Sunday, June 30, 2019

Old me vs New me

This is the old me:

Now here is the "new" (and old) me:

I'd often find my eyes felt funny, which left my head feeling funny.  I suspected it was my eyesight/eyestrain for a while now.  Far away isn't really bad, but I can't see small street signs when I'm driving as well as I used to.  I can't see a darn thing up close anymore.  I had some Dollar Tree cheaters to use when I had to read labels and such, but they hurt my eyes.

Sigh.  I admit I am not thrilled with the idea of wearing glasses.  For one, they bother me.  Even wearing sunglasses over the years, I'd arbitrarily take them off and put them back on repeatedly because I don't like the feel of them on my face or that I can see the frame.  (Same with these.)

So anyway, I had my eyes checked and I have progressive lenses with invisible bifocals.

Everything looks....  weird.  I expected to put them on and say WOW I CAN SEE BETTER!

But no.  Apparently you have to get used to progressives, which makes things worse before better.  I am going to adjust to everything being blurry??  Seems counterintuitive but whatever. 

I can see better far away to a degree depending on where I look through the lenses and can read tiny print at the right angle.  Everything mid-range is iffy and my peripheral vision is nothing but blur.   Like if I glance left or right - blur.  These are things I see perfectly fine without glasses, so I must put on glasses that make the things I see clearly look worse so that the things I can't see on occasion are clearer.  Huh?

There's a dead zone in the lenses like so:

I feel like I'm in a fishbowl.  I can see but then I can't see.  I went to a store today with narrow aisles and felt like I was walking through a fun house tunnel.  There's a whoosh of blur if I move too fast.  Sitting at the table, I can see my plate through the bifocals but my drink is blurry, my family is blurry, the table is blurry, the floor is blurry....  Seems easier to just take them off so I can SEE the world around me.  I expected the bifocals to be there but I didn't expect left and right to be a blur.  Or for straight lines to bend.  You're supposed to point your nose toward what you want to see.  But my distance vision isn't terrible as I mentioned, I can generally see everything around me just fine WITHOUT the hassle of nose pointing glasses.  The motion sickness and dizziness that comes along suck (although it may be lessening.)

Supposedly you get used to all these things and your brain blocks out the blurry dead zones and you can see far, mid-range, and near all with one pair of amazing glasses.  I like that idea, so I'm trying to stick it out and hopefully adjust, but after a few hours I am done.  I have things to do and get fed up with them looking distorted.  My eyes feel so tired and I'm dizzy- nauseous and I have to take them off.... and it's a relief to see normally again when I do.

They said to give it three weeks and if I still hadn't adjusted, to go back for a re-check.  I don't think i can wait that long.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Haircut time

Valerie hasn't had a proper haircut since she was 7.  She's 14-1/2 now!  I've been trimming the ends every now and then taking off an inch or so here and there.  She wanted super long hair and basically refused to cut any more than that!

The plan was to cut it before band camp.  It's super hot outside, so she knows having less hair to deal with for band would make things easier.  Then she discovered it was more manageable if we put it in twin french braids, and waffled back and forth about cutting it.  Band starts right around the corner, so it was time to decide. 

The appointment was made....

....  and she said goodbye to five inches.  That's the most she has cut off at once in years.

Honestly, she could have cut a few more inches.  It's still super long.  We then spent three hours getting balayage highlights done. 

Isn't it lovely?!?  It came out so pretty!!  It's natural looking and changes color in the light.  Now if I could only get her to wear it down instead of in the forever ponytail!! 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Christmas in June....

We just had a little Christmas fun... in June!

One of our family Christmas gifts was tickets to see Weird Al Yankovic!  I've been a fan for decades and had introduced the kids to his songs long ago.  When the concert was first announced, I told the kids about it and they began clamoring to go.  Of course I said NO but was secretly saying YES as I wrapped the tickets and put them under the tree! 

We decided to leave early in the day and spend the day at the Riverwalk.  (It helped us to beat the 5:00 traffic on I-10 also!!)   We walked around to kill time and grabbed dinner in the food court.  Then we went over to the Saenger Theater for the show. 

The beautiful Saenger Theater in New Orleans:

Our seats were way up in the balcony, but the theater isn't that big so every seat has a decent view.  The show was great!!  Weird Al is performing this tour with a full symphony orchestra so that gave it something extra.   For the opening, it was just the symphony playing a few fun songs like Radars March, Mission Impossible, Superman theme, and Star Wars. 

Weird Al did a little bit of old, obscure, and new:
  • Unplugged Medley (I Lost on Jeopardy/I Love Rocky Road/Like a Surgeon)
  • Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota
  • Word Crimes
  • One More Minute
  • Jurassic Park
  • Don't Download This Song
  • Weasel Stomping Day
  • Tacky
  • Harvey the Wonder Hamster
  • Jackson Park Express
  • Smells Like Nirvana
  • Dare To Be Stupid
  • White & Nerdy
  • Amish Paradise
  • The Saga Begins
  • Yoda
It was a little bit of the symphony, comedy, rock, and rap all rolled into one.  I wish he would have interacted with us a bit more, but he didn't have much to say.  Both girls loved it -- this was their first real concert experience.  We laughed so much and sang along....  such a fun night!! 

PS:  Did you know that Weird Al started school a year early, skipped second grade, which put him graduating two years early AND he was valedictorian?? 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Adventures in Band

A few weeks ago we went on yet another band adventure.  Yay band!  Towards the end of the school year, Valerie's band director nominated her to participate in a summer honor band - Louisiana Bandmasters All-Star Honor Band.  It was held in Tioga, LA, about three hours from home.

Since Val didn't have to audition to make the honor band, there was an audition for chair and band placement.  There was three bands:  concert band, symphonic band, and the top band was wind ensemble.  The music was a breeze... 

Valerie got second chair in the wind ensemble!!  Out of all the clarinets, she had the second highest score.  Yay!  Very proud of my girl.... It made for two very long days of rehearsing followed by a concert, but she handled it well. 

While Valerie was busy with band, we ducked away to visit Kent Plantation House.  It's beautiful and definitely worth a visit!  We had a guided private tour about what life was like on a working plantation.  Hint:  lots and LOTS of WORK from dawn till dark!!