Honoring Borscht

I made some borscht. And it was beautiful. But the dining table wasn’t looking beautiful enough to put the borscht on it. So I went out and spent an hour looking for a setup that would do justice to the borscht.

Here it is:

If you have to ask where the borscht is, then you don’t understand the Ukrainian soul. We ate it, of course. It’s gone. Now I feel like I need to make more to do justice to the setup.

Academic Writing Quiz

A really great quiz on academic writing practices with my responses:

In the three-day period before your last major research deadline, did you:

  • Spend more than five hours a day at work on this research project? Absolutely not. I’d be dead of exhaustion if I did something like that.
  • Spend more than one hour a day worried or panicked about said project? God, who has the time to worry for a whole hour?
  • Complete more than 10 percent of that project within those three days? I’m not intellectually capable of doing this. Honestly. I know my limitations. I just get foggy-brained and tired.

2. Has a (non-laboratory-based) research or writing deadline ever:

  • Caused one or more of your children to be sad that you were unable to spend time with them? I gave birth at almost 40. So obviously not.
  • Caused a partner to be sad that you were unable to spend time together? I’m not married to a passive-agressive fellow, so no.
  • Caused you to cancel a social plan in which you actually wanted to participate? OK, I’m stumped because the phrase “a social plan in which I actually wanted to participate” is not comprehensible to me.

3. Have you:

  • Taken a full weekend off in the past month? Every single one. I have a 2,5-year-old, so it’s not optional.
  • Gotten through an entire vacation, intercession, or family/medical leave without feeling that you had to use that “free” time to “catch up”? Vacation yes. Post-surgery, not so much because I hate to be an invalid.

The linked piece has great suggestions, too.


If people insist that it’s crucial for kids to be on their tablets in very confined public spaces, they could at least teach them to use headphones on the devices. I have 30 minutes to catch my breath in the waiting room of Klara’s dance lesson but it’s infernally loud because of these nasty devices. Plus, it’s very stinky because there’s another heat wave.

Swetnick Brings the Goods

I saw him around the punch, I won’t say bowls, or the punch containers . . . I don’t know what he did, but I saw him by them.

That evildoer! He stood next to a punch bowl! Well, we just can’t have it. Good kids all stand next to book carrels at the library and not next to punch bowls at a party.

ACE Test

Take an ACE test to determine how childhood trauma impacted your heart health.

For those who have no idea how this works, here is a good explanation but skip the first 5 paragraphs because they are useless and gushy. It gets a lot better after that, I promise. On a side note, this is what I’m saying about female self-infantilization being in vogue. It’s as if there were a compulsion to present oneself as a total ditz before saying anything of value.

Vacation Styles

Before having kids:

“Great vacation! We climbed a mountain, went on a crazy Jeep ride through a forest, snorkeled, and parasailed. It was the best!”

After having kids:

“Great vacation! We slept. Then watched a bit of TV. Then slept. Then did absolutely nothing whatsoever. It was glorious!”

P.S. This is not about me. It’s about somebody I know, khm khm. I was always proudly style 2.