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Living the dream

According to the New York Times, I have 'relatively moderate wisdom'. I
scored a 3.9 on a 6 point scale designed by some sociologist in the
states who is studying the addage 'the older the wiser'.  It had nothing
to say about what exactly my score signified (other than that I am
fair-middlin' in the wise department - too bad wise-cracks don't count
towards the total score!), but I figure I'm doing okay.  The more I see
and experience the less I am sure about and the more playful I feel, so
that's something.  I wonder what kind of score the Dalai Lama would get,
or the Pope, or Madonna.  

I recently tried out a different kind of contact lens - dream lenses.  I
want to call them new, since I'd never heard of them before and they
seem like a miracle advancement, but in fact they've been around for the
last 40 years.  They were originally designed to slow the progress of
myopia in children (something they are apparently very successful at
doing), but as they were using them they discovered this handy
side-effect - for a day or two after wearing, you can see better.  MUCH
better.  Essentially, you wear little glass retainers for your corneas. 
They do a laser map of your eye's topography, then custom grind a
special kind of hard contact lens to reshape your eye - as you sleep. 
You put them in when you go to bed, wear them all night, then take them
out when you get up in the morning.  In the daytime, you don't wear
anything.  It's like you've just had surgery as you slept, and now have
perfect vision - except the changes aren't permanent and as soon as you
stop wearing them for a few days your eyes return to the exact way they
were before.  Surgery without the risks. 

The first night I wore them, I felt like I had sand in my eyes.  When I
woke up, my vision was nearly as bad as before except now my glasses
gave me a headache.  On the second morning, that sand-in-the-eye feeling
had gone away, but my eyesight was still not very good.  The eye doctor
assured me it would just take a little more time.  It wasn't until my
second visit to the doctor a week later, when I could read right down to
the tiniest line on the eye chart without any kind of lenses (usually I
can't read that line with my nose pressed against the paper), that I
realized what a huge improvement they were making.  The only problem...I
still couldn't see anything at night.  Just great big blobs of light
with enormous halos around them.  Apparently this is because the lens is
only 6mm across, which is smaller than the size of my pupil in low-light
conditions.  When it gets dark, I'm looking out of the part of my cornea
that hasn't been reshaped.  He suggested I wait another couple of weeks.
 Two weeks later, night time is still a technicolor riot of light with
no definition and my dream lens dream has come to an end.  It was
magnificent for those few weeks (in the daytime at least!) to know what
it's like to see my way with no lenses whatseoever between me and the
view.  Incredible.  

Incidentally, I am a freak of nature.  I sure am glad I didn't opt for
the surgery!!  Halos are not normal with dream lenses, so if they sound
good to you, you should definitely give them a try.  As for me, I'll
probably indulge myself on those cute new frames they have in the
glasses shop down the road instead.  Ease my sorrows (tee hee)...

This afternoon I paid a visit to the 'soap lady' - a young woman in town
who has her own home-soap-making supply shop.  She also teaches lessons.
 Over the last year I have taken A LOT of lessons from her, and in the
process become her friend (despite the fact that she doesn't speak
hardly any English and my Korean is often not a lot better).  We were
hanging out, perusing the new stock and enjoying the air con (it was 30C
today).  I was very excited about one of her new products, a cheap
container for dispensing one of my homebrewed concoctions, and went to
buy it...but she wouldn't sell.  She said it wasn't very good.  This is
a pretty common occurrence around here - the side-dish woman will tell
me 'oh, that's not delicious today', the fruit lady will say 'those will
be cheaper next week', the guy at the corner store will direct me to the
bottled water that 'tastes the same, but half the price', meanwhile all
of them are tossing a few extras in the bag of whatever it is I happen
to be buying.  Some how I have a hard time immagining the clerks at
Safeway doing that, or anywhere else back home.

Home.  A tricky concept.  Here I am, writing in what is very much my
home (and what a great home it is!!), talking about 'back home'
thousands of kilometers away and meaning it for both of them.  It gets
confusing in a hurry.  'Back in Canada' seems too cold, but calling it
'home' seems to belittle the homeiness of where I am now.  I'm not going
to reflect on this for long, don't worry.  Soot and Gom are doing their
calisthenics on the floor around me, littering hay all over the place. 
Bet they don't have any existential questions about the nature of home.

But while I'm on the subject, I am planning to be back home this summer
for a while.  I don't have my plane tickets yet, so don't get too
excited (those of you who are going to be close enough to get excited),
but I'm working on it.  Probably July.  I'm looking forward to the trip.
 As many of you as are going to be around, I can't wait to catch up!

Time to walk over to the local pizza lady.  Even though she can't
believe I would come back again and again for what must be (in her
opinion) the least appetizing pizza of all time (cheese free), she
happily makes it for me without making me listen to the 'but it won't be
delicious' speech first.  Which is what I usually have to listen to when
I order something without cheese, or sauce, or sugar, or whatever other
key ingredient makes it what it is (to everyone else).  It really is a
relief to skip it.  Plus the pizza's not half bad either.

I hope this finds you well and happy and enjoying your own cheese-free
pizza at home, whatever and wherever that may be!  Love, ROberta