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.

Fri. Feb. 19, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 275/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 23 — Baker Blows It Again

image courtesy of Hermann Schmider via pixabay.com

Friday, February 19, 2021

Waxing Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Stormy and cold

After meditation, I headed out to my client’s for a couple of hours to get done some things that hadn’t gotten done the day before because so much of the day was about my mother’s vaccine appointment. As I suspected, there was NO reason for me to be there on site at the same time as anyone else. The client could have emailed or texted me the information, and I could have gone in with no one else in the office and taken care of it.

Instead of redirecting vaccine doses to areas that need them, Baker opened up eligibility to a million more residents – without, of course, checking with anyone to see if the website could handle it. Naturally, it couldn’t, and was down for most of the day. He was ranting and raving in interviews. Hey, bucko, try talking to the people doing the work BEFORE you make your random announcements, and then this won’t happen.

There’s a good reason this state is given an F in the vaccine rollout report card. And the reason starts with a B – Baker. His refusal to coordinate and communicate and give the people doing the work any support or resources before he goes out and announces things are some of the big reasons we’re having these problems.

But what do you expect from someone who refused to have any workers on the advisory committee to reopen businesses? He has a huge disconnect about how work is accomplished. He seems to think magic elves come in while he’s asleep, instead of actual people working as hard as they can in impossible situations – putting their lives at risk.

While in the office, a friend of the client’s called with a “special” number for the client to call to get a vaccine appointment that day. Which just seems weird, since supposedly, the only clinic giving vaccines all week in this region was the one I took my mom to on Wednesday.

White elitist vaccine appointments, based on who you know, would be totally on brand for Cape Cod.

She texted me after I left, saying she had an appointment. Good for her, because she’s definitely eligible, and we should all have an appointment, but if an Elitist Vaccine Appointment Line exists, that’s disturbing on multiple levels.

I’m sure I’ll hear all about it next week.

I managed to get home just as the snow started. Decontaminated, and got back to the work I should have been doing that morning.

The latest IPSY bag arrived, and is absolutely delightful. I’m so much happier with IPSY than I was with Sephora Play, and Birchbox was a total nightmare.

I forgot to mention that, on Tuesday, I received my first Tamed Wild box. Totally different vibe than Goddess Provisions, but also really interesting and well done.

Had to order a new waste toner cartridge for the big laser printer (something else to learn to fix), and ordered more file folders, too. I need them for the cleaning out I’m doing.

Snowed pretty hard all day into the night, although this morning, it doesn’t look like a lot of accumulation, except where the plow pushed it into the bottom of the driveway, where it’s at least a foot. Hopefully, it won’t freeze down before I shovel.

Packed up another bookcase in my room. Tessa was not amused.

Got some, but not all, the quotes for my first article, and the bulk of today will be spent on that and the second grant proposal. The budget is what’s really slowing me down on that. I want it to be realistic, and the samples I’ve seen just aren’t.

Got some quotes for the second article, and will also spend time working on that. I’ve written the opening in my head, and really like it.

I have a little more research to do this weekend, and, on Monday, I will send out interview requests for the third article.

Need to get some LOIs out, and need to purge boxes from the basement. I haven’t met my quota this week so far, and I have a high quota for the weekend, so I need to get back on track. However, I did pack quite a few boxes of books upstairs, which wasn’t on the week’s list!

Yesterday, my mom’s arm was really sore. It lessened as the day wore on, but then she was very fatigued, and slept on and off all afternoon. Hopefully, today she feels better.

Called my mom’s doctor to let her know about the first dose. Supposedly, the system forwards the vaccine information, but the office said it hasn’t gotten anything, so once she has both doses, I’ll scan the vaccine record card and send it over to them.

I was so worn out, I went to bed ridiculously early last night, and woke up just after midnight, thinking it was 5 AM. Managed to get back to sleep, until the plows woke me, a little after 4.

Got a lot of work on GAMBIT COLONY done yesterday. I need to find my notes on the next section, set in Venice.

I’m not even going to comment on the whole Ted Cruz thing here, which is wrong on so many levels, it would take its own white paper to dissect.

Have a great weekend, friends, and see you on the other side.

Tues. Feb. 16, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 272/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 20 — Trying to Hold Steady

image courtesy of M. Maggs via pixabay.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Waxing Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Icy rain and fog

Busy weekend, but that’s the way it is for the foreseeable future.

Worked on the grant proposal on Friday, which comprises three 250-word pitches. Working on them was fun. Decided to wait and send out the interview requests for the article for THE WRITER today, because I’m worried it will get lost over the holiday weekend. The pitch for that had most of the information I need, so those go out today.

Got out some LOIs.

Did not do my box quota; ran out of steam by lunchtime, which is what starting work a little after 4 AM will do.

Got some good work done on GAMBIT COLONY.

Looked for the start of a draft for a play I’d hoped to finish and submit yesterday; can’t find the draft anywhere, so it’s just not going to happen this cycle.

Jumped on the signup site for vaccines for tomorrow, out in Orleans. The first time, the site glitched and switched me from the Orleans facility to the Needham facility. I had to cancel that appointment and re-apply in Orleans; by the time I got the information all put in again, all the appointments were gone.

Again, why is the Cape only getting enough doses to have one site live PER WEEK, when sites all over the state are getting as many or more doses PER DAY?

And the county is saying we should go off Cape to get vaccinated. How many people can’t? I talked to my mother’s doctor’s office about that, when I had to call to get one of her medications adjusted. Their concern (which echoes mine) is especially about the second shot, especially if I’m able to get the “companion shot.” I won’t be able to drive that far directly after getting the shot. There’s a good chance we’ll both start feeling bad within 30 minutes and have to be careful for a couple of days. A day trip to get the shot is not possible. And it’s not safe to get someone else to drive us.

Baker’s swanning around, acting like everything is great, but Cape Cod is being ignored. It’s disgusting. It’s bad enough he’s demanded non-essentials workers put their lives in danger by working on site since last May to please tourists; now he won’t even give us access to vaccines. The Feds have increased the doses steadily, but they are not being distributed within the state properly.

But at least the signup site was sorta working, and my mom is on a waitlist tomorrow. I’m sure it’s with several thousand others, but it’s better than the previous week, when the sites weren’t even live when promised.

Up early on Saturday morning to do a dump run. Five bags of garbage and as much recycling as I could stuff into the car, which still wasn’t enough. There will be another dump run this week.

Stopped at the grocery store for a few things, swung through an empty Dunkin Donuts to use a gift card someone gave us, home, decontaminated.

