Posts Tagged ‘Healthy San Francisco’

That’s Ok

November 18, 2016

It’ll be taken care of.

I have the money.

God must want the city to have a few more bucks.

Just the cost of living in the city.

It’s going to happen once in a while.

I know better next time.

All the thoughts that went through my head when I saw my scooter.

Shoot!

I got a parking ticket.

I was downtown heading to my appointment to get Covered California, which I did not get, I’ll explain in a minute, and I parked between to cars off of Grant Street.

I really didn’t think I was going to get a ticket, but the truth is, I did have a pricking in my thumbs and I was hoping that I wouldn’t be at the office that long and god damn, even on a scooter it’s hella hard to find parking where I was going.

Spring Street, which is where the office is located, doesn’t even have parking on it at all.

Next time.

If there’s a next time.

I’ll pay to park in the garage.

I got popped with an $81 dollar ticket.

The nice thing was that I wasn’t upset.

I was like, well, shoot.

Then I thought.

I’ve paid for the time, I got out of the Healthy SF office far sooner than I thought, as I didn’t end up applying to Covered California, and I pulled out my camera and took some photographs.

It reminded me of the time, about four years ago, that I took a photography class with a mentor and walked around China Town with him taking hundreds of photographs.

I looked up entranced by the red dragon ledges of the building I was parked next to.

Then, I turned and Grant street, right there, so many colors and juxtapositions of signs and lamp-post and hanging lanterns, panda posters, hot pink, lime green, window displays, all the golden dragons floating across the faces of the buildings.

I was entranced and shot a rapid number of frames.

Pictures that I have been trying desperately for the last hour to figure out how to download to my computer.

I really don’t know what’s going on with it, but it won’t recognize the files.

This has happened before and I can’t remember how I got it to recognize the format of my camera and down load the photos.

I spent way too much time on it and I finally gave it up and got in the shower, which is what I should have done much sooner, I am already up past my “bed time” on a school night.

Yes.

That’s right.

Class is in this weekend.

And I have papers to turn in and lectures to attend and friends to catch up with.

I am looking forward to seeing my friends.

Not so much to classes, if the truth may be told, I’m not loving the classes I’m in quite as much as last semester, but that’s ok, I’m sure that will happen once in a while, the material is sufficient and I’m learning, I’m just not finding myself connecting with two out of the three classes as much as I would like.

So it goes.

I need to take some proactive actions this weekend around my practicum stuff too, I’ll be sitting through my lunch hour in an open house.

So much for taking a break, ever.

Ha.

Or catching a break.

I almost skipped over the didn’t get health insurance today.

It costs too much.

“Oh, that’s too much,” she said shaking her head, “you can’t afford that.”

Yeah, no shit.

I was in tears.

“Oh, no, don’t cry,” she said and patted my arm.  “My daughter’s in the same boat, she’s a nanny too.”

Ah.

Those that do the work, sometimes they get glossed over, looked over, left behind, but I won’t be upset, I won’t.

Nope.

I’m going to be grateful.

Because.

The agency is going to let me do Healthy San Francisco for another year.

Thank you!

Yes.

I will take a hit at tax time and get a penalty for not having health insurance, fuck you very much, last year it was $85 per month that I didn’t have insurance.

Whatever.

The cost of the lowest usage, least covered of the packages was still over three times greater in price than what I am paying using Healthy SF.

So.

Even taking a fine on for each month is less than what I would pay.

Plus the copays are stupid.

$75 to see my primary doctor.

Fuck you.

I won’t ever go, what’s the point?

I said thank you so much to the woman who helped me, nearly gave her a hug I did, and wrote up a really nice five-star comment about her service and slipped it into the suggestion box in the lobby before I left.

I had tons of time before work.

What do I want to do?

Get my scooter and move it now.

Too late.

There’s the ticket.

Oh well.

I was actually ok with it, I really was, I mean, hell, I thought, just the cost of finding out that I was going to stick with the health plan and services that I have currently.

I took out my camera, took my pictures, then decided I would go to Rainbow Co-operative and do some retail therapy.

I bought five pounds of Stumptown Holler Mountain coffee.

I got a discount of 10% off the cost of it for buying it in bulk and yes, I will drink it faster than you think I will.

Shhh.

I have a small, heh, caffeine habit.

Don’t tell.

I got myself a few fat and sassy persimmons.

I picked up a bottle of my favorite raw chocolate drink from Rau.

I got myself a box of Christmas cards.

It’s almost that time again.

I got some Mexican chocolate candles.

God damn they smell good.

I got some nice tea to bring to school tomorrow.

I bought some organic nutmeg in bulk.

Because nutmeg.

Then I hopped on my scooter and got to work.

Work was busy.

Another sick boy.

Another batch of broccoli soup.

And chili.

Grandparent visit and the grandpa really loves my chili so whenever they are in town I whip up a batch.

One monstrous big temper tantrum.

But.

It worked its way out and the oldest boy and I had a really sweet moment when we were navigating his feelings.

“When was the last time you got mad?” He asked me.

“Hmmm,” I thought about it, “oh!  Today, well, I was not super mad, but I got a little mad, I got a parking ticket on my scooter.”

“You did?” The mom called out from her office, “how much was it for?”

“Ugh, $81,” I said, “but I had a feeling I shouldn’t have parked there, and well, I learned to trust that voice again.”

“Do you have it?” The mom asked.

“No, I paid it immediately, dropped a check in the mailbox before coming to work,” I replied, and ruffled the eldest boys hair and squeezed his shoulder.

“How much was it?  $81?” The mom asked coming through the kitchen.

