RBOC

  • On a recent plane trip, I shared a row with the guy partly in charge of food on American Airlines.  I told him I really liked the Biscoff and he said that was one of his programs.  :)
  • Trying to get flu shots for my kids has been non-trivial this year.  I called and the receptionist said only my doctor’s nurse could make those appointments and then I got the voicemail for the nurse which said that if this was about appointments to press 0 because the front desk could make those appointments, then the front desk again refused.  Later that day DH called and actually got the nurse, but she said they couldn’t get flu shots unless they had their well-child appointments for the year (even though they both had them before school this year!), but the first available for a well-child visit was not for weeks and they would have to be taken out of school (and while DH was on the phone, google calendar suddenly decided to have a bug on all our devices throwing back to 2015 and not showing any items for 2017– it worked again on all devices like 10 min after DH got off the phone).  Then DH realized that DC1 is old enough to get a shot at the pharmacy so we all went to the pharmacy.  So I guess DC2 will just not be getting a flu shot this year.
  • DC1 has the same shoe size as my sister now.  I still have another half toe in size on hir, but it’s getting close!  It is a bit crazy how quickly the feet grow compared to the rest.
  • DC2 watched Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar and cried and cried that it was over and there wasn’t a second season and zie couldn’t watch it again for the first time.  I tried Angelic Layer, but zie wasn’t into the first episode.  Right now zie is watching YumeIro Patisserie on youtube.
  • We cleared out a bunch of board books and similar books that DC2 has outgrown (we kept stuff like Sandra Boynton, but not the super easy readers meant only for babies), and now there’s a bunch of empty space in one of our bookcases where we had been keeping the grade K-3 chapter books (which are now in DC2’s bookcase).  I feel a bit twitchy about this.  I’d expected to be buying Spanish stuff from Scholastic (Club Leo), but the teachers never started Scholastic even though they said they would.  I guess they forgot.  :(
  • I CANNOT imagine borrowing money to go on a vacation ever, whether or not I already had a ton of debt.  This is probably the first time I’ve felt that we could probably handle a Hawaiian vacation given our income.  However, I think I would rather spend that money on the kitchen (also political action and charity).  (Plus there’s always that looming question of whether or not my 12 year old car is going to finally give up on us.)  Of course, I can’t imagine borrowing money to renovate a functional kitchen either.  (Borrowing for a car is often a necessity, particularly in areas where public transportation is poor.)
  • Related:  Consumer debt from buying luxuries and choosing to service high interest debt rather than sacrifice spending to pay it down is VERY different than medical debt caused by insufficient insurance from our broken health insurance markets.
  • I have finally abandoned “he or she” or “(s)he” in my technical writing.  I’m still having trouble replacing it with the singular “they” so I’m mostly rephrasing to remove pronoun use at all or to make the they plural.  (On the blog I’m sticking with zie and hir.)
  • DC1 grew a bit more after I typed that third bullet [#2 edits:  bonbon], and is now the PERFECT size for a chin rest.
  • I called about the Dream Act yesterday.  Today is for SCHIP funding.   https://5calls.org/issue/bipartisan-renewal-chip-funding

