Sunday, December 31, 2006

they buy stonehouse bread! celebrities-- they're just like us!

There was only one other family in the bakery when we entered. A rotund man with orange hair, a young boy who was maybe twelve or so, and a grandma type. The man looked very familiar, but in that way that people start to look familiar Up North, like maybe he sold you bait over the summer or he teaches organ at Interlochen and didn't that girl Megan take private lessons with him when you were thirteen? There are not a lot of strangers here, especially when in the dead period between Christmas and the New Year and the ski resorts are all empty because it's forty degrees and dry as a bone out.

We sampled the pesto hummus on the counter and instantly decided we had to have it. I followed Jen as she picked a container from the fridge next to the family. I definitely knew the man from somewhere...

Wait a minute. No, it couldn't be. Why the hell would he be in a bakery in small-town Northern Michigan? Shouldn't he be braising pigs' trotters in Puglia or something?

I not-at-all-subtly peeked down for the telltale sign. Sure enough.

Orange Crocs.

But no, it had to be a coincidence. No one remotely famous ever comes to this part of the world. I mean sure, Tom Selleck and Tim Allen have cabins here, but that's because we have lots of woods full of things to shoot and long straight roads where you can drive all coked out and never get pulled over. And sure, Jeff Daniels lives in Michigan because he hates Hollywood and loves the Midwest and a fun part of growing up where I did is selling him Girl Scout cookies. And yes, Demi Moore sent her daughter to the Academy for a hot minute, but apart from her one very random visit to the Interlochen Public Library, it's not like she ever spent a lot of time hanging out with the locals, snackin on pesto hummus and calling the baker by her first name. Celebrities don't do that. They're not normal. They hang out in their celebrity pod worlds, where everyone is very beautiful and very short and is so over being famous, like, it's such a pain. Except for Chris Noth, who was unexpectedly tall and has lost the weight and was in a very loud conversation about a ski trip in January in the middle of 41st Street. But I digress.

By this time Jen had noticed too. She probably couldn't help but, since I was at this point flat staring. I wasn't gawking, I was just really, really confused.

Back at the counter she stage-whispered "Is that...?" in a manner that was the exact opposite of smooth. We were still maybe seven feet from the family, and I'm sure they heard exactly what was transpiring. "I'm not... no, can't be..." I muttered back.

Suddenly the son was at my elbow to pay the cashier and I noticed that his t-shirt was from a Clinton Foundation event. And, because I have been in Washington for entirely too long, that's when I finally realized it really was him. Because no twelve-year-old in Leland, Michigan would be wearing a Clinton Foundation t-shirt unless he was the son of someone famous.

"Merry Whatever and Happy Whatsitsdoodle, Mary!" The orange man suddenly joined his son at the counter and ushered his family out as he waved to the cook and her assistant. As soon as the door shut behind them Jen and I gawped first at one another, then at Mary.

"So, um..." Jen asked, "was that who I think it was?"

"Oh yah, sure!" Mary replied. "He only uses our bread when he's baking here and does all sortsa charity events in the area. He's very particular about using local ingredients, dontcha know?"

Our mom looked at us as if we were nuts. "You girls could watch Food Network all day!" she said. "How did you not know that Mario Batali lives up here?"

Um, because we're normal and assume that all famous people live in New York and LA?

But whatever. That totally made up for not getting reservations at Babbo earlier this month. And Internet, aren't you proud that I didn't rush after him and ask him if Raechel Ray is that annoying in person? Because I really kind of wanted to.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

bow people

Bow People are the people who place coordinating bows atop their Christmas presents. The parents make sure that presents from Santa and presents from family are never wrapped in the same packages, lest inquiring young minds put two and two together and innocence is forever ruined. Bow People beget offspring who don coordinating velvet hairbows and thick white tights, then sing carols to neighbors in high piping voices, knowing full well that their sweetness will get them invited in for some Christmas cookies.

Bow People never scream at the hapless, lying sacks of incompetence that cancel their connecting flight from Chicago to Traverse City for the second major holiday in one month and then lose their luggage. Bow People would certainly never demand to speak with a manager and upon being told that a manager was not available, a Bow Person would never say "Then I just hope you have a shitty Christmas, too."

We are not Bow People, we Hornes. But I did feel badly about the "shitty Christmas" remark later. Much later, after I finally received my suitcase at 7:00 on Christmas Eve.

When my sister and I were growing up, the Hornes were Bow People. We began making cookies around the first week of December, generally the same period when we would select and decorate our Christmas tree. Boxes upon boxes of red and green decorations would emerge from the basement, and knitted dollies and our mother's collection of Santas would parade across every unsuspecting surface in the family room. Mom would make pepper cookies, a raisin-stuffed concoction that no one else in our immediate family would even taste, and ship them to her siblings across the country. On Christmas Eve we attended services at our church, raising our candles on the third verse of Silent Night when you sing in German. Stille Nacht, hilege Nacht... I still know the alto part to pretty much every Christmas carol. I don't remember the last time I sang melody in church. Mother wouldn't stand for it.

The energy that other families conserve for Halloween, Easter, Veterans Day, whatever, was for the Hornes concentrated in December, as if we were trying to cash in our Martha Stewart points before years end. It is no coincidence that I grew up in a house that did not give a hoot for New Year's Eve. By December 31st, our parents were so spent from all the comfort and joy that they were left with the ability to do little more than pass out on the sofa whilst watching Law and Order reruns.

We all knew this year would be different. Dad's surgery was successful but the spectre of it has cast a pall over our holiday preparation, or lack thereof. It is difficult to coordinate presents for a litany of relatives from a hotel room in Rochester and the nurses in the ICU frown upon baking in hospital facilities. Jen managed to do a lot of our decorating after she finished her finals, but we outsourced our Christmas tree to the neighbors.

On Christmas morning my aunt (and nemesis) called to say hello and Merry Christmas, but really to brag about her family. To her, holidays are a competitive sport that is meant to be surmounted and conquered, not enjoyed. It was about 11:30 when she called, and I could imagine the horror in her voice when Mom informed her that 1) we were just now cooking Christmas breakfast and that 2) Christmas breakfast consisted in part of French toast soaked in Bailey's. We are Bailey's people, we Hornes.

I've been wearing the same pajamas since that breakfast. For the first time in my life, we didn't go to church on Christmas Eve. It didn't make sense to, since Dad needs to constantly both stretch and nap and also since we ate our Christmas dinner of mustard crusted tenderloin around, oh, 10:30. We've spent the last two days opening obscene amounts of presents while saying "you guys, we were going to take it easy this year," eating lefse and cornbread dressing and entire cloves of roasted garlic. We've slept in and watched Christmas classics like Scrooged and Elf and the entire second season of The Office. We've consumed an embarassingly large amount of wine, made even more embarassing that two of our family are technically not allowed to drink, one on the orders of the head of cardiology at the Mayo Clinic and one because she's nineteen. Granted, the cabin is gorgeously decorated tea candles and garlands and stuffed mooses wearing sweaters with fir trees on them. But we have not gone a-wassaling all week. In fact, except for a hideous trip to the Traverse City Mall I haven't left the cabin since I've been here, except to walk outside on Christmas Eve and marvel at the stars. Jen somehow knew every half the constellations and pointed out Cassiopeia, Orion's Belt, the North Star, the Big Dipper. Okay, the Big Dipper I could find myself. If it had been any clearer, I could have plucked it out of the sky and used it to scoop a snowball off the ground.

When that judgmental tone crept into my aunt's voice when she heard how we'd spent out Christmas-- being lazy, materialistic gluttons stewing in each other's company-- our mother silenced her with a quick "Well, we're doing Christmas with four adults. Four adults who all live in different states and never see each other and just went through a fairly major crisis. And we can do whatever we want for the holiday."

I can't believe how happy not being a Bow Family is making us.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

of horndogs and poltergeists

It's Christmas, I just paid my AmEx bill, and I'm broke. So imagine my consternation when I open my DirecTV bill and found it to be almost three times the usual amount.

"But why?" I wonder. "DirecTV doesn't pay-per-view The Office or reruns of Scrubs on Comedy Central, and that's pretty much all I watch these days."

Further inspecting the statement, I find an impressive listing of charges labeled "Adult PPV" for the weekend I was in New York. This means one of two things:

1) The ghost who lives in my apartment took advantage of my absence and had a little Me Time (more on this ghost later)
2) My very polite and lovely Republican Hill staffer upstairs neighbor, with whom I share the account, had herself a little Me Time and I would have to ask her about the charges.

You know, there is just no good way to say "Hey, did you watch a lot of porn between December 9th and the 12th? Because if so, you owe me $104.79."

