Adventures in Dentistry and a Short Trip to Atlantis

“The land that lies between ‘Factual’ and ‘True’ is the undiscovered country wherein tales are found. One of the most delightful discoveries one can make in this uncharted land is that a story does not have to be factual to be true.” thus sayeth WOL.

I need a sign that says, “Let Sleeping Dust Lie.”

OK.  So off to this morning’s adventure in dentistry wherein I had to get up at ridiculous o’clock because I had forgotten to get any Ensure or acetaminophen 500 mg tablets, because instead of grocery shopping Sunday morning as I had planned, instead, I drove my mom to the ER because she got waylaid by the norovirus du jour currently making the rounds, had had most of the usual symptoms for four days (mercifully no vomiting), and she and I were both concerned that she was getting dehydrated.  Four Cotton-Picking Hours Later we had a brief glimpse of a doctor who told us these “stomach bugs” are usually self limiting, that for electrolyte replacement, she should have been drinking Pedialyte instead of Gatorade (which is loaded with sugar and only aggravates the diarrhea — which I could have told her without making her wait for four hours).  Totally derailed both our plans for Sunday.  I ended up not going shopping until Monday morning and had to wade through large crowds (including screaming preschool age children) to do so.

Anyway, I had to stop off at Walmart to get Ensure and acetaminophen on my way to my 9 o’clock dentist appointment, and then on my way home had to stop off at Walgreen’s to get $23 worth of antibiotics.

As I mentioned in other posts, after I got that lower molar ‘extracted’, the hole it left was bone grafted.  The graft “took,” and this morning I had the post for the tooth implant put in, which required that the gum be incised so that he could get to the bone, and then stitched back up afterward.  I’m supposed to baby the area and watch what I eat.  Naturally, since I can’t have them, I’m craving these really crunchy crackers I like.  This time, unlike when he “extracted” the tooth (read: drill out the root canal part of the tooth to get it out), his nitrous oxide dohickey was working, so I wandered off to the ozone listening to Kevin Kendle’s “Journey to Atlantis” and didn’t much mind that he was drilling a peg into my jawbone.

Of course, immediately I got home, I popped an antibiotic capsule and two 500 mg acetaminophen, and knocked back an Ensure high protein formula, and did what anybody would do — I took a nap.  The key to pain control is to take pain meds before you need them, so by the time the numbing wore off I had enough acetaminophen on board that when I laid me down to nap, I was comfortable enough to sleep for four hours.

In the meantime, the knitting fairie struck and I had two little outfits to give to the dentist’ s receptionist, who is due in November.  There were a couple of minor blips in that process, however;  one was that I had to rewrite the hat pattern to be knitted in the round.

There are some people who hate knitting on double pointed needles so much that they will knit a hat flat and then sew it up.  And then there are people like me who are unfazed by double pointed needles, but hate to sew knitting.

It seems that there is this whole school of thought that approaches knitting from a sewing standpoint.  In sewing you cut out pieces of cloth and then sew them together to make a garment, so they write knitting patterns like sewing patterns.  You knit the garment in pieces and then sew the pieces together.  No, thank you. I would much rather work out a way to knit the garment as a single seamless piece.

The other blip was that I made a boo-boo in the little pink sweater and didn’t catch it until I was about three inches beyond it.  For about 20 stitches on this one row, I purled where I should have knitted.  Even though this little sweater was knitted flat, I was using double pointed circular needles.  That made it easier to fix.

Allow me to digress into technicalities.  Some people would have ripped the whole thing out back to the mistake and reknitted everything, which would have entailed a lot of time, work, pejoratives and scatological language.  I just ripped out the bit that needed fixing and reknitted just those stitches.

Let me show you what I mean.  Recently I made a booboo in a hat I was working on, and k1, p1, when i should have p1, k1.  it was only 8 stitches, but I had knitted about 4 inches beyond the mistake before I caught it.  Rather than rip out all that work,

I just ripped out those stitches that I messed up — ALL the way back to the mistake. You can see how far I would have had to rip out, if I had ripped the whole thing back to where I flubbed up.  Instead, this way, I just had to reknit 8 stitches for four inches rather than 90 stitches for four inches.

I got out my trusty straight double pointed needles in the same size as the 16-inch circular double pointed needles I was using to knit the hat.  (I have a set of double pointed needles in each size that I have 16-inch circular needles, for doing the decrease to close up the top of the hat.)

I picked up the stitches on a double pointed needle.  Ripping out just those stitches leaves a “ladder” of threads, one thread per row.  I then use a second double pointed needle to  knit each “ladder rung” of thread across the 8 stitches I need to fix, being careful to take the rungs in order working my way back up, rung by rung.

Because the needles have a point at each end, when I got to the end of one row, I just went back to the right end of the needle and started on the next row. And with a little bit of patience and attention, there’s the goof all fixed!  This is one of my Toboggans with the internal ribbing on the hem.  The white bit at the bottom is the cotton yarn I used for the provisional cast on.  This whole little episode speaks to something I do not always do, which is stop frequently and check over the work to catch any errors before I get too far past them. If I hadn’t caught that error before I’d turned the hem, I would have had to rip out clear past the hem, and it would truly have been a big, loud PITA.

In other knitting news, I finished the twisted cable hat. I like the way it turned out.  I need to post it and the rewritten baby hat pattern on my knitting blog.  But not today.  I think I hear some chicken noodle soup calling my name. . . and I need to take my antibiotic dose and a couple of acetaminophen with something in my tum.

 

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The Grass Is Always Greener In The Flower Beds

I really need to call the little Hispanic man and his wife to come fork and weed the flower bed, and ask him if he has a chainsaw. I’d rather pay him to do it and trickle down a little cash into the economy than try to tackle it myself. In the first place, I’d have to buy a garden fork because I don’t have one any more. (I sold all my yard tools when I moved into the apartment.)  In the second place, it’s too durn hot. (I can’t take the heat anymore like I used to could.)

Now, something like resetting the edging bricks, or laying down some pavers by the faucet, yes, that’s not out of reason, or planting some bedding plants, or even laying a bunch of mulch in the bed, which I may do if budgetary constraints allow — it would take about five or six bags to mulch that bed properly. Yeah, I could spread a thin layer over the surface and the weeds would be popping right back up to give me the raspberry. If you’re going to mulch properly for weed control, you need at least an inch.

I do have a volunteer rose bush. (How did the world know I like 3 of things better than I like 2 of things?)  Tea roses are very often grafted onto a root stock that is one of several varieties of very hardy climbing rose.  Typically what happens is the graft dies and it grows back out from the root stock.  That’s what’s happened to the red rose.  The “volunteer” rose bush is either the root stock off a bush whose graft died back to the ground, or else it’s a runner from the one next to it, but hey, roses is roses.

We did get a trickle or two of rain overnight.  I have a feeling we’re going to be getting more if some of those swirly storms get to horsing around in the Gulf (of Mexico).

It was sunny, and sparkly with dew/rain this morning when I went out to take the above pix.  The fat(cat)boy, who has been clingy since I took him to the vet for his shots was nervous because I wouldn’t let him out on the porch with me.  (He is strictly an indoor cat.  He never goes out of doors unless he’s in a carrier.) He is not taking to his diet well.  He whinges and whines when his bowl gets empty long about 3 o’clock, but he doesn’t get fed again until 6 pm.  I have been tossing him a pair of treats (Greenies, 1 cal. apiece) but I make him chase the first one all the way down the hallway into my bedroom, and just when he’s eaten that one, I get his attention and lay a second one at my feet so he has to run all the way back.

In the knitting news, I have four hats on the needles at the moment:  This one is a Fabled Cable hat — still working on the proportions of the ribbed bit, the cable bit and the top bit, so I haven’t posted the pattern yet. This one is using the Lion Brand Landscape yarn, in the color “Apple Orchard.”  I will say this for the Landscape self striping yarn:  The colors are very bright and have a high contrast value.   A bit garish for my tastes, but then, that’s what makes horse races.  Then I’ve got a Simple Pleasures hat going in the Red Heart Unforgettable in the color “Pearly” — which I’m not sure I have enough of to finish the hat.  I need to root around in my yarn box to see if I have any more of that color.  If not, I will use some of the delicious green shown, which is called “Meadow.”  The color palette of the Unforgettable yarn is much richer and more subtle than that of the Landscape.  Chacun, as they say . . .

Another Coriolis hat, with a leftward twist, because I like doing ssk’s better than I like doing k2tog’s.  Again, this is the Red Heart Unforgettable yarn, in the color “Dragonfly” which I like a lot.  The color choices in this blend remind me of the James Taylor song, “Sweet Baby James.”  Won’t you let me go down in my dreams . . .

Still working on this version of the Simple Pleasures hat in the Moda Dea Dream yarn.  I’ve got about another 1-1/2 inch to go before I start the decreases.

This is typical of me.  I work on one a while and get bored with it, and set it aside and work on another one.  The Simple Pleasures hats are stockinette once you’ve gotten the brim (either ribbed or hemmed) done, so they require no thought.  You have to pay attention to the other two, particularly the Fabled Cable to get your cable crosses right.

I’ve been listening to Kit Watkins all morning.  Very restful “floaty” music that is tranquil, melodic and somewhat minimalist.  Just right.  If you like his music, there’s a bunch that’s free for the downloading on the Internet Archive, which is where I got it.  You can find all kinds of stuff on the Internet Archive.  Give it a browse sometime when you’ve got an afternoon to kill.

Waltzing into Sunday

It’s from the Suite for Variety Orchestra.  by Dmitri Shostakovich.  It’s a perfectly glorious little waltz. I love the saxophones on the first iteration of the first theme.  He has a little Guy Lombardo vibe going there for just a bit.  My dad used to refer to ballroom dances (waltz, foxtrot, etc.) as “clinch dancing” — no telling where he came up with the term, probably from boxing.  You practically have to be a reenactor to do a proper waltz in public any more (You gotta have the floor length dress with at least three petticoats!) No secret, though, that I do love a good waltz, and this one is as good as any the Strausses could come up with.

While we’re waltzing, this scene from the film Van Helsing, one of the choicer bits from that film (apart from Hugh Jackman in that coat).  Dracula with a cape (and a ponytail!), check.  Grand staircase, check.  Beautiful clothes, check.  And that red dress on Kate Beckinsale, double check with an exclamation point.   And that bit when you see the reflection in the mirror, and she’s dancing all by herself because, of course, mirrors don’t reflect vampires.  If I don’t already have a copy of that film, I may just have to get one. . .

And even though this next one is a musical repeat, watching Bert Lancaster and a very young Sean Bean waltz, and getting an eyeful of Alain Delon . . .  It’s a mix of scenes from movies The Leopard (Il Gattopardo) by Luchino Visconti from 1963. Anna Karenina by Maurizio Millenotti from 1997, Anna Karenina by Joe Wright from 2013, Fanfan & Alexandre by Alexandre Jardin from 1993, War and Peace TV series from 2007, The Young Victoria by Jean-Marc Vallée from 2009, and The Waltz of Dagmara and Artur (their first wedding dance) from 2011.

And while we’re talking Russian waltzes, here’s Sergei Prokofiev’s Cinderella Waltz.

And from Aram Khachaturian, the waltz from his Masquerade suite.

Did you think I’d leave out Tchaikovsky? Perish forbid!  No, it’s not one of the ones you’ve heard hundreds of times.  Bet you’ve never heard this one before!  Lovely violin!

 

 

Saturday Afternoon

I’m listening to Dark Ambient Radio through Winamp* on my computer as I sit at my desk and knit, and read, and write.  This dark piece comes on, didn’t catch the name or artist, but at the end of it, this woman’s voice starts reciting poetry.  The poem is really good stuff, sounds vaguely Elizabethan, and she recites it very well.  I quickly open Firefox and type the last line into Google. (I am the Google Queen! — I read about it in Discovery Magazine in 1999, and started using it as a reference for medical equipment brand names and drug brand names when most people didn’t know from search engines, never mind Google.) Bingo.  Sonnet XC by — you guessed it — good ol’ Bill Shaksper Shakspere  Shakspeare. (He never seems to have spelled his surname with three “e’s,” so why do we?)

Sonnet XC

THen hate me when thou wilt, if euer,now, 
 Now while the world is bent my deeds to croſſe, 
 Ioyne with the ſpight of fortune,make me bow, 
 And doe not drop in for an after loſſe: 
 Ah doe not,when my heart hath ſcapte this ſorrow, 
 Come in the rereward of a conquerd woe, 
 Giue not a windy night a rainie morrow, 
 To linger out a purpoſd ouer-throw. 
 If thou wilt leaue me, do not leaue me laſt, 
 When other pettie griefes haue done their ſpight, 
 But in the onſet come,ſo ſtall I taſte 
 At firſt the very worſt of fortunes might. 
    And other ſtraines of woe, which now ſeeme woe, 
    Compar'd with loſſe of thee,will not ſeeme ſo.

For thoſe who are conuinced that the clown who typeſet the aboue in 1609 was three folioſ to the wind, here it is ſpelled and typeſet “correctly.”

Sonnet XC

Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;
Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
And do not drop in for an after-loss:
Ah! do not, when my heart hath ‘scaped this sorrow,
Come in the rearward of a conquered woe;
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
To linger out a purposed overthrow.
If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,
When other petty griefs have done their spite,
But in the onset come: so shall I taste
At first the very worst of fortune’s might;
        And other strains of woe, which now seem woe,
        Compared with loss of thee, will not seem so.

Never mind that it’s a little Diana Damrau of a sonnet, that all the rhymes are effortless, and that all the little iambs are hard-wired into the pentameter so that reading it aloud is like pulling a silk scarf through a gold ring (I wish I knew who the lady was who was reciting it, because she nailed it); the guy just hauls off and quills stuff like “Give not a windy night a rainy morrow” and freights this humongous metaphor into your head on just seven freaking words. . . .

People say Shakspeare is hard.  No.  Shakspeare is easy.  This sonnet.  There’s not a hard word in it.  Not a word that any reasonably literate person wouldn’t know the meaning of.  Some of the grammatical forms are a little arcane, but within reach.  Some of his syntax is a little closer to Latin and French than we’re used to, and he uses some of the words in ways we’re not accustomed to having them used, but there’s nothing so hard in the language of this sonnet that you don’t know exactly what he’s talking about by the second read through.

What makes Shakspeare hard is that in the 400 odd years between us and him, technology, and the vocabulary that goes with it, has changed so much that most of us don’t even know what half the stuff in his world is anymore, never mind what the jargon means that goes with it. True, the pelt on the critter is a little strange, but once you’ve skinned it, the bones of the language haven’t changed so much that you can’t make heads nor tails of it; and his subject matter, human beings, hasn’t changed at all.  We may not have much in the way of a hereditary aristocracy left these days, but we understand all too well the kind of people who want wealth and power and are willing to stop at nothing to get it. Politics in the halls of government?  Yep.  Still got that, too.  Manipulate people by making them doubt themselves or others?  Yep.  Only we call it gaslighting now.  Or, take this sonnet — add beer and a pickup truck and you’ve essentially got the lyrics of about half the country and western songs ever written.

  • Yes, most internet radio stations have in-browser players, but I don't always want to be having to open my browser to hear music, especially when I'm using it for something else and I have six or eight other tabs open and/or I've got four or five windows open across two monitors.