RBOC

  • The fabric I ordered from Spoonflower for my MIL said it would come in over a month, but then when that time period passed it added another month delay.  Good thing she’s not expecting an order!  Update:  The internet says it was delivered late June.  Update:  When we talked to her, she said she was wondering if she’d ordered it herself and had just forgotten, so we must have done a good job picking out fabrics she’d like!
  • I also ordered a case of hand sanitizer from Office Depot that was supposed to come May 22nd (many weeks after I’d ordered), but by May 30th it still hadn’t come, so I went and ordered more of the overpriced scented glittery tiny hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works because they had some that were clear (DC2 is allergic to red dye) and I am fairly sure they will actually come because my previous two orders came.  Update:  It came.  My glittery stinky hand sanitizer army grows.  Even the “for men” has glitter in it and smells like horrifically strong aftershave.  (Update:  not all of the little dots inside are glitter– some of them are little black dots that just dissolve on your hands.)
  • My Office Depot hand sanitizer order came deep into June.  I am now SET for hand sanitizer and may even be able to give some of the larger bottles away.  The kids have been having fun reorganizing the bottles into different configurations.  Currently it’s definitely set up like an army from a battle game like Shogun Total War.
  • I ordered a bunch of Statistics related face masks from redbubble.  I hope they come before school starts.  Update:  They came and they’re adorable, but I would not recommend because they’re only 2-layers and they don’t have nose stuff so they want to slip down.  I will probably wear them in conjunction with my single-layer math balaclava.  It is going to be SO HOT teaching.
  • I just realized I know wikipedia brown’s husband.  I wanna be like all fangirly next time I see him but I will try to control myself and not be like, did you know you’re married to Wikipedia Brown??  Because I’m fairly sure he is aware.
  • It’s crazy to me how many people go to all the effort of going to a protest but then just aren’t registered to vote.  This means that protests are an excellent place to get people registered to vote.  But then there’s the problem of folks actually voting.  Usually I see this with college students, probably because they don’t quite know how to register and my state does not make it easy (and they don’t know that they’re allowed to register where we live and their home high school didn’t follow state law about registering seniors), but this time around there were quite a few adults (including minorities) whose registration had lapsed because they didn’t vote in the last local election.  That was astonishing to me.
  • I wish that more of these housewives of doctors blogs that seem to be popping up on blogrolls would say something about doing activism things instead of just talking about decluttering and being socially isolated.
  • I have heard from several of my students (minority and non-minority activist) talking through processing this moment in history and specifically our school’s response.  At our weekly research meeting I brought this up, and not surprisingly, only the women and minority faculty have heard from students, and none of the white men.  I know that white women should be doing more, but I HATE that white men are never expected to do anything.  They do not shoulder emotional burdens.  They do not brainstorm to come up with ways to make things better.  They get to say yes or no, but they don’t actually make things happen.  They’re given a pass for being clueless.  I’m especially not happy that this burden is falling to our untenured junior female faculty much moreso than our tenured white dood faculty.  But also the tenured white dood faculty haven’t done the basic work to have the most basic of conversations.  They want to be good people and they don’t get in the way (which is a step up from many departments), but they don’t want it enough to actually do anything that isn’t super easy.  I told them they should all get a copy of So you want to talk about race or White fragility.  Paper copies may be unavailable some places, but electronic versions are not.  But I don’t think that they will.
  • To fix systemic racism, it’s really mostly white people who need to be fixed.  So all these seminars and so on that are mostly minority students in attendance teaching them about how they’re discriminated against… not so useful.  Seminars teaching them mentory stuff would be more useful, but it is not enough to teach people how to swim, as the NSF says, we must instead drain the pool.  It’s so easy to have fun programs that teach people how to swim, but the hard work comes in draining the pool.  And there are a lot of white people who are full of water.  (Maybe that’s pushing the analogy too far.)
  • After a couple weeks of dealing with the stupid ways my department is dealing with BLM, I now understand what it means when people are upset about a white woman (well-meaning or not) making it all about her.  I want to reiterate that this is NOT the same as white women listing out places to donate/protest/call/etc.  What this looks like is either a well-meaning white woman with little actual knowledge talking about her very recent journey to wokeness in the context of how it makes her feel as a seminar (see above bullet) and then taking questions as an expert, or WORSE a “victimized conservative Christian White lady” who wants to be the “voice of victimized white Christian conservatives” (her words– we LIVE IN THE SOUTH, she is part of the majority) going on paragraph long screeds about what her very narrow definition of racism is and how no other kind of racism other than the overt calling people the n-word exists.  Please, bloggers, keep with your lists and publicizing your actions.  You are not these ladies.
  • Our black students have been very clear on what they want, and continued “conversations” in which white people with no actual knowledge talk at them is not it.  So very much not it.
  • My RA’s husband got Covid and then her entire family (parents, brother, herself) caught it from him.  One of my free summer RAs has gone MIA (they have an internship requirement).  I can’t blame him because he was free, but also I wish he’d said something instead of just disappearing.
  • … One of my senior colleagues died suddenly of a heart attack.  Completely unexpected and he was so healthy (not to mention supportive and productive and just an all around good person).  I’m still in shock.

