Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm not winking. It just looks that way

The bad news is that for four days I've had something I'm going to diagnose as "poison stomach" and my left eye has been twitching for TWO WEEKS. It's all very tiresome. Perhaps I am more stressed out than I think I am, or perhaps I'm suffering from severe crunchy-food withdrawl (as soon as I get the okay from the periodontist, look out, apples, I'm on my way). Or maybe I'm dying of a silly disease that is like a pitiful patchwork of relatively benign symptoms. Next I'll probably get seven hangnails and one stopped-up ear. In any case, vim and its rugged companion vigor are not currently in evidence.

The good news is that, on Monday, my mother and I went to see another of those National Theatre Live productions and I'm telling you, if you like theatre and you live somewhere that movie theatres exist, you really ought to look into it. I have seen numerous plays that I have loved--LOVED--through this program. The Last of the Haussmans was one of my favorites. Damn. It was the playwright's very first play, which amazes me. The cast was perfect. I would see it again if that were possible (which, alas, for me, it isn't. However, I know it's playing this Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, so if you live here, it's not too late). I am now officially a fan of Rory Kinnear. If you see him around, be sure to let him know. I'm sure he's been waiting years to get my attention.

To sum up: Yay, National Theatre! Boo, achey stomach, twitchy eye, and general malaise. (I originally had an exclamation point at the end of the "boo" sentence too, but I reconsidered. If you give general malaise an exclamation point, it only encourages it. We can't have that.)

Monday, October 22, 2012


It would be okay with me if no one said these things ever again:
Dive bar
Gluten-free or, really, even just gluten
Partner in crime, unless used to describe an actual accessory to a legal violation.
Oh! I just remembered this one three days later. Midcentury modern.

And, while we're discussing terminology, here's a question. Is the whole thing still called "online dating" if it takes a great deal of time and emotional wherewithal, but does not result in any actual dates? I think it may be time to coin a phrase.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oh, sorry

A short list of inanimate objects to which I have apologized aloud today:
1. My car (which I bumped into while getting in)
2. The blotter on my desk (onto which I spilled a tiny bit of tea, leaving a small stain.)
3. The last third of my banana (which I didn't eat because it had a huge bruise)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A list including spinach

I can't be all, "Oh look at me. I'm so on top of updating my blog." one day and then not post anything for days on end, so this is a bit of a grab bag.

1. I just came from the periodontist's office and was slightly embarrassed to see a surgical assistant who, presumably, last saw me weeping and bleeding. She asked, "How are you?" and I said, "I'm fine. I think last time you saw me, I wasn't, but I am now." To which she replied, "You did really well." I have no idea what that means, in that I was out of my mind on drugs and remember nothing at all, nor do I know how one could "do poorly" as a sedated patient, but I am fond of praise, so I'll take it. Maybe I'll put it on my resume.

My doctor was weirdly cagey about when I'll be allowed to eat whatever strikes my fancy, so we're still going to have to hold off on the tortilla chip/carrot stick fiesta you were going to invite me to. And the making out? We're definitely going to need to postpone that. Bummer. But I am now capable of smiling at you without pain, so that's progress. However, I may have chopped spinach in my teeth. Sorry about that. I promised my mother I would eat vegetables, even while being unable to chew. I keep insinuating chopped spinach (which I don't really enjoy) into things.

2. On Saturday, the nice guys of Previously Secret Information had me perform with them during LitCrawl, which was flattering for me. It's always exciting to be part of LitCrawl. It makes me feel very legit. Public speaking with a mouthful of sutures, however, is not something I can wholeheartedly recommend. Vexingly, just twenty-four hours later, the most problematic of the sutures came out. Sigh. So if anyone would like to hear me tell a story with a less numb tongue, let me know.

3. Someone in the hall is recounting an anecdote (breaking news!) and just said, "My then boyfriend..." a phrase which, in the context of my own life, always implies a break-up, but then she finished, "now husband." Oh. Right. That's also a possibility. Sigh.

4. According to my calendar, I will be seeing five plays in the next three weeks. That seems like a lot. In fact, it makes me think that some of the rest of you must be slacking off on your theatre-going. Step it up, people.

5. Among the many things I think I'm supposed to enjoy but don't are jazz flute and, increasingly, "30 Rock." I am working through my emotions on this and will let you know how it works out. I suspect just eschewing jazz flute will have fewer social repercussions than giving up on Tina and the gang.

Friday, October 12, 2012


This is my 500th post here at Cereal for Dinner. Five hundred. Looked at a certain way, it's not a particularly impressive number. After all, I began this project eight years ago and, though I'm not great at math, I do know that there are significantly more than five hundred days in eight years. However, if I were one of those super-motivated, self-supporting, widely-read daily bloggers, this site would probably be called Balanced Meals Every Night: Musings on Self-Actualization. And, you know what? It's not called that. And only partially because that's a terrible title.

To me, five hundred feels like quite a milestone. I'm still here. I'm still doing this. Since there were years when I only wrote a handful of times, there was no guarantee that I'd keep it up. What's more, I've even taken to admitting it to people rather than keeping a secret available-to-anyone-on-earth-with-an-internet-connection diary, as I did for years. (I'm not totally clear on how the internet works, I guess.)

The exciting thing is that I'm getting better at showing up. If you look over at the archive list to your right, you'll see that in 2010, I only wrote seventeen times, but in 2011, I got that up to 110. Was this because I suddenly had a lot more to say? No. This is because in 2010, I didn't know the blog bully and in 2011, I did. Seriously. It's that simple.

This one's for you, Blog Bully. Thanks for paying attention. Thanks for tsking. Thanks for caring. It has made all the difference.


Extra! Extra!
Tomorrow night as part of LitCrawl, I'll be telling a story (as best I can with my poor abused tongue that has been rubbed raw by sutures) at Stage Werx Theatre at 6:00 with the good folks of Previously Secret Information. It should be a good time. Come on by. It's free. If you don't like my piece, there are at least 450 other writers presenting within a three-hour period. There's going to be something in there you totally love.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Frankenmouth II

Oh, friends. The levity about Frankenmouth has significantly diminished now that I officially am Frankenmouth. My craw is veritably brimming with Human Dermal Product. Well, so is yours, if it comes to that, but mine is now the Human Dermal Product of others and it has been sewn in. I am finding this to be approximately as revolting as it sounds. However, the pain is very nearly gone. This doesn't mean I want to do anything crazy like chew or brush my teeth--let's not get ahead of ourselves. However, it does mean that I am no longer crying and counting the hours until my next dose of ibuprofin (a thing I'm pretty sure I don't know how to spell correctly and am too lazy to look up. What? I had surgery. Can you not cut me some slack?)

Down Sides
1. Reportedly, I wept upon coming (sort of) out from under sedation. My mother had to say, "Tell the doctor you're okay, honey." Which I did, I guess. Then I continued to cry all the way to the car and possibly much of the way home. I remember nothing whatsoever about this (see Bright Sides) but I can't stop thinking about it. Evidently, it is an unusual reaction. My mother thinks it was just a drug reaction. My doctor thinks it is a reasonable reaction to the trauma of a fairly extensive procedure. I can't stop wondering if I am really just deeply sad. That if you dip into my subconscious self, I am just a weeping mess. I have no evidence to support the theory that gum surgery sheds light on secret existential mourning, but I am doing plenty of fretting about it. Conscious or unconscious, I am an excellent fretter.

2. I woke up only three hours after getting to my parents' house post-surgery. They say some people sleep as long as ten hours. I enjoy sleeping; I was hoping for more.

3. When you get to the point where you have to start cutting back on the pain meds, it hurts. That's right. Having things sewn into your mouth hurts.

4. I had one stabby suture. Every time I would move my head a certain way, it would stab me in the cheek. I started to take it personally.

5. For several days, I felt like I looked more like Luke Wilson than myself. Look. I like Luke Wilson, but dude has a weird jaw.

6. Despite not being able to chew, I think I may be gaining weight. I'm looking at you, Trader Joe's pudding.

7. I'm performing on Saturday. And I kind of can't talk normally. Or smile.

Bright Sides
1. I am overcome with love and gratitude for my parents who gave me sympathy and company and many, many edible things that do not requite chewing. Seriously, had I had to just come home by myself...well, I don't want to even think about how depressing that would have been. I am lucky.

2. I remember nothing at all about the surgery. The last thing I remember, I was in the lobby, looking at a magazine with pictures of Keira Knightly in costumes from Anna Karenina.(Which, for the record, are gorgeous.) My next clear memory is waking up in my parents' guest room. Thank you, drugs.

3. I went in to the doctor's office on Monday and they trimmed the stabby suture. Ha! Take that. Also, they seemed entirely delighted by what an awesome job they'd done sewing things into my mouth. I basically just have to take their word for it.

4. Accidental experimentation suggests that with the Human Dermal Product in place, I may be able to drink cold beverages without pain for the first time in years.

5. While lying around waiting to take more drugs, I read The Marriage Plot in three days. I liked it very much.

6. I have allowed myself to buy Trader Joe's pudding.

7. Theoretically, I'll now be able to keep my teeth in my head for many years to come. This pleases me.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


It's countdown to oral surgery. Indeed, it's oral surgery eve eve. Which is to say, it's scheduled for Friday. I am fairly terrified, but am trying to distract myself by making jokes about it. You may have noticed that this is my strategy for most of life. Well, that and crying.

I have been provided with a great many documents by the periodontist: instructions for pre- and post-surgery, waivers where I agree to not sue them if I lose all feeling in my mouth or if my face becomes permanently discolored (what?), financial agreements where I agree to pay them more money than I actually have, etc. The best of these forms is entitled "PATIENT'S CONSENT FOR CONNECTIVE TISSUE GRAFTING WITH HUMAN DERMAL PRODUCT"

Human Dermal Product is pretty much comedy that writes itself.

There is also a lot of focus put on the need to be escorted from the treatment by a "responsible person." Obviously, you can't drive yourself, but you are also not allowed to take a bus or a taxi unaccompanied. In fact, if you cannot produce evidence of this responsible person, they will either cancel your appointment, or proceed without sedating you. I wrote to my mother to double check whether she felt she qualified as responsible. Because you know what? I'm not undergoing this without sedation. She thinks she can make a good case for herself. She used to be a kindergarten teacher.

I also gave her this information from the post-op instructions:
" Attend to either an alert of sleepy patient in the same manner; do not trust him/her alone."

You know I am not to be trusted when I'm sleepy. ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN! (Most likely, sleeping, but still. I might do it in a CRAZY, RECKLESS manner.)
So, there will probably be bleeding and gauze and things. There may also be sleeping. I'll keep you up to date. If you wanted to get together for chips and salsa and corn on the cob and then make out with me, well, I'll have to take a rain check. (But that sounds fun, so let's be sure to get that on the calendar.)