Friday, February 27, 2009

Magnification Station

Yesterday I spent $1600 to look like this for the rest of my working career.
Okay, so maybe I won't look just like that. Our dental school (like many dental schools) requires us to purchase a set of loupes during our first year. Loupes are a magnification device used when doing dental procedures to create better vision, and thus, better dentistry. Like all products, they come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and degrees of dorkiness. Here is a quick run-down of the available options:

The regular version (which I purchased):
The "Buddy Holly" version (which no one purchased):
The "Headbands and visors were cool in the 80's, they must still be cool now" version:
The "I'm trying to still be cool while wearing these silly glasses so I'm putting them on Oakleys" version:
The "Silence of the Lambs headgear" version:
All I'm saying is--don't be alarmed when you all come see me in my dental office in 3 years and be shocked by the bug eyes staring back at you. Besides, if this dental school thing doesn't work out, I could make a killing doing the most precise eyebrow plucking business you've ever seen!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Beauty and the Yeast

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I decided that my life would not be complete unless I attempted to bake homemade wheat bread. I was envisioning a beautiful light and fluffy loaves with a crisp oven-baked crust (just like they have at the Outback). The result I got was quite a bit different from the Outback version, but let me assure you--it was a success. The proof is in the pudding (bread) below.

There may not be anything more delightful in the world than a freshly baked loaf of wheaty bread! I even sliced some this morning for french toast--delicious.
Tomorrow will be the true test when I take it to school for my friends to snack on. We'll see if it gets rave reviews or if some poor soul says something like, "Oh, it tastes just like Mrs. Bairds!" and feels the cold wind of my wrath. (My bread is nothing like Mrs. Baird's bread--hers is not homemade. Let the record show.)

I did have a picture to put on here of Jeffrey's current "sick bed," but I was censored by his very nasally congested voice begging, "Please don't put that on the blog!" Suffice it to say that his sick bed includes himself, a rumpled assortment of dirty Kleenexes, his laptop, his iPod, several of his binders for school, a glass of limeade, cough drops, and a hole punch.

The man does have a big test tomorrow, but in the mean time, I am wondering where I am going to sleep...?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Double Trouble!!!

I'm going for it--I'm double blogging today!

I forgot to tell you something funny.

Jeffrey has not been feeling well (for the four hundredth time this year). He started having a sore throat, cough, and runny nose a couple of days ago. This morning when we woke up I could tell he was feeling even worse.

I sent him an email today when I was continuing to not pay attention in Pointless Statistics Class and asked him how he was feeling. He responded by saying that he had bought cough drops, Dayquil, and aspirin at school, then typing 30 times: "I'm not sick." Then he wrote, "Mind over Body."

I'm not sure, but I think he's still sick.

Hated Hiatus

I hate it when I take a blog hiatus. It puts so much pressure on the one that breaks the streak. When I blog every couple of days, it's just a normal blog post. Just the usual mundane craziness of life. But take a few days off, and all of the sudden I start getting nervous about the next post. Are we losing readers? Have we lost our touch? Am I being funny enough or just using this as a complaint list?

How about this: Pretend that I've been faithfully blogging over the past week. This is just another post.

There. Now I can stop sweating.

Some of you might happen to look at the time that I post this article. You will think to yourself, "Hmm...she posted it around 11:00 am. I wonder if she was blogging in class..."

The answer? A resounding yes. I am blogging in class. Wanna know why? Because this class has a real name (it's six words long--that's a really long course name), but I prefer to call it "Pointless Statistics Class." Listening in this class is similar to listening to someone list the infinite number of numbers that are in the imaginary letter pi.

Imagine someone reading out loud to you: 3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 ...

Pi goes on and on--and so does our teacher. After a while, it just becomes a droning sound in your ear. Like a mosquito (except you can't swat away your teacher).

And so I blog.

News from the weekend:

Jeffrey and I went home to Abilene this past weekend for Sing Song. It was a great weekend, but it always feels too short! We had a great time seeing all of our college friends who had journeyed back for the occasion, and spending time with Jeffrey's grandmother and my family is always lovely. We also got to meet my brother's girlfriend (and her twin) and see some folks at church that we had been missing. It was a good weekend.

Unfortunately, the weekend was a tiring one because we spent the wee hours of the night talking with our long-lost buddies instead of sleeping. As an effect, I tried to power through the week, but instead fell asleep at 7 pm last night and slept all the way to 7 am!! What can I say? I was tired. Better now, though!

Soon to come: I'm baking wheat bread from scratch tonight without a bread maker. We shall see...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'd like to file a complaint...

Last night I spent about an hour going through piles of papers with my husband so that we could file our taxes and give the school what they needed to process our financial aid for the coming school year. The school had sent Jeffrey and me an email asking for certain documents. Below are the papers that I turned in to the financial aid office this morning:

For my records
Copies of my 3 W-2 forms
Copies of Jeffrey's 2 W-2 forms
A signed copy of our 1040 income tax file
A signed copy of an independent status worksheet
Electronically submitted FAFSA form
For Jeffrey's records
Copies of my 3 W-2 forms
Copies of Jeffrey's 2 W-2 forms
A signed copy of our 1040 income tax file
A signed copy of an independent status worksheet
Electronically submitted FAFSA form

I felt like a weight had been lifted when I turned in all those papers. (And literally, a weight had been lifted...that's a lot of papers to carry around in a laptop bag!)

Then I got a phone call from the financial aid office. Guess what? They need me to fill out another form. And they will need a copy from Jeffrey, too.

You've GOT to be kidding me!

The form we lack is actually kind of funny. It's called the "Low Income Form" and it basically says at the top, "Wow, you guys reported a minuscule income for the entire year--either you've lied to the IRS and have secret cash-flow, or you know about some financial secret and we want to know it!" The form then lists 10 ways you could have survived in the last year making less than $5000. Our box? "We live on student loans."

Check mark!

Anyway, after all that hassle, I felt like filing a complaint--

...until I realized that a complaint would indeed require the completion of another form.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Things I Love (In honor of Valentine's Day)

I love my husband! I love my family. I love making people laugh. I love spending time with friends. I love doing arts and crafts. I love shopping. I love chocolate (too much). I love when I hear people say that they love our blog! I love reading classic novels. I love watching silly shows on TV. I love getting massages. I love to cook. And if you're reading this blog, there's a good chance I love you, too!

Hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day.

On another note--I found a hilarious website the other day on one of the blogs that I read. I don't really know that I should necessarily "endorse" this website because it does have quite a bit of material "not suitable for children," but it is a real goldmine of funny material to make you giggle on a day you feel like crying.

The website is an all-text website where people post true-life experiences of hilarious/terrible things that happen to them. Readers can then vote on whether the person "deserved" whatever happened to him, or if he was totally unlucky.

Here are some examples:

Today, my boyfriend gave me a card for my birthday and told me to open it 10 minutes after he leaves. I waited 5, in the card it said "it's not working out, but here's 20$".

Today, I was playing musical chairs at a family reunion. It's a well known fact that I'm competitive and tend to hip check people to get that last chair. It came down to me and Nana. I won. Nana has a broken hip.

Today, I got my license renewed and the woman behind the desk looked at me and said "guess we need to update the weight, huh?".

Today, I was talking to my parents about feeling insecure with my "beach body" as Spring Break keeps getting closer and closer. My dad proceeded to warn me by saying, "Don't wear a gray swimsuit. People will try to roll you back into the ocean".

Today, I had to get my license renewal picture taken and after the first go the woman said "It looks like your eyes are closed." I'm Asian.

Today, I was volunteering at a nursing home and I was calling bingo numbers. And one woman stood up and started making noises, I asusmed she had won and I started clapping. She then fell on the floor and died of a heart attack. I essentially applauded her death.

Today, I took my friend to buy a pregancy test. She took it and it came out negative. I decided to re-pee on it to be turned to positive.

