3/31/09

Bad Customer Service.....Time for a Revolution (New Hairdo pics)


Someone asked me to post my new hairdo.....here I am.....I really hate pictures of myself so I had a hard time with this....my hair is without all the styling they do at the salon. 

But since we are on the topic of the salon, I think you'd find my adventure there interesting if not infuriating. I was so excited to do this that my 4-year-old son, who is usually attached to the hip to my hubby, asked to go.  He is not a very jittery child, at least not in public, so I never thought it would be a problem to bring him along.  I get there and I am greeted by 2 people. The cashier person and my hair stylist.  Immediately I am told by the cashier man that my son, who's 4, needs to wait for me in a different room and that kids are a liability and they do things differently there. In case you missed my last post, this is a spa/salon. I calmly explained that, he's ONLY 4 and won't ever willingly stay anywhere without me, plus, he will sit anywhere quietly just fine (which he did)..all he would need is a chair. 

As an aside, the more parenting you do, the more you realize the world is made up of 2 kinds of people, the ones with kids and the ones without. Through no fault of their own, people without kids have little patience with people who do. The cashier finally gave in once he saw my son start to wince as if he were to start crying if separated from me.  He got to sit a few feet from me at some nearby chair. 

When I made the appointment I was told haircuts are $40, period. I was decided on just getting the cut, using the $150 gift certificate I found the other day in the drawer, and saving the rest for two other haircuts; I'm thrifty that way.  The lady did a fantastic job on my hair and in my mind I'm thinking, "Finally, after 10 years,  a hair stylist that understands me and my hair type."  I won't go details here, but I have tons of hair salon "drama", from Prom all the way to the present.  Nevertheless, I was won over and would have absolutely come back in the future. 

It goes downhill as I approach the desk to pay. I express to the cashier man that I am very happy with my new do, blah, blah...all the fake pleasantries I hate. He begins placing all the products that were used on me on the counter and asks not IF, but which one I would like to purchase.  I'm thinking, "oh what the heck, just one....must be about $12 tops".  He starts to press keys on the screen for what seem like an eternity and hands me a refund for $50.  Wait a big ass minute I yell in my head.....I calmly ask him, "How much was the haircut?".  He reads off the receipt for me and says, the haircut was $70 and the hair serum is $30. (Plus I paid the hairstylist a tip of $15 and the hair washer $5......$120!!!! )  I tell cashier-guy  that I was told over the phone that cuts were $40 and he quickly retorts, "Yes, but you got Alicia, and she's our HIGHER TIER hair cutter".  Alicia was the only one there, I don't remember being given a choice between the TIERS? what a crock..... I walked out of there feeling completely cheated and fucked and very stupid.  I am usually ready to be cheated anywhere these days, but I was not ready for this.....so I really got F'ed

When I got home complaining about feeling cheated my husband explains that perhaps they charged me so high because of my $150 gift certificate and to just let it go for I did not pay for it anyway. I refuse to allow companies to use such tasteless practices to make money.  The funny thing about it is that I would have gone back again and again had they not been so sneaky and money hungry. They need to know gouging your customers does not make them want to come back. 

I called my mother, who I have never seen stand up for herself in similar situations and she tells me she would have raised pure hell in the store and even called the cops.  I love my mom, she was raging on the phone and it gave me enough resolve to write the company and complain through their online request form.  

Today after work I get an e-mail response from the company saying, 

"Dear Miriam, my name is Kathy XXXX,  the Guest Relations Manager at XXXXXX and I would like to talk to you about your experience here. Please contact me at xxx-xxx. My business hours are 9:30 to 3pm Mon-Fri.  Thank You, Kathy XXXX"

I will absolutely call her tomorrow, for to just charge 75% more than your stated price without as much as a warning in these times is simply robbery. 

Will keep you all posted. In posting this I hope to encourage others who experience bad customer service to speak up.  They work for us....and not the other way around. 



3/30/09

Phone Issues


I called T-mobile to get a new phone.  I just got a Motorola a month and a half ago and this one has a back cover that keeps coming off. I would have it in my pocket and all of the sudden I would notice that the back flap and batteries have come out. How annoying....I've always prided myself in using any phone I had until it truly died of "natural causes" and not be one of those people that gets a new one every season; it's my save-the-environment gene coming through. 

