Sunday, June 28, 2009

Holy Cats! I'm in the RFT!

Thanks Bill Streeter! I'm truly honored to be featured.

P.S. If you're an MJ lover, please hold the hate mail.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Craftyness & Veggies Unite

Tomorrow is my first day at the Farmer's Market and I'm super excited. I'll be there with my Show Me Etsy pals - Stick to Your Knittin' Kitten, Ginger & Tutu and Aleece's Attic!

Last night I burned the midnight oil making glass tile necklaces for the market. I will have aprons, totes, photos, jewelry, kitchen kitsch and some vintage knitting stuff for you yarny types. Lots of new stuff!

It's going to be a scorcher, so be sure to slather on the sunscreen and bring lots of water. My hair is certain to be a deflated mess, don't hold it against me too much, mmkay?

This is also your chance to play my favorite weekly market trip/summertime game - find an unidentified veggie and try it! As a nearly exclusive eater of corn and green beans until my twenties I'm still learning about nature's bounty. I love how helpful the farmer's are at the market, they never laugh at my "what is this" barrage of questions and they're always glad to pass along handy cooking tips. If you try something new or are eager to share veggie knowledge, stop by and tell me all about it!

Later taters!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Auditory Processing Disorder - What Does That Mean?

Hello people of the interwebz! You're probably here right now because you read the He Said/She Said article in Girls Guide to the Galaxy and were either surprised to learn I have a hearing impairment or were curious and wanted to learn more about it but never asked. THANK YOU for coming!

I'll skip the boring medical chat and keep it all in layman's terms. I have an auditory processing disorder. Having an auditory processing disorder is classified as central hearing loss, but it's really a neurological problem. Let me offer a moment of silence so you can make jokes about me being dropped on my head. :) What it means is that I hear sound, but it doesn't always make sense to me - it gets garbled on the way to my brain. Remember the teacher on the Peanuts? Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-Wa!

I got a diagnosis when I was about 30. I had been suspicious that something was wrong with my hearing and weary of defending myself to those who thought I had "selective hearing". Finally, I got frustrated enough and persistent enough to make my way to a specialist where I got some answers. A shout out to the fabulous audiologists at St. John's Mercy and a special thanks to Richard Hogan who finally put the pieces together for me. After taking a special type of hearing test where I had to respond to words instead of beeps it was crystal clear. I failed the test miserably, without visual cues and context clues my listening comprehension is horrid. I'm missing some sounds completely and others just sound like mush.

After some tears of relief to have a diagnosis and then some tears of sadness because I had a diagnosis, we started talking treatment. The bad news - hearing aids won't help me, it will just make the mushy sounds louder, not clearer which is a drag because my disability is significant. I remember the audiologist saying, "I have NO idea how you got through school." The good news - my disorder is not degenerative and will likely remain stable. My job - learn to cope.

Here's how I do it - I use a combination of visual cues (namely lip reading), context clues and the sounds I do hear to make sense of it all. As a means of survival I naturally developed mad lip reading skills and as long as I have some context I can usually fill in blanks. In lecture classes I have a nifty gadget to help me so that the speaker is louder than everything else, which helps me understand better - they wear an FM transmitter and a lapel mic and I wear a listening device that looks really similar to a hearing aid or one of those cool ear pieces secret agents wear. Naturally, I gravitate away from places where hearing is difficult for me or make sure I position myself so I can do a lot of lip reading. I have to admit, the latter is mentally exhausting and I tend to avoid those scenarios whenever possible. When in noisy environments, like a group of people in loud restaurant I go in to it with no expectation of being able to hear more than the person across from me. Some people project their voices better than others. I have an affinity for the loud-mouthed type since they are louder than everyone else I don't miss much - love you Dave and Dean - your my favorite big-mouthed friends.

Bottom line - if I can't see you, chances are I can't hear you either. My work pals found this very helpful when planning my recent surprise graduation party. They spent a half an hour in the cube next to me discussing plans and I didn't hear a word of it! Wanna tell a secret without me hearing, just wait for me to turn away. If you saw me at the store and called my name 10 times and I didn't respond - I wasn't ignoring you, I just didn't hear you! I'm Senorita Friendly - I'd NEVER ignore anyone on purpose. My bff Paula's husband Dave thought for the longest time I just ignored him sometimes - I was horrified to learn that! If we're in a public place and I'm "ignoring" you - tap me on the shoulder and get my attention. Please. If you're having a life crisis and want to get together to talk - let's grab some coffee somewhere quiet. The less noise to sort out, the better!

So that's the scoop kids. Thanks for taking the time to read!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm a Bizzy Beaver

No rest for the wicked. I've been slammed the last couple weeks with all sorts of activity. I worked at Art & Air for Wash U and then covered it for Girls Guide. We had our relaunch party last week at the Royale, which was completely fantastic. I had such a good time! I met some really nice people and got to spend more time with the girls who I love, love, love - they're so much fun. The kid got out of school, so she's constantly on the go. Last night I had my date with Dave for the Girls Guide to the Galaxy version of the dating game. More on that later via Lauren Berger's column on sex and relationships. I'm sworn to secrecy regarding the details for now, but she should have something up in about a week. This weekend I'm doing a booth at the Farmer's Market. When I can, I'm squeezing in making new stuff for the Etsy shop and my upcoming shows - not to mention filling out applications to get in to more shows. I feel like the Energizer bunny these days! I love every busy minute of it. I did get a ticket last week because in all my business I forgot to renew my tags. Ooops. Anyway, I'm looking forward to a little down time this evening with friends - if I can stay awake. Foolishly, at about 8:30 last night I had a latte at Starbucks. I barely slept and now I'm exhausted. Gak. Actually, maybe I'll try to squeeze in a couple more minutes of zzz's beore I get ready for work. Later taters.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hooray! My first post on Girls Guide to the Galazy!

Holy cats, I am so excited I'm doing a happy dance! My very first article at Girls Guide to the Galaxy posted today. Go check it out and leave me some comment love. Girls Guide to the Galaxy

The girls have been AWESOME. So welcoming, so much fun! Be sure to mark your calendar for next Thursday - we'll be partying it up in celebration of the re-launch of the magazine at The Royale. Don't forget to RSVP.