Wednesday, May 27, 2009

News from My Orbit

We recently had our hardwoods refinished -- as usual, a long involved process that included a dog jumping through a bedroom screen, but hey, that's how we live around here. Happily, as soon as that ratty carpet came up, I was able to get off all my asthma meds, so yeah, hardwoods are good.

Flip side is that I told Dan I wasn't turning on the A/C until the ducts got vacuumed, cause I knew that they had to be full of sawdust. I scheduled an appointment with Hoosier Air Solutions, after a very interesting conversation with Dana, the owner. Nice guy who knows his stuff, so I felt good going into this. Felt even better when the tech showed up on time and ready to roll, had a USI shirt on (that's where The Brat is going to school in August), and was seemingly an equally nice guy. We were off to a great start.

So I was showing said guy around the house, when he asked to see where the furnace was. I was walking downstairs to show him when I heard the back door open and who should show up but Dan's brother. Four dogs, two cats, two teenaged boys, a brother in law, and a HUGE vacuum cleaner was going to, I knew, make for yet another interesting day in the land of Utter Chaos.

Brother in law said he needed to use our internet connection, cause his laptop wasn't working at his sister's hours. Fine. If there's one thing that we do well around here, it's internet connection. Basically, if our internet connection went wonky, I'm pretty sure three of us would have to be committed, so yeah, coming to our house to use our connection isn't any big surprise. Since James is doing a class online, he really needed to get a good connection, so he plopped on the couch and started working.

He got to the website and his computer froze. He was not happy, as this is a problem he's apparently been having, and a couple of reboots later, things weren't looking up. I told him to borrow Dan's, but he kept trying to reload the site, without success. This set off a bit of a fit that involved some yelling at the computer and slapping of the keyboard, and ended with Dan's laptop in his lap. Great. He set off to working on his class, which happens to be medical terminology -- right up my alley.

Dan had told me some time ago that he was doing a medical terminology class, but when I asked Dan why, he said that he was working toward being a medical transcriptionist. Whaaaat? Even Dan couldn't explain how a deaf guy could be a transcriptionist, since that is 100% taking dictation, which usually requires hearing, but if anyone could work it out, it'd be James, so fine. When he showed up to work on his class, he mentioned he's working on being a medical biller and coder, which makes MUCH more sense to me. Thought I was losing it for a minute, but James explained it much better. And although James lip reads, and speaks fluently, I'm sure that his normal vocabulary isn't 100% what ours is, but he's doing great in school, with a B average.

So there I am, sitting on the couch, working on my website, and James is working on a "reverse translation," which meant that he had to translate a paragraph from laymen's terms to medical-ese. You know, this is probably not the easiest thing to learn how to do, but imagine if you can't hear any of what's being said -- definitely makes things a bit harder. Well, he got stuck on something and needed help, so I started trying to explain it to him. Suddenly, I hear this whining that I thought at first was James' hearing aid, till I realized no, it was just the big ole vacuum starting up again. Cool. Cool, that is, till the dogs realized what was going on and started barking like rabid animals. James just kept talking and reading from his book to me, totally oblivious to the caucophony, much less to the fact that I couldn't hear a doggone word he was saying.

That's when it occurred to me: I'm sitting on the couch, dogs barking, big vacuum sucking out the insides of my house, trying to teach Latin to a deaf guy, and I'm the one telling HIM that I can't hear him.

So yeah, that's life in my orbit. How's yours?

Meantime, I'm too lazy to shop for vintage today, so just check out the Hoosier Air Solutions website, cause this is a good way to make life suck, but in a good way.