Archive for April, 2011

Teeth, Travel, TV

April 20, 2011

Teeth, travel and tv.

We don’t mostly die of teeth, except of Boredom.  To make a long story short, tomorrow is the last of 5 appointments to replace the 50 year old fillings with cool new techie ones that are really beautiful and work better (who knew the old ones worked worse) and they say will outlive me (there’s something to think about – the party my teeth will have once the king is dead!  Oh, they’ll miss me when I’m gone…).  Plus two trips to the oral surgeon for a problem on my soft tissue much like on my head and probably from the same crash two years ago – that they found during the other 5 appointments (or was it 6 including one in Rome)…  First was yesterday.   This really doesn’t end.  It occurs that in the world with the best transportation ever known to humankind, we spend more time traveling than the ancients would have dreamed of.  Two hours commuting per day in the car, 7 hours each way to LA, a total of 15 to get from home version RI to home V.Rome.  And with the best medical care ever, more time in doctor’s offices.  But, our teeth are immortal!

Which brings me to TV.  That clever graph of what humans can do at each age with its eery symmetry (I did not forward to friends – too depressing) omitted one key human activity achieved at a very early age and maintained to the absolute bitter end if not beyond (plenty of it going on at shiva sitting occasions).  According to Radio Italia Uno, after sleeping and working, what humans of the West (them and us) do most is watch TV.  God that is depressing.  What did your boss do with his heartbeats while you were working for his teeth, little high tech life after death fillings?  Oh, he watched TV.   The Bible talks about (on pesach) that god cried when his creations, the Egyptians were tortured by the plagues and killed by them and by the Red Sea.  Won’t he cry that all we do is eat sleep and watch TV?    This fantastic medical infrastructure that keeps us alive, this fantastic tech infrastructure that transports us around the world allows us to spend our lives, extended and comfortable as they are, watching TV.

Back to the God and Travel fronts, this weekend is Easter, the biggest religious weekend of the year in Italy, and unlike idiot christmas with a habit of falling on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, Easter is reliably Sunday (though not reliably which) and the Monday after is a full national holiday in Italy where Friday isn’t (I thought Catholicism had this hierarchical structure with Pope at top  to avoid ending up like us Jews where everybody has a different idea what the religion is, but apparently not?).  It is such a big deal it changes (and not for the better) even the hiking which is all easy family-friendly hikes (did I ever make a claim to family friendliness?) to mountain chapels where the wonders of the church’s omnipresence can be adequately amazing to all.  Which the girlfriend,  confirmed fallen (she would say risen) but is it neutral to say non catholic, cannot handle both because easy hikes with families rates with dental appointments, and there is the religious overtone.  Not to say motive and theme.

So I called Jackie, Travel Agent Par Exc. who was home waiting for the plumber and hence reached Julia, but with same title, and said “do they have  last minute tickets, like on Broadway?” and she said “in your dreams rick, but i’ll check” and then she called back and said that British, after a series of strikes, had an easter weekend full of empty planes and sales, and I got a round trip for the low low price of $800.  OK, not to brag, you’re thinking?  But my ticket bought months in advance for May (granted non-stop) is $1240.  Easter weekend was $1450.  So by female shopping logic, I didn’t spend $800, I saved $650.   Do I have that math right?  My dad says I should stick to stock timing and not gamble on those airlines.  It is true that I have never slept on the floor thanks to a stock…

Off to grading and then what passes for work – 8 straight hours with  students.   And they say teaching keeps you young?

– (in case you wondered why they keep me locked up in an isolated and largely undisclosed location somewhere in rural Rhode Island)