Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

My apologies again for the paltry post. I just got back from a work trip and am catching up.

Please do fill me in on the news. What’s up with you?

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About Elisa

I am a journalist and online organizer who is the co-publisher of this blog. When I am not online, I am shuttling around my two kids, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

50 thoughts on “Hump Day Open Thread

  1. Boo, hiss! Snow day for every k-12 school in town, public and private. Meanwhile, business as usual at my university. I teach 3 classes from 2-9:45 today and had counted on my time this morning to finish prepping for night class. Way to show concern and empathy for faculty and staff with children, private catholic university. Bah humbug.

    • That’s awful! I never thought about it when I was a student – it made sense that we didn’t follow the public school calendar. But now, as a parent, I can see how it’s so NOT family friendly! Hope your day ended up more productive than you thought.

  2. Sinuses. Blergh. M has the cough but she’s all bouncy and happy so off to school she goes, I’m on the sofa for another day, worrying about the economy and my budget and whether or not I’ll raise enough to pay my business manager the $5500 raise I finally got approved for her. They laid off 35 employees a the local hospital and I’m absolutely terrified that we’ve reached some kind of tipping point where people can’t make enough money to pay for basic services and the government can’t raise taxes enough to keep the safety net in place and we’re like 2 years away from some kind of Beyond Thunderdome new world.

    Gah. I hate being sick.

    • I felt Beyond Thunderdome-ish a year or two ago (and DH who has to deal more directly with this at work really did), but I think things are finally getting a bit better or at least holding steady after a long long downslide.

      I hope we don’t get a reversal in 2014/6 that would make it worse.

      • I can see it on the larger scale- the getting better I mean- but locally things are just spiraling. Our little corner stayed pretty well modulated through all the crazy- housing prices never got too high, commitment to local buying is high, etc- but the new medicare reimbursement rates are causing layoffs at the hospital (one of our primary local employers), the state budget can’t cover the costs of higher ed, so layoffs at the other college in town (another major employer) and the school district (major employer #4) is cutting positions because they just can’t propose another property tax increase to pay for it. It feels like the system is in a bit of a death spiral to tell you the truth. How exactly is this going to get resolved?

        • I know what you mean. It is awful. Our elementary early grade class sizes went from 20 to 32 in about four years. I and many others were laid off from the university.

          We seem to have finally begun to stanch the bleeding partly with a tax that was passed by initiative in November. Would there be any chance of that where you are?

          • NH is pretty anti-tax. We’ve maxed out our local property tax rates and sales/income taxes are a non-starter except for tourism-based taxes. There was talk of a significant increase in the tax on alcohol, but I’m not sure where that stands or if it would even make a difference.

      • I think our region is on the leading edge of the national curve. The housing bubble, mortgage crisis, state budget crisis, school funding – all seemed to hit here before sweeping the nation. And I agree that it “feels” like we’ve pulled out of the nosedive.

  3. Have you got your AR-15 yet? Young moms apparently need them.

    “Young women are speaking out as to why AR-15 weapons are their weapon of choice,” Trotter explained. “The guns are accurate. They have good handling. They’re light. They’re easy for women to hold.”

    She added: “And most importantly, their appearance. An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon, and the peace of mind that a woman has as she’s facing three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home, with her children screaming in the background, the peace of mind that she has knowing that she has a scary-looking gun gives her more courage when she’s fighting hardened, violent criminals.”

    “And if we ban these types of assault weapons, you are putting women at a great disadvantage, more so than men, because they do not have the same type of physical strength and opportunity to defend themselves in a hand-to-hand struggle. They’re not criminals, they’re moms, they’re young women. And they’re not used to violence confrontations.”

    Is somebody putting acid in the drinking water or something? This country is going off the rails.

    • Cheese and rice. That is some serious cray-cray (bless her heart). Now, I’m not a “young” mother but I don’t think it would give Bacon Baby peace of mind if she saw me spraying bullets from an AR-15. It would traumatize both of us. And how many moms live in places where they are regularly attacked by gangs of hardened criminals? Do they really rove in packs to attack random mothers?

      This is when my (admittedly sometimes piss-poor) pacifism rears its head and makes me aware how different I am from some of my fellow Americans… Ironically, it makes me kind of ragey.

    • You know, I was thinking… the past few months, now that we’ve been paying attention, there’ve been quite a few stories of guns going off unexpectedly, people being hurt, and other dumb stuff. I can’t remember a single story where a homeowner’s gun protected him/her. I’m being serious here. If gun proponents are so sure it’s a good thing, and if they are the HUGE lobby they say they are, why aren’t they writing and promoting these “guns are good” stories. I have to assume it’s because …..THIS NEVER HAPPENS.


      • I suspect it’s because letting people know you killed someone is not appropriate cocktail-party chat.
        I do know someone who did: She was home alone, someone broke in and threatened her, she killed the fucker before he could get her. But if you ask me, she is a rare case, and also incredibly lucky.

      • I keep reading one that’s going around FB but I haven’t snoped it. Can’t remember the details but some sort of mass shooting was supposedly stopped.

