Archive for October, 2013

Post #120 My brain on writing…a picturesque poem…

Posted in art, Family, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by tenaciousbitch


BLOCK HEAD

This is my brain on writing

Eyes fixed on an unseen focal point so inviting

TOTALLY unaware of anyone or anything around me.

totally living inside a lovely maple tree

Swimming in oceans that don’t exist

Hoping everyone will just get the gist

Watching Shakespeare do a little dance

Watching Sinatra sing and prance

Ignoring the most basic of functions

All about tending to my creations

My characters eat and sleep and drink

But I just stand still, watching them blink

watching them cry, watching them get high

watching them die or maybe even lie

I’m just the stranger in their soup

Just a wizard outta the loop

Forging machinations often a lot more real

than anything plumbed from the surreal

With its open sores, its Machiavellian maw

So, is it any wonder that my lunch

Ended up as a stony crunch?

BURNT PIZZA 2

After an hour of its tenure in the oven

I thought I might fancy another slice

when my brain began to burst

Cuz I hadn’t consumed the first

My stomach began crunching into me

not happy about waiting another ten

for the un-charred variety of pie…

please pray for the pizza who died

in the making of this lyrical true

but please no boo hoo hoo…

Over and out from the pizza-murdering bard known as TENACIOUS BITCH…

~Ciao

Kennedy/tb

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Post #119 Death to Anthem Insurance and Leo Pharma!

Posted in beer, Family, fashion, humor, memoir, mysteries, nonfiction, relationships, true crime, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

Unfortunately, I have psoriasis, which itches and burns so badly it is often painful to wear pants and sometimes even SHOES . For those who might be unfamiliar with this medical malady, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes an overproduction of skin cells that, unfortunately looks like a cross between measles and leprosy, which can often lay dormant for years even decades, which my doctor cannot explain nor predict (sigh).

It’s not pleasant, nor is it pretty. Sometimes though it is often fueled by stress.  However, my stress level has been astronomically better since Nana moved into a nursing home (see http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/06/28/still-unhappy-but-there-is-a-dog-named-sue/  as to why my beloved Grandmother is such a pill).

The ONLY treatment that helps is a topical prescription called Taclonex, which I’ve been using for almost ten years. Originally, it cost around $500, which is a lot for a 100-gram tube of ointment. However, my co-pay was around $35, so I could live with that.

Oh, but that’s not the American way, is it? A mere 80% markup isn’t enough these days.  CEOs can’t really buy a new jet every year on that, can they? Leo Pharmaceuticals might not make the HOTTEST toy this Christmas that every 12-year-old clamors for, however, Leo borrowed the same marketing principles of supply and demand and used them to a very ugly end.

Once Leo Pharm realized that their ointment is the ONLY product that actually gets rid of psoriasis for people with chronic cases (though only short-lived for me), they acted just like your average street corner drug dealer peddling smack by jacking up the price like nobody’s business because they KNEW those of us who have this disease would be REALLY JONESING for more – because it’s so painful.

And additionally, for the first time in 15 years, I experienced being spot free, and I could WEAR SHORTS IN PUBLIC the entire summer here in Ohio when the temps often exceed 90 degrees (around 30 Celsius for my friends abroad). Until this product came along, I often had to go out to dinner on a HOT summer night (say around 80 degrees) wearing jeans because, otherwise, the hostess at the restaurant might notice the red splotches on my skin and ask if I have chicken pox?!! The vitamin D in the sun’s rays helps so tanning salons and sunbathing are an option but NOT a cure.

In the WINTER it gets much worse, so, of course, now I can’t afford the co-pay, which I’ll get to in a minute. And check this out…the recommended dosage from my doctor is 100 grams/week, but the price has escalated so high, my insurance (ANTHEM and most insurances) will only pay for 100 GRAMS/MONTH.

