• DC1’s piano teacher told us DC1 has surpassed her playing ability and we should get another teacher if zie wants to continue improving (she’s happy to keep hir on if zie just wants suggestions for what to play next).  We’re not sure what to do about that because piano is sustainable with 15 min of practice a day and more for fun on weekends or when stressed but zie might stop liking it if zie had to do more and it could interfere with schoolwork.  If zie were willing to compete then there might be something for college applications, but zie is just doing it for fun.  We’ll have to see what DC1 thinks.  I stopped lessons in high school because I no longer had time.
  • I do think DC1 might benefit from learning how to play accompaniment– that could be a useful way to pick up some additional money in college.  Also I have visions in my head of DC2 playing the violin and DC1 at the piano and it being adorable.
  • We have somehow become those parents whose children refer to them by their first names.  Growing up I always thought that was weird when other kids did it.  But I guess we’re in that liberal hippie aging yuppie demo.  DC1 will still say “my Dad” or “my Mom” when talking with friends, though zie uses our names when talking with us, but DC2 has gone straight first name.  (Hir friends on Minecraft after a long absence are like, “Who is [DH’s firstname]?”)
  • I got invited to be a member of an extremely prestigious professional association whose goal is kind of tangential to my research… I mean, there is some overlap, but this is not an honor that was even on my radar.  DH says it’s imposter syndrome, but I’m still pretty mystified about it.  The invitation letter didn’t explain anything and it wasn’t from anybody that I know, but apparently someone thought I fit well enough that they nominated me and a committee agreed with them(!)  I did look over their current membership and recognized people I know whose work has overlap with mine, but I would also argue that they work more in that specific area (and are really amazing in their own right).
  • As a break, we had DC2 copy out poems from hir poetry coloring book (one children’s poem a day) in nice cursive and then read them aloud to DH.  It turns out that DC2 didn’t know how to read aloud a poem– zie just rushed through as quickly as possible.  So… I guess that’s another new thing we’ve taught in DH’s and my worst subject.  (Though I suspect we’re not bad at English so much as we don’t always fit with specific English teacher’s specific subjective views and never completely figure it out.)
  • The grocery store was having a sale on Alfredo sauce and I was tempted but then I remember how whenever I make it from scratch I’m always surprised both by how easy it is to make and how much better it is than the jarred stuff.  And yet I don’t.  Which is probably healthy, but if I’d never made Alfredo before I’d just buy a jar when it was on sale and instead I don’t have any Alfredo at all.
  • Our Covid numbers are still pretty high— somewhere between 10 and 20 new cases per 100k but this is so much lower than the 100s of cases we were getting back in September that people feel like the pandemic is over.  But it’s not.
  • It does sound like the university will be forced to require vaccines and masks next semester if we want to keep federal grants.  Despite our state government.  Just in time for Omicron to hit!
  • Twitter seems to think that making it difficult for me to see tweets without logging in will somehow get me to sign up.  Jokes on them– it is helping to break my addiction!  If it keeps up, maybe my attention span and productivity will increase.
  • DH thinks we should probably stay masked indoors over vacation with his family.  So I bought a cute holiday mask for each of us from enro.com (not sponsored), and then some disposable holiday masks from behealthyusa.net (which imports KF94 and is also not sponsored).
  • The weather forecast suddenly changed right before Thanksgiving so we had to do it indoors.  I cranked the heat up and opened the windows in the dining room and we kept the fan on.  I also positioned DC1’s air filter near our two guests (who I clustered away from the windows I put DC2 directly in front of the windows).  And we wore masks when not actually eating.  Overkill?  I don’t know, but DC2 didn’t get hir second vaccine shot until Sunday and somewhere I’d read that zie was probably only about 30% protected (though I don’t remember what the numerator or denominator on that 30% was).
  • DC2 got hir second vaccine shot!
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , . 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. mnitabach Says:

    My suggestion is that you urge DC1 to start a rock & roll band!!!

  2. anon98 Says:

    I find it disproportionately disconcerting that children address their parents by first names…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Have you examined why you have that problem? Maybe one of these days I will feel comfortable calling my MIL and FIL by their first names.

      • Alice Says:

        I don’t find it disconcerting… but will admit that if I didn’t know the kid/parents involved very well, I would assume that the parents being called by their first names are stepparents. For me, it wouldn’t be a big deal to hear, but it would send an incorrect message about the relationship between the kid and the adult.

        I don’t know if it would matter in a meaningful way, though. Maybe it would change how I regarded the parent if they were talking to me about kid stuff and I didn’t realize? I’m both a stepmom and a mom, and– there are different boundaries as a stepparent than there are with a direct parent. There are decisions with my stepdaughter that I don’t and shouldn’t have input into. There are things that I work on with my daughter that I never did with my stepdaughter because she has a perfectly good mom of her own for those things. I could see myself quietly judging someone negatively if I thought that they were a stepparent who was overstepping. Not in a big way, but I think it would color things.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Weird. It’s pretty common in Northern California once kids get older and among urban liberal elite (ex. my fancy suburban cousins with parents who are government lawyers/judges).

        What happened was we stopped referring to each other as “Mommy” and “Daddy” once DC2 got old enough that doing that seemed weird and Mike Pence-like. And I have an aversion to referring to DH as his relation to other people (ex. “Your Father” or DH on the blog– I do not refer to him as DH IRL) so I just use his name and DH doesn’t refer to people in relation to other people other than Mommy/Daddy when the children were little. And we never had meltdowns or even mentioned it when they experimented with different ways of calling us stuff. (My father didn’t even like being called “Dad”– had to be “Daddy” or he would get upset.) Making it a non-issue let them choose what they were comfortable with.

        It would have to be a step-dad married to a step-mom raising their ex-spouses’ kids because it’s both of us. And it’s a good thing I don’t talk with people about parenting unless they already know me from elsewhere! I let DH handle all the talking to DC2’s friends’ parents stuff– they probably think it’s great that a step-dad is so involved. (Except they don’t, because they know DC2 from back when DH was “Daddy” and not his first name.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        One of the things my DH thinks is impressive about his dad is that instead of introducing DH’s mom as, “my wife, [firstname]” it is always “[firstname], my wife.” He really likes the way that gives his mom agency instead of making her primarily an extension of his dad. There’s a lot to be said for family relationships but especially today there is a lot to be said for acknowledging that they are people first.

        People who are more than just chattel for men or gestation machines for the patriarchy, in case that reference is not clear.

  3. bogart Says:

    Congratulations on your nomination/invitation!

    On the ways-to-make-money thing, I suppose this depends significantly on where you live, but my sibling was a fairly skilled pianist who played weekend mornings in a local brunch spot (as an employee of said spot, while in high school) and made oodles in tips. Not entirely clear that this was useful as my sense (as a hardworking, underpaid teen myself) was that this led to said sibling grossly overestimating the general value of their time to the free market for some years to follow — possibly resulting in subsequent underemployment, i.e., not seeking/accepting reasonable offers for other kinds of work, but it was in itself a good gig.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Interesting! Not a bad side gig.

      • middle_class Says:

        It would feel really strange to call my parents by their first names or have my kids call us by our first names. To me it signals a distant relationship although that is my perception since this doesnt happen in my circles. Although we do have some family members in higher education, most of my family and friends are low to high middle class working professionals.

        Congrats on the prestigious committee!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I mean, I don’t call my parents or even my in-laws by their first names. (If I’m not talking to a kid who gets Grandma/Grandpa because that’s what Grandma says she prefers, I call my in-laws “you”, though if I can’t avoid it linguistically I refer to them by their first names and feel mildly guilty that it’s not Mr./Dr. [Lastname] #MidwestRespect.)

        My family has a weird system of referring to everyone as “your X” (ex. “Your father” when I’m talking to my sister) that my sister and I used ironically (we have the same parents) but my mom does seriously. We kind of stopped that when my sister hit her mid-30s though and use first names for each other and “our mother/mom/etc” like normal people. My kids call her by her first name too though we put Aunt and Uncle in front of them.

  4. Matthew D Healy Says:

    Glad your kids are getting vaccinated. Regarding your question about numerators and denominators for vaccine efficacy, here’s a simplified explanation.

    In a randomized double blind clinical trial of a COVID vaccine they basically look at four numbers: how many of the control group did or didn’t get symptomatic COVID-19 and how many of those getting the vaccine being tested did or didn’t get symptomatic COVID-19. If the vaccine didn’t work at all then the percentage getting sick will be similar in both groups. If the vaccinated group gets fewer cases than the control group then they calculate the ratio of ratios and a confidence interval around that ratio of ratios.

    The “two by two table” calculator on the www dot openepi dot com website and its documentation are the simplest way I know to learn about such calculations.

    Note: I believe the US Covid vaccine trials have all used a placebo (saline solution) for the control arm. Sometimes they use an old vaccine for some unrelated disease as the control in order to keep people who feel side effects from thinking “I got the real vaccine so I don’t have to be careful anymore.”

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I meant, I do not know what the numerator and denominator for that specific 30% number is (positivity? hospitalization? symptoms? etc.). Not that I don’t know what vaccine efficacy is or how RCT work.

      • Matthew D Healy Says:

        For almost all COVID-19 vaccine trials the main outcome measure is symptomatic infection because that’s the fastest way to get answers. To count asymptomatic infections they’d have to swab every subject’s nose daily. And if they used deaths or hospitalizations as the main outcome it would take a long time to get enough events to do the statistics. Most of what we know about vaccine effectiveness for severe outcomes for adults is from real world clinical data. Since the pediatric authorization is recent, I think the best data we have for kids is from the clinical trial.

