As that great bard and lover of the San Fernando Valley sang,

“I’ve got another confession my friend”

I smoked for many years. Quit cold turkey in 2012 and haven’t looked back. One slip up during a boozy weekend a year later and that was that. I’ve only craved them again a few times once I was out of that initial evil first month.

I am paying the price today, however, as I have gum disease. Usually periodontitis only afflicts people in their 60s and 70s… unless you have been a smoker. Then instead of dentures you are talking about bone grafts to stabilize loose teeth and shore up retreating jaw bones. It is pretty unpleasant.

However my spouse’s killer insurance means I am not caught bringing a knife to a gunfight. I spent an hour today getting one quadrant of my mouth scraped. It sounded like twop bricks being rubbed together next to my ear for an hour. My jaw is aching from being wedged open. And naturally I am not to chew or especially get any food particles in there that might find there way between my now beat up gums and freshly scraped teeth.

I mentioned to the dental hygenist that of late I mostly subsist on Soylent so no worries with the sesame seeds and such. After explaining what Soylent was, sounding like someone pushing MagicMops at the Valley Indoor Swapmeet, she replied, “Oh you don’t have to deprive yourself.” I let it go but in my heart I wanted to say how she didn’t understand. I was post food now. It makes even more sense for me to embrace Soylent as a choice since my teeth are apparently rotting out of my face and I am looking at a lifetime of ‘deep scaling’ 3-4 times a year.

I should add I have a $200 electric toothbrush and I really do take good care of them. Some people are just more prone to gum disease than others.

  • If you smoke, quit. This teeth situation sucks so bad. It is expensive.
  • Floss daily.
  • Get an electric toothbrush. They are worth it.
  • Brush your tongue.
  • Get a soft toothbrush if you must go analog. I am told the hard brushes do nothing for you.
Soylent Plug Number 102312

I am pretty greatful about having moved 2/3 of my meals to Soylent. My blood pressure dropped from a month ago to normal levels (not entirely attributable to Soylent but I am sure the drop in salt intake has been a help), I have lost some weight, my daily energy rollercoaster has leveled out, and in this weird edge case, I am going to have a few days (2 per scaling, so 8 days total) in the next month where eating is actually going to be a problem and Soylent is something of a savior.

Valley Indoor Swap Meet

I used to go here so very much. It moved from the location in Canoga Park or thereabouts to what looks like Panorama City, a city that I believe is near the lowest, flattest part of the San Fernando Valley so would not have much of a panorama but I digress. Just wanted to quickly write a list to get it out of my brain.

Top reasons for a pre-teen to go to said Swap Meet be

  • toys;
  • video games;
  • baseball cards and sports memorabilia;
  • candy;
  • wander around without your parents.

Top reasons for a 90s teen to go to the aforementioned Swap Meet would be

  • pipes, bongs, lighters and rolling papers;
  • concert t-shirts, band stickers and concert posters;
  • incense and incense accoutrements;
  • weird cheap clothing from a subculture that hadn’t been totally co-opted yet (but would be) (think: baggy hip hop (Jnco, Fubu, Cross Colors), hippie clothes, used Goodwill/late grunge period outfits, skateboarder/surfer attire);
  • counterculture headshop literature (think the Anarchist Cookbook, Satanic Bible, assorted sex manuals, assorted witchcraft and Eastern mysticism books, and of course Keruoac and Abbie Hoffman);
  • Car parts, from used junk to over the top stereos, body kits to make your Fiero look like a Ferrari, neon lights, illegal tint, illegal brake and tail light filters, metal testicles that would sway off the back of your car, and lots of bumper stickers;
  • and tapes and CDs. Some vinyl but the West Valley wasn’t that cool.