The lady at T-mobile tells me to open the back and tell her what color some sticker was, innocently looked and answered, "pink".  She apologizes a very syrupy apology and informs me this is a sign of water damage and that automatically it invalidates my warranty. I inform her that I had gotten it wet weeks ago but that I was talking to her from that phone and that was not the problem.  I explained that the back coming off was a technical/design issue and had no connection to the few drops of water it was exposed to a few weeks back. She again apologized profusely and said that no matter what.....the entire warranty is voided once that pink button shows up. So now I have to get a new/used phone.....Now, how will this misfortune end up being a blessing is still a mystery?  

Misfortunes May Be Hidden Blessings


I have been wanting to get my haircut forever. I had cut my hair short months ago and now, in attempts to grow it out, I am going through what my very tactful friend described as, the "awkward stage".  this weekend, in a dingy drawer, I found a Spafinder gift certificate for $150 I got on 2005 for my first Mother's Day.  Just so happens the gift certificate does not expire and it just so happens that some spas double as hair salons. I can't believe my blessing!! So I am going in today for free.....I am taking Luke (4) with me who will take his digital camera. He likes being an observer....

So when some misfortune happens in your life, rest in the notion that one day you just might just be grateful that IT happened

The closer you are to the misfortune the crazier this theory sounds....but, it happens all the time. The more I think of it, the more I see all sorts of misfortunes-turned-blessings. 

Have any....love to hear about them....

3/29/09

21,000 New Troops in Afghanistan....This is an OUTRAGE!!


I voted for Obama yet I am appalled at how few people who voted for him know about his latest military efforts in Afghanistan.  His latest move to send 4,000 new troops after already having sent 17,000 combat troops last month is an outrage and a slap on the face to all who voted for him because they wanted the US out of the Middle East.  I have looked everywhere online and not one place I am able to read SPECIFICS about why the heck we are there!  What ARE we doing there? 

One fact I did read on DemocracyNow.org was that on Thursday, "National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair estimated some two-thirds of pro-Taliban groups are motivated by basic concerns such as inadequate water supplies or access to education." Can someone tell me what 17,000 COMBAT soldiers will do there to alleviate this situation?   

In the NY Times I read they are being sent to help focus "the overall American mission more explicitly around efforts to root out Al Qaeda." and Defense Secretary, Robert Gates states how he thinks that, "Our long-term objective still would be to see a flourishing democracy in Afghanistan.” 

I'm FOR democracy just as any other American...but our country is in crisis....and we do not need to spend our money on external priorities.  And "According to the Center for Defense Information, the estimated cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will reach $864 BILLION by the end of fiscal year 2009".  This year (2009) we will spend about $33 billion more than last year's $140 billion. Do you have any idea how helpful this money could do in our country?

A site I like to visit often is called http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home
It takes the cost of our war in Iraq and gives you what the tradeoffs would be in your community. Try it...it's fun AND VERY SCARY.   I did and here is what I found out this dizzying info: "Taxpayers in New York will pay $58.9 billion for total Iraq war spending approved to date. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided: 10,854,125 People with Health Care for One Year" When I read this I see how all our country's problems could easily be solved if our politician really wanted to fix them......

I voted for Obama for change, not status quo......I am an American Citizen who is struggling with health care for my own family and I feel it's not right to prioritize in democratizing a country over the welfare of our own citizens. 

I will e-mail President Obama tonight about this.....you too can at his online e-mail contact at www.whitehouse.gov. 

Been Doing Weights....Getting Ready for Summer



I have been doing free weights now for a few weeks and I love it!!!! I cannot afford a gym membership  and have very little time anyway, so this works out best for me. 

When I use to do weights before a few years back, before the babies came,  I was very comprehensive about it.....doing EVERYTHING, from my shoulders all the way down to my calves. Yet, now, I am just working on parts I want to improve such as my posture, my shoulders so I can wear tank tops in the summer and my chest......and what woman does not want perky breasts.....

Oops, I just realized, this might not be a good post for men. My husband is a bit squeamish when it comes to women topics....so be warned....this is "woman" topic. 

So here is how I do it.....I made a fun dance mix.  I love dance music with a passion, reminds me of my club days and going to "gay" night at clubs and watching the men dance in such amazing ways....

