Month: June 2014

Kindle


I got myself a PaperWhite Kindle awhile ago in order to free up space on my other digital devices, and to make it possible for me to read in sunshine. I’m not sure I’m a particular fan of the size/shape. Maybe it is the severe deep tendonitis going on with my left arm/wrist/hand due to a pincer grip problem a few months ago.

It isn’t easy to fit in the hand like an iPhone, but I make do. It does have room for a ton of books.  I think I’m set for the next 20 years or so the last time I checked. I’m a prodigious reader.  Sadly, many of my reference books are not in epub formats of any kind, so I’m still lugging around some out of print books.

If I misplace my iPhone or iPad mini or even if one of my computers were stolen, I can find any of them. Yes, I have GPS on and am delighted with it.  The alarm is loud enough that if I’m in the general vicinity even *I* can hear it.

Kindle? Nope. To make it worse, it is black and, therefore, easy to overlook in shadowed areas. I’m forever and a day looking for the bloody thing.  An actual book is easier to see. This slim, black thing can become invisible. It slips under pillows on the couch, between couch cushions, under the pillow on the bed, under the bed – anywhere I might be found reading. This last time it took almost four days to locate. Long enough that I re-activated Kindle on my iPhone. 😛

I’m going to have to get one of those electronic “tags” for it.

To wear or not to wear – that is the question.


I’ve been battling ear infections for a good six months – mostly otitis externa, but some otitis media. I never had an ear infection before I got hearing aids (HAs). I’m tired of oral and external antibiotics, drops for dermatitis in the ear canal, and oral pain meds.

For the past week I’ve been unamplified. On purpose. At first my HA fitted ear was sore to the touch. Then, over time, with no medication applied to it, it started to clear. It is starting to heal from the inside out. The itchy, flaky skin is turning supple. I no longer have oozing lymphatic fluids leaking from the ruptured skin.

I don’t hear worth a hill of beans, but I’m not in constant pain.  I plan on cleaning the ear mold exquisitely well before using it again. I may go back to only using it when I need it rather than wearing it all the time. My body doesn’t like plastic, particularly in the confined space of an ear canal.  I’m not sure I am a candidate for a CI nor that I want one. Maybe. Someday. Or not. I’m not sure.

I wish I knew more deafies locally.  But I don’t. And there won’t be any where I’m going – to the best of my knowledge.

I often wonder how many other people are also allergic to their “non-allergenic” ear molds.

The Little Red Sweater


The story outline:  Once upon a time, in a Town Common far, far away in a little New England town, a woman with a riot of curling silver hair that bobbed around her face like kazillion little metal Slinkies, sat on a bench, knitting a little red sweater. Two joggers, one a man wearing a nice tracksuit, and the other a woman in an old t-shirt and shorts, trotted up the cracked sidewalk together. The man looked down at the knitting woman and burst into tears. The woman leaned down beside the woman and spoke to her.

Emily Pigeon stuck her little pink tongue between her teeth as she muttered under her breath, “Perl one, Perl two, Perl three. Knit one!” Making a dog sweater for her sweet little Mitzi was turning out to be more trouble than it was worth. She’d never used double-sided little needles before and she was seriously considering trashing the lot and buying a dog sweater at the pet store.

James Kravetz was content with his run so far. He’d been able to keep up with his new jogging partner all the way, despite being out of shape. It was more than he could have hoped for and he smiled with joy. Looking right and left he saw an older woman knitting a little red sweater. For some reason the color red reminded him of so much – his heart attack three months ago, the fear he might die, and the fear he might never run again. Suddenly, he burst into tears of joy.

Babs McCarthy’s co-worker James was running her into the ground. She didn’t want to complain, but who thought some guy who almost died three months ago would be going strong after five miles? All of a sudden, James burst into tears. Thankful for the respite, she stopped near an older woman sitting on a bench, knitting a small, red dog sweater. The little red sweater reminded her of her Yorkie Sweetie. She leaned down and said, “I wish I was as talented as you are. I’d love a sweater like that for my dog, Sweetie.”

Unfortunately, Emily was very hard of hearing, and said, “What did you say, dear?”

One incident – three points of view.

 

The Dreaded Adverb


I stand in the gazebo in the middle of the Townsend Common and peer into the shadows of massive deciduous trees. The towering oaks and maples create a deep well of shadow. Hidden in the shadow are dark green picnic tables, freshly painted for the summer season.IMG_1880

Feathering out from each side of the shadows are graceful dark wood park benches with black wrought iron trim. The benches are cast in artful design around the gazebo. They surround it in a seemingly haphazard manner. Perhaps they are at the best places for hearing. Perhaps a whimsical designer arranged them. They’ve been in the same places for the last year.

The church to the east begins a muffled peal. Well, to me it is muffled, but the dog startles a bit. Loud. It must be loud. I don’t have my hearing aid in to walk the dog. I look at the clock faces on the front and side of the bell-tower and realize they display different times. How many peals will there be? Nine. Ten.  I check the time on my smart phone. Noon. Exactly. Neither of the clock faces reads twelve o’clock.

Brass colored folding chairs for the Thursday night concert lean against the wall or slump on the floor, tossed hither and yon by recent stormy weather. I envision how, tomorrow, they’ll be arranged in ordered fashion for the band, unlike the graceful litter of  wooden benches.

IMG_1886Here and there, black light poles erupt from the ground. They match the bold black metal fencing that marches around the edges of the Common. Half-barrels full of flowers line Main Street – ten of them – filled with a riot of brilliant magenta petunias. Several more of the half-barrels are next to the sidewalks in the Common itself, filled with a softer pink flower reminiscent of roses.

Concrete walkways crisscross the Common with a long St. Andrews Cross from corner to corner and a short path east to west across the middle. Today it is me, the dog, and ten thousand starving mosquitos. The dog and I descend the stairs of the gazebo, walk back to the car, and breathe a sigh of relief when the mosquitos are outside and we are inside.

Death to Adverbs – stripping adverbs from writing.

Give and Take


Due to an Internet outage I’m posting more than one blog for a couple of days to get caught up on writing assignments.

This assignment is about learning to create dialog through creation of opposing views.

“You owe me,” she said, her arms crossed firmly across her chest.

“I owe you?” I echoed her sentiment from across the lawn. “I owe you what? And why do I owe you?”

“The refrigerator leaked and ruined the antique dressers in the basement.”

I blinked before answering. Okay, I’m hard of hearing. Was that what she really said? “You think I’m responsible that your refrigerator leaked?” I asked.

“Yes. It never did before you moved in.”

“The refrigerator is on its last legs. It’s yours. I was the roommate.”

“The leak ruined the furniture.”

“Hold on,” I said. “You moved it into a wet basement.  A basement you warned me never to put anything valuable in.” I watched her spine stiffen in outrage, but I continued, “Besides, your insurance paid for the damage.”

“It wasn’t enough,” she said.

“That’s a problem between you and your insurance,” I replied, confounded.

I paused, thought, and then slowly said. “I painted your deck, I painted your kitchen, I helped select the new counter for the kitchen, and I helped you figure out what dryer to get when yours died – because you couldn’t make a decision. I loaned you my new clothes to attend a fancy party. For three months I took care of you after a major surgery so you didn’t have to go to rehab. I visited you in the hospital. I helped you figure out how to respond to performance evaluations. I gave you two of my old iPhones – which I could have sold, and I did it because you couldn’t afford to get one. I gave you an Oreck vacuum to use on the stairs because of all the cat litter all over the floor there. I  took care of your dog and cat whenever you went on vacation, not to mention hostessing a birthday party for you. I did that out of the goodness of my heart. Tell me again what I owe you.”

I never heard the answer…I’m hard of hearing.

 

Celebrate Three Significant Songs


There we have it – today’s Writing 101 prompt – 3 significant pieces of music.

I decided to write the response on AnotherBoomerBlog because this blog addresses being hard of hearing, deaf, and dealing with a society that is in large part uncaring about people who are differently able. The deaf, blind, hard of hearing, physically disabled, etc. are tidily brushed to the margins.

A room with a view (yesterday’s assignment) could be metaphorical. It could be the internal landscape of a blind person. Their room could be full of wonderful smells and things to touch. There is no internal metaphor for three significant pieces of music because when hearies (people who hear) think of music they think of sound.

My first boyfriend was born without auditory nerves and had zero ability to hear music. He had no concept of music as a hearie would understand it. He felt vibrations, and his old truck’s radio rumbled bass all the time. He build a removable back for a couch that housed a bass speaker so he could feel the rhythm of music.

I tried to insert a youtube video with no sound, only sign, but after 15 minutes of swearing I gave up.  😦  Feel free to go to the F-You song American Sign Language performance with no sound. For the following songs the hearie challenge is to turn off the sound. Next go to Hero – it is closed captioned for hearies and the hard of hearing. Frozen’s Let It Go is also captioned as are some of the others. Country Music is next – Farmer’s Daughter. Then there’s Story of my Life.  Imagine by John Lennon.  Just the Way You Are. Lastly, go to Sean Berdy and 10 dancing kids – don’t worry, you won’t lose an eardrum.

Adding the incredible expressiveness of ASL performances to music that often the signers can’t hear makes a performance that is – to my mind – superior to sound alone.  Let It Go gains a new dimension when you see them really let it go.  Seeing the tears in Hero adds a dimension.

So here is my twist – how many of you who don’t sign can provide me the three best ASL performances of your life that are the most meaningful to you?  No sound allowed – or at a level where you can’t understand the words. You can chose from the above or find something else. You’ll find that only songs with words are meaningful unless it is dance.

 

 

 

 

 

Unsafe Containers


I have three blogs, one photo and two writing blogs. This is a good thing because as I make comments important to me, I am also involving myself in various blogging challenges. Since I have posted on the other blogs today, I’ll use this one for the daily prompt post.

Unsafe containers deals with the concept of which emotion or emotions are the hardest for me to contain.  And it is an interesting question on a number of levels.

As a social worker involved in abuse investigations I learned to develop a poker face. I didn’t respond negatively or anger-is-an-acid-that-can-do-more-harm-to-the-vessel-anger-quotepositively to the stories of others. To encourage or discourage was to influence the report or indicate something should not be discussed. I learned to compartmentalize like nobody’s business. I could not afford to allow emotion to affect my ability to work in the protective services field and I could not lose my cool in a situation where everyone except the cops and me were out of control. As a legal professional I find letting others lose their cool while I keep mine works quite well.

As someone with a hearing problem I also want to make sure the comment made that I could consider inappropriate or insulting was really what was said. I’ve learned to listen closely and clarify what I think I heard before responding. This makes me less likely to respond with any sort of emotional reaction – from joy to anger – because I need to make sure I’ve got the right understanding before I get on my behavioral horse and ride.

Can I lose my cool? Sometimes. With some people. In some situations. Start abusing someone weaker and more vulnerable around me and I’m likely to be a first responder. In fact, I recently ordered a set of kubatons for my key rings because I lost the old one. I want to practice with one of my martial arts friends again. They are of no use if I can’t use them correctly. And yes, I’d use a kubaton on an abuser without a moment’s hesitation.

Recently I was in a bizarre situation with someone who used to be a close friend who began figuratively jumping up and Entitlementdown in full victim mode, extreme entitlement mode, and greed mode. I didn’t get sad, or angry, or rude. I just said “No” and walked away. Everyone there (three men – one a friend of the other person) told me, “I don’t understand your patience with that person.” I’m still not angry over it, but I now have the answer to the repeated question of  “Why don’t I have any friends?” No, I’m not going to address it because it would not do any good.  If anything, I pity that individual as a lost cause.

Do I ever get angry? Now and then. I become infuriated by injustice. I am irritated beyond belief at many of the comments in the #NotAllMen thread on Twitter and participate in the #YesAllWomen thread because I’m sick and tired of rape culture in America. I remember coming back from Uni in Australia and being traumatized by the violence here for a good six months. I sometimes #yesallwomenvent about the fact medical providers and other professionals don’t treat the disabled (physical, emotional, mental, visual, hearing) appropriately. However, instead of screaming at someone I merely go into advocate mode and get exceptionally assertive.

If anything, I am too quiet at times. I’m an introvert. I’m hard of hearing. I am an observer rather than a participant unless my participant is needed.  So I’m not sure I’ve got an unsafe container lying around. A few people relate to that as my being “wise” to which I respond “Never confuse wisdom with mileage.” I’ve got lots of mileage – more than most – in my almost 65 years on this planet.

It is possible I sent all my unsafe containers to recycling.