RBOC

  • Really enjoying this leftover roasted sweet potato and broccoli (roasted in olive oil with salt and pepper).  Sometimes simple meals are the best.
  • At the last minute, DC1’s unpaid internship for 20hrs/week became a paid internship for 30hrs/week.  We will have to get hir a bank account.  Also at the end of the summer we will have to get hir started on an IRA Roth, which is pretty exciting.
  • If taking fancy vacations stresses you out and you can’t handle everything you need to do both at work and outside of work, why not take some of your paid time off as one day increments instead of big vacations that include lots of travel?
  • DC2 is so excited about learning vibrato and shifting this summer.  Turns out there are a lot of small arm muscles that need to get built up.  We have an amazing violin teacher and I’m so grateful she was willing to take DC2 on– she usually only focuses on more advanced students (most of the high school students from here who qualify for state are hers), but she likes DC1 enough that she was willing to take a chance even though DC2 has only been playing for a year.  (Though sadly, DC1 did not qualify even for region this year and the previous year, when we were virtual schooling, got top marks but was not allowed to qualify because zie couldn’t find an accompanist willing to wear a mask the year before and didn’t want to go with the school accompanist who refused to mask so only was able to enter the non-qualifying round with a recording.)
  • I went to the library and parked next two two cars (technically a huge truck and an SUV) that had their a/c on even though nobody was in the car.  They were still going when DC2 and I got back with our library spoils.  Apparently the high cost of gas isn’t really a problem for some people.
  • It seems like the people with the nicest planner spreads have the least amount of stuff to actually plan.  Maybe I’m just jealous.
  • Our Ting total for last month (including our trip to Europe and two weeks not in Europe) was only $111.19, which is less than the set-up fee for some of the alternative overseas plans, so just being careful seems to have been the right choice.  Of course, part of that was DH accidentally not turning my overseas roaming on before we left and it taking Ting about a week to get that ironed out (at first they said I’d have to come back to the states for my SIM card to know, but then a few days later it started working on its own).  So I couldn’t actually spend for much of it.  We were also fortunate to have good wifi at our hotels.
  • With the exception of the conference hotel which had paper-thin walls and a really stupid setup (who puts the tv in one room against the bed headboard next door?  Bad designers!), all of our hotels were AMAZING.  We also paid for but did not eat breakfast at the conference hotel because they only had indoor breakfast, and by day two I was covid positive and we weren’t wanting to expose anybody.  The first hotel we were across the street from a bakery and the second hotel let us eat breakfast outside which was beautiful.
  • The Paris place was an apartment which I did not leave, but DH brought me amazing pastries every morning from one of the many nearby shops.  Only two euro each for the best croissant/pan au chocolate/baguette/etc.  We would spend $15 for much better versions of what would cost $80 at a fancy bakery in our closest city.
  • Even the hamburgers in Paris were better because the buns were amazing, even just the plain white bread bun.  I’d never given much thought to hamburger buns before (other than say, sesame seeds vs not), but it turns out they really do matter.
  • The brown bread in Paris… not as good as in Germany.  But cheap!
  • Breathing is amazing.  Just breathing in deep and filling your lungs.  It’s not something you really appreciate until your lungs get filled with gunk.  Not being sick is the best.

16 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. bogart Says:

    Is it possible the large truck at the library (delivery truck?) was the sort where a person might have sleeping quarters inside? (Or frozen goods)? If so, keeping the a/c on undoubtedly prudent (if they were using it for that purpose at the time). Otherwise, as you say, both choices (SUV, truck) hard to understand.

    I arrived ~20 minutes early at my dentist appointment yesterday, and it was scalding hot here, and I had been working outside earlier and was feeling a bit overheated. I did actually keep my a/c running in the car (rather than go in and sit in the dentist’s office — they have pretty good air safety protocols, masking (though surgical, for the staff, sigh), lots of HEPAs, but still — dentist, BA.5, etc., for about 15 minutes while reading on Libby b/c I just decided I couldn’t much cope with anything else. But I didn’t really “approve” of my choice and consider it an exception to the general rule of what choices we should make…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Nope, not a delivery truck. Just your standard F150 with nothing in the bed, though a nicer version than most college students have.

      Currently the temperatures are way higher than when I wrote that bullet (only double digits then!) If you’re *in* the car then it makes a lot of sense to keep the A/C on!!! The other thing that weirds me out is that nobody’s worried about their car getting stolen even though they’re leaving the keyfobs in for extended periods of time.

      • FF Says:

        My car will stay on even if the key fob isn’t inside if it is already running. But you can’t restart the car without it.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Interesting. That may have been the case here. Back when gas was cheaper and cars were less fancy people at daycare pickup would leave their keys in their F150s with the a/c on (in the shade too—my Hyundai Accent with the crappy a/c never got particularly hot while I did pickup). The library lot doesn’t have any shade, but my Honda Insight is able to cool off the car pretty quickly.

      • bogart Says:

        Weird. And yes, on the car getting stolen thing, though I think with newer cars there are more car-on-key-not-in-car options. My very first car, an ancient Datsun, also provided that option, but not on purpose (the ignition was just worn enough you could take the key out). This proved handy during a brief interval when the starter was not working (I could remove the key and lock the car while running in somewhere for a quick errand). But that was very much another era, in terms of my financial circumstances (and, of course, many other things!).

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        These were both pretty new, so probably the key wasn’t in the car like you guys say. And given the fancy cars, possibly these folks don’t care about the price of gas even though their cars are guzzlers!

        I mean, I don’t really care about the price of gas, but I fill up my 10 gallon tank about once a month.

    • FF Says:

      Of course, around here (upstate NY) the car on with nobody inside is usually to warm it up in the winter and/or defrost for snow clearing.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I’m sure these vehicles have a heated seat option! I think mine actually does too but it has never been used. Past me has been guilty of letting the car defrost take care of windshield ice, though in defense in situations when I haven’t had a scraper.

  2. revanchegsl Says:

    I’m weirded out by leaving cars running with the keys in and no one in the car. It’s such a waste of gas, and also leaves you wide open to theft, doesn’t it?

    Breathing is Wonderful! Really glad you can breathe again.

    Paris carbs sound wonderful too. I’m a little surprised that hotel didn’t offer the option of carrying your paid for breakfast back to the room but I mostly have experience with more budget type hotels like Residence Inn where they’re set up for people to take away their breakfast even pre COVID. Even then I’m at least a little leery of the shared food options.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The hotel that let us eat outside allowed it for a 15 euro upcharge! But they also had a lovely outdoor seating area. The place indoors had an outdoor seating area but wouldn’t let us use it though they did say they could set up another room for us day 2 but by that point I was sick and not leaving the room and the rest of the family went out.

  3. delagar Says:

    People here are leaving their cars running while they’re in the groceries and the libraries too. I thought for awhile it was because they had their dogs in the car, but I don’t think that’s it. Or at least I haven’t seen any dogs in those I have checked.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      If it were dogs that would totally make sense. Maybe they’re all tiny toy dogs hiding under something.

      But… I assume they’d leave the dog at home or spend less time on the non-dog errands if gas prices were really the problem.

      Obviously gas prices are still problems for many people, just not everyone.

  4. Cloud Says:

    One of the nice things on the Tesla is that I can turn on climate control remotely so if I’m somewhere where the car gets hot when parked I can (if I remember) have it cool down a few minutes before I come back to it. I can also just leave the climate control on (it is called “dog mode”). I assume other electric cars have this option, too – it is one of the nice things that being battery powered enables you to do with relatively little impact! I wonder if there are gas cars that do the same? Of course, that only deals with the “aren’t you worried your car will be stolen?” issue and not the “you’re wasting a bunch of gas” issue!

    On the bread thing – one of my funnier memories of France was getting lost trying to leave Bordeaux and getting hangry enough that we pulled into a gas station to get a snack, buying a gas station sandwich and having it be the best ham and cheese sandwich I had ever eaten in my life.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That seems like a much more sensible thing to do than to leave it running for 20+ min. But maybe their fancy vehicles aren’t that fancy!

      I don’t think we had *any* bad bread in France. It’s crazy!

  5. Debbie M Says:

    Yay for paid internships!

    Staycations where you go to a local hotel in a different part of town with nice things in walking distance is another low-stress idea–less housework! We’re thinking about a hotel next to a hike-and-bike trail and also downtown. You could pick one near a pool, a library, a (movie) theater, a bakery, or whatever seems fun.

    Yay for all the good things in your last bullets, too. Pastries from Belgium spoiled me for a lot of things in the US–so yummy!


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