Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Exhaustion, Music, & Blood

Our Thanksgiving holiday was great, but very tiring in the end.  It's a holiday of excess, and that stretched into all five days for us.

I won't get into all the gory details, but everyone at my house consumed too much food and drink over the Thanksgiving holiday.  The holiday included two dinners out, one night of Thai food take out, and, of course, a Thanksgiving dinner for the five of us that easily could have been a dinner for ten.  What the hell were we thinking?  Also, the husband and my dad went to a brewery on Wednesday and the boy went to a sleepover on Saturday, where the mother plied the guests with ohmigodsomuch junk food.  By Sunday he had a stomach ache.

Something else we indulged in on Wednesday was going to our favorite CD & vinyl store in the city, Soundcat Records. Back before kids, the husband and I were big on CD shopping.  We probably hit Paul's CDs (which is now Soundcat) at least once a month to pick up several CDs each.  After the boy was born we slowed down our shopping a bit.  And now that the girl is here we hardly seem to go at all.  Sad, really.  But part of the problem is that we don't have the time to listen to CDs the way that we used to.  And since I'm not listening regularly it feels like I'm over-indulging when I do buy CDs.  It practically gives me a hangover.

Since I haven't been listening to CDs very much, I have also developed kind of a commitment phobia to new bands.  I could probably solve this problem by writing down new bands and songs I like when I hear them, but I haven't managed to get in that habit yet.  As a result I either buy stuff that's been around forever that I know I like.  Or, I replace old cassettes with CDs.  Out of the five CDs I bought last week, only one was new.  The Divine Fits.  The next most recent CD I picked up was 'It's a Bit Complicated' by Art Brut from 2007.  The rest of my purchases were 'Gimme Fiction' by Spoon, 'Boomslang' by Johnny Marr & The Healers, and I finally replaced my cassette copy of 'Green Mind' by Dinosaur Jr.  Oh, and I'm so glad I did.  I love every second of that CD.  Remember when Spin proclaimed that J. Mascis is God?  He just might be. 

So awesome.

Anyway.  By Sunday night we were all exhausted and I went to bed at the same time as the kids.  I had to get up early anyway to go and have my blood drawn. 

A few weeks ago I went to get my tsh levels tested.  Everything looks good and there are no changes in my Synthroid.  I'm still at 137 mcg and hopefully will be for a long time.  But, remember when I was supposed to call and make appointments and then I never did? Well, getting my tsh results prompted my doctor's office to call me, their loser patient.  The nurse was very nice and booked me for an appointment to have my thyroglobulin levels tested.  She also booked me for a follow up appointment with my doctor for this Wednesday.  So, I'm hoping to post more good news here later this week.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Root Canal

The day before my birthday I woke up with a toothache.  Cold really bothered it.  Hot drinks bothered it, but not as much.  If I left it alone the pain dulled, but as soon as I ate or drank anything the pain shot back up again.  It got worse as the day went on, so I ended up at the dentist's that afternoon.  I was sure that it was a tooth on the upper left, second from the back.  I've had problems with that tooth before, and it had always been attributed to sinuses.  This time it was much worse.

After poking and prodding the tooth, and subjecting it to cold, and having an x-ray, I was told that my tooth was very healthy and they couldn't find anything wrong with it.  'I don't doubt that you're in pain.  We just don't see anything.'  My dentist gave me a referral anyway to a root canal specialist.  All my symptoms pointed toward a root canal.  'Maybe he can find something,' she said.  'He's very conservative.  He won't do anything unless you absolutely need it.'

I talked with the husband that night.  I was really hesitant- I didn't want to have a root canal unless it was absolutely necessary, and it didn't sound like it was.  Also, I didn't want to have a root canal on my birthday.  I decided to see how I felt the next day.

The next day it felt better.  And over the next couple of days the pain  was barely there.  But Sunday afternoon it came back, and it was there when I woke up on Monday.  With Thanksgiving coming up I really didn't want to wait too long.  I called and made an appointment for Tuesday afternoon.

This was good because on Tuesday my face hurt.  The whole left side.  I was miserable and I couldn't eat.  I was actually looking forward to a root canal.

I went in at 2:30.  The waiting room quickly filled up with people who were sent straight from their dentist's offices.  Scheduling there must be crazy.  Despite the emergencies I was seen pretty quickly.  Dr. C came in and I liked him right away.  He told me that he was surprised that my tooth hurt because he couldn't see anything wrong on the x-ray I brought.  He did a lot of the same stuff that I'd already gone through at the dentist's office.  Everything seemed fine.

'You know, you have a crack on this bottom tooth.  Let me see if that's the problem.'  Strangely, when he squirted my bottom back tooth with cold water, it hurt like hell.  Everything he did to that stupid tooth hurt.  I was amazed that that tooth was the problem, yet a totally different tooth was in pain.  He said that happens sometimes.  Fucking teeth.

