kajarainbow: (Default)
So, while paying my mobile phone bill that I had run up due to inability to pay it for a couple of months, I just checked on some things with my mobile phone company. They don't have anything cheaper than the data/text only plan I'm on. $30/month unlimited data, 300 text messages. In fact, it's not even available to new customers anymore. They said it was a promotional offer.

I was thinking of dropping down to a cheaper plan, like something with only texting or something, but T-Mobile doesn't seem to offer that. And I've found that stuff like Google Maps on the go have often been invaluable--helped keep me from getting totally lost on occasion.

Hmm. I guess I'm sticking with my current Blackberry Pearl. Did I mention that this plan only applies to Blackberries, and I cannot get any other kind? Every Blackberry upgrade option offered by my provider would cost me at least $49.

From what I've been reading, there aren't too many options for affordable data/text only plans. Hmm. Do any of you know of any? Though I've had a nothing but positive customer service experience with T-Mobile, and I've heard bad things about some of the other carriers' customer service.

Apparently there're other deaf people out there who aren't too happy about the limited options in general.
kajarainbow: (Adorable plant-girl)
I've decided to start trying out video chatting. See, the thing is, I've been concerned about getting out of practice with sign language since I don't know where to meet deaf people, and I tend to have a hard time interacting with the majority of people for any great length of time anyway. The only people I really sign with is my family... which I visit a few times a year.

So! I'm going to try video chatting. Maybe I'll start going out more eventually, but for now this will be easier. Besides, my laptop has a built in webcam anyway, might as well use it. ^.^

So, any of you know sign language and want to talk with the Kaja? Let's see if we can set something up!
kajarainbow: (Great Leopard Moth)
This is happening pretty much right in the town I'm living in. One would expect that I would naturally attend.

I'm not certain I will.

Last year, I had fun, but I also had a lot of time with nothing much to do. Because of my deafness, talking to others was a slow, laborious process for writing everything down on paper, and many didn't bother so much in any more than a brief manner (though I truly do appreciate those who made extra effort to communicate with me more extensively than the others, [livejournal.com profile] circuit_four really stood out in this regard and I apologize to any others I might have forgotten).

The only convention features that appeal to me, or are doable, are the art stuff. Artist's Alley, that gallery thing they had, and seeing all the costumes walking around. And, also, meeting people, but... all it really accomplishes in the most part is to put faces to the online text communication. Events and panels are right out of the question.

The food runs I went on, I ended up eating, and then sitting while people chattered around me in conversations invisible, intangible to me. It was getting to the point where I was idly scribbling weird symbols in my notepads just to occupy myself.

In light of all this... Hmm. Your thoughts? Suggestions?
kajarainbow: (old wolfie icon by unknown)
I still have my old problems. Attention issues still plague me, and I still end up randomly concentrating passionately on things that bring me some pleasure but don't necessarily do much in the way of long-term improvements. Not only that, but I often end up neglecting other people. It doesn't help that I have trouble just with my own needs, let alone others.

In this house, I'm still socially isolated. The possibility of increased interaction hasn't worked in practice, largely because of the language barriers and the difficulties of crossing that. I expected slow progress on that front, but I didn't expect apparently zero progress. But, then, my ex's the only one I've known to learn sign language that rapidly, advancing to halting frequency within the space of a single summer or not much more, I think? Maybe more, but the point is that she was the exception to the rule. [livejournal.com profile] goji had willingness, but it turned out harder work than expected.

I'm not sure how I feel about all this. The estrogen does slightly odd things to my emotions, I think, though I find it pleasant that for example I deal far better with anger for example. Or so it seems. Not that I don't still feel those things, but they seem easier to control. I seem more conscious of an overall detachment, but looking back, I can't think of when I haven't exhibited that detachment, I only seem more aware of feeling it.

How much of this is the estrogen, and how much of it is just the other changes in my life, moving to another state and such? How much of it is just regular life drift? Not using sign language at all (as opposed to back home when I mostly just used writing due to sitting in front of the computer screen all day but at least got in some signing with my immediate family)?

Finally, I've been looking at deaf groups in the area. Only one regular group I found through an online lookup, and they're some kinda club with membership fees and regular get-togethers as well as official meetings with well-defined (likely decades old like at least some of the rules, or the club itself) orders of procedure. I abandoned Deaf culture because it didn't offer me much besides a chance to stand around quietly and be out of the loop and occasionally make small chitchat. I don't know what seeking out this group would bring me, or if it would give anything bother trying for.

And, now really actually finally: in my experiences, what has gone wrong hasn't been the things I made actual plans for going haywire, mostly, but more the results of things I hadn't considered, or expected changes failing to happen because it takes more than just that, after all. So, I just try and go on, and that's life for me. Keep trying even with a bad historical record, heh.
kajarainbow: (Anisha drawn by Pixel)
Wandered around going "Whee! This is a furry con! Whee! I'm here! Whee! Fursuiters!". Browsed the dealers and artist's alley (rather cramped together, that last one), bought some stuff, complimented some artists. Ate with a bunch of people I had known only via the Internet previously, did some back-and-forth chat-writing on notepads.

