off topic open thread

Open Thread for Personal Stuff: September 2014 Big Cat and Big Dude Edition

Big Cat and Big Dude, BFFs

An open thread for personal stuff, continuing from here.

As usual for these threads: no trolls, no MRAs, no I’m-not-really-an-MRA-buts, don’t be mean.

887 replies on “Open Thread for Personal Stuff: September 2014 Big Cat and Big Dude Edition”

So, um, can I get some good luck and positive brainwaves headed my way?

The stats prof asked me out of the blue today if I could teach his class next friday, because he has jury duty.

Me and my B.S. are going to be teaching an elementary stats class. I’m torn between dancing because of the awesome-ness, and cringing in terror. The youngest person in that class is only 3 years younger than me. I just graduated. Yeah, I took that class 7 years ago, and I know stats like no one’s business, but… eep.

So, yeah. Wish me luck?

Moar brain waves!


Best wishes, contrapangloss!

Cassandrakitty: It’s actually been leading headlines on CBC radio in the mornings here. It’s a bad situation, and one wish all the protesters the best. (Visited HK back in 1991, before the handover.)

contrapangloss: good luck & clear, eloquent brain waves!

kittehserf: a birth certificate?? weirdness.

cassandrakitty: I’m in Canada and not only have I been hearing coverage on CBC, but also on the podunk local stations. My manager’s going to be in Hong Kong for the next 1.5 weeks, so I was more aware of the coverage than lots of people I know. I really hope no one gets hurt too badly!

maistrechat: that is awesome!

Lol, you guys, I just got called a racist misandrist AGAINST WHITE MEN! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

I said that Michael Shermer won’t face any repercussions for the rape accusation made against him because a) virtually no one believes the women who made the accusation, b) she’s not pressing charges and c) even if she was, he’s a well liked famous rich white guy. The only thing that could make him LESS likely to be charged with rape, even if he WAS guilty of it, would be if he were a woman. He won’t face professional consequences because colleagues like James Randi have already said it’s not that big a deal and he won’t face personal consequences because goodness knows no one near him believes the accusation and he won’t face legal consequences because the alleged victim isn’t pursuing them and even if she were it would be extremely difficult to prove and get a conviction either because he’s innocent or because you just can’t prove a lack of acquiescence under most circumstances.

Yes, I think false (assuming the accusation is false – I don’t claim to know one way or the other) rape accusations against people who are vulnerable to the effects of them like, I dunno, a poor black man is significantly worse than doing so to someone almost impervious to it’s effects. Yes, I have more empathy for vulnerable people than those significantly less so. RACIST!

Anyways, that’s my misandering for the day. Ciao!

I hate hot flashes.

Just thought I’d share that while I sit here, in undies, sweating like a pig, on the mildest of spring days.

Little funny today: got a call from an agency I’d applied for work with. The caller just wanted a few more details, and I mentioned my typing speed being 56wpm corrected. She said “Oh, are you like me, can’t leave those typos there?” I said yes and we had a good laugh about typing. Weird the things one can get joking about in job-related phone calls!

Brace for whingefest.

Well, the babies haven’t slept through the night since Saturday morning. They don’t seem to mind. And it’s not like they wake up, baby around for half an hour, and fall asleep again. Nope, these last two nights they’ve been up from 1 to 5. And it’s taking its toll.

Beloved commented on a fansite about this latest episode of Doctor Who. She thought it was about colonialism. Someone who claimed to be from a former colony said they found the comment “rather insulting, tbh.” So Beloved in tears woke me up because she read that as “fuck off and die, racist waste of oxygen.” Then she shoved me away and told me not to touch her because she didn’t deserve hugs, she was a stupid racist shitbag.

Plus she’s been denying that her needs (i.e., sleep) are worth meeting because she couldn’t get the babies to sleep before 5. And she’s describing herself as whiny. She couldn’t find the sour cream at the grocery store and the employee she asked apparently thought she was agitated, because he told her not to get agitated.

I don’t think this would have been as much of a problem if we’d managed to get some sleep.

So I’m just going to help myself to some hugs and be on my way.

Hugs Falconer. I hope your family gets some sleep soon.

Is anyone else getting annoyed at the way people are talking about Ebola? It just seems really polarized. On the one hand there are the people who are in a huge panic and think we’re all going to die. On the other hand there are the people who are saying it’s stupid to worry about it at all and there’s no possible way it could ever find a foothold in any industrialized country.

There doesn’t seem to be many people taking a moderate position here. No, it’s not going to end the world. But this outbreak is much, much bigger than any other Ebola outbreak and it is spreading pretty far and wide. The longer it sticks around the more chances it has to mutate and become more contagious. The more chances it has to trade genetic material with other viruses or bacteria.

Is it really so wrong to find this thing concerning? I think some people do find it scary and are in denial and I think some people are trying to be too cool to get scared. But I think it’s OK to find this troubling while still acknowledging that more people are killed by the flu or malaria and the chances of me personally contracting Ebola are quite low.

Sorry for the rant.

@Falconer. Sleep deprivation sucks so much. My eldest didn’t sleep much for the first 7 months and it was hell. I hope it ends soon, and they go back to a reasonable schedule!

Hey, @contrapangloss – good luck. Positive brainwaves from here. Anything you’d recommend on learning statistics? I should get a handle on my ability to interpret curves. It’s likely to come up.

I don’t think my babies have slept through the night for a whole week running in almost a year, and they’re going to be 20 months old in two weeks.

They slept solid in their little hammocks, but they outgrew those when they started to pull up.

@Falconer – Oh, do I ever feel your pain. Hugs to both you and your poor wife. There’s a reason sleep deprivation is used as an interrogation tactic. Since becoming a parent of twins, I’ve lost about 100 IQ points. Last week I caught myself dialing the daycare PIN code into the microwave and wondering why the door wasn’t opening.

IT WILL GET BETTER. I wish I could tell you when, but it will. Sleep training is an ongoing process, especially with two little ones. Our toughest period was when they moved from cribs to toddler beds. Suddenly they were free range, and wanted to rock ‘n’ roll all night and party every day. After three or four months they settled down, but there are still occasions where bedtime resembles a musical prison riot.

Some things I found helpful:

1) Lots and lots and lots and lots of fresh air and sunlight and outdoor time. Not only does it tire them out and regulate their day/night cycle, but every second they are out of the house is a moment that they are not messing up your house.

2) Move bedtime later or earlier, as necessary.

3) Separate them occasionally, if they start to wind each other up.

4) Get another adult to come in for an occasional overnight. If you don’t have family or a friend who can do it, splurge for an overnight babysitter. It’s so worth it to know you can rely on one solid night of sleep per week, or month, or however often you want to do it.

5) Blackout curtains for naps. Having good naps is critical for deep nighttime Z’s. Sleep begets sleep.

6) Clear out the room, except for maybe a couple of toys and books. Make their surroundings as boring as possible. This is so they don’t destroy their stuff, and also to eliminate the temptation to play when they wake up in the middle of the night.

7) Sippy cup full of Scotch. (Kidding! But you can always use it for yourself.)

Good luck, and remember: you’ll get your revenge in about 12 years, when they want to sleep in until noon.

Seconding everything Buttercup wrote, epecially #7 (after lots of sleep dep, even adults need sippy cups!)

It will get better. Seriously. By the age of 2 my eldest was sleeping through the night (yay!) every night (yay). Granted, ‘night’ was 11pm to 6am, but it did happen. And chances are you too won’t get the ‘terrible twos’, since after all that lack of sleep, everything seems better for at least a year.

Oh, and wanted to add: a babysitter during the day so that mom/dad can take a nap; any sleep can help a lot, even a couple of hours during the day.

@ falconer…she’s never been diagnosed with depression before, has she? I mean, it may just be sleep deprivation, but that’s the kind of cognitive distortions I have when I’m severely depressed.
Just sayin’. Hope she feels better.

@Buttercup: One of my cousins a generation removed or so offered to spike their bottles with some bourbon last time we were visiting. I think she was more serious than not.

Wait twelve years for revenge? What am I, a vampire? I don’t got that kind of time.

@blahlistic: She’s got dysthemia (ph). And this idea that the kids deserve a perfect mother, who never raises her voice and is always energetic and conforms her schedule to the kids’. And when she doesn’t meet that impossible framework ….

I don’t know if everybody’s seen it yet, but SCOTUS denied cert. in the same-sex marriage cases, which means the circuit court rulings stand and marriage equality is now the law in all of the circuits whose cases had made it that far.

The perfect is the enemy of the good, something I had to beat my head against for a long time.

Because she’s trying to be perfect she’s stressing herself out and actually being a slightly worse mom than if she just relaxed about the whole thing. She’s mainly just hurting herself though.
Those are happy kids. Y’all are doing it right, I think.

This attitude brought to you by tons of therapy and four different psychiatric medications.

BAAAYYYBEEZ!!!!! They are adorbs! What cuties!

A couple of generations ago, it was routine to rub bourbon on the gums for teething. I guess it does have sort of an anesthetic effect, though there were probably babies who got an extra “oopsie” dose every now and then.

I have tremendous, whopping mom guilt. It comes with the territory. Every time I look at my sons, a voice whispers to me, “They deserve so much better. They deserve a daddy who will play catch with them and a mommy who isn’t operating on fumes and a perfect Norman Rockwell childhood.” I beat myself up constantly because, as a single parent, it’s all I can do to keep up them clean and clothed and fed and free of puncture wounds. I had pictured parenthood as lots of cozy homemade Play-Doh sessions around a sunny kitchen table, but in reality, most of the day is consumed with subduing the unholy trinity of dishes, laundry, and trash.

The guilt feelings come from loving them so ridiculously and deeply that you want them to have everything, coupled with the knowledge that childhood is fleeting, precious, and vulnerable. Countless magazine articles and movies and consumer products prey on that guilt, implying that you’re a bad parent if you ever do anything un-selfless. When I think back on my own childhood, my own parents rarely sat down and played with me, but it was so reassuring knowing they were there, knowing they were doing their best to keep us comfortable and safe and loved. Good enough parenting is good enough. You guys are doing a terrific job, if the photos are anything to go by!

I had a lovely lunch today with LBT and Kirbywarp, who are just as excellent in real life. I wish I’d picked a better restaurant, but otherwise it was a good time.

(PS David et al, I will be in Chicago in May)

*wishes there could be a WHTM meet-up* I would bring cookies.

Buttercup, you sound like you’re a great parent! I was just raised by my mother, and trust me, your kids know you work hard to take care of them. Love beats perfection every time.

Falconer, those kids are happy babies. I hope you and your wife get sleep soon so you can enjoy life a little more. And I think twelve years isn’t so long from now, and then you get to yank their sheets off at seven in the morning and they whine and then they drag themselves to the bus. And you laugh. (I have been told this is so by my mother.) I also second the overnight babysitter idea. I have been the overnight babysitter. The parents always come back looking like new people!

*claps for Falconer and Buttercup*

That’s a lot of parent love in this thread. It warms my heart.

The other thread is busier, so I’ll pop over there to give hugs as needed. I’ve run through some of the examples, and I think I’ll survive friday.

Thanks for the positive brainwaves, all! It’s really, really nice of you.

@Falconer, hope you and Beloved got some sleep since you posted. Babbies, sleeeeeeeep, you want sleeeeeeeeeeep. Sending lullabies by pillownet. Saruman doesn’t have a great singing voice, but he tries.

@Fibi! What type of curves are you trying to master? Do you have access to tables? Tables make the curve world so much better, because then you don’t have to memorize equations for curves and do integrals and all the ew.

For most curves, the general premise is that you can estimate the proportion of the population (or the proportion of sample means pulled from a population) by finding the area under the curve below certain values (usually from a table, because statisticians are totes not into doing calculus on the fly).

Generally, it’s easier to look up things of the form P(x &lt blah-number), because that’s how we designed the silly tables (for normal distributions at the least).

So, if we want to do goofy things like P(x &gt = blah-number), we have to think about the area of the whole curve (which should be 1, generally) and get rid of everything that isn’t P(x &gt = blah-number).

Which, handily enough turns into a 1 – P(x &lt blah-number) and we can look it up in our table and WIN!

I draw lots of sketches when I’m thinking about the curves. One handy trick is every time you think about calculating something, shade in that thing with hatches. Then if you subtract a probability from that on the curve, hatch the other way. The shaded area with single hatches is the probability area you calculated from tables, and the stuff that’s blank or x’d out is the stuff that isn’t included in your calculation.

It’s easier to explain in person… or via video of whiteboard, where things can be pretty pictures…

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