RBOC

  • Dear Daycare, why do you always call me first?  My husband does 98% of drop-offs and at least 80% of pick-ups.  He always answers the phone when you call him.  You only get me when I’m in my office.  It says on our card, “Call First” with a big arrow next to “Father’s cell.”
  • Also, no, I would not like to drop by daycare to “encourage” DC2 to get hir picture taken.  If ze’s afraid of the photographer and doesn’t want hir picture taken, we’re fine with that.  Did you notice how we didn’t fill out the form requesting professional pictures?  That’s because we don’t want them.
  • The first new daycare we looked at was great!  Sadly they don’t have an opening in the younger twos room until January and they won’t accept DC2 in the older twos room until January (“liability reasons” “choking hazards”).  Sigh.  One of hir former teachers from the good montessori said hi!
  • The university daycare said yes, we’re still on the list but because of when DC2’s birthday is and when we signed up, we won’t be off the list until next September at the earliest.  Two of my colleagues’ kids are there and they love it.  (We’d be there too if we’d signed up when I was pregnant, but we didn’t know our favorite daycare would go under, and if we’d signed up, we would have gotten off the waitlist before it went under and would have thrown away that slot.  So… without a crystal ball…)
  • I’m now at the point in my career where people introduce themselves to me at conferences sometimes.  Like grad students!  It’s super weird.  But kind of cool.  :)
  • Five months later, finally get DH’s second-to-last travel reimbursement.  They swear it won’t take as long to get the next one.  $1,700 is a lot of money to not have.
  • DH has been cooking for 14 years.  This year we noticed that he has been improvising on recipes for quite some time without a single disaster.  I’ve been cooking since I was 7 years old, so when we married I’d already been cooking longer than that.  It really is just experience, not necessarily a natural ability.
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RBOC

  • We feel unloved by inside higher ed.  Our last few academia posts have been completely ignored.  *snif*
  • Once the rising costs of benefits are taken into account, my raise this year is less than $200/paycheck additional.  Still, it’s nice to have any raise– without a raise my salary would actually be going down in real terms.
  • In positive money news:  For the second time since we got the Civic Hybrid, the expensive electronic battery went wonky.  But… it was still under warranty!  YAY!!!  $2,600 that we didn’t have to pay!
  • DH won’t let me send this email:  “We will be unable to ‘volunteer’.  We pay for daycare because we have to work.”  (In reply to: “Our fall festival is coming up Friday [date]. We need help starting around 9am (for set up) until 1:00pm. Usually we ask parents to work in two shifts. 9-11:00 and 11:00-1pm. Please look at your schedules, see which time will work best for you and sign up for the different booths.”)  Oh well, chances are DC2 will have been kicked out for biting by then anyway.  Probably while DH is away on business near the end of October and I have a p/t meeting and an exam I can’t miss or bring a rambunctious toddler to.  They’ll have to find someone else to bring chips.  (Thank goodness we didn’t get assigned to bring 12 sandwiches like some people were.  What a hassle!)
  • All those h8rs on the internet who say that people who complain about being busy suck?  They suck.  Sometimes a person complains about being busy because they’re @#$#@ing busy [often because of other @#$ers dropping the ball on things they said they’d do].  It’s not like I LIKE being this kind of busy.  I like being generally busy but without the time pressure; then I don’t complain about it– I enjoy it!
  • DC2 just sight-read hir first sight word.  It is, “oops”.  DC1’s first sight word was “zebra.”
  • In case you’re wondering whether pure white countertops in the kitchen and bathroom are a good idea:  They’re not.

RBOC

  • The internet thinks I have one of three things:  1. LPR or silent reflux, 2. a twisted colon, or 3.  an appendix that is planning to burst in a few days.  Fortunately the symptoms are supposed to get a lot worse before my appendix actually bursts.  If we fail to post one of these days it’s probably because #2 is en route to her new home and it hurts for me to sit up.  (See, it’s not GERD because the symptoms go away completely when I lie down instead of getting worse.  My symptoms most match LPR.  LPR is difficult to diagnose and most of the treatments are ineffective, so…)
  • Mint tea seems pretty effective.  Tums not so much.  Baking soda somewhat.  Mylanta, surprisingly not so helpful.  I’m not sure what to make of that.
  • And…. after three days of awful heartburn only soothed by lying down or constantly drinking mint tea… I’m back to normal.  Maybe it’s some kind of virus to go along with the cold.  The body is a mysterious thing.
  • And four days after that, my normally 5+ week cycle (or non-existent cycle, depending) has shortened to 2 weeks.  Peri-menopause?  Thyroid?  Cysts?  Weird reaction to weird illness?  Night weaning?  Who knows.  I guess I’ll wait another 2 weeks to see what happens.  I much prefer non-existent to every 2 weeks.
  • We made the mistake of buying bed-wetting sheets at the grocery store (either for DC2 or for the kitten who pees, or maybe both, we don’t remember), so now every time we’re at the grocery store we get coupons for adult disposable underwear.  Boy have they got our demographic wrong.
  • One of my friends has been trying IVF but the first cycled failed.  It’s very sad.  :(
  • It’s a busy week!  Hopefully we will be more entertaining in the future!

RBOC

  • We got a weird anti-abortion spam claiming to be from a woman with hypermesis gravadim (or however you spell that) saying that she was keeping her baby and it’s really easy to get an abortion in the US in her state and thus must be all over the US and a whole bunch of misinformation about biology… it ended spammily talking about what the person would talk about in hir next blog post (but no link to said post).  So I looked up the whois, and the spam came from the Netherlands.  What is up with *that*?  I wonder if it’s one of those whole sale copy pasting spam thingies (usually these are advertising silver, but this one didn’t have a link), only targeting any post that mentions the word “abortion.”
  • The argument that “gifted kids will do just fine in poor schools because white upper middle class kids who test well do fine no matter what” is offensive on so many levels.  (Hint:  not all gifted kids are white upper middle class kids who test well.)  Perhaps you meant to say “kids identified as gifted through poor identification mechanisms will do just fine in poor schools because white upper middle class kids who test well do fine no matter what.”  Identification as gifted is not actually the same as giftedness and failing to be identified is especially bad for those not white not upperclass gifted kids, especially the ones who don’t test well.  Those gifted kids are also especially screwed over by poor schools since they’re not getting as many second chances.
  • Another weird anti-abortion spam on that same thread, this one advertising some kind of Christian website.  Guess I’ll turn off comments on that thread.
  • Montessori is awesome because after DC2 takes pots and pans out of the cupboard and bangs on them, ze puts them back.
  • DH says, “Don’t wear your potty as a hat!”  Advice for us all.
  • It’s bad to refer to wives as trophies because the idea of a trophy wife is disgusting.  Women aren’t status symbols.  However, I think it’s ok to say a woman is a prize because it can be short for prize-winning, which means they themselves are the best, not just a symbol that her partner is the best.  But maybe we shouldn’t refer to women as prizes either.  I dunno.
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RBOC

  • Whoever is doing these special requests at daycare for things like “funny hat day” or “funny socks day” etc.  needs to stop.  Seriously.  And daycare, what is up with saying, “we have a special request for funny hat day so wear funny hats tomorrow”  TOMORROW?  We are working parents.  Our children go to daycare so we can WORK.  Not spending time finding or creating a funny hat.
  • DC2 has two rocket shirts.  One is red and one is blue.  Ze says, “One rocket, two rocket, red rocket, blue rocket.”  DH notes, “this one has a little star.”  My family is adorable.
  • DH recently did a road trip and saw lots of doughnut shops and churches next to each other.  He said they should be combined so they could have The Church of the Hol(e)y Doughnut.  I didn’t have anything to say in response to that.
  • I gave up on writing my NSF grant like an NSF grant and just wrote it like an NIH grant.  (I may not have used the words, “specific aims” but they were there, oh, they were there.)  That made it much easier.  The weird thing is that before I started writing NIH grants, getting into that specific aims mindset was really hard.  Now I apparently can’t write a grant without them.  I hope it’s ok– I’ve never sat on an NSF panel, but the funded NSF grant examples I have from colleagues don’t have specific aims.  [Update:  didn’t get it in to the deadline because of mess-ups.  We decided to collect some pilot data and aim for the next deadline.  At least it’s almost finished.]
  • I love my husband because when he called to ask if the plumber was coming, he asked for “him or her” without a thought.  (Similar props to David Laibson using “her” in his generic examples during talks, though my love for him is purely academic.)
  • I have now hit the point in my career in which editors send me personal emails asking if I’m willing to do a referee report and apologizing rather than sending them and assuming I’ll be happy about it.  I still got three new referee reports this week… not sure if it’s better or worse with the personal request.  Certainly harder to decline.
  • I had above average publication/service/teaching but got a below average merit raise this past year.  On the one hand, it’s nice getting a raise, but on the other hand, wtf?  This doesn’t even match inflation!
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RBOQ

Wandering Scientist (aka Cloud) has mentioned that age 7 is questioning age for her daughter.  DC1 is also in on it.  As with Cloud, we’ve had lengthy conversations about race and inequality and gay marriage and so on in the past few months.  Here’s some other random conversation starters.

