26 June 2007

To See or Not to See

I had Lasik some years ago on my left eye. As a child, I had a bit of a lazy eye -- the left one wandered a bit. As a result, the left eye was much weaker than the right, which was just slightly nearsighted. I wore glasses & contacts for years, and then I was convinced to try the laser surgery.

Unlike many people, I had a bad experience with it. I had terrible, awful dry eye after the procedure, and I never felt my vision was as good as it had been with glasses. This was partly the result of the dryness. The layer of fluid is a lens, of a sort. But it was never bad enough to go back to glasses or contact lenses -- just something to squint through.

Last year, I went to an ophthalmologist, who said that in his opinion, my vision was still not bad enough to warrant glasses. In addition, my nearsightedness has delayed the onset of presbyopia -- the need for bifocals. So I happily continued my squinting.

Well, I'm tired of squinting. So I went to a "therapeutic optometrist" today. I'm not sure how a "therapeutic optometrist" is different fom a plain old optometrist, but this place was on my insurance company's list of preferred vision care providers, so that's where I went.

If you haven't been to the eye doctor for a while, it's worth a trip just to see all the cool toys. Among the video games we played was one that measures your peripheral vision. You click a mouse every time you see a flash of light. After a while, you begin to wonder whether you're seeing new flashes of white light or ghosts from the previous flash of white light. Very fun. I wonder if they are measuring reaction time as much as they are measuring peripheral vision.... I didn't get a prize, but the nice young doc also didn't try to talk me out of driving home...

Anyway, the doc was a nice fella who said I don't need a very strong prescription, but he could certainly understand if I'm tired of squinting and particularly have trouble driving at night. (I actually don't have any more trouble driving at night than I do during the day, but then, I don't drive at night very often. The problem is reading street signs or anything else more than 3 feet from my face -- day or night.) Anyway he was sympathetic to my desire to see clearly at distance. He did warn me, however, that if I get glasses for distance, I should always take them off to read. He even showed me why. Very instructive.

And so the optical dispenser gals, a couple of cute 20-somethings with little nose pierces, helped me pick out some new driving & movie-watching glasses. (What's weird is that one had her pierce on the left nostril & one had it on the right. It felt wrong, like something was out of sync.) I believe they helped me pick out something stylish and yet not ridiculous for a person my age....

Now, we wait. Seven to 10 more days of squinting.

22 June 2007

Drip, drip, drip

Went to dinner with mom & dad tonight at Macaroni Grill. Last time I was there, it was with visitors from Denmark, and they were not impressed. I'm guessing tonight was our last visit for another five years or so until mom forgets that we had dinner in the rain even though we were sitting inside....

Oh yes, it was raining outside, but the roof leaks. And the leaks dripped where? On our table. Or rather, on mom & I. All through dinner I kept noticing occasional water splooshes on my arm, but I didn't think anything of it. Then suddenly, mom pushes away from the table and says, "Are we done? Because I'm gettting wet."

Dad, being an extrovert, calls the waiter over to say, "You might want to let someone know that the roof is leaking here on this table." And the waiter (and then the Maitre'd) is dumb enough to say, "We know."

So.... they knew the roof leaked over that table, but they seated people there anyway? Brilliant. The stupid thing was admitting it. A smart person would have said, "Oh, really? Dang. I better tell a manager. Thanks for bringing that to our attention." Then you walk away, snickering, but you at least have done a public relations turn and appeared to be concerned about your patrons' comfort and (frankly) the sanitation standards of your business. Instead, they said, "Yeah, we knew you'd get dripped on all through your meal, and we know the drips go through the roof, the insulation, probablly all kinds of nasty roach poop and whatever, but we don't care because we already *got* your business."

I promised mom I would blog about the experience. Mom said, and I think she is brilliant, "I'll blog with my feet."

21 June 2007

Dating update

A while back, I joined in one of the Internet's most painful trends: online dating. I tried two services -- Match.com and eHarmony.

Match.com is straightforward: Look at pictures, read about someone & decide whether to send an e-mail that the other person won't respond to (because they decided not to pay for the service). eHarmony purports to have a "scientific approach": They make you suffer through a long personality test & then match you with people who never respond (because they decided not to pay for the service).

For the three months I was a paying member of these illustrious services, I met two people worth dating. One petered out after a few dates because he did not know when to shut up. You see, guys, no matter how brilliant and all-knowing you may be, the woman you are with might -- just might -- know more than you about one tiny, itsy-bitsy small subject. If you refuse to acknowledge this, you are effectively kissing off your chance of a goodnight kiss. Or a handshake. It's called "respect." I'm pretty sure that word is still in the dictionary, but maybe I'm old-school.

The second petered out before we even met because, well, because he knew my ex. Go figure. My ex lives in New York. What are the odds that an engineer living in Houston metro, would know people I knew when I was married and living in upstate NY? Small world. I'm not sure what it says about my ability to avoid making the same mistakes over & over.

I still have my Match.com account, although I no longer pay for it, so I have 'hidden' myself so men don't fall hopelessly in lust only to be disappointed when they get no response (because you can only respond if you pay, and most "men" would not be worth $20 to exchange the two or three e-mails typically required to determine they are actually pigs). But Match.com still e-mails me once a week with "my matches."

Yesterday, for the first time, they matched me with someone from work. Someone totally, absolutely, impossibly wrong. In fairness, Match.com said he was only a 74% match. But still.

On a recent (May!) business trip, which I meant to blog, I dragged along a professional photographer to shoot a zillion pictures of my colleagues working in the field. It was a fun trip, and I still mean to write about it one of these days. But the relevant thing here is that the photographer, who is kind of cute and very fun, is also single and pointed out a FREE online dating site: Plenty Of Fish. So I signed up -- what the heck, right?

The thing about a free online dating site is that it's free. So there are all kinds of morons on there, including (I think -- I hope) 13-year-olds posing as 45-year-olds. If these men really are 45, there are a lot of reasons why they are divorced/separated/single. Example from a recent chat:

Man: Hi my name is Xxxxx.
Me: My brother's name is Xxxxx. You're not him are you? Because that would be really embarrassing.
Man: Ha no im not ur brother but r u feelin naughty?

(sigh) I mean, it's not even *video* chatting for heaven's sake.

Anyway, in two months of Fishing, I haven't caught anything worth keeping -- but hey, it's *free.* And I haven't given up yet.