Sunday, July 29, 2007

Do dentists really have the highest suicide rate?

Steve Martin as Dr Orin Scrivello in The Little Shop of Horrors

I would have to say I didn't go very easy on my dentist Friday afternoon. By the time he walked into the room, where I was sitting up rigid as a statue and looking as mean as I could with a pink drool bib fastened around my neck, I was already crying. He asked how we were doing today and I told him I had been waiting a week to tell him that the Novocaine shot he gave me a week prior was the most painful shot I had ever received--and I have received many in 41 years.

This of course increased the tears and I think I noticed him roll back a little in the chair he had just occupied. "Would you like to come back another time?"

I just stared at him. Why, I thought. Are you going to be on vacation and have someone here that can give a painless shot?

No, I managed to say, it was difficult enough to schedule an extra appointment in after things went so godawful wrong last time. That was the time you gave me a shot that I wish had killed me, removed my temporaries, and THEN noticed there were faults with the $900 crowns and we couldn't use them. A bloody painful rehearsal, if you will. Coming back isn't a thought that comforts me.

Should we just do this without Novocaine? He then suggested. Yeah, I thought, and maybe you could squeeze in a colonoscopy while you're at it.

No, I countered, but I would like to consider ways we might make those shots less painful. Can we leave the topical on a bit longer? (Last time he swabbed my gums once and then reached for the gun.) That's won't make a difference, he said. Funny, I said, all the other dentists I've seen seemed to think so, and ALL OF THEIR SHOTS WERE LESS PAINFUL.

Gosh, he said, feigning hurt feelings, I've won awards for my shots! From whom, I wondered: Hitler's Death Camp Doctors? No award from me, I'm afraid, I told him. Man, I can be such a bitch when cornered by a very large stainless steel hypodermic needle.

Let's just do this, I said, and I sat back in the Throne of Pain. Would you like nitrous oxide? He asked. Yes, I said, preferably intravenously. I tried to breath it in as much as I could given that my sinuses were now completely clogged up from my preparatory crying spell. He ran the numbing gel across my gum and tossed the swab as he walked out of the room. I've never had a dentist not leave the swab in my mouth for several minutes. I almost reached into the trash for it as I heard him chatting up the patient next door.

Unfortunately for me he did not run into Oscar the Grim Feline on his rounds and returned quickly with the gun. My one comfort in this was that I was certain it could not hurt as badly as it had last time. I was wrong.

During this time, which probably lasted seconds but seemed to go on interminably, I imagined the strangest scene. (I'm sure the gas helped.) I had been chiding myself earlier for being such a pussy about a dentist visit when soldiers and civilians were getting blown up all over Iraq. Now, under the full influence of laughing gas and awe-inspiring pain, I pictured a medic leaning over me and asking if this was the first limb I'd lost. Of course, I was in too much pain to respond, but what an asinine question, I thought. What, was he too busy to run a count of limbs on the table before him? Still, he kept asking, "Is this your first limb lost..?" I wondered why I felt no pain in my extremities but my head felt as if it was exploding from a well-placed grenade.

Suddenly I was back in the dentist office, where my dentist was still going at it, explaining that he'd better give it a little extra since I was feeling particularly sensitive today. Award-Winning Sadist, apparently.

Tears filled my ears as he cranked the gas some more and left the room to torture other innocent people. It was strong--very strong. I had to drive across town with my dogs after this... "Is this the first limb you've lost?" The medic was back. Or maybe it was a different one just asking the same question. Man, I thought, all that medical training and they still can't count a patient's limbs worth shit. Finally I managed to lose consciousness temporarily on the gas--another good sign it's on a little strong. That was a bit unnerving, so when I came to briefly (wondering if people snored on gas) I tried to shake it off a bit. I lowered the mask and blew my nose, breathing in fresh air for a few minutes. There was no telling what they'd try to get away with if I wasn't "around" to keep an eye on them.

Just as an assistant I did not know sat down to remove my temps, Doc returned and swept her away with a wave of his hand. I'll take care of this one, he told her. I pictured him winking at her over my head. He removed my temps and prepped the teeth. He tried on the first crown, then the second.

"Oops," he said, reminiscent of the "Shoot" he'd uttered last week when he saw the pinhole in my new crown. I froze. "Give us a little cough," he said. "Let's just get that out of there." I coughed, wondering why he'd be worried about me swallowing a piece of cotton. As I coughed, I realized it wasn't cotton. The assistant brought my chair upright with such speed I do believe she broke the world record.

The dentist had dropped a crown in my throat. "Gee," he said, "That's never happened before. We're getting all sorts of firsts with you." I'll bet you say that to all the tear-soaked, crown-swallowing patients. I coughed one more time and saw the crown land in my lap. I quietly handed it back to him.

They left the gas off after that. I guess they wanted to keep my reflexes sharp. The crowns were cemented on without further incident, and he dremeled down the high points. After mentioning something about checking in with them later to see how these were treating me, he left the room so quickly I thought for a moment he was wearing Heelys. I exited almost as quickly. The doors to the outside were already locked but I was able toss a large chair through the waiting room window to get to my car. As my wheels screamed out of there I wondered if I should put the chair back in the waiting room.

Deciding it was only right, I put my car in park and retrieved the glass-covered chair. As delicately as possible, I threw it back into the waiting room through the other glass window. That was better. Wouldn't want there to be any bruised feelings. I returned to my car and drove to pick up my dogs. Read more!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Alternative Medicine

Top ten things I would rather do than go back to the dentist this afternoon:

10. Watch any episode of Survivor
9. Get a mammogram
8. Let my horse re-break any of my toes
7. Read The DaVinci Code
6. Go back to graduate school
5. Go to an Alan Jackson concert
4. Have lunch with Ann Coulter
3. Experience natural childbirth
2. Work for my old boss in AZ
1. Blow dry my hair while taking a bath Read more!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oscar, the Grim Feline

Click on the title to see why Oscar should be avoided at all costs.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

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Monday, July 23, 2007

The Anti-Gardener

Last night I did a little gardening. The former occupants of my house were avid horticulturists. All I know is that "horticulture" does not refer to any culture I am familiar with. I have traveled far and wide and have yet to meet an actual "Horti."

Though I have harvested several small containers of gooseberries (since no geese have shown up yet to consume them) and shared many bulbs (?) of garlic with family, the leafy plants would only have benefited my former guinea pigs. Ah, the feast they would have had. One can only hope that heaven proves half as bountiful for my sweet cavies as my current backyard would have. So, leafy plants were "harvested" last night to make way for a grassy bed for the dogs while the green beans continue to ripen. They taste good right off the vine, unlike the green, green grapes, which are very sour indeed.

Mom found mint, and I have already found catnip, which I gave to the cat in a moment of sheer insanity. (He was up the entire night.) The asparagus and I parted ways, as it had grown shaggier than my dad's hair back on the farm in the 1970's.

The roofers were apparently not gardeners, either, as they left much botanical carnage in their wake. Now I am trimming trees and shrubs that are threatening to invade my neighbors' living rooms, and I managed to assemble my new electric mower just as the mosquitoes came out last night to try and carry me away (only the weight of the mower held me down).

The downside to all this is that today I am suffering from allergies I can only assume are a result of me sleepwalking into the garden last night and rolling around naked. My eyes are very likely going to come out of my head. The itching is tortuous. I am on so much antihistamine I could suck on cotton balls and feel less thirsty than I do now. So any proclivity I may have had for gardening before today is definitely gone now.

Sure enough, under synonyms for "horticulture" in my thesaurus is the word "misery." Read more!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Time to move on...

But not until I add one more picture from a fan who goes by the name of templeoftrouble on Cornell's website. This is from the Chicago show at the Congress Theatre. Jesus Christ Pose, indeed.

Can't you wait until the new Foo Fighters' CD hits the stores and they start touring so I can obsess over someone new for a while? Haven't seen Dave Grohl since Halloween, so it's about time! Read more!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bush to have colonoscopy at Camp David

Well, it's about time. Finally someone figured out a good place to look for those weapons of mass destruction. Read more!

Happy Birthday, Chris

43 and looking and sounding great. Keep it up and have fun in Toronto tonight!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chicago Turns Up The Heat

I guess it just wasn't hot enough in Milwaukee Tuesday night, because Wednesday night in the Congress Theater it was finally shirts off for everyone (but the bass player). Thanks to at least one camera-smugglin' fan we have pictures.

There was a heavy rainstorm during the show (last time he was in Chicago was that freak blizzard in April) and at one point the roof over the stage began to leak. He apparently sang Rusty Cage standing under the leak.