Today, I shook hands with a girl and held onto her hand while telling her she had very tiny, delicate hands. When I let go to look at them, I discovered she only had two fingers.

Today, I cut myself of a bandaid box, while trying to get a bandaid out for another cut.

Today, I got this HUGE package at my college dorm from my parents with candy, chips, canned soup and all these goodies. When I called my mom to thank her, she replied "We got rid of your cat, Annie".

Today, I was walking my son to school. After yelling at him for not looking where he's walking, I grabbed his hand and pulled him closer to me. Not paying attention, I walked him right into a light pole.

Today, I was tutoring kids at an elementary school. One kid messed up my hair. I said, "Why'd you do that??" He said, "I have lice, now you have lice too!"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Doctor is In

I am proud to announce that last Friday I worked on my first dental patients ever! The dental school has a sealant program sponsored by a local church and the school where 1st and 2nd graders from elementary schools in the area can come to the dental school as a "field trip" and get free sealants put on their teeth. (For you non-dental people out there: A sealant is a substance that is put onto your teeth to fill in the grooves and protect them from getting cavities. Or, if you are a 1st or 2nd grader--A sealant is a powershield for your teeth so the cavity creeps can't get them.)

Anyway, I was assigned to a 3rd year dental student for the morning. I was just supposed to assist the 3rd year in any way that I could. Fortunately, my 3rd year guy was really nice and let me try my hand at sealants! Now, I'll be honest with you--as far as dental work goes, sealants are very low on the difficulty level, however, the fact that our patients were squirmy seven year olds heightens the technical challenge quite a bit.

The kids who came into our operatory were excellent, though, and really behaved well while we put on the sealants. I was absolutely ecstatic when I left. It was such a positive day for me! I actually got to do the thing that I've been working toward for over four years now. I felt so refreshed by the reminder that all this book work and drudgery that we are doing now leads up to the career I dreamed of, where I can prevent cavities, administer pain-relieving medicines, and perform healing procedures.

In addition to that story, I have (yes, it's true) another fish story. Reader beware: this one does not end well. Do not read on if you are faint of heart...

Toodles, one of our molly fish, has been looking especially fat lately. At first I thought that she was just holding a little water weight (I mean, she does live completely submerged, poor girl) but it lasted longer than that. Then I suspected that she might be pregnant, but who wants to ask, "When's it due?" Only to be met with the response, "I'm not pregnant." Needless to say, I waited until I was absolutely certain that she was preggers before I congratulated her and told her we would have a little fishy shower for her.

I'd never had a pregnant fishy before. (Mostly because I'd killed most of them before they could reach sexual maturity.) I didn't really know when she would have her babies, but it so happened that tonight, just after our lights came back on from a 40 minute blackout (perhaps the candlelight got her in the birthing mood), I saw the tiniest little fish eye balls looking at me from the bottom of the tank!

I can't even explain how tiny the babies were. Maybe a centimeter long? And no more than half a centimeter tall. Fragile and transparent little boogers. Adorable.

Toodles popped out about 20 of them over the next half hour, and I watched as the little guys plunked out and swam to the rocks on the bottom.

Then I watched in horror as Toodles gobbled up five of them immediately after birthing them. I started screaming to the others, "GET DOWN! GET DOWN! DON'T MOVE!" But to no avail. I finally stopped watching after a while. Too painful. Poor little guys.

I wondered do these fish survive in the wild? They have to have their water just right, the pH balanced, salinity perfect, and on top of all that, they eat their OWN babies!!! How could they possibly live without human intervention? It simply does not make evolutionary sense.

Anyway, I'm still rooting for one little baby that I know is hiding several layers down in the rocks. Perhaps Mommy Dearest won't be able to find her. But I don't want to go check on her right now--might give away her position...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Wonderful/Awful Week That Was

Well, I did it.

I just finished the most grueling week of school that I have ever endured in my seemingly never-ending scholastic career. Starting last Friday, I had 7 tests in 7 days. I mean, it's not like law school where one has an entire semester's worth of material crammed into one's final exams, but 7 exams in 7 days is still pretty tough (or at least I thought it was tough).

