i then returned to home depot to get a few more things: bolts for mounting a tow sign in the parking lot, a coil of insulating foam for my sister, composite shims for the freezers, and the screen door repair kit i'd eyeballed yesterday. it took forever to find the shims, they were very well hidden between aisle 17 and 18. i must have circled the store three times before i finally found them in the door aisles of all places.
by the time i got back to the cafe it was already 1pm. i helped my father mount the parking sign before finally returning home. i didn't know which kind of screws to get so i got two kinds: 1/4in-20 x 3in stainless steel machine screws ($1.28/pair) with stainless steel nylon lock nuts ($1.28 for 3), and 5/16in-18 x 3in zinc hex bolt (41¢ each) paired with 5/16in-18 stainless steel wing nuts ($1.28 each). my father ended up using the zinc bolts with the wing nuts since they were easier to put on. if the zinc bolts go bad, we can replace them with the same (they're cheap) or black ceramic-coated bolts especially designed for outdoor use (i discovered them too late while roaming through the store, didn't buy but did take a photo).
i had a 4pm teeth cleaning appointment in boston, so i only had a few hours left before i needed to leave. i even though about going a bit early so i can do some shopping in chinatown, but there was nothing i needed. i made some oatmeal for lunch, then afterwards waterpik'ed my teeth followed by a thorough brushing, as if that could somehow fix many years of dental neglect. i went out briefly to make sure my bike tires were properly inflated, and also put the cover over my motorcycle as it'd be raining all of tomorrow.
i left by 3:30pm. the dentist office was right in park street. i sort of regret the appointment time, since it meant i'd be returning home during rush hour and in the dark. this park street dentist is my usual dentist; i only go to them because they take my health insurance, while my regular dentist in allston doesn't. so i come here for simple stuff, like teeth cleaning, or anything else that might be covered.
i was a little nervous, as i hadn't been to the dentist since december 2018. but it was something that needed to be done, especially since i've been experiencing sensitivity in my upper right and left molars. there could be root canals in my near future, or possibly worse. they made me fill out a personal info sheet even though they should've had all that info already. even though they didn't ask, i told them i'd been vaccinated, and showed the receptionist a photo of my vaccination card, which she jotted down my last booster shot date. since it's been such a long time, they had to take a whole new set of x-rays, 18 shots in all. since everyone wore masks, i couldn't tell who was the assistant and who was the actual dentist. there was a large air purifier humming in the corner of the cramped exam room.
the dentist came in and started cleaning my teeth, lowered me on the exam chair so i was almost on the ground with my head tilted back. she was humming a tune the whole time. it was a painful cleaning which i expected since it'd been almost 3 years since my last cleaning, but i kind of enjoyed it, made me feel cleansed. i basically just zoned out, staring up at the ceiling lights, imagining how much better it'd be if they installed a tv screen in the ceiling, even though i probably wouldn't be able to see if because i had my glasses off.
after the cleaning was done, the assistant came in with the new x-rays. the dentist went through all my teeth with a pick to measure the gaps, and from what i've heard, it didn't sound good. very casually, the dentist marked off the teeth that needed to be turned into crowns, a total of 5. there's something else you should know about this dentist, she's kind of shady, and will definitely perform unnecessary dental procedures just to bilk the insurance. my insurance just recently started covering crown procedures, so naturally the more crowns she could perform, the more money they'd make. granted, a lot of my teeth have fillings, and the sensitivity i'm feeling is just a result of deteriorating previous dental work. i asked about root canals, which seem less destructive than crowns, and i always though root canals preceded crowns, but she said they could do crowns without doing a root canal, which made me wonder if somehow my insurance didn't cover root canals. she also brought up deep cleaning (scaling), which is something i can get behind. they had me sign something which they said was just confirmation that they had a procedure discussion with me, but i didn't have to actually do the work. it made me think they were pulling some kind of insurance scam but i signed it anyway. they said my insurance would contact me in a few weeks to let me know if they'd cover the procedures, and i could call the dentist and make an appointment.
i was done by 4:50pm, the last patient of the day. they even gave me a little gift bag (a first), which contained a toothbrush, a travel-sized tube of colgate sensitive toothpaste, and a small johnson & johnson listerine cool mint dental floss. looking out the window, i could see it was already dark outside. i took the tiny elevator down to the first floor (earlier i got there was an elevator and climbed 5 flights of stairs). originally i was just going to go home, but since i was already at downtown crossing, i decided to visit the nearby wendy's and get some dinner to go.
i walked my bike and locked it to a signpost outside of wendy's. i was afraid they might be closed, but they were still opened, and plenty busy, populated with boston teenagers. i ordered the no.6 spicy chicken combo in medium for $11. i didn't really want the combo, just the sandwich and fries, but i think it's cheaper with the combo, even though i didn't want the drink, since i'll have a hard time bringing it back home on the bike. an old african-american lady was also ordering, and it seemed like it was her first time. i noticed her because she was wearing a silver sequin mask. i asked her what she ordered, she said a regular sandwich with extra vegetables. she was shocked how expensive it was, it's just the city price.
with my order in hand, i tried to figure out how i was going to get the drink home. i put it in the pocket of my lumbar bag and put the bag in one of the rear baskets. i secured the lights onto the bike and started to ride home. i'm lucky in that i'm familiar with these boston streets. and traffic wasn't all that bad, i was expecting it to worse. i'd frequently look back to see if my soda had spilled yet, and going over every bump in the road made me wince. by some miracle the soda didn't spill, although the cut did start leaking, not from the top but from the bottom.
i finally got home by 5:30pm, a lot earlier than i expected. i managed to save the soda (root beer), filling up two 16 oz. glasses. the fries were cold, but the sandwich was still warm. i ate all the fries first before starting the sandwich. i didn't know how long to wait after a teeth cleaning before i can eat, but i remember it was something like 30 minutes.
i went out briefly again later in the evening, to star market to pick up a few things on sale (today was the last sale day): green giant canned corn, stouffer's chicken pot pie, and a bag of doritos. later around 10pm i got a little hungry and had some tonkotsu instant ramen while watching jeremy renner eat hot wings and the ravens-dolphins game.
i spent the rest of the night watching youtube videos about how to install a new wall outlet. i'm debating whether or not to put a new outlet in my bathroom wall before closing it up. now's the perfect chance since all the inside wires are exposed, it'd be a lot easier to do than when the wall is finally closed. it'd be for a powered clock, or my father thinks i should get a bidet toilet seat. i also looked about replacing sweat angle valves with compression angle valves that don't need soldering.