First I shredded the remaining breast; then I got the roasted chicken from last month out in order to give some to the cats--well, that smelled bad, so I tossed it in its entirety. I ended up shredding a thigh from KFC for the cats and sat down to eat my food.
The KFC tasted funny. Not bad, but just odd enough that I decided not even to finish chewing the piece I'd put in my mouth. So that's now cat food. The cole slaw was still good, anyway; I ate that and microwaved a couple of frozen egg rolls.
Such a gourmet.
Bottom line is that I won't be making chicken stock from any of that stuff. Well, chicken doesn't have much of a shelf life in the refrigerator, even after being cooked. It'd be nice if chicken processors could irradiate the meat to sterilize it before it's packaged, but let's face it: if chicken's shelf life is too long, they sell less.
* * *
So I got a call this evening, out of the blue, regarding my sister in Maine.
When she's having a bad time, she sits up late and watches rock concert videos and drinks and stews; eventually she gets drunk enough that she boils over and has to yell at someone. I observed this pattern when I was there in Feb of 2009, and she apparently has not modified her behavior much at all.
Some time ago Mom told me that my sister had finally realized she can't drink; but at a pig roast last summer my brother observed that my sister was drinking. It's not much of a stretch to assume that an alcoholic who has not ceased to drink will drink to excess, because generally the only way for an alcoholic to stay sober is not to drink at all. Having one drink opens the floodgates. So: my sister, who should not be drinking, is.
Anyway, it seems that--having no one left in the house to yell at--she began to harangue her 15-year-old son, at times waking him up in the middle of the night to do so. My niece left because of that kind of nonsense, thinking that perhaps it was only directed at her; but it turns out my sister needs to have someone to blame everything on, and my poor nephew became "it" after my niece left.
Any way you care to slice it, that's child psychological abuse. (Teenager--about age 15. Close enough.) Not all child abuse is physical, you know.
I only learned of this after the fact, but my niece advised my nephew to tell his psychiatrist, and my nephew told the shrink Wednesday...and is now staying with another family.
My oldest sister (the one in Louisiana) calls me and says, "[Nephew] has been snatched."
Me: WTF WHA WHA WHA WHA--
That meant "kidnapped" to me, and it only got worse when I asked if she meant that DCFS had grabbed him and she said "no"--but finally she explained it in words of one syllable that no, he'd gone to this other family's house of his own volition, in order to get the hell away from my Maine sister's psychological abuse.
DCFS has not been involved in this. I think if she decides to make a federal case out of it, or claim that [nephew] ran away from home or something, DCFS can get involved; but for the time being I think it's better for all concerned if they don't. My sister, however, has got to stop drinking and get help for her abusive behavior.
Of course, in order for her to take that step and get anything at all from it, first she has to admit that she's got a problem...and she's nowhere near accepting any responsibility for her situation. It's a slim hope that her son leaving home like this will shock her to her senses, but it's just about the only hope we've got.
So far she hasn't called me. My sister in LA called me around 7 PM to clue me in on the situation, so I would know WTF is going on; the sister in ME is probably waiting until I've gotten to sleep to call me and bitch me out over WTF-ever she's going to accuse me of.
...as if there's anything I can possibly do about any of this. Yeah. You try reasoning with a drunk.
What a frickin' mess.
* * *
I saw an article in today's paper listing the about the fastest-expanding careers in Illinois, and apparently "home health aide" is one of them. Well, the article does not say that there's a shitton of sexism in that industry: you just try to get a job as one of those when you're a man, and see how you do.
Another expanding field is "biomedical engineer". Yeah, you know what a biomedical engineer is? It's a guy with an engineering degree who's also a doctor. Good luck with that.
* * *
...so, yeah, I'm feeling pretty depressed. Why on Earth should I be depressed? I mean, life has just been cherries and rainbows and BJs for the past three weeks, hasn't it?
After hearing the news from Maine, I didn't have the stomach to play WoW any longer. I finished a couple of quests and then shut down the client; after thinking about watching some anime I realized I didn't feel like that, either, and just laid down in bed.
Look: my sister's problems are of her own making; my nephew is the one I feel sorry for, because he's dealing with an awful lot of shit--shit he shouldn't have to deal with!--and so I'm angry at my sister for being such an asshat as well as worried over my nephew's welfare.
But "should" and "shouldn't" don't count for anything. We're thousands of miles away from there so there is not a lot we can do, and being utterly helpless in the face of this kind of situation is depressing. Hopefully my nephew can try to get a good night's sleep tonight--at least, have a night where he's not awakened at 2 AM by my drunk sister needing someone to yell at over the troubles caused by her own failings.
I know I'm in a bad way when neither WoW nor anime--nor even reading--interests me. When I run through the list of things I could do, and nothing sounds good, then I know I'm depressed. Ennui sucks.
The worst thing about it: I find myself doing much the same as my sister, minus the liquor: staying up late and watching video. But I don't sit there and stew over my problems; I watch anime, which distracts me from them. And I don't drink; the last alcohol I had was...when? I don't even remember. Before July at the earliest. None of this shit is going to get better if I drink, so why bother?
But this coping mechanism keeps me up at night and it doesn't help me get anything done, so I need to exercise some self-discipline.
...I just wish there was something I could do about any of this, to make it better.