Family Time

My girls went back home today. We spent a wonderful five days together, going to places, doing things together, and talking non-stop. After they left, I told Boris that I either became too old or out of practice because I felt tired of all these non-stop activities. He replied that he thinks that I am just out of practice, and I asked whether he implies that I should do it more often. He laughed and said that probably yes.

Speaking about activities, we went to the Botanic Garden on Tuesday.

The signs say: Welcome back! We missed you!
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Spending Time With My Girls

I took this whole week off work to spend time with my daughter and granddaughters, and all the things we are doing together take all the time I have. Everything is great and wonderful, and I am enjoying every moment of our time together, and I hope they enjoy it, too.

We went to the Botanic Garden, and we drove to Chicago to Millennium Park, and there are still tons of activities we planned for the remaining two and a half days.

More stories to follow 🙂

House Cleaning

The reason why this weekend ended up being as it was – my girls are coming to visit me tomorrow. Yesterday, Kira turned two months, and their pediatrician allowed them to extend the circle of contacts slowly.

I was planning to come and visit them in Wisconsin, but since the parents, understandably wanted me to quarantine before meeting the baby, and Mayor Lori wants me to self-quarantine myself after I visit Wisconsin, Anna decided to give me back two weeks of my life.

Nadia is old enough now to sleep in her bed, not pack-and-play. That meant that this time, everybody would stay downstairs, where I have two guest rooms. These rooms usually stay ready to host people who come to visit me, but nobody lived there for the past nine months due to the pandemic.

I never entered these rooms for the said nine months, because there was no need. Usually, they would be in use at least once in two months, and I would change the bedding and possibly dust and sweep, and they are ready for the next visitor. I do not remember when it was the last time they were vacant for nine months!

I am walking in, and I feel like I am walking into the cellar, that’s how it smells! There are cobwebs in the corners, and there is dust on the surfaces. The first thing I wanted to do was to open the windows, but there was no window screen in one of the rooms. A trip to the ACE hardware revealed (as usual!) that this size is no longer used. I ordered the “cut it yourself” kit on Amazon, but it will only arrive on Tuesday.

I took all the bedding fro that room upstairs and hung it to ventilate. Then I cleaned the floor and all the surfaces. I also had to put back the railing on the stairs (because I didn’t do it yesterday, remember?)

I called Boris so that I could consult him about drilling the holes and screwing the screws in. This plus a couple more trips to the stores – that’s how my day was!

However, I can even describe how ecstatic I am to see y girls and see Kira in the flesh for the first time! I am so looking forward to all the activities and conversations!

Quick Update

A quick update about everything. Biking injuries: everything still hurts, but I took off most of the bandaids, and make sure the wounds stay dry. I didn’t notice one cut super-close to the right eye yesterday and didn’t treat it. Today, it looks very impressive… The shoulder hurts. Boris says that I broke a bone there, but I am sure it’s not. Time will heal 🙂

On Friday, I had contractors putting new laminate on my stairs. Before that, I had to remove the railing on the upper part of the stairs, which took longer than I planned. And then I had to put them back, which takes even longer! And then I realized that I need to drill four new holes in the steps :), and I decided to postpone till tomorrow.

After that, I started to hang back on the walls all the pictures I took down for construction duration. And I accidentally changed places of two pictures, which proved to be fatal – one of them was too heavy for the hook I hang it on. It fell down, and a glass broke. First I was very resentful, but then I realized I could just hand this picture without any frame 🙂 Which I did.

Then I went down to the basement to prepare the guest rooms. Nobody stayed there for at least nine months, so they turned to be almost uninhabitable. I started to clean them, but more has to be done tomorrow.

I am leaving out of scope a couple of minor disasters 🙂

***

Each time I read any of my children’s posts on any social media, I feel … not proud, because “proud” means that it’s somehow related to you, inspired by you… and I do not think I did something in this regard.

I am simply happy that my children are so active in promoting their ideas, time permits or not :). I am happy that they are such good citizen, that they never go numb, that they care, and that they would never hesitate to speak openly about their position.

