January 29th, 2008

ozarque figure

Writing science fiction; samples from The Book of Examples....

These two samples come from a collage book I made in 2001 called The Book of Examples, where they were set as if they were newspaper clippings, with justified right margins, and were illustrated with collages on the facing pages. [There's a post about making these books at http://ozarque.livejournal.com/175632.html .]

Arrowsprite creates minor color-turbulence
over city; residents delighted

The Interplanetary Press

"It wasn't a fullscale skyquake," says Granicia
Hollywale, who lives only a few blocks from
where the arrowsprite was sighted, "but it was
gorgeous! I'll never forget it as long as I
live!" The arrowsprite came in just after dawn this
morning and swooped down to circle the Statue
of Virtual Liberty where it looks out over Tsagou-
liplex Harbor; it stayed only a few seconds. (Not
long enough, climatologists say, to set off a sky-

Photos taken by residents in the area show an
incredible assortment of colored stripes and bands
over the city during the brief color-turbulence
episode. "There was no danger to anyone," says
Nmu Hekitor Jan of Phutro Multiversity, "except
esthetically." Asked for an explanation, the pro-
fessor -- who clearly doesn't agree with Mrs. Hol-
lywale that the display was "gorgeous" -- laughed
and said he had never seen anything "so gaudy or
so confused." It was, he said, like an orchestra
performance where the musicians were playing in
half a dozen different keys at the same time.

City maintenance crews reported that damage done
to the Statue of Virtual Liberty by arrowsprite ra-
diation was minor and can be repaired "in a couple
of hours."

Why would an arrowsprite want to visit the Statue
of Virtual Liberty? "I suppose it was just curious,"
said Professor Jan.

Fourth skyquake this week hits Noo Province;
"skyquake bath" fad alarms authorities

The Interplanetary Press

There have been four skyquakes over Noo Province
this week, ranging in strength from 2.4.6 to 4.1.0 on
the Braddihosta scale, all triggered by arrowsprites.
Scientists tell IP this is not abnormal and has no par-
ticular significance. "Skyquakes happen all the time,"
says Hemet Olligrowsanek of Phutro Multiversity.
"Statistically speaking, it's inevitable that there will
sometimes be clusters."

But officials aren't sure how they should respond to
the fad among Noo women for sitting outside during
the quakes, a practice locals call "skyquake bathing."
Especially when it involves pregnant women, who
claim it will give them stronger and smarter babies.
"It's superstition," an official told IP after being prom-
ised anonymity, "of the most ignorant kind. But these
are women, after all -- rural women. It's the
sort of thing you expect them to come up with." When
IP responded that what you'd expect is that the women
would be scared, the official only shrugged.
"They've been lucky so far," he said. "Wait till one of
them takes a direct hit from an arrowsprite... they'll
change their tune!"

Dr. Olligrowsanek reminded IP that no record exists
of an arrowsprite ever having targeted a living crea-
ture, but added that we have no way of knowing
whether that's deliberate or accidental on the arrow-
sprite's part.
ozarque figure

Eldering; what it's like being 70; Medicare paperwork...

Don't misunderstand me, please... I am very grateful for Medicare, and for the Medicare supplement policy that's part of my retirement package. Talk about being privileged; that's privilege, for sure, and I'm aware of it. I know how very lucky I am. But just so you'll know what's ahead.....

I got a bill from the clinic where my doctor had all the tests done in April of 2007, showing a balance of $102.00 due from "insurance" [that is, my Medicare supplemental policy, not Medicare itself] -- written like this:


Plus a line in boldface type saying that I was responsible for the insurance balance after 60 days.

The $102.00 was the price of a "venipuncture" and two blood tests, all consistent with the problem I saw the doctor about. So I went to the documentation -- which told me that the supplemental insurance only turns down charges that Medicare has also turned down, and that you have to appeal the turn-down first to Medicare, and wait for the results of that appeal, before you can appeal under the supplemental policy. However, Medicare had paid its share for those three items. Hmmm. So...

So I went online and slogged through endless pages of what is alleged to be information about the appeals process for Part This and Part That and inpatient and outpatient and [vamp till ready]... Total waste of time; nothing that I found applied to my situation. And the time it took for everything to appear on my computer screen told me that many, many other elders were there with me, going through the same futile exercise.

This morning I called the clinic's billing department to try to find out what reason the insurance people had given for turning down the three charges....

And was told that the balance shown isn't money due the clinic from me, it is in fact a credit -- which the clinic will be refunding to the insurance company, but which can't be refunded yet because the insurance company has to send an official form requesting that refund, and that hasn't happened yet.

You want to know why an elderly writer might not get a lot of new work written on a given day, or might not get anything posted at her blog? This is one of the reasons.

And while I'm here, I should point out that on the Medicare documents that tell me what's happening with my claims there is an information box on page one that tells you to send your appeals to the address in the "General Information Section" -- where no address appears, but where it tells you to send your appeals to the address in that information box on page 1 -- where no address appears. Abraham, see Lincoln; Lincoln, see Abraham. It took me only thirty minutes online to locate the address in question.

Your tax dollars at work, Gentle Reader.