Sunday, September 27, 2009

Secrets and Shame

I've long been a believer that if you're ashamed of something, the best way to work through it is to tell someone else.

I have something that I'm ashamed of. I'm going to tell you what it is.

It's my teeth. More specifically, my front upper incisors and lateral incisors.

They're discolored and chipped, and now they're slightly loose. The right lateral incisor is a crown that keeps falling out. When the airbag (I had a major MVA a few years ago and am still trying to fix what I broke) hit me in the face, it knocked some of the teeth loose and apparently I was mistaken in thinking they were healed. It's come back to bite me in the ass now.

I have to have some extractions. The front incisors are dead, which causes them to be discolored and fragile. The loose root has affected the crown, which is why it keeps coming out. I have to have a surgical removal of the root, as well as the front incisors extracted. I'm going to have cadaveric bone grafts in the sockets to create some good, healthy bone structure there. I can't have implants right now because of the bone issue (money plays a big part of it too, I don't have $6000 to drop on my teeth) and crowns aren't an option because of the roots, so I'm getting a partial denture.

I'm getting a denture. There, I said it. I'm getting a partial denture.

It's not going to be permanent, I'll get implants eventually, but I'll have a partial denture for a while.

I don't know if you're noticed, but none of the photos I've posted of myself show my teeth. I have this enigmatic smirk in all of them – it's not because I'm trying to be coy, it's because the discoloration is really noticeable in photos and I'm embarrassed.

I've been waking up at night, freaking out over losing these teeth. I know that I don't HAVE to have it done; I can leave them alone and let them fall out on their own or break and walk around looking like a jack-o-lantern or a hillbilly for a while before I end up having a partial anyway….I know this is the right decision, but it's a tough one for me to take. I mean, I'm only 40. I'm not supposed to be a toothless crone just yet.

The partial is what they call "immediate placement". That means that I take the partial to the oral surgeon, he extracts the teeth and then places the partial immediately in my mouth. I have to keep it in constantly for a few days; the pressure helps with the swelling and bleeding. I'll have stitches in my gums; the crown root is going to necessitate an incision in my gum to get it out and the other teeth are so fragile that they could snap off and need to be surgically removed too. I'm not afraid of the pain, I know it's going to hurt but I also know it won't be as bad as some of the surgeries I've had. I'm not taking any time off school, either: I get out of class at 1100, have the surgery done at 1300 (with the help of a little nitrous oxide and copious amounts of lidocaine) and go back to school at 0900 the next day. I figure my face will be swollen and I'll be on pain medications so The Hubs will have to drive me, but I'm determined to not miss any class time.

So, that's my secret, aired for the entire internet to see. Maybe I'll be confident enough to post photos of myself smiling after the swelling and bruising has gone down. Maybe I'll become a proud partial wearer and will give someone else the confidence to say 'yeah, I have a partial. So what?'

Maybe. Then again I could hate it and wish I'd never done it. I sure as heck hope it's the former.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mission Accomplished

I'm sitting in bed, watching TV, when I see a news short segment flash on. To my amazement, I hear details of the mission my husband is on broadcast for all of America to hear. I'm stunned; I've been sworn to secrecy – and I don't even know all the details, but here it is on national news?!

So, I go to MSNBC to see if they're reporting it too. Sure enough, they are. I'm really tempted to post the link to the story here, but I think that The Hubs would be highly pissed at me if I did and I don't think it's wise. He flies these missions regularly, you see….and if I were to come right out and say what he does on them, then the next time he leaves y'all would have a good idea of where he's going and why.

I wish I could find the words to express just how damn proud of him I am. He's been an integral part of a mission that was important enough to garner national attention. He'll play it down and say it wasn't a big deal, but it was. It IS.


