Know the lingo of Social Security

Is Social Security a topic in your conversations these days? Are you familiar with the lingo used to describe Social Security benefits, or does it sound like a new vocabulary to you? Social Security employees strive to explain benefits using easy-to-understand, plain language. But if a technical term or acronym (an abbreviation of the first…

Life lessons and game changers abroad

If we are fortunate, we may experience during our lives a handful of significant events that profoundly change or influence us. Some call these milestones or game-changers. I am lucky to have had a few, but none so profound as when I set off to explore a foreign land completely on my own. The lessons…

Z world according to Zoe | Aug. 18

I remember the first gay person I met. I think everyone does. For me, it was my youth group leader at my church– the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach (UUCLB). She always wore a small braid in her long, blonde hair and tie-dye shirts, or so my 7-year-old memory serves me. She and her…

Discovering a buried history in an unfamiliar place

As my best friends– Cesar Beltran and Ryan Dunshee– and I entered the magical world of twentysomethings, we made it a mission to break out of our normal day-to-day routines and engage in fun activities once in a while. Our self-proclaimed goal has taken us to the scorching deserts of Las Vegas, Nevada, where we…

When in Rome… you eat lots of food and miss your flight

My month-long stay in Europe in June was not exclusive to Spain and its wonderful sangria– my adventures also included a weekend escapade to Rome, Italy. My first entry in my series of Europe commentaries a few weeks ago examined the distinct variations of the Spanish language. Although Spain had its fair share of unfamiliar…

Running head-on into bull culture

Bulls are a vital part of Spain’s culture. Bullfighting and the Running of the Bulls festivals, held periodically throughout the country, are iconic traditions that have been met with polarizing responses from Spain’s citizens. Some chalk it up to a classic custom that has been around for centuries, and it always will be. Others believe…

Using the transgender community as a distraction

The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach expresses extreme alarm and opposition to President Donald Trump’s morning announcement [Wednesday] implementing a total ban on transgender people from serving in the United States military. The decision to announce this ban on Twitter, and the President’s use of the grammatically incorrect phrase “transgender in the military,” is disgusting,…

I’m having an affair

I have been having an affair for years, and my wife knows about it. The affair started 9½ years ago when I first took the job at the BKBIA. It wasn’t intentional or something I had been looking for, but it just happened immediately. I wasn’t married yet, and the affair didn’t even start out…

Z world according to Zoe | July 14

Two weeks ago, I introduced Generation Z, explaining what defines the youngest generation. I determined that those of us in Gen Z, we Boomlets, are in fact not addicted to our phones. This week, I will talk about the ways we get our news. It is a strong belief among older generations that the Boomlets…

The inner turmoil of adventure

Last week, I wrote about the unique vernacular of Spain and how it contrasts with the Spanish my family speaks at home. This week, I look back to my journey from California to Valencia and the thoughts that accompanied me. We soared through the sky. Thousands of miles in the air, caught between an endless…

Z world according to Zoe | June 30

As a rule, humans are attracted to labels– labels on sexuality, labels on ethnicity, labels on clothing style and labels on when we are born, or generations. We use generations to fit swaths of people into a single definition: the Baby Boomers, the Lost Generation, the Millennials. The newest generation is Generation Z, which has…

How Medicare works with other insurance

OP-ED

If your family is anything like mine, everyone has a certain specialty or role in keeping the household running. Since I wash dishes faster than anyone, I’m the family dishwashing expert. I’m also the point man for paying medical bills. My wife and I have separate health coverage, so I have to make sure our…

Ticket to Work program puts people back in the driver’s seat

OP-ED

Social Security encourages people to rejoin the workforce when they are able. Ticket to Work is our free and voluntary program that helps people get vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals and other employment support services. This program is for people ages 18 to 64 who are receiving disability benefits and need support re-entering the workforce…