Friday, June 30, 2023

7 Quick Takes about the Longest Year, Other People's Bathrooms, and Not Being Intelligent Enough for Artificial Intelligence

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


Well, this is our first Friday of summer vacation and I completely forgot it was even Friday until about 9PM to begin writing my 7QT. I think that seems appropriate for how this summer is about to go down.


I was so excited to finally delete the 6:30AM alarm from my phone on the kids' last day. This school year just kept dragging on and on  my 1st grader even had one more day than my other kids because his school had a water main break that they had to make up at the end!

It didn't just feel like a long year, though. It was objectively longer than any other school district around us and possibly in the entire country. Maybe it's because they keep giving us more holidays off. This year we had vacation for Purim, Rosh Hashana, and Diwali in addition to all the national and state holidays.

If we start getting time off for Festivus, I'm writing to the superintendent.


I babysat for my neighbor's toddler and preschooler. They were both sweet, but my favorite age has always been 18-36 months so her 2-year-old was a slice of heaven for me.

I just can't think of many things more enjoyable than asking someone if they know their ABCs and have them reply by bursting enthusiastically into song, with perfect pitch, "B-C-B-C LMNOP!"

When they first came over, I brought them up to my kids' room and showed them the toys, and when they were engaged in playing I brought some laundry downstairs. 

It wasn't long before the 2-year-old waddled out to the balcony and asked, "What you doing?"

"Cleaning something," I answered.

"Can I help?"

Of course you can help, Baby Girl. I love toddlers.


Twelve hours before takeoff, the airline on which my daughter was flying back from a summer music camp out of state emailed and said that the flight was canceled.

Not "your flight was canceled and here's your new flight." Just "your flight is canceled. Sorry."

I didn't even know they could do that.

The email went on to say that "if you no longer wish to travel, JetBlue will issue you a travel credit or a refund." Which is not that helpful because I do wish to travel, that's kind of why I bought the ticket in the first place.

So anyway, after a stressful search, we found her a flight home that is just a few days later than expected. I was just annoyed because it's not cheap to buy airfare at the last minute like that, JetBlue refund or no.


My 17-year-old is supposed to get her wisdom teeth removed, but because she's got music camps and violin auditions sprinkled throughout the summer, I'm having trouble booking it when she'd have time to recover (i.e: not need to squish a violin to her shoulder with her face for several hours a day.)

I'd already rescheduled her extraction once because of a conflict with music camp, and after the flight debacle in Take #4 delayed her arrival home I had to call back again. The receptionist gave me a few available dates and warned, "You need to make this appointment because you can't reschedule again." 

I stammered something incredibly articulate, like, "What?"

"Well, I know you couldn't help it this time because of the flight," she said, "but there's a long list of people waiting so you can't reschedule more than three times."

"So..." I paused, searching for words in my confusion, "You just... won't... take my money...?" I am still confused by this whole business model.

Anyway, I rescheduled and then realized the second I hung up that it wasn't going to work; it was on the same day as our family camping trip. I called back as fast as I could and a different receptionist picked up, so I just canceled the appointment and told her I would call back to make a new one because I needed more time to look at my schedule.

So who knows? I'll call back next week and see if they let me reschedule this thing or not. Maybe that first lady I talked to was bluffing. Or maybe my daughter will just be keeping her wisdom teeth, after all. 


Right now, we've got four different paint samples on our basement walls waiting for our final decision. I think we like Calm by Benjamin Moore, but I second-guess myself because I'm bad at visualizing home decor. 

These all look kind of the same here, but not so much in person.

Thankfully, my neighbor (the one with the cute kids in Take #3) has that exact color in her bathroom. I know because she once gave a talk in church with a beautiful metaphor about how she was renovating her bathroom and putting her favorite paint on the walls and related that to how the Savior is renovating our lives and brushing Calm on our souls... it doesn't sound very poetic when I say it but it was.

So my next step is to figure out the proper protocol for randomly asking someone if you can see their bathroom. Is that a situation where you text or where you call?


I've been trying to learn more about ChatGPT recently. I feel like I don't really get it, like there are dozens of ways it could help streamline my life if only I knew what they were! I'm pretty sure that a certain measure of creativity is needed in your prompts for it to give you something useful, but I'm not quite there yet.

If you have some favorite uses for ChatGPT, comment below or on Facebook. There's got to be something I'm missing and I want to know how you're all using this thing.

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1 comment:

Katie said...

Can chatGPT make me a meal plan if I plug in my family’s crazy complicated dietary restrictions and preferences? That would be a use for it that I can get behind. Otherwise I feel like we will have only ourselves to blame when we end up enslaved by robots.

I can’t believe that school schedule. Our break is mid May to beginning of august, it seems like it’s nearly over. But yes, that feeling of turning off the school alarm is the best!