Why I am voting for Biden’s team (even though I’m not crazy about him)

Biden is not my first choice.  I think there are probably credible allegations.  I think he’s probably not the person he once was in terms of being mentally all there anymore.  I’m not excited about his candidacy and I really hope he picks a vice president I can get behind.

But for the next election these are my main goals.

  1. Get rid of the fascists in the Whitehouse
  2. Get rid of the racists in the Whitehouse
  3. Get back to something resembling evidence-based policy (this was further down before, but the pandemic has moved it up)
  4. Get rid of Russian spies in the Whitehouse
  5. Get rid of personal corruption in the Whitehouse, or at least get it down to much smaller levels that don’t hurt so many people

(After this there’s a much longer list, but these are the main ones that I feel pretty inflexible on that I do not think are too much to ask of anyone)

I am fairly confident that 1, 2, 3 and 5 will happen with Biden.  I think some of 4 will happen as well, but not to the extent that a Kamala Harris or an Elizabeth Warren would have cleaned house.

Having talked to some folks “in the know” earlier this primary season, I was convinced that Biden will bring back Obama’s people as staff and in appointed positions.  This is a good thing.  Agencies that have been destroyed can just be replaced rather than being rebuilt.  I’m voting for the infrastructure, not for the candidate himself.

So… I will be voting for the lesser of two evils in the Fall.  I hope you will join me.  And if Biden really does pick an awesome VP, I hope you’ll vote for the ticket, that you’ll campaign for the ticket, because of her.

Whoops—no post today

I thought I had one scheduled and couldn’t think what it was and when I checked laaaate Sunday night I realized I didn’t.  Oops!

I’m booked with end of the semester stuff so an actual substantive post isn’t going to happen.

What are you up to this week?

link love

This thread from the daughter of an ICU doctor

Suggestions for making over a rental kitchen

We’re not the only ones spending a huge amount of time thinking about food management.  Everyone must be these days, and it must be horrible for people who can’t just throw money at problems.  I still want to complain about the #firstworldproblems stress though… different people have been doing instacart (which partners with our preferred grocery) from before, and last weekend this white dude with a very nice car not only didn’t use the system properly at ALL (not telling us about substitutions or refunds), but he also gave us NUTRITIONAL YEAST (which gives me headaches and is both expensive and useless) instead of actual yeast, gave us way more loose items than we asked for (apples/avocados/etc), gave us more expensive versions of so many different things (I’m guessing he thought he was getting tipped on %… initially I’d thought oh, this is all that’s in stock, but …), AND he charged us $17 for a couple of things I’m now fairly certain he bought for himself since they were things not available from the website (initially I’d thought he’d charged us for someone else’s order, but in the 3 days it took to get the powers that be to pay attention to our complaint, I realized there weren’t pictures for those items because you cannot order them online, like a lemon meringue pie slice, for example).  So… this week we’re doing curbside from the other grocery store that I don’t like as much.  The instacart stuff was great initially, but we’ve been getting more terrible dudes with fancy cars and fewer people who know/care what they’re doing.

This is a neat idea— I’d like to see lots of people’s houses!

Ask the grumpies: Things for an 8 year old to look forward to this summer (that don’t involve leaving the house)

Z asks:

My daughter (age 8) has been complaining that now that our summer trip has been canceled, there’s no longer anything to look forward to.  I have to admit I feel the same way too.  We’d been planning on meeting up with the grandparents in Florida and she had fun summer daycamps planned that are probably cancelled.  She’s been asking how Belle can sound so happy when she’s singing, “every day like the one before” and how can Belle feel lonely if she has so many people to say hello to every morning. (If you can’t tell, we purchased a Disney+ subscription.)  Do you have any ideas for things that she could look forward to that don’t involve things that could increase Covid 19 infections?  Any ideas for things that *I* (middle-aged woman) could look forward to?  Our library is still closed and it has been taking a lot longer than usual to get e-books.  We have some extra money that we would have spent on Florida and camp, but not infinite amounts.

I feel your pain so hard.  Our 7 year old has been similarly mopey.  DH and I have been talking about it.  Could we *drive* to see grandparents if we’re good about social distancing?  But that would really involve avoiding gas station restrooms (do not want to inadvertently kill grandparents) and I’m just not ready to go by the side of the road or the even more unnerving things one reads truckers doing.  :/  We have been face-timing and zooming with relatives but it’s just not the same at all.  (Maybe we could set up time with grandma to work on the same crafts?  But that seems like something more fun in person than long-distance.)  So… that just doesn’t seem like it’s enough.

So DH and I have been thinking really hard and tried to remember the kinds of things that we looked forward to when we were younger and our parents couldn’t afford regular vacations.  I was like… books?  But without the library that’s hard.  One can buy books, but new books are usually hardback and I’m not crazy about hardback (this is a me problem, not a universal problem).  Still… we’ve got the third Nikki Tesla on the list once school ends and it comes out in July.  I may order the rest of the Jim Benton books that DC2 doesn’t have since they’ve taken over my electronic wishlist and I’m only allowed to have 10 books on hold at any time.  There’s also a few Gordon Korman books that zie would like, but I have to be more careful with those– Son of the Mob is neither age nor interest appropriate (I still maintain that the best Gordon Korman books were the ones he wrote as a teenager, but those are harder to get).  (All amazon links are affiliate links.)

DH immediately thought about games and looked at the list of things coming out for various video game outlets this summer.  DC2 is seriously into Pokemon, so we’ve decided to tell hir that once school is out we will get hir the new paired Pokemon games for the switch.

Another suggestion:  Does your daughter want to redo some or all of her room?  We recently repainted the shelves in DC2’s closet and it really brightened the place up.  Depending on your daughter’s preferences, now might be a good time to upgrade a bed or paint furniture or add a bookcase, or even just rearrange the furniture (maybe remove some of the stuff she’s outgrown) etc.; if she is interested, it might be fun for her to do a lot of the planning.

One of the most exciting things that has happened with us since the pandemic was when my sister sent us frozen stuffed pizzas from tastes of chicago (not an affiliate link)– I’ve definitely upped my ordering from specialty places like nuts.com and vomfass and southernseason and penzey’s and our favorite tea place in the local city so on (not affiliate links).  I’ve been contemplating getting something crazy like mail ordering fancy ice cream or something baked even though grocery stores have decent premium ice cream (though generally only Ben and Jerry’s and Haagandaaz) and DH has been baking up a storm… but you know, just to have something made by someone else.   We thought about ordering sushi grade fish online, but balked at the $50 s/h fee.  We’re not quite there yet.  To be honest, right now I’m feeling a little sad that I’ve run out of things I’m dying to get at nuts.com.  I want more variety!  But retail therapy had been working for me for a while there.

I would also love any ideas that anyone from grumpy nation has.  I saw an awesome comment on a blogpost about having a treasure/surprise bag to go through for younger kids with toys and activities after chores are done (I can’t find the specific post– will link here if anyone remembers).   Our DC1 (age 13) was already planning on starting a youtube channel and learning video editing this summer, so those plans haven’t changed– zie is mostly focused on the AP World History exam right now and hasn’t had a chance to be angsty, unlike poor DC2.

What are you and yours looking forward to this summer?  Do you have any suggestions for things to plan or places to buy random fun stuff from?

p.s.  my dc2 has a birthday in late summer and usually gets 2-3 celebrations over the month—in-laws, us, my sister … need to be thinking how to make our single little family celebration more special than just presents, a cake and a song with dinner since zie usually also gets a party at grandma’s with the cousins during summer vacation and a day out with my sister on a later weekend.

Are you tired of quarantine posts?

For a long time, anything that wasn’t a pandemic post seemed bizarre and out-of-touch (I still feel that way about Club Thrifty’s sponsored travel “Is this travel pass right for you” posts… one has to wonder.)

Recently I ran out of things to say what with finals and everything else and so a week of posts written before the pandemic finally got to run.

It seemed ok.  Except Friday.  (Almost) Nobody wanted to talk about art on Friday.

I’m still reading lots of pandemic posts.  I’m still interested in how other people are handling everything.  Though like OMDG, there’s a set of these that I’m just not interested in.

What about you?  Has what you read (blogs, news articles, twitter, etc.) changed over this time period?  What kind of current events information do you find yourself drawn to?  


  • Sounds like we can get refunds on our unused dependent daycare account.  WHEW.
  • I guess I’m going to schedule my annual mammogram?  DH got his cpap machine (about a month after what would have been normal in the before times– he did the sleep studies before Spring Break) and got it fitted.  There was almost nobody at the clinic– the doors were locked and he was the only person in the waiting room.  I assume the mammogram place will be similar and there will probably be a wait.  Since my mother had breast cancer, I’m higher risk.
  • DH has decided he likes yoga, so we’re only doing yoga with Adriene.  I had been planning on trying Richard Simmons or Jane Fonda, but yoga is fine.
  • I don’t currently have a doctor.  My doctor quit her practice in March and is supposedly starting a new one in a month, but it sounds like she may not be taking our insurance.  I don’t want to deal with insurance.  I’m not sure how to find a new doctor.  One of my friends who had the same doctor is going to keep her and pay out of network and deal with the paperwork… but…  So we’ll see what happens.
  • I have the best kids (DC2 sometimes still has tantrums/whines/general grumpiness/needs/etc. but overall I should not complain… it’s more of a some days are rough thing than an every day is rough thing) and the best husband ever… and yet I still have a hard time focusing at work (whether or not there’s a deadline in front of me).  To be honest, this burnout happened before the Pandemic, but it doesn’t help to have extra interruptions and the increased mental load of organizing food purchases in an imperfect retail space.  Part of the problem with working from home before the pandemic was that I was always getting interrupted at home, so my habits got bad.  Now that I’m forced to work from home… have they improved?  I don’t know.  I guess we’ll see what happens when my final exams are graded and I have nothing but space.
  • I feel super guilty when I have time to myself (say, the kids are watching a movie) and I cannot focus and spend the time on the internet or reading a novel.  I feel like I NEED the novels.  So I shouldn’t feel guilty.  But I wish I could have the interruptions/squabbling/whining when I’m trying to relax and can take the break instead of when I’m trying to get work done.
  • Southwest keeps changing the flight times for DC1’s summer camp.  I do not know if this summer camp is actually going to happen.  If it does happen, I’m still leaning towards sending hir…  I do wish they would cancel sooner rather than later though.
  • Like other universities, we’re going to find out sometime in July whether we’re teaching online or hybrid in the Fall.  My colleagues have so many questions that cannot be answered until July.  I’m feeling remarkably zen about this, even though I know I will not be as able to do a good job teaching stats in either an only or a hybrid environment.  I’m not sure which I would prefer though.
  • I’m glad DH and the kids finished Pandemic Legacy last year.  It seems less of a fun game these days.
  • I think this is the longest that I’ve been without any sort of minor ailment picked up from one of the kids.  DC2’s nose has been neither plugged nor drippy for at least a month now.  It’s weird knowing that most likely any ailment is allergies (so zyrtec fixes it right away) or hormones or air pressure or something I ate (or in the case of Vit D, didn’t eat) and not a bug.  Like, I’m not picking anything up from my students or from my kids’ schools.
  • I’m not sure how I feel about the cpap machine.  When DH is on his back it doesn’t make any noise and he doesn’t snore, so I sleep better.  When he’s on his side, the thing gets off kilter a bit and starts whistling and wakes me up.  DH isn’t sure how he feels either, though he’s more concerned about his jaw clenching more than usual and about it rubbing under his nose too much.
  • We finally cut DC1’s hair.  We did not cut DC2’s because DC2 has been cutting hir own.  DC1’s hair looks very much like it did when zie was 4 (when DH used to cut it).  DC2’s hair looks very… interesting.  Zie got tired of bangs being too long so just… cut them off?  There’s kind of a buzz cut thing going in the front now.

Link love

I totally feel like this.

Shelter in place resources.

Paula Pant’s story of having corona-virus.   Well worth the read.

Snapshot 4 of life in the time of coronavirus

Tired of cooking and think it’s time your 7 or 8 or older year old learned a few basic skills?  Simple meals for kids to cook.  Also we have a couple favorite cookbooks for kids.

ask the grumpies: What art do you like?

Leah asks:

Do you like art? If yes, what is your favorite period of art? I really enjoy modern Dutch art from the Mondriaan era.

Of course we both like impressionist paintings because you have to if you live in the Midwest. Similarly Magritte.  I don’t think there’s a choice, for the same reason.

I love Dutch masters with a bazillion things going on in them… think Bruegel and Bosch.  Though there’s this one dude who has a ton of paintings of monkeys named Teniers  who I first saw at the Prado and I immediately got a poster of his work– a painting of a zillion paintings in it.  I guess I love clutter?

I’m also a fan of the opposite– I like Miro a lot, especially the ones with the long squiggly lines and bright bold colors.  Generally I prefer whimsical and cheery modern/post-modern art to darker emotions.

Really there’s not much art I dislike except the stuff that is obviously misogynistic/racist or smells bad.  There’s a lot of truly modern art that is just meh (I like to joke that if I don’t understand something, it must be art), but it hasn’t stood the test of time.  I really loved the art history class I took in high school.

Magic cards…

Grumpy Nation, what art do you like?