Coffee heat rising

Unstuck in Time

Disequilibrium, indeed. More like “unstuck in time,” I fear.

I’ve disliked the modernified Scottsdale Fashion Square for some years. Once a pleasant place to shop in tony venues, in recent years it has been upgraded to “contemporary”…another word for “cold,” “hard-edged,” “noisy and echoey,” “engineered to feel hectic,” and…well…”not a place you’d like to hang out if you had some other choice.” So by and large I stay away from it, because a visit there usually devolves into an annoyance of one sort or another.

But…my MacBook needs some attention. Actually, what it needs is a compatible external hard drive, preferably one designed to work with Mac equipment.

Apple kindly closed its store in Biltmore Fashion Park, which was at least moderately civilized. Their other store, in Arrowhead Mall, is too small for its clientele: every time you go there, you find yourself waiting interminably for help, crammed in elbow-to-elbow with a whole bunch of other glassy-eyed folks who are waiting interminably.

So. Let’s try something altogether different, in the Apple Department.

After I seethed my way back across the city and got back into the house, I searched Google for independent Mac technicians, and lo! Found several. One over at 32nd Street & McDowell answered the phone and said to come on in any day this week.

He said to call in the morning of the day I’d like to meet him and make an appointment then. So…by tomorrow I should have regained part of my sanity — whatever is left of it — and so I’ll arrange to get this thing over to him and get HIM to fix it.

Orrrr… As for the hard drive? Says he: it needs to be formatted for the Mac.

Who knew?

Where was I in my planned rant?

Yes, the uglified Scottsdale Fashion Square. It is a long drive from the Funny Farm through unpleasant traffic: a good 30 to 40 minutes, outside of rush hour. When you get there…I swear…every time you surface over there, they’ve changed things around and fucked things up. Now you have to navigate past a trolling valet parking service to make your way up into a high-rise parking garage. Memorize where you left the car. Find the steps or elevator. Memorize which set of steps you used to get down to the ground floor. Then hike.

And hike. And hike.

The Apple store is ALLLLL THE WAY ON THE FAR SIDE of the freshly ugly mall, forcing you to walk up and down steps, through hectic crowds, past endless kiosks selling junk, all the time accosted by the loudest echoing racket you ever hoped never to have to hear. The atmosphere is cold, snobby, overpriced, hectic, and annoying.

Finally I get there. I tell the service rep I have an appointment. I explain that the Macbook won’t talk to the hard drive so there’s no question of backing up data: it just can’t be done. She gives me a blank look. For all the world, it appears that she doesn’t understand what I’m talking about.

I try again: “I would like to buy an external drive that is compatible with this Macbook — preferably one that is made by Apple.”

Blank look.

After another try, I give up.

Furious, I stalk back to the car and head back out through the ever-evolving landscape that is the ever-Los Angelizing Valley of the We-DO-Mean Sun.

Yechhh!

Remember when malls were fun to shop in?

Remember when customer service was not more aptly called customer disservice?

Remember when Apple had awe-inspiring, blow-you-away, superb customer service?

The present angst is, I am quite sure, because I am unstuck in time: a creature of another age. And I can tell you for damn sure, the present age is not one I would like to live through much longer. What a flikkin’ dystopia we inhabit!

Driving homeward, homeward, ever homeward across the east/west main drag that in Ritzyville is called “Lincoln Boulevard” and in mittel-America is called “Glendale Road,” (interesting how rich folk get more characters for the words used to describe their thoroughfares, no?), it struck me that the whole city has changed significantly over the past five or six years. Not as annoyingly or as extremely as Scottsdale Fashion Square, but still…a lot. Mostly, in the regions I drifted through, in the form of gentrification of already pretty damn fancy houses. All along the way, houses have been fancified, dandified, and — often — ripped down and replaced with ultra-modern mansions painted eye-searing white.

Neighborhoods are recognizable, but…different.  The whole city is recognizable but different, I guess. Most of it, anyway.

So… Yah. I guess the issue here is that I’m unstuck in time. Living IN the here and now, but not OF the here and now. I feel like I’m afloat in a fluid reality. That which is real is not what was real.

