• I did not get a raise this year, but I was also not expecting one!  I’m just glad that I didn’t get an implicit pay-cut by having my retirement match cut like lots of other people are (more on that in a future post when I get some time).
  • I am way behind on reimbursements.  At this point I’m not even entirely sure what I’ve gotten reimbursed and what I haven’t.
  • I WAYYYYY overpromised things this year.  I think I have 3 separate papers that have not yet been written that I have promised to… 5 different conferences.  Fortunately the one that’s been promised to 3 conferences has an active coauthor who is taking the lead.  I also have a bunch of papers that are *almost* done that are not being presented anywhere and just need to be cleaned up a bit and submitted.  But those last few robustness checks, or last rewritings… can take a while.
  • If I think about everything that I have due between October and February I get really panicky.  But if I just focus on the next two deadlines it isn’t so bad.  This will probably no longer be true when I hit the third paper deadline (unless I have finished one of the first two!)
  • I’m expecting to have a bunch of papers out this next year, which is a little annoying since we have merit raises and my publications tend to be lumpy.  (This is one of the reasons I’ve had to get equity adjustments– I tend to publish way above average in years that there are no raises.)  Annual merit increases that vary each year because of how the state is doing based on publications in the previous year… not really the most equitable thing.  I could try to time things better, but that seems like a waste of scholarship (especially since publication isn’t always guaranteed in a timeline I can predict).
  • DC2’s virtual school is starting a synchronous component soon.
  • Why is yeast extract in EVERYTHING?!?!
  • SIL had her babies last week.  3lb 9oz and 3lb 5oz.   They’re in the NICU.  I don’t really know anything more, though her due date was some time in October, so they have a pretty high survival probability (like 98%).  It’s hard for us to keep up with what’s going on with them because they’re all so busy helping (SIL is recovering from an emergency c-section and being with the babies, MIL & FIL have the two older kids, other SIL is dealing with virtual learning for her own kids and hosting SIL since they live in the town with the NICU, both BIL still have to work full-time) and we live far away.  So we’ve been getting something like 2x weekly updates from various sources and we don’t want to push since there’s not much we can do from here.  I mean, I want to send casseroles but that’s not realistic (we sent a gift card to a pizza place when she was just on bedrest, but now that she’s staying with DH’s brother’s family and the other kids are staying with the in-laws, more food doesn’t seem appropriate until she gets back to her home).
  • Instacart continues to do worse and worse for us.  I think we’re now getting completely inexperienced people who don’t even know the grocery store very well.  So we’ve mostly switched over to the grocery store that has their own people doing curbside shopping.  At least the curbside grocery store has really good ice cream.
  • I’m a bit fragmented with everything going on, so expect fragments on Wednesday as well.
  • I should really do those reimbursements.  Money is good.  Filling out forms is such a pain.  I kind of wish I had a personal assistant, but not enough to actually find and pay for one.  So many things take longer to explain than to just do.  So… I should just do it.

Link love

Oh man, I’ve been so busy this week I can’t even.  What with my school and my kids’ school and a special issue deadline and everything else under the sun…  So, I guess I didn’t spend much time gathering links.  Check out what Wandering Scientist has to say instead!  And do something she suggests that you do!

Thread re: Santa Clara University harassing black people.

There’s a pandemic for that.

Ask the Grumpies: Help me with my unusual(?) sleep problem!

Couchsnoozer asks:

I am in my early 40s, live alone with my pets, and for the past few years I’ve gotten into a terrible sleeping habit.  At night I conk out on the couch, sometimes as early as 8pm.  Like, I set down and I’m asleep instantly.  And I nap for 2-4 hours.  And the nap isn’t good quality sleep.  So then I get up, usually around midnight, and let the dog out and give everyone bedtime snacks, brush my teeth, etc. which takes about an hour.  Then I go to bed and sleep for 4-6 hours.  It doesn’t seem like that last set of sleep is very productive either.  It seems to be bad quality.  I’m tired all the time and I wake up tired.  My dad does this too, so it might be genetic, but I don’t remember him doing it when I was a kid.  I have tried so many times to stop doing this and it’ll work for a few days, maybe, and then I’m back to my old ways.  I don’t have the discipline to fix it!  Setting an alarm to go to bed doesn’t work either– I either sleep through it or turn it off.  I could just get in bed at 8pm, but I don’t want to get in bed at 8pm.  And lately I’ve been having trouble falling BACK to sleep once I get off the couch, and that is a new thing.