This is what’s wrong with our insurance and healthcare system in America. You have to destroy the capitalism within the system before anything improves. I hate to say that because I grew up in a houseful of Republicans, but it’s true. Capitalism does NOT belong in healthcare but the prickly part is how to remove it. But no one’s talking about or even suggesting such, and this is why OBAMAcare will fail. No, I’m not a communist or a fascist. But the free enterprise model of economics is awesome = except when it comes to healthcare. and I just want medical treatment that VISA isn’t going to SUE ME FOR if I can’t pay for it somewhere down the road, capiche?

In that, I’m not advocating Socialism for the entire country, but with capitalism running rampant within the healthcare system, you can’t try to impose a socialist idea like healthcare for everyone – damned the cost because the system is run by a huge network of greedy bastards who are still going to charge $40 for an aspirin in every hospital in America or $500 for a prescription that cost $80 to make (i.e. Talconex, but now it’s WAY more than that)…And all the folks in Washington seem to be doing is finger pointing. And oh, bloody hell that does a lot of good, does it not?

But politics aside, Leo Pharm and Anthem Insurance are the bad guys here. In that, when Anthem increased my co-pay to $598 for Taclonex in July, I called them. No, I’m not JOKING – FIVE HUNDRED, NINETY-8 DOLLARS! And this product doesn’t cure cancer! It doesn’t heal a hole in one’s heart!! It gets rid of a fucking RASH.

Anyway, Anthem gave me the spiderweb of runarounds. So, I charged the prescription to my credit card in July and August because I was miserable. Then, in September – it was still $598. I wasn’t going to buy any, in October, but my feet bled every time I wore shoes. I called them AGAIN about the $598 copay, and they said my doc needed to call in a Pre-Authorization before they would reduce the copay to $448! Are you fucking SERIOUS? But NO ONE had mentioned this before, and I thought -having danced on this fucking merry-go-round for years – that a Pre-Auth had already been done.

And the whole Pre-Authorization bullshit is a scam anyway if you’ve not had the pleasure of trolling through this corporate quagmire yet. HELLO, If my doctor didn’t think this drug was medically necessary, why the FUCK would she prescribe it? As if my doc just prescribed it just for kicks – just to scribble words on a page. Au contraire, in reality, a pre-authorization requirement is merely a tactic to DELAY the insurance company’s responsibility in paying for the prescription in the hope that the consumer/patient will not want to bother jumping through the WAY TOO MANY hoops required for people just trying to acquire the medical products/services they obviously need.

Anywho, my doctor’s office called Anthem. At which point, they said NO PRE-AUTHORIZATION IS NEEDED. Oh, my FUCKING GOD!!!  Can you say RED TAPE AT ITS FINEST?! I was mute with shock! The nurse kept talking about other scripts I’d tried that didn’t work, and all I could think of was that Athem and Leo were bending me over, and I was now powerless to do anything about it.

And that’s the thing that really gets me by the throat. All these fucking marketing gurus and CEO’S live to bleed as much fucking money they can from the average consumer without one single thought about the consequences to us, their bread and butter.  Everyone has to make a profit and pay their bills, but I do believe by now Leo Pharm has accrued its pot of gold by raising their price every goddamned year. 

So, the nurse called in another prescription. It didn’t do shit. So, I crunched the bullet and paid the fucking $448 for the Taclonex. I don’t know why it wasn’t $598. Maybe, an elf voo-dooed the computer, LOL. I didn’t ask. I just went WEE WEE WEE all the way home before the computer could change its mind! 🙂

However, the thing is – Leo Pharm is losing their patent, which means every Tom, Dickhead and Harry in the pharmaceutical world can produce this wonder drug at a fraction of the cost. So, Leo Pharm only has so much time to EXTORT additional money from their consumers before this particular cash cow is put out to pasture…

My pharmacist, God Bless him, was so sympathetic, that he searched high and low for an online coupon. He found one, but it was for the wrong prescription, and get this…they emailed me (Leo Pharm) actually WELCOMING ME to the Leo Family when this coupon card was activated! Isn’t that sweet…and check out my reply…

From: [mailto: kennedysmith@XXXXXX.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 3:38 PM
To: ‘JXXXGruberon@LeoP.com’
Subject: RE: Letter from LEO Pharma Inc

Thanks, but that discount card was activated in error. My doctor didn’t prescribe Talclonex Topical Suspension. She prescribed the Taclonex Ointment, so I couldn’t use the discount card mentioned in the letter attached.

