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

07 May 2015

Hey, Baby Wake Up And Hulk Smash A Chicken

Dear Interwebs, 

You may think you are so hipster and smart with your Throwback Thursday, Sweet Saturday, Follow Friday, and I don't know, Winnebago Wednesday, and Matricide Mondays but I'm on to you. 

You're probably tired of squinty baby and sibling photos and 80's fashion pictures on Throwback Thursday. I thought instead to share some memories. Which, if I was more hipster and smart, would have done this on Memory Monday.
Some of the best memories I have are in the past. 

Let me start again. 

Some of the best memories are ones that I have.

I have a feeling this is going to be a long story.

Once upon a time, when ages and waistlines were all in the 20's, My friend, Dana, aside from owning a killer green Volare with bald tires and a never-ending supply of Reese's peanut butter cups, had the cutest, little, studio apartment. 

Dana lived in this quaint, brick building located under the big blue Volvo sign in downtown Portland. If you've ever driven up Burnside, you know the sign I'm talking about. The building, I guesstimate was built in the 30's or 40's, evidenced by the carpet, feel of the building, the fallout shelter sign in the basement-gone-communal-laundry-room, and punctuated by the old-fashion elevator. The elevator's accordion-like gate hinged open manually, then the inside door opened manually as well. Once inside, you'd close the outer gate, the door, and you found yourself closed into this teeny tiny space. People in the 30's and 40's must not have taken up that much room. The elevator squeaked and groaned leaving passengers to imagine a sudden plummet to the basement with or without the button for the "non-existent" 13th floor. It never quite evoked confidence while ferrying passengers from floor to floor when it shuddered more than a mall-parking lot carnival ride.

Dana and I became experts at evading the young, unabashedly forward, Russian manager. He was always good fun, if not a bit handsy. He was harmless and regularly offered "his services" *wink wink*, singing while he roamed the halls in constant state of somewhere between inebriation and crapulously blottered. Its a wonder he kept his job for so long. Him and his "travel mug" of coffee.

One morning after Dana and I had a crazy night of Coffee People drive through, Oasis Pizza, movies, and people watching on "Trendy-Third" street, I remember being blasted awake with 120 decibels of ungodly noise coming from...a chicken. A rock n roll chicken.

I sat up completely disoriented. This was pre-caffeine, mind you. I was getting my bearings being somewhere other than my own room while suffering from too much late night caffeine and pizza. I said something like, "Who put this wall here?!" What I didn't know was that Dana, responding to the pot of coffee we drank with midnight movies, she pushed the bed in halfway to squeeze by on her way to the bathroom. My eyes finally focused and I realized when I sat up earlier, I was less than an inch from braining myself on the wall frame.

As good friends do, Dana just laughed at me. I begged her to make her chicken stop making THAT NOISE. Hands down it's loudest alarm clock I've ever heard. Although, I'm certain I didn't wet the bed. It was a weekend, not Wet The Bed Wednesday.

-Bee's best part of waking up is sleeping in
Listening to: Gravity by Trentemoller. - See more at: http://beerepartee.blogspot.com/#sthash.OnRaE1P5.dpuf
-Bee's best part of waking up is sleeping in
Listening to: Gravity by Trentemoller. - See more at: http://beerepartee.blogspot.com/#sthash.OnRaE1P5.dpuf
-Bee's best part of waking up is sleeping in
Listening to: Gravity by Trentemoller.

- See more at: http://beerepartee.blogspot.com/#sthash.OnRaE1P5.dpuf
-Bee's best part of waking up is sleeping in
Listening to: Gravity by Trentemoller.

- See more at: http://beerepartee.blogspot.com/#sthash.OnRaE1P5.dpuf
-Bee's best part of waking up is sleeping in
Listening to: Gravity by Trentemoller.

- See more at: http://beerepartee.blogspot.com/#sthash.OnRaE1P5.dpuf
-Bee says The Rock N Roll Chicken has approved this message.
Listening to: Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by They Might Be Giants

06 January 2015

Even Fish Bait Guy Has A Plan

I'm anchor-less. Floating. Adrift. Bobbing like one of those buoys you see in movies where the guy gets capsized in a nearly indestructible boat and almost drowns in the ocean. This is right before he is eaten by killer sharks the size of Nebraska.

Even Fish Bait Guy has a plan. On the other hand, I'm still feeling an ocean away from any pretense of predetermined goals, killer sharks notwithstanding.

I was thrilled when I was hired at the bookstore after Thanksgiving. Discount. YES. Talking books. YES. Shelving books. If I HAVE TO. Promoting literacy. YES. Smelling books. ABSOLUTELY YES. What's not to like?

The clincher?

This was a temporary hire situation. I've worked for this bookstore before and had an inkling that a permanent position might happen. I have employment history with them. They loved me enough to rehire me three previous times. I loved working for them. I thought I could nail this.  I would nail this. I would be the best bookseller ever.

Now that is a plan.

I quickly discovered that 9 other new employees were attempting to transition from temp to permanent. A friendly new face next to you in orientation turned into someone who would punch babies and steal from grandma in what felt like the longest, most cutthroat, sales driven, month long interview. And it wasn't really. Just felt that way.

However, the flu is no respecter of persons, even co-workers who would eat their own young. I came down with the plague a week before Christmas and missed 5 days of work. And I mean gutter crawling, COPD wheezing sick. What was I supposed to do? Typhoid Mary all the bibliophiles in my quaint city with the latest mutated, flu, bronchitis superbug? To my credit, I did have a Dr's note but my manager didn't need it, which was nice. He said he understood. He said, no problem.

This is code for "thanks for not giving us the flu but we need to keep employees who aren't going to have the flu forever."

Two days ago, I found out I did not make the cut. Insult to injury, I had to call them to ask. I was told "there were just so many great employees to pick just two." They couldn't hire me in a 2 to 9 chance as a former employee? I want to scream sexism, ageism, flu-phobic, brain damage-ism, and any other -ism I could conjure up. I wanted that job but really I was sick. A lot.

This was one of the lowest paying jobs I've ever taken. However, working in a bookstore is a dream job. I thought that if I stayed on, in their words, "maybeeee a max of 6 hours a week..." I could at least keep my discount. My big draw was interviewing would be a little easier with a show of current employment regardless of part-time college these last few years.

I'm taking this "sorry, we cant keep you" ridiculously hard. I feel so stupid rejected. I've not finished school so I don't feel prepared to work in the field I've been studying and I'm not good at waiting around for my college program to open up in fall of this year.

See? Anchorless.

I am someone who is geared to plan, list, mock-run-through, deliberate, set out with MacGyver preparedness for all contingencies, and hitting my goal. Me, waiting around? Not so good at that.

Today, I thought I'd throw in the towel. I'll just stay at home and make goat milk soap or bee's wax candles to sell on Etsy. It shouldn't matter that I don't have a goat and I don't know how to make soap. Despite my name, I don't have any bee's wax either...but anything is better than waiting around till fall.

-Bee wants some cheese with her whine
Listening to: High and Dry by Radiohead

Ps. After being rehired several months later after this post and then getting my dream job in July? I'm not going to complain. Besides, I can't be mad...I still love my bookstore.