Tuesday night.

Well, I can finally reveal the big news I hinted at a few times before: I finally got promoted! I don’t view this as finally getting to a mid-level position (that of a Financial Analyst II) after 11.5 years – I view this as getting my fourth promotion in less than 12 years. Not bad, considering I started as a seasonal warehouse worker, packing boxes for 60 hours a week. Not bad at all, eh.

Between that, and my permanent residence getting approved, and being able to travel across the border to get my long-awaited vaccine shots… Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

An online buddy from the Vaccine Hunters group just described his Ohio experience: he said the vaccination center was huge and ran like a well-oiled machine. There’s no second appointment for three weeks out – they just told him to come on by when the time comes. Absolutely amazing, given how rare and precious these vaccines are here in Canada. He’ll be spending the entire three weeks with his relatives in Ohio. My own approach… I’m debating between doing something really crazy or being a wise and patient adult.

The really crazy approach would involve me crossing the border, driving up to some big city in Ohio (currently trying to get my vaccination a bit closer to the border: Toledo? Cleveland?), getting a same-day test to show at the border, getting my shot, and driving back. Assuming the test is instant (which it isn’t) and there’s no traffic at the border, I could potentially do the whole thing in about 12 hours – and I don’t mind staying awake longer than that. The wildcard here is the body’s reaction after the shot. My new online buddy says he started feeling the effects about five hours later. I’d still be driving when that happens, but I might not want to get too disoriented behind the wheel.

The wiser and more measured approach would be to rent an AirBnB room for that night (seeing as I’ll drive down on Saturday), sweat it out, and then drive back, calmly and leisurely, on Sunday. The only downside is that that would double the number of days I’ll spend in the States. The weird and antiquated US tax code states that the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) works only if you spend 330 or more days per year outside the country. If you spend more than 35 days in the US, you get taxed as if you were still a resident. (That would be bad.) Spending those extra two days in Ohio would seriously cut into my R&R time in Nevada afterwards. After more than a year of isolation and homecooked meals, even two extra days of hedonism would feel like paradise…

Looking at the map, Toledo is only one hour away from the border crossing, whereas Cleveland is three hours out. Well, if I start to develop a sudden and bad reaction while driving, it’ll be on the Canadian side, just off Toledo. YOLO, eh?

New book I’m munching on: Integrated Science, a general knowledge science textbook that covers a bit of everything. It was published in 2005, so it’s probably more than a little out of date in some areas by now. Still, the parts on chemistry or the nature of light should still be good It’s one of the many textbooks I’ve picked up on a whim at thrift stores over the years… It’s such a strange sensation to know that for just $5 you can buy a book containing condensed knowledge that, say, Newton would’ve killed to get his hands on. All that, for less than an hour of minimum wage. How weird is that?

In covid news, despite all the good updates about vaccines (unless you work at AstraZeneca), cases are still rising worldwide. That’s quite a departure from the downward trend in early February… Vaccines alone won’t stop this. The pandemic is still so far from being over. More locally, here in Ontario the numbers are even more alarming. There are more new cases and more hospitalizations now than at the beginning of the previous lockdown, and 67% of all cases are variants. This is so ugly… Premier Ford said he might call for another lockdown, but didn’t say when. He also advised people not to gather for Easter, but he said that just five days prior to the holiday. It’ll be just like Christmas again: waiting until after the holiday to institute new measures, just so people (who happen to be Christians and not, say, Muslims) get to celebrate together and drive another spike in covid cases… If Ford does announce a new lockdown, it’ll probably be early next week, even as his own epidemiologists are sounding the alarm. What a goddamn mess.

Stay safe, y’all.