Category Archives: Random Sonya Fact

I feel that there are things the majority doesn’t know about me. I AM FACINATING.

One post a year: got my eyes lasered

Last year I told you about my experience moving to San Francisco. In a similar vein, I figured I could update my blog to describe the experience of having elective corrective eye surgery. It’s not that my life isn’t interesting, but I do so much writing at GitHub that I don’t have the same itch to blog about knitting or babies. Granted, I don’t think I’d be as good a writer if I hadn’t spent all that time navel-gazing here, but let’s get onto the EYE LAZERS.

I did a BUNCH of research before doing it, and found that not many people get the surgery I had (PRK, as opposed to LASIK), so it’s also a public service announcement.

Hilarious, right? This is me, right after the surgery. I have on clear eye protectors so nothing bumps my eyes, and then dark sports shades for light sensitivity. I get to sleep with the clear eye protectors for the next few nights. This also fixes the problem of my reoccurring sleep-racketball problem.

So, the burning question is: what was it like to have lasers resurface my corneas? The answer is: not much. I was super nervous coming in, even though I had learned all about what was going to be happening. Awesomely, the first thing that happens is they gave me Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug. They prepped my face (hairnet, iodine around my eyes, numbing drops in my eyes), then set me down in a chair and put headphones on me. I thought “this is crap pop music, how dare they assume I’m going to enjoy this?” but a minute or two later, it was sounding allllll riiiiiiight. I really knew the Ativan kicked in when some noodly jazz came on and I didn’t even care.

A doctor examined my eyes, and used what I’m sure wasn’t a Sharpie (but like a medical-grade cousin) to mark dots on each of my eyes. This had the excellent benefit of proving the numbing drops (and Ativan) had worked, and I was neither bothered by nor could feel my eyes being Sharpied.

When it was my turn to get lasereyed, I laid down on a padded bench, and the doctor added more numbing drops. She went through the steps of the procedure, taping up and down my eyelashes, putting the Clockwork Orange eye opener on. This was actually a relief to have. The doctor was instructing me to keep looking at the light, but it’s hard to look at a blinding white light, and my eyes were definitely squinty. Now I didn’t have to fight to keep them open. I’d worried this would be something that would feel uncomfortable, or make me feel tiny claustrophobia, but it turned out to be a highlight.

The next step was for the doctor to put a chemical on my eye that would loosen the top layer of corneal cells, then brush them away. This sounds gross. I’m pretty sure it is. But there was this satisfying feeling when, after my vision got super blurry from the cells coming up, when the doctor was brushing them aside. It was like when you brush a couple of inches of powdery snow off your car windshield with your wiper blades. This is probably the Ativan kicking in my brain’s natural reaction to anything, which is to find the silver lining.

Next up was the actual lasering. There were red lights to the sides, and a green light in the middle. The green light shone directly onto my, which made my whole vision fill with pixelated red-and-green DJ visuals. The pixels moved around a little. I could smell something (they’d warned me that there might be a “vapor”) but it wasn’t a bad smell. The actual lasering took about 10 seconds, didn’t hurt or feel weird at all. I wished I had some dubstep to go with the view, though.

The last step was to put a clear, thin contact over my now-resurfaced eye. My lids were released, untaped, and it was over.

That was it. The second eye was exactly the same process.

I got up, and although things were blurry, they were less blurry than when I came in (with glasses off). They checked my eyes, gave me the above-pictured cool shades, and sent me home in an Uber.

I was to spend the next two hours with my eyes shut. No problem. The rest of the day I spend dutifully putting in three kinds of eye drops. I felt good enough to go to 80’s parent-teacher conference this evening at preschool, and to go get groceries (on foot).

From here, we’ll see how the next three days are. Apparently, Thursday is going to suck a little, Friday might suck a lot, and Saturday will be kind of like Thursday. (Where “suck” means “the feeling of chopping onions”.

Here’s my eye, about 5 hours after the surgery.

Why get married

When Jason and I decided to get married, it wasn’t because we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We knew that without needing paperwork. Besides making some family members happier about our sin-livin’, I wanted to get married for one reason: a KitchenAid mixer.

Once we sent out the announcements, we went to Target to make a gift registry*. After choosing some modest additions to our existing belongings, we went to see the mixer.

Here’s the plot twist: I got cold feet — about the mixer. It’s so expensive, and we didn’t *need* it. So I chickened out.

Four years of lamenting later, this came in the mail:


And here it sits, happily ever after:


* people will buy you gifts if you want them to or not, so a registry means no guessing on their part, or returning on yours.

When I’m 64/2

It’s my birthday. I have a raging back injury. I’m feeling particularly old.

That being said, I still had trouble falling asleep last night due to birthday anticipation. I’m quite proud of my childlike ability to get excited about life. I wonder if it’s what makes me such a happy person, or a symptom of it. Either way, it’s my birthday, and I have plenty to be happy about.

A’Nova is coming over today to help out, which is wonderful because I’m not really able to do it myself yet. Also, if you asked me if I’d like Nov to hang out all day for my birthday, I’d say yes.

Tonight J’s mom is coming. She runs her own greenhouse, so she can stay for a week and help out while I finish healing up, and give me a chance to catch up on everything I’ve not been doing this past week. She doesn’t need to start planting seeds till the end of the month. While she’s here, I’m hoping we can talk about what I should plant in my garden.

So it’s going to be a good birthday. 80 just went down for her nap, and by the time she’s awake, Nov should be here. This morning for the brief time after J left but before 80’s nap, we put her in the baby jail. She’s safer in there, since I can’t keep up with her. I’m glad we have it, for just these situations.

Farmer’s daughter’s dilemma

I’m listening to The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, mostly as I walk around Cambridge and Boston, and when I’m weeding in the garden. (The latter being what I’ve taken to doing every morning.)

I’ve made it through the maize, past McDonalds, and into the beef industry. Having grown up on an Iowa beef (and corn and soy) farm, I have personal experience with Pollan’s topics. It seems that the farmers he interviews and what he chooses to include in the book does not always reflect my family’s farm, but that is to be expected. It does ring true though, from what I know. The problem is, I don’t actually know that much about how my father farms.

My reaction as I’m listening has mostly been mute awe at the industrialization and commodification of food – and all the ills and boons that come with it.

The last time I was home to visit my family, I got up the courage to ask my dad why he didn’t farm something other than corn and soy. He said there was no other crop (or crops) that would allow him to be as successful, as a one-man operation.

Field south of the house

I took this to heart – letting go of the fantasy of starting an organic vegetable farm with my brother, which would service the local population (a mere 30 miles away).

This morning, as I was listening to the audiobook and pulling crab grass, I learned about farmers who have eschewed industrial farming AND organic farming, electing instead to find a sustainable balance instead (neither industrial or mass-farming organically are doing this). Pollan describes a farm in Virginia that rotates cattle, chickens, and various other animals over grassland, in such a way that benefits each animal species as well as the grass (and dirt).

Granted, I get excited about things easily (look! a sign that reads ‘puppy sale’!), but I really feel that there is some answer for how to use the land my family already has, once the only farmer working it is retired. Sure, we could rent it to someone else — we could even sell it. I prefer to scheme ways to keep it going with Greens (my dad is the fifth generation).

Now I just have to stop loving living in Boston, and convince Jason to move to Iowa. Though he doesn’t like to talk about it, I think my dad would like to retire eventually, and I think taking over a farm and successfully keeping it running isn’t outside the realm of possibility. It makes my heart ache to think about it.

How an Iowan farmer looks

These photos were taken during the floods in June. The first is the field across from the house, and the second is my father, during one of the last days of rising water.

It’s not too late to help a brother out.

In two scarily short days, I’ll be walking in the 40th annual Walk for Hunger. I’ve bought Dr. Scholl’s inserts for my hiking shoes, and I think I’m ready to rock.

Well, carbo load, then rock.

I would love it (love it!) if you donated to the ol’ fund. You get cookies in return – so even if you hate donating money, buy some really expensive cookies!

Oh, stop being a baby and do it –>>> mwah!

