Re: For The Children

1

The simplest answer here is to get breast implants.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 4:35 PM
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In the interests of science, I think you're required to swim immediately after lunch, so that you can get a cramp and need to be rescued. Admittedly, your hypothesis will only be proven if you do drown, but that's a small price to pay.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 4:37 PM
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Ogged's started moonlighting as a lifeguard?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 4:39 PM
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3: Yes. Duh. Do try to keep up, B.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 5:30 PM
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Total hypothetical: Is it creepy to ogle hot moms out one's window, with one's hand down one's pants?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 5:43 PM
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Sounds depressing, certainly. I think 'creepy' is reserved for activities with some perceptible effect on other people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 5:44 PM
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I think 'creepy' is reserved for activities with some perceptible effect on other people.

Say what? Most of the most creepy things are the things one does that other people don't know one does.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 5:47 PM
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Are we talking about, like, lurking in the shrubbery outside someone's house? Yeah, that's creepy. Okay, I don't know what I'm talking about here. But by god I know what it takes to plead standing as a third-party beneficiary to a contract under the law of New York State.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 5:54 PM
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'creepy' is reserved for activities with some perceptible effect on other people

Adam forgot to mention that his own parents are usually in the room at the time.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 5:55 PM
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5: I somehow read that at first as "one's mom". Which would be creepy.

8: why is it oddly comforting to know that someone else has spent all weekend working?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:30 PM
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I wouldn't be comforted. Tu fui ego eris.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:33 PM
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12

[A pause as everyone frantically googles.]


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:37 PM
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13

Sorry. I know. It only applies when I'm doing it *the same weekend*, but it's still not very nice.

I'm very lucky to be getting paid to do this, but may I just say that spending the weekend alone with the Abu Ghraib photos, transcripts, reports etc. is sometimes REALLY FUCKING DEPRESSING?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:39 PM
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14

I was you; you will be I.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:40 PM
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Sorry. I know. It only applies when I'm doing it *the same weekend*, but it's still not very nice.

13.1 to 5, right?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:41 PM
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Yes, I know what it means. I had five years of high school latin. Mr McCullagh and his violence-based approach to learning. Good times. I was talking about all those other unfortunates.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:42 PM
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17

why does "you will be I" sound so wrong?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:42 PM
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18

sure, ben.
but can you give us the latin for
i am he as you are he as you are me
and we are all together?
or
i am the walrus?
or
goo goo ga joob?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:42 PM
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19

I had five years of high school latin

We welcome even the slow kids.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:43 PM
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20

I got a D, too.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:44 PM
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21

17--
well, it sounds wrong, because syntactically speaking it really is a dog's breakfast.
i mean, maybe some post-classical git put it on a tomb-stone.
but i'd think latinity requires something more like:
quod tu es, ego fui; quod ego sum, tu eris.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:45 PM
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Did you stop to think, Gonerill, that I provided the translation for the benefit of "those other unfortunates"? No? Ok, just checking.

You disgust me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:45 PM
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I got one of those in college Latin. I think that was the quarter where I didn't show up often enough to figure out the professor was blind until the quarter was half over. ("Huh, that's an odd looking edition of the Aeneid he's reading from. What are all those little bumps... oh.")


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:45 PM
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You disgust me

De disgustibus non est disputandum.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:46 PM
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I got a D in 7th grade health!

You know, that's actually not very impressive evidence of slacking any more.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:47 PM
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21: That's a literal translation of what I've always seen as the graceful english version: What I was, you are; what I am, you will be. But I don't see anything synactically wrong with the shorter version of the Latin.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:48 PM
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25: I flunked a test on skin care in eighth grade health. Got a B in the class, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:49 PM
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28

the Latin version looked fine to me.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:49 PM
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29

I've been doing expense reports all day. They're such an annoying pile of paperwork that I always let about four months of them pile up and only push myself to do it when I start to really, really need the money. Then I inevitably can't find some stupid receipt or boarding pass from June and start freaking out that I won't get reimbursed for a not-inexpensive flight and tear my apartment apart trying to find it. Just found the July one! Whew!


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:51 PM
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30

To demonstrate how much I hate doing expense reports -- I actually did laundry as a way of procrastinating.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:52 PM
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31

well, sometimes latin believed in agreement between subject and main verb. agreement in number and person.

so the 'tu' and the 'ego' in the four-word version cannot be subjects; they have to be some sort of predicate nominatives in apposition.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:52 PM
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Expense reports do suck. My last one had the bonus annoyance that all the expenses were in Canadian dollars, but I get reimbursed in US dollars. Also, the itemization on the various bills didn't match the itemization my expense report form needs, so I had to go back and calculate currency conversions for lots of individual items, and then make sure that it all added up to the right amount at the end.

I considered quitting instead of finishing it, but that wouldn't get me the money, either.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:55 PM
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so the 'tu' and the 'ego' in the four-word version cannot be subjects; they have to be some sort of predicate nominatives in apposition.

They aren't subjects, any more than "I" in the perfectly fine English sentence "You are I" is the subject. Neither are they in apposition. What's the problem?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:56 PM
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34

The Latin is making me think of this Neruda poem (translation by Stephen Mitchell):

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose,
topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:58 PM
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35

The Latin copula works grammatically like an equality relation. "Tu fui" is, word for word, "You (I was)". Because the "you" is equated with the implicit "I" in "fui" which is the subject of the sentence, it's in the same case. (Hypercorrecting English grammarians wanted the same thing to happen in English -- hence the hypercorrect "It is I" rather than the more natural in English "It's me." But in Latin it's natural.) (And that hypercorrection: "you will be I" is what sounds off about the English translation.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:59 PM
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36

agree they're not subjects (said so in 31).
do you agree they are predicate nominatives?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 6:59 PM
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37

Also, if I may whine, I've been sick all weekend so I've spent most of it asleep (and not even in a good, restorative sleep -- more like a restless, feeling like hell sleep and except for Friday night, which I spent at work until 1 AM) so I've had very little awake time to get things on my To Do List done. What I wanted to accomplish, versus what I did:

* Clean apartment
* Expense reports
* Laundry
* Update resume
* Finish project for work
* Fill out Nerve profile

Boo.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:00 PM
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38

My last one had the bonus annoyance that all the expenses were in Canadian dollars, but I get reimbursed in US dollars.

So? At this point it's about 1:1.

I never took any latin what-so-ever. And yet somehow I got a PhD in 18th century Brit lit. God, standards have slipped.

Also, three of the mice have died this month. I'm just a tiny bit sick of disinfecting cages every weekend, I tell you what.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:02 PM
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39

I can't believe you Latin nerds have the gall to say the swimming posts are boring.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:02 PM
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40

Man, that Neruda dude could schmooze the ladies.

Je es un autre, I am who am, I yam what I yam, take your pick.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:02 PM
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Predicate nominatives sounds right. It's the same construction as "Civis Romanus sum" -- "civis" is nominative because it's equated with the implicit "I".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:03 PM
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42

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose,

But there is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:03 PM
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43

do you agree they are predicate nominatives?

Yes. But they're not in apposition, which you also said.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:03 PM
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44

Also, three of the mice have died this month.

Your kid is going to be a nihilist if you don't slow down on the death around there.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:04 PM
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45

37: That looks like an accomplished weekend to me, Becks.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:05 PM
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46

43--
yup i did. i take it back. it's been awhile since i had to activate any of those memories.

still strikes me as substandard piece of latin. any sourcing for it?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:07 PM
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So? At this point it's about 1:1.
I'll let you discuss that with my employer, their accountant, and our auditors, and see if they think that's okay.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:07 PM
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48

44: He cried this morning when I told him Jumps had gone to the vet with Mr. B. But by the time she died an hour ago, he was pretty philosophical, and at the cremation (for her and her cagemate who died a couple weeks ago and who has been in the freezer ever since waiting for us to get around to the funeral), we had to scold him about the importance of showing respect as he climbed around on the wall by the barbeque.

He says "we need to get more mice." I say "hell no." There are two left.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:07 PM
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49

It's the new babysitter, B. The one your husband molested. She seemed so nice, didn't she?

Wait -- I mean the one whose husband killed himself because you sued him for molesting you. That one, not the one your husband molested.

We've checked the other one out and she was molesting someone else's kids at the time. Ironclad alibi.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:07 PM
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50

still strikes me as substandard piece of latin.

Isn't concision considered a virtue in Latin style?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:08 PM
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51

39 gets it right. We should go back to discussing this, because I just saw the movie. It's very weird. Totally nonlinear. I liked it better than Velvet Goldmine because it had far more than one idea in it. Check it out and discuss what parts you liked the best.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:08 PM
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52

48: Chinchilla, man. Giant mouse with a respectable lifespan.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:09 PM
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53

He says "we need to get more mice." I say "hell no." There are two left.

You should get him a non-disposable animal to teach him the value of life. I recommend a hedgehog.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:10 PM
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49: The what? The babysitter we have is unreliable and 13 years old. She lives across the street and her dad's a sheriff. Nothing untowards is going on AT ALL, dammit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:10 PM
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Chinchillas are weird. They look kind of like Winnie the Pooh at times.

Also consider getting a grackle, as I mentioned earlier. You can probably use a net.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:11 PM
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52: He wants a chinchilla. I'm thinking about it. But aren't they both social animals and totally averse to being handled? So we'd need two, and yet we'd never be able to hold them, right?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:11 PM
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Your kid is going to be a nihilist if you don't slow down on the death around there.

He'll be fine. I accidentally strangled my beloved hamster to death and I turned out mostly OK.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:13 PM
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58

Right. Your pseudonym is "destroyer."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:14 PM
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59

My sister-in-law has one in a cage, and it's holdable and pettable. She's pretty good with animals, aside from a regrettable tendency to acquire them unnecessarily, and so I'd guess that she's not maltreating it by having only one. But I don't actually know.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:15 PM
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60

I got a D on the 7th grade "study skills" test.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:15 PM
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Yeah, your s-i-l sounds like me. Okay, a pettable chinchilla might be kind of nice, actually. My god, these mice. Do you have any idea how long it takes to disinfect a cage and three feet of tubing and then figure out how to reassemble the tubes? And how much I've spent on replacing little wooden houses and grassy nests that can't be washed? Fuck, man.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:16 PM
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He'll be fine. I accidentally strangled my beloved hamster to death and I turned out mostly OK.

Killing animals for food is good for kids. I grew up watching my dad butcher rabbists, ducks, chickens, etc. from age two or three.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:18 PM
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And! Between camping and cage disinfection, I completely ruined the manicure I had last week. Which was part of a mother's day spa day present I only had finally gotten around to scheduling. Dammit!

I got a D- in senior year religion.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:18 PM
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64

man, two or three is much too old for butchering rabbits and chickens. maybe a two-year old duck is still tasty, but rabbits and chickens are really stringy by that age.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:20 PM
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54. Sure, 13 year olds whose dads are sheriffs never kill pet mice. No sir.

Apparently I've seen a movie someone else haven't. A first! (except for "Putney Swope").


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:20 PM
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66

I butchered rabbits as a kid, and look at me now: a slave to mice.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:20 PM
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67

Making arguments whose unstated premise is "and I turned out OK" is a very brave thing to do.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:21 PM
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65.1: You're saying that the 13 year old across the street somehow gave our mice pneumonia?

John, I know you're crazy and all, but come on.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:21 PM
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64: He said rabbists, not rabbits. I think a rabbist is a member of some philosophical movement.

Maybe you should get PK some nice bats. They don't need tubes and wicker contraptions to experience the joy of 3-dimensional life.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:22 PM
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70

We had bats in the house last year, don't you remember?

And yes, PK thought they were cute.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:23 PM
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71

what, did you do a chest x ray?

we used to have cute (but still very unwanted) mice walk into our living room & just expire. It was weird. I guess the neighbors had put out poison or something.


Posted by: katherine | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:23 PM
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72

70: dude, get that kid a kitten. Cool, maybe, but cute?


Posted by: Katherine` | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:24 PM
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73

Upon cursory investigation it appears that bat enthusiasts are strongly opposed to any suggestion that bats could be kept as pets.

A flying squirrel on the other hand can live a happy domestic life as long as you devote one room of the house to it.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:24 PM
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74

rabbits and chickens are really stringy by that age.

Long slow cooking, man.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:26 PM
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75

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.

Boy, did that joke fall flat. Also, B has no sense of humor.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:26 PM
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71: No, we balked at a $240 chest xray. We took it to the emergency vet because it was wheezing hard and had blood coming out of its nose and mouth. The vet examined it and said there was no apparent trauma, that toxicity was highly unlikely given that it lives in a cage, and that it looked like pneumonia. Which the fragile little fuckers get. Now I have to keep an eagle eye on its cagemates (who at the moment appear healthy) and keep my fingers crossed that they don't start coughing up blood, too.

I think I may take them to the vet tomorrow and make him prescribe me prophylactic antibiotics, actually. Because fuck antibiotic resistant tuberculosis, I do not want more dead mice on my hands.

72: Believe me, I'd love to get a kitten. Alas, current cat Will Not Stand for competition.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:27 PM
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A flying squirrel on the other hand can live a happy domestic life as long as you devote one room of the house to it.

I can just hear my blog readers now: "you got a four bedroom house so that you can have a bedroom for a squirrel?!?

Sorry, John, never saw movie. Also humor impaired and totally thread-stealing with my ridiculous mouse rants.

At least mice don't require tons of paperwork and digging up old receipts, I suppose.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:29 PM
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78

wait, you've got a cat, and you're wondering why your mice are stressed?
and if that weren't enough you're hovering over the cage giving them an eagle eye?

no wonder they feel like they've come to rodent death camp.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:29 PM
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79

They live in a bathroom with a closed door. The cat never so much as enters. Trust me, these are the best-cared-for mice in the entire universe.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:30 PM
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80

When my sone was about four hy son drew a picture of the wild mice living in our apartment. Then he drew another picture of himself drawing a picture of the mice. He also built live traps to catch them, though he never caught one.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:31 PM
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81

Aww, cute.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:32 PM
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82

Do you masturbate them to accumulate utility credits? Five mice aren't enough to offset very much sin.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:32 PM
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83

34:

Witt, thanks for that Neruda poem.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:33 PM
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84

This is so idiotic.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:33 PM
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85

To be serious for a minute here, I've recently read about how mice experience "empathetic" stress, which may have warped the results of some experiments by scientists who didn't want to go to the bother of studying that factor.

If mice can tell that one of their compadres is in pain, they show signs of stress and are more susceptible to diseases. I think you should isolate the sick mice at the first sign that something is amiss, for the sake of the others.

This seems to happen in mice that have been living with each other for more than a couple weeks.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:34 PM
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86

Wild mice are actually less trouble.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:35 PM
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87

85: Great.

I do isolate them asap--it's just that they don't show symptoms until it's almost too late. In my experience.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:35 PM
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88

Seriously, though, thanks for the link, Ned. Interesting stuff. Poor little guys. :(


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:36 PM
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89

87 -- good.

86 -- I think so, since they can find food on their own without being babysat.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:36 PM
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90

He also built live traps to catch them, though he never caught one.

My kids like to try and trap chipmunks and ground squirrels.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:42 PM
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91

For what crimes do they try them?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:43 PM
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92

After the unsuspicious variety of wildlife, I see.

But that is a terribly cute picture. Your kids are just ridiculously fetching, with the serious intent stares.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:45 PM
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Back to Katherine's 13:
may I just say that spending the weekend alone with the Abu Ghraib photos, transcripts, reports etc. is sometimes REALLY FUCKING DEPRESSING?

In all seriousness, I keep thinking about this issue, in the context of how backup therapists are sent in to help the original therapists who had to be the first responders after a disaster. Because one of the things we're figuring out as a society is that hearing about trauma over and over again is pretty tough on the psyche.

I don't know where I'm going with this except to say thanks to Katherine for her work, and to acknowledge secondary/tertiary trumatization as a problem for all of us.

Bah. Back to chinchillas!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:45 PM
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94

That is a completely adorable picture. How long were they able to sit still?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:46 PM
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95

I got at least one D at every level of my education except graduate school.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:46 PM
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96

I have never gotten a D.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:47 PM
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97

Swift, that's the same method my son used. Unsuccessful.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:47 PM
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98

90--
i know you're trying to do a good job teaching your kids about nature and all, and i hate to criticize.

but what they have caught there is neither a chipmunk or a ground squirrel.
it's a cardboard box.
now, the good thing is that cardboard boxes also make fine pets, and require relatively little in the way of specialized food or medication.
and they can give your children hours of entertainment, as witness their evident delight in leading the box around on a string.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:49 PM
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99

Man. Looking at the amount of work I've gotten done over the last couple of weeks, and comparing it to the amount of mental effort and time in the office, it's back to more Latin tags:

parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:53 PM
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100

Teo, that overachiever, went straight to getting Fs.

parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.

I just used this the other day.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:54 PM
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101

bravo, lb!
you got in the latin theme, plus the mouse reference.

now if you could only have quoted it from the other horace satire, the one where he talks about the bath-attendant checking out the cute boys and letting the old geezers drown.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 7:55 PM
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Stay strong, LB. Because of you, some third-party beneficiary may now enjoy (or not, depending on which side you're on) standing to enforce a contract. It's important work.

(Also, you'll be that much closer to the bonus.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:00 PM
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103

Your kids are just ridiculously fetching, with the serious intent stares.

Heh. They were hellbent on catching something.

How long were they able to sit still?

Quite a while. That cabin is out in the woods outside of Chester, CA. Loaded with wildlife. They had a lot more luck than Emerson's kid.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:01 PM
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104

98 reminds me of this

And speaking of adorable children w/ cute stares, check out my nephew.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:01 PM
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105

That's one cute nephew, yup.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:02 PM
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90, 98: I've recommended it before, but the definitive children's book on the topic is Christina Katerina and the Box.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:04 PM
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My high school career was split fairly evenly between Ds and As, for no obvious reason.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:08 PM
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Ogged's started moonlighting as a lifeguard

I never took any latin what-so-ever. And yet somehow I got a PhD in 18th century Brit lit. God, standards have slipped.

Standards for English reading comprehension too, it seems. O whither the academy?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:11 PM
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106--
oh, like a refrigerator box.
yeah. really yeah.
my kids are a bit too old for it now, but when they were sort of 3-8 year ages, a big old refrigerator box was one of my best tricks kept in reserve for the end of a rainy week. hours of fun.
really good, high quality fun. and all for a free box from the back of the appliance store.
good times. i wish i hadn't been so goddamn busy when they were that age; i had a lot of fun with them, but i was always behind, fretting, worried, panicked, busy, under the gun.
really gets in the way of enjoying kids as much as they deserve.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:13 PM
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108: It's fucked; I actually taught people how to write for a while.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:34 PM
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Pointing out the grammatical problems with 110 would just be cruel, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:35 PM
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My high school career was split fairly evenly between Ds and As, for a very obvious reason--sometimes I gave a shit and sometimes I didn't. Hey! Little Greek and less Latin and look at me now!


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:36 PM
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I never had the ability to ignore what other people thought of me, so I never slacked off in any classes.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:42 PM
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The inability to ignore what other people thought of me had absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I did my work in a given class.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:44 PM
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I was also lucky enough to be able to do the work properly in all my classes, partially because I was lucky enough to not have any social life or personal turmoil.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:47 PM
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Also arguably not the problem. I spent most of my time doing things (reading, programming computers) that were utterly congruent with schoolwork, and yet utterly irrelevant when it came to what I should be doing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:51 PM
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My green'n'lovely native land had an excellent grading system for its national exams (now superseded): A, B, C, D, D, E, F, NG. "NG" standing for "No Grade", which meant you couldn't even get an F. I am the proud holder of an NG in a state-run exam.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:55 PM
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Except there was only one D: the native alphabet isn't that odd.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 8:55 PM
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My college had A, B, C, No Entry. "No entry" means doesn't appear on your transcript. The idea was to encourage taking classes outside one's usual comfort zone. Which it did. We had to keep fighting to keep the administration from taking it away from us.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 9:04 PM
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Despite the appalling mixing of tenses that just went on, I did learn how to write and everything.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 9:05 PM
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104: Do you have more pictures of him that you'd like to share?


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 9:39 PM
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121--
wow, we had this thread recently about creepy lyrics?
only they had to be unintentionally creepy?
and i think you just wrote one?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 10:17 PM
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Haven't read the thread, but in response to the original post: I admire the guy's straightforwardness and honesty.

I think he should make a special guest appearance commenting on the next ogling-related thread.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-16-07 10:41 PM
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Hey, think of it as evolution in action: if Ogged drowns, one less competitor for mating rights for Wingnut Lifeguard to deal with.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 2:58 AM
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B, I was visiting an old friend recently, and her kids have pet rats. (I took a picture -- it's still first on my flickr). They had a long list of the qualities that made them superior pets, and they certainly didn't seem to mind being handled.

I remain unconverted, but maybe with a little more time . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 3:38 AM
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The kids had a list, and the rats didn't mind being handled. As if this wasn't perfectly clear.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 3:39 AM
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Yeah, an ex of mine had a rat. They make good pets, I believe. They are smart and seem quite affectionate.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 3:54 AM
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My niece had rats and when she went to University they had to set up a webcam so she could keep an eye on them. The thing is, they live long enough to seriously bond with, and then they die.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 4:43 AM
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they live long enough to seriously bond with, and then they die.

True of all too many mammals...


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 7:13 AM
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Rats are very sweet. Mom wouldn't let me have them, or anything with a thin long tail. Freaked her out.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 7:17 AM
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Elephants. Turtles. Rockfish

Science is working on it!: Methuselah Mouse.

Alas, the Methusaleh Mouse only lives 5 years.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 7:23 AM
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No rats, no mice, no possums. A stunted childhood. I've seen a report from a possum owner who says that they're clean and affectionate.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 7:24 AM
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Gerbils are intelligent, social, playful and clean. (Will poop in one place that they choose.) If you have those plastic trails and put a few walnuts inside they will not rest until they have kicked the walnuts out. Be sure to have a cage that allows them to jump, as they like that, and try to get a sibling sister pair. They like fresh food sometimes.

Presidential, as I want no blame for the eventual sadness that comes from adopting rodents.


Posted by: Imelda Marcos | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:05 AM
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My father enjoyed enlarging the holes in the walls behind the cabinets so that the squirrels from the backyard could have better access to his kitchen. While part of me appreciated the whimsy, the image is a reminder for me that mental illness is lonely lonely lonely.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:10 AM
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can someone delete 104? ogling four month olds is not allowed.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:14 AM
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135--
sad that you have to do that, but yeah i think you're right.

wouldn't have occurred to me that it was a danger until reading 121.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:21 AM
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I've got to admit that for me, the categories of "vermin" and "pets" stand pretty damned far apart.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:22 AM
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I'll go break the link.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:22 AM
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I should say that I'd seriously doubt that 121 was meant creepily in any way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:36 AM
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I'm thinking 135 was probably a "Wait, I didn't ask permission to do that..." moment. We've all had 'em.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:39 AM
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I'm probably misinterpreting, and I apologize if so, but it came off weird.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:39 AM
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In any case, the link's gone, your nephew is cute, and it's a big weird Internet with lots of freaky people out there -- even assuming 121 wasn't itself meant freakily, if it reminded you that there were people out there to worry about, that's a perfectly good reason to want the link gone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:42 AM
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141--
for what it's worth, i had the very same reaction (witness 122), and it's not even my nephew.

clearly part of the issue is that i had never heard of 'other paul' before, so i had my doubts.

if it had been certain of the regulars, i would have had no doubt whatsoever.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:51 AM
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Because the regulars are known perverts.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:56 AM
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"Other Paul" hasn't commented enough that I've got much of a personal sense of him, but he's certainly commented before some. I do think that accusing someone making a facially innocuous remark (yeah, it did come off a little odd, but not all that much) of having an inappropriate interest in a baby is weird and rude. Wanting the link down out of general concern over having the picture up on a highish traffic site where who knows who's looking at it is one thing, but pointing fingers at an individual based on a comment like that is kind of over the top.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 8:59 AM
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I've seen "other paul" around, maybe not here. Not regular but not unknown either.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:00 AM
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Hey, if Katherine's concerned about me, I understand. This ankle bracelet only guarantees so much.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:01 AM
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Years ago, I used to work for an internet company, and one of my jobs was to vet customer web-sites [all the junior techie-management/supervisors used to share the job].

Several times I came across people who collected just that type of innocent photo of other people's children. I had to phone one guy up and tell him that we were going to pull his website that obsessively catalogued photos of small children's feet. He was quite hurt. He was right that there was nothing illegal about it, but 'you're fucking creeping us out' didn't seem to him to be particularly convincing reason.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:02 AM
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Sorry. You can delete my above comment too. Jesus, teach me to post a snapshot here.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:02 AM
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Sorry. You can delete my above comment too. Jesus, teach me to post a snapshot here.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:02 AM
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(I didn't recognize the name, either, which probably contributed to what was probably a misunderstanding.)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:04 AM
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And I'm sorry -- I didn't mean to snarl at you, but at kid. Again, wanting the picture down seems perfectly reasonable for ttaM's reasons generally, that you don't know who's looking at it. Turning that into calling a particular person out, which kid did but you initially didn't, is what struck me as off.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:04 AM
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This sort of thing is kind of a hot button for me, because I really hate the climate of fear that makes it abnormal for kids to have a moment unsupervised in anything other than a perfectly private, contained situation.

I've sat in a park with a couple of other women and listened to them talk themselves into getting really worried because there was a man on a parkbench watching the kids play. On a beautiful sunny day with maybe twenty, twenty-five people in sight, but this guy was a worry because he was a man sitting by himself. It's not that there aren't crazy people out there, but if you're afraid of everyone you'll make yourself crazy first.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:09 AM
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re: 153

Yeah. The climate of fear and the constraints thus imposed are far more harmful.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:11 AM
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@153: Right, but by the same token, the fact that things are widely feared, whatever you think of that fear, means you have to think of other people's sense of privacy in making decisions, whatever you think the risks are or aren't.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:13 AM
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re: 155

Yes, I take a lot of photographs in public. Black and white 'street' photographs of people, as well as more ordinary architectural or landscape stuff. I'm always very very careful never to take photographs with children in the frame for precisely those reasons.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:19 AM
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And that's perfectly reasonable caution, but it's a shame you need to be so cautious.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:24 AM
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re: 157

Yeah, although I'm not entirely unsympathetic to the views of parents, either. Given that I am aware from my experience in 148 that there really are creeps out there. Of course, I think that level of paranoia is over the top, but, it's still understandable.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:25 AM
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Since this thread has basically been derailed, I'll ask myquestion here anyway. I fullyunderstand that this is not legal advice, but here goes.

Does anyone know anything about takign a medical leave. I might need to go into a hospital, andthe Payroll/benefits person at work was very unclear about how the whole process worked. She kept saying, "if we grant you the leave..." WF, being lame and having no HR,requiresyou to go to your team leader, and the STL. STL who is pretty good is away, and the ASTL is a real jerk--basically Fred Flinstone.

They have to promise to keep your same job, but I know that my crazy boss would need o finda replacement for me. I had always thought that they were supposed to hold an equivalent job or something.

I found out who the regional taem member services person is, but apparently she's very hard to reach. WHat is this "If we grant you the leave..." If your doctor says taht you might be unable too work for a few eeks and will be in a hospital, how the fuck can they fail to grant you leave?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:27 AM
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My family has always taken nude pictures of the kids (my sister was so cute 55 years ago!) but it's a lot riskier today. We have pictures of my two nieces (then 4 and 6) naked and covered with mud, and they're innocuous and cute, but you worry when you get them developed. A guy in Chicago came close to going to jail for that 10-15 years ago, and he did have his career ruined (and possibly his family destroyed.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:31 AM
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The relevant law is the FMLA, there's a FAQ at the link. Whole Foods in Boston has got to be a covered employer, and if you've worked there for a year, you're covered. I'd print out pages from the FAQ and carry them into the relevant meeting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:32 AM
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Does anyone know anything about takign a medical leave.

How long have you had your job? You're entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per 12 month period, but only if you've been at your job for a year. These are the federal requirements, though--I'm not sure if there are additional quirks at the state level.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:33 AM
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And I hope you're okay -- best wishes with whatever's going wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:37 AM
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I was taking pictures of the milieu at my sister's high school graduation and suddenly this weird woman accosted me and asked why I had taken a picture of some little girl (not a relative of hers). I showed her the picture on the phone and the only parts of the little girl included were one leg and arm and half of the body, as she was looking through a fence. I told the woman that I didn't know how to delete photos from the phone because it wasn't my phone. Then she went and got one of her male relatives who she thought would know how to go through the photos and delete some of them. The guy had no idea why he was being called in to do this, but deferred to her because she was some sort of social worker and she used the word "internet" a couple times as if to evoke whatever vague force she thought would turn good into evil.

It was as if she didn't realize that it might be an insult to be accusing me of being a pedophile, because she was very apologetic about the whole thing, and seemed as if it was just human nature to want to step in when some stranger makes the mistake of creating a photographic representation of a child. Because of course it is very difficult to find random candid or non-candid pictures with children in them, now and at other points in history, so when such a picture stands a chance of being created it should be nipped in the bud that we may preserve the current state in which pictures of children do not exist. I have no idea what was going through her mind. Just the fact that she reminded us that she was reserving the right to call the police made everyone around her do what she said. Only another woman could have had any chance of reasoning with her.

So her son (I think) scrolled through the photos and she looked at them, pointing at a couple and saying "There, that one has to go". Then he didn't know how to delete them either, and rolled his eyes at me in confusion about this woman's persistence. Meanwhile my sister walked across the stage to get her diploma while my camera was unavailable to me. (not that the pictures would have been very good anyway from that far away)

This whole phobia disgusts me. It's maybe 500th on the list of things people should get agitated about.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:37 AM
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Also, BG? Somewhere in your workplace there should be a poster spelling out your FMLA rights -- it may be easier to communicate with your manager if you're referring to a poster they hung up themselves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:43 AM
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God, Ned, I'm getting mad just reading that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:45 AM
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Well, it was a pretty slanted take on the situation. I should go find that woman and get a journalist to do a he-said, she-said piece.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:46 AM
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I'm sure she would indeed have a different take on the situation, but she'd be wrong. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:49 AM
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Because of course it is very difficult to find random candid or non-candid pictures with children in them, now and at other points in history

Ha. I found several boxes of old slides at my mom's house not long ago and about half of them were pictures of infant- and toddler-me in various stages of undress. Definite Flickr material.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 9:59 AM
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It's maybe 500th on the list of things people should get agitated about.

And it's 1st on the list of boogeymen that people, and in particular conservatives, like to invoke out when they want to project irrational anger and wish violence on an unredeemable enemy.

I was reminded of this only a few months back when Mitt Romney declared he would crack down on child-sex predators. As he phrased it, "one strike and you're ours". I can't shake how distressingly eager and pert that phrasing is. The desire to do torture is outstanding in quite real and it has real and debilitating effects on the day to day mechanics of society, like in C-Ned's example.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:07 AM
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I'm just surprised nobody has called the DC cops on that suspicious residence with three young men "working from home" every day from the flophouse where you can see into the school next door.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:11 AM
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The crackling sexual tension between the residents clears them of any imputation of interest in the kids next door?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:13 AM
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You seem to be very familiar with the best vantage points for observing middle school children, Becks. You won't mind if I browse through your pictures?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:14 AM
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The crackling sexual tension between the residents clears them of any imputation of interest in the kids next door?

Yeah, the neighbors thought that about the grandees in 120 Days of Sodom, too.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:19 AM
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You know, I bet the woman who took Ned's phone probably thinks nothing of letting her sister and her sister's new boyfriend, who seems like such a nice man, watch her children.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:22 AM
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The level of paranoia surrounding the child rearing is astounding and disheartening. Dollars to donuts says that the consensus view is that child interference has gone down over time.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:23 AM
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122, 135 etc: I'm sorry that comment sounded the way it did (if it seemed like a driveby, it's because I stopped reading Unfogged after I posted it, at 11:30 pm my time.) I certainly see why you wouldn't want to leave up pictures of your nephew for the entire internet to see.

That said, I really don't appreciate people acting like I'm a creepy, creepy person because I posted a badly-phrased comment and don't comment often enough to have a highly recognizable handle. It's not cool, and it doesn't really make me want to comment more.


Posted by: Other Paul | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:38 AM
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Sorry!


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:39 AM
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177: Eh, I spoke up for you, and I agree it's uncool and unpleasant. But it is very conventional these days (see Cryptic Ned's story, where the woman confronting him seemed to have no concept of how out of line she was), so I wouldn't take it personally if at all possible, or be cross with kid or Katherine -- I'm sure there was no intent to be personally insulting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:43 AM
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I thought the remarks, although regretable, were about how certain regulars have license to pretend to be perverts here, by dint of being so well known. We remembered you'd been here and abouts, and were not a troll, and said so.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:49 AM
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add my apologies to katherine's, and if lb is right in 152, then double my apologies and send me to the corner as well.

no point i guess in pointing out that my original 122 specified that the creepiness was unintentional?

anyhow--other paul--i'm merely a random visitor here myself, so don't take my uncongeniality as any demerit in the site at large. sorry to have cast aspersions.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:49 AM
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The irony is that I've been perving non-stop over Katherine's neices. I just had the common decency not to say so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:52 AM
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Yup. Generally Yay for apologies! Boo for oversensitivity of every variety! Boo me for making an issue over something that probably would have passed uncommented on if I hadn't been desparately trying not to work!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:53 AM
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can someone please fucking start another thread?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:54 AM
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My nieces are cuter. Also my grandnephew.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:55 AM
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I can't believe I'm going to have one of those. Or a grandniece. I'm alternately cracking up over it and feeling ancient.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:57 AM
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There's a thread for commenting salaciously about some Swedish high jumper. I don't know that it's of much interest.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:58 AM
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You don't know much about interest, missy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 10:59 AM
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also: the phrasing of 135 was actually directly responsive to 123, but I guess it's hard to pull off lighthearted when combined with a request for deletion. But, not my kid.

I don't actually go around demanding to inspect & delete cell phone pictures, either. Heck, there are cell phone pictures of me in Iraq right now. But again, not my kid.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:00 AM
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(of course, I know see that I completely misread 123 anyway. gah).


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:02 AM
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re 153 and the women in the park story: this must have a lot to do with the infusion of television fantasies into peoples' perceptions of real life. On a TV program, when you see a lone male sitting on a park bench looking at kids there's got to be like an 80% chance he is about to do something nefarious. As opposed to real life, where it's probably like one-ten thousandth of one percent. The general climate of fear and suspicion of others is a pretty profound form of cultural damage.

BTW, the initial assumption of threat instead of innocence is one price paid for being male. Much larger if you're minority or poor, but vaguely present for the wider population too.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:05 AM
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sorry for making a post that wasn't apologizing about something. I'm sure I'll have occasion to soon, though.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:07 AM
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the initial assumption of threat instead of innocence is one price paid for being male

And for being large, a mixed blessing: You're not messed with, but you can see the wariness and anxiety when people notice you.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:10 AM
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According to my smartest friend, the issue here is that children are often seen as nothing but The Future, which is, in turn, paranoia, which means that children are little walking timebombs to be armed by any potential harm, from a single off-tone comment by a parent to [...]. She's been researching the ways that the police are reported to speak about the suspicion of crimes against children, and found they say things like, "The child was found in a home where there existed the possibility of sex toys" and, tellingly, "Any child in the presence of a 40-year-old, we have to assume harm is being done." What harms children, in the public imagination, is not just actual molestation or violence, but the mere possibility of a loss of innocence in the presence of an adult, which lumps, e.g., sex education, education at all, life experience, all into the realm of harm. To preserve children from any confrontation with adult ideas or influence, until 18 or beyond, is the absolute end.

For most of us, I think that's not true. But look at the way a certain kind of conservative, right now, is fixated on the "harm" done to children by everything from overhearing swear words to seeing a gay couple hold hands. They say it's not necessarily that they hate homosexuals, but that queer sexuality is an "adult" reality whose very existence harms their child.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:18 AM
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191--
"On a TV program, when you see a lone male sitting on a park bench looking at kids there's got to be like an 80% chance he is about to do something nefarious."

this is very true, and might be termed the inverse chekhov problem.

if in real life you see a rifle over the mantle-piece, the overwhelming odds are that it will *not* go off anytime that will affect you.

but if your reactions to real-life situations are conditioned by narrative conventions, then you'll assume the contrary.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:20 AM
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195: exactly, I was thinking about the Chekhov example too but couldn't figure a way to work it in.

