Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s river otter is from the US Pacific Southwest Region Fish and Wildlife Service.

River Otter in the snow and ice. The otter is seen from the side, as it arches up to look forward into the distance. Dry rushes are visible in the background.

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: Life

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55 replies

  1. That’s such an elegantly posed otter!
    Been a bit worse for wear this week, with my occasional back and neck pain flaring up a bit more than usual, but physio yesterday helped.
    Also, I have come up with a ridiculous plan, than no one else (so far) seems to think is ridiculous, wherein I am considering medschool. The idea has burrowed itself into my brain, but there is a chunk of me currently going “WTF?” at myself.

  2. I think you’d make a great medico, if it’s what you want to do. The part going WTF is probably psychologically useful in some way in ensuring you think it all fully through.
    TogSprog the elder turned 18 yesterday. Time passes so quickly.

  3. P.S. My neck, as you might have noticed from some posts earlier this week, has also had a flareup, so sympathies. Silly autumn pruning of triffid-hybrid bougainvillea, why did I want to go and do that?
    I’m recovering without physio even though I got a referral. I’m going to get an X-ray and an assessment anyway, because it’s ages since my neck’s been looked at, and the old car crash injury has no doubt changed over the last mumble years.

  4. @tigtog Yeah, there is that, though I know it’s also partially my ‘oh god i am crap’ complex having a go at me, as well, so I need to keep an eye on it (though Stephen is already telling it to shut up a lot). Having to sit GAMSAT before applying is probably useful to that ‘think it through’ process as well, particularly since I didn’t do high school science, so that’s something I’m gonna go back and do before the next GAMSAT sitting, which is next year.
    Happy birthday to ElderTog!

  5. Tigtog: all bougainvilleas are triffid-hybrids. And Krynoid hybrids. I’m perpetually of the opinion that the only sensible way to prune a bougainvillea is at ground level, using a chainsaw.
    (Among my other dislikes in the botanical world are those blue-centred white daisies, the clump-forming native lillies, and whatever semi-succulent lillium we have growing in our side garden.

  6. Meg: bougainvillea needs to be pruned with more regular dedication than I manage to keep it under control. Some folks nearby seem to keep it perfectly well tamed with a judicious weekly clip/shear, but that level of habit is beyond me.
    In other weekend diversions, one of Sprog the Elder’s birthday presents was Portal 2, which is, uniquely in my experience, fun to listen to while he is playing. Stephen Marchant voiceover for the win.

  7. Oh VERY happy birthday to elder Tog! Hope he’s having a good one. Are you going out to celebrate, or something? Is he having one of those Big Eighteenth dos? Daughter went to a lot of them, but hers was truncated due to coinciding with VCE exam time – Boo – so we let her go to the coast for Schoolies instead, cos she and her friends are reasonably sensible.

  8. Happy birthday elder sprog.
    It must be the week for old injuries: I’ve subluxed my right shoulder twice in five days for the first time in years. Not as serious an injury but argh. It will take me months to properly stabilise it again and until then lots of difficulties, especially settling my toddler in his car seat.

    • @Helen, he didn’t want a big do so we just had a fancy family dinner at a harbour-view restaurant, enjoying the lights and the boats. Then we came home and watched Tangled, one of the DVDs he’d requested. I think the 21st might be the big big one for him.
      @Mary, OUCH! Subluxed shoulders are no fun at all, and your lad is just that bit too young to do all the car-seat clambering on his own so that you only have to do the belt-securing, isn’t he?
      I’m doing some on and off arguing about the behavioural science of racist biases over at LP (except I’m being accused of religious PC-ism). Did you know that strong-minded people can just decide to reject racism etc at one point of social elevation because it’s a Bad Thing and they’re not Bad People, and that thereafter nothing they say, think or do could possibly be racist because they have no racist intent, right? Of course you did. [eyeroll]

  9. @Ow, Mary, that doesn’t sound fun at all *sends positive thoughts*
    @tigtog: … I … I can’t. Religious PC-ism? WTF?

  10. Apparently accepting behavioural science’s findings about acculturated attitudes being virtually impossible to entirely eliminate from one’s cognitive processes equates to viewing racist bias as some sort of ‘original sin’.

  11. All because I’m saying that anti-racism has to be an ongoing self-monitoring and self-doubting process rather than just proclaiming that one is rejecting racism and that’s sorted then.

  12. @tigtog Wow, that’s kind of hilarious, it’s so bad. I read the very tail end of the thread over there, and I’m not going to get involved, but I have to say it underlines how very robust the idea that we’re self-transparent, and purely actively consciousnesses running around being perfectly conscious of everything all the time, is. I never understand how people manage to drive a car and still believe this… except it’s a good fantasy to help one feel innocent of racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, etc… so I can grasp why they’re so invested in the story, too. Is it to mean to say ‘good luck over there,’ without offering to provide comment-y support? Because I really do mean good luck, but there’s a barge pole right here I’m not going to sully ;-P
    @Jen Med school sounds great! I’m with Stephen and you, anti the nay-sayers in (and any outside!) your head 🙂 Besides, if you have to do some study in advance, you get to check in about how much you’re enjoying it along the way, right? I kind of like it when I just do the first step, telling myself I am not committing to something enormous, that I’m just checking it out, and somewhere along the way, slowly *inhabiting* the idea so that it feels more like me, and like it’s not such a leap to undertake the enormous thing.
    And to all those with physical ouchies, I hope they settle down soon!

