Friday, February 28, 2014

Give Me Novocaine, Part 2.

I picked up some roses when I was at Trader Joe's today. Why? Because root canal. And all you nitrous pushers - what the hell? Seriously, that helped not one tiny bit. It made my extremities feel numb, but what good does that do when someone is working on my tooth? I felt every injection. All four of them. So I spent that extra money for nothing, and it has left me feeling draggy all day. The one thing that was useful was taking ibuprofen several times a day for a few days in advance. Because after the fourth injection, the anesthetic finally kicked in and the rest was painless. I sat and said a metta meditation in my head through the whole thing, just to tune out the drills and such, directing at first at myself: "May I have peace, may I be kind, may I be happy, may I be well." Then moving on to the endodontist and his assistant, and then everyone else out there. Round after round, it kept me centered. I hurt now, but it is only pain being inflicted on me that really bothers me. I was given a script for vicodin after the first attempt two weeks ago, but they sit unopened on my dresser. I don't need anything stronger than a glass of wine tonight. Which I'd have had anyway. I will say that the endodontist was consistently kind.  I can't actually fault him or his staff - very considerate, friendly people. But if, as I suspect, the matching molar on the other side also warrants a root canal, I will take advance ibuprofen and skip the nitrous.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Is it Winter? Is it Spring? Who knows.

Week before last we got our heaviest snowfall (so far) this year. It blew out my work day as one after another everyone called in to cancel. But this time I sat on my couch and read, with a cup of hot tea in my hand, as it fell.
The next day, as soon as the snow plows had gone through, I went for a long walk by the lake. It's so beautiful and I am so ready for it to stop. I shoveled and salted both my driveways and watched with some amusement as my neighbor's SUV slid sideways down his steep driveway.
Less than a week later, while there was still a little snow left here and there on the ground, I woke up to the alarming sound of a tornado alert on my phone. I didn't even know I had that. The message "take shelter immediately" was flashing on my phone and pulled on clothes and ran down to my basement. A tornado had apparently been spotted in my area, but moved on away and I went back upstairs to make coffee and feel disgruntled about tornado season starting before snow season has even ended. Doesn't seem right. And this weekend? Gorgeous. Highs in the 70's and sunny both days. I worked until dusk in my yard.
The forecast for next week is calling for more snow. But daylight savings time is just two weeks away and I can feel the hope in the longer days.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The wildlife in my yard.

If it's not the squirrels mocking my every attempt to provide food for the songbirds, it's the coyotes behind my house bringing me out of a dead sleep at 4 in the morning. (Sound only, because it was, as I said, 4 am.)
video

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Give me Novocaine.

This was the only pleasant part of the visit to the endodontist yesterday. The backstory: Remember when I took a spill hiking? Among other injuries, I cracked a tooth. Which lead to getting a crown. And not the cool kind you can wear on your head. And when that didn't solve the problem, I was referred for a root canal in December. But before I could get there, I went through that bad break-up. With an endodontist, because my life is nothing if not rich in irony.  Finally, however, the pain drove me to reschedule. On Valentine's Day. Because again, the irony of it all.
These places are a needlephobe's nightmare. Every where I looked, there were needles. Gah. So instead, I stared at the x-rays and fretted. I have to say that the entire staff was kind, including the young endodontist (who called me Dr. and introduced himself by his name without the title, which I found amusing). But it turns out, I am remarkably resistant to whatever they inject into you these days. The two hours went something like this: injection, drilling, me cringing, him asking if I could feel that, me nodding, injection... Round after round of that process. The poor assistant was alternating between handing him various torture implements and wiping tears off my face. I am compliant as all hell, but I can't control my tear ducts.
Finally, he said he'd given me the maximum dose, and since it is calibrated for a 150 pound person we were actually about 50% over the limit. He told me that he only encounters someone that resistant to anesthesia once or twice a year.Yay me - I'm special.Anyway, he said he just wasn't going to do anymore if it was going to hurt me. I left with instructions to reschedule and start taking ibuprofen three times a day for three days prior to the appointment, and that should make the anesthesia more effective. When I go back in a couple of weeks, I'm going to suggest they just hit me over the head with a hammer.
And I'll keep quiet about my suspicion that the guy does lines in between patients.
I came home and crawled into bed for a while to nap and feel sorry for myself.  That's right, I did those simultaneously. I'm a good multi-tasker. And then my friend came over to eat pizza and watch "Zoolander." One night when we were having dinner out, I'd mentioned that I could only turn in one direction skating (to reverse directions) or skiing (to stop). He suggested I see the movie because the title character can only turn right on the runway. When it got to the line, "I'm not an ambi-turner," my friend poked me and said, "That's you!" It's a supremely silly movie, but perfect for distracting me from my pain.
"Take away the sensation inside. 
Bitter sweet migraine in my head. 
Its like a throbbing toothache of the mind. 
I can't take this feeling anymore. 
Drain the pressure from the swelling. 
The sensation's overwhelming. 
Give me a long kiss goodnight 
And everything will be alright. 
Tell me that I won't feel a thing. 
So give me novocaine." (Green Day)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Our version of a snowstorm.

