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Letters to Nowhere

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Happy Birthday to me... (Red Clover)

The past few days I've had a run of nonsensical songs from my childhood running through my head.

Comet! It makes your teeth turn green. Comet!! It tastes like Gasoline. Comet! It makes yo... ah Never mind.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Thoughts at forty-three

I celebrated my birthday today, and although far from my family, it's comforting to know that they think of me on this day. I recently received such consideration from my sister and mother, in the form of a huge box in the mail. It had cookies, presents, and books to denote my getting a year older.

I also received the standard morbid e-card from my best friend; A Grim Reaper holding a piece of birthday cake, bless his heart. The cake looked remarkably like the cheese cake that I got at the local restaurant where I enjoyed a quiet dinner tonight.

Despite the distance from those I love, especially the wife and son, and daughter whose best wishes tonight I cherish most, I am not feeling discontented like I usually do with birthdays. I feel remarkably lucky. A wife who loves me. A new son with whom I look forward to getting to know. A family who thinks of me on this day. A daughter, who's success at school, work, and life makes me so proud. That, and the fact that despite being more absent then I should have been, MY GIRL still talks to me, and says I love you. I'm proud of you, Nikita, and bless your very presense in the world. Your success and love are a wonderful present. To my wife, I miss you, and look forward to you being here with our son.

Fine birthday gifts, indeed.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Old People are SNEAKY

aka "I got played like a chess set" or as I like to think of it.. "Age Before Beauty"

My landlord is an older woman in her early 70's. We have a very good, friendly relationship. When one of us is going to the grocery store we'll often call and see if the other needs something; a loaf of bread, toilet paper, etc.

She got me good one night. She called close to midnight (not unusual we are both night owls). She asks if I've been to the store lately. I tell her no, but that I DO need toilet paper.

Then she check-mates me:
Well since you're going to the store tonight anyway, will you pick me up something?

Wow.. I was so stunned by that truly masterful move that I'm stammering.
Uh.. Well.. Uh.. Yeah sure.

I call my husband back and tell him I'm going to the store. I explain why and give a rueful laugh.
Sneaky, Sneaky, Sneaky....

Cookies and Manliness

My wife of four months has a complex relationship with her family, and a sometimes uneasy relationship with mine. At least, certain members of it. This is a problem that has caused bitter discussions, as regular readers might know. It almost caused some hard thinking on her part on the idea of marriage, I expect. Still and all, we DID marry, happily. For that I am grateful. However, there are certain aspects of my relationship with my own family that must be as foreign to her as the very country she'll be moving to.

I am the youngest of my siblings, and although I am going to be forty-three this weekend, I still get somewhat spoiled. Now, granted, being the youngest child in a family does cut into your credibility. Sometimes, if engaged in a family discussion, I get looked upon as if my having an opinion is cute, at best, or seen-but-not-heard at worse. I still work at it, despite the problems that I might endure in regards to my impact on family dynamics.

Still and all, there are benefits.

Today, I received a rather large package that my sister and mother sent me....for my birthday. This file box contained such things as a coffee machine, coffee grinder, Starbucks coffee (not available here, unless you drive for twelve hours south), three novels, some pictures and cigarettes. Best of all, I got three containers of my mother's cookies. Now, I tell you, there is nothing better than Mom's cookies (No, your mom's aren't better, give your head a shake!). I do get indulged; no other kid gets cookies in my family, I'm pretty lucky. Peanut, chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies. Just lovely with the coffee they sent.

Now, I talk to my wife on the phone daily; this is the contact we have to maintain, given our current distance apart. It's not enough, but we get by. I tell her with some excitement what I got in the package, and I'm getting a less than excited response, for whatever reason. I suppose I understand this. However, she makes the point that, when she and her son move up, these packages might not come as often, or at all, as they realize that we make our own family circle. I have to joke and say " look, you don't HAVE to come up. That way, I could at least still get cookies! Or you could make them." She doesn't bake.

I ask her if she is upset with me getting a CARE package from home. I get the impression from her manner that I might be too old for such things. She insists she doesn't. I get defensive.

"Just because my mom sends me cookies, doesn't mean I'm not a man!!!"


That sets us off for fifteen minutes. Coffee was spit. Breath was lost. A lot of heeheeheeheeheehee. We must have sounded demented. Sometimes I can really blunder. Ah, well, I got mom's cookies. And I don't have to share. Yet.

