War on Women? Pfagh! I call Bullshit!

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Nancy Pelosi is trying to get this bullshit meme kickstarted AGAIN. Obviously she missed the memo from the Democratic think tanks that “War on Women” isn’t playing well in polling.

You can thank dear old Nancy for my subjecting you to my thoughts on the matter.


I call bullshit on “The War on Women”.

If anything, I think its time to fight against “The WAR on MEN!”

Yeah, I said it!

I grew up in the 60s and let me tell you, that was a sexist, patriarchal, time to be an adult. I watched my dear mother fight a real “War on Women”.

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She was denied advancement, raises, and common decency in many of the jobs she worked. She was subjected to sexual harassment and was expected to take it, because there was no one that would side with her. “After all, you were wearing that mini-shirt, what did you expect to happen?

Yes, things are still not equal today. But there’re a damn sight better for women than they were 50, 40, 30, even 20 years ago. That’s a good thing, and I’m glad to see the changes.

At eighteen, I was confronted with my female boss telling me “Fuck me or you’re fired…”  So when women tell me I don’t know the pain they’ve felt I can’t help but think, “You’re not listening lady.”  I can tell you being treated that way, and having to make a choice between what are clearly two bad outcomes hurts.

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I was EIGHTEEN! I would have fucked a watermelon, but because I’d seen the absolute shit my mother put up with. I knew sleeping with the boss even once, would lead down a path that would always end up with me feeling obligated to fuck that woman to keep my job. 

I quit on the spot. I was still living at home and I could afford to quit. I know there a lot of young ladies, and young men at the time that didn’t have that luxury.

I’m glad that today those people have recourse other than sex or being fired.


As a male, many years distant from that difficult choice, I can say things have gotten worse for men even as they have improved for women.

I personally resent being told by women that SOLEY due to my gender I’m obviously an uncaring misogynistic brute who’s only interested in raping them. Really? I’ve never met anyone, ever where I thought of rape as an option.

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Consensual “doing of the nasty” is just a hell of a lot more fun. If you’re not interested in my making love to you, fine. Your choice and your loss, and you’ll never know how attentive I am or the pleasure of hanging on the edge of a mind blowing orgasm.

See, I like for my partner to have a good time and hate like hell being rushed.


Today, a man can lose his job if he’s simply accused of sexual harassment. I’ve personally seen women accuse superiors of harassment just because they didn’t like the guy. Oh, and when I presented evidence that the harassment accusation was bogus to the all female HR department…  I was painted as part of the “good ‘ol boy network” for telling the truth which just so happened to not support the narrative that men in power are always guilty.

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Much later in my career, I did report a female boss for harassment, and bias. Nothing ever came of it except my being “laid off” within a month. 

A young man can be accused of date rape, and even if it’s bogus, his college career is over, and his life is forever colored by the simple fact that he was accused. God forbid, the accusation goes to trial.

I’ve seen friends lose everything in divorces and I mean everything, regardless of the fact that they filed for divorce due to things like drug use, child neglect, or adultery.

So before we allow this bullshit “war on women” meme to really gain ground, I call on every man that has been beaten into submission by endless Sexual Harassment Training sessions to stand up and talk about all the times your Women bosses have promoted less experienced women over you. Or the times you’ve been harassed, or those times when you’ve been ridiculed due to your gender.

The Bias, harassment, and “War on _______” meme cuts both ways.

My Brothers, its time for us to come out of the shadows.

Root Canal!

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Finally after nine months trying to figure out why my lower jaw would hurt like hell intermittently, I collected enough data to be able to tell a dentist “This tooth right HERE!”

Last December I found myself having some mild  tooth pain. It wasn’t localized to a specific tooth, but was coming from the general location of a tooth that I knew had many cracks.

In truth, this particular tooth was being held together with spackle, bondo, and a prayer. This spackle job had been in place five or six years… at the time it was a hell of a lot cheaper than a crown.

