I have been on a very long hiatus from this blog..... I have been gone so long I almost didn't remember my password this time. But the fact is.... I would read the posts and log in every week or two to clean up the comments section....but I would never have time to post or make any updates of any kind.
I have been dealing with health issues over the past few months/weeks. I have also been overtaken by stress. The photo posted is from my bp machine. This is what life has done to me. (have thrown up numbers worse than this). I have been struggling on the job front as some may know. I recently found out that my company has been sold...and I may be going through the same process (yet again) that I went through just a couple of years ago... a major change-over where you have to prove to people why they should keep you. This will be the 3rd change-over for me, and I literally can't take it anymore. I work in a job that is not only less than desirable but that is also stressful. Change-over situations add even more stress to what is already there. So I have had to check out. Blogging hasn't been anywhere near the top of the list of things to do..... in fact, it hasn't even made the list at all.
After going to a required physical, more problems cropped up. Some of it is a manifestation of all the stress I have been under. Part of it has to do with a combination of genetics, a lack of healthcare, and a lack of physical activity (which I attribute to the stress). To make matters worse...and what has made the stress worse has been the fact that I have been dealing with health issues without any insurance. I am looking at several out of pocket doctor bills. I managed to obtain private insurance when the chaos all started...but I quickly found out that all I had was an insurance card.... not health coverage. Aetna refuses to pay even for simple doctors visits, even though the plan I purchased covers them. Aetna is by far the worst of all insurance companies both in the group and in the private insurance markets. Do yourself a favor and avoid them if you can. It has been nothing but a nightmare within a nightmare for me. They have literally made my health worse.... not better.
My current employer unfortunately does not provide comprehensive health coverage.... it only offers a mini medical plan that robs your payroll check but offers very little in terms of healthcare. I believe it only covers doctors visits... but nothing in terms of actual medical tests or specialist care. In other words, you can see a doctor, but it wouldn't cover anything that a doctor might find. Knowing that....and considering how much it would take out of my pay... I elected not to sign up. Of course ....although not feeling great at the time, I was not as sick... and decided to take the chance, hoping that I would be able to find a more suitable job that matched my education and experience. But being in the St. Louis job market (a job market built on lousy service jobs) I was not so lucky. After 2 years... not much changed. So I have been getting worse and worse. Now, with my insurance falling through, I really can't see the doctor for any in depth consultations.... at least not right now.
Luckily ACA or The Affordable Care Act will go into full effect (the bulk of the law) in just a few months. Hopefully i won't need it.... but it will be good to know that it may be an option. But the numbers that I have been seeing for the cost of the exchange plans has me wondering if this will be a viable option. The numbers are just speculation. No one knows what the actual costs will be (impossible to know until it is clear how many people will be in a particular pool...the more people enrolled the better....or at least that is conventional wisdom). The amount and availability of subsidies is also an unknown. With my income (between 30k & 36k), I would definitely qualify for additional assistance. But at the moment.... I am at the mercy of Aetna and the private insurance industry...and for all practical purposes, I have no coverage. (Aetna has started the rescission process on me, after just 3 weeks on their plan). It would have been better if they would have rejected me from the beginning...allowing me to find another provider. Something told me not to go with Aetna....because I knew their reputation. But their plan looked inviting and I fell for the lies they told me. I'm worse off now than if they would have rejected me from the start. Now it will be harder to find any other company. Aetna is truly a criminal organization masquerading as a legitimate business. I hope they are the first health insurance fraud to fold after ACA takes effect.
On top of that... not much else has gone right. At some point I will write about some Match.com stories. I'll just say this... the dating world sucks...and yes... women (a good portion of them) are nuts. When you are a Black guy attempting the online dating thing... you quickly realize...within the first 2 or 3 weeks, that you were born the wrong color. And the women have no problem letting you know it. To be successful....or to even get a decent response rate.... let's say 1-2 women interested per month.... you have to be white (this is the most basic requirement), and you have to be financially comfortable.... that means that the women want to see an income of $60-$70k if possible. They may take you if you make $50k...but you have to be extra good looking. A lower middle class or working class guy.... earning a bit less is not good enough....can never really be good enough. Those are the 2 big strikes against me... being Black...and not earning top dollar. Reading the profiles, the women make it clear that they want you to maintain or provide a certain lifestyle for them. It's like they are for sale. It seems much more like a business transaction... like someone selling a sofa on Craigslist as opposed to an effort to get to know another human being and to potentially find a life partner. It is odd indeed. The Black women are looking for thugs, some sort of strange Tupac rapper clones with college degrees....or guys with tattoos and "street sensibility" or "street cred" (of course they claim they don't want this...but that argument was lost years ago.... this is by and large what they want). Even many of the so-called good Black women... the "Claire Huxtable's" and the Lisa Bonet's have regressed and now see this as the ideal guy. It is strange indeed. And you have to earn top dollar for them too... they are the worst. So I don't tend to fit what they want.
