Archive for July, 2011

Raising Awareness of Stupidity

Every year some person I’m friends with on Facebook (usually someone I don’t know very well and/or haven’t seen in 20 years) implores me to participate in raising awareness for –whatever–. You’re supposed to change your picture to a (red/pink/yellow/plaid/safety orange) ribbon or put something mysterious in your status like a color or a number or something. But shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone what it means! The color is actually supposed to correspond to the color bra you are wearing! Why? This apparently raises awareness about cancer. Yes, having a giant “in” joke that half the population isn’t in on will totally make people think about oft-fatal diseases.

What’s the freaking point of raising awareness, anyway? I mean, sure. Everyone knows that breast cancer happens. Everyone probably knows someone or at least knows someone who knows someone who has suffered from this affliction. Yeah, it sucks. What are you going to do about it? Be like, hey everybody! Breast cancer exists! Are people suddenly going to perk up when they realize that your status of “8.5 inches” corresponds to your shoe size and donate their life savings to the Susan Whatsherface Fund?

Oh, I see now. Your status doesn’t just mean that you’re feeling like a Golden Lion Tamarind Monkey today. Oh my goodness, the Golden Lion Tamarind Monkey is going extinct because we’re being all mean to the rainforests and stuff? I’m going to hitchhike to my nearest rainforest and throw myself in front of a bulldozer! Bye!

My guess is that “raising awareness” is basically a license to allow people to feel smug. In my younger, more optimistic days I used to get involved in all kinds of activism. I manned petition tables. I made posters warning of the dangers of everything from deforestation to war. And even deforestation caused by wars. I presided over postcard drives (we didn’t have none o’ those newfangled emails back in those days, no siree), handed out pamphlets (to Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman once no less!) and all sorts of stuff. What good did all that do? We probably wasted enough trees on useless petition forms and postcards that we could have built our own rainforest. Leonard Peltier is STILL IN FUCKING JAIL! I remember that one. We had rallies, wrote letters, got other people to write letters & sign postcards. We plastered the college campus with posters. And Leonard Peltier is STILL IN FUCKING JAIL. Back then people were always saying, “it’s been 14 years, and we’re so close! He’ll be out by the end of the year!” Well it’s been 34 years now and all the awareness we raised (if any) did squat.

Yes, I’ve been to my fair share of pointless rallies. I’ve even been to the monster rallies in D.C. where there were tens of thousands of people present. What good did it do? The newspapers reported drastically under-counted numbers of people when they did mention them in a paragraph on page 5. Oh yeah, I did get a pictures of Pete Seeger and Raul Julia before they died. So yeah, celebrity sightings are pretty much all I ever got out of activism.

So, even if you do seemingly pro-active things like make people actually do things to get the word out to The Man that stuff sucks, it doesn’t do shit. What popsicle’s chance in hell is some obscure reference on a social networking site going to have on reality? NOTHING, that’s what. It’s about as effective as bumperstickers. It’s particularly effective as that one bumpersticker I saw on a nice new SUV in a Whole Foods parking lot several years ago, the one that said,


If you’ve spent more than 30 seconds with me, you’ve probably heard me rant about how much this bumpersticker annoys/offends me and is a symbol of everything that sucks about activism. Don’t say anything that might give someone an idea on how they can fix the world! No, don’t say anything constructive! Just put on your gas guzzling car a sign that says I AM FEELING SMUG BECAUSE I AM SPENDING $100 ON A LOAF OF BREAD AND SOME ORGANIC POP TART-ESQUE THINGS THIS WEEK, BUT THEY’RE ORGANIC SO I’M SAVING THE WORLD. Basically bumperstickers are an attempt (sometimes in a humorous way) of saying “fuck you, I’m not part of the problem.”

That’s kind of what these Facebook awareness raising things seem to be about. Hey, if your mom dies of  rainforest depletion-related cancer, don’t blame me! I was aware of it!



July 16, 2011 at 4:29 am Leave a comment

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Q: What time is it? Tell me what’s the time!


Oh yeah, and it’s 5:00 a.m. What am I still doing up you ask? Yes, it’s true that George R.R. Martin’s books are kind of like crack, but more likely:

Zoloft withdrawal – Insomnia – Not able to fall asleep or sleeping for a shorter time than desired, thus not being able to properly rest and feeling un-refreshed. As a result, a person can become irritable, have difficulty concentrating and feel a lack of energy. This can be caused by stimulants such as by caffeine or drugs or by mental anxiety and stress. Mental stress can be communicated and relieved.

As much as I love to read, no author yet has written a book that would keep me up all night, separating me from my loving devotion to the Sin of Sloth. Yes, I love sleeping possibly more than anything else out there, and there has not been a book nor tv show yet that has caused me to forsake my sweet favorite sin to see the the sun rise. It’s weird– I can’t put these books down. It’s currently 5:13 a.m. and I just finished Book #3. Normally I’m not into fantasy as a genre, but these books are way too compelling. I suppose I should be grateful I discovered them recently, and they coincide with my insomnia. Watching the dawn would be much less satisfactory knowing I had stayed up all night with nothing to do but, like,  play online Boggle or read the DaVinci Code or something.

Can you guess what I’m up to? Yes, I’m going off Zoloft! I’m still on enough Wellbutrin to kill a herd of pygmy hippos, but the Zoloft has got to go for various reasons. I’m reading over the side-effects of Zoloft now and it appears that excessive sweating is one of them. This is good to know– when I was installing plants at job #2 a few weeks ago I was sweating so much I made myself trip and fall into the pool at the bottom of the stepped garden because my feet were so sweaty they were sliding around in my shoes. Hah, for once it wasn’t completely my fault for being a klutz!

Zoloft withdrawal – Anorexia – No longer having a desire to eat.

Hopefully these side effects will go away, but instead the withdrawal effects are coming into play. Anorexia, at least there’s a bright side– my doctor told me to lose 15 lbs by September, right? Well, I’m cranky and impatient, can’t sleep and am not hungry, which makes me crankier and less patient. Thank god I’m on another staycation– I don’t think I could handle my job this week; *I’d* be the one spending the day in Time Out.

I almost forgot my favorite part! In addition to the weird headaches and dizzy spells I  constantly have these weird brain palpitation things.

Oh hey, check it out!

Zoloft withdrawal – Blood Cholesterol Increased – An abnormal condition where there is a greater amount in the blood of the oily/fatty substances known as cholesterol.   Cholesterol is a necessary part of living cells (along with proteins and carbohydrates).  Because cholesterol only slightly dissolves in water, it can build up on the walls of the blood vessels, therefore blocking/decreasing the amount of blood flow, which causes blood pressure to go up.  If not corrected, this condition is associated with coronary artery disease.

Just what I need, right? I *have* been being (mostly) good with my low-cholesterol diet. So there. Bring on the ice cream since I’m gonna die anyway!

This might have been avoided had I been able to find a freaking shrink. Boston and surrounding cities has like 800 hospitals, right? Boston has a really low mortality rate from car accidents not because people are such careful drivers, but because you’re always within 5 minutes of a hospital. You’d think you’d be able to find a doctor in this town, wouldn’t you?

After 7+ years of faithful patronage they kicked me out of the Cambridge Health Alliance because apparently you can’t go there unless you live in Cambridge. Funny, it didn’t matter for the other 4 years I went there but anyway. They recommended 3 other places, but it was really just one place with two runners up in case they couldn’t take me.

At the new place, we’ll call it the Allston House of Fun, they don’t let you see anyone who can prescribe you drugs unless you talk to a talky-shrink. So, I found myself a therapist, and she’s pretty nice, but on my 3rd visit she pretty much said “so how do you want to move forward; it’s not like you need therapy.” HAH! Apparently I’m not crazy! It’s weird, I tell this shrink all my weirdness and she (much more tactfully than I will describe here) pretty much shrugs and either says “that’s normal” or “what’s wrong with that?” Yeah, my shrink doesn’t think I’m nuts. Pretty cool, eh?

Not really because I still need someone to renew my freaking prescriptions! I made an appointment with the druggie-shrink, but they told me to come in on the wrong day. When I got there they were like, “that one only comes in on Mondays. What are you doing here on Tuesday?” Then they looked up the Monday schedule and it turns out I hadn’t actually been scheduled there either. So I made another appointment (for 3 weeks later since everyone’s all booked up all the time. in the mean time I left a begging voice mail for my old psychoparmacolagist from the Cambridge Health Alliance and got him to renew my prescription for another month.) Before my next appointment, I called ahead to see if my appointment actually existed and of course it didn’t, but they could fit me in that day. When I got there, I had a 15 minute appointment instead of the normal hour-long intake kind and nobody could find my chart anyway. The doctor said she could make me an intake appointment, but it would be in a month, which happened to be on the last day she’d be working there since she was quitting. In the 10 minutes I was there after she had resigned herself to seeing me chart-less, I quickly told her of my woes of Zoloft and she said to gradually taper off it and then we’d discuss further at my intake appointment in a month… which she called to cancel the next week. So now the Allston House of Fun hasn’t hired a replacement for her and all the other druggie shrinks are booked until late august. I had to go to my regular old doctor doctor to get a refill for my prescription for another month. I think it runs out before my appointment with the fill-in person.

Add to that I keep getting parking tickets for various things WHILE MY CAR IS PARKED IN MY OWN DRIVEWAY. Come on, people, really? Is nowhere safe? I am totally poor right now and getting poorer thanks to these two staycations and another one coming up in August. I didn’t get my car inspected because I can’t freaking afford it right now. I haven’t been driving it, preferring to ride a bike or take the train places because of it. Don’t I get points for, like saving the environment and/or pumping my hard earned cash into the public transportation system or something? As I tell The Kid on a regular basis as he’s freaking out because his pancakes don’t resemble helicopters enough for his tastes or something, “life is cruel and unfair. Get used to it.” I suppose I should take my own advice. ::grumble.::

Oh hey look, the sun is totally up now! Good morning!

July 3, 2011 at 9:42 am Leave a comment


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