RBOC

  • Meowth is officially my favorite Pokemon.
  • The kids are teaching themselves contact juggling.
  • Got DC2 some face masks from Old Navy online, made out of scrap fabric.  They’re very nice quality.  Initially they looked huge, but after being washed on hot, they are perfect for my not-petite 7 year old’s face.  We ended up with 3 white and 2 blue checked, so not quite the variety they promised, but I figure we will need at least 7 and these are way less expensive than the fancy ones I’ve been buying on Etsy (which, admittedly were University/Ravenclaw/Batman fabrics).
  • DC1’s piano and violin have both improved tremendously since starting stay-at-home.
  • DC2’s piano has not really seen much improvement.  Possibly because DC2 is not actually interested in doing what the piano teacher suggests and eventually the teacher just gives up and goes along with DC2 who mostly wants to play right-handed while singing and ignoring silly things like flats and sharps.
  • DH has been continuing with Yoga with Adriene, but the plank and downward dog and similar things do bad things for my right shoulder-blade area and I’m ready to move to something else.  Currently it’s just been walking around the house and backyard while watching a youtube video, but I may find something more interesting. It’s hard not stopping in the kitchen when I watch one of the Try Guys Eat the Menu videos.
  • One of my friends is on a WeChat thing where they get a bunch of people in our area together to do a grocery store delivery from The City (apparently if 50 families order, they do the personal shopping and deliver to our town).  She dropped off a bunch of sweet soy curd wrappers and seaweed salad and fake crab (to our front porch, where she picked up a bag of children’s books DC2 had outgrown).  Then we took leftover rice and leftover red bean paste that we already had and had a make-your-own soybean wrapper sushi thing for lunch the next day.  Everyone was super happy.
  • Dh got me briefly hooked on the reddit main page.  So I tried to remove its cookies from my iphone, but it still popped up as a suggestion.  So I deleted ALL of my cookies.  And boy howdy has my productivity temporarily shot up.  I’m sure I will eventually regress, but this is a nice way to start summer, only being able to check work stuff and my comics strips on my phone in the morning.
  • The kids’ school basically got out a week early.  DC1’s because final exams were cancelled.  We’re not sure why the elementary school decided to stop a week early, but they did.
  • Two of DC2’s friends got outdoor above-ground pools.  One of them said they thought the government should provide them for everyone because of the virus, and I gotta say, that’s not a terrible idea.  (Not so helpful to people in apartments, but…)  So long as they take them back when our HOA pool is open and safe again.
  • One of DC2’s friends is going to Florida this summer.  One of them is going to be doing the school’s summer camp if they open, but we don’t know if they will or not.  Two of the fancy expensive summer day camps plan to open in July, but DC2 has kind of outgrown them so we hadn’t been planning on doing them anyway, and … it just doesn’t seem safe.  I figure the longer we wait to get the disease, the more they’ll know about how to treat it.  The problem is that we’re almost certainly going to get it in September when the students come back no matter what and our local hospitals will be slammed which itself will be dangerous.
  • After DH got his second paycheck of the year our check register said we had more money than we had ever had in checking (other than right before buying a car when we’ve transferred money over) and I was like, WOW, we really haven’t been spending anything since we can’t leave the house, I should totally buy more stuff online.  Then I realized that I usually pay the credit card bills before he gets his second paycheck, not after.  So… it’s easy to have increasing amounts of money in checking if you keep your steady income the same and then just don’t pay your bills.
  • I’ve hit loneliness.  I want to talk to someone about nothing important.  (DH has already heard everything.)  If I were at work I’d be talking the ear off of someone in the office.  If I were at a store I’d probably strike up a conversation about the merchandise.  I have work zoom calls and texts, but they’re not the same because they’re efficient and business-focused.
  • The imaging place where I did my mammogram was definitely not social distancing.  There were far too many people in the waiting room to allow for 6 ft distance.  And neither of the receptionists was wearing her mask correctly– one had it dangling from an ear while the other wasn’t covering her nose.  Hopefully I will be ok.