And furthermore, I really HATE, despise and LOATHE your company for charging more than $1500 for Taclonex, when a stronger version of the very same product ALSO manufactured by Leo Pharmaceuticals is less than $300 in Canada for 20% MORE of the damned ointment!

I hope your CEO and the majority stockholders at Leo are enjoying their new yachts or new Mercedes they’re able to afford with the outrageous $598 co-pay I’ve been forced to charge to my Visa the last couple of months. And I so love adding to my ever-mounting credit card debt for medical expenses – especially due to the fact that I’ve been unemployed for most of the last 2 years.

I’ve heard that Leo will be losing the original patent on Taclonex in about a year, and I will be drinking champagne and clicking up my heels that day—unless my psoriasis is so bad that I can’t wear shoes, much less click my heels.

So, fuck you and your goddamned USELESS discount!!!

A very unhappy customer.

TENACIOUS BITCH

otherwise known as KENNEDY SMITH

Columbus, Ohio

US FUCKING A

________________________________________________________

I feel really bad that I verbally accosted the woman who sent me this form email, but I was livid, and I’ve mentioned my horrendous temper (i.e. http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/10/07/how-i-almost-murdered-ex-husband-2/  ), which is no excuse, but it’s too late now. It didn’t bounce back, so it wasn’t an automated address.  Maybe, she laughed because she hates Leo too. Maybe, it really upset her, who knows.

I just happened to notice the actual retail price on the receipt from the pharmacy. Talk about STICKER shock. And that’s why the copay has been $598. In that, all drugs that cost over $500 have a 40% copay on my policy, so the Pre-Authorization nonsense are just empty words.  But the poor schmucks answering the phone could never say that even if THEY KNEW why the co-pay had gone nuclear. And I wasn’t fabricating that part about the Canadian product. Check this out (from the website of the Canadian drug store):

You searched for:

Taclonex

Marketed as Dovobet Ointment in United Kingdom and Canada

Dovobet Ointment 0.05%/0.005%

CALCIPOTRIENE/BETAMETHASONE DIPROPIONATE

Manufactured by: Leo Pharma
This product is offered for sale by Day Lewis of United Kingdom

From $2.20 USD/gram

All of which is, so fucking typical, and, unfortunately, so fucking American…

Maybe, I should just move to Mexico. The lovely sun would definitely help my skin, and at least if the drug lords come after me down there, I’ll see ’em coming, and I can start shootin’ when I see the whites of their eyes…LOL…instead of yelling at them from cyberspace cuz Leo Pharm doesn’t list the address for their corporate office ANYWHERE online that I can find, probably for fear people like me will show up M-16s BLARING…:)

PEACE OUT from oh, my FUCKING GOD NOT AGAIN central…

Tenacious BITCH and her band of truth spouting hippies….

Kennedy/TB

Post # 118 – Will you PLEASE stop trying to give me CAKE!!!

Posted in Family, family battles, Food and beverages, friends, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

In April of 2002, my doctor  told me that he wanted to prescribe medication for high blood pressure. I was only 36 at the time, and I asked him if losing weight would help. He looked at me like I had a couple antennae sprouting atop my head, but he agreed to let me try and asked me to come back in three months. If I didn’t lost any weight, I’d have to take something to reduce my blood pressure, or I was risking a heart attack. A couple days later, I saw a pop-up online for E-Diets.com. I decided to check it out, and I input my height and weight in their BMI calculator, and I was shocked to see the word OBESE glaring at me from cyberspace. I decided at that very moment, that I was tired of being fat, and that I was REALLY going to do something about it.

Up until my son, Max, was born in ’92, I’d always been relatively thin. And though I gained weight from that pregnancy, the real problem was eating all the wrong food. Max’s Dad (Ashe) and I were separated, so I was a single Mom with two kids, who was up at 3 a.m. every morning giving Max a bottle until he was 15 months. I always made sure the boys had healthy food, but I was frequently grabbing fast food for lunch because I didn’t have time to pack anything – and forget about exercising. It didn’t even enter into the equation.

I modeled in high school and started modeling again in 2005 after I lost 60 pounds. The first photo below was taken in high school.  I weighed 119 pounds in the second photo, taken in college circa 1984…

JUST ME - SUMMER 82

JUST ME- FALL 1983 -DORM RM rev

I’m 5′ 7″ tall, and I weighed around 189 pounds in this lovely pic below before I started dieting in 2002:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Anywho, I did Weight Watchers for a year, and my only exercise was walking. I dropped 25 pounds in three months. My doctor was shocked, and my blood pressure has been normal ever since. In 2003, I hit a plateau at 150 pounds. So, I switched to the South Beach Diet, and I joined a gym. I started working out with weights, taking kickboxing, and various fitness classes. Later that year, my husband bought me a treadmill for Christmas, and I managed to get down to 125 pounds by the spring of 2004. I never thought I’d ever be that small again, but I wore a size 4 in the photo below, taken in 2005 by Steve Crompton – one of the many modeling photos I have from that time period…I’d gain a little back now and then, but I averaged around 135-140 pounds and wore between a size 6 to an 8 until 2009 when my

2552_hi

Dad died. I gained 10 pounds. No big deal, right? But it doesn’t end there. With all the turmoil that happened after he died (i.e. see http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/05/26/and-along-came-an-urn/), it was very difficult to maintain my good habits, and I’ll be honest. I drank like a damned fish. The grief kind of swallowed me. And I was depressed and terrified I’d end up having to take care of my Grandmother, which, of course, happened (see

https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/    or

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/06/28/still-unhappy-but-there-is-a-dog-named-sue/

…if you’re wondering why I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of living with my Grandmother).

And, then, from February of 2011 when Nana moved in with us and June 2013 when she went into a nursing home, I gained 18 pounds. Because she’s so damned picky, we couldn’t eat a lot of the healthy food we normally eat – like baked/grilled chicken or fish with brown rice and veggies. We were relegated to meat and potatoes because that’s all she would eat.

However, regardless of how many times I explained to Nana that I DO NOT WANT to eat cake/cookies/pie – which I’m not a big fan of anyway – or donuts, etc., she was constantly trying to get me to eat what she ate. She was like this alcoholic who didn’t wanna eat her sugar fest alone. However, at 96, it’s very difficult for her to gain weight, so she can eat anything she wants.

Now, of course, she has dementia, so I tried not to get irritated with her the last six months or so. But she didn’t when she first moved in with us, and if I had a dime for every time I had to say, “No, thank you, I don’t want half your candy bar (or whatever)”. I could’ve bought a Porsche or two by now.

And then, there’s my friend, Ruth, who I’ve known for 15+ years who stopped by yesterday. She bought 2 pudding cakes because they were on sale and realized she and her husband wouldn’t eat both and did I want one? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! But she foisted it on my husband while I was in the bathroom, and then, she left. So now there’s pudding cake to tempt me too! GODDAMIT! She was around when I porked up to 190 pounds and saw me shrink to a size 6 and how deliriously happy I was when I was thinner.

And, unfortunately, I sprained my foot in the St. Paul airport running to catch my connecting flight to L.A. a couple of weeks ago because my flight from Ohio was late, and I haven’t been able to exercise since.  And despite everything, I’ve been exercising 5 days/week since June, but now I can’t until my foot heals.

And I don’t have any photos of what I look like now because I won’t let anyone take my picture. That’s how bad I look. Even still, since 2002, I’ve done EVERYTHING in my power to avoid eating sugar, by politely refusing all the cake/cookies/brownies, etc.  Why is it so hard for people to understand – if I don’t lose some weight, I’m going to have to buy a whole new wardrobe, and I’ll be UNHEALTHY AGAIN? And it’s not like this is NEWS to anyone. I’m constantly bitching about my weight.

