Life in progress


Random to the Ninth Degree

It’s been a while since I just rambled about my life in progress. Some of what I have to share has to do with my blog as well, since what is life without the Internet? Seriously.

  1. Yesterday I spent an hour trying to change the size of Alex’s Youtube movie on his screen, because he said it was too small. I tried the settings in his account, I tried the settings on the computer, I switched computers, I switched browsers … I even downloaded a new browser onto his laptop, all the while with him screaming in my ear and signing “fix it! It’s too small!” For an hour. All to discover he wasn’t having a meltdown over the size of the movie, but rather the brand new Youtube logo on the top left corner of the screen. Ah, the joys of living with a kid with OCD.
  2. Alex goes back to school on Tuesday!!! (To understand my excitement, see above.)
  3. I’m so busy with my new freelance editing business, I need a schedule to fit everyone in.
  4.  It cost me $73 the other day for the dentist to look at my sore gums and tell me I need to rinse my mouth with salt water for a week. I suppose it could have been worse.
  5. I have a book signing at Chapters on October 1st in Kingston, where my novel is set!! Equally nervous and excited!!!
  6. As of tomorrow, there’s a change coming to this blog. I’ve started scheduling my fiction series, “Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right.” The scenes will appear once a day for the next year (there are 365 of them). Some are funny, some serious, some downright sick, most are realistic, yet some are pure fantasy. If you want to learn more about them, see the link in the menu at the top of my blog page. I’m happy to be posting them here, but at the same time I’m a bit worried that I’ll lose followers over them. We’ll see.
  7. The internal battery in my laptop is almost dead. It gives me a warning every time I turn it on. Is this important?
  8. Alex goes back to school on Tuesday!!!
  9.  I need a vacation.

So, what’s new with you?



Just Jot It Jan 13 – Hospital

Prepare for a bit of a rant.

My darling son, Alex, with whom many of you are familiar, is deathly afraid of the dentist. So much so, that the dentist refuses to clean his teeth for fear of harming him as he thrashes about.

A couple of months ago, the dentist put in a referral to a hospital in Kingston where he sometimes works, to have Alex seen by anaesthesia with the goal of having him put under for a cleaning. However, that particular hospital lacks the resources to look after Alex if something goes wrong with his heart — he has a heart condition. Result: denied.

Now we have to go back once again to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), which is about a three-hour drive each way, not once but three times. First for a consultation, then to see their anaesthesia department, and finally for the “surgery” itself. This last time, we’ll have to stay overnight, because they’ll want us there at 6:00am.

Don’t get me wrong – CHEO is a wonderful hospital. But this new thing of having to go there for teeth-cleaning every year is for the birds. Life was much easier when I could get there in 45 minutes from where I lived. …which was a good thing, since Alex lived there for the first eight months of his life. But many of you, as I said before, already knew this.

I just wanted to bitch a bit. I feel better now.

Thanks for listening.


Thanks very much to Charlene Bullard from for the prompt of the day: “Hospital.”

Did you know you can join in Just Jot It January any time? Click the link and find out how!


Bedside Manner at the Dentist

I need your opinion on an important matter. First, the back-story.

Earlier this year I went to the dentist. I don’t like the dentist – this is something you need to know to truly understand where I’m coming from. In fact, “don’t like” is really a mild way of saying I’m a wuss.

It was my first time at this particular dentist and my first time in a long time at any dentist. I needed a filling. It all started great but then the dentist noticed my tooth was cracked. It needed some special attention. I, being who I am, let the dentist know in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t happy about what he was doing in my mouth. Suffice to say I said, “ouch” a few times.

It had already been determined that I needed two more fillings on the other side. The dentist suggested, quite strongly, that I should go to another dentist and get a general anaesthetic. I told him fine, I’d check and see how much it would cost.


So, I went back to the first dentist (to get a cleaning this time) and when I saw him I told him that I wanted him to do the other two fillings. He didn’t think this was a wise choice.

“But I can’t afford a general anaesthesia,” I told him.

“Well, you were in a lot of discomfort last time,” he said. “And besides, we have the other patients to consider…”

The other patients? I didn’t think I was that loud.

Dentists, even ones who don’t put you under, are expensive. The cleaning alone cost me hundreds of dollars, not to mention the fillings which were more costly. So here’s where your opinion comes in:

A) If you’re emptying your wallet at the dentist, do you have the right to be as loud as you want?


B) If you’re emptying your wallet at the dentist, do you have the right to a peaceful visit without someone in the next room wailing like a banshee/complaining that the dentist is trying to kill her/saying ouch?


C) Would you trust a dentist who had separate soundproof rooms?


D) All of the above.


E) None of the above.

Here’s a poll:

Please vote and add your two cents (or five, if you’re Canadian) in the comments. I need an answer to this conundrum!


One-Liner Wednesday – Among ‘Things I’m Glad I Didn’t Learn the Hard Way’

“Since Alex was born with a hole in his heart; there’s a good reason they didn’t fix it, I’d like the dentist to start giving him antibiotics before his visits: if a bacteria gets in when his gums bleed, the infection can go straight through his bloodstream to his brain.” ~ My son’s pediatric cardiologist, today.


What, in the name of Inception, was that?

It all started on Sunday when I had a sore tooth. Actually, scratch that. It really started in 1996 when I went on Zoloft for six months, to help me get over post-partum depression. I don’t know for sure whether it’s a side effect of that particular antidepressant, but while I was taking it, I began to clench my teeth. It was like I constantly had tension in my jaw, and the condition exists even now.

So back to Sunday. My tooth hurt, and I’m pretty sure it was due to the clenching. Though the pain went away, I was thinking about going to the dentist.

Then last night, I had a dream. I was sitting in a dentist’s chair, totally doped up on nitrous oxide. I remember the dentist and her assistant talking while filling one of my teeth. I could feel it, a little, but I didn’t care.

When the dentist asked me if I wanted Novocaine for my second filling, I said yes. She told me that was probably a good idea, since the cavity was deep. Here’s where the freaky part begins.

As she put the needle in (which I didn’t feel at all because in my dream I was doped up) I realized I was going to sleep. At that point, I realized I WAS asleep and that I was dreaming… so with that in my head, I allowed myself to go to sleep in my dream.

It was the best experience I’ve ever had at the dentist. I highly recommend the nitrous… not that I’ve tried it in real life… at least I don’t think I have.

*cue Twilight Zone Inception theme*


A Good Job to Have on a Bad Day

Most of us have jobs. Some of us have careers. We all have bad days. You know bad days, right? The sort where you stub your toes on anything available that doesn’t move; your hair won’t do what you want it to; you put your shirt on inside out and don’t realize it until you hear the guy in the next cubicle who you hate with a passion, sniggering… One of those days.

I was cruising around Facebook, wondering what in the world I could write about today, and I came across a picture which has no relevance to this post other than that it inspired me to think: would I want to go to the dentist when he’s having a bad day? The answer, still in my head, was a resounding NO. If you’re wondering, yes, it did resound, and yes, just imagining the idea of a sadistic dentist hurt me in ways that my imagination should not be allowed to hurt me.

Then I pondered other professionals with whom I would not want to deal on their baddest days: a mechanic, a chef, a radiologist whose job was to perform a breast x-ray, a journalist doing an interview… the list goes on.

All this led me to wonder if there’s a good job to be doing on a bad day. I suppose if the job is solitary, there’s only oneself to harm. But even as a writer – a job that can’t get any more solitary – I abuse the hell out of my characters.

So, what do you think? Is there a professional you would feel safe with if they’re having a bad day? Can you think of anyone worse than a dentist?

Comment away, lovely people!