Embrace the Inner Cougar, More Holiday Humor, and So Behind the Times

Ask not for whom the bell tolls…ahh, Metallica- I have to admit to being a bit of a metal head still.  Of course Metallica didn’t write the original poem nor do their lyrics mirror the original penned by John Donne as a meditation on death. Both are cool though.

John Donne
Meditation 17
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee…” 

Metallica- “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

“Make his fight on the hill in the early day
Constant chill deep inside
Shouting gun, on they run through the endless gray
On they fight, for they are right, yes, but who’s to say?
For a hill, men would kill. Why? They do not know
Stiffend wounds test their pride
Men of five, still alive through the raging glow
Gone insane from the pain that they surely know

For whom the bell tolls
Time marches on
For whom the bell tolls

Take a look to the sky just before you die
It’s the last time you will
Blackened roar, massive roar, fills the crumbling sky
Shattered goal fills his soul with a ruthless cry
Stranger now are his eyes to this mystery
He hears the silence so loud
Crack of dawn, all is gone except the will to be
Now they see what will be, blinded eyes to see

For whom the bell tolls
Time marches on
For whom the bell tolls”

Well aren’t I macabre today.  And here all I was really wanting to do today is explain why I’ve finally changed my avatar pic from the one I took four years ago.  I might as well face it- I had to stop wearing contacts a couple of years ago for three basic reasons- one they are too expensive,  two, they never really corrected my astigmatism completely, and three, while I’m not quite ready for bi-focals, I started to have a hard time seeing close up with my contacts in.   I never liked wearing glasses, especially back in the day when the lenses were actually made of glass and therefore were as thick and likely as heavy as coke bottle bottoms.  I tolerate wearing glasses now for two reasons apart from the obvious, which is, I am blind as a bat without some form of vision correction-one, the plastic lenses used today are lighter and the thickness can only really be seen from the sides, and two, I actually have better distance vision with glasses than I can get with contacts because my astigmatism as well as my myopia can be corrected.   And I can just take my glasses off when I want to do close-up work or read fine print and it all works out.  Just don’t ask me to go up or down a flight of stairs or do anything else that requires being able to see more than two feet in front of my face without glasses, because I can’t.

Laser surgery is out of the question for me also, one, because if I can’t afford contacts I sure as hell can’t afford laser surgery, and two, even if I could afford it, I have scars on my left cornea where I had metal shavings removed from my eye.  Those scars are in a place which makes the laser surgery impossible on my left eye.    Presumably I could have my right eye corrected via laser surgery but what would be the point?  I am so terribly nearsighted it would probably make me sick to try to see with one eye at 20/20 or better and the other at 20/400.  Then there’s the issue of the astigmatism that as far as I know can’t be fixed with laser surgery.  The way I see it, I can see now – 20/15 with glasses- so why not just leave it at that?  If something were to go wrong with laser surgery, I would be the Murphy’s Law case.   No thanks.  I like to be able to drive.

 Vanity aside- and I did enjoy being able to have bright blue eyes with contacts- I have to consider the practical applications.  I can’t afford contacts any more and I see better with glasses anyway.  It’s just hard to go back to glasses in one sense as I go back to my childhood and early teens and remember my thick, heavy glasses as just one more hindrance to my ability to fit in with the rest of humanity- or at least to avoid mockery.  Contacts opened up a new world for me in some ways, but they never made me beautiful and they never made me popular.  They did make my pictures a little less frumpy and made night driving a lot easier (at least until the plastic lenses with less glare came out) for a long time.  But at 41 it’s a bit easier for me to embrace the inner cougar and just deal with glasses.  I’ve already accepted the fact that sleeveless shirts and hipster pants are verboten for the cougar set (that doesn’t break my heart much) so I might as well come to terms with glasses and hope that I don’t end up with tri-focals like Dad.

It’s almost time for Tacky Christmas again- when I go around and take pictures of the most ridiculous and Griswoldian Christmas decorations I can find.  Usually the west end of Marion is a treasure trove of tackiness, and I will be sure to return there for this year’s foray.  Last year was sort of disappointing except for the Mooning-Homer Simpson-as-Santa.  Any holiday decoration that involves the act of mooning is noteworthy to me.    I have yet to see a repeat of what I consider to be the Holy Grail of  Tacky Christmas- some redneck in the west end of Marion took an old Budweiser drive-thru display with some bimbo in a bikini on it and wrapped lights and beer cans around it.   I didn’t have a digital camera at the time and therefore missed the pic of a lifetime.  The best Tacky Christmas picture I actually have is this one:

It looks like Santa just kicked Frosty’s butt and is giving him the one-finger salute, but if you look closely it’s an optical illusion.  A hilarious illusion, but an illusion just the same.  2008 was actually my best Tacky Christmas collection.   Last year my heart really wasn’t in it, having lost Grandma two weeks before Christmas.  I just couldn’t get into tacky displays when I had to deal with funerary things and with helping Mom and Dad with going through Grandma’s stuff. Necessary though it was,  this was not a good time.  This year I hope to have more enthusiasm for finding some really tacky stuff. It’s more fun when Steve-o drives so I can take the pics.  Maybe he will go this year if we take Hannah with us.  I just have way too much fun with this. 

I’m behind the times.  I freely admit it. It’s refreshing to refrain from being beholden to the latest trend.  I make my own trends.  If anyone doesn’t like it, screw ’em.  My opinion only matters to me anyway.  But I certainly would like to find the Bud Light cans with Cardboard Bimbo display again, just to show how funny tacky can be.

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