So, NO, I DO NOT WANT ANY F’ING CANDY or CAKE, OR DONUTS OR the COOKIES YOU OFFER EVERY SINGLE TIME I COME TO YOUR HOUSE, Ruth!! And I’ve been saying NO, THANK YOU for almost 12 FUCKING YEARS. Just because Ruth can eat all that and not gain weight – doesn’t mean that I can, obviously!!! And I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s really nice that Ruth and my husband’s relatives and other folks offer such delicious fare all the time, but PLEASE STOP.

Did you not hear me bitching the day I left for vacation, dear Ruth, when I was packing because so few of my clothes fit? She was standing right there. And don’t get me wrong, I love Ruth dearly, but she, along with most of the world just don’t get it. No, I’m not obese yet, but I’m pretty close. I am teetering on a size 16! My 14’s are tight!! I had to buy a pair of pants in Vegas when it turned cooler because I accidentally brought 3 pair of jeans that are all size 12 because so many of my jeans look alike. And I had a flat tire that day, which seriously shrunk the time I needed to finish packing, so I was rather rushed.

Yes, I realize there are a lot of women who’d be THRILLED to wear a size 14 or a 16. But I am a small-boned person who wore a SIX for five years, and I will DIE trying to get there again – or at least back to an 8/10, and it would help if the entire FUCKING WORLD would stop offering me shit full of sugar and corn syrup. And I don’t care what the media says. Read Jorge Cruise’s new book – The 100 Diet. It spells out very clearly that excess sugar and high fructose corn syrup is linked to several cancers, and often leads to fatty liver syndrome, which my husband had at one time and probably has again, but he hasn’t been tested lately. And, most everyone I know thinks I look fine. But I HATE THE WAY I LOOK, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the only opinion that matters.

Okay, I’ll stop ranting now. I feel much better :)…and, yes, I’m braced for the hate mail for those who think I’m just being vein…but I don’t care. Whatever your feeling about diet/exercise, etc., eating Ho Ho’s, etc., every day isn’t good for anyone.

Peace out from FATTY CENTRAL…

TENACIOUSbitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies…

Post #117 – How I almost murdered ex-husband #2…

Posted in Family, family battles, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

People who know me well, know I have a pretty volatile temper. And they know it’s best to don a crash helmet, and, perhaps, a bullet-proofed vest when my ugly ire reaches a combustible level. However, the good news is my threshold for tolerating bullshit is exceedingly high. In that, I don’t explode over someone forgetting to put the toilet seat down and such. So, when I go off, there’s a pretty good reason why.

That said, since my ex-husband, Ashe’s 45th birthday would’ve been tomorrow, I thought I’d share another Ashe-tale, so to speak. For the 411 on Ashe, check out this post:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/02/21/post-51-ashe-the-obnoxious/?preview=true&preview_id=1552&preview_nonce=39272ff7b6&post_format=standard

We were living in a rather spacious 3-bedroom apartment in West Virginia. Ashe was unemployed and making little effort to find gainful employment. My son, Tim, had just turned two. Ashe was taking care of him and allegedly job hunting while I was doing hard time as a paralegal in one of the many cubicle prisons I labored in over the years before going freelance. My boss was an obnoxious ambulance chaser to boot, so my ability to abide Ashe’s nonsense was weakened.

I came home one hot summer evening to find my apartment completely trashed, per usual. I knew exactly what Ashe and Tim had been doing each day because the chaotic mess told the story. Whatever toys Tim had played with would be everywhere but his toy box. Their mealtime detritus strewn about: a Jeno’s frozen pizza box on the couch, a plate speckled with ketchup and fish stick crumbs on the coffee table, a couple plates awash in pancake syrup beside the couch, and sippy cups and plastic cups with rapidly drying residue from Ashe’s Mountain Dew, etc., dotted the landscape of my living room.

If that weren’t bad enough, I went back to mine and Ashe’s bedroom, sat down on the bed to take my shoes off, and what was lurking under MY pillow? A dirty diaper! No, I SHIT you not…, LOL …

Ashe had this habit of folding dirty diapers into little packages and re-taping them. They looked like sullied little footballs. And, you guessed it, ladies and gents, this little football was NOT full of pee. It was a shitty football indeed.

