Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Toothache For My Birthday...

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 34. Today, I went to the dentist and found out I'm going to lose a tooth, need fillings in at least three others, and will need a debridement. Then, when that's all done, I get to go for a new patient check-up and see what else needs doing. Then, I get to wait six or so months and get a bridge. Yeah and the most awesome part? Just the initial work that I'll have done on August 14th is going to cost me about $1,700. That doesn't include all that might come after, nor does it include the bridge. I just love getting news like that!

On the upside, I have dental insurance now. The downside of that is that there're no dentists in town that're in "in network" for our plan. The other downside is that our plan only pays $1,000 a year. Awesome. So, since our dentist is out of network, and I refuse to drive an hour to find one that is, our insurance won't pay upfront for their portion. The dentists office files a claim, Delta decides what they will pay, and they cut a check to us since we had to pay upfront.

The only good thing about today's appointment was that now I know what I'll need done and what it'll cost, at least initially. I also got antibiotics and painkillers (yay, hydrocodone, boo that it makes me crazy nauseous). Of course, the pharmacist says that the amoxicillin will reduce the effectiveness of "the pill," which is something I knew but it made me groan anyway. Matt'll just looooooooooooove that. Whatever, he can cope.

What really sucked, though, was all this tooth pain really ruined my birthday. The stuff surrounding my birthday was nice. I got nice gifts and lots of nice well-wishes on Facebook, but I couldn't have birthday cake (because anything resembling sugar makes my teeth go crazy), which really bummed me out. I know it's juvenile, a now-34 year old woman pouting over not having a birthday cake, but it's something I really look forward to. I also had two killer, 8 on a scale of 1-10, toothaches yesterday.

And, the icing on the cake seemed to be that I was really, really depressed yesterday. No one wants to be depressed on their birthday, but with tooth pain, an impending dentists appointment, no birthday cake, and the fact that Matt got up at 2:30pm and went to work at 6:30pm (and two of those four hours he completely ignored me in favor of TV and video games), well, I wasn't feeling all sparkly and happy. But hey, there's always next year and by then I should have all this tooth business straightened out. I hope.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

13 Theses

13 bindery-ready copies of my thesis...

I'm taking them to the graduate office tomorrow morning and then I'll be completely done. I've made three copies on bond (25% cotton rag/20 lb. paper) and ten copies to regular paper. The process has consumed one ream of bond, three reams of copy & print paper, four ink cartridges, 26 labels, and 13 large manila envelopes. It took approximately 10 hours to print, at 40-45 minutes per print. But you know what? It's done! Completely done. Three to five months from now, I'll have bound copies. I couldn't be happier!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

#300: Happy (Early) Birthday/Graduation to Me

It's almost my birthday. I'll be 34 years old this year. I know a lot of people who had trouble turning 30. My mom did, she cried on her 30th birthday. I had no problems turning 30, or 31, or any year to come after, and I have no problem being 34. I actually like being in my early 30s. I'm at the point in my life that I feel, and am treated, like an adult. The only thing I don't like about being in my 30s is all the questions & comments I get about my biological clock and not having kids. Otherwise, the 30s is ideal for me.

When I was 31, I graduated with my BA. Now that I'm turning 34, I'm about to graduate with my MA. The 30s have been great for me. This year, Matt's gotten me a really nice gift to celebrate my birthday and graduation. Check it out...

I've been dying, and I do mean dying, to have a MacBook Pro. I absolutely love them, so this year Matt decided that I should have one since my birthday and graduation were so close together. I ordered it earlier in the week and it was here a day or so later. So far, I'm loving it. Happy 34th birthday/graduation to me!

The thing is, this gift signifies things looking up for us. He wants to encourage me to write, to really write, and this gift does that. But it's more than that, turning 34 is awesome because we're finally starting to get our lives together this year. All the way together. This year, we're both done with college--well, Matt graduated last year--we're doing okay right now. We're both happy and things are looking up. I just hope I can make something of my writing and make this amazing birthday/graduation gift worth it.

Oh, and while we're on the topic of my birthday, I got a neat little gift in the mail...

Matt smokes, so Marlboro is always offering us promotional materials. Usually, it's just coupons for cigarettes and they always come to me because I'm the one who signed up for them. They sent me a box in the mail, a pretty neat box, too, and when I opened it those sunglasses were inside. I can't wear them because they won't fit over my glasses, but I thought they were fun anyway.

So there you have it, my birthday so far, and it's not even here yet! It's been really nice so far. Oh and this is my 300th post, to boot!  :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Writing Progress & a (Short) Excerpt

I'm just going to put this out there, because I'm really excited. The motivation to work on my novel's back now that my thesis, and grad school with it, is finished. I've been reading, enjoying the beginning of the summer, and relaxing. That little bit of rest and relaxation, now that I'm graduate school stress-free, has renewed my enthusiasm for writing.

So, of course, I'm working on Love's Daughter (working title) and today, for the first time, I've made some progress. And yes, I've been working on this novel on and off (mostly off) for several years. Don't judge, I've been busy. So, to celebrate that progress and the fact that I'm back in the spirit of this thing and finally have the time to actually write, I put up the tracker widget on the sidebar.

For the heck of it, here's a snippet of what I've written so far. And do try to remember, the genre is *whispers conspiratorially* contemporary romance. If you'd like to read the synopsis really quickly, click here (it's the second entry, of course, and needs some updating).

Okay, *breathe* here goes...
Holly cringed and gave me the look of pity friends are never supposed to give. Nick Foster is, to this day, the most beautiful man I've dated. I shook my head like it didn't matter, but the fact was it still hurt a little. They all still hurt a little, even the really amusing ones like my break-up with Greg Mills, a polite financier with a charming old Victorian in Noe Valley, who, for the life of him could not seem to stay awake in my presence. He swore up and down that he wasn't normally like this, that he was on the whole very engaging. All I could think was that it was either me or he was a liar, but either way we had broken up and he had gone on to marry a model last year, a woman apparently worth staying awake for. At least Nick Foster wasn't married, yet.

With that, I'm off. It's already 1:35 a.m. and I should be in bed so I can be awake tomorrow to wait for the delivery of my graduation/birthday gift. I can't wait to share with you what it is. I'm so excited!

Good night!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Restless Rambling

I'm feeling a tad bit restless tonight. Matt's on his fifth 12-hour shift in a row and after having only one day off, last Wednesday. He won't have another day off until this coming Wednesday. He'll have worked eight 12-hour shifts in nine days by the time that day off arrives. The poor guy is exhausted, but for me this means I only see him about four hours a day. He works and sleeps and I get him in the afternoons. I spend a lot of time alone right now, which can be both a blessing and a curse.

I'm not really great at being alone, but I do like the peace and quiet, being able to shut off the TV and the air conditioner (he freezes me out when he's here), read a book whenever I want (which is what I've been doing lately), make myself whatever food I like. Still, I miss him and get lonely, which isn't normally a problem because he works rotating shifts. One week he'll work five days (Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday), the next week, only two (Wednesday & Thursday). Overtime right now, while he trains for the new position he's gotten, is wreaking havoc on both of us--but it's for a really good reason!

So let's see, what's new? The truth is, not a whole heck of a lot. I've been reading like a mad woman, I think I've devoured five or six books in the last week or so, many of which I've posted reviews for at my book blog, but certainly not all. I'm reading mostly self-published books right now, some of which I like, others of which I don't so much like. Other than that, we had a quiet July 4th holiday, ate in and went to the local fireworks display--which wasn't as good this year as it has been in previous years, but we did have Ricky Scaggs!

My thesis stuff is moving right along. I got good and bad news today. The good news: my thesis is completely done and ready to be printed to bond. Yay!  The bad news: I'm going to have to file for some substitutions so that the classes I've taken apply correctly for my degree. This substitution issues is not on me, I've taken all of the right stuff, but since our school has started using a new program called DegreeWorks, everything's sort of screwed up. So, Dr. Y and I get to work on filing for those substitutions so I can graduate in August.

Speaking of which, do you know how much it costs to actually graduate? It's insane!  Let me break this down for you...

  • Cap, Gown, Hood, & Stole: $102

  • Copies and supplies to print thesis: $100

  • Thesis Copyright/ProQuest fee: $55

  • Thesis bindery fee: $162

Yeah, even without invitations and all that fancy crap, this thing is going to run me about, oh, $420! That doesn't even include getting a new dress and shoes for graduation! It's not cheap to be done. I'm not looking forward to shelling out all of that money, but you know, to be done I think it just might be worth it! The bindery fee includes 10 extra copies of the thesis, but still, it's crazy what this thing is going to cost me. I think I'll take stock of what will get one and rather than getting 10 extras, just get the ones I need (which is closer to, like, 8 or so). Well, let's see... my parents, my ILs, and each of my three committee professors, I guess that's only five! That'll save me about $63 if I only get the five I need, rather than ten. The issue here is that they only cost $12.50 per additional copy now, but if I want to get one later, it'll cost me $55. So, they're cheaper right now than they will be later on.

Whatever, anyway, that's what's going on with me right now. Once my summer aid check hits the bank this week I can go make the final, FINAL copies of my thesis, take them to the Grad office, and be done with it. Amen! For now, I think I'll go devour another book or watch Hell's Kitchen. I don't know, I guess I had hoped rambling on a bit here would alleviate my restlessness... but no such luck.

Good night