Refund Bullets Or Credits

  • Our American Airlines flights have been refunded
  • DC1’s camp has been refunded
  • Our AirBNBs have been refunded
  • Our contribution to DH’s family’s summer trip has been sent back.
  • Our United flights have been credited for future travel
  • DC1’s SWA flight situation has been odd… Originally we had booked a r/t ticket just for DC1 (age 13) because SWA is the only airline that allows 13 year olds to fly solo.  But then the flight back got split into two flights with a connection, which meant DC1 couldn’t do it anymore.  So SWA cancelled that ticket and refunded half the money and turned the other half into a waiver with which it purchased a second one-way ticket for DC1.  This second one-way ticket was later and really close to the edge of the window for which the camp was willing to do pick-ups.  Then after Covid, they moved the flight so it was outside the window.  (Then the camp cancelled before we could get around to trying to cancel the SWA ticket.)  But… when we called up to cancel, which we should have been able to do because it was such a large schedule change between our initial ticket and the latest version of the ticket, we were told that the person on the phone literally could only give credit because the ticket itself had been purchased with a waiver, even though from our perspective it was the same flight, from the system’s perspective refunds were not allowed for waivers.  So the very apologetic person on the phone gave us information for how to escalate which apparently can only be done via snail mail.  So DH typed up a letter explaining the situation and it is sitting in our mailbox waiting to be picked up.  I told him that if he did that, he could move half the cost of the ticket to his own allowance.  Normally getting airline credit wouldn’t be a big deal because we would use it eventually, but the only airports that use SWA are an hour farther away than our closest big airport (and more than two hours away from our regional airport).  Since we can’t transfer the waiver to someone else, the ticket is pretty much useless unless very unlikely circumstances have DC1 take SWA for some other reason.  (Maybe camp the summer after this?)  Update:  They called us and credited it because of the time changes from our original purchase.
  • Our grocery store has not yet credited the $17+ that some terrible instacart shopper stole from us.  DH called after 10 days and was told that it’s actually 10 BUSINESS days, not just 10 days and they were still working on it.  They also said they were going to give us $40 in store credit (update: they have), which makes me feel warmer and fuzzier, and not just because I really miss their frozen beet pizza and large selection of organics and fancy cheeses.  (As DH pointed out, there are reasons we usually shop at this grocery store and not the other one in town.)  I wonder who does the personal shopping for their curbside…
  • DH has taken some of the travel refund money and bought himself a fancy new desktop with it (using family funds).  The idea is that I will eventually take his fancy old desktop but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
  • I have not yet gotten the refund for our DDA account over-purchase.  It sounds like some summer camps will be open starting in July, but we probably won’t be sending DC2 to them.  I am going to assume they will process this after I get the last paycheck for the year.
  • I finally put in the paperwork for a number of work reimbursements but haven’t gotten them yet.

Have you been getting Covid-related refunds (or credits)?

