Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Bedtime curfew, post office, all-gender bathroom.

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Vince has been bugging me for many months now to extend his electronic curfew time.  This week, he campaigned in earnest.  He started messing with Edda at her bedtime, he started stealing internet time from our various little outdated devices in our bed.  I'm worn out, tonight I extended it another 30 min to 9:30.

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I went to the police station today.  They converted the old post office (a beautiful building in downtown Rockville) to the new police station.

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It's a little confusing because they left the lobby just like the post office.  They had to tape a handmade sign to the front door - THIS IS NOT THE POST OFFICE.

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I had to swim today because my ankle is still bothering me, hopefully another few days it'll be fine.  I don't usually go in the direction of the pool and so I was surprised to see this new sign:

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Go Rockville!  We know what side we are on for the bathroom bill.  It's interesting though - it is a 2 stall bathroom, but now you are suppose to knock before going in and then you can lock it behind you.  I did not lock it behind me because I don't care who poops next to me.  As long as you don't fart at the same time.  That might be unacceptable. I think they could just drop the "all-gender" part from the sign and just say "bathroom".

Sunday, February 26, 2017

CRISPR, twisted ankle, chocolates.

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Sexy laundry folding.  Rawr.  I spent 45 minutes today listening to the Radiolab podcast about CRISPR, the new gene editing technology.  I've been avoiding learning about this because it's a little scary and it makes me feel old - like science is just passing me by and I'm not there in lab with pipettes.  But then I remember that research is boring and tedious even when it sounds exciting in a podcast.  CRISPR is a cheap, accurate way of slicing out any specific little parts of DNA anywhere in anything that has DNA and then replacing it with any specific other DNA sequence.  They are curing muscular dystrophy in mice, they are slicing out Huntington's disease genes.  It's not completely inconceivable that in 15 years they could edit the errant gene out of Edda's DNA sequence.  What would happen then?  Would she be able to learn to talk?  Could she learn to read?  Maybe she could.  That would be exciting.  I'm hoping that happens in my lifetime.   I suspect that learning those things would be hard for her even if all the MECP2 genes were turned on right now - like trying to learn piano when you are 45 - you could be competent at it, but never truly fluent.   Those muscular dystrophy mice weren't exactly "cured" but they were able to get steadily stronger and put on muscle they weren't able to before.  They are working on gene editing for embryos (there are various ethical issues) - I wish I could be around to see this, you could really start engineering people for advantageous traits.  I don't think Vince's kids will have to deal with this, but maybe Vince's kid's kid's?  Anyways, it's about time I read/learn about it because JLo knows more about it than I do (probably) as she's about to produce a TV show called C.R.I.S.P.E.R.

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It's nice to have a strong teenage boy in the house to move heavy appliances.

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I twisted my ankle today running full speed and stepping into a gopher hole.  For a moment, I lay on the ground and tried to assess without moving any part of my body whether I was OK or not.  Then I let go of that thought and stared up at the blue sky for at least a few moments and cursed the damn gopher.  Thank goodness I was only 200m from the car.

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Vince helped watch Edda this afternoon while I did some work.  "Taking care" of Edda involves putting her in a scissor hold on her bed apparently.

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Bette was elected to Riderwood's Resident Advisory Committee.  A tough campaign - 10 candidates for 5 spots.  We celebrated with a box of chocolates.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Enchiladas, Purple Rain, quilt.

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Jeremy made enchiladas for dinner tonight.

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Then he wanted to see Purple Rain - the movie.

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The quilt continues.

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Morning workout, ice cream, Avenue Q.

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Ever since we stopped using au pairs for Edda-care, the most precious thing that we've given up is the morning care - getting Edda ready for school.  It helps us both out a ton to have the 75 minutes from 6 am to 7:15 am free. There are other things that we've given up too - a regular weeknight date night (which I think is OK as long as we get to chat most evenings from 9:30-10pm, no need to actually go out.  Anyways, we both have evening things going on which make date night logistically difficult even if we did have childcare that would go until 10pm) and clean laundry for Vince (I picked up all of Edda's laundry, but Vince is suppose to do his own.  I have not done it in many months now.  I don't think he's done it for months either.  It's disgusting - yes.  But I'm hoping falling in love will change that.  You know when they ask a girl what they are looking for in a guy and she says - well I want him to be kind, have a good sense of humor, handsome, smart, etc?  They don't even mention good hygiene because that is like an understood baseline criteria - right next to being alive.  Girls don't start their list - well, I'd really like him to have a pulse.  ALL girls want a guy with good hygiene.)

