We are having a ridiculous back-and-forth with a swim instructor that came to us super highly recommended by a good friend. For funsies, I'll share here.
Swim Instructor: your kids must do ISR (infant safety rescue) because they're under 6.
We look it up on the website and see that ISR is 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for six weeks, and we have mini-heart attacks. Also it's $600. ($600 is probably reasonable for you liberal bi-coastal elites, but our other place offers 8 private lessons for $120.)
We write back and say that the logistics are impossible for our family, but could we just sign up for regular old private lessons?
She wrote back:
I do not offer a two day a week swim lesson program. It takes daily consistency and a commitment to get them to truly learn the self rescue technique through the sensory moto learning process. Other Swim Schools do have a few days a week program but it takes a lot longer..years. I teach to get kids safe as quickly as possible should they reach the water alone. Preparing them to be problem solvers in the water. I try hard to meet the parents scheduling needs as far as the time of day, teaching long hrs up to 7 in the evening in hopes to accommodate. ISR also has a Pay It Forward scholarship program if you or someone you know may be interested. Once your child knows the self rescue technique and advances on, those swim lessons are 4 days a week. Once your child has swam with me several years and has shown to be a strong swimmer... Usually eight years old and up, I offer a Stroke Technique Clinic that is two days week. This is to meet the needs of those that want to advance towards swim team or a workout format. I would love to do what I can to work with you and your family. Let me know if you have any other questions.
I think the other place sounds pretty reasonable is what I think.
Mostly I'm just gobsmacked at the 10 minutes a day/5 days a week/6 weeks of hell. And how completely she fails to grasp what's so hard about that. (For the record: four days a week is do-able, for two weeks or so.)
It's similar enough to things that people have been doing that it's almost easy to overlook how amazing it is. They made an entire human organ, and put it in someone who didn't have it, and it works. Wow.
1. Nari is pretty great. (via Jammies)
2. "Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.
You gotta have something
If you want to be with me..."
What exactly is the equation referring to, romantically?
3. A friend in her late fifties tells me that she spent two years, around ages 5-7, in bed, unable to attend school or anything, because of severe anemia. "Too weak to lift a spoon," she said. I cannot figure out what she had. She mentioned that it might have been connected to her mother having "blue milk" when she was a baby, that caused her to not get any nutrients until they figured it out. She also said "the doctor said that if I could keep three tablespoons of orange juice down, I wouldn't be hospitalized" which she did, but which implies that she wasn't keeping much else down. And that somehow this might be connected to her current kidney problems.
What on earth did she have?
How did I never notice how delicious sour cream is? I was always meh on it - like why do I want whipped topping on my meal. But lately I've come to realize that it's sour and rich and delicious.
An anonymous commenter writes: An acquaintance of mine fancies himself a blogger. His site is truly terrible, but usually no more offensive than the bro-y type of stuff at Barstool. Last night, however, he posted a response to a "10 Things I Hate About [Our Town]" YouTube video. To be fair the video sounds awful itself, but his post went far beyond even impolite discourse. I should also note that the video was deleted by its maker hours before my acquaintance's post went up. Some samples:
"there was a video put up on youtube by some sort of infrahuman"
"hideous looking creature featured in the video is named [woman's name]"
"Apparently she's too much of a coward to keep the video up though," says the guy posting pseudonymously.
"This is what she looked like today....[unflattering screen shot] Frightening."
"disturbed by your magic marker eyebrows and bright red schnoz. You like like a mixture of Cruella Deville and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. You are truly frightening"
"you look like a dog. I don't mean that as a way to insult you either. You literally look like a dog:" [unflattering screen shot next to a picture of a dog]
"We have your phone number [. . .] If you would like to clear the air, and defend your good name, then email me us at [email]. If not, then you may be hearing from some of our field reporters for an exclusive interview."
All of this vile stuff is accompanied by repeated references to her full name and pictures taken her from Facebook, Twitter, and even her LinkedIn account (turns out she works with me, though I don't know her).
So my question is this: this guy is a public high school teacher. It's not the first time he's posted something grossly misogynistic (in fact, his current alias was the result of him getting in trouble for earlier harassment) or involving creepy amounts of googling. Even though his target is not completely sympathetic, is this worth bringing to the attention of the school district? The idea that this guy is teaching co-ed classes honestly disgusts me, but it rubs up against some of my other principles. I generally think people who wish to remain pseudonymous online should be able to, but this seems to me to rise to a level of harassment, intimidation and even minor blackmail. Kind of in a quandary here as this garbage has been shared on Facebook over 2,000 times as of this email.
The blog if you're interested in seeing it for yourself.
Heebie's take: Turtleboy is indeed a jerk! For me, the key is whether or not he himself is identifiable by his real name.
Part of me identifies with Turtleboy, insofar as I certainly say a lot of things here that would piss off people in real life. My firewall is fragile, too - it's almost impossible to keep a solid one, in part because Google and Facebook are trying as hard as they can to meld your various identities into one.
If Turtleboy is keeping his firewall intact, and behaves appropriately at the high school, then I don't think you alert them. His work relationship should be confined to his performance at work (and those public spheres that are sufficiently close to his performance at work.)
That said, high school students are like the fucking dinosaurs from Jurassic Park: they will test every inch of the the fence until they find the weak part. My guess is that they'll discover him on their own.
--Not really my beat, but people seem to think Inside the Barista Class is worth reading.
--A brief clarification about that 140 word essay.
1. Homeless people should be housed before anything else. Talk about epistemic closure - this is so compatible with how I'd like problems to be solved that I will never believe anything else.
2. Gentrification/Decay in New York over ten years. Both directions are depressing. Can't everything stay still.
Realtor stories; we all have them.
1) We didn't so much choose our realtor as keep using the one who showed up when we wanted to see what would become our place. Big mistake. In a long list of transgressions, from the annoying to the unethical, the most notable was the fact that we asked to use our own contract (friend is a real estate attorney) rather than the standard contract, she acceded, then it turned out that she'd let us believe that our contract was in force, but had forged our signatures on the standard contract and given that one to the counterparty. This all (predictably) unraveled, and while our lawyer dearly wanted to get her license stripped, we knew that her husband was himself a lawyer, the counterparty was represented by another broker in her office, and chances were that it would be a huge pain with no good result.
2) Our building is a little unusual in that all the entrances are on the top (third) floor, but in some units you enter and take stairs down, and in some you enter and take stairs up, so there are units on top of one another (with businesses on the first floor). The unit beneath us has been effectively and blissfully empty while we've lived here, but was just sold to an elderly lady I met the other day. I asked her which of the two units that had been for sale she'd bought. She said she'd moved in "on the top floor." Oh? Her realtor said, The PeopleUnderYou's unit. Oh, so you're right under us! The elderly lady looked confused as to how that could be. The realtor, who knew exactly what was going on, explained, apparently for the first time, that although she'd bought a unit "on the top floor," she'd now be living under two toddler boys.
Turgie writes: My folks are about to come and visit me and my family. This will be the first time in 17 years--half my life--that my Mom will see my home firsthand. My Dad helped me move my junk out of a college apartment a couple of years more recently when I entered the workforce temporarily before grad school.
It seems very strange that this would be so. No real comment here, though I wonder if this is a long stretch, or just blog standard.
Heebie's take: That's surprising to me that they'd never visit - how far is the distance? My own parents visit my siblings regularly, and us less often since we'll make the trek to visit them. But they do come out when I birth a baby, so that's pretty often.
I always want to impress them with how adult I am - look, I cook meals each night! The house is not on fire! But a lot of that has come about since we've had children, and goes to hell right at childbirth time, so they really haven't seen it.
Mutombo says it never happened.
I don't have any specific point about the whole "Rwandans have spent the past ten years reconciling murderers with the families of their victims." If it's actually happened the way it's being portrayed, it's absolutely astonishing.
I saw a documentary about the reconciliation process between a murderer here in Texas, and the mother of the (rather brutally murdered) victim. Individually, mother and murderer worked very closely with a pastor for years before he decided that each of them had progressed far enough to make the reconciliation process meaningful and honorable. It was an emotionally rough meeting, unsurprisingly, and both seemed to be in better places for having undergone the process. (There was a follow up six months or so later, and the pay-off seemed intact.)
Sometimes a post is just a shell. Everyone knows the action happens in the comments, anyway.
Someone linked this in the comments last week. OneTaste is a California company that promotes female orgasms as the key to all that is woo and hocus. So you attend their weekend retreat, and they set up little nests so that men can stroke womens' clits and everyone's all OM. (They mention lesbians, but it seems to be very heteronormative - they always talk about pairing off male-female.)
The author of the linked article dives into the fray. This exactly walks the line where I'm like "Hey, have at it, I bet you guys are having a blast and no harm, no foul" but also "Me? Hell no." They are setting the stage so that it will be very intimate and vulnerable for the woman to be stroked by another person, and frankly I don't like most people.
Was anyone here not a reader growing up? I just mean someone that occasionally read for pleasure, but it wasn't a major pastime. My siblings weren't big readers, and neither Jammies. Anyone's kids not really readers? I'm just curious, not trying to draw any big conclusion about success in life. (Clearly being a reader gives you an ear for the written word in a way that probably makes much academic work easier in high school and college, but I'm not going to assert anything grander about life than that.)
There's a very small subset of beliefs that are considered bigoted and rightly ruled out of bounds of political discourse. The lesson from the rapidity with which opposition to the rights of gays has gone from mainstream to out of bounds isn't that we should grandfather in the gay hating of gay haters of a certain age, nor that we should worry about the power of the gays, but that we should all be more thoughtful about the bigoted views we hold whose nature is hidden by the fact that other people share them.