Friday, October 29, 2010


This post is brought to you by my toddler, who is currently sitting on the floor, 'reading' to himself. "Do you want Mama to read you a book?" "NO!"

I kind of don't know what to do with myself. I suppose... I could cook? Clean?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not Dedd Yet

We have all survived the wedding. I am now in possession of the only sister-in-law I will ever have. She is delightful.

The weather remains confused about whether this is the Gulf Coast or not (answer: NOT). I remain confused about why people with no planning skills will insist on planning large events. Bug remains confused about why there are no longer two dozen people to dote on him and take his photo all day long.

Also, he learned some important phrases:

"Aunt A--! Uncle J--!"


"Night night, Grandma!"

and, via my bribery system of travel-with-anklebiters:


P.S. Only one person had to go to the emergency room. Naturally, it was someone who did not speak English. I am not making this up.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"A Good Southerner Never Insults Someone Unintentionally"

Tomorrow we leave for the Scientists-In-Law. The spouse is irritated at me because I don't want to go. Also, I am bringing bread, couscous, black beans, and cookies, i.e. non-dairy baked goods and the makings of one good vegetarian meal.

In my family, this would be a serious insult - what, we don't feed you? I would never do this with my family.

Of course, MY family never fed me a festive holiday meal of boiled peas, mashed potatoes, and carrot sticks, either.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


We are off this week to Dr. S's brother's wedding. It comes complete with years of seething, low-grade resentment towards my in-laws, the inevitable argument, 10 hours in a car with an 18-month-old, four Chinese in-laws-to-be who speak not a word of English, and a 96-year-old crotchety, racist grandmother. I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wouldn't Have Thought Possible

Snooty U. regularly attempts to hit me up for cash. You know, because of all my warm fuzzy grad school memories. Their spiel is 1) Contribute To Continuing Excellence and 2) C'mon, don't you want to help the poor widdle grad students?

This school has an endowment on the scale of the national debt*. The science grad students are funded by a ludicrous number of NIH training grants, plus the equally ludicrous overhead, followed by their own advisors' grants. So, you wouldn't think I could be any less sympathetic.

But! This latest "donate now" letter was signed by the new Grad School Dean... old advisor.


*Strictly speaking, on the scale of about a week's worth of the national debt. STILL.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I Have Five Minutes For My Righteous Indignation

1) All those rat weasel Republicans (also, Rat Weasel Lieberman) who keep harping on about how Obama's saddling the country with debt. Where were they when Bush was selling our children's futures for his dirty little fought-with-mercenaries armed conflict on two fronts? How about for an encore we invade Russia in the winter?

2) WARS are declared by Congress. See also: Constitution.

3) Heard a piece on NPR today about median-income families in America. Story about a family (mom, two kids) who make about the median. They are "struggling to get by" and can "barely make it". We make a great deal less and (though we are insanely frugal) have a comfortable surplus. Where the hell are they spending all their money? Cellphone bills? Car insurance? I am honestly curious. Surely there is more to the story.

To clarify: This family makes 110% of what we do, and lives in the semi-rural Northeast. The cost of living there is about 20% higher than here. Approximately 36% of our income goes to savings each month. So... their money is going somewhere other than cost-of-living.

I calculated it and if I scale up our expenses 20%, these people could theoretically have somewhere between $400 and $900 per month left over (depending how frugal they are), assuming a 25% tax rate. This is why I wonder.