Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Dating Game

I try to find things that are at least semi-interesting to write about and have not had any such thing in the past two weeks.

No Bruce.

No police.

Very mundane.

Except for one little thing.

My dear friend Christine did force me at gunpoint to join an online dating service. Ok, maybe it wasn’t a gun, as she does not own one. Maybe it was a carrot. Or just a wagging finger. At any rate I reluctantly acquiesced. I figured I would write a profile that would instantly turn people off with its snarkiness and my problem (wanting to be left alone until Prince Charming, fully self-actualized, miraculously appears at my door) would be solved.

So this is my profile:

Me: job, house, kids, dog, cats, grandson, books, knitting, writer. Oh, yeah, and MS.

You: job, kind, courteous, books, laughs at my jokes, has never been in prison or a mental hospital. Knitting is optional. Did I mention laughs at my jokes?

The result? I am up to my neck in men.

Who knew they had a sense of humor? Or maybe couldn’t read at all?

After receiving a few replies, I realized I had neglected to add a few crucial parameters besides prison and the looney bin. I know I am not exactly a prize. But at the risk of appearing to be a picky cow, this would be them:

• No one over 85. (Yes indeed, I did get an e-mail from an 86 year old gentleman in Queens, NY. I don’t think I would travel to Queens to date anyone, never mind a man that is THIRTY ONE YEARS OLDER THAN ME.)

• While we’re at it, no one within five years of my father’s age. Never mind, make that within ten years of my father’s age. Actually NO ONE ON MEDICARE THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

• No one with a mullet and a goatee. Sorry fellas. It’s just too Ozarks for me.

• No one who repeats they are a NASCAR fan more than once in their profile. Like ten times in one case. Actually, no NASCAR fans.

• No one who is wearing a Confederate cap in their profile picture. Actually, no Civil War re-enactors. Especially one who is fighting on the wrong side.

• No one who has more words misspelled than spelled correctly. One typo is just, well, a typo, no biggie. “i would like to talk to an openminded woman who can figure how to get in touch with me ohay” is simply frightening. “Ohay”? Is he Buckwheat? Is it a mysterious dating code I am not familiar with? Do I want to work that hard at figuring it out?

• No one whose profile picture shows him posing with a Las Vegas showgirl in full regalia. Not that there is anything wrong with that per se. It just is a teensy clue we are not going to have a whole lot in common.

• No one who writes in their profile “No picture, no deal.” No problem. So shallow, no deal. Asshole.

What really amazes me are the responses I have received where these 50-something guys claim they boat, sail, canoe, kayak, fish, hunt, horseback ride, ski, snow-board, snorkel, scuba dive, water ski, jet ski, and Other. I do not even want to contemplate what other is.

My profile implies I love books, I am looking for someone who loves books, the word ‘book’ is in my screen name, yet not one of them cites reading or books as an interest.


But not all is lost. Regular readers of my blog will know about my house issues. So I have a date this afternoon.

With a carpenter. big grin Pictures, Images and Photos


Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To Wegmans

At 3:30 Friday afternoon (yesterday), I was almost done with my work day. We needed paper towels, I needed some air, so I pulled on my sneakers and…the next thing I knew I was in Giants Stadium thrilling to Bruce and the E Street Band, the last concert ever in that arena.

Shocked Smiley Pictures, Images and Photos

How that happen?!?!

Well, I’ll tell you.

First, to fully appreciate how unlikely this event was, you have to know about me and spontaneity. I don’t have any. I have to think and think and think and think about doing something before I actually…think some more about doing it. Hey, the unconsidered life is not worth living. I know better than Socrates? I think not.

I plan. And consider. And consider the plan. I consider what emergencies could happen. And I plan for them. I consider how much it will cost. And I plan for that. I consider what could go wrong. And I plan for that. (For those of you who are NOT neurotic obsessives, yes there IS a difference between emergencies and things going wrong. Sheesh, good thing we crackpot insightful ones have your backs!)

I plan when to leave. And then re-think it. Consider leaving earlier and those contingencies or leaving later and those ominous implications. I consider the route. I consider the schedule. I consider cramming something into every single second so we don’t waste any of the experience. Relax, just play it by ear, you say? I already can’t breathe just hearing those words.

So at 3:31 p.m. when Mary Kate and I had an opportunity to go to Bruce’s last Giant Stadium concert, occurring in a mere four hours, I froze with indecision. For ten seconds. Then I threw us into hyperdrive. Sent Mary Kate to get sandwiches and wine. Hopped in the shower. Finished notes I was writing for work. Didn’t even check the weather! We were on the road by 5:00 p.m.

Smiley family driving Pictures, Images and Photos

We were at the Meadowlands by 6:00. Tailgated in the parking lot. Looked at each other incredulously that we had done this on the spur of the moment, words that are not even in my vocabulary.

The one slight glitch was the tickets were for regular seats. I could not bring a wheelchair or the power chair. Fuck it! I went any way. Used a cane and really, really struggled. But the staff was great and helpful. They had go-carts to drive people who needed help to their destination. It was still SO hard to get up and down those stairs, but it was completely, hands down, without question, absolutely worth it.

Because it turned out that I was at the best concert I ever saw.

The seats were great. The weather was perfect. And Bruce was in rare form. Relaxed, funny, clowning around, nostalgic, and knocking himself out to please the audience.

We took pictures with abandon. Another departure for me. Every ticket says ‘No Cameras’. I went to Catholic school for 16 years. If there is one thing I do, it is follow the rules make sure I don’t get caught breaking the rules. Usually I take pictures surreptitiously, looking something like Maxwell Smart using his pen camera. Last night, we made no attempt to hide anything, getting pictures AND videos.

Everyone was in a great mood. The music was perfect. Max didn’t look as though he was going to go into cardiac arrest. And Patti was here. So good to see her.

Here is a slide show I put together of our pictures. And a clip of Bruce singing. He finished with Jersey Girl, the last song ever to be sung in that stadium. A fitting end.

Slideshow: A Great Concert

Jersey Girl

With the last notes, the rain began. And it was over.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Add a Splash of Indignation

Ok , before I respond to all you WONDERFUL commenters to my last post (I love you, I love you, I love you!!) I have to tell you I JUST got off the phone with Dr. Trepidation.

I wanted him to know I WOKE THE FUCK UP, but in the nicest way possible. So I had a cunning plan. For those of you who are not Blackadder fans, it was a clever ruse.

I called and sweetly, innocently asked what exactly did I have since I WOKE THE FUCK UP and don't want to WAKE THE FUCK UP when I am having the head of my humerus sawed off next week. He didn't bat an eyelash or say I'm sorry or really, that's awful or ANYTHING. He just sounded a little peevish and brusquely told me the meds he used for the light sedation. It was light alright, as in practically non-existent and I paid $250 to feel, and remember feeling, my tooth being ripped out of my head.

I am so frustrated I feel like crying. I am such a wuss for not confronting him and telling him that it was unacceptable, one of the most upsetting things that I ever experienced and I paid hundreds of dollars for something I didn’t get.

My daughter says I am being unreasonable, I’m never happy, I find something to complain about for everything and that he’s a busy dentist who doesn’t have time for babies like me.

Who, me? Photobucket

I feel like the total of $650 for 10 minutes was more than enough money to make time for a baby like me.



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dentists and Other Strangers

How did I get this life? Could I have another one please? One where I am thinner, prettier and have better teeth?

With two weeks to go before my surgery, even though I've had months, my phobic self finally called the dentist to look at my broken tooth.

It was not pretty.

We’ll call him Dr. Alarm. For starters, I think he hated me. When he asked me when I broke the tooth, I lied and said a month ago because I was so mortified. He was concerned about my health history to an embarrassing extent. I felt as though I had one foot in the grave. I had suspected I had an infection, which he confirmed like this: "For someone like you, who is immunocompromised, walking around with an infection like that is the equivalent to holding a gun to your head." He was almost hysterical and said it was the utmost emergency and danger.

