Stuff to do with my eyes closed
June 28, 2011 7:53 PM   Subscribe

Stuff to do with my eyes closed

I'm having surface ablation laser eye surgery (PRK/ASA) on Thursday, which means I'll be in bed---mostly with my eyes closed, maybe on Darvocet---for 3-5 days. Do you have any recommendations on new audio books or podcasts to download? (Humor, sci-fi, and nonfiction pop science and history are good. I love Radiolab, for example.)

Any non-obvious suggestions on what else to do? Easy to make vegetarian food? (My boyfriend's around to take care of me, but he's not much of a cook. And it's too hot in Texas to eat soup.)
posted by lunalaguna to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
If you love Radiolab, try This American Life, The Moth, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and Fresh Air.

Food - if I were in your position, I might just cook/prep/buy a few things so that they are easy for you to find yourself or for your BF to toss together with minimal instruction. Cherry tomatoes, blanched broccoli florets, snow peas, a couple of cans of good legumes, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, fruit, granola.

If you are into music, maybe a couple of good symphonies?

I think I would want someone to play verbal games with - 20 questions, or math games?
posted by bunderful at 8:01 PM on June 28, 2011

You'll need your boyfriend's help to do the typing, but the two of you can play some of the "Name That Tune" type games on sporcle.
posted by gatorae at 8:16 PM on June 28, 2011

Best answer: If you have an iPhone, I just started using this app called Instacast which allows you to subscribe to podcasts through the app and also lets you download them without going through new ones (it also caches them which is great). It might be worth setting something like that up with lots of new picks as you can refresh the app really easily and it will beep and let you know when you have new ones. That might save you a lot of trouble.

You could even learn how to use the iPhone with the accessibility mode turned on. I was bored on the train once and tried it for a while and was surprised how well I could do everything with it without looking at the phone.

There have been a few really good AskMe threads lately with recommendations, I pulled the following from them:

Mike and Tom Eat Snacks (my absolute favorite, brilliantly absurd)
New Yorker: Out Loud
PRI: To the Best of our Knowledge (TTBOOK)
A History of the World in 100 Objects
In Our Time
Planet Money
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 8:19 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

OMG, I totally forgot about this. Have your BF buy a bunch of foods, or even the things you have in your house. And have him give you very small amounts while you are blindfolded! It is the BEST game. You will not believe the types of things you can't recognize!

He should cut them up so that you can't tell what it is -- for example, a grape is obvious, but a skinned grape cut into a cube will be way more fun. You would be surprised the types of things you won't get: a little bit of olive oil? a dash of some spice? a tiny bit of radish? a long thin piece of pear? Etc.

He should try to cut things or scale things to fool you. It is crazy how this can play out. AND, it might get him more interested in cooking!
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 8:23 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

It's never too hot for gazpacho!
posted by Scram at 8:25 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not new books, but hey, since you have time on your hands, try Librivox to listen to books that are in the public domain. They may be old but they're still interesting.
posted by patheral at 8:32 PM on June 28, 2011

Escape Pod has science fiction short stories, and a really big back catalog by now; there's also a sister podcast of horror stories, Pseudopod, if that's your bag.

I'll also second the rec for Librivox, although I'll say that you might sometimes need to fish for a really good reader. I've had to stop listening to a book now and then when faced with a reader or a recording that is just not up to snuff. But hey, it's free, so sampling doesn't cost you anything but a little time.
posted by theatro at 8:39 PM on June 28, 2011

This past month I've listened mostly to the stand-up comedy channels on Pandora. Stand-up comedy is largely an experience that does not require sight and visual gags. Sure, there is an occasional crappy set of standup, and some of it I have heard before, but there is a lot that is hitting me for the first time.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:12 PM on June 28, 2011

Two great podcasts from Discovery Channel's that combine both humor and history would be Stuff You Missed in History Class and Stuff You Should Know (SYSK). SYSK is great because it also involves current events as well as a science. I cannot speak more highly of either podcast, both have gotten me through extremely long flights and drives, and can only imagine that they would be just as enjoyable with my eyes closed.
posted by banannafish at 9:13 PM on June 28, 2011

There's the iPhone/iPad game Papa Sangre which is completely aural, described as "a video game with no video." I haven't played it, but I've been tempted to buy it.
posted by ShooBoo at 9:16 PM on June 28, 2011

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (humor and sci-fi)
Game of Thrones (more fantasy than sci-fi)

Point of Inquiry
From About the Program: "Point of Inquiry is the premier podcast of the Center for Inquiry, drawing on CFI's relationship with the leading minds of the day including Nobel Prize-winning scientists, public intellectuals, social critics and thinkers, and renowned entertainers. Each episode combines incisive interviews, features and commentary focusing on CFI’s issues: religion, human values and the borderlands of science. Point of Inquiry explores CFI’s three research areas:
1. Pseudoscience and the paranormal (Bigfoot, UFOs, psychics, communication with the dead, cryptozoology, etc.)
2. Alternative medicine (faith healing, homeopathy, “healing touch,” the efficacy of prayer, etc.)
3. Religion, humanism, and secularism (church-state separation, the effects and proper role of religion in society, the future of secularism and nonbelief, etc.)"

posted by troll at 9:58 PM on June 28, 2011

If you want a quickie amusement, Samuel L Jackson did the audiobook reading of 'Go the F**k to Sleep'. It's currently available for free on Audible.
posted by Heretical at 12:23 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I had PRK and had to lock myself in a bathroom for a week blindfolded with no lights and the doorcracks sealed up because of the ridiculously EXTREME sensitivity to light I had afterwards.

I recommend reading up on some meditation techniques for coping with the pain (seriously it was no joke for me and I have a high pain tolerance) and making sure you have a light free zone as a homebase to live in while you are healing.
posted by stealabove at 8:44 AM on June 29, 2011

Audio games, and maybe some of the interactive fiction/text adventure games with a screen reader.
posted by anaelith at 10:47 AM on June 29, 2011

Good humor podcasts:

WTF - Marc Meron
Dork Forest - Jackie Kashian
The Smartest Man in the World - Greg Proops
posted by doctor_negative at 12:43 PM on June 29, 2011

To listen to:

*Tina Fey's Bossy Pants. Dry, sarcastic humor that has made me chuckle out loud many times.
* Free downloads of nature sounds - relaxing, puts me to sleep or to meditate with

Easy to make vegetarian: cheese + any veg + corn tortilla = yummy quesadillas.
posted by HeyAllie at 1:14 PM on June 29, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great suggestions. The humor podcasts and audio books (and guided meditation) worked out well. As much as I loved the idea of the tasting game, I wasn't in the mood on those days I had to keep my eyes closed.

For anyone curious about my PRK recovery, the first and third days were pretty painful, but as of yesterday, pain and light sensitivity haven't really been a problem. The surgery itself was remarkable easy. I could've done it without the Valium. Today (five days in) has been the worst day for my vision so far, but this should be the last day of my vision getting worse before it gets better. And of course it's not so bad that I can't type this message. Bandage contacts come off tomorrow. Thanks again!
posted by lunalaguna at 10:23 AM on July 4, 2011

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