Monthly Archives: November 2007

making a dent

Hmmm. I was going to see timber tonight, but there’s been a change of plans which suddenly frees me up, on a night when all of my couple-y friends are traditionally doing their own couple-y things.

Frees me up to do what?

Well, I could straighten up the house. Goodness knows it needs it. Okay, I’ll get to that as soon as I finish this post.

This post about… dentists. I am dreading an upcoming, still-unscheduled appointment with a new (to me) dentist. And here is the long, boring history of why:

My childhood dentist was Dr. Akelian. He was gruff and never gave any painkilling shots, then called me a crybaby when I cried in the chair. Also, his big fat fingers were salty. (I’m giving away my age, there.) An all-around unpleasant experience. Since he was the only dentist I’d ever known, I assumed that all dentists were like that. Dad was lax about making sure that my sister and I had our bi-annual visits after mom left, so from the ages of 10 to 16 I simply avoided the dentist’s office entirely.

When I was 16, and my sister was 22, she needed some dental work that couldn’t be avoided and found Dr. Veenstra. It had been so long that I knew I’d better go, as well. I would like to crown this man King Of All Dentists. His demeanor was so pleasant, and at my very first appointment, when he asked who my previous dentist had been, his hygienist looked alarmed and said “Dr. Akelian is still practicing?!” which gave me great satisfaction to hear. I knew that man was a monster! Dr. Veenstra complimented my teeth and never made me feel like I didn’t floss enough or wasn’t brushing correctly. I left Dr. Veenstra’s care eight years later, only because I left New Jersey.

My first dentist in Boulder, Dr. Baer, was a little scary from Day One. He never did anything threatening, but I didn’t like having a 6pm appointment with no other people in the building. No receptionist at the desk, no hygienist to assist… just me and a stocky man I’d never met. I sensed that perhaps he wasn’t the best choice when he lost count while doing my bitewing X-rays, and had to redo a few. At the time, I’d been experiencing an achy jaw which he informed me was the annoying presence of my wisdom teeth. However, they hadn’t yet broken the gumline, though I was 24 at the time, and they should have surfaced years earlier. He suggested that I wait until they emerged so that the extraction would be a simple in-office procedure instead of surgery.

Shortly thereafter, I received a glowing recommendation for Drs. Murphy & Brown, (now North Boulder Dental) so I took my films to their office and sat myself down in a chair. Again, lovely people. Every single person in that office was as polite as can be, and I remember that the panoramic X-ray they took (because Dr. Baer’s films didn’t actually show my back teeth) cost $60 because they were so very concerned about my paying for it out-of-pocket due to the 5-year coverage limit of my insurance. When the pano was developed, it was clear even to me that my wisdom teeth were never going to emerge because all four were impacted.

I don’t remember the name of the surgeon who removed those four aching teeth, but I remember that he called on a Saturday to check up on me, and that “conscious sedation” was one of the more pleasant experiences in my life. This is why people get hooked on drugs.

Alas, my out-of-network “80% of reasonable charges” covered only about 30% of the bills, so I had to move on.

I don’t even remember the name of the next office, let alone any of the dentists. It was one of those deals where you see a different doctor each time you go. I never built a relationship with any of them, and they occasionally contradicted each other’s diagnoses. “You need a crown on that tooth.” “I can’t even find a cavity in that tooth.” “This tooth has been worked on so many times, we should just pull it.” “We would NEVER pull a tooth we could work on! Which dentist suggested that?!” I did not mind leaving them when I moved to Westminster.

On my mother’s recommendation, I started seeing Dr. Yeats at Comfort Dental. At first, a very nice man. He didn’t tell me that I wasn’t flossing enough. He reprimanded the billing chick who didn’t want to honor the Comfort Dental coupon. He, oddly, wasn’t concerned by the yet-again-broken filling in “that” tooth. He gave me a cleaning, priced out a crown for a different tooth, and sent me on my way. My first crown was a pretty bad experience. The temporary was too high, but I was assured that a. my gums were swollen from the work and b. the real crown would fit better. It didn’t. After the initial fitting of my gold crown, I had to go back twice for additional filing before I could get my bite back. And still, Dr. Yeats was completely ignoring the broken filling. I played along. A year later and I needed a crown on a different tooth. The temporary crown fit this time, but the porcelain crown was again too big. And again, I had to go back for adjustments. When they filed the porcelain down to the base metal that the crown is formed on, they had to resort to filing the tooth above before I got my bite back. Also, the crown is slightly narrower than the tooth was, so I keep getting food stuck in between that and the next tooth. I floss a LOT. I asked if this was just how things went with crowns, and Dr. Yeats told me that “99% of the time they’re fine, but when there’s a complaint it always seems to be the same clients.” I’m sorry, did you just INSULT me because YOUR work is shoddy?

It’s now been a year since my last visit, and that broken filling isn’t fixing itself. Megan and Joe gave me a glowing recommendation for Dr. Sniegowski, who is actually COVERED by my crappy insurance plan, so as soon as I raise up the courage (or develop actual pain) I’ll make an appointment. Wish me luck!

Okay, time to clean up this chaos in my kitchen.

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A moment of silence, please.

Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel
October 17, 1938 – November 30, 2007

evelknievel.com

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Hello, good Citizens

Neilochka has posted his First Annual Blogger Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair, and it is an honor to be among (amongst?) so many talented artisans and writers! Really, boys and girls, I’m so pleased to see everybody’s work in one, easy-to-shop location. Etsy is great (heck, it’s where I sell my own wares), but it can be overwhelming.

We now return to our regular programming:

I switched over to flannel sheets last night, and it felt soooooo good. I should have done this a week ago. The only downside is that my new white flannel sheets make my “old” white duvet cover and shams look dingy. Perhaps it’s time to bring out the OxyClean.

We’re having a Sample Sale at the office today, so I must be sure to get to work on time so that I can actually get some work DONE before I join the chaos.

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Boldog születésnapot, Tomi.  As always, I miss you.

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Ah, Christmastime.

My Christmas list is made. That is, the names are written down. It does not mean that I have actually decided on gifts for everybody yet. I do, however, have gifts for most of the people that I already had ideas for.

My Christmas cards are designed. That is, mostly. I still need to tweak them a bit, and then send them to the printer, in hopes of giving myself enough time to actually write, address, and mail them.

My December business trip has been booked. That is, the travel coordinator told me she was booking tickets, but my creative director told me that she wants to “go over some details” with me.

I got a Christmas wish list from a local Needy Kid, and went shopping. But you know what? Littlest Pet Shop is fekkin’ SCARY. Here I’m thinking, “Hey, cool, she likes animals.” Those things bear little-to-no resemblance to actual animals. They look like pets the way Bratz look like humans. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. But it’s what she wants, so I’ll have to suck it up and go back to the store. Can anyone suggest an intelligent DVD about animals that might entertain a 9-year-old girl? I’d like to balance the crap with something decent.

My etsy store has been updated for the holidays. No caveat there, it’s actually been fully updated. I even added a new line of necklaces! My “photo studio in a box” kit arrived today, and I reshot my entire collection while I simultaneously cooked dinner (Käsespätzle; I did not make my own Spätzle) AND listened to the TV in the other room showing the 75th annual tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center. I’m feeling very accomplished at the moment. Anyway, now I should be nice and ready for Neilochka‘s “First Annual Blogger Holiday Online Arts and Crafts Fair.” Let the sales roll in!

I’m not putting up a tree. It bugs me, but at the same time, I’m on the road for a business trip, and then driving down to Santa Fe (heh-heh, SANTA Fe) for a few days. An unwatered tree just seems like a fire waiting to happen, and I’d feel weird asking my housesitter to crawl around under the tree to water it. I have a fake tree I could put up, if I felt like rearranging the new living room arrangement. But have no fear, dear readers! I’ll still be decorating for Gillerin’s annual New Year’s Eve party. The theme is The Golden Age of Hollywood (because there were a couple of drunkish Marilyn wannabees at the Halloween party where this was decided) and the black/white décor from last year will be at least partially repurposed for the black/gold theme this year.

Along the lines of gold décor and no tree… I bought a gold glitter/bead encrusted conical tree form thingie. It’s about three feet tall, and just so happens to perfectly fit on my Buddha’s head. I described the look to Erin as “serene, flamboyantly gay gnome.” Ah, how Christmasy.

Wishing you all visions of sugarplums.

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A few more sewing patterns

After posting yesterday’s blog regarding dress patterns (and doing just about anything EXCEPT sewing them), I realized that I also have a few vintage patterns that I don’t actually have any plans to sew at all. I bought them because they’re pretty, though not necessarily in my size. If anybody can share information about the manufacturers or years where I don’t have them posted, I’d appreciate it.

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loose threads

Inspired by a holiday-festive circle skirt I sewed the other night, I bought two new dress patterns today.

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McCall’s ‘Easy Stitch ‘n Save’ M5292 and

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McCall’s ‘Evening Elegance’ M5319. Which looked much prettier as an actual sample dress in the fabric store than it does on the package. These patterns will join my growing stash of unsewn patterns, which include:

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Butterick Retro ’52 B4790 (reprint ©2006)

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Simplicity 4265 (©2006),

and the oldest of the bunch,

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Simplicity 7206 (©2002).

I have fabric for all except the “evening” dress, which I grabbed on an impulse while I was waiting in the line to check out. I also have fabric for a no-sew bathing suit and two no-sew skirts (both patterns downloadable from Blueprint magazine) in addition to fabric for a number of handbags that I haven’t gotten around to stitching up.

The ONE pattern that I’ve managed to complete is for a simple, A-line skirt:b4710.jpg

Butterick ‘See & Sew’ 4710, which I bought specifically for a lovely (and expensive) animal-print fabric, but I first did a “test-sewing” in a more affordable skull bandanna print called Baddanna. The test skirt is cute and wearable, but technically too big. I still haven’t made the “finished” version with the expensive fabric. I haven’t yet decided whether or not to adjust the pattern, or to save the fabric for a pencil skirt instead.

But, to make fabric cutting easier for all of this sewing that I should be doing, I bought a gigantic 36×60 self-healing mat (on sale for $30!). I will now be able to cut out whole pattern pieces without having to cut/shift mat/cut/shift mat the way I have been doing.

I would pick a pattern to start with tomorrow, but I’m heading with friends to “Créme de la Chrome,” the annual Rocky Mountain Rod & Custom show. And then I’ll find numerous other distractions to keep me from sewing. Okay, fine, I’ll leave the patterns out and allow them to give me dirty looks until I finally break down and start one. Which, if successful, should lead to another, and another…

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New, Improved (?) Worst Holiday Gift, 2007

Faithful readers will remember my selection of the Deer Rider as the Worst Holiday Gift for 2007. But, oh, the gifts just keep on giving. While flipping through a sale circular, I was introduced to the Mangroomer.

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According to the Mangroomer site, this product is “the essential do-it-yourself electric back shaver.” Essential, folks. It will also, according to their copy, “improve your life” in numerous ways, including sparking up your romance, giving you confidence, preventing embarrassment at the beach or pool parties, decreasing sweat and body odor, and emphasizing muscle definition. And yes, they actually suggest it as a gift.

Oh, my. Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $39.99 or at Amazon for $39.95.

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