Saturday, June 30, 2012

My appointment for a mammogram

I get my annual mammogram in late June or early July, so I called the radiology folks at the medical center to make an appointment. Naturally, I did not get a human being, although my call was very important to them. But I listened carefully, as their options had changed, and dutifully did all that the voice of the little dolly said. That was Monday.

By Thursday I hadn't received a call, so before I took myself to breakfast and then to work, I went in person to the medical center.

Registration person: May I help you? 

Me: Yes. I need to make an appointment for a mammogram.

Registration person: You need an appointment?

Me: Yes. For a mammogram.

Registration person: You need an appointment for a mammogram?

Me: Yes. A mammogram. An appointment.

Registration person: Ohhhhh! An appointment! Go down there a little ways. Sort of around the corner. There's a little room by the pharmacy. You know where the pharmacy is? It's down there a little ways. Sort of around the corner. Go in the little room by the pharmacy.

So I went down there a little ways, sort of around the corner, to the little room by the pharmacy. The dolly-in-charge was on the phone with a patient and motioned me to have a seat. No! Not that chair! The other one. I parked it.

 She returned to her call. She was very thorough, asking the patient whether he had had any surgeries, had any implants such as metal stents, joints, or shrapnel [!!], and what medications he was on. "How do you spell the name of that drug?" Lengthy pause. "Well, if I don't get it right, I'll just write something else." [!!!!!]

I waited for a long time inhaling the fumes from her perfume marinade and listening to her interrogation of the patient. Eventually another dolly came in, uttered no greeting, made no eye contact, and disappeared behind a second partition. I could hear her tapping on the keyboard in her cubicle. After a while she peered around the corner and asked, "Have you been helped?"

"Not yet," I said.

"Do you need to make an appointment?" she asked.

I thought, "Unless I miss my guess, the sign reading 'Registration' outside the door indicates that anyone in this room would indeed need to make an appointment. However, that is not the case with me. I just enjoy sitting in hospital waiting rooms to catch up on my Good Housekeepings from 2004. Continue with your tapping, my good woman." But I said yes, and presented her with my insurance card and doctor's orders, which documents she was obviously familiar with, much to my surprise.

I was out of there and at my regular table at Ruby's only 30 minutes from when I started.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Shoe Family

Here is the Shoe Family. Shoe is checking her phone for messages from her clients. She is one busy Gaucho!

And here are Kevin and Emily. What a handsome and charming couple. They crack me up.

Where's Annette? She's at work or sleeping after a late night at work. So I'll just pop in her own photos of Annette entertaining herself while stuck in traffic.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Inflation and where we sat

When Cousin Rick and I went to the Dodgers game in 1964, we sat in Section 151 (marked with the black arrow on the stadium map below). Tickets then were $3.50, which, according to an inflation calculator, has the same buying power as $25.95 today. When we went to the game last week, we sat in section 126 (marked with the orange arrow). The tickets cost $65.00 instead of $25.95, because you have to pay Albert Pujols' $12 million salary somehow.

The experience both times, however, was priceless!

Tickets: 48 years apart
Where we sat

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Take me out to the ballgame at Dodger Stadium

The first live Major League Baseball game I ever attended was June 8, 1964, with cousin Rick, who taught me how to keep score, and Uncle Dave and Dad, who chain smoked and talked. Sandy Koufax and Maury Wills faced the Reds and Frank Robinson and won 2-1. And the second game at Dodger Stadium came 48 years later, thanks to Shoe and the Shoe Family. We saw a game in the "Freeway Series" between the Dodgers and the Angels, which the Dodgers won 5-2.

It was a hoot to see Albert Pujols, Andre Ethier, Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, and Mike Scioscia in the flesh. It was Mike Scioscia bobblehead night. (I saw him with the Albuquerqe Dukes back in the day, along with Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, and Tommy Lasorda, among many others.)

Getting the honor of throwing out the first pitch was Ret. Army Col. Bea Cohen, 102, California's oldest living woman veteran. She threw a wicked slider.

A true Orioles fan, I was the only one who sang, "O's!" during the National Anthem.

Right fielder Torii Hunter batted second.

Albert Pujols was in the three spot.

Andre Ethier agreed to a five-year contract extension earlier that afternoon. He went two for four with one run scored and a run batted in.

Traffic in LA is scary for me. The parking lot at the stadium was a Boschian anthill as we were coming into and going out of the parking lot. Fortunately, Shoe is a fearless driver, while I, who regard a brief wait behind two cars in Los Alamos as a traffic jam, thought about crouching on the floor and getting all Catholic again by doing laps around a rosary.