  13. @tigtog, he’s only 15 months, so yeah we’ve got a ways to go on clambering into his seat himself. He’s physically capable of it, but we don’t speak a common language yet (either literally or as a metaphor for shared goals!)

  14. Happy Birthday Sprog the Eldest.
    Commiserations to the injured.
    @Tigtog – can you automoderate him?

  15. Happy birthday, elder sprog!

    This week I have been a big puddle of stress, but things seem to be looking up. I got to visit archives yesterday, which was brilliant. I never realised I could get so excited over a minutes book.

  16. Couldn’t decide whether to post this here or in the slutwalking thread, but did anyone else catch the reference to Amy Pond being a doxy, in tonight’s Doctor Who pirate-fest. I’m guessing it was because of the way she was dressed – not the way an 18th-19th century pirate would expect a ‘respectable’ woman to dress? I thought it was interesting in the light of the current debate. Is there, after all, a connection between context and clothing such that clothing that doesn’t ‘fit’ the context might send confusing messages?
    On a less philosophical note … happy birthday elder sprog!! And I hope your neck improves soon tigtog. Then burn the bougainvillea … I think that was the solution that Wyndham came up with for the triffids 🙂

  17. Our grand British government is changing round all the benefit system as regards disability, and hard-pushing the meme that everyone with a disability (especially a mental one) is just a lazy faker and public enemy.

  18. @SunlessNick: Changing disability benefits seems to be all the rage; Australian Fed Budget included significant changes to disability including ‘updating the definition of incapacity’, which sounds ominous.

  19. Regarding the UK benefits crackdown, this story about ABs violence and abuse towards PWDs as a result, came through my Google Alerts today.
    Very distressing and enraging.

  20. ”Ironically this backdrop of negativity will only make it harder for the million disabled people who will be migrated off benefits to get a job.”

    Book Girl, that’s just gobsmacking. And entirely, sadly, predictable.

  21. Does anyone know of any feminist critiquing of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible? The play was hugely important to me as child (I think I was 13 when I read it). Even reading it (I didn’t see it until years later) made me feel the power of theatre as a medium for a message, of richly drawn characters and of finely constructed narrative. Now I’m (ahem) older, it niggles at me that in staging a historic event in which women were far disproportionately the victims, the playwright chose to make the story about one of the few men at the pointy end of the business. Then that man gets presented as largely the victim of the undersexed versus oversexed dichotomy of women. Also that Miller decided to create a lying whore character out of an abused child. He casually, in the preface, wrote “Abigail’s age has been raised”, and left it at that. It’s hard not to feel that the whole story changes when you know that the real Abigail was eleven. Has anyone else felt twitchy about any of these things?
    Also, who is watching Eurovision? If I can ever get through to the SBS website I think I will have to repress my sentimental attachment to Ireland, and vote for Italy.

  22. Can I direct you all to a blogpost made by a very young (early teen) feminist of my acquaintance. NB: NOT my daughter, but a very young woman I know.
    There is no good time to have children.

  23. Yes, big Happy Birthday to the 18 year old sprog. Well done tigtog, that’s a lot of years of mothering.

  24. @Sheryl My take on that is that, yes, particular clothes out of context can be, well, ‘confusing’. But the question is not only who made the context that way (no one person, obviously), but, in relation to the slut walk, who decided that those who transgresses these norms of dress thereby gave up their right to say ‘no’. And in relation to burqa bans etc, who decided that those who transgress the norms of (Western) dress are thereby demonstrating their oppression? It’s worth noting who is controlling what counts as clothing that fits, and how clothing that doesn’t fit comes to signify as it does… I reckon, anyway!
    And happy birthday to Sprog the elder!! An adult, tigtog! How does it feel?
    @Orlando I have – shocking, I know – never read The Crucible. But my impression, and I’m trying to work out where I’ve gotten it from, is that it has had quite thorough feminist interrogations… I will try to recollect where I got that impression from!
    And the disability stuff is really demoralising. The right-ways drift remains horrifyingly strong 😦

    • who decided that those who transgresses these norms of dress thereby gave up their right to say ‘no’

      That’s the nub of the pushback against slut-shaming and victim-blaming. There’s a hugely judgemental streak running through society, and it’s very much reflected in jury deliberations, that regards some women in some circumstances as foregoing the right to say ‘no’ to sexual contact simply because they transgress certain social norms (not just dress). Remember that young girl in Texas who was gang-raped and was slut-blamed for not knowing better than to trust a bunch of older guys in the neighborhood to be decent human beings?
      These social norms are all about limiting what social situations women can feel safe in, because that limits women’s options by ensuring that they’re not always around to take advantage of opportunities that arise, and the kyriarchy likes it like that.

  25. And the disability stuff is really demoralising.
    At the risk of TMI, I spend a lot more time thinking about suicide than I did this time last year.
    @Deborah, good post.
    @tigtog, or more precisely, sprog the elder: happy milestone.

  26. @SunlessNick I’m so sorry; that must be really rough. 😦 *hugs*

  27. @SunlessNick


    • More {{{hugs}}} if you want them, SunlessNick.
      I started writing a post about ‘planking’ being a Darwin Award waiting to happen, but I decided that I didn’t want a family member to google on a post title like that. However, I’m finding the ‘blame the internet’ aspect of it rather tediously predictable, as if foolhardy thrillseekers haven’t always been finding ways to put themselves in extreme danger for the sake of mately kudos.

  28. Thankyou. Hugs are good.

  29. Hmmm, don’t think I’ll be eating at Gastro Park anytime soon.

  30. Gastro Park? Ew ew ew!
    Hey folks, is anyone interested in a regular discussion thread for the new Amazing Race Australia show?

  31. Haha! I was ranting about Gastro Park too. I couldn’t even read the review because there’s no way in hell I’m going to be saying to anyone I like “Hey, wanna come have a meal down at Gastro Park?”.
    Just…ground down today but blokey masculine culture and entitledness today. Really really.
    😦 SunlessNick…I’m sorry.

  32. @Lauredhel: Re Amazing Race Oz thread: YES!
    Wasn’t the Neil Gaiman ep of Doctor Who fabulous? Well, I thought so!

  33. SunlessNick – Hugs, I’m sorry to hear that.
    The gutting of the welfare state was one of the sources of my stress meltdown last week – both because of anxiety about my own situation, and the knowledge it’s making things worse for so many other people.

  34. And it’s gold from the FF101 submissions:

    I find it strange that women are’nt listening or obeying their higher calling. The Old Testament tells women to stay at home and take care of the house, their husbands, and raise their children.For a rightous woman what higher calling can there be? A truly rightous woman should embrace these values. If you think I’m wrong try looking at the Orthodox Jewish community. They follow these laws and have no gang violence, they do not go out and commit crimes, and have a very low divorce rate. It’s orginizations like yours that have contributed to the downfall of our society

    Whether the blokes around the place are also following the rightous[sic] rules of the Old Testament doesn’t seem to matter, isn’t that strange?

  35. I don’t know much anything about the Orthodox Jewish community, but statistically it is likely that just as much of what we would consider crime goes on but we never hear about it. An argument from silence is not an argument. That is not to say that there aren’t some very happy people within Orthodox Judaism, but I’m betting that there are some unhappy people who feel trapped (both men and women) as well.
    Wow, we’re like an organisation now? At least one bit of my life is organised then 😉

  36. My comment earlier, was it eaten by the de-spaminator? Or did it vanish into the ether?

  37. Sorry Bek, that’s the only comment of yours that was in the spaminator just now. Maybe vanished into the ether?

  38. Bugger – I said that
    The Old Testament tells us that we shouldn’t mix different fibres in cloths. It’s clearly polycotton that is bringing about the downfall of our society.

  39. Today, a subset of “it’s not sex it’s rape” is “it’s not infidelity that’s the problem (here), it’s rape”, courtesy of Deb Cameron on ABC 702 setting up something she was doing later about infidelity inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger… and Dominique Strauss-Kahn. SotBO: the problem with what Strauss-Kahn is alleged to have done is not at all that he’s currently married!

  40. Ugh, I knew there was a reason I didn’t like percale.

  41. Besides, when was the last time you heard of an economist committing a violent sex crime?
    (An utter plank who has conflated the legal status of “presumed innocent” with some bizarre idea that this means everybody in the whole world is obliged to presume #dsk is innocent)

  42. How do we know that this woman’s word was good enough to put Mr. Strauss-Kahn straight into a horrific jail?

    Her word, her injuries requiring treatment in hospital, things in the hotel room being consistent with what she told police, picking him out of a line-up despite having no idea who he was?
    Is that enough evidence for that badly informed journalist?

  43. Why has he never been charged before? Well how long have you got?

  44. That article is unbelievably full of fail
    Did the prosecutors really convince a judge that he was a flight risk when he was getting on a flight he had booked long beforehand?
    Key clue: GETTING ON A FLIGHT.

  45. So am I, like, the last person ever to know about Oodcast?

  46. Thank goodness for that. I feel less like a bad Dr Who fan now.
    I’m torn, I just got two fantastic things in the post today – True Blood 3 on DVD and Power and Majesty. What to do!

  47. Public marriage proposals give me the heebie-jeebies. Especially ones like this where the poor woman is pretty much trapped in place.

    • I seem to remember reading somewhere that a lot of these grand romantic gesture proposals end up with the woman accepting in public so as not to embarrass the guy (and to not get labelled a bitch by a hostile audience), and then withdrawing it in private.

  48. It’s a weird thing. I am still not totally sure where I stand on marriage, though I do know that it’s a question for *me*, not my fucking father, and not for the entertainment of a cinema audience.

  49. I always fantasise about a woman put on that spot answering, “I would have said yes, but then you decided to use a crowd to pressure me, so it’s no.”

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