Wednesday, March 28, 2007

language receptive-expressive disorder

recently we have been working with this woman who has a language receptive-expressive disorder, and that is a completely new disability to me. I've talked to people that have a problem similar to what this woman has going on, but so far they have all been schizophrenic. Which is fine, it makes the conversation interesting and fun, however obtaining pertinent information a challenge. But I don't think this woman has any other diagnoses, nothing significant enough to warrant a cause for the massive communication deficits people experience talking to her.

I haven't had to talk this woman yet, but one of my co-workers has to, and assist her through our application process. Here's an example of what she had to deal with:

[co-worker and applicant are completing a 10 year background investigation form]

Q: So, where did you live before the place you are living at now?

A: My daughter is pregnant. I think this weekend I'll go to the coast.

And to make things more challenging, she also has a speech impediment!

I think she was receptive enough if you gave her a directive a couple of times, such as "get the pen from the table," she would comply, but exchanging information seemed to be tricker. I don't really know much about her but am curious as to how she will do once she begins training. I bet there's a way to communicate with her that she can understand.

Do you remember "Twilight Zone: The Series" that was on TV in the mid-eighties? I was really into that show, I remember always being fascinated with fantasy and science fiction. I also used to watch "Amazing Stories," which in retrospect seems to be a twilight zone rip off. Anyway, there's an episode of these 1985 Twilight Zone programs where a guy, a family man, slowly loses language comprehension and definition all through the episode. It starts small, at one point the husband was in the kitchen asking his wife to hand him a spoon, and she looks at him strangely and replies, that's not a spoon honey, that's a walrus. Three quarters of the way through the episode, this guy is practically psychotic because he's having such trouble communicating with people. Then, at the end of this episode there is an accident, and this guy's little son is hit by a car. There's a scene I remember where he's carrying his son's limp body into an emergency room, shouting, "linoleum! dinosaur! door frame for identify knife pudding!"

I remember feeling so bad for that guy, it really elicited an indescribable emotion from me. I guess the closest thing I can think of to describe it would be horrid depressing disbelief. Or maybe awful despair. I can't remember how it ended, and for the life of me I can't remember the name of that episode. I was thinking of renting and watching that series now that I'm done with The Sopranos.

I also remember an episode entitled "Children's Zoo." In this episode, a young girl is living with parents who constantly fight and bicker. So this is going on for a while, then one day the girl gets an invitation to a special event at a zoo, which requires both parents to accompany her. Well, after the parents bicker for a while and the girl pleads, they both begrudgingly go to this zoo event with her.

Upon arrival, she is separated from her parents, and they are shown into a "waiting area." The host that greeted the girl begins showing her around the zoo, and instead of animals in these plexiglass cages are sets of parents, separated from their children. The girl walks past the first couple, and they are over the top fake and nice, and it freaks her out a little and she starts to walk away. Then as she's leaving, they start pounding on the plexiglass and yelling at her, "Let us out of here you little brat!" and the girl takes off out of that area. The next "cage," has another set of angry parents in it, and the host explains how parents should value their children, and parents who can't value their children don't deserve to have them.

A while later while after they've walked past several more sets of couples, they come upon another cage containing very concerned and sincere parents. They explain to the girl that they've learned the value of children, and what a gift it is to have a child, blah blah blah, and the girl eats it up; she looks at her host and says "okay, I'll take them."

Later on, you see the girl smiling, leaving and holding hands with the two nicer parents, and her previous beat down verbally abusive parents are behind a plexiglass window in the background, banging their fists and yelling at her.

I swear for the rest of my teenage years I thought about that episode and fantasized about having the opportunity to trade my parents in.


I love the smell of toast and I love the taste of toast, as long as it's made from good bread.

French toast is pretty cool too, but I have to really be aware of how often I eat it because it's so evilly delicious and heavy. But the smell of toast, freshly toasted in the toaster is music to my olfactory senses.

Throughout my life, I think my hair has usually been the color of toast.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

it's a beautiful subdued rainy sunday moring,

and as I sit near the drying warmth of the heater meet the press drones on in the background under the percolating coffee maker. For the past 7 springs, the pattern seems to be periods of heavy rain followed by 1/2 hr to 1 hour windows of sun and storm breaks, occasional hail, fog or rainbows. The rain isn't so heavy that you get completely soaked, maybe it's more of getting used to getting wet. Sometimes I use an umbrella, and local people I know who see me with it laugh, and say things like, "You can tell she's not from around here." I personally think there's nothing wrong with using an umbrella, especially if it's instrumental in keeping you dry. If I'm not using it it's because I forgot it somewhere.

