Monday, October 05, 2009

10 Things

About a week ago, I was attacked by two foreign powers. Normally, being an American and having a hair trigger when it comes to such things, I might have retaliated with ridiculously overblown force. I just got back from the dentist, however, and he gave me a prescription for Oxycodone. I filled the prescription, and then filled myself with a handful of happy pills, so I am currently not in a mood for violence.

(In the ongoing War Of Jim’s Mouth, I had my lower gums sliced open, the bone drilled into, rods and screws and whatnot implanted, and I am now ready to receive a brand new prosthesis sometime next year after the battlefield has healed. The very least I should get out of the deal is a weekend of unrepentant dope consumption.)

Okay, let me try to succinctly explain what happened. Brinkbeest, a normally sane Dutchwoman, gave me an award, within which was hidden a meme. In order to receive the award, I’m supposed to complete the meme. Jinksy, an otherwise sane citizen of the United Kingdom, apparently urged Brinkbeest towards this madness. And usually - as you know if you’ve been reading me for any appreciable length of time - I would break open a big sack of gratuitous and altogether nasty insults, toss them off like so many grenades at the offending parties, and then (since I have no scruples and I’m a hypocrite of the first order) accept the award, while saying something disingenuous about it all having been in good fun, much as I did HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and even HERE.

Like I said, though, I just got back from the dentist. I have about six hundred stitches in my mouth, and I’m getting higher by the minute. If I didn’t have the good meds, I’d probably already have hopped a plane to Europe and punched them both in the mush. But, the meds are quite swell (they’d have to be to put me in a good mood right now, since I’m still bleeding from the incisions) and therefore they get a pass on a beating, both literally and figuratively. I’ll just complete the damn meme and accept the award without any extra-curricular evil.

(The rest of you shouldn’t get any ideas about giving me trouble. By the time you give me your award, the pills will have run out and I’ll be in a truly nasty mood. I’ll come to your house and set your puppy on fire.)

The award is The Honest Scrap Award.

In her posting, I think Brinkbeest said something about it’s being given to people who say things honestly. I don’t recall all of the details. I’m high as a kite. It seems like a nice deal to be thought highly enough of to be given such an award, though, so I’ll just say that I’m thrilled to have so thoroughly pulled the wool over someone’s eyes.

The meme entails giving ten facts about yourself that are strange or weird or might get you arrested in Bulgaria. Easy enough. If she had asked me to come up with ten NORMAL things about me, then it would have been harder. Here goes.

1 – I Actually Liked The XFL

(I have no idea how widespread the telecasts of that league’s games were. I would assume that nobody outside of North America saw them. Therefore, both Brinkbeest and Jinksy are probably going to be totally bewildered by what follows.)

I watched every telecast of Vince McMahon’s odd little football league and enjoyed the hell out of them. I was looking forward to a second season. Apparently, not too many others shared my appreciation. Sportswriters from coast to coast ridiculed the league unmercifully and the whole enterprise was scrapped after one year. What can I tell you? I really liked it. De Gustibus Non Est Disputadum, as my grandfather used to say every time he put on his Field Marshall uniform and went around the neighborhood singing Deutschland Uber Alles.

2 – I Never Wear A Watch

I guess I have a good internal clock. I’m never late for anything because of my lack of wristwear. I do own a watch, and every couple of years I’ll put it in my pocket to be on the safe side if I have a very important appointment to keep, but even then, I’ve rarely found a need to refer to it.

Actually, it’s the folks who wear watches all the time who are more likely to leave you hanging. I’m not sure why that is (and I’d have a really good punch line here, too – something to do with either Salvador Dali, the musical group Chicago, or a newsmagazine - but I’m too blasted to work it out, so we’re just going to move on to the next thing.)

3 – I Have Spent Close To $15,000 On My False Teeth

And there’s probably another $10,000 in future costs if I want to have the whole process finished in the snazziest way. For now, though, what I have works and I’ll only get the really attractive final prostheses if we can afford them without a considerable strain on our budget. I’d like to have a magnificent smile, but I can eat anything I like and I can speak as well as I could before getting them (which is the most important aspect, considering my line of work.)

Implants are magnificent things, but damned expensive. If I had just gone with plain old removable dentures, most of the cost would have been covered by our health insurance. Unfortunately, they’re considered an optional cosmetic procedure by most dental plans, so I have to be satisfied with the functional-but-just-okay-looking choppers. The meds are excellent either way, though!