Some squib on the vicissitudes of advancing senility that I read the other day said that one of the ways to stave off dementia is to drive around new neighborhoods. In this city, driving around old neighborhoods is driving around new ones. 😀 Seriously: it was kinda fun cruising through old stomping grounds that no longer look quite the same, and then sliding through the new stomping ground and finding previously undiscovered short-cuts and pass-throughs. If this activity staves off Alzheimer’s, I guess I’ll be buying a whole lot more gas. For awhile, anyway…

“Another Beautiful Day in Arizona…”

Yep: “Another beautiful day in Arizona! Leave us all enjoy it!” That was the catch phrase of the late, great Arizona Governor Jack Williams, an accomplished if less than perfectly literate local politician who came up as a radio announcer. In spite of last night’s mostly dry thunderstorm, temps here have run upwards of 112 degrees. Once I glanced at the thermometer in the back porch shade: 115.

Plan of the day: Install a new bed in the now-unused middle bedroom, which was the TV room until off-the-air TV was taken away from us. Now it just sits there…but, I’ve noticed, because the room is directly below the central air-conditioning unit and so gets air fresh out of the fridge, it is the coolest room in the house. The plan is to get an inexpensive but reasonably comfortable twin bed and sleep in that room during the summer months. Then switch back to the more spacious and comfortable queen-sized bed in the master bedroom for fall, winter, and springtime. And so into the heat and on the road.

I whip into the mattress store where, in the past, I’ve bought excellent products for decent prices — not rock-bottom, but far from “luxury” prices.

Holy shee-ut! EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLAH for a regular twin-size mattress, box-spring, and frame.

I kid you not! That is what I paid for the queen-sized bed I bought when the old one wore out, just a few years ago.

Jayzus.

Out of that place, I do stagger.

Should I venture across the street to Bed Bath & Beyond, there to snab a set of sheets for this spectacular purchase?

I think not. In the first place, my experience with BB&B is that they tend to be overpriced. In the second place, they tend to be underqualitied. I decide, WTF, to drive out to Costco and grab a set there.

This was very, very stupid. Extraordinarily stupid. Gold-medal-winning stupid!!!!!!!

Best way to get out there?  Across Lincoln, the northernmost main drag south of the Phoenix Mountain Park, then up 44th through lovely Paradise Valley, and zip! into the parking lot.

Almost sounds sane, doesn’t it?

Eastbound on Lincoln at 24th street, the main road that disgorges central- and central/east traffic onto Lincoln, some nitwit has contrived to have a fender-bender in the fast lane. Traffic in all three lanes comes to a stop as the very pretty young woman driver gets out to try to cope…and is swarmed by Heroic Gentlemen charging to her rescue.

This would have some charm if it weren’t 111 degrees outside just then. In the shade.

So the Damsel in Distress and all of her many Knights have the traffic dead stopped. I’ve been around this block before, though, and so am wily enough to dart left into the entrance of a (spectacularly ritzy) gated community, where I can hang a U-ie and head back in the direction I came from.

Now I am westbound when I need to go east.

But on the way, I think WTF, I’ll just fly into the Macy’s at Biltmore Fashion Square. At this time of year, they’re bound to be having a white sale.

And yea verily, that they are!. Have you ever noticed that when a major department store puts stuff on sale, it’s because said stuff is junk, serious junk, that NO ONE in their right mind would buy? Today, this is true in spades. You would NOT believe the crappiness of the hilariously dreadful crap on offer.

Onto the freeway. Northerly northerly northerly and OFF on Cactus, eastbound.

Easterly easterly easterly, past the Fry’s. If I had any sense I’d derail this trip to go in there and buy a set of cheapie junk sheets, but…

a) I have no sense; and
b) I figure that kinda cheap junk may last through three launderings, if we’re lucky.

Hang a left on Tatum. Northerly northerly northerly…FINALLY reach the Costco. They will have sheets. They always have sheets. Right? And they’re excellent quality sheets, the kind of thing you can hand down to the next generation as heirlooms.

Well.

No.

I frikkin cannot BELIEVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Costco does not have regular-size twin sheets! The only twin sheets they have are for extra-long mattresses.

Stalk out into the parking lot. Eyeball the Penney’s next door. They’re closing that Penney’s, because they’re about to tear down the shopping center and replace it with an apartment development. Whooo knows? Maybe they’ll have sheets. Maybe even sheets on sale!

Hike across the broiling asphalt, dodge into the Penney’s.

They’ve shut down the escalators. You can’t even GET to the bedding department. And noooo, I’m not getting onto a crowded stuffy stinky elevator in Time of Plague.

