Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Toothy Time.

Things have been rough around our house lately - more bad news than we can handle, but nothing I feel like discussing in blogland. Instead I think I should tell you about the continuing saga of my dental adventures. If you want to read about what happened the last time I had dental adventures, go here. or here. or here. or here.

YEAH. I don't mess around. Anyway, I had another between-the-teeth cavity needing filling, so last Tuesday morning I dropped my car off for new tires (ugh) and walked the two blocks to my dentist's office. I like to compound all my unpleasant chores, I guess. I'd taken half an Ativ@n in the hopes that it would render me calm enough to not have a panic attack or anything but in retrospect I should have taken three. It started out unpleasantly enough, with the numbing gel and then the horrible needle gun thing. The dentist was using a different system (I was told) that was less invasive, but had to be injected approximately 1 million times in small increments. Inject. Inject. Inject. Inject. I couldn't feel pain, but I could feel the weird pressure and taste the Novocaine and my entire body was tensed up. When he pulled the needle out I felt this horrible pressure-release sensation and started to get the clammy tingling...my first sign that things were not going to go well.

The dentist asked if I was okay and I said the release sensation was really freaky.

"Oh, that's nothing! The needle I used to use way, way longer and..."


"Okay! I'm going back in for just a bit more. I want to make sure you're really numb."

That's all I remember. When I opened my eyes I remember looking up and seeing strangers looking at me and I had no clue, no fucking clue, where I was or who those people were. It took me a full minute to figure it out. I'd passed out cold and when I did I went somewhere else entirely. I think I actually dreamed a bit while I was out. Only me.

After that I was fine and he did the whole cavity drilling, filling, tamping, curing thing. I got a composite filling and spent the rest of the day feeling like someone had punched me in the face. The general soreness wore off, but the pain and bite sensitivity was still there. Plus, I couldn't get floss in between the filled tooth and the one behind it. It hurt and the floss shredded. Grand. SO, I went back today to get it filed down. The top part was fine, but to get the fit right between the teeth involved thin strips of metal that were sawed back and forth between my teeth. STRIPS OF METAL. The thinnest variety kept snapping in half so he used the next size up and it mothereffing hurt. The only saving grace was the dentist was convinced I was going to faint again so he'd SAW SAW SAW then back off for a second to let me recover.

A couple of times I made sad little hyena shrieky noises because what else could I do? I really wanted to get punchy but you can't punch your dentist. You can, however, shriek a little bit. Thankfully no small children were in the office at the time, but I'm sure the guy in the next room was delighted. Sorry, dude. If someone was sawing metal bits between your teeth, you'd shriek too.

Thankfully, it's all over and everything seems to be in order. I'm still a little sore but at least I can eat without pain. Woo! Bring on the candy apples, bitches.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Night Postage.

What up? I've just had my post-Friday workday glass of wine and also have just read the latest installment of Mr. Baby Elephant, and excellent new blog written by an old friend of mine. You should check it out:


It's about a baby elephant who works in a clothing factory in Cambodia. I am not making this up. It's riveting.

Coming soon: I shall tell you about another disastrous dentist appointment in which I pass out cold.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wild Wildlife.

On the local news it's been reported that there has been a lion sighted in the city and surrounding county area. Lion. Sightings. A serious, no shit, full-sized lion walking around in the city. The best part is, nobody has reported a lion missing. Where the hell did the lion come from? If you had a lion, wouldn't you notice if it were missing? I mean, it's not like when you misplace your favorite pen or something.

"Dude, have you seen my lion?"

"Your lion? No idea. Have you looked for it?"

"Yeah, I can't find it anywhere. It's not on the front hall table or under the couch or anywhere."

"Huh. I'm sure it'll turn up."

The best part is that there seems to be the implication that people are making this up because nobody has actually gotten a photo of it. This is totally ridiculous because I looked through a bunch of photos on the digital camera and and that fucking lion has been everywhere, eating all our steak and ruining our shots. Get a life, lion dude.

Here she is in Carytown cutting in line at the Byrd in Carytown:

And here she is at the library where I work (stalk much, Elsa?)

And here she is scoping out the real estate in Oregon Hill:

And seriously, I don't even remember seeing her on the trail during this ride, but she managed to get in the shot:

(Glad I can ride fast!)

Later on she completely ruined this photo:

And OMG, get the hell away from my cookies, LION:

I'm so over this asshole.

(special thanks to my honey for his photo skillz!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stuff I Like.

It's getting on towards the holidays and, while I'm not huge on traditions, I do love the food. The absolute best part about Christmas, for example, is that I get to have people over which means I get to buy party food. I get to buy really fancy cheeses and make dips and stuffed mushrooms and mulled wine and cookies. Lots and lots and lots of cookies. And cheese. Did I mention the cheese? There's always a ton left over and there's nothing better than a lunch of nothing but cheese and crackers with a little wine on the side and then cookies for dessert. Oh, and cheese wafers! Shit, I love those so much.

For Thanksgiving my mother insists on doing the whole turkey thing and I think her head would explode if we tried to take it away from her. It's not even worth it. My sister and I both provide sides and often confound our mother by insisting on mashed potatoes even though her people always had rice. (I mean, seriously. Who wouldn't rather have mashed potatoes? Screw the ancestors, I say.)

A few years ago a friend of mine who lives in Pennsylvania sent me a few boxed of John Cope's Corn:

It's dried sweet corn from which you make the most incredible and delicious corn pudding. It will make you delirious with corny joy. I've not had it for a few years now because you have to mail order it and that just annoys the crap out of me. Surely some local store can humor me and order a box or two? Sheesh, we can get bananas from Chile but nobody can order dried corn from Pennsylvania? Anyway, I order it this year if it comes to that because I NEED IT.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Garbage by any other name? Still garbage.

Okay, here's the thing. I've never had a new sofa and I'm not counting the futon because a futon is NOT a sofa. It's not. When we moved into our house five years ago we had a futon and I hated that thing. It was really uncomfortable but we didn't have money for a sofa. A year or two later Kate's parents gave us their old sofa, which was once very nice, but now was a bit sad and worn. Enter Stella, who made it sad, worn and shredded all to hell. It's that cat's life mission to destroy anything upholstered. We have those cardboard scratching things, but she really prefers something softer and more expensive. I spent $80 on a decent slipcover which hid the shredded bits and worked out well for a while, but after a few years it was pretty sad too, and, let's be honest, a slipcover always looks like a slipcover. Especially when it's stained and shredded and constantly coming untucked around the edges. Gross.

I told Kenny a few months ago that we should buy ourselves a new sofa for Christmas. Then he got laid off. Oh well, right? That's the way it goes.

Then, last week Kate's brother offered up a free sofa that he and his wife wanted to get rid of. We figured it was probably worn, but certainly better than the one we had, right? We show up to get it and damn if it didn't look practically new! I was foaming at the mouth with the joy of having a piece of furniture I didn't have to cover or hide or camouflage.

We got it home and Stella took one look and stopped in her tracks. I could see that evil gleam in her eye, that calculating look as she figured out what approach to take with this fresh, new, unblemished challenge. Now this, I could see her thinking, THIS IS A SCRATCHING POST. BOOYA.

Shit! Kenny ran out and bought double-sided tape and some kind of lemon spray cats supposedly dislike. The tape worked for the arms and sides, but that didn't slow Stella down very long. This morning I caught her going to work on the back cushions. I can't exactly put tape on the part you rest your back on, you know? So, now I have two options:

Option #1: duct tape up those paws
Ption #2: buy some throws and swath the entire thing.

le sigh.

But the real story is how we got rid of the old couch. It was a sad couch. The slipcover was a sage green, saggy and faded, stained and a bit cat-shredded. Kenny had recently been taking things up to some nearby thrift store and suggested we take it there. I wasn't so sure.

"Really? You think they'll take it? Thrift stores are notoriously picky about this kind of thing."

"Sure they'll take it! It's not a bad couch."

"It's a bad couch. Should we at least take the slipcover off?"

"No way. It looks better the way it is."

"If you say so."

So off we went to the thrift store with the sofa in the pickup truck. I'd never been to this particular thrift store and when we pulled in I was all,

"you have not really been taking all our stuff to the Love of Jesus Thrift Store? Really? AWESOME."

We pulled around the back and the donation guy looked at it and seemed to think it was okay, but then his supervisor walked up. He stood and looked at me. Hard.

"So, what have we here?"

"It's a sofa. We just slipcovered it because it's old."

He lifts up the corner, exposing some of Stella's best work.

"Hmmm. Nooo. This is no good."

"Um, oh. I'd forgotten about that."

"Any other surprises under here?"

"Um. Maybe. I don't know."

He looked at me like I'd tried to hand him a pile of poop.

"I'm sorry, we cannot take this."


We split. Kenny spies another thrift store.

"Let's try that one!"

"NO. I can't take the humiliation. Nobody is going to want it. It's disgusting."

"You don't even have to get out of the car! I promise!"


We pull around the back and it was deserted! Nobody taking in donations at all. We spied, by the loading area, a sad, stained sofa, unbelievably worse than ours. We looked at each other.

"How fast can we unload this thing?"


We hauled that sad thing out of the truck and were on our way 20 seconds later. It was an incredible maneuver involving strength, speed and wily skills. In the truck on the way home we were silent for a few moments, taking it all in.

Then I caught his eye and we both cracked up. Oh yeah, we still got it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack The Vote.

Yesterday Kenny and I discussed our strategy. He looked at me with concern and said, "can you get up at 5:30am?" Son, please. I have gotten up earlier than that for a shitty rural craft show! I think I can handle it. To give him credit, he was up at 5:00, making coffee and toasting waffles. As we left it was starting to rain, so we grabbed our umbrellas, decanted the coffee and headed out the door. We drove the mile to the polls and gasped. The line of voters wound around the church, down the sidewalk, across the parking lot, across the neighboring parking lot, up to the street and back down the street. DAMN. We couldn't park in the church lot so we backtracked and found a spot in front of someone's house.

It was dark, it was raining, everyone was in good spirits anyway (except maybe my sister Molly who looked less than thrilled. I don't blame her. It was a long damn line). I've never seen such a turnout at our polling place and I was quite heartened. I mean, hell, I've stood in line in the rain for a composter, so it's not a big deal for me, but I also have an understanding boss, a patient husband and a flexible schedule.

All in all, it took us just under two hours to vote and it was totally worth it. OBAMA '08!