Friday, February 16, 2007


One thinks that, on a glorious Sunday off (note, my job gives me Mondays and Tuesdays off; work with me...) on a long weekend (I took an extra day for overtime worked; I can do that), one can sleep in, think happy thoughts, and consider breakfast in an idle fashion. Then the phone rings. Dentist office. " Good morning! (cheery voice, Glad to be alive voice: uh huh, kill main destroy...) you're on our ASAP list; are you available for your extraction at 1.30 pm?

Tooth extraction, sure, be right down. Wisdom tooth, too. Should be fun! I'd have to wait for a month, otherwise. May as well go get this done.

I have an hour to make this trip. I show up after going to the wrong office, wasting half an hour in transit, and twenty bucks in cab fare. I get shown in to the office, and into the chair. There's a large tray, with a collection of vicious looking implements, and a cheery dentist. One who thinks things are just fine with the world. Here we go.

I won't go into detail as to the noise of the drill, or the grinding sound of the pliers (they DO use some kind of pliers, I noticed). Or the one time the dentist went '' OOPS!!", never a good sign from a qualified practitioner of orthodontia. Suffice it to say that I spent an hour and a half watching 'No fear' with that Osbourne kid on the ceiling television, repeatedly humming a Steppenwolf song, much to the delight of the assistant. ''You're such a GREAT patient!" Uh huh.

All this, while my head and jaw is jerked repeatedly back and forth, clamps grind into my tooth, instruments poke and prod my gums (not that I can feel it; not until later), and the dentist continually says ''Are you okay? Are you okay?" At the end, they had to leave a small bit of root in the gum, as it was jammed up against another tooth. This, they said, SHOULD be absorbed into the bone. Good thing, as they had to take out a chunk of jaw to remove the impacted tooth.

I've never had so much fun!!! Really! Dentists are not the horror for me that they are for some people. I think it's downright neato, when they go in for things like extractions or fillings. And I got left with a gaping hole in my gums, which is sort of neato, too. I got a full, and ongoing, description of what they were doing in there, which I find fascinating.

I even got to keep the tooth.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Shark Man!

This mornings serious question from my 10 year old son.

Son: Why do women love it when guys dress up in a shark suit?

Me: WHAT? Is this a joke?

Son: No really I wanna know.

Me: Why do you ask? Where'd you hear that?

Son: You know! (making an exasperated sound like I must be dense) Mom! I know you know the song. It's the one that goes "Every girls crazy bout a SHARK dressed man"

ZZTop.. Of course. Why didn't I instantly think of that. *Sigh..

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Monkey Turds.. G Forces, and aCat

Though not always in that order; I give you:

My son hates it when I teasingly call our cat his sister. I justify it by asking him "Do I take care of, feed, and give her medicine when she's sick?" He grudgingly says yes.. "So I act like her mom, AND she's been around 4-5 years longer than YOU?" The laughing grunt: Yes... "Am I your mom?" Eye roll and a sigh.. YES, BUT that doesn't make her my sister.

G-forces, Discipline:

It's a private joke, much like when I was getting my hair cut and he was getting restless. I called him over and said (in a normal tone and volume) "Please don't make me kill you in front of all these witnesses." His lips twitched, "Yes ma'am" He sat down and behaved.

The woman cutting my hair about ruptured something trying not to laugh until he was in a seat in the waiting room. She then exposed me, as near as I can tell, to roughly the same G forces as an astronaut heading out of orbit as she spun my chair around so she could face away from my son and finally release her pent up laughter. She said it was rare to find a well behaved child that understood the concept of cause and effect. I pointed out he wasn't dead yet; she noted his unspectacular lack of fear. We then laughed and joked about some of the undisciplined heathens we've seen. But I digress....

I've had my cat for 13-14 years. I've spent a good bit of time lately worried she was/may be having off and on kidney failure. Her breath and saliva (you know cats lick themselves clean right? *shudder*) have been disgustingly rank. Even sitting in my lap the odor of.. well... um... it's a bit like... No it's exactly like unwashed, dirty ASS drifts up in a cloying cloud of funk.

I've figured it out! It's the food. I've bought this type of food for her before because (duh) she's an indoor cat. I never just change food. I always mix the new and old to ease stomach problems. Yeah. I put it all together this last time. Holy Crap! Her breath has been knocking soap scum off the tub for 3 days! I've been using the indoor food for .. HELL.. THREE days.

Is there a connection? I immediately , and I do mean right that second) stopped mixing in the indoor food and just continued the normal Purina senior formula. Holy smokes.. less than 12 hours later I can stand to have her within 3 feet of me!

I swear now that her breath and body doesn't smell like rotting rabid monkey turds I don't mind her being in my lap but she's taking it to extremes. She has responded by attaching herself to my thighs with some odd molecular glue. I can stand all most completely upright and she's still sleeping peacefully. Really NASA should study her.

It defies science and gravity. Now I understand religious folk.. You don't need science! You just have to feel the anti-gravity cat in action in your life... then you just believe.

Why I changed pharmacies

After the last .. um service I received, I called the 800 complaint line for the company. I explained what had gone on the last time I was in the store.

The corporate representative I spoke to was.. to be honest.. speechless. She stumbled her way through an apology, advised me she had never personally heard of an "event" that disrespectful, and (her words) "possibly illegal". It's as illegal as HELL in the US to release ANY type of medical information to anyone other than a spouse without written permission, unless we're talking a minor then it can only be given to a parent/legal custodian/child protective services.

She promised me that the owner of that franchise would call me within 72 hours to discuss "what could be done to assure I was a satisfied customer". I truthfully explained to her that YES I wanted to speak with them. But that I'd never again enter the door of that location, and most likely never that company, regardless of location. Ehem, I didn't mention that I was moving out of the country soon... and so wouldn't have to worry about it anyway. I felt that would undermine my point.

She was good; I'll give her that. She could fake sincerity like few I've ever seen. I was impressed. I told her I'd consider my options in the future. The reality is I won't.

I've already registered our insurance information with a major chain-type pharmacy 25 miles away. I just filled 4 prescriptions costing $100 there. They have a drive-through! I've not used them more than once or twice in the past because they were horribly out of my way. But.. truth to tell the "doc in a box" (after hours urgent care, not quite enough for the emergency room.. but you still need {or think you do} a doctor RIGHT NOW) is only a few miles from them, and I have to pass them on the way back from our regular family doctor's office. From work it's only 5 - 10 miles out of the way. No matter... HELLO NEW PHARMACY!!

I've not heard from the owner of the "now defunct" pharmacy yet, but I'm curious as HELL to find out what tact they take, and how they plan to smooth things over. They can't NOT call. I have a valid reason to sue. I wont do it, but they don't know that. They will call.

More Horrible Analogies and Metaphors found in High School Essays (first installment):

  1. "Oh, Bruce, take me!"she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on a $1-a-beer night.
  2. Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.
  3. She was as easy as the TV Guide crossword.
  4. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.
  5. Her voice had that tense, grating quality, like a generation thermal paper fax machine that needed a band tightened.
  6. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.
  7. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
  8. The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the full stop after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Am I Over-reacting?

Ok .. Ok.. Background history. My son has a problem with his attention span in school. He's been on Adderall for quite some time to help treat it. After a week of really nasty side effects (hallucinations: he saw dead people in the bathroom, and a man in black with a knife in my bedroom.. oh and the shirt in the closet that had sprouted an eye.. All in my fully lit room bedroom tucked in next to me) we got his dosage right. And it's helped immensely.

I've gone to the same pharmacy for the last several refills of his medication. Last month they didn't have quite enough pills to refill it "properly" but I knew I could divide the dose if I HAD to. (I'm moving out of the country soon and my pediatrician and I have discussed what impact the move might make in my ability to fill his prescription and find a new doctor in Canada to continue it)

So we made due, at 1/2 his normal dose for the last month.

OK tonight I went to fill his refill and my prescription for Wellbutrin, an antidepressant. I've been having some trouble adapting to life where I'm married but can't see, touch, smell, or fornicate (hey! It's no longer fornication.. woo - hoo) with my husband.

I dropped the Rxs off 3 hours before hand. I get back to the store and ask for our medication.

Long story short:

They didn't have enough of my son's medication to fill it. I asked why not; I explained last month. She said she'd order more.

I said, " I can't believe you still don't have enough to fill it. My son's been on 1/2 doses since last month. That means he's good at school but at home he's a little.......um intense"

There were at least 6 - 8 feet between us. There were ALSO three customers behind me.

The Pharmacist said, " I guess that explains your antidepressants, huh?"

Pure cold shock kept my normally acidic sarcastic tongue dead in my mouth.


WHAT THE HELL? I've got the 800 complaint number for this location. I've also gotten the store phone number. Tomorrow I'm going to call the manager and confirm the name of the Pharmacist. Then I'm calling corporate. Then I'll probably be calling the APhA.

My personal medical treatment had/has been told to everyone around me. Not to mention the derogatory tone of her statement for both my son's and my illnesses.

What if my son had been there? What if I was involved in a messy divorce and someone that knew my (hypothetical) husband had been there? What if my boss had been there?

She had NO right to make that statement out loud in a voice that could reach 6 - 8 feet.