Otterday! And Open Thread

Our Open Thread this weekend is hosted by a gorgeous little otter, photographed by Marianne Bevis and shared on flickr.

a slim, damp river otter standing up tall in green grass

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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31 replies

  1. My children seem to have developed a social life. Suddenly the lounge room is no longer mine on weekends, instead it’s full of other people’s children. They’re quite nice but I really need a separate pleasant and comfy spot to sit.
    In other news, apparently winter has arrived. I’ve been cooking vast quantities of vegetable and barley soup and chilli con carne. Next up is pea and ham soup.

  2. mimbles, two words. Parents’ retreat.
    It’s the Dunkirk of architecture. Sad but necessary.
    I have a colleague I find very difficult. We have very different communication styles: she favours passive -aggressive, I’m a call-a-spade-a-bloody-shovel type. I love everything else about my work, except her. I am having fantasies about how I will react when I go into work and find she has been killed in a house fire. Glee would not be a good look, but I hate hypocrisy, and also, I am very bad at pretending feelings I do not feel. I think about what dress I would wear to her funeral. Definitely red (I was going to say a lovely Mesop dress I had my eye on, but they exploit outworkers, so no more); and I would wear my black high heeled pumps I bought for my sister’s wedding. I have been dealing with her by buying really nice shoes or clothes every time she shits me, but I recently found a beautiful grass green drapey cardigan and my wardrobe now contains the complete rainbow of colours, for all seasons.
    I wonder if I can claim that on tax.

  3. My Barnevelder pullets have started laying.
    Also, I made cheese.

  4. lauredhel, I have cheese envy. That may even be enough to drive me to dig out that book on cheese making that my husband gave me a while back and actually make some.
    eilish, we kind of have a parent’s retreat/my study/gym. It’s currently buried under reenactment gear and boxes of random crap. There’s a skip bin in our driveway, the theory is we can chuck out enough stuff from elsewhere to create space to rehome the reenactment gear and random crap and I get my comfy space. It’s a good theory, we’re just not doing so well on the practice 😉

  5. mimbles: I was given a cheesemaking kit, which made things pretty easy (didn’t have to hunt around the kitchen for all sort of bits and pieces of the appropriate size/material/etc). Making the feta was surprisingly easy, as in the actual input needed was minimal – however it did need fairly well-timed actions over the course of a number of hours. Which suits me just fine on my usual mostly-rest day, but might be hard to fit into busier lives. Also, access to fresh pasteurised but non-homogenised milk helps.

  6. I read this in a journal article about Louise Bourgeois, from her book on midwifery:

    You should wait for the time which God has ordained,
    and especially in normal births where there is no
    accident.’’ ‘‘She (the midwife) must never make or allow
    others to make any noise in the room of a woman giving
    birth, during or after the birth.’’ ‘‘(When) the suffering
    involved in giving birth is extreme … accommodate
    (without harming her) the sick woman’s humour … You
    are called in with the sole task of helping and serving her.’’
    ‘‘I have often noticed that one of the most essential things
    for a woman in labour is to find the best position, for the
    comfort of the mother and child.’’ ‘‘I am often so sorry to
    see women being constrained by mother or relative,
    trying, whatever I may say, to make them stay in one place
    … so that it makes their condition twice as bad, and they
    are exhausted afterwards, that they cannot move.’’ ‘‘The
    time of the birth having arrived, they did what their art
    demanded, which was, the child coming nicely, to
    reassure friends and family, keep her in a good position,
    have her eat as appropriate, keep her moderately warm,
    then help her to use her labour pains to bring everything to
    a happy conclusion.

    Louise Bourgeois was midwife to, among others, Marie de Medici. She passed over in 1636 – yet she has advice that reads like a clue-by-four for too many much more recent obstetricians &co. She was present for the births of Louis and all his siblings, including one breech birth, which both Marie de Medici and the baby survived with no surgical intervention.
    No wonder the doctors hated her. Uppity woman making them look bad!

  7. eilish, I’m glad I’m not the only one who sometimes has those fantasies.
    I am aiming to do something with our re-enactment gear too. At the moment there is a Pile in the corner of the bedroom which gives me some anxiety. Finally did a Bunnings trip this afternoon to get some bits and pieces to attempt a solution.

  8. This How Not to Review Women’s Writing post is great, and for once you should totally read the comments.

  9. Mmm, cheesemaking. I should try that one day. I’ve made paneer, but not really anything feta-like. That jar looks really good, lauredhel!
    I’m on a huge ace-awareness writing binge at the moment. Thinking of pitching something to Comment Is Free on what the asexual community contributes to mainstream discussions of sex and relationships. Anyone pitched to them before or have any tips?

  10. Took the kids to see an advance screening of How To Train Your Dragon 2 today. Some cute bits, but desperately in need of a decent plot. I don’t think it passed the Bechdel test either. But it felt like my brain was going to make a break for it by the time I stopped to think about that so I can’t be sure.
    But yeah, my rating would be ‘only if you really loved the first one or only if you really have no other option’.

  11. That’s a pity, Mindy. I enjoyed the first – didn’t love it, but enjoyed it, mainly for Toothless being based on a cat.

  12. My daughter loved HTTYD2, but I agree about the lack of plot. I suspect what it probably needed was just a lot more cutting. The first half was very very slow (but pretty).

  13. Kittehserf I think it would be quite enjoyable watched from the comfort of your own home and Toothless is still adorable. But as Chris says it gets a bit boring in places (for an adult) but the kids enjoyed it.
    Perhaps it is more that it really is a kids movie, although young children might find some of it a bit scary, and there isn’t as much in it for adults as some kids movies.

  14. Heheh all my films are watched from home; only time I got to a cinema is when my gf’s visiting from the States, so that isn’t very often!
    I’m thinking of my pros and cons of cinema and home … home wins everything except the big screen, and I’m not fussed about that. 😀

  15. I tend to prefer watching movies at home (to the point where the only ones I see in the cinemas are ones which firstly pass my “public transport” test[1], and which secondly receive a lot of good reviews from people I know of who share my tastes in films, and which have thirdly received a good review from my partner). Otherwise, I’ll just wait the six months and get it on DVD, because the DVD comes with subtitles (thus aiding in comprehension of quiet and/or frantic moments of conversation) and costs approximately the same amount as an adult ticket to any of the cinemas near me. Plus our couch comes with a more accurate range of treats and options than any cinemaplex, at a more reasonable cost. Finally, I know that even on the most boiling hot summer’s day, I am not likely to exit a showing of a movie at home freezing to death and wanting a jumper.
    Last movie I saw in the cinemas was Captain America: The Winter Soldier (CA2), and I’ll be getting a DVD copy as soon as it hits the shelves in Coles (probably as part of the Father’s Day Action Movie Sales).
    [1] If a movie is advertised on or in proximity to public transport here in Perth (eg on the sides of buses, on bus shelters, on billboards near the railway etc), it probably isn’t worth paying $20 to see in the cinemas. Actual badness of movie appears to be inversely proportional to the amount of advertising received, which means the new Drew Barrymore/Adam Sandler vehicle is likely to be a stinker.

  16. megpie – yup, my pros and cons list is almost identical! Costs far more to go by public transport to a cinema, get tickets, get something to eat (even buying it elsewhere, which I would) for the dubious privilege of having my eardrums blasted by the soundtrack, sitting in uncomfortable seats, having to hang onto my handbag, listening to other audience members who won’t shut up, and spending a minimum of three hours on transport to to it all.
    DVD wins every time.
    Speaking of DVD, series 2 of Endeavour is out at the end of the month and I’ve ordered my copy – yay!

  17. I loved “How To Train Your Dragon”. I confess I am looking forward to 2. It might be my all time favourite kids’ movie after ‘Mulan’.
    I am curious to see how they handle Cate Blanchett’s character. I’d like to discuss, but SPOILERS.
    From the trailer, it looks like they spend a fair bit of time on Hiccup and Toothless flying. Like all those CGI battles in LoTR2 that were technically impressive but narratively tremendously boring?

  18. Oh eilish, have you seen Despicable Me?It’s v popular in our house – not sure if it’s “favourite” material, but it’s up there (and we all, naturally, adore Mulan).

  19. Epic sexism fail.
    In fact, I can hardly stop staring at it, it’s trainwreck proportions.

  20. Aqua, of the Questioners – yup, that’s epic all right, probably even by Daily Fail standards.

  21. Love “Despicable Me”. So much funny. And three central female characters. Three!
    I am wondering if “Brave” is now my all time favourite kids movie. It doesn’t have Donny Osmond singing “To Be A Man” but the important relationship is positive, between two women and they are mother and daughter. How is it possible that film got made at all?

  22. @20: you know, it says a lot that the paper thinks her relationship to Kinnock will make her more recognisable to the readers than the fact she is Danish PM. Head of a foreign country? No-one will get that! Daughter-in-law of X English man? OK!
    My head hurts after reading that.

    Rik Mayall is dead. I am both greatly relieved and deeply saddened it was due to natural causes. I would appreciate it if the musicians and comics of my youth could all stay in good health for the rest of this year.

  23. I’m another one who’s not that fond of the cinema. I’ve always found the large screen mildly disorienting and for many years now I find just sitting watching something feels like a waste of time. If I’m watching at home it’s not too dark to also crochet or sew, or I can be half watching, half net-surfing. I also don’t go often with my kids – Mr angharad tends to take them in the school hols when I am at work, so I don’t see a lot of kids’ movies. I find I often like Pixar movies, but they’re not particularly inspiring on the gender front.

  24. I recently saw Frozen and was pleasantly surprised. It’s really a story about two sisters and it’s the sisterly love – not romantic love – that saves the day. I can also see why it has been massively popular, because it seems to me that young children can probably identify a lot more closely with a sibling conflict and resolution dynamic than a handsome prince rescuing the damsel in distress model. I’m not saying it’s perfectly feminist (if such a thing exists), but it does a lot right. And in that sense is much like Brave, which centres on mother-daughter dynamic.
    I now see most of my films on international flights and rarely go to the cinema. I only tend to make an effort if it’s something that the action and effects would make the big screen worthwhile (like Star Trek).

    • I too was pleasantly surprised when I recently caught up with Frozen. I remember lambasting a press release about it here while it was still in production which touted it as an adaptation of The Snow Queen, and a short reading of the plot summary showed that it had nothing to do with The Snow Queen, and I was miffed. But that appears to have been a publicist error about the source material, and it’s loosely based on an entirely different Scandinavian fantasy tale. I liked the sisterly bond message and also the message about the mistakes that the parents made in making Elsa so afraid of her own powers that she never learnt to control them, and the cautionary tale about the villain behind a charming mask too.

  25. angharad, I’m with you on finding just sitting watching a waste of time. I’d rather be knitting while I’m half-looking and listening.

  26. General question: is anyone here a medical receptionist, or know about it? I really need to get myself some job training, and I’m thinking about that field. The AMRA runs accredited courses for $600, I know that much. I’ve plenty of customer service experience, so I know it can be stressful depending on the sort of practice you’re in. Any thoughts?

  27. Sorry Kittehserf, no experience in that area I’m afraid. The local practices seem to hire people and train them here.

  28. Re: Frozen, I really liked the movie (my son loves singing Let It Go, as do I), but I’m still left wondering where the scene is that has Anna discussing with either parent the fact that Elsa won’t interact with her anymore, because I can’t imagine that Anna wouldn’t have asked.
    Oh, and I do recall Frozen being touted as an adaptation of The Snow Queen, which it bears almost no resemblance to, unless you count a woman with the power to create a winter enough to call it an “adaptation”.

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