Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Do You Believe in Miracles?*

So did you guys know that these newfangled laptop things are portable? Totally portable! As in, not only can you take them from your kitchen to your bedroom to your living room, but you can put them in a bag and tote them along with you to use outside your house as well! Miracles!

Yes, yes, this is old news to most of you, of course. Naturally I have seen people typing away on laptops in coffee shops for years now, but I sort of assumed it was one of those things that other people might do but that simply don't apply to me. You know, like rock climbing or ordering a portobello mushroom sandwich.

I'm not actually typing from a coffee shop, but from the guest lounge at the Saturn Service Center, where I decided to stop on my way home tonight because I thought perhaps I hadn't quite spent enough money yet today. As it turns out, I will be parting with only the usual twenty-some dollars for an oil change and not an undetermined amount to fix my air conditioner as well, because the service center goblins are far too busy at the moment to look into the A/C problem and decide how much money to take from me for that repair. Yes, my air conditioner is broken again, and this time, I don't think the Internet can help me fix it myself. I do still think that spending more than $200 for any single repair on my eleven-year-old car will all but guarantee my previously invincible Rubbermaid-on-wheels will die a sudden and tragic death immediately thereafter, and as such, I thought perhaps I could do without the A/C from now on. Alas, two eighty-degree days into the summer and already I have caved. Air conditioning is not optional with a lengthy-ish commute. There are already enough things in life that make me cranky. I don't need a blast furnace in my face every day helping me with that.

Hence, I will likely be making an appointment to diagnose the problem, and will probably be parting with a large sum of money to proceed with the repair after that. Then again, have I forgotten what I learned in the Arthur Fonzarelli school of car maintenance? Perhaps it just needs a good, swift thump with my determined fist. Also, perhaps I should wonder what is going on in my brain this week that made me reference the Fonz in two posts in a row.

But back to the absurd amount of money I spent today. Apparently I will do anything to sleep in an extra half hour and miss a bit of work, because I spent the better part of my morning letting my dentist shoot me up with Novocain and have a power tools party in my mouth. A few weeks ago, I bit down on something very hard and instantly felt I'd done something very wrong to one of my lower back teeth, but in the spirit of ignoring problems in the hopes that they go away on their own, I decided not to worry about it just yet. Sunday night I was reminded that this method of problem solving, while my favorite, isn't exactly foolproof, as a piece of that tooth broke off completely and ended up bobbing around loose in my mouth. I'm falling apart. Excellent. I wonder what part of me I'll lose next. (Fingers crossed that it's the extra padding around my midsection, but I probably don't get to choose, I guess.)

So I've got a temporary crown now, and I need to go back in another two weeks to relive that fun all over again when the permanent crown is ready. All this nuisance comes with a price, of course, and in this case, it is the not-so-bargain price of $940. Hurrah. Tell me, has the Tooth Fairy adjusted her reward rates for inflation since I was a kid? Because I'm sort of considering putting that little broken piece of tooth under my pillow in the hopes that she can help me out with that bill.

For $940 I'm not getting any ordinary crown, of course. My dentist said I could choose between gold and porcelain, but for durability and longevity strongly recommended against the porcelain, and hence, I will be sporting a gold tooth come June 3. Insert the usual jokes about how ghetto-fabulous that will be. I suppose pursuing my rap career could be an effective way to that $940 as well. Wish me luck.

And finally, speaking of things that were broken and now are less so, remember that shovel I broke? Like my car (sometimes), it has magically healed itself. When I left for work yesterday morning, the two pieces of it were laying in my yard in the same place I'd left them when I was too lazy to finish cleaning up Friday. Yesterday when I came home, those two pieces were again one. Somebody had removed the broken bit of handle from the shovel's metal base and bolted the remaining length of wood back in its place. Who would do that?? And more importantly, why?? My money's on my favorite neighbor, not because he has nothing better to do than fix my garden tools, but because he is the only person I can imagine might have wandered near enough to my yard to even see the broken shovel sitting there. Then again, snowblowing my driveway is one thing. Taking the time to salvage something I simply forgot to throw away is another. So maybe it wasn't my neighbor after all. Yard Tool Fairy, perhaps? Maybe he knows the Tooth Fairy. I should have left him a note to put in a good word for me.

* A title with little to do with the post, except that typing the word "Novocain" made me think of Jeremy Messersmith, and that whole mystery of the self-healing shovel made my brain move on to this one of Jeremy's next.


-R- said...


-R- said...

Also, it was 94 degrees yesterday, and you did not have A/C for your hour-long commute? That sucks very much.

Finally, the miraculously healing shovel is very bizarre.

Shelly said...

Yeah, I totally agree - AC is not an "optional" feature for a car, it is a "necessary" feature. I spent a summer without an AC once because the engine fan was broken and the car would overheat and spew smoke if I turned the AC on or, y'know, idled at a stop light. It was a fun summer.

My hubby has a gold tooth and I called him all sorts of gansta rapper names when he got it.

Stefanie said...

R--I know, but it is in the way, way back. Hopefully you won't even notice it next time I see you and therefore won't be compelled to ask how my rap career is going. Also, my commute is more like 40 minutes, but it will certainly FEEL like an hour with no AC. :-(

Shelly--Ugh. I am really hoping it's a minorish problem that's less than a few hundred dollars to fix, because I do not want to spend the whole summer hating driving. How did you do it??

Anonymous said...

I went through a similar dentist experience in the last 2 months. However mine was not prompted by shards of teeth floating around in my mouth.

I went for the gold too. I figured if I'm spending THAT much money, I might as well go for it. *Please don't let me regret this in 20 years*

Good luck!

3carnations said...

I love that you have a secret yard tool fixer. And a gold tooth.

Jess said...

I thought everyone went with porcelain these days. This is the first recommendation I've heard against it. How curious! But at least it's in the back of your mouth.

-R- said...

I am going to call you DJ Jazzy Stefanie next time I see you.

My friend makes the opposite commute of you, and her trip takes forever. It makes sense that your commute would be shorter since I assume fewer people work in the same city as you (compared to Mpls).

Could I leave you more comments today? Sheesh.

Courtney said...

Gold tooth! Awesome! Now you just need a grill and a big gold chain necklace to complete your gangsta transformation.

That was really nice of your neighbor to fix your shovel, if it was in fact him. I kind of like the idea of good-hearted shovel gnomes coming in to do the job.

lizgwiz said...

I have a porcelain crown, and I've never had any problems with it, but now I'm wondering if I made a fatal mistake 20 years ago. ;)

I have lived through many an Oklahoma summer without A/C in my car. You get used to it. Of course, if you can afford to fix it, you totally should. :)

Lara said...

Dude - I get very annoyed with one-uppers, and yet I'm about to be one. Rob's random tooth drama cost us over $10,000. I am not kidding. He has a $10,000 tooth.

And his is gold as well. (but covered with something tooth-like in appearance).

badger reader said...

Wow, I have been wishing for house elves to do my vacuuming while I am at work, but I think I need to start leaving broken bits on my front lawn for repair instead. Apparently that is what gets results. Very cool (and a bit creepy if I think too hard about it, but mostly COOL!)

flurrious said...

I'm going to try to find a big clock on a chain that you can wear around your neck. No sense in doing things halfway.

Also, could you let me know if there are any houses for sale on your block? I need a new rake.