29 May 2008

Unprofessional, Like all the Kids These Days

I went to my orthodontist yesterday to get the "news" on my post-surgical braces status. Several things went wrong.

I am seeing a student at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. I started going there as a patient in 2004 - when this whole orthodontic debacle began. Since 2004, I have had 4 different orthodontists. Well, three if you consider that I have only met this fourth one once, at an appointment with my previous guy.

I have always gotten lucky with the students I've been assigned, and I am still under the same faculty adviser, so regardless of the student, my broader treatment plan will stay the same.

Unfortunately, yesterday I had to see a student that was not my regular orthodontist. Nor was my faculty adviser there - none of the people who have met me before or are familiar with my case were there. Instead, I had to see a faculty member who is not familiar with surgical cases (not just mine! ANY!), and who hadn't even seen my chart before he met me (I don't think the student had, either, but that's just one of the many nuts on this sundae).

My original appointment was scheduled for last Friday, but it was canceled, presumably because "the clinic was closed," so my new guy called to re-schedule for this Wednesday.

Because I am so close to having these braces off, the plan was to get me in as soon as possible - I guess my next appointment couldn't be until late June, which is kind of when we want to start getting on this whole retainer business - and get me the fuck out of these godforsaken braces, so no appointment before then was kind of not an option in my book. I think he gets that.

What he evidently DOES NOT GET is that if I am not going to be seeing HIM or anyone else who has dealt with my case in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM - maybe a PHONE CALL WOULD BE NICE.

We are no less than one hour into our acquaintance, and the words "Unprofessional" and "Asshole" have already crossed my mind multiple times.

Also, the guy I saw gave me a new upper wire, so my teeth are moving - PAINFULLY. They'd better be moving in the right direction, too, because at my next appointment this kid is already going to get a big damn lecture from me on professionalism and how I do not like him very much, yet.

25 May 2008

Deer Island Bike Ride


J and I went for a bike ride today. It felt nice to be out, and it's not humid enough for riding in the middle of the day to be miserable. Here's the route we took:

Dear Island Ride

That little loop between markers 22 and 28 is the little "detour" we took when we turned right instead of turning left. It was a nice detour - took us right through a Jewish cemetery, which was really beautiful. It was also a hilly detour, unfortunately. 30 miles or so in total.

18 May 2008

Boycott Starbucks? Well, Now I Don't Want To.

Starbucks Logo Under Fire

According to the post, "A Christian group based in San Diego called The Resistance says the logo looks like a naked woman with her legs spread like a prostitute."

Well...thanks. Now it does.

How hypocritical funny is it that a group with higher moral standards than "the rest of us," is even capable of seeing something so profane in a harmless image? It speaks worlds to me about the inner workings of their minds. In response to the lewd picture on Starbucks' temporary new label, they are calling for a national boycott of all Starbucks.

Now, I do think that there are loads of other, more important reasons to boycott Starbucks, but I'm feeling oddly torn. While I do buy the occasional latte or coffee from Starbucks, I prefer to support local coffeehouses - and while it has more to do with personal preference than making a stand, I certainly feel a slight tingle of ethical superiority whenever I walk out of 1369. Sure, sometimes I walk out of Starbucks thinking about how reprehensible it is to support a "big corporation" instead of my little local house, but mostly I think about how much the caffeine is going to help me get through the rest of my miserable day (I usually only purchase on particularly bad days at work).

So if you'll excuse me, now, I'm going to go out and buy a venti caramel mochaccino, to show my support for real-sized whorish mermaids with half-exposed breasts.

17 May 2008

Because I Heart Science, That's Why

Last night J and I were watching How It's Made, the one where they describe the process of making wheel loaders (Season 3 Episode 3).
Me: *starts laughing hysterically*
J: ...did that wheel loader just get bukkake tsunamied?
Me: *continues to laugh hysterically*
We both love learning about technology. Especially technology that ejaculates lubricant. It combines our love of science with our love of being twelve.

16 May 2008

An Open Letter to the Woman Whose Day I Ruined

Dear Probably-Otherwise-Law-Abiding-Citizen who maybe recycles and, I'm guessing, totally loves puppies:

Today, when you made that right turn onto Highland while I was in the crosswalk, and I pointed at the walk sign after you hesitated, tried to keep going, then finally decided not to hit me with your SUV, you were in the wrong. I only say this to educate you because you felt the need to [incorrectly] educate me.

See, the lights at this street - as at many others - turn yellow, then red. The typical protocol for such an event would be to slow down, and then stop your car (or floor it to beat the yellow, yes, I know you do it. I do it, too). Yelling that you "can't see it," referring to my walk light...well, that was just ridiculous. See, I know you can't see my walk light, the one that's perpendicular to your line of vision? - that's why I rely on the traffic light - the red one - to let you know that, okay, you need to stop now. Not because there's a pedestrian in the crosswalk, which I happen to think is a perfectly valid reason to stop, but because stopping at a red light is the fucking LAW.

When you tried to justify your law-breaking reckless idiotic driving, I flipped you off because a)I almost got run over by your car while I had the legitimate, carefully thought out right-of-way - I was in the MIDDLE of the street when you turned, and b) shut the hell up, lady - if I wanted to hear about why you almost hit me, I'd have stopped in front of your car and asked.

I'm going to let bygones be bygones, though because you made me laugh - hysterically, actually. I absolutely loved your parting shot of, "Oh! Just....Just...GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY." Like the time the SUV driver called me a "Jew," and I wondered why he felt the need to guess at my ethnicity/religious preference to form an insult, I have to wonder how and why you think I wasn't born and raised here.

Probably because I wasn't driving an SUV like a Masshole.

But anyway, thanks for making me laugh. I know I shouldn't be really happy that I totally ruined your day, but...well, I am. Hope you don't mow down any pedestrians on your way home.


12 May 2008

Two Months

Tuesday marks the two month "anniversary" of my surgery. Eight weeks will have gone by, and even though there's still numbness, even though I can't chew everything I'd like to - I like to think that the worst of it is behind me.

I've already said how little the cosmetic side of this surgery played into my decision, but today I took some progress shots (missed week 6 due to puffiness and week 7 due to blurry camera syndrome), and I am really happy with how much softer I look:

8 Weeks Front

Here's a before shot for comparison:

Day 0 Front

My orthodontist told me I looked "younger" when he first saw me. Now, I think that's way harsh (just kidding), but he's right. I do look different, and probably for the best. The thing is, now you can see my braces even more than before - so next step is to get those bad boys off my teeth. Like, now.

11 May 2008

A Day of Chairs

Since I'm moving out of my old apartment, I've started assessing my needs versus my wants in terms of...erm, shall we say, crap I own. Some of the crap is very very necessary - I need it to live. Things like my CD collection or my box of matches, or a rather large accumulation of pens.

J is, in contrast, a minimalist. He's coming into this apartment with what I consider the bare necessities (and believe me, he's going to act all aghast by how much stuff he has, you wait and see). Furniture. Clothes. A computer. The bare minimum.

Lately, mostly to avoid going through my matchbook collection, I've been complaining about my honking big leather office chair. It's comfortable, and at $30 second-hand, it gets the job done. Or it used to. This chair has served me well for over 4 years now, but the time came to finally get rid of it - partially because there's barely enough space for it in my room now, and the new space is going to be exponentially smaller. Mostly because I found this chair on sale at Target:

Office Chair

Today, I convinced J to go to a yard sale with me, and along with a muffin pan, for a grand total of $5, we picked up these:

Yard Sale Chairs

So many chairs. So much awesome.

06 May 2008

Bike New York Ride

Highway to Staten Island

J and I participated in the Five Boro Bike Tour this past weekend. The ride itself was exhilarating and very, very cool. We started at Battery Park, rode up through Manhattan, over to Astoria and Queens, down through Brooklyn, and finally out to Staten Island. We took the ferry back to Battery Park, and then we rode back to Brooklyn (although we walked a lot of the way once we got over the bridge).

Gearing up for the Ride

The things we saw during this race...they will stay with me forever. Firstly, and most significantly, we saw someone get maced. While we were waiting in an enormously long queue to get into Central Park (made infinitely worse by the sidewalk jumpers. You know who you are. Each and every one of you is going straight to hell, I hope you know), some homeless guy started causing a ruckus. We didn't personally notice anything until he slammed his cane down onto a car and started screaming nonsense at one of the cyclists. A cop came out of nowhere and nonchalantly maced the guy in the face. I would have been screaming my lungs out, but the homeless guy just leaned over on a nearby railing - defeated. I don't have any social or political commentary about it, I just have never seen anything like this. Then some mentally disturbed and presumably homeless woman started screaming things about cops and homeless people, but it was impossible to tell whether her rage was directed at the homeless guy or the cop. Thankfully, we made it into Central Park unscathed, shortly after she started her screaming rant.

There were several accidents. Whenever there was a ramp and a turn, people would take the turns too quickly, and there were one or two of those. Honestly, I have never seen such blatant disregard for other cyclists, and I have a pretty rough commute (relatively, I mean). There was also a nearly fatal heart attack on the Queensboro bridge, but fortunately, the man made it. It was decently scary, and did not help to ease the anxiety I was already facing when going over two of the major bridges.

A lot of people have noted that this is a great ride to do. Once. Which is what the friend who recommended this ride told us, too.

That being said - in total, it was an amazing ride. Too many people, but riding through NYC (and vowing never to go to that dump again) without any cars was too good an opportunity to miss.

Too bad my jaw is a wreck two days later (my surgeon said I should be good to go as far as riding my bike went, but a little bit of research and a conversation with my OD has indicated that maybe 50 miles was a bit much before my 3 month post surgery mark...).

02 May 2008

Rage is a four letter word

I am now five weeks (plus) post-op. To be honest, I thought that after about a month I would be a little bit happier. Things I am actually very happy about involve having the surgery itself out of the way, and knowing that because I was the "optimal" age, the recovery (and braces!) will be over sooner rather than later. Unfortunately it only gets me so far.

There has been a rage inside of me for the past week. Something indescribable and ugly. Something hideous and so unlike "me," it's hard to watch.

Things that may have contributed are the fact that J was gone for two weeks. He was gone, and he was working hard and he was stressed. He was stressed and I missed him tremendously by the second week, and it was not a good combination. I may have had some conflict with certain people in my life - things that normally I am capable of pushing beneath the surface and airing at therapy - things between me and someone I actually like. It left me tired and vulnerable, and I was incapable of dealing with other people in my life that I don't like, but can typically interact with using a modicum of friendliness. I'm puffy and swollen again, and I'm sick and tired of having a "broken" face; sick and tired of not being able to eat real food. I'm feeling better about the whole "I'm going to be beaten, gang-raped, or hit by a car" thing, but "better" is relative, obviously.

In short, I am feeling off. My roommate can sense that I've been off (even though she's been working a lot), and even if J is too stressed to notice all of it, we've discussed it. I haven't been able to call home in over a week because I just can't deal with it.

Is it the medication? The rage I've been feeling has been absolutely apoplectic, and it makes me remember my very second psychiatric evaluation when I was prescribed this medication. One of the side effects, my psychiatrist said, was blinding rage. He told me how one of his patients described how she suddenly found herself screaming at cars as they went by because they were making her angry. Because they were driving by. That's how I've been feeling this week - except I'm muttering angry things at people on the streets instead of screaming at cars. But I firmly believe that's next.

The troubling part is how I've been on this medication for a year now. How I haven't changed doses. How, while I missed a few pills while I was immediately post-op*, I haven't missed any in weeks. (*several doctors and nurses told me it was okay because the drug is slow release, and builds up in the system enough to skip one or two)

If it is my medication, I have a lot to think about. I was prescribed these meds specifically because I'm young and my depression is mild. The sexual side effects are rare, which was genuinely the biggest concern at the time, but a new medication would mean a new round of "adjustment," which is currently more daunting than facing another week of this.

I feel empty inside, and I want to feel whole again, like I have in the past three months. I've been riding it out for a week, and I'm coming up with nothing. My biggest problem in the past was believing that if I dug deeply enough, I would find the answers within - but that only made deeper wounds. This time I want to be stronger than that. I want to admit that I need help. Why is it so hard to be okay with that?