Well, that was easy

Pictured: not my tooth

The tooth extraction has basically turned out to be nothing worth talking about, honestly, which isn’t going to stop me from devoting an entire blog post to it.   The most complicated part was convincing the … nurse? not-the-dentist-but-not-clearly-a-hygienist?  Dental assistant?  I dunno, the lady who wasn’t the dentist– that while I appreciated the offer of sunglasses and would happily wear them during the procedure, the idea that the television in the room should be tuned to my needs (“Christ, no, not the news, anything but that”) or that the in-room bluetooth should be playing my own personal pullin’-teeth playlist was utterly unnecessary.  The TV doesn’t even have to be on, and if it’s going to be on my only condition is that it be either not turned to a channel that’s going to provoke rage or muted.  I really don’t need music.

She really had trouble with this idea.  Apparently it’s rare that patients for extractions don’t have media demands while going through the procedure.  Personally, I don’t get it.

Anyway, the nurse smeared my tongue and the area of the tooth with some sort of numbing gel and left me alone for a few minutes and then the dentist came in.  We talked about Hamilton for a few minutes and then he did … something inside my mouth for maybe a minute and said “Okay, all done!” and left.

I was surprised to learn that a tooth extraction takes less than a minute; I hadn’t felt a damned thing.  I expressed my surprise (“Holy shit, that’s it?”) and then discovered that, no, he hadn’t even touched the tooth, I’d just received three numbing shots to complement the numbing gel; the various non-dentists in the room were vastly entertained by my theory that the dentist declaring “all done” meant that “all” was “done” and that I could go home.

It was not, and I could not.

That said, the actual extraction took maybe five minutes.  He warned me beforehand that he suspected he might have to break the tooth to get it all out; as it was maybe 97% of it came right out and then he had to do a touch more fiddling around to get a tiny piece of root that stayed behind.  There was no pain whatsoever.  There wasn’t even any real sense of pressure or discomfort or even tugging.  If he hadn’t shown me the tooth I don’t know that I’d have believed he removed it, since I couldn’t feel anything inside my mouth– it was hours before I could actually feel the hole the tooth left behind with my tongue.  My appointment was at 10:00 and I was texting my wife that I was finished at 10:30.

Several hours of lazing about the house and occasionally switching out my gauze ensued; as of this moment the extraction was ten and a half hours ago and while it’s been a bit obnoxious I still can’t say that I’ve felt any actual pain at any point.  I ate ice cream and applesauce and had macaroni and cheese for dinner.  I’m going to take some painkillers before bed strictly as prophylaxis but I’m not sure I really need them.

So, yeah.  Kinda feel like an idiot that that had me more nervous than my gallbladder surgery did ten years ago.  I mean, shit still has time to go south if I lose the blood clot or something, but so far this has been cake.

RIP, my original head

KP8RD8qGonna go get a tooth torn out of my head tomorrow.  I’m not looking forward to any part of it, for obvious reasons, to the point where I’m actually kind of embarrassed at how much it’s weighing on me.  It’s a wisdom tooth.  Those shits get pulled all the time.  It’ll be fine, and I’ve got an excuse to spend the rest of the day in bed.  How often do I get to do that nowadays?  This is a good thing.

Stupidest thought of the last several days: that since I mostly chew on the right (which may not even be true) I’ll have to relearn how to eat.  I don’t think so.  I’m pretty certain that people who have single molars taken out aren’t generally in need of physical therapy afterwards.  I’m just being ridiculous.  I am also certain that once the swelling goes down, if indeed there’s enough swelling to be worth worrying about, that my face will neither be a different shape nor noticeably lopsided-looking.  They’re not removing my jaw.


Keeping with the “it annoys me that this annoys me” theme…

I dropped below 10,000 Twitter followers this week, for the first time in probably two years.  In itself, this isn’t a huge deal; followings ebb and flow and I don’t think I’ve ever had more than 10,300 or so, so it’s not a big drop at all.  It’s mildly annoying, because I like that five-figure following, but ultimately it’s a nothingburger.

Now, that said: I worked at getting that 10K following, and I had several strategies that I used that worked.  It took under a year to go from a few hundred followers to 10K.  And once I hit 10K every single one of those strategies stopped working, and nothing I’ve been able to do since then has been able to push me above that 10.3K number I referenced earlier.  Anybody reading this big into Twitter, and have any suggestions that don’t involve actually buying followers (never) or premium access to one of the various Twitter helper programs like Crowdfire?  I don’t want to spend any money on this, but time I have.

Anybody out there know more than me and want to share?

Had a woman come into the store today looking for occasional tables, and in talking to her about what she was looking for she volunteered that she recently bought a 1600 square foot house, filled it with new furniture, then sold it “on a whim” six months later to buy a 4400 square foot house.

Which she now needs to fill with more new furniture.

Is it wrong that I don’t know this woman at all and I still feel like her taxes probably ought to be doubled or tripled?


This is more a proof-of-life post than anything else; my wife is out of town for the next few days so I’m on solo Daddy duty, and today was a long and ridiculous day at work featuring virtually no sales of furniture in exchange for money but well more than a nine-hour allocation of nonsense.

And then I got home and had to clean up dog poop, which always improves one’s day, as you can no doubt well imagine.

The goal for tomorrow is to get through it without smacking anyone.  We’ll see how I do.

On doxing myself

job-huntThe two-year anniversary of my formal resignation from teaching passed without comment a couple of weeks ago.  It took six months of looking before I found the job I have now, and I basically have not stopped looking for work since then, as I’ve never really felt like furniture sales are a viable long-term career for me.  The hours are killing me, in particular; I can count the number of weekends I’ve had with my family in the last two years on one hand, and there are still multiple days a week where I don’t see my son at all in between dropping him off at school in the morning and putting him to bed immediately when I get home at night.  Plus, while I am actually pretty good at my job– I was #61 in the company in overall sales for the year, and this is a company with over 250 stores– the economy is slowly starting to collapse and I really don’t like working for commission.  We get paid on delivery, not on initial sale, and right now a huge percentage of the stuff I’ve sold in the last few months is still backordered to March.

To wit: I made less than minimum wage this week.  I have two Master’s degrees, and I made less than minimum wage for the 42 hours that I was at work this week.  My boss is barely 30 and my two assistant managers are both in their mid-twenties.  I have already been offered chances to move up to management but the simple fact is I honestly don’t want it, because every time I wargame it out it becomes clear that it would actually lead to less money for more hours and more responsibility, and … nah.  I can keep calling the kid who is young enough to be my son “boss” instead.  It’s just not that big of a deal.

I’ve applied for several dozen different jobs in the 19 months or so since I started at my current job.  I’ve had, I think, two interviews.  I did not have a second interview for either position and heard through the grapevine that one of the jobs ended up going to a relative of one of the people who interviewed me, which was fun.  I’m at the point where I’m so deadly tired of writing cover letters that I’m having to scan them carefully for sarcasm before sending them out, and I was so annoyed by a rejection later that I got today that said they’d “evaluated my skills” that I was halfway through a go fuck yourself, you assholes sort of response before I got control of myself.

You didn’t “evaluate my skills,” you fucks.  You glanced at a cover letter and a resume and didn’t immediately see the boxes you wanted checked so you moved on.  If your letter had said that, I wouldn’t be pissed off.  But I wouldn’t have applied for your job if I didn’t have the skills to do it.  I assure you that my skills are fine.

Most of y’all know that “Luther Siler” is a pen name.  I had perfectly good reasons to take some steps to conceal my identity when I started the blog, but while I’m not considering abandoning the name (I’ve written six books as this dude, and have an actual network of real people who only know me by that name) it’s occurred to me that if I really want a different job, this blog and my Twitter following probably legitimately do represent my best networking opportunity for finding one, and I haven’t used it at all because I’ve always wanted to keep Luther’s and “my” lives separate.  I may need to reevaluate this conceit, is what I’m saying here.  Because this furniture selling thing is really getting old, and I don’t seem to be having any luck finding any alternate work as me.

Somewhat related anecdote: we have a Saturday morning meeting every week as a staff, since everyone works on Saturdays, and this week we did this little team building exercise involving our goals and fears.  One of my co-workers noticed that I more or less dropped out of the exercise entirely when the “write about your fears” bit came up, and asked me about it later in the day.

I told him the truth: that damn near all of my legitimate fears right now involve being stuck selling furniture forever, and that I hadn’t really thought that sharing that little detail with the rest of my co-workers was the smartest way to start my day.

In which fear is stupid

IMG_6721Holy cow, that tablecloth has gotten raggedy.

I had an idle thought the other day and put it on Twitter– I wonder what kind of artist I could be if I drew something every day for a year, it said– and now suddenly I own a sketchbook.

Well, “suddenly” if agonized over the idea of spending $5 on a sketchbook for two days counts as “suddenly.”  I mean, as projects go, this isn’t much of one, right?  I’m not talking about full-blown landscapes or some shit, just, like, a quick sketch every day to elevate my ability to draw from not the worst artist on the planet to maybe somewhere in the top half of humanity.  I’m not about to start a webcomic or anything, although I’ll admit thinking about the first Questionable Content vs. how it looks now as a perfect example of what practice can do for someone.

So I own an inexpensive, yet reasonably robust sketchbook, and I bought some new pencils, which probably wasn’t strictly necessary but hey, pencils.  And all I have to do is draw something.  I don’t even really have to do it every day!  Just draw some shit once in a while!  Like, I get to set the rules!

And I put the sketchbook down, because I found the idea terrifying, and here I am blogging about it instead of just picking up a pencil and drawing something simple and calling it a day.

It’s so weird how hard I work (we work?  It’s not just me, right?) to hold myself back sometimes.

EDIT:  Boom.  Don’t expect me to post these too frequently, if I even continue with the project (I’d estimate no more than a 50% chance this lasts longer than a few days) but at least I did it once:


Also, I need pencils with better erasers, as you can tell from Uncle Grandpa’s incorrectly-misshapen head up there.