Wednesday, August 31, 2005

post 150: CALL FOR INFO

1. Does anyone know anything about Deaf schools or institutions or organizations in Louisiana, particularly the N'Orleans and Biloxi areas? Anyone know if they need help? We po' deafies, sure, but maybe we can find extra clothes and set up a point person to send them out.

2. New Orleans is gone. Sorry. We lost the city. Maybe we wouldn't have lost the city if the President had not cut millions of dollars to the Corps of Engineers and taken away the national guard (who tend to be responsible for maintaining the levees.) Maybe we wouldn't have lost the city if he'd been paying attention instead of, apparently, playing guitar - no, he couldn't have stopped the hurricane, but maybe he could have, for example, picked someone to oversee the disaster efforts? N'Orleans Mayor is bitching about just that.

3. Ridor posted this interesting thing on his blog:

If people really wanted to keep New Orleans intact -- Jason Lamberton and I had a conversation via the IM recently and frankly, we had the same thing in mind. In fact, we IMmed each other at the same time of our "imagineable solution' for the city of New Orleans -- drain Lake Pontchartrain. It was frightening that we had the similar idea.

Simply close the flow into the Gulf of Mexico (mainly because it is on the same sea level) and drain the lake as much as they can -- sell the water to the West -- perhaps New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona or California? Build a massive pipeline from the lake to the southwest -- hell, Alaska did, did they?

Try to keep the lake down as much as 15 to 30 feet below the city. It is a possibility. Hell, the city of New Orleans can make bottled water called Lake Pontchartrain -- yeah, I know the lake itself is salt water but ... we can remove the salt and make bottled waters! Not bad idea ... the possibilities are endless -- they can simply drain the lake to prevent it from breaching the levees ever again.

We cannot get rid of hurricanes but we can modify the arrangements *around* us -- the only option is to close the lake and drain!

Only problem is, this lake is huge. I mean, huge. I think it's cool to try to think of new ideas, but why not just build the city where, you know, it can't be hurricaned into the ocean again?

Besides, it takes a LOT of energy to remove the salt from water. Not to mention all the fish and animals in the local environment who survive because of the lake. And the further outlying regions that depend on those fish and animals for food... you take away the lake, you start a chain reaction where land and animals die off. We could wind up with a hot desert, or maybe even more hurricanes (who knows how the weather will be affected if you remove a large body of water.... and put it somewhere else?)

God, this sucks. I miss N'Orleans.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

please, no evites.

your information and the information (email addresses) of people you put in are not safe. I prefer to not be included in e-vites. If you want me at your event or party, please invite me in the old-fashioned way. i understand if you do not believe e-vite is dangerous; however, i do NOT want my e-mail address used in online crap like this. it just means my spam box gets full and I have to change e-mail addresses (again.) thanks.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

three more posts to 150 and a POLL

so today's thirstday, 25th august. dog days seem to have gone past; the air's more liquid now, instead of liquefying, and my sweat no longer stains everything I sit on.

not home very much these days and my boy has no internet access (alas! alack! aladiddle!) oddly enough, boredom have i none. there is tremendous interest in watching him and googling fondly. also in talking (and talking and talking)...

soon erfo should come to new york? yeah!

POLL: Deaf sex vs. hearing sex? YOU REPORT! I DECIDE! Come on, post anonymously if you moust.....

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

guess for-for who?

there is a heat-shimmer of blue over your legs.
in this dawn-greyed room no pain the morning
draws up, jingling birds
the farmers harvesting the fruit of night

in the ashes of the evening, the glasses
frosted at the bottom with dried wine
and tissued sheets drawing us together
our eyes, unblinking planets, drowned by sun.

-copyright 2005 joseph santini
(seems weird putting this after a love poem. but such is the character of the age. little spells of legality, to protect us from the chaos, the darkness.)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

FINGERED: the amazing deafblog serial #10

by Joseph Santini
copyright 2005

Natalie stopped, dropped and rolled, kicking out with one leg as she did so and hooking her foot around her opponent’s knee. With a grunt, Frank collapsed to the ground, and raised his hand weakly to signal he was finished.

She’d spent a great day at Riis beach yesterday, off of Far Rockaway; Mark had been fun, rushing in and out of the waves, and Amil had sat quietly, making sure they had food and just generally talking. By unspoken agreement they’d avoided talking about any of the Issues, although Amil had talked about the fuqara; she and Mark had been naturally interested in his work with the Deaf children there. When she’d gotten home there’d been an e-mail from Frank suggesting they meet up for a workout. From the look of him, gasping on the padded floor of the exercise room, he’d needed it.

“So you just teach now,” he commented, five minutes later, sipping a fruit shake. She nodded. “You should think about finding work that suits your skills a little better.” She stared at him. “Like what?” “Like, oh, private detective work, maybe. A lot of agents go into that, when they become civilians. And with skills like yours…” he shrugged and smiled at her disarmingly, pointedly nursing a bruise on his shoulder.

She grinned at him, and then at the idea. “Me, a detective? I’m just a girl.”

He snorted. “That’s what you keep telling people. Alright, I gotta go. Lunch hour over, and my boss will bust my chops if I get any further behind on paperwork. If you do decide to go the detective route, let me know. I can put you in touch with some people…” He rambled on and left. Natalie sat on the bench in the busy gym, sipping a banana shake of her own. A Deaf woman detective? Well, there was that Sue Thomas woman on television… but…

And Natalie had a moment of realization. She’d been so obsessed with her past she’d spent no time thinking about the future. Of course she was feeling depressed, frustrated, unable to decide or plan or move ahead, doing a half-assed job as an ASL teacher. With the past in your way – and getting larger every minute – how could you go forward? Maybe the only thing to do was to turn around. There was an elephant in her living room. A pink Elephant. She’d been ignoring it. Maybe it was time to talk to it.

So thinking, she went uptown. Her mother should be home by now.


“So, I want to say, thank you,” said Amil, pointedly shoving the little box across the table. Mark stared.

“Small gift, that’s all, for allowing me to remain in America,” repeated Amil. They both still smelled of salt and sand somehow, and everything burned with the heated darkness that eyes exposed to a day of hot sun chose to paint on everything. Mark didn’t quite reply. “Your signing improve, seriously. One day alone, beach, two Deaf people… imagine one year, two, of study. Become interpreter could you!”

Amil laughed. “Me sign same you wonderful can’t,” he replied slowly. “That’s why, this…” and again he pushed forward the box.

Mark sighed. This wasn’t the first time. Since he’d turned 15 – and filled out his tall 6’5” frame – men had been attracted to his lanky form. And now, tanned, his dark skin dusted gold-good looks could be a burden. He liked Amil. But… “You just say what? You see me poetry sign finish?”

“Yes, that one night,” claimed Amil. “In the Bowery. Your skill made me get you this.” Grudgingly, Mark opened the box.

It was a little camcorder, palm size. Nothing fancy, but something substantial. Mark looked at Amil, astounded.

“Remember my friend the fuqara? Colu Colu? He told me once that Sign Languages were dangerous in the wrong hands. Perhaps yours are the ones to carry the danger.” The signing was not clear, but Mark got most of it. Dangerous in the wrong hands…

Smiling, he accepted the gift.


“So, do you love him?”

She wasn’t sure how to answer this – she didn’t really feel like she loved anyone now. But sitting across the cafĂ© table from her mother made her think of better answers.

“Would it bother you if I did?”

Rosie paused, the lines of her face congealing. “I’m not sure, to be honest. He seems like a nice guy.” She puffed her cigarette, then seemed to come to a decision. “I love you no matter who you love. I just want to be a part of your life. I’m not always sure how.”

Natalie understood. “I’m not always sure how, either. I mean – “ and the Argument threatened to start again – “You could always go take more ASL classes….” she braced herself for the inevitable arguments – I’m too old, it’s too hard, I feel too silly –

Instead she was surprised. “Well, if I do, do you promise to let me in more? Introduce me to your friends? Will I be less embarrassing to you?”

Natalie smiled warmly. “You’ve never embarrassed me, Mom. Sometimes it’s… it’s just hard. It has nothing to do with you or I. We don’t need to feel guilty about or hold on to it.” She took a deep breath. “But if we’re going to be honest that way, then I need to tell you something…” Her mother looked at her expectantly. She took a deep breath. Honesty is the best policy. Road down a mountain, single step. Gotta try. “Remember all that time I said I was in the peace corps?” All beginnings hurt; even birth. Keep telling yourself that... she thought.


Amil lay on his bed, thinking. In his heart, he’d accomplished something. He’d given Mark a push down a road… was it a road the fuqara would have approved of? He didn’t know.

The attraction to Natalie, to Mark – it was still there. But something he’d only suspected had come to light the other day, in the sun, as they’d played on the beach. As he was now he could not be more than a small part of their lives. The stark language they used, he could learn, but until he did he would be no more than an outsider in their lives. But he felt the call back to medicine within him just as strongly. What would it be? What would he choose?

Mark had given him an idea – interpreting. A little research on the internet had shown there to be programs to learn to interpret in medical situations… he’d e-mailed an application. If they were there when he was done, Mark and Natalie, well, he’d try then. But at least he wasn’t waiting. At least he wasn’t watching. Now he’d be doing something…

His mind whirled, and his thoughts became less coherent, but no less happy. It is easier to be happy, with a future.


Mark rested his arms on the table before him, then nested his head on his arms, staring at the camera. The things he could do with it! He thought about taping his poetry, using the camera’s magery to refine, polish his work until a kind of distilled liquid perfection was made digital.

In this happy thought his mind turned to Natalie. He thought of taping her as he’d seen her last, dancing on the sand, hands wide and winglike on the wild air. And a strange feeling of guilt grew in him equally at this image, at the thought of a memory plucked from time and the soul, seen again and again until… would it fade from him? Would the feeling blur and disappear, leaving him with something abstract only, a ghost-memory, a masturbation of feeling on the screen?

No, he promised himself. I’ll never risk it. I’ll never film her. I’ll let the memory of her stay where it should be, fresh, ready to be plucked in my mind, and watch her turning clockwise on the wind when I dream.

It was enough. And so he fell asleep.