Then, it was time to put in some more work on the grant proposal. I fixed some log lines and a few other things. My friend and I are reading each other’s pitches and helping each other hone them, which is helpful. I do want to get it out soon, though, and not wait until the end of the week.

I need to turn my attention to the other pitch, due March 1, which needs a production budget attached. As I worked on the proposal, I realized I don’t know what things cost anymore, so that requires some research this week.

Managed to purge 13 boxes on Saturday. Tossed A LOT, which was good. Lost some books to basement damp that I need, so I found replacement copies on Alibris and orders them. Repacked a bunch of stuff. Scrubbed the basement floor, where the boxes rested for so long. I’m going to put some boards down, and then restack the freshly-sorted boxes on top of the boards, so they don’t stick to the floor and get damp again.

Found some books relevant to current projects and put them aside. I have to configure some project bins so I can keep certain books handy.

Found a ton of writing books – fun to go through them again. Tried not to get too caught up in re-reading.

Packed up some of the books in my bedroom, and now things look more chaotic instead of less. I have A LOT of books in my bedroom.

The packing/moving tape I bought sucks. Sticks to itself, but not to the boxes.

Read the book for review. It’s delightful. What a gem, what a lovely, lovely book.

Up way too early on Sunday. Worked on GAMBIT COLONY. Wrote my review. Did another pass on the grant pitches.

Felt overwhelmed and exhausted.

Purged 12 more boxes from the basement, and scrubbed the floor some more. One whole wall’s worth of double-rowed boxes is nearly done. I just have the corner boxes to finish.

The bulk of those boxes were books. I’ve been re-sorting them and repacking them. The upside is that I’ve assembled a wonderful library over the years, especially when it comes to diaries, letters, women’s history, and the arts.

The downside is that some of the boxes of books were destroyed by being in the basement for so long, and, since it’s Cape Cod, the bottom boxes disintegrated in the damp. One set of Robert Louis Stevenson, leather-bound, from 1912, might not be able to be saved. Which is my own damn fault. But I’m trying.

Most of the lost books don’t need to be replaced. But five of the ones in this weekend’s purge do, and I found replacement copies at reasonable prices online. I ordered them, and they’ve already shipped. I am sorry to lose two of the original copies – they were signed by the author and had personal meaning to me. But it’s my own damn fault for not going through things in the basement once we moved, and not getting the boxes up off the floor.

One of the most difficult things the past days has been the constant negative talk inside my own head, telling me what a failure I am.  (If one more person tells me to “take a walk” to feel better, I will scream. TAKING A WALK IS NOT SAFE HERE DUE TO COVIDIOTS). I’m trying to halt each time the negative loop starts and turn it into something positive. Because the negative just drains me, and I don’t have the time to be drained and wallow right now.

It needs to be turned into POSITVE ACTIONS.

But fighting with that inner negative loop takes a lot of energy.

I’m exhausted and in pain from the physicality of scrubbing the basement floor and moving all the boxes around, unpacking, repacking, stacking, etc. But I can’t take any time off right now. The time doesn’t exist.

Sunday night into Monday, I dreamed of a dead black snake. A disturbing dream. I panicked when I looked up the interpretation of “black snake” – which is about evil and distrust (wait, you mean I’m surrounded by Republicans? No! – Yes, that is sarcasm). But then I remembered it’s a DEAD black snake, so I looked up that interpretation, which is positive transformation.

My subconscious is telling me to hang in there. And, when I listen to that quiet inner voice, I feel on track. But when I look at exterior logistics, I panic.

The exhaustion and the headaches don’t help. But I just have to keep going on.

Monday morning, I did some more work on GAMBIT revisions. And looked at the notes a friend gave me on the proposal.

I knew there was an incoming storm, and there was some stuff at the client’s office that couldn’t be done at home. I went in extra early (to make sure no one else would be in), loaded the photos I needed onto a flash drive, packed the order that needed to be shipped, and was out of there lickety split.

On the way in there, I stopped at Target, right when they opened, to pick up a few things, like toilet paper and garbage bags. And my favorite pens. You know, the necessities.

On the way back from the office, I stopped at CVS to pick up my mom’s adjusted prescription. I felt bad for the staff – the computers ran so slowly, which was causing all kinds of backups. And then, when I used the hand sanitizer, it squirted all over me, so I looked like I’d been hosed down in sanitizer. Too funny. Swung by the post office to drop off the shipment. It was small enough to fit in the bin in the lobby.

Home, decontaminated, did client work. Got up the Monday social media posts, finished the graphic for the email blast and got it out, created a graphic for another email blast (which I hope to get out today).

Got out some LOIs.

Did not look at the grant proposal, so that I could come back at it with fresh eyes today.

Got assigned two more books for review from my editor, and already started one of them, which is very good.

Worked on contest entries. I’m on the print books in the second category now, and they’re so all over the place. It’s kind of wonderful.

Hunted for vaccine appointments. No luck. I’m so sick of Baker treating the once-a-week sign up as thought it’s Black Friday, and then standing there smirking when people can’t get appointments. He’s saying that not enough doses are coming in. While that is true to a point, there are many more doses coming in now than there were a few weeks ago. It’s the distribution that’s a problem. There are sites all over the state with open appointments. There are sites all over the states with expiring doses. There are sites all over the state where you can book an appointment weeks in advance.

EXCEPT on Cape Cod, where one site opens to book appointments once a week, if we’re lucky. And the slots fill up in ten minutes or less. Which is ridiculous. The problem is not on the federal level – they’re ramping things up as fast as they can, and increasing dosage deliveries. The problem is at the state level.

Baker’s office.

Not to mention that the county continues to have a slew of sites listed that AREN’T LIVE. That aren’t getting doses or booking appointments.  So Baker points to the site to say there are so many locations – but if none of them have doses or take appointments, it doesn’t matter. It’s not real.

I packed up some boxes of books in my bedroom yesterday afternoon, and I’m taking down the folding bookcases in the room as I empty them.

Tessa is not amused.

I did some work on GAMBIT COLONY this morning. I have another ad to design for a client later on. Have some LOIs to get out, and I’m going to send out interview requests for THE WRITER article today. I’m hoping the power stays on, so that I can do some work in the basement this afternoon, but if it doesn’t, I’ll pack more in my room. I’ll set the logs in the fireplace later this morning, so we can light it if necessary.

As I’m searching through the boxes, I’m finding the print copies of articles not available online. I’m stacking them by the scanner, so I can scan them and put them in my clip file and online portfolios.

Why has WordPress changed the font suddenly? Why is every WordPress upgrade actually a downgrade?

Have a good one, friends.

