Re: Venting

1

I am really irritated with my institution's fetishization of Innovation! and Social Entrepreneurship! and a bunch of overly-identifying specific aspects of this.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:43 AM
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I have what I thought was my usual mild case of eczema or poison ivy, but thanks for certain comments in the other thread, I'm now afraid I have shingles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:46 AM
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One of my collaborators is doing a MOOC right now. He seems to be really ambitious, and regarding it as something like a PBS series with him as host. Good for him, I guess? But it is sort of impossible not to laugh at the trailer, because it's so breathlessly TED-ish and self important.


Posted by: Theodore Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:52 AM
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If you're not in pain, shingles is pretty harmless. Nasty looking blisters that go away. In the absence of the usual pain, nothing to be afraid of at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:52 AM
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Maybe I'm being too picky, but I could really do without the nasty looking blisters.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:53 AM
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Here, watch!


Posted by: Theodore Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:53 AM
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I recently realized that the weird patch of dry, cracked, itchy skin that shows up on my right index finger every winter is probably exczema. Weird? What does one do about such things?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:54 AM
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If it is dry and cracked, it may just be dry skin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:55 AM
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It shows up in the same place every winter, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:57 AM
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And only in this little local region.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:57 AM
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Isn't eczema just the medical word for really really dry skin? Anyway, Aquaphor or the drugstore brand equivalent should clear a mild patch right up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:59 AM
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If you have exczema, then it's already gone.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:59 AM
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It shows up in the same place every winter, though.

Maybe you could move your chair to the other side of the room or something.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 7:59 AM
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Is it a piece of skin that would get more exposure to cold or wind than the rest of your hand?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:00 AM
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Not obviously, no.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:01 AM
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"They're all just flesh wounds."


Posted by: L Black Knight | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:01 AM
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Anyway, I think Aquaphor is the right answer for a patch of dry skin but if it is always on exactly the same place, it sounds strictly environmental.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:04 AM
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6: Hey cool. I'm going to add that to my list of Moocs that I've registered for and am not keeping up with.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:06 AM
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So, looking at the Wikipedia pages for eczema and shingles makes me feel much, much better about my relatively small blisters. Hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:14 AM
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I sometimes get a cracked thumb in winter. I think it is to do with the skin drying out. Moisturizing seems to help.

18: That is the best part about MOOCs, no? I'm really enjoying Robert Sedgewick's "Analysis of Algorithms" course so far. I haven't actually go to the bits where I'd need to do some work, so it's just him reminiscing for the most part, which is soothing background while I tidy the house in the evening. I imagine it will all go downhill once the math enters the scene.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:24 AM
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My mother had severe eczema but it cleared up when she had a hysterectomy for reasons nobody fully understood. This may not be much help to Sifu.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:25 AM
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Isn't eczema just the medical word for really really dry skin?

No, I think it's an auto-immune thing. It happens more, the more kids you have, as one of those "hey, my body is confused about these foreign bodies and my immune system is attacking me" side benefits.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:25 AM
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7: I use the Cetaphil that comes in a tub on my hands in winter. The stuff looks like Crisco but isn't especially greasy. Cortisone never helped much, but prescription topical steroids sometimes do. Interesting note: childhood eczema appears to be a topical staph infection in many cases. Apparently, there was a recent trial involving bathing small children in dilute bleach to relieve symptoms (!).


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:27 AM
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23: I'm going to google that. It could help. Thanks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:28 AM
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But I'm not going to bleach my son without talking to his doctor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:29 AM
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which is soothing background while I tidy the house in the evening.

Honestly, I think a lot of moocs will degenerate back into podcasts, which is what they really should be.

Peter Adamson's History of Philosophy without Any Gaps is really the best for this.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:30 AM
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moocs will degenerate back into podcasts

It's funny you should say that, as I originally turned to MOOCs for higher quality content, both in terms of production quality and what is being said, than I could regularly find from podcasts. I understand that MOOCs also come with pictures and stuff to read, and forums to waste time on, and all that kinda stuff but I have no personal experience with that.

That's actually a lie. I participated to a modest extent on Dan Ariely's behavioural economics course. It was very interesting, in a pop science kind of way. Just the right level of content that I could stay engaged with it, but not so deep I'd be lost if I tuned out for 5 minutes. I've learned some great stories but not so much in the way of fundamentals.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:38 AM
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I occasionally swap out wearing a bra for wearing two strategically-placed bandaids when the circumstances warrant it, but this did not go so well last weekend. The normal Walgreens brand bandages somehow managed to leave large sores on delicate skin. Has never happened to me before, so now I'm worried that I've developed yet another obnoxious skin sensitivity.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:47 AM
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Hey, I forgot to ask earlier, what the hell is social entrepreneurship?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:47 AM
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29 to 1 and certainly not to the OP.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:47 AM
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I guess 28 answers 29.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:48 AM
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Technically, putting bandaids on your forearms could still be done strategically.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 8:52 AM
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Going to Georgetown University was the best decision that I had made.

Mutombo seems to be slowly warming up to this twitter thing. But we need details.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 9:17 AM
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It happens more, the more kids you have, as one of those "hey, my body is confused about these foreign bodies and my immune system is attacking me" side benefits.

My mom had the opposite experience. She had gross eczema on both hands before I was born. On one hand it went away when I was born, and it went away on the other hand when my sister was born.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 9:26 AM
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Technically, putting bandaids on your forearms could still be done strategically.

I think the important thing is to let your goals shape your strategy. What do you want this look to accomplish?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 9:35 AM
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Has the article about chimeras been linked here, including how women who had male children have some significant percentage of cells in their bodies with a Y chromosome? Actually, like most things, maybe I initially read it linked from here.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 9:37 AM
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Hey, I forgot to ask earlier, what the hell is social entrepreneurship?

Think TOMS shoes. As in, shouldn't social problems be solved by CEOs? What could go wrong?


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 9:54 AM
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36: I think that was the thread that first brought Anon for This One to speak openly about the loss of her first son.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 9:54 AM
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Think TOMS shoes.

I don't think that is what is commonly understood as social entrepreneurship. TOMS is closer to garden variety "corporate social responsibility". Think Kiva.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:01 AM
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My institution is very rah rah about entrepreneurship too. X+ entrepreneurship = win!!!!1! Blah.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:04 AM
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Kiva might be more accurate, but TOMS is the go-to example at this school, where you can minor in social entrepreneurship and this particular semester, there are extra goings-on on the topic or entrepreneurism/innovation.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:07 AM
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I see that sort of thing all the time. Is there anything universities are less well equipped to teach than entrepreneurship? I guess it both distracts from the failure of actual employers to hire their graduates and is flattering to lottery-winning entrepreneurs who are donors.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:08 AM
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All my girls have been diagnosed with eczema, which is I guess more commin among black children, but I also know for a fact that at least once this was just that other kinds of rashes not showing their "characteristic" appearance (in this case scarlet fever) on dark skin. I've had a hell of a time googling for rash pictures every time we've had to deal with them because the pictures use really pale skin for better contrast.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:08 AM
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I'm a life-long Eagles fan, but I've gone rogue. I'm actively rooting against the Eagles and for the Chiefs. I can't really blame the Eagles for firing Reid -- he seemed to have lost his way towards the end -- but God, listening to Eagles fans whine after 12 years of the contending almost every year, and going to the conference championship game 5 times made me hate them all.

What sent me over the edge was an LGM slobber-piece after the Eagles won their first game under Chip Kelly, because Kelly is so wonderful and Andy Reid is so boring.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:12 AM
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The particular LGM mix of "the NCAA is a modern-day plantation exploiting slave labor" and "go Oregon football" is a bit disconcerting. But face it, Walt, as an Eagles fan you like losing. It feeds your rage and your identity. You just want a little taste of winning to make the losing more sweet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:21 AM
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I can't even begin to explain how fucked up the process leading to a major launch at work is at the moment. And while I'm doing the technical side of the management of this, I'm being fucked over by BOFHs. I may take someone outside and beat seven shades of shite out of them [or, in the actual real world, bitch about them pseudo-anonymously on the internet]. Sys admins. Arseholes. I could do their job significantly better than them.*

The mistake here was assuming that people would do the fucking job they are fucking paid to fucking do.

* true fact.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:24 AM
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I know that, but my fellow Eagles fans have lost their way. They think they're actually entitled to win something. They must learn otherwise.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:26 AM
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There's always the Michael Vick School of Learning Things by Animal Cruelty.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:28 AM
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I'm being fucked over by BOFHs

JRoth's ex?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:30 AM
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49: Bad Old... Fur Horse?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:31 AM
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I feel like the higher-education "entrepreneurship" craze generally shows a fundamental lack of understanding what entrepreneurship actually consists of, and also a similarly fundamental failure to contemplate what a good and desirable density of entrepreneurs in the population would actually be.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:33 AM
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I guess it both distracts from the failure of actual employers to hire their graduates and is flattering to lottery-winning entrepreneurs who are donors.

Aye.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:34 AM
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47: They need to learn the Way of the Browns Fan.

These last two weeks have been very disorienting.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:35 AM
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In college my right hand kind of turned into something looking like raw ground beef for a while. The diagnosis was "eczema, caused by an irritant," which as far as I could tell carried zero information about what had happened. But the steroid gel they gave me cleared it right up.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:36 AM
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BOFHs

Bullying Oafs in Funny Hats.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:37 AM
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and also a similarly fundamental failure to contemplate what a good and desirable density of entrepreneurs in the population would actually be.

This.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:41 AM
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Bastard operators from hell.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:43 AM
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Bastard Operator from Hell.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:45 AM
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My brother-in-law is finishing up business school, and sent out a survey to everyone he knew about how would we like a smoothie machine in the workplace? How much would we pay? What would our reservations be? And hey, this might parlay into a post-school start-up? (There is no prototype, obv.) I mean, it doesn't hurt anything if he wastes a bunch of time and money on this...but...I guess have fun.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:46 AM
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Or Bastard Operators from Hull, in the North.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:46 AM
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How do you operate a bastard?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:49 AM
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Follow the link and find out.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:50 AM
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Also he's dripping with privilege and would be incapable of burning all his bridges. Which makes it aggravating but also who cares.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:52 AM
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59: Maybe, not very much, poor cleaning would lead to yoghurt-transmitted disease.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:52 AM
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We recently took our cool innovation to a class at the business school where people form teams to entrepreneur the hell out of things, but our poster was stupid and misleading (somebody else made it) and the class turned out to be focused on a specific industry we aren't a part of, so nobody picked us. Sorry, innovation. Maybe next time.


Posted by: Theodore Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:53 AM
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how would we like a smoothie machine in the workplace?

I'm tempted to report on the epic battle raging over the espresso machine in my workplace, but I should probably try to post fewer comments about ways my senior colleague misbehaves.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:54 AM
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64: Maybe yogurt causes eczema.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:54 AM
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I've been eating yogurt every morning!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:55 AM
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I should probably try to post fewer comments about ways my senior colleague misbehaves.

Nooooo!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:55 AM
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66: like, who pays for the pods? Or whether to have one at all? Or, less likely, do you mean an actual literal battle with swords being waged on platforms mounted above the cofeemaker?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:56 AM
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Anyhow, essear should post less about his senior colleague, but the buck stops with Harry Truman, so Harry Truman can say whatever about whoever without repercussions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:57 AM
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If I tried anything entrepreneurial, I'd have to budget 20 hours a year to filling out conflict of interest forms.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:57 AM
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I just had a brief moment of confusion where I thought Sifu was talking about some kind of smoothie pods. What a magnificently gross idea.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:57 AM
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Vaguely like 28, I had an adhesive bandage (from blood donation) cause a lot of trouble on my skin where it was adhered. The needle puncture wound? Fine. The rectangle of skin around it? Nasty scabs. Very, very weird.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:58 AM
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Yum! Smoopresso Smods!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:59 AM
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You can give that one to your B-I-L, ladybird. It's a freebie.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 10:59 AM
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I can't even begin to explain how fucked up the process leading to a major launch at work is at the moment.

I can't even begin to express how relieved I was when I scanned further down and saw that this comment wasn't posted by emdash.



Posted by: Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:04 AM
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The "S" is for "espresso".

We got a fancy new machine that isn't the Nespresso thing with the pods, but that actually grinds coffee. After a few weeks of people happily using the machine, senior colleague (hereafter SC) happened to be in SC's office for the first time while someone was grinding coffee beans. So SC storms out of office, muttering "fucking [secretary], buying this fucking piece of shit waste of money" and unplugs it, mid-grinding, while the hapless person waiting for his coffee stands by and gapes. SC carries the machine up a nearby flight of stairs, spilling coffee grounds and water all over the place, drops it on the carpet, mumbles something about a headache, and returns to office.

This leads to a week or so of people carrying water and beans up the stairs and using the machine in its new, inconvenient, location by a printer, before the secretary and SC reach a compromise that the machine can be moved back to the area by the sink provided people only use pre-ground beans. Now the story has spread enough that everyone knows the new rule: you can grind your coffee beans, if and only if SC is out of town.


Posted by: Harry S Truman | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:06 AM
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Wow! Amazing.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:07 AM
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Yes, Bastard Operators From Hell. Although in this case, it 's more slow moving lazy too thick to google simple problems and too thick to realize I could probably have them fired operators from hell.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:09 AM
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78: This explains Malta.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:09 AM
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That's amazing. SC is basically William Atherton's character from Real Genius.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:10 AM
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Huh, I wouldn't say that kind of thing is at all surprising for a law office (not mine, actually, where people are generally very decent), except that there's no way that the senior partner would have carried the espresso machine himself.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:10 AM
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Is SC so senior that he can't be overridden? Sounds like a Grade A wanker to me.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:10 AM
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People should realise that 'this project has the eye of Sauron upon it' (i.e. BOFHs boss's boss's boss's boss) counts for something.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:12 AM
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80. In that case, probably from Hull, as suggested upthread.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:12 AM
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Maybe put a bacalau into SC's bottom desk drawer, and tape an opened musical hallmark card to the underside of the desk.

Then email the office to put the matter up to a vote.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:12 AM
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God the image of SC carrying the espresso machine up the stairs (in my head it is a full sized, old school brass one), beans and water spilling everywhere, is cracking me up so bad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:13 AM
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This explains Malta.

Only bothering to show up for one day of the conference sounds about right.


Posted by: Harry S Truman | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:13 AM
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I'm figuring Harry wouldn't have told the story if it weren't objectively unreasonable, but coffee grinders can be pretty loud. I could see an espresso machine like that being tough to sit next to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:14 AM
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90: It's kind of in the center of an open meeting space with offices all around. The corner of SC's office that SC usually resides in is a good 40 feet or so from the machine. Lots of other people are closer.


Posted by: Harry S Truman | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:15 AM
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In that case, perhaps the machine could be set up so as to vent the steam for the milk directly onto SC's face.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:16 AM
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coffee grinders can be pretty loud. I could see an espresso machine like that being tough to sit next to

He should try my office! It's lovely and luxurious in many ways but also shares a surprisingly thin wall with a classroom that multiple times a week features BOOMING VIDEO.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:17 AM
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I semi-accidentally lucked into having a giant corner office (largely) to myself. It's... quite luxurious, but also a little weird, because I really shouldn't be in this office at all, and this office should really have two people in it generally (there is another desk, but the guy who sits there is never here during normal working hours).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:27 AM
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OT even on an OT thread but I could do with a reality check here.

