• Got bivalent boosted and flu shot.  Perhaps should have waited since I probably got BA5 back at the beginning of July but it has been 2 months.
  • As soon as I got home from getting the shots, I got an email from a colleague I’d been sitting next to in a meeting a couple days before saying he was Covid positive.  (I was the only person possibly in the entire building wearing a mask.  I have no regrets.)
  • Did I mention that neither the university nor K-12 are collecting, much less reporting, covid data?  All we have now are county level pcr numbers (weekend cases not reported) and (as of this writing) they are high: 150/100K.  Hopefully it’s just the college kids passing it around and not a new variant.
  • My covid shot arm was sore the next day, but other than that no reaction.  DH had sore arms the day of (he’s all muscle these days, which he says hurts more when it gets poked).  DC1 took a mini-nap the next day which is really unusual for hir, but no sore arms.
  • Someone else in my building came to work in a mask (who usually never does, because nobody ever does).  I wondered why until I overheard her telling someone, “I got a negative yesterday, but I’m feeling worse today.”  But it’s good that she’s masking!  If everyone masked when they felt sick, a lot fewer people would get sick.
  • I wear literally no makeup.  I do basic hygiene and that’s it.  If I’m planning on being outside I will put on sunblock.
  • this is not because I’m naturally beautiful.  I’m fairly sure I have rosacea. Also my face is very round.  If I were bald I’d be a sphere.
  • why not?  1. I’m allergic to everything.  2. I just can’t care. 3. It seems like work. 4. It seems time consuming. 5. It seems like an additional expense. 6. Wouldn’t know how, can’t take the time to learn. 7. Badly applied makeup looks worse than none and I would apply it badly.  8. I resent the patriarchy.  They can get me to shave, which I hate, but they can’t get me to do this.
  • I do, however, remove beard and moustache hairs from my face.  I guess that’s more vanity than hygiene.
  • DC1 is a national merit semi-finalist.  The cutoff for our state was low enough this year that zie had some room– in fact, DC1 would have had room in CA or MA this year.
  • Dumbing of Age (the comic strip by David Willis) has been doing an interesting storyline where there’s a girl (Joyce) going through identity crises (long story, but she used to be a fundamentalist Christian and now isn’t) and there’s another girl, Dorothy, who has a “fixer” personality who is trying to help her, but she’s doing too much and it’s affecting her as well.  This storyline is just SO REAL.  Except that usually people with Dorothy’s fixer personality (*waves to self and to revanche*) do not come from as stable homelives as the one she has and aren’t as mature as she is at age 19 (not saying Revanche wasn’t as mature as Dorothy at 19, but I sure wasn’t).  There are some people in the comments who have always hated Dorothy because in the past she’s seemed too perfect and good and they would say the exact same things people would say about Hillary Clinton, which was irritating.  But now they’re angry when she doesn’t do everything Joyce needs/wants but they’re also angry when she does.  They basically seem to be saying that Dorothy should do everything Joyce asks her to and nothing more, even though Joyce is asking for some pretty ridiculous stuff that she really should be doing herself.  But… it’s hard to see a friend in pain who isn’t taking steps to make it better and not know what to do about it.
  • Our internet went out because someone across the street switched to our internet provider and their box squished one of our lines.  Now our yard has more dug up spots in it since they fixed it by rerouting us with new cables.
  • DC1’s chemistry teacher made a joke whose punchline involved “hoes” and was disturbed by it, as were other students.  Other students said there would be a similar joke coming up in AP stats later this year.  So I emailed the stats teacher (not giving info on who my kid was– it’s a big class and we have different last names) and suggested a different mnemonic that isn’t slut-shaming for hypothesis testing.  (If p is low, reject H-Oh!)  She was nice about it.  I hope she remembers… but hypothesis testing is likely many months from now.
  • I think I may be starting to get arm muscles.  Which I haven’t really had since I used to carry a French horn home from school.

35 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. Michael Nitabach Says:

    How much does a French horn weigh? 📯 📯📯

  2. Chelsea Says:

    Got my Covid booster and flu shots this weekend, and my only reaction (other than a bit of fatigue) was one very sore lymph node in the armpit of my Covid shot arm. It was one of those, “I’m discovering a part of my body I never knew existed!” moments.

    Also, I really hate that stats joke. I can’t believe people are still telling it.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      With teenagers too! When they’re not allowed to read anything with sex in it in English! (English teacher yesterday was like I’m not allowed to assign you the chapter on vampire symbolism in this book, but it’s really good.)

  3. CuriousSoul Says:

    Glad you were able to get the next booster. Having just gotten covid a month ago (not fun. Having to move apartments while having covid awful) I’m not in line for a booster yet, but have it on the calendar already for that ~2.5 months after I had covid week.

    How do you remove those pesky beard and mustache hairs? (I also do and am in the same camp about makeup). I feel like it tends to be a taboo subject among my girlfriends that we even have to do it.

  4. Steph Says:

    Our college isn’t recording covid cases either, or doing contract tracing or anything. They have abdicated most responsibility by just saying “Well the CDC says this is fine”. So of course, I have multiple students out in both of my classes, and so does everyone else I’ve spoken to. One student came to class knowing he was positive (thankfully I can require masks, though there are still some noses). And my grader is out, which means even more work for me this week.

    I wear minimal makeup, and have some feelings about it, related to what you posted. I do have rosacea, and I’m still a little scarred by comments made by my Mom and a former coworker. I don’t judge other folks who don’t wear makeup, but I still feel really sensitive about my own face, particularly when I’m in front of students.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I have fully embraced middle aged female professor frump. It’s an archetype so I think students are comfortable with it and don’t tend to think about it.

      I’m glad you’re allowed to require masks! That’s at least something. I can’t believe the positive student went to class!

  5. Nanani Says:

    Same on the make up!
    If someone really needs me to wear it they can pay a professional – which has happened all of once (to be in someone’s wedding). I am not going to invest all those hours of practice plus the expense of products to do a thing I don’t want to do in the first place.

  6. xykademiqz Says:

    “I have fully embraced middle aged female professor frump. It’s an archetype so I think students are comfortable with it and don’t tend to think about it.” LOL I love this! I am pretty frumpy myself. I do wear a little makeup when I teach, mostly so I wouldn’t look like death warmed over and scare the kids. As per my 90s routine: a natural-looking lipstick that also doubles as blush, a little eye shadow (love Brilliant Eye Brightener as it is indeed brilliant and doesn’t make my eyes itch), a bit of mascara, and voila! I no longer look frumpy and undead, just frumpy. Also dewy! Frumpy and dewy! Seriously now, I feel like this full-face makeup with several layers of foundation and shit caked on that girls wear today is awful for the skin. It’s photoshoot makeup; I don’t think it was ever meant to be worn every day, yet here we are. I blame the Kardashians.

    I gotta get those flu and booster shots. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. delagar Says:

    Congrats to DC1!

    And same for me on the makeup, for pretty much all the reasons you state. My SIL put me in full makeup once, and I didn’t even recognize the person in the mirror, and also cannot imagine going through that every morning just to go to work. My students don’t seem to care. Though as my kid says, I’m the most butch straight woman he knows.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I look like my sister when I’m made up professionally. (DH finds it pretty disconcerting.)

      I’m too lazy to be butch! I have long hair because I’m too lazy to go to the hairdresser. I often wear dresses because they’re easier than pants. I used to wear professional men’s shirts more but they’ve gotten ratty (or are too small like all the men’s jeans I used to wear) and it’s too much effort to go shopping in person and I’ve mostly been just buying dresses online because they’re more forgiving if they don’t actually fit.

      I’m typing this in my pajamas because I’m working from home today. Pajamas are a tshirt my father got at a stockholders meeting in 2013 (it says so on the shirt) and a pair of old sleeping shorts DH got me as a present when I said I needed sleeping shorts I think before DC2 was born. If I could wear this to work I would. (Work is business casual.) I miss grunge so much.

      • delagar Says:

        I am also working in my pajamas today! An old teeshirt and a pair of men’s pajama bottoms. I too would wear this to work if I thought I could get away with it. What I wear instead: jeans and polo shirts and sneakers.

        I came back to say I am also getting arm muscles, now that Dr. Skull and I have been going to the gym for nearly three months. It’s kind of cool. I always had leg and hip muscles, from biking, but arm muscles are new.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I do have some school-branded unisex polo shirts that I wear on Fridays (casual Fridays so long as the casual involves school branding).