Asian women primarily want white and/or Asian men. There are rare...very rare... exceptions. But for the most part they will not date a black guy....no matter what kind of person you are. I find them to be extremely (and openly) racist.... they are worst than any other "community" in that regard. Many will post in their profiles that black men need not apply. I have read things like... (paraphrasing)... 'If you are a black Guy...please don't contact me. I cannot stand black guys. Gross'. Basically Asian women (even if they liked a black guy) cannot introduce you to their families. It is considered an embarrassment... because it is seen as degrading...and "dating down". I could be Barack Obama...and it wouldn't make much difference.
White women also see dating a black guy as an embarrassment and "dating down". They too don't want to be frowned upon by their friends and families (at least that tends to be the case for the kinds of women I tend to go for...educated...ones that would make a good girlfriend, wife, mother to children, and share my interests, etc). Black & White couples are common in other regions of the country. But St. Louis has lagged behind. St. Louis has been recognized (in a number of reports) as one of the most segregated cities/regions in the U.S. and the dating divide is just another reflection of that. This is one of the reasons why I would love to leave St. Louis and start over somewhere else. And they are also very money focused for the most part.
Basically the women on the popular dating sites are vultures. I would say 2/3 are money focused gold digger types.... Extremely shallow.... lacking in substance of any kind. The remainder have some sort of problem with race, are crazy black women who have no clue what a good man actually is, or can't be honest on their profiles about who they are.... (usually lying about weight). Genuine humans with souls are few and far between on the online dating sites. Participating in that kind of madness has been draining... adding to my stress.
Would love it if the higher power (if he/she exists) would send me a wife at some point.... or at least some wife candidates. I'm in no hurry to get married.... but I at least would like options. It's a shame that just because of my skin color.... I don't even have the options that other men would otherwise have. It's strange knowing that if only I were white.... or if I were some homicidal thug covered in tattoos with drugs, murder, rape or some other felony on my rap sheet.... I would have more options in terms of women. It's a very strange world we live in. One thing is for certain... the "gentleman" is dead. Unfortunately that went out of style immediately after the Cosby era.
I have a ton of things going on that will keep me away from blogging anytime soon.... I am in the process (if all goes as planned.... and with my luck... this is truly a toss up situation) of changing jobs, and moving into a new place. I also have a volunteer gig that I put on hold when I got too sick. I am also dealing with managing health issues.... and my stress situation isn't getting any better. All of this is taking place simultaneously. Hopefully things will settle down in a few months (but something tells me that won't be the case).
At some point I will try to make a blog post once per week. But to be honest... I haven't been inspired by anything on the political front. The Republicans are still the same incompetent, reckless, irresponsible, obstructionist racists that they've always been..... scum... with Democrats not doing much better. Obama is just lurching along right now.... behaving like a lame duck even before his second term began. I am just hoping that he doesn't lurch us right into another war... writing more checks that we can't cash. Any new foreign policy missteps (wars) could dwarf Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. is in the worst foreign policy position that it has been in since the 1930's. No one respects the U.S. anymore. No one respects our word. In many parts of the world, the U.S. is now the evil empire that we once disparaged. I don't see it getting better anytime soon. Until a new foreign policy approach is allowed to emerge (something to replace old Truman Doctrine & Reagan era thinking) the U.S. will be in trouble. U.S. policymakers still believe that the U.S. should be involved in every conflict in every part of the world. It's insane. Idiots in Washington D.C. see war or threat of force as the answer for solving every foreign policy dispute. There is no innovative thinking taking place in foreign policy circles at all. U.S. foreign policy should be based on realism and pre-emptive problem solving.... not drones and pre-emptive attack. It's no coincidence that the best foreign policy scholars in America (those who were right about Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) are realists. I just hope Obama will listen to voices like theirs.... and not Republican war nuts like John McCain.
The healthcare reform/ACA rollout and immigration reform will be interesting to watch. I don't think Republicans will allow any serious, meaningful legislation on immigration reform.
But I will try to find something to blog each week (starting in a few weeks). Trying to get my health situation under control will take some time. Meanwhile, I have been trying my best to take it easy.
I also want to start doing restaurant reviews for various spots in St. Louis. I have done two reviews here so far. This will give me a reason to write.
I spend most of my time these days reading news journals, listening to programs on the NPR site, and using Twitter and Facebook. Not a huge fan of Twitter or Facebook. But they are useful. I use FB primarily to stay connected with a few relatives. I could give you my FB page information.... but I would have to kill you.... since I use my real full name.
Enjoy the last few weeks of Summer.