4 – I Collect Wheat Pennies

That is, those Lincoln head cents minted between 1909 and 1959 with two stalks of wheat on the obverse side rather than the Lincoln Memorial (which became the design following 1959.) It’s just a fun thing. I don’t think there’s any fortune to be made in completing a collection of them (barring a couple of true rarities which I don’t have and don’t expect to get.) It’s just a little something that makes getting change interesting. Once in every few hundred pennies I find one and place it in my little collection.

5 - My Favorite Dutch Band Is Focus

As a matter of fact, they’re the only Dutch band I can name. Since Brinkbeest is Dutch, I felt I should throw this in as one of my 10 things.

You might be familiar with the tune Hocus Pocus. It was a hard rocker with loads of yodeling in it, a novelty hit in the 1970’s and a really, truly great song. Their entire catalogue is superb, though – excepting one album, MOTHER, which is unrelentingly boring and I suspect was done to fulfill some sort of contractual obligation – and, if you’ve never heard of them before, you should check them out. Truly magnificent musicians, some interesting and intricate arrangements, and they never limited themselves to any one form. You’d get a heavy metal rave-up, then a madrigal, then a gentle ballad, and then a pure jazz improvisation. If you’re intrigued – and you should be - pick up the album Moving Waves first. It has Hocus Pocus on it.

6 - My Favorite British Band Is Deep Purple

I’ve mentioned this many times, but Jinksy is British, so I’m mentioning it again.

You’re more likely to have heard of them than Focus, but if you’re utterly unaware of them, you’ve missed out on the best heavy metal band ever. Unlike many of their brethren from the genre, these guys can match chops with just about anybody from the more mainstream realms of music. And, unlike most of their contemporaries, they’re still putting out meaningful and worthwhile new material over forty years after their debut.

I can’t imagine anyone being totally ignorant concerning their recorded output, but if you somehow missed out on them and want the best introduction to their prowess, purchase the album MACHINEHEAD. The first cut, HIGHWAY STAR, is my favorite song, ever, from any artist.

7 – I Ralphed In The Shower A Week Ago Saturday

I’m 52-years-old. You’d think I’d be past such nonsense as going out, drinking too much, and throwing up in inappropriate places (is there an appropriate place to upchuck?) but apparently I’m not. I went to a bar to watch the Boston College game, had 7 or 8 beers along with some fried chicken and fries, and then came home and clogged up the plumbing. Yuck.

I’ll never do it again, though, I can promise you that. Of course, I said the same thing when I was 16, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30...

8 – I’m A Subway (Metro, Underground) Freak

I love subways. When I was a kid, I used to ride the Boston system, the ‘T’, just for fun. And anytime I go on vacation to a city with a subway, I try to put aside a day (or two, or three) to explore the local system. I live in the Boston area, but MY WIFE can tell you that I have more of the New York City subway map memorized than most New Yorkers do. The more arcane the system, the better I like it.

London’s Underground, with its amazingly complicated interchanges and wonderfully strange station names, is probably my favorite of them all. I mean, a station named Elephant & Castle? How can that not intrigue you?

9 – I Own One Pair Of Shoes

I bought them for my wedding in 1992. With any luck, I’ll never have to buy another pair for the rest of my life. They’re a very well made pair of Johnston & Murphy wingtips, original cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $180 as I recall. One lesson I took to heart from my Dad was this: If you buy quality, it will generally cost you less in the long run than if you buy crap many times over.

I wear the shoes for weddings, funerals, the rare job interview, and a special night on the town, perhaps during a vacation; the same relatively rare times I wear a suit. All other times I wear very comfortable cloth sneakers, of which I currently own three pair.

10 – I Often Fall Asleep Listening To Evangelical Preachers

That’s not a commentary on evangelical preachers in general. I don’t snore in church. I mean to say that I enjoy listening to quite a few of the evangelical Christian preachers who have radio programs, and I more often than not – if there’s not a sporting event on the radio – will tune in to the local Christian radio station at night and then fall asleep while listening to their sermons.

I find very few of them with whom I agree 100% theologically - and those charlatans who constantly try to bleed money from their listeners will get me to switch the station quick, fast, and in a hurry – but I would wholeheartedly recommend at least a couple of them as sincere, intelligent individuals from whom I have learned valuable insights. Should you wish to explore such things, Ravi Zacharias and the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee are, in my extremely humble opinion, tremendous teachers.

And that’s it for the meme. I’m also supposed to give this award to someone else, but now I’m fairly blasted, as well as quite tired from the operation I underwent, so one of you has been spared. If you’re a masochist, or unbelievably needy concerning recognition (that is to say, a clone of me) then feel free to SAY that I gave you the award and enjoy yourself (although you won’t enjoy yourself as much as I have unless you’ve also got a similar prescription.)

Soon, with more better stuff.


Michelle H. said...

I'll keep this in mind the next time I give you an award. "Do it while he's doped up on pain meds."

Then again, I do like your surly wit when NOT on meds. Oh decisions... decisions...

Jazz said...

Aw poor dear. And here I'm gearing up to give you an award shortly... I guess I should be glad I don't have a puppy.

Rhea said...

Incredible, one pair of shoes! I love it.

Chris said...

Dude, hope your recovery goes well. Keep popping those meds, 'cause from your description, your mouth is gonna be a raging underworld of pain without 'em.

Sandy Kessler said...

Thank you but I'll fall asleep to moodscapes thank you talk back button..
whom will you root for in the series??

The Good Cook said...

Awards are funny things... even more funny when under the influence of Oxycontin.

Feel better and you really do deserve the award.

Shammickite said...

I would never insult you by giving you a blog award!

FYI the Elephant and Castle station was built in 1890 and was named after a pub.
As as a little extra piece of info, the first baby to be born on the London underground was born at the station in 1924.

Good luck with the teeth and gums. $15,000???? Holy moly. No dental insurance?

Anonymous said...

Poor poor you! I'm cringing knowing you are in such pain-but I would do it in a heart beat if it wasn't so expensive-currently I am trying to hold on to the temporary bridge that Stavros has re-cemented four times and he knows how paranoid I am about dentures and is, I think, puttng off the evil moment.
Cant wait for the picture of your smile at the end of all this trauma.
andlest I forget...veri word is andlest.

Carolina said...

Thank Dentist for prescription drugs! I'm so relieved. Thanks for sparing the lovely Jinksy and me. I felt so guilty for giving you this (s)crap award.

A couple of weeks ago I saw your younger equivalent on the BBC Breakfast show. But slightly different. A 4-year old boy who knows all bus routes in London. You'll like him

I hope this link works, it'll make you display that very expensive smile. Enjoy your medication, hope you feel better soon.

Hilary said...

Wow.. you're an absolute pussycat when on meds. Here's hoping they continue to do the trick for you. Wishing you a speedy healing time.

Brian Miller said...

you know i still have an Outlaws jersey from the XFL. maybe we were responsible for the few rating points they did and i never wear a watch either, just doesn't suit me.

feel better soon!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

I know the broad whereabouts of Jinksy's abode, Sire, should you wish to deliver that mush-slap in person! As for Brinkbeest, there is no excuse, except for the fact that they're both too clever for words...

I feel for you and your sore mouth, Sully, and I am worried about you yakking in the shower! Will we ever grow up, do you think?

Do you want to?!

My best to you and your darling Mackintosh loving wife! x

Jeni said...

Hmmm. The watch thing makes me think about my older daughter who owns watches out the yazoo and I am here to testify that they do absolutely nothing in the way of helping her to be more timely -for anything! Family dinners -she would, still is, consistently late, so much so, that for several years the rest of the family would have a pool -a quarter an entry -and you could guess what time she would arrive. Whoever guessed the closest won the pot. She's improved somewhat in the past two years or so -maybe a result of getting tired, finally, of reprimands at work places, probably getting fired from a couple of jobs along the way as well -a result of her tardiness. Doesn't say much for watches then does it!
Oh and I do believe you are much more of a pussycat in real life than you will ever admit to being on your blog!

Thumbelina said...

Oh I love it when you're high. Such a different humour... more "tongue in cheek"... lol *ducks*

Jinksy said...

Boy, am I glad we caught you in a good mood?! Sorry it took dentistry and medication to achieve it though, Blogpal... I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
I see that Woman Of No Importance is ready to shop me, should you ever find yourself on English soil, and decide to whack me one...It's nice to know who your friends are, I always think.
Not too sure about you having a collection of pennies. Penny's what, I ask myself?

Jinksy said...

Suldog like to witter on,
pretending he's a grouch,
but really he'a a pussy cat.
(His claws are sharp though,Ouch!)
His voice is real melifluous,
his words sound sweet as honey;
through them he makes a living
and , I hope, a lot of money.
Just listen to him in your head,
as he gets things off his chest,
be they polite, or rude instead,
you'll know Suldog's the best!

Desmond Jones said...

Funny, I collect wheat pennies, too. By now, I just toss 'em in a jar, and when I get 50 of 'em, I'll roll 'em up. Got about four rolls, at the moment. I've actually gotten a couple Indian-head pennies in my change. . . I'll also pull buffalo nickels, if ever I find 'em, but they're more rare. . .

British bands, I s'pose, my tastes being more 'conventional' than yours, you'd not be surprised if I mentioned four lads from Liverpool. Altho I'm also fond of the Stones and the Who.

And jeez, I think I have five pairs of shoes; but that includes my sneakers, my sandals, my winter boots, and my cycling shoes. So, for 'dress-up' purposes, only one. . .

I love Ravi Zacharias. Don't know if Os Guiness has a radio program, but I've heard several tapes of his, and he is most excellent. . .

Unknown said...

Thanks for the info on Focus. Sounds right up my alley, off to iTunes to check them out now.

Hope you enjoy your high, stop bleeding & can eat a burger again really soon!

Suldog said...

Jinksy! I am sincerely and deeply honored! Thank you for the lovely poem!

Buck said...

Oooh... much to comment on here!

First: It sounds like you're healing well, and that's a good thing. I'm also glad you got good drugs. As you may remember, the best I get is Tylenol 3, and I only use that on the first day.

I also hear ya on the expense of implants, and it's WORSE when you live in Podunk. I'm $21K deep into MY adventure... all out of MY pocket, as well.

Second: re: They’re a very well made pair of Johnston & Murphy wingtips...

Seconded. I have two pairs of J&Ms bought back in the '80s when such things were necessary parts of the Bid'niz Uniform. They still look brand new, and I shit thee not. That might be coz I only wear 'em at weddings and funerals any more... but at my age the funeral gigs are happening with increasing frequency.

Third: I still have two tee shirts emblazoned with the Tube map... and given they're almost older than dirt I only wear 'em on special occasions. I also have a tee with the Moscow metro system map on it. We're kindred spirits in this space. Who knew?

The usual, customary, and reasonable apology about comment length applies.

Bruce Coltin said...

So, just to be clear, are you saying that your shoe money went into your teeth?

Buck said...

ps: Here's the Moscow shirt, if'n you're interested.

Daryl said...

Checked my pennies, all 3 of them, and none have wheat but if I do find any do you want them or is this collection only pennies you find?

And ToonMan has a pair of shoes he bought for our wedding,luckily cordovan dress loafers never go out of style since his are 31 yrs old.

Right now I have a permanent upper bridge and if/when it is no longer functioning I think I am going to get implants ... not to look prettier but for the drugs ;-D

lime said...

ok, i also collect wheat pennies. i think ravi zacharias is one of the few guys i can listen to at all. most of them make me want to throw the radio. and i knew darned well you didn't wear wingtips to pick me up at the end of the orange line (which i quite enjoyed riding because i'm weird that way too).

enjoy the drugs while they last.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

You said dentist, which is enough to make me hurl in and of itself. That word, dentist, sends shivers up and down my spine. I'm allergic to the numbing agents, super resistant, so they have to shoot me many, many times and then tears run out of my eyes and I shake violently. I'm also allergic to pain killers so have to make due with Ibuprophen which is not sufficient to kill the pain.

You said dentist, sorry.

Ananda girl said...

That's okay Suldog... I often fall asleep during my end of the day prayers. I was so disturbed by it that I asked my priest about it. He told me that it was... in his opion... proof that I was comfortable in the presence of God and increadibly Him with me. I thought that was a nice thing to say... so I pass that on to you.

Ananda girl said...

Suldog-- Yes, I am arogant enough to accept that line from the priest, so I must assume that you are as well. ;-)

Unknown said...

Truthfully, I couldn't bear to read the description of what they did to your mouth. I got several words in and skipped a paragraph. Still, I guess on balance that was a good thing, because of the Oxycodone... I mean, because it was a cool list.


Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

you suit drugs lol
Sorry you need them but I am sure all the blood and pain and money will be worth it...
To quote Pam Ayers:
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth,
And spotted the perils beneath,
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth...

How I laughed at my Mother's false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath,
But now comes the reckonin'
It's me they are beckonin'
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth.

Susan English Mason said...

Damnation! I could have slipped you that Corona bouquet and you never would have noticed.

Jen said...

Hope your mouth starts feeling better soon. Sounds horrible but at least you are medicated.
Collecting pennies and hurling in the shower, you are an interesting man. I will remember never to give you an award.

crazy4coens said...

I love Jay Vernon Magee - and I love making fun of the way it sounds when I say it like he would. He was dead for years before I knew it. Sorry about the stitches and blood. Sounds awful. Enjoy the drugs, though. Peace!

Ericka said...

so if i give you a puppy as an award, what happens?

sorry you're hurting, but i'm glad they at least provided some better living through chemistry!

is that kid even speaking english?

Don't Bug Me! said...

Well hello! And thanks for sharing. You know, you should be thanking Brinkbeest for this. You now have one more follower hanging on to your every word. Well, some of them, anyway.

♥ Braja said...

What a load of boring drivel. Absolutely mind numbing.

Of course, I'm only saying this cos I know you're on meds and won't remember a thing....


Jazz said...

Yep. It,s done. I've left you an award at my blog.

I will now proceed to run for cover!

Sandi McBride said...

I promise not to meme you...ever...however I may give you an award one day, one which does not mean you have to pass it on or answer one silly question...I love undergrounds, too...I remember when I was little my mother's favorite Kingston Trio song was The Man Who Rode the BTA (that may not be right...Boston Transit Authority?) But he rode it forever...I love the British Underground system the most, probably because that is the one with which I am most familiar...but anyway, enjoyed your post, your meme...even if you hated doing it...but me thinks you doth protest too much, Sir!

Shammickite said...

After reading about the wheat pennies I decided to check my US money purse. Yep, there's 2 of 'em in there. 1913 and 1942. Want 'em?????

Suldog said...

Shammickite (and anyone else!) - Yes, I'd love to have them! That's very kind of you. If you wish, you could mail them to:

93 Winsor Avenue
Watertown, MA, USA

And, if there's anything of a similar nature I could do for you, just name it!

David Sullivan said...

I hope the upchuck incident wasn't after our day wife says I'm a bad influence on people...especially her...

David Sullivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suldog said...

Cousin Dave -

No, it was the Wake Forest game. Not on TV on our cable, so I went to a local joint to watch it. I had a bunch of IPA, but I think it was truly the chicken and fries (coupled with just at the tail end of a cold/flu) that truly caused the trouble. Haven't had a beer since, though, as the thought of it just makes my stomach flip.

Tell YOUR WIFE that, if anything, we're a bad influence ON EACH OTHER. It's an old Sullivan family tradition!

Ruth and Glen said...

That Oxycodone is some wonderful stuff ! :o) We'll be on the lookout for wheat pennies for you.

Ed said...

I had the Focus album with Hocus Pocus. It's just so tough to find a good yodelling hard rock song these days. What's up with that?

As to subways, read about the guy that goes "spelunking" down inside the sewer/subway systems underneath Moscow. It sounds like quite an adventure; he found radioactive material dumped underneath the university! He should write a book...if he hasn't died of cancer, that is.

Oh...and go to Vegas. They have a network of underground water spillage ways (there's a map online somewhere).

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

Add one more to your followers... though I'm not sure I jumped in at the right time. Because, although I agree that Christmas is way too commercialized and that folks who send us posts and/or emails that require forwarding have way too much free time, I am also in the midst of a total tooth replacement. I have only had the pleasure of having about half of mine removed so far and have been fortunate in that ibuprofen has done a more than satisfactory job (I do have backups).
I shall not claim the award and most definitely will not pass it (or any other) along.
Anyway, I had seen your comments on others' blog posts. Then you commented on mine. Thanks

Anonymous said...


Loved the hell out of this post!

Woman in a Window said...

Suldog, you are one of a kind. The more you number them the more I'm convinced of it. And such strangeness all in one pair of shoes. Well, when the shoe fits...


Tea said...

Just a tinsy bit of advice. Always, always wear The shoes make the man. It's true. You can wear the rattiest T-shirt, and ripped jeans but if you have great shoes it looks hot. Of course 6-pack abs wouldn't hurt either, but that's for another conversation. Baby steps.

Great post.. very funny. Hope your mouth is healing well.


Chris Stone said...

Cute pennies. How do you store them? *I'm having storage problems at the moment. lol.*

And, a word of advice. Eat pasta before watching football. ;)

Suldog said...

Chris - Those that are "new" (that is, that I haven't had one of before) go into one of three folders I have for pennies. The folders can be had at most hobby stores. They have slots for pennies, by year, then by mint mark. Those that are duplicates, I put into a big jar. Someday, I'll probably give many of those to various nieces and nephews, to start them on a collection of their own.

MkMiku said...

I have two pairs of shoes that I've worn for three years. After reading this, I don't feel so bad now. It's just that I've been too lazy to buy new ones and I like the ones I have.