If Home Depot Helped This Child, Why Can’t the Insurance Company Do the Same?

America is one of the wealthiest countries on earth. If the powers that be wanted to, they could help every American, regardless of employment (or lack there of) and ability to pay, to have gain access to reasonable health insurance. But the powers that be have made a choice that one’s access to reasonable health insurance is limited.

Logan Moore is an adorable two year old boy from Georgia. He suffers from Hypotonia, a disease that hinders his ability to walk properly. His parents questioned if their health insurance company would not only cover the cost of a walker, but also provide it in a reasonable amount of time. Out of sheer desperation, the family took a trip to Home Depot, looking to purchase materials to make a walker until such time that the insurance company would hopefully provide the walker.

Out of the goodness of their hearts, the staff not only built the walker for Logan, but they did so for free.

To my mind, this story illustrates one of the weaknesses of this country. Healthcare and access to affordable health insurance is a human right. There are many countries that provide some form of universal healthcare for their citizens. And yet, in the United States, one’s ability to see a doctor without breaking the bank depends on one’s employment and financial status.

The question I have to ask is, if Home Depot helped this child, why can’t the insurance company do the same?


Flashback Friday: Blow Out (2004-2006)

The reality show genre has exploded over the past fifteen years or so. Every sub-genre under the term of “reality show” has had it’s day in the sun, for better or for worse.

Blow Out aired on Bravo from 2004-2006. The show followed the lives and careers of the staff of Jonathan Salon and the salon’s owner, Jonathan Antin. As with any reality show, the drama and personality differences between the participants created the narrative.

As I recall at the time, Blow Out was just another reality show. I understand the appeal of this genre, especially after a long day of work or school. Your brain has been pushed to the max all day and you just want to watching television that requires a little less thinking. However, as I recall, there was nothing special about Blow Out and in the end, it was nothing more than free marketing for the salon’s products and services.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Doyle

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Read at your own risk if you have not watched one or both television series. In this series of character reviews, I will strictly be writing about the characters from the television series, not the 1992 film.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

The death of an actor who plays a pivotal role in a movie or television show is more than the loss of the actor who played the role and the human being who is no longer on this earth. It requires the creative team to reinvent the narrative and the character development without this actor and the character they played.

On Angel, half demon Allen Francis Doyle, otherwise known as Doyle, was played by the late Glenn Quinn, who died from a tragic overdose in 2002.

Doyle’s powers did not manifest until he turned 21, when he was married to a human woman. The marriage did not work out due to his ex-wife hesitance to accept who her husband was. This led to Doyle living only for himself, not caring who he hurt in the process. Then the visions came and Doyle turned his life around. Teaming up with Angel (David Boreanaz) and Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), they officially form Angel Investigations.

Doyle falls in love with Cordelia, but she wants nothing to do with him because he is half demon. It is only after the brief reappearance of Doyle’s ex-wife and his sacrificing himself to save Los Angeles that Cordelia accepts Doyle for who he is. Their brief kiss is more than a kiss, his powers of sight and the headaches that come with those powers are now Cordelia’s.

Though Quinn’s time on Angel was short, his character had a major impact on the world of the show and the fans. Like many of the characters in the BVTS and Angel universe, Doyle had a past and challenges he had to overcome due to his past. In his short time on Angel, Doyle was starting to see beyond his past. Unfortunately, both the character and the actor’s passing prevented Doyle from growing further.

RIP Glenn Quinn.

Thoughts On the Robert Mueller Announcement

During the Mueller Investigation and after the release of the report, there were many who were eager to speak of the report and the man whose name is on the report, Robert Mueller. The only person who did not speak was Mr. Mueller.

Earlier this week, that changed when he spoke briefly to the press.

When I see this video, I see a man who is elegant, educated, professional and respectful. I also see a man who is tired and ready to enjoy whatever time he has left on this earth. As a side note, he also stated at the end of the announcement that he is retiring.

As I spoke of in past blog posts, I agree Mr. Mueller’s statement. Though there is certainly smoke, there is not enough fire (depending on one’s point of view) to directly charge you know who.

If there was a way to speak to Mr. Mueller directly, I would thank him. It would have been easy to sit back and do nothing. But he chose to serve the American people and prove that justice is blind. Not even the President is above the law.

Your service to this country, Mr. Mueller, will never be forgotten. Enjoy your retirement.

A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America Book Review

The United States is made up of people whose ancestors originated from another part of the world. As their ancestors immigrated to America and became American, many changed their names.

Kirsten Fermaglich’s 2018 book A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America, examines how and why, over the past few decades, American Jews changed their names. Whether it was due to assimilation, prejudice or educational/economic opportunity, many American Jews chose to, for lack of a better term, change their names to sound less Jewish.

The best way to describe this book is as a niche read. It almost comes across as a college textbook. I would say that unless this topic is of interest or it is being used as reference for an academic work, this book would not interest the average reader. Though I have to admit that I was both saddened and intrigued by the latter chapters that spoke about other immigrant groups and ethnic minorities that also changed their names.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

The InBetween Review

Television shows that center around members of the police department trying to solve crimes have been around since the beginning of television. The question is, does the new show stand out from the pack or is it just another police procedural?

The InBetween premiered on NBC last night. Cassie Bishop (Harriet Dyer) has a unique gift: she can communicate with the dead. Her foster father, Detective Tom Hackett (Paul Blackthorne) turns to Cassie when conventional police methods are useless in solving the most difficult of cases. But his new partner, Damien Asante (Justin Cornwell) is not so sure that Cassie’s abilities will help them to find the perpetrator.

As police procedurals go, The InBetween is certainly unique due to the spiritual aspect of the show’s narrative. It was not the most thrilling of television programs, but at the same time, I did not have the urge to change the channel.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

The InBetween airs on NBC on Wednesday night at 10PM.

Throwback Thursday: The Cutting Edge (1992)

For many athletes, their ultimate dream is to represent their country at the Olympics. But for those whose dream is within reach, there are still obstacles that stand in the way.

In the 1992 film, The Cutting Edge, Doug Dorsey (D.B. Sweeney) and Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly) are unlikely partners. Doug is a professional ice hockey player with the drive and the talent to succeed. But he is also arrogant. Kate is a figure skater whose dream is to compete in the Olympics. But her dream is impeded by the rotating door of partners and her own spoiled view of the world.

Then her coach brings Kate and Doug together. They don’t exactly get along in the beginning. But then something changes. Their partnership on and off the ice becomes something more. Can Kate and Doug bring home the gold?

I have two perspectives on this film. One perspective is that the narrative and the characters are fairly cookie cutter. However, there is something about this film that is also harmless and mildly enjoyable.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Is Job Hunting About Quality or Quantity?

                Looking for a job, regardless of whether one is employed or unemployed, is not easy. The question that I wrestle with as an unemployed job seeker is the following: is the number of jobs that I apply for or applying for a job that fits my professional past and hopeful professional future more important?

                Someone arguing for quantity would state that the more jobs one applies for, the greater chance there is of being contacted for an interview. If Jane Doe is looking for a job and she applies to ten jobs over the course of an average day, she may receive an email or a phone call for about 1/3 of those jobs (which is utterly frustrating, but that is another topic for another time). The numbers are not ideal, but the more the jobs that she applies for, the greater chance that Jane has for being called for an interview.

                Someone else arguing for quality would state that it is a waste of time to apply for a large number of jobs. A job seeker’s precious job-hunting time is better spent on the quality of the jobs, making sure that they are a good fit for the position. However, there is something to be said for taking a chance and applying for a job in which an applicant might have some, but not all of the qualities and/or experience that the employer is requesting. It might be just enough to secure an interview and have the opportunity to sell yourself as the right candidate for the position.

                The question is, which matters more: quantity or quality?  My experience says both quantity and quality are equally important in the hunt for a new job. The more applications that a job seeker sends out, the more employers are likely to review their resume and possibly consider them as a viable candidate. However, it is also as important to apply for a job that the candidate can present themselves as a good fit.    

Readers, what do you think? Which is more important: quantity or quality when it comes to the job-hunting process?

Even Disney Princesses Deal With Crippling Mental Illness

Mental illness affects millions of people around the world. And yet, it feels like you are the only one who suffers.

Recently, Frozen star Patti Murin spoke about her battles with mental illness.

It takes courage, especially if one is in the spotlight, to reveal this very human aspect of themselves. We often elevate celebrities and performers to an almost g-d like state, forgetting that they are human and go through the same things that every human goes through.

I have to admit that I have no impetus to see Frozen on stage. The 2013 animated film was more than enough for me. However, I do admire Ms. Murin for having the courage to go public and talk about a subject that is very personal. My hope is that she inspires anyone who suffers from mental illness to get help so they can live a full and healthy life.

We continue to lose too many to mental illness. If her coming out has saved even one life, then it is worth more than all of the gold, jewels and treasures that this world has to offer.

Songland Review

Getting your big break in the entertainment industry requires luck, hard work and being in the right place at the right time. Or, perhaps auditioning on television for millions of viewers.

Last night, Songland premiered on NBC. The premise of the show is as follows: four unknown songwriters audition with their songs in front of three respected producers/songwriters and one guest musician or band who will record the winning song. Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally are the producers/songwriters who provide guidance to the hopefuls. The guest musician last night was John Legend.

After three of the four songs are chosen, the producers will work on the song with the song writers. After the song has been refined, the song writers will then perform the updated song. One song and one songwriter is chosen as the winner.

I really like this show. Unlike other competition reality show where the focus is getting into the entertainment industry, Songland feels authentic. As a viewer I was genuinely rooting for the contestants and on the edge of my seat for the entire episode.

I recommend it.

Songland airs on NBC on Monday nights at 10PM.

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