Lazy Saturday

Saturdays are better with StumbleUpon.

Today, I came across a very powerful essay about girls, size, and self-worth, and I thought I’d share it with y’all.

So here you go.  Happy Saturday!

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Sarah Palin: Why McCain’s Pick is an Insult to Women

 REUTERS/Matt Sullivan

REUTERS/Matt Sullivan

We interrupt our regular programing to bring you a quick douse of cold water on the half-asleep faces of women all across America.  And if it has even CROSSED YOUR MIND to vote for John McCain solely because of his new running mate, that means this article is for YOU.

I could go off for a long time about the hypocrisy of McCain’s choice, especially after he has repeatedly lambasted Obama for his lack of political experience.  I could talk all about Mrs. Palin’s policies and why most of them fly in the face of what women as a voting whole (not every individual woman, mind you, but women as they have become a sort of political party of their own, with a common voice) stand for.  But I won’t.  Because why deliver a long, drawn out argument when I can keep it short and sweet and let you go read your other blogs or Stumble onto some Top 10 list of foods that will boost your energy?

So here it is, ladies:  McCain is insulting you.  He is insulting US, right under our noses, and if we don’t have the smarts to get the joke, we will become the punch line this November.

McCain is betting that America’s women are stupid enough to choose someone based on their chromosomes RATHER than on their policies.   And not even a President, but a Vice President, with far less power.  He is hoping that we will see that she has long hair and breasts and we will think, Wow, a chick!  Let’s get HER in the White House, no matter what policies she or McCain have!  Because, I mean, she’s a GIRL!

Come on!  Are we really THAT stupid?  Think of the woman in the world whom you despise most.  Is it Martha Stewart?  Rosanne?  That girl who made life hell for you in 8th grade?  How about that teacher who had a baby by her thirteen-year-old student?  Would she make a good President just because she’s female?  Would you really put ANYONE in the White House, as long as they had two X chromosomes?

(AP Photo/Juneau Empire, Brian Wallace)

(AP Photo/Juneau Empire, Brian Wallace)

God forbid that we are really that stupid, childish, and easily led astray.

I’m not going to go into Palin’s policies here, but all you need to do is run a quick Google search to see that her views have nothing in common with the views of American women as a voting group.  Off the top of my head, she is pro-life and pro-drilling in Alaska.  UrbanMamas also made an excellent point this week about her motherhood.

By choosing Palin, McCain is saying that he thinks that the majority of voting women are idiots.  By voting for him based on his running mate, we would be confirming this.

Now, as a final note, I want to clarify something.  While I do consider myself a Democrat and am excited to back Obama this November, I do not disagree with everything Sarah Palin says.  I, too, am pro-life, and I am not wholly opposed to drilling in Alaska.  There are quite a few issues on which Mrs. Palin and I agree, but that still doesn’t mean I would even consider voting for her.  Because it’s not Palin who is running for President, it’s McCain.  Is it worth it to give McCain the title of President and the great power and authority that comes with it, simply to make Sarah Palin our Vice President, with very little power in comparison?

That was a rhetorical question.  If you are still sitting there trying to think of an answer, please smack yourself on the forehead and try again.  You’re embarrassing me.

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Saving Money on Prescription Drugs (You can, too!)

A few of you know this, but I don’t think I’ve come out and said it on the blog.  Oh no, wait, I have.

I am taking Zoloft.

I was diagnosed with postpartum depression back in…. November? I think it was November. Anyway, Zoloft was prescribed because it is safest for breastfeeding.

At the time, I felt like I couldn’t go another day without help. I was actually trying to get on the phone with a doctor on a Friday afternoon, scared to the point of tears that I would have to go the whole weekend feeling the way that I did. It had gotten gradually worse over the previous month or two, but, when Dan told me that he sometimes became frightened that I may have hurt the kids when I didn’t answer the phone right away, I realized that it was to a point at which I could not just cross my fingers and hope that it would get better.

So I got the prescription, and it was time to fill it. I had no insurance – the Oregon Health Plan stops for postpartum moms between 2 and 3 months postpartum, right about the time when true postpartum depression typically manifests. Not terribly conducive to helping with this particular problem…

My doctor called the prescription in to my pharmacist (Fred Meyer), and I called the pharmacist to find out what I would be paying.

