Thursday, February 24, 2011

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?" ~ Satchel Paige

And now here I am, with BIFOCALS.

My eye doctor recommended I go ahead and get bifocals even though my need for them is relatively slight, because she thought this would be a better way to get used to them.  My sad, special eyes are terrible, I have a -10 prescription, which is pitifully strong.  I have a limited choice in eyeglass frames because of the thickness of my lenses, even if I get the expensive top of the line high index superthin lenses they are still way too thick for rimless or even wire rims.

So my "slight" bifocals -- and I got the "progressive" lenses so there's no visible line -- came in this past Sunday.  I had heard about people having trouble getting used to them, but I thought that was because you have to get used to looking down to read and looking straight ahead to walk, etc.  You obviously have to look through the part of the lens that has the correct prescription for where you are trying to see.

I had no idea that everything would be so distorted throughout the whole lens, though.  It's like getting new glasses with a stronger prescription, there is always an adjustment period, only this is way way way more intense.  In retrospect, it was probably a bad idea to get the new glasses, and immediately drive to Walmart to go shopping.  Turning my head back and forth and scanning the shelves looking for cans of tuna and two-liters of Coke Zero and a loaf of whole wheat bread was just way, way, way too disorienting.

Greg kept looking at me, white as a sheet and dizzy, and suggesting that I might prefer to wait in the car.  Would there, in fact, be anything much worse than vomiting in a crowded Walmart on a Sunday afternoon?  It would have been interesting to see how many iPhones would have been whipped out and pointed at me, posting pics of my sad, sick moment on Twitter.

But I made it okay, and felt fine after getting home and lying down for a while.  Headaches have been minimal, too, although every now and then I still feel slightly queasy from the distortion.

So far I am not enjoying old age.

And, since I can only wear contacts once every week or two, contacts with bifocals are too expensive for me to justify so I got "reading glasses" for close-up vision when I'm wearing contacts.  I am now officially a person who carries old lady glasses around in her purse for when I need to read some small print on a menu or a price tag.

Also, I have a bunion.  I have old lady eyes and old lady glasses, and now old lady feet and, inevitably, old lady shoes.

Soon, I will stop listening to Nicki Minaj, and will begin tucking folded, used tissues into the wrists of my long sleeved nightgowns. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Orlando Wetlands Park

Greg and I went last Saturday.  It was a beautiful day in the Sunshine state!  We went early in the morning, but I think the high that day was over 80.

I am stretching in the sunshine.

Greg took this one:

Here's Greg looking up at a giant flock of vultures (there's one on the trail ahead of him).

Hey, look, we're in Florida!

It was a lovely day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Watching More Movies

I have several friends who are counting the movies they watch this year, and they tweet updates to their total almost every day.  My measly one or two movies a week look pitiful next to their already extensive lists, but I just don't want to make movie-watching a bigger priority than I already have.  I like relaxing at home after work; reading a magazine or poking around on Facebook or reading blogs or working on something crafty or hearing about Greg's day.  Unfortunately I also need to save some time for straightening up, doing dishes, cleaning up Sydney's kitty puke hairballs, etc.  I used to go for a month or more without seeing a single movie, so seeing one or two a week is a giant improvement.  Yay me!

1/29 = Bourne Identity (Netflix blu-ray disc)
I love spy thriller movies, I love Matt Damon, and I thoroughly enjoyed this.

2/5 = Bourne Supremacy (Netflix blu-ray disc)
Number two in the Bourne trilogy.  I didn't think this sequel was quite as good as the first, but I have some momentum built up now, so I'll watch the third one soon (it's next up in our Netflix queue) 

2/12 = Social Network (Netflix blu-ray disc)
Fascinating story and intelligent movie, it was funnier than I expected.  I thought that Trent Reznor's score really added a lot of edge and gave the whole movie a slightly darker tone.     

2/13 = Fanboys (HD cable)
Tremendously fun movie about Star Wars geeks on a road trip.  I love a well-placed cameo appearance, and this movie is packed with them, by everyone from Carrie Fisher to Kevin Smith.  Lots of little jokes and references that a geek, particularly a Star Wars geek, would love.  (I did.)

2/18 = The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (HD cable)
I am from the southwestern area of Virginia, the Appalachian mountains, very close to West Virginia.  This documentary is about the White family in Boone, WV, which is approximately 100 miles away from where I grew up.  Non-southern people lump all southern accents into a big buttery pile, but a real southerner knows that a Georgia accent is as far from an Alabama accent as collard greens are from fine dining.  These people, oh my, had real accents, and the exact same kind that I heard growing up.  The one that really got to me was someone saying "egg" and pronouning it "aig".  I still remember as a wee child being confused about who the "Aidie" person could have been, until one day I heard someone else said it with a bit less of an accent and I realized it was "Eddie".  Law, law.   At any rate, this is an incredibly well-made movie, and a fascinating story.  This is the movie to show the person who thinks documentaries are boring.  At one point Greg and I were laughing so hard we had to pause the DVR, and at another point I was getting teary.  It's very REAL.

2/19 = Winter's Bone (Netflix blu-ray disc)
As spare as a poem, beautiful and haunting.  Greg said it's very faithful to the book.  It deserves every one of the Oscar nominations it got, and I hope it wins repeatedly.  Days later I can't stop thinking about it.

I am actually looking forward to the Oscars this weekend, since I have seen several of the nominations for Best Picture.  Go, Winter's Bone!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Met Penn & Teller

We got to the Hard Rock Live right around the time the doors opened, at 7:00pm. 



I had my 1989 copy of Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends tucked safely away in my super cool big canvas purse from The Strand bookstore, along with the Nikon point-n-shoot camera.  We found our seats, which were near the front of the balcony.


We went back down to the lobby to check out the merch: They were selling cool black t-shirts for $20, which is a really good price, and programs for $10, which were big and glossy.  I asked the merchandise chickie and two security guards if Penn & Teller were going to come out and meet fans afterwards, because they usually do, and they all said they'd be outside by the lagoon.  Three randomly-sampled official people all having the same story made me feel like they might know the right answer, so I relaxed a little.
I had packed in my purse, in addition to the P & T book and the camera: tissues in case I cried (or sneezed), ibuprofen in case my back or feet or head hurt, a Sharpie in case Penn and/or Teller didn't have one already, lipstick, hairbrush, breath mints, extra copy of car key, cell phone, small umbrella in case it rained, business cards for Greg's website just in case we met someone who'd be interested (which we did).
It is part of the unusual and sometimes terrible psychology of being me that I get anxious before exciting happy times.  It makes sense to me: What if something goes wrong?  But it seems to perplex normal people, who just enjoy looking forward to exciting happy times. 
Greg and I visited the bar and sat back down with a beer and a dirty martini.  I carefully watched the time and went to the bathroom five minutes before the show was scheduled to start.
I've seen Penn and Teller perform on tv many times, but knew that it would be different in person, and it really was.  It genuinely lived up to all of my very high expectations, it was bloody, sarcastic, hilarious, and amazing.  And kind of indescribable, really.  The whole audience seemed utterly mesmerized, and during the quiet parts, everyone was completely silent. 
The show started right on time and lasted almost two hours.  Afterwards, we headed outside to look for Penn and Teller.  Despite the earlier assurances, this made me a teeny bit nervous, as there was no re-entry.  If they were actually meeting fans inside I'd be screwed.
Just outside the doors there were two giant hordes of people, one to our right and one to our left.  Being 5" tall, I couldn't see well enough to tell if it was them, but Greg is 6".  He stretched up on his tippy-toes and confirmed that Penn was in the middle of the horde on the left, Teller was to the right.
We squirmed into the crowd and waited our turn.  I could see a lot of people were getting their ticket stubs signed.  Ha!  Amateurs.  They clearly weren't P & T fans who'd done their research ahead of time.  I pulled out my precious first-edition copy of Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends, and I was ready. 
Penn was very much in control of the crowd.  I did see (and by "see" I mean "got squished against") a security guy with a bluetooth earpiece a couple of feet away from Penn.  Penn would sign what was presented to him, take a photo if asked, and managed to keep a small space around himself at all times.  When it was our turn, I held up the book.
Me:  "Can I get your autograph?"
Penn, seeing the book:  "Hey, look at that!"
He signed what is basically a scribble, and handed the book back to me.  I stared at his left hand ring finger nail, which is the one he paints with red nailpolish.  I noticed the polish was kind of a dark pink color, and felt completely surreal standing next to it.  Good grief, this was really Penn Jillette!
Greg, ready with the camera: "Do you mind if she gets a quick picture with you?"
Penn: "Of course not!" he said, and putting his arm around me, leaned waaaay down (he's 6'7") so his head had a chance of being in the same frame as mine.
Greg took the photo, and then shook Penn's hand.  "Thank you so much!"
Penn: "No problem, boss."


We made our way to an open area, and I felt shaky and slightly weepy.  Was it real?  We decided to throw ourselves into the Teller crowd, and headed over.  Teller was working his crowd as efficiently as Penn did, going around in a clockwise circle.  The dude right in front of us got his ticket stub (what a loser) signed, and then completely messed up the rotation by failing to exit the area immediately afterwards; he just stood there watching Teller sign autographs for the people next to him.  What will happen when Teller gets around to me?  Will he know that he already signed for this doofus in front of me who won't leave?  The whole system has been thrown into chaos!  But finally the doofus left.  Whew.
Eventually I was next, and Teller turned to me.  I held out my book.
Me: "Could you sign this for me?" 
Teller, smiling at the book.  "A classic!"  (He has a very nice voice, by the way.)
Me, smiling back: "It IS!"
He signed it, and handed it back.
Greg: "Would you mind if we got a picture?"
Teller: "Certainly."
He put his arm around me and Greg took the photo. 
Greg shook his hand and thanked him, and we left. 

It was a lovely night!
*happy sigh*  
Side note:  I am not thrilled about posting these pics of me, particularly the one with Penn, in which my face is clearly too excited to know what to do.  
Upon getting home and seeing the photo:   
Me:  "Gah!"
Greg:  "Aw, look how cute you are."
Me:  "Wow, you really love me a lot."
But I did make a promise that I would be fearless (or at least less fearful) with this blog, so I'm trying to live up to my word.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Win At The Internet!

As I've mentioned several times before, I love Penn Jillette.  LOVE.  And tonight (!) Penn and Teller are performing at the Hard Rock Live here in Orlando.  (!!)  I am so excited I almost can't stand it.  I have never seen them perform, and from what I can tell they pretty much always hang out after their shows signing autographs.  I am going to try to smuggle in a camera so Greg can get a pic of me and Penn (!!!), and I'm taking my copy of Cruel Tricks For Dear Friends to hopefully get it autographed.

Did I mention how excited I am? (!!!!)

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it here, but I am on Twitter, and I've been tweeting a countdown all week.  Yesterday I tweeted this:

Then last night, I tweeted this:

Now, I know that Penn is on Twitter a lot, but he has 1,630,571 followers, probably many of whom tag him in posts all the time.  But!  Then a few minutes later, I get this:

Eeee!  He saw my tweet and answered me!  I am so giddy.  I love the internet!