In a world where lots of people get the majority of their everyday emotional experiences from media narratives, such conventions can almost replace reality.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:22 AM
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This is one of my topics, as we all know, but I've come to believe that there's been some sort of deal cut, according to which sexual liberation is accepted as long as the children are protected. The weird result has been that alcohol, tobacco, and sex become criteria for adulthood, and a non-smoking, non-drinking, virgin 21 year old become an object of fun. It's like crazy sex has been institutionalized as a standard part of the life cycle.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:29 AM
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Wow. The Inverse Chekkov Problem is going to be a very handy shorthand.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:30 AM
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And even the word "adult" has come to be synonymous with harmful, as in, "adult content." Some of my students have been so protected from anything "adult" that when we talk about "adult" topics, I realize I'm sometimes the first person who has ever done so, and some of them look like they're experiencing it as harm to, for example, read 17th-century poetry. It's not my goal to be the first person in an undergrad's life to use the word "erection" in a non-clinical context, but it seems I am. Am I harming them? According to their parents, probably so. But what are you going to do? Just skip over the entire late Renaissance except for Milton?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:33 AM
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What a weird euphemism "erection" is, anyway. Sounds like a term in a building contract.

We used to take it for granted—falsely, of course—that kids had been raised the same way and were at similar levels of understanding, and that tv would make this more true. But the gulf between my kids and those you describe will be vast, and will confuse them both.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:40 AM
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198--
handy indeed. the royalties from that alone should pay my rent for decades.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:41 AM
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199--

yeah, and be sure not to assign this bit of milton, either:

whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st
(and pure thou wert created) we enjoy
in eminence, and obstacle find none
of membrane, joint, or limb.

uh, teacher? what's that mean exactly?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:43 AM
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but wait! Aren't there several Bitzers? I foresee IP lawsuits. Lawyers, to your marks!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:43 AM
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what monday shift coins, monday shift keeps.

ask lb: you only eat what you kill.
it's a dog-eat-dog world here in sock-puppet land.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 11:45 AM
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I foresee the Bitzer realm's collapse into acrimony, treachery, and bloody murder.

I was just thinking that one of our posters should be sharing the royalties with Calvin and Hobbes for "pony plan".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 12:01 PM
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178, 181: It's okay--I can see why you reacted the way you did, and I know you didn't mean it personally.
Also, I didn't mean to suggest that no one spoke up for me; I'd just read the thread and was upset, and replied to the comments that upset me (I've calmed down some since.) There, that's done with.

I think another reason that men are seen as dangerous to children is that a lot of the time men as a group are not seen as nurturing/'parental' people. This makes expressions of interest in a child that would be unexceptionable coming from a woman seem sleazy from a man.


Posted by: Other Paul | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 12:02 PM
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"bloody strife" would be more Shakespearean, I think.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 12:03 PM
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I think another reason that men are seen as dangerous to children is that a lot of the time men as a group are not seen as nurturing/'parental' people.

This is a really nasty vicious circle problem -- the negative feedback men get for associating with kids makes them avoid kids, and then men who do associate with kids look even weirder.

I do love my neighborhood; for some reason we've got a whole bunch of families with women doing the 9 to 5 gig, married to men who work at home or have odd hours, so there are a whole lot of visible men doing parenting during the day. (Buck, for one.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 12:07 PM
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But look at the way a certain kind of conservative, right now, is fixated on the "harm" done to children by everything from overhearing swear words to seeing a gay couple hold hands.

Or one of the responses I heard to the Southwest airlines clothing brouhaha...'but think of the children, they don't need to see that!' Seeing that a woman might have breasts, apparently, will scar the little darlings for life. (I amuse myself by thinking of the response had the complaining passenger been Muslim.)

(I really hate society some days.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 12:22 PM
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There was an article on, I think, Salon the other day about how paranoid we've become about unrelated men being around children.

What's so annoying about the protectionist paranoia is that first, like any kind of sex crime, the victims usually know the accuser; strangers aren't the real threat. And that second, I've read things (and it seems reasonable to me) that say that actually kids who are overprotected and told not to talk to strangers are *more* at risk, because they lack the confidence to trust their own instincts and approach people if they need help.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 12:31 PM
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I work at home, so when I go out to lunch or run errands during the day, I often see the local parenting population. I haven't kept a careful tally, but I think something like 50:1 women:men with those children during the day. Evenings and weekends you see more couples together with their kids, but that's not really the same.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 12:36 PM
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It occurs to me that the Stones' "As Tears Go By" would now be regarded as creepy. Sic transit gloria mundi.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 12:44 PM
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As for Ned's story, I found it interesting that the woman was a social worker. Not that itmeans she was right about Ned or anything, but sometimes you see stuff in your job that makes it hard to look at the rest of the world the same way again. I had to work on a case early on in my career involving a child pornographer. In addition to the pictures for which he was convicted were (reportedly) boxes of seemingly innocuous pictures of other little girls at the park, the beach, the zoo, etc. Changed the way I looked at people taking pictures of little girls at the beach, the park, the zoo. It sucks, it's not fair to paint everyone with the same broad brush, but there are somethings You just don't forget that you saw.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 1:37 PM
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I am very happy to report that, for the first time, I had a dirty-minded enough class that I didn't have to spell out every step of the sexual experience in Ap/hra B/ehn's "The Dis/appoin/tment" in clinical or porny terms. All I had to do for them to "get it" this time was read it aloud with comical emphasis and raise my eyebrow. The best was when I read the line "The insensible fell weeping in his hand" and a girl in the front row involuntarily snorted.

I told them I was proud of them and that they'd saved me a world of embarrassment. I have a notoriously instant blush reflex, and I hate it when it happens in front of my class more than once a semester.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-17-07 2:59 PM
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