Monthly Archives: June 2013

Lasik Part II

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Yesterday, I got the opportunity to view the lasik process from a different perspective.  I took my friend to get her eyes lasered. It was great! Because my eyes were already fixed!

My friend is very organized, so when I came to her house, she already had money for food in an envelope, a list of instructions for setting up the internet, and information about letting her family know how things went. Then we toddled off to the lasik place and waited for the prescribed hour before the surgery.

It’s always hard to give advice about something like eye surgery, because everyone is so individual. I told her that I was nervous the whole hour I was waiting, but then as soon as I got into the room, I was fine. It’s like going on a roller coaster–the worst part is the time it takes to click up.  Once you’re going down, you can’t control anything–you might as well enjoy it.  She told me that made sense and hoped she wouldn’t be nervous once she got in the room.

I was wrong. It was scary and painful for her. I felt so bad.

Fortunately, after we got back to her house, she was able to sleep and–like Robert Frost taking the road less travelled by–it made all the difference. Unfortunately, I needed to entertain myself in someone else’s house for hours on end. The problem is, you don’t want to be a snoop.

So, I just sat and needle needlework, ready books, and surfed the internet. I tried not to touch anything or look in any cabinets. Eventually though, I got very thirsty and felt like it was probably safe to open cabinets to find a glass for water.

Once she woke up, I went and picked up burritos (a very good meal to eat with your eyes closed, since it needs no utensils) and we chatted until it was time for me to go home.

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A Great Day

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Today was a great day.  It doesn’t matter how you feel about the Supreme Court’s ruling in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases. Today was still a great day for America because we got to be part of the process.  Since the advent of the internet, Americans have been getting more and more access to the historic decisions handed down by our highest court. Today, I watched a real-time blog by legal scholars, waiting for the decisions, finding the verdict, and then analyzing the positions of the judges from the actual opinions.

It used to be that people had to wait to read about the decisions in the newspaper (how quaint…) or wait for the news on TV to hear about it. And you didn’t get to read the actual opinion unless you went out and bought it, I guess. Not only does the internet help American get the news faster, and more fully, it also exposes a new audience to the Supreme Court: young people. I know I’m a young person too, but I would have been interested in the decisions even without the internet.  I was enchanted the whole time I was learning about the Supreme Court in my government class.

But I am an anomaly. Most young people are fairly ambivalent towards the government. But, this is just another way that technology is bringing us all together to be more involved in the way our government works. I think George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

I also liked how civil and dignified both the opinion and the manner in which we were informed of the opinion was. Even in an internet age, it was delivered in thoughtful prose, and explained in an intellectual manner.

This can be directly contrasted with the carnival taking place at the Texas capitol last night. A scene, which I have heard, involved both parties shouting over each other about abortion.

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I should have given this bib out for all the politicians to wear.

As I was saying, I’m happy today. With all the talk of NSA leaks, and what the government should and should not be doing, it’s nice to see the government working in an open, honest way, a way that is a model to the rest of the world for how a democracy should work. And my fellow Americans and I got to be part of it.

Book Review: Carry On, Jeeves

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♡♡♡♡♡ (of course!)

This book gets full marks from me, but I knew that before beginning to read it.  The Jeeves and Wooster books by P.G. Wodehouse (real name: Pelham Granville Wodehouse) are all excellent.  Most of the books are a collection of short stories featuring Bertram Wooster (Bertie), and well-to-do Englishman and his “gentleman’s gentleman” Reginald Jeeves (Jeeves). Bertie is always falling into some bit of bad luck, whether it be an unreasonable request from an aunt, or an accidental engagement to a repulsive young lady.  It is Jeeves’ job to get him out of the muck in a clever manner, without revealing his methods until the end of the story.

A surprisingly large number of these predicaments stem from Bertie being asked to “pinch” something, like a manuscript, or a cow creamer, or a policeman’s helmet.  Bertie made a mistake early on in his adulthood of stealing something, and now it’s all the rage to ask Bertie to purloin an object to serve some nefarious purpose.

There really isn’t anything bad to say about this book, and it makes and excellent “in-between” book if you’ve put a hold on a book at the library, and you have a few day until the book arrives, but want something to read in the mean time. This is your book.

 

Escape and Deception!

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Last night I watched 3 documentaries on PBS that all had to do with escapes and deceptions. It was fantastic because I’ve either seen a movie, read a book, or visited these places in the past year. Neato!

The first documentary I watched was titled “Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option” It covers the story of the Iranian Embassy workers who managed to escape before the Iranian students took the rest of the embassy hostage.  The movie ARGO was based  on this story.  I watched the movie and thought it was really good, but it seemed a bit too dramatic for real life. The documentary gave a real picture of what happened, complete with interview with the hostages, the American CIA operative who got them out, as well as the Canadians who hid the Americans for a few tense months. The only part I didn’t like was the soundtrack. It caused interference by mixing incorrectly with the voices in some of the interviews. But, I would recommend watching it, especially if you watched and liked ARGO.

The second documentary was called “The Ghost Army” and it covered the story of a military company in charge of being sneaky! It was a group of men, mostly artists, who were rounded up to reduce casualties using deception techniques. The first job they had was camouflaging a bomber factory in Maryland. They painted the roof of the factory to look like rural America. They showed the pictures, and I honestly could not tell that there was a factory there. It looked so real!  Then, they were sent to Europe to help bolster the war effort.  They created tanks that were inflatable rubber and set them up on the battlefield; they set up large speakers the produced military noises; and sent out fake radio signals to fool the Germans into attacking the pretend army instead of the real one.  A unit of 10 stealth men would be made to look like 1000 troops! The documentary had lots of interviews with the men who were in this company and they were hysterical. You could tell that they were immensely proud of the service they rendered and took great joy in fooling the enemy. If you get a chance, you MUST see this documentary!

The last documentary that was presented was called “Return to Alcatraz” and featured former guards and inmates describing what life was like in the famous prison. Jack and I visited Alcatraz last summer when we went to California, but it was interesting to see the interviews.  It was sort of strange watching and listening to the interviews though.  The appearance of these sweet old men didn’t correspond with the words they said, describing how they hid knives, got into fights, and roomed next to Machine Gun Kelly. The host of the documentary wasn’t particularly compelling, but it was OK.

The Night the Bed Shook

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Last night, I couldn’t get to sleep for a long time. This is particularly troubling for me because, although I don’t have school the next morning, I get headaches if I don’t get enough sleep.  Normally, I’m a sleeping champion. Sometimes Jack and I will go upstairs to go to bed and I’ll be asleep by the time he climbs in to bed. Ask him yourself.

So, what was the problem this time?

Noise: “Duncan drives to the basket, passes to Leonard for a clutch 3 pointer!”

Shaking: *Jack convulsing the bed with his fist pumping after each Spurs basket*

You see, it was game 6 of the NBA finals and the San Antonio Spurs had a chance to win the series and make LeBron James cry. Jack has watched sports games on the TV while I go to sleep before, and it hasn’t been a problem because I can easily fall asleep to the sound of sports. But, the Spurs were in a tough spot and Jack needed to help them by focusing intensely, rocking around on the bed to help the Spurs avoid defenders, and giving them congratulations though the secret earpiece that he has connected to the entire team.

That, or he was making a spectacle of himself for nothing.

When I finally decided that I couldn’t go to sleep , I sat up to tell Jack to go downstairs, but saw that there were only a few minutes left, and Jack informed me that he thought the Spurs would have this one, so I just let him finish it upstairs. BUT THEN IT WENT INTO OVERTIME!

I asked Jack what overtime was like in the NBA, hoping for something like “rock, paper, scissors” or  “eeny, meenie, miney, moe.” But he said no. There were 5 more minutes.

I decided to just try tune it all out and go to sleep, but I was already wide awake. Fortunately, I got back at him. According to Jack, on several occasions during the night, I would brush my toe across the back of his foot and it had him convinced there was a cockroach in the bed.

Bathtub Dread: Adult Version

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Do you remember when you were small and were told that it was time to take a bath? My dad would sing, “B-b-b-bath time! Andrea’s bath time! Dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-deeeeee!” I appreciated the effort, I assure you, but the cheerful ditty did little to minimize my anxiety. Just the words “bath time” filled my with lethargy.  After getting taken upstairs by physical force  or just the loss of will to fight back, and getting my clothes taken off, being in the bath was no big deal. It was great! I played, talked to my lifeguard, and got clean.

Then I would bounce down the stairs in my nightgown and tell whichever parent was not helping with the bath to smell how clean I was. They would always take a very loud and deep sniff and remark positively on my lack of odor. Was anyone else plagued with bath dread? When I think back, I laugh at how silly I was to put on such a show about an activity I really didn’t mind.

But, I should stop laughing…because I still do it. Not with the bath, thankfully. But, I wait until the trash can and recycling bin at my house are positively overflowing before I take them out to the community waste dumpsters that are about 30 feet from my front door. I stuff and shake the trash bin, I pull up on the bag to make a bit more room. I smash milk jugs until there is no empty space inside them. Then, when I cannot fit even one more tissue in the bin, I give a great big sigh and take the garbage and recycling out.

And it’s no big deal.  And I’m so happy afterwards that my trash has a brand new bag ready to be filled with refuse again. So, fess up to yourself (or to me): what chore do you put off far longer than it should or get irrationally emotional about doing?

What we have here is a failure to communicate

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I know that you must keep up with the news because you have enough free time to read my silly blog. So, I’m just going to assume that you’ve heard about how the last telegram (ever) will be sent next month.

I would like to start by saying that I didn’t even know that you could send a telegram.  But now that I know, I can’t decide whether I’m happy about this new development.  On the plus side, I’ve always had an aversion to telegram deliverers. 100% of the telegram deliverers that I have heard about  turn out to be singing Nazis who betray peace-loving Austrians.

On the other hand, telegrams seem like an extraordinarily romantic way to communicate with someone. The little folded papers look so dainty, and so much must be inferred from a telegram because of its’ brevity. Right now I’m reading one of the Jeeves and Wooster books and they are positively filled with telegrams, most of which get Bertie into a heap of trouble.

I’m surprised, in a way, that I didn’t know about telegrams. You’d think that sending telegrams would be the mark of a true hipster.  Ironic mustaches, mismatched clothes, and telegrams.

Seeing The Turkey Spiders at SXSW at 7 (stop) Obscure beers to be served (stop) Wear suspenders (stop) cordially, Hans

I think that we should all try to resurrect the telegram. Contact your local congressperson and tell them to stop fiddling around with the immigration bill and get to something that really matters: preserving a timeless piece of history. Just don’t let Rohlf deliver it.