8.27.2009

On Being Tall - Comments from the Underlings

I ran across a fantastic article today (only fantastic because I've never seen this in non-tall-focused media before) and have to share it. This is vital information for most men.

10 Things You Should Never Say to a Tall Woman (from Asylum.com)
My comments in RED.

Statistically, Americans may be getting shorter, but like all evolution, that takes time, and not everyone has shrunk. Take, for example, that tall girl you've got your eye on across the bar. You'd like to impress her, right? Two key pieces of advice: A) Be yourself (as your Mom told you about 10 years ago) and B) don't make a big thing of her height.

In the interest of aiding your love life, writer Laura Gilbert asked a WNBA team's worth of willowy women what clich├ęd lines turn them off most. Heed their warnings and you might just get to check "chick over six feet tall" off your "to do before I die " list.

10. "You must be a model!" (This line shows that you're not trying very hard, even if you clarify up front that you're only asking because she's really rilly pretty.) Believe it or not, I'm actually TOO tall to be a model, but thanks for reminding me. I'm actually also far too big to be a model. Height does not a model make. And NO, I won't model for you, jackass. I'm not interested in posing for your creepy photos, thanks.

9. "You can't be 5' 10". I'm 5'10"!" (It's one thing to lie about your height while you're sitting down or on an Internet profile. When you say this to someone who has to lean down to hear it, you're busted.) No guy wants to believe that I'm 6'4". It KILLS them when I say that technically I'm only 6'3.75". Sorry, boys...NCAA measurement trumps drunk guy tape measure.

8. "Is it hard for you to meet people taller than you?" (If she has to explain the bell curve to you, you might not be an intellectual match.) Nope, happens all the time. You see so many of them, right? That's why you're talking to me about my height, obviously. That pool is further limited by the fact that so many of you can't handle a tall woman to begin with. AND, why do I have to meet people taller than me? That's a silly assumption.

7. "Now there's a tree I'd like to climb." (Yummeh.) Honey, if that's how you approach it, you'd fall off before you got to the ankles.

6. "How do you kiss?" ( Or the skin-crawling subset: "Wow, I feel like I'm the girl!" You do realize that kissing doesn't require her to use her legs, right?) Well, hopefully I've got a man who is actually a man on the other end.

5. "I could eat my way to the top." (Stop. Just stop.) You know what's so sad about this one? Had you started with my brain, you might have even had a shot.

4. "How tall are you, anyway?" (Think about it: Whatever she answers won't make much difference, except that you'll look sorta insecure for having asked. Use some deductive reasoning and you should be able to guess within an inch or two.) Will it change your life to know the number? The variation of this one that really gets me is when it's a stranger just passing me on the street and they'll never see me again.

3. "How do you wear heels?" (Like everyone else: one foot at a time. She looks even better when she does it, shortstack.) And yes, I LOVE heels. Deal with it.

2. "It won't matter much when we're lying down." (Only a fool would invite commentary on the inches that do make a difference during horizontal integration.) Exactly. My inches won't matter. :)

1. "Do you play basketball?" (People don't ask "Do you play professional baseball?" just because you're paunchy and chew tobacco. Pay it forward by giving tall women the same courtesy.) I was once told to ask in return "do you play miniature golf? or the piccolo?"


My additions to the list:

11. "You're a big girl!" big? why do you have to say big? TALL is the word, thank you.

12. "Can I have some of that height?" Sure...find a way to do it and I'm happy to give up a little to be able to fit into clothes, shoes, cars, airplane seats, etc. But really you're just reminding me that I can't do that, so this sucks.

13. "Must be nice to reach things (or see over everyone)!" Yeah. Must be nice to fit into clothes, shoes, cars, airplane seats, etc.

14. "Those legs would look really nice wrapped around me!" Yes they would. And it would be nice, if you were worthy. Too bad you'll never find out if that's how you start the conversation.