Unfortunately, the dentist (who is no longer my dentist) saw this tooth and leapt to the conclusion that I needed a crown to stop the pain. I asked the fatal question “Are you sure?”

The dentist reassured me with a brusk “yes, yes” then ran off to the next patient.

In hind sight that should have been a clue. Additional clues were evident in the number of papers I was being asked to fill out prior to the work being done. Limitations of their liability, signing away my right to an attorney and limiting my avenue of complaint to binding arbitration, ability to pay, how I would be paying, if my payment failed then what was my mothers number & address. Where was my father, how could he be reached, and so on. Many of these documents were being shoved at me while I was in the dental chair.

Under normal circumstances, I’d have gotten up, walked out, then found another dentist. For some reason I didn’t. I don’t know why… so what happened next is completely on me.

$2000 later I had a crown in place of the bondo tooth. 

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Then the trouble began. 

Turns out that the dentist installing the crown had for some reason been impatient and hadn’t ground it to match my bite properly.

This meant that instead of the pain I’d been feeling decreasing, it increased, involving the whole lower jaw. Now that I think about it, failure in matching a filling to my bite is how “bondo tooth” came to be in the first place. 

I tend to grind my teeth at night. I really grind the hell out of things if there’s an annoying anomaly in my mouth. So bad filling equals badly cracked opposing tooth. This was another instance of a dentist who flitted in and out letting his assistants do all the work.

I think I begin to see a pattern here.

I’m going to implement a new rule for selection of my dentist, If the dentist is too busy to work on my himself, they’re too damn busy to have me as a patient.

It makes no sense to me that the dental assistants would know my mouth better than the dentist. I was thinking that if each time the dentists sees me, I’m essentially a new patient, how good is the care going to be? The dentist isn’t likely to notice trends or subtle differences where minor intervention would save me both pain and money.

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In any case, after two weeks waiting for the new crown and my jaw to settle down and stop hurting, I’m talking to my Mom who tells me exactly what the problem is.

I go back to the dentist, get the other partner and he resurfaces the crown adapting it to my bite. About a week later, the pain is no longer so bad that I want the apocalypse to happen. Now it is at a level that I could kill a few people and get off by claiming bad dental work drove me to insanity. 

In December I had other things going on in my life. Family stuff, the holiday, you know the insanity of the season…

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The pain continues dropping and I figure I’m good to go. Then suddenly the pain is back, then its gone, then back. This cycle continues but I’ve got other issues like going to the East Coast to help out my family with some stuff going on there.

I do the East Coast thing, the pain comes and goes and I eat aspirin when it’s really annoying. The really sick part of all of this is that I have good teeth. I seem to have problems with my teeth only after some dentist tries to “Fix” a problem.

I come home, finish some writing, and like most guys just dealt with it.

After the sixth or seventh trip to the dentist about the same thing, you just start to accept that there are no solutions, and that pain will be a way of life till you die. As men we all do it, we don’t want to be babies, we just grit our teeth (if we can) and muddle through.

“GGrrrrrr! I’ve got BIG Fuzzy Balls!”

Its cool we all do it. Ever see someone try to “Walk off” a broken foot? Yeah that’s one tough fucker! Guy respect points +1000, Women respect points +5, Overall smart points -10,000

That’s what I did, I just tried to “walk it off”. I was tired of being reminded I was getting older.

I’m sick of bad medical care and have been considering cutting the expense of medical insurance that is for the most part fucking useless. I don’t have dental insurance, and without an income, the only way to pay for some idiot dentist with no solutions is to charge it. 

(My M.D. being the exception to the rule of generally bad medical care. That guy is awesome and has earned my respect. I trust him with my life. There’s also a great surgeon I know, again awesome and he has held my life in his hands.)

Then my entire jaw lit up like the Kuwaiti oil fields at the end of Desert Storm, and it didn’t stop for two solid weeks.

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I knew I wasn’t going back to the previous dental group Tweedeldum & Tweedledee weren’t going to get a chance to see me.