I'll have to see if next time I can bring something more sophisticated and easy to use (type directly on or the like). This is also a big reason why I'd consider a cochlear implant, really. More non-signing people I actually want to talk with than signing people. It's not like I have much if any vestiges of deaf culture left in me to worry about. ;) An option I really should seriously explore, the implant, though it'd still take me a fair while to acquire the language afterward.

Not much to say about my con experience. It was pretty exciting to a newcomer, probably not as exciting as it would've been to a newcomer. Tragically, I didn't get to do anything scandalous. ;)

Lessons learned:
Bring cellular phone to con and keep it charged. Make sure everyone has your number for SMS text messaging purposes and you have everyone's numbers.
Maybe make more plans to do stuff with people, maybe not. [livejournal.com profile] shatterstripes told me one tends to end up feeling out of touch on things unless one sticks to ones own "social clique" most of the time, and I sort of pulled a loner act some of the time. At any rate, it sounds like I missed a cool party at [livejournal.com profile] cargoweasel's Capsule, whatever that was.
Generally prepare more, but I was doing crazy moving stuff.
Maybe try and push for more social interaction in general. Openness to meeting new people not necessarily needed but fun? I met... a couple, not many, mostly I ignored the people I didn't already know from online.
Search my con bag more thoroughly for the program book. I completely missed it in among all the papers and the big con booklet and such until... Sunday. Sunday was when I found it.
Make sure I have food on hand or a route to food in case I don't end up on a meal run. Which I did most of the time.

Impressions overall of con:
Growing pains but reasonably fun. Future cons I'll probably mill around less aimlessly.
kajarainbow: (Default)
Since Lakidaa asked me about this, here's how relay services work.

First, the TTY relay. First you hook up your TTY if it isn't already. You then dial the relay number. Right now, there's an easy-to-remember number of "711" one can use in the United States. Numbers're different elsewhere.

At the other end, the relay operate picks up your own call on their own TTY. You supply them with the number you ultimately want to call, and they call that number. They will basically interpret between the two: you type to them, they will speak your message word-for-word to the other party you're calling, and then the other party speaks back to them, and they will type that message to you.

Now for IP relays! They're basically the same except that you use either a web interface or an AIM bot that automatically hooks you up with your relay operator. I.e. you use a website or AIM itself for your typing portion rather than TTYs. They're popular with scammers due to anonymity, which leaves a stamp of dubiousness upon them with businesses, but they're quite handy. Just, sometimes one might have to get out ones TTY in order to make a relay call to a business!
kajarainbow: (Default)
Also, Internetspeak is actually normal politeness for TTY. ;)

For one thing, it's an even more realtime medium than IM. The text scrolls right on the little screen-strip as you type them. And you HAVE to take turns, and signal the end of each turn by entering "GA" (short for "Go Ahead") to tell the other person it's okay to start typing, because if you don't take turns, it becomes a jumble of both people's text. "SK", short for "Stop Keying", signals that the communication's ending. "GA to SK" is often used to signal that you're bringing the conversation to an end by your next message.

So, there's a lot of brisk and brief stuff like "thk u" and such. The funny thing is that I've been ingrained with it such that it seems like perfectly fine and polite stuff to do on the TTY, but grates terribly on me when I see it on the Internet. But then again, the TTY arguably needs those shorthands far more than most communication mediums on the Internet do. It's far more raw real-time. You HAVE to sit at the TTY watching it constantly because the previous text will quickly scroll off the limited-space screen. The traditional solution for this has been adding a printer into the TTY that prints out the conversation as it happens. Not all TTYs have this. In addition, you might be talking via relay with someone who's hearing, and typing's inherently slower than speaking.

Given all that, I instinctively tend toward longhand anyway. But it doesn't bother me to see shorthand on TTY.

For some reason, it bothers me to see it on the Internet. Different contexts, I suppose.
kajarainbow: (Sarah by Steve Burt)
Looks like I'm not the only deaf person who's migrated to IM in preference over TTY. Just ran across an article discussing this trend. Explanation: TTY really is a very chunky medium.

See, the way it works is you have this machine that you put your telephone receptor on. It takes your typing and turns them into special beepy sounds into the phone, and hopefully at the other end there's a similar machine that makes beepy noises back.

The only indicator about the line's condition and call status is a very ambiguous blinking light. There's a certain pattern for dial tone and for busy signals and whatnot, but I never learned them. So, basically it come down to sitting there wondering if your call's getting through. And you sit there until you either get an intelligible response back or you give up.

If someone picks up the phone you called and is confused about the strange beeping sounds their phone's making, and talks to it, you have no clue other than that your TTY machine tends to turn their voice into gibberish, given that it wasn't the special beeping the machines understands.

It's a good way to confuse people who don't know what TTYs are.

This is why instant messaging is enormously popular with deaf people. Far.... more user-friendly.
kajarainbow: (Sarah by Steve Burt)
A response to an email of complaint I sent after this computer repair place hung up on my relay service after telling the operator they wouldn't accept the call.

