RBOC

  • While I was gone both DC2 and DH made muffins without recipes.  After seeing the results, I realized that DH was emulating Keith from the Try Guys– he made cinnamon mini-muffins with raisin bran on top.  DC2 is definitely the Zach.  Hir muffins had 3 kinds of tea and… peppermint marshmallows(!).  They were … interesting.  I am impressed that they both made reasonable muffins without even looking at a base recipe.  But DC2 is really the only person eating hir muffins, though zie brought one to school and one of the friends zie gave a piece to asked for a second piece.
  • Houseflies are nature’s cat toys.
  • I had been unable to do many reverse flies (this is an exercise thing) and then all of a sudden it was no problem to do them!  Growth!  I’m getting stronger!
  • The weird thing is that some exercises that were trivial when I started (arm circles, wall reach) are now more difficult.  Not hard, but like, I can tell they’re exercises whereas I couldn’t before.  Are my arms heavier?  Are there muscles resisting that didn’t have the strength to resist before?  These are warm-up exercises so it’s not that I’m doing them after more intense workouts.
  • I gained 4 pounds traveling.  I ate a LOT of really good fish tacos.
  • Taskmaster is just SO GOOD.
  • Christmas seems to have started later this year– last year it seemed really early, I guess.  I was a little surprised by Thanksgiving because it didn’t get not hot until like a week before.  In-laws haven’t updated their kids’ wishlists yet.  I hope they do by Thanksgiving so we can shop on the couch after eating turkey.
  • This year my sister is going to her boyfriends’ extended family celebration, so we are doing a tiny only-us thanksgiving (with traditional food– last year we did Brazilian take-out) and then going to visit them that Saturday.
  • My in-laws are planning on doing Christmas pictures with a professional photographer on Christmas Eve (the two youngest grandkids weren’t in the last picture).  Orders are:  Grey or Red only. I don’t own anything red (#Spring) and I wore my two grey outfits in the last two professional photos and I’m pretty sure neither of them currently fit (#PandemicWeightGainNeverLeft).  I have a lot of black dresses that fit though… So I either need to buy some grey clothing or ask if black is ok.  I hate shopping.
  • Update: I do have this one dress that I call the frumpy teaching dress that’s grey and white (Posh (not sponsored) makes a face mask that exactly matches it!).  Completely forgot about it.  Presumably there will be children in front of me (there are 8 children) so it won’t be so obvious.  Though I guess DC1 is taller than I am so might be behind me!  One day I will be the shortest person in these pictures(!)  That’s what happens when you marry into a tall family.
  • It’s amazing how green part of your lawn can get when there’s a water leak.
  • I recently visited a place I lived for two years as a child and one thing that really stuck out– the crows sound the same there as they did when I was a kid (caw caw caw) but they sound different than crows elsewhere.  Birds really do have regional accents.  Though out here it’s all grackles and buzzards.  I’ve always felt a fondness for crows and seagulls that I don’t have for other birds.  Though I have a really good robin imitation and I do appreciate viewing hummingbirds and cardinals and I dunno, peacocks (though I don’t really like to hear peacocks).
  • I found out I did not give Covid to the one guy at the summer conference who couldn’t go home if he got it who I sat next to at dinner (outdoors) the day before I knew.  Masks + ventilation rock.
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RBOC

