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chemgeek

Chemgeek battens down the hatches

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So uh. Have a  few storms on the horizon, both literal & metaphorical:

1. Hurricane Teddy is likely to make a direct hit, likely as a category 1 or 2 hurricane on the East coast of NS, where my family lives and where my sibling is working offshore. Same track and projected strength as Juan which caused huge damage to the province of NS when it hit. I was there for Juan and to say it was a disaster is an understatement - people were without power for months. If on the other hand it tracks a bit West, my region will be hit, so time to get storm chips and restock the Coleman stove.

 

2. A kid relative of mine has come out and their parents are being great about it. Issue is we expect both sets of grandparents to not be great for Reasons Not Relevant Here. So, as the family black sheep who has totally ruined Christmas or Thanksgiving before, I have volunteered to be Christmas Ruiner if it is needed because I remember entirely too well what it's like to have ppl spouting bigotry about ppl like you and having nobody speak up to defend you at a holiday dinner and I will be damned if I let a preteen go through that. It's easier on my sibling and their kid if the person who drops the truth bombs can peace out off to a different province while the dust settles because sometimes being the person who doesn't have to deal with these people all the time gives you a bit more freedom to speak your mind, especially when "these people" have high social standing in their community (I'm not from here and am not part of your religion, I don't give a rat's behind if the Sunday brunch group is shunning me. My siblings kids OTOH go to a school where teachers & a VP are part of Sunday brunch group so their family can't afford to have the brunch group angry - and this is why I hate living in petty small towns, but anyway). Hopefully it won't come to that and we can ensure a peaceful holiday season, but my sibling and I are both the sort to want ALL the contingency plans. So good cop/bad cop roles assigned and contingency planning initiated. Hopefully unnecessary (very likely unnecessary if I am honest - we're hoping my presence at the table on its own will inhibit any explicit nonsense, as my folks tend to be a bit more conscious of queer stuff when I am around & the other set of parents see me & my partner as strangers to be on best behavior for), but I would rather have the plan and not need it than the reverse. Plus with my folks every time I plan for the worst I am pleasantly surprised and every time I think it will be fine I get disappointed so there's a bit of social superstition on my end, too.

 

3, provincial schools have opened and kids under 10 don't have to mask or distance and unis have opened so we have hundreds of out of province ppl coming in so those of us following the covid stuff expect another outbreak. I expect another lockdown by December if we aren't careful.

 

So uh. Past week has brought up a Lot of Stuff. My goal is to stock up on lockdown/hurricane food, do some financial/move contingency planning (I rent from my folks and never want to be in the position where my needs depend on appeasing someone else again, so I make sure I can provide for myself on my own and that I can walk away from anything or anyone at any time. I don't want to or plan to, but having the option to leave if someone tries to coerce me is like a security blanket - it lets me feel safe. I don't think I will end up needing to move, I just want to know I can call their bluff if they threaten retaliatory eviction cuz they've been pulling that stunt when angry since I was 5), prep lockdown fitness resources, and maintain my current fitness level this challenge.

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It never rains but it, uh, storms, huh? I think there's a lot of battening going on here these days. I'm doing a bit myself. We're in this together, comrade monk.

 

On a side note, good on you for taking care of the kid relative. I really hope the grands have at least figured out that whatever you think, there are ways you don't treat a child. (Also, yeesh, there's no reason kids under ten can't mask. Some of them are the most conscientious about it. For the others, slap a dinosaur on it, deal done.)

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18 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

On a side note, good on you for taking care of the kid relative. I really hope the grands have at least figured out that whatever you think, there are ways you don't treat a child. 

 

I feel kind of relieved that I was kind of my folks' training run. They did a fair amount of damage (my mother more than my father, but both really) to me when I came out but that kind of made them have to learn the big no-nos. Hopefully that means kid relative has a smoother go of it.

 

I don't expect my folks to be intentionally bad (they've grown and learned a LOT since I came out 16 years ago, which is in large part why despite their flaws I do maintain a relationship with them, awkward as it is sometimes), but on the other hand they never really made much effort to learn queer history or about the queer community and what learning they've done is emergency repair mode after almost nuking my relationship with them when my sibling had the first kid of our generation shortly after I came out (long story, irrelevant to current situation beyond as context for why we're prepping so much ahead of the holidays), so I do expect a lot of ignorance and playing the victim when their ignorance hurts kid relative. It's best to expect well intentioned ignorance from them and to expect them to be a lot more concerned with how well they're coddled than the consequences of their actions on anyone else. So, basically, garden variety privileged ignorant straight white folk crap (I say that as a privileged formerly ignorant white folk). But hey they're unlikely to forbid kid from being alone with younger kids or try to ship kid off to conversion camp like they did and almost did, respectively, with me, so there's that.

 

Siblings MIL is the issue on the other side of the family. Siblings FIL is pretty accepting but also pretty spineless so I expect him to enable the MIL to be a raging bigot and she's the one I am planning on damage control for the most. I would not put it past her to turn this into some grand conspiracy about how my sibling turned her kid gay for leftist points to make her look bad or some crap because that's what she does. 

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Good Lord. Looks like your work's cut out for you. Beyond the family stuff, I can definitely empathize with self-reliance as a security blanket; whenever a hurricane rolls through for us down here I look at my paltry stores and expertise and mutter "Not again."

 

But, uh, yeah. This is gonna be rough sailing for a while. Training will be a good ground to drive your stress into.

