A Nerdy Approach To Recent Eyewear

I procured my new pair of glasses just in time for the New Year — a great thing, as Bringing In The New will never have been so FANCY.

Fancy New Specs

Let’s all take a moment to ask ourselves: WHY ARE THESE SO AWESOME?

Let’s start with 1) they make me think very distinctly of Krautrock. I have noticed that the common theme in much of the music I obsess over is a distinct influence of Krautrock, that crazy German-originating experimental movement that was up-and-coming in the late 60’s/70’s. Maybe I’m really, really reaching here, but I it see reflected in these frames: bold fonts, bright colors, and strong, rigid shapes. Um. Here’s a musical Kautrock reference in case you’re curious:

Maybe you can see it. I’m pretty sure that one of the things I love about these glasses is that they’re not straight from 1970. They reference some bits of 1970 and thereafter but manage to be modern. And this, too, is reflected in things I listen to/am visually attracted to. A modern spin on something older. Hmm. There’s a band that does that…a band I like…who are they again?

Oh, right. That one band I don’t shut up about, ever.

Moving along, we come to point number 2) The color purple creates an analogous relationship between the blue and green shades of my eye-color (assuming that my eyes are actually blue and green, which…we’ll get back to that in a moment). In theory, this would make my eye color come out. Behold this chart which captures the analogous relationships between the shades of purple in the glasses and also the (theoretical) colors in my eyes:

This was exciting in theory, but when I later opened a few photos in Photoshop and used the Color Picker to determine exact shades of blue and green that occur in my eyes, I discovered that my eye color contains no blue at all, only gray (and…green…ish?). WHO KNEW.

It makes sense. For years I’ve been confused and unsure of what the hell color my eyes are. Green is the color on my driver’s license, but my eyes are blue in some pictures. And the correct answer is that my eyes are HAZEL with predominantly gray coloring and a green/brown surrounding the pupil. Thus, depending on what I wear or what colors are around me, my eyes will appear different colors. The gray color hints a tiny bit towards blue, and so my eyes will reflect blue if I’m wearing that color.

So…analogous colors my rear end. But…that’s okay! At least now I know what the heck’s going on with my eyes. And I’m pretty sure the purple frames do a nice job of showing the fact that my eyes are actually gray. For instance, in the above photo my eyes actually LOOK GRAY (though I’m sure they’ll still change depending on what I wear). Thanks, purple glasses frames.

To conclude, my new glasses are terribly awesome, and if you’re confused about your eye-color, survey it with the Color Picker tool in Photoshop.

Happy Freakin’ New Year.

Paul Is Dead: Redux

My parents and I returned from New York on Monday night, after a notably snow-free drive — something to be so thankful for seeing as the majority of the east coast ended up that craaazy storm. My sister lives in Brooklyn, and to paraphrase what she told us about the weather there, shit got real.

Driving from New York to Illinois in one day is doable. I believe it took us about 14 hours each way, maybe a little more, and that’s not a terrible drive, but it is exhausting, even a little-bit so if you’re a mere passenger (though I’ll have you know that this passenger barely slept the night before). I lasted about an hour after arriving home before I realized I needed to PTFO (or Pass the Fuck Out).

You would think, after a tiring drive and little sleep the previous night, that I would have done well and slept a good 8 or 9 hours uninterrupted, but no. Oh no. I drifted out of sleep around 3am, probably after completing one REM cycle, to hear a noise…a weird shuffling. I figured, in my sleepiness, one of the bags or the junk I’d hauled up the stairs into my room after we got back had settled or moved due to reasons of gravity, or something. Then I heard it again, something that sounded like…scurrying?! The sounds were emanating from around my closet door which happens to be at the head of my bed. I turned on my light and lay there quietly, waiting any further instances of noise. More noise came, but instead of scurrying this time, I heard a very faint “squeak squeak squeak. Squeak squeak squeak.”

I would have chalked this up to sleepy hallucinations, but dang. I rolled out of bed and opened my closet door to see if I could corner whatever creature was stirring. Aaaand…nothing. Cunning, squeaky bastards.

I managed to eventually fall asleep after a few hours of intermittent scurrying and squeaking. In the morning, the first thing I did was open my closet door once again, only to hear the same faint “squeak squeak squeak” with no visual evidence of a living creature.

DAMN MICE, GET OUT OF MY CLOSET.

Last night was roughly the same in terms of mouse activity and sleep-getting, with a lot of scurrying noises coming from the vicinity of my closet and me occasionally opening the closet door and making some noise in hopes of sending a message. Next time I need to send a louder message that better resembles “FFFUUU.” Or maybe write up some tiny eviction notices. That’s totally going to work.

This has happened once before, while we went on a trip to Europe when I was nine…a family of mice moved in to our house during our 3-week absence, leaving droppings everywhere and subsisting off of bird-seed that normally fed the parakeet. One day maybe a week after our return, I found a baby mouse crawling across the dining room carpet. I don’t know if it was sick or just having a slow day or if baby mice just aren’t known for their speed, but we trapped it in a beer glass, and then put it into an old hamster cage, not really knowing what to do with it. I named it Paul, and it died in about three days, at which point I proclaimed that “Paul is dead!” over and over again, completely aware of the great Paul Is Dead hoax thanks to my fantastic Beatle-obsessed piano teacher and a book she lent me on the very subject. I was an awesome nine-year-old.

I hate the idea of killing mice, even though I know they’re pests and there isn’t really any better way of dealing with them. I don’t want to have to walk into my closet each morning wondering if I’m going to see a trapped dead mouse. On the other hand, I really enjoy sleep and these mice are annoying nocturnal. Hmmmmm.

Sidenote: There are apparently some CRAZY websites dedicated to the whole Paul is Dead thing. Paul has always been my favorite Beatle since I was young, and while I’m pretty sure he’s not dead and that the person who we’ve all thought to be Paul McCartney since 1966 is actually Paul McCartney, I’ve gotta give the believers at least a B+ for effort. Urban legends are kind of cool, and I’m always amazed and kind of delighted by how much time and effort people put into their rationale of how it is that Paul is Dead or Elvis is Alive or The Chupacabra was found in Kentucky.

Bla Blee Bloo Blog Entry

I hope everybody out there’s had a Merry Happy. I certainly have.

I’m not quite sure how much I want to leave New York for Illinois. Obviously there are good things about heading back to the norm, like the fact that my fancy glasses will be waiting for me when I get home, or that if I were to stay here any longer I would probably suffer some food/sugar related injury (ugh, seriously, people keep making RIDICULOUS amounts of food that I normally never, ever eat. ‘Tis the season)…

It’s just that I’ve never really lived close to my extended family, and visiting them has been a once-a-year at best thing until I moved to Rochester. Now that I’m back in Illinois, it’s sad that I have to revert to that long-distance family relationship again. I hope people who have all their family close-by don’t take it for granted. You people are lucky!

In other news, it is time to deeply consider the D7000, specifically the part about purchasing one. I think about 50% of what was stopping me buying the camera a month ago was the fact that they weren’t available ANYWHERE, oh, why, gods of Nikon? Now that at least two shops seem to be maintaining stock, it’s time. Let’s do this, and get the camera party started.

Check Out My Update.

I’m in Upstate New York with family and it’s…stuff.

No, it’s good. Quite good, in fact. My problem is that I never seem to blog until after I’ve eaten a huge and impossible meal, at which point I’m all……stuff.

Driving past Rochester made me a little sad, and I honestly had to resist the urge to yell at my Dad to get off at the Victor exit so we could go to Big Fancy Wegmans in Pittsford.

I MISS WEGMANS. There. I said it.

I know I come from a part of the Midwest that is unexciting unless you are excited by things like corn and flat and surprisingly polite people, and perhaps this contributes to my awe of amazing grocery stores, but crap! Never have I encountered a grocery store quite like Wegmans, and every time I now step into Schnucks or Kroger or even Meijer, a little part of me cries out for Big Fancy Wegmans.

I actually miss Rochester. I don’t think I’ve made that statement on my blog since leaving Rochester in May, but it’s true. The music school part of my time there was…eh. But as far as cities with uh “color” and HISTORY and cool things to look at go, Rochester was neat.

I guess that’s all I’ve got for now.

I May Lose My Mind, But At Least I’ll Look Awesome Losing It

Hello there, I am terrible at blogging.

However, I am super-fantastic at wearing glasses! I’ve been doing it since the age of nine, after all!

And so, I’m slightly excited. Just a tad. A wee bit. A mite excited. Excited about glasses. Excited about the frames I bought over the weekend. I am so excited about these new glasses, I might even continue to chuck odd sentence fragments at you!

I bought these super-fantastic new frames from a store in Downtown Bloomington (a store which ROCKS SO HARD and is nothing like any other glasses store I’ve been in and miraculously exists in Bloomington, IL, WTF) which has a fantastic selection of occasionally very Europe-y glasses. After two visits and probably a full 90 minutes of trying on various CRAZY ASS frames (with an additional 20 minutes spent figuratively banging my head against a wall in the throes of indecision), I managed to narrow down my choices to two pairs of frames. Behold subject a and subject b.

I like gray. Can you tell?!

Oh, come on. Those are pretty cool glasses, gray and all. I always enjoy a good gradient effect. Also, both these frames are a bit on the trendy side in that the lenses are on the larger side, and I guess this was something I had convinced myself I wanted in a pair of glasses.

I was so close to making a decision and going with subject a and probably causing the store people to rejoice and celebrate the fact that I would finally be out of their hair, but in a fit of indecision my eyes wandered and I picked up a pair of purple and clear acetate frames that had been hanging out on a shelf amongst what I consider to be some TRULY CRAZY ASS frames by a Belgian eyewear maker called Theo (please click the link and check out some more CRAZY ASS glasses).

I put them on. They fit. I lost my mind. Screw trendy.

Imagine the bottom frames with purple instead of red and those are my glasses.

These are the glasses of my dreams. I didn’t actually consider the possibility that I could pull off the glasses of my dreams until I put them on my face. I figured something would be wrong with them or they just wouldn’t fit me.

Frames like these are the reason I am a glasses-wearer. It’s not just about eye correction. There’s some good ‘ol self-expression mangled up in there somewhere, and let’s face it, I’m not a person who is able to express a strong sense of style through clothing and outfits. Try as I might, I’m pretty sure I never will be. Glasses are my subtle shot at color and shape with a gentle nudge of nerdishness, and I am only too happy to share with the world how much of a nerd I am. Being excited about wearing glasses is different now than it was when I was a teenager with a very poor and occasionally distorted self image. Back then I used my glasses to hide what I considered to be a face full of flaws.

So yes. Glasses. I am excited. I should have them with new lenses by early next week, at which point I will lose my mind. Maybe also post a photo.

Less Whining, More Proofreading

Two things both regarding the last post.

1. I’m much more susceptible to feeling sorry for inanimate objects while I’m under the influence of PMS (which I currently am). It explains a lot, really. Some part of my brain wants to feel reactive and super-emotional when I’m like this, and will go to ridiculous lengths to accomplish this goal. Lengths such as: “there is a chip in this glass that wasn’t there before WAAAAAAHN!” Combine this with the fact that I’m kind of attached to my car and you’ve got “NOOOOOO RUUUUST DEEEATH.”

2. While under the influence of PMS I’m prone to posting whiny entries without re-reading and checking for spelling problems/typos. For instance, the following, while reading over the last entry:
Blog entry: “It’s plan as day.”
Me out loud: ‘It’s plan as day”… AAAAAAAAAH PLAAAAAAAAAAAAAN.

Wait. Who am I kidding. That’s me all the time. I should get a blogging time-out. Or something.

Anyway. Pardon me freaking out over my car. It’s not a big deal. Rust has not in fact decimated my car in the span of a week. It’s just…you know. I like my car. A lot.

Yes, I am probably unhealthily attached to my car. But I think it’s understandable when you and car share…stuff. My car and I have driven everywhere from the North Woods of Wisconsin to the stupid northern lands of Canadia (HAH. Intentional mistype!) over to Denver, CA and New York, City and through the Green Mountains of Vermont as well as through lots and lots and lots of Indiana and Ohio. We’ve had such adventures! Like that time the fuel pump gave out just outside of Cleveland, OH while I was attempting to move to Rochester, or that other time where it outdrove a Tornado and was left with all sorts of fun hail damage.

Aaaaah…memories.

My sister actually just asked me a few weeks ago if it was weird just how attached to her car she is, so…I don’t think this is an abnormal thing! At least not in my family.

Also, why I feel the need to explain and defend myself in such a manner on my own blog is beyond me.

The End.

A Sad Day For Ford Focus Stationwagons Everywhere. Or Just Mine.

I’ve known for a while that my car is going to die a death by rust, but I didn’t think I would start seeing such a number done on my car so soon. I don’t even want to imagine what it’s going to look like by the time Spring rolls around.

I’m doing my best to wash it when I can, but the rockers are being slowly eaten away by rust. It’s plain as day. The difference between last week and this week is enormous. Repairing specific rust patches makes less sense than replacing the rockers with new and spiffy anti-corroding rockers, but that replacement alone will cost something like $3,000, which is probably half the value of my 80,000+ mile car.

I know it’s stupid to form a strong emotional attachment to material things, and I also know it’s stupid to mourn for my car while it STILL RUNS PERFECTLY FINE and just has a little bit of rust eating away at the rockers. But man, it’s only going to go downhill from here.

Goal Machine

Do you ever hate your brain? I hate my brain.

And so ends NaBloPoMo.

I don’t know, I got kind of half-assy towards the end. I think most of my problem lies in that I choose to blog when I’m tired and occasionally cranky, or maybe when I simply haven’t thought out what I’m going to say. That’s all fine and dandy, I suppose. I’m pretty sure how I blog and what I blog will forever change. When this whole internet thing blows over I’ll probably end up exposing details of my life that nobody will ever, ever want to know (I won’t even give you examples!).

You know what’s weird? Gigs. Because sometimes people burst into tears and other times you find yourself playing a gig with your old youth symphony conductor. Sometimes these things happen at the same gig and you have to ask the universe to sloooow doooown.

What am I doing with myself? No, seriously. Tell me. Because every once in a while I realize I have no idea what comes next and I’m not sure if I even care what comes next. Is that bad?

Gigging and teaching are good things that are earning me some decent money, but sometimes I feel like a bum for not actively pursuing SOMETHING. Maybe what I need are legitimate goals! Goals are, after all, healthy things to have, even if they are in no way related to cellos or orchestras.

Here are some goals, for serious:
1) Watch all Coen Brothers films I have not yet seen
2) Finish reading Infinite Jest
3) Read more in general
4) Visit someplace not in Central Illinois
5) Take more photos with PEOPLE in them
6) Subsequently get better at telling people what to do while I’m taking photos of them
7) Get dust out of camera
8) Obtain new fancy camera which is out of stock EVERYWHERE (it’s true — I have the money to buy a D7000 and have made important decisions about lenses, aaaand the camera still doesn’t exist).

Goals are awesome. Let’s all make goals!

Minute Holiday Curmudgeonlyness

My sister left today after a week of absurdity and frolicking and watching Blue Velvet. What a fan-fricking-tastic movie, by the way. I think it’s about time to go the whole nine Lynch yards and start watching Twin Peaks.

But man, sibling relationships are weird. I mean, I actually think they’re kind of great. I love having a sibling, especially now that we’re both older. I’m no longer so needy and bite-y and she’s not so aloof and prone to telling me I was adopted.

As a youngster I was totally in awe of my older sibling and wanted to be just like her, but at the same time I was constantly jealous of the attention she was getting for accomplishing things that were more “adult” than I was able to do or even understood how to do. And maybe that’s strange. Isn’t the stereotype that the older sibling is jealous of the attention the younger sibling receives? And the stupid thing is that sometimes I still feel that way. Especially when we’re in the midst of a very rare family get-together (is happens more often around this time of year aaaaah), I often start to feel BORING and UNACCOMPLISHED compared to my sister, who is much better at story-telling and engaging a group of people than I am. It’s easy for me to end up feeling crotchety and misanthropic in those situations if not in the greatest of spirits or not careful to note how I’m feeling in the first place. The real idiocy of this situation is that the reason I feel boring and unaccomplished is most likely that I have LOW SELF-ESTEEM and am the lesser talkative sibling. I might feel crappy about myself because nobody seems to give a crap about what’s up with me and yet I won’t actually talk about what’s up with me when people do ask because I’m kind of…quiet! So guess what, guys — I’M STILL NEEDY (and bite-y, if you ask some).

Usually I shake any crotchety or misanthropic feelings in a day or even a few hours of being in family/friend situations like that and can proceed to enjoy the company of the people I’m with while also being able to enjoy hanging out with my excellent older sibling. I think it’s our weirdness that connects us more than other things.