Monthly Archives: November 2016

Learning to Speak the Second Time

This blog is a continuation and will make more sense if it read learning to speak twice first.*

You’ll find kids, when they learn to speak for what might be the second but is most likely the final time** usually have one thing they primarily want to talk, and that’s You need to make some changes, namely, Why are we not doing what I want to do, right now. And they’ll use their language, once they get it, for this; they’ll use whatever few words they have to that effect. And then of course you can get all this No.

There is a way to avoid it: just never use that word in front of your child. Negatory is a good alternative. In the non-affirmative, I like that too. You can get a T-shirt printed that says Please Do Not Say No In Front Of My Child (For Everyone’s Sake), to wear when you go out.

If the lexicon of English is half positive and half negative, I only use half of it with children. And it’s not because I want to be cheery and give them self-esteem: I just don’t want them to know those words until the last possible minute. For my own sake and everyone’s, but mostly my own, I try to teach them Change it.

“Change it?” “Sure, I’ll change it.” And we are having a different thing for lunch.

“Change it?” “Sure, I’ll change it.” And we are not wearing that sweater anymore.

Strangers in the grocery store love listening to the echoing sounds of  “CHAAAANGE IT! I DON’T CARE FOR IT!” going up and down the aisles.

So we get rewired. During that quiet period, before language comes back for good,*** speech connects with our emotional circuitry. Language becomes intertwined with our emotions and our response to the world, and that’s — in the math of the universe — Judgment. Judgement is language intertwined with emotion.

Is that good?

Or should they be separate?I don’t know that we get to choose, but the third thing that happens, (first is one of these language explosions that’s free from emotion and judgment, like a game ; second is language that’s deeply tied into emotion and judgement, which can be really rude)– is a long phase of accept things which are judged by it to be bad. The job as the older people around appears to be to younger how to do this. Let’s learn to wait. That kind of thing. What do we do when we don’t like it? Learn to grapple with the world, as we’ve categorized it.

Infants go through a process like this too, and learn to grapple with the uncategorized world, to delay gratification, make choices, etc., but they don’t understand I don’t think so much what they’re doing. Once language is there, not only are you responding to the world, but you know that you are responding to the world.

And you expect at first the world to respond to you. And it can. Language is, at its essence, a tool for manipulating the world around us. Otherwise we wouldn’t need it, right?

Here you go; this is how you change the world—which has been unchangeable up until this point. It’s like you’ve handed a bazooka to a toddler.  The world, which has been a given, is suddenly under your control. You can say noodle and get a noodle, for instance. Pretty powerful stuff.

A bazooka like that, you’d think you could do quite a bit with it. And so then you have to learn that you can’t. You can only do so much.

But I wonder most about the difference between language as a game, and language as a bazooka of judgement and control.

You realize one day, when you get a little more vocabulary, that all you needed to say was can we go outside. “May we go outside?” Once you’re not two anymore, people really don’t like it, and will think you are — I won’t say delayed — they’ll think there is something wrong with you if you can’t express your desires in the form of a request, especially with someone that you don’t know well. If you can’t separate out at least enough of your emotion from the language to ask, to leave people options.

Because we all love each so much, because we all want to be like each other so much, we choose to provide everyone with the option of acquiescing to our desires or not, and long-term, this is how we all end up much happier.

But no one learns it that way; it sounds weird even to say it that way.

It sounds weird because that’s now how we teach self-control, and not how we were taught it. Instead, we teach and were taught by superior strength.

There’s nothing wrong with superior strength: no kids would want parents who were there equals. (“Hi Mom, which one of us is bringing home the bacon today? I’m only two.”) We don’t teach that not getting your way is best, long-term; we teach that it’s what’s expected of you, end of story. You don’t need to know why; I might not even know why, but here’s what you are going to do; you’re welcome.

And at this is the point in the parent-child relationship, when language needs to be tempered with control, all of a sudden the parent is the boss. From now on, because I said so.

My language, stronger than yours.

I think whatever our estimates of anyone’s intelligence, we all have a conscience, from birth;  we all have a sense that forcing our will on other people is wrong. Except we do it, to our children, because we know that the benefits outweigh the wrong of it. Which is actually pretty confusing to . . . everyone.

The imitation learning style breaks down at that point. And it’s hard to believe that it breaks down right at that point—right when a substitute learning style, language, becomes available. Without language there was no learning style other than imitation: now with language, it is language itself that needs to be explained:

“You can’t say that. You have to say this.”

