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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Rboc

  • DH says:  the shower epiphany fairy says to use piano wire
  • TFW the day before you are about to give a talk you check your presentation and your external harddrive has an error that has caused said presentation to disappear.
  • And the silence while you desperately check your automatic backup for a copy.
  • TFW you realize the corrections you made didn’t show up on your harddrive’s backup because it only syncs when you plug in, not when you are working.
  • But thank goodness you at least have a copy you can make changes to and you don’t have to start over from scratch.  I sure hope I caught them all and hope I didn’t make any new slides that are now gone…
  • Before we got our new clothes washer, DH had to buy another pack of underpants because apparently he was the only person in the family who didn’t have enough clothing to last until Tuesday.
  • Latest piece of ridiculousness:  the “room mother” has asked each elementary school student to bring in a single flower on Tuesday morning for Teacher Appreciation Week (to be gathered into a bouquet for the teacher).  At the end of the email was a little passive aggressive note about not letting your child feel left out because of not participating.  She did not translate the email into any of the common non-English languages spoken by school families.  She did not think about the fact that a majority of kids live in apartments and do not have gardens and that Tuesday is not a great day for people who shop on the weekends.  I predict that the school will lose some of its foliage as a result.
  • DH says there is no point in filing a magnet (it doesn’t get smaller).
  • DH says, it took two weeks and $3000, but now when I pull this lever, this magnet spins.
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RBOC

  • DH says:  Detroit has a place called plum market that sells some zingermans products, like coffee cake and candy bars. Detroit may be my new favorite airport.
  • Money back from taxes (yay) goes straight back to the government to pay next year’s estimated taxes (booo).  At least we can send direct…  I think maybe next year when our situation has evened out again I’ll start getting more withheld from my paycheck because it’s less painful than writing big estimated taxes checks and takes less memory.  (Why do we pay estimated taxes?  Mainly because we’re earning money in taxable accounts from dividends that get dripped back into their respective indexes.  So, can’t complain about making money for having money.)
  • Apparently you don’t get a 7 day grace period when you’ve gotten a kindle book as a gift rather than purchasing it yourself (if you, for example, accept and then realize the book is not worth reading or you’ve already read it or whatever).
  • related:  if you’re thinking that a Balogh reissue looks like it might be worth putting on your amazon list because it has a small number of 5 star ratings and no bad ratings, just don’t.
  • I think you also can’t loan kindle books you got as a present rather than purchasing yourself.
  • I woke up with the theme song to the tv show Benson stuck in my head.  And I thought to myself, that was a show about a black man as lieutenant governor.  I wonder why they don’t make more tv shows like that these days and I wonder why so few people talk about that show.  So I looked it up on Google and realized that I had come to the show rather late and that Benson actually started out as the Magic Negro Trope butler and was apparently canceled by the network just before getting a chance to become governor.  So kind of a bittersweet thing.  I just happened to come in at the right age to miss the more racist stuff.  Also, with the google I was able to put Robert Guillaume the musical theater actor together in my mind with the guy who played  Benson.
  • omg.  DH came home with a Kringle from TJ’s imported from Wisconsin and it tasted just like I remembered.  I hadn’t thought about kringles for years.   Sooooo good.  Pecan too, which is my favorite (or maybe cheese or cherry, but pecan seems more standard).  Oh man.
  • DC2 has learned knock-knock jokes.  Hilarity ensues.
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