Saturday, June 6, 2015

My Drunk Review of... Fifty Shades of Why Do I Keep Doing This to Myself



I’ve decided to get drunk and watch Fifty Shades of I Obviously Fucking Hate Myself.  Being drunk is necessary for this because I don’t think I could handle it sober.  I’ve assembled a Sexually Frustrated Spinster Kit that includes: Cheap Booze (Bud Light Mixx Tail Hurricane and homemade wine slushies), frozen Boston Market Dinner, and doughnuts so I can eat my feelings later.  All I’m missing is several cats, but I’m sure in this instance we can just substitute with a large and neurotic dog.  Ina Garten assures me that if I can’t go milk the tears of angels themselves, store bought will do.
I present to you now…
All the thoughts in my head while becoming increasingly inebriated while watching Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • I’ve cracked open a Mixx Tail and I don’t know why, but I’m disappointed that it’s so so much worse than I anticipated.  I feel like I probably should have just bought some Southern Comfort and made them myself.  But I felt that good booze would have been wasted on this.  That’s why The Captain is sitting this one out.  He too faaancy.  You already know.
  • The good news is…  compared to the Mixx Tail, this frozen dinner is delicious.
  • It’s been so long since I’ve had any alcohol that I’m already starting a buzz by the end of my Mixx Tail.  I’m just going to watch Frozen until I’m finished eating.  A pre-palate cleanser.  Since I’m about to ruin my entire life by watching this bullshit.
  • Fuck you, Hans.  You piece of shit.
  • Alcohol is really not helping me quit smoking.  I kind of have no shits to give.  I had to give them up for this.
  • No, neurotic dog.  Staring at me from the other side of the chair doesn’t increase your chances of eating my dinner instead of yours.
  • Damn it.  It’s 2:30 in the morning.  It would be rude to run the blender.  I guess I’ll just pour my white grape juice and Sangria concoction in a cup and drink it without slush.  Which takes away about 25% of my enjoyment. 
  • Don’t break the seal yet.  Don’t break the seal yet.
  • The seal has been broken.
  • Okay.  I’ve wasted an hour.  I have to do this.  I’m sorry Playstation.  Just close your eyes and think back to all of the documentaries and TED Talks we’ve watched along the way.  The things that make us look smart and cultured.  Not this.  Never this.
  • I can never skip through the previews.  How many fucking movies is Julianne Moore IN this year?
  • The music is the only redeeming factor in this movie.  Actually, this movie has tainted quality music.  Damn it, Annie Lennox.  You’re better than this.
  • Oh, all of his fucking clothes are grey.  It’s some of that “symbology”.
  • Oh, you dress like someone’s grandmother to show just how different you are?  Are you unique?  Are you a special snowflake Ana?
  • Why is Iggy Azalea leading the clone army? 
  • Could we not find another way to tie everything together besides his last name?
  • Do NOT identify with how fucking awkward she is.  DO NOT.
  • Shit.  I identified.
  • I’m going to offer you a job based on how badly you failed at this interview.  I’ve been an awkward fucking mess in interviews and not one person has offered me a job or to sexually assault me because of it.
  • But holy shit, Jamie Dornan. 
  • Who talks like this?  Why are you taking her sandwich?  Why are you letting her take your sandwich?
  • Jose just called you his heart and opened the door for you.  How do you not know he wants to bang you?
  • Do Ana and Bella have the same mother?  Who the fuck has a flip phone?  Outside of Bigfoot shows anyway.
  • What a pleasant surprise I found you at your place of employment that I knew about because I’m stalking you.
  • You’re impressed by her ability to pull rope off of a spool?
  • Why does everyone want to bang her?
  • If you exercise control in all things, why are you letting someone drive your car?
  • Oh, his Irish is coming out.  You can steer clear of me as long as you keep talking with your accent.  And not turn rapey like your character.
  • Why is your hair always so bad?  Do you even own a brush?
  • I’m really enjoying drunk Ana.  Could we just keep her drunk for the rest of the movie?  Because that would be so much better.  “I will launder this item.”  *snorts*
  • It’s not fainting when you’re drunk, it’s passing out.
  • As much as you chew your lips and as much as you allegedly threw up, how is your lipstick still perfect?
  • Okay, I’ve laughed a lot more than I thought I would.
  • “Laters, baby” is so much more annoying out loud than in print.
  • Is Kate actually Kate Bosworth?  Is she going to teach Ana how to surf?  Again, much better movie this way.
  • Fucking Ellie Goulding.
  • Dakota Johnson has her mother’s mouth.  And little else.
  • (Operatic music playing) I watched a symphony perform with an opera singer the other day and it had subtitles.  Opera sounds ridiculous and not at all well written when translated into English.  A lot like this book.
  • Aaaand… I have to pee again.
  • The subtitles say “Exhales” and I feel like this sums up the movie pretty well.  Makes me think of when my dog flops down and dramatically sighs like he is just so done with everything.
  • “Are you going to make love with me now?”  The awkward hurts.
  • Hey!  He said come and she didn’t!
  • This room looks like the set of a bad porn.
  • I can’t say I wouldn’t react the same way as Anastasia to this… stuff.  Mostly out of curiosity and not interest.  Because while he’s hot, he ain’t that hot.  And I’ll pretty much try really hard to beat the shit out of anyone that comes at me with weaponry while I’m naked.  Or fully clothed.  I feel like this is how a lot of gun violence starts in domestic disputes.  I’d shoot a bitch.
