Friday, January 27, 2012

Oh, My Achin' Tooth

Yesterday I had a root canal. My first ever. I feel a little violated.

First of all, I was sad that this poor little broken molar who's been with me for so long couldn't hang in there just a few more weeks to hit the 50 milestone with me. And lest you think, "it's just a tooth, who cares? - you lost your uterus and didn't shed a tear over that major organ - why so sad?", think about all the memories you have surrounding your teeth. First there's the slight little wiggle - "Mom, mom - my tooth is loose!!!" Then the pull-out hysterics (wait, was that just me?), then the Tooth Fairy, and then the little nubbins of a brand new grown-up "permanent" tooth who would soon guide you through your life of chewing pleasure. Oh sure, adult-stressed-out-you abused it with continuous grinding, but it could take it, right? It was supposed to be permanent, after all. Alas, no. RIP my sweet molar #19.

Once I worked through the grief, my "fight or flight" response kicked in, which, for me, is more like a "tremble in fear" response with the same adrenaline rush. I am terrified of the dentist. Terr-If-Fied. Seriously, I cry almost every time I'm there. Thankfully, my dentist doesn't think it's strange for a 40-something-year-old person to cry in the chair o' doom, so she dries my tears and pets my forehead until I'm all better. I am in love with this woman, even if she is a masochist deep down inside. The next few days hours were a blur: I cried and hyperventilated, endured unceasing torture, got some good drugs, and survived. Cue Aretha.

Naturally, when I got home I played BraveFace and announced to The Husband that, "It doesn't hurt at all!" He smiled. I guess pointing out that my face was still numb and when it wore off I would be in all kinds of pain, which would be the impetus for all kinds of whining, would have been just plain cruel. Oh wait - he did that. And he was right, dammit. To quote one of my besties during childbirth, "Dude, this hurts a lot!"

I'm pretty sure the only way to power through this trauma involves lots of ice cream and Vicodin. I'm also pretty sure that's what the grown-up Tooth Fairy will be bringing me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

In the first 22 days of 2012, I have spent a whopping 5 of them at home. And before you say, "Gosh, what a jet-setter lifestyle," let me assure you that it's not. Seriously, does this look jet-setter-ish? Do you see Hawaii or Italy anywhere in these paths?
LA > Riverside > LA > Sacramento > Chico > Stockton > Sacramento > Cincinnati > Lexington > Cincinnati > LA

Nope, not even a nearby glance at Hawaii or Italy. What you may notice, however, is that almost all of my destinations were NORTH of Los Angeles. In January. You know what that means, right? Weather Whine-itis struck with a vengeance. At one point I even said to someone, "Gosh, there's ice all over the cars in the parking lot," to which he responded, "Um, yeah, it gets cold here." I could feel his eyes rolling and heard his in-head thought of, "Silly little Cali girl."

Fortunately I have good travel karma these days, which is a good thing, of course, because I am not a very responsible traveler. I've been known to jump on the plane as they were pulling up the jet bridge (back in the pre-9-11 days when you could behave in such ways without fear of being tasered) and I've definitely had my name called over the intercom more than once. But these days I tend to make it to check-in with at least 2 minutes to spare. Most of the time. Of course it wouldn't be a travel day for me if I didn't have a ridiculous story to share, and - bonus - I have two:

Adventure #1:
I had just squeaked into the Sacramento airport, with minutes to spare, and they told me that my flight was delayed. At first I was relieved that I had extra time until I realized I'd be missing a connection. Therefore, I was "involuntarily rerouted" from Sacramento to Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Cincinnati, arriving at 9am for a 10am meeting. But then, when I landed in SLC, the karma fairy interceded because there was an "involuntarily rerouted" plane going to Cincy, so I was able to jump on it instead of spending most of the night in airports. Whew! Of course my luggage had to take the scenic route through the ATL, so we didn't reconnect until the next day, which means I wore jeans and sneakers to a client meeting. Really no big deal considering the alternative. Big bonus points to Delta, who delivered my bag to the hotel, and to the front desk clerk who gave me toiletries. I have found that people are usually very helpful during travel crises. Not always, of course, but almost always, and I SOOOOOO appreciate them.

