November 14th, 2012
ALSO A NOTE for 2014:
I'm finding it harder and harder to want to make time to actually "post" here -- I really just don't have that much to go on about -- but I still read my Flist (or at least some pared down chunk of it) daily. I am also still trying to post daily but I am doing it via photos with the prompts at Fat Mum Slim
photo-a-day and with a daily gratitude picture a la
Project. I do always have commentary with the pictures; sometimes more, sometimes less. In the efforts of fostering more "LJ conversation", this year I've resolved to reply to all comments (which is the first baby step to then actually commenting more myself elsewhere) although I've not always been managing it in a timely fashion (but i've resolved "better late than never")
***LiveJournal won't let you post a playlist, but you can launch it as a stand alone player, if you ever want to listen to what I am listening to (more or less; sometimes I'm not listening to this playlist at all, but frequently I am.). I update it fairly frequently and am adjusting the date of this entry so that it stays at the lead of my page -- that way you can update right along with me!
ETA: I'm just linking to my last.fm which I am now using since they broke playlist. :(
ETA: except now i don't ever use last.fm since i am all about spotify...
ETA: except now last.fm scrobbles spotify so this should be back up to date again, assuming it works.
ETA: well now it appears last.fm no longer supports porting to LJ so here's my constantly evolving "best of [current year]" playlist on spotify
February 11th, 2017
Posting for the record:
All improvements over T1 with the exception of the AP Physics C grade (his third AP Physics class, btw; after having already taken and passed ELEVEN
AP classes/exams already). He said he's not as good at rotation as he is at other things and that the final was really tough. I don't worry about the physics grade at all because his physics grade generally hovers much closer to that T1 99.
I should note for the record that during this trimester he played a considerable amount (time self-regulated) of Call of Duty, started a gaming org, took time off school to go to Vegas, and missed four days in the last two weeks of the trimester -- the entire in-pain-and-miserable-and-exhausted element of the injury aside -- because of his knee**. That latter part not only included three in-class workstudy days for the aforementioned physics final which he missed, but also made every trimester-end final, essay, or project a pretty heavy load. But, he apparently pulled through! And his weighted GPA (which both his top schools -- Duke and MIT -- look at) is a 4.7something because post-AP classes (which most highschool kids never even get to) count for a bazillionty.
Report card day is a household checkpoint day, when I step in and suggest (or lay down as law, depending) changes to how he is managing his time and energy. This time there's not much to say other than "well, alright then! carry on!
**( I never updated here but he tore his MCLCollapse )
December 14th, 2016
PSAT @ 11:11 am
So, I never posted that J wants to go to MLGVegas
, another huge MLG event like the one we went to in June but in Vegas (woo!). I was back and forth on the issue because it's the weekend before Christmas (can i afford the time? the expense?), he'll have to miss school (after just missing extra for thanksgiving, right before weeks off for break), but I really enjoyed the last one, and I love Vegas. Etc.
When he first brought it up, I told him one of the considerations to going would be how well he did on the PSAT because I knew scores were coming out just days before we'd leave.
Kinda mean, I know, considering he took the PSAT back in October when he didn't even know about MLGVegas but, hey, let that be a lesson to ya that you should always make your best effort because you can't know what unforeseen consequences it will have down the line. (Am I that sort of Mom? Yes, yes I am.)
I mean, it's not like he didn't know the PSAT was important in general when he took it -- National Merit Scholarship qualification -- and he had more than enough time and reminders and resources to be able to choose to do some preparation or not. He did some prep beyond what he did for the PSAT10 last year but not a ton.
My criteria for what I considered "how well he did on the PSAT" (even before MLGVegas) was that ideally I'd like his score to be above 1450 because that's pretty much the minimum SAT score he'll need for the universities he's interested in, but that I'd be happy enough with a 1400 or above.
He got a 1410.
As with the PSAT10 he took in 10th grade (on which he got a 1340, so you can see the improvement), it was the Language/Writing section where he lost the most points. He only missed two math questions total out of 46, and four questions total out of 47 in the reading/analyses section. And that's pretty encouraging as far as the actual SAT goes because the Language/Writing section can definitely be improved upon via drills, in my opinion (thanks Schmoop, our favorite academic resource ever). So I think with this score -- and the improvement over the last one -- we can realistically look at a potential SAT score of around 1500 and that's what I'm talking 'bout.
November 23rd, 2016
<3 <3 <3 Happy TWENTIETH wedding anniversary to me and Jim!! <3 <3 <3
This is all of us last night, after about 13 hours in the car, in the hotel jacuzzi, in Weatherford, Texas. Because nothing says happily married like 23 hours in the car, on a road trip to Tucsaloosa (roll tide!) for Thanksgiving!
People frequently question our driving trips (yes, we're driving two days there, two days back, to be there for three days) but you have to understand that all this travel time is high-quality quality time for us. We love rolling along and looking at the immense (and constantly changing) landscape of this country, and talking, and rocking out, and just spending time together in an enclosed 25 square feet (or whatever the inside of this car is).
I'm an early morning driver and getting on the road at 6 and driving through the morning even while J and J sleep is one of my most solid, deep-down, happiest times.
I finished ~6.5 hours of today's 9.5 hours and we switched out, Jim taking over right after we crossed the mississippi. Another 3 hours or so and we'll be sitting down to dinner with my brother and his wife, my neice, my parents, and my nephew and his new wife, in their their new home. We'll get to toast them in person for their wedding we missed last month and everyone can toast us for the love and loyalty and camaraderie and dedication that has seen us arrive on the 20th anniversary of ours. <3
September 10th, 2016
Duke @ 08:47 pm
Colleges come to the child's school to give presentations, answer questions, etc. The school requires kids go to at least one in 9th grade, I assume because it starts getting them comfortable with them before they really matter. And it worked. J went to a couple in 9th grade even though he was dreading going (what if they asked him something?!), and then a few more last year which he was pretty "eh" about.
They've started up again with the start of September and he went to his first one friday: Duke.
And for the first time ever, he came home having nothing but good to say about it. He went to ones that included MIT and Case Western last year and all of them he had some issue with something in the presentation or the campus life or the academics or whatever.
But Duke he liked from start to finish. And Duke ticks off the few non-academic requirements he has so far: East coast-ish to be on that side of the country where all the MTG tournaments are and somewhere that it doesn't snow very much, if at all. Duke became more firmly in my radar when I realized they had a student:teacher ratio of like 7:1, and that the vast majority of classes have less than 20 students. That's a good environment for Jet. And Duke *first* hit my radar the summer after 8th grade when I was just curious about who would accept the 4 Jet got on World History AP. Because I found that they would and that they give a LOT of AP credit.
I could probably reconcile myself to becoming a Duke lover after years of NCAA basketball hatering.
The part that might NOT be reconcilable is that Duke costs $70,000 a year. :/
WPI is up for next week. That's also still one of his top contenders (at least on paper), other than the whole snow thing.
August 15th, 2016
The award we thought he would get is now official.
Jet has been awarded a National AP Scholar award, which is an amazing thing to have earned after only 10th grade. It's an amazing thing to have earned in general since it entails having a score of 4 or better ON AT LEAST EIGHT EXAMS!
He was also awarded another AP Scholar With Distinction award. He was awarded that last year as well, one of less than 100 students in the whole country to have earned it as a freshman.
And lest you think "oh, that poor kid, must be pushed like anything to win these awards" (although, someone is clearly missing something if they think "that poor kid" with respect to Jet...) I'll have you know that last night he was running a Call of Duty tournament on Battlefy and since it ended up having 24 teams and like three matches per round or something it went way longer than he had thought it would considering he had started it at 6pm. So, he was up until midnight, on a school night, moderating a CoD tournament and CoDCasting a "feature match" from each round, live on twitch.
So, I think he's got a pretty good balance.
August 13th, 2016
Up early on no sleep in order to pack up backpacks and bags of school supplies & coloring books etc, as well as bags of personal hygiene items, for refuge children and their parents, on behalf of Refugee Focus
, a local Tucson charity that helps refugee families resettle and acclimate to American culture.
August 4th, 2016
Differential Equations homework on the first full day of school (yesterday was a half day). Ms. K is tough!
(backdating catch up posts)
July 28th, 2016
(click to make bigger)
We had registration day today since school starts next week and so we now have his official report card. I would have of course been happier with an A in Honors Chem but a B is Spanish is fantastic. And the B in Honors Chem isn't anything to sniff about, given the AP class load he was carrying last year!
Cumulative GPA and credits earned count those classes in 6th, 7th, and 8th because they are high school level classes and so count toward state requirements (which is why most BASIS kids are already done with academics after 11th grade).
Cumulative GPA needs to be a little higher if he wants a better chance of getting in to some of the more elite tech schools, but since most of those schools look at weighted GPAs -- even if they do so "unofficially" -- I think he's good with a 4.41!( Read more...Collapse )
July 14th, 2016
Things have been busy with work and catching up on volunteer stuff (and playing PokemonGo) in the few days I've been home, but we arrived home safely late Sunday night. In lieu of a catch up post, here's some of the music I've been listening to this week.
This song is one of those songs I could just put on repeat and listen to for an hour straight.( more, cut to spare your feedCollapse )
July 5th, 2016
Amazing child is amazing:
And this gives him an average of 4 on the 11 AP exams he has taken, which should earn him the National AP Scholar award** - which is a ridiculous thing to earn in 10th grade.
Here are the score distributions for the tests he took:
Calculus BC (he got 5)
English Literature and Composition (he got 4)
European History (he got 4)
Macroeconomics (he got 4)
Microeconomics (he got 5)
Physics 2 (he got 4)
1: 8.2%( Last year's scoresCollapse )
The head of AP for the college board has been tweeting teasers about the different exams for the past month. Nerve wracking things like
"More than 40% of AP Macro students found FRQ2 on loans/demand deposits extremely difficult, earning 0 pts:"
"On the AP European History Bismarck DBQ, ~3% of students earned all 7/7 points possible; most frequent score: 1/7."
He's compiled them all on storify, so I'm including that link as well
for anyone who would like those interesting statistical nuggets for the various exams. **Granted to students in the US who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, *and* scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.
June 25th, 2016
And as a bonus, here're two of the most rational women in the world, having a conversation:
I've not posted it about it because what's to say, really? And -- regardless of whether you yourself are Leave or not -- any conversation with anyone who feels strongly about "Stay" pretty much goes like this:
“But have you considered it might be about...”
“But maybe there's...”
And then there are the completely insufferably arrogant "people will vote against their own self-interest" responses that generally indicate it's not worth having a discussion with that person.
However you feel about the Brexit result, you should seriously be troubled by the abject rejection of democracy displayed by those who didn't get what they wanted.
I'd be fine with outraged "their votes shouldn't count" idiocy going on about the 60+ year old voters who made up the majority (?) of Leave voters, as long as we can include some other groups of voters whose opinions are, actually, even more invalid. I mean, old people only fought off the Nazis, withstood the blitzkrieg, and then rebuilt their cities by hand from the rubble. So of COURSE they shouldn't have a say. But let's also get rid of the vote of anyone under 25 since there's a neuroscientist consensus that their brains aren't even fully developed yet. Or how about unmarried/childless women over 40? I mean, I would think a spinster would have less to say about the future than a 70 year old, as the 70 year old likely has grandchildren they care about. You see where that goes?
And for anyone who was "shocked" by this vote, I'd guess you've not been following what a hot mess the EU has been becoming over the last few years. The popularity of the EU has been down in many countries, in some of them it's at lower levels than in the UK, and this is not a right v left issue.
