binary girl: the secret blog

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Archive for the ‘general’ Category

when good people are your people

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

My dad’s 74th birthday was this weekend, and that puts me in mind of a story about him.

My parents live on a small island in Marin called Belvedere, which is connected to the cute little S.F. Bay-side town of Tiburon. It’s a 20-min drive away from the freeway (assuming no long lights or heavy traffic) via one two-way street, and not an especially easy place to get to; it’s suburb-y enough that people don’t generally just end up there, they usually go there purposefully — to sight-see or visit family, or because they live there. The streets are very, very narrow, and mostly blind and winding, which somehow doesn’t deter the residents from flying through them as if it’s a speed trial (a behavior I find endlessly amusing because many of them are older than me by a generation and are the same who shake their heads in judgment of anyone lane-splitting on a motorcycle on the freeway). The houses on Belvedere are generally down steep, winding driveways, because many of them are inset into the side of a the island on cliffs that afford them stunning views of both the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, so you rarely see any signs of life on the streets themselves, other than the occasional daytime dog-walker or twilight strolling couple.

Enter: my dad, driving home from work.

My dad is 74. He’s never worked for another person his entire life (well, excepting his own dad), which I jokingly say is “because g-d help the person who tries to tell my dad what to do.” He’s responsible for the leather furniture speciality industry in the US; in college, he founded the first leather furniture business, working in lock-step with designers and manufacturers across the world to bring his vision to life. He’s responsible in great part for my being a software engineer, because as the incredibly technology-focused father of two girls, he and my mom gave us access to all sorts of technology, showing us how to take apart and repair mechanical devices of all types, and getting us a computer at a young age (via points on a credit card, awww yeah Apple IIe). My parents have never subscribed to a prescriptive mindset when it came to our gender, which I’ve learned means a great deal to diversifying this industry.

So, my dad, who still works nearly 7 days a week at 74 years old, is driving home through these crazy, winding streets when he comes across an older woman who is struggling with a variety of bags and paraphernalia in the road. People are driving by her, not stopping. If you don’t live near a major city, your knee-jerk reactions to seeing something like this may differ, but having worked a significant amount of time in San Francisco proper, I’ve seen people become numb to situations like this — there is an expectation that this person either knows what they’re doing and are making it happen (struggling to get home), that “someone else” will take care of it, or that the person is mentally ill or homeless and trying to help them will be of no avail. But my dad? He’s the guy who has worked a deal out with the person who lives in a tent on the property of his current store, instead of calling the cops on him to remove him. First, they became friends — like, real, long-conversations-find-out-your-personal-history type friends. Then, my dad asked him how he could support him, and learned that he liked living off the grid, that he did it by choice. So, my dad “hired” him — he watches the property in the off-hours in exchange for using the facilities, living there, using the electricity to power his computers, etc.

My dad sees this woman and instead of driving by her like so many others, he pulls over.

Dad: “Hi! Are you okay? Can I help you?”
Woman: “I’m just trying to get home…”
Dad: “Can I help and drive you? Where do you live?”

The woman gives an address, but he doesn’t recognize it, so he asks her if it’s on Belvedere, and she says yes, but seems confused. Further conversation and she gives another address, but this one is 24th St. in San Francisco — not nearly close enough to warrant her walking with her things through the windy streets. He asks her if he can help her by driving her down to the police station so they can get her squared away, and she thanks him and gets in the car.

On the way to the station, they have a pleasant conversation, and when they arrive, a police officer comes out to the car and they start chatting through the window open window. The police ask the woman if she’d like to get out of the car and come inside, but she seems reticent, so my dad offers that she can stay in the car and continue to talk if she’d like, which she appears to prefer. The paramedics come to check her to make sure she’s uninjured. She gives the police a number and while they at first don’t get an answer, eventually they connect with a man who indicates that this is his wife and that he’ll be by to get her (he hadn’t answered because he was canvassing the streets for her). The police keep telling my dad that he can leave, and leave her there, but my dad also offers that he can stay until her husband shows up, if she’s comfortable — which apparently she is.

Eventually the husband shows up and they reunite. She’s worried he’ll be angry with her, but the first thing the husband asks if she wants to go for ice cream. “Really? Yes, I would!” The woman has memory issues, and her husband was shocked that she had wandered so far, since she usually stays much closer to her house. He thanks my dad for caring enough to stop and see her home.

That’s my dad. He’s a guy who will stop people who possibly need help, who talks to strangers as if they are merely friends he doesn’t know yet. He’s a good person, and I hope to always strive to be as good. And the funniest part, to me, is that when I said to him that he’s a rare person, he doesn’t see it. He told me that this is just what people do for each other. Which, really, makes it even better!

surfacing

Monday, December 14th, 2015

So much going on over here…

Work: I’ve been writing up a post of some of the things I’ve learned about Yahoo as a company over the past year. Having a nuanced view of this company makes me reflect deeply about the Microsoft acquisition of Danger, and how much I missed going on behind the scenes as a side effect of both being an IC, as opposed to a manager, as well as being a part of a non-transparent engineering organization. It certainly makes me feel strongly about how I want to run engineering orgs in the future — where I’ve seen people on my team succeed, and the kind of management style which I deeply believe in (servant leadership).

Pets: For a brief moment, we thought Ash had cancer. Thankfully, he doesn’t, but he does have high cholesterol (normal for his breed) and a problem with bladder stones (also normal for his breed). He’s calmed on the bitey front — although I now muzzle him at the drop of a hat — and since Sadie’s short-lived appearance in our house, he won’t sleep on our bed (partially because he can’t get there without help). Nicky is mostly blind and deaf but totally recovered from the IMHA he suffered from when Max was wee.

Kids: The best. I adore them.

Brandon: My best guy.

more vision blargh

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

In January I got prism lenses because I was seeing double (yay adult strab). They were 2 prism diopters, but I noticed at the kids’ appointment at August that I’d gone from wearing them when I was tired to needing them all the time, and then still having issues, so I asked the doc if there were exercises I could do to increase the strength of my eye muscles. She was concerned that things had gotten so much worse so quickly, so she asked me to make an appointment with her.

Today I found out that I’ve increased from 2 to 8 prism diopters since January. (Still holding steady at -12.25, though!) The doctor found that my eyes respond to the program that they use to train kids with this issue (usually adult brains have a problem seeing the… square thing that would train you to diverge) so I’m going to start using that, but I also have to have some blood tests to make sure I don’t have a deeper underlying issue, and she prepared me for the fact that I’ll most likely need surgery later on as it becomes harder and harder to correct the problem with prisms (being old means that the combo of needing separate glasses for near+far, my terrible myopia, and strab will become uncorrectable without surgery at some point… and I’m not yet 40, as opposed to being in my 80s, so my eyes have got a lot of crap yet to do).

All my senses are falling apart :/

electric car, on verdant green

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

I got an electric car a week and a half ago, and I LOVE IT.

When Yahoo bought BrightRoll, one side-effect for me was changing my commute, as we relocated the Palo Alto office to Sunnyvale. In the beginning, it wasn’t too problematic, and it gave me time to listen to podcasts, etc. However, I’ve realized that the drive (especially at night) back home is taking me over an hour because I have to do it during peak rush hour, because of the kids’ tae kwon do schedule, and other after-school activities. (I guess I’m not alone in this, hence… rush hour!) Yahoo has a number of electric car chargers that it provides the employees for free, and electric cars in California are eligible for HOV lane stickers because of their “green” status, so Brandon and I idly had a conversation about getting an electric car for commuting purposes and eventually retiring the minivan for a larger electric car when those are available. One of the people on my team is an electric car enthusiast/hobbyist, so he had a lot of information about what was available, the tax credits, and he knows a lot of people who have hacked their cars, so having him as a resource is super useful.

If you’re a geek, an electric car is pretty much right up your alley. I’ve started gaming the system in some ways over the past week to see how much mileage I can eek out; today I went so far as to not charge it overnight to see if it was possible to do all my charging at work, and got here with over 50% charge to spare (between driving from Sunnyvale to Belmont, back to Sunnyvale the next day, which is the longest single-day commute I have generally). So, that means that not only am I currently not buying any gas, I’m also able to not pay for any electricity for my commute, if I so choose… which is a huge benefit, imo.

I’ve used the HOV lane a couple of times (although I’m not supposed to, because I don’t have plates yet, so I don’t have the sticker) and shaved over 20min off my commute. I could more aggressively use the HOV lane if I felt less guilty about doing it, and do better. That is also a huge benefit.

Finally, the car is a) adorable and b) zippy! It has pickup totally and completely unlike my minivan (duh), and is super fun to drive. It looks like Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls so I’ve gotten it a personalized plate: EBUBBLZ :)

It’s big enough that I have two backed boosters in the back for the kids, who like to drive around in it… but I feel sketchy putting them in such a small vehicle, when one of the main drivers for buying the Odyssey is the obscene number of air bags and protections it has in place for my little people. I prefer to have them in five-point harnesses, as well, even though Katie is already fighting me to just be in a normal booster (because that is what she uses for field trips and the like). However, the other option I was considering to ease my commute was a motorcycle, and I sold mine purposefully because I wouldn’t feel safe enough as a mom driving around on one (after The Great Accident Of Pre-Katie Days), so I think that this is a good compromise in that fashion. :)

hearing aids and tinnitus

Friday, June 5th, 2015

I have had increasing problems with tinnitus over the past four years. I figured that I’d write out some of my experiences for people who are in a similar situation looking to habituate, because I definitely ran into a lot of issues finding a solution that could work for me.

There are a number of different types of tinnitus, caused by a number of things. (How’s that for generic?) Generally, people experience one of two types of tinnitus — subjective, which means that has no apparent physical cause, and objective, which generally is caused by something physiological (like spasming muscles in the middle ear or altered blood flow to the ear). Subjective tinnitus is something most of us have experienced at one time or another — think about your ears ringing for a time after exposure to loud music. In some people, this ringing never fades… in some people, it’s not even ringing, but hissing, or other tones.

My Tinnitus Backstory

My initial issue was with a high-pitched tone reminiscent of the sound of a fluorescent light. In January 2014, after suffering from what is called a “spike” (when the perceived loudness of the tone increases or changes) for a number of months, I finally got around to getting an ENT referral to determine if my issues were physiological, or instead caused by something else. I underwent an audiogram to test my hearing, because for many people, tinnitus is the brain’s reaction to hearing loss in a certain range, and when they correct that loss, their brain no longer looks to fill the silence. However, my audiogram was really good — my hearing is better than average, in fact. It was at this time that we realized I suffer from a secondary issue called hyperacusis, where sounds in a certain range are painful to hear. Unfortunately for me, this range is around the area where little kid voices fall, so when I was around a number of children talking excitedly, I would have a very negative physical and emotional reaction.

Since I had no recent exposure to loud noises, had started no medications that can cause tinnitus, and had no apparent physiological issues (my tones at the time were constant), the doctor told me that essentially my options were:
– deal with it until I habituated (I’ll describe that in a sec)
– mask with white/blue/purple noise
– undergo TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy), which required going to San Francisco and is expensive and doesn’t always work

Habituation is essentially something we’ve all done — because if we hadn’t, you’d sit there listening to your pulse rush through your ears and never be able to focus on something else. It’s when your brain gets used to a noise and essentially begins to filter it into the background, so it isn’t a constant disruption. (You CAN still hear the noise when you focus, though — like when you go into a quiet room and can still hear your heart.)

At this point, for me, my tinnitus was causing a number of issues. It was making me constantly agitated, because I was receiving far more mental stimulation from the tone that I was always hearing than I could handle. By the end of the day, my shoulders would be up around my ears because my body was essentially in defense mode against further stimulation, and then I’d go home, where my kids’ voices would key me up further because of the hyperacusis. (I remember one time Katie yelped something while sitting in my lap — she’s pretty much always on high-volume — and I had a physical reaction as if someone was actually hurting me, and stood up abruptly to get her off and away from me.) I was short-tempered at work, which I could, for the most part, overcome by just being aware of my mental state, but worse at home, where I would be snappy with the kids instead of patient.