Anyway, the root canal was done quickly and rather painlessly.  My face was numb but otherwise it was no problem to pick up my dad from the airport right after the procedure.  And I was fine to eat dinner that night.  My jaw is a little sore, but otherwise things seem to be fine.  I have a follow up appointment with Dr. C on Wednesday.

Out of curiosity, I looked up teeth and RAI.  I've always had great teeth.  In my twenties I got two very small cavities- probably because brushing teeth after closing down bars doesn't make for the best cleaning.  But that's it.  Never any problems otherwise, so it's weird to suddenly need a root canal.  Turns out that radioactive iodine can actually promote tooth decay- having a dry mouth allows bacteria to breed.  And a few people mentioned that after RAI their teeth broke more easily too.  Maybe as a result of lower calcium?  But the direct effects on broken teeth from RAI are less clear.  In the meantime, no more chewing on ice cubes for me.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Yesterday was my birthday.  This year's birthday was pretty low-key.  Which was great, because I feel like this year itself has been full of too much.  I'm hoping a low-key start to the year will usher in an equally low-key year.  One where I can catch up, catch my breath, and get healthier and stronger than maybe I've been in a number of years.

The boy's school holds a food drive every November for East End Co-operative Ministries.  I started off the day by picking up the donation and taking it to the food pantry.  This may not have been the best thing to do on my way to a birthday lunch.  It feels good to donate and to bring things to people that you know they truly need.  But, oh the guilt.  When I got there at 11 am there were maybe a dozen people arriving at the pantry.  All of them elderly.  Two of them were veterans and one of the veterans was missing his legs.

Everyone was very nice and quite helpful.  They brought a cart out to my car to pick up the nine boxes of food from our school.  And that was it.  I left wanting to cry.  But a very good friend was taking me out for my birthday, so I pulled it together and headed over to Walnut St.

B. took me to Sushi Too.  It's a longtime favorite and it's a really easy place to take both of my kids.  The girl, who has actually been really picky lately ate a ton of food.  I got her the yaki udon with miso soup (B. and I agree that it's the best in the city).  She also had some of my vegetable tempura.  It was a great lunch and it was good to see B. and catch up.  We used to work in the same office.  Now I do some part time administrative work for her once in a while, but it's always from home and we hardly see each other at all.  We could have talked for hours, but she had to get back to work and the girl was ready for a nap, so we left.

After the boy was done with school, we went to his friend's house.  I had a drink and got a present from the friend's parents.  It was a great way to start off the evening.  We went home and got ready for my sister-in-law to come over.  She showed up around 7 to watch the kids while the husband and I went to Dish.

We chose Dish on a number of recommendations from friends, and we've been meaning to go for a while.  It was fantastic.  Nice atmosphere, good service, and the food was excellent.  The husband got steak and I had the seafood pasta.  We split the eggplant appetizer and the tiramisu for dessert.  OK.  We may not have split the tiramisu.  I think he had one bite- maybe two?- and I had the rest.  Everything was delicious.

All in all, a good birthday.  Honestly, it feels kind of shitty starting this post talking about food pantries and ending it talking about fine dining.  But that was my day.  It's humbling and it makes me feel very grateful.  Grateful for what I have and grateful for the people in my life who I was able to spend the day with.  Not a bad way to start the next year of my life.

I've been posting Smiths and Morrissey videos here recently.  So here's one more.  When I worked in radio this was one of the songs that I would play for myself on my birthday.  Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

On Writing and Not Writing

I haven't been posting here too much lately.  For a variety of reasons.  The main one being my ongoing problem of not feeling like I have much of consequence to write about.  Except for negative stuff, which, gah.  I don't know.  Life is good really.  Except when it's not.  There hasn't been anything major or tragic happening.  It's all been little things.  Not getting enough done, not keeping up with things around here.  And lately things that are a little more bothersome.  A couple of issues at the boy's school.  Which, thankfully, haven't effected us directly.  But I'm involved because I'm on the PTA board. 

There's also one thing going on that I've actually lost sleep over.  A friend of the boy's- who may or may not be a friend anymore- hasn't been treating him well at all lately.  And this is a kid who used to be a close friend.  I wouldn't care too much, except that they do have a few mutual friends.  So figuring out the best thing to do going forward is difficult.  I think right now the idea is to just take a break and see where things go from there.  And yes, I realize that this is a symptom of parenting in the 21st century.  That my parents in the 1970s wouldn't have given this a second thought.  But there's a lot that my parents didn't do, and maybe they didn't have all the answers in the 1970s either.  At any rate, I'm a worrier by nature.  I'll probably need Xanax by the time the boy hits his teen years.  Maybe I should even be on it now. 

