Thursday, March 26, 2009

You, Ma'am, are a Friggin' Pig!

Today I about lost my mind. What is the deal with these women, and I use that term loosely, veeeeeery loosely, who treat the (shared) restroom at work as though it's their own personal diorama of filth? I mean really! How hard is it to clean up after yourself?!?!

I have actually had to send an e-mail to all female members of the plant twice (twice!) explaining the general concept of be-nice-to-your-sisters in this area ... and there are only nine of us!

Twice, people! Not once, oh no! Two! Entirely! Separate! Times! Here's the e-mail I had to send last time (it embarrasses me to even have to admit it):

After having received, once again, a number of complaints about the condition of the 5th floor North ladies room, I feel the need to reiterate our general rules:

  • Pick up after yourself: this includes tissue, trash, or paper on the floor.

  • Wipe up after yourself: this includes splashes, hair, makeup, or soap around the sink and mirror.

  • If you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be neat and wipe the seat.

  • When you use the last Kleenex: 1) throw the empty box away, and 2) get a new box from the outer room to set on the set of drawers in the inner room.

  • When using the plant-provided feminine items in the drawers, close the drawer completely and throw the wrapper away … if you use the last item in the drawer, restock from the boxes in the outer room … if there are none left in the outer room, let me know so I can order additional supplies.

  • If necessary, leave the light on and fan running when you exit the Ladies Room.

  • Treat this shared space as though you are the next person who will be using it.
Thank you kindly for your attention to this matter ... it is greatly appreciated; please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Wow. Pretty rough set of rules, no? How ever will people live up to expectation? I actually shudder to think what these "ladies" bathrooms at home look like. Either they are ineffable filth jockeys, they think they're better than their peers, or they simply disdain those who clean up after them ... or some combination of the three.

This afternon was particularly bad. Once again I walked into a palpable wall of stench that fair knocked me on my ass before I could snap on the light/fan and execute an abrupt about-face to get the hell out of there (once it gets in your nose you're done for). I came thisclose to bellowing down the hall, "There's a fan in here for a reason, people!"

And that's the tamest example of the pit that has become our restroom. It generally looks like it's been stormed by a troop of howler monkeys fighting for supremacy with a family of rabid raccoons. Why can't you assholes clean up after yourselves? Sigh. I hate everybody.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

American Idol: Top 9, Music of Motown Week

One of my favorite music genre’s! Here’s how tonight’s performances shake out for me (not overall standings, mind you, just tonight’s):

Matt Giroud (Let’s Get it On) – 10 out of 10. I like Matt without the piano, too! I didn’t expect that. As a quick aside, I’m simply in awe of his piano skills … did you know he doesn’t read music? He’s a baby savant! And so cute and sexy and BAM!, that Voice. Yummy. Gonna iTune it.

Adam Lambert (Tracks of My Tears) – 10 out of 10. I know, right? Shocking! Loved the get-up and the set-up. The song selection was right up Adam’s vocal alley (what isn’t, really?). The sonuvagun nailed it. Adam just said, “Suck it, detractors!” with panache. Gonna iTune it.

Danny Gokey (Get Ready) – 9 out of 10. Like buttah. Okay, Danny gave me my asked-for frippery … now, back to that voodoo that he do so well. Brought it! Again! Baby! And there is something so endearing about his being such a big, gawky, goofball onstage, no? I make no excuses, Danny just does it for me. Gonna iTune it.

Anoop Desai (Ooh, Baby Baby) – (9 out of 10). I like it! Anoop staged a big comeback last week, and has just solidified it with this performance … and did you see how he sang directly to me? Lovely. Gonna iTune it.

Kris Allen (How Sweet it is) – (8 out of 10). Solid job. Not the best song to show off Kris’ skills, but he definitely did it justice. Sweet, sweet, vocals. Gonna iTune it.

Allison Iraheta (Papa Was a Rolling Stone) – (8 out of 10). She has such an awesome voice, so why doesn’t she appeal to me? This makes me crazy! I so want to like Allison, even love her, especially with Megan’s slow, boring, fizzle … but it’s like Yukon Cornelius would say; “Nuthin!” (Or was that, “Bumbles bounce!”? Anyway, that said, tonight’s performance was terrific! Gotcha, didn’t I?

Michael Sarver (Ain’t too Proud to Beg) – (7 out of 10). One of my all-time favorite songs; it was very difficult for me not to sing along so I could actually hear Michael (okay, I admit it … I had to rewind it). It was better than okay, but not knock-my-socks-off. My problem is that I’ve heard so many better versions than this, I’m probably not being fair in my assessment of Michael. Hence, it was just better than okay; not ground-breaking or get-out-of-my-seat-and-move. Then I remember, Michael’s had the flu all week! Well, hell … then he rocked this puppy!

Lil Rounds (Heatwave) – (7 out of 10). So has the chops! So chose the wrong song! This one is better for a group and didn’t allow Lil to showcase her mad vocal skills. It also seemed the fast pace got away from Lil at times, until she was able to reign it in, at which time she soared. I would have loved to have heard Lil sing Diana Ross’ “Reflections” … wouldn’t that have been awesome? Oh yeah, she'd have slayed that.