Seventy-five dollars. For 30 days of generic meds. Ouch.

But, like I said, I felt like I couldn’t wait another day. Mom offered to help pay for half, which was very helpful, and I went to the pharmacy. But somewhere, in the back of my mind, I remembered something we had voted on the previous year – a measure forty-something that had passed by a wide margin. Didn’t it allow all Oregonians, regardless of income, to join a prescription drug program that negotiated lower prices for its members? I went home and googled “Oregon Prescription Drug Program.”

Whaddaya know? Sure enough, they didn’t need any income info from me, just my name and other basic info on a short form. It didn’t cost a penny. Within a week or so, my card came in the mail. It was so quick and painless!

A few weeks later, it was time to refill. I took the card to Fred Meyer, very anxious to find out how much I would be paying.
Wait for it…

Wait for it…

$8.30.

I’m serious.

That’s cheaper than many co-pays. And I’ve been paying that ever since, even when my prescription was upped from the 50mg tablets to the 100mg.

The sad thing is that, despite the fact that we all voted on it just a year and a half ago, very few Oregonians seem to know that it exists. I have spoken to many people who struggle with high prescription drug costs, and they are shocked to hear that there is assistance available that has no income guidelines. So I’m writing this post to spread the word.

Washington has a similar program. I don’t know if any other states do. But I’d encourage you to look into it, and to tell anyone you know in Oregon who uses prescription drugs that this is available to them.

This program is for insured people, too! If you consider yourself “under-insured,” you qualify! Here are a few paragraphs about the under-insured, from the state website:

With the passage of SB 362 the underinsured are now able to enroll in the OPDP. If an Oregonian considers themselves underinsured for Rx coverage they may enroll and use their OPDP cards to receive a discount on prescriptions they are purchasing. If a member has Rx insurance they should verify with their carrier that those Rx purchases made using the OPDP discount card will be accumulated toward their out of pocket expense.

Although the OPDP discounts are market competitive, if a member has an insured benefit they may also have a competitive discount that could offer an equal or better rate on their specific prescription. Members should be wise shoppers and see which card brings the best price for their prescriptions.

Go here to join, and here to look up your prescriptions to determine their cost under the program.

Dan and I don’t own a television…

… and you could say that we pride ourselves on that fact.

When we got married, we had Dan’s TV, which had been his mom’s. (His mom passed away in 2003 – February 11th, actually.)

We never got cable. We decided before we got married that we shouldn’t. We would go on walks together while we were dating in a somewhat affluent neighborhood, passing big boats and recreational vehicles parked lonely in driveways, while blue lights shone out windows. It was like walking through a prison, each family held captive by sometimes 2 or 3 separate televisions. And so we came to our TV-free decision. You see, Dan didn’t really enjoy television, and I kind of enjoyed it too much.

I had a habit in high school (keep in mind that I graduated high school in 2003 – and got married in 2004 – so “I had a habit in high school” practically means “I had a habit at the time”) of coming home and sitting in front of the television for hours. I would watch rerun after rerun of “Home Improvement,” “The Cosby Show” (which I don’t even like), and “Will and Grace” on channel 9, before switching over to channel 13 for reruns of “Friends.”

See? I meant it when I said hours. Like 4. Walking past those houses was like seeing myself in a mirror, and realizing what was happening to me.

Anyway, so we figured that if I was going to have a productive life and if Dan was going to have any respect for me at all, we would have to forgo the television. We lived in a hilly area, and if you don’t have cable, you don’t have reception. Period. Bunny ears are an exercise in futility.

We kept the television for watching movies on. It was in the spare room, taking up a disproportionate amount of space for how often we used it. And we quickly discovered that watching movies was not an activity that we particularly enjoyed together.

When we moved, we had to make room for a crib for a soon-to-be-arriving someone, so the television moved to the living room. It was like a big, black monster, totally killing any sense of relaxation in the living room.

So we sold it. To a mother of a 5-year old. Who was buying it for her son’s room, so that he could play video games on it. It was 27 inches.

What is this world coming to?

So, other than a short stint of borrowing a television from RaeAnn to play kiddy videos on this summer, we have been TV free.

People will tell us that we need to watching this show or that show, or ask us if we saw such-and-such an episode, and we’ll say, “No, we don’t have a TV.”