  • As I dig into old drafts for post ideas, I wonder, am I running out of ideas?
  • I guess a lot of my brain cycles are taken up with incipient fascism and there’s only so much I can talk about that without everyone getting depressed.  Plus my kids are older and their business is their business to a much greater extent.  Nobody wants to discuss teens or even pre-teens like they want to discuss toddlers.
  • I will say that my kids are really really neat.  Watching them grow up into their own people is so amazing.  It’s crazy that DC1 will be off to college in a year and we think zie is going to be ok on hir own.
  • That said, I am a little concerned about DC1 being able to actually feed hirself.  Everything else, no problem.  Choosing food and getting it eaten before low blood sugar sets in, maybe not as confident.  (This is something zie inherited from me, but I didn’t realize until I was married and DH pointed it out because his mom has the same problem if she doesn’t eat.  At least DC1 grew up knowing.)  Like I’ve said before, a college with full dining hall service would be ideal.
  • DC2 grew a full inch last month.  Now 4’9″.  Soon I will be the shortest person in the house except for the cat.
  • Maybe I’ve said all the things I had to say.  Like, I had 30-odd years to think up the things that got detailed long posts on the blog back when we started and now I’ve already written about them and don’t need to write about them again.  So that leaves little twitter-sized snippets.  But I don’t have twitter, so they end up on these RBOC.
  • I have been having a lot of headaches recently.  I am not a fan.  I don’t know if it’s pressure or menopause or not enough stretching my upper-back/neck after doing various exercises with dumbells (lateral lifts are hard!).  Or maybe I’m just not sleeping correctly.  Stretches, massages, hot baths, and just heat in general seem to help (also OTC painkillers, though sometimes it takes two kinds).  Also it not being overcast helps.
  • I’m definitely getting to the age where I can talk about my aches and pains ad infinitum.  I try not to in polite company though!
  • Exercise continues to be happening.  I think I feel more nimble and stronger?  It’s not as obvious as with DH who has been doing it for a year now.

RBOC

  • DH went to a candidate forum sponsored by our HOA armed with questions to ask the local school board candidates.  The first and important one was about banning books.  Our incumbent is vehemently against.  There is a crazy lady who is the local Republican party chair who says that our schools are indoctrinating instead of educating and is in favor of banning books.  The third candidate said he didn’t understand what the whole banning books thing is because he hasn’t looked into it but kids are going to learn things on the street if there aren’t books so what’s the point.  In terms of LGBT, the incumbent said it is incredibly important for all students to feel comfortable at school and to be accommodated so they can all reach their full potential (also gave other examples, race, learning style differences etc.).  DH didn’t bother to ask the crazy lady.  The third candidate basically said similar boilerplate to school being for all kids and it being important for them to feel comfortable, but hen had to spoil it with a followup that of course, as a good Christian he believes that homosexuality is a sin.  If I’d been there I would have called him a terrible Christian.
  • On the way to the grocery store, DH was stuck behind a slow car but couldn’t pass because the offramp he needed to get to was really close and he didn’t want to miss it and because it was close he wasn’t losing much time.  HOWEVER, there was a woman in a huge SUV tailgating him.  He was going the full speed limit on the ramp because he was no longer behind the slow car.  She sped up, passed DH, then slammed on her brakes in front of him, nearly causing an accident.  Thing is, DH has a dashcam and all that got recorded.  He doesn’t want to report it to police because there wasn’t actually an accident and he wants to be able to forget it all.  But, and this is important:  SHE IS VOTING IN THE LOCAL ELECTION.  All the people like her will be.  VOTE.  GET YOUR GOOD PEOPLE FRIENDS TO VOTE.  Otherwise the world will be more full of evil people like her getting away with things with impunity.
  • My two flights back from Blue coasts recently were full of obviously sick people not wearing masks.  The first one there was a guy that sounded like he had TB and it was so awful that everyone in the 3 rows surrounding managed to find masks to put on.  The second one was just so much sniffing.  The maskless woman next to me spent two hours stiffing, wiping her nose on the back of her hand, then sleeping on her husband until she finally blew through two kleenexes at the two hour mark.
  • The person behind me not only was constantly sniffing and occasionally coughing but also didn’t have headphones and played movies on his phone really loudly, including ones with phone rings, violence, and loud fights.  He also occasionally kicked the back of my chair, though that wasn’t so bad because it was in the lumbar support area for me and was a bit massage-like.
  • Anyhow, this whole selfishness and not caring about others thing is getting to be more pronounced.
  • Also I’d forgotten just how BAD it sounds when people have colds.
  • Prediction:  Jen Doleac is going to be at University of Michigan next year or the year after that.  (Though I also think Brown would be a great fit for her and they are also hiring.)  I think Justin Wolfers has been signaling that they’re going to target her for a potential hire.  It sounds like Texas A&M econ is imploding a little (via Friends of Friends).
  • I spent some time catching up with a friend on a recent trip and her pandemic experience was much worse than ours was, including loss of a sibling on top of everything else.  So awful.
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RBOC

