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Remember That One Time...

Vol. 1.1

Every so often I think of things that were funny, so I thought, maybe you'd like them too.

So remember that one time...

It was May 2002. I got my eyes dialated. Well I got them checked. This was before I had contacts; it was my visit to the Eye Doctor to get contacts. I remember thinking people wouldn't be able to recognize me, and I probably wouldn't either. I mean, when I would go to look at myself in the mirror it was with my glasses on, and if I ever did take them off to see what I looked like, then I couldn't see. That's pretty blind. I'm 20/100. That means what I can read 20 feet away, you could read 100 feet away. While you can drive past a billboard, I'd have to be ON it. I'll pull off the interstate, park the car, and climb up the scary ladder. If I want to read a billboard. 20/100 vision.

Anyway back to the story. Ms. Assistant Lady to Hannibal Lecter puts this goop in my eyes. It's all yellow and gross. And she says, "It's yellow, so dont get freaked out." And sure enough, I was seeing everything yellow for a bit. So she puts this machine looking thing up to my face and makes me stick my head in it. I was a little nervous. She turns it on and there's this blue looking glow stick that she expects me to allow easy access to my eye. She says, "Just relax and open wide. That yellow stuff in your eyes is to numb them." Wrong thing to say, lady. If you tell me that you have to numb my eyes in order to poke them with a glow stick, then its only gonna freak me out more. Obviously this glow stick does hurt if they have to numb my eyes. You numb a mouth to get teeth pulled. Apparently you numb eyeballs to jab them with blue glowsticks.

So after I caught my breath, and we both held open my eyes, she proceeds to zap my eye with this blue laser stick thing. I felt like I was being branded. Well pardon. I didnt "feel" anything, but figuratively, I felt like I was being branded. There's a movie called "A Fire in the Sky," and this guy is abducted by aliens (Oh, I'm going somewhere.). They pin him down and do all these torturous experiments on him out of curiousity. Well at one point, they hold open his eyelids and lower this 8 inch needle into his eye; meanwhile, he cant do a thing about it because like 30 of these alien boys are holding him down. It's a true story. So that ran through my mind as I saw the blue glowstick get closer...and closer...and closer...Then I would blink. It was torture.

So after I realized that I really couldn't feel it, the second eye was a piece of cake. Or beef. That was when I decided I wouldnt hit her in the jaw. I started thinking, "Maybe I can't handle contacts." But then I thought, "Wait a sec. It's probably a lot better than the glowstick scandal, because you dont have to numb your own eyes in order to put your contacts in. So it's all good."

Then the Doc comes in and the lights are all off for the most part and he does that "you look in the corner while I shine this 200 watt flashlight up your eye" thing. Well naturally, though very little about this whole experience actually was, my eyes started watering. It was like he stuck a light bulb inside my eye. I thought I was "seeing the light," and I was off to heaven. Yeah, it was bright. I can't imagine how bright it would've been if that nice lady wouldn't have "numbed" my eyes.

Finally, something funny that did happen amidst the terror. The Doc asked me to open wide during "the shining," and I opened my mouth really wide. I felt so dumb. I was at an Eye Doctor's and I opened my MOUTH when he asked me to open wide. "Open wide." And he just sits there with his Maglite trying to see through my squinted, numb, watery eyes. And my mouth is wide open. And it dawns on both of us. He says, "Your eyes. Open your eyes." I think I'd had my braces on way too long. One too many trips to the Orthodontist. One too many times having braces. I knew I should've worn my retainer the first time around. Or maybe I was just over-stimulated. I mean, yellow goop to numb my eyes, blue glowsticks to brand my eyes, blinding flashlights up my eyes. Now open wide?!! Surely there's NOTHING MORE YOU COULD POSSIBLY THINK TO DO TO MY EYES!! Like a defense mechanism. Open your mouth and hope they try there first before completely blinding you and finishing you off. Maybe you'd like to pull some teeth now? A cleaning? A filling? A root canal? My eyes are taking 15.

