Otterday! And Open Thread.

This splashing sea otter was shared on Flickr by chuqui, as part of a delightful series.

a sleek, whiskered sea otter is floating on its back in still waters. Its front paws are close together as if clapping, and water droplets are splishing around near its paws.

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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28 replies

  1. A friend of mine is doing research in sexual health education, and she needs volunteers to fill in a survery. Any mothers of children aged 10-19 to willing to donate five minutes to help her out?
    Gosh, look at me commenting twice in one week! If I keep this up I might have to stop thinking of myself as a lurker.

  2. Hilary: I tend to ignore survey/research calls that don’t include information about institutional backing, ethics approval, how the information will be used (in enough detail), consent, and so forth. This goes triply so when such personal and sensitive information is being requested, and a couple of orders of magnitude of scepticism are added on when it’s someone with a Catholic university email address looking for responses about sex ed. Maybe that’s why they’re struggling to get enough responses?
    If this is a Notre Dame-backed survey, anyone interpreting the results should also be aware that their respondents are likely to be coming from a particularly biased group, and that some healthy scepticism may need to be maintained about the researchers’ interests and biases, also.

  3. I need to move in a couple of weeks – anyone got any removalist recommendations in Sydney?

  4. @Jo Tamar – we used Smoothmoves – I’ve kind of gone as cheap as possible previously but this time (the great ‘move in together’ move) we decided to find someone we felt we could count on as we’ve had real hits and misses in the past. They moved our offices a while ago and they do everything from the basic removalist van gig through to packing/unpacking if you want it. We opted for just the removalist stuff but also bought some supplies from them – we moved on a Sat and the rate was only slightly higher than a weekday – the two guys we got were great, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about them. One thing that another customer mentioned though is not to forget to request plastic for your mattresses (we had some already) because the truck only has blankets and mats etc. Good luck Jo, moving really is exhausting!

  5. @doubleantandre – thanks muchly! I’m definitely up for good over cheap.
    ‘tho I totally get the cheap as possible past moves. My own past version of that is the “borrow large vehicle from somewhere and put the hard word on a couple of friends”, but it is just not going to be feasible this time. Hmm, maybe I am growing up? 😉

  6. Facing the same thing ourselves early next year if the childcare waiting list gods behave. (How likely is that? Probably not very!) We used to use family to do moving but as they get older chronic injuries are cropping up that makes heavy lifting a more and more dicey proposition. So I’ll be interested in a review of whoever you do use, Jo Tamar.
    Otherwise, we seem to be in some kind of household slump, hopefully temporary. Part of it is just wiping my 1 year old’s running nose every 15 seconds, I think. That’s a good way to quickly end up not wanting to touch or look at anyone ever again! Going to go play board games with friends tomorrow in the hope that having to interact with other people will reboot us out of our grouchy Internet-and-video-games ways. (I should add that I am very pro Internet-and-video-games, but when combined with grouchies they can create a vicious cycle of bleh.)

  7. @Mary – I’ll let you know. One thing I did notice on the Smooth Moves website (which is pink and has a really weird photo on the front page) is that they offer childminding services on moving day. Which I think shows a certain amount of ingenuity and lateral thinking on the part of whoever determines what services they decide to offer!
    Sorry to hear about the slump – hope the board games help 🙂

  8. I saw a bumper sticker once that said: “Yes, I do own this ute. No, I won’t help you move.”

  9. So, my daughter turns 13 tomorrow. Today, she tells me, one of the boys at school asked her to go out with him and she said yes because he’s a really nice person. Hold my hand?
    (Can’t begin to say how awesome it is that she wanted to tell me AND wants to talk about it properly, which we will be doing later tonight – please don’t let me stuff this up!)

  10. Good luck mimbles, I will be cheering from the sidelines and taking notes (no pressure!)

  11. Nawww – your daughter sounds awesome – I like the ‘because he’s a really nice person’.
    I haven’t had to negotiate the ‘I am going out with someone’ conversation. But we did a while ago have the ‘I have a crush’ conversation. It was really kind of lovely. In my family no way no HOW would I have talked to my Mum about those things! Or known what to say.
    You won’t stuff it up Mim, you’re great! *Holds hand*

  12. I’m so continually impressed with your parenting, Mim, I have no doubt you will manage to balance all the complex stuff that comes with this particular event 🙂 But I’m holding your hand too (if there’s one left ;-))

  13. Thanks all 🙂

    So far so good. Apparently some of her friends are busily encouraging the happy couple to do such daring things as high-5 each other, stand very close together or even HUG!!! They hugged just to shut the others up but Cait confessed it was sort of more than that too. I therefore talked about the importance of communication and of making sure that your choices about what you might or might not do are based solely on what you want and not on what others might think or say about it, and that the same applied to the boy. It feels like stepping out over an abyss to be putting theory into practice as it were!

