Saturday, January 31, 2009

This site may harm your health

My apartment is not yet safe or settled.

Fumes: Still present. Varying severity from day to day.

Carbon Monoxide: Not.

Test Kits for Identifying Unknown Fumes: Unavailable, or not easily found, or just unknown to me.

Actions Taken: Sleep elsewhere. Keep windows closed and heat on to avoid freezing water pipes, per agreement with landlord. I'm actually keeping a window or door open at all times when I'm in here. Landlord doesn't know I'm not sleeping in here. He actually has been very concerned and helpful, as much as can reasonably be expected, when our carbon monoxide detectors didn't detect anything. He isn't acting like a jerk, but at the same time, he can't understand what the fumes are when no equipment can detect them, so he just has to assume that there's nothing here. It's too long of a story to explain to him my theories of what it might be.

Future actions planned: Clean floors and toilet thoroughly in areas where any chemicals were sprayed, mixed, and/or spilled. Open windows when weather gets warmer. Continue observing sources of problem. Collect alternative theories.

Alternative Theories (from self and friends):
1. somebody is burning candles or operating equipment or something in another apartment, or cooking on the stove.
2. landlord sprayed some chemical when he came in to examine the water heater a week or two ago.
3. something is in the drains of sinks or bathtub or toilet.
4. something in back 'box' part of toilet
5. mixed chemicals on floor or old contaminated laundry
6. water heater giving off fumes by unknown method
7. arcing electricity somewhere giving off ozone
8. baseboard heater overheating and giving off bad smell (the landlord believed he had fixed it, but the next day, it was stuck on again, and was heating when it was supposed to be off, so I used the circuit breaker again to turn it off)
9. unknown... none, or several, of the above (this is always in my list of theories, by default.)

It just seems interesting that this is the third time I have had unknown fumes in my apartment in the middle of winter or early spring. Like I said before, I've always assumed it was my fault and that it had to do with using chemical household cleaners. I still don't know.

I'm not taking any chances. I take it very seriously. It is still unknown. So... we continue troubleshooting.

This site may harm your computer, part 2

I should try it from some other computer. Maybe only my home PC has some kind of weird virus that tries to be too overprotective or something. I haven't talked to anybody else who's using google today.

The result is this: when you click on any of the pages, it sends you to an 'interstitial' page. It gives you the warning and a couple of links. None of the links work. So for all practical purposes, you're totally unable to get to them. The way to do it is to copy and paste the URL in your browser, then remove the part of it at the beginning that says .

That just seems too weird to be the real google. It has to be some virus on my computer. I'll see if it's on other computers too.

Then again, maybe this is the new Homeland Security giving us our Chinese-Style Internet Censorship.

Google says "This site may harm your computer" about everything!

Is it just me? I am doing google searches for, well, any random thing at all, and getting lots and lots of results from normal web pages that I go to all the time, like Wikipedia, saying 'This site may harm your computer.'

That's kind of like how Internet Explorer used to give you a message telling you that anything you send over the internet could possibly be intercepted and read by somebody. It's true, anything and everything on the internet could potentially get hacked. Maybe there's some virus going around and we're going to read about it in the news. Maybe google made a change and they screwed something up.

No, I'm not in the hospital.

I was having nightmares that people who read retmeishka are worried about the real me and don't have enough information. It doesn't have to be permanently, totally anonymous, it just has to be anonymous from Google's point of view. So try a search for everything between the capital letters. That's the name of my non-anonymous blog. It's got a link in my profile to some other pages.

AeAaAgAlAeAdAoAvAeA9 Wow, that was tricky. How annoying.  It's not likely to get googled, though, which is the whole point. Pick out everything between the capital A's. Look for that name on, or google it, and that's my non-anonymous blog. Don't skip the number at the end of the word. (I tested that. It pulled up some interesting stuff. It found my flickr page too, and comments I'd posted elsewhere.)

Hmm. Make sure there's no space between the end of the word and the 9.  That got some weird google results.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Un-Vindicated. Return of Confusion and Uncertainty.

it turns out that the beeps were the wrong kind of beep. they were some kind of error alarm, not a legitimate CO alarm. it has to beep 4 times in a row. instead it was beeping once every thirty seconds.

the landlord came over and tried to detect it, but i had already opened the windows and turned the fan on.

the air is back to being sort of okay. but i won't sleep in it.

i still have theories. i don't have any 'scientific' equipment able to detect anything other than carbon monoxide. (my senses, symptoms, and observations are 'scientific,' in my opinion.)

Blogging from library. Anger. Is this what happened last year and the year before?

My landlord called me back on my cellphone. I didn't have the phone at the time. He explained to the insane woman that, since we only use electric appliances, there can be no carbon monoxide. Since I would rather die than disagree with his opinion, I happily went back into my apartment and shut all the windows, trusting that the dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, nearly-passing-out, hours of headaches, burning throat, collapsing while trying to walk, and inability to think, MUST ALL BE MY IMAGINATION!

Actually, that's not what I did. Mentally, I told him to fuck himself. I didn't say that to him, since I was only hearing the message he left on my voice mail. I left the apartment and have all the windows open and the fan on. It's freezing in there, and all the wind is blowing, yet I still got dizzy when I went in for a couple seconds.

Something similar has happened twice before, and each time, I thought it was my fault. I still can't explain why there is carbon monoxide in my apartment. The one time when my apartment was full of fumes, I went to the homeless shelter. They called my landlord and asked him something along the lines of, 'Is she just crazy? That apartment's just fine, isn't it? No toxic fumes or anything?' (Of course, that's my angry paraphrasing of whatever they really said.) And the landlord said, 'Yep, she's just crazy. That apartment is just fine.' Because the landlord insisted that it was just fine, the homeless shelter told me that I had to pack my stuff, and get out, and go back to my apartment.

That was the time when I thought it was a chemical reaction caused by the borax I used in the laundry. But it happened again the next winter, when I wasn't using borax on the laundry. And it happened again this winter, when I did nothing really unusual. I can think of a couple things it seemed to coincide with. But maybe, all this time, it hasn't been my fault.

It's coming from somewhere. The beeping detector told me it was real.

I reset the detector, so it stopped beeping. I opened all the windows. In order to make the detector beep again, to show my landlord, I will have to close all the windows and leave it there for several hours.

When the beep went off, it was right after I moved the bathroom door, which wafted a breeze of air over the detector. The detector is sitting on top of the water heater. The water heater's closet door is open. The bad air is worst back in that corner. I cannot explain why the bathroom or the electric water heater are producing CO. But it's there. I also thought it could be rising up from something below the apartment.

Why am I still alive? Because when I say that something is wrong, I listen to that observation instead of listening to someone else tell me that nothing is wrong. Maybe I can't explain it, but I'm alive because I kept insisting that something really was wrong, even though I knew that it didn't make sense in the situation.

Vindicated. Carbon Monoxide. Beep... Beep... Beep...

I say this with an angry smile on my face. The carbon monoxide detector is beeping, back by the hot water heater. The hot water heater is ELECTRIC, which makes no sense. But whether or not it makes sense, it's happening. Beep... Beep... Beep...

I've been sleeping in my car. That sleeping bag kicks ass.

Nice to know why my brain hasn't been functioning and why I have no energy. Now we need an explanation for how in the world an electric water heater is producing CO. Or if it's coming from somewhere else, and coincidentally is lingering near the water heater.

It's nice to be able to explain something to my landlord, and let him listen to the sound of 'Beep... Beep... Beep,' instead of having to listen to him tell me that I'm crazy and nothing is wrong in my apartment.

I'm not happy ABOUT the carbon monoxide itself.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guantanamo closes, Abu Ghraib reopens!

This can't be a coincidence.

Scott Adams heartbroken for Sarah

Scott Adams's cat Sarah has died.

Who have you known for nineteen years? Your mother and father? Your brother or sister? Your spouse? Can you think of anybody who you have known that long?

Maybe you can think of someone you've known for almost two decades. Did they live in the same house with you, and touch you, every day, for hours, and look into your eyes, and look into your soul? Did they grow up with you?

I haven't lived together with anyone for that long of a time, anyone but family, and we don't live in the same house.

You lost your special friend and soul mate, someone you loved like a family member. You looked into her eyes. You felt her warmth, her softness, her purr. You knew her devotion. Now those eyes are gone and she is silent. Your life and your world are shattered.

I cried with you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

teeth, cavities, wheat and osteoporosis, sleeping bag, psychotronics and ritual abuse groups

Random things:

I'm brushing my teeth again. I quit brushing them for several days to see what would happen. My gums and teeth started to hurt, so I stopped that experiment. However, I'm not using toothpaste. Somehow, even without toothpaste, my mouth tastes the same as it always did. I am gradually getting used to the no cosmetics routine.

I had to mention this, because I keep getting images of people who aren't brushing their teeth anymore, who might have problems because of it. I didn't approve of this experiment, because the whole concept of the Weston Price articles is that the primitive people weren't brushing their teeth IN A CONTEXT OF EATING A SPECIFIC DIET. It seems obvious to me that if you eat a modern diet you will most likely have problems because of all the sugar, flour, coffee, and whatever else. The primitive groups who never brushed their teeth were ALREADY eating the foods that were considered safer than the modern diets.

There is some disagreement here, though. That assumes that tooth decay is caused by EXTERNAL factors rather than internal ones. I suspect that tooth decay might be partially 'odontoporosis,' like osteoporosis of the teeth. Perhaps the teeth decay from the inside out. So it really might not be from the external foods touching against the teeth, but instead, from the body's internal processes. The dentist looked at my teeth (this was back when I was brushing normally, with toothpaste) and told me that my teeth were demineralizing. I can see through the enamel. It looks porous and irregular, just like osteoporosis would look.

Osteoporosis isn't merely loss of calcium, and I'm pretty sure that eating calcium pills doesn't help very much. It might... but I don't think so. It's also a breakdown of collagen. There are other minerals involved besides calcium. Drinking fluoridated water gives the body too much fluoride, which weakens the bones and changes their structure, which CAUSES osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is also associated with wheat. I don't know which constituents of wheat are responsible. I don't know the process of how it works. I read recently that some of the proteins in wheat behave like enzymes in the body. This is similar to 'xenohormones,' plant chemicals or industrial chemicals that behave like hormones. I don't remember the details and I might be remembering wrong.


I slept in the car. That sleeping bag says it's good down to 20 degrees. It really was. I had on two sweaters and a down coat, and was in the sleeping bag, and I was too hot and ended up taking the coat off. Sleeping in a car, in the middle of a snowstorm at night, with temperatures below freezing, wouldn't seem like a time when I could say I was uncomfortably hot, but I was. That's how great the sleeping bag was. (But I did put the coat back on later.)

The air in my apartment is greatly improved, now that I'm back in here today. It slightly burns my throat. I'm sure the problem was the two chemicals that mixed. I'm glad not to have any bottles of anything reactive in my house anymore. I cleared out everything I could find.

I'm also sure now that the really bad fatigue over the past few weeks has been because of those fumes, and I didn't know it. I feel much better today after sleeping down in the car, even though I didn't sleep for long without interruptions. I kept waking up and having problems with 'them,' although it wasn't as bad as I expected it would be. But in spite of not sleeping very well, I still feel much better than I have felt for a little while.


While reading some blogs the other day, one link led to another, and I ended up reading another web page about ritual abuse and mind control. It was written by someone who claimed to have escaped from one of those groups, someone who was formerly a member. This particular web page did not go into the taboo of remotely operated, technical, electronic mind control. But it described the psychological and social situation of groups of people who hurt and control other people as part of a belief system, a hierarchy, a pseudo-religious practice that they do in order to belong to a group.

Everything they said seemed believable and recognizable to me. They hurt and control people because of a misguided belief that this is the only way that they can accomplish whatever goals they are trying to accomplish. Everything is based on fear. They fear retaliation or murder if they leave the gang.

It also described them as 'not happy people.' A lot of them don't WANT to hurt and control people and animals. They do it because they are too terrified not to, or because they are physically forced to do it.

I'm interested in the technological aspects of this problem, but I will also eventually need to know about the psychosocial aspects of it. How do you free people from a group like that, and protect them against the attacks afterwards? The taboo will never be broken unless group members, politicians, journalists and mainstream media people, and everyone else, feel physically safe after they violate the taboo. A lot of their physical safety depends on technological shields, countermeasures, and the ability to detect and track down the sources of attack.

Random people can try to comment now.

My comment moderation settings weren't what I thought they were. Because I've been in 'barely surviving' mode for a while now, I haven't been able to deal with even very small simple problems. I have thought about the comments many times and have wanted to check what was going on with them, but couldn't get around to it.

But I changed the settings today so I should be notified when comments are posted. I'm still moderating comments. Maybe I could turn off moderation and then go hunt for some bored flaming trolls on some random forum and invite them to flame each other in a peaceful, quiet location at my blog, so that I can observe what really happens when random, bored, anonymous strangers do annoying things to each other and to my blog.

I'll probably end up shutting off comments anyway, but I will let people know before I do that. If comments don't appear during this test phase, then it's not because I rejected them. During the test phase I'm just going to allow trolls, seven-year-olds, and politicians to write 'POOP! POOP! I LOVE POOP!' and other such things. (Of course, my blog wouldn't attract such people. lol...)

But yes, all this time, I thought that comments were on, and they weren't. I was supposed to be notified if I received comments.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Great Chemical Purge of '09 - Toxic Fumes and Environmental Illness

This is hard to explain, because I'm sitting in my apartment, and I can't think clearly. I'm spending as little time in here as possible right now.

I've had severe fatigue for a while now, but I've had bouts of fatigue on and off for years, usually triggered by chemicals. I don't always know right away what's causing it. It takes troubleshooting and trial and error.

In the past couple days, the fatigue turned into the scary kind of sleepiness, where it's not like the usual chronic fatigue, but instead, it's more the 'Carbon Monoxide Is Putting Me To Sleep' kind of fatigue. I can't find my carbon monoxide detector - I think I might have left it at McDonald's or something, back in the great 'Poisonous Fumes At McDonald's' incident in December 2007. (I think I wrote about that one on MySpace. 'Go ahead and fire me!') But I don't think it's carbon monoxide.

(In addition to the fatigue and sleepiness, I also had almost two weeks of recurring Norovirus, which developed into appendicitis. The appendicitis is going away on its own. Viral appendicitis can happen when you get an ordinary stomach virus, but it's usually mild and it heals itself. I have had *mild* viral appendicitis many times before and I recognize the feeling. But with two weeks of Norovirus, it was getting bad enough that I was ready to talk to the doctor - and that's saying something. Just when I was about to look up a doctor in the phone book, the Norovirus went away and the appendicitis died down.)

So far I've had a couple theories. There is definitely bad air. I feel it when I breathe, especially in certain locations. It's very similar to what happened at McDonald's. And this is the third time that I have had a toxic fumes incident in my apartment. The previous two times, it seemed to have been triggered by cleaning chemicals.

Well, I just recently sprayed some Windex in the bathroom, and last time I had a toxic fumes incident, I had recently done something similar, except that it had bleach in it last time. This time, there was no bleach. I am not sure if the bad air is caused by the chemicals or if it has some other unknown cause. But it began shortly after I used that spray.

While trying to find the problem, I found a pool of mystery liquid which was in the middle of a pile of mystery powder. You don't know how messy my house is. This mess is the result of several years of unimaginable disaster and a lack of social support. (The lack of social support is finally being fixed right now, a little at a time.)

I had a whole bunch of bottles of cleaning chemicals sitting around in the kitchen on the floor, which I had been using to attempt to clean the herbal oils out of the laundry. (It didn't work, and the chemicals made everything much worse than it had been originally.) I just recently moved a bunch of junk around, and there was one bottle that I sort of kicked from one pile of junk into another pile of junk.

I had about a dozen different boxes and bottles of various things all around. There was Borax (I got rid of that long ago because it made me so sick), bleach, ammonia, PineSol, some kind of wood-cleaning oil, Windex, carpet shampoos, Mr. Clean, and other things. The one that spilled was the PineSol. Oh yeah, I also had de-limer and rust remover, and I remember that the de-limer we used at McDonald's was horrible to breathe, so I didn't trust the one that I had.

After cleaning up the spill as well as I could, I then collected every single bottle of every single chemical that I had, and I threw all of them away, out in the dumpster. (Definition of 'chemical': something liquid or powder, usually in a bottle or can, intended for cleaning, and able to react easily with other chemicals. It's a vague definition. I realize that, technically, all physical objects in the universe are made out of chemicals.) I don't use those things except on very rare occasions. I bought them all out of desperation when I was trying to fix the laundry problem.

Some of the bottles had been there for years. They are now no longer a hazard in my house.

I slept with the windows open last night. I bought a sleeping bag so I could keep warm.

Even though I wiped up the spill, there is still something wrong with the air. I am going to try a couple things. First, I've had the windows open. I will try again cleaning up the area where the spill was, and cleaning it more thoroughly. I am also observing the hot water heater because there seems to be bad air lingering in that area, although that could be just because it's back in an enclosed corner where the air doesn't circulate much. The water heater is electric, *NOT GAS*, thank goodness, so it isn't having a gas problem. I am afraid of gas appliances. They really can put out carbon monoxide. There are no appliances in my apartment or in this house anywhere that could produce carbon monoxide. It's most likely a chemical problem from the cleaning fluids.

So, I didn't sleep very well last night. I actually got a second sleeping bag just this afternoon. The first sleeping back was a lightweight one, and I used it while sleeping indoors. The one I bought today is a heavy-duty one and I am going to see what happens if I try to take a nap in my car.

This is deja-vu. It was the dead of winter the last two times that I had toxic fumes incidents. In 2007, the ephedra/tobacco/herbs cleanup triggered an incident, and I attempted to sleep in my car a couple times, and it was in the early spring or late winter, maybe around March, or April. In 2008, the incident was mild enough that I was able to handle it by just opening the bathroom window and putting a fan on - but it was also in the winter, around February.

This incident is mild enough, and I'm pretty sure it's the little pool of mystery chemicals that was on the floor in the kitchen. So I don't expect it to be that big of a deal to clean up and air out, and I expect it to be fixed in a day or two. In a way I'm glad it happened, because it caused me to throw away all of the bottles of cleaning chemicals that I wasn't using, and I'm happy to be rid of them. I will not buy cleaning chemicals again - I don't want any chemicals in my house except for just a couple of small, simple things that are less threatening. (Like dish detergent.)

The other positive thing is that I have spent the past few months meeting more people and making some (tentative) new friends, local people, so if it's an emergency, there are real people who I can go to if I have a situation so severe that I have to get out of the apartment immediately. This hasn't quite reached that phase yet, but if it did, I'd have somewhere to go.

The other aspect of this is that I recently changed my work schedule so that I'm on three days a week. I wasn't quite ready to do that, but I had to, because, as I said, I've had the problem with fatigue and it was getting worse, and I was having trouble going to work and having trouble concentrating and getting my job done. (There was an incident where I was supposed to make a whole bunch of salads because the salads were going on sale the next day, and I didn't get it done, and everybody was angry. And it was mostly because I was too tired to think clearly, and I didn't communicate with them about how many salads I could realistically produce in a certain period of time, while also shutting everything down and cleaning up. It would not have been possible for any person to do it, but I said yes, I could do it, and they all expected that I would do as I said.)

This is my very first week with the three days schedule, and cleaning up the house is exactly the type of thing I intended to do during that 'free' time. (I don't really feel like I have any actual free leisure time to do fun things - my life is still too full of problems and anxieties.)

This is the year of asking for help and getting more social support and meeting people. That's the only thing that can help me right now, getting more people involved in my life. The problems and disasters were piling up faster and faster, and they buried me. I could not clean up one disaster before the next disaster hit. And the time is passing. So I am doing something different now, and I am getting people to help.

So that's my day today. There's a lot more space in the kitchen with all of that clutter gone.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

ovarian follicle?

the ovary theory:

when i get gastroenteritis, perhaps it presses against the ovary. maybe there IS a little bit of appendix swelling, but not a lot. maybe it's true, the appendix might swell a small amount every time you get a stomach virus, and most people don't know it, and don't need to do anything about it, and it takes care of itself.

so it presses against the ovary there and causes pain, which is noticeable at the same time as the gastroenteritis.

here is how the idea got in my head. i glanced at a page mentioning several other things that can cause pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen, and the ovary was on that list.

there are some symptoms that might suggest i have problems with my ovaries, but they're not quite the 'classic symptoms' of polycystic ovary disease. still, it might be milder than some other people's cases. i have whiskers, but i don't take that as an absolute guarantee of a hormone problem, especially because i have had TWO trips to the doctor where i've gotten blood tests done and they said 'All of your hormones are normal.' Both times.

i also take the position that the modern lifestyle contains chemicals that act like hormones, which affect some people worse than others. xenohormones, xenoestrogen, etc. i am a feingold-diet kid, which indicates that i do benefit from avoiding certain chemicals.

since this is on retmeishka, i will say this. i've been hesitating to talk openly on my other blog, because i started getting news articles saying that employers will google people and find their blogs while you're applying for a job there. and i've been rejected for several jobs. and i had a 'battle of wills' telling me to start blogging openly about psychotronics and hearing voices. i'm going to change a couple things and might make my other blog temporarily anonymous. that could be making employers not hire me.

so, anyway, it was one of the voices that called my attention to 'ovary' as being a theory i should think about.

since it was a voice, my instinctive reaction is to reject it, except for the fact that it's in one of those areas where i DO accept 'advice' sometimes from the voices and the hackers who send me relevant news articles.

if i were writing songs, then i WOULD be very angry and reject all forms of 'advice,' and i would be in direct conflict with them, because writing songs is a CREATIVE activity that involves expressing emotions, and it is very unique and personal and can't be done 'collaboratively' or 'cooperatively' with the voices in your head trying to put their two cents in. but in the realm of medicine, i do accept alternative viewpoint suggestions, and this ovarian cyst theory is one of those times.

here is the rest of the ovarian cyst theory. i felt sure that i hadn't ovulated this month. my cervical mucus texture didn't change. i hadn't felt the tiny sharp pain that i sometimes feel in the area of the ovary.

i had read an article saying that the circadian rhythm, using visible light, can trigger ovulation. they related it to the full moon. they said that sleeping with the lights on for three days, as though there was a full moon, would trigger ovulation by affecting the circadian rhythms of the body, whichever gland it is, the pituitary gland.

since i was sick anyway and feeling awful and wanted to be able to see the pathway to the bathroom if i had to go throw up, i slept with the lights on for a couple nights. then, there was the 'something ruptured in my abdomen, and it wasn't the appendix' incident.

the next morning i bled a little bit and i thought i was starting my period. but then, the bleeding stopped. it was vaginal blood, not rectal, and it had nothing to do with my appendix.

that spot of vaginal bleeding would be blood from the ovarian cyst that ruptured; apparently it was a worse-than-usual cyst. i don't know if it's proper to call it a 'cyst' or just a normal ovarian follicle.

there are some fights going on with the other personas, voices, attitudes, and beliefs. one attitude says that there is something to disapprove of, to frown upon, if you misdiagnose yourself, if you make a mistake. something to be ashamed of if you mistakenly believe one idea, then change your mind about it afterwards.

i was talking about this to peter and i observed that there were some situations where i had originally dismissed people's claims about things, only to change my mind over a period of years and gradually come to agree with them. for instance, the best example i can think of is that long ago, some woman told me that reheated foods made her sick. i forget who it was. i thought that she was making a mistake and she was misunderstanding something. but now, i've come to agree. reheated foods DO have chemical changes that reduce the quality of the foods. the fats and proteins DO change when they've been on heat for a long time, or are reheated over and over. so i agree now that reheated foods could make people sick. her observations and her knowledge were probably right. she may have observed it on her own, and also read it and researched it.

so it seems humiliating or bad to think that i have appendicitis, then change my mind about it - and worse yet, to have it happen because the voices in my head were talking to me about it.

there is also something disapproved-of about female hormone problems, polycystic ovary syndrome, and things like that. it's hard to explain. i have conflicting attitudes. one attitude is that i am a natural hair lover, and i don't see it as 'wrong' for one woman to have more facial hair than some other woman (or for some particular man to have more or less hair than some other). most people immediately think that there is something wrong with female facial hair.

i think it shouldn't be taken as a sign of illness right away, unless there are OTHER symptoms that really are causing problems. and you shouldn't strive to get rid of the hair just for the sake of getting rid of it because it's wrong, and you shouldn't judge the success or failure of your treatment based on whether or not the woman still has facial hair afterwards and is therefore still having a 'hormone problem.' 'getting rid of excess hair' shouldn't be the one and only thing you're trying to do whenever you treat a female hormone problem. you should get rid of undesired symptoms such as fatigue and infertility and cramps.

but i like to accept variations in hair patterns and i like ethnic and genetic variety, and 'excess' female hair is part of that.

plus, the other thing i just thought of is that the vast majority of women who have facial hair HIDE it, so that you can't even be aware that this 'symptom' even exists. it's very, very common, but almost everybody shaves it off, waxes it, or bleaches it, or has it electrolysized. (i'm not sure if i spelled that correctly.)

if the symptom exists, but it's hidden, because people are doing external cosmetic things to make it invisible, then you can't know whether it's a common, ordinary phenomenon, versus an extremely rare phenomenon that indicates a problem. in our society, doctors aren't familiar with the normal variations in the patterns of body hair, because so many people shave almost everything off of their bodies, and they shave and pluck their eyebrows, and they cut their hair. nobody has any information about what people's hair variations would look like if they were left alone. how many people would grow floor-length hair? (my furthest point stops at just above the knee, where the hair is tapered off to just a few hairs remaining, but most of the hair stops around the waist level. i call it 'classic length.') how many women have mustaches and beards? how many caucasian people's eyebrows cross over their nose bridge? (that's seen as a bad thing in the usa, partly because it's associated with arabian or middle eastern ethnic groups.)

we don't ever SEE the normal variations in hair patterns because people remove all of their hair. so you can't just look at me, and say 'she has a mustache, therefore her hormone problems must be really bad.' there are dozens of other women with mustaches who wax them off, but they haven't all been diagnosed with hormone problems. the government maybe would start requiring all cosmetic products intended to remove female facial hair to have a cautionary warning saying that female facial hair is an abnormality and a sign of disease, and if you are using this product, you are hiding an important symptom, and so you should go to a doctor to get your hormones checked if you feel the need to use this cosmetic product.

(and i'm a libertarian/anarchist, so i'm NOT advocating that the government should do that.)

i don't have much time left to write. but i'm pretty sure now, after changing my mind, and hearing the opinions of 'the others,' that i think i ruptured an ovarian follicle in a worse than usual way for some reason. and that i am now ovulating, or attempting to ovulate at least.

(on another topic which i don't have time to get into, i also noticed that i liked the way i smelled for a day or two before that. it was in the 'perfume' category of smell, which i guess is described as 'musky,' but i'm not sure if that's the correct word referring to it. even though i am no longer using any perfumed deodorants, shampoo, or soap, i still sometimes have a perfume-like scent. it's definitely noticeable in the past couple days, along with a sharper smell which is probably related to the foods that i am eating or the stress of being sick. i had to mention it.)


i've had appendicitis many times before, every time a virus goes around. but this week i just keep getting the virus every time i go to the bathroom at work. it happened again today. about ten minutes after leaving the bathroom, i started getting nauseated. i ended up being unable to eat anything during lunch break. i was perfectly fine until i went into the bathroom, then i inhaled norovirus. i don't know if i'm inhaling viruses themselves, or the toxin. i don't know if maybe it's on the sink faucet handles. i don't know. but every time i go there, i get it again.

i almost lost it the other night. i was gently tapping on the right side of the abdomen because of a feeling of gas pain and i knew i had some appendicitis, but wasn't sure how bad it was. all of a sudden my blood pressure crashed. i felt like i was about to faint and vomit. my feet started tingling due to loss of circulation, within a couple seconds. i got up, took my blood pressure, and it was:

94/44, 63 bpm

almost bradycardia, and borderline emergency low blood pressure. it was very sudden. so sudden, i thought that i had suddenly ruptured the appendix. so i stood up, grabbed my wallet and keys, ran out the door without a coat on in freezing bitter cold, and drove to the hospital (which is conveniently only about a half mile away) and sat in their parking lot, waiting to see what would happen.

but my blood pressure went back up, and i started to feel okay again.

i was having problems with the socks i was wearing, because they were contaminated from the carpet. the carpet contamination causes low blood pressure and bradycardia - i've had it happen before. so i was already having hypopnea - not breathing enough - for several nights, and low blood pressure. but somehow when i did something to the appendix, something changed very suddenly in a life-threatening way. i was sure that something ruptured and that i was bleeding internally. i almost lost it.

it didn't hurt, though. it was just that sudden severe loss of blood pressure.

i bought new socks and immediately felt much better, and am no longer having the hypopnea, low blood pressure, and bradycardia that i had been having for several days.

however, like i said, i got the norovirus again at work today. i didn't get it as severely as before. but my appendix is hurting again tonight. to make it worse, in the week during and before the norovirus appeared, i was eating unusual foods that probably contributed to giving me constipation. i had indian food, which isn't usually a problem, but i was eating nothing but white rice for a couple of days, and naan bread, and those are the types of foods that will make digestive problems worse in some ways. i mean, if you eat nothing but that. during the virus, i had constipation, appendicitis, nausea, almost-vomiting and a constant struggle to control it, and salivation. i also had gas and burping.

but that weird incident with the crash of blood pressure was very threatening. if i keep getting this norovirus again and again, the appendix won't be able to recover. that's why i am looking at photographs of inflamed appendixes right now. (appendices?) they obviously look VIRAL. there is a certain style of how things look when they are infected with a virus. if it's lumpy, irregular, multi-colored, and 'messy-looking,' then it's probably infected with a virus. cancer looks the same way, and cancer is connected with viruses. warts look like that. and you see it not just on animals, but also on plants and trees infected with viruses. some of the appendix pictures had that multi-colored, irregular, lumpy look.

i don't want to REMOVE my appendix. i would like to drain it and conserve it as much as possible. i want it to stay right where it is, and continue doing whatever it's doing. if it can be drained out or cleaned out, and the pressure and swelling reduced, i want to keep it.

i am going to just wait for the norovirus to completely disappear...

(some people are probably going to think that it's an ovary instead of the appendix.  that's something i haven't researched yet.)

Monday, January 19, 2009


I went sledding today. I haven't gone sledding in a few years. The last time I went was with my then-boyfriend and his daughter.

I was sick almost this whole week with the Norovirus. I caught it like three or four times. Every time I started getting symptoms, I stopped eating and drinking because of my vomit-phobia. Today I finally started feeling human after spending most of the week just staying in bed. I wanted to get out and see people.

I have only a couple of movies that I watch over and over again - I need to go buy a couple more, one of these days, but haven't gotten around to it - they have to be good enough that I'll enjoy watching them a hundred times, and it's not easy to find those movies. One of the ones I have is The Little Mermaid, and I watched it last night for the first time in a while. My mood today was 'I Wanna Be Where The People Are.' I wanted to see people having fun and doing things, outside of my closed little world. (I was thinking of writing a blog about The Little Mermaid but I'm going to write about sledding first. Maybe later.) So I got my camera and my coat and hat and got in the car.

I was going to go walk around town but ended up going to Slab Cabin Park instead. I got out, feeling embarrassed and alone, and walked up the hill. At first I just watched everybody else having fun.

When my brother and I were kids, we had Flexible Flyers. Those are the wooden sleds with metal runners. You can steer them. In our neighborhood in West Virginia, we lived up at the highest peak of three long, curving, connected hills. The road used to be made of gravel. (It isn't anymore.) The gravel was mostly small rocks with lots of dirt in between. When covered in snow, it was pretty smooth. If it hadn't gotten fly ash dumped on it yet, you could sled on the road itself, all the way down to the lowest area. It was about... a mile? Three quarters of a mile? Several curved hills, one after another. On flexible flyers, you could make it all the way down to the bottom and control where you were going. There weren't many cars, but one might possibly be driving up, so you had to watch out for them.

Walking back up was the hard part. I'm not kidding, I think it was about a mile or 3/4 mile, uphill. That's why we didn't do it very often even if the roads were perfect for it. But it was a great adventure when we did.

One time we tried to drag our sleds on a shortcut through the woods, to get back up to the top. The road was curved in a C-shape, doubling back on itself. To go back up, you could cut across the 'C' by going uphill through the woods. So we tried that. It was difficult. I remember dragging the sled up a very steep wooded hill through sticker bushes, heavy brush, and trees, where there were no trails, in deep snow. It almost seemed easier to go the 3/4 mile up the road instead.

I remember getting part of the way up the wooded hill and thinking 'This was a terrible idea, I wish we hadn't done this,' and then looking back down, and it was too far to go back down to the road below, and still a long way up to the upper road, and hundreds of feet of heavy brush and trees in all directions. There was no way out. You might as well keep going upwards.

Strangely, I don't remember whether we ever made it all the way up through the shortcut, or whether we gave up and went back down again! Maybe I imagined it all and we never even attempted it. Maybe we ended up going some other way instead. Maybe I was alone instead of with my brother. If it had been the two of us, I think we would have had better morale and we would have persisted all the way up through the shortcut. I think we made it.

But I do remember for sure that we did sled down the road, down all three hills one after the other, at least one time and maybe twice.

I don't have my flexible flyer here in Pennsylvania. I think it's at my parents' house down in the basement. I don't think they sold it or gave it away at any time in the past couple decades.

So when I decided to go sledding today - after driving to Slab Cabin and watching people for a few minutes - I went to Wal-Mart to find a sled. I wasn't going to spend a lot of money. They had some snowboards, and I think I could do that, but that was too much money. I was able to ski well enough when I took skiing classes back in college, so I expect I'd at least be able to do basic snowboarding - probably not any amazing stunts or anything.

I was able to ski well enough... except when I tried the intermediate level hill. That led to permanent injury. I'm not sure if I ever told that story in my blog before or not. The ski instructor recommended that we stay on the beginners' hill. I was overconfident and thought that I could do the intermediate. Don't ever go down the intermediate level hill if you don't know how to slalom. I didn't know how to slalom. You have to go from side to side, in long, wide curves, almost turning and facing back UP the hill, in order to slow down. I didn't do that. And you have to be very strong and have a lot of stamina, or you will get exhausted quickly.

But I went straight down at full speed, realized very soon that this was a mistake, and was screaming at everyone to get out of my way because I couldn't stop.

There were moguls. Remember moguls? A mogul is a big bump or ridge on the hill. I knew about moguls because we had a skiing game that we used to play, on Intellivision. Moguls were just an occasional obstacle in the game. On this real-world hill, however, it was one mogul immediately after another at very high speed. It was an entire hill of nothing but moguls. I helplessly went over about ten moguls in a row at high speed, then crashed. The skis came off my feet and went sliding down the hill by themselves. Another skier was nice enough to catch them for me. I flipped a couple of times and strained my shoulder and my hip. Fortunately, I didn't hit the trees.

My shoulder and hip healed by themselves, and nothing was really broken, but I still remember it every time the weather changes and my joints and old injuries ache. It's always the hip and shoulder that got strained in the skiing accident. But I don't regret it. I love telling the story.

So, no skis, no flexible flyer, no snowboard. What did I get? For about $7, I got something called the 'AUTHENTIC SNOW BOOGIE,' by Wham-O, Inc. (The company name sounds like a bad omen to me. And I guess you want to avoid mistakenly buying the IMITATION Snow Boogie, made by some other company. Buy the real thing!) I had a feeling that this sled would be difficult to control. There were no runners. It was a smooth piece of lightweight plasticky styrofoam mystery material, with holes cut out for handles. That's all. In my mind I saw myself going down the hill backwards and/or spinning uncontrollably. I decided that was okay.

Well, I found out, don't try to sit upright on this thing. I tried it on a little hill first so that I would know ahead of time just how bad it was going to be. I tried sitting upright and holding the handles, and ended up spinning around (just as I had imagined) with one leg splayed out sideways at risk of injury, and my body halfway falling off the Authentic Snow Boogie. It was obvious that this was not a good way to ride it.

The instructions said 'This product may have limited braking and steering, or none at all.' Yes, that is true. But it didn't recommend any particular position or way of using it that would actually work. It just told you some things NOT to do. 'Never tow from behind any vehicle.' Wow, that sounds like fun! The idea would never have occurred to me, but now that you mention it... 'Do not use in the proximity of trees and other fixed objects.' There are a whole bunch of trees at the edge of Slab Cabin's hill, so I was breaking the 'No Trees' rule. 'The wearing of helmets and safety goggles is strongly recommended.' Well, I was wearing my Armor Class +1 Knitted Cap, does that count? but no goggles of any kind.

I decided to lie face down. That worked. I'm pretty short, but even so, the Snow Boogie was only long enough for my upper body. My legs stuck out the back of it. I don't know if it was just designed for really little kids, like toddlers maybe, someone who's about three feet tall, or if you're SUPPOSED to have most of your body dragging directly on the ground.

But it turns out that you can use your feet to control which way you're going (kind of) and to slow down. So I didn't spin around or go backwards this time. I went mostly forwards and mostly in the direction I was trying to go. I was able to stop, and I avoided the Trees and Other Fixed Objects, and the people.

And it's nice to walk back UP the hill carrying a thin piece of styro-plastic instead of dragging a heavy sled. The Authentic Snow Boogie was so light it waved in the breeze as I carried it.

I went down the hill a few times. It was getting dark, and I needed more food, and my clothes were getting cold and wet, so I didn't stay long. On my second-to-last run, I accidentally went over the little ski-jump that somebody made. I saw it coming towards me and I couldn't steer out of the way, so I shouted 'Oh shit!' and started laughing. I survived the mini-jump though. Maybe I'll try to go over the mini-jump deliberately next time.

People were friendly, and I said goodnight to them as I left. I'll do it again sometime.

But the toes of my shoes are shredded...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

People's Different Interpretations of Electronic Harassment

1. Ghosts
2. Obsessive Thoughts / Psychological Problems
3. Multiple Personalities (This is also, to some extent, a real phenomenon that might not entirely be caused by mind control.)
4. Psychic Ability / Lucid Dreams / Astral Projection
5. Paranormal Phenomena
6. Psychiatric / Mental Illness
7. External, Human Attackers Using Weapons
8. Religious / Spiritual Experiences
9. 'Hearing Voices' Movement, where the voices are unexplained, but not a sign of illness

10. Electromagnetic Sensitivity / Auditory Sensitivity

Characteristics of these categories (from their point of view, not mine. I disagree with these interpretations, except #7):

1. External entities. Might be dead people. Might be demons or some other 'energy' creature that doesn't have a physical body.

2. Internal. You can fix it by retraining the mind, taking drugs, or using other psychological methods to fix unhealthy thinking patterns.

3. Internal. Caused by trauma or mental illness. Treated by drugs and therapy, or just not treated at all.

4. Internal. Under one's own control. A skill, a good thing, a blessing, with some downsides or burdens attached to it. If something happens that seems to be not under your control, then it's caused by 'subconscious' mystical knowledge inside you, or maybe the influence of a supernatural entity or other forces.

5. External. Unexplained. Mysterious, entertaining, exciting (if it's happening to someone else and not you!). Something that makes life interesting. Hints at the existence of unexplained 'other realms' or whatever, perhaps an afterlife or energy creatures that don't have physical bodies, or hints at aliens. May suggest it's caused by unknown laws of physics or things that could have some scientific explanation but we don't know it yet. Avoids suggesting that humans cause the events.

6. Internal. Negative. Treatable by drugs and therapy. Assumes that the drugs actually HELP rather than doing more harm or CAUSING you to hear EVEN MORE voices (which is what happened when I took Prozac).

7. My interpretation. Negative, a crime. Solve the problem by building shields, and tracking down perpetrators and physically stopping them. (Negotiation and voluntarily stopping seems unlikely - if they were willing to stop voluntarily, they would have already stopped long ago after seeing how terribly it affects the victims' lives. Their behavior indicates that they don't CARE who suffers.) Goal of getting more social support, more money for research and countermeasures. Educate people. Could be positive if it were being used ethically, with consent, to study and control your own mind and body because you chose to do so, not because some invisible stranger zapped you awake in the morning without your consent. Could be used ethically for other purposes such as putting animals to sleep before killing them for meat, so that they don't feel pain.

8. External source. Positive. Helpful, friendly, loving guidance. Sometimes terrorizing, if God judges you negatively and wants to punish you. Voices of God and angels speak verbally to you whenever you pray, or they send you positive feelings of 'goodness' and 'light' and 'benevolence,' etc. They also influence your choices and actions and they tell you things you might not have otherwise known about. Similar to psychic ability, but comes from without, not within. Religious people of the modern day aren't aware that, centuries ago, religious authors mentioned 'The Voice of God' in a metaphorical sense, not a literal one, and they were quite clear that it was NOT an actual voice using verbal words and talking to them when they prayed. 'The Voice of God' was a metaphorical voice only, an inner sense of knowing what was right and wrong in one's life, and knowing by feeling what you needed to do in life, and being 'called' by God to some activity or service mission. IT WAS NOT A LITERAL VOICE!

9. The Hearing Voices Movement is on the internet and is intended to remove the stigma of mental illness. Hearing voices is said to be a normal event that happens to a very large number of people. They avoid being explicit about giving an interpretation on their website, and they accept the victim's (or lucky, fortunate, blessed, 'Indigo' person's) explanation for how and why it happens. To some extent I agree with what they're trying to do. But I personally am interested in focusing very strongly on physical countermeasures and on physically stopping the criminals. The HV movement doesn't tell us what to DO about it, but they have phone numbers to call for social support. I got the impression that their phones were overloaded and they weren't able to do it anymore, last time I went to their site.

10. External. Accidental, insentient, non-directed, impersonal. May be natural or manmade. Not directed at you personally. Caused by devices of the modern world, like cell phones, radio towers, and electrical appliances. Some people more sensitive than others. (I partially agree with this interpretation, but it doesn't account for all of the phenomena.) I think there is some combination of 'sentient/directed' and 'insentient/ambient/accidental' phenomena, where maybe it's easier to attack people who are already in a strong radio field, etc. Affected by foods, drugs, and chemicals that may worsen the sensitivity. Goal is to make more laws controlling electromagnetic fields - this is one other reason why I'm not quite comfortable with this interpretation. 'Make more laws' is their main approach. Although, actually, #7's external attackers say something similar, like 'Hold Government Accountable!' and 'It's All Government's Fault!' etc, when I think some of it is government and some of it is caused by other criminals. This approach also focuses on 'Electromagnetic Fields Cause Cancer,' which I don't really agree with - at least not yet, though I might change my mind. Claims that a wide variety of physical and mental health problems are the result. I disagree somewhat because I have other beleifs about what causes some of those things - but again, I don't disagree entirely, and may change my mind over time as I learn.

Norovirus, then a forced awakening in the early morning

this is for retmeishka.

I haven't been writing for a couple reasons. First, the snow has covered up all the St. John's Wort, and so I haven't been able to make any fresh batches. The stuff that I have is old, which means that it hardly does anything when I use it, except act as a sedative. I'm avoiding using it, because I need it to do more than just act as a sedative. It also sensitizes me to other chemicals, so I'm not gaining much if all I do is get a sedative effect and more chemical sensitivity, without the 'achievement/ambition' effects that I want from the antidepressant constituents.

I have been getting a stomach virus over and over. It's the norovirus and it's in the ladies' bathroom at work. People are going in there and vomiting in the toilets. There is no ventilation - the air is stagnant in there. So the vaporized, aerosolized viruses stay in the air for hours, the same way that the smell of cigarettes would linger in there for hours if someone had sneaked in there and smoked a cigarette. But instead of a little smoke, there is instead a contagious vomit virus that causes symptoms within five minutes.

I started salivating within five minutes of leaving the restroom. Sue almost threw up, and it was maybe twenty minutes after going to the restroom that it happened to her. There was vomit in and around the toilet in the second stall. People are throwing up in the bathroom almost every day, I think, because the norovirus is going around town and everybody's got it.

I have gotten it three times this week so far, and - or, make that four, I guess, if I count last night. Now I'm confused, it's either three or four times.

I finally fell asleep sometime after maybe three o'clock. They zapped me awake at maybe seven or eight AM. I can't explain to the managers at work that I got only three or four or five hours of sleep because mentally ill criminals zapped me awake even though I had been up all night with severe nausea for the fourth time this week because the bathroom at work has no ventilation. And because I have no social support (yet, although I will soon) as a 'targeted individual' being attacked 24/7/365, and nobody can provide me with an effective shield so that I can sleep in in the morning without being physically attacked and forced awake.

I don't know how many other mind control victims there are in Pennsylvania. I can find their blogs on the net, and I can find websites made by people that are meant to be helpful, but they don't have people producing effective shields and selling them. They also don't have detectives using equipment to detect and track down the type of attacks that happen to you and finding out where they come from and who is doing them.

So I might contact people through blogs, which is one way that I will begin, but local people might be hard to find. And I have been too sick for the past few months to even try doing anything challenging such as contacting other targeted individuals.

I would want to tell my managers at work that maybe, just maybe, I could have gotten over the stomach virus and managed to come in to work when I was scheduled, if only someone hadn't awakened me a mere couple of hours after I finally fell asleep after struggling with nausea and sickness all night long. And I can't tell them that, because non-fellow-sufferers have limits to their belief. They can say that I 'experienced' a 'mental phenomenon' of some kind, but that is the only way they can describe it. They can't say 'Yes, I agree: you were the victim of a physical attack, a crime, and that's why you couldn't sleep after having a stomach virus all night.'

I did tell them to schedule me on a three day week. I would want my parents to understand that I'm too sick to work, that all of the problems that have happened to me are real, that my observations are accurate, that my apartment really is contaminated with the essential oils of the herbs that I tried to grow, that I really am being attacked by mentally ill criminals and organized crime gangs and unknown people. I would want my parents to understand that I can't help it that there are economic boom and bust cycles that caused me to get laid off from the only two good jobs that I ever had that were high-paying and comfortable, in an office environment. When I ask for help from them and they help me pay my rent, they are reluctantly giving help to a daughter who they think is merely 'crazy' instead of an accurate, logical observer of reality. They think I'm just having another one of my outbursts or attacks or 'breakdowns' or something.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Argh! Comments on Flickr? I didn't know!

I haven't used Flickr very much and didn't have it set up to notify me if anybody commented anything. So, la la la, people are commenting and I'm totally clueless, going my merry way and assuming that nobody knows that I exist. I happened to go into it today and I looked at one of my photos and saw that my brother had commented something about it. I noticed there was this one picture of a tree that had a lot of views. It's an illusion - happened by accident - where the tree looks like it's either upside-down, or growing out of the water, or something. Lots of people had taken a closer look at that photo, so I opened it up and there was a comment. Oh well, now I know.

It should be easier for me to get photos onto my PC now. A friend gave me a card reader and also a couple of little USB cigarette-lighter hard drive thingies. Usually, I had to load the photos onto my laptop, then burn them onto a CD, because I never did get a connection between those computers. (The photo software won't work on my PC, so I have to do everything on the laptop.) The card reader plugs into the USB port (I originally wrote UPC, oops) and it reads the memory card from the camera. I haven't tested it yet, especially because I have a stomach virus today and I'm just resting.

Anyway, if it works, it means more pictures, more often.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

he's back

martin showed up a couple days earlier than i expected. i saw him when i walked up to the front for something. maybe it was when i was getting ready to go on my lunch break. i saw him and got an adrenaline rush for a couple minutes. i was excited, terrified, humiliated, and i wanted to cry. don't know how much of that was my own feeling, a projected feeling, or psychotronic. the adrenaline was real. i avoided looking at him. i saw enough to notice that it looked like his hair was wet. 'so much for my peace and quiet' was the reaction, because i had noticed that while he was gone, at least i wasn't tortured by voices telling me to go up and talk to him or command him to answer my questions and all the other things they said. when he was gone, i missed him and kept looking for him in the checkout lanes, even still recently, especially because i expected that he might be back on a day that wasn't written on the schedule. expecting the unexpected. but when i started getting the tortured emotions again, i had this feeling that i forgot what it was that i used to think about when he wasn't there. when he is there, there is a constant anxiety and awareness that he is somewhere nearby, which at the same time is also a feeling of being glad that he's there and i know where he is. the conflicting feelings. i forgot what i used to think about. when he's there, i can't forget that he's there and just calmly think about whatever i want to think about.


woke up feeling like a train hit me. finally got some coffee started. it was the last in the bag - it was all i had. after i started it, i heard a strange hissing noise, but i thought it was just some vehicle outside swishing on the snowy wet roads or something. when i went back into the kitchen, i saw that i had not put the coffee pot underneath. the hissing was the sound of coffee falling on the boiler and burning.  i put in the coffee and the water and started it, and the coffee had filled up the filter basket all the way and was beginning to overflow. the basket has a button underneath that stops it from flowing if there is no pot under there, but only for a few minutes till it fills up and overflows. that happened. i at least still have the coffee that's left in the basket, so i put the pot under it and let it drain down.

i hope the rest of the day goes better...

Friday, January 9, 2009

'Yes Man' - Jim Carrey

I had to go see Jim Carrey in Yes Man. I noticed a while ago that after he went into drama movies (The Truman Show) he started reliably and repeatedly getting into movies that had the topic of 'Mind Control,' 'Conspiracy Theories,' 'Breaking Free,' or similar subjects, and that I almost always liked and agreed with the overall heroic/positive spirit of the movies. (I didn't quite get 'The Number 23' but I still liked it well enough.)

As soon as I read the summary of what 'Yes Man' was about, I recognized the events that have been happening in the past few months of my life. I was a 'no-woman,' a hermit, a recluse, with a minimal number of real-world friends - my friends were mostly online, or faraway friends from my adolescence when I lived in WV. I avoided taking on any new burdens of any kind because I felt like I couldn't afford to expend the energy needed to maintain friendships and do projects and activities. (Sadly, it turns out I was kind of right about that. I promised a lot of things I couldn't deliver. I hear people say 'knowledge is power,' but for me personally, 'good health is power.' My latest bout of chronic fatigue and health problems have made it difficult for me to do much of anything at all.)

In the past few months I started saying 'yes' to more people and activities. I associated it with the 'Economic Stimulus Package.' That's when it began. I began experiencing much more direct, explicit 'outside intervention' in my life from the voices. It led to my doing things that I didn't necessarily feel like I could do - I felt like I just didn't have enough energy and I wasn't reliable enough to maintain new activities or keep giving attention to new friends.

Well anyway, I enjoyed the movie. I didn't cry at any point, but I 'sort of almost cried' once or twice. There is a subtle way of making a humorous movie, where something in it suggests 'beautiful' and 'funny' at the same time, and it breaks your heart. That didn't quite happen in this movie, and I won't go back and see it seven times, but I still give it a positive rating. I like the picture on the poster, where he leaps joyfully in a field of flowers in the sunlight. The movie could have been made with a little different style so that it more accurately represented that beautiful-flowers-field poster feeling.

A long time ago, the old episodes of The Twilight Zone used to be 'What If?' stories. What if some strange 'rule' was broken or changed - how would it affect your life and the world? They questioned many social rules and laws of physics. Even on a low budget, the shows were interesting. It's been so long since I saw TZ that I can't think of many examples. Interesting concepts and questions will make a good movie or TV show, on a low budget, even if they don't have amazing CGI special effects.

'Yes Man' was like that. It had a 'social rule' concept. What if you had to say yes to every opportunity? What do you define as an 'opportunity?' Is it the same thing as just being commanded to do things?

When I saw the description I knew I would like the movie because it was what I've been doing for the past few months of my life. My version isn't as extreme!

It fits into the theme of 'Jim Carrey and mind-control related movies.' It also fits into the 'Jim Carrey's Movies Are Just Like Me And My Life' theme, which is a semi-serious, semi-joking observation. It really did happen that, during the Economic Stimulus Package last May, some things began happening in my life which led to my trying to make new real-world friends and connect with more people instead of being a recluse. And it followed the theme of saying yes to people and friendships even though I felt like I couldn't be reliable enough to do much with them, and I felt like I had nothing valuable to give.

Other bloggers talked about this movie - I read them before going to see it. Some people didn't like it because it was predictable. Like I said, it wasn't absolutely amazing and I won't watch it over and over. I liked it anyway.

intentional communities

I grew up in a 'community' and didn't even know it.

I'm reading 'Creating A Life Together' by Diana Leafe Christian. It's a book that thoroughly covers the details and the real-world things to do when you're starting an intentional community. It focuses on mostly sustainable ecosystem communities, although my own focus is what you might call 'sustainable economy' communities. It isn't so much the physical ecosystem, but the financial system that I'm interested in - what kind of money we use, and how we survive the recurring economic collapses as they gradually destroy the quality of life in the mainstream world over a period of decades.

Anyway, the book mentioned Homeowners Associations as one of the possible ways people can govern the community. I suddenly realized that when I lived in WV, my neighborhood was actually a private development with a Homeowners Association. The neighbors all knew each other, there was a relatively small number of houses, outside cars had no reason to drive up our dead-end road, and we sometimes did group activities together.

My mom noticed that things changed over time. In the beginning, we had gravel roads, and in the wintertime we would get trucks full of fly ash taken from local factories (or something, I forget where they got the fly ash) and put it on the roads to give traction on the ice. We would all do this together, riding in the back of the trucks and everyone shoveling fly ash onto the roads.

But we paved the roads, and eventually we no longer had those fly ash 'parties.'

We also used to have a picnic. But it was only once a year. And gradually, fewer people attended the picnics. They were busy with their own lives and didn't really feel that a yearly picnic was that important.

There were no other group activities except for the Homeowners Association meetings, but those weren't a 'fun' activity or a shared work activity, and the children didn't go to them. For a variety of reasons, the community gradually felt less and less like a community, and more like a bunch of random people who don't know each other very well - just like it feels out here in the 'outside world.' It wasn't just the fly ash parties and the picnics - there were lots of reasons.

Diana Leafe Christian talks about how shared activities and shared meals are the most basic things that make some place feel like a community - the more often you do those things, the more strongly you bond with the community. I loved going to the dining hall in college (even though it made me get fat) because I sat with the same group of people and saw familiar faces every day, at my relatively small college.

So during my adolescence I lived in a place where people trusted each other and knew each other, and I felt that it was a healthy place to grow up.

I recognized some of what Christian is writing about. She talks about how when the intentional community finally chooses a particular piece of real estate to live on, a lot of people almost inevitably break out of the group. When I think of the Free State Project in New Hampshire, I remember that in the beginning, they didn't know which state they would choose. When they finally chose New Hampshire, I felt disappointed, although I wasn't actually signed up for the project. I was hoping for someplace that I had visited and loved - I had been to Colorado once in middle school, and I loved the Rocky Mountains. So I was hoping for something out there. But since I wasn't even signed up, it didn't make much difference anyway. And now I've gotten used to it, and I don't mind that it's in New Hampshire. I've decided that you can potentially build a community in lots of places, not just one 'official' place.

I think that the New Hampshire Free State Project is still a good idea - it would be a good place for 'sustainable economies' to make intentional communities. Those communities would not directly connect with the FSP itself, but would simply go there because it would be overall a less hostile environment. Even if the FSP failed to get enough votes to make much change in New Hampshire, it would still be a place where people were more familiar with independent economies and the types of people who want that.

That is something that can be done even BEFORE the FSP becomes official. It can be done by individual initiative.

Gold Backwardation - Rationing of gold coin sales is almost the same as a failure to deliver

I don't know whether gold is officially in backwardation anymore according to the numbers. I haven't heard anything from Fekete or the others. But there is an ever-increasing difference between the numbers on your computer screen or on paper, versus the price of physical gold in the real world.

The demand for gold is so strong now,22049,24894346-5014099,00.html that Perth Mint in Australia is rationing its sales. That means you have to wait a while if you try to buy gold coins from them.

For all practical purposes, this counts as a 'failure to deliver' in my mind. They cannot sell as much as people are demanding, and yet, their price remains low, according to the computer-screen numbers.

I'm guessing that this will happen to more coin sellers and not just Perth Mint in Australia.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

raw milk

I drank raw milk today.

1. I'm not dead yet.
2. The police haven't arrived.

But I did hear sirens going by a few minutes ago. Maybe they couldn't find my address and gave up. :)

This is the first time I've tried raw milk. Actually, it was frozen raw milk, because the goats don't produce much now in the wintertime. There was a little note taped to the fridge where I bought the milk, explaining that they were out of it, and frozen was all that was left. I'll try fresh-not-frozen whenever it becomes available again. (This makes me think of Antal Fekete writing about the 'good old days' of futures markets, where we expected seasonal variations in the prices of agricultural commodities. I can actually SEE this seasonal variation because the market is so small and low-tech. This isn't a factory farm operation. It's wintertime, so we don't have anything for sale. The milk is all gone. It's a reality check that reminds me of what it means to live in a climate with cold winters.)

I was pleased with the trust-based informal buying method where I got the milk. It's a place where you go only if you already know to look there. It's inside another place of business, because the original store shut down. I don't know why they shut down, but I'm guessing it was just another economic downturn kind of thing. It's a little refrigerator hidden in a dark, small, cluttered office area. If you didn't know what it was, and didn't look closely, you would mistakenly think it was just an employee break room. You just grab what you want and put money into a box, and write a note describing what you took. I also sent them an email first so that they would get to know me.


So, what happened? I tried only a little sip at first, to make sure nothing bad would happen. All my life, I drank ordinary, store-bought, pasteurized milk, until my mid-twenties. I had a mysterious illness in 1999 that caused months of severe fatigue and digestive problems, and during that time, I became unable to eat certain foods and couldn't tolerate milk anymore. I had difficulty swallowing, and felt like I was going to throw up after eating, and had pain in the upper right quadrant of my abdomen. (That is the location of either the liver and gallbladder, or part of the large intestine. I thought I had hepatitis, but tests were negative.) I stopped drinking it permanently after that, because it just seemed too disgusting. So I was afraid that milk would be nauseating and undrinkable like it was during that time period.

The 1999 illness was my first experience of long-lasting unexplained illness, and my first experience of going to doctors and getting diagnostic tests only to find nothing wrong. (I watched a show called "Mystery Diagnosis" on cable at a friend's house last night. I'd like to talk about that show but I'll save it for some other time. You know I can't say anything in fifteen words or less. My reaction is: "They make it seem as though unsolvable illnesses are always obscure rare diseases - but actually, lots of hard-to-cure illnesses are very common and are caused by widespread problems in society." I have heard a million stories about people with ordinary, familiar illnesses who went to one doctor after another unable to get anybody to listen to them and unable to get any treatments that worked, even though their disease wasn't at all obscure. However, it's still important for doctors to recognize obscure diseases, and I don't have anything against that. I enjoyed the show and have a lot to say about it.)

My problem was probably from:

1. swimming in local non-chlorinated freshwater lakes, where I might have picked up a parasite or bacteria;

2. an unknown virus, since I heard stories of many people in the town getting sick at once with symptoms like my own - extremely severe fatigue that made us all think we had mononucleosis, and, in particular, a very specific type of fatigue that made your NECK in particular very tired, so that you could not hold your head up, and always wanted to lay your head down on your desk if you were working in front of a computer, as I was at the time. This "tired neck" and "wanting to lay your head down" was very specific and it was described by several people;

3. a bad reaction to the gypsy moth spray distributed every year by airplanes flying low over the trees (it seemed to happen right after that, and the gypsy moth spray is DESIGNED to interfere with the digestive system - but only the digestive systems of the moths, not humans; they say it contains a type of bacteria that only affects the moths, but I have my doubts - I've gotten sick every time they spray it);

4. food poisoning from a chinese restaurant, where my then-boyfriend's daughter threw up, and we all seemed to get sick for a while after that;

5. it might have even been bacterial contamination in PASTEURIZED milk, because during that time, I drank milk from a particular place - and I don't want to say their name - and even though the milk tasted good, I seemed to get sick a lot from drinking it, and strongly associated the sickness with milk.

The mystery is still unsolved. But I "got better" whenever I switched to the Feingold diet in winter 2000. I stopped drinking ALL milk. I stopped drinking coffee at that time, too. Quitting milk and coffee made my stomach able to tolerate food again. I became able to eat fats and greasy foods without getting sick. But now I drink coffee all the time, lots of it, and have few stomach problems. However, I am still sensitive to "bad quality fat" in restaurant foods, where a greasy hamburger might be sitting out exposed to the air, kept hot for a long time in a heated case, and the longer it's kept out, the more oxidized it becomes. There are changes when food is kept hot for a long time, or reheated over and over, and exposed to the air. I don't know the names of all the chemicals or how they change.


Well, today with the raw milk, the first thing I noticed was allergic hives appearing on the side of my jawline, and above my lips. They appeared within about five minutes. That's the same place I get hives when I eat shrimp. They are merely a non-life-threatening nuisance. So, now I know, I'm mildly allergic to goat milk. It could be the particular plants the goats were eating in the pasture, or it could be the milk proteins themselves. I don't know. I decided I would drink the milk anyway.

After a while, I started wiggling my feet, because my legs get restless when I react to certain foods. This is something I learned about from the Feingold Diet (which is similar to the Urticaria Diet, a diet designed to eliminate the foods that trigger allergic hives). Milk makes some people hyperactive, restless, and uncomfortable.

So that's not too much of a surprise, but it's a little bit of a disappointment. Some raw milk advocates were hoping that maybe milk allergies were caused by the CHANGES in the protein that resulted from cooking it. But I reacted to the raw proteins (if it was the protein, and not the pasture plants).

Other fears about raw milk: that it could be contaminated with bacteria. I take this seriously. The bacteria come from the way the milk is handled and processed, not from the animal itself. A baby goat drinking goat milk from its mother would not get bacteria-contaminated milk. But a human might, if the milk has been in unclean containers or equipment sometime while being bottled.

There is a placebo-like hopefulness that maybe raw milk is a cure-all. I don't expect it to be a cure-all, but rather, I expect that maybe some things will get mildly better with dietary changes. Over time, if I make the right changes and observe which diets work best for me personally, then I will feel better. People vary with regard to which foods they tolerate, which foods make them sickest, and which foods they need the most.

If you talk to a random person about drinking unpasteurized milk, it triggers anxiety. They have always heard that pasteurization is necessary.

Raw milk is semi-illegal. (It's not as illegal as marijuana.) You need certain licenses to sell it and to make cheese from it. In order to get specific types of raw milk cheese, you have to go through some complicated loophole of buying the milk first and then contracting somebody else to make "your" milk into those types of cheese. (I read this on some papers that were there where I bought it.)

Some raw milk sellers have been harassed by government and by groups of people who don't understand the nuances of what causes it to be safe or unsafe. What I mean is that if you follow certain procedures, it will most likely be safe, and if you do things wrong, it will be dangerous... but instead, they want to forbid ALL raw milk entirely, instead of saying "It's safe if X, but unsafe if Y." They call it unconditionally dangerous, without understanding cause and effect.

My understanding is that milk becomes contaminated by the containers, pipes, bottles, and other equipment used to process it. If those things are clean, then raw milk is most likely safe. Raw milk AS SUCH is frowned upon, when instead, we should be frowning upon unclean milk-processing equipment.

You eat raw fruits and vegetables. Those can also be contaminated by containers and surfaces that they touch. They can be contaminated by manure or bad water in the fields where they're grown.


Anyway, I am drinking small amounts at a time to see if it causes any problems (other than hyperactivity or hives). I will know what it is that's causing those problems and can easily stop drinking the milk.

I can also observe if it's giving me any benefits. I'm not sure what to expect. The cure-all claims are pretty extreme. There's something similar to the "cure-all" concept, and that's a "causes-all." (There must be a better word for that.) The lack of something, or some activity, CAUSES ALL modern illnesses or at least strongly contributes to them or makes us more susceptible to them. Raw milk, or, more generally, raw foods, are in the cures-all/causes-all categories. Supposedly all modern illnesses are made worse or caused by the lack of raw foods in the diet. This includes diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, among many other things. I get that impression from reading Weston Price articles - I agree with it, but also feel that there are other important causes to pay attention to.

I would add that the presence of certain chemicals, like pesticides, drugs, and heavy metals, are very significant causes of many health problems. Both of these are relevant to common modern diseases like obesity, deformities, mental health problems, severe tooth decay, and everything else (you name it).



I was reading something today arguing against the belief that genes cause disease. I am noticing this idea and becoming aware of it. There is a pervasive belief in society that if you have any kind of long-term, hard-to-cure disease at all, it's the fault of your genes. You were born and destined to get this problem. Obesity in particular is viewed as something with genetic causes, and all of the focus is on looking at the genes to decide which people are most susceptible to obesity.

The "Genes Caused Your Long-Term Illness" belief makes people more helpless. Only high-tech, expensive, complicated, specialized drugs and procedures can fight back against those genetic causes.

In some ways I'm happy to read about highly technical scientific research and new drugs, new methods of treatment, and new knowledge. But the other side of me feels frustrated because so much troubleshooting can be done before you even reach the step of resorting to high-tech drugs and complicated treatments. Troubleshooting isn't emphasized enough. There are non-urgent, non-emergency problems where you DO have enough time - years and years - to try out different lifestyle changes and troubleshooting procedures. With long-term diseases, you aren't running to the emergency room about to DIE if you don't get some treatment right away. Sometimes in an emergency you accept a treatment you wouldn't have wanted, because your life is at stake. But not all problems are like that.

Anyway - though I don't necessarily agree with every single word of it - I liked reading this guy ( arguing against the gene theory of illness. He said, if it's from our genes, then why were previous generations healthier than we are? Why did many problems appear only recently? If it's genetic, who did it come from? Why weren't our parents and grandparents sick with these same problems?


I'll quit for now... this is a long ramble.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shoe-throwing is popular now.

A news article shows a picture of hundreds of thrown shoes on the street in Great Britain to protest Israel's bombing of Gaza.

Shoe-throwing can now be done on Facebook and in video games. There are Facebook groups dedicated to Muntada Al-Zaidi.

I laughed at the picture at, which shows Bush leaning backwards and dodging shoes like Neo dodges bullets in 'The Matrix.' I don't have affection for Bush, and the picture sort of implies an attitude of 'friendly joking' with him, but it's funny anyway.

Now I'm thinking of all the times when I've seen thrown shoes. Sometimes you see tied-together shoes hanging on the power lines. In the movie 'Holes,' one kid throws away a pair of stolen shoes, and another kid picks them up, which gets him wrongfully convicted of theft. I'm sure I'll notice more incidents of shoe-throwing now that I'm paying attention.

I wonder if Muntada Al-Zaidi knows about how shoe-throwing became so popular because of him? I guess he's going to be in jail for a while. I wish he could know.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

God, speaking verbally

I have an example of God talking directly to somebody in words. I have a Google book called 'Breaking Out Of Environmental Illness.' I haven't read all of it, but the bits that I've read are almost exactly like my own experiences. I disagree with some of the conclusions that they draw, and I disagree with some of their interpretations. But their experiences, the events that occurred, are just like mine in many ways.

Here is God:

page 8

"Three months later, during a six-week sick leave from work related to my environmental illness, I found myself praying to God. This was not something I did often." (*She was agnostic. Whenever you suddenly 'find yourself praying,' that means that somebody artificially forced you to do it. This has happened to me before.*) "I was bordering on atheism. But I was at a total loss. I just could not do this alone anymore, and I was unwilling to consider disability. Tears streaming down my face, I prayed for a partner who would understand my illness, be willing to tolerate my limitations, and maybe even help me get well."

"You can bet I was shocked to hear a loud, clear voice say 'You've already met him.' Robert's smile flashed before my eyes. I looked up toward the heavens. 'Robert?' I asked in disbelief. 'Yes' came the reply. 'But he's so weird!' I complained. 'That's him, my Dear' was the response, and the end of the communication, for the time being. Still, I did not contact him. Coincidentally (or not), we ran into each other four months later. Thus began our journey together."

If you talk nicely to the voices, everything will go well for you. But if you reject them, get angry at them, insult them, tell them that they shouldn't be talking to you and that they're committing a crime, tell them that you know they're humans instead of ghosts or gods, then they will punish you and make your life miserable. That's what happened to me. I've fought against the voices many times and they retaliate.

Anyway, back to reading......

Friday, January 2, 2009

Multitasking, Scapegoats, Labor Laws, and a Bad Brain Day

This was a bad day, but in some ways it was funny. It's funny if I assume that I'm not really in trouble. I got reprimanded for something that happened yesterday. I don't know whether they just needed to vent their frustration at a scapegoat, or whether they all really believe that I did something wrong.

Yesterday we had to make a whole bunch of salads in preparation for a sale going on today. I had to make 30 salads, and do my usual cleaning (which takes about 2-1/2 hours if I'm lucky) between 2 and 6 pm, when the store would close early because of New Year's.

Well, I should have said no to that right away. I should have known that it is not possible to make 30 salads, and do the usual cooking, and helping customers, and cleaning up, in four hours.

In fact, my manager offered me a choice between doing the 30 salads, or doing some other sandwiches and things for the case. She said she would do the salads herself before leaving that day, while I did the sandwiches.

But I had a feeling that what would happen is that she would start the salads, then have to go home, because she was trying to get out on time without going overtime. There was not much time left before she had to leave. So the salads would be left sitting out, and I would be in the middle of doing sandwiches, and then I would have to go finish the salads, or do something with them to at least get them into the refrigerator for the next day. Basically she didn't have enough time to complete them before she went home, and she would have had to abandon them, partly done.

I am inserting a paragraph here because I want to mention that I don't blame the manager for what happened. In fact, I feel sorry for her too. Our department, and all the departments, got our hours cut, so we don't have enough people or enough time to do anything. It's hard to find people who can work in the evenings, too. And we all get in trouble for getting overtime. So when it was time for her to go home, she had to go. She couldn't stay any longer to work on the salads. And it would have been a long, long time, too - not just five minutes or something. She would have had several hours overtime. No matter what choices we made, she still had to leave, and I would have to finish the salads by myself.

Well, instead of saying no, instead of questioning the entire plan, instead of telling her that I had a bad feeling about this, I said something like, "!!!YES!!! I HAVE SUPER POWERS!!! I CAN DO ANYTHING!!! PILE IT ON!!!" Actually, I was much less enthusiastic than that in real life. I just calmly said 'okay, I'll do the salads,' as though this was normal. So I started working on the salads, while she worked on the couple of sandwiches for the case, since I knew she could realistically get those done in the short time before she had to leave.

She left, and I worked on the salads, and then did my cleaning and everything else. By the end of the day, of course the salads were not done. They were partly done, but still had a long way to go. Neither one of us would have had time to get them done. If she had started them, she would have had to go home before they were finished, leaving them for me. And when I did them, I had to abandon them in order to do the usual cleaning and shutdown routines.

Well, I put the unfinished salads into the cooler, and suppressed my feeling of anxiety. Then I did the cleaning and went home. I told myself that somehow, by some miracle, she would be able to finish them in the morning. I thought that maybe I would call her on the phone and tell her what had happened.

I did call her later on and left a message. But I didn't know how to explain it. It wasn't like anything unexpected had happened. 'Um, well, we got a bus, and all these people came in and they wanted ten pizzas, and the rest of them wanted sandwiches, and by the time they were gone I had to leave and I couldn't finish the salads.' It wasn't like that at all. It was just a normal day, but very short. And I had foreseen that it would be impossible to finish the salads.

So I just said something vague about how there wasn't enough time, and I somehow made it sound like this was an unexpected surprise, as though it had never occurred to me that the salads might not get done. But I had felt all along that it was impossible, and for some reason, I hadn't protested. Maybe I blamed myself, or maybe she blamed herself, I don't know. But I should have said from the beginning, 'Whoa, hold on, we can't get this done in this amount of time.' Neither of us could. Nobody could. But I said yes to it and then took the blame when it didn't get done.

When I came in this morning, there were cold shoulders all around. Apparently everybody had heard about the incident, about how my manager had had to finish the 30 salads herself when she came in, while trying to do all the other usual morning procedures, by herself. Everyone seemed cold. No smiles. Just an 'Oh, it's YOU' kind of feeling. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but that's how it felt.

My manager reprimanded me for not getting the salads done. I had left a message on her phone the night before, thinking to myself that maybe, she would receive the phone message and try to come in early, or something. I really didn't know what she could do about it. But I hadn't actually spoken with her. So she talked to me this morning and told me that I needed to learn how to 'multitask.'

It makes me wonder what HER managers are saying to her. And what are THEIR managers saying to them? Our hours are cut, and it goes all the way up to the top of the company, because they keep track of profits and sales and expenses and all that. And it goes even higher, up to the Department of Labor, in the government, because they're the ones who require companies to pay time and a half for hours worked over forty. Because of the time-and-a-half law, our employees can't work a couple extra hours here and there to help out when business levels vary. Instead, we have to hire lots of new people when sales are high, then cut their hours when business is slow, leaving them under-employed.

Well, today it went differently than yesterday. They called another co-worker in to help. It was her day off, but she came in. She wasn't close to forty hours, so she wouldn't get overtime.

When she came in, I tried to convey the message to her from my manager. She had told me to tell her: just make ten each of the Asian and Southwest salads, and five of the Caesar. But the other manager who was there sort of butted in between us and told her to make 19 of something (I didn't catch which one it was) and 15 of the other one, and I didn't hear how many of the other one. I think it was five Caesars. This was confusing. It was like I wasn't even allowed to convey a message from one person to another, because I was THAT incompetent and untrustworthy.

When we walked away, I told her that the other manager had actually wanted only ten, ten, and five. So she went back, looked at the situation by herself, asked the other manager what was going on, and then came back and began to made 19, 15, and however many of the last one.

She began at a little after 2:30 and did nothing but the salads all afternoon, with no interruptions.

An hour went by. She had barely begun. She was still setting up the containers, filling the little cups with chips and croutons, and filling the other little cups with salad dressing. (Note, I'm not complaining, this is normal for making salads. It takes a long time to prepare those items and set everything up. I was not surprised that an hour went by and she was still working on that. Salads just take a long time. She is a good worker.)

In my head I was shouting, 'Come on! It's been an hour! What's the problem! Multitask! Multitask!'

Let me point out here that multitasking is something you can do IF: one of the tasks has a waiting period of some kind, during which you would have done nothing but stand around. For instance, if you have to put something in the oven, and it takes four minutes to cook, then you can do something else during those four minutes while it's cooking.

You cannot multitask if both of the two tasks involve constant work. 'High-density' or 'compressed' tasks, so to speak. You are already working constantly without standing and waiting. For instance, doing the dishes cannot be multitasked with mopping the floor. You could, but it would be pointless. You could stop doing the dishes, then mop a little bit of the floor, then go back to doing the dishes. You'd have to walk a couple steps from one place to the other, which would waste more time and energy. It would have the same 'density,' except it would take even longer because of walking back and forth.

Another hour went by. I looked at the clock and it was 4:30. Yesterday at 4:30, I was at the stage of getting anxious because it was time to start the cleaning and shutdown routines so that I could get done by 6:00. That was about the time when I abandoned the partly finished salads and began the cleaning.

My co-worker right then had only gotten a little bit more done than I had done yesterday. She got a little more done because I was taking the customers and protecting her against interruptions. She had finished filling the containers with lettuce, had cut up the chicken, and was putting the rest of the ingredients on the Southwesterns. I think she had already done the five Caesars - I think it was five, just a small number. They're the quickest and easiest.

She had said that she could work from about 2:30 till about 6:30. It was informal, since she was here on her day off. But she was getting about the same four-hour period in which to do those salads... except she spent the whole four hours doing NOTHING BUT SALADS. She did not do all the cleaning and shutting down and all the customers and all the hot foods.

At 6:30 she was finishing up. She did more salads than I had to do, and she got all of them done. She did almost forty, while I had tried to do thirty. But she spent the whole four hours doing that, uninterrupted. And, again, I am not complaining. That is a normal amount of time for such a large project.

This demonstrates that it would not have been possible for me to do thirty salads, while also doing everything else. It is not because I am slow, stupid, incompetent, or unable to multitask. It is because it was impossible to do.

If I was to blame in any way, it was by being unassertive. I should have said something right away about how this was impossible.

I thanked her several times for coming in on her day off and helping. I had told her how humiliating it was to walk in and notice that everybody seemed angry at me. I needed sympathy. She said, 'I'm sorry you had a bad day.' She was nice about it. I wanted to give her a hug, but didn't, because I felt shy. She understood that the salads just couldn't have been done.

I told her: I made a mistake by saying yes when I should have said no. I said yes to doing something impossible.

So, the salads got done today.

I don't know whether I'm really in trouble for failing to get them done the day before.


I had a Bad Brain Day on top of all that, which was not what I needed. I made several bizarre mistakes and I wrote them down on a piece of paper. They were strange mistakes, silly things, and I didn't even know that I was making mistakes until after it was done. Sometimes I catch myself, but not today. These were clueless mistakes. Several of them were almost the same thing over and over again.

1. I made some hoagies to put out in the case. I used today's freshly made bread because it was on the rack right next to me. It never occurred to me that we might have the previous day's bread in the drawer and that I should use that bread first. I was all done with the hoagies, then noticed there was day old bread still in the drawer.

2. I ran out of lettuce while making the hoagies. I opened up a new bag of lettuce and used it, only to find that there was already some lettuce in another tray, and nobody had used it because it was in an unusual location. It was turning reddish-brown. Apparently I'm not the only person who accidentally forgot to use that lettuce, because it was already going bad. So that wasn't really my mistake. I wouldn't have used it anyway. But it's the principle: I should have at least found that old lettuce first. I only found it after I was done.

3. I ran out of onions. I went back into the cooler to get a new bag, and I opened it up and dumped some onions into the pan. I folded the bag shut and put it underneath in the cooler cabinet... only to find that there was already an opened bag of onions under there.

4. I ran out of tomatoes. Guess what I did. I went back into the cooler to go get new tomatoes. I used the new tomatoes on the hoagies, only to find out afterwards that there was already an unopened new container of tomatoes in the cabinet underneath.

5. This last mistake is different from the other ones, but just as silly. I opened a box of frozen pizza dough. I am supposed to label the doughs with a date that says three days from now, which is when it will expire. Today was the 2nd, so I should have written the 5th. Instead, I wrote today's date on every single dough. I noticed the mistake when I took the tray of doughs into the cooler, and saw that a couple doughs already in there were labeled January 3rd, expiring tomorrow. That didn't make sense, because all of my doughs said January 2nd... oh. Oops.

There were no serious mistakes, just silly ones.


Why didn't I protest against doing something impossible? This is what I felt: There is a feeling, an emotion, being passed downwards from the very top of the top to everyone below in the hierarchy. It's 'You're not good enough.' You're not fast enough. You're not competent enough. You're going to get fired. You're losing money. You should be able to do this, but you can't.

And I am sure it goes even higher than the top of our company. It goes all the way up to the national government. The law says that we have to do X, but X is impossible. Don't blame the law, blame yourself. Our papers must say 'We Made Profits!' They must also say 'We Complied With The Labor Laws!' If we don't make profits, our business shuts down and goes bankrupt. That's where the 'You'll get fired from your job' feeling begins. The 'You'll get fired' feeling gets passed down from manager to manager, all the way down to poor little me.

The other feeling is, 'Our contradictions are humiliating.' If you question the logic, if you say it can't be done or shouldn't be done (like multitasking, for instance, which couldn't be done in that situation), they feel humiliated. They know it can't be done. They feel that they have to say it anyhow. They don't know HOW you can do this, so they say something that doesn't make sense. If you ask questions, it makes them feel worse. Questions about 'How can I do this impossible thing?' make them feel stupid. And that feeling, too, goes all the way to the very, very top. It wasn't just my low-level manager above me. She feels that way, but it's not just her alone. It's everyone.

Well, today is almost over. I hope that I am just a scapegoat and that this was just a temporary stressful moment during our hour-cutting phase, and that it'll get better when our sales increase and we can all work more hours.