The claims section for my personal account on my health insurance provider's website gives me great anxiety lately. This is why.
CLAIM ONE: $24,254.25
I OWE: $500 Copay
A few notes:
Did I go to the emergency room ($500)? I did not! I went to triage in Labor & Delivery, which is I hope what they mean. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, though I have no idea why I would do that.
Did I get an ultrasound ($480)? Okay I did but it was for like two seconds in triage when they checked to make sure he was still head down. That should have cost like, $20 tops.
Anesthesia, $338? My first epidural didn't work so they had to give me another one. Then they did more stuff to me in the OR, don't really know what. This relatively conservative amount only makes me fear there is another claim coming from the anesthesiologist, and that the anesthesiologist doesn't take my insurance. If you pray, pray for me.
The line item I take the most umbrage with has to be $14,400.00 for three nights in a 8'x5' section of a hospital room, cordoned off by puke green curtains. My neighbor—yes I shared a room—did not want to use air conditioning, as it was presumed to be bad for the baby. She wailed to the nurses when visiting hours were over, not that I blame her, and demanded that her husband be allowed to stay. They said no but he stayed anyway. No one had the energy to forcibly remove him. I told the nurse, who insisted I could say no, that I didn't care. I wanted my person there, too, desperately, but I am, I guess, more desperate to follow the rules. In the middle of the night, after days of no sleep, I'd wake up and hear her husband snoring. The curtains would billow open and various family members of hers (of which there were many) would catch sight of me, sweaty, wrestling with my sweaty baby, tits out, on the verge of tears. $4800/night. Cool. READ MORE
Jay Prince, the East London rapper, tells The 405: "I don't know, I mean it wasn't really much else, there was no big thing that happened behind it—it was just me getting back into the swing of things and just trying something new." Good enough for me!
In the video above, Fightland teams up with Sailor Jerry to explore Venice Beach with Irish UFC featherweight Conor McGregor to learn how his obsession with movement has shaped his fighting style.
Title Shots is a series of stylized short films that take viewers inside the minds of professional fighters, providing a one of a kind intimate look of whats going inside their mind rather than what's going inside the octagon.
★★★★ An orange flash of sunrise came off a building to the west and through a crack in the blinds. The morning was cool still but humid. The uptown train came to a stop with a wash of heat across the platform, raising a sweat. On the ride downtown, a couple carried matching beach chairs. Every line of mortar was distinct in the upper-story brickwork. By midday, up on the roof, the sun was hot. It was pleasant to let it pin the body down in a chair, to feel the black plastic hot but not hot enough to hurt through a shirt. One eye had to stay squinted shut for a while, till acclimation set in. A blue-white haze enfolded an airplane and tinted the Freedom Tower; a blue-white glow flooded the retinas. By rush our the streets were shady and cool again, with a breeze moving through them. Dazzling beams of light came through gaps in the buildings without warning. The sun went down behind a line of bright-rimmed blue clouds, with nacreous ones above.
On the third Saturday of July in 1919, a number of military men—some recently discharged, some just off-duty, but many in uniform—began indiscriminately beating black men who happened to be walking in the area of the National Mall in Washington D.C. The attackers sought to avenge a white woman who had been allegedly “jostled” by two black men; she claimed that they tried to steal her umbrella. The Washington Post reported the incident under the headline "Negroes Attack Girl."
Washington, D.C., faced a particular set of racial tensions that summer. Local newspapers carried reports decrying the racial conflict tearing apart the nation in other cities, all the while publishing sensational stories about a new wave of crime caused by blacks in D.C. The Washington Post published a letter to the editor on July 13th that was concerned about the "crimes and outrages that have recently been committed." It suggested that, because "many of the suspects are negros" perhaps some "negro ex-soldiers" should be appointed to the police force. READ MORE
Having previously tackled Comedy Central's multitude of short-lived reality parodies and sketch shows, this time I’ll be examining Comedy Central’s large quantity of news parodies and warped versions of sitcoms. READ MORE
The second single from Lost in the Dream, and a rare example of a song that's cheery despite its constituent parts signaling, in unison, overwhelming depressiveness.
★★★★★ Sunshine came slamming down, and the shade was near opaque by contrast. Out on the Sheep Meadow bodies were mashed into the grass, and the grass without bodies on it was mashed down by the bodies of days before. The children made for the rocks and the trees beyond, in the farthest corner of the meadow. Walking across the open space in full sun was one of the few ways to feel uncomfortably warm. The big cumulus clouds were visibly moving at first glance, but seemed to slow down under inspection. One of them drifted over the sun, and the silvery deposits in the nearest boulder glimmered instead of shining. A bare-chested man with a ponytail and wristbands climbed quickly up the biggest rock and flattened himself out, blue-lensed sunglasses to the heavens. A huge clot of fungus was swelling from the foot of one of the oaks, and a Paraphidippus jumping spider clambered up the trunk, its metallic green markings flashing. The children sat on a bench in the shade to eat hot dogs and a stale pretzel, accompanied by irregular thumps from the sand volleyball court. A breeze found the small of the back. The two-year-old hopped down from his seat and tried out a volleyball stance. A cloud big enough to achieve grayness made things so dim, for the moment, that one of the street lights came on. Foreshortened from the edge, the Sheep Meadow was so full it was almost impossible to find a vertical or horizontal line of open green across it. On the next lawn over, a young man threw his leg over the backs of a young woman's thighs and pressed his face into hers. The gray clouds held their majority, or at least a ruling coalition with the white. All day the balance kept shifting. The afternoon sky in the west out the windows looked as if the clouds were still keeping control, but outside, the east and the zenith revealed themselves to be wholly uncontested blue.
“How many times must we drink from the bitter cup of injustice?” Bishop Victor Brown asked at the “We Will Not Go Back” march on Saturday, which began in Staten Island where Eric Garner, a forty-three-year-old husband and father of six, died a little over a month ago after being placed in a chokehold, by officer Daniel Pantaleo. “We will not engage in the luxury of ‘cooling off’ or the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”
The demonstration—organized by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network—was intended to pressure federal prosecutors to step in and investigate the death as a civil rights case. As complicated as police brutality cases are, bringing such cases to trial—much less attaining a conviction—in a place like Staten Island, where so many have family members who work in law enforcement, is a challenge.
“We need the Feds to come in right now,” Constance Malcolm, the mother of Ramarley Graham, an unarmed eighteen-year-old who was shot by the NYPD in February 2012, said while addressing the crowd. “We need accountability.” She was joined by Kadiatou Diallo, the mother of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed twenty-two-year-old who was shot by the NYPD in February 1999. “Too much pain, too much struggle. Too many tears, too many victims,” Diallo said. “This has got to stop, and we will be here until it does.” Graham was five years old when Diallo was killed; Ferguson’s Michael Brown was three.
Haha, no. But a lot of people are wondering about this, because Facebook just made an announcement:
A small set of publishers who are frequently posting links with click-bait headlines that many people don’t spend time reading after they click through may see their distribution decrease in the next few months. We’re making these changes to ensure that click-bait content does not drown out the things that people really want to see on Facebook.
Great. Who doesn't hate clickbait? Actually, here's a better question: Who even knows what clickbait is? Here's Facebook's working definition:
Click-baiting’ is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see.
Facebook says it will penalize publishers who do this by measuring the durations of their site visits. Sites that attract and keep Facebook users will be favored over sites that attract them and quickly send them back.
The instant media response here has been glee and relief—Facebook is stopping the march of Viral Media!—just as it was last time Facebook talked about "quality" content:
Which sites is Facebook targeting with this? Upworthy? Elite Daily? Distractify? All of the above? http://t.co/CXLKEgxQjI
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) August 25, 2014
RIP curiosity gap
— Sam Faulkner Biddle (@samfbiddle) August 25, 2014
This, also like last time, misreads (reasonably) what Facebook means by "quality." READ MORE
As much as I hope my children will come into their own as individuals, there’s something just overwhelmingly adorable about watching my kids be "into" the typical milestones of childhood. So while I very much dream my daughter will one day be some sort of hip-yet-together hybrid of Kate Bush and that woman who flaks GoldiBlox, there is just something irrepressibly cute about her obsession with all things horses and ponies.
