little_tristan: (Default)
Mark got sick. He does that when he gets stressed and stops eating. He stayed in bed yesterday while Russell went to work and attended the new insurance meeting. Short version: we're getting fucked.

Long version: they're switching to Kaiser next month. There are no doctors in our county that accept the regular Kaiser plan, which costs about what we're paying now. We'd have to drive an hour to Salem or Tualatin to see a doctor. Or go to an ER. An ambulance trip to a participating hospital would not be covered due to the ridiculous distance and would cost a fortune. We made that trip once last year, to take Willow to an emergency vet in Tualatin on a weekend. It was a nightmare just with a sleeping puppy. With a sick person--I can't even imagine.

Not to mention that I refuse to switch doctors because, you know, I'm all fucked up and I have a great guy here who can handle it. Who has been handling it for about 15 years now, thank you very much. I've never even been to a different practice. Like, literally since birth. My mom's doctor was there. He delivered me and turned me over to the pediatrician I saw for the next 18 years, who then handed me over to the guy before this guy. The triage nurse used to be the pediatrician's nurse. She always squeezes me in somehow.

Of course changing wouldn't matter much because I can't take a bus to those other cities and Mark couldn't drive me over after work. No one stays open that late. Just getting a med check would mean taking a whole day off. And if Mark or Russell were sick it would mean both of them stayed home. Either can drive the ten minutes to our doctor if they have to. (Even that time Russ had the inner ear thing. He drove staring straight ahead and I checked traffic at intersections and lane changes. Teamwork, y'all. It's the heart of Gilead.) If one is really ill and it's an hour/hour and a half, the other would have to drive.

There is another option, and it's the amazingly sucky one we have to go with. Pay twice as much in premiums. Well, twice as much for Mark and me. Seven and a half times more for Russell--from $20 a month to $152. Just to go to a doctor in our own town instead of an hour away. He said he'd take the cheap plan and just not go to the doctor anymore, but he can't do that. He hardly ever gets sick, but when he does he always ends up in the hospital. (When Russ does something, he does it BIG.)

Of course the bosses know all this, but since we're the only ones outside the service area, they don't care. It saves them money, and so what if my boys are the ones making most of it for them? They've acted like whipped dogs long enough, I'm sure the bosses assume they'll put up with anything. I almost said pay cuts would be next, but guess what? That's EXACTLY what this is. Another $500 less in their checks every month.

I canceled Tammy yesterday so the dogs wouldn't bother Mark. It was nice and quiet for reading, at least. I've suddenly lost the urge to write. That happens when I need a word-infusion. But it's dusty. Maybe I should get used to it. We probably can't afford her anymore.

At least Mark is better today. He feels so guilty when he sleeps that he doesn't do it enough. Also, the atmospheric pressure was weird. It's eased up on our heads some now. Russ is at work again. They're both going tomorrow. Mark's catching up on laundry and making a crock pot of beans for the week. Soon it will be shower time. It feels like Sunday. Tomorrow will be extremely confusing. I won't know what day it is forever.
little_tristan: (Steve Dallas)
I had Steve for three whole days. Well, two and a half. And what a time we had. Last night Herr didn't get home til midnight (Bruder hasn't been home since Monday), and we sat up slightly too late watching TV and smoking. He actually talked about himself, stringing together lengthy sentences to impart information about his family and childhood. It was really something. He also takes the prize for Best Tucking into Bed--Non-Husband Division.

But in Gilead, work always comes first, so he's off at the factory today. And for the near future, I guess. It's not enough that the boys are working twenty hours a day between them and mostly living out of a motel, now the company demands I also sacrifice the person whose sole purpose in the house was to make the original sacrifice workable.

It's reassuring that Steve voiced his concern over the plan several times (the more time one spends with me, the less time one thinks I should spend alone). It makes me feel (even more) sure that he's the right person for the job. But I'm sad that the new guy was outvoted by my family.
little_tristan: (Firefly Bright Kaylee)
I've decided to think of at least one good thing that happened every day during the month of September. Big or small, lesser of two evils, laughing through tears--whatever. Just 30 good things in a row!

I went to work with the boys today. We only stayed three hours and they got their machine fixed. Willow attacked the knife mechanism on an Ellegaard machine and didn't get hurt. (Lucky puppy!)
Chocolate milkshake for lunch!
little_tristan: (Emergency! Johnny Up)
As fans of They Might Be Giants, know, their classic Mink Car album was released at midnight September 11, 2001, but the party was naturally cut short. Now, for the tenth anniversary of both the record and the tragedy that overshadowed it, it's been released again with guest musicians covering each track, and all proceeds go to the FDNY Foundation. I've been playing it all morning and it's fairly awesome. GO HERE to sample some tracks (I personally recommend Marian Call's Hovering Sombrero) and see if you don't agree it's worth buying.
little_tristan: (Bleeding Hearts)
Today I called the lawyer to find out what to do now that the money's all collected and I have checks with which to pay people. She told me not to pay anyone. It's delightfully complex and overly legal, but the upshot is, I'm not supposed to do anything until September. When creditors call, I get to tell them that the lawyer won't authorize my paying them until September, and if they don't like it, I'm to give them her name and number so she can tell them the same thing. If anyone tries to turn Mom over to collections, I get to do that to the collection agents, too. (And they will be calling me--part of the process involves publishing a public notice to potential creditors in the papers which has my name, address, and phone number in it. For reals.) So that's it. The hard work is all done, and if anyone bothers me, I get to say, "Hey, tell it to my lawyer." I've always kind of wanted to do that.

Oh, but I do get to pay some people, for certain things. And one of them is me. At least as far as reimbursements for funeral and court expenses. It's a very small matter, all things considered, but any good news is worth noting.
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Misery)
Yesterday I got more legal stuff in the mail. It seemed unnecessarily complicated, so this morning I called the lawyer to ask about one minor detail. And it turns out that that detail is actually irrelevant right now. It will become relevant later, after I've ponied up several thousand dollars of my own money to secure an insurance bond to protect the estate which, and I can't stress this enough, I'm not getting any of. So that's what I'm doing today.

My point? Dying without a will is the worst thing you can do to your family. Okay, I can't say flat out that it's worse than dying, but for the love of puppies, don't do one without the other.
little_tristan: (BBT Sheldon WTF)
As I go about the task of settling my mother's estate, I'm surprised by how easy it is to do some things. The things that matter, accessing her money and getting her minivan out of my driveway, are suitably difficult. But turning off her cable and phone services, not to mention canceling her renter's insurance, are almost too easy. I call an 800 number, say I'm EB's daughter and that she's died, and they're all about helping me. Sometimes I need an account number, which I could easily get by stealing her mail (don't even ask how I got her mail forwarded--suffice to say ANYONE can do it), and that's it. I had to send more paperwork to TV Guide to change my name when I got married.

It's scary how easy it is to cancel out someone's life. I want to believe that practical jokers wouldn't call up Verizon and lie about a dead mother for the sake of a prank, but if they wanted to, they totally could. Don't spread it around.
little_tristan: (Tanzer)
Thanks to [ profile] oddmonster, who put a link to this on my journal yesterday. Possibly not everyone will click it, so if you didn't, click here now. Unless you're at work and don't have headphones. Wait until you get home. Unless you work in a friendly place, or you want to make a point. Then it's up to you.

little_tristan: (Star Trek Chekov Mathletes)
The state of Oregon is contemplating the banning of single use plastic grocery bags. I'm torn on this issue and am hoping that friends who live in areas where this is already policy, or who have strong feelings on the subject, will chime in with their thoughts. Here's what I'm thinking:

Normally, when I go out shopping by myself, I take my own bags because they're easier for me. The plastic handles can tear when I hang them on my handles and I don't always get home with everything. Also, anything fragile can have a hard time because the terrain is rough and the bags get banged against the frame. So there's that.

Of course, at most stores they bag automatically and I have to ask them not to. Then I get dirty looks, like I'm inconveniencing them. That might be because they're also selling canvas bags and I didn't buy one there. I wouldn't mind seeing that end.
Problems behind the cut... )
little_tristan: (Geek On)
Herr's been teaching himself to play with wires lately, buying bits of circuits and figuring out how to run motors from scratch. This is what he created over the weekend. (And yes, that main board is the pullout keyboard tray off my desk.:)
Pics after the cut )
little_tristan: (cutter john)
From [ profile] romankate:

If I were a month...
I'd be August.

If I were a day...
I'd be Friday. Get up early, stay up late.

If I were a time of day...
I'd be six a.m., when it's still early, but I've gotten something done.

If I were a season...
I'd be summer, hot and dry and prickly.

If I were a direction...
I'd be a concentric circle.

If I were a drink...
I'd be water, plain and cold.

If I were a musical instrument...
I'd be a drum set, loudly beaten.

If I were a fruit...
I'd be a lemon, naturally sour but capable of sweetness with a little help.

If I were a food...
I'd be mixed nuts.

If I were a celebrity...
I'd want to be me, but famous.

If I were a color ...
I'd be black, hiding in the shadows.

If I were a book...
I'd be The Bedlam Boys, because I already am.

If I were a song...
I'd be obscure and get very little radio play.

If I were a movie...
it would be in black and white.

If I were a flower...
I'd be a black and purple pansy.

If I were a facial expression...
I'd be all wide and fearful eyes, the rest covered up with hands.


little_tristan: (Default)

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