The other Hanukkah story

So Hanukkah is the holiday of miracles. Briefly, when the Jews were trying to clean up the Temple, which had been wrecked, they needed oil to keep the lamp lit. Alas, they had only one drop of oil! What good would that do? However, that one drop of oil lasted an entire eight days!

The other Hanukkah story: A poor person can barely afford to heat his home. He keeps his lights off most of the time. One day, he is hunting around in his dark bathroom and cannot find toilet paper. Alas! But then, he finds a roll with only one square. What good would that do? However, that one square lasts an entire eight days!

Is that a miracle that will end up being celebrated and named a holiday called “Hanukkah,” that much of the world cannot pronounce, or will we just call that “gross”?

Your pick. But please, don’t let your kids flush the dreydl down the toilet. Teach them about recycling, and have a terrific eight nights.

Day treatment rocks, to keep the subhuman brutes amused and passive

The “staff” are so sickly sweet and “understanding.” They love it when you cry.  They call it “letting out your feelings.” They tell you you are “making progress in treatment,” while they milk your insurance for more and more.

You want drama? Try psychodrama. Or just have an ordinary conversation with anyone there, if it’s allowed. Bare your soul, or, rather, sell it. In the name of “help.”

Amusement isn’t lacking here. There’s Bingo, color-by-number, crayons, ping-pong, mini golf, mini anything, in fact, you’re mini by the time you leave.

It’s not true that people never leave. You’ll get taken out every day in a mental health van! Please wear your seatbelts and obey the teachers!

Nor is it true that Day Treatment outlaws smoking. You can smoke outside while townspeople pass by, gawking, “There’s the mental place!” You thought that van was humiliating?

You think you can get a job after Day Treatment? No, you need more and more and more treatment cuz they only make you worse.

Remember to share your toys with the milieu. But not your pills. Carrying around a stuffed animal brings you brownie points.

It’s time for check-in! Time to reveal your mental status!  All days end with Wrap-up.

If you dare to think independently, the cops will come and take care of it. Day Treatment has them on speed dial. And in every group room (usually called by its color, such as the Blue Room) there’s a handy panic button. This is for staff because they are very scared the subhuman animals called “clients” attack. You never know. Clients are terribly ill and need to be insulted daily in order to survive. It’s called “therapy.”

“You have an illness….” Patients need to be told this plenty of times since lies like these generally need to be repeated till believed.

To back up all this, Day Treatment will pass out handouts. Since “clients” are so stupid, the handouts are decorated with cartoon figures just to drive the point home.

“It’s okay to ask for help.” But don’t be surprised if they then say, “You are too needy.”

Day Treatment is the one place where rules are changed each day. Pass out those policy books! To ensure patient safety, the Human Rights pages are always near the end where no one will read them. The folks that speak of Human Rights are a safety risk, a danger to others.

Human rights are secondary to “group.” Or rather, you have no rights.  Group is God Almighty. Please keep confidentiality, but don’t be surprised if what you reveal shows up next time you apply for a job. Ten years later.

No, ten years later, most of the “clients” are still there, but now, coloring in Harry Potter pictures.

Psychiatry Home Edition, coming soon!

The future is looking bright for the field of psychiatry these days. Researchers are finding new and better ways to evaluate your loved ones and see to it that they are given the health care they rightfully deserve. This means the end of all suffering on earth.

There was recent objection to evaluating people on a scale of 1 to 10, even though it certainly simplified our jobs so anyone can perform them. Now, we have the ideal alternative. Emoticons! Get yours now!

Are you devastated over a breakup? Grieving because a loved one died? You don’t even have to put your feelings into words anymore. Crying is unnecessary.  Just click on the appropriate emoticon. These are free to download. We track your responses for your convenience. We will be extra careful to track your kids. We’ll even do it for you to keep our communities safe.

Are you annoyed by those eager and enthusiastic students that excel in their classes? Psychiatry is great for that. We have cures for adolescence, too. Sturm und drang will be a thing of the past. Vision Quests will be outlawed, and Communion and Bar Mitzvahs will soon be unnecessary. You don’t need spiritual meaning in your life. We discourage asking such questions as, “Who am I?” or, “How did I get here?” or, “What is my life’s purpose?” (This last one is such a terrible nuisance.) We have standardized answers for these annoying questions, simplifying parenting and teaching.  Kids will do fine in school once properly normalized. Our standardized tests will surely improve your child’s quality of life.

We have emoticons for any discomfort, and easy, standardized cures for all of them. Are you happy? Did you respond with “lol”?  We have required treatment for that. Falling in love? Don’t worry, we support the avoidance of such falls. It’s called preventative medicine. Be sure not to miss your checkup!

Treatment doesn’t hurt. Just a pinch. Turn away and don’t watch if it bothers you. However, for your safety, keep those blinders on at all times. For those who insist on natural materials, we encourage the use of wool, which can quickly be pulled over anyone’s eyes in case of emergency. The truth is dangerous!

Soon, no one will have to worry about even the slightest differences between humans. We’ll all be alike, so this will solve all the world’s problems.  Western medicine, especially psychiatry, will be hailed as the Saviors of Mankind. A CCTV camera on every corner will ensure your security. Not that they’ll even be useful anymore because everyone will look alike.

In case you are worried that you might marry the wrong person by accident, we are installing chips in everyone that can be instantly read by our devices. These will be required in all health care facilities, schools, and day care centers, so you when you come to pick up your kid, you won’t bring home the wrong one. Originally, there was objection to such chips, but we eased the public into this by requiring all sorts of ID cards, computerized everything and put flags on those people that we find objectionable. Get your free app now!

A safe and well-monitored home is a happy home.

Please, keep those apples away from your kids. You can now only obtain these by prescription once a year. After all, doctor knows best, and an apple a day is a danger to society. We regulate sneaky grandmas who insist on baking apple pie as well. Beware, apple pie conflicts your other “medications,” so the FDA (that corrupt agency In Which We Trust) has required warning labels and is shutting down any black market bakery.

Do you think this New Order is completely ridiculous? We can silence you rather quickly if you are suffering from Doubt. “Doubt and questioning is Mental Illness talking to you. Get Satan out!” We know it’s a superstition, but it’s so effective to convince people of anything, so why now not use it? We got caught in that old lie about “mental disorders” being just like diabetes years ago. However, we invent and mass produce new lies every day. Line up at your pharmacy!  And handy acronyms for everything to more speedily dispense our cures. We are creating so many lies that we now use child labor overseas to mass produce them. We keep those minority kids, and anyone in a hood (those that of course aren’t yours), plenty busy so they won’t cause trouble.  We now ensure absolute sanitation by enforcing our lies in remote areas all over the world. Suffering is terrible, isn’t it? Those bright colors, pungent aromas, and of course all things too bright and beautiful will surely come to an end, and in so doing, we are all Saved.

God Bless Psychiatry.

New DSM diagnosis, just accepted into the Baloney Bible

Name of disorder:  Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Type Z.

Characteristics: Type Z is the most dangerous. Type Z seems to be treatment-resistant. In fact, Type Z has severe obsession with refusing any and all treatment. Type Z suffers from delusions of persecution.

For instance, a Type Z will claim that strapping a person to a bed is inhumane.  Other delusions include the notion that damaging a person’s brain with electricity strong enough to cause a seizure is also inhumane. Of course, we know this is correct, and of course we know these “treatments” have caused far more deaths than we want the public  to know about, but those with Type Z refuse to stop yapping about it.

Another characteristic of Type Z is their insistence that locking a person up who is more likely a victim of a crime than a criminal is also inhumane. The Type Z’s are dangerous because they spread these delusions around on social media.

Type Z is especially worrisome because we are seeing this tendency in the general population to be on the rise. Sociologists, anthropologists, medical specialists other than shrinks, journalists, writers, scientists, religious leaders, shoemakers, artists, attorneys…anyone can fall prey to this disorder. It seems to be spreading exponentially.

Type Z denies this disorder, therefore, they lack insight into their own condition. They are accepting of the term “activist” or “psychiatric survivor,” however. They are obsessed with human rights.  They seem to be enjoy convening and organizing pesky protests.

