Life of a Wallflower, 17 – CDA Presents Convention

Towards the end of last week, the California Dental Association held a convention at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. I opted to go because one, I have never been, two, there were a few lectures that I was really excited to hear (you’ll see why in a bit), and three, freebies (who doesn’t love freebies?).

There’s also the matter of networking. Cross your fingers for me. I’m hoping that I’ll at least have a temporary or part time job in dental hygiene soon.

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

The CDA Presents convention is basically a place for dental professionals of California to gather, listen to lectures about new research and discoveries, and explore dental related products. I have never been so I didn’t know what to expect.

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

Before I attended this event, I checked the schedule to see who was presenting and what topics. When my eyes landed on forensic dentistry, I knew I had to go. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m addicted to a good mystery. I seriously don’t care what form: a book, a movie, a tv show, a game. I really don’t care. I’m just hooked. I grew up on Nancy Drew. You could have probably guessed =) And my television is almost always on a crime drama: CSI, Criminal Minds, Law and Order, NCIS, Elementary… And that’s not even all of it. It’s a wonder I get anything done. I don’t even have cable.

Anyways, when I heard about the forensic dentistry lectures, I knew I had to go. And I definitely wasn’t disappointed. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures because the lecture contained a lot of photos of real people and real cases. But while the topic was obviously dark, serious, and very sad, I thought it’s amazing how these dentists and dental hygienists go from their full time day job to the morgue to help give a name to missing and/or unidentified people using their dental records. These are the same people who are called in to help identify people during major disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, and airplane crashes. I just think they do an incredible job.

Don’t worry. This was pre-lecture.

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

Between different lectures, I get to wander through exhibits, checking out different products and talking to representatives from different companies. Some of the major companies include Crest, Colgate, Philips Sonicare, Waterpik, and many more. I think there were hundreds of exhibits to see. And it’s not empty. I took this photo before the marketplace was open so only representatives were down there.

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

Lunch time rush.

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

Many companies give you samples to try or tote bags with their company logo on it.

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

I thought you’d enjoy a little peek into the other part of my life that doesn’t involve food. =)

Of course, afterwards, my friends and I had to stop for a late lunch.

We chose Thai food near the Moscone Center. A place called Osha.

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower


CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

We ordered: the classic Pad Thai. So yummy.

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

Pumpkin Curry. I loved the fried yam on top.

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

Lemongrass Chicken. My photo wasn’t so great. I know. My friend’s co-worker was with us, and I don’t think she’s used to my food picture taking antics. But I might just have to try to remake this dish.

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

And pineapple fried rice. So delicious!

CDA Presents Convention | Cooking with a Wallflower

Until next time!


  1. Denise Kodi says:

    Thanks for giving us this peek into your “other” life. 🙂

    I’m fascinated by forensics too… I just read the book STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.. If that topic interests you, you might like the book. Surprisingly there is a lot of humor in it, plus you learn about forensic investigation, etc.

    Anyway, just thought I’d share that. Great pictures! Looks like you had a good time.

    • Andrea| Cooking with a Wallflower says:

      I didn’t want to bring it up in the post in case it offended anyone, but the lecturer for the forensic dentistry course talked about how there’s humor and irony in death. Morbid, but true. And I think if you’re working with forensics, you have to find some humor in what you do in order to cope and compartmentalize your emotions to do your job.

      I’ll definitely have to talk a look at the book! Thanks for the recommendation, Denise!

        • Andrea| Cooking with a Wallflower says:

          That’s so strange… I don’t know why that happens. Where are you trying to go to the site from? I’ll try to see if I can figure out what’s going on. But, actually, occasionally, my site has been down temporarily. I’m working with my host server to try to resolve the issue. Maybe it happened to be during that time? But I’ll look into it. Thanks for letting me know.

          And I’m really sorry for the late response. Sometimes my site places comments into the spam folder and it takes me awhile to go through all the spam to sort through real comments. Again, I’m really sorry for taking so long to reply!

  2. papict says:

    That food looks delicious. I may have to try making pumpkin curry. That looks to have been a fab convention – much more glitzy than the teaching conventions I attended. No freebies for me. Forensic dentistry does sound really interesting. I hope that is somewhere your career takes you if you wish it to.

  3. philosophoenix says:

    While i was at grad school for archaeology, I worked with several forensic anthropologists who specialized in teeth. They had done work identifying bodies in several countries where rather drastic military coups had left many unidentified human burials.

    It’s amazing how much the teeth can tell us about a person including and beyond their daily diet–dental caries, patterns of wear due to sand and gravel from granite metates, isotopic analysis–and then, the miracle of modern dentistry and recordation. I have the deepest respect for people who do this work, to bring peace to families and put names to the unidentified.

    Thank you for sharing! P.S. the pineapple fried rice and the pad Thai look amazing!

    • Andrea| Cooking with a Wallflower says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I find it so interesting how people are able to discover so much by looking at bones and teeth. Archaeology would tell us the stories about the past and how people lived. And modern forensics can help put a name to unidentified victims. It’s really amazing.

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