Scott McIntyre (You Can’t Hurry Love) – (6 out of 10). Slowed it way down to a ballad right out of the gate, then popped into it. I found myself wishing Scott had kept the slower pace and made the song his own. I think his vocals would have been well-suited to it. I would have liked to have seen what he could have done with that. In any case, I think what he wanted to do here was a little beyond his capabilities, so it was not great, and even a bit off-pitch at times.

Megan Joy (For Once in My Life) – (4 out of 10). Hugely, hugely, hugely disappointed with Megan’s song choice, which resulted in this wretched, horrible, screeching mess. I liked it that she changed it up a bit and actually moved around the stage, but Miss Megan is beginning to irritate my canker. She doesn’t take any chances and all the songs have the same hear-it-in-a-jukebox style. But that place where she accidentally yodeled was good snortworthy fun. In a nutshell, Megan is not living up to my expectations, and I’m, done with waiting.

I'm really thinking Megan will be saying goodbye tomorrow night. In fact, if it's anyone else I'll be surprised.

Monday, March 23, 2009

You Say "Meme" ...

I snicked this off byrneunit: Pick 15 of your favorite movies, then go to and find a quote from each. Post the quotes for everyone to guess.

No Googling, using IMDb search, or any other search functions!

  1. "Oi sir, what are you doing?"
    "Uh... trudging. You know, trudging? To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on."
    "Uhhh... were you robbed?"
    "Funny really, yes, but at the same time a huge resounding no. It's more of an … involuntary vow of poverty … really."
  2. "We'll I'm gonna be wearing some fashionable Kevlar."
    "Yeah, me too."
  3. "How can I trust a man who won't eat a good old-fashioned American hotdog?"
    "He's a vegetarian."
  4. "There's a girl in the garden."
    "In the garden, there is a girl."
  5. "What's wrong with you? What you screamin' for? Every 5 minutes there's somethin', a bomb or somethin'. I'm leavin'. bzzzz."
  6. "We’re gonna need a bigger boat."
  7. "She'll be back. Where else is she gonna find a guy like you?"
    "I don't know. Chernobyl?"
  8. "If I can't have you, can I have my gator?"
  9. "That was a hell of a thing."
  10. "I got to tell you, I give this whole thing a sphincter-factor of about nine point five."
  11. "He's too beautiful. He's too much twisted steel and sex appeal. I can't be with a guy that looks like I won him in a raffle."
  12. "Now have yourselves checked out with EMS on the other side of the hill before you leave."
  13. "Anyone who isn't dead or from another plane of existence would do well to cover their ears right about now."
  14. "Are you taking me to a hospital? Because I don't want to die in a hospital."
    "I'm not going to take you to a hospital."
    "WHAT? What do you mean you're not taking me to a hospital? I demand to be taken to a hospital!"
  15. "Snag it!"
    "Snag it?"
    "Yeah. Come on, snag it and put it in the bucket."
    "I've seen this movie, the black dude dies first. YOU snag it!"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Got Your Number, Caprefoli

Not being a morning person … at all … I need all the help I can get to arrive at work every day in as human-being a mood as possible. If it were up to me an 8-hour workday would include travel time, four weeks vacation a year would be mandatory, and there’d be a mid-week break.

I first discovered the sunshine-shot-to-the-soul benefits of a great morning radio show when I lived in northern NJ and listened to the “Big Show” on 95.5 WPLJ out of NYC, featuring Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill. Wow. They were terrific. They were my wake-up call for six years.

It’s not the music, you understand, it’s the camaraderie. It’s the joy of witnessing one entertaining conversation after another without having to contribute a darn thing. What a rush! And all the funny little bits … Todd’s prank calls to the friends and families of listeners who are in on the set-up, their merciless teasing of the affable Joe Nolan, Friday morning weekend blast-offs (Shake, shake, shake, senora, shake your body line! Shake, shake, shake, senora, shake it all the time!). All good, clean, fun requiring absolutely no brain-cell usage ... mmmmm, chocolate.

So when I moved to RI it was only to suffer through a year of morning radio show withdrawal doldrums. Oh, don’t get me wrong; Providence has plenty of stations, all doing their thing but, really … you try going from major market NY to a smaller market and tell me there’s no letdown. But I survived, and moved to MO where, I’m almost ashamed to admit, it took two tries and four years to find my new morning radio program love … the Johnny Dare Morning Show on 98.9 KQRC.

Upon arrival in the Kansas City area friends told me to give it a listen, and I hated, hated, hated it! This guy was an asinine, oafish, unfunny, callous, misogynistic tool … on his best days. I spent the next two years skipping all over the dial until I found a morning program I could live with (Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz on 96.5 KBRZ), which suited well for two years, then flatlined.

Out of shear desperation I tuned into Johnny Dare again, and a crazy thing happened … I liked it! He still has beleaguered boss/pal Bob Edwards, dum-dum baby sidekick T-Bone, musical parody genius (and long-time best bud and alarm clock) Federation of Horsepower’s Gregg Todt, longest term temp at a radio station and funniest judgmentally repressed woman in rock ‘n roll ever Carrie Coogan … and a new guy who, it turns out, is actually returned old guy Jake the Phone Snake, who spent two minutes in Anchorman and is the voice of reason on many occasions … not to mention "Sports in Your Shorts" own Leif Lisec, unpaid, unsung hero of a best sports guy ever… and Barger, unofficial mascot and Johnny’s canine son who comes to work daily and has been known to insert his vociferous two cents.

