My dentist (Dr. Leon Wachtel) is an artiste. I went to see him today because I (thought I) had broken off a crown Saturday night biting through some very tough crust on a microwaved leftover pizza. At least that's what it looked like to me when I gazed in the mirror at the scrubby little stub where my tooth had once been. I called his office first thing this morning and asked for an ASAP appointment. I was told he could see me at 2:20 this afternoon. So I went, with some misgivings. Those concerned the price of a new crown. (I apparently had swallowed and . . . digested . . . the old one and it was nowhere . . . to . . . be . . . found.) After some chat he looked in my mouth and said "Oh, that wasn't a crown, it was just a composite. I'm going to just build you a new tooth." I said "you mean I don't need a crown?" (Idiot!) He said "well, you can have one if you want one." I quickly said "no, no, no, that's okay." I had told him I needed it quickly because I was expecting a call any time from Michael McConaughey's people asking me to double for him in his next movie. I tried out my "all right . . . all right . . . all right" line but no one seemed impressed. To make a long story short, he built me a composite tooth which looks and feels just like the old one and I am good to go. It's great to have a good dentist, even if he doesn't get my humor sometimes. Oh, he said my mouth is full of tartar and I need to schedule a cleaning. That's now set for September. Rain update: it's been raining hard all around us today but only a few light sprinkles here.
I'll be glad when tomorrow comes. Last night I nuked a few pieces of leftover pizza from Friday night and in the process of biting through a very hard crust edge I apparently broke off a cap on one of my teeth. One of those unimportant ones. Right in front. So I've left a message on my dentist's answering machine and hopefully I'll be able to get in tomorrow for at least a temporary fix. This is probably the second time this has happened since I got the cap 29 years ago so it's not too bad a history. I figure this fix will set me up for the rest of my life. So my Sunday has been spent idly running my tongue over what's left of my tooth and counting the hours. And reading the Times. Just finished that. We haven't been visited by bunnies lately and Judy has just put out some carrot scraps and some miniature Brussel sprouts. I thought Brussel sprouts, especially the small ones, were a little gourmet for some random cottontails. But the boss said "they like cabbage" and I guess that means Brussel sprouts are just an upgraded cabbage. I've been watching. No bunnies yet. Lessee, what else is new. Oh, towering clouds again but no rain. Guess that's not new. The Diamondbacks lost to the Phillies today. Guess that's not new either. I guess nothing much is new. Wish me luck with the tooth fairy tomorrow. I'll keep an eye out for bunnies.
Yesterday we had three hard rains. Today we had lots of thunder but no precipitation.
SWMBO and I did have a nice lunch at a relatively new fine dining spot in Prescott Valley, Cork & Cuisine. It is in the Entertainment District and features a different menu and a different wine list each month. Very nice setting with a lounge area, seating at a small bar, tables for dining and a couple of nights a week Chef's Table seating, where you can watch your meal being prepared in an open kitchen and converse with the chef. Good food, good wine. We spoke with the aptly-named owner, Sherri Cook, who said they have clientele from Prescott but so far the Prescott Valley crowd is not supporting them. Give it a try, folks. It's leisurely dining, not fast food, but a comfortable place to take your time over a good meal and libations.
When I was a much younger man, one of my "stunts" was to climb up on a roof. I'm not really sure why. Maybe the view was better. Maybe because my wife (to be) hated when I did it. Maybe because ("why do you climb Mt. Everest?") it was there. At any rate . . .
The urge is still there but I don't do this anymore.
I'm back home after traveling to Phoenix for a game at the old ball park today. My buddy Steve did well by me, snaring a couple of seats on the first level.
The result on the field was not nearly as pleasurable. After 3 and a half innings, the Diamondbacks were behind 7 to nothing. But they kept fighting back and after 7 innings were only trailing by two runs, 7 to 5. But that was as close as they would get as the Tigers' eighth inning netted them 4 more runs, 3 coming on a towering home run by superstar Miguel Cabrera.
But we had a great time at the game. Which reminds me. What kind of food do you eat at baseball games? Hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts and nowadays in Phoenix anyway such things as pizza and Mexican food. But salad? Who eats salad at a baseball game?
Well at least this trim young woman, diving into a fresh green salad.
Speaking of tradition, there's another one, as shown in this picture.
Did you get it? It's the three men in the lower right, taking a selfie!
Speaking of photographs, I had to get one more. There was a pretty girl who kept holding up a homemade sign, hoping the cameras would spot her and put her picture up on the jumbotron. A couple of times, between innings, she went down closer to the field and held up the sign, waving it back and forth. Alas! She didn't make it to her personal 10 seconds of fame. So I went down to her row after the game and told her I'd take her picture and put it on the Internet. Here she is.
Now I ask you. How could those cynical cameramen have resisted that beautiful smile? I hope this pleases her.
As I said yesterday, my pal Steve called me yesterday and invited me down for a Diamondbacks' baseball game today. A little background here. Steve was born in Tucson and has lived in Phoenix for more than 40 years. He was a television photographer when I met him and has worked as a self-employed videographer for many years now. In both occupations he spent a lot of time outdoors working in Arizona's hot sun. So, he's got a pretty darned good tan.
I, on the other hand, only worked outdoors for a few years and then spent the bulk of my career at an inside desk job, from which I've been retired for many, many years. I don't play golf or anything else that takes me outside a lot and that coupled with my Norwegian/English heritage has left me with a pasty white complexion which Steve always teases me about when we get together. Especially if we're both wearing shorts and my glaring white legs are next to his mahogany ones.
But I can take it and I still accept his baseball invitations.
I had just come back from a trip to the city. (I have decided to start calling Prescott Valley "the city" and Prescott "the town", partially in deference to Prescott's claim to be Everybody's Home Town and partially in reference to Prescott Valley passing Prescott in population.) Anyway, I had just come back from the city and Judy asked me if it was hot out there. I said "well, it's not cool." Then I headed for the door to check the outside temperature when my phone rang.
It was my buddy, Steve, who said "If I can wangle some better seats would you come down for a baseball game?" (I've been going to games with Steve for several years but his seats are up in what is not so courteously referred to as "the nosebleed section". The higher up you go in a ballpark the steeper are the rows of seats and in my declining years I had found that I suffered from vertigo up in his regular seating area and had told him I would have to refrain from attending any more games unless he could get some lower tier seats.) Well, that's kind of rude considering that I get the game for nothing except I pay for parking. But facts is facts as someone (Pogo?) once said. So today Steve said he was working on some lower seats and said I had to make a commitment to come or he wouldn't do it. (He must have won the Powerball or something.) So I did and said I'd see him tomorrow. That done, I went out the front door, checked the thermometer and returned inside to tell Judy it was 85 degrees but it smelled like rain. She asked if it was going to rain and I said there wasn't any such thing in the forecast. That conversation occurred as I was walking to the back patio door. "Well I'll be darned! It just started raining," I said. Now you must realize. Here in Arizona, rain can mean either a torrential downpour (rare) or a few light drops that start and stop in a couple of minutes (or seconds). The latter was what we got this time so you can stop envying me now.
If you've got really good vision you can see the few drops on my window that are the leftovers from that "rain". (Dang! Looks like I need to wash that window.)
Last week the skies looked much more promising and I took a picture of them, in hopes of provoking the rain god (Tlaloc, the Aztecs called him. But I prefer the name the Hopis gave him: Shotokunungwa. I can't pronounce it but it's got that kind of rolling thunder look to it.)
Whatever the god, or gods, were not provoked this time and the skies were soon blue again.
By the way, I have a former colleague who talks about the naked rain dance he does out in the street. But he lives in "the town" and that's another story.
Hi-ho, I'm still here. Better be careful with that one. It's what Elaine Stritch was saying recently and she died last week. 'Course I'm 15 years younger than she was so . . . Anyway, SWMBO and I just finished a great pretty good breakfast/lunch meal of Chilaquiles Verdes with Chicken. The recipe came from Mely Martinez C. and her blog Mexico in My Kitchen. It was pretty easy to put together as I had made the green salsa last week for a tacos meal and had some left over. Two pieces of advice: don't buy the tortillas that say they combine corn and wheat - get strictly corn tortillas. The combo ones get a little tough in this recipe. And either make sure you have enough salsa made or buy a bottle of green salsa. Or red. It works either way. As I sit here at my desk, I occasionally glance out my side window at this stunning specimen of flora.
Judy says it's an artimesia. When we arrived in January it was smaller and totally gray-green. She hated it and hacked it to the ground. As you can see, it came back in spades. It tops out at around 5 feet and is radiantly alive with purple blossoms. The bees love it and so did a couple of goldfinches a week ago.
Now here are a few books I recommend from my recent reading. "Tibetan Peach Pie" is a memoir by Tom Robbins. Although he denies that it is either a memoir or an autobiography it sure follows him from boyhood to the present. Written in Robbins' rollicking style, it's a fun read. Judy and I both enjoyed it.
The next one on my nightstand was "The Joke's Over" by Ralph Steadman. It's the tale of the Welsh artist's 35 or so years with and without the originator of Gonzo, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. HST comes across as a bullying, miserly mean guy in much of this but if you're a Thompson fan, as I am, it's still good reading.
The third book on my reading list is one I'm just about done with called "This Town" by Mark Leibovich. It concerns the political and media wunderkinds in Washington, D.C. Leibovich is a writer for the New York Times in his other life and, as such, had remarkable access to what are referred to in the book as "the gang of 500." It's had me laughing on more than one occasion and mad-as-hell on others.
Okay. That ought to be enough to get your hearts started on this mellow Monday. Proceed with caution.
I attended a book signing at Peregrine Books in Prescott Saturday afternoon for an Arizona legend. Katie Lee of Jerome, Arizona, has been a singer, a recording artist, an actress, an author and, most important to her, an environmental activist opposed to the Glen Canyon Dam.
Today she read from her latest book "The Ghosts of Dandy Crossing."
It is a slightly fictionalized tale of herself and her "Buck". The two of them posed for her camera (with a timer) many years ago. She said she posed the picture for a previous book "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle, A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story and Verse." She said it was meant to convey the myth that the only way to get a cowboy to take a bath was to hold a gun on him.
For one reason or another the picture wasn't used for the earlier book but it lives on as the cover of the current one.
Katie read several excerpts from her book, one of which was loaded with "salty" language, which filled the bookstore via the sound system.
Afterward I talked with the store's general manager, Tom Broderson, an old friend from my bookselling days. He joked that he relaxed the store's PG-13 rating for any author over 90.
Once upon a time, back in the mid-1980's, SWMBO and I were making plans to move to Mexico for an early retirement. Before we left, I received this homemade birthday card from our friends, Tom and Lana.
And on the inside of the card . . .
What are good friends for except to make fun of you, eh?