• Now that I’ve bought all the hand sanitizers, my new thing seems to be scrolling through jetpens.com (not a sponsor) and pretending that if I bought all the things I would suddenly become neat and organized.  So far I have been keeping the dream alive by not actually making any purchases.
  • We got DC1 to sign up for the solo part of solo and ensemble this year because they said zie could send in a recording and DC1 really has nothing on hir transcript of interest to colleges other than grades and testscores (and the grades are not as great as they should be in English and now Spanish).  But then we found out that zie has to have a piano accompaniment.  And then we found out that if zie sends a video instead of going in person, zie isn’t eligible to move on to the next round.  And then we found out that the school accompanist doesn’t wear a mask during practice at hir house but thinks it’s ok because zie has an HVAC system(?!)  (Note:  DC1’s piano teacher *currently has Covid.*  She’s still doing online lessons though.)  So… we said no thank you to her (and did not report her to the principal because she also does practice for accompanying students at school and says she can’t wear a mask while playing piano because she can’t see the music, which BS, she needs better masks).
  • So… since this doesn’t count, we’ve decided that DC1 should just accompany hirself.  Zie hasn’t looked at the piano part yet, but if it is reasonable zie can play it on our electric piano and record it and have it play back while zie plays the violin part.  Alternatively, zie can record it with a microphone and play it on the computer all fancy-like with headphones and stuff.  Alternatively, DH found a website that has just the accompanist parts.  Update:  the website with the accompanist parts FTW!
  • DH initially didn’t want to ask the accompanist about masks because it seemed so obvious as to be rude.  He’s glad I did.  He was worried about doing the tryout in person but I was most worried about going to some strange woman’s house.  I’m like, they will probably be following the rules at the tryout and if not you can just leave, plus the school is supposed to have upgraded ventilation.  But I think doing neither is the right call here.  It’s just so dangerous and we are all so close to getting vaccines.  We can wait another year.
  • Did I mention that DC2 got invited to a zoo birthday party and we said no because of all the maskless and chin-mask selfies on the zoo yelp page?  Well, that kid’s dad has a really bad case of covid now so the birthday party has been postponed.
  • I have a hard time coming up with people who haven’t yet had covid.  I do have a couple of students whose entire families got it but they somehow escaped.  I sure hope these folks I work with who have gotten it have immunity, or at least immunity enough to last me until I’m vaccinated.  Though apparently one of the students in our program literally got it twice (as in, had a negative test between two symptomatic positive tests).  I don’t know the student in question though, so this is just rumor.
  • The sympathy card pack on my amazon wishlist is out of stock.  That is DEPRESSING.  I mentioned this to a friend and she said at her grocery store they were out of stock of any except the $6 ones.
  • Another of the staff I work with on a semi-regular basis has had a close relative die.  This time the woman who handles student hiring has lost her brother.  I ordered another box of 30 sympathy cards since I was down to one from the box I bought last summer when I ran out of the sympathy cards I’d been holding onto for over 20 years (from the box of mixed cards– I still have two “Best Wishes” from that because I guess I sent the “Congratulations” for weddings?).  Too many people have died in far too short a time period.  It isn’t fair.  And our university has said that employees have access to their stockpile of antibodies (assuming they meet some oxygen need) at no cost, but that isn’t available to everyone, like people’s relatives who don’t work for the university.  Everything is so unfair.
  • The house kitty-corner from ours no longer has the weird “don’t tread on me”/trump flag flying!  I don’t know if they took it down voluntarily or if the HOA stepped in, but it’s nice to be able to look out of the office window without seeing it!
  • I watched one of those “stop saying you have ocd you jerk, you don’t even know what it is” videos (not the exact title)… and it left me feeling more like I had ocd than I did going into it.  #anxiety!  In any case, if I do have it, it is under control and thus not really worth diagnosing.  (Much like my actually diagnosed ochlophobia. #anxiety!)  (Update:  the online ocd tests both said “mild ocd but go see a doctor if you want to make sure”)
  • I recently learned that I’ve been misusing the word “concatenate” all my professional life.  I thought it meant cut out a part and squish the rest together, or chop off the end, essentially to shorten a string, but apparently it means to join (so just the squishing together part, no cutting at all, lengthening instead)!  At least I knew it was about strings…
  • Got an email with questions about a prospective grant proposal.  The first question was, “What are you passionate about?”  I deleted it.
  • I’m not even passionate about social justice– I am TIRED and ANGRY.  Anybody who is still passionate is either a better person than I am or hasn’t actually been doing much.  People (like my dean, ugh) tell me I’m passionate about things, but really I’m just good at making my anger look like passion.  Or maybe I’m too cute for people to see my anger as anything other than excitement.  I don’t know.
  • I am passionate about DH and about the next KJ Charles coming out later this month.  If pushed, I will admit to being passionate about the next Courtney Milan, but since that deadline has already been pushed back once I don’t want to voice that passion in case of jinxing things unless I have to.
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. rose Says:

    Thank you. Middle of night. cannot sleep, and there you are distracting me from my worries and also making me feel less irrational for having worries at this time.
    REALLY appreciate that you take, and make, the time to write so regularly. Beyond distraction and reality basing me, I learn SO very much from your posts. Trying now again to sleep. You make a huge difference. SO glad you are here.

  2. Chelsea Says:

    You can also concatenate datasets. As opposed to merging (matching on a common value of a variable), concatenate is *usually* used to stick two datasets with common column names together vertically (like LEGO, I say to my students). Sometimes people will “concatenate” the columns of two datasets but technically they are merging on the index (even if you are using the concatenate”rather than merge function).

  3. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Call your senators and ask them to vote to impeach Donald Trump for inciting seditionists to storm the capitol building and attempt a coup.

    If Cruz is one of your senators, tell him to resign. Maybe add that you understand he’s afraid he’ll be killed if he votes for impeachment but resigning in protest will keep him safe from harm. The only way to win is not to play. Or he just needs to resign for inciting an attempted coup.

  4. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I’ve only ever used the term concatenate in the context of Excel but I can’t say that I’ve ever done it before. I think I also mix it up with merging?

    Ditto it’s so freaking unfair that so many people are dying and yet there are still so many people who are acting like nothing is going on. I simply cannot understand it.

    Ditto ditto being so sick and tired and angry of this country’s actions and lack of good faith.

    REALLY glad that you asked about the masking.

  5. becca Says:

    Sometimes the toughest part about being in biomedical research is the “it isn’t fair” problem. I did my grad work on malaria, which was very gratifying, but the jobs are vastly more likely to be in cancer immunotherapy. Not that cancer immunotherapy is unworthy (and hugely scientifically interesting, of course. As anything cutting edge can be).
    Covid is just making visible the way infectious diseases always prey on the vulnerable. After all, the number of Covid19 deaths isn’t that far off the number of yearly TB deaths, we just… literally don’t care anymore. Writers in the US don’t get consumption, so it doesn’t exist for most people. There’s so much human wellbeing low hanging fruit in health, just because resources are so poorly distributed. It’s one of the reasons I admire the heck out of Jimmy Carter and the Guinea Worm eradication effort. Anyway, the true horrors of unfair vaccine distribution will hit in 2022. I’m so glad to hear the good news about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, but still. It’s going to be brutal. And stupid.

    I have just enough programing I know “concatenate”, but apparently I’ve been using “comprised” wrong lo these many years. As an aside, IS there a word that means “to chop out part an squish the rest”? Cause that’s a really useful concept.

  6. Matthew D Healy Says:

    Chin mask, gack!

    CDC now says double-masking with cloth over surgical is much better than surgical alone because it improves fit. If mask fits tightly then you should feel it pressing a little more tightly against your face while inhaling; if that’s not happening then too much air may be leaking around edges instead of going through mask.

  7. FF Says:

    I learned about concatenation from genetics. When bacteriophage lambda (a virus that infects E. coli) is producing new viruses, many successive genomes are synthesized as one long molecule (a concatamer) that is subsequently cleaved into individual viral genomes and packaged into new virus particles.

  8. bethh Says:

    To this day I remember the one word on the SAT that I did not recognize: Truncate. gah.

    My covid experience is SO different from yours – what your region is going through is very shocking. I’m in the pacific nw and . I have a small and privileged bubble, I guess. I have zero direct personal connections to anyone who’s gotten it. I know of one person locally who had it (a friend’s SIL, got it last spring when it was less understood) and have two remote-from-me coworkers who’ve had it. I know far more people who’ve already gotten the vaccine (10-15 at least), and I’m volunteering at a clinic next week so will likely get my first shot then.

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