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About Severine

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  • Birthday 08/09/81


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    Boston, USA


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  1. Dagger's Progress as a Nomad

    I travelled alone (hiked through the Highlands of Scotland) and it meant a lot of eating in restaurants alone and going on castle tours alone and such things. And at first I was nervous and self-conscious about the restaurant thing but eventually I relaxed and realized nobody really cared if I was eating alone, and if they did, screw them. As for when I would be out hiking and see something amazing and beautiful, at first I often felt, I'd see something wonderful and my first instinct was to be sad that I didn't have anyone to share it with. But eventually I decided it was really good for me to learn how to enjoy things on my own, too. Yay for nerds hanging out together IRL! And believe me, my failure to look like a tardigrade is not from lack of trying I actually find this feeling deeply comforting and it is something I call to mind when I am feeling unsettled or worried about things in my own life. It's a very calming perspective for me. I have thoughts about the other, longer posts. More later!
  2. Flea Does a Thing

    Glad there's movement on that job at least. Fingers crossed they offer it to you. Even if you end up turning it down, it'd be nice to get an offer. Yeah I've seen this in a lot of families actually. There's this family mythology of "family above all" and doing whatever it takes to help each other, but in reality it's usually a small group of specific people doing the helping - it's not reciprocal. D's family is totally like this. Like, when he was living at home with his parents right after graduation and his sister was still in university, they made him drive up to Vermont to pick her up because she didn't like taking the bus: a five-hour round trip for him. They made him do this every weekend. Any objection was countered with the ironclad rule: you do anything for family. But like...his sister didn't do anything. For anyone. Ever. And it's not like this was some sort of payment-in-kind for letting him live at home - he paid them $1000/month to live there. It seems that many of these "anything for family" families have designated helpers and designated flailers. They probably don't consciously realize it. Or they see it differently or whatever. But it doesn't have to be malicious for it to be untenable. They don't have to be doing it on purpose for it to be justified for you to reject it. This is a relief But it sounds like your coping strategy is pretty foolproof. If help offends him, offer none. You probably know this but still I think it's worth reiterating: the bolded part is a thing people do on purpose. Maybe not totally consciously but it's definitely a tactic. Just another way of forcing someone. Make it so incredibly unpleasant and drawn out for them to get you to do something for yourself that it's easier for them to just do it for you. The solution of course (not now, because I get that this is a process and will take time) is eventually to stop even trying to hold his hand as he does this stuff, or remind him, or ask him how it's going, or anything at all like that. Hopefully you can ease off doing that once he's got his shit together more and doesn't need it. But even if he never gets his shit together there'll have to come a point where your reminders stop. Because here's the other thing: that stuff is also work. Mental work. It's all the stress and brainpower and executive function involved in keeping everything in your head, assigning tasks to him, answering his questions, giving reminders, asking how it went, making sure it got done so you can check it off your own mental list...not to mention the emotional work of making sure you do all these things in a sufficiently kind and patient and nonjudgmental way that he doesn't get defensive or feel bossed around or belittled. Based on J's experience (he's moved a couple times in the last few years, the most recent time last week) there's always tonnes of stuff opening up in Boston at random times so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Plus with all the post-docs and visiting researchers and grad students moving around all the time as research projects begin and end, there are a lot of sublets available pretty much all the time. It will probably be weird no matter what but hopefully you can frame it as a normal/good thing? Like, you're almost 30 and you want to move out? Not exactly a radical stance.
  3. Severine Listens to Her Grandma

    Today in frivolity: I started watching a new series with D and L (Travellers on Netflix - we really like it so far!) and one of the characters has this absolutely brilliant clock in his apartment and I covet it. I did some googling and found out that it's a nixie tube clock: It is totally, completely frivolous and I am picturing the face my grandmother would make if I told her that I wanted a decorative clock made of retro soviet computer parts that costs upwards of $100. It is a "this is your grandfather's influence" sort of face.
  4. NeverThatBored: The Tomato Strikes Back

