Happy 100th Birthday, Pitt News

The last weekend in October was Pitt's Annual Homecoming celebration.  DH and I are both proud Pitt alums but as I think is probably the case at any incredibly large university, it's harder to get excited about a big, general event because so much of the collegiate experience for students at large universities are the little sub-groups that students create for themselves.  At smaller schools you can go to a homecoming event and feel relatively confident that you'll see at least a few people that you know.  But at Pitt events, it's extremely likely that you'll show up and not see one single face that you recognize unless you planned to meet up with people.

For us, our biggest subgroup was being part of The Pitt News, the university's student newspaper.  This year marked the 100th anniversary of the Pitt News being in print, and so Pitt's Homecoming theme was loosely centered around the student newspaper.

The Cathedral was all lit up and the pumpkins spelled "Homecoming"


We had never attended a Homecoming event before, but we decided that this was going to be the year if we were going to go.  Besides, it was free so we figured that we had nothing to lose than a little time.  We had low expectations so maybe that's why I so impressed.

View from the second floor

First of all, the Commons room was all lit up and decorated for fall.  Right at the entrance there was a Pitt News table and we immediately saw people that we knew.  It took us almost half an hour to meander our way to the back of the room where the free drinks were!  That's right, free drinks and free food.  It may sound childish, but drinking an adult beverage in the Cathedral felt downright scandalous, and I loved it.

I ran into people that I haven't seen in ages, including the person who hired me for a job at the Pitt News on the spot when I went for my interview simply because he liked me.  I often think about the "ifs" in life - if I hadn't gotten that job that day and instead was employed somewhere else on campus, I would most likely never have met my now husband. 

Did I mention how much I loved free drinks in the Cathedral?

Wearing my Pitt gold glow necklace - DH refused to wear his blue one

Some of the nationality rooms had blown up images of some of the front pages from the last 100 years of newspapers.  The quality of the reproductions was horrendous and for the most part all of the images just looked like big black blobs, but the idea was nice, and we spent some time walking through some of the rooms, particularly the room that held the papers from the years that we worked there.

Here's what we didn't know - free drinks usually mean limited drinks, and when I excitedly acquired two more drink tickets (each person was given two at the door) I was disappointed to learn that there was only red wine left.  I pretty much HATE red wine.  But it was free, so I took two and went back to share with others. 

After the festivities in the Cathedral ended, we decided to go to our favorite bar/restaurant in Oakland, where we met up with a few of the current Pitt News staffers.  DH asked the question that he had been dying to ask:  "Do we seem as old as older Pitt Newers seems to us?"  Basically, "Are we as weird and boring and lame as those other people?" (They knew who we were talking about.)

They were kind enough to say no, but there's nothing like a Homecoming event full of 18 to 22 year-olds to make two almost-30-somethings like us feel our age.

We Ran The Lights! Well... sort of

On Wednesday morning I remembered that the Run The Lights event at Hartwood Acres was tonight.  Hmmm... what's a girl to do?  Wednesday morning was something of a hurricane, with crazy wind and tree branches everywhere.  Would I really want to run in that?

I e-mailed my sister that afternoon to see if she was still interested in going.  Turns out she was not.  Shoot.  So now I either need to make the decision not to go or try to convince my husband to go with me.

Thankfully he made that decision for me.  He agreed to go with me as long as I was with walking instead of running.  I was ok with that.

So we headed out shortly before 7 p.m. and arrived around 7:20 or so.  It was then that we both realized that this is event is waaaaaaay bigger than we had ever imagined.  We had to wait in line just to pull into the parking lot.  Then we had to be directed by at least a half dozen police officers who were directing traffic until we were finally pointed to a parking space.  Phew.  I'm happy to report that that was the worst part of the evening.  I was majorly regretted my decision to do this when we were sitting in traffic for 15 minutes prior.

So we loaded a school bus and headed to Hartwood.  Once off the bus we gave a monetary donation, got some jingle bells, and utilized a really nasty port-a-potty that was so dark it was only usable thanks to the flashlight app on the Droid.

And then we were off.

First, I will say this - after walking through the lights at Hartwood Acres, I can't understand why anyone in their right mind would want to drive through them instead.  Walking through them is such a better experience.  You can see everything without having to crane your neck to look at your window.  You can hear the music.  It's a more all-encompassing experience and I highly recommend.

That said, Hartwood needs to extend this event to two nights instead of just one.  There were SO. MANY. PEOPLE. there.  It was ridiculous.  Some people were trying to run (it's called "Run the Lights" after all) but the majority of people were just walking.  And by "walking" I really mean taking a super leisurely stroll.  The path is really just a one lane road, so a family of 5 walking side by side can easily fill the entire path.  On top of that, many sections of the course were two-way traffic meaning that usually meant that only 3 or so people wide in either direction was appropriate unless you wanted to run into someone.

Whenever there was a clearing in the opposing traffic DH and I would jog around the clusters of slow walkers, then go back to walking until we caught up with the next cluster of slow people.  It was sometimes annoying, but we actually got a better workout since we don't usually incorporate short jogs in our normal walks together. 

We decided to skip the free cookies, hot chocolate, and coffee that was offered just after the Hartwood mansion.  After all, I skipped my CCAC exercise class to do this, so there was no way that I was going to negate my workout by eating more calories!

We finished in what felt like record time.  My general thoughts on this experience are as follows:
1. Do this at least once in your life - it's worth it
2. Go early or go late - do not go right after dinner

And, well, that's pretty much it!  It's so much cooler to walk through them than to drive, your donations go to charity so you can feel good about yourself, and you get a workout. Of course, it's not happening again until next year, but mark your calendars now!

(Or don't... since the date for next year hasn't actually been determined yet.  I've failed.)

Happy Turkey Day

I hope that everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving.  We went to my hometown for the first time in a long time, and it was nice to not be the one cooking the turkey. 

Instead, we were in charge of mashed potatoes (which we almost failed epically at - seriously, how do you fail at mashed potatoes?) and rolls, which were amazing, and looked like this.

Then I was the proud winner of this turkey mask.

But when it came to a vote as to who was a better turkey, my sister won.

Oh well, I can't win them all. 

We had a good time, spent with family and food and drinks. Probably a few too many drinks given the state of my head on the drive home the next day.  So needless to say, by the end of the evening I felt like this.

But it was all worth it.

The four day weekend was much needed and definitely enjoyed.  I can't wait until the longer Christmas break in just a few weeks!

The Big 3-0

It's no secret that our thirtieth birthday is just around the corner.  Considering that our birthdays are only two weeks apart, there's no real sense in trying to "surprise" each other or have a separate celebration for this one - too much strain on the friends and family.

So, now the questions is: "What should we do for our 30th birthday!?!??!"

For months and months (maybe even a full year) when people ask what we're planning for our 30th (because apparently we MUST be planning something!), DH would jokingly say: "Bon Jovi and Smash Mouth."

We hear we might actually have a chance at getting Smash Mouth to play at our party.

If we wanted them to.

Which we don't. 

But ever since Bon Jovi announced that he'd rather play at the Consol on February 11th instead of our birthday party in late January, we've had to figure out a plan B.

Because Smash Mouth is NOT our plan B.

So I need some feedback - what should we do?  Here are the current ideas that we're throwing around.

Option 1: Small gathering at our house.  We can park about 12 cars in our driveway, as long as no one needs to leave.  As long as people carpooled, we could probably get at least 30 people here, if not more.

Option 2: Big gathering at our house.  We'd had to work out the logistics of where people would park and how they would get to the house, but we have a lot of space in our house and so the idea of throwing a big party at our place isn't totally out of the ballpark.  On the flipside though, do I really want to plan a big party at our house?  Planning, set up, clean up... ugh.  Could be a pain. 

Option 3: Rent a cheap venue and throw a big bash. Some place with plenty of parking. Invite as many people as we want. We'd provide some adult beverages and perhaps get some appetizers but nothing overly fancy.

Option 4: Reserve a room at a restaurant or bar, invite anyone who wants to come and do a "pay your own way" sort of deal, for food, drink, etc.

Thoughts?? Other ideas??? Please vote for your favorite option in the comments section below - this is only two months away so we need to start planning!

Two Rooms in Two Weeks

This past weekend we completed the second room in our home renovations project.

And we are definitely ready for a break after this one.  My feelings about completing two rooms in two weeks can be summed up with two words - too much.

Here is the spare bedroom "before:"

Notice the total lack of overhead lights? Well, actually, you can't notice them in this picture, since the ceiling isn't in the shot.  But trust me - there are no overhead lights.  Most of our rooms in this house don't have overhead lights, and that was one of the major reasons we wanted to do these renovations so bad.

So DH drilled holes in the ceiling, which not only created massive amounts of dust in the bedroom...

...but it created dust throughout the entire house.

See the white specks in the air? 

But then there was light!

And so we started to paint.

And we painted some more.  No need to go into a ton of detail about this - if you've ever painted, you know how that goes.  But I can tell you that the color is called Gobi Desert, and that we decided to go with more neutral tones (compared to the bold color we used in our dining room) because we figure that the bedrooms may change in their purposes and what they contain, whereas we're pretty sure the dining room will always be the dining room and will always just have dining room furniture.  We didn't want to commit to a life of having to deal with a certain dramatic color scheme if we wanted to do something as simple as buying a new comforter. 

One of the interesting things that you might not know about Hartman's is that the Hartman way of painting includes no blue painting tape. At all.  You simply buy an expensive edger brush, lie on the floor with your head mere inches away from the baseboard, and you create a perfectly straight line using only that big, bulky brush.  Oh, and curse softly under your breath when you make a mistake but quickly fix said mistake with a damp tissue and a fingernail.  I now have a new skill that I can add to my resume - Master Edger.

By 10 p.m. on Sunday night, we were finally done.

This is the rug that we had in the dining room short term

I absolutely hated that rug when it was in the dining room.  In fact, I had major regrets about it's purchase at all (we had a $200 store credit that we needed to use by a certain date, and so we purchased this rug for $250 and then stored it for over a year.)   But in this room I actually like it, and it looks great with the bedspread that you can see in the first picture (although the bed won't in this room once we're done.)

We finally have overhead lights.  I was initially skeptical about putting recessed lights in these rooms.  For some reason recessed lights seems really tacky to me.  I also wasn't convinced that these lights were worth all of the work that DH was putting into them.  But we bought really nice, really expensive light covers that softened the harshness that I associate with recessed lighting, and DH is the one who did most of the work anyway, so I think I'm sold.  I wish there were other lighting options for us - namely, ceiling fan lights - but unfortunately our ceilings are way too low for anything like that.

The hard work for this room is mostly done, but we still need to sand and pain the closet doors (short-term project) as well as refinish the floor and paint the trim (long-term project.)  Additionally, we need to think carefully about how we put the furniture back in this room because we want to set this up to function as both our office and our spare bedroom for the short-term so that we don't feel obligated to finish the next room in such a short amount of time.  I think we were pretty much ready to bite each others heads off by the end of this project because we felt so rushed and so on edge about the whole thing. 

I definitely want to continue this renovation project, but we need to start taking the tortoise approach, instead of sprinting through like the hare. And, I have a book that I'm only half way through that I started six weeks ago.  I need some "me" time.  I'm so glad the holidays are just around the corner!

The Way We Roll

We're well into phase 2 of the house renovation project - converting the current spare bedroom into the new office and giving it a facelift in the process.

Its Saturday night, and we left a Thanksgiving themed party at 10:30 so that we could come home and put a second coat of paint on the ceiling.  Some people might call us lame, or perhaps dedicated, or maybe even crazy.  And I'd probably have to agree with all three of those descriptions.  But that's ok, that's just how we roll. Literally and figuratively.

Ha ha!

Wow. Yeah, I'm definitly lame.

How in the world, Part 3 - The Garage

Picking up where I left off oooohhhh so long ago...

(Need a refresher? See Part 1 and Part 2)

While I was slaving away in the dining room pulling up staples and tack strips, my husband decided that exact moment was the perfect moment to reorganize our garage.

The back of the garage cleared out and ready for new organizational methods

Don't get me wrong, our garage needed some major reorganization, and I absolutely do see the value of having a thoughtful arranged garage (especially since we don't have an attic and our garage is our only storage.)  But I did not agree that the garage need to be organized on this particular night, at this particular moment.

Which is why I have no "before" pictures of the garage.

Also, dogs are great for many reasons and for many things, but dogs are not particularly helpful when you're in a small, cluttered space where you're trying to move things around.  But we're working with storage, right?  So we decided to "store" the dog temporarily while we moved some things around.

Have I mentioned that we have the most tolerant dog in the world?

I'm not really sure what all went into this project (remember? I'm still upstairs in the dining room...) but I do know that it involved building new shelves, moving storage totes to the new shelves, organizing our smaller shelves into categories such as "car care," "electrical," or "gardening," and then filling in the gaps with our heavy machinery and large number of full five-gallon gas cans.  (I have never felt more country bumpkin than I do right now after writing that last sentence.... lordy....)

Yeah, those cans are all full

And then it looked like this. 

Can you tell that I wasn't particularly excited about this project?  I can't think of anything exciting to write about it, other than I love that my duck road sign made it into two of the four pictures in this post.  It was a gift from a past boyfriend and even my now-husband admitted that it was too cool to get rid of.  We just pretend that I always had it...

I admit that the garage does look a whole lot better and I'm glad that my husband is happy.  I just wish we could have done this project together on any other night of the year other than the night that we had just torn up our dining room carpet and I was freaking out about exposed nails in the floor.

Oh well.  Live always has a way of working itself out....


Because I am so excited and proud of the results, and because I am far too tired to spend any amount of time recapping how we got from point A to point B (and because the Steelers are on in less than 5 minutes), I instead present to you without any introduction, Point A and Point B.

The Dining Room - Before

The Dining Room - After

I looove it.  Kicking myself for not doing this earlier, but so so happy that we did it now.

How in the world, Part 2 - The Dining Room

The entire catalyst for the "how in the world" weekend was the dining room.  DH said, out of nowhere, "Let's pull up the carpet!"  Ummm... what???

Let's back up a bit.  You see, I'm a little strange in that I'm not that into hardwood floors.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, because I mean, everyone thinks hardwood floors are great, right?  But I just don't.  Call me crazy, but I think that hardwood floors make a room feel cold and less inviting.  Maybe its because I grew up in a house with carpet, so I think carpet is better.

I know that I'm in the minority on this one, but I just do not understand why people think hardwood floors are soooo amazing and then they go and cover up 80+ percent of them with... wait for it... carpet!!! (Ok, rugs, but rugs are carpet!)  So why not just have carpet in the first place and skip the whole "expose a tiny bit of wood on the sides of the carpet" charade?  I just do not see the appeal.

So needless to say, I did not see the point of pulling up our carpet but I know that DH loves hardwood floors so I agreed that we could start with the dining room.

Here is what the dining room looked like before.

Then DH started tearing out the carpet.

Then we had a nasty dirty floor with tack strips, nails and staples sticking out of the floor.

Then we left to go to Home Depot.

But when we got home from Home Depot, DH decided that he really wanted to organize the garage! Woo hoo! Not.  (Garage organization project will be part

"Wait a second.... I thought we were going to work on the dining room... right?"

But DH decided that organizing the garage was a more pressing task.  I wholeheartedly disagreed.  I argued that we really needed to work on the dining room so that we could move the table back in.  He was persistent about the garage.

I worked for an hour or so with him on organizing the garage but the thought of the disaster that was our dining room waiting for us upstairs was literally eating away at me.  I couldn't focus, and I was cranky and angry.  I could only imagine poor little Murph stepping on a tack strip and getting a nail in his paw, or something equally as sad.  So I quit the garage work and went upstairs.

Here's something interesting about me - when I'm pissed I am incredibly productive.  There's nothing like a little anger to get me motivated to complete a task.  I was angry because I felt like I had been tricked.  DH talked me into this project and then he abandoned it.  It and me.  I realize that he views the garage work as being equally important, but our garage was fine - nothing was any different in it than any other day.  Our dining room, on the hand, was non-existent with our table on our porch and all of our glassware in the kitchen, in my way.  I felt like a fool for letting him getting me excited about pulling up the carpet without getting him to commit to finish it the project that same day.  So I worked my ass off, trying to prove that I didn't need him to finish this. 

I worked on my hands and knees, first trying to pull up staples.  Then I did the backbreaking work of removing tack strips, which should have been easy, but for some reason the wood kept splintering so I had to do it piece by piece by piece.  Then I took a putty knife and went along the floor looking for anything that I might have missed or that was raised up and then I pounded it down.  Then I vacuumed at least three times, trying to get up all of the foam, all of the staples, all of the shards of wood.  I worked so hard that I forgot to take pictures of the messy progress, but you get the idea.

And when I was done it looked like this. 

I was so proud of myself.

But I didn't stop there, because remember, I was pissed, and for me pissed = productive, and I was determined to get my dining room back into order.  So I hauled my butt downstairs and lugged up a massive 8x11 area rug that we had purchased over a year ago (we had store credit that we had to use) to plop down on the floor.  Then I brought in as much of the dining room table as I could (our table is glass and I just can't carry it myself.)

And then it looked like this.

I'm amazing.

That rug isn't going to stay there - we purchased it for our office and it's way too big for this room, but until we redo the office, it was a great placeholder for the dining room. 

Have I mentioned how proud of myself I was??? I did this ON MY OWN.  When I thought for sure there was no way to finish it without my husband.  And maybe it's my pride kicking in, but I actually don't think that the hardwood floors don't look all that bad.

If you're curious about how the garage turned out, that will be covered in installment 3.  But trust me, the garage transformation is not nearly as impressive as it was for the dining room.  *wink*

How in the world, Part 1 - The Door

As I alluded to yesterday, this past weekend became a completely unexpected whirlwind of home renovation projects that will take me three full posts to chronicle.  I decided to start with the simplest and - no surprisingly - most expensive of the projects; our front door.

A few months ago one of the storm panels to the right sidelight of our door fell out. 

 I have no idea how it happened, but it was a somewhat major catastrophe - there was glass everywhere.  We more or less ignored it for the entire summer since it didn't seem like a huge deal, and mentioned the fact that we would need to get a new sooner or later.  But then all of sudden the temperatures dropped into the 20's overnight and it was obvious that major heat was being lost. 

On Saturday before leaving for Home Depot I mentioned the fact that we should start thinking about either replacing the storm window or the entire door.  The door itself was sort of horrible anyway - the handle didn't really work, it was hard to open, the screen door didn't swing shut ever, and in the winter the door would let in so much cold air near the floor that ice actually formed inside the house.  So, new door it is. 

But of course this was a crazy day and DH was in a crazy mood, so after talking to the door guy and getting some price estimates, we walked away with books in hand to look through to see what we liked and not three minutes later we were back at the door desk placing an order and setting up an appointment to have someone come and measure. 

Seriously, how in the world!??!?!

So, $2365 or so later, I realized we're apparently getting a new door.  Great!  I think.... The downside is that this door is costing us over half of our savings, which I really hoped would go towards a new kitchen, which we desperately need.  But that is apparently not to be.

Within the next month or so, our front door is going to go from looking like this:

To looking like this:

Should be nice, right?  Hopefully $2365 worth of nice.  And that thing had better not let in a lick of cold air.

And the craziest thing of all? This is only a tiny part of the craziness that was Sunday, November 7th.... Part 2 and 3 coming soon!

How in the world...???

As you probably (hopefully) know, this past weekend was "fall back" time for Daylight Savings.  Most people that I know interpret this one of two ways.
1. An extra hour of sleep!
2. An extra hour of drinking (bars open until "3," technically)

But my husband is not your average person.  He interprets this extra hour in a completely different way: An extra to work.

