Media Consumption And Stuff Update

TV: Mad Men Season 6; Superstore Season 6

Music: Birds of Chicago

Books: Radium Girls

Podcasts: Cold, Season 2

Clarinet: About an hour of practice that included reed adjusting.

Exercise: Digging around and chopping at some stumps in the yard with an axe for about 30 minutes

I wonder if I can keep this up. I mean, I even squeezed in a nap.

Schedule for Media and Stuff

There’s so much to watch. And listen to. And read. I need to find a way to get to it all. Let me try to break this down.

SunMonTuesWedThursFriSat
Books1 hour1 hour1 hour1 hour1 hour1 hour1 hour
Music1 hour2 hours1 hour2 hours1 hour2 hours1 hour
TV/Mov1 hour2 hours2 hours2 hours2 hours2 hours2 hours
Podc1 hour1 hour1 hour
Exer30 min30 min30 min30 min30 min

There are definitely more hours in the day than I have scheduled here, but these are minimum amounts.

Readers

Today my readers returned after their lenses had been changed. I was wondering if they would ever be fixed. And I was wondering if I would ever read anything up close again. I was worrying that I’d be resigned to reading billboards or anything else from a distance. A life without reading doesn’t sound awesome. Thankfully they came, and here I am without and with them. (Yes, I’m singing U2’s “With or Without You” to myself right now.)

Reilly had an all-day training for his work today, so I got to look after Z. I had a hard time remembering how I managed watching her, teaching her, and doing my job during the pandemic. It seriously blows my mind. I worked for a few hours, then we took a break at a park she likes, then we picked up some groceries, then we picked up my glasses. When we came home I worked a little more, then I prepared dinner while Z had therapy. After that we ate dinner, then I came down to the basement and worked for a little while longer before calling it a day.

We tucked our girl in, I took my allergy medicine, and now I’m about to eat some cheesecake the neighbors made for us. I’m very excited.

Rough day, indeed.

Sunday Sundries

Today my brother told me about how he was on a walk earlier today and got stopped by some missionaries. He told them he grew up Mormon, so he knows their angle.

They asked why he stopped going to church.

They asked him if he still believes in God.

Those are not topics he’s going to talk to just anybody about.

Those are topics even I can barely broach with him.

I mean, people exercise their faith/philosophies very differently. And it sounded like those missionaries were trying pretty hard to get my brother to open up. And it would be one thing if he actually wanted to talk, but it sounded like one those situations that, no matter their efforts, because he didn’t want to talk, they weren’t getting further in that conversation. You know?


Today I only rinsed some of the conditioner from my hair during my shower. And now? My hair feels so silky! I just worry it’ll look and feel greasy tomorrow.


A few weeks ago I got my pixie cut cleaned up at a chain salon. As the stylist snipped, hair rained on the black cape. Not just my dark-brown-almost-black hair, but a bunch of grey, too. The question is: Do I call those lighter hairs grey (definitely with an E) or silver? I mean, I’ve dyed my hair silver in the past, and it has looked rad. And I’ve definitely earned mine, so.


I’ve started a nightly face cleansing routine. Pores and wrinkles and age spots in my face; the slightest crèping in my neck and décolletage. In my 20s and through my 30s I didn’t really wash my face at night. I guess I let the oils in my skin do all the work, and only occasionally my skin would break out and I’d call it yet another puberty. But now, it seems my skin is actually starting to dry out. If I can’t control my silvering hair, then I should be able to regularly clean my face, right? Besides, after washing and moisturizing, I like how soft my face feels.

So, there’s that.

Oops

I forgot to post yesterday, June 25. It was on my mind to do it. You bet I’m gonna backdate this. (June 25, 2021, 10pm)

We went on a hike to Stewart Falls. It’s an out-and-back hike, totaling four miles. There are some moderately steep parts and some rocky areas, but mostly the trail gently rolls, and it’s shaded with a few sunny parts. I mean, you still have to watch not to trip on roots and tumble down the mountain. All in all, it’s a really pleasant hike with some amazing vistas. One of my favorites.

It’s a little bit steep but relatively short descent past the plungepool, and that’s where we usually go on this hike before turning around.

My brother came along with us, and I think he really liked it, too.

Z especially loves being near the waterfall, and she calls this area, “Good Dinosaur water.”

Have you seen Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur? You should.

Look at this awesome family.

Working in the Yard

Today Reilly borrowed his dad’s truck and some chainsaws. He and my brother cut down some ugly trees from our yard. Trees that were rotting. And not providing useful shade. And blocking sunlight from plants we actually like. We’ve been meaning do this for years now, but we’ve finally got around to doing something about it. After cutting down the trees, Reilly and my brother made a couple of trips to the dump to dispose of them. The yard looks much better, which improves the facade of our house.

One of the trees exposed one side of a bush that desperately needs water and sunlight. The bush also needed trimming, which is what I worked on. I wish I’d taken a before photo, but here’s what the bush looks like now. I still need to take off another inch or two. By the way, it’s the other side of this bush that looks horrible and needs nurturing. Maybe once it grows back I can sculpt the whole bush into a family selfie or something:

Speaking of sculpting, handling those shears gave my shoulders a workout.

My arms are going to be sore tomorrow.

Progressive Lenses as Metaphor

Not obsessing, I promise.

Just wanted to show you what my glasses do.

See how the text in the top half of the lens is smaller, and in the bottom the text is bigger? My eyeballs need these adjustments. I have contacts that behave like the top half of these lenses, and I’m waiting on my readers to have the correct lenses put in so that I can see up close.

This book is called World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. It’s lovely so far. She discusses different species–flora and fauna–and how they relate to her life and humanity in general. I love her perspective. I love how different people can help us see life in so many different ways.

Aren’t axolotls cute?

Seeing Weeks Ahead

I have been nearsighted since high school. Got my first glasses prescription around 11th grade, and I’ve worn corrective lenses in some form for almost 30 years. And my eyes have progressively gotten worse, though a few years in my 20s my vision slightly improved.

A few years ago, my up-close reading vision started blurring. Which: gross. I told my eye doctor I’d probably need a bifocal lens, so we did tests, and sure enough I needed to add an up-close adjustment to my nearsighted prescription.

This is my third year needing bifocals, and my eyes have learned to use progressive lenses in glasses, where the bottom part is for reading, while the top 2/3 helps me see far away.

But this year I decided to get contacts for seeing distance and readers for seeing up close. I could wear the glasses while wearing contacts. The optometrist office fitted me for contacts, and and I picked out frames for readers. They shipped a year’s supply of contacts that arrived within a few days. The readers took about two weeks.

Saturday late afternoon I picked up the readers. I came home and tried them on over my contact lenses. And. They. Did. Not. Work. I could see more clearly without the readers, but seeing up close with contacts was still blurry. Seems the readers were not adjusted for having them worn over contacts, because when I tried them without contacts, I could actually read books and phones and shit like that. It was slightly annoying.

So I went to the optometrist’s office today and told the manager about the situation. I wore my contact lenses there, and the manager didn’t know if he would be able to get me in to see the optometrist to fix the prescription. Since they were only readers, the manager talked to the optometrist between appointments, who told him to try a few lenses at different strengths to see what worked over the contacts.

So that’s what we did. I held thingies that looked like little magnifying glasses over my eyeballs and told him which strength looked best while I looked at a reading card. The manager took the faulty reading glasses and assured me he’d switch out the lenses, and they’d be ready for me as soon as possible.

I still have my pair of bifocal glasses as a backup whenever I’m not wearing contacts. And if I don’t have to read up close–like, if I’m watching tv or going for a run–the contacts work great.

There are way worse problems in the world. I guess I’m lucky.

June 14

Today is Wednesday, June 16. Which means I’ve distanced by two days when Z got her first cavity filled.

We scheduled the appointment last Wednesday, and I’ve tried not to stress out about it for five days.

When Monday came, we didn’t really know what to expect. Like we thought we’d try the nitrous oxide. And we didn’t know if she’d keep the mask on. Or how she’d react to the gas.

But Z sat down in the big chair. The assistant lay the seat completely flat. She put the little rubber snout thing over Z’s nose, and she didn’t push it away. Reilly got out his phone for her to look at while the dentist was busy.

The first minute was the worst minute.

The rest of it went the best it possibly could. Z relaxed really well and the dentist worked quickly. It seemed like a long time, but after applying sealant to the other molars and then cleaning out the cavity and then putting in the glue then the filling, I guess maybe 20-25 minutes passed? There was also a lot of water and air and suction and that flashy sterilizing light thing. It happened fast and in slow-motion at the same time.

I sat at the foot of her chair and gently squeezed her leg to let her know I was there. Reilly was next to me. That was probably more for our peace of mind than to comfort Z. She seemed completely fine.

I think maybe she was just enjoying the gas the whole time.

She really did terrific. Couldn’t have gone better.

I’m so grateful.

Comment

Today after our main church service I attended another meeting, sort of like a Sunday school class. The teacher led a pretty good discussion, and a thousand thoughts entered my head at the same time, reacting to everyone else’s thoughts.

I hadn’t attended a class like this since March 2020. And even pre-pandemic I didn’t raise my hand very often to contribute to the discussion. Without rehearsing I get really nervous speaking in front of people, especially after 15 months of not speaking in front of them. Yet today I felt my throat opening up and my vocal cords readying for air to pass through them as my brain prepared my lungs to expel this air as actual speech.

Which, at the same time, my adrenaline levels had significantly increased, causing my armpits to heavily perspire.

So I made my comment. And then I was done. And I listened intently to the rest of the discussion while wondering if I had said something wrong or offensive. Adrenaline was still pumping so I remained sweaty, but I was also sitting underneath the air conditioning (and close to a floor vent), so I was also freezing. But my shivering may have also been residual nerves?

I don’t know.

After class, someone made eye contact and said she was glad to see me. And that I made a great comment and had nodded the entire time I was talking.

I was grateful for that. She made the fear sweats worth it.