Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Random Musings

I think I'm seriously losing it. I swear on all I believe that as I drove by a neighbors house there was a lion walking around in her front yard. A real lion. J laughed at me but I'm gonna check tomorrow again.

I think he forgets that New Jersey people are plumb crazy. All of us in some way are deeply nutso. Thus, the whole living here bit.

This neighbor, the one with the lion (I swear), already is on the edge of crazy because her estate is filled with crap and as I sit in traffic, inching by the front of her estate, I often wonder if her front yard is tacky or art.

She has a lot of frontage but you cant really see a house due to the massive foliage. You CAN see the retired old-fashioned fire engine parked along the driveway, the stuffed or very real-looking statue of a Dalmatian in the front of the yard, the massive iron gates which are never open topped by different gargoyles on each post in the gate and fence, fake wooden animals on various spots and lots of other crap I cant think of right now.

At least sitting at that light isn't boring.

But now she either (see my training, crazy=she, IBTP) has a real lion or I am losing my shit.

Which, I gotta tell ya, is not beyond the bounds of believable.

Ive been trying to live in sheer denial of Face's upcoming open-heart surgery on Aug 30th. My first clue that I'm not really fooling anyone was when I realized that my hair is falling out at a rapid rate. Not clumps (Yet) but enough so Ive had to clean out my brushes EVERY WEEK. Plus, my hair is EVERYWHERE. Every time poor Face eats he at some point is pulling a hair that got mixed in with his food.

That sounded more gross than I meant.

It's not falling into his food, he is picking it up from the floor and possibly his clothes with his food-encrusted fingers. Still gross but better than a mental picture of my cooking with little tufts sticking out all over.

At this rate I will be bald soon. Cool - I hear it's less fuss than the 2 foot 'do I'm currently sporting.

Ive kind of veered off my diet completely. When the W8t Watchers woman asked what plan I am following this week I told her "Whichever one involves copious amounts of french fries and ice cream." Would that I were kidding.

Even more sadly, I have not gained or lost any weight in 6 weeks. That's the good AND the bad news.

Face has been sick for 12 days now. I don't feel like going into the whole mess at all. I'll post you a pick of Day 8 -

Here is what I do all day (and night)

I start to lose track of days. And my mind. (Pretty sure it's in the freezer under the chicken but who knows).

Meanwhile, J is finally done the out-of-state portion of the movie shoot. He came home exhausted and miserable. I can hardly blame him.

The house that we were supposed to settle on on 8/6 - the people were in bankruptcy and never disclosed this to their realtor. They would have been left with no money and no place to live so they opted instead to stay in the house until they are evicted by the bank.

So no house for us.

The second house (we work fast cause we're desperate) is being sold by owner and is the exact reason amateurs suck. He cant sign a contract now because he's on vacation and oh, yeah, he told the renters in the house that when he got an offer he would let them try (again) to get approved for a mortgage so they can buy the house. See the fiasco in the distance?

Our realtor said he never in all his years had even one of these situations come up, nevermind two, and that we must be the unluckiest people in the world. Natch.

[Note to the powers that be: if you are taking all our luck to use at the end of the month we are good with that. Really. Take it all. I'm even willing to throw in a few broken bones.]

The true surreal life: I threatened my teen with taking away his computer and his phone unless he...

A) Studied and got good grades
B) Did his chores
C) Was respectful

The answer is... Dates.

That's right, I told him he was going to date, or else. I'm looking around for the log lady*, you bet your ass.

After putting up his MySpace page he violated one of the only two restrictions I put on him 1. I get the password and 2. He is not allowed to be friends with anyone he doesn't know personally in real life. #2 was apparently down the tubes the first week and in that time he fell in LOVE. Sigh.

With a girl who lived in Maryland, moved to Germany and in a year is supposed to come live in NJ. An Army brat. I tell you this as if I believe it, as if I haven't read Terror the riot act about how people online are not real in any meaningful fashion, blah blah. Might as well talk to the wall. I didn't even bother to try and convince him that he wasn't in love with this girl.

I remember THAT much about being a teen.

In the meantime, their (apparently she calls him from Germany) love affair is online and on the phone and their plan is to not date until they can meet in person, possibly 18 months from now when she moves to NJ. I nixed that plan. I gave him a loooong lecture about life and love and online dating and long-distance dating and even used the whole "if you're meant to be together you will be" line.

I'm sure he listened to about .005% of it but my threat came in loud and clear. He will date or lose his stuff. He's on the football team, honor roll, and he's a good kid so I cant imagine that he will have a hard time finding a date. Even if he does it and hates it it has to be better than letting him go thru with his crazy plan. Right?

Parenting sucks.

I have a hard time speaking about anything good I do. It's a lot easier to tell you all the bad or annoying crap. I do that in person too. I'm trying to get better, so Ill tell you what I did with my heart group.

I was very upset when no one responded to my request that usually draws a plethora of them. I considered leaving the group entirely. I was very hurt. Then I decided that maybe I hadn't been as much of a friend as I could have been.

I don't respond to posts if I don't have advice. I would never want someone to post a request and get no response so I started responding to everyone. If I didn't have any advice I just sent encouragement or a kind word. The very first week I was rewarded by another mom who told me that just responding and wishing her luck made her feel like a great weight had fallen from her shoulders and helped her immensely.

So there, I'm not a total bitch all the time.

Today, I WAS a bitch. I only cried a little so far, when I got the folder they sent for Face's "visit" this month. Mostly I have filled my days with the 3,011 things that need doing around here. Including the weekly round of phone calls to billing centers for various health agencies who have sent me bills. Bills in error, bills that need to be re-sent to insurance, bills that make no sense. Once a week I take a few hours to clear up whatever bullshit I have for that week. With some providers, I swear this is basically the conversation:

Me: Hi, this is [give 100000 verification bullshit codes, addresses, whatever].

Them: Hi! I see you have a balance of 2 gazillion dollars. How would you like to pay for that?

Me: I don't really owe that, it's just [insert whatever fuckupery applies]. I call when I get a bill so you can put another hold on the account.

Them: Let me just check this here.

:::Lame muzak for 10 minutes:::

Them: Hi, Girl. Okay, you are right about all that. Ive made a note in the file and it's on hold until the [insert fuck-ups] check it out.

Me: Thanks.

I deal with about 20 different companies lo, these many years. A week ago I get a bill from a company I never got a bill from or purchased anything from that says "Adjustments $1405.90".

Seriously, even if you heard of the company would you pay this bill? For "adjustments". What?

So I call and get this total bullshit runaround from this guy who was so fucking self-righteous and stupid (they go together like a horse and carriage) that I wanted to bang my damn head against a wall.

AFTER I give him every passcode - J's SS#, address, acct # he tells me that he cant discuss the bill with me unless I download a permission sheet from the Internet, have J sign it and send it back EVEN if I am the mom of the patient. Fine, I tell him, I don't want to discuss it. I want you to send J a detailed bill.

He tells me he cant send me a detailed bill unless he gets the signed consent form.

I tell him I DON'T WANT THE BILL. Send it to J, which cant possibly violate HIPPA because it's J's bill. He says he cant send it unless I verify the address. I tell him that makes no sense. If you would send it to any address than ANYONE could get it. Just send it to J. At the address he already sent the first bill to.

He tells me he cant do it unless I sign the permission form. I tell him I don't want to discuss ANYTHING just send J a detailed bill. He tells me that even talking to me is a violation of HIPPA (now that we've spoken for 25 minutes) and he is "disconnecting."

So I tell him "I hope you burn in hell."


Then I hang up and burst into tears and cry my eyes out because I am afraid that my son is going to die in 2 weeks and instead of being able to enjoy the time with him I am talking to incompetent assholes on the phone and being so stressed out in general that I say horrible things I don't mean and feel bad about.

!Losing it!

And tomorrow, I'm going on a lion hunt.

*This log lady reference is from the short-lived surreal show Twin Peaks where in many "town" scenes a lady would be sitting/standing/being a townsperson while holding a log in her arms like a baby. She was never referred to in any way by anyone in the show - or explained. The phrase was code to my sister and I for "Suddenly I feel as is my life has become surreal entertainment".

UPDATE: The funniest part of trying to spot this lion is that when I tell people I saw a lion they give me that sideways look but when I tell them where they go "Oh, yeah, that's possible." Just so you guys know, Im perfectly willing to concede it was a large dog or something but no one has ever seen a live animal of any kind there.