RBOC

  • Sounds like we can get refunds on our unused dependent daycare account.  WHEW.
  • I guess I’m going to schedule my annual mammogram?  DH got his cpap machine (about a month after what would have been normal in the before times– he did the sleep studies before Spring Break) and got it fitted.  There was almost nobody at the clinic– the doors were locked and he was the only person in the waiting room.  I assume the mammogram place will be similar and there will probably be a wait.  Since my mother had breast cancer, I’m higher risk.
  • DH has decided he likes yoga, so we’re only doing yoga with Adriene.  I had been planning on trying Richard Simmons or Jane Fonda, but yoga is fine.
  • I don’t currently have a doctor.  My doctor quit her practice in March and is supposedly starting a new one in a month, but it sounds like she may not be taking our insurance.  I don’t want to deal with insurance.  I’m not sure how to find a new doctor.  One of my friends who had the same doctor is going to keep her and pay out of network and deal with the paperwork… but…  So we’ll see what happens.
  • I have the best kids (DC2 sometimes still has tantrums/whines/general grumpiness/needs/etc. but overall I should not complain… it’s more of a some days are rough thing than an every day is rough thing) and the best husband ever… and yet I still have a hard time focusing at work (whether or not there’s a deadline in front of me).  To be honest, this burnout happened before the Pandemic, but it doesn’t help to have extra interruptions and the increased mental load of organizing food purchases in an imperfect retail space.  Part of the problem with working from home before the pandemic was that I was always getting interrupted at home, so my habits got bad.  Now that I’m forced to work from home… have they improved?  I don’t know.  I guess we’ll see what happens when my final exams are graded and I have nothing but space.
  • I feel super guilty when I have time to myself (say, the kids are watching a movie) and I cannot focus and spend the time on the internet or reading a novel.  I feel like I NEED the novels.  So I shouldn’t feel guilty.  But I wish I could have the interruptions/squabbling/whining when I’m trying to relax and can take the break instead of when I’m trying to get work done.
  • Southwest keeps changing the flight times for DC1’s summer camp.  I do not know if this summer camp is actually going to happen.  If it does happen, I’m still leaning towards sending hir…  I do wish they would cancel sooner rather than later though.
  • Like other universities, we’re going to find out sometime in July whether we’re teaching online or hybrid in the Fall.  My colleagues have so many questions that cannot be answered until July.  I’m feeling remarkably zen about this, even though I know I will not be as able to do a good job teaching stats in either an only or a hybrid environment.  I’m not sure which I would prefer though.
  • I’m glad DH and the kids finished Pandemic Legacy last year.  It seems less of a fun game these days.
  • I think this is the longest that I’ve been without any sort of minor ailment picked up from one of the kids.  DC2’s nose has been neither plugged nor drippy for at least a month now.  It’s weird knowing that most likely any ailment is allergies (so zyrtec fixes it right away) or hormones or air pressure or something I ate (or in the case of Vit D, didn’t eat) and not a bug.  Like, I’m not picking anything up from my students or from my kids’ schools.
  • I’m not sure how I feel about the cpap machine.  When DH is on his back it doesn’t make any noise and he doesn’t snore, so I sleep better.  When he’s on his side, the thing gets off kilter a bit and starts whistling and wakes me up.  DH isn’t sure how he feels either, though he’s more concerned about his jaw clenching more than usual and about it rubbing under his nose too much.
  • We finally cut DC1’s hair.  We did not cut DC2’s because DC2 has been cutting hir own.  DC1’s hair looks very much like it did when zie was 4 (when DH used to cut it).  DC2’s hair looks very… interesting.  Zie got tired of bangs being too long so just… cut them off?  There’s kind of a buzz cut thing going in the front now.

