Quondam Dreams

Monday, December 27, 2004

Breathing Room

I've managed to postpone my health coverage crisis for a few months. COBRA is my cheapest option. Isn't that supposed to be the most expensive, last-resort, get-you-through-the-gap program? But it was either that or join a less-inclusive plan for more money -- which I very nearly did, until I did the math. So, barring another job coming along, it's COBRA until it's up in May, and then into the state Major Risk pool for me. Whee!

That out of the way for a while, I was free to enjoy Christmas festivities. I love hanging out with my peeps -- actors, Jews, holiday orphans and people who aren't holiday orphans but would rather spend the time with their chosen family than with their relatives. The McCarthys invited the acting bunch over for Christmas Eve Eve; as always with them, it was a fun time that went perhaps a bit too late. Fortunately, their new place in Woodland Hills is much closer than their old one in Mission Viejo, which is very important at a quarter to three in the morning. Jenny P. had a little shindig on Christmas Eve, and of course Christmas Day was what's become the annual Jews and Holiday Orphans potluck: put a couple dozen actors in the same apartment, get the booze and food flowing, and let the merry-making begin! This year's edition was hosted by the lovely Shelley Delayne, who not only doesn't seem to mind that some of us stayed till 11:30, but who is also hooking me up with a jewelry-making gig. Thanks, Shelley!

The Bush Twins Party Hour has its first preview in about 11 hours. Eek!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Abi Gezunt

Ladies and gentlemen, I am in health insurance hell.

It seems to have come as a surprise to the people at the office that I can't get insurance through the agency for which I technically work. They offer dental, a 401K -- hell, they even offer membership to a chain of gyms -- but they don't really spell out that unless the client you're working for has opted in to their group plan, you're on your own.

I have, of course, been rejected from the plan I've been on pretty much all my life, because of the following reasons:

  1. I take a medication.
  2. I have a history of anxiety or depression sometime in the last five years.
  3. I have required medical attention three or more times in the past year.

Doesn't that rule out... like... everyone?

(Please note, for your records, that I sought medical attention three times during early November because my ear infection was underdiagnosed the first two times. Sorta not my fault.)

According to everything I hear, the only individual coverage I'll be able to get is going to cost me even more than COBRA, which is $254 a month. So, apparently, here are my options:

  1. Pay a lot more than I can afford for health insurance.
  2. Take up a slot in a free clinic.
  3. Marry someone with full benefits.
  4. Find another job that offers the benefits I need (which really aren't that extravagant).
  5. Flee to Canada and declare myself a refugee on the grounds that staying in the U.S. would constitute a danger to my well-being.

This is all so wrong. How is it that every other industrialized country has figured out how to make sure no one has to go through this, but we haven't? Oh. Wait. That's right. There's not much money in keeping people well.

The good news is that everyone I've spoken with is properly horrified, and I have some great people looking out for me. I'm keeping an eye on the company job site, and I think I've identified a couple of positions that would be perfect for me. (Okay, they're based in Irvine, but they might be flexible about letting me stay in SM.) Between crying jags, I've been able to identify some possible routes. Eventually, something will give. And in the meantime, I've made the necessary people aware that while I like my current job and have every intention of finishing out the full term of my contract, I am going to have to start looking around for another position somewhere. They all understand, perhaps a little too well.

I am so, so drained.

Sunday, December 05, 2004


It's not insomnia, exactly. I'm sleeping here and there, and it seems to have been somehow adding up to enough. I'm just... awake a lot.

All of this could change. Next week could be one of those weeks where I don't want to do anything but sleep. That does happen sometimes. But not as frequently as this pattern. Two hours here, an hour and a half there, strung together by equivalent or longer stretches of reading, playing games on my computer, basically doing whatever I can to at least get some physical rest without getting restless. I know how to deal with it. It's not worth taking anything to help myself sleep if I'm getting enough sleep to function.

Parents of cranky infants, take heed: Your child may never master the whole "sleep through the night" thing. But give her the tools to entertain herself at 4am, and once she gets the idea, you may just get an uninterrupted night for yourself.

(Yeah, like I have any great expertise with small children. Just going off my own life here.)

This December, I'm back to my preferred holiday strategy of keeping so busy that I notice as little as possible. Opened the vaudeville show this week; I think it went well, especially considering it was opening night. (I do want to try to track down a more predictable orchestration of the song I'm performing, though.) Jenny P. and I spent Wednesday night hashing out the show we'll be doing in January. I think we may just have something here. And, hell -- even if we don't, it'll be fun.

I've been asked to do some spoken-word stuff in a few weeks. I don't have any spoken-word stuff. Time to cull from the Unemployment Diaries. Or maybe I'll just talk about Thanksgiving. This year's family portion was greatly cushoined by chardonnay. Once I was able to make an exit, I headed over to Erica's, where I hung out with a dozen-plus friends and friends of friends for the rest of the evening (and, technically, a bit into the morning). I was probably the only person there who has relatives in the area, but I wouldn't have missed this: There's the family you're related to, and the family of people that you choose to have in your life, and I was able to work in time with both.

Chanukah starts this week. The Sav-on where I usually buy my candles only had the long, thin kind that cost twice as much and take forever to burn. Um, no. I want the little blue box with the weird cityscape of Jerusalem on the front, the twelve tribes on one side, and the blessings printed in itty-bitty type on another. I will visit every drugstore on Pico if I have to. You know, once it stops raining.

Obligatory political tidbit: The mayoral campaign is underway. If you want an entertaining race, keep an eye on L.A.'s. The three people to watch right now are Jim Hahn, the incumbent -- and Antonio Villaraigosa and Bernard Parks, two guys that Hahn basically screwed over. They're both on the City Council right now, and they both want a piece of the mayor. Yes, there are other candidates who may end up out-polling Parks, but those are the three to watch. Right now it looks like the most likely outcome is a rerun of the last runoff between Hahn and Antonio (what? he's an old friend of my mother's, so that's how I think of him -- plus, "Villaraigosa" is harder to type). Only this time, Hahn won't have the support of the people who supported his late father, and whose support last time came with the unspoken agreement that he'd keep Bernard Parks as police chief. Yeah, that didn't so much happen -- which is why Bernard Parks is on the city council and itching to take him down. Also, the final weeks of Hahn's last campaign included some pretty slimy stuff, which did nothing to endear him to the people who weren't too enthusiastic about him to begin with.

Of course, Magic Johnson could end up running. Then it'd really be... wait for it...