I truly think that people are fundamentally good but there are those who are consumed by hate. They justify their hate with religion, pseudo-science, anecdotes, or false-morality; but underneath it’s fear turned sour. They create an “other” that is wrong in some way and fixate on them to a terrifying level, dehumanizing entire groups of people and attacking them.
Over the past 15 years of blogging, I have tried to be honest, passionate, and open. Events in my life from the past year have made me rethink my online presence and advocacy. The anonymity of the internet can embolden those who hate to commit terrible acts.
Because of the current backlash against the 2slgbtqia+ community, it is important for those of us who can, to share our pride in our identities. I’ve mentioned before that I’m bisexual and this month is Pride month. So here I am, a queer-bisexual cis-man, who uses he/him pronouns.
I’m happy with who I am and proud of what I went through to get to here. If my pride and visibility can help others, then I have a responsibility to speak up.
If you only know a little about Pride, here are a few places to get some more information:
Yesterday I had an appointment at the speciality clinic. My very nice occupational therapist (OT) went through a bunch of questions and asked me about a bunch of things. She then did some physical tests and went off to talk to the doctor.
I told her I was worried about the vision problems and the numbness in my face and my worries about MS. She said she’d talk to the doctor. She also said that that was normally something a family doctor dealt with and not them. They are concentrating on the neurologist’s conclusion that it’s muscular.
The doctor came in and asked me more questions and then asked, “What is bothering you more.” I told him it was the pain that bothered me more, but the face that scared me more. His reply was, “Okay then. Let’s focus on the pain.”
So the plan now is to have me see a doctor that specializes in pain and put me with a group consisting of a physiotherapist, a therapist, and my OT. They’ll run special rehab and physio for me two or three times a week. I’m kinda happy about that, since it’ll save us some money on physio that is only covered 80% usually.
I’ll be honest, I’m a little underwhelmed. It’s been 10 months of this and I haven’t had an x-ray or any other tests on the part of my arms that hurt. I’ve had one type of test, no imaging, and this feels very flimsy as a diagnosis. (Is it wrong that I want something definitive?)
The clinic people are really nice and I think they have my best interests at heart, but I feel like they’re focussed on getting me back to work and not really figuring out what’s wrong with me.
I asked again about MS and the OT said that if there had been any signs, the neurologist would have noticed and that the doctor is trusting that. It’s not very comforting, but I’ll have to trust them for now.
I doubt the balance issues, clumsiness, brain fog, trouble sleeping, numbness in my face, and vision issues are due to muscular issues in my arms. I’ll do what they say (I don’t have much choice) and hope it helps, but I’m not convinced. If this doesn’t help, I’ll have to try and see if my family doctor is willing to run a parallel investigation (if he hasn’t fully retired by then).
It’s been a hard week. Glad it’s over and now I can enjoy spending time with my family over the long weekend.
It’s been almost two months since I updated you. It hasn’t been a particularly enlightening two months.
I did finally get an appointment for the specialty clinic. That appointment went well; I have an awesome occupational therapist and doctor who are in charge of my case. The doctor, unfortunately, is an elbow surgeon who’s not quite sure why WSIB has referred me to him, but he’s willing to send me to specialists and tests.
They sent me to a Neurologist. I was really excited to finally see one. He did the exact same test that the carpal tunnel doctor did back in August. He says I have a little bit of carpel tunnel in my wrists, but that shouldn’t be bothering me. There’s no indication that my nerves are damaged or that they’ve had any issues at all.
He ended the exam saying that I was too young to worry about it and that if it were up to him he’d say to forget all this WSIB stuff and just go back to my normal routine and then added that the whole thing was ridiculous.
When I asked him about the numbness in my face he said, “That’s nothing. Ignore it.”
I was disheartened and angry. I’m not sure if he thought I was faking or that I was exaggerating my pain, but it was really condescending.
The nice elbow doctor and occupational therapist had scheduled an MRI for my neck, but with the Neurologist saying that I don’t have any nerve damage, they canceled it.
The downside to the clinic is that I only get appointments every 6 weeks. My next one is early April and hopefully they won’t be as dismissive as the Neurologist.
Unfortunately, I’m still in a lot of pain and it’s not getting better. My face is still numb and it aches a little when I work too long. I also find the vision in my left eye gets worse when I overdo it.
Between the pain, the clumsiness, and the numbness in my face, I’m starting to suspect MS. When I had an optometrist appointment in December, he said he couldn’t get my left eye to be as clear. I asked him about the numbness and that I sometimes got blurry vision in my left eye. He said that it couldn’t be nerves and that it’s possibly a side effect of fatigue. He said the only thing he knew that would affect my eye and not be seen in his tests was MS.
I’d hoped the Neurologist would have been able to test for that, but he didn’t.
MS is a scary prospect, but I’d rather find out than not know. There are plenty of other options; Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, and some much scarier, like ALS or cancer.
So a lot happened, but nothing new was discovered. Let’s hope this is just another step to figuring it out.
This is a fairly simple story about facing your fears. It’s surprisingly well thought out with lots of fun throughout. It has aged much better than I expected.
When I first watched it I really liked the assistant and the main character. Watching it now, the best friend is seriously the most awesome character. The parents are annoying but understandable and most of the characters are good but a little shallow. The movie could have done with less secondary charters.
The dialogue is often a little bit too much on point and is interestingly already dated. It has some nice layers but its mostly just okay.
Visuals and Music
The movie uses its sets, cinematography, and special effects very well. The special effects are cheesy, but the sets are well done and I was impressed with the camera work.
The music was good. It was obvious that they had 2 songs and a small score, but it worked and helped move the plot forward instead of just taking time.
I liked this movie the first time I saw it and still liked it this time. I had both kids snuggling into me during the scary parts and both really liked it. They both got really excited at the big music scene. It also kept both of them interested the whole time without snacks. The day after, the 2 year old asked, “Watch Scary Movie?” which is super cute.
A good intro to horror adventure movies for kids, few scares but no trauma. With it’s strong message and wonderful soundtrack it’s a great cheesy Disney scary movie.
Let me me start by saying I’m tired. Tired of people being jackasses to each other and then turning around and blaming someone else.
I’ve been accused of living in fear for the past six months. Apparently being afraid of a virus that has killed nearly 3/4 of a million people and following health and safety guidelines is living in fear.
Fear is a natural reaction, it’s an instinct that keeps us alive. Fear isn’t a bad thing. I can hear the embodiment of internet comment sections sections screaming, “BUT IT CONTROLS YOU!” Fear can be used to control, and yes it can go to unhealthy levels, but self isolating, wearing a mask, and avoiding risky behaviour is not unhealthy (it’s the opposite).
I understand that some people have legitimate reasons to not wear a mask, that’s fine and I’ll never challenge someone who isn’t wearing one, but I’ll give them a wide berth. However, if you’re refusing to wear a mask on principle, you are being selfish, inconsiderate, and ridiculous. What’s the worst that happens? You do something in hopes that it’ll benefit others and it doesn’t work?
More recently I’m seeing a lot of memes about how more children are stolen and sold than died of Covid, or how this one kid died because someone shot him but it’s not getting the same media attention.
One travesty doesn’t mean another isn’t important. People can, and do care about more than one thing. It’s unfair and reductive to compare them. Only a fool says “Car accidents kill more people than cancer.” Same applies here.
Another argument that’s been passing around is that “the flu kills people every year, should we take the same precautions for it?” My answer is yes. Wear a mask during flu season or if you feel sick. If you have a choice, don’t go to work sick. We should be pushing for mandatory sick days.
We as a society need to overcome the foolish notion that taking sick days is a sign of weakness or laziness.
It’s the twentieth of April and we’ve been in a quarantine for a little over a month. I’m hoping that you’re not too scared, and that you’re enjoying all the family time. Your Mum and I have been trying to make this comfortable for you.
I’ll be completely honest, it’s been hard for me. Not spending time with you, that’s been awesome; exhausting but a lot of fun. The worry is what’s been hard. I’m hoping you’re not feeling it too much, but I’m terrified for family and friends.
I’m also worried by a lot of foolish people who might cause a new wave of infections. There are more conspiracy theories than you can shake a stick at.
Worse, this disease seems to have become politicized, with one side wanting to protect lives and the other to protect the economy. Both are worried for humanity, but have different priorities. If our society doesn’t change and we don’t worry about the economy then we’ll have problems that will last a long time and will kill people. If we just let a huge amount of people die, the economy won’t do well. What we need is change. We need to reorder society to prioritize lives. Not just monetizable lives, but all lives. I hope that by the time you read this, we have a better solution.
The next month will tell us a lot about what’s going to happen. I’m hoping those in power do the right thing.
This is obviously coming from a place of privilege, but I hope when you hear about this time in the future, your memories are happy and joyful. I hope that we have insulated you from the worst of it while still helping you understand what is happening.
We’re at the beginning of this thing still and I’m not sure what will happen.
I know that I will love you and do my best to protect you.
Trump said something about having everything open by Easter. Even before that, people were talking about returning to normal.
I heard about the Virus in the end of January while on vacation at Disney. I’m ashamed to say that I thought people were overreacting. Then I got sick.
Baby Pegasus got something at the end of our trip to Florida and then sneezed into my mouth. Yum. I’m not sure if it was the virus or another Covid that’s flying around there, but it matched all the symptoms. Who knows. Either way, it was the worst sickness I’ve had outside of severe food poisoning.
By the end of February, I was starting to get worried. By the time the lockdowns started, I realized this was going to be a while.
Every week, news sources are talking about when things will go back to normal. People who saw the horrifying inequality in our society want us to do better then normal.
I’m convinced this will be a long haul. This will become our normal for a while. I’m hoping that by Christmas we will have a viable cure or vaccine. But I don’t expect the threat to go away until the end of 2020.
Now just because the Virus is still around, doesn’t mean that those who have their own best interest in mind aren’t going to push to reopen society. We will see those that believe humans are a commodity pushing for a return to capitalist normal.
We will see things normalized that should horrify us before this is over. Governments will push too far, corporations will push eugenics, or immunity cards, and worst, our friends and neighbours will start to believe the arguments.
My greatest fear is going to be having to choose between the health of my family, friends, and myself, over having to go back to work. I’m really hoping it doesn’t come to that.
Now let me be positive. At least in the short term this will mean a greater respect for those that are working hard everyday. Those that work at grocery stores, hospitals, restaurants, sanitation, and all the other essentials services.
In the long run, I expect better respect for the importance of health care and minimum wage. The need to make internet an essential and affordable service and the need for being prepared for this in the future. I also really hope we see the quick death of the anti-vaccine movement.
We have lived through 3 major viral pandemics in the past twenty years (5 if you count Ebola and HIV); this is going to happen again. If we’re lucky, it’ll be a strain of something we have a vaccine for and can adapt fast but I predict this isn’t the last major shutdown of our times.
In these darker times, it’s important for us to remember three things:
All life has value; no one should be defined by the amount of money they can make for others.
Don’t give in to hate.
Life will change after this and it’s up to us to make sure it’s for the better.
Stay home, wash your hands, and be kind to one another.
I’ve been pretty silent about the state of the world the past few weeks. Part of that was being overwhelmed and part of that was being busy.
Ottawa called for people to start self-isolating and working from home starting March 16th. My first day of work after just over eight months of parental leave was the 18th of March. I work for the government in a communications area so I’m considered essential.
I’ve been dealing with going back to work (although I do enjoy working from home), a baby that is teething (AKA not sleeping well), the pandemic, and everything that entails.
My family is in a good place. We have a house, I have a job that will continue to pay me (barring some sort of pheonix crap), and we’re all pretty used to being at home. Our house is filled with movies, games, books, and comfy furniture.
The kids are still too young for school and like I said, I just finished ~8 months of parental leave so we’re all kind of used to being at home. I do miss having people over for D&D, movies, and to chat. I miss going to the cinema, and going for walks with the kids to Walmart or the park. My daughter and wife miss church and we all miss our conventions.
Those are minor inconveniences and I know we are extremely lucky.
It’s still been hard. I’ve felt like I was on high alert for the past three weeks. I’ve felt terrified while shopping and I’m scared for my friends and family.
I’m starting to calm down but I’m still teary and worried.
This will become normal and when things get better we’ll have hopefully spared much death and heartache.
The implications of what this will change in our world are staggering and a little scary. But that’s another post all together.
Holidays and vacations are stressful. It’s one of the few times in life where you feel you need to be perfect and make everything perfect for everyone around you. That stress can turn to anger and depression.
The need to make everything perfect on holidays and vacations is colloquially known as The Griswold Effect. There’s only one result to expecting perfection in a holiday or vacation, and that’s disappointment.
My father in-law said on our second day at Magic Kingdom:
“They say this is the happiest place on earth but I keep hearing crying and people screaming at each other.”
I had noticed the same thing. From little kids on leashes screaming at their parents, to one uncool man swearing at a Haunted Mansion cast member, to parents yelling at their kids.
All Disney parks are huge, exhausting, and filled with people who think the whole park is there for them. There’s this image of the parks as perfect experiences of awesome, but they’re like every other vacation.
Don’t get me wrong, Disney is absolutely fantastic and I’m sure I’ll be going back (I’ve been to Disney World 4 times and Paris Disney once.)
The trick is to keep your expectations realistic. Rides break down, you wait for hours to get on, everything is overpriced and there’s more than you can do in one trip. You also have to account for down time and eating. Everything is bright, loud, and exciting which makes it really easy to get overstimulated. It’s also super easy to forget to eat. Use your eating time to decompress, plan, and most of all, adjust expectations.
The most important part of any holiday or vacation is being with those you love. Nothing will ever be perfect, so plan, set things up, prioritize what’s most important, and then hold on for dear life as the universe throws everything it can at you.