So!  The good thing (yes!  I can write about good things too) that has been keeping me from posting is that I took an online writing course.  It ends this week.  I've written for years, but I never took a formal writing course.  Really, I should have ages ago.  And I had meant to in college, but I got sidetracked by my college radio station and ended up making that the focus of my college career.  Anyway, this opportunity came up and, it was great.  Part of the writing course included daily prompts, which led to me neglecting this space, but in the end it was worth it.  I can't promise that my writing is any better, but I can promise that I'm thinking about it differently, and trying to come up with a more consistent practice.  Hopefully that will translate to better writing in the future.

Also, I learned about Elmore Leonard.  And why he's so awesome.  I'm looking forward to adding some of his books to my very, very long reading list.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trick or Treat

How was your Halloween?

Ours was good and filled with candy, zombies, and chicks.  Not pictured, the baseball player and pit crew mechanic who accompanied the zombie in plundering our neighborhood for candy.

Because of Hurricane Sandy, trick-or-treat was moved to Saturday, November 3.  I was a big curmudgeon about that earlier.  But really, it was better.  They totally could have gone trick or treating on Wednesday, but the weather was cold and drizzly.  Dry and a little warmer is obviously preferable.

We had friends over for trick-or-treating.  I took the girl to a few houses first, then came back and traded off the passing-out-candy duty with the husband, who then went out to look for the other dad and the boys.  Since other dad does not believe in cell phones (!), it took almost half an hour to find him.  He also didn't take the discussed route through the neighborhood, which also made it tricky to track them down.  sigh.

For a month I've been saying that the girl was going to be a duck for Halloween.  When a neighbor with a baby almost exactly a year younger than the girl asked me if she could have the chick costume for next year I was surprised.  The bill on the costume so clearly looks like a duck.  But then, seriously?  Look at those tights!  How could I have missed that this was so obviously a chick costume?  I don't know what the hell I was thinking.

The boys came back earlier than I expected- there was still half an hour to go!  But the baseball player complained that his bag was too heavy and he didn't want to carry it anymore.  I gave them candy duty and finished up dinner.  After dinner, a friend of the girl's and her parents came over for some drinks while the kiddos chowed down on candy.

A pretty awesome Halloween, really.  Even if it was three days late.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


In the last couple of weeks things have gone a little less well than expected.  Not terrible or anything.  Just disappointing.  Definitely disappointing.

Life has been hectic, as I've already mentioned.  That's not always a bad thing, but I was so looking forward to a break.  Last Tuesday, October 23, my favorite singer, Morrissey, was supposed to come to Pittsburgh.  It was going to be great.  My best friend, who I've known since college, was going to come up, and we were going to go out to dinner, then head over to Heinz Hall to catch the show.  Even the weather was gorgeous.  It was going to be an awesome evening.

Then this happened.

Of course he should be with his mother.  I'm not at all going to dispute that and I certainly hope that she gets well.  But I was also really, really bummed.  Alecia didn't come to town, we canceled our dinner reservations, and that night I drowned my sorrows in two pom-tinis that my husband made for me.  Truthfully, he was quite sympathetic.  He's pretty great that way.

Then Hurricaine Sandy came to town.  Even though we were on the very edge of the storm (really, mostly just rain in Pittsburgh) they canceled school on Tuesday.  And, they pushed trick or treating back to Saturday.  In the grand scheme of things it's not much.  But as a result, the boy was so excited about having Tuesday off, that he woke up early to enjoy the day off (I know, it doesn't make sense to me either).  After a full afternoon of playing with friends, he ended the day frankly, kind of snotty and cranky.  I mean, I know he was tired, but he was also kind of a pain. 

Saturday should be fine.  It's just that it won't really feel like Halloween.  Not to me anyway.  The boy and his friends are excited to have trick or treating on a weekend instead of a school night, and I suppose that really is better.  But still.

A couple of other crappy things have happened in the past week, including a friend's miscarriage and the boy potentially getting turned down for a special program at school.  I won't go into either of those things, but, yeah, it's made for a sucky couple of weeks.

I will say that I am also on my list of disappointments.  Still behind on things, still treading water, and really beginning to worry how many people I'm bumming out because of my actions.  Or inactions.  I can think of two people who seem pretty disappointed with me.  I care, I really really do.  But I'm also feeling like there's only so much I can do right now.  I almost wish I would be confronted by one or both of them- passive disappointment is usually frustrating for both parties- but I don't feel like listing excuses for people either.  So.  Here we are.

I also know that I don't want this blog to turn into a Debbie Downer thing.  Once again, I'll try to come up with something other than this kind of garbage for my next post.  Honest.

In the meantime, in honor of Morrissey's mum and looking forward to some re-scheduled tour dates, please to enjoy: