suggested that I call another branch of the practice, where Emerson had previously been a patient. We loved that branch, but shifted care when it became geographically impractical.

"They have her in the system as a current patient, and they can fit her in today," she confirmed via their shared database. I could have kissed her on the mouth. What an easy solution to our problem!

Then I called that branch. Let's just say that the level of customer service did not live up to my expectations. The person who answered the phone was... unenthusiastic about her job. And then disputed what Jill had shared with me.

Well, I wasn't going to allow her to call my new best friend Jill a liar. So she spoke with her supervisor, who verified that they couldn't see Emerson that day. Although I'm not entirely convinced that she didn't just put me on hold and file her nails. Anyway, she said they couldn't see Emerson until about three weeks later. She suggested that I go to the E.R.

Now, look, the E.R. is lovely. We've been there before. But it's not a primary care office. And, frankly, with so many doctors supposedly worrying about attracting and/or keeping patients who are insured by anything but the Affordable Care Act, you'd think she'd find a way to squeeze in a sick 9-year-old who had been a patient. But, no.

I didn't know what to do. A $100 co-pay at the E.R. was looking pretty good right about then.

But I made one final phone call to Jill... who doesn't know that she's my best friend in the whole world.

"Hang on a minute," she said. And put me on hold. The hold button and I were becoming dear friends. (It's okay, Jill, I still like you best) Then she came back on the line. "Turns out, another doctor had a cancellation. If you can get here right now, we can fit you in."

Y'all, I didn't even know that my hatchback had rocket boosters. But it totally does.

We waited less than 30 minutes, paperwork and all. They whisked us back, and we waited less than 10 minutes to see the doctor. This doctor was awesome. Kind, intelligent, blunt in a way that let me know she was not messing around about our daughter's health. Here's one exchange:

Her: "How much sugar does she eat?"
Me: "Oh, I regulate her sugar intake pretty well."
Her: "Okay, now much sugar does she really eat?"
Me: "Way too much."

Then we were done. Prescription written. Problem solved.

What's the moral to this odyssey?

First, the way insurance companies do business is actually causing pain, discomfort, and anxiety to its customers, because it is putting up unnecessary barriers to adequate medical care.

Yeah, this story is anecdotal. But it's a scenario that plays out in various versions throughout the country on a daily basis. Insurance companies routinely deny claims that they cover, because a certain percentage of people don't realize that they're covered for the thing that was denied, or can't navigate the labyrinthine appeal process. Insurance companies sometimes demand "prior authorization" before treatments can be approved, despite the fact that 95 percent of their employees have little to no medical training and are wholly unqualified to deny or approve any medical treatments, whatsoever.

Second, persistence pays off. I picked up Emerson from school at 10 a.m. She saw a doctor at 4 p.m. If I hadn't been persistent, she might not have been seen for days. As it turns out, it wasn't medically necessary for her to see a doctor immediately. But I had no way of knowing that. That's what doctors are for.

Anyway, at no point did I lose my temper with anyone, or speak harshly to them, or insult them, or cry. I wanted to do all of those things, and I would have been justified. But it would not have been a good model for Emerson. Being a bitch about the situation wasn't in her long-term best interest. Although, I think being a bitch is not necessarily a bad thing.

But there are other ways. In any darkened, closed system, there are gaps though which light shines. And many of those gaps are beautiful humans. You just have to find them.

"You know, when it's an elderly person or a child, you just find a way," one of the medical assistants cheerfully told me when I praised the staff and thanked them for getting my child in to see a doctor that day.

It would be inappropriate to tell you where Emerson and I go for medical care. But let's just say there's a multi-branch center of primary care physicians who will have my loyalty for life. I highly recommend them.

Unless they fail to attend to my child. Then we'll be out like a shot.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Did Obama forget to salute a Marine? Nope.

Thursday, September 25, 2014 By

AUGUSTA, GA. - So, I've endured a lot of social media uproar about President Obama's "failure" to properly salute a Marine. See the video here.

Listen, I don't agree with a lot of what the President does, or how he does it. But I am really tired of people engaging in behaviors that are destructive to our democracy:

1. Picking apart every single gesture made by a politician with whom you disagree, and using your analysis of it to disrespect him/her, his/her family, the office he or she holds, the entire political party to which he or she belongs, and everyone who voted for him/her. It's fine to disagree with someone. It's fine to disagree with the President. It's not fine to engage in the kind of behavior that closely resembles an overgrown child throwing a social media tantrum. Things aren't going exactly the way you think they should? What's new? That's life. That's politics. That's democracy. Dial yourself back and deal with it. Elections occur every four years. Get involved. "Decisions are made by those who show up."

2. Engaging angrily in relatively minor distractions, as opposed to being active in solving larger crises such as student loan debt, the decline of the middle class, and the looming destruction of the republic by inevitable decline into oligarchy.

You know why these stupid little 10 second videos get passed around social media so often? You know why they're debated hotly on the nightly news? BECAUSE THEY'RE FACILE. Tackle something meaningful with your angry political awakening. Go solve world hunger, or something. Stop being lead around by the nose every time Koch Industries buys online advertising about these stupid, petty little things, because it wants to distract you from one of their bills in committee.

3. Angry stalking/nit-picking/contriving controversy. Do I disagree with some things people in positions of power do? Heck, yes. Do I follow in their social media footprint until I find something I can wave around like a big, pointy, delusional foam finger at a Baltimore Ravens game? No. Because following someone around like the Instagram paparazzi until they do something stupid is forgetting the one basic human characteristic that ties us all together on this big ball of dirt: We're ALL stupid. We're all just hairless apes running around every day, trying to figure out how to avoid having to scavenge food with our bare hands. Although we have the right and responsibility to expect the best of human behavior from our elected representatives, we have to remember that it's still just that: human behavior.

Please, pick a real issue and fight for it. Don't just armchair quarterback every outfit the president's wife wears, or call her fat and ugly and then somehow try to tie that tenuously back to politics. Yes, people-who-call-Michelle-Obama-a-hypocrite-for-promoting-a-healthy-lifestyle-while-carrying-what-you-determine-to-be-a-few-pounds-too-many... I'm talking to you. Directly. Hi, there. Your behavior is what is ugly. (Spoiler, Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist, not a nutritionist or bariatric physician; he's not even an internist or nurse practitioner. He resigned from the American Psychiatric Association, and is best known for writing a book on Scott Peterson. He also "doesn't believe" in transgender persons, thinks that allowing your son to wear pink confuses his gender identity, and thinks Newt Gingrich's three marriages make him more qualified to be president.)


Oh, my god, people. I am so flipping tired of watching the ignorance play out. I have actually begun de-friending people - people who I am certain are perfectly nice, lovely, moral persons - just because I am afraid that their willful disregard for indisputable facts will infect me through my monitor.

Let's take the saluting "controversy," for example. Because this is the second time that someone has called into question the President's so-called "failure to salute," and it has never been a valid criticism, even though the below video was uploaded by the formerly reputable CNN.

First, the president is a civilian. Although he is almost always saluted by the military, because he is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, he is not considered an actual member of the armed forces. And a salute is military protocol. I don't salute my civilian boss, and if I did, she wouldn't salute me, back. Because it would be ridiculous.

A civilian president is a time-honored necessity, a part of the checks and balances that keep no one branch of this nation from becoming too powerful (new citizen Big Business notwithstanding).

Some folks argue that the protocol changes in a time of war. But this is wrong on two counts. Point one: we're not actually at war. Congress has the power to declare war, and if that happened, I missed it. Anyway, despite our post-9-11 unquenchable blood-lust, we actually don't want Congress to declare war. That would invoke such a domino-effect of treaties and political loyalties as to shake up the entire world. Point two: Even if we were at war, the president doesn't magically become a member of any branch of the U.S. military. We don't draft the president. He doesn't enlist. Because the president must be a civilian.

Second, military code allows that it is unnecessary to render or to return a salute if one or both parties has their hands full, or is in civilian clothing. The president was not in uniform. The president is never in uniform. Because, again, the president is a civilian.

None of these are uniforms. No matter how much Reagan wanted them to be.

Third, the so-called "respect" and "tradition" of the president returning a salute is only about 30 years old. Former president Dwight Eisenhower was a five-star general, and he did not return military salutes while president. Truman didn't return the salute. Roosevelt didn't return the salute. But presidential cowboy Ronald Reagan lived by his own rules, and decided to do it essentially because he felt like it. From his book: "I know it's customary for the president to receive these salutes, but I was once an officer and realize that you're not supposed to salute when you're in civilian clothes. I think there ought to be a regulation that the president could return a salute inasmuch as he is commander in chief and civilian clothes are his uniform." Let me put that into plain language. Reagan, that conservative darling, knew what he was doing was not required and, in fact, not encouraged. But he did it anyway, because he felt like it.

At the time, it was considered a breach of etiquette. Reagan, a consummate actor, engaged in a kind of role-playing to his own delight, and to the chagrin of military leaders, who would never publicly reprimand a sitting president. Even some years later, the new behavior was criticized as egotistical and childish in a New York Times Op-Ed in 2003, by none other than John Lukacs. And in 2009, former Marine and then-editor of "Smithsonian Magazine" Carey Winfrey wrote against it in another Op-Ed.

So, let's summarize. The president is not required or expected by the military to salute those who salute him, because the president is a civilian wearing civilian clothing. What's more, members of the military didn't actually want the president to start saluting them, because it represented a breakdown of military protocol.

Now, I didn't write this post to defend Barack Obama. I am as disappointed in him as any die-hard conservative (I'm a moderate).

I wrote this post as an example of behavior that I find reprehensible: jumping into a self-congratulatory discussion premised on deception and malarky, the whole point of which is to brutally criticize someone in order to contrive enough controversy as to cause him or her political or personal damage.

People, in middle school, we called that "bullying." It doesn't change just because you're old enough to sip a beer while clacking at your keyboard.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Random Thoughts from the Weekend

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 By

AUGUSTA, GA - I think it's hilarious when people try to sell a super ugly piece of furniture on Craigslist and they want like $2,000 for it. "REAL GERMAN WALL UNIT FROM GERMANY WITH ACTUAL GERMAN WRITING, VINTAGE, ONLY 300 SCRATCHES AND BAD WIRING! A STEAL AT $2,100!" That's super adorable optimism, but maybe also delusional.

Why is it that Death can't see anyone under Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, but the Marauder's Map can track his movements? I don't understand. Turns out there is a wiki dedicated to Harry Potter plot holes.

Rap lyrics are boring as heck. Rappers these days essentially have fans pay them to tell fans what crazy things they spend their fans' money on. That's like if chefs ate the food you paid for, described it to you in detail, and set to music.

Country stars should get in on this. They should be all, "Mad love to my new horses. They got real power. I'm makin' money by the bushel, you makin' money by the hour." OMG. I should totally write country rap songs. That was awesome. Florida-Georgia Line, give me a call.

I always forget Limp Bizkit was a real thing until some pop culture reference reminds me. Then I wonder how all their fans' prison tattoos are coming along.

Why is it called honey mustard, when it's mostly mayonnaise?

Why did I have to spellcheck mayonnaise?

Why doesn't spellcheck recognize itself?

How do I know if I'm the realest? Can I be the realest and still not be fancy? Because being the realest is the first thing, first.

I recently heard a woman criticizing the use of a laundromat by a family that was clearly way less well off than she. She said, "If people are really starving, why are they spending so much money at the laundromat?" It was a level of disconnect that spoke to her blind privilege, and it has nagged at me ever since. She didn't consider that the family might only do their laundry once a month, wear clothes several times before washing, or hand wash as much as possible. People are starving and malnourished in this very country, ma'am. They truly are. That's the realest.

I wish my parents would get texting so I could have hilarious submissions to and But, no. They are not fancy.

I wrote a couple of online dating profiles for people, who have since found serious relationships - one of them is now engaged and planning a wedding. They hardly speak to me anymore. So if you're looking for love AND to get me out of your life, my keyboard is ready!

Speaking of dating sites, when did unsolicited penis photos become a thing, and on what women does that move work, guys?

There are so many days when I think, "Today was not worth putting on pants." There should be a section on called "Jobs Where Pants are Not Necessary."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Baby Names are Awesome - Don't Worry About Yours as Much as I Did

Thursday, September 18, 2014 By

AUGUSTA, GA - I'm not pregnant. Let's just get that out of the way. But there are a LOT of new babies on my Facebook timeline.

They're all beautiful. But that started me thinking about babies. I love babies. I would have had a dozen, if it had been feasible.

Sometimes, though, a baby's name catches my eye. And I'm not judging anyone on their choice of names. But I'll tell you my philosophy of naming Emerson: Neutrality.

Now, I LOVE the name Emerson. But in the rat race, where you're competing against everyone and their grandma for a job pool that is shrinking at incredible speeds, I want Emerson to have every fighting chance. That started with her name.

In a world where men are considered more capable, a name means a lot. A feminine name like Rose or Hannah may sound pretty and romantic. But would it have given her the edge she needed with a hiring manager who has been culturally brainwashed? No. That meant the girly names that I loved - Tallulah, Clementine, and Hazel - were out.

And in a world where the lighter your skin, the smarter people think you are, a name can have an impact. I have a friend who named her daughter Ebony. Her daughter is intelligent and capable. "Yeah, but I worry about her name, now. I should have named her Steve," she lamented to me. And she has an unfortunate point. That meant that the more "ethnic sounding" names that I loved - Tova, Sarita, and Aloka - were also out.