So I spent the next week researching dental offices. I’d already tried the personal referral route and that was a bust, so I thought I’d give the egalitarianism of the internet a crack at it. 

My search parameters were simple, The dentists should be close at hand, not an hour or more away. The dentist should speak ENGLISH, not mangledlish. The office should be bright and clean. The dentist should have NO dings, or outstanding complaints against him or her with the ADA, or any medical board. The dentist should come highly recommended by a wide variety of patients from multiple sources, (yes, I even read the shit on yelp).

In the end I narrowed my selection to one. The dentists and all his staff were shown on their web site. The office shown in the background appeared clean and bright. Overall, the recommendations were good, the only exception being that someone thought the prices were too high. That’s a complaint WE ALL share so I discounted that particular comment.

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I set up an appointment. That was easy and they didn’t try to up sell me to cleanings and full mouth x-rays. I had a specific issue and they respected that. The lady directed me to a couple of PDFs on their web site and asked that I fill out the forms contained in the PDFs then bring the packet when I come for my appointment.

“Here we go,” I think. I’m expecting 20 pages of liability clauses and perhaps having to run a contract or two by my attorney before I show up to this appointment.

What I got however, was two very simple pages. One is basic patient information and the other was a standard medical history. How refreshing!

Between the time I made the appointment and the time of the actual appointment my jaw stopped hurting. I think, “Cool! All I have to do is have an imminent dental appointment and I’ll be just fine.”

As the pain faded, I noticed that it localized to a region of two teeth. Finally! Now I had something to actually tell a dentist. “Doc, it’s one of these two teeth, yank ‘em both!”

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The day of the appointment I show up with my forms typed up (the office staff loved me for that). I sit in the chair and a dental assistant takes notes as I explain the problem. She says OK, I’m going to take a couple of x-rays of the area so the doctor can see what we’re up against. Cool, I have no problem with that.

The Doc comes into the exam room, he’s about my age. He’s also got a good demeanor and as he’s asking the assistant what going on he glances at the x-rays. Before he’s even finished asking the question he’s pointing at one x-ray and saying that looks painful. He says to me “Good news is, I think we know what the problem is, bad news is you’re probably going to need a root canal. I’m going to do a couple of quick tests.”

I ask how much this is going to hurt.

He replies it’s not going to hurt him at all. He was right!

I like this guy!

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He explains clearly what he thinks is going on. But goes on to tell me that he’d like for his specialist to take a look before we start drilling away.

I can respect that. And it’s a FAR cry from the previous dental episode. So this afternoon I’m going to have a root canal, or perhaps not depending on what the specialist says.

It’s expensive but it looks like I won’t need a crown the way they’re planning on doing the root canal if needed.

I’ll update this afterward or tomorrow. Hell, I might even put their phone number in the update. 


 Here’s the update!

As dental procedures go, this was an absolute breeze. I didn’t have to pony up the cash for a crown, because they preserved the tooth as it was.

Basicly the procedure was this:

They numbed me without numbing my entire jaw and all points in between. It really was “LOCAL” anesthetic.

Then the root / nerve specialist drilled straight down into the tooth. This was an incisor and the root is in the center, and generally straight.

Once the nerve was exposed, the specialist said, “yep, this baby is a mess,” then opened the tooth up more so that he could dig all the nasty stuff out.

I remember a smell like antiseptic then some more digging around, and something else that smelled antiseptic. 

Then there was this syringe with a tube on the end. There was some more pressure then some kind of curing process.

It’s hard to describe because I had a dental dam in place and as the specialist was working he by necessity was blocking my field of vision.

Then there was something else I saw only briefly that looked like a fuzzy post, followed by the syringe with the tube on it, and more pressure. 

Then I was done.

They took a digital X-Ray, to check their work and the root canal itself was done.

Really! Just that simple.

I moved to another work bay and the dentist took a look at the X-Ray then put a filling over the opening.

