Thurs. March 18, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 300/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 50 — Disheartened

image courtesy of Devanath via pixabay.com

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Waxing Moon

Cloudy, windy, cold

There’s a quick post up on Gratitude and Growth.

Not much to report here. Yesterday was stressful. In different ways than I anticipated, but stressful.

Got some other disheartening news. Not appropriate to talk about it here, but there were tears last night on my part, and a growing sense of failure on multiple levels.

What can I do but take a deep breath and dig in again?

I’m looking forward to meditation this morning. I need it.

Then, it’s a quick run to Trader Joe’s, and back to client work. I’m also going to try to get more done in the basement, and pack up the back bedroom.

I hurt so much for my Asian friends. I’m so tired of crazy, cruel white men being allowed to get away with every hurtful, violent thing they feel like doing. It has to stop.

And, of course, 172 Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women act yesterday, because this is who they are.

Peace, friends.

Let’s hope the rest of this week is better than it started.

Published in: on March 18, 2021 at 5:08 am  Comments Off on Thurs. March 18, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 300/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 50 — Disheartened  
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Tues. March 16, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 298/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 48 — Step by Step by Step by . . .

image by Peter H courtesy of pixabay.com

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Waxing Moon

Cold again!

It’s March, so the weather is all over the place again. Yuck.

New moon in my sign as of Saturday, and I am so ready for it. Time to search for some optimism and action.

My article on theatre script development in the pandemic is up on Scriptmag.

I was so wiped out on Friday, I could barely stand it. I got some work done, but also had to rest.

Saturday was about box purging and starting to pack up my mom’s room, especially her books. Got some boxes purged from downstairs, but not as many as I’d like. I scrubbed the floor and how have to do some rearranging there.

Sent out some LOIs, did some work I didn’t get done on Friday.

Saturday night into Sunday morning, we sprung forward, which wrecks me, as it does every year. I do well when we fall back and gain an hour, but springing forward and losing an hour just gets me every time.

Managed to get a good dump run in on Sunday morning. A carload full of both garbage and recycling. Did a small grocery shop at the Stop N Shop in Marstons Mills.

Home, decontaminated. Realized that soon, I don’t need to worry about decontaminating everything for my mom’s sake, just for mine. And, hopefully, in a few more months, I won’t have to do it for myself, either. Although, considering how disgusting so many people are (again, WHY are you pulling down your mask to sneeze all over the groceries, asshole?), I might keep doing it for some things.

Packed the antique books in my room and the pictures in my mom’s room. Lots of bubble wrap and wrapping paper involved.

Got some work done on contest entries.

I don’t feel well, at all. I’m sure it’s a compilation of stresses, but it’s slowing me down when I can least afford it. Just must push through.

Woke up once overnight Sunday into Monday, and managed to get back to sleep again without too much effort, and got up at a reasonable hour.

Got some work done in the morning, then headed onsite to a client’s, where I worked on my own for a few hours. Did as much as I could there, took the shipments to the Post Office, swung by the liquor store, and home. I’d done a Target run for cleaning supplies on my way over to the office.

Decontamination process, more client work, LOIs out. Worked on my interview requests for the article – they go out today. Followed up from the meeting I had with a potential client last week. Another potential client is trying to bully me into doing an unpaid, project-specific sample because “that’s how we’ve found lots of great writers.” No. Read my samples and portfolio. Use your critical reading skills. If you want something specific to your company, you PAY ME FOR IT. I have a contract that’s specific to it.

Cape Cod Community College is ramping up the vaccines, but I’m not yet eligible for an appointment. I had to set up a second Walgreen’s account in order to maybe get on a list for a vaccine there, but – no appointments. I’m not signing up with CVS, because goodness only knows what they’d jab in my arm.

Did some research on Emilia Lanier, one of the possibilities for Shakespeare’s “Dark Lady.”

Worked on the book for review. Worked on contest entries.

Today, there’s more client work (remotely), picking up a prescription for my mother, getting out any additional interview requests, more LOIs, more packing.

Comcast and WordPress are both being hateful this morning. Multiple times having to shut down and restart. It does not bode well for the rest of the day.

Step by step, day by day.

Published in: on March 16, 2021 at 5:35 am  Comments Off on Tues. March 16, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 298/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 48 — Step by Step by Step by . . .  
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Fri. March 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 294/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 44 — Pre-registration as Placebo

Friday, March 12, 2021

Dark Moon

Cloudy and cooler

Many thanks to all of those who sent birthday wishes yesterday. It was much appreciated, and cheered up my day. This was my second birthday during the pandemic.

Emotionally, I was up, down, and all over yesterday. Really struggled on various fronts, then felt guilty for struggling, which made me struggle all the more.

I cut myself a break, work-wise. I sent out a few LOIs and had a good video conference with a potential client. Other than that, I read and puttered around the house.

The landlord had contractors poking around outside.

We had birthday cake and a nice dinner.

Knowledge Unicorns sang me “Happy Birthday” — which was fun.

My mother’s bloodwork came back. Her glucose is high, and now they’re worrying about possible diabetes. Something else to worry about.

I just needed to give myself a day off yesterday, but the stress didn’t abate.

Today, I’m doing follow-up from yesterday’s meeting, getting some client work done, some LOIs done, contest entries done, article work done, and getting back to purging boxes.

I will purge boxes all weekend, and make at least one trip to the dump.

I signed up on the pre-registration site for the vaccine. It’s basically a placebo, so you feel like you’ve done something. None of the sites that will send me the sign-up are close enough for me to be able to actually go there and, you know, get vaccinated.

Baker attacking teachers for wanting to be vaccinated in order to teach onsite and claiming they’re “taking away” vaccines from the elderly is just complete b.s. How about he allocates doses where needed? How about he looks at his own data and uses it to make decisions instead of making stuff up in press conferences?

Watched Biden’s speech last night. What a relief to have someone who isn’t a narcissist, and who actually surrounds himself with smart, competent people. Someone who gives a damn beyond himself.

Have a good weekend, friends. Let’s hope next week is better.

Wed. March 10, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 292/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 42 — Another Day, Another Stress

image courtesy of Jill Wellington via pixabay.com

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Waning Moon

Sunny and cold

Yesterday was up, down, and all over the place.

I woke up a little after 2 and couldn’t get back to sleep. Got some writing done in the morning, client work, LOIs out.

Took my mom to the doctor in the afternoon. The doctor is pleased with her progress, and delighted that she’s on the road to vaccination.

It was a lovely day, so people were out and about in force, and NONE of them wore masks. It was enraging. And, of course, the leaf-blowing assholes were out in force, because heaven forbid anyone should be able to actually enjoy the nice weather in peace and quiet.

I did, however, open the windows and doors for a bit, to get in some fresh air. It got cold quickly again in the afternoon, and went back down into the 20’s overnight.

The bubble wrap that I ordered arrived. It’s, um, a much bigger roll than I expected. But I’m sure we will use it all!

Worked on research for my article. Wrote a couple of blog articles. Set up some marketing posts for Fearless Ink, more introductory than anything else.

Heard back from a potential script reading job to which I pitched. I’m supposed to do a free sample – um, no. And then, the per script rate is ¼ of my usual rate. So that’s not going to work out. A disappointment.

Should have purged boxes in the basement, but didn’t. Stressed and fretted about several issues, and didn’t come up with any answers.

Worked on some contest entries.

Was wiped out early, and went to bed early, completely spent.

Knowledge Unicorns was fun, but everyone is stressed and exhausted. Trying to force onsite learning before people are vaccinated causes way too much unnecessary pain. It needs to stop.

Managed to sleep until 3:30 this morning, which I guess is an improvement?

Something woke me, something outside. Not sure what it was. It might have been coyotes calling, but far away? I’m not sure. It was a weird sound. Eerie.

So, the House passed the PRO Act. I’m assuming the ABC test was not stripped out? That was the problem with the bill. The rest of it was pretty good, but the ABC test destroys a lot of lives.

Will do some remote work for a client this morning, and then I’m taking my mother to get her second vaccine dose. I’m almost afraid to say so, afraid that something will go wrong. So, fingers crossed it all works as smoothly as it did three weeks ago. We’re leaving early enough to take into account the road work on Rt. 6. The traffic is already as bad around here as it usually is in late May.

Because yes, we are driving to Orleans, and she’s getting vaccinated at the dump.

The rest of the day will be about taking care of her, post-vaccine. We may be in for a rough couple of days. But if all goes well and she actually gets the shot, it means she is fully vaccinated as of March 24, and I don’t have to worry as much every time I leave the house. I still have to worry about myself and follow protocols, but not worry as much about her. I mean, she’s 96, there’s always an element of worry.

But getting vaccinated is a good step towards the next chapter.

I just wish I knew where the next chapter would happen.

Fri. March 5, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 287/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 37 — Work Work Work

image courtesy of janeb13 via pixabay.com

Friday, March 5, 2021

Waning Moon

Cloudy and cold

Not much to say today, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Just working along, steady.

Meditation was great yesterday, although Charlotte was a little pill, climbing all over me and fascinated by the Zoom screen. I don’t use my video, so no one could see her and tell her she was pretty. She was quite disappointed. That’s her favorite part of Zoom calls.

Had to swing by the client’s office and download a file I’d left without the previous day. Was in and out quick (no one there) and back home to upload the file and work on it. Spent a couple of hours getting that done.

Worked on the book review. It’s not quite right yet, so I will tweak it today and then send it (deadline is today).

Worked on the article proposal. Did some research for another article. I have to view a few things as research; I will do that this weekend, and then send out interview requests early next week.

Sent out some LOIs.

Freelance Chat was fun. Charlotte doesn’t quite get the difference between a Zoom call and a live Twitter chat. Again, she was disappointed because no one told her she was pretty. Although I did, but that wasn’t the same as having a bunch of strangers tell her how beautiful she is.

My lower back bothered me, so I spent some extra time on the acupressure mat.

Knowledge Unicorns was good. The kids are doing well. We have a rhythm to our work time, and we get everything done while learning stuff beyond their curriculum and laughing a lot. The families are all holding firm to the kids not going back to in-person learning this year, and making sure everyone gets vaccinated as soon as they can.

Cape Cod Community College’s gym is opening as a mass vaccine site here. It’s getting the one-dose J&J vaccine. All the new appointments that opened in the state were booked within 90 minutes.

At this point, since my mom is booked for her second dose (we hope) and I’m not yet eligible, I’m reading the information sent, but I don’t yet have to get into the cage fight for appointments. I’ll do that in a couple of weeks. I’ll just hope that, as our dose shipments increase, we can get people vaccinated and it won’t be as bad of a fight as it’s been.

We had a scare when we got a “Congratulations! You’ve been vaccinated!” email, and I thought, “oh, no, now they’re acting like she had both doses?” But it was the vaccine confirmation from the first dose. The verification process so I could actually access/download the information was as ridiculous as the rest of the sign-up, but we got it done, and I printed off one copy for our records and one copy for my mom’s doctor.

I just want to sleep, for about a week, but no such luck.

Today, I have to finish/send the book review, and then I’ve done 5 and can invoice. I want to finish the article pitch and send it off. I need to drop off some books due at the library (although I don’t have anything to pick up). I’ll work on contest entries, get out some LOIs, purge some more boxes. I have to break down a bunch of boxes in the garage, because tomorrow morning, I need to do a big dump run.

I also have to do a Trader Joe’s run. We are way down on a bunch of stuff, and I need to restock.

You can tell things are opening up. Dumbasses are driving into buildings again. I’ve never lived in a place where people drive into buildings every damn day, but they do it in MA.

I was in touch with my House Rep a few days ago about voting No on the PRO-ACT, at least until they strip out the ABC test. If that passes, I can’t be a freelancer. It means thousands of small businesses, many owned by women, would be destroyed. A test applied to factory workers in the 1930’s is not appropriate for freelance work today, especially in the creative arenas.

And I’m a union person! So if I think the bill is bad, and I WANT people to be able to unionize, you know it’s really bad.

It would be nice if the policy writers actually talked to people in the field of the policies they write before they write them. Just a thought.

But it’s why I’m on the case of my elected officials on just about every piece of legislation every damn week. They can’t represent me if they don’t know where I stand on various bills. So I make sure that they do.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Thurs. March 4, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 286/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 36 — Trying to Take A Breath

image courtesy of Renan_Brun via pixabay.com

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Waning Moon

Windy and cold

Yesterday was stressful, on multiple levels.

There’s a short post up over on Gratitude and Growth. Unfortunately, there’s not much to say.

I was up very early, because I needed to do a revision on my article, fitting in the new quote, and get it off to my editor before we had to leave the house at 7 AM. I did it, and I’m pleased with it, so that’s a good thing. The quote really does make the piece stronger.

Drove my mom to Quest Diagnostics over in Osterville for her blood work. They tried to charge her for it. No. She’s never had to pay a co-pay for bloodwork. Tufts raised her premium this year, so she’s damn well not going to start paying for stuff they’ve always covered, when they’re charging more in the first place.

Got her back home, and headed over to my client’s. It was the day where several of us overlap in person, which is stressful enough, but this particular client thrives on chaos, which causes even more stress.

But we got through it.

Got home, and, before I even decontaminated, had to get to the computer to try and book my mother’s second vaccine dose. They’d sent me a “special link.”

Talk about even more unnecessary chaos. I wrote in detail about the steps on a long Twitter thread. The site is a failure in web development AND writing, not to mention execution.

The “special link” sent me back to the main virtual waiting room, with wait times of 30 minutes or so. The wait time kept lengthening, then came up as “over a day, come back later.” I was, again, competing with first dose seekers. As I sat there, shocked, it catapulted me onto the site just for the appointments (at the Orleans dump again, next week). I grabbed the first one I saw.

I got the message that the slot would be “held” for 15 minutes while I finished signing up.

Only I had to re-enter ALL the information, including insurance information, that I had to enter for the first shot. Which takes more than 15 minutes, especially when the screen kept freezing and dropping the information I entered.

I finally got all the pages and pages of information entered, and hit “submit” – only to be sent BACK to the virtual waiting room, competing with first dose seekers. The message was that the wait was over a day, and I should try again later.

I burst into tears.

There is NO REASON for this signup chaos, other than exceptionally poor design on the part of the web developers and writers.

While I was in tears, my Gmail pinged, and I received a confirmation for the appointment.

So why was I getting a message telling me to “try again later”? Which message is correct?

I sat on the site, thinking maybe I’d try to book the caretaker’s shot. I was catapulted back into the search portion of the site – only the Orleans site isn’t even listed. So it’s ONLY for second doses.

Which is great, but why not have a sensible design that simply sends you to the second dose site instead of sending you around in circles giving conflicting information?

We have no idea if we’ll actually get the dose, but we are showing up, with the confirmation printed out, next week. And hope for the best.

By the end of it, I was a complete wreck.

There is so much unnecessary pain and suffering connected to the signups. There is NO reason for any of it. It needs clear information from the Governor’s office, and it needs a clean, sensible design and writing on the part of the web developers.

Neither of which exist.

But, it seems the second dose appointment is booked and confirmed, so we’ll hope for the best.

My mom is worried about me not being able to get vaccinated yet. We are simply going to hold the protocols until one month after I get my second dose. As of April 1, when I am eligible, I’ll start my own daily cage fight.

Decontaminated and grabbed a bite to eat.

Remote Chat was fun. It was great to virtually hang out with everybody. But I needed a long session on the acupressure mat afterwards.

On a happy note, a contract came through for an article, and payment for two articles I wrote for a different publication showed up in my bank account. Someone told me about a company looking for something within my wheelhouse, and I sent them an LOI.

I hadn’t planned to purge any boxes, so I didn’t need to feel guilty when I didn’t.

Finished the book for review. Have to think about it before I write the review today. It worked structurally in some aspects, not in others. I liked the characters, but I was not the book’s audience. However, I want to write a fair review FOR the book’s audience. I read across genres, so I’m the audience for quite a few types of books, but not this one. But it definitely has appeal to a different audience. However, the blurb and initial structure makes the real theme of the book feel like a bait and switch – luring the reader in with the promise of one type of book, and then it becomes a different book. I felt lied to, and I don’t like that. It didn’t feel like a wonderful discovery, as it could have; it felt like a lie.

Working on a magazine pitch to a different publication today. I have to do some client work, and realized I don’t have the file I need, so I have to swing by the client’s office to download it (no one will be in today, so there’s no one to send it to me).

I’m really looking forward to the online meditation group this morning – I missed it last week.

Certain pressures are now eased slightly; although there are still others, I’m hoping, in the next few days, I can regain some equilibrium and make some decisions.

Wed. March 3, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 285/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 35 — Steady On, Now.

image courtesy of vertvhul via pixabay.com

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Waning Moon

Windy and Cold

Yesterday was busy, but a steady, good busy. I got some writing done in the morning, and got my article off to my editor.

Had to venture out into the world for a basic grocery shopping, put gas in the car, and a curbside pickup at the library. It was too windy to go to the dump; I’ll do that run at the end of the week.

Home, full decontamination protocols.

Lost the daily cage fight to get my mom’s second vaccine appointment. The message came up that “all appointments next week are full.” So what the hell am I supposed to do? She needs to get her second dose next week.

None of this chaos is necessary. I’m so tired of incompetents running the show.

I had to do some online research, got out some more LOIs. The “additional information” the prospective client wanted was, basically, an unpaid proposal of how to revamp their site. In detail.  No, honey, if I’m revamping your site, you’re paying me.

Next.

Got another request for more information from another LOI that was actually a request for more information, so we could have a good conversation. That went out this morning.

I re-read some of the blog posts of where I was at this time last year, when we were just starting to get the information on how deadly the pandemic was, and everyone was scrambling to figure out what to do, and I was just past the first surgery. The level of stress was pretty high, and it actually made me feel better about the level of stress I’m experiencing right now, in a weird way.

Got my review out. Turns out I’d gotten the deadlines for the two books mixed up. The book I reviewed had a deadline near the end of the month; the other one is due at the end of this week. So I started THAT one, and will get in the review on time. Did a bunch of client work; trying to work ahead on a few projects.

Got a quote back from a source after I’d turned in my article. It’s good, so I asked my editor if I could add it in and tweak the article (I wanted to reach her before she started work on it). She’s cool with it, so I’ll get that turned around to her today.

Started working on an article pitch for a magazine that’s a profile of someone about whom I want to write.

Since I surpassed my box purging quota on Monday, I didn’t have to feel guilty about not purging yesterday, and working instead.

Knowledge Unicorns was fun. Everyone is tired, and there’s huge pressure to go back onsite, but we are all holding steady. Not this year. The kids are doing very well, and, more importantly, it’s safer.

I actually slept through the night last night. This morning, I’m up early, writing and trying to turn around my article.

We have to be out of the house just after 7 AM; I have to take my mom in for bloodwork, then drop her off and head for the client’s office for a few hours.

Remote Chat this afternoon, and then more article work, LOI work, and finishing the book for review.

Hopefully, it will be another “good busy” day.

Published in: on March 3, 2021 at 6:14 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 3, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 285/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 35 — Steady On, Now.  
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Tues. March 2, 2021: Die Even Faster For Your Employer Day 284/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 34 — It’s a Whirlwind, But is it Positive or Negative?

image courtesy of David Zydd via pixabay.com

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Waning Moon

Windy and c-c-c-old!

It’s March, and there’s a LOT that needs to get done in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, I can pull it off.

There are posts on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site that wrap up February and start March.

Early Friday morning, I entered the cage match that is the fight for vaccine appointments. I made it into the “digital waiting room” with an “estimated wait time” of 21 minutes. Which rapidly went up to 23 minutes, 27 minutes, down to 11 minutes, up to 14 minutes for nearly a half hour, then “your estimated wait time is greater than a day.”

WTF????

When Baker smarmed his way through the press conference announcing this “digital waiting room,” he claimed it would be like getting in line – you arrive in the waiting room, get a “number” (like at the deli, although you never see it), and will be taken in turn.

So why is MY digital wait time expanding as more people virtually enter? Why are they getting in ahead of me when I’ve been waiting in it for however long (and it was much longer than the estimated wait time).

Suddenly, it went down to 3 minutes, then it went up to more than a day, then it went down to 1 minute (for about 5 minutes) and then, catapulted me onto the sign-up site.

Where I had to compete with those wanting a first dose.

And where they don’t have signups even listed for the week I need it for my mom, and the signups for the next few days are all full. And NONE of the signups were on Cape Cod. Not one.

So I left without being able to book anything.

I’m hoping they’ll post more dates next week.  It’s ridiculous that one can only book a couple of days out.

A couple of hours later, I got an “update” email from the county, stating that if I’d received the first dose on the 10th or 12th, they’d sent me a link for the second this morning, and I should hurry up and use it to sign up for the second, at specific locations.

Well, that’s not when and where my mom’s signup was. But does that mean that, next week, I will get a special link for the second shot in Orleans? Or am I going to have to keep fighting?

The contradictory information and lack of clear communication is ridiculous.

Polished my article and sent it off to my editor. I hope she likes it (although I’m also hoping we find a better title).  I liked cutting and rearranging. It made the piece tighter and helped with the flow. Being forced to fit into the word count meant any word that didn’t earn its keep had to be cut. And was. I even made it 5 words UNDER!

I went over my notes for the next article, for the other publication, and started writing it in my head a bit.

Had to pick up a prescription for my mom at CVS. It was the wrong prescription, something that’s been cancelled, but I didn’t know until I got it home, and they wouldn’t let me return it. So we’re out money for something we can’t use. Every damn month for the ten years we’ve lived here, CVS messes up the prescriptions. I sincerely hope I don’t have to go to them for the vaccine, because they’re not organized enough to be administering it. Who knows what they’d actually jab into my arm? But it probably wouldn’t be the vaccine.

IF they would even deign to do it. A few years back, we went back six times and they kept refusing to give my mom her shingles shot, told us to come back, we came back as scheduled, and then they found another excuse. So we went to Whole Health instead, who were lovely.

Unfortunately, Whole Health isn’t listed on the site of Fantasy Vaccine Sites the county put out (where supposedly, they’re giving vaccines, but the sites themselves don’t have any vaccines to give).

It’s a complete mess, an unnecessary one – it COULD have been handled better. Baker keeps trying to blame the Feds. Yeah, we know we aren’t getting as many doses as we can use. But, at the same time, the doses we are getting, which have increased every week, aren’t going where they’re needed. Instead of sending them to mass vaccine sites and opening the pool to more applicants, look at the data, see where the doses are needed, and route them there. When the pool is vaccinated, THEN open it up to the next tier. But this attitude of “oh, Gillette has appointments not being used, so we’re going to let a larger group of people make appointments” is crap, because the reason the original pool didn’t use the appointments is because THEY CAN’T GET TO GILETTE. So send the doses where people NEED them.

On top of this, Baker is ramping up more re-opening as of yesterday. Knowing that people can’t get vaccinated fast enough to make it viable, knowing the variants are showing up, knowing that our daily new case numbers are back on the rise.

Completely irresponsible.

Curbside pickup at the liquor store and the library. Home, decontaminated. Got out some LOIs. Looked at a grant, which don’t think I fit, at least not for this round. Started prepping a play for submission in the UK.

Started re-keying the play “Date Café” and am now wondering if I should update it to just pre-pandemic, or leave it just prior to Y2K. I’m leaning toward the latter. It’s a romantic farce, and tightly written, so I don’t want to mess with it to much, except to clarify a few points and tighten it a bit more. Actors doing it have to work at whiplash speed, or it won’t work.

Caught up on some admin.

Live script doctored via Zoom for a video shoot, which was an interesting experience. Can’t talk in detail because of the NDA, but having to create on my feet (metaphorically, since I was sitting) during the shoot was both stressful and fun. It was mostly punching up some dialogue and fixing cadence rhythms that weren’t true to the character and tripped up the performers.

Worked through some contest entries. There’s some really good stuff. There’s some that just misses, but a lot of heart and soul went into the entries, which is why it’s always such a great experience to read them.

I was feeling lazy and not like cooking, so I was going to do a curbside pickup at a local restaurant, even though the two times I’ve done that during the pandemic were a complete disaster. However – their prices have tripled in the past year. For food that’s okay, but not great.

No, thank you. I’ll suck it up and cook something better myself.

Woke up way too early on Saturday, worrying. Got up and started my day. That full moon in Virgo energy was going full blast, and cleaned out stacks of stuff and reorganized some creative projects and project files before 5 AM.

Found a bunch of random notes I’d jotted in passing for several projects in process, and put them in appropriate files, and I’m separating them out into their project bins.

Felt good to get it done.

Finished the print books on the third category of contest entries. I’m going to read a book for review, and then start reading the digital contest entries. I want to get all the entries done on the first shipment before the second one arrives (I think it ships this week).

Seven loads of laundry.

Got the article done for this week’s Ink-Dipped Advice, working a bit ahead, for once. I have a couple of other ideas for posts, so I might work a few weeks ahead this week.

Purged boxes from the basement (meeting my quota). Relaxed with a glass of wine by the fire and a book.

Up way to early Sunday, worrying (note the pattern?)

Did a rough draft of my article for THE WRITER. Finished the Ink-Dipped Advice post and scheduled it to post. Sent out some LOIs.

Purged more boxes. I have one more row than I thought I did, which is depressing. But I’m seeing progress. I have a lot to take to the dump, and I have a stack of empty bins that will be useful to transport oddly-shaped objects.

Got my contest lists for the second shipment of entries. Good thing I’ve gotten through so many from the first! I have to cross check the second list with my first list, since the second list is comprehensive, not just additions.

A Zoom interview with a source was moved to Sunday afternoon, which meant I missed my virtual 40th high school reunion. On the one hand, I know the organizers did a fantastic job, and I would have liked to view it. On the other, so few of these people have remained part of my life, I wish them happiness and good lives.

Didn’t really watch the Golden Globes (although I loved Elle Fanning’s dress), but I did catch Mark Ruffalo’s speech. He continues to teach us about being good humans.

Up way to early Monday, worrying. Didn’t write first thing, which was a mistake, and it threw off the pace of my day. Instead, I started in with admin work. That threw off my day.

Switched over to client work. Got out the email blast I’d set up last week, got up some social media posts, worked on some direct response copy.

Worked and reworked and polished the article. Still not convinced the last sentence hits the way I want it to, but it’s much better than, say, 15 sentences ago. That goes out this morning.

Purged double my box quota for the day, which felt very good. Found some cool stuff; tossed a lot. It’s too stormy to do a dump run today, so that is pushed back until later in the week.

Submitted a script to a theatre in the UK that’s having an open call.

Working on a pitch for a specific magazine. The timing works, because they just rejected the previous pitch I sent them; I have another market appropriate for this one, and the pitch I’m working on, I think, is more suited. Hope to get that out today.

Coordinated the two sets of contest entries, to make sure I have/read everything.

Found an old pair of glasses when I cleaned things out that make the world much clearer than my current ones. Although they are very 80’s/90’s, oversized and heavy, so I’ll probably just wear them in the house.

Found photos of me in a mermaid gown I designed and a friend built me, for a big event, and photos from one of our times at the Tony Awards. One of the friends in the photos is already dead. And I miss that exuberant woman I was who believed in so much. I mourn the loss of that part of myself.

Lost yesterday’s cage fight for my mom’s next vaccine appointment. Got into the virtual waiting room – they weren’t even giving wait times. It was over a day, and they’re telling people to try again some other day. I’m running out of days, you morons.

Heard from my editor that she loves the article I sent in late last week. Phew! I’m in the midst of the research for the next one for her, and hope to get out interview requests this week.

Read a book for review that was a very different genre mash-up and most of it worked. Will write the review and send it off this morning.

Someone gave me a lead on a really cool company looking for someone to do something that’s well in my wheelhouse, so I sent an LOI within 15 minutes of hearing about it. Fingers crossed!

Fell into bed too early, which meant I woke up too early. The wind was howling, the temperature had dropped. Tessa had pushed me off the hot water bottle, so she could have it all to herself. Life with cats.

Heard from a friend/source about an article quote, only it’s too late and the article’s done. I was going to contact her this morning any way to tell her not to worry about it. She’s under huge deadline pressure, and the timing just doesn’t work this time around.

A potential new client asked for some more information, so that will go out today.

I will work on next week’s email blast for a client, and some more scheduled social media posts, get the other work turned around as listed above, and maybe get out a few more LOIs. If the weather’s okay, I’ll do a quick grocery run (we need milk, bread, eggs, juice), and a library curbside drop-off/pickup.

I’m getting contradictory information as to whether I need to keep cage fighting for the appointment, or whether I’m getting a “special link” later in the week. I wish they’d communicate clearly and with consistency. When they need to change, they need to clearly say, “This is a change from the last email” instead of acting like the last email never happened.

Onward, in spite of the reckless re-opening here in MA that’s going to wind up killing even more people.

Onward.

Fri. Feb. 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer 280/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 30 — Applying Meditation Practice To Life

image courtesy of Pexels via pixabay.com

Friday, February 26, 2021

First Day of Full Moon

Partly cloudy and mild

I had the chance to use what we’ve been working on in meditation in life yesterday.

It was a stressful day and kept tugging me off-course, although by 10 AM, I’d gotten in writing, client work, admin work, and my mother’s doctor’s appointment.

The “digital waiting room” for the vaccine appointments is appalling. Who can sit with the computer tab open for 6722 minutes? If you open another tab to work on something while you wait, it kicks you out of the “waiting room.” How is this sustainable? Who can spend 17-18 hours a DAY on the computer trying to get an appointment and still carry work and family responsibilities? Why does every “fix” Baker adds make it all worse?

More importantly, why are second dose patients competing with first dose patients? Why aren’t they sent to a separate sign-in and given the appointments they need?

Why does Baker act like Cape Cod isn’t part of the state?

The physical, emotional, and financial burdens he is causing are enormous. And totally unnecessary. His refusal to listen to qualified, talented people around him and respond to what is actually going on versus what he wants it to look like is infuriating. All these stories are being planted in the press about how great MA is doing with vaccines, and it’s an entirely different reality than what I’m living.

Then, he sits in the state hearing and gaslights.

Of course he does. He’s a Republican. He’s right on brand.

I finally just sat down and took a deep breath, and decided to try techniques we worked on (especially last week, and, since I couldn’t participate this week, I felt off-kilter).

First thing: Where am I right now?

Answer: Not okay.

And, as a friend of mine pointed out yesterday, it’s okay not to be okay. I worked, flat out, through a pandemic, three surgeries, and two cancer scares in the past year. My last vacation was in May of 2016. I’ve been taking care of my elderly mother, fighting to get her the vaccinations in a system that delights to cause pain and suffering, kept up with client work, sought new client work, had to deal with clients being more demanding because remote work “isn’t really work”, and am dealing with some other major upcoming life changes.

I am frustrated, angry, scared, and overwhelmed. And, especially, exhausted.

And those factions who say I “choose” to feel that way say so from hilltops of entitlement and privilege.

I feel what I feel, and it matters.

I acknowledge that I’m not okay. That’s step one. It’s real, and relevant.

I have to acknowledge that the level of stress that didn’t slow me down at twenty is slowing me down now that I am decades beyond twenty. Also, at age twenty, I wasn’t fighting to keep my family alive in a pandemic amidst the selfish and the stupid.

Plenty of external pressures are out of my control. I can’t control the vaccine sign-up site (although, at the risk of sounding egotistical, if I did, there would be a far more equitable distribution system in place).

I can’t control clients who are pretending the pandemic doesn’t exist anymore and demand a higher productivity level than before the pandemic, but without resources. I CAN change my relationship with those clients, although there are consequences, and I have to have other clients in place to pick up the financial slack. That is a work in progress.

Early in the pandemic, I severed relationships with several clients who refused to give me any option to work remotely, and it was absolutely the right choice.

There are a couple of people who are taking up too much real estate in my head, and I need to give them eviction notices. That doesn’t happen immediately, but it is something that can happen, with work.

There’s physical work to be done here at the house, and I’m breaking it down and handling as much as I can at a time, while exploring options in case it cuts very close to me running out of time completely. Again, there’s only so much I can do physically at any given time. I am not twenty. It’s a reality. And it’s not something I could hire anyone else to do – especially not during a pandemic. Plus, we can’t have anyone in the house who is not part of the household during a pandemic.

There are other factors that are out of my control, but I’m trying to figure out workarounds.

By facing each situation individually and looking at it in terms of what can I do? What can’t I do? Where can I adjust? Where does the necessary adjustment go against my needs? What are my other alternatives?

I can also clear out the mental clutter and focus on each piece of work with full attention. When I work on the articles, for instance, and get lost in them, I’m happy doing the work, I do good work, and it gets good results. Or creating a marketing campaign for a client.

One of the few upsides of the pandemic was realizing how many unhealthy work compromises I’ve made over the last ten years, since leaving full-time theatre work, and learning what adjustments I have to make for a healthier work situation. I may not get it with every assignment, but the more assignments I can stack up that are within what I consider the “healthy work arena” the better the quality of my work and my life.

I can’t control the companies that are determined to act like the pandemic never happened and plan to force their employees into their offices full-time, even when the work doesn’t call for it. But I can avoid as many of those assignments as possible.

Accepting not being okay, and working on things I can actually DO instead of drowning in what I can’t do helped a lot.

And reminding myself to let up on the negative self-talk, which, over the past few weeks, has reached screeching levels inside my head.

Freelance Chat was fun and upbeat, and I got some good ideas out of it, which I hope to implement.

Spent some time on the acupressure mat. One of the replacement books arrived, the diaries of Sir Peter Hall, talking about the creation of the National Theatre in the 1970’s. I’d read it before, at the start of my theatre career, and loved it. I started re-reading it, and can’t put it down. I’m seeing so much from a different perspective (not to mention, by this point, I’ve worked with some of the people mentioned, when I only knew their work the first time I read it). It’s a very invigorating book.

Turned back way too many requests to “talk” from recruiters – all for jobs that have nothing to do with what I do. I’m a writer – it’s clear on the website, it’s clear on my resume, it’s clear on my linked in profile. So stop TELLING me I should take a job that’s a web designer (I’m not qualified), a sales executive (I’m not interested), a truck driver (what? How do you get that from writer?). Read my actual material and stop wasting my time.

Was ready to bitch slap some Twitter twat complaining that wearing a mask fogged up her glasses and was “intolerable.” You know what? Over 500,000 deaths are intolerable. You’re merely inconvenienced, you selfish POS. I did not say that in my reply; I told her how I avoided lens fog (at least most of the time). I’ve worn a mask nearly a year now. It’s not hard to wear it with glasses so you don’t fog up.

Worked on the article. I finally have it almost were I want it, although I have to cut about 300 words, which includes a quote I’d like to keep in, but there just isn’t room. I’m going to cut the 300 words to get it in at word count and get it to my editor this morning.

Knowledge Unicorns was good. We got solid work done. I am so grateful for the educational stuff that the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History and other big museums post. Whatever their assignments, we can supplement with material from places they couldn’t visit in time to do the assignment, even without a pandemic. I hope some of theses online resources continue. I know the kids who live far away from these places are now eager to visit when it’s safe.

After I do a library run, a liquor store run, and a CVS run to pick up my mom’s prescription, I will turn my attention to the article for THE WRITER. I’d like to get it out to my editor a little early. I have all but two quotes, and I have enough material to go without. I’m also doing some live script doctoring via Zoom while a corporate video is shooting, which is a new and different experience.

I was up way too early this morning worrying. So I gave up, got up, and need to turn that energy into actual work.

I have a lot on my agenda this weekend, between the article, books for review, contest entries, and more box purging. Weather-wise, it looks like it will be all over the place. I might do another dump run (I sure have enough).

I’m hoping to build in some rest. I need it.

I also plan to drop in, at least for a bit, at my virtual 40th HS reunion. The organizers took the time to hunt me down; the least I can do is show up for a while. I have nothing at stake – maybe one or two people from my high school graduating class have remained part of my life. High school was something to get through so I could get going on my life. Were there many bouts of unhappiness? Sure. It was high school. But I also made decisions to find what I wanted and needed away from the cliques and that kind of stuff, and it was the right choice for me. Plus, I graduated a semester early and started college early, and I was taking college classes while still in high school. I hope everyone in my graduating class is well and happy, but our lives have taken us in different directions.

Next week, I have to make some big decisions.

Have a great weekend.

Thurs. Feb. 25, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 280/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 29 — Continued Failure

image courtesy of Pete Linforth via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Waxing Moon

Cloudy and windy

Yesterday was stressful, but in different ways than I expected.

I had a decent early morning’s session of work with some writing and LOIs done. Headed off to the client’s. Wednesday is the day we overlap in person for a few hours. But, one colleague was sick and the other had a doctor’s appointment off-Cape, so I was on my own. I got a lot done (and handled a lot that is, technically, not my job). But it was good to be in the office on my own and get the work done.

I received an email with a link to set up my mother’s second dose appointment. It led me to the main sign-up site with NO clinics on Cape Cod for the foreseeable future. Not only that, but I was competing with the expanded pool trying for first doses.

How is this acceptable at any level? What’s going to happen WHEN I can’t schedule her for the second dose within the four-day window of the 21 days we were warned about? It’s so disorganized. In every other state where the vaccine process is working, patients are scheduled for the second dose right there on site once they’ve had the first dose.

Meanwhile, Baker continues to swan around, opening yet more mass vaccination sites, all off Cape. And he can’t use the excuse about lack of doses, because he boasted about the 135,000 that just arrived. So why aren’t ANY of them coming to Cape Cod?

The Fairgrounds in Falmouth are a designated mass vaccination site, but it hasn’t been set up. Why not?

He had a press conference about more equitable distribution to the Berkshires and Barnstable. Yeah, right. I’ll believe it when I can actually book the next appointment on time. Watching the press conference, it looked like he was wasting money on hiring people who would say, “there, there” when approached with the problem, but not actually DO anything to solve it.

Why are those needing a second dose competing with those who need the first dose? Why isn’t it organized so those with the second dose are sent to a special site and get priority?

If Baker ever traveled to the Coliseum in Rome, I bet he stood there and fantasized about the fights to the death in the ring, because that’s what he’s set up here.

It is unacceptable.

Forty-five minutes later, I got another email from Barnstable, stating that second-dose sites were being set up, but there wasn’t any information yet.

Can they give us the right fucking information EVER instead of constant, contradictory, incorrect information?

Meanwhile, the elderly relatives in Maine (and there are a lot of them) have gotten both their first and second doses already. Pfizer, too, which is great. The sign-up was organized and smooth; they were scheduled for the second dose while they were under observation after their first dose; no one had to travel more than 15 minutes. That’s what an organized program looks like.

Even better, they had no side effects. (And they all had bad side effects from flu shots every year).

So I’m relieved for them, and frustrated for us.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the first surgery last year, and my body and spirit are having sense memory of the pain and the fear involved.

On top of that, some dumbass acquaintance actually said to me yesterday, “I bet you wish you still had cancer so you could jump the line and get the vaccine.”

Um, no. I’d much rather be cancer-free and wait until April or so to get the vaccine.

Fortunately, it is someone I can remove completely from my life soon.

While I was at the office, unmasked men with large machinery came digging around in the backyard about the septic system. My mother said she felt like a character in an Agatha Christie novel, peeking through the curtains. At least they cleaned up after themselves.

In the afternoon, a surveyor came by, again unmasked. He pounded on the door. We do not open to the unmasked. He puttered around for about an hour and a half.

But it threw off the work of the afternoon.

Remote Chat was fun, and the conversation sparked an idea for next week’s Ink-Dipped Advice post, which I will work on over the next few days and schedule to post.

The potential client to whom I sent script samples claimed to love them, but says the project is “on hold.” Yeah, right. You found out that you had to actually pay for skills and decided to drop the project. A tire-kicker, not an actual potential client. Moving on.

I didn’t get enough work done on the article, and will have to finish it today.

A client contacted me after hours with an inappropriate request. I did not respond (hey, after hours). I will this morning, and shoot it down. I knew being flexible on a request last week would lead to this.

My mother fell and cut her leg, so I cleaned it up and bandaged it. She has a doctor’s appointment this morning anyway (so no meditation group for me; I will do some extra meditation on my own).

After my mom’s doctor appointment and then our decontamination protocols, I’m focused on my articles for the rest of the day.

Supposedly, 50,000 new vaccine appointments go live today. I wonder if ANY of them will be on Cape Cod.

Better get going. It will be a long day.

Tues. Feb. 23, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 278/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 27 — Some Good, Some Frustrating

image courtesy of Gordon johnson via pixabay.com

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Waxing Moon

Mercury Direct (as of Saturday)

Cloudy and cold

We have crossed the line of 500,000 COVID-19 deaths. The grief I feel is crushing. How can people shrug off such a loss? How can they be so horrible and selfish? Truly, I need to find a place where I can become a professional recluse, because people are awful.

Busy and weird couple of days.

Had to shovel us out again on Friday morning. Not too bad – took about an hour. I went over to the elderly neighbor’s and shoveled their drive, too. The only bad part was, again, the plow mashed about a foot of snow across the bottom of each driveway, and I had to get it out before it froze in place.

My mom felt better, still a little fatigued and dizzy, but the arm pain lessened.

I, however, was toast by lunchtime, and wound up spending the afternoon in bed. Completely wiped out. Read a bit, dozed a bit, Tessa kept me company. She was delighted.

Up early on Saturday morning. Another four inches of snow fell, so it was back outside with the shovel. It was fluffy, so it didn’t take long, except, yes, you guessed it, at the bottom of the drive, where the plow packed it in.

Did a curbside pickup at the library, and also at the liquor store.

Home, decontaminated.

After lunch, I started in on the boxes, because I was bad about keeping up all week. I purged 12 boxes, and it was frustrating. Lost two entire boxes of books to the damp. A metal trunk I’d stored down there rusted it through, and I lost the entire contents.

But I’ve started stacking the reorganized boxes on planks along the blank wall, and that’s working out well.

Unfortunately, I sprained my foot while I was carting things up and down, so not only was I purging boxes and running laundry up and down, but I did it on a sprained foot.

Not my idea of a good time.

 I was wrecked by the end of the day. Not to mention discouraged.

Woke up around 2:30 in the morning on Sunday, worrying, and couldn’t get back to sleep. Got up a little after 5. Did a dump run as soon as the dump opened, and then a quick grocery shop. Home, decontaminated, got out some LOIs (one to a place I really, really want to work).

Then, this buttercup had to buckle up and do more box-purging.

I had more plastic bins to work on in my quota stacks today than cardboard boxes. I emptied out several – kept a few things that were reorganized into other boxes, but tossed most of it. It feels good to get rid of what I no longer need.

Found some love letters and other correspondence around the time I was engaged to the English guy, way back when. What an optimistic idiot I was! Dodged a bullet there, when that relationship fell apart. It’s difficult not to have contempt for who I was then; it’s also difficult not to mourn her.

Worked on the article.

Finished the book for review, and sent off the review yesterday.

Fell into bed far too early Sunday night, which meant I kept waking up every few hours.

Up early yesterday, worked on the review, the article. Client work. Had to swing by a client’s office (while no one else was in) to answer questions that came in (Direct Response Copy Writing), but I needed to measure a piece in order to do it. Also packed up an order and dropped it by the post office, since the mail carrier no longer picks up packages at the business.

Home, decontaminated, back at the desk. Client work, LOIs (to some really cool places), keeping one ear on the Merrick Garland confirmation hearings, downloaded some of the digital contest entries – can’t wait to get started on them.

Trying to replace a couple of sources for one of the articles, and restructuring the piece. I can do something good with what I have; but those additional sources would take it over the top.

Over the weekend, I made a decision to cut loose the second grant proposal this session. I can do it fast or do it well, but not both. With the moving pressures on me, much as I want/need the grant money, I can’t do a realistic budget and source some of the information needed for the grant proposal to soar. Made a note in the calendar to see what I can do for next year – probably on a different project, but I should be in a better place to really write the grant. I also decided not to apply for the NEA grant. It’s too much right now.

As annoyed with myself as I am for not at least trying to write the grants, I’d rather not do it this year and write a strong proposal next year, than write a poor proposal this year. My time and energy need a different focus, and the grant committee doesn’t need a weak proposal.

Looked at real estate listings, which is terrifying. There’s a genuine housing crisis, and no one gives a damn.

Baker is making changes to the vaccine appointment/distribution system – and making it worse. I have no idea if my mom will even get her second dose.

There were NO appointments for Cape Cod open this week, except at the White Elitist Special Secret Number. This is not acceptable.

Worked on contest entries, and finished the print entries in the second category. There is one that is just magnificent. The rest of the incoming entries in that category are going to have to be spectacular to get ranked higher. It’s always so energizing to read a wonderful book.

I have a few print entries to read in the third category, and then I start reading the digital entries. I’ve got them all on my kindle.

Started reading my next book for review, which is quite good.

I got a response from an LOI I sent out last week, asking for script samples. They will go off today. I’d really like to land this client. I’d enjoy the work.

I’ve got client work today, but the bulk of the day will be spent on the articles. And scrubbing out the next section of the basement floor, so I can stack the re-organized boxes and get going on some more boxes.

Tomorrow will be a very stressful day on multiple levels, and I have to figure out how to get through it.

Have a good one, friends.

Published in: on February 23, 2021 at 6:01 am  Comments Off on Tues. Feb. 23, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 278/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 27 — Some Good, Some Frustrating  
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