  • I can’t believe that polio is circulating in the US again.  It is insane.  We eradicated it!  Growing up, I saw adults with twisted limbs who had gotten it as small children.  The vaccine doesn’t even require a shot!  This is so insane.
  • The US reported almost two-fifths of the world’s monkeypox cases according to an NIHCM email I got this week.
  • DC2 (age 10) has a(n) (opposite gender) friend who is very Mormon, evangelically so.  They have a texting relationship since they’re two of the only people with cell phones who are allowed to text.  Zie seems very nice, and yet, I don’t really want DC2 to get too close. (I have not acted on this feeling, other than to honestly answer some of DC2’s questions about Mormonism.)  This caused some introspection.  I think I would feel this way about any evangelical person, and particularly those from faiths with a history of misogyny, homophobia, and racism.  I do have a female Mormon colleague in a related department who has been allowed to work despite being married and having a large number of children, but she’s pretty extremely homophobic (under her maiden name, there are homophobic screeds she’s authored on the internet).  The Mormon economists I know are all extremely nice and all male with large families and stay-at-home-wives.  They even encourage female students to become economics PhDs.  And yet…
  • So many evangelical people seem so nice.  And yet… when it comes to equal rights and respecting people’s sexual/romantic identities… seeming nice and being nice are not the same thing at all.
  • DC2 got staph infections on hir knees– we initially thought it was just scraped knees, but then the scrapes didn’t go away and the patches seemed to increase in size.  Two days of antibiotics + bleach bath cleared it right up (we finished the full treatment of antibiotics and bleach baths).  It is remarkable how quickly modern medicine can work.
  • It’s a little crazy to me how many antibiotics I took as a kid, but I think this may actually have been DC2’s first round.  I got strep throat several times as a kid and had several ear infections in middle school and high school.  My mom almost died of Scarlet Fever when she was little, so at the first sign of a sore throat we’d be at the doctor getting a throat culture. Everything else generally took a wait and see attitude, and even so, the ear infections didn’t go away on their own and I’d go into the doctor when it felt like someone was sticking a knife in my ear.
  • Man, the stock market has kind of tanked recently.
  • After a semester and a half back in public school, DC2’s progress report scores have actually dropped below where they were last Spring when we’d home schooled hir for English and Science.  This is a progress test where zie is nowhere the ceiling, so it’s not just that hir percentile score has dropped (which they have) or zie isn’t doing as well in the next grade-level– it’s an actual loss of ability.  And I don’t think it’s just mean reversion because I’d expect it to be the same or only a little higher, not lower, if that were the case given the additional instruction time that has passed. These are in the mid-90s for percentile, but I’m not sure if this is an indictment of public schooling in our state or that DH and I did a really good job teaching English even though we had no clue what we were doing, or that the California teacher we stole material from really knew what she was doing.
  • I was explaining the above bullet to a (childfree) friend via text and she was like, “you need to chill” and like… I was chill?  I was just noting that homeschooling seemed to be better academically than our local public school despite DH and me having no idea what we were doing.  Like, my kids are going to be fine?  And I have no intention of sacrificing our careers more for marginal improvements and I don’t feel bad about that?
  • Should this be making me anxious?  I have extremely low to non-existent levels of parenting guilt.  Possibly because I don’t think what we do matters that much in the long run so long as we’re not abusing or neglecting, which we’re not, and we’re providing stability and love, which we are.
  • What is making me anxious though is flying out to my dream job department.  Just looking at the cvs of the people I’m going to be meeting with had me almost hyperventilating.  I don’t feel worthy AT ALL.  But DH talked me down reminding me that I have double the teaching load and more service and less grant support and a different student mix and who knows what else.  Plus, DH didn’t add this, but also the constant worry about politics directly negatively affecting my children and their friends and my students in the background.  It’s quite possible that my productivity would be closer to theirs if I had better opportunities.  And I need to remember that.
  • Since its not guaranteed that I will get my dream job, I’ve been making a list of jobs in Blue states for people at associate and full.  I’ve applied to two, but all the rest require rec letters or names of recommenders and I don’t even know where to start with asking people.  I wish I knew who had written full prof letters for me.
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RBOC

  • Before I got my first paycheck for the year, DH’s raise was announced.  He’s making 3K more than I am now!
  • Neither our income percentile nor our marginal tax rate has changed with our two raises, even though it was a 10% raise for me (smaller % for DH).
  • It astonishes me how this is both a lot of money but also how very much more per year the people in the next income percentiles up make.
  • Housing calculators say that we can’t afford to buy a 2 million dollar house with 20% down on our joint income.  That’s limiting housing to 36% of pre-tax income.
  • Is it better to rent for $6K/mo or to buy for $10K/mo (mortgage + taxes)?  I guess there are calculators for that.
  • All of the above conjectures are WAY premature.  I should not even be thinking about them.  (But it is nice to dream.)
  • Said dreaming has spawned a bit of decluttering.  I actually decluttered some books, which I haven’t really done since the relative’s kids grew up and moved out.  I have decluttered children’s books as DC2 grows out of them, but this time we took grown-up books (including a lot of “how to be a professor” advice) to the local public library for their booksale.  Why not?
  • Next up is the good-will closet– we should actually take things to goodwill!
  • After that, DH’s office closet.  It has a combination of things we need to keep, things that will go to my sister if/when she ever decides to have kids (we have some high quality wooden kids stuff that I’d prefer go to family), and a bunch of stuff we don’t actually need (framed pictures and who knows what else).  We should at least move out the stuff we don’t really need.  Also tons and tons of hangers.
  • Last time MIL came to look after the kids, she bought more hangers for DC1’s closet.  I bet DH’s office closet was too packed for her to notice/get to the dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of hangers that are kept there.
  • DH is very picky about hangers so he only has pretty wooden hangers that match.
  • I’m not picky, but the last time we went on leave, I made my closet look pretty for potential renters by using only nice hangers and never really got more.
  • Our furniture has gotten extremely shabby since the pandemic started.  Mostly cat scratches and also a slight scent of cat pee on all of the couches since she did not like us being gone for our trips this summer.  If I do get another job, we will probably start over from scratch on the couches.
  • Schools are so eager to say they’ve got students from 50 states, that I suspect high school graduates from Wyoming can get into most colleges.  There were 5,914 total graduates in the state last year.  Assuming half are college-bound, that’s still under 3,000 graduates.  The undergraduate total enrollment at University of Wyoming is 9,342 and 55% of them are in-state, so around 5,100 in state students, conservatively assume 1/4 are freshmen => 1,300 attend UWyoming, meaning 1,700 do not.  There’s 5,300 colleges and universities in the US.  So… about 3 colleges for every remaining college-bound graduate if they want to check the Wyoming box in their presentations.
  • Sometimes I wonder how it is that I’m an adult and like, in charge of making so many actual decisions.  It’s a little crazy.  And yet, it’s been this way more than half my life at this point.
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RBOC

  • 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.

RBOC

  • Some of DC1’s friends from programming class two years ago are starting an AI club.  They’ve asked hir to be an officer (though zie doesn’t know which position yet– not president or vice president).  They had a hard time finding a faculty sponsor and I think ended up with a foreign language teacher.  They also have to have 10 members whereas previously they only needed 5.
  • I’ve noticed over the past year or two that admin people at my university have started to become way less helpful and much more bitchy in every single interaction.  Previously everything seemed like it was coming from a place in which they wanted to help their constituencies (exception:  the grants office and the IRB, both of which have always been pretty awful) and now it’s borderline hostile and they don’t have suggestions for who to talk to next whenever there’s a small problem.  DH says that it was always like this for him at the engineering college and it’s just now spilling over to liberal arts.  Though I don’t think he ever had a problem with his IT like I have problems with IT.  Assuming that it’s not just random:  Is it inflation causing people in customer facing occupations to be underpaid?  Is it pandemic fatigue (though we’ve been ignoring the pandemic for a year and a half at least now)?  Is it Trumpism saying that the idea that we’re all in this together is only for idiots and helping people should be avoided at all costs?
  • If you know you’re not going to referee a paper, just decline right away!  There is no reason to drag it out!
  • Recently I have often felt like the only full professor in the faculty who actually remembers anything ever.  A part of me wonders if this might have something to do with me being possibly the only full professor in the department who didn’t get Covid Alpha.  (I got probably BA5 post-vaccination + booster.)  It’s driving me a little bit crazy.  (Example, department head who was hired 2 years before I was asked for committee volunteers to create alternative measures of excellence given that the university measure doesn’t fit well outside of grant-heavy sciences.  And I was like… didn’t we do that 5 years ago?  Wasn’t X on that committee.  And then X was like, oh yeah, I WAS on that committee.  I should be able to dig up our report.  And Bam!  no need to reinvent the wheel.  But it’s also stuff like remembering that we need to do teaching observation for promotion and tenure cases.  Or that we agreed to certain action items at the last curriculum committee meeting.)
  • DC1’s economics/government teacher told students not to fill out the American Community Survey if they get it (I got one recently!  That makes it 2x I’ve done the equivalent of the Census long form.  I am represented!) because it is a violation of your freedom.  He also told them that they say they will fine you for not doing it, but they don’t actually fine you, because after a while they just give up.
  • Word is correcting “Once sufficient data are gathered…” to “…is gathered…”  DH says this is a sign of the end times.
  • DC1:  My government teacher said he didn’t understand why economists think sunlight cannot be a scarce resource.
    Me (after much twitchy silence): It’s not that sunlight can’t be a scare resource, just that it wasn’t in England in like the 18th century
    DC1: Right, because the sun never set
    Me (after a pause where the wheels in my head turned): I am so proud.
  • Harvey Mudd changed their essay questions for the first time in years.  That means DC1’s wonderfully written, “Why Mudd?” essay from this summer is completely axed.  They only have two questions instead of three now.  I wonder why.  Maybe the lack of SAT scores means they’ve been getting too many applications?  DC1 thinks zie can cobble together different pieces of discarded HMC essays and state flagship essays to answer their “how have your experiences led to what you want to do with your life” question.  But it’s a bit of a setback.