  • What is gummi bear juice made of?  (Answer:  it is a secret!)  Why do gummi bears bounce?  (Answer:  Gummi berry juice!)  Yeah, but why?  For what purpose?  (Answer:  Um, maybe we should hook you up with some of the cartoon episodes on youtube…) There was a tv show?  (Answer:  Yes, that’s where the song came from.)
  • How much pee do you have?  How could we measure it?  How much water is in the pee?
  • How do people make so many cars?
  • Why do people mostly have multiple [significant others] before they get married?  Why didn’t daddy?  Why didn’t you know what love is until you met daddy?  Why is the type of love you have for your parents different than for daddy?  Is the type of love for us different? How many types of love are there?
  • Why is Boston so big?  Why do people live in cities?  Why is there more stuff in cities?
  • Do you wish you could be daddy?

RBOC

  • Dear sports writers saying that Don Sterling’s big mistake (compared to other less well-publicized racists, I guess) was that he can’t “control his women”?  You know how black people aren’t property?  Turns out women aren’t either.
  • Actually, we’re sickened by all of the sexism and misogyny in the discussion of the Don Sterling thing.  All the gawd-awful comments about his wife and the woman on the tape.  Yet another way that the patriarchy is preventing anything actually being done about wide-spread racism, while bolstering its entrenched sexism.  Thanks patriarchy!
  • I looked up Don Sterling and misogyny because *surely* we weren’t the only folks to notice the misogyny in the commentary.  Well, turns out even the original story is full of sexism and misogyny too (note:  we hadn’t listened to the tapes, just the reporting about them), but nobody is paying attention to that, because wimmin, who cares, they really are property.  Here’s some [possible triggers] commentary.  Which is not to downplay the racism AT ALL.  But neither racism NOR sexism (nor their intersection!) should be tolerated.
  • I got a haircut.  The first after um, 14 months.  It’s a bob, because everybody else is getting bobs.  It took a week for anybody to say anything about it at work.  And another half week for anybody else to say anything.  Talking to my two RAs about it after the second person noticed (one of my RAs was the first person to notice), I said, “Either it doesn’t look any different from before and nobody has noticed, or it looks terrible and people are just being polite by not saying anything.”  One RA (the one who noticed) said, “People probably just aren’t noticing because they’re busy and the school year’s over.”  The other RA said, “Who knows?  It will always be a mystery.”  I told the first one, “Good answer” and the second, “Bad answer.”
  • In case you were wondering what this economist thinks about the Ta-Nesi Coates article in the Atlantic.  It’s excellent.  It actually gave me a lot of flashbacks to when I took Race in the Economy as an undergrad– Reparations were in the news back then too, and again, used as a starting point for discussions about what is actually feasible (IIRC, reparations were not feasible just from a logistical standpoint) and how and why we need to still do things to level the playing field.  My prof had been a beneficiary of affirmative action hirself and a big takeaway from that class was also that housing segregation has terrible consequences on many levels.  We read a lot of William Darity Jr. (Sandy to his friends) in that class, and Coates has as well.  Since then I’ve read a lot more and taken more classes and taught a lot more about disparities and discrimination.  An important and complicated subject and yes, we need another War on Poverty.  Inequality is getting worse, not better, in this country.  And we’ve had periods of time in which it was getting better.  It’s not impossible to make things better, even if we might never get to perfect, there’s a heck of a lot more we could be doing, and a lot we could stop doing, to bring back the American Dream for everyone.
  • My mom sometimes depresses me by talking about the state of the world.  It’s in pretty terrible shape, but she has hope that it’ll get so bad that it’ll turn around.  She lived through the 60s, after all.  I fear it’s already gotten so bad but we haven’t turned around.  We haven’t rebelled against our 1% overlords.  We’ve had chances and they didn’t work out.  And I wonder how the world would have been different in 2014 if Al Gore had been president.  Would 2014 be more like what my naive self thought it would be, moving forward instead of backward?  Or would it just have been 4 years delaying some inevitability.  (But maybe it would have been Jeb instead of W… who knows?)
  • [update]  The news depresses me.  And never ever read the comments section.  Especially when the article is about women.
  • I want to show you a video that DH and DC1 made, but WordPress says I would have to pay to do it (and I’m too lazy to remember my login to photobucket).  So no break-dancing Lego squirrel for you.
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