  • Why do people find finishing a bottle of wine in one fell swoop to be a challenge?  I feel that this over half a bottle (plus the Mixx Tail) has not been enough for this.  I’m still standing and seeing straight.  I can still type almost perfectly without looking at the keys or screen.  I’m about three bottles shy of where I need to be for this.  Because I think after this point it’s going to be really hard for me to not start screaming obscenities at either or both of them.
  • “Men must have thrown themselves at you.”  I’m sorry.  What?  Have you even met this hot mess?  She’s basically like a more socially awkward version of me and I’m pretty fucking socially awkward.  But at that point in my life I knew what naked dudes looked and felt like.  And the only flip phone I had was a Motorola Razor.  Holy shit, I’m old.  Men have NEVER thrown themselves at me.  Except Xbox Predator Ed and Bald Guy from the Casino that said he had something to tell me and the next thing I know, he’s licking my teeth.  
  • “Rectifying the situation.”  I’m sorry, but where was the asking?  I’ll give it to the movie makers, this is a lot less rapey than the book.  Because regardless of how well he’s primed the pump, forceful and rapid thrusting during the loss of virginity is almost guaranteed to never be pleasant for the recipient.  At all. 
  • Okay, the people that scored this film are geniuses.  Except for their lack of judgment concerning Ellie Goulding.
  • He has a very nice man ass.
  • The set dressers get mad props too.  Ha. Get it?  Props.  Yay alcohol!
  • I’m not buying Marcia Gay Harden as his mother.
  • Oh, walking through the Washington forests?  Are you going to make her say what you are?  Are you going to call her spider monkey?
  • How can you make a pop culture reference when you have no knowledge of anything remotely modern?
  • Why is only the back of your collar popped?
  • Fuck.  He said that dumb shit again.
  • I really wish they had Chuck from the Nerd Herd setting up her computer.
  • Bitch, I’m half lit.  How do you expect me to listen to him read this bullshit while simultaneously reading these bullshit e-mails?  And I have to pee again.  Fucking. A.
  • Did he just spit wine into her mouth?  What the fuck, yo?
  • How safe is it to keep biting open your condoms?
  • Can we please read these emails aloud?  Even with my glasses this is becoming difficult to keep up with.
  • She’s wearing a Burberry coat?  What?
  • Why is there no lighting in his board room?  Who the fuck has backlighting and no interior lights in a professional setting?  Seriously?  How can they even read these papers?
  • I think butt plug is pretty self-explanatory.
  • “You want to leave?”“Yes”
  • “But your body tells me something different.”
  • Look, R. Kelly.  Her mind may be telling you no, and her body, her body, is telling you ye-eh-es.  But there IS something wrong with a little bump and grind when her mouth parts are telling you no.  Fucker.
  • I thought the Step-dad was supposed to be very taciturn?  He’s pretty upbeat for a cylon.
  • I might let a dude smack my ass a few times in exchange for an Audi.  I’m not even ashamed of that.
  • This feels a lot like a father disciplining a wayward child… but dirty…
  • Dude… if the person you’re seeing is causing you to burst into tears out of confusion and pain, you should probably not be seeing them anymore.  We’ve all dated that one asshole that did that.  The vast majority of us got over that and moved on to someone better.
  • Aaaaand she’s back for more and worse.  Awesome.  You dumb shit.
  • Are these the famous pants that hang just so off of the hips?  Because they’re pretty much normal pants on normal hips.  It would have been better to leave them unbuttoned though.
  • Oh shit, Beyonce.  It’s about to go down.
  • The Dirty Dancing armpit graze?  Cool it there, Patrick Swayze.
  • Did he just do the bend and snap?
  • That vee though…
  • Seriously, the person that scored this film needs a Goddamned award for this shit.
  • I have a funny feeling in my pants…. And it’s because I just knocked my fucking drink over in my lap.  Jesus Christ.
  • I’m not terribly well versed in BDSM, but where is the aftercare here?  You don’t just dump your submissive off and leave them alone in a room.
  • Is his sister Catherine Zeta Jones from Chicago?
  • It’s still pretty amusing to me that his mother worked with the SVU.  It’s pretty fitting.
  • Fuck, I have to pee again.
  • WHY IS THERE NO CORKSCREW IN THIS HOUSE?!?
  • Are you serious with this fucking flip phone thing?
  • Mother fucker, if I fly across the country to get away from you for a few days and you FOLLOW me… we’re going to have a problem.
  • Even if you take me up in a glider.  And it’s awesome.  I’m still going to be mightily pissed.
  • Why does she giggle like a small child?
  • Why does this glider look like sperm?
  • Aaaand he told her to hold on tight.  I braced for the spider monkey.  Thankfully it never came.
  • Oh, okay.  You’re pissed off and want her to go into the room with the hitty shit.  Negative.
  • If someone asks you to remember the safe words, some shit is going down.  You might need to run.
  • That was pretty anticlimactic actually.
  • WHY ARE YOU ASKING FOR THIS?
  • It’s like Liar, Liar when he says “Hit me again, Ike.  And this time put some stank on it!”
  • I kind of wish they had made it as graphic as it was in the book.
  • Why did you stay in his house? 
  • I get that you needed to make a point with this, but seriously?  You could have safe worded out.  He could have fucking noticed your misery and stopped.  THIS IS NOT HOW DOMINANT/SUBMISSIVE RELATIONSHIPS WORK! This is not safe, sane, nor consensual.
  • At least he is capable of understanding the word no.
  • That’s the end? Seriously?
  • No, I do NOT want to buy the Blu-Ray so I can enjoy the Unrated Version with Alternate Ending or anything else.  I’m not upset about missing out on the 70’s porn bush I’ve heard about and if I have to look at or listen to E.L. James pontificate on anything, breathe, or even exist in the same world that I do, I might just kill myself.  Like she should have done to this book.

Overall impressions:  Less rapey than anticipated.  It was funny in parts that I’m not sure were meant to be funny.  It’s basically like a B version of New Girl.  If Jessica Day was open to being sexually assaulted.

Two wine bottles for this one.  Because you need to drink the other three just to get through this.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Brittany Maynard

For the past month or so I've become slightly more optimistic and religious than usual.  What spurred this on?  The announcement that 29 year-old Brittany Maynard had made the decision to end her life with dignity rather than giving in to the unforgiving decline that accompanies the terminal diagnosis of a Glioblastoma.  I applauded her bravery in making this decision.  Not just because it was so final, but because of the extreme opposition she was met with from strangers.

The last article that was published in People announced that she wasn't firm in this decision.  If November 1 came and she was healthy and feeling fine, perhaps she'd reschedule it and look at her options then.  If November 1 brought with it pain and suffering and seizures, well, she had her answer.  A man with the same diagnosis came forward with an open letter to Brittany about how he'd turned his back on preferred treatment methods and had incorporated a more holistic approach.  He had outlived his prognosis and was improving a little every day.  This was really the only argument to her decision that I found acceptable.  He wasn't condemning her decision or telling her she was wrong or immoral, but he was shedding light on a corner of possibility that may have gone otherwise unnoticed on her journey.  He never tried to persuade her, only to educate her.

I'm not a religious person.  I have my beliefs and I will pray when the mood strikes, but I've never been the kind of person that put too much stock in the power of prayer.  Sure, I'd seen it work a time or two, but I'm more about action and less about hope.  She had hope but was taking action just in case.  I also have a slight belief in miracles.  I believe that they've happened, but I never thought I could bring one about or directly witness one.  But in these last few weeks I've been consumed with the hope that if a miracle was going to happen, that it would happen to Brittany Maynard.  I prayed for that miracle more than I've prayed for anything else in my life.  Maybe she'd have one last MRI that showed that it was shrinking.  Maybe it would be gone.  Maybe there would be a breakthrough in treatment that would buy her enough time for another miracle and another shot at the life she'd planned and would never have.  Maybe her mother wouldn't be left childless and her husband wouldn't be left a widower.  Maybe their dreams would have another chance.

I never once used this hope as an excuse to demean her decision, but God I prayed that it wouldn't be necessary.  Brittany Maynard became this huge presence in my life for some reason.  I've never met her and I had never heard of her until this came out, but I felt oddly connected to her and invested in the outcome of her life.  With each article released, my heart would break a little more.  I'd see the pictures of her fulfilling her final wishes and her smile was absolutely stunning.  I'd met someone like this before.  My cousin Sarah that passed away at the age of 20 from cancer.  She talked about her future until the day she was gone.  She had that same mile wide smile on her face until she could no longer summon the energy for it, and yet she held on.  And that was okay.  She held on for as long as she possibly could because that's what she wanted.  Had Sarah said that she was ready to go before her body was ravaged with cancer to the point where it couldn't even contain a single sip of water, we would have fully supported her.  Just because Sarah stayed doesn't mean Brittany had to.  They had a similar outlook on life.  They accepted their fate but kept the constant hope that maybe God would notice a mistake in the paperwork before it was filed.  Seeing these pictures gave me just a little more hope for that miracle, because how could God take something that shined that brightly?

And then the article with her Grand Canyon pictures was released and that mega watt smile was still in place but was in glaring juxtaposition with the words "final" and "last item on bucket list" and that hope started to crack a little, but the ferocity with which it continued to bloom was a little shocking.  The emotional investment I had in the outcome of the life of a stranger was staggering.  My heart was breaking for her, but so filled with that hope.  I could not for the life of me figure out why this was happening.  It had been less than a year since someone from my graduating class, a girl that I had befriended in middle school but lost touch with afterwards, had died from skin cancer.  I was deeply saddened by her passing, but that has not come close to the level of emotion I've felt during this.

And then it hit me.  It wasn't just that she was basically my age, her 29 to my 28.  It wasn't just because the idea of a life not lived is one of my greatest fears, or even that the enormity of her dreams could not compete with the comparatively small mass growing in her brain.  That those dreams would die with her and how much watching it happened hurt.  It was because I saw myself in her on a level few people comprehend.

I recently found out that I have an incurable brain disease.  It is in no way even comparable to a Glioblastoma.  It will almost assuredly never become fatal, let alone prematurely take my life.  It can be progressive, and it has been, more so than I'm entirely comfortable with, but this will never be a terminal diagnosis.  The description is "a serious neurological disorder", but no one that knows I have it really thinks of it as anything more than a nuisance.  It's not the comparison between the two that bothers me, because except in very severe cases, there is no comparison.  It's like comparing a freckle to stage four basal cell carcinoma.  The location is the same, but very little else is.

What bothers me is that something has gone irrevocably wrong inside of my head and that scares the shit out of me.  One day she's fine, the next she's dying.  One day I think I'm having a really unfortunate set of headaches, the next something is wrong with my brain.  Neither of these things can be fixed.  Both of these are inside of our most cherished organs.  Both things come with varying levels of existential crisis.

I'm scared.  And I'm invested in Brittany Maynard's life because even after everything that's happened to me, there was still a very small part that believed I was still invincible.  And I'm not.  Will I ever have to come close to the agony of her decision?  The chances are slim to none.  But that something went wrong inside of my brain, the one thing I like about myself above all else, my one true strength in life, makes me worried that something else could go wrong.  I didn't even notice it for over twenty years.  What will it take for me to notice something worse?

So, here we have a heart full of hope, prayers on top of prayers for a miracle for Brittany, for just one last chance at the life she wanted, an oddly intense emotional attachment to a stranger, and a small connection to her.  God, I wished so hard that she would wake up on November 1 and have the best day she's ever had in her entire life.  That there would be no aches, pains, swelling from steroids, no threat of seizures or strokes, and nothing but miles of blue sky and happiness at her front door.  I don't know that I've wished for anything harder.  My mind had corralled the two of us together without my noticing it and I think that fueled the fervor.  A miracle for Brittany meant that I would be fine.  That this was the worst it would ever get and that we would have long, healthy, normal, fulfilling lives.  And that Brittany would have become an advocate for those that never had an advocate before.  That her showing of strength and pride and dignity would become a beacon of light in a sea of suffering.  And that she would be around to see it and to keep it shining.

And then November 1 came and went without a word.  No news is good news, right?  And then about an hour ago I saw the article that told the world that Brittany Maynard's life had ended and by the end of it, I was sobbing uncontrollably.  I couldn't even get the words out to tell my mother, who assures me that my extreme emotional reaction to the passing of a stranger just means that I'm a good person and not actually crazy.  I've calmed down a bit since, but every time the article appears on my news feed, I cry again.  I may still actually be crazy, but I think I wanted her to live maybe more than she did.  She had resigned herself to this in a way that I hadn't.  Not that she lost hope, but she had to have accepted this long before her decision was made public.

All of my emotions aside, I want to say again that I applaud her decision to pass with peace and dignity and grace and that she could spare herself and her family the agony of watching her light be snuffed out before her body followed.  That because of this decision her light shines even brighter and touches more people than it would have in her needless suffering.  She's become a beacon to those that couldn't or wouldn't stand for themselves and those that never knew they had the choice to do so.  We have yet to see or understand the impact she has had or will have on palliative care, pain management and probably even the race to find long lasting treatments and cures for things we thought were incurable.  And the fact that she could stand with all of that dignity and grace in the face of such vehement hate and protest against a completely personal decision makes her shine brighter and in turn shines back on the ugliness that people have perpetuated in these last few weeks.  She could have buckled under the pressure of "But you don't LOOK sick" or "This is for money and attention" or "This is an abomination, a sin, God doesn't condone suicide" and even the mind boggling "You're only hurting your family by not letting them live through your unimaginable suffering the way I am for my children".  No, madam, your children will be permanently scarred by having to watch their mother wither away into a ball of misery before gasping for her dying breath.  Brittany was far braver in her choice to not suffer and to go on her terms.

This decision is the most personal decision anyone could ever make.  What's right for you isn't what's right for someone else and your personal preferences should have absolutely no bearing on someone else's decisions.  I discussed something similar with my family years ago and Brittany's passing has only cemented my decision and made me more vehement that my family carry out my wishes.  My greatest fear is being severely burned.  My entire family knows that should this come into being that I absolutely, 100% do not want to live through it.  I want to die.  It would be worse than the tortures of hell to force me to live through the agonizing recovery and disfigured existence of this against my will and beyond cruel to allow it to happen.  They all know and they all agree that if an when, they may wake me up long enough to say goodbye and then they'll send me flying.  And they're all okay with it.  Even those that believe that suicide is one of the highest of sins agree that that would be the best possible outcome for me.

Not to argue semantics, religion, or over philosophize the situation, but is it really suicide when death is/was imminent?  If a perfectly healthy individual that could likely live another 60 years decides that life just ain't worth living and ceases to continue living it, that seems wrong.  But if a young or old person that knows that A.) They would be dead already were it not for medical intervention and that they will have no quality of life and unimaginable suffering for what's left of it, or B.) Someone knows that in a very short period of time they're going to die and that it's going to be slow and agonizing and their mind will go before their body, is it really suicide or is it just altering the time frame?  Is it REALLY against God's wishes?  If that's your opinion, you're basically asserting that God WANTS these people to suffer needlessly.  What if altering the time frame was God's plan all along?  What if them taking control of their destiny was the entire point and they were meant to die on that day and time and not shortly down the road?  Are we now speaking for God?

If you can stand before me and say that if I threw you into a burning building with a loaded weapon that you would still choose to burn to death or if I threw you in there with your small child and a loaded weapon that you'd watch THEM burn to death, then I'll give you the argument.  Or, if you can stand before me and say with 100% certainty that YOU are the voice of God and can attest to God's every thought, whim, and plan and then prove it to me, I'll go your way.  Until either of these occur, respect Brittany Maynard's decision to alter the timing and save herself.  Respect her family's privacy and their grief and the fact that it was probably lessened by the preparation and peacefulness surrounding it.  And respect Brittany's memory.  Let them be in peace and know that it all happened for a reason, even if it was so devastatingly disappointing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

In Which I Unofficially Run for a Seat in the North Carolina Senate. Seriously.



