RBOC

  • I hadn’t updated our net worth calculations in I don’t know how long.  (I literally do not know how long– if I did this would probably be a full post instead of a bullet).  But, since the time I updated it, it has increased 50%, meaning that it was X before but now it is 1.5 X.  The stock market alone seems to have been responsible for much of the increase.
  • The reason I updated things was because I was curious to see what our stock portfolio looks like in terms of stocks/bonds/etc.  It’s mostly stocks.  There’s some bonds.  My accounts that are just Target Date funds and my university Fidelity account are both currently ~85% stocks and 15% bonds.  The rest… pretty heavily stock.  Mostly US stock (though both Target Date and university Fidelity accounts have emerging markets and foreign markets).  Some accounts are entirely S&P 500 because that’s the lowest fee in an otherwise high fee work account.  So I think I need to focus on adding more foreign markets and emerging markets, and maybe more munis.
  • My father has been sending increasingly deranged emails.  (Most recently he sent DH a very fragmented email that seemed to be telling DH that DH had to contact my father NOW in order to protect my children from their narcissistic mother, aka me.  We think that’s what it was saying, anyway. Previous emails have attacked my mother and sister as gaslighting or narcissists etc.  Once he cc’d the author of a book on narcissism.) But he’s refused to get an evaluation and my mother won’t force him to.  She’s also somewhat in denial or attributes it all to a potential stroke he may have had a few years ago.  They are adults, and my mother still seems to be in full control of her faculties, so not really anything my sister or I can do at this point.
  • One of my colleagues says his age 80+ mother is engaged to a much younger man (like 50+ years younger) that she met online who seems to be interested in her money.  I will probably end up not getting an inheritance but at least the money my parents have saved is likely to either go to my sister or to actually worthy charities and not someone who preys on older women.
  • My MIL has started Christmas shopping already.  I just got a copy of Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny’s new book from her!  (Also, fairly clear she’s ignoring the “kids only” rule, but as long as we don’t tell SIL nobody need know. We’re either getting her a sewing machine or we’re taking her newish memories book to the local printer to get copies for the kids, depending on if she’s finished filling out the memories book yet or not.)
  • We have zero idea what to get for DC1 for Christmas + Birthday.  At first we were like, how about a ukelele, but then realized zie probably doesn’t want one given zie hardly has enough time for piano, violin, and theramin as it is!  I have fidget stuff on hir wishlist for relatives and a few fiction books, but we’re mostly drawing blanks.  We may have to resort to SAT prep and AP prep guides.  There’s always money, but it would be like, “Here’s $100” then a few days later “Here’s another $100!” and zie doesn’t actually use it.
  • Speaking of AP exams, DC1 is taking 4 AP classes this year.  Zie is probably not going to take the Physics 1 AP because zie will be taking Mechanics and E&M next year.  Zie will have to decide about Spanish soon.  Zie will definitely be taking the BC calc exam.  Then there’s psychology… It’s hard to know what is optimal for a junior whose scores might affect college admissions positively or negatively.  It seems ridiculous to decide these things Fall semester when the exams are pretty late Spring semester.
  • I’m not really sure how DC1 ended up so not consumerist.  DH likes shopping more than actually owning/using.  DC2 is delighted with new things. I’m a bit of a pack rat. But DC1 is just a natural minimalist.  Zie also listens to hir hunger and will stop eating say, an ice cream, if full.  Zie has been this way since a baby.
  • I bought more pens I didn’t need from jetpens and I’m really enjoying them.  These vintage color Sarasa pens from Jetpens (not an affiliate, I’m just addicted) are perfect for writing postcards to voters this fall.  VIP Voters in Ohio got in the Blue-black this past week.