“But that’s not what you’re saying.”

“I know. Say it anyway.”

“Why should I?”

“Because I said so.”

Now with language, it is language itself that needs to be explained. To me, that’s the hallmark of an artificial system, of a waste of time.

All of us, years later, are still subject to the lessons learned in those sullen silent weeks, between meeting splendid language and subsequently deciding to live by it, when we learned to judge. I wish it were not so; I wish to have remained in that language explosion, where there is no right, no wrong. Can I now, with all the power my language has accumulated through the intervening years, judge one last time and decide that from here on out, language will have only that earliest use for me?

I can, I will—I use language for nothing now but to sing the joy of my experience. Nothing else will pass from between these lips. No cannonballs, no whips or chains, no pits dug for the unsuspecting listener. Every word just another song, aimless and true.

I can sing to you about my joy in seeing the clouds above me, and the rain; the cars around me, and their drivers; all of us moving together, moving the same way, moving within that movement, away and towards each other, as I see it. Logic holds, but there is no good, no bad, in my language now: good and bad I see now are only within myself, hidden far away from language (which is where they belong!); true and false I look for instead. Proven and unproven and proven wrong. I sing on, about changing lanes and the sound of the spray from the tires and the way gravity feels to me, like the earth was pushing up to meet the sky . . .

You won’t care, and I won’t care that you won’t.

But maybe later you will. There was a man, years ago, who stood before me and sung the joy of his experience. “Stay in the middle lane,” he said. “It’s safest.” And laughed. The changing of the stoplights was a heartbeat to him, he sung that too. And laughed. The proper functioning of the asphalt circuitry of the nation, he loved that as well. Everyone gets a turn, he laughed. And I can sing to you now about sitting at that little desk, in the back of the drivers’ ed class, listening; about what I remember about the feeling of youth (so much judgment!).


PS: How hard is it to lie, when all words for you are more warbling about what you have seen? Harder.

PPS: I — and this is perhaps my personal personality— have never been much for speculation. To me, to say, “She went home,” feels like winning a bet: I predict that she did, I posit it—as if I had remote viewing!—and probably I am correct. But more likely I would say “She left, and said she was going home.” So enamored of the truth am I, it seems worth it to be this careful.

PPPS: What comes out of a bazooka? I’ve never had one.

*someday I should explain that I put these typos in on purpose to make you think I might be an idiot–it’s a security-defense system around my ideas– i don’t want mean people to have them. if you decide that I ‘m an idiot, then you will porbbaly disregard what I have to say, which is good because you aren’t nice enough to use it properly yet. suggest you work on that.

** I am one of the lucky few who had the opportunity to learn to speak a third time.

*** Sounds judgmental, doesn’t it.

creepiest thing in the world, back in college, i was high as a kite, and my cat, it was sniffing all over my face, and I asked it, what are you doing? and it answered me, like in my head? i heard it answer me, and it said, i am taking samples of the different things on your skin, what is this you have done to yourself this time? and I said, what? why would you do that? and it answered me, like in my head, and it said, i’m a scientist, from far away, i’m taking samples of ALL the earth chemicals, so that the other people where i come from will know all about earth! and I appreciated that so much, lying there, so high i could hardly move? it was the craziest thing. not all cats are scientists though, just some.

Comments – (Lame Investigations Into Immorality Part 1)



Go ahead voice typing. Take some malformed JSON right out of my head — make something ill-conceived and broken instantaneously.

I mean, I have to try to get some work done now.


Oh, good, this is a recording of me being a jerk. I’ll just get rid of this and I’ll never have to listen to it again.

That’s one of those things– that’s a great example to start this blog. I’ll need another one for the text version though. How about you did your hair? That’s a good one.

You did your hair!

Why do you need to say that? Depending on the context it could be true that that hurts. But my example sucks, because what I need is a clever one.

Because even new people will fall for a comment that they come up with, if they find it sufficiently clever. Here’s the three things that happen, three things that happen that lead to a mistake. I’m going to do them in reverse chronological order, because I’m feeling annoying.

You know we say things and then also we comment. It’s different when we comment, it isn’t it? We know that we’re not adding anything to the body of verbal knowledge in the room, when we comment. We just want to say something.

We don’t actually have anything to say; we really more want to show somebody something about ourselves, and so we comment. This is different from telling people things. I can tell you that I had a similar haircut once.

I guess the pretty clear distinguishing factor here is that they do know that they did their hair, and so you’re telling them nothing when you say that they did. Why would anyone talk like this? That’s the third thing: talking like this at all.




There’s a dead kitten. (stops the car)

“Is it yours, honey?”

“Is she ok?”

“She’s going to be. It’s alright.”



“Can you give me your name and number, hon, and the vet you work for?”


“Can you give me your name and number, hon, and the vet you work for?”


“Can you give me your name and number, hon, and the vet you work for, just real quick?”

“Oh, I’m going to give them a call. I just work right down the road, at the Mid-Atlantic Equine Hospital.”

“Careful –

“What?” (to someone else)

“Honey, carry her real carefu– “

“No, she fell out of the car.” (holding her up)

“Can you put her in a box?”

“Yeah, I live right there,”

“Yeah, you know, get her flat, some place quiet?”

“Yeah, I live right there. I’m going to call my work.”

“Ok. Just be real careful–”

“Yeah–” (holds her up again)

“Oh oh, please be –”

“I used to work in small animal emergency, so I’ve seen much worse than this.”

“Ok, don’t worry about us, take, take care of her.”

“Thank you so much for your help guys.” (walking away with kitten) (comes back) “See, now I work at Mid Atlantic Equine, but I used to work at a different vet.”

Woman who hit the kitten: “Yeah, it’s so nice to meet you. If we had an animal, we’d take her to you.”

“Thank you so much for your help guys.”


This lady, her kitten was hit in the road, and I told her it was going to be okay, and so she’s just dragging it around by the scruff of the neck and standing around, sort of enjoying the attention. And I (laughs), I said, Ok, just because I told you it’s going to be okay doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful with it, just in case, and take it immediately to a vet– and she said she’s a vet tech. Jesus.

But she was in no hurry to get it anywhere. She said she lived right there. So I thought, “Then go?” Not in so many words, but I told her to go. The cat needs to be flat and in a quiet place. Its nose was bleeding.

Am I commenting? Actually, what I’m doing is trying to figure out what was wrong with that lady.




I love you Google. New paragraph.




That’s the third thing that happened. The second thing that happened was that I thought about commenting. Before I did it, I thought about it. Do I want to comment? I thought. There’s really no reason to say this. But it is so witty. It is SO WITTY.

Most people never would have thought of this. I wonder if people know that I have thought of this. Really, what I wonder is if they know that I’m the kind of person who can think of something like this.

I want them to know that, don’t I?

On the scales of my decision making, the enjoyment I derive from having been so witty outweighs any pain that my comment might cause anyone that hears it. And this is me, a person who tries to keep my thumb on the side of the scale of being nice. I hope you know that about me.

And so we find it easy to sneak, when we speak, into territory where we should not be, just because we find that territory so darn clever.

This doesn’t just apply to sarcasm, teenagers, comments — you can also make big mistakes this way. Let’s do it this way, because this is the way that looks smart. Often that way is also much more difficult.

I knew that, and I did it anyway. Because of the first thing: I was sitting here thinking about how smart I am. Before I even thought of the comment.

(Darm. Yum.)

It’s not something I spend a whole lot of time doing, but… I was looking at a video, and it looks like a prediction that I had made did in fact come true.

Not only did I manage to navigate a rather complicated system and use it to my benefit, from my rather strange, isolated, and unimportant position — I was also able to successfully predict how that system would behave, based strictly on patterns that I’d observed in the past. With absolutely no direct information about the system itself.

And so from that position of congratulating myself, the witty comment seemed ok.

Even though it really wasn’t.

You could say that I only felt clever because I’ve been deprived of information. I need a word other than blame — perhaps something like causation —  that connects that lack of information to my feeling clever about something that never really never should have been done.

But anyway, if you want people to think you’re smart, I’m sorry that’s an endeavor that’s never going to succeed.

There’s no way to tell them. That they’re going to understand.

You’re either going to make your point and they’ll just like you, or you’re going to fail to make it, and they’ll think you’re an idiot.

But if you just do nothing and know that you are smart everything should be fine.

And if you want to be witty, be self-deprecating.  We will all be very impressed, additionally by your modesty.

Yes, those are my actual feet. I’m sure, because if anyone had sold me these feet–  I’m sure because no one would have sold me this feet– I’m sure because — somewhere in there, that joke went awry. Let’s try that again.

These are my actual feet. I’m sure because anyone who would have sold me these feet would be in jail.