Fri. Feb. 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 268/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 16 — Chinese Lunar New Year

image courtesy of Jason Goh via pixabay.com

Friday, February 12, 2021

Waxing Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Chinese Lunar New Year

Cloudy and cold

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Gong Hey Fat Choi!

The first is Mandarin for “Happy New Year” and the second is Cantonese for “Congratulations and prosperity.”

I wish you all both, as we enter this year of the Ox! Not just any Ox, but the Metal Ox. Methodical, moving forward, yet change that anchors us. I could certainly use Ox energy for the next few months! It is supposed to be slow and steady, holding pattern before movement. However, in my life, I need movement early in the year, and then I need/want some settling time. The Metal Ox, in particular, encourages cleaning one’s home, getting rid of clutter (so purging the basement is right on target), keeping things tidy. Well, with everything being re-organized and boxed, not so much at the moment, but we’ll get there.

2022 is the Year of the Tiger (my year) and is about leaping forward. However, this Tiger needs to do some leaping in the coming months, then settle and prepare for next year’s momentum.

Tonight, I will be preparing food in honor of the holiday: trout (should be carp, but I have trout), long noodles, dumplings.

I miss the Lion Dance I always attended, in both San Francisco and New York, so I will watch it online instead.

I miss my Asian friends more than ever during this time. They included me in their celebrations, and it was a delight.

But I intend to make it a positive celebration, even during a pandemic.

Yesterday was, actually, a pretty good day. Other than starting it by spiling coffee on a light-colored rug.

But I got some LOIs out, I got interview requests out for one of my articles for SCRIPT, I did some research for the second article. I also landed another article from THE WRITER (which also has a fairly short turnaround). Those interview requests will go out today.

I was annoyed because my time was wasted by yet another recruiter. He hadn’t told me he was a recruiter when he asked for the meeting – he claimed to be from one of the companies to whom I sent an LOI. I thought I was having a preliminary conversation with a potential new client.

But no. Not only was he late for the call appointment, but he was also completely unprepared. When I realized he was a recruiter, I started to cut things off. He then to convince me I should RELOCATE ON MY OWN DIME for a job I wouldn’t have taken in the first place. I cut him off pretty damn quick and ended the conversation. What a waste of everything.

I am so sick of these recruiters – they misrepresent to get the meeting, they’re unprepared, they can’t/won’t answer questions, and it’s not at all about finding the best candidate for any company – it’s about the number of people they can put on their list on any given day. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I haven’t dealt with a recruiter in the past 10 years who wasn’t a complete waste of space. I thought I’d found an exception a couple of weeks ago, but I was wrong.

The downside of LINKEDIN, where a lot of them are finding me. Other companies are just handing my LOIs over to recruiters who don’t even bother to read the material.

Freelance chat was fun, and I learned a few things about tiered levels of customer packaging. I have to think about how I can apply it.

The 15 GOP Senators who couldn’t be bothered to sit through yesterday’s trial should be refused a vote in it. So should the Senators who met with the Sociopath’s attorneys.

Supposedly, 800 vaccine appointments will open on Cape at noon today. I’m going to try to jump on one of them for my mom. We’ll see if it actually goes live, or if it’s like it usually is, where the link doesn’t work, and then, suddenly, all the appointments are “full.”

Every time I see Baker smirk through another press conferences, especially now that he thinks it’s FUNNY people are scamming seniors so they can go with them to vaccine appointments as a “caretaker” and get vaccinated, too – I want to smack that smirk right off his face.

Every other area of MA continues to get more vaccine doses than they can use. But the Cape remains a wasteland. We shouldn’t have to take a six hour round trip to get vaccinated.

Knowledge Unicorns was fun. We finished up a bunch of assignments, because they are on vacation next week (so we all have a break). They’d been assigned some work for the break, but we pushed through most of it last night, so they will actually, you know, HAVE A VACATION. Even though they can’t go anywhere.

Got my box quota purged yesterday. Hope I can do the same today. Then, there will be a dump run tomorrow morning. Garage is full of garbage and recycling from the purge.

Today, I will do a library run for a curbside pickup.

I need to spend time on the grant proposals, get out the interview questions for the other article, and work on a play that’s suddenly on deadline (It had been an open call for submission, but now has a deadline of Monday). Don’t know if I can get it in shape in time, but I want to try.

Have a great weekend, my friends. Let’s hope we all get vaccinated soon.

Thurs. Feb. 11, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 267/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 15 — Still Winter

image courtesy of Franz Bachinger via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 11, 2021

New Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Snowy and cold

The latest on the garden is up on Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday was a stressful mess. Twisted communications messed up technology, fumbles, stumbles, frustrations. Nothing was really anyone’s fault – for the most part, everyone was doing the best they could. But it was a difficult day.

It was even more difficult not to beat myself up for not getting through it better and getting more done.

I forgot to mention that, on Tuesday, the Dig Safe guy came out in the snowstorm to plant little flags and paint the snow. Does he not comprehend that the snow will have to melt before any digging happens? That there’s no way I can keep track of all these little flags? Is there no basic common sense going on here?

Yes, the latter question is rhetorical.

Managed to get home in one piece, decontaminate, and made it to Remote Chat, albeit a bit late. The Chat was fun and restorative, as usual.

Spent some time on the acupressure mat. I’m sore from all the shoveling.  Tessa was happy for the company and very busy.

My mother’s blood pressure medication has brought down her blood pressure too far, so I have to call the doctor again to readjust it.

The Atlas coffee shipment arrived – Honduras is this month’s theme. It’s quite good, although yet another light roast. I wonder if I should shift to requesting dark roasts for a few months.

Noodling with ideas for the grants. I’ve blocked out some serious time to free write on them, my type of Writer’s Rough, so I can extract and polish the 250 words I need for each idea to fit into the proposal. Next week, I’ll get into some serious budgeting for the other grant proposal.

The Senate trial is truly chilling. What’s as enraging as the content of the evidence are the Senators with their feet up ignoring it. They put their feet up in the Chamber? Whack their kneecaps, make them sit up and pay attention. I’m sick of this entitlement. We already know it doesn’t matter to them, that they WISH some of their colleagues had been murdered. We already know they are traitors and need to be removed, imprisoned, and then exiled.

Governor Baker continues to screw the distribution of vaccines in the state. Two new sites are opening. Again, nothing on Cape. A mall in Natick will get 500 doses PER DAY, but this area gets 975 doses PER WEEK. Every other area of the state is getting increased doses EXCEPT Cape Cod. Anywhere else I try to get an appointment means a full day’s trip. I might be able to get vaccinated at the same time as my mom, since I am her caregiver, but how am I supposed to drive three hours to a site, and then three hours back after a vaccine, when one is supposed to sit and be watched for 30 minutes, and then rest for at least a day, up to three days? How am I supposed to expect a 96-year-old woman to take a day-long road trip with no facilities available that don’t put her at risk of getting COVID?