By the end of January, my younger son's school had used up nine of the ten allotted snow days for the year.  This could get ugly.
After the snow, my neighbor decided it would be best for him to park at the end of our dead-end street.  Directly behind my car, blocking both me and my son in.  This also meant that the city's snowplow had to stop mid-way down the street and leave our section un-plowed.  But they seem like nice-enough people, so I knocked on their door to discuss it and pet their goofy golden retriever.  He was apologetic, and moved the car not long after, and I cleared out the worst of the snow at the top of my driveway and salted it before night fell.
In the morning, I found that a cat had been visiting my front porch. I'm guessing that happens a lot, given the heavy bird and squirrel population.
But as is often the case in these parts, things thaw out again pretty quickly so I was able to get out to the lake for a walk.
I started down this path and then realized that the dog prints were fresh and unaccompanied by human prints. Which means no leash. I love dogs, but don't trust the ones I don't know. I decided it would be best to go back around the other way to the waters edge.
When I eventually move away, I'll miss this walk. It's peaceful out here.
The snow has completely disappeared, but the forecast shows a good chance of snow throughout the coming week. Still looking for warmth.

Monday, February 3, 2014

More theater.

Friday night I went to see a play with the friend I've been hanging out with. This is the best shot I could get of the program because he was holding it and kept moving his hand, claiming that he had no idea why that kept happening. Although we initially met on a date at the first of the year, we've settled into a friendship instead, and I've really been enjoying the company. It's almost a brother-sister sort of relationship - affectionate and teasing without any of the romantic part of dating.
During intermission, I tried to get a shot of this Einstein-like character in the audience by standing in front of my friend so I could hold my phone up surreptitiously. Which my friend immediately caught on to and jumped out of the way just as I took the photo so any hope of subtlety was lost. Yes, I hit him.
We sat on the front row of the small theater and, as it turned out, picked the perfect spot because much of the action happened on this side of the stage. There was no photography allowed during the actual play. The story had just three actors. It involved a Jewish Confederate solider who is shot in the leg after deserting this company. He returns home to his family plantation in Richmond and finds two of the family's slaves, newly freed by the war, still there. His wound in gangrenous and he can't risk going to the hospital, so the emancipated slaves agree to amputate his leg and tend to him. That was a grueling scene, as were scenes involving descriptions of the two men being brutally whipped on the command of the plantation owner. An interesting level of irony involved the celebration of Passover by the three, as the slaves had been raised as Jews, and the conflict between the Jewish owners commemoration of being released from slavery while keeping others as slaves. Parts of the play were funny, parts deeply moving and parts uncomfortably dark and sad. This was a case where I was happy to join the audience in a standing ovation - they did a beautiful job with it, and I am still mulling it over days later.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

One month in...

I'm checking in on those New Year's intentions I made, to keep myself on track. I've read 7 of my 50-book reading challenge, so I'm a tiny bit ahead of schedule. I want to build in a little time cushion for when I get busier. Two other books that I started, I gave up on after a chapter or two because I was bored. I've gotten to a stage in my life where I no longer feel obligated to finish a book or a movie just because I've started it. I was twenty minutes into a dreadful movie recently when I paused it and saw that there were more than two hours remaining. Oh hell no. I don't care that it was recommended to me, life is just too short for that.
Learning Spanish was a later-in-the-month addition, but I've been working on it every day for the last two weeks. Even when the sentences are just silly.
Because sure, why wouldn't the cat sleep on top of the monkey? I bet that happens all the time in households where the bears drink beer.
I'm going to give Duolingo credit, however, for embracing diversity.
As for the 7 minute work-out, I was a little dismayed when I added it up and realized it's actually an 8 1/2 minute workout. Why the inaccuracy? But I have done it twice a day since the New Year.  Every. Single. Day. Sometimes I say the instructions aloud to distract myself, mimicking the British accent on the app. "This is the lahst exercise." My single complaint about the app is that it will periodically lose sound and then has to be deleted and re-installed. No big deal and it's free, but when you stop it to delete it, it mocks you. In spite of myself, I find myself snapping back, "You're malfunction does not make me a quitter."  
Deep breath. Clearly I need to use this app more frequently, too.