Make my way upstairs and find, in the bedding department, one of the most superbly certifiably stupid CSR’s I’ve ever met, in 55 years of department-store shopping. OOOOhhh this one is dumb. I cannot make her understand that no, I do not want something that does not fit, and noooo I do not want something with a weird busy little pattern that looks a lot like E. coli organisms under a microscope. All I want is a set of twin-size sheets in a plain boring color. Gray would do. White would do. Beige would do. No, bright pink will NOT do. And absolutely positively the Escherchia coli germs will not do, no way no how.

😀

Back in the car.

On the way out of the shopping center, stop at the Target. Why the hell not? Couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve already seen, eh?

There I meet the cutest li’l gay guy, who also is shopping for bedding. He is similarly disgusted. But he does point out a few sets that…uhm…do not offend too much.

Grab one of these and fly out the door. Price is around 80 bucks. Yes. For a set of freakin’ Target sheets!!!!!!!!!

Stumble back out. Dodge a few fellow homicidal drivers in the parking lot (would those be “homicidal parkers”?), make it back onto Cactus, and start driving. Westerly westerly ever westerly. Migawd, it’s STILL hot!

No. Make that “even hotter.”

Here at the Funny Farm:

  • It’s 81 in the master bedroom. It’s 84 here in the family room.
  • It’s 80 in the bedroom where I propose to install this fine new bed, but for some reason it feels a lot cooler.

That’s with the thermostat set at 79, as low as I figure I can push it without risking bankruptcy.

And as I sit here scribbling, in comes an email from one Priscilla Castro of the dermatologist’s office, wanting to discuss the results of the latest effing biopsy, one she made of a mole that has resided on the side of my nose for as long as I can remember. They’ve decided the thing is malignant. This, of course, means ANOTHER endless trip to the far west side for MORE surgery. Hot diggety dawg.

I call back instantly. “She’s not at her desk,” says the airhead who answers the phone. Odd. She was there 30 seconds ago when she emailed me.

Airhead says she’ll call me back. I explain, for the 89 berjillionth time, that they CAN NOT REACH ME BY PHONE because I block all incoming calls from area code 623 because I get rafts of nuisance calls from telephone solicitors EVERY DAY spoofing the 623 area code. As usual, the phone kid doesn’t even faintly understand what I’m saying. Sheeeeeee-ut!

By now I’m tired, I’m beyond hot, and I simply have no more patience for stupid.

I’m also kinda scared. One of the things they took off was on the side of my nose. It’s been there for years, to the point where I objected that it couldn’t be much or it would have made trouble by now. Stephanie (derma-tech) said it was “vascularizing,” whatever the hell that means. I think I would’ve noticed if it had changed, since I paint my face almost every day, and that entails hiding blemishes under layers of paint. But if she found cancer in it, they’ll be chopping up my nose. And that will require plastic surgery to repair. And THAT will entail endless trips the west side, disfiguring butchery, and several unpleasant procedures to fix. Email “Priscilla” to clue her that unless she can call me from a phone that doesn’t have a 623 area code, she’ll need to email me.

Shortly, Priscilla calls. She says I need to come in, let them cut the roots of this thing off my nose, and then they will repair the (considerable!) damage with plastic surgery.

I have a friend who’s had a quasi-malignant thing removed from his nose, followed by plastic surgery. “Repair” is not quite the word. Though he doesn’t look terrible, nevertheless you can tell that something pretty drastic happened there. I do NOT want my face cut up and then patched back together, not unless it’s absolutely, positively, unavoidably necessary.

A night passes. Daylight dawns. And I snap out of that little panic long enough to remember my Medical Motto: ALWAYS GET A SECOND OPINION!

At the Mayo, I’ve been assigned a dermatologist, for reasons neither he nor I could grasp. A week or so ago, I traipsed out there and met with him. Liked him. We were both puzzled. I left, thinking “huh!”

Sooo….what could be a better source of a second opinion than the Mayo Clinic, eh?

Yesterday — Saturday, natcherly — I emailed him through the Mayo’s annoying DIY Web “portal” lashup and asked if we could make an appointment, and may I have the Avondale dermatologist send him the results of the biopsy. Of course, I haven’t heard back. I do hope to hear from him tomorrow, and sincerely DO hope he’ll agree to review this little fiasco.

Meanwhile, we still have the Rat Situation.

This, if anything, is getting worse. Over the past couple of days, I’ve stuffed piles and piles of steel wool into the crevices and openings around the side yard deck, of which there are a-plenty. These have become little doorways to Rattie’s nest under there.

Ruby has developed chasing poor Rattie into an Olympic sport. This morning the little dog was standing patiently by the back door.

Human opens door.

Dog ambles quietly out to river of rocks (a decorated drainage ditch, now home to Rattie since we blocked off her entrances to the side deck).

Rattie, alarmed, leaps up.

Dog launches into the chase!

Rattie shoots across the yard, just under the speed of light.

Ruby flashes after her.

Rattie dodges into the cat’s-claw vines.

Ruby saunters back to the door, expecting a Doggy Treat for having orchestrated that spectacle.

This, while entertaining in a predator-ish way, is not really a good thing. Roof rats carry a wide variety of exceptionally malign diseases, which they can  transmit to dogs as well as to humans: murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and plague.

{sigh} I’m awfully afraid the only way to get rid of Rattie, short of poison, is going to be to pull out the cat’s claw hedge. And of course, that will mean every bum who wanders up the alley can peer into my yard. And into my pool, where he’s likely to get an eyeful of the local scenery.

So, later this morning I obtained the name of an exterminator from one of the neighbors on the ’Hood’s Facebook page. Will call him the first thing tomorrow morning — Monday.

In passing, she remarked that she preferred to communicate by email than over the FB page, because some of the neighbors work themselves into a state of high moral dudgeon over the prospect of killing our cute little rats. She remarked – confirming my own observation – that the neighborhood is now overrun with rats.

As these shenanigans are en train, I happen to venture into the front yard, where I notice…hmmmm…what?? The mound of gravel-covered dirt that was piled over the stump of the dead ash tree I had cut down, lo! these many years ago, has been pushed aside and dug up. There are little holes around in there.

WTF?

Rats?

That’s what I suspect. But…on closer observation, I see several holes in the depression where the stump has pretty much disintegrated. These are larger than the holes Rattie typically digs. Gopher?

Hm. Yes, we do get the occasional gopher here in the ‘Hood.

A-a-a-n-d…my scheme to block Rattie out of her nest under the deck has failed. Just this minute I hear Ruby YAP and thump against the Arcadia door: her signal for the Presence of the Rat.

dayum!  Leap up, RUN with Ruby to the garage’s side door, and let her rip!

She shoots out like a rocket, patrols the base of the deck…but Rattie is long gone. However, she finds a new hole: Rattie has managed to burrow out of (or into) her nest under the deck.

That, I’m afraid, tore it: now I know I’m going to HAVE to get a professional exterminator. Tomorrow I’ll call the neighbor’s guy.

This, of course, is going to mean Ruby will have to go somewhere else. We can’t have dead and dying poisoned rats laying around the yard, nor can we have poison bait laying around where Ruby holds sway over the backyard. I guess I’ll have to put her up with M’hijito, or else board her somewhere (expensively).

Ohhhhhh gawwwd…pleeeze don’t hurt our little ratties! Aughhh! How do people who are that stupid ever learn to put their pants on, much less acquire a $500,000 to $1 million shack???????

Ain’t a-goin’ nowhere, lady!!!

One of those damnfool days…all the way around

LOL! Have you ever noticed that some days, no matter WHAT it is you need to do, you can’t get there from here? 😀 Whatever it is, it has to be done the hard way.

This (o’course, by damn!)  is never your fault. It’s always…

  • The nitwit in front of you who apparently never took driving lessons…or if he did, he’s forgotten every smidgeon of whatever little he learned.
  • Inanimate objects of all kinds that decide to break, crap out, or blow up…all on the same day.
  • Laziness come back to bite you.
  • Bureaucracy run amok.
  • God’s twisted sense of humor…

You do have to allow that She seems to find some very strange things hopelessly funny…

Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong…

Oh well. I got back in the house by 2 p.m., when Gerardo had threatened to show up. Acquired a package of very acceptable sushi at AJ’s, and, more to the point, a six-pack of Kiltlifter, of which I am about to finish off the first third…

There is nothing like a beer!
Nothing in this world…

The watering system, I will lay money on it (and indeed am about to do so, big-time), has got something wrong with it. The hateful City gouged me $275 for water, and nothing much was going on last month. This suggests that somewhere in this (rather flimsy) irrigation system that Richard installed many a year ago (and that Gerardo reviles), something is leaking.

I can’t find a leak. So have asked Gerardo to come over and see what he can figure out.

Yes. Gerardo profoundly disapproves of Richard’s excuse for workmanship. But on the other hand, I’ve been in this house for a good 15 years. Really…how long CAN you expect cheap plastic pipes to last?

