Saturday, April 19, 2014

the hypnotist

Recently, I was at the chiropractor telling the masseuse about my experience getting an MRI.

"I freaked out. We tried three times and I just couldn't handle it."


"I don't like anything touching my face. I didn't realize it until I had an MRI, but I guess I'm really, really claustrophobic. At the end I asked for the Valium but the tech said I was freaked out and it wouldn't work. So I had to come back in, with an incredibly supportive friend who was kind enough to stand there, hold my hand, and talk me through the whole thing. With the Valium and her being there, I was fine."

"Maybe you just have a phobia about doctors."

"I told my doctor I have white coat syndrome."

"What did she say?"

"She asked me how I learned about it and I told her, I read it on the Internet and I know I have it, because my blood pressure goes up when I visit her."

"What did she say then?"

"She told me I don't have white coat syndrome, what I have is a flair for drama."

"Maybe you should try hypnosis?"

"I did go to a hypnotist once. He had a sign in the yard so I went up and knocked on his door. He let me in, talked to me for a few minutes, and then took me down to the basement, had me lie on a chaise and turned off all the lights."

"You. Went. Into. His. House. And went down to the basement? With the lights off and laid on a couch?"

"Look, he had a sign in his yard. Obviously he was a professional."

"Obviously. So what happened then?"

"A bunch of strobe lights started going off and he stood over me with this spinning wheel that flashed black and white. After that, I don't remember anything but then an hour was up and it was over."

"You went to his house, went into his basement, don't remember anything for the next hour and now you don't like anything near your face. Was there anything else?"

"I paid him."

Saturday, March 15, 2014

portland eats on the cheap

We're mid-way through Portland Dining Month. With hundreds of food carts, gluten-free options almost everywhere and in a town where every restaurant seems like the bomb (especially the Bomber), I was surprised to learn we HAVE a dining month here, but apparently we do. 100+ restaurants are offering three-course meals for $29 throughout the month.

I always struggle when someone from out of town asks me where they should go to eat. What do you like? Persian buffet, sushi, Peruvian? Do you want to experience the big bank of food carts at 10th and Alder or do you want to stroll through the Pearl District, window-shopping your way to a brewery? Fresh-made pasta or fish and chips?

We were walking out of the hospital one day when some guy and his wife getting out of a car with Nebraska plates asked us where to go to get a good meal. I told him, head down the hill into downtown, there are a million choices and they're all good.

"What about Red Lobster? Do you have Red Lobster?"

I thought he was kidding. No.

"I don't know if there is one nearby," I told him politely. "But there are a lot of places to get fresh fish and seafood downtown." He looked at me skeptically and we hauled our cheesy-garlic biscuits out of there before we died laughing.

I don't think Red Lobster is on the list of restaurants offering discounted dinners this month but you can see the list for yourself here.