W (soon to be ex) wife has scrupulously avoided earning a living for the last 23 years. She was before that a secretary/PA, fearsomely efficient, and has done various part time jobs of that sort since then, but never more than two days a week. So she has a cv that is a giant smoking crater, and her shorthand/typing skills are about as much use as fluency on Lotus 1-2-3

None the less, she believes she can earn her own living whenever she feels like it by signing up with a temp agency in the capital. This is a city about 55 miles from here. She does not drive. So she believes that the answer to her problems is to sell the marital home and move to the city, where she will use half to buy a place to live and then find a job. Except half the marital home in the countryside will buy nothing at all in London. Ah, she says, but the daughter will move with me, and she can put her savings, hoarded for the deposit on her own flat, into my pot, and then we will have enough, and once we have bought a place we can both start looking for jobs there.

Am I wrong to think this is an insane piece of moral blackmail? I know the daughter proposed it - or I'm told the daughter proposed it - but it seems to me to be the equivalent of saying "oh Mummy, don't cry: here's my pocket money". The grown up parent declines the offer. My W wife is not at the moment sufficiently grown up to think.

So what can i do, dear mineshaft?

What I propose is to write a letter to both of them, setting out my objections to the plan. Short form (1) it won't work - it is one of those plans that depends on nothing going wrong. Something certainly will.
(2) suppose it does work. Daughter, after moving to flat in the Ooort belt of suburbia, gets job in London (now without savings) and moves into a flat share. The going rate is £600 a month per room. And you have to front up a deposit, an agency fee and so on. But she won't have any cushion to do this with, for it will all have been absorbed by the expenses of the move. None the less, magic happens. She manages to get into rented accommodation of her own. More magic happens. She starts to earn enough that a mortgage is a realistic thought. But she can now only recover the deposit by evicting her mother. This, again, seems to me entirely nutso.
Apparently the contingency plan is that granny should die and solve that one. This, again, does not strike me as satisfactory.

I think I have to protest at this. But obviously, if you're crazy and desperate enough to come up with a plan like that, you're not going to be dissuaded by rational criticism.

So, should I just shut up and wait for everything to go to shit, or should I send the email?


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:32 AM
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I lucked into a faculty office in my last real job. It was 300 or 400 square feet in a converted tobacco warehouse with a window. Free parking was one block one way and there was a bar and a Mexican restaurant in the building.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:33 AM
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"W wife"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:35 AM
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95: Do you have a better idea?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:36 AM
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I think it is perfectly fine to remind a parent that, short of disability or something, using a their child's savings to live is wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:37 AM
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97: soon to be X!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:39 AM
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What I propose is to write a letter to both of them

Surely you should talk to your daughter first.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:40 AM
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Ahhhhh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:40 AM
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102 to 100.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:41 AM
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Y?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:41 AM
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I don't understand "W Wife" or what the relation is to you, but she's either entitled to sell the family house and get 1/2 or more of the proceeds or she isn't. If she isn't, too bad, so sad.

If she is, then she should be able to do so and can do whatever the fuck she wants with the proceeds (like, maybe, my advice would be to get a car or suck it up and deal with a commute) but under no circumstances whatsoever should she take or be able to take the daughter's savings.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:42 AM
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95: I am so not a divorce lawyer, and have no familiarity at all with divorce law even in the US, much less in the UK. But I have the general impression here that an employed spouse whose soon-to-be-ex hasn't been working for the past 20 years would be on the hook for a certain amount of transitional alimony/some kind of income support. This seems tactless to ask, but (1) is that likely to play into things, and (2) does it make this plan more practical?

But generally, you're right and she shouldn't be making plans that involve draining your daughter's savings.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:43 AM
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95: I'm confused: is the daughter your daughter? If so, it seems like that would make it more reasonable for you to intervene.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:43 AM
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W could demand a house in London or she'll delay the implementation of Obamacare for a year. Give how crazy things are, somebody might accidentally include such a provision in a bill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:47 AM
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Tough situation, Mr. Prime Minister.

Shouldn't they rent before buying? And wouldn't renting give the ex a very good idea what sort of income stream she can really expect, and therefore how much she can really afford to spend on housing? Before buying a place that turns out to be in the wrong part of town for both their employments.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:48 AM
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granny should die and solve that one.

This seems to imply both that granny is WWife's mother and that there's an inheritance there. Can WWife plausibly move in with granny, preferably in some location desirable to her and not obnoxious to granny, and pay for it with her half of the house money combined with whatever granny can kick in?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:51 AM
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ISTM even in London, temping could be especially difficult without a car - she could be going to different places each week, some of which would be badly located for public transit.

(And why are people jumping to non-legal-advice-legal-advice? Pennyfeather was just asking for general advice, I thought.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:53 AM
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Is this a good time to mention that £600 is more than the PI payment on my mortgage?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:53 AM
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108: Based on absolutely nothing, I had idea that Wife's plan is designed to work as blackmail -- that idea of daughter giving up her savings would be so upsetting to Husband that he would X.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:55 AM
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For a house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:55 AM
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110: If the novels I've been reading are accurate, being murdered for an inheritance is the leading cause of death in Britain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:56 AM
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The second leading cause if being killed by someone you're blackmailing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:57 AM
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And, um, this sort of makes it sound as if your daughter is irate about the divorce on WWife's behalf and feeling protective of her. At which point listening to advice from you that might sound like telling her to throw her mother under the bus might inspire a certain amount of irrational resistance. Are there any other relatives/family friends who you could maybe launder the advice through?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:59 AM
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113 is probably right. But I still don't understand the financial set up exactly. As a general rule it's a good idea to (a) figure out who has what money and (b) let ex-spouses do whatever they want to do with their money, on the theory that it's no longer your problem. But if she's trying to take your daughter's money, then it is legitimately your problem.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:04 PM
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106. It's also my belief that the spouse could be on the hook, but a. she has to ask for it and b. the court has a lot of discretion. Much room for it to turn ugly and make lawyers rich, but not being the PM I don't know how much that matters, because I don't know how ugly it is already.

I'd say you must start by talking to daughter, it's only fair.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:09 PM
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A good London temp agency will try and ensure it sends its temps places they don't have too much trouble getting to, so this isn't necessarily so huge a problem in principle. However I'd seriously wonder if W Wife has the requisite and up-to-date technical qualifications to get on the books of a good temp agency (which is to say, one that actually looks after its temps). It might be worth investigating this yrself, Mr Prime Minister: ie ring some and find out what the chances are. Sadly shaken heads and pursed lips will be arrows in yr quiver.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:11 PM
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109. Yes. People have no fucking idea about London property prices.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:12 PM
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I thought Britain had trains and whatnot for commuting and that sort of thing.


Posted by: cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:13 PM
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I've heard people have no fucking idea about British train prices.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:15 PM
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I learned all I know about trains from Thomas the Tank Engine and ttaM's twitter feed. They paint very different pictures.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:16 PM
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It all went to shit when the Fat Controller retired.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:18 PM
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Oh man, I think the second most annoying thing in my life right now is my eczema. It's been awful for the last two and a half years, with a special super duper increase this last summer. Even better, it turns out I have two kinds of eczema -- normal, and varicose. So I'm supposed to wear an incredibly hideous made-to-measure compression stocking. Only, you know, it's still weirdly humid here and it is absolutely terribly uncomfortable. And did I mention that my right hand is basically a claw right now, thanks to it? My legs look like they have suppurating wounds. (Which, basically, they do.) All of this contrives to make me feel *incredibly* attractive, to boot.

