Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s oriental small-clawed otters are brought to you by Fulla T on flickr.

Oriental small-clawed otters in a group of three, peeking over a log which runs across a small babbling creek. The creek and otters are surrounded by beautiful pale-green foliage and grasses.

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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66 replies

  1. Well…long week. New things at work made me panicky until I sat down to do them instead of avoiding them and realised they weren’t as scary as I thought. A couple of weeks til the take homes and essays, and the auction for the house we want coming up on Thursday night. Seems like a real possibility this time and then we need to figure out the moving date around exams, and school holidays etc. Excited/terrified all at the same time, and of course all the anxieties are coming up around how I’ll go sharing a house etc.

    • Wow FP – lots of stuff going on for you! I’m trying to get on top of a backlog of many things. I feel like I’m not really doing much more than stopping the backlog from getting any bigger, most days.

  2. All the baby otters you could ever want.
    Last week of uni, all the big assignments due, busy busy.

  3. That micro-origami was fascinating. I found myself holding my breath and relaxing each time I heard the thump of each unfolding piece finally hitting the water.

    • Celia Pacquola just FBed about having seen David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing last night – SO JEALOUS.

  4. OK, I saw it after the world ended, but Cutest Otter Picture Ever on this page:

  5. Didn’t get raptured, got conjunctivitis instead. Fair swap.

  6. tigtog – that is wonderful, thanks for sharing that video.

  7. The origami was mesmerising, and the photos to see before we all get/got raptured (or not as the case may be) were very cute.
    Yeah, I hear you on that feeling tigtog (the trying to stop the backlog one). Trying to avoid having meltdowns while studying, cooking dinner and confronting our ‘to do list’ for moving. Actually given I’m with Captain Spreadsheet, it’s a Moving In Gant Chart (I kid you not). I kind of love that he made a Gant Chart! It really did help me visualise it all and say ‘This date works better than that date’. Nervous about moving stuff, and finding it hard to concentrate (want to daydream about paint and a new couch and the possibility of mini schnauzers for pets) but trying to remember it’s a fun kind of nervous.
    Good luck with the uni assesments TAK! I’ve got four weeks from tomorrow. Two take homes one research essay. Can’t wait for it to be over!

  8. Have been watching a bit of True Blood Season 3
    ****spoiler alert****
    Did anyone else go “Well hello there!” and “WTF, Grant Bowler?”

    • @Mindy, I haven’t actually been all that aware of him in anything else, although a quick google shows that he’s been in quite a few shows over the years that I have actually watched.
      I’m more WTFed by the fact that he played Hank Rearden in the Atlas Shrugged movie. Yuck.

  9. Thanks fp, the huge death-defying career-defining project is due on Thurs, and then I have a programming assignment due on Fri.

    I think my course was designed by heart surgeons to build up business.

  10. Ugh TAK. So far this semester my stress levels have (remarkably) been okay. Well after the Doctor insisted I try valium to get some sleep and chill out a bit and I confronted the fact that my anxiety had changed tack and snuck up on me again. But yes, I know that feeling. 😦

  11. Spent Sunday afternoon alternatively looking forward to reading Tansy Roberts Rayner’s ‘Power and Majesty’ and then remembering that I’d finished it earlier in the day.
    In other good news we officially felt like top parents because our 8 year old can now ride a bike without training wheels, until we noticed that all the other kids at the park had bigger bikes than our kids (who have second hand ones) and that we really need to get them bikes more suited to their sizes. #parenting fail #first world problems #middle class problems

  12. But enough about me, lots of sympathy for FP and TAK with looming Uni deadlines. Everytime I think I’d like to go back to study I remember what that was like and re-think. I’m still re-thinking. Maybe when the kids have left home…

  13. @Tigtog @Mindy: I think hosting The Amazing Race is a far better use of Bowler’s talents than plaing an ethical egoist ubermensch!
    Taking a break from end-of-semester essays. Just found this in my Youtube inbox:
    Louie Eroglu, an ABC cameraman, has won the White House News Photographers Association’s “Video Photographer of the Year” award.

  14. “Playing” obvs. I’ll try the link again:

  15. Thanks tigtog – I have trouble working the techno whatsits!

  16. I’m wondering whether there is a fund being set up by any womens organisation inthe US, to help the Sofitel hotel cleaner in the DSK attempted rape affair. Does anyone know? I’ve googled quite a bit, but the fact that DSK was the head of the international monetary “Fund” doesnt’ help!
    She must be greatly in need of financial help as she’ll be missing out on paid work for this trial, I imagine (if she isn’t too traumatised to return to work anyway) and the forces of wealth and power are pretty much stacked against her.

  17. Just caught the tail end of Q&A on ABC which had some stuff on feminism and a few other things… what I saw was interesting/frustrating – will prob watch it on iView if it turns up on there later. Anyone else watch it?

  18. Didn’t see that one. Got the poos with Q&A when they had Eva Cox on as “the feminist representative” – which I might add she constantly said she wasn’t, a former army officer who was supposed to be representative of all women who have ever been in the army, a Defence Forces spokesman and Neil James from the Defence something for which he is the self designated media officer. So the women are meant to represent the entirety to their gender while the men are just themselves. Complete crap. Of course they were discussing the ADFA scandal.

  19. On the other hand, Mindy, Eva Cox does rock like Gibraltar, so it’s great to have somewhere we get to hear her, and she did make gravel out of the Defence Forces fossil (see how carefully I avoided mixing my metaphors?).
    Last night’s Q&A, however, was indeed frustrating all the way up and down. All writers, and so much more interested in listening to themselves than one another, and quite a bit of style over substance, except the anti-porn woman, who seemed to be in a completely different room. Not sure Tony Jones knew how to handle this kind of mix.

  20. Yes I gathered from Twitter that it was ‘interesting’ with lots of comments along the lines of “I’m shouting at the television but nothing is changing”. Made me glad I watched Mary Queen of Shops and then remembered we are almost half way through the third season of True Blood so watched an episode of that as well.

  21. I remember one yelling at the TV moment – the Jewish writer dude yelled at the anti-porn lady when she said that men blame women for getting raped – he yelled about never hearing a man ever say anything of the sort and that it was completely untrue. Anti-porn lady was too worked up to give a good response and got defensive instead. It was so disappointing because it could have been a moment to educate viewers and the rest of the panel about what victim blaming is and how it happens, and that it can be quite subtle – though the message ends up being as blatant as “it was her own fault”.
    Anti-porn lady seemed like she didn’t want to acknowledge that it’s not “men against women”, but that it’s a system (patriarchy) in which we all operate – women victim blame each other too. Men aren’t the only rapists ever, and women aren’t the only victims ever – but that doesn’t mean that a culture where women are sexualised and misogynistic porn is totally acceptable to many people hurts women most.

  22. Aw nuts…I missed the Defence heavy one!
    must have aired before I started to iQ series link Q & A so I could watch it with my kids the next day. Certainly some “What’s she talking about Mum” moments in last nights ep. (cue somewhat disgusted laughter over ATM comment. Given the germ breeding ground that Automated teller machines are they thought the acronym worked on more than one level. )
    Thankfully, as soon as someone uttered the word porn my eight year old rolled his eyes and wandered off to his room. Normally he loves Q & A but he didn’t like last nights panel. For that matter, I didn’t think too much of it either. All the twittering had me expecting quite the episode, it was bit of dick softner really.

  23. Further to the “Our Bodies our iPods” post on LP, rape is now being compared to having a flat tyre.

    During the House’s debate, Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican who supports the bill, told [Bollier]: “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?”
    Bollier asked him, “And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with a pregnancy?”
    DeGraaf drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, “I have spare tire on my car.”

    (And what’s with the Tarzan-esque syntax – “I have spare tire”? I guess a grunting chimp like this really would talk like that. And these people govern the US. Heaven help us all.)

  24. FP, dick softner = a let down.

    Sometimes I forget to check my crass terms at the door. My apologies.

  25. I hadn’t read the follow up Tigtog , thanks for posting it.
    I really shouldn’t have read the comments though.

  26. I rarely read the comments threads on newspaper sites for exactly that reason, Pirra.
    It’s so cold, wet and windy that I’ve just rugged up in the thermal underwear so that I don’t run the heater all day. Of course, whenever it gets like that I’m tempted to go the whole hog and put on the goretex just so I can wander around in the open somewhere feeling smug that I’m actually prepared for this sort of weather, rare though it is.
    I’m very glad that Mary and I went for our amble yesterday before the weather change came in.

  27. Pirra @ 32…yeah I got what you meant by it. I guess I was a little bit thrown about the use of that expression both in and of itself and also in the context of a discussion of a/ porn, and b/ the connection between porn and rape culture. Not trying to ‘start something’, just being clear that I found it pretty offputting. I guess that sort of term raises my hackles about why everything needs to be about the almighty boner. But that might be my personal bugbear.

  28. tigtog @ 35, it IS bloody cold out there today compared to Monday and Tuesday mornings! Yikes. I don’t feel it living in the air con’d office building during the day but I kind of like it when I get home and change straight into the pjs and thick socks!

  29. FP, I don’t think it’s a personal bug bear, it’s a bloody valid point and it was a very poor choice of words on my part. I hadn’t actually made the connection in my head between the term and the topic.
    So I do apologise for not engaging the brain before typing. I really have no excuse for it.

  30. Thanks Pirra. Yes, I looked up ‘bugbear’ and it meant something different to what I meant (ie I hadn’t meant to imply it was irrational which is apparently what bug bear means). Also I guess it was deliberate effacement or minimisation of my view to ensure a lack of conflict. But thanks for the apology. An unreserved apology is a rare thing these days it seems, so high five on that.

  31. Well I did take my thermal underwear and my goretex and my boots out for a half hour walk. Then I went and got scrambled eggs and bacon on toast at the local cafe.
    I don’t think it will have done much for my Vitamin D levels since I was so thoroughly rugged up, but the fresh air was … bracing … that’s the word.

  32. Sod bracing, I’m running the heater. Worry about electricity bill and guilt about carbon footprint be damned. Yesterday my boy was running naked around the park after getting soaked under the dog tap. The world, she messeth with my head.

  33. Suddenly realised I am permitted to have a rant here about something happening locally that irks me.
    I was at my local township development committee meeting (desperately tedious, nearly gnawed off own limbs) and during the proceedings a young lad got up to give his reasons for wanting council to build a skate park in our village. We’re talking a serious spend here, upwards of 20 grand. Everyone was very encouraging and receptive, saying how good it would be for there to be something for “young people” to do etc. I was nodding along indulgently as one does, thinking how nice it would be if all those boys stopped skating in the car park opposite my house and were safely located out of earshot, and only the next day did it dawn on me that we weren’t all thinking about something for young “people” we were thinking of spending tens of thousands on something for boys.
    Our town has a population of about 850, and I have never once seen a girl on a skateboard in the vicinity. Can you imagine anyone even considering a spend like that on something that has a primary appeal for girls?
    Maybe I should suggest they put a few benches on the sidelines so the girls can have somewhere to sit while admiring the boys’ activities.

  34. FP, you’re welcome. (I need to be more careful with my vocabulary choices and think about what I am really saying and what it means BEFORE I say it.)
    My bugbear is the “I’m sorry YOU’RE offended” apology. You cannot apologise for someone else’s offence, you can only apologise for being offensive. Otherwise it’s not a real apology at all. It’s just a more subtle form of victim blaming.

    • @Pirra,

      My bugbear is the “I’m sorry YOU’RE offended” apology.

      My own peeve is the “nothing should be off limits for comedy” defence of jokes which people find offensive. In terms of any official form of censorship, I fully agree. I just also believe that “no joke should be off limits for criticism as something only a gobshite would say” either.

