Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Eyes

A week ago I needed glasses to be functional. After 22 years of looking through lenses of some sort I have spent the last week with nothing more than plain, ordinary and inexpensive sunglasses. This is not to say that I've been fully able to see.

Last Monday I had Lasik surgery - Intralase Custom Wavefront Lasik, actually. It was an ordeal involving eye drops, dark and cold rooms, lots of people telling me to relax without moving and one doctor getting slowly more aggravated because I kept squeezing my eyes shut and ricocheting the eyelid holding device across the room. When the same doctor told me he wasn't happy with the flap on my right eye and that I'd need to go back in for a second round of eyelid holding and cornea brushing I considered telling him some other options for his little medieval torture devices.

I've spent the last week avoiding water or fingers in my eyes. I shower in swimming goggles. I'm never far from a series of eye drops that must be administered to prevent inflammation, kill any germs and substitute for tear ducts that just didn't want to work right. My vision has varied wildly, sometimes within seconds like a camera trying to focus. My right eye finally caught up with my left eye yesterday so that I see out of them with equal clarity. At this point, I'm left with only one side effect - halos.

I was never all that good at seeing in low light situations, especially driving at night in the rain. Whatever lights there were would fill my vision. Now, the glowing haze around lights, especially florescent lights, causes double image distortions and trouble focusing. In fact, I probably shouldn't have driven to work in the dark. Just shy of my one week anniversary, aside from the dwindling halo effect, it seems only my brain is left to adjust to my new eyes.

I keep trying to adjust glasses that aren't there. My vision is clearer with clear lens in front of my eyes than without as if my mind thinks I shouldn't be able to see without something on my face.

It's also been interesting. I can read all the bottles in the shower. I can see my toes in the shower. I can read my alarm clock without moving it. I look a little funny without glasses. I feel a little bit naked.

At this point I don't have any regrets (there were moments though) but I'm still not sure that being able to see my toes in the shower was worth the expense and the small torture of the actual procedure. No glasses is nice though, it really is.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New York and Back

First, there are some rules and I'll break it just once. The rule involves a ban on posting unapproved photographs. Basically, it's a classic Cold War standoff. Each of us possesses embarassing pictures of the other and so to perserve our friendships and our reputations we've vowed not to post pictures for general viewing unless granted prior approval. Thus, most of these pictures are of me (thank goodness I'm so handsome - ha!).

Second, the best pictures are undoubtedly on Jill and Steve's cameras. There was a great deal of posing and stagecraft which means they're probably too funny to post anyway.

Next, here's a few pictures.

Obviously, at the Statue of Liberty.


The Statue of Liberty (from the ferry)


In Front of the NYSE


Listening to the "white people"


Times Square (the less interesting side)


The picture that should be here - Steve and Jill on the subway.

Hopefully, they'll forgive me.

Over the years I have hesitated going to New York - too big, too crowded, too difficult to maneuver through. Generally intimidating. I'm happy I finally made it and happier still that the college roommates could reunite.

In truth, I would have been just as happy sitting in Steve's apartment hanging out with everyone and doing nothing much else because these are just fun people to spend time with, but it was fun getting out in the city too.

I went to three Broadway shows with only two thirds of one act of Exit the King being really awful (sorry Susan Sarandon and Geoffrey Rush, but you needed to exit the stage about 40 minutes before you did). Before you think I was miserable, I should give kudos to Geoffrey Rush. He was hilarious and without him I probably would have found something to help myself exit the theatre. And I got to see Susan Sarandon and Geoffrey Rush within spitting distance - literally.

Jill and I went to Alfred Hitchcock's 39 Steps. It spoofed or referenced much of Hitchcock's work all the time using just 4 cast members playing "150 parts". The physical comedy was amazing and from my front row perch I could see each of the times the cast started to crack itself up - for some reason they had a case of the giggles, but it made it that much more fun for us.


All of us went to August: Osage County, an award winning show deserving of them all. Steve billed it as his favorite play ever on Broadway so the hype was big. For the first fifteen minutes I wondered and then that guy died (Mr. Rush, pay attention).


Beyond the shows it was the usual touristy stuff. This involves walking...lots of walking...subways...more walking...brief respites of sitting on the subway...more walking. Jill and I were getting a little whiny about the walking part.

The last note I have is about food. I went for the food, the shows and the friends and none of them disappointed. From Karen and Steve's making breakfast to $28 drinks at Spice Market, we ate much and we ate well. There was Dallas BBQ in Times Sqaure, breakfast at 24 hour diners in Brooklyn, $12 a pound M&M's at the M&M store, a Magnolia Bakery cupcake (that wasn't all that) and a little Italian place called Aurora (possibly my favorite of the group).

Of course, there's more stories to tell and were more memories made than I can ever put down in words, but that's why we do these things.

Finally, a big thanks to Steve and Karen for taking care of us over the week.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rodeo

Before I forget again, a couple weekends ago we had a new sort of outing by attending a PBR Built Ford Tough...blah, blah, blah...we watched bull riding.

There was a sea of cowboy hats, some buckle bunnies, a few celebrities in the really nice seats and a sense of country (and gently Republican) living right here in the city.

This was not like the 4th of July rodeos I'm used to. It was hard to know when the show was in commercial breaks (and sometimes whether the clown entertaining during those breaks was more fun than the actual bull riding). There were fireworks, confetti, loud music, cheering fans, bright lights and scantily clad Tecate girls hurling things at the fans. All in all - quite fun.

Less successful was our group picture. We should have given up on the poor man when he couldn't figure out how to push the button, but we kept encouraging him. This was the best we got - my chin, Joanne's eye and the brim of Camille's hat. At least we have the memories.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New York, New York

The New York trip is now booked. Once again, the dynamic trio of Steve, Jill and I will hit the streets together...this time in New York City. Last time we were together was Lawrence, Kansas as Jill got married. Before that, well, before that we lived together and just to remind you that may not remember this picture shows just a how freaking cool we were. New York - watch out!