Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Dentists and suchlike

I don't remember if I told you or not -- my longtime and beloved dentist retired, and sold his practice to a younger man.  I like the system they have there, but I'm not sure about the actual dentistry.  The man is very careful and asks me frequently if I am numb, or if I am experiencing pain, (which can only be answered with a yes or no, by the way) but I think the difficulty is with his hands.  He has very large hands, with thick fingers. I'm sure they are very good for all kinds of things, but not for fitting into the mouth of someone, along with a drill, a spray of water, a suction device and his assistants's fingers.  It's been over five hours, and the dull ache in my jaw, face, nose and cheekbones has increased to a dull throb.  I feel I should go home and take anti-inflammatories.

I know most people have far worse stories to tell of their dental experiences, but I have been utterly spoiled by Dr. Belusko, who had thin hands with long skeletal fingers, and who never hauled on my cheeks, facial muscles and tongue, ("Can you get ahold of her tongue and hold it out of the way?") while doing his careful and beautiful dentistry.  Whaa-aa-aah!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

A lovely Saturday

It is the perfect Spring morning!  Warm and breezy, nothing like the chill buffeting winds of yesterday, delicate sunshine, high blue sky, new pale green everywhere... So perfect that no one is on the library this morning!  Of the thirty computers here, five are occupied, and that includes me.

Had a bad night last night -- I haven't been sleeping well for several weeks, but that's usually more or less okay -- but last night was a misery of wakefulness.  At one point, at about two am, I turned the lamp back on, and read for awhile, but so sleepy was I that I mostly just held the book with my eyes closed.  Still could not drop off.  I think it was because I wasn't well in my little tum, and that gave a rather nauseated flavor to all my thoughts, so they all felt bad and anxious and worrisome, and as though today was going to implode into a dreadful day of distress and disaster.
However, when the alarm went off, and I woke, the day was perfectly friendly, and everything that has occurred has been quite lovely. 
I would like to know what the problem is with my sleeping, though.  I mean, I have always had the occasional white night, but as a rule, twice a year was the most frequently that occurred. Not since my bout of insomnia in college has it been this long without an uninterrupted night. 

In any case, it is a beautiful Spring morning, tra-la, tra-la!  My Norwegian friend Marit is already on her Easter holiday, as apparently everyone in her country has two weeks off at Eastertime.  Why don't WE?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The rain rain rain came down down down....

The snow started at nine this morning -- much earlier than the four-in-the-afternoon the TV news weatherpersons were predicting.  It was still raining, heavy wet rain, with melty snow mixed in -- dime-sized flakes hitting the windshield, about five or six, splatting wetly over my viewpoint, before the wiper blades wiped them away, and again, and again. 

It didn't feel cold outside, was the odd part.  Still felt warm enough that I am wearing my little coat, my car coat, not the long woolen overcoat I wear in the snow.  Carrying my giant umbrella, but that's just because both my smaller umbrellas have broken spines, so I've got to either figure a way to fix them, or make up my mind to throw them away.  Don't want to throw them away, either of them.  One of them a beautiful royal blue Klimt design that my dear Jessica gave me, years ago, and the other a small compact fold-able one of Black Watch plaid that I just particularly like.  Still, I'm not sure they can be fixed.  Why aren't there umbrella repair shops?  It ought to be very easy to remove and replace a broken spine, and think of all the business you would have!  Perhaps I should learn the art of umbrella repair and open my own place.
Anyway, the snow continued for about an hour, and has now completely stopped.  Still raining, however, very wetly, and mirabile dictu! -- it feels significantly colder than it did this morning.  Isn't that odd?  Unlikely?  Isn't snow merely rain in the cold?  So how does that work?  And another question I have about rain -- the size and velocity of the drops seem to have little or no rhyme or reason to it.  Sometimes a tiny, misty droppage of minuscule drops, other times large fat drops falling without much impetus behind them, other times the drops are driven down as by a powerful wind, but the winds aren't blowing downwards, they are blowing east or west or north or south.  The size and velocity of today's rain has changed several times, and who knows why?  Is it the pressure in the air above?  Do some of them contain particulate matter that are pulled downward by gravity?  Who knows?  (Well, I don't know -- someone does.)
As I finished making one of my clients his lunch today, his roommate Myke blew in from grocery shopping, fresh and wet, with his arms full of bags. 
"It's a very wet day out there," I observed.
"Sure is," he replied, setting his bags down.  "And I love it.  I love the rain in all shapes and sizes."
"Me, too," I said.  "That's why I live in Portland!"
"Yup," he said.  And we smiled at one another.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