I think they are so much better than me in all these things, and I did not do anything!!! I do not know how they turned up to be who they are!

BIking Accident

I just saw that I forgot to hit “publish” on my yesterdays’ post. Now there will be multiple in one day:), because I am still going to publish that one.

So, for the last two hours, I am trying to write down what has happened to me today. It’s embarrassing, but here is it: I had a really bad bike accident this morning. And it was not even the long ride. It was my shortest biking routine, the one I do these days after the strength workouts – just to add some cardio. It’s less than 30 min ride. 

I am still not sure what exactly happened. I was going downhill, probably faster than I should have, but the hill was not that steep. There were some small branches from the Monday storm on the ground; they didn’t look dangerous; I rode over similar small branches a lot in the past several days, they were everywhere. And the next moment, I felt that I am going down. I tried to brake and tried to put my feet down on th ground, but I could not fight gravity. 

My next thought was that my whole face is smashed, so I was delighted to find out that I had only a couple of cuts on the face.

Unfortunately, I wore glasses. These days, when my vision is tons better than before, I usually put the contacts in after the shower, and do my exercises in glasses. But this morning, for some reason, I was intensely thinking: maybe, I should put the contacts in before my bike ride. And I didn’t.

If I would, my new glasses won’t break. And I won’t have an extra puncture of my skin close to my right eye. 

There was a lot of blood, and also my bike chain got off, so I had to stop the blood at least a little bit, and fix the bike, and then get home. I did it all, and I am very proud of myself. 

The injuries bother me, however. First, I thought that I hit my right shoulder but turned out it was just a massive scratch of the skin. And the same goes for all other parts of my body. The cuts are not deep, but they are everywhere – hip, leg, knee, hands, elbows, fingers. Annoying like I do not know what. 

I so-so-so hope it will heal soon!!!

The Forces Of Nature (Derecho)

On Monday, “we” – some parts of Chicago and Northern Illinois and some other Midwest States – had severe storms (I didn’t know what “derecho” means, but now I know that it’s exactly what was happening :). I didn’t post any photos or videos, because what was happening in Palatine looked horrible, but way better than in most other places. I believe there were seven tornadoes reported around Chicagoland.

We didn’t have a tornado, although tornado sirens were going off for several hours. My mom didn’t have electricity for six hours. Actually, two blocks on her street didn’t have power, and the ComEd crew worked there for several hours. There were so many outage reports that ComEd notification system went down. I was able to report through the automated phone system, and later it turned out that this was the only system that was still up. In about 20 minutes, they started to send me text messages about the status of repair work. I took mom to my place, fed her dinner, charged her phone, and gave her some hot tea in a thermos because I was unsure how long she would be without power.

It was major stress for her, but I know that some people were without power for two days or more.
On Tuesday morning, I went biking, and it was mostly combining biking with weight lifting:) because I had to carry my bike over the fallen trees eight times!

All of these fallen trees were removed the same day, and today I biked with no obstacles, but here is how it looked on Tuesday morning.

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Critical Race Theory in HCI

Reblogging from my professional blog

The World of Data

Last week, I attended one of the meetups of the Chicago local ACM Chapter. ACM has several SIGs – Special Interest Groups, and technically speaking, I am a part of only one of them: SIGMOD (Management of Data) and also a member of ACM-W – Women in Computing.

“Before all this started” (everybody these days have to say this, referring to our previous life), so – before it all started, I attended some of the ACM meetups, but not that often. 

TheChicago local chapter of ACM SIGCHI- Computer-Human Interaction – is something outside my area of interest, but I started to attend their virtual events and became more and more interested, and now I want to share it with my network :).

The topic of the last week’s meetup was“Critical Race Theory For HCI”, and I regret I didn’t publicize this event! It was so-so-so worth…

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Beautiful Moments – Saturday

It’s Sunday night, and a new work week ahead. I spent many hours of this weekend writing, and it seems like there was no weekend at all. But then I remember many happy moment of the past two days , and I thinking – it was a good weekend!

I biked to the Farmers’ Market Saturday morning
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