15 July 2010

Wacky Wednesdays: Yesterday's Deal

Wacky Wednesdays are dedicated to whatever subject, no matter how random, I feel like discussing. Today's theme is teeth. It is a bit of a spin off from health and wellness.

I had a root canal done yesterday. My endodontist (root canal specialist) is an hour and a half drive from here. Therefore, I drove for about three hours in order to have the procedure done.

My first root canal I had in Japan. I cannot remember exactly, but I think it took about five visits to complete the task. I was not numb when my dentist poured down 200° substance into my gums. OUCH! When I came back to the U.S., my dentist said that it needed to be redone and sent me to the endodontist. My botched root canal was more expensive to have redone than yesterday's as well as more time consuming. The redo took about 2 hours and yesterday I only spent a bit over an hour in the chair. 

Overall, I am feeling better today. I am happy that I received a new root canal before getting a new crown for that tooth. I did not see the point in getting a new crown and having to drill through it for the root canal. Next week the new crown will be put in. I hope that this will end my barrage of headaches, migraines (both of which subsided greatly after getting a temporary crown), jaw pain, and slight tooth throbbing. 

Again, without feeling well, it is difficult to muster the energy to accomplish anything. I hope that now I will not have any excuses for not performing out necessary tasks. Here's to happy teeth!!!

13 July 2010

Toastmasters: Montana Girl

I completed project #6 "Vocal Variety" at today's Toastmasters meeting. There were only five of us, including myself, which made for a very different atmosphere. I was not quite feeling it, which is unfortunate but okay never-the-less.

I am now the Sergeant at Arms and it is my job to tally the votes. One vote was for somebody that did not participate in a particular category and it threw me off. I think that I should have tied for "Best Speaker" with the other person, but I do not feel right voting for myself. (It is not as though it's for a presidential race or anything.) Essentially, do to my misinterpretation, I did not win this time. I think she had the better speech anyway. I am now 5/6 for "Best Speaker," which is still quite excellent.

Here is my speech (again it is not exactly what I said) followed by the only two comments I received:

Montana Girl

I was about 12 years old when my best friend Dandy invited me along to her uncle Louie’s ranch to have one of those true Montana experiences. Being from Missoula and pretty much a Montana version of a city slicker, I leaped at the chance to be able to go horse-back riding and hang out on the ranch for a day. Little did I know what I’d be in for.

I didn’t really know what to wear. I wasn’t equipped with the usual cowgirl get-up. I had to make due with a t-shirt, jeans, and hiking boots. I figured that at least the hiking boots were good for the outdoors and had a slight heel for riding horses. Dandy was not well versed in matters of farm issues either. She was dressed in a similar fashion, but was instead shod in penny loafers without socks.

After I met the ranch crew and was shown toward the corral, Dandy insisted that I get into the manure encrusted pen that contained cows that were enshrouded in their own feces. As you can imagine, I refused. Eventually, Dandy and I were both prodded to climb into the ring with the calves to throw them down one-by-one.

As we were both small girls, we could not wrestle the calves down properly. (Demonstration of a cow being turned over by means of using your knee.) Dandy and I would chase down a baby bovine, grab its hind legs while trying not to get kicked, and essentially trip it. (Demonstration.) It was honestly a bit unnerving at first. Getting kicked in the head isn’t my idea of a pleasant afternoon on the ranch.

After we managed to take one down, one person had to sit on the calf’s neck (demonstration) and another person had to be on the back end spreading the bull’s legs apart (demonstration). After we were in place, Uncle Louie would get out his butterfly knife. (Knife sounds.) The bull was then castrated. The removed parts would go into a bucket, maybe to make Rocky Mountain oysters for later. A branding iron would also sear the flesh of any calf. They were also de-horned using a similar iron to that of the brand. (Searing noises.)

Dandy and I were starting to get pretty good at taking down the calves after we became accustomed to the smell and feel of the ever-present cow pies. We were almost done when Dandy was holding down the back end of a baby bull as Uncle Louie did some fancy cutting. Dandy’s exposed ankles were getting bloody when Uncle Louie decided to shove some bull testicles up Dandy’s jean pant legs. I couldn’t have been happier to see the look on Dandy’s face, which was not only of disgust, but also that of wanting to vomit. It served her right for making me roll around in manure all day.

Eventually, Dandy and I were rewarded by going horse-back riding with the ranch crew. As there weren’t enough horses, Dandy and I were forced to share a gentle horse named Peaches. She didn’t seem to mind Dandy in the saddle and me riding just behind on the blanket. But, I sure minded that Dandy would not let me sit in the saddle after an hour or more of riding pretty much bareback. I had the privilege of riding on Peaches’ rump for most of our journey. After a lot of kvetching, I was able to ride in the saddle for about 10 minutes. When we got to the gates of the ranch, Dandy was so angry that I was in the saddle that she walked the mile back to the house. She thought that riding on the rump was torture—as though I loved it immensely! It made me even happier that Uncle Louie decided to put some Rocky Mountain oysters up her pant leg.

After a day’s worth of hard work, a lot of complaining, a sore butt from Peaches, and Dandy and I fighting on and off all day, I was pretty tired. Being a cowgirl is not what I thought it was cracked up to be, but I found a deeper sense of appreciation and respect for what many Montanans go through. And I’m proud to say I’m a Montana girl. Oh, and that I’m still friends with Dandy.

  • "Great story of the 'true Montana experience' that most Montana kids have or should have! Watch the 'you know's' Good job!
  • "Fun story. Great job with no notes again."
My evaluator felt that I used good volume, rate, pauses, and most other vocal devices. Yet, as for my vocal pitch, it "changed-but maybe making your pitch change more." Essentially, the sentiment for improving was to use more emotion and differing pitches. 

Ultimately, I did not feel that today's speech was an improvement over my last presentation. However, practice makes perfect. I will certainly continue to improve. Plus, I am almost done with the first manual, Competent Communication. I am very excited at this prospect. Onwards and upwards!