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Ok so family drama planning done. I do have a small financial cushion that I could use if needed and if I cut a few discretionary expenses I can build the cushion enough over the next few months it would cover deposit & first month rent. Any place I could afford deposit & first month on would likely be a downgrade from where I live now but on the other hand in the long term that might be financially better & current place is really too big for us, I live here more for convenience of not moving.

 

Teddy tracked East enough I judge my current supplies good enough so I will hold off the storm chips run and instead just grab a few essentials (eggs, etc) doesn't help my relatives but my region is unlikely to get damage. As well it's weakened enough that the impact is expected to be less Juan level more hurricane Arthur - still bad but not like "entire province without power for weeks, gas sold out at gas stations so generators can run, army called in" level bad. Which is good because fall came early this year & for some folks going without power that long could mean hypothermia hazards. 

 

I still need a covid plan but 2/3 situations planned for isn't bad. 

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wow, I am a newbie here and just strolled over from first time 5 week challenge. It sounds like you have deep internal resources that have been tested over time.

It also sounds like you have great executive functioning- your deep planning must stand you well everywhere in your life.

 

The climate in the US is taking a definite turn for the worse for the gay community and it's heartbreaking to watch- family member has moved from DC elsewhere in response to both losing his job and apartment in the pandemic and increased hostility in the community.

 

Blessings on you, your family, and your efforts to strengthen yourself.

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5 hours ago, Mosasaurus said:

It also sounds like you have great executive functioning- your deep planning must stand you well everywhere in your life.

 

 

Actually no, surprisingly. I have ADHD so the planning is very much a coping strategy to compensate for poor EF. If you saw the stye that is my place on a typical day you'd see what I'm talking about haha. :) I tend to be pretty good at long term/strategy type planning and relatively poor at day to day maintenance type stuff. 

 

You're right that a lot of my life was challenging tho, and thanks for the compliments! Best wishes to you as well.

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Thank you for posting. I was starting to get worried about you, apparently for good reason. I'm glad that you are establishing back-up plans and resources.

 

I hope your family members treat your kid relative decently. Having been over the territory once with you makes it less of a shock. Also it shows that queerness is not a rare thing that only crops up in other people's families. Having you and your partner there shows everyone that queer people are normal members of society. Plus you can quash any homophobic comments.

 

I think you are right to be concerned about a COVID uptick this fall. That is happening in several countries in Europe that had things under control at the beginning of the summer. As opposed to my area, which has gone from plateau to increasing several times. If you do have to go to lockdown again, you may appreciate being in a large apartment. ;) 

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Part of me not posting as much is the new captcha and how annoying it is. I usually post from my phone which means I have to redo the captcha if I switch to mobile data or between any wifi network and my phone is sometimes "helpful" by jumping to the network with best available signal automatically. I've lost more than one phone post to captcha and the given up in annoyance. Thanks for checking in tho.

 

The other part is I have mostly unified my planning & priority systems from various aspects of life so instead of working on work sales, work r&d, work application development, home hobbies, home fitness (nerd fitness), home chores and home finances systems separately, I have them all on one. Upside: all my priorities are in one spot so I don't tend to quintuple book my plan and then wonder why I am so overloaded. Downside: I don't spend as much time on this site.

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Hi! Just a check-in to see how things are going and to let you know we're hoping the best for you in your challenge!

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Thx! 

 

Yeah I have been largely reducing my internet time after work because 1, I know I won't be able to resist doomscrolling Twitter or the news endlessly and 2, Doomscrolling is bad for my mental health.  I have no power to affect anything around the neofascist tangerine or anything related to him and I am doing everything within my power on COVID & climate so... Why doomscroll? But I can't seem to stop myself unless I just don't go online so instead I have been focusing on hiking, martial arts, and playing My Time at Portia. 

 

Had a good Canadian Thanksgiving , wound up cooking a turkey. I now have 4 groups of people I know who all tell me my turkey is the best they've ever had so I feel very smug (here are 6 tricks: 1, add butter or other fat under the skin above the breast meat so it isn't dry. 2, cook low & slow, especially if the turkey is big. Cooking too hot is how the meat near the skin gets all gross and leathery. At the end you can crank up the heat to get the skin crispy. 3, SEASON IT WITH HERBS AND SPICES. My favorite combination is thyme, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper. You'll need at least 1 lemon per 5lbs of turkey. 4, Make sure to dress it - otherwise the legs will be overdone before the breast is done. 5, Use a meat thermometer to avoid food poisoning. 6, let the bird rest at least 20 minutes before you start carving it.).

 

Otherwise, everything else is in a holding pattern until Christmas.

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Welp, the other shoe has dropped. Long story short I was overly optimistic in thinking that the school was sufficiently inclusive for nibling & now I am helping my sibling find resources on how to support a kid who was the victim of a hate crime and on how to file a criminal complaint. Nibling is physically safe for now but might need to switch to home schooling if the school does not respond appropriately (and I doubt very much they will since I attended that school as a kid and their response to me getting harassed and assaulted was essentially "try not to be such a weirdo. You bring it on yourself.").

 

For my part I am pissed off. 

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On 10/18/2020 at 12:12 PM, chemgeek said:

For my part I am pissed off. 

 

Absolutely. I would be furious.

 

Parents should start harassing the school administration for being cis, white and hetersexual. Maybe they would get a clue.

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