Last night, at the site in Danvers, 300 random people got to show up and get vaccinated because doses were expiring.  They weren’t on an official wait list. They just heard through word of mouth, that the doses were available and would expire, and had to wait out in the cold and snow to get them.

I’m glad the doses were used. I believe we all have the “right” to the vaccine and I have no problem with anyone getting it at any time. But why is the distribution so disorganized that there are doses expiring all over the state and NONE available on Cape, with its large elder population? A population that doesn’t have the mobility to travel all over the state in search of doses?

This is on Baker and his office. And he smirks his way through daily briefings, stating things that just aren’t connected to reality.

And these sites – you’re required to go back for the second dose, but what if there aren’t any appointments for the second dose? It makes no sense. The chaos is enraging and completely unnecessary. Like I said, I could do better with Google Docs than they’ve done.

And this is squarely on Baker. The state is getting dosage increases every week, and Baker is routing them badly.

Today, I have online meditation group, which I really, REALLY need. At noon, I have a virtual meeting with a potential new client – kind of feeling each other out, a preliminary meeting. I have to get out some LOIs, get work done on the proposals, and get out some of the interview requests for an article.

If it’s not too cold in the basement, I have to scrub the basement floor, and then purge at least 5 boxes. I’ve been lax about box purging this week.

I already spilled coffee on the light-colored rug in my office (that belongs to the house, not me), and have carpet cleaner soaking into it.

Not the start I hoped to the day, but let’s hope it gets better.

Wed. Feb. 10, 2021: Die For Your Employer day 266/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 14 — More Snow

image courtesy of Suzanne Stockli via pixabay.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Dark Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Snowy and cold

There’s a post over on Ink-Dipped Advice about how words are used (and mis-used) in job descriptions.

I was up way too early yesterday, but I got a lot done. I got some photo stuff done for a client, which will be built on today. I have to go in and actually look at the pieces before I can get them up on the client’s website, so that’s on the agenda for today.

Got the second part of the article into PDF format and sent it to those quoted in the article.

Did some research for the next two articles I was assigned. Interview requests start going out tomorrow.

Got out some LOIs.

Have a preliminary meeting (virtual) tomorrow at noon with a potential new client.

Had some good exchanges with some people from high school, in preparation for the upcoming 40th reunion.

Noodled a bit with stuff for the proposal. Will sit down and do some serious writing on that tomorrow and Friday. There’s another grant proposal coming up for which I want to apply, too, and I have to research budget figures for that.

Worked on contest entries. I have all the print books done in the first batch of one category, and am moving to the next category. I will do the digital entries when I’m finished with the print entries.

Got an email that there were two vaccine clinics this week here on Cape. Went to the site – no information live. It kept saying the clinics didn’t exist. But the email link kept sending me to the page that said the clinics didn’t exist. Kept going back over and over all day. Suddenly, there’s a statement that they’re all full.

If I’m not fast enough signing up, that’s luck of the draw. But when the site isn’t even live – how is it getting filled?

The disorganization and incompetence are enraging.

And Governor Baker, smirking in his briefing with “Hang on until you’re a priority.” Fuck you, Baker. People are DYING.

The Senate trial for the Sociopath’s conviction started yesterday. The Republicans have already decided not to convict, and that makes them as traitorous as the Sociopath. All of this, “oh, they’re scared and if it was a secret vote they’d convict” is complete and utter bullshit. They are NOT doing this because they are afraid of retribution or violence from the Sociopath’s supports. They are doing this because they AGREE with him. They wish the insurrection had succeeded the first time, and that their colleagues had been murdered. They have to ALL be removed.

We do not negotiate with terrorists, and they are terrorists, and must be so handled.

Snowed yesterday, but not enough so I have to shovel again. Managed to do a quick run to the library for curbside pickup.

Knowledge Unicorns was fun. The kids are doing really well. There’s some confusion about whether or not there will be a break next week, or if there’s going to be classes/homework group. We’ll have more details tomorrow.

Today will be stressful in the morning, but hopefully, I can join Remote Chat this afternoon, and then have a productive afternoon. It was too cold to scrub the basement floor yesterday, so I’m going to try to do that this afternoon. I need to have that space to move the newly sorted boxes.

Lots to get done, in a short period of time, and I need to stay focused.

At least I got some good work done on GAMBIT COLONY the past few days. That serves as a springboard to loosen creativity on other projects.

Thurs. Feb. 4, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 260/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 8 — Snow Showers

image courtesy of Jill Wellington via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Waning Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Snowy and cold

We have a snow shower this morning! It’s very pretty!

I have a post on Gratitude and Growth about the planting I will do later today.

Yesterday was a stressful day. Some people are energy vampires and that, unfortunately, was the case.

Had to take some packages from the office to the post office, since the mail carrier can’t be bothered to pick anything up, even when we put in the request. At least, when I send them through MY post office, I know they’ll get where they’re going.

Unlike two packages that should have been here yesterday, that are still sitting in facilities in Arizona for a week now, for crying out loud.

Still no vaccine appointments. Now they’re saying they will open “next Tuesday.” That’s more than two weeks later than originally claimed – not that they ever said, “Oh, yeah, we were supposed to go into Phase 2, but we can’t, because we’re not set up and don’t have doses.” They just keep lying and lying and lying. This is on state and county levels.

Gillette Stadium seems to be getting all the vaccines for the state – two hours away. Why isn’t there a site like that here on Cape? Or at least, just over the bridge?

When the Federal response was non-existent, ANY effort on the state level looked good. Now that there IS a coordinated Federal response, we can see just how shoddy Governor Baker’s lack of planning is. Even though he keeps trying to pass the buck to the Feds. But it’s a lack of coordination on government, state, and county levels.

Remote chat was a lot of fun.

Was completely wiped out after that, and didn’t get much else done. Felt like I’d been run over by a truck from the stressful morning, and could not get it together for the rest of the day. The overwhelming stress from the past year is catching up with me.

I was going to do a dump run this morning, but I won’t, in the snow. I’ll do it tomorrow or Saturday instead. I have more than another carload ready to go, and there will be even more after this weekend.

I’m looking forward to the online meditation group this morning. I had a great first session working on GAMBIT COLONY already, and lost track of time (always good when that happens while writing). I have LOIs to get out, some client work, a book review to finish, contest entries, an article pitch, and at least three boxes to purge from the basement. Oh, and I have to get my information off for the 40th HS reunion.