Needless to say, I'm terrified of four things: Spiders. Needles. Midget Clowns. And yes now, the Eye Doctor's...namely, the blue glowstick that brands your eyeballs like cattle hide.


Early Retirement '06

In case you were curious, as many are these days, early retirement is good. Boring at times. But well worth it. I definitely appreciate all the hype about it. Although I bet it'd be even more fun if I'd saved for longer than just the past 2 1/2 years. You know, if I'd've actually retired with something, or after I'd accomplished something monumental vs. just for the fun of it because that's another thing you do when you're in Florida. Kind of like going to Disney. Or the beach. Or sweating. Or running from alligators. Retirement is what you do in Florida. I mean, I totally understand why Florida is Retirement Central: Old people get cold easily and Florida doesn't. And that is also the reason traffic is blood-curdling and shuffle board is pandemic.

Alongside my second-guesses on retiring with something more than my paltry "retirement" account, i.e. my savings account, I think my next retirement I'll bring someone with me. It'd just be more reasonable. Instead of sitting around mindlessly by myself, I could do that with company. Instead of reading a book on the beach alone, I could ignore someone in the process. Instead of eating well all by myself, I could bring someone along to watch how it's done. I need a good second in command. Someone to follow orders, someone to do the gruntwork, someone to tell me what I want to hear, someone I can take under my wing and teach how to be a great first in command one day. Teach them how to be a servant. A good leader must be a servant. So, they could drive. Cook. Clean. Do laundry. Run errands. Pay. Rent movies. Network on my behalf. Sustain friendships for me. Write emails. Return phone calls. Maintain this blog.

I just think a second person is a much better move all around than just the solo act. I mean who really likes just Paul McCartney? At least get Ringo. Everyone needs a Ringo. Batman had Robin. Dr. Phil had Oprah. Zach Morris had A.C. Slater AND Screech. There's so many Dynamic Duos out there. The Ambiguously Gay Duo, Simon and Garfunkel, Sigfried and Roy, The Brokeback Mountain guys, you know what. Maybe not. Maybe an opposite sex Paul and Ringo. Like super couples Ben and Jen (Affleck and Lopez) or Brad and Jen (Pitt and Aniston) or Nick and Jessica (Lachey and Simpson)...Or maybe my idea isn't without flaws. But at least it's a workable idea. Opposite sex duos that aren't dysfunctional. Like Bill and Hillary Clinton. Or Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. Or Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Or maybe I need a casting director. And a casting call. And a 3-step application/interview/tryout process.

I guess I'll start recruiting for my next retirement while I'm on this one. Top candidates will possess the following skills, attributes, looks, accents:

-Cute. It'll help us not get jumped as much while we're bumming on the beach. Besides, cute is looks plus personality.
-Funny. As in somehow close to as funny as me. Wit and sarcasm are preferred.
-Hyper. That could be annoying in an old person traffic jam. Fun otherwise.
-A super cook. And not gross french things. Normal things. Like Mac&cheese. Or mashed potatoes. Or, especially OR, STEAK. Lobster.
-Music lover. And good singer. Musical abilities a must. And an awesome sounding voice.
-In shape. I mean retirement is gluttonous and lazy enough, being fat from the get go is a no go.
-Good driver. Road rage tendencies are heightened here in The Land of 25mph Coupe de Villes.
-Smart. A hyper dumb person is not fun. At all.
-Ice cream lover. And not any ice cream flavor either. Sensible taste. Vanilla. Boo. Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Cookie Dough. Bravo. We miss you, stupid Ben & Jerry's.
-Great movie picking judgement.
-Willingness to get a job once the next retirement comes to a close. Money only lasts for so many movies and Dairy Queen Blizzards.
-Compassionate. Love people. Love helping people. Love engaging people. Love making fun of people.
-Outgoing. Quiet or shy? Apply elsewhere. Try the Real World.
-Virtuous. A Lover of Christ. I'm tolerant of other religions, or non-religions, and it would be fun to learn about different religions or non-religions by living alongside someone through a retirement, but if this retirement turned into a "long-term retirement," if you know what I mean, well I'd want us to be compatible long-term.

So I think that's it. If you meet those requirements, or if you feel that for other reasons not listed above you feel qualified, let me know. Apply here or on my myspace or on my facebook. Call me. Email me. A new Early Retirement season will begin NEXT JUNE. "Early Retirement 2007: Endeavors in Maui." Plenty of time to start planning and saving! Other possible locations: Pacific Northwest. Colorado. Australia. Washington D.C. Maine. Vermont. Wiggins. But for now, while the applications start pouring in, I'm going to work on my newest "Early Retirement 2006: Ventures Across Florida" proposal: The beach. All day. Every day. All week.


My Walmart Run

In an effort to generate constant readership, and revitalize my legitimacy as the Best Freaking Blog Ever, I'm posting more.

I went to Walmart tonight. A few observations I wanted to share.

1. I saw a lady and her husband shopping. No big deal except she had a clipboard. I've heard of long grocery lists, but a clipboard? How many people are you shopping for? And how precise does your checkmark have to be? I noticed she was also wearing a Publix Supermarket Polo Shirt. No doubt an employee of that fine Grocery chain. Maybe she was using her clipboard to figure out how much cheaper Walmart's prices were even after her Publix employee discount.

2. I saw a BBW tonight as well. If you aren't hip to online dating profiles, suffice to say she was fairly obese. And diverse. You know how our culture is prone to exposing female mid-drifts? Yep. Got a special treat tonight. But not so much her exposed mid-drift, as her exposed back fat rolls. Here's hoping that doesn't catch on as quickly. On a positive note, she didn't have the lower back tatoo--well not that I could catch my back-fat-roll drift.

3. (Still at Walmart) I walked up to the "express" line, quietly with my handful of staples: mac& cheese, ramen noodles, and corn. Too quietly, regrettably. In front of me was a man in his mid-50s, probably a father of two girls. How do I know? Because as I stood quietly, innocuously I might add, this father, unaware of our three foot proximity, let loose like he'd been holding it in for hours. Like he'd been around women all day and now he was finally free. And the best word to describe this surprise: squirty. It made me think of the old drink "Squirt." It sounded messy. And imperative. Imminent. Urgent. Well I took a step back and then turned around and started looking at the shelf with the air fresheners and gum and tv guides. Never had a dashboard air freshener seemed so close, yet so far away. A couple of thoughts were rapidly cycling through my mind at this point:

-Who DOES that?!
-Surely he didn't know I was there...But everyone ELSE was still there!
-I've waited here too long to switch lines, but that better not SMELL like it sounded...

Well the only reason I didn't audibly crack up out loud was because I didn't want to breathe in anymore than I had to. So then a lady comes up after me in line. (The line where time stood still, mind you.) And she proceeds to get as close to me as is socially unacceptable. I hate the invasion of my personal space. Heebie Jeebies. And she is invading my space to force my hand. To get me to move up further in line. The politics of shopping lines. I hate 'em. For some reason, we feel like we're getting out faster if we crowd up at the register. Nevermind that there's still 33 people in line, I'm only 10 feet away from the cashier! I can see the red laser! I can hear the incessant beeping. I can watch up close and fervently, the cashier struggling to ring up frozen items. And bulky items. And produce items. There's a lot of pressure on those ladies. And it's not just the language barrier. Ringing up items is a concentrated effort. Oh, the politics of shopping lines.

Well so My New Girlfriend behind me, or up on top of me by now, crowds me, successfully moving me closer to Squirt, who by this time is leaning hard to one side, all his weight on his left foot giving him the maximum leverage for the ultimate clenching. Maybe Squirm is a better name, he's so fidgety. Hands inverted on his hips. Eyes darting all around him. Sweat beads forming on his brow. And I was manhandled to within nose-shot of THIS. I should've traded places with her. Since she wanted to move up in line so badly. Crowded HER personal space. Forced HER to inhale his exhaust. That'd put an end to her little political shopping line aspirations. But I couldn't think straight. Maybe it was the fumes.

Well that's it. I'm off on a date with some Chinese food. That's right, China Star. It's me, you and a little Egg Foo Yung...