Posts filed under ‘whine’

Notes From the Copy Editing Trenches

I am editing a procedural manual. IT IS AWFUL!!! The wordiness! The pointless statements! I know I am not exactly Shakespeare when it comes to the craft of the wordsmith, but compared to the remedial hamsters that wrote this document, I should qualify for a freaking Pulitzer Prize.
WHAT IT SAYS: For a given project or planned submission, it is also desirable to define and map the required documents in advance to facilitate communication and ability to assess the degree to which the document set is complete.
WHAT I WOULD SAY: Make a fucking checklist!
WHAT I ACTUALLY WRITE: For each project and/or submission, define and map the required documents in advance. This facilitates assessing completeness of the document set.

BUT… I hate the word “completeness”

Controlled documents are managed along various stages of its lifecycle.

Document users should be able to perform the procedure correctly (especially in SOPs) or to understand clearly what was done and what was learned (e.g., a Technical Report).

This has given me the idea. While watching the Oscars the other night, I decided that there should be a prize for best Procedural Manual writer out there. If you write procedural manuals (or, possibly technical manuals), send me the BEST PAGE from it! I will announce the winners as soon as I get enough to warrant picking one out! (i.e., I get more than 3 submissions). Send your manual page to: dotdash at gmail with the subject line MANUAL SUBMISSION. The only rule is you must be the author of the manual. Or, you must submit a manual page on behalf of the author. You can’t just pick up the booklet that came with your iThing or whatever and say “hmm, this is good– I’ll submit it!”; you must know the author!

March 1, 2017 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

The Internet: where is the information?

While trying to figure out my digestive problems, a chain of events led to me having an ultrasound that discovered my uterus is all stuffed full of fibroid tumors. The largest 2 are 8cm and 5cm, but there are some others as well. I was kind of hoping they would give me a print out so I could put it on my refrigerator or use as a Facebook profile picture or something, just to be weird. These fibroids aren’t causing many symptoms, but I can feel weird pressure when I’m lying down. Mostly they just make me have to pee a lot, and may contribute to my long-lasting periods and spotting. It’s not a huge deal, and it’s been going on for years, so the doctor’s recommendation was to just ignore them.

However, because my uterus is filled with fibroids the size of oranges, it’s getting all stretched out and warped into a weird shape. Because of this, I can’t get my tubes tied. Nor can I get an IUD. I already can’t use hormonal birth control because I’m too old and fat (doctors won’t prescribe it).

Most of the people I know who have tried to get knocked up around my age have had major problems and had to resort to IVF and other methods. So… do I even need birth control? Fibroids are supposed to make it more difficult to get knocked up. I’m old. Is pregnancy even an issue? However, every time I ask about percent risk of pregnancy as a 43 year old with fibroids (which can hinder pregnancy), people just give me anecdotal evidence like “my aunt had accidental quintuplets when she was 80” etc. Internet message boards are full of advice like DON’T BE A CARELESS WHORE WHO HAS TO GET AN ABORTION! Doctors don’t ever want to say “no, don’t use birth control” lest you find yourself in a family way and blame them. If I search the internet, I just find sites geared towards 40-somethings who are trying to get pregnant and take on the “it’s not impossible! Keep trying and you’ll get your miracle baby!” tone of voice, which is not helpful since I am concerned with the opposite outcome.

So what are the actual chances of a person with fibroids getting pregnant at age 43? I have never been pregnant before, so that makes my chances a little lower (I vaguely remember reading somewhere that when you are pregnant, your body doesn’t release eggs, so you have more of them later. if you never get pregnant, your body is constantly losing its eggs). Also, the supplier of the sperm is 54, and dudes’ sperm count *does* go down with age. Is there some kind of probability engine I can plug this into? It’s hard to find decent information, because nobody wants to be the one to say SORRY, OLD TIMER. YOU WILL NEVER FULFILL YOUR ULTIMATE PURPOSE AND SPAWN.

Seriously. Do a search. All the sites I’ve found are either the “you can do it! It’s not impossible to have a miracle baby” variety, the “Guess what? women over 40 are still allowed to have sex. Here are your birth control options” the “don’t be a stupid whore who makes bad choices– I know [person] who had [x] kids in her [advanced age range]”  tone. Where is actual information? Does this information exist? People must have studied fertility rates in older women because fertility sites are always talking about them.

So, let’s re-cap:


TL;DR: I am old and don’t want to get knocked up, but birth control options and information is limited.

September 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm Leave a comment

Protected: First world problems in the third world

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January 21, 2016 at 8:59 pm Enter your password to view comments.

Argh Health Care Again

The American health care system is made to screw people. No insurance company wants to actually pay for things, so they make it as impossible as they can to get any coverage. It’s compounded if you have the cheap insurance that forces you to go to low-rent medical care places.

I’ve had the nice, swanky insurance before. You don’t have to constantly be jumping through hoops in order to get things done. On the other side, the customer service is way better, probably because they have more money to hire more people and properly train them so they are not overworked and cranky all the time. Thus, you can get conflicts and questions resolved in a more timely manner than with the crappy insurance.

So now I have new insurance. It costs way more than the old insurance, yet also the co-pays are more. For a doctor’s office visit I have to pay a co-pay of $25 now instead of $14, like the last place. Also, medication is $25 instead of $12 for the one drug I was on and $14 for the other one. So, now I have to pay $50 just for the privilege of getting refills on my prescriptions every month (the ghetto clinic requires one to see a therapist in order to see a person who can prescribe you drugs, so I have to go to twice the appointments than I would if I went to a place that just hired psychiatrists that could provide both services, but these places are impossible to get appointments at). And the drugs themselves are now $50 per month instead of the old $26. Oh yeah, the prescriptions are administered by yet another company, so I have to call them and have a separate insurance card (which of course I haven’t gotten yet) just to get drugs.

The latest exciting hurdle in all this is now I need a “prior authorization” form for one of the drugs I’ve been taking for at least one year. This means I have to bring some form to the doctor’s office and have them contact the insurance company to let them know it’s OK for me to be on this drug (that I’ve been taking for over a year). Obviously I have all the time in the world to go running around to different offices to get forms to make sure I’m not trying to game the system! This will take 3-5 business days to go through. What the hell, my prescription already ran out 6 weeks ago, what’s another week of waiting?

I also need a “prior authorization” for birth control, apparently because god forbid anyone try to not get pregnant without as many hurdles as possible. Ironically, this insurance also doesn’t cover abortions, so I think they WANT me to get pregnant. That doesn’t make any sense since then they’d have to cover prenatal exams and hospitals for delivery and all that good stuff. What am I saying? They probably don’t cover any of these things anyway. Plus, there’s a $2000 deductible, so I’m not about to seek medical care for anything anyway. I have almost $2000 in my savings account, and it’s taken me years to amass this much money! I think of it as my Travel Budget and that I’m going to use it to go someplace cool for a vacation, but I know I will just end up blowing it all on rent when I’m unemployed in September. Since it will only cover like 2.5 months of rent, I don’t want to think about it.

So basically, the American Health Care system AND my life are both total bullshit.

Republicans don’t think that we should have state health care because why should poor people be healthy? Fuck ’em, they’re obviously poor because they’re lazy. However, how will the rich maintain their lifestyles if all the poor people die because of bad health? Who will clean their pools? Who will fix their cars, work in their factories, buy their products and consume their mass media? Rich people, admit it– you need the great unwashed classes in order to stay on top. You need someone to exploit– why keep them sick and miserable? Is it because the blood of the working class is an expendable, highly renewable resource? Maybe THAT’S why they’re so against birth control and abortion– they need to be sure there will always be a disposable impoverished class whose backs they can stand on!

June 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment


My 3-month odyssey of acquiring health insurance reached a pinnacle of stupidity today. AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! Warning: this is boring. I’m just writing it down to clear my head.


December 2012: Four Seasons Greenery, the plant company I work for, is sold to New England Foliage. My hours, wage, accounts, everything remain exactly the same.

January 2013: New England Foliage changes the payroll over to a 2-week pay cycle instead of the 1-week cycle Four Seasons had. They forget to pay me every other week for 4 weeks.

February 2013: Commonwealth Care sends me a notice that I need to submit a form verifying my change of employment (apparently because the company changed hands it’s considered a change of jobs). However, I DON’T GET THIS MAIL BECAUSE MY ROOMMATES ARE LAZY SLOBS WHO THROW ALL THE MAIL ON THE TABLE AND THEN GETS BURIED AND SHOVELED ELSEWHERE

March 2013: I get a notice that my insurance is about to be cancelled. Of course I don’t get this either, see reason above.

April 2013: I go to renew a prescription and am informed by the pharmacy that my insurance is cancelled. I call the company and find out what’s happened. I call Commonwealth Care and they tell me I need to send in a new form which includes pay stubs.

April 2013: New England Foliage figures out they forgot to pay me for 4 weeks and sends me a paycheck making up for the extra hours.

April 2013: all my medication runs out, with no refills, but I can’t even get a refill and pay the non-insurance price for them ($200 some odd) because they won’t let me see my doctor without first seeing the therapist and I can’t afford all these appointments out of pocket.

April 2013: Commonwealth care amazingly sends the form I need in the mail 2 days after I call! I fill it out and FAX (they need to be faxed, causing me to panic since I have no idea where a fax machine is, then I learn you can do this over the internet!) the required 2 pay stubs from each job. Nowhere does it say that you only send in *one* pay stub for a job that pays bi-weekly. I send two, including the one with the make-up hours.

May 2013: Commonwealth care counts the bi-weekly pay as weekly and determine I make too much money for insurance and am no longer eligible. I fax in a new pay stub and explain what’s going on. It apparently takes 56 business days to get this reviewed. In the mean time, I have Health Safety Net, which is only accepted in approved state-run clinics. The clinic closest to my house has a waiting list for new patients and even then you can only make appointments for 2 weeks in the future. Jack, my boss, says this is stupid and offers to pay the difference in what I paid for the state-subsidized insurance to the actual cost.

May 2013: I apply for NON-SUBSIDIZED health care, pay the premium and manage to fax the form I need from Commonwealth Care saying I am no longer eligible in on time! I SEND A CHECK WHICH GETS CASHED. Insurance is slated to begin June 1.

June 3, 2013: I call Commonwealth Choice (who the unsubsidized insurance goes through) to see what my member ID# is so I can make an appointment with the therapist so I can make an appointment with the doctor and get my meds refilled. They tell me everything is awesome on their end, but I have to call Fallon Health Care (the actual insurance company that is contracted by Commonwealth Choice) to get my number. I call Fallon and am not in their system. They tell me they will get my info to the enrollment office and have them give me a call.

Fallon calls me and tells me I am not eligible for Commonwealth Care (DUH I’ve known this since March) and can’t get Fallon Health care and so I should call Commonwealth Choice back.

Commonwealth Choice is closed by the time I get off the phone with them.

AAARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! I’ve been taking half-doses of meds since April and I only have 5 pills left. I am SO SICK OF THIS BULLSHIT.


Yes, the same roommates who WIPE THEIR MUDDY FEET all over the bath rugs I JUST SCRUBBED CLEAN. When they told me TWICE they would stop doing that (I asked them to stop nicely, already). The same ones WHO SCOOP SUGAR OUT OF THE SUGAR BOWL WITH THE SUGAR SPOON, STIR THEIR COFFEE AND THEN PUT THE FUCKING SPOON BACK IN making the sugar all clumpy and gross and the spoon all crusty and smell WHEN I ALREADY ASKED THEM NOT TO AND THEY AGREED TO STOP.

I am so sick of being jerked around by health insurance companies and so sick of living with roommates. FUCK EVERYTHING!!!

June 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment


Someone managed to hack this account and post some ad. I didn’t read it, but come on REALLY?!?!

ok, so hacking things isn’t that hard. But if you post an ad for laptops or whatever on someone’s blog, I think there’s a good chance the people reading it (in this case, all 3 who meant to be here and didn’t just happen upon this because they typed UNDERAGE LESBIAN GOAT ANAL SNUFF SCHEISSE PORN into Google) are going to take one look and say “whoa, someone’s account got hacked. Bummer.” Not “whoa, what a deal on iPads– I can get one for just 87 rubles? (or whatever) SIGN ME THE FUCK UP!!!”

November 19, 2012 at 4:58 am Leave a comment

Protected: Where do I find these people?

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November 16, 2012 at 5:51 am Enter your password to view comments.

Protected: The Road To Happiness

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Continue Reading August 24, 2012 at 3:58 am Enter your password to view comments.

The Things I Do To Shit

The yearly “we’re going to cancel your health insurance for some random screw-up” waited until March this year! Usually they cancel it in January. For that I suppose I should be excited. However, getting the insurance re-instated is always fun, and requires lots of reinstatement fees and other exciting things. I don’t even remember what caused this year’s mess-up; I think they lost a payment or something, which is not unheard of, especially since I was only able to pay by sending checks through the mail. I wanted to sign up for their online payment service, but when I signed up, they didn’t send me the automated password. When I called to ask them to reset it, they said they couldn’t because I had never activated the password to begin with. When I asked if I could re-sign up, I couldn’t because I already had an account. I just couldn’t log into it. Thus it stayed for 3 years. At least with the latest kicking me out of the program I was able to get a new online account and can pay for things there!

Anyway, after a month and a half of them saying “oh all you have to do to re-sign up is this and wait 72 hours” and then 72 hours later have them say “oh wait, you have to do this other thing and wait 72 hours” and then a third and a fourth thing, I finally have insurance again… in May. My meds ran out a few days ago and I won’t be able to get more cheaply until May first, which is kind of bullshit since I paid for every single month this year so far. ::sigh::

I’m on anti-depressants, which you’re not supposed to go off cold turkey. The worst side effect of these meds is that I can’t poop when I go off them. Do you know how awesome it is to poop? Have you ever thought about how enjoyable and miraculous it is to be able to eliminate solid waste from your body? Probably not, because one never does until one is unable to do perform such a task. Anyway, I don’t care if I revert to being sad and suicidal. I don’t care if I burst into tears because of stupid things, like the printer jams or my shoelace unties and I trip and smack my head. I don’t care about my emotional health. Whatever. I JUST WANT TO DROP A DEUCE!

