Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Covid-19 Vaccine Adventures (2-Verse Limerick Plus Vaccine Scheduling Tips)

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

What follows is:

1: A two-verse limerick about my adventures (and difficulties) in booking Covid-19 vaccine appointments in New York City for hubby Mark and me. (And yes, we both easily qualify by age.)

2: A blow by blow description of how I finally managed to snag vaccine appointments in the doesn’t-deserve-to-be-called-a-system New York Covid-19 vaccine scheduling “system.”

(I hope that the information I provide below my 2-verse limerick proves helpful to those who are having similar vaccine-booking problems, both in and outside of New York.)

Fin’lly got my first shot. So did Mark,
After problems with booking them — stark!
New York’s issue-packed system
(too many to list ’em)
Is so bad, I have fantasies — dark.

So how did I schedule our shots
In a system so tied up in knots?
“Push notifications”
Resolved our frustrations;
We were saved by some fine Twitter bots.

If you’re having problems booking Covid-19 vaccine appointments, here’s how I did it in New York City. I hope it helps you too. (Even if you live in another state, some of my info just might be applicable to you.)

1. After trying all the obvious methods for booking vaccine appointments, and failing abysmally, I searched Google to find out if anybody had created a Covid-19 vaccine appointment locator bot in New York. I used search phrases such as covid-19 vaccine New York bot and Covid-19 vaccine New York tracker bot.

This led me to these two Twitter accounts: @turbovax and @nycshotslots. (If you are having trouble getting a vaccination appointment outside of New York, try a similar search for your own state. And if you’re lucky, a Good Samaritan in your city or state created a comparable public bot. For example, this bot was designed for New Jersey residents, and this one was set up for Massachusetts residents.)

2. I went to Twitter, searched for both accounts, and clicked on “follow.” (I was already active on Twitter. However, if you’re not already a Twitter member, you’ll have to join it before benefiting from these or other Twitter bot accounts.)

3. For the next couple of weeks, I checked those New York bot Twitter accounts three or four times an hour. And from time to time, I actually found some potential appointments. Unfortunately, however, each time I went to snag a pair of appointments, I was already too late. This happened even when I started checking every five or ten minutes.

4. Finally, in desperation, I researched how to get “push notifications” from individual Twitter accounts. (In general, I hate and avoid push notifications. But this situation called for emergency measures!)

Fortunately, setting up Twitter push notifications on my laptop turned out to be very simple: All I had to do was return to the home pages of each of those two accounts I was already following (@turbovax and @nycshotslots) and click on the icon immediately to the left of the word “following.” (The icon looks like a bell with a plus sign.) Clicking on it turns on push notifications for that specific Twitter feed, and you’ll know it’s properly set up because after clicking on it, it will turn as dark blue as your “following” indicator button.

5. From then on, as long as I was near my laptop (and the sound was on) I’d hear a sound indicating that one of those two accounts had just tweeted. Additionally a visible notice would flash, then disappear very quickly.

6. As soon as I saw or heard one of those “push notifications” I headed to Twitter to read the latest bot tweets and see if it was for appointment locations/dates that might work for us. And the second I saw one that might be good, I clicked on the site, filled out the forms, and was able to successfully book appointments for both Mark and myself.

Even then, acting so swiftly, I ended up with appointments for us on consecutive days, and not the theoretically more desirable same day. But that actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because parking was impossible at that location (Hillcrest High School, Jamaica Queens, NY.)

So Mark and I took turns on consecutive appointment days, remaining in the driver’s seat, illegally parked in front of someone’s driveway with the blinkers on, ready to move the car at a moment’s notice, for as long as it took for the non-car-baby-sitter to get his/her shot.

Mark and I are both very relieved to have gotten our first shots and to have dates scheduled for our second shots. And I hope you too either have gotten (or will soon get) your Covid vaccine shots.

I also hope that you found this info helpful or, at least, enjoyed my limerick.

*****
FYI, here’s a non-Twitter New York State-wide bot that I haven’t tried, because I discovered it after booking our appointments.

Open Limerick To My Southern Hemisphere Friends

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Open Limerick To My Southern Hemisphere Friends
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Don’t be mad, if it’s fall where you are.
(My friends are from near and from far.)
I can’t help blow my cork
Over spring in New York,
Which (so far) appears way under par.

Not Chicken About Taking A Stand (Limerick)

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Not Chicken About Taking A Stand (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I feel bad about arrows and slings
That are suffered by chickens. This brings
Lots of tears to my eyes.
I choke up — no surprise.
And for that, I blame Buffalo wings.

(Buffalo Wings were invented 50 years ago on March 6, 1964, at Buffalo, New York’s Anchor Bar, by the tavern’s owner, Teressa Bellissimo.)

Limerick Ode To The Tux

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The history of the tuxedo (tux) has several versions, all of which involve New York’s Tuxedo Park Club. According to one version, on October 10, 1886:

Griswold Lorillard (of Lorillard tobacco fame) wore a tailless dress coat that was tailored in England. He wore it to the country club at Tuxedo Park, New York; therefore, the name: tuxedo. The rest is formal fashion history. The tux would later replace the tailcoat.

Limerick Ode To The Tux
By Madeleine Begun Kane

If you go to a party deluxe
And are forced to squeeze into a tux,
Some say Lorillard’s the guy
You can thank when you buy
Or must rent one for too many bucks.

Limerick Ode to the Corkscrew

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Happy anniversary to the corkscrew! On March 27, 1860, New Yorker M.L. Byrn patented a corkscrew design. “It was T-shaped, based on gadgets that had long been used to extract bullets stuck in the muzzles of guns. Corkscrews had been around before Byrn’s invention, but his design became the standard in America for decades.”

Limerick Ode To The Corkscrew
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Make a toast to a corking invention–
An aid in removing our tension.
Does your life feel screwed up?
Need some sips with your sup?
Then give praise for the corkscrew’s ascension.

Spring? You’re Kidding, Right? (Limerick)

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Spring? You’re Kidding, Right? (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Spring is legally set to begin,
Which in light of the weather’s a sin:
Last night we had snow,
Sleet, and ice here and so
There’s a seasonal mix-up herein.

Dear Deer (Limerick and Photo)

Monday, September 19th, 2011

A month or so ago, hubby Mark took a wonderful photo of a deer just a couple of feet from our deck in Putnam Valley, New York. I’ve finally written a companion limerick for that image:

Dear Deer
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear deer, you’re adorable, true.
But there’s one thing about you, I rue:
Your habit of munching
And supping and lunching
On fruit my hub’s hoping to chew.

Deer A Foot From Our Putnam House Deck

(Photo by hubby Mark Kane)

June Down The Drain (Limerick & Haiku)

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

June in New York’s been a wash-out this year.  So I’ve written both a limerick and a haiku about our rainy weather. And I welcome you to write some weather verse too:

First my limerick:

June Down The Drain
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Oh, when will the rain ever wane?
Our weather this June’s been insane.
We are having a bout
With the inverse of drought.
So whoever’s in charge,  please refrain!

And now my haiku:

Rainy New York June
Has identity crisis:
It thinks it’s April.

Feel free to write your own weather-related limerick (using my first line, if you’d like) and/or weather haiku and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, please join my FB friends in a limerick-off and haiku-off.

Ode To Takeout (Song Parody to be sung to My Favorite Things)

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

I’m not much of a cook. Don’t believe me? Just try reading (or singing) my Ode To Takeout song parody, which I wrote for And They Cook, Too: A Blogger Cookbook and fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders.

Ode To Takeout (Sing To My Favorite Things)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Baked meat lasagna and Indian curry.
Sesame noodles. I’m famished! Please hurry!
Buddha’s Delight that is fit for a king.
Takeout is one of my favorite things.

Greek beef moussaka and cheese ravioli.
Brocc’li and eggplant, stir fried with aioli.
Barbecued chicken: Just breasts and some wings.
Takeout is one of my favorite things.

When I’m feeling
Pangs of hunger,
Need fine food to eat,
I thumb through my menus and pick up the phone.
Cause takeout just can’t be beat.

Turkey with stuffing that isn’t too mushy.
Beef yakiniku, but please hold the sushi.
Salad that’s topped with a dressing that zings.
Takeout is one of my favorite things.

Chicken with walnuts and garlic, quite spicy.
Filet mignon. I don’t care that it’s pricey.
Lo mein and dumplings and fried onion rings.
Takeout is one of my favorite things.

When I yearn for
Something tasty
Need good food to eat,
I leaf through my menus and reach for the phone.
Cause takeout just can’t be beat.

(Author’s Note: I live in an ethnic food wonderland — Bayside, Queens, New York — which is why all this and more can be (and often is) delivered to my home.)

Pie-ku Haiku Contest

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Here’s something fun for food-loving poets: TimeOut New York is having a pie-ku haiku contest. Here’s the one I submitted:  

A freshly baked pie:
Tasty dessert and fragrant
Co-op buyer bait.

A Horse Of A Different Color

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

These two horse-related poems were loosely inspired by this week’s Totally Optional Prompt:

First, a limerick:

A Horse of A Different Color
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There are folks who succumb to a weakness
For races like Belmont and Preakness.
But there’s only one horse
Race I’ll bet on—the course
To the White House—a sign of my geekness?

And now, a haiku about New York City:

Trumpeting cars horns.
Clip-clopping carriage horses.
Central Park Sunday.

(You can find more of my horse humor here.)