In 2nd Grade, I was horsing around and running in the classroom (when I shouldn’t have been) and I bonked my head into Sam’s head as he was walking into the room. I broke my front left incisor. Number 9, I think the dentists call it.

It was a diagonal break, so they did this thing where they put a crown on it and I was pleased to wear a crown for the next 35 years or so.

Well, starting around 3 years ago, good old Number 9 (and Number 10!) started giving me more and more and more problems. It culminated in a trip to the dentist on Tuesday where they gave me laughing gas.

And while under the gas, I found myself wondering about a prison that was so good at being a prison that the people in it didn’t know that they were prisoners. The guards surrounding the prison might have known that they were guards once, but that knowledge was lost to time as well (this doesn’t mean that they *STOP* being guards… just that they’ve stopped being conscious of the fact that they’re guards). So you had a prison that didn’t know it was a prison, no longer policed by guards who knew that they were guards, and there was no proper “in” or “out” because the prisoners didn’t even see the walls boxing them in.

And then I thought how would you get a message to one of the prisoners in this prison without letting the guards who didn’t know they were guards catch on? I thought that one way would be to put a message in a book. The guards might flip through the book at the border, but they wouldn’t *READ* it. The prisoners would read it because they didn’t have anything better to do and, when they got to the paragraph, it would hook them because it was written just for them.

Then I thought that, well, maybe the guards would catch one of those paragraphs one day by chance. So how would you best get a message to one of these prisoners? The answer was obvious and hit me like a drill to the teeth: you’d beam it straight into the mind of someone who was drugged out and sitting in a dentist’s chair.

Anyway, I have a bridge now. I’ve officially joined middle age.

So this weekend will be spent recovering from a pretty rough week and *NOT* exercising because the dentist said that a brisk walk was about as vigorous as he wanted me to go for the next seven days or so. I’ll probably hit the Costco and PetSmart and the usual suspects along the way. Oh, and we have gaming night on Saturday.

So… what’s on your docket?

(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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18 thoughts on “Weekend!

  1. Crikey. And that’s why I refuse gas at the dentist, despite not being the happiest dental patient ever. (At least I go “deer frozen in the headlights” instead of screaming or anything). Well, that kind of thing and my asthma.

    Though hearing your crown lasted 35 years gives me hope…I’ve got a couple that are about 5-10 years old and was worrying about them needing to be replaced some day; maybe by the time they need to be replaced they’ll have perfected tooth-regrowing technology and I can just regrow those teeth. (the idea of implants *seriously* squicks me out, not to mention, giving a family history of osteoporosis, getting stuff anchored in my jawbones is probably not the best idea ever)

    This has been a v. long week and I don’t have anything I particularly HAVE to do work-wise, so I am going to do “big” grocery shopping (making the hour’s round-trip drive to a Kroger’s and Target and the natural-foods store instead of making do with the local wal-mart)


    • …giving a family history of osteoporosis…

      I had a DEXA bone density scan this past week. I was originally diagnosed with osteopenia (low bone density) some 20 years ago, then slipped across the line* to osteoporosis (serious low bone density) 10 years ago. This time, back across the line to osteopenia, with bone density significantly higher than it was when the problem was originally diagnosed. No one knows why I have low bone density. No one knows why it’s improved, although still low, now.

      One specialist told me that while there’s a correlation between density and fractures, it’s not perfect. My father had low bone density — that didn’t bother the specialist. That my father had a long history of stress fractures did worry him. I seem to be avoiding that. By the time my father was the age I am now, he had several spinal stress fractures. I have none, and have in fact never had a broken bone, despite things like being thrown by horses and falling off bicycles.

      * Bone density is measured as standard deviations above or below the mean for 30-year-olds. Osteoporosis is defined as more than 2.5 standard deviations below the mean. Osteopenia is between 1.0 and 2.5 standard deviations below the mean. Twenty years ago I was at -2.4. Ten years ago at -2.6, a decline consistent with being ten years older. This time I was at -1.8.


      • Yeah, at some point I’m gonna need to get a baseline one of those. At least it seems fairly non-invasive. (My “squick” scale of medical procedures is largely based on “do they need to cut you open/inject soemthing into you” to “are they ramming things into a bodily orifice” to “are you going to have to be naked”? Least squicky to me is mammogram, even with the naked thing, most squicky I think would be colonoscopy (have not had one yet). Dental stuff, though, is pretty high on the fear/squick scale. Eye exams are mostly not bad except the glaucoma test where they touch your eyeball with a thing)


        • DEXA is five minutes tops, no prep. No nudity, but you have to wear clothing with no metal bits (eg, sweats). Lie on your back, don’t move, breath normally. At least based on my wife’s descriptions, much less squicky than a mammogram.


          • Sounds easy enough. I don’t find mammograms squicky (even if I most often get them done in the “breast bus” – yes, an RV kitted out to be a mobile unit and YES we make “sketchy van” jokes about it. But all the techs are woman of an age old enough to have experienced it themselves. I actually find it kind of funny, standing there topless, while some woman who’s about my age but that I’ve never met shoves my tatas around and tells me when to hold my breath. I might not find it so funny if I had ever had one come out anything but 100% clear, though)


              • Yeah, everyone is different. I know when I’ve squirmed and winced in the dentist’s chair (I have a sensitive mouth, I think it’s bad sinuses?) and the hygienist once snarked at me “What’s wrong? That doesn’t hurt!”

                I wanted to smack her and say “Yeah, it doesn’t hurt YOU.” Apparently though she ticked off someone more forceful than I because she was gone the next time I went back.


                • Wow, that’s so rude.

                  The thing that makes me more sensitive is, weirdly enough, not part of my usual pain issues. It’s actually a syndrome, except THIRTY PERCENT OF WOMEN experience it starting sometime in their late 20s / early 30s, until menopause. So the establishment refers to it as “normal” (insert diagnosis here), b/c once they figured out it was so freaking common, they wouldn’t call it a “disease” anymore. 30 percent of women have mild through excruciating pain for 30 years or so… and that’s normal. *grumble grumble grumble*


  2. UBIK, it cleans floors, brightens teeth and makes a great casserole!

    (Seriously, I have been thinking a bit about middle age lately, as I get closer to 50. One of my friends has a two-year-old and is 48. Another has 3 kids in HS, JH and grade school, he is 46. My son just graduated college and I am starting to seriously think about retirement. Ans swirling in the back of my head is “Where did it go?”


  3. I had gas when my wisdom teeth came out – or at least allegedly I did. I didn’t notice any effect from the gas, and then the IV anaesthetic hit. I know nitrous has an effect at a suitable (or perhaps more than suitable) dosage – whippets sure work…

    Tonight there’s a passel of shows – I stay home with the kids and Mr T & Fledermaus go to a gig Mr T’s band is in, then Fledermaus comes home and I go out to a psytrance gig.

    The rest of the weekend, not a whole lot going on. Might take kid the elder to Mary and the Witch’s Flower.


    • At some point in the next couple weeks I’ll go to Saskatoon for a bit, but I can’t really plan the timing – my dad broke his hip a week ago, and is in in-patient rehab after the surgery. Once he’s out of hospital out I’ll go help rearrange the house so he doesn’t have to do stairs, or help my folks move temporarily into a single-story flat, whichever they decide to do.


  4. We’re having super weird weather and, unrelatedly or not, my leg is freaking killing me.

    So mostly I’m looking forward to coming home and taking some of the really big gun painkillers tonight.

    Also we’ll be changing our linens over from winter to summer sheets at long last this weekend, the first of a planned 3-weekend-long spring-chores bonanza. (For eg, I am Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy overdue on cutting back the rosebush. Luckily it is the most hardy rosebush in the world, so it probably won’t care much.)


  5. Drunk painting tonight (a beachscape!). Mayo’s friend party tomorrow (through the magic of an old school “Party in the Park” we may get away with a birthday party for under $300… in Manhattan! Then some al fresco dining and day drinking.

    I want to squeeze in some running as the foot is working again and I’m up to 7+ miles BUT I’m getting my annual-ish sinus-mingraine-tumor thing which may be a limiting factor. Dangit.


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