Posts Tagged ‘debt’

I Was All Upset

August 4, 2018

I was going to entitle this blog “motherfucker.”

I got another bill from the endoscopy procedure.

$899.

Why the fuck do I pay so much in insurance?

And get so damn little?

Which I am sure will be on my mind tomorrow when I go in for my dentist appointment.

The last time I was there the dentist said I should get a mouth guard.

And of course, it’s not covered by my dental.

I am not sure what my dental covers, truth be told, I’ve paid a ton out-of-pocket for the work I have had done.

The mouth guard will run about $400.

Which I have been preparing myself for and have not more animosity about it, I need it, I don’t want to grind my teeth at night, why am I stressed?

Bwaahahahahaha.

Sigh.

But I wasn’t expecting another damn bill from the endoscopy.

It feels like I just paid a bill.

For about $900 not even a month ago.

However, there it was, all cheerful and cheeky with its return envelope in my mail tonight when I got home.

Ugh.

I opened it and tried to not pay attention to it, I got a phone call right as I did.

Give the person on the line your complete attention, they are important, not this stupid letter that looks suspiciously like a bill.

Looks like a bill because it is a bill.

I looked at it after I got off the phone.

$899!

For things your insurance doesn’t cover.

There was a big block of letters in the billing area, “insurance company does not cover,” well isn’t that terrific?

I was about to fish out a stamp and write a check and put it in my wallet to mail tomorrow, but then I thought, fuck it, save the stamp, just pay it now, get it over with.

I have the money, I was just hoping to put it towards a new place, not old medical bills.

I got online.

I got logged into their weird payment system.

And!

I don’t have a bill there!

No bill means nothing to pay.

I wondered about that, was I billed twice?

I decided to just double-check and I called the number on the bill and logged into my account, which confirmed that I have nothing outstanding!

Zero balance.

I just chucked the bill in the trash.

Fuck you bill.

The nice thing, now that I don’t have to pay the bill, fingers crossed it would suck if that suddenly changed, but the nice thing was that even though I had a  momentary hissy fit, I wasn’t really balking at paying it.

I was just going to get it over with and pay it.

I am grateful for that in my life.

That I pay my bills when I get them.

I don’t like owing money and I have worked really hard for the last 13 years to be really clean with my money.

I don’t always succeed.

But I don’t owe any money to friends or to medical institutions (it would seem).

I owe money on my car, but I tell you what, with the exception of one month, I have paid double my car payment every month.

I am pretty happy about that.

I plan on making a payment tomorrow, I do them on the 4th when the payment is due, despite not really owing one, my next payment isn’t due until December, I’d rather just keep the habit going and I’ll pay tomorrow.

Hell I may even just pay it tonight to get it out-of-the-way since I’m writing about money and finances.

And, of course, I owe on my student loans.

But I’m not in default and I do pay them when I’m not enrolled in school.

I also don’t owe any money on any credit cards

Or, as the case may be, the one card I have.

In fact, I am thinking it’s time to cancel the damn thing.

I got it last year after being persuaded by a friend and haven’t used it once.

I could be accruing travel miles and such, but really the thought of using it wierds me out.

I had credit card debt, and a fair good bit of it.

I worked really fucking hard for a few years and got it wheedled down and then, yes, upon the suggestion of a lawyer, I filed for bankruptcy.

It’s a little complicated, but basically I spent two years busting my ass to pay off debt that was mostly acquired when I was in early sobriety.

I had run up my cards, got sober, and then was so broke and destitute for my first year that I never made any payments.

And boy howdy did that add up fast.

The interest on the cards skyrocketed and it was worse than paying off a loan shark.

I think I had 9% on one card that went to 28%.

And the other had started around 12% and was at 31%.

My lawyer basically told me I would never get out from under it, that I had made a huge effort to rectify the situation, I really had, worked so much for those years to work with the collection agencies, to the point I was on a first name basis with two different women, made amends financially, did the work, read front to back twice “How to get out debt, stay out of debt, and live prosperously,” by Jerrold Mundis, that I had records of all my payment plans, of everyone I had talked to, that I kept track of how much I spent and that I hadn’t any other debt, was huge.

I handed the lawyer such an enormous amount of spending plans, budgets, records, and notes that he literally was able to turn around the case and file it within two weeks of me seeing him.

I guess normally it takes longer because the lawyer has to do all the work that I had been doing for the past years.

So.

Yeah.

I’m not really interested in that kind of thing happening again and though I understand my friend’s reasonings, I think I am going to just cancel it.

Feels better.

Not as good as throwing away that medical bill.

But damn close.

Damn skippy close indeed.

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Tooth Ache

January 12, 2018

My tooth hurts.

Achy.

I’m hoping it’s temporary.

I’m one week and two days away from getting the permanent crown put in.

I’m not in severe pain, it’s just there and a touch disconcerting.

I got notice today that my dental insurance is about to end, as though it was much good, and I’ve looked up on my PPO to see if there is dental available through my plan.

It looks like there might be.

Then again.

Who the fuck knows.

I had made a opthamology appointment four months ago.

Yes.

I said four.

And today I got a message to call the office.

They weren’t sure if my insurance covers the visit.

I gave them all my information and am awaiting details.

It’s so frustrating.

I have not had this experience before.

Having to wait such long times to be seen, not being able to be seen, having to figure it all out on my own.

I had Kaiser for such a long time I got super spoiled by their facilities and the easiness of booking appointments.

I wish the school hadn’t changed over to this health plan, but it’s what I have and until I can afford something different, it’s what I’ll be using.

I do get a stipend from my family, so there’s that, it’s just the inability to be seen that has me really flustered.

I didn’t go bananas on the woman who called me but I did question why the hell it took so long to be contacted if there was a question in regards to the coverage.

I mean.

I just would have kept my October appointment with my ophthalmologist on Irving street.

Really nice guy, Dr. Kurtzbay.

I liked going there, although I did not like paying out-of-pocket for the services.

The last two pairs of glasses I got were both over $450.

Plus I was a little flush, for me, and I bought a pair of prescription sunglasses.

Which I managed to hold onto for about four months before losing them.

Sigh.

Anyway.

When I got this new insurance I was excited that there was ophthalmology and dental included.

Of course.

I haven’t been able to use the services, I haven’t been able to get in to a dentist or an eye doctor, so in a sense it feels useless.

I have used the insurance once to be seen by a new primary care physician in an Outer Sunset facility that reminded me of a bad made movie scene in a third world country.

I have the number for the only dentist facility that my insurance purportedly covers and I’m going to call them tomorrow and see if I can get in.

If I can’t then I will renew my own out-of-pocket dental care for the second year in a row and just stick to my guy over at Sunset Premier Dental.

He’s not first world, but not third world either, and he takes appointments on Saturdays, so there’s that.

Speaking of appointments.

I get to see my chiropractor in the morning.

I have a 9 a.m. session.

My back as been feeling better, I will say that, not 100%, but significantly better, I’m not in nearly the same amount of pain as I was a few months back when it started to act up.

I think this is my fourth session.

I’ll have a few more sessions still covered by my family and then I will see about continuing.

I really like her energy, it’s just $85 a pop and she wants to see my weekly.

Add that to my personal therapy at $120 a session, and the week get’s expensive quick.

I wouldn’t really be thinking that much about it, but the unexpected dental stuff did eat up my little buffer.

I’m not too worried, however, I’ve gone over my numbers a bunch of times and I’m going to be just fine.

Tighter than I want to be, sure.

Wishing I hadn’t committed throwing in $200 to the party on Saturday, yup, but fuck it, whatever.

When I was out drinking and using I blew more than $200 a night and frankly, I’m happy to help host a party and have a fun time and a good dj and friends come out to dance that I typically don’t see.

It’s only a few days away, my sobriety anniversary and it still doesn’t have that anxious feeling around it, I’ve nearly forgotten, in fact, that I had an anniversary coming.

I have heard people say that before, especially busy people, but I never really thought that there would be a time when I would not be acutely aware of an upcoming anniversary.

And I’m just not.

It’s rather nice.

The party makes it rather nice too.

So.

I’m not going to focus on money, it’s all God’s money anyhow.

I’m just going to focus on what needs to be paid next and have faith that I’m taken care of.

Paid my phone bill yesterday.

Felt great.

I actually like paying my bills.

I mean, even though I didn’t want to shell out the money to my dentist, I really like that I was able to pay it and pay it in cash, well, not paper-folding money, but you know, by debit card which is not a credit card.

I have not even used the credit card I got a few months back, I’m not even sure I will for that matter.

I like paying my debts with cash.

It feels good to be accountable.

And it feels really god that tomorrow is Friday.

Fuck yeah.

I’m ready for the weekend.

So ready.

Seriously.

More Will Be Revealed

January 10, 2014

She told me many years ago, perhaps seven?

Yes.

That feels about right.

More has been revealed and I am sure there is more revelation to come.

I am thinking about my imminent trip down to Florida.

I fly out on a red-eye in a couple of days, leaving SFO at 11:56p.m. on Saturday night to fly to Atlanta, brief layover, landing in Orlando, Florida at 9:30 a.m.

“Get up really early on Saturday so that you sleep on the plane,” my friend suggested to me.

Yick.

I will try, but I am doubtful that I will get up earlier then I have already planned.

I have a few things to take care of before I fly out on Saturday.

First is to get that photo from PhotoWorks tomorrow.  They called me up earlier this week and said that they needed more time to work on the restoration, it would be ready Friday evening.

Tomorrow.

Which is perfect, I end my work week in the Castro at 4:45 p.m.

I also have another errand to run tomorrow.

I have $1350 in cold hard cash in an envelope in my wallet with Barnaby’s name all over it.  He will be in the Castro tomorrow at the tattoo shop he does work out of when he is in town and I will be walking up to it at some point in my day to hand over the money.

I am super happy to have it and I am super grateful that I will get to repay it and then go back to having no outstanding debt.

Well, except for my student loans, but they, though they count, don’t really count.

ACS Student Loan Services is just a nameless entity that I send an automatic payment to every month.

Not a personal face with a history that I have to, I mean I get to, engage with.

It will be nice to see Barnaby and not feel that I owe him anything besides gratitude for the experience and the promise that I too shall  play it forward when the time comes.

Take some one in, help them on their adventure, buy them a meal in a cafe, help someone else with a dream.

I also want to talk to Barnaby about a small tattoo I would like.

In a few days I will have to add a few stars to my neck.

At least that’s what I am thinking, two more to go with the seven I have.

Hard to believe that 9 years ago I was heading back from London preparing to go on my last crazy cocaine run.  I was just going to meet up with a friend at Blondie’s No Grill and Bar in the Mission, down on Valencia between 17th and 16th.

I was just getting away from the week of being with my mom in London.

I was just going to have one.

Oops.

As was the case I had more.

More always being the magic number.

More last three days.

Until I did not have more to give, could not take anymore, gave the fuck up and asked for help.

I got it.

In spades.

And I have not turned back since.

It has not been easy, but like anything worth having, hard-won, and I do not regret a single day of the work, not a one.

My life is pretty outrageous when I look at it.

Oh, the places you’ll go.

Fuck.

What about the places I have been over the last few years?

I can’t imagine what comes next.

This Florida trip will be my first for the year.

Other places I will go are Minneapolis/St. Paul when I fly into the airport on my way to Hudson, Wisconsin to see my best friend this summer.

Don’t have the ticket, but it’s not far in coming and as I await the best dates for my friend I am happy to sock some of the money away that I would have been channelling to the debt I owed Barnaby into the plane ticket back to the land of dairy, cheese, and currently bone chilling temperatures.

But that’s ok as I will be there in the summer.

I will probably fall over from the humidity, but I will welcome the warm nights and the hanging outside without three layers on in July.

I will, of course, be going to Burning Man.

It was fun to watch all the silliness as the theme was finally announced.

I loved getting excited for my friends who will be going for their first time and I will get to go for my 8th year in a row.

I am also thinking about going to Coachella.

Not sure how, but I have always wanted to go and I never have.

I don’t have experience with Indio, California, how to get there, what to do when there, or whom to go with, but I feel that if it’s in the mix, and it does feel that way, that it will happen.

Just putting it out to the Universe, I am willing to go.

That’s three little trips to look forward to this year.

I am pretty ready for the Florida trip, only a few things to do to prepare.

Get the photograph and the prints I had them make from Photo Works and frame and wrap the ones for my mom and sister.

Get a manicure and pedicure.

That I always do before travel anywhere.

Even if it’s cross city travel.

Ha.

Then figure out my way to the airport.

I think I am just going to MUNI train it to the BART.

I will of course, have to pack, but since it’s a short jaunt, the packing will be quick and I will do it same day as travel.  In fact, I have the majority of what I am taking already going through the wash cycle now so I don’t have to worry about doing laundry right before I leave.

Really, like so much of my life in recovery it’s just about showing up.

Show up.

Take the next action in front of me.

More will be revealed.

Lovely.

Time To Look For New Work

September 24, 2013

Oh, I am still a nanny.

That apparently, is going nowhere.

However, now that the big event in the desert is done for a few months, the hours will be cut back.  Plus, I am not doing the North Oakland nannying and suddenly, in two weeks I will go down to two and a half shifts a week.

That is not going to be enough.

So, time to find some new work, or some more work, or I don’t know a lottery ticket.

I don’t buy lottery tickets, though, so that last may not be the best way to secure income.

I find myself curiously unperturbed about the money, it will come, it always does.

I do find the thought of having to meet new families a little disheartening.

Can’t they all be Burning Man people?

The mom in Cole Valley committed to keeping me despite not even needing me much past October in the capacity that we are currently doing–Monday, Tuesday 8:45a.m-5:45p.m. and Wednesday as a half day, 8:45a.m. to about 1p.m or so.

I do have a share on Mondays and Tuesdays, so they are both higher paying days.

Leaving Thursday and Friday open.

If I tell another person I know who works at Burning Man that I would like to work there, come on, I am good a stuff man, I will kick myself.

I feel like I have been obsequious.

The work with my friend at the design firm is not happening and though I am loath to open up Craigslist, that may be the next step.

That and putting it out to the Universe.

“Hey God!  Where do you want me to work?”

“Louder, I can’t hear you!”

And please, make it lucrative, ok?

Thanks.

Shit.

I don’t believe that’s how it works, but sometimes I feel at such a complete loss.

I have had a lot of folks suggest things and careers to me.

“Teacher, you are a born teacher,” my friend said to me one Sunday night.

“OH my God, you are soooo good at massage, I would hire you in a heart beat, be a masseuse, please.”

“You should manage one of those start-up thingys,” more specific with that one please.

“What about being a copy writer or editor?”

I have looked into a lot of careers and had a lot of ideas about what I should be doing.

All I can manage to come up with is that I need to make more money.

At the rate I am going I won’t have my student loans paid off until I am 60.

I think, maybe a little earlier than that.

55.

Let alone have some of the things that I would like to have in my life.

A yoga practise would be nice.

Really nice.

There’s a good studio just blocks from the house.

A scooter.

A new dress.

Paying off Barnaby the money I owe him for the plane ticket.

A floor lamp for the studio.

I am not asking  a lot.

But self-sufficiency and solvency.

I would like those things.

I have never wanted.

Not really, there have been moments where it seemed daunting, where the next job was coming from, the next bag of groceries, the next rent check.

But they have always come, or something has happened to facilitate my care.

If you don’t want what you have, why would more make it better?

I want what I have.

As I sit at this table, loaned to me by a friend, typing away on my laptop, covered in Burning Man stickers, which has been my faithful steed for writing in San Francisco and Paris, travelled with me and blogged in London and Rome, I cannot count myself as a person who is not cared for.

Really, really well.

I am content with a simple life.

My quality of life, my inner quality, is so vast and rich and abundant.

I am not lacking for anything.

I am enough.

I do want to sustain myself though and continue to care for myself and my needs.

So, yeah, more work has to come in.

It can be different, I don’t have to be a nanny, but you know the fall line, that line down a snow-covered mountain that the snowball is going to roll down, that line seems to easily fall toward being a nanny.

“You would make a great doula!”

Or what ever that thing is.

I can’t figure it out.

You have some suggestions, peep me yo.

In the meantime I just look around at my sweet home, decorated with my pictures and postcards, photographs, and drawings, and I see that I am so in the spot.

Some smooth Barry White just came on the stereo.

“Playing your game baby, just you and me.”

Yes.

This is a game, isn’t it?

It’s not about what I have in the bank, it’s where I spend it and the realization that work is not the answer.

It is what I do when I am not working, although doing a good job at my job feels, well, good, duh.

It is this, my writing, in the morning, in the evening, aint’ we got fun?

It’s in the long walks down by the beach.

Or along the Seine when I was in Paris.

It is about taking out my camera and capturing just this moment here, right now.

The work will find me.

It usually finds those willing to do it, no?

The life has to be what I focus on as well.

No more so than now.

If I have spare time to spare, I do have work full-time this week and close to full time next week, then I am obligated, to myself, not you or another, to get out there and live my life that I have been given.

Especially here, in San Francisco.

How fucking fabulous.

I get to live here.

It’s the Paris of the United States.

And if I can’t live in Paris, France.

I happily, gleefully, gratefully live in San Francisco, CA.

Which has never, not in all my years, dropped me on my ass.

 

But, a yeah, you got a job, you know, let me, uh, hear about it, like.


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