The Age Old Question

Say you have a child 18 and you’re still supporting them:

Are they really an adult?

I know what the calendar says. I know according to many laws of the land, an eighteen year old can enter into a contract. They can go to war. But if Mommy and Daddy are footing all the bills, are they actually an adult?

Does an adult need to be financially responsible?

We pay my daughters tuition. We do not have access to her grades. In fact, no parent has access to the grades of a college student who is 18 or over.

We pay for my daughter’s health insurance. We are not allowed to consult with her Doctors unless she specifically says so.

Shouldn’t there be some expectation that we should know what we are paying for? Or does it not matter who is paying? 18 is an adult is an adult…

Discuss:

The Cat scan

As you may know, I’ve been having off and on stomach cramps.

So I went to the gastro.

Gastro touched my stomach and said- “I’m pretty sure you have a hernia. We need to make sure the hernia isn’t blocking anything. Let’s go for a cat scan.”

Fine.

The scheduler set up the cat scan for the following week. At a location within the NYU hospital system (five minute walk from my house FYI), where all my Doctor’s are located, and all the info goes into a portal so that every Doctor I see can look at every single test and scan that I go for. As well as me having access to every single test and scan that I go for.

Sounds great, right?

That afternoon I get a call from my insurance:

Petty Functionary with a clipboard: I see you have a cat scan scheduled.

Me: Yes

Petty Functionary with a clipboard: Why?

Me: Because Doctor suspects a hernia and wants to make sure there isn’t anything serious causing my stomach cramps.

PFWAC: I see you’ve chosen XYZ radiology.

Me: Yes

PFWAC: You are aware that just because your Doctor said to use this facility, you have other options available.

Me: Is XYZ not in my network?

PFWAC: XYZ is in network, however there are other places

At this point, once you’ve told me that the location recommended is in my network and therefore already established as a provider by my insurance company, the conversation is pretty much over. But as I’m a good sport and you’ve tracked me down for a conversation, I’ll play along.

Me: If it’s in network, my Doctor recommends it, and it’s down the block from my house, why wouldn’t I choose it?

PFWAC: There are less expensive options.

Me: It’s in network. You are paying 80% plus the discount for going to an IN NETWORK FACILITY

PFWAC: There are places where you’ll pay less money.

Me: Have you been to any of these facilities?

PFWAC: No

Me: So you want me to trust my health to someplace where I need to read a YELP review, instead of trusting my Doctor, and the Labs associated with one of the largest hospitals in NYC?

PFWAC: It would save you money

At this point I really wanted to say: You know what would save money? Eliminating this ridiculous job of yours…If it was out of network, you call. But if it’s an approved, in network provider, your issue is with THEM not ME

Me: Can you give me the name and location of one of these facilities?

You can hear the excitement over the phone- the guy is salivating…

PFWAC: ABC Labs is only ten miles away…

Now- to someone who has a car and doesn’t live in an urban environment, this is a win. Ten miles by car is probably nothing. However, when you live in a city, and technically on an island, getting to a facility that is NOT ON YOUR ISLAND can be a bit of a bother. If I were to take mass transit, assuming mass transit is available, it could take me 90 minutes each way to get to this place. If I were to take a cab, it might still take an hour and be about fifty bucks. Each way. HMMMMM…is this saving me money? But I don’t say this out loud to the guy because he hasn’t really done his homework…

ME: are you paying for my transpotation and factoring in the time it will take me to get there and back. You know, as opposed to WALKING DOWN THE BLOCK?

PFWAC: No

Me: And how about the fee to get my results to my Doctors? Are you paying that? And, how about the timeliness of results? Is this lab going to get the results within HOURS? Or will I have to wait?

PFWAC: I can’t answer any of that.

And now I’m just a teensy bit bothered

Me: So basically, you want me to not go to a conveniently located lab recommended by my Doctor that is easy for me to get to and affiliated with the system that all my Doctors are in and approved as an in network provider by this insurance company, where the results will be put into my portal within hours garnering me and my team of Doctors immediate access to the results, and I’m able to get the tests done within a week, so if there’s really an issue we’ll know right away, and perhaps save my life?

PFWAC: I’m just saying it’s an option. But you’re approved for the Cat Scan…

FYI- they sent me one of those cute 1-5 survey things afterwards…

What Inspired Me: December 5

  • Richmondtown is a series of preserved buildings from the 1600 and 1700’s on Staten Island. This is low budget yet high on charm, especially our Guide who had all sorts of knowledge. Loved the iron rail that swings in and out of fireplace so you don’t get burned- Tinsel was originally made of Tin- how did I never put that together!!
  • Fotografiska: Andy Warhol Photo Factory (underwhelming)- Sarah Moon At the Still Point (she does a photo story where she connects the photos by a Red Thread- very interesting) Anders Petersen Color Lehmitz (interesting to see the negative reels- unblemished and unfiltered) Ruth Orkin Expressions of Life (thought she had some amazing shots, and this was my favorite of the exhibits) Janette Beckman Rebels: From Punk to Dior
  • I thought Licorice Pizza was an excellent movie. However- the main characters, who are supposed to be falling in love, are a 25 year old woman and a 15 year old boy. I just can’t get past this. If it was the reverse, a 25 year old guy and a 15 year old girl what would we be saying? I admit that there is nothing sleazy about this movie. It is poignant and charming and the characters don’t have sex. But why did the characters have to have this age discrepancy?
  • Lure Fishbar is wonderful. Now, I don’t eat fish, so I did not partake of the tower pictured above, but my family said it was wonderful! Staff is also amazing! Got a personal email from general manager the next day (and no- we didn’t complain or anything- they just treat their customers really well) FYI- their burger is consistently on the Best of NYC list
  • C’Mon C’Mon (theater)- Beautifully shot in black and white, so I’ll give you the thumbs up for cinematography. However, the movie is long and slow. Phoenix thinks acting is taking his glasses on and off to show emotion. Script is stilted and characters end up annoying as opposite to likeable. I don’t understand the Oscar buzz.
  • King Richard (HBO Max) This is a good movie. This is NOT a great movie. There is no way this movie should be considered for an Oscar. Will Smith is fine as Richard Williams- that being said- he doesn’t bring any real nuance to the role. I didn’t watch it and say- WOW he is RW. He’s Will Smith playing a character known for his unconventional ways- this isn’t a stretch. The script says all the things it’s supposed to, but like a TV movie, you can almost guess the next lines. There is absolutely nothing exceptional about this movie, and even though you enjoy it as you watch it, its extremely forgettable.
  • Dry Pot is the new craze in Chinese food here. It’s basically a mix of ingredients lightly sauced- usually very spicy. At Mala Project you can create your own- we chose tenderloin, pork short rib, chicken thigh, mushrooms, broccoli, rice cakes and glass noodles. Delicious.
  • when my daughter was little we used to go to the children’s museum on the upper west side of Manhattan. One day we were walking down Broadway and we saw this massive line. I asked what people were waiting for. They said Cream Puffs- best cream puffs ever. So we got on line and waited and did indeed get the best cream puffs ever. Now, 16 years later, the cream puff craze has petered out. However, next door to the Chinese place we went for dinner was Beard Papa- the same cream puff place we used to go to. So, I had to get one. Still delicious…and brought back some awesome memories
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art- If you ask me what my favorite holiday decoration is, I will tell you, unequivocally, it’s the Baroque Tree at the Met. On display till 1/9/22. In Gallery 154, the Marble Stele was interesting to me because the pieces were obtained by the Met at different times (1911,21,36,38 and 51). Incredible that they were able to locate these pieces making it the “most complete grave monument of its type to have survived the archaic period” Met Museum description. Gallery 155 shows a krater used for mixing wine and water- and showed how symposiums were integral to Greek life. Wine, Women and Song…I guess that’s been around since the beginning…
  • I was supposed to see American Utopia on Broadway- it was cancelled to Non Covid illness. I admit I was bummed. Hopefully soon…

HOUSEKEEPING: Many responses of long time blog friends have been showing up in SPAM. I apologize if I don’t respond because I don’t catch them right away and then I forget what blogs they are attached to. So don’t think I ignored you!!!

Gratitude Saturday: December 4

When you say things that you are grateful for, do you go big or do you go small? Or do you never really give thanks to the things that you have in your life?

My friend Lisa asked this week about what would happen if the things you never said you were thankful for weren’t in your life today? The things we take for granted…that we shouldn’t take for granted…

My friend Joy wrote a quote along the lines of, the things you take for granted might be the things that others pray for.

As you meander through gratitude Saturday, really think about all the things that make your life wonderful. Don’t dwell on what you don’t have- consider what you do.

I am grateful for anyone who can teach me a lesson, or help me to remember one.

Anything Can Happen Friday: The Visit

My daughter was in for Thanksgiving.

It was wonderful.

However, for the first time, it felt like my daughter was a visitor and not an inhabitant of the household. It felt weird. I don’t know quite how to explain it. Even her phone said that “Home” was 352 miles away…

I felt like all household duties got put on hold- it was as if my daughter was a guest who I needed to entertain. I didn’t do laundry on Thursday (of course, Thanksgiving sort of got in the way). I didn’t do other scheduled household chores. I even forgot to take my vitamins…It was as if real life got put on hold and suspended for a few days. I felt myself catering to her- which of course could just be a Mom wanting to baby her child a little, because the Mom knows that these days will be fleeting…Maybe the Mom just wants to kiss the top of her daughter’s head like she used to, and bring her tea and shortbread cookies and just have a chat.

