Ok so Persephone & Neil traditionally HATE each other, but see! See! Snuggles! OMG precious! Yes, I AM trying not to squeal so they won’t run away. And of course they chose the most elegant surface they could find in the house, because they are luxurious beasts. Awww. Mommy is so happy.

This peace of course will not last.

The Look Of Love

Now THIS is unholy devotion. She stares at me like this all the time, even when I’m screaming at the Raiders that they suck worse than jet wash. No, that was not a pun. Puns are for jerks. But Persephone would love me even if I made a pun. She’s a loyal little monkey duck otter.

Left of Mother, Right For You

I talked to my Mummy yesterday!

You’re looking at me funny.

No, you don’t understand. My family don’t talk. We are not talkers. We don’t “keep in touch”. We are adrift in a sea of memory misery.

I’m always floored by you folks who say that you talk to your moms every day or every week or every month or every fiscal quarter. I think it’s great! If I manage to adopt a child someday, I sure hope she calls me, too. I would of course call her, or at least text her to see how her smoodgie face is doing. But this has not been my world. There are several reasons for this, some of them are of course my fault, unless you believe that your parents shape your behaviour, and then I am absolved of responsibility. Muahahaha!

But the point is (there’s ever a point?) I am ECSTATIC I talked to my Mummy, & we made plane reservations and for the first time since I was in college, I am spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with her, my sister, & my brother. YAYZ times four gazillion million!


My father apparently asked why my mother did not request his presence (which is rich because the man can tell you the date of every battle in every war in the history of human civilisation, but he cannot remember birthdays or holidays). My mother stood up for me. STOOD UP FOR ME. She told him, “I want to see my daughter for once.” And he said, “Is she still cross with me?” Really?

And my mother (my mother!) said to him, “Cross with you? She never wants to see you again for as long as you live. How much more clear should she have been?” He said, “Oh.” (Well DUH.) He then said, “If she was in some sort of trouble, you would tell me right?” (RICH.)

My mother (MY MOTHER!) said, “No, I would not. But rest assured she is doing better now than she has ever done in her life, and don’t you dare jeopardize that by contacting her again.”



This is kind of huge. This is kind of wonderful huge for me. This is kind of safe and loving and epic. If I didn’t have a migraine, I would feel exceptionally faery light right now & possibly dance on my tippy toes. I feel like somebody’s daughter and I can’t wait to see her and hug her. Also I might cry. Good cry.

But here’s the funny part:

So we talk briefly about the food bit of Thanksgiving, since I am now an unholy nightmare of food limitations & an incorrigible pain in the arse to everyone who wishes to feed me. She asks if she has to do anything different and I say not really, most of her dinner is from scratch. The roast potatoes don’t need to be modified, and neither does the turkey…

“Oh, unless you use one that has fluids & stuff in it.”

“Oh,” my Mum says. “Well, sometimes I inject it with stuff.”

“Oh,” I say, “Well, just let me know what the ingredients are. If there’s any MSG, I can’t have it. Also some thickeners & flavourings have gluten in them, especially gravy mixes. But I can make a gravy from scratch for you if you like. I don’t want to be a pain in the arse.”

“Ok, we’ll talk about that before you come down.”

“And of course I can’t have anything that’s been remotely near a crumb of stuffing.”

“Oh, you don’t like stuffing any more?”

I blinked. “Um, well, I can’t have stuffing. Bread.”

My mother gasped. “YOU CAN’T HAVE BREAD?!!!”


“Mum, I have celiac disease.”

“Is gluten in bread?”

“Mum, gluten is a protein in wheat. So yes, it’s in bread, Yorkshire pud, gravy, crusts, some drinks even. It’s effing everything.”

“Well fook me, no wonder you’re losing weight!”

“Oh, and I can’t have dairy.”



“No clotted creme for you then, mate.”

“NO NO I can have creme. Well, a little. I can’t have milk, yogurt, ice cream. No lactose. No milk sugar. It’s like Atkins. The more cooked it is, the better. So like I can have cheese a bit.”

“Oh that’s good.”

“Oh and I can’t have peanuts.”


I am laughing while typing this. It’s so NOT ENGLISH to have things wrong with your belly. Stiff upper lip and all that. But I explained that if I have a hint of a portion of a crumb of gluten, I will have dysentry (as Rick describes it). Also I will be bloated for a couple of weeks & my weight loss will be stalled at least a month as my system fixes itself again. So I think she realizes this is a big deal.

But it’s ok, because I can help cook. I can make lovely things. My Mum said she wishes I was coming earlier so I could shop at Trader Joes with, and I told her about the Trader Joes gluten free list. Now I think things are happier.

I also discovered my Mum does not like goat cheese. Caroline does. We must get it from my father, which makes sense because the Mongolian/goat cheese loving blood (type B) comes through the Slavic bloodline. This is per my doctor & Google.

I’m up to a bunch of wacky writing/thinking/publishing type nonsense, but more about that at another time.

Also I wish Posterous would let you post a SMALLER header photo. Lame.

Oh, by the way, NOTHING should be named “tunnel of fudge.”

*today’s blog title brought to you by “Left of Mother” by Curve, off the album ‘Cuckoo’

It’s The Separation of Dogma & State, Stupid Girl!

I am LOVING your emails, texts, tweets, & posts. Keep ’em coming! 

Some of yall are right; I do appear to have gluten-injestion related swings from libertarianism to outright “But, but, think of the children!”ism. However, something’s finally dawned on me, a revelation, one I’m still wrestling with to be sure. 

It kind of started a few months ago & has been getting more apparent, clear, & glaringly obvious the more I talk with my patient & learned friend, Tabs (who, in turn exposes me to bolder persons than my usual circle, who point out holes in my arguments): 

I don’t ever have the right to make my religious or personal beliefs or preferences your policy. 

Really? It took me 35.5 years to sort THAT simple statement? 

I had an uneasy feeling a coupla weeks ago when I was talking with my adopted mei mei about my feelings on abortion. The concept alarms me, but I don’t have the right to tell you what to do with yourself. 

So…why was I at times on blazing 3 alarm fire about making you pay for my patients’ health care? Isn’t that the same thing? 

Light bulb! If we’re going to appeal to the broader audience, it was an Ah Hah moment. 

Do I want EVERYONE to be happy? Of course. Is that my business to impose on you? Hell no. I’m sorry I railed atcha. Slap me if I do it again. 

It’s your choice to keep a child or help the sick. Also, it’s my choice what religion I want to be or whether or not I wish to discriminate against people based on their sexual preferences. This is why I would not register as Republican if an American citizen. Much more toward the Libertarian side. 

Also I have the freedom to think Obama seems like a swell guy. Of course I’ve never met him, he just seems like good people, as does John McCain, for that matter. Congress, I’ve never understood. Been wondering what they’ve been smoking since I moved here. 

If anyone has any insight on that, please, let me know! We know it is at least not flavoured cigarettes.

Gimme Gimme Gimme

Do you have Abba in your head now? Good. You now have a modicum of the pain I have endured today thanks to California’s glorious state Medicaid fund, Medi-Cal.

If you are still a proponent of state run health care after this, I’m guessing you probably could not wait for ‘Survivor’ tonight, & you are really concerned about whether Paula regrets leaving ‘Idol’. Pat pat.


As I have ranted before, Medi-Cal is the Three Stooges of all the state run health plans, and I am not sure how the Sovereign Dimension of California got it that way, but it must have been a magical process involving Shriners in those little cars, shrooms, that weird speech impaired kid down the street who kept saying he was gonna beat people up, and lemmings. Here is what got my hard earned goat today.

A few weeks ago, Medi-Cal discovered that one of our patients had Medicare primary. Our patient apparently did not know this, either, as she neglected to tell us. No matter, Medi-Cal, like all Medicaid programs, is supposed to cover the disabled & look out for them. How it does this from riding on the short bus itself is a mystery for the ages, but ya know. Medi-Cal, obviously by some administrative screw-up, had already paid our claim, so the letter telling us that the patient had Medicare primary was also requesting a refund.

What did we do, as a compliant practice? We cut an effing check, didn’t we? We sure did. We also mailed it immediately to the address indicated on the letter.

Yeah, so, today…we get the check back. WE GET THE CHECK BACK. With a letter. There was a lot of Medi-Calese on this letter, so I will translate for you what it said:

“You don’t get to give us money back, even when we ask you for it. Instead, we get to take it out of future payments, even though we won’t send you any future payments, as we send you maybe $47 out of the $14,789 you bill us a year.”

Yes, California, which is broke, is not accepting MONEY IT ASKS FOR.

Are you making the “I would so, could so kill a goat” face yet? (see psychotic photo below from the last #wtfwednesday)

Wait. It gets SO much better.

In addition to returning our check and then telling us they were not going to pay us for whatever the amount in the check was for however long it would take to make up the amount of the check, they also sent a form. “When Medicare pays you, complete the following form to retrieve your secondary payer funds.” REALLY? Really, Medi-Cal? Knowing full well that you nearly always allow 50% LESS than Medicare, you want us to fill out a freaking form that violates MMA & completely flies in the face of the simple act of sending the claim with the Medicare EOB attached like EVERY OTHER FUCKING SECONDARY PAYER IN THE COUNTRY??!!!”

REALLY?!! How stupid I are!

I advised our intrepid state plans gal to check the allowables and, should they teh sucks, kindly introduce that fucker to the shredder. Which was of course taken on with delirious glee. I’m pretty sure the whole rest of the office thinks billing is on drugs now.

Anywho. If this is the mentality of the people running the medical funding for persons who are the sickest, weakest, and most defenseless people in society, how in the hell are they going to treat the REST of us? Like one more bleedin’ pot hole, that’s how. Ignore, rinse, repeat.

What else is wrong with gimme gimme? It cripples us. Shut up. If you’ve even babysat a child, let alone raised one, you know what spoiling does. Sure, you can have a pop. Sure, you can have a lollie. Sure, you can have a Little Debbie. Sure, you can stay up and watch T2 on HBO while I talk on the phone with my boyfriend. Wait, why am I surrounded by children stained various shades of purple, wielding knives & crying? I can has headache! I can has fired!

Oh, but we’re not children! We can has thinkings! No, we cannot. Observe, my sweet little friend who believes in the inherent intrepidness of the human spirit <snicker>.

When I was feeling particularly martyr-y and decided to leave private practice to do hospital work, I at one point did a stint in customer service. Customer service plain blows everywhere, but customer service for sick & dying people that you just sent a $400k bill to is not anybody’s idea of a career high. Here’s one of the lows of that stint.

Girl calls me. She was about my age, which at the time was 25 I think. She is furious. “Why you guys keep sending me this $70k bill? I don’t got $70k.”

“I’m sorry, ma’am, let me check that for you.” After the unholy torment of trying to get her account number out of her (anybody who’s been on that side of the phone knows what I’m talking about), I finally find her account & within 3 seconds  of reading the notes, ask, “Ma’am, I show you probably qualify for Medicaid. Did you take your application in to the Social Security office?”

Big dramatic sigh. “Yah, I did, but there was a line. It was like a 5 hour wait. Can’t you just write it off?”

*aside: You pay your fucking credit card bills for your goddamned Nascar tickets, people, but somebody saves your LIFE, delivers your CHILD, and you want us to write it OFF? Pri-ori-fucking-ties!*


I say to her, “Ma’am, I don’t understand. Why couldn’t you wait 5 hours to get free health care?” You could HEAR the blinking.

I continued. “Ma’am, I sit at this desk 50 hours a week, and it would take me something like 3 years to make $70k. I strongly suggest that you go to the Social Security office, wait the five hours or more if it takes that, and get the free health care. It will last you until you are able to get your own health care.”

She was approved within two weeks. It was paid two weeks after that. The bill had slid 120 days, though, so it was in danger of going to collection. REALLY?

So that’s part 1 of why Gimme Gimme fucks you over by turning you into a whiny child.

Part 2: The Plucky Pole. I am well known to folk in the Depeche Mode/Recoil online circle, as is The Plucky Pole. She is a dear girl, beautiful, vivacious, adorable, completely insane like most Depeche Mode fans (particularly the kind that glom on to Martin), and she appalled half the DM mailing list by announcing that Poland was better with Communism.

I defended her, stating that she grew up with everything being given to her, and it’s not her fault that at 18 she was now at an American university on scholarship, but having to buy her own concert tickets, food, $15k Gibson guitars…anyhow this did not go down well. She did not understand why we did not understand why she was not dropping to the floor in front of a tapestry of Reagan every day praising his name. Didn’t she like being able to say what she felt about the government?

“I always said what I felt about the government.The government was great.” *headdesk*

My immature 14 year old boy response is always to go “The Whatever is Your MOM” and in this case, it would have been appropriate to scream “THE GOVERNMENT IS YOUR MOM!” because it WAS. The government was her overburdened, highly stressed mom who had no dad in the house to help, way too many children, and had to lay down a strict code of behaviour or kill ’em all (as any sane mom would snap in that situation). The Plucky Pole didn’t know any better because Mom = love & that’s all she knew.

Cold, horrible, “You have to buy it” America was expecting her to pick her clothes up off the floor, do her own laundry, make her own lunch, and walk to school. As she had never done this, she was horrified. She was ill equipped to deal with the basics of survival. It was awful to read in her emails. Her priorities were, to put it mildly, whack.

Part 3: Overheard today: “Unemployment pays me more than a full time job at Starbucks would. Why would I go off unemployment?”



*kicks a puppy*

Vote teh Rock!

Believe it!

I’m not an American citizen at this time, so can’t run with her. However, I can be her smear campaign/divisive arm/Colbert endurer. I’ve already offered to be the smarmy voice of change we can be Stephen.

Should I sleep?

That might not be a bad idea.