Eternal Activist- a nonstop journey!

protestYou must have seen him, his pictures or read about him. He is the guy who is always being dragged by police, water sprayed, blocking roads, tying himself to trees and in the back of a police vehicle. Or you might have seen him protesting against protestors at city hall for raising minimum wage.

How did he become “him”? Could it be that the first seeds of protest were sowed when his 5 month pregnant mother was protesting against Vietnam war? Or could it be at the very moment when his father was rebelling against the machine by smoking a big fat joint smack in the middle of town square. It could also be when his mother decided to go topless at a public beach to protest against double standards for men and women at a public beach. But this man would never talk about his own journey while there are some 7,432 active issues involving humanity, animals, reptiles, environment and increasing incidence of cancer in south Pacific Hammerhead shark.

He remembers his first protest in middle school. He protested against beatings by class bully, after being encouraged by his mother. The bully beat him more, he protested more and at some point, after being beaten for almost a year it stopped. Bully probably got bored. But activist realized that protests do work although a little bit late. His mother celebrated this as his victory because he had succeeded in changing the aggressor without changing his own character.

He protested more in high school. He protested against meat in cafeteria, against milk in support of lactose intolerant, against religion, against cold war, against school mascot, against funding for football program and for saving turtles in Madagascar, seals in Sweden, for rights of Aborigines in Australia and Roma in Europe. At times he was protesting so much that he was hardly attending any classes. This resulted in expulsion which resulted in another fierce protest.

But he finally realized his true calling in college. He protested for Marijuana, against easy availability of alcohol on campus, for condom vending machines and against racial undertones of 18th century English literature. He climbed rooftops and refused to come down till Japan apologized to China for their atrocities. He chained himself to a tree to protest against honey industry and their inhuman treatment of bees. He taped himself to movie theater seats to protest against too much sex and violence in main stream media. He also protested outside the movie theater for not showing a banned movie with excessive violence.

He was known to protest right in the middle of a class if a white professor used the word black. He protested against the color of blackboard being black. He protested against police brutality but also against gun rights. He protested when rapper, “$-DOG” was not allowed to present his poetry to middle schoolers with lyrics like “bros before hos, my bitch ain’t no ho and kill the ho”. He wanted middle schoolers to decide what they want to hear rather than machine telling them what to do.   To be continued…

New-Thing- Productivity (Part2)

meetingThe newthing stood up. Newthing was very different from anything they had seen before. She got straight to the point, “I have been hired by company to bring in dollars, straighten things out and improve everything as things have not been good here.”

Granddaddy was clearly impressed by this opening. “Yes, things have not been good. We have had no wine with lunch in years”. The new-thing quickly gathered herself. “Thank you sir for your support and input!” (She hoped calling granddaddy sir and patronizing him will settle him down). Grandaddy “talking about support get me one of those chairs that can be controlled with all kind of knobs & buttons.” He has had an adjustable chair for years but had not figured out any controls yet.

Newthing “If there is anything I want you to take from this meeting is professionalism, professionalism and professionalism. Remember we are only as good as we look.”

Diva immediately felt kinship. “This is the same message I have been trying to convey for a long time. But nobody will listen to me. They keep on buying Chinese made crap that is completely classless. Will a client be impressed if you go in wearing a pair of Gap pants, Ann Taylor top and some nameless pair of shoes with no accessories?  Or you go in wearing Prada, smelling Pierre Cardin and accessorizing with Nicole Miller! Off course hair has to be done right. (She looked right at old secretary as diva felt everything about old secretary might be the reason keeping clients away).”

The newthing sarcastically, “Thank you for your thoughtful input!” The subtle nuances of communication were always lost on Diva.  Diva was already on a roll. ‘I generally keep my Thursdays half day off for manicure and shopping so my presentation can be good. May be we can go and do some shopping together.”

Granddaddy immediately jumped in, “That’s my day off to play golf with my buddies John the Cadillac dealer and Jimmy the divorce lawyer. I always need these guys”.

The foreigner has long realized that when Americans are in this mode of “let’s start with a clean slate” or “fresh start” or “think outside box” or “let’s hit the floor running” it always meant that one bad idea is about to be superseded by another one. He was always paranoid about these changes. He has seen numerous Hollywood movies/TV series and the foreigner always dies first. He immediately went into survivor mode. “Yes, we can.”

The meeting has taken a turn for worse, newthing felt. She knew exactly what to do. The book, “How to be an effective leader in 24 hours” had a whole chapter about regaining control of a situation quickly. This generally involved a self-deprecating joke and building up self-esteem of losers (staff). “What would I know? I am talking as if I know what I am talking about.” In her reading, the audience are supposed to laugh and say things like “oh no”. But she had not counted on this crowd.

Granddaddy, “I know. You are just a little kitty and not ready to play with big boys yet”. The foreigners realized he has to say something or he will be considered to have low motivation. “I love kitties. I used to tie them to kite and fly them.” Grandaddy “my pit bull will eat your kitties in seconds. What kind of man likes kitties”?

Diva threw her hands in air, “I am so disgusted by this objectification of women. I keep on being called hot, super-hot, lava-hot, delicious, vibrant, classy and charming. And it’s ok but can’t someone come up with some new ones.”

The newthing realized meeting had been effectively lost. Besides granddaddy had fallen asleep and his snoring was not conducive to any further discussion. The old secretary had immediately placed a CPAP mask on him. But she wanted to end meeting at least on a positive note. “We achieved quite a bit. We all know we have a long road ahead. We just need to start with a clean slate, get a fresh start, let’s all think outside box and hit the ground running.” Foreigner held his head in both hands. There was no hope from this point forward.

 

My Gym Partner!

bad luckAs I am still waiting for Physician’s clearance, I have decided to do something. The Yoga and cycling thing was a disaster. I feel going back to gym might be my best option. At least I can do what I want to do.

Luckily I have a partner now. My new buddy from Yoga class was performing so poorly that even his wife was embarrassed. I feel it is safe to say that Yoga types gave up on him before he gave up on them. Since we both are kind of new to this whole exercise thing, we decided to expand our group and add another person (more on that later).

I got a chance to find out more about my new friend. It appears my friend has had a series of tough breaks. His parents did not want him and they tried to abort him. But by some miracle he survived. But just because he made it out of uterus, did not mean his luck improved any.

When he was 3, his father found out he was gay which led to a divorce. His mother felt scorned and just to prove that two can play the game, she also found a same-sex partner. He spent his childhood bouncing between two daddies, two mommies and 2 sets of boring heterosexual grandparents. Finally his mother realized she was straight and remarried which added a stepfather to the whole equation.

This lead to a lot of sexual confusion. He tried to find out who exactly he was. He tried to date both boys and girls. After some soul-searching and experimentation, he found out that he was straight.

He decided to celebrate this sexual awakening by going out with a group of friends. He wanted to go “steady” with one of the girls in the group. He hoped to make a connection. Unfortunately he got very drunk. In a drunken and almost blacked out moment of passion, he did “make a connection”. He made the connection to the wrong girl. Retrospectively he feels that he might be the first case of a male being taken advantage by a woman while intoxicated.

Long story short, the wrong girl called him few weeks later and gave him the good news.  My friend got so panicky that he passed out. The wrong girl took it as a sign that he was extremely happy about the fact that he was going to be a father. Since then his life has been a downhill slide. He is with a girl he did not even know, a child he does not want and her family pressurizing him to do the “right thing”.

I didn’t know what to say. So I said things like: it will get better, god is testing your faith, in the end it will be all worth it, light at end of tunnel, half full glass, sun coming out through clouds and worst is behind you. I told him it should not be difficult for two of you to take care of one little angle. It looks like I might have cheered him up. He started to relax.

He got a text. He held his head in hands. I asked him if everything is ok. He passed me his phone. He had a text from “wrong girl” with a U/S picture of twins and a message that said, “Twins baby! Luv you so much”. I am not sure what to say any more.  To be contd…

 

 

 

 

My Physical

questionAfter waiting in waiting room, then in examination room and being grilled by his assassin of a nurse, good doctor showed up. He was a serious looking guy. He acknowledged my presence without even looking up with a curt node. He kept on looking at his papers with an expression of concern. I had a feeling he was trying to find some imperfection in my perfect physiology.

He had the kind of personality that will even find a way to ruin a twin delivery with something like, “Congratulations you have twins but they ate their 3rd sibling.”

He just kept on looking into these papers. Occasionally he will mumble an “hmm” or “oh”. What could it be that this great scholar had found out simply by looking into these papers? Finally he looked at me. He gave me a kind of quick look over that a customer gives a piece of meat at a deli.

I tried to break the ice by pointing out that his kids are very adorable. He looked somewhat puzzled. I pointed out to the picture on the wall. He told me they are not his children. It turns out that this was a UN poster for hunger among children. The kids were of 6 different races as well. I apologized sincerely. I am sure he thinks I am some kind of a smarty pants. I made a mental note of putting my glasses on next time.

He asked me a whole bunch of questions. They all would be considered a serious violation of me and my privacy if he was not a doctor. Their obsession with bodily fluids, cavities and orifices is second to none. He kept on asking me if I have seen blood in one or all of these areas.

Then he gave me the good news that I will have to undergo a lot of routine screening. I will be screened for diabetes, cholesterol, kidney disease, liver diseases and anemia. If I want he can check my prostate “good old-fashioned way”. To leave no doubt in my mind about what the “good old-fashioned” way was, he raised his index finger. I told him I don’t know what this particular organ is supposed to do but I am sure it is fine.

After this he went to give me a whole lot of advise about things which you are supposed to know by the time you come out of high school. Only in US, a doctor will be considered a “good doctor” by insurance companies for talking about it for 15 minutes and then checking 200 boxes and writing 4 pages about it. The advise went something like this:

Eat greens, wear a seat belt, stay hydrated, get enough fiber, exercise, lose weight, don’t text and drive, don’t eat and drive, don’t drink and drive, don’t fall asleep and drive, look for blood in urine/stool/spit/sputum, don’t have a seizure and drive, don’t drop dead while driving, get vaccines, take Aspirin, eat fish and have safe sex with strangers. I told him I am married. Is he advising me to have sex with strangers as long as it is protected? I also told him that my wife might not approve of it but if it is something life saving then what choice do I have? He corrected himself and apologized for not realizing that I was married.

To be continued…

I

New-thing; Increasing the productivity

The new-thing was brought in to improve the morale, streamline processes and increase productivity. The new-thing was a result of months of search and a high-five figure commission to a PR firm paid by six figure earning “leadership”.

The new-thing called a meeting so, “We can hit the floors running”. The old secretary was immediately concerned about running part. The granddaddy was informed. He was not the kind of man to take this lightly. He thundered right into CEO’s office. She was alarmed. It was not everyday that granddaddy stormed in. Granddaddy was the longest-serving board member and also carried a title, which nobody understood. A legal glitch had resulted in an ironclad clause that granddaddy stays a board member till the day he dies. Nobody had foreseen that he would live this long and will take this role so seriously.

The CEO tried to quickly make a run to bathroom but granddaddy had seen it all. The CEO’s hiding in bathroom, under tables and behind plants! “What is this new nonsense about me having to run and hit the ground? I am granddaddy. I don’t run for nobody and definitely won’t hit the floor.”

CEO tried to explain that this does not involve him at all. Granddaddy told CEO that even without meeting the new-thing he was sure that she was incompetent. She is only 36. What would she know about reproductivity? When I was 36, I did not even know how to ride a bicycle. CEO corrected him that nobody would try to make him reproductive and he was probably confusing months for years. Granddaddy tried to leave the office through the bathroom door. CEO guided him to office exit.

Finally the meeting started. It was attended by granddaddy (due to some other legal glitch he could sit in on any meeting), diva (“if it’s not channel, it’s shit”), the foreigner who always suspected everything new was just to torture him and baby face whiz-kid whose expression varied between various shades of depression. There were also some other people who only came out once in a while from their high towers. They had such titles as vice president-marketing, vice president-development, VP-finances, executive vice president, junior vice president, vice president to vice-president and such equal and powerful titles.

The staff included old secretary (whose moods fluctuated between suicidal to homicidal and memory between BC and AD), the other secretary, (who has just undergone another facelift and literally was expressionless), the new hire data analyst who was trying to find her feet and the lady-like coordinator whose every response was absolutely lady like. That meant you had to wait for few minutes to get any response. The gossip-hawker was there already whispering something in next person’s ear. The quite and withdrawn assistant was well, quite and withdrawn.  To be continued…

Visit to Doctor’s Office-Weight Loss Series

After spending some quality time in depressing surroundings that is a doctor’s waiting room, my name was called. I was ushered to an examination room. Calling it a room was fairly generous. It was the size of a vertical coffin. If that alone did not make you claustrophobic, they had all other angles covered.

The interior of coffin was done in shades of suicidal gray and deathly pastel. The overhead lights were those bright fluorescent types that they banned even in former USSR. There were all kinds of artsy posters on the walls. This eye-catching artwork had a practical purpose though. It warned that you could have colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and few other types of cancers. You ignorant soul might not even know about it. All you have to do is to ask your good doc for screening for these things. He will arrange for all your body orifices to be probed thoroughly so that this cancer will have no place to hide. They also had a very serious looking guy pointing a finger at you and asking, “have you had a colonoscopy”?

You could also have diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, mini stroke, diverticulosis, abnormal cholesterol or heart disease. You might have low testosterone, low estrogen, low bone mass and anemia. On a different note you could also have heart failure, kidney disease, hepatitis or skin cancer.

It also reminded reader that you should inform doctor if you don’t feel safe at home, had unprotected sex or have suicidal thoughts. Especially if you had suicidal thoughts after having unprotected sex. Because let’s face it; HIV is fairly manageable now a days.

The nice Nurse was an old-fashioned, old world nurse who still had the head thing and all. She did not believe in smiling or laughing. She handed me one of those nightmarish hospital gowns that open in back and never have all the straps in place. I made the regular lame joke that generally I am paid for this kind of thing. Either she did not find it funny or she wanted to put me right in my place. She gave me kind of the look that a Mummy (Egyptian type, not your own) gives you when you crack a joke.

I told her that I do not see the need to put this garment on, as I am here for a quick physical only. Apparently there is nothing like a “quick physical” and doctor would prefer me in this “thing”. She left the room and I did change into the “thing”. Just to make this an unforgettable experience, they even had a mirror in the room.

With my last shreds of dignity snatched away from me, I decided to make most of what I had been given. As a token of my protest against this objectification of my body, I decided to keep the socks on. I really cut a fairly depressing figure in this flowery loose robe. A knee-length robe with socks is never going to make you front cover of GQ. I decided to take the socks off. The reflection in mirror was even worse. I put them on again. But then I was worried it would add weight, I took them off again.

Nurse is back. She took my weight and all the usual stuff that they do. She told me I have great veins. I thought it was a compliment till I realized that she was planning to draw some blood. With her demeanor I was not sure if she would use a syringe or simple suck it out of my veins. I told her I am absolutely healthy. But doc would still want to check my cholesterol and thyroid hormone levels. I have already waited close to 45 minutes in waiting room, 25 minutes here, filled out my life story in all kind of forms and this healer is nowhere to be seen.   To be continued…

John Doe’s Psychoanalysis

Credit to mytherapy.com

I still have a sitter who is monitoring me 1:1 in case I run away and start humping Petunias again. At this time I am not sure which of my organs are alive, dead, partially working, hibernating or ready for donation. I have been here for 24 hours and I am not sure if I need to donate organs or need organs.

There is another gentleman who has just entered my room now. He comes in, looks around, walks out and then comes in again. He repeats this whole cycle again. He seems to be in some kind of agony (only later did I realize that he always looks same). He has somewhat of a strange disposition. He is balding in front, has long hairs in the back, has earrings, purple shirt and a flowery tie. Either he was a hippy or trying to be one in reverse. His glasses and pants both seem to be falling down at the same time. He tries to balance them alternately. He is also carrying some hundreds of loose papers.

He told me he was here to help me. He would be my Psychiatrist. I told him I would be his Neurosurgeon. He got very puzzled. He showed me his I.D. He really was a Psychiatrist. After this he pulled out one sheet from hundreds of loose papers.

P: Can you tell me about your childhood? What are your memories? How was your relationship with your parents? How was your relationship with your siblings? Were you married? Are you married? Are you single? Are you divorced? Are you in a relationship now?

P: Are you sexually active?

Me: I feel lucky if I can find the damn things to pee on cold days.

P: Have you been attracted to men?

Me: No, just to my TV.

P: Do you have any fetishes? Why were you being intimate with Petunias?

Me: Because I could not find any Lilacs. Are you married doc?

P: Yes, I am! In fact I just got met someone last year and married her. I have 4 children.

Me: How is that possible?

P: They are all her children. She was a patient of mine. Two of her children were patients of mine as well.

Me: But isn’t that unethical?

P: It would be if she continued to be my patient. But she fired me. Her children also fired me. We met 6 months later in “run for kleptomania” and got married. We both even did not remember that we were doctor and patient.

Me: That’s strangest story I have ever heard.

P: I know it’s kind of romantic. She’s also 18 years older than me. In fact her oldest son and me are exactly same age. Is that not a coincidence?

Me: What do I have? What is your plan for me?

P: Well you have early dementia with depression, deviant sexual behavior with impulse control issues and possible anti-social personality disorder. Off course there could be an organic or metabolic underlying condition as we are not done with all testing.

Me: How do you plan to treat me?

P: Just like everyone else. We will start with one anti-depressant, one sedating anti-depressant and one anti-anxiety medication. As these will make you sleepy, I will start you on a stimulant. As stimulant can increase your BP, I will ask Cardiologist to start you on anti BP medication. If you go into a maniac phase with anti-depressant, I will start you on Lithium. If Lithium cannot control it, I will start Olanzapine. If Olanzapine make you too depressed, I will add another anti-depressant. If that makes you more sleepy, I will add another stimulant.

Me: Are you serious? That’s like at least 3 more pills on top of 6 that Cardiologist has me on.

P: These medications are not just for acute improvement. They cut down your suicide risk from 13.6% to 9.8% over next 10 years.

Me: Oh God! I just don’t want to live in this crazy world anymore.

P: (loudly) He is suicidal! Restrain him! Bring the sitter back!