Wednesday, March 02, 2011

I just discovered Aster Aweke

And I am so in love with her voice!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dorm Life

This is my 7th semester living in the same dorm. I've been on the 3rd floor for two years, the 9th for one (and I would have been on it this year if not for health problems) and now I'm on the 2nd.

The dorm has 10 floors and the 1st is not residential.

Each floor has had its pluses - it's much quieter on the 9th, but when the elevator conks out or the fire alarm goes off, wow that's a lot of stairs.

And now I have a room near the elevator, so much noise outside my door and above my head as somebody walks their elephant nightly.

My first year I was on the Honors floor and we had earlier quiet hours, and I would turn on my TV and then stand in the hall to make sure it wasn't loud. I'm a bit... weird. I've had a number of roommates, and I'm the only one who watches TV with headphones on. I can't listen comfortably with another TV going.

Anyway, a lot of people say that rules in dorms treat college students like children. I say they make you act like you care about other people. The biggest is visiting hours - at least you can't sexile your roommate all night, I get to come back at midnight or 2am. My sister thinks living in an apartment will be quieter - HA!

This morning was the first fire alarm of the semester. It went off at 4am. We stood outside for more than 30 minutes. It was less than 30 degrees outside, and few people were dressed for it, because your main thought when that damn thing starts blaring is to get out as soon as possible.

My biggest dorm issues stem from noise - the pipes (I think) make this shhh noise, you can't hear anything over it, but there is one plus side to it. At home, when I hear a noise upstairs, there's no one up there, so I get scared. Mostly because my mom picks on me. But here? There are supposed to be people in the hall and upstairs and out my window.

My roommate this semester is awesome - she gets overheated too, so she didn't mind having the window open until we got the heat turned off. Well not "turned off" - it's 68 right now, but it's not 80 and the air isn't all heated and nasty. We may have to get it turned back on when it's AC time, though. And the people in charge - maintenance, desk workers, RAs, grown-ups working in Residence Life - all tell me to stand on the toilet, move a ceiling tile, and "there's a switch up there!" No. Just... No.

Some rambling, but gripes about rules always bother me - there's a reason, you're not the only person in the building, so shut up, it's 1am on a school night!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rep. Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen is not my representative, sadly. He's not perfect, but he's better than who I do have.

I don't really care that he pointed out that the repeated lies - in many forms - that the government was taking over health care (I wish) was similar to what the Nazis did with propaganda. It's true. Maybe he did it cynically - in a better world, pundits would notice him because of his "uncivil" rhetoric and then go, yeah, he's telling the truth. Hey, maybe there's a reason he cares. I'd love to see if he went on the cable shows and said why health care reform matters, just to get it out there.

That won't happen, if it does he'll be shouted over.

It really really bothered me that the Daily Show jumped on it last week, but pointing out FOX's hypocrisy today kind of made up for it. Maybe he'll be on the show to explain it. More people will notice than if he was on some talking head program on some 24/7 news channel, because I think plenty of people are like me and can't stand "normal" news shows for more than a few minutes.

Also, I think the Daily Show covered just him last week is kind of a "we go after democrats too, democrats say things that aren't nice too, we're not biased, we're civil."


Health care reform is so important to Memphis. The city is very segregated still and poor, and white flight doesn't help. My god the mayor of the suburbs are immature, as we learned when school consolidation seemed close. When people think of the county, they think rich, white kids go to "good" schools, and poor, black kids go to "bad" schools in the city. That's nonsense, there are "bad" schools in the county, and "good" ones in the city - the same year the county schools made all As in standardized testing, my sister was offered a small scholarship because the high school she was from did not make all As. That high school is in the county.

But I ramble. The main reason health care reform has to happen and is so important to Memphis is our shameful high infant mortality rate. If people, not just pregnant women, but everyone had equal access to good health care, it would go down.

Health care reform is very important to me, as I contemplate joining the military for the health insurance*, and I choose to believe that it is important to Representative Cohen. A sign that he cares about his constituents.

*I'm not kidding. The military offers a guaranteed job, a guaranteed roof over your head, and guaranteed health insurance. All of my relatives who enlisted from my parents' generation on did not do so because they adore their country, but because the military offered an escape from rural poverty.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Letter to My Representative

I just wrote this:

I am a member of your constituency, and I just want you to know that I do not support the repeal of the health care bill. I'm 22, and I have an ongoing illness. Even if it cleared up before I turn 23 in August when I'll be dropped from my dad's insurance (Tricare), I will have to take medicine for the rest of my life. Being covered by my mom's insurance (Cigna) until I'm 26 will make my life much easier. The Affordable Care Act doesn't go as far as I'd like, but it will make my life easier and much better than it would have been before it was passed. Even though this repeal vote is symbolic, it still frightens me. I need this and I'm not the only one in your district who does.

I'll post the reply, even if it's just a form letter.

My representative is a Republican who is a fiscal conservative and supports limited government. He's also a social conservative, but my main concern is the fiscal part. I didn't check what party he belongs to before I wrote the letter, but now I'm 99% sure I'll get a form letter about how "Obamacare" will bankrupt us, even though it won't, and blah blah blah bullshit bullshit.

If he represents the area I think he does, his "limited government" stance cracks me up, though I'm not completely comfortable revealing why. Let's just say it's very hypocritical and a sign that people don't pay attention to their representative's stance beyond party. Also, he may be a Tea Partier, but I don't think he is, or at least he didn't say or do anything to get us on the national news, so that's a plus.

One last thing about this whole thing - my dad says "No soldier wants their kid insured until 26," which is completely false, Tricare was exempt because of a budget misunderstanding and changing it to cover dependents until they're 26 is tied up with defense stuff, and it looks like it didn't make it. Bleh. Anyway, my dad. Some people would make exemptions for their family, like somebody anti-abortion, except for them! At least my dad is consistent, he doesn't think I should be on Tricare past this August and kept asking me if they'd dropped me because I wasn't in school full time this fall. So loving!

I don't want to go on Cigna, the copays are double for appointments. At least I'll keep my doctors. And I won't need referrals! Those are a pain. I've been seeing one doctor since November 2001, but still need a referral. And since I only see him twice a year or so, I have to get one before each appointment. At least I don't need to see my PCM, I can just call them. But Cigna is better than nothing!