Adventures in Invisalign: It’s Been One Week Since My Teeth Were Free.

I mentioned in this post that I was recently fitted for molds for Invisalign.  Despite the fact that I am a nearly 6’4 woman and have lived 27 years with fairly jacked up teeth, I surprisingly do not have low self esteem.  I have hated my teeth, but it’s never made me hate myself.  In fact, the only time it makes me feel awkward/insecure is when someone is all, “why don’t you ever smile showing your teeth?!”  or “You should smile showing your teeth.  It will look better!”  No, it will not look better.  It looks awful.  And the only time I ever see pictures of myself and cringe is when I see pictures with my teeth showing (ok, and certain awkward angles where I look pregnant and/or obese). 

I have wanted to get my teeth fixed for a long time, but for years I couldn’t afford to do anything about it, and then I couldn’t decide what to do.  I cringed at the idea of having braces for several years, but I also wasn’t fully on board with the idea of veneers.  I was pretty positive I wasn’t eligible for invisalign.  As it turned out, I was “eligible” for Invisalign, and the second I found out I was all, “Heck yes. sign me up!  Where to I pay the kajillion dollars!?”  I didn’t thoroughly do any research.  Here is what I thought about Invisalign, or at least what I thought being “eligible” for Invisalign meant: clear aligners, people can barely tell you’re wearing anything, you might have a lisp at first but otherwise it’ll all be fine, you can still eat anything you want, and it works!  I didn’t really ask questions other than “how long will it take?” and “will my snaggle tooth look better before the wedding?”

At some point a couple of weeks later, my dentist mentioned buttons.  Buttons?  What?!  “Don’t worry…” she said.  “They’ll be the same color as your teeth and barely noticeable.”  I had never heard of buttons, but tried to tell myself it would be ok.  I did a little research on them, and it does make sense that I would need them.   Then, last week my aligners finally came in and I went in to get my first set.   I was super excited to get going because my wedding is coming up, and I’d like as much progress as possible before that point so that I’ll feel more confident about really smiling for pictures.  

It turned out I had to have TWELVE buttons put on my teeth.  Including SEVEN across my front teeth.  And “barely noticeable” is a joke.  They are only barely noticeable if you are (1) blind, or (2) standing 50 feet away.   Basically, I look like I’m wearing clear braces, but without the metal brackets.   I almost passed out when I looked at myself in the mirror.  Technically, they are the same color as my teeth and they really are not horrendous, but  when I looked in the mirror I am pretty sure I saw some creepy cyborg creature looking back at me.  I was pretty depressed about it for a few days.  I did not want braces because I knew it would make me more self-conscious about my teeth.  People really stare your teeth down when you have crazy attachments all over them.  Also?  The main reason I wanted to get something going  now was to look better for the wedding.  I even explained that to my dentist.  If she had told me that I would need 12 buttons on my front teeth, I would have seriously reconsidered.  Who cares if my teeth look a little straighter if I have bumps all over my teeth?  That’s like getting a nose job right before your wedding and still having the bandage on in the photos.  Sure, your nose is technically better under the bandage, but you might as well have had your big honker in the photos rather than a bandaged nose.   Is that a weird analogy? 

I was feeling a little misled.  Sure, it was partially my fault for not doing thorough research, but my dentist seriously said NOTHING about the possibility of buttons at my consultation.  And I even told her that the sole reason I was interested now was the wedding.  And she even offered me free zoom whitening before the wedding as a wedding gift.  Ultimately, I don’t think they were trying to mislead me, and I think the staff at my dentist’s office are super nice, but I really think buttons should be in a mandatory disclaimer in consultations.   People think Invisalign means invisable (go figure!).  I have never seen buttons mentioned or shown in the commercials.   You hear that dentists and orthodontists and Invisalign corporate people?!  Tell your customers they might have to have buttons, because they likely have no idea!