RBOC

  • I had no idea before reading the Miss Silver mysteries that women in England also got “called up” aka drafted for work during WWII.
  • Had to pay $1K to get a below-ground sprinkler bubbler to replace our out-dated pond-making old one.  We could have spent $300 for an above-ground one, but apparently you have to be careful with them if it gets below freezing and nobody wants to deal with that.  DH explained all of this to me and I silently handed him a checkbook.  “I trust your judgment,” I then said.  “I assumed you would say that,” he responded, “It’s only money, right?”  “1K isn’t going to make a difference in the fact we can’t afford a 3 million dollar house.”
  • The sprinkler guy gave us a used super fancy sprinkler control system for free (worth $200 new), which makes DH suspect he felt guilty about overcharging us.  It cancels the sprinkler when the weather forecast is for rain and lets us know via email.
  • Remember how we home-schooled DC2 for a semester until zie could get a covid vaccine?  And how we had no idea what we were doing with Language Arts?  Well, apparently stealing material from California teacher websites and having hir read modern children’s classics paid off because zie got 100% on reading comprehension on the state tests.  This is a first for both our children for reading comprehension.  (They’re both readers, but I don’t think they’ve ever gotten a perfect on a reading comprehension standardized test.)  (98% math– zie got X and Y mixed up for coordinate points, 94% science.)
  • DC1’s government teacher started the first day of class saying he is a libertarian.  Fortunately this was followed up with a small rant about social conservatives (and an equivalent one about progressives), so he’s not a fake libertarian.  Still, there’s a lot of irony in libertarian public school government teachers.
  • Chipotle in adobo sauce food processed with Mexican crema or sour cream is AMAZING.
  • DC1’s English class this year says that all Western literature is just the Bible redone and metaphors for the Bible.  I was like, what about things that are Ancient Greek literature redone and metaphors for Ancient Greek literature?  Western Civilization predates the Bible!  Of course, one of my high school English teachers said that all poetry was just metaphors for Sex or Death (or just Death if you consider Sex to be the Little Death), which was hilariously funny when the next year a completely different English teacher tried to teach the one Emily Dickinson poem that’s not about Sex or Death.  DC1 pointed out that a previous class had said all literature was the Hero’s Journey and it’s not clear that all the stories in the Bible fit that.
  • They’re reading the Jack London short story To Build a Fire AGAIN.  They read so little literature compared to how much we read in the midwest in high school, and yet they have run out of books about dumb white male protagonists who lose the Man vs. Nature theme to the extent that they have to reread one.  (Recall that the Fascist sophomore year was 100% books about privileged white dudes who do dumb stuff and end up dying.)
  • I have to wonder if maybe there would be more scope for things that aren’t Bible allegories if they, maybe, I dunno, read books by women or minorities or non-Christians or you know, really anything that’s not a Privileged White Dude repeating the same boring tropes over again.  (I would say Dead White Dude, but they actually do read books by living Privileged White Dudes.)
  • They are actually reading TWO Shakespeare plays.  This makes for three total for their K-12 careers here.  Which ones you ask?  Well, obviously Othello and Hamlet.  Can’t have any with you know, non-tragic Female Characters who don’t meet an oxygen-deprived grave.  I’m a little surprised about Othello, because it has a minority character in it, but really, it’s a minority character written by a white dude who does violence against a white woman because he thinks she’s impure.  So… really shouldn’t be that surprised.
  • I think I may finally have gotten post-covid out of my lungs.  I had a cough and some congestion for well over a month after.  (Scishow says this is normal, apparently it takes the proteins that fill your lungs up a while to get the message to stop doing that after you’ve fought off some respiratory infections.)
  • I’m really enjoying using notepad++ instead of wordpad for programming.