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RBOC

  • Amazing discovery:  TJ’s Happy Trekking mix left in a hot car and then taken inside results in the most amazing fruit/nut chocolate clusters.  A+++ would recommend.
  • I have been really enjoying fancy fruit balsamic vinegar mixed with seltzer.
  • I finally got a letter from George Soros.  He wants me to fight to legalize marijuana which (other than the racial aspects of imprisonment which are a problem and the medical aspects that are already dealt with pretty well) are so far down on my “to protest” list… I can’t even with the “paid protestors” bit the alt-right keeps trotting out.  If Soros were paying we’d be protesting marijuana laws, not the affordable care act or anti-science or laws that harm minorities.
  • Roses are red
     I’m in a training
     Poetry is hard
    Caffeine.
  • I hate when you have to schedule a meeting for a group of people because it is the only way to get one (white, male) guy to do the one tiny piece of work that only he can do, that you sit there waiting for him to do at the meeting, and it actually takes longer to schedule the @#$@3ing meeting than it would take for him to just do the one tiny piece of work that only he can do and then email the results out.
  • Speaking of meetings– I would like to stop getting cryptic emails saying we need to set up an appointment to meet/talk on the phone about an urgent sensitive matter.  THREE this week.  About completely different things!  Stop sending cryptic emails!  Just pick up the damn phone and call or stop by my office.  Or, better, stop having urgent and sensitive matters that need my input!
  • update:  none of them turned out to be that big of a deal in the end, or at least nowhere near where my imagination went!
  • “The usual” interview questions are generally asked for a reason.  Asking bizarre vaguely threatening questions in an interview to catch the interviewee off-guard does not make you a good administrator, it makes you a bad one.  Interviewing is not a gotcha-game, it’s a negotiation between two parties, both of which will be making a decision about fit.  Though I suppose in the world Republicans want, people will be so desperate for low-paid work that they’ll put up with whatever stupid psychological games their boss wants to put them through.
  • huh, look what you made me do IS I’m too sexy (for my shirt too sexy for my shirt)…and she did the right thing and paid to use it.  Cool.
  • I’m still doing my weekly calls but it feels like the bad guys are starting to get ahead, particularly in the realms of fascism.  Nobody showed up to the Indivisible voter information session other than the organizers.  What else can we be doing?  What are you doing?

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RBOC

  • I knew John Green had terrible taste in literature (as evidenced by his deep abiding love for the required HS whiny privileged male protagonist canon), but I didn’t realize it wasn’t just that he liked terrible books in addition to good books.  He has read one Terry Pratchett.  (A Discworld too, and not one of Pratchett’s early meh children’s books.)  I can’t even.  How is that even possible?  None, All, or “I’m in the middle of the series” all make sense, but one is beyond the bounds of belief.
  • I guess I like some of the “privileged people create their own problems” literature, but generally the ones I read allow the reader in on the joke.  Like if Gatsby had Jeeves working for him.  Emma is a warning about what happens when an intelligent woman has too much time on her hands, not whatever deep lessons it is that people get from Holden Caulfield’s incessant whining.  Though I guess they both would have been better off with meaningful occupation.  We chuckle at Emma but nobody identifies with her.  Maybe because of male privilege– men want to identify with privileged losers but that’s a luxury women don’t have.  To get as whiny and indolent as Holden Caulfield as a woman, you end up being a side character put in the story merely for comic relief.
  • Note to self:  If I ever become a YA writer, try writing a story where Caulfield is a minor character played for laughs from the perspective of a female protagonist.
  • I am glad that if I wrote an “unvarnished truth” style memoir, it would be pretty boring.  Or, as our tag says, “probably boring if you’re not us
  • It is annoying that some of the jargon in my field is non-pc.  I am currently going through a paper doing a find/replace to change all the bad jargon into less obnoxious words.  I know I could probably get this published with the jargon still in place, but non-pc terms can hurt marginalized people and we don’t have to do that.  Still, because it is the jargon in my field, my early drafts always use the shorthand.  Just 42 instances more to go…
  • The times in my life when I’ve been least happy have been times when I have had less agency and the times when I’ve been most happy, I’ve been the one deciding what to do with my life.  I suspect this is healthy.
  • I keep getting upper respiratory infections. (I suspect this is not  healthy.) I do not like it.
  • It feels amazing to not be sick after being sick.
  • It is amazing to have DH back after him being gone for over a week.
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RBOC

  • Don’t forget to call your senators about health care!  They’re likely to try to repeat what the House did and pass their horrible bill that drops healthcare coverage for the neediest, breaks insurance markets for people on the exchanges, removes coverage protections for those with employer sponsored health insurance, and gives enormous tax breaks to a few people, when they think nobody is paying attention.
  • “Knives” is an awesome name for a girl.  Like Knives Chau.
  • Wonder Woman is the hero we need, but not the hero we deserve.
  • I have had minor chest congestion and a small cough since May.  It doesn’t seem to be allergies.  I know at this point I should probably go into see a doctor but I seriously doubt it will make a difference.  Maybe I’ll get chest x-rays and they’ll find bronchitis, and then what?  Probably nothing, possibly antibiotics that won’t do anything. (Update:  trying a different antihistamine than my usual helps but only while it is working, so maybe allergies?)
  • I don’t think it’s a coincidence that bloggers who complain about debt and money also borrow money to buy luxuries we don’t generally feel we can afford.
  • DH is listening to the new Al Franken book and keeps getting verklempt.  DH says he has to pause it while driving in order to gather himself together.  Apparently it hits lots of emotions.
  • Why doesn’t spellcheck know verklempt?  Overslept is not even close!
  • John Green had a brief but intense love affair with Ryan Gosling on the set of LaLaLand. It was only 48 hours, and they don’t keep in touch, but he has never felt so loved.
  • There’s this thing that several current pop songs are doing with auto-tune these days that I don’t really like.  I don’t mind auto-tune when it’s used to say, correct Brittney Spears, and I kind of liked the electronic vocal effects that they played around with in the 1980s.  I think the difference here is that it hits the uncanny valley of vocal stuff.
  • I want to play planescape torment again
  • DC1 doesn’t greedily identify, or really identify at all, with the lone genius trope.  Zie hasn’t even reread Matilda (which we own).  I think this is a good thing and evidence that zie is having a much happier childhood than the rest of us did.
  • What do I need to do in order to find a job I don’t hate given that I hate to work?  (what/how/where/how???).
  • I’ve been reading about people who hate to work.  Unfortunately a lot of the advice is “start your own business!” which is the worst.  Or become financially independent, sure, but first I have to work to get money.  “Start a side hustle!” but I don’t even have the energy for ONE hustle.

RBOC

  •  Solution to the CSA turnip problem:  veggie spears with dip.  Turns out raw turnip is pretty inoffensive.
  • MIL was being reticent about accepting our portion of the cabin/hotel costs (or even letting us know what said costs are– thankfully there’s google to give guestimates based on posted website prices), so we just sent her a check for $800.  She cashed it.  Victory!  (I hope that means it was a reasonable amount and not that we low-balled the costs.)
  • I took a whole bunch of “what anime should I watch next” and they all said ouran high school host club even though they all had different questions.  But I’ve seen it literally three times.  I do own the dvds… maybe I should just give in.  I kind of want to rewatch yamato nadeshiko shichihenge and I also own that so maybe.  I bet the kids are old enough to enjoy scrapped princess.
  • As I often do when I can’t figure out an anime to watch, I read some manga.  This time around I found Kimagure Orange Grove since I last saw the anime like 20 years ago.  What gets me this time around is how current some of the 1980s fashions look (even though my closet is full of brand-new 60s-style print dresses!).  In the past 1980s manga/anime has seemed really dated by the clothing, but no more!  I guess everything old is new again.
  • DC2 is really into books about people (kids, cats, etc.) behaving badly.  Hir favorites were David of No David! fame and Bad Kitty (of Bad Kitty fame).  Hir swimming instructor recommended Junie B. Jones, which I purposefully never ever got for DC1… but we picked one up at the library for DC2.  I’m hoping that the explanation that Junie B. Jones does NOT behave well (and DC2 would NEVER behave like her) will be sufficient.  After all zie hasn’t behaved like David or Bad Kitty… I worry a little because when I was little I would sometimes pretend to be book characters, but some of that was me not being mentally stimulated enough, and we work hard at getting our kids mental exercise.  But DC2 is ok with but not crazy about Magic books (like The Magic Treehouse), unlike DC1 at this stage, and zie isn’t yet into mysteries… so if one wants DC2 to eagerly read chapter books, one has to supply what DC2 likes.  (I forget when DC1’s love of mysteries suddenly and mysteriously started, but I think it was closer to age 6.)
  • Nice kitty has learned how to play fetch with her favorite toy– a thick shoelace that she wants us to drag on the ground so she can chase it.
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RBOC