Of course I did ask (cringing all the way; I emailed her, since email is the coward's phone), and it turns out she had some "friends" staying at her house that weekend who spent their vacation in Washington watching pay-per-view porn instead of visiting the National Gallery or eating at Old Ebbit. In any case, she's paying me back, so that's nice.

But NOW I feel like I can't ask her what I really want to know, which is: "have you also heard that freaky tapping in the walls when you turn off your light in your bedroom? Because I'm seriously pretty sure I have a ghost, and would you maybe want to go in on an exorcist?" Seriously, I was up until 2 AM last night and the tapping. Will. Not. Stop. Every time I start to fall asleep I hear another *tap,* and it sends a jolt of adrenaline through my veins so potent it might as well be speed steeped in espresso.

But I feel like porn and ghosts all in one week would be too much for someone as sweet as she is, and she would start telling stories about that crazy girl who lives in the basement and spends her weekends performing seances and accusing her innocent neighbors of being perverts.

I mean, I'm curious about the ghost thing. But not curious enough that I'll risk coming off as some crazy lady. Y'know, because living alone with a cat never gives that impression.

Monday, December 18, 2006

don we now our gay apparel

I haven't felt much like blogging lately. I am really going through some major personal issues right now. You know, I just feel like I need to take some time to really work on myself, like, delve or whatever. To do some really heavy soul-searching and deeply ponder eternal questions, like "what does it all mean," and "what am I doing with my life," and "how do I look in this enormous green cardigan with jingle bell buttons and candy cane trim?"

The answer to the latter of course being "ridiculous."

I clearly have major problems. Because people who DON'T have major problems DON'T go to Buffalo Billiards on a Saturday night dressed as Cindy Lou Who.

My apologies to my poor friends who are also implicated in Donning Gay Apparel in this photo. But really, after our (very loud) public conversation about the relative merits of Mariah Carey Christmas albums versus Amy Grant Christmas albums, we pretty much gave up all hope of ever being allowed to sit at the cool kids' table in the cafeteria again.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

praise be

My Dad is out of surgery. He's going into recovery in the next half hour.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm not sure exactly who I'm thanking, but thanks seem to be in order.

Am still holding my breath for recovery, but feel like the noose has been slightly loosened. And oh, does drawing that breath feel good.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh crap. Just realized I took Nyquil instead of Dayquil with my chicken noodle soup.

This is going to be a long afternoon.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

and when i asked her what classic DVDs she wanted for Christmas, she thought for a moment and answered "Bring It On"

First, we have to get some business out of the way. You heard it here first: Spring Awakening is the next Rent. Actually, strike that, because it's inventive and raw in a way that Rent never was, or was before it had all its authenticity sucked out of it by commercialization.

"But EJ," you whine, "musical theater is so lame and unrealistic. It's gay men and Barbie doll women standing with their legs apart singing covers of ABBA songs out into space." "No friend," I respond, "this is not that kind of musical theater. This is the kind of show where the powerhouse eleventh-hour number is a song called 'Totally Fucked.' If you at all enjoy theater and/or rock music, click here. You can thank me later."

There. Dorky musical theater business accomplished. But seriously, this show was amazing.

Mom and I had a great weekend. She completely shocked me by enthusiastically spending Saturday poking around the Lower East Side and Mott Street with me, eating crepes and spending too much money on shoes. She was also kind enough to only gently laugh at me when we stopped by the Essex Street Market and I practically went into fits of excitement at a spice shop. But! Lavender-infused sea salt! It's like heaven bottled in a test tube!

Now, individually, my mother and I befriend gay men. Together, we make an unstoppable Fag Hag Delta Force Team. Once our (fabulous) waiter on at Del Frisco's on Friday night heard we were going to Spring Awakening, he told us to hit the bar next door after the show. We'd spent the entire meal chatting with him and finding out his life story, and once my mother learned that he had trained at another Big Ten school she talked his ear off trying to figure out what young actors they knew in common. I expect that he sent us to this bar knowing that friends of his would be there, and that later they could trade stories about that really funny woman from the Midwest who talks with her hands and has a slightly alarming mental Rolodex of New York-based chorus boys.

Now, based on what I've told you about my mother so far on this blog, would you at ALL be surprised to know that the night ended with her doing a shot of SoCo and lime with a musical theater professor and the advertising director of Ralph Lauren? Yeah, I didn't think so.