RBOC

  • While on the most recent trip I had good sushi (an avocado/peanut roll and a sweet potato tempura roll).  When I got home we tried the new sushi place in town that’s getting lots of 5 star reviews on yelp.  Everything tasted like mayonnaise.  :(  $15 rolls were just mayonnaise-flavored.  Who cares if there’s lobster in there if you can only taste either the fake crab salad inside or the thick coating of mayo on top?  DC1 (who loves sushi more than anything else) said:  I guess this answers the question of if bad sushi exists.
  • All of the sushi places in town are really into mayonnaise and all of them have very similar menus.  We have so many places in town that are almost the same.  So many brunch places that serve mostly the same new American or new California options.  So many sushi places with the mayo.  So many homestyle Korean places.  So many mediocre Thai places.  So many chicken wings places.  Even the donut places are almost identical.  And the bubble tea shops!  And poke places that all serve the same options.  And 3 mac and cheese places that all get terrible reviews (actually I think we’re down to 2 now).  There are brunch options in other towns that are different!  And sushi doesn’t have to be variations on a theme of California roll.  I can’t actually complain about the Korean stuff because homestyle Korean is my favorite Korean, but still, there are lots of other kinds of Korean out there!  We get new restaurants and it’s exciting but then we see the menu and it’s the same as the other 3-5 places we already have in town.  Why can’t we have shaved ice or takoyaki?  Why can’t we have sushi that is different?  Or different styles of pizza? Or any of those new places popping up in Los Angeles?  I’m just so tired of eating the same things all the time and we don’t have as much time to cook as we used to.
  • The internet keeps telling me to order GoldBelly but I know I would just be disappointed.
  • Its so weird seeing high schoolers wearing 80s-style jeans.
  • DH’s physical indicated a possible diabetes problem, so he had to go in for a fasting exam, but it came out ok.  We can still eat the occasional chip or chocoflan (even though I probably shouldn’t given my own insulin resistance problems).
  • It’s so much easier to take care of my family members’ health than it is to take care of my own.  I was ready to completely overhaul everything menu-related … but now I’m not!
  • On my trip, one of the guys I talked with said his kid went to a private school with masks required, but had been an affected member of a super spreader event.  There was an outdoor birthday party on the weekend, and a bunch of kids there (including his kid) ended up covid positive.  Turns out most kids went inside to use the restroom at some point during the party and one of the covid carriers was inside playing video games instead of outside.  It made me feel a little better about all the maskless “outdoor” parties that we’ve refused for DC2.  : /
  • Recently I’ve been careful to refer to enslaved people as enslaved people and not slaves.  Similarly the people who enslaved them are enslavers, not slave owners.  People cannot be owned, they can only be enslaved.  It is crazy to me how that small change in language really brings home the horror of what enslavers were doing.  Slave and owner words somehow abstract away from it, which is probably the point.
  • I threw away the ad that George Mason sent DC1.  Also not applying for their open position.  Get back to me when it’s not named after an enslaver. (Yes, I am aware the current president is Black.)
  • I cannot eat adult multi-vitamins at all anymore– they make me too nauseated.  I did stop taking regular multi-vitamins after I finished nursing DC2, but occasionally I want a pick-me-up.  Gotta stick to children’s chewable or single vitamins (I already have to take vit D).
  • Vote FWD is doing a big send out of letters to potential voters on Saturday, October 16th.  If you have time and a printer/envelopes/stamps, here’s the link:  https://votefwd.org/campaigns . You can do as few as 5 at a time!
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 20 Comments »

RBOC

  • I almost impulse bought a bidet.  But it looks like the $30 version might have too much water pressure and cold water sounds unpleasant.  The $450 version requires some research since it’s a full seat and lid (will it fit our toilet?) and requires electricity (our outlet is across from the toilet instead of behind it).  So in the end I didn’t.
  • I did, however, buy $100 worth of bougie low quality toilet paper from who gives a crap.  Look for a review after it gets here!
  • I’m pretty sure these are all supply chain anxieties– I don’t want to run out of toilet paper again!  Why not load up on nice (admittedly bad for the environment) tp?  Well, we would *use* it.  We’re more likely to not run low on the bad quality stuff.  And these do have pretty wrappers.
  • The dehumidifier we got seems to be working on the formerly musty cupboard.  I don’t think we can stop running it though– there’s probably mold there between the shower and the cabinets just waiting to be activated by moisture.  But we can’t have anybody come in to do anything about it.  Also we think this is probably going to be a demo job.  It would be nice to replace the plasticky gold shower stall, but if we did that the rest of the master bath would look bad.  If we take out the cabinets, we would just replace them with identical cabinets.  I’m not really sure what to do if there’s no way we can get between the two with bleach (and it looks like there isn’t.)  We need to talk to an expert without actually letting an expert into our home.  Not sure what to do.
  • Dehumidifiers heat up a room.  The bathroom is super toasty.
  • All these “libertarians” complaining that people don’t want to work aren’t actually libertarians because true libertarians KNOW people don’t want to work.  It’s in econ 101.  It’s why people have to get paid.  It’s why we have labor/leisure tradeoff models.  Econ 101 models cannot conceive of a world in which people get value from labor– if we did we would call it leisure!
  • The dean came in to talk to us about why students aren’t wearing masks in class.  He was, not surprisingly, unmasked.  Because he believes that people can’t hear him if he has a mask on.  And that it’s ok for the person lecturing to be not wearing a mask if all the students are.  But the students don’t have to wear masks, so…  After my outburst last faculty meeting, everyone else in person (including the chair) put masks on, but only after they’d finished eating lunch.  The secretary did not eat.  She is immunocompromised and should really not have to be in there.  He also noted that our department has had a covid positive professor.  (I don’t know who.)
  • We decided on just gifts for the kids for Christmas, but DH’s sister with the 4 kids (the rest of us have 2) is still a little unhappy about this.  We’re not really clear on what the unhappiness is– is it that she wants less stuff or is it that she feels guilty that she’s giving 4 gifts and everybody else is giving 6?  It’s hard to know, especially since this is all second hand (third hand for me through DH) from MIL.  MIL also mentioned that SIL has too many kids books and her bookcases are full… which was that directly to use because we usually get books for the kids?  I don’t know.
  • One thing I really don’t like is that she has put up her amazon wishlists for the four kids and both girls (a one year old and a five year old) have make-up kits and toy vacuums and stereotypical girly girl look I’m just like my mommy who has an unequal marriage toys, but both boys have super cool gender neutral toys.  I’m going to let DH deal with this since it’s his family, but I can’t imagine getting things off the girls’ wishlists even if that’s what SIL wants (and maybe the 5 year old wants 4 different make-up kits, but I doubt the 1 year old has given that preference).  There are a couple of books for the older kids still on the wishlist so maybe it’s not a complete moratorium on books.  DH always calls her up and asks if she’s ok with what he’s getting them anyway and she has said no about things they already own.
  • Unrelated:  SIL’s husband just got diagnosed with covid.  Really I’m surprised it took them this long.  At least SIL is vaccinated even though the four kids aren’t.  And they let MIL know right before she got to the house to visit them instead of after so MIL was able to turn back around.

RBOC

  • A bunch of junior faculty contacted me individually to thank me for shaming my unmasked colleagues at the last faculty meeting.  Thankfully, since then most of the other faculty have started masking, at least when students are around. The guy who teaches our security economics course (and doesn’t publish) is being a huge jerk about not masking.  His office his now next to mine too.  UGH.  I think he’s a national security risk.
  • We’re doing a poetry unit in homeschool and DC2 wrote this haiku which is miles away better than anything I have ever written.  (Though when I was in 5th grade my limericks were much better than hirs(!)  Zie hates limericks but I loved them.)

The wind turns my page.
Golden light glints off the book.
A good day to read

  • I love it so much!
  • A senior faculty member emailed me to complain about nobody in his section masking and he sent me a cnn article on how hard this is for faculty at these universities.
  • I had an obviously sick student in one of my classes (he volunteered it was nothing).  Nobody seemed perturbed other than me!  I don’t know what I’m allowed to do in those cases.  Also, will I get sick?  Will other students get sick?
  • My friends at sane schools are in a completely different world right now.  They’re testing every other week, masking, requiring vaccines, and freaking out over what seems like really small numbers of cases.
  • I submitted two job applications.  Both would probably be paycuts and I am ok with that.
  • I am so tired.  I never understood the RE part of FIRE, but… there’s a lot to be said for not being forced to put oneself in danger or to be a party to others endangering themselves.
  • There are a LOT of republican stickers on the backs of laptops this year.  I certainly wouldn’t go to one of these schools if I had any way of going someplace that cared more about safety.

 

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 39 Comments »

RBOC

  • Scalzi said we weren’t allowed to talk about which anti-vaxxers we wanted to die in his thread on whether or not we should feel sorry for anti-vaxxers.  But this is not Scalzi’s thread.  Right now there’s a Trolley problem in which there are a bunch of innocent kids on the track.  We don’t know which ones will get hit by the train, but some of them will.  And if we flip the switch only a few evil Republican governors will die.  I can’t flip the switch for many many reasons and I don’t want their blood to be on anybody’s hands because killing people is a terrible thing.  But, I think I’m allowed to hope that Covid will strike them down instead of striking down those kids they’re willfully putting at risk.  If lives have to be traded… I would make that trade.
  • I bought DC1 ~$200 worth of fancy masks from Cambridge mask and Primalwear because I don’t think Old Navy will be enough even though DC1 is vaccinated and I’m not sure how comfortable the N95s we have (from last Februrary?) will be.  Enro didn’t have any designs DC1 liked in stock in medium, but DC1 seems ok with heavier fabrics.  As natural scientist recommended, we have put a box next to the door for DC1 to drop hir mask in when zie gets home.
  • I had a lump in my leg sort of deep in my mid-thigh.  When I first noticed it, there was a large bruise next to it.  Dr. Google suggested to leave it alone for two weeks and if it didn’t go away on its own or got bigger to see a doctor.  Two weeks later it was gone.
  • But then it came back a couple days later.
  •  I called the nurse hotline to ask what kind of doctor I should see and the nurse said go to the emergency room within the hour!  And I said no thank you.
  •  I did call the health system I’ve moved to after my GP/OB went into a private practice that doesn’t take insurance and asked them who I should see and they said to start with a GP and found me a nice family practitioner.
  • DH also used his U/s to look at it and determined it’s between skin and muscle, denser than the surrounding tissue, and not near any major blood vessels, but couldn’t figure out much else because he’s an engineer not a medical professional.
  • The doctor said it’s probably a hematoma I reinjured but could be a sebaceous cyst and I could have an u/s right away or I could wait 3 weeks putting heat on it occasionally but otherwise not touching it.  So I chose that.
  • I am STILL sick of white men who don’t do any activism but tell people who ARE doing things that what they’re doing is pointless.  Are they Russian agents?  Do they think cynicism makes them look smart?  Or do they just want an excuse to continue being lazy about something that doesn’t affect them as much as it affects the people who are actually doing the fighting?  Just shut up, doods.  Nobody wants to hear your self-fulfilling punditry.  Lazy jerks.
  • I got an apology email from a job candidate several years back who got extremely drunk and started shouting obscenities at the restaurant we were at (this makes for a pretty funny story because after I fled the restaurant, I’d accidentally left the lights on in the car so the battery died and I’d left my cellphone at home and I had to get jumped from some nice students passing by).  I told one of my friends about getting the email and she was like, “I just got an apology email yesterday from this guy I used to date 20 years ago.”  What is going on?!?  Did Oprah suggest this?  Or is it some kind of religious thing?
  • I got an apology email once like a decade ago from a former friend in college who more than 10 years prior to that out of the blue decided to give me the silent treatment over the summer when we were the only 3 people living on our hall, forcing me to branch out and meet not-crazy people in another dorm who introduced me to Buffy.  But that was a long time ago.  (She then noted she’d moved to a city two hours away from me and invited me to drive two hours to see her, which I said, as one does with people from LA, maybe next time I’m in the city, not meaning a word of it, as one does.  She’s also an author and kept adding me to her book list-servs and I had to keep unsubscribing or blocking.  People are strange.)
  • I was thinking, “gee I don’t have any referee reports right now oh no I’d better not even think that because every time I do I end up…” and then I got an email request for another referee report mid-thought.  Which I’m going to have to do because it’s on racism and if I don’t do it some racist White dude will.  Econ needs more papers on race by not racist white men so there are more not racist reviewers so that more papers by not racist white men can be published.  (The White Doods in econ gatekeep race publications like CRAZY.  It’s so cringy.)
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 13 Comments »

