The Best Oprah Moment

I was reading an article today about new shows coming onto the airwaves this fall and the shows that are returning. It said that returning shows will doing something “big” in order to reattract viewers. One of the biggest examples of this was when Oprah gave everyone in her audience a new car. It wasn’t just a big moment for TV, but it was also a philanthropic move on Oprah’s part because her producers sought out people who really needed a car to fill their audience with. The person who wrote the article said that this was the single greatest moment in Oprah show history. I disagree.

There have been a lot of moments during an Oprah show where I have been reduced to tears. There has only been one where I had to pause my Media Center and lay my head down on my desk and just weep. It was about two girls who are Rwandan and survived the genocide of the Tutsis’. One night a group of Hutu soldiers invaded their village and their hut. These two girls escaped out of the back and climbed into the trees for safety. They stayed there all night and listened to the sounds of their family and friends being slaughtered.


After the violence was over, these girls walked several days until they found a refugee camp. They slept during the day and walked all night as to not be found. If they were found they surely would have been brutally gang-raped and then slaughtered. They stayed in the refugee camp and then came to America where they were adopted by a loving family. Here they received an education and found peace at last.

They were on the Oprah show discussing their story a couple of years back. After they told their story on a show about the Rwandan genocide, Oprah told them that their parents had not been killed, they were still alive and the producers of her show and found them and brought them to America. They also had had more children since the genocide. Watching these two girls run into the arms of their parents they presumed dead for over a decade was the single greatest moment in Oprah show history. Just remembering it now brings tears to my eyes.

I think all the people who were lucky enough to get a car that day can agree, that even though they so desperately needed these cars, those two girls reuniting with their parents they were convinced were dead and meeting their brothers and sisters for the first time, far outweighs someone else purchasing you some much needed transportation.

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Summer is (almost) over

Now that the kiddies are back in school, “summer” is officially over. If only we could tell the temperatures that. In honor of the longest summer of my life (due to having a baby during a 3 month school break with 2 other kids at home) I’ve decided to blog about the top ten best things about summer and the top ten worst things about summer.

The Best Things About Summer

1 – BBQs and having nice thick cut hamburgers grilled to perfection.

2 – Ice cream.

3 – Running out the door and not having to layer up in coats, boots, mittens, etc.

4 – Going for walks in the evening when it has cooled off.

5 – Going swimming.

6 – Vacations.

7 – That something in the air that makes you feel carefree.

8 – Flip Flops.

9 – Sunshine.

10 – Enjoying the beauty of nature through camping, hiking, boating, and feeling the cool mountain air.

The Worst Things About Summer

1 – Sunburns.

2 – Mosquitoes.

3 – Family reunions and your Aunt Edna pinching your cheek and commenting about how much you’ve grown, and you’re 35.

4 – The kids being out of school.

5 – 100 degree temperatures.

6 – Having to work inside when it’s so beautiful outside.

7 – All the wildfires stupid kids start with illegal fireworks.

8 – Mowing and watering the lawn.

9 – Having to wear a bathing suit in front of people if you want to swim.

10 – Who are we kidding? Summer is pretty fricken’ great and a million times better than winter.

What are your favorite and least favorite things about summer?

Blogging is therapeutic?

I regularly blog, not because I think anyone reads anything I have to say or cares what I have to say, but because it is a place where I can get things off my chest and move on. A lot of things have stopped bothering me once I put them out into space (in this case, cyberspace) and I find it helpful. It’s kind of like journaling only other people can read it and make comments on what you write.

So what do I have to say tonight? I am very politically passionate and active in my community. Me and some of my friends formed a Young Democrats Club in our high school admist our fellow students tearing down our signs and probably using them as toilet paper. We would never do that to their signs, but they felt they had the right to do that to ours because they had been taught that they were better than us. And by us I mean us non-children of Conservative Republicans.

I remember knowing from an early age I was different from my peers. My Dad says I’ve always had a strong sense of what was right and what was wrong and acted upon it. I didn’t care if I was the most unpopular kid in school, I befriended all the other outcasts because they were nicer people than the other kids. We would never put them down, but they felt like they could tease, taunt, and torment us because they had been taught they were better than us. And by us I mean us non-rich-spoiled-brat-get-designer-clothing-for-kindergarten kids.


As long as I live in Utah, I will be different from everyone else. I cry for the little girl (me) who sat in Primary and was told that her family wasn’t as good as everyone else’s family because my parents weren’t married in the temple. No one thought to embrace my sister, brother, and I as we sat alone each week in Sacrament meeting without our parents. No one cared to point out our courage. Sometimes I’m amazed I can look past all that and still show up to a church every Sunday where the members of my early childhood always made me feel less than. It’s probably because I believe the church is true even though the members aren’t. And because the ward I live in now is the most non-judgemental, all-embracing ward I’ve ever experienced.