Got off track.  Jeremy's been doing the am routine because he's a nice guy.  But now he doesn't want to be just a weekend bike warrior, he's trying to fit bike a workout in before heading to work.  And so we are trying to figure out what we can do.  (Marriage?  Not about love & flowers & kisses.  It's all about who gets 45 minutes to themselves in the morning).

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So many people are thrilled, just thrilled that it's 75 degrees in February.   I'm not thrilled.  I think we are doomed.  I wore my down coat and fuzzy boots this morning to protest.

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But I did enjoy a nice ice cream cone.

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Friday night dinner with my parents at A & J.  We got there early enough to not have to wait in line.

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The boys ordered some weird green drinks.

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Edda enjoyed her pork/egg/rice dish.

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Afterwards I took the boys to see Avenue Q at Montgomery College.  This is the only musical that I know all the songs to (except for Les Miz which was in high school). I missed this on Broadway so I grabbed this chance - $10 a ticket!  A bargain.  It's a little dated - it's hard to imagine a closeted homosexual having such a tough time coming out in NYC these days.  Also references to computer labs at college where everyone is huddled together at 4am in the morning.  And a big thing about Gary Coleman which the boys have no cultural reference to.  But it was funny and great.  The boys loved it.  I played the soundtrack 17 thousand times to Vince when he was pre-verbal because it sounds like kiddy music, but then he became verbal, but not yet understanding and there are many raunchy songs on the soundtrack so I had to stop listening to it when I would hear from the backseat of the car from the tiny Vince - "The internet is for porn!"  Whoops.  Can't go to preschool singing that song.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

RBG

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No photo today.  Just a bag with Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I did my 2nd shift at the hospital yesterday.  Even though the hospital is five minutes from the house, there is a huge difference in my efficiency when I'm away from the house working for 12.5 hours compared to working at home for 8 hours.  That's 4.5 hours a day that I stuff a lot of crap into - I can usually get a workout, cook/prep dinner, follow up on insurance/bills, laundry, helping Vince/Edda out, studying for nursing school.  I still persist in my desire to get all the stuff done even though it's really not possible.  Yesterday, outside of the shiftwork, I still wanted to: get a run  in, do a load of laundry, get an hour of work done, review math with Vince, wash the dishes, pay bills and study for a test I have in a few hours.  I did get a run in and I did pay a bill (which I owed the hospital and I paid in person, I'm not sure that counts) and that's it.  I wanted to be asleep by 8:45 pm.




Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Boys before bed.

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Good night all.  See you on the other side.  xo.

Aileen, clinical, social studies paper.

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Morning all.  Sunday night, Aileen came from Albany with her son Gordon and stopped by the house on their way to a weekend of sightseeing in DC.  She was Jeremy's coworker from AMD (now 15 years ago) and she still works in that industry, so she caught Jeremy up with all the random co-worker gossip.  Vince and Gordon spent a nice evening playing video games.  Vince was very sweet, entertaining a strange teenager for a few hours.

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I started my clinical rotation on President's Day.  A full 12 hour shift where I don't know much about what's going on.  I'm back at my adult health clinical site at our local community hospital, so it feels familiar and I know where all the supplies are.  I found out that it's the busiest floor in the hospital.  Just today, I shadowed my nurse with her four patients - a renal patient waiting for a kidney transplant, a cardiac patient waiting for an appt at the cath lab, two patients who needed consults with hospice - and that was a quiet day for her.  There was a trach patient on the floor, a person in ETOH withdrawal, etc. etc.  Lots of stuff.  Seemed understaffed by quite a bit, so I asked around some of the nurses and they assured me that though it was challenging and hectic work, it was not a dysfunctional floor.  One shift down, 13 to go.  I should bring food and not buy hospital food.

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Jeremy had the kids today.  The day was gorgeous and Jeremy and Edda made it out on a little walk to the neighborhood circle for this beautiful photo.

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They did do some holiday window shopping - Vince looked at some big screen TVs at Best Buy.

As well as some headphones.  