So instead of catching up on sleep and books and walks and laundry and giving my pup lots of extra love, I somehow allowed myself to be talked into undertaking some major home renovation projects.

You see, our home is totally livable, but we purchased it from an elderly couple and even though we've lived there for over 3 years now, it still feels... well.... elderly.  Horrible paisley wallpaper borders, white everything, shag carpet in our downstairs bathroom... you get the picture.  So, for the past couple of years we've been "saving" for some home renovations by purchasing Home Depot gift cards and then setting them aside for projects. 

So yesterday, somewhere between a catnap and the cappuccino I wanted so badly, my husband convinced me that we should undertake a somewhat major renovation project.  I was extremely reluctant for about a thousand reasons but finally gave in, and we headed to Home Depot, gift cards in hand.  By 10:10 p.m. last night I was finishing up a project that I ended up completing almost entirely on my own, asking myself "How in the world did he talk me into this?"

Curious to see the results???  Stay tuned!

Run the Lights - With me!

Ever since I ran a 5K on the treadmill in 29 and a half minutes, I've been thinking about ways to get my butt outside to run. I'm not very motivated outdoors - there's no TV watch to there!  But seriously, how pathetic am I if I can't run without watching television?  I know "real" runners probably already consider me to be a fraud for running on a treadmill in the first place.  I want to like to run outside, I just need to get the motivation to do it.

Anyway, I'm not really ready to run a "real race" yet, but I do want to try a run outside. 

Would anyone be interested in joining me?

There are a few races left this year, and I learned about one recently that sounded like it was right up my alley.

The Hartwood Acres Run The Lights event.  http://www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/calendar/2010/hw_1117runlights.pdf

The concept is simple - Hartwood Acres opens a day early for this run, and runners (or walkers) can come anytime between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. to complete the race.  You pay $10, which goes to charity, and get to run through the beautiful Hartwood Acres lights. Outside. 

Flickr image from user Epoch

I think it sounds like fun!  No stress or pressure to finish in a certain amount of time, cool temperatures and beautiful lights.  Is anyone interested?  It's on a Wednesday night (November 17th) and if I can convince anyone to join me I'm thinking we would meet between around 7:30 to catch the shuttle for the run. 

I think this would be a great way to introduce myself to outdoor running.  If you've ever been to Hartwood Acres, you know that the whole thing is a ridiculous over-stimulation of bright, pretty lights.  That's sort of like watching television, right???

If you're interested, please let me know!  And if no one is interested, I may even consider doing this one myself!

If I Can Distract My Brain, My Body WILL Keep Moving

On Monday night I got home from my toning class at CCAC North and was feeling energetic.  I decided to get on the treadmill even though I had just exercised for an hour already, and I was amazing.  I ran 2 miles at 6.5 mph, far faster than I normally run on the treadmill.

That night I decided to set a goal for the next day - run a 5K (3.1 miles) in less than 30 minutes.

I have already mastered the skill of running a 5K; in fact, some weeks I've run as many as 4 in one week.  But I was always leisurely about it, usually running at about 5.5 to 5.7 mph, which is quite a comfortable pace for me.

Enough with comfortable already, I decided.

So Tuesday night I double knotted my sneaks and hit the treadmill (after a 10 minute warm-up on the exercise bike.)  I put the mph's at 6.5 right from the start, and away I went.

At four minutes in, I breathlessly announced, "I'm not sure if this is going to happen tonight...." Only four minutes in and I was ALREADY out of breath with a side cramp and tight calves?  No way was this going to happen.

So I turned my mind off, focused on the television in front of my face, and told myself that if I was still hurting after 10 minutes I could stop.   I didn't feel great at 10 minutes, but I wasn't dieing either, so I decided to persevere.  I focused on watching the Grey's Anatomy episode from 3 weeks ago and my legs just kept moving.

A little past the 1 mile mark I decided to bump the speed down to 6.4 mph.  After I completed the second mile I bumped it down to 6.3.  But I kept going, and I refused to think about anything other than Meredith and McDreamy's baby woes, Christina's continued fear of surgeries, and that new guy that was hitting on the blond doctor for surgeries.

At 29 minutes and 26 seconds, I crossed the 3.1 mile line.

"Holy shit!" I exclaimed to my husband as I threw my arms in the air.  "Proof!... " *pant, pant, pant*, "That if I can just distract my brain long enough," deep breathe, "...my body WILL keep moving."

It was a huge milestone, and AMAZINGLY huge milestone for me.  My first 5K, under 30 minutes.  One of my long term goals on my "life list" (sort of like a bucket list that I've been keeping, but more geared towards just life in general... I'll have to share it sometime soon!) is to run a 5K in less than 30 minutes, outside.

I'm two-thirds of the way there.

A horribly cheesy running pic from a previous post

 NOTE:  I am fully aware that running a 5k is no big deal for anyone who does any sort of running on a regular basis.  But it IS a big deal for me...  I have incredible admiration for people run 10Ks and half-marathons and - good lord - full marathons.  I can't imagine that I will EVER get to that point.

I Survived

Yesterday was my root canal.  It went as well as I could have hoped, but it almost didn't happen at all!

When I arrived at the dentist's office yesterday I was literally shaking and had cold sweats.  I explained the intense pain that I was feeling and how the pain was most intense in three of my bottom and not the top teeth (the one that was supposed to be bad) at all.  In order to confirm that the top tooth was causing the pain in the bottom teeth, he proceeded to put a cotton swab with some gel that was really super cold on my teeth, starting with the top teeth.  The tooth was was "supposed" to be the problem tooth and all of the others around it didn't react negatively to the cold.  But as soon as he put the cold on the bottom tooth that I had been experiencing the most pain from, I nearly jumped out of my skin.

Cue more cold sweating.  I felt like I was dripping with sweat and yet shivering at the same time.  I have never experienced this before and it was truly strange.

Anyway, at this point I was even more terrified than before.  What if he did a root canal on the top tooth but then that didn't solve the problem?  What if I had to have a second root canal on the bottom tooth?  I couldn't even fathom it and almost decided to walk away.

He decided to try one last thing - he gave me a concentrated shot of Novocaine in the top tooth, and surmised that if it was the top tooth causing the pain then all of the pain would go away, including that on the bottom teeth.  It did but I still wasn't totally convinced, so I told him to put more of the cold stuff on the bottom tooth that had caused me to jump the first time.  He did, and I didn't jump.  So I gave the go-ahead.

In general it was one of the more comfortable root canals that I have had.  I didn't cry (although I almost did during the cold test mentioned above) and there was only a small bit of pain.  Some would argue that root canals should be pain free if you're properly numbed up, but for me that has never been the case, so "some pain" is much better than "I'm going to die" pain.  The Novocaine started to wear off after about an hour and I would rate the pain as a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.  But considering that I experienced off-the-chart pain during other root canals, it was tolerable.

Did I mention how I was sweating?  My hands were freezing - literally ice cold.  And yet when I got up out of that chair my legs and back were so sweaty that I was disgusted with myself.  I don't sweat that much during my most intense workouts!!!  I feel like there is NO WAY that I didn't have sweat that soaked through my pants.  Fortunately if there were such marks, everyone was nice enough to pretend that there weren't.  When I went outside the wetness and the cold made me feel even more freezing.  Is sweating a normal response to anxiety? Good god it was a strange experience for me and I hope it never happens again. I  hate sweating.

So for now the drama is over.  I say "for now" because I only have a temporary filling in this tooth and usually you need to get a crown on a root canaled tooth within two weeks or so.  But my insurance is completely maxed out - in fact I'll probably end up paying a bit out of pocket for this - and I want to wait until January when my insurance renews.  That's stretching it a little, but I'm hoping that if I'm careful and avoid things like caramel and taffy that I can keep this temporary filling in for the next two months (instead of two weeks) and take care of the crown then.

So, is the tooth drama over? God, I hope so.  But if it isn't, I'm sure you will all be among the first to hear.