I know you’ve got readers who know a lot about sleep problems [ed.  I think she’s talking about you, gwinne] as well as doctors… do you have any advice for me?  I want to be less tired all the time!

Well, we seem to both be tired all the time even without falling on the couch and getting to bed later, so maybe it’s not the bad sleeping habits?  And just general middle-age/overwork/stress from [gestures broadly]?  Vit D helps #1 a lot, especially if she gets into the habit of taking it NOT right when she wakes up but a few hours later.  (I think my body gets used to getting it first thing in the morning and is extra tired if it doesn’t have it yet.)  And sleeping in two shifts was pretty normal before electric lighting, they say.

But it’s entirely possible that not getting a 7-8 hour stretch of sleep is problematic– you obviously know your body better than anybody.

Here’s some information on biphasic and interrupted sleep patterns.  Most of the Dr. Google links seem to think it’s a good thing and the only problem with having a biphasic sleep pattern is not having a set routine for it.  (Though this psychology today link ultimately ends on a negative note.)  Terms that may be useful in your quest:  biphasic, polyphasic, interrupted, segmented sleep.  (Shift sleep just gives a lot of links about people who have to work overnight.)

Anybody in grumpy nation more knowledgeable about sleep than we are have advice for Couchsnoozer?  Help!

Spoiled rich white boys: Sophomore English hasn’t changed in 60 years

I was shocked when we got DC1’s reading list for this quarter.  They are reading:  Into the Wild, Dead Poet’s Society, and the book that I had partly moved DC1 into Honors from Pre-AP to AVOID:  A Separate Peace.

In other words, they are reading books from the 1960s that were outdated then about spoiled rich white boys who create their own problems and a somewhat newer book that is just like them.  Just like we did in Freshmen and Sophomore English so many years ago.

So we emailed hir English teacher to ask for the list of the rest of the books for the semester.  She said that first quarter was about the theme of “Coming of Age” so they had chosen books to fit that theme.  Here are the remaining “books”:

Fiction Choice (students choose from books that meet very loose requirements)
Nonfiction Choice
Serial (the podcast)
12 Angry Men
Dystopia Choice

… and this is almost exactly like our Sophomore English class back in the early 90s.  Lots of books that don’t even have any women *in* them, much less as protagonists.  One Greek play where the woman in question comes to a tragic end through Destiny (we read Antigone in middle school, but Oedopus Rex has some soon-to-die women in it… I assume in the South they can’t handle the subject matter like they can in the midwest), and a thing about a young minority in jail for allegedly killing a woman (for us it was Native Son and the woman was white, for DC1 I guess it will be a Muslim man allegedly killing an Asian woman).  We also had a unit on depressing (white) Russian (men) and I guess it isn’t Gregor Samsa’s fault he woke up as a giant cockroach, but it sure as heck was the Crime and Punishment dude’s fault he decided to kill that pawn broker and then to just go on and on and on about it.

Readers, I complained about my sophomore year’s sausage fest.  I complained hard.  And one of the English teachers listened and asked for suggestions of classics that weren’t all men.  And they changed things up a bit.  I know they added Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Thurston, though I don’t remember if they made other changes.  We didn’t get to benefit, but classes after us did.

DC1 is going to have to deal with a year in which 50% of the population doesn’t even show up in the books with a speaking role (TWO are set at boy’s prep boarding schoools!!!  TWO!)  But we also have a DC2.  So here’s what we responded:

Thank you for getting back to us.

Women and minorities also come of age.  Our high school back in the mid-1990s swapped out one of these standard rich white boys come of age books for Zora Neale Thurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God after complaints about lack of gender and race diversity.  We didn’t get to benefit from that change, but students after us did.  Today, of course, we have so many more excellent choices such as The Hate U Give or any number of books about the Hispanic-American coming of age experience (some of which we had thought were on the reading list for this class in the past, but we must have been mistaken).  Hopefully in time there will also be books about the Asian-American and Native American coming of age experience.  The #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement has so many suggestions complete with lesson plans that we didn’t have 25 years ago.

Please share this perspective with the other Honors English teachers.  We are hoping that by the time our [second child] gets to high school [they] will no longer have to believe that the only coming of age experience worthy of being taught in sophomore English is that of the already privileged.  Several of these books don’t have any female or minority characters at all.  It seems crazy that the only woman that sophomore honors students are studying is a woman from a Greek tragedy who meets a messy end.  And the only (religious) minority person being studied is someone in jail for murder.  Hopefully these are not people that female and minority teens are expected to identify with!  Women are over 50% of the population and the US and [our state] are rich in diversity.  Most kids aren’t wealthy.  Shouldn’t our English classes signal that everyone is worthy, not just white males?

(Also, as much as we love the Princess Bride… it doesn’t actually pass the Bechdel test.  A thought exercise:  How many of the movies shown in sophomore English do?)

That last line is because we had to give permission for a list of movies to be shown in class.  Most of them were movie versions of the above novels, but there were a couple in there that weren’t.

But seriously– in today’s world I want to see more of the teenage years of the Sotomayors and Ginsbergs and far less of the Kavanaughs and Trumps.  We’ve had enough of caring about their petty problems and not enough of showing the real problems that other teens and young adults face and what it takes to triumph in a society that’s set up against you (rather than what it takes to fail in a society that stacks the deck on your behalf).  Though perhaps contrasting those two types of coming of age novels makes the difference all too obvious.

Living in the South, I’m sure that part of the reason for these continued white sausage fests is that they’re afraid of tea-party complaints should they try to add any color.  They need to know that whitewashing also leads to parent concerns.  Even if it just means swapping out Into the Wild with The Joy Luck Club (which is taught in Sophomore Pre-AP this year), our teens deserve better.

I’m still really mad.  AND I have to actually buy copies of these @#$ing books.  My work friend offered to loan me A Separate Peace because pre-AP has to read it too, so I think I’m fine there (her son annotated the book for class, but DC1 can annotate with post-it notes instead of writing on the paper itself).

While I was writing this, DC1 walked in and complained that hir English teacher wants them to make presentations using worst practices– bright colors and animations that distract from the presentation itself.  *sigh*  I told hir to think of it as a chance to get all those bad practices out of hir system.

What was your high school English reading selection like in terms of diversity?  If you have kids, what are they being assigned?

Personal goals for my kids this summer

Huh… the summer is over and apparently I never posted this.  Let’s see how they did.

This summer I would like:

  • DC1 to learn to notice and do chores (like emptying the dishwasher) without being asked at all.  (Currently:  must be asked at least 3 times)  DC1 has NOT learned to notice without being asked.  We have added the rule that if zie has to be asked more than once, then zie has to also LOAD the dishwasher after.
  • DC1 to learn some more cooking and to cook at least once a week without complaint.  DC1 has learned more cooking and does cook once a week sans any but the most perfunctory complaint.
  • DC2 to flush the toilet after use EVERY TIME.  This still needs work.
  • DC2 to stop whining.  Full stop.  Just no more whining.  This has gotten better, but there’s still whining on occasion.  I have gotten better about just telling DC2 that I can’t work when zie is whining and zie needs to go to hir room to whine.
  • DC2 to be polite with goodbyes rather than just abruptly saying goodbye and leaving without preamble (both in person and on zoom).  DC2 thinks this is something of a game now.  Zie is a little better but now just does it this way to annoy me, somewhat similar to DC1’s complaining about cooking.
  • Both kids to pick up their dirty laundry from the floor without being asked.  This seems to have gotten better.  We’ve also ceded laundry control to the kids for their laundry and DC1 recently learned that if zie puts it off too long then they run out of towels.  I’m not sure if this lesson will stick. 

I have some preferences as well, like it would be nice for them to use soap when washing their hair This seems to have happened, or for DC1 to keep hir nails clipped to violin-length Still requires nagging.  But I feel like we shouldn’t ask for too much.

The whining though, that has to stop.  Seriously.  How am I going to make it through the semester?

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , . 25 Comments »

Link Love

Advice for how to vote when you don’t trust the postal system to get your ballot in on time.

More advice.

Best cloth face masks (not the stupid non-study about gaiters)

I was 78% female and 80% male… (note that the battery of scales this is based on is all about stereotypes *not* actually what makes people male or female).

The art of doing less (an update from middle class revolution)

Convention highlights. Definitely watch Michelle Obama’s speech. And… lots of other speeches. And the roll call. I don’t know what it is, but I haven’t been able to watch *any* of this without tears streaming down my face.

Ask the grumpies: How do you organize your books?

Steph asks:

If you haven’t tackled this somewhere – How do you organize your books? How do you feel about the rainbow bookshelves trend that is still going on? (Or the “spines inward/pages outward” trend – maybe this is a deliberately controversial question ;) )

We have a somewhat strong disagreement on this topic in that #1 has taken all the pretty hard cover books out of the bedroom bookcases and put them into the living room and #2 thinks this is heresy.


two of the bedroom bookcases, mostly humorous SPEC fic in alphabetical order by author or editor's last name

two of the bedroom bookcases, mostly humorous SPEC fic in alphabetical order by author or editor’s last name

Otherwise:  #1 has all read paperback fiction books put together in alphabetical order in her bedroom bookcases.  To-be-read books are sideways in a pile double-stacked in no particular order across two shelves.  Our joint comic books have their own shelf in our bedroom.  DH doesn’t tend to keep fiction books (he doesn’t reread much), so the ones that we do have are scattered in with my books or DC1’s books, though they used to have their own shelf. Non-fiction books are loosely organized by subject in the living room shelves.  Cookbooks are shelved mostly by size (because of the different sizes of books and shelves… this bothers me a little, but there are only 3 shelves) just outside the kitchen.

I try really hard to keep the kids’ fiction chapter books in alphabetical order by author’s last name in their bookcases, but that doesn’t always happen.  Kids non-fiction chapter books have their own bookshelf in the hallway (they used to be on separate shelves in their room bookcases, but then we got DC2 a full size bookcase and moved hir smaller case to the hallway), which started out organized by subject but is now a total mess.  Spanish books are the bottom shelf of DC2’s bookcase.  They also keep all their comic books there which started out organized alphabetically by last author, but are not even shelved nicely anymore.  I just give up.   Books that DC2 has really outgrown are currently taking the bottom shelves of 3 bookcases in the living room not really organized at all.  I should note that I have mild undiagnosed OCD and having organized bookcases give me pleasure while disorganized bookcases give me a little buzz of unhappiness.  But I just cannot keep up with the kids being agents of destruction so I have found it healthier for me to just not try to keep up and mentally separate their messed up sections from all books.  I tell myself I’m never trying to find their specific non-fiction or comic or picture books so the lack of organization shouldn’t be a problem for me.

Most of my new books are kindle (because they’re cheaper and more portable… in normal times much of my reading gets done on airplanes) and they’re organized by read/unread and then date last read.  There’s also a separate thing for children’s books that have been read.


Three of #2's bookcases, creatively organized

Three of #2’s bookcases, creatively organized

I have fiction and non-fiction in my bedroom, with various piles of books stacked haphazardly in the living room, kitchen, etc. (And cookbooks in our kitchen.) I have a couple “emergency” books in a cabinet in the bathroom. They just ended up there.

I do not put my books in alphabetical order.  They are in an order.  For example, there is one case that is all my best-loved and most-personal books.  Authors who coauthor books have the coauthored book in between the other two authors.  I mix fiction and non-fiction together.

I hate electronic books and have been gradually replacing my cheap kindle books with paperbacks as they come available/get affordable/are gifted from my amazon list.

We’re mostly against sorting books by color (#1 moreso than #2).  We’re definitely against shelving them spine inward (though #1’s DC2 seems to favor this.  It drives #1 CRAZY.)  #2 wants to SEE people’s books out of curiosity.  #1 wants to be able to FIND books.  Why organize them at all if you’re not going to be able to use the index?


