RBOC

  • Someday I will figure out the light switches in the house I’ve been living in for 10 years.
  • the best thing about dc1’s after school care at this public school is that they provide extra time on early dismissal days so we can pick hir up after a full days work.
  • hibiscus mint is my new favorite tea
  • I ate moose.  I like elk better, but it’s still pretty good.  I like elk better than venison and venison better than beef, but beef better than moose.
  • Over Christmas, the next oldest cousin (~2 years younger than DC1) was literally bouncing off of walls, so I started quizzing hir on hir multiplication tables.  It worked to calm hir down just like it does with my kids.  Hir father looked at me a little oddly though.  :/
  • Dear conference organizer, if you want me to pay attention to specific parts of your email and get back to you in a short time frame, WRITE SHORTER EMAILS.  I don’t actually have to do anything until the end of next month so I’m not going to read your multi-page email now.  If you have responses that you need before then, you need to put them and their deadlines at the top of the email in an itemized list, and, if there is information in your lengthy screed that I need to get you those responses, either tell me where to find it or repost it.
  • DC2 was getting hives on hir face at night and sometimes in the morning.  We think we’ve narrowed it down to hir toothpaste (it’s either that or the water or the towel she had been using).  We’ve switched from toothpastes with red dye to those without (and rewashed all the clean hand towels, just in case) and it seems to have gone away which suggests it’s not the water.  Zie was also a bit hyperactive and defiant the weekend that was the worst rash-wise, so I’m kind of wondering if zie has that red dye allergy that people talk about on mommy forums.  (Hives also happened in conjunction with hir deciding zie only wanted bubble-gum flavored toothpaste, not mint.  Now we’re using Tom’s of Maine strawberry and it seems to be ok though DC2 is upset that it is strawberry and not mango.)
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Thoughts on the children’s Xmas haul this year

  • Our brothers and sisters in law spent less on our kids this year than in previous years.  This is a good thing.  Maybe next year we’ll also spend less on them (we spent about $50/kid, mostly on books), but probably not because I love picking out and buying books.
  • We spent Christmas at the in-laws’ this year, which means we opened presents there.  MIL is going to end up spending a ton to send the presents home.  I don’t really know of any way to suggest just letting amazon send the bigger stuff directly to us so she doesn’t have to do that.  But also she probably likes watching everybody open gifts.  And presumably she doesn’t want cousins to feel like they’re being treated differently.  But there are so many gifts that I’m not sure anybody notices.
  • DC1 got a Nintendo DS.  And since DH had mentioned earlier that it was probably too expensive for hir to take to school given the number of times DC1 has lost hir cheap flip-phone (that thankfully nobody wants to steal, so it has been recovered each time thus far), DC1 also got a Kindle Fire.
  • The problem of DC2 getting the same gifts as hir slightly older same-gendered cousin is getting worse.  And we couldn’t just confiscate those gifts either (for the most part) because DC2 saw them at Christmas and MIL is planning on taking them out of the packaging before sending.  Putting on the wish list what DC2 was into in general terms didn’t help much.  Zie got some stuff related to that, but still got lots of stuff zie isn’t interested in that hir cousin likes.  Nor did it help to say explicitly on the amazon list that DC2 wants what DC1 gets (though my mom paid attention to that and got both of them rubix cubes!)  One of the items was so bad that I actually did take it to MIL and tell her we couldn’t accept it– it had crossed a line (I didn’t say it like that though, it was more like could you give this to hir cousin, we don’t really approve of this show).  I know it’s easier to keep things even across grandkids if she’s getting the same stuff for them, but maybe she could match hir up with the opposite-gendered kid who is about the same age instead of the older same-gendered kid?
  • So we’re still struggling with what to do about our in-laws bounty, particularly for DC2.  They still get DC1 really cool stuff even if they’re over-generous (mostly things that hir somewhat younger cousin already owns and loves).  They did get some of the things off the amazon list for the children, but in the end my mom ended up buying most of it just before Christmas.  And that stuff, along with the stuff we got hir, has gotten a lot more playtime out of it.  DC2 just really isn’t into the same things hir same-gender older cousin is into.
  • One thing that did happen that I’m embarrassed about… I was talking to BIL about presents, I can’t remember what about exactly, as we were going up the stairs, but I mentioned that DC2 seemed to get the same stuff as his kid, and he said, “that’s good because they like the same stuff” and I was all, “well, not really, DC2 is really into what DC1 is into.”  At which point we turned the corner and saw my MIL.  So, uh, maybe this will resolve itself?
  • Why can’t the cousin be as into Bubble Guppies (and other gender-neutral stuff) as DC2 is?
  • Sometimes getting the same gendered stuff for both cousins works… DH’s sister got them both a gendered-craft kit that they both loved and spent many hours working on.
  • DC1 may have gotten all the cousins addicted to Batman.

It’s been a bad week/month/year and some RBOC

Posting continues to be scattered and sparse.  On top of #2’s recent loss of her father-in-law, and red tape kinds of problems resulting from that for her mother-in-law (adding insult to injury), and everything else that is going on in the world, her cat is having some pretty major health problems.  He started out with some health problems when she got him last year, but they seem to be getting worse and more varied.  She’s having a rough time of it so the posts she was planning on books and on reviewing a vegetarian service that is like Blue Apron (called Purple Carrot– she likes it) are just going to have to wait until her world is no longer a dumpster fire.

My life right now is:

  • I’m way behind on research, like months behind.  Re-entry from leave has been harsh.  I am far too scattered and need to get back into a rhythm.  So far I have been trying to add structure and then completely ignoring it once push comes to shove.  This is also how I’ve been reacting to money things.  It’s like, most of my life I’ve been running scared and when there’s no reason to worry anymore I just give up because nothing is a big deal.  But I really don’t have that luxury even if it seems like it because DH could lose his job or I could have to leave this one, and I do care about my research reputation and my salary, and I would far rather argue for salary increases because of my scholarly reputation than because I’ve decided to go into administration.
  • My mind has been in political action.  I bumped the post I had scheduled for today on campus hate activities because it was too depressing on top of everything else #2 is going through.
  • I am at the point in the semester where a lot of my students are really getting it and realizing they’re getting it and that is lovely.
  • I’m doing an elective next semester that is going to be more difficult than usual because of current events.  Generally we hit Medicare in April.  By April Medicare may no longer exist as it does in my lecture notes.  I don’t like having uncertainty in my lecture notes.  I also have well over 2x the students that I normally have in that class, so I’m going to have to restructure teaching methods from a small seminar to a larger class.
  • On the day after the election, I took the ebook server from paradise that I still have access too, searched for “regency”, then sorted the 777 items therein by author’s last name.  I have been systematically reading all of them that have 4 or more stars on either goodreads or amazon (with a few exceptions for close to 4 but the synopsis looks interesting, or not reading those that are 4 that have rape or another one of the things that life is too short to read about).  The Bs and Cs had some really good stuff that I’ll be talking about in our next what are we reading post, but there have been a lot of duds since then.  I’m on the Ks now.  This was really helpful for getting me to get out of post-election depression and more focused on what I can do.
  • DH went to a local dems meeting (that from meetup didn’t look like the monthly meeting and had only 4 people signed up).  There were >30 people there and it was pretty disorganized, but not disorganized enough for him to try to take over, and not organized enough that it looks like it’s going to be easy to be a part of it.  The person in charge is someone who talks a lot and goes on lots of tangents and doesn’t stick to the agenda but kind of meanders around the agenda.  But at least there was an agenda.  DH left with no action items and had to look up some of the terms she’d used.  He has no interest in being a precinct leader.  We’re not sure what to do.  There’s people who want to do things and can be harnessed for power, but they have no direction, unless they want to do this time-consuming thing that is geared towards extroverts.  My sister reports similar levels of disorganization with the official democratic organization in her city.  The woman’s organization she joined, however, sounds just phenomenal.  Focused, brought in outside speakers about strategy, etc.  I will probably take my sister’s suggestion and call them to ask for advice.
  • I do think right now that political action is worth slowing my research down for.  But I can’t slow it as much as it has been.  That probably means cutting the regencies, not posting regularly on Tuesdays, and being more focused on work when I’m at work (even though some of our new hires are chatty).  Possibly also adding half a day or more of work back into weekends.

How are you all doing?

RBOC

  • DH and the kids have been making up fake tag-lines to Darkwing duck.  “I am the sludge at the bottom of your hot chocolate.” “I’m the one who is stuck to your hair when you can’t comb it”
  • All this calling I’ve been doing of my representatives has made me a lot less phone shy.  I had no problem calling my mom’s local bookstore to get her a gift certificate there (they don’t have online ordering).
  • The appropriate response at work when someone way down the hall from you and on the other side politely asks you to turn down your music is, “Sorry” and to turn it down.  It isn’t, “Seriously?” and “Where is your office?” and then to just turn it down a tiny bit so that the person still has to close hir door AND put on headphones to not hear your crappy ass music.  (Although before the combination wasn’t working.)  Nobody wants to hear your music!  This is why God made headphones.  Or you could close your own fricking door.
  • dear middle school, please stop with the random spirit days that happen about once every one and a half weeks that require dc1 to dress in different types of clothing (specific sports jerseys or hats, random colors, etc.) that zie often doesn’t have and that we are not going to remember even if zie did have them.  It was hard enough remembering spirit Fridays for things most kids have (like the school shirt, or a funny hair style) last year.  This random day element is just too much.  We have jobs.  Dc1 has homework.  Why are you doing this and why are you attaching it to a group prize so that kids who don’t or can’t participate are shamed?
  • I do not like mosquitoes.
  • dc1’s orchestra class requires hir to download an app and record a practice session.  They also required the purchase of a specific $20 t-shirt for performances.  I have to wonder if they have anything for kids who don’t have a tablet or smartphone at home or who can’t afford a $20 shirt.  And do those kids have to go up to the teachers and admit the lack of resources or does the school take kids who qualify for reduced price lunch aside?  For science class they asked for donations for students who couldn’t afford an $8 piece of equipment but nothing like that in orchestra where the demands are more expensive.  Last year in paradise things were provided to all students from the school, but a lot was paid for with $500 donations requested at the beginning of the year (half for extracurriculars, half for everything else).  No large donation requested here.
  • speaking of donations, there are so many junky school fundraisers here.  I so much prefer just cutting a check.
  • Dc2 goes to a for profit daycare but they want to expand so they’re asking us to do fundraising (they’ve also started asking us to bring in items for projects instead of providing them and they are now enforcing late fees).  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  If it were nonprofit I would happily donate, but with a for-profit I’m not so sure.
  • I bought Wonderwoman stamps.  They make me happy.  Wonder Woman!  Wonder Woman!

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Updates of the life variety

We’re still not ready to get back to regular posting– ask the grumpies will have to wait at least another week to get back on the schedule.  Here’s a few life updates while you wait for our wisdom to return.

  • My friend with secondary infertility who has been trying to get and stay pregnant for more than 2 years and many many IVF cycles has a pregnancy that has been sticking so far.
  • DH’s relative got a new job pretty much right away (via networking!).  It has better benefits and pays $1K more than his old job.  There’s also a little less hard labor work and a little more desk work which is good given his arthritis.  He’s disappointed because they decided the salary by asking him what he got paid and then adding 1K to it, and he is pretty sure he’s underpaid.  BUT it’s a better job and he won’t have an employment gap.  He did negotiate for another week of vacation and they didn’t blink.
  • #2’s father-in-law died recently of a stroke.  Really really sad.  :(  I remember seeing him at #2’s wedding and he was so very proud of his son.  Such a great family.
  • Went to the doctor and got lots of blood tests.  I have high cholesterol.  Doctor said to eat less fat and less dairy and to exercise more.  I already don’t eat much fat other than dairy (and use things like olive oil when cooking).  Last time I had my cholesterol tested my overall level was high but my good cholesterol was making up most of that– the bad cholesterol was normal.  I didn’t ask about that this time.  It is always true that I need to exercise more.  :/ .  Also my Vit D levels were low despite my daily supplement, so now I’m on 2000 instead of 1000.  That seems to have gone a long way to reduce the almost constant fatigue I was feeling.
  • action item for today: https://twitter.com/gaileyfrey/status/799380085610450944

RBOC

  • I HATE doing television.  I like having done television, except the part where people email me misogynist emails after, but I hate doing it.  Except PBS.  PBS is awesome.  But network tv, I hate it so much.  And yet, I keep doing it.  I miss radio.
  • The church around the corner from my sister’s house has “black lives matter” on its message board.
  • It is so hot.  I am not going outside again until Fall.
  • Sigh.  Since we’re no longer in Paradise, Outback has become an acceptable take-out option again.  I keep thinking, “we should totally walk into downtown tonight” and then remember that we can’t, and even if we could there wouldn’t be anything there worth eating anyway because it’s the wrong downtown.  Our downtown is literally >50% bars.  Sigh.
  • Strongbow is so yummy but man is my alcohol tolerance low.
  • I dreamed about a pilot for a Vulcan drama called Spockticus.  But the network decided it wanted a light-hearted comedy instead and renamed it Cupid.
  • Julian Assange was speaking on NPR so I flipped to the other public radio station.  It usually plays oldies in the morning but the host is a misogynist creep so I don’t tend to listen much if he’s talking.  (The radio station does have other shows that are totally awesome, just not this one.)  I heard, for the first time in my life, the unedited lyrics to Take a Walk on the Wild Side.  Yes, as Wikipedia says, the reference to “colored girls” is problematic to US audiences.  Ugh.
  • DC2 hates cheese and loves broccoli.  This seems backwards to me, but kind of makes sense in that one has to get nutrients from somewhere.  (In fact, the only milk product DC2 will eat in sizeable quantities is ice cream.  Zie doesn’t seem to be allergic, but who knows.)
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RBOC

  • So DH was all, “I like Tesla’s logo, it’s like a spiky T.”  And I was all, “OHHHHHH… I kept trying to figure out if it was supposed to be a stylized cow skull or a uterus.  T makes much more sense.”
  • Flipped through the FrugalWoods blog now that they’ve moved out of the city.  Man, homesteading sounds like an enormous boring drag.  More power to them, I guess?  But definitely not the life I would want AT ALL.  Maybe if they were both not employed and the kid was older?  Still, it sounds busy but dull.
  • Giving stuff away before moving, what do people want most?  Balance bikes and coolers.
  • Since we’re moving and the other half of the duplex moved, the new landlord took this as a sign to sell the duplex.
  • We discovered that our rental place isn’t actually 1200 sq ft as advertised, but 1080 sq ft.  So it’s even more impressive that we were able to survive here for a year with two kids.  :)  (Also we’re not getting quite as much a deal on the rent as we’d thought, but it’s still pretty reasonably priced.)
  • Giving stuff away is surprisingly irritating.  DH is saying maybe we should just pay money to rent a uhaul to take stuff to goodwill.  Man people are so entitled and flaky sometimes.  Not all people, but some people.  Also I suspect that some of these SAHM would be better off getting jobs than sending long detailed emails about why they’re the best person to get whatever free thing.  Though perhaps they would have been better choices than the entitled flaky people who often email first and that’s why they do it.
  • Last time we did something like this, we had an alley behind the house we were renting and the freecycle wasn’t ridiculous.  So we were able to say, “lots of free stuff out in the alley at this address” and people just took stuff and updated freecycle without us having to actually talk to people complaining about the quality of said free stuff or why they couldn’t wait a week to pick it up.  Here that’s strictly prohibited and we have to set up appointments.  UGH.
  • We did put up free signs on some furniture and put it in our driveway (sort of like an all-free garage sale), but some is too heavy to take outside the house and bring back in.
  • Eventually we got rid of most of it and were able to fit goodwill stuff into the car.
  • I loved the way at the convention that HRC had a Bernie narrative that healed rather than divided, even if some divisiveness would have been justified. Sometimes if you tell the positive narrative enough, everyone starts to believe it until it becomes the truth.
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