Saturday, October 18, 2008


Note to self (and any others who happen to read this and find themselves able to relate to self in that they have recently undergone root canal procedures): new S'mores ice cream treats from Burger King, while delicious, are not pleasant while you are undergoing dental rehab.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dumpster Diving

In an age when the economy is in the tank, banks and megacorporations are dropping like flies, and government-packaged stimuli and bailouts have become commonplace, there remains only one secure investment plan.

I have been paying into this plan for years and look forward to the glorious day when I can cash out and retire on my earnings. Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, my treasure awaits me at the end of two glorious Golden Arches. That's right: Monopoly at McDonald's is back!

Yesterday, on the way to my car, I noticed that someone had thrown away a large soft drink cup-- get this!-- without peeling the affixed Monopoly game pieces! Of course, I overcame germ and grime and reached into the trash and removed the stickers for my own collection of this year's properties (you need to be willing to get your hands a little dirty-- or punctured by random sharp waste products-- if you want to be successful in this or any other worthwhile venture). Then, after work, I hit the McD's drive thru, specifically ordering so as to maximize game piece acquisition. I ate dinner while driving home (the wife is out of town). I pulled into the driveway around 8:00, and in my haste to let Watson out after a long day, I accidentally threw away my wrappers, game pieces still attached, in the trash can that we share with our neighbors.

I didn't realize this until I was driving to work this morning, mentally reviewing all of the properties I own (many in duplicate) and couldn't remember which ones I had earned yesterday. I replayed the post-large fry/"southern" chicken sandwich/ large diet coke consumption events in my head and could see myself, almost in slow motion, recklessly tossing the game pieces into the garbage. Needless to say, the first order of business when I arrive home this evening will be to retrieve those (probably winning) game pieces from the trash.

I haven't hit the jackpot (**yet**), but I have garnered two free breafkast sandwiches and 25% off my next purchase at Foot Locker. I'll keep you posted.

For a review of last year's Monopolooza, click here or here or here or here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Yesterday, our apartment building was on the course of the Hartford Marathon. Runners who had trained for months and months jogged, ran, and speedwalked past our home. I have on multiple occasions remarked that I would rather have a root canal than run 26.2 miles. And in fact...

Things went from bad to worse yesterday morning as I reclined in the dentist's chair. While Aiesha, the dental assistant, hummed along to Billy Joel's Only the Good Dye Young, which played soothingly in the background, my dentist's descriptions of her exploration of my buccal cavity became ever dourer.

As my dentist, whose white lab coat simply read "Dr. B", poked and prodded my cracked molar, the prescribed course of treatment progressed from simple filling to crown to (I shudder to recall it) two of the most dreaded words in the dental lexicon: root canal. In total, I spent three hours under the bright lights, shiny instruments, and careful hands of my dentist and her assistant.

Apparently, my dental infrastructure is remarkably resistant to the numbing effects of novocaine. My lips, tongue, and cheek went completely numb and tingly after the first injection, but it took 4 shots to prevent surging jolts of pain as the dentist drilled and scraped the exposed pulp of my tooth. Meanwhile, the two dental experts openly marveled at the volume of saliva I produced.

"It's like a river of saliva," Aiesha, the dental assistant remarked.

"No, no," my dentist, Dr. B, corrected her. "It's more like a spring."

"Yeah, a spring of saliva," Aiesha agreed. Then she looked down at me and added, reassuringly, "That's not necessarily a bad thing."

My previous dentist was awed by the size of my tongue, this one by the volume gushing forth from my salivary glands. My oral anatomical wonders never cease.

Just found this article about diversionary video goggles that allow the patient to watch distracting tv shows or movies during dental procedures... I'm looking forward to the day when I can liveblog a root canal.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Wacky Wednesday!

Some posts just write themselves...

While I stayed up last night to watch the Twins lose in a one-game playoff against the White Sox, the wife went to bed early. When it finally came time for me to join her, she asked me, sounding alarmed, "Wait! What day is it?"

I responded matter-of-factly, "Tuesday."

"Do you know what that means?" she asked dramatically.

"No, what does it mean?" I asked.

"It means that tomorrow is Wacky Wednesday!" At this point, I realized that my wife was communicating from beyond the pale of sleep. My wife's impressive nocturnal communication skills have been previously noted (click here, for example); I was eager to continue in this conversation. "What happens on Wacky Wednesday, dear?"

"Everyone wears hats with googly eyes!" She giggled.

"What else?"

"And they might wear their overalls backwards!"

"Does anything else happen on Wacky Wednesday?"

"Yes--you wear shirts with little polka dots... and..."

She was fading. I didn't want to lose her. "What about the polka dots, honey?"

"The polka dots... they... talk..."

"What do they say?"

"They say, 'We're hungry. We want to eat donuts.' And then I give them little tiny donuts, and the polka dots are all happy." Her tone changed abruptly. "But the next day is Troubling Thursday." In her sleep, it seems, she believed Troubling Thursday to be as alliterative as Wacky Wednesday.

"What's so troubling about Thursday?" I prodded.

"I don't know what the trouble is... that's what's so troubling..."

She began to mumble, almost imperceptibly. I knew that I was losing her. I tried to revive her without actually waking her, but she was gone--lost to the deep, silent slumber that that follows RMM (rapid mouth movement) sleep.

I never learned what was so troubling about Thursday. I hope it doesn't involve nauseated polka dots. Godspeed to us all.