Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why #14: Healthcare for ONE


Why doesn't my healthcare plan cover me for special "singles" services?

Last week I was stricken with a horrible flu. I actually think I might be a swine survivor, but I'll leave that post for another day. Anyway, I was horribly ill. Nausea, chills, aches, pains. You know, the flu. I was sick, miserable and lacked any amount of energy. I love Miss Sugar Bean, but she can't exactly run down to the corner and pick up some OJ and saltines. So, why doesn't my healthcare plan offer some special services for single people?

I'm not asking for much. Really just an errand boy. Some hotline that I could call up, request a delivery of Tylenol Flu, popsicles and 30 Rock Season 2 on dvd. Or, if things got really bad, someone to drive me to the doctor or Urgent Care. I've seen the price points, the rates for health insurance for a single vs. a family are not that significant. I pay out each month to my health insurance, and then when I get sick, I have no way of actually getting to the doctor. Just doesn't seem right to me. The family plan covers Mom, Dad and the kids. I'm sure the average family makes multiple trips a year to the ol' MD. I'm paying almost the same amount and the closest I come to the doctor is watching ER repeats. Sure I can call friends and family and ask for their help, but why should I have to when I am paying Anthem a big chunk of my paycheck to take care of my healthcare needs?

So what if my needs boil down to a box of popsicles when the flu hits? What's the deductible on that?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Why #12: Supreme Master TV


Why is Supreme Master TV a major component of Cincinnati's latest vegan restaurant?

Don't vegans get a bad enough wrap as it is? What do you mean you don't eat meat, cheese, eggs??? So, what you're like a vegetarian then? A vegan? A what???

One of my favorite vegans, Matthew, is constantly answering these questions. And in a city like Cincinnati, his vegan food options are seriously limited. So imagine our delight when we heard about a new vegan restaurant in Pleasant Ridge. I quickly organized a double "date" with the ever less-meat-eating Emily and Casey for this "good" Friday (aka: a day all 4 of us didn't have to work, woohoo!). We planned to meet at the newly opened Loving Cafe for a little vegan lunch.

The first sign of trouble was a HUGE framed picture of the Supreme Master (see photo above) super-imposed into some sort of zen garden of Wizard of Oz like technicolor dimensions. Creeeepy.

But this I could get past, the food looked amazing. After being told I was getting a real treat by getting to drink out of a compost straw (basically like sucking through a soggy cardboard box) I started to get a little more nervous.

We made our way into the main dining area to await our food. And here we were greeted by a massive TV playing, you guessed it, Supreme TV. In a place devoted to veganism, environmentalism and zen-like tranquility, I was a bit surprised to discover I was meant to enjoy my meal with a background booming with the sounds and sights (all terrifying) of Supreme TV. We couldn't figure out what message the Supreme Master TV was trying to tell us. There were some scenes with an airplane, busy city streets, and what looked like a washed-up American newscaster speaking to us in closed captioning. Seriously, beyond frightening.

The food was delicious. Perhaps the result of being blessed by the Supreme Master? But of course this leads me to ask why. Why can't a nice vegan restaurant open in Cincinnati? A place with great food and an atmosphere that doesn't make me think... the Master is watching...

You better believe we spent at least 10 minutes making sure we properly recycled/composted/environmentally discarded our dishes at the end of the meal. If you are looking for a nice vegan meal OR an alternative spiritual awareness, Loving Cafe is the place for you.

...And I am sleeping with one eye open tonight.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why #11: Copycat Shoppers


Why are some people copycat shoppers?

Friday night I was doing the mega-shop for Emily's bridal shower. This involved several hours of me wandering each and every aisle of Kroger in search of unusual food products. My normal grocery list involves a quick stop in the cracker aisle for low-fat wheat thins, a twirl through produce for fruit and veggies (which i always over buy and end up throwing away), a dash into wine for a bottle of yellowtail and depending on how bad the day was, a possible foray into the CHEESE section. So, I was really discovering some new areas of Kroger. The Latino food section (a pointless search for passion fruit nectar); the specialized cheese area (I actually had to TALK to a lady in the white paper suit); and the frozen pastry aisle (who knew you could buy pre-made mini phyllo cups?).

Not only was I discovering new foods, I was also discovering a new horrid shopping habit. The copycat shopper.

It was around the frozen pastry that I encountered my first copycat shopper. As I stood in front of the various frozen food products I was deep in concentration. What would make the best mini fruit tart for Bride-to-be Emily? It was at this point I realized a woman was hovering over my shoulder. How is it possible that someone else was also in need of these frozen delicacies. Well, it turns out she wasn't. She just wanted to know what I was looking at. I moved aside to let her grab what it seemed she so urgently needed. She just stood there and then walked away. Umm, annoying!

I moved on to the next aisle. Just indulging my curiosity in the available frozen appetizers. Same thing happened. An insane hoverer who didn't actually want anything. So then I moved on to veggie dips. And once again got hit by a crazy old lady all up in my dip business. I stifled my rage and tried to figure out what was wrong with these people. And I think I've got it. It is like when people drive past a train wreck and have to stop and look. I think when I show interest in something (and believe me people I was looking very interested) the other shoppers wanted to know what I thought was so captivating.

Next time you are shopping see if it happens to you.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Why #10: P.F. Chang's Special Sauce


Why is P.F. Chang's still carrying on with this sauce charade?

If you aren't familiar with the sauce, let me explain. When you arrive at PF's your waiter is required to mix up a "special" sauce for you. I've been there dozens of times and I'm not really sure what the sauces even are. There are 3 kinds of gooey sauces in the little white bowls (mustard? soy? something red and probably spicy?) and then there are 3 bottles of sauces; again have no idea what they are (vinegar? more soy? another unidentified red product?). The waiter asks if you want mild, medium or hot. One person at the table is awkwardly forced to answer (even though we ALL know no one is actually going to be using this sauce). And then the waiter mixes a little bit of the 3 gooey sauces together and voila, culinary delight!

Except it isn't a delight. It is a waste. If someone wants the sauce, they can mix their own. According to their own taste, not the taste of whoever actually answered the waiter.

Is it part of the interview process? Along with the ability to carry a fully loaded tray of Moo Goo Gai Pan and Beef and Broccoli, do you need to be a sauce mixing master???

And what do they do with all the leftover sauce? Is each little (untouched) bowl thrown away after the meal? Do they re-use the bowls that don't contain the specially mixed sauce?

So I'm taking a stand. Next time I go to PF's I am going to refuse the special sauce. I just hope the waiter doesn't spit in my sauce-less entree.