  35. Yes, I concur with both statements (43 and 44). It absolutely is just that wrong to say ‘I wasn’t intending to be offensive/I’m sorry you’re offended’ etc. And *yes* to the comedy stuff. I really enjoy watching live comedy but it’s like an action sport that I feel I need to psychologically suit up for and make sure I’m wearing protective gear: the high level of utterly casual (and yet vicious) bigotry and obnoxiousness is staggering. And no, I don’t want state intervention to define the parameters of humour but at the same time the whole ‘Well…who could know some people out there are just so *sensitive* that they could read my words as somehow *offensive*’ is infuriating. It’s doubly infuriating I think because once it’s put out there it feels as though there’s no safe way back out of discussing it within that framework again. They get to define you as humourless, as angry, as looking for a problem, as just completely wrong and it feels like whatever you say gets co-opted back into it again. I actually find that double blow quite humiliating to deal with.

  36. Today is Auction day for the place we’ve been trying to negotiate on for over a month now. A strange calm descended last night which I’m sure will be blown out of the water by midday. This whole house-buying thing is a bit intense. The ethics of ‘owning’ land that’s not really mine to own, the lead up to cohabiting with TBO. Nerves over building reports etc. This is not like a pair of jeans I can just write off as a bad choice. Anyway…whatever happens I’m sure we’ll rationalise as the ‘good’ thing, we’ll get it for a decent (for Sydney standards) price or we’ll walk away and look for something else. But before this I thought I LIKED drama and excitement, and now I find a new admiration for BORING and sedate! Looking forward to tonight’s auction being over, regardless of the outcome.

  37. Humour is a tricky one. It has so many levels and in the right hands can be an awesome tool for deconstructing boundaries and encouraging intelligent discourse on touchy and taboo subjects. (In the wrong hands it’s just outright destructive)
    I agree Tigtog, no censorship guidelines and yes, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be open to criticism.
    FP, I get the whole suiting up bit. A douchecanoe is still a douchecanoe whether or not they hide behind comedy.

  38. @Pirra, FP – I’m always amazed at how many people purport to see no difference between “I’m sorry you’re offended” and “I’m sorry I offended you” plus my all time unfavourite “I’m sorry IF you were offended” – hey, I just told you I AM offended, there’s no IF about it. I get it that people are eager to explain that they meant no offence when that’s the case, but basic manners is that you apologise properly first.
    I have also got a bit more pithy – no topic should be off-limits for jokes, but no jokes should be off-limits for criticism.
    There’s two ways to go with breaching social taboos as part of a comedy act. You can spread a bit of gratuitous taboo-shock around for shits and giggles, or you can more subversively tease out why the taboo is powerful and who benefits from its social power.
    I’m a fan of subversive taboo-breaching, but I’m not a fan of gratuitous taboo-shock. Apart from just reinforcing social norms surrounding the taboo itself, it’s all been done to death anyway. How shocking is it really to be so predictable?

  39. Hedgepig, I see what you mean about that being another example of the male-as-default, and girls being ‘disappeared’ in a way the needs of boys never can be. I’m bummed, though, to hear you haven’t observed any skater girls. What does it seem to you the local girls are doing for recreation?

  40. There’s two ways to go with breaching social taboos as part of a comedy act. You can spread a bit of gratuitous taboo-shock around for shits and giggles, or you can more subversively tease out why the taboo is powerful and who benefits from its social power.
    I’m a fan of subversive taboo-breaching, but I’m not a fan of gratuitous taboo-shock. Apart from just reinforcing social norms surrounding the taboo itself, it’s all been done to death anyway. How shocking is it really to be so predictable?

    You said it so much better than I did!
    I prefer intellectual humour but unfortunately even the more intelligent humourists can say highly offensive things and then be completely stupid about the insensitive/offensive thing they said by giving the “i’m sorry if/you’re offended ” and/or the “You have no sense of humour” lines. (Stephen Fry comes to mind.)
    I’m not sure this mythical thoughtful and funny comedian exists though. As humans we all have different and personal parameters of offence. And though we can experience our world through multiple lenses, some people have more lenses than others. I find those with the fewer lenses tend to be the “sorry if/you’re offended” types.

  41. I think that it’s true that when you’re playing around with humour you’re walking on the edge a lot of the time. Politics matters to me first and foremost but I’ve frequently wondered if a joke of mine was ‘too far’ or a little ‘wrong’. It’s just that some comedians get so smug in their predictable cliched offensiveness, that it’s lazy, mean spirited and not the consequence of walking on the edge so much as lazy humour and relying on the ‘shock’ factor of bigotry. That makes me hiss.

  42. Good luck with the house FP. I hope it all goes well for you.

  43. Thanks Mindy. I feel relatively calm still however my ‘focus’ is not really happening today, just kind of drifty…

  44. Any news, FP?

  45. Yeah, none good. We didn’t get the house last night, which is okay. We knew how much we felt it was worth, we did well in the bidding and we held fast. We were outbid (beyond our capacity), and then watched in shock while the Agents pushed that bidder into bidding another 11K…against themselves really since every one else was ‘out’. I really wanted to shout ‘Don’t do it! He wants to sell, tell him you’ll walk away’ but I refrained. The bloody auctioneer was trying to be persuasive and kept harrassing us well after we’d said that we were no longer interested. Eventually he said ‘What can I do to persuade you to bid 695. So I called out ‘Give us 20 grand’. That shut him up. So it’s a little disappointing not to have a move date but it sold for well in excess of what it is worth. Bugger that for a bunch of bananas. So disappointed not to be all excited about painting and puppies, but at the same time okay with looking for something better.
    Worse news was getting a paper back and having FAILED! I have never failed a uni assessment and I was really really shocked. The formatting buggered up on sending, and the first couple of lines jumped back up onto the cover page/plagiarism declaration. For some reason whoever printed it didn’t print those pages out, therefore it looked as though it started mid-sentence, without introducing the source or parametres of the paper. She was also wrong about the facts and that meant she judged things by different legal rules. Anyway, I’ve sent the email to ask them to look at what was sent to COE so they can see that I did NOT start midsentence, and to consider reassessing it in that light (and the other factors I mentioned). I was clear I wasn’t asking for a credit, but I failed by one point so I feel that those things warrant an extra point being added. Anyway…I can still pass overall even by slightly failing the exam. Just a big blow at an already vulnerable time. Boo.

  46. @ FP – bugger, you’d have thought that she might have checked to see if something had gone wrong. I hope they see things your way and fix it.
    Obviously there is a much better house out there waiting for you. Hopefully with a better auctioneer too. That one sounds a bit dodgy.

  47. Oh, that just sucks, about the paper. Your stomach must have flipped right over when you got it back. I hope your email does the trick.

  48. Yes, I got the paper on my way home to get ready for the auction. I was crushed. TBO came in and I have to admit I just stood there and cried. I was shocked enough at the mark but the comments were just brutal. I was just so stunned. When we got home from the Auction after we’d eaten and watched ‘Recipe for Murder’ I tackled the email…I knew I should just go to sleep but I was angry and felt a bit helpless and figured at least if I got into bed knowing I’d done something about the one thing that day I could change that might help me sleep. Woke up at 5 convinced I would now fail everything and must get up and read immediately.

  49. Which is simply not true – I’m sitting on distinctions in other subjects. Just thrown quite badly

  50. Oh, FP – what an absolutely horriblenogood day you had! It must get better from here.

  51. PS Feminist Hulk has a message for you:


  52. Thanks tigtog. I think I am starting to feel okay with it all. Though I just read that as I have large breast it is OBVIOUS that I could not be an actual paralegal. So apparently I am paid simply to have a nice rack and the four years of legal work I have done here, running the conveyancing practise, serious legal research, court appearances, is all a sham. The performance related bonus? All down to my boobs. I really really really feel quite aggressive to this douchebag right now!

  53. So a woman with large breasts dressed in suitable courtroom attire is only there to distract the jury? OFFS. How does he know that all the people on the jury are interested in breasts? Maybe the sight of a well-turned ankle is what it takes to get them interested? Maybe they like hair of a particular colour or whatever. Maybe they aren’t interested in women at all. I think someone is still stuck in the egocentric phase where everything revolves around them.
    I think he may find he has brought the Streisand affect down upon himself. I hope he loses badly because if that’s all his legal argument has, he deserves to.

  54. Hugs to FP, on all the counts.

  55. Thanks SunlessNick. Had a good sleep and the sun is shining so all’s well in the world. For now at least. 🙂


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