Guess I should get going, huh?

Have a great day!

Tues. Feb. 2, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 258/MA Vaccine Distribution Failure Day 6 — Rainy, Icy Imbolc

image courtesy of James DeMers via pixabay.com

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Waning Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Rainy, icy, cold

GDR posts are up for both the January wrap-up and starting February.

Friday was a good kind of busy.

Worked on a client’s website first thing.

Addressed the questions my editor had on the article, which led me to send her questions on which direction she wanted to take the article in. She told me, and I went ahead and did the edits. She was pleased with the result, and so was I! This is why I love working with a good editor.

No luck scheduling my mom’s vaccine. It has not escaped my notice that Baker, a Republican, stopped actively working on any COVID anything except forcing everyone back to “normal” as soon as Biden was inaugurated. He’s just as tainted as the rest of the GOP. He was just better at the façade for longer. I try both sites every day, and no luck. We’re not IN Phase 2 of the vaccination process if there aren’t any vaccines to distribute. Again, it’s spin and lies to make them look good, without the actions we need to survive.

Saturday morning, I did an early grocery run to get in supplies for the incoming storm. Not many people, everyone following protocols.  Home, decontaminated, did a curbside pickup at the library.

Purged 10 boxes. Found some really cool stuff. Tossed a lot. Some books had water/moisture damage that couldn’t be saved. My childhood playing card collection, including some cards from Germany in the 1960’s, which can’t be replaced, were also lost.

Found and re-read FIFTY DAYS OF SOLITUDE by Doris Grumbach, and enjoyed it even more now than when I first read it.

Sunday morning did a dump/recycling run first thing. I couldn’t even fit everything in the car – my car is too small! In other years, I would have been able to do multiple trips, but now they charge by carload, so I’ll wait until next week for the next run.

Then, I purged another 13 boxes. It’s still barely a dent in what I have to go through. But I need to shush my inner voice that told me I should have started this as soon as we moved in. I didn’t, and I’m doing it NOW. So I have to deal with the NOW. 37 boxes down; 263 to go.

Again, tossed a lot, and found some really cool stuff, including an old-fashioned alarm clock, my hand-carved Rosewood chess set I bought in Edinburgh, some jewelry, various knick-knacks with lovely memories attached, and fabric. I also found my old Smith-Corona “memory” typewriter, a precursor to computers; and the silver-plated menorah I bought on 29th St. before I left NYC. I was afraid it had been lost in the move. It’s absolutely stunning, and I look forward to setting it up next holiday season along with the Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Solstice decorations. Even though I am not Jewish, it is a way for me to honor my Jewish friends.

I’m re-sorting the books, putting some of them in new boxes, and trying to sort by genre, instead of just tumbling them all into boxes to be sorted “someday.”

Sore as all get-out from lugging boxes around.

Up early on Monday, charging all the electronic devices ahead of the storm. Pushed to get as much work as possible done early.

Wrote 1K of fiction first thing (GAMBIT COLONY). It felt good to get back into that routine, after giving myself a break in January. I feel better when I do 1K of fiction first thing in the morning. Then, I’m ready to meet the day’s challenges. When I don’t do fiction first thing (or a script), I feel like I’ve failed myself. Blogging or client work that early doesn’t do it, even when I’m productive. The first 1K of the day needs to be fiction.

The bulk of my energy in the next few months is focused on moving, but that first 1K of the day fuels everything else, so I have to stay true to it. It’s not just about having to show up and get the work done because it’s my job as well as my passion. It’s about making the best decisions for my creativity possible.

Got out some LOIs, but the bulk of Monday’s workday was spent getting the client’s new collection up on the website. It wasn’t difficult work, just time-consuming. I was worried we might lose power at any time, or be without power today, so I kept pushing and did a full day’s work on the one project, just to get it done.

Did some work on contest entries. Didn’t get any boxes purged, so I will have to make up for it today.

Other areas got pummeled with snow. We started with snow in the morning. It changed over to sleet, and then rain with heavy winds. On the one hand, I’m grateful not to shovel. On the other hand, I wanted some snow. But the storm is supposed to hang around most of today; we’ll see what happens.

I wrote a bit this morning, again on GAMBIT COLONY. It felt good. I’m using that project to ease back into the daily early morning writing sessions.

I have some client work today, and have to send the PDF of last week’s article to those I quoted in it. I’m working on two new pitches for that editor. I hope to get them out today.

I need to finish the book for review, and get that out, so I can invoice.

And, of course, later today, get back down into the basement and purge more boxes. I have to make my quota, and catch up from what I didn’t do yesterday.

Let’s hope the power holds, but I have enough different options of projects to work on, no matter what happens. Might relax with a fire in the fireplace in the afternoon. I didn’t get to do that yesterday, because I was pushing to finish the work on the client website.

Have a good one. Blessed Imbolc! I’m looking forward to tonight’s ceremony.

Thurs. Jan. 28, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 253 — The Need for Focus

image courtesy of t mc via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Full Moon

Snowy and cold

Shoveling wasn’t bad at all yesterday. Never thought the day would come when I’d say that, but there it is. Took about a half hour to shovel the driveway (50 feet), the front walk, and the front step. Put down ice melt, too. I shoveled far enough into the street so that, if and when the plow went by, it wouldn’t block the driveway much. Of course, the plow didn’t come, so it was all good, except actually driving on the street. The main roads were fine; the side streets ignored.

Even better, I didn’t feel like I’d been run over by a truck.

I guess that extra yoga and working on the exercise bike is making a difference.

The latest on the garden is up here.

Went to the client’s yesterday. We all overlapped for a bit. The next week or two will be busy for me, on the computer, getting the new collection up on the website. All good.

The vaccine sites have been announced for Phase 2 here in MA. My mom is eligible for Phase 2, since she is over 75 (she is 96).  The appointments, starting next week, were supposed to open Wednesday morning. I called my mom’s doctor, who sent me to the state and county sites. The state site was useless – blah blah blah, no actual links. The county site had the list of vaccinate sites.

Since one has to have both vaccines at the same site (which makes sense), choosing the site is important. There are two sites that make sense. One site had already crashed by 9:30 in the morning and was “unavailable.” The second site made me sign up, and then, when I tried to book an appointment, kept telling me nothing was available. Ten minutes later, the site had taken down the appointment page and said they don’t have the vaccine dosages yet.

As usual, Governor Baker, a Republican, makes promises on which he can’t deliver. If the sites were to be live on Wednesday, then it was up to his team to give them the support they needed and make sure they were ready to accept appointments, not announce it and then shrug and say, “not our problem anymore.”

Which is pretty much what he did in an interview later that day. Shrugged off the disorganization. How much do you want to be his office just announced a date without even checking with the designated sites?

He’s rolling back restrictions BEFORE we’re vaccinated instead of after, he’s been forcing people to die for their employers for 253 days now, and he’s pulling this crap. He did a decent job in March and April, but by the end of May, he went back to pandering to corporations and not giving a damn about individuals.

Stopped by the liquor store for a pickup. Dropped off a package and envelopes at my post office, since the carrier who covers the office complex ignored the business again. But no one was in there, so it was an easy, no-contact dropoff.

Home, decontaminated, Remote Chat, which was fun.

Then, I was wiped out.

I spent some time on the acupressure mat, then worked on my article a bit. I had a discussion with my editor, and will have it to her by end of day today, and then we’ll discuss the next one.

Didn’t get any boxes purged, so I have to make up for all of that today, after my article is done, and I finish up an ad for a client, and put in a couple of hours getting the new collection on the website.

The landlord and a contractor are going to wander around the property later today. We’re supposed to have snow off and on, so I can’t see it will be useful. But it’s not up to me, so whatever, and I appreciate that he always lets me know.

The snow around the trees on the property has melted, which shows just how lively our trees are!

Had a weird dream last night about someone stealing from me. In the dream, I knew the person, but looking at the dream from the outside, I don’t.

I’m looking forward to the online meditation group this morning. Then, it’s client work and article work for what will hopefully be a productive day.

Hopefully, a productive work day will set me up for a productive few hours of box purging.

I have an idea percolating for a story. I have the setting and the conflict, but not the characters yet. So it goes on the simmer at the back of my head to percolate for a bit, When it comes together, I think it will be fun. Not sure what form it will take – short story or novella, I think.

There’s a deadline for a magazine coming up, and I might work up a short piece for them. I have an idea for that percolating, too.

While I work on the contracted tangibles – the article, the client work – these stories can form in the back of my consciousness, and then, when they’re ready, I can write them. Although, when I need one for a deadline, I have to prod it sometimes.

Have a good Thursday.

Tues. Nov. 3, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 167 — Election Day in the US

image courtesy of Thor Deichmann via pixaby.com

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Waning Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Mercury goes DIRECT in the middle of the day – when it can really  screw things up

Election Day

Hell of a weekend, and we’re moving into an even fiercer hell.

Friday, I got out the contracted article. It shouldn’t have been as much of a struggle as it was; I know the topic inside out. But trying to keep the balance between personal experience without it bordering onto ego and useful tools for other writers was a challenge. Hopefully, I achieved it.

As I was prepping the email, I got an email from the editor’s personal account – she’s leaving the magazine to be part of another site.

So much for being a regular contributor on playwrighting for her!

I sent the article anyway to the her email at the magazine, then congratulated her on the private email and wished her well. She reassured me that she still wanted the article, and wanted to continue working with me. We’ll see. I’m not counting on anything.

Some fun calls for submissions landed on my desk – but most of them were for November 1. Two days to write a good piece, polish, and submit? With everything else going on?

One of them was only 350 words, and the parameters sparked an idea, so I sat down and worked and reworked a few drafts and sent it off. It felt good to shake off the stuck for something off the cuff.

If it’s accepted, fantastic. Another new-to-me market. If not, I will expand it a bit with some fun details and submit as a flash fiction to other paying markets.

I’m having issues with my landlord. I don’t feel he is being honest with me about something, and I’m not having it. But it adds layers of unnecessary stress and interaction and interruption that I don’t need right now. I think his greed has gotten the better of him.

Six more months, and we’re out of here, even if, at the moment, we have no idea where we’ll land.

Saturday, Samhain/Halloween was cold and sunny. It was housework day with the usual changing the beds/doing laundry, et al. Saturday is my favorite night to go to bed now, because I love snuggling in the fresh flannel sheets.

Instead of doing one big ritual late at night, I did a morning ritual, and then I did my tarot reading for the coming year in the afternoon, and I did the big ritual at night. And, of course, in Tending the Dead, it was the Night of Ancestors.

In the afternoon, I did more decorating outside, especially with the lights, and set up the table, with more decorations, battery-operated candle jars, and the Treat Bags. It looked good when I was done (photos are posted over on Instagram, where I am @devonellingtonwork).

We didn’t have a lot of kids, but the flatbed truck of the little kids came through just before 8 and cleaned out the first batch of Treat Bags. It’s such a great idea – let the kids ride street to street, and then they can get out at the houses they want.

My neighbors on one side set out a Trick or Treat station in their driveway, which was fun, too. But we were the only ones on our street who did anything.

I made colcannon for dinner, which was great.

I took down the lights and the table a little after 9 PM, when it was very quiet, and there was a good chance no one else was coming around. Even though it was cold, the next day was supposed to be stormy, and I wanted to get things in.

Sunday was Day of the Dead. More ritual, and the Tending the Dead ritual for people I know who have died. That ended up being especially poignant, because author Rachel Caine, who was so supportive of me earlier this year when I was sick and scared, died of cancer. It wasn’t a surprise, but it was still sad. Saturday, she was no longer speaking; Sunday, she woke up long enough to smile and then go back to sleep, so we knew it was only hours. By early evening, we got word she was gone. It’s such a huge loss, on so many levels. But the last months and weeks were awful for her, and I’m glad she’s no longer in pain.

During the day, I’d made an early morning Target run. Scored toilet paper, but they were out of paper towels. Also grabbed a bread box. I’d wanted bamboo, but they only had steel. It looks kind of cool. We’re having issues keeping bread healthy, so a bread box seems like a better choice. Although I think that means we can’t buy sliced bread anymore. There will be a learning curve.

I remember when we lived in Chicago, when I was really little, we had a wooden bread box. I don’t know what happened to it when we moved to New York.

Monday, I went to my client’s, and worked there on my own for a few hours. Lots of Mercury Retrograde tech issues, but I got things done. It was difficult to concentrate, because of all the election insanity, but I got through it.

Had to take my mom to the doctor this afternoon for a wellness check. It went well, and the doctor is very pleased with her.

Through all this, my landlord was bugging me about the furnace inspection and the demands from the installation guy. Sorry, I don’t work for the installation guy. He is not the boss, and I don’t care what he says. He’s been a misogynistic dick throughout the entire process. Every interaction smells more of something hinky, and I will not be a party to it. If they’re going to be dishonest to try to scam more money from whatever system they’re trying to scam, they’re not going to use me to do it.