November Sunday

Sitting in the nearly empty parking lot of the Midland Library (it's a large library that sees a lot of use) before it opens, eating my weekend breakfast of an English muffin sandwich with bacon, egg and cheese, and a small carton of milk (it's funny, when I ask for milk, they nearly always respond with "white milk or chocolate milk?"  As though those were the two types of milk!) and marveling happily to myself at the nearly steady stream of cars circling through.  They are all dropping their votes in the large Ballot Box which is in the back of the parking lot.  Keep voting, people, keep voting!

The peach of the day, however, was an old Ford pickup truck, very large, which had originally been blue, but was now 90 percent rust.  At least 90 percent.  It had a two-by-four fence around the bed, rickety and broken down on one side, and was making a dreadful racket -- blap-blap-blap, very loud.  The driver was a tiny little wrinkled-up lady -- barely big enough to see over the dash, and you could see her head tipped sharply back to manage it.  She maneuvered the monstrous beast (blap-blap-blap) through the parking lot, and up to the ballot box, and her tiny hand on her scrawny arm came shakily out of the window and slowly, carefully (shakily) deposited her ballot envelope.  I wanted to stand up and cheer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Private Property



So I came out of my house Saturday morning, at about seven-thirty, and saw a grey-haired woman sitting in the gazebo, with a raincoat on, and a coffee cup from the bakery next door. She was shaking out a tiny folding umbrella and seemed cross. I called out, "Good Morning!" She looked up and gave me a decidedly dirty look, before pointedly turning her shoulder toward me.

Now, I'm a fairly shy person, at least I used to be, and it still flavors my behavior from time to time, but this was my house, my yard and my gazebo, and I was beginning to suspect that she had no right to be there. So I skipped down the steps and headed on over.

"Isn't it nice after the rain stops?' I said chattily. "You still need your umbrella for all the drips, though!"

"Mmm-hmm," she said, on a high note, and without looking at me.

"Who are you visiting?" I asked, sitting down beside her. She looked at me like I was insane.

"I'm not visiting, I live here!" she snapped. I did a double take.

"What? No -- unless you just moved in?" I asked, gesturing toward the apartment house.

"No -- I live in Alameda -- wait, is this your yard?" she asked. I nodded, with raised eyebrows.

"Well, for heaven's sake," she snapped, getting up and gathering her possessions angrily. "You shouldn't be here -- I mean -- how is anyone supposed to tell?"

"By the sign on the gate that says 'Private Property' ," I said sweetly. She stomped down the steps and headed across the grass.

"Sorry!" she called over her shoulder, not politely. I almost felt bad.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I am really not

Okay -- I find this strange -- or at least remarkable.  I had an "aha!" moment last year, when I realized -- for the first time -- that something which  had happened to me in the past put me in a well-known statistic.   

Okay. That was strange enough.  That I, who sort of pride myself on my ability to look at things and see how they are, could have skipped lightly over this event, even though I thought about it every so often, just never called it by its name.  And in fact had said aloud, several times, and to myself, several more times, that I was very lucky that I did not, in fact, belong to this statistic.  I feel weirdly ashamed, as though I did it on purpose, although I assure you I did not.

