Friday, December 02, 2016

change in plans

Supposed to be in the low 40s and raining tomorrow, so....I don't think I'm gonna go tomorrow; when it's that cold that early in the day there's a risk of icing on bridges and I don't want to risk damaging my car two weeks before I need to travel. Also it will be icky, and I'd rather do my grading on an icky rainy day than on a nice day when I could be out running around.

So instead, I'm gonna go after I get out of class today. I might not do EVERYTHING (I am reserving the possibility of antiquing for late next week IF I get everything else done) but I think I'll hit the "usual" places (and go to the grocery store. And yes, I'd rather go to the Kroger's on a payday Friday than to the Wal-mart on a Saturday morning. Partly because in Sherman there are multiple grocery stores so the crowds get spread out; here, Wal-mart is the ONLY large grocery so it gets hit by EVERYONE. But also because Kroger's house brands are better and they have a bigger selection of things)

I gathered up the couple of mailers (Jo-Ann's and Books A Million) from places I might be going. And I noticed something about the Books A Million ad - it was a booklet, but there were 3x as many pages advertising toys or tchotchkes as  there were pages advertising actual books, and that makes me a little sad. (I used to snark about one of the big chain bookstores in my parents' town, how they used to push toys and mugs and wall-plaques and oh, those book things, too). Then again, perhaps people who buy books as gifts already know they want to buy books as gifts (and what book to buy) and they don't need advertising to. (Then again, there are poll results claiming somewhere over a quarter of Americans didn't read a single book - paper, electronic, OR audio - in the last year, so I don't know.)

most of what I asked for for Christmas this year was books. And a few pieces of clothing from LL Bean.

And then AGAIN again - every time I go to BAM! I wind up coming home with at least a Pusheen blind-bag toy or a goofy keychain to give someone, so....

Last night was AAUW party. A couple things:

a. Nearly all the meatballs I made (>50 and it was a group of 12) got eaten; not many people brought what I call "real" food (as opposed to desserts) and a lot of us use the party as our dinner, so....

b. I ate too much. And too much stuff I normally should not eat (one of the other savory things was cheese wrapped in prosciutto, which is waaaaaaay too salty for me under normal circumstances but I ate it because it's Christmas, because I'm super careful otherwise, and because it looked good. I find with too-much salt, my diastolic bp spikes up a little (like, 10 points above normal, so it reads in the low 80s instead of the low 70s) for a couple days but then goes back down so I figure a rare indulgence is okay)

I will say I had no GI issues afterward, which I count as a win. (When I was having the problems, eating a fuller than normal meal would mean pain and a night of bad sleep). I am assuming the afternoon exercising is a big, big part of this, and I continue to hope I can work it in to my schedule that way because it works so much better.

c. My gift was well-received, and I got a Useful Gift  (a la "A Child's Christmas in Wales") - a large-ish (six-pack of water bottles sized) cooler thing. It's not very pretty and it's too large for a lunch kit (and anyway, I have a cute lunch kit I use now) but I am thinking maybe I can use it during the fieldwork season to keep water cool. In fact, I will probably be happy for it then.

d. The Applejack I bought for the toy drive is now on her way to whoever her new owner will be. I confess it was a little hard to give her up even as I have my own Applejack. But hopefully she will make some little kid happy.

e. Several women referred to me as "cute" or "pretty" and I find myself wondering on that a little. Perhaps they are right, I don't know. My own perception of my appearance is very skewed (maybe everyone's is?). I think mine got skewed because of some nasty things kids said to me 30 years ago now, and I internalized the idea of "I must be *hideous*" and it's hard to break out of that. (Kids are stupid and cruel sometimes). Now, my feeling is more, "My nose may be a little too large and my skin may be a little uneven without makeup, but at least everything *works* more or less as it should." Also, I had a long awkward period in junior high and high school, and I think I've finally 'grown into' my looks - and also, my face is a little thinner now (weight loss) and I actually look like I have cheekbones, so. And I haven't abused my body so I look younger than some women my age and that may be a factor.

Of course, I was also wearing a cranberry-colored velour dress and had freshly washed and kind-of set (as much as I ever do) my hair, and that cranberry color is a good color on me.

Also, the woman I talked to last meeting - the minister - thanked me for the card I sent to her and expressed surprise that someone would thank her for a conversation but you know? Sometimes it's so hard to know if what you're doing is having an impact that I do think sometimes it's nice if someone did something meaningful to help you to let them know in a concrete way. I know the occasional card I've got from a student who went on to grad school has meant a lot.


One other good thing: My old (? former? Don't know what you call him. He's not really "former" in the sense that I completed out my degree with him, and "former" sounds like I left without completing) graduate advisor e-mailed me yesterday. A paper I helped out with (was involved with data collection, helped with some of the analysis, and helped edit) and am on as a co-author has been accepted by the Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. This is fantastic news, especially now, because I can put it on my CV and that's another publication to feed into the "look how awesome I am" for post-tenure review. (I have been reassured again how unlikely it is that someone who is not a Major Problem or even a Minor Problem would lose their job or even have disciplinary action after PTR, but I am compulsive enough and wracked with enough Impostor Syndrome to be nervous).

Torrey is the journal that (finally, after 5+ years of trying different places) published my dissertation results, and that was in 2006, so it's kind of a nice bookend that 10 years later they accepted another paper on which I am author. (It will probably not come out until 2017, but whatever). 


My property-tax bill came. I might run down and pay it today (I prefer to pay in person and the office where I do that is just blocks from my house). My property taxes are pretty low, considering, and I see they did NOT do the recalculations they were threatening to do (there was a claim that we were all paying way too little and to brace for property taxes to double). They are about the same as last year - a bit over $500 (Small, old house on not very much land - I think I am on an eighth of an acre). I have money budgeted for this so I can write them a check with no problems.

I prefer to do it in person because then I KNOW (rather than trusting the mails and waiting for the receipt).

I've said before: when I feel like I'm not "enough" of an adult, I remind myself I pay property taxes (and pay them in full just to get them out of the way).

1 comment:

CGHill said...

My house is smaller, if not necessarily older, and it sits on just over a quarter acre. The taxman was happy to relieve me of $922.