In other news, the two boys who beat the white kid up on the school bus have been expelled. As expected, the NAACP is 'reviewing' the expulsion, but Al Sharpton hasn't shown up yet. The Neo-Nazis did, though. They bought a rag-tag bunch (about 20) of slack jawed yokels and skinheads with homemade tattoos to 'protest' on the St Clair County building steps today (a protest that lasted less than an hour, I might add). About 200 citizens showed up to boo, jeer, laugh and other wise poke fun at this motley crew of rejects and losers. I was very, very proud to see this happening; it has renewed my faith in the citizens of Belleville and the surrounding area. Yeah, we may live in rural Illinois and St Louis may turn its nose up at our countrified ways, but dammit, we have some sense of right and wrong and we know idiots when we see them. We saw them in downtown Belleville today, and we let them know what we thought of them.


Mission accomplished, on both counts.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

They should be ashamed of themselves.

I can't embed this video, but you can go here to see it. Be warned, it's graphic.

On Monday morning, about 8am, a 17 year old young man got on the school bus to go to Belleville West HS (I live about 3 miles from Belleville, it's my local town). The seating was limited, so he sat on a seat next to a 14 year old black boy - who had his books on the seat next to him. As the 17 year old sat down, he knocked a book onto the floor.

That was all it took for the black boy to start punching the 17 year old in the head. I can't describe it anymore, it makes me'll just have to go see the video for yourselves. It goes on for over 6 minutes, then there's a respite. Then, for some unknown reason, the original beater's friend starts choking and punching the victim. At this point another boy wades in and starts pulling the assailants off and breaks the whole thing up.

The victim never fought back. He did not raise his hand once. He did not defend himself.

The whole time this is going on, there are kids standing up and laughing, cheering the assailants on and filming the attack on their cell phone cameras.

The attackers have been suspended, might be expelled and face criminal charges. The kid that broke it up has been hailed as a hero. The victim just wants it all to go away so he can go back to school.

I am at a loss as to where to start with this. This is wrong, so wrong on so many levels.

First of all, I am pissed that people are saying this is not racially motivated, because I truly believe that it was. If the roles were reversed and it was two white kids beating a defenseless black kid, Al Fucking Sharpton would be all up in this shit and I bet my firstborn that it WOULD be described as racially motivated. But it's a black on white crime - a FILMED crime - and all of a sudden it's not racial. Give me a fucking break. Jena Six, anyone? That was racially motivated. Oh that's right...that wasn't filmed. It was six on one, black on white....but wait, Al Sharpton was there then. Why not now? Oh Al, where are you?

Secondly, I am furious at the kids who laughed and stood around filming this shit like it was some kind of entertainment. Five of them got suspended from school, and one of their mama's went on TV to say 'I know it aint right, but he don't deserve to be suspended. It's cuz he black, thas why'. No, bitch, it's because your son, who is old enough to know better, watched the commission of a crime, a violent assault, and HE FUCKING LAUGHED AND DID JACK SHIT TO STOP IT. That's why he's suspended, and if you have any fucking sense, you'd take his ass home and introduce him to some serious fucking parental justice. And, you should be ashamed of him. If it were MY kids who just stood and laughed or filmed it I'd be all up in their shit like never before and they wouldn't see the light of day for YEARS - except for when they went to school. If it were MY kids who adminstered a beating like that, they would be wishing and praying they were in the custody of the Department of Corrections to get away from me and their dad. Hell hath no fury like NinjaMedic and The Hubs when their kids royally fuck up.

I want to scoop that victim up in my arms and tell him that it's okay, that he did the right thing by not fighting back, and that he is NOT alone, that he has hundreds and thousands of people who will stand with him and behind him. I want him to know that he is loved by people he doesn't even know.

The assailants can't be expelled by the school administration, that has to come from district Board of Education (the school can suspend for up to 10 days, but anything else has to come from the B of E). Have I mentioned yet that the perpetrators are members of the Junior Varsity Football Team? 'Cause they are, and I have a feeling that that's going to play a part in the decision to expell/not expell. If they DON'T get expelled, I am going to start calling and writing District 121 Board of Education and demand action. I've discussed this with some friends, and they're going to do the same. I invite you, gentle reader, to join us. I'll keep you posted on the happenings and let you know what the decision is. If they don't get expelled, I ask you to write, call, email and let you feelings be known. If they're not expelled AND they keep their places on the football team, I'll be there picketing the games. I've picketed before, and I'll do it again. What they did was wrong, and they don't deserve to be a part of the school team OR the school anymore.

No, you know what? I'm not asking you. I'm challenging you. I challenge you to watch that video - ALL of it - and be content to let those boys who punched and choked that other boy get away with a simple suspension from school. I can't do it, and I'll think you'll be hard pressed to as well.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I’m there to learn, too.

I like to think that I'm a somewhat charitable person. If I see a person in genuine need I don't mind helping them out. Similarly, if I'm asked to help someone else out and I know that I can do it, I don't mind helping.

What I DO mind, however, is being taken advantage of.

I don't mind giving someone a hand up, but I don't give hand-outs routinely.

During the first week of Math class, my professor asked me to take notes on carbon paper. She didn't tell me why. At first I expressed doubt that she'd be able to understand my handwriting (My first Chemistry professor described my handwriting as looking 'like a spider fell in an inkwell and nearly drowned, but somehow managed to drag itself out and crawl across the page') but when she said she thought she'd be able to understand it just fine I agreed. It wasn't until the end of the second week that I found out the carbon copies were for another student who had less-than-stellar note-taking skills (coincidentally one of the students I had traded contact information with the first day of class), and when I realized I wasn't angry or irritated at all. Like I said, if he needs help and I can give that help then why not, right?

So, I went on taking notes quite happily…until today.

We had an exam on Monday. I revised on and off all weekend, practicing and practicing, making note of my mistakes and trying not to repeat them. Saturday morning I got a text from the student I make notes for, saying (this isn't verbatim) 'pls help, I need the answer to:' and giving me a math problem.

'Hmm. Do I give him the answer to the problem, or do I tell him how to figure it out?' I thought. I texted him back, giving him the answer. After all, it was the first time he'd asked me for help.

Five minutes later, I got another text, asking for the answer to another problem. This time I sent back the pointers he'd need to solve it for himself. Moments later I got a text saying 'but what is the answer?', and seconds after that, another text with another problem. And another. And another.

I saw a pattern forming. I sent back a few words saying that he had the same notes I did and that all the answers he needed were in those notes. Then, I texted and said that I was at the movies and that I had to go. I wasn't in the movies, I was at home, but he didn't need to know that.

Before class yesterday, he asked me for solutions to more problems. Luckily, the exam had commenced, so I didn't have a chance to tell him that I wasn't there to do his work for him.

Today, we started a new chapter. As usual, I took notes on carbon paper. Out of curiosity, I turned to see what this kid was doing whilst I was taking notes for him.

He was drawing.


I was sitting there, taking notes that are more comprehensive than I would usually take because I realize that someone else has to understand them too, and this motherfucker was drawing. He pesters me on the weekend and asks me to do his homework for him, and now I'm doing all of his class work for him too? Not bloody likely.

Have a mentioned that this kid can be a wee bit aggressive about some stuff? He can…which only added to my frustration and trepidation about confronting him.

So, after class, I spoke with the professor. I told her what happened over the weekend, what my reaction to it was, and that he's just drawing in class instead of making notes. She said that the idea was that MY notes were supposed to supplement HIS, NOT be his sole source of information for the class. She said 'you must feel a little used'…and she's right. I do. I feel taken advantage of.

She's going to talk to him. I don't know exactly what she's going to say and it's none of my business. As long as he gets the point that class is for EVERYONE and that EVERYONE should be taking notes to the best of their ability. After all, I'm there to learn, too.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye West needs to STFU

By now, I'm sure most people have seen Kanye West get up on stage at the VMA's, take the microphone from Taylor Swift's hand and pronounce Beyonce's video the true winner.

