Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A new creation...

Once every few moments, when the stars align in perfect formation, something magical is formed. This new creation is instilled with resplendent glory and limitless potential, yearning to explode into a million overexcited pieces.

I have the distinct pleasure to announce to you that I am one of those new creations! Not but a few days ago, i felt the change within me. I never knew the freedom of exploration awaiting me, begging me to overstep my confined boundaries. But I have now taken one step beyond reason to experience the full measure of literary ecstasy.

To what do I refer, you question? Simple. goodreads.com. A world where imaginative minds unite to discover unparalleled worlds of mystery and enchantment. A web of inter-tangled opinions and recommendations. An arena for review and debate. A place where like minds can glean ideas, insight, and illumination. Simply put, a place where many become one.

Dear reader, I urge you to explore this vast new realm and unite your friendship with mine. Compare your literary experiences with me. Learn from me, as I learn from you.


...A NERD was born!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wait For It...

It's coming. A new post. I can feel it in my bones.

Will it be witty? Funny? Depressing? How about some controversy. That sounds like fun. Maybe a life lesson? In any case, it will be monumental.

And worth the wait.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


So, there is this thing that exists in the world and its called Geocaching. Basically, people have hidden treasures called geocaches all around the globe. They post the latitudinal/longitudinal coordinates to the treasure, and anyone can go find them. It is the greatest thing ever invented! (Nerdy much?)

I went for the first time last weekend, and have been anxiously awaiting this weekend to go again, this time with even more treasure hunting enthusiasts. Here are some of our adventures.

The cache is called 'hood wood. Basically, we were walking through a peaceful neighborhood, and then we nonchalantely disappeared into the large forest at the end of the street. Pretty freaking fun. (Notice the mysterious red reflection waiting to eat us up...)

We searched and searched for the find. There were 9 of us looking, but we were still having a hard time finding the prize. But then, Dave saved the day! Hidden under a rotting log was the cache. Inside we found mostly boy scout prizes. We didn't take any as the rules state you must replace them with something of equal value, and I didn't have anything that cool on my person!! Also, we were eaten alive by monster mosquitos, though Dave magically escaped bite free.

We continued our adventures, finding drop after drop. Some highlights:

And to round out the evening, we found a totally obvious, not even pretending to be hidden cache right out in the open. Our clue to the find was "eye fourty."

Now that you all are incredibly curious, check out geocaching.com. Once you have a username, lemme know and we can be friends. (PS: I'm AZeyespy). See you on the trail!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Opinion Hater

Have you ever felt like you can't tolerate the fact that other people get to have opinions? I have been feeling this way all week, and it's new-ish to me, so I'm not exactly sure what do about it.

First off, I'm not exactly sure why I feel this way. Does the feeling stem from pride that my opinion is more informed, more logical, or simply better that the counter opinion presented? Maybe it is more of a complete lack of desire to debate the issue at hand. Maybe I'm just worn out from having to defend my opinions the last little while? Tired and overworked? (Unlikely, if you saw my study habits recently.)

The solution to the problem, regardless of the origin, is the simple. Muster increased amounts of patience and say my words in my head before I say them out loud. While I master this skill, be patient with me!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Patients and Patience

This month I have been learning about patients/patience. I think I'll start with the crazy and move to the ... even crazier. So, the giant thunderstorm first!

Last Friday I got home early from school and was casually chatting with my mom on the balcony, enjoying the extra humid and temped air. (I use the word "enjoying" very loosely here.) The sky was a bit menacing, but I didn't think much about it. As my mom and I shot the breeze, I noticed a weird pocket of clouds start billowing directly toward me. It was the strangest thing I've ever seen! They seemed like they had their own devious personality, and were moving with such purpose and commitment! I commented to my mom how weird those clouds looked, and she started talking about tornadoes in Denver. Let's pick up the conversation there:

MOM: We had a five tornadoes on Sunday here in Denver.
BEN: Weird. I didn't know they had tornadoes there.
MOM: They started with a light trickle of rain, then the hail came.
BEN: It just started sprinkling here. Oh, and now it's hailing.
MOM: That's odd. Sounds like a tornado.
BEN: And the sky is a strange yellow color just like the last tornado we had.
MOM: Well, if it gets windy, you better go inside.
BEN: Mom, I just saw a tree snap in half and fall on a car in the parking lot. And I'm soaking wet from a huge wall of water that just blew into me. I think I better go inside now.

Needless to say, we got slammed with a crazy thunderstorm/unconfirmed tornado. By the time I finally decided to go inside, the power was already out, and the tornado sirens finally went off. I pulled out my trusty AM/FM radio from my 72 hr survival kit I got from Stacy after the last tornado, and proceeded to track the storm that way. Turns out the worst damage was right at my house.

At this point, you are probably wondering were the patience part is. Well, we didn't get power back for almost 3 days. Boo. It was miserable. 95 degree weather with 90% humidity, on the top floor of the apartment, and no way to make the air move. Dave and I bought what candles Kroger had left, and snagged the last flashlight from Wal-mart and toughed it out through the weekend. I slept on a thin sheet on the floor by the window, hoping to bask in the occasional relief of an evening breeze. No luck. Just got eaten by mosquitoes. Big ones that left quarter-sized welts all over my body. Dave and I most definitely celebrated when our power came back on. Oh, and I'm not very good at shaving by candlelight.

Now for the even crazier discussion about patients.

