Link Love

Famous authors speak out about harassment at conventions.  And it happens all the time(!)  And their stories are similar– it’s the same guys over and over again, never being forced to stop.  That it should become expected and considered the norm is beyond the pale.  It needs to stop.  Here are Maria Dahvana Headley, Cherie Priest(!), Kat Howard, Stephanie Vahn, the original Elise Matthesen post… I’m sure there’s more we’re missing.  Related is an excellent discussion by Mary Robinette Kowal— there are some horror stories in the comments as well.

There is a war on women going on at the state level.  This week I gave money to planned parenthood in honor of Wendy Davis.  But Texas is going to try to limit women’s right to choose again on July 1st.  What can we do?

On a lighter note, here’s one path to making ring wraiths.

Kory Stamper with editorial correspondence I can’t send.

Excelsior Bev with a cute baby picture.

Little white lion with a clean bathroom.

Geeks vs nerds scientific-like.

Tiny cat pants with something scary weird if true.

Star turtle needed.

Oh, and back to feminisms.  If you’ve had too much time since your last discussion of choice feminism and/or leaning out, Not of general interest and Ferule and Fescue both provide outlets.

Also… a dream shattered.  To think I cried when he died because I’d never get to meet him.  At least my other childhood hero, Martin Gardner, is still reputed to be a stand-up citizen and all around nice guy.

BTW, we were going to eventually finish this abortion post (based on an article by Judith Jarvitz Thompson), but Jim C. Hines wrote it this week instead.

Finally, we were an editor’s pick in last week’s carnival of personal finance.  WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Google me this

Q:  what if i don’t sleep train

A:  Then the world ends and it is all your fault.  Thanks for playing.  Just kidding!  If you don’t sleep train your kid will most likely sleep on hir own at some point.  It’ll be ok.

Q:  depression has sucked the life out of me whats the point

A:  We could give a really flip answer here about chocolate or dried food bits under the couch, but instead we’ll take it seriously and tell you, please get help.  Make a call to your doctor, a friend, or a hotline [link to hotline here].

Q:  what are the average grades of a preschooler who takes regular naps

A:  Um… preschools give grades?

Q:  is tiaa-cref or vanguard better

A:  Vanguard, but TIAA-CREF is great too.  Also, if you need a little more handholding, TIAA-CREF is a little better at that, and may be worth the small additional expense to get it.

Q:  do you have to have plans every weekend

A:  Laura Vanderkam says yes.  We say, “Hell NO.”

Q:  each generation believes that their generation is better than the next generation. why is this true and untrue? please support your answer.

A:  Did your professor SAY you could completely plagiarize from the internet?  We’re guessing no.

Q:  money mustache realistic?

A:  I don’t see why not.  Is he replicable?  Well, if your utility function looks *exactly* like his, then sure.  But don’t worry, there are lots of perfectly wonderful lives you can be leading that don’t involve owning a giant house, running a carpentry business, biking everywhere, having exactly one kid, etc.

Q:  can you pay someones property taxes and they still have a mortgage

A:  Yes

Q:  grades in grad school?

A:  Yes, usually there are, at least for the first couple years.

Q:  does a moustache make you grumpy

A:  Depends upon how skritchy it is when kissing.  (And, of course, only my partner’s moustache or lack thereof matters.)

Telepathy in fiction

We read a lot of fantasy and speculative fiction around here.  The other day I was reflecting on how the use of telepathy in fiction is HILARIOUS.

Telepathy is SUCH a convenient plot device for a writer.  Want another character to know something?  They’re telepathic!  Want them to NOT know something?  The other person is telepathically shielding!  It’s the greatest dodge ever.

The device is so cheesy, and yet so useful (thinking as a writer).  Broadcast a mental distress call!  Or suddenly get cut off from contact!  Aliens are telepathic.  Or they’re the only ones who aren’t.  They have a hive-mind.  A stranger lands in a strange society.  How to deal with being mind-blind… or being the only one who isn’t.  What is the nature of individuality, of community, of self?  Are there special pair-bonds that let you hear each other?  Is there one-way or two-way or multi-way communication?  Feelings only (telempathy), thoughts only, or both?  Two or more humans?  A human and a magical animal?  So!  Many! Plots!

Sometimes I think it would be fun to be telepathically projecting for a while, but then I realize that would only stir the pot and people would come out with pitchforks.

Readers, we rely on you for amusement and chuckles.  Have you seen this done really well?  What should we read?  Or, have you seen it done ludicrously badly?  Spill!

What’s your theme music?

My sister was recently maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding.

For the reception, they requested that she pick some music to introduce her before her speech or something.

“So, basically, they want you to pick your own theme music?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she replied.

“That seems like a trap!” I said.

“I know!  If it weren’t a wedding, I’d pick Don’t Rain on My Parade, but somehow it doesn’t seem fitting.  Or Loads of Lovely Love from No Strings.”

“You just want money, a nice position, and loads of lovely love?”

“Who doesn’t?” she asked.  “How about Side by Side by Side?”

“Company is so bittersweet.  Really anything Sondheim isn’t wedding appropriate.”

“Nope.  If I can’t think of anything good I’m defaulting to Dancing Queen, or maybe Good Morning Baltimore cause I used to wake [best friend] up to that.  Or maybe Come So Far to Go, but that might be insulting,” and then it was time for her to board the airplane.

So I asked around.  My partner suggested the Knight Rider theme song, or Magnum PI, but I think that we’re of a slightly different generation than she is.  My mom noted she probably shouldn’t do “Baby I Was Born This Way.”  No mom, she probably shouldn’t.

In the end, she went with “Friendship” from Anything Goes.  Which is a nice song (and better for a wedding than Bosom Buddies!), but maybe not so much of a theme song for an individual.

I have to admit, I’d be kind of stumped on this question if I were asked.  Maybe Loads of Lovely Love after all… she’s right– who doesn’t want money, a nice position, and loads of lovely love?

#2 says: I’ve always thought about what should be my theme music, but nothing seems great enough to truly capture me.

What’s your theme song?

Expanded ramblings on extreme living

I like restaurants and fancy food and not biking in Southern heat.  That doesn’t make me a complainypants.  Also, there’s no way we’re jettisoning daycare or private school.

I’m ambitious and competitive, and a career is a safe place to be that.  However, if I wanted to super-size focus on that, I’d do more outsourcing.  We really don’t do much of that other than regular daycare and a meal or two a week.

I don’t want to make the sacrifices to be an extreme frugalista.  I don’t want to make the sacrifices to be at the tippity top of my field.  The end goal of either of those outcomes isn’t what I want either.

Sure, I’d love to be financially independent.  But not enough to go extreme with early retirement.  I like my career.   We couldn’t both quit and live off our savings now unless we wanted to move back to DH’s hometown (pop 3000 and falling) or someplace similar.  That is to say, we could totally early retirement extreme on what we have saved now, but we don’t WANT to.  Not if it means homesteading someplace with bad libraries.  I like fancy food and access to culture and so on.  Not to say that extreme retirement bloggers don’t have those, but they are potential trade-offs depending on where you settle and how much you have saved.

As much as we love our wonderful children, there’s no way on earth we could spend 24/7 alone with our non-sleeping incredibly active brilliant progeny.  Sure, once they’re both school-age, but not before they can both entertain themselves.  Outsourcing hours of childcare is a must.  Childcare and private school alone are 20K/year, and that’s non-negotiable.  (I always roll my eyes a bit at the “other people raising your children” garbage… I’d love to see them spend a 24 hour period alone with our well-behaved but energetic kids without getting completely worn out.  Even my super-fit little sister can’t handle it.)

I like being able to throw money at problems.  I would get bored without a career and I’d rather make money than, say, turn off the a/c when it is 100+ degrees outside.  I wouldn’t be happy with a lot of the things many retirement bloggers do to entertain themselves in their free time– without a career I would need more expensive things to keep me busy (or I would get into trouble).  Either books or the ability to live someplace with awesome libraries.  Travel (which I get enough of through work now) without slumming (camping:  not my idea of a good time).  Housework (other than cooking) just isn’t my idea of fun.   I grew up in an ERE-like household in many respects and I’m done with it.  I like having and spending money on things like a/c and a dishwasher.

We have made sacrifices in the past to get where we are today.  Fancy cheese eating didn’t come until we were debt free and had a nice lump of saving.  We took care of ourselves before getting luxuries, but luxuries are nice.

I’m not putting as much time and effort into my career as I could because I do spend some time taking care of family and house things.  I don’t plan all my free time to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of it.  Outsourcing everything is a pain because good help is hard to find.  Doing some chores like laundry together is a fun family activity in our house. I tend not to buy stuff.

It shouldn’t seem so odd to have to justify why you’re not going to extremes either way.  Most of us who are living below our means enjoy some of the nicer things in life while investing but not putting everything into our careers.  And yet, if you spend too much time on the internet, sometimes it feels brave and daring to say no, I’m not going to bike in this heat.  And no, I’m not going to hire someone to do my laundry.  And to say both of those at the same time, when they seemingly contradict themselves… horror.

But that’s kind the way things are for most of us.  Diminishing marginal returns set in at a certain point and we end up investing and saving and spending about where we want to be (given our budget constraints).  And that’s a good thing!  Even if it doesn’t pay the bills from our blog incomes.  Balance is harder to sell than extremes.

Do you practice and/or preach extreme living?  Where do you fall on the spectrum?  Are you a point or a range?

link love

The GOP is at it again with their war on women.

Beangirls talks about leaving academic science.

Cheese and responsibility is back from vacation.

Feral homemaking turned our snippy comment post on its head and asked what makes you want to read a blog.

Dame Eleanor discusses the role of overconfidence on doing anything hard!

Not of general interest discusses that slate article on women, children and academia.

Ferule and Fescue with some great tips for new faculty members, especially regarding that whole don’t get paid for a while thing.

Jane Eyre for babies.  Not sure how we feel about that.

Intersectionality, a fun guide by Miriam Dobson.

Tenured Radical points out that we are obviously at the wrong school in the wrong positions.  Also she provides reasons to quit your job— we think the parking one is totally reasonable.

Zia Narratora with an example of unintentional implicit bias.  The interesting thing is that 15% were women, meaning it seemed to the dude like there were equal numbers.

Ombailamos says, here’s a book.

The oatmeal discusses living with your significant other.  (NSFW!)

Baby didn’t get the time to sleep memo.

We were in this week’s carnival of personal finance.

Ask the grumpies: Delay getting the book out?

Sapience asks:

Do you have any suggestions on this issue for someone who is in a book field, but isn’t going straight into a TT position? I have a 3-year post-doc that I’m starting, and some faculty at my doctoral institution have cautioned me against getting my book out too early, because then it might not count for tenure if/when I manage to get a TT. But getting a contract would probably help me actually land a tenure track position. I do have articles in the pipeline (one not related to the diss that is in a collection that just got a contract, and one spun-off from the diss that I presented at a conference last May). I’ll add that I’m unsure whether or not I need a break from the dissertation topic; I’m not sick of it at all yet, but I can’t tell if I need more perspective on the project before I begin the heavy lifting of revising.

So, take our advice with a grain of salt, and let’s hope we get lots of feedback from people who know their stuff (Dame EleanorUndineDr. CrazyHistoriann? — may have to pop over to some blogs to give a nudge).

You have more than one book in you. Your letter writers will think much more highly of you the earlier your book is published, and the sooner you make a name for yourself, the easier it will be to get more published.  Either the book will be a book once you’ve started your job and it will count, or it will be a book before you’ve started your job and that makes you a bit of a rockstar, and chances are you’ll have a second book out before you’re up for tenure.  And that will mean stronger letters, and a better position.

So, see what happens, and don’t intentionally work less.  Continue to work on your book and to produce articles.

If you’re not sick of the topic, go ahead and start revising!

Grumpy Nation, what advice do you have for Sapience?