August 17, 1999
Costs and Road-Kill Chickens
Another meeting laden day and in the midst of everything I got a call from the hospital to finish off all the scheduling of things for the exploratory larthroscopy on the 3rd of September. They told me that I had to schedule a meeting with the doctor and then a pre-op test series with them before the surgery itself. So I called around the offices for where the doctor was and eventually caught up, after three hours of meetings, with the coordinating nurse. She gave me the news that we'd kinda expected, but it was still a minor shock for me to hear, that the insurance was likely not covering anything of the surgery.
The insurance cost is something like ten thousand dollars and we'd saved up for that, but it's still not an easy thing. There's also, it turns out, a discount that the hospital will give if one pays for things in advanced; and, it turns out, that the medical expense can, likely, be taken out of our taxable income, which might help in the long run. That's a good thing, all together.
But it was still mildly depressing and mildly annoying, eventhough we really do have the resources to handle it pretty quickly. John managed to cheer me up pretty well after work by taking me to Safeway, where we bought five chickens as well as all the other food we needed for the party we were having at home tomorrow night. With all the visitors around we thought it would be good to have a party and let everyone have fun together and get to know each other outside of the work environment. I really liked that possibility, so we spent the evening flattening and then marinating the chickens.
Flattening them mostly involved cutting them along the backbone, then cutting out the back and finally opening up the breast bone and major joints so that the meat could cook all the way into the chicken. That took a lot of work to get five flat chickens that we then soaked in lime and tequila, herbs, and a bit of olive oil to make the marinade stick. Stuck the whole thing in the refrigerator and that felt very good to do. We also got to eat spaghetti with pesto and a bread with roasted garlic in it. Simple and good.
I also stuck all the bones and wing tips into a stock pot with a lot of water and half-dead celery and an almost all-dead onion and some bay leaves and other seasonings. It should make an excellent chicken soup in the long run. In the short run it was fun to just get it all made and stuck in the refrigerator before we headed off to sleep.
Fezzik's much better these days, he's bouncy, happy and not limping anymore, which is a very good thing. I think he'll like the party tomorrow.
Okay. I admit it. I only throw parties because my dog loves 'em.