Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back in the Funny Farm

My parents and mental health workers do not take kindly to my referring to my treatment facility as a "funny farm," nor are they fond of the terms "loony bin," "nut house," "cuckoo's nest," "booby hatch," "bug house," "madhouse," "snake pit," or "laughing academy," to name just a few of the synonyms that my fellow crazy people and I have looked up in Internet thersauri (thesauruses is also an acceptable plural form of the word, but sounds less pretentious, so I'll stick with thesauri; when in doubt, use pretentious language) and are fond of using to describe our temporary residence. I think my parents' primary objection to my derogative descriptions of the place stem from the amount of money it is costing someone (my parents? my parents' insurance carriers? my school district? my attackers? I have no idea who is paying for my extended vacation) to put me up in this facility. None of them need worry, though. It's just a tactic we use to hold onto what little sanity we have left collectively. Depending upon how things go in upcoming months, I would conceivably recommend this place to another poor soul suffering from similar circumstances as mine. Still, the final verdict is not in. Maybe there really is an electroshock room or even a hydrotherapy room, and I just have been fortunate enough not to see them.

I made it back here before noon yesterday. I had reached a point where I was sleeping decently -- at least six hours at a stretch, which is not optimal for my growth and healing, but is better than the three consecutive days of wakefulness before sleeping even a two-hour stretch, to which I had become accustomed. The doctors here have decided to give it two days before medicating me. Last night and tonight I have been allowed to stay up if I can't sleep. Tomorrow night I will have to go to bed by one a.m. I can either take sleep medication or reject it, but I have to stay in bed from at least one a.m. until six a.m.

My lead psychiatrist (having more than one psychiatrist must surely be a true measure of insanity) thinks I should have more frequent trips home that are shorter in duration. He said that my Christmas vacation should still be almost two weeks, but other than that, I should be at home for no more than three consecutive nights until sleep is no longer an issue. As long as it's the same amount of time, I don't really care. The new plan is more expensive for whomever is footing the overall bill, as more plane tickets are involved, but my suspicion is that when all the court cases are finished and/or settlements have been hammered out, the bills won't be paid by anyone related to me, and, for that matter, my parents can afford it, although it may impact how many other relatives' children's educations they can finance.

We don't have any exciting events planned in the booby hatch in the next few days, so I will have to think of something. The other crazy people apparently had a great time watching the premiere of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" together Sunday night before I got back. As much as it is against my principles to contribute to the ratings of Sarah Palin's reality show, it's a train wreck from which I will not be able to turn away. I'll watch it with the rest of the crazy people. The TV will be tuned to TLC whether I'm there to watch it or not. I seriously doubt that mental health facilities are routinely chosen as Nielsen families, anyway.

We had a large discussion that bordered upon argument concerning television ratings and Nielsen families at home while I was on furlough. My brother is sure that the cable companies or networks or someone anyway can determine the viewership of cable subscribers and even viewers over the airwaves. He thinks that is part of what the conversion to digital transmission was about. My mom, dad, and I all accused him of being a paranoid conspiracy theorist. I actually joined in the argument just for the fun of it, as I really don't know enough about the subject to have an informed opinion. Anyone who reads this who knows anything about the subject, please educate me. Is there a way media executives know who or how many people are watching a given program besides the representative sampling that the Nielsen system provides? Is Big Brother spying on us to the extent that my brother believes is true?

I don't have a Facebook account because my parents don't want me to have one. My only use of Facebook is through friends' accounts on their computers. All of my friends here have Facebook accounts. One guy was friended by someone from Wasilla and was able to follow a discussion between Willow Palin and some guy named Tre in which Tre made fairly mild criticism of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" and Willow responded with profanity, homophobic epithets, and semi-literate language at best. Willow's sister, teen mother and "Dancing with the Stars" competitor Bristol Palin, even joined the discussion with her own semi-literate repartee. While I understand that Facebook is not a forum on which many teens are concerned about correct spelling and grammar, one will be judged for
consistent butchering of the English language, particularly if one is the daughter of a former vice-presidential candidate, and even more so if the vice-presidential candidate and the daughter in question were filmed rolling their eyes at one another when one of the candidate's detractors identified herself as a teacher. If Willow had made a few typographical errors here and there, it would be a non-issue. God knows I make numerous typographical errors myself, not that I'm the standard to which other young writers should compare themselves. On the other hand, when sentences with incorrect usage outnumber those written correctly (even allowing for textspeak [which is not necessary in the Facebook forum, but I'll overlook it for the sake of argument] and general informality in written language), the writer is one who should not be rolling her eyes when a member of the public identifies herself as a teacher.

I'm presently a high school student, although I accumulated enough credits to graduate and attend multiple University of California campuses and Stanford University after the fall of my junior year. In any event, at this point of my educational career, teachers do not rank overly high on my list of favorite people. (This, I have been told, comes with the territory of being a high school student; once I'm far removed from my high school career, I will have more appreciation for my high school teachers and the job they have done under trying circumstances. Maybe, and maybe not; only time will tell if this will turn out to be the case.) Still, individuals who are themselves semi-literate are not in a position to criticize teachers except possibly the ones who weren't all that successful in educating them.

The premiere of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" will be re-aired tomorrow evening, and I'll probably watch it. Perhaps it will be successful in a way modern medicine has not, which is to make me sleepy at an appropriate hour. Reading the book Sarah Palin authored certainly had that effect on me. If I had thought of it, I would have brought a copy of her book here with me to see if it could accomplish what Lunesta could not.

TLC is a fitting channel for a mental health inpatient facility. Our television here should probably be tuned to tLC around the clock. With "Sister Wives," "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," "19 and Counting,"
the entire Jon and Kate debacle, and numerous other shows including "Sarah Palin's Alaska," there's enough lunacy in any given day's programming to make just about any mental health facility inpatient feel sane by comparison. My only suggestion to the braintrust at TLC would be that they try to purchase the rights to "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" from "E!"(formerly known as "The Entertainment Network). "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" is not, any way one views it, actual entertainment; it's a train wreck from which one cannot turn away, just like the other programming at TLC, and as such, belongs on TLC with its companion train wreck programs.

If anyone were to read this other than my three friends from home who know about my blog, my relatives (both kind and unkind, sane and loonier than anyone presently locked up in this loony bin with me, intelligent and less than one standard deviation from being classified as intellectually disabled since Rosa's Law took effect and rescued them from the plight of being described as just a hair's width above the state of mental retardation), one teacher, two members of my high school couseling department who are my mother's friends, and my very few loyal Internet friends, I would be flamed or possibly even threatened with litigation. Obscurity is not without its benefits, though, so I can continue to write whatever pops into my head within reason concerning the Palin family or anyone else. Once I've actually seen an episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska," I'm sure I'll have more to write about the topic.

Depending upon how you view this time of day, Bunogiomo or Buonasera!

1 comment:

  1. Some people need more sleep, some less.

    By the way, the story is posted on Notamormon.

    It's a story in which nothing happens.