Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mammoth Tusk

Last week, a mammoth tusk was discovered by a construction crew in Seattle. They were digging 30 feet below street level when they encountered the tusk. The tusk was recovered, and sent to the Burke Museum to be restored and placed on display. It seems to me that nobody was sufficiently curious about where the rest of this mammoth is. They just dug it out, looked around a bit, and were done. You don’t just lose a giant tooth, and then walk away (or lumber away, as the case may be). Maybe this is where some sort of Prehistoric Tooth Fairy stored her booty. I’m thinking a Pterodactyl would probably have fit the bill nicely. I wonder what she would have left the little kid dinosaurs under their pillows? Maybe a nice root or leaf for the herbivores and something dead and disgusting for the carnivores? The estimated age of this giant tooth is between 22,000 and 60,000 years old. Hmmm... 22,000? Seems like a random number. Why not a nice round 20,000? I guess that extra 2,000 years must be important. They probably had to factor in Leap Year, the curvature of the Earth, and whether or not this happened on a Tuesday. According to the news story, this tusk was from a Columbian Mammoth. There have been so many of these mammoths found that they have been officially named as the State Fossil. Who knew states had official fossils? What happens if your state has no fossils? Wouldn’t you feel slighted, and want to get your shovel and toothbrush and go find one? I tried to find a dinosaur skeleton in my backyard when I was little. Utah has many, many dinosaur fossils and is home to Dinosaur National Monument (hello... “PeeWee’s Big Adventure”!). I was sure all I had to do was start digging and I’d hit a fossil or twelve. I did find some rocks with weird raised junk on them, and took them to school to show all the kids. Nobody was impressed, or thought my rocks were an important scientific find. I saw a story once about a town in England where some ancient Roman ruins were discovered. They gave the townspeople tools and instructions and let them go dig. No degrees, no experience, just a shovel and a handout. I could totally dig that (hee hee).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Insurance Bastards

In this last year leading up to my Big Giant Birthday, I’ve been inundated with solicitations from life insurance companies. All this insurance junk mail was annoying, and I really resented the fact that total strangers knew how old I was. Then, a coworker’s husband died suddenly, and I panicked a bit. I decided that maybe I should check into getting additional life insurance after all. We had open enrollment at work. I filled out my forms and the insurance company commenced taking money out of my paycheck. Then they requested additional health information. Eventually they sent me a rejection letter (all the while still taking my money). I was given one chance to respond with letters from two of my doctors. The letters were awesome, testifying that I was in good health. Then the Insurance Bastards rejected my application for the final time. Apparently they knew better than my excellent doctors. In spite of what my docs said, I guess I had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. I was incensed, pissed off, and more than livid. I watch a lot of murder shows on TV. A recurring motive among murderers is offing someone for their life insurance. Now when I watch these shows, I talk back to the TV. “Oh sure, THAT guy can get a million dollars’ worth of life insurance. No problem... and he’s a frickin’ murderer! But when I ask? Oh noooooo, I can’t have life insurance. I might die at any minute.” Yup I’m ticked, and now these insurance dweebs have also ruined perfectly good murder shows for me. I guess if nothing else, I’m safe from being killed for my life insurance. Still bitter though...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bad Ballet Etiquette

My daughter and I went to the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of “The Sleeping Beauty”. I hadn’t seen a ballet in years, so was very excited for the event. Molly was looking forward to being my date, as the Disney version of “Sleeping Beauty” was one of her favorites. I remember Molly sitting in her high chair at age two, singing “Once Upon A Dream”. She sang it with such feeling. That memory always makes me smile. Molly and I had a high-priced snack before the ballet, adding to the feeling that we were attending something pretty upscale and high brow. We found our seats, and perused our programs until the lights went down. And that’s when we discovered we were seated in front of a serious nimrod of a woman. Maybe she thought she was attending a basketball game or a concert. Whatever the reason, she wouldn’t shut up. Loud Talker Lady was seated with a girl, and apparently needed to share her every thought. The first time this woman was delighted by the dancing, she laughed really loudly. Laughed... at the ballet. OK, there is no crying in baseball and no laughing in ballet. They tell the story through dance, for crying out loud! Some little kids came on stage and LT Lady said “Ooohhh, they’re soooo cute!”. A couple of times, she told her young companion “Wow, that’s really hard”. Seems to me ALL the dancing is hard. No need to mention it... over and over. When the bad fairy ran around the stage with (fake) snakes, this woman said “Well, it doesn’t get more evil than that”. I almost knocked myself out rolling my eyes and biting my tongue. In my head, though, I turned around, jumped on my seat, grabbed her by the ears, and screamed “SHUT THE F&*K UP!!!”. The final straw was at the end of Act III. The prince stabbed the bad fairy with his sword. Loud Talker Lady said “Whoa... I didn’t see THAT coming!”. Seriously? She was stupid as well as annoying. At that point we were saved by an intermission, and decided to leave without viewing Act IV. I couldn’t take any more play-by-play commentary. I guess I’ll have to take out a loan and get box seats next time.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Smooshing The Girls

As part of my benefits at work, I get a paid day off every year to have a physical exam. Friday was that day. I always get the first appointment, since I have to have a fasting blood test. Visions of a reward after my appointment - a vanilla latte and piece of cinnamon swirl coffee cake at Starbuck’s - kept me focused. There was a new nurse, which thrilled me. The previous nurse was nice, but hey, she was cute, blonde and skinny. The last thing I need when I’m starving is to be put on a scale by an adorable little 110-pound cutie. I made it through the blood draw, with a minimum of face scrunching (I really, really hate needles). Then came the Hurry Up and Wait part. I always race to get undressed, and then end up waiting for about 15 minutes for the doctor’s arrival. Even though I have given birth twice, and feel like I have had hordes of doctors see my lady bits, the annual physical always makes me blush. Try as I might, I can’t stop picturing the view from my doctor’s end of the check-up. It makes me grateful I never had a yearning for a job in the medical field. After the physical, I moved on to the second un-fun procedure - the Mammogram. Every year I hope technology has moved beyond smashing my boobs between two pieces of plastic. And every year I’m disappointed... and embarrassed due to being topless and felt up by a total stranger. Sometimes after snagging your boob and squashing it flat, the tech will say “Don’t move”. Umm, hello... boob’s in a vise! I’m not going anywhere! I have never been able to look down at the Girls when they are flattened. It’s just too disturbing... poor little things. At least technology has progressed enough lately for the tech to know immediately if the image is a good one. A few years ago, you had to wait a while for the film to develop and possibly go through the squishing process again. In the end, it wasn’t that bad. I was done until next year. I tucked my boobs into my socks and went merrily on my way.