Three Years and Billions of Dollars Later

My dental work is complete. DO NOT READ this quick backstory if you are dental-squeamish: I had two teeth in the front pulled, I thought I was going to get two implants and a lot of crowns, but two bone grafts failed, as did the gum surgery that followed, so now I am sporting a newly installed bridge. That looks beautiful, I think. It took THREE YEARS. And cost trillions of dollars.

I should take a better shot, with my real camera instead of these webcam shots. Maybe I should make a movie? Because these teeth are works of art. Seriously. I’ve been studying them, and somehow they managed to match how teeth seem to be more translucent at the bottom than at the top. And that’s just one great thing about them. NYU Dental School worked for me! (I shudder to think how much all of this would have cost if I hadn’t had the work done at the dental school.)


Do you know how to read Con Ed meters?

I swear it’s the 19th century down in my basement. It looks just like pictures of a Five Points gang hideout. You expect to see a bunch of Dead Rabbits pop up around the corner with whiskey bottles and knives.

I went down there to photograph the meters because I’ve been meaning to challenge Con Ed about my bill for decades. I know everyone’s bill shot up in the last few months, but mine has always been high. I live alone in a small one bedroom, with almost no devices: tv, radio, computer, stove, refrigerator, sometimes a blow-dryer, and lights. If I use a space heater it’s only for a couple of hours at a time, and yet my bill is usually over $100, sometimes way over. I went into the basement and photographed the meters. The first one is electric, I’m guessing, and the second one is the gas meter? (Totally guessing, what do I know?)



The Marshmallow Diaries

The Marshmallow Diaries is funniest thing I’ve read in a while, and yes I’d say that even if it wasn’t written by a friend. Read it for yourself, you’ll see!

Another photo shoot I passed by on my way home. This was in front of Carrie’s Sex and the City apartment on Perry Street. I love that peach coat! The whole outfit really.


Checking me out. Not in an unfriendly way, but he has his eye on me.


Hurry! Sign up for Obamacare!

Thanks to the urging of my friend Christine, I knuckled down, and went to New York’s healthcare exchange and spent a few days learning about my options and picking one.

I want to encourage everyone to do the same. If you’re poor or low-income you’re going to pay less. A lot less. If you’re very poor you will get insurance at no cost to you at all. If you’re middle-income you are going to pay less or roughly the same—you have to research very carefully and calculate your risks.

I see some people’s insurance premiums are going up because their existing insurance provider is raising their prices. Why are they raising their prices? Is it because they have to cover things they didn’t cover before? I looked at what insurance companies have to cover now and it’s pretty basic stuff. If they weren’t covering these before, what were people paying for??

Is it because their administrative costs are going up and they want to maintain what I am sure is an insanely high profit margin? Fuck them in both cases. They are the bad guy, not Obamacare. (Also, I don’t get why insurance companies don’t love the ACA in the end. All these new customers! I have to believe that in the new few years, there will be a shake-out in the health insurance industry. Competitors will arise and there will be more and better options.)

So if you are one of the people whose insurance is going up, get online and find another provider and plan. Maybe you hate the idea of finding new doctors. I hated the idea at first too, but eventually I decided it wasn’t the end of the world and saving money was a good idea, and then it turned out I didn’t have to. Even though my primary care doctor wasn’t listed, and his office said they didn’t take any of the plans I was considering, the person who was helping me when I called New York’s healthcare exchange insisted that they misunderstand or were mistaken and she talked me into calling my doctor’s office back. My doctor’s office had made a mistake and I don’t have to change doctors.

I forgot, some states turned down Medicaid expansion. Which was free and would have helped a lot of people in their state. They are the biggest fuckers of all. Don’t vote for those guys the next time around. Also, some states might be offering more limited options. I’d be interested in hearing about these, and why that is.

Update: Here’s an article about states with fewer and not great options. “Some states have had a flowering of competition among insurers, including nonprofit co-ops — entirely new entities that are capturing the largest market share with low prices and remaking the coverage landscape in places like Maine. But in other places, including parts of states like New Hampshire and West Virginia, consumers have hardly any insurance choices at all.”

My sympathy if you live in one of these states. I wonder if you will have better options next year, when the marketplace in your state wises up to the opportunities?

These articles helped me understand how to approach making a choice. Please dig in and explore your options.

How To Choose Between Bronze, Silver, Gold And Platinum Health Insurance Plans.

Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act.

Weighing Health Plans: The Devilish Details.

Finney and Bleeck relax because their caretaker has new health insurance and will hopefully be around to feed them for a long time to come.


Photo Shoot on the way to Choir Practice

I passed by this mini-photo shoot on the way to choir practice last night. I loved the endless ruffles in the bottom half of the dress but the top half was less of a success. But I don’t know if this shoot was about the dress. Maybe this is for the cover of a single she is releasing or something!