RBOC

  • DH’s relative’s kid got into the closest regional school!  No word on financial aid yet.  Hopefully it won’t be too bad.  We’ve decided to put off thinking about how much we’ll expect him to contribute once we see the numbers.  We can definitely cover tuition, but living expenses is double that.  Ideally we’d be able to do a dormroom, mealplan, and books on top of tuition, but that could get pricey.  I’d prefer for him not to have to take out loans, but subsidized loans are not the end of the world.
  • We are sending DC1 to a fancy out-of-state specialty camp this summer for a week.  The camp only picks up kids DC1’s age who are flying Southwest Airlines (because they won’t pick up “unaccompanied minors” and SWA allows 13 year olds to travel alone) who land/leave at specific times.  We got everything figured out, including taking SWA at Christmas and having DC1 lead us around the airports etc. … and then they changed the flight.  But, although cutting things close, it was still in the allowed time window.  Then they changed the flight home so that zie would have to change planes.  In Orlando.  There are no longer any direct flight options for the way back.  And… DC1 is 13.  We can’t do that.  Our current plan is to keep the flight there (assuming it doesn’t change again) and to cancel the flight back.  (They are allowing us to refund without penalty.)  Instead DH or I will book a r/t and DC1 will get a one-way with a different airline that does have a direct flight to the airport closer to our town so that DC1 is accompanied on the way back.  This will greatly increase the time and the cost.
  • Burt’s Bees baby shampoo changed its formula so it’s itchy just like everything else (I am not the only person to complain about this– the Target comments section is full of complaints starting around 7 months ago).  Now what am I going to do?
  • Getting another tax refund from the government that goes directly back into estimated taxes for next year and a tiny refund.  I guess this is ok with us?  It seems silly though.
  • Emergency fund is finally full again for the summer.  Since we didn’t have to pay taxes or estimated taxes I don’t need to hold on to the excess, not that there’s much excess yet, but in a couple months there may be.  Of course, it might be best to keep the excess in cash for that first bullet point come August.  I hope the financial aid information comes soon so we can plan all this out.
  • DH’s company was supposed to get a Phase 4 grant from the DOD this summer (verbal agreement, not in writing) that would pay for several years of the company, but then the guy in charge at the DOD got promoted and the project got transferred to another department and that funding is no longer likely to be forthcoming.  So now it looks like the company has full funding through the summer, but they’re going to need to secure more funding after that.  So… I guess I won’t be doing a lump to DC2’s 529 this year since we might need the cash instead.

RBOC

  • DH on why go to protests:  A typical protest I attend is simultaneously a demonstration to 1) the people in charge to say that we know what they’ve done and we disagree with it, 2) the people under attack to say that we stand with them, 3) the people sitting on the sidelines to say that something is wrong and they should care, and also 4) other protestors that they are part of a group of like-minded people. The protest generates pressure, pushing in multiple directions. It doesn’t create new laws, end old ones, or oust dictators, but I feel like it is the base form of democratic action. It says that a group of regular people care about this, and everyone in the country should know.
  • DH’s relative’s kid’s tuition was a LOT higher this semester, but I think that’s because she’s taking 5 classes instead of 4 because of the math class kerfuffle that ended up in the class being cancelled last semester.  The increase is just a little more than the cost of the class.  Another possibility is that she’s been promoted to manager at her part-time fast food job, so she could be getting less financial aid.  In any case, it’s about $1200 instead of $350 which we can afford (plus however many hundreds of dollars her textbooks end up being– last semester they were more that tuition), but a bit of a surprise.
  • DH and the kids are playing a game called Stardew Valley.  They each have their own separate games.  In DH’s game he is planning to romance and marry a character called Maru who is an engineer.  My subconscious has seized on this and I keep having dreams where he needs to make money but he can’t because his axe is getting upgraded so Maru’s parents hire him to tutor her in like history or something and she’s definitely got a crush on him and he’s oblivious (and wouldn’t date someone he was tutoring anyway) but I’m like, no I must protect you from her machinations, you are engaged to me!  Let us get married now!  I’m not sure what is up with my subconscious that I have to be jealous of a computer character that he just wants to marry to get to her robot anyway.
  • (In Stardew Valley) DC2 married Penny, but discovered you can start dating other people while married (!)  I don’t think DC2 discussed this with Penny.
  • DC1 is getting a lot out of To Kill a Mockingbird– maybe there are benefits to reading it in high school instead of in 7th grade like we did in the midwest.  (Or maybe 7th grade is fine because we’d been training on CA textbooks instead of TX ones…).
  • DC1 told me that he thinks DH is a lot like Atticus Finch because he’s nice and he does the right thing.  *sniffle*  I have such a wonderful family.
  • Wouldn’t it be hilarious if they accidentally picked a nerd Bachelor and he made one of the group dates be a D&D game with him as the DM?  OMG it would be hilarious.  And video games!
  • I’ve decided that I do like Brussels sprouts.  I feel like a large part of my identity has been stripped away.  I take comfort in the fact that they’re not the Brussels sprouts I grew up with, and therefore I may still be the same person deep down, it’s just the sprouts that have changed.
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RBOC

  • DH bought scrubs and wore them and someone just let him into the locked side door of a hospital even though he didn’t have an ID tag or anything.
  • DH is a winter but most of his clothing is spring.  This is because his mother still buys most of his clothing (to be clear, she gives him a few shirts every Christmas and it takes a long time for shirts to wear out) and his brother is a spring and she gets them the same stuff.  What I don’t understand is that she is also a winter and she wears colors appropriate to her coloring.  Now, DH isn’t a fan of red, but he looks amazing in Royal Blue.  So much so that after his last royal blue t-shirt finally wore out I made him get himself a couple more as part of his Christmas present to me.
  • The scrubs that DH bought were royal blue.
  • Scrubs make good pajamas.
  • My MIL appears to have forgotten my last name.  I am confused about how this has happened after 20 years of marriage to her son and 6 more years of my dating her son before that.  And the discussion about how neither of us would be changing our last names when DH wanted to change his to mine at the wedding so we’d have the same last name (I was also against).  I got packages from all sorts of different vendors addressed to [My first name][His last name].  She seems in 100% possession of her faculties, so… what’s up?  I hope it’s just a small mistake and not a sign of anything.
  • I mentioned that DH could bring his scrubs to the in-laws for Christmas and sneak into the hospital where his mom volunteers, but he said that he doesn’t need scrubs to sneak into the hospital where his mom used to work– he’s done that plenty of times without.
  • She did get my last name right on our Christmas card though.  ([DH FIRSTNAME DH LASTNAME] and [My FIRSTNAME My Lastname]).  So hopefully just a temporary fluke.
  • The Theremin kit was a HUGE success.  Now… remind my aching head why we thought this was a good idea?
  • The siblings-in-law stopped trying to match our giving this year.  Whew.
  • Lockpicking kit also a success and much quieter!
  • DC1 is watching The Music Man as extra credit for history.  DH and I decided that it is a feminist work and that Harold Hill does settle down, gets involved in politics, becomes the kind of person who is almost good enough for Marian, and eventually become governor of Iowa (taking a page from Best Little Whorehouse in Texas).  He does not leave her pregnant and alone.
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RBOC

  • DH opines on Apple Watch faces: Discoveries about what I want in a watch after a few days of an apple watch:
    • 1) Digital time, not analog. I want to know the exact minute of the current time without any mental gymnastics.
    • 2) The date, because multiple times each day I seem to need to know the date and if I’m not at a computer I would otherwise have to pull my phone out of my pocket.
    • 3) Some apps are very handy to have on my wrist (timer, stopwatch, calculator, weather, voice memos) and could be done with a non-smartwatch or a phone, but this is easier.
    • 4) “complications” that change visually (like the activity tracker’s rings filling up or the current temperature) are informative, while ones that are only a shortcut are a waste of space (the ten most-used apps are just a button press and a tap to reach anyway).
    • 5) Moving backgrounds are attractive, but the available options are really limited (e.g., why no pachinko balls just bouncing around, or the game of life?) 6) Similarly, more customization would make several of these faces more attracive. Why are the customization options so limited. I think many of the round dials look out of place on a rectangular face, then the all-one-color options look boring (but the all-one-color “low-power” mode is just a line around the border which I like a lot), and then there are the two-tone rectangular options which look good except I hate the handful of color choices.
  • The biofilm that I’m allergic to has returned and taken over the post-filter on our whole house water filter.  DH has temporarily bypassed the filter system to get disgusting but lovely-because-it’s-chlorinated water back into our house to hopefully kill all the biofilm.  And it seems to be working– not a sign of pink slime anywhere, even places I hadn’t bleached recently.  And showers aren’t itchy for me.  The problem is that DC2 is still allergic to our city’s water.  Fortunately even after we got the whole house filter, I made DH replace our shower filter and had the contractors put in an under sink filter with our new kitchen sink.  So DC2 is using our shower and only drinking from the kitchen sink filtered tap.  Man I’d forgotten how awful our local water tastes.  And after seeing the pre-filter after a month, I’m not sure I actually should be drinking it.  But I appreciate the way chlorine kills.  DH thinks we’ll get aquasauna’s UV filter next (~$600), though the big problem is that the bacteria is coming from inside the house, not outside.  My thought is that once a month we should flush out our system with unfiltered water.
  • We have had three separate incidences of (different) students advocating extremism in our (different) classes during presentations or class discussion in the past week, and those are only the ones brought to the attention of our department chair.  Have any of you been having to deal with an increase in extremism, and what do you do?  (This hasn’t happened in my stats classes, thankfully, but next semester I have an elective.)
  • I’m getting kind of tired of reading about damaged heroes who need the understanding heroine to fix them.  I think that means I need to find some more books that have plots other than just the romance.  I’m also really tired of the indication that the hero and the heroine are going to get together is that their meet cute is them insulting each other.  Moonlighting is not real.  That is not how people get together.  It’s a trope that deserves to die.  I could use some Gary Stu heroes, please!  Just like my DH.  ;)  Let me see other heroines have their Prince Charming sweep them off their feet (and then I dunno, solve a murder or something).  (Solution:  Read a bunch of m/m romances…)
  • Our junk hotmail address has gotten on some spam email list with .de addresses (I’ve tried getting hotmail to send these directly to trash, but it is sending them to junk instead).  The composition of these emails is very different than our usual porn etc. spam– it seems to be targeted at not very bright trump supporters.  We’re winning gift cards from the dollar store.  We’re learning secrets of combat training, especially shooting, and we’re being offered Trump vs. Biden t-shirts.  We’re learning how to appeal our disability claims and get speedy loans.  Tricks for diabetes destruction and compression gloves.  Savings exclusive to veterans.  For some reason, they also want us to buy Wild Alaskan seafood and CBD.  The scariest, along with the combat training, are the dire warnings that someone is going to take our guns away.
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RBOC

  • Our local grocery has stopped selling any no-sugar-added cereals in the frufru dried cereal area.  They have literally 4 kinds of fancy honey O cereal, but zero kinds of regular O cereal.  I went to the regular cereal section too and the lowest sugar oat O cereal they had was regular Cheerios which still has sugar added but not much.  So I got regular cheerios and then some store-brand mini-wheats and just for kicks some Post bran/whole wheat mini-wheats.  The only whole grain and no sugar cereal I didn’t buy was full sized shredded wheats.  I should probably just start eating oatmeal again, but I’m worried I’ll get sick of it if I eat it every day since it took a while for me to get not sick of it after (wheat-allergic fetus) DC2 was born.  This wouldn’t be such a huge problem except DC1 decided he liked my Rip’s Big Bowl from Whole Foods, so even though I bought three boxes the last time we went it wasn’t enough to last us to our next WF excursion.  Meanwhile I’ve been having toast and handfuls of nuts for breakfast.  But I’d rather not have to *think* about breakfast in the morning.
  • Note to self:  Next time I do bonds in taxable, choose munis VWITX vanguard municipal bond fund (maybe VWLTX ?)  Note 50K needed to qualify for admiral shares.  That is unlikely to happen any time soon.  .17 vs. 09 fees.  Can bond funds drip?
  • For Christmas/Birthday for DC1 I want to buy a theremin kit, a unicycle, and this lockpicking set (not sponsored links), but really we should only get two out of three.  (The lockpicking set is a price that we could suggest it as a present to the in-laws, but also it’s not really something that the in-laws would probably want to get for hir.)  DC1 is in a rapid growth phase, so the unicycle probably could wait another year so we can get a more permanent fit on the seat height, BUT we don’t have PE down here in the South (DC1 has one required semester that doesn’t fit in hir schedule until junior year) and the parks and rec tennis class zie took after quitting swimming lessons ended and zie needs exercise, so learning the unicycle would be a way to accomplish that until we can figure out some other organized activity that DC1 is willing to do.  (DC1 suggested trapeze lessons, maybe from watching too much Kaliedo Star, but the place outside town that had that as an option went out of business two years ago.)  So I dunno.  I’m not finding the reasonably priced theramin kit I saw before, so that may make the decision for us since $350 for something that’s not actually useful is a bit much.
  • DC1 also needs a new bike– although zie is now my height and can probably just ride mine until zie has settled on a more long-term height.  It is insane how quickly they grow as pre-teen/teenagers.
  • My car got a knocking sound that sounded like someone had attached a pie tin to the wheels.  It turned out to be a small rock that got into the brake system.  Nothing specific to the Insight, and not covered under the warranty, but also only a $90 fix.
  • It boggles my mind that in this day and age a prominent blogger would think it’s ok to let hir child dress in what looks a heck of a lot like blackface for Halloween (and is, in fact, a costume that a quick google shows makes the news *regularly* as being bad).  How does one not know that that is NOT ok?  It’s super creepy to me that there are neighborhood Halloween parades that include white people dressed in blackface and nobody says dude, that’s not cool.  Zie took the pictures down and briefly addressed it…but it’s still really unsettling.
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RBOC

  • I got kicked out of two English classes in high school.  We had faculty members who were deconstructionist phds unable to get professor jobs.  I believe that context is important.  That authorial intent is important.  That history and influence are important.  That these things add to our understanding of literature rather than subtract from it.  I also think it’s ridiculous to argue that all meaning is subjective and contextual… if that’s true, why force us to take English class at all?  After vehemently disagreeing with a teacher on this topic the second week of class I was informed by the school counselor that I had been moved to the linguistics phd’s section.  It was a much better match.
  • I have explained our university’s retirement options to three faculty members in the past week, only one of whom is a new faculty member.
  • I have cats because I refuse to be a servant to a dog’s bladder.  (Though I guess technically we do have a dog door and a dog run that are currently taped up so as not to let the a/c out.)
  • I got my raise numbers for this year and went on a small donations spree.
  • Windows 7 is going to reach its end of life soon.  You can actually still upgrade it for free so long as you own a legal copy of Windows 7.
  • The Lottery is still just as chilling now as it was when I first read it more than 30 years ago.
  • On hir English homework DC1 has said that the princess is the protagonist in the lady or the tiger (and not the macguffin). I’m so proud of hir feminist instincts.  Rereading it myself, I think zie is correct.  The princess has the agency, and it is her decision that leaves the reader with the ending, not the commoner’s.  The king is still the antagonist, for he has put the princess in this unenviable position.  The commoner is himself the macguffin.  The internet disagrees, but I think that’s because the internet is sexist– if there is a man, then he must be the hero and the princess is but a prize.  Even when the narrator is third person omniscient.
  • Well, the government finally got around to getting rid of the “is this person racist” question on clearance interviews and replacing it with a bunch of xenophobic questions about whether or not they have friends from other countries.
  • It took another month, 2x weekly phone calls, sending another (incorrect) form, and resending the original (correct) form, but DC1 finally has a college board account.
  • Academics:  If you are reviewing a paper and the report is overdue and the paper is an obvious reject, please just send a short review and reason for rejection.  Don’t keep holding onto it!
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RBOC

  • This summer has not been great for a number of reasons, which has led to increased anxiety.
  • My anxiety has started affecting my teeth!  For the first time I’m showing evidence of grinding!
  • DC1 is in an AP class this year, but cannot sign up for an online account which is required for class because zie is 12 years old and the FTCs COPPA rule prohibits them from collecting information.  (If you’re in this situation, this FAQ says what to do:  https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/join-your-class-online. This is incorrect, as we found out.)  This whole AP class as a freshman thing is bizarre to me– in my day you did no AP courses until junior and senior year and then you drowned in testing.  So… maybe this is better.
  • After being told that DC1 is 12 (because we needed the form), DC1’s AP teacher cornered hir in the hallway and asked if zie was absolutely sure zie was ready for an AP class.  It being only the second day of class, DC1 did not know what to say.
  • The AP director called the College Board and they said that FAQ was incorrect and we have to call to get the form.  Which… they could have sent to us when we called to ask why DC1 couldn’t register(!)  SIGH.
  • After being put on hold 6 or 7 times, they said they would email the form to us in 2-3 days.  I suspect they do not know where said form is.  We have a case number in case we need to call day 3 to ask where the form is.
  • We did have to call on day 5 to ask.  It came on day 6.  Then we got an incomprehensible email response after we sent the form in and after not getting clarification when we questioned, we ended up having to call again.  Now we are on day 7 of the 7 days that we were supposed to wait before calling about the account not actually being created.
  • the account was not created in day 7 and now we have a new case number to check on the account creation case.
  • There are 42 students in DC1’s Algebra II class.  That seems like a lot.
  • There are 18 students in DC2’s third grade dual language section.  That seems like not many!  Last year there were 21 in hir first grade section which seems more normal.  I guess more dual language kids move out of district than move in (generally only Spanish-speakers can move into dual language)?  Or maybe there are demographic differences by year in the number of Spanish-speaking kids in the district (which determines how many sections of dual language there are).  DC2 says there are two new kids in hir class besides hir, which is nice so that zie isn’t the only one.
  • DC1 has been watching an old Standard Deviants Spanish dvd, and it has a very young Kerry Washington in it!