Thursday, November 6, 2014

So Where Are The Parents?

That has become a punch line between myself and Steve. It started with insomnia.

Which started with a day full of frustrations. Well, and the first cup of caffeine in about a week. After my last fibrillation episode, I pinpointed excess caffeine as the proximal cause, and have been laying off. This leads to excess inactivity, leading to a stretching didn't-do-it list, leading to feeling useless, and on and on. Yesterday was to be the get-'er-done day.

It was to start with an early shower and breakfast, but while we were still catching the morning news and feeling depressed at the hoards of "citizens" who don't bother to vote, we had a visitor. He's a nice young guy who cycles past each morning with his young son on the back of his bike, then cycles back with an empty seat. When we're out in front, working on the garden or watching our little Lucifer hummer, we wave and say, "Hi. He wondered if he could rake the pine straw off the front yard, quoting a price less than half that of the guy who's been doing it and whom we haven't quite called yet. Moreover, he wanted to earn the money so that he and his fiancee could move out of her parent's house.

So we hired him, after negotiating adding in the back yard. The combined price was now under a third of what we've been paying. He left, we found out later, to go buy garbage bags and look at a house they were considering. Not knowing how long he would take, and feeling constrained by his presence to delay showering and leaving, I let my departure be delayed. By over two hours, and then finally three, since I had a meeting I wanted to attend about supplemental Medicare, and the original delay prevented my running the other errands in the remaining time until the meeting started. I did, however, squeeze in breakfast. At noon.

Yeah, I know.

By then the raking was done, bags strewn around the garbage can for pickup, and the guy offered to dig out and rake up the remaining spurge I hadn't gotten to yet, which was getting ready to go to seed while I continued to not do it. He only wanted another $10. I offered him $20, and counted the job cheap at that. I'd already spent two large chunks of time on it, and the worst was ahead.

The meeting went well, and I signed up for a plan that only will cost me the small penalty for not getting Part D yet, not even the Part D regular premium, and offers some great savings on what has become a rather onerous monthly sum for Rx refills. Yes, I know what my medications really cost. Do you? I also picked out a primary provider, and will get her recommendations on a cardiologist, etc. The guy I'm using for lab work now and am not impressed with? He's not in their system. That all starts Jan. 1.

By now it was 3:00, and time to head to the DMV. We'd tried stopping by the one in Surprise on Tuesday, and the line was SRO and half a block down out the front door. No way were my knees up to that. So I'd spent some of the morning time "wasted" looking up the Glendale location. We'd gone there for Steve's drivers license the previous year, but I forgot just where it was. After five websites that dead-ended around downtown Phoenix locations, I finally located one which gave me the information I needed. They may have long lines, but even more seating, so the waits are not intolerable. Even for my knees.

By 3:30 I was at the info desk. I had two goals, new car plates and new drivers license, making the residency change official. I thought I had all the documentation needed as well.

Yeah, well, not so much. The first issue was the drivers license. Arizona is pretty paranoid about non-citizens getting documentation. I had the birth certificate, but there's this little thing about having done a name change back in '68. How were they to know that I was the person my birth certificate said? Note that it was never an issue in Minnesota, where I got the drivers license after being married - and a mom as well - or in Georgia, or back in Minnesota again. Just Arizona. And hey, I look like I hail from Mexico or something, right? The birth certificate was just fine with the feds for applying both for Medicare and Social Security, even though my social security card still has the old name on it. But... this is Arizona. I need a certified copy of my divorce decree to show how my name got changed from Maxson to Rosa.

33  years later, you think I can put my hands on that? Well, as it turns out, almost. I have a copy. It shows the seal, but only as it comes across on a very old Xerox copy of the divorce decree. However, in the hunt, I came across the original wedding licenses, yes, two copies, original signatures of best man, matron of honor, and  minister, and imprinted seals. They aren't divorce papers, but perhaps if I take the whole kaboodle down with me today, they will suffice. Otherwise, I have to search out Fayette County, Georgia and find out what it takes to officially copy an ancient divorce decree.

If that doesn't work, I'll know before waiting two hours like I did yesterday to get a little piece of metal for the rear bumper.

She told me it'd be one hour. She lied. But hey, I was sitting down. And people watching. I didn't bring in the Kindle so as not to miss my number being called from being too engrossed in some book.

I also hadn't bothered to eat anything since leaving the house, hurrying to the DMV. It got to be a very long two hours.

Things went wrong. She quoted me a price for the license plate, but reading it upside down, she got the cents wrong. Luckily, I had a purse full of change, and just added in the right amount, another $.42. I didn't have, or couldn't find, the insurance information. It's always in the glove box, you understand. Just not where I could put my hands on it after official closing time, trying to get everything taken care of before they locked me out. There was an alternative. She gave me a website I could go to and add the information, said website and I getting along about as well as we had early in the morning when all I wanted was an address. But that's later, after supper. (Yes, I finally ate!)

One thing that went right was her observing me walking back in after hunting for the insurance papers, and asking if I wanted my Minnesota handicap placard replaced by an Arizona one, no cost, no paperwork, and good for 5 years. I just had to walk back out to the car again and bring in the old one. It took all of about three seconds for me to decide the walk was worth it. After all, I had just been resting my knees for two hours, right?

On the way home, Steve asked me to pick him up some tacos. He'd been thawing hamburgers on the counter, but was hungry now instead. The burgers could go in the fridge for later.  Of course, "now" turned out to be a more relative term than expected. Thunderbird had some kind of incident near the hospital, and two squad cars were diverting traffic. After driving in a twisty loop for a slow residential mile, we all ended up a block east of where we were diverted from, and needed to head back east to the 101 and down to the next exit instead. All of us. So it was extra slow. For all of us.

Even after eating supper, my blood sugar level wasn't immediately high enough to make sense online of either the DMV's or my insurance company's websites. That's assuming it's me and not the site that's the issue. I decided to do something useful and go out and replace the license plates. That needed a screwdriver, and the workroom holding all the tools has no light. Steve finally finished his pipe, just in time to go rummage around and locate the proper tool, so out I went. The front plate came off fine. So did the back plate. But the new one didn't go back on fine. I couldn't properly find the right set of holes that were small enough to hold the screws in place tightly enough to not have the plate fall off while working in the dark and at about the level of my toes. So I gave that up too until daylight and with a chair brought out for the job.

I wound up leaving voicemail for my insurance company, giving the new license number and requesting a hard copy version of the proof of insurance, as the printer is still not functional. The insurance company loves e-documents. I don't.

I also decided it was time to watch TV with Steve until bedtime. Bedtime became a more relative term as well. My body still hasn't decided on a time zone. I couldn't get to sleep. The room was too cold/hot. Maybe both/and. The dog had to sit next to my head and work on an itch. Pipe smoke came wafting in the open window. Etc.

So I came out to watch TV again. Steve had recorded a movie that he advertised to me as terrible sci-fi but I'd get a kick out of Elizabeth Shue, something before she joined the cast of CSI. He was right about the terrible sci-fi part. The movie was "Piranha." We agreed about it being even worse than "Dante's Peak" as far as science goes, quite an accomplishment. What predator has red eyes that glow? Isn't the point to sneak up on your prey rather than to let them know where you are? How can green plants grow in a cave totally cut off from light? I could go on and on here, but it all served as a good chuckle. As for Elizabeth Shue, I'm not sure what kind of a kick I was supposed to get. He made it sound like she was silly. For my nickel, she was the one sensible character in the whole flick, and well-acted. Don't know how they got somebody that good in something that bad.

We had a few good chuckles during the flick, poking fun at the movie rather than laughing along with it, cheering when certain characters added to an astronomical body count, wondering how others remained breathing rather than bleeding out instantly from loss of half their body mass. The biggest yuk came at the end, however, once everybody you cared about was rescued and the characters were congratulating themselves. The line was never finished, and it was hilarious. It was to have been, "So where are the parents?" and how it got cut off left us both laughing repeatedly. And finally, after 2:00 AM, ready for some sleep.

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