Sunday, September 30, 2007

The way things are...

There are days when I don't mind my hearing difficulties... and there are days when I hate it with a passion. 

My hearing problem isn't mechanical.  It's not a fault in my ears, necessarily.  It's neurological, and really, there is no fix for that.  It's a glitch in my brain.  I mean, I hear just fine.  It's just that a lot of times, what I hear comes to me garbled.  

It's like this.  The Husbandly One will say something to me.  Like, "I am going to the store.  I am buying a loaf of bread.  I am buying a gallon of milk.  I am coming home."

Simple, right?

This is what I hear.  "I am going to the store.  I am buying a loaf of bread.  I am sliding in a wallow of silk.  I am coming home."


He'll repeat the entire thing to me, and I will continue to misunderstand the third sentence every time he repeats it, no matter how many times he repeats it.  What I have to do is read his lips, make him stop talking, repeat it to myself with the lip movements, and then finally understand he's telling me he's also going to buy a gallon of milk. 

I read lips a LOT.

Now, as you can imagine, this involves a great deal of frustration, for myself, and for those around me.  I repeat sentences back to people, not because I'm making fun of them, but because I'm trying to figure out what the hell they're saying.  Because I know a complete stranger didn't walk up to me and say, "Can you smell a beery sensation??"

More like, "Can you tell me the nearest gas station?"

Though the first sentence sounds a lot more fun.

Still, mostly my family and friends are very patient with me, and understanding.  They know immediately when I look like I'm about to laugh, when they didn't say anything funny, or panic, when they didn't say anything scary, that I didn't understand them, and they kindly repeat whatever they said for me, until I get it.  But sometimes... sometimes they lose patience with me, and oh, doesn't that hurt?

I can't help this glitch in my ears.  I wish I could.  I wish there was a magic bullet to cure it.  Hearing aids?  No, see, then I would just misunderstand you... LOUDER.  

Sometimes, I get so frustrated, I find a nice corner to hide in and have a good cry.  Or a bad cry.  Whatever.  Sometimes, I just... avoid everybody.  It's easier.  Sometimes, I wish everyone came with teleprompters glued to their foreheads so I could figure out what they're saying.

Want to know the real reason I don't watch tv anymore?  Do y'all have any idea how many characters speak with their backs to the cameras?  Oh, and then, there's loud music blaring over their words, so the garble gets even worse.  Subtitles are wonderful...except, you miss half the action, because you're busy reading the words at the bottom of the screen.  

I know, I'm whining.  It's just. some days are easier than others, and today is a really crummy day.  The Husbandly One lost patience with me, and when I bit my lip hard, trying not to cry, he snarled, "Oh, get over it!" at me.  He wasn't trying to be mean.  He was just... frustrated.  

And I got frustrated right back.  I had to leave the room, because I really, really didn't want to cry in front of him, and snapped, "Yes, I should get over it, because I should be used to people snapping at me because I can't understand them, right?"

No, not a good day at all.  

And I am a terribly sulky person sometimes.  After I'm over my mad, I'll come out and want to be friends again, but right now?  I'm going to pout and sulk, and just be generally unpleasant for a while.  


Friday, September 28, 2007

The Things That Go BANG In The Night

You know how it is, when you finally get to bed, you're so very tired, and your head hits the pillow? You pull the quilts up over your shoulder, snuggle into your warm, significant other, and just dive into sleep? It's wonderful, actually.


There I was, drifting into one of those truly puzzling dreams I sometimes have, where this lady from the local feed store kept squawking, "Ye'gotta put yer hand up the chicken's cloacha (she pronounced it loudly, "clo-WACK-uh") and feel your way to the omnibus..."


And THEN... there was this resounding BANG!! CRASH!! CLAAAANG!!! from the living room. I thought, damn, did the cats knock the cookie sheets off the counter?? Then I thought, no, they knocked the stereo off the bookcase, dammit. Then, I heard the frantic squawking, and sat up to shake the Husbandly One awake. "They knocked the bird cage down again!!"

He didn't want to get up. I can't blame him, really.

So I got up and went into the living room, turning on lights, fully expecting to see a slightly dismembered, though apparently still alive, parakeet hanging from either Muta or Calcifer's mouth. The cage (which is huge by the way) was on the floor, top off (because the cats have figured out how to take it off), there was bird seed, bird poop, and water everywhere, as well as potting soil, DVD's, and inexplicably, my kids' soccer shoes. The bird was behind the entertainment center, scolding the cats furiously, who were all stalking her, and I swear they all had that same smirk on their face that the Grinch gets when he's plotting something evil!! I grabbed the Instrument of Cat Discipline and started squirting like mad while shouting, "Honey, the cage is down, the bird is out, the cats know it... HELP ME, DAMMIT!!!"

It was not fun. Have I mentioned that this bird is psycho?? At one point, I had her in the kitchen, and almost got her to perch on my hand. Almost. At the last second, she flew shrieking at my face. I ducked, she flew into the dining room, the hall, and into the bathroom. As I followed, I discovered the dog had left me a nice, squishy, smelly, and still warm present in front of the bathroom door. It was not my night, was it?

The Husbandly One corraled Miss Stinky Anti-social Parakeet by taking the top part of the cage and slipping it over her in the bathroom. She flew up to escape, and thus became convinced she was trapped in her cage again. Apparently, thinking up diabolical plots to dismember us all with her beak takes up all her teeny, tiny brain power, and therefore, she was incapable of thinking, "Hey, all I gotta do is fly down and I'm outta here!!"

Stupid bird.

We got the cage put back together and she's back on her high spot. My morning will be occupied with removing bird seed and other... things... from the living room floor, the couch, the fish tank, the window sills, the ceiling fan, and probably a whole lot of other places I'll discover as I clean.

Did I mention how much I hate this bird?

*grabs broom, dustpan, bucket, sponges, and other cleaning supplies, muttering imprecations under her breath as she departs for the living room*

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Give him a hand... or a finger...

When it comes to buying gifts for me, the Husbandly One is either hit or miss. When he hits, he hits it right on the nose, as we saw when he got me the FIFA rules of soccer book. But when he misses? Oh man, does he do it spectacularly!!

Case in point, this morning. As is his usual habit, he left my birthday present where I would find it when I got up this morning. On the computer keyboard. The card made me snicker, and then I opened the beautifully wrapped present and then the box and stared at it, thinking, "WTF??"

I know he's always nervous buying jewelry for me. He shouldn't be. All he has to do, really, is look at what I already wear. It's not like I wear a lot of jewelry. Mostly earrings, sometimes a necklace, bracelets... It's not rocket science.

So, I found myself staring at this... necklace. It's got these HUGE chunks of what the card inside said were red coral (I hope not, because then it would be illegal, unless it was made from recovered, pre 1960 jewelry). But, the chunks don't look like red coral so much as they look like the stumps of bloody fingers.

Yeah. That's exactly what I said.

My first thought was, "Why does my husband want me to wear bloody fingers on a chain around my neck???" I looked around the bedroom almost fearfully, in case there were more boxes. After all, maybe this was part of a Halloween costume, and maybe I was going to be a wild Malay pirate, or a cannibal, or something. A serial killer with trophies, perhaps??

Then he came in the bedroom, peeking around the door to peer at me hopefully. "Do you like it?"

Guys, I gave it my best shot. I tried very very hard to pretend it was the best thing since sliced bread, but y'all gotta know, I can't lie worth a damn. I struggled, tried to smile and say, "I love it!" but instead, what came out was a snort of laughter, then more, until I was laughing so hard I was in pain!! Yes, there were tears streaming down my face, and he drooped, which made me laugh even harder, and he said, "You don't like it."

"I'm sorry," I said, trying to be coherent. "I'm so, so sorry, honey, I'm trying my damndest, but no, I... oh, this is just so not me."

"Well, it's art jewelry, so, I thought you'd like it!" he protested.

OMG. No, no, no, no. I am not a big, chunky jewelry type person. Never have been. Not even with bracelets. And I do have some art jewelry, made by artists that I know, and some of it I wear, and some of it I don't. But, no, not a big chunky jewelry person. Especially big chunky jewelry that looks like dismembered body parts!

Fortunately, he still had the receipt, and he literally ordered me to go exchange it today, so I have done that, and got something a little more my style.

What a birthday this is shaping up to be so far, I must say!!

*still laughing*

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I have almost no memory at all of last night.

I do remember being extraordinarily tired. This is not new, because I have been very, very tired lately, literally putting the kids in bed, then going and falling face-first into mine and not being conscious again until morning. But I hurt my back yesterday, don't ask me how, because I have no idea, none at all! And so, though I was very tired and wanted desperately to go to sleep, it wasn't going to happen because... the pain would keep me awake!

Thing is, after a certain point, everything got kinda hazy, and I just can't flog my memory into helping me out. That's kinda frustrating.

This morning was entertaining, but only in an, "oh geez, I hate mornings like this," kind of way. The Husbandly One shook me awake (he's a Morning Person, and I am not) and left to do his thing. I got up, shuffled into the kitchen for caffeine, and went into my morning routine. This means sitting down at the computer to check my LJ while my brain wakes up, then getting up and finishing the kids lunches. So, there I am, looking at my list of "things to do" and I have the Impossible Son's lunch box open in front of me, pondering what to put in, and I think, "You know, some nice fresh fish would be just the thing!! The fresher, the better!!" So, I put on my hip waders and go out into the backyard and walk to the lovely stream that is running through it. It's a nice stream, about three feet wide or so, and about knee deep, and it's just FULL of fish!! YAY!! I conveniently remembered to pick up the bucket by the door on my way out, so I wade out into the water and bend over and start catching fish with one hand, checking them carefully before either dropping them back in the water, or into my bucket. It's about half full when I decide I have enough. "Mr. Manzie is going to love this!" I think happily, and start to climb out of the stream, when I feel this extremely sharp pain in my back, and then the Husbandly One shakes me and says, "Honey, you went back to sleep again. Wake up!!"

I hate mornings like that! I hate it when I dream I'm awake, and go through my morning routine, except it's slightly off, but I don't notice it until it gets really weird or someone wakes me up!!

Fish? I think the Impossible Son would go ballistic!! Not to mention the smell!!

I think I'm going to go soak in a tub of hot water and see if I can't shake this back ache!!

*hobbles off to the bathroom*

Saturday, September 8, 2007


To the 150 year old guy who was joggin' down the street behind my house in a pair of Speedos...

Please, please, please, put on some shorts. I know you're proud of the fact that you're 150 years old, and hung like a horse (OMG!!!), but really, we don't need to see that. I'm sorry, but your bits do not bounce around in an appealing sort of way, and sweet young things (to you, that is) like me aren't the least bit... attracted... when you turn, wave, whistle, and say, "Hey, babe, how ya doin'?"

I felt like I should have gotten a big stick and started beatin' him down for prizes, you know what I mean??

And to the lovely lady (I'm bein' REAL sarcastic here) who just HAD to walk her darling Poochie-Poo on the walking track, that is for PEOPLE ONLY...

If you're going to do that, then pick up Poochi-Poo's business. I don't wanna step in it, and nobody else on the track does, either. And you know, most of those folks will get right in your face and tell you and your walking dust mop where to get off. I was nice. I stopped by my car and got a trash bag for you, and no, I wasn't gonna pick it up. It's YOUR dog's shit, YOU pick it up. If you don't want dog shit in YOUR yard, then... don't have a dog!! When you have a dog, or a cat, or any pet animal, shit happens. They do not come with self disposals. It's their human's job to pick it up and dispose of it properly. I can tell you were once a mom, you changed your kids' diapers, poop is poop, GET OVER IT!!

And to the teenaged boy who nearly nailed me with his truck as he turned into the parking lot, talking on the phone while the stereo was cranked up ALL THE WAY...

I know your mother, son. Enjoy that phone while it lasts, because by the time you get home, it's gone, baby. You're lucky I'm agile and move fast, and that you DIDN'T hit MY parked car, and the car next to it as you swerved into, and took up, two empty spots. Grinning at me and saying, "Yo, my bad," doesn't cut it. And the truly sad thing is, the school district thinks you're a good example to the other kids, and they're trying to get all the other kids to look like you with their cookie-cutter dress code. Too bad the packaging looks nice, but the contents suck.

Give me a Goth kid any day!

Okay, rant over. That just... just... chaps my hide when stuff like this happens before my day is good started!!!

*snarls, and goes to look for chocolate*

Sunday, September 2, 2007

These Dreams...

 I had the oddest dream this morning.  For some reason, the Blonde Sister and I had gone to a particular great-aunt's house, Great Aunt Nosy, I've called her in previous posts.  Because she was.  Incredibly nosy, that is.  One day, I might devote an entire post to her, but today is not that day.  Aunt Nosy has been dead for about 17 years, but in this dream, she was still alive.  Gosh, that would make her, like... 110, I think!  

Anyhow, Aunt Nosy had been in a nursing home, and for some reason, she was told she could go live in her house again.  My dad was worried about her being alone in her house, so the Blonde Sister and I were the suckers er... the ones deputized to go check on her.  The Practical Sister was conspicuously absent.  So, we went to her house, and knocked on the door.  We heard these clunking and thumping sounds from inside the house, as if some large, heavy person with really big shoes was walking around the house.  We knocked, and knocked, and just kept hearing the clunking sounds.  So we went around to the back, and argued about who was going to go in first.  Finally, the Blonde Sister claimed executive privilege, and declared that since I was a tomboy, and well versed in climbing trees, it was MY duty to go in first.  I wanted to know what climbing trees had to do with unlocking doors.  She pointed out that we had no key, and that I would have to climb the tree by the back porch window to get in through the unlocked window.  Never mind that this didn't exist in the real life version of this particular house.  So, I found myself climbing the tree and falling into the house, where I heard the thumping and clunking sounds, and hurried to let my sister in, so we could both be ridiculously frightened together.

What else are sisters for, right?

Now, I'm not sure how it happened, but at some point, when we crept into the kitchen, calling out softly, "Aunt Ruby?  Aunt Ruby?  Are you there?" my sister decided to open the silverware drawer.  And she frowned.  "What the heck is this?" she asked, scrunching up her face as she lifted the item.  I stared at it, and as she was turning it in her hands, she flicked a switch and it started buzzing.  We stared at each other, and burst out laughing as we realized what it was.  It was a really huge, kinda scary looking VIBRATOR!!!

Then the truly surreal part happened.  A large, woebegone Labrador Retriever like dog came into the kitchen, and he was wearing these really HUGE shoes on his feet.  ALL FOUR OF THEM!!!  Men's shoes, and they had been taped on with duct tape!!  As we stood there, clinging to each other and laughing helplessly, our aunt came in and said, "oh, hello, were you the ones knocking?  I'm movin' kinda slow today, I'm SO tired, it was SO hard to tape those shoes on old Rusty!"

Seems she had taped the shoes onto the dog so burglars would think there was a man in the house!  A very CLUMSY man who had ... TWO LEFT FEET!!

At that point, I woke up, probably with a puzzled frown on my face, and I thought, that's odd, I can still hear that dog trying to walk around in those shoes!  Then I realized, the thumping and clunking was coming from the kitchen.  Brave soul that I am, I got up to investigate, and found the cats had figured out how to open the kitchen cabinet where their food is kept, and they enjoyed that so much that they were abusing their power by opening it AGAIN AND AGAIN!!

When I finally got back to bed, it finally sank in on me just how damn funny that dream was, and I lay there laughing and laughing, disturbing the Husbandly One.  He thought I was laughing in my sleep (yes, I do that, too) and started to nudge me, which made me laugh even harder.  All in all, it took me a good hour to calm down enough to go back to sleep.

Which probably explains why my day today has been so surreal!