    Your earlier post about pastries and how you got them home and decided you didn't like them that much made me think of this too. The vast majority of commercially available pies, muffins, scones, cookies, etc. are just a big disappointment. Apparently I am pretty picky about pastries and sweets? Because D happily eats all of the things I decide are not worth eating. I call him the Universal Pastry Acceptor which he finds amusing. But reminding myself that I am going to think a cookie is underwhelming is waaaay more effective in preventing me from buying it than thinking about my nutrition goals. The desire to save money is also more effective than thinking about nutrition goals. Tells you something, I guess. Re: Defenders. I haven't seen any of those other shows at all. Do you think there's a correct order to watch stuff in, if I decided to try them out?
  5. Plazmotic: Come As You Are

    The flies thing is totally valid! Maybe get a trap for the basement? My MIL had an issue with flies recently and she said these were incredibly effective and they didn't even look like traps which is an added bonus. Fantastic that you're getting some writing done One of my friends likes to say "there's no such thing as writer's block if your standards are low enough" and there's definitely something to be said for the courage it takes to get utter crap on the page just to get the process started.
  6. Zeroh and the Pokemon Paradise Royale

    Sending a fist bump of solidarity from a fellow troubled sleeper. Hope the early mornings are done soon. Has boycat calmed down yet? Happy nerdaversary! And good luck kicking that self-destructive pattern. I had/have the same one and I think I have it like...85% kicked. Did you make the scramble? And how did that conversation with the union person go? Sorry the eclipse plans didn't go quite as you wanted. But glad you still had a nice picnic with your wife!
  7. Butternut pushes through the soil

    Glad you're feeling better! You seem to have some good momentum This is a very pithy little bit of wisdom!
  8. Starting from the Start

    Overall that sounds like a successful week! Sometimes the best measure of a challenge's success is how much better it is than it would have been if you hadn't been doing a challenge at all. Awesome tattoo sounds exciting! What'd you get done? I've thought on and off about getting one since, like...the mesozoic period, but I never actually commit to doing it. But I love hearing about people's tattoos. Good luck getting the meds sorted, for sure. Hopefully with that settled a lot of other things will become easier. How was the apartment inspection?
  9. NeverThatBored: The Tomato Strikes Back

    I rebelled and stopped using facebook several years ago. I never really posted on it but for many years I felt obligated to read it to stay caught up with people's lives. But mostly it just felt like a huge chore and when I finally decided to give myself permission to not be caught up the lives of people I'm not really in touch with anymore anyway, it was sooo freeing. Yay! So glad you enjoyed. Maybe I will check out that series! I also really like epic fantasy. And as for the rest of can always start reading and give up on the later books if they don't speak to you. As someone mentioned on your thread (too lazy to go back and see who) it's an interesting enough world that even if the other books are not masterpieces, it can be worth it for the additional glimpses into the universe they supply. I totally feel you on this. Obviously on the forum it's impractical to convey all of the background details of our lives so it's inevitable that some of the suggestions are going to not make sense. So I don't feel too bad when someone suggests something and I have to say it's not for me. Because they had no way of knowing that I'm afraid of sailboats or dislike avocados or don't want to do crossfit or whatever other specific quirk about me makes their advice a bad fit. I've heard a lot of buzz about this!! I'm assuming this is an endorsement? I will have to check it out. I have a standing desk and I love it! It does adjust though, and I like having the option to sit sometimes. My goal is to stand for at least 3 hours a day which I have been doing fairly easily so I will up it to four hours I think. My biggest piece of advice: get an anti-fatigue mat. Makes a HUGE difference. Unroll! No glaze, though. And I really only eat cinnamon rolls I make myself (my aunt's recipe) because store bought ones are always always a disappointment in comparison.
  10. Mrs. Badger and the Vicious - I mean Virtuous - Circle

    So now I have a really amusing mental image of a duo of culturally confused heartland dudes roaming their rural county in a mini cooper shouting out-of-place slang and having misadventures.
  11. Flea Does a Thing

    Other people have already said very wise things. In particular I think everything @Bookish Badger said was brilliant. I love her idea of providing a list of all the relevant info. It serves as a boundary line and a clear handover of responsibility. It's a great symbol of "okay, I have done enough, this is your job now." Making the list would be a little work for you, but sometimes when setting a boundary it's helpful to soften it with a gesture like that. And while there's a chance Tank is right about the money, I think Badger's also right that you lose nothing by asking. His comment about the house may have just been stream of consciousness thinking out loud about money stuff in general rather than a clear signal of intention to use insurance money for house things. If he's a good man committed to doing the right thing he will honour what your mother said. If he doesn't, that is awful but you will find a way to survive financially on your own. Have you discussed it with him at all before? You could start out by acting like you assume he's going to honour her intentions; sometimes the normative power of an assumption like that is actually very strong. So you could say something like, "Okay dad, so you know how mum wanted me and [brother] to each get half the life insurance proceeds? I'd like to set up a savings/investment account with mine ASAP so just let me know when the check comes in." And then see what happens. Forgive me if I am misreading your tone, but you've mentioned the possibility of violence from your brother before, and between my own childhood experiences and years of working at a legal aid clinic and in family violence prevention, it's pretty much impossible for me to leave this without a comment. If you're at all serious about this, you should get out of there ASAP and not tell your brother OR your father (who would probably tell your brother, if asked) where you're living until he's in a more stable situation. Like, I have a futon in my basement that is yours with 15 minutes notice. Or if you need first/last for a place I will totally front it. Because you currently live in a house with readily accessible firearms and if you really think there's a chance that your brother is likely to hurt you, please GTFO. Don't be the next tragic outcome of some man's mismanaged mental health problems that I read about in the Globe She must have known everyone would look to you. Everyone looks to you because (a) you're the most competent and (b) you've always stepped up. But I think the thing you need to work on learning here is that just because you're capable of doing something and people expect you to do it, doesn't mean you have to do it. Even if the result of not doing it is that other people flounder and fail. Your dad's lack of competence does not create a duty on your part. He potentially has another thirty years of life ahead of him, and he needs to figure it out. You said you talked with your old therapist about how your mum was sometimes selfish. Would thinking about that conversation help you now? I think she was afraid of a lot of things and her primary coping mechanism was avoidance. I mean, that's seems like a big part of the story behind her and your dad's finances: debt big and scary? Don't talk about it! Mortgages might need refinancing but it seems scary to tackle? Just ignore it! Not sure how to communicate effectively with spouse about money! Just don't try! Etc. But that was their choice. Your dad went along with it. And now it's his mess. His mortgage, his house, his bills, his debt. If he doesn't want to deal with it himself, he can hire an accountant or money manager. There's a reason those careers exist. Because managing finances is WORK and should be compensated. I think the trick is channeling these feelings in the right direction. Use them to fuel your resolve to move on and focus on you. Use them to help you feel justified in leaving them to handle their own problems. Call up these feelings as a defense if they try to use guilt and insults and accusations of heartlessness to get you to bend to their will and take care of them again. Your history has created expectations but you are under no obligation to conform to those expectations. You do not have to participate in this dysfunction. And the sooner you break away and deal with their initial shock of "wait, flea isn't going to dive in to save us when we screw ourselves over???" the easier it'll be.
  12. Severine Listens to Her Grandma

    Okay so first order of business: ECLIIIIIIIPSE! We only had 65% here but it was still SO COOL. We went to the beach for it, and we swam during the beginning, and I was feeling pretty damn pleased with life as I reflected on the fact that I was swimming in the ocean during a solar eclipse. Then we got out and passed the glasses around while lying in what was left of the sun It actually got really cold at the peak! Such a cool experience. Thankfully she's already made reference to going home tomorrow so it looks like we're safe on that front. If we're ever in the same city we definitely need to go out to a wine bar, open a tab, and trade stories.
  13. Severine Listens to Her Grandma

    Yeah. I mean, we knew there was going to be some annoyances obviously but this has been worse than expected. Ever since D's dad died she has been a lot more intense about all of her irksome behaviors. I think part of it is that she doesn't have him around anymore. And he listened to all her stories, and let her plan whatever she wanted for them to do together and he'd go along with it. And if they disagreed about something he almost always deferred to her. And now she's starved for attention/validation/company, and also kind of misses being in charge? So obviously I'm sympathetic to her feelings but still, things cannot stay this way. On the bright side I am super excited for tomorrow. We managed to find a pair of eclipse glasses (from our hair dresser of all people - he had an extra pair and he's awesome and shared with us) and I'm really excited to watch Re: goals today. No morning routine because of the surprise morning guest arrival (ugh) but I did meditate and got lots of exercise. And I definitely did fun stuff (which is the vacation version of my productivity goal). Food definitely could have been better but not terrible.
  14. Severine Listens to Her Grandma

    Vaaaaacation! Today I took a nap in a hammock on the deck under some giant oak trees with the ocean air breezing past. It was heaven. Hammock vision: We arrived later than expected last night but otherwise vacation logistics have gone smoothly. The house is super nice and 30 metres from the water. The time that I've spent alone with L and D today has been relaxing and fun and amazing The one snag is that D's mum, who we invited up to stay with us here for a day or two, showed up at 7AM this morning (seriously?? we're on vacation!) without even calling first, and declared she is staying for three days. And she is kind of driving us crazy. Sigh. We need to figure something out because I really don't want to spend half our vacation stressing out about her behaviour. Stuff she has done in the time she has been here: Gossiped constantly, at times quite mean-spiritedly, about her friends and their kids, and various extended family Totally monopolized every conversation, often cutting other people off, or if she lets them speak for a little bit, as soon as they get halfway through she interrupts and offers (a) advice about what she thinks the person should do or (b) a story about something similar that happened to her or someone she knows Tried to tell me that a private beach, with very clear signs that say "members only" and "private property" and "no trespassing" was open for the public to use after 4PM when the lifeguard goes home. I told her that lack of active enforcement doesn't mean something is allowed, and I wasn't comfortable with trespassing. She disagreed and said I just didn't know how it works because I haven't spent as much time on Cape Cod as her. I had to play the law degree card and insist that no, Cape Cod is not some special magical foreign land where land ownership works differently. She finally agreed to leave but I'm pretty sure she still thinks she's right Keeps calling us lazy because we want to hang out and read in the garden instead of going window shopping with her in town Invited D's sister, her husband, and our niece over without asking us, and without telling us they were on their way. They just showed up and we were like....what?? We would've agreed to have them over but like...ask? Or at least give us notice? And our niece is afraid of dogs so this meant one of us had to sit outside with the dog at all times to avoid scaring her. And then our niece decided she liked this little tupperware bowl from the rental house's kitchen, and D's mum told her it was fine for her to take it home?? And I was like..."uh, no? no, you can't give away things from this house we don't own" and absolutely everyone agreed except D's mum who acted like we were all being silly Constant overly-performative declarations of how little food she eats and how she has such a small appetite (in that weird smug way people sometimes do) coupled with occasional comments about how she's gained so much weight and has a "belly" now and needs a cover-up on the beach etc. She is 5'1" and weighs maaaaybe 100 pounds soaking wet and I really do not need people half my weight complaining about what whales they are. Keeps trying to schedule activities for us like we're little kids. We've had to talk with her twice about how she's welcome to stay here and use it as a base for whatever she wants to do, but aside from some dinners and a couple beach outings together we're probably going to do different stuff and while inviting us to things is fine, she has to not act like we're assholes for saying no Keeps using the wrong pronouns for L
  15. Severine Listens to Her Grandma

    Quick report due to exhaustion: today was really successful in every respect except that I ate a lot of junk. Got a tonne done, though, and feel good about that. The good news, though: our Cape Cod vacation starts tomorrow! We'll spend the morning relaxing and packing and then head out around 4pm or so. It's only about a 90 minute drive, assuming traffic is reasonable, so we should be there in time for dinner