But here's the part that seems freaky to me now.  When I read articles online or in the news about these statistics, and other sufferers from it, I get very anxious and start shifting in my chair and breathing in little gasps, and want to leave the room.  That's the way that "trigger" stories make people feel who know that this happened to them.  And I didn't know, until just recently.  So I feel as though I must be making these reactions up.  But I am not.  I am really not.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hot Times, Summer in the City

Merciful Heavens, 84 degrees at 8 in the morning!  How is this possible?  How?  How, how, how?  You see, it's turned me into Rowsby Woof!

I am pretty much living in my bedroom these days, since I have a window unit air conditioner in there.  This is nice, and means I sleep through the night pretty well, but it would be better if I had a chair to sit in.  Reading in bed, or watching  a movie on one's laptop in bed is not as comfy as one might think.  And yes, there is a chair in my bedroom, but it is invisible under the pile of clean but un-put-away clothes. 

I do love the open, beckoning emptiness of the Banfield freeway on these early weekend mornings!  It is all swooping curves, and I am always called to speed.  The few cars that there are are all speeding as well, so there isn't any risk of suddenly coming upon a fifty-five-mile-an-hour-good-little-driver.  There are other risks, of course -- as witness:

This morning I was in the far left lane, doing about 75, and had no one in front of me, so I was getting ready to move back into the center lane.  There were about five cars in my current sight, before and behind, all well-spaced.  I turned on my signal, waited a few moments, and started moving right.  As I did so, I was aware of a flash of movement behind me, and then a long, loud, I'm-extremely-pissed-off car horn.  A small, shabby little sports-type car shot into the far right lane, at an angle that showed he had come from behind me in the far left, all the way across three lanes, and then without a pause, shot left again, across the middle lane and into the far right.  No signalling, or anything, since that requires a hand off the wheel.

A young girl, maybe 23-24, with floods of wild blonde hair whipping around her face, projected herself out of the open window of this car up to her waist, to turn back toward me and give me the deluxe double finger.  She held this position, shaking her hands toward me and screaming something (much too loud out there to hear, and anyway, my windows were closed) and then retracted herself, and the car shot away at a minimum of eighty-five miles an hour -- we were all doing seventy, seventy-five, and he passed us like we were going backward -- in big triangular swoops across and back across, all without benefit of signal.

I burst out laughing, it was just so ludicrous.  It also made me feel oddly nostalgic about being that young -- that moment-oriented -- that the interruption of your wildly illegal and tremendously dangerous freeway shenanigans would have been enough to infuriate you to that extent.  I was never that young, thank goodness.

Last weekend I took a day off and spent three days in Rogue River with my aunt and uncle at their gorgeous, opulent and extremely clean house on the river.  It is a large and very plush dwelling and there was not a scrap of dust anywhere in it.  The upstairs, where my cousin and I always sleep, was completely unused by the family, and still, perfectly clean.  It was a lovely visit, extremely relaxing and very enjoyable.  Spent most of our time just sitting in their luxurious living room with glasses of iced tea and talking about our lives and our shared memories and our jobs and our families.  My aunt is a very careful and excellent cook, and she and my uncle both refused any offers of help, so my cousin and I just lay back and luxuriated.  I didn't want to come home!

We took a trip up to Crater Lake, so I have now seen this Oregon landmark -- hadn't until then!  It is extremely beautiful.  Very serene, with no background noise of rivers, since it has no input and no outgo.  The water is an even, full, blue and very calm.  And it's huge.  Lots of tiny, rapidly-darting chipmunks with very bright eyes, who all flash across the paths and up over the rocks at a ridiculous rate of speed.  Very relaxing to stand and look.  And all the walls and buildings are made of stone, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the thirties, and very beautiful.  Plus, since this lake is in the top of a volcano, exploded off and crumpled in, about seven thousand (!) years ago, you have to wind your way up and up into the mountains to get a look at it, so we were high among the pine forests.  It was a gorgeous day, in spite of the heat -- 102 degrees, I believe -- and anyway, their car is very well air-conditioned.