Thursday, June 28, 2012

Non-Service Level Agreement

Last Saturday I went to Rainbow and did my cooking, as the store was to be closed on Sunday for Gay Pride day. In the evening, C. and I went to a party at John S.’s, co-hosted by Cesar L. The ceilings in John’s apartment are very high and there is one bookshelf after the other stuffed to the brim. “This is a staggering number of books,” was my first thought. My second was, “I hope I’m not in here when the big one hits.” Not only that, there did not appear to be even one self-help book among those million books. They appeared to all be literary works, or about art or music.

John had made a tableful of beautiful vegetarian food, and it was an evening for guests to sign up for performance opportunities: to play the piano, sing a song, read a poem. C. read from his book, and John S. sang art songs in Russian and German. Two people played several four hands works by Ligeti, I believe, including a strange and very beautiful waltz.

On Sunday I went to see my hospice visitee. During our visit, she asked me to fetch her scissors from a dresser drawer and she set about cutting some hair that was impeding her view. It was fairly nerve-wracking (for me), since she really can’t see, so when she asked for the scissors again later, I went and fetched a nurse to assist instead. I shouldn’t have let her do it even once.

A. was furious and said, “You betrayed my trust.” I apologized, and after a bit, she said she’d decided to forgive me. “You know why? Because you’re human.”

She said of some unrelated matter, “I don’t like it, but that’s it.” Wise words there.

On Monday I gave LabCorp a call for the second time in three weeks to say that they’d submitted a claim to the wrong insurance company despite my having handed them the correct insurance card upon arrival. One benefit of all this medical stuff is having much more understanding about how my insurance is supposed to work and how to straighten things out when they go wrong. My surgeon’s front desk person has more than once submitted something to the wrong insurance company, giving me further practice.

One of the visits to LabCorp was for lab work to get “health and wellness dollars” I can apply to medical costs in my current insurance scheme, and I was delighted to find that my blood glucose reading has dropped by 40 points since I ceased to eat sugar! It was formerly above the normal range, but now it’s close to the bottom of that range.

Tom is still in Sacramento and over the weeks, his snake’s cage has fallen into deplorable conditions, so he persuaded Terry R. to come and address the situation.

Terry and I spoke on the phone before he came over and he asked if I was going to help him and I assured him I was not going to lift a finger—that I was very sorry, but I’m completely terrified of snakes. We discussed where the snake might be placed during the cage-cleaning operation and other logistics. Soon Terry arrived from across town, got Tom’s keys from me, and in ten minutes, there came a knock on my door.

“Is that Terry R.?”, I asked before opening it.

“It certainly is!”, came the emphatic answer, which I assumed would be followed by, “Do you know where Tom keeps his garbage bags?” or, “It’s not as easy to get a big snake into a pillowcase as I’d thought.” But instead he said he was done and coming to return the keys: he took the snake out, took the stuff out, put the new stuff in, and put the snake back in. Terry is a marvel!

Tom received the latest Rolling Stone that day, which I read before taking it up to his place; I knew he wouldn’t mind. It contained a very frightening feature on middle-class folks who lost their jobs and ended up living in their cars. It scared the crap out of me—how do I know that won’t be my fate? Plus, not having a car, I'll have to live perched on my bicycle.

In the evening, C. stopped by after his poetry event.

Tuesday I had a very unagreeable day applying for unemployment, in part because I had moral qualms about doing it at all: I don’t really need it, at least now, so shouldn’t I leave the funds for those who do? Part of it was not being sure where the money comes from. Entirely from my former employer? Or is part of it from a government pot that can be exhausted? C. thought it was OK to go ahead, for what it’s worth, and I also decided that if I get another job before my severance pay ends, I could donate whatever I may get from unemployment to others.

That afternoon I talked on the phone to my recruiter friend, who had reviewed my resume and had a few suggestions.

In the evening, N. and I had burritos at La Cumbre and went on to Howie’s.

Yesterday I attended the support group session at Dwightly’s office. I’ve (finally) realized I’ve not been moving faster on the job hunt due to anxiety about discovering it’s going to be more difficult than I thought. Then, of course, there’s not really wanting a job, plus being torn between trying for something that might be easier to obtain and pay reasonably well (something in IT) and seizing this golden opportunity to try to find something I’d actually be excited about and happy to tell people I do.

But I think it’s mainly the former, or, as the Queens of the Stone Age say, “Fear of failure’s all you’ve started.”
Post a Comment