And then, 23 years later, I visited the dentist again.

There comes a point where you put off going to the dentist for so long that it becomes, in your head that now may or may not have cavities (paging Dr. Schrodinger, DDS), too embarrassing to go to the dentist.

After a wonderful evening remembering why Lindsey Buckingham is one of the top live performers today (a sentiment deserving its own blog post, but you know I'll never get around to it), my face was brutally ripped open from nose to neck.

Or that's what it felt like. And then the evil spirits brought out the lemon juice cauldrons.

Yeah, felt more like that.


My mother always warned me, way back when, that if I didn't get my wisdom teeth out, then SOMEDAY, and that day WOULD be a weekend, Bad Things Would Happen.

And, if right now you're incarcerated in a posh prison with internet access but with most of the internet blocked, perhaps you've read all of my past posts when I thought Bad Things were happening, but then the pain subsided and I settled back into denial. "Hey, I've lasted this long."

And if you're perhaps a psychic prisoner, maybe an X-man of sorts, and that's why they keep you locked up but also restrict your ability to spend time on better sites, then maybe you remember all those blog posts I didn't write, like about the time one erupted wisdom tooth cracked (April 2009), or the time the gum next to that wisdom tooth was starting to shrink away from the perfectly good tooth next to it (2010?), or the time the now-jutting-out no-longer-so-perfectly-good bystander tooth just broke in half while I was eating (date erased by denial mechanisms).

If you don't pay the Tooth Fairy, she charges interest.

And so, per the title, today I found myself back at the dentist at last.

Things have definitely changed. I filled out a questionnaire online the night before, where I got to rate my level of fear associated with going to the dentist ("moderate") and share what I thought the dentist should know. (I wrote about how disgusted I was with myself, but the character limit is about a fourth of a tweet, so I had to settle for "Haven't been to the dentist in 23 years. Appalling!")

I don't know if that's why they gave me the super-nice dentist and technician, or maybe they're all that way. By the time the X-rays were underway, I wasn't even scared. But, as soon as the dentist starting tapping that pick on my teeth, the sound took me right back. That's when I realized that it's all big brave talk until the noises begin. I'd far rather have surgery than a cleaning. No whirring. No tapping.

And that's where things will begin, with five teeth being pulled on Friday morning: all of the wisdom teeth (two are impacted and two are just troublemakers) plus that poor tooth that was killed by my stubbornness. (Part stubbornness and part economics, which later transformed into part "I don't know anyone in this city who I feel I can ask to drive me home afterward," which - by the time Mike arrived - just became "LA LA LA LA LA CAN'T HEAR YOU.")

(Short break.)

I must try to sleep and see if I can go without the Tylenol 3 tonight. As nice as it would be to have a medicated holiday tomorrow while I wait for the surgery, it's a case of it being more work to make sub plans than to stay at home. (As I discovered when I stayed late on Tuesday, holding my jaw.)

I'd intended for the above to just set the scene for some issues I wanted to discuss (okay, rant about), but let's cut straight to the punchline: I'm looking forward to oral surgery. Not because it means I'll be taking care of my health (although that's good), but because I'd rather have five teeth pulled than deal with the shambles that is our education system.

(Not my school, not my students, not their parents, not my co-workers, not my district, not my state, not our country, not anyone employed by any of the above - just our education system. This is hardly the place to point fingers, as I need that broken system to help pay to pull the five teeth.)

What is the buyback policy on souls?

20 October 2011 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)