And before you say, "Wow, overthink much?" Let me tell you that research has shown those concerns to be valid.

After some time (8.75 months, to be exact), I settled on Emerson. And it has always fit her. But if I had more children, what other gender-neutral, ethnically ambiguous names would be appropriate choices?

Well, you're in luck, LOL! Because I prepared a list of names that would be under consideration.

  • Dylan (not high on the list, due to its 90210 connotations)
  • Beckett
  • Campbell
  • Archer
  • Emory
  • Finley ("Fin" is such a cute name)
  • Avery 
  • Sawyer
  • Elliot
  • Carter
  • Alex
  • Devin
  • Drew
  • Darcy

Whatever your baby's name - be it Ebony, Ivory, Bob, or Dick - here's hoping the rest of the world doesn't judge him or her before they get acquainted. Rock that name, and don't apologize for it.

Unless you are the woman who wanted to name her child Budz Kronic. You definitely owe your child an apology.

SIDE NOTE: Someone told me that I can't write about baby names because of reasons. Reasons they had, but couldn't articulate. Someone can go jump in a lake. This is my blog, and I will write about whatever I darn well please. Nyah. Next up: "How to Tell if Your Maturity is Lagging Behind Other 40-Year-Olds." Hint: Yes. Mine is.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The 64 Things You Think When Locked in a Friend's Bathroom for 45 Minutes

Monday, September 15, 2014 By

AUGUSTA, GA. - So, Labor Day weekend, I was house sitting for my friend, AMY. I do not usually name people on my blog, but I am telling the Internet on you, AMY.

As usual with my life, things did not go as well as planned. After I fed the cats and let the dog out, I had to take a bathroom break. That's where things went wrong.

These are the thoughts that ran through my head as I tried repeatedly to escape the clever trap she had set.

1. Her bathroom is cleaner than mine.

2. I should clean my bathroom.

3. Her shower curtain is too dark for such a small space.

4. OMG, when did I get a degree in interior design? I can't even hardly dress myself. Shut up, self. Her shower curtain is fine.

5. Where is the hand soap and towel?

6. Okay, I'll just rinse and air dry. No biggie.

7. Wait.... what? No. The doorknob.... there is no doorknob.

8. Uuugggghhh! Come on, doorknob stick thing. Turn.

9. Hold up... did the doorknob just slide further out of the doorknob... hole?

10. Doorknob Hole would be an interesting band name.

11. Okay. Don't panic. Just gently pinch the doorknob stick thing with your fingernails and... [clattering sound as the knob falls out] JesusMaryandJoseph! 

12. [peeking through the hole] The knob is on the floor. There is no knob in this hole.

13. {snicker} That's what she said.

14. Okay, time for Plan B.

15. Plan B? What are you even talking about? You don't have a freaking Plan B for opening a door. You just turn the knob and it opens!

16. Sigh... This lock is old. It can't be that sturdy. I'll just pop the... errrgggg.... [gasp!] Nope. Not happening.

17. What would MacGyver do? Hmmm... Now is a rather disappointing time to realize that I've only seen one episode of MacGyver - the one where he punches Sasquatch. I don't want to punch Sasquatch. I would want to be Sasquatch's friend.

18. Sasquatch would TOTALLY be my friend!

19. Shit. Okay, now what?

20. Ooh, wedge something in the crack between the latch and the plate. What can I wedge in there? My earring!

21. Aaaaand now my earring is outside of the door. Who didn't see that coming?

22. Ugh. Sorry, Amy, but I have to go through your bathroom cabinets. Let's see... cotton balls... makeup... toothbrushes... Come ON! Nothing. There are no wedging materials in her cabinets.

23. Okay... THE WINDOW! Hmmm... this window is essentially on the second floor. But if I can drop down onto the air conditioner unit, there should be minimal injuries. I mean, there might be an injury, but that's just to be expected. I once sprained my thumb pulling on Spanx, for crying out loud.

24. Errrrrrrggggg....[gasp!] The window. Is painted. SHUT.

25. Wait. Check the lock.  ...Yep, painted shut.

26. This is a FIRE HAZARD, Amy!

27. Crap. I left my purse in my car. I had tweezers in there. And an eyelash curler, for all the good that would do. Crap, I left my PHONE in my car. I can't even call for help. And Emerson is playing at the neighbor's house. She knows where I went, but she doesn't know the address.

28. Oh, my god... NO ONE KNOWS WHERE I AM.

29. I am trapped in a bathroom. On Friday. On Labor Day weekend. No one knows where I am, and I can't call anyone. R.H. is going to think I'm angry with him, or ignoring him, and his feelings will be hurt, and then he'll  break up with me. And when she gets back home on Monday night, Amy is going to find me in her bathroom - starving, angry, claustrophobic, and delirious from worrying about Emerson.

30. But very clean and well hydrated.

31. Okay. Who can let me out of the bathroom? The nearest neighbors are 100 yards away, on the other side of the house. They won't see or hear me at the window.

32. Argh! Why can't I just open the door?!

33. Maybe I can pop it open if I pull it really hard....

34.    ...

35.          ...

36.               ...

37. No... That didn't work.

38. Wait, there's an opening at the top of the door. What's that called?

39. A transom! Oh, yeah, I could totally get out that way. I can just stand on the vanity and...

40. Ow. Well, that was a big pile of NO right there.

41. Maybe there's a maintenance guy, or a yard guy, or a delivery guy, or the mailman, or something, who'll be by soon, and he can rescue me.

42. Wait, no, that is how porn happens.

43. Sigh... I hate this bathroom.

44. I hate Amy.

45. I would be legally justified in busting down this stupid, solid, wooden, antique door right now.

46. I could do it. I could break this door.

47. Yes. This sounds like a great idea. I can break down this door and it will not even be my fault because I was totally trapped here. This is like false imprisonment or something!

48. Get a grip. You are not breaking down Amy's bathroom door.

49. (But you totally could. If you wanted to.)

50. Hell, yes, I could. I am a strong, independent woman who don't need no doorknob.

51. Actually, a doorknob would be really great right about now.

52. Okay... what other options do I have?

53. ...

54. I think I'm down to magic, telekinesis, and sheer dumb luck.

55. I don't have any of that. ESPECIALLY THE LUCK.

56. Okay. What else can I do?

57. Let me just double-check for tools.

58. .... Nope, no tools. But a freaking lot of random toothbrushes.

59. How many teeth do they even have?

60. Wait! Maybe one of them can fit into the hole where the doorknob stick thing used to be!

61. ... No, of course not. Why would it be that easy?

62. Okay, THAT is IT! I have HAD it! I'm... just... going... to freaking SHOVE this toothbrush in the... and... turn it... hard... to the.. left... and...


63. No! What? Seriously?!


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Book Review: Lydia vs. the Zombies

Tuesday, September 09, 2014 By

AUGUSTA, GA. - I am bursting with pride. Just last weekend, my little nerdling became a full-grown nerd. Yes, Emerson bought her first comic books.

She chose Adventure Time and Regular Show comics over the My Little Pony comics she had been planning to buy... although she'd have bought them all if I'd have been willing to fork over another $20. But a budget is a budget, and I'm trying to teach her to stick to one.

But in the $1 bin, R.H. discovered this little-known gem: Lydia vs. the Zombies.

OF COURSE I was going to buy it. Have you never met me?

In the book, little Lydia is accidentally abandoned by her parents, and forced to deal with the zombie apocalypse. She is resourceful and hilarious, and the art and story perfectly meld in this comic charmer.

Okay, I'm not really here to review this book. I am just here to tell you that this book is awesome. It had two adults and one child giggling, and wanting more.

Emerson's favorite part was this ode to her My Little Pony obsession.

Unfortunately, only one issue was printed.

Fortunately - for Emerson, not for the rest of the world - that would not stand with me. This thing was too cute not to attract a devoted following. So I set out to find out more.

Fun Publications is the publisher. They run the Transformers Collectors Club and G.I. Joe Collectors Club under license from Hasbro. Besides releasing comics, Fun Publications releases exclusive toys and runs conventions for their clubs. But their website is woefully underdeveloped, and all I could do was send a message through their generic contact form.

After a week of waiting, I set out to find another resource. I searched for the artists and authors, but they didn't come up on anyone's web pages. No professional portfolios, no convention appearances, nothing. Finally, I turned to Twitter, and found someone who matched one of the artist/author's names: Jesse Wittenrich.

Was it the same person? Seemed to be, from the description. But on Twitter, that means nothing. You can tweet God on Twitter. You can have a conversation with Shakespeare. And King Henry VIII gives out life advice.

But I sent along what I hoped was a polite inquiry, and hoped I wasn't bothering him on his day off. Or... at all, really.

It took just four minutes for him to reply.

So, there you have it. An adorable little story, which will soon have a sequel. For a short, cute giggle, I recommend it.

Friday, September 05, 2014

What happens when you text me by mistake

Friday, September 05, 2014 By

I was cleaning out my messages and came across this. I don't know who Kyle is. Or who is texting him. I never heard back.