Somewhere in there, that joke went awry? That’s ok.

(Don’t try to be witty about something off topic. When we’re witty about things off-topic, we have a tendency to make some nasty Freudian slips (aka ‘forward his lips’). In general, this whole area of thought is a dangerous one. It’s not that hard actually to avoid it completely, if you decide to, commenting.)

Learning to Speak Twice

woman talking on the phone with a cat

woman talking on the phone with a cat

If you explain something one time and it’s not understood, you have to explain it the second time differently. If you’ve explained it one hundred times and not been understood, maybe you are explaining it to the wrong people.

Or maybe you are answering the wrong question.

Maybe you haven’t explained it to the right people.

You know children learn to speak twice. It can be kind of upsetting for their parents.

Their children suddenly develop language—sometimes as early as twelve months, more typically around eighteen—and at that time they’ll demonstrate language skills that far exceed what is typical for that age. But only for about a week.

It’s really adorable, not to mention fascinating and exciting, to see a very small child look up to you and ask where the milk is. Especially when up until that time they’ve made nothing but non-word sounds.

Now, I don’t know if it’s because someone tells these children that this is impossible; it’s true their comprehension of what they themselves say during this period might be lacking in some sense; still often the things they say are tied to the situation; what’s spoken goes beyond repetition, and sometimes includes full sentences, which means two or three words at that age — a language skill they’re not expected to develop for possibly a solid year.

But they’ll chat with you as if it’s the most normal thing in the world, with a little bit of a puzzled look on their face, maybe thinking “You find this a big deal for some reason?” But only for a couple of days. And then they will not speak. And afterwards is about when what people call the Terrible Twos starts to hit. They are pissed. The children, I mean.

A lot of them won’t even engage in verbal games, or say nonsense syllables, for months after this experience. Inviting them to spek makes them mad. They seem angry– angry with language.

Not every kid has this little burst of language ability, but it’s pretty common. And in another few months, they usually start to start talking again. But their language is very different, the second time. Much closer to what everyone says is developmentally appropriate, or what is developmentally appropriate at that time: single words (mama, no, milk), and much much more emotional.

So the language that you hear from a kid during one of these early explosions, it’s chill. It’s like talking about the weather. You feel a little bit like you are watching someone make cupcakes with prosthetic arms: awkward, maybe even a little painful, but miraculous. They’ll name their friends, or pets, and just comment on what they do (Sing song. Kitty sit.) and look at you, as if to say What do you think of that? Very unemotional, like a game. And a lot of single words and naming things. Some situationally appropriate repetition of multi-word phrases they’ve heard, like That’s not good.

That’s something, dropping your keys and hearing this little alien voice for the first time, saying, That’s not good. It sounds like a sound bite. I guess that’s what psychologists call a ’learned behavior,’ right? Meaning a behavior, that you learn.

It’s appropriateness; that’s what I would call it. I’ve figured out that the appropriate thing to do when something like this happens based on my observations of others is to say “That’s not good.” What do you think?


Some of these comments can get kind of colorful, which some parents can find embarrassing, but don’t worry: it’s really brief. We’re talking about a total of one printed page of words; that’s the most you’re getting out of one of these explosions.

But why twice though? What happens in between? Why do we have to do it a second time? Why isn’t language just a game? Why isn’t language just appropriate? Why isn’t it just the thing that we do, when someone else does something else—like pat-a-cake, but with air that we push through our throats?

I think in that couple of months of frustration, the whole brain is rewired: for categorization. And afterwards, with language, I’m not just giving an appropriate response at an appropriate time, I’m not just doing the thing that you do because that’s what you do; I not just wanting to be more like you because we all love each other like crazy*— —but now I have to do this *other* thing; now when I look at stuff, I have to figure out what it is; I decide—

I decide.

All of a sudden we’re making decisions. This is a this, this is a that, which come with this is good, and this is bad. Not what we had before the period of frustration: this is uncomfortable, or this is what I want. Now we’ve ‘advanced’: to this is good, and this is bad.

And that is hard—hard hard hard hard hard hard (meaning extremely hard) work, for that little tiny person, because it is confusing to them that there should be anything bad. There didn’t used to be! Everything was just the way it was supposed to be at all times, although sometimes you were uncomfortable, although sometimes you wanted things. But now all of a sudden there is good and there is bad; there is categorization and there is decision and there is will.

I don’t like it: another way of saying this is bad.

Not ‘Nah, I-don’t-like-it-I’m-not-going-to-eat-it’ I don’t like it; ‘I-DON’T-LIKE-IT-IT-SHOULD-NOT-EXIST‘ I don’t like it. Earlier experience with a world in which everything was as it should be taught me well that there should not be things that are not good. Now suddenly here are such things, and I cannot make them go away. I can’t restore the perfect world I lived in up until now. This is incredibly confusing and upsetting. Why should there be a thing that I don’t like, when I don’t like it? It wasn’t like this before. What happened? Could it even be somehow my fault? Or your’s, teacher-lady?

Children, I am very sad to say to you all that this is logic’s price! But maybe we can re-write logic so that it’s not.

*isn’t what do you do when you love somebody? want to be like them?




aka The Illusion of Accomplishing the Really Difficult

When in life we feel we are capable of the impossible; that undreamed of power might be ours, but also might not be; that we of course are not superhuman, but are yet on the brink of being so, it is important not to get too excited. Those of us familiar with encoding information for machines to understand– and a rapidly increasing group aren’t we–know that when things seem too complicated, it is because they are: two variables not being enough to capture what three things are doing, independently; one messy function a mask over several; our own frustration a distorted reflection of  some better way.

I’m sure someone has stated better than I will this principle of reducing the complexity of a personal problem by adding complexity to its solution–what I’ve always called “adding a dimension” — giving yourself more room to work out everything that needs working out, and giving the things worked out more room not to get in each others’ way.

As each dimension is added the problem seems simpler, compared to our earlier view of it from our flattened perspective, and correspondingly our options seem less: who cares how x and y relate to each other–let them both simply be determined by some z that we cannot label or control.

Let me set a point, above this explanation and connected to it by some number of puppet strings:: most things we don’t understand aren’t connected. They’re connected to something else. 


When I lived in Berlin, I had a close circle of friends who were all math students. Because we were in Germany, and math students, we had a club, actually an online community call e-pi. (pronounced ‘eh pee’ in german). Everyone in the community had an e-pi name, none of which I can recall right now. eponymous I feel sure was one. epigenesis maybe. How neat it would be if one of them stumbled across this page; how wonderful it would be to hear again from them; they were all magnificently clever people, and much kinder than I would have expected. I could never decide on an e-pi name for myself. I think I suggested epistle, but this was looked askance at, not being, I guessed, but much later, derived from the right Greek root? Now many years later I’m glad I couldn’t, having found the right one, which I never would have claimed at the time. It may even have been the name of the online community itself*, or should have been, if it wasn’t. I am epicenter.


Let us consider a few examples of adding a dimension to reduce complexity.


That was fun.  And here’s a good one:

Imagine several hundred people moving in sync. Banal as the example is, you have to admit that witnessing such a thing without knowing what it is, you’d be baffled: how, why, would so many people do the same things; what could be the explanation? There is no acceptable pairing of phenomenon and observable cause: the two just won’t line up.

But add a third dimension—a third-party; to be exact— an aerobics instructor at the front of the crowd, facing away from you—and it makes perfect sense.

This example is very boring, radiation, you might say. Perhaps. But tell me then, you almost very powerful you: what is more likely: that you can compose opera in your sleep ala Mozart, or that someone else does, and sends it to you?

Who would send it?  I’m so glad you asked, because I have no idea. Congratulations, by the way. I mean, nice opera.

Has anyone seen a post about fractions around here?

Optometry (don’t bother with the video, it’s blurry, you can’t see anything) – READY TO GO! WITH FORMATING MAKE ALL THE TEXT MUCH SMALLER



I decided that I don’t really want to spend money on glasses right now. I can always do it later. I can always do this later. I don’t know what the numbers mean that come out of the eye doctor’s machine — you can’t  tell — I don’t know what to say. I don’t know! But I started this video because I wanted to say something (laughing). I remember now: it’s been a long time since I’ve been to an eye doctor and it’s neat medicine; it’s a neat science; those guys know their stuff. It’s good. It’s not one of those medical disciplines that you encounter and think, “Wow, what a crap shoot! You guys have nothing! Really!” Eye doctors know what they are doing. 

So, I mean, the doctor said I don’t need eyeglasses, by the way, which is nice.

Did you ever feel like life has too many options? Sometimes?

(laughs) I’m not sure what’s funny. Is it my sunglasses? I couldn’t find any that were larger. Or more blue.

When I was a kid, my mom knew a guy who lived on the water — what was it, Neck River Back Crick Neck Co-tom’s Creek Neck Branch, I think? Some kind of water that we have here. And we used to go out on his boat– he had a couple of boats — and I remember one time we went out on his boat to a restaurant.

(If you’ve never done that, try to set up something in your life where you get to do that. You could be a barrel of rum for Halloween, for instance.)

So we went to this crab place, in his boat, and we were sitting there eating crabs, and the poor man, he asked me, “How many crabs can you eat?” and I said, “A dozen,” which is not the right answer. And my mom looked over like, she’s right, she can. I think I was nine.

And I was playing a game with my eyes. I used to play games with my eyes a lot, when I was little. We do this, don’t we? We play with our bodies: what does this do? What does that do? I don’t think we even know half the stuff that we’re learning, when we play with our bodies.


I’ll be making you

I’ll be making you some brand new shooes

Brand new shoes you will get from me

They won’t be the least bit squeaky…

So: I had two games that I would play with my body, when I was little. One, when I was five and six, I was into squinting. Especially at night, I loved to squint. Because you squint, and you can change the shape of the light that you see. And I loved that. So when you see a light, it looks like the shape of whatever the light is coming out of, like a round headlight, but if you squint, you can make that shape into a line, and as you squint more, the line gets longer. And I remember very seriously telling my mom one time —  I was lying down in the back of the car, which was my favorite, if I could have the whole backseat, and lie down, maybe with a blanket, and then stare up through the window at the tree branches overhead, and the moon and the stars while she was driving. I didn’t have to drive, I could look. And these streetlights would go by, and I would squint, and change the shape of the light. And I was telling my mom about it. And very seriously, when we got home, and she pulled into next to the house, I said, “Don’t tell Dad that I can squint and change the lights like this.” I think I was 5 or 6. I didn’t want him to know that I had this ability. (laughs)

But this other time, when we went to this restaurant, I had this different game that I was playing. My friend at school and I — I don’t know which one of us had this brilliant idea — but we figured out that if you closed your eyes and put your fingers on top of your eyelids and sortof pressed, for a couple of seconds, then opened your eyes, you’d be blind, for about a second. Less than that maybe. But the world would go black, and you couldn’t see. And I thought that was pretty great.

So we were sitting in this restaurant, waiting for the crabs, and I was bored, so I was pressing my eyes in, and then opening them, and then pressing them in, and then opening them, and this guy asked — the guy who had the boat; my mother was completely ignoring me, which was wise — “What are you doing?” and I said “Well, if you press your eyes in like that for a second, then when you open them you can’t see.” And he said, “Oh, that’s wonderful. I can just picture you at the eye doctor’s, years from now, saying, ‘I remember'” — and now I’m supposed to remember the name of the restaurant, but I don’t — “‘I remember when I was at the X-and-Such-Waterfront-Restaurant, with my friend Mr. Whoever-He-Was ‘” — I know who he was but let’s protect him — ‘”pressing my eyes in.’”*


And I do. He was right.

Brand new shoes from me…


“Doctor, tell me what’s wrong with my piece of meat, I mean, me.”

It almost feels irresponsible to speak during medical exam: No, no, shh, what do you see in there, doc?

“What’s wrong?”

“If I breathe deeply I cough.”

“Well, but if you don’t, you don’t, do you.”

If you can imagine your ocular nerve — mine are great, by the way; I just had them checked — you can imagine your ocular nerve sort of threaded back into your brain, right? Connected to something that gives you all of your visual imagery.

What if what it’s connected to is maybe less like a — a pipe, or whatever, and maybe more like — what do you call that? — the cylinder, on a revolver. And so you can spin that cylinder, and you can sortof feel your nerve clicking past different parts of your brain that are better or worse at interpreting what the ocular nerve provides: ‘Loaded…, not loaded…, loaded…, even more loaded…, whatever…, loaded…’

If you empathize with this, you have options, is what I’m saying. It feels like I do have options, at least: that’s what I’m saying! You have to decide, Well, do I want to see that? (laughs) Should I have all six cylinders checked? Or should I pick the worst one? Should I pick a middle one? The best one? (laughs) That was puzzling me a little bit.

I thought, Ummm? More than once.

I went for best.

Just sortof following the doctor’s lead on that.

Because he said, “I don’t think you need glasses yet.” I thought, ‘Alright then. Me neither.’