Here is the link to the fan's pictures. She was pretty proud of them, so I don't think she'd mind sharing, but credit where credit is due! Cornell in Chicago Read more!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cornell Rocks Milwaukee

[Pic from mid-90's]

I hope Chris is still sleeping off last night's show, because he fucking earned it. I'd be sleeping too if I didn't have to be at work--obviously not working very hard ;o)

I was at his Minneapolis show in April, which was amazing. This was amazing as well, maybe moreso because he performed at least two hours in incredible heat and humidity. Couldn't convince him to take his shirt off, though--something to do with his 43rd birthday coming up on Friday? (The rest of the band weren't so shy.) He was soaked through and through.

Very different set list from Mnpls, which was nice. He played a few songs for the first time ever, he said, such as "Wave Goodbye" and others I could remember if I weren't so damn tired. I loved finally hearing "Say Hello to Heaven" live. Drummer Jason had a relative in the crowd, so it was a very drum-centric performance which, as a shitty drummer, I really appreciated. Impressive drum solos, and great rendition of Slaves and Bulldozers right before the encore. It was pretty difficult to hear Chris when he talked on the mic, which was frustrating. He did a pretty entertaining "Public Service Announcement" in favor of the old SG song "Full on Kevin's Mom" which someone kept flashing a sign for. It would be interesting to see if he played that somewhere, eventually.

Despite the heat and cigarette smoke, the crowd energy was great--which Chris really got off on. Us 40-somethings risked broken hips as the young 'uns occasionally broke into crowd surfing or moshing. Chris kept a close eye on things when they started to get nuts but no one seemed to get hurt. Pretty tame compared to the good old days.

Surprise of the night (besides Slaves and Bulldozers) was the opening act, Juliette and the Licks. Apparently I wasn't the only one who didn't realize that Juliette is Juliette Lewis. Some know her as an actress (she was great in Kalifornia) but all I could think of was "She fucked Brad Pitt!" It was kind of distracting. Great show, and I hope for everyone's sake that they have central air at the Chicago venue tonight. The heat did take a toll on Chris, and he went low on a couple of parts, but he still blew us all away.

Thanks, Chris!
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

AWOL Tonight

Right after work I am headed to Milwaukee's Eagle Room to see Chris Cornell (ex-Soundgarden, ex-Audioslave) in concert. Maybe we'll hang out a bit after the show if I'm not too tired. I can't go around keeping every rock star happy, you know. They can be so demanding...

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Indiana Jones and the Last Wardrobe

Ford Can Still Fit Into Indy's Trousers
Sat Jul 14, 2:29 PM ET, AP
"He may be 65, but Harrison Ford still fits into Indiana Jones' tight trousers."

That's all well and good, but the real question is, is there still any room for me in there?

Oh c'mon. You were all thinking it. I just said it.

[Click on the title for some hot-flash inducing memories of the original Indiana Jones' flicks.]
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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Please stand by...

We are experiencing technical difficulties. Here is an actual picture of one of the AT&T DSL technicians trying to re-configure my on-line connection.

I moved into my new house (if 87 years old is considered "new") on Sunday, July 7. My DSL was scheduled to be up and running by the end of Monday, July 9. It is a freak of technology that I am on-line at the moment, and I will be down again shortly. One AT&T technician joked today (after being on the phone three hours with tech support) that it might just be easier if I moved back to Madison. I thought that was so funny I flipped him off without thinking about the fact that I didn't even know him. Luckily, he had turned back to the computer and didn't catch it. (Note to self: watch foul gesturing in front of strangers.)

So it is Thursday afternoon and I "might" be up permanently sometime around 4 p.m. Even the local tech doesn't believe AT&T anymore, so he'll be back out for more abuse (and foul gesturing) around that time. Should be fun.

As you might imagine, I am somewhat behind in my e-mail correspondence. Take the volume you are imagining and multiply it by ten to get how far behind I am in work correspondences, orders, requests, etc. Neither my boss nor my clients are amused. And let me assure you--my mood left "amused" several days ago. When it gets back to "tolerable" I'll let you know.
[Update: Seven days and still no workable service. We are shooting for a new record, apparently.]
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Friday, July 6, 2007

Public Service Message

I saw a sign while walking the dogs on Main Street last night.
I wanted to spread the word.

The sign is posted on the sidewalk, the house, and the sun-bleached blue and white cooler sitting on the porch steps.

For Sale
Red Worms
36 per box
$1.99 per box
Self Serve

Let's not abuse the system, folks.
Obviously the honor system still works in Columbus.
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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Enough with the fireworks already.
You're scaring my dog.
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