RBOC

  • I watched all the jetpens YouTube videos.  Now I’m not sure what to watch when I need a few minutes of soothing.  [update:  Frank James introvert and 16 personalities videos, apparently]
  • YouTube is fairly sure I want to watch videos of first class cabins on Japanese ferries.  I do not and have not, and yet they have recommended 7 different videos!
  • Ditto people playing piano to elephants… why?
  • otter videos are cute, but otters should likely not be pets (you can google otters as pets for lengthy explanations as to why not)
  • it seems like a big thing right now is setting goals to read more books.  I don’t get that.  Like…why?  I can only assume that they must be trying to read “worthy” books that aren’t actually any fun.  I wish YouTube would stop recommending the videos because just the titles irritate me—they seem to imply that reading isn’t actually a fun thing to do.  Plus their goals are always so low—read 25 books in a year, etc.  I think they must really mean, “Read 25 difficult books” or sadder, “read 25 book club style books that you won’t actually like.”  Because… the books I read are easy and enjoyable!  Not a chore!  And not particularly worthy…
  • DH has gotten really good at cutting his own hair.  It looks a lot better than many of his barbershop haircuts (which vary a lot depending on who he gets).  I think maybe he’s not going to go back to getting his haircut out.
  • I really need a haircut… not sure if I should actually get a real haircut or if I should ask DH to do a straight cut at the bottom, taking a few inches off.  (He does a trim about as well as most supercuts do– but I would not ask him to do anything else, so it may be a while before I go back to a more professional “mom bob.”)  In the mean time my hair is one big POOF.
  • We eat more meat when DH and I are both busy working.  Some of that is more prepared food but I think a lot of it is us growing up heavily midwestern with dinner being a meat, veg, and starch, so that’s what we gravitate to for quick meals.  It also helps not having to worry about things going bad in the fridge since meat can be frozen and defrosted.
  • I’ve started turning the volume off during zoom conferences and just reading the slides.  It helps me not feel overwhelmed.
  • I have been feeling overwhelmed a lot by noise lately.  I guess a year and a half of being at home has made me lose my tolerance.  This bodes poorly for going back to work.  Still, whenever we’ve moved to a city (where there are a lot more people than our town), I’ve adjusted after 2-4 weeks, so presumably I would do that at work too.
  • The recent conference I was at instead of breakout rooms had “Gather” which was just too twee for me.  I gave up at first because of the avatar.  Then I went back and tried again and saw that I would have to wander around to bump into people and gave up at that point.  I just can’t.
  • We thought we had solved the Mystery of the Musty Cupboard (DH recaulked the shower next to it) but it’s looking (smelling) more and more like we’re going to have to pull out some part of the cupboard to figure out if there’s a leak in some pipes.  (We know it’s not the roof or the a/c.)
  • School stuff is even worse– they’re not encouraging masking just saying if you want to you can (other districts have decided on a “need parents permission to not wear a mask” strategy) AND they say you can’t stay home to quarantine even if someone sitting next to you unmasked has covid.  You must actually be showing symptoms in order to miss class.  DC2 is pretty much guaranteed to get covid this year and we feel so helpless.  We’ve looked into virtual schooling options and we waited too long– all the ones that look reasonable are full and the only ones left look terrible.  We have very little time to decide on homeschooling.  If I’d known what was going to happen, I might have taken unpaid leave this semester.
  • Not knowing how to protect my kids is the worst feeling.
  • I’m trying to figure out how to get my words just right for my classes so I get most of the class masked while also not getting called into the Dean’s office again for being anti-Conservative.  Again.
  • I need to move.  I cannot live like this anymore.  If I do get called into the Dean’s office again, I think I will just up and quit mid-semester and hope DH keeps his job for a while.
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 47 Comments »