Don't you hate it when people mince words?

He also confirmed something else I suspected: the tooth could not be salvaged. He said it was such an emergency that he called an oral surgeon to see if they could get me in immediately. They could.

The oral surgeon, we’ll call him Dr. Trepidation, was very nice. But he was pretty grim too. Danger, death, danger, septicemia, danger, death, death, death. And some more death. With extra death on top.

Dr. T. offered to pull it right then and there. But I want to be O-U-T and there was no one to drive me home, so I rescheduled for the next day when Death and my daughter could come with me.

I was not looking forward to this experience but was being as stoic as possible, reminding myself it would be over soon and then I would have nothing to deal with except blood, swelling, severe pain and a missing tooth. You know, nothing too terrible.

And I was right. It was not as bad as I expected.

It was a thousand times worse.

I've been to oral surgeons before to have extractions and they have always worked out ok. I have gone to sleep and woken up when it was over.

But I started to feel misgivings when Dr. Trepidation stood on my right side and leaned over me at an angle to put the IV in my left arm. He gave a push of something and, clunk, out I went. AND WOKE UP TO HIM PULLING MY TOOTH OUT!! I was competely befuddled, so I was horrified to hear myself moan VERY loudly. Even being numb, it really, really hurt.

I didn't say anything before I left, mostly because my mouth was stuffed with gauze. But now (because I am a mental case), it just keeps running through my mind. The ferocious yank, my not unreasonable reaction, then oblivion again. When the damage had already been done, when I had experienced the very thing I had not wanted to.


At any rate it is over now and I had even more fun coming up that night.

In the middle of the night, Mary Kate came downstairs to say she had heard someone walking in the alley between my house and my neighbor’s. The path is made of stones and she could hear footsteps crunching in the rocks. We both listened for about ten minutes and, hearing nothing, went back to bed. Just as I was about to drift off, I heard the stones crunching and then my garden gate, which squeaks, was opened.

When I heard steps on the patio, I called the police. The dispatcher asked me if I wanted to speak to the officers when they came. I looked down at my pajamas and could feel my hair going in 6,000 directions and said "Oh, no that's ok." Five minutes later, the policeman is knocking at my door. Jesus, didn't he get the 'don't talk to' message?!?! I couldn't find my glasses, which meant I couldn't find my robe which meant I had to put a coat on to answer the door. Try to look nonchalant and credible when you are standing in your living room at 3 am in pajamas and a winter coat.

Is it my imagination or are cops just getting younger and cuter?!? Or am I simply a dirty old lady?

They never did find anyone, but they were very thorough. And I never did go back to sleep. I was the only one among my colleagues who started working that day at 4 a.m.

It could happen:


Update: Great news. My friend Joe finally had his surgery and is doing well. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, but keep them coming if you can, he’s not completely out of the woods yet.

Check out his blog here.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The concert last week was the best of his I have ever been to. Twenty nine songs over three and a half hours. The last concerts ever before they tear down Giants Stadium.

He looks awesome. Although Max looked like he was going to keel over any second. The Big Man is such a classic. And Little Steven just cracks me up with the faces he makes. They were in rare form and, except for poor Max, looked like they were having a blast.

I know we did in the audience (even though it was FREEZING!!).

During Dancing in the Dark, he pulled a lady up onto the stage. It wasn’t quite Courtney Cox, but she seemed like a good sport and Bruce danced and chatted with her for probably close to five minutes. And then gave her the sweetest kiss on the cheek.

We were on the floor, which was so much fun. They had a raised platform for people with assistive devices, so I didn’t get squashed like a bug.

Here are some piccies:


"Does this wheelchair make me look fat?"

The Main Event:

And here is a clip of the night itself that we were there, and the song Bruce wrote for for the end of an era:

(For e-mail readers: clip )

Thanks Bruce!