" *****,

Sorry we offended you, that was not our intent. We have recently received a number of calls being forwarded by tele-operators from people located in third world countries wanting to make large purchases of computer parts which they promise to pay for via a letter of credit. These calls are typically fraudulent and a big waste of time. When I asked the operator who was calling and from where, she was not able to answer me, so I assumed (and wrongly) that your call was another one of these over-seas scams. Sorry we were not able to help you, perhaps in the future.

Good luck to you…"

I'd heard of this kind of scam before, and sent a conciliatory email in return.

So frustrating what some people will do.

In other news, I saw brief glimpses of this show because someone left this television on. One thing I noticed is that laughter has a very different effect when it's just words rendered in closed captions on a television than when you can actually hear or see it. See, sound effects are shown as [laughter] or [applause] or the like. Very different effect. Honestly, seeing all those [laughter] captions made it feel like a tiresome laugh-track.

Incidentally, this guy had a guest who wrote a book about herself pretending to be a man for a while, or the like. And they were joking about it, hamming up the 'manliness thing' (and attempted to talk about sports before confessing they both knew nothing about it). Anyway, the host joked that he lived as a female stripper for two years. =P But then one of them asked the other out for dinner, and that line actually amused me for once, for some reason.

But, yeah. Stereotypes. Eh.
kajarainbow: (Default)
Someone forgets you're deaf: 1 shot
That person had tried to send you a song (or link to one): 1 shot
It's in Flash: 2 shots
That person flagellates themselves for forgetting you're deaf: 1 shot
You realize you had forgotten you were deaf, too: 1 shot
When you tell someone you're deaf:
They are all sympathetic as if you told them you had some terminal disease: 1 shot
The words "I'm sorry" gets used in some form: 1 shot
They barrage you with questions: 1 shot
Those questions're novel: 10 shots (I've actually had this happen though)
Someone tells you they want to learn sign language: 1 shot

(You can tell that I'm an amateur at creating drinking games by the fact that I've ran out of ideas already. Any ideas, my few readers who might have experienced this?)


Also, interesting to me: The Cure
kajarainbow: (Default)
I can feel vibrations most people don't. Not can't but don't, I have come to conclude. If someone walks by my room loudly, I can feel it from my perch on my bed. I can feel thumps from the other end of the house (a medium-small house, mind). When I lie in my bed, I'm often keenly aware of little shifts in the bed or whatever the heck it is. This doesn't help me get to sleep, particularly when I'm so easily startled by vibrations.

I've been thinking about why I seem so much more sensitive to this than other people. Let me put this way: the brain has only so much resources. And, okay, let me compare the ability to feel vibrations to hearing.

Feeling and hearing both sense vibrations, which is what sounds are after all.
Feeling can sense only a limited range of vibrations and nearly none that hearing cannot. Hearing can sense most of those and many, many more.
Feeling gives you a limited amount of information about the nature of a sound. Hearing gives more.
When you regularly live in a world of silence, and you don't feel most vibrations, the ones that you do startle you much more since it breaks the "quiet". It makes matters worse that you can only guess so much from how the vibration feels.

In short, the ability to feel vibration gives very little that the sense of hearing does not give better. I think this is why most people don't have that sensitive a sense of vibration. Their brains do not really concentrate on it, since concentrating on hearing instead of devoting focus-resources to both is much more efficient.

...This post really brings out my frustrations with my deafness.
kajarainbow: (Default)
I touched upon this a bit in the last essay. Without the actions of hearing people, we (as in deaf people) wouldn't be where we are today, but a great part of our gains come from the activism ingrained into deaf culture. One celebrated event is a protest demanding a deaf president of Gallaudet University after yet another hearing president was chosen for that all-deaf university. They got their desired deaf president. Understanding this might be tough, until one realizes that the deaf people felt they weren't getting a say in their own university. So they decided to assert themselves.

Why this situation arose )

I needed to write both those two posts on deaf culture, to express my own misgivings, and to restore my perspective of the whole thing to a more balanced one.
kajarainbow: (Default)
Recently, I learned about two deaf women that intentionally conceived a deaf baby by using artificial insemination. This really is a symptom of the thing that troubles me the most about deaf culture: its exclusivity and self-protectiveness. Its monoculture tendencies.

Deaf Monoculture )

But that's not the complete story.
kajarainbow: (Default)
A lot of people've been curious about my deafness. To them, I live in an alien world, one just as alien as theirs feels to me. I've thought about doing this post for a long time, but I'm only setting fingers to keyboard about this just now. But, first off, before you begin reading, I've already heard "I'm sorry that you're deaf" and variations therefore such countless times that it just loses all sympathy effect (if it had any) in its banal repetition. Sorry about that.

Long post about my experiencng of the world )

Feel free to ask any question not already answered in this post. I'll probably compile another post later on including those questions and their answers.
kajarainbow: (Default)
I forgot about this little tidbit for a long time, but let me mention it: Alexander Graham Bell wanted legistration passed to prohibit deaf people from marrying each other
Rant behind cut )

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