Something is busted. I do not know how we are going to find that something. But the bank account is flush and I’m silently thinking that if Gerardo can’t find whatever TF is wrong with the thing, I will stand back and let him install a new system. Beeeee-caauuse…between you and me and the lamp-post, I suspect Gerardo can do about a 110% better job than Richard did at the height of his landscaping-dude powers. Richard was a smart dude and a good man…but Gerardo outdoes Richard in those categories and probably in every other category except skill at playing mariachi music.

The only way I can MAKE myself work in 115-degree heat is to generate endless to-do lists. These work well enough to beat you into line…assuming you condescend to read the lists.

About half the state, speaking of 115-degree heat, is burning up. Stand in my back yard and face any direction you please. Every way but (maybe) due south, flames are rising and residents are fleeing.

Meanwhile, the locals’ brains also seem to be burning up… WHERE do these people come from???

Whereas lunacy seems to me to be a forgiveable thing (a person can’t help being crazy…can they?), raving stupidity…well, not so much. Understand: it is NOT an exaggeration to say temps are upwards of 115 degrees here, and we have this sorta antic: A flatland tourister takes it into her head to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in 120-degree heat. Not surprisingly, she never has an opportunity to hike out…

Holy sh!t. Do you have a clue how LONG the trails into the Canyon are, how steep they are, and how hot as Hell it is down there at this time of year? The South Kaibab Trail, which is the bunny trail starting a the resort on the South Rim, descends 4,860 feet over 6.3 miles…meaning it also ascends 4,860 feet, if you have any designs on getting out of the place. What in the name of God possesses people?

Try to imagine what 120 degrees must feel like.

Forest fire image: The Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest, California. U.S. Forest Service photo.

 

Real Estate Through the Roof: Right up with the cop helicopters

Seven a.m. and it’s hotter than a two-dollah cookstove out there. Around 100 degrees, headed for 115. And humid: 21% just now.

Speaking of the loony tunes entailed in living in Phoenix, lookit THIS.

$585,000 for THAT? A tiny little out-of-date bungalow, built in 1941, no pool, fake grass(!!) or else plain dirt, in one of the noisiest parts of the city: 1700 square feet including the guest house(!!). For less than that (by far), you could buy a palatial apartment in my friends’ high-rise right on Central Avenue, with a view of the entire East Valley from Camelback to the South Mountains.

Real estate prices have gone bonkers here. Here’s a bargain: 395 grand to live in 1500 square feet in the middle of Drug Dealer Central. Hoooly mackerel! I wouldn’t get out of my car in that area.

Here in the’Hood, they’re asking $519,000 for an 1839 s.f. house cattycorner up the street from the Funny Farm. That’s just insane. The upshot of it is going to be that property taxes soon will go so high here I won’t be able to afford to stay in this house much longer.

They’ve done a lot of fix-up on that house, clearly with an eye to selling it. Interestingly, I haven’t seen a lot of workmen over there — ever. So he must be pretty handy: presumably they redid the 1970s kitchen themselves, turning it into the latest in stainless and granite.

I’m thinking I should replace the Mexican tile countertops in the kitchen here. Put in slabs of granite. Mexican tile is wildly out of date now, plus it has a crack in one place.

*********

…or maybe not…

*********

Pool Dude showed up about 7:30. Along about then a cop copter starts circling frantically over Upper Richistan. This continues all the time he’s working.

Out of curiosity, we call up the neighborhood Facebook page:

Does anyone know why the police have 11th Ave between Wunderland and Larry’s Lane blocked off? I hope all is well with our neighbors..

Alyssa L: Oh no! I hope everyone is ok too

Donnie DS: There are looking for a man that ran into that block. There were 2 men suspected of assault. They have one in custody already.

Reply: Donnie DS thank you. My husband just spoke with the officers and confirmed the same. The officer said they are looking for someone. While there the police were searching the backpack of the one suspect and found a gun. Police said to remain vigilant. They have brought in a K-9 unit so hopefully they find him quickly.

    • Reply: Laurie L I wish the police would have given you a description so we could possibly assist.

Reply: Carrie B Hispanic Male, Blue shirt, tattoos

Bj U: seems like they’ve got him surrounded in the Donleys’ yard, i can hear them yelling orders

Reply: Bj U I hope so. The officer just told me they may need to be coming into my yard and to have everyone inside doors locked

Reply: Bj U he just told me they’re finishing up.

AC W: My husband was the one involved in the assault. Here’s a picture he took beforehand. He’s still with the police, but this is what he texted me.

“He asked me what I was looking at them and I said I wanted to see where they were going. So he stopped in front of me and told me he’d stay right where he wanted. Then he pulled the handle of the gun up from his waistband. I hit him w my coffee cup and knocked him down. Then his buddy jumped me, and I fought him off as best I could. They took off eastbound on Larry’s Lane and I chased them as far as the firefighter’s house. Then I banged on his door and asked him to call 911.”

AC W: Oh gosh! Hope you’re okay! Glad the police are out in force. Praying for everyone’s safety!!!

Reply: Emily P Glad you guys are okay.

Reply: Wendy R WOW! hope they find them. how scary!! Is your husband ok?

Reply:  AC W He is fine. Just a little scratched up. Apparently the other guys are a bit more beat up. They have one suspect and the gun. The other guy is completely surrounded.

Wendy R Go Phx.PD!

AC W such a scary situation! Glad they have the guys!

Reply: AC W glad your husband is ok. Thankful he is out there looking-after our neighborhood, just hoping something like this doesn’t happen again!

Reply Sid C: AC W glad he’s fine . Thank him from the neighborhood for us. RP sticking together.

[And so on….]

Holy sh!t. Ruby and I were over there about an hour earlier: Upper Richistan is our favorite doggy-walk venue.

See why one of my mottos is “Over my dead body”?

Pool Dude was here throughout the episode.

{sigh} I prob’ly should have gone back to the Hidey-Hole and retrieved my father’s .38. But with PD here, I figured things were probably as OK as they were gonna get. Besides which, you know and I know that Pool Dude undoubtedly does not wander around people’s backyards without resources. And I’m dead sure he can shoot straighter than I can.

Think of that. People are willing to pay upwards of 500 grand (upwards of a million, over in Upper Richistan) to live in…THIS place????

Where were we?

Or, one could ask, where are we?

Damned if I know.

Past few weeks, I’ve been too comatose to write much for Funny about Money. When I’m not running from pillar to post between doctors, orthodontists, and physical therapists, I’m so tired I can’t move.

Nothing much, though, is new here in the Valley of the We-Do-Mean-Sun. The weather is starting to warm up, though more gradually than normal. By the end of May, it should be hotter than a two-dollar cookstove, but in fact temperatures are fairly moderate. I haven’t been back to choir, partly because I’m just too damn scared to be exposed to The Disease — vaccine or no vaccine — and mostly because I’m so distracted by all the niggling little harassments I don’t even know what day of the week it is. Sunday could be Wednesday, Wednesday could be Monday…who knows?

Oh, indeed, LO! It is Wednesday: here’s Pool Dude.

Who’d’ve thunk it?

About every second day I’m trotting to a doctor or a dentist. Today I have to waste the afternoon at the orthodontist’s office. He wants to check the progress of the treatment he inflicted, which is supposed to kill off the infection that caused my regular dentist and orthodontist to want to pull the tooth. This is next to the tooth that has already been pulled and mightily f*cked up and that hurts all the time.

Complicating that matter, my beloved common-sense dentist looks like he’s about to quit his practice. He had some surgery that screwed up his body, and it appears that he’s just not going to be able to continue working. That is extremely bad news on several fronts: on his, obviously; but also on mine, because it is extremely difficult to score an excellent dentist in this city. There’s lots of dentistoids…every one of whom wants to carve up your mouth to the tune of God only knows how many gerzillions of dollars. About 99.6% of this suggested work turns out to be unnecessary when you go ask a second doc about it.

Always. Get. A. Second. Opinion.

Which of course doubles the number of traipses to doctors’ and dentists’ offices…

Still generally feeling miserable. The tooth hurts, but so much less so than the busted shoulder and the bunged wrist and elbow as to be almost unnoticeable. The shoulder, after thousands of dollars’ worth of physical therapy (most of it covered by Medicare/Medigap), is verrreeeee slowly getting better.

A friend down at the church — actually, the church’s financial officer — did a similar job on herself, only with more skill: she actually snapped the femur in two. Not bad, eh?

She said her doctor told her it would take eight to twelve months to heal as much as it’s gonna heal. Mayo Orthopod says mine will take eight to twelve weeks…but I believe it’s been about that long already. Unclear whether this is something that can even be expected to heal: it may be as good as it’s gonna get right now. If that’s the case, “as good” ain’t “very” good!

Latest discovery in micro-medical science: the daily multiple doses of aspirin have been making me sick. I’ve been dropping three or four aspirins a day, with the result that one well-known side effect — shortness of breath, a horrifying sense that you can’t get enough air into your lungs to sustain life — has kicked right in.

The cannabis dispensed through gumdrops does not seem to do that. They do cut the pain considerably, but…if I take enough to really work, they make me too sleepy to drive. And if you live in Phoenix, you drive or you don’t survive. A quarter of a candy will do the job, but I would really, seriously hesitate to get behind a steering wheel with a quarter of one of those things in my system. A half will keep me asleep through the usual 3 a.m. wake-up call, a bit of a Godsend. But of course, that suggests that a whole cannabis-laced gumdrop would send you straight to La-La-Land.

Meanwhile, we now suspect that the screaming crazy-making buzz and tingle in the lips and gums is peripheral neuropathy occasioned by the metal implant we put in the busted tooth, which has never been crowned. The dentist is hammering at Death’s Door, and that tooth has hurt me enough that I haven’t wanted to complicate matters with a crown that I suspect will have to be removed. Plus there’s an infection in the tooth right next to it.

So by and large, that’s how my days have been going: day of general misery followed by night of general misery followed by day of general misery followed by… It’s getting mighty tedious.

There doesn’t seem to be much to be done about it, either.

I finally talked MayoDoc into ordering tests for metallosis — sensitivity to implanted metals such as the titanium in the goddamned dental implant. That occurs at the end of this month. If we are all surprised and this test comes back positive, THEN the next step will be to have the orthodontist or an oral surgeon remove the implant. Doesn’t THAT sound fun?

Well, no: it sounds like another day of acute misery followed by another week or ten days of dragged-out misery. But if it works to stop this neuropathy horror, it’ll be worth it. But it’s a long shot: MayoDoc does not think the PN is caused by metal sensitivity. She thinks I’m a lush and that that the neuropathy is caused by drinking. I argue that one or at the outside maybe two glasses of wine with the large meal of the day (which is a lot of food!) alcoholism does not make. But of course she thinks that because I must be an alcoholic, my reports that I do not drink that much and I never drink without food are just excuses I’m making up.

If she’s right — that the neuropathy is caused by long-term alcohol abuse — then there’s not a thing we can do about it. That is a permanent condition caused by damage to nerves that will not grow back. I don’t happen to think she is right — because if she were, every Frenchwoman on the Continent would be spending her nights tingling and burning — but I’m not a doctor. Nor did I grow up in a household of Christian Scientists, as MayoDoc did…

Still, I persist in hoping that the neuropathy, which started suspiciously at about the time of the dental work, is a reaction to the metal implant.

Ironically enough, the condition that is forcing my beloved Old Dentist out of practice is exactly that: a reaction to a metal hip implant. And that reaction is…? Yep: peripheral neuropathy. He can barely walk for the buzzing and tingling in his legs and feet. When they diagnosed this, first he asked why the hell didn’t you warn me about this, and of course received no sensible answer. To what are we gonna do about it? he was told that the treatment is to remove the metal implant and replace it with a ceramic implant…which will require three more major surgeries!!!!!

He said thank you very much, but no thanks.

So now he’s crippled, nonfunctional, miserable, and is about to lose his livelihood.

One can only ask: Why the fuck didn’t they check for metal sensitivities before they stuck a metal hip replacement in his body???

How hard is this?

Not very, it develops: you get patch tests that will determine whether you’re likely to have a negative reaction. Given that they have such a thing as ceramic implants, wouldn’t you think they would run those tests routinely before ever doing any kind of bone replacement implant?

Why, indeed?

Clearly, if such a thing as “metallosis” or sensitivity to metal implants exists at all, they should be testing EVERYONE for that kind of sensitivity before they insert titanium. stainless steel, or cobalt/chromium alloys. How hard is this?

Certainly no harder than having to perform three(!!) extra surgeries to remove a fake hip and replace it with some other product. Certainly no harder than having to figure out what is causing some weird symptom, blaming the patient, and finally getting around to testing for an allergy. A chore that will absorb an entire day this week…

Wherever we are, it sure as hell isn’t Kansas, Toto!

 

Grrrrrrrrr! Stop the freakin’ world….

So I go to cancel this morning’s physical therapy misery so as to spend the full day coping with the various crises that have come up, only to find that somehow it’s gotten moved from 10:30 in the morning to 1:45 in the afternoon.

Why? I’m sure I should recall, but I most decidedly do not. Because I can’t remember much of anything anymore…

Have ALL of the appointments been moved to the start of naptime? WHY???