      • Matthew D Healy Says:

        A friend was a subject in the Pfizer adult trial in 2020. He was basically told Call us right away if you get any symptoms. I think he might have also had either a paper symptom diary or an app on his phone. Also they sent him a weekly text message asking about symptoms. Had he reported symptoms (which he didn’t), somebody would have come to his home with a test kit to collect a sample.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I get that you are describing a number and where a specific number comes from. (And kind of in a mansplainy sort of way.)

        But is that number 30%? Or is 30% another number entirely? If you don’t know that off the top of your head without looking it up, then you are in the exact same situation I am.

  5. abinghammathgmailcom Says:

    I’d encourage piano lessons at a higher level just for the joy of playing those pieces.

  6. Cloud Says:

    Hooray for the prestigious professional association!

    On the piano – I like the idea of leaving it up to DC1. Also, it might be good to do music and not worry about getting better for awhile. Or maybe ze can pick a different style of music and learn that, going broader instead of deeper?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Zie did do jazz piano for a year about 6 years ago when we were in paradise, but I only know of hardcore competitive classical teachers in our town. This teacher isn’t really a classical piano teacher (more an Arnold teacher though DC1 outgrew that system ages ago and DC2 refused to go through it after the first book) but DC1 really likes classical.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I should add—that year of jazz piano really sparked DC1’s interest and I think also expanded hir mind about how piano works and how music works generally. I would definitely recommend trying different styles if kids have the opportunity.

        (Plus zie picked up an incredibly challenging version of carol of the bells that really pushed hir and sounded amazing.)

  7. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Note to anonymous: read your first comment again and then respond to yourself with the comment we just deleted. It’s like the definition of irony… or hypocrisy…or lack of self awareness. Or judging someone for judging someone for being judgmental https://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/when-will-it-end/. Go be anonymously rude someplace else because you’re not welcome here.

    Also we don’t allow people to comment with “anonymous”. You had a chance after your rude comment and just doubled down.

  8. Steph Says:

    Have you tried the KF94s from that site? I’ve got some flying coming up in the new year and am considering upgrading from my KN95s that I use for teaching.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      YES. They sell the BOTN which are the top rated across KF94 both guys who do ratings and you can get 100 of them at $1/mask right now as a holiday clearance (or a smaller number for less money but more per mask). I also got some of the POSH holiday style ones which aren’t rated as highly as BOTN but are still very effective according to one of the guys who tests them. I LOVE the KF94– it is a sea change from KN95 in terms of fit and comfort. They have this extremely clever yet simple method of tightening the ear loops and the boat-style is away from your face so it’s easier to breath. I only wear KN95 now when I have a cute (but terrible quality) redbubble mask to go over it for my Ms. Frizzle thing.

      My friend with a small face really likes the child-sized Tiger masks they sell, which are highly rated by one of the two guys. (If you want more info on the two guys, I will have to dig through my chat history, but I could ask the grumpies on it this Friday if you want.)

      For flying though I use the Respokare N95 which are insanely expensive (like $13/each, head straps, great foam nose piece) but I CANNOT SMELL MY HAND SANITIZER when wearing them. The BOTN KF94 generally mute the smell, but it’s still there.

      • Steph Says:

        Thanks! I’ll probably order a few of those then.

        I thought about upgrading to proper N95s, especially since you mentioned them in a previous post. But I need to drink lots of water while flying, or I end up feeling pretty ill. So unfortunately I think I’m going to be removing my mask frequently enough (however briefly each time) that it would negate the value of the improved seal.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Straws help a lot but you still have to move the mask some for them. But yeah, I did have a headache at the end of my last flight journey probably from not drinking water, and it was relatively short!

  9. omdg Says:

    If DC1 likes piano, I think it’s totally great to continue doing it, even if they can’t put it on a college application or make money off it.

    My daughter still calls me “mommy” and I love it. I don’t think I’d correct her if she went to [my first name] but I think it would make me feel nostalgic for the “mommy” days. For some reason it rubs me a bit weird too, but eh, I need to get over it.

    Congrats on the society nomination!

    Wondering how long until the Omicron vaccine comes out.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It didn’t take long for us to get over it. :) Going from mommy to even just mom definitely sparks a little nostalgia, but it’s amazing to see how they are growing up. And boy do I definitely not want a new infant (a bunch of my colleagues and students have had babies recently… not sleeping, potty training, etc).

      I also wonder about the omicron vaccine and really hope that it’s a less dangerous variant. Ideally we’d end up with one that just makes people a little sick like most bugs.

      We left the choice up to DC1. After DH gave hir a lecture about how “not making a choice is making a choice,” zie decided zie liked the idea of learning how to accompany and will start that in January with the same teacher, Omicron willing. It’s a little crazy how our two kids are so much on opposite spectrums about having opinions. If we can’t decide something, we’ll ask DC2. If DC1 has to decide something it may take forever.

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