Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving Aftermath

To be honest, I was somewhat torn between going home for Thanksgiving and staying up here in the Bay Area. On one hand, I wanted to stay behind and hang out with my friends, whom I haven't seen since I left for dental school. On the other hand, I knew that this Thanksgiving would be the first one without my grandmother and my uncle, and without our cousins and their children, who normally come around this time of year. Filial piety won out, so I flew home early Wednesday night to LAX.

The strangest thing about coming back to Los Angeles was how foreign it had become after six months living in San Francisco. I've grown so used to being surrounded by multistoried buildings and public transportation, as well as staring at computer screens, teeth, and other assorted small objects seventeen inches away from me. I'm positive my depth perception, as well as my driving instincts, have suffered.

Even going home seemed like taking a vacation. I was being transported to some otherworldly corner of suburbia with rolling hills and cliffs overlooking the sea. At this point in my life I'm not sure whether I would like to return home and take over my father's practice, but I do realize that a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm enjoying city life here in SF. The convenience of walking down the street to get something from the store, not having to pay insurance or upkeep of a car, and not paying for GAS... that one's pretty huge.

We'll see how this goes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Candy Corn

A couple nights ago, I dreamt that I went to a Japanese store to buy some groceries.

The day before, I had read about milled rice and polished rice, and how they are used to brew sake.

This time, the Japanese market had set up an entire rice station, equipped to look like a giant Starbucks with bags of rice filling the shelves instead of coffee. The man behind the counter was quite the salesman, offering me free samples and encouraging me to run my fingers through the open bags. “You won’t find a finer rice anywhere!”

I ended up buying a 20-lb bag of polished sake rice. The label said it was milled down to 30% of its size. The only problem was that my bag was contaminated with pretzel sticks and candy corn.

Then, I tried to buy a dozen eggs. I figured I could save space by cracking the eggs into a bowl and carting it all out the door that way.

After doing all this, I realized I had everything I wanted at home already

So, I left my rice and eggs in a corner of the Japanese store and walked out. I was worried that I’d be recognized as that asshole who cracked a dozen eggs into one of their bowls and left, and that they’d never allow me to shop there again.

But I figured, it serves them right to throw candy corn into my rice.

I hate candy corn.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Crawford, TX

Last night I dreamt that I was at President Bush's ranch at Crawford, Texas. I was sitting in the living room with him and his Cabinet, trying to get a point across to him. I was saying, "No, no -- look, George, let me put this in terms you can understand."

I pulled out a typodont filled with really crooked teeth. Some were chipped and broken down beyond repair. Most were filled with old, dull silver amalgam fillings that had clearly fallen into disrepair.

"This," I said, "is what your poll numbers look like right now."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Settlers of Catan

Justin: Do you have any wood?
Aaron: If you're looking for wood, I'm the wrong guy to ask.

Later that evening...

Pete: Do you have wood?
Aaron: Yeah, I do. Do you have any sheep?

And even later

Justin: What good are all these sheep if I don't have any wood?

Sunday, November 13, 2005


We're learning some pretty interesting stuff in our cariology course. Namely, that dental caries is an infectious disease, caused by only a couple malicious strains of bacteria in our mouth, transmitted from mother to child. Got cavities? Go thank your mother.

That, and that xylitol - a naturally occuring sugar substitute - does wonders. You might have seen it on the new packs of Trident gum - "Now with Xylitol!" You can actually reduce or eliminate the levels of the bad bacteria, just by chewing xylitol gum or sucking on xylitol mints. There are also studies that have shown that mothers with newborns can reduce the incidence of childhood caries by 40-70% just by chewing xylitol gum all the time.

How does it work? As our professor explained it, "Xylitol is like broccoli for s. mutans and lactobacilli. When you chew xylitol gum and flood your mouth with xylitol, the bad bacteria basically say, 'Hell, if that's all you're serving at the buffet, I'm gonna eat somewhere else!'"

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I have an anatomy midterm and lab practical in 15 minutes.

For the last hour, I haven't done any studying; I figure, any new information that comes through my head will simply push the old information out. Instead, I've been doing -- uh -- web research and have found a bevy -- no, a plethora -- of marvelous things.

For example,

A sculpture of Darth Vader and Yoda, carved from a 1000-lb block of butter, prominently featured at the Tulsa State Fair.