Type Z disorder, since it is now becoming so prevalent, poses a clear danger to psychiatry and almost all forms of mental health care. This “dangerousness” is a threat. Since these Type Z sufferers claim they are thrilled to be away from mental institutions, the disorder is even harder to treat. In Type Z, actual “dangerousness” is difficult to prove, therefore, illegal means to forcibly treat Type Z’s have been employed with limited success.

One treatment method, which is illegal, has been to involve the police. This can be especially effective in geographical areas where the police forces are bigoted. We have found that a mere call to police, admittedly full of lies, can be effective to forcibly round up these sick people, since the police defer to our psychiatric regime without question.

Another method of caring for these very sick and deluded people is to increase psychiatric power wherever Type Z is prevalent. Psychiatry’s ever-faithful ally, Big Pharma, is producing new drugs to tempt these sufferers, but clearly, this has had limited effect in decreasing Type Z.

Type Z sufferers tend to be obsessed about “helping” others we have captured and held spellbound. This is a danger because we will lose “patients” as more and more escape or refuse. Our treatments of most “mental illnesses” aren’t effective, but most sufferers are so disabled by what we do that they don’t notice. Caregivers are instructed to use the word “compliance” to describe this disability, Carers should praise those that continue to follow “treatment plans.” Note: the use of fancy lingo makes us look more legitimate, therefore, it should always be employed.

As a result, we justify the use of criminal means to harass Type Z sufferers. This is an acceptable modality since Type Z is so treatment-resistant. Our ability to justify criminal harassment usually stands up in court since treatment of these suffers is “necessary.” If worse comes to worse, bribing judges is also justified.

Our aim is to save lives. That is, our own asses.  Even though psychiatry and its diagnoses in fact maims and kills an awful lot of people. Our professional services will sweep all the damages safely under the rug. Practitioners are advised to consult their other rich golf buddies with questions and concerns.


Further adventures with colorblindness

For those of you who don’t know me and are stumbling upon this post via random search, I wasn’t born colorblind, although I hear most people have some degree of difficulty discerning subtleties between shades. It’s rare to find a person who is completely not colorblind. I am not certain at which age our ability to see color is at its peak. Apparently science is only now figuring out that our dogs can indeed see color. I think those of us who love our dogs knew this all along, didn’t we? I’d say I have known some dogs whose vision was  much better than that of other dogs. The differences between humans are vast. I’m guessing that our vision varies far greater than science realizes.

Have you ever thought of what it would be like to be a different height? If you are a tall person, imagine being a foot shorter. If you are six feet tall, imagine being my height, five foot one. My height translates to 155 centimeters, or about a meter and a half, for those of you who use metric.

If I stand next to another adult who is standing, chances are I am looking up at that person. If the person is six feet tall, I am looking way, way up. If we are walking outdoors, that means looking right up with the bright sky behind the person’s head. I can’t even see the person’s face because it’s nothing but a silhouette to me.  Because I am short, everyone looks down on me and that affects how others view me, but this is not something others are conscious of. I, in turn, might not quite be aware that I am more on the defensive than a tall person, and feel the need to defend or back up everything I say. When I am seated and my height isn’t apparent, these dynamics aren’t really there. In most classroom situations, the students are all seated. In college, it often took an entire term before someone would say, “I never realized you were that short.”  I felt on even terms with the other students and I thrived in college situations, but that wasn’t the only reason.

Wheelchair users tell me the same thing, that no one really understands what it’s like to have to look up at your peers. My former college advisor Kenny Fries, who is several inches shorter than me, often remarked that his height was never apparent while he was seated, but as soon as he stood, life changed. This was because he was born with missing bones in his legs.

You can see how height affects vision. A short person lives with the earth closer and a tall person has a far off view of the ground by comparison. I cannot imagine having my life so high up from the ground. Could I even focus on it? If I were six feet tall, that might make the sidewalk a blur for me. I’d be far more likely to trip if there was a bump I didn’t see. On the other hand, there are many things I don’t see because I am not tall enough. On a bus or in a crowd, I cannot see over people’s heads. But I can go into small spaces and peek inside while a larger person won’t fit.

There are myths about colorblindness. People think of it in black and white. That you see in color or you don’t. That’s not true. Most see some color but have a small degree of deficit. I think as soon as you call it by a name, “colorblindness,” it sets up expectations in others. Maybe they think they have to explain traffic signals to you.  Or they think you shouldn’t drive or are glad you don’t.  From what I have read, red/green colorblindness is only one of the many types out there. When you get tested for it, red/green is the one you are tested for because the concern is your driving. You won’t be tested for other types in a routine exam. I believe some states test for this when you renew your driver’s license or they ask for an ophthalmologist note.

However, there are of course all types of colorblindness. I became aware of mine two years ago. The first sign was my tendency to lose objects. I mentioned this to someone. She said, “Oh, that’s just a senior moment. That means you are losing your memory.” I knew that wasn’t true! I was confident that this wasn’t the case.  I sure was getting tired of these assumptions, so I decided to see why I was losing so many of my belongings.

First of all, they’d always turn up. Consistently. I can count the number of times things were truly lost and never recovered. It’s never been a cell phone nor a laptop nor a huge sum of money. I think I’ve dropped five or six coins on the pavement and not been able to recover all of them. A few things have been lost in the laundry, too, with no explanation. I dropped my keys once, and left them on the table at the post office another time, and both times they were recovered at the post office the next day. To prevent this from  occurring again, I have my keys in my pocket but they are also tied to my belt. I haven’t misplaced them since! When I go out running, I tie a housekey into my shoe. I have also put mad money into my bra but it ends up sweaty. I wonder: If I had to use the mad money, I can’t, really. What do I say? “I can pay you. Excuse me while I reach into my bra and get the mad money.” How do you say that wicked politely in español? It’s okay to put a key in your bra but don’t run like that. It’ll hurt.

So I solved some of the “losing things” problem, but not really. I noticed a pattern. Only dark things got lost. I never lost brightly-colored objects such as a white shirt or those white ankle socks I love to wear.  My floor is dark, maybe that’s why. I haven’t had a light-colored floor in years. I really want one if I can get one. Not a rug. A real light floor. A nice bright room, not this dismal color I have now.

I do prefer dark colored clothing. I don’t like to stand out and I hate wearing feminine colors such as pastel, pink, yellow, lavender, light blue, or bright green. I never wear flowers.  Ick. I don’t know why, I have always disliked those colors. I won’t wear lacy clothing nor anything with decals nor pictures of animals nor movie stars. It’s rare that you see me wearing anything with any of these extras. I do wear scarves now and then to stay warm or because I’m concealing messy hair or I’m in the mood for covering my body. I often wear a hat to keep my hair from blowing in my face, which I find super annoying. Or to keep the sun off my eyes, also annoying.  One exception is that if I feel like dressing up, I wear a man’s or boy’s necktie. Not a clip-on. I tie them.

You are not going to believe this. I’m sure I’m opening myself up for nasty remarks by saying this. But this is just too funny to leave out.  I was at the feria a few months ago. I passed by a table piled high with clothing priced to my liking. I saw these shirts that were my size. The other shoppers didn’t want them because they were seeking larger sizes. I saw so many of these, in different colors, all small, priced low, too, and I told myself that it was so rare that I found cotton shirts that maybe I should buy one. Alas, across the front of each one said the word, in inglese, something like “fantastic” or some such thing. No way was I going to wear a shirt that said “fantastic” right across the bustline. Sorry, Feria Dude, no comprar. Don’t you hate it when the writing on a shirt totally ruins it?

I was busy doing other things yesterday and suddenly ran into a tech emergency. Of course, that’s when these tech emergencies happen. When you’re busy trying to use your computer and it dies on you. So I stopped in my tracks and fixed it, which took a few hours, but in the process I discovered a few new tricks that might help others who are colorblind like me.

You folks know I use f.lux to help cut down on blue light after sundown. This helps with insomnia immensely, in fact, in my case, cured it completely. I had the worst case of insomnia I’d ever heard of. So while I had this tech emergency I went and double-checked to see if f.lux had perhaps caused the problem. I can assure you that this had not caused the problem and there don’t seem to be any viruses nor toolbars nor adware associated with this program. This isn’t the same as the flux dot exe virus.

So I kept on doing my detective search for the cause of the problem. I looked into extensions. I found out just out of random curiosity that Google Chrome offers a blue light blocker on its browser. I would NOT suggest using it if you are already using f.lux. However, if f.lux isn’t working for you, or if you are having compatibility issues, try the chrome extension instead. It will only work for chrome and won’t block blue light from other programs. F.lux will change your entire screen. Keep this in mind. F.lux is a powerful program, entirely free.

For me, I have terrible trouble seeing the screen no matter what. I can’t read text the way it is. I cannot understand why they decided to make text very light gray with a white background. That was just plain cruel. I can’t see it. It’s like barely there. I struggle too much. I have had trouble distinguishing periods from commas and colons from semicolons for years.

I found the solution yesterday. At least when it comes to my browser. I use Chrome, and you can find this if you look in the Chrome store. It’s free. The best option seems to be “Hacker  Vision.” What it does is to replace the colors. You can try it and you will find it’s a lot easier to read text in the Chrome browser.

If you find you need to enlarge your view quickly, here’s a quick way to do it. Press your control key, hold it, then press the + sign. To quickly reduce, press the control key, hold it, then press the – key. Sometimes this will enlarge the entire screen and sometimes just the text. You can make it do just the text, or everything, depending on what application you are in. Usually this means going through “settings.”

Do you want to know what my tech problem turned out to be? These darned Win8 screens are a bitch. They crack if you breathe on them.

So one day, I looked into my Win8 touchscreen, and said, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall….” Well, why not? These screens are far too shiny. Might as well put them to practical use.

I got the rude response. I didn’t know it, though. I can’t see well enough to see some tiny microscopic crack. It’s most likely been sitting there for a week just to annoy me. Yesterday my whole system went manic. Windows closing, windows opening, programs jumping around. I tried giving my PC some Haldol. It gave me a line about forced drugging. I was so pissed. How dare it! Insubordination! Oh well, it takes after its mama. I trained it well. I got a junior activist here.

I had to disable the touchscreen to make the machine at all usable again. You can do this via “pen and touch” settings in “Control Panel” if the updates haven’t obliterated this option, or do it the way I did, through device manager. It’s too expensive to replace the touchscreen and just think: if I did, it’ll crack again as soon as I say, “Mirror, mirror.”

I might say, “Google” and be misheard, after all. They say in this day and age, you gotta watch what you say. Big Brother is cracking the whip.


How to THINK in PESOS and give the Almighty Dollar the boot

You never stop thinking in dollars. Don’t get me wrong. But when you arrive, you have no clue what those coins mean, nor what to do with the bills. You can’t tell a $50 from a $500. You don’ t know $U from U$S. What to do?

If the price looks ridiculously high or ridiculously low, it is. Look again. See that S in there? Yep, many prices are in US dollars here in Uruguay. People pay attention to exchange rates. Here, we know stuff about the global economy. Inflation might mean something sinister. Gold means something other than just Costa de Oro.

When I came here I had to do conversions in my head. But not just pesos to dollars and back. We do metric here. I already knew kilos to pounds. Everyone who has a history of eating disorders knows that. (psst! It’s 2.2 pounds per kilo). So if I buy pollo, I have to buy it by the kilo and pay pesos per kilo. Nowadays, I no longer to four-point conversions. Don’t laugh…From kilos to pounds and pesos to dollars, then evaluate how much they are REALLY offering compared to all the supermarkets I MAY have gone to in the States (would that be “family pack”?) and then, convert back from pounds to kilos and from dollars to pesos. Then, decide. If my head isn’t spinning.

“Señora?” He’d been waiting patiently for a response. Si o no? It would take me forever before I stopped saying “yes” or “ya” and got used to “Si, Señor, un muslo, per favor.” I now know how much a muslo costs without four-point conversion and how much meat is on it. Most goes to Puzzle.

Never mind that, you need to know centimeters as well. Paper sizes are odd, too, or shall I say, not at all what I am used to. We have A4. It’s standard in some countries but I’m not used to it. Know how tall, or, rather, how short I am? 155 centimeters I believe. Even in metric, that’s not much. Never mind how many kilos I am. Puzzle is between six and seven. You’ll be relieved to hear that we do years and months the same, except the months are called by different names, as are names of the days of the week. I believe weeks start on Monday, or Lunes. It took me a while to learn the days of the week, but now, I’m sure I have them down. So if I go to a store and see the hours posted, I know what the sign says.

As for time, that, too, takes adjustment. It’s a 24-hour clock. 13:00 means 1pm. You stop subtracting after a while. I mean that. You really do stop subtracting. By the way, midnight is written 0:00. It’s not necessary to write AM and PM, though I think it’s gonna be a while before I stop that habit.

Now for the hard part. Winter is summer and summer is winter. That’s because up is down and down is up. Nope, the force of gravity is similar, but the equator is north of here. There is no upness to north and no downness to South, it’s just that we were taught that in grade school over and over and over.  Down South. The Land Down Under. Under where? Under your underwear? Cuz my español can be so bad that I really do end up saying stuff like that by accident. It can be embarrassing. I heard that once one of the Expats went to a restaurant and instead of ordering food, he ordered a whore.

I hear he didn’t get what he asked for. I’m not sure how they dealt with the tip. Makes a lot of cents, right?

My dog weighs two pounds less than my printer: let’s get obsessive over the scale!

Okay, I weighed Puzzle the other day and she’s a nice healthy 13-1/2 pounds. She eats whatever I put in front of her and she’s happy and healthy.  I weighed my printer. Why did I do that?

My printer seems to have no power to it.  I plug it in and…nothing. I’ve tried all the troubleshooting and finally have decided the heck with it.  The warranty is long gone.  I recall that before, Lexmark offered me a replacement for a low price, and this is no longer an option.  However, I can get an HP for not much more, and the HP inks are cheaper, on sale more frequently and easier to obtain locally. Not only that, if I am careful, I can get it delivered in a PLAIN BROWN BOX.  Lexmark always sent their printers with “PRINTER” written all over the boxes in gigantic letters, ripe and ready for any thief to grab off anyone’s porch the instant it got delivered.  How dumb is that?  I’m tired of not having a printer and having to go to the library or staples all the time.   This is wearing me out.  It’s not worth the exhausting trips back and forth or trying to keep lists in my head or hand write them with my messy handwriting and pencils that keep breaking and pens that don’t work, when I can print out lists easier in an instant with a printer.   We are so spoiled these days. But our rush-rush society kinda expects us to keep up with techno-whatever.

So I weighed my printer because I want to see how it stacks up to the ones I’m considering buying. I sure want the smallest one I can get. Not some giant clunker like the last two that you’d think should have been paying rent here as tenants! The current one is two pounds heavier than Puzzle.  I’m not kidding you.

So, had I taken the advice of so-called “eating disorders specialists” and ditched the scale, I’d have no clue how much my little doggie weighs and no clue how much the clunker old printer weighs.  I wouldn’t be sitting here chuckling away with you folks right now.

So what do we do?  Is Puzzle scrawny and does she need to gain weight?  Is her BMI “unsatisfactory”? Should we shove a tube into her, and if she refuses, threaten to call security?

On the other hand, which would you rather have snuggled next to you in bed: a nice furry warm doggie, or a hard, rectangular, mostly metal printer that doesn’t even work?  Is this a no-brainer or what? Or do you want to sleep with that scale of yours?  Mine is metal and it doesn’t snuggle too well.  You could shove the scale between your mattresses instead of next to you, and then, once you woke up, you could write a version of Princess and the Pea about how you slept…that is, if you could sleep at all.

Maybe we should all try putting peas under our mattresses and see how much complaining we end up doing. Was the pea under the mattress the REAL cause of eating disorders?  I’ll betcha anything it was.  Latest research, folks…..

I did one of those “IM” things with someone at HP (this was in some very very very faraway land, I’m sure) to see if the printer they were offering me, that was sitting in my “shopping cart” would come in a plain brown box.  However, the person said, “No, it comes with a giant photo of what’s inside right on the box.” Well, not quite in those words but almost.

Guess what I did?  You guessed it. That shopping cart got emptied very very very fast.  Got the big picture?  Yeah, sure. Big picture plus nosy neighbors means that printer ain’t gonna get to its intended recipient, dudes.

Back to the drawing board.  Or the dinner table.  Pea soup, anyone? I can reach between my twenty mattresses.  Gimme a sec.