Monday, November 06, 2006

I figure I should update my blog because
(1) I just returned from PNHP's annual meeting in Boston/Cambridge,
(2) Tomorrow is election day, and
(3) It's been ages since I've updated this thing.

Since tomorrow is election day, it's time for me to make my official US Senate predictions. And here they are...

Safe seats:
California: Dianne Feinstein
Delaware: Tom Carper
Florida: Bill Nelson
Hawaii: Daniel Akaka
Indiana: Dick Lugar
Maine: Olympia Snowe
Massachusetts: Ted Kennedy
Mississippi: Trent Lott
Nebraska: Ben Nelson
New Mexico: Jeff Bingaman
New York: Hillary Clinton
North Dakota: Kent Conrad
Texas: Kay Bailey Hutchison
Utah: Orrin Hatch
Vermont: Bernie Sanders
West Virginia: Robert Byrd
Wisconsin: Herb Kohl
Wyoming: Craig Thomas

Less safe seats:
Arizona: Jon Kyl (v. Jim Pederson)
Connecticut: Joe Lieberman (v. Ned Lamont, v. Alan Schlesinger)
Michigan: Debbie Stabenow (v. Michael Bouchard)
Minnesota: Amy Klobuchar (v. Mark Kennedy)
Nevada: John Ensign (v. Jack Carter)
Washington: Maria Cantwell (v. Mike McGavick)

The more questionable ones:
Maryland: Ben Cardin (v. Michael Steele)
Missouri: Clair McCaskill (v. Jim Talent) **turnover**
Montana: Jon Tester (v. Conrad Burns) **turnover**
New Jersey: Bob Menendez (v. Tom Kean, Jr.)
Ohio: Sherrod Brown (v. Mike DeWine) **turnover**
Pennsylvania: Bob Casey (v. Rick Santorum) **turnover**
Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse (v. Lincoln Chafee) **turnover**
Tennessee: Bob Corker (v. Harold Ford, Jr.)
Virginia: George Allen (v. James Webb)

Final count: Democrats gain 5, leaving the Senate split 50-50 with ties to be broken by the Vice President.

I haven't been 100% correct since 2000, so don't have toooooo high of expectations for me!

On the House side, NPR predicts the Democrats will pick up 23 seats. Although I don't agree which seats will flip, I'd guess the Democrats will gain appoximately 23 seats, but likely no more than that.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Warning: small children should not read this post.


1. I HATE THE GODDAMN FUCKING WORLD.

2. I got 4 hours of sleep last night because I couldn't fall asleep until 2-fucking-A-M. I usually go to bed around 10 pm. As anyone who knows me will testify, I love my sleep. Anyone who comes between me and my sleep will be decapitated. But I went to bed last night at 11. And just sat there in bed, WIDE AWAKE. No reason. Just WIDE AWAKE.

I've been tired all day. Zoned out. Not really able to function. So I left work early to come home and take a nap.

3. This cloudy weather sucks everything unmentionable and further deteriorates my mood.

4. Ok. So I'm in my kitchen, getting ready to make a sandwich wrap because I want to eat and then take a nap for the rest of the afternoon. As usual, I'm in my bare feet. I have a bottle of worcestershire sauce on my counter when I reach over the top of it to get my kitchen shears. Not only does the bottle fall down, it falls over a box of Morningstar burgers (yes, I was making a very random sandwich wrap) and slides/flows onto and across my kitchen floor, all the way from the trash can to between the oven and the counter on the other side. Shards of glass all over the kitchen floor. Worcestershire sauce all over the kitchen floor. And my feet are still bare.

Cleaning up liquid mixed with fleks of glass is not fucking easy. Especially when you're only semiconscious and need a fucking nap.

5. I HATE THE GODDAMN FUCKING WORLD.

6. The Tut exhibit I was planning to see on Saturday at the Field Museum appears to be sold out, or at least that's what I understand from the online ticket ordering system.

7. My apartment smelled like ass when I got home because my pineapple is too old and hit the point. Now my apartment just smells like worcestershire sauce. I'm not sure which is worse.

8. I'm sitting here blogging and now I'm really fucking hungry AND fucking tired.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I have officially registered for the GRE. September 18. 9 am. And I'm scared. I don't know why. It's just like the SAT but with bigger vocab words. Any advice on GRE prep (I've been working on it for a while and I'm close to my target score) is appreciated.

I've also narrowed my list of grad programs to 5 yes and 4 maybe. The yeses: Harvard, Princeton, Penn, Northwestern and Michigan (sociology). The maybes: Stanford, Columbia, UChicago and Michigan (joint public policy-sociology).

Victims on the chopping block: Wisconsin and Berkeley. Despite having two of the best sociology programs in the country, they don't have the strongest faculty in my subfield and funding at both schools is questionable.

Monday, August 14, 2006

New York photos are posted here. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Contrary to popular opinion, my blog is not dead. It is merely on summer vacation until I think of something interesting to post. And speaking of vacation, I'm leaving for New York tomorrow for MY summer vacation. I'll be there late Thursday through midday Monday with a jaunt to Princeton in the middle. I should have photos when I get back, so watch for that.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Canadians healthier than Americans: study

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

Tue May 30, 4:32 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Despite complaints about long waits for services, Canadians are healthier than their U.S. neighbors and receive more consistent medical care, according to a report released on Tuesday.

A telephone survey of more than 8,000 people showed that even though Americans spend nearly twice as much per capita for health care, they have more trouble getting care and have more unmet health needs than Canadians do.

The survey was done by Harvard Medical School researchers who include members of Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates for a national health program in the United States.

"These findings raise serious questions about what we're getting for the $2.1 trillion we're spending on health care this year," said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard.

"We pay almost twice what Canada does for care, more than $6,000 for every American, yet Canadians are healthier, and live two to three years longer," Himmelstein added in a statement.

"Canadians had better access to most types of medical care (with the single exception of pap smears)," Himmelstein and colleagues wrote in the study, published in the American Journal of Public Health.

"Canadians were 7 percent more likely to have a regular doctor and 19 percent less likely to have an unmet health need. U.S. respondents were almost twice as likely to go without a needed medicine due to cost (9.9 percent of U.S. respondents couldn't afford medicine versus 5.1 percent in Canada)," they added.

UNMET NEEDS

"After taking into account income, age, sex, race and immigrant status, Canadians were 33 percent more likely to have a regular doctor and 27 percent less likely to have an unmet health need."

The researchers analyzed data from a telephone survey of 3,505 Canadian and 5,103 U.S. adults.

They wanted to see if there were any differences in health between Canadians, who have a tax-supported national health care system, and Americans, whose health care largely depends on private insurers, employers or the free market, with older Americans and the very poor cared for by Medicare, Medicaid and other joint federal-state health insurance plans.

The researchers found that U.S. residents had higher rates of diabetes, arthritis, chronic lung disease, high blood pressure and obesity.

"Most of what we hear about the Canadian health care system is negative; in particular, the long waiting times for medical procedures," Dr. Karen Lasser an instructor of medicine at Harvard who worked on the study, said in a statement.

"But we found that waiting times affect few patients, only 3.5 percent of Canadians versus 0.7 percent of people in the U.S. No one ever talks about the fact that low-income and minority patients fare better in Canada," she added.

"Based on our findings, if I had to choose between the two systems for my patients, I would choose the Canadian system hands down."

The researchers said the study population was representative of 206 million U.S. adults and 24 million Canadian adults but noted that only half the Americans contacted took part in the survey, and 60 percent of the Canadians.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

My pain reliever is causing pain

Oh, the irony.

I got the hiccups around 10 am this morning. I tried all the traditional methods to get rid of them, and nothing worked. They're deep hiccups, about every 5 seconds. Session #1 lasted more than an hour, during which time I call my surgeon's answering service. The doctor they directed me to confirmed that the hiccups are not from the anesthesia, and they're likely from the codeine. I'm supposed to stop taking the codeine for now and switch to an OTC like Motrin and especially hydrate myself for the next 48 hours. I'm not surprised, I had a hunch I was too dehydrated/didn't have enough food in my stomach for the codeine, considering I'd had four pudding cups since surgery, and I didn't eat for 12 hours before surgery.

I'm currently 25 minutes into hiccup session #2. That's approximately 720 hiccups per hour.

The surgery itself went well. I was out about 3 seconds after they started the IV. Apparently I got really cold during the surgery, so much that the 2 blankets provided by the anesthesiologist weren't enough and they had to get another from the surgeon's supply. After the surgery I was pretty alert and very happy. Like, drunk happy. My coworker took me home in a cab (thank you, Becky!), and my friend David came over in the evening to hang out. The company was definitely nice after surgery.

I haven't had any pain (except from hiccups) or swelling since the surgery, but as soon as the hiccups go away I'm going to ice my mouth again to ward off any swelling that might start.