So, I finally got around to scraping a razor across my face today, after over two weeks of facial hair growth. I was going to shave on Friday, but I realized I was out of shaving cream and fresh razor blades.

It turns out that two weeks of growth leaves me quite scruffy looking. Kristen told me I looked homeless. If my clothes weren’t at least clean, she’d probably be right. The hair outside of my goatee area (which I’d trimmed a couple of times in the past two weeks) was getting pretty close to a half inch.

It was surprisingly not too bad shaving it this morning. Normally if I’ve got a lot of facial hair, shaving is a pain (literally), but this morning I lathered really well, used a fresh blade, and made short strokes. The hair came off with pretty much no pain. Of course, it turns out that I missed a few hairs on my neck. I didn’t notice them until a half an hour ago. I guess I’ll be doing a touch-up shave tonight.

I’ve been thinking about switching to a proper safety razor. The people who use them swear by them, and the blades are cheaper to boot. I could buy about 20 replacement blades for a safety razor for the price of just 4 Mach III blade cartridges. The safety razor itself would only cost a little more than a 12-pack of Mach II cartridges.

When I actually take the time to look at the actual cost of using Mach III blades, it’s not that costly. Each blade costs ~2 dollars, so if I replaced the blade every day (which I don’t) and shaved 7 times a week (which I obviously don’t), it would only cost me $14 each week, which in the grand scheme of things, really just isn’t that much. Still, plunking down 20 bucks on a pack of cartridges hurts, especially when the the 12 pack of Bic disposables is right there, and only costs $3.

Plastic Teeth

January 25th, 2007

I had an appointment today with the dentist to get fitted for two crowns. To translate that, I went to the dentist today and had two teeth ground away to nubs so that in three weeks I can go back and get some really expensive porcelain teeth installed.

Now, these two teeth have already had root canals, but they were never capped. You’re always supposed to get root canals capped because once a tooth has had its root forcibly removed, the likelihood of it snapping in half while gnawing on a gummy bear apparently skyrockets. I assumed that since these teeth had already had root canals, there would be no need for a heavy anesthetic. I assumed a topic treatment to numb the gums would be sufficient. I was, of course, wrong.

Dentists love to break out that needle. Doctors get the boring disposable plastic syringes, but the dentists wouldn’t stand for that kind of modern medical equipment. They still use the big metal syringe, with the creepy curved needle nearly two inches long. The thing is clearly designed more for its effect in inducing fear than any medical necessity. I’m sure there’s a modern plastic syringe encased inside that metal monstrosity, but they do their best to preserve that 19th century look. Every time that needle appears, I have visions of it gently sliding through the inside of my mouth, and immediately popping out the back of my jaw. I’m sure it will happen someday, when the dentist “slips”.

Once I was thoroughly numbed, the drilling started. Of course, it wasn’t drilling so much as grinding. They might as well have broken out the dremel. That horrible burnt tooth smell filled the air, and I briefly wondered if the mercury in my fillings was turning into vapor as he ground on it. I stopped worrying so much about that after I contracted Korsakoff’s syndrome and briefly contemplated a career as a hatter.

I think the highlight of the day was when the dentist managed to send a drill bit flying into my tongue. Apparently, while drilling on one of my teeth, he managed to press the back of the drill into my cheek hard enough that it released the drill bit, which promptly left the drill and became airborne, striking both my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Honestly, I was pretty relieved when I found out it was the bit, because I thought he’d just broken off a big chunk of tooth on accident.

I’d actually never realized just how much damage the gums sustain during something like this. I finally figured it out when the dentist removed his little mirror from my mouth and I saw that the back was entirely covered in my blood and what I can only assume was tooth powder. (And yes, that’s the medical term.) Later when they were making impressions of my tooth-nubs, I was left with one of the molds in my mouth for a few minutes. I happened to touch my chin and noticed that it was wet, with reddish liquid. I managed to drool a fair amount of my blood-spittle mixture down my chin.

When all that was done, they brought in a little plastic tray that they’d molded from my teeth before the grinding began (picture an Invisaline tray). They filled it with plastic goop and had me bite down on it, making one final impression. After the plastic goop hardened, they actually used it as my temporary crowns, after some trimming for fit.

I’m now the proud owner of two plastic molars.

The Benefits of Dieting

January 10th, 2007

It turns out that dieting can cut down on food expenditures. Now that I’m eating less than I used to, I’m getting a lot more mileage out of my food. Used to, I’d eat half a frozen pizza and throw the rest away. Now I’m eating 3 slices, and saving the other 5 for later. I can get almost 3 meals out of a single frozen pizza now. For the last two slices, I can just throw in some hummus and pita. And of course, I’m not spending money on desserts or anything like that, either. I’m looking at something like three or four dollars a day for food, total.

The budget issue is totally separate from the diet issue, but I suppose it’s nice that they’ve got some synergy going. Now I just need to find a way to save money when I’m exercising.