Dental Implant Update

The second bone graft failed so I’m not getting an implant after all, but a bridge. I don’t think getting a bridge is the end of the world, it’s just that I’ve had three surgeries now, over I forget how long, so all that pain and healing and time for nothing is a difficult pill to swallow.

Part of me is glad. I was nervous about the implant part. They had me sign this sheet saying that I understood all the possible risks associated with getting an implant and it was a very scary list. Also, after I’m done healing from this most recent bone graft—which feels like adding insult to injury, having to still endure healing and more waiting—we can wrap this baby up. I was concerned with being done and presentable by the time my book comes out and that should no longer be an issue.

But having an implant is the better option and I went through a lot in order to have one so I’m upset about how it all turned out. I’ll get over it fast of course. It’s not like I went through treatment for a life-threatening disease and that failed. Still. I feel like throwing a temper tantrum or buying myself a present. I think I’ll go for the present.

I liked the colors in this window. Also, that’s a John Lennon bio it seems. I wonder why it’s part of this display.

Walking to the Municipal Archives

Yesterday I put on 16,000 layers and lots of fleece and walked downtown to the Municipal Archives, where I’m doing research for a book proposal I’m working on. If all goes well I will practically live there for the next few years.

I get to Chambers Street and turn left towards the Archives. It’s not a pretty walk until you get to the end, when you hit Law and Order territory and all the City buildings. On the way though, it’s mostly Lots for Less type stores and it has a junky feel. I should look past the facades and at the buildings themselves. What were they used for 100 years ago?

Usually you see a lot of law enforcement and court workers coming and going, and people showing up for their court dates or jury duty. Yesterday, it was relatively empty.

I get to the Archives. That’s their building on the left, and through that arch to the right is One Police Plaza, where I spent some time researching my book about the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad. It’s like another country beyond that arch. I’d love to write more about the police, but the subject is just so … fraught. (Everyone who has ever had to cover the NYPD is probably smiling and nodding at my very careful word choice there.)

And now, here I am, in front of the Archives. It’s beautiful inside, but I’ve never once gotten a decent picture of it. I signed up for a digital photography course, so maybe I’ll learn something I can use to try again.

Understanding How We Got Here

I read ugly comments on Facebook from people who are not happy that Barack Obama is our president, and from gun owners, many of them likely completely reasonable people, who won’t agree to perfectly reasonable responses to all the gun death in our country — even last night, on the live chat between people watching Eldad Hagar and Shaggy, people were fighting about how to care for Shaggy. Not simply disagreeing, but getting nasty and personal.

People are insane. It’s not enough to have a big heart, or a big brain. I mean, look at freaking Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote that we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He was not only a slave owner, he was apparently not a kind slave owner, completely unable to have any compassion for his slaves who were desperately seeking a little life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness themselves (see the new biography, Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves).

Jefferson wrote this in a letter to Samuel Kercheval:

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

Such mind-blowingly visionary words! What hope is there for all of us when the man who wrote them is the same man who put his child slaves to punishing work, allowing them to be beaten and mistreated? How hard was is it to see that was wrong?

I’m watching the series on PBS now about abolition. When I see how horribly the first people to call for the abolition of slavery were treated, something so clearly and obviously wrong, it’s less surprising to see people, many of whom are completely decent people and not idiots, fighting over reasonable gun control, gay marriage, or how to care for a frightened dog.

The tearing up of Perry Street continues. They were working last night, and they started up again at least as early as 7am this morning.

Obsessed with Watching Shaggy

I’ve posted before about the wonderful dog rescuer Eldad Hagar and Hope for Paws. He went down to South Carolina to rescue a dog and for the past two days I’ve been watching a live stream of him and the dog in a hotel room. (I spent yesterday on the couch with the inaugural on the tv and Eldad and Shaggy on my computer.)

You can read more about Shaggy’s backstory on Eldad’s Facebook page. He’ll make a video of the rescue eventually. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going back to not getting any work done.

Great Speech, Mr. President

4:15: I’m transfixed! I’m watching every second. I love Michelle Obama’s coat and the belt, but my favorite touch is the purple gloves. Now I must have purple gloves. The next surprise will be her gown tonight. Apparently she commissioned 12 designers and she will pick one, but she hasn’t told anyone (outside her family presumably) which one she’ll wear. Can’t wait!!

I’ll be back later, during the parade, to talk about Michelle’s outfits and other things, but for now, my favorite parts of Barack Obama’s speech. There are so many I should probably just post the whole thing, but here are the standouts for me.

“For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob …”

“Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free …”

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth …”

“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law –- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity — until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm …”

“We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate …”

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations …”

“The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise …”

“We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. So we must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, reach higher …”

“The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us …”

“We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own …”

The view from my window, of workman tearing up Perry Street. Take that Perry Street.