Archive for December, 2006


There was a 3.7-magnitude earthquake right in Berkeley, just now! It’s the most exciting thing to happen to me all week! We heard and felt shaking (and heard a bang of some sort). All in all–awesome.

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Home dentistry

I had an odd dentistry experience yesterday, though it started ordinarily enough.  It had been years since I last saw a dentist, and I was experiencing some tooth pain (probably sinus-related), so I was in dire need of a dentist.  So, I went to the campus dental insurance page, used their MetLife link to look up a recommended dentist, and arranged an appointment.

So, when I arrived at the dentist’s office yesterday, I was surprised to find that the dentist was operating out of his house. There were no dental assistants, or other patients, just a 60-year-old man with a dentistry setup in his house. There was a home office (which had a typewriter but no computer!) and a room that had the usual dentist’s chair setup. It was a bit cramped, and not too tidy, but it seemed clean. I felt quite odd; this was not at all what I expected a dentist’s office to look like. I mean, the guy had a diploma on the wall, was recommended by MetLife, and had all the usual tools (including an autoclave for sanitizing tools). Still, I was nervous enough to plan what I would do if he tried to chloroform me and take me off to his secret sex lair.

But abduction fears aside, the appointment went as usual. He inspected my teeth, and cleaned them (but didn’t floss them, which was not a problem, since I’m a good flosser). He poked at the grooves in my teeth with a metal implement, just like my past dentist (but maybe a bit less thoroughly), and announced that I had no signs of cavities. He even X-rayed my teeth and developed the film there, confirming I had no hidden cavities between my teeth. He was friendly and seemed nice.

However, I’m not quite decided if I’ll visit him again. The setup was odd enough that it made me a bit uncomfortable. I think I would feel better in an ordinary office with a secretary and assistant, but all the same, the guy did his job well as far as I could make out.




It’s been a damn long time since I lost saw a dentist.  I haven’t seen one since I’ve started grad school, so it’s been at least 2 1/2 years since I last had a checkup.  Needless to say, that’s far longer than they recommend!  But I’ve finally arranged to see one.

Now, I was planning to see a dentist since earlier this semester.  But last week, I started feeling peculiar sensations in my teeth, and that spurred me to do it right now. My top-right-back teeth feel sensitive, especially when I walk heavily or jump around. (I avoided playing DDR in order to avoid this pain.) When I combine this pain with my long inter-dentist time, the obvious conclusion (and the conclusion that my Internet searches suggest) is that I need a root canal.  Apparently, when a cavity gets deep enough, it infects the inside of the tooth, which needs to be removed. The procedure is expensive and notoriously painful, and I really don’t want to undergo it.

The good news is that I actually probably don’t need a root canal.  After searching a bit more, I found that one cause of such upper-tooth pain is a sinus infection. Then I remembered that this pain started shortly after I got a cold, about a week ago. And I still have sinus drainage and am stuffed up. So, I almost surely don’t have a bad cavity, but rather just a sinus infection. I can actually feel the pressure in my right sinus sometimes.

A picture of sinus location:

I’m hugely relieved.  I was really worried that I had screwed up severely and, by my carelessness, been punished with an expensive, painful hassle. It was embarrassing and frustrating. Fortunately, my foolishness will go unpunished yet again. Hooray!

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Venus Flytrap

Kate bought me this awesome Hanukkah gift:
640×480 picture



Good mood!

I am in a crazy good mood right now.  I just finished my class project, meaning I’m done with class for the semester.  Not that class was a big part of my semester; as a grad student, I’m only taking one class.  Still, it’s good to be done.  And the project went better than I’d expected.  I think I got more out of it and did a better job than I had planned.  Also, I had a couple of good conversations and meetings today, and I don’t feel like an idiot.  Plus, I’m finally over my cold (I still cough and sniffle, but I don’t have that sick feeling anymore).  So, all I can say is:  I feel happy!  Everybody dance!  (I’m referencing the short animated video “Rejected“, from the “My anus is bleeding” commercial, in case you didn’t catch that.)


I recently got sick with a cold.  It lasted longer than I expected, affecting me for most of a week.  At first, I was leery of taking any sort of medicine (my family didn’t do that much), but once I experienced how easy it is to fall asleep after taking nighttime cold medicine, I was glad to dose myself.

I’m finally getting better, but today my cold harmed me in a surprising new way.  I had been preparing for a project presentation.  I was worried that my cold would somehow keep me from completing my project, for instance by preventing me from staying up late to work on it.  However, I got the presentation done with no need for sleepless nights.  But today, while presenting, I just kept coughing.  It was a decent presentation, except for all the coughing.  I don’t even know what happened; I talked to my parents on the phone this morning for about 20 minutes without any such problems.  Maybe it was all the cold air as I walked to class?  In any case, it was annoying.

In other news, I think I’ve spread the cold to Kate.  We both tried not to infect her, but we evidently failed.  I hope it doesn’t bother her too much.  I didn’t enjoy it at all.

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I honk at douchebags

In Berkeley, as I was trying to find a parking spot, some guy started across the street just as the light changed to red for him.  It changed to green, so I honked at him drove in front of him in the crosswalk, where I had to stop because I was waiting to make a left turn.  He gesticulated at me, angry that I got in his lawbreaking way, and I yelled at him that I had right of way. 
He threw up his hands and turned back to go wait at the corner.  I feel that justice was served, at least to some extent.  I honk at douchebags!  In honor of that moment, I created this crappy new userpic.