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Vince was gone a lot of the weekend on a campout and I knew he had a Social Studies paper due on Tues (today).  I asked Jeremy and Vince to go over the paper during the day while I was at the hospital.  When I got home at 7:30 pm, I asked both Jeremy and Vince how the paper went. Vince said (from his room)- I'm done!  Jeremy said (in the kitchen while I'm eating a late dinner) - oh, the paper could have been better, I think I might have made it worse, but we went over it a couple of times and it's OK.  I thought, fine, that's OK with me.

I finished dinner and I went upstairs to get an hour in of regular work to start off the work week without confusion.  Thirty minutes after I sit down, Vince asks for a final once over of the paper.  As soon as I started reading it, I was like, OMG, you are your father's son.  Jeremy loves the complicated argument.  Nuanced and subtle.  Complicated and intricate.  Generally well thought out and probably the best answer, but unclear and difficult to decipher to anyone outside the field (and maybe in the field too). The topic was whether the US should have bombed Auschwitz and the railroads leading to the camp.  The teacher (given the supporting documents) clearly wanted a yes or no answer to that question, but Vince was arguing that the railroads should have been bombed and that the camp should not have been bombed - which then sent the paper into a weird state where you are arguing both for and against bombing.  Now it's 9:15pm and I'm fading into sleepiness, but I've already upset Vince for by over-correcting his paper when I should have just left it alone and then I'm irritated at Jeremy for not going over the paper as well as I thought he should have.

 And Jeremy and I went to bed discussing the Auschwitz and how/when to capitalize the word "Jews" or "Jewish" and our different approaches to paper writing and then we both had to apologize to Vince for jerking him around.  Of course, he starts at a point that is between what is natural for Jeremy (complicated and interesting) and I (strictly following the rubric, the least interesting, but clearest and most straightforward, easiest to grade) and then Jeremy pulls him towards his side while editing the paper and then I try to pull him back to my side at 9pm before it's due.   But Vince stayed up a little late and revamped the paper, which is why I'm up at 5 am trying to edit.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tactical hat, dieting, quilt.

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It's 3pm on Saturday and I have done nothing important yet today.  I was going to work on taxes or Edda's birthday invitation list, but instead, I've just gone online window shopping and puttered around.

Our weekend caregiver, Kitachi, is traveling this long weekend, so I picked up Edda from aftercare Friday afternoon and then asked Vince to keep an eye on her for 30 min while I finished up some work and we waited until Jeremy came home.

Vince found Donald's old woolen hat which he is having a lot of fun with.  He's calling it his "tactical hat" and took it to the scout's campout this weekend.

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I'm feeling a down about by Edda's sleep safe bed rejection.  I started applying for funding from the county to help defray some of the expense (I'm thinking we'd get $500 of the $10K) of purchasing the bed ourselves and I asked for the paperwork from the HSC (Hospital for Sick Children) - the letter of medical necessity, the rejection letters, etc. - to send to the county.  The paperwork that I received was slightly different from the path that I thought that the justification and appeal process should have gone.  So I'm looking at all this paperwork and thinking that I need to call the insurance compan(ies) and clarify the rejection and then re-appeal by writing my own letters and re-filing with the help of HSC.  This could be another six months worth of work resulting in another rejection.  And we did find Edda half hanging off the bed yesterday morning.  We did have the camera running, and Jeremy did check on her via the little image, but was too fuzzy to make out anything besides a lump under a pile of blankets.  Grrrr...

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Jeremy's trying to lose ten pounds - he's going with the notion that the lighter he is, the faster he'll be on the bike.  He had a great ride today, finally catching up with the "A" group, though he didn't do his fair share of the work and drafted most of the time.  The dieting messes with his mood though.  And not in a good way.  A happy man is a well fed man - not a dieting man.

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Face timed Donald today.  And while we were chatting, Vince let Donald know that he was storing saltines in the "tactical hat".

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Quilt!  This is how I procrastinate now.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sleeptraining, crossing guard.

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We might be finally sleep training Edda.  Now when she gets up at 10 pm, 2 am and/or 4 am, we just turn on the camera, see that she's not stuck somewhere and then we go back to sleep in our own bed.  She falls back asleep eventually.  This morning, I had to shake her awake at 6:30am  This took us only 12 years to figure out.   We are enjoying our extra sleep.

