What it really means to New Orleans

The victory by the New Orleans Saints, 31-17 over the Colts of Indiana in the 44th Super Bowl in NFL history, was frankly a sight to behold both in Miami and in New Orleans. Eruptions of joy and euphoria of the highest degree has overtaken New Orleans for the last three days. With Mardi Gras rolling along, the Super Bowl victory party and Mardi Gras have melded into one big We Love New Orleans Festival. There is certainly nothing wrong with that and I think many locals would give you a look and say…we deserve this one. Can’t really disagree with that. Anyone who has ever rooted for the hapless Saints deserves this one. And we never want it to end.

As the seconds clicked down on the Saints dominating, invigorating, full of heart and guts comeback victory, it’s funny the things that come to mind. For some reason I thought of the first time the Saints had a chance just to make the playoffs in 1983. I was in my older brothers car, he was driving me somewhere, and we were listening to the end of the Saints-Rams game. Saints win, they make the playoffs for the first time ever. Of course the Saints lose on a last second field goal. Of course they had given up TWO interception returns for touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown to get to the point of losing at the last second. That’s what Saints fans expected. Find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. My other thought drifted to September 25th, 2006. The return to the dome. I was there for that one too and that victory over Atlanta was the starting point for this Saints team bringing New Orleans it’s first professional world championship.

What does it all really mean though? Can a world championship in a professional sport change New Orleans for the better? Can it fill the pot-holes and rebuild the houses and parks and businesses that all are in need of rebuilding? Can it turn inept politicians into politicians who lead by example? Does a world championship end the years of frustration from the citizens when it comes to a racial divide?

Of course, a championship does not solve any of those issues. Trophy’s don’t hammer nails or magically turn a bigot into a diverse human being. But New Orleans and frankly America in general would be wrong to just dismiss this as another sports team winning a championship and moving on to the next big story. What these Saints showed is that a commitment by everyone, putting your own personal needs to the side maybe, to accomplish something bigger than themselves can be done. When everyone is on the same page, focused on the same goal, this Saints victory shows that nothing is impossible.

The Saints have done their part. They showed the path to greatness. Teamwork, accountability, passion, faith and trust in each other. Now it’s time for the citizens of this great city to come together and carry the banner from here. The Saints did their part, now it’s time for us to make it really matter.

Superbowl Sunday Mania in Winn-Dixie

This morning I hit the Winn-Dixie on Tchoup at about 10:30 and the place was PACKED. Groceries throughout the city are fewer since Katrina and they have been packed early and daily due to the tailgate factor and king cakes going on in the workplace this week.

Today, I had to park over by McAllister’s. But inside the store it was a huge Who-Dat Party! They had the Saint’s Who Dat song on the overhead and people were Who Dattin each other up and down the aisles.

By the time I got to the checkout, a designated number of staff had been cued via the overhead announcement that “whoever is ready to participate is to go to the front”. Of course, customers were welcome too.

On cue a second line paraded through the store with umbrellas and singing along with the Who Dat song.

I don’t even like football but this grocery store second line exhibited the bravado of the “joie de vivre” and “bonhemie” of our everyday citizens and the devotion to our culture of celebrating life. We all put down our things and applauded!

Of course, there is always cobb. There was a tiny old black woman behind me in line said, “Thank god some of y’all are still working.” She was complaining that she worked in the school system and that kids shouldn’t be out of school tomorrow . . and I agreed, after all, what else will they do? And many parents have child care arrangements which would be an issue.

For me, today’s fanatic exhibit promoting the Saints at the supermarket was a new exentsion of our already notorious culture stretching toward a third dimension of the cartesian coordinate plane of cultural bravado in New Orleans after I’d thought I had seen it all . . .

We’re at the top of a historical crescendo, an orchestral city-wide, high-five we’ve been riding for weeks which reached a new pinnacle today for me while making groceries. Makes me wonder what the final outcome will bring!

There is no way we will be at all disappointed, we have finished strong, in our elected officials, our Saints . .. we simply cannot lose.

If anyone has a photo of Winn-Dixie Second lines, please post a link! I didn’t have my camera. My bad!

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New Orleans Elections 2010 v. Superbowl

We are all sitting on the edge of life here in New Orleans tonight, waiting to hear about today’s election results and also the impending Superbowl tomorrow.

Tonight, we are all anxiously awaiting the release of poll results on nola.com, making some people (esp. bloggers) impatient.

I called the T-P, accurate polling reports are pending election results for a number of high profile positions including: Mayor, City Council-At-Large posts in a C,E, A and B, as well as Sherriff and Clerk of Criminal Court and our new holistic Tax Assesor.

Bruce Eggler and staff are hard at work organizing returns and they will get it to us as soon as they can in a definitive and accurate result!

People of Earth: please VOTE TODAY, especially if you live in New Orleans’ District C

Tom ArnoldTom ArnoldTom Arnold

1) Do you live in New Orleans?

2) If so, do you live in District C?

3) If so, did you know that Assessor Tom Arnold, who is running for City Council in District C, has been known to keep a gun in his office at the Algiers courthouse?

4) Did you know that Tom Arnold — who may or may not be stark raving bananas — was [supposedly seen] pointing that gun at his head after having a squabble with his wife?

5) Did you know that Tom Arnold has the worst campaign consultant ever? Because a talented consultant would never explain the aforementioned incident by saying, “Tom Arnold was not wielding a gun around the courthouse…. It was simply a disagreement between Mr. Arnold and his ex-wife, and it was a personal matter.” WHICH INVOLVED A GUN.

6) Did you know that Tom Arnold’s website features sentences, paragraphs, talking points, and beliefs borrowed from others? (Though technically, the blame for that falls to his site designer, Chip Quaglino, owner of Quaglino Advertising and Graphics, who recycled verbiage from previous campaigns he’d worked on with other candidates. Said the designer, “Sue me for not being overly creative or having time to sit down and do this.” And he’s got a point: surely it’s crazy to think that that someone who builds creative content for his own ad agency would be creative.)

7) Did you know that as of Wednesday, Tom Arnold still hadn’t bothered to file campaign finance records with the state Board of Ethics?

8) Did you know that Tom Arnold has a penchant for using police lights on his non-police vehicle when he’s late for a meeting, or possibly dinner?

If the answer to any of these questions is YES, perhaps you should high-tail it to the nearest voting booth and ensure that the aforementioned motherfucker stays the hell off the New Orleans City Council.

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What a party

Mardi Gras or Football? Was it Mardi Gras? Did I miss all the parades that come before Fat Tuesday? Or was all of the excitement last night for a little sports contest that was held in the Louisiana Superdome yesterday? I have been around this city for many events and I have never seen a reaction like the city of New Orleans had last night. When Garrett Hartley’s 40 yard field goal was halfway thru the uprights for the game winning points in the 2009 NFC Championship game, the streets of New Orleans erupted. People poured out of restaurants, bars, strip clubs, trinket shops and all points in between like they had just won the lottery. And in a sense, they had won the lottery. For a city that has been under-appreciated for it’s loyalty to below average sports franchises, Sunday night was a event that was beyond comprehension. Everyone can and will focus on what this team/franchise has meant to the citizens of New Orleans for the last five years. How the Saints were the one thing that we could all embrace and root for and at times kept us sane during a insane period in New Orleans history. The pure joy that was felt and seen on the streets of the French Quarter last night and into this morning, late this morning by the way, is something that just does not happen in other American cities. No other city identifies with it’s football team like New Orleans does and of course no other city knows how to show it like the great city of New Orleans. Who dat!

Mr. Okra the movie.

Today a friend sent me a link to this video (click link below) and I am so glad he did. T.G. Herrington wrote and directed this wonderful short which is an official selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival happening right now in Utah. Watch it now: Mr. Okra

Laureen Lentz wrote a little something about him a while back right her on nola metblogs, check it out.

