Thursday, November 02, 2006

957 In Orlando

Thursday, November 2, 2006

I'm here. Good direct flight, on time. Sister picked me up at the airport. Great hotel, nice room, free internet in the room. I don't have a laptop, but no problem, there's a business center downstairs with free use of the desktops.


Visitation tonight.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

956 Hotel

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Orlando hotel reservations are made. It took me only three hours. I had to Google the funeral home and the church to get their addresses, check online maps for the locations, get a map of hotels, then figure out how the maps overlap (they didn't both consider the same streets significant), choose a hotel, and then find out which online booking site would give me the best price.

When I filled in all the info, including credit card, and hit "do it", I got "reservations system is not available" and I wasn't sure whether it went through or not. So I called the hotel desk, and they gave me a price $40 less than the lowest rate I could get online (including on their own website). For the same room.

As soon as I finished, Sister called, and it just so happens the hotel I chose is about three blocks from her house. She wants me to stay with her, but I really truly do prefer hotels for the freedom they allow me.

I might allow her to feed me.

Then I went shopping for a flyswatter. None anywhere. I ended up with some of that twisty hanging flypaper, the stuff Roman says the flies ignore.

I have visions of Miss Thunderfoot tangled up in it.

955 Flies! Snow!

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The flies are getting thicker. I need a flyswatter. I've been using rolled up newspaper, but anything but a flyswatter-like implement builds up air in front as you swat, so it's almost impossible to hit a fly. Flyswatters blow away flies without blowing them away. Surprise, splat!

Last night I was thinking maybe I should get those sticky fly tapes, but then I remembered a forgotten conversation with Roman from about two weeks ago. He said his house was full of small flies that were driving him crazy because they keep landing on him and tickling him. Exactly like mine! All summer long he keeps a coil of sticky flypaper hanging in his kitchen, and I asked him if it was full of the flies, and he said these flies don't seem to be interested in it.

I fell a little better remembering that. I was feeling guilty about the three days of cat food leftovers in the garbage, the dirty dishes and unfinished cat food left out overnight, the ignored kitty doodoo in the litterbox. All possible breeding spots. But although Roman's house is messy and cluttered, I am absolutely certain there's no suitable breeding materials anywhere. The man may be messy, but he's CLEAN.

I wasn't watching the TV, but I think I just heard the Albany weatherman say something about "after we clean up the snow tomorrow morning...". Snow? I just remembered the other reason I so rarely use the Albany airport.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

954 It's Ok - I've Got the Van

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I decided to wait until after I got back from Florida to get the bad noise in the Aerio checked. After all, I have the minivan. Right?

Back when the van was with the Chrysler people, I had reported to them that it was dripping something onto the driveway (they had earlier worked on the brakes). They said it wasn't brake fluid, or they'd have noticed it on all the test driving they did. I guess having decided they knew what it wasn't, they never looked to see what it was.

Last night the van started making awful noises when I turned the steering wheel.

I drove the van into the village for lunch with Piper and Vinnie today, and they called a garage friend of theirs, and so after lunch I went there. Yup. Power steering fluid was very low. The guy agreed it was a slow leak, so he filled it up and the bad noise went away.

He gave me another bottle of the stuff, and that should get me to the Albany airport and back, and then I'll take it in to him on Monday, and he'll find out where it's leaking.

I didn't get my jaw/tooth checked last week because there just wasn't time (and I kept hoping it would go away). I didn't make an appointment yesterday because I wasn't sure of my schedule. So this afternoon I started calling dentists, to make an appointment for sometime next week.

Yeah. Sure. Real easy.

Of the six dentists in and around the village, two are not accepting new patients, and two have NO appointments available until the second week in December!!! Sheesh. Aren't they supposed to keep an hour or two a week open for emergencies? Are there emergency rooms for teeth? One receptionist said they were full with cleanings into December. Cleanings! The hygienists do the cleanings. What's the dentist doing? Managing the cleaners? Filling out insurance forms?

My old dentist is forty minutes away, in Highland, where I lived before I married Jay. I had stayed with him because it was comfortable. But I haven't been in since I went into the depression after Jay died (after 12 years of twice-a-year cleanings), so if I want to change to someone closer, now's the time. Plus, if this problem requires any nastiness, it's better to be closer to home.

I'll try the other two tomorrow. Both are new to the area, according to one of the other receptionists, so I might have a better chance. Failing that, I'll have to expand my search. And there's always the multi-dentist office in the mall.

In the meantime, the pain has lessened. The bite is still off, but I haven't needed any Tylenol or aspirin yesterday or today. Either it's getting better, or the nerves have died.

I talked with Roman this afternoon, and he had to hang up after a short conversation because he had to leave for a dental appointment. Irony.

Yeah, ok, I know I'm supposed to establish relationships with professionals BEFORE I need them. So I should be lining up a dermatologist, oncologist, neurologist, podiatrist, plastic surgeon, oral surgeon, opthamologist ... ??? At least I already have three lawyers. And a financial advisor. And a GP. Leave me alone.

954 Beyond Mice

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I guess I can assume the house isn't too tight. In addition to the mice moving in for the winter, I've got flies. I don't know where they came from or how they got in, but I hope they arrived as adults, because I don't want to think they hatched somewhere in the house.

I often get flies in the fall, and some manage to last through the winter, quietly minding their own business up near the ceiling. These are more annoying than any I've ever had before. They seem to be attracted to my face, and they keep trying to climb up my nose.

I killed three in the den yesterday, and there are four in the kitchen right now.

I can't find my flyswatter.

Monday, October 30, 2006

953 Ignorance?

One of our older members has written an article in the latest issue of the local Mensa newsletter, commenting on Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segments, specifically the one broadcast last June 22, wherein he asked questions like why the Boston Tea Party happened, what are the words to The Star-Spangled Banner, and so on.

She is "amazed and chagrined that persons ... were so very ignorant of the history of this great country of ours."

I think she missed something.

If Jay Leno walks up to you with a microphone and a camera and asks a question, if you answer it correctly, you might look smart, but you don't get on TV!

Think quickly now, how would you answer?

952 I Want My Chocolate Chocolatey!

Every so often I need chocolate. I'm not particular - Bakers semi-sweet baking chocolate works just fine, especially after a minute in the microwave. It's smooth and super chocolatey, and comes already measured in exactly the right craving-satisfying amount. Sometimes I need a milk chocolate that will melt on my tongue, but not so melty it gloms up the mouth. Lindt or Hershey's is best then.

The other day I found a real deal in the grocery store: "Sweet Obsession - Fine European Chocolate - simply the finest chocolates on Earth". Milk chocolate. With peanuts. $.50 for a 7 oz bar. I'm a sucker for labels. And sales. And new stuff.

It won't melt! It stays hard and dry no matter how long it sits on the tongue, like it's frozen or something. Inert.

I felt a need for chocolate this evening, and it was either snort Jay's six-year-old hot chocolate drink mix powder, or try the "chocolate" bar again.

I tried microwaving it, and it BURNED! Without melting. It was still hard and smooth on the outside, but the inside was that grainy sand you get when you microwave something mostly sugar.

So if you like your chocolate crunchy, if you like chocolate that laughs at you, thumbs its nose at you, chocolate with attitude, that refuses to give in, I have a recommendation.

By the way - the ingredients list on the milk chocolate with peanuts says it "may contain peanuts".

951 Nephew

Monday, October 30, 2006

Very brief email from Sister this afternoon. Nephew's viewing is Thursday evening, funeral is Friday morning.

  • Newark and JFK are both a little over two hours away, and I can get non-stop first class flights from there.
  • Newburgh is a little over an hour south, but there's no first class and no non-stop flights. It's like it's just commuter flights to Philadelphia or Detroit, where you change to "real" planes. On the other hand, all the flights are relatively cheap.
  • Albany is also a little over an hour north, and flight choices are more convenient, but it's been my experience that everything out of Albany costs about twice what it would cost from any other airport.
Daughter wants to go to Orlando, too. She lives about a half hour from the Newark airport, so if I used Newark, and if the time was convenient for her, we could be on the same flight. But I cringed at the thought of the drive, since the Suzuki is sick and I'd have to take the (still don't trust it) minivan. Alternately, she might be able to join my connecting flight in Philadelphia, but the flight that worked best for me had only two seats remaining. What a pain. Phooey. Let's just do the best I can for me. She can figure out what she wants to do. We'll meet in Orlando.

I was online looking at three different sites simultaneously, trying to put together the best round-trip package, when Piper called. He asked if I had tried Southwest out of Albany. I explained why I didn't even look at Albany, and next thing I knew he had me on a conference call to Southwest. Straight through, non-stop, Albany to Orlando round trip, both departure times ideal, half the time in the air as from Newburgh, arriving four hours before the viewing, for only $7 more than from Newburgh. Wow. I booked it. That was so quick! Thank you, Piper.

Since I'll be gone only two overnights, Miss Thunderfoot can stay home. She won't be happy, but I just happened to have bought her absolute favorite (cat candy!) dry food this morning - I don't know why, something told me to - so I think she won't suffer too badly.

Off topic - back in post 944, "Rochester Strange", I complained a bit about Jay's sister. To clarify, I do like her. She is smart and has a good and very soft heart. It's just that I have learned a few things about how to avoid friction with her, and I was a bit annoyed on that trip because even though I KNEW what to do and not do, I didn't listen to myself and was just the usual relaxed and bumbling me. Which I knew wouldn't work.

One thing age has taught me is that sometimes it's ok not to be yourself.

950 Interpretation

Monday, October 30, 2006

There's a Special K (cereal) commercial where a woman joins her friends at an outdoor cafe, and they remark on how good she looks. She gives credit to her breakfast cereal. At the end, the voiceover says - or at least I think he says:

"Women who eat breakfast like the Special K breakfast weigh less."

I think that's what he said. Because what I heard was:

"Women who eat breakfast like the Special K breakfast way less."

I'm amazed that no one at the ad agency caught that during review.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

949 Aggghhh!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I just visited the photo gallery of a California bellydancer, teacher, impresario. She puts on a big show in Hollywood every October.


I am aghast!

About half the "bellydancers" in the shows in the gallery are wearing bedlah, but they seem to have forgotten their skirts. Just a mid-thigh length belt. One pair in the 2004 show are wearing nothing but pasties, thong, and a long string of beads.

The bellydance police should make her remove "bellydance" from the show flyers. If she wants to call them exotic dancers, ok. But calling them "exotic bellydancers" is taking the form back to when bellydancers were grouped with strippers. It's been a long hard battle for respect, and The Dance doesn't need stuff like this.

It's spreading. Some eastern seaboard dancers have already caught the "Vegas Wannabe Virus" (VWV - I get credit for naming it!).

948 Such a Mix

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I've had such a mix of good and bad the past week. It's tiring. I'm used to being up or down, but rapidly alternating between up and down is WORK!

Daughter's hardcopy birthday card arrived in yesterday's mail, and it's wonderful. I didn't know they made cards that said things like that. The theme is "you were there", and it has paragraphs about all the times that Mother was there, and Daughter has written in specific times and examples between the paragraphs. So nice.

On the other hand, the Suzuki is sick. Friday night driving home from the theater, a scraping sound started somewhere toward the right front wheel well. A metal-on-metal sound. I'd almost think it had something to do with the brakes, but it isn't steady. It happens mostly when I hit a bump (even a small one) or when I turn right. Sometimes when I'm going straight. Off and on. It doesn't depend on speed or brakes.

I said "oh, well, thank goodness I have the minivan" and Daughter cracked up, "I never expected to hear that!"

With winter coming, the field mice are looking for a new home. There was a mouse in the kitchen the other night while I was on the phone. It was tiny, fat, teardrop-shaped, very cute and very fast. Miss Thunderfoot saw it out of the corner of her eye, and she chased, but when the mouse stopped, it was like Thunder couldn't see it. She'd look all around where she saw it last, and look right past it, until it took off again. If Thunder knew it was a mouse, she would have lost interest, but it moved so fast that she couldn't identify it. It finally disappeared under the stove. (That's the main mouse highway into the house.)

Live mice are cute. Dead mice are not. Somewhere 'long about last Thursday I noticed that there's a dead mouse, probably in the wall, just inside the kitchen doorway. You can smell it as you walk in the front door. I know from much experience that if I wait a week or so, the smell will disappear, but in the meantime, it's a long week.

About ten days ago, the back of my right jaw went funny. At first I thought it was a TMJ thing, but then I noticed my teeth on that side aren't meeting correctly. They touch before the left side does. And pressing them together generates pain, top and bottom. Pain from the temple to behind the ear, to below the jaw. I have old root canals there, top and bottom, with metal caps and spikes into the bone, and every time I chew I can feel those nails stabbing. I guess I need to have it looked at, but haven't had time this past week. It feels almost like the top teeth have dropped (they did that before - the fix was to grind down the lower teeth to make room), but another possibility is that I'm growing another wisdom tooth. I must be part alligator or elephant or something. I have grown multiple extra molars - several came out sideways through the outside of the gum, and one is still sitting proudly vertical on the lower left, squeezed between its twin and sister. I've grown six wisdom teeth so far.

It felt a little better yesterday, so I was poking around in there trying to figure out what was going on, and then I was foolish enough to actually chew my dinner, and this morning when the overnight aspirin wore off, the pain woke me. It's really bad today. Phone call to dentist tomorrow.

I had signed up and paid for a ballroom dance class with Rhinebeck Continuing Education, and then waited and waited to get confirmation from them, which never came. In the meantime I lost the brochure, so I wasn't sure when it started. When I decided maybe I should call, the only number I could find for them had been disconnected. I finally got to their office through the superintendent of schools, and left a message. Turns out the class started at the end of September! I am very disappointed. I don't want to sign up for any classes over the winter, so it'll be spring now before I can try again. Note - the object was only slightly to be more comfortable on the dance floor. Mainly it was because I'd heard it's a good way to meet men.

The TV weatherman is gloating over snow predictions.

Today is the fifth anniversary of Jay's death.