Health Care

Will Spoon You For Money

A woman opens up the world’s first professional (and platonic) cuddling parlor. It’s in Portland, of course.

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On Food, Cancer, and the Illusion of Control

The organic spinach costs 70 cents more, and weighs four ounces less. The regular spinach, eaten every week, could make my husband’s cancer come back. Maybe.

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The Cost of Owning a Pit Bull in the City, Pt. 1

When people say that owning a dog is expensive they never really break down what that means, so I truly had no idea how expensive they can be, especially if you want a well trained, obedient dog. I am not saying I have that, FYI.

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A Fractured Skull, a Lost Sense of Smell, and a New Job

This summer, my friend Rachel Bailey was working as a waitress in Athens, Ga., doing social media for some restaurants, writing when she could, but not as much as she wanted—just scraping by in a town where it’s easy, sometimes even fun, to just scrape by. But she wasn’t having fun. She’d been out of college a few years and had imagined something more for her 20s. She was feeling anxious, stagnant and just generally crappy about life. And then she hit her head in a piggybacking accident and almost died. And then things got better.

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A Non-Grouchy Oscar Update!

LADY ON THE PHONE: Is this Ester?

ME: Yes? Subtext: Unless you have anything stressful to tell me.

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Working While Pregnant

Sometimes the Gray Lady does a good deed. I mean, she spends a lot of time preening, and baiting us with the travails of the city’s most obnoxious, narcissistic 22-year-old as he searches for a $3700-a-month apartment big enough to decorate like an Orientalist bordello, complete with a huge oil painting of himself. But sometimes she also manages to help an unfairly fired pregnant woman get her job back:

Ms. Valencia, who earned $8.70 an hour as a potato packer for Fierman in the Bronx, was told by her supervisors in August that she could not continue working unless her doctor gave her a full-duty medical clearance. (Ms. Valencia, who had a miscarriage last year, was told by her doctor that she should work only eight hours a day, no overtime.) Lawyers for Ms. Valencia said the company had violated New York City’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. Her story was the subject of a Working Life column on Monday.

My god, what employers will try to get away with when they think nobody’s looking. Sadder still is that most of the time, nobody is looking. If you’re working while pregnant, know your rights.

 

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How to Eat Right, Office Lunch Edition

Keep almonds by your computer. What if I don’t like almonds? Also, they’re expensive. STOP TELLING ME TO EAT ALMONDS, unless you feel like subsidizing my almonds, and/or dipping them in chocolate for me.

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The Cost of Things At My Annual Physical

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my annual physical, another random practice I found on Zocdoc since my insurance is always changing or not existing and, well, I’ve only gotten an annual physical one other time in my life.

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The Real Cost of Prescription Drugs

Last night, I left the office around 8:30 so I could make it to a pharmacy before it closed and pick up some prescriptions. The young woman behind the counter asked me for my name, and then her eyes got wide for a few seconds before she said:

“Your copays are insane!”

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Upselling at the Dentist’s Office

On a recent weekend, I learned that one of my friends had just begun dating a dentist, and later, at a party we all happened to be at, my friend L. wondered aloud if it would be rude to ask him questions she had about her fillings.

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The Cost of Getting Hit By a Car

Those of you who follow my Twitter and Tumblr already know that I got hit by a car on Saturday.

(You also already know that I’m fine, so we’ll just get that out of the way.)

I was walking through a crosswalk in Capitol Hill, and the car hit me in the middle of the crosswalk as it came to a full stop. I was surprised more than anything else, because I saw that the car was slowing down as it approached the crosswalk, which is an everyday sort of thing, and then it drove into the crosswalk and hit me, which is not at all an everyday thing.

Because I was surprised, and because I knew as soon as I picked myself up off the ground that I was not seriously hurt, I didn’t think to get the driver’s insurance, license plates, or contact information. To be fair, the driver didn’t offer it. She got out of the car, asked me if I was okay, I said I was, I started to walk away, some bystanders shouted “get her insurance!” and I turned around and she was driving off.

This meant that later, when I went to the clinic to confirm I was, in fact, okay, I paid the $90 against my deductible myself.

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