Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When Was The Last Time You Did Something For The First Time?

I am absolutely geeked! Let me show you why.... seems that you guys might not be able to see what is exactly on my tag. It says: LEVEL ONE VOLUNTEER. Yes, it meant that I have officially passed my training at Humane Society! You are looking at a dog walker, R&R, and occasional clean-up volunteer...MOI. Basically, it is pretty no-brainer. Just show up, walk the dogs, write or read while sitting with a dog in their kennel (to help expose them to socialization and to teach them not to get too hyper when people come by), and just clean up from time to time. That's level one for you. I am itching to just sink my hands in and utilize some of my grooming skills, but I understand that I need to work my way up. Like everything else in life, eh? 

My training did go really well. I had to ask for one-on-one training because the workshop that was provided last weekend was mostly oral and I didn't have an interpreter readily available. I knew that Humane Society was pretty much funded on grants so they were unable to afford a professional interpreter for four hours. It was ridiculous to ask them to bend that far back when they were hurting for money, you know? Fortunately, Cari, a volunteer facilitator, was pretty understanding and we worked it out. I ended up having one-on-one with an older lady named Arlene.

The training went really well. I learned how to do basic stuff and was shown where specific things were located at. Arlene pretty much got me through everything fast because she knew that I already had a lot of hand-on experience by working with dogs, but wanted me to start working with mild-mannered dogs first, and it was perfectly fine with me. 

I am already looking forward to start volunteering. I am really happy that I have finally started this ball rolling because I have always wanted to give my time to interact with animals especially in shelters, but as a teenager, I have allowed my lack of confidence to hold me back a bit. Then college rolled around.....suddenly, I have had no time to volunteer, and sort of put this off. I guess I let life to become a reason why I don't have time to volunteer. Then I realize....well, isn't life is about making time and contributing what you are good at for the community? So, this is why I finally went ahead, and told myself that my deafness will NOT become an obstacle. Guess what? My deafness has never become an obstacle in this case because of my attitude and persistence to find other way to communicate despite not having an interpreter. 

I would safely say about 85% of the time; people will help me to find a way and make my life easier as a Deaf person. And my sincere thanks for people like them to make world an easier place to live in. 

Do me a favor? If you find yourself feeling unsure, not entirely confident, or have something that kind of hold you back every time you want to try something then just do it! Trust me. You will be glad you did. I know I am. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

What Is It Like To Ride With A Deaf Driver?

What is it like to ride with (a) Deaf driver?
One of the most common things I have been asking by *hearing people about our driving. It is only natural that people do get curious because how can a Deaf person drive if he/she can't hear? Is it safe to be on the same road with a Deaf driver? Most of the time, I can safely say yes, it is safe to be driving with a Deaf person, however, the only prerequisite you will to expect craziness to happen. 

(* Hearing is a term that is used among Deaf people to refer people who are NOT Deaf and can hear)

Let me begin by telling you a story about my friends and me. I have been friends with Sharon, who is also Deaf, for many many many many years. One day, Sharon and her husband, back-then boyfriend, M (I haven't gotten this person for his permission to use his name yet so we will refer him as M for time being), and I decided to go out for lunch at our local favorite Chinese in Milwaukee area. Now, for your knowledge, M is not Deaf, but a hearing person. Sharon was driving through a heavy traffic on HWY 43. I sat in the front passenger seat, chatting with Sharon, and was at complete ease. M was sitting in the back seat, watching our conversation, and he did not say much during the drive. Sharon's driving was mostly pretty good, but every time she looked at me; she slowed down slightly and sped up when she was done watching what I signed. Keep this in your mind that we were in a pretty heavy traffic, and our car was in the middle lane. The passing lanes were also packed. So other drivers were stuck either besides, behind or front of us with very little chance of being able to pass around to switch to the different lane. 

We arrived at our favorite haunt and sat down after ordering our food. M started laughing as we sat down, and said, "I have to tell you both this. I know you both can't hear, but I can. The whole time you (pointing at Sharon) drove; there was a woman behind us that was incessantly honking at us the whole time, and she was pretty aggravated at how you were driving. It would have been funny if she realized that you were not a crazy driver, but a Deaf driver.

So, if you ever find yourself stuck behind a car that seems to be alternating between fast and slow and you're getting pretty aggravated then you might be stuck behind a Deaf Driver.....

Ever been pulled over by a cop? You wish that you have a good excuse to not get a speeding ticket, right? I can say for 85% of the time, I get out of getting a speeding ticket just by pulling a Deaf card, and grin while promising I won't speed again in the future.

I have so many stories I can tell you about being pulled over by a cop and using my Deaf card, but none of them are as funny as this one is.....

During our freshman year in college, Sharon  (why is that I always seem to get in trouble with driving when Sharon is with me, seriously) and I were traveling through the back-roads from visiting Teri (our other good friend) at her local college. I offered to drive since I knew the area pretty well. We were riding in my faithful old black Suzuki car. We approached a small quaint-like town. Unfortunately, the town was also riddled with a lot of detours due to construction. This took place before I had GPS, okay? I decided alright, I don't want to take a different road and I might as well drive through this one blocked off road that was semi-accessible for neighbors. 

Before I entered the construction zone, I looked at Sharon and told her that we were going to drive through the blocked off road. Sharon shrugged. I drove over the bump, past the construction warning signs, and felt gravels crunching under my car tires. Suddenly, I saw bright red-and-blue siren flashing in my rearview mirror. Crap. I pulled over to side of the road, and told Sharon to play Deaf and Dumb because I was going to get us out of this.

I turned off my engine and waited as the cop sauntered up to my side. I rolled down the window and looked up at the cop. Crap, it was a female cop. I was hoping it was a guy cop--easier to charm and get on my way. But no, it was a very authorative, and butch-looking woman. I glanced at Sharon. It was apparent that she had thought the same. The female cop stared at me and frowned. She crossed her arms upon her plump stomach. Her aviator glasses gave away no reflection of her eyes. She started to speak rapidly. I shook my head and signed slowly, The woman's eyebrows furrowed. She spoke again. I signed the same thing again; I ... am... Deaf. She asked me if I could read her lips. I shook my head. Looking back, that should have tipped her off that I was, in fact, reading her lips, but for some reason, it didn't. 

She frowned then addressed Sharon, hoping she was able to speak for me, and Sharon shook her head. The cop realized that she was addressing two Deaf people and had no way to communicate with us. I was hoping she would give up at this point. She didn't. 

She took a small notepad and started scribbling on it with a shiny pen. Then she handed me the note: are you aware this is a construction zone? I nodded my head then a brilliant idea occurred to me. I wrote: I am sorry; we are both from out of the town, and I am lost. The cop took the note from me and read what I wrote. She sighed and pointed me at the right direction then waved me away. I looked at Sharon and said, does that mean we can go? Sharon replied, I think so. 

I started to drive and soon the cop caught up with us and followed us. I drove us back to the regular, construction-free road, and turned left. The cop turned right. 

Sharon shook her head and said, I can't believe we got away with it. 

I grinned and said, "Hey, this is when our deafness really comes in very handy...."

Other short funny story; I am 19 years old, and I am, again, driving my Suzuki car. Wow, I have had a lot of adventures in that car. Anyway, I am speeding...let say between 90 to 100 mph because I am running so late for my ... statistics class. I am driving to my school from my home which is about half hour drive. Unfortunately for me, I see a red-and-blue sirens in my rear mirrors and I pull over to the side. I know there is no way of getting out of this speeding ticket. No way. I am caught. Plain and simple. How can I weasel out of a speeding ticket if I am driving that fast? 

A cop walks up to me and he has a full mustache which covers his upper lip. Swell, I can't even read his lips. I shrug. The cop mumbles under his mustache. I give him a half-smile and point at my ear while shaking my head. The cop freezes for a moment. I repeat the motions again then pointed at his notepad. The cop takes his notepad and begins to write. I nod my head and grin as large as I can to applaud this man's quick understanding. The cop hands over the note and the words are hard to read, but I get the gist. The cop is basically saying I am speeding. 

Again, I know I am caught. No way to wiggle out of this one. I shrug then write, "Well, officer, you see, Deaf people have a condition that sometimes their foot has to do something with the fluids in our's a Deaf thing, really, and well, my foot is spasming pretty bad. Hence, I end up speeding because of my stupid foot spasming. I try not to speed, but sometimes that happens, you know." Then I hand the note to the cop, and prepare to get a hefty ticket. Hey, it is better to have a cop laughing while writing the ticket....instead of him scowling at me. 

The cop reads my note. And re-read the note. It feels like the minutes turned into hours. I begin to worry and wonder if I can get busted for humoring the cop? 

The cop scribbles on the note and gives me the note. I couldn't believe my eyes. The cop apologizes and tells me that he hopes I feel better and not to speed this time. I squint my eyes and glance at the cop. I could not figure if the cop is also joking with me or if he is sincere. He smiles and waves at me then returns to his car. I pull back into the traffic, puzzled, and wondering if the joke is on me.

I absolutely love driving with hearing people. You know why? I love their reactions as they see me signing and driving at the same time. Hearing people, if they are unaccustomed to Deaf drivers, seem to be unable to compute that Deaf people are multi-taskers. We can take our hands off the wheel, prop the wheel against our thighs, and sign. Or we can text on our pager with one hand while holding the other hand on the steering wheel without taking our eyes off the road. Oh, don't worry about sirens. We are perfectly capable of seeing red-and-blue sirens or big white truck with red cross on it. Because the last time I checked, it is still mandatory that people should be able to at least see in order to obtain their driving licenses, right? We follow other cars' cues as well. We can keep one eye on the road and other on our Deaf passengers. The hearing person always tell me that his/her hair strands turn gray after riding with a Deaf driver and sometimes, Deaf passengers as well. Before I enter the car with a hearing person; I always smile and say, "Buckle up, you're in for a fun ride." 

I can tell you one thing....if it is not for me being Deaf then my driving stories would not be as entertaining. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fall Is Upon Us

Halloween season is upon us! How do I know??

Because my favorite seasonal candy is out. It is pumpkin candies. I literally go through 2-3 bags every fall season. The candies do last until Christmas or mid-January. I am not the only one who is somewhat obsessed with the pumpkin candies. 

My tiger is in love with it too. Mind you, I don't hand it out to him and encourage him