From New Orleans to Haiti: some notes for the future

Haiti / New Orleans

Yesterday, BoingBoing posted a link to an article by Glenn Reynolds, which told Americans that the disaster in Haiti was a great reminder to follow the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared”.

At first I thought, “Wow, slow news day?” Then I thought, “Fucking ‘Be Prepared’ doesn’t begin to cut it, Glenn.”*

Here is the problem: no one can be fully prepared for disasters like the one unfolding in Haiti. Even in New Orleans, where we had time to hunker down before Katrina made landfall, there was chaos after the storm — and I’m sure that would’ve happened even if we hadn’t been led by a quadrumvirate of incompetents. During disasters, disastrous stuff happens: things get out of hand. And as the Gustav evacuation/revacuation debacle demonstrated, things don’t get any easier the second time around.

But although I don’t think we can be truly prepared for disasters in terms of our physical resources, there are ways to prepare ourselves emotionally and intellectually for the aftermath. Here are a few lessons New Orleans learned after Katrina, and if current media coverage of Haiti is any guide, I’m guessing they’ll be applicable there, too:

Haiti should expect help
The outpouring of emotional and financial support for Haiti has been remarkable. I won’t say that it’s unprecedented, though some of the fundraising methods certainly have been. Even asshats like Rush Limbaugh have encouraged people to support relief organizations (though in Limbaugh’s case, he’s advocated donating directly to agencies rather than through the White House website). As isolationist and blind-eye-turning as some may want to be, at the end of the day, we’re all human, and something inside most of us wants to lend a hand to people in need. That’s why half the world’s NGOs exist.

Haiti should expect interlopers
Many people came to New Orleans after Katrina to lend a hand. Most of them took a look at what needed to be done and did it, carrying us a little further down the road toward normality. Unfortunately, a few alleged “helpers” wanted to rebuild New Orleans in their own image. They didn’t care about our culture, our history, our identity; they wanted to tear things down and put in new clean strip malls. (Note: this group does not include Brad Pitt, whose exercises in experimental architecture and community building have been exemplary, not to mention selfless.) Many of us became a little gun-shy of these — for lack of a better word — carpetbaggers. Worse: Haiti has far fewer resources with which to fend them off than we did.

Haiti should expect to be watched like a hawk
For days, the media has run stories of looting and chaos in the streets. Many people have rightly pointed out that it’s not looting if you’re taking food and water for your family. But as in New Orleans, a smaller population of profiteers have marred Haiti’s entire population. I’m sorry to say it, but the narratives of chaos, blackmail, and instability aren’t likely to stop anytime soon.

Haiti should expect to be blamed
Even now, with search and rescue efforts ongoing, fingers are being pointed. People are forgetting about the vagaries of platectonics and looking for someone to blame for the earthquake. Haiti’s own government will have to shoulder some of that. Haiti’s citizens will, too. They weren’t prepared, the arguments will go. Their response was clumsy. And afterward, they couldn’t be helped. I can’t fathom why anyone would blame Hatians for being dazed and disoriented after surviving a massive earthquake in which tens of thousands perished, but someone will.

Haiti should expect things to be different
Haiti’s normal will be a “new normal”. Hatians’ circles of friends will change. Habits and patterns will, too. But the shadow of their former lives is still there; it’s a palimpsest of the old Haiti, the one from two weeks ago. If the people of Haiti can see through the piles of rubble and trace the old outlines, they’ll be okay. Or not okay, but better.

If you haven’t already given, please consider doing so. I recommend Doctors Without Borders, since they seem to be one of the few organizations on the ground in Haiti that’s already doing real work, but nearly any major aid organization will be happy to receive your gift.

*NB: I’ve been a regular BoingBoing reader for ages, and I’ll continue to be, but I don’t think this piece was up to snuff.

Garland Robinette: “you don’t want gay marriage, because you don’t like gays”

Garland Robinette

If you don’t live in New Orleans, the name Garland Robinette may not mean much to you. But here, he’s a fixture: a media veteran, a BMOC, a bigmouth. Although he’s anchored TV newscasts and was once married to New Orleans’ legendary Angela Hill, he now spends his time lording over local talk radio.

Now, talk radio is not exactly the most liberal planet in the modern media universe, but Garland is smarter than many on the airwaves, and his approach is compassionate and common-sensible. (Yes, I am aware that Limbaugh and Palin also fly the common sense flag whenever possible, but I think they’re being ironic.) Today, Garland published a piece on gay marriage, and apart from the fact that his keyboard seems a little sticky (minds out of the gutter, people), I’m pretty impressed.

I have one opinion on the gay rights controversy, and I know my opinion is correct, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Those of you actively fighting against gay marriage have waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on your hands.

I don’t believe your real reason for fighting gay marriage is because you are sooooooooooooooo concerned about the threat to the institute of marriage. If you were, you’d be protesting people like me. I have been married three times. Elizabeth Taylor and me are the biggest threats ever faced by the sacred institute of marriage.

Let’s not be a hypocrite…you don’t want gay marriage, because you don’t like gays. It’s that simple. You’re frightened by those icky things they do with their sexual parts. But, here’s another hypocritical part…have you ever seen what them-thar “heterosexuals” do with their private parts? Whoa, talk about icky!!!!!

[more at WWL]

Have those same arguments been made by other straight guys? Sure, but on talk radio? In New Orleans, Louisiana? Hmmm. Maybe not.

Bitter Bold

Warren Easton’s band has been out practicing today and all week, since Christmas has passed they are now into Mardi Gras Parade Training. Thing is, we are experiencing super harsh, record breaking lows. . . it’s fucking freezing here.
Warren Easton Practicing for Mardi Gras (3)

Last year it was unseasonably warm, I was wearing the standard wife-beater on Xmas day and raking up leaves over there at Rocheblave. . but today at Rocheblave, the pipes were frozen.

The Good And The Bad:
Fortunately, no pipes were broke. However, there was a toilet full of morning poops/toilet paper for which there was insufficient water pressure for flushing. We braced ourselves for the fact that it was going to have to be manually cleared.

I keep a 5-gallon drum of emergency water at the condo, so I retrieved it so we could use it to fill the tank and flush the terlet. However, the pressure was weak, so Nick and Josh and I went one courageous step further and emptied the terlet of all hardware; poop and paper first using the cat litter scooper. . . dumping it into a garbage bag with some kitty litter in it, and keeping a bucket of bleach and some water for the scooper, we successfully emptied the terlet.

Then, we used the huge jug of water to the tank to the fill line. We got a full flush and took our bag o’kitty litter/people-poop out to the trash. It was rather humiliating but we were thrilled when it flushed fine. We eventually got our water back and refilled the 5-gallon emergency jug and the sink with soapy water, just in case.

The water seems to be running without out trouble this morning after dripping all faucets last night. They dodged a bullet of any burst pipes, luckily and are able to flush freely today.

This cold is really enough to make us all coccooning and cranky. The yard looks like nuclear winter and we can’t stand to set sight on it . . . .so we just keep our jackets on and watch movies, grateful for electricity and heat!

Rather than posting gross pictures of our personal plumbing hell, which would surely have been very popular . . . I have, instead, included some of the troopers at Warren Easton, one of our best local high school bands, who deserve extra applause for continuing their practices in prep for what is shaping up to be a brutally cold Mardi Gras!

Christmas Poem 2009: Geaux Saints !

For all my friends who are loyal members of the Who Dat Nation! Thanks to Brian and Emily for letting me mooch this photo. Personally, I don’t get into the NFL, but I realize the historical prospects of the hope before us with the Saints success so far this season.

For my part, Kermit’s signature sound has become such a cheerful and soothing part of my psyche over the years that a couple toots and his vocals trigger the ‘get up’ in me no matter where I’m at or what I am doing. My arm instinctively goes up to those around me in a big “c’mon, let’s go”.

Watch Kermit on You Tube

We have been blessed but this year, lets hope we been extra good . . . so my poem selection this year is a song. “A Saints Christmas” from Kermit Ruffins album HAVE A CRAZY COOL CHRISTMAS, from Basin Street Records.

I saw Santa Clause swingin’
swingin’ in the Treme, Jack –
I got a big wish for Santa
And it’s not a new Cadillac.

It’s better than Grandma’s cookin’
It’s better than hot beignets,
It’s better than a lot o’ money,
Much bigger than the Mardi Gras Day!

I don’t need no champagne or caviar
Don’t need no ice-cold brew
I don’t need no big ole BBQ Pit
Wait a minute, that’s NOT true!

I just had a rap with Santa
And we took us a little stroll,
And all I want for Christmas . . .
Is the Saints in the Superbowl !

I saw Santa Clause swingin’
Swingin’ in the Superdome
C’mon and do the bits and boogie,
Let’s rip their butts and go home!

It’s Christmas in New Orleans,
The Saints is on the road,
And all we want for Christmas,
Is the Saints in the Superbowl !

We want to go, go, go to the Superbowl
The biggest Christmas present ever,
C’mon Coach let’s go to the Superbowl
Who Dat Wearin That Black-N-Gold?!

And all we want for Christmas,
Is the Saints in the Superbowl !
C’mon Santa baby, before we get too old!

I saw Santa Clause swingin’
Swingin’ in the Superdome
C’mon and do the bits and boogie,
Let’s rip their butts and go home!

It’s Christmas in New Orleans,
The Saints is on the road,
And all we want for Christmas,
Is the Saints in the Superbowl !

We want to go, go, go to the Superbowl
The biggest Christmas present ever,
C’mon Coach let’s go to the Superbowl
Who Dat Wearin That Black-N-Gold?!

I just had a rap with Santa,
And we took us a little stroll,
And all I want for Christmas . . .
Is the Saints in the Superbowl !

And Merry Christmas to Chef Who Dat !
Chef Who DAT!

Past Christmas Poems:
Christmas Eve Poem, 2008
Driving to Midnight Mass, Christmas Eve Poem, 2007
Ahoy To the World, 2006

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Louisianans happy, even when skies are gray

Elizabeth and Lisa

People in sunny, outdoorsy states — Louisiana, Hawaii, Florida — say they’re the happiest Americans, and researchers think they know why.

A new study comparing self-described pleasant feelings with objective measures of good living found these folks generally have reason to feel fine.

The places where people are most likely to report happiness also tend to rate high on studies comparing things like climate, crime rates, air quality and schools.

The happiness ratings were based on a survey of 1.3 million people across the country by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It used data collected over four years that included a question asking people how satisfied they are with their lives….

Ranking No. 1 in happiness was Louisiana, home of Dixieland music and Cajun/Creole cooking.

[Economist Andrew J. Oswald] urged a bit of caution in that ranking, however, noting that part of the happiness survey occurred before Hurricane Katrina struck the state, and part of it took place later. Nevertheless, he said, “We have no explicit reason to think there is a problem” with the ranking.

Rounding out the happy five were Hawaii, Florida, Tennessee and Arizona.

At the other end of the scale, last in happiness — is New York state.

[full story at NOLA.com]

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Meowy Xmas : Ted’s Annual Spa Day

Ted's Annual Grooming 5  Ted's Annual Grooming Magazine Animal Clinic

Today was annual bath/grooming day for Ted, a persian I adopted from the humane society and a foster Mom when I was back in Washington D.C. He is my best bud for about seven years now, he’s just cool. But like most dudes, he tends to get some grooming issues going on under his butt about every 6 months, even though I brush him bi-daily. With Persians, you also have to wipe their eyes regularly because their sinuses are compacted. Ted is kinda high maintenance on both ends, but he’s very loving.

Dr. Amy understands the special issues regarding Persians over at the Magazine Street Animal Clinic.

The clinic recently expanded the double shotgun they occupy on Magazine St. near Harry’s Ace Hardware, to accomodate more examination rooms. They should get a reward for conservation for the alternative use of traditional historic space. They preserved the place and made it more functional without eliminating any of the special elements of the house, in particular wooden double doors and maintain original flooring.

Ted’s furballs eventually get too close to his skin for me to remove safely, so I took him in for his annual trim yesterday and a professional grooming.

One year ago, on the snow day I gave him is annual bath. So now, it’s solidified as his annual bath day. It was much worth it to take him in to the clinic this year, they did a much better job. They trimmed his nails and cleaned his ears.

Teddy doesn’t get dirty so much as just greezy. He only weighs 6.4 lbs but he screams really loud all the time. He only has an outside voice. But in the end, he likes to get all fluffed out and silky after the screaming and bitching, you can tell he feels better. Dr. Amy and I laugh, for such a small cat, he’s super loud.

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The 2010 New Orleans firefighter calendar is now on sale!


You can purchase this chunk of toasty hotness and 11 of his well-oiled friends by clicking right here. And of course, proceeds from the calendar will help our city’s awesome firemen and firewomen buy new equipment to keep the smoldering in New Orleans limited to our tastefully appointed boudoirs. Let the “hosing”, “stocking stuffing”, and “chimney sliding” puns begin!

Climate change denial, or, NOLA.com commenters are an (in)breed apart

Global warming

Not only has the Times-Picayune run an alarming article on the rapid pace of climate change, but they’ve also posted it to NOLA.com — which means it’s been opened up to comments. And as much as I love New Orleans, I have to admit that we have some really, really stupid people living in south Louisiana. What’s worse: they’ve learned to type. After the second page of numbskullery, I had to close the tab. (There are five pages of comments in all. So far.)

Of course, I know that climate change denial takes place across the globe. On the network news, on Fox “news”, on talk radio, on websites, people refute volumes of university studies with Dan Brown-esque flimsy evidence that global warming is some kind of conspiracy. Of course, none of these knuckle-dragging, armchair meteorologists can explain why the world’s best scientific minds would collude on such a scheme — what they’d have to gain, what they’re trying to prove. These are the same people who’d like to see creationism and it’s slightly buffer cousin, intelligent design, taught in classrooms. Their agenda is solely political and solely laughable.

Look, I understand that science can be used as a weapon (cf. the American Psychiatric Association’s former categorization of homosexuality as a mental disorder), and I don’t claim that science is apolitical, but how can anyone — left, right, center, or libertarian — argue that pollution is a great thing? I mean, we all understand those “Your mother doesn’t work here” signs in breakrooms, right? Isn’t this the same thing on a slightly larger scale?

Damn, I think we need to bring that stereotypical-but effective crying American Indian back.*

* Is it just me, or does the narrarator in that spot sound a lot like Ken Nordine?

Ode to Molar No. 30

Molar No. 30
I am fortunate in that I have sucked up all the best dental genetics in my family. I have well spaced teeth which are strong and haven’t had any major issues in life, no braces and had my wisdom teeth out with only novacaine.

However, since turning 40 I have had a number of more pressing dental issues. It seems that my bucks have reached their critical mass due to the pressures of being a first-year law student. Ima grinder. I have gone in an out of grinding over the years. But last year, my regular dentist, Dr. Sturm, at Audubon Dental identified about three possible root canals. My insurance with her as a specially chosen provider was limited to $1k a year. That covered only one root canal.

I was in so much pain at one point that I found that the much dreaded root canal was actually the best thing ever! Whew, that pain is hard to compare since it vascilllates between a 2-10 on the pain spectrum within the same day. I was scared the first time but was at a point where I would have blown the side of my head off to stop the pain.

Dr. Arch, my first endodondist did a good job of the first root canal in short order and life went on for a while. But after that procedure, I had used all of dental benefits. Other issues began to loom, I hoped could wait til the new year. That was not possible.

Then, Molar No. 30 started acting up in early September. It was hard to pinpoint the pain, if you’ve had it, you know what I mean, it’s like the whole side of your head is in a spasm.

Since I had already used all my dental benefits to fix the first one and had no more insurance, Molar No. 30 wasn’t in the math. It HAD to be done ASAP but I had no more insurance. Thank God, Aliya, one of the students told me to go see Dr. Schmidt at Riverbend Dental. I was in so much pain I was unable to function. Dr. Schmidt agreed to take me and let me pay half and half over the course of a month.

So he did the root canal for me and saved my life. However, I still had to come up with about $1,000 for the crown on that tooth which now had a big hole in it. I finally did get enough money, but it was too late. I had already cracked the remainder of my tooth in half. I knew it going in to the office today, I could feel it sagging out of its line with the other teeth. One too may Cheese Nips or a piece of pizza did it in. It was fragile.

As I suspected, Dr. Schmidt said we have to pull it and he gave me the credit for the root canal which is now a null issue and explained I could get a bridge or an implant. I chose the implant.

Pulling Molar No. 30 was sheer hell. And I knew it would be. That molar has done so much chewing for 40 years, it’s not as is if it was suddenly going to just take off without a severence package. . . no way.

The extraction was brutal. Piece by piece, Dr. Delaohussay dug and dug and then dig an x-ray and dug some more to get all of the tooth out. There was blood everwhere and I got a few stitches too. Yikes. I was as brave as I could be.

Don’t take your molars for granted. This was a somber day for me. Molar No. 30 had helped me enjoy a lot of slabs of spare ribs over the years as well as helped ground out a lot of stress and do my best in my roughest times without any credit on his part. But today, as he was brutally relieved from his duties, I felt the least that I could do was take his picture, show my appreciation and verbalize the pain I went through, the only reciprocity for the duty which Molar 30 has absorbed for me years throughout the roller-coaster of crisis of life.

I miss him today, as I fill his spot with gauze on the stitches which mark his place today. Eventually, we’ll put a crown to replace No. 30 on top of a fake buildup of bone in the gum. This fake buildup will take months and is the only option aside from a bridge, which relies on the strength of nearby teeth. Teeth which I don’t feel can take the extra pressure.

Poor Molar No. 30 was in such a state today, at his being declared done, he was not at all ready to give up. We might as well have dropped a grenade in his office to get him out of the way. But at Riverbend Dental, they deal with patients holistically and with dignity. They gave me a nice blanket. After all, fear makes the blood run cold. Dr. Schmidt admitted later that he didn’t let on about how awful this was going to be but I told him that I knew it was a big ass-brutal-bloody-mess. But, it had to be done and I totally trusted his staff.

After they numbed me, they kinda let me sit for a few minutes and suddenly I got all antsy and was like, ” let’s go!” I pestered a staff members to get on with what equates to bullet removal from the jaw. I wanted to just get it done. I had a brief breath of bravery I could not afford to waste.

It was rather horrible but we did well and laughed as pieces of my tooth wound up in the suction tube. Progress.

Dr. Schmidt has been working with students like myself who don’t have insurance to pay as they go to get massive dental work like mine done over the years with no community credit of this quiet contribution. I can tell you that without his compassion, many of us would have nowhere else to turn.

My regular endodontist refused to do the work in two installments, Dr. Arch, who’s also very good but just sent me on my way with some Vicodin and no other option beyond the $1100.00 bill right today. See ya later!

In these economic times, I had to find another solution to my debilitating pain. Thankfully, a fellow law student told me about Dr. Schmidt. He was more than willing to help me past my crisis.

I also appreciate his bedside manner, explaining yesterday, in fact, he admits had this same issue himself. The too late, but good intentioned crown. He’s just wonderful and his office is full of students from med/dental school which is actually really fun. It creates a feeling of mild chaos compared to some offices, but I support teaching people, period. I enjoy talking to the new students and enjoy being a part of their learning. . . . Today, I was the nutty lady who insisted on saving all the pieces of my pain and they were totally cool about it. It seemed liked I was the only one who seemed to notice all the blood!

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