Within two hours, I was normal again, the numbness was gone, there was no real pain. I took an advil that night and haven’t looked back. I’m supposed to go to a follow-up appointment this week just to make sure everything is ok. 

This is the way it’s supposed to be, simple, straight-up, and people that have confidence.

They did have me sign a form saying I understood that things are not always as they seem and that there could be complications that necessitate a change in treatment and perhaps additional costs.

All told, I’ve been presented with three pieces of paper. The previous dentist hit me with nine or ten forms, some of which had to do with indemnification and limitations of liability. One limited my legal options to binding arbitration. 

Which leads me to ask, a couple of questions.

1) Why is there such a big difference between the two places?

2) What was the other dentist so afraid of? Didn’t they have confidence in their work, or abilities?

OK, so it was three questions.

I can tell you this, I think I’ve found my new dentist.

Night Rain

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You don’t appreciate something until it’s gone.

Its been that way around here. I’ve had enough of the endless dry dusty days. This drought is like the party guest that just won’t leave.

There have been some really evil teasers over the past few months, cloudy days, huge thunderheads building against the mountain, lots of noise but not a lot of action.

All we’ve gotten out of it has been humidity followed by more steaminess than we had before.

I can take heat, with low humidity. I can take high humidity like you get in the South, at least you know that rain is coming.

I can’t take the nasty humidity followed by sun followed by more humidity with no breeze. That’s brutal and what the early evenings have been like for the past few days. 

Oppressive heat and humidity permeating what should be a comfortable time of the day. Not quite hot enough to run the air conditioning, but sticky like a Florida summer day without the afternoon thunderstorm.

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Being naked doesn’t help, because you can’t get enough sweat to evaporate to cool. You lay there sweating, wondering if the $$$ you’d spend on the A/C is worth it.

I was sleeping fitfully on the couch. Then about an hour ago I woke to the smell of rain on hot asphalt. It’s not raining a lot, more of a drizzle but it’s being fairly consistent and the temperature has dropped about 10 degrees. 

The rain isn’t hitting on the roof hard enough to make much of a sound, but I can hear it on the leaves and if I listen real hard, I can hear drops hitting the decks.

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I wasn’t naked when I fell asleep on the couch, I’m naked now.

Standing at the sliding door listening  to the rain through the screen I had an overwhelming urge to be naked, feeling the rain on my skin.

Thank goodness the decks are more or less private at this time of night!

For however long this gentle shower lasts, I’m grateful.

I can see myself wrapping up in a sheet then falling asleep listening to the crickets and gentle shower hitting the parched ground.

It’s worth losing a little sleep to enjoy the rain.

I guess all this work is a good thing

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My pants fit differently.

I’ve been in motion since I got here and I suppose it’s showing in my losing a little of the gut.

I could of course stand to lose a lot more of the gut but eating healthy here is a very tough thing to do.

I’ve cooked a couple of times and since I don’t load everything up with salt my efforts haven’t been necessarily well received. 

This is southern cooking at it’s saltiest, oiliest best. Even the blooming onion at Outback seemed laden with more grease than usual.

I’ve been trying to maintain some semblance of a decent diet. Making smarter food choices isn’t exactly easy here without causing someone offense.

So I keep hydrated and keep moving. I’m hoping that the increased activity will at least balance out the calories. The only way to dilute the salt inherent in everything is plenty of water.

Even then I’m sure that I’ve consumed a years supply of salt and preservatives in the past month.

NewImageGotta say there were some nice barbecue the other night. I can’t complain too loudly.That’s going to take a good 6 months to purge from my system I’m sure!

I just learned something that should never be googled. Obese Men! OMG! 

Or maybe it should be googled and when you lose your lunch you’ll think I don’t want to ever look like that!

The picture at right should reduce your desire to claw your own eyes out.

I told you not to google “obese men” did you listen? Hell no!