Billy the bookcase

Where the books are

Our fantasy library

Couchblogging and rearranging the library


  • Dh accidentally made 10lb of bread in one go.  Somehow we ate 5lb of it the first day.
  • DC2’s schooling turns out to be completely asynchronous, with an expected 3 hours/day of work.  Though 3 hours for most kids is not 3 hours for DC2, so we will have to supplement.
  • Earlier this summer, two of DC2’s friend’s moms were all about limited screen time (DC2’s frenemy’s mom was already heavily pro anything that keeps hir occupied).  They have now gone from “sure, let’s have minecraft realms playdates once a week for an hour or two once school starts” to every other day, “Is anyone available for minecraft for the next 3 hours so I can work?” DC2 has discovered that as host zie is the only one able to use cheat codes and has set up a store across the lake from the group house in their realm. I really hope they don’t get tired of it.
  • DC2 accidentally summoned a crystal that turned out to be a bomb and destroyed the group house.  But they rebuilt.
  • I had ricotta toast with lingonberry jam using a thick half slice of one of the 5lb boules.  It was really good.
  • Nice Kitty really likes ricotta.
  • DH and DC1 went to schedule pick-up (even though they’re virtual) and waited for an hour in line in the car and got a bag of stuff and signed a paper and then did not even check to see if they had gotten DC1’s schedule.  They had not!  I can’t believe that they were both so incurious.  We emailed the counselor as soon as they got home (9am) but she emailed back at night that she wouldn’t have access to the system until Monday.  Classes start on Tuesday and I would really hope that they’d have the classes loaded in the system by Monday for virtual students, especially since the English teachers have already sent dire email warnings about what happens if you don’t get your summer writing assignment in to turnitin by 8:30am on Tuesday.
  • Update:  Counselor sent the schedule on Saturday and DC2 got all the classes zie wanted!  Enough virtual people must have signed up for programming 2 to make it able to have a class.  That seems much more manageable than trying to handle AP Physics this year on top of everything else (including Chemistry, AP US history, Pre-Calc etc.).
  • It seems like everything is adding yeast extract now.  Even organic stuff has organic yeast extract(!)  I miss the days of msg.  (It takes a lot of msg to give me a headache– like you have to directly add powdered sazon–but apparently anything with yeast extract destroys my day.)
  • I did not get a raise.  There was a (small) raise pool, but I guess since I got a big raise last year I wasn’t a priority.  I had an OK year but not an amazing year publications-wise… I did do a TON of service (department and for econ more generally) which apparently does not at all get rewarded.  Which, noted.
  • I’m eligible to apply for faculty development leave again for next year.  I can’t believe it’s already been 5 years.  But… I don’t have any big grants or projects right now so my application isn’t that strong and there’s no place we really want to go until DC1 finishes high school.  It seems crazy not to apply though since worst case scenario I stay here and get paid half my salary for not teaching.  Still, I think I won’t do it.  We only have a really limited number of slots compared to the number of people who want leave and I think I do want to wait until DC1 is at college and DC2 is in middle school, which would be 3 years from now.
  • My uni disabled personal settings on the Office 365 I have on my home computer.  This means that I cannot open word documents from the internet because it is a security risk (it won’t let me check the box saying to trust .doc downloaded from the internet).  Even ones I uploaded myself.  I used to have my own copy of word but it stopped working and when I tried to get it to repair itself it installed Office 365 over itself.  This is really irritating me and I’m considering buying my own copy of Office 365 at full retail price just so I have full administrator control.  But I really hate subscriptions.
  • The other REALLY IRRITATING thing is that I can’t turn off @#$#2ing grammar check (because they disabled personal settings).  I hate grammar check so much.  It let me unclick all the things it checks when it checks grammar which took a long time, but the next time my computer rebooted, they were all back.
  • DH’s sister (pregnant with twins) went into labor early but they were able to stop it, but now she’s on permanent bed-rest until the babies are born.  Fortunately my in-laws are both retired and have been taking turns staying with her kids (a 7 year old and a 4 year old).  (They were going to take the kids to grandma and grampa’s house but the four year old is too worried about her mom.)  My MIL is renting an apartment in September to help out with the twins.  (The due date is in October but the doctors don’t think she will last that long.)  I can’t even imagine how scary this all must be.
  • Update:  Two weeks later DH’s sister is back in the hospital, having gone into labor again.  We’re all really worried.  Apparently she had to take helicopter rides to get to the hospital both times, but at least the hospital in the city she’s been flown to has a good NICU.  She’s 6 months and some change– I don’t know the exact number of weeks.  They’re most worried about the smaller twin (the little girl).  My in-laws will be taking the older kids home with them until school starts in a couple/few weeks.  SIL will be in the hospital for minimum 9 days, assuming they can keep her from giving birth.
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 18 Comments »

Simple meals that feel really fancy: Brunch at home edition

It has been a LONG time since we’ve been able to go to a fun brunch place in the city.   DH has been baking up a storm, which helps with the bread situation, but even if he wasn’t, one of our groceries in town makes decent bread from its bakery (not great bread, but you know, decent), as does one of the sandwich shops that does delivery.  With decent bread it turns out it’s relatively easy to make a few restaurant quality, or at least nice coffee-shop quality, foods that I often pick when I’m ordering from a trendy place in the city.

