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4 kittens

Languishing for 40 years.

Posted on 2017.03.26 at 23:54
I didn't get accepted into Gerrymander Math Camp. I'm feeling kind of sad. I really wanted to do attend. The reason that I didn't get in is that my CV is pretty shitty, and there were many applicants more qualified than I am. Isn't that tragic?

(Octopus Topiary)

In fact, there were 1200 applicants. I don't know how many spots there were - maybe 50? maybe 80?  - but probably I missed the cut-off by several hundred applicants.

(Lazing kangaroos)

I feel very qualified. I feel like I'd do a very good job. But I really don't deserve it.  I made big life choices and now I have a shitty CV and now I have consequences. Now I have sad feelings.

(do you know why flamingos stand on one leg?)

I still stand by my life choices - I like teaching, I was very isolated in graduate school and never figured out how to be not-isolated, and so I didn't like research, and I am not very ambitious and also wanted to have a big family with Jammies.

(if they lifted it up, they'd fall down.)

I like having a big family and I like being not very ambitious. Sometimes the consequence of that is that you really want to attend Gerrymander Math Camp, but they want someone who is more generally ambitious and not just one-time ambitious about this isolated thing.

(Flying foxes)

Ugh, they'll be sorry when they see how reasonable I am.


When we were in Florida - off having a shitty CV on vacation - we went to Busch Gardens. I toyed with the idea of Disney World, but the crowds, the expense, the woe. Busch Gardens was perfect for us. There were no crowds or lines.

All the kids were pleasantly adventurous about going on rides. Jammies took the big kids on one of those straight-up-and-plummet rides, albeit a tame version:

The woman at the entrance turnstile did not check Ace's height.  So she rode.

I love this photo so much. Courtesy of my mom, who also snagged this photo:

I'm pretty sure I'm mugging for Rascal.

We rode the log flume, and the guy asked if we wanted to just stay in our seats and ride it a second time. There were plenty animals and elaborate climbing structures, and enough kid rides to fill a day.


Hawaii dislikes onions, both real and imaginary. I finally challenged her to a taste test. I am to cook two identical dinners, differing only on the presence of onions. She will taste three pairs of spoonfuls and each time identify which has the onions. If she can go 3 and 0, I won't feed her onions any more.

Obviously I can tilt the scales in my favor - use barely any onion, chop it super finely, etc - so I have to decide what is fair. For example, Hawaii's gripe seems to be with the physical flakes of onion. So should I:
1. Cook the onion-free dinner with large chunks of onions which I remove by hand later, so that the flavor is identical and they only differ on the presence of actual onions?
2. Or am I testing her on whether she can detect how onions affect the flavor of the dish, without being distracted by the onion-objects, in which case I should cook one dish with large chunks of onion, which I then remove, and cook the other without any onion whatsoever?
3. Or am I testing her on which dinner she thinks actually tastes better, in which case they should clearly differ, and I'm betting that she prefers the onion version?

I'll probably consult her on these variations.


I switched out winter clothes for summer clothes this weekend. All our clothes are either stored in big tubs in the attic, or on loan to another family that we swap back and forth with. I took five tubs down from the attic to stock the closets, and then to re-fill with clothes that will be saved for future use.

About halfway through the fourth tub, I pulled out...

...green blankey. Oh excuse me, are you not rapt with this story? Because I shrieked and clutched it and nearly cried. This is Ace's missing baby-swaddle-turned-blankey. We noticed it was missing in January, and I've been feeling rather sick about it. Apparently I just packed it up last November. Two corners were still tied in a knot, from Ace wearing it as a cape.

I feel whole and complete again.


"The ants are so cute!" says Rascal.

Were they cute? You decide:


Hawaii and Pokey made a museum for us.

How do you know if the museum is even open?

Oh, well, sure.

I really wish I'd taken a panorama of the entire museum, instead of just the exhibits. Oh well.

First up are Hawaii's exhibits:

What am I looking at?

(G) "is for... the Great Green sculpture."

Should we touch?

Next exhibit! Also by Hawaii:

The three signs, from left to right:
1. By: Hawaii
2. Don't touch!
3. The wall of stuffies.

Excellent survey of a typical American youth stuffed animal posessions.

Next we turn to the Pokey wing:

Still don't touch! The placard reads "Pirate Ship Wreck! (2009)".  The blue is the waves of the ocean, wrecking the boat. The boat looks a little like hot dogs, but it is not.

The last exhibit! and also by Pokey:

A rocks exhibit! (Don't touch.) May we take a closer look?

Clockwise, from upper left: Clear Crystal, Snow Rock, Normal Crystal, Fire Rock, and Ice Crystal.

We begin again with the Normal Crystal, but then visit the Polished Rock, Easter Egg (fake), Painted Rock, Fossilized Wood, Blood Stars, and again with the fire rock.

I like that the only fake one is the Easter Egg (fake). That's not an actual, scientific Easter Egg. It's a replica.

I like the whole thing enormously, obviously.


A painting my mom did, back in the early 70s:

That is my eldest brother pushing the cart. It's part of a children's book where each cat speaks a different language from around the world, and they have to learn how to play together. No publisher fell in love with the book, and so it has languished for 40+ years.

Jammies, looking a bit like my brother in the painting:

Also having languished for about 40 years.


Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-03-27 12:13 (UTC) (Link)


I love the picture of Jammies, duplicating your mother's painting.

Also, like Hawaii, I hate onions. It's because of their chunky texture, in my case. I don't mind the flavor. When Dr. Skull chops them very, very fine, I am sometimes okay with them, but sometimes not, because even tiny chunks bother me.

My kid, OTOH, loves them. What are you gonna do.
heebie_geebie at 2017-04-03 04:12 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Jammies!

What about things like bell peppers and other vegetables that get stewed into mushy oblivion? Is it just slimy vegetables in general?
(Anonymous) at 2017-03-27 12:57 (UTC) (Link)
(darn...forgot my livejournal password already)

Oh my goodness, the blankie! I am going through the exact same thing with little boy's tattered, old stuffed puppy. I suspect we lost it in our last move, and I am just sick about it, though I doubt little boy notices.

How I would love to read the book about the multilingual cars and see the rest of the illustrations!

...and Heebie, did you write a cover letter in your gerrymandering camp application? I bet you are one of the most passionate applicants they had, so the fact that your CV, a reflection of the choices made by a wonderful, talented mother, didn't make the cut sucks (and maybe I am overanalyzing, but it also smacks of institutional sexism.)

heebie_geebie at 2017-04-03 04:17 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't write a cover letter - the application was weird, it was a google form, so a cover letter never occurred to me because it would have had to have been mailed independently. The weird part was that the text boxes to the short answers were set to be one single line tall, and then extend as you typed. So there was absolutely no indication whether they preferred a page long answer or a two sentence answer.

In general, I think CVs are sexist and problematic, although I don't necessarily have a better shorthand format to describe a candidate. In this situation, I think they were snowballed by the number of applications - I've since found out that for the track I wanted, there were 900 applications for 30 spots, and they actually used a randomizer to select among applications deemed excellent. Plus I like these guys, so I'm rooting for them to have done an ethical job admitting people.

One of these trips home, I really need to get that international cat children's book and document it.
(Anonymous) at 2017-04-02 02:21 (UTC) (Link)


I just got passed-over for a development opportunity. A fancy-dancy seminar. Frankly I don't need the development, but I do need the feather in my cap. Another person in my org, but not my unit, got it. think, largely because he had time to work on the application and had time to get a sponsor a level higher than mine in the hierarchy. I could have gotten the same level person--in fact, one higher--but he, and I, were too fucking busy.

It fucking sucks, because I was actually looking forward to it.
(Anonymous) at 2017-04-02 02:22 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Disappointment

That was me.
Turgid Jacobian
heebie_geebie at 2017-04-03 04:22 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Disappointment

WTF. That's super shitty.

In a lucky break, I've got a course release this semester. The sheer time to pause and catch my breath has afforded me so much time to be thoughtful and do the upfront work to get lines in the water for the future. It's a stupid catch-22, because a lot of the things I considered were along the lines of "apply for this thing which would give you a course release" which I usually never bother to apply for because the deadlines occur at times when I'm slashing all nonessential items from the to-do list.
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