Wed. February 4, 2015: Trying to Dig Out Before We Get Hit Again

Blizzard House

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Last Day of Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I’m sharing photos from last week’s blizzard. 27 inches of snow — not easy to dig out.

I’ve been offline more than I planned, and for that I apologize.

Two weeks ago, there was chaos going on; things were difficult on several different fronts. I can’t discuss it in detail, because a lot of it has to do with someone else’s personal life, and it’s not fair for me to publicly discuss it. Some of it has to do with someone sabotaging me and doing that person’s best to make my life hell, but that’s that.

The Burns/Woolf piece got a warm reception. The audience was small, but they wanted more, and we wound up adding additional readings when the scripted piece was done. There was also lively conversation, and the desire, on the audience’s part, that we do an actual Burns night supper next year.

The day after the performance, I was just exhausted, on many levels. I read and researched more than anything else.

Monday the 26th, in anticipation of the blizzard, I checked in with the library, got a carload of firewood, more water, and more wine, and then we hunkered down for the storm. Tuesday, it snowed all day and well into Wednesday. The power stayed on, for which I was very grateful, and the snow insulated the house nicely, so it was actually quite cozy. We had lights to read by and heat and could cook, so it was fine. The cats alternated between fascination at the windows and napping.


I worked on research for the historical play, working my way through materials that came in from Worcester and Wellesley libraries through Interlibrary Loan. Took a lot of notes. For the particular play for 365 Women, I want to focus on one particular case, and maybe just reference some of the others. I don’t want it to be the most famous case — I need to go through the case files and find one that’s interesting, but not famous. I have some ideas, but I need more information.

Wednesday, it took us seven hours to shovel the driveway and get part of the deck cleared. Seven hours. Twenty-seven inches of snow high, a driveway that is fifty feet long and about five feet wide. Nearly killed us. Our neighbors were digging out. The street hadn’t been plowed, so they couldn’t even get to us to help us. Their own snowblowers were having trouble, so we were all digging out old school, with shovels.

Blizzard Deck
By Thursday morning, the plow FINALLY came down the street — and packed five feet of compacted snow back into my driveway. I physically could not chip it down to shovel it. My neighbor managed to get the snowblower over and help dig me out.

I mean, that’s ridiculous. The town only does a single pass on “tertiary” roads and we’re warned that we will be fined if we shovel from our properties onto the street, yet they are allowed to completely block out the driveways and pathways we’ve taken hours to clear so that we’re in compliance with the law. Just wrong.

Did a few pages on a new play. Not either of the plays I’m supposed to be working on, but at least the opening scene is down and the characters can stop yapping at me.

The library was open on Friday. We had a busy day, trying to process books, waive fines, and catch up. The bookdrop was not only frozen shut, the town plow had plowed the snow up against it. Even though we’d hired a private guy to plow our parking area and he’d cleared everything beautifully.

Brought home fish dinners from the fish market and tried to relax. Completely exhausted.

My mom called the doctor’s office to change her appointment for Monday morning, and they wouldn’t let her. They told her she should wait and call in on Monday, before she had to leave the house (7 AM), and the answering service would let her know whether or not the appointment was cancelled. I thought that was ridiculous — if she wants to change the appointment, they should change the damn appointment — but they didn’t want to.

Saturday, I had to get my mom’s prescriptions filled (because they wouldn’t refill them BEFORE the storm because it wasn’t time and they wouldn’t refill them early). Also went to the grocery store. Then, got into the library early.

It was very busy, with people dumping the books from the blizzard and trying to stock up for the upcoming storm. My colleague and I managed to wrestle the bookdrop open, and I passed books and videos over the snowdrift to her, and, together, we managed to get it shut again. We got everything processed, along with six bins of books in delivery.

Exhausted by the time it was closing time, and then we had a CCWC contest meeting. We figured out what needs to be done, and in what time frame, and have our marching orders. It’s Mercury Retrograde, and I have a feeling that some of what I said might have been misunderstood; hopefully not.

Sunday, we ran a bunch of errands, including buying the shoes I’ll wear for tango. I’ve been breaking them in, wearing them a few times a day.

Sunday night, we hunkered down again, in preparation for the storm. Superbowl 49 was on, Patriots vs. Seahawks. I have to say, the Twitter commentaries were more fun than the game, although the Patriots pulled it out there, near the end, and won 28-24.

Monday morning was awful. My mom called the doctor’s answering service, who told her the office was open and she should go in for her appointment. It was a nightmare going out. We got to the office — and it was locked. The answering service’s response was that it wasn’t their problem and “they have no control”. When we finally got a nurse to open the door, she said it was my mother’s fault for going out into the storm, and she was responsible for herself, and of course she was in control of changing her appointment if she wanted to.

Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME? How dare you blame a 90 year old woman for doing what her doctor’s office TELLS HER TO DO, and dragging her out in a snowstorm? Completely unacceptable.

This whole “Oh, we wouldn’t have charged you if you didn’t come in” — um, yeah, mofo, you would have. Been down this road before. If you cancel on the day of and the office is considered “open”, legally one can be charged, weather or not, and that’s what’s happened in the past. Refusing to let her change the appointment, when she called THREE DAYS EARLIER and requested it and then BLAMING her for going out in a storm because the fucking answering service TOLD her to go is unacceptable.

Now, in my pre-Broadway days, when I was working whatever jobs I needed to keep a roof over my head while I worked in theatre, I worked for both a doctor’s office and an answering service. In the case of the doctor’s office, if someone called and asked to change an appointment, you CHANGE THE DAMN APPOINTMENT. If it was a matter of life or death and the doctor felt the patient needed to go in right away and the patient was trying not to go, that was one thing, but simply changing an appointment, be it for weather or because the ride fell through or whatever was a simple request and DONE.

When I worked for an answering service, if the weather was bad, it was the SERVICE’S job to call the clients and find out not only if they were considered “open”, but if anyone was actually on the premises, so when people called in, we had actual and accurate information. We didn’t sit around with our thumbs up our asses and wait until someone got around to letting us know. It was OUR job to get the information. If we’d behaved like this inept, rude, incompetent service behaved, we’d have been out of business in a week. Of course, this is the same service that, when my mother was sick a few weeks ago, didn’t put in the call promptly to the doctor, and it was SEVEN HOURS LATER before the doctor’s office called, and I’d already taken my mom to urgent care.

And, if you’re an answering service for a doctor, that means you need to have bedside manner. You are dealing with sometimes life-and-death, and often people who are highly frightened and stressed. It is your fucking JOB to have correct information and be compassionate. Not just take a phone number and abscond all responsibility.

The doctor herself is very nice and very good with my mom, but the staff, and, especially the answering service are a nightmare. I understand that reception has to buffer the doctor — I used to do it — but this level of incompetence is ridiculous.

The doctor showed up an hour later — like I said, the roads were a nightmare. My mom had her appointment. Her medication has to change, and she has to have some tests next week. We managed to get home and settle in for the rest of the day. I was furious and exhausted.

I read a little, but didn’t get much writing done. I shoveled the slush out of the driveway and the path, so it wouldn’t freeze over, and we had snow/rain/snow/rain/snow all day and into the night.

Yesterday was bright and sunny. I got to work on the radio play, and realized that the sequence I’ve used as the prologue in BALTHAZAAAR TREASURE actually needs to be at the end, not the beginning. Well, at least I know my horizon line. It’s unfair to the reader to start with that, not to mention breaks the style of the previous novel.

I have a screenplay due mid-March now — I know what I’m going to submit, I just need to polish it a bit. So — radio drama, stage play, screenplay, novel — all in the next few months, along with everything else. That should keep me busy.

I’m not feeling very creatively confident right now, so I hope just showing up and doing the work every day will help me regain that confidence.

In spite of that, I got some good, solid pages done on the radio play. There’s more humor in it than I expected.

Hop on over to the GDR blog to see what’s going on there.

Stay safe and warm.


Published in: on February 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm  Comments (1)  

One Comment

  1. While I wish we would receive some snow here, I’m glad we would never receive the amounts you have this past week! Glad to know you and your mom are okay!

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