The first super easy thing is Ricotta toast.  A nice thick slice of bakery quality bread.  Then a thick smear of Ricotta from the dairy section of the grocery store.  Then I will usually put on a nice jam.  (We have been eating a LOT of nice jam).  That’s all there is to it, but it feels really fancy and it tastes so good.

Avocado toast.  We have been buying a LOT of avocados because they’re a way to up the fanciness of a ton of different foods.  Even the simplest version with sliced avocados on a piece of regular sliced bread toast is delish and indulgent.  But you can fancy it up by adding salad/tomato/cheeses/fancy seasoning/fancy sauces/eggs/etc.  There are tons of suggestions on the internet for things to add.

Burrata with tomatoes or grapes.  One of our local grocery stores finally started carrying burrata and I am in heaven.  (I got addicted to it in paradise and for a long time only got it at a couple of the fancy restaurants in town when we had speakers or job candidates.)  If you’ve got grape tomatoes, you can quickly cook them until their skins burst with some salt and balsamic vinegar, then place them next to the burrata on a plate and finish with some nice olive oil.  Or roast grapes for a different experience.  Then eat with nice crackers or breads.

Roasted vegetables and starches.  Roasting vegetables and potatoes and sweet potatoes etc. is just GOOD.  And when you have leftover, you can add them to other foods to fancy them up.  Leftover beets or eggplant or even roasted potatoes just add a special something to comfort foods that elevate them to something you’d pick off a restaurant menu.

Fancy grilled cheese.  Plain grilled cheese is great (especially dipped in tomato soup), but you can fancy it up just by adding things to the sandwich before grilling.  Put in your favorite veggies (especially roasted, or maybe a thick chunk of fresh tomato and/or avocado, or fresh herbs).  Fruit or jam is another direction to go.

Fancy quesadillas.  Same idea as the grilled cheese, except in a tortilla wrapper.  DC1 recently added fried potatoes and that was pretty amazing.

Random stuff in a pita.  Scalzi puts things in burrito wraps, but you can do the same thing with a pita and suddenly it becomes fancy.  Leftover vegetables (I often have beets) with feta, hummus or tahini or even just yogurt tend to go really well in a pita sandwich wrapper and just taste good.

Bake stuff on flatbreads.  Which is a fancy way of saying make pizza without baking pizza dough.  But if you use a nice flatbread and add herbs and a cheese and a vegetable (tomatoes, roasted eggplant, etc.) or onions or cooked potatoes.

Fancy salad greens with a fancy vinegar.  Grocery stores just sell fancy mixed greens that all you have to do is wash.  Add fresh mozarella and sliced tomatoes while tomato season is still upon us.

Flavored fizzy water.  Get some syrups, or if you don’t want the extra sugar, order fancy balsamic vinegars (with the money you’ve been saving not going out to eat…) to add to carbonated water.  Elderberry syrup is another good addition that is sometimes hidden in the homeopathy part of the grocery store.  Or just increase your La Croix and related beverages consumption.  (Bonus fanciness points for using a metal straw.)

Loose leaf tea.  Sometimes maligned as not being a cure-all, but loose leaf teas are usually better quality than tea bags and there’s a lot of flavors to try.  I like mixing hibiscus and mint, but my new favorite tea is definitely Tulsi (aka Holy Basil).

You can also just add things to your regular meals.  Open up your fancy spreads and dips.  Experiment with fancy hot sauces.  Now is the time to open random bottles that you’ve been saving in your pantry or the back of your fridge for the right meal or the right guest.  The right meal is now and you are the right guest.

Add avocados and beets and pistachios to things.  Or fresh herbs— we’ve been doing a lot of buying of cilantro and parsley since only mint seems to stay alive in our garden.  Parmesan flakes also elevate foods.

None of these things take that much time– they’re quick weekday style meals (even if we usually eat them on weekends out) and make great breakfasts and lunches (or quick dinners).  But they’ve been helping me when I feel like I’m missing out on eating out in the city.

What fancy quick meals do you recommend?  What have you been eating?

Link love

Call about the post-office.  Call again.  CALL CALL CALL.

Scalzi on the GOP’s attempts to destroy the post office and disenfranchise and his thoughts on voting in the fall.

The post office is removing sorting machines for no other reason than to slow down the mail.


You can also call your State Attorney General’s office.

More than 200,000 people have died than usual in the US since March.

Ignore the spongebutt below and try to answer the multiple choice!

DEATH comes for a philosopher.  (A short story by Terry Pratchett.)

A writing house