Back to what I do.....Every other day I get all my materials, 
* 2 sets of varying hand weights (I use a 6 lbs. and a 12 lbs. set) and 
* those stretchy cords with handles on each side and 
* put on some very comfy clothes. 

In a journal, I had pre-drawn all my routines from a women's weight training book I borrowed  from the library and I open it up to the page for whatever I will be focusing on that day. I do abdominals every every time and with it I choose one or two other concentrations.  It might be shoulders, back or chest. I do 3 sets of whatever reps I can do on the spot. I do not keep track of any of this.....too busy, and not that important at this stage in my life. 

For Beautiful Back and Awesome Posture

I put the stretchy thingy on the door and then close the door so that it does not move.

 
I use the 12 lbs. pound weight and lean over the couch

For Defined Shoulders

I use the 6 lbs. weights to do this and do 3 sets of about 14. I find that in time I can do more in each set. 
I use the 6 lbs. weights for this.


I do not look like this....I only use the 6 lbs. weight for this. 

For Perky Breasts....Instant Lift!
Okay, so they are "girl" push-ups....but you have to start somewhere. 

I use the 12 lbs. weights for this....and they work!!

I use the stretchy thingies for these.  I stick one half behind the door, lock the door and voila!  you have your own home gym. 

Tighten Those Abdominals

These are very hard.....but my husband told me it has to be just little lifts...nothing huge.....take it easy. 
These look funny, but they work anther part of your abs.....I do not reach my toes like this guy

I do 3 sets of all 3 of these.....and believe me I take my time.....


3/26/09

Two New Art Creations

These are my latest abstract collage pieces using recycled magazine paper. They are both on 16"x20"x.75" gallery wrapped canvas and can be found at my Online Etsy Store, Miriam's Art, at www.MiriamsArt.Etsy.com for only $37 (not including shipping). Nothing beats ORIGINAL art. 



To see more samples of my collages go to my collage section of my Etsy Site

A Peak at My Clothing Design Class (3rd Grade)

I am so excited about my 3rd grade art class. We are creating paper dolls in our collage unit and designing their own clothes that will go on their dolls. 

We are using various book resources from the library to see various fashion styles throughout the ages. 
The children created a cardboard person and then used tracing paper to try out various styles. 
Here you see the person beneath. Once the design is completed children will make a pattern using transparencies and a think sharpie. 

3/23/09

Books Find YOU...Words Leave you...a CYCLE


All my life I've always had books come to me at just the right times to save me out of some rut. My parents divorced early on and I was a latchkey kid for many years so I ended up always looking for my own answers to life's questions.  When I began searching spirituality at age 19 I ran into a book about Taoism and it helped me center myself and generate more questions. Having always felt absolutely no deep connection to my Catholic roots, Eastern religions were like water to a thirsty plant.....I felt right at home. I later found the works of Chögyam Trungpa, author of countless books on Tibetan Buddhism, my favorite being, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism which helped tremendously in seeing ways in which my spirituality should belong to me and for the purposes of improving myself and never as an agent of separation among people, as I've experienced so many times in the past. 

By the same token, I've always found personal journal writing to be incredibly helpful in allowing my feelings to be identified clearly. I have journals dating back from when I was a girl. They are sitting in a huge plastic box and have come with me whenever I've moved all these years. I have not ever actually sat down and read them, but perhaps that was never the purpose of them. The only purpose of them was to allow me to get IT out, whatever IT was. The PROCESS itself was it's express purpose. 

I see both reading to find answers and journal writing as a cycle.....Books put new ideas in your heart and mind.....you incorporate these words from these authors in your life.....LIFE happens and you reflect in writing to let go of the old stuff. 

If there is anything I want my kids to know to do is how to find answers to their questions through inquiry, books and relationships. A funny story about my son that relates to this happened last night. During one of our long chats during his nightly hyperactive hour, Luke recounted that when he was a baby he remembers falling down the stairs after being accidentally brushed aside by our huge German Shepherd. I was amazed how much of that experience he remembered. From the fact that is was at night, who caught him, to how many people were home when it happened.  It led him to ask everyone in our family to tell him a story about when we were little like him; he was genuinely interested and would not stop until my husband, my mom, step-dad and I recounted some detailed story. I later heard him ask my husband, can we get a book on "falling"? Oh, I love him and his little curious 4-year-old mind...