All the cool kids have donated – my mom, for example. (In fact, she donated and asked that I bake my father cookies for his birthday, awwww.)

Fighting fire with fire … I mean hunger with cookies.

Last week I posted about walking in the 40th Annual Walk for Hunger, and basically asking friends to kick in a little cash in my fundraising efforts (which are awkward at best).

This week, I decided that I needed to kick it up a notch. I’ve always had a problem with fundraising, ever since my days of Girl Scouts. I’ve made peace with this by pulling myself into the thing I know best.


This is just what I can do with bread. Just imagine the cookies.

Yeah, I said it. If you donate, any amount at all, I’ll send you a batch of my great grandma Bertha’s amazing oatmeal raisin or my extraordinary great aunt Gertrude’s chocolate chip cookies. It’s the only way I know how to raise money, so I’m doing it up GS style.

I’m trying to raise $1,000 to help hungry people, and I’m (as of this posting) 27% done. I hate asking for money, but I also hate world hunger, so this helps to solve both.

AND, if you donate $20 or more, I’ll also send you the zine I’m making about the whole thing, with both cookie recipes. (The only stipulation is that you refer to them as great-grandma Bertha’s or great-aunt Gertrude’s recipe.)

Now, who wants some effing cookies?

One of those pleas for a bit of cash

Hey all.

So, this is a blog post about how I’m going to be all noble and walk 20 miles in the name of eradicating hunger. I usually react negatively to these kinds of posts, because it sucks asking people for money. (And I’m still a bit traumatized from Girl Scout cookie selling as a child.)

Little Soy Blue


This has an altruistic intention, as well as a selfish one:
* No one likes hunger, right? So that’s easy. We can all feel good about fighting that.
* Walking a whole bunch of miles, as a massive group, makes me feel good – like I’m helping both raise money and awareness (and people watch me).


There are lots of reasons not to donate any money (and truth be told, you’re probably thinking of them now), but if any of these resonate with you at all (and you can spare $20 without impacting your own grocery budget), consider it:

1. Once you donate, it actually feels pretty good, and although $20 feels like a buncha money, it’s not, and the feeling you’ll have is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $7-$22.

2. You have guilty feelings when you walk by people who are homeless. Or general white guilt.

3. You can live vicariously through me. I’ll liveblog a couple times that day, so you can see beautiful Boston Commons and Cambridge and such. This is going to be fun, and I will enjoy it, and I will share!

4. This could be seen as karmic insurance, or a tax write-off, depending on your beliefs. (It’s both!)

So, effing click on RIGHT HERE and then click on the button, and then put in your credit card number, and you’re done. It’s easy. Stop being a baby.

I’m walking with Team Civitron and the Secret Society of Superheroes, which is (like it sounds) a bunch of super heros. Shhhh.

My bucket runneth over

I can’t tell you enough how much I’m loving my job. Right now the reason is that I like attention, and I’m getting it. Today Tim introduced me (and the other newish employee Chris) to the world on LibraryThing blog.

Sub-happiness comes from two of the four comments so far being from friends who are also LibraryThing geeks.

Tertiary happiness comes from getting Tim to use the term ‘bucket of sunshine’ (albeit with a disclaimer) to describe me.

OK, also, I look totally cute in the picture. Thanks to Abby and her iPhone for the hott picture.

29 and feeling fine

It’s my birthday, all! Last night, around midnight, I decided to get all excited for my birthday. I made Jason be charming and fun. (Then he put his cold feet on my legs.)

Today I slept in (8:40!), reached my hand over to the nightstand, pulled over the Nintendo DS, and played videogames for an hour. Then a bubble bath, and a call to my sister. Now I’m eating frosted mini wheats and updating my Goodreads. I’m going to go pants shopping (thanks ever so much to Inky for pointing out this fabulous website that asks you in-depth questions about jeans and bras and such, then offers suggestions based on your body shape) and meet Jason for a birthday dinner.

I was thinking about picking up a tiara to wear, but it’s snowing and I don’t think it’ll fit under my hat. Maybe I need to knit a hat that has room for a tiara, or a hat that has a tiara on it. That would be totally Fancy Nancy.

Ta ta.