Tuesday, 27 February 2007

More dentistry

So I had to go for a teeth cleaning today. I hadn't been for a while, and it is the right thing to do. And, as much as I totally detest going to the dentist, I have found that the people that do the cleaning at UPMC Dental are actually pretty decent.

So I get there, and I know that I have a co-pay of 5 bucks. A very trivial amount, that is, I have absolutely no problem paying for it, since that's what I paid for.

But paying it BEFORE I received treatment? Am I alone to believe that it should be the other way around?

I am confused!

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Photographic evidence to scare you away.

The Burgh is tricky. It has tricky winters. Some years it snows really hard for a couple of days, and it paralyzes everything - roads, school schedules, plumbing pipes, name it.

A couple of weeks ago, (if you remember my St. Valentine's post), a snow storm was forecasted. Lo and behold, it actually happened. I missed two half days at work, it was a bitch to ride a bus, and the a/c was cranking around the clock. But it made for really cool pictures, just like this.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Girl Scout Cookies.

Anyone familiar with this crack-like addiction? Personally, I have never purchased one single package of those things, but my husband could possibly live off Thin Mint Cookies (hey, he could live off Oreos, but that is a matter for another discussion).

So I thought I was safe, but how wrong I was.

See, Edy's brand has introduced Girl Scout Cookies Ice Cream. And anything that contains both ice cream and cookies is by default a favourite, unless it contains some vile flavour such as fig, see weed or lentils.

So I am having a glorious bowl of caramel ice cream with Samoan bits and hope that my scale will not phone its attorney the moment I step on it... But short is life!

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Dentistry blues

So I need a root canal.

I broke an old teenage-era filling some weeks ago, and after some back and forthing related to the misprinting of my insurance card, I finally manage to schedule an appointment for an examination and maybe a filling, for today. Only to be told when I got there, that I will need to schedule another appointment (with a different doctor) for that (the root canal).

Dude. Aren't all dentists created equal? Back in Greece, my dentist would do fillings, cleansings, root canals, name it. And do it pretty well. And wouldn't cost me much, even w'out insurance. Not to mention that "dental insurance" was a first for me when I moved in da Burgh.

So, even with the aforementioned dental insurance, I still have to fork out something over 400 bucks. How cute. The actual price for the root canal is 700 something, and that's without the filling and the crown. When I heard the price I totally spaced out, took a copy of the expenses analysis and left.

Now I 'll have to call them back all over to ask them if they can arrange for montly payments.


Sunday, 18 February 2007

Music, dance and good food.

Most of my friends here in Blogger might know or not that I participate in a medieval reenactment group. I enjoy doing lots of things with the folks over there, but one of the most favourite ones are playing music and dancing. So it happened that yesterday an event was hosted that was all about music and dance. I spent my day in a very nice bunch of rooms in a Student Union, played the recorder and drum, ate nice quiches and breads with yummy cheese spreads and baklava and mince pies till I gave myself such a sugar rush that I could go all the way playing along behind the minstrel's parapet.

I don't call this blog "minstrelrin" without a reason. I have been playing music almost all my life, though rather classical and modern than medieval and early renaissance. Discovering these musics with a medium other than a CD recording is one of the most awesome things I had hoped to experience. And playing with other musicians that share that vision is priceless.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

The whole package

If we forget about the teddy bear, but I am more a koala person rather than a teddy bear person.

Which means that I got home to find flowers, chocolates, and BBC's Pride and Prejudice 2DVD box set. And that's without the preliminary presents.

I have to say, I got him chocolates too. With a koala on the box.

Why today instead of tomorrow, you might wonder. Well, we are in a middle of a snow storm and tomorrow it's going to be even worse. So, the flowers had to be bought today, and you can't really hide flowers, can you?


Happy Valentine's Day. Show love to someone, even though that someone might whine that "this is for schoolkids", cause deep down noone really believes so!

Monday, 12 February 2007

Good, wholesome weekends

Those are something that needs some work, you know. Like, deciding how much to sleep in! Deciding if it's worth it to fight temperatures of -18oC just to avoid suffering from cabin fever around Sunday afternoon. And, most important, one has to make self ready to fight the Saturday evening/night crowds that invariably swarm any location that might provide entertainment.

Thankfully, both my husband and I like pretty much the same things. Drinks, dinner, shooting pool, hitting golf balls at the practice range. The golf ball part will have to wait for another couple of months because of the weather, so opting for the rest of the list was rather wise.

Let me tell you now, that I am a mediocre pool player, while hubby is a damn good one (TM). Still though, out of sheer luck, I managed to win, which was cathartic. Pool is a game that is supposed to obey the laws of physics, which is reassuring by itself. Playing it on a table that is well maintained and cared for, makes it even better. There's nothing worse than playing on poor tables that send the ball anywhere but where you aimed for. But thankfully, our local joint has a very good reputation, which is responsible sometimes for the waiting list that is often created.

What can I say, I like places that do not resemble dumps. For that matter, the evening was concluded at a middle tier restaurant, where I was served the biggest slice of cheesecake ever known to man because I am so special. Scratch that. I think they did that because it was 11:00 p.m. and they'd dispose the rest of it anyway!

Friday, 9 February 2007

There is a thing to be said..

..about cereal bars for breakfast. One is never enough, and more than one beats the principle of dieting.

I guess I will have to grow a pair of willpower and suck it, but it is Friday and I want this week to be over, not that it is horrible or anything, just went through too fast for my liking and relaxation will be much appreciated. Combined with a beer or a girly drink, preferably.

This weekend, I want to cook. Meaning, buying raw ingredients and cook something from scratch. I have all those really nifty cookbooks and I haven't used them since I was working part time. (There is a thing to be said about working full time, but that is material for another post).

If I manage to cook, I'll post pictures. That will give me some initiative!

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Hot cocoa fixes everything

Hunger attack, stomach cramps, cold weather, name it.

We expected some snow today, but it only dusted for a bit in the morning, then it was back being sunny and cold. I left my office today to send a birthday gift to a girlfriend - it was actually pleasant enough to go for that walk.

Then, I came back and I wanted to eat my stapler.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Ok, so Superbowl was really blah.

The pre-game show was boring, short and uninspired. The game itself was bizzare, it was raining all the time and the players didn't know what to do with it for a good chunk of time, the commercials were mainly bland, with the exception of a couple of them (like the No Speak English Bud Light commercial, that one made me laugh a lot); however, the company was great, and the winter food (chili and potatoes) was eaten to the scrapes of the pot. I also had a pot of mulled cider on the stove which was a big hit.

At least the Sundays will be football-free now, which makes way for other potential pastimes.

Sunday, 4 February 2007


Stay tuned.

(which means, that there will be a bunch of people watching the game here, I will be slaving myself over making certain they are fed and drank, and at the same time get a glimpse of the pre-game show, by Cirque de Soleil. Which interests me way more than the game itself - after all, the local team here managed to screw itself out of a place in the play offs while being the "defending champions" at the same time. Sic transit gloria mundi, as the old pirate at the Asterix comics once said. Maybe next year...