I'm starting to get the hang of things in the clinic. I'm no longer petrified to walk into Primary Care. And I don't think I've wet myself in front of my patients in a week or two. See, the patients we attract to The Eye Center are very . . . colorful. They have lived very adventurous, interesting lives to say the least. Most of them don't really mind when you tell them that they will go blind if they don't control their blood sugar. And they sure don't care when you say that since they didn't use their glaucoma drops they have lost half of their visual field. It is just not that important to them for some reason. I'm not exactly sure why, at this point. Since our patients are very, very unhealthy in every way, they bring in an incredible grab-bag of ocular diseases. I've spent the last two years of my life looking at healthy eyes; it can be pretty scare to stare into an eye and have it look exactly the opposite of what it should look like! At first, I was so worried about the fact that I saw something wrong that I couldn't even focus on what to do about it. I'm transitioning now into being able to pull out all the information I've learned and be able to make intelligent decisions about how to treat what I find. It's becoming very cool!

Before I let you go, I have to tell you one funny story from this last week. This story is an example of what NOT to say to a patient. I was working in the Optical department of the clinic. I received a job order card stating that a patient in the waiting room needed a screw put into her glasses. I grabbed the order, and went to the lobby to escort her back to the Optical. Let's pick up that conversation there:

ME: Pat? (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)
PAT: That's me
ME: Alright. Follow me please.
(Along the way to the Optical)
ME: So, you need a screw?
PAT: Yes
ME: Let's do it!
PAT: I'll need to call my husband first!
ME: (baffled expression) ??
ME: (mortified expression) !!
ME: (extreme laughter) Maybe we shouldn't let him know what's going on!
PAT: Maybe he wants in!
Both: Extreme laughter
(After I helped her with her glasses)
ME: Alright, thanks for coming.
PAT: See you tomorrow night ;)

Don't do that. It's not OK.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lesson 3: Believe the Better

A few years back I learned a principle that has dramatically changed my outlook on life. It came at a time when I was seeking a better understanding of myself and they way I interacted with those around me. During this particular phase of life, I was mostly happy but was plagued by consistent thoughts of inadequacy and self doubt. Mostly, I felt like those who were nice to me only were because they felt that is what I wanted from them. In reality, what I really wanted was for those people, of their own will, to want to be my friend. Ergo, I was never satisfied with my friendships.

Then, on a particularly bright, sunshiny day, knowledge descended from heaven like dew on a cool morning and distilled upon the annals of my mind opening my eyes to a new way of looking at things. (I almost made myself throw up a little just then. Sorry about that. I had to get that small bit of creativity out before it made me sick.) People were acting they exact way I wanted them to, but I was perceiving that it was because they felt obligated. The fact of the matter is, they were acting in the way I was wishing for, so I should have been satisfied. So I connected the dots, and found a whole new way of interpreting relationships:

If a person acts in a certain way, and I'm not sure if it is genuine or forced, and they lead me to believe it is genuine, then I should believe it is genuine! Even if they are lying and it is fake, what does it matter? They are acting in a way that will make me happy if I simply choose to accept it.

To make this concept clearer, allow me to illustrate with a concrete-ish example. Lets say Person A really wants Person B to enjoy spending time with him. Person A asks, "Do you enjoy our time together?" Person B responds, in full honesty, "Of course I do. I wouldn't come over if I didn't." Now Person A can either choose to believe the answer is genuine, or believe it is a lie. One of those choices will result in pleasant inner feelings, while the other leads to emotional distress. Now lets say that Person B responds with the same answer, but really despises spending time with Person A. That leaves Person A with the same two choices: believe the answer was genuine, or believe the answer was a lie. Either way yields the same two results of happiness or distress. Therefore, why not believe the answer was genuine in either case since that results in happiness. Person B is the one left with the problem of sorting out his own lack of honesty and the consequences derived therefrom.

This same principle can be applied repeatedly in relationships. How many times have you asked yourself, "Did he act that way because he hates me?" or "Has he not called because he doesn't want to talk to me?" In these examples, you can believe he hates you and doesn't want to talk to you, or you can believe he is focused at work and will call you when he can break away. One choice results in negative feelings, while the other results in positive. So I say, believe the better. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Assume he's a good person instead of a jerk. Nine times out of ten, you will be right. Ten times out of ten, you will be happier.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Welcome Back, Benjamin

Well, folks, I'm alive! And I tell you what, it's sort of a miracle.

I have officially survived the second professional year of Optometry school, and I couldn't be more ready...I mean happy. Second year is notorious for sucking every ounce of desire, drive, and enjoyment out of the art and science of Optometry.

It all begins with more classes than is humanly possible to tolerate coupled with dry professors who are convinced you have nothing to do but study their subject. Pile on top of this five or so labs and things are starting to get stressful. Allow me to explain these labs a little bit too: they consist of me practicing every invasive skill on my fellow classmates. Oh yeah, and they do it right back to me. Consequently, I had to endure never ending weeks of gonioscopy lenses suctioned to my eyes, bright lights shined to the farthest nether-corners of my soul, metal probes pushed behind my eyeball, little blue plastic tips being gently set on my "tear film," and let's not negate the sheer pleasure of having only one eye dilated multiple times a week. And not to mention the masochistic pleasure of giving/getting five different injections: Intravenous, Subcutaneous, Intramuscular, Intralesional (in the skin of the eyelid), and Subconjunctival (under the clear membrane covering the white of the eye). The final cherry on the top of the second year birthday cake is a consistant stream of test and practicals designed to break the strong and crack the weak.

In the end, however, I survived. I emerged triumphant and prepared to begin to see patients of my own starting next week! And I must say, I did it with finesse and style.