Friday, October 18, 2013

#363 Doctor My Eyes

I am newly 45 and I don’t wear glasses. Real glasses, anyway (more on that in a minute).  Hooray for me!  It’s surprising since both of my parents wear glasses.  My dad has worn glasses since he was a kid.  My mom needed glasses after giving birth to me (she went into labor and couldn’t read her phone book to call the doctor).
My oldest brother, David, is 50 and wears readers.  Paul will be 49 in September and last year got prescription bi-focal “readers”.  I broke down last summer and bought readers with a 1.0 magnification.  I only need them to read in bed at low light.  Or when I need to read a label with really small print.  (What is up with the labels with really small print?)
One day I was joking around with Megan (my niece who is 20) and mentioned that, along with having to hold things further away for me to read them (menus, phones), I can no longer see the hair under my arms when I am in the shower.  (As background, every day I shave my legs and under my arms.  I have learned that some women do not do this every day for various reasons.  It takes me a minute.  I do not like stubble.  End of story.)  I used to be able to see the little hairs and know that I got them all.  Now I am shaving “blind.”  I have no idea if I miss any, so every once-in-a-while I look at my underarms in the bathroom mirror to check.  I told Megan, “One day you won’t be able to see your underarm hair either!” and she just laughed.  I will remind her of this when she is 45. 

Last week one of the story lines from Modern Family was about Gloria not wanting to admit that she needed glasses.  She was constantly holding things far away to read them better.  Her husband Jay pretended to eat rat poison and asked her to read the emergency directions on the poison box.  She couldn’t do it and he finally said, “And I’m dead.” 

Lately I feel like Gloria (without the great rack).  I have noticed in the past couple of weeks that I need my readers to read the newspaper at the table.  In full light!  And I am holding things at arm’s length with more frequency.  (I have really long arms.) 

My workplace has a yearly health fair with several vendors where you can learn about diabetes, cancer, sickle cell, fitness centers, etc.  One fun station let me see inside my ear.  Ewww…hair and wax!  At another station I checked my eyesight.  I was able to read the smallest line at the bottom and the woman said I had 20/15 vision.  Cool!  I mentioned that I am holding things out further to read them and she said that’s normal and asked my age and my next birthday.  I told her I was 45.  Today!  She expected me to say I was 40 because that’s when most people start doing that.  I’d like to think it was because I am so youthful looking. 

Yesterday I bought a second pair of readers at Goodwill (they were only $4!).  They are a really cute style and I thought it would be good to have a more fashionable pair for work when it comes to that.  My next dilemma will be how to carry them around.  I refuse to wear them on a chain around my neck.  Maybe a cute glasses case. 

Yes, my eyes have seen the years.  I hope to see many more. 

#362 Pay Me

I have held my tongue long enough.  It seems that every day there is an article saying student-athletes should be paid.  Occasionally there is an article that says otherwise, but then that person is called “old school.”  I call them smart.  (I’ve always liked Jim Boehim; my friends think I’m weird because I think he’s really cute.) 

I am a former student-athlete.  I come from a middle class family with a father who was a registered nurse and a mom who stayed home and managed the house.  We did not have tons of money or a big house, but we had everything we needed.  I learned from the best (my mom) how to stretch a dollar.  I still go directly to the sale rack and have even started shopping mostly at consignment stores.  But I digress.  In college I saved my per diem for gas money.  I ate at a training table with other student-athletes.  I had a roof over my head and tutors to help with my classes.  No, I wasn’t a big-time football or men’s basketball player, or even an all-American, but I played basketball in one of the most competitive women's basketball conferences and we were a darn good team.  We got our fair amount of press and TV time. 

I was happy that I could help out my parents, who had already paid for one of my brothers to go to college (I think the deal was they paid half).  I graduated in four years (plus one quarter) with a marketing degree. 

I recently read an article about a football player from the University of Oregon who is complaining because he couldn’t host a party with a cover charge.  He ranted on Twitter on how unfair that is because the NCAA makes millions from student-athletes and how he lost $1,500 from planning the party that he had to cancel. 

First of all, yes, the NCAA does make money.  Most of that money pays for per diem and travel for teams that participate in its 89 championships. 

Second, student-athletes from Divisions I and II institutions get their education paid for (Division III does not provide athletic scholarships but do have academic scholarships).  In reality, not all get a full ride, but they do get assistance.  That is worth its weight in gold.  I always wonder about those high-profile football and basketball players who complain about not getting paid.  If they did not excel at their sport, would they have gone to college at all?  If they come from such a poor background as they say, I would guess not.  Where would they end up?  They are currently getting all or some of the education paid for.  They are playing a sport they enjoy.  Some are gods at their school.  And hopefully they are taking advantage of their time at college to earn a degree.  Some (a small percentage) will go on to the pros. 

Yes, there is talk about injury.  What happens if they are injured in college and then don’t make it in the pros?  Do they get nothing for their work as a student-athlete?  No.  They get an education.  They could get injured in the pros after making tons of money and they still have to figure out what to do with their life and how to sustain their lifestyle.  That’s where that education comes in. 

Third, this guy is ranting about how he has no money, yet he spent $1,500 on a party.  Not food or gas.  A party.  Where did that money come from? 

If they are so upset about not getting paid, they can always go overseas for the allotted amount of time and then enter themselves in the drafts.  No one is forcing them to play in college. 

Last, most athletics departments do not turn a profit.  So do some student-athletes get paid while other do not?  Do you only pay the football and men’s basketball players?  They are not the only ones bringing in money. 

Who knows what will happen down the road, but I will stand firm in my belief that the student-athletes are students first and athletes second.  And they are already getting paid. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

#361 45 Candles

Today I am 45.  I’m officially middle aged!  Wait, I just found this article that says otherwise.  I like how the British think! 

How will I celebrate this momentous occasion?  Let me reflect on some past birthdays. 

When I turned 37, I decided to splurge on a destination concert.  The trip came together quite unexpectedly.  I overheard co-workers talking about taking a trip to see U2, which was on my list of bands to see, so I expressed my interest.  Sometime later I asked one of the guys if they were really going.  It turns out the others couldn’t go.  I half-jokingly said I was still interested in going and after more discussion, and him getting permission from his wife (whom I had met), we went.  Just the two of us.  Flew to Philly.  It gets better. 

My co-worker had enough hotel points for a free room.  He offered to let me stay in his double room for free (also cleared with his wife) to help me defray my cost of the concert and plane tickets. 

The weekend of the concert also happened to be the weekend of the Hilly Hundred, which is a bicycle ride in southern Indiana consisting of 50 miles on Saturday and 50 on Sunday.  It’s very hilly down south, hence the name.  I usually ride both days unless it’s raining.  This particular year I rode 50 miles Saturday, caught an early flight to Philadelphia Sunday morning, had dinner at a great restaurant (Cuba Libre) and saw U2 that night.  We got up early the next morning and flew home.  I think I even worked a half day. 

U2’s opening song was City of Blinding Lights.  Every time I hear that song I recall my whirlwind, un-romantic weekend with my married co-worker, what a great show it was and what a great time I had. 

For my 40th birthday I decided to get my nose pierced.  I had a conversation with a co-worker about nose piercings and she mentioned she had hers pierced in college.  She had to take it out at her previous job and thought about getting it done again.  One night after work we went together to a tattoo parlor/piercing shop.  We had to sign waivers and as I filled mine out I sneaked a look at hers and saw her age was 25.  Sigh.  She let me go first.  They marked the piercing spot with a marker, put a metal tube up my nose and then WHAM.  “Owwwwwww!”  I sounded like Will Ferrell.  My left eye immediately teared up.  I looked at her and she said, “That’s why I made you go first.  If you’d heard me yell I thought you wouldn’t do it.”  I’m not that much of a scaredy cat. 

I got the tiniest stone possible and was pierced on the left nostril.  My thinking was the same as when I had my ear double pierced - Left is right.  Right is wrong.  A year later I read something that said a nose piercing on the left nostril means you’re a lesbian.  Great!  Maybe some tall, single guy saw my nose and assumed I was a lesbian!  I really don’t put too much into what others say, and since reading that I’ve seen other women I know are straight with their left nostril pierced. 

I also experienced my first surprise party for my 40th.  My friend Julie set it up and I had no clue.  I did a bike ride that morning/afternoon and she volunteered at the ride.  Afterward she asked if we could stop at another friend’s family gathering at McCormick’s Creek State Park.  As I walked into the building where the other “party” was supposed to be, I got a big “surprise!”  Unfortunately I had taken longer on the bike ride than Julie thought and one of my friends had to leave immediately after I arrived.  We ended up having a nice time – a cookout and corn hole out in the woods. 

This birthday will be pretty low key.  No big trip.  No holes in my nose.  No big surprises (that I know of).  I will probably get together with close friends/family and have some laughs.  It’s alright with me! 


Friday, October 11, 2013

#360 Where Are They?

That is a common question among us singletons.  “Where are all the good men/women?”  “Where do they hang out?”  “Where should I hang out?”

I have always believed that you should, first and foremost, do things and go places that interest you.  Don’t do things just because you think you may meet someone.  More often than not, you will be disappointed and will have wasted your time.  I find things that I’m interested in and figure if I happen to meet someone, it’s a bonus.  If I don’t, I’ve done something I enjoy. 

I recently came across this brilliant quote:

Don’t waste your time worrying about “where” he is. Worry about what you can control: who are you BEING that will make a guy want to ask you out and fall in love with you wherever you go.

It’s all about you being the best you, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.  If you do that, you can never be disappointed. 

Another quote I love is from one of my best friends.  She and I used to commiserate about men when we were both single.  Once she told me about her prayer, “Lord, prepare me for the man you are preparing for me.”  Sometimes two people seem perfect for each other, but the timing is wrong.  You both have to be at the right point in your lives at the same time.  She is now happily married with a soon-to-be four year-old daughter. 

That brings me to my last point.  At the end of the day, I believe that I am where God wants me to be.  If I was supposed to be with one of the guys from my past, I would be with them.  If God wants me to be single the rest of my life, I know I will still have a great life.  He has never let me down in choosing a college, finding a job that was right for me or in finding a great house.  I know he will be with me whether I find Mr. Right or just a few more Mr. Right Nows.  All I need to be concerned about is where I am. 

#359 Escolar...Beware!

While listening to the Bob and Tom Show one morning this week, the conversation turned toward the escolar fish.  The description of what might happen when you eat this fish brought back unpleasant memories. 

In 1999 I had dinner downtown on a Saturday with my brother, sister-in-law and their kids, then around six and seven.  We adults ordered the mahi mahi.  It was a typical dinner out and the food tasted great. 

Sunday came and as the day went along I felt fine.  Later that evening I went to the bathroom and made a startling discovery:  there was a bright yellow-orange spot the size of a silver dollar on the back of my underwear.  I don’t remember feeling gassy or having any kind of intestinal distress.  I was living at home at the time and mentioned this to my dad (he was a registered nurse).  This continued throughout the day and I decided to call my doctor the next day to make an appointment for an exam to see what the heck was going on and how long I had to live. 

My brother called me that evening and his first words were, “Do you have yellow stuff coming out of your ass?”  Well, as a matter of fact, I do!  He woke up that morning and found bright yellow-orange spots on their sheets.  He finally decided it may have been what we ate the day before and called me.  I was a bit relieved that he had this problem too, and that I had not left a message on my doctor’s phone (how embarrassing!).  This relief, however, did not stop the yellow-orange stuff from coming out of my ass. 

The next day at work I wore khaki pants.  During the morning I went to the bathroom and noticed more anal leakage had occurred (this is the phrase that peaked my interest while listening to Q95 this morning).  It was visible on the back of my pants and we had an all-staff meeting off site that afternoon. What to do?  I drove home, changed my pants, put on a liner and came back to work.  I had just enough time. 

By Tuesday the leakage was done.  Whew!  I wanted to call the restaurant and let them know what had happened, but how do you explain that to someone?  I had already suffered enough embarrassment so I left well enough alone.  (If it happened now, I would ask them about the escolar).  This does not mean I didn’t mention this to close friends (we still laugh about it).  After Googling the fish I sent a link for an article I’d found to my brother.  I am certain the restaurant passed off escolar as mahi mahi.  Bastards. 

I will admit putting this story “out there” for the world to read is very embarrassing.  But I have always been the first to laugh at myself, and I will also admit, this is really funny stuff.  (You can’t make this yellow-orange stuff up!)  And if I can save just one person from the experience of having yellow-orange stuff coming out of their ass, my embarrassment is well worth it.