Austin (highverbalfan) wrote,

Oh hey, livejournal. 'Sup.

Housekeeping entry, just for general life-tracking purposes. It's been a pretty eventful year in a lot of ways.

January sucked. The jobs I'd had lined up after Christmas fell through, so there was even more money stress than usual. But I picked up a few assisting days last minute and managed to make rent. Continued to feel sicker and crappier almost daily.

February was looking pretty bad at first, until a series of random flukes landed me a pretty awesome freelance gig at BBDO. Still pretty pumped that worked out. Kept getting sicker though. I also went and visited Ashley in Houston; that weekend rocked. Kinda miss her lots.

BBDO picked me up full-time in March. I officially started the day before my birthday actually, which makes this job the best present I've ever gotten. Kept getting sicker; coughing constantly, throwing up daily, extremely underweight. Oh, and I got pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. Got a ticket for that. Driver's license that had expired three days before on my birthday—ticket for that. Tags expired, because I'd been too broke to afford the $120 to renew them—ticket for that. Couldn't find my insurance card—ticket for that.

Luckily, with a regular income, I had enough money to make all these problems go away. Except for the paperwork headache of the license plates—more on that later.

I got eligible for insurance coverage at work in April—a 30-day eligibility period is surprisingly short, and I was pretty excited. But not too excited—almost no insurance plans will cover pre-existing conditions until you've been enrolled for a year, so I wasn't getting my hopes up. But BBDO has a pretty comprehensive benefits package; they had several different insurance options to investigate. I called the info line for the most high-end plan and asked what their waiting period was for pre-existing conditions...and there wasn't one. I was amazed, to say the least. Not only had I not expected that, I hadn't even *hoped* that I'd get my CF stuff covered so soon. Enrolled in that plan immediately. As soon as I got of the phone with the insurance company, I called the Emory University Cystic Fibrosis clinic to schedule an appointment.

Got my insurance card in the mail the Saturday before my Monday appointment, two weeks later. This was my first clinic visit in two and a half years, and it showed. I was in bad shape. I was coughing, hard, continually. At work, I had a styrofoam coffee cup into which I'd spit out all the green sludgy crap my lungs were producing; I completely filled the cup with green slime every day. I couldn't walk across a room without sitting down and catching my breath. I didn't eat much, but usually ended up throwing up most of what I did. I slept a lot, when the coughing didn't keep me awake. I was 115 pounds. My lung function was down around 30%.

So, unsurprisingly, May started off in the hospital. I was glad to go. I hate being in the hospital, but I was barely functioning on my own anymore. It was a relief to escape into the dull beige cocoon of a hospital room for a week. I emerged a week later with the ability to breathe and walk and laugh again. I'd missed those things.

I also bought a new iMac. After three years of abuse, my old MacBook was finally becoming too sluggish for major photoshop work, and it was time to get something a bit more suited to retouching work. It's no G5, but it works well for what I need, and I totally love it.

I started climbing again in June. Between the lung infections, the dislocated elbow, and being busy/broke, I'd barely climbed in three years—I hadn't realized how much I'd missed climbing, and being physical in general. Met Karen off the internets, and started going to the climbing gym regularly with her, RJ, and Amanda. It took a month or two, but I think I'm back to climbing as well as I used to—maybe better.

June and July were great. I started being social again, and hung out with Chris and Rich a lot more. I started climbing again in June. Between the lung infections, the dislocated elbow, and being busy/broke, I'd barely climbed in three years—I hadn't realized how much I'd missed climbing, and being physical in general. Met Karen off the internets, and started going to the climbing gym regularly with her, RJ, and Amanda. Rich started dating Sam(antha), so she was around a lot more, which was awesome. Kim was over a lot too, and Dave was a regular at the house. We'd have 'family dinner' every week; the whole thing was pleasantly domestic, and it was really great to feel like part of something again.

Then Chris moved up to NYC after July 4th , and all that kinda fell apart. So it goes.

August and September? Totally dull.

At the beginning of October, I went and visited M'ris in Boulder for a few days. Movies, haunted houses, a corn maze, and Patton Oswalt. Definitely one of the better weekends this year.

November was uneventful. Thanksgiving too. Sam organized a pre-Thanksgiving dinner the Sunday before, and I went to that; that was fun. But on the actual holiday, I had nuthin' going on. Everyone I knew was either out of town or busy with family, so—rather depressingly, actually—I found myself with nowhere to go. Oh well. So I resorted to the usual coping mechanism: cinema. Not in the mood for anything even remotely mature or nuanced, I subjected myself to a double feature of Twilight: New Moon and Ninja Assassin. It made for a rather amazing combination; I felt like I was watching the respective inner fantasies of a 13-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy.

December has, thus far, mostly been consumed by my raging workaholism. I have a week and a half off for Christmas, so the plan was to drive up to MD on the 23rd and spend the next week adventuring all over the northeast. That plan hit a major snafu last week when my car got impounded. Remember how I hadn't finished going through all the paperwork hoops to get my expired tags renewed? That finally came back to bite my ass. I was trying to get to work early Wednesday morning when I got stuck in construction traffic in front of a cop. As we sat there, waiting for the road crew to finish doing whatever, he noticed that my tags had expired in April. Of 2007. Whoops. He pulled me over, my car got towed, and I had a nice brisk walk to work.

Learned my lesson though: don't go to work early.

Getting the car out of impound turned into a week-long nightmare. First, I was given the wrong location of the office I needed to go to for a vehicle release form. According to both the cop and the form I was given, the office was at City Hall East, in the middle of the city and a mile south of my house. After wandering around there for 30 mins trying to find it, I was told that it was actually outside the 285 perimeter, 20 miles away. That's not even close, guys. That was attempt #1. I finally found it in a non-descript unlabeled building on attempt #2. Both the cop and the police website told me that what I needed for to obtain the release form was valid ID and proof of ownership, both of which I had. But when I tried to get the car released, they wouldn't release it because it wasn't registered...but I couldn't get it registered in GA while it was impounded.

Fuck. I loved reading Catch-22, but I don't love living it.

The only thing the woman at the office could tell me was 'talk to Maryland.' Well, seeing as how I'm 800 miles away, that's not the easiest thing to do. But I figured I'd try renewing the expired MD registration and hope that would be good enough. I tried renewing online, but that was a failure. I called the MVA and was told that since it was more than 6 months expired, I had to renew either in person or through the mail. In person doesn't work because, y'know, GEORGIA, and doing anything with the mail this close to Christmas is going to take foreeeeever. Fuckity fuckity fuck. But! My mom's name is still on the title of the car, so technically SHE could renew it in person. After three days of phone tag, I finally got hold of her and explained the situation; luckily, she was off on Monday and was able to go and renew the registration with no difficulty. Score. So Tuesday, attempt #3: I get a ride from my roommate back out to this stupid office with my paperwork and the knowledge that my registration was current. Success, right? Nope. They tell me that they need to see the receipt to prove that my registration was renewed, so someone needs to fax it to them.

...wait, what? Wow, I sure wish there was a magical machine that could store records electronically where people could access them. That would be a super convenient invention. Too bad we're not living in that kind of crazy future world where information can be sent electronically. So now I need a physical receipt? Jeeeeesus.

So I get back in touch with my mom and tell her that I need her to travel back to 1995 to find a fax machine and fax this info down here. Luckily, Kelly has a fax machine at work and offers to send it down the next morning. Which brings us to this morning, when I go BACK out there for attempt #4. There's a moment of panic when I can't find my driver's license, but the woman tells me I left it there yesterday so they already have it. And, amazingly, the fax came through okay and, finally, they gave me the goddamn release form. A couple hours of work, a bus ride, and $200 later and I finally got my car back.

It's a goddamn Christmas miracle.

And now I'm gonna nap for one hour and drive for twelve. It's gonna be awesome.
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