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AutoMatters & More: Disney’s D23 EXPO, dental surgery & The Taco Stand

D23 EXPO at the Anaheim Convention Center
D23 EXPO at the Anaheim Convention Center
(Jan Wagner)

Talk about a whirlwind of activity, this month I’ve already driven 500 miles to cover a mega Disney event, endured dental surgery, and discovered a restaurant that serves delicious Mexican takeout food, after my long-time favorite Mexican restaurant shut its doors forever.

D23 EXPO 2022:

Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday I drove (for a total of 500 miles!), back and forth each day, from my home in San Diego to the Anaheim Convention Center, to cover D23 EXPO 2022 – “The Ultimate Disney Fan Event.” D23 EXPO is (pandemics notwithstanding) a once-every-two-years, fantastic celebration of all things Disney, which now encompasses not only Disney but also Pixar, MARVEL, STAR WARS (Lucasfilm), National Geographic and more. This year’s event was even more special because we are approaching “Disney 100” — Disney’s 100th anniversary, in 2023.

D23 EXPO Legends Awards Ceremony
D23 EXPO Legends Awards Ceremony
(Jan Wagner)

I have now reviewed all of my approximately 3,000 photos of D23 EXPO 2022, and have individually edited nearly 200 of them. A few appear with this column, and I look forward to sharing many more of them with you in an upcoming “AutoMatters & More” column dedicated solely to D23 EXPO.

Disney Animation at D23 EXPO
Disney Animation at D23 EXPO
(Jan Wagner)

Dental Surgery:

The most recent event of this trifecta was my dental surgery, which barely left me with enough time to write the first draft of this column and edit a handful of photos for it, in order to meet my first publication deadline.

Model of dental implant in a jaw.
Model of dental implant in a jaw.
(Jan Wagner)

The surgery was performed on Tuesday morning. A cracked molar was extracted, and then replaced with a dental implant and a bone graft. While all of that was being done, I enjoyed a medically-induced sleep, blissfully unaware of what was taking place in my mouth. All I remember after the IV was inserted in my arm, was being asked for my help sliding me onto the recovery bed.

My fundamentally flawed plan for afterwards was to return home (driven, since I was told I would not be allowed to drive myself), and then write this week’s column. Well, things did not work out that way.

When I got home I was feeling no pain, and was still somewhat loopy from the sleep medication. Also, I was quite hungry, having been under doctor’s orders to eat nothing within eight hours of my surgery. Compounding this situation was my failure to consume sufficient nourishment, while adopting a new, soft-foods-only diet for the next six weeks or so, to protect the tissue that is forming around the dental implant — in preparation for getting a new crown installed on top of the implant.

Tired and growing increasingly weak from hunger, I lay down on my comfy couch, turned on the TV and started to play one of the car races (Formula One, NASCAR — Xfinity and Cup, and the IndyCar season finale) that I had set my DVR to record the previous weekend, while I was away covering D23 EXPO.

By mid-afternoon, the pain medication had worn off and my mouth was really starting to hurt. At first, I tried toughing it out, but eventually I relented— despite my aversion to self-medicating — and took two Advil tablets. They helped a lot.

In the hours that followed I drifted in and out of sleep, only eating a single serving of yogurt, and having nothing to drink. I repeatedly failed to stay awake long enough to watch the end of the races, each time returning to where I’d last fallen asleep, playing them from there, and falling asleep yet again. Pretty much the only times I woke up were when people phoned me to see how I was.

I am especially appreciative that my kids phoned me to see how I was doing, and that my dental surgeon phoned me at home that first evening, to make sure that I was okay and to answer any questions that I might have.

I next woke up at about 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Thankfully I had virtually no pain in my mouth, but by then I was VERY hungry, having not eaten anything in well over 24 hours. My first draft of this column was due at the first publication by 9 a.m., but first I prepared and ate a meal consisting of soft foods (oatmeal and gold Kiwi fruit), water, apple juice, a multivitamin and an antibiotic capsule (one of three per day), before heading upstairs to my office. If I worked quickly, I had just enough time to write this week’s column and send it via email, with the edited photos (five color and five black-and-white), to the first newspaper. I accomplished that.

I had no idea that supposedly minor surgery would take so much out of me, when all I was doing during my surgery was lying there asleep under anesthesia for a couple of hours.

The Taco Stand in Encinitas
The Taco Stand in Encinitas
(Jan Wagner)

A Great Mexican Restaurant:

The new-to-me Mexican restaurant that I referred to earlier is called “The Taco Stand,” in Encinitas. It is one location in a chain, but with a family-run vibe. Their food, which is available to eat-in or for takeout, is delicioso — so much so that there is often a line of people outside, waiting to place their orders!

To see the most photos and the latest text, and to explore a wide variety of content dating back to 2002, visit AutoMatters & More at AutoMatters.net. On the Home Page, search by title or topic, or click on the blue ‘years’ boxes.

Copyright © 2022 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #759r2


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