Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I set here with my hands on the keyboard
Trying to find an opening for my next piece
I think of several things--my friends, my life, my world, my streets, my car, my kids, my wife, my desk, my coffee, my paper holder, my cd's, my students' cd's, my 25 Starbucks cards, my killdisk, my Ubuntu, my blue bag, my camcorder, my nosehair, my booger, my glasses, my pimples, my pores, my scars, my nipples, my toes, my router, my lamp, my t.v., my XboX, my Halo, my juice, my kids, my laptop, my VP, my tv, my Halo, my books, my food, my cookies, my fridge, my limes, my enchilada sauce, my tamales, my chiles verde...........................................


My senses sans one

I taste the salt
I smell the ocean
I feel the sun
I ......cannot hear the wind
I ......cannot hear the waves crashing
I.......cannot hear the barking of the sand

I taste the sugar from my Pepsi
I smell the aluminum
I feel the fizz on my tongue
I ......cannot hear the "pop" as I open the lid
I ......cannot hear the sizzle as the bubbles rise
I ......cannot hear myself gulping down the sludge

I taste her make-up on her neck
I smell the shampoo in her hair
I feel the voluptuous twins
I ......cannot hear her moan
I ......cannot hear her sigh
I ......cannot hear her say "I love you".

I taste the paint on my lips
I smell the acrylic wafting up my nose
I feel the pain as I am hit
I ......cannot hear the gunfire
I ......cannot hear my enemies
I ......cannot hear them scream

Just off the top o' me head

I'm staying home today.
Son's sick--eyes and nose bleeding green
Ain't gonna let him run around at school
and make everyone else sick
even when I don't even know what it is
but I don't care
because we just don't know anymore
what anything is
All we see and hear
Is what the news pump out
What do we believe anymore? I don't know
Is it me? or is it that everyone is blind
blind to the hypocrisy of everything and everyone
around us
Sometimes I think back
to when we were children
young, innocent and full of life
We are not children
We are not adults
We are not teenagers
but strangers
We are strangers to ourselves
We no longer remember what we
were like as children
We no longer remember how
to laugh at things so benignly simple
Instead, we come to fear
judgment by others and our own selves
Who are we to be afraid of what others think and feel?
One little bad word and your career's ruined
Infidelity is the norm with our leaders
art thou not a wonder of our morals?
Morals do not exist
Not anymore
Nor does our Earth
Nor do we
Nor does anything else
We are nothing but absurd
Sentenced to the same fate as Sisyphus
Maybe then pretty soon we all will
face the wrath of God
As He decides to wipe the Earth clean
in 40 days and nights of rain
a Cataclysm of unfathomable proportions
If we can survive, perhaps then we can act out
"I am Legend"
But as you all well know
the world is just full of shit
We are shit
We are no longer true to ourselves
as we destroy us and others and our world
from birth to death
we hasten our pace
so that our oblivion may come sooner

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sweet nothing in my ear & cochlear implant

Check this link out and look at the comments made on the bottom. It goes to show how writers knowing next to nothing about cochlear implants.


Wtih the discussion about cochlear implants going on right now, I'll be the one to tell you that I don't care whether someone chooses to get an implant or not.

What I do care about is this:

I am against parents implanting their children prior to being 16 years old. As for language development, teach them ASL for crissakes. I recall meeting people in high school and seeing the huge scars over their ears.. Where was the implant? Nowhere to be found. "I hate it and I have never worn it!!" was the common answer.

I advocate cochlear implants for adults--when they make the choice for themselves to get it. In the past few years, more and more of my friends have been getting the implant, including a 66 year old PROFOUNDLY deaf, lifelong ASL user!! He stated "It's a toy for me. I'm retired and I thought 'Why not?' I don't care what other people think. I've still got my ASL and it won't change who I am!" Kudos! It was strange having him tell me that he could actually hear me scratching my arm. He could hear me breathing. This coming from a guy who has been completely deaf for 66 years?? Of course, he couldn't speak diddly. But his ASL is beautiful!

And just a couple weeks ago, another friend got implanted. I could tell the difference in her voice, she can speak clearer now.

Sometimes, deaf, ASL users like us just want to get an idea of what the world sounds like. Is that a crime? No. I think it's beautiful, really. I grew up with binaural hearing loss and was fitted with hearing aids at the age of four. After years of speech therapy, I could speak just like any other hearing person. However, living in Hawaii was different. The language spoken there is Pidgin Creole, and sounds something like this:

"Eh brah, dem waves are poundin' at da beach today! You like go?"

"Ho, dis poki is so ono!!"

"You like da kine?"

So, having to listen to this Pidgin while learning to read English in school was challenging. Eventually, I picked up Pidgin and became a native speaker of it. Sometimes I'll slip back into my Hawaiian mode and start rattling off in Pidgin and oddah peepo go look at me like "Eh?" "Where are you from? I hear that you have a different accent."

"oh yah I grew up in Hawaii, cuz and we go speak da kine Pidgin ovah deah you know... and den I come ovah heah and nobody knows how to speak Pidgin'!"

Anyways, I start learning ASL at 16 at YLC in Oregon.. then went to MSSD and Gallaudet afterwards and I really picked up on the ASL. It took a good while to let go of my stronghold on English and understand how ASL worked.

And because I can hear and speak so well, I have found that a lot of friends were jealous of my ability to hear. Not jealous like "I wish I could hear too." but jealous like "I wish he didn't hear, so he could be like all the rest of us..." Maybe jealous isn't the right word....So I stopped offering to interpret for friends at McDonalds after being told not to.. I decided to let them take care of it. Early on, I didn't know. But after a few years, I learned that anyone can do anything and if it means writing a whole conversation on a piece of paper--so be it. It's nothing to be ashamed about.

I still can hear and speak, and have thought about getting an implant sometimes.. but I've been on the fence about it for a long time. I just haven't taken the plunge. Maybe I'm not ready. Maybe I don't want to. I love ASL in all it's beauty and glory and I don't need an implant for it. But I want to hear music better. I want to be able to talk with hearing people without going "Huh?? What'd you say?"

If I got an implant, will that cause me to be seen as different? I have never, ever treated my friends any differently after they got an implant. What for? If Raychelle true biz got an implant, good for her! I won't treat her any different. If Carl (Kalalau) got an implant, he ain't gotta get anything different from me. It's a personal choice. Just like getting a tattoo. I got a bunch of 'em. Am I treated differently cause of them? Nope.

So then, I am beginning to see less and less a basis for the argument against cochlear implants today, other than I rather not see children be implanted.

I understand, though that parents don't know what to expect, and they think that being able to hear and speak leads to success in one's life. But they don't know that it leads to ridicule, stigmatization and marginalization during childhood. That's the crappy part that I hate so much. Even with hearing aids, that's what I went through. Had I never discovered ASL and Gallaudet, where would I be?

Lost, I bet, trying to hear my way through the world and still saying "What? Huh?"

I'm glad I found ASL. Along with ASL came with many good friends with whom I cherish relations with. It had nothing to do with whether I could speak or hear.. It has to do with how well I understood ASL. Only when I learned to embrace ASL and Deaf Culture, that's when my friends embraced me.

Would I have these friends if not for ASL? Probably not. Would I be married today? Probably not. The worst place to be is in the middle--being hard of hearing and not being able to completely understand verbal communications and not being able to sign in ASL. Its like Purgatory.

ASL is in my heart forever. If I got an implant tomorrow, ASL ain't goin' anywhere.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Travelling to San Francisco

Pah, my excitement is reaching a crescendo as I leave my home. It took me a good 20 mins to make absolutely sure that I have everything. I do not want to be caught in SF having forgotten something like my underwear.

I'm not going to bring my laptop with me--I can blog just fine with my blackberry 8830.

It's an hour's drive from Salem to Portland up the I-5. I just read that Kalalau is going, only he's DRIVING!! Haha. We live a few miles from each other. 10-12 hours' drive to SF and back. The Siskiyou mountains can't catch an unsuspecting driver unaware with a blinding snowstorm. On that note--I hereby bless Carl and his friends safe travels.

Now I'm on the I-5. I've set my cruise control, watched a Pavehawk copter swoop in for a landing, and.....well, I guess I better hang up and drive. Thank goodness Oregon doesn't have a law against texting while driving, for I'd be their worst offender.

Cya'll soon.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

analysis of thyself

Earlier tonight I posted a comment on Chris Leon's blog regarding censorship.

A few things went through my mind shortly afterwards--were my comments made in haste? Would my comments be perceived with the emotion of calm and tactful or as someone whose blood is boiling? Was I looking for any justification in myself through my comments? Or was I simply conveying the greater philosophy of not jumping to conclusions? Did I make inappropriate use of HIS blog to give him a hard time? Could I have done that from my own blog?

Hindsight is 20/20.

