allizon: (lasik!)

Originally published at my site. You can comment here or there.

When I was a kid, my dad always used to say that I had rectumsitis: I can’t see for shit. I started wearing glasses when I was nine years old, and in all likelihood, I needed them before that; my prescription was fairly advanced when I got that first pair of glasses. For almost thirty years, I’ve required corrective lenses of some kind to be able merely to function in the world, my vision was so bad.

But at about three o’clock yesterday afternoon, that changed.

I had LASIK surgery performed at the Selkin Laser Center here in Greensboro. I walked in, agreed to give Dr. Selkin a small fortune (but a smaller fortune than it would have required even just a few years ago), had a routine eye exam, waited for a bit, then underwent an uncomfortable (but not painful, not at all) surgical procedure… and now I can see.

(If you’re reading this and wondering why I didn’t tell you about it before I had the procedure done: I didn’t tell anybody. The only person who knew I was going in to have it done was Terry — I didn’t even tell my praents. I wasn’t sure I was actually going to be able to get it done, whether because of financing or because my eyes just weren’t right for it or what have you, so I tried to minimize my potential disappointment by keeping it secret. It would’ve hurt worse if I found out I couldn’t get my eyes fixed and I had to go back and explain to everyone why it couldn’t happen.)

I’m sitting at my computer, staring at my screen without glasses or contact lenses, and I can easily read every character I’m typing. Had I tried this yesterday morning, I’d have see nothing but a blurry mass of colors. I can read small print on the poster on the wall opposite me, could read small text from across Kelsey’s kindergarten classroom at the open house we just went to — text Terry was struggling to read from the same distance, and she has pretty good vision.

Before the procedure, my visual acuity was probably somewhere in the 20/500 or more range (I asked what the exact number was, but the assistant rattled off a string of numbers which meant nothing to me and, I’m sure, everything to the eye doctor). Now, it should be 20/20 in my left eye and probably 20/25 in my right — because of an astigmatism in my right eye, it couldn’t get quite down to 20/20. But if you think after thirty years of glasses that I’ll complain even a little about having 20/25 vision in one eye, you’re nuts.

I feel like a chain which has been holding me down has been severed, a chain which had bound me for so long I’d almost stopped noticing the chain was there. Nothing I’ve written here has properly conveyed the enormity of what all of this means to me, which means you can count on follow-up posts as the reality of having good vision sinks in. But I just wanted to take the time to shout it out to the world:

I can see.

allizon: (Default)

Originally published at my site. Please leave any comments there.

Yesterday morning, I read a news bite saying that an actor I liked was going to be in a movie that I’d likely be excited about.  I wrote up a quick post about it and scheduled it to publish in the afternoon since I wanted to give my legions of readers ample opportunity to laugh at the picture of 13-year-old me I’d posted yesterday morning.

In between the time I wrote that post and the time it was supposed to be published, more than 30 people were massacred at Virginia Tech.

I wrestled with whether or not posting such a piece of inconsequential fluff was appropriate given what was going on in Blacksburg; ultimately, as you can see, I decided to go ahead with it — if I tried to stop posting out of respect for every terrible thing that happened, I’d never write anything again.  In the grand scheme of things, it didn’t matter one way or the other whether I posted that article or not, I reasoned, so up it went.

But it did matter.  It mattered to me.

Much like I’d imagine most every other rational, feeling person reading the news yesterday, I felt positively nauseated by what happened.  It just made no sense to me.  I can wrap my head around reading news stories about dozens of civilians getting killed in Baghdad — horrendous though it is, Baghdad’s a war zone and I can understand the types of things that happen there.  It’s tragic, but it’s also expected (and possibly all the more tragic for it).

But what happened yesterday, the utter randomness of it… that I can’t wrap my head around.  I can’t understand why someone thinks they need to kill that many innocent people before taking their own life.  I simply do not get it.

And this particular incident has shaken me far more than any previous school shooting ever did.  I think that it’s because unlike when, say, Columbine happened, I’m now a parent.  It’s made me think more:  thinking of those kids who got shot for no other reason than being in the wrong classroom when some psychopath decided it was time to make his mark on the world… thinking of the parents of those kids, watching the news, terrified, then getting the call that their child had been senselessly murdered…

It made what I wrote yesterday insignificant.  It made the majority of what I ever write feel insignificant.

I know it’s not entirely so, of course; people need entertainment to help distract them from thinking too much of the likes of what happened yesterday, and I like to discuss that entertainment and to try occasionally to provide some of it myself.  But those pointless murders really helped put what I do in some sense of perspective, to remind me of what’s truly important and what isn’t.  Just because writing about pop culture isn’t “important” doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing it, but I’m reminded how lucky I am that I’m able to do think about the trivial so much, that my worries aren’t greater, than my family is safe and happy and healthy.

My most heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims at Virginia Tech.

Back to the frivolities of pop culture tomorrow.  Tonight, I’m going to go home and give my family a few dozen extra hugs.

allizon: (Default)

Originally published at Do Or Do Not.. You can comment here or there.

The trailer’s just about as loaded as it’s gonna get. The kids are now sleeping for the last time in this house where they’ve each lived most of their lives. We’ve said more goodbyes than I’d like and not as many as I wish we could have. Tomorrow morning at God Awful O’Clock, we hit the road and head south.

So long, New England. It’s been an experience. Best wishes to all my homiez up here, and I hope to see you all soon. Vaya con queso, mis compadres.

(I’ll be checking email sporadically once we get there, but likely won’t be fully engaged with the online world again until I get my computer up and running at the new job on Monday, and possibly not much in the way of new posts here for a few days thereafter. But soon! Soon the move will be done and I’ll once again have the time and energy to devote to all six of my fans out there.)

allizon: (Default)

Originally published at Do Or Do Not.. You can comment here or there.

Because I just realized that I’ve never made the official announcement here on Do or Do Not, I’ll go ahead and do so:

Do or Do Not World Headquarters is relocating to beautiful Greensboro, North Carolina. Like, next week.

The impending move has been the single biggest reason behind the paucity of posting here over the last couple of weeks. Remember in my last post when I said I didn’t have the brainpower to actually put much in the way of coherent thoughts together? That’s why. I’ve had things to say yet neither the time nor the focus to say them. So sorry — I hope to find that condition rectified after we’re settled into the new digs. Things should be a little closer to normal around here come September.

I’m excited to be returning to my roots, in a sense, moving back to the South after our three-year sojourn to New England. The winters here have never sat well with me, and the cost of living has sat even less well. I’ll once again be in a cultural environment which, while incredibly problematic for me as a left-winger, feels comfortable in the way, say, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off does: I can see the problems and the inadequacies, but I’m still able to enjoy it anyway.

Still, the slow dismantling of the life Terry and I have built here over the last three years saddens me. More than I was expecting it to.

I know that we have much ahead to look forward to and much to be excited about, but while we’re in the middle of cutting ties (well, perhaps “loosening” ties would be a better way to put it) and divesting ourselves of extraneous crap, I can’t quite get to that excited-for-the-future place. Right now I’m just a little depressed, noting every time, for instance, I walk into a building I know I’ll likely never walk into again. I even felt a little twinge when I drove past Gilette Stadium this morning, and I’ve never ever seen a game there — but it’s part of the landscape of my life here, even if a small one, and I’ll miss it.

Two weeks from now we’ll be well and truly into our new lives, our new house, in North Carolina and we’ll have time to stop, to relax, to breathe, to enjoy the bright future we’re both so confident lies ahead. But for now, all we are is tired and stressed and already missing the people and the places that have come to mean so much to us.

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Allison

March 2012

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