15. "How did you get so tall?" or "Are your parents tall?" I drank a magic potion and *poof* one day I was this way. 'Actually, my parents are midgets and I'm a freak of nature.'

16. "Damn you're tall!" yep. and damn, you're rude.


Really, the thing that bugs me, is simply that people feel they can approach me without manners. My height does not give you permission to be an asshole. Just be nice, and I'll be a happy girl.

8.19.2009

British Reaction to American Health Care Debate

A couple of friends living in London have made me aware of the reaction there to our current Health Care debate. Many Brits are appalled at the reluctance of Americans to adopt health care reform, and even more so at the falsified information that is being touted about their own system.

I was directed to a discussion on yelp.com, and decided to add my two cents. Thought I'd throw it up here, since I've mostly avoided the discussion up til now.

My post:

I'm approaching this conversation as a fiscally conservative and socially liberal American with decent medical insurance.

What's happening in the town halls and across the middle and rural areas of our country in regards to the health care debate is the result of American pride, a bit of cognitive dissonance, and a big dose of fear. For years we were told we had the best doctors, the best specialists, the best hospitals, the best research, etc. We took pride in having beautiful teeth and state of the art treatments, and told ourselves that we paid so much because it was worth it. We had to justify the cost, and we've spent years cultivating a sense of pride to validate the outrageous costs. We were told (and told ourselves) that if we didn't pay so much, we'd all have bad doctors and long waits and inferior treatment (and the worst of all things...bad teeth!)

It is only as blogging has become accessible to those for whom this system is not working that we've started to become aware of just how bad it really is. We are now faced with daily (hourly?) reminders of how the American healthcare system has failed the people, and we are reacting to this information with the stage-appropriate denial and fear that you are all seeing. It will take time for the middle of America and rural America to understand what is going on and why this needs to change. The coasts and the cities are starting to understand better, but the reluctance of the more conservative people should not be seen as stupidity or unwillingness to change - it is simply the result of learning that what we thought we were good at really wasn't all that great.

A number of republicans are using fear tactics and distorting the truth to compound this fear. But the democrats aren't helping much, either, by just trying to pull heartstrings rather than offer tangible, balanced solutions that can work in a capitalist society. The fact that there are so many possibilities further confuses the issue and adds to the fear you are seeing from our people.I think if someone could really highlight for people how our system works (because believe me, none of us really understand how it all works in our country, let alone anyone else's), we'd find that we could come to a new system through relatively minor overhauls, and that the new the system wouldn't be so different as to be socialist (which is a bad word here).

I don't know what the new system should look like. I don't know if the NHS is the perfect example of the right answer (although it does seem like a great step in the right direction, and one that could work here). I do, however, know a few things about the fears people have and how are current system addresses those:

1. We are scared of the QUALITY of public systems because we've only seen bad examples. In our cities, community health clinics are supported by the government and private donations, and they are utilized by the poor, the homeless, and those other people who are NOT US. We have an image that they are dirty and inferior and that they cannot attract good doctors. And many of them are, but we do have good community health clinics that are totally supported by the public and by government grants. Clinic Ole, in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, has become so well known as an excellent provider of health care that the demand from insured patients required them to start accepting insurance when available. The clinic itself serves the entire community on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay, with many free services. If the public could see more examples like this, rather than the images being strewn about by those against reform, they might believe we could adopt something like the NHS and make it work.

2. We are scared of LONG WAIT times and not being able to get the services we need when we need them. But we already have those. How long do people have to wait to get approval from an insurance company to have a procedure? I would much rather wait because the doctor is not yet available to perform the surgery, than be waiting when the doctor says I need it now because an insurance company wants to approve the necessity of the cost first. I had a fairly urgent, but not emergency, surgery 2 years ago. Once diagnosed, I had to wait over a month to have the surgery. Not because the doctor wasn't available, or because there were no operating rooms - but because my insurance company made all of us jump through hoops to prove that it was necessary. However, I was fortunate enough to work for a private funder who happened to be a major donor to the hospital where the surgery was to be performed. Somehow, once that became known, I was immediately booked for surgery within 2 days. The hospital insurance liaison worked with the insurance company to get me approved right away because I was suddenly a VIP. Meanwhile, millions of other Americans were waiting for their insurance companies to approve their treatments. Although thankful for the bump, I find this incredibly depressing.

3. We are scared of bad teeth. I kid, a bit, but seriously...too many people in this country think all Brits have bad teeth because of public health care. Ridiculous, but it is a common perception. But here's the thing...I have pretty good insurance with good dental coverage, and I still can't afford to care for my teeth. Cleanings are covered, sure, but anything else is so expensive that many people can't take care of it. Even root canals that are deemed medically necessary are usually only covered at half cost, if that. A root canal in a city like San Francisco costs a well insured patient about $600 at a mid-range dentist. That doesn't included xrays, diagnoses, and follow-up. So many people forgo them all together. There's a reason we have images of hillbillies with no teeth. We are scared of not being able to access the best doctors and the best treatments, but honestly, most Americans can't do that even here, because the cost is so prohibitive.

4. We are scared of not being able to get treated well when we need specialists, but we don't get the preventative healthcare that would keep us from ever needing it. I currently am working on funding for obesity clinics for children. They need private funding because insurance companies won't insure a child who has been diagnosed as obese. We know that obese children turn into adults with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. Yet we don't fix it when we can? There are countless examples of how the American system represents sick care rather than healthcare.

Just throwing out what I know. I have a great deal of respect for the pride you take in your system, and am looking forward to our government offering a system that might work for us.

8.10.2009

Book Report: Secret Diary of a Call Girl

A friend mentioned this to me, and then another happened to have it on her shelf. Just read it during a trip to Vegas.

Very graphic, very sexy, very funny book. Not for the prude. I enjoyed it immensely.

A few tidbits of incredible insight:

Dictionary Entry: in love - a momentary instance of being almost as interested in someone else as in oneself

"You know the feeling where all the pent-up energy goes straight to your legs, and you just want to run and run until you jump off a cliff? ... I'd fallen hard and had to see the man."

"My eyes followed Dr. C's lithe form around the room--eyeing the table, setting up a shot, the confident swing of the arm below the elbow on the follow-through. Competence so turns me on."

"Sexiness is not a square-yards-of-cloth to exposed-skin ratio. Sexy is not the inevitable result of being blonde, tan, and thin. Sexy is the result of being pulled together and comfortable in your skin. Holding your stomach in when your clothes are off is not fuckable. Slapping your ample behind and inviting him to ride the wobble is."

Buy the book.

8.05.2009

Gatsby



He stole my heart when he was 3 weeks old (he was dirty and sick and too young to be away from his mom).

He always curled up next to my face, frequently nudging himself between my mouth and the phone (jealous boy!).

He always came when I called (even when it took him several minutes to get to me because he was blocks away).

He interrupted any sex I tried to have at the house all those years ago (maybe Mom trained him).

When I pulled into the drive, he jumped on the hood of my car every time. When I tried to leave he frequently tried to come with me, walking along the windowsill trying to get in (see...there's a reason I was always late!).

When I left for college he sat in my room and cried and howled all night (who doesn't want a boy to miss them that much?).

He came to visit me in my freshman dorm and got me into trouble for having a cat in my room (it was worth it).

He was with me through that incredible summer after high school graduation. He loved Mom through years of breast cancer treatments. He loved me in the aftermath of both devastating returns from San Francisco. He saw me through nine boyfriends (and nine breakups) and more bad dates than I can count. He loved me unconditionally.

After years of not living at home, he still remembered me every time I visited. The second I walked into the house he jumped on my lap and stayed until I had to leave. He never forgot me.

I'll never forget him.

RIP sweet kitty.