Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Random Rant 145: #DeafGirl Issues (pt Dos)

A little while back I posted about some issues that, as a #DeafGirl (or hearing impaired), annoy the crap out of me. The first one was inaccurate closed captioning, and it can be read here. In the same article however I mentioned I have a second issue I frequently run into amongst the land of the hearing/speaking.

People who continue to try to talk to me even once they've found out I can't hear them.

Don't be one of these dicks. If a person who indicates they can't hear you, especially if they toss in the words "I'm deaf", don't speak louder, try to get in front of them so they can read your lips (you're an ass for assuming they have that skill, by the way), or ask them to stop what they're doing so you can write down a message. 

Seriously, if a person indicated to you that they were blind, would you insist on showing them the picture you're holding up?
  1. If someone is truly deaf (or in my case can't hear certain tones or frequencies), they aren't going to hear you no matter how loud you talk. I mean, can you hear a dog whistle if I amplify it through a loud speaker?
  2. No wants to walk into a human wall. Do you like it when someone steps directly into your path, invading your personal space?
  3. Imagine what it would be like if you had to stop and wait for every person who wanted to say something to you to write it down. Then imagine if that something is as unimportant as 90% of what most people say to each other every day. You'd be annoyed, wouldn't you? So are we.
I am willing to bet (and have past experience to back it up) that, unless my hair is on fire or I am in imminent danger of being harmed, anything you felt you absolutely needed to say to me, even after I've indicated I am deaf, was something you could have said to/asked anyone else; that it probably wasn't case specific to me. So continuing to ask/say it to/of me is pointless. And if you're one of the jerks who commit one of the above trespasses...

You're an asshat.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Random Rant 128: Leonard Nimoy

Many, many, many, manymanymanymanymany people know I am an avid 'Star Trek' fan. Whether it's original series or the newly rebooted movies, I am a Trekker (or 'Trekkie' depending on which term you prefer). I recall how, at the age of 6 while watching an episode of original series on re-run, I turned and said to my cousin, "I'm going to marry that man some day," and pointed to one Mr. Spock of Vulcan.

Sadly I never married Spock or Mr. Leonard Nimoy. Even worse was that I never even got close to my dream by meeting the man. To break a nerd girl's heart further, Mr. Leonard Nimoy (87) died peacefully at his home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, with his wife Susan Nimoy by his side.

Mr. Nimoy had an ambivalence toward his role in the popular 1960's 'Star Trek' series,
where he played human-alien hybrid Spock of Vulcan. In the 70's he wrote an autobiography 'I Am Not Spock', but then followed it up with another autobiography 'I Am Spock' in the 90's. But his passion for artistic pursuits was always clear. Leonard Nimoy was an avid poet, with volumes of poetry to his name, and continued to perform in theater (most notably as Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof"). His spoken-word performances were often met with both zeal from fans and confusion from critics; and he produced records, even recorded a pop song for 'Star Trek'.

Prior to acting professionally, Nimoy was in the US Army, and also worked as a soda jerk, a movie usher, and a cab driver. While in his 40's, he returned to school and earned a master's in Spanish; later the same university would award him with an honorary doctorate. 

His career in television, movies, and theater could be best recounted as prolific. In addition to his cult-following for the Spock character, Nimoy also directed the movies “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”, which he helped write. The same year he resurrected Mr. Spock on two episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Mr. Nimoy was also the executive producer and a writer of the movie “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” And a little remembered fact was that Nimoy directed the 80's comedic hit "Three Men and a Baby".

An avid support of the arts, there is a theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan named the Leonard Nimoy Thalia theater. He also published an additional book besides his autobiographies; a book of poetry entitled “A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life”. As well as several other works: "Shekhina" (a photography book of Orthodox Jewish women), "We Are All Children Searching For Love", "Come Be With Me", "Will I Think Of You?", "You and I", and "Warmed By Love".

Yet Leonard Nimoy found himself back time and again at the role of Spock, despite his other pursuits, whether it be conventions, lectures, voice acting, or crucial cameos such as the remake "Star Trek" (2009) and "Star Trek: Into Darkness" as the role of Spock Prime. Years after the original series ended, Nimoy once wrote:

“To this day, I sense Vulcan speech patterns, Vulcan social attitudes and even Vulcan patterns of logic and emotional suppression in my behavior.” But he discovered it was a good thing. “Given the choice,” he wrote, “if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock.”

