My First Hearing Impaired Lifehack

A doctor has confirmed what my wife and I suspected. My hearing is somewhat compromised. I believe that’s what he said, but I’m not sure that I caught every word. But I did catch that the doctor and audiologist both used the word impairment. Looking back on my career, which included more exposure to explosives than most people have, I guess this was foreseeable.

I’m not a candidate for hearing aids (image via http://www.museumwaalsdorp.nl)

And we’ve already started making adaptations to help make this easier on us. My wife has been great about making sure she faces me when she speaks. And I’ve stopped trying to fill in the blanks when I miss a word or two; I ask questions to make sure that I understand.

I Heard Denial Was A River In Egypt…I Think That’s What They Said

I think saying that I have a hearing impairment is like saying that I’m an amputee because I pulled a muscle in my leg. I’d prefer saying that I miss a word here and there, but the medical folks have science and a cool graph to back them up on the impairment thing. So I’m denying my problem even as I make adjustments to accommodate it.

What makes it hard is that most of the time, I believe that I hear normally. But then we’ll be in a restaurant and my wife will ask “what’s the name of this song?” and I think “what song?”. It is in those moments that I realize there might be something to what the doctor said. Read the rest of this entry »


An Open Letter To My Cat

Dear Cat,

You’ve been living with us for a few months. As you may know, this is the only time I’ve ever lived with a cat. The closest that I came to living with a cat before my wife and I adopted you was when I dated a girl who owned a cat when I was in college. Even though I didn’t live with that cat, he somehow found the opportunity and motivation to urinate on me.

Now, to be fair, that cat and I never really saw eye to eye. I get along with most people and animals. But as I think about those with whom I’ve shared a mutual dislike, I have to say that was the only situation where urine came in to play. That didn’t bode well for you and I getting along. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Do We Say That Someone “Let The Cat Out Of The Bag”?

A wise old man once told me that two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. He didn’t live that long after that. Because of that, I’m a little on edge letting you in on his secret for keeping a confidence. I’d be more concerned about it if I wasn’t pretty sure that smoking had a lot more to do with his demise than telling secrets.

If two living people have a secret and one of them reveals the secret we often say that person “let the cat out of the bag”. Let’s explore why we might say that.

Don’t Get Caught Holding That Bag

Unless the secret is “I have a cat in this bag, don’t tell anyone”, we can say with confidence that the bag and cat situation is a metaphor for telling a secret.  It is an unfortunate metaphor that, I imagine, came from someone who’d been involved in such a despicable act.

Putting a cat in a bag is cruel and wrong. I’d suppose that getting the cat’s co-operation isn’t easy; someone who’d do such a thing deserves whatever damage their cat might inflict while they’re putting it in to a bag. But the image of a frustrated and confused feline rocketing out of that bag pretty accurately represents the energy of being shocked by a big secret being told. Read the rest of this entry »


Black Cats – Why Does The Man Try To Keep Them Down?

English: Former U.S. Representative and Speake...

Gingrich. Oil on canvas. Not a political statement in this case (Image via Wikipedia)

It is generally understood that having a black cat cross one’s path is considered a bad omen. I’m a somewhat superstitious guy, but I’ve never found myself in any kind of peril after I intersected with a black cat. I think these cats are getting a bad rap for something that most of them are not involved in. It’s like a Newt Gingrich speech that we keep recycling.

Today, I saw something that makes me want to right that wrong. I’m thinking I want to start a counter superstition.

So Anyhow…

I was driving in traffic this morning on a four lane thoroughfare. I was next to a bus. Coming in the other direction were two cars, side by side. Everyone was moving about 40 mph and traffic was just what you’d think it was during the rush hour. Read the rest of this entry »


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