  • PSA:  If you need to save space on your grant proposal, do not, I repeat, DO NOT mess around with the spacing between letters to buy yourself more space.  Cut things, play with your margins, get rid of adjectives, whatever, but playing with the spaces between letters just makes life difficult for your reviewers.  Leave Kerning Alone!
  • We hadn’t been shopping in the city for something like 3 months.  When we finally went, we spent almost $300 at TJ’s (DH says this is a new record) and $175 at WF.  And also we bought loose tea at the tea shop and ice cream at the ice cream place and poke (yay!) at one of the new poke bars and a lasagna at the fresh noodle place and… Our freezer is now full and our pantry is over-stocked.  Since we also have the CSA (which also provides eggs and a pound of ground beef each week) going right now I told DH we weren’t allowed to go grocery shopping except to get milk for a few weeks.
  • I really like the teapot DH got me for my birthday.
  • It’s a little depressing looking at stats for random posts and seeing that some quite excellent posts haven’t had a single view in aeons.  Do they get lonely?  Do they feel unloved?  Back when we had less of an archive, occasionally we’d have people read all the posts, but I think there’s too much now.  Which is a shame because there’s some really good stuff in there.
  • I found out that the Davis, California Whole Foods recently went out of business.  If a hippie university town near SF can’t support a WF, what hope does our nowhere have of getting one?
  • It’s creepy seeing that a college ex-boyfriend has checked out your LinkedIn profile.  (He’s a product manager at Google in case you’re wondering, so I can’t imagine that he’s got any professional reason to look.  Plus apparently we only have one connection so it’s unlikely he accidentally landed on my page.)  I probably wouldn’t have minded if this guy hadn’t turned out to be a jerk, but this is not a guy I think fondly of if I think of him at all.  (Whereas I was super happy for my sweet first boyfriend when I heard through the grapevine that he’d gotten married and later he’d had kids.  I think I’m happy leaving him with that Happily Ever After.)
  • I suspect that at this point in the season I am about 70% zucchini bread by weight.
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RBOC

  • I think I’m going through premature ovarian failure.  I had stopped showing symptoms for a while so my doctor wasn’t all that concerned at my annual check-up other than doing the usual thyroid check and a (less usual) prolactin check to rule out other stuff, but symptoms have returned.  I do not like them.
  • It’s more than a little depressing that when I ask my colleagues “Where would you move?” each one of them has an immediate answer because they’ve thought hard about which countries to go to if they had to flee.  We’re kind of in a bad situation for that given that the countries that do DH’s thing aren’t necessarily the best for me (especially since I am hopeless at German– Ich sprecke nicht!), but in an emergency, if we were able to get our savings out of the country, I think we’d be able to retire without working to Spain, which I think I could handle.  I don’t want to be an ex-pat though– I am too patriotic.  I want to save my country instead.
  • DH found my faculty ID when he was sorting stuff for taxes.  Putting off getting a replacement for >6 months for the win!
  • I want to buy a t-shirt that says, “Dismal Scientist” but I may have to make one.
  • We bought silverware at a discount kitchen place when we were grad students.  After having my spoon bend again while eating ice cream, I decided that maybe it’s time to get a grown-up set of flatware.  After reading a lot of reviews, I determined that silverware sets have gone down in price quite a bit since we last shopped for them, but mainly because they’re really bad quality.  Lots of complaints about rusting and not being dishwasher safe for things that are supposed to be made of the highest quality material.  Pieces in the same sets aren’t standardized.  Production is mainly in Vietnam, Indonesia, and China, which wouldn’t be a problem except that there’s no quality control on the finished products, even from name-brands like Oneida and Lenox.  So we’re trying out the one remaining US manufacturer which is more expensive but seems to be getting pretty rave reviews.  You can get a set of 3 factory-seconds to try out different patterns for $8 (including shipping and handling), so that’s what we’re doing.  I’ll write a full post if it works out.  (Lots of the online reviews about it are in exchange for a free place setting, ours won’t be– they don’t know we exist.)
  • DH didn’t get an oxford comma joke that I showed him.  I had to explain what the Oxford comma was.  He still didn’t get it.  Readers, it was the first time I have ever questioned our marriage.  But then he said he always puts the comma there in a list so I said we could stay together.  Whew.
  • DC1 is better at piano now than I ever was.
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