307 - The Perils of Gwendolyn

...has nothing to do with the contents of the post...

Today I saw the orthodontist and got a new tray. I'm on tray #6. I am now 17 weeks into this process. I think I have another 20 months to go. Oh joy. To the world.

Whose stupid idea was this again???

Let me tell you a little story about tray #5... (are you eating? don't eat)

I was in Charleston. My aunt didn't want to go out for dinner. The hotel had a happy hour with snacky type foods (broccoli, cauliflower, ranch dressing, chips and salsa, mini corndogs) and she was allllllll about the free snacky food. I sort of pooh-pooh'd the idea, but as it turns out... they had FREE DRINKS. I'm in! Let's go!

I asked for a mojito. The bartender asked what went in it. Bad sign. I told her. Turns out she thought I asked for a "Monkey Toe." Interesting. Turns out they didn't have mint, so I asked for a Vodka 7 and ended up with a Dirty Shirley... vodka, sprite and maraschino cherry juice. Yum. Then I took my braces out so I could eat. I wrapped them up and put them in a napkin, and I put them on the table. Normally I put them in my purse. At this point I'm pretty sure you know where this is going... but I'm going to continue on as if you don't.

Finished my DS and went back for another. The bartender gives me TWO because happy hour was almost over. SCORE! Kristy has a new favorite bartender. I asked if I can take them up to my room. She says I can do whatever I want to with 'em -- but I can't take the glasses home. Deal. Time to party with the twins.

We go back to the room... me, my aunt and my two dirty dates for the night (was really missing Bob... a lot...). I shut the door and set my drinks down... and then I realized... someone wasn't at the party.

FUCK! I'm naked! Where are my braces? (sorry Ms. A... it was the most appropriate expletive for the situation)

I tore ass down the stairs and across the lobby... only to find... people already sitting at our old table...and  my braces were not involved in their conversation...

I explained my situation to the bartender. She told me to talk to the guy in the kitchen, who then led me to... the industrial sized trashcan... that I dug through... to retrieve... my braces... past cold mini corndogs... globs of ketchup covered napkins... partially masticated limes... grease encrusted ice cubes... you get the (disgusting) picture. I found the bottom tray first, and that gave me the fortitude to keep going until I found the top tray. But just barely. It was looking pretty grim. (and yes, they had been wrapped in a napkin, but as the empty drinks were tossed into the garbage can, that napkin turned to mush and disintegrated... so...)

They had some sanitizer at the sink so I ran my braces under that for a few seconds. Then I went back to the room and soaped them up. Twice. Then I brushed them. Twice. Then as I sipped my second Dirty Shirley, I soaked them in the third one. (I earned praise from my ortho for that one) If I had remembered the mini bottle of mouthwash in the bathroom I would have rinsed them with it for good measure... but alas... By the time I finished my drinks I felt much, much better about the situation... though I still missed Bob.

A lot.

All in all I got lucky. I wouldn't be home for three more days... if I hadn't found them my teeth would have begun to shift and my whole treatment plan might have had to be altered since they make all the trays up front. Not to mention that my orthodontist only comes to the office near me on Tuesdays. Or that it would have cost me a lot of money to replace those trays and/or alter the treatment plan... So... icky as it was (and it really was a new low for me), I was elated to have found them. And thankful they hadn't dumped the trashcan into a dumpster...

My orthodontist was highly amused by this story. Have I told you he's sadistic? Funny... I figured he'd say he's heard the trashcan story a thousand times... guess I'm the only moron out there who's done it. Or the only one willing to talk about it. I understand... it's a painful memory... some people probably block the experience out altogether...

So today I got tray #6. And it is really working my upper teeth. My canines specifically, although I feel it all the way across. It hurts now... It's gonna feel GREAT tomorrow. I'm starting to get used to the pain. Thankfully I know this drill (bad choice of words)... the pain usually only lasts for a day before it subsides. And in the meantime, Motrin makes the world go 'round.

On another tooth related note... I'm going to have my wisdom teeth taken out soon. Not a happy camper. It's certainly not by choice. I was hoping to die with them still in my head. But I've resigned myself to the situation and I'm just waiting on the insurance company to do their pre-determination so that the oral surgeon's office can give me a cost estimate. I know my dental insurance covers 75% of the extraction, but I'm not sure about anesthesia, or the bone graft. Apparently I have cysts next to my two lower teeth, and my dental insurance doesn't cover the cost of removing them. They also don't contract with my health insurance. So I get to pay that grand out of my own (shallow) pocket... And speaking of pockets, that's where the bone graft comes in, since the holes will be so big (I'm feeling queasy now), they will dump the bone graft powder in there to fill the space, and it will help my jaw heal faster and prevent dry socket. So... that's good. Whee.

On the upside... THIS YEAR... I should be able to deduct some frickin' medical expenses! In years past I never met the magical number, but THIS YEAR... oh this year... I think I will... And if I don't... I'm gonna cry.

I feel left out... one of my neighbor's is reroofing their house... the other neighbor is on a tree trimming rampage... I um... pulled a few dead plants out of the garden on Sunday... And someday I'll get to that fence... but... it'll probably fall down first... :)

And I'm excited!!! My friends Brian and Laura are coming to see me for Thanksgiving. It's NOT about going to Austin to look around... it's ME they're coming to see. Me! Me! Me! I heart them. I can't wait!

P.S. This is my new favorite non-tribe blog... Check out the Barn... brand new baby moo cow! So cuuuuuuuute!!! I want one.  (for you Brian: http://chickensintheroad.com/)


306 - Better than a sitcom

This weekend was my long-awaited trip to South Carolina.

But first... drama at the retirement community. Sunday morning as we're heading out, this little old lady comes bursting into my aunt's kitchen full of doom and gloom. My aunt says hello. Lets her know we're about to head out, but proudly introduces me to this newcomer. She gives me a cursory acknowledging nod then turns her attention toward my aunt. "You aren't going to be happy to see me Rose," she says. My ears perk up, then I settle back with my breakfast and watch the show.

"I need to talk to you about your birds." This is going to be good. I can tell. "I want you to stop putting out the birdseed. The birds drop it over my yard and I have weeds." Rose disagrees. Politely. "I knew you were going to argue with me Rose. I've lived here for two years and I never had weeds until you started putting out your birdseed. So I'm going to call the Georgia Conservation Commission and I'll prove it to you."

My aunt says she's all for that, if it's the seed, she wants to know. The lady doesn't realize she's being sincere, she takes it as a challenge. "I want you to stop putting the seed out, and if it happens again -- YOU will be paying for someone to come weed my yard." Rose asks why she thinks it's the birdseed. "I've given that a lot of thought." And oh boy... she had. "All three of our garages face the driveway, and when someone raises their door to back out it scares the birds. What's the quickest escape route? Toward my yard." Well played. But...

I couldn't help myself. I chimed in. "So what would happen if she just put the seeds on the other side of her house?" She was flustered but she reluctantly admitted that might be okay. So good... we're agreed that it's okay as long as it's someone else's yard... hahaha.

Then, a couple of days later, it occurred to me. We could germinate the seeds and see what grows. I bet they're wildflower seeds. So that's what Rose is going to do. I also had another possible answer... the association pays a lawn service to mow the lawns. Lawn services mow business lawns, residential lawns, but they also mow overgrown fields. The mower blades pick up seeds, which are then distributed over the next lawn. That's the most likely answer.

Honestly it was more entertainment than most sitcoms provide.

So Charleston was nice. Smaller than I thought. Much like the Garden District in New Orleans and also has a French Quarter. The food was delicious, except the Bubba Gump's shrimp, which wasn't cooked to my taste. I like a little more firmness to my shrimp... just because they turn pink doesn't mean they're ready for me to ingest. But the bread pudding made up for it.

I also had one of the worst experiences of my life. We went to happy hour (me for the free alcohol, Rose for the free snacks). I had a drink. Went back for another and the bartender asked if I wanted two since HH was almost over... going pretty well so far... Then we went back to the room. When I eat I take my braces out. I usually wrap them in a napkin and put them in my purse... this time I left them on the table. F. U. C. K.
I tore ass down the stairs to the lobby and ran back to the table.

Someone else was sitting there.

C. R. A. P.

I had to dig through the trash. For my braces. You know... the ones I put in my mouth. It was gross.

They had some sanitizer at the sink so I ran them under that a few times. Went back to the room and soaped them up a couple more times. Then brushed them a couple of times. I still don't feel good about it. After that I paid a LOT of attention to where I put my braces when they weren't in my mouth...

Beaufort was very nice. We took a carriage ride in both cities, but the one in Beaufort had an edge. Pat Conroy's childhood home, for one. The houses and trees are just spectacular there. And they had a kick ass chocolate shop called The Chocolate Tree that actually supplied the chocolate for Forrest Gump.

Next trip is to New York to see Bob. He's on a travel jaunt right now and we're taking advantage of it. Planning to see Niagara Falls and cross into Canada. So I'm looking forward to that. Already starting to plan what to wear... I'm such a dork.

Here are some random pics from my phone... loving the phone...