RBOC

  • We cancelled the summer family trip to the popular Midwestern destination, taking advantage of United’s “cancel before May and reschedule sometime in the next 24 months at no extra cost” opportunity.  We still haven’t cancelled the Portland anniversary trip because we went through another airline and we have to figure out how to do that, though we will need to cancel the AirBNB by the end of the month to get our money back.  DC1’s summer camp hasn’t been cancelled yet, so I guess we’re holding off on that as well.  Also my big summer conference is online-only this year.  So we’ll have a bunch of airline miles and suddenly instead of having 3 weeks of travel this summer, I don’t.  DH is regretting not taking his birthday off from work since he no longer needs to use 2 weeks vacation for summer travel.
  • The Walmart in DH’s (small rural) hometown got completely bought out– literally emptied from food to clothes to large appliances— after the stimulus money came in.
  • The kids’ schools have been cancelled for the year and they’ve started having grades and new material again.  The idea is that grades will appear on the transcript but will not be included in the GPA.  For students without internet access, they’ve made free wifi available in school parking lots and have handed out tablets.
  • There’s now things that need to be turned in for grade three, which is a subset of things that are assigned.  We’re just doing the things that need to be turned in, and not any of the assigned stuff that doesn’t.  It’s not technically optional, but who is to know?  Plus a lot of these things that don’t need to be turned in are either things DC2 doesn’t need more practice on (ex. zie is about a year ahead in math) or that require a ton of parent involvement and things that we don’t have access to (ex. specific gardening projects).  So for folks who are struggling with make-work projects and unnecessary projects in grades where grades don’t matter… just don’t.  I give permission.  You getting your stuff done is more important.
  • That doesn’t mean that we don’t have stuff for DC2 to do.  Zie is still doing hir full set of weekend workbooks every day except Monday.  On Monday zie does schoolwork.  Tuesday-Sunday are the weekend workbooks.  Piano practicing is every day.  We’ve also added 15 minutes of room cleaning along with regular chores of putting away the silverware and folding/putting away any of hir own laundry.  With all this home time, DC2’s room was becoming an enormous disaster area.
  • We’ve had to start waking DC2 up earlier because zie would get super grumpy about not having time for a full two hours of videogames/shows and then have trouble getting to sleep at night and the cycle would repeat.  So… apparently 7 year olds are a bit like toddlers?  We’re now making sure zie is up by 9, though we really haven’t been able to enforce bedtime because zie keeps sneaking books under the covers no matter how many times we cut hir off.  We don’t have the energy to do a harsh enforcement, so forcing a wake-up seems easier.
  • DC2 has also noticed that zie can will baked goods into being by just announcing that zie wants them… putting it out into the universe.  I worry zie will move to LA and become a proponent of The Secret.
  • DC1 has been working diligently mostly on school work and studying for the new modified AP exam.  We’re not quite sure what to do to help but we’re figuring it out.  Hir history teacher has required class meetings 3x/week at 1pm which is irritating because they’re not supposed to have any required meetings and ALL the teachers want to meet at 1pm so DC2 can’t go to optional meetings from other teachers.  This wouldn’t be so bad if she posted the information/material/deadlines/ways to turn in assignments any other way.  But she doesn’t.
  • DC1 has been overall much more relaxed– getting to bed earlier, having some time to play video games (zie is on the third go-through of Undertale).  The best part is there’s no art projects for English anymore, just writing and content.  Still, DC1 managed to get a low grade on a timed quiz because zie thought scene 1 was the same as Act 1 and hadn’t read the entire first act of Romeo and Juliet.  So we’re back to getting low grade warnings via email.  But at least they’re more deserved?
  • The relative’s kid who got into college ran away from home (because of the quarantine) to live with the much older married woman who has/had been abusing him and is not doing his homework so he is not going to graduate from high school after all.  I always worry what would have happened if we hadn’t interfered– would he have finished high school?  Or would he have dropped out earlier?  Or did we really have no effect?  Are we helping or making things worse?  Or just too far away to change anything?

RBOC

  • I tried to stop my DDA payments as allowed under the stimulus bill, but because of I don’t know what reason, instead of being able to stop $666 for two final paychecks, it was only able to stop $250 for one final paycheck.  I do not understand this at all.  They also made me provide a letter from after school saying it had been canceled.  But after school is trivial, it’s the summer daycamp that’s the problem.  We may end up being out $1-2K from this.  I’m glad I only put away $3K total.
  • Delayed additional nuts.com candies came on Friday.  Easter was saved!  We did have some (sadly melted) stuff from a Target order I’d made a month ago, but it wasn’t quite enough to make the baskets look full, especially since the books I ordered as the non-candy item were too big for the baskets.  (These are not big baskets– my MIL bought them when DC1 was in preschool and we just reuse them every year.)
  • DH is a bit of a min-maxer.  In an effort to preserve paper towels, he decided to use one of our kitchen cloths on some extremely buttery cinnamon roll dough.  He then washed it and got butter and cinnamon and nutmeg all over the washer drum and it took half the morning to get rid of it all (though things were smelling pleasantly cinnamony for a while).  He then realized that greasy or yucky things are the reason we are are trying to not use our paper towels for things that rags can easily handle.
  • (This may be TMI, but a couple weeks ago I got concerned that we were going through a roll of quad-ply every two days in the master bathroom and were going to run out.  Since that conversation it’s been more like every 6 days per roll… I’m not really sure how one goes from those extremes and I don’t really want to know.  But I suspect it may have something to do with that min-max habit…)
  • Despite what feels to me like a lot of groceries and online purchases, our pantry stores are diminishing rather than staying steady.  Maybe it’s the complete lack of eating out (including DC1 “forgetting” hir lunch and being “forced” to eat pizza, which mysteriously only happens on pizza hut days)?  Though our kids have also been on growth spurts, and boy can a hungry teenager consume a lot.  DH has decided that he’s been eating too much which I suspect means less stress baking (booooo) but may also have a large effect on how much we end up with each night as leftovers.  I don’t want him to diet, I just want him to be healthy and to eat what and how much seems right to him, but see above about min-maxing.
  • I’ve started hitting chatty.  I apologize in advance to anybody that I have an even sporadic texting relationship with. I am pretty amazing in small doses, but annoying in longer interactions.  Trying to be less annoying never seems to work, so I’ve learned to spread myself out.  Which is hard to do these days!  I am #blessed that my family puts up with me.
  • It’s not that I’m not getting zoomy interaction, it’s just that all that interaction is about important stuff.  It’s focused to a much greater extent than in person interactions because we can’t have little side conversations while we wait for the meeting to start without everyone overhearing, and of course the people who do have those side conversations in front of the entire zoom aren’t really the people I check in with (generally they are people with grown children whose kids are not at home!)
  • My sister has noted this is a problem at her company so she’s instituted little 15 min check-in zooms.  I’m not sure how they work, but they’re supposed to be about not work stuff.  I’m not sure how I would feel about my boss doing this… I’d probably be annoyed, but it was requested by her folks.
  • There are still people in my dreams and I still go places in my sleep.  I’ve been doing a lot of nature stuff in my dreams… places we’ve traveled or places we were planning to go this summer.  Usually there’s a lake.  (But no girl or otherwise who can speak with her eyes.) The other night I dreamed it was Christmas break and we were at DH’s parents.
  • DC2 had fun facetiming individual friends but zie REALLY had fun zooming with all three at once.  They discovered all sorts of joint zoom whiteboard functionality I did not know about.  (I still don’t know where the checkmarks came from.)
  • DH’s sister is pregnant with twins(!). (These will be children 3&4 and grandkids 7&8.).
  • Remember when DH thought he had rabies?  His seasonal allergies hit recently and zyrtec hasn’t been as effective as usual (at least, this is our hypothesis).  So he started stressing out and getting physiological responses to the stress which make it harder to sleep etc.  But we haven’t been out in a month and we’re careful with groceries and packages and handwashing.  He’s been working on deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation and that seems to help tone down the physiological response to stress which helps with the mental response as well because he no longer thinks he’s caught something terrible.  DC1 has been coughing and I’d been having similar allergy problems (recall, I am allergic to everything outside).  I gave DC1 a zyrtec and zie stopped coughing and I took a zyrtec and stopped having post-nasal drip.  So… pretty sure this is just some common allergen like ragweed or something.  We don’t usually have allergies at the same time, but it’s been an odd year.
  • Bubly grapefruit sparkling water tastes just like Squirt!  (Which apparently still exists?  But I haven’t seen it since I was a kid.)  (Not affiliate links.  Just reminiscent links.)
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RBOC