At any rate, wherever your opinion of Brexit falls, I think Megan Mcardle presents a nicely sober take on the hysteria
(And for people who don't click through links in articles, this is linked to in the article and it's worth a read as well).
June 20th, 2016
May 13th, 2016
Dog sitting today, for the wacky french people in their swank new place.
And here's some music I've been listening to this week:
February 12th, 2016
Just a li'l bit of AP prep....
Report card day, today, for all those classes (plus Honors Chemistry and Spanish 3) for trimester 2.
Not as good as I would have liked, because I ask for more As than Bs** but at least they WERE all As and Bs. With the exception of a solid C in Euro which I pretty much knew was coming because he flat out failed (as in 50%) two tests toward the end of the trimester.
**And I expect more As than Bs because he is a pretty big slacker as far as academics go. If I knew he was working full out, and getting Bs, that'd be one thing. But he's not, and the Bs he got could have been As with a little more effort. (So what happens when he gets less As than Bs is that I start policing the effort, with homework/study requirements that generally are his to govern on his own. More Bs than As and he gets ME as his government!)
January 4th, 2016
I totally failed at uploading all my December Photo a Day things, but here are some pictures from New Year's Eve. We went to a masquerade at our local indi movie theater, where they were showing Labyrinth, timed so that when she sees the 13th hour clock, it was our midnight. It was fun and you know, David Bowie! And something we could take the various Teens to.
I wore a dress covered in feathers and was like a giant muppet. ( moreCollapse )
October 15th, 2015
This last however long has been pretty much nothing but work, with the exception of some movies: Wallace and Grommet Case of the Wererabbit as the saturday free movie on the giant screen at The Loft
, Coraline as the cult classic saturday night at the loft and then last night the 1961 Pit and the Pendulum, also at the loft, as part of Big Read Connects Tucson
's months of Poe.
A wedding tomorrow, Jet's birthday next week, already time for another TAC luncheon... in between I am pretty tightly deadlined with work between now and November 30th.
All that to say, instead of a Real Update have some music instead. Some of my most listened to this week:
October 2nd, 2015
It has been a long week full of stuff to do, on top of being in or near record highs all week while doing it, so I am too pooped to a full update. Have some music, instead, to start your weekend. These are some of my most listened to this week:
September 16th, 2015
So, if you use spotify you've probably seen the new "Found Them First
" thing, which is well summed up in this article
. Jet and I were glad to get a definitive count because Jet has a long history of hearing my spotify playlists and then hearing many of the songs on the radio 6-12 months later (and then getting outraged that I don't try to apply that picking ability to stocks!). Per spotify's criteria, I was in the first 1% of listeners for Hozier, Banks, Courtney Barnett, Smallpools, Tove Lo, Gorgon City, The Neighborhood, and Iggy Azalea.
I still don't understand why Banks isn't a much bigger hit than she is. Or at least than I know she is. Maybe she tops club charts?
If you want to know who else I was listening to in 2014 that I think should be/get much bigger, I'll tell you! Robert deLong, Zella Day, and Milky Chance to just name three. You can listen to the others on my One Long Love Song v.2014 playlist
. (And I have also been compiling a 2015 one
since the beginning of the year.)
And the song "Here" that is in my "current music" above is also a fabulous song so watch for Alessia Cara, too!
And here's a bonus picture of my day:
Lounge chair office today. Workaday woes!
July 6th, 2015
And posting this on behalf of the child's behalf because you all can use these for your eyes, because most of you are old like me. And you can wear them while gaming, while you are lying in bed on your phone closer to your bedtime than you know you should be, or even just computering at work. Think about it!