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Sharon (our elementary school crossing guard) came by today - she misses having dogs of her own.  I hadn't had the chance to tell her that Ruby passed away in the fall.  Maxi gave her a bunch of loving and sniffed out the doggie treats she always has in her handbag.

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Declutter, postcards, old-fashioned.

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Wed.  (OK now it's Thursday morning).  I'm in a mood.  I feel like the house is too cluttered and I start throwing stuff out.  Then Vince and Jeremy get all nervous.  Are you throwing my stuff away, they ask?  ummm, yeah!  It's all your stuff that is driving me crazy - you crazy hoarders you.  I told them I decluttered our shoe closet and that my criteria for throw-away-ness was any shoe that they hadn't worn in the last two days.  Jeremy said - thank goodness I'm wearing some shoes right now so you didn't have the chance to throw that pair away.

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Wed night is quilt night at the UU church.  Activism and crafting at the same time.  Efficient.  A few postcards of encouragement to the Muslim community & an update on the relative disorganization of the established Democratic system and how now certain groups are just not waiting around for those fuddy-duddies and going ahead and doing their own thing and then I'm good to go.

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This is the quilt we are making this year.  I little old fashioned for my taste, but it's OK.  I'm the newest member and I don't know how to quilt, so I'm keeping my mouth shut and just doing what they tell me.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sleep, stripper, pork loin.

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Valentine's Day started beautifully with a full night's sleep for both me and Jeremy - gifted to us by this beautiful tween.  Though later on in the day, I got the email that our two insurances - primary government employee health insurance & secondary Medicaid insurance - both had finally turned down our appeal to get Edda's sleep safe bed covered which we had started applying for way back in August.  So *(#^ you insurance companies.

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I went to class today in the afternoon.  These people are fun.  I would have never guessed it because I've never been a teacher, but different classes have different personalities and this one is the funnest one of the five I've been through in nursing school.  For example, the class on resumes?  The teacher asked for everyone's past work experience to teach how transferable those skills are to nursing. People started shouting out - waiter, computer tech support, pharmaceutical sales, etc.  And then from the very back, someone shouted very clearly - stripper / pole dancer.  And the whole class erupted in laughter.  Customer service. maybe?

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Jeremy was very nice to me today and made me a very nice dinner - pork loin (145F - the usda recently lowered the pork "done" temp, it's perfect at 145F, a tiny bit pink in the center).

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And Vince and Jeremy assembled a berry themed dessert.

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I bought everyone gifts at the Walgreens.  Jeremy got cinnamon gum and heart shaped Reese's peanut butter cups.  Edda got a caramel heart.  Vince got some cola gummies and chocolate flavored lip balm.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Passport, washing machine, truncated cones.

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Time to do passport photos.

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Outtake #1

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Outtake #2

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My washing machine is like my unpredictable lover.  Sometimes saving me and making me feel so loved and well taken care of and sometimes purposely ignoring my texts while I silently glare at my phone for the little undulating dots.  My washer has has a small, intermittent leak.  It's so intermittent that I get all sad when it leaks, then I don't do laundry for a few days.  Then I do one load and it doesn't leak and I get all happy.  Then I try to run 7 loads through it during the day and then it leaks every 2.3 loads and then I get sad and frustrated.  I try to not let the state of my appliances dictate the state of my mood, but I can't help myself.  It's like trying to stop eating Doritos after a handful when you are alone and have just opened a huge bag.  Especially if they are the original nacho flavor.   I'm tired just thinking of putting the machine up on blocks to see where the leak is coming from and then taking apart the machine, then replacing all the rubber parts which have aged in the last 1.5 decades and then finally replacing the pump (ordering the part, paying extra for 2 day shipping, installing it) and then not being able to fix it (deinstalling pump, boxing up the pump and going to the UPS store) and finally having to spend $800 +/- $200 on a new washing machine.

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Math test for Vince tomorrow on volumes of 3D shapes.  I'd been checking some of Vince's practice work earlier and I was going to continue after dinner while Jeremy washed the dishes, but Jeremy sliced his fingertip off with a mandolin (note thumb condom) so he asked to trade night time duties.  I said sure - I'll do the dishes, you can do the math.  Which then led Jeremy to groan when he realized that he had to figure out the volume of a truncated cone.

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