Saturday, March 21, 2009

In Which I Set Myself on Fire, Bleed Profusely (Unrelated), and Meet Huell Howser

It's been three months since my last confession, and I'm ripping off the Band-Aid with some tales from my wacky March.

Highlights included that time two weeks ago when I set myself on fire. Panicked about my impending wisdom tooth surgery the next morning, I tried to light a few candles in order that their wafting aroma might help me relax. Instead, the decorative tie dangling from the neckline of my shirt ignited, and then the rest of the front of my shirt caught fire, which I didn't notice until I was pretty well aflame. I dropped the phone (I'd been talking to my parents), screaming that blood-curdling scream that comes from the back of your throat that you mostly only hear in the movies and rarely in real life. I batted away at the front of my shirt before I remembered the stop, drop, and roll thing, so I did that, and eventually put the fire out on the Anthropologie rug without any significant injury (apart from a slightly singed bra and left boob). My parents heard the whole thing and assumed I was being attacked. I swear I could have died, y'all! Life is so precious and so ephemeral.

The next day, I was alive after all so I went to get my wisdom tooth removed in kind of an emergency situation, which is what you get when you've been told for years that you're going to have this half-erupted tooth out but you are too terrified so you ignore doctors orders and let it be. Then, when you go in for emergency surgery, and you've been squeezed in between other appointments, you have to wait like two hours while your anxiety builds. Then the dentist tells you that he'll only be using local anesthesia, which makes you regress into a wet-eyed, wobbly lipped child because you'd been comforted by so many friends who told you that you'd be out cold and wouldn't remember a dang thing. Matters are not improved when the zillion shots of Novacaine are not producing numbing results because apparently an existing infection hinders the efficacy of the shots. Finally the tooth comes out—and you watch the whole thing, the plier-ing, the popping, the sewing—through lucid, open eyes.

But the real drama comes when the surgeon doesn't realize how much you're bleeding (gauze in wound notwithstanding) and so sends you on your way out to the cashier, but when you try to open your mouth (to say, maybe, do you take Visa? Or, where is the sink?) you pour blood out of your mouth with a crime-scene looking result all over the counter. And then, with your bloody hands and jeans, you are escorted into a private room where you will be less likely to gross people out, until the dentist brings you back into the room where he can do some coagulating procedure that seems to work, until your mom whisks your bloody, drooly self home using the magic technique for solving difficult situations that moms know about.

OK, I guess those were more lowlights than highlights. Bona fide highlights include: wrapping up award season coverage and thereby returning to something that resembles more normalcy in terms of work load; enjoying sister and nephew's visit to California; clearing out bags and carloads of unnecessary house-cluttering stuff like old clothes and miscellany, and consequently feeling really good about myself; AND:

MEETING HUELL HOWSER. I MET HUELL HOWSER AND HE GAVE ME A HUG. What happened was I went to a KCET event at Paramount Ranch on Thursday celebrating the launch of Ken Burns' new documentary, National Parks: America's Best Idea, and Huell was there to introduce Ken. Before the program, I mustered the courage to tell Huell that I'm sure he has a lot of number-one fans, but I'm dang sure I rank up there with the most devoted of them. And he said, well I have to give you a hug for that! And so [breathlessly], I got a hug from teen idol (not actually) Huell Howser. It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

Or, you might say, it was very much a part of California's Gold.

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