Wednesday, August 31, 2011

precious years

Sunset by ceck0face
Sunset, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

It's a sunset, and I didn't even intend any of its ironic, fore-shadowy goodness.

Ready or not, it's the 31st. And this means at least 3 things.

Today is the day J starts his new job. We dedicated precious years of our lives working for the same company which he left in March and whom laid me off earlier this month. Since then he has been relentlessly by my side taking care of me since I fell ill in April. I'm not "better" but I'm better than I was and we need money for doctor and wedding bills.

Today is also the day my insurance ends. It's been a good run. I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared to death that something else bad is going to happen to me while I am uninsured. I hate to be so glum but I have a knack for "knowing."

Back in February, I was working late with an employee (who is also a close friend) and all of a sudden I turned to him and said, "I have a feeling that something bad is going to happen to me. I'm going to get sick and die at a very young age." It was creepy and I killed the mood and weirded him out. And here we are.

I've applied for unemployment and possibly social security. I secretly don't want any of it because I'd rather be sick and helpless and poor instead of sick and helpless with money to burn. I worked like a dog every day since I turned 18, and not working is just so foreign to me. In college I even had four jobs. I look at pictures from 10 years ago and can't imagine how I did it. Maybe after the wedding hoopla I can go to school a second time for a new/different piece of paper.

(Most people whom I have heard call diplomas pieces of paper don't have one because they dropped out and act like they know everything, which they probably do. I call it a receipt or piece of paper because I have one and it has done less for me than my paperless counterparts who never made it through the first semester and taught his or herself a skill and ran with it like html or photoshop and they will ultimately earn more paper than me. Ever. I sound bitter. I might be. Yeah, I am.)

I've had to cancel my high risk OBGYN consultation because the soonest they had back in June was Sept 1, which was fine then, but now is another story.

Today is also the last day to RSVP for my last-minute wedding that no one is coming to. The bright side is that if no one comes, it'll be overall less expensive. But it's not truly a consolation. There are friends I'd like to be with us that day, many of whom I haven't seen in years. Oh well.

I still have to go and edit the many nooks and crannies of my on-line existence to remove/update my work information. It'll be a pleasure because in the end I really got screwed. "Delete" and "backspace" can deliver some snuggly comfort to a nerd like me. Quitting may have felt better but this way I get paid a small portion of what I feel they truly owe me.

Sometimes when it's late (because if the sun is out, I feel like a criminal), I google-stalk people I used to know. Half of the time, they're better off than me and I go to bed with a chip on my shoulder that could rival the imaginary heaviness of my pulmonary embolism. The other half of the time, I turned out better than they did and I wish someone was awake with me for me to brag about strangers' misfortune and my theory of how people thought I'd turn out but didn't. Then sometimes it turns out they have pretty terrible lives with crappy jobs because they never went to college and never got married, but they do have children, so in my mind it's a bittersweet draw and I fall asleep wondering if something beautiful can emerge from the diseased shell that I have become.

And when it does, I can take a picture of a sunrise instead.

Oh. And. Well.

And I don't mean to sound so depressed. I don't think I am. I worry that someone is going to grab me by my chubby neck like a kitten and shake my blues and funk right out of my bones. And that's assuming anyone reads this because I have kept it a secret.

Unless. You. Are a google-stalker. Too.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Small blessings

dragonfly by ceck0face
dragonfly, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

The biggest dragonfly I have ever seen paid me a visit tonight. It was larger than most hummingbirds I have seen and could probably eat my dog if it wanted to.

It's amazing the things I have time to do lately, and most of the time my body allows me to. I have been unemployed almost a week now. I made it a point to finish the week with a bang and try to overshadow the rest. I didn't want to remember it as the week GameStop broke up with me. So instead, I'll remember it as the week Jay and I saw the Decemberists in concert and ate TGIF twice in the same evening and shot bows and arrows. Small blessings.

A giant blessing was meeting my insurance deductible and not having to pay a penny of my 60 thousand dollar hospital stay. Although at the end of the month I will be uninsured.

I haven't looked for a new job yet. I am allowed to re-apply in 30 days if I wish. I haven't even signed my severance pkg yet. It was pesos. If I wasn't so poor, I'd throw it back in their faces just to feel good about myself, but can't afford to. I have fantasized about working at Hot Topic and Build a Bear, but I know I can do better. I'm a grown woman with college degrees. Le sigh.

In the meantime, we're finishing wedding stuff and have begun redoing some stuff around the house. Our videogame room is going to be a baby room now. No baby yet. Just preparing.

I'm chock full of diseases but trying to have the time of my life.

Monday, August 1, 2011

another passion

wedding envelopes by ceck0face
wedding envelopes, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

This is a shot of our wedding envelopes-- all hand-decorated. We bought manila-style clasp envelopes, but recycled brown in color (like a paper grocery bag), from Staples (10 bucks for 100). We cut off the top few inches where the metal clasp is attached and folded them over to accommodate an invitation. We used a flowery decorative punch to make the flap closure a little cuter. I'll post a pic of a 100% finished one soon. The bride and groom and chandelier are all hand-stamped and the back of the envelope has some stamped peacock feathers too.

Jason and I have slaved at our kitchen table all weekend pumping out wedding invitations. I can truly appreciate the concept of an assembly line now like never before. We recruited friends and family members into our little sweatshop. Jason's mother sent us a portable 3D/blu-ray player which was a godsend in the hospital and we also used it in the kitchen to watch netflix and keep ourselves entertained while doing the same task over and over. (She also used her clout in the scrapbooking world to get us beautiful paper and lots of it and much more quickly than we could have locally.) The whole experience has been a lot of fun! We are very close to being done, but we have enjoyed it. We could have paid thousands (no we couldn't have afforded it!) but our invitations are incredibly beautiful and we'll always remember all the time and effort put into designing and assembling them.

I'll post photos of the invites soon. They are very scrap-tastic! If you told me a year ago that J and I would be making our wedding invitations out of scrapbook paper and using decorative punches and stamps, we would have laughed at you. I can't hide how fun it is. My friend Elysia turned me onto the idea for the invites and now I can't wait to go back to NY soon and scrap with Jason's mother and aunt. I have turned into one of those crafty wives.

We have spent weeks designing the invitations and now they're finally materializing. It's been a good project to keep me side-tracked and get me out of bed. I found out last week that the video game store which I manage is closing and I will no longer have a job. I have been on disability since April and will very soon be unemployed.

I go back to work the day after tomorrow and at the end of the week I will have a severance package and 5 years of memories. I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. I joke about my diseases and say, "Oh well, I'll live" because I need to stay positive... but I'm still shocked and upset about work (or lack of work) and haven't reached that next level of enlightenment.

Bottom line, I'm lucky, even if I can't feel like it or believe it every day. I am alive-- which is no accident after what I have been battling. I have my family and Jason's family and a wonderful network of friends. We're going to have a beautiful wedding and start making beautiful babies and everything else isn't worth writing about at 2 am or any other time for that matter. I'll find another passion and pursue it just like I have in the past.

It'll happen.