New face, again

Holy shit, do I look tired.

I don’t even remember how long it’s been since I got LASIK– it was pre-Covid, I think, so it was in the Before Times and therefore was somewhere between seven and a million years ago and cannot be nailed down any more precisely by any human agency. The final-final-final resolution of All That is those glasses, which are new as of this evening, and are, for the first time in my life, bifocals.

For some time now I’ve been back in glasses, but sort of part-time? I didn’t need them for reading, and I found that in other contexts I didn’t want them on– eating was weird, and anything involving close detail work inevitably involved me removing my glasses. And being back in glasses again wasn’t that big of a deal– I started wearing them in second grade, remember, so it just wasn’t that big of a deal, but putting them on and taking them off constantly was driving me insane. So at my last eye appointment I told my doctor that I was interested in a more permanent prescription that would fix that problem. My understanding is that the “reading” part of the glasses involves very little correction, if any at all, and then there’s the weird transition area and the regular prescription, and, well. Sitting at my computer and typing was the last test the new glasses needed to pass and right now they’re doing quite well.

It’s too bad that LASIK didn’t work out perfectly for me, but honestly I’m still not super inclined to complain about it– my vision is enormously improved from before I had the surgery, but because I was blind as hell before I had the surgery they just couldn’t get me up to perfect, or at least couldn’t do it on the first try, and I’ve politely declined to give them a second chance to cut my eyes open with lasers. I can do lots of things without my glasses that were flatly impossible before; if I get up and go to the bathroom at night I don’t need to put them on, I can see while I’m swimming or in the shower, and I can drive without them. If I were to somehow lose my glasses, I’d be annoyed but fine until the new pair showed up. I apparently view my vision like I view my politics; I didn’t get perfect, but I got a substantial improvement and I’m perfectly happy with that.

Also, if you can get your frames from Costco, jump on that. I haven’t gotten a new pair of glasses for less than $400 in a minute, and these were less than a third of that.

So, ignoring the face they’re sitting on, how do they look?

LASIK, six months later

I had my eyes lasered six months and ten days ago, and I thought it might be useful to take a minute and talk about how that’s been going.

And honestly, so far, my experience has been kind of mixed. I am very definitely still healing, and things are still changing on a week-to-week basis. One thing I wasn’t aware of going into the process was that apparently nearsightedness takes a bit longer to heal than farsightedness does, and I was quite nearsighted. I’m also suffering from not being able to simply put my glasses back on to compare glasses-assisted vision to what I have now. So let’s do a pros and cons list.

Pros:

  • Pain, even very early on, has been virtually nonexistent. For the first couple of days after the surgery the first maybe five minutes after waking up, when I’m just opening my eyes for the first time, had that sort of pebbly there’s-something-under-my-eyelids feeling that you might get when you’re really tired. But that went away quickly and there’s been no issues since then.
  • I’ve experienced no starbursting or any degeneration of my ability to drive at night.
  • Close-up vision is essentially perfect for 90% of the day, and my vision has been corrected to somewhere in the 20/20-25/20 range. For the purposes of this conversation I’m defining “close-up” as anything within five or six feet, and when they give you that little card to read at “normal reading distance” at the eye doctor I can read the smallest print easily.. This is where I wish I had my glasses, because there’s a lot of “could I have read that with my glasses on seven months ago?” going on with text that is farther away than that.

Cons:

  • That other 10% of the day. My eyes get tired more easily than they used to, and I swear they produce more crud than they used to as well. I have gone from someone who never needed eyedrops to still using them (non-medicinal rewetting drops, to be clear) maybe two or three times a day. The last hour of the day can sometimes be a bit of a struggle, and that just wasn’t the case when I was wearing glasses.

Now, some caveats and provisos and quid pro quos:

  • I don’t think it’s unfair to point out that working from home during quarantine has had a serious effect on my eyes. I spend eight hours a day at my computer, to start, and that was never the case before. It is rare that I have to focus on something more than ten to fifteen feet away, and that is probably fucking with my mid- and particularly my long-distance vision. One thing I’ve noticed: I sit maybe ten feet away from the TV when we’re watching shows, and we typically keep closed captions or subtitles on regardless of what we’re watching them. At the beginning of watching a show, it can be a struggle to keep the captions in clean focus. That’s almost never a problem by the end of the show, so it’s a case of my eyes taking a minute to adjust to focusing on something out of arm’s length. Similarly, it just occurred to me in the last couple of days that our new TV puts out a lot more light than the old one, which might be why longer video game sessions bug me more than they used to. I need to adjust where I’m putting my chair; I wasn’t too close to the old TV, but I think I am too close to the new one. That’s an eye issue, but it’s not LASIK’s fault.
  • Similarly, the first couple of minutes of driving anywhere (I leave the house maybe once a week) always involve me thinking about my eyes a lot. It goes away quickly. I have never, even for a moment, even at night, thought that I couldn’t see well enough to drive, but that first minute or so always involves lots of staring at trees long distances away and wondering what they looked like when I wore glasses.

Things are still getting better on a week-to-week basis, I think, and I’m spending a lot less time thinking about my eyes than I used to, but I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that the first two or three months in particular were a bit more of a trial than I expected. I don’t think I made a mistake, mind you, but as someone who didn’t mind wearing glasses all that much, I don’t know if I’d do it again, if that makes any sense. If you really feel like glasses or contacts are a pain in the ass, I’d definitely still suggest you think strongly about doing it– but just be aware that the healing process is a lengthier thing than you might have expected.

Assess the new look

I have had two problems with my lifestyle lately. One, I’m spending way too much time sitting in front of the computer– which remains vastly preferable to the alternative, but still an issue. Two, I am bald and for some reason bald this year has been cold in a way that it simply hasn’t in previous years.

Enter the skullcap, which fits nicely (more of a problem than you might believe; it’s nearly impossible to find hats that fit) and which I intend to wear around the house and outdoors on these sorts of days, and the fact that I am back in glasses, sort of, which will sit by the computer and be worn nowhere else, as they are blue light blockers and are supposed to cut down on eyestrain. I have close friends who will be mildly berated if they don’t work.

(This is not true. I have been describing myself as reasonably financially comfortable for a few years now, and my definition of “comfortable” is “can spend $20 pretty much whenever I like.” These glasses were $20. I won’t even bother returning them if I decide they don’t work.)

I sort of like the look of the skullcap (feel free to yell at me if you disagree) but I’m not in love with the Harry Potter style of the glasses. Then again, this picture will be the only time anyone who isn’t married to or genetically related to me sees them, so I don’t much care what they look like. I’ve gotta say, it’s weird having glasses back on my face again.

(Figures eyes are already hurty enough for the day, takes them off, figuring it won’t get worse)

(Questions own logic)

(Does it anyway)


Blah blah blah blah election panic-cakes. Amy Coney Barrett’s successful nomination makes it all the more critical that we take the Senate and then pack the hell out of the Supreme Court, hopefully impeaching Brett Kavanaugh along the way. My position all along has been that Coney’s nomination was legitimate– there wasn’t a “no election years!” rule when Merrick Garland was nominated and there isn’t one now– but that she should nonetheless be opposed with, well, every arrow in our quiver, Ms. Pelosi, and with every procedural trick and lowdown dirty bit of nonsense our parliamentarians can come up with.

Welp.

There are a number of dark and depressing paths my brain could wander down at the moment; I’m doing my best to cling to what little optimism I can find. If the election is won by a large enough margin we don’t have to worry about the electoral college or the Supreme Court stealing it, and if the presidency is won by that large of a margin it should take the Senate with it. We’ll worry about that first, then move on to the other stuff.

The degree to which the last two Supreme Court nominees are poster children for overpromoted white mediocrity is pretty impressive, by the way. I actually brought up Coney Barrett last time around as an example of a nominee they could have picked who wasn’t a drunken, belligerent rapist and would still be a stenographer for whatever the Republicans wanted, but I still feel like there still has to be someone out there who has maybe been a judge for longer than I spent in high school, or, like, actually been a lawyer, maybe. But whatever. It’s fine, she’s white, that’s good enough for them, yeah? Sure.

STATUS: Ridden Hard, Put Away Wet

So we ended up going with Pair #2, against the advice of virtually every single person who voted except for my entire actual family, all of whom preferred this pair– and since my wife, in particular, who has to look at my face a lot more often than y’all do, liked these the most, that was what we went with.

But man, do I look raggedy right now.

That face is the face of a man who has just completed his fifteenth year of working in schools, and who is mildly surprised that it only turned out to be fifteen when he sat down and did the math. In accordance with tradition, I’m completely and utterly fucking exhausted and I plan to sit in my chair for a couple more hours and then go to bed.

Oh, and I got rehired for my job. So … good news, I suppose? Sure.

New Face, 2019 edition

I have trouble believing that it has been over a year since the last time I embarrassed myself trying to find new glasses, but it has! And once again, I am bound and determined to find A New Look, even though all other available New Looks make me all itchy.

This was only the first place we went to, so it’s possible that none of these will be the choice, and it’s also still possible that I go with identical frames to the ones I have, because I do actually like my current frames. But what the hell! Let’s experiment! In ascending order of Radical Departure from My Current Face:

Nearly identical to my current glasses, but in blue. For whatever reason, I seem to have decided that gunmetal and/or black glasses don’t look right and so everything I liked enough to take a picture of ended up blue. The only real change here would be the color.

Also, no comments on my beard will be entertained. It was a stressful day.

A slightly subtler blue, and similar lens shape, but eschewing the completely frameless look I went with last year.

Brighter blue, bigger lenses than what I’m currently wearing, and continuing to be half frameless. I like the color of these the most but Bek didn’t like the shape of the lenses.

WHOA WHAT IS THIS MASSIVE RADICAL DEPARTURE WHO EVEN IS THAT DUDE

Still blue, though. It’s all about blue this year.

Feel free to vote, or comment, or whatever, if you like. Ultimately my wife probably gets the final call– she has to look at them more than I do– but I still wanna hear what y’all think.

Bonus picture of the boy, in frames I think I tried on but didn’t have the guts to be photographed in:

He doesn’t get a vote, but these were his favorites.

(Why are they all Oakleys? Good question. I tried on another dozen pairs other than these from a variety of other brands, but these guys seem to have my tastes dialed in, for whatever reason. I didn’t deliberately seek them out or anything like that.)