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small white square I'm wearing the new crown on my upper molar (#3) - this time it fits. Felt a little tight initially (very slight pressure on adjacent teeth) but I think I've already gotten used to it - in fact, its snugness guarantees that it won't fall out. As my she-dentoid was installing, then removing the crown, and grinding & polishing it into its final form, I made small talk with the question, "How many more of these am I going to need before I start setting off the metal detector at the airport?" She doubted that would ever happen due to the gold's nobility. <1> (I guess metal detectors are magnetic, hence only work on ferrous metals, so it's pointless to remove one's pocket change... the noble metals are silver, copper and gold.) Apropos of nothing she said she'd heard stories of people who'd died in the former Soviet Union, and their bodies came back with their crowns removed, since they hadn't been "declared".

small purple square Yucks at work today: a big boss had a birthday so we all had cake in the conference room. An element of contrived weirdness was, many had masks of his face - someone had gotten a head shot and blown it up to life-size on the copying machine, then affixed cut-outs to pieces of cardboard. Those with held them up, covering their faces as we sang "Happy Birthday". (I was one of the few without, since I got there too late.)

small red square I'm reading a novel by Joyce Carol Oates, my first by her, called American Appetites. It's the story of a small upper-class family living somewhere "upstate" (in New York), and how " takes only one moment of irrevocable violence to shatter their idyllic community and turn the [American] Dream into a nightmare" (according to a testimonial on the back of the book). It's quite gripping and well-written, but it may peter out now that I've passed that moment of violence.

small green square Long chat with D just before lunch, our first in a while - we've been playing "phone tag", and our previous call wasn't entirely satisfying. I rang her at work then, where she was inhibited since they have a new open layout in her realty office and a snoop was trying to monitor her end of our call. Apparently this guy is strange - seems that dead birds have appeared at the homes of clients who've offended him - one time on the doorstep, another in the fireplace.

small blue square Word is back on-line! New stories (in their inimitable style) are appearing again, but last night I re-screened their thought-provoking and amusing "filmstrip", "When the White Man Came". "If God loved us, why did he create the White Man?" (To see it you'll need the Shockwave plug-in.)

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<1>Her statement makes implausible Sherman McCoy's humiliation pre-detention in The Bonfire of the Vanities where he was made to bend over by the police, so only his head entered the metal detector, indicating its being activated by his fillings.