Despite my initial freaking out, after about a week now, I don’t really mind the buttons.  I really wish my dentist had told me and/or I had found out on my own beforehand, because I may have given more consideration to traditional braces if I had known.  However, there is the perk that you can take the aligners out and eat/drink whatever you want.  So the small silver lining I guess is that I can still drink coffee and wine and chew gum to my heart’s content… for the whopping 2 hours total per day that I’m allowed to have these babies off 😉  Also, I don’t have to worry about getting anything stuck in braces.   In other words, I’ve basically convinced myself that this invisalign thing isn’t so bad.  Also, after a few days of mourning, I called the dentists’ office to ask if there was anything they could do because the thought of having the buttons on in the wedding was really upsetting, and they said they could take the buttons off for the wedding.  Such a relief!  Crisis averted, y’all. 

I really hope this Invisalign situation is my only Bridezilla moment 😉


Testing Old Wives Tales: Using Nuts To Repair Scratches in Wood Laminate Floors

My dog likes to kowabunga off furniture whenever she enters or leaves a room.  We’re working on it.  But in the meantime, this is bad news bears for wood laminate floors in a rental house.  Having visions of having to pay to completely replace the floors when it’s time to move on, I googled whether there was a way to remove/lessen light scratches in wood or wood laminate flooring.  I found an e-how post explaining that you can remove scratches by rubbing a “meaty nut” such as an almond or walnut back and forth across the scratch.   The article even explained how to crack a nut open, for those of us who have somehow made it to the point in our lives where we have a home with wood floors but have never had the opportunity to use a nutcracker (??).  I’m going to be honest: I really didn’t think something this simple could work.  Especially because the article went through the trouble of explaining how to crack a nut.  I was pretty sure whoever wrote that post wrote it for us gullible folks, laughing as they imagined all the poor suckers like myself rubbing walnuts into the floor to no avail.

I didn’t have any fresh nuts still in the shells, but I did have a big bag of walnuts from Costco.  I pulled a walnut out, and got down on the floor to try it out.  Turns out it was not a joke.  It works!  It’s like magic!

Check out this scratch-tastic before:

And after a few quick swipes with a walnut:

I can feel my stress-induced hives receding with every disappearing scratch.  It’s a christmas miracle!  The trick doesn’t work for actual dents or deep scratches, but it works like a charm for light surface scratches!   This has got to be the greatest discovery since whoever it is found the moon, right?

In related news, wood laminate floors are supposed to be “more durable.”  More durable than what? Lining your floor with cupcakes?  I swear every accidental drop of anything causes a little ding or scratch.  I’m walking on eggshells over here until I have time to buy some rugs.

Whirlwind Southern Tour Part I: The Southern Mount Rushmore.

Back in December, Dave and I did a whirlwind tour of the south for Christmas (Atlanta, Pensacola, and Biloxi in a week).  We left the dogs with a dog sitter, and flew to Atlanta to meet up with Dave’s parents who live in McDonough, GA, Dave’s hometown.  On the first full day, Dave, his mom, and I drove up to Stone Mountain.  I’ve heard it billed as the “Southern Mount Rushmore” because it has carvings of three Confederate political figures in the side of the mountain.

Here are the fun nerdy details from our good friend

Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock in Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet (513 m) amsl and 825 feet (251.5 m) above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground 9 miles (14 km) at its longest point into Gwinnett County. Numerous reference books and Georgia literature have dubbed Stone Mountain as “the largest exposed piece of granite in the world”. This misnomer is most likely a result of advertisement by granite companies and early park administration. Stone Mountain, though often called a pink granite dome, actually ranges in composition from quartz monzonite to granite and granodiorite.  Stone Mountain is well-known not only for its geology, but also for the enormous bas-relief on its north face, the largest bas-relief in the world.

Hey, so if Confederate icons aren’t your cup of tea, you can appreciate the fact that it’s the largest bas-relief in the world.  That has to be a way cooler thing to check off your bucket list than seeing the corn palace, am I right?

There are tons of things to do there.  When we went, there was a winter festival going on and they were pumping snow to make a fake mountain side for inner tube rides.

We walked around and then took the summit skyride to the top of the mountain.  For $9, you can take a roundtrip skyride to the top.

You can also hike to the top for free, but this girl was wearing leather boots, and those boots were not made for hiking.

(My Stone Mountain Fashion: Sunglasses $4.90 (Forever 21); Sweater $7 (clearance at Old Navy); Scarf ~$2 (purchased for one pound in London); Jeans $35 (on sale at GAP); Boots $90 (bought them several years ago at Nordstrom Rack); Purse $47 (Coach, on clearance several years ago).  I may be a “fancy” lawyer now, but I still appreciate a good bargain!) 

