sound of metal.

Just here to write a little post about a little film called Sound of Metal.

That’s all.

Also, spoilers ahead.

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I’m deaf in one ear. If you didn’t know that…surprise! I wasn’t ignoring you, or messing with you by enthusiastically responding “yes” to a question that was not a yes or no question. I just couldn’t hear you.

It wasn’t always this way! In the past I could hear in both ears. But now, just one.

I guess I’m better off than Riz Ahmed’s character in Sound of Metal, because he loses hearing in both of his ears as a quick fun little surprise one day when he’s minding his own business and organizing merch at one of his concerts.

Yes he plays a MUSICIAN that loses his hearing and it is HEARTBREAKING. Like I kind of couldn’t breathe the whole time I was watching the film because I had that “I’m just about to cry and I’m trying not to” lump in my throat from the moment his hearing cut out. Although my hearing is now limited, I can still hear a little, and the way that they sonically demonstrated his hearing “turning off” in the film punched me right in the stomach with sensory familiarity.

LIke, one minute you’re going about your life and you can hear normally, and the next minute…WHOOSH IT IS GONE. Your ear isn’t working and you can only hear vibrations and you’re like WTF.

At first he doesn’t tell anyone. I also didn’t tell anyone! It felt too scary to admit there was an actual problem. He tries to yawn and crack his jaw, like when your plane lands and you need to “pop” your ears. I did the same! It really felt the same as the ear popping thing. I guess mentally you associate not being able to hear with that feeling so you think yawning will solve it.

Yawning will not solve it.

By the time he goes to a pharmacy to see if they have any medicine that can help he is super stressed and freaked out.

I MEAN, SAME.

When he went to get his hearing tested in the little booth with the sounds I wanted to cry again. I still have nightmares about that. The frustration of knowing you can’t really hear what they’re saying and trying to guess and knowing you’re wrong and therefore deaf is the worst thing ever.

The hardest, shittiest thing to deal with is realizing that it CANNOT BE FIXED. In our modern first world lives we have all these doctors and all this medicine and any other time anything medically bad like this has happened it has been fixable. But this…is not.

They can’t fix it. There are certain kinds of hearing loss they can’t fix. I’m not a doctor but I know the kind I had could not be fixed, and it couldn’t be fixed for our pal Riz in Sound of Metal.

The really, REALLY sad thing is, he goes through the whole film thinking that it CAN be fixed. That if he gets an operation and hearing aids that his ability to hear sound will magically return and everything will be the same. Before I lost my hearing, I thought the same thing. Like, just get hearing aids, duh.

Which is what everyone always says to me, “Just get a hearing aid.”

DO YOU THINK I HAVEN’T THOUGHT OF THAT, YOU GUYS?

First of all, hearing aids are expensive and insurance is like, “not on our dime.” I’ve tried them on and tried them out before and they leave a lot to be desired. It doesn’t sound like real sound! It sounds like an echo-y, weird cave and it makes my head hurt. My head ALREADY hurts and I’m ALREADY trying to hear things, I don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to just feel…the same.

If I was deaf in BOTH ears, then yes, a hearing aid would likely be necessary for me to get through the world. And I would get it, just like Riz had to. But I also would be incredibly frustrated with the results and wander around Paris and feel sad and turn it off and then let the credits roll with my tears, as Riz did.

The scene when he first gets the hearing aids turned on and he’s like, “It sounds weird, can you adjust it?” and you see his face expecting it to just straighten out when the doctor finds the right frequency or something and then she’s like, “well that’s it” and his very soul is just CRUSHED and you can see it in his eyes….UGH YOU GUYS.

The hearing aid was not the solution. The sign language and lip reading and even the confidence he learned with his deaf pals – THAT WAS THE SOLUTION.

I WAS SO SAD WHEN HE LEFT THERE. WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN?!

Speaking of his deaf pals, another thing I learned about when I went deaf in one ear is that there is a movement among deaf folks that includes being against corrective surgery and/or hearing aids. They encourage deaf people to use lip reading and sign language, as well as encouraging parents of children born deaf to not intervene with cochlear implants. Part of their concern is deafness being seen as something that needs to be “fixed,” as well as concern that deaf culture and deaf folks as a minority face a threat of being eradicated. I came across a pretty good article about it here, but first read about it in Andrew Solomon’s amaaaahzing book Far From the Tree.

I’m only deaf in one ear and it has only been for a fraction of my life so I don’t know if I’m qualified to have an opinion on this, but I will say that I obviously HATE not hearing and would do almost anything to hear again. BUT…I would want to hear again the way I heard before, NOT in the way that currently available hearing aids allow me to hear.

So I get it, the idea that sign language is a perfectly acceptable and fulfilling way to communicate and move through the world, because it is. And that was really driven home in this film, in a way I hadn’t thought about it before. Because I DO need to learn sign language.

In March it will be 8 years since I lost my hearing. 8 years since I went through some of what Riz Ahmed’s character went through in the film. And I still haven’t learned sign language. Perhaps I’ll have to go away somewhere for a while, and live among deaf folks and be forced to learn how to communicate. If I had endless time and money and resources I would definitely commit to this. Like why not? I guess I should to commit to it anyway and just watch YouTube videos and learn it on my couch.

Speaking of YouTube videos, I came across this one a couple of months ago:

I had NO IDEA there was a separate Black American Sign Language until I saw this. My mind was blown.

I guess I have to learn that now too.

Anyway, Sound of Metal was an incredible film. It was so very sad and tense and stressed me out, but it really hit home and I think they did a fantastic idea of telling a story of sudden hearing loss.

GO WATCH IT. DO IT.

peacock costume.

In my mind nothing can really top last year’s Ms. Frizzle costume. But this year I had some fun making a peacock costume.

Halloween is different this year! Everything is different this year! We have to do the best we can! Overall, Halloween was a welcome distraction from all of the lame crap going on: COVID, the election, the end of the world as we know it.

I decided on a peacock costume for three reasons:

  1. I’m obsessed with birds.
  2. I’ve been really into a blue and green color palette lately.
  3. I thought it would be relatively easy to create a peacock costume on my own. “Easy” as in high reward with not much effort.

the materials.

My interpretation of a peacock required the following materials:

Blue Bodysuit – I selected a bodysuit with long legs and sleeves because it’s going to be incredibly freezing today.

Blue Wig – Wigs are really fun to wear and I wanted an excuse to wear one, even though peacocks don’t technically wear blue wigs or really have any blue features on their heads at all.

Blue Ribbon – I was afraid I didn’t get enough and in the end I actually really didn’t get enough and would get way more if I ever do this or something like this again.

Not enough.

Peacock Feathers – Duh.

Duh.

Peacock Fan – I thought this would be a fun way to mimic the “tail” and also give me the opportunity to carry around and use a prop. I LOVE A PROP. This fan can also be used for other future fun fancy events! If it doesn’t get lost in the graveyard tonight. TBD.

Face Rhinestones – I have never used these before so we’ll see what happens.

Blue/Green Glitter – It has been a year since I got this glitter on sale at Target and it has been floating around in my Caboodle and getting in my way this whole time. Very excited to finally use it. And yes that link is to the pink/purple version. They’re out of blue I guess. Not my problem.

Feathery False Eyelashes – No idea how these are going to work. I may not even be able to figure it out. We’ll see.

construction.

I constructed the costume last night and as I predicted it required minimal effort. There was only one part of it that required construction, the feathery part.

I just cut the ribbon to make a “belt” and then cut more pieces of ribbon to tie peacock feathers onto the “belt.”

Essentially making a peacock “tail.”

Keep in mind this is technically the “tail” of a male peacock so in a way this is peacock drag. Dude birds are just prettier and therefore better to model costumes after. It’s not my fault.

Perhaps a hot glue gun would have been more effective but I got the wrong size glues for mine last year and then never got the right size glues. I’m no craft master and never claimed to be one, you guys.

That’s it! Not going to post the finished product until later. So get excited. Or something.

i got this acupuncture thing.

In the spirit of ordering any and all of the random shit on the internet, I got this acupuncture thing.

It’s possible that you know that I struggle with terrible lower back pain, just like <some really large number>% of adults over 20 years old. Back pain is just a thing we all battle and I guess I have to accept it. But I’m constantly searching for something to help it suck less, so I got this acupuncture thing.

One time during Real Life, I went and got real acupuncture. My insurance covered it and I felt rich with privilege and resources so I made an appointment. The man performing it, the wielder of the needles, was very kind and patient. The treatment itself was terrifying and I audibly screamed and probably freaked him out. I never went back.

Close up of the needles on the acupuncture thing, not scary!

The needle somehow hit one of my nerves in my back and sent a zap all the way down to a needle that was in my calf. It was one of the weirdest physical things I have ever felt. I was not okay. “Zap” isn’t a scientific word and yes this isn’t scientifically proven but I was still scared by it. Scientifically scared by it. IT TRIGGERED A FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE. So I got this acupuncture thing.

I guess maybe I like the pillow thing best.

The acupuncture thing is pink and I can lay on it 10-15 minutes per day. I’ve started laying on it and trolling Instagram between my 2 workouts in the morning. I can also put my head on the little pillow part and it’s supposed to help with headaches. This is helpful because I have an almost constant pounding headache.

Everything is fine.

I kind of almost don’t have a headache here.

They (the acupuncture thing overlords) recommend putting the little pillow part under your bare feet while seated, “a great way to start the day!” Okay.

You can put the full pad on your chair to target your butt and legs. There’s really nothing you can’t do!

So far I don’t feel like it’s doing much but I think it may have to be part of a bigger stretching and relaxation routine. And once that stuff is in place the acupuncture thing will complement the rest. I do notice a difference in my headaches while I’m resting my head on the little pillow…they go away! But that is only for 10-15 minutes a day and then the squeezing, pounding daily routine returns. I’d really like that number to go up.

Another time I kind of almost didn’t have a headache.

Thx.

quarantine chores.

Okay this is the last coronavirus thing I’m gonna talk about because I already can’t stand it. I also haven’t posted in a couple of days because I have felt crippled by anxiety. Just frozen by it. And my brain hasn’t been working properly. Or at all. But one good thing that has come from COVID-19 so far is QUARANTINE CHORES.

QUARANTINE CHORES are chores that you’re forced to do during quarantine. Also you’ve been putting them off for so long…but now you have nothing better to do so it’s time for the CHORES.

I’ve only been “quarantined” for 2.5 days and I’m already losing my mind. I strongly dislike having nothing to do and having to “lay low” or “take it easy.” But we do it because we must, for the good of the community. But I’m still very outraged that the Best Coast concert I was supposed to go to on Wednesday is postponed. Not MAD at anyone…just mad AT A VIRUS. NBD.

So here I am stuck at home doing boring shit and here is the boring shit I’m doing.

actually putting away laundry.

As I’ve said before, I send my laundry out and someone else washes it. I don’t have a washer/dryer in my apartment or my building and I don’t have a laundromat nearby. Sending it out doesn’t mean I live a glamorous life or even that I have money. It’s a necessary evil. Don’t judge me.

Usually when the laundry comes back it will sit in its bag for at least two weeks, until I need that bag to send out more laundry. Then I have to empty the bag and put away the clean laundry before I put the dirty laundry in there to send it out.

Yesterday afternoon as soon as the doorbell rang and it was Senor Bubbles I started to get pumped to have an ACTIVITY to participate in. And that activity was actually putting away my laundry.

And then I did. Because I had nothing better to do.

organizing workout clothes drawer.

This drawer is a legit monster. It’s the messiest drawer I have ever had in my entire life and I also have two drawers full of bathing suits. And as a child I had drawers that our pet ferrets slept in (they never biiiiite). This drawer is still worse.

I don’t know how it gets this bad, but it does. And I have been meaning to organize it for months but I’ve also been avoiding organizing it for months.

😬😬😬

So yesterday I sat in my room and took all the shit out of it and removed stuff I never use to be given away or thrown away or turned into some kind of multi-use item that’s good for the environment in some way that I don’t even know about or understand.

The stuff I still use went back in the drawer but in a more organized fashion. This drawer will stay organized for at least the next 4 days, but maybe more if they shut down the gym. (PLZ DO NOT SHUT DOWN THE GYM).

dust mite prevention.

A few weeks ago I went to get allergy tests and I was told I’m pretty darn allergic to dust mites. As I do, I went on Amazon and bought everything dust mite related. It got delivered a day later and the unopened box has been sitting in my living room for at least 2 weeks.

Yesterday it was time to open the box and do some dust mite prevention!

I got a spray and sprayed it all over all the things. The things being my mattress, mattress pad, pillows, headboard, etc. After the spray down it had to dry, then I vacuumed everything. Which was weird but I did it.

Next I put a special cover on my mattress and on some of my pillows. And it was done! Dust mite prevention, one of my fav quarantine chores!

During this process my face and eyes got very very itchy. I think because all the dust mites got stirred up. So then I had to take Benadryl. So no quarantine chores got done after that.

closet cleanup.

Okay you know my closet is my most prized possession. But it is a terrible, deplorable, catastrophic mess right now.

So in the next few days or weeks or whatever, I’m going to have to tackle this closest. I didn’t make it to the closet yesterday because I fell into a Benadryl stupor, and I may not make it today or even tomorrow, but at some point during this quarantine I will clean out my closet.

Have you been doing quarantine chores? What are some good ones I’m missing out on?