        As a full professor I’ve snuck in a couple of pairs of Ann Taylor jeans (black and khaki) that don’t immediately look like jeans on days I’m not teaching. I’ve also got a rainbow Equality shirt that I haven’t yet gotten in trouble for being not business casual that I’ve been wearing once a week on non-teaching days. And last year when it got colder I wore sneakers on non-teaching days for the first time. (Currently wearing sandals constantly.) Baby steps…

  8. Omdg Says:

    I wear scrubs, a hair covering, and no makeup when I’m in the OR. Last week I had to go in for in person meetings so I made an effort and got multiple positive comments about my appearance (accompanied by a full body up and down look 🙄). I can only assume that people (men) in my dept think I look like a troll most days, and certainly not hot enough to pay any attention to whatsoever. It depresses me to realize that if I were younger and hotter I would 100% be treated better. If only I were senior enough by this point for it to no longer matter.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I don’t think you would be treated better if you were younger and hotter. They would just be even more harassing and take you less seriously. Your colleagues are gross.

      • delagar Says:

        Agree. I have a couple of colleagues who do the full make up, cute dresses, and fancy shoes route every day, and I’ve noticed how much less seriously their opinions are taken than mine. Sometimes in faculty meetings when what they say gets ignored, I will repeat it, and voila, suddenly it’s worth talking about.

      • Omdg Says:

        Lol maybe. That made me feel better, thx. :-) Yay for reaching the age of un-f*ckability!

  9. bogart Says:

    Hmmm. I used to wear mascara and powder, but stopped bothering some years ago. I remove any facial hair I need to (a few random bits, plus some light moustachey fringy bits) using DH’s simple hand-held razor (manual, not electric). I have a uniform comprised of not-blue jeans, sensible shoes, and either a short-sleeved blouse (warm weather) or a sweater (cooler weather) that I’ve been getting away with for years. And now I generally only need to go in to the office 2-3 days a week, so I don’t even need to do that as much. Like you I wear my hair long because I find that easier than short.

    Just not interested in that stuff. And now I wear a mask 100% of the time indoors, making some things (makeup) even less relevant/usable.

    But reading your post and my comment makes me realize (again) how grateful I should be about how sensible my employer is being about COVID. Masks still required in some places (classrooms, to name one). I got my last booster late (my doctor was skeptical about value for those <60 and I figured I shouldn't have asked his advice if I didn't want to follow it…though eventually I didn't, as I did get boosted) and am thinking I'll wait 2-3 months (from that date). I'm hoping my employer will line up a double flu-and-COVID-booster together option, though thus far they haven't. (Both are available free at work, just not together).

    Congrats to DC1!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The mask is nice for covering up the face. I have been told in the past that my eyes are my best feature… so there’s that. :). (Also have been told my ears are which is even less flattering but they do show up in a KF94.)

    • Lisa Says:

      I’m jealous of those who have a uniform – I’m inching towards one myself but haven’t settled on a solid theme yet. Also jealous of those who have a “look” – a dean on our campus has the most amazing collection of custom-made suits with bold patterns that look amazing on her. The only “look” I can pull off well is “frumpy middle aged female professor”, which is apparently popular in this crowd! :)

  10. Alice Says:

    I had a makeup lesson a bit more than 10 years ago at this point because I wasn’t a makeup person and just wanted someone to tell me what to get/how to apply it when I wanted it. I was going into work situations where it was called for more often back then, plus I used it for dating. Day-to-day it’s not something I do, and haven’t worn any in years. But some unpracticed and probably out-of-date skills are in my back pocket if I want them again.

    For covid19, I’m still checking the local numbers at the state site and at covidactnow, both of which I mostly trust. There was a week in July when our county supposedly had no cases and then it went back to the numbers I would’ve expected. This week is showing another weird dip– not zero cases, but a big drop over prior weeks. We’ll see if it holds.

    Our elementary school isn’t reporting numbers and also isn’t requiring negative tests to return. They say that they’re “treating covid19 like a more normal illness this year.” They also sent a message about absences, explaining an escalating series of interventions that begin when your kid has more than 3 absences over the entire school year. I have worries and opinions about all of this, but will spare you the paragraphs.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, kids at DC1’s high school can’t exempt any finals if they miss five days of classes. (They let freshmen exempt 1, sophomores exempt 2 etc.) Which… isn’t that how long they’re supposed to be out minimum for covid? Seems really problematic.

  11. Lisa Says:

    The makeup thing clearly hits a nerve! There was an article in the NYTimes the other day about how women wearing makeup are perceived as more competent. Part of me wishes I cared enough to do something about it – I want to be perceived as competent! Though I actually prefer to BE competent, and feel pretty confident that the people who know me recognize my competence. My usual has been a tiny bit of eyeliner and a little powder to reduce the shininess. I have been trying to upgrade my clothing a bit from the athletic pants & sweatshirts I got used to during COVID to button-down shirts and jeans (our department is very casual) unless I’m teaching, and then I try to avoid jeans (try is the operative word here). Hopefully this ups my “competence at a glance” score. If I’m working from home, I totally ROCK the zoom shirt or blazer look (PJs on the bottom FTW!).

