A Throwback Thursday reblog from a year ago…
TWO WEEKS DEAF…
Yes. I was deaf for the past 2 weeks. And it was terrible.
I won’t go in to the nitty-waxy-gritty of it, but it started the morning after my mother-in-law died when I woke up deaf in my right ear. After about 10 minutes it cleared up. Same thing happened every morning for the next few weeks. Then, it was both ears. Then, two tuesday’s ago, lacking in health insurance, and the product of a purely homeopathic childhood (one day I’ll elaborate, I promise) I resorted to a few home remedies: namely ear-candleing and warm olive oil. Two ear candles later and a few drops of warm olive oil and I was deaf in my right ear. Totally.
5 days later I went deaf in my left ear (no ear candles or oil this time).
Both ears. Deaf.
Not medically deaf as I could hear my own voice and other things in a very quiet, warble-y muffle. Like being under water. But I basically couldn’t hear any detail whatsoever.
I spent days trying not to freak out by researching the condition online - cos that’s what people without health insurance do, rich-people. But, thanks to a posting I saw on facebook a few weeks ago (thanks Frank), I remembered that actors with a union card (or even those who can prove they made $3000 as an actor 2 out of the 5 most recent years) can go to The Al Hirschfeld FREE clinic c/o the Actors Fund. And, so I did.
It took about 10 days of supervised home remedy and 2 follow-ups with the amazing Doctor Spears (“as in Britney” he said) and I could suddenly, dramatically, hear again.
One reason I’m writing this is because every actor in New York needs to know about the Al Hirschfeld clinic and, indeed, Doctor Spears.
AND I’m also writing this because it is an insane thing to suddenly get your hearing back after being deaf for a while. I’d read before that it can be quite horrific for a deaf person to regain or acquire their hearing. But, for some reason, it never clicked with me what that might mean. Until yesterday.
As soon as the procedure at the doctors was finished sound came literally rushing back. I am not sure when I could hear this clearly before. My own voice sounded like a tinny, echo-y projection. The moment I stepped out onto the busy New York street I almost lost my breakfast. It was SO LOUD! There was a rushing of traffic noise, people talking, shouting, horns blaring and under it all, the relelntless roar that is simply NYC. It was nauseating and terrifying. I am not elaborating. I didn’t dare use my cel-phone until the next day for fear of the sound bursting my eardrums!
Even now, as I type this, I am shocked how loud this keyboard is [CLACK CLACK CLACK!]. The volume on my phone is now turned down to two bars which is still ridiculously loud to me. When I turned my computer on this morning I nearly fell over at the sound of the initiating BONNNNGGGG. It really is very disorientating. But I can’t quite help but wonder at all the sound I’ve been missing these past few years without even knowing it.
What’s more, people always say that at the loss of one of your senses the other senses get stronger. That wasn’t the case for me. In fact, when I was deaf it was as if I was also locked in tunnel vision. My eyes were blurring and I would reach for something and totally miss it. Or, if I managed to grab a hold of it I’d somehow drop it. Now that I can hear like this I feel like I can see everything clearer, taste everything sharper (although I did drop the milk this morning… maybe I’m just clumsy?).
I am so relieved that I can hear again. It will take some getting used to hearing so well, but I have fallen very much in love with the mechanics of the human body through this process. As my husband happily declared, I have gone from being Quasi Modo to Spiderman overnight. I have learned the importance of hydrogen peroxide. I have learned that ear candles don’t work. I have learned that my husband speaks rather loudly. And, I have learned that earwax is a very necessary, but sometimes cumbersome part of the ear.So. If I was weird over the past few weeks, even months, it was because my ears were a mess. If I seem jumpy now, it is because I have the ears of a wild owl and I am hearing bugs scurrying in the underbrush 2 miles away!Thanks Doctor Spears and The Actors Fund for giving me my hearing back and for doing it for free. And thank you ears for being good listeners. I promise to take better care of you from now on.Now. If you’ll excuse me, I think I hear a small child in need of help two states away…
From a passage of Kurt Vonnegut’s Bluebeard, the three types of specialists needed for the success of any revolution.
Slazinger claims to have learned from history that most people cannot open their minds to new ideas unless a mind-opening teams with a peculiar membership goes to work on them. Otherwise, life will go on exactly as before, no matter how painful, unrealistic, unjust, ludicrous, or downright dumb that life may be.
The team must consist of three sorts of specialists, he says. Otherwise the revolution, whether in politics or the arts or the sciences or whatever, is sure to fail.
The rarest of these specialists, he says, is an authentic genius — a person capable of having seemingly good ideas not in in general circulation. “A genius working alone,” he says, “is invariably ignored as a lunatic.”
The second sort of specialist is a lot easier to find: a highly intelligent citizen in good standing in his or her community, who understands and admires the fresh ideas of the genius, and who testifies that the genius is far from mad. “A person like this working alone,” says Slazinger, “can only yearn loud for changes, but fail to say what their shapes should be.”
The third sort of specialist is a person who can explain everything, no matter how complicated, to the satisfaction of most people, no matter how stupid or pigheaded they may be. “He will say almost anything in order to be interesting and exciting,” says Slazinger. “Working alone, depending solely on his own shallow ideas, he would be regarded as being as full of shit as a Christmas turkey.”
Slazinger, high as a kite, says that every successful revolution, including Abstract Expressionism, the one I took part in, had that cast of characters at the top — Pollock being the genius in our case, Lenin being the one in Russia’s, Christ being the one in Christianity’s.
He says that if you can’t get a cast like that together, you can forget changing anything in a great big way.
In modern terms: The Maven, The Connector, and The Salesman.
You got the moves like Jagger? Ok, then. Take your fucking spine, bend yourself over, and suck your own fucking dick, you talentless, fucking hack.
— My husband ranting about the death of art c/o shows like The Voice where “a glorified pop-star gets to be the ‘rock-and-roll element’ ‘cos he has the madonna tattooed on his fucking ball-sack.”
Noses I Want to Touch
October 17th was the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death, and this is the 10th mother’s day without her. I wish I told her more how much I appreciated her and that I loved her. I guess I’m writing this for me? I don’t know. I don’t ever want to forget things about her, and I get so jealous when people talk about their moms, and for whatever reason when people mention moms I cannot not (double negative I know) make a dead mom joke… probably because I need to laugh about it for it to be ok.
My mother was the fucking best mom. She loved everything that came with motherhood. She was at every Girl Scout meeting every school function. She was a lunch aid, and at lunch she used to make people say “may I.” For example if you said “can I go to the bathroom?” She would say “I don’t know can you?” Which really makes a kid think… or piss themselves. Most times people caught on and asked again replacing can with may, But every school has its fucking dummies.
My mother hosted slumber parties that were intense… We got food… all the food we wanted. We got movies, because each year at Christmas we got like 10 new VHS tapes so we amassed a huge collection of movies (this is why I love VHS tapes and didn’t get a DVD player until 2004) We got to stay up as as late as we wanted… We got motherfucking crafts. She would have these elaborate crafts and she would invite every fucking kid, it didn’t matter if we were friends or not if my mother knew you; you were coming.
I think the best part about my mother is she expected the absolute best of me she often asked for me and my sister to go above and beyond which has set the bar high in my life now.
I often wonder if my mother would recognize me 10 years later. I’m still fat but I got my wig game together and figured out how to use make up. I often keep my word and I expect a lot from myself. I still like telling stories (some call them lies. But i dont think it is if you say just kidding at the end) It’s hard to remember that my mother would be proud if I grew up to be a fucking dirtbag. Once I asked my mother “mommy would you be proud if I became a hooker?” Her only response was “be the best hooker you can be, make all of the money”
So I love my mother and miss my mother, and I hope the memories stay with me… I get worried because sometimes I feel like they are fading.
The Gatsby adaptations that could have been
Zach sits down with James Franco for a totally normal, run-of-the-mill interview with absolutely no surprises.
Holy Shit. This is amazing.