Wait, maybe the eczema is the most annoying thing in my life.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:29 PM
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126: Whatever you were thinking of as the competition must be pretty bad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:30 PM
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78 is hilarious. I spent a lot of time recently trying to make sure an Oxfordian SC could have his very own bean to cup machine, only to have the sale fall through when it was revealed that *gasp* he couldn't just send his assistant with *his* credit card to buy it. God forbid he got his robes dirty in our little town.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:32 PM
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126: My sympathies. I've never had anything that steroids (topical or oral) couldn't knock out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:33 PM
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Thanks for all this advice. I had - quite unexpectedly an email from my (our) daughter after posting this: the first contact for some months, and following on from weeks of messages from W wife that she (daughter) was so disgusted by my behaviour that she might never speak to me again and was horribly upset if ever I contacted her. So - deep breath - I have written but not yet sent a long email setting out my objections to the plan.

95: As far as I understand it from my lawyer and otherwise, W wife gets 50% of the assets, whatever. Her solicitor has apparently told her that she is entitled to / should demand three years of support. Mine says the court would decide whether she gets any at all. She (W wife) says that she will only ask to be supported until she gets a job. I'm really not worried by that right now, since there is nothing that I can do about it.

I am worried about the daughter's savings, which are essentially all her child benefit hoarded in an account, and topped up with all kinds of other things over the years.

113: wife's instinct is to blackmail, yes. But in this case, what is the payoff supposed to be?

117: yes, but there is a shortage of family members who could do this. I will try. (see also 110 - maternal granny is terrified that daughter will move in with her or near her, and keeps congratulating me on leaving "before you killed her").

120: what would be the name (s) of good London temp agencies? I would be happy to approach them myself, and had thought of this. But i don't know who they are.

The objection to renting while looking for a job has never been spelled out, but I suspect it is simply a fear of reality. You rent, and you can wake every morning listening to the whooshing noise of savings disappearing while the job you were so confident of finding seems never quite to materialise.

Many thanks to all, in any case.


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:34 PM
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127: I can't decide whether or not immigration paperwork is worse than the itching, or if it is possibly the cause of the itching.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:34 PM
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129: My doctor here hasn't offered me oral steroids. He did prescribe an anti-histamine, but it leaves me pretty much incapable of anything the next day. Next time I go I will ask about them.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:38 PM
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Oral steroids fucking rule, unless you can't take them or they don't work for you or you get an infection.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:39 PM
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130: You haven't heard from your daughter for a couple of months, and your first e-mail to her would be something questioning her financial sense and criticizing her for helping her mother (from her perspective)? This does not sound like a good idea. If you must object, it should definitely be after you send something that says nice stuff like you missed her, love her, and aren't going to screw over her mother. (Not that she shouldn't know all these things, but I'm assuming she's a little tender.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:46 PM
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Without half of the proceeds from the house, she won't be able to fleece your daughter. The only way to get out of this is to sell the house now, and spend all the money. You've got to spend it on something that can't be repossessed. Hookers and blow are canonical, but there are people with moral objections to that. Ultra-premium wines? Beluga caviar by the pound? A week on a private island? All of the above, and then some. Whatever it takes.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:48 PM
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Will chase some up, Mr PM.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:48 PM
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I had - quite unexpectedly an email from my (our) daughter after posting this: the first contact for some months, and following on from weeks of messages from W wife that she (daughter) was so disgusted by my behaviour that she might never speak to me again and was horribly upset if ever I contacted her. So - deep breath - I have written but not yet sent a long email setting out my objections to the plan.

I'm really not trying to beat you up over this here. But in terms of dealing with your daughter, I think you have to recognize that your ex is (or looks to be from here) in a literally fairly desperate situation. The way you've described it, she's in her fifties and is pretty close to unemployable, and her share of the marital assets probably won't support her for more than a year or two. (My sense of UK social services is weak. I'd think a woman in that position in the US would be at real risk of being seriously impoverished quite quickly; but I have an vague sense that there's more help available over there.)

So from your daughter's perspective, her mother is in a truly terrible situation and there's not much of anyone else who's going to help her. Trying to talk her out of a plan, even if it's a bad plan, without something more sensible that solves the apparent problem, is going to be very hard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:50 PM
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Do you have enough (savings, whatever else besides the house) to buy W Wife out of the house? Or are you going to have to sell the house regardless?

Regardless, the bottom line is that she is going to have an infusion of cash, which she will then control and will have to make her own decisions about. It seems to me that your position should be (a) let's wait until we actually knows who has what in terms of cash before making any decisions (b) once the finances are worked out, you do whatever you want to with your own money, I do whatever I want to with mine, and (c) however the financial arrangements are worked out, we don't rely on our daughter's savings as an asset of our own. But, most importantly, actually work out the finances first as between you and your ex. You can then lobby your daughter to take a more sensible course once things have gotten a little less heated. Certainly don't just agree to sell the house immediately to support a bad idea/pipe dream. It sounds like delay is your friend here.

(I'd also very strongly recommend that, when it is time to work things out, you do whatever you do by a telephone call (or, even better, an in-person chat) with your daughter, rather than an email, unless your family works very differently from mine).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:52 PM
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I'd strongly advise not sending the email. Certainly don't send it without talking to your lawyer aka solicitor. If you have already, good luck!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:54 PM
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Actual advice - it sounds like your wife is proposing that she and your daughter buy a house where they'd live together as roommates, not that the daughter help with a downpayment and rent elsewhere, right? Maybe you can offer to take your daughter house-hunting or something so she'll realize that the money doesn't add up properly? You can even assume the house sells for full value and that your wife will get a decent position, since I bet that still wouldn't cover what they have in mind. (Moving to more expensive places is hard!) Maybe help her figure out a decent budget without trying to push her into what you see as the best situation?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:56 PM
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Is there work anywhere that's priced more sensibly than London? If it were me, I'd let the daughter know that you wanted to help her (and transitively perhaps W, since daughter is the insurance policy for W's errors).

The main practical objection you mention is that London property is very expensive and illiquid. Without getting into psychology, point out that the plan involves putting two people's financial assets into one single illiquid and unstable investment, and that's not a great use of money.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:56 PM
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Why can't W wife move into daughter's actual current flat for a while and look for work local to that? I suspect she'd have a better bet parlaying efficient middle-aged experience into some kind of work for a satellite-town solicitors' office, or similar.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:59 PM
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Is there work anywhere that's priced more sensibly than London?

Preston seemed nice enough last time I was there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 12:59 PM
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So from your daughter's perspective, her mother is in a truly terrible situation and there's not much of anyone else who's going to help her. Trying to talk her out of a plan, even if it's a bad plan, without something more sensible that solves the apparent problem, is going to be very hard.

I know that. I really do. I am trying to think of a practical plan. And I have myself been living out of a suitcase for the last two months so that wife and daughter would not have to do so. But there is a limit to what I can do, and I certainly can't magic things so that wife gets her pride back or magically becomes employable the way she was thirty years ago. The point is that daughter's apparent problem is not the same as wife's. I can and do have practical suggestions for the first. I actually have suggestions for the second, too, but if they come from me they will be rejected whatever their merits.

For the moment I'll leave the letter in the drafts folder.


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:00 PM
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Often the way this (quite common) problem is solved in the US is that the non-earning spouse takes the house in exchange for a substantially reduced to zeroing-out share of the remaining assets/spousal support. This can work pretty well, assuming the mortgage is largely paid off and that the earning spouse expects a lot of future earning. That way the non-earner gets a stable, familiar place to live that can (presumably) be sustained with some new, crappy job, and the earner spouse doesn't see income dramatically reduced and can go live somewhere else where he or she can be self-supporting. Obviously there are a ton of ways in which this solution might not work in any given case, including yours.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:03 PM
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I certainly can't magic things so that wife gets her pride back or magically becomes employable the way she was thirty years ago.

