Otterday! And Open Thread

Today’s otter is up close and personal! This California sea otter is hanging with its colony and is cozily wrapped in kelp. It is a Wikimedia Commons image by Mike Baird. (Not, as best I can tell, the NSW Premier Mike Baird…)

Close up shot of a California sea otter's face

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 great book? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies

Tags: , , , ,

13 replies

  1. So I have been having an up and down week healthwise – a couple of days of gastro, then a couple of good days, and now I’ve caught my beloved’s cold just in time for tomorrow’s performance, so need to spend several extra hours on vocal warmup today and tomorrow morning in order to sing around the sore throat and congested sinuses. Plus the change in season is playing havoc with my already volatile bipolar swings, and in combination the jerkbrain is basically doing a damn good impression of a flurry of bogong moths with too many light sources to choose from. To anybody I owe emails etc, my apologies. Please gently remind me if it’s urgent?

  2. Had an interview with my JobActive (formerly Job Network, formerly Job Services Australia, formerly Employment Services Australia, formerly Commonwealth Employment Service) provider this week. I went in not expecting much, and came out with even less than I’d been expecting. A quick bit of relevant data: I haven’t worked in a formal, paid capacity since approximately March 2011; I have a mental illness, which, while it’s under control at present, is still a factor in my life; and I have no current references or referees. However, according to the system, I apparently count as being “Job Ready” and in Stream A (minimum assistance), and if I don’t find myself a job inside six months, I’ll be put onto Work for the Dole. Or in other words, none of those factors are considered to be a serious obstacle to my ability to find work in the current economic climate – if I can’t find a job inside six months, it must be because I’m being picky and snobbish and awkward and not doing things right.

    Didn’t help that my consultant was apparently completely thrown out by the fact that firstly, I’d done this whole thing before; secondly, I had questions for her which would have required her to actually understand her computer system (gods, I could find things on her screen quicker than she could, and I was looking at the bloody LCD side-on); and thirdly, I wasn’t going to be just shuffled into a cleaning job which was asking for experienced cleaners (I have no commercial cleaning experience, and I have lower back problems[1] which are accentuated by stooping and bending all the time, so I don’t want commercial cleaning experience, thanks very much) just so she could make her quota of job placements for the week.

    Apparently I need to figure out how to rephrase the fact that I haven’t worked for money since 2011 in a way that employers will find attractive. If anyone can figure out a way of doing that, I’m all ears. I’m sure she’s likely to throw the accusation at me at some point that I just have to think positively about these things instead of being all negative all the time – at which point I’m likely to basically ask her which psychedelic or hallucinogenic she’s on, and can I get it prescribed to me through the PBS? I don’t think that saying “look, the Australian employment market at the moment is in the doldrums, and I am not likely to be hired short of a minor miracle” is being negative – I think it’s being realistic about my chances, and what I’d prefer is a bit of effort spent on trying to damn well improve them.

    So yeah, the past couple of days have been spent trying to work through the sheer unadulterated fury this is causing, and failing at it. Especially since I’m still expected to look for 10 jobs a fortnight regardless.

    [1] I’m short and top-heavy. If I spend too much time leaning forward, it puts a steady, constant strain on my lower back and makes my back ache. A lot of household chores (washing dishes, sweeping, vaccuuming, etc) require stooping and leaning forward. I do household chores at home in short bursts, interspersed with a bit of recovery time spent sitting upright to take the strain off my back.

  3. Racism at the elementary (early grades) school level is on my mind.

  4. Also, I am sorry to hear things are so hard for both of you. Will hope for minor miracles.

  5. I see the Canadians voted the Antichrist out of office yesterday (Mon, Oct 19)

    Now we in the USA have to make sure we don’t end up voting our own Antichrist into office. (There are so many to choose from!)

    • The GOP clown car appears to be mostly falling apart, but of course it always does at this early stage of the campaigns. In a few months it will come down to the real contenders, who could well include someone who’s been waiting for the others to trip over their shoelaces for now.

      The Dems establishment will somewhat reluctantly line up behind Hillary because they really don’t want to line up behind Bernie and there’s nobody else cutting through, but I’m enjoying how he’s got enough grassroots popular support to at least force a more interesting debate than the Dems have had for a very long time.

  6. I was one of the apparently hundreds affected by the “Godzilla hayfever” conditions on the past weekend. I thought I’d have to go to hospital to have my asthma treated for the first time in my life. Boo. Luckily, steroids have been prescribed and are doing their job.

    I’m reading Anne Summers’ “Damned Whores and God’s Police”, and find myself raging SO HARD at the middleclass white feminist crap (Which I think of as ‘Super Secondwave’). The assumed Universal Good that is paid employment and the invisible, unacknowledged work of caretaking and raising and teaching children in the text is crushing.

  7. I have recently begun reading The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott by Andrew P. Street. It is both hilarious and horrifying in equal parts.

  8. I think my 12 year old might be taller than me.

    • Heh. My 14 year old has been taller than me for a little while now, and my eight year old is already up to my chin. I am betting on only a few more years until I am the shortest in the house. This has long been expected, however, as Mr angharad is 8″ taller than me…

      • Will be genuinely curious to see if this ever happens to me. At this stage it’s looking like no: my children are tall for their ages, but nothing like the percentile I tracked. Tallest adult in the family prize: you may stay mine!

  9. Urgh. I think I just got contacted on LinkedIn by one of those men who uses it as a way of meeting women….

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