Oh well. We can deal with that later. Much later.

Slept all the way through till 4 a.m. and so should not feel quite so zombified this morning. But just now all I want to do is go back to bed.

  • Not cope with the cleaning lady underfoot all day.
  • Not hassle with the weirdly busted computer, entailing an hour or more on the phone with the Apple techs
  • Not drive to the locksmith and order up a wildly expensive replacement for the security lock key the cleaning lady has lost…

No kidding: wildly expensive is it. Those things cost $15 or $20 to replace. So as you can imagine, I start the day feeling a little aggravated. The slope looks steeply downhill from here…

At least (claims she), the keys didn’t have my address attached to them (let’s hope to god she’s telling the truth!). Otherwise, I’d have to have the locks themselves replaced. One of these Medeco locks runs about $160….not including the cost of having the locksmith come to the house and install it.

The computer’s gone whacko, apparently because of a keyboard command I unwittingly entered. Normally you can click through from one window or page to another. But there’s a stupid setting whose appeal utterly escapes me that causes the thing to “sweep” from one window to the next with an effect like an old Kodak slide projector.

I find the effect annoying to the point of being grating. And I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make it stop, because I don’t know what cutesie appellation Apple has chosen to call it so I can’t look it up in the support documentation. So now I have to get on the phone to Apple and fart around, fart around, and fart around some more. Just what I want to do to fill up the morning.

The locksmith’s shop is to hell and gone in Glendale. Not that far, but still…one more PITA. I’ll have to wait til the C.L. gets here before I can leave, because of course in this neighborhood I can’t go off and leave the door unlocked.

This accursed LA-style city…ugh! Have I said how much I hate driving around this place? It just gets worse and worse, the more they build, they more they gentrify, the more they “improve.” Every change inflicts some new confusion…and every damn day seems to bring some new change.

Really, I should go up to Prescott and look at real estate. This place is driving me crazy.

But first, speaking of driving me crazy, I have to find a new hair stylist.

The other day I drove out to Shane’s to get the annoying new short hairstyle trimmed. That would be the one I was forced to get because I couldn’t comb my nearly waist-length hair with a broken shoulder in the way. Shane is a great stylist…but he charges 60 bucks a hit. So as you can imagine, having to cut my hair off in a cute little pixie was NOT what I want to do. Oh well.

He’s in Scottsdale. Has been for the past several years. So I start driving driving… Come to the touristy 5th Avenue section, find his street (3rd Avenue) and…and…and… The salon is not there.

Huh?

I drive around and around and around and AROUND old-town Scottsdale and

Can.

Not.

For.

The.

Life of me…

…find Shane’s place. Finally I give up and come home.

This damn hairstyle he created is yes, very curly and very cute…and it has a forelock that falls RIGHT INTO MY EYE. I can NOT make it stay out of my face — the only way to keep it from fukkin’ blinding me is to take a plastic hair roller clip thing and pin it up on my head.

Which as you can imagine looks spectacularly fashionable.

Drove back into town to make an appointment at the salon in the AJ’s shopping center, which…of course…you had to ask? Is not there anymore.

Tried to find my old stylist’s salon up by the west-side university campus.

Gone.

So now I have to start completely anew and find a stylist, by guess and by God. And by God, am I pissed about that.

Moving on, I decide to cut the physical therapy this morning so I can traipse to the locksmith’s shop whenever CL fnally shows up. Call there and find my appointment isn’t at 10:30: it’s at 1:45. We cut the number of sessions from three a week to two, and I think we must have changed the hour from morning to afternoon.

Which is NOT when I want to be flailing my arms and legs in the air, dammit! About 1:45 in the afternoon is about when I run out of gas and wanna lay down for an hour or two — especially after a night that has ended at 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning. I am effin’ TIRED by early afternoon and mostly just wanna go back to bed.  So this is an annoying development.

So. Back to the hair:

Seems to me I have two choices.

  • Find a stylist who can trim the forelock out of my eyes. Or…
  • Let it grow back out. And grow…and grow…and grow…

It will take three or four years for the hair to grow long again. Three or four years of shaggy awfulness. Or maybe four or five years… Plus of course there’s always the “what’s she trying to prove?” question. The truth is, I’m way too old to wear my hair down around my shoulders. By the time it gets there, for godsake, I’ll be 80 years old!

For godsake, it’s 9:30. Where IS that woman?

Welp! There’s an easy way to cause her to show up: Pick up the phone and get an Apple tech on the line…