“Here,” she said and set $81 in cash on top of my purse, “I always pay a person’s parking ticket, it’s good karma.”

“What?  Are you serious, thank you!”  I was so startled, and grateful, it made me laugh, I truly believed I was going to come into money today and that my ticket was going to be negated.

And it was.

“Absolutely, if I hear someone got a parking ticket I always pay it,” she said and went back to her office, saying as she walked away, “it really is good karma.”

Holy moly.

Thanks boss lady!

Taken care of.

Just.

Like.

That.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

All the damn time.

Seriously.

Pete The Cat

November 17, 2016

Is a co-dependent.

Seriously.

Have you read the one about him and the goldfish?

I couldn’t help my commentary as I was reading the story to my charges today.

It cracked me up.

Takes one to know on.

I’ve gotten a lot better though, more advocating for myself and more letting myself have the things that I need to have to take care of myself.

After all.

It’s hella hard to take care of others if I haven’t taken care of myself.

I’ve been doing pretty good at that of late.

I got up early and made coffee and got my breakfast started, but did not eat it, I don’t like how I feel if I eat breakfast before yoga, it’s not a good feeling.

But I knew it was going to be a little tight this morning to do all the things I wanted to do before I had to leave for work.

So.

Yeah.

I made breakfast and set it aside before I went to the studio.

I really wanted to get in one more day at the studio before the school week begins.

Tomorrow I can’t, I’ll be heading down town to the Healthy San Francisco offices.

I don’t qualify for Healthy SF anymore, I’m just covered until January, so I need to get all my stuff together and apply for Covered California.

Which is actually real health insurance.

Healthy SF is not, but I’ve used it and every year at tax time I get dinged for it not being “real” insurance and I have to pay a fine.

I love how this country likes to punish those who don’t have enough by taking away their resources.

I always have a bit of snit when I have to pay the fine for not having health insurance, it just seems a bit unfair.

I can’t afford health insurance, so let me pay a fine for not having health insurance.

Fuck you.

Anyway.

I’m ready to have the real thing and I’m hoping it won’t be too expensive.

I know it will be more than I have been paying and I’m just going to be fine with it.

Paying for my glasses this past year out-of-pocket, since Healthy SF doesn’t cover eye care or dental, was really expensive.  I’d like to not do that again.

I figure between the fine and what the costs of my two sets of glasses were I can afford to do the Covered California.

I believe I will be taken care of.

So I took care of all the minutiae that they require and printed off my bank statement and my payroll stubs.

I’m set.

I just have to go in, hand them my paper work, fill out the application and decide what plan to choose.

Preferably one with dental and eye care.

Then I work and get my shit together for the school weekend.

I got no reading done today.

I was hoping to get a nap, but the baby was teething.

Argh.

And the boys, her brothers were both home early from school.

There was really no break and there was certainly no down time to do any of my school reading.

But.

Ultimately.

I am ok with that as my papers are written and I did reading for all my classes.

I’m not that far behind, just not completely caught up and frankly, I’m so happy I cranked out my paper this past weekend I don’t really care.

I looked at myself today and smiled.

“You’re doing a good job kid,” I said.

I believed it, it’s nice to look around and have my stuff taken care of, food is prepped up, my papers are in their school folder, stacks of books on my desk, laundry done, I just need to show up and participate.

And.

Well.

I’m pretty good at that.

And stay awake.

I always have a challenge getting enough sleep the weekends I’m in school.

I get somewhere between five and six hours when I normally get 8.

By the end of the weekend I’m a little bonkers.

But.

I keep looking towards next week with a sweet longing, I will have days and days and days off.

I will sleep in.

I may not even do homework.

Ok.

That’s probably not true.

But.

Oh.

What would it be like to do some pleasure reading?

Actually read something that is fiction.

God damn that sounds so fucking sexy.

Maybe I will bring one book to enjoy.

I’ll probably wait until Christmas though, when I travel back to Wisconsin, and let myself have a few good thick books for the winter break.

I’ll get about two weeks of not having to read for school.

Although the break is longer than that, it’s almost a month if I recall from last year, but the syllabi usually get released and I’ll need to be doing reading for the start of the second semester fairly quick.

I remember how fast it snuck up on me last year and I was like.

Shit.

I have to start reading now!

I don’t need to feel that kind of panic going into the second semester.

And I will need to start preparing for my practicum and where I’m going to intern.

Fuck.

That’s going to be more work too.

Always the work.

But.

I suppose I’m used to it by now and I’m getting better and time management and I have to say, I’ve been good about not engaging with my social media right away in the morning.

I give myself my morning.

Nice breakfast.

Time to do my morning routine, drink some coffee, do some writing.

Read when I can.

So the first few hours of the day are mine alone and I’ve become a little greedy with those hours, ignoring messages or calls or texts until I have done all the writing and coffee and reading and getting ready for my day.

I’m being selfish.

Or.

As I prefer.

I’m taking care of myself.

Poor Pete the Cat by the end of the story has painted everyone in his family a goldfish painting, everyone in his class, his school bus driver, his grandma, even the mayor at Cat City Hall wants a painting from Pete the Cat.

Pete’s got homework.

Pete’s got to feed Goldie his goldfish.

Pete looks exhausted.

Pete gets a great idea and paints one huge painting for the whole city and puts it up in the middle of downtown.

I’d rather just learn from Pete’s lesson, although I don’t think the author was going for a co-dependent kitten, I got the message loud and clear.

Taking care of myself is the best way to help those around me.

And I do want to help.

So.

With that.

I’m out.

I need to eat a persimmon and have some tea before bed.

And.

Maybe a video.

Even Pete would approve of that.

Good night.

Cats and kittens.

It’s been a good day.

And.

It’s all groovy.

Pete would approve of that too.

Auldting

October 7, 2016

All over the motherfucking place.

That’s right.

Got up this morning, did the deal, got right with God, drank some coffee and hit my scooter up to head over to the downtown offices of Healthy San Francisco.

That service that helps a lass or a lad out when they don’t quite have enough to afford that health care thing called insurance.

I’m right on the cusp this year.

In fact, I had a bit of trepidation that I was not going to qualify anymore and have to pony up some real big bucks and get with the health insurance in a for real kind of way.

I have had it before, great insurance when I worked for the veterinary hospital, which really came in handy when I got a PTSD diagnosis from an incicdent that occured to me while I was working there as well as getting some help for my clinical anxiety and clinical depression.

And.

That one time I got hit.

By a bicyclist while I was on foot crossing Market at the Octavia, Valencia corner.

I got smacked hard stepping off the curb.

I don’t remember any of it.

Complete amnesia.

Except for the part where the paramedic screamed at me, “stay with us!”

And I passed right back out.

Turns out there’s actually a health insurance code for getting hit and run by a bike.

I shit you not.

So I was told by the doctor at Kaiser when I went into the immediate care after having been released from General Hospital.

Nothing is more unnerving than waking up at General strapped to a gurney, in a hallway while wearing a neck brace.

I was crying help weakly when I finally got some passing person’s regard and they found an orderly who wheeled me into a deserted room and shut the door so I could use the bed pan they slid underneath my hips.

Which was in and of itself perhaps the worst experience I have had sober.

Uncontrollable peeing from having held my bladder god only knows how long.

I filled the bed pan and couldn’t stop and it splashed out onto the floor.

Now, I’m in a neck brace, can’t move, full bed pan under my ass, pee dripping on the floor, crying.

Good fucking times.

But.

Thank fucking god I had insurance at the time.

Had I not.

The bill for my short stay would have been $10,000.

Give or take a few hundred dollars.

When I saw the bill I just about threw up in my mouth, but then I read it and realized that the only thing I had to pay was a $100 co-pay for the ambulance ride.

Stay with me indeed.

I had to talk myself off a short ledge to make the Healthy SF appointment, so convinced was my brain that I was going to get turned down, why bother going?

But.

I ride a scooter.

And I just know better.

I mean.

I really do.

I told on myself, which always helps, and I made the appointment and when I was scooting over to that part of town, I was gratified I did.

I just knew that I would feel better no matter what.

And as it turns out I don’t really qualify for Healthy SF any longer, I do make just a little too much money.

But.

I do qualify for Covered California!

Which is real health insurance, fuck that would be nice, in case I need to change my prescription glasses any time soon or just go in for a check up.

Or.

Even better.

When I file my taxes and don’t get the penalty fine for not having health insurance.

And.

The woman who helped me at Healthy SF was super kind, she booked me a consultation appointment so that I could come in one day before work and compare the different plans and get help filling out the application.

This is what I need.

Thank God.

I don’t know how to do stuff like this, I need help all the time.

Grateful beyond words that I have the humility, teeny, tiny, little bit, to ask for help and accept it in whatever form is given to me.

I was also told that there are only certain times that you can apply to Covered California and that the next time to apply would be November and it wouldn’t go into effect until January 1st.

Ok then.

I resigned myself to being without health insurance for a couple of months.

My Healthy San Francisco expires in two weeks.

“Oh wait!” The woman said looking at my card and realizing that it was about to expire, “your coverage is up in two weeks!”

I nodded, I know.

Ugh.

“Well, we can’t let you not be covered, no way, here’s what we’re going to do,” she got busy click clacking on the keyboard.

Waived some magic wand.

And.

Voila!

I’ve been approved for another year of Healthy SF.

What?

No way.

“You need to be covered, I’m not going to let you go out there and not have anything, you come back in November and we’ll go over the Covered California and get you a plan and when January rolls around you can call me and I’ll cancel your Healthy SF,” she concluded.

Then popped up, grabbed a sheaf of papers of the printer, had me sign a few highlighted spots and said, “we’ll keep you with Kaiser and you are ready to go, just make sure you send in a check as soon as you get the bill in the mail.”

Yes ma’am!

I left feeling really good for showing up.

It is the majority of the battle.

I have been doing a lot of showing up recently and I’m pretty happy about that.

I showed up to work.

I told the family I accepted a job offer and need to give them notice.

I told them that I could work into December, the very end if needed, but if they didn’t need that, to let me know what would work the best for them.

I said thank you.

I said I am grateful.

I showed up.

And I kept showing up.

It’s a gift to be able to do so.

Adulting.

Who knew it could be so fulfilling?

Seriously.

I GOT THE JOB!

October 6, 2016

And like that.

It’s done.

Well.

It’s not 100% done, nothing is quite so tidy and wrapped up and dropped off at the door with absolutely no strings attached.

But.

I got the job!

I had the second interview tonight, after working a full day with the family up in Noe Valley, and I was basically offered the job.

Health insurance stipend.

PTO–paid time off.

Full time hours, except the Fridays I’m in my grad school program.

The family is fine with my Paris dates.

They will be drawing up a contract and confidentiality statement to cover all bases and yup, I’ll be over the table again.

As nice as it is to get cash here and there under the table, I’m a lot more comfortable having the taxes taken out and dealt with.

They will probably use the same system that my current employers do, I don’t have to be involved other than to give them my bank account info.

They did ask that the first two weeks are an open audition.

Which is no big shakes, my current family said the same thing then six months later were like, oh yeah, you work for us.

Heh.

Actually I don’t remember if we had a conversation at the end of the two week trial period, it was on.

They also want me to possibly squeeze in a day or two before I start.

I was like, that might be hard, but maybe.

I did feel a little overwhelmed at that point.

It’s a lot.

Work, working two different families, navigating a new job with a third family, all the interviewing and referrals and all of it.

I was tuckered out and zonked and I think the mom sensed it as she back pedaled a little bit to say of course, whatever you can do and you’d be compensated, etc.

I just had a looming picture of the next few months navigating all the places, and families and um, hello, full-time grad school.

It made my head spin.

And.

Right then and there, I knew I just had to do the next action in front of me, get my coat, confirm that I had the job, and let my new boss now I’m excited to get to work with them.

Three kids.

Six year old boy.

Four year old girl.

And.

Baby on the way.

I’m actually feeling really grateful for my little brood up in Noe Valley right now, as they are a group of three as well, I’m getting practice.

I am also really over the moon that a lot of my work with the family will be open to adventures, dropping off and picking up the kids from school, going to museums, The Academy of Sciences, parks.

I haven’t had that kind of autonomy with my current family.

There will be parents around, but not as much.

Dad works in Cupertino and mom has her own small business and has an office in the Mission.

Some days they may both be home, especially in the early months of the new baby.

But most days, I’ll be more free to come and go.

I’m so excited for that.

I have missed solo adventures with my charges.

It’s been a crazy full week and it’s just Wednesday.

I almost felt like canceling my pre-work appointments for the next two days, but I’m going to pony up and go.

I have an appointment to re-up my Healthy San Francisco coverage tomorrow before work.

I may get turned down and I have been tempted to not go because I think that I’m going to get turned down, but I need to show up and see what my options are.

And being an adult, I called today and made an appointment, expecting that I wouldn’t be able to get in until next week, but hey, no, they had an 11:30 a.m. available tomorrow.

Ok then.

Seems I need to deal with this.

And if I don’t get it, there will be other options, I’m sure.

Then Friday I have my appointment with my advisor that I had to reschedule due to last week’s phone snafu.

And you know work both those days.

And homework and whew.

I did actually get some homework done today at work, the baby napped and I was able to sit down and re-map my genogram for my Family Therapy class.

It was actually a lot of fun and I can see how it’s a great tool for family therapy.

I will probably use it in my practice.

I did a tiny bit of reading, I mean tiny, but I opened a book and did some.

And really, I can’t beat myself up.

I wrote this morning, I showered and breakfasted and did my daily routine, I worked a full day, I did homework, I went and did a second interview for a new job.

It was a day.

I am so not beating myself up for not having done more.

I did enough.

I would have liked to have gotten to see my people tonight, I had planned on at least showing up, even if it was late, but the interview went long–which, duh is obviously a good thing.

But.

I’ll see my peeps tomorrow and I’m going to be happy for it.

Happy too, once this all sinks in that I’m off the market.

I don’t have to look for work.

Work came looking for me.

I mean, I still had to show up for the process, but it’s almost complete.

Tomorrow I will get to tell my current family and be grateful for everything they have done for me.

I mean.

The mom referred me to this new situation.

I am thankful.

Grateful as fuck.

Seriously.

And it will be nice to give them a big fat notice so that we can navigate the saying of goodbyes.

It’s never easy, but it helps to give the kids a big amount of time to get used to the idea.

I don’t think it will be good-bye forever though, the families go to the same private school, they have play dates together, the moms know each other, there will be overlapping.

It’s a good solution.

I am a lucky lady.

Tired.

But very lucky.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Got a new job.

Yes.

Yes.

She did.

I Need To Make An Amends

March 18, 2016

Actually I need to fill out an amended tax form.

“You’re making an amends to yourself,” he told me, leaning into the table and looking at me with his bright eyes.

Indeed.

I had not even thought of it like that.

In fact, up until yesterday I hadn’t told anyone what was going on.

In the crazy.

In the head.

All by itself, the I’m not worthy drum still tries to sound a rhythm.

Fortunately, I told on myself yesterday and that opened me up to being able to find some recourse around a tax penalty I received for not having health insurance.

Because that’s what our country does to its people who can’t afford insurance, they slap you on the wrist and kick you when you’re down–like giving a homeless person a ticket for loitering.

And I understand it to a point, it’s to help prod people into having some sort of coverage, but I think about all the people that are getting screwed because they are neither here nor there.

I make just enough money now that next year I am going to have cover all my health insurance through a private insurance plan.

No more Healthy San Francisco for me.

Not that they have covered my grossest costs regarding health care–my glasses–but they certainly had me covered when I had my scooter accident and I had to go to the ER.

A visit that could have cost me thousands of dollars but in the end was  a $100 co-pay.

So whatever, I figured, when the penalty was leveed on my taxes that there was nothing I could do about it and that was just the cost of doing business.

That is until oh, around the 24th or 25th of last month when I received an interesting piece of paperwork from Kaiser Permanente–the provider that Healthy SF has me paired with–it was my IRS 1095-B form.

In lay man terms.

It was my out for the tax penalty.

Dear Carmen ______________

The affordable Care ACT (ACA) requires taxpayers to prove they had health coverage in 2015 when they file their taxes for 2015.  The enclosed IRS Form 1095-B reports proof of coverage.

Well fuck me.

I paid that fine.

It was taken out of my tax refund.

It was about $850.

That’s a nice little chunk of money I want back.

Especially since, well, that’s going to cover my new glasses, both pairs.

Well, not quite, but it’s damn close and what’s funny.

I wasn’t going to do anything about it.

I just sort of chalked it up to I made a mistake and now I’m going to pay for it and next year, well, now I know and I won’t make that mistake again.

Except well.

Dang it.

$850.

That’s a little bit of money.

That’s more than I make after taxes for a week’s worth of work.

That’s a ticket to Maui and back.

Plus some.

But.

Well, I fucked up, so I have to pay for the price.

I stuck the papers in my little file in and let it go.

Except.

Well, it sort of stuck.

And yesterday when I told my friend it was a relief to let it out.

It sort of took the starch out of it.

It had been weighing on my mind and although I kept telling myself I was ok with it, I obviously was not.

“Why don’t you call the IRS?”  My friend asked over the phone.

Oh.

My.

God.

Like actually call the IRS?

Are you nuts?

But.

Um.

Maybe that’s not a bad place to start.

“I’m sure there is something you can do, you should call, if you owed them $850, you know they’d be calling you.” She concluded.

True that.

So this morning I climbed into my big girl pants and I opened my laptop, after doing my morning routine, I logged onto the IRS website.

And wouldn’t you fucking know it!

There’s a tab that says: “make a mistake on your filed taxes?”

Oh.

Ha!

I’m not the only one who fucks up.

In fact, there are so many folks that mess up filing their taxes there is a form that they have so that you can fix your mistakes.

How freaking easy is that?

I was a bit chagrinned.

But also really grateful that I didn’t keep this to myself.

The fear is idiotic, but it was there and it was also an old way of living, a way of being that doesn’t work for me, that I get punished when I do something wrong, that I am a bad girl.

You know sometimes I am a bad girl.

Ahem.

But not in this case.

No.

In this case I made a mistake and I filled out my taxes and filed them to the best of my ability.

I used the information that I had and I made a decision.

So the decision was incorrect.

The thing about mistakes is that I’m not going to be punished, there is no need to be pilloried, I can just be a human and try to fix it.

Again.

To the best of my ability with the information I have.

I have the form to amend my taxes and I have the form that proves I had health coverage that is adequate for me to prove to the federal government that I was complying with the Affordable Care Act.

Oh.

This again.

“Adulting.”

I am acting the grown up.

I am growing up.

Grateful I also got transparent with my person at the cafe tonight.

It’s nice to be accountable to someone and to someone who is not going to judge me.

We read a big chapter and talked about acceptance being the answer to all my problems and how focusing on the problem only makes it bigger, but the more I focus on the solution, well, that problem just takes care of itself.

Thank God for solution.

Seriously.

So, so grateful that I don’t have to do this alone.

I got a spiritual solution for your desperate aim.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Ah.

So nice to be making it through the week and being accountable and showing up and also amending my behavior when and where it is appropriate with love and guidance that comes from outside myself.

What a gift, this life.

Grateful.

To be so constantly.

And.

Continuously.

Graced.

 

Trop Contente Ma Poule

October 10, 2015

Translation please.

“So happy my girl.”

I loved getting this text.

Even though I put myself in a place to make myself a tiny bit more hectic when I really didn’t think I could squeeze another thing into my over full schedule.

But.

When a dear, darling, yes, French, girl friend of mine texted me this evening when I had the boys in the bath asking if I would like to go see Franz Ferdinand next Thursday, “I have an extra ticket,” well, I had to say yes.

Mais, oui!

But of course.

I so want to.

I am going to have a full day that Thursday.

I had to double-check, than triple check, that the date was not a school weekend, no way I can go out to Oakland on a school weekend.

Hell.

I got invited to a dance party tonight in Oakland and I won’t say that I didn’t contemplate it, I did, but I have too much on my plate for tomorrow.

If it all goes as planned, haha, I will be meeting my person at noon, speaking at a thing at 1 p.m., taking myself out to lunch by 2:30 p.m., getting my nails done by three p.m. and fingers fucking crossed back to my place by 4p.m. so I can work on my Human Development paper before my date, which I am assuming is happening at 7:15p.m. as we have dinner reservations in the Mission at 8 p.m.

Whew.

So.

Sure.

Throw another thing in my schedule.

Oh.

Wait.

Hahahaha.

I already did do that today.

Next Thursday I also have an appointment downtown before work to renew my Healthy San Francisco health care.

I did some research last night, in between looking at dresses on ModCloth, because god only knows when I will actually have the time to go into a proper clothing store and actually buy new clothes, into my available health insurance options.

I readily discovered that it would be better fiscally for me to continue with Healthy SF.

I made the appointment for next Thursday, two days before my plan expires.

Yeah.

I know.

But it’s getting done and I don’t have to take a sick day from work.

My only other option was to go in at 9 a.m. on Monday morning and since the boys have off for the holiday, Columbus Day in case you need to make some big plans, I will be going into work at 10 a.m.

It felt like I was trying to make it work too hard.

And.

Tuesday I work even earlier, 9:30a.m.

But.

It’s ok.

I’m flexible like that.

Most of the time.

And I wanted to be flexible when my friend texted me.

I have turned down hanging out with some of my fellows in my cohort and I don’t want to continue to do that, even though it means squashing another thing into my life, so grateful I have such a full life, that I had to say yes.

Besides I really quite like the quartet from Glasgow, the Franz Ferdinand boys, and it should be a really good show.

I haven’t been to a show in a long time.

Unless you count Burning Man.

Which certainly is a circus of a show if there ever was one.

Speaking of which.

I realized yesterday, I won’t be going to Decompression.

Which is a new one for me.

I always go to Decompression.

Even though I always feel a bit let down by it.

It just is not the same, though it tries real hard.

It should be called, “Depression.”

Although I do like running into friends there and usually there’s some good dancing, some photographs and some hanging out that does me good, I do feel a little sad to be missing it, but I have plans to be working on school work.

I don’t know that I am going to get my paper written tomorrow, but I did go through all my notes this morning as well as pulling out a stack of post-it notes and marking all the places in the reader and in the gigantic text-book that I want to address in my paper.

In a sense, the knowing what I am going to write on makes the actually writing really not too bad.

If the paper goes like the last one did, and truth be told, I am better prepared with this one, I have done all the readings–finished them yesterday, and I have a good grasp on the material, it should not take longer than two, three hours tops to write.

“How’s grad school going?” My friend asked me tonight after doing the deal over at Our Lady of SafeWay.

I wasn’t expecting to be there tonight, I had a cancellation after work and I snuck in a little get right with God.

So exceptional, how I get what I need when I need it.

“It’s good, hard, full, some of it is super easy, the reading and the writing isn’t that hard, I’m used to writing, it’s more time management, that’s the hardest.” I told my friend and he gave me a big hug.

“You got this.”

I do.

He’s right.

I just also get a little caught up in the busy of it all.

But grateful, so much so, that I am finding the balance.

I also am finding myself inspired.

I wrote another sonnet out for the Burning Man collaboration with the photographer/architect/artist I met at Burning Man standing in line for the Mike Garlington chapel.

I have now written six.

I am going to write ten.

I have the frame-work done for all ten.

I have the six written in full and they make me happy.

Oh so happy.

Trop contente.

Indeed.

I figure I will write another tomorrow, and by Tuesday, I will have all ten written.

Then.

I will transcribe them into my laptop, they are all in my notebook, my Human Development notebook at that–it was the notebook I grabbed from my bag when I got inspired and started writing, although there are no Human Development references, I did find myself working some Freudian dream analysis into the last poem.

I don’t know that the poems are going to make sense to any one but me.

But.

I am very happy with the language.

It is lush and yes.

Poetic.

God.

I am lucky.

Music on my stereo.

Art on my walls.

Words at my fingertips.

And she shall make music wherever she goes.

Love in my life.

Friends who want to take me to Franz Ferdinand.

French in my vocabulary.

Burning Man in my heart.

Graduate school on my brain.

And a two-day reprieve from work.

Life.

It’s pretty fucking good.

No?

I Raise You One Sick Day

October 9, 2015

For ten vacation days and….

Actually.

I got six sick days.

And.

Clarification that I did not have the last time I negotiated with the family I work for.

I get the sick days, six, to be actually sick.

Um.

I never get sick.

But I do have accidents.

And doctors appointments.

Which reminds me, note to self, my Healthy San Francisco expires this month and I either need to re-up or look at Medical or Obama Care.

I haven’t experience with either, but they are true health insurance from what I can gather and Healthy SF technically is not health insurance, although, really, it feels just like it.

Suffice to say, I am not going to be covered either way here in a matter of days and it’s time to get aboard that boat now.

“Girl, you have some loose boundaries around your money,” my person said to me tonight with a fierce look in his blue eyes.

I know!

I know.

I really do.

But I am learning and also, to give myself some credit, all this stuff is really new for me.

Despite having been a nanny on my own, sans agency, for a long time, it still takes time for me to figure out everything I need and to than go forward and ask for it as an independent contractor.

That’s what I am in a sense.

I am self-employed, but I have contracts.

I have learned that having a contact brings clarity.

So.

Last night when I realized that I needed some more clarity I took it upon myself to reach out to the family and discuss the next step in our figuring out how to best move forward.

I got great clarity and I am grateful.

I did not get a raise.

But.

I got a raise.

It just doesn’t look exactly how I expected it to look.

I am not getting an hourly increase.

But.

I am sustaining my current benefits despite working less.

35 hours a week when I am not in school.

28 hours a week when I am in school.

With some flexibility to add or subtract.

Like next week the boys have off for Columbus Day.

They actually have Columbus Day and the day after off.

Who the hell gets Columbus Day off?

I don’t remember this as a kid, but the school is a private school and it seems that they have a lot more holidays than I ever remember having.

Anyway.

Next Monday I will work 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as well as Tuesday.

This is a big shift for me since school started for me and the boys relatively at the same time and I have been working 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the family.

I go in at 1 p.m. clean up the breakfast stuff, unload the dishwasher, tidy up, do the boys laundry, recycle, compost, trash, prep snacks, meal plan with the mom, go grocery shopping and marketing, mail stuff, pick up stuff, run errands, make dinner.

Then the boys come home at 3 p.m. and we have our afternoon together, then dinner, baths, then bed time when the parents take over.

Although both mom and dad work out of the office at home, so there is much interaction with the parents.

It took me a little while to get used to that, I’ve typically worked for families that were working away from home, but there’s been enough exception to that rule that when it presented with this family I was not completely unprepared for what that entailed.

But I can handle the shifting hours and it does make it possible to see my person again next week who I normally would not have been able to do.

God it was good to see him.

Those twinkling eyes.

Those wise words.

The shared experience.

And a person that I am genuinely myself with, no masks, no hiding, even when I want to hide, I can’t and I am grateful for his love and guidance and I don’t know how I would have gotten through the last year and a half without him.

I digress in gratitude.

Which for digression is not a bad thing.

We talked about the process of asking for clarity, of what it was like for me to ask for the raise, what it has been like being aware of what I need, also the acknowledgement of how I am moving forward completely above-board and all my tax stuff is transparent and how grateful I am for that.

Frankly, it’s a relief.

I still have fear of getting audited for years that I worked under the table as a nanny.

Be that as it may, I needed to do it that way to get by.

I couldn’t have lived in San Francisco had I not.

I have no regrets about it.

But I do have a choice now to stay in the clear and what with school and financial aid, it just feels right.

Needless to say.

It’s called being an adult.

It’s taken me awhile to grow up and grow towards my financial ideal.

I am still short.

But.

I have come so far.

When I think about the lack of guidance I had in money matters growing up, how lacking my family of origin experience was in regards to financial knowledge, despite watching my mother and step-father have hair pulling, knock down, drag out fights, with tables that got flipped over in the dining room, over the monthly budget, I never learned how to handle my finances.

I’ve learned most of what I know in this last decade.

I really have grown up.

There’s still plenty of growth.

But.

I will acknowledge the growth that has happened now.

I accepted the package the family proposed.

I stay at my current hourly.

But.

I get all the perks that I had before when I was working full-time.

I.e.

I still get the same vacation days!

Which is awesome.

As in I get Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving off.

Hello four-day weekend!

I also get the 23rd-25th of December off for Christmas.

Five day weekend!

Hell.

I could actually make some travel plans.

Plus.

I accrue my vacation days the same way, which means, I get the same ten I got last year and I still get the six sick days, which I now know to actually use when I get sick or need time off for doctors appointments, etc.

I’m getting full-time benefits without working full-time.

This is a really nice perk.

And.

We will follow-up with a review at the end of the year where the family has agreed to look at giving a raise at that time and negotiating moving forward from there.

I think it’s a win.

I certainly learned a lot about myself and my process and I am very proud of myself for the work I did.

Albeit I could have done without the unnecessary drama I brought on myself through anxiety and miscommunication about my vacation days and sick days.

Growth.

There’s always more to do.

But I have to acknowledge the work I did too.

That’s a part of it all as well.

Grateful for the experience.

Even when it was painful.

They say pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.

I can second that opinion.

And raise my sick days to that notion.

Plus a couple of long delicious weekends in the not so distant future.

Winning.

Is That A Dozen Eggs

October 19, 2013

In your bag?

My friend asked me this late afternoon at the corner of Folsom and 24th.

We had coffee plans to go to Philz, but they were over run, so we meandered a short hop to Haus, kitty corner from Philz, and stood in line to get our perspective teas.

Yup.

A dozen organic, free range, omega 3 eggs, from Judy’s Organics.

Along with kale, some of which dislodged from my bag and spilled onto the floor.

Sorry, Haus, I didn’t mean to get organic kale on your floor, but as you’re in the Mission, which although truly gentrified to bits, does still have some of that stale bum urine rankness happening.  So, I don’t feel too bad about it.

I had gone downtown to interview for Healthy San Francisco, which I was informed, repeatedly, is NOT health insurance, but only for preventative care and emergencies.

Ok, I hear you, now, sign me up please.

Because despite the kale and organic eggs (and pinto beans and navy beans and brown rice, brown mushrooms, onion, and garlic, I am going to make a bean stew with the various accoutrements, apples, and almond milk), despite the healthy eating, living, bicycling, and hopefully soon, more surfing, you never know when you are going to get hit by a bus.

And I don’t have health insurance.

It’s been about a year since I have and it was pointed out to me that as an act of self-care I needed to take care of that.

Duly noted and taken care of.

A half hour later I exited the building, hopped on my bicycle and headed to Rainbow.

Because when in Rome you buy the organics at the best place you can.

I am debating becoming a member of a CSA as well–less groceries in my messenger bag–who doesn’t want farm fresh veggies and fruits, organic, dropped off at your door?

I just have no idea when I would schedule a drop off.

I mean, I am home, but I am out more than I am in.

Something to think about.

Lots of things to think about as I head into the weekend, which doesn’t much feel like a weekend since I am working a split shift tomorrow–10a.m.-1p.m. in the Castro, then 8p.m.-2a.m. in Potrero Hill.

It does, however, feel like a week when I am going to make some money.

Money I have plans for.

I went to Aqua Surf Shop today at Sloat and 46th Avenue and looked over wetsuits there and talked to an awesome guy, Devon, who told me he lived at 47th and Judah for 15 years, and I would really like it, about all things wetsuits.

He gave me some great advice and suggestions, including some thoughts about surf boards et al.

Aqua

Aqua

Sunday I am going to head over to Wise Surf Shop on Great Highway and check them out.

Then with the info I have under my belt I shall make myself a wetsuit purchase.

Because I will be able to afford to do so.

I have the full-time work happening.

Thank God.

I have also looked a bit on Craigslist for used suits, but I have yet to see something that will work for me.

I may also check out Sports Basement, since I am going to be in the Mission tomorrow, I decided I won’t be heading back to my house in between my split shifts.

I have a meeting of the minds at Philz on 18th and Noe Street at 1:15p.m.  then free time until I am due up at 26th and Hampshire (I think it’s Hampshire, yeesh, I haven’t been over there in a while, I know it’s at 26th and the hill is steep) so I can scoot over to Sports Basement and maybe REI and that other place I always forget is there at Division and 15th.

Do my wetsuit research.

Funny enough the one place I thought was too expensive, Mollusk, still has the best price for what I am looking for.

That being said I have only gone to two surf shops so far.

I have, as well, done online research, so I am not completely in the dark here.

Granted, I have yet to try one on and that I know is going to be some monkey business.

I did find out from a friend last Saturday that you can purchase a wetsuit and bring it home and try it on in the privacy of your own home and return it if it doesn’t fit.

You cannot return it once it’s gone in the water.

Good information to have.

So much to do.

I am keeping busy I am.

I am also contemplating taking part in the November novel-writing challenge.

I got an e-mail from a friend asking if I was taking part.

I checked it out and thought, nah.

But the thought wouldn’t go away and I do have as story, not a memoir, that I think could be extrapolated out to a novel, and yes, I can’t believe I am saying this, but it is Science Fiction in nature.

My friend who asked shot me another e-mail and said that the basic requirement is 1,000 words a day.

Uh, yeah, I can do that.

In fact, I already do that now.

I typically crank out a blog between 1,000 and 1,200 words every night.

I have some practise with this.

Now, I don’t know if the words will flow as well and I am not sure if I would do the rough draft to the novel on my computer or if I would do it long hand, but I bet I could.

And sometimes what I need is a kick in the pants to get something going.

I have had a little voice in the back of my head asking when I was going to be writing something new, other than my morning pages and my blog, and this may be just the thing.

I think I am going to give it a go and see if a few other of my friends are interested in doing it.

The challenge begins in November and goes through out the month and there seems to be a lot of support around the community that is generating the challenge.

I just need to say yes and set up the profile.

If I can haul $70 worth of groceries on my back from Rainbow to the house without breaking one of my dozen organic eggs, I bet I could write a novel in the month of November.

I really have no idea how that correlates, but it seems that it is taking the action and not thinking.

I am not going to think.

I am going to do.

November novel month here I come.

I’ll be the girl grinding it out in a wet suit.

 

Early to Blog

September 27, 2013

Late to bed.

I am up in the Castro—19th between Noe and Sanchez—with no Internet connection.

Boo hiss.

However, the Word Document on my computer works just fine.

So, I figure I will get my blog out of the way, blog be gone!

And then I will watch down loaded videos I have not had time to watch.

The dad also showed my how to access Netflix and all that jazz on their big screen television, but a remote is usually beyond me.

In fact, I was realizing today, I feel like a lot of things are beyond me.

I was looking through Craigslist for jobs and I wasn’t discouraged so much as just not interested in doing any of the jobs that were offered.

It felt like such an investment to even get started.

I had absolutely no gumption, get up and go, or desire to find more work.

I realized that I am just fine being a nanny until something else comes along, not something that I need to figure out or make happen, not something where I go shake the trees or move to another country, France.  Just whatever happens to be the next thing, I don’t have to make shit happen.

I am a good worker and I am a good nanny.

I have a lot of experience being a nanny and so with those thoughts rolling around in my head I did what I needed to do to further my nanny career.

I invested my time and energy into getting myself re-booked to re-up my Child/Infant CPR and First Aid skills; the class also includes adult and AED skills, with the American Red Cross.

I have never had to use the certification, this will be my fourth time taking the class, but it is something that I like having the knowledge fresh in my mind and it makes me a more valuable nanny as far as I am concerned.

I also contacted TrustLine, which is a California service that does a back round check on all childcare providers that register with them.

I have been fingerprinted and cross-referenced and have not ever had a child neglect or abusive situation on my hands, let alone documented.  The service also does a felony background check and keeps updated files on where you live as well as references from previous employers.

I just let them know I had moved, a requirement for the service is that you must fill out a form with a current up to date address.    I finally have one that is listed again in San Francisco and ordered the address update to be sent to my house.

Oh, my sweet little house, where I fell asleep again last night with the door open–the shush of the ocean the best lullaby.

My darling little house by the sea that I really want to keep and stay in.  Which means getting some more hours for the nannying.

Or other work, but as I said, it seems really to be falling toward doing more nanny gigs.

And being healthy is part of my job, not only, I feel setting an example of healthy eating, which I do and I sit and eat my meals with the children I take care of, but also being in good health myself.

Which means health insurance.

Which I haven’t got.

But I do have a San Francisco residency, a bank statement, my tax form from last year, and I can get my employers to fill out a sheet saying about how much money I earn from them weekly.

Thereby fulfilling all the requirements to get enrolled with Healthy San Francisco.

The agency that helps those in the city with out health insurance receive medical care.

I am healthy, I don’t even have a cold, but I would like to have something in place in case anything happens and I also want to get the flu shot and get re-vaccinated for Rubella and Whooping Cough, also known as Pertussis.

I believe I am still up to date with my Tetanus vaccination, but I will get that too if needed.

I have full time hours this week and full time hours next week, but after that I won’t, unless this interview I do on Sunday falls my way.  I don’t actually believe it will, I don’t think that I am the fit they need, but I am going to show up (unless they cancel) and be available.

That is the part that I can repeat to myself whenever I get into the self-pity mode, show up and be available, when have I not been taken care of when that happens?

Life is pretty awesome.

I live by the beach in a beautiful, sweet little home, I eat really healthy tasty, good food, I work with bright loving children and I get paid to do so.

My bills are paid, for this month, and I have a roof over my head and a bicycle to ride.

Nary a problem here.

Nope, not a one.

Even without the Internet connection, I can tell this.

I feel genuine and happy and relaxed.

And damn lucky.

To live and love and be loved in San Francisco.

And to get to write, no matter what, no matter where, to pick up the pen in the morning and to write the blog in the evening.

These are huge gifts.

The view from the house, from the hills of the Castro, of San Francisco, the Victorians and the lofts, the lights flashing in the distance, the Bay Bridge, City Hall—it is dazzling and not taken for granted.

I am humbled to be allowed this life.

Blessed with abundance.

Abundant perspective.

*This blog was written earlier in the evening of the 26th and posted as soon as I had some internet connectivity while I was still perky and not tired.   It was, however, edited at half mast, blame any spelling or grammar errors on the lateness of the hour.*


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