debboamerik: black-and-white cat (Default)
Dear San Francisco,

You might not know this, but I actually do love you. Yes, I ridicule your snobbery. "The City"? Seriously? and my favorite question ever, "Are you from Down South?" - to which I answered, "No," not knowing that we inferior Angelinos are considered to be "from Down South." I thought that was for people from Louisiana.

Still, you are a really important city to me personally, though I didn't start getting to know you until my godmother moved back to SF after my godfather's death. Here are some things I appreciate in San Francisco.

There are the big things: City Lights, Golden Gate Park, fog in the summer, hot fudge sundaes at Ghirardelli Square - these (with, apparently, the exception of the fog, which only Californians are clued in on) are famous everywhere. They are famous for a good reason: because they are excellent.

Then there are the smaller things. I love the used bookstores. I love the coffee-on-every-corner mentality; if you want to read a book but you're tired of being at home, there's always somewhere to go. I love having people speak to me in Italian, as though I could respond in Italian. I love that there are people who notice the Italian beneath the Irish. I love that the food is so good (with the exception of the Mexican food - sorry, can't beat L.A. there).

There are more personal things, too. San Francisco, you were a refuge to me when I felt hemmed in by the smalltown feel of Santa Cruz. I would drive past the sign marking the city limit and immediately feel more relaxed. You house some of my favorite people - my oldest sister and my godmother. You're small enough to feel like a community and big enough to be comfortably anonymous. That's a very hard balance to strike. You're a manageable size; one can get lost in SF, but it's hard to stay lost. Now, you're keeping me minutely updated on the progress of the Prop. 8 case ( sfgate.com , click on the tab that says "news"). You are the traditional refuge for gay people in the United States.

I love you, SF, and I miss you. I'll visit whenever I can (and thanks to my godmother for the continued offer of space and food and fun, though she lives in Sausalito now - still, I hear that the Dark Side has cookies).

Love always,

[livejournal.com profile] debboamerik
debboamerik: black-and-white cat (Default)
... have all been fed by the man with the knife. (Thanks to Matt Gould for those lyrics.)

I am home.

Grandma was glad to see us. Now my wonderful cats are glad.

The rest was a truly terrible ordeal.

More when I feel that I can write about it without bursting into tears, going on a murderous rampage, and having a panic attack, all at once.
debboamerik: black-and-white cat (Default)
Today, I got up early because I couldn't bear the anxiety. It's definitely travel anxiety. I don't like airplanes and the prospect of my parents alone is enough to make me nervous, much less my parents + [livejournal.com profile] papertigers, makes me nervous. So, since it does in fact make me feel better, here is today's to-do list.

✓teach
✓go to Post Office for money
-go to Target for new charger
✓clean bathtubs
✓clean toilets
✓clean bathroom counters (these are separate because it's fun to check them off)
✓put away clean laundry
✓do dishes (unload and reload)
✓dust
✓clean top of dresser and floor of closet
DONEcook dinner

If and only if there is time (otherwise I'll do this tomorrow):

-scrub stove
-clean oven
-bleach countertops

At least I now know why I've been feeling crazy for the past few days. Now I can try to convince myself that it's not worth being nervous about these things! After all, I've done a lot of traveling in my time. My parents aren't bad sorts, and [livejournal.com profile] papertigers is always very good about calming me down when they are driving me crazy. And we'll have a separate car.
debboamerik: black-and-white cat (Default)
It's almost midnight, and I shouldn't be sitting up worrying about not having health insurance and what happens if I get sick. But I am. My parents have made it pretty clear that they wouldn't help me for anything short of a coma... and they couldn't help me for something that big. They simply wouldn't be able to afford it. According to the New York Times, people without health insurance get a lower level of treatment at emergency rooms even in genuine emergencies, such as car accidents.

Yesterday's examiner complained that "Obamacare Will Break the Bank," but from where I'm sitting, the bank has been broken. As most doctors could tell you, health care in the United States is rationed based on ability to pay. Where is the moral outrage? It's just wrong that some people should be (quite literally) in mortal danger because they have no insurance while others are visiting their doctors and getting antibiotics for the common cold (which is viral, anyhow).

No, we most definitely do not want to follow the British model - the National Health is a total disaster. But who says we have to? There are other countries with more equitable health care systems that are not a total disaster. I lived in France, where everyone is covered by "Social Security" (which in most countries means public health care) and where you may, if you choose, purchase health insurance for any procedure not considered essential. It's a remarkably effectively administrated system. Doctors will come to your house if you have the flu. The very beggars on the street can walk into a doctor's office and receive everything from vaccinations to dialysis. For lesser problems, one generally goes to the local pharmacist, who is also qualified to diagnose and treat the most common minor ailments.

Come to think of it, I was sick on a trip to Brussels once, and the pharmacists were lovely to me and asked me all the right questions and gave me a suitable medication. They told me to come back and check in with them the next day, even... and I just had the usual travel ("I'm not used to this continent's weird viruses and I've been on an airplane for hours with no sleep") cold.

I should go to bed. I'm sure most of my anxiety over this is fueled by sleepiness.
debboamerik: black-and-white cat (Default)
Yesterday we took down the Christmas tree and all the decorations. Taking down a Christmas tree is always interesting, just as putting one up is interesting. The ornaments remind me of so many times in my life. There are some that I made or was given as a child. Others we made the year that we had no ornaments and no money to buy any. Some were gifts from Myra's friends. Others were gifts from my friends or coworkers. There are candy canes, which we add to every year. We have them in peppermint, strawberry, cherry, and chocolate mint flavors.

Yesterday I also got called back on two job applications. One is teaching English conversation from home to students in China (via Skype). The other is a tutoring job based in Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan). I interviewed for that one today; it's an interesting position, and one that I would have jumped at at another time in my life.

On my way back to the Metro from that interview, I saw Subdeacon Ambrose. We stopped and chatted for a moment; he said he hadn't seen me in church, and I replied that I wasn't there because my leg is going bad again. Yesterday it started feeling twinge-y and a little numb. Again. *sigh* I definitely wasn't up for standing on it for an hour and a half.
debboamerik: black-and-white cat (Default)
I'm going to Serbia through Sunday night, and will therefore mostly be using my computer for work. Don't know if I'll have internet access in my hotel room.

Be nice to [livejournal.com profile] papertigers while I'm gone. Remember, she has to put up with my whiny cat.

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January 2011

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