Weekly Open Thread with vulpine invader

This sweet little fox kit peeking out from what was originally a cat flap is part of a posse of furred and feathered critters who have taken over some abandoned summer homes in a Finnish forest, photographed with immense patience by award winning wildlife photographer Kai Fagerström. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

A juvenile fox peeks out of a hole in a wooden wall covered with moss.

Fox Kit | Source: The House In The Woods by Kai Fagerström

Here’s a bonus surprise snuggly fox story.

So, what have you been up to? What would you rather be up to? What’s been awesome/awful?
Reading? Watching? Making? Meeting?
What has [insert awesome inspiration/fave fansquee/guilty pleasure/dastardly ne’er-do-well/threat to all civilised life on the planet du jour] been up to?

* Netiquette footnotes:
* There is no off-topic on the Weekly Open Thread, but consider whether your comment would be on-topic on any recent thread and thus better belongs there.
* If your comment touches on topics known to generally result in thread-jacking, you will be expected to take the discussion to #spillover instead of overshadowing the social/circuit-breaking aspects of this thread.

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About tigtog

tigtog blogs a lot elsewhere, but here on Feministe she mostly does the tech support and feeds the giraffe. tigtog tweets in irregular flurries @vivsmythe.
This entry was posted in Life, Politics, Popular Culture, The Cultural Canon and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to Weekly Open Thread with vulpine invader

  1. moviemaedchen says:


    I love foxes. And this one is pretty cute. Just had to say.

  2. Matthew says:

    Finished my conference. Three days talking/geeking out about the place of eunuchs and celibate men in pre-modern China, India, Europe and the Middle East, and the way gender influenced what kind of status they had, what roles they undertook, and how they were perceived (and how they perceived themselves). I love my job.

  3. Andie says:

    Kids are back to school. Shopping for this momentous event is always anxiety inducing.

    Back has been hurting this week, and my leg has been weird and swelly since taking an epic wipeout in the woods whilst hiking. Think I bruised the bone or muscle but it’s got me paranoid of clotting.

    Not much else to report.

  4. Anon For Now says:

    I’m feeling pretty good right now. I’m undergoing therapy for post partum PTSD, and it’s going very well so far. I am usually just a lurker here, but thought I’d delurk for this open thread because one of the things that helped me diagnose myself (informally), and therefore get to a therapist, was an article I read here many months ago: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/09/28/childbirth-can-be-as-stressful-as-war/

    Comments on that post are a mixed bag, as often happens. But that piece, combined with some other media and medical literature searches, helped me figure out what was going on in my head.

    I had a healthy and uneventful pregnancy, but had some major, frightening, life-threatening complications during labor which caused me to develop full-blown PTSD. I lived with the symptoms for nearly a year before deciding to seek help, and the improvement in my mental health and my relationship with my daughter is so incredible, I can’t even describe it. In my case, my failure to conform to social expectations of new motherhood (instant loving bond with my baby, for example) contributed to a sense of shame and denial about my PTSD. For anybody else out there who may be reading, and who recognizes the symptoms of PTSD in themselves, please know that you are not alone, you are not weak, and you are not a bad parent. Thanks to the Feministe community for a discussion that triggered (in a good way) some important realizations about myself.

  5. Ally S says:

    [Trigger warning: attempted rape]

    My mother* just told me that my father tried to rape her when she was married to him (and I highly suspect that some of his attempts were “successful”). He used knives, various weapons, and

    This is just too much for me to handle. I’m so happy that her current husband is loving and respectful. And he’s a good step-father to me, too.

    I really hope my father has changed, but my optimism can only go so far. And I want to stress that, for several reasons, I don’t think my father will ever do the same to me, so I think I’m safe. But that doesn’t minimize the fact that I’m horrified by what she told me.

    *I have her permission to mention this stuff to others – I asked her beforehand

    • trees says:

      Ugh…hugs if you want them.

    • Hrovitnir says:

      Oh god. I’m so sorry. That is so horrible to hear for me, let alone you. Lots of love.

    • Ally S says:

      [Continued trigger warning for attempted rape]

      Oh, second sentence is broken. I meant to say that he also locked her in the closet in an effort to subdue her.

    • Computer Soldier Porygon says:

      Aw, jeez. That is really horrifying. I am very glad he’s out of your mother’s life but sorry that that ever happened.

    • Echo Zen says:

      Ally S, I just read a little bit of your blog. Do you still live with your birth father, or stepfather?

    • moviemaedchen says:

      Hugs if wanted – I’m so sorry to hear this, and that you and your mother have to deal with this kind of crap from him. That’s horrible of him to do.

    • Donna L says:

      I’m so sorry, Ally. I wish you never had to go back there, and that he had no power over you anymore.

  6. Computer Soldier Porygon says:

    ahhhhhh man unfriending and blocking people sure can feel great

  7. Ally S says:

    Some good news:

    I’ve been trying to feminize my voice while here in Colorado (I can’t really practice when certain relatives are near), and I’m starting to get to a voice that suits me! I still have a very masculine, baritone voice, but soon it won’t be my only voice.

    And I’ve also been using some of my free time for learning more programming languages, notably C and Java. I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan of Java, but C is actually pretty nice and strangely reminds me of JavaScript, something I’m already familiar with. Anyway, my main reason for learning those two languages is to open myself to more job opportunities – a lot of employers are looking for people with experience in C, Java, and C++ (which I also plan on learning some day – for the same reason). And learning basic C and even very basic Java has really helped me understand the guts of coding in general. It’s a fascinating world.

    All of these things have been helping me cope with some of my stress. I still feel stressed out here for various reasons, but I feel like I have more control over my stress at this time. And no one here is actively stressing me out.

    • EG says:

      Damn, Ally, I wish you could live with your mother full time. You sound so much happier and at peace, even with the horrible news that you shared above (and I’m so, so sorry for what your mother has suffered, and for you having to bear that knowledge about someone you love).

      • PeggyLuWho says:

        Second this. You do seem much happier.

      • Ally S says:

        My mother would love to have me stay here for a little while. And I’m all for staying with her for a decent amount of time. But I certainly can’t live with her, especially once I out myself to my father. I eventually want to live a life far away from most if not all of my family members – at least for some time. Of course my older siblings, my mother, my step-father, etc. are loving and supportive, but I don’t want them more involved in my life than they need to be. Not if that means they’re at risk because they’re in my father’s way. I have reasons to believe that he might want to take out his anger on them because of their “immoral influence” on me.

      • EG says:

        I hope that when the time comes, you let the people who love you (your mother and siblings and stepfather) be part of the decision about whether or not to put themselves at risk. I know that no matter what age my godson is, if he is ever at risk of being attacked, I would ten times over rather be able to put myself between him and whoever would be threatening him than worry about him being targeted and alone without me to help him. That’s what it means to love your child.

        And of course the decision is yours; I just mean don’t feel you have to cut yourself off from love and support when the people who do love and support you would rather take the risks with you.

      • Ally S says:

        [Content note: threats of violence, abuse]

        I understand what you mean, but there are a lot of people who would end up suffering if my dad sees them as obstacles. My mother, for instance, is terrified of seeing him. She is often triggered by even his presence, and my father threatened to murder her not too long ago. It’s like being around him and having to deal with him is like a kind of revictimization for her.

  8. Thalictri says:

    Freaking out a bit since I commented with Disqus on a site that’s ran by an underage kid, using my usual Disqus identity – Which is ALSO the identity that I use in a number of places where I’m out-and-proud as a sex worker and activist.

    I realize that nobody else on earth is ever going to put the two and two together, but I’m having a recurring panic about the police showing up at my door and putting me on the sex offenders register.

    This is the same bloody feeling that stops me from smiling back at toddlers on the bus that are always fascinated by my hair. Like I’m going to infect them with harlotry or something.

    TL;DR – Not sure how to feel about the fact that society probably still sees me primarily as a sex worker, even when talking about taxidermy, and whether that’s important or not.

  9. Annaleigh says:

    There’s been a march for immigration reform over the past few days, and Friday afternoon the marchers arrived here in town to a warm reception at the church my Catholic relatives in town attend (the church is also very important to the history of the United Farm Workers movement). They are moving along and continuing the final stretch to Bakersfield. I hope their feet and their resolve hold up! Walking for immigration reform

  10. Nancy Green says:

    By chance, this week I had the radio on for Barack Obama’s Lincoln Memorial speech, John Kerry’s Syria speech, and Barack’s Syria statement yesterday.
    I feel torn, war is never right. But no action or inaction will have a good outcome. My friends are demonstrating for peace. I don’t know what to do.

  11. pheenobarbidoll says:

    So today in racist shit I didn’t need- A DOG rescue group has named a puppy Running Thunder because he was born with no skull bone on the top of his head. Yanno, because he looks scalped. Isn’t that just the cutest name? ::eye roll::

    • Thalictri says:

      Wow, that is about a dozen kinds of racist. I see what they were trying to do – Give a dog with something unfortunate about it a cool name which makes the thing wrong with it seem more like a fun quirk (see also, the number of greyhounds with eye injuries from the track called Popeye) – but they could have seriously gone with something less bloody offensive.

      Why not just call him Egbert or Flat-Top or something? It’s tacky, but not immediately distasteful.

    • Denise Winters says:

      I just lost a little bit of my breakfast. Just………wow. Wow. One of the state schools in my state uses the Seminoles as a mascot. A fan group devoted to the opposing team describes themselves as trying to bring “Civilization Among the Savages.” Yep.

      • Ally S says:

        A fan group devoted to the opposing team describes themselves as trying to bring “Civilization Among the Savages.” Yep.

        I don’t even know how to react to that.

    • EG says:

      Oh, for fuck’s sake. What a stupid, gratuitous piece of racist crap.

  12. pheenobarbidoll says:

    I’ve suggested the name noogie, and several people have jumped on the bandwagon so maybe I can get the name changed that way.

  13. Anna says:

    I know nothing about sports and I can’t find this on Google:

    Is it correct that the only sports that men but not women play professionally in America are football, baseball, and ice hockey? Thank you.

    • Donna L says:

      Why not put it the other way: if we’re talking about team professional sports (as opposed to individual sports like tennis, golf, etc., in all of which women do compete professionally), the only major team sport I know of in which women do have a professional league or leagues is basketball. Not baseball, not football, not ice hockey, not soccer. There’s also softball, roller derby, etc., in which women do compete.

      I think there were some very brief efforts to launch women’s professional football, but it didn’t get anywhere.

      But as anyone knows who’s ever seen “A League of their Own,” women’s professional baseball was a pretty big thing once upon a time, back in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

      • ch says:

        There is women’s professional soccer in the US. The league is pretty small at the moment, and they did take a couple seasons off due to financial issues, but this year they are playing and they are currently in season. Certainly not nearly as big as the WNBA, though. (Although the US men’s pro soccer league, the MLS, can’t be much bigger than the WNBA either).

        As for baseball, I thought that women’s pro baseball was only a thing during WWII, when all the male players were off fighting the war. As far as I know, the league was started at the beginning of the (US involvement in the) war, and folded when the war ended and there were enough young, fit men around to populate the league again.

      • Donna L says:

        You’re right that the women’s professional baseball league didn’t start until 1943, after the US entered the war, but it actually lasted until 1954.

      • Donna L says:

        And the women’s league was always separate from major league baseball, which continued to operate through World War II, even though a lot of players were off in the war. The players who stayed were generally exempt from military service, whether because of age or some physical condition that precluded it. I think MLB did cut its season short for World War I, though, in 1917.

    • Dank says:

      Related – the NWSL Championship was this weekend. Highlights here: http://www.soccerbyives.net/2013/09/thorns-inagural-flash.html

      Skip to 3:30 for Tobin Heath’s game-winning rocket.

  14. Donna L says:

    I was reading an old 1950’s crime novel by William McGivern (about crooked cops and gangsters on the waterfront in NYC, even though most of his books took place in Philadelphia), and the signature of the original owner on the flyleaf looked familiar: it was Dr. Loyal Davis, Nancy Reagan’s father.

    So my hands are now only three degrees of separation from St. Ronnie himself.

    • Ledasmom says:

      I knew someone in college whose sister’s eyes (I think – been a while) were operated on by C. Everett Koop. Would that be four degrees of separation?
      No – wait! I know someone who has a picture of herself at the White House holding Nancy Reagan’s hand (when she was young and had just been adopted – she was born in Peru). So I can either claim three, or assume she also met Ronald Reagan and claim two (more tenuous than yours, though).
      Come to think of it, the first college I went to, someone from the Reagan administration had a summer home a few blocks away. I’m beginning to feel Reagan-claustrophobic.

    • So my hands are now only three degrees of separation from St. Ronnie himself.

      ::sends Donna virtual hand-sanitiser::

      • Donna L says:

        I guess it’s really only two degrees, in fact — it’s the number of people between you and the person you’re talking about, right? So Loyal Davis makes one, and Nancy Reagan makes two. Of course, if Loyal Davis knew Ronnie, which is likely, it would be only one degree.

        Unfortunately, I’m only one degree from the Presidents Bush, because I know someone who knew both of them.

        More positively, I’m only two degrees from FDR: my father knew both Eleanor Roosevelt and FDR, Jr.

        And no degrees from RFK, since I shook his hand twice when I was a child.

      • Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt? ::envy envy::

        I’ve shaken hands once with Princess Diana and twice with Prince Charles. Is that no degree of separation? :)

    • Fat Steve says:

      I was reading an old 1950′s crime novel by William McGivern (about crooked cops and gangsters on the waterfront in NYC, even though most of his books took place in Philadelphia), and the signature of the original owner on the flyleaf looked familiar: it was Dr. Loyal Davis, Nancy Reagan’s father.

      So my hands are now only three degrees of separation from St. Ronnie himself.

      My father had a picture of himself shaking hands with Reagan when he won some Teacher of the year award. I say ‘had’ because he is no fan, thus never framed it or anything, and i only remember seeing it once when he got the pictures from the event.

  15. zaebos says:

    Someone offered to make a skin for a character of mine. He asked if I could just make her white because he didn’t like doing black skins. :I

    • EG says:

      Ok, I realize this is probably beside the point, but…what’s a skin?

      I pretty much don’t need to know to recognize what racist crap this is, though.

      • zaebos says:

        Well you know in games, player models, NPC models and all them? They all wear skins, so if someone makes a skin, they can make any character they want in a game.

      • EG says:

        I think I’m not getting it. That’s OK. I don’t want to derail your justified outrage any further than I already have!

    • I don’t understand the technicalities here either, but this sucks on two levels – the HUGE one being the racism, and the lesser one being someone coming in “offering” to do something to/for someone else’s creation if they can change it. Been on the receiving end of that and it’s annoying and patronising, but totally overshadowed by this guy’s racism.


    • Chataya says:

      What the crap?! Why would he even offer to skin the character then? Unless he thought his racist asshattery would be ignored in favor of free stuff.

  16. EG says:

    My tenure materials are due by the end of the week. Every time I think about it I want to throw up. I’ve done all the work–it’s the administrative and clerical organizing that I’m just shit at, all the forms and getting things in the correct format and correct order and making sure I don’t forget anything (spoiler: I forget things all the time, constantly, every time I do anything). I honestly feel sick right now while I’m trying to work on it. My whole career–and non-career life-plans I’ve made–ride on this.

  17. PeggyLuWho says:

    This weekend I took a couple of boxes of paperwork to the shredders, painted my bathroom, replaced my shower head, refurbished the headlights on my car, washed my car, and now I’m roasting a chicken and doing laundry. Oh, and I went to two shows. Every weekend should be three days.

  18. Librarygoose says:

    My sister was commenting on how I would be a better driver than our brother because, unlike her or him, I don’t freak out when I’m anxious. I just wanted to laugh but I remembered that’s she’s never seen me have a panic attack; I’ve never wanted her kids to see me like that. I felt like quoting The Hulk and saying, “The secret is I’m always freaking out.” I shrugged and let it go.

