Diary of a Marked W•man


PARIS, MAY 2006

TOOTH WITCH

Fri. the 5th: Went to the emergency dentist office because a bridge was getting loose in my mouth. It's the most recent bridge that I've had made, dating to fall 98, made by this horrible left-handed female dentist named Dr Meena Shah on Columbus Ave. at 94th street in NYC. I already spoke about her earlier but one thing I didn't say then is the following:

SHE RIPPED ME OFF OF ABOUT FOUR GRAND!

I was paying her in cash with the last of the $62,000 (350,000 French Francs) which I got as a part of my inheritance, while it was plain to see that all her clients were from the projects around, therefore they were Medicaid-Medicare recipients. In other words, with me, she didn't have any paperwork to do to get paid, it was instant cash, crisp hundred dollar bills which I brought her almost at every appointment, yet she refused to give me even a five percent discount.

Every time I came to her office I asked for an estimate of the cost of the 5-tooth bridge which she was in the process of preparing my mouth for, but she put me off every time, while keeping asking for money. She gave me a receipt every time for the cash, and in the end I paid her almost five thousand dollars for the bridge, and it was only at the end that she gave me an estimate, but then I was psychologically unable to realize that she was taking advantage of me. She charged me one grand per tooth whereas, this being no East-Side upper-crust office but a low-brow outfit, she shouldn't have charged me more than 250 per tooth.

I remember how upset I was every time she refused to give me an estimate, but still I kept bringing her money. And so much happened between then and now that it is only recently that I've realized that this woman overcharged me outrageously.

Anyway, this bridge was getting loose so I made an appointment with the emergency dental office, "like I said". Took the bus to the Gobelins bus stop and started walking -er, hobbling- on the Port Royal blvd. Weather was nice, temperature comfortable, the perfume of blooming trees in the air. The blvd is beautiful, with stately 18th Century buildings on both sides. I wondered how the rich people who owned them originally made their fortune. In the colonies? Whom did they exploit to get rich? Now that I know that there is absolutely no way to become rich without ripping someone off I have this question every time I see something like this.

I took another bus to get to the number but the bus passed it and the next stop was far away. Took another bus back but it turned out that the dental office was half-way between two bus stops. But when you're on crutches, you do whatever you can to save yourself twenty paces.

While walking I was aware that I was taking steps to address a problem which my mother caused me, while walking with difficulty because of another problem which my mother caused me.

After I wrote the doc a check for 85 euros he explained that he was a stomatologist, not a dentist, and I didn't understand exactly what his specialty is because he compared it to being like an obstetrician compared to a generalist. Uh? And then he said that the muscles in the jaw have the strength of one hundred kilos, and then he spoke about the different positions of the lower jaw and he made some horrible faces as if he was being tortured, to explain that the lower jaw has some leeway What a guy. But instead of really paying attention I was reminded of a woman who made fantastic noise just by grinding her teeth, so I told him that I was in a waiting room and heard this eerie but loud noise without knowing where it came from, and it took me a while to figure out the other woman in the waiting room was grinding her teeth. But I didn't tell him it was in the waiting room of a psychiatric hospital, of course, though maybe he could have figured it out. You don't get such tooth-grinders just anywhere.

Yeah, I had just been taken from St Joseph hospital in Yonkers, NY, to Rockland Psychiatric Center in Rockland County, my legs restrained in the bed in back of the ambulance van while we crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge on a sunny July day of the year 2000... and after going through the "intake" procedure, including the inspection of my personal belongings and the confiscation of my ink bottle, among other things, I was asked to wait in that waiting room where the tooth grinder was letting'er rip.

Thu. the18th: Answer to: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=33268 FOOD SUPPLY ON THE BREAKING POINT In the 70s a startling statistic was making the rounds regarding the weight in grain necessary to produce a pound of meat: it was a ratio of 14 to 1. With that weight in grain several humans could be fed. Meat consumption has kept increasing and the Rainforest is being felled to produce arable land to grow soja to feed cattle for meat. Obviously one of the first solutions is to convert to a meatless diet, or a meat-sometimes diet and use the land to grow food for humans.

NETTING

Tues. the 23rd: So far this month I have been doing "Netting" aka "Filet" for the first time. About a year ago I had, after much vain research, found a supplier of books and tools at Lacis.com and then was busy with other things, but knew I had everything I needed when the desire struck... And then, early this month, it struck.

It took me about two weeks of daily practice, several hours each day, to manage a decent net, with regular meshes, but already at the end f the first week I was doing allright. The second week improved my skill and speed, but still there is an occasional missed knot where two adjacent meshes communicate, so that when you pull on one it gets bigger while the next one gets smaller, whereas if the knot was correct this wouodn't happen. The solution to this problem, I have found, when it is too late to correct the problem, is to put a pencil in the second mesh to prevent it from shrinking while you pull on the first one, of necessity, to tie the knot. This mistake happens, I believe, when one doesn't pass the needle in the loop before passing it through the mesh.

At the end of this period I have completed the following:

which I have hand-hemmed with strong thread first (believe me, it's not so easy to hem a small circle!), and then I made the first row of meshes by piercing the two layers of fabric in the hem with a needle, which is not explained in the book. It's only with the second row that one can use the netting needle.

What is not explained in the book either is that the meshes of the first row are always half the size of the normal meshes, which may be a problem when the netting needle is "fat" with a lot of thread on it. Then it is hard to pass it through the small meshes when netting the second row. The solution is to make the first row with a gauge twice the size of the regular gauge or, even better I think, to make the second row with a netting needle that has not much thread left on it so it'll pass easily thru the half-size meshes, or to use a sewing needle altogether not only for the first row, when the center is made of fabric, but for the second row also.

I had to carefully distribute 120 meshes around the circle and have so far netted seven rows without making any increase, and I am observing how the meshes, which started as very narrow diamonds at the first row, are gradually getting wider, until at some point I'll reach the optimal row where the meshes have four 90 degrees angles and will be, therefore, squares and not diamonds any longer.

If I go beyond that point without increasing, the lower angle will disappear and the meshes will have a triangular shape and the circle will have a regular round outline, which is a good point to stop, or to start some gathered increases with a large gauge to create a contrast between black and white.

Ooops!!! I remember now why I absolutely wanted to write today! Today, May 23rd 2006 is the 16th anniversary of my near-death experience on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, due to a passing bus that nearly pancaked me. Sixteen years have passed and I have become much smarter.


DROP ME A BYTE

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