It is clear to so many, not just myself (although a portion of my heart grieves for the loss of my favorite childhood icon), that the loss of Leonard Nimoy as a person and a Star Trek icon is a devastation. In fact, fellow co-star and well-known 'Star Trek' personality, George Takei, tweeted on the day of Mr. Nimoy's death:

"In all the souls I've encountered in my travels, his was the most...human." (Re-quoted and slightly modified from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, Kirk's line, originally delivered by William Shatner)

Perhaps the best tribute to Mr. Leonard Nimoy anyone could give.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Random Rant 155: #DeafGirl Issues (pt Uno)

There are many annoying things about being a #DeafGirl. I miss my favorite music. I miss not being able to hear new music the way it actually sounds, but only how my hearing aids interpret it. I miss being able to jump into a swimming pool without concern of destroying $5Gs worth of hardware, or being in a swimming pool and being able to follow/carry on a conversation. I miss wearing a pair of earbuds (because, let's face it, the sound quality is so much better unless you're wearing some big, bulky headphones designed specifically for sound quality). But there are major annoyances to being hearing impaired or deaf.

  1. Inaccurate closed captioning;
  2. People who insist on talking to you even once you've pointed out you're deaf and can't hear a word they're saying.
The second one I'll Random Rant on later. Today is all about inaccurate closed captioning.

Ugh. There is little that burns my ass more than close captioning (or subtitles) I clearly know are wrong, or missing huge chunks of information. How do I know they're missing information? I still have near perfect hearing when I wear my hearing aids, or "ears" as I call them. But I enjoy having the captions on because, well hey in a few years I'm going to rely on them exclusively, ears or no ears.

I understand the limitations of closed captioning. Especially in a real-time setting like live telly. There are going to be inaccuracies, "shorthand", and missed information. People talk on average of 110-150 wpm (words per minute); professional typists type on average of 65-75 wpm (words per minute). That's half of the rate at which people speak. So it's understandable that there is going to be lag in a live performance: inaccuracies, short hand, or omissions. What I'm talking about are blatant inaccuracies or omissions in recorded programs.

There isn't anything more annoying than hearing a character in a movie or on a show say, "Hey, we've got something over here" and reading, "Over here". Not to mention seeing their lips moving away at what is clearly more syllables than just "Over here". What's worse are when things are entirely left out and not captioned at all! Imagine watching a person's lips moving but not getting any sound at all? Frustrating as hell! Then you spend the next five minutes of the movie trying to puzzle out what the character said based on their lip movements and you miss other parts of the movie.

Some movies and television shows take the time and spend the money to ensure accurate closed captioning or subtitles. Others don't. All I can say to those who don't bother, from a #DeafGirl standpoint, is:

You're asshats.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Random Rant 82: Stay-cation

I am a nose-to-the-grindstone person. Don't get me wrong; I'm inherently lazy. I go to great lengths to ensure my leisure time. But I was raised by a workaholic, single mother who maintained a spotless house, kept matters well in hand, and never missed a day of work unless she was hospitalized. I'm not that psychotic, but I can admit to a certain amount of due diligence when it comes to "work".

As many people know, on top of my writing and marketing, I freelance edit for fiction and non-fiction. I also copy edit for Arizona Sports and Lifestyle magazine. Plus I have a day job that works out to roughly 50 hours a week. Not easy to cram all of that into a seven-day work week, I know. Naturally there's life as well - housework, cleaning, social times - to shoehorn in. Somehow I do it. Not always well and not always 100%, but shit gets done. Why? Because if I don't do it (I learned at an early age) there may not always be someone who can or will pick up the slack.

What about the Doctor? He's great. He helps a ton. But he also has his own adventures and is, perhaps, a little more whimsical than I am, able to overlook the dishes piling on the counter in order to try out a new bicycle or explore some weird looking crags in some distant landscape. 

Me? The dishes come first. In fact, while I can kick back to a certain extent, if when I look at the forecast for my days I see a distinct lack of time for the have-tos vs the want-tos, I will (sadly) choose the have-tos first. Why? Because, if I don't, they will worry at the edges of my brain like a rat at a toilet paper roll. 