That second time around is when I discovered the shocking fact that Johnny Dare … is so money! This time I get it. He’s labeled a shock jock, but not so much. He’s a Harley riding, long-haired, socially conscious, easy going, down with his feminine side, live-and-let-live kind of guy who truly enjoys life.

Oh, he still does childish stunts, such as the Wheel of Misfortune, which is exactly what it sounds like: listeners come into the studio and spin the wheel for various prizes and/or misfortunes, such as having T-Bone feed them like a baby bird, or shaving off an eyebrow, or having a sledgehammer taken to their vehicle, all for the chance of another spin and/or prize (generally concert tickets or a key to the Harley Giveaway).

And FMK, which has listeners call in and decide who, from a list of three candidates, they’d eff, marry, and kill … if they match two of the Morning Show crew they win the prize in question (generally tickets). There’s the on-again Easter Keg Hunt, where teams of hunters search the Kansas City area in a full-on city-wide scavenger hunt for said keg (great fun to listen to on the radio). But he also does a number of very awesome things, for which he does not blow his own horn, which makes it all the better:

Bikers for Babies the March of Dimes annual Kansas City motorcycle ride (2009 will be the fifteenth year), which raised $630,000 last year, once again the highest individual ride tally in the nation, with hundreds of participants, all on motorcycles of some kind, tooling along the parade route. To date the Kansas City ride has raised more than $3.7 million for the March of Dimes.

Hope for the Holidays (it’s not a hand-out, it’s a hand-up): where listeners, many simply overlooked by conventional organizations, from Thanksgiving through Christmas either write or call in with their needs, and Johnny gets it on-air, then calls the petitioner for more specifics, and puts them together with other listeners who call in to help brighten their holidays.

You can tell how much it hurts to have to ask for help, and how much it heals to do the helping. There are many years where a contributor was a past recipient and, sadly, the other way ‘round. The amazing thing? Within minutes, minutes, what is needed has been found as the phone lines light up with listeners who want to help.

Overdue utilities are made current, toys and clothing are delivered for children, pantries are filled and food is put on the table. Building supplies are donated, as well as time and expertise to get the job done. Car payments are made, new tires are installed and balanced, and up to three month funds are set up so the bread-winners can get much-needed surgeries without worrying they’ll lose everything while in recovery.

This is something really and truly special in and of itself, but the most wonderful thing about it is that they always, always exceed their goals. Always.

Harley Giveaways, where, if you’re a Rockaholic, you also win the kickass car. This year the Harley is a brand new 2009 black Street Glide with a 96-inch motor and a radio/CD player built in, and the car is a brand new 2009 black Mustang GT 5-speed 315hp V-8.

Rockfest (15 bands, 2 stages, 1 day): the largest one-day rock concert in North America … last year we had STP, Saving Abel, Rev Theory, Shinedown, Theory of a Dead Man, Saliva, Chevelle, Trapt, Another Animal, and Red Line Chemistry, among others. And the water is free (can’t dehydrate the loyal listeners, now can we?). For $30. Or $19.98 if you were a Rockaholic. Hah! I can’t wait to see who we’ll have this summer.

What’s a Rockaholic? That’s a member of the club that gets first dibs on concert tickets, cheaper than every else, gets the car as well as the bike if s/he wins the giveaway, and receives regular e-mails detailing upcoming events. Okay, it’s a fan club, but what a club!

Don’t take my word for it, look Johnny and the crew up for yourself, at either or Or you can take a listen live here, any weekday morning from 6am to 10am Central.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Arrrgh, Politics

All right, most of you know I'm fairly conservative and did not vote for Barrack Obama in the election, but I have to say I am passing fed up with these expletive deleteds who complain President Obama isn't keeping his campaign promises.

Hello? Have you lived through a presidential election in the United States? Did you pay attention? I don't care who got your vote, he did not ... I repeat ... did not ... fulfill his campaign promises. He didn't even fulfill most of them. He barely fulfilled some of them, and none of those were the ones you really cared about.

What are we, collectively stupid? Every election is the same old same old ... promises to fix the world out the wazoo, until he gets into office and learns the reality of the situaton he just inherited. The mark of a true Man is how he then handles himself; does he blame the previous administration ad nauseum, or does he get over his bad self and get on with the job?

My jury's been out on President Obama ... not that I feel he's actively been a shit, but passively? Oh, please! The man has had ample opportunity to reign in his party members, but done nothing. It embarrasses me that the leaders of my country, which I truly believe is the greatest place on Earth to live, behave in such an immature manner. No wonder we're the sworn enemy and/or laughing stock of half the free world, damnit.

Today I got this in an e-mail, and just couldn't resist commenting. It’s supposed to be a guest column written in a newspaper late last year by retired professional Norma White:

You want change? Try these ideas

Each presidential candidate is giving his rendition of the changes he wants for America. Here are a few that I believe all Americans want.
  • Limit Congress from serving more than two terms. That is all that presidents are allowed. On the face of it not a bad idea, but they are elected officials, so howsabout we just continue to exercise our right to vote them out of office? Besides, I'll bet there are quite a few cases where the incumbent is the lesser of two evils.

  • Stop Congress from voting for their own raises. How did that ever get started? I have no idea whether or not this is true, but if it is, I'd like complementary perks, please.

  • Stop paying for lawmakers' high-priced insurance premiums. After all, they are only part-time employees. They might pass some law changes on the insurance companies, if they had to find one. Couldn't it then be said that anyone who's insurance is currently subsidized by his/her employer is guilty of overstepping the very same boundaries? I defy you to locate anyone who would accept a low-priced premium when offered a choice.

  • Stop paying lawmakers their full salary after serving just one term, or at retirement. We need to get rid of that pension plan; they've let other companies get rid of theirs. You were lucky to get 40 to 50 percent of your salary after working somewhere for 35 years, but they get 100 percent. Now I know this one isn't true ... there are all kinds of variables that go into determining pension payouts: age of retirement, years of service, etc.

  • Make Congress pay into the Social Security system. They make laws for it. If they spent some of their own money, they might be interested in making it solvent. Members of Congress do pay into Social Security ... as do many illegal aliens, seeing as employers are required to have documentation proving citizenship or visa status.

  • Stop handing out aid to illegal aliens. If we did, then Medicaid and the food stamp program would have enough money to aid the aged and the poor. The only illegal aliens getting Medicaid and food stamps are those who have falsified documentation ... and guess what? Plenty of bonafide citizens are doing the same.

  • Secure our borders. What a dumbass sentiment ... it cannot be done, people. If it could, we'd have done it already. China built a wall. Germany did, too. 'Nuff said.

  • Stop allowing babies born to illegal aliens in the United States automatic U.S. citizenship. What?!? Okay, this is actually the dumbass sentiment. What the hell makes one a U.S. citizen? Being born here! I ... oh ... I am speechless.

  • Stop the abuse of our benevolent welfare system. I know people who work in our welfare system and believe me, it ain't all that "benevolent". We feed children free meals three times a day until they are 17. Where? No place I've ever lived! Churches give away good, clean clothes. Churches give away good, donated, clothes ... and furniture, and automobiles, and all sorts of stuff that most people who don't need to get their stuff for free consider to be junk and wouldn't be caught dead with. Companies buy and donate school supplies. Yes, they do, and good on them! Have you seen the differences between public schools in the United States?!?! If you have, you should be ashamed. Ashamed! Emergency rooms provide health care at taxpayer expense and the food stamp program is buying food at home. So? I have a far bigger problem with nursing homes, police departments, and for-profit hospitals turfing the elderly, drunk, indigent, and uninsured to local federally funded emergency rooms. If that wasn't happening, we taxpayers would truly only be paying for actual emergent care, which is very, very, necessary. Regardless of your insurance status, if you don't have the information on you, or aren't able to communicate it, and wind up in the ER, they're going to treat you anyway, bubba, because that's what they do. That is their socal contract. What are parents doing for their children? Umm, would that be the single parent working two jobs just to keep her head above water? The couple working full time to pay the bills? The countless other situations of imperfection that rule this great nation? What aren't parents doing? Comparisons between raising children today and raising children even a decade ago are like comparisons between apples and hammers.

  • Have a computer program that cross checks Social Security numbers with fingerprints to stop fraud on many fronts. Use it on voter registration, too. Difficult to implement, seeing as it would be illegal (can't use SSN as identification) ... besides, even fingerprints can be faked these days. Let's just spit-check everyone, everywhere, for DNA analysis. What a fun time that would be, hawking for identification purposes!

  • Stop bailing out mortgage companies and banks that give loans to people who cannot afford them. But they didn't ... they bailed out businesses that, on paper, made legitimate decisions. It was, among other things, the initial mortgage-granters that fudged the numbers and/or provided false information. But I do believe the bailout should have been far more circumspect; I don't just hand over cash to anybody, restriction-free, so why should my government?

  • Stop companies from paying CEOs and other executives outrageous salaries and bonuses while doing away with workers' pensions. Why? When times are good, no one has a problem with outrageous bonuses, and they can't just "do away" with pensions; they can stop contributing and look to provide alternate options, but that doesn't mean they're allowed to keep what's already in the pension. That's just plain illegal (yes, I know it's been done, but not legally). The issue is failing businesses honoring bonuses before business committments, which is just sinful. Completely different scenario.

  • Stop all unnecessary spending so we will have the money for our nation's security, and to help needy and elderly Americans. A nice sentiment, but what do you suggest? These sweeping statements are always easy to make, but put your money where your mouth is and come up with a plan.

  • Stop permitting anyone to have a photo with their face covered on driver's licenses. Where the hell is this allowed? Or do you mean facial hair? If it's facial hair, how about having the photo updated annually to give a better rendition of how the person really looks?

Whoever wins the presidency will not be able to make these changes. Only members of Congress can do this, as they are the lawmakers. I don't believe Congress is interested in changing anything, do you? See, all this does is infuriate me. This type of simplistic rhetoric isn't part of the answer, its part of the problem. Most of this stuff Congress wouldn't be able to touch with a ten foot pole, anyway.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Weekly Idol: Top 10, Grand Ole Opry Week

While nobody rocked my world tonight, a couple came close. Here’s my take on tonight’s performances:

Matt Giraud (So Small) – 10 out of 10. I don’t know the song, and the audio cut out momentarily toward the middle, but wow! I loved it! Matt’s smooth, smoky, vocals are not to be dismissed. If possible, Matt gets better every week. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Anoop Desai (Always on My Mind) – 10 out of 10. OMF Goodness!!! Lovely serenade. Anoop is baaaack! The best thing? This performance was absolutely no disrespect to Willie Nelson, and was actually almost as good, in a thoroughly different style. Beautiful. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Daney Gokey (Jesus Take the Wheel) – 9 out of 10. Man, I melt when Danny starts to sing … I am seriously incapable of an unbiased opinion where this kid is concerned … but I’d like to hear some pure upbeat frippery next week. In this case I was very pleasantly surprised because as soon as I heard his song choice I thought, "No way." But I was wrong! I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Kris Allen (To Make You Feel My Love) – 9 out of 10. See how Kris’ talent just sneaks up on you? And I totally take back my "vapid" comment from last week. If Kris keeps this up he’s going to be in it for the long haul. Woo hoo! I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Megan Joy Corkrey (I Go Walkin’ After Midnight) – 8 out of 10. Still love her quirky vocals and style, but I thought she ran into some vocal problems where she seemed strained ... then found out she’s had the freakin’ flu … sheesh! Goes to show you; the kid has chops. I just wish she’d pick a modern song to really showcase her talents. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Michael Sarver (Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up) – 8 out of 10. Really good job on a tough-paced song, great interaction with his accompianist and the audience, just a few moments where he seemed out-of-breath (well, duh!) … very good job on a boot stompin’ song. Not different enough from Garth’s version to merit buying it, though.

Adam Lambert (Ring of Fire) – 7 out of 10. Ick! Gag! I’m sticking with my assessment that Adam is in a league of his own and just toying with us for his own amusement, he is so sick with talent … but it’s still not my bag, baby. Adam totally got his alt-rock on with this rendition, but, oh! Not Johnny Cash! The man is a LEGEND, what was Adam thinking?!? Grrrr-Arrggh.

Lil Rounds (Independence Day) – 7 out of 10. Started slow but picked it up as she went along. This either wasn’t the song, or the theme, for Lil ... or maybe she’s gone and caught Megan’s flu ... because she seemed to have been holding back. Or something.

Scott McIntyre (Wild Angels) – 6 out of 10. Not his best, but that croon! The song itself doesn’t say much, nor lend itself to very imaginative interpretation with its repetitiveness, so it did nothing to showcase Scott’s emotional range, which may prove disastrous in the voting. Scott should sing something that truly speaks to him next week that will reel me back in.

Allison Iraheta (Blame it on the Heart) – 6 out of 10. Still with the kick-ass vocals. Ditto the emotion of a stump. Allison simply needs seasoning; right now she sings (exceedingly) well, but doesn’t yet “own” it (although she is picking up playing-to-the-audience skills). The difference between Allison and Scott is that I know he has the ability, but have yet to see it from her.

Alexis Grace (Jolene) – 4 out of 10. Two ho-hum weeks in a row for Alexis; this time it was the song choice. Brooke White did such a great job last season, and Dolly’s version is the absolute ultimate … Alexis just didn’t change it up enough to impress, and really didn’t utilize those superb vocals of hers until way late in the song. Too bad, really, because I like her.

Based on tonight’s performances alone, I’d say Scott, Allison, and Alexis are in trouble.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Long/Short Weekend

Early last week I dropped by the vet to discuss my Joey situation … I’d rather they come out to the house when its time to put him to sleep, because I don’t relish the thought that the last thing I do with him will be to get him all worked up with a car trip behind enemy lines. But they don’t make house calls to euthanize, and I wonder why not? I’d think it a great investment; wouldn’t most pet-owned much prefer such a non-stressed-filled option for the end? So I’ve been referred elsewhere, and here I am, hoping he just drifts away in his sleep …

Anyway, Joey has now officially been put on the k/d prescription diet … and he loves it. I put out half a can … he devours it in about three seconds (tickle me pink, he’s eating with gusto!) … I top off with the rest of the can … it’s gone by morning. These frigging cans are $38/case … that’s $1.58/can! Sheesh! Wish I had stock.

But that’s not why it’s a long/short weekend. It’s a long/short weekend because I had that tooth pulled Friday. The appointment was for 3pm … I was finally allowed through the waiting room doors into the inner bastion of oral surgery at 4pm … yep, got to cool my heels in the (jam packed full) waiting room an hour. An hour! WTF?! Why is it that doctor’s offices are endlessly complaining about people showing up late to appointments when they continue to insist on over-scheduling? Screw them!

Okay, so I’m led through the doors into the inner sanctum, which is a giant half-circle with surgical stalls radiating out like the spokes of a wheel. We walk to the right, past the receptionist station, the supply room, the doctor’s offices, the break room, the rest rooms, and the records room, to the last of the surgical stalls, then proceed all the way around the giant half-circle back to the 2nd stall in from the door we just entered. I stopped and glared at the nurse, pointed to the door, and asked, “Isn’t that the door to the waiting room?”

She looked at me in confusion, “Yes?” I laughed in her face. She figured me out, though, “We don’t like to walk patients by active surgeries … it can be upsetting, so we walk them around.” She totally had me there, and was kind enough not to add that it was none of my business what was going on in the next stall and for goodness sake they try to give people a little privacy, missy lookiloo. Nice kid.

