Hard Day

Kage Baker would say, as an indication of her energy hitting E: “It’s tired, and I’m getting late.”

It meant her brain had shut down and her speech centers were not far behind. I know, I know – it’s customary to do it the other way around, but writers are different. So are actors. And so are those of Celtic blood. Being all three, Kage essentially never shut down the talking parts of her mind.

Neither do I. But coherency sometimes goes catatonic, leaving free association and the training in improvisation to root through the over-inflated vocabulary and make things up as they go along. The heights of creativity and the depths of stupidity are reached during these moments – sometimes simultaneously. Many interesting moments at Faire happened due to this phenomenon; gems like explaining to our horrified producer why my friends and I were sawing off a fellow performer’s leg. Or my persuading a crowd of customers to sing in praise of St. Ermenwyr, patron of impecunious younger sons and double-agent diplomats, whose sacred animal is the weasel …

Today, though, the nonsense was none of my own doing, and nowhere near as fun.

I’ve spent the day between phone calls, arguing with Medi-Cal clerks. They insist my doctor filled out part of the exception waiver form incorrectly. They also refuse to send another – as far as I can tell, from the heavily-accented lady with whom I spoke today, the original form is somehow supposed to tell the doctor what to do. “She looks at form, it tells her what we need!” insisted Livia, whose accent sang of the Volga and the scarlet domes of Moscow.

No amount of argument could get a more sensible answer out of her. I insisted that the original form – which they claim to have returned to the doctor for correction – cannot tell her what they need: same answer. I think she thinks the forms can talk. Finally, she told me to tell the doctor what they need, which I guess makes some sense when you figure it’s my own problem I’m trying to solve  …

So I called the doctor and spoke to her excellent secretary. The form has not been received by their office, despite the claims of Medi-Cal, but she has a copy, of course. I told her which item was reportedly wrong, and how: she will FAX a correction. And tomorrow, I will call again and see what the new situation is.

Though it’s definitely tired, I am working very hard not to be late.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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4 Responses to Hard Day

  1. Margaret says:

    And the Curse of St. Ermenwyr (or whoever is appropriate) on every bureaucracy that hires people to answer phone questions without making sure there’s a HIGH level of language comprehension and response. Would we could just request Lord E’s Dad to go around and straighten them out. Failing him, I repeat my suggestion of a local congresscritter’s office as a posible source of anti-bureaucracy help.

    And please could you reveal when in our calendar Lord E’s saint’s(?) day falls, so I can offer suitable homage – just on the grounds of, well, one never knows… And what song does he appreciate? If it’s Deck Us All With Boston Charlie, I already know that one.


  2. athene says:

    OMFG. I am going to choke myself to death on impotent rage.


  3. Kate says:

    Athene – no, don’t choke. The matter is not stalled, only delayed – and my doctor is pushing from her side, too. This is a wretched thing to happen right now – too many ugly echoes! – but it will be solved and I am ON IT. Pray for me and my victims.


  4. Kate says:

    The Feast Day of St. Ermenwyr is August 10th – that particular bit of festive insanity happened during a Northern Renaissance Faire, and I was inspired. Also egged on by crazy stories from Kage, and the aid and assistance of Tom the Lord of Misrule, who has a weird fondness for weasels … St. Ermenwyr likes clever, bawdy songs, mostly, but no one doesn’t like Deck Us All With Boston Charlie!


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