So, I decided to go the white noise route, and started using a white noise generator on my phone. I noticed the first time I started using it that I felt instant relief. My field of hearing felt like it opened up significantly when I put the earbuds in, because I wasn’t just focusing on the noise. I found that blue noise (which has a slightly altered increase in db across each frequency range) was what masked best, and learned that the key to this kind of habituation technique is to keep the sound of the color noise slightly lower than the tinnitus so your brain gets an opportunity to get used to it.

So, that worked for a while. Then, in May 2014, I changed jobs, to one that was purely managerial as opposed to slightly. I’d already had the problem at work where I couldn’t really wear earbuds to meetings, but if I describe to the people in the meeting what was going on, they were generally accepting. Even then, however, the impression was left to them that I wasn’t fully engaged. And, of course, outside of work, my kids would yank out the earbuds, or I would get caught on things, etc. They were a sub-optimal solution at best. So, I decided to start investigating hearing aids.

Things To Know About Getting Hearing Aids For Tinnitus

Especially if you have better-than-average hearing, or no hearing loss, know right now that you will be unlikely to see a hearing aid specialist who has any experience treating tinnitus with hearing aids. I started working with a local store in Palo Alto in October of 2014, and while it our relationship began fairly amiably, at the end he was so frustrated with me (I kept pointing out issues) that we essentially stopped working together. (This is not a great outcome considering how much these things cost!)

The first problem I found is that most hearing aid professionals do not understand that they need to MUTE THE MICROPHONE ON THE AID. I went through a month of testing a pair of aids where I simply could not convince the guy that even though he lowered the amplification, they were still picking up noise via the mics. His way of checking was to repeatedly just pop them in and try to use them himself, but he was in his 60s so when he put the aid in he couldn’t hear the mic. (The first time I noticed it was when I was wearing them and giving Max a piggyback ride, then he talked forward and it BLEW MY GODDAMN EARS OUT.)

I tried a number of devices:
Resound Verso 9 TS RIC
Resound Verso 7 TS RIC
Resound Verso 5 TS BTE

Generally, I preferred the RIC because of the size and the feel of the earpiece. I ultimately found that the syncing between programs was a feature I wanted, which is why I would have gone with the 7, but since the guy couldn’t figure out how to make that work for the 7s with the mics turned off so I got 9s discounted to the 7 price. Also, even though these are nice aids, he broke the battery tabs off of one pair, which is why I was trying out aids all the way through December.

My Current Tinnitus Status

My tinnitus has developed into three tones, and my right ear is worse than my left:
– constant, high-pitched (like a fluorescent light)
– constant, low hiss (like white noise)
– constant, fractal (I don’t know how else to describe it — extremely high-pitched and constantly changing tones throughout octaves); this is also reactive, meaning it can be made louder by something touching my face/neck

I went for three months having mostly habituated, which took a long time to get to — I just found that I needed my little blue hearing aids less and less. It’s back now, though, so I am using them again, and they are as helpful as they were before.

The worst time of day is night, because it’s quiet and I don’t sleep with the aids in. I remember being frustrated just a number of months ago that I felt I’d never get to a point where I would not be constantly bothered by my tinnitus — and that feeling deepened when I developed that third tone, because I couldn’t see how one would get used to something that’s constantly changing. I can tell you, though, that if you can find a comfortable coping mechanism that works for you, habituation is within your grasp — our brains are pretty freaking amazing. And knowing that I got used to it last time it spiked makes it easy to not freak out about this one!

random goings on

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

I feel like now that the kids are older and doing things that I feel entitle them to more anonymity, I haven’t been posting about them as much. That, or the fact that my job has me tied up much more outside of normal working hours than I’ve been previous positions… or something.

Max and Katie have a very interesting relationship. They are close, but competitive, and he is picking up a lot of things from her on both the good and bad fronts — he can spell a lot more words at 4 than she ever could (mainly “yes” and “no” as he answers things) but he is also absolutely not willing to give in to her on many fronts and will purposefully antagonize her with a great degree of skill. For her part, Katie needs to be the constant center of attention — so if you praise Max she’ll be, “What about ME?!?!” — and often will not listen to what Max is telling her he wants (be it in regards to her using his things, or when they’re playing a game, etc). She also loves to correct him.

At the same time, when they play together, it is FABULOUS. They are very interactive and really meld girl/boy games together well.

Brandon has been taking amazing care of me and really is an awesome dad. I feel lucky to be married to someone who is constantly … trying, if that makes sense. He thinks about the things that are going on and makes efforts to improve them, instead of just sitting around being unhappy. I married a good dude.

As for me, work — I work with some of the most amazing people. My team, and the team of my “buddy”, are filled with some of the most passionate and dedicated folk I’ve ever known. Beyond that, they are WONDERFUL people. My co-managers are really neat and I am learning from each of them. The transition to Yahoo has been a huge education to me as a manager and I’m getting so much from working through all the challenges (as well as seeing my old experiences as an acquired engineer through new eyes).

And … I didn’t die two weeks ago! Although someone in the hospital swiped and duplicated my debit card, but the bank caught it. So lame. :D

obviously I lived

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

And the reason you know this is because the “I am dead and I’m sorry I died” video that I literally taped in a conference room at work to my parents, sister, husband, kids, and friends did not post.

However, everyone that I know thinks it’s pretty hilarious (and very typical) that I did create such a video and scheduled a blog post with it. I will never let you guys see this video, however, because I AM STILL ALIVE! so I still have a little teeny ability to humiliate myself.

But there was one part where I told Brandon to go find another person to pair up with because raising our kids without help would probably kill him.

big surgery, no whammies!

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

I have a big surgical procedure scheduled for Monday, 4/20. As it gets closer, I start to freak out more and more about the fact that I might die, which may be silly, but I’ve never had general anesthesia before or surgery on any grand scale so I think it’s totally reasonable.

Anyway! I hope to be posting something early in the week to show that I’m alive. If not, I have a morbid video post scheduled.

:P

a year later

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

It’s been a year since Jennifer died. I can hardly believe it — I remember that time in the typical way, where it feels simultaneously like it just happened, and that it was a lifetime ago. I remember crying at work nearly daily and trying to be not obvious about it, and feeling guilty that I couldn’t compartmentalize better. I remember promising myself that I would do better for my kids than I was, and I did circle back to that memory repeatedly in order to be more patient and try to be a better mom. I remember her funeral and her casket, impossibly small.

I have nothing deep to say about this. I might have said this before, but as I get older, I am more and more overwhelmed by the tragedy I’ve experienced, or that has affected people I hold close. It’s nearly staggering when I start to add it up in my head — how much has happened, and I’m not even 40 yet. It makes me look at, and appreciate, the experiences people who are twice my age have had, and wonder how they can stand up under the weight of that loss.

Jennifer Lynn, forever 6, we remember you.

one more fancy eye thing

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Everyone knows I’m seriously blind (my glasses are -12.25 diopters or so, my contacts -10.50). But now, I will be part of the small contingent of folk who get to wear contacts (to correct my high myopia) AND glasses (because now I see double!).

My dad told me he didn’t have prism lenses until he was in is 50s. I feel some weird sense of accomplishment having overtaken all of his eye weirdness (other than cataracts) before I hit 40. BAM!

The sad thing is that this has become a huge problem for me over a series of months (which feels pretty fast, actually). I liken it to trying to look at stuff while constantly being drunk (except for all the fun side-effects of drunkenness); I’ve been driving and typing with one eye closed to try to ease out of the constant nausea I’m getting. I hope, though, that the glasses mean that I don’t get so motion sick!

my opinion on Jamberry nails

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

I’m not a nail blogger. I’m not even a nail art aficionado — I am just a nail polish enthusiast, with a collection of over 375 polishes (approximating from the spreadsheet I have). So, it’s natural that a lot of my friends who are not “into” nail polish have asked me my opinion on Jamberry nails.

Jamberry is essentially a MLM company where people/representatives sell sheets of nail wraps that use heat for application and can stay on upwards of a week or more. They cost around $15 a sheet (not including deals or special orders).

I have a number of sheets that either were given to me, or which I purchased myself. After repeated experiences, here are some reasons why I dislike Jamberry and would not purchase from them in the future (outside of a charity fundraiser or the like):

Cost
Most nail wraps that I’ve tried are either polish (OPI, Sally Hansen, Inoco) or stickers (Kiss). OPI no longer sells theirs, but in general, most of these sets run under $10 — around the same price as a high-end polish (I consider Chanel to be luxury, if that is helpful in understanding what I consider high-end). If Jamberry were somehow much easier to apply than normal nail strips, I wouldn’t find the $15 outlandish. (To be clear: you can typically get 2-3 applications out of any wraps, including Jamberry. A bottle of nail polish would net you at least 10 applications.)

Application
To apply Jamberry, you do essentially what you would do with any other nail wrap: find the right size, cut it down slightly to fit your nail, stick it on, and smooth it out. Jamberry throws in one additional step: using a hairdryer to increase the pliability of the vinyl and “help” it adhere to your nail. (Protip: really, the second application of heat allows the wrap to relax again so you can try to get a better fit.) However, these are not EASY to apply by any means right out of the gate, and paired with the cost, this makes them a no-go for me. I’ve worn many sets of wraps and still, the second application of Jamberry for me was as terrible as if I’d never tried any wrap before: they are hard to line up with the cuticle when they are warm (because they’re soft and floppy), and filing them at the top for a clean edge also isn’t the easiest (read: I have yet to be able to do it, and the fact that I see YouTube videos out there for hacks to get them to apply better means I’m not the only one). Knowing that this application cost about $4-5 hurts, mentally.

However, to be fair: they do look good at a distance.

Now, in terms of wearability, I have never had an entire application last me a week. I’ve had certain nails last that long, for sure, but I’ve lost a complete nail within 1-2 days and I’ve also had them start to peel up around the edges in days, getting caught on hair and the like.

And can we get over the “no time to polish” bit? Seche Vite and other quick-dry topcoats mean that you can get your nails dry in 30s flat. I’ve been able to polish my nails with my kids bugging me well before the invent of no-dry applications.

Nail Damage
The other big selling point for these wraps is that they do not cause nail damage. I am here to tell you: my nails peel. And when I remove Jamberry, using heat (the way that you’re supposed to), they’ve caused peeling damage in the middle of my nail plate each and every time I’ve used them. Since I polish regularly, I fill this with a ridge-filler or another protein coat to protect as well as I can until it grows out, but it’s something to note.

Recently, I participated in a Jamberry party where the hostess told people that the “proper” way to remove them is with coconut oil, and that using the heat/peel method would damage your nails. Considering the fact that the Jamberry website and the back of the packages tout the heat or acetone methods, this is terrible and hacky.

MLM
I love that the internet is allowing my SAHM friends to find a source of income for themselves while allowing them to raise their children the way that they believe best. I think that is actually a reason TO like Jamberry — they’ve found another niche in this market (Scentsy and Partylite, anyone?), the women who sell with them strongly believe in the company, and they see real benefit from representing Jamberry. However, I dislike MLM in general, and the way that people tend to behave so much like… salespeople when repping. I dislike it even more when this behavior comes from people who I consider myself friendly with, because it becomes a relationship strain, in my opinion, when my friends start to look to me to help them supplement their income.

So, now when you ask me about Jamberry, I can just point you here, to explain my views on them. If you like them and they work for you, however, I’m thrilled — buy what you like!

An old Alison letter

Monday, January 5th, 2015

I really have no excuse other than "lack of ritalin".

Elyssa brought this to my birthday dinner and it was hilarious and awesome to see it — I really had no idea that the letters I wrote at that time (I was 14) were so fragmented, but I definitely still have an affinity for Rick Astley (and I have all of my old albums). I believe the “Chris” in question was Chris Mills, who I met through Sari when I was in middle school.

I probably wore out my exclamation point on that typewriter.

random pseudo-depth

Friday, November 7th, 2014

When I was talking to a person I’ve known for upwards of 20 years last month, I said something to him about how it must be odd to know someone as long as we’ve known each other and see that person go through so many rites of passage — college, marriage, kids. I made a comment about how the longer I’m alive, the more I understand a lot of context around the adults of my youth that I didn’t have back then, and how much more I respect the elder people around me (although to be fair, I’ve always thought that the older generations were pretty fantastic).

I feel essentially the same in my mid/late-30s that I felt in my early 20s. There is a sadness, though, and an appreciation, that I didn’t have before… that I can link directly to the number of sad or tragic things that have happened to/around me since I’ve aged. (I guess I could also correlate it with the happy things that have happened, as well…) And let me be totally clear — I have not had an abnormal amount of things happen around me on either side of the coin, I’m pretty much a statistical average on either side. The longer we’re alive, the more we, all of us, experience these crushingly sad things. I keep expecting that something magical will happen to make me into the person that I’ve always assumed that older people are, when the real realization is that older people ALSO feel this way — that myth of adulthood is really totally a myth. It makes me wonder how everyone who is older than I am is managing to stay upright under the weight of their (totally normal, average, but cumulative) pasts.

I should have titled this post, “Oh hey, look, another session of online navel gazing from someone who should know better.” Essentially, here’s the major shit I’ve learned in my life.
1: There’s no point in being alive. I don’t mean that in any depressing way; I just mean that we’re just a happy accident of evolution. Let’s use our intellect to not be a bunch of assholes and instead attempt to leave everything better than it was when we got here.
2: Love everyone you can while you have a chance, because people are amazing (see #1), but they’re fleeting.
3: #1 and #2 are NOT EASY THINGS.

EEEEEEEEE

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

I finally decided to get hearing aids for my tinnitus and they are making me 300% less of an asshole at the end of the day, since I am less aware of the ongoing assault on my brain by three goddamn tones of awful in increasing intensity as the day goes on. That sentence needs help, but there it is.

However, these are not my final pair, and going through the process of getting the right ones is starting to be as irritating as the tinnitus. The place ordered top-of-the-line aids (these things are expensive as hell, good lord) and it only took one day of wearing them to know that like my audiologist found, I have better-than-normal hearing accompanied with frequency-specific hypersensitive hearing and thus I do NOT NEED AMPLIFICATION. So.

10/16: Get new aids that are way too fancy (Resound Verso 7). Decide to try one program with low amplification just in case, and then masking programs on the other channels.
10/21: Tell him about my experience and find out that the guy didn’t mute them when he added the masking in, which explains why every time my kids came near me I almost slapped them because they were making me deaf. Teach the guy how to mute the mics, tell him I want to downgrade.
10/28: Add new programs and talk about how I need to downgrade. I give him some models to look at, he says he’ll order the Resound 5s and some Widex with Zen programming.
11/6: Find out that he couldn’t get 5s with masking and that Zens were way too expensive, and he didn’t look at any other brands. We look up online together and find that the issue is that he is trying to stick with RIC when I am fine with mini BTE. Sigh internally.
11/13: Hopefully this process will be over?

Honestly, though, they are helping a lot, and they are very unobtrusive. The only downside is that by the end of the day I have to use louder masks, which means that I can’t hear my kids as well when they whine/cry from their rooms, so Brandon has to tell me. (Is that bad? Or a bonus?)

Alison: young lady in an old lady’s body.

At the Lego store, I decided to recreate my fave film.

Friday, October 24th, 2014

At the Lego store, I decided to recreate my fave film.

I had lunch with some random guy I ran into.

Thursday, October 9th, 2014



I had lunch with some random guy I ran into.

Originally uploaded by alibee09


The Mastersons

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014



The Mastersons

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Where I parked today…

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014



Where I parked today…

Originally uploaded by alibee09


A puppy!

Monday, October 6th, 2014



A puppy!

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Monster high… and her auntie.

Sunday, October 5th, 2014



Monster high… and her auntie.

Originally uploaded by alibee09