Friday, December 26, 2014

State of the Union according to Google

(This is a re-post.  It first appeared in January of 2013 but not much has changed.)


The president will soon deliver his State of the Union address so I decided to check the State of the Union according to Google.

Google knows how the citizens are doing.  It has saved all our questions, all our searches, all our subjects and sub categories, We only have to prompt it with a word or two and it shows us where we have been, where we are and where we need to go.

My job is:
killing me
makes me depressed

My wife:
doesn’t want kids
doesn’t trust me
doesn’t love me anymore
doesn’t listen to me
doesn’t respect me
doesn’t support me
doesn’t like me anymore
doesn’t like my family

My husband:
is gay
got a family
cheated on me
is mean
hit me
hates his job

I lie:
about everything
too much
all the time
to myself

My house is:
on fire
making me sick
in foreclosure

I’m happiest when:
I’m alone
Happiness is:
a choice
like a butterfly

My health is:
better in November
not good
going down fast
getting worse

Government is:
killing us
watching us
lying to us

I worry about:
everything all the time
money all the time
my boyfriend
my boyfriend dying
I hate:
my job
my life
everything about you

How do I:
put this gently
get pinkeye

God bless you all and God bless America

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Dentist

(I was about to make an appointment to go to the dentist but then I read this and decided to put it off.  This post received many "troll" comments from dentists who thanked me for the good information.)

Here’s me at the dentist.  If there was a balloon over my head it would say: Dr. Dellasandro is going to be shocked when he looks in there.  Maybe he will scream.
I’m a decent caregiver to my mouth but the dentist never says anything good about how I care for my teeth.

The conversation goes like this:
Total (judgmental) silence as he inspects my mouth.
How many times a day do you brush?
Morning and night. (I'm tempted to say 'only when the moon is waning').
Do you floss?
How often?
Every day.
How many times a day?

Total (judgmental) silence.  I’m telling the truth but it feels as if I’m lying (through my teeth).   I expect him to tell me I don’t deserve to have teeth and that the starving children in Africa would be thrilled to have teeth to care for.

"Do you know how to brush properly? Show me how you brush,” he says.
Balloon:  Uh Oh.  I surmise that he has found a wrecked mouth and will send me home disgraced. Often when I’m brushing, I think about this dentist because I can’t quite accomplish the technique he has recommended (and also I’m sleepy) and I know what it will lead to.

I demonstrate a clumsy maneuver that was demonstrated to me on my last visit.  It involves using the brush at an angle so the edge of the bristles can be wiggled where your teeth meet your gums.  This is a maneuver that is only popular in the last five years.  Prior it was starting at the gum line and brushing down, as if you are sweeping all the debris down your throat.   With all these maneuvers it only works on certain areas because it is physically impossible to get that brush to angle on edge on the back of the lower teeth. Or the back of the upper teeth.

He doesn’t respond as to whether this is right or wrong.
“Show me how you floss.”  He hands me a few inches of waxed floss that frankly I think is counterproductive.  I use the unwaxed kind and in a pinch some polyester sewing thread. (I once sent this as an “aha” use to Real Simple magazine.)  I floss a couple of teeth.  Total (judgmental) silence.

The dentist hauls out his big demonstration teeth and his big demonstration brush and shows me an even more awkward brushing maneuver.  Then he flosses the big demonstration teeth. (It reminds me of how my gynacologist would haul out his demonstration uterus and show me how it could press on my bladder and cause me to urinate every five minutes during pregnancy.)  

My balloon says:  Oh sure, I could do that kind of brushing on those teeth that are not inside my mouth.  While Dr. Dellasandro gets his gear together, I see that all the decorative accessories in the room have a single motif.  A potted plant sits in a gigantic molar, a diploma is framed by a border of incisors. There’s a framed cartoon that shows a patient saying: “Oh, it hurt, doc, but I’m not going to scream until I get your bill.”  Why should I let this man cower me?

After all the talk and demonstrations, he cleans my teeth with an apparatus that must be a little like waterboarding.  A sharp needle scrapes along your gum line while a torrent of water cascades down your throat and almost drowns you.

After the picking, the waterboarding, the scraping and the polishing with a ghastly sweet sandy chemical paste, he declares me done.  Then he does something that erases all the bad stuff from memory.  He gives me a brand new toothbrush.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Standoff: Me vs CVS

Every week, CVS and I have a standoff - they want to see how much merchandise they can foist off on me and I want to see how I can resist.  They know we are at war but instead of shooting me, they offer me ExtraBucks.  And who doesn't want extra bucks?

Here is what CVS wants me to buy to  "Bring The Magic Home."

A Nutcracker figurine
A Northpole Family Storybook
A Magic Mechanical Santa's Checklist
When I look at this list I think "What the heck is wrong with America?"

Those who know me know that I barely tolerate Christmas.  I treat Christmas the way I treat other people's dogs.  I wouldn't hurt them if we met but I wouldn't invite them over either.  But CVS has a  dossier and they see a different Consuelo.  They have my BUYING HISTORY which is to say they have my soul.  Mike Wallace once did a 60 Minutes segment on how you could completely know a stranger by reading the items on his credit card bill:  you knew if he liked to eat out, if he gave to charity, if he went to the gym, if he had ongoing dental problems. CVS knows I love almonds, hot pepper flakes, Tom's toothpaste, dried mango chips, those little tiny toothbrushes that go between your teeth, pore strips and the occasional extra strength headache meds. They know I need eye drops and buy super strength Retin-A They know that I snack, get headaches, have decent hygiene and worry about my complexion. They extrapolate and come up with someone who is weak-willed and indulges in magical thinking,

I guess CVS is the Big Brother George Orwell was warning us about in 1984. CVS is the enigmatic dictator of Oceania.

Oh? Too harsh?  Think about it.  CVS uses the most psyche-invasive kind of marketing. You could say it's also cheap therapy.  CVS is to me like what clear lake water was to Narcissus. who fell in love with his own reflection not realizing it was water.  Narcissus drowned. That is what CVS wants me to do.  Look into their e-mails, see all of my favorite things, reflections of myself, dive in and drown.