10 December 2017

Tuba Toothpaste

This is the face of your average 17 year old Ralph Vaughan Williams fan.

In summer this year, Titus decided to add another instrument to his repertoire: tuba.

"How exciting," stated he.
"We have an apartment," bated me.
"Make it work?" question he.
"Do my best," intentioned me.

He appears to be making his way around the band instruments to find his favorite... or in the least, his favorite this week. He plays piano, flute, drums, accordion, piccolo, trombone, baritone horn, euphonium, and since it wasn't enough to play half the brass section, he now plays tuba.

Backing up momentarily, who just picks up an instrument and decides this is the one?

Musical talent runs in the family but I also I'm convinced, music I played when the kids were young also shaped brains, hearts, and planted seeds. Magic music seeds (this also sounds like an epic band name).

All classical, you think? There was plenty of that, and operas by Puccinni sung by the incomparable Pavarotti. We included silly songs from Space Ghost, Bear in the Big Blue House, and Spike Jones and the City Slickers. We listened to Brad Paisley and Def Leppard. Took five with Dave Brubeck and let off pressure with Queen and Bowie. Sinatra and Ella stayed classy. Oojami belly dancing breakbeats broke a sweat and Bob Dylan changed the times. Bob Marley redeemed the world while John Barry gave Dunbar a theme to dance with wolves. How could my kids not love music?

Fast forward a dozen years. Titus started tuba in June 2017 and auditioned for our county regional High School honor band. He was one of four accepted in a dozen or so tuba players auditioning.

Last night was their final concert after days of rehearsals across town. The concert was as fantastic as I expected. My son played tuba like a boss.

I'm really proud of Titus' disciplines and his fearless exploration of music. Not only in honor band, but in the young composers program, band leader in high school and passing all but one class due to creative time - management,

"Don't worry, Madre... teacher accepts late work and that's how I had time for A's in all my other classes."

I can't argue with that logic. I can argue with the emerging worst jokes known to man.

"Knock Knock"
"Who's there?"
"Tuba Who?"
"Tuba Toothpaste!"

There's no moral to the story here but a reminder: music is art. As my oldest daughter says, "When we art we also can brain better." Although, our jokes don't have that benefit.

~Bee is a bona fide audiophile.
Listening to everything

07 October 2016

Sweat the Appearance of Small Things

I tell everyone.

November means I've been blogging for twelve years.

I surely haven't been blogging that long because the number of posts suggest I most likely died in 2010 and my children have ghostwritten the last 5 or 6 posts.

I'm convinced I lost my blogging feeling when I went back to college. Then I got busy with reading books and writing about said books I'd read. It was lovely until it wasn't. And then I got a grown up job paying for the education I needed to get the job I wanted to pay the bills I have to pay.

If this is not the definition of insanity....

I could tell you what insanity is: my new work neighbors in the adjacent office space coming over to our office caterwauling about assigned parking. With the unrest in the world, an upcoming election, unemployment, refugees, fracking, frankenfood, Monsanto, hurricanes, etc.. and walking the length of three extra parking spaces is all that is wrong with the world? This is why the Kardashians are still on tv.

I understand the annoyance of having someone park in your spot. It annoys me when people park over the line like a beached whale. Door dings are another annoyance. The Justice side of my personality gets annoyed at these things. Why? I don't know.

I consider what it would be like to have a giant door ding or squeezing into the last space only because someone couldn't think outside their own bubble. It's  the selfishness of it all that irks me. Why are people unable to think beyond and consider their impact on the world around them? And really, is being considerate of others and respecting someone else's things a small thing or big thing? When the principal of the matter is huge and the action small, I notice because the root of the issue impacts a person's life and those around them. I couldn't care less about how someone else parks a car but laziness or selfishness that effects others I cannot endure.

I do sweat the appearance of petty, small things in an effort to fix big things. Sometimes, I end up avoiding big things because of fixing the small things.

Speaking of small things, my office recently moved to a new location for our growing medical practice. I had a conversation with Accountant Man and then his boss, Accountant Boss Lady: Protector of the Parking.

Now, let it be said, I know two accountants personally and they are not petty or sweaty. In fact, the are kind, warm, smart, and generous, and not the types to complain of parking or watch the Kardashians.

However, the mounting complaint over our errant parking was inevitable. These people are accountants but not just any accountants, special accountants in an organization for accountants across the United States. These are the Academy Awards of Accountants but in a club. The AAA's? If our office neighbors are any indication, this appears to be a boring club. Like Costco but with less bulk toilet paper and more Montblanc pens.

Regardless, these particular AAA's are are severely anal retentive and are usually paid to sweat the small stuff. I happen to speak Accountant and according to our office lease, the parking is ample and unassigned. We agreed to talk to the leasing agent so we wouldnt step on toes, or parking as it may be, and they could inquire on where to buy some big girl panties.

They did not like this news but I was as diplomatic as they are ridiculous. They chose to be accountants. I rest my case.

Bee isn't sweating the small things
Listening to Coldplay's Green Eyes

ps. I do not have ill-will toward accountants 
pps. no accountants were harmed in the making of this post.
ppps. if you are an accountant, don't sweat the petty stuff.

31 December 2015

Inability to Adult

If government cheese is any indication, there should be no doubt how the US government would end up handling something bigger and slightly more complex such as healthcare. 

A few months ago, my oldest turned 19. I work in medical billing and Ive sold insurance but I can't even imagine a layperson understanding insurances. What's a deductible, what's a copay, and what's co-insurance, a prior-auth, and tertiary coverage? You almost need a class to figure out c overages and as a teenager, I could see why this is intimidating.

My daughter has a knack for putting the pro- in procrastination. Upon turning 19 and when the state ended her healthcare coverage, she let it lapse citing "inability to adult". As the giver of life and parental until assisting in her big health decisions, I offered my help.

"If you get sick with strep or the flu, you're taking the bus to county health and sitting amongst the unwashed masses with TB and STDs. I'm not driving you. Now here is your apple juice and box of granimals."

Although, today, she went into LAST DAY MODE to sign up for new healthcare "on her own", and by on her own, I mean "sit next to Madre while she does it and I surf Craigslist for new cars."

 This is the new face of procrastination.

Here are some simple steps to signing up on an exchange...

Once you sit down with your child, laptop, and fortified with coffee, you can begin to wade through the 404 Not Found failed website state exchanges. There are more than you'd think.

Help daughter input her information and press NEXT.

Follow instructions in dialog box to include every family member in household even if they are already on state insurance or not applying for anything.

Include demographics, social security number, employer information, your failed dating attempts, the tears of a black-spotted, African tropical yak, and press NEXT.

Follow the instructions in dialog box to include unchecked boxes that appeared only after you selected NEXT.

Input the salaries of everyone in household and select NEXT.
Time out and do the first three steps no less than four times.

Check box to agree that you do not have income from any other sources including spousal support, busking, pole dancing, selling stolen items on Craigslist, or black market organ sales. Press NEXT.

Follow instruction on the dialog box that informs the applicant that applicant will go to prison longer than Charles Manson if you lied.

Agree again that you mean it, you did not lie. Select NEXT.

Follow the prompt that says the application cannot be completed because some applicants already have state insurance. Regardless of the fact that you did as they asked and included everyone in the household, including siblings that currently have state funded insurance.

Remove the option of reapplying or indicating state insurance for the other three kids in the house. Press NEXT. 

Follow the prompt that states that you must have one other person applying for healthcare to process the application regardless of the fact that everyone except the applicant has insurance. Press NEXT.

Change the status of adult in household that already has insurance as someone who NEEDS insurance because the application wont go through without two applicants. Check box "Applying for insurance." even though you feel the state has better things to do than spend time to review an application for someone who has insurance, doesn't need more, and certainly doesn't need it from the state exchange.

Follow the prompt that states your 19 year old is approved...and the adult in the household could not be approved because you already have insurance through your employer. Laugh at suggestion of calling an 800 number to further the stalled application of the adult with insurance who doesn't need it. I'm up for a 40 minute flute solo, how about you?

Bee works in medical insurance billing and is not a fan of the ACA.
Listening to: The Ocean Breathes Salty by Modest Mouse

24 October 2015

Grownup Stuff and Chocolate

If you are the one of three readers that still visits (Hi, Mom), I've revamped several posts on my blog. Taken some down. Revamped others. I also couldn't believe how my writing has changed.

I could catch you up but you are, in all likelihood, a new reader and probably couldn't care less.

I'm a full-time job, working mom now. Done with school and bookselling. (sad face) Days go by where I wonder when I became the grownup. When does the brain switch from riding my banana seat bike and what to wear to grownup things like bills, vacuuming, and the next chocolate fix? I regularly imagine I'm living in a house where my mom will bust in the door and tell me to turn down WHAM and do my homework. I surmise the feeling doesn't go away for us with parents dishing guilt-ridden childhoods. The "get off the Atari and pick up your socks" voice forever rings in my head.

My kids are 12, 15, 16, and 19. I have fantastic kids. They have not adjusted to my working schedule yet. Its been since July and I love working outside the home. They miss my cooking and doing their laundry. Ha. However, it never occurred to me how many school meetings, assemblies, volunteer opportunities, etc...took place during the working day. The school begs me to volunteer. I'm lucky to be wearing clean underwear and a shirt that's not inside out. It's been an adjustment but since my kiddos are heading to college in 6 years or less, I'm thankful I went to school when I did. Now I have a job I love.

Today, I've done some laundry and spent the day reading and being a house hobo. I've spent the last few weekends this way discovering how much I love being home and sleeping in. Today, not so much. Which leads me to my early morning....

I had a call this morning regarding my Grandma. She has been in declining health these last months. She's been in failing health, with several falls, but in fairly good spirits (read: could still kick your ass in Scrabble). This last week she was attended by hospice and early this morning, she passed away peacefully in her sleep. I'm thankful she is no longer in pain and is finally reunited with family she lost long ago. She lived an amazing, beautiful, and full life, with knack for remembering birthdays. As a former English teacher, she loved her books even till the end. I am saddened and struck by how her passing has affected my sisters, my mom, and family. This year's holiday season will be a difficult one for many. Grandma was one in a million.

Sorry for the downer, but grownup stuff is what we have now...and with it is the occasional brutal hit to my heart. I'm convinced that's why we grownups have the chocolate.

Missing you already, Grandma....

Bee gets serious now and then
Listening to: Four Seasons by Vivaldi