Adventure #2:
Since I spend more time in hotels than I do at home, I am surprisingly very careful about unpacking and repacking. In fact, I've only left 2 things in hotel rooms ever, which is pretty amazing considering what a ditz I can be at times. However, I broke the streak and broke it in a big way. I left my sweatpants with my drivers license and credit card in the hotel in Cincinnati and didn't realize it until I got to Lexington. Of course I was in a panic thinking I'd have to have The Husband overnight my passport to me for ID so I could get on a plane to go home and then have to go through the pain of cancelling a credit card, and - most importantly - have to get a new drivers license, which would have been horrifying because I've gained 20 lbs since my last DL pic. (You see where my priorities are, right?) Fortunately, the karma fairy stepped in again, and the maid found my stuff, the front desk clerk held it for me, and I am once again indebted to the hospitality industry for taking care of me. Whew times 10!

Jet-setter lifestyle? Not even close. Home sweet home? Why, yes, I think I'll stay a while.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Waterboarding, Writing...Synonyms, Right?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret (of course posting it online pretty much guarantees that it's no longer a secret)...if you ever want to torture me, don't bother with the solitary confinement or waterboarding - just skip ahead and ask me this question: "Why don't you write more?" My head will spin, I'll start sputtering and spewing the most creative excuses known to mankind, and I'll probably whine a lot. Because I don't know the answer. Okay, that's a lie. I do know the answer, but as an English major and former English teacher, it's too horrible a phrase to utter aloud.....

I hate to write!

There, secret's out. I hate to write. I like to think about writing, I like to pretend-write in my head, I like to comment on other people's writing, I like to read about writing, I like to read stuff I've already written, I like to re-write, I like to think I'm a writer, I've fooled my employer into thinking I'm a writer, but I just Hate. To. Write. And I don't know why. I'd like to think it has to do with a childhood trauma and can be therapied out of me, but I suspect it has a lot to do with laziness. (Really? You're kidding! No way!) Sooooooo, taking a writing course - not associated with school or work requirements - would be the absolute last thing I would ever do, right? Yeahhhhh, wellllll, ummmmm...

So here's the back story...a few months ago a friend (can't remember who, but I'll either kill you or kiss you when I remember) posted an article on Facebook, which of course propelled me into the "Oh this is interesting, let's click on this other link that sounds interesting, oh this is interesting, let's click on this other link that sounds interesting, oh this....." tailspin. Hours later, I stumbled upon Daphne Gray-Grant's Publication Coach website. It was love at first sight when I read these magic words: "Are you tired of writing too slowly and too painfully? Is writing a dreaded chore that you avoid? Would you like to write faster and more easily?" Yes. YES. YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!! HallelujahandpraisetheLord, YES! I promptly signed up for her newsletter and recommended it to my fellow writers. (See how I say "fellow" when I'm not even one of them? I WANT to be a writer; I THINK I'm a writer; I just HATE to write. So I include myself in with my writer friends, but actually I'm a fraud.) So then Carrie-In-The-City says, "Let's take the Extreme Writing Makeover course. And being the typical passive-aggressive that I am, I said, "Yeah, sure" when I meant to say, "Hell to the no." I figured I could continue with "yeah, yeah, sure" for a few months and then we'd forget all about it. But then it became the dreaded New Year's Resolution time and C-I-T-C and her evil steel-trap mind remembered and I got caught up in the frenzy and suddenly, "Yeah, sure" turned into "Yes, that sounds like a great idea, let's sign up now" and here we are. 52 weeks of writing assignments. Homework...Commitment...Writing, oh my!

So stay tuned. And this time I mean it. Yes, I realize I pretty much wrote nothing last year. I started thought about starting a lot of posts, though - does that count? Clearly not, according to this new accountability thingee I have going on.