Sunday, May 30, 2010

Are you honourable? Part 2 of 2

See part one. It's about my dentist...

So I go through the next 9 years with nary a complaint. Except that he can't pay his mortgage. But, really, I don't care about that. I grind my teeth, I get a night guard. I get my checkups. All is well. I get lulled into complacency.

I start getting sensitivity. It kinda really hurts when I eat sweet things, especially sweet, sticky things, like chocolate. I ignore. But then I remember what happened the last time I ignored pain and I call the dentist. They didn't answer. I called again. They didn't answer again. I convinced myself that this is normal. And that it means I don't really need the dentist (if I needed them, they would answer!). I mention to a co-worker that I have sensitivity but it couldn't possibly be a cavity because it's the side I chew on. She says, yeah, you couldn't have a cavity since it's the side you chew on... she seemed skeptical. I start double thinking my approach. I call the dentist again. No dice.

They call me. I call them back, they answer. I go in for my cleaning.

Dentist: Oh, hi Heather, long time, how ya been?

Me: Oh. Good, thanks. How are you? *seems nonchalant but I was sweating in the chair at this point*

Dentist: Oh, good. How's your Mom? Brother? Dad? (did I mention I've been seeing him forever?)

Me: Oh yeah, great. *still sweating*

Dentist: So, any problems?

Me: Yeah. I kinda got some sensitivity over here. *really sweating*

Dentist: Sensitivity? What kind of sensitivity?

Me: It hurts. *my heart rate is probably at dangerous levels*

Dentist: Let's take a look.

He grabs his pokey device. I know that he's going to find the sensitive spot and poke it. And once I respond, he's going to poke it some more just to make sure he knows where it is. He pokes. I feel fine *although sweating*. He pokes some more and says that he found some fissures. I don't know what that means, but it sounds serious. But he's willing to look at it next week. *whew* He tells me the story of how when I was little I had holes in my teeth which were really just holes in the enamel and he covered them up with these sealants. Sounds pleasant, really. I bet I won't even need any needles.

So when I went in again, I had convinced myself that he would cake my teeth in sealant and I'd be on my way. He starts asking the hygienist for things I can only assume to be 'implements of destruction'. He asks me if I want both sides frozen today or to come back next week. Uuuuummmm........ He says, I suggest one side today. Okay sure. So he says "I'll do this tooth (upper right hand side) and this tooth (lower left hand side). Sound good?". I think I must've looked skeptical, because he repeated the question. If you're going to freeze this side (upper right) and this side (lower left), why not do this tooth instead (lower right)? He gave me a reason I was comfortable with. All the while, I was really surprised that my upper right tooth needed work since it's had a root canal and posts and needs a crown.... but okay, doc, you're the man.

He freezes me on the right side. And then the left side. He puts in this blocker thing on the right and preps to go in. And then he says "Huh... you don't need a filling, you need a crown". I've waited 9 years for him to bring this up (or for my temporary filling to shatter). So he decides not to do that side and jacks me up on novocaine on the other side. The procedure itself was fine (except for my massive heart rate) and was over within 30 mins.

The moral of this story is.... fissures mean nothing. They're still cavities requiring freezing, drilling and filling. Don't kid yourself. And temporary fillings will eventually be remembered.

The other moral of the story is... when it's been 9 years since you've had any freezing, you will be very frozen. I mean, unbelievably frozen. Frozen like you've never been frozen before. I was frozen (I mean, dead to the world, frozen) from the middle of my lips to my scalp. I could not longer feel my face. I wonder if that's what it feels like when you get botox. If so, no thanks, I'll take wrinkles!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Are you honourable? Part 1 of 2.

I went to the dentist today. I went last week too, so it's not like it's a huge deal or anything, just something worth mentioning. I hate the dentist. Don't get me wrong, my dentist is a good guy; I've been going to him for the better part of my dental life. But in the end, he freaks me out.

It all started 12 years ago. I was on my dad's medical plan (100% coverage - oh yeah!), but I had recently become an 'adult' and could do what I 'want'. Going to the dentist was not one of those things. Once I was off my dad's plan, I was working full-time and eligible for benefits. I signed right up; I didn't want to miss out on a good opportunity. I didn't go to the dentist.

Eventually, I started getting headaches and my jaw kinda hurt and then I found myself clenching all the time just trying to relieve some of the pain. I decided to 'check things out' and started probing around the problem area with my tongue. It was not a good thing. I left that situation with a raw tongue and an increasing sense of panic. I literally had a gaping hole in my tooth. I decided it wasn't too bad and I could live with it. I couldn't. I went to the dentist.

Dentist: Oh, hi Heather, long time, how ya been?

Me: Oh. Good, thanks. How are you? *seems nonchalant but I was sweating in the chair at this point*

Dentist: Oh, good. How's your Mom? Brother? Dad? (did I mention I've been seeing him forever?)

Me: Oh yeah, great. *still sweating*

Dentist: So, any problems?

Me: Yeah. I kinda got this bad tooth over here. *really sweating*

Dentist: Bad? What kind of bad?

Me: It hurts. (...and there's a gaping hole...) *my heart rate is probably at dangerous levels*

Dentist: Let's take a look.

... ... ...

Turns out he couldn't fix it in the time I booked for my 'cleaning', so I had to go back the following week to get the 'cavity' filled. Yeah. Cavity. Things aren't much better the second time around. But he is way more prepared to do some serious work, none of this boring routine cleaning stuff. He freezes me, waits. We talk about my family and how everyone is doing. He asked how frozen my face is. I tell him. He grabs the drill. He starts drilling. I scream a little, because, well, it hurt. Oh you felt that did ya? Uh-huh. Freezes me some more. Chat a bit more about my family. Grabs the drill. Drills. I scream a little more. Huh, still feel that do ya? Uh-huh. Freezes me some more. Chats. Grabs drill. Drills. I scream, even louder. I'm kinda getting tired of this. Oh, so you can feel that can you? YES! Okay. Well, onto Plan B. I'm not sure what plan B is, but if the freezing isn't going to work, I'm really not looking forward to this.

He says when a 'cavity' doesn't take freezing it means it needs a root canal. That does not sound good. He freezes my entire face. Drills. No pain. *whew* He pulls out the pipe cleaners and starts digging the root (nerve? soul?) out of my tooth. Fills it in. But... he didn't have enough time to do the entire root canal (because he spent the better part of the 45 min appointment freezing and refreezing) so I have to come back next week. Dammit. Well, at least the pipe cleaning is done.

Or so I thought. The next week he opens it right up again and grabs the pipe cleaners. Oh no. Now I know I shouldn't feel it, but I do... it's a weird pain/sensation and I almost thought that I didn't actually feel it. Maybe purely psycological. But I did and it was gross. Anyway... he pipe cleans the hell out of it and fills it back up. All done. But.... the tooth is really unstable, I'm going to need some posts put in to stabilize it. Uh-oh. Posts? Must not be as bad as it sounds. He tells me that a lot of plans won't cover it because it's considered 'major dental work' *the sweat starts*. And I should probably have them put in soon. Next week. Dammit.

I go in. I'm literally sweating bullets. I'm freaked right out. I have no idea what this 'major dental post putting in' work is all about, but I'm pretty sure it's going to suck. The hygienist is trying to calm me down. She's telling the dentist that maybe we should wait a few minutes (I think she was concerned about my dangerously high heart rate). He knows me (that will take awhile... no time!). Nah, it's okay, sweetheart (that's what he calls me), this won't be bad at all. Are you sure?!?!? Yes. Okay.... Somewhat relieved. But not really.

The posts are installed in like 5.5 minutes. No pain (except for the needles). It was pretty awesome. Well, as awesome as a dentist appointment can be. He says he's not sure how long the tooth will hold up, I probably will need a crown within the year. How much? $1000. Ouch. Yeah, I'll get right on that.

That was in 2001. Since then I've kept pretty good care of my teeth (really trying to avoid the root canal)... I see him at least once a year. He'll take a look in my mouth and say uh-oh. *sweat* What? I don't know what to do about this. You don't!?!?! *really sweat* No... ... ... there's nothing wrong here, how am I supposed to pay my mortgage? *whew* Always the joker.

This story is only about 1/2 done. I think I'll call this story part 1 of 2. I wanna keep you in suspense!

Friday, May 14, 2010

People in glass houses shouldn't get stoned

For some reason, sometimes, I forget that people outside of my car can see me. It's almost like I think my car is my own invisibility cloak, which it turns out, it isn't. My reality has been shattered more than once.

Last year, I was sitting at a red light. It was a beautiful summer day, I had my windows down and my sunroof open. Really enjoying it. Then, I decided that my windshield wasn't doing the day justice and it should be washed. So I turned on the washers. Well, the washer fluid started raining down on me through the open sunroof. Caught completely off guard, I cried out in surprise and then burst out laughing.

Car Raining

Just as someone is turning left directly in front of me and he's watching the whole thing. He seemed rather amused, because his windows were also down and given how close he was, and how loud I was, I know that he also heard the whole thing. But he was laughing, so it wasn't bad. I thought I'd probably made his day. Not like this other time...

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at a red light, I should really stop doing that, in the right-hand lane, watching some people turn left on their advanced green, when suddenly I see someone approaching in altogether the wrong direction. It looked a little something like this:


So when I saw the purple car blast through the intersection, cut off the lemon and almost cause a 4 car pileup, I was pretty upset. I whip around to watch buddy drive off with, what had to be, the most horrified face anyone has ever made.

Heather - WTF

And as I look over, I happen to notice the passenger in the car beside me. And she's looking at me. Directly at me. She didn't look amused. She looked judgemental. I faced forward and tried to pretend like nothing happened. But I know it did and I know that she knows it did.

Big thanks to "EliseArt" for providing the illustrations.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So much for friends

I got pestered today saying that I hadn't kept up with my 'responsibilities', so here I am, posting this out of spite. Enjoy!

I have this friend at work, Gorm, he is, hands down, the most random person I've ever met. In a good way, but random as hell.

He initiates conversations with sentences like "what if instead of your hair growing out of your scalp, it grew out of your face? And what kind of hairstyles would you be able to do?". Or "Imagine if your hair grew inside of your head instead of out and then it came out of your nose and you could floss your nose with your hair... how would you style it?"

Yep. Random.

So, one day, he calls me random. In fact, he says that I'm more random than him. And I've only included 2 examples... We've been working together for 3 years!!!! I may be "ramdon", but regardless.

So anyway, you may not know this about me, but I'm a big fan of polls. If there's ever a reason to poll someone on some *cough* random *cough* subject, I will do it! So he called me random and I decided to poll people on it. But no, I couldn't just poll people like normal (i.e. everybody that is within a 5 metre radius at any given moment), no, I have to follow his polling rules. So I start to accept the conditions, but then I realize that he's already skewing the polls to tip in his favour, by only allowing certain people to be polled. So not fair.

So, behind his back, I start polling people. And as expected, I get the results I want. Feeling confident, I return to our workstation and start telling him that I will accept his conditions, knowing full well, that the people I've already secretly polled will be returning and will poll in my favour.

But he throws a curve ball. He suggests this other guy, that I hadn't pre-polled, that I'm actually really, really good friends with. So, cocky as hell, I accept yet another condition because I'm pretty damn sure that this other guy (the best work friend I have) will poll in my favour.

So, here he comes and I pose the question. He looks at me, he looks at Gorm and considers it. I'm feeling self-conscious, I didn't think he'd have to think about it. And he really seems to be thinking about it. Dammit.

And then he says, well, Heather, since you're a girl and I find girls confusing, I give you a 6 out of 10. I'm still totally optimistic, thinking that there are 4 other numbers that are higher than six, I've totally got this one in the bag... he's so gonna say 10... He looks at my opponent, considers the number and says... four.


I completely flip my lid. I mean, I totally wasn't expecting that. I practically had my victory dance all planned out. Dammit. So I flip out saying, how can you think that?! While Gorm does his victory dance. And sure, my "friend" reasons with me and we debate back and forth, but in the end I stormed out of there. And to this day, one year later, it still comes up.

FOUR?!!??! WTF???!!!!????

Friday, May 7, 2010

My apple tastes like parsley

I have this weird obsession with tables. I'm kind of like the Goldilocks of tables; always searching for the perfect one. Sometimes, this tendency is elevated by the amount of alcohol consumed. Sometimes.

Size, albeit not everything, is a big factor in choosing a table. For instance, a table that is too large for the situation just doesn't work, like if there's only a few people or if the venue is particularly loud. And tables that are too small are just annoying, like when there's a lot of people and a lot of items (like food, drinks, centerpieces and such). Although intimate, it's really just asking for things to get knocked over. And nobody wants that.

Basically, I just want to be comfortable and that generally means being in control of the table. As well as my surroundings. But mostly the table. I don't need any table thinking it can get the upper hand on me. Nothing good can come from a table like that.

Evil Table

With all that said, the table-choosing criterion that has gotten me in the most trouble would have to be the chair-to-table distance. Too close and I feel like I'm being suffocated, too far and I don't have anything to lean on when I grow weary of supporting my own body weight. Sometimes, this 'weariness' is elevated by the amount of alcohol consumed. Sometimes.

Like this one time at band camp...

A friend of mine agreed to go to a concert with me. To compensate him for the good deed we hit a restaurant, ate some food (probably), drank some beer and then went to the concert. The opening band sucked. At least that's what I tell myself, because the pre beer-drinking bonanza kinda got away on us and we missed the first act entirely. Ooops.

I picked up the bill at the restaurant, so my friend decided to compensate me by buying us beer at the concert. So he comes back. With one beer.

Heather - WTF

Turns out, the beer was pretty costly, $7.50 for a plastic cup of Molson. Yick. I already had a good buzz on, so in the end, it didn't really matter. But anyway, he came back with only one because he didn't have enough money to buy a beer for himself and a t-shirt for me. So I shared my beer with him. I kept the t-shirt.

Since we were at a rock concert and everything, I decided that it would be appropriate to light a lighter, only I didn't have one. Sometimes when I'm disappointed, I complain loudly. And sometimes, this tendency (and the volume of the complaint) is elevated by the amount of alcohol consumed. Sometimes.

Luckily, my friend had one, and as it turns out, it wasn't just a regular old lighter. It was a camping lighter that works during wind and rain storms. Fancy! He handed me the lighter. I promptly dropped it. And lost it. Oh man, I'm so sorry, I'll totally buy you a new one. Five years later, I still haven't replaced it. Ooops again!

After the concert, I decided we should find a place to have a couple more drinks. As we looked for a bar, we stumbled upon this guy playing bagpipes in full Highland regalia. I promptly emptied my wallet of anything resembling coins and proceeded to do the Irish Jig.

Heather - Irish Jig

I knew that he was Scottish, but that didn't really matter. After we left the 'second concert', I noticed that I gave away my busfare. Not so much as noticed, more like it occurred to me that since I gave him all of my coins, I had no coins left for the bus. Dammit. Still on the mission to locate alcohol:

Me: So where do you think a bar is?

Friend: I dunno, I'm just kind of walking.

Right then, we saw a sign that read "Bar" and had an arrow pointing at a door. So meant to be - this is going to be great! We go in and we get seated at this table; actually it was a booth, which normally I love, but...

This table was far too large: it was just the two of us and the venue was loud. I immediately decided that this was completely unacceptable, (recall the previous comment about complainly loudly). My friend kindly asked the waitress if we could move. "Absolutely, pick any table you want". Success! Victory is mine!

Heather - Smiling

I chose a table that was the perfect size and had moveable chairs. But my chair was far too close to the table and I felt like I was being suffocated.

Evil Table and Heather

In an attempt to remedy this situation, I began trying to move my chair away from the table. But, the whole thing kinda got away on me. As my friend sat down, I kicked the table with so much force, it knocked over his entire beer. Directly into his lap.

I apologized profusely while the waitress mopped up my mess. I offered to let him dump my beer on me, but he wouldn't have it. The waitress said that he should do it. Outside. Then again, she was cleaning up an entire beer off the floor. Well, to be fair, just the amount that didn't absorb into my friends' pants. And yes, it did look like he wet himself.

After we finished the pitcher (well, minus one pint), I decided I had been enough of a pain in the ass for one night, and that we should go home. He offered to ride the skytrain with me to my stop. When we got to my station, he walked me to the bus stop. I grew suspicious:

Me: "Shouldn't you be getting back on the train?"

Friend: "Ummmm, yeah... I was wondering... can I sleep on your couch?"

Me: "What? Why?"

Friend: "Well, because my last bus was like an hour ago and I have no way of getting home"

Me: "What!?! Why didn't you tell me?!"

Friend: "Because you were having so much fun, I didn't want to spoil it."

Seriously, that's actually what he said, so I pretty much had to agree. To do otherwise would be cruel. No, you're not allowed to sleep on my couch, now go off into the streets, sleep on a bus bench and don't forget to expose your wet spot for the world to see!

The next morning I woke up feeling a little under the weather. My friend, however, looked like someone who had been to hell and back and was probably going to vomit because the trip was just so damn agonizing. I tried to make light of the situation:

Me: "Sorry you're sick, but at least your pants are dry!".

Friend: "Ummm, yeah... not quite".

Big thanks to "EliseArt" for providing the illustrations.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's like reading the book, watching the movie

I recently won a prize. Not exactly a Nobel Peace or Pulitzer Prize, or anything. But a prize nonetheless. It's not exactly a well-known fact, but I really enjoy winning prizes. I find it thrilling. Despite my apparent bad luck in other arenas of my life, I can win door prizes like nobody's business.

One year at my company Christmas party (sorry! 'Year-End Party'.) I got to the venue a bit late, and seeing as I had only worked there for three months, the one table that had people at it that I knew, was full.

Of course.

I ended up getting a space at this table that just happened to have some empty seats. But they were people from a whole other department... that I had never had any contact with... awkward! Turns out, they were pretty lame and left right after dinner anyway. Before the prize draws even began! What are you? Crazy?!

Being, basically, the last person at table, I promptly started collecting all the discarded door prize vouchers and eagerly awaited the prize draw. The thing is that I work with a bunch of scientists. So just go ahead and try and get them excited about something other than chemistry and/or rush samples. I dare you! Needless to say, the prize draw was pretty tame.

However, not too long into the draw, my number was called. (And it was my actual number, not one of the ones I picked out of the garbage). I hopped up and started running over to the stage to collect my prize. The emcee, having watched the last ten 'winners', was very appreciative of my excitement and proclaims to the crowd "Now that's what we want to see!". I receive my prize and walk back to my table, flaunting it the whole way. It was a bottle of wine!!!!

I don't even drink wine.

A few draws later, another number of mine comes up! Having just been up there, I convince my best friend to go up and claim the prize... c'mon... you can keep it! She proceeds to walk up to the stage and back to the table, ever so calmly. To be honest, I can't even recall what the prize was... alls I know is: "that was my ticket - I WON!".

A few draws later, another number of mine comes up! Incidentally, it was my best friends' actual number, but since she had just been up there, and there was no one left at my table, I decided to go up to claim my prize. I was trying to play it cool; I didn't want anyone to remember me. However, despite my attempt at censorship, my excitement was pretty obvious and the emcee recognized it right off the bat... "Hey! Didn't you already win?" I guess he pieced it together.


"Yeah, but....... this is a ticket someone at my table gave me!". Hoping beyond hope that I had a chance at winning something (other than the wine I won't drink), I not-so patiently awaited his response. To my delight, spectators from the crowd start shouting out "Let her have it", "So what if she already won", "Oh, come on! Someone gave her the ticket"... Finally luck is on my side.

The emcee sighs; resigned, he hands me the hat. I draw out my number; lucky number 23, oh yeah! I see the lovely assistant approaching me with a gift basket. It looks beautiful. I can't wait to see what it is. I receive my prize and walk back to my table, flaunting it the whole way. It's a gift basket from Starbucks!!!!

I don't even drink coffee.