Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Five Minute Blogging: Were We All THAT Young?

  • I still have four pounds of chestnuts to peel.  ACK.  (From my uncle; both tasty and free.) And then I will go steal more fruit and it will all start again.  Send help!  I can't stop canning things!
  • Because I clearly need more commitments in my life, we have 'adopted' two students from the fine institution at which I teach (Psuedo-Military U).  The idea is that about once a week we'll pick them up and give them a kind word, a hot meal, and a nap.  
  • I picked two young ladies, one of whom is from the Very Far East Of Here, and one of whom is from the Northeast.  I suspect they both have a little culture shock.
  • Maybe I'll be a positive role model!  Pregnant female professor with pearls on!  Ha ha ha. 
  • The cluelessness of the 18-year-old college students!  Seriously.
  • Speaking of which, I tried to (unsuccessfully) hoist my pregnant rear up on a counter so I could reach the blinds in lab, and one of my (male) students was - probably appropriately - all "What are you doing?  Can I give you a hand with that?"
  • I finally got someone to cough up an estimate for Fixing That Big Thing!  It was even reasonable!  It's the husband of a friend!  (He's owns a contracting-and-building business.)  In normal places this would be a terrible idea.  In a small town, where reputation is worth a lot and everyone knows everyone, it's generally fine.  Plus, I know everyone.  
  • The tots are Batman and Robin for Halloween.  Bug wanted his brother to be his little sidekick and I was so tickled that I made them costumes.  (Cape, shirt-with-thing, here's some leggings from Walmart, kiddo).
  • Oh, by the way, it was Tatoe's birthday and he got... a lego set and some whole wheat pear muffins.  Poor deprived second child.  
  • I ate some wheat (and by some I mean four fake oreo cookies' worth) and felt... mildly ill.  But it's getting a little better!  The real test is what will happen when I am not pregnant.  
  • Nine weeks.  I can make it nine weeks.  Right?  Right?  If this baby is late I will be EXTREMELY annoyed.  Third babies are not supposed to be late.*

* I know this isn't really how the world works.  I prefer that she arrive healthy -  but by preference, both healthy and on time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Five Minute Blogging: Just Write


  • House projects are driving me crazy, because they are all piled up behind Fix That Big Thing.  I hate coordinating this all, and in consequence I'm worse at it than I would otherwise be.  (Spouse is more or less hopeless; I accept this, and he gets the things I'm hopeless at, like balancing checkbooks.)  
  • So naturally I started painting Tatoe's room.  It looks better already and it's 15% done.
  • And I have a baby present I need to assemble LAST WEEK because that baby is coming any day now. 
  • So naturally I'm refinishing some end tables.
  • And doing things with pears.  This is not entirely my fault; my dad showed up with a cedar chest and two bushels of pears for me.  I had only asked for one of these.
  • The correct response to free fruit is always "Thank you!  How delightful."
  • On the bright side, my children are still alive, everyone gets fed offered a healthy and balanced meal every night for dinner, I am keeping up with the (endlessly boring) grading, and nobody's caught fire in lab yet.  And we've only broken a combined total of $400 of glassware!  (That's peanuts.  And $200 of it was just due to material fatigue.  Last year they did in $6000 just of crucibles.)
  • I had mercy on three of my students and gave them half off instead of a zero.  Dr. S thinks I should have made them suffer.  
  • I can always make them suffer next time they screw up.  Which they will.  
  • I'm eating too much chocolate and gaining too much weight (now a net total of 10 lbs at 30 weeks but still the velocity matters too) and I just can't be bothered to care.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Nope nope nope nope nope.

(In which I discuss Food Problems yet again.)

Dear Readers, you will remember that I am allergic to so many foods that I keep a spreadsheet.

The one good thing about being unexpectedly pregnant - aside from a cute baby who may eventually turn into a darling child, of course - is that some of the allergic nonsense has turned itself down a bit. For example, I ate some canned apricots and was okay!  (Then I ate the rest of the can of apricots and I was less okay, but I feel that was my own failure in judgment.)

However, this weekend I ate a small serving of something with tapioca starch in it (one of the things to which I'd had less-severe reactions - not the ones that make me wheeze and have trouble breathing; that seemed ill-advised.)  And I was very much NOT OKAY.  My hope that this will all disappear is apparently premature.

(House work is boring.  Getting trees taken out is boring.  Talking about jobs is inadvisable.  I am still pregnant.  The end.)

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Dear My Spouse's School's Students,

Leggings are STILL not pants.

Love,

The Professor's Wife



Dear My Chemistry Students,

The next time I squirt you in the face for not wearing your safety glasses- and I'm sure there will be a next time! - I'm going to put something in the bottle that stings.

Love,

I'm Not A Tape Recorder

Monday, October 06, 2014

On Adjuncting as Optional Work

My mother was asking me how I feel about being an adjunct (in brief: kind of weird!  but it pays me lots of money every two weeks!).  In general, I feel squidgy about adjuncting.  I mean, I don't think anyone gets an advanced degree and thinks 'Yes!  I would love to be a semester-to-semester employee with no benefits, no stability, and no power!  That sounds great!'

However, in my particular case, I love adjuncting.  I don't think I'll love it forever. but for now, it pays ridiculously well for the amount of work I do (very little) and, since this is a small town, involves a five-minute commute.  It's not like there's a better part-time job (or any job!) on offer.  I'm not thrilled about supporting the university in having 25% of their faculty be part-time, but it's also not my problem.  I can be as sarcastic to my students as I want, which is occasionally quite a lot; it's more fun and less work than lecturing.

On the other hand, I am still a little twitchy about being 'the professor's wife who adjuncts'.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Little Immunology, Self As Trial, etc.

(Boring medical detail ahead.)

Dear readers, it will not surprise you to hear that having suppressed my cell-mediated immunity with pregnancy and then knocked down my innate immunity with asthma drugs, when I get a cold... I feel very, very ill.  Also, my immune system was a piece of junk to start with.

(Side note: Sometimes I hear people saying they want to take X - echinacea, elderberry, ginger, whatever - to 'strengthen' their immune system. It finally dawned on me why this thought gives me hives: how the hell do you know it won't just turn the whole shebang up a notch, rather than boosting your specific cell-based response to rhinovirus?  Oh, that's right, you don't.  Even fancy pharmaceuticals have a lot of off-target effects.  Now imagine it's a plant..... I spend a lot of time and effort trying to turn down my immune system so it will stop, say, giving me eaten-by-ants feelings all over my body, so no, I don't want to try elderberry.)

I asked about told the midwives I wasn't taking the asthma drugs any more: less allergies = less immune system = why am I taking another immune suppressant.  Unless then I can't breathe, in which case, just kidding!  Their response was mostly "Um... okay.  Let us know how that goes."

I also stopped taking long-acting antihistamines because they cause lower blood pressure and mine was 96/59 this week.  Plus, additional hit to immune system.

Sometimes I wish I knew less.  Then I would feel less responsible for paying attention to what's going on, what the relative risks are, and what choice to make.  "Oh, the doctor told me to!" I could exclaim cheerfully.  Instead, well, at least nothing too weird has happened yet.




Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Student:

"Ma'am, I'm sorry I'm late. I thought it was Friday."

If only, honey.