I am happy to announce that I have just been sponsored by NoScope for making Call of Duty youtube videos. NoScope is a company that makes gaming glasses. NoScope glasses help you play for longer periods of time without having your eyes get hurt by staring at a bright screen. They work by filtering out blue light that is emitted by electronic screens, such as TV screens, computer monitors, or phone screens. They allow your eyes to focus easier, reduce eye strain and fatigue, and improve clarity, allowing you to continue gaming with no discomfort past the point you would normally need to stop from your eyes straining or burning. If you are interested in getting some NoScope glasses, please use my referral link below:
ps: they do not come with prescription lenses
Additionally, if you are also interested in using a higher performance custom Xbox or Playstation controller now that you will be able to play longer with the NoScope glasses, check out my other sponsor for gaming controllers, and use referral code "Dragon5" for 5% off of your purchase.
You can share these links with YOUR friends, too!
EDITING TO ADD: Jet just noticed that if you click off the "shop" page (where the NoScope link takes you) to go read about the tech or whatever, when you go back to the shop page it is no longer linked to his affiliate tracking. So, if you DO decide you want to buy some, make sure you come back and click through the link!
May 23rd, 2015
Yes i did spend friday night watching NBA and making sign language silverware, among other things. Wait until you see the butter knife dragonflies!
#shescrafty( You might have thought I was joking, but no.Collapse )
December 30th, 2014
Jet and I are in Florida this week, visiting my parents, with my sister and her family, in a rental house a few blocks from my parents' condo. Jim is at home with the animals. While I'm a little bummed to be spending nye away from him, we've otherwise been having a nice time (i've been posting on FB, not here). What I'm *really* bummed about is missing the huge winter storm that is supposed to hit Tucson tomorrow and for the next couple of days. To include snow!! Otherwise, this is my view when I wake up in the morning:
December 22nd, 2014
Finally cashed in our change so that we could put together some "blessing bags" to have in the car for those times you are stopped by a homeless person you wish you could help. We had $37 so that allows for a $5 bills in 7 bags. We brought this one almost completed bag with us so we could put the $5 in and drop it with someone we had been stopped next to earlier. The bag also has socks, tissue, chapstick, power bars, sunflower seeds, peanuts, oreos, peanut butter cheese crackers, a mini can of coke, a bottle of water. ... all the things I buy in bulk for the teachers' lounge. They can do without a week's worth.
We tried to do a mix of protein/fuel foods (power bars, nuts) and straight up luxury (oreos). The cash is obviously optional but we wanted to make that use of the change jar since we already had the other stuff, except the socks, chapstick and tissue (and the former are fairly inexpensive ones from target and the latter two are super bulk deals from the dollar store).
Jet plans to put the rest of the bags together with Kjersti when there is that lull on Christmas eve day when there is nothing to do but wait for our dinner party. It will fit the spirit of the day. Then we'll just keep them in the car. Makes us feel like we're doing more than just shoving cash out the window. And Tucson has many homeless teens, and I'd much rather feed them than enable the pretty hefty drug usage going down.
#Grateful for plenty.
Edited to add: we had also grabbed a can of dog food on the way out because we knew he had a dog with him. that generally won't come standard!
September 13th, 2014
New Raffle! A $5.00 donation gets you an entry to win one of these hand-crafted necklaces.
If you don't want it for yourself, wouldn't it make a cool holiday gift for someone?!
You may buy as many entries as you like. Donate here
Drawing for this raffle will be next weekend, probably Saturday the 20th.
Share with your friends!
July 1st, 2014
June 29th, 2014
Going to start backdating posts to catch up. Will try to do it in chunks so it's not a flood of your Flist.
April 25th, 2014
April 19th, 2014
Pulling albums to take to Falora
for someone's bday dinner and the only suggestion was "80's music" (which i misremembered as "80's happy", hence the pulling out of Bananarama) and I can't help but think that no night of record playing that includes the 80s would be complete without Loverboy's Get Lucky.
amirite or amirite?
My misremembering it as "80's happy" is also why I have Rick Springfield in the stack. Hey, the 80's was a huge decade of music! There's a lot of phases to choose from!
April 16th, 2014
Grateful that I ended up in this strangely beautiful, prickly, unrelenting, and unforgiving place that I have grown to love so much.
#365Grateful #desert #desertspring