And that's the other downside to having an umbrella: it's one more awkwardly shaped item to lose throughout the course of your day. I'm always forgetting it in the car, or leaving it at work, and occasionally forgetting it at the doctor's office, mechanic's, friend's house, you get the picture. So I don't invest much in an umbrella.

The umbrella I'm using now I got from our sales rep at the local newspaper. We place so many thousands of dollars worth of ads it's the least they could do. I would have preferred a plain black umbrella, but this one is very brightly colored, each panel is a different color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. It's nice, but too brightly colored to allow me to blend in. I swear everyone notices it. So, for example, I'm at work parked in the back parking lot. I use my umbrella to stay dry (!!) on my way into the building. On my way upstairs to my desk, I pass several people who say things like,

"Saw you through the windows, boy what a colorful umbrella! I don't use one..." or

"hey anyone can see that you're not from around here a mile away!" or

"so whereabouts east are you from?" or

"wow so you use an umbrella?"

I feel like just carrying a leaflet with me, and as I encounter people who want to have a repeat conversation, I can just hand them a FAQ sheet that addresses all of these points. I swear I must pass about 10 to 20 people that would want to stop and comment.

You know, for a giveaway item from a vendor, that umbrella I got from the sales rep isn't too bad. I've had it for a while now, maybe a year, and it's not bent, doesn't seem cheap, handles a significant amount of abuse and still works well. It has that button activated spring-loaded extendo thing, that I seem to enjoy much more the my cat does.

Whenever I go to job fairs, I try to get out and get around to see what the other vendors are giving away. Sometimes we trade items, and most of the time other vendors have candy. I usually bring coffee cups to job fairs, and that's a pretty cool item to give away.

Some vendors give away absolute crap. Cheap plastic things nobody will ever use that break and take up space in the landfill. It's awful, if you're going to give something to someone, it should be of relatively good quality. It has to last at least a little while.

Many vendors give out those stress ball squeezy things. I was next to a Federal Express booth once, and she had airplane squeezy key chain things that said "Federal Express" on it in purple and orange. The girl working that booth told me that I could put it on my key chain, and when I was in traffic all stressed I could squeeze it and relieve the urge to ram all of the other vehicles around me. She also had these nice purple pens that wrote really well. Like you were writing on velvet with a smooth gel. I still have them and use them.

At another job fair, I was next to the Department of U.S. Customs or something, some government related entity that was responsible for border patrol down there on the U.S.-Mexico border. They guy at the booth kept trying to talk me into it, which I thought was weird considering I was employed at the time and for about the same pay, my job had significantly less risk to my well-being on a daily basis. The most I had to worry about was a disgruntled empl0yee yelling at me, and I can't remember that happening more then once. But he had some nice giveaways to entice potential applicants. I managed to score a few "U.S. Customs and Border Patrol" post it notepads, I also obtained a red laser light key chain thing, which is also higher-end giveaway stuff and pretty cool. I probably gave him a couple of coffee cups.

My last job had nice giveaways too, but my boss was such a micro manager, she'd only dole out a couple of nice things and then give me tons of really crappy pens to give away. Applicants would pick the pens up, hold them, then say, "No thanks," and put them back on the table. That's pretty bad considering applicants take anything.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

careers for non-conformists

We went to Powell's bookstore the other day and I took some pictures. Powell's is a great bookstore because it's like a whole block big, I think about 4 floors high, and even has a big coffee shop inside, surrounded by shelves and shelves of books.

where was this book when I was in high school?

This is the scary parking garage Ric drove his big old truck into. Note that there is a severe incline directly ahead, and there is a car coming down straight at us. We were assigned a parking spot at the service window on the right, and it happened to be on the top level, or 4 th floor. The parking attendant told us several times to honk our horn while driving up and through the garage, and use our lights so other vehicles know we're there. So they know we're there?? Each time she reiterated, I felt a little less comfortable about the whole situation, and my skin was starting to crawl.

