Thursday, December 10, 2009

ASL 2 class.

So, as all of the 0 people that read this blog know, I'm an ASL student. It's fun, I really enjoy it, and I hope to be good at it someday. I practice. I don't practice enough, but really, what is enough? Enough is NEVER enough! So, I have lately been voice off-ed in school. Or, at least I try hard. It's WAY more helpful and my classmates understand me. It's super no biggie. But anyhow, today we got our criteria for our expressive final. Should be fun. So my partner and I worked on that and then he went home. We got dismissed early because the teacher had nothing left to teach us (?!?).

Anyhow, I stayed late and talked to the teacher (I didn't get to be "teachers pet" by leaving early!) and she told me a couple things to work on during the "offseason". Eye contact. I get distracted when I'm signing and I'll look somewhere else. Obviously the person I'm talking to is going to get distracted too! I need to stay focused! Great tip!

The other thing I should work on, despite her seeing much improvement over the 1/2 semester is that I need to relax. I get really jittery and anxious and try to sign faster than I'm able. I acknowledge that, but it's hard to fix.

Last weekend made a HUGE HUGE difference in the way I sign. That much experience made me MUCH more comfortable using ASL and just doing it at my own pace and making it work. And work it does. I'm VERY happy with where I'm at for having one semester of ASL classes. I'm definitely not the best in the class. I'd say I'm up there, but we all have different strengths and weaknesses. I'm working on mine. I hope the others are, too.

I just need more practice. Always need more practice. I'm working on it. For real. More asl'ing this weekend. And I very much welcome it.

Feels like groundhog day.

Get out of work, go to school. That parts the same most days. BUT, yesterday I ended up stuck on the ice on Western about a block from where I usually park. That sucked. Was stuck there for about 30-45 minutes watching other cars get stuck and helping to push them out. I helped 3 or 4 cars (well, tried too. not sure how much help I actually was, but it's the thought that counts.) I'm still suck, eventually two people come to help push me. It doesn't work, but we're getting closer. So, I decide finally, "the hell with it". and I take my coat off to put it under a wheel. Will this work? I don't know! I was ready to try anything. So, I take my coat off, put it nicely under/in front of my tire and say my regards.

I get back into the car, turn it back on, and a dude in a truck with a chain on the back stops. Fucking A right, kharma! So, I get pulled up the hill, and I manage to park and walk to class. Bogus. That sucked. But, I didn't get towed or ticketed, I didn't miss class, and I made it home. Good enough.

Today at lunch I went and bought 4 70 sandbags for the trunk. Maybe overkill, but hell, whatever! So now I've got the weight equivalent of two high schoolers in my truck, and I get around pretty ok. Summit Ave was a damn slippery lot. Lots of people stuck at Snelling. I made it. I wasn't 100% sure I would, but I did.

So I get to class, go for a walk, give Shawn back the things he left in my car from the weekend, and all is well.

Class finished (that's a whole 'nother story) and I walk out with a classmate. She gets in her car and I keep walking to mine. I round the corner and there is a little purple civic very much stuck. Trying hard to go, but going nowhere (I know that feeling!), so I try to help. Try push from the back, didn't help. Try push from the front. Didn't help. So, she tells me to try, and I get it a little loose. Get it moved back a couple feet and off to the side, but then it's just stuck there. Anyway, eventually we get it back far enough so it can go forward again, and she's on her way. So I head back towards my car. BUT, she gets around the corner, and for some reason is stuck again. So, I go back, and she says she's stuck. Duh. I ask her if it goes back, she says no. I BARELY push on the front and it goes back fine. I doubt she tried, but whatever! So she goes back, then gets it forward again. No biggy. That was WAY easier than the first time.

The best part was when she said/asked "I'm totally not getting home tonight, am I?"

Well, we got her out and on her way. Life is good. I hope she made it home. It's too cold to sit around or walk.

Anyhow. I try to be nice. It works. I had three people tell me they liked my hat today. I can that a win.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm home

This last weekend was without question in the running for the best weekend of my life award.

The only bad thing that happened is that I crashed my car on some ice in Illinois. Car still runs fine, and Shawn and I both lived, so it could be way worse. Fuck the car. Totally worth it. Besides, it was kinda fun. Oh, and I didn't get to see a couple Chicago people that I'd like to have seen. And Jon Raleigh refused to come say hi to me. Thanks dude.

The good things include 25+ hours of driving with a new pal in 3 days. A TON of ASL experience and lessons. Meeting several new amazing people. Eating food in 4 states in 2 days. A rally for a great cause. Coffee with a few great new friends. Meeting a band from NYC that played in MI 2 nights prior that had seen the flyers for the rally (proof that it's a small world). Pictures of the Willis Tower. Metal shows in Milwaukee with old friends (and new friends). East Side Ovens brownies. Granola pancakes. Spending time with by best friends kid 2 days before his 6th birthday. Lime Perrier. Good times.

I had an amazing time. This weekend totally renewed my faith in life and totally changed my perspective on a lot of things. Life truly is awesome. (Man, I sound like a kid that has half the word "Positive" tattooed on his chest. I still think POSITIVE would be a most excellent knuckle tattoo. Alas, I only have one set of knuckles...)

Until next time.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I took this picture a LONG time ago.

Like, totally in 2005.

I was a bike messenger in Philly. I was meaning to deliver a package, but it had been a busy day, and I was in a hurry, and I went in the wrong door. I came back out and I saw this sign.

It spoke to me. Albeit COMPLETELY out of context.

Just a reminder that the clues and motivation are out there if you stop to look for them. Life guides you. Sometimes it tells you to step the fuck up.

Carry on. The internet will crash if you stop wasting time on it.

The Rally in Michigan was Today.

So, yesterday I got up at 6:15am, did my routine and went to work until 4:30, then drove around and gathered required equipment for road trip, then I went to class...

That got done at about 8:30, then I met Shawn and we rolled to his house to pick up his stuff and then to Target to get him a hat and gloves.

We then rolled out and got a videocamera and got on the road. Left St. Paul around 10pm. From St Paul to Madison was a cakewalk. After that it started snowing and whatnot. It got really icy just outside of IL, and inside of it as well. Saw a lot of cars in the ditch, and I was driving carefully. Didn't matter though, because somewhere in IL near Rockford (Rockport?) I ended up sideways and then backwards on the freeway, and then into the guard cables. Messed my car up really good. That' REALLY depressing, but it still runs fine. It's all body damage, so it could be worse.

Back on the road, things still aren't great. Still slippy, and I was getting really tired. I drove into Indiana and then Shawn took the wheel at a Dunkin Donuts. We got back out there and I was able to nap for a few minutes. He got tired about an hour outside of the destination so I took over again and brought us home.

Then we found where we needed to be and we got there. Rally was good, albeit short because it was freezing and snowing. I hope it works. We'll find out eventually. If it didn't/doesn't work, then students there have until 2012 to figure something else out. Which is absurd.

We had coffee with the promoter and a few friends. It was really fun, and a learning experience. Lots of ASL this weekend, and it's not over yet.

I think I sign pretty well for an ASL 2 student. Just have to keep practicing. Same as anything else. Right?

So now I'm here in a Super 8 room with Shawn watching Cheers (It's not, but neither of us are watching it).

I'm going to try to catch some sleep for the first legitimate time since about 6:15 yesterday morning and see how I'm feeling when I wake up. Head out in the AM hopefully after some breakfast. Maybe stop in Chicago for a meal, and then up to Milwaukee for the rest of the day/night.

Good times.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

song of the week....

Or maybe just song of my day...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Deaf People and students at Michigan State University need your help.

Go read this, then add your name to the list of people in support. I understand budget cuts need to happen somewhere, but not when it will isolate the deaf community in Michigan into an oral program. That isn't the way this should work!

Really, go read it.

To summarize, MSU is looking to make room in the budget by cutting deaf education and ASL classes at the university. That would leave only Eastern Michigan University as the only deaf education school, and a strictly oral one, at that (what is this? the 1950's? It's almost 2010, for christ sake.)

I am about 80% in to make the drive out there next friday for the rally. If you're in, let me know. I could use someone to split gas money with...It's not a short drive...