  • You guys know that Thanos was the bad guy, the super-villain, in the last Avengers movie and that Soylent Green was a dystopia, right?  And when people joke about the bungled Covid-19 response being the Republican plan for fixing Social Security, that is dark humor, not an endorsement.
  • PhD readers, you know how sometimes we may have nightmares that we didn’t get a high school degree or didn’t finish the PhD so we have to go back and do it over again?  I had a lovely dream last night that I was missing two credits (a PE and some kind of Humanities credit) for College.  It was lovely.  I was like, “Oh no, I’m going to have to take a semester off from work to go swimming in Paradise, and maybe take I dunno, a film studies class or something.”
  • Re: exercise.  Week one we did calisthenics and somehow I did something terrible to my right back shoulder blade area.  I don’t know if it happened during calisthenics or while asleep or while sitting or lifting something (laundry?  groceries?) or what, but I definitely did not want to do pushups.  My sister (bless her) gave me some stretching exercises that helped a lot but I think it was a combo of needing to stretch and needing to heal, not just stretching.  So week 2 we did Yoga with Adrienne, specifically the first 7 days of her 30 day workout, who we wish we could listen to on mute but really can’t.  Her exercises were for the most part pretty pleasant and definitely good for days spent at the computer.  Week 3 we decided to go back with aerobic exercises and Joe Wick’s daily kids PE.  Turns out I do not have 30 minutes of full energy for aerobic activity, but I do have about 15.  Boy does he talk a lot.  I think week 4 we will go back to Adrienne.
  • DC2’s feet have outgrown hir current shoes.  So we had to buy some online, which was weird because we don’t really know if they’ve grown a half size up or a whole size.  (New Balance’s sizing chart is garbage– the shoes are always smaller than the measurement… but the question is by how much!)
  • This is the third week of online K-12 and they’re doing new material and grades matter.  I’m not sure how well this is going to work out for DC2 since zie refused to do any of the school stuff for third graders … and since it was either way too easy or required extensive parental involvement, we allowed hir to do hir weekend workbooks every day instead. Zie also had been sleeping in until noon and sneaking up super late to read pokemon comics and harry potter and Nikki Tesla books and who knows what else.  Last weekend we started hir on an alarm (albeit at 10am, not 6) to transition back to having to do regular school.
  • I am incredibly grateful that this past year I bought the ipad pro and a new laptop.  With 4 people needing to zoom and do homework/work, it is super helpful to have multiple devices.  #privilege  So much privilege.  Our school district has been pretty good about this… they used the two transition weeks to find out who has difficulty with technology access and have handed out tablets to all the high schoolers and middle schoolers without access.  They don’t know if they will be able to get all low-access elementary schoolers though.  :(  Our city also has worked with cell phone providers and the university has been working with our two internet providers to get limits on data removed and increased access.  Though MY monopoly provided internet still goes down during class from time to time, just like it does in the summer.
  • I’ve had two students drop my required core class, but they may have dropped even without the pandemic.  Though the pandemic did make it easier to drop without consequences.
  • I continue to buy stuff online… we got hot sauces from heatonist (yes, Keith’s chicken sauce is exactly as advertised).  DH bought chocolates from Chocosphere.  I got a pasta roller from sur la table.  We did another nuts.com order.  I got some bandanas from urbanoutfitters online (update:  some of these have been cancelled).   Nothing is coming when promised (technically the hot sauces did, but pretty much everything else has been delayed), but it’s kind of fun having stuff appear randomly.
  • Two custodians who work in my building at work have been diagnosed with Covid 19.  I hope they’re ok and I’m glad that I’ve been working from home.  Not so happy that a couple of my older colleagues are still going into the office.  (Zooming from their offices for faculty meetings!)
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RBOC

  • Some of my students have started to hit crisis mode with lost jobs and lost job offers and having to move back in with family.  Some of them have families in crisis mode as well.
  • DH’s parents should be fine– they have pensions.  But his other relatives have been mostly laid off, including all the teens.
  • It’s not too late to apply to graduate school– our admissions was way down this year, so we still have rolling admissions!  Wait out the bad economy with a masters degree.  (I think we’re done with PhD stuff, but we still have plenty of MA slots… we probably still have financial aid.  And if we’re in this situation, other schools likely are as well.)
  • I war between feeling #blessed and feeling guilty.
  • DH and I have been trying to figure out how to just give money without having to buy anything to our favorite homemade noodle restaurant.  Credit card is our best method right now but we’d have to order and if we tipped it might just go to whoever did the curbside (this is our best idea so far though).  There’s a language barrier, so it’s hard to discuss this with them.  We don’t have much cash on hand.  A check seems weird and how would we get it to them?
  • The kids’ piano lessons have gone virtual.  I’m really hoping DC1’s violin lesson can–she just texted as I was typing this to say she’s doing zoom lessons now.  So that will be interesting.  I get how we can set up for violin since DH has a pretty professional setup already at his work-from-home computer, but piano is going to be a bit more difficult.
  • I’m using DH’s low quality cast-offs for my work-from home zoom set-up.  I’m also using my fancy ipad pro to record lectures.
  • Our internet is not great when everyone is at home.  Usually this is only a problem in summer, but it is a problem now.  DH has hard wired me into the internet which seems to help some, but it isn’t perfect, even when I’m just doing audio and not video.
  • I spent about 2 hours one day trying to figure out how to get graded exams into ecampus. Because the day before we got instructions telling us we can’t return graded assignments with emails. And then the student I tried to send something to via ecampus email did not get the email or the attachment. So I looked up how to upload exams in the grade center. But the graded exams are on my ipad, not my desktop, and I have no secure way of moving them to the desktop (since I’m not allowed to use cloud activities and don’t have the right kind of cable to connect my ipad to my desktop). And Safari won’t let me scroll in the grade center. So I figured out a kludge involving sorting by date added so the midterm column showed up in the screen, and then realized it resets the order after every single exam which is not realistic, so I went back to google. After determining that USC’s instructions for how to show scroll bars in IOS wasn’t going to work, I figured out that I could reorder the columns manually, but of course the reordering requires manual moving that does not work on the ipad. So I manually reordered columns on my desktop and can now go through the manual override process that the Vanderbilt webpage recommends for returning graded pdfs in ecampus. Test student got her exam back. This is not what I should be spending my time doing. :( (If I’d just graded my exams a day earlier I could have said I had no idea our email servers weren’t secure enough to send graded exams through and could have just said oopsie doopsie.  I bet a lot of profs are going to ignore that email saying it got lost.)
  • A lot of folks have been posting the wonderfully creative things their children have been doing while “unschooled”… my youngest has been leaving a creative path of destruction (DH:  why is the bathtub still full of water and why are there stuffed animals in it?).
  • Where we used to live for a year in paradise is giving rental assistance for families with income less than $100k who have lost substantial income.
  • We’ve been getting groceries delivered– $10 fee and we’ve giving a $10 tip on top of that (this is generally rounding up from their suggested tip).  They just drop the groceries off at our porch and I let them sit for a bit before taking them in, letting them sit a bit more, unpacking them, then washing my hands.  Usually the substitutes are pretty good, but vegan butter (aka fancy margarine) is not a substitute for cultured butter #richpeopleproblems.  I am grateful that we can do this.  See #blessed vs guilty.  (DH plans to use the “vegan butter” in pie dough, which will add flake even though we usually just do 100% butter for the flavor.)
  • My school put together a relief fund for students.  I donated.  I feel like heavily endowed private schools could do this without donations, but I’m at a public school and see a future with a recession and no raises for a while.
  • We bought a random care package from walmart.com for someone– random because all walmart had left were assorted random things.  Then the package got delayed, then split up weirdly.  So on Friday they got their first package, late at night:  A single box of Cascadian Farm organic granola.  The last package is going to be a single container of prunes.  And before that:  five cans of chicken noodle soup (Progresso).  In theory, today they’ll get the bulk of things (though I’m not sure how given they haven’t shipped), which will still be random, but not quite so weird.

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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