I don’t know if I’d recommend tending ailing parents as a weight loss routine, but as a bootcamp it might work.

I’ll rent my folks cheap!  First come first serve.

 

 

OUCH!

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I cleaned the gutters of my parents house yesterday.

OMG!

Do you know what happens when you have Oak leaves that collect and sit in a gutter for years?

You get a new biome.

The leaves degrade into a slightly acidic loam; add water and you get a place for critters and new plants.

I saw snakes (babies), mud, new oak trees, some rooted thing that had roots running for about 25 feet in the gutter. I never did figure out what the hell that plant was, but It was a tough SOB!

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No pictures; I stripped myself of technology and then ended up covered in mud and various kinds of plant debris.

By the time I’d put in 6 hours at this, the ladder was starting to get really heavy. I was sore all over and even today I’m still hurting when I move.

Last night I was achy and sore all over, I’m hurting really bad today. Getting out of bed today I looked like I was 90.

But its one less thing my mom is going to have to worry about.

Next, cleaning and re-arranging furniture in their guest room and the den. 

On the plus side, I’m losing weight.

OK I’m a little pissed off.

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Been sitting on this one for a while may as well let ‘er rip!

I don’t get out much. I have few friends, & I generally am exactly where I’m supposed to be when I’m supposed to be there.

Recently, a couple of incidents have occurred where I wasn’t at the beck & call of my other half, and all hell broke loose!

The first was when I was helping out with stocking and organizing at a retail establishment owned by a friend. The second was a week or two ago.

The first incident, I was in a seriously crappy cell service area. You’d have thought I was an Alzheimer’s patient or a Megan alert had been issued.

I’m still hearing about it from acquaintances that got called REPEATEDLY because OOOHHHHHHH I was gone for 4 hours. 

The second incident…

I’m at the freakin neighbors! All my vehicles are at home. Obviously I’m on foot and probably hadn’t gone far. In the end the other half found me with ease!

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I had dinner & drinks and adult conversation with the neighbors.  

We were chatting, laughing, and having one of those rambling discussions that is a whole lot of fun. YES! We talked about sex… and POLITICS!

My other half called at freaking midnight. I didn’t hear the phone.

The Neighbors & I were listening to music and having an impassioned political discussion. There’s a knock at the door, My other half has stomped over to give me the stink eye and basically harsh EVERYONES buzz. 

I honestly don’t know what the fuck I did wrong. 

OOoOOppps I didn’t hear the phone ring OMG! It’s a crime!

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Unlike the other half, and many other rude people I know, I don’t typically answer the phone to talk to a person on the phone, when I’m having a conversation with another person in real life.

I’d decided that I was going to be calm and just have a conversation about what was driving this; to y mind insane behavior.

When we had that conversation the other half fell on their own sword. It wasn’t like I could beat the subject any further but I do wonder whats driving this bit of crazy.

As I said, i don’t go anywhere, I have few friends. The friends I do have are busy with their own lives and social events so it’s not like I’m cheating or anything.

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And even if I was, who cares? For the 25 years we’ve been together, there has never been any prohibition against having a little fun outside the relationship as long as the rules were obeyed.

From day one I’ve been very honest about the fact that I absolutely refuse to be contained, chained, or controlled.

The bullshit line “I was worried” ain’t holding water. 

I’m a fucking adult male.

I’m an apex predator, and you know what? When I was driving 92 fucking miles one way to work I never got this “I was worried bullshit”. Nope never!

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Apparently, sitting in traffic 6 hours a day is ok. You know where I could have been in an accident, or shot, after all I was driving through Compton, none of that raised a fucking eyebrow.

But now if I’m not sitting in this fucking house 24/7 it’s cause for panic and honestly what I think of as the height of rude behavior.

This shit has got to stop.

I can’t even imagine what things are going to be like if I’m traveling for work or a book signing or whatever.

I have no doubt it will be interesting. 

The question is, will it be so interesting that I decide I’ve had quite enough?

Time will tell.