vast from the past

Even though I have not spoken to Obscure Object of Desire* in years (since his wife found out about our dalliance), we still share one thing in common: a dentist.

Ever since my "regular" dentist went off the rails about five years ago, giving me a shot of epinephrine that made me ill for two days, I haven't permanently settled on a new one. During the past two years I've occasionally journeyed to his recommended jawbreaker. Although their overwhelming cheerfulness annoys me, the hygienist has managed some cleanings that didn't make me want to scream.

My last visit to a newish dentist ended with a polite argument. The dentist was dying to sell me an implant to replace a broken crown, while I was happy to settle for a new crown. Since he had managed to destroy the old crown during the appointment, I've been wandering around with a painless but unsightly gap in my lower jaw. 

Yesterday I decided I was tired of the gap, and that it was time to find a dentist who would replace the crown without attempting to bully me into a $4,000 implant I didn't yet want. I didn't want to waste the insurance. So I looked up OOD's dentist on Facebook so I could make an appointment. 

I didn't expect to see him on the Facebook page, but OOD had been named Patient of the Day or something similar during the previous week and had been photographed with a grinning hygienist.  Something about him was immediately, depressingly noticeable: he had put on some weight. Correction, a LOT of weight. Of course almost 100% of it was abdominal fat, which is where it goes if you're stressed or over 40, or both. 

It was if he was wearing a sign that told the world that he was unhappy about a lot of things.  If he wasn't so down, he would have never let himself go to this extent. I suppose his patched-up marriage is as miserable as most of them are, especially since both of them had harbored such unrealistic expectations about the relationship from the get-go. (That is, if it remained patched. I'm not going to ask.)

* See The Usual Suspects, which has been updated.


bronchitis and armpit katanas

My holiday weekend was eventful but not in the way I'd hoped. Instead of getting a few things done, I came down with the flu, or maybe bronchitis. I'm so congested that I have to sleep sitting up. I haven't been this ill in quite a while. 

This didn't stop one of my more eccentric friends from sending me a trailer for a Japanese B movie called Robo Geisha. Over at IMDB, most of the film's viewers claimed that the trailer was a better bet than the movie regarding overall entertainment value.

The trailer's soundtrack is a truncated version of the theme song for the James Bond film Live and Let Die. Which means it's the same hook played over and over and over by a beleaguered orchestra. 

My own take on the trailer is that I covet the little tank that shows up around the 1:30 mark. (The geisha occupant even manages to play her shamisen while zipping through traffic.) If I could get my hands on a tank like that, my commute to work would be transformed.

Enjoy! (It's best viewed over on YouTube in a larger format.)




a future night at the opera

Even though this week has not been enjoyable - I woke up with a sore throat, after a week's worth of horrid PMS and one day's worth of period - I'm still cheered by my plans for my NY trip. Namely, as the Metropolitan Opera is performing Tristan und Isolde while I'm NY, and I have snagged a couple of reasonable tickets. I said reasonable, not cheap. 

I also indulged in a two-hour hair treatment called Kerastraight, which has eradicated my chronic frizz problem. It's also changed my hair's texture; it's softer but kind of like Barbie hair.  

Ian* insisted he wanted to attend the opera with me, even though I insisted I would not put anyone through five hours of Wagner unless they really desired so. But since it's almost five hours long, I'm taking a pillow for him just in case.  There are two 30-minute intermissions so I'm hoping there's coffee available. 

It's too bad I can't attend with Groucho Marx instead, or Otis B Driftwood as he called himself in the movie A Night at the Opera. I can hear him now:

And now, on with the opera. Let joy be unconfined. Let there be dancing in the streets, drinking in the saloons, and necking in the parlor.

Wagner wouldn't like it, but I would, as long as I didn't have to resemble Margaret Dumont. She was a wonderful foil for the Marx Brothers but not exactly an oil painting.

* See The Usual Suspects.


weekends and schedules

Even though I look forward to weekends as much as other cube slaves, they're conversely a source of frustration to me as well. I used to think that this was mainly due to my habit of making a list of chores and errands to accomplish during the weekend - a list that usually proved undoable. So I would retire Sunday evening snarling at myself because I kept thinking about various unfinished projects, untrimmed hedges and unwashed laundry. I rarely came away from the weekend with a sense of accomplishment.

This is why I've decided to put a different spin on the weekend, which is to lighten up on the scheduling and "to-do" lists. Instead, I'm going to do one or two things I had been wishing I had time for during the weekdays.  Right now I'm planning to find a quiet cafe so I can finish the latest Lisbeth Salander book without interruptions. 

Although this isn't 100% related, it was sufficient cause for reflection:

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.

This is an exerpt from Annie Dillard's book The Writing Life. Even though I don't see my career in the same light as hers - I can't imagine writing anything that doesn't have a salary attached, and often quote Dr Johnson to support this* - there are still some valid observations. 

* Dr Samuel Johnson, author of the first dictionary, was quoted as proclaiming that "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."


more odd dreams of erotic near-misses

Just recently, my mortgage broker friend began sending me information about properties for sale that are actually in my price range. Traditionally, home sales slow down in the autumn, and buyers also tend to put the brakes on a purchase decision when a national election looms. So I began wondering if I could find a smaller version of the house I sold last winter and still missed.

I think this is why I dreamed about my old house last night.

Of course the dream was chock full of nonsensical elements as they almost always are. In my dream, the house hadn't been demolished. Instead, the builder who bought it had actually expanded it. Now it was a huge old two-story house with a fascinating roof that I couldn't stop admiring. He had added several chimneys and some whimsical Art Nouveau features, and it didn't have regular shingles. Instead it was made of big square tiles with stonework replacing the gutters. 

I can't remember why I'm visiting, but I'm thinking this is probably because I still hear from the new owner, a builder who razed the old property and built his own two-story home at the site. He is actually a nice young man, tall but a bit balding. In this dream he's more attractive.

Before I leave, I realize I need to change clothes as I'm headed to the opera later that afternoon(real-life plans - more later). I wander off to where I think I'm alone and change from frumpy lingerie to some Marlies Dekkers. I'm standing in front of a small room with a big, dark wood door frame that dwarfs the room itself. This is when I feel something around my neck.

I realize that my builder friend has slipped a white silk ribbon around my neck and is pulling me back towards him. He's so gentle that it doesn't hurt at all. In a few seconds, our bodies are touching. My back is against his chest. He doesn't attempt to undress me or even reach toward me. Instead, he keeps me in place with the ribbon. We say nothing; it's as if we're waiting to see what the other's next move will be. 

I woke up feeling quite aroused by this scenario, but wondering why I was dreaming about sex. It was the second time in just a few days, and right after Darren* had visited. I had been my usual drained self by the time he departed, as I usually am. So these dreams aren't making much sense. 

Today, I spotted an article in Time magazine that described how politically incorrect sex such as the type the Cub and I pursued caused altered mental states. While it didn't explain my dreams, it's still reasonably interesting.

* See The Usual Suspects.