I’ve been giving this issue a lot of thought, about five minutes worth (I think fast), and I’ve decided to unofficially run for Senate.  You see, the two options looming before us are both terrible.  They can’t even debate each other with any skill or credibility.  There were no empty political promises or in-depth discussions of the issues our state is facing.  It was pointing fingers and deflecting blame.

“She said she’d do X but then did Y.”

“I’d like to speak on that.  HE said he’d vote on Y but didn’t.”

This entire thing is a farcical exercise in futility.  There will be no winner here if either of them wins and they have no competition.  They treat everything important and financially vital to this state as a joke.  So, I’ve decided to give them a joke.

I, Heather Ray, am unofficially declaring my bid for office.

That’s right, y’all.

I know next to nothing about the internal workings of government.  I try to ignore politics as much as possible.  I have no shits to give about unpopular opinions.

So, I’m basically perfect for office.   Ignorance is key here, right?

The chances of me winning are laughable, but with your support, we could gather enough votes for them to notice.  We can garner enough attention and competition to let them know that the people are sick and damned tired of these money grubbing politicians serving nothing but their own personal interests.

Can you imagine the fear this would strike into their cold and empty little hearts?  That an unknown, unqualified, unemployed woman from a town with two stoplights can get enough votes to remain competitive?

What would this say to them?

It would say that we’ve had enough.  It would say that one false step and they’re done.  It would say that we’re finished taking it sitting down and we’ve decided to do something about it.

It will also bring a great deal of media attention to our fight.  There are thousands of us in the film industry alone that are trying to vote these people out of office.  Some of the offices have no competition and therefore no viable second option.  WE have to be the option.  WE have to be the change.

And if something went horrifically wrong (or right) and I won, can you imagine the hell that could be raised?  We would have a voice.  I have no “special interests” other than sleep.  And no one can really bribe me with that.  I have no shits to give about the game, glad handing, or backdoor deals.  I just want to fuck some shit up.

I am unemployed.  I work/worked in the film industry.  I have been a victim of violence and then the state for their ineffective advocacy programs.  I have a dog that injures himself without trying and a cat with AIDS.  I am impoverished and have no health insurance and no way to pay for health care, especially not dentistry.

What does this say about me?

I stand for the common man.  I stand for those that can’t stand for themselves.  I fully support film incentives and the thousands of jobs and millions of dollars it brings to our lovely state.  I am an advocate for animals.  I understand the need for a change in healthcare policy.  And I’ve got nothing but time on my hands right now.

Would it not be absolutely hilarious to watch the utter confusion on the faces of broadcasters and politicians alike when they start to tally votes and Heather Ray just keeps popping up?  Would it not be even sweeter to watch that confusion turn to fear when the votes reach a number high enough to become competitive?  I don’t really have an interest in winning, but I have an interest in fucking with people.

And fuck with them this would.

Let’s band together for this campaign.  I’m talking print ads, social media attacks, and Youtube campaign videos that are hilariously sarcastic, yet poignant. 

Let’s take the “campaign” viral and show them what the film industry is capable of achieving.  That we can take them down with laughter and Facebook likes.

That we are so much better at this game than they are.

That we are Marshall!  Wait, no.  That’s not right.  But it’s a good inspiration.

Let’s show them that we can take them out of office with ease, if not with dignity.

This November, let’s fuck shit up.

Write in your vote for Heather Ray.


Write in your vote for hilarity.

Let's start #OPHeatherRay

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ray, Heather N. vs. Wal-Mart, Inc. Part Four

These e-mail exchanges take place between August and October.  A few days ago I get another email.  This time from her paralegal.  This woman is extremely polite and well written.  She’s my dream, y’all.  Or was.

 Good Morning Heather, I hope you are doing well today.

We received the attached Mediator Order from the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
Once a Form 33 is filed, the parties must participate in a mediation conference.  If the case does not settle at the mediation, then it will be placed on the hearing docket to be heard before a Deputy Commissioner.

We can hold the mediation conference in our office (we are located in the Rich As Fuck area of Charlotte, NC).  Please let me know if you will consent to this, and I will get started setting this up.

Thank you!

Paralegal

I can work with this.  I can really work with this.  Except for the home field advantage.

Is there another place that would work for you?  My work schedule and location doesn't leave a lot of room.

Hi Heather,

Where are you located? We may be able to find a location in the middle.
Have a great Friday and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Thank you!

See?  This is how it should have been from the start.  She’s willing and eager to work WITH me.

I live on the east end of My County and work in That City.  It generally takes an hour to make it to Your County because of the traffic. Somewhere around This Place or That Place would be preferable if possible.  How soon can this be scheduled after a location is agreed upon?  Fridays are better when they're over.  Enjoy your weekend.


Hi Heather,

Would you be agreeable to come to our office for the mediation during "off peak" hours to cut down on the traffic. Say around 10:00AM or 2:00PM. I do not know of a location in This Place or That Place unfortunately. We are about 30 minutes from Your County. We will be mediating with Mrs. SAME LAST NAME AS THE FOUNDING PARTNER OF THE FIRM. Please let me know if you consent to this, and I will work on getting dates.

