Thursday, January 26, 2012

Adventures in orthodontia

Yesterday, I had my second adjustment. The orthodontist was practically giddy to see how much my fang had moved! In the two months I've been braced, that canine has moved into line with the rest of my teeth, and you'd never be able to tell that I had dealt with a malpositioned tooth for more than half my life. That tooth's companion on the right side looks out of place now, since it is rotated about 20 degrees. It used to be the "normal" one -- I assumed it was what the fang was supposed to look like had it not erupted in the wrong spot.

Now, here comes the fun part. In order to derotate my maxillary first premolars, I have a power chain that goes from one of these molars to the other (in other words, it goes across all the top teeth that would be visible when I smile). It seems to make the ceramic brackets less conspicuous, which is nice, but I've read that clear power chains stain more easily than do regular ligatures. That's bad news for a habitual coffee-drinker like me, and I certainly don't want to have the thing changed every two weeks because it turned yellow. The orthodontist said I would probably have to wear the power chain for 3-4 months, which I'm assuming will cause me a fair amount of pain. *sigh*

Friday, January 20, 2012

Holiday party attire

This weekend, my work is having its annual holiday party. While everyone else celebrated during the month of December, for some reason, we're having our party a month late.

Here's what I'm planning to wear:

Evan Picone cowl-neck sweater dress
(except in solid black, not sparkly like this one)

Madden Girl "Lookah" pump in Champagne

Jewelry to be determined.....

It's not really the most exciting outfit, but it's for a work function. The dress is pretty basic and covers everything you're not supposed to show off around the office, while the shoes are just glitzy enough to add a little fun (they're WAY prettier in real life than in the pictures; the gems on the bow sparkle in pinks and greens). I'm not sure what sort of jewelry to wear with this outfit. I don't have any "statement necklaces", which would probably be perfect with the neckline. The cowl neck looks sad and droopy, so I pull it over my shoulders a little to give the dress a more elegant look. Anyone have any ideas for jewelry?

Friday, January 13, 2012

I ♥ Chobani

As you may know, I ♥ Chobani. I wrote about it here about a year ago and my feelings haven't changed one bit. It's the best yogurt out there, hands down. The mango flavor is out-of-this-world, and black cherry is a close runner-up. They recently introduced three new flavors: apple cinnamon, blood orange, and passion fruit. I think I will probably die from excitement when the grocery stores around here catch up with the modern world and finally start carrying the blood orange flavor.

Anyway, last month, I participated in a fun Chobani Twitter party and ended up winning a membership in the Chobani-of-the-Month club. Every month, I'm slated to receive a case of 12 yogurt cups. I just filled the fridge with my first shipment, which was delivered by a rather chagrined-looking UPS driver (he drops off packages here often enough that my husband teases me about having a brown-suited boyfriend on the side). Of course, it could be that the box was marked as weighing 29 lbs., or that I told him I would be getting one of these every month for the rest of the year. His reply to that was, "Congratulations, I guess." (that's not a picture of our driver; I just wanted something corny to put here. also, I found out it's not a good idea to Google "sexy UPS guy")

Now, our fridge contains 12 apple cinnamon Chobani yogurt cups. I can't wait to try this flavor! I had a mango Chobani for breakfast, and while I'm not opposed to eating multiple yogurts in a day, I... oh, what the heck, maybe I'll have one for lunch. They look so darned good sitting there, with their green and white lids staring back at me...

Summary: if you haven't tried Chobani, print out a coupon off their site and go buy yourself a container or three.

UPDATE: I ate a cup of this for lunch and have to say it's one of my new favorite flavors. It tastes like apple pie a la mode, without all the calories!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

An eye for an eye

This morning on Facebook, WCCO-TV posted an article titled "Man Pleads Guilty To Breaking Infant's Ribs", wherein the Beavis-esque perpetrator squeezed his 6-week old baby until it crunched. Yes, this guy is a sick bastard for doing so, but the comments people left in response to this article make me wonder what is running through their heads. It seems like the majority of the responses are calling for this creep to be flogged, drawn and quartered, crushed in a giant bearhug until his ribs crack, etc. The people who leave messages like that are just as psychopathic as the child-abuser in this case, except they are (hopefully) less likely to act on those base impulses. WCCO's Facebook page, as well as the mobile version of their site (not sure about the desktop version, since it frequently crashes Firefox on my computer), are overrun with the lowest echelon of human society, smarmy little worms who trash people on the Internet to make themselves feel big.

Here's a screencap of some of the first comments that appeared after the article was posted. Names have been spray-painted out and profile pictures have been changed to protect the identity of these mob-mentality ITGs (Internet Tough Guys), but all the comments are left as they were written:

Monday, January 09, 2012

Win big from Rafflecopter!

NOTE: Apparently, this doesn't work. Way to go, Rafflecopter. They're trying to promote their updated service and the widget is broken. If you still want to enter, you can do it directly from their blog post.

Rafflecopter is giving away a 16 GB iPad 2 to one lucky winner, as well as a Kindle Fire to whoever referred them. There will probably be 8 billion entries at the end of the contest, but it's worth a shot -- gotta be in it to win it!

Use the form below to enter. Under "Tell Us Who Referred You", put Erin @ Coffee Level Critical! If you win the iPad, I win a Kindle Fire for the referral.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 08, 2012

New favicon

In case you haven't noticed, my blog has a cute little coffee cup for a favicon. I made it myself, out of public domain icons and MS Paint.

Here's the up-close and personal version:

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Stuffed poblano peppers

A few weeks ago, while participating in the Chobani Twitter party, I was directed to the website If you're a yogurt-lover, these recipes will probably make you drool on yourself. If you're looking to sneak healthy ingredients into your meals without sacrificing flavor, this is a good place to look, too. One of the recipes listed is for seafood-stuffed poblano peppers. While I would unhesitatingly eat it as prepared, my husband is not keen on having so many fishy nibbles. I decided to use chorizo sausage instead. Really, there's nothing in common between the Chobani Kitchen recipe and the one I made, but it did serve as inspiration.

Stuffed poblano peppers
Serves 2

2 large poblano peppers, cleaned and dried
2 chorizo sausage links, casings removed and meat crumbled
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. corn
1/2 c. salsa
1 6 oz. container of plain Greek yogurt, divided
1/2 tsp. cumin

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Make a T-shaped incision in the peppers and carefully pull out the core. Discard innards and set peppers aside.
2. Cook the sausage and drain the grease. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are slightly softened.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the sausage mixture with the salsa, corn, cumin, and half the yogurt. You can also add spicy stuff to the filling mixture, like ghost chili flakes.
4. Stuff the poblanos with the filling mixture. Place the peppers in a baking dish or on a lipped baking sheet and bake for 30-40 min., or until peppers are soft but not flaccid. Serve with Spanish rice and top with the remaining yogurt.

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Brace yourself...

All right, I thought I'd have posted something sooner, but I'm just not that motivated to write on this blog. Maybe that should be my New Year's resolution, to write more.


I promised I'd be writing about some dental nightmares, and I certainly have a Stephen King-worthy amount of fodder. Without further ado...

On November 21, 2011, I got braces. Yes, I'm probably more than twice the age of any of the orthodontist's other patients, but I got the metal torture devices adhered to my mouthparts just the same.

Admittedly, they were a long time coming. In my early teens, I had an ortho consult because one of my canines decided it would be fun to emerge through the gum above the baby tooth. I had a vampire fang. The baby tooth stayed in place until May 2011, when the gum around it got infected because I did something stupid involving brushing my teeth with the brush in my non-dominant hand while using the other to tweet about Osama bin Laden's death. I accidentally scraped the soft bristles across the junction between the baby tooth and the fang, which made it bleed, and a few days later, swell and throb. I had already had a baby molar removed a few months before that (read all the gory details here) because it had also gotten infected, that time from an attempt to clean my teeth with a dental scaler (I'd make a terrible dentist, since everyone I touched would probably have their teeth fall out independent of my work). Thankfully, the dentist who removed the molar remembered my hairy ordeal and gave me nitrous oxide so I wouldn't try to flee the country with my manky teeth. The baby tooth came out with little pain and a sound like a chicken bone being snapped in two.

How I lost my tooth

I endured the embarrassing hole in my smile until fall, when I went to the orthodontist for a consultation. Aside from moving my fang, I also have two molars will have to be rotated 180 degrees, as well as a couple teeth that just need some slight rotation (thankfully, my teeth appear straight to the casual observer... not that anyone would be doing more than just casually observing my mouth, but still). After a series of visits over a month and a half, I finally had my D-Day, 3 days before Thanksgiving. Yeah, that was stupid of me. The worst part about having the brackets bonded to my teeth was the fact they all went on simultaneously and the ham-fisted assistant attempted to pry the wax mold off my teeth by using my fang for leverage. Seriously, these ladies think they're being gentle, but they don't know jack about being nice to the mouth of an anxious ADULT patient. The dentist who gave me the referral form for the ortho even wrote "patient is very anxious", but that apparently means nothing to this guy's office.

My teeth hurt for a month solid. I lost 3 lbs. in a little less than 2 weeks because I could barely eat anything that didn't have the consistency of applesauce (I was hoping for better results from the braces diet, but having them on over the holidays isn't helping. I mean, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and pie are all soft). The insides of my cheeks have been shredded from the hooks and overall roughness of the ceramic braces on the upper arch. I frequently wake up with a perfect imprint of my braces on the inside of my lips and cheeks, since I evidently suck my teeth while I'm sleeping. My molars haven't touched since November 20th. Even a month and a half after my bonding, I still have trouble eating a lot of foods -- even things like soft pretzels cause an uncomfortable pressure in my molars.

On the plus side, my fang has moved quite a distance. That's pretty much the only thing on the plus side, though. My teeth look pretty stupid right now, and my smile has morphed into something very Scarlett Johansson-esque (maybe I'm weird, but I HATE her smile. As an aside, I just spent the past hour looking at pictures I celebrities I resemble at apparently, I look a little like Calista Flockhart. And Portia DeRossi. And probably the rest of the cast of "Ally McBeal", who knows.). My husband doesn't treat me any differently since I became a metalmouth, and I've only gotten carded once. No one has called me names or made fun of me, though my father-in-law jokingly asked if he could call me "Tin Grin".

I suppose I should update this more often, since I feel like some readers might take a "tl;dr" approach when I post a novella like this.