The oncoming vehicle exited the garage, which was a gate to the right of the above picture, and we proceeded up the narrow, steep, low-ceilinged concrete passageway. I can't even believe that this garage is considered to be safe and there aren't accidents. So the next thing that happened is that the truck stalled on the way up the last steep ramp, and we were blocked in by a SUV that was trying to come down. Unfortunately it was a dumb bitch driving, so she sat there blocking the ramp smiling and shaking her head. I tell you what, nothing is worse then a huge stick shift truck stalling out in the middle of the hill. This caused a physiological change in me; my heartbeat became rapid and I started to feel short of breath, sweaty palms and the urge to jump out of the truck. I didn't even get any pictures of the scene I was so freaked out.

After a few stressful minutes, the dopey lady finally backed up and gave us room, and Ric (the hero) was able to get the truck up the hill no problem. I don't think I could have handled that well at all. When I went to Seattle earlier this month I had something similar happen to me downtown, and it took about two days to recover from that. That's a whole different blog entry that's been a long draft for about 3 weeks.

I think the worst part was the amount of SUV's (!!) that were parked throughout the structure.

Things were much better after we got in our tiny parking spot. I started feeling a little more normal after I got out of the truck and walked around a little, then down 4 flights of stairs to the store. Exiting the garage was nowhere near as bad as getting up in there, and after the entire adventure I made a mental note to never park in that garage.

I noticed this sign when we stopped back at the attendant's booth dropping the truck keys off. Judging by the amount of tape on it, I'd say it was time for a new one.

Friday, March 23, 2007

anti war protest 3-18-07

Here are some pictures I took at the anti-war protest last Sunday in Portland, Oregon. I have a whole set uploaded on my Flickr site in a set titled "Anti-War Rally."

All of the news outlets said there were approximately 10,000 people there, but I feel that there were many more then that; the streets were jammed with people and signs, funny bikes and costumes, flags and banners. The church bells tolled one time for every soldier who died; I can't remember not hearing the bells the whole time I was at the protest. I think the official numbers are up to 3,229 lives lost while occupying another country. I'm working on short movie of footage I took while at the march, and hopefully can upload that soon.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

was in Seattle on the first day of spring.

At the exact moment of the first moment of spring, we were driving on I-5, on our way back to Portland. I would have to say we were stopped at an Arco, getting gas and using the restroom. It was about exit 116, exiting to the towns of Vader and Toledo.

I love the way the clouds hover over the city...I get that low ceiling feeling in this kind of weather.

I'm glad it's finally spring, as I'm sure many people, animals and plants would agree. It's been a little warmer, mild enough for the rains to wake up the daffodils and cherry blossoms. When I breathe, the air tastes fresh; my pores drink the clean, crisp newness. The northern hemisphere of the world is like a coiled spring, tightly wound and ready to burst with the smallest nudge. The sun feels warmer and comfortable, and there is a vibrant explosion of colors everywhere.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

universal studios

My dad's a funny guy, and he isn't always aware of just how funny he is. A few years ago, I visited him when he lived in Los Angeles. The night I arrived, we went to a restaurant and I drank so much wine I was more trashed then I had ever been in my life I think. I remember I had ahi tuna, and I remember it being really good, but then again I was really drunk. My dad was pretty drunk too, at least it seemed that he was, and we made plans to go to Universal Studios the next day.

He's an early morning kind of person. Really early morning, like up at 4 AM reading the paper and drinking coffee. You wouldn't believe the amount of times when I was a teenager I came home drunk and had to sneak back into the house. The dining room was situated between my bedroom and his bedroom, and you wouldn't believe the instant buzz kill it was to see my father up bright and early to meet another day head on. Anyway, the next morning, my father was up at 5 AM, quietly watching TV, trying to be patient while I slept on the fold out sofa in the living room. My first feeling accompanying consciousness was extreme nausea, and going to Universal Studios was the furthest thing from my mind. After about an hour of my father's fidgeting and pacing, I got out of bed and forced myself to get ready.

We arrived at a Denny's type of eatery called Cocoa's, a real greasy spoon standard fare type of inexpensive restaurant. I ordered eggs and potatoes, but I was so sick that I just picked at my dad's toast. Dad was chipper and very upbeat. After we left Cocoa's, we arrived at Universal Studios so early, they weren't open yet. We killed some time walking around a nearby store and restaurant attraction, and when it got close to 9 AM, we headed back to buy tickets to get into the theme park.

I don't remember how much tickets were, but I remember thinking that they didn't seem to be as much when I was younger. Since we were so early, there weren't any lines and we could walk right up to the window with the clerk in it. He paid for our tickets with a credit card, and as the clerk was processing his payment, she looked at his card, looked at him, and asked, "Bartholomew?"

My father's gaze met hers, and he replied, "Yes--or, Bart-tolo-may."

You have to say that one out loud and read it phonetically. I thought it was extra funny that he pronounced his name like that; I've never heard him say that. The clerk must have thought it sounded like an exotic name, and asked, "oh--where are you from?"

My father looked at her very seriously, and replied, "Florida."

I thought this was very very funny, and after we got into Universal Studios I tried to talk to him about it. I'm sure the clerk expected him to say he was originally from some overseas destination. The look on her face when he replied all deadpan, "Florida" was to funny to contain. My father didn't understand why I thought the situation was so funny. He also doesn't realize it, but he continually does interesting and funny stuff.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

confessions of a former fast food employee

I’m not sure why, but from the age of 16 to 21, I worked in fast food restaurants. I started working at Burger King, which was right up the road from where I was living. I probably was paid $3.35 an hour, and of course all the infinite crap I could eat when the manager wasn’t looking. Most of the people who worked there were about my age, except the managers and day shift employees, who were solid examples of What You Can Become If You Drop Out Of High School. While employed there, some of my co-workers and I put a variety of food and non-food products through the flame-broiler, including (but not limited to) Ketchup packets. They come out almost exactly like they went in, but black and hot. One caught on fire once, and came out of the grill conveyer belt flaming, but was quickly put out in the bulk container of pickles. Since we were all working the swing shift, after it would get dark, we would get onto the roof and fire chicken nuggets onto the cars waiting in line in the drive thru (which was backed up as a result of the employees on the roof and not helping customers). We’ve made every kind of milk shake imaginable, including ketchup, mustard, syrup and BBQ sauce shakes. Difficult customers requesting “extra” items got the wrong extras, and in such a large amount it was comical (well, at least to us). Working at the BK Lounge was fun, but short lived as I learned quickly about the demand of the job market.

I only worked at Burger King for 6 months; I left that job to get a better paying job across the parking lot at Kentucky Friend Chicken. That began a Kentucky-Fried adventure that would continue until I was 21 and moved out of state. At first, I did my best to be a conscientious employee, quickly expediting drive-thru orders and pleasantly asking all of the customers if they would like extra biscuits today or a refreshing beverage to wash their chicken down with. Not too long after I became a jaded, bitter, and passive customer service representative, and behind the polite fa├žade was the longing to relieve boredom and have more fun.

It started with chicken nugget people. I would take the expired chicken nuggets, and insert twist ties and corn skewers to make arms and legs. Then I strategically hung them from shelving, curling the twist-tie arms like those Barrel of Monkeys most of us played with as kids. After that, it was all down hill. We would play biscuit hockey with frozen biscuits, using brooms and deck brushes as hockey sticks. That was fun, and we were all competitive, so non-reported injures were in abundance for a while.

I’ve had several friends get jobs there and work with me, and not all of them worked out. One friend of mine was fired because she didn’t understand you needed to handle other people’s food with tongs, she just haphazardly cradled a dozen biscuits in her arms and asked the customer, “did you want a box for these?” She was let go shortly after that. This one kid named Hobie worked there, and during the rush periods, he would be non-existent, until you heard him yell to the manager, “I’m hiding, come find me!” He was hiding in an empty box that once contained Styrofoam cups, and it was a great hiding spot. They couldn’t fire him because the secret mystery shopper came in and Hobie waited on him, and received the highest rating ever for any KFC employee, 3 points above 100%. How Hobie managed that I’ll never know, but that encounter brought him up to gold star employee status, and as a result he got away with more crazy antics.

Pizza hut was nearby, and we would often trade buckets of chicken for pizza and breadsticks. Those were fun times. One time I went into Pizza Hut and programmed the juke box to play “We Are The World” like 17 times in a row. I still think that is funny, and It’s been about 15 years since I did that.

One guy named Brian was fired for washing his car on the clock. He had the hose hooked up to the inside sink we do dishes in, and dragged through the entire restaurant and out the wide open back door. While he was in mid-park, the regional manager pulled up and fired him immediately. Prior to Brian’s firing, he ground up a box of cabbage covered in small slugs for coleslaw.

I dated someone I met at KFC while working, another cook named Alan. Alan was the poster boy for anger mis-management. He was fired for showing up to work drunk, but made sure he threw a brick at the manager’s car before leaving the parking lot. Suffice to say I broke up with him shortly thereafter; I wanted to keep my job and so embarrassed by his actions I was trying my hardest to implode.

