Little Mean Girl

Welcome to Powerpoint on PowerPoint

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This is one of the times when it’s really hard to be a Little Blind Girl.  At the training conference I was at, the teachers kept using PowerPoint, and they would turn the lights off and on over and over throughout each day.  It played merry hell with my eyes.  And as if that weren’t enough, there was a photographer there memorializing the event with flash photography.  Every picture was like a knife stabbing into my eyes.  After nearly ten minutes of this, I was about ready to drop him, I swear I was.  And the handouts had this miniscule font, which I couldn’t have seen anyway because the lights were off, and on and on and on…

At the end of every day, I had excruciating headaches.  I hadn’t forgotten you guys, but it was more than I could do to stare at a backlit screen and focus my eyes enough to type out a blog entry.  I stayed in my hotel room and didn’t go out playing with the other conferees and was generally irritable and antisocial the entire time, thus earning the new nickname of Little Mean Girl.  It shouldn’t be so hard just to try to keep up with the developments in my profession, just to try to do my job and live my life.  I shouldn’t have to lock myself in a dark room and avoid all company.  It shouldn’t physically hurt just to get through the day.

English: The rich red earth of Herefordshire T...

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Is it this hard all the time for everyone?  Am I being a whiny little babypants?  I probably am.  I’ll stop now and think about the starving children in China who would give anything to be able to attend a PowerPoint presentation.  I’ll remember how lucky I am that I can see anything at all; I may not have been able to see the screen for the training presentations, but I could see the hillsides as we drove to the training facility a little after dawn, red earth gleaming wet and dark against the  slowly brightening sky.  I could hear the presenters even when I’m pretty sure they didn’t want me to, and I could lean over and make snide comments to the person sitting next to me.  Really, as long as I can snark, I can make it through the day.

But if that photographer comes back around at my next training conference, I’m putting my four-inch heel through his foot.  Photographer, You Have Been Warned!

Yoga in the time of ramen

Yoga Wii

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I’m a devotee of yoga.  I especially like how I can do it indoors with the heat/air conditioning going full blast.  Also, no special shoes required.  As a matter of fact, no shoes required at all.  I’ve attended many classes over the years, but when I first started learning, I used an instructional video of a yoga “class” and played it in my friends’ dorm room as we all stretched and focused our minds in innocent ignorance of what was to come.  For, alas, I had chosen a Power Yoga video.

The instructor was a little weird, but I suppose most video yoga instructors are.  This one was a guy with long curly hair pulled back into a ponytail and the most ill-advised tank top I’d seen in a while.  He liked to start demonstrating a pose, then have his assistants finish showing how to do it while he rested his hand on one of their asses, which would inevitably be shoved up toward the ceiling while their wrists and ankles intertwined in some unfathomable and presumably mystic way.  I should add that all the assistants were young, attractive women.  Nice work if you can get it.

So my friends and I dutifully settled ourselves on the floor of the tiny dorm room with two beds, two desks, a dresser and a sofa crammed into an area the size of a utility closet.  We saluted the sun and felt the spirit of the earth pervade our limbs.  And then the serious poses began.  “Ow,” I heard muttered quietly somewhere behind me.  Then, “OW! (*crack*)  Oh, that didn’t sound good.”  Then, “Wait, what are we supposed to do?  I can’t see the screen while my head is under my knees.”  Then, “Ow ow ow, I don’t think I’m supposed to bend that way!  Pause the tape, I can’t get my legs off my neck!  Crap, I’m gonna fall!”  WHUMP.

If you haven’t already guessed, that last one came from me.

The next day, I signed up for proper yoga classes in a spacious gym with an older female instructor wearing a tee shirt and stretch pants.  I explained things to her, and she promised solemnly that she would not let me fall, nor would she rest her hand on my backside.  If she laughed at my sorrowful tale, she had the grace to wait until I’d gone. But, oh, the bruises I got from that first time!

Pain, pain, go away

High quality ostrich feather duster

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A friend of mine who is blogging about training to run a marathon posted about the pain she experienced the first time she and a friend tried Pilates.  I experienced similar pain when I first tried to do decline sit ups.  Those are the ones where you lie back on a bench tilted so that your head is down near the floor and your knees are at the top, and then you do sit ups.  They hurt like hell, but not until the next day.  No one warned me, so I did several dozen.  I went to bed that night feeling very pleased with myself.

The next day I tried to get out of bed and nearly blacked out from the pain.  I couldn’t move until later in the day, and only after I’d taken a handful of over the counter painkillers and stood under a hot shower for half an hour.  That evening, someone made me laugh and I punched them out.  Well, not really, but I wanted to.

Since then I’ve been careful to warm up before exercising, patiently stretching and making sure I don’t push myself beyond what I should just because I’m not currently falling down.  I get a fair amount of exercise, though I wouldn’t run a marathon if you promised me a garden of daffodils and a pony at the end of it, and I feel sympathetic but gently superior when people complain about how much pain they’re in because they didn’t warm up properly or they had an overly bruising work out.

I did some spring cleaning this weekend.  I climbed on ladders to reach high places, I stood on kitchen counters to get to the tops of the cabinets, I got on my hands and knees to clean under the refrigerator, I moved furniture to clean under and around it, and I scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees.  It took the entire weekend.  I was exhausted at the end of it and was really, really grateful that it was done and I could go on about my normal life.

The next morning, I went to get out of bed and couldn’t move.  It was like I had done a hundred decline sit ups, run five miles, climbed a mountain, and carried a small buffalo, all without warming up.  I looked around my sparkling apartment and thought, you know, I’m legally blind.  It’s all a big blur to me anyway.  How clean do I really need it to be?

Sorry, Mom.  The dirt and I have decided to make it official.  To be honest, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened earlier.  I still don’t have full range of motion in my arms, and every time I sneeze (thanks for the cold, by the way, Unknown Waiter With Hacking Cough.  I want my tip back), I see stars.  And, would you believe it, after all that, I got my trash bags all lined up for a trip to the trash chute–and it’s backed up!  It’s just as well, really.  I don’t think I could have lifted the bags that high up, anyway.  So here’s to dirt and me:  from now on, my name is Mud.