Man, the medical bills are rolling in. I got the bill from my first trip to the emergency room (9/4); I am responsible for $43.00. Not bad at all. I still have yet to receive any notification of how much the surgery itself will cost, but I received notification from the hospital regarding the total cost of my 9/11 trip to the emergency room. The amount they are submitting to the insurance company for service on that day (this is the trip for the allergic reaction) is: $3,484.12. After I meet my deductible ($300) I think I am responsible for 20% of all services. This is a pretty good deal but the surgery is also probably going to cost at least $3000 so that puts my responsibility for everything at probably around $1400. Boy does that suck. Fortunately I saved a bunch of money and will be able to pay it, but I really was hoping to spend the money I saved on something other than hospital bills. The good news is that the insurance company negotiates with the hospital. Here's an example: the total bill for my trip to the emergency room on 9/4 was $120. The insurance company negotiated with the hospital, the total charge afterwords was $68. I am hoping that they can really negotiate the cost of the emergency room visit on 9/11 and the surgery. Being sick sure is expensive.


Hey Corey and Elmer I bought a deck this morning. I got a sweet deal on it too. Its a retired Birdhouse Andrew Reynolds deck in very good condition, Grind King Trucks and Beer City wheels. I got it off ebay for $37. I am pretty proud of the deal I stirred up. Less than half of what a Birdhouse complete costs at ESSI, but with better trucks and wheels. Sweet. If anyone wants to look at it you can see a version of it here. It is second from the right on the bottom.

Gardiner got married yesterday just outside of Charlottesville in a town called Keswick. It was a beautiful ceremony and an all-around good time. Congratulations, if you happen to read this Gardiner.


Mary Washington returned my $5 check to me. I guess this constitutes a retraction of my insinuation that they are cheap, greedy bastards.

Since we live in a capitalist society, I would like to post a few links to sites where you can buy really cool stuff:

ESSI--really really cheap complete skateboards. The decks themselves have slight blemishes in the graphics (thus the lower prices). Of course this doesn't matter anyway, since the deck is going to get messed up the first time you use it. They state that the wood itself is unaffected. Shipping is extremely reasonable. You can get a Birdhouse deck with pretty good hardware for $89 including shipping. They have decks from most of the bigger companies. Christmas is coming kids, get that special someone something they really want.

Everything English--Lots of really cool t-shirts, stickers etc... from many dirfferent bands, many of whom are not even British. Average prices ($14.95 or below t-shirts) with an above average selection. Lots of Old School Punk stuff, Joy Division, The Smiths etc... All of their shirts come in a variety of sizes, not just large and x-large. They are based in LA so there are no internaional shipping charges. Shipping charges seem reasonable. Hey Corey they even have some (what they claim to be) hard to find Sigur Ros CD's if you're interested.

I have a Sinus Infection now too. I can't win. This is one heck of a storm I seem to be weathering down here. I would be buying a new deck and t-shirt right now if I didn't have to keep shelling out money for doctors. With my luck, these companies will both be out of business by the time I am ready to buy some un-needed though very-much wanted stuff.

Regarding other things I want; I am thinking a new tattoo for my birthday. I either want the word 'Faith' in traditional script on my lower back, or the 'Sacred Heart of Jesus' in the center of my chest. Please feel free to vote for your favorite in the Comments Section.


"Another Murder I committed Made Front Page..."

For those of you out there who still purchase CD's, as oppossed to downloading all your music; two excellent remastered albums came out today:

N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton" &
Eazy-E's "Eazy-Duz-It"

I don't know about the stores outside of Richmond, but Circuit City down here has both of these on sale for $8.99 this week. Each album has bonus tracks (4 and 5 extra tracks respectively) and sounds awesome. I bought both of them and am planning on doing a drive-by on my way home from work tonight. All I gotta do is get my 'Drop-Top-6-4' out of storage, and actually buy a gun. Two of my friends from work collect guns so I can probably borrow a glock without too much trouble. In all seriousness, do any of ya'll miss Eazy-E as much as I do? That guy is one of my favorite rappers of all time. Disclaimer: though the opening quote is not from either of the aboved mentioned albums, it is the beginning to one of the verses in Eazy-E's 'Any Last Werdz' and is definitely worthy of it's position as the title of this post. That song is incredible.


Corey asked how I did on the Praxis, so here goes: The Reading part was about as difficult as the Reading sections on the practice tests. This was the first section administered and by far the easiest. Next in line was the Mathematics section. It was way harder than the Math sections on the practice tests. Even though it was more difficult, I am fairly confident I will receive a passing score on both the Math and the Reading sections. The Writing part is a different story. It was so friggin' difficult. Kim (who majored in journalism) took the test with me and even she thought it was really hard. I must admit that I am kind of scared. Considering I need to pass all 3 sections to even be considered for the Master's in Education program I might be screwed. Like I said, worst case scenario I have to put off going back to school until I pass it. I won't receive my scores for 4-6 weeks, so I have to wait quite a while to find out my fate. Boy does that suck. The one thing that is in my favor is that in relation to previous standardized tests (SAT's etc...) I have taken, I have always scored higher on the actual test than on any of the practice exams I took prior to the test day. I really hope that this pattern continues (fingers crossed, knocking on wood etc...). I don't think I have failed a test since grade school and the prospect of doing so is really upsetting to me.

In other/better news my health is improving slowly but steadily. The incisions are healing well and I had the sutures out last week. The place where they put the actual patch hurts, but that is due to the fact that it is stapled to my inner abdominal wall. Woudn't it be funny if they stapled it to my outer abdominal wall instead, and I was walking around with a mesh patch the size of an index card stapled to my crotch? What a beautiful image. The total heailng time is six weeks or so, so by my birthday I should be feeling back to normal. That will pretty much be the best present in the world. For me one of the worst parts of the whole experience is that I lost some weight. I basically was unable to eat for a little over a week and surpisingly enough it had the effect of causing some relatively minor weight loss. I say 'minor' in relation to most people but for me 5 lbs or so is a lot of weight to lose. Fortunately I am starting to gain some of it back.

Hope all is well out there.


Tomorrow is the day for the Praxis I examination. There are three sections: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. I think I will do fine on the Reading and Mathematics but I don't think I am going to do very well on the Writing part. Regarding the actual essay I think I will score well, however in relation to the multiple choice section I don't think I am going to do all that well. I have never been very good at sentence correction and gramatical usage (idioms, parallelism, dangling modifiers etc...). Worst case scenario I fail one or more of the sections and have to postpone going back to school until I pass. There are worse things. Considering I have been in and out of the hospital for 2 weeks straight and procrastinated in the studying department, I think I might be in trouble. I am attempting to adopt a rather zen-like attitude towards the experience, I don't know if it is actually working or I am just deluding myself. Perhaps the zen-like attitude is stemming from the anti-anxiety drugs that they currently have me taking.

I updated my Reading/Watching/Listening section just for you.


I mentioned a while back that I am applying to MWC's graduate program for education. I got a letter from the admissions office last week stating that my application is incomplete. I need to have the following sent to them:

1. A copy of my Official Community College transcript--I already did this and they appear to have lost it.

2. The scores I received on the Praxis I examination--which if they actually read the application they would see that I am not taking the test until this coming Saturday and thus as of yet have no scores to provide.

3. An Official copy of my Mary Washington College transcript (even though I am applying to Mary Washington).

I am pissed off because it costs $5 for a copy of my MWC transcript. I will in effect be paying MWC $5 for them to take a copy of my transcript from George Washington Hall down to Lee Hall. A distance of what would you say kids, 1000 feet down Campus Walk. Bullshit. I understand that they need my permission to view an Official Copy, but don't fucking charge me for it. The bastards have already gotten approxiamtely $50,000 from me, and I know it's only $5 but it's the principle. I would also like to mention that the Community College transcript I already sent to them was free--not $5. MWC is a State funded institution and they should be able to provide this type of service free of charge, especially for an alumni who is applying to their graduate program, and will in effect be giving them even more money.


Beware: this is a very long post (but worth the read).

Last week I thought it would be really clever to title my post "Back From The Motherfucking Dead", but I see now that it really wasn't all that clever or amusing. This is an official retraction of that heading. Why would I post this retraction you ask? Because death really isn't funny. Here's what happened:

I went to work on Wednesday September 4th and felt a little strange, but as I often don't feel well, I ignored it. This was my first mistake. After being at work for about an hour I began to feel extremely nauseated and had a sharp pain in the vicinity of my hernia. I realized that the dreaded strangulation was upon me. When a hernia 'strangulates' part of the intestine becomes caught in the abdominal wall and you end up with an intestinal blockage. The blood flow is cut off, as is the flow of other things that usually travel through your intestines. The pain was fucking ridiculous. I had Kim pick me up and take me to the emergency room where they un-strangulated me using an extremely simple (though very painful) massage technique. They told me to call my surgeon and see if we should move up the surgery. Everything seemed fine that night and for the early part of the next day. I called the surgeon's office first thing in the morning and they told me that it probably wouldn't happen again and that we could leave the surgery scheduled for the 3rd of October. At about 2 in the afternoon it happened again. I now was aware of how to put my intestine back in, and proceeded to do so myself. I called the doctor back and said that we definitely needed to move the surgery up.

Now what I haven't mentioned is that I was supposed to be out of town (on vacation and attending 2 weddings) from 9/6-9/16. There went the vacation. I spent the next 2 days arguing with the doctor's office trying to get the surgery moved up ASAP. On Friday afternoon (9/6) they finally told me that the surgery would probably be on Monday 9/9. By this time, my abdominal wall was essentially useless and my intestines were popping through the hole in the wall on average of 15 times a day. No exaggeration. It went like this: intestines pop out-I put them back in. I stand up-it pops out again. You get the idea. The nurse said that even though this was going on, since I could still put the intestine back in it did not constitute an emergency and the surgery would still be on Monday, hopefully. They could not get an Operating room during the day so they eventually had to request my surgery be done as an add-on. This means that it would be done after 6 PM. The nurse told me to go buy a truss in the interim and that it should help. I went and bought one, which of course did nothing.

Fast forward to 5PM Friday. The surgeon's office calls and says that my insurance will not pre-authorize the surgery. The surgeon’s receptionist then proceeds to tell me that the reason they will not do so is because the insurance company is conducting an investigation. She says she has no other information and I need to call the insurance company directly. I call and am told that they are going to deny all claims related to my hernia surgery since it is a ‘Pre-existing Condition’. I tell them that it most certainly is not; I discovered the lump/hernia on 8/3 and went to the doctor for it on 8/9. As my insurance was effective beginning 8/1 I do not see the problem. The insurance company tells me that the first doctor I saw for the condition put in his computer that the symptoms existed for several months as opposed to several days. Then they tell me that in order to fix the situation, I need to start by talking to the doctor’s office. The doctor can amend their records and fax them directly to the insurance company’s medical review department. It is now 5:30 on Friday night. Fortunately the first doctor’s office was actually a First-Med type establishment and was still open. I quickly tried to call them but could not make it past their voice-mail, so I limped down the stairs and drove over there. Surprisingly enough, they were extremely helpful. They amended the records and faxed them over to the insurance company for me. By this time it is almost 6 PM. I called the insurance company back who told me that the Medical Review Dept. had already left for the day, and only they can make the decision about whether or not to cover the surgery.

I proceed to spend the next two days worrying about whether my insurance will cover the surgery, and putting my own intestine back where it is supposed to be. Monday morning rolls around and I call the insurance company. They tell me that I do not need to have pre-authorization for the surgery and that the amended records have been received but they have not reached a decision yet. The surgery will be happening in just less than 9 hours.

I check into the hospital at 4:30 PM and proceed to wait until the operating room is available. The surgery does not begin until after 8 PM. I wake up in the recovery room sometime after 10 PM. I am so nauseated I cannot even move. Turns out I was allergic to the anesthesia. They give me some medicine for the nausea and dizziness, but I can still only put on 1 article of clothing every 20 minutes and then only with Kim’s help. It is 11:45 PM when I am finally discharged. I am in great pain and still have to go to the pharmacy for my pain medicine. They tell me they are giving me a prescription for Demerol. I am just coherent enough to recognize that this is a very powerful drug and I eagerly anticipate the relief it will surely bring.

I spend the next 36 hours taking the Demerol every 4 hours or so and feeling utterly horrible. At about 12 PM on Wednesday 9/11 my throat feels as though it is closing. I can barely breath, my limbs are tingling, I am dizzy and can barely stand. Kim has to rush me to the emergency room. Turns out that I am violently allergic to the Demerol, and this is the reason I have been feeling so bad. Of course they run a bunch of tests at the hospital and hook me up to numerous machines all as precautionary measures to make sure there is not a larger problem. Fortunately it is just the Demerol. They give me Dilaudid instead. On Thursday I get a letter stating that the insurance company will cover the procedure, which makes me extremely happy. Of course when you are taking Dilaudid (an extremely powerful narcotic—think of it as very potent pharmaceutical heroin) it is hard not to be happy.

Since then I have been on the mend and have gotten better each day. Today I haven’t taken any medicine and almost feel normal. I hope that things have been going well for all of you out there. Sorry the post is so long I made it as short as I could while still including all of the information and events. These are the reasons I retract the title of my last post. Just thought I would let ye'll know hat's been going on.