Thursday, January 29, 2009

Language barriers


I admit, I'm a bit of an obnoxious american. Maybe not in the sense of thinking the world revolves around me...so to speak. But I guess I just listened too much to most of the people who told me that "dont worry, most everyone there speaks english too".
Wow. The language barriers. I may sound like i'm complaining but perhaps only becuase all i really want to do is be able to strike up random conversations with people. (or at least be able to appropriately tell off the naggy beggars that follow you persistently).

Anywho, I am in Sarajevo right now in an apartment with a ridiculously enviable view of a tremendously colorful city.

My oh my are there characters here. Soooo many of them. But THIS by far, is my favorite shot of the day:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dobar dan!

Greetings!
(my disclaimer right off the bat is that if you see ˝z˝ where a ˝y˝ should be just know that i canNOT get the hang of this croatian keyboard. I`m trying to catch my typos, but in the interest of typing fast and getting out of this internet cafe as fast as possible, i may not get them all.)

So then...that being said, Im in Croatia!! Split to be exact. Got in a day ago, and it is absolutely amazing. I dont want to be here long, but I just HAD to put some photos up. Its warmer than Chicago here, though its not hot, by any means. Its more like...mild. Today it has been raining all daz, though its only 1p. Hence why I am sitting in an internet cafe instead of browsing around. Im drenched. (and cant seem to find the apostrophe key on here...)

Observations (even though ive made these observations before), just about everzone in Europe is stylish...right down to the nuns. AND, there are TONS of drop dead beautiful women here in Croatia. Jesus. Talk about feeling inadequate. Tall, leggy, refined facial structure. makes me sick! heheheh.

Anzwho, take a gander a few photos from so far. Im sure Ill have tons more as the days go by. Tomorrow we are headed to Sarajevo in a rental car. Yipes. Keep your fingers crossed we dont get *gulp* lost...






Monday, January 19, 2009

I made the pilgrimage!

So I'm sitting in a kitchen of a house in Silver Springs Maryland, a mere half hour train-ride into the heart of all the action of the next few days. Obama-thon!
Tom and Dawn have very graciously offered us a place to stay in their home, and my mom, Roanne and I snapped at the chance.
I'll be traipsing around the mall for the next few days in bright red moon boots. I think I'll try my hand at this "mobile-blogging" feature, since I know am the owner of a nifty-difty new G1 phone. (super sweet 3mega-pixel camera phone)
Now that I've updated you all on the technology I'm working with, I'm off to put on my moon boots.
more to come...?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mo' Money, Mo' problems

That is how the phrase goes...right? The more money you get the more problems you get with it? Than how come I'm getting the opposite? Ain't got no money and yet it just gets me more and more problems.
I currently am trying to figure out how in holy hell I can deal with the devil (also known as Sallie Mae) when I don't have the ammo to battle.
I owe them...oh..I dunno, something like $35-40,000 in loans. *yay to all that interest. Apparently you can only defer it a couple of times (of course, you have to PAY to defer them, which in itself is pretty funny that you have to PAY in order to not have to pay.). I've exhausted that option. And then I was offered a partial payment deferment...for three months. whoo-hoo. And the last time I called to get them to stop calling me, they couldnt' do anything for me. Except the gentleman I spoke to (who I do believe reads my blog now, which is awesome that someone listened to me!) worked out pushing my payments back a month or two.
The problem lies in not only has my situation NOT improved, it has, for all intents and purposes gotten worse.
I dont make squat for money at my job. I get barely minimum wage. I work only parttime. I feel restricted and limited as hell in getting a different job due to a multitude of reasons. For myself, I'll elaborate:
A. who's going to hire someone who can't even commit that they'll be able to work a full work schedule b/c every two weeks i have to be out for chemo...damnit chemo infusion centers dont work on weekends.
B. Even if i didnt' have to get treated every two weeks, there are many occasion when various complications keep me from getting into work at all...be it sudden blood transfusion, ct scan, scope, or iron infusion.
C. and even if I didn't have that potential looming over my head, in general, I'm exhausted enough after working a short shift of 6.5 hours four or five days a week as it is. And its a pretty easy desk job. I can barely remember the times when I worked two or three jobs at once, or worked fulltime and went to school part or fulltime. That sounds like a wonderwoman to me, and yet I used to do it.
D. If I'm able to get past all of that, I'd have to get a job that I can explain to them that once (minimum) but more like twice a day, for roughly a half hour at a time I'll have to lock myself in a bathroom. Which, in most normal jobs, you get a lunch hour. So maybe I could work it so that it was my lunch hour...now of course this would also mean that I would always spend every work day in a bathroom instead of eating. That could potentially get problematic.
E. Oh yea, and do I need to even touch on the subject of Insurance and the fact that I would not only wreck the insurance setup at most any business with my pre-existing conditions, I am basically a Liability. I know that an employer wouldn't be able to NOT hire me based on me having cancer, but exactly how would I be able to prove that even happened? I've toyed with the idea of not saying anything to a potential employer about cancer. But realized it's nto exactly plausible given reasons I've already stated and the fact that I would need to right off the bat be able to start scheduling my off days so I can get my treatments.

I could actually keep going with reasons I feel limited. But besides that all...I love my job. Well, I may not have that involved of a job description, but I love the actual organization I work for. It is a folk music school and they have been amazing for me. They are the most supportive and accomadating people. I feel very much blessed that I have an employer that not only is understanding of my situation, but are right there in my corner. They've allowed me to use the entire facility (including huge gorgeous concert hall) for my very first fundraiser. Than, my fundraiser I had a few months ago they all collectively raised about close to $1000 for it without mentioning a word of it to me. When I was in the hospital about to have surgery, the first (and one of the only) flower arrangements I received was from my coworkers. A bunch of them showed up to my fundraisers. They bend over backwards to help me rearrange my schedule when chemo-stuff changes. They're always very respectful of my situation, willingness to talk about it, etc. I never dread going to work in the morning, I love what my job offers to people. The fact that we share, spread, and support local arts, artists, musicians, etc. The fact that we have a place where people from all walks of life come together to learn, play, and share cultures. That we offer people with limited incomes the chance for scholarships and financial aid, including children from low income homes. And thats only a small part of why I love where I work.

So needless to say I feel stuck. Because I dont feel I can get back on my feet, which I've been trying to for three years. And I can't shake these Sallie Mae fucks. And yet I can't pay them. I can barely pay my rent all on my own. and my monthly payment due for student loans would come close to $500. and a partial payment would still be like $250. I think even if i just paid the interest accrued every month its close to $200. And I can't afford that anyway. I have rent/phone/auto/food/ and then I'm not even touching on the massive medical debt I'm already in (and just get deeper and deeper into every two weeks with the next chemo treatment. I make payments here and there, but there are some things that just dont receive anything. For instance, I dont think I've been able to afford sending payment to the radiation people...ever. I just can't when I have to make sure that my oncologists office is current on bills so that I can continue my drugs as needed.
I'll elaborate even more later about how all this just serves to contribute to my lack of self-esteem in anything these days.
If I could blink my eyes and make Sallie Mae just fall off the face of the planet, I would do it in a heartbeat. . Someone help me! puh-lease.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Viiiidddeo!

Okay, it may not be riveting video. but needless to say my awesome mom and family got me a super sexy new video camera for xmas. So I have a way to get stuff i've had laying around, onto my computer. and out to my blog!
So, I want to start out small. A little infusion room anecdote if you will.

video