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23rd-Nov-2015 10:58 am - Car shopping
Monkey kisses
I hate car shopping. Even though D is willing to do a bulk of it for me. The problem right now is that I *need* to get a car. I don't have the luxury of just idly browsing indefinitely, even if my in-laws ARE very generous about loaning out the shop car.

The problem is also that we have a budget. I want to spend what I got back from my totaled car--which is several thousand more than we paid for it--and maybe a *bit* more...but I don't want a car payment right now. Not with paying the nanny more than my mortgage each month. And I like just owning the car outright. Sure, we could technically afford a car payment...but I really, really, really don't want one.

And I also want something that I really *like*--not that I'm just making-do with.

D found a good Cadillac SRX for a reasonable price, but it's just not quite right. It's a color that I don't love (white) and it doesn't have third-row seating and a few other features are off. Also, it rides higher than I'd like, and gets pretty low MPG--low-teens/city. That's an area I don't want to go backward in.

It would be fine. But I don't love it. It would do. But...

So I'm sure I'm frustrating D with what look like (and probably are) minor or petty complaints.

We looked at another SRX (I'm not sure where he got stuck on the SRX in his search, but he did), and it looked clean but when we got there it had a bubbled rust spot on the body. The poor sales guy. I wouldn't even spend the time to drive it (we had Nadia with, so it's an effort to test-drive stuff) because the rust is a hard no. Everything gets rust in MN, but it doesn't mean that I want to start out my "new" car life with rust.

With time, there are lots of options available. Feeling pressed for time makes this more stressful than it needs to be. It's the old matrix of work. There are three elements: Cheap, fast, and good. You can only ever have two at a time.

So we could get a great car, quickly...but not cheaply.
We can get a cheap car quickly...but it won't be as good.
Or we could get a good car, cheaply...but it won't be quick. That's where we're at right now.
2nd-Nov-2015 12:48 pm - 2017
Fred and Ginger Dance
There are fairly serious rumors of a new Star Trek TV series coming in 2017.

I can't help but be a little bit excited. There is a lot of promise there.

On the other hand, the TV landscape has changed dramatically since the last Star Trek series (Enterprise) was on TV. A lot of things are bigger and better; darker, more complex--in both tone and in visual clutter.

I've watched and re-watched all of ST:TOS. (I'm considering doing it again at some point--probably when the baby is ready for TOS.) It's a product of its time. For what it was, when it was, it was revolutionary.

I just re-watched all of ST:TNG. It's also a product of its time. For what it was, when it was, it was a quality show.

I started watching ST:DS9 for the first time. I completed the first season. It's good, so far. I like it in that way that I like Star Trek. But it still feels a bit murky. Perhaps it's because it's not a re-watch from nostalgia, but I don't feel like I'm lost in the world. Yet. And, again, it feels like it's a product of its time. There was a very clear look and feel to those late-90s-early-00s shows.

That's not necessarily a criticism--that these shows are a product of their times. What TV is truly timeless, save for that made to self-consciously be inside a time capsule?

I plan to go through ST:Voyager (never seen) and also--maybe against my better judgement--ST:Enterprise (never seen). I've always liked Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap!!!), even though I've been warned that Enterprise is not a strong entry into the Star Trek universe.

I have trepidation about a new Star Trek TV series in 2017. It will, inevitably, be a product of its time...and I'm not *quite* sure that Star Trek holds up in the current format; complex, dramatic, thematic, sweeping, action-packed, blue-washed TV.

I liked the new movies...but I cannot honestly say I would have liked them as much if they weren't representing the cast-and-crew of the Original Series. If it had been just random Star Trekkie people who weren't Captain Kirk and Mister Spock...would it have been as good?

I don't think so. It's NewStarWars, in a way--in look, if not tone. And that's not a compliment.

ETA: Oh. It's a STREAMING show. That will try to entice people to buy into CBS's streaming service after a CBS-aired pilot. BOOHISS. Less excited.
29th-Oct-2015 12:57 pm - Switching off
Monkey kisses
I went to a historical seance reenactment with a friend on Friday. He made a comment how it was a bummer that d and I couldn't go out much together without it being babysitting-expensive (he had invited d out, too).

It's true. People are going to start to think d doesn't exist anymore if he keeps staying home with the baby while I go out solo.

Then again, I've always been okay with us both doing our own stuff. It's nice to do stuff together, but it's also nice to have our own "things".
16th-Oct-2015 09:16 pm - Why I don't drink and internet
Kirk--fuck it
I've had a half-glass of wine for dinner (so far! D is making food!) and I'm reminded of why I don't drink and internet:

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 8.51.51 PM
I didn't post it. I was tempted! But no-wine me wouldn't have wanted the confrontation.
16th-Oct-2015 12:20 pm - Conversion Therapy
Gay sex for god.
Can we just call "conversion therapy" for LGBT youth what it is? Child abuse.

