I survived my ear doctor appointment. My blood pressure continued to be pretty high for the rest of the day. It’s a bit high this morning, but I feel much better today than yesterday, more rested.

As I expected I have hearing loss in both ears, but it’s not as dire I feared it might be.

The audiologist said I wasn’t quite ready to think about hearing aids.

The otolaryngologist (ear, nose, & throat doctor) was a bit more aggressive. He suggested that musicians often opt for hearing aids sooner. Which is funny because I quizzed the audiologist about the state of tech of hearing aids and she said that the frequencies it amplifies are much less than the frequencies of music and are aimed at audibility of speaking.

When I mentioned this to the ear, nose and throat guy he didn’t respond.

He did prescribe a nasal spray that might help prevent my inner ear from filling up with fluid. It is this symptom that drove me to ask my internist for a referral to a ear, nose, and throat doctor.

Too much information, right?

I started reading Army Cats by Tom Sleigh yesterday. It’s a typically thin book of poetry.  Here’s a link to the first poem which is also called “Army Cats.”

Tom Sleigh

He was present in Lebanon in 2007 as a journalist when all hell broke loose there. His poems reflect the experience.

I picked up on him as one of several political poets mentioned in a recent NYT article.  I find it interesting that I am much more aware of the mention of authors and composers than I used to be. The advent of the interwebs is a double edged sword.

The lack of filters like publishers and bookstores and record stores creates a wide open space which is exciting but far too fragmented to peruse effectively.

Better to run down people mentioned or found in a secondary role like protesting (this was the political poets) or moderating or being interviewed on the radio (Steve Almond mentioned below).

I’m already grateful to Sleigh for teaching me a new word as well as writing some decent poetry.  Here’s the word:

rodomontade –  Literary

a. boastful words or behaviour; bragging
b. (as modifier) rodomontade behaviour
(intr) to boast, bluster, or rant
[from French, from Italian rodomonte a boaster, from Rodomonte the name of a braggart king of Algiers in epic poems by Boiardo and Ariosto]

I heard Steve Almond ranting about the recent Pulitzer prize debacle (you know they didn’t give one in fiction…). I thought he sounded pretty interesting.

Steve Almond

Looked at his work on Amazon. Noticed that Junot Diaz (a top notch writer in my opinion) gave him a blurb.

That clenched it for me  so I checked out a book of his short stories from the library.

I have read the first two in this book and they are fun.

I’ve also picked up Houellebecq’s The Elementary Particles to finish before I leave on vacation. This book translated from the French is a gas. I keep laughing out loud as I read. It’s a laugh of horror at the behavior of the characters and the obvious irony of the author.

Michel Houellebecq


Randy Walker’s Carletta Sue Kay Releases Her First Album –

This interests me. The article describes the singer as a gender busting incredible rock and roll singer. I think I like it.


Study Sheds Light on How Birds Navigate by Magnetic Field –

Brains appear to be incredible things. We are still learning so much about them.

It’s a stunning piece of work,” David Keays of the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna wrote in an e-mail. “Wu and Dickman have found cells in the pigeon brain that are tuned to specific directions of the magnetic field.”

I also love how this article gently drops in a fact about taxi driver brains:

A well-known and often-mentioned study of London taxi drivers showed that experienced drivers with a mental map of London had a hippocampus larger in one area than people without their experience


Robert Bork, Romney Standard-Bearer –

I know content doesn’t count any more.  But Bork has some pretty extreme views.

[Bork] opposed broad protection for free speech;

he questioned the constitutional right to privacy;

he once opposed integration of public accommodations by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, calling it “unsurpassed ugliness.”

Even after a confirmation conversion, his views on civil rights were decidedly unfavorable to minorities.

After his defeat for being outside the mainstream, he resigned his federal judgeship and became a polemicist for ultraconservative ideas. Whether Mr. Romney picked Mr. Bork for his legal views, to arouse the right wing or both, the choice is disturbing.


An Incomplete Justice –

This makes one wonder if the Kony kids have even heard of Liberia.

Mr. Taylor’s arrest and trial has been hailed as a great stride against impunity, but we must not laud it too much, when many of his closest former associates remain at large and active in public life, for want of a tribunal to take them on. Mr. Taylor’s ex-wife, Jewel Howard Taylor, who filed for divorce after his fall from power in part to protect her assets from international sanctions, is a member of the Liberian Senate. So is Prince Y. Johnson, a onetime Taylor ally who literally butchered President Samuel K. Doe at the start of the civil war and was so certain of his impunity that he had the entire episode videotaped for posterity. Far from becoming a pariah, Mr. Johnson played kingmaker in Liberia’s presidential election last year, delivering the bloc of votes that assured President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf a second term.


Life in China Is Stranger Than My Fiction –

This chatty little article makes me want to read the author’s fiction despite his obvious self promotion in it.


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2 thoughts on “TMI?

  1. I would recommend not doing hearing aids for as long as you can. They actually cause other issues, i.e. wax build up in the ears, constant ear cleaning, etc. I have never found any that actually are effective and you can pay $3000-5000 and still not hear. When you cannot hear conversation, then you will have to do something. I hate to sound so negative, but there are no good answers. I have 25% hearing loss in my left ear and about 15% in my right. My Father had severe hearing loss and his hearing aids were very expensive and they were a constant nuisance to fix, repair, battery replacement, cleaning, adjustment and so forth. There are some new ones that have recently come on the market which are imbedded which are supposedly better than other methods, but I do not know any more than that. Good luck

  2. Thanks for your comments! My Mom currently uses hearing aids as my Dad did before his death. I have the wax build up anyway. I’m not currently considering this step. I just want to stay open to keeping my functioning as high as possible.

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