    • Mim, sounds like you’re dealing with it well! My kids have yet to present me with this particular challenge, which has been rather a relief in some ways, although of course I want them to experience the benefits of intimate relationships eventually.

  14. Hugs, Mimbles.

  15. Eating Sweet Potato Gratin and Root Vegetable Fritatta from the River Cottage Veg Every Day cookbook. Both nom.

  16. Job hunting is horrible. Anxiety attacks are also horrible.
    I am trying to be pro-active and not wallow in self-pity, but it’s hard.

  17. Kirstente – sending tea and sympathy your way (or other beverage of your choice!).

  18. Note to self: colours on the screen do not translate to colours on the paper. Make your next user manual text-only, one page, and preferably one sentence. Do not attempt booklet printing as it depletes your chocolate reserves and you may develop a chronic deficiency.
    It’s so hard, Kirstente. It’s hard to get a job and it’s hard to maintain resilience against continuing rejection. But there’s no other choice really. You have to keep going. The term “dole-bludger” just shatters me. The best of the very best luck to you.

  19. Good luck with the job hunting Kirstente. In times of record low unemployment it must be extra difficult. Someone will realise how fabulous you are soon!

  20. Good luck Kirstente.
    The British government is pressing on with its incremental privatisation of the NHS, because of whatever. Don’t know how it will affect people on sickness-based benefits, but it’s unlikely to be good.

  21. Ergh, will bejoining you in jobseeking hell in November, Kirstente. Hope you find something excellent very soon.
    Mindy, that food sounds So Good!
    I am handwashing/de-fluffing/trimming loose threads from my pillowcase pants and reversible pants before ironing and sticking tags on them for the market at the end of the month. Starting to get very nervous that I’ll only get 3 sales (if that) and all this work will have been for nought.

  22. Great. This week has not been brilliant – after the heavy prep for on campus sessions, the sessions themselves, and the submission of a major assesment, last week my back went out, then I got a migraine, then on Sat I woke up with horrible vertigo. I pushed through some work and study and on Monday night got a call to say an uncle I love is in palliative care and may not make it through the night. On Tuesday I gleefully checked the results of an online quiz for which I’d worked hard so was expecting at least 4/5. I got zero – the online quiz seems to think that I completed the quiz but without selecting any answers – which is bollocks. So I contact my lecturer and say ‘Hey I have all these emails in which I talk to a friend and fellow student about what I think and why’ and submit them. Only he refers it to the Dean for academic dishonesty on the grounds of submitting substantially the same work after collaboration. Except that it was a multiple choice quiz – five questions – and we didn’t choose all the same answers as we did our own research and thinking and didn’t agree on some things. My emails talk at length about what I think and why and based on what readings I’ve done – I’m articulating my thinking to see if I can spot any flaws. She thinks differently on some things but I stick to what I think because it’s my quiz and I want to submit my answers. Is it seriously possible that this will be seen as academic dishonesty? I’m so vehemently against plagiarism and academic misconduct but is it really possible that despite the evidence that my work was based on my research and my thinking that articulating it to another student will constitute academic misconduct? It’s a multiple choice quiz from the materials – I was just enthusiastic to talk about the law! I like talking! (In case you can’t tell). A bit shattered at the prospect of this really!

  23. Doubleantandre, your lecturer sounds like a right muppet. I would be ecstatic if my students spent their own time thrashing out their ideas together. I’m sure the Dean will tell him the same thing. I hope he also uses the word muppet, specifically.

  24. Thanks Orlando – I was so rattled and have spent the day thinking maybe it *was* some form of rule-breaking. And it means in the end the only way to comply with the rules is to never ever discuss what you’re thinking with other students. And being an external student is isolating enough! Anyway – will have to wait and see what comes out of it.

  25. Kirstente: good luck!
    doubleantandre: oh, no. That is horrible. For what it’s worth, I entirely agree with Orlando. The sort of conversation you describe is what I aspire to in my students. Fingers crossed that particular teacher is alone in his view.

  26. Ta @ Jo Tamar – I hope so, but wow. What a week.

  27. Thanks, all. I’m waiting to hear back about various jobs so hopefully something will come up soon.
    doubleantandre – It sounds like your lecturer is being unreasonable. It might be that they’re just being really over-cautious, to cover their own back.

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