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Affordable Care Cat

...which is an ADORABLE and very real blog on Tumblr. Go coo at it and then come back here.

This is late-breaking, I know, but I thought in light of the Supreme Court's ruling on the Afforable Care Act, it was apropos to mention the impact said piece of legislation has had on my life in the last 18 months.

As most of you know, I lost my full-time job in April of 2011 and have been picking up part-time gigs and putting in applications ever since. Losing my health insurance was a BIG fucking deal as I depend on daily psych meds to keep me functional. Even the generic versions can be pricey, and on a semi-regular basis they simply stop working and have to be reconfigured by my doctor--which usually entails an office visit. Without insurance I would basically have to weigh my sanity against my bank account's ability to pay upfront for care. I qualified for COBRA coverage but the premiums were over $400/month which is pretty steep for someone living on unemployment checks.

Fortunately, I only had to use the COBRA for a couple months before my father's military retirement health plan finally got its shit together and extended coverage to young adults up to the age of 26. (The extension of adult child coverage is one of the simplest provisions of the ACA, one of the first to go into effect, and a pretty radical transformation in the lives of many of my friends. They were suddenly able to afford to see a therapist/get hormonal birth control/have a goddamn annual physical again for the first time since aging off their parents' insurance after college. And there are literally millions of young adults in this situation.) I got on my parents' insurance, with monthly premiums less than half of what I was paying for COBRA, and was able to keep up with my meds and see the doctor when necessary.

I aged out of the young adult coverage in June of 2012, but once again the ACA stepped in to keep me from falling through the cracks. My pre-existing psych diagnosis qualified me for the state-run "high risk pool", a federally subsidized plan for those who would be priced out of the private insurance market. My premiums are still pretty reasonable, I can afford my meds, and my insurer is expressly prohibited from rescinding my coverage or denying a claim on the basis of my pre-existing condition. When researching my options last winter, I looked at some private-sector plans but was paralyzed by the fear that the rug would be pulled out from under me just when I needed it most.

The ACA isn't perfect. In places, it is a bizarre Frankenstein's monster of committee compromise. I still think we should adopt a single-payer model and ditch the idea of employer-based health care like a moldering banana peel. But the ACA has twice saved me from having to activate my backup plans for getting treatment.....which range from "Plan C: borrow money from parents" to "Plan Z: stumble across the Canadian border, THEN call ambulance".

I know feelings run high about this stuff and ultimately it does come down to personal priorities and ethics. Just. Whichever side of the issue you're own. Please understand the real impact health care reform makes.


So apparently there is ancient wheat cultivar called "farro" that the Romans used but that now is planted mainly as groundcover between cash-crop seasons. And certain avant garde chefs took this trash-crop and some 2000 year-old recipes and made something hella good out of it. So now farro is this big, fat trendy thing just like asiago cheese awhile back and goji berries a little more recently.

But you know what? I don't give a fuck who else is making this stuff.

I got my hands on some farro because the natural foods cooperative I belong to (it's like a farm share except year-round) is having a TRY NEW THINGS!! event for the month of May. Last week the "TRY ME I'M DELICIOUS" item was fennel, and it was indeed delicious when stewed with chicken and apples. So I was ready to give farro the old college try, too.

Last night I prepared the farro by boiling for 15 minutes (which is pretty damn simple and quick compared to other grain dishes like sticky rice) and then added salt, olive oil, lemon juice, and a little dried oregano. My intention was to make it a pilaf to go with a lentil stew I'd prepared two nights ago, so I just took a bite of the dressed grains to see how it would taste and...............yowza.

I ate about half the container in one go and only had enough willpower to hold off eating the rest until this morning. It's THAT nutty and flavorful and filling. I thought steel-cut oatmeal was awesome but it's still bland and starchy compared to farro (and the cooking time for oatmeal is way more of a hassle).

This probably makes me a hipster, but as long as I'm a hipster because I tried something a little obscure and I genuinely liked it on its own merits, I am more than okay with that.

Just don't expect me to wear skinny jeans anytime soon.

Fandom: Saiyuki
Title: Why Is It Always Bananas, Anyway?
Author/Artist:  thenakedcat
Pairing(s): Implicit 585, future 393 discussed.
Rating: PG-13, suggestive produce but no sex acts onscreen.
Summary: It’s all perfectly natural. But that doesn’t make it any easier.
Notes/disclaimer, etc: I’m Unitarian Universalist. Comprehensive sex ed is kind of a sacrament in our religion. That’s the only excuse I have for this. The title comes from a line towards the end of the story. A few content notes appear below. Feedback is very welcome as I haven’t really worked with these characters before! Happy 5/8!

How To Keep Your Banana SafeCollapse )

Saiyuki Burial FST

Title: White Jade Rabbit: A Saiyuki Burial FST
Author/Artist: thenakedcat
Rating: PG-13, this is messed-up-backstory music
Size: 16 songs, 1 hour running time, 96.4MB

Songlist below cutCollapse )
Download Package:
16 song files
Front and back cover art
Commentary document

Download Links:

.RAR Sendspace
.ZIP Sendspace

.RAR 4shared
.ZIP 4shared

Feedback welcome!

Help Us Support Planned Parenthood

Originally posted by lickety_split at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood
Originally posted by theljstaff at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood

Join us in standing up for reproductive health and education. Planned Parenthood, the organization that delivers reproductive health care, sex education and information to millions of people worldwide, has come under fire in the U.S. lately, with many politicians on both state and federal level seeking to end funding (and in a few cases succeeding).

During the month of May, you can send a specially designed Planned Parenthood vgift to your friends to help support this cause. (And if you need someone to send it to, frank is always happy to receive gifts!) There are three variations ($1, $5 and $10) for you to choose from, but they'd all look good on your profile when your friends know that you stand by something so important.


Thank you all for your help in our support for Planned Parenthood. This promotion ends June 1, 2012; LiveJournal is not affiliated with Parent Parenthood. For more information about Planned Parenthood, please visit: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

-The LiveJournal Team

(If you'd like to help spread the word that we're raising funds for Planned Parenthood, you can crosspost this entry in your own journal or community by using the repost button below!)

Saiyuki Fic: A Sanzo By Any Other Name

Fandom: Saiyuki Reload, Saiyuki Gaiden
Title: A Sanzo By Any Other Name
Author/Artist:  thenakedcat
Pairing(s): No pairings. Appearances by Konzen/Sanzo and Goku.
Rating: PGish. Profanity because Sanzo's a POV character but otherwise tame.
Summary: A hand, a name: pay the favor forward.
Notes/disclaimer, etc: Because I love the Burial arc like burning. Japanese forms of address used in this fic: I know it's supposed to be set in Tang-dynasty China but it's written in Japanese and A DRAGON TURNS INTO A JEEP. Historical accuracy can take a hike. Also, I have clearly gone into some sort of Minekura-induced insanity to write three fics (got one I'm saving for May 8) in a week's time after a complete dearth of fic for two damn years. At least it's an enjoyable flavor of insanity?

...Would Smell As GrouchyCollapse )

Saiyuki Fic: Rapunzel,Rapunzel

Fandom: Saiyuki Gaiden
Title: "Rapunzel, Rapunzel…"
Author/Artist: thenakedcat
Pairing(s): Tenpou/Konzen if you squint, Konzen + Goku bonding
Rating: G, completely safe for baby heretics
Summary: There’s more than one way to shut a monkey up.
Notes/disclaimer, etc: Inspired by the scene in Konzen’s bedroom where he names Goku, which seems to be the only time in Gaiden his hair isn’t up in the ponytail.

Read more...Collapse )

Stop the Arizona birth control bill

Originally posted by nagaina_ryuuoh at Stop the Arizona birth control bill
Originally posted by aberranteyes at Stop the Arizona birth control bill
Originally posted by lienne at Stop the Arizona birth control bill
Originally posted by e_mily at Stop the Arizona birth control bill
TW: abuse, rape, domestic violence
Originally posted by mama_hogswatch at Stop the Arizona birth control bill
Originally posted by roadnotes at Stop the Arizona birth control bill
Originally posted by rozk at Stop the Arizona birth control Bill
Originally posted by cluegirl at Stop the Arizona birth control Bill
Originally posted by aubergineautumn at Stop the Arizona birth control Bill
Originally posted by enchanted_jae at Stop the Arizona birth control Bill
Originally posted by mandatorily at Stop the Arizona birth control Bill

I just signed the following petition addressed to: Arizona Sentate, Arizona State Legislature, Debbie Lesko.

Stop the Arizona birth control Bill

If this bill passes the senate then women of Arizona would be forced to provide documentation that birth control is for medical purposes only. The "company" would not be required to cover birth control if it was for prevention of conception. Additionally this bill would give companies the right to fire women if they discovered that she was using a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy


Cluegirl note: Please don't roll your eyes and click past because you're tired of this nonsense. We're all tired of this nonsense. We're exhausted with the Tiny White Men That Other White Men Seem To Insist Need To Live In Our Ladyparts, and we're tired of being treated like cattle and chattel just because we're capable of conceiving life, but WE CANNOT IGNORE SHIT LIKE THIS! We must speak up, in our thousands, and we must speak up EVERY DAMN TIME! We must roar and shake the bars because every time even one of these appalling little incremental atrocities passes without uproar, then the Tiny White Men use it as a platform from which to to launch another, only slightly more atrocious attack.

Don't get tired, get mad. Talk about it. Yell about it. SCREAM about it. Deny nay-sayers sex over it. Do. Not. Be. Worn. Down. Because once the chains go on, it takes a lot of blood to get them off again.

This signal needs to be louder than all the 'stop internet limitations' signals. This Conservative Agenda includes the enslavement of better than half the human race. It really, really is more important.

Act like it.






I can't even.

How is this remotely conscionable to anyone that isn't a giant pile of hate and slime. Fucking FIRED for NOT WANTING TO CREATE LITTLE HUMANS.

This law is just on the hair side of reproductive coercion. When you take away a woman's choice to whether or not she doesn't have to get pregnant, odds are good that she is going to be impregnated against her will. Which is called reproductive coercion (or rape, depending on the situation) and such things are generally known as abuse. ABUSE okay people?


What the hell.

*rubs forehead*

Don't do this shit. Just. You and you and you and you and all of you and all of the people you know. Don't do this kind of stuff, okay? This is a bad thing. Don't do bad things. These lawmakers are trying to do a very bad thing and there is no acceptable reason behind it.



...Feminist Hulk got nothing to add to that.

Writer's Block: It’s a small world

Where is your happiest place on earth?

The Graduate Library at the University of Michigan. It felt so beautiful just to get <i>lost</i> in there among the shelves: titles leaping out at me, begging me to crack them open; the weight of so much accumulated human knowledge, but the weight of muscles poised to spring into action instead of a static weight; the occasional chance meeting with another human being startling as if encountering other people for the first time.

The first time I went there, I wanted to hump a shelf I was so taken with the whole thing.

Try to get THAT image out of your mind the next time you go to renew your library books.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Recent conversation with 7owti5 (for context, I recently moved from an apartment to a two-room sublet within a single-family home and I was unpacking as we chatted):

Me: Is it a bad sign that I have a grand total of two towels, but four teapots?
Lotus: It's a sign that... you need tea cozies?

In other apartment news, the couple I am subletting from are currently in a relationship rough patch that looks like the Ho Chi Minh Trail. However, since one of the few things they agree on is the economic necessity of my contribution to the rent and utilties, one pair of noise-cancelling wireless headphones is all I've needed to cope so far.