Just who the fuck does that man think he is?

If it comes right down to it, he is a product of a record company. A promoter promoted him, people gave him clothes to wear, publicity people made sure they got his name and his face well known. He is a rapper of questionable talent - and I say that because I can't stand the stuff he puts out. I'm sure that some people think he is a rapping genius. I, however do not, and as this is MY blog I can say that I think Kanye West's music sucks.

I can also say that I think Kanye West sucks. From his tirade at the benefit for Hurricane Katrina victims when he said that President Bush was a racist (Mike Myers must've been wishing he could be anywhere other than in front of a live camera with Kanye) to his breaking a photographer's camera at an airport (that was totally unnecessary) and now this. I think that Kanye is a Grade A asshole, a blowhard who thinks his opinion is far more relevant than it actually is. He is an egotistical prick and a self-important putz.

What he did last night was shameful, and no half assed apology on his blog will suffice. No apology of any kind, period, will suffice. He did what he did because he thinks he's important and what he thinks matters.

He's wrong. It doesn't matter. He stole someone else's moment, and he cannot give it back. Can you imagine how he would have reacted if someone else did that to him? I can.

I think that MSNBC's article of this morning put it best: 'It's said that it takes a village to raise a child. If that's the case, then Kanye West's village failed him'.

It absolutely did, and so did his mama.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


If: you are standing in a really, really long line at the checkout of a store,

And: you are going to be paying by check, you might want to fill out the pertinent information on said check before it's your turn to pay, instead of running your yap to the woman in front of you,

Because: whipping out your checkbook AFTER the cashier has given you your total and taking a whole 5 minutes (I timed you) to fill out the date, the amount, signing it, and balance your register is really, really going to piss the 9 people in line behind you right off. There will be much sighing, tsking and even a couple of 'really?!?" and 'lady, are you serious???' comments and you will get upset at 'people being so mean'.

If: you are driving on Scott AFB on the weekend,

And: you are not familiar with the fact that the stop lights along Air Mobility Drive are turned into yellow flashers for Air Mobility traffic and red flashers for cross traffic on weekends and holidays, you might want to read your 'rules of the road' or 'highway code' ,

Because: coming to a complete stop at a yellow flashing light will cause the driver in the Ford pickup behind you (who knows you don't stop at yellow flashers, only red ones) to have to slam on his brakes, which in turn will cause him to hydroplane and come awfully close to sliding into the side of my little car, causing me to have to do some pretty nifty driving to avoid getting hit and there will be much flipping of the bird and yells of 'moron!' and 'what are you, a fucking idiot?!' sent in your direction.

I'm staying home the rest of the day. It's dangerous out there.

Friday, September 4, 2009


The first day I met him, I thought he was a great guy.

The second day, I thought he was a dick. An insufferable, egocentric prick.

Now, some number of days later, I have changed my opinion again.

My political science professor is an alright dude. Not a rad dude; not the kind of dude I'd go have a pint of Guinness with (that'd be my philosophy professor) or share some mushy peas and chips with (that's my English professor, the one who studied in my hometown)....but he's an okay dude. He's a great teacher and he makes sure we know what we need to know in order to not only pass his class, but maybe even decide to change our majors to Political Science (sorry, Dr Ault, I love what you're teaching me but I don't *love* it, if you know what I mean. Besides, the world needs more nurses and PA's).

I'm learning stuff in his class every day and I love it. I actually look forward to hearing him lecture now. The first exam is next week...depending on my grade, I may be back here telling y'all that he's an insufferable prick again, haha. Seriously, though, if I don't get a decent grade it'll be my fault, not his. He's giving us all the information we need to pass his class, it's up to us to use it.

This is a little off topic, but I want to leave you with this tough:
I've long said it, but someone else wrote it far more eleoquently than I ever could on Twitter the other day:

Nobody should die because they can't afford healthcare, and nobody should go broke because they get sick.

That's the bottom line, really. I'm not a politician and I don't know how to fix the huge clusterfuck that is modern American healthcare. All I know is I see a problem, and it needs to be fixed. Right now it's FUBAR.

We need to fix it. ALL of us. Not just a select few in Washington, ALL of us. I find it curious that the ones who are most qualified to make decisions about what works in healthcare and what doesn't (in other words, the docs and nurses in the trenches, the ones actually seeing patients) are not as involved in the process. Instead, it's left to stuffed shirts and fat cats who have 'advisors'. Puh-leeze. That needs to change, too.

Change. It's a good thing.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A driving lesson from your friendly neighborhood NinjaMedic.

Okay class, settle down.

I'm talking specifically topeople who drive cars on Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, this afternoon. Anyone here not from Scott? You, at the back...what's that? No, this is not Philosophy 101, this is Driving with NinjaMedic 150. You want the class across the hallway....Professor Russell is the dude you need to see.

Okay. Let's begin.....
It has come to my attention (in a very abrupt way, I might add) that some of you seem to be unable to navigate crowded parking lots. Completely, totally and utterly unable. As in you seem to lose your motherfucking minds when you're in a parking lot, more specifically the commissary parking lot on base. I'm talking to you, little Asian lady in the white car. And you, middle aged man in the blue Explorer. Actually, I'm talking to all of you who were in said parking lot at the same time as me this afternoon.

Never fear, NinjaMedic is here, and I can help you!

Let's start with how you SHOULD navigate a crowded parking lot, shall we? Do you all have something to write with and something to write on? Yes? Good. We'll begin:

There is usually a main thoroughfare with rows of spaces running perpendicular to this thoroughfare. In the commissary lot, there are TWO thoroughfares, with the rows in between them. Each row is ONE WAY, meaning that you can enter from one end, but not the other. A good way to tell which way the rows are aligned is to look to see which way ALL THE OTHER CARS ARE POINTED AND GO ALONG WITH THEM. What you don't want to do is go against that; it causes problems and it's going to make getting into a space really very difficult.

Now, let's move on: does anyone have an idea about what you really, really don't want to do in a parking lot? What's the number one thing you shouldn't ever do? Anyone?




You know how insurance companies, particularly health insurance companies, talk about 'never events'? Events that shouldn't ever, under any circumstances happen? Yeah. Think of it like that. It's a 'never event' for the parking lot.

What's that? Why shouldn't you do it, you ask? Good question!


Luckily, I'm an attentive driver and I half anticpated your actions today. Call it gut instinct or whatever you will, I just had the feeling that you were going to do what you did and I managed to react accordingly.

However, the person behind me wasn't quite so attentive and I nearly became the filling in an elderly/obese driver sandwich. Had I not taken evasive action and sounded my horn (yes, I know it got you all addled, but please understand that had I not done it and got your attention (and the attention of the person behind me), I'd have been rear ended and would have been shunted into you. My big ol' truck would have done your little car some serious damage. You would probably have hurt your neck and back. The police and EMS would have had to respond. Statements would have been made......and guess who would have been at fault?


I'll give you a hint: it wouldn't have been me.


Yes, I know that you just wanted to see if there were any parking spaces 10' closer than the ones you just drove past. I understand that you have difficulty ambulating at times; I realize that it can be painful for you. I don't blame you one bit for wanting to find a closer spot (although I do have to question whether this habit has anything to do with your morbid obesity, middle aged man in the blue Explorer. Perhaps an extra 10' of walking every now and then might help reduce your overall jiggle a little, yes?). However, you have to understand that there are safe ways of going about finding a parking spot, and what you did this afternoon is NOT, I repeat, IS NOT one of them.

So, do any of you have any questions?


I'll take your silence as a 'negative'.

Class dismissed.....oh, and please, drive carefully. I'll just wait here until I'm sure you're all at least half a mile away....