little_tristan: (Otters Significant Otters)
He's not okay, but he's a little better than yesterday. The insurance debacle got bigger and stupider and in the end we were forced to cave. Remember back when we decided to buy the plan that we couldn't afford so we could go to our own hospital? There was a misunderstanding. When Kaiser said we could choose hospitals, what they meant was we could choose to go to theirs and be fully covered, or go to ours and pay fully half the total cost out of pocket. (With a deductible of either seven or eighteen thousand; I never did get that figured out.)

Last night's post was written in a state of denial, after we made the bold decision to stick to our guns and do what was right for Mark. Today there was a lot more information dumped on us. With actual numbers. In writing. Bad, bad numbers. And by the time the ambulance arrived, it was so late Russ and I couldn't go, what with him having to be home in bed an hour ago.

The most hateful, hurtful part of all of this is that the doctors here all say the same thing: he really isn't ready to be moved. There's still a chance of decompensating on the 205. But Kaiser says no. They hear pneumonia and breathing without a vent and stamp him good to go. But since we had to make the ultimate decision about whether to go bankrupt or not, and therefor whether to put him on the road, he also had to sign a goddamn fucking waiver absolving them of responsibility in that very event. Or any other, really.

I'm having a very Ted Quinlan Catbread Underwater moment here. Every time I think I've met my limit of hateful, hurtful, downright goddamn hard things--my life just kicks in again. Mark's alone and scared with his lungs 1/3 full of fluid, and yes, he'll almost certainly get well, but I promised I wouldn't let them take him away, and now I have to find away to get out of these clothes (which I've been wearing since yesterday morning) and go to bed alone and I can't stop crying because if something does happen I'm two hours away.

It barely matters at this point that I won't get a shower this week. But it still kinda does.

I wish I had one of those best friends who comes running when things go to pieces and hugs me until the world makes sense.

I'll see Heather tomorrow. She'll probably hug me. That'll be good.

I'm sorry I didn't reply to any comments yesterday. They made me so happy, in a hugged sort of way. I might not reply to any comments here, either. Tomorrow's going to be a mess. But any offered hugs will be gladly accepted and deeply felt.

Last night I didn't sleep, but a few times I was sort of half awake and suddenly felt Mark lying beside me. He used to do that when we were dating, when he was too tired to drive home. He'd go to sleep in the living room but I'd wake up in the middle of the night to find him on the bed, fully dressed, just watching me sleep. It seemed like it should have been creepy but it never was.

All day I've been feeling him, a warm, skinny arm across my back, a little shiver of tobacco and geeky t-shirts.

He called as I was writing that sentence. I knew I felt something.
little_tristan: (Haunted House)
I was just rereading my early drabble experiment, Peaceful the Knives, and found that I never credited the guy I stole the title from. It was Julian Cope, and the line's in here somewhere.

little_tristan: (Bunny)
They're one of those groups whose attention you just never want to bring upon yourself. It's so nice when they aren't noticing you that it goes against every fiber of your being to call them up and ask them to please look into your account. Like going to the police station to find out if you're wanted. But they promised me money back in August and it never came.

I was willing to more or less wait forever, but Mark's a little more practical. When it's not his problem. He wouldn't have called. He wouldn't even go to the doctor that time he had obvious, visible cancer. I had to trick him a little. But dealing with these things is my job, not his. (Even the cancer, strange but true.)

The hold music sucked, and I had to listen to it forever, but the agent couldn't have been nicer. I think she was surprised that I wasn't crying or yelling at her. Phone answering people there must feel terrorized, too. I accidentally made a Comcast tech girl cry once. It did not feel good. (Little known fact: When they're doing something and have you on hold while they type, they've usually just hit mute and can still hear you. Resist the temptation to vent at that time.)

But then she solved the problem! And said it was their fault and had absolutely nothing to do with me! And APOLOGIZED! Several times!!! An IRS AGENT!! It was amazing. Mark was disappointed that it'll take another month for the refund to go through, but when I told him about the conversation he got over it.

