Saturday, November 29, 2008

Playing Catch Up...

We just returned a few hours ago from a weeklong 2000 mile road trip (round trip). I'll be posting details - and pix - in the upcoming days.

Hope everyone had a safe, Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Breaking Up is Hard to Do ;-)

It seems my 30-year love affair with soft contact lenses has come to an end. I've known for a couple of months now that we were on the decline, Contacts and I, but I was in denial. I tried everything in my power to make this relationship work. But neither a trial separation (since this summer), professional counseling (okay, an opthamologis), nor prescription eye drops, could save this relationship.

You may recall that I had an inkling of trouble in August of 2007 when my annual eye exam revealed that I had "dry eyes." My optometrist recommended over-the-counter drops (Systane) and no contacts for two weeks. When I returned, everything looked good. Contact and I, we were happy. Or so I thought.

This past summer, I started having trouble with my eyes: redness, significant decrease in vision. I made an appointment with an opthamologist in August who confirmed severe "dry eye syndrome." She put me on a steroid eye drop to help with the inflammation, plus the prescription Restasis, which is supposed to help you produce more tears. She asked that I check back in three months.

Today was my follow up appointment. My eyes look better, but still very, very dry. While I held out hope that Contacts and I could work it out (is was just a dry patch, right? ha ha), it's not meant to be. Certainly Contacts and I could occasionally get together for Old Time's Sake? But no. The doctor feels that even wearing contact lenses part time would irritate my eyes. A clean break. No on again, off again (or in again, out again).

Today, she inserted little plug into the ducts in my lower eyelid to help prevent draining too much of my eyes' natural lubricant. It was a mildly uncomfortable procedure - not painful at all. I'll have to continue with the absurdly expensis Restasis drops, probably forever.

But what to do about my myopia (nearsightedness)? If not Contacts, then what? Glasses? Never been a fan. The pair I have are cute, stylish, lightweight - everything a gal could ask. But they're just not "me." I miss the peripheral vision that my old love, Contacts, provided and I have the bruises to show for it (hey, who moved that wall??).

Oh, and I'm of a 'certain age' which means: bifocals. (Quoting Charlie Brown: ARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!). And while I'm at it, I'll need prescription sunglasses.

Or laser surgery. Blades/lasers near my eyeballs - not an appealing thought. But one I'm considering. I have a lot of homework to do in that regard. The feels that I'd be a good candidate for PRK (photorefractive keratotomy). I'd still have the dry eyes to contend with, and would probably still occasionally need reading glasses (the age thing), but it might be worth considering.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Are You A Marilyn or a Jackie?

I borrowed this from Sue's blog. It's a silly little quiz to determine whether you are a Marilyn Monroe type or a Jackie Kennedy time... or perhaps another icon from the Mad Men era.

Leave it to me to be ... neither! (I can't really say that I agree with very much of this, but anywhooooo....)

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid
  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people
  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others
  • * having aesthetic sensibilities
  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid
  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved
  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people
  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me
  • * expecting too much from myself and life
  • * fearing being abandoned
  • * obsessing over resentments
  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often
  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games
  • * are very sensitive
  • * feel that they don't fit in
  • * believe they are missing something that other people have
  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents
  • * help their children become who they really are
  • * support their children's creativity and originality
  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Made History Today....How About You?

Did you vote? If not, what are you doing reading my blog?! Get out there, for pete's sake!

Vote. Be Heard.

Whichever the outcome, history will be made. We'll either have our first African American president, or our first female vice president.

I'm a firm believer that if one does not exercise his or her right to vote, then he or she forfeits any right to complain about how the government is run. If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem, as the saying goes.

(I feel I know my blog friends well enough to know that those of you who are able to vote in the U.S. Presidential Election will do so. Just thought I'd post a reminder for anyone else who might pop by.)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Jumping in with Both Feet...

In late August, I completed an application to substitute teach in my local school district. I attended the mandatory training workshop in September.

The system used by our school system is largely automated. I can go online and search for substitute jobs or the automated system will call me in the morning if there's a job opening at one of the schools I specified. If I get a call in the morning, I can either accept the job, reject the job, or indicate that I'm unavailable the entire day.

I've been doing the latter for a few reasons: 1) I either have something else planned, or 2) I just don't feel 'ready.' The beauty of the automated system is that it's random. I'm not blacklisted if I turn down too many jobs.

Well today at 9:15, I received a call from Son #1's junior high school. I saw the name/number on the caller ID and assumed that perhaps Son #3 wasn't feeling well. But no.....

They needed a substitute ... for a substitute! I kid you not. They apparently had a sub lined up but for whatever reason he/she didn't show up. It's much easier to say no to an automated system than it is to say no to the secretary at my son's school.

Thirty-minutes later I was substituting for 7th grade English/Language Arts. It was nice because the teacher I was filling in for taught Son #1 last year, so I had a pretty good idea about her policies and schedule. Plus, she left very detailed instructions.

So how was it? Not bad, actually. Looking professional and acting competent & confident (even if you don't actually feel it) is probably 85% of it. I actually thought I'd prefer working with younger kids - they're still eager to please. But it was nice to teach the same class three times to three different sets of kids. If one group was particularly challenging, there's comfort in knowing that the bell will ring and they'll be leaving.

All in all, it was a good day. Now that I've gotten my feet wet, so to speak, it'll be easier to say yes next time.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween!

From left to right are:

  • Commander Cody from Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Son #3, age 6)
  • Indiana Jones (Son #2, age 11)
  • Scream Ghoul (Son #3, age 13)