RBOC

  • Nice Kitty is really into pointing out anything that changes to us.  Since DH has moved into her bedroom, she keeps dragging us in there to point out that there’s a new screen (she’s in favor of it) and the chair is different and the 3D printer has moved and so on.  These are useful skills!
  • DC2 is really into juvenile fantasy.  Today zie noted that boys who save the world tend to make stupid decisions a lot of the time, but girls who save the world tend to make more sensible choices.  I wonder if that’s a gendered trope or if it is more a time thing (since girls who save the world books tend to be more modern).
  • The kids are doing a lot of baking this summer even though DH is not.
  • Bananas have been getting ripe very quickly these days so the baking DH does has been mostly things to get rid of super ripe bananas.  Turns out you can just throw them into sourdough to slightly sweeten it, or use them with leftover applesauce for a cranberry nut bread with slight banana flavor.  I don’t want to say we were getting tired of regular banana bread, but DH certainly was.
  • We did have an amazing pizza from Williams Sonoma that used bananas.  It’s literally just pizza dough, then ricotta cheese, then sliced bananas.  If you eat ham you can put ham on top.  Then bake!  That’s it!  It’s surprisingly delicious.  Even if your bananas were super ripe.  (Also: if you haven’t made a pizza with blue cheese and walnuts yet and you like those items, you are missing out!)
  • DC1 doesn’t like the way that hir current C++ teacher won’t let them use things that they haven’t “learned” yet.  Zie says hir previous Java teacher would say, “I won’t be using this as an example because it uses a concept you guys don’t know yet, but we will be learning X in the future” but the C++ teacher is like, “Don’t do that.”  Zie would be fine if the “Don’t do that” was upfront when the problem is assigned, but it’s difficult when you have a large knowledge base and can’t quite remember what has been taught in this class.  I had this problem in Number Theory, but the thing about Number Theory is that you’re not allowed to use, say, multiplication until you’ve defined/invented it, so the limitations make more sense (it is frustrating but really gets you to appreciate how little kids can understand the concept of counting).  Not being able to use an array or a loop seems less sensible.
  • When I teach Stata I’m very much, “there are a million ways to do the same thing, use what works for you” and I’ll talk about the pros and cons of different ways of putting in fixed effects, for example.  My junior colleague who thinks I’m not very bright doesn’t like the way that I often will officially teach them the most idiot-proof way of doing something even though it’s not the most up-to-date.  She doesn’t know that’s why I do things that way though– just thinks I’m out of touch.  I also spend a lot of time getting them to figure out how to find out how to do things using Stata help and the internet.  I’ve gotten pushback from students on that in the past because they think I should stand in front of the class and just write code. (The other professor does that, whereas I have in-class exercises instead.)
  • I made the mistake of wondering what was going on with John and Sherry Petersik of Young House Love (I’m on December of their last year of podcasts so only half a year left before I have to decide what to listen to on my commute instead unless they start up again.)  The amount of people attacking Sherry on the internet for not putting more of her life out there but simultaneously putting too much of her life out there… it was sickening.  Nobody attacks John.  Nobody ever attacks the guy.  Lots of speculation about her personal life too– did she have an eating disorder, did she have an affair with their contractor (extremely unlikely given she spends 24/7 with John so he’d have to be incredibly oblivious), does she have a mental illness, etc. etc. etc.  And how her son not having a closet in his bedroom is somehow child abuse (it’s not!).  I had forgotten how vicious the internet can be to women who try to make money from it.  Anyhow, my bottom line is that John and Sherry seem like nice people and their personal life that they haven’t shared is none of our business even if they’ve shared personal life things in the past.  And if you don’t like the ads on instagram stories there’s a simple solution for that– don’t go to instagram stories!  (Easy for me to say since not giving facebook my personal information means I can’t even see instagram stories.)  And OMG, mommy forums are cesspools!  Like, literally worse than GOMI (which also has a page).
  • I recently deleted a comment criticizing us for not putting more personal information out there.  I think there’s this belief that if a woman isn’t wearing a burka inside women’s quarters– if she ever ventures out, then somehow she’s completely available for public consumption.  Men, of course, get allowed privacy no matter what they put out there.  Nobody even polices their facial expressions.  And in reality, the women trapped inside aren’t safe either (obviously) because it really isn’t about what you wear or where you go.  It’s 100% about policing and keeping women down.  Stupid patriarchy.
  • Someone at the library has very similar book tastes to mine and extremely heavy perfume.  I had to let the new Farah Heron, Accidentally Engaged, air out on the air filter for about a week (with me fanning out the pages whenever I walked past) before I could read it without my nose dripping.  (Literally dripping.)

RBOC

  • A 10-15+ person silicon valley startup is different than a smaller established SBIR mill/Consulting company in many ways.  It’s interesting how the processes are much more modern but also there’s a lot less stuff figured out.
  • This company calls for a lot of video meetings, whereas the old one did skype but with the video always off.  DH moved back into the guest bedroom (he also has a desk next to mine in the office next to our bedroom) which has a much better setup for video and we can both have zoom meetings at the same time.  (One day a week, all 4 of us are zooming in different rooms at the same time).  I miss him.
  • DH decided to decorate the guest bedroom to make it more his office and less a guest bedroom (he’s left all the pictures of waterfalls up– my whimsy suggested decorating it like a mid-level hotel room–Gen X does cliché ironically).  His mom got him one of those fake street signs that has his name on it so now the little bathroom hallway that separates the Great room from the guest bedroom is called “[DH’s first name] Rd”.  The guest bathroom is a little alleyway or cul de sac off the main road in this scenario.
  • He bought a standing desk and a new monitor and a new keyboard/mouse setup because the guest bedroom setup isn’t perfect.  He’s contemplating getting a new chair, though I’m actually the one who needs a new chair and he can take my old aeron once DC1 (who I traded chairs with) is back in school.  We’ll see what happens.  Money is a little part of it, but the big thing is me wanting to actually go and *sit* in chairs.  When you’re spending $1K on something you want it to be perfect, or at least not to cause back pain!
  • DH has decided to raise his allowance an additional $720/year for a total of $3,600/year.  Not all of this is going to jetpens for fountain pens and ink.
  • I know the whole point of an allowance is to spend on what you want without anybody judging you or saying no, but I did tell DH that I would not feel comfortable with fountain pens that cost over like $500 being in the house.  So he bought this one to add to what is now a collection (if you have three of something, it becomes a collection). It is substantially pricier than his other two.  But he’s had the other two (and his space pen) for at least 2 decades, maybe more, so I trust him to take care of it.
  • DC2 requested a fountain pen for hir birthday, so zie will be getting a platinum preppy that DH will be installing a converter for hir so zie can use his inks instead of just cartridges.
  • Part of me really wants to buy a fountain pen that matches the iPhone I plan to get just because it matches.  But then I remember that I don’t actually *like* fountain pens all that much (I like paper that makes fountain pens feather) and would not choose a fountain pen over a nice gel pen or rollerball.  Plus I would feel *terrible* losing a $25 pen.  (I think I can handle losing a $5 pen these days.  My beloved Clena is $3.30.)
  • None of those jetpens links are sponsored.  I just like the company.
  • My aesthetic is mostly black, but there’s something appealing about getting a light purple phone.  A touch of whimsey amid the darkness.
  • I have been learning a lot of new pen jargon from watching jet pens videos.  They don’t always explain the terms but I’m starting to pick them up anyway.
  • RBOC two weeks in a row– I think that matches my currently scattered personality.  I really need to do some deep work on two of my papers (my current two important papers) and instead I’m just futzing around on minor things.  Bad bad me.

RBOC

  • Why are plantain chips so good and banana chips so bad?
  • Remember how I told you guys to try adding cardamom in place of cinnamon in various recipes?  Also try Star Anise in your coffee.
  • One of the big problems with black being a major color in my aesthetic is that I tend to lose my black phone on my black desk, especially when it’s underneath my black wallet.
  • I’m currently having one of those irritating weeks where I have like 4 things that are *almost* done but they’re waiting on one last thing from other people for me to finish my bit.  I want to get them done and off my desk and out of my headspace, but I can’t.  And these are all things where people said they’d get me the thing I needed last or earlier this week but none of them did and there’s no updated when I’m actually going to get it.
  • I also have 8 other projects I could be working on instead (and 4 that I *should* be working on) but I just want to get these other things done which is distracting!
  • If you are exercising during a zoom meeting or presentation, TURN YOUR VIDEO OFF.  Seriously, WTF is wrong with you?  Nobody wants to see you bobbling up and down on your treadmill while someone else is talking.
  • Covid cases in our county vary between red-zone and orange zone.  We still have a few deaths every week.  And there’s just less information being reported and more little * noting that numbers provided by the health department don’t add up.   It’s depressing because this is about the point we were at *last* August right before the students came back and we’d just gotten a mask mandate.  Now we have no mask mandate and our vaccination rate has been stalled out at ~40%.  With the students gone we could be doing so much better.  Since when did “only” 2-4 excess deaths each week from something absolutely preventable seem like everything is now fine?
  • Our health department just decided (a few days after that previous bullet) that it is no longer providing pandemic updates.  We had redzone numbers of cases the previous day.
  • NIU virtual camps have been a HUGE hit with DC2.  C++ with DC1 has gotten off to a bit of a slow start, but I guess not everybody has taken a language or two before.
  • I had a huge amount of computer/technology problems this week which reminded me that it’s been a while since I had any and I’m a lot more productive when everything just works!
  • DC1 has been reading the Histories of Herodotus.  Zie keeps telling us about bits and pieces of it.  It really is hilarious– I loved it too when I was about hir age.  It’s crazy about how something so old (well over two thousand years!) can still be so entertaining.  Zie even has a different translation than I did and is enjoying it, so it’s not just the translator taking liberties.  I’m like, I wish we’d made you read Gullivers Travels before this so you could see that they’re from the same tradition.  But alas.
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RBOC

  • DH is fully vaccinated!
  • On 5/12 we got an exciting email from our pediatrician group that we could sign DC1 up for vaccines.  But then it turned out to be only in their city clinics a couple hours away.  Why do they have to get my hopes up like that?  (We went back to Plan A and called on 5/13.  Then DC1 got vaccinated at a drugstore.  Second shot this week!)
  • I went to a going away party at a patio at a restaurant with 5 other vaccinated faculty women to say goodbye to one of my colleagues who is moving to a position in a more urban area.  We had the patio pretty much to ourselves even though there were a lot of people indoors.  It was fun while we did it but boy did my social anxiety kick in after.  Plus I was excessively chatty when I got back to everybody (sorry friends who are on my texting list!).  It’s like I don’t know how to regulate anymore.  (It doesn’t help that one of the women finds me slightly annoying and thinks I’m stupid, which is weird because although people have found me annoying in the past, stupid is not something I generally get. *shrug emoji*)
  • Why is it that when I have a deadline *everything* other than work seems like the most exciting thing to do ever, but when I finish the deadline, those not-so-great books become actually not-so-great and there’s no longer anything worth watching on youtube?
  • DC1 is allowed to just not take two finals each semester, though they have to be different finals than from the previous semester.  Zie has to declare which two about 3 days before finals start.  This semester, one teacher was like, “you should take my final because the people who took the AP exam get a special super easy final” and another teacher was like, “you have a 96% in my class and should exempt my final”.  So… DC2 switched.  Though that 96% is a somewhat low grade for hir for a STEM class.  Unfortunately DC1 needs high As on the English and Spanish finals to get low As in those classes.  :(  And the English teacher just seems to hate DC1’s writing generally (even though it is grammatically correct, unlike that of many of hir classmates).
  • I seem low on witty bon-mots lately which is why this RBOC has taken so long to post.
  • One of the places DH interviewed didn’t notice until the third interview that he had never actually applied for the job.  (He was asked to fill out an application before the fourth interview.)
  • Our a/c wasn’t working well so we had to get a technician out and they didn’t answer our text question about if he was vaccinated.  So we kicked the (unvaccinated) kids out of the house and DH forgot to ask and he didn’t wear a mask, so after he left we had to open all the doors and windows to air the house out because CDC guidance (as of last week) still says that droplets can remain in the air indoors minutes to hours.  UGH.  I hate living in an anti-vaxx area.
  • I need a longer to-do sticky note– a single post-it isn’t enough!  Or… I need to actually knock off some of these smaller things.
  • DH’s parents wanted us to drive our kids halfway to them and then take them for a week, but DC2 isn’t vaccinated, and there’s still only a 40% vaccination rate and no mask mandates between us and them.  They don’t want to come here because it is too hot in the summer, which it is.  We could just send DC1, but …
  • Every time I watch British Bakeoff I always wonder where Peter is.  My children will not understand the need to complete the set.
  • Had a small cry about poor Puff.  I like to think he found other things to keep him happy and occupied while still cherishing the memory of Jackie Paper in his heart.  Like we do with our beloved cats who have passed on.  Forever is a long time.

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