Last night I had a big dinner at the Ethiopian restaurant in Malden with JJ (aka Crane). As I drove home, I felt the meal shifting in my stomach. Nope, that food wasn’t going anywhere. I drove to the drugs store to see if miraculously something had happened and that the insurance company had meant my coverage was effective 4/1 and not 5/1. No such luck. Thus I forked over $35 for ONE WEEK of meds (it would be $140 for a full month, which is actually way better than the $350 it would have been had the generic brand not become available last week). Hopefully I can get this straightened out before those run out. I’m not holding my breath, though, since the number you’re supposed to call is a recording that directs you to another number, which is a recording that directs you back to the first number. Argh.

April 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

…and now allow me to bitch about my job.

Everyone who has a blog has to whine about their stupid job once in a while. Yes, this got me fired once, Yes, it’s going to be boring, but I need to vent. Ok, it’s not actually the job that sucks, it’s the circumstance of the job. Job #2 is pretty cool. I like all the people who work there. It’s a good place to work– owned by cool people etc. It’s just that this one account I have to take care of has been eating my soul recently. It’s the one where I have to deal with the Harvard Business School chapel. You know, the Logan’s Run-esque pyramid of plants that should not see the light of day on this latitude. Yeah, all these:

Let me start by mentioning aphids. Tiny bugs in the family Aphidoidea, the little bastards eat plant leaves and multiply at alarming rates. They suck out the juices from leaves and secrete this sticky substance which romantically is called Honey Dew because ancient peoples thought it “fell” like dew. In reality, it’s just bug poop. It ranges from a light shiny coat of sticky sheen to where it looks like leaves have been dunked in Karo syrup. Certain kinds of mold thrive on this substance, which is why if you don’t catch the aphid infestation soon, mold will colonize the sticky leaves and turn them brown and fuzzy. Aphids are soft-bodied creatures and easy to squish. This is why, after having to prune the crap out of a bunch of trees, I spent the day with my arms covered in sticky goo and aphid corpses. However, the corpses were much preferable to the live aphids who kept crawling down my shirt because apparently my chest looks like a juicy false coffee plant. Even after I got home and took a shower, I still could feel phantom aphids scurrying all over my body. Ack.

mealybug. douchebag.

The aphids only live on one tree, though. The more sinister parasite inhabiting this Eden of non-native plants is the spider mite. Luckily there are fewer of those. They just make webs that stick to you, but are easily brushed off. The evil colonist of the garden, the Conquistadors of the Class of 1959 Chapel are the mealy bugs. Normally mealy bugs are the size of a pin-prick. They are on a par with poppy seeds size-wise when they get big. Normally you can’t distinguish between individual bugs as they mass together and are white and fuzzy. A plant with mealy looks like it’s had little cotton balls glued to it. Harvard, always having to out-do everyone, boasts mealy bugs with an average size of a sesame seed. Not terribly huge, probably 10 times the size of the normal bug. However, much of the mealy found here are the size of grains of rice, which gets kind of gross, since the bugs are really sticky and also poop gooey stuff. There are several that I’ve come across that are the size of small pumpkin seeds– these are creepy! Luckily they don’t move fast, nor do they have a desire to crawl into my clothing.

However, the aphids were the not the least enjoyable part of my job. Note that the tiers of plants are hemmed in by cement slabs. Each one of these slabs is about 6″ wide and one has to walk on them in order to do any plant maintenance, lest he or she tread upon actual plants. I had to chop down orange trees with trunk about 4″ in diameter with clippers whilst balancing on a cement slab. Spending all day squatting on slabs made my knees ache like something fierce while my back similarly hurts. My right hand is nearly useless from grinding the cutters against the trees all day. Plus, orange trees have ginormous thorns, so my arms are all scraped up.

Oh yeah, the pond normally had koi in it, but due to budget constraints, the koi got laid off. Thus the mosquito larvae get to thrive in a totally predator-free environment, and thrive they do. My legs are all bitten up since I was the day’s lunch special.

Why am I whining? I should be grateful I have such a cool job. I should be happy that I’m not working in a coal mine or back at Dunkin’ Donuts endlessly explaining why there are only two toast settings “somewhat warm” and “on fire” while politely deflecting potential suitors who need coffee and a Green Card.

I’m whining because I’ve had a fever all week and spent two days languishing in bed watching Masterpiece Theatre over the innernets while sweating my balls off even though it is late September and really not that hot out. I still don’t feel 100% awesome yet and being achy all over while phantom insects inspect my bra is not really doing it for me today.


Ok. I feel better. Back to your regularly scheduled blog.

September 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm 2 comments

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