So I'm going to try to do a round-up posts of cute things I've shared and also status-updates (kind of like mini-blog posts), and post them here as well. These are often things that other people reading this blog have already commented on at FB, and my opinion may have actually changed a little. (Though usually not entirely.) So take all of this with a grain of salt. However, for the interested:
Things I Said
@3:54 PM: "Who's got two thumbs and just scored free tickets to Potted Potter? This girl!
At the holidays I help cook meals at a local domestic violence shelter. I also run by there when I can just to help out with the laundry or whatever needs doing - nothing major or formal, but I do maintain a relationship. One of the paid employees had tickets but her hubby had to cancel on her, so she invited me along. I'll probably pay for dinner afterwards or something as a gesture, but still, having this to look forward to next weekend is a nice unexpected treat."
@5:37 PM: "I've had a toothache for the last several days and finally went to the dentist. Turns out I cracked a filling somewhere along the line, so I'm just feeling it when hot/cold food gets on that side of the mouth - there's basically an exposed nerve if anything gets back there. I had missed my appt time and had to get worked in, and by the time the dentist finally saw me I didn't have time to get the problem fixed before I had to get into Manhattan.
So. I have another appointment for Monday afternoon, and a recommendation to eat on one side of the mouth until then and use OTC benzocaine in the mean time. It's actually a small gap (the filling was 10+ years old). Really, I am just thankful to know what is wrong and know it won't cost an arm and a leg to fix. This particular dentist uses a sliding fee scale and I can't be paying much more than his materials cost him, but even so major dental problems on no insurance can get very expensive very quickly."
@10:14 PM: "On the trainride home from Manhattan, I got thinking about an interesting reversal going on in politics, at least in the Chick-Fil-A situation. Over the last several days a few mayors have published letters essentially saying CFA isn't welcome in their city. It's not official, but coming from a public official it feels like a public condemnation. Liberals think this is a good thing, because homophobia is bad (I agree!) and shouldn't be tolerated; the conservatives I've seen reacting are outraged that a public official would say companies (and owners, who are also citizens) have no right to express their opinions on controversial issues.
In other words, the conservatives - often but not always people I associate with the Christian Right - want government to provide a marketplace, with no real enforcement of any moral position over another. On the other hand, the liberals want the government to enforce what they consider to be the morally right approach. You know, exactly the opposite of the way these groups have approached nearly every other political issue I've seen them grapple with in my life. Marriage, abortion, etc.
Am I missing something? I'm asking honestly. Because the way I am viewing things, it's like Nozick and Aristotle just switched sides on me here. Quite disorienting."
@11:00 PM: "I've just found out that the phone I destroyed yesterday is up for renewal, so I'll be able to get a new one rather than a refurbished phone in my old model. Probably at significantly less than the deductible on my phone insurance would be. I mainly use my phone for web, photos + phone (very little video), so a mid-range phone usually does the trick, but even when it's not getting run over by buses my phone tends to get beat up a bit.
So I need advice. I'm seesawing between a Droid Razor and an iPhone 4. I've loved playing with friends' iPhone but have heard they aren't built very sturdily. Droid is the devil I know - I don't hate it, don't love it, but I do know it and have had, well, okay experience with it in the past. (Droid, not the Razor specifically.) Any other options I should be considering? Suggestions?"
@11:52 PM: "There's something deeply disturbing about this. It's not so much that one company got a stay of execution on the contraception mandate thing, but that the company is an HVAC manufacturer that just happens to be owned by a Catholic. Even if you think the physical therapist working at St. Vincent's or the IT professional at Fordham agreed to have Catholic moral teaching impact their work conditions and benefits, I don't think we can say the same for the factory worker whose boss happens to be Catholic.
This is why we need to move away from employment-based insurance. As much as I'd love a public option, the alternative doesn't have to be a government take-over of any kind. The insurance mandate probably work as well as anything. the point is your employer should be paying you a fair wage and then you should be the one arranging for insurance and making decisions. Your employer's involvement HAS to restrict your rights or his (hers). Either the insurance is restricted by the employers' beliefs, or else your belief forces the insurance to pay against his. I don't see any way to get around this one." (In response to Slate's story, "Judge Blocks Obama's Contraception Rule"
Things I Shared
1. Dale and Laketown: The Tale of Two Cities
(ETA: This may have some slight spoilers. Mostly it's behind-the-scenes stuff and speculation about how those two towns would have been laid-out - of interest to book fans with no interest in the movies, I think.)
(Mr. Takei's lead-in: The trouble with scribbles.)