Friday, August 25, 2006

If things break the right way, I could be wearing a totally cool patch. Like a pirate.

I got contacts like a month and a half ago, right before I flew out to Chicago. When I got back I had the doctor adjust my prescription, and he gave me a pair that was supposed to last me a month. That was five weeks ago. OK.

Here's the thing; I'm a lazy bastard, so I never went and got a new box of the contacts. I put mine in yesterday morning and it felt sort of normal, except the left eye was giving me a little trouble. But it didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary, so I just went to work.

After about two hours, the itchiness turned into some very low level pain, and I took my left contact out. It was partially torn. This was at like 10 am. But everything still seemed manageable, so I did a little research online and found the closest Wal-Mart. I don't like shopping there because of their labor problems, but I figure the contacts aren't made in a sweatshop and they offer really big rebates and stuff. The closest one is in Salem, like 20 minutes away.

At about noon I hopped in the car and head out there, and I found the smallest, most busted looking Wal-Mart you've ever seen. And there's no optometrist inside, so I figured I was screwed. But I decided to take a shot at the pharmacy anyway. While I was waiting for the one guy to come see me, my eye all of a sudden started bugging out. Like searing pain, all at once. I pulled the contact out, and it was completely torn apart. A whole huge side was missing, and presumably its floating behind my eyeball, because I could never find it.

The guy finally came over and I asked if they carry boxes of contact lenses. He said no. OK, where is there an eye place around here that would? He didn't know, because he lives "on the other side of the state." I swear to God he said that. Then he told me to ask the girl at customer service.

So I go over to customer service, and the girl (she was like 16) was ringing up customers, because this was the smallest most busted Wal-Mart ever. I finally get to her and asked where in the area I could get a contact lens prescription filled. Without looking at me, she says "try our pharmacy over there," and points back to where I came from. No, I explained, I talked to the pharmacist and he doesn't have contact lenses there.

She finally stopped and looked at me, and literally recoiled with disgust. This was the first indication I had that my eye at that point looked disgusting. She said to try the CVS up the street, which I knew absolutely wouldn't carry contact lenses. Thanks, I said, and left.

When I get to the car, I removed the other contact lens because walking around with just one was actually worse than nothing at all. Then I pulled down the visor mirror, and my eye looked like Sauron from the Lord of the Rings movie. I have never seen an eye that red and bloodshot in all my life. Wicked gross.

Of course, I went to CVS anyway, and sure enough they didn't have contacts, and suggested I try the mall. But I'm now 50 minutes into a one hour lunch break, and I have a 20-minute drive back to work. So I couldn't go to the mall.

I was forced to head back and wear the prescription sunglasses I keep in my car. Sunglasses in the office. I looked like a total jerk for the rest of the day. One friend helpfully offered to make me an eye patch. Everyone else just laughed at me. Supportive bastards.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Because really, what's a nation without borders?

The New York Times has accomplished what many have said could never be done: They have drawn the first true border between Red Sox and Yankee nations. It's a fun read, and the author takes an appropriately goofy tack in declaring any given town's allegiance, be it the sale of logo lighters, a flag on a far-off porch, or the say so of a diner operator.

And we're winning the war! All of Massachusetts is solidly behind the Sox, while there are enclaves of Sox territory in New York state. And the Sox have made a real beachhead across the Connecticut River, which was considered the traditional redoubt between Sox and Yankee country. For God's sake, we already control ESPN's headquarters! Can Waterbury be that far behind? It's like Island hopping to Japan in World War II; Bristol to Waterbury to New Haven to Bridgeport to-- Well, OK, maybe they can keep Bridgeport.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

NESN: no sense of humor

So Youtube has taken the Dennis Leary video down, dammit. But AlterNet to the rescue! Hat tip to Jason at HappyScrappy for finding the new version. And a hat tip to Universal Hub and Andrew Sullivan for pointing me to this in the first place.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dennis Leary is my hero

And don't forget Lenny Clarke, either. The two just roast Mel Gibson during last night's Red Sox game. Priceless.

UPDATE: So Youtube has taken the video down, dammit. But AlterNet to the rescue! Hat tip to Jason at HappyScrappy for finding the new version. And a hat tip to Universal Hub and Andrew Sullivan for pointing me to this in the first place.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

This was my friends' apartment

Did you hear about the fire yesterday in Shrewsbury? My friends Seth and Allissa lived there. They got out OK, but one of their cats didn't make it. If you look at the photos, they lived on the top floor, where all the firefighters are walking around. The roof over their apartment collpased.

I drove out to see them last night, along with another friend. We stopped by the place before meeting up, and it was just stunning to see the damage and breathe in that smell of burning wood. Just awful.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Joe Lieberman: Using fear to win votes

Joe Lieberman is using yesterday's exposed terror plot for his own personal gain. It's absolutely vile:

"If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again."

So Joe's decided to make political hay by accusing his Democratic opponent of cutting and running in Iraq, a war which Joe says makes us safer from terrorist attacks like that one that was planned in England and exposed yesterday. And he doesn't understand why he's so closely linked to President Bush and VP Cheney. Sheesh.

Joe's statement is misguided in so many ways, we can actually list them out:

  1. By Joe's logic, we should invade England and "take the fight to them" over there. These were British citizens who planned this attack, after all.
  2. You can't level foreign policy rebukes in a pizza parlor. Or any place called a parlor for that matter. No discussion about the situation in Darfur while you're in line for a Fribble at Friendly's. Got it?
  3. This quote: "How the heck can we be in a battle in which we are fighting as Democrats and Republicans against each other when these terrorists certainly don't distinguish based on party affiliation?" makes absolutely no sense. Democrats and Republicans are fighting "this battle," but "this battle" is the global war on terror, but it could be the war in Iraq, and we're fighting—literally, it seems—against each other, but we're also fighting the terrorists (or Iraqis), so we should stop physically harming ourselves, or…huh? I understand you're speaking extemporaneously, but seriously, didn't you review this in the car on the way over?
  4. Maybe, when we defeat the terrorists, they will then decide to wage war as Independents.
  5. Godwin's law is in effect: Joe used the Nazis to make his point. He loses the election and now owes everyone here a soda.
  6. Department of redundancy department: All Soviets were communists, Joe.
  7. Picking up and leaving in Iraq is a morale boost for terrorists. That's opposed to, say, keeping troops in Iraq to be killed by said terrorists.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Again with the helicopter moms!

Good God almighty, make it stop!

Apparently, the Globe can't. stop. talking. about. "Helicopter parents." Today's version of the same story: Parents have a hard time detaching themselves to kids at camp.

Stories of helicopter parents -- so called because they hover ever so close to
their children -- abound among baby boomers. Competitive, overbearing, and
unwilling to let go, they have changed the flavor of kindergarten enrollment,
Little League cheering sections, and college admissions. Now, 140 years after
the first privileged boys trekked out of grimy Northeastern cities and into the
woods for a season of fresh air and exercise, those parents are redefining the
way summer camps are run, too.

I'm not saying it isn't interesting, I'm just saying it loses value when you run the same damn story over and over. Enough already.

This all reminds me of Jack Shafer's fun thread on Slate, where he excoriates newspapers for running with stupid, uninformed articles about the non-present Meth explosion in our country. Seriously, Dan Kennedy, where are you on this?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

They were still doing this?

OK, I understand that politicians are the most humorless people on Earth (save Barney Frank, of course), but really: After three-plus years, they were still calling them "freedom fries?"

The congressional cafeteria: Run by that uncle who tells the same joke at every Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Boston Globe: Same stories, year after year

The recent coup at the Globe has left the venerable newspaper in the hands of crazy old people from my neighborhood. They've struck again today, picking up an AP story from a far off place (New Haven) to reiterate the same point they made in an editorial last week and an article three weeks ago: Today's parent are super control freaks and their kids are mush-headed idiots:

They have researched discount textbook outlets, campus safety, even individual professors. But they are not honor students; they are not students at all. They are "helicopter" parents, so dubbed for their tendency to hover, prepared to swoop in at a moment's notice lest harm befall their progeny.

But it doesn't stop there, this lunacy dates back to last year, when the Globe reported about how today's parents, um, are super control freaks and their kids are mush-headed idiots.

Theories abound to explain the growing ranks of what administrators call ''helicopter parents" who hover over their offspring. Hypotheses range from the competitive frenzy over school success to the high cost of college education and the trend toward smaller families, in which children make decisions with their parents.

Perhaps it wasn't a coup after all, but an obsessed editor assigning and picking up stories on the same damn theme to fulfill her off-to-college article quota? Or the Boston Globe just out of ideas?