Actual exchange:

Mark: Isn't this the same IRS who takes all everyone's money and homes and makes them kill themselves?

Me: Presumably. At least that's the number I dialed.

Apparently all those suicides got the message across after all.

I read a lot of John Corvino's Debating Same-Sex Marriage, with Maggie Gallagher, while I waited. Corvino was excellent across the board, but Gallagher was too confused and nonsensical to get all the way through. It's like even she knows she doesn't have a case, other than I DON'T LIKE IT, but hopes that if she says enough words no one else will notice.

So now I'm reading Spider by Patrick McGrath, suggested by [profile] birdgirl_1107. Only not at night because it's creepy and I think it'll get worse. The writing is excellent, but Spider has a deep, dark mind.

The boys are working tomorrow so Russ and I won't get our pre-concert naps. I possibly could if I time it properly and am able to crawl into bed before they get home. It's iffy, though. I might not try. If I don't take my evening meds on time, I can stay awake. Although probably I can stay awake for the Gin Blossoms no matter what.
little_tristan: (Kitten Monster)
Remember all that cell phone crap I was whining about a couple hours ago? Yeah, I'm over that. Mark just called to tell me that Steve called him (at work! because that's how stupid he is!) to say he'd be over this afternoon. Mark's afraid he'll be late and keep us up past our bedtime, which could happen. But really? It's way more likely he'll be early.

If I could trust the aged nemesis to not open the door I'd just go to the park for the rest of the day. But someone must guard the gates of Gilead, and Ranger, our head of security, will need the troops behind her.
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Misery)
Herr just left for work, after one of the worst weekends we've ever endured together. Over the last few months, he's been degenerating into a fanfic character--one who spins around in an endless panic, not eating or sleeping and living on caffeine and fear. The middle of last week, he started throwing up a lot, whether there was anything in his stomach or not, and he finally collapsed in the factory on Friday. Even then, he wouldn't see a doctor. He's scary that way--the lengths he'll go to to avoid losing control. Instead, he clocked out and slept in the truck until Bruder finished up and brought him home. He slept on the sofa all evening, refused his supper, and for the first time in months, slept through the night.

Ever since, we've been trying to get small bits of food into him, or even water if that's the best we can do, and he's developed a tolerance for my liquid food. (He drinks the high calorie stuff; I stick to the sugar free.) But we couldn't keep him home today. He may be a walking skeleton on whom Victoria's Secret extra small yoga pants hang loose (he wears them for underwear, not having any body fat whatsoever), but he's by-God going to work. The only sign that he's at all sane is that he is planning to spend most of the work-day sleeping in the van. He hasn't decided if he's going to clock in, or tell them he's taking a sick day while being on call for the things only he can do. It's sort of a toss-up between sleeping on their time or working on his. Either way, he gets paid and the work gets done. Unless he collapses again.

You'd think someone that writes these scenarios as often as I do would have some clue as how to handle the situation. But I don't. Actual men are just a whole different story, and I'm not being allowed to dictate the ending.

Spirit Day

Oct. 2nd, 2010 07:51 pm
little_tristan: (Sam on a Mission)
Originally posted by [ profile] neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

little_tristan: (Sam and Dean Brothers)
Or, why John Winchester is a better father than my arch-nemesis.

For some background, if you're a Supernatural fan, read [ profile] ratherastory's Long Before the Sky Would Open. For some reason, I read the beginning of it when it was first posted and then didn't finish. No idea why. Today I read the rest, so I could read the next in the 'verse. And it still has me in tears. Here's why.

If you didn't read the fic, fourteen year old Dean gets bacterial meningitis. Sam is alone with him while John is on a hunt. It goes the way fics and tv shows do, with John coming back and letting Sam stay at the hospital with him, keeping him out of school so the family can be together. In other words, the right way.