So in comes my doctor, the same one who removed my wisdom tooth back in April, and he’s not happy I’m going with a local this time. I finally had to shut him up with the old “I have no transportation” excuse. All these concerns that while I won’t feel any pain there will be pressure and am I sure I can handle feeling the pressure and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah? All the while I’m thinking, “Yep, he’s never been to a gynecologist.” Talk about “pressure”!

I get it that he’s probably had far more patients who thought they could handle an extraction under local than who actually could. But I, grand winner (to date) of six teeth with root canals (one that had the root canal performed three times!), seven teeth with crowns, and two cracked teeth that require crowns, can, indeed, handle it. Bring it on!

I’d prefer Septocaine, but they don’t use it, so in goes the Lidocaine. In my experience getting the shot is generally more painful than the actual dentistry. This time was no different. The needles to the outside of my jaw weren’t so bad, but the ones to the roof of my mouth? Whoa, nelly! Ouch!

As an aside, why is it that I flinch when getting a shot in the arm from a physician, but have no trouble at all when a dentist pulls out the big guns (have you seen the size of those needles?!?!)? Those always hurt. Always, always, always, but I don’t remember a “regular” shot ever hurting. Weird, huh?

Anyway, after a few minutes in comes doc with a couple assistants … all lined up to grab yours truly in case of sudden escape plans. He turns my head to the side, sticks something into the tooth (and yes, I could definitely feel the pressure). He had that puppy out in less than five minutes. The nurse plugs a wad of gauze into the hole, gives me a set of instructions and prescriptions for antibiotics and Darvocet, and I’m off. I stopped to fill the prescriptions on my way home, and we are finally at the reason for my long/short weekend.

My mouth hurts. A lot. It feels like the tooth is still there, and someone has it in the grip of pliers and is slowly unscrewing it from my jaw. Backwards. While pouring fire on it. I know it’s just the nerve endings, but sheesh! All three of those teeth have had root canals … there’s not a living bit of tooth up there. All this pain is in/from the gum. I did not expect this. So I’m taking the Darvocet. Which knocks me on my ass. I am a pain-killer lightweight. I take a half-dose and am lights-out within 30 minutes.

So it’s been a long weekend because I’m bored and my mouth hurts, but a short weekend because I keep losing four hour chunks of time. Work will be fun tomorrow. I can’t take the Darvocet until I get home. I’ll either be fine, or stark-raving mad, by the time afternoon rolls around.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weekly Idol: Top 11, Michael Jackson Week

Here’s how I ranked the gang this week (the guys really outperformed the gals to my mind). I just wish someone would teach this crew how not to blow into their mics!

Matt Giraud (Human Nature) – 10 out of 10. Fantastic!! Love him! Just the fall on the line, “tell ‘em that it’s human nature” was so splendiferously melodious. Yummy. I rewound and watched three times! He puts me in mind of Ben Affleck, looks-wise. Cutie-patootie to boot! I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Daney Gokey (P.Y.T – Pretty Young Thing) – 9 out of 10. Seriously fun … the Energizer Bunny of the night. I am deep in the throes of mad love for Danny; he totally got me with the change-up at the beginning – loved it! And how he plays to the audience? Nice. “Let me take you to the max!” I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Michael Sarver (You Are Not Alone) – 9 out of 10. How thrilled am I the big lug scored a slam dunk? Very!! This is just what I was looking for out of Michael … to put his money where his mouth is, and he did! This is exponentially better than last week. Now I know why he’s in it. Just to sing this song. To me. “And girl you know that I’ll be there.” I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Adam Lambert (Black or White) – 8 out of 10. Adam’s not my kind of singer, but there’s no denying he’s by far the most arena-ready of the gang. I’m thinking he’d be great as the lead singer in a stadium band that goes the full monty on pageantry, y’know? A modern take on Queen or Journey … something like that.

Lil Rounds (The Way You Make Me Feel) – 8 out of 10. Hella voice, great play to the audience, song was just okay. Lil’s got such a great voice and presence; she’s going to make it or break it on song choice alone, and this song was beneath her talent.

Allison Iraheta (Give in to Me) – 8 out of 10. Holy guacamole, this kid is terrific! Love her voice, but the song choice? Meh (shrug). Astonishing talent nonetheless.

Kris Allen (Remember the Time) – 8 out of 10. Surprised you here, didn't I? Well, I really like his voice, but he does have the potential to become this season’s Jason: man-child of the vapid daze. This song did nothing for me because the backing vocal track didn’t match what Kris was trying to do. The fact that he could pull it off at all speaks volumes for his musical potential, though. The guitar was unnecessary, but no distraction … seemed more like a security blanket than anything else.

Scott McIntyre (Keep the Faith) – 7 out of 10. Here's the thing; I actually don’t know this song, but I thoroughly enjoyed Scott’s rendition of it; he was able to make this unfamiliar song interesting and was fully comfortable with the run-outs. Good, solid performance.

Alexis Grace (Dirty Diana) – 6 out of 10. Oh no! Horrible, awful, awful song choice! It’s just a shrieking mess on the best of days. Alexis did very well (love that soulful growl of hers) until it ran away with her at the end.

Megan Joy Corkrey (Rockin’ Robin) – 6 out of 10. Still love her voice/style, but not a great song choice … so safe! All it did was bring to mind the jukebox at Arnold’s in Happy Days, or a Debbie Fisher sing-along in some old musical.

Jorge Nunez (Never Can Say Goodbye) – 6 out of 10. Very smooth voice, but this song selection made him sound like a lounge singer on a cruise ship, or someone on an easy-listening radio station.

Anoop Desai (Beat It) – 4 out of 10. Poor Anoop, I thought it was almost a solid performance: his voice cracked a couple times and he seemed a little nervous. But I also think to sing this particular song well the contestant would have had to have made significant style changes, much like David Cook last season, to move it away from how Michael Jackson sings it, because ain’t nobody can sing it like Mike … to try is just karaoke imitation.

Jasmine Murray (I’ll Be There) – 3 out of 10. Terrific voice, but another who’s song choice hurt her. This time because it’s too bubble-gum. Yes, it showed off her range, but there was absolutely no emotional connection. Another karaoke performance.

I’d be surprised if the two to get voted off don’t come from the last four on this list (Megan, Jorge, Anoop, and Jasmine). we'll see tonight.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Weekly Idol: Top 12 … er … 13 ... Baker’s Dozen!

Because I know you're hanging on the edge of your seat wanting to know, here's how la isla stands on AI's remaining contestants:

Daney Gokey (Hero) – WOO HOO!! Rock on! I love, love, love this guy! Every time he sings I get goosebumps. Killer.

Lil Rounds (Be Without You) – I don’t know this song, but what a treat! And Lil injected some fun with “call this show if you just can’t be without me”.

Matt Giraud (Who’s Loving You) wildcard pickawesome! Especially after his take on Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida”, which was awful (he tried to make it too upbeat). Matt’s got that bluesy kind of voice I just love.

Alexis Grace (Never Loved a Man) – where the hell did this voice come from? Wow! I did not expect that!

Adam Lambert (Satisfaction) – not my favorite interpretation of this song; it almost seemed like Adam was trying to make it more Southern Rock; but he has one helluva vocal range … I’d love to hear him take on Meatloaf.

Megan Joy Corkrey (Black Horse & a Cherry Tree) wildcard pick – I am blown away by her voice, and think she’s adorably awkward on stage (can’t dance, just jerks around a bit, flapping her arms). I liked her “Put Your Records On”, too (that one should have got her through!).

Scott McIntyre (Mandolyn Rain) – I don’t know what the big deal is when Scott’s not behind the piano; I think he’s terrific either way! Scott’s voice carries such emotion. It felt like he was telling a story with this performance … lovely, actually brought a tear to my eye.

Anoop Desai (My Prerogative) surprise wildcard pick – vocals started poorly but improved, and he really drew the audience in with his showmanship, making it a very fun experience. I really liked it.

Jorge Nunez (Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me) – I couldn’t give a pickled pigs foot about his accent … he’s got the chops to sing Elton John! And sing it well! Whew!

Jasmine Murray (Reflection) wildcard pick – another song I don’t know, but Jasmine sang it like a pro; she has such a pretty voice, and hits the high notes very well, but she’s a little breathy … she needs a little work with a voice coach, I think, because she had the same problem with “Love Song”.

Allison Iraheta (Alone) – I’m amazed she’s only 16! Allison has that Rock voice that kicks ass!

Kris Allen (Man in the Mirror) – it’s not my favorite song, pretty boring really, but this kid can carry a tune and did a great job with it, getting better as the song progressed.

Michael Sarver (I Don’t Wanna Be) – just okay. Based on his performances so far, Michael is lucky to be here, but how can you not love the big lug?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

So Far, So Good

Having been sucked into the AI world for the first time last season (I tuned in because there was supposed to have been a girl from RI, and stuck around because I got hooked on David Cook, who turned out to be the son of a friend of a friend), I decided to give it a go this year as well, starting with the auditions (didn’t catch them last year because all the hype painted them as excruciating to witness: so not my thing).

Anyway, some of my favorites made it through (yippee!), but some didn’t:

Rose Flack (Never Loved a Man) – her rendition of this song was perfection, but the poor kid fell apart … I hope she tries again next year.

Ju’Not Joyner (Hey There Delilah) – really would like to hear him sing more; his audition of Elton John’s “the Blues” was, dare I say it, awesome!

Mishavonna Henson (Drops of Jupiter) – great vocals, style, and personality, period … I have no earthly idea why she didn’t make it through.

Kai Kalama (What Becomes of the Brokenhearted) – whiskey-soaked vocals, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” is one of my all-time favorites, and he rocked it at the auditions.

Kristin McNamara (Give Me One Reason) – helluva voice, viciously picked on by judges, a little dense, but has definite potential.

Nick Mitchell (And I am Telling You) – horrible and campy, but I’d love to see him take this seriously and show us what he has … his "Amazing Grace" during the auditions showed a glimpse of true talent.

And my absolute least favorite, who thankfully did not make it through:

Tatiana Del Toro (Saving All My Love for You) – [groan] do not get me going on this trainwreck … her theatrics ruined her chances … too bad, because judging by the one song she performed repeatedly (er, ad nauseum), she can really sing (this one song, at least) … but she was exhausting, and I would have stopped watching until she was voted off; that’s how annoying I found her.

Finally, although I didn't think he was one of the best, he was very, very good:

Von Smith (You're All I Need to Get By) – terrific ... normally I'd not have followed him, but it turns out he's a local (even more so than David Cook was), and I would have supported him all the way through because of that ... it would have been great fun, I think.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

That Bastard Ray

So, a gazillion years ago … okay, fifteen years ago, when I lived in NJ … I had a root canal done on one of my first molars (#14, for those in the know). This not having been my first root canal, I knew what to expect, and all went well for about five years.

Then … oh joy, oh rapture … it got infected. Have you ever had an infected tooth? OUCH!! There’s no place for your face to swell. It started out as this funny little maybe tooth-ache, but only when I bit down hard. A good friend insisted I go to the dentist immediately (having experienced her own tooth infection recently).

I went, and he confirmed that puppy was infected (perhaps having to peel me off the ceiling when he “tested” the sensitivity of the tooth in question was an indication of potential problem), so maxed me out on antibiotics and vicodin. “WOW!!” is all I can say about my first experience with vicodin. Did you know it’s not a pain killer? I didn’t! I was amazed by this little pill … it didn’t make the pain go away, I just didn’t care! How does that happen?!?

Anyway, after the course of antibiotics my dentist (the same one who had done the original root canal … back then your “regular” dentist used to do the work, not refer you out) re-did the root canal. He said he discovered some “live root” that must have “re-grown” after the initial work. Really? Mer.

In any case, Dr. Doesn’t-Know-His-Ass-From-His-Elbow performed his/my tooth’s second root canal through the crown. The very expensive crown. The crown that made it look like a perfect tooth that had never had work. The crown that protected the tooth from future harm. The crown that my insurance would not replace, and that I was too nice (back then) to force Dr. DKHAFHE to replace out of his own damned pocket, expense-wise.

Fast forward two years. I now live in MO. The very same tooth is infected … again. Sigh. I go to a new dentist, who insists it is impossible for a tooth that has had a root canal to get infected. Even after I explained everything; she couldn’t see anything on the ex-ray, and made it perfectly clear she was simply humoring me with a prescription of antibiotics. Which, thankfully, cleared up the infection.

Move ahead three more years. That very same $!#@&%\ tooth is infected AGAIN!! I drag my sorry ass to yet another dentist, Dr. Eager-to-Please, who takes one look in my mouth, runs up a couple ex-rays, prescribes mega-antibiotics, and refers me to an endodontist, like, yesterday (I really like this new dentist!).

Dr. Sexy-Young-Endodontist (bonus!!) is flabbergasted when he looks at the ex-rays, takes some of his own, and shows me my mouth on a computer screen (no looking at dinky little 1.5” squares for him!). He cannot believe the damage done to my alveolar process and palatine bones, which are full of holes made by the numerous repeated infections. Holes which make my face extremely unstable (insert dumbass joke here ... go ahead, you know you want to). Holes which would allow my cheek to disintegrate if I were hit in the face with … oh, I don’t know … anything!

He tells me I’ve had far more than three infections in there, and probably lost feeling at some point. He also confirms I have four roots on the tooth in question, and Dr. DKHAFHE missed the entire extra root not once, but both times he did a root canal on that tooth. Also, Dr. SYE questioned the possibility that any “live root” could have “re-grown” after the initial work.

So, Dr. SYE has to perform the third root canal on this tooth. And clean up the gross infection around it, which mostly consisted of necrotic tissue. Yeah, that’s right! I had dead tissue in me!! Eeeeeew, gross!! But it’s done, and two rounds of antibiotics later, all is well that ends well … or is it?

Sort of ... the effing crown has come off twice since then, and the last time (a year or so ago), Dr. ETP advised me there was precious little post left to re-attach the crown, and next time ... because there certainly will be a next time ... we'll not be able to put it back. And that's the case. Crown came off Friday night as I was brushing before night-nights, and now I have to have the root system removed and either bridgework or an implant. I just know I'll have a full set of dentures in my q-tip years.

In any case, it was these repeated infections of #14 that allowed that bastard Ray to get his foot in my door, and he has been kicking my ass in one way or another these almost five years since. Most recently was yesterday. I had my quarterly check-up Friday (quarterly to ensure no med-related liver damage has cropped up). They invariably result in a phone call within a couple days telling me my blood test results are in and I’m good to continue with my meds. But yesterday I got the message that my blood test results were in and I needed to call the doctor.

What!?!?! Why!?!? What is it?!?!? Is my liver failing?? Do I have (gasp!) "funny" cell growth?? I don’t know … because it’s after 5pm and no one will answer the effing phone!!! I can’t tell Mom, my usual sounding board, because she and Dad are on vacation and like hell am I going to rain on that parade. WAH! But I thought I was in remission!! Last time I was thisclose to remission, and Dr. Awesome (my bastard Ray doctor) said if my results this time and next are the same, then it’s official and I’m in remission. In fact, we’ll titrate down on bastard Ray meds in that case. Woo to the Hoo!!

But this … this … this message!!! Erk, I had to wait until today. So, the first time I call I’m put on hold almost ten minutes before I have to hang up and go to a meeting. Second time I call no one ever answers (it’s a busy office). Third time’s the charm: I get through and don’t have to wait long. My worries are (almost) for naught! Sigh of relief. I am most certainly not in remission, but also not having any liver/cell issues … just a re-elevated sed rate, which means no titrating back on the bastard Ray meds for now.

But lest you fret: I will go into remission, and I will titrate down on these frigging bastard Ray meds, and we will all live happily ever after. It will just be a little while longer. Patience, patience.
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