Life Lessons from a Toothbrush

So, I was going to share with you the new awesome nickname which I have dubbed the husband, so I could stop referring to him as “the husband.” But I’m waiting on that because of a dentist visit this morning.

I grew up going to the same dentist from the age of 3 to the age of 21. I went every six months to have my teeth cleaned and checked. And filled in (damn those cavities).Then I moved to Nebraska and was insurance-less. So, no dentist for Miss. Nicole. During Spring Break though, this awesome email landed in my inbox. It said something to the effect of:



I was sold, because I’m that weird kid who *loved* going to the dentist and promptly made my appointment.

I happily talked about my teeth and had x-rays taken. I forgot about my nose stud so there’s this awesome weird looking line on my big x-ray now, which is superfluous information (I just wanted to use that word).  And then my dental hygienist (I have so much respect for these people) stuck her hand in my mouth and started cleaning and poking my gums.

Verdict was that I have some slight gingivitis which can happily be cured by regular cleanings (yay!) and more flossing (always).  There’s some “decay” (ahem, I blame chocolate) that the dentist believed is just stable and will be watched. I just need to use a special toothpaste. Further, I currently have all of my wisdom teeth and it’s recommended that they be removed.

But, the last thing, which was odd, is that I have been diagnosed as an aggressive teeth-brusher. This means that I have literally brushed the gums off of some of my teeth which has left the root exposed. The cure? Be more gentle with my teeth. The gum won’t grow back, but I can contain some of the damage.

Now, this was slightly ironic for me. The word which I chose for me this year is gentle.

I haven’t really talked about this here, but I picked gentle because I wanted to remind myself that I’m slowly growing. And gentleness is key with me.

I have to be gentle with my thoughts, my actions, the way I speak, the way I move, just the way I am. I have to be kind and tender with myself. I have to be good with good enough and perfectly okay. Or, I’m going to get nowhere.

So, it was amusing, and frustrating, to hear that not only had I been to abrasive and aggressive with myself in my life, I have even been abrasive and aggressive with my teeth. But, it’s okay. I can take care of that, by being gentle.

Clearly, gentle is a good word for me. And probably a good word for all of us.

P.S: That necklace up there, that’s made by SoShe on Etsy. And you should go buy it. Right now.

Messy Hospitality

Something which I struggle with is hospitality.
Not necessarily being hospitable. I have that pretty much down to the T.
But, rather thinking that my house has to be in perfect order with candles and smell good stuff and wine and dinner ready whenever someone wants to come by.
If you can’t guess, this can be a bit stressful.
Tonight, though, I had a friend who I randomly texted and asked to come over for dinner and wine. I had four bottles of wine and wanted someone to drink them with. And the husband had to cook food anyway, so why not?
I assumed we’d have about 20 minutes, so I could quickly scramble around and get the house put back together since I totally didn’t do that this afternoon.
However, about 5 minutes after we walked through the door (Sparkle Bus [the husband’s bike] had a flat tire, so our ride was cut short) my dear friend called me and asked where exactly we lived because she was here.
Oh crap. Nothing was ready other than the shoes being stored.
As she walked in the door, I immediately started apologizing for the messiness. And then, something clicked. Yes, my house was messy, but it’s messy because I freaking live here. I have a husband, and a cat, I’m working on my Ph.D., my husband works 50 hour weeks… we live here. So why should I apologize for an impromptu dinner?
So, I apologized one last time. And, we chatted, drank two bottles of wine, and ate a lovely dinner.
And the world didn’t tumble and crash because my house was real. 
Because my house showed that two fantastic human beings live here with lives and love.
I’m by no means cured of this craziness. But, I do feel better with one non-world-crashing-messy-dinner under my belt.

Readers are Hot

I’m in love with this currently, and after spending the evening with a friend talking about books, I felt like I needed to share it: 
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

Rosemary Urquico

I Could Kiss You, Texas Reps!

Oh. Hello. 
I’ve missed you dearly. 
Since you last saw me, I have:
Study my brains out for Comps.
Took said Comps
Finished my Photography class
Read a book for a book club
Saw The Vagina Monologues
Partied with a Professor
Spent 7 hours writing
Continued being a wife and daughter and friend (kind of)
Paid bills
and packed for our trip to watch my best friend get married on Friday.
But, that’s not what I want to talk about today. 
I want to talk about Texas, and specifically, how bad ass some of the Representatives are.
There’s always a slew of Anti-Choice legislation which comes into play during the legislation season. I mean, it’s just part of it. And, Texas was no different. The newest one (which really isn’t so new) is that a woman who wants an abortion would have to view a sonogram and then wait one day before having the procedure. Currently, you have to wait at least one day after making an appointment. So, now, let’s make you come into the clinic (you know, since they are so convenient for everyone), force you to see the fetus and then send you on your merry way to make sure you want to follow through with this decision. As if making the appointment in the first place wasn’t difficult enough. 
This bill will pass. Without a shadow of a doubt, this bill will pass. But, not without some fight. 
Three legislators added some fantastic amendments. All have been tabled, but whatever. They are…
drum roll…

One that would require the state to pay the child’s college tuition if the woman decides not to have an abortion, one that would require the state to cover the child’s health care till they were 18, and when that failed one that wold require the state to pay for health care till the child was 6. –State Representative Harold Dutton of Houston

 …require clinics that provide abortions to also provide medically accurate information about contraception. – State Representative Joaquin Castro of San Antonio

 …let the pregnant woman force the father to have a vasectomy.- State Representative Marisa Marquez of El Paso

I could kiss them. Each of them.
Especially Dutton. He gave a statement that said, 

“We want to see all these children around, but the state of Texas ends its obligation to that child when it’s born,” he said. “We want it born, but we don’t want to do our duty.”

And Castro? Well, you know, clinics already do that. That’s actually the main function. So, letting that amendment stand would do change nothing. Yet we table it anyway.
Marquez: Exactly. This is so absurd that we would never consider it. And yet, Anti-Choicers do this. They force their beliefs on my body. 
Okay, reigning it in. These three people are amazing. Truly. Even though none of this would go through, they are fighting, and I am in love. If you’d like to thank these three legislators you can contact Rep. Dutton here, Rep. Castro here, and Rep. Marquez here
I know I will.
first heard about through feministing

What made you smile today?

I have a friend, named Hannah. She’s pretty rad. And, on like the second day I met her, she said, “What made you smile today?”

That little statement just blew me away. And I think of it all the time.

On Friday, I asked my facebook family what had made them smile. Some of the responses:
Snow days
Snuggling in my dad’s snuggie — he passed away in April
Children hugging and laughing
Balloons in the air
A friend’s dog running through the snow
A fantastic night
Wearing sweats to the bar
A UT football recruit, when asked why he chose Texas, replying with, “Because it’s Texas!”
Partners making fun of you when sick
Fluffy cream filled long john donuts
and an amazing story about a Parkinson’s Patient

The stories just melted my heart (you know, because it’s so frozen) and me happy. 

So, tonight. I would like for you to think about what made you smile today.

For me? It was my husband bringing me an amazing lunch.

How about you?