She came and went as she pleased though. Which I didn’t have a problem with. She’s a twenty year old young woman with a city full of friends, and twenty year old women are supposed to be out and about.

But then I got a text shortly after midnight on Saturday…

Can you take care of me when I get home?

Followed quickly by this text…

I’m not drunk. I think I have pink eye.

My first thought was not how did she get pink eye. My first thought was that my baby needed me.

So I got out of my bed and put a fresh pillow case on her bed. I got things to make compresses. When she walked in the door I handed her pajamas and waited for her to change. Then I helped her wash her eye. I gave her a pain reliever. And I kissed the top of her head as I pulled the covers up.

And Sunday I got to baby her a little bit. I ran out to get pink eye drops. I carefully washed my hands about a billion times as I cleaned her little red eye. I put the drops in her eye for her. And I felt horrible that in a few hours I would be putting her on a train to go back home and I wouldn’t be able to help her. I really accepted that she doesn’t live here anymore- and that she would have to take care of herself without me. And that hurt a lot just a little.

But then I realized that she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself. She would go back to DC and carefully wash her eye and put the drops in and change her pillowcases and wear glasses so that she wouldn’t touch her eye and then she would wash the glasses. She is capable. I raised a capable child. Like a parent is supposed to.

Watching your child mature is bittersweet. We know that the desired outcome is self sufficiency, yet we all want to feel that our kids need us. For just a little bit this weekend, I got to take care of my daughter and it felt nice to be needed- to get a text that she needed help and wasn’t afraid to ask for it. But it also felt nice that I knew she would be able to take care of herself.

And it was really nice to get a big hug. And for my daughter to say “Thank you. You are the best Mom in the world.”

And I watched her walk down the hall to the elevator and I felt OK. I will always be her Mommy, and she will always be my baby, no matter how old we are. And I look forward to the next stage of our lives.

USC vs BYU

Fans in the student section at USC in a USC vs BYU game chanted the following:

&^%$ THE MORMONS

There are so many ways I could go with this…(side note: USC has at least two players who are Mormons)

hmmm…let’s see….

should we discuss…

  1. USC has an acceptance rate of 16.1, making it one of the harder universities to be accepted to, and given an “elite” status. Is this the sort of behavior we can expect from our “best” and “brightest”?
  2. As it was only a handful of students chanting, can we excuse it because it’s not the majority?
  3. Is this a freedom of speech case? Does USC have the right to cheer anything they want?
  4. Is an apology from the sports department good enough?
  5. Is this just a case of kids being kids and getting caught up in the excitement of the game?
  6. Should students who attended game be required to take a class about religious intolerance?
  7. Should the whole school be required to take classes on religious intolerance?
  8. Replace the word Mormon with another word (don’t be cute and say Nazi’s). Let’s try Black or Muslim or Asian. Are you equally outraged, more outraged or less outraged.
  9. If you’re not equally outraged, ask yourself why not.
  10. Should signs about religious intolerance be posted around campus? Will a student read the sign and say gee whiz I guess I should be nicer to people of all religions?
  11. Should USC be penalized for the behavior of its fans/students?
  12. How easy is it to get caught up in the herd mentality?
  13. Do you think the students who chanted this regret their behavior and will never do it again?
  14. Do you think certain groups have become “acceptable” targets?
  15. If this game hadn’t been nationally televised, would any news outlet have reported it?
  16. Is it all OK because it’s just words and no one was hurt?
  17. Should every student at USC be penalized, even ones who don’t have season tickets or where not even in California for the game?
  18. My daughter thinks this is not a big deal. She thinks that it’s just a college rivalry and no one meant any harm. She said she would have no issue if an opposing team chanted “&^%$ the Jesuits” at her University. She thinks because it was used at a sporting event it’s OK. (ask me if I’ve paid next semesters tuition yet…)

This post was written on November 30. Coincidentally, my page a day calendar had the following message:

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” Haile Selassie

Pick anything you want to explore. I’m listening.

Numbers Don’t Lie

Do we only believe things when there are numbers to match it?

In a recent post, Leslie stated that as a teacher, you were only considered “good” if your students performed at certain levels on standardized tests. Obviously, a good teacher must be able to teach and get their students to a higher level. However, aren’t there other things that make a teacher good?

Or have we become obsessed with numbers?

When you buy something, are you looking at how many people rated it, and how high the star rating is?

Think about your own life: have you recently determined how good something is, or isn’t, by the numbers attached to it?

I know I’m a stats girl: I can’t help but look at things and begin calculating. My wheels just start turning. I automatically begin ascertaining different ways of looking at things. But because it’s my brain, and not a computer, I always include the human factor: people lie, and people are very likely to follow a crowd. These are two things that, as of now, computers can’t tally. Computers spit out info based on what’s given- sort of like garbage in, garbage out, if you get my drift…

Like, some teachers only teach you what you need to get through a standardized test: they might not impart the thousands of other lessons that I think a “good” teacher should do.

Sure- all the students got average or above average on Common Core. But did they learn the building blocks of critical thinking? Or did they memorize tricks?

We seem to rely on numbers because numbers mean something can be “proven”. There is fact but not fake…

But is that an accurate assessment?

Can numbers show what we WANT them to show?

Do numbers lie?

Discuss:

Is It Ethical

My daughter goes to a University with a core curriculum. One of her required units is a section of philosophy and a section of ethics. Currently she is taking ethics. (FYI- she said this 100 level class is kicking her ethical butt, way more than her 400 level classes)

She often tells me about the “problems” the teacher poses- like do people have the right to own chickens. (as it’s become very popular to keep chickens now, some townships are making laws about who can and can’t have chickens) I thought this was an interesting question and even though I don’t plan on writing about it- feel free to comment about it…

Another interesting topic is “Fake Humans of &^%^$# College”

As some of you know there’s a really popular website called Humans of, where a journalist would conduct random person on the street interviews and include them on Insta or a website. Now people are riffing off this: Colleges and universities have UNOFFICIAL accounts where they take a picture of a random person on campus and then make up a story about this person and post it online.

Where do we stand on taking a picture of a person and, without their knowledge or consent, and posting it on a website.

With the use of CCTV and everyone taking pictures continually, is there any sense of privacy anymore?

Do we give up our right to privacy every time we walk out the door?

Discuss

You Can Say It

I was on the bus…

The setting was weekday, midday, so the bus wasn’t too crowded- maybe fifteen or so people. There was a woman sitting towards the front of the bus, talking very loudly to her friend.

Very Loudly. I was across the aisle and back about four rows and I could hear her loud and clear. Over the bus noise. Over the traffic. Over my airbuds playing my Chilling playlist…

The woman was a member of a minority group. And she was talking very loudly about members of another minority group. Very loudly. And very negatively.

Very negatively.

She was saying some really nasty stuff- many stereotypes. Many insults.

She was sitting under this sign…

She was sitting under the sign that specifically tells us that there is no place for hate on our transit system.

Does signage like this actually help anyone see the light about the thoughts that run through there heads and out their mouths?

Can you change someone’s mind just by “reminding” them?

Or are people going to do what people want to do and not listen to what any person, or any sign, says?

Did this woman think she wasn’t doing anything wrong because she wasn’t physically attacking anyone? Did she think she wasn’t doing anything wrong because she wasn’t saying these things to an actual member of the minority group that she was maligning?

How do you think we get rid of hate both in our transit systems and in the world?

What Inspired Me: November 28

  • Julia is a fun documentary if you like food, celebrity chefs and Julia
  • Soothr is a Thai restaurant in the East Village, and the feeling is supposed to be one of home and comfort. It totally succeeds. My chicken khao soi was rich and textured and delicious. The cocktails are all named after jewels, and they give the story, but I was so busy looking at all the plates around me that I kinda sorta forgot.
  • French toast filled with marscapone and apples and some candied bacon on the side and yum…
  • Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway was cute. Cute means wonderful for someone under ten. Which means…don’t bother.
  • I admit that I am normally drawn to the same works of art or antiquities that everyone else is. There are things just universally beautiful or interesting. but occasionally I stumble on something like the shepherd, and its dedication to Pan
  • Gallery 153 at the Met is just a beautifully orchestrated room. It’s one of the galleries that brings me peace. Would be nice if no one else knew about it thought…
  • Gifts From the Fire: American Ceramics from the Collection of Martin Eidelberg Gallery 773 closing 10/16/22
  • I saw Eternals (newest Marvel) in the theater. You will be eternally grateful that I told you to pass this one by.
  • Marks off Madison is by husband’s new favorite neighborhood place. As seen by my delicious French dip sandwich (FYI- that’s a half, and I couldn’t finish that. Portions not only yum, also huge)
  • The Frick has a temporary home on Madison Avenue. They don’t allow you to take pictures, but they did have a postcard of my favorite painting in the collection.
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation. What the balloons look like mid inflation. And How do you not love Baby Yoda!!! And Snoopy!