Why does me telling you any of this matter? Because, for the first time in untold years, I took a few days off from the Paycheck (what I call the day job) and did nothing

That's right. I took ten glorious days off (in December) with nothing more planned than a day or two out of that vacation I was going to take a painting class with a friend. That's it. Nothing planned. No pressing needs to do or places to go. For the first time in my life of taking vacation days, I got to stay home and do nothing except what struck my fancy at the moment.

I can certainly say it improved my demeanor. I brightened up and people were less terrified I was going to rip into them in some way. It was a much needed recharge that, oddly, I found left me with a ton of time to actually accomplish things and feel rested. 

Funny how things get done when you don't plan them better than when you do, right? :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Guest Post: Author Do’s by Neva Rodriquez

The one thing that I am truly thankful for in selecting an online publisher (or them selecting me rather), is the gigantic push for me to establish my web presence.  Without daily entries to various forms of social media, I would not have been selected.  I was ever so hesitant to sign up for WordPress because I had never heard of them and the whole thing sounded like a scam.  This is what the news does to you, establishes a major sense of paranoia of whether to click on this or that.  Low and behold two months later, I have come to find the writer’s world-a fabulous place where people understand the words of Audre Lorde in “Poetry is Not a Luxury” or where they can read Sor Juana Ines de La Cruz and feel the power in her mere words.
Oh, gosh I am so thankful to my author friends who have shown me the guiding light.  Chelle Cordero, who immediately befriended me when I signed on with VHP and pointed me to where to go and what to do online.  Charmaine Gordon and Lauren Shiro who interviewed me on their blog and Charmaine pointed me in the direction of Weekend Writing Warriors, a Sunday writers playground where I met the amazing Teresa Cypher amongst many phenomenal writers & that has been ever so fun to take part in.  And then there is my bffaf Tamara Philip who has given me at least a tip or a lead a day and introduced Goodreads & Listopia (Goodreads affiliated list) to me (sites that I lose hours on end) as well as many other awesome networking sites, groups and adventures.
Anyhow, so the author do’s are do all sorts of networking to get the word about your book out there.  I’m sure there are people that don’t have to bother and can pay someone else to do it, but for poor chaps like me who can’t spare $5.00 for a book campaign, this is something that we have to do.  In fact, I’ve done so much of it that I think I’m going to form a group, SNA (Social Networking Anonymous).  This has become a place where I’ve lost hours of my life and have to get back to writing.  :)
Ok so here’s the plan for us junkies trying to cut down or for newbies to jumpstart.  (Like that, it can go both ways?)
15 minutes of Twitter- two minutes to post a day, ten minutes to retweet, three to accept friend requests and manage your page.
3 minutes of Facebook Author Page- two to post a day, three to go to your various group pages or repost.
15 minutes of Goodreads- 2 minutes to accept friend requests or request people, 10 to find groups, type links on groups and go at it.
7 minutes of Listopia- a straight ten to vote your book or others to various lists
17 minutes of Blogging- Whether it is to write on your own, do a blog hop, etc.
3 minutes to like Amazon Author Pages.
And there you have it, an hour of Author Do’s.  Will you be able to keep it at just an hour, or at least an hour a day?  I don’t know!  But I know one thing for certain-I’ve already gone over my time limit!  Goodbye!  ;)

Original article posted on 10/6/2014 @

Neva Squires-Rodriguez was born and raised in a neighborhood located on the North Side of Chicago. Mother, Wife, Expert at Multitasking... and now, Author, Neva creates electrifying stories with a twist.

Neva Squires-Rodriguez earned her Bachelors Degree from American Military University (APUS/AMU) and her Masters Degree from National University, a feat which she worked very hard to obtain and says she will work even harder to pay off.

She claims to be a typical American, full of dreams that will hopefully get her to a more comfortable lifestyle one day. She says, "God has a plan and I will follow wherever it is that He takes me."
Book Blurb:
Book 1 of the Liliana series


That deafening sound changed Liliana’s life forever.

Her mother sits dead besides her, shot to death on the streets of Chicago.

Within weeks, Liliana is sent to live with a father she doesn’t know in Colombia - a foreign land filled with challenges for Liliana.

While working to pay off her father’s debt, she meets the love of her life, who frees her from her father’s illusory home, only to bring her into a new world of twisted surprises, dangers, and deceit.