The skyride totally brought me back to my Switzerland adventures (for some reason the pictures don’t show up anymore on the posts.  Boo!).  The view from the top was GORGEOUS.

I was taken aback by the actual view.  Apparently Dave was interested in a different view (i.e. me) because most of his pictures are of me looking at things.  😉

Even here, Dave is taking a picture of me and his mom, looking at the pictures he is taking… of me.  Haha.  This was back on the ground though.

Have you heard of Eye-Fi memory cards?  He has one in his fancy camera, and it is wirelessly sending all the pictures he takes, as he takes them, to my iPhone.  How crazy is that?  It will also wirelessly send pictures to a computer or iPad.

I loved Stone Mountain so much that we have decided to have our engagement pictures taken there when we go back to visit in May.  I also plan to tell all our wedding visitors about it so they can be sure to visit if they are looking for fun things to do in Atlanta.

In the Words of Rachel Zoe, “I Die.”

So I’ve already fallen off the blogging wagon again.  I swear this thing is like working out.  Once you miss a day, it’s so easy to miss another day, and then all of a sudden it’s been six months since you’ve been to the gym and your jeans are busting at the seams.  Literally.  Not that I would know ANYTHING about that . . . (Note to self: find 30 Day Shred DVD).

I have been SO busy lately.  And on top of being busy, Ellie (yes my dog) has been in some weird restless sleep mode where she finds it necessary to “readjust” every hour in the middle of the night which involves walking directly on me and rustling the covers for several minutes to get them JUST right.  I feel bad making her sleep in a kennel but I am pretty sure I will die if I don’t get a daggum full night of sleep soon!

I remember awhile back I wrote a post about how I am all these other things besides just a lawyer.  And someone commented something to the effect of “how do you find any time to do anything besides work?!” And the thing is, there are definitely time periods that get very busy at work and I don’t really have time to do much else but work.  And if I do have a few moments of spare time in the evenings, all I want to do is sit on the couch with a glass of wine and zone out to HGTV.  But what I’m learning through these waves of slow and crazy busy times is to take full advantage of the slow times.  When you are new to a firm, it is scary to be slow.  Once you’ve been through a few crazy busy times, you learn to embrace those slow times as much as possible.  Also, once you’ve been through a really bad crazy busy time (i.e. that one time where all I did for months was work and barely sleep and I broke out in hives), you learn to draw the line sometimes and say no.  You also learn that you need to keep certain things even in the busy times to keep your sanity, like working out and maybe even blogging.

All of this to say, March is shaping up to be one of those months where all I do is work and barely sleep.  But I’m hoping to keep up the blogging thing, and I’m also hoping that I pull out my 30 Day Shred DVD and actually do it 😉

Day 25: Adventures in Anosmia.

According to the internet’s most reliable source, wikipedia, anosmia is “a lack of functioning olfaction, or in other words, an inability to perceive odors.”  In OTHER other words, it’s a lack of a sense of smell, y’all.  I’ve had no sense of smell since birth.  However, I didn’t figure that out until around middle school.  I’m still not entirely sure how I made it twelve or so years without a sense of smell without noticing something was missing, but I am definitely relieved to finally know how on earth people figure out I cooked brownies when I leave no visible evidence.

There are many positive sides to no sense of smell (I grew up with two brothers y’all… think about it).  There are also some negative sides… I completely miss out on the “full experience” of some things because I can’t smell.  I can’t smell fresh flowers, or fresh rain, or the smell of ocean air at the beach.  I can’t smell something yummy cooking in the kitchen.  I can’t smell Dave.  That one is a pro and a con though… From what I’ve heard about men and their smells, if I’m going to commit myself to living with a man for the rest of my life, the positive likely outweighs the negative with no sense of smell, right?! 😉

I learned that my condition is called anosmia from an even more reliable source (the source of most of my knowledge): a mediocre romantic comedy.   The other day I was explaining to a real estate agent that if I had a gas stove, I would need a gas detector since I can’t smell a gas leak.  I told her that I learned my condition is called anosmia from an Ashley Judd movie.  She kind of looked at me like I was crazy.  How is that crazy?! 😉

In the movie, Someone Like You, Ashley Judd suffers a bad break up and she hates that every smell reminds her of her ex.  So she goes to the doctor to see if he can remove her sense of smell so she won’t have to remember her ex anymore.  After explaining the smells she says, “if I could just short-circuit my nose somehow I might actually have a chance at living a semi-normal life someday.”  And then the doctor says nine little words that changed my life, ” Why would you want to voluntarily make yourself anosmatic?”  Ok, it didn’t actually change my life, but for the first time ever I knew there was actually a word for me.

We ended up getting that house (a rental) and Dave promptly went online and ordered a gas detector so if I’m there alone I don’t blow up.  He is so thoughtful 😉

Day 24: Oops I Did it Again.

I billed approximately 20 hours in a 24 hour period which is why I didn’t update yesterday, and don’t quite have the will to write a real post right now, since I’m still running on a little under 2 hours of sleep.   It’s been so long that I kind of forgot what it’s like.  I also forgot that I was capable of running on very little sleep.  I use “capable” loosely, because while I got the work done, I may or may not have screamed repeatedly at a voice recording when I was on hold for over 45 minutes today.  I also may or may not have nearly burst into tears after the 500th time of hearing that recording remind me that all agents were busy.  I also took a shower while on hold.  I held my iphone away from me with one hand, and washed my grody hair with the other hand.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, y’all.  Truth be told, besides the fact that I REALLY needed a shower, I was hoping I would tempt fate and a live human would come on the phone just as I got the shampoo in my hair.  But alas, I was on hold for 20 minutes before I finally got in the shower, and over 20 minutes after I got out.  I also signed my full name (as in each letter) which I haven’t done since early college or possibly high school.  I also wrote the date as February 24, 2005.  At least I had the day right?

In the midst of it all, Ellie failed in her faithful companion role.  She was out like a light in my bed snuggled up to my pillow while I worked the night away.  Sometimes I really wish I could switch roles with her.  But somebody’s got to make money around here and no matter how hard I try I cannot get Ellie to master legal research.  Around 3am or so she came out to keep me company…. or so I thought.  She promptly fell asleep in my lap and started snoring.  Super helpful.  She’s lucky she’s cute 😉

Day 22: Funny Ways People Find My Blog.

So, I technically write this blog for myself (because I like having a written account of various events in my life, and it’s quite therapeutic and relaxing to sit down and write once in awhile) and for my family member and friends who like to keep up with my life.   However, the blog is public and so random strangers find my blog in random ways every day.  I have done this once before but figured I’d do it again.  Here are some search terms people have used that ultimately led them to posts on my blog:

1) “Paula Franzese.”  This is the all-time top search hit for my blog.  She’s a professor who teaches some Bar study courses, and one time I posted a funny LOL-cat picture including one of her songs.  That’s the only time I mentioned her.  But every year during bar study times, my blog lights up with people searching for her greatest hits. 

2) “Lawyer funny” or “Funny lawyer picture” or “studying for the bar” or “funny studying picture.”  I am pretty sure all of these search terms also lead to that same post.  I wish I had been a really interesting and funny person while I was studying for the bar, and could have provided more than an LOL-cat picture to represent my studying experience.  But alas, I was not a funny person.  I was a miserable-studying-12+hours-per-day-not-even-aware-it-was-july-already person.  I was a break-down-and-cry-about-almost-everything person.  Sorry to all the google-searchers who have came to blog thinking I would have useful or at least entertaining information about studying for the California bar exam.  I am not that girl 😉

3) “Choose me, Marry me” or “Martha Stewart” or “Martha Stewart Tall Show.”  Once upon a time I blogged about my almost trip to New York to attend the filming of an episode of the Martha Stewart tall show that was going to be about tall women.  Sadly, an epic snowstorm hit New York and the show went on but I could not get there.  Still, a few years later, I get blog hits for that. 

4) “procrastination coach” with various cities attached.  Pretty sure it’s due to this post.   Sorry, friends, I am a master procrastinator but I do not have a coach and I do not have any tips for you.  Even now, I have a million other things to do and what am I doing?  Blogging about how random strangers found my blog while looking for a procrastination coach.  Clearly, I cannot help you.

