urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Thank goodness for double glazing, though it's warm enough that I need some of the windows open.

The lot across the side street has been up for sale for a while now; ATM it's a parking lot and storage buildings of some sort. I guess development plans are in the works now, because a crew is out there taking down all the trees along the edge closest to us. We're getting at least 100dB on the patio, probably louder--besides the chainsaws, it sounds like they've got a giant diesel wood chipper going. And the acoustics are strange out there, making it sound louder out back than it probably does over there. (Besides my irritation because the trees were pleasant, and there's little enough green in Romford already!)

Max doesn't like it, Feist is scared, and it woke me up through the usual earplugs. They've been at it since before 9:00. By now, they've got most of the trees down. But, I'm more annoyed at this being a sign of construction soon to come. As disturbed as I am by noise and disruption, I was hoping we'd have moved before they started demolishing things and building another block of flats over there. Guess not. :/

Bit of a shame the earplugs aren't feasible when I'm up and moving around. Probably thanks to having a wonky enough vestibular system already, trying to walk with them in makes me dizzy and nauseated and prone to falling over. Ah well. At least right now there isn't much going on in the right frequency range to get the too-many-eardrum-perforations hyperacusis in my right ear driving me nuts.

Edit: Just about as I hit submit, the noise stopped. I was hoping they were finished, but there are still a couple of trees and the wood chipper truck over there. I guess it's time for lunch. I really, really wish I had some Xanax.

View across the street, with a tree and the wood chipper truck

There was a row of trees to the left, mostly blocking view of the ugly storage shed things.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I made the mistake of baggying and leaving Heenara hair oil in overnight. I like the stuff, but its initially pleasant smell got so overwhelming that it kept waking me up! It probably didn't help that, thick as my (not-quite-shoulder-length) hair is, I had to use about 1/4 of a bottle--even clipping sections up and trying to get it mostly on the scalp. Lotta hair in the way, still. I ended up getting out of bed about 3 hours earlier than intended, and had to go wash it out even before coffee got made.

My hair did seem to like it, though.

So, now I'm feeling like a particularly overload-prone zombie (thanks, "sleep drunkenness"!), and need to get out shopping before long. I am still not fond of UK Sunday opening hours, oh my no. After I get back, it's nap time. Then, maybe I won't be so grouchy. ;)

Oh yes, I am also trying to ignore another little surprise this morning: some garbage on the patio. This time, it's not a gift from the upstairs neighbor--actually, I think he's gone! *crossing fingers*--but from a bag-ripping fox. Max was inside when it happened, overnight, and I've stood there and watched foxes do that before. :-| I like the urban foxes, and they need to eat too, but I really am fonder of them when they aren't strewing garbage around my patio. At least none of it is actively smelly.

Not mine, but the BBC's. Couldn't resist a foxy photo. ;)

With the sciatica finally calming down a bit, I am so not bending over to pick that up today. (Part of the point of the trip out is to get some more pain relief!) Ingvar is in Reading helping some friends move their shop today. So, I guess he will also have a lovely surprise when he gets home tonight. :/
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Ingvar and I met up at the station on his way in from work, and we went to pick up the new glasses.

There had been some bizarre problem with his sunglasses, something about the level of extra-thin lenses he'd picked not working with the frame size. He actually stopped in yesterday to find out what was going on with them, and had to pick new frames for the sunglasses, because even the not-quite-so-high-index tinted ones wouldn't work in the initial frames. Still, he was under the impression that the regular glasses had arrived. As it turns out, they also had to switch his regular lenses for the not-quite-so-high-index ones, and they weren't there yet either. Too bad they didn't catch the conflict before sending the order off to be made up. At least that's £30 per lens refund due, IIRC.

Both of my pairs were there. After trying them on, I'm really not looking forward to putting them on in the morning as the optician suggested. I've been wearing glasses for 25+ years now, and this is the worst prescription change so far. It had been about three and a half years, and I wish I could find the old prescription to compare. (Naturally, Ingvar's old one is handily tacked on the kitchen bulletin board, and mine has been devoured by the Diopter Gnome.) In past, I've expected to have a headache, dizziness, nausea, and lurch around like a drunken sailor who hasn't gotten his land legs back, for about a week. That I was expecting, with the astigmatism changes in particular.

With these, wearing them for a couple of minutes made me feel like someone had jammed a rusty nail into my left eye socket, and a couple more into the cheekbone. (I just double checked that the sunglasses were the same, and it happened again!) Very unhappy muscles there. I am also having the problems with worse-than-nothing blurriness through the lens which changed a lot more (the left) as mentioned here; that person described the sensation well: "The right lens is perfect, but when I look through both lenses, it feels like some one just punched me square in the face." In a particularly nauseating way.

The left eye also feels like it's getting pulled toward my nose.

Extra fun with strabismus and eye strain )

My wonky vestibular system and some other visual processing weirdness are no doubt also involved, and I seem pretty sensitive to input changes.

At any rate, I was hoping they would check to make sure the lens was, indeed, the proper prescription before we left, but I have trouble dealing with things like that. It's frustrating. They saw I was having problems, and apparently did not find the reaction unusual with the prescription/eyeball-shape change. (Yay, shapeshifting eyeballs! :/) The suggestion? I should put them on in again in the morning when I haven't been wearing the old glasses all day, and wear them as much as possible to adjust. And come back in a week or so if it hasn't improved.

With any luck, it won't feel as awful when there is not already a day's worth of muscle strain and fatigue on the left side.

Has anyone else had this kind of thing happen with a new prescription, with myopia and/or astigmatism changes--and the right prescription? ;) If so, how long did it take your eyes and brain to adjust?

Gosh. Exotropia and fear mongering. )

Edit: I tried to play around with an interesting-looking blur simulator, based on entering a prescription. That didn't work so well with mine, which gave "beyond simulation range". Odd. Apparently it "[s]imulates prescriptions from +5 to -5 for the spherical error and +5 to -5 for astigmatism."
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
No wonder I was feeling grouchy, depressed, and a bit out of it last night and (especially) today: a migraine kicked in while I was out getting some Nurofen Plus for my back and antihistamines. The timing could have been worse, at least. ;)

The prodrome and aura were harder to spot because it was really easy to put feeling crappy off on a combination of allergies and my back acting up, which can be pretty overloading on its own--and it kept me from sleeping well, which also makes me feel generally crappy and prone to overload. (And then I didn't remember to eat lunch. Bleh.) Since the visual snow effect got a lot worse about an hour before the pain hit, and it's done that before, I'm wondering if that's an aura thing too. My visual processing goes screwy that way when I'm overloaded--and prone to straightforward tension headaches--so it's kind of hard to sort things out!

But, I was more than a little relieved when the headache started, and provided a pretty straightforward explanation for the way I'd been feeling. I may not like them, but migraines I can deal with. Disappointed as I was not to get to see people I haven't seen in a long while, it was probably a really excellent thing that I hadn't bulled through and headed for a night out at a pub in Central London after all!

We only live about a mile outside the town centre, but I was so not going to lurch down there today. So traffic heading that way was clogged almost to our bus stop. Stubbornly, I climbed on the bus anyway, and still ended up lurching farther than intended so that I had a hope of getting to Boots before it closed. It did get me at least three quarters of the way closer.

While I was out, I stopped by Sainsbury's in the same shopping centre, and got some easy food, including some frozen chicken and mushroom pies out of the Free From section--junky, but oddly satisfying when you're not feeling great. :) Also some GF bread and sandwich fixings.

By that point, my blood sugar was getting pretty low (stress didn't help!), so I also wolfed down a pretty tasty pseudo-Asian salad with black rice, veggies, edamame, shrimp, and ginger-lime dressing. Convenient, decently balanced, and GF except for the soy sauce in the dressing, which is usually OK--and I was past worrying about it. Sometimes I do get tired of having to think about what and when I eat. I used to be a bit self-conscious about perching on benches in busy areas to light into food like a ravening beast, but needs must. Finally getting some food in helped some.

I also picked up some ground cloves and allspice while I was there, for the Great Henna Experiment. I've been pretty much addicted to blatantly unnatural permanent hair dye for 20+ years, but went off it when I decided to try to let my hair grow out--trying to avoid the eventual "matting frizzy straw" effect--but lately I've been eyeballing the couple of boxes of (ruby) red and purple still in the house. ;) I was even becoming tempted to try really saturated shades of SFX or similar on unbleached hair; maybe Candy Apple Red or Deep Purple, which should still give a decent undertone. This has been on my mind even more lately, since I wasn't entirely pleased in spite of myself to find some silver starting to come in at the temples.

So, I was pleased to find out that henna does not necessarily give you Lucille Ball orangey-red, but it's very possible to get the kinds of colors I want anyway out of it with the right mix and base color. I've probably actually seen people with similar shades from henna, but assumed it was something else. Something that's actually good for your hair and can give you the colors you want? Sounds close to perfect.

I ordered some ostensibly body art quality henna and some indigo from an Indian grocery (could have made a trip into Ilford, but didn't feel like it), but neglected the spice additions--to help with more burgundy tones--while I was at it. So, instead of busing it into Ilford after all, I sucked it up and paid supermarket prices. Which still just about brings the ingredients per batch close to the price of the dye I'd been using, so it's not too bad. :) That will probably wait until tomorrow night.

The bus ride home was a bit surreal. There was the visual snow and sense that things were moving strangely. There was also another (Black) passenger about 20 who, judging from his mannerisms and pretty severe tardive dyskinesia, I'd guess was autistic and on neuroleptics. That made me more than a little sad and frustrated for him. Even the way I was feeling, I made sure to smile in his direction and basically try to acknowledge his humanity; the bus was pretty full, and other passengers were acting like they'd get ebola from sitting anywhere near him. That's gotta hurt. Grrr. Then there was a priest who looked like he felt sorry for me, with my cane and whatever expression was on my face right then. *shakes head* I was glad to get off before someone started into a bizarre monologue nobody else seemed to hear, and it really started to remind me of the kind of Italian film I avoid. It was that kind of bus trip.

Now I'm slurping a big cup of coffee and waiting for the pain relief to kick in. I'll probably stick my pies in the oven and lie down for a while.


May. 12th, 2010 03:18 pm
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I really need to get new glasses. The ones I'm wearing now are several years out of date, with several big scratches as well as diabetes thrown in for extra prescription-changing fun. My sunglasses are from the prescription before that, and are making me dizzy and headachy with basically no depth perception. I think the regular ones have been helping the migraines along recently. Sounds like time to take advantage of a 2-for-1 deal at Specsavers, eh?

The thing is, my relationship with eyeglasses and trying to choose new frames is more complicated than it ought to be. I really, really dislike trying to find frames that might just about work. Similar to Margaret Cho's observations, "My skull is such – that is a memorable phrase isn’t it and worth repeating – my skull is such that a normal pair of glasses will not fit my head...The anger that I have right now is directed toward those who make, design and market glasses, which are probably essential to all people at one time or another, specifically not for – a skull like mine – if you will – a skull as such. So fuck all y’all."

I am not Asian. Still, I am tempted to give the more reasonable migration hypotheses some credence, since pretty much my whole skull seems to be "wrong"-shaped in the same ways. Yep, it's the skull that's wrong.

Could Thayendanegea/"Joseph Brant" have kept up a pair of glasses to save his life? He had enough to deal with already. It may be very different and lower-level stuff, but so do I. There's a somewhat eerie resemblance going.

Nobody in my family can keep a pair of glasses up, what with the low nose bridges and big, flat faces with high cheekbones. Nary a soul. And most of us wear them.

Persistent fun with glasses. And, finally, enter Asian Fit frames--Asianness optional! )

Still, I am really honked off that something as basic as suitable glasses frames for non-European faces are still so hard to find, and you have to pay extra to get them. If you are in the very limited geographical areas where they are even available at this point, without paying $700 for Japanese designer frames--which may or may not be suitable for your own non-European (i.e., typical of most of the world) features. It pisses me off that I have very little chance of finding frames that fit where I am living now, when I need new glasses.

I know that a lot of people of African descent have exactly the same trouble with glasses and noses. So, out of curiosity, I tried to find out if anybody had thought to cater to that particular market--roughly 12.3% of the 2000 US population, besides those whose ancestors "passed" but who still have characteristically African nose shapes. (Like a number of my relatives, actually.) That would make economic sense, right? Hell, there's a substantial untapped non-European market here in the UK, some with "low" (as compared to whose?) nose bridges. Could certain ideologies be trumping even enlightened self-interest here?

Not too surprisingly, I couldn't find anything. Nada.

The closest I ran across was frames designed for people with Down Syndrome, which is good in itself, but not really what I was looking for. The designer's patent application, which I ran across initially, points out: "There have heretofore been no eyeglass frames made specifically for people with Down syndrome according to research which has been done on this topic, and likewise no eyeglass frames for people with similar facial characteristics* and for those with a depressed nasal bridge or low set noses including those individuals of African descent and Asian descent. About 87% of children with Down syndrome require glasses."

Unfortunately, I can well imagine that, attitudes still being what they are, not many other people with "low" noses are buying these. They are also mainly available through online ordering, without trying them on. This strikes me as a serious accessibility issue.

Appallingly, searching on terms like "African nose bridge eyewear" (or "glasses"), I kept getting results with individual Black people talking about not being able to keep their glasses up, designs surface styled to appeal to, say, hip hop aesthetics--and ones shilling rhinoplasty. Try it, if you want boiling blood.

Never mind the rather large potential market for glasses that fit, apparently you can get shit injected into your bridge "(so the glasses will not slide down on the nose)". Ack. "People who could greatly benefit from a non-surgical rhinoplasty are people who would typically get nasal implants to augment their noses, such as Asians, African-American, or Hispanic patients."

That's a pretty big part of the population, just looking at the US (and neglecting us non-Hispanic Indian types). "Typically", I would prefer to be able to buy usable, suitably designed assistive devices so that I can see, rather than to "augment" my nose into a state some people find more acceptable. But, maybe that's just me.

If making money is the main goal**, why might I think there's more profit to be made overall from necessary products people can use than from "ethnic rhinoplasty" ("Anyone who seeks a new shape for the nose and who has nasal features typical of their ethnic group is a candidate")? Interesting what products and services are deemed necessary.



* Like me, apparently; Carrie Buck came from a similar Tutelo background, and that photo looked like we could have been sisters. Gotta love the attitudes that produced the "Mongoloid" label! ('But there’s more! The man for whom Down Syndrome is named, John Langdon Down, claimed in 1866 that the facial characteristics of people with Trisomy 21 represented a genetic regression, because Caucasians should not have “Asian” facial features.'--excellent piece, [personal profile] meloukhia!)

I had basically no nose bridge as a kid. Not only is that generally treated as a highly unattractive characteristic, but throw in some nasty stereotypes, and such features still get people diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome--"due to a bias in diagnosis that occurs because of a lack of knowledge of the regular morphological features of Native Americans", Asians, and apparently an awful lot of adoptees from the former Soviet Union. Indeed, "a flattened midfacial area" is only "flattened" in comparison to some expected state (reasonable or otherwise), and that description reflects the idea that there really is something wrong with our skulls.

So, yeah, the glasses frames aggravation is only a fairly piddling symptom.

** And I'm not saying that's a good thing, at all. It sure does get used as an excuse a lot, though it breaks down kinda quickly under scrutiny in many cases.

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