Molar Oral; or, Why I Wish I Could Get Dentures

While I was growing up in the lower middle-class/upper working-class income bracket, going to the dentist wasn’t a high priority in my family. Hell, I only went to the doctor’s office if I was too sick to walk. That situation, combined with alleged bad genetics on my mother’s side, left me with a mouth full of not-so-great teeth. They look OK: they’re straight, I never had braces or a retainer, and they’re kinda white. When I went to the dentist this spring, however, I found out that I have at least four cavities in my mouth. I’ve never been told by a dentist that I don’t have cavities.

One of those cavities I’ve had for nearly ten years. When I was twelve (which, until about a year ago, was one of the last times I’d gone for a check-up), the dentist told me I had a cavity in one of my molars on the lower left side of my mouth. The odd this about this molar, though, was that it was a deciduous tooth (that is, a baby tooth) without a permanent tooth to replace it. This is probably one of the few times a dentist has said, “Now unfortunately, you won’t need braces.” If I’d needed braces, the tooth would’ve been pulled right then and let my crooked-ass teeth fill in the gap; since I didn’t, I’d need to get an implant to prevent — you know, I don’t even remember. My mother figured that surgery to that extent would be too expensive and too time-consuming for someone my age. So, since the molar was going to be sticking around for a while, the dentist filled the cavity with a silver filling instead of the temporary stuff they usually use on baby teeth.

So I’m twenty-one years old and I still have one of my baby teeth. Since I had dental insurance through my mother for about a year and now I’m on state medical assistance, I’ve been able to keep up with dental check-ups. Last week, I was supposed to have a check-up at the dentist’s office a few blocks from my house. Unfortunately, it turns out that the town I live in seems to be the only town in the entire fucking state of Minnesota that doesn’t have an in-network dentist’s office — for fuck’s sake, there is an oral surgeon’s office literally FEET AWAY from my house! Fortunately, my hometown is nearby, and my old dentist accepts MA.

The reason I’m writing this now, I suppose, is because I need to get this fucking baby tooth pulled. For a few years, it didn’t bother me at all. It’s always been a bit loose, but lately it’s been almost loose enough to pull out myself. In addition, it’s been aching off and on for around five years, and for the last few months it’s been more on than off. I’ve been chewing almost exclusively with the right side of my mouth for the last week. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m calling the dentist tomorrow. Wish me luck.


Please Don’t Vote Yes

This four-day weekend is my fall break from university, so my mother requested that I return home for a few days. One reason was because of an anniversary party for my brother-in-law’s parents, held today in a town about fifty miles south of my parents’ home in rural southwestern Minnesota. I was noticeably femme’d up for the occasion, so I got a few compliments from people and my mother kept passive-aggressively trying to hook me up with a young co-worker from her seasonal job. Anyway, onto the reason for this post.

We took two different routes to the party: on the way there we drove through a few towns, and on the way back we took more back roads. I saw fourteen “Vote Yes on the Marriage Amendment” lawn signs today.

 

In case you’re unaware, a proposed amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution is being voted on by the general public this November. Its aim is to super-ban same-sex marriage in the state of Minnesota; that is, to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman. It’s already illegal for gay couples to marry here, and if this amendment is to pass, the future of marriage equality in this state is pretty grim.

 

I saw a “Vote Yes” sign for the first time a few weeks ago, and I’ll be honest, I let out a few sobs (to be fair, I hadn’t taken my meds that morning either). I ought to be used to it by now, but it still hurts to be reminded that such hatred against people like me exists.

 

I’m just glad my parents don’t have a “Vote Yes” sign in their yard.


I’m not dead…

I’ve been absent from this little project lately, but I’m still here. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t, though.

So I’ve started my sixth semester in college, and sadly, it may be my last. Last semester, I was put on academic probation, and I haven’t been able to get my completion rate up to a satisfactory level yet. And so far, this semester’s not looking good.
I kinda had to pick my spring classes at the last minute, since my loan didn’t go through until November, a whole month late. So I’m taking Modern Grammar, Creative Non-Fiction Workshop, Cultural Anthropology, Novel-Writing, and Intermediate French II. I barely squeaked into the online non-fiction shop, but I got in! And I haven’t done any of the work yet. I thought grammar was one of my required courses, but it’s showing up on my DARS as an elective. I have two friends in anthro, and I haven’t done much online work, but I feel like I can catch up in that.

My main problem is the novel workshop. Since it’s a five-week in-class/five-week online class, we’ve been given those five weeks to write a summary of our novels, then a detailed outline, and then the first 20000 words — fortunately, Professor Smith scaled it back to 15000 for those of us falling behind.
I’ve finished about an eighth of my novel’s summary and I’ve done nothing for the detailed outline, let alone the novel itself. In addition, I haven’t analysed any of my classmates’ work either.
Last Thursday, Smith took me aside and told me that I am really behind. Yesterday, I got an email from him, reminding me. He told that I should consider withdrawing from the class. If I withdraw, my completion rate drops even farther, and I get suspended. If I stay the course, I have an almost zero chance of passing, which results in my completion rate dropping farther and, you guessed it, getting suspended.

Tomorrow I meet with my counselor. Here’s hoping she can help, huh?


Where did the time go?

In two weeks, I’ll be done with my fifth semester as a university student. Ho-ly shitballs.

I have a paper to write for my literary analysis class: ten pages plus works cited on McCarthyism in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” (yes, I picked that topic). I probably have an exam in geography, but honestly, I haven’t been to class in two weeks. I have a French exam, which should go fairly well.

I’ve accepted an incomplete in my novel-reading class, which doesn’t faze me in the least. Earlier in the semester, I dropped out of an online class on contemporary Scottish authors. As far back as I can remember, I haven’t had a semester in which I’ve completed every assignment, and it’s only gotten worse since I started university. I’ve never passed all of my classes in a semester.

I have no clue when I’ll graduate, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.


What Convinced Me? My Response to Greta Christina.

Recently, atheist blogger Greta Christina asked her readers how they changed their minds about religion. This is my answer.

*****

First, a bit of background information: I was raised in a fairly conservative sect of Lutheranism, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. From preschool to the end of high school, I went to private Lutheran schools.

Now to plant the seeds of skepticism: During my senior year of high school, my religion teacher invited us to write questions about faith on index cards and submit them to him anonymously. One day, I asked about the whole “homosexuality is a choice” myth, and the answer he gave the class left me even more confused than I had been before. I concluded that I wouldn’t be staying in the WELS much longer.

After I started college, which was the first time I’ve gone to a secular school, I began identifying as a Protestant rather than a Lutheran. It was also around this time that I began talking to Paul, a fellow writer on DeviantArt. He was the first person to make me really question my faith, and soon I considered myself a deist. I wavered between deism and agnosticism until August of 2010.

My mother volunteered me to organize felt storyboards for the preschool students at my former elementary school. One day, when I was assembling the cast of the Fall of Man, the thought came to my head, “If God is omnipotent, why did he allow Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge? And if he’s omniscient, didn’t he know they’d sin? Did he plan for them to sin?” Luckily, I was working alone, because for the next twenty-ish minutes, I nervous-laughed and paced around the room, going, “Holy shit, God doesn’t make sense! I’m an atheist!”

And finally, the aftermath: Now I’m twenty. I’m still an atheist, and I don’t see myself going back to the church. I feel SO much better about myself since I’ve abandoned my faith. And you know what? The world is so much more beautiful without God, and I’ve gotten much more interested in science.

Since I’m still dependent on my parents, I haven’t come out yet and probably won’t for a long time. I have a lot of supportive friends at my college, though, and for now, that works.

*****


NaNoWriMo: Day 2

I have yet to write anything, but I have a project in mind. It’s a-comin’, I promise.


Old News, But Dammit: I Still Care

Back in March, one of my short stories received a Daily Literature Deviation (DLD) on deviantART. The next day, it received a Daily Deviation (DD).

In case you’re not familiar with the award system on deviantART, getting a DD is pretty much the highest honor your work can get. You get featured on the front page, your piece gets a little gold star on it, and you’ll most likely get a shit-ton more page-views and such.

Anyway, the reason I’m mentioning this now is because the Daily Literature Deviations team finally acknowledged that I got a DD too. Here’s the article: http://fav.me/n163153.

I plan on posting that short story sometime, but I need to make more edits first.