5) Various search terms involving “Zack Morris” because I once answered a Ten on Tuesday question about whether my first cell phone was as cool as his.  (Zack Morris phone, Zack Morris hot, Zack Morris hair, etc.)

6) Some REALLY weird ones: “me playing dentist” “what does an 18lb dog look like?” “how many ellies is there in the world” “pictures of cats cussing” “ABCs Underwear” and “young girl peeing.”  I am extremely disturbed by the last one, but I think it is due to a post I wrote about a statue in Belgium called “Mannekin Pis” which is a statue of a young boy peeing.  Also disturbing.

7)  Besides all the random searches that cause people to land on my blog, there are also searches that clearly led people to helpful posts, such as DIY searches (e.g., “using modge podge” “sewing a shower curtain” and “map pin board”  “DIY map letters” and “I can’t paint but want to make DIY art”) and travel searches (e.g., “coastal causeway ireland” “roadtrip from oregon to colorado” “things to do around bastogne belgium”).

But by far, for some reason my greatest “pride and joy” in terms of blog hits is this one:

 “Put a Keurig in a Car.”  Turns out Dave & I weren’t the only ones out there trying to find a way to make this work.  You are welcome internet world, we solved this one for you

(Note to readers:  The red/bolded words are links to the relevant posts).

Day 21: It’s Only Funny If It’s You (What People Think Lawyers Do)

Recently Making the Rounds on Facebook

Recently, on Facebook, these black charts (?) started making the rounds.  I have no idea who started it, and I didn’t even understand what it was until I saw one that said “Lawyer” on the top in my newsfeed and decided to click on it.  People have made them for all kinds of different jobs and activities, but obviously I like this one the best.

Whoever made this one is either older than me, or has older parents, because I really don’t think people my mom’s age think all lawyers are Perry Mason.  More like my grandparents age.  I haven’t asked my grandparents what they think I do, but they probably do think I’m Perry Mason or Matlock .  And while the Elle Woods thing is cute, I don’t think most people think of Elle Woods when they think of what lawyers are like.  She is exactly what lawyers are not supposed to be like, which is what makes that movie funny 😉

However, what my friends think I do (roll around in piles of money), what I think I do (the Lincoln Lawyer) and what I really do (try to claw my way out from piles of paper) are pretty accurate.  Except, it’s 2012 y’all, most of that “paper,” whether its briefs to read or documents to review, is all on my work-provided computer.

My brother has a slightly different career, and he made his own chart to depict what others think about what he does:

His job is tough!  But he has four kids under age 5, the boy has to sleep sometime 😉

Day 20: The Other Side.

Every year during law school I went to our school’s annual “Law School Dinner.”  It was basically a fun excuse to get dressed up and have a fancy dinner and take tons of photos with friends.  One thing I noticed was that it always seemed like we were sitting in the “nosebleeds” so to speak, in terms of how far we were away from the stage.  If this is our dinner, I thought, why are we sitting so far away?  Who are all these other people?

Well, this year I found out who all those “other people” were.  Those other people, my friends, are people who pay way more than $50 (the law student rate) to attend the dinner.  Those other people are actually lawyers.  Even more crazy?  Those other people actually get wine with dinner (we always had to buy our own drinks outside when I was a student).  Now, I guess, those “other people” are me.   Yep, I paid way more than $50/plate for Dave and I to attend the dinner this year and sit at one of my law firm’s tables.  Law schools gotta make money y’all.  And I am plenty happy to give them money, given how much they put into me.  We were sitting way closer than the law students, and had white and red wine on the table.  One of my coworkers (also an alum) quipped, “we are grownups now!”  Yep, we’re grown-ups.

I couldn’t find the dress I wanted to wear anywhere, but in my searching I discovered a dress I bought from an outlet years ago for $20 but never wore.  Score!  Unfortunately I did not take a full picture, but you can see a little of it in this picture 😉

One of the guys at the table “won” the centerpiece and let me have it.  I was so excited!

You should be happy to know the flowers are still alive and kicking on the dining table.  I’m not usually a fan of roses, but this flower combo (sans the creepy purple things) is really growing on me for a centerpiece idea 😉

I love it when I get the opportunity to go to an event at my law school, because it always reminds me how great of an experience it was, and how happy I am to be part of that community.  I have quite a few friends that are not happy to have our law school on their resume.  And I know a ton of people who majorly regret going to law school at all (both from my law school and plenty of others, because, spoiler alert to all the law students out there: being a lawyer is hard work, and often miserable work, and in this economy you are “lucky” to find lawyer work at all).  However, even in my darkest moments where I hate my job and wonder what I’ve drug myself into, I have never for one moment regretted my time at my law school.

The dinner also reminded me of how far I’ve come.  The first “fancy” dinner I ever went to was a recruiting dinner for my law school.  They had the tables set with multiple forks and utensils and I had no idea what glass was mine or what bread plate was mine or what fork I was supposed to use for my salad.  And it was a round table and I was sitting next to a fairly famous lawyer/political figure, and of course all eyes were on him which meant all eyes were also on me when I made the grave mistake of grabbing the dessert fork first instead of the salad fork.  Everyone gasped and a spot light shined right on me and security came to remove me from the table and threw me out in an alley.  Just kidding.  That last sentence didn’t really happen, but I did really grab the wrong fork and I felt humiliated when I realized everyone else had used the correct fork.  But I’m 99% sure nobody noticed or cared.  Also, I used my ninja skills to cleverly scoot my salad fork into the dessert fork position and nobody was the wiser.  The point of this story is that now I know which fork to use.  Also, that fairly famous lawyer sitting next to me?  He got up to speak and did not eat his dessert (chocolate cake).  Guess who did?  This girl.  There is probably an etiquette rule against eating two desserts at dinner… particularly against taking someone else’s dessert without asking.  However, I never said I was perfect 😉

(Note:  I am intentionally vague on this blog about my law school and my law firm because this blog is public.  Thanks to the internet these days, giving out those details would be equivalent to sharing my home address.  Also, I don’t mention those details because the views expressed here are not the views of my law school or my law firm and I don’t want there to be any confusion.)

Day 19: Another Paintspiration.

Like I said before, I do not consider myself an “artist” but I do enjoy slapping some paint on a canvas to make art for my home that is essentially cheap or free.  It’s not that I refuse to spend money on art, but why buy some when I can make my own and it’s fun for me?  The saved money is just icing on the cake 😉  A few months ago I saw a painting in the club house that came from a chain furniture store nearby:

I LOVED it.  I didn’t take a picture of it at the time, I just saw it and loved it and the image stuck in my mind.  (I went back after the fact to take a picture for this post).  Then one night shortly before Christmas, I found myself with the urge to paint something, and a small blank canvas to paint on.  So the dogs and I got to work:

Yes, I am using a dog bowl with a napkin in it for the paint.  (Don’t worry animal lovers!  This is my “paint bowl” now and neither dog uses it for a water bowl.)  First, I painted the whole canvas that yellow color, and brushed in some fake “clouds” with a little white paint.  Then I painted the mountain layers in one at a time by gradually started with a ton of white and a little blue paint, and gradually working in more and more black paint.  The result?  This quirky little painting:

I really like it, and without even realizing what I was doing, it kind of looks like it belongs in a series with my first painting:

I didn’t have any inspiration for that painting.  I was just bored one day in the break between taking the bar and starting my current job.  So I went down to a local art store and bought yellow and black paint, a canvas, and one paint brush.   Why only two colors?  Why only one brush?  I had only painted twice in my life.   Once was a particularly horrendous experience painting wooden christmas tree ornaments at church.  The other time was way back in high school.  And I remember thinking that my painting was fairly good, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to paint faces on the grandpa and the little girl.  The painting just looked CREEPY without faces, so I ultimately threw it away.  So I didn’t want to sink too much money into this thing in case it crashed and burned like my prior experiences.  The only thing I knew for sure when I walked into that art store was that I couldn’t do anything with faces (be it Frosty the Snowman or a grandpa and granddaughter).  And I really like ugly shades of yellow, so I figured yellow and black paint was the way to go.  Then I decided to do tree silhouettes.  The problem?  I only bought a big brush.  So I found  an old, small make-up brush, and guess what?  Apparently make-up brushes can make cool trees.  Apparently that is the only kind of tree I can do though… because I tried to make a different tree painting a few weeks later, and failed miserably.

I think I need at least one more painting with that yellow color.  Time will tell what it will be 😉