Tag Archives: colors

When I was a little kid, I used to love to close my eyes and press the palms of my hands to my eyelids

When I was a little kid, I used to love to close my eyes and press the palms of my hands to my eyelids. I found that if I kept applying pressure, I’d see all of these colors and patterns. They’d emerge slowly at first, but after a few seconds it would be like wave after wave of interesting shapes and designs. Of course, just as things got cool, my eyes would start to hurt, the pressure of my hands on my eyeballs would build until I’d have to let go, so I’d wait a few seconds and start all over again.


I just tried doing it right now, but it’s not nearly as fun as I remember it being when I was much younger. It began similarly enough, I leaned my elbows on my desk and pressed my face into the bottom part of my palms. The darkness of my closed eyes gave way to a deep yellow, glowing slightly, with a round circle of black in the middle.

After a second or so, the yellow started breaking up into rectangles. I couldn’t really focus on any single rectangle in particular, but if I didn’t try too hard, if I stared straight ahead, I could see the various lines and ninety degree angles constantly shifting, almost like a living plaid on the inside of my head.

But then it kind of fizzled out, back to the regular black that I see when I shut my eyes and go to bed at night, a few red squiggles in the periphery of my vision. When I was a kid, I remember it used to be so much more vivid, it would almost look like a fireworks show, coming at me, like moving toward my face.

I didn’t want to give up, so I increased the pressure on my face, it started to hurt, but I wanted to see something else. And yeah, the colors picked up a little bit. This time it was royal blue lighting strikes spreading from the center outwards. This was cool, it was like they were moving. But it was still that same dark background. I couldn’t replicate the neon reds and greens that I remember being able to get to if I could only hang on a little longer.

But I couldn’t. The pain was starting to spread past the back on my eye sockets, I imagined all of this irreparable harm that I was causing to my eyes. What if I cut out the circulation for too long? What if I did some serious damage? What would I tell the ophthalmologist?

OK, I just tried it one last time, I really didn’t want to give up on making my eyes do for me what they once did for me when I was much younger. I really pressed down hard this time, right away, and I saw the plaid, I got to the blue lighting, and then, yeah, I guess I did get to the next level. Everything turned a sort of beige, almost like a really whitened mud color. It looked like it was pixelated, even though it was mostly solid, but I stared at it for the few seconds that it revealed itself to me. I thought, OK, I’m definitely seeing a color, and there’s clearly a texture that I’m making out.

Was this real? I mean, I know it’s not real, real. But am I really seeing something? Or is this just me imagining what should be there? I held it for way too long, and when I finally let go of my eyes, the blood rushed back all at once, it was almost like I could feel it charge toward the eye and bounce off the lining of my eyelid. And yeah, that hurt. Now I couldn’t really focus my eyes. And there’s this weird shape in the center of my vision, almost like a pineapple ring, and it’s sort of making whatever I’m directly looking at look a little discolored.

It’s like, you know when you’re looking out a window, and you can see those little translucent stringy things right outside the center of your vision? They’re almost floating in there, like I’m imagining whatever is in my eye to be a fishbowl full of these things. When I move my eyes from side to side, they move too, they’re three dimensional. If I circle my eyes around, they’ll respond accordingly, almost like I’m shaking up a snow globe.

But I can never get them to fall right in the center. I’ll try to get one to fall just so, so I inspect these things floating around I know that they’re there, I know that the colors are there when I put pressure on my eyes, but I can never get a close look. So much of what I’m describing has to be clouded by imagination, right?

I think about my grandfather, how he suffered from macular degeneration during the last ten or so years of his life. I’ve read about that disease, it’s always described as a sort of blind spot that develops from the center of the vision outward. So by the end, it’s like you only have peripheral vision. How terrible that has to be, everywhere you look, the whole world is just a little further to the left or the right, and you have to make your eyes stop chasing the visible. Like if you want to watch TV, I guess you’ve got to cock your head at a forty-five degree angle, you’ve got to stare at the wall and hope that those little jelly things in your head might stop moving so you can just chill out and watch some Jeopardy uninterrupted.

Thoughts on the new iPhone

Are they going keep naming new iPhones based on the numerical order in which they’re released? Right now everything’s fine because we’re only up to iPhone 5. But what about years from now? Are consumers really going to be as excited for the iPhone 36? Hopefully I’m still alive by then. Also, hopefully scientists will have figured out a way to keep everyone looking young and healthy indefinitely, kind of like in that movie In Time with Justin Timberlake, just minus all of the massive inequality and social injustice, not to mention the terrible storytelling and horribly overdone time puns, “Time’s up,” stuff like that.


What am I talking about? Nobody saw that movie. But back to the iPhone. We’re all ignoring the fact that it went right from iPhone to iPhone 3G. What happened to the iPhone 2? And then after that it was 4 and then 4G and then 5 and now 5G and 5C. Talk about a horrible naming strategy. I’ve heard all sorts of theories, how the C is supposed to be for China, because they’re trying to get Chinese people to not only manufacture iPhones, but to buy them as well. But when I hear 5C, all I think of is the word cheap.

Like, “Oh, I see you bought the cheap one.” Why would you want a plastic phone? Why would you want a neon pink iPhone? Although, that’s a pretty stupid thing to say on my part. I shouldn’t be in the business of judging people’s preference in colors. I am a little disappointed by the fact that there really isn’t much of a selection. Not that I’m interested in buying the cheapo model anyway. It’s just that, what if you’re not into really bright colors? I guess for me it never really mattered anyway, seeing as how I never take it out of its plastic protective case.

While I’m on numbers, isn’t anybody else going to point out the obvious incompatibilities with model number and operating system? I’m talking about how when they released the 5S/C, they simultaneously made available the new operating system, IOS 7. Can’t the boys in marketing figure out a way to synchronize the numbers? I’m being petty here.

I just get annoyed whenever a new product comes out and everybody starts gushing over it, the media, everyone at work, people on the subway. And then like a week after it comes out, I start to see them everywhere, new iPhones, shiny new colors, slightly different ringtones and message alert sounds. I took out my phone the other day, and a coworker was like, “You didn’t upgrade to IOS 7 yet?” looking at me like I had just contracted leprosy.

And so I went right home and downloaded IOS 7. And it took like an hour and a half out of my day, plugging it in, waiting for it to download and install, laying on my bed going through all of the menus and settings, discovering which marginal changes had been made to my phone’s user interface. The whole thing left me very underwhelmed, and now I was holding my same old iPhone 4, only it felt less comfortable, my old bright wallpaper was no longer compatible with the white numbers used to tell me the time, but of course Apple wouldn’t give you an option to change the color of the home-screen text.

Or let you decide if you like the old interface better. And I know it’s such a tired argument, that Apple doesn’t really let you customize anything. It does bother me, like the old operating system looked a certain way, and then all of the sudden Apple decides that they’d like mine, and everybody else’s phone, to look a different way. That would be like living in an apartment and the landlord busting in every year deciding to paint all the walls an entirely different color.

But it doesn’t matter. I have this fear that the minute you stop upgrading operating systems is the moment that you decide to get left behind in terms of technology. Sure, skipping one update won’t really get in the way of how you use a phone, but there are subtle changes with every release. You let those changes pile up, and before you realize it, you’re an old man that puts his hands on the newest model only to find that he doesn’t know how to use anything, he’s too set in his old ways.

This is crazy. It’s a fucking iPhone. I can’t believe I just spent all of this time actually writing this down. Sorry if you’ve made it all the way down here. New cell phone releases cause me an unnecessary amount of anxiety.