Architecture for Real Life?

December 21 is the first day of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere.  Is there any architecture that works in places that actually have SEASONS?

For example, now it is cold here.  I am grateful that I have low ceilings, so less to heat.  However, in the summer I want high ceilings.  (I know, ceiling fans… are universally ugly.  I hate them.) (#2:  Loves her some ceiling fans)

Maybe a cave.  My brick house is not doing it; the temperature lag can be a problem.  It takes a LONG time to heat up, but once it does it stays hot.  This is nice in winter evenings, but not in summer.  In summer it’s like sitting inside my own personal tandoor, slowly stewing at night and wishing I could take the roof off.  Though if I could, that would be wicked drafty in winter.  (#2  Mmmm basement living… I bet you’d like a bunker.)

Current solutions all seem to suck half the time (which half varies).  I fantasize about having a bed on hydraulic lifts:  in the winter I could put it up near the ceiling, next to the shared wall with the warm kitchen.  In the summer I could put it down on the floor, away from the kitchen wall and closer to the windows.

Does anyone have a sane way to build houses for 4-season weather?

Women need MORE MONEY

… not more touchy-feely stuff:  A rant.

AKA, Job satisfaction does not fund your retirement.

I went to a talk where this woman was talking about the new definition of job satisfaction for women in middle age.  First we all filled out a questionnaire with choices between things like “I am focused on success and money in my career” and “I am looking to give back and make a difference with my career.”  After we filled them out, the speaker asked who in the room had chosen mostly things on the right vs. on the left side of the scale.

I was the only person in the room full of women who had chosen predominantly the career- and money-focused side, and not the interpersonal and personal-satisfaction side.  The side that only I chose was apparently the “male” side and the other side was the one that women chose more.  (N.B.: I am a woman.)

Throughout her talk, she was trying to make a point that women who quit high-powered careers are, more and more, quitting to start their own businesses, which is actually a form of success, not failure.

Um.  Not quite.

Women can afford to quit their career and start their own business because their husbands make more than they do.  Most new businesses fail.  Even the ones that succeed have a multi-year process of being in the red and during that time, women aren’t funding their retirement.

Many women don’t have careers at all, only jobs, because of time off for childbearing.  Or they work in areas where there is no opportunity for advancement, because those jobs let them stay home with kids.  The pay disparities between White and Latino/a or Black workers is even worse.

Women need MORE MONEY, not more job satisfaction.  I mean, job satisfaction is nice.  But I was the only one in the room who raised the point that focusing on feeling self-fulfilled might actually HARM women if they are willing to take low pay in return.

SHOW ME THE MONEY, you data-massaging speaker!

(Surprisingly, this post NOT written by the PF half of us.)

#2 comments:  In econ they call the things that make your job suck or sing “compensating differentials.”  If your job sucks, you have to be compensated for it.  If your job is awesome, then you’ll get paid next to nothing, all other things being equal.  Now, there’s definitely a problem that standard economic theory cannot explain when it comes to male-dominated and female-dominated jobs.  Female-dominated jobs are under-compensated compared to male-dominated.  Social work is extremely difficult, has high burn-out rates, requires an advanced degree, and yet pays next to nothing.  That should not be in a standard competitive framework equilibrium.  Economists need sociologists to theorize about why this is, because it is very difficult to figure out unless we posit that women have different tastes on average or women do not have the same options as men for structural reasons (e.g. some type of discrimination).  And both of those are black boxes for the economist.

#1’s post fits nicely with a recent post from Worst Prof Ever about how employers use “feeling needed” to pay women less (whereas in a rational world, that would lead to paying more, as they do for men).  IBTP.  And I want more money.

Pen choice: A conversation while grading

#1:  I definitely prefer carmine to scarlet.  Unfortunately I have two scarlets and only one carmine. The carmine also wears down faster, but it’s so much easier on my hand.  It just kind of flows off.

#2:  Doh.  I use marker.

#1:  I have been known to use crayon.   My favorite are the red rollerball wet ink pens, but they don’t have any in the supply closet.  Just colored pencils.

#2:  I hate fine-point pens.  They are an abomination.  Medium point represent!

#1:  Color?

#2:  Purple.  Some blues.  Some blacks.  Sometimes green.  Occasionally red.

#1:  I like to bleed all over.  It makes the ginormous NO!!!! that much more effective.  Green is kind of like ichor– alien blood all over the paper.

#2:  What is blue? I haz teh bloos?

#1:  You make me so depressed?  Or, I’m too lazy to find a different color pen.  Same with black.

#2:  Purple?

#1:  Bruises.  For our broken souls.

What is your grading implement of choice and why?  Justify your answer in a short paragraph.  (Or you know, a sentence fragment… whichever is easier for us to grade!*)

*Disclaimer:  We will not actually be grading your work.  *shudder*

On the links

Another week in which we’re drowning in grading.  (More tomorrow on that…)

A fun site:  Dear Blank, Please Blank.

A favorite quote from a comment in a blog:  “unless you’re somehow gay and so far in the closet you’re in Narnia.”  Update:  Urgh… the rest of the discussion in there has gotten kind of ugly… especially since they’re saying nasty (untrue!) things about my partner’s family.

What was your best Christmas Present Ever?  Graceful Retirement offers lists from her life and friends.

Related:  Mutant Super Model suggests you don’t buy nothing this season, but that you get into the spirit of Christmas by buying gifts.

My teaching has had no impact.

Worst Prof Ever with a very thought provoking piece on how the man is keeping us down through guilt and making us seem needed.  This nicely juxtaposes with an upcoming post of ours on women not being paid what they’re worth.  It’s nice feeling needed but we want to be paid more because of that, not less!  (My mom got caught in this trap too, until she forewent cancer treatment because the dept needed her to finish the semester, and still taught while she was recovering because they needed someone to teach… and then got no raise because of her low evals that semester.  When you hear you’re needed, use that as a bargaining chip to leverage for more money and time, not less.)