    My crew got the flu shot COVID booster combo last week, except my youngest, who is not eligible for the new boosters. Everyone but me was pretty wiped out the next day, including the youngest, who had a headache and chills, so I’m blaming the flu shot. I was lucky to only have a tiny bit of soreness in each arm, flu a little worse than COVID. Feels good to be boosted!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      There’s different archetypes in business compared to academia so I’m not sweating said NYTimes article. I also don’t think anyone doubts my competence.

      I didn’t even think of getting DC2 the flu shot but we totally could have. I’m still not used to hir being old enough to get it at the pharmacist but zie totally is.

  12. Debbie M Says:

    Yay, arm muscles! When I first got some at summer camp, I learned they were good for opening heavy doors. (I’d thought that skill was more dependent on leaning your body weight in.)

    Yay, teachers still recommending the good stuff even when they can’t require it!

    Yay newest covid vaccine! I also got to get one just yesterday. And now I have a mild sore throat, which I hope is from that, and a minor ache when I push on the part of my shoulder where I got it, which I know is from that.

    I also don’t wear makeup except for special occasions (unless I forget). So, once every 5-10 years? That’s because when I started grad school after wearing no makeup at summer camp, I wasn’t back in the habit right away, and there was a 3:1 male:female ratio in my dorm, so I didn’t need it to get attention, so that was the end of that. And now I can just rub my eyes whenever I want to.

    I’m definitely frumpy at my current weight, but at lower weights I like to think I beat off some of the frump with jewelry and comfortable but flattering clothes. My hair is also long because I like long hair, because I can cut it myself, because it needs cutting only a couple of times a year, because gravity helps hold down some of the frizziness, and because long hair can still be put up to get it off one’s neck if it’s hot.

  13. CG Says:

    I swipe on a powder makeup thing every day to even out my skin tone and that’s it. I’m majorly incompetent with any other form of makeup. I’ve gotten VERY casual with my workwear. When I started I wore wool dress pants, blouses, and jackets. I hated them all. Now that I have tenure I wear a combination of dresses and jeans and shirts and sweaters. Last year during zoom school I would come in from exercising and throw a sweater over my t-shirt and no one was the wiser. That was great! Congrats to DC1!

    • Lisa Says:

      I totally throw sweaters/blazers over sweaty workout shirts for zoom meetings from home – best thing ever! Plus a little powder to hide the sweaty face.

  14. First Gen American Says:

    Like Debbie’s opinion, I think most of the frump comes from extra weight. I never wear makeup at home, but do put on some light natural looking stuff when I “dress up” for work. As I have gotten more grey, my eyebrows and eyelashes have gotten invisible and I look much better when I have them.

    I remember when I was in my 20’s I got a talking to about dressing too casual at work and how that mattered. (A lot of docker style pants and sweaters). So I went the other way and got a bunch of pant suits. As my weight creeped up, now I wear dresses or skirts and Suit coats over them. I wish I cared more about my sense of style as it does affect how people treat you.

    I hate the way caked on makeup looks on myself and others.

  15. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I’m hoping for an easy bivalent booster, we booked our appointments for a few weeks from now.

    I also don’t do makeup! I used to, early in my career when I needed not to look like a child, but my reputation now precedes me so I can relax with bare face (touch of rosacea notwithstanding) and sweatshirts. I also really like not having to truly get dressed for socializing much. But some days I would like to have make up skills because yes, badly applied make up would be so much worse than no make up.

    I haven’t read DoA in years but THAT sounds awfully familiar! I can’t remember Dorothy but I suspect I was only half as mature at 19 as I thought I was at the time. I was an “old soul” (aka had to pick up a lot of adult skills to cope with life at far too young an age) but too inexperienced.

    Disturbing that the teacher didn’t see for themself that that was an issue but I’m glad the students spoke up in some way.

    • Nic Says:

      We all had easy Pfizer bivalent booster + flu shot experiences this week: ages 47, 46, 15, 13, 12. None of us have ever had Covid (to our knowledge), only a couple of mildly sore arms on day 2, on their Covid booster- injected arms. 🫶🫶🫶🫶

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