Monday, January 30, 2012

Life without glasses

Jonathan is near sighted.   We've known that since last summer, but I've been dragging my feet on taking him into the eye doctor, because I've read that kids who wear glasses end up with much worse vision than kids who don't -- and that matches my own experience.  Anyway, we've been monitoring Jonathan, making sure his eyesight isn't getting in the way of school work or activities, checking that he can still see the board, stuff like that.  At the beginning of this month, his English teacher rotated the room around so that he was at the back of the class, and he reported that he couldn't see assignment instructions anymore -- he had to wait for the teacher to read them, then quickly write down what he heard.

Anyway, so much for eyesight not getting in the way of school work.  We contacted the teacher and requested that she move him up a couple of rows, if possible, and she was happy to do so within the day.  

Then Thursday, I finally took Jonathan into an eye doctor, who officially diagnosed Jonathan as being near sighted (myopic).  His vision is fine otherwise.  The eye doctor then explained our options.  He confirmed what I had understood: for kids who are myopic, wearing glasses will accelerate the myopia.  That is, if Jonathan gets glasses and wears them, his vision will just get worse and worse, faster.  However, if he doesn't get glasses, his vision will still probably get worse and worse, just not as fast.  Contacts, on the other hand, have been shown to slow myopia, but who is going to suggest contacts for a seven year old?  

In the end, the eye doctor recommended managing Jonathan's vision the way we have been:  no intervention as long as it isn't affecting his schoolwork.  Now that his eyesight may be affecting school, the doctor suggests  either continuing to do what we've done (i.e. no intervention, except asking the teacher to please move him up a row when possible), or possibly getting a pair of glasses for Jonathan to wear only when he needs them.  Jonathan should never wear them at home, for example.  There's nothing good enough on TV to require glasses, he said.  

Anyway, that's where we stand with Jonathan and his eyesight.  But that's not really where I wanted to go with this post.  Basically, the last few paragraphs are a long introduction, setting the background for the real reason for this post, which is my amazing discovery.  Within the last 24 hours, I have discovered a fool-proof way to look amazing every time you walk past a mirror.  I have!  Read on.

Yesterday, I was exercising in my basement, dancing in front of the TV.   As the rim of my glasses started slipping off my nose, I recalled what the eye doctor had said:  "There's nothing good enough on TV to require glasses."  So I took mine off.  I couldn't really see the dancing game so well after that -- the arrows became floating blobs on the screen.  But I could make them out well enough to continue.  And actually, it was pretty fun seeing the world in blob form.  Me, I've been wearing glasses religiously since I was about seven, and my myopia is four or five times worse than Jonathan's by now.  But dancing in the basement, I could function -- no problem -- without them.

So I kept them off.  All day yesterday I wandered around home without glasses, seeing the world in fuzzy colors rather than the sharpness of detail.  You don't need glasses to fold laundry, or make up a batch of granola, or even to read a book in the afternoon.  Who knew?

And here was the best part.  Every time I walked by a mirror without my glasses on, I could see that the woman who was my reflection had flawless skin.  Without glasses, I couldn't see a single mole or pimple on my face, much less small wrinkles or wide pores. Instead, I saw just these big blurry dark eyes looking out at me from my glowing skin.  And my hair!  My hair was smooth -- I literally couldn't see a single strand out of place.  In its new fuzziness, it looked full of health and volume.  And best of all, while standing between the mirror and the window with my glasses off, I looked really slim.  No more belly bulge for me.  Actually, if everyone had -5 vision in both eyes, I could totally be a model.  A super model.  I looked that good.  

Today?  I kept the glasses off in the morning, but I needed them in church to read the music while I played the piano.  And now, I can't see my computer screen without them, so they're still on.  However, I'm thinking I may take them off again when I'm done here, and go and gaze at my beauty.  


Thursday, January 26, 2012


On light.

Lately, it seems that mornings just get darker and darker.  After the winter solstice, we were supposed to be having longer and longer days, right?  Which should mean earlier sunrises, right?  


Tired of the alarm clock going off in the dark, I finally looked it up.  Although the length of time between sunrise and sunset has increased 32 minutes since January 1st, this morning the sun rose only seven minutes earlier than it did on January 1st, at 7:42am, in my city.  The sun set, on the other hand, a full 25 minutes later.  So although our days are getting longer, it's happening mostly in the evening.  

Which makes it harder and harder to wake up.  There are days I wish that artificial light had never been invented/discovered/whatever.  

But then I realize it would be difficult to read my computer screen if it were not back-lit.  

On colds and haircuts.

Tim's man cold is mostly gone, but it lingered for a long time.  Poor Tim.

Very recently he cut his hair again and donated it to charity.  So he no longer looks like a pirate. 

I like the long-hair Tim and the short-hair Tim.  He is a handsome guy.  I just don't like mustached Tim.  

And Jonathan got a haircut, too.  From me.  About a week ago.  It looks good.  I can't believe none of you readers have noticed.

On stuff to do.

I have lots of it.  

Among other things, I've been writing letters of recommendation, which is an indication of seniority.  Only people who have been around a while are asked to write letters.  Time to move?

First there were the job application letters, then the grad school application letters, then the summer program application letters, then more job application letters, and now more grad school application letters.  I am getting faster at writing letters.  But you know what slows me down every time?  Requests by various programs for me to assign some sort of a numerical value to the applicant.  For example, is their "initiative" in the top 2%?  Top 5%?  Top 25%?  And how many students are in the pool of comparison?  And what others are in this pool?  And has the pool water been chlorinated?  Is a life guard on duty?  

How do you rank "initiative" amongst your acquaintances?  I think, well, the person turned in all their homework, so they must be chock full of initiative....  But where does that put them in a ranking with the rest of the students who turned in all their homework?  I still can't turn that into a number.  And then I start to wonder, why are they even asking me to turn "initiative" into a number?  Are they trying to come up with some fake cutoff they can use to avoid reading all the letters they specifically requested?  I spent the time writing the stupid letter.  They'd better read every word.  


I hate admissions committees.  Especially the fake ones I have invented in my head.  

(Sometimes I just leave those number questions blank.  What do you think happens to my letter then?)

Friday, January 13, 2012


This morning, I remember being outside, smiling at a thought in my head, and saying to myself, "I should write a blog post about that."  I remember that I was on the sidewalk going into my building after biking over to work.  I remember that I was still wearing my helmet -- sometimes I take it off right after getting off my bike, but that I was carrying the little reflector straps I wear around my ankles, and they were in my left hand.  I remember that the sidewalk was gray and in shadow, although the sun was already up.  I remember a patch of gray snow in the gutter by the sidewalk.  I remember all these things.

I just can't remember what I wanted to write about.  

I know it would have been a good post, an interesting and entertaining post -- after all, it made me smile -- but it's gone now.  Totally gone.

And while we're speaking of biking into work, and things I do and don't remember, yesterday I was passed on my bike a few blocks away from campus by a guy wearing beige pants and a jacket.  It was cold, and the sun was not yet up, and he didn't seem to be wearing enough windbreaker material to be riding a bike fast through all that.  He looked to be about my age-ish, with a square jaw and light brown hair.  As he passed me, and I turned my head to see who was biking past me in the cold, he smiled and said, "Hello, Jessica." 

And I smiled warmly and said, "Oh, hello!"

And then as he biked away, I wondered to myself, "who the heck was that, and how does he know my name?"  

And then I caught up with him at a stop light, and in fact followed him all the way to campus, where we parked our bikes in the very same bike lot (which I always park in, by the way), and he turned cheerily to me and said, "Looks like we were going the same place!"  

And I smiled and nodded and turned away quickly and tried to figure out who that guy could be and where I would have met him.  

And I still have no idea.  

There is no point to this story, which makes writing a scintillating conclusion a little awkward.  I do hope you aren't too disappointed that I forgot my original good idea to blog about.  Maybe it will come back and I will write about it later.  Meanwhile, I would like to say that those people who have a good memory for names and faces?  They really disturb the rest of us.  (Who was that guy?)

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Tim caught a cold.

Poor little bunny.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

I have had several topics on my mind recently to discuss with you, oh Reader.  But alas, each one, rather than forming a meaningful blog post on its own, is worth at most a paragraph of words and scintillating thought.  So I shall here present a collection of thoughts with which to begin the year 2012.

Thought 1.  This morning, while examining all the ornaments on the Christmas tree, knowing it was time to pack them away for another eleven months, I remembered the year 2004, in which we put up the tree with its lights, but then, exhausted, stopped.  The ornaments stayed in their boxes.  The baby that was Jonathan didn't realize that he was being shafted of the full Christmas tree experience.  He still loved to sit and rock in front of the pretty lights.  And come January?  We had the best year ever for Christmas clean up.  I did suggest we try this again early in December of 2011, but I was labeled a Scrooge.

Thought 2.  I'm kind of feeling like I should start Jonathan in piano lessons.  I think it's important for him to learn to play an instrument, and piano is an easy default that would actually be useful to him throughout his life, especially if he stays in our particular religious community.  But I dread taking him to and from lessons, making sure he practices, adding another item to get frustrated over to our daily routine.  The boy is casually interested, nothing more.  But he is at a good age for starting.  Is this a fight worth having?

Thought 3.  New Year's resolutions.  You remember, Reader, that I made my New Year's Resolutions right after Thanksgiving, rather than waiting until the traditional January 1st.  I resolved to be kind, beautiful, and productive.  A little over one month in, I am thinking I shall declare myself successful and move on to new resolutions.  This time, I would like to make the kind of resolutions that I am guaranteed to keep, so I can feel happy as I tick them off.  In 2012, I resolve to take down the Christmas ornaments from 2011.  That's a good one.  I resolve to floss, continuing in a tradition of flossing that stretches back to the previous century.  I resolve to keep my room clean, to practice good hygiene, to kiss my family often, to write here when I feel like it, and to ignore this blog when I don't.  These are all healthy resolutions that I resolve to keep.

Thought 4.  I have decided to get a tablet for personal use.  Then I shall no longer have to carry around movies and books or a 5 pound laptop when I travel.  Plus, I can download material for personal use without having to store it on my work computer where someone might find it and question my taste.  I like having questionable taste.  I have picked the very particular tablet, down to the color, after reading about sizes and weights and battery life and functionality and, of course, consulting with my personal IT guy (Tim).  I have also found where I can purchase my chosen tablet for the best deal.  I have saved up my money and I am ready to have this tablet here on my lap rather than this heavy computer.  Unfortunately, my tablet is sold out everywhere and currently unavailable.  This means I shall have to be patient, or buy a lesser model.  Patience???!!!

I will close with those thoughts.  If you think I should be thinking others, you may add those in the comments, and I will consider them.  Thank you.  Come again.