    • “the peace of mind that a woman has as she’s facing three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home, with her children screaming in the background”

      I can just feel the relaxation washing over me as I read this; like a day at the spa.

      • No kidding. Because the phrase that comes first to mind when imagining using an AR-15 against multiple criminals busting in when I am alone with small children is “peace of mind.”

        How about “Quick kids, let’s run out the back door?” Jeez.

      • Lol!

        Seriously though, something that gives me peace if mind is not gonna be something that can also kill my children. What does give me peace of mind are my 2 big dogs with scary sounding barks. I’m so used to relying on them subconsciously that if I ever have to spend a night home without them I am spooked at every sound. I guess when they kick the bucket we will probably have to get another dog for my piece of mind!

  4. It’s the mooooost wooooooonderful tiiiiiime, of the year!!!!! Jess is off to school and is now officially a second grader. I feel we had a really good summer and I enjoyed having her company, but she’s definitely ready for school. She was anxious last night and had a 30 minute meltdown before bed, but once we got into the school gates and her friends started coming up and giving her hugs, all was well. Onward 2013 school year!

  5. So – week 3 of the new job – people keep asking me “how’s it going?” and I have no idea how to answer. It is so hard to be the “new kid”, especially when I’m also the boss, and I”m not exactly sure what I’m the boss of…..

    I have spent two weeks watching, listening, meeting, and trying to figure out the boundaries of my responsibility.

    I found out that there have been FOUR people in my job in less than five years. That means that basically, they are used to having no one really doing it, don’t take anything I say too seriously because it will change soon, and are in the habit of taking everything they need done to Cindy (the Assistant Director) or Vicky (the Senior Director). Cindy is my first challenge – she’s been running the show for years, and thank goodness. She’s very very good at the administrative side of what we do, and we are serving 200-300 people, with over 100 employees. But, I’m still the boss…and have to find the way to make that clear without insulting or alienating her because I need her. Vicky is my second challenge. She’s our boss, very involved in the programming, and not used to having a strong person under her in my position. She’s a little nuts – shouts out people’s names and they come running, but so so dedicated to our consumers. I need to figure out how to take her stuff in stride, keep moving in the right direction, and keep on her good side. I suspect that part of the high turnover in my job is her “fault”, but I also think that she knows this. She is married to one of the Assistant ED’s of the whole organization (of which we are a small part), so she’s not going anywhere, and I need to learn to work with her.

    In my second week on the job, I was faced with my first possible termination. A woman who is sort of whiny, doesn’t get her paperwork in on time, calls off sick a lot, and is suspected of being a drug user. Somehow it became my fault that she’s still working for us, even though they ‘ve got 5 years of complaints registered in HR. I did not admit to any fault here – since of course it can’t be my fault.

    In my third week, I got assigned to the Incident Review Committee, where someone said “you’ve got a rocky history in that job that you’re walking into” LOL and “I think you’re the one who’ll be able to stick it out” ROFLMAO …..WHAT have I taken on?

    Today, in the middle of a meeting, Vicky (boss) says “BANANAGRAMS!” and pulls a bag/banana out of her purse. I guess she needed a break – she says “it’s only 10 minutes for a game and it’s a good way to take a mental break” I agree, but it was so weird how it came out.

    Best news of the week is I went to SeriousEats and put the name of my new neighborhood in their search engine. They have a whole column on “where to eat in (new place)” and said the best Falafel in the city is a block and a half from my office. Guess what I had for lunch today?! YAY!!

    • Oh, office politics… love them. Is Cindy amenable to the argument along the lines of “wow, you’ve done such a great job covering all this. I can’t wait to get stuck in and take some of the burden from your shoulders”? Because that emphasises that you’re on the same team and you’re not “poaching” space, but rather freeing her up to do other parts of her job.

      • That’s my tactic – I’ll make your job easier – and also “I am so so lucky to have you doing this stuff (heavy admin and detail) because it’s not my strongest thing”

        Whether she lets go of anything remains to be seen!

        • Figured that that’s how you’d approach it! I hope that she takes the time to reflect on what you’ve said and really buy into it. It can be so hard to let go of things when you’ve had to do it for so long!

  6. Raining for days and the plumbing is backed up in the basement. Where we store all our boxes of stuff we didn’t unpack. The sewer drain is clogged down there now. The good news is we are renting so it’s the landlords problem. The bad news is dh is spending the evening moving our stuff to higher ground and he is none too pleased about it. Lots of boxes. But the good news is that we do have higher ground to move it to (2 empty bedrooms). Shoulda listened to me and just put it all up there in the first place but he didn’t want to lug it up the stairs. Like he is doing now. Oy

      • Not much. We’ve been keeping an eye out down there because of all the rain and melting snow so we caught it in time to save most except some furniture we’d planned on getting rid of anyway. I wanted to give it to Goodwill but we had to throw it out, which I feel guilty about. But in the process we decluttered by 1 stroller and 2 big boxes awaiting Goodwill, so that’s good. Less to move.

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