Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Insurance Insanity, Kitchen Therapy and Modest Updates

Last week was every bit the roller coaster I expected – and a few things that I hadn't expected. In the midst of having the tests to check where I was with the cancer (For those who missed my posts, I am still free of the disease. No new tests are scheduled for six months), I received my shiny new medical card.. Actually, it's cardboard, so it isn't really shiny. I'm excited because I have coverage that will handle anything that arises. I don't have to worry about a sudden cutback in subsidized cases at USC. Apparently, I had completely forgotten what an amazing hassle a health insurance carrier can be. When I enrolled under the state's new managed care program, I was asked to fill out the information for my primary care doc. Which I did. I figured that since I was getting oncology services at a state subsidized facility, and that my primary care doc had already made the referral to said oncologist, I was covered there, too. Not so. And I find this out moments before I'm due to hear the results of my tests. I must take this form two buildings away and several floors up to an office to switch my coverage and – hopefully – get an override for that day's appointment. They said hopefully because I had already received out of plan services that month when I had the CT scan. I hadn't really slept in three days, and I was already half way freaked out. I must have looked very reasonable when I reached the insurance office. Who knows? They did get things underway swiftly with the switch in assigned, care and they did override the denial of services in a little less than an hour. I may have been looking homicidal again.

By the time I got back to my regularly scheduled appointment, my brain was fried. I was barely engaged in the argument between oncology and the pain management doc I'd met during my last ER visit. They were arguing with each other as to whether I was in pain. No one really asked me. I plan to revisit the issue with my primary care doc – whomever that is. Why is there a question? Well, I was assigned one at USC, but that doesn't take effect until July. Meanwhile, I need a referral to get my B-12 shot. So, for a five minute appointment, I have to have a whole other doctor's visit to get a piece of paper. I can't complain. There are far, far worse insurance horror stories on the various appendix cancer group forums. I can only sigh. My tests are clear, and that's the most important thing.

Kitchen Therapy

I took refuge in the kitchen among other, less savory places. Well, not unsavory. I don't want to frighten anyone. Let's just say that they were strange places – even for me to seek refuge. As I was not sleeping, I often found myself in e-mail or chat room debates. I do mean that literally. A chat room would open up, and I'd be in it with someone seeking my opinion on something or agreement with something else. I was not agreeable by and large. I think I've been living with Jon for too long. Not that he's disagreeable. He just likes to debate on an opposing view for the sake of a broader conversation. As I mentioned in last week's blog, producing books or films or anything has complicated my views as a fangirl. So for those who chatted me up at 3 am, I wasn't trying to pick a fight. And I was cranky. Sorry.

The kitchen was safer. I had a lot of practical cooking to do. I bought a lot of meats on sale and had to prep them for freezing or cook some for the week. I made two kinds of soup stock – roasted chicken and mushroom. I really like doing basic cooking. There is something calming about chopping all those veggies and completing tasks I've done hundreds of times before. Roasting garlic makes me really, really hungry for some reason. The scent triggers something. I did a lot of foraging this week with my grocery shopping. Since I'm walking more, I take my little shopping cart and going to all the markets that have significant sales. I was pretending I was marketing each day in Paris. That didn't work at all, but I did get a lot of exercise along with the savings. I made many discoveries during those shopping jaunts. For one, Trader Joe's has a really nice fresh pizza dough at only $1.29. Also, my bargain/ethnic market has three varieties of tahini for half the price of my regular markets! They also have fresh pita from a local vendor. These were very exciting discoveries that warrant further study like Thai red rice and imported fava bean products. Sweet!

I did some fancy cooking this week. I made a pizza with that Trader Joe's dough. Also, I made mayonnaise for the first time. There wasn't enough for the potato salad today. That may happen more often as I liked the taste better than the jarred. I also had another crack at making sushi. The results were as good without nearly as much comedy. I say not nearly as much comedy. There was some. There is always a least a little. I also tried some new Japanese dishes. The one that was the most challenging was Tamagoyaki, a rolled omelet. While viewing the youtube video that taught me how to do that, I learned about bento box lunches in which the Tamagoayki are often featured. With these new found mad skills, I sprung upon Jon the bento breakfast! The sausages are heart shaped and everything. For some reason, I suspect Jon thinks I've gone around the bend. What is so strange about shaping sausages? He should worry when I make him hot dog octopi or rabbit shaped apple for his lunch. No, he really should worry, because I'll have gone bonkers. Oh, and that bento video is really strange, but I can't stop watching that dog.

I made the dough for the new sugar cookies. I plan to bake them off on Monday. I will also attempt puff pastry. It's definitely time. I shall post photos!

The above was written on Sunday. It is now Monday. I'm still exhausted from insomnia, but the puff pastry is underway! I will post details in a separate blog.


I've been informed that the Special FX Supervisor for Octodemon and the director are working on post production issues. Everything else is in flux. I expect to get more details on where that project stands later in the week. The script for Demon on the Run, the web series based on Demon Under Glass is almost finished. I didn't get much done on it last week because of everything going on. I'm not going to post the script. There are a lot of really fun things that I don't want spoiled in any way.

The books are coming along nicely. I think they will be done by the end of August. I'm re-releasing both Soldiers books when the sequels publish. I've changed some things to reflect the script for Blood Oath. And there will be new covers as well to match the artwork in Blood Oath. My only difficulty is finding excerpts that don't have major spoilers in them. That's what happens when the love scenes are not gratuitous. I'm still sifting through the chapters to find something.

Stay tuned.

No comments: