Monday, November 17, 2008

Mishegas Monday

I always channel Nana when feeling overwhelmed and uncertain.

I thought I’d update everybody, hopefully without too much kvetching.

I am very grateful to have several projects going on. Business has been slow for months now. The problem with this current batch of projects is that every one of them is screwed up in some way – the respondents interviewed weren’t of the best quality (my polite way of saying ‘morons with opinions’) or the questionnaire design was faulty (‘morons seeking opinions’) or the data was late getting to me and so my time is being cut.

This is the new order of business for freelancers everywhere. The work is awful, the deadlines are impossible, the clients are horrid since they are usually juniors with little training – most qualified mid to upper level analysts have been laid off – and the pressure to be fast and cheap is immense.

So we work harder for less – and we’re grateful.

I am especially grateful since I can’t work either of my 2 part-time jobs because of my ankle injury.

Add to that the fact that I need to spend hours on the phone with doctors and the insurance company. As of November 1 I had to change my coverage from a group policy to an individual policy. $260 more a month for less coverage and rules that make your head spin. All the arrangements for physical therapy and orthopedic consults that were put in place just 18 days ago are out the window. Somehow the insurance company thinks it will be cost effective to start from scratch.

OK – I promised I would keep the kvetching to a minimum. I’m just sharing LOL

I didn’t get to Wordzzle this Saturday and I don’t have a POW offering this month. There is just too much noise in my head to be creative.

Please go by JEFF’S and check out all the Portrait of Words stories – I know I will.

In the interest of being upbeat and positive I’d like to acknowledge some awards I received the past few weeks and I’d like to pass them on. Since I don’t do this when I receive the awards my list may be a bit lengthy but hey – new blogs to check out so be nice.

From my wonderful friend LISA – I received this friendship gift. I call it the ‘blogging brings us closer’ award.

To translate the gift from Portuguese to English, it means: "This blog invests and believes, the proximity" [meaning, that blogging makes us "close" - being close through proxy]. "They all are charmed with the blogs, where in the majority of its aims are to show the marvels and to do friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut or that they propagate?"

I am going to pass the Blogging Brings Us Closer Award on to:

PAGAN – she inspires me as a writer, a photographer, an activist and a Mom.

– oh man his photos are sublime and as he shares his stories of his daughters I find myself feeling I know him a little bit more and a little bit better. He has a peaceful voice that I have come to value.

TRAVIS – talk about peaceful voices!! I often stop myself and say – “how would Travis respond”. And his Dancing With the Stars updates are fabulous.

ROB – I have enjoyed Rob’s blog for awhile now but ever since his comments on Election Day I have felt a kinship with him. He is a thoughtful, intelligent blogger who I often want to hug.

MAITHRI – and speaking of hugs. Maithri is a gentle soul who touches the world with his words and deeds.

The next award comes from JACKIE in Glasgow. I found her during my quest for all things Craig Ferguson. I was Googling Craig’s home city and found her wonderful photos. Each day Jackie posts a fantastic shot from Glasgow. She also leaves me the most supportive and complimentary comments – I appreciate her talent and friendship.

I am passing the Photo Buddy award on to:

MARY – the hostess with the mostest. Her Ruby Tuesday and Sepia Scenes projects have encouraged me to be a better photographer. Mary also has a voice that always inspires and informs.

LISA – I copied her idea for a separate Photo Blog and she never complained LOL. She always visits my photos and always has something kind to say.

ASKEW – we met through one of the photo projects but we visit each other all the time now. I look forward to her funny and supportive comments.

DARYL – She makes me feel less homesick for Manhattan and she has become a good friend.

CG – I love to worry with her and for her. She was one of my very first blog buddies.

PINK DOGWOOD – she has 2 wonderful blogs. Her words are inspiring and her photos are bliss. And she always leaves kind and encouraging comments.

LINDA – I really want to go photo hunting with this lady. She roams around cemeteries at night and scans the skies. She is a photographic adventurer and a really good person.

TERRY – is a very new friend. We met through Ruby Tuesday. She made me the wonderful photo collage I posted a few days ago.

OY! Are ya still with me? I hate doing links.

This ‘Marie Antoinette’ award comes from my pal JOOD. She thinks I speak the truth and that I ‘get it’. The feeling is mutual.

Marie is going to just one person. RAVEN

Throughout the Presidential campaign Raven was the most passionate, educated, informed, reasonable voice on the Internet tubes. Even when she thought she was ranting Raven always did her homework and was always kind and respectful to those who disagreed with her. I have more love and respect for Raven than I can truly describe without becoming a sentimental cow.

And last – Yeah I know you hate me by now.

Thank you to MARY for giving all the Ruby Tuesday posters the Fall Décor Award.

I don't know how much I'll be posting here this week but I will be posting lots of photos over on the Photo Blog - just click on the camera on the sidebar. I can't bring myself to do one more link. All I can see now is '<' and 'a' and 'href' and lots of little "'s



Shelly said...

Good job woman! I did a little lol when you said "be nice"...hehe. It's always fun to check out the blogs you've recommended, away we goooo.

Dianne said...

shelly - bless ya! I know some of my buddies will look at the length of the post and think - Oh Crap!! there she goes again but it's really an easy read LOL

Farmer*swife said...

Awww, so sweet. Way to share! Congrats on all your fab awards. Good luck with the work thing. At least you can work from home???

Insurance. Geeze. And, do we have any verdict about when this ankle will finally work half-way correctly so that you aren't mangling yourself up and down the stairs?

Happy Monday Gal! Keep on hanging, or limping, or whatever it is that is keeping you going! ;-)

Sylvia K said...

Do so hope you're feeling better, just the thought of doctor's bills are enough to send me to hide under the pillows. I hold good thoughts for you always.

bobbie said...

Oy! Insurance companies!

Sure hope at least your ankle is improving. that would be some compensation for the hassle.

congratulations on all the awards! All well deserved for sure.

Linda said...

A photo award!! I got a photo award from a woman who is a kick-ass photographer!! I am beyond thrilled, I am ecstatic and honored and ... wow!!! Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Honoured, humbled and just a little verklempt!

Thank you very much and such praise and kind words from a much admired and enjoyed blogger and friend is high praise indeed.

Travis said...

Wow. Thanks for the very kind words. And the shout out.

Hang tough with your work. About all we have control over these days is the quality of our own output. It should serve us well when the economy eventually recovers.

Jay said...

Dealing with morons is always an adventure.

I just had some dealings with insurance people myself. I'll know in a couple of weeks if it was easy or not. LOL

Mrs. C said...

Oh wow. The insurance thing stinks. I well remember moving to KC from Florida and having insurance, but it doesn't cover this or that out of state. It was like $120 for antibiotics and THANK GOD nothing serious happened while we were waiting for D to become fully insured.

Changing in November REALLY STINKS. Then next year you start over with your deductible. Joy.

I think that "savings account" for healthcare idea is really laughable, though. Like, what were they smoking when they thought of that? I forget if that was a Democratic or Republican idea, but IMO it's equally stupid either way. :] What the solution is, I sure don't know. Hopefully I have not offended you though probably I have the maverick ideas here again and you'll have to love me anyhooo. :p Doncha miss hearing "maverick?"


LOL ok that's hurting my ears, too.

Are ya feeling any better at all ?? Even a little?? :[ I wish there were something I could do.

PS YES it's VERY cost-effective to start from scratch. For THEM. The jerks. They don't care how much pain you're in either.

PPS Do you remember Robert Courtney? The guy who diluted cancer drugs to patients and then charged 'em full price? My pastor used to go to church with them and he sure had them fooled. (Um, Courtney had 'em fooled, not my pastor. LOL) This guy was an elder in the church and all that business and when they found out what he did they gave all that money back and didn't want it. I don't blame 'em, but could YOU cut out $250,000 out of the annual budget? YOWIE. (I don't think my current church even takes in a quarter of that.)

All that to say this: It makes me mad to hear about insurance companies and stuff giving "free" stupid health programs, like diabetes monitoring, ask-a-nurse or "stop smoking" brochures. It just reminds me of Robert Courtney. Just skim a little off the top, give it to a good cause and make yourself look good.


... Um...

I think I blew off topic a bit but you know what I meant. I sure hope these... people... get their... crap together... because that is just wrong how they're treating you.

You'd think they could cut out a few of the "stop smoking" brochures no one reads anyway and send you to a doctor.


I'm stopping.

The end.

Dianne said...

farmers wife - thanks Lady :)
I like to share. I'm limping along, one hop at a time ;)

sylvia - thanks for the good thoughts :)

bobbie - Oy is right. The ankle is much better but the tendons will always be weak and prone to re-injury and the whole knee/ankle connection has to be checked out by an ortho guy but of course the insurance co. has other ideas.

linda - you're welcome!! I love the lengths you'll go to for a shot ;)

rob - verklempt!! I love how you fit the theme. ahhhh Nana would have loved ya.

travis - you're welcome. I try to keep my reputation for quality work intact.

jay - I hope it works out OK - perhaps there should be moron insurance. imagine how expensive it would be

mrs c - I really do miss hearing
maverick LOL
I hav so many idea re. insurance but I'm too tired to lay them out. right now in this one instance it seems so silly to have me go thru all this stuff over again just because it doesn't fit into their slide rule. it's the same insurance company!! ya know it took me 3 hours today (on and off) to finally find the right actual real live person in the right department.

The Cunning Runt said...

Dianne, thanks so much for the award and the nice words - I'm flattered!

Glad you like my photography and can put up with my learning curve - my hope is that it will get better as I learn what the heck I'm doing! :)

Sorry to hear about your insurance hassles, especially since I'm going to have to find my own individual family plan by the end of December, and it's looking like it's going to be expensive!

Best of luck with your ankle, and thanks again!

Dianne said...

CR - you're welcome. I can't imagine how much more incredible your photos could get.
Stay away from Aetna unless you really have money to burn - their plan is very good if you can afford the PPO option. I had that as a group but it's out of reach for me as a loner. I'm paying $980 a month for HMO coverage. Hopefully you can find a broker to help you - they stay away from individuals but they do take on families. just check them out first.

Matt-Man said...

You are so damn sexy when you kvetch. Cheers Di!!

Raven said...

What a wonderful kvetch (though I'm sorry things are so kvetch-worthy). Thank you for the award and most especially for the kind words. I am honored to receive it. I know you have picked up on how terrible I am at receiving awards, but I think I will actually do the right thing for the first time in a while and claim and post this one. Many thanks. You are pretty awesome the truth speaker. JOOD awarded you wisely.

Dianne said...

Oh Matty - when you say things like that you make me plotz.

raven - you're welcome, I meant every word. Marie is a beautiful award, she needs to move forward :)

Jeff B said...

I think you captured the essence of each of those you listed. Haven't read all their stuff, but the ones I do, you got spot on.

Bummer you won't be sharing a POW story with us this month, but I can certainly understand why.

Perhaps Obama will be able to put his new health care plan into effect sooner than later and it will prove to be beneficial for you. Affordable, quality health care? now there's a concept.

Hang in there.

Casdok said...

Congrats on your awards, sorry to hear about your ankle, hope it mends soon.

Dianne said...

jeff - thanks, I'm glad I described them well - that means a lot to me. I too hope for some healthcare solutions. I'm hanging in there :)

casdock - thanks :)

Daryl said...

Love the purple background .. and thank you soooo much for this my friend, getting to know you has been for me a very important thing since it makes me miss my mom less... this is not to say you are anywhere near old enough to be MY mom but there's a mom quality to you I feel connected to and then there's your channeling of your Nana which also touches me in a very special way. SO .. MUAAAH! and thanks for the award ... and know that I send you vibes to deal with the health issues and the work crap .. Husband is a freelancer/own biz person so I know how things are .. sort of.

xo ... Daryl

Tammy said...

When I'm stressed I always think of an old saying my father used to say. It always makes me smile and feel better.

Ivanhoe said...

Congrats, Di! These are wonderful.
Hope your insurance will figure it all out. Tomorrow is Mark's first anniversary from his car accident. I know those bills from hospitals are no fun.

Bond said...

holy crap look at the length of this post..



Hopefully the insurance crap will settle itself out

Ah work with idjits...yeah, in marketing you get that all the time!

Sparkling Red said...

Argh! Insurance companies are rotten. I know a few people who are currently being dinked around by their insurers. :-p Good luck dealing with them!

I don't know how to say it in Yiddish, but my mom told me that this is a traditional Yiddish saying: It shouldn't happen to you, what you can get used to.

Dianne said...

daryl - channeling Nana has always served me well :)
thank you for the kind words and support.

tammy - it's amazing how powerful those memories can be

ivanhoe - one bad illness/accident can wipe a person out!! doesn't seem right.

bond - ya know you're hanging out with Matt-Man too much. and to think you used to be such a good boy ;)

sparkling - 'dinked about' is so cute lol I love it
all Mothers know Yiddish, it's the law ;)

magnetbabe said...

That's what I love about your blog, one part human rights awareness, one part animal lover, a huge does of creativity and one part kvetching! Keep it up, it's good to get all the verbal toxins out!

So sorry about your insurance. God-willing, help is on the way come January!

Knight said...

I love the Marie Antoinette award. That is a great idea and you are certainly the person I would think of!

Dianne said...

magnetbabe - thanks!! the blog is a reflection of me alright, all the personalities ;)

knight - thanks kiddo, it is such a pretty award isn't it :)

Pagan Sphinx said...

Well, heck. I didn't know I got this! Sorry to be late! Thank you so much. I especially like that it's in Portuguese. I saw it at another blog and I secretly desired it! ;-)

Dianne, that so sucks about the insurance. Another person I care about affected by insurance issues. We gotta get a single-payer health care plan going here. Ugh. It's so frustrating.

I am thinking of you with very warm regards, Dianne. Hugs.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Oh, forgot to say that I can't wait to visit Raven's blog. I think I have been there a time or two for photo memes but she sounds like an interesting blogger whom I'd like to read more.

Dianne said...

pagan - and it's in a 'forin' language hehehehehehe
thanks for the hugs, I can use them.
and Raven is amazing
her election coverage was incredible

Askew To You said...

Holy cats!! My first award!! I am thrilled :D Could you tell?

I'm extra excited it's a photography themed award, too, as that is my new love.

You are a very sweet lady. Thank you for thinking of me.

Kelly said...

Dianne, I'm so sorry to hear about all the "crazy-ridiculous" dealings that it sounds like you're having with your insurance companies. I'm right there with ya, and my sincere sympathy is too! I hope things will turn around for you and all of us! We need Reform in a desperate way! Anytime you need to let off steam, send me a comment or email! I'm here for you! Hang in there!!

maryt/theteach said...

Dianne, I love mishegas! I just didn't know how to spell it! Ha! And who knew you are a freelancer. I used to be one - I was an indexer - of books and databases. I don't do it anymore. And I'm kinda glad but I enjoyed it while I did it.

Thank you so much for the "My Photography Buddy Award." I am your buddy in all things! I'll post it and pass it on!

And you can kvetch all you like! :)

Dianne said...

askew - I'm glad you're happy with the award, you deserve it!!

kelly - thank you! I appeciate that more than I can express :)

mary - working for yourself is a mixed bag - especially in this economy!
the spelling is the secular version, the Yiddish would be hard to recognize lol
Nana used to get mad if I used the popular spellings ;)

CG said...

Thank you dear Dianne!! I hope your ankle gets better soon. We don't appreciate our ankles until they don't work, do we?

Dianne said...

cg - you're welcome. and I always think of you when my ankle aches, especially when I know you're doing a wedding shoot and will be on your feet for hours. I think that is the hardest thing right now - I really need my part-time income yet I can't spend 12 hours running around a store.

Jackie said...

Congratulations on all those awards, all thoroughly deserved - sorry to add to your linkage woes though ;)

I'm more sorry to hear about your insurance woes, which are incomprehensible to my other-side-of-the-Pond ears. Note to self: don't moan about the NHS for a while, remember to be grateful.

Dianne said...

jackie - I love linking to you!! :) and thanks again for my Photo Buddy award. Everyone I passed it on to really liked it too.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

LOL, LOL...You are so funny, my dear...
CONGRATULATIONS on ALL your Awards...ALL Well Deserved!

I hope things get eaaier for you on all frony=ts---Very Very Soon.....How is your ankle healing, by the way? Better, I hope!

Maithri said...

Thanks so much for your kindness my friend,

Hoping your ankle injury heals soon and that the insurance companies will show a little compassion.

Sending you healing love and deep peace, M

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Dianne! Thank you very much. I am glad you copied from me :o) I enjoy your photos very much. Lisa

Dianne said...

oldold lady of the hills - ya gotta laugh!! thanks for all the good wishes

maithri - you inspire kindness :)

lisa - cool, I figured you thought it was OK lol
imitation is flattery after all!!