Dry and blurry eyes

In the middle of 2018 I experienced a sudden increase in blurriness with my normal computer glasses. It was hard to see my computer screens. This was distressing, given that my livelihood is all about looking at computer screens. I went to the eye doctor because I thought I might need a new prescription, and it turns out I do not; a medication I take causes my vision to blur. Lesson learned: if you see an eye doctor, tell them about all your medications.

I also have dry eyes. It turns out that the best treatment for dry eyes is warm compresses! I use a thing called Thermalon which I heat up for 20 seconds in the microwave and then wear over my eyes for five minutes at a time. Apparently I’m supposed to do this 2-3 times a day, and never skip, else my eye’s oil glands will dry up and die. Spooky! I am told that these oil glands are super important for keeping the eyes moist and happy. Supposedly a warm wet (clean) washcloth over the eyes will do a similar job. I’d been skipping the compress treatment because I didn’t notice any difference, but apparently it’s a long-haul treatment that only improves things over many days of  use. Lesson learned: don’t skip a treatment just because you don’t feel an immediate benefit.

For drops, I use Refresh Optive Mega-3 Eye Drops Preservative Free. They are quite magical. I use them twice a day but you can use them a thousand times a day if you want.

In conclusion

Listen to your eye doctor. Don’t stare at a computer for too long. Take breaks. Look into the distance. Blink frequently! If you are in the Camberville region of Boston, I highly recommend this office: https://www.myeyescambridge.com/

Convergence Insufficiency

Self portrait of Kristen squinting in the sun

After several months of unexplained eye pain and a gazillion eye exams, I finally got a diagnosis: Convergence Insufficiency. My eyes diverge a little and I get pain and headaches when I try to focus on a computer or anything close up. I must have looked up a million articles about “pain on reading” or “it hurts to read”. I’m pretty confident all those people are having binocular vision problems just like me.

I went to another optometrist to sign up for “vision therapy” to train my eyes to focus up close, and he prescribed me prism glasses. The prism glasses shift the images I see so that they line up correctly without forcing my eyes to do so much work. The pain I was experiencing was muscle pain from eyes trying really hard to line themselves up.

The glasses do the trick! It’s magical!

This is all really good news. I’m incredibly glad to have a diagnosis and solution for my problem, because let me tell you, “avoid computers” was bumming me out, big time. I thought my days of computering were over. I had just started writing a novel and it killed me to not be able to work on it.

The lesson I learned is: Doctors grasp at answers and are often ignorant outside of their specialty. A headache specialist will assume you have headaches.

Still, someone should have done a binocular workup. My problem was easily diagnosed with a short, non-invasive, inexpensive test. I had had thousands of dollars worth of tests, including a CT scan and a neuro-opthalmology exam, before anyone thought to do the binocular test. I’m a little peeved at that, but, there’s no point in hanging onto irritation. I’m grateful for good health insurance. Onward and upward, with a life filled with reading.

In conclusion: Get your eyes examined yearly. Get a binocular workup if you have mysterious unexplained eye strain. If you work on a computer, follow the 20–20–20 rule: Look away, every minutes or so, at something in the distance, for about 20 seconds. I am going to get software to remind me to do this. Don’t forget to blink!

Extra-kick mushroom asparagus curry soup

The hexadecimal color of today’s mushroom asparagus curry soup is #5e2300.

Spicy, but you can handle it.


  1. Maybe 1 cup of water
  2. Maybe 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  3. Maybe 1/2 cup of veggie broth
  4. Maybe 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  5. About 2/3 a container of white button mushrooms
  6. Green onion bunch – I could’ve used two bunches
  7. A handful of bean sprouts
  8. Two tablespoons of red curry paste
  9. One teaspoon of chili oil
  10. Two tablespoons of crushed garlic
  11. Asparagus bunch
  12. 2 baby bok choy, 3 if you feel like it
  13. A tablespoon of salt

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Start a medium heat on the water.
  2. Add broth parts.
  3. Shake in some soy sauce. Soup’s a little brown at this point.
  4. Toss in the bean sprouts.
  5. Toss in the mushrooms (I buy them pre-sliced, but slice ’em if you prefer).
  6. Slice up the green onions and toss them in. I probably could’ve used two bunches.
  7. I use crushed garlic from a jar. Add two tablespoons from a jar, or 4 crushed cloves.
  8. Add two tablespoons of red curry paste and one teaspoon of chili oil.
  9. Soup’s reddish brown at this point! And nearly to a boil.
  10. While that’s working its way to a boil, chop the asparagus bunch in three parts. Toss in all the pieces *except* for the heads.
  11. Quickly chop the bok choy. Toss the white parts in, save the leaves for last.
  12. TASTE SOUP RIGOROUSLY! But be careful, it has kick. Add more soy sauce & water if it’s too spicy; add more chili oil if you want more kick.
  13. Add about a tablespoon of salt (or skip this step – YMMV).
  14. I prefer a balance with more curry and only a tiny bit of chili oil.
  15. At the very last minute, throw in the bok choy leaves and the heads of the asparagus.
  16. Boil it for maybe two more minutes.


This will serve two fairly hungry people. Or one insane lady.

The secret to feet happiness

So lately I’ve been running more and more frequently, most often with a coworker (Edwina) but also with a friend (@shoutingboy) who runs with Team in Training. In order to get past three miles without blisters, I needed a better set of socks/shoes/inserts.

Here’s the new formula:

  • WrightSock Anti Blister Double Layer Coolmesh Quarter Sock
  • Tuli’s Heavy Duty Heel Cup (great if you have flat feet or fallen arches)
  • New Balance 587B sneakers (designed for flat feet/pronating feet)
  • Russel Athletic sweatpants (this doesn’t help the feet, but they do make good jogging pants)

So far so good!

Last Saturday I ran 3.6 miles with no issues, 3 again on Monday, 3 again on Tuesday.

Robert Crumb butts

You may know of a comic Robert Crumb. He came out of the drug and free love era of the hip 1960’s. His politics are evident in his comics:  the character “Mr. Natural”, the comics “Weirdo”, “Snatch”. He’s a visionary who has been in trouble with the American government for his drawn opinions. He was a woman-chaser, for at least part of his life. His relationships with women were complex. Because of his openness and willingness to express all of this, we have a lovely body of work, in which he works out his demons, his desires, his fetishes, and his lusts.

What I want to talk to you about is how he draws butts.

Source: Amazon.com

Strong… muscular… tank-like. Able to give a grown man a piggy-back ride. With a bit of a shelf. Is it culturally inappropriate to call this a badonkadonk? I don’t know. All I know is, I have one. And it’s growing. Talk to me, ladies. Do you have a shelf? Can you rest things on it? Do you show it off? Do your partners appreciate it? Have you seen this Robert Crumb fetish? My ex-boyfriend did in fact ask me to give him piggy-back rides. Because I do have load-bearing lower body. Pants never have enough “bucket” for my shape.

Nowadays, women are pressured to be built extra skinny, with no calf muscles, and butts of no consequence. Thighs that can’t carry anything. Women toil at the gym to achieve this goal even if it is not their natural disposition.

Now I will not disparage the natural Twiggies of the world – everyone’s got a style and there’s beauty in every body. My point is that we should not forget the Robert Crumb bums either. Be proud of your shelf. Be proud of your powerful thunder thighs. GIVE someone a piggy-back ride. Climb those stairs! I live on a fifth floor walkup. I need those powerful legs! Don’t give into media pressure. There’s a place in the world for every type of butt, and I am here to celebrate the shelf-butt.

Let’s have a party for big strong Robert Crumb butts!