I think my comments were made in haste, I guess sometimes I get frustrated with continuing to see negativity and selfishness among bloggers and commentors in blogspace. It's like, I just want to scream "GROW UP, PEOPLE!!" So, I admit that I made that comment while my blood was boiling abit, mostly because I felt that in defense of DeafRead--they're doing the best they can. DeafRead is so new, that the editors are learning every step of the way. In my earlier posting, I said, "Progress, not perfection". Give credit to progress, for no one can be perfect. There's mistakes to be made every step of the way. I could have taken a moment to step back and crafted a more calm response, and posted it on my blog so as not to stomp on his blog. Would I feel if someone came to my place and started giving me grief? I wouldn't like it. So, if I have a gripe about someone, I will do it from my blog from now on. It's just a gesture of respect. People are entitled to whatever they want to say, but at least say it from their blog. I'll say what I want to say from mine. It's my space. My platform.

Self-justification or conveyance of philosophy? I'd say it's conveyance of philosophy. Sometimes people can be selfish and negative that they just want to rain on other people's parades. And they do it because unconsciously they like the attention, and they feel justified in raising the gripe. If we, as a Deaf Nation as a whole, are trying to use our blogsphere to unite in betterment of our community and our lives by sharing our stories and experiences, why must there be people who will come in and be negative and do out right the opposite of what we are trying to achieve? The world does not owe you anything, and the world definitely doesn't revolve around you, and you definitely won't gain satisfaction in finding justification of your own agenda if it stems from your selfishness. As a collective whole, interdependence is the key word. We need to depend on, learn from, and support each other. Only then with that kind of unity will a group of people achieve a goal. It's called teamwork. I call it, harmony.

There's something I learned last year. Seeking justification of self in such that way that "I'm right, you're wrong!" doesn't work. "You discriminated against me because I'm deaf! You're wrong! I hope you pay! I'll sue you with the ADA!" and so on. Simply, "I'm right, you're wrong!" Understandably it's easy to feel that you're entitled to justice, or some form of payback. We WANT to hurt people to displace all the hurt that we experienced in the past. Displacement. We believe that we are justified when we make other people feel bad because we're right and that we've been hurt before.

So what does this mean?

There's a lot of anger to go around the world a few times. I'll bet you that. And many of us don't realize that we have anger inside us, we carry it everyday on our shoulder or somewhere deep down in our souls. Our bodies and souls are like a bottle. Whatever goes in, has to come out the same way it came back in. There's no exit. It's like a cul-de-sac. Gotta turn around and go back out. But the problem is, people don't know how to get the anger out. Once the anger settles in, and stays in.. it becomes toxic. And you know what toxic crap does.. it seeps into the blood, the muscles, bones...it literally becomes poison and that's how we get cancer. I'm speaking analogous--anger itself is the toxin. Our smiles disappear and we become guarded. Our aura darkens, and we walk with ill. No longer do we feel like we are blessed, but we carry the weight of the past. And we choose to. That anger needs to come out. We need that thorn removed so we can finally be free.

Forgiveness is the antidote. Not hurting others.

Take a moment each day to think of something that you love about being Deaf--whether it be the beauty of ASL, or remembering something that happened that made you feel great and proud to be Deaf.. cherish that.

For me, I think about my friends in DC who can wield ASL beautifully in their storytelling. I cherish the camaraderie and the genuine friendships that come with being so close in the deaf community. I cherish all those little "reunions" where every couple of years or so there's an event that brings together all sorts of folks from across the country and it's like a little reunion of sorts. Like Gabe Leung's wedding in San Francisco in 2005, Dave and Melissa Huber's wedding in Laguna Beach, a couple weeks at Gallaudet for the Leadership Institute, etc. Those fixes made me feel great for a while afterwards. Needed that "deafie fix".

And that's why I'm going to the DeafRead conference this weekend. I know I'll get that fix.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Davos Question

I'm a fan of YouTube. Often I go there to check out an array of videos to keep myself entertained. Lately I've been noticing a recurring theme amongst new videos--they're titled something like "Response to the Davos Question".

So out of curiosity I looked it up--here's what I found:

"What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?"

Aha. The website http://www.youtube.com/davos gives a little bit of history behind this question. Leaders gather at the World Economic Forum in Davos each year to discuss how to make the world a better place. This year they came up with this question and decided to utilize YouTube to involve EVERYONE.

So, what's your response to the Davos Question? Feel free to post here or on your own blog.