I'm so sick of the varnished vernacular on things like this. Actually, I'm mostly envious of the "other side" consistently getting to own the vernacular and being really good at it. So I want to name some of the things myself.

Let's just call it what it is, man.

So instead of saying, "There's a push to end conversion therapy" which might get tepid support, we say, "there's a push to end this form of child abuse."
10th-Oct-2015 10:28 pm - Zoobilee Zoo
Monkey kisses
I heard a reference to Zoobilee Zoo on @Midnight.

It pinged something in my brain; it sounded so familiar. So I looked it up.

Dang. Ever have something you've 100% forgotten about come back to you in a weird, dream-like nostalgia flood?

Yeah. Zoobilee Zoo. With Ben Vereen. I used to watch it, I think. Every single thing about it is absolutely familiar, and yet--until I looked up the reference--I could not have told you a single thing about it. It had been locked away completely with a million other irrelevant childhood impressions.

ZOOBILEE ZOO. Dude. It's really eerie and trippy setting it again when it was so lost from my consciousness.
1st-Oct-2015 08:47 pm - Lost cause
Monkey kisses
Listening to D trying to explain why "all lives matter" is an awful response to "black lives matter" to his mother (I think, though it could be his dad...but probably not).

They're not bad people, you guys. They actually try. It's just that they're very...isolated and naive and even ignorant about some things. Lack of exposure is the culprit. His sister in law thought she was in the middle of a shootout while on the way to our place because two people were loudly talking and "it's not because they're black, but..."

Oh. He's moved on to school shootings and gun control. Goodie.

Mostly his mom agrees, she just needs things pointed out to her sometimes and she does shift her perspective on frequent occasion.
24th-Sep-2015 11:01 am - Wrong way.
Attack Bunny-Me
Me: [Make a bunch of new LJ friends on a friending meme.]
Me: [Immediately become a (temporary) LJ recluse.]

I'm doing this wrong!
11th-Sep-2015 10:32 am - Child-like
Wild Thing
So in trying out the friending meme on LJ I have some new friends. Which is awesome.

The friending meme protocol has been something like, "Hey, you sound interesting...want to give the friends thing a go?" "Yes! Hello New Friend!"

It reminds me of small children playing together--not in an insulting way, but in a simple, innocent way devoid of hangups and reservations. Hey, you and I both like coloring. Want to try being friends? YES!

It's a bit intimidating, to tell the truth. But also exhilarating.

And Live Journal, man. I can't think of another place where people actually become real friends; and frequently take the step of knowing about someone's personal life online to meeting in real life and becoming real friends.

It makes my heart swell like a big ol' cheeseball.
9th-Sep-2015 01:11 pm - Lietuva
Attack Bunny-Me
Lithuanian is a dying language. Most Lithuanians speak Russian. The younger generation is quite fluent in English, generally.

Online translation is very happy to support the death. It does an uncommonly bad job of translating Lithuanian. Which is fine, unless you're trying to figure out your friends' facebook statuses and you don't want to continually badger them to translate for you.

For instance:

Klausi savęs ar jau sensti? Atsakymas: jei 23 metų kolegos paprašai kreiptis "tu" ir jis, vieną kartą pabandęs, pasako "oi nu ne, neišeina, jūs stipriai vyresnė". Šūdžius.

Issues of self or sensti? Answer: If the 23-year old fellow paprašai go, "you" and he, once pabandęs, tells "Oh nu not go, you strongly age". Šūdžius.

Absolutely no idea. That's one of the statuses with MORE words translated accurately.

I suppose I could learn more Lithuanian. At present I can say: [a drinking toast], "maybe beer?", a little, a lot, sausage, [several snack food items], vodka, water, and a few other things (probably please and thank you and such, if pressed to remember them). You can tell what the focus was while traveling back in ought-nine.

But then again, what am I ever going to do with Lithuanian? My connection is tenuous at best. Maybe I'll visit again some day, but there are other places I'd want to visit first. Duolingo isn't offering it (not that I've been keeping up with the other stuff on Duolingo anyway).
9th-Sep-2015 11:17 am - Friending Meme
Monkey kisses
There is a friending meme going around (I got it from tediousandbrief who got it from silviarambles.)

Why the heck not?
But the thing about these friending memes...which I've never done before...is they make me go back and examine my content. How *would* I sum up my journal? Do I write about my kid too much? Am I interesting enough? Do I ramble about politics too much?

But then I remember that people who want to read my stuff will read my stuff and people who don't, won't. I can say that over the years--almost 10 of them now--I've met some really great friends FOR REALZIES via Live Journal. I don't think I've experienced that in quite the same way anywhere else. It's a unique vehicle for that.

The meme:

Wuxi, pool party
Picture by Wuxi on Flickr
Feeling like you're drifting all alone in the once-fun-but-now-too-quiet pool of Livejournal? Not to worry! silviarambles is running a friending meme!

Friending Meme for LJ Survivors - 2015 Re-edition

Please remember that friending frenzies work only if you spread the word, so, even if you're not looking for more friends, would you mind doing me a big favour and pimping the meme on your own journals?

7th-Sep-2015 12:39 am - 50 Shades
Baaa means no.
D and I tipsy-watched 50 Shades of Grey last night.

For a movie with lots o' sex scenes, it was tremendously dull. And unintentionally hilarious at points. We had watched Pitch Perfect 2 before that. Pitch Perfect 2 was a better movie.
6th-Sep-2015 10:03 am - State Fair Eats
Julia Child Happy Pounding
We went to the fair on Friday--which made it seem like a Saturday which, with the extra weekend day on Monday, makes this weekend nice and long.

It was a decent, if very different, State Fair experience this year. Pushing around a stroller is cumbersome. The baby was great, though. She got out to eat, but otherwise was totally content just being in the stroller and watching things.

What we ate (and drank) between 3 people:
(Not necessarily in this order)

Blue cheese corn fritters (YUM)
Breakfast burrito (just D)
Raspberry wine slushy (just sister and myself)
Beer sampler (just D)
Frozen apple cider pops
Cheese curds (of course)
Frontenac Gris (wine--just sister and self)
Pronto pup (just D)
Bacon SPAM burgers (YES YES YES)
Sweet corn ice cream (meh. SUPER sweet)
Deep fried pickles (classic)
Tiny Tim Donuts (just for mom)
Sweet Martha's Cookies (to bring home to make the best s'mores ever)
Macaroni and cheese "cupcake" (good!)
Caramel apple beer (just D)
Wine sampler--white (just D)
Roasted corn

It feels like I'm missing something? Though I don't know how I could be. Splitting food is definitely the way to go for maximum trying.

The baby just had milk. Outside the wine pavilion while I was sipping a wine slushy and being silently judged. She also nursed in the Ergo all sitting-up and freestyle when the state fair mascot came over to say hi to her. Hello mascot! Here is my boob!
27th-Aug-2015 07:38 pm - Dentist.
Attack Bunny-Me
I hadn't been to the dentist in an embarrassingly long time. Not as embarrassingly long as I had initially thought, though.

My fears of a mouth full of cavities were unsubstantiated.

The bad: The dentist recommends four crowns on my back lower molars to prevent me from losing those teeth. To say this is not cheap is an understatement.

Still kinda bad: My insurance doesn't kick in coverage for things like crowns for 4 months, yet.

Not so bad: It's not urgent. I sort of knew that something like this would be inevitable some day. It's not my fault; the teeth are worn down due to orthodontic misalignment.

The kinda cool: I have free prescription toothpaste because I'm in an 8-week study now. I must look like a willing test subject. I always get roped into these things. Or, I should say, three of my teeth have been roped into this. Figuratively speaking.

I brush with high-flouride sensitivity toothpaste 2x a day. Then I fill out 4 surveys at intervals. Along the way they pay me $125. *shrug*
2nd-Aug-2015 10:37 pm - Read
I read "To Kill a Mockingbird" to D on the way down to Arkansas.

I'd forgotten how lovely it is to read a whole book aloud (though much, much slower than just reading-reading to one's self). I don't do it often enough, though it does take a considerable amount of stamina to just do it for hours on end. Perhaps we'll take turns with "Go Set a Watchman" (the next planned).

Regarding "Mockingbird": I hadn't read it since I was 11. It holds up.
HERE BE SPOILERS (sort of)Collapse )

Atticus Finch. Oh, how Tolerant he is. I didn't remember how much. It will be interesting (and perhaps crushing) to read "Go Set a Watchman" so close to the reading of "Mockingbird". We'll see.
27th-Jul-2015 03:20 pm - 6 month breastfeeding stats
Attack Bunny-Me
Baby is 6 months old today. I still haven't started her on any solids because I'm lazy. Well, and I want to finish out the breastfeeding study with exclusive breastfeeding (it's not required after 3 months to stay in the study, but it's still good to have goals).

But mostly I'm lazy. Because I don't have to worry about remembering food when it's physically within my body. The pediatrician* said to start her on solids anytime between 4 and 8 months, but also noted that 6 months was average and that he believes Americans jump the gun on starting solids in general. She's gaining weight appropriately and my supply seems to be adequate...though damn...I would LOVE to have a bit more freedom at some point here.

I looked up some breastfeeding statistics from the CDC for funzies. Only 23.5% of Minnesotan babies are exclusively breastfed to 6 months. It's one of the higher states (the highest is California with 27.4%). The lowest three are Tennessee (4.1%), Mississippi (5.1%), and Georgia (6.2%). Anything below 10% is a deep-south state. Arkansas, West Virginia. And, unsurprisingly, most of those with the lowest rates of EBF at 6 months had some of the lowest rates of breastfeeding initially (only 50.5% in Mississippi).

I don't know why the rates vary. One can speculate. The CDC explores hospital education, in-rooming, and lactation consultants. It could be many broader factors. Community support and perception, lack of maternity leave...but socioeconomic status and education seem to correlate fairly strongly with a breastfeeding gradient. If you're in poverty and not educated (which are, themselves, correlated) you're less likely to breastfeed. Conversely, if you're more educated and of a higher socioeconomic status (correlated), you're more likely to breastfeed. A job that allows you to take paid maternity leave or that allows you to pump at work is going to make you more likely to continue breastfeeding, I would speculate.

Down my quick little pump-time research hole there were a bunch of sensationalist articles: "Could breastfeeding be the way out of poverty!?" Which...um... Breastfeeding your kids doesn't lift them out of poverty. Or, at least, none of the studies point to causation that way. Being out of poverty enables you, somehow (through education, support, work circumstances, community acceptance, or other) to breastfeed your kid. And if you're already out of poverty your kid is more likely to be out of poverty whether or not they are breastfed. Again, unsurprisingly, because being black in the south (or anywhere, really) is correlated with higher rates of poverty and lower rates of education, it also correlates with lower rates of breastfeeding.

So many things in the system seem intertwined. Poverty. Education. Race. It's all a tangle.

Of course, if you don't breastfeed your kid it's all going to be fine. So long as one feeds them some nutritional supplementation in some way. Starvation and malnutrition are not recommended. Formula is great. Breastfeeding is great.

I breastfed exclusively to 6 months and I'm happy about it not because I believe it makes me superior or anything--but because I wanted to see if I could do it, had a goal to do it, and did it. I find it pretty cool that I kept a little human alive for 6 months just off of stuff my body could produce.

*Did I ever mention that the pediatrician is totally hot? It's incidental to anything--he's a great doctor--but it's still pleasant to be around people who are attractive (to you). Sort of like it's nice to look at a pretty garden full of flowers vs. just a plain yard. It doesn't add anything, really, but it's aesthetically pleasing.
27th-Jul-2015 01:38 am - Paper cuts
Monkey kisses
I'm so freaking sick of having to wear pads in my bra to catch milk leaks. And I do, because today I forgot them and now I have shirts with milk on them. The very thought of having to unwrap them and stick them in yet again irritates me.

I have no real problems in life right now. Only minor annoyances.
It is death by a thousand paper cuts.
24th-Jul-2015 12:51 am - off switch
Monkey kisses
The thing about working at night (because I work full time but am only in the office 3/5 days) is that I switch into the work groove/trance and then it's difficult to wind down for sleep at a decent hour. It's a great thing for marathon scripting sessions. It's not a great thing since the kid has decided to add an extra feeding at 4-5 a.m. as part of the six month sleep regression. It's not bad; she just eats and goes back to sleep until her normal 7 a.m. feeding. But it does make me noticeably more tired; I often have trouble getting back to sleep after the first feeding.

16th-Jul-2015 08:13 pm - Predictions
I hung out with my sister today and we decided to go for a walk with the baby.

She changed into shorts first, and then was cold.

Me: Why did you change into shorts, then?
Her: Because I was too warm earlier today.

Then, on our walk, it turned from a fussy mist into an earnest rain.

Me: I didn't think it was going to rain.
Her: Why not?
Me: It wasn't raining before.

Me: You know...we're really bad at predicting temperature and weather.
Her: At least we had the foresight not to become meteorologists.
12th-Jul-2015 08:27 am - Pictures
Monkey kisses
Big family pictures today. The first of this magnitude since before my niece was born. Before I knew d.

So of course it's 90-zillion percent humidity. Why would anyone want to look decent, anyway?
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