Suba @ wealth informatics explains what the tax deal means to us.  I love the lack of politics and the wealth of information.

Check out this chart from drug monkey on top marginal tax rates.

Hey y’all with the wordpress blogs, please check your spam filters– I think I’m in there!  Either that or a bunch of different bloggers have blocked me.  (Like historiann, eemusings, worstprofever…)  Or I’m seriously going crazy and just imagining typing out witty responses.  (Of course, there’s also a rant or two in there when a blogger hit a pet peeve…)

use this to add spice to lectures next semester
but not this

Oh, man I totally forgot to link… we were featured on molly on money this week!  And we were in the carnival of personal finance too.  Let me dig up those links…


… by which we mean, academic cheating like plagiarism, not adultery.

The first experience is a personal affront.  It makes you angry.  Trust is broken (or something).

After dealing with the academic conduct office at least once, all future catches you just wish would GO AWAY.  You’re angry again but from annoyance not any sort of how could they do this to you.  Stupid cheaters.  If you could just not deal with them, it sure would be nice.

Prosecuting my most recent plagiarizer took over 2 hours out of my life during a very busy week, not to mention the time I spent meeting with her while she cried.  I finally wrote “I have no more time for this” on the form and passed it off to the academic conduct office to continue the process.

In the best case scenario, you meet once, they accept their punishment, apologize profusely, and then LEAVE YOU ALONE.  Anything else leads to time wasted with the conduct office or endless apologies.  I do prefer the apologies to the cases, but seriously, you only have to do it once.

Students:  If you’re going to cheat, please do it well enough that you don’t get caught.  Some of us have no time to deal with your selfish idiocy.

What kind of Christmas tree do you have?

No deep thoughts here.  Just mild curiosity.  We at Grumpy Rumblings will not judge your tree choice one way or the other.

If you celebrate Christmas, what’s your tree?  Real?  Fake?  Green?  White?  Cut?  Potted?  Do you pick it out each year or pull it out of storage?  In Los Angeles there’s a service where you can rent a potted real tree for the season and they set it up and drop it off for you.  I think you can find anything you could possibly want for purchase in Los Angeles.

Do you collect ornaments one at a time?  Do have perfectly matched sets?

#1:  We buy a small rosemary bush cut into the shape of a tree.  Each year I’m optimistic it will stay alive after we plant it, but each year we are disappointed.  This year I’m gonna try to buy late and plant on the 26th instead of waiting for epiphany.  We have a small collection of ornaments given to us by DH’s relatives.  (They say:  “First Christmas together”  “Baby’s First Christmas” and so on.  Also a bunch of homemade ornaments from DH’s Grandma.  I really like these.)

#2:  No tree this year.  Visiting family in real cities for the holidays!  I will enjoy their trees.

And obviously we should have posted this query earlier because we’ve totally been scooped by Lindy Mint and Molly on Money and now A Gai Shan Life.  Tell us anyway, or just link to your tree posts in the comments!

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 21 Comments »

Christmas presents for the family

The following are mixed up across both #1 and #2’s families.  You know, to obfuscate.

FIL:  A light for his grill and a mandolin.

MIL:  An almost top of the line replacement blender.  The $90 one, not the $500 one.

GIL1: A book with questions about her past that she fills out.  And a calendar.

GIL2: A quarter share in a group-purchased Austin Air Filter.

SIL:  $50 to help her meet her goal of getting her credit cards paid off completely by February (wedding debt…)… possibly also YMoYL and All Your Worth… oh, and JD’s excellent tome, Your Money: The Missing Manual

Sister:  Tickets to the Nutcracker and a french press

Mother:  $50 giftcard to local bookstore (as per usual)

Father:  A beard trimmer (he requested one!  He is SO IMPOSSIBLE to shop for)


And any family member who has to get me obligatory gifts– I really do want the stuff on my Amazon list.  Especially the stuff marked “highest” and “high.”  There’s a variety of prices and options.  So if you don’t know what to get me because you don’t know me very well but feel as if you must get me something, my Amazon wish list is a fantastic place to look.  Not saying I don’t appreciate the sugary foods I can’t eat or the perfumey soaps and lotions I can’t use because my body is broken… I’m perfectly happy to pass those on to someone who can (the daycare ladies think we’re amazingly generous).  They’re definitely great gifts and all.  Just saying that getting stuff off my Amazon wishlist brings me extra joy.

We need your help on some other gifts:

The FIL who has everything.

The 30-something-male perfect significant other who is not into sports.  (x2)

What do you suggest?  And what are you all getting for your loved ones (if anything at all)?

(Dumb?) challenge for February?

I like reading about challenges.  No spend challenges.  Compact challenges. Novel writing challenges.   No restaurant challenges etc.  They always seem to bring enlightenment of a sort and a thicker pocket book or thinner waistline to folks.

So far I haven’t done any because I figure my revealed preference is that I don’t want to.

But hey, we have a blog now and maybe we’re missing out.

Have you done one of these challenges?  Was it worthwhile?  Did you learn anything new?

And more importantly:

What challenge should we do and blog about during the month of February?  We are taking your suggestions now!

Maybe we should finally get going on that steampunk challenge over in the left sidebar — ya think?  (and by “we” I mean “me”)

NicoleNMaggie and the Infinite Grading

Dear Students…

We’re doomed.

I was going to say a lot more here about grading, but I think this just about says it all.




Also, an oldie but a goodie, “Can I have an extension?”:


1.  Do laundry

2.  Lose weight

3.  Buy new clothing



1.  Wash hair

2.  Shave head

3.  Suffer)


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