I think I have nothing to worry about......

SO PUBLIC OUTCRY CAN HELP BRING ABOUT CHANGE

A very exciting article in yesterday's DemocracyNow Column, Public Outcry Forces Lawmakers to Say They’ll Recoup Millions in AIG Bonuses.  Shows that in numbers, we have the power to make the necessary changes this country needs. All we need is for people to remain informed, concerned and act on their outrage through outcry......easy enough....and we DO have things to be outraged about. 
Yet, We should not only be outraged when unfairness hits us, but when misfortune affects others as well.  I try to speak up against ALL injustices I experience in my life, it's my warrior spirit inside.....I made a pact with myself I'd rather be embarrassed than live with the regret of not speaking up...and oh, how regret bites. Like when a grown up talks down to a child in my presence and I am in the room, I WILL address it with you.  If a person make homophobic, racist comments to my face, I let them know I am not amused and that it's offensive. I actually don't even participate in gossip. It can be destructive and can break up a sense of community and trust within weeks. 
Back to the article. The idea of coming together as a people to make changes reminds me of my favorite movie of all time, V for Vendetta where the people finally stand up against tyranny and fascism and make the government work FOR them again.  If you have not seen it, rent it today.  Such a deep, deep message here. 

 

If only we stood up as a country and took it back, for example, from the lobbyists who fight to continue our financial support of countries that kill innocents, took it back from the weapons corporations that keep us in war, the food companies that keep us unhealthy....Oh, the changes we would make.  In 2 weeks we'd be out of this ridiculous war....

In other countries, most, even the poor and disadvantaged, is deeply involved in politics.....in this country, you mention politics and people shy away and give you some line about how that's just "the nature of things" or just shake their head and claim disbelief and quickly change the subject. Also, in this country, everyone is out to fight their own war. for example, the gays might only fight their local injustices, but ignore poverty or racism, the the moms I meet fight the food industry, but know nothing about women in Gaza whose children are getting killed.  African American children are being taught about their own history in the US but are not being taught about how their struggles are similar to other peoples throughout history.  How are we to see the many, many ways in which we are the same if we only ever stay in our own microscopic tight little world? 

As the saying goes, "If you are not outraged, you're not paying attention!"

Here's a poem by Martin Niemoller, 

"In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. 
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
 Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. 
Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic.
Then they came for me -- and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."

3/21/09

Do you think LIFE should be patented....well, it already is....

OH!!! I am permanently scarred by what I just saw......I was watching a movie on my favorite channel, LinkTV, called the Future of Food.  Here is the description offered in LinkTV.com. 
Image from Current.com 

"Is there anything more important than knowing where our food comes from, and who controls what we eat? The documentary The Future of Food has the disturbing answers. Today's food chain is far more complicated than the traditional farmer to table model - it has become a vertically integrated industrial complex. And with government looking the other way, genetically modified seeds have found their way into our food supply. The time has come to take back our food.This Link TV special, hosted by celebrated environmental journalist Mark Hertsgaard, investigates the corporate dominance of our world's food systems. 
We are joined in the studio by the filmmaker of The Future of Food, Deborah Koons Garcia, as well as University of California biologist Ignacio Chapela, founder of The Mycological Facility in Oaxaca, Mexico, a facility dealing with questions of natural resources and indigenous rights.
Image from Junemoon.8m.net

Koons Garcia's documentary The Future of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade.From the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada to the fields of Oaxaca, Mexico, this film gives a voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by this new technology. The health implications, government policies and push towards globalization are all part of the reason why many people are alarmed by the introduction of genetically altered crops into our food supply. The film also explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture, placing organic and sustainable agriculture as real solutions to the farm crisis today."

I will be reading more about this by ordering these two books below. Ordering them right now from my local library. 


An interview with with Michael Pollan about his book (Featured above).  Guys, I LOVE Bill Moyers.....I listen to him weekly on my Ipod. He asks very informative and direct questions.....been following him for years. 




(you can catch the other 3 parts on this blog called Rebellion




Let's Make Jelly Mom......

One of the great thing about cooking is its contagiousness. I had made some apple jelly back in January and when I came home with 2 pints of fresh strawberries Luke, my 4 year-old runs up to me and says, "I have an idea mom....let's make jelly".  We just cut up the fruit and 1.5 cups sugar, placed both in a big pot under low-medium heat for an hour and I kerpt stirring. Tomorrow we will make pancakes for breakfast and have some of our fresh, syrupy strawberry jelly preserved on top...YUMMY!

3/20/09

Memory Keeper

Each picture has an entry and the date. No on is allowed to take pictures from the album.

I grew up with maybe a handful of photos of me as a very young child; most of them are from when I was about age 5. No pictures of me as a baby exist. This need to know more about me and my past has always over-generated my memory- keeping muscle. It's no surprise to me then that I do wedding photography and LOVE it with a passion or that I am the only one in my family who always has a camera in hand....even at the most mundane, daily events. 

My husband sometimes complains about my (according to him) excessive monthly photo bill. Yet, I do not consider twelve 4"x6" images a month at all excessive.  I feel so strongly the need to tell our story. When our children are older they will see that their history began even before their memory began. So much love is recorded in these albums. 
Aside from adding to our family album monthly, I also write in a journal for each child about once every 2 weeks. I record all those adorable, sweet and wonderful kid moments that you think you will surely remember but soon come to forget. When they turn 18, they will each get to keep and read their journals. For example, my son, who is 4 years old, uses this very sweet exclamation.  Every time he is surprised by something he yells, "Ala Cazawee!" Once I heard it for the 100Th time, I ran to his journal to write it down and date it.  He saw this and he asked me what I was doing.  I responded, "mommy is writing down that you said Ala Cazawee so that when you are Evan's age (Evan is an older cousin) you will remember that you said such interesting words."  he quickly answers as a matter-of-factly, "I will still say Ala Cazawee when I'm a teenager mom." Of course, I also wrote down his response. What a complete treasure for a mom, and I did not even have to pay or work hard to get it. 
 I ask family members and dear friends to also write in the kids' journals so that they too give their love in writing.  
I add small sketches to illustrate my message. I do not add pictures to the journals. I have enough pictures in their albums. 


To see my Wedding Photography Website got to: Mir's Magic Moments Photography at www.MirsMagicMoments.com

To see some awesome samples of my wedding photography work go to: My Shutterfly Site

3/19/09

A life MOTTO? WORDS TO LIVE BY


I was talking to my wonderful friend Jen and she mentioned that she has a motto or a mantra that helps her remember her center. I got off the phone and thought, "What would my life motto be?"

I will list a few below:

1. Trust your heart. In terms of religion especially I followed my heart and it always led me to a teacher. Whether that was in the form of a book or a person did not matter. 

2. Everything passes. In the worse of times when you thought you'd surely never make it out okay, and surprisingly,  in time,  you see a tiny light again. It's the way of the universe. When a very dear friend took his life I experienced a pain like no other since. Childbirth and even being molested as a child did not compare to the loss of this soul in my life. After two years since his death,  I can finally think of him without breaking down. In the end, pain is just a very large ball of energy that works though your body and eventually wears itself out and exits; fully satisfied and never to return. 

3. The only thing anyone will EVER remember you for is how you made them feel about themselves. So true. I went to middle school in the NYC public schools, then attended a high school in Manhattan and then college for 8 more years and I cannot tell you one concrete set of ideas that I might have learned. Yet,  in VIVID details I could recount how each teacher made me feel about myself.  


Proud Latte-Drinking Liberal

Okay....I don't actually drink latte...ever.....but I am a proud liberal nevertheless.....

I caught the last part of this movie in HBO called Right America: Feeling Wronged.  It's a documentary about a filmmaker who travels across America to talk to conservatives. How scary it was to watch. Some people would call President Obama a Muslim, a terrorist and some even equated his youth followers to "Hitler Youth".......Plus, too many of them were beyond livid over the fact that he refused to wear a USA flag pin....and I MEAN livid. 

More than ever I feel proud to be liberal in my views of the world, politics....parenting....etc. I feel conservatives always come at you with their general fear of change.... Too often, their politics are very exclusive in nature as only benefitting the middle class and above and totally ignoring a huge segment of our population.  Overall, someone is getting excluded.  Their message is often expressed through anger and vengefulness and their wishes for the world flowing against the current of the recent consciousness. 

All my life I've felt most comfortable on the side of the oppressed. Being Latina I have seen members of my family mistreated just because they could not speak English. I myself, have felt the lowered expectations of most my elementary school teachers all the way up to high school. Pair that with a general distrust of authority and you have a liberal. 

I have made a vow to myself to not turn away from the gore of others' suffering, no matter who or where. I know and feel that the only thing that WILL save this world is our compassion for others. Once we turn all others into enemies, we have war. To have these people on this movie come out and proclaim that Obama reminded them of Hitler is a perfect example of the rampant ignorance that fills our world. Had these people taken one minute to questions their fear in an Obama administration they might see their own shadow scare them away. 

I think that is why buddhism appeals to me so deeply. It's philosophy is meant to release you from the bonds of wanting an end result and just turning your eye to the beauty that exist in all things; even the most mundane things. 

3/17/09

WE'RE STILL AT WAR......IF YOU'RE NOT OUTRAGED YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION

Okay people, I am so appalled that we're still there.....the American death toll is 4259.......remember when it got to two thousand and we were outraged?  

The total US wounded is 31,087. THIRTY ONE THOUSAND EIGHTY SEVEN....

 While on the topic of wounded soldiers, I watched a documentary movie, Body of War, Last night about the life of a wounded soldier who served in Iraq. He was paralyzed from the waist down. Since the injury he's travelled all over in his wheelchair protesting the war. But watching his daily life of catheters, pain, throwing up, no sex with his wife, being dizzy all the time.   I multiply his life times 31 THOUSAND......how many more lives have to be destroyed this way? I strongly feel that as an American it's your duty to watch this movie and see the gore of war....."Do not anaesthetise the war" says Phil Donahue, the man behind this movie. I agree.  I have never quite understood people who claim to support our soldiers, glorify the soldiers, yet will not face the ugly side of this war, such as the injured, the dead, the families who lost their sons and daughters.........I think all teens should absolutely watch it without question...The great thing is you can watch the trailer on YOUTUBE right now.....






Dr. Ira Katz, the VA's head of Mental Health,  said in an e-mail "Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in our medical facilities." To read this article go to CBS News.

Take 5 minutes and send President Obama an e-mail asking him to get out troops out of there.....NOW.....Sooner...faster........What ARE we doing there?!!!#$%

3/15/09

CALLING FOR FREE MAGAZINES


I am now moving onto collage mosaics in my work and asking anyone who has a pile of magazines and you live in W. Long Island, I could come get them off your hands. Just send me an e-mail. Thanks in advance for your help!

3/13/09

My SOUP FEVER CATCHES ON.....

As you may know I've been making healthy soups daily and freezing them to supplement our daily meals. I buy whatever is on sale and boil it with some healthy beans then grind half the batch to give it a thicker consistency. Below is one I made with lentils, carrots and cauliflower.  Luke, my 4-year-old came up to me yesterday and said, "mom, I want to make a soup."  I helped him get himself set up, he cut a bunch of potatoes and tomatoes and carrots.  We let it cool when done and ground up the whole thing. He has yet to taste it, yet I was amazed at how very excited he was about making his soup, his way.....

This one above is mine
this one above is Luke's before we ground it up......smelled delicious


Don't forget to enter my monthly giveaway.  Click HERE for more details. 

Nora's Obsession with BABIES gets scratched




Nora my 1 year-old (21 months) LOVES babies. She as much as sees a stroller and she starts gesturing towards it and want to go and see the baby. We had been at BabiesR'Us today buying gifts for a baby shower and got this new mom magazine which of course has tons of baby pics.....I've been cutting magazines now for over a year, so when I see a magazine, I do not think, "read", I think, "cut!"  I used a scissor and cut out all the babies and we glued them on these 4"x6"postcards I made from an old pizza box. I think we will be using them soon...they look very cool!

Don't forget to enter my monthy giveaway.  Click HERE for more details. 

A Dab in Watercolor......what fun!

I got a hold of a watercolor tray and forgot how fun it was to paint. I am putting this for sale on etsy. Wow...that was fun!
 How else would you use a pizza box...I used adult scissors to cut the lid of a pizza box into 2.5"x3.5" ACEO cards. I was going to use pastels over them but I like the cards as they are. I love the layered look you can create with watercolors.  
  
You can find these ORIGINAL watercolors for sale for only $4.50 plus shipping in my Etsy Store at Miriam's Art

3/12/09

President Obama.....Put Single-Payer on the Table...Fire Private Insurance


I just found this great article by Amy Goodman from Democracy Now about getting Single-Payer Insurance back on the table...an absolute MUST read....


Posted on Mar 10, 2009

By Amy Goodman

President Barack Obama promises health-care reform, but he has taken single-payer health care off the table. Single-payer is the system that removes private insurance companies from the picture; the government pays all the bills, but health-care delivery remains private. People still get their choice of what doctor to go to and what hospital to use. Single-payer reduces the administrative costs and removes the profit that insurance companies add to health-care delivery. Single-payer solutions, however, get almost no space in the debate.

A study just released by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watchdog group, found that in the week before Obama’s health-care summit, of the hundreds of stories that appeared in major newspapers and on the networks, “only five included the views of advocates of single-payer—none of which appeared on television.” Most opinion columns that mentioned single-payer were written by opponents.

Congress is considering H.R. 676, “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All,” sponsored by John Conyers, D-Mich., with 64 co-sponsors. Yet even when Rep. Conyers directly asked Obama at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting if he could attend the White House health-care summit, he was not immediately invited. Nor was any other advocate for single-payer health care.

Conyers had asked to bring Dr. Marcia Angell, the first woman editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious medical journal in the country, and Dr. Quentin Young. Young is perhaps the most well-known single-payer advocate in America. He was Martin Luther King Jr.’s doctor when King lived in Chicago. “My 15-minute house calls would stretch into three hours,” he told me.

But he came to know Barack Obama even better. Though his medical partner was Obama’s doctor, Young was his neighbor, friend and ally for decades. “Obama supported single-payer, gave speeches for it,” he said.

This past weekend, hundreds turned out to honor the 85-year-old Young, including the Illinois governor and three members of Congress, but the White House’s response to Conyers’ request that Young be included in the summit? A resounding no. Perhaps because Obama personally knows how persuasive and committed Young is.

After much outcry, Conyers was invited. Activist groups like Physicians for a National Health Program (pnhp.org) expressed outrage that no other single-payer advocate was to be among the 120 people at the summit. Finally, the White House relented and invited Dr. Oliver Fein, president of PNHP. Two people out of 120.

Locked out of the debate, silenced by the media, single-payer advocates are taking action. Russell Mokhiber, who writes and edits the Corporate Crime Reporter, has decided that the time has come to directly confront the problem of our broken health-care system. He’s going to the national meeting of the American Health Insurance Plans and is joining others in burning their health-insurance bills outside in protest. Mokhiber told me, “The insurance companies have no place in the health care of American people. How are we going to beat these people? We have to start the direct confrontation.” Launching a new organization, Single Payer Action (singlepayeraction.org), Mokhiber and others promise to take the issue to the insurance industry executives, the lobbyists and the members of Congress directly, in Washington, D.C., and their home district offices.

Critical mass is building behind a single-payer system. From Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz, who told me, “I’ve reluctantly come to the view that it’s the only alternative,” to health-care providers themselves, who witness and endure the system’s failure firsthand. Geri Jenkins of the newly formed, 150,000-nurses-strong United American Nurses-National Nurses Organizing Committee (nnoc.net) said: “It is the only health-care-reform proposal that can work. ... We are currently pushing to have a genuine, honest policy debate, because we’ll win ... the health insurers will collapse under the weight of their own irrelevance.”

Dr. Young has now been invited to a Senate meeting along with the “usual suspects”: health-insurance providers, Big Pharma and health-care-reform advocates. I asked Young what he thought of the refrain coming from the White House, as well as from the leading senator on the issue, Max Baucus, that “single-payer is off the table.” “It’s repulsive,” sighed Young. “We are very angry.” But not discouraged. I asked him what he thought about Burn Your Health Insurance Bill Day. “Things are heating up.” he chuckled. “When things are happening that you have nothing to do with, you know it’s a movement.”

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 700 stations in North America. She was awarded the 2008 Right Livelihood Award, dubbed the “Alternative Nobel” prize, and received the award in the Swedish Parliament in December.

© 2009 Amy Goodman