This is all apart from the advertising director of Ralph Lauren telling me he liked my coat (!!!), or when we saw A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday, or when we followed it with cocoa and wild boar papardelle at Fiamma in SoHo. And oh heavens me, I haven't even told you about how I walked smack into Chris Noth outside the theater.

Like I said, it was a great weekend.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I'm heading to New York this weekend with my mother, who has already warned me that we will spend a significant amount of our time there shopping. Not that I don't like this particular activity, but much of it will be shopping for Christmas and/or wedding presents for extended family members. It boggles my mind why someone who has Internet access, a bottle of wine and a corkscrew simply does not do all of their holiday shopping online from the comfort of their couch, preferably while watching The Office on DVD and nursing naughty fantasies involving John Krasinski, copier toner and Dwight's bouncy ball chair. But I've said too much.

I enjoy shopping and I enjoy New York, but the twain should not meet. I've nearly been killed by the hideous sea of humanity that floods into Manhattan on a Saturday. The worst was two years ago when Mom insisted that we get our picture taken at the Christmas tree outside Rockefeller Center. We wound up getting caught between the crowds exiting the 3:00 Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the crowd entering for the 6:00 show. It took a half hour to walk one block. The evacuation of Saigon was more efficient. And in the end the only people we could find to take our picture were some very short Japanese tourists, resulting in a photo angled so low that both Mom and I appear as if our faces are being eaten by our own chins.

The stores are better than the streets, if for no other reason than I refuse to enter an H&M anywhere on the island of Manhattan and therefore can avoid some of the more obnoxious visiting New Jerseyites, but not much better. I love to prowl for uniquely New York cute boutiques or neighborhood marketplaces, but that is because I live in an urban center surrounded by wealthy suburbs and can stop by places like Anthropologie after work. My mother, on the other hand, lives in Indiana and northern Michigan and therefore visits nice chain stores in New York with the kind of gusto usually shown by furloughed sailors at a whorehouse. Again, let me state-- I enjoy Coach, Club Monaco and the Container Store. It's just that I enjoy them so much that I go to them here, and would rather spend my vacation time hunting for vintage slips at a mothbally store on the Lower East Side.

However, we will have to make at least one pilgrimage to Rockefeller Center to visit the NBC Studio Store. It really is a fantastic place, especially the back room where they keep knickknacks and souvenirs from long-canceled NBC shows. I've purchased no fewer than two Saved By The Bell t-shirts there. The big reason, however, is to fulfill my mother's and my December-in-New-York tradition for the third year in a row: to see if the NBC Studio Store is finally making a Law and Order Christmas tree ornament. It's become our version of seeing The Nutcracker.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

cawhfee tawhk

"Okay, I'm at the cawhfee shawhp.. what should I get?"

I look behind me at the teeny brunette in the black Northface jacket who has just barged into line behind me, yammering on her silver Razr all the while.

You have got to be kidding me.

"No, I'm eating breakfast. So, what should I order? Like, am I hungry or should I just get a drink?"

I am instantly reminded of Michael Caine's best line in Austin Powers in Goldmember: "There are only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch." Swap "Dutch" for "really Jappy girls from Nassau County" and I might have found my epitaph.

"So, like, should I get fruit? Or like, tea? Or is cawhfee better than tea?"

Oh, she is so lucky she is not in front of me. Seriously, I would yank her Japanese thermal-straightened hair right out of her head and stuff it down her throat just so I wouldn't have to hear that whiny, nasal voice.

"So like, what I should I get? I'm gonna be, like, late for class."

It's as I feared-- she's a college student. She could pass for a visiting high school student who is scared and overwhelmed and needs a little hand-holding, but no, she is a college student calling someone and asking them if she is hungry and if so, what she should eat. I weep for the youth of America.

"Are frappucinos the fatty ones? Am I getting fat?"

If she takes a cameraphone picture of herself and sends it to this person for pre-drink-order analysis, so help me, I am not responsible for my actions.

"Okay, so, like, I gotta go, cuz I'm like in the shawhp and like, I'm gonna order soon."

Maybe she's some kind of sex worker in a dom-sub situation, Ã la Maggie Gyllenhaal's character in Secretary. Is it wrong that I'm so much more okay with that than with a college student who has to call her mother from several states away for permission to order a latte?

Monday, December 04, 2006

reason for the season

I did something a little shocking this morning. I went to church.