Now when my darling Herr Tanzer was 5 years old, his 3 year old brother got meningitis. The viral kind that's very hard to beat now, and was almost impossible back then, in the early sixties. His brother survived for some reason, after nearly a week in a coma, and is the brilliant, bad tempered, play attending Bruder that I've written about so often. But where, you ask, was Herr during that week?

He was home alone for most of it. There was no money for babysitters, his parents were widely unliked among the neighbors, and five year olds weren't welcome in hospitals back then, unless they were sick. So he watched tv and played with his toys and waited for his parents to pop in for a few minutes a day to change their clothes or try to nap. Occasionally, they even fed him. But mostly he ate peanut butter and cereal that he scrounged for himself.

And one day, about halfway through the week, this happened: His father came and sat him down and told him that his little brother was going to die. Soon. That he would not be allowed into the hospital to say goodbye. That he would, in fact, never see his brother, his only friend, again. And then he left. No one came home again until the next day.

You can offer all kinds of suggestions as to how they could have handled it better, but the fact remains that it was fifty years ago and it doesn't matter what they could have done, or should have done. It only matters what they did, and how it irreparably damaged their older son. Now I think the relationship between the two damaged brothers in my life is the main reason I love Supernatural. It may even be why Herr loves it. Sam and Dean have so much in common with him and Bruder, I think he often sees himself. But their dad? He's no John Winchester. And whatever you think of John's parenting tactic, I'm inclined to think it could have been worse.
little_tristan: (catloaf)
Which I think actually started around nine last night. It was partly my fault for forgetting my sleep-more-soundly-with-fewer-dreams medicine before bed. Herr and I were talking about stuff and not arguing (well, we sort of were, but it was purely academic, not personal to us) and I just blew it off. So I was waking up every hour and not especially happy about it.
Click for my minor dramas and traumas )
little_tristan: (Books)
This book was suggested to me by [ profile] oddmonster when I asked her for something about feminism, having been raised in a sexist, oppressive environment that gave me little hope of amounting to anything, because I was just a girl. (Girls can't do that was the second most common thing I heard as a child with dreams, right after You can't do that.) The title made me wonder what kind of feminist manifesto I was getting into. It sounded like an Ann Rule true crime book. And when I saw that it was about advertising, the mystery deepened. Then I started to read.

This way to the revelations... )
little_tristan: (Book Snail)
My one true [ profile] catyah reviewed this book the other day, and I'm such a sucker for disaster, I had to run out and read it myself. It's the truly amazing story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-American resident of New Orleans who weathered Hurricane Katrina in his family's two story house, only to be trapped when the levees broke and later arrested as a looter (and suspected member of the Taliban) while trying to help other survivors.

I thought the best parts of the book were post-hurricane and pre-arrest, when Zeitoun was simply paddling around the streets of New Orleans in his canoe, salvaging and distributing supplies and trying to find safe places for the people on rooftops and in attics who asked him for help. It was no doubt frightening for him, but there was also a measure of peace which comes through clearly. This peace was not shared by his wife and children, who had evacuated to Baton Rouge and then Phoenix, and worried about him constantly. This is also where opinions are seriously divided about whether he did the right thing by staying. He did help a lot of people, even saving a few lives, but was it worth what happened to him, or what his family went through? Was he really trying to do right, or was he guided by hubris? These are questions that Zeitoun still struggles with today.

There is one thing that's very clear to me, though, a lesson that was explained to me by my darling Herr and his brother years ago, and strongly reinforced by this book. (And images from the news, which I had forgotten until reading this brought them back.) If you're leaving your home because it is unsafe, for instance the water is halfway up the first floor walls and climbing, take your dogs. If you can't live there, neither can they. I can't imagine what these people were thinking, what benevolent force they thought would come and save their pets, but it didn't. It never does. If you can't take them, let On the Beach be your guide. Your dogs would thank you if they could.


little_tristan: (Default)

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