Monday, March 16, 2009

Wherein you all suffer for my not being able to speak out loud.

Update: This is not going to be my third bad week at choir, after all. This is going to be my not-at-choir-at-all week, for the first time... um... ever.

(The general rule is, if you can get out of bed, even if you can't sing, you should at least come and sit and listen, so you don't fall behind. You can get notes, get a feel for the music, etc. Especially useful right now while we're doing German text and Poulenc, and would be able to hear correct pronunciation and crazy ass intervals, respectively.)

But, by Doc's* orders, I'm not leaving the house, today. This is probably my fault. Let me explain: Since, um, I got myself sick of TV by overuse the first week (perhaps a tale of police procedural obsession for another day), and didn't feel like I had the concentration or eye strength for reading or knitting, and couldn't speak, and was too tired to do anything else, and was becoming bored to tears? I spent yesterday with tea, Google, and youtube. Looking up BSL (British Sign Language)**, BSL (Breed-Specific Legislation)†, Girl Scout Cookies††, and things like bronchitis, croup, and pneumonia, just because. All of which I shared with my Love, in a combination of charades, scribbled notes, and occasional ill-advised whispering.

And Love is now exceedingly worried about me getting/having The Pneumonia and death, and is even threatening to make me go to the doctor, which is almost unspeakable, in this house. (I am actually not showing any signs that aren't just more likely to be bronchitis or a really bad cold, so no worries pls.) But the whole... me not being able to speak thing (TRAUMA), and not breathing well/getting really snorty while sleeping is freaking him out some. It's very sweet. But I Do Not want to go to the doctor. PLEASE no. Please?

*Disclaimer: Doc Nagel is a PhD in Philosophy, and is not licensed to dispense medical advice. This does not stop him, especially when he can tell me to do something "by Doctor's orders." He's got a "Trust me, I'm a Doctor" mug, and we frequently make the "Mother always wanted me to marry a doctor" cracks (which isn't true, actually, but necessary). I love this. <3

**This is because I watched Four Weddings and a Funeral for the first time, and was really curious about the signing. It looked nooothing like ASL or SEE***--especially the fingerspelling--so I wanted to see if it was just really that different, or if they were making it up. Verdict: it's just that different. So I taught myself the BSL alphabet, as well as some basic greetings and questions. ...I think of funny things to do, sometimes. (OMG BORED.) I also brushed up on my ASL colors and the few fiddly letters I mix up (X and Q), and read about the advent of SEE, which seems to be what they were teaching at my elementary school, and is consequently what I learned a lot of as a kid. This has caused a certain amount of Fuss when I've talked about signing with hearing ASL learners.

† Breed-specific legislation is a special kind of evil I wouldn't have even known about if not for the acronym accidentally being the same as for (tada!) British Sign Language. So: In some places, if a city council or state legislature has decided some breed or other is "dangerous," they can 'impound' and 'destroy' any member of that breed--or sometimes even mixed breeds that look more like that breed. Or, they can impose radical confinement, large fines, forced spay/neuter for JUST that breed (not others), not allow that breed to be adopted from shelters, not insure people with those animals, etc etc etc. So let me be clear: in some places, because some people have raised rottweilers or American pit bull terriers or Doberman pincers badly in the past, your well-raised, well-trained, no-signs-of-aggression baby who is even just *part* pitbull and *looks* like one can legally be taken away from you and killed, just for existing. (None of which does anything to stop someone's maladjusted weimereiner from killing someone, or an inbred cocker spaniel from taking a kid's finger. I thought we got over eugenics in the 20's? Nature-v-nurture, anybody?) Stop BSL--good website. You can look up whether this kind of thing is going on in your area.

††Did you know there are 2 different bakers for the Girl Scout Cookies? One is ABC Bakers and one is the Little Brownie Bakers. Individual Girl Scout councils negotiate with one or the other for their cookies, and neither baker makes the full complement of cookies. In the area I'm in now, because the local councils made the MISTAKE of going with ABC Bakers (instead of the Little Brownie Bakers--who we had in LA), you can't get the Lemon Creme Chalets at all up here--but you can get a new flat, creamless lemon cookie. You can't get the brand new Dulce de Leche--but that's okay, you can get a reduced fat, "pre-packaged in 100 calorie snack packs" mini cookie. ABC has also renamed most of the cookies: Samoas are called "Caramel deLites" (which are not, by any means, "Lite," so I don't know why they went with the silly health food spelling). Tagalongs are Peanut Butter Patties. Do-Si-Do's are Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Trefoils are Shortbread. OH MY GOD ABC do you have NO IMAGINATION??? ::....pointlessly furious:: ...I feel like I've unfairly maligned Turlock; all this time, I thought that maybe in some areas, they just assumed no one would know what Samoa was, or Tagalog, and thought it was best not to reference it at all. But it's actually a whole big cookie divide. (Then again, maybe the local council made the decision for the same reason, I can't say.) Anyway, this all came about because I was trying to figure out why the local Scouts have crapped out so early. I've been walking around with $14 in quarters, trying to score another heap of Thin Mints and Samoas (and, I thought, maybe some Lemon Creme Chalet's, but it ain't gonna' happen, apparently) before the season's out, but there is not a Girl Scout in sight. WOE.

***SEE is "Signed Exact English"--it's a kind of modified ASL that has 1) added letter shapes to signs, to distinguish similar concepts with different names (e.g. happy -vs- merry; instead of having one sign for the basic concept, as in ASL, you'd use an "h" shape with that sign to denote "happy" and an "m" shape to denote "merry," in SEE), and 2) imposed English grammar/syntax--codifying more pronouns, tenses, prepositions, etc, so that every word in an English sentence would be represented by a sign (e.g. to say you had two cats, you would sign out exactly: "I have two cats," in SEE, instead of something like "two cats, me.") It was invented in the '70's with the idea of making it easier to learn to write in English, so it got popular in schools, but it's an imposed structure and the deaf community seems pretty divided.

....Um. Maybe y'all know it, since we haven't met many times, and I was probably on ...fairly good behavior? But this (see above) is how I talk. There is a certain sprinkling of ADD and unbridled Chatty-Cathy-ism that I've slowly calmed, over the years (I was actually even very quiet, for a long time), but which is currently bubbling back up violently towards the surface. I am a fount of useless information always, but I can usually keep it in my pants when I'm not specifically prompted. (For instance, on a normal day, if I had seen one of you had mentioned Girl Scout Cookies, you might have got the Cookie Battle information, and so spared the rest of the world this fate, and I wouldn't have felt the need to go on and on. But no. Not today.)

On car rides, as a little kid, my aunts actually offered me money to shut up for Five Whole Minutes. And I never, ever made it. Because I could be quiet for a few minutes, but by then my brain had worked out so much that needed sharing, I couldn't wait. ....They still tease me about this.

Chris is going through this.

You are going through this.

I am going batshit.

No comments: