Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Hello, internet—I have exciting news for you. Today I wrote the first sentence of my dissertation proposal!!

Okay, it's really the first sentence of the summary of chapter three, but it exists! I was so excited I had to immediately stop writing and tell you all about it. That seemed like the most productive way to follow up Sentence 1. Forget editing out the ridiculous excess verbiage, or (heaven forbid) writing another sentence: blog it.

Baby steps, people, baby steps.

In other exciting news, I went to the optometrist for the first time since (according to her postcard) 2006. Have I mentioned to you how much I adore my optometrist? I would guess the answer is no, because I haven't seen her since before this blag existed. She's my Dad's optometrist too, and she used to be Mom's. My sister, curse her, doesn't need an optometrist. Yet.

There are many reasons I adore her, not the least of which is the warning that came with my last pair of glasses, the one I'm still barely able to wear: "You know people will call you Harry Potter. Can you put up with that?" True enough: a drunk man in an underpass in Moscow in the summer of 2004 asked me for a light and then told me I looked like Harry Potter. This time she dismissed my father's (in)ability to be a style consultant with a flip of the wrist and a "He wears wire."

I had geared myself up to tell her that Mom had died. After my experience breaking down in tears at the dentist when the hygienist asked how she was doing, I knew I needed to be prepared to break the news. And then, magically, she already knew. And not only did she already know (thanks to a friend of Dad's who, I guess, also gets her glasses there), but we talked for fifteen or twenty minutes before my exam about her father's illness and death 20 years ago, and about how unfair it all was, and how her mother coped with her father's death, and how frustrated he was when he couldn't speak anymore, and it was just a feast of empathy from someone I really hardly know, even after all these years. And she spoke about how fast it all seemed from her perspective, since she only saw Mom once a year or so. And it helped. And that's the last sentence fragment I'll start with "And."

Other wise advice from the eye doctor: "Don't let anybody talk you into seeing 3D movies. You'll be wasting your money; you can't see it." Also, she tells me I need to take breaks from looking at things that are close to my eyes, and go outside or look down a hallway about once an hour or two. This seems like sensible advice in general (ok, not really the looking down a hallway), so I think I'll make eye health a part of my routine and stop looking so much at books and computer screens. That should help with the dissertating, right? Right?


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