To be clear, her horse obsession is the thing of I-Can-Read novels and made-for-cable movies. Though we live in a somewhat rural area, my wife and I are about as far from horse people as you get—not even in that faux landed gentry sense that Ralph Lauren enables. Come to think of it, I don’t think my wife even owned fake jodhpurs back in the early aughts when they were sort of cool. All of which puts my daughter’s love of horses on the level of fantasy and whimsy, which is where we all hope our kids will be when they're still rollin’ with the booster seat set; that sweet spot in time when they are becoming more independent but don’t actually hate you yet.
So as my daughter's seventh birthday approached, it was clear we had to do a horse theme, which presented a conundrum: There are riding rings and stables around the area that will host birthday parties, and even a few pony purveyors who will bring one to your house for kids to ride. These options are, of course, rather expensive. I just have a really hard time dropping serious cash on little kid's birthday parties, and by "have a really hard time" I actually mean "don’t have the funds to do so." READ MORE
There's a tiny island town in Brazil called Morro do Sao Paolo where the idea of "the honeymoon" was born. It takes a winding cab ride through the jungle and two boat rides to get there, but once you do, you’re hit by sweeping ocean views and the smell of passion fruit that mysteriously wafts through the air at all times. This is a place where cars aren’t allowed. Where beautiful Argentinean girls with tan legs and ankle bracelets invite you to parties on the beach. Where you dance to the Brazilian pop song of the moment in the rain at 3 am, while guzzling down drinks made of Cachaça and pure glee.
Lovers come to this place to entangle in hammocks (and then make babies), which is why it was a particularly awkward destination for my platonic friend Dustin and I, who were both smack dab in the middle of quarter life crises. We met in New York, but as two kids hailing from the West, a couple of years in the city left us burnt out and confused. He had been in South America for the past couple of months living off insurance money from a bad car accident (and recovering from a heartbreak). I was blowing savings I should have actually been saving before starting grad school in California (and lovesick for a boy back in Brooklyn).
When we arrived on this island, we had spent the past couple of weeks traveling from city to city, but everyone we met said the trip wouldn’t be complete without an indulgent tropical leg. By the time we got to Morro, we were both hard out of cash, so our first stop was the one bank on the island. We had noticed over the course of our travels in Brazil that many ATMs didn’t read American cards, but we didn't let that stop us from spending what we had. After a couple of failed attempts at the machine, it was apparent that we weren’t getting any money. We were faced with the realities that we might not be able to 1) get a room at a hostel 2) ever leave.
A wobbly and proudly silly pop song from London's Only Real. Like "Cadillac Girl," "Pass the Pain" tips back and forth between endearing and slightly irritating, and never quite lets us know if its relationship with the 90s is pastiche, tribute, or coincidence.
As hundreds line up for Michael Brown's funeral, the New York Times is running twinned profiles of twenty-eight-year-old Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and the unarmed eighteen-year-old he shot to death. This is how Wilson's begins:
On the early afternoon of Feb. 28, 2013, Officer Darren Wilson answered a police call of a suspicious vehicle where, the police said, the occupants might have been making a drug transaction. After a struggle, Officer Wilson subdued the suspect and grabbed his car keys before help arrived, the police said.
A large amount of marijuana was found in the car, the police said, and the 28-year-old suspect now faces seven charges, including possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and resisting arrest. The incident won Officer Wilson a commendation, presented by the police chief this year as Officer Wilson stood, hands clasped before him, and city officials looked on.
It was 1 a.m. and Michael Brown Jr. called his father, his voice trembling. He had seen something overpowering. In the thick gray clouds that lingered from a passing storm this past June, he made out an angel. And he saw Satan chasing the angel and the angel running into the face of God. Mr. Brown was a prankster, so his father and stepmother chuckled at first.
7:55 AM Thursday, August 21 — Barney's Warehouse Sale, The Metropolitan Pavilion at 19th and 6th
Length: Seventy-six people
Weather: 66 and partly cloudy
Crowd: Under caffeinated clothing addicts
Mood: Half asleep yet fully dressed
Wait Time: Fifteen-to-twenty minutes
Lingering Question: How has this “warehouse” not been cleaned out yet? READ MORE