Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hot and Wearing

It's been like astoundingly hot here in NW Arkansas for the past few weeks, the kind of heat that has the TV guys saying, "Yikes, this is some heat, huh?" and warning folks not to stay outside for more than twenty minutes or so. All our grass is dying, and when I drive home in the afternoon (have I mentioned that the piece of junk I drive does not have air conditioning?) I feel as though I am driving a convection oven. (Which is sort of nice, actually, since my office is kept at the perfect temperature at which to hang meat, but that is another complaint.)

Anyway: I'm worn out, that's what this post is here to tell you. I've been getting up every damn day all summer long at four in the morning to work on the book -- halfway through the revision now, and it's still going very well, and I'm still having tons of fun doing the research -- but I am also, meanwhile, teaching two summer classes, SF and WLIT II, that's two five week summer classes, four hours in class for each class, and about six hours prep work outside of class, plus the kid, who has been ill, plus mr. delagar, who has been, ah, a bit high maintenance, lately, plus, well, have you noticed what Bushco is doing to our once fine country?

I'm just worn out.

(1) This thing with Roberts. I'm in despair. It won't stop with Roe. They're not just going over Roe. The drum beats for Griswold too. And after that, divorce laws. And after that?

Because, frankly, it's not abortion they care about, no matter what squeaky noises they make trying to convince you it is. It's the control of women they care about.

Amanda over there at Pandagon has a link for you:

(2) And Iraq. Taking 42 year olds now, they are. Rush with his very funny indeed Camp Gitmo teeshirts. U.S. soldiers torturing and raping children. Our soldiers doing that. Americans doing that. In a war that is being fought for no good reason -- that Bush and his fellow liars lied us into, and knew at the time they were lying us into. Children being tortured over a war that is a lie. And our soldiers being made into torturers our that war. And our country being made into an evil empire over that war. That's what Bush has done to us.

(3) And the climate. And the environment. There's a reason it's so unbearably hot and dry in Arkansas this summer. There's a reason my seven year old daughter would die if she stayed out in her backyard more than 45 minutes at two in the afternoon. It ain't sunspots, Mr. Bush.

(4) Rove. Why is he not yet in prison?

(5) The economy. I realize we're supposed to believe it's all getting better. Down here in Arkansas, though, I'm just going to point out to you, things could be nicer. Yes, there are some jobs. But they're McJobs*. Thirty hours a week at seven bucks an hour, no benefits, nowhere to go. (And yes, this is for people with degrees.) Even those who are lucky enough to land slightly better jobs -- and I do have students who have been lucky -- those jobs usually only pay a little better than that, and health insurance costs eat up what little extra they make.

(6) Speaking of which: health insurance. When, when, when is this going to get fixed? I am now paying six hundred a month for mine. I'm also paying a two thousand dollar deductible, every year, that's medical and drugs and dental deductible bundled together. Then, after that, I have co-pays on everything. And, after the co-pays? The insurance only covers 80%. And it doesn't cover many things, such as mr. delagar's sleep apnea.

And this is good health insurance. No, really, it is. We used to have lousy health insurance, so I know.

Altogether, health costs are costing me about forty percent of my income. (I know this because I had to figure it when we declared bankruptcy.) And no one in my family is particularly ill at the moment -- I did have thyroid cancer several years ago, and mr. delagar does have the sleep apnea, but both of those are low-cost, basically just problems that have to be maintained. No, the huge expense comes from paying for the insurance. Maintaining the insurance. In case someone gets ill.

And then paying, on top of the huge insurance bill, for things the inurance won't cover -- like dental bills, and eye glasses, and my half of my thyroid medication, and mr. delagar's new sleep mask, and his box of filters -- well. It adds up.

And every family in America is going through this. Except for the ones who are working at McJobs and can't afford it. Those families are getting their medical care from the state. And so I'm paying for their medical care too -- and so are you -- and that's where another forty percent of my money is going, via taxes, to pay for their medical insurance, via Medicare.

So explain to me again, someone, why we don't have socialized medicine in this country and how that's a really really really good thing?

*My students hate it when I call these McJobs. But what else are they?


Diane said...

Your insurance doesn't cover sleep apnea?!

Sorry, but that is not "good" insurance. Have you taken this up with the Arkansas Insurance Commission?

delagar said...

Eh, you should have seen the insurance we had in Idaho.

Haven't heard of the Arkansas Insurance Commission. You mean we have recourse?

zelda1 said...

My husband has lousy insurance and it covers his sleep apnea. We had to fight them a little but they finally gave in. It is, after all, life threatening. The machine is a respirator of sorts and without it, well we know about that. Call the commission or better yet, call the insurance company first then the commission. I had to fight our insruance for my updraft machine and the medicne that goes inside it. Geeze. But my insurance pays for breasts augmentation. They didn't care if I could breathe but by god, I could get nice tits if I wanted them.