Now what?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Home

We've been trying to play this Albertson's Monopoly game for a little while, the grand prize of which is a house, which would be perfect, albeit almost impossible. I poked around a little online and have found that a few people have found the rare tickets which is discouraging, but I think Kat and I have regrouped and decided to step it up and really be determined about this without breaking the bank. We've been buying lots of pasta, yogurt, and frozen vegetables because they're cheap. Everything else seems to be looking up though, so even if we don't win everything of our wildest dreams, we can take comfort in being able to pay cash for a house when one of us wins our first million dollars, which can happen in one of several different ways. I'm just kidding, this would just be nice because I hate the idea of credit and therefore would probably be grumpy for 20 years sitting on a mortgage.
We went to Boulder's First United Methodist Church today and thought it was very nice and will definitely go there for Easter next week. It was interesting in that they transitioned from Palm Sunday to the Passion by the end of the service explaining that many people don't come to Holy Week services anymore and therefore cannot really see the despair that happens between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. This is very important to get the true Joy of both Palm Sunday and Easter, and also important to find true emotion in the story of Christianity and in faith. It was kind of nice, but I have definitely always enjoyed full Holy Week services.
At least I'm not worrying about the future so much, but I think that worry had displaced impatience, so I'm not sure which is worse. I feel like life is too short as it is and would love to be able to travel, volunteer, donate, learn, and all in all work towards some goal while enjoying it. I don't like sitting around twiddling my thumbs while I wait for an opportunity to present itself, yet I still know that planning is not going to get me anywhere and I will definitely have to try to be more patient and observant for when that door may open.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Murphy's Law

In high school Carrie and I were in a class called Aquatic Science. It was almost as whimsical as it sounded, and we enjoyed it very much. We have many great stories from that class, however many of them follow a very similar theme: Murphy's Law; or should we say Murphy's Aquarium? Part of the class was to create and maintain an Aquarium. Ours seemed to have a self-sabotage mechanism attached. During the first week of class we were given our aquarium and a location in the classroom in which our aquarium would be kept. Then we got filters, decorations, everything that we would need for an aquarium except for fish, so we all dutifully set up our aquariums. I mean everyone except for Carrie and me dutifully set up their aquariums. We walked over to our assigned space, aquarium already in place, and tried to place the filter on the back. In lieu of it gently sitting on the back, it clunked into the cabinet. It was quickly determined that whoever built the school had decided to not use a level for the science wing and this resulted in slanty cabinets that were maybe an inch too short for our aquarium to have a lovely, easy filter sitting on the back. How Mr. Smith didn't figure this problem out sometime before our class, seeing as how he has taught it forever, is beyond me. But, whatever.

So Mr. Smith pulled out an interesting looking contraption that he happened to have in the back, which was a filter that sat behind the aquarium and was attached to the aquarium by two tubes. Hm, lots of parts and a more complicated setup definitely equals an exponential rise in possible things that could go wrong. Still optimistic we set up our aquarium, went out and bought fish and a few other things that we thought would look pretty. That optimism quickly faded as we had a fungus take up residence in our filter, (especially the tubes. it did not make our water look very nice) the beautiful piece of wood we bought was burned at some point which released poisonous acid into the water, the fish tried to bully/eat each other, and two of our red claw crabs escaped. One was found and returned after trying to climb a freshman girl in one of Mr. Smith's other classes, the other was smushed by a librarian after she "tripped" on him and then "accidently" stepped on him. I'm still impressed that he made it to the other side of the school via his own, stumpy little legs. So we ended up staying after school basically every day trying to fix it, but at least we enjoyed it.

What can go wrong will. I would like to learn a little more about how Murphy's Law came into being. At least in my life it hasn't seemed to take a hold. Horrible "everything goes wrong" moments, days, classes don't seem to happen to me very often, however I am now convinced that technology will bring more of that into not only my life, but everyone else's as well (I'm sure my mom would agree with me there). My dental office is all digital which is a blessing to dentistry, but a curse to not only me, but everyone else who works there because we would be the first to perish if someone held a gun to our heads and told us to fix the computer. So when the server decided to die a lot last Thursday we knew that bad things were going to happen. No server means no XRays, no schedule, no patient phonebook, no patient charts, nothing. How to we see and treat patients if we have no information and no diagnostic tools? By the way, this happened at the end of the first patient of the day's appointment. Then two emergency patients walked in. One of them had half of her face swollen almost double what it would have normally been. We can't figure out what is wrong with them without XRays!

We sent them home and promised to call them when we were back up and running. We limped through a crown procedure and then had our staff meeting lunch. Good lunch, but Dr. Cope was seriously about find a machete and teleport himself to the server company's headquarters and bash some skulls in. I have NEVER seen him mad, except when the computer will not work properly. We finally get that problem fixed and squeeze both emergencies into a tight schedule while seeing everyone else on the schedule. Both emergencies turned out to be extractions, but oh wait, we only have one surgery kit right now. And, oh wait, both had waited so long that the abscess hurt even though every other single thing that could hurt was ridiculously numb. This requires a special syringe that has lots of moving parts which of course got stuck and I saw Dr. Cope bring a wrench into the operatory for the first, and I am almost certain the last, time. We also had to resort to using an instrument from the kit that he really wanted to save for the last emergency, so we took so much longer, and caused them much more pain than was really necessary.

One of our last patients was luckily very jovial, which helped since what would have been a crown turned into a root canal that needed to be performed by a specialist. Luckily we have a temporary filling material that we could patch it with until her appointment, which was this Monday, incidentally. I think this goes to show that any desire to say, "What else could go wrong?" is always a big mistake that you will probably pay for. I think for now it's safe to say that that day was one of the craziest days in dentistry that any of us had ever seen, because we still can't stop shaking our heads and just exist in awe at that set of circumstances.

Monday, January 05, 2009


So while I know that this job is a first step towards a more prestigious career, I now realize that every single dental office ever would probably fall down and then explode with an unexplained fire ball that also inexplicably didn't harm any other business surrounding said office without dental assistants. The dentist does not know where anything is kept, obviously that would inhibit him or her from actually performing any dental procedures, so we assistants provide the tools. We also help prevent the patients from drowning. Most people probably know that there tends to be a lot of water involved in dentistry; there are also those people who happen to produce a lot of spit. So in order to stop the patients from having the indignity of dying by drowning on their own saliva, there is a dental assistant.
We also have to deal with people. Some are terrified of dentists, some are terrified of needles, some may be normal humans, but really; how often will one of those people actually grace the dentist's chair? Those people are normally pretty good about maintaining dental hygiene, and if they do need something done are perfectly polite about it. Those appointments tend to be finished early. Now that leaves all the paranoid people and the ones that are, shall we say, a little strange. There are those that are so petrified of dentists that they haven't been in awhile. If it's a new patient this tends to mean thousands of dollars worth of dental work and a person who is even more paranoid of dentists. People who are scared of needles are a little easier to deal with. If you hold their hand and give them a lot of topical they tend to be ok. If not, giving them nitrous tends to help, so we just have to get them through that one part of the procedure that scares them, which is easy. Finally there are the "crazies" that you can never be prepared for and yet have to talk to them and relate to them as if they were on the same playing field as you.
On a plus note, many of these people can ramble on about nothing for awhile, so all you have to do is listen, unless you're trying to actually do something in their mouths, in which case you really wish they could shut up for two seconds.
When I was interning we saw an emergency patient who needed a partial root canal right then. Having to sit alone for awhile, I sat there too so she could have someone to talk to. She basically told me all about how horrible her previous 11 dentists were, and since I actually engaged her in conversation she told the dentist that she was really upset that I would not be there in the future, to which the dentist said, "Don't be too sure; I like her." Obviously so since I got the job. Referring back to the patients you want to shut up, we had a drunk lady come in last week. At least she was a jovial drunk. Honestly, when I was cleaning her teeth, all I could smell was the tobacco because that smoky smell is one of the most offensive odors in the world to me, but both the dentist and the other assistant smelled the alcohol. She also happened to laugh at everything anyone said, which definitely made me raise my eyebrows since she thought it was funny that I lived in a house. Not really, but you can see my point. She definitely almost fell asleep a few times, which made applying fluoride difficult, and she would do the exact opposite of what I asked her to do. "Turn your head towards me" somehow indicated "Open your mouth wider." I'm not sure how. She also kept stopping me when I was trying to polish her teeth just to say something; at least it was in the same vein of what we had been talking about.
We'll see what next week brings, it was the end of the year after all. However, that does not totally negate the existence of interesting people in the office. After having a good experience at our office some of these stranger people tend to say that they're going to bring in their whole families to get a cleaning. Sometimes this declaration is then followed by, "By the way, my husband never brushed his teeth when he was growing up, so he might be a challenge," or, "I'm glad that I didn't have anything seriously wrong because my parents had bad teeth and my Uncle Frank only has two left." What do you say to that? I suppose after I've been working for awhile I will actually be able to come up with a response, but until then, I guess I will just have to smile and nod.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


So there are not many things that get me riled up, but I can't help but rant about the stance of uber-conservatives on sex. It's not about moral beliefs, but about common sense. If you stick your head in a hole to avoid the problem of teen sex, then don't be surprised when the teen pregnancy rate goes up along with the STD rate. Oh, and you're against all abortions for any reason? Then reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. How do you do that? Sex-Ed! When I was a young teenager my CHURCH taught me about contraception and STDs and what causes pregnancy versus what does not. Sure they tried to do it in such a spiritual way to encourage us to live by church law when it comes to sex and relationships, but they were willing to teach us what we needed to know because it is always an inevitable thing that there will be people within that group, even if it is a church group, that will not keep that vow; and honestly I have no disrespect for any of those people. Beliefs and ideas of religion change. Sometimes it's an accident, but preparing us for that possible outcome has made it such that I don't know of any person in my group that went to Sex, God, and Me that accidently got pregnant or contracted an STD.
So to recap: my CHURCH taught me sex-ed because no one could be bothered in the school system to do something like that, some teenagers will have sex no matter how many lies you tell them about how ineffective condoms are, educating them about how to prevent disease and pregnancy will help cut down on these consequences, likewise, not condemning condoms and prescription birth control will help avoid these consequences as well, and preventing unwanted teen pregnancies will cut the rate of abortion as well. For a group of people who claim to value life (as in pro-life and the more extreme people who value a fetus' life over the mother's life in basically all instances; don't even get me started on them!) they definitely don't seem to be logically taking steps to ensure that every single baby born in this world is cherished. Shouldn't that be the goal? Being anti-birth control and anti-sex-ed seems like the complete opposite route that someone should take for any reason. We don't need any more babies born with everything stacked against them, we need all babies to have parents who are celebrating their arrivals and are prepared to take that responsibility. Don't like birth control? Don't use it. Don't like teen sex? Don't have it. Don't like abortions? Don't get one. But don't impose your beliefs on everyone else in this country and be surprised when people don't do an about face and follow you like ducks in a line. Abstinence only isn't working, as evidenced by Bristol Palin, and unfortunately that hasn't seemed to be the huge wake-up call to her mother that it would be, and should be, to many parents.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Um, Yeah...

I think I freaked out a little too much last night when I realized that Eddie Izzard was on the Graham Norton Show. Maybe it was because every time I see anything that has to do with him I now think about when we saw him live in the City; it was awesome/amazing/indescribable! That kind of made my night, especially when he and Graham decided that baboons are evil and had it confirmed by texting one of those services like chacha (it's like google for people who don't have internet browsing capabilities on their phones). The response was basically that they are evil because they taunt you by doing mean things to you if given the chance and then wave their red butts in your face.
So, yeah. Still just going on interviews and I'm a little stressed about bills right now. It's hard because I get hopeful for certain jobs, probably more for salary, I hate to admit, but I'm tired of feeling broke all the time and not being able to go out, and I'm either not sure if I've heard back from them or are just waiting for a response. The economy being so bad, not many people are actually hiring, and it seems that most of them are looking for insanely qualified people, sometimes even if it says no experience necessary. I know I need to make some money, but I wish I could do what most people seem to be doing now and stay in school or go back to school because I definitely have a plan of sorts and would like to realize it. Plus it would actually give me a salary that I would be happy with.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I don't eat very much. It's not necessarily intentional. Courtney and I always like to say that we could never be anorexic. Her because she's hungry, me because I'm forgetful. When I get hungry I generally forget that I'm trying to eat less. It's not that I'm trying to be anorexic, those people look terrifying and they are tormented for the rest of their lives by the disease, even if they successfully seek treatment. For me it's more like trying not to eat a snack.
I'd rather not think about food. I'm still trying to deal with the screwed up mentality of counting calories that I acquired in high school when I thought that the normal amount of fat on my size-4 stomach was disgusting and something to be fixed. I now realize that it was going to the gym every day in tenth grade that helped tone me, not dieting; honestly I was probably the worst calorie counter on the planet since I probably neglected to count, like, dinner. Exercising regularly, however, is what kept me in shape. Of course I now need to get in that habit again so that maybe I can fit into some of the clothes that I still love once again, and not feel self-conscious standing next to Kat, my stupid adrenaline-junkie boyfriend. So he is a motivator, but he is also an inhibitor.
Kat rides his bike up to 20 hours a week because he's a competitive racer. So his body's perfect: motivation for me to be more perfect. Kat eats food all day, especially when he's raced that day or ridden for four hours. So he always has food sitting in front of my face: motivation for me to be a complete fat-ass. Also, his being on a strict training schedule means that he can't really work out with me because a) that would probably end up making him look anorexic and b) it could either injure him, stress his body, or make him too tired. We do like going for day hikes and we both like kayaking, but cycling trumps those things routinely so I end up sitting on the couch with my feet up eating entire bags of Cheetos. Ok, not really, but that is seriously how his constant exercising makes me feel! I am not in a Muumuu (at least not yet), I do not need a special stick with a rag on the end to wash myself, and I do not drive my car across the street to put some mail in the box.
In fact, I like running. I like it alot. And I like pilates. Unfortunately, I've been in better shape before so right now these things are more challenging for me than I would like them to be. Despite that I've been pretty good about being active, and...nothing's happened. It's a horrible feeling to identify with the fat cartoon woman in the Slimquick ads whose husband and dog lose a bunch of weight by, like, drinking water while she's still fat and subsisting on lettuce. My friend Molly and I would always get together every Friday to watch trashy TV, I know, I really productive use of our time. Right before she would go back to campus from my house we would always watch one of those shows where a whale of a person would be forced to lose weight by a bitchy little British woman. We would always feel better watching these shows because not only did we think it was funny when they were complete babies about taking two steps out the door and being forced to eat cabbage and lentils, but also because this specific show would show a list of everything they ate in a week, and would then lay all that food out on a table to show them.
This part made us feel better because it was absolutely absurd how these people were eating! The announcer would calmly rattle off the list: "9 stick of lard, 3 loaves of white bread, 2 whole chickens, 14 liters of soda, 3 pounds of chocolate (and she was lactose intolerant!)," etc., etc. Ok, maybe I made up the lard, but I swear the other entries were true, and it wasn't like that was all they ate that week. It was the 2 whole chickens plus enough other rubbish to bring down an elephant. One guy had to be taken to a meat plant to be weighed because he was too heavy for a scale made for people. Awesome. So that makes me feel better, mostly because I'm in the healthy weight range for my height. Yet, when they finish the part of the program that you see on TV, they've lost a ton of weight; not literally, but still. I eat like them and exercise, shouldn't that make a difference?
Even in Kat didn't exercise that much he would still make me mad about all this. Courtney's boyfriend stopped eating salty foods, stopped drinking soda and alcohol, and stopped riding his bike to work, and has lost 25 pounds. I hate boys. And now the Olympics are on, a constant reminder of how little I have in common with these perfect human specimens. So I guess all I can do now is keep doing what I'm doing, resent most humans, and maybe figure out some way to hang a bowl of macaroni and cheese right in front of face when I'm on the treadmill so that I can somehow get skinnier... I mean healthier.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


We are officially moved into our new house in Longmont, CO. All of the stuff we shipped came two days ago, and nothing is broken, at least so far! Emma is really settling in well and she seems happy with the house. She loves the sunroom and the new comforter on the bed. I am definitely happier here than in New York, maybe because this is an urban environment, but everything feels different in a very good way. So far all the furniture is fitting well and this house is much more suited to Kat and myself.
We only have to unpack clothes and office stuff and that's it. I am very hopeful that the house will be completely organized soon. I also made friends with Billy, the cutest little dog that lives next door to us. I gave him a piece of cheese as a piece offering and he promptly let me scratch him. I really feel bad for him because he stays outside all the time because his "parents" work. Our landlady said that when he was a puppy she used to bring him inside when it was snowing because she felt so sorry for him. Her dog was always very jealous.
In summary, we are very happy with the new house and the area so everything is going well!