Governor Baker has put more orders in place, supposedly to fight the virus. Insisting on masking – but will there be enforcement? I don’t see any. But instead of closing things back down, which would be, you know, SANE, even more can be open, but they have to close by 9:30 at night. And now we’re on curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM, as though we were naughty high schoolers.

This is not going to stop the virus. Rolling back the re-opening and shutting things down again, and then ENFORCING MASKING MANDATES will do so.

I am so tired of all the dickheads.

Not only are they dickheads, but they’re greedy, selfish, and stupid.

Which is the whole point of today, Election Day, certainly the most important election in my lifetime.

We need to remove the dickheads and put some decent people back into office.

I am so stressed about today and the upcoming weeks that I turned on the coffee maker without putting the pot into it first. I need coffee to make my coffee. So I got to start the morning with a giant mess, which just represents how I feel today.

Last night, The Tending the Dead ritual was for children. Part of that was naming the children we know died in ICE custody. Tonight’s ritual is for animals we’ve loved and lost.

Knowledge Unicorns should be interesting this afternoon. I’m sure the kids are stressed themselves and picking up their parents’ stress.

Today is about trying not to worry too much (at least not until 9 o’clock tonight), get some work done, and fight more with my landlord.

I also have a review to write, and maybe get another book assigned. This one was over 600 pages, and needed at least 200 cut.

We’ve put in a lot of work over the past few years. I’ve marched whenever I could, been in daily contact with my representatives, written, and written hundreds of postcards. Many of the people I like and respect have done the same.

Let’s hope it bears fruit tonight. Blue fruit.

Published in: on November 3, 2020 at 7:19 am  Comments Off on Tues. Nov. 3, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 167 — Election Day in the US  
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Tues. June 9, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 22 — Businesses Can’t Have it Both Ways (Although They’re Trying)

Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

There’s a post called “Ride the Dragon” up on the GDR site, about trying to maneuver through all the chaos. Because there’s plenty of chaos.

Friday was just a damn roller coaster, with that eclipse. Eclipse in Sagittarius during four retrogrades. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again any time soon.

I did, however, have an excellent day’s work on THE BARD’S LAMENT, which made up for a lot of other stuff.

I’ve been invited to be a guest on a podcast next month. If we can work out the dates and times, I think it will be a lot of fun.

Had to do a curbside pickup, but communications had gotten confused, so it didn’t happen, but then we made arrangements and it did, and it was fine. I must have written the time down wrong.

With any luck, the latest Comcast battle is resolved. Why they texted me a threat when I haven’t received a bill, and I’m not scheduled to receive a bill until June 16 and don’t owe them any money is beyond me. It’s very typical of Comcast, but I’m sick of their crap. We seem to have worked it out. Not that anything but the laptop will connect to the network, but as long as the laptop is going, I will deal. To threaten to cut off the internet for an unpaid bill that hasn’t even been sent yet and certainly isn’t due yet is not what I consider customer service.

But then, Comcast doesn’t give a damn about their customers, because they are the only option.

Anyway, by 10:30 in the morning on Friday, I was done with PEOPLE and decided to spend the rest of the day in my fictional worlds.

And then UPS, who claimed my package was on the truck and out for delivery early in the day, now claims I “might” get the package by the 10th. WTF? This is the second time in a month that they claim a package is on the truck for delivery, and then, suddenly, it’s nowhere to be found. Yarmouth is only a few miles away. It’s not that hard to get from there to where I live.

Fortunately, Friday’s package didn’t have anything date-and-time sensitive; but Saturday’s package did.

Saturday, I was up early after lots of weird dreams. Wrote a chapter on BARD’S LAMENT. Got geared up and went to Star Market for groceries, including the stuff I need for the pre-op. I didn’t find everything I needed, but most of it. People were masked, they distanced. I found a jar of yeast for baking, and feel rich. I can make lots of bread (although soon it will be too hot to make bread).

Came home, went through full disinfectant protocols, did the disinfectant laundry, did the regular laundry, got through a pile of email, got out an LOI.

There were a couple of other places where I almost sent out an LOI, but as I dug into the companies, some red flags went up, and I decided not to.

Most of Saturday was about writing. I wrote 21 pages (two chapters) on BARD’S LAMENT and it was glorious to be back in the swing of it.

Of course, after 21 pages, I was out of words and practically a blithering idiot.

Saturday’s package from UPS didn’t show up, either. That’s three packages in the last month that make it as far as Yarmouth and then no one knows where they are for a few days, until I pitch a fit and they track them down. UPS, on their website, is trying to blame protests. If it was a delaying in getting to the Cape, it would make sense. But the packages get to Yarmouth, 11 miles away, and then vanish for days. It takes longer to travel the last 11 miles than 3000 miles across the country. Makes no damn sense at all.

Up early on Sunday. Wrote another chapter (10 pages) on BARD’S LAMENT. I was very happy with it, especially since I didn’t know how to fill the chapter, but needed to, because it had to be Jared’s chapter, not Sylvie’s, and I came up with something really cool that will serve the plot and feed into the series arc.

I tried not to feel too smug about it, because then it would come back to bite me in the butt.

Got some yard work done out in the front beds. Cut back a lot in the front and the sides. I still have to haul some debris to the back, and rake out the front beds, but it looks better. The hostas are taking over.

My friend sent me the next draft of her screenplay. I started reading it and couldn’t stop. I really like what she’s doing with it.

That got me thinking about two of my screenplays that are languishing. I re-read VISCERAL INVISIBLES, a paranormal action/adventure/romance. I did some tweaks, but, overall, I’m happy with it. I need to do some polishing and then decide where I want to submit. I’m worried about one scene in the first third that’s on the long side, but it’s necessary to interaction. The rest of the scenes and the pace are nice and tight. The pace in the long scene is good, too, and it’s just the two main characters, but it’s longer than standard for a screenplay.

Now that I have the laptop, I have to get new scriptwriting software. I hope I won’t have to retype everything. I’m trying Trelby, and not loving it so far. I can’t edit what I import, so what’s the damn point? I know eventually I will just have to suck it up and get Final Draft, but that’s not in the budget right now.

I sent it off to a friend to read, even though there’s formatting wonk.

UPS still has my packages in Never-Never Land. Maybe they’ll show up at some point.

Monday, I was up early. Had a decent first session on BARD’S LAMENT.

Put some checks into the ATM (thank goodness for hand sanitizer in the car). Went onsite for a client. I was on my own for most of it, got a lot done, had a bit of safe overlap with a colleague, got out.

Had to stop at CVS to get my prescription for the pre-op. They filled it this time. Not looking forward to it.

CVS was packed. But they’re enforcing masks, and, while I was there, made someone who tried to come in without a mask leave. That’s the way it should be. Not “suggested” or “encouraged.” Follow the damn guidelines or get the hell out.

I complain a lot about CVS, but in this case, they were right.

Took me over THREE HOURS to pay my AT&T bill. Tried putting it through on the automated system, the way I always do. It wouldn’t work. Sent me round in an endless loop. There better not be multiple pulls on the account. Kept sending me to a customer service rep and disconnecting me. Tried to pay online. The online system said I don’t exist. We went round and round for that a few times, until it finally admitted the system was down. Tried customer service again – they “can’t” process the payment because THEIR system is down. I HAVE to process online. Only online is down, but the only thing the rep is allowed to say is that I’ve been “given other options.” The fact that the options DON’T WORK doesn’t matter. Tried to get through on social media. They claimed to help and sent me right back into the system that DOESN’T WORK BECAUSE IT’S DOWN.

I finally managed a work-around into the online system, past the system error and paid the damn bill.

They were dumb enough to send me a survey about my customer experience. Not that it will make a difference, but they got an earful.

Time to find a new carrier.

T-Mobile sucks. Verizon sucky-sucks (including adding illegal charges into their bills). Now AT&T sucks. I’m running out of options. Maybe if telecommunications regulations were actually ENFORCED so companies like these carriers and ISPs like Comcast HAD to follow the rules, it wouldn’t be such a mess.

Using COVID as an excuse is no longer an option. If businesses get what they’ve wanted, as they have, with reckless re-opening, and people are running around pretending it’s “normal” – you who have insisted on the re-opening no longer have the option of using COVID as an excuse for screwing your customers. You don’t get it both ways.

Time to dismantle the major companies.

Time to eat the rich.

Use salt, pepper, and some seasoning. They’re bound to give you heartburn.

So I lost a half day of work trying to pay a fucking bill. I wasn’t even arguing the bill. All I was trying to do was PAY it. How messed up is that?

After getting ahead on my writing, I fell behind because losing a half day means I lost the gains. What I’d banked is gone.

Managed to get out a couple of LOIs, though.

UPS again didn’t bother to deliver the packages. They delivered next door, so it’s not like they’re not around. When I contacted them, I was told, again, it’s “the shipper’s problem.” One shipper is known to me; I got in touch and they are looking into it. The other shipper is a new small business that I tried, and I got in touch. I haven’t heard back yet, but they’re in California and are a small business, so it might take a few days. But I’m not sure I’ll do business with them again. It SEEMS the package was handed off to the post office, but it wasn’t delivered through them either. This particular item was something I NEEDED. I’d ordered it with plenty of time to get it here, and it’s still not.

Now, if UPS would shoot me an email when there’s a delay and say, “Hey, sorry you didn’t get it, it’ll be there tomorrow” or, “We made a mistake, it went on the wrong truck, we’re bringing it back as fast as we can” – actual customer service – I’d be fine. Mistakes happen, we’re all under pressure.

But this attitude that it doesn’t matter, and they don’t know or care WHERE it is, and it’s the shipper’s problem – nope.

I also have to start taking screen shots of the tracking, because they manipulate information and then claim I didn’t see what I saw. So, moving forward, screen shots every time I check the tracking it is. Another burden on the consumer because the business can’t be bothered to do their jobs or be honest with their customers.

That adds another layer to whatever shopping I do moving forward. I will now have to contact the company to make sure they don’t ship via UPS, because if they do, I’m going to have to pass on whatever it is unless it’s an absolute necessity.

When I lived in NY, I avoided UPS as a shipper whenever possible. Their policy was they did not deliver to residential addresses during day time hours. The fact that I worked remotely and then worked at the theatre at night didn’t matter. It was a residential address; therefore, they would only deliver after 6 PM. If I wasn’t there to receive the package, well, they tried, and, after a few days, they’d send it back.

The pandemic forced them to acknowledge that people actually do work remotely, but for years I had to lose packages because they refused to deliver to me during the day. Or I had to have them sent to a nearby office. Or just not buy from a company that shipped via UPS.

If they’re short on drivers because drivers are getting sick – we need to know that, too. Because it wouldn’t surprise me. The Fed Ex drivers are masked. I have yet to see a UPS driver masked. The USPS drivers, it’s hit and miss.

Again, if you’re going to push for this reckless re-opening and demand that people run around putting their lives in danger for your profit, you don’t then get to blame the virus or the protesters when you don’t’ deliver the service for which you’re being paid.

And, as far as I’m concerned, the blaming the protestors stance UPS has taken on their website is unacceptable.

Again, a couple of little packages aren’t that big a deal with the world burning down. But the fact that these businesses are using the pandemic and the protestors as excuses to not do what they’re paid for when they’ve been part of the push for the reckless re-opening is not okay.

At least I had a good discussion with one of my state senators about including labor in the re-opening process. He confirmed that Governor Baker has not included labor in the committee that advises him on the phased openings. But on the local committee, of which my senator is a part, there are representatives from labor, especially unions. So that’s sort of helpful, although the construction guys are notorious for not wearing masks.

But it was a good overall discussion about different problems and different options. I appreciate that my senator takes the time to have a conversation, not respond with platitudes and sound bytes.

Slept badly, up early. I hope I’ll have a good first writing session of the day. Then, I have to gear up and hit Trader Joe’s. After I decontaminate, I have client work, and, I’m hoping for some more writing.

A bunch of library books were arbitrarily deleted from my hold list, which is a little disturbing. Especially since I don’t remember what they were; someone recommends a book, I put it on hold rather than writing it down (unless I buy it). If my local library had a reason for it, I’m fine with it, but if someone in the overall system made that arbitrary decision, I’m not.

I don’t like all these decisions being made without consultation, on way too many levels!

But the additional writing might be at night, because I’m participating in a driving memorial for George Floyd this afternoon, with Lower Cape Indivisible. At first, I thought it was kind of a strange event, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. A funeral procession to honor him and stand (drive) with BLM that keeps us distanced (and yes, everyone is asked to be masked).

There’s plenty I can’t do right now, especially in person, due to the heightened pre-op protocols. But this is something I CAN do, along with listening to the changes people want and need, and working with my elected officials to bring them about.

I am dreading the upcoming Mercury retrograde, piled on top of everything else.

Published in: on June 9, 2020 at 5:38 am  Comments Off on Tues. June 9, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 22 — Businesses Can’t Have it Both Ways (Although They’re Trying)  
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