I’ll tell you what, my brother Ryan worked there and for the brief overlap we worked together it was great. We would watch training videos and taped Ren and Stimpy while we prepared racks and racks of chicken. I became a master at changing fryer oil, a skill I don’t list on my resume. I think the funniest thing my brother ever did was put cellophane on the toilet bowl in the rest room. He pulled it so taught that it seemed as if there wasn’t any cellophane on it. I’m not sure if anyone used the toilet like that, but just thinking about what he did was enough to induce a lot of laughter.

I’m sure there are many other fun things to share, but these are off of the top of my head. I’ll have to add an addendum.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I think I need to engage in some sort of intervention for my overweight cat...

I keep waiting for Susan Powers to jump out and shout "STOP THE INSANITY!" He's 14 pounds, which is pretty heavy considering he's a medium runty sized cat. The bad part is that last year at this time, he weighed only 10 pounds. 4 pounds in a year is insane; it's like a human gaining 70 pounds in a year, it would be pretty noticeable. But the absolutely worst part is that I took him to the vet last December, and he only weighed 12 pounds. in about 3 months, he put on 2 pounds.

I'm not sure how things got so out of hand. I think Marcus' weight started going downhill when Jim ran away. I admit, we were all depressed, but I think in my ignorance I felt that since his brain was the size of a marble, he wouldn't hold onto any sad feelings or anything. He was pretty depressed over the winter, too, I thought that he seemed to be laying around and sleeping more. He just seemed generally unhappy, and I assumed that it was because the weather was unfavorable and he wasn't going out as often. Whenever he does go out, he antagonizes his nemesis Toby, who chases him to the next block. But now I see how roly-poly he seems, and his breathing and snoring is so audible he reminds me of my dad when he's passed out. In general, Marcus seems to be in better spirits since flowers started blooming and the sun peeked out more, but what do I with him?

Marcus doesn't like human food. We've tried giving him everything, an he just smells it, maybe licks it, then makes a funny face while backing away from the food I'm trying to give him. The only non pet food things I can think of him ever liking is the tuna juice that is enclosed in cans of tuna fish. If we make tuna, Ric squeezes all the juice out into a bowl, and I swear I see Marcus smile while he's drinking it.

Marcus only eats one kind of cat food; Katz-n-flocken crunchy cat kibbles. He won't try any other brand. He even snubs canned food and most cat treats. So I'm not sure where the weight gain is coming from. He must be eating a lot of that kibble to put on 4 pounds in a year. The package advises to feed your pet 1 cup a day, but I think for a while if I noticed his bowl was empty, I'd put a scoop of food in.

I guess that could be part of the problem.

I feel guilty that it got so out of hand. I mean, I'm ultimately responsible for Marcus' outcome, I control the majority of variables in his environment. It is possible for the 5% of the time he's outside, he's getting into another cat's food dish, but he's out so infrequently that even if it was happening, I don't think it would be a contributing factor. At one point, the vet said, "didn't you notice him getting heavier when you picked him up?" Of course I replied, "yeah, but he didn't seem that heavy," when I really was thinking to myself in horror, "I didn't notice anything! He seems the same!" While at the vet, I stammered up a logical sounding rationalization to explain the rapid weight gain, but I felt really embarrassed and ashamed. Then I thought to myself, "it's not like I was feeding Marcus bacon, fried eggs and donuts. He's just eating the crunchy star-shaped cat kibble Katz-n-flocken."

And for a while Marcus and I were having it out in a passive-aggressive food battle. You see, Marcus won't eat the kibble if the star shape is broken off, which are all the small crumbs. He'll eat around the broken star points; first he'll selectively eat all of the whole star shaped kibbles out of his bowl, then move on to the ones missing 1 point, then the ones missing 2 points,and so on until there's nothing left in his bowl except the lone, broken star point cat kibble fragment. I pay about $8 a bag for Marcus' food, so I'm not throwing out snubbed broken star point cat kibble fragments, especially when it amounts to almost a whole bowl. So for a few weeks, I would often leave his bowl the way it was, instead of replacing the broken food pieces with whole food pieces.

Anyway good luck to the ol' pork chop. Maybe getting outside more is all he needs.

It's been nicer lately, weather that's just a little too cool for a t-shirt, but light jackets are too warm. I'm skeptical of this whole extra daylight savings time thing. What the hell?? Who came up with the idea to push daylight savings time up a month? Why doesn't Arizona or Indiana observe daylight savings time? Does that screw up people who live on the border areas of these states, and live in one and work in the other? I think it's a bunch of bullshit.

Friday, March 09, 2007

brokenglass studio - beautifying oregon, one window at a time.

I was in New Season's the other day and in their deli seating area they had a display of these stained glass windows that I thought were really really cool. The artist is Brokenglass Studio, and is producing art here in Portland, Oregon. One of the things I like about these windows is the intricate designs; I've made stained glass windows and I found it to be a very messy and time consuming process. These windows are absolutely great.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

tree down!

One windy evening about a month ago, a large rotted tree fell over a busy side street. The timing couldn't have been more accurate; a large suburban SUV-esque vehcile was pinned and smashed beneath the heavy dead tree. With the impact, the tree split and revealed a large honeycomb covered in bees. It was chilly that morning, probably about 38 degrees, and the bees scrambled to keep the dying queen warm. I took these pictures early in the morning, and by 9:15 AM, there was no evidence on that street that a tree ever fell.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

mutated dental technicians taking their work too seriously.

I had my teeth cleaned the other day by a really chatty dental hygienist. His name was Lloyd; I know that because he must have told me that 20 times while I was in the chair. He did a lot of talking while various dental tools were in my mouth, and I was at his listening mercy. Don't get me wrong, some of the factoids and information was really interesting and useful, but after a 1/2 hour of swallowing my own blood and a "fluoride treatment" I was delirious, queasy, and trying to focus on how great my mouth would feel after this visit is over. He told me for not having my teeth cleaned in so many years, they didn't look too bad or diseased. I immediately became very self conscious and embarassed. That's why I had calcium deposits on my teeth, he explained while using the water drill to remove these calcified shards, I could feel skull and jaw vibrations, a distinct "thppth" as each shard flew free and was sucked into the the dental wasteland via the suction thing. I was pretty impressed in general how dentistry and the whole dental experience had advanced in technology. Even the shape of the suction thing wasn't that straight hard plastic tube I remember, but a soft, orally-ergonomic squiggley shaped thing.

Lloyd told me that it was evident to him that I had orthodontic work done when I was younger because he was removed clear deposits of glue that have been a part of my teeth for about 20 years now. I was able to get the black lines removed off of my front teeth, which mysteriously appeared about 7 or 8 months ago. Those marks in particular made me feel self-conscious; I felt like a "faces of meth" bad teeth example. Those apparently were not attributed to tooth diesease, but as a result of drinking red wine and eating dark chocolate. Lloyd also told me a bunch of other things I forgot already, little factoids and info nuggets about brushing.

Before I left for my dental appointment, I was expressing to a friend that I felt awkward because I was running late and didn't have a chance to brush or floss. She replied, "why bother? it's their job. Sometimes I don't even brush in the morning." I'm sure she does brush the morning of the dental appointment, but she has this indignancy that is hilarious and fun to watch in action. I admit sometimes I egg her on for my own personal amusement.

I think the turning point in my dental experience was when I (jokingly) told Lloyd, "this isn't dental hygiene, it's art!" He really did treat cleaning my teeth like he was creating a work of art. Of course after I made that comment, Lloyd's vibe began to change, as he starting telling me things like "wow, the boys are going to really like your pretty smile" and "your smile is prettier then any jewels or precious metals." Now, I couldn't rebuff these comments because my mouth was held open by various instruments, so I just acted like I didn't hear it. The spray of water from the tools that were removing 10 years of decay had sprayed all over my face and down the sides of my neck, collecting in a damp pool in my shoulder blade. There were mildly uncomfortable periods when I regretted not having Novocaine, like when the vibrations of the drill were loud in my skull, or when he was scraping the calcium deposits off of my gum line, but over all it was worse in the beginning and got better as the visit progressed.

The end result? 1 1/2 hours of Lloyd working on my teeth yielded very favorable results. I feel very confident and am very happy that there aren't black lines or unbrushable and unremovable yellow deposits on my teeth. They look good, but no miracles were performed or anything, my teeth are still crooked and chipped. To fix those issues, I need to make separate appointments with separate technicians. It's like a dental community there, or maybe I guess it's a way for the insurance to milk the co-pay thing. I don't really know, but since it's affordable and the end result looks good, I don't care.