Here is a quick re-cap of my week:

I began the week like this (not in New York, but happy and smiling).

However, after many hours of this...

...and sleeping like this... eyes looked like this...

...and the only way that I could function was by consuming large amounts of this.

But before you feel sorry for me, you should realize that because of all my hard work and sacrifice, I will one day (probably in the next 2 or 3 years) be like this guy...

...and have my own TV show.

Needless to say, I'm taking it easy this weekend and so far it feels wonderful. Lauren is busy studying for her tests next week, so I should probably check on her and see if she needs me to do anything for her, like get dinner ready for tonight (yeah right) or give her some back-rubs (yeah, that sounds more like it).

We're both excited about heading to Abilene in a few weeks to see our friends and family. We're also excited that we will actually get to watch Sing Song this year (as opposed to performing in it like we have done for the past 4 years).

I'm sure Lauren will post something about this later, but I'm gonna leak the story early: yesterday (Friday), Lauren got to do some actual dentistry. That's all I can say right now. Check back later for her post on the subject.

I also want to brag on my wife for a minute. This week, she pulled down an A on her physiology exam and an A on her Dental Anatomy practical. If she can pull a few more grades like that and prove to me that her hands are steady, I'll start letting her work on my teeth for practice.

Finally, for all the men that read this blog, I'm going to be the first (and probably only) person to say it:

The Texas Rangers will have a winning record this year, and will still be in the playoff hunt going into September. (Of course, it that doesn't come true, then I'm just kidding.)

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Radiation Hazard!

Last week I started a Radiology rotation to learn how to take X-rays of the mouth. My very first partial set of radiographs are shown below. (I took those!)

Now choose your own adventure--
If you are not a dentist, read section A
If you are a dentist, read section B

A--Aren't those radiographs beautiful?! I mean, aren't they the most beautiful films of teeth you've ever seen? It's just so amazing how someone like me can have a real innate talent for something. Sometimes I surprise myself on how wonderful I can be.

B--Yeah, they aren't perfect. Closed contacts, shadows, foreshortening...but hey, it was my first time. I'll get better, right? Give me a break, why don't you?

In addition to learning about radiology, I also learned in that rotation that a small group of dental students + little sleep (due to a week of about a bazillion tests) + long radiology rotation = fun pictures! Observe...

How many future dentists does it take...
Everything looks better looking through X-ray holder colored glasses? Please notice my friend Maegan in the background...apparently plotting to kill me.
We use dummies to practice before we unleash our unsteady hands on patients. My friend James, though, is already wielding that X-ray tube like a pro.
#1 rule of radiation: Keep a fat lead wall between yourself and the beams (as demonstrated by Alli and James). Unless, of course, you are looking for a quick way to become infertile.

Also, as I loaded these pics on my computer, I realized that I had a funny Christmas picture of my brother to show. Yes, he wrapped his own presents this year, but check out the creative gift tag...(Get it? It says, "To Pa & Ma!")

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Only in the South

I want to tell you all a story we heard in church this morning. As you read, keep in mind that this is a true story (or so the preacher says).

In Jacksboro, Texas, a teacher was doing her best to actually teach her 3rd graders, while also trying to get them ready for the TAKS test, so she decided to give her students a short test comprised of 20 random questions to assess their general knowledge and skills. She had pretty low expectations, simply because she did not want her inevitable disappointment to be noticeable to her students - but perhaps she should have had NO expectations.

Question 16 read as follows:

"Please name, in any order, the 4 seasons."

And wouldn't you know it, 67% - that's 2 out of every 3 kids - answered the question like this:

"Dove season, deer season, quail season, and turkey season."

True story.

God bless the rural Texas town folk.

Anyway, I have to get back to studying. This is test week for me, so don't expect to hear from me anytime soon (not that you have anyway - for some reason, I have not felt the urge to blog lately). But next weekend I'll be back.

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck