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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Remember My Birthday Root Canal?
Well--it seems that not only was it the wrong day for a root canal--but it was the wrong tooth!! I will explain; it was 7:30 A.M. the dentist said open up and he went straight to my #1 0r #2 tooth (that would be my upper right side (his left)) Anyway I had assumed the two dentists involved--my regular dentist--who seems to have lost the capacity to do root canals and this "specialist" who is, presumably, an "expert" at root canals et al--had had some communication so I did what I was told and "opened wide". A hour later I left the office with this nagging feeling that this was not the correct tooth but they know what they are doing, right? Long story short my dentist Dr. C. sent me to Dr. R. for a consultation. The consult turned into an hour and a half of needles, drilling, tugging and suction. This is not my idea of a consultation and what can I say?--I can't say a thing--literally. So I leave the office with a root canal and a nagging feeling. I was right to fret--because although it was a procedure that Dr. R. claimed was necessary (and I really don't doubt that--my mouth has been a serious problem for me for years--in more ways than one) it was the location that posed the dilemma! Dr. C. is working on the bottom left (oh--that's another thing--is it his left or mine?) and this was on the right (my right) top area--I think it's the #1 molar. The cost of dental work has skyrocketed--like everything else and it is a matter of finances (since I could actually afford to not eat for a few days--that's not the problem). Okay--so now I'm incapacitated on both sides of my mouth and curious if I would be able to afford to buy any thing to eat anyway by the time I'm finished paying for the dentistry.
Lucy--My hairdresser says--"Get a lawyer." I return to Dr. R's office weeks later, with the assurance from Dr. C that this was, at this time, unnecessary, I stand up and claim my rights--after a short altercation (which I won't go into detail about) and a series of demeaning and intimidating statements including --"Well, you've neglected your teeth for a long time" and "What do you expect me to do?" I clearly recognized his attempt to bully me, from his lofty mound of dentistry, with arrogance (obvious he failed bedside manner when he took it in dental school--is bedside manner a required course or an elective). The end result is I did not assume responsibility for payment--but he, by the same token, did not assume liability for any wrongdoing. The insurance will pay him a lion's share of the cost and the $320.00 that he is out relates to the cost of dinner and drinks with his wife (if he has one--which come to think of it I don't think he does). When I left my knees were shaking and although my self-esteem had suffered momentarily I bucked up, stood up and told him exactly what I thought. Now--don't get me wrong--anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not a timid person nor am I in any shape of the word-- miserly-- but to these people in prominent professions who think they have the right to intimidate people I say--DOWN WITH BULLIES!!!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Baby is Here!!
My very good friend Holly had her baby on Wednesday. A healthy little boy--I think it's Carlos (withou the "S")--right, Hol? She and the baby are taking the semester off for obvious reasons but I miss her terribly. Of course I haven't gotten around to see the baby yet--but that's one of the things that constitutes a close friend. They are experts at being non-judgmental. Oh sure they can call you on your shit, if need be, but the unimportant things are just that---petty and insignificant. It's the times of crisis and those late nights when insecurity creeps into your otherwise happy life when a conversation with a friend is the only thing that can draw you back to reality. She's missing out on the Linguistics class that half the student population of Trinity is currently enrolled in (approx. 75 of us). We're working on bilabial stops (voiced and voiceless), labiodental fricatives, alveopalatial affricates, nasals, lax low front vowels and the all familiar dipthongs. Sound like fun?--well the vocabulary aside--it is. I am a fan of puzzles and the determination of the different sounds is the most intriguing part. Well--it's all good today.
Did you see The Shield last night? A great show and an exceptionally twisty episode. If you don't watch it--you might like to try it. It is a departure from the norm and even the commercials are diverse in comparison to those stale ads on the more established networks.
Tonight, of course, the Grammys. David Bowie, and his alteregos; Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke and Mr. Iman--they all get one lifetime achievement award--what a life!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Okay, that said---I mean sing-sung---I can continue. Well the Super Bowl is over, the Grammys are upon us, Valentine's Day is close, the Oscars will come, pitchers and catchers will report, Pre-season baseball will start and then there will be hope. In the meantime I spend my time working (at Trinity), taking classes (at Trinity), working some more at my own business (antiques) and going to the movies whenever I can squeeze it in. Last night Bub and I saw Match Point. I love Woody Allen--I mean his movies--and this was definitely a change from the normal Allen flix-- but I was impressed. The acting was phenomenal--although it probably won't get the attention it deserves. Maybe it is unfashionable to like a Woody Allen movie but I'm willing to overlook the director and go straight to the plot and actors--which is my standard modus operandi anyway. Scarlett Johansson is especially glowing as the American (isn't she an Aussie?) wanna-be actress thrust into the old British hoighty-toighty, house-in-the-countryside, yachting-trips-to-Greece crowd. And Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is convincing as the has-been tennis pro who is, likewise, thrown into this world of "prim and proper" excess. The Hitchcockesque suspense threw me for a loop. I was completely taken aback that Woody had it in him. It is refreshing that, in a world of obnoxious horror movies that push the limit with blood and guts, there is someone (even though it is Woody) who can take us back to a time when suspense was appreciated and it wasn't necessary to --well--show it all.
You know--when I was in the Keys with my friends, Allison, Rodney and Rosa we took in a strip show at the local club--Teaser's in Key West. You know, it's been a long time since I've done something like that. I'm no prude but rarely does the subject come up in mixed company--you know what I mean? Anyway--I was surprised--not shocked--that they stripped down to nothing--it was topless AND bottomless. Well my first question--which was readily answered-- was--where do ya put the money? But anyway--I digress-- back to my point--there are no surprises anymore--they show it all. The blood and guts, the cadavers, the shoot-outs, the beatings, the bombings. Does it make me more aware--I suppose. But the bottom line is that the suspense in this W.A. movie was refreshing and what's wrong with a little healthy tension in a world of media overload and immediate gratification? Isn't it kinda like foreplay--don't we like foreplay?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Who Gets Root Canal Work on Their Birthday?
Well--I have to admit that would be me. After many go-rounds with the appointment receptionist at the endodentist--weeks ago-- I finally surrendered and the 1 1/2 hour procedure was held at 7:45 on January 24th--my birthday. Oh well! Truth be told--I really didn't feel a thing--no even today(the following day)--Thanks Dr. Rose. It was a bit of a hectic day but all in all I had a great belly-button birthday (as my good friend MA calls it). Lots of nice emails and hard copy cards from my family and friends--good music on the Sweet Side? (my radio show on WRTC-FM 89.3 Tuesdays --soon to be Wednesdays from 12-1PM--Listen some time). I actually choreographed my life through the music on yesterday's show. It wasn't hard with songs like Buy & Sell (Laura Nyro), Get Out of this House (Shawn Colvin), When I Grow Up I Want to Be an Old Woman (Michelle Shocked), I Wanna Be Sedated (The Ramones), Ray's Dad's Cadillac (Joni Mitchell), I Drink (Mary Gauthier).....and lots more. You can fill in the blanks! That was just a small part of the fun. Now it's over and I have no other choice but to wait another whole year. You know--that's just the way it is--seems like Christmas doesn't stay around long enough (although my tree is still up). All thar preparations and it's gone in one fell swoop. I'm actually considering putting hearts on the tree for the upcoming Valentines' Day and then maybe some shamrocks and few little leprechauns--what the hell!! These things pass so fast that there's little sense anymore to bother getting too excited over the celebration.
It's like this--
Bub and I talk about getting married sometimes and just how we would do it--the second time around. It's just such a complicated rigamarole to get into--especially when you have already done the big reception thing once before (and we both have). That was way before wedding cakes were breaking the bank. But there are so many possibilties. First there's the where: in another country?on the beach in the summer?on the beach in the winter?atop a snow covered mountain?in the backyard under a tent?at Disney World?there are unlimited ideas. Make it a dinner reception at a bed & breakfast or pot-luck during half-time of the Super Bowl. Maybe a candlelit soiree and forget the renovations we want to do on the kitchen. What to do--and it's all over in a few hours and then we are back to the way we were the day before and for the past 16 1/2 years. I would most probably still have the same name and all--although that consideration is still up in the air. Well--I'm just thinking out loud. Pondering the past blankety-blank years and how fast it all goes by--that's what took me off on this tangent--birthdays.....weddings.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Wood 'n Tap....

I left Trinity later than I had hoped this evening to meet with my blogging compatriots. I wanted to take the shortest route and from where I sat it seemed simple enough to just "follow the highway." Since I84 curves past the Sigourney exit I wasn't really sure how to get onto Sisson so I just took a right down the way a bit (I should've taken a left--but who knew?--it was a 50-50 proposition and I lost). Heading down this narrow street I find myself hood to hood against a bullying schoolbus so I back up between the cars parked on both sides of the street and let the bastard through. Of course there's a long line of cars behind him and the looks I'm getting aren't exactly congenial--but it's Hartford so I sit back and wait. Next open space I start down the constricted roadway but the cars just keep coming--what am I supposed to do --back up for everybody? Well--this particular car isn't just everybody or anybody--it's one of Hartford's finest and I can't help wondering why one and all seem to be exhibiting hard-on attributes--right down to the cops. He stops dead in the traffic lane and does one of those whirrrrr-whirrp things with the lights and the siren. Just at this moment I reach for the stickshift to put the car in reverse--again--when the lightbulb comes over my head---all the cars are facing the same way. Well--he's got me dead to right and he pulls up next to me as I retreat humbly looking to see if I'm carrying my license of not. Aligning driver to driver he's smiling--not a smirk or a wise-ass grin but a genuine friendly expression and I say "Well --guess what--I'm lost." "No kidding--where do you need to go?" I tell him and he and his partner motion for me to turn around and they spurt out simple directions. "Have a good night --and drive safely." They didn't say maa'm--no condescending woman-driver mind set--no threat of the "warning" just a --"Oh well--she made an honest mistake. I made the prescribed maneuvers and I was at the restaurant in less than 2 minutes. I was thankful for the reprieve, the smile, the understanding but most of all I was appreciative of the fact that the dreaded "ma'am" word was not used at all in the short conversation--I hate that word!
Thanks to the guys for the invite--the perfect end to a good day.
Did I mention that I got a mammogram and a bone-density scan this morning--all within the the duration of a mere 25 minutes--That was a combined effort of a crack staff at Jefferson X-ray and may part in planning an early appointment--beating the traffic!!

Rediscovering Blogging in The New Year!
Okay--I'm back and with baby steps I will get back on track--or maybe I'll just crawl. It seems that somewhere between the holidays, the funeral, and a real cool--well, it was warm but very cool--vacation I misplaced my wherewithall to blog. I left my laptop home and went webfree for a week--don't think I wasn't jonesing! I am back with just too much to say--but I will do it slowly over time--so as not to bore you. That is precisely why I shouldn't stay away so long. Here's my new friend--this manatee--the gentle giant of the sea was one of the acquaintances I made while staying at the southernmost point for a week. There were two of these wonderful aquatic creatures--a couple I presume--that came to visit daily but rarely came close to the dock together. Otherwise they were the most trusting wildlife I've had the privilege to know! I could feed them lettuce but soon found that spinach was not their preferential meal--no matter how close to lettuce we think it is.

The Florida Keys is home to the ultimate laid back atmosphere---unless you're a drinker and then it becomes hard work. Just the time and the capacity to indulge in the dozens of party places is exhausting --even for a non-drinker. The "Bull" was our central hangout. Yankee Jack was the daytime entertainment on the first level of a three-tiered party place--"where y'all from?" he asked everyone and wherever it was he had a song for it--pretty hokey--but the quality entertainment was the unpaid "performers" that would come in off the street--they should consider doing the American Idol try-outs there--there are lots of "William Hungs" out there and very few "Kelly Clarksons"--but it's all in fun. You know that saying about"what happens in Vegas? --well it works for Key West, too.

While we were there 18 Cuban immigrants made it to the 7-mile bridge the bridge we crossed almost everyday with rarely a thought of the value of our taken-for-granted freedom. They made the 90 mile trek by battered boat only to be told--and here's the part I don't quite get--that the bridge does not constitute recognized "American Soil." So they could not remain in the states. I don't know how they did it but the newspapers said they had to go back. Sad but true. When we left the islands we heard that there was an activist on a hunger strike to get the government to reconsider. He was losing his battle. If you want to be here that bad maybe provisions could be made to allow you to stay here. I don't have any solutions but it is very sad, indeed.

I'm off to the Wood 'n Tap to see my fellow bloggers in the flesh. More tomorrow--I hope!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

He Was a Kind and Gentle Man......
We just returned from "home"--that would be defined as the place where we both were born and had lived most of our lives. After weeks of preparations--not unlike any other red-blooded American holiday freakoid--I took what I thought would be one last Pre-Christmas trip across the Hudson on the weekend prior to the hoiday to finish up the traditional sixteen varieties of cookies with my mother and sisters in an effort to supplement the already out-of-hand holiday indulgences. Returning to Connecticut for one last day of work and the broadcast of my annual Christmas radio show--"Santa's Sweet Side?" the phone call came from Judy--Vince had passed on.
Vince would be my father-in-law if Gary and I were legal and for all intents and purposes I feel that he is. I have known him for over thirty-five years and along with my own deceased father he is one of the most gentle men I have ever been acquainted with. I guess my overbearing self is attracted to such men since his son is cut from the same cloth. They say you marry like your father--I know, for me anyway, that falls true.
Vince had been incarcerated at Golden Hill Nursing Home for some years now--the rest home itself happens to be situated on the same property as the Ulster County Jail but it wasn't the building that kept him imprisoned --it was the disease. Sadly he was a victim of Alzheimer's and remained--physically, anyway-- "as healthy as a horse" until a few weeks ago when he forgot how expectorate the phlegm he accumulated and ultimately could not remember how to swallow in order to sustain himself.
Four days before Christmas we laid him to rest. We had only seen him a few weeks earlier at Thanksgiving but he rarely opened his eyes and his breathing was labored. It was sad. I had hoped to publish a picture of the man in his prime but my computer is in need of some work. I will try to get them on in the days to come.
Years ago when he was leaning toward the darker side of his disease I remember making him laugh. I'm not sure whether he understood what I was saying to him or not but he was laughing like I hadn't seen him do in years--actually I can't remember seeing him ever laugh that way before. He couldn't respond with words since his vocabulary had dwindled to simple one-syllable sounds. But he could laugh and I took advantage of the opportunity. The somewhat risque stories I told were of the escapades that his son and I incurred in the office of his Lincoln-Mercury dealership after hours--in the dark--in the back seats of a brand new Mark IV and even in his leather swivel desk chair! I would have never said these things to him if he had been in a state of normalcy but he wasn't and he was lovin' it! I don't know if it was the tone of voice I used--the mischievous look in my eye as I told the stories or the fact that he really did "get it"--but I'll never forget that day and I thought of it as I kneeled before the coffin and I smiled--I think I might have even nervously giggled aloud at the thought. Meantime Gary seriously slipped a vintage picture of his mother (dear Alice who had predeceased Vince by 20 years)into the breast pocket of his suit. He was careful and thankfully so since Judy told us later that the green tree-decorated tie he was wearing would play "O' Christmas Tree" if touched in the right place. He would have loved that idea. God bless you Vince.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Hey--Where'd Everybody Go?
Well, here I am--feelin' a little lonely--Brett's here, Bill's here--even JP is around--although I'm not sure for how long. I'm just getting started. I'm a late bloomer but I'm bound and determine to make up for lost time. I'm waiting for Elin to pick up where she left off. Erin promises to keep on keepin' on. I know Joe is out there watching. And Eric, well he has Blogging keep up. I hope I can get to all of his blog spaces (but I'm afraid that might be a full-time job). I am taking full advantage of this time, this break in the action, this seasonal time off from school and work to turn this blogal stagnation around. BUT WHERE'S Colin? Am I doing something wrong or have his blogs from the last few days disappeared? You know I'm feeling responsible--the curse of the screamin' memey--since I did place a comment on one of his recent blogs--Did I do it? Well this could be my lack of expertise showing through the smoke and mirrors but I can't find him! Does anybody have an answer? In the meantime--please keep me posted on the undercover blog work that seems to be going on sans class. And I am curious about the speed-dating thing--I have some friends who are always complaining about their social lives and although they claim to be game I'm not sure they would do anything like that without some evidence of at least a tinge of success.