RBOC

  • DC2 has forgotten how to swim since the pandemic started.  Zie can still float and stuff, but zie had gotten to a pretty decent ability level with strokes previously.  DC1 doesn’t seem to have been affected.
  • I am concerned about monkeypox once colleges start. I think it is insane that the US isn’t moving heaven and earth to get more vaccine doses ready.  And it’s ridiculous that they haven’t learned from the Aids epidemic about branding things “gay diseases.”  If something isn’t done, college campuses are going to be hit really hard.
  • Talked to a former admissions officer from a top (but not top 10) SLAC and she said that yes, they are less likely to accept 16 year olds, but they do accept them if they’re good enough otherwise, or at least that was the case when she was working (admittedly before she got a PhD!).  I’m starting to be convinced that ED (early decision) to HMC (Harvey Mudd) is DC1’s best option (not that I have any say in the matter, and I’m trying to keep out of hir decision-making processes, but for my own peace of mind).
  • Told everybody I met at a recent conference that I want to move and that DC1 is graduating from high school.  One of them said, hey, I’d been thinking about you for this dream job because my dean wants more economists.  And everything about the job sounds perfect for me– lower teaching load, in one of my favorite cities, hard money but encourages grants, kicks back a large percentage of overhead as unrestricted research funds for the next year, lots of classes directly in my specialty (I haven’t been able to teach any classes in my specialty), tons of people working in my area across the entire university.  And it’s a private school.  I can’t get my hopes up though– I’m not sure I’m amazing enough for it.  But I sent in my cv and my grants chart.
  • Retire By 40 mentioned that he tells his kids that minor setbacks build character.  My mom used to say that a lot too.  DH and I really don’t say that much if at all.  I’m not sure why.  We both do a lot of solutions oriented stuff (though if it’s something like a cut finger, there’s sympathy, and an offer to kiss it and make it better which is invariably refused these days) and possibly some gentle teasing/reminders on how to avoid the situation next time.
  • In the end, the admissions office at our local university were awful and after giving us faulty or missing information several times, decided that DC1’s application was not complete (there was a waiver not in the instructions that needed to be on official outside letterhead rather than the form they gave us, so we would think the application was complete when it wasn’t and we got a lot of conflicting information from them), so DC1 will not be taking Calc 3 this coming semester.
  • The research teacher also basically said it was too late to do the research class, plus DC1 would need to find a lab and all the other students had started looking for a lab back Spring semester.  The email was kind of mean, so we’re thinking maybe a good idea to not get a rec letter from that particular teacher.  After some prodding DC1, zie revealed that this particular teacher also strongly suggested that DC1 not do the research class when zie asked her about it last Spring.  DC1 did get an A in her physics class, but the last six weeks grades were lower than the previous weeks.  I’m not sure what happened.
  • So DC1 is taking a study hall.  I can’t say I’m not relieved.  A little extra time will be helpful both with college apps and with DC1 being able to devote time to 5 AP classes, varsity orchestra, and who knows what else.
  • Hopefully DC1 can wow either the calc-based physics teacher or the AP chemistry teacher.  People say great things about AP Chemistry.  [Update:  Calc-based physics is the same teacher… hopefully DC1 can redeem hirself in her eyes.]
  • If you run out of scheduled posts on wordpress, it no longer shows the “scheduled” menu option.

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.