Monday, May 18, 2009

Hello new tooth!

A couple of years ago my back tooth started to hurt. Everytime I bit into something hard I would suffer from a severe and sharp pain. This would be most disconcerting, especially when I least expected it. Many a good meal was ruined by this troubled tooth and I became overly cautious as time went by, often only eating on one side of my mouth.
When I saw the dentist about it he saw nothing wrong and could not find the route of the problem. He saw that I still had 2 wisdom teeth remaining and suggested they might be the source. I didn't do anything about it right aw
ay and lived with the pain for another year. Eventually the pain increased and one day it hurt so bad I realized I could no longer put off the inevitable and I made arrangements to have my wisdom teeth pulled.

The last time I had my wisdom teeth pulled was in college. I only get local anesthetic and I remember it being a violent and painful process. Finally when it was over I wrapped my mouth in gauze (I was bleeding a lot) and went home to rest. My cheek was swollen and I felt pretty awful. However, in the elevator ride down a girl actually started coming on to me. She kept on flirting and asking me questions and I simply could not pay attention. She must've thought I was playing hard to get, but I just wanted to g
et out of there! The next day a guy from school saw a post in the "missed connections" column of the local city paper from this girl looking for the shy architecture student she met in the elevator. Everyone knew it was me and my girlfriend at the time got really pissed off, thinking I was the one that was flirting!

Well, the next time was just as painful. The dentist actually dug his knee into my body to leverage out the tooth. One tooth was stubborn and wouldn't come out. I felt all the pain and I thought he was pulling my whole jaw out! As
I moaned in pain they kept shooting me up with more anesthetic and finally had to break the tooth and pick out the pieces.

After a few days of healing I realized that the 2 wisdom teeth removed were not the source of the problem and my tooth still hurt! I get frustrated. More time goes by. Then, a few months ago as I'm eating cereal, a huge chunk of my back molar falls out. It kind of freaked me out at first, but then realized the pain was gone. I went back to the dentist and he told me I had to get a crown. But then I switched jobs and it took a while for my health insurance to kick in. A few months later with a broken tooth and I finall
y get it fixed. They file down the actual tooth to a little nub, then cover it with a temporary metal plate until the porcelain cap is ready. A few weeks later and I've got a new tooth! This has been a long time coming and I'm so glad to be able to eat freely again with no anxieties!!! I'm gonna go out and buy the crunchiest cereal in the aisle.

Left: temp metal cap, Right: the porcelain chomper

Jerzy Kosinski

Kosinski was a Jewish Polish-American novelist and survivor of nazi-occupied Poland during WWII. He is known for such dark and twisted humorous novels such as The Painted Bird and Being There. I am currently reading Blind Date and below is one of my favorite passages from the book. A perfect sample of his perverse humor:

In the lobby, Levanter saw the woman's daughters playing. He went over to them and asked their ages.
"I'm eight," the older girl said, "and my sister is six."
"What are you going to be when you grow up?" Levanter asked her.
She looked closely at him and, without hesitation, said she wante
d to be an actress.
"I know many actresses," said Levanter. "Do you want to audition for a role?"
The girl nodded.
"Let's pretend I am your husband and I have just returned from a trip abroad. While I was away, our dog Frecky died. We loved him very much and you didn't write to me of his passing because you didn't want to upset me. Now you have to break the news to me. Ready?"
As her sister watched with envy, the girl assumed the pose of an anxious wife. Levanter approached with arms outstretched in greeting.
"Darling, how I've missed you. But where is Frecky? Frecky, Frecky! Come here, you master is home."

The girl was flush and perspiring. She took Levanter's hand and patted it. "Sit down my love," she said firmly. "I have something to tell you."
Levanter pushed her aside. "In a minute, darling. Let me find Frecky. Frecky!" He shouted.
"Sit down," the girl insisted. "It's about Frecky"-tears welled up in her eyes-"Frecky is not here."
"Not here? Where is he?"
She moved closer. "If I tell you the truth about Frecky, will you love me just the same?" she whispered.
"Of course I will. You and Frecky are all I have!" exclaimed Levanter.
"Now you have only me," she sobbed.
"because Frecky--Frecky is dead." She covered her face.

He was about to pretend to faint when the younger girl ran over to him and pulled at his sleeve. "I can play it better than she did," she said. "I'm a better actress." The girl jumped up and down excitedly.
Levanter repeated his routine. "Frecky, Frecky, where are you? Where is Frecky, my dear little dog?" he exclaimed.

Under the critical gaze of her sister, the little girl searched for the right words. She hesitated, then came closer, focusing her gaze on Levanter. "Frecky won't come," she said tensely. "He's in our bedroom. Upstairs." She stressed each word.
Levanter frowned. "You were supposed to tell me that Frecky was dead. Instead, you said he was upstairs. You forgot your lines."
"I didn't forget my lines," said the girl firmly. "If I'm your wife, I love you too much to tell you just like this that Frecky is dead. So I'm telling you he's upstairs. You'll go upstairs and find Frecky there--dead!"

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Taxi Cab TV crime!

All new yorkers know that for the past few years yellow cabs have installed tv's in their cars. One of their uses is to swipe credit cards, which I still have never done (I'm a cab-cash only kind of guy). But the other annoying thing they do is play really stupid info-mercials and puke-inducing tv clips from all the worst shows. The first thing I do when I step in the cab is hit the OFF button in the top right corner of the screen. I'm not a tv watcher and I certainly don't want it in my face when headed home from a long night of revelry.

Well the other night something horrible happened. I pressed the off switch and it didn't go off!!! The tv kept going the entire cab ride home. Although I hate tv, when it's on it commands my attention. I tried to look out the window, but my eye kept drawing me to the illuminated screen in front of me. This is the reason why I won't go to bars with tv's either. It was one of the worst cab rides home ever (although not as bad as the time I got into a fight with the driver and he tried to kill us both by driving 100 miles per hour down Ave C).

I thought the screen was perhaps broken but then just last night I stepped into another cab and the tv did the same thing! It stayed on the whole ride! After I press the OFF switch the tv continues to play and the OFF switch disappears. I tried touching the screen all over the place and nothing would happen. I told the cab driver of my dismay, but he had no idea why it was doing it. Is this a city-wide pandemic? Is this the future of cab riding? Will we, the citizens of new york, be forever subjected to watching late night with Jimmy Fallon while crossing the Williamburg Bridge?

Has anyone else experienced the OFF switch nightmare???