catching up, with teeth

So much for my pledge (to myself) to post at least a couple of times per week. Lots of stuff going on, several projects keeping us busy. There are two that I can make public.

The first is a new ecommerce website, the first of several, Gear for the Poles. The idea is to offer travel gear and apparel targeted to specific destinations. We will soon put up Gear for Africa and Gear for the Galapagos, maybe more (maybe by activity, we’ll see), all under the necessaryGear logo.

The other project was setting up a blog for Westport Benefits Group. We just finished it last night and Steve Parmelee, the site owner, has written his first post.

We also have several other stores in the works, a new site we’ve just started working on, a database we’re building, a redesign for two other sites, and Google ad campaign support ... I think that with this economy, people are planning on using their web assets and polishing them to get the biggest bang for their business marketing and collateral bucks, which is where we can help.

OH MY - and a review of THE CHART HOUSE
Last Friday, I really wanted to get to Natick to see my Dad—we planned on going to bingo with him, just hanging out over the weekend and then heading back to Connecticut while the Superbowl was on (we don’t do football—and we didn’t want to drive with the post-game drunks).

But, my tooth was aching. A lot. But I really wanted to go to Natick. So I sucked down a bunch of aspirin and we went.

Big mistake.

I managed to get through Friday night (we didn’t make it to bingo that night—schedules just didn’t work out). Had planned on doing a bunch of maintenance work on websites on Saturday while Stanley and my sister worked on the database, but ohmygod. So I slept most of the day.

We did go out to dinner that evening, to The Chart-House, a restaurant on Long Wharf in Boston in a building that John Hancock (of Declaration of Independence fame) used as a warehouse. It was really interesting and I would like to see it again during the daylight (and during warmer weather). The dinner was to celebrate November, December, and January birthdays, which encompassed Dad, Stanley, Jeff, Maureen, and me.

The Chart-House is way, way overpriced for the food—which was, for the most part, mediocre, pedestrian, just okay in some cases. My yellowfin was good, but nothing special. The herbed rice tasted like it came out of a box and the broccoli was way overcooked. They gave us one tiny pot of butter for five people and though I asked twice, we didn’t get any more. I never did get a knife. The coffee was lousy. The lobster spring rolls were not good—very heavy and tasted old. The seared ahi tuna was okay. The crab, avocado, and mango stack was just a mess—didn’t taste interesting or even fresh. More like leftovers jumbled together. Nobody raved over their entree.

What was good was the hot chocolate lava cake, which you have to order at least 30 minutes in advance. It wasn’t just good, it was excellent, though they should have left the ice cream off (I didn’t want ice cream on my lava cake—just dilutes the chocolate goodness). Maureen got an apple berry crisp, which she said was also quite good. Maureen and I decided that if we ever go back again we’d just get salad and dessert. But there are just too many other restaurants in Boston to ever go back to a mediocre one.

Oh, and the wait staff was just awful—nice kids, but not attentive. They didn’t notice, for example, when our water glasses were empty or that we were lacking several pieces of silverware and even when we asked, we didn’t get. And I would’ve like plain water—I like sparkling mineral water just fine, but not when I want water because the clam chowder (oh yeah, the clam chowder) had so much salt in it I thought I was going to have a stroke if I didn’t dilute it. The clam chowder, by the way, tasted like salty paste, and was as thick as paste. Jeff didn’t like it, either, so I know it wasn’t just me. Though the food was not good, I had a really good time despite my aching tooth, though I felt like I was half on another planet and not really participating in the conversation.

After another night of trying to sleep through a toothache getting steadily worse (thank goodness I had access to some vicodin—I don’t like using it because it makes me itch, but I’d rather itch than suffer the full brunt of a toothache). I slept in the living room because I could close it off to all creatures great and small, plus it was nice and cool in there. My sister’s house is always cold in the winter, so if I was looking for the coldest room I knew I probably had a fever.

On Sunday afternoon, Stanley, Dad, and I went to bingo in Ashland, the St. Cecilia bingo I think it was. We won nothing, but I had a great time, anyway. A lot of good games and we sat near some nice people who explained things for us. We’ll have to remember to get there a lot earlier next time we go. It was kind of sad, too, as I felt Mom there and once in a while caught myself looking for her cards to make sure she was covering the quinella properly so Dad wouldn’t get so nuts trying to keep up with her. It was actually kind of comforting, thinking about her. Again, I felt like I was only 25% there because of the toothache and vicodin and advil.

We did leave just after the Super Bowl started and made it home in record time. I won’t say how fast because of the laws of physics and the laws of Connecticut and all that. Traffic was very light and we only encountered one drunk. When we got home, I checked email (didn’t do anything with it, just checked it), got a couple of calendar entries up on because it would suck if I didn’t, gulped a little more vicodin and advil and aspirin (not all at once), and fell asleep in my office chair. Eventually I crawled over to the sofa—I didn’t want to cope with dogs.

Stanley managed to get me an emergency appointment with his dentist at 11am on Monday. His dentist is very good, and a very nice man—I like everyone I met there with the exception of the dental hygienist who chided me for not going to the dentist more often and gave me a long list of all the things I HAVE to get done. But I saw her only long enough for her to take a couple of x-rays (she does not have a soft touch at all—I considered how to strangle her without inflicting too much pain on myself).

The doctor took a peek and looked very grave. I haven’t been to a dentist for ten years, you see, and I knew whatever I had was a mess. It was in the tooth under a bridge that was put on as a temporary bridge in 1985 but fit so well it became permanent. It came loose a couple of years ago, and the tooth supporting it just fell apart, the root dying and getting a huge infection—oh, did I mention it looked like I had a golf ball tucked into my left jaw by Monday morning? Root canal to clean up the dead root and the abscess, then he’d figure out what to do. He gave me lots of Novocaine.

It didn’t take completely. There was too much infection and too large an area—when the doc got to a certain point in cleaning out the mess, the pain was so bad I think I passed out a couple of times and I certainly couldn’t keep the tears from streaming. I didn’t scream, just moaned some when it got really bad. The doc kept apologizing, telling me that it was just so “hot” there was nothing he could do to kill the sensitivity. I believed him—and I knew this would be the lesson to end all lessons about getting to the dentist at least a couple of times a year. I knew it would be bad no matter what drugs or gas or whatever he gave me because my tooth and jaw hurt so much going in—I’d never felt pain like that before, not even when I broke my wrist or severed my fingertip. I kept thinking about Orin Scrivello, DDS. Even though my dentist was nothing like him.

So, he got most of the root canal done, gave me some antibiotics and more vicodin, and set up an appointment to finish on February 9. I was out of it the rest of yesterday and a good deal of today. It still hurts a lot, but the swelling has gone down some and it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it did yesterday. Mostly, I’m, exhausted. And resigned to footing the bill for one of his kids to go to college for a year or two. It’s already cost me nearly $1,200.

I knew a reckoning was coming with my teeth sooner or later—I wasn’t lucky enough to get teeth like my Dad has, oh no. He didn’t even get a cavity until he was in his 70s! So I’ll get them all fixed up over the next year and then keep them up—I never, ever want to go through pain like I did the past couple of days, never ever again.

I was supposed to go to jury duty today—but I called in sick. So I don’t have to go until April 8. I was kind of looking forward to my jury duty day so I can finish reading Duma Key, Stephen King’s novel that Stanley tells me is pretty good. I don’t have the time to serve on a jury (I’d probably get excused due to business hardship) though some day I would like to be called. But not when I have so many projects due.

Shit happens. I just wish a little less of it would happen for a while, give me a chance to catch my breath.

I’ll have to put more puppy pictures up soon. And try to get a good photo of the hawk or eagle or whatever raptor it is eating the squirrels and bunnies in our yard (it’s beautiful, whatever it is!)

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