Nostalgia

*Also because it’s the end of the first day of NaNoWriMo and I haven’t written a single word yet.

I’ve been doing work¬† with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk project for a few years and the thing I’ve been doing most often are surveys. I’m certainly not going to make my fortune doing this, but it gives me something to do when I’m bored and I’m making about $10 a year at it and if I can keep it up for another 100 years or so (!) it should add up to something fairly respectable.

The surveys, once in a while, ask me to check a box to prove that I’m not a robot and I’m, like, what if I am and I just don’t know it? Would I be able to plead that I’m not a robot, I’m an android? Or would that be splitting hairs?

Of course, I’m reasonably certain that I’m neither a robot nor an android and most of that certainty has to do with medicine. I mean, how many androids have wheezy lungs that respond well to albuterol and whose wheeziness can be prevented by daily doses of budesonide and formoterol? I mean, okay, “formoterol” does kind of sound like “for motor oil,” but that’s just a coincidence. I hope.

I’ve always been very mucousy in general (and my spell-check doesn’t like “mucousy”but Wiktionary has my back) which I don’t think that androids would be. I have produced so much mucus in my life that when I found that one of the key signs of cystic fibrosis is that people with cystic fibrosis taste salty because their sodium channels malfunction, I licked my arm. I’m not salty, by the way. Also, I’m older than 50 and the odds of a cystic fibrosis patient born when I was making it to 50 are slim.

Besides, I have humans who can attest to the fact that I have human insides. I’ve been cut open four times, I think (if having impacted wisdom teeth removed counts, then five) — a pilonidal cyst removal during my adolescence, a c-section, implantation of a subcutaneous chemotherapy port, and a lumpectomy.¬† Oh, and removal of my sentinel lymph node, but that was the same time as the lumpectomy, so maybe that occasion would be four and a half?

At any rate, that’s lots of witnesses — three surgeons**, at least three other doctors assisting, nurses and Thomas. He didn’t intend to see me cut open, but when he went to see Alex for the first time he forgot that I was cut open and when he turned around to come back to my side, there I was in all my glory. He found the process of them sewing me closed really fascinating, by the way. I’m sure if I were an android someone would have said something at some point. “Why are we cutting this android open? Androids don’t even (get pilonidal cysts, get pregnant, get cancer)?”

So, until it turns out that androids *do* get pilonidal cysts, get pregnant and/or get cancer, I’m going to continue attesting that I’m not a robot.

** The same surgeon did the lumpectomy and the port placement.

Well, technically he’s been a graduate for almost a week based on the date on his diploma. But the ceremony was today and I puddled up about six times before the whole thing was over. Then my dad wandered away from us* and by the time the three of us were all together in the car it was rush hour and I’d lost several pounds of water weight from sweating in the summer heat.

So many of his grade school friends have moved on to private schools, moved away, been homeschooled, and one of his besties from when he was very little (they had a falling-out in middle school and never made up again) was missing from both the ceremony and the program.

Alex graduating fron kindergarten

Alex’s first graduation — from kindergarten. They had a fifth-grade graduation as well, but my photos of that are very blurry. They didn’t have an eighth grade graduation ceremony.

It was a lovely ceremony and it seems like a disproportionately high number of his fellow graduates are going on to college. The only exceptions seemed to be the ones who are going into the military. Of course, it could be selection bias. Some of the graduates didn’t walk and it’s possible that those are the ones who are going straight to work out of school.

*It’s not dementia. He’s always done things like that. Alex says we should put a tracking device on him.