The responses are hilarious.

People look at us like we’re insane. They screw up their faces and say, “uh… why?” We’ve even had a couple people offer to give us one of theirs. I think that some people can’t imagine any reason not to have a TV, other than maybe poverty. It’s fun to be the eccentric wackos.

So when Dan turned to me today and asked, “Do you want to rent a movie?” it sounded so weird. You mean, like normal people?

Probably once a year we’ll rent a DVD to watch on the computer. We never have any idea what movies are out. Our conversation today went something like this:

“What do you want to get?”

“I don’t know. I have no idea what’s out.”

“Me neither. Ummm… there was that Superman remake that came out awhile back. I don’t know if it was supposed to be any good.”

“Yeah. I don’t know. Is there a Spiderman out?”

“Oh, yeah, Spiderman 3. I don’t know if it’s on video.”

“Guess we’ll just have to go browse.”

We ended up getting Blood Diamond. Dang, that was one powerful movie! It makes me wish that I was a rich person who bought diamonds, just so I could STOP buying them in response to this film!

I wish I was a rich person for other reasons, too.

So now, if someone asks what we did this weekend, we can say that we watched a movie together. It feels so weird. Like I compromised a part of my very identity.

Huh.

WFMW Themed Edition: Online Shopping

works-for-me-wednesday.jpg

Welcome back to Makeshift Mama’s weekly WFMW contribution!  The theme for this week is Online Shopping – we are supposed to tell y’all about our favorite sites!

I don’t do a lot of online shopping, because that requires paying postage (although I do find eBay to be a good resource for some things).

HOWEVER, there is one site that I found while planning my wedding 3 1/2 years ago (can you believe it was 3 1/2 years ago?) that I LOVED, and still visit occasionally.

It’s called Save On Crafts, and it has great discount craft and wedding supplies.  Beautiful jars and vases, a TON of ribbon, craft books, stemware, dried flowers… the list goes on!

Most recently, I bought a pound of dried lavender there (which, by the way, is equivalent to 1 stuffed gallon-sized Ziploc).  I filled sachets (from favors at a friend’s wedding) with them and left them all throughout the house, and it looked like I hadn’t even used any up!  I am now left with a disturbingly large supply of lavender, for the same amount of money that I would have spent for a tenth of it at a retail store.

Maybe I’ll try making one of those aromatherapy hot packs…

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations Cassidy!  You won the gDiapers giveaway!

The winner was determined through the very scientific method of asking my husband to pick a number between 1 and 86.

I’ll get it mailed out to you before the end of the week (also known as “when I can ditch the kids with Daddy”).

Again, congrats and enjoy!

StumbleUpon – a great way to explore the web and avoid work!

Hey all!

I just wanted to tell you about a little doohickey that I find incredibly entertaining and downright fascinating – StumbleUpon.

Basically, when you sign up for StumbleUpon (which, of course, is free), you download a bar for your browser that includes, among other things, a Stumble button, a thumbs up button, and a thumbs down button.

When you hit “Stumble,” you are taken to a new website! You check it out, and if you like it you give it a thumbs up. If you don’t like it, you give it a thumbs down. The more thumbs ups a site gets from all the StumbleUpon users, the higher its likelihood of appearing when someone hits the Stumble button.

Make sense?

I have come across SO many cool sites with this thing! It can keep me entertained for hours. Awesome photographs (like this slideshow, which I find mesmerizing and could probably watch for hours), funny videos, informative sites… You choose your topics of interest at the beginning, so that helps narrow down the topics, and if you gives something a thumbs down, StumbleUpon will avoid showing you other things that are similar.

How cool is that?

You can also use StumbleUpon to rank any site, not just the ones that it shows you. If you rank a site that is not in StumbleUpon’s system, it will ask you for a brief description, then put it in the rotation so that others can have an opportunity to view and rank it, too!

You can click here to download StumbleUpon for yourself. And (warning: shameless plug ahead) if you really like me/my blog/making me happy, maybe you would consider giving Makeshift Mama the thumbs up? You can also give an individual post a thumbs up by clicking on the title first so that only that post is visible on your page. That way, if you don’t think I’m awesome in general, but maybe you think my tips for sales consultants were pretty helpful, you can just share that one post with the StumbleUpon folk.

Oh, thanks! I love you, too!