Susieboldt's Blog

Random Comments from a Dreamer

My First Major Highway Experience

I hate driving on major highways.

There are cars and big trucks all around me, and there’s always a good chance that a trucker might not notice my little Toyota Corolla driving beside him.

The other day I was trying to switch lanes, going from the outer lane into the middle. The trucker beside me, in the opposite outside lane, was thinking the same thing. We both started manoeuvring into the middle lane at the same moment, and by the time either one of us noticed, we were both past the point of no return. It’s a good thing my car is tiny, because I just cranked the wheel to the left, and sandwiched myself between two cars beside me. The car behind me honked his horn, and I flushed in embarrassment. It seems the trucker won. Truckers always win.

The first time I drove on a major highway, it happened by accident. I was visiting a friend an hour away, and my GPS was telling me where to go. It got me there just fine, but for some reason on the way back, it decided that I should take a different and less familiar route. I had no idea where it was taking me. Until, that is, I noticed that I was on an enter ramp for the 401 HWY (a major 4 lane highway).

To make matters worse…much worse, it was dark and snowing hard. There was a thin layer of snow already on the ground and the snowploughs hadn’t distributed any salt yet. My visibility was horribly limited, and those dang mesmerizing snowflakes kept distracting me.

These conditions made me drive like an old lady. I had both hands tightly clenched on the steering wheel, my back was hunched so far over that my face was just inches from the dashboard, and my mind was racing a hundred miles per hour of all the things I had not yet done in life.

So here I was, driving on the 401, in the blinding snow, in the dark, at eleven o’ clock, with nobody but me knowing where I was. I’m surprised I didn’t pass out from mental exhaustion. The road was slippery, so I let my car slow down to sixty kilometres an hour, (on a 100 km/h highway), and this then produced a whole new round of fear in me. What if the cars behind me didn’t realize I was going as slow as a turtle? Would they hit me from behind because they wouldn’t have enough time to stop? Is it just me who finds the road slippery, or are other people driving slow too? Is it a full moon? And are werewolves real?

Okay, so I didn’t actually think that last thought, but it’s a valid thought, right?  Regardless, everyone else had been smart enough to avoid such deadly conditions. I was watching the road carefully, doing my best to stay in my lane, when I noticed headlights in my rear-view mirror. Was he driving fast? I couldn’t tell. He came up behind me and then passed me in the next lane. He was driving a vehicle equipped with 4X4. I was sure of it, considering he was going over eighty. Great. Not only was I scared beyond belief, but I was also embarrassed. Who goes sixty on the 401? Only me, in my tiny Corolla.

I kept driving and looking at the GPS for when my exit would come up. It wasn’t helping me at all, and I made a silent vow to run it over with my car when I got home. Eventually, after thirty minutes of incredibly tense, white-knuckled driving, the GPS told me my exit. I located it and drove onto the exit ramp. What a wonderful feeling that was.

At that point I only had twenty or so minutes left until I reached my house. It was still snowing, the ploughmen were still sleeping, and my car was still very bad in the snow. Miraculously, I made it home without careening into a ditch, getting eaten by werewolves, or getting hit by faster cars behind me.

It was one of the worst driving experiences I’ve ever had.

I now avoid all major highways.

Image from: http://www.atwillett.com/lighting_pictures/snowstorm_drivingcar.jpg

October 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good Times at the Dentist

I had all four wisdom teeth pulled last year and boy what an experience that was.

Because oral surgery was needed and it wasn’t a simple pull and extract operation I was given the luxury of sedatives. The dentist hooked up an IV to my vein and pumped me full of drugs. Unfortunately, there was a slight problem with this. The usual dosage that the dentist gave me wasn’t enough to put me out. I was fully awake; following the dentist’s every movement with my eyes. He walked over to the stainless steel bench holding his tools and began to talk.

Dentist: “I don’t know why we have to keep putting out our patients. They’re having their teeth pulled out! It’s not necessary! I’m tired of having to pry open their mouths and listen to them mumble about their boyfriends!” (I left out the swear words…he said two).

The dentist then grabbed a scary looking tool and walked over to me. I couldn’t talk or move, but I stared at him wide eyed hoping he would notice. I was awake! Thankfully his assistant noticed.

Assistant: “Uh, Dr._____ she’s awake.”

Dentist: “Not possible.”

Assistant: “No really, she’s awake.”

The dentist looked at me with shock. Probably because he knew that I had heard his rant.

Dentist: “Give her another dose.”

The assistant walked over to the machine hooked up to my arm and pressed a button. I watched as more liquid flowed into my arm. I stared up at the ceiling because it was too awkward to look at the dentist now that I had heard him swear. I thought about his comment of patients mumbling about their boyfriends, and wondered if I would say anything embarrassing while out. I hoped not. I then had a moment of confusion when the lights turned out. I remember thinking: how is the dentist going to pull my teeth out if the lights are off? The lights then flickered back on and that was all that I remember. I was completely out after that. Completely.

I won’t lie to you, it felt nice. It felt really nice. I understand now why drug addicts are addicted to drugs. The feeling of forced unconsciousness is a wonderful sensation. Unfortunately and fortunately, that wonderful feeling was gone when I woke up; unfortunately, because I wanted that great feeling to last, and fortunately, because if it had lasted, I would be a drug addict. I woke up feeling groggy and unaware. I could barely walk and my mind was all over the place. I felt stupid and probably looked stupid. As my husband was escorting me to the car I actually pointed to a car and gave it a thumbs up. Yes, I was out of it. I was giving thumbs up’s to cars.

All in all, it was a crazy experience. One that I hope never to repeat.

 

Image from: http://www.bet.com/Lifestyle/bodysoul/HaveASmileLikeBeyonce_WhiterTeeth_Lifestyle_BAS_Flipbook_Photos.htm?i=10

October 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

My Adventure With Greek Cheese

I once worked for a restaurant/reception hall. You couldn’t really call this place either of those two things, but for this blog post, that’s what I’m sticking with.

It was my job to make this reception hall look fancy for the bride, groom, and their guests. I would polish every single utensil with a water and vinegar solution. I would set up the decorations and lay out the table clothes. I would vacuum and dust. And I loved it! It was a great gig…except for my lunches.

You see, I worked for Greek people, and Greek people love their food. During lunch the chefs would round up all the employees together and make us try their latest food creations. Afterwards we would give our opinions and decide whether or not it was good enough to make it onto their menu.

I’m not one of those types of people who can eat anything that’s placed in front of them. I am slightly picky. I sniff at new food, making sure that it smells appetizing. Then I examine the new food, and make sure it has no hair or finger nails in it. Then I take a small bite of the new food. If it’s something that I can handle, I take another bite, and so on and so forth until I’ve had my fill.

Unfortunately, during these lunches we weren’t allowed to be picky. Picky got you fired. So I ate everything that was put in front of me. I ate new and interesting salads, weird spicy mashed potatoes, fish creations of all kinds, and unidentifiable meats that to this day I have no idea what they were. I never complained, sniffed, poked, or examined the food. I ate like any normal non-picky person would eat, with no regrets.

One day I was called away from my duties of polishing silverware to taste-test a new menu option in the kitchen. It wasn’t lunch, nor was I hungry. But, I joined the rest of the employees in the kitchen, because if I hadn’t I would have been fired. On this particular day, the chef was the owner, and he had made something that smelled bad. Now when I say the word “bad”, I mean bad, in the worst possible sense. I walked into that kitchen with trepidation. Anything that smelled that bad was clearly not worth eating. I entered the semi-circle of employees standing around the chef and he handed us all a skewer with a whitish blob impaled on the top. I held it at arm’s length and then winced and gagged a little. The chef hadn’t noticed.

The chef then explained what it was that we were eating. It was cheese. Fried cheese. Fried Greek cheese. It sounds okay, right? NO! WRONG! Even before I got the blob to my mouth I had gagged five times. I contemplated choosing between the options of eating this cheese, and possibly dying, or worse, throwing up in front of the chef! Or getting fired. It seemed both options were leading to the same thing anyway.

I watched as the rest of the Greek employees ate their cheese with smiles and satisfying looks on their faces. I did the unthinkable. I put the cheese in my mouth and prayed to God. Please God don’t let me throw up. Please don’t let me throw up. I’ll pray more if you allow me not to throw up!

I threw up.

Thankfully though, I managed to hold it in just long enough to run to the bathroom. I did not throw up in the kitchen in front of the chef. I remember that just before running out of the kitchen I gave the chef a nod of approval and a closed-mouth smile. Had I opened my mouth to utter any syllables, I would have thrown up right there and then.

Two weeks later I was fired. Apparently throwing up in the bathroom was just as bad as throwing up in the kitchen.

I stay away from all Greek cheeses now. Yes, even Feta. There are days when I still smell that awful aroma of that horrid whitish blob. It’s embedded itself in my memory and sometimes comes back to haunt me. There is no escaping it.

Be afraid of whitish blobs stuck on skewers. Be very afraid.

 

Image from: http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/cheese/cheese2/cheese-curds.asp

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Spoiled Food

Have you ever poured yourself a tall glass of refreshing milk, only to realize that after you’ve taken a huge gulp, it’s spoiled?

Well I haven’t. I have an excellent nose. I can smell bad milk a mile away, or so I thought…

I was sitting down to enjoy some oatmeal the other day, and after I took a few bites I realized that I just couldn’t go any further. It smelled…bad. And it tasted even worse. I bought some bad oatmeal. I didn’t even think oatmeal could go bad. I gagged a little, then gagged some more, and then packed up the rest of the oatmeal packages to return them to the store.

I walked into that store confidently, knowing that I got bad oatmeal. Bad oatmeal with an indecipherable expiry date.  I explained my horrible experience of taking at least three bites of the bad oatmeal, and without any questions the store clerk gave me my money back.

Later that week I decided to eat some cereal. After taking a few bites, I declared that my cereal was bad. How did I get bad oatmeal and bad cereal? I remember thinking how insane this was, what are the odds?! Who gets so many bad products?

By now I’m sure you’ve figured out my mistake. My mistake was ever deciding to pick up a bowl. I should just stick to buying food at restaurants; it’s what I’m best at.

I didn’t get bad oatmeal, and I didn’t get bad cereal. I got bad milk. I look back on this memory and wonder how stupid I could have possibly been to not even think that the milk was bad. I’m not lying when I say that it did not even cross my thoughts.

I have a new appreciation for milk now. When I drink it, I think of how good it tastes, and how awful it becomes a day after the expiry date. With most foods I don’t worry about the expiry date, a few days/weeks overdue doesn’t seem to matter. I eat eggs even if they’ve expired three weeks ago. Sour Cream is good for at least eight days after the expiry date, and cheese…well cheese lasts until it’s covered in mold. But milk…now that’s a different story. People should follow milk’s expiry dates without question.

Ever since I ate that bad oatmeal I’ve been feeling nauseous. I can’t eat anything without feeling nauseous…and no I AM NOT PREGNANT! Let me repeat this, just in case you missed the “NOT”: I AM NOT PREGNANT! The bad milk tainted my taste buds for life. I can’t eat anything now without first thinking back to that awful taste! I just recently had oatmeal for the first time since that horrible ordeal, it tasted…different.

I’m hoping that this experience will someday leave me, and I’ll be able to eat food normally again, but I doubt it.

Stay tuned for my follow up post about my adventures with an unknown Greek cheese…

October 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment