Just toss ’em

I blow it all the time. Since I been dumped so many times by friends I thought were oh so great and gonna stick around, I get scared over shit kinda needlessly. I got so tired of the ole,  “Yeah, Julie, anything you say, ” accompanied by rolling the eyes, the “loco” finger twirl, and that sigh I am starting to recognize all too well…..I learned, get this: you can’t trust anyone in this world. Your best friend can write you off in an instant. Or worse. So I blew it cuz I was scared. It seemed 99% improbable that this person wasn’t sincere. So…I asked.  Yep, asked. Ain’t that what the shrinks taught us? There’s another dumb idea I need to add to my list. But should a person play the game until they find out the hard way that your friend isn’t your friend? Either way, I got dumped. I am guessing not just over this. There was more to it. There always is. See ya.

Who is really my friend?

People come in and out of your life, and the truth is, most don’t stick around. No matter how hard you try, that ends up being a fact of life. People go out of your life for many reasons and much of the time it isn’t anything you did or said. They might move away, change jobs, or just get busy. Or you have nothing in common anymore. Wasn’t there a song by The Guess Who, something that said, “No time left for you, No time left for you, people change and so do I…you need not wonder why….” something like that? Everyone has a path they follow and your paths aren’t necessarily going to intersect. When they do, it’s beautiful.

Ohio Breaking News!

LAWSUITS CLAIM TAXPAYERS SUPPORT TORTURE

 

Medical and legal malpractice complaints were filed November 24, 2014 in the Ohio Court of Claims and November 28, 2014 in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court by the attorney for John J. Rohrer, a 34 year old author and musician who is currently confined at a state psychiatric facility. According to the suits, Rohrer has been confined since September 1, 2009 in state facilities where he has been subjected to assaults and forced drugging – without there first being evidence that he was mentally ill.

 

Named in the suits are two public defenders, a handful of government psychiatrists, two common pleas court judges and several government agencies, including the former Ohio Department of Mental Health. Rohrer’s attorney, David L. Kastner, states in the complaints that he only discovered earlier this year that the original order confining his client in January, 2010 was not a lawful commitment order because, among other rights violations claimed, it was based on a proceeding in which no evidence was presented.

 

The complaints state that Rohrer was forcibly injected with Risperdal Consta for more than 3 ½ years although the drug is known to cause irreversible brain damage. The manufacturer of Risperdal has been found in several other multi-million dollar lawsuits around the country, to have been criminally responsible for having fraudulently marketed the drug. The Rohrer suits claim that the forced drugging with Risperdal and other drugs was done without legal or medical justification.

 

In November, 2011 Ohio voters approved Sec. 1.21 of the Ohio Constitution, which bans health care services by force. The United States is a signatory to a United Nations treaty, the CRPD [Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities] which considers forced drugging to be a form of torture. Federal law also defines psychotropic drugging by force to be a form of torture.

 

The Rohrer suits attack the former Department of Mental Health, now known as OMHAS, for promoting non-scientific theories to justify excessive drugging of patients and medicare billings. The suits cite published studies and an affidavit from Pulitzer prize-winning science reporter Robert Whitaker, to conclude

 

“more than half of people studied who continue to take psychotropic drugs as prescribed, will become permanently physically and/or mentally disabled and a burden to taxpayers.”

 

The 25 studies cited in the suits suggest that patients who reduce their pharmaceutical drug intake fare significantly better than those who take them as prescribed.

 

The Rohrer suits contain more than 400 paragraphs of allegations, including statements accusing two state hospitals, Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare and Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare [ABH], of refusing to provide a safe treatment environment, leaving patients prey to assaults by others. ABH has been a named defendant in two other recent lawsuits filed by patients. In 2010 Amy and David McCualsky initiated litigation against ABH for improperly drugging Mrs. McCualsky and then negligently leaving her vulnerable to being raped. The McCualsky matter is going to trial in the Court of Claims in March, 2015. In 2011, attorney Richard V. Zurz filed a complaint in Athens County Common Pleas Court naming ABH and several of its employees in connection with an alleged sexual assault and excessive drugging at ABH. One of the defendants in that case pled guilty to a lesser felony after he was charged with sexual misconduct at ABH.

.

Unlike the other patients who sued ABH after they left the institution, John Rohrer is still a patient there. According to one of the Free John Rohrer supporters, “we are very concerned about more retaliation while the suit is pending, but his attorney was forced to file it now because of the statute of limitations.” Judge Leonard Holzapfel, one of the named defendants in the Rohrer suit, issued decisions on November 3, 2014 in Ross County Common Pleas Court in which he terminated the forced drugging against Rohrer but declined to order his release from ABH confinement. An appeal is expected.

Breaking news on Dan Markingson case! Attention: Minnesota! Open letter (from me) to all nurses considering blowing the whistle….

Dear potential whistleblower nurses, and all readers,

A nurse has spoken out about drug research at the U of Minnesota Medical Center.  Here’s the link:

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/27480825/investigators-nurse-questions-integrity-of-u-of-m-drug-researchers

If anyone out there thinks that hospitals don’t commit crimes, you need to see this video.  I will try to stream it here if I can.

Hmm…it doesn’t want to stream in WordPress, but if the above link doesn’t work, try this one:

U of M drug research insider tells all.

There is more in the video than you read in the text below it, so do watch!

Anyway…Any potential whistleblowers out there? Are you considering tattling on your workplace? What about patients, speaking up about abuses instead of remaining silent?

I first encountered this question way back when…oh, 1977 or so. I was working for McDonald’s.  I never wanted to work there, but at the time, I could find nothing else. The name of the game was gender bias in the workplace, oppression of barely-paid workers, and a shocking amount of food that went to waste. Okay, “food.”  But still, I knew families on Welfare that could have used a burger or two.

Okay, call me dumb. I spoke up about the food waste, but my timing sucked royally. Picture this: I was working the register along with some other girls, while the more privileged male workers worked the grill. I watched in horror as the assistant manager came into the front area and swept the burgers off the grill and into the trash. A handful of customers also witnessed this.

Agreeably, they’d been on the grill warming for a bit. But they certainly hadn’t gone bad.  Supposedly “high freshness standards” forbade selling burgers that had been cooked and then didn’t sell.

So I spoke up. “Why can’t we cook to order so there won’t be so much food waste? I know people who are really hungry and would appreciate that food. But you tossed it out. That’s wasteful.”

Okay, okay, I cannot recall my exact words. But I did use the word “wasteful.” Right in front of customers.

The assistant manager turned beet red. He was so, so pissed. You could tell by the way he was tossing spatulas around. Pissed. I didn’t know what to think. I was young and naive. He stormed off.

I was fired. You bet he used some excuse to get me out of there.

So…this was my first workplace experience with blowing the whistle. I encourage any nurse out there to blow the whistle on abuse in hospitals. Patient abuse is more than just a few burgers and fries.  These places are very powerful and have lots of money, so maybe you need to consult a lawyer before coming out.  Just to protect yourselves.

Retaliation really does happen. I was victim to it myself as patient whistleblower. I have left the USA to ensure that I remain free of harm. My little dog and I are together and okay now.

 

Julie Greene and Puzzle

Not-so-great adventure at the feria….

This was actually several not-so-great adventures. The good part is that I got what I needed for very little money. The bad part was that I made the common mistake of mistaking a 50 for a 500. So when I left the house, I thought I saw a 500 in my wallet. Either I had a 500 and it got swiped, or it was a 50 all along. I don’t see how anyone could have swiped the 500. I had all my money in my wallet and that wallet only came out of my pocket when I paid for something.

This was the topic of conversation between myself and my neighbor. She said the most common error is just that, mistaking a 50 for a 500 or vice versa. Our bills are each a different color, but that doesn’t faze me too much because I can’t really see the subtleties. I’m somewhat colorblind. I can easily spot a 20 by its green color, and sometimes a $1,000 cuz it’s got a lot of metallic dyes in it. But the other bills are about the same nondescript color to me. This leaves me with only the option of reading the number on the bill. I try to be careful. But I’m not perfect. No one is.

Another mistake which is probably done around the world is to hand someone two bills that are stuck together. From what I can tell, due to the consistency of paper currency, this error is more likely to happen with US money than UY money. US money is more “sticky,” especially bills straight from the “mint.” Or off the tree. Usually when I hand a cashier a bill, he or she checks to make sure I haven’t screwed up. I’ll bet hired cashiers are trained or instructed to do this till it becomes automatic habit.

So I looked in my wallet and said, “Oh shit, that’s not a 500 after all.” I knew in fact I had very little money left. Oops.

So I told myself I still  hadn’t bought my spices. I headed over to the place I know sells bulk spices in any quantity you want. This is probably the best vendor from whom to purchase certain spices. I saw a guy there today selling adobo, oregano, and about ten other spices for excellent prices, too.

On the way, I ran into a USA person I know. I don’t know her well. I’ve only had brief conversations with her.  She’s a fair amount older than me. She got my attention and said hello. She was with someone else, another woman. She asked me how Puzzle was.

