Monday, November 12, 2007

Getting naked in the land of milk and honey.

On Monday, I went to the Olympus Women's Spa with Anjali, Karol and Marlo. It is a Korean-style spa. I first went with Anjali in June 2006 as my graduation present for getting my bachelor's degree.

On my first visit, I was intimidated because in the wet room of the spa, with the hot tubs, showers and two different saunas, women are completely nude. Early on after entering the room, I had a moment where I had to chose: either spend the rest of the day self-conscious about my body or give it up and enjoy myself. I gave it up as an issue and had a fantastic time.

By the time I left with Anjali on that first visit, I was a convert. One of the coolest things about the whole experience is really getting that most women don't look anything like the magazines, and that no matter our size, we all have flaws and jiggles - and we're beautiful nonetheless.

This trip, I treated Marlo as a reward for her hard work with taking two AP classes, being on the cheer squad and working hard every weekend at her job. We both got the body scrub / body moisturizing package. To begin with, you soak in the hot tubs between 30-60 minutes before your appointment. Then, a nice Korean woman scrubs you down top to bottom and all parts in between with these intense scrubbers (think sandpaper) - three times. By the time they are done, your skin is so smooth.

Then, we had lunch with Karol and Anjali and spent time in the heated salt, sand and mud rooms, reading magazines and napping. Then, the most wonderful part of the day arrived: the body moisturizing.

First, the nice Korean woman rubs your body all over with warmed olive oil and removes the excess with hot towels. Then, they rub hot milk all over your body, followed by the hot towels. Then, they rub warmed honey all over your body. While the honey is resting, they do a facial with practically frozen shredded cucumbers. It is seriously the most amazing experience.

By the time we left, my skin was silky smooth and I smelled sweet like milk and honey. Ahhhh.

Cannot they afford proofreaders?

More often than I like, I run across the occasional typo when reading the paper. Typically, I think, "Who am I to point fingers?" as this blog has more than its fair share.

However, MSNBC printed the following sentence in a story this morning. I think it takes the cake on the worst proofreading job by a news organization that I have seen in a long time:

Daisy Carmouche reads the bible on her couch where he spends most of her time since the decrease in her medical conditon at his FEMA trainer in Picayune, Mississippi. Since moving into the FEMA provided mobile home in December of 2005 both Joseph and Daisy's Carmouche heath has deteriorated.

Huh? (Not only does it not make sense, notice that the words "condition" and "health" are misspelled and use the word "trainer" instead of "trailer.")

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Oh Mommy - feeling a little E-MOTION-AL?

I'm one of those people who not only cries at sad or touching movies but also commercials. That's right, you can get me crying in 30 seconds over something really inspirational. Marlo, ever since she was little, would look over at me and sneer, "Oh Mommy - feeling a little E-MOTION-AL?" to tease me.

Today, we are sitting on the couch and alternating flipping between "Oprah" and "Real Life Stories of the ER." At the same time, I'm reading the news on my laptop and not really paying attention to either show. Then, an unusal noise distracts me and I look over.

It is my nearly 17 year old child sitting next to me on the couch, tears flowing down both cheeks, because someone got put on life support. I'm just so glad I'm no longer alone in this.

"Oh Marlo - feeling a little E-MOTION-AL?"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This just shows that you can't control when it is your time to go.

As you know, the UWLS is on lockdown due to undefined "security threats." Personally, I believe the apprehension most students are feeling is due to the lack of meaningful information provided about the threat - or what we should do about it - from campus police (although the Dean is really doing his best to provide info to us). The mood around the school is two-headed: (1) refusing to give into someone's threats a/k/a life as normal; and (2) wishing the campus police would do more until the threat is more defined. Some of us are experiencing both - it is not an either/or situation.

However, as much as we want campus police to tailor their response to the actual threat and provide us meaningful instructions on what to do in the event of violence (which they still haven't done), an article in the paper illustrates the little control we human beings really have:

Falling cow smashes van near Manson

MANSON, Wash. -- A Chelan County fire chief says a couple were lucky they weren't killed by a cow that fell off a cliff and smashed their minivan.

District 5 Chief Arnold Baker says they missed being killed by a matter of inches Sunday as they drove on Highway 150 near Manson.

The 600-pound cow fell about 200 feet and landed on the hood of the minivan carrying Charles Everson Jr. and his wife Linda of Westland, Mich., who were in the area celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary. They were checked at Lake Chelan Community Hospital as a precaution.

The van was heavily damaged, including a broken windshield.

Charles Everson says he kept repeating, "I don't believe this. I don't believe this."

The year-old cow had been reported missing by a breeder. It was euthanized at the scene.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I finally get quoted in the paper and I sound stupid.

The PI updated their story on the threat at the law school (See "As if we aren't under enough pressure..."). They quoted me by name in it. I wish I could go back and correct my grammar after the fact. :)

As if we aren't under enough pressure...

The law school went into lockdown last Thursday. You've got to have an ID card to access the building, the elevators, the library, etc. There is a cop posted at the front doors.

I didn't post about this earlier because the law school was being tight-lipped and I didn't know if there was an official and legitimate reason for their secrecy. Given that I'm in law, but not law enforcement, I was going to wait until after a town-hall style meeting this afternoon. But, as the Seattle PI just broke the story, I can now share the news.

Anyway, apparently the law school has been the receipient of "threats to our security," as Dean Hicks calls them. The part I find frustrating is that the law school, by being secretive, has made it impossible for we students, who are all adults (at least chronologically), to make our own decision whether or not we want to put ourselves in the situation of going to class and potentially in harm's way.

Also, most of us are already under a lot of pressure with exams coming up in about four weeks. What's the negative version of the phrase, "This is just the icing on the cake."

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I couldn't have said it better myself

Here's a cut and paste from an article in the Seattle Times re: Referendum 67.

As I used to tell our law office clients, "If insurance companies treated their customers fairly, I would already be out of a job. This isn't personal to you. They do this to everyone."

As the law stands now, insurance companies do not pay a penalty for wrongly denying or delaying legitimate claims. How insurance companies make money is not by your premiums. Rather, they make their billions by investing your premiums in the stock market and other investments. The longer they hang on to your dough, the more money they make. That's why referendum 67 is so important. When you're about to lose your house because you can't work and your insurance company isn't paying up, you want the incentive that Referendum 67 gives to make them pay right away.

Seattle Times
Sunday, November 4, 2007 - Page updated at 02:06 AM

Insurers keep us spinning
By Danny Westneat Seattle Times staff columnist

I have been twirled by a lot of spin, but rarely does it fling me all the way into a parallel universe.

It happened last week. Courtesy of an industry whose creativity in shaping an alternate reality never ceases to amaze. I'm talking about the insurance industry. And a woman I know named Ethel Adams.

You may recall her. She was driving a few years back, minding her own business, when a car slammed into her, crippling her for life.

Her insurer, Farmers, refused to pay any damages related to the crazed man, Michael Testa, who caused the wreck. It wasn't an accident, they said, because Testa was trying to ram his girlfriend's car.

"Liability insurance is only for accidents, and this wasn't an accident," Farmers said.

It was to Ethel. All hell broke loose for Farmers. They were pounded by customers. The insurance commissioner demanded Farmers pay up or he'd pull their business license.

Here's what I wrote then:

"The logic here is impressively tortured, even for an industry known for exploiting technical loopholes. To argue that Testa, who went on a rampage and then was sent to a psychiatric hospital for delusions, could have possibly intended to crash a car into Adams, a woman he didn't know existed, is truly an outrage."

Yet it is an outrage that was repeated last week.

Insurers are spending record amounts against Referendum 67. That's a vote Tuesday on a law passed by the Legislature that would increase penalties when legitimate claims are denied or delayed.

Last week an ad ran in support of that law, featuring Adams. It said her story showed that insurers do sometimes unreasonably deny claims.

Then the spin started. An insurance-backed group put out a news release saying the ad was a lie — that a well-meaning Farmers always intended to pay and was only held up by a "technical glitch with the law."

"Ambiguities in the law complicated delivery of her policy coverage," said the release. "But once the facts were revealed, coverage was promptly provided."

That should be in the spin hall of fame. It is what is known as a "true lie" — each word has some purchase on the truth, but the sum heads far off in another direction.

You don't have to take that from me. When insurance lobbyists testified about the Ethel Adams case, even they said it was an outrage. The Safeco lobbyist called it "egregious."

What hacks me off most, though, is that the news release repeated the central canard of Ethel's case. It said: "Ethel Adams was intentionally injured by a road rage motorist."

No, insurance people, she wasn't. She was an innocent bystander, remember? Whom you tried to shaft with semantics. Until you got caught.

I have no idea if Referendum 67 is a sound law. I doubt many voters do, either. We ought to leave these decisions to the people hired to make them — the Legislature.

But I have learned this: The insurers still don't think they did anything wrong to Ethel Adams. It was all some glitch. Nothing to do with them.

And you know what that means: They'd do it again if they could.

Danny Westneat's column appears Wednesday and Sunday. Reach him at 206-464-2086 or