RBOC

  • Nice Kitty suddenly decided zie is a lap kitty.
  • Before Christmas, my windshield wiper fluid started leaking and the tank and lines had to be replaced.  $150
  • After Christmas, my car battery died and we had to replace it.  $150 (DH and DC1 did the replacement themselves, saving on repair costs and time without car).
  • DC2 read Charlotte’s Web for the first time and cried and cried and cried.  But zie was excited to meet Charlotte’s daughters.  Does anybody not have that reaction when reading CW for the first time?  DH and I both did the same so many decades ago.
  • DC2’s school is doing Scholastic again this year.  We just got the second flyer and I dropped $300+.  Some of that was for DC1!  But we are rapidly expanding our selection of books en espanol.
  • We’d planned to get DC1 a bike for hir birthday because zie is too big for hir current bike.  But… turns out zie is still too small for the next size up and we didn’t want to just buy a bike without trying it out first.  So we had to have a family conference about what to get hir instead after the fact.  Zie picked a bunch of Pokemon manga.
  • I continue to be worn out from work.  I definitely do not want to be promoted to full any time soon because it is already just too much service.  Not for a 10% raise anyway.  Now, if it were a 40K raise, then I might decide it was worth it.
  • I was looking at our electric bill going, man, we’re using a lot more electricity than we did this time last year. What has changed? Then I remembered we bought an electric car
  • neither of my kids knows what a tater tot is.  I feel oddly uncomfortable about them not having this piece of cultural knowledge… but not enough to buy tater tots.
  • Got asked to be an associate editor for a third tier journal… one I wouldn’t ever publish in myself, while not being embarrassing, per se.  But it’s like 1/12 of the work I had as an associate editor on a top journal (although finding people willing to review will be much harder)… so should I just say yes?  Or do I just say no?  [update:  I said yes.]
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18 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. Steph Says:

    I don’t think I had tater tots until high school, but definitely not in elementary. Someone else will feed them one eventually :)

    As an editor on that kind of journal, do you think you can do anything to change people’s perceptions of it? I wonder about this when I’m refereeing – for example, I got sent a paper that wasn’t very good, but on par with the quality of stuff that usually gets published in that particular journal, so I spent a lot of time on my report and basically forced them into making it a better paper. I don’t know whether it mattered in the long run, but at least I was happier about citing that paper later on.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      This isn’t one that publishes bad papers, but it is one of the journals where when I’m a referee I don’t reject but spend a lot of time forcing people to turn their papers into papers that could have been published in better journals. I’m probably going to do some outreach for suggesting people to send papers as well.

  2. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I STILL tear up at CW, I can’t handle animal stories.

    Those Scholastic flyers were like the shining beacon of WANT of my childhood. Even now, even when I know better, I want to buy ALL THE THINGS to paper over that book starvation starting from first grade when I’d walk into the library during recess when they we’re hosting the book fair and run into piles and piles of books I couldn’t have because we had no money. JB has lots and lots of books and books from the library to boot. It’ll be ok.

    When is normal for kids to learn about tator tots? I love them but stopped buying them in my gluten free experimenting. Can’t recall having them before teenhood though. Thanks

    Did you see a comparable drop in your gas spending to match the electricity increase?

  3. Ana Says:

    But Tater Tots are SO DELICIOUS. I make the most unhealthy concoction for myself “tater tot nachos” wherein I melt cheese on top and add sour cream and green onions and jalepenos….yummmm…I actually haven’t had it in a couple years, may need to buy some tots

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’ve been wondering if it’s just more of a midwestern thing? Or if it’s a change of the times? It’s not like we don’t have potato products everywhere around here… just not tater tots.

      • Debbie M Says:

        It’s not just a midwestern thing: tater tots are definitely around in Texas. Sonic (southern fast food restaurant) has them, plus many sit-down restaurants give you a choice of fries or tots. And the fries aren’t always good, but it’s hard to mess up tater tots.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        The last time I had tatertots (at a restaurant) they were still kind of frozen in the middle…

      • Debbie M Says:

        Aw, so sad!

  4. Donna Freedman Says:

    Oh, those Scholastic flyers…I remember not asking for books because my family was pretty broke. But one day, probably in the second grade, I showed it to my mom and she said, “Which ones do you want?” What?!? If I recall correctly, I was able to order five or six. I was rich! Rich! RICH!

    As for “Charlotte’s Web,” pretty sure everyone cried at the end. Especially the part about Charlotte dying:

    “She never moved again. Next day, as the Ferris wheel was being taken apart and the race horses were being loaded into vans and the entertainers were packing up their belongings and driving away in their trailers, Charlotte died. The Fair Grounds were soon deserted. The sheds and buildings were empty and forlorn. The infield was littered with bottles and trash. Nobody, of the hundreds of people that had visited the Fair, knew that a gray spider had played the most important part of all. No one was with her when she died.”

    Yep, I’m puddling up.

    If I were going to be buried instead of cremated, I would like a rewrite of the book’s last two lines on my headstone:

    “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Donna was both.”

    My other CW link: My older sister’s teacher read the book out loud and she told me about it. When my dad took us to the library, I found CW and tried to check it out — but the librarian wouldn’t let me. She said it was too old for me because “you can’t read yet.”

    At the time I was probably five years old, maybe six? My sisters tried to tell her that I’d been reading for quite a while and the librarian looked skeptical. She opened the book to the first page and said, “Read that.”

    I obediently took the book and started reading. At the end of the first page she took it back from me and allowed me to check it out. #literaryvictory

  5. FF Says:

    I guess I’ll be the odd one out– I really liked Charlotte’s Web when I read it in first grade. But I did not cry — in fact, I don’t think I ever cried over books or movies when I was a child (maybe not until after one of my parents died when I was in my late teens). Although I do cry more readily now over books and movies, the excerpt Donna posted still doesn’t really melt my (apparently) hard, hard heart.

    I did love those Scholastic Book orders! Probably my favorite thing about elementary school.

    We had Tater Tots in NYC when I was growing up. They’re not just for Midwesterners, although they were more or less as-is, not, for example, in casseroles. I see organic and sweet potato knockoffs now, too. A few years ago, it was a thing for restaurants to have “gourmet” versions.

    And hooray for Nice Kitty!

  6. Cloud Says:

    Next time you’re in my neck of the woods I can direct you to many quite good burger/pub-type restaurants that offer tater tots as an alternative to fries if you want to fix the tater tot thing without having to actually buy a whole bag at the grocery store.

    But as far as holes in cultural knowledge go, this seems like a harmless one!

    I’m sorry your work is wearing you out. That sucks.

  7. First Gen American Says:

    Alexa makes a tater tot that’s not bad. I have never had them before then though.


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