  19. Kerandria says:

    I’ve had a pretty rough few weeks; autumn term started and I’m taking fifteen credits that include a very busy uni-level chem class. Since discovering that I can get into a PA masters program two years sooner by not getting my BSN and instead getting it in something like neuroscience, I’ve been… blargh. I’m in a position to transfer from my junior college into an amazing institution, but the additional cost involved is a little scary. Getting my BSN would be a smart move financially, but I feel like I’d dishonour the profession to use it as a stepping-stone.
    I’m am adult student in my late twenties who also works full-time in a very stressful field. Even with counseling, I feel like I am foundering. I feel like I don’t have time to get anything taken care of as well as it should be. A huge part of my school stress is related to the fact that I cannot get below an A in any math/science/lab course. Fuck. Just fuck.

    I’m also trying to make friends because my fiancée and I don’t have any local friends. ATM, I feel like my life is the incarnation of ‘Push It’ by Garbage.

    • EG says:

      Damn, full-time work plus fifteen credits is serious stress. I’ve had students and friends carrying that load and it’s not easy. Sending you moral support and good wishes.

    • Bagelsan says:

      Getting my BSN would be a smart move financially, but I feel like I’d dishonour the profession to use it as a stepping-stone.

      I wouldn’t worry about that; do what’s best for you, and use the stepping stones you need to! Getting a BSN won’t “dishonor” anything unless you, like, use it to refuse needy women birth control or something… ;p

      (This is from someone getting her MSN at the mo’, in case you’re wondering.)

  20. 2ndnin says:

    Did feministe ever do that post on Kaitlyn Hunt? Seen some more news on her recently and she’s been sent to jail it seems. Is there any more news for us non USers?

  21. pheenobarbidoll says:

    UTI. Yay.

  22. Fucking anxiety attacks. I’ve been crazy the past couple of days, completely off the wall. I apologise to anyone who replied to me on other threads, I can’t right now. I thought for a couple of weeks I couldn’t get tuition paid and it came to a head yesterday. But the fuckery’s fixed now, so I can breathe, literally. Also, I can afford the vit B supplements that actually help with the anxiety again! Yay! Looking forward to not panicking about everything again!

    • Oh, and I maybe have another job. Maybe. It’s temporary, but if I get it, we’ll be out of hot water financially by the time the contract ends. Maybe even be able to get the kid nice things.

      Please, fuck, please let me get the job.

    • Ally S says:

      Sorry to hear that, Mac. =[ I’ve also been going through similar anxiety problems these days. I had one before I left for Colorado, and I’ve had two while staying here, so I understand how unbearable they can be. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better now, though.

  23. Fiona says:

    Has anyone else noticed that when sexual fluidity is portrayed in media, it almost always involves a self-identified lesbian falling for a guy?

  24. Lolagirl says:

    So we found out last week that my Dad has pancreatic cancer. His health has been declining for a while now, and in the back of my head I have suspected that it wasn’t just indigestion he had going on. We aren’t really sure how much time he has left, but best guess is a year or so.

    Yeah, I’m not dealing well with it. My apologies if I come off extra nasty in my participation here of late.

    • Donna L says:

      I’m very sorry, Lolagirl. My best to you and your family.

    • Fat Steve says:

      So sorry, Lola. You may remember my Christmas incident with my father-in-law’ chemo reactions, so I know how it not only affects the whole family emotionally but just makes time management a seperate issue fraught with peril.

      My father-in-law will be on and off of chemo for the rest of his life so he has good/bad days/weeks, but we have found something that gives him relief: I make him peanut butter cookies (I use ‘cannabutter’ instead of regular butter but I would never suggest you melt butter with marijuana at 160 F for 3 hours then strain it through a cheese cloth- unless you live in a medical marijuana state)
      The cookie recipe is:
      1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
      3/4 tsp. baking soda
      1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter
      1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
      1/2 cup granulated sugar
      1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
      1 egg
      1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

      Preheat oven to 375. Use the upper rack for baking and bake one sheet at a time.

      Sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

      Beat the butter to soften it.

      Add the vanilla extract.

      Add both the white and…

      brown sugar and beat for 1 to 2 minutes.

      Add the egg.

      Adjust the mixer speed to low and add half of the flour mixture.

      Add the peanut butter.

      Add the remaining flour mixture.

      Add the peanuts and beat until mixed.

      Remove from the mixture and form into a ball. Knead only until everything is blended. The mixture will be stiff.

      Use a rounded teaspoon to form the dough into balls 1″ in diameter. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

      Press the tops slightly with a fork to form an impression. Turn the fork and press again to form a criss-cross pattern.

      Bake for 9-12 minutes until the cookies are lightly browned. Watch carefully – they burn easily.

      Cool on racks. The cookies will harden and crisp as they cool

      One cookie helps him sleep at night, two makes him in danger of stumbling and falling when he goes to the bathroom at night, so we keep it at one.
      The cookies taste amazing, so much so that you may be tempted to eat one. Don’t have more than a half even if you are an experienced pot smoker, my wife ate three just because she loved the taste and got super paranoid.


  25. birdie says:

    … all the men, and the women and children who had stayed behind … were seated on the oval, heads bowed, waiting for the women’s return. In this way, local men and others showed their respect for Women’s Law. As at the end of the annual Law Time cycle, where women wait for the men to return from the Men’s Law Ground, now it was the turn of the men to wait for the women and to show their respect for Women’s Law.

    Unfortunately when the convoy reached the edge of Balgo and parked just outside the police station the women learnt that no one was on the oval waiting for them as arranged. This distressed the women, particularly the elders, as it suggested a lack of respect for Women’s Law.

    But the women were feeling very strong after such a successful Law Camp and they drove slowly through the community calling out from their cars for the men and remaining women and kids to gather on the oval. Some men were “caught” at the police station,
    including one man who was released by the police and told he was free to go. He had refused to leave the holding yard: “No, I can’t go out there! Those women will sing me!” Yintjurru Margaret Anjule Napurrula explains: “We went around with vehicle, and pushed all the people to the oval. We catch all the people from their house. They were all sitting down in their houses. All were running to the oval. They were frightened. ‘Right, all sitting down now, then we take the women, girls and kids and Kartiya to the oval and dance. Manaya took the women, and I been take the young women and
    girls.” The women showed themselves to the men. Wearing the full regalia of four days of ceremony they reminded the men of the insurmountable potency of Women’s Law, reasserting women’s
    Law-ful place in their community.


  26. Angel H. says:

    I haaaaaate being hungry!! I hate it! I hate it! I hate it!

    And I don’t mean “hungry” as in, “I skipped breakfast and I only had a smoothie for lunch”. I mean hungry as in driving to Publix to se if the lady that gives out free samples is there because I don’t have the money to buy dinner.

    Usually, I can count on at least one meal a day because I wok at a facility for juvenile offenders. Lunch is provided free, even for staff. I don’t eat breakfast at the shelter because the line is so long, I’ll end up late for work. I work past dinner, but I used to be able to get dinner at work. Now they have signs posted everywhere saying that staff gets one meal a day.

    The thing is, to look at me most people wouldn’t think “hungry”. They would think “greedy” because I’m fat. I’m fat and yes, I’m hungry. People don’t know that when I ask for some of their chips or if someone is going to eat that almost-expired yogurt in the fridge it’s because I haven’t eaten that day and will probably not be able to eat again for the rest of the evening. They see Fat Chick Begging for Food. We had a small reception today for the Commissioner because our facility was recently reaccredited with a perfect score. They offered everyone cake and punch. After one of my coworkers ate her slice, she went on about how she really shouldn’t have eaten it but it was so good and she’ll do better this evening. Some of us don’t have that privilege of being choosy about what foods to eat and when.

    It wasn’t until I got into the situation that I’m in that I realize that choosing your own food is a privilege. Being able to choose food that is satisfying to eat, taste, smell, look at, and that nourishes your body is a privilege. There are those of us who eat what we can, when we can just to get something into our stomachs. I spoke to a woman at the shelter who was a diabetic with high blood pressure. She wasn’t really supposed to eat any of the things they serve at mealtime, but what else could she do?

    I am so grateful that I have a job. Every time payday comes around, the first thing that comes to my mind is, “Finally! I get to eat again!”

    Thank God tomorrow is payday!

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