Thank you!

And there it goes.  What part of this is inconvenient are you not understanding?  I’m fully aware of how long it takes me to get to where you are from where I live and it’s more than 30 minutes.  It’s over an hour away.  And are you fucking serious with your mediator?  She has the same last name as what’s on your letterhead.  That sounds like it’s fair.  Why don’t we just get my mom to mediate?  She’ll be super objective.


It took two hours to talk myself out of sending this as a response. 




I'm still tempted.

But I refrained and sent this incredulous sounding (or at least I thought it was) email.

Last Name as in Last Name, This Guy, That Guy, and The Other One?


And then I get this.

Hi Heather - 

Yes - our office (Last Name, This Guy, That Guy, and The Other One) at this address.

Please let me know when you can.

Thank you!




I KNOW THAT THAT IS YOUR OFFICE!  I am not nearly as stupid as you think I am.  I know that that's where you goddamned work you fucking moron.  It's only on every fucking piece of correspondence I've ever received from you people.  


I was actually referring to the mediator's name being the same...  I need to check on a few things as that location, as I said, is inconvenient for me.

It saddens me that I had to point that out.  

Hi Heather,
Yes, the Mediator’s last name is “Last Name” and she does not work with our firm.  There is no affiliation; she just happens to have the same last name.
 Thank you!
Forgive me for not believing you.  I'm not a big believer in coincidence when it comes to people who lie for a living.  Her last name is "Last Name", so that's not REALLY her last name?  Is she living under an assumed identity?  Is that why you put her name in quotations?
Would you be willing to hold the mediation at the My County Public Library in This Town?  They have meeting rooms available for depositions and mediations.
Hi Heather, 

I will check with the Mediator to see if she will be willing to travel to the Your County Public Library in This Town, NC. We will need (2) private rooms at the library. Are you aware of a cost to hold the conference rooms? I doubt our Client will be willing to pay a "room fee" given that we can hold the mediation in our office for free. I will let you know if the Mediator will consent to driving out there and if you could let me know about a fee that would be great.

Thank you!


I'm starting to get really confused by your use of quotation marks around things that don't need them.  Are you trying to talk to me in code?  Pass me secret messages?  I'm to meet with "last name" at this place as long as there aren't any "room fees"?  Like, I'm actually going to be meeting your fixer and I should bring money or supply drugs or make sandwiches?  I have no idea what's going on here.
I just keep seeing this:
I have no idea what people mean when they do this.

There is no fee.

For fuck's sake, it's a public library.  They don't generate a ton of profit.  I doubt they're going to charge you money to sit in a public space for an hour or two and argue.  Quietly.


OK- let me check w/the Mediator to see if she will be willing to travel there w/out a fee.

Thank you!

So now we can't even be bothered to spell out complex words like 'with'?  PROPER MOTHER FUCKING USE OF THAT FORM OF PUNCTUATION, BITCHES!  Is that professional?  AAAAAND.... And I never agreed to your mediator.  That's really going to fuck up your day when I point that one out, isn't it?  My only goal in this is to cause you as much trouble as I possibly can because the longer this gets dragged out the worse it's going to look on the Little Attorney Who Stopped Talking To Me.

I seriously see this entire mediation process playing out like the first part of Wedding Crashers.  I will, at some point, yell "DON'T LOOK AT ME IN THAT TONE OF VOICE!"  "YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH WHEN YOU'RE TALKING TO ME!"

Pray for me, y'all.  Because this shit is far from over.





















Ray, Heather N. vs. Wal-Mart, Inc. Part Three

Picking up where we left off.  I shot out another email to the lawyer.


I'm assuming by 'settlement agreement' that you are referring to the 'clincher'?  If so, or if the settlement reads anything like the 'clincher' did, I am not at all interested in signing it.  I will be blunt with you, one of my major concerns during this ordeal, that has lead to me not signing anything, is the carelessness with which documents and correspondence have been drafted.  Other than a strain on my time, the idea of a full evidentiary hearing doesn't bother me.  It won't have any kind of negative impact on my end of things.  However, the errors in grammar and spelling have worried me a great deal.  I will not sign any legal document that has errors.  Even after I corrected the repeated misspelling of Dr. I’m Tired of This Shit's name, you continued to misspell it.  I can only make assumptions as to why.  I have to leave for work now, but I will try to respond to any further messages if I get the chance.

Finally.  I finally got that out.  It was the extremely censored version, but still.  Notice that I say that I am on my way to work and will respond when I get the chance.  Note that shit.  Note it hard.

Heather,

That’s fine if you do not want to agree to a clincher. The only error in the clincher was the spelling of Dr. THANK GOD SHE FINALLY SPELLED IT RIGHT’S name. I told you I would be more than happy to correct that. The clincher was not drafted carelessly. Are you interested in accepting the rating with a Form 26A?

Yes, it was drafted carelessly and no, that was not the only mistake.  Not even close.  I received this email as I was turning out of my driveway.  I obviously couldn’t respond to it.  I obviously couldn’t respond to it while I was working either.  They don’t pay me to answer personal e-mails.  They pay me to work.  I usually pop outside for a smoke around 5.  A mere three hours after this was sent.  At 4:30 I receive an email from her legal assistant.

Good afternoon Ms. Docket Director:

Please see attached correspondence from attorney Dip Shit, and Defendants’ Form 33, Request that Claim be Assigned for Hearing.

Thank you,

Legal Assistant


That bitch went ahead and filed the mother fucking request for a hearing.  What part of “I’ll respond when I can” did you not understand?  You probably saw that I had read your email and took that to mean that I was ignoring it.  I wasn’t.  But let’s just skip merrily down “that road”.

I then received mail from the Industrial Commission saying that they had received the request and approved it.  And then I got a letter saying that we had to attend a mandatory mediation before the hearing could be scheduled.  At first everyone told me that I could not attend mediation without representation.  Then they told me that I seriously needed an attorney present because it’s Walmart and also a “very powerful” law firm.  And then they said “We won’t represent you this late in the game.”  What the actual fuck?  So, I guess having a lawyer would be awesome but no one wants to help because it’s for chump change.  And also, I’d have to pay them a large chunk of my tiny settlement.  I understand how the law works when calculating the settlement, but I heartily disagree with it.  I do manual labor.  I NEED my arm.  I need the shit out of my arm.  If it doesn’t function properly, I can’t work.  If I can’t work, I can’t pay bills or feed myself.  Or my dog.  THINK OF THE DOG!  Now, being that I do manual labor, I don’t make a ton of money.  The lawyer does though.  Comparatively speaking.  If she was in the same situation she would be getting ten times the amount of money that I am.  Why?  Because her salary is ten times higher than mine, but her physical workload is probably 10% of mine.  She, theoretically, doesn’t need her arm as much as I need mine.  She also has a bigger financial cushion to fall back on should she become incapacitated in some way.  I SHOULD get more money than she does.   But that’s not how it works.

Are you or someone you know a lawyer?  Specifically a lawyer licensed to practice in North Carolina?  Do you know any lawyers that fit that bill that also happen to hate the absolute shit out of Walmart and dickish defense attorneys?  Lawyers that maybe like overly sarcastic short women and their blogs that go largely ignored for long spans of time?  If so, email me.  Seriously.  If you've got some time on your hands and you'd like to offer me some really stellar legal advice, or better yet, free representation that comes with a glowing review on this very blog, hit me up.  Bitches needs help.

I have more to share with you.  Just wait.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ray, Heather N. vs. Wal-Mart, Inc. Part Two

I wrote and deleted so many messages to the Little Attorney That Could (suck it).  As you see in the handwritten notes on the “clincher” settlement agreement, I had a lot of thoughts to share and I typed them all up so that I could mail them back to her with the unsigned agreement.  That never happened.  My sister works in the orthopedic industry and fielded several of my questions.  She passed some of them along to her friend who happens to work in claims management himself.  He thought that their proposal for $400 to close out the claim was completely ridiculous and said that I should counter with an ungodly high amount and then request a form 18M which once signed by my doctor and approved by the Industrial Commission would basically grant me the right to seek treatment related to the injury for the rest of my life.  I ended up sending the LATC this:

First Name Only,

At ten months post-op, I am still experiencing some level of pain on an almost daily basis.  This ranges from a nagging ache when there’s a change in barometric pressure to a sharp pain and inability to utilize the arm after maintaining certain positions while sleeping.  A few weeks ago the joint started catching and popping as it did before surgery.  This concerns me.  While I have been fully released by the doctor, my activities and actions are still limited because of this pain and fear of further injury.  I have had to put my life and plans on hold for over a year and I’m not entirely sure when or if I’ll be able to complete these plans in the future.
        
   The hospital sent me statements from my surgery and I am all too aware of just how expensive surgery and the resulting medical bills from the treating physician and physical therapist can be.  Taking all of this into consideration, I am, at this time, declining the “clincher” agreement offer of $3,110.80 that will permanently bar me from having any future related medical bills covered under this claim.  I would, however, be amenable to signing a ‘clincher’ agreement for the sum of $50,000.00 to ensure that should I ever require surgical intervention again (there is a considerable risk associated with this type of injury and surgery) I would be able to seek proper medical treatment without facing the fear of financial crisis.
         
I have requested a form 18M from the Industrial Commission should we not be able to come to an agreement concerning the “clincher”.  With the amount of issues I continue to have I do not feel comfortable signing anything that would preclude me from receiving further medical care as needed.

Bam, bitches!  I used big words and everything.  I knew there was no way in hell they would ever go for that but I was hoping that it might open the door to negotiations.  Nope.

Heather,

We reject your offer to settle for $50,000. Dr. Misspelled Last Name has given you a full duty release and has not recommended any additional medical treatment. We are not interested in settling your claim for any additional money.

With that being said, we will authorize a follow up appointment with Dr. Misspelled Last Name.  Troll will authorize the appointment with Dr. Misspelled Last Name’s office. Since you are working, please call his office to schedule your appointment at your convenience.

We still owe you the 6% rating to your arm ($2,703.60). I have attached a Form 26A that allows us to pay you that rating once approved by the Industrial Commission. Your medical claim will remain open until the time period lapses pursuant to the law. Please let me know if you have any questions. Although, please note I only represent Wal-Mart and Claims Company and cannot offer you any legal advice.

Again with the name!  Christ on a mother fucking crutch.

First Name,

That was more of my “line in the sand” than an offer, but I thank you for taking it into consideration as such.  I will schedule the follow-up appointment with Dr. LAST NAME SPELLED CORRECTLY AND IN ALL CAPS AND ALSO BOLDED AND UNDERLINED IN CASE YOU MIGHT MISS IT at my earliest convenience.  We will move forward from there.

I’m aware of who you represent.  I would find it odd to be having this discussion with you if you didn’t represent Wal-Mart.

Bam again.  I will be a shit right back at you.  I will be a shit back at you so hard that you probably fumed about this for the rest of the day and told all of your co-workers about it.  And in the middle of your fuming you will send an e-mail to the Deputy Docket Coordinator or whatever for the Industrial Commission that you CCed me on via snail mail.  And you’ll fuck that up too.



See?  Advising also advising.  Good job, Skippy.

Heather,

Will you be accepting the rating? Or will you decide after seeing Dr. Misspelled Last Name Again Two God Damned Minutes After I Corrected It For You, You Fucking Brain Damaged Sea Cow?

Little Attorney That Obviously Cannot

Jesus Herbert Christ.  Really?  No.  No, I am not going to accept the rating until I see Doctor You’re Just Fucking with Me Now, Right?  This was childish.  This was highly unprofessional.  You KNOW she did that shit on purpose.  *Stomps feet on ground while throwing tantrum*

I told her I’d decide after my appointment with Doctor Whose Name I Spelled Correctly.  Again.  But less shouty.

Heather,

Troll went ahead and scheduled an appointment with
Dr. I Done Fucked This Shit Up Again Because I Hate You on October 1st at 11:00 AM. Thanks.

Little Attorney Who Has Lost Her Goddamned Mind

(I didn’t even bother to address her by name)

Please consult with me before scheduling appointments on my behalf.  That time and date will not work for me.  Something came up over the weekend that took precedence over scheduling a follow-up visit.  I'm going to call and cancel that appointment and let them know that I will reschedule when this situation allows me.


My dog was hit by a car.  He had horrible road rash from his toes to his upper thighs.  All on the inside.  I cried.  It cost me a lot of money because he managed to do this after my vet had closed for the weekend and Banfield is ridiculous.  I ended up treating and bandaging the wounds myself and taking him to the vet on Monday where I paid LESS for him to be sedated, cleaned, and bandaged than I had for the other place to see him and give him a shot.  I had no time to be worrying about simple bitch and her shit.  Mick is totally fine now, by the way.  

Heather,

We are just trying to get you the medical treatment you requested. We saw that you are no longer working for Wal-Mart, so we went ahead and scheduled the appointment. It is our right to direct medical treatment. If you have gotten another job and have a certain schedule, we can work around that. We can only wait so long before we will file our Request for Hearing in order to pay out the rating.


Look, ho.  You can direct whatever the fuck you want to.  Traffic, air traffic, the NASA launch program, or a broadway musical for all the shits I give.  You do not and cannot direct my time or my life.  I said I would take care of it at my earliest convenience.  There was nothing convenient about my dog being hit by a car.

Oh, I quit my job at Walmart!  Fucking shit hole.  Worst years of my life.  I have been SO much happier since I left.  I honestly believe that every problem I had was caused by that place.  But I guess she thought that I was now an unemployed Just a Person who also happens to be stupid and desperate for cash.  Hooker, please.  I quit because I found a job making twice as much money.  And it’s not in retail or customer service.  And there you go again with “that road”.  Isn’t bullying and threatening, however subtle, unethical?  I will file the request myself if it gets you off my nuts.  I sent a reply but my email app decided not to send it.

Heather,

I have attached Dr. I Spell It Like This To Ruin Your Day’s medical report. Do you want to proceed with settlement or accept the rating?

Little Attorney That Should Just Give Up

No.  No. NONONONONONONONOOOOOOOO.  No. 

I tried to email you after the appointment and it was returned to me.  I need a few bits of information from you so that I can send in the form 18M.
IC File #
Emp Code #
Carrier Code #
Employer FEIN
Insurance Carrier name, address, phone and fax numbers.

Because fuck you.  That’s why.

She told me to check the attached form.  Hint hint.  It was missing information but I don’t give a shit.  And I still haven’t sent that form in because I’m stupid.

Heather,

Just a heads up, I will be filing a request for hearing this afternoon in order to ask the Commission to allow us to pay you the rating. This will take us to a full evidentiary hearing. Also, if you have filed a Form 18M please note you must send me a copy. We have the right to object and file a response. 

Thank you.

Little Attorney Who Just Went There

Oh, no!  She’s going down “that road”!  Also, she fully intends to shut down that form as soon as she sees it.  Way to be subtle.  And also, jump up my ass lady.

Are you not getting my emails?  I get an automated response saying they are being delayed, but nothing that says they are undeliverable.  Mail me the form and I'll return it with a copy of the 18M.  Do I also need to send a copy to Troll?  If you refuse the form, I can then file my own request, correct?



(She’s now not addressing me at all)

I have not received any emails from you. What form are you referring to? The 26A or the settlement agreement?

Little Attorney That Has No Reading Comprehension Skills

Seriously.  I refused, repeatedly, to sign the settlement agreement.  Why do you think I suddenly had a change of heart?  Because you’re touched in the head?  That’s really the only reason I can come up with.  Of course I meant the 26A.  Good job not answering my questions.  I guess they were just rhetorical.

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