Monthly Archives: January 2017

Minding the gap

I spent a good portion of the afternoon arguing with the agent from the dental insurance company whose policy starts tomorrow (required to complete my ACA order) to try and establish my “assigned dentist.”

Good grief, I can still remember trying to buy regular health insurance (the Golden Rule plan I’d be replacing) when I first moved to Maryland and before the aforementioned “Care Act” took effect. It was a nightmare (which I don’t feel like repeating here), but was still easier than signing up for Obamacare. Seriously, 20 different policies from TWO different companies PLUS I had to choose separate vision and dental plans – why have one monthly bill when you can have three?

No, you can’t skip these two steps – I tried, and ended up delaying coverage for about 2 weeks (and being woken up by phone calls at 9am every morning for said two weeks saying “it’s time to finish enrollment” which I thought was already taken care of). #endrant

Back to my original story: apparently, there is only ONE in the entire metro Orlando area () – even though there were AT LEAST four offices within a 20-minute bus ride of me which claimed they accepted plans from that company, but nope agent on the phone insisted there was only one in-plan dentist in a 25-mile radius “…unless you want the Premium Plan.”

Seriously considered telling him to forgot it as I really didn’t want the plan to begin with. The good news is: it gives me an excuse to switch practices (which you read about in my “dental” category). The bad news is: I’m on my own for finding it… as long as I’m willing to pay “a little bit extra” for another plan… and wait a full year before true coverage kicks in (so that extracted tooth – from LAST FEBRUARY – isn’t getting capped for another year).

But, hey, at least I get to call them back tomorrow…

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Categories: Advocacy\volunteer, dentistry, editorials, Health, news, politics, ramblings | Leave a comment

Photo: What’s wrong with this picture?

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Hmm, maybe it’s the perspective.

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Review: Epcot’s inaugural International Festival of the Arts

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First off, today is Saturday. I never go anywhere NEAR the parks on a Saturday unless I absolutely have to…or unless I’m super bored and the event only happens on weekends like the inaugural Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

Theme Park Tourist couldn’t recommend it highly enough – even going so far as to suggest making it a multi-day event for art\food lovers. I wouldn’t that far, but I do see it’s appeal… as a way to draw attendance to the park between the phenomenally popular Flower & Garden Show and the overpriced pub crawl know as Food & Wine Festival. Nothing wrong with that – Busch Gardens hosts its own Food & Wine Festival during their slow season.

The problem (and you knew I’d have one) is Disney is trying too hard to make what little they’re offering sound like a lot more than what it is (kind of Hollywood Studios). I’ve been to arts festivals in Miami (Beaux Arts), Harrisburg (Kipona), Baltimore (Artscape), Tampa (Gasperilla Festival of the Arts) and, yes, even Shamokin has one (Anthracite Heritage Festival of the Arts) and none of them were like this.

It’s like the people planning this had never been to an arts festival.

I get this is mainly about drawing people into the park so they can spend their money in DISNEY’S stores and restaurants (so no blocking paths leading to attractions or restaurants) so even though they also advertise this as a “culinary festival,” those tasty “seminars” were tucked safely behind Disney’s trademark paywall.

To be fair, this was one of the weak complaints TPT made of the event: Little food, big prices and long lines. At Artscape, I couldn’t walk 50 feet without running into a food vendor, here the closest thing to fest food was the existing Funnel Cake House at the American pavilion (and, yes, it had a line too). In fact, there were times where I completely forgot I was walking through an “Arts Festival” rather than an overcast day at Epcot.

As I was walking through the various “Art areas,” I noticed they were dominated by house booths with house merchandise. Don’t get me wrong, ALL of the festivals above had their own merch tents – Artscape had several of them spread throughout their festival – but they had other vendors there. Some of them varied in price\quality (see early years of Heritage Fest), but they weren’t all house booths.

Normally, I’d give them some slack for being an inaugural event, but this is DISNEY and I know they can do better than this. Well, there’s always next year…

Categories: adventures, art, disney world, editorials, entertainment, festivals, florida, news, Orlando, ramblings, retail | Leave a comment

Confession: I didn’t watch the inauguration

I used to post moderately conservative posts on this blog back at the beginning of the primaries in 2015 so it’s kind of embarrassing to say I didn’t get to watch the inauguration. It’s not that I was “protesting” or “boycotting” it…though I was planning on checking out that whole inaugural International Festival of the Arts at Epcot this afternoon.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do either.

I woke up at 5am with a dry throat and sore stomach and after I got some water and used the bathroom I went back to bed…and when I woke up: it was 1:30 in the afternoon! Too late to do anything about EITHER inaugural event, but at least I was feeling better so that’s good.

Fortunately, I’m not worried about the Epcot thing all that much as it’s going through the end of next month (and, truthfully, the ONLY reason I’m even considering going is because I don’t want to “waste” my AP). Eh, tomorrow’s another day…

 

Categories: disney world, florida, news, Orlando, politics, ramblings | Leave a comment

Friday morning ranting

I was going to post today about an underpaid cashier outright refusing to help me, and while I’m told that “writing is therapeutic” and such, the truth is it only makes me feel more angry and frustrated which is why it generally takes me 2-3 days to write a post like that and once it’s posted the world has a record of me looking like an asshole.

Yep, that’s the way it works: someone does something to me, I get mad and my brain conveniently kicks into LOW gear when the person I’m forced to argue with has their adrenaline kicking in which means I’m forced to work twice as hard to come up with things to say in real time so I don’t look like an idiot when I know full well I’m going to sound far worse and then, helpfully enough, come up with a litany of things to say after the fact.

Trust me, if the people I deal with think I’m “exasperating,” they should try having that happen to them every time they go out and then coming back and writing about it. It’s fun – especially when I once again realize that “hey, I’m the villain on my own blog – again.”

It’s depressing, like when my so-called friend from Chicago said I “wasn’t smart enough” to be an Aspie and a few months later I see a chart on “Brian’s Asperger’s Advocacy” page on Facebook about “the differences between ASD and Asperger’s.” Guess who got 5/5 in the “ASD” column and 1/5 on the “Asperger’s” column? Is it a definitive diagnosis? No, is it still depressing? Yes, given the erroneous statement at the top of this paragraph – remember he IS an Aspie… and I’m apparently not. Remember, “there is no greater authority on Autism than someone WITH Autism.”

That’s enough for today. My brain woke me up at 6:45 this morning insisting I tell you all this. Maybe now it’ll let me get back to sleep…or just replay all the crappy things that have happened in the past six months. As tired as I am, I strongly suspect the latter…

Categories: Advocacy\volunteer, Autism, Chicago, Illinois, sensory processing disorder | Leave a comment

New Year’s resolution

I don’t generally make “resolutions” because I hate disappointing myself with promises I have no intention of keeping. However, I have decided to make a change to this blog starting today that will probably kill what’s left of my page views: No Disney, Universal or SeaWorld through at least the end of August if not later. This will force me to find NEW places to see and explore like Winter Park, Lake Mary, Downtown, Kissimmee. I might even spend an afternoon at Fun Spot or Magical Midway.

I have other plans that are still in the planning stages and I’m hesitant to reveal them now as I had to cancel LAST summer’s plans (a 3-week summer job and a 5-day volunteer job) due to a still unexplained stomach ailment that wreaked havoc on my body for 6 full months – and I didn’t even lose a single pound! That last part really frosts me as I was really looking forward to fitting into my old jeans again.

I am also looking into more volunteer and summer jobs – the former are for the immediate Orlando area which is difficult for since most of the opportunities are downtown – and I’m in Williamsburg\LBV area. As much as I’d love to spend six months helping the OSC (though working two or three 1-day events over same period would look better on my resume), I have no car, no friends with cars and I have found local cabbies to be unreliable at best. The latter is anywhere BUT Florida, however, I have extremely poor luck in this over the past few years, but I have hope that this year will be different.

Yes, THIS year will be different – and that regardless of what happens, is a resolution I plan to keep.

 

snoopy-goodyear

* HAPPY NEW YEAR *

Categories: Advocacy\volunteer, announcements, florida, holidays, job hunting, Orlando, photography | Leave a comment

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