But this business is not bizarre to — what do you call it — optometry. This is nothing strange to them. They say you either focus or you don’t. If you focus, you’re connecting to different– you are using a muscle– anyway, you change the shape of the eye, but it feels like sortof modifying what you see.

Like squinting. Anyway, those of you who have glasses, maybe this is all old news to you. I don’t.

Maybe what’s different is that I don’t feel like I’m squinting; I don’t think I’m moving my eyes; but I can do some things, I can exercise a kind of effort that will make my vision just horrendous. The thing about spinning that cylinder is that you can’t spin it very quickly. Each time you make a connection like that, the tendency is to stay there, be stuck there. And some of them are really not, not good at all. It’s like they don’t want you to see! You connect to some things that are just — I don’t know, Ew. And I feel like my eyes are crusted shut, that’s how well I’m seeing, but they’re not even.  If I wanted to opt to have horrible vision it would be easy.

That’s probably bad. I’ll tell you, I think life is probably more fun when you think you have exactly one ocular nerve connection, and you think, Hey, that’s vision. I’ll not mess with it.

What a skill! It’s a superpower. “She is …. Near-Sighted Girl!”

“Look, in the sky, what is that? Is it a bird or a plane?”

“I don’t know, it’s so fuzzy I really couldn’t say!”

“Thank you, thank you, another day saved by … Near-Sighted Girl!”


Which brings me to a topic I need to decide whether or not I want to discuss. About thought, language, words and aversion. And you know, I just really can’t believe they got a Burgher King here. (pulls into Home Despot parking lot) Good morning, can I have french toast?

Photo credits

1- flickr hive mind

2 – walmart



I feel like I missed a good opportunity to talk philosophy wth the eye doctor. “You know, doctor, do you think I even see the same world that you do?”

He’d say, “No, lady, you see a world that is perhaps slightly blurrier.” But I don’t! My vision is fine.

By the way, one of the more dangerous places in the world would be the parking lot of the eye doctor’s. Not some place you’d want to step off the sidewalk without checking first.

Best Depot Reveals New Earth Day Decorations

Consumers no longer have to restrict their creative impulses to boring holidays like Christmas and Exxon’s Birthday.

whale lights

Best Depot today launched it’s new line of hot new Earth Day decorations, opening the door to what some investors are calling the “Feel-Good-About-It-Holiday Market.”

“It’s not enough anymore for people to decorate just because other people are decorating,” said Suzy Wetankles, VP of Responsible Marketing for Best Depot. “They want to decorate for good, for a meaningful reason.”

Decorating “for good” will be a challenge though, with so many exciting options to choose from!

“A lot of these decorations don’t just light up: they are also inflatable,” said Suzy.

glowing sea turtleglowing tiger*


How do consumers find the new line?

“I think Earth Day has a really nice palette,” said Francis Robbedherson. “Everyone gets tired of red and green, red and green, red and green, and we’re not Jewish. Earth day is a chance to use blue and mean it.”

She had just purchased a set of Assorted Endangered Species Porch&Lawn Laser Projections. “I thought I should get a few different ones, because there are still a lot of people who don’t know that there is such a thing as an endangered species. I consider this doing my part for education. Oh wow, that’s a lot of batteries. Hold on.”

Beyond Lowe plans to release its own line of Earth Day home decorations later this week, including a 32-foot plastic animatronic sea turtle that says “I’m the reason you recycle!” in 42 languages and an inflatable ice berg you can climb.

Although less high-tech than Best Depot’s line, Beyond Lowe’s options are touted for their durability.

“You should be able to get two, maybe even three seasons out of these items,” said Frank. Lee-Ahdintseeaprobtiljusnow. “Which is great! Everyone should know what an iceberg is. And the turtle is actually recyclable, which I think is clever.”

iceberg sea turtle

Don’t have room in the yard or the budget for the large-scale signs of festivity that really impress? Then you’ll have to make do with some ingenuity, I guess.spray grass

“I’m just going to spray the front of my house and the sidewalk with that instant-grow grass&fertilizer mix, and then let the kids carve some slogans into it,” said one mother of three. “And maybe some green lights. I want them to experience the holiday, but we can’t afford a turtle — this year. Bills are through the roof for some reason.”

Another mom had an inspired DIY approach. “I got some of those giant light up letters, on etsy? To spell out SAVE THE PLANET NOW EVERYONE with. Can I buy a vowel? Ha ha.”

light up letters  earth


*you make the imgs line up, a-hole