And that, my friends, was the shit that broke my patience meter. I stormed into the living room, screaming and fist-pumping the poopy diaper in his face.

“What the hell is this?”

“What?” Ashe asked innocently. And know that he didn’t leave that shitty little gift for me on purpose…not that it mattered.

 “I found this godammned diaper in our bed, asshole, UNDER my fucking pillow!” I screamed, shaking the foul football bomb at him – about an inch from his face.

“Really?” Ashe asked, weaving sideways to avoid getting smacked in the face with Tim’s shit ball while trying not to erupt into ripples of burping laughter he often exhibited when he knew he’d done something really stupid, and he knew I was going to go ballistic, but the image of whatever happened like my discovering the accidental poo bag under my pillow was too funny to completely curtail a couple giggles despite the life threatening hell I was about to unleash upon him.

“Yes, really! How the fuck did it get there?” I asked…and did I mention Tim was next door at the time playing with the neighbors and their new dog? So don’t be wagging your fingers and shaking your heads thinking I was swearing in front of my 2-year-old because…I wasn’t. No, no, no, that was Ashe – who, years later, got more than one enraged sermon from his Grandmother after our son, Max, called her a “bitch” not once, but twice one Thanksgiving when he was 2 or 3.

“I don’t know,” Ashe replied, his hand now cupping his mouth trying to trap the 9-year-old-ish belly laughs that were dying to escape.

If looks could kill, Ashe would’ve been dead well before winter graced the Appalachians that year.

“I see,” I replied in a rather staccato tone, still ready to strangle him. I walked into the kitchen, dropped the diaper into the over-flowing trash.

“I’ll take that out when I go get Tim,” Ashe said flashing that smile that could charm the pants off a nun.

“You better, or you’ll sleeping on the goddamned sidewalk!”

Ashe nodded, buttoning his lip – again trying to stifle his laughter. I never quite got why he thought my temper was so funny…

“And why the hell can’t you clean up more during the day?! I’m really getting sick and tired of coming home to this goddamned pig shy!”

“I was busy taking care of Tim.”

And that, my friends, was it—my bullshit barometer snapped! I picked up a steak knife in the dish drainer beside me without a thought, and I lobbed it at him.

Luckily, I have pretty decent aim anyway, and when I’m stoked on adrenalin, for some odd reason, my aim is even better. I’m sure if I ever learned archery, I could give Katniss a serious run for her money. So…the lethal weapon landed into the drywall with a THUNK about 2 inches from his big, stupid head. And it kind of wobbled from the impact. This moment kinda resembled a Bugs Bunny cartoon where there would’ve been a BOING-ing sound, but instead, peels of laughter were heard.

Most men would be livid and threaten and/or exact some serious physical damage to my person after something like that. But not Ashe. “Oh, my God. I can’t believe you just did that! Look how close that is to my head,” he said looking at the knife, than back at me – amidst a gaggle of belly laughs.

And why was I so ferociously peeved that taking care of Tim was his excuse for not tidying up? Because Tim napped every day for 2-3 hours, giving him plenty of time to straighten up and wash a few dishes.

And that was life with Ashe.  When he got angry, it was often for ludicrous reasons, for example, this post:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/09/07/post-75-about-ashes-logic/

But when you assumed he’d get pissed off, understandably so, like tossing a knife at his head, he busted out laughing. At this point, I couldn’t help but start laughing myself. Then, I shook my head—thinking…we just aren’t gonna last. Sadly, I kicked him out a month later. We reconciled briefly but finally divorced less 4-5 years later.

THEREFORE, heed these words:  Don’t cross Tenacious Bitch – cuz she won’t hesitate to cut and/or stab a bitch…

Over and out from fracked up central –

TB/KS…

AND DON’T FORGET – if interested in doing a guest post or contributing to my book, go here  for the guidelines: 

http://lunaticslounge.com/submission-guidelines-for-guest-bloggerscontributors/