I will also always be different because I’m a liberal. In Utah that’s a swear word. It stirs up hatred in so-called Christian people. All I can say is, Jesus rode a donkey, not an elephant. I am a liberal because of my faith in Jesus. To quote a Primary song, “Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too.” I can’t reconcile what Jesus taught with what the Republican party stands for. Tell me how demonizing people for their economic status and sexuality is loving them and treating them kindly?

I was the lone voice in most of my classes my senior year calling East High School’s ban on a Gay/Straight Alliance club as prejudicial and wrong. I even heard one idiot say that if we had a club like that in our school, it would make other people gay. Puh-leeze, you’re either gay or you’re not and no club is going to make you gay. That’s like saying I’m going to start a club that’s going to turn your eyes blue.

Anyway, this is what I’m thinking tonight. I’m always going to be different. I’ve always been rejected by my peers because I’m different. Do I care? Sometimes. You can hate me because my political values or religious values don’t match yours or the culture (Utah) in which we live. You can feel like you have the right to demean me, tear down my posters, scratch bumpers stickers off my car, call me names, etc. all you want. Because we all know you’re the better person, right?

A Thing that must Go!

I have a bone to pick with you Utah. Your little decals that represent your family on the back of your minivans must go. Hello child molesters, here are the names and ages of my children…have at them. Seriously, SERIOUSLY, remove them. Not only are they so cutesy they annoy me to a level beyond reason, but they make you look like an idiot.

The End.

Ogden Clinic Business Office – YOU SUCK

I have been going to the Ogden Clinic my entire life. My pediatrician Dr. Balkin was there and I have been a regular at the Instant Care with every sinus and kidney infection of my life. Seven years ago, when I had my daughter, the on-call pediatrician at the hospital where she was born recommended a new pediatrician just starting her practice at the Ogden Clinic. We LOVE her. She is a wonderful doctor. She is so kind and caring and has been there for us during some pretty hard times, like when a premature 6 week old Baby Cole was hospitalized with RSV. I never want to have my children go to a new pediatrician, but we might have to.

You’d think a life-long patient at Ogden Clinic would be treated with more respect but no. This is another instance where I loath the private pay insurance health care system of America and long for the national health care of other countries like Canada. Then what happened to me today wouldn’t be an issue.


A few years back we had crappy insurance. Now we have wonderful insurance that basically pays 100% of everything minus the copay. The aforementioned crappy insurance didn’t pay what they were supposed to pay to Ogden Clinic and instead of giving us time to work it out, they sent several bills of ours to collections. Since we are a “collections patient” we now have to pay on a cash basis. Apparently this lasts for three years and went into affect in January 2007.

We took Dane to his 2 week check up back in July and were forced to pay $60 instead of our regular $15. I’ve been waiting for our $45 reimbursement check since then. Today we took Dane to his 2 month check up and they made me pay $70. I said I wasn’t going to pay it because I was never reimbursed from July’s visit. She said I physically had to go to the business office and pick up my check. Whatever. I begrudgingly paid the $70 and went about the visit.

After the visit, I dragged my two kids and baby over to the business office. I explained the situation and said I wanted my reimbursement of $45. They said they wouldn’t give it to me because I had another visit today and they’re going to treat the $45 as a credit to my account until the next visit is paid for by my insurance. If I have a $45 credit on my account, why the f*%& did I have to pay $70 today? Shouldn’t I just have to pay the $25 the $45 credit doesn’t make up for? When I argued with the lady and told her this was bullshit she told me that I was lucky they still let me be seen here, like I’m a piece of garbage they deign to treat. It was after that that I grabbed my kids and stormed out of their office. Screw you business office!

I admit, I’ve had more than my fair share of collections due to financial difficulty and crappy insurance. I haven’t always kept track of my bills as good as I could (and have been rewarded with a crappy credit score) but every single thing that has ever been sent to collections has been paid. I’ve never filed for bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan or credit card. Don’t you dare treat me like the scum of the earth. Your customer service is for shit Ogden clinic and I’m going to spread this message as loud and as far as I can because I know it’s way more expensive for you to attract new customers than it is to retain old ones.

I really don’t want to get my children a new pediatrician, but the business office is practically forcing me to. If they’re going to retain my payments every time I have a new appointment when am I every going to see my money? Dane has a 4 month, 6 month, 9 month, 12 month, 15 month, 18 month, and 2 year old appointment to contend with. I can’t afford the $490 out of my pocket that my insurance already covers if I never have hope of every getting reimbursed.

So I say, screw you to the business office at Ogden Clinic, and more appropriately the self-righteous bizz-natch I dealt with today. You win my you suck award of the day. And I’d also like to say, as an adoption caseworker, frequently clients ask me who I would recommend as a pediatrician when they adopt a baby. I always recommend Dr. Cook and the Ogden Clinic, but no more. In fact, I’m going to warn them against the Ogden Clinic and start referring them elsewhere.

Ruminations

Recently my feelings were hurt by someone I thought loved me or at least pretends to in my presence. I was told of some things they said about me behind my back that were actually quite laughable. The things they said didn’t hurt me, it was the fact that they felt like they had the right to “attack” me when I wasn’t there because our political beliefs differ greatly. I hate it when people act all peachy-keen and lovely to my face while secretly harboring feelings of ill-will against me. If you don’t like me, then just tell me. I promise we can call an uneasy truce and act quite civilly when we must.

Hey, I know I’m an oddball in Utah. I’m a scientific anomaly that should be simultaneously feared and studied. I am the elusive and not-well-known liberal. I don’t flock like the other sheep to the closest radio every time Sean Hannity spouts out his illogical thoughts on the correct American way of life. I actually came up with my political ideas and beliefs on my own, and without aid of my parents (the two most apolitical people on earth) or the popular culture around me. Conservatives in Utah have been taught to fear and hate me. I threaten them somehow. The fact I’m a woman who can think for herself and can articulate intelligent arguments against them scares them even more. That’s why they must attack me. This I’ve come to expect/tolerate from the ignorami around me. What I take offense to is members of my own family feeling perfectly okay with breaking familial loyalty and blood over political “issues.”

To sum up, my feelings were hurt not because this conservative attacked my liberal beliefs (which weren’t really beliefs…they just took issue with a particular store I spend a lot of money in), my feelings were hurt because I feel like this person doesn’t respect me and I’ve done nothing to harm them. I simply live my life the best way I know how. I try to be a good person, I try to make the world around me a little bit better, and I try to be in the service of others. If that’s not good enough because I cast my ballet to the left instead of the right, then it’s your loss, because I think you’re missing out on a great relationship you could have with me.

Intervention

“Intervention” is possibly the best show on television. My husband says that I like “social work shows.” Yes, there are a lot of social workers involved in addiction recovery, but I think I like it because I’ve always rooted for the underdog. All of my life I’ve always cheered for and pulled for the one who was least likely to succeed. Whether that was the most unpopular kid at school or the team that had zero chance of winning.

Every episode I spend the hour praying, begging (with whom, I don’t know) that the featured person or persons will agree to go to treatment. My favorite part of the episode is at the end when they update the person’s story and it says how long they have been sober. It is always gut-wrenching to me if a person refuses to go to treatment, or if they go to treatment they get kicked out.

What I love most about the shows is it shows the strength of families. These families pull together, put differences aside, in order to save the addicted person they love. When I hear some of the individual’s stories of abuse, molestation, and abandonement I think to myself that of course they’re are addicted to a substance now. They never had a chance.

My favorite interventionist is Candy. She truly feels each person’s story. Oftentimes she is in tears by the end of the intervention. She cares so deeply and invests so much of herself into helping the families comes to terms with the person’s addiction. She is the kind of person people listen to because she is comes to each intervention with an open heart and she is a recovering addict herself.

I think if I were an addict, the only interventionist that would convince me to go to treatment is Jeff Von Vonderon. He’s straight-forward, to-the-point, and doesn’t bullshit people. He tells it like it is. He says the same thing every time to each addict. He always says “where here with people who love you like crazy and are fighting to get you back. This is just inviting you to join that fight.” He’s awesome and is like a less-publicity-seeking Dr. Phil.

Last week’s episode with Allison, who was a pre-med/music student before becoming addicted to inhalents (her method of choice was computer duster), was incredibly powerful. She would not sit for the intervention and so her family had to inact their bottom lines. She was getting money from a married sugar daddy and her family called him and threatened to tell his wife if he didn’t cut off her money. They called the Humane Society and got her cats taken away (she would frequently not buy them food in order to buy the computer duster). When she threatened suicide when her cats were taken, the police had to forcibly take her to the psyche ward of the local hospital. After that she agreed to go to treatment and she seemed to thrive there. By the time the episode aired she’d been clean for 3 months and was finally dealing with the pain of molestation and total abandonement of her father. To Allison I say, I’m rooting for you all the way.

This show touches my heart. I can’t help but think of all the people who would probably be dead by now if this show hadn’t of come along. This is what reality TV should be. If we can’t use the media to truly help those in need, what’s the point? A medium like television should be more than just entertainment because it’s impact is so powerful. Its already impacted me and I hope it goes on to help more people.