I just wanted to stare at the sun. Is that so wrong?

So the solar eclipse is in a few days and I waited too long so all the glasses you can view the sun with are sold out.  I went to Amazon to see the safest thing that was still available to stare at the sun behind and they were like, “YEAH.  HOW ABOUT SOME BLACK-OUT CURTAINS”.

The good news though is that when everyone else is looking up at the sky I’ll be able to keep my eyes out for the lizard man:

Don’t tell me there’s no such thing as the lizard man.  It’s all I’m clinging to at this point.


125 thoughts on “I just wanted to stare at the sun. Is that so wrong?

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  1. Check any planetariums nearby, especially at college campuses. Lots of luck there. Plus, many random places might have them, e.g. Lowe’s, Home Depot, 7/11, Best Buy, etc. I have four pairs if you want to head to Vegas…? 🙂

  2. I work at a public library. Apparently NASA announced that public libraries may be carrying free pairs of solar eclipse glasses. Our library wasn’t fortunate enough to claim some in time. But the general public doesn’t know that, and so the calls are coming in by the dozens.

    I swear, 50% of our calls right now are asking if we have them (“No, we don’t”) and where should people get them (“I don’t know. Everyone is sold out.”).

    Now I will be able to tell them the bright news: they can watch for the Lizard Man instead. I hope this brightens their spirits.

  3. Go to your local Home Depot and buy a fixed shade, shade 14 welding lens/goggles/glasses. It’s the same thing!!

  4. I’m planning on throwing a dish cloth over the lamp in my living room and staring at it through a Viewmaster. I have a feeling it will give me the exact same experience, but with less ocular risk.

  5. Whoa … do you need special eyewear for the Lizard man, or does that one of the side effects of all the medicines you are juggling?

  6. Of course there’s a lizard man; never had to wait for an eclipse to see him though, so I don’t know why they’re acting like the eclipse is something special.

  7. My dad’s job gave out Eclipse glasses so he got some for each of us. My mom works at our local library and people have been calling non-stop for the past week asking for free glasses. Apparently one library did it, so people assumed all libraries did it, and some people have been driving all the way out only to be told we don’t have any. (They’re not too happy.) I’m near Birmingham, AL, so we’re not going to get a total eclipse, anyways.

    Be cautious, because vets are also warning not to let your pets outside because they could have eye damage if they happen to look at the eclipse during it!

    (I’ve heard that but I don’t understand the pet thing because it’s not like your pets stare at the sun normally. ~Jenny)

  8. How are you supposed to see the Lizard Man when everything’s dark? Better get a flashlight. I bet they’re not sold out of flashlights.

  9. Oh, heck. Get an empty cereal box, aluminum foil, and scissors and make your own like we used to in the 70’s!!

  10. I love you . You are so dear to me and I’ve never met you. You are a blessing to the world. And the faeries in your garden agree. 💖💋

  11. Well, you can always do a pinhole camera. That’s what we always used in the prehistoric era, before the special glasses.

  12. Sorry, can’t talk. We are too busy prepping for the #apoceclipse here in Oregon.

  13. Check with local schools for the glasses. Maybe they got some for the students and have some extra. They will also be live streaming it online, so you can watch that in complete safety.

  14. Awesome! I live in rural SC! I might get to see the Lizard Man! Do I look for him before, during, or after the eclipse? I’ll have to ask around.

  15. just make sure, if you do find some, that they are legit.
    NASA says the way to do that is to put them on and start with trying to see a lamp etc, then go outside.
    Everything, and I mean everything should be pitch black EXCEPT the sun.
    anything less than that and it’s not safe.
    need be, make a pinhole camera. That’s what we did in my highschool the last time was in viewing range.
    Meanwhile, we got our glasses, and the school system decided it was brilliant to have the 21st be the first day of school.
    and yes, I asked, they aren’t doing anything for it. 🙁

  16. I distrust ANYTHING as thin as the glasses I’m seeing.

    There was a solar eclipse when I was living in California many moons ago (pun intended). One of the engineers at my office was a Stanford Physics PhD student and borrowed a solar filter from the observatory. It was at least 1/2 inch thick and appeared black to the eye.

    That said, the pinhole-box effect was spectacular — as was the similar effect created by shadows thrown by every single bush on the block.

  17. I’m going to watch the NASA live feed…….not as exciting as burning out your own retinas…but we’re not in the path of totality anyway. And at least I’ll be able to see the really cool coronal ejections when the apocalyptic solar flares shoot out to devour the earth and all life on the planet ceases to exist. Thank God I’m retiring today so I don’t have to worry about living on my pension!!!!

  18. My son’s welding goggles are only rated at 5 and his hood only goes to 12 so I’ll be doing it the old fashioned way with a box or something or just wait for a picture on the internet. Might be a good time to make some dire predictions in some backwards village or something.

  19. I waited too long to. I am going to make a little pinhole viewer and watch the shadows.That is if it doesn’t rain. It may rain.

  20. I’m a vet! We’re a little confused about the concern for pets, too because, yeah if they looked at the sun it would damage their eyes, but why would they look at the sun? They don’t tend to look up when it goes behind a cloud to see where it went. The consensus between the colleagues I’ve spoken with is that it’s a really small risk. Your pets are probably fine. Otherwise our state (Tx) is going to have a lot of blind beef cattle bumbling around, which could get interesting. Too late to start a “bring a cow inside” campaign, Jenny?

  21. I’m just going to watch the NASA Live Feed…not as exciting as burning out your own retinas, but we’re not in the path of totality anyway…and at least I can watch the cool coronal ejections as the massive solar flares shoot out to devour the earth and all life is wiped out. Thank God I’m retiring today so I don’t have to worry about living on my pension.

  22. A few years ago there was a partial eclipse and we had no idea it was happening. We were at the beach in Santa Barbara and it was like, WHOA, APOCALYPSE. We found that if you stack several pairs of sunglasses on top of each other that you can go ahead and stare at the sun without going blind. The dollar store is your best friend, and they aren’t even judgy like some chicks.

  23. When I was a small child we looked at an eclipse through a piece of glass covered in soot. We achieved this by holding a flaming candle about a foot under it and the soot from the flame settled on the glass. I don’t know how safe this was – it was about 65 years ago (1952?) but I AM NOT YET BLIND

  24. Some people are saying you can use a Shade 14 Welders glasses or goggles, but I read that it has to be 13 in order to actually see something and 13’s are hard to come by…

  25. I work at a library, and 4/5 of our calls are about eclipse glasses. We do have some, but we’re only giving them away at our viewing party. We’re currently arranging for the police to be there.

  26. As a public school employee, I love the different takes between schools. Elementary schools, apparently, are most likely to lock kids in a basement with no windows and facing a wall that faces away from the sun. At my high school, and I quote our principal, “If a 16-year-old is dead set on going blind… let them.”

    Don’t stare at the sun. Fun side note: here in Idaho, our sleepy little towns of 63 people are braced for thousands of travelers entering their towns. Pray for no deaths!

    Keep on bloggin’ in the free world! Especially while it’s still free!

  27. Watch out for your eyes! My brother and I tossed around that saying for years after he almost poked himself in the eye with a table leg. Don’t ask.
    I want to drive up to Casper, by God, Wyoming, but heard the highways will be jammed like it’s THE END OF DAYS….

  28. I work at a tech center and they bought the wrong glasses for everyone to use. Now we are SOL.

  29. Hey, the really good part of the eclipse is when it’s totally dark and you can look at that without glasses.
    I assume. If you see me on Tuesday walking around with a red-tipped cane and a can of pencils you’ll know I was wrong about that.

  30. Now Sheryl Crow is singing in my head: “I just want to stare at the sun…”

    When I was a kid we used brown bottle glass. Oops.

  31. I was so proud of myself for nonprocastinatingly ordering eclipse glasses several weeks ago. From Amazon. Then I got the dreaded email. But internet research has PROVEN that my glasses are ok. Because information on the internet is so reliable. But they’re still ok.
    Procrastination! Do It!! Tomorrow!!!

  32. Here in Northeast Kansas right in the path of totality, preparing for the population of our tiny town to double! Pretty sure the grocery store still has glasses and one of the local libraries had a bunch of extras 🙂 I’ll just steal the 3 year olds, he’ll be napping anyway lol. My kids school got cancelled so that the teachers wouldn’t have to be responsible for making sure they all kept their glasses on.

  33. Our schools sent 1 pair home with each kid this week. So I have no problem “grounding” the 12 yr old for at least half of the eclipse so I can use her glasses.

  34. Lizard Man has really been hitting the gym. Looking good, coming from his awkward teen aged gecko years in high school.

  35. Jenny, I’m smack dab in the famed path of totality and I’m not watching either. Not because I don’t have any NASA certified PAPER eye wear, but because I don’t give a flying fuck. So, I’m deficient somehow I suppose, or something is wrong with me in some way, and if so, I don’t have one hoot left to give about that either. But I do care about you, so please write to us during the eclipse since you won’t be busy. Thank you.

  36. Do you know someone who is a welder? Welding helmets work, that’s how I saw the last one that came through my area. I can see you rocking the welder’s helmet!

  37. Yeah I debated about posting b/c “Hey that’s my local TV station!! Cool!” but then the whole Lizardman thing makes me kinda not want to admit that. I’m only about 20 mins away from his supposed residence. Go SC. I’m so proud.

  38. Why do the lizard women not get to go out during the eclipse? Is lizard misogyny a thing among the lizard people? Emancipation for lizard women during eclipses!

  39. I could not care less about the eclipse now, but if I don’t see a lizard man, I am going to be majorly disappointed. I didn’t know what I was missing until just now.

    I will be working during the eclipse. I’m going to try to get the 525lb giant tortoise to keep his glasses on. I want a raise, man.

  40. I am sure someone has already made this offer, but I have 15 extra pairs because I had to order a minimum of 25. I am in Houston and would gladly travel a ways to help a fellow procrastinator.

  41. Slightly weird way of watching an eclipse. Stand under a tree and look at the ground.

    The gaps between leaves will act as pinhole cameras and you’ll see the bright patches turn into thousands of little crescents as the Moon passes in front of the Sun. It’s perfectly safe and you can take some terrific photos of the pretty shapes.

    The downside of looking at the ground is that you’ll only see the Lizard Man when it’s too late.

  42. HyVee locally announced that they have them. Also if your local college has an astronomy club they might have them. Ours were, fortunately, purchased in March! And we booked our hotel then too.

  43. We’re right in the eclipse line and no glasses to be found anywhere. It’s madness I tell you, madness

  44. Jenny: I love you and I got mine at my eye doctor’s office. I just happens to be there for an appointment and I bought six pairs. I do not have 12 eyes but I do know people. Not people who have 12 eyes…OR ten eyes, since I myself have two, but you know what I mean. Also, I live in South Carolina, so I really appreciate that heads up on lizard man. I am in the path of the totality and our police chief had a new conference the other day warning us that the cell service is porbably going to go down and we may not have any gas at the gas stations…but all that was because of the tourists. Maybe Lizard Man will eat them all and we’ll be able to use our cell phones like normal humans because, although my kids will certainly have their retinas protected by eclipse glasses, they will have to go to the ER anyway if they can’t use their phones. Love you.

  45. I just realized I sound like a creeper. 😂 But seriously. I have extras and if you can think of a way I can get them to you before I leave for Tennessee on Sunday you can have them.

  46. Yay for the Lizard Man! I’m from Sumter, SC, and it’s nice to think he’ll be out and about! 🙂

  47. We watched an eclipse a few years ago by looking at a piece of white cardboard with our backs to the sun while we used binoculars to project the image onto the cardboard. A bit wobbly, but it’s safe and it works.

  48. I did not read most of the comments so someone may have said this already, but you should be able to safely view the eclipse by taking a selfie. The sun will be behind you so your eyes will be protected. There should be stuff online to explain how exactly to do it.

  49. Find a drug dealer and ask to watch the eclipse through his back seat window. The drug dealer down the street from us is selling tickets. He has like 20 BMWs – great seats for eclipse viewing. Of course only one side of the car will be facing the eclipse but if you don’t mind someone leaning over you, he’ll give you a discount. He also has tinted front seat side windows too. THOSE tickets are going for double what the back seat tickets are worth because cup holders.

  50. Go to your local auto parts store & pick up either at #12 welding lense or two #6 welding lenses that you can hold together.

  51. Good thing I googled ritz cracker eclipse glasses or I’d be blinded by a ritz. Hello good story. Sounds like your luck think of wacky seeing eye pets you could get to mess with people. Seeing eye armadillo.

  52. I work at NASA out of Edwards AFB in California… I’d gladly get you on base to see the eclipse from here. We will have telescopes set up and free eclipse glasses for all… or if you or anyone else is feeling less motivated to go outside then we will have a live feed here filmed from our jets


  53. Jessica, I want to volunteer to be part of the “bring a cow inside” campaign. We have lots of dairy cows in my area & I would hate to think of them wandering aimlessly attempting to find the milking barn after being blinded by staring directly into the eclipse (as cows are apparently wont to do).

  54. Put your phone on selfie mode and stand with your back to the sun. The light emitted by your phone screen won’t harm your eyes and it will possibly be mildly less embarrassing than staring at a cardboard box.

  55. Okay, so I just googled that….it says a rating of 14 on the glass. I have no idea what that means but I’m fairly certain that my rural Missouri school in the 80s dididnt have Google, so my suggestion might not be so great. On the flipside, I am now 43 and I am not blind.

  56. Same. Waited way too long. Then my work sent an email blast offering a “safe viewing tent” during our lunch breaks (no taking longer than your prescheduled time, please) in which appropriate eyewear would be offered for use to view the eclipse at no charge for all city employees. This, friends, is our government tax dollars at work – helping out the city employees who procrastinated! Haha! Yay!

  57. Go to your local Home Depot and buy a fixed shade, shade 14 welding lens/goggles/glasses. It’s the same thing!! – Jenny this a real thing- we were at a talk – and the speaker who has been to three eclipses suggested that as well. You have to get the right one. I think 14 is correct. But I am sure you can find that online.

  58. I basically plan on telling my students that during the “perfect darkness” we’ll all be possessed by demons, attacked by vampires or invaded by aliens so Lizard Man makes sense.

  59. I’m glad I didn’t get any glasses. Weather predictions for my part of NM are cloudy and rainy! So there’s that…

  60. If you are in an area with the total eclipse, you can look at the sun/moon when the eclipse is in totality without special glasses. Just make sure that totality has occurred. Prior to/after that you can look at the shadows from the leaves on the trees or use a colander and look at the shadows from the holes (if you don’t want to make a pinhole viewer). And, I appreciate you keeping a watch out for the lizardman – thanks!

  61. I don’t think Lizardmen live in this part of Texas. Maybe some Chupacabras will come out in search of any post-eclipse goats that wandered out from behind the blackout curtains and are blind? Doesn’t seem likely. I’ll settle for a mangy coyote, blind or otherwise.

  62. Most libraries are pretty much out. Librarians are extremely tired of being asked for glasses. The best bet at this point is going to an observatory or if you know your local library is having an eclipse program.

  63. I work at a library, and we have some solar eclipse glasses, which we aren’t giving out until the event. We can hardly get any work done because of the phone calls, and we’ve had to arrange for a police presence. People waited too long to try to find them. If you’re looking now, it’s way too late. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen Monday.

  64. I work at a library, and we have some solar eclipse glasses, which we aren’t giving out until the event. We can hardly get any work done because of the phone calls, and we’ve had to arrange for a police presence. People waited too long to try to find them. If you’re looking now, it’s way too late. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen Monday.

  65. Do the old school pin hole box viewer with Hailey. It works, only requires a cardboard box, and the cats will love it afterwards. You can google diy instructions.

  66. I thought I was covered when I bought 3 pairs of solar glasses a month ago from Amazon. Then on Thursday I got an email from them telling me the glasses were fakes from China & I shouldn’t use them. Their package had all the right authentication markings but the glasses didn’t. Amazon Amazon had a lot of authentic sets, but even selecting 1-day shipping led to Amazon promising delivery the day after the eclipse! The main library in Jacksonville, FL, where I live, announced a program today at noon with lineup to begin at 11:30. The first 158 people in line would get free glasses from NASA. These were the last glasses known to be available in Jax. The library opened at 10:00,but I took no chances & showed up at 8:30 AM. There was already a long line outside the library. At 10, they opened the doors & let us file in & line up. I turned out to be #149 and got 1 pair of NASA glasses – 1 of the last 10 pairs in the city. Yay! Good thing since we are getting about a 95% eclipse. My sister-in-law lives in rural SE Tennessee dead in the middle of totality. When my wife asked her what plans she had made for the eclipse, she answered “What eclipse?” This may be a very good time to be an Ophthalmologist (or a maker of white canes). So much ignorance out there – so bad!

  67. I work at a small library and we have 50 pair reserved for our event on Monday. We’ve also been receiving calls nonstop. I’m afraid hundreds will show up.
    And Jenny, it’s only 7-ish years until the next one. The path of totality will be going through Austin and Dallas areas. April 8th, 2024?

  68. I was told by a friend they got theirs at JCPenny optical dept for free. 2 per customer. That was in Brooklyn or around that area.

  69. So if you do get dubious “Eclipse” glasses at least shut one eye when watching- that way you are only risking blindness in 50% of your eyes,..

  70. I had purchased 40 pairs of glasses from Amazon to give out to friends family and co-workers only to have Amazon email me and be all ‘you should throw out those glasses because they might make people go blind and you’ll get a refund eventually’. By that point, everyone had pretty much sold out of the good glasses. I was also supposed to get a pair from work (I work in a library), but since I wasn’t there that day, nobody put some in my mailbox. sigh I have no glasses and will probably end up making a pinhole projector.

  71. The silver lining, I guess? There was a partial solar eclipse when I was in elementary and I remember them using some sort of sheet films for us to look through to see it happen. Eyeballs are fine – but I wonder what it was that the 70s had, but the 10’s struggle with. I think you can watch the shadow on the ground as well and be the safest. Now I’m curious if we get to see any of this in the bottom corner of the world we are in. I doubt we have anything as fascinating as LizardMan though.

  72. Viewing conditions WILL be good for lizard-men. Reptoid spies just can’t resist taking off their human-suits during an eclipse. It’s a nostagia thing. The quality of the light reminds them of mating season back home on Betelgeuse D.

  73. All you need is #14 welding glasses Jenny 😉 I have 4 extra pairs of the little certified paper ones we’re not using I wish I knew you needed some sooner I would have fedex-ed them to you 🙁
    Please don’t stare at the sun and ruin your eyes we need those for you to write your genius to us. Have victor intervene if you feel like you can’t resist, lol.

  74. Apparently procrastinating was the right choice here in DC…went down the the Smithsonian Air & Space around 2 PM (peak here was just before 3), had a FREE pair (which we could trust as real) in my hand within 5 minutes. We passed lots of people with box viewers lamenting that they waited and couldn’t get glasses, and sent them around the corner. Yesterday some of my neighbors were selling their “extras” at pretty decent markups…

  75. At least you live in central Texas where we will be getting a full eclipse in 2024. Which isn’t soon but you’ll get another chance.

  76. I wish I knew about the box thing. I work at target and hundreds of people were asking if Target sold eclipse glasses. No, we do not, but we throw away hundreds of shoe boxes.

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