So here came the problemo. I said Puzzle was doing great and that I’d made a cake for her. I listed the ingredients, using my bad Spanish. I was proud that I could rattle off the ingredients without a thought.

Finally, I mentioned papas. Potatoes. Scream fest! No, I wasn’t screaming, she was! She started yelling that potatoes are very poisonous for dogs and I should never give them to Puzzle. I know that they must be cooked. So I responded that to my knowledge, so long as they are cooked they are okay. I know the concern with raw potatoes is the skin and the layer just under the skin. Some dogs cannot digest potato skin, but I’ve never heard that cooked potatoes in moderation were a problem.

She was yelling more and more. I mean, this was embarrassing. Treating me like I was stupid. Her gestures indicated she thought that she knew better than I did in every aspect of life.

She said, “Go look it up on the Internet. Sweet potatoes are okay but not potatoes.”

I shrugged and said, “Okay.” I wanted to end the conversation right there.

Then she rattled on with some nutrition myth. Don’t you hate when people do that? Impose their idea of nutrition on their pets, you, and even your pet? I was wanting to make a quick exit. She said, “Potatoes turn to sugar when you eat them. Pure sugar.”

Oh, please. I didn’t say anything, just walked away and I knew she was thinking, “Wow, Julie’s stupid.” and I was thinking, “I am not going to argue anymore.”

Yeah, potatoes do turn to sugar. Not table sugar, which is sucrose, but glucose, a simple sugar. Eventually. All starches do that! Just about. It’s complex, because some starches break down sooner in digestion than others.

Most foods contain some form of sugar. Is sugar bad? No. Please don’t give your dog candy and especially not chocolate. Or booze. But starches? As far as I know, it’s okay to give your dog many veggies, including starchy vegetables, so long as the bulk of your dog’s diet is meat.

So I vowed I’d look this one up. To prove her wrong. But no, I won’t say anything when I see her next, no way. I’ll smile, be sickly sweet polite and not stay in the conversation very long, lest she find yet one more reason to call me stupid.

So I left. I felt kinda bad. I don’t like that kind of know-it-all attitude. I took a different route home.  I guess I wasn’t looking carefully where I stepped. I tripped on a bump in the sidewalk and boom! Down I went.

I told myself, “Dang, this is embarrassing.” I started to get myself up and a guy came and made sure I was okay. I said I was and I laughed. My toe is bloody, though. I was wearing flip-flops.

Suddenly, I realized my cell phone was in my front pocket. I’d fallen forward. Uh-oh. I didn’t want to look. I told myself if this was gonna be bad news, I didn’t want to know just yet. So the whole rest of the way home, I reminded myself that my phone was inside a case. Likely, that’s what saved it.

I came in. Unpacked the small amount of stuff I bought, then checked my cell. I think it’s fine. Aren’t cases great?

I came to my computer eventually, sat down, and googled every possibility of Are Potatoes Poisonous to Dogs. I checked about ten websites.

The answer? No. Potatoes aren’t poisonous to your dog. The green leaves of potatoes are very poisonous to cats. So don’t let your kitty chow down on potato plants! One website said that potatoes should be fed in moderation but otherwise they are okay. The MSPCA and ASPCA websites make no mention of potatoes. I checked a site that had a complete list of poisons, and potatoes weren’t on it. Only potato greens for cats.

As for potatoes turning to sugar, I was right on that one, too. They are higher on the glycemic index than sweet potatoes. That means they turn to sugar sooner.  They sound like good food to me, actually. Tomatoes contain sugar, too. As do carrots. The starches in these vegetables also turn to glucose in your digestion. Does the glycemic index even have any relevance to dogs? If a dog is diabetic, I suppose. Otherwise, most likely, I wouldn’t worry.

I don’t give Puzzle seeds and I am careful about skins, pits, and cores. Corn on the cob is said to be a very bad idea for dogs.

Now think about this one: Sweet potatoes vs. white potatoes. How do people eat sweet potatoes? With brown sugar and butter. So what’s this sugar concern? If you want to avoid it, don’t use it!

Please don’t give your dog prepared mashed potatoes or fries. Or potato chips. Or potato salad. Some dogs can’t have potato skin, so peel it off if that’s the case. If you want to know more about what you shouldn’t give your dog, ask your vet, do a Google search, don’t rely on only one website, and use common sense.

If you get yelled at and the person isn’t making much sense, yell back the following,

_________.

Know what that means? Don’t say a word. Walk away and when you are round the corner, laugh.

 

 

Thanksgiving, after relocation to a new home

I’m thankful for many things. First of all, I’m thankful that there’s no Thanksgiving here. That’s right, Turkey Day is a USA holiday. It has no relevance outside the USA. (Oh, by the way, there’s life below the equator.)

Secondly, I am thankful that my little dog and I are together. If I’d stayed in the USA the chances for me of lengthy or lifetime incarceration in a “hospital” were rather high. This would have meant separation from Puzzle, perhaps permanently.

Thirdly, I am thankful to be liberated from the label I had in the USA. Crazy. Not one person here sees me as at all “mentally ill” or having a psych problem.

I am thankful that on this day I don’t have to lie and say, “Oh yeah, I had a great time with my family.” I spent the last ten Thanksgivings alone. I never knew how to answer that question. How’s this: “Hello, pleasant person! You asked about Thanksgiving? Well, my family doesn’t invite me. They don’t want me. Have a nice day!”

Usually, I just lied and said I had a great Thanksgiving, and I didn’t reveal that I spent it alone. I didn’t admit that it sickened me to hear the joyful sounds of togetherness from every home I passed by. I felt queasy smelling their turkey. Or Tofurkey.  I could hear football TV sounds from homes. People leaving saying they were stuffed. I told myself, “They’re having a great time. Let ’em.”

Today is an ordinary day here. It was always an ordinary day for me back in the USA, except the post office, library, and stores were closed, and the buses were on Sunday schedule.

I am thankful to be alive. I am thankful that I no longer live in fear. Leaving was the right decision, and I have rarely questioned it.

Freedom is wonderful.

How to make a birthday cake for your dog, photos included!

I made liver cake for my little dog, Puzzle. I invented the recipe myself. Here’s how I made it.

First, I purchased the ingredients, including some beef liver:

IMG_20141126_174556_606

I unwrapped the liver and rinsed it in a colander:

IMG_20141126_174831_401…and rinsed it.

Then, I put some olive oil into a pan and the liver also into the pan. I use a hotplate.

IMG_20141126_174932_716

Looks, er, yummy, eh? Puzzle thought so. I put a lid on the pan and kept it at low heat. Depending on the thickness of the liver and your heating element, you may put it at higher heat.

IMG_20141126_174950_669

That’s metric, not Fahrenheit. I flipped it over and then cooked it on its other side:

IMG_20141126_180134_832

I cut up some raw potato into small chunks:IMG_20141126_184113_828

Then, I boiled the potato chunks in water.IMG_20141126_184311_620Here they are in my cooker.

 

I cut the liver into small pieces, about 1cm.  Here’s the entire liver cut up:

IMG_20141126_185732_540

 

 

 

Hey, Puzzle, doesn’t that smell yummy?IMG_20141126_190057_113IMG_20141126_190118_648Is this a “yes”?

IMG_20141126_190240_144Is this a “mystery pic” I snapped? No, actually, I’m showing you that if you can poke the potatoes with a fork, they’re done! I added the cooked and diced liver to the mixer.

 

I turned on the mixer:

IMG_20141126_190508_375

 

I emptied the extra gravy into the mixer, too!

IMG_20141126_190839_860

 

Guess what happens when you blend these? You get liver fluff:

 

 

IMG_20141126_191142_264

This is rice flour. You can find it in supermarkets, coops, health food stores, and gluten-free stores.
IMG_20141126_191916_174

This is ground up flax seeds, flax seed powder:

IMG_20141126_192212_949

I put roughly 1 cup of rice flour into a bowl and added about 1/4 cup of flax seed flour. I mixed the flours together. I emptied the fluff into a large bowl.  I blended the flours in by hand, also adding two eggs and a spoonful of olive oil:

IMG_20141126_192746_367IMG_20141126_193034_741

 

 

 

Here is the mixture, now in a glass baking dish. Please oil the baking dish before putting the mixture inside.IMG_20141126_193751_440Now, since I don’t have an oven, I did the following. I put the cake into a large pot with less than an inch of water inside. I covered the pan with an empinada screen at first, then realized I’d better use a regular lid.

Then, I reminded myself that it’s Puzzle’s birthday. Just this once, I will gladly let her lick the spoon and bowl.IMG_20141126_194841_058 IMG_20141126_194851_775 IMG_20141126_194922_968 IMG_20141126_194933_212 IMG_20141126_194955_168:

Oh, what a sucker I am!

Now, while it’s cooking, I got a carrot. Guess what this is for?

IMG_20141126_195653_483

Cut off a short bit of the carrot and then cut it into flat pieces:

IMG_20141126_195744_518

Cut each flat piece into strips. Now, I have nine candles!

IMG_20141126_195922_444Now, you need a green pepper. Like so:

IMG_20141126_200039_832

Cut the pepper to make letters for the cake! Can you guess what this says?

IMG_20141126_200839_508It’s supposed to say, Feliz. Betcha couldn’t guess. I have sloppy pepper writing.

 

Look! The cake is done! It’s kinda firm, but still, spongy.

IMG_20141126_202247_648

 

 

Puzzle is so hungry!

IMG_20141126_202538_958

 

What to do next? You want the cake to cool somewhat. Run a knife around the edges. Then, put a plate or cookie sheet over the pan, and flip it!

IMG_20141126_202550_012As you can see, the cake separated fine from the pan.

IMG_20141126_202633_170What’s that you say? “It was a piece of cake.”

IMG_20141126_203127_438

Uh oh. Now what?IMG_20141126_203144_824IMG_20141126_203317_932IMG_20141126_204043_223
IMG_20141126_203713_616 IMG_20141126_203704_687

 

IMG_20141126_204036_068

That’s all, folks! Happy birthday, Puzzle. I’d say, “Till next year,” but we got leftovers! Till tomorrow!

 

 

 

PUZZLE’S BIRTHDAY IS TODAY!

We are happy! I’m gonna go get the liver soon and the other ingredients! What a feast she’s gonna have!

Here’s a photo, taken just now:

Puzzle on her birthday

Isn’t she cute?

It’s a nice pretty day, too. Good day for a dog walk! This morning, first thing, Puzzle’s boyfriend, Rojito, came to tell Puzzle “¡Feliz cumpleaños!” I call him Rojito because he’s red, but I don’t know his real name. I try to photograph him but he always dodges the camera! The funny thing was seeing Rojito here first thing in the morning, waiting at my front door for Puzzle. Now how’d he get past the front gate?

 

Thanksgiving with Puzzle

Tomorrow is Puzzle’s birthday. Does she even know? I doubt it, but she’s gonna flip when I start making her cake tomorrow! She’ll probably wiggle all over and bark her fool head off until I give it to her. Then, she won’t barking–she’ll be gobbling!

The next day is Thanksgiving. Puzzle, you better be plenty thankful for the cake! More likely, she’ll demand a second go-round. Sorry, Puzzle, not till you turn nueve años!

Last year, I wasn’t thankful for anything. I figured my life was ruined. There seemed to be no point in going on after what happened over the summer. Right before Thanksgiving, Disability Rights finally gave me a call to say they BELIEVED me. This was huge for me. I guess it kept me going during that miserable holiday when I had nothing to be thankful for.  Still, they kept me waiting a full month and then I started wondering if I was going to t to get that call they’d promised. I finally called them. Then, waited another month for a callback. After that, I was promised some “important” snail mail. I waited a full month and then called asking what had happened. Finally, I got the snail mail.

I opened it. It was nothing but forms I had already downloaded off the Internet. And no representation. I called the lawyer with whom I’d been dealing. She said, “Just call lawyers at random. Good luck.”

By then, it was 2014. Fat chance someone living in public housing was gonna get a lawyer by “calling at random.”

I was so, so, so so so exhausted every day. I couldn’t do a damn thing. Just dragging my feet and collapsing on the bed all the time. Oh, then my bed broke.

I guess it could have gone differently. The people in my church could have welcomed me home, and they could have said they were glad I was okay. I didn’t even get that. They didn’t have to refuse my phone calls or avoid me on the street. They could have believed me, and maybe someone there would have actually done something to help. Instead, I was kicked out.

Oh, no, not officially. But the hostility was clear. They didn’t want to associate with me anymore. I guess i’ll never know why for sure, but I got my ideas. They told me I could come back, but only if I promised I’d never again write to the Boston UUA office.

But—can’t anyone write to them? No, not a person with a diagnosis. I’m too “dangerous.”

Guess I got a few people in trouble, eh? Or at least mighty embarrassed….

Imagine the power of a church with 100 members on my side. Imagine being in a group where people actually care.  Maybe a few would have written letters to the state on my behalf. I guess instead they blacklist people they think are “unsafe” for church.

I guess I was totally wrong when I joined. I thought a church would be behind me, an asset to me, and me to them. Nope. I only got hostility and turned backs, and I became even more desperate to leave town.

So now…this Thanksgiving. Know what I am most thankful for? That here in Uruguay we don’t have Thanksgiving so no asshole will come up to me and say, “Did you have a good Thanksgiving? How was your family?” That was one horrible question to try to get around.

Here’s to those of you spending the day alone this year. Here’s to those kids who are teased in school. Here’s to those who got fired recently. Here’s to those who won’t be asking for the day off cuz you have no job. Why ask when there won’t be a dinner?

Mostly, I wish a wonderful Thursday to all those who have been misunderstood.