The nice thing about divorce is that this won't really be your problem anymore.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:05 PM
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I'd also want to push back gently on the idea that WWife is history's greatest monster for considering relying on her daughter's voluntarily given savings under any circumstances. The specific plan sounds like a terrible one, and as if it'd be effectively throwing money down a well, and so if you can talk them out of it, you should.

But in general, if you're an adult who has a family member in genuine need, it's not unreasonable that you should help them out to the best of your ability. Your daughter is an adult (from what you've said, I believe she is), and her mother looks to be heading for being in genuine need in the near future (as measured in years, not weeks, but not all that long). I can see why you'd be sad if your daughter spent down her savings keeping her mother housed and fed, but if there isn't a workable alternative, that's the kind of thing family members do for each other.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:06 PM
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138: No - I can't buy my wife out. The house must be sold regardless. Nor, if I rented somewhere else, could she find a job where she presently lives, since she can't drive.

142: that would be ideal, but daughter is herself living at home after graduating and looking for work. I think - and have said - that a provincial city is much the best place for wife to look for work. But if the advice comes from me it will be rejected out of hand.

ydnew: The plan as it has been explained to me is that they should buy a place together, live there as room-mates, and then when daughter has found a job, she would move out and wife would take a lodger if she can't find a job. I cannot begin to express how crazy this seems.


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:08 PM
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147 -- you seem to be ignoring "entitled to half the estate" "up to three years of support" "owns a house in Britain" and "is asking for the daughter's money before finalizing the divorce settlement."

I guess not all of those are really quotes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:09 PM
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143: And there's always Pittsburgh. Or Fargo.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:12 PM
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147: oh, in principle, yes. It is the expression of admirable generosity and decency. But not in practice, like this.


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:12 PM
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In any event if the wife is trying to loot your daughter's savings you should (morally, and maybe legally) have an argument that you don't need to pay the ex as much, which can be your leverage.

One solution would be to have the wife go through with this plan but to have the daughter pay a reasonable rent on whatever place they get, rather than buying. That way the wife gets some infusion of cash and daughter is out only rent that she (might have) paid anyway.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:15 PM
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149: I did say years not weeks. But half the value of a house sounds to me like enough to live off for a year or two in the absence of other income, even assuming it's not all blown on the deposit for a different apartment, but not much more than that. And three years of spousal support, at the most, is three years -- when that's gone, she's still not terribly employable. In the US, this sounds like the back-story for one of the subjects of Nickeled & Dimed.

That doesn't make the plan described sensible at all, and it doesn't make turning to the daughter's savings a reasonable first resort. But unless I'm misjudging WWife's likely employability, it seems very probable to me that the daughter's going to be on the hook (out of her own sense of responsibility and family affiliation) for significant support indefinitely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:17 PM
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130: You haven't heard from your daughter for a couple of months, and your first e-mail to her would be something questioning her financial sense and criticizing her for helping her mother (from her perspective)? This does not sound like a good idea. If you must object, it should definitely be after you send something that says nice stuff like you missed her, love her, and aren't going to screw over her mother. (Not that she shouldn't know all these things, but I'm assuming she's a little tender.)

Super duper agreed.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:19 PM
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Without half of the proceeds from the house, she won't be able to fleece your daughter. The only way to get out of this is to sell the house now, and spend all the money. You've got to spend it on something that can't be repossessed. Hookers and blow are canonical, but there are people with moral objections to that. Ultra-premium wines? Beluga caviar by the pound? A week on a private island? All of the above, and then some. Whatever it takes.

When faced with a major life decision, who among us does not ask "what would urple do?"


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:22 PM
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There's helping out and there's helping out. Contributing to the purchase of a house, with little expectation of getting the principal back for decades, is only for people who can afford it.

Obviously, the ex and the daughter should each write novels about what a terrible person you are, and will be able to buy anything they want once they've sold the movie rights.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:23 PM
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And generally, this is the sort of story that makes me hyperventilate when anyone I know considers being a SAHM. Even with the best of will from everyone involved, marriages end. And when that happens, what on earth do you do?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:24 PM
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Charley wins the thread. And the daughter has the talent to do it.


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:25 PM
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157 -- hope that your ex did well enough to provide you with a comfortable life.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:31 PM
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158: If you want the books to be as good as possible, you'll need to give them a hook. Celebrities make good hooks and Nigella Lawson is apparently single. Just saying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:38 PM
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159: But that's a seriously one-percent situation to be in. The number of people who can live off saved assets for a long time is tiny.

Look at our current prime minister -- owns a house, isn't bringing up money worries on his own behalf, but it's entirely implausible that he's going to be meaningfully supporting his ex five years out. And I'm not saying that he should have to, as that seems obviously unjust, but for someone with a 23-year gap in her working life, it looks like if someone isn't supporting her, she's going to be in serious pain, economically, for the rest of her life.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:41 PM
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I don't know about England, but in California there'd be a multi-year obligation of spousal support, in addition to the 50/50 split of whatever assets the community built, and also in addition to child support (if that's available). If the marriage is over 10 years, the general rule-of-thumb is that the spousal support lasts permanently (nb., this is often why you see celebrities get divorced in their 9th year of marriage). It's pretty unlikely that a non-earning ex-spouse of a middle to upper middle class person, not just a 1%er, would be destitute even without any valuable job skills, although of course both spouses take a very significant financial hit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:47 PM
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I don't own a house in London, which makes an immense difference. But what enrages me, a bit, is that I spent something like fifteen years trying to get her to contribute financially and deploy her managerial talents on some poor bastard other than me, and she always refused and she always had in reserve the threat of breaking up the family and making daughter miserable . So when I finally snap, it turns out that the penalty for failure is that I get to pay for her anyway. And the daughter is furious, anyway. There is a moral here.

(and, no, she's not going to be in *huge* financial pain unless her mother blows all the inheritance on dementia care. Which could happen).


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:50 PM
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And, holy fucking shit am I glad I don't live in California.


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:51 PM
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There is a moral here.

Affairs are cheaper than divorces?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:52 PM
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163: Yeah, I really don't mean to be beating you up over this as if you were to blame for the bad situation. The combination of long term SAHM and divorce just seems intractably bad unless you've got a ridiculous amount of money to throw at it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 1:58 PM
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165: No - that there is no right moment to get divorced so do it now - now, I tell you - the moment the idea first occurs to you!


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:00 PM
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167: Marry at leisure, repent at haste.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:02 PM
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148: That is super-crazy; you're right. I would think running the numbers might help there, because it sounds as if they're imagining a fairly large downpayment with small monthly payments. Maybe you can figure out rough numbers (eg house is worth X, WWife gets X/2; apartment in a nice area where she won't need to drive costs 4X. Daughter has Y savings; with their combined downpayment, how much per month and how much could they count on from renting a room if/when daughter moves out). It sounds like they'd count on having the renter cover 100% of the monthly payment plus some of utilities if WWife remains unemployed; would their monthly payment be low enough that it would work? Or would it price them out of subletting entirely? How's WWife going to handle half utilities, etc if daughter moves out? I think that's maybe the way to go about convincing daughter it's not a reasonable plan. Gently, of course. Because it's nice of her to want to help.
(Also, how on earth are they going to get a home loan with neither employed? The problem might solve itself for you if they don't plan to buy somewhere outright.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:06 PM
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NIH = Nationally Issued House


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:12 PM
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Yes, ydnew makes a good point. Recent experience with mortgage companies suggest that Wwife will have a difficult time getting a mortgage on age alone.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:19 PM
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169, 171: All those sorts of things suggest that talking Wwife and daughter out of the plan might not be all that urgent; it sounds unrealistic enough that they're not going to be able to go through with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:25 PM
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Going to pass out now, but they plan to buy without a mortgage because of course there is no hope in hell of getting one without a job or prospects. So the money would be totally sunk and illiquid.


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:26 PM
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They have enough to sink on that particular boat?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:34 PM
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Wow. Sorry to hear it, PM. I'm hoping your daughter has a practical-minded friend who might be able to step in. I hear what LB is saying and would certainly feel obliged to help my family member, but I would hope I would choose a less-albatross way of doing so.

(And parenthetically -- your ex-wife doesn't drive now, but she can LEARN, can't she? I hate driving and didn't start until 22, but it's not like it's impossible to learn as an adult.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:34 PM
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175 last really to the ether rather than you directly, PM. I realize this is totally outside your control.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:35 PM
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175 last really to the ether rather than you directly, PM. I realize this is totally outside your control.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:35 PM
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175 last really to the ether rather than you directly, PM. I realize this is totally outside your control.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:35 PM
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I was like, wait, holy shit, the unemployed youthful daughter somehow has enough in savings to pay a significant portion of the full sticker price on a London apartment based on something called a "child benefit" that she somehow got individually? And wait, yes, there it is. A genuine welfare state is an amazing thing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:35 PM
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My grandma didn't learn to drive until she was 65. She was never very good at it, which was great for me because by the time I wrecked my dad's car, grandma had already done it twice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:36 PM
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For other Americans, prepare to be amazed:

It looks like the child benefit that EVERY SINGLE PERSON WITH KIDS gets without regard to income is $40/week for the first kid plus another $25 for each additional kid, per week. Or almost $2,000/year for a kid, without doing anything else. And if you have money from elsewhere you can save it and invest it and then give it to them as a downpayment on property, after they've gone through good free public schools and received a very good university education at minimal (by our standards) tuition.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:40 PM
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Halford, we have tax credits that are roughly that generous.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:42 PM
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181: Wow. That kind of thing really pisses me off. If we can't have that sort of thing in the greatest country in the world, I don't see why those UK losers should have it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:43 PM
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Do you plan on using your tax credits to have your kid pay 1/2 of the full sticker price on a London apartment?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:43 PM
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Or, roughly half that generous.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:43 PM
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(Assuming you make enough to use the full tax credit, but don't make too much so that it's phased out.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:44 PM
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In the US, anyone making enough that they could afford to save the EITC for their kids doesn't qualify. What's blowing Halford away is the non-means-testedness of it all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:48 PM
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I'd rather have national health care.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:50 PM
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They get that too, of course. Although googling further it looks like there's some kind of cut off on the "child benefit" at the 100,000 pound/$200,000 mark. So it is means-tested a little, I guess, but holy crap middle class bonanza.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:52 PM
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(And I was talking about the Child Tax Credit, not the EITC. For taxpayers filing a joint return, the phase-out begins at $110,000. For single taxpayers, the phase-out begins at $75,000. It's not inconceivable that money would get saved for a kid's benefit.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:52 PM
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All I'm saying is that, okay, the benefit level is somewhat lower, and the means-testing kicks in at a lower level, but this isn't a different-planet sort of benefit from anything we have in the US. We have something pretty similar. We just bury ours in the tax code, because in the United States SPENDING=BAD while TAX CUTS=GOOD.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:56 PM
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Child Benefits

Not all that unusual.

Japan Times article on recent changes. Used to be means-tested at $50-60k (5-6 million yen) per year I think tho it doesn't say, and covered 90% of families.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:58 PM
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188: Not me. I'd rather have a bureaucratically complicated, hybrid public-private health care system that won't cover everybody even after a very strung-out implementation process. Ideally one that can be blocked by a minority of a minority due to some process I can't understand why it exists. Best of all possible worlds, I'm living it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 2:59 PM
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I finally watched the video for 6, which is definitely amusing. Also, I would have thought that teaching a MOOC as an assistant professor at Har/vard is a very, very bad career move.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:03 PM
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Also, I would have thought that teaching a MOOC as an assistant professor at Har/vard is a very, very bad career move.

The sense I get is that he was quite strongly encouraged to do it, possibly because nobody else wanted to. It is all the teaching he's doing this semester. On the other hand, I also get the sense that he's a really, really ambitious guy, and if he could be a Harvard Professor and also, say, have a TV show, that would be fine with him.


Posted by: Theodore Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:07 PM
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181 is mindboggling. That a working class family might produce kids with a tidy nest-egg upon graduation from a free university, instead of a boulder of debt chaining them down.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:17 PM
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. . . and it also looks like the UK has [or, more precisely, had, it is being phased out] a separate child tax credit of about $1000, like the American system. At some point differences in delivery method and amount of welfare become differences in kind.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:18 PM
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Also, god it would be nice if your income was what you could cheerfully spend, full stop, after tucking some emergency money away, instead of always fearing that you're not socking enough away for retirement/catastrophe/kids' colleges.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:19 PM
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196: if they went to a British university in the last 20 years, they got the debt boulder unless they found the whole whack of tuition down the back of the sofa.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:21 PM
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195: Huh. I think if I said I wanted to teach a MOOC, my department chair would look at me as if I'd grown two heads. Different cultures in different departments, I guess.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:21 PM
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Tuition at Cambridge looks to be 9000 funny Ls per year. Not free. But not a boulder.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:23 PM
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To be fair, I'm now looking up UT, and undergrad tuition is $5000ish/semester. So, comparable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:25 PM
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I think UK tuition also just went up very very substantially in the last year or so?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:30 PM
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I mean, they seem to be in the process of voluntarily dismantling their utopia on their own for some unknown reason, so this may all be yesterday's news.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:32 PM
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re: the PM's problem. London is so horrifically expensive that you need to be earning shit-loads to afford to live there on one salary. Certainly significantly over the national median wage if you aren't in a house share. House prices being in the region of what, 15 to 20 times median salary? Where we live, which is way way way on the outer edge of London, and is barely London at all, the two bed run-down terrace we rent would be 12-15 times median salary. London is also full of bright ambitious young people with up to date skills, and recent work experience, so old temping skills are worth not very much, I'd have thought. PM of course knows this.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:32 PM
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re: 203

Yes. It runs to around £9000 a year, plus whatever you need to maintain yourself. It's £9000 almost everywhere, whether that's Oxford, Cambridge, or Imperial, or The Former Polytechnic University of Chipping Norton, or whatever.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:33 PM
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But didn't it double or something very recently?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:34 PM
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205: I remember you describing a few years ago what a financial bind you'd be in if you had a kid, that made it impossible to afford for your wife to take maternity leave IIRC? And the 2 hour commute was also a compounding unsolvable problem?

What ended up being resolved around those things? Or did they end up being issues?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:36 PM
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re: 207

Yes, up from around £3000. Unless you are a Scot [by residence, not birth], in Scotland, in which case tuition is free.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:37 PM
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re: 208

We have no money, and our credit cards are building up. So we didn't square the circle, no. She's taken maternity leave. We just can't really afford it. She'll go back to work in the new year, and we'll have to sort it out then. It's crazy given that my salary, while not high by SE of England standards, is well above the national average.

It's fucked any chance of saving any money, though, for another couple of years. We'll probably never be able to buy at this rate. Not that I'm obsessed by buying. I'd happily rent or live in a council house, but the rental market is pretty shit, too, and there are no council houses.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:40 PM
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Ugh, sorry to hear that. Sounds frustrating.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:42 PM
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Any chance of moving to Scotland?

(That sounded dickish and wasn't trying to be -- honestly the UK (based on my extensive google and blog commenting based knowledge of it) does sound pretty utopia-ish for families except for the London property market. Is it possible to go north?).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:42 PM
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re: 212

If the right job came up, maybe. My wife isn't completely sold on the idea, as she's only ever lived in the SE of England [since she's lived in the UK]. Ironically, I don't really like London at all. Several long-term [20 year +] friends live here, but I've never drunk the London kool-aid.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:47 PM
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And generally, this is the sort of story that makes me hyperventilate when anyone I know considers being a SAHM. Even with the best of will from everyone involved, marriages end. And when that happens, what on earth do you do?

I've seen a few more instances of SAHM go poorly in the past couple years. I'm hyperventilating right next to you, LB.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 3:53 PM
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I mean, they seem to be in the process of voluntarily dismantling their utopia on their own for some unknown reason, so this may all be yesterday's news.

For certain values of "they" and "voluntarily". About a quarter of the electorate voted for a bunch of arseholes. A bunch of opportunistic wankers decided to form a coalition with the arseholes, sealing their doom as a political party for the forseeable future. Those arseholes are now dismantling the utopia against the will of a majority of the people while the wankers go along with it because they're never going to get a whiff of power again in their lifetimes.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 4:07 PM
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No, no I know. It's so depressing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 4:09 PM
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I find it unsettling that Candy Crush keeps asking me whether I want to help out my friend who died this year by sending her extra lives.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 5:41 PM
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Yikes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 5:47 PM
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It's called social necromancy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 5:52 PM
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Though the number of days it tells me she's been stuck at the current level is functioning like a much less sexy version of ogged's TiVo.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 5:54 PM
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Condolences to the PM. Helps put my own situation with a generally agreeable W wife in perspective.

Re: eczema, in my twenties I had a spell of what seemed like severe eczema in the center of my palms, stigmata-like patches that became raw and eventually bled, which makes me wonder how many saints owe their beatification to eczema.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 6:24 PM
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In the end I sent a long email with some gossip and a lot of how joyful it felt to be back in contact, respecting and admiring her choices (which I do) and re-iterating that the way you do things, especially in London, is to find a job and then work out where it makes sense to live. I didn't directly mention the issue of money or W wife's need for it as a deposit thing at all. Whether this is tactful enough I don't know. IN any case, and by a curious coincidence, I need to earn some money now.


Posted by: The Prime Minister out of Decline and Fall | Link to this comment | 09-30-13 11:54 PM
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Halford's child benefit figures assume a rather strong pound/weak dollar. And the cut off is now if one resident parent (whether or not that person is the one claiming child benefit, and whether or not that person is even actually related by blood to the child) earns over 50K. Which in our case applies. However, if both resident parents earn, say, 40K each, they can keep it.

I have heard that richer people did used to put theirs away as savings. The vast majority of people grew up with their mothers getting it (e.g. from when I turned 13, my mum gave me mine each month for clothes etc) and have just always counted it as part of their income.

So yep, I used to get £242 every 4 weeks. It was a contributing factor to me not having to go back to full time work, never something to build up a nice little nest egg with! Now we're not entitled to it any more, and it's a bit crap. In practice, we protected ourselves against the crapness, because when the change was announced 3 years ago (to start this January), it coincided with C getting about £300pcm payrise, so we never used the extra money, just started overpaying our mortgage, and this year we stopped that overpayment to cover the child benefit stopping.

There you go, there ends today's UK citizenship lesson.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 2:18 AM
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PM, I have some agency suggestions -- shall we do this by email? Drop me a line at linked address.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 2:21 AM
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At our INNOVATIVE university, we have a "submit your idea!" drive going on right now, where first year students are forced to work on ideas submitted by anyone. I just submitted "get the uninsured members of the community signed up for the health care exchange!"

Any other ideas?


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 9:40 AM
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Seeing which bandaid types are safe for use on human nipples.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 9:41 AM
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Unrelated to any of this, why can't I stop fucking things up? I don't know what to do.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 9:41 AM
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What's up, Thorny? Why so distressed?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 9:43 AM
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Because apparently I'm a lousy parent, worse partner, biggest unhelpful buzzkill ever, plus stomach bug 2.0 for me. And I have to do both girls' hair for picture day tomorrow while solo-parenting all night. Soon it will be nap time and maybe things will be better, and also today our playpen comes, which might help.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 9:46 AM
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Ack. I'm sorry. Obviously you're not any of those things, besides the stomach bug, but I'm sorry that's raining down on your head. What caused this storm?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 9:51 AM
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Sounds rough. I hope you get a some rest during nap time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 9:54 AM
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I'll get rest and I've been working on actively calling in help from local friends. I think a fellow knitter will bring her older baby to play with Selah tonight so I can do Mara's hair and have a little break. It's also the week before cheerleading competition and so I have to do stupid shit like bleach Nia's shoes and get her early dinner so she can be at practice three nights a week even though she's in fucking first grade. (Not her coach's fault. The coach tried to get out of competing and the league informed her they'd fine the whole city program, so I'll be with her and probably Selah in the parking lot at 6 am Saturday to drive to the back of the beyond and watch a bunch of bouncy happy girls cheer badly, which will be the fun part, and then wait around a few hours to presumably find out they've lost and then watch them be devastated.)

More immediately, I told Lee that she needs to do more than just take Selah for walks to give me breaks, that she needs to get used to feeding/clothing/bathing/playing/soothing etc. and she got mad that no matter what she does it's never enough. (And I didn't get mad enough to say that she's still putting diapers on backwards every time after two weeks and still can't fasten the Ergo herself even though that's all she does, so I'm not asking a superhuman amount.) She got really miserable really fast and has been just awful to me since the first week Selah was here. She doesn't want Selah to go and goodness knows I don't want to lose any of the kids or even the relationship, but if they're going to have two parents they deserve to have two parents, and if not then not. And then I got shrieked at for 20 minutes, which I probably somewhat deserved but which hasn't done much to make me feel like I've done anything but ruin a bunch of people's lives.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:03 AM
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And I threw out my back with all the vomiting the first time and will be so mad if it happens again on the day I'm able to comfortably walk mostly upright. Also, I was up for three hours because the house next door had a fire at 3 am and I didn't want to go to sleep until I knew we were safe, which doesn't help.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:04 AM
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For some reason I read "uninsured" in 227 as "unitarded".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:05 AM
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Good lord, Thorn. That is so, so much. No wonder it feels overwhelming. It is objectively overwhelming.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:08 AM
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Also, Lee knows she's got a problem and has had tests run to prove it's not her hormone levels like she thought it would be and now is finding a therapist, so she's getting help for the post-adoption depression or whatever it is. But that doesn't do much for me except put me in the role of either demanding more of her and making her furious or letting her do what she wants and trying to be supportive and accommodating, which makes me want to throw a litle tantrum myself. I see my therapist tomorrow and maybe after that I'll have a plan, since the previous one she helped me make about how I'd get free time and adult social time for my sanity has failed miserably.

All the girls are happy, lovely, and doing well at the moment, so I shouldn't really say I've ruined their lives. I'm just working on it, I guess.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:11 AM
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Holy hell, Thorn, that is a lot on your plate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:14 AM
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This won't help you this week, and maybe it won't help at all because it isn't allowed. But don't you have a giant-ass house? Could you trade a room to someone for daily help? Setting that up takes energy, so you can't do it soon. But having it in place might be net win.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:28 AM
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Like free room and board for an au pair?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:29 AM
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That was my thought, although maybe not board.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:30 AM
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My overall thinking is to get more hands on deck. I strongly believe two isn't enough, even when everyone is healthy.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:32 AM
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We can't do ongoing overnights without that person passing a background check. Lee has gotten in touch with a friend of ours who does in-home daycare to see if she could take Selah one day a week or something. It's only a little over a month until I go back to work and Selah goes to daycare and everything changes again, and really we can make it that long. (The big question is: do we cancel the long-promised trip for the girls that's right in the middle of that time? Dunno, and I told Lee we'd decide Thursday if she's willing to talk to me about it. The prepaid hotel room is in her name, so I suspect she will be.) Ok, off to call daycares and start some laundry.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:46 AM
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Also, I'm only allowed to be taking parental leave if I'm the child's primary caregiver, so I'm worried that even one day a week might jeopardize that, though a half day would be fine. And if we had a third-floor bathroom we might look into having someone else live here, though honestly it would probably just be Rowan, but Lee is unlikely to want to share her first-floor bathroom and no adult should have to share with the girls and me.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:48 AM
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Holy hell, Thorn, that is a lot on your plate.

My sentiments exactly. Good luck,


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:07 AM
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Agree with Megan here. If at all possible, get help, in whatever way that's possible, at least until you get day care rolling. Over more than a few weeks, babies take more work than a two-person US couple can handle, especially with other kids on the scene.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:11 AM
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Oh Thorn, have good wishes from the Island of Knife Crime. You are not a bad person. In fact you appear to be one of the best people on the interwebs. And you certainly don't deserve all or any of this shit. I would also approve of the idea of getting help in.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:31 AM
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Ugh, I'm sorry, Thorn.

it's not her hormone levels

Is she perimenopausal? I don't have any direct experience with it, but friends who have said it turned their partners sporadically monstrous.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:34 AM
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249.last: She is, and that's her theory about what the problem is, but her GP apparently just sort of shrugged at her levels and told her she needs to a mental health clinic, which didn't improve her grumpiness in the slightest.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:39 AM
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I wish I had useful advice to give, but I don't really. Don't be down on yourself. You're doing better parenting than most of the rest of us in entirely more challenging circumstances, and I really doubt that you're the one making Lee unhappy (I mean, beyond the normal grumpiness that any two people sharing a house experience). I'm finding my mid-40s to be poorly suited to parenting elementary-age kids; I'm trying my best, but I'm terribly short on patience for it any longer. The thought of having even even younger ones a decade hence positively fills me with dread.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:50 AM
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The grandparents that end up raising their grandchildren and don't leave them at a rest stop in another state? Candidates for sainthood. Seriously.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:52 AM
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Yep. I'm much shittier about such stuff with far less responsibility.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:52 AM
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Moby just leaves them on the side of the highway.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:54 AM
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I'm much shittier about such stuff with far less responsibility

Fist bump, solidarity arm bump.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:54 AM
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254: We're still talking about floating craps, right?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:56 AM
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On a related note, this might be the single most depressing thing I have ever read in our local paper: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/09/29/3240502/shaffer-skeleton-of-young-boy.html


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:04 PM
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Good luck, Thorn! I'm not sure if this is helpful advice, but maybe you can get friends to help with other chores like laundry and cooking, even if you're stuck doing most of the actual childcare?


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:10 PM
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257: Jesus.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:13 PM
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I'm finding my mid-40s to be poorly suited to parenting elementary-age kids; I'm trying my best, but I'm terribly short on patience for it any longer.

My dad had the same experience with his second set of children. He was a very different parent to them and he'll say that he just didn't have the patience for it the second go-round.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:14 PM
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Let's define mid-40s here. I don't think I'm there yet, but I can't be far. If my patience gets much lower, I may have trouble.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:19 PM
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261: I turn 45 at the end of next month.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:20 PM
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Two year is far enough away that I won't worry about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:22 PM
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By then, your child won't be exasperating.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:26 PM
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Fourth grade may be a bit early for non-exasperation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:27 PM
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There's a jump in exasperation at the teenage years. Luckily for my peace of mind (although it probably makes me a bad parent), teenage surliness cracks me up, so I'm reasonably contented, although usually giggling inappropriately. But Buck's feeling the pain a bit -- they're delightful in many ways, but when they leave for college he's going to be able to spend a lot less time snarling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:35 PM
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I wasn't ever really surly with my parents by the time I was a teen. I was exasperating for other reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:37 PM
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Our guys actually aren't bad even on the surliness front, generally. They're just a little out of sync with Buck on when smartassery is welcomed (usually) and when it's best to answer questions straightforwardly. And then the out-of-syncness can get surly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 12:39 PM
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Best wishes to you Thorn. As someone who goes into minor panic mode at the idea of watching over kids for even a few hours I'm sort of in awe at what you're doing.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 9:01 PM
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More condolences and best wishes, Thorn, and I also advocate enlisting help.

I'm finding my mid-40s to be poorly suited to parenting elementary-age kids; I'm trying my best, but I'm terribly short on patience for it any longer.

Word. I suppose one upside is that my daughters try my patience so sorely that pretty much nothing else really fazes me now.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 9:57 PM
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Mrs. K-sky and I are 39 and we're doing gangbusters with our easygoing infant, so I'm sure I don't know what you all are talking about.

(Mrs. K-sky, upon hearing i'm finding my mid-40s to be poorly suited to parenting elementary-age kids: "we're fucked.")


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 10:50 PM
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That might have come off callously braggy, given Thorn's sitch. Bad k-sky. I wish you ease, Thorn.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:22 PM
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I dunno, your situation doesn't seem all that comparable to Thorn's. She's got a lot of additional stuff going on that you don't. I wouldn't worry about seeming braggy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 1-13 11:27 PM
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She is, and that's her theory about what the problem is, but her GP apparently just sort of shrugged at her levels and told her she needs to a mental health clinic, which didn't improve her grumpiness in the slightest.

Typical, half-assed doctoring. Women's health gets routinely written off as just "depression" or "anxiety." As if doctors have never been taught that those sometimes are symptoms rather than diagnoses. So sorry you both are struggling right now.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 2-13 5:05 AM
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It's not braggy at all, k-sky. I can brag that I got a daycare visit scheduled for next week at the place around the corner where I wanted her to go anyway. And then just after dropping the girls off at school (almost late because it was picture day and they insisted on posing for me before we left, which was awesome) I turned onto our street and saw that a woman's car had broken down. Another neighbor (a soc prof) was out walking her dog and she and I helped push the car to a safe parking spot, which I think proved on one of those tests about what class does what that I'm down with the gente. In any event, the driver was on the street because she was going around the corner to drop off her young son, so I even got to talk to her about the daycare and she had good things to say, which is nice.

Lee sorted things out so that we're going to have a babysitter one day a week from 9 am - 1 pm, which actually does give me tons of time. And then the same woman will take all three girls for a few hours one evening a week so that Lee and I can have dinner or do couples counseling or whatever it is that's in the cards. Between that and having cleaners come twice a month, I think things are now covered as well as they can be to keep me functioning for the next six weeks.

274 is why she knows she needs a different doctor but won't switch to the person in the practice I recommended and won't go see a GYN, so I don't feel like there's much I can do. But she's asked him to do antidepressant management before and he's made it clear what his boundaries there are, and so I think this was part of a longer conversation they've had.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 2-13 5:38 AM
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I helped push the car to a safe parking spot, which I think proved on one of those tests about what class does what that I'm down with the gente.

Data point.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-13 6:08 AM
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Can I assume "without a word" is a guy thing and that it's appropriate for women to chat about preschools and about how bad people are at parking on the street anyway that a broken-down car 15 inches from the curb is probably better than most?

Photos of the big girls in the pool, for those who are fans. Sorry, Mister Smearcase.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 2-13 6:17 AM
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