Since I quit being a Methodist in a fit of self-righteous protest, I've been back a few times. Like a lot of other people, I went a few times after 9/11 and I also went once after a particularly ghastly week at my first job out of college. Mostly it's been with family for Christmas or Easter services, or to a holiday singalong. I may have doubts about the whole Jesus our Lord thing, but I still know all the alto parts to sing His praises come Christmastime.

Even though I write about it self-effacingly, leaving my church was actually the first painful adult decision I ever made. I don't regret it and am proud that I stood up for something I believed in despite the consequences, small and personal though they may be. That said, as I continue to age and mellow, adolescent absolutes become adult ambiguities. Right now, I think God and I are working on what we mean to one another. So it is with all my other relationships in my twenties.

Maybe I went because today was the first Sunday of Advent, maybe because I actually said a prayer of thanks when I finally got my sight back on Thursday. More likely it's because for the first time, someone in my immediate family is legitimately in harm's way and I'm pulling out all the stops. Prayer, chanting, fasting, self-flagellation, just get my dad through this and make him well and Lord, I will do whatever you want. Whatever the reason, I woke up this morning and felt a genuine tug. I wanted to be at church.

I wanted to wear control-top tights on a Sunday and shake hands with elderly strangers and whisper "Peace be with you." I wanted gentle smiles from pastors and light, indulgent chuckles from the adults during the children's sermon when the one little girl starts dancing around and maybe lifts her taffeta dress up over her head (there's one in every church) (my sister was the one in ours). I wanted the familiar rhythm of voices rising and falling as we chanted the Lord's Prayer, how everyone just knows where to pause because we've all been saying this prayer for as long as we can remember. I felt alone, and I wanted to feel a common bond with strangers.

It was ritual I was craving, not a spiritual awakening. I wanted familiar. I took Communion for the first time in years, but for the comfort it gave me, it might as well have been mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese instead of a torn chunk of pita bread dipped in organic grape juice. And that was fine. As a matter of fact, it was really wonderful.

Leaving church this morning, I felt calm and full. There were no surges of faith, a sudden flash of certainty that Jesus is the light of the world and there was no shame or eye-rolling when I remembered how the very strange girl on my freshman floor had hung a poster proclaiming "Jesus is the Light of the World!" on her door and my friend Josh had in very tiny letters written "Courteney Cox" above "Jesus." The world felt big enough for sincerity and sarcasm, and that being bitter and afraid and angry was fine, go ahead, the big guy can take it. For the first time in a long time, my mind wasn't racing ahead of where I was trying to keep it. It just... was.

Maybe that's enough of a reason for the season.

Friday, December 01, 2006

we're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave

Current Temperature in DC: 75 degrees

Current Temperature in Galveston, TX: 47 degrees
Current Temperature in San Jose, CA: 57 degrees
Current Temperature in Temple, AZ: 60 degrees

Whither the winter wonderland, people? Would someone please explain to me how I am supposed to deck my halls when DC is currently hotter than the entire southwest?

Memo to the Baby Jesus: when Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye sang "Heat Wave" in White Christmas, it was part of a kicky cabaret act and not in any way a prayer for actual weather they wanted to experience. Because if it stays this hot, then there is no way that the General's ski lodge will have enough snow to get visitors and it will be way too toasty for Bing and Rosemary Clooney to count their blessings in front of the fire and poor Vera Ellen will be entirely too sweaty to wear all those turtlenecked leotards and tap dance her skinny little heart out and THEN what will we do with the General when he stops being a General because the General is not smart enough to get with global warming and the fact that in ten years Vermont will have the climate of Belize!


Sorry. The heat is making my brain melt. The point is: shorts and air-conditioning in December = unnatural and wrong.

a whole lot about my eyeballs that you probably never wanted to know

In case you were wondering, it turns out that getting two liters of saline solution dripped into your pried-open eyeballs-- *drip... drip... drip*-- at two in the morning is even less fun that it sounds.

If you can imagine such a thing.

I'd wanted a chance to hate my new optometrist since I first visited him three weeks ago and he literally wagged his elderly, wrinkled finger in my face as he lectured me on my improper lens care regimen. He also stuck the same wrinkled finger in my eye to take out my contact lenses, even as I squawked "Um, can I do that?! I hate having people touch my eyes!" Of course he didn't stop as he rasped "Young lady, I've been doing this for fifty years, I think I can manage."


If you want me to hate your guts, calling me "young lady" is a fantastic way to get the ball rolling.

He gave me a new lens cleaning solution, and I tried it for the first time on Monday night. Around lunchtime on Tuesday I noticed that things were looking decidedly fuzzy, as if my office had become the set for a Barbara Walters special. By my 3:30 meeting with my boss, her boss and all of the deans at the Education Corporation, I was on the verge of tears from the stinging pain in my eyes. I spent the meeting darting my eyes at whatever dark surfaces I could find (table! blackboard! shadow under the table! gah, not the computer screen, owowowowowow!), trying desperately not to start sobbing in front of all the VIPs. I mean, I cared about the subject matter of the meeting, but so much that I'd weep over it.

By the time I got home, it was bad. Like, "unable to see out of my right eye and can't stop crying" bad. I took out my contacts and called the friend I was supposed to shoot pool with to cancel, thinking that the whole "unable to see..." thing might hurt my game. I spent the next few hours gnashing my teeth, popping Aleve, going through two rolls of toilet paper in lieu of Kleenex and yes, crying.

When 9:00 rolled around, it got worse. My right eye had completely swollen shut, the left one was on it's way to join the right one, and I was sitting in the dark in my apartment, surrounded by a pile of snotty toilet paper and a very confused Sadie, who didn't understand why Mommy had just kicked her. I was so sensitive to light that the glow from my cell phone was incredibly painful as I called my boss to let her know that, um, I might not be in tomorrow and then called my friend B to bring me whatever anti-allergy meds she had in her apartment.

B, being the amazing friend that she is, padded right over, took one look at me and almost instantly agreed that I should go to the ER. She guided me into the car, helped me fill out the paperwork when we go to the ER and since the act of rolling my eyes was enough to send me into screaming fits of pain, she did it for me when the night clerk asked me to sign off on the forms. Because, y'know, when you CAN'T SEE ANYTHING AT ALL, that is the PERFECT time to go back and re-initial medical paperwork.

I was worried that I was overreacting by wanting to head there, but that worry was dispatched fairly quickly, right about when the ER doctor on call used the words "severe reaction" and "I'm going to get my attending." I may not know a lot about medicine, but I've watched enough episodes of Scrubs to know that the phrase "I'm going to get my attending" almost never means something good is going on.

I'm condensing for the sake of brevity; by the time the attending came, B and I had been at the ER for over three hours. The attending decided that they were going to flush out my eyes with saline solution, and I asked B to take the car and her poor tired self home before they wheeled me away to a brightly lit corner of the ER to drip fluid onto my eyeballs for ten minutes. Not surprisingly, she agreed fairly quickly.

Thus began the flushing of the eyes. They set up an IV line on my nose with a hole over each eye, and instructed me to keep my eyes open for as long as possible. Now, I am a well-reknowned wuss when it comes to pain and all medical procedures, but PEOPLE, this was Chinese water torture on my EYEBALLS. In a BRIGHTLY LIT ROOM. With EXTRA blaring in the background. Because the only way to make the procedure worse was to perform it to a soundtrack of MARK MCGRATH YAMMERING ABOUT BRITNEY SPEARS' EXPOSED LADYBITS.

At least, I thought that was the only way to make it worse until it didn't work, and they had to repeat the entire thing again an hour later.

I'm really not ready to discuss that part.

By 4 AM I'd regained enough sight to pour myself into a cab, collapse, and sleep like the dead until my alarm went off at 8:00. I managed to wake myself up enough to call the hospital's optometrist, who asked me a series of questions about my ability to focus my eyes and be exposed to light. I was somewhat bereft when I found that I was unable to do either. Actually I was incredibly fucking angry and freaked out, but doesn't "bereft" sound more polite?

Tonight is the first occasion since Tuesday evening that I've been able to look at a computer screen, watch TV or go out in the sunlight without LITERALLY blinding myself. Let me tell you, it's a darn pleasant change. I had really missed that whole "sight" thing. Plus, you cannot believe how incredibly boring being blind is, especially when the rest of you feel physically fine. Not being allowed to watch TV, use my computer or read for two days has made me so stir crazy that last night I stumbled over to an exhausted B's house to coerce her into conversation as she tried to pass out in front of the TV. Of course, I did walk into a fencepost on the way home, which I think was God's way of telling me "Um, EJ, if you can't focus your eyes then maybe you shouldn't be out and about in the world."

But on the upside, now I don't feel the least bit guilty for wishing very bad things on my optometrist.