Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Diana tagged me and I have to write 6 quirks about me. Problem is, I don't have any!

1. I am a really weird sleeper. I have vivid (usually nightmarish) dreams almost every night often including friends, classmates, family members, etc. They are so weird I often feel like I should tell someone about them. Somehow, people (esp acquaintances) feel like being in a dream is a significant or perhaps erotic experience. Then I feel embarassed. They probably wonder, why did she dream about me? Who knows. Also, I wake up and say weird things. Abe has a routine, "It's okay Erin, go back to bed." I am so weird that he cannot tell when I am awake or asleep at night. He tells me often that I am asleep when I feel I am not. We get in arguments where I get frustrated and angry. The problem is, most of these episodes occur when I am awake enough to know what is going on but not awake enough to make any logical sense. I realize this and it makes me mad. I guess maybe I have always been weird...my mom said I would wake up as a small child screaming in the night.

2. I love dentistry and I love teeth. As such, I notice teeth. I can tell you a lot of the anomalies of most of my friends or classmates teeth. I don't do this out of judgement, I just notice. Kiera Knightley or that blonde chick from Grey's Anatomy have teeth that really bother me. I guess I hold them to a higher standard than my peers. "You're famous, how come you have such crooked teeth!" However, I don't really notice the teeth of my family members. Maybe I've known them too long and I just look past it. I love the chance to look in my friend's mouths and love hearing about dental appts. Dorky!

3. I am a recovering germ-a-phobe. I have a hard time sharing food with anyone besides Abe and maybe my family members. Sometimes I feel embarassed for this. The other day I made a comment about some birthday candles at my in-laws that looked a little suspect. They went to very much trouble to clean them well in soap and hot water. Then I felt bad. It is hard for me when I know what is in people's mouths! I SEE what people harbor in there and I know there are over 900 types of bacteria in the mouth. That is just different kinds, not total numbers! Somehow it seems like you are a social phobe if you aren't willing to share a spoon or a cup. This makes cookie-dough and double dipping a huge no-no that I get teased about.

4. A secret ambition has been to be either a comedian, radio talk show host, or writer. I love the idea of being someone people listen to, esp for entertainment, but also for advice or good info. Perhaps this is why I like blogging. I like the idea of people being interested in what I have to say. Dentistry may be my next best option. My patients are forced to listen to me talk. Too bad I'm not good enough yet to talk and work much together.

5. I have weird toes. I'm not just saying this so you'll comment and say, "No, I'm sure they aren't that bad." I know they are weird. I have had many many people notify me of this over the years. I am not ashamed or embarassed, I have come to terms. But, they are so weird my mom once asked in concern, "Should we get you plastic surgery for your feet?" and my uncle always made fun of my aunt for her feet. One day I saw her in sandals...I know where I got the toes from.

6. I have a huge booty for my size. I never knew anything of it until college when it became a huge topic (no pun intended) of conversation for all of my friends and roommates with a similar situation for my twin sister with her friends. I had a roommate aske me once, "Why do you always stick your bum out when you pose in pictures?" I felt bad until I realized one day, I don't, it just sticks out! I only realize my full booty potential when I receive compliments like, "Your booty is too big for a white girl. I knew you had some color in you." and when I walk along reflective windows. Only lately has it bothered me. I hope I don't become a huge pear when I age!

I tag: Amber, Amber, Brenna, Caitlyn, Eva, Abby, and Nicole (and Colt if you want).

Monday, September 29, 2008


My patient this afternoon wouldn't get numb. Poor thing. It took 6 carpules of anesthetic, about 10 different injections, three clinicians, and probably 1.5 hours to finally get her numb enough to finish our procedure. Wasn't as productive an afternoon as I had hoped. In instances like this, I have dentists from every specialty to call on. I never would have anticipted 2 straight forward fillings would be so challenging. I wonder what I will do when I am on my own in private practice?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Zucchini Soup

I am always looking for ways to use more vegetables. I have been craving zucchini soup like my mom used to make and found a recipe that sounded great. When I tried to make it I realized I was missing some of the key ingredients. Here is what I came up with mid-saute. Turned out great!

2 T butter
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chile powder
zucchini, chopped (I used one but I think 2 would be better)
2 c. chicken broth (I used chicken boulion with water)
1/2 can coconut milk
lime juice to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In laurge saucepan, melt butter over med heat. Add onion and saute for 5 min or until soft. Add garlic and chile powder and saute until fragrant, about 2 min. Add zucchini and saute for 5 min, until soft.

2. Transfer zucchini mixture to a blender or food processor. Add 1 cup broth and puree.

3. Return the puree to saucepan. Stir in remaining broth and coconut milk and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 min. Stir in lime juice, sugar, salt, and pepper.

It didn't make a ton so was just right for the two of us. If you wanted a bigger recipe I would double the broth and coconut milk and add up to 4 zucchini.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Help the Poor

I still hope I will get more comments on my last post but I will post something new today, anyway.

Cardboard sign caried by local IC begger:

"My family was kidnapped by ninjas. Need money for karate lessons."

Friday, September 26, 2008


At church we always talk about "the natural man is an enemy to God." I don't like to think of myself as an enemy to anyone, but I realized I definately let the natural (wo)man rule much of my life. For example, here are some of my current goals (current meaning as long as I can remember).

- 10:30 bed time and 6:00 wake up. Sometimes I stay up doing nothing but can hardly get up in the morning.
- cardio and strength training regularly. I often do one or the other, but not enough of either.
- clean up after myself. I can't seem to keep my tiny apt clean with just me and Abe. Too much mail, school junk, and long days that make me lazy
- eat more fruits and veggies. I think I do pretty well but there is room for improvement
- make and live by a budget, something I all too often fall of the band wagon with.
- take more pride in my appearance (goes back to #1--sleeping in too late to often wear make up. I figure why bother when I am in scrubs, anyway. Regardless I am a scrub)

I feel like I am a master at following through with long term goals. Things like, "Go to dental school." and more importantly, "Graduate from dental school." I have a hard time being consistent with the day to day tasks and habits.

If anyone has any tips, ideas, etc for helping me overcome my natural man, please comment!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good news!

I got invited for an interview for Iowa OMFS (Oral Maxillofacial Surgery)! I was really beginning to think I was may be behind on hearing back and would not be considered. I am still trying to keep a realistic view about things but I am excited that they are at least giving me a chance!

Oct 17 is the big day.

Catch up

California was nice. The weather was beautiful, I thoroughly enjoyed the beach (even if I wasn't diving), and the wedding went well.

However, it was hard to leave for 4 whole school days. Yes, we are given 8 allotted days off and 2 extra for boards...But, when you leave you do not get points. We need to have 3800 at the end to pass. Each procedure has a relative point value. Things like cleanings are 6/hour. Crowns are 40. Dentures 80. At a minimum, I like to get 15per clinic session (morning or afternoon). When you break down the total I think you need 30+/day to pass. So, leaving for 8 appointments was a little hard for me to be too excited about.

To top it off, my "make-up" the past few days has not been too successful with a failed patient on Monday morning, a morning with 9 points on Tuesday, etc. Luckily, today I started in "DAU" the "Dental Assistant Utilization" clinic. With the help of an amazing professional assistant I was able to do 8 fillings in one clinic session. 20 surfaces, 8 fillings, and 5 teeth. 68 points in one session. What a relief.

We are also graded on productivity. They extrapolate all of our expenses and our gross revenue for a year to let us know how we would do in private practice. I hope the $1650 worth of work I did this afternoon helped. I know I am a long way off from private practice, but I felt good about my effort today. And, my back felt good, too!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Poor silver nokia razor phone no longer lives. I turned him (or her?) off to make my flight today and he could not be resusitated (spelling?). I'm sorry to have shortened your potential life by turning you off before your battery ran low (which at this point wouldn't have been much longer, you just weren't keeping up the power like you used to, no offense). I wish you could have held out until Abe got home or for me to retrieve my phone numbers.

Thank goodness I just got an email a few days ago saying I am up for a new phone. Seems suspicious how close to this time it decided to die.

I may be needing your phone number.

And...any ideas on new phone models for a soon to be dentist?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fact: I was a Siamese Twin

A local theater put on a production of, "The King and I." I was excited to hear a friend was appearing in this dramatic event as I too am a "Kind and I"-er.

When I was in first or second grade my mom took us to an audition for the play at Provo High School. The big time, I know. I don't remember anything about the audition but getting funny clothes that looked like they were made out of curtains. We must have been pretty good to be chosen as one of the king's 67 children. Very competitive try-outs. My memories are pretty sketchy of the event, so today was a nice way to relive them. Here is what I remember:

My sister Amber and I were the twins. Only now do I realize we were Siamese twins!

Singing "Getting to know you" over and over again.

Someone said our "mother" (who was very blonde and white) accidentally dropped her skirt during the show (unfortunately I missed it back stage)

They painted our hair black and put it on top of our heads with fancy buns covered with those gold bun jewelery crown things. I thought it was oh-so fancy. They also painted our skin brown and gave us very big eyeliner almond-eyes. I wonder if this was politically correct or not? I am really not sure (the play today was much less believable with blonde children). Also, if they went to all of this trouble to get us in character, why was our "mother" allowed her very western look?

I was allergic to the body paint. I remember lying in the tub and noticing the brown water as it washed off (with relief from my itchy skin).

I forgot my line, "And other countries so big." Or something like that, I still don't remember it. Walking home from school an older girl asked us which of us forgot our line. Being very honest and a loyal twin, I quickly pointed to Amber. I couldn't understand how the girl knew it was me.

Hope you enjoyed some of the "wonderful and new things [you're] learning about [me], day...by...day."

Friday, September 12, 2008

White White White

Coming to the dentist unfortunately is not many people's favorite things to do. True, there are a few people that LOVE the dentist (usually those with perfect teeth, no cavities, etc), but for the most part, people feel somewhere along the spectrum of anxious to fearful. One of my most heard lines are, "I hate the dentist." (Why thank you, I think this appt is off to a great start!") This may be second only to, "I HATE needles." I don't blame people, I feel mild to moderate dislike for both going to the dentist (as a patient) and needles myself.

But, once there you can do some fun things! Tooth whitening is a popular elective treatment that many of my friends and patients ask me about.

OTC whitening options are many. The basic principles between bleaching are (1)-duration (amount of time bleaching agent is in contact with the teeth) and (2)-concentration (of the bleaching agent). You can use these principles to guide your OTC whitening purchases. As you can imagine, a toothpaste, gum, or mouthwash that are in contact with the teeth only a few minutes are very unlikely to yield any noticeable results. If anything, they may help remove staining such as tobacco or coffee stains from teeth through abrasives in the paste. White strips do work but follow the directions. People can become addicted to whitening. Don't go so far that they teeth are too opaque and chalky looking. We call this look "chiclet teeth" like the square mexican gum.

The best results are achieved by having custom trays made by your dentist. Your dentist will have a consultation with you to determine what has caused the staining and what the best options are to improve the color. Usually, a set of impressions will be made. The impressions will be poured up in stone as a model of your teeth. Soft plastic trays will then be made off of the casts to fit your mouth. Trays will be worn at night 1 week or until the desired shade is reached. Teeth can be retouched as needed. This is a more expensive way to go but will yield the best results. For some with staining caused by old metal fillings, severe fluorosis, some medications, or tooth trauma, other methods such as surface abrasion, internal bleaching (after root canal treatment), or even veneers or crowns may be other options.

Doesn't Brenna look happy knowing bleaching is on the way?

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fun in Iowa

Brenna made a very spontaneous trip this weekend to visit us in Iowa. I was so happy to see her and show her Iowa City. Here are a few of the fun things we did.

Homemade pretzel making
Stretching our minds with a game of Scrabble
Eating at Atlas
More eating
I am glad Brenna and Abe are good buddies
One of my favorite things to do with my family, chatting on the couch
Eating (again) at famous IC original Hamburg Inn 2 where all of the presidential candidates visit
Hawkeye Big 10 football
Me being frustrated we couldn't get into the lab at school
More mind games, "Mexican Train" like we used to play with grandpa. Is that politically correct? If not, is it okay since we have a Mexican heritage?

Thanks for making the trip Brenna. Maybe you can write a travelogue plug for your new favorite state.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Iowa City here she comes!

After much to do with United airlines, my sister Brenna is coming to visit! I am so excited, she is the first from my family (or of my friends) to come since my sister Amber and her husband Russ passed through last year (Amber also visited for a cold and rainy spring break one year) and my dad dropped me off. We had a lot of trouble getting the airline to accept her travel voucher so it was a pleasant surprise at almost 5pm when Abe told me she is in fact coming tonight. Talk about spontaneous!

Now, we just have to make her very short trip memorable. Iowa football game tomorrow (even if we just wander around all of the tailgating), maybe a tooth cleaning if I can fit it in (fun!)? I feel the pressure. I need her good PR skills to spread the word about the amazing tourist potential Iowa City, IA has!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More Obama thoughts

Abe was pretty excited (well, kind of) when Obama made the promise he would be one of the first to know his VP pick by text message.

The night before the announcement, I was on CNN.com. The banner read something like, "Obama chooses Biden as VP running mate."

Abe was in Cali so I texted him to see if he knew. No, he had not received the text. About 5 minutes later, the banner disappeared. Abe received the text a few hours later notifying him of the Biden pick.

My only thoughts: I thought journalists are always trying to get the news first, to scoop each other. If so, why would they renounce their news banner?

...perhaps because the liberal journalism circuit favors Obama?

CNN online Editor: "Oh no, you can't put that up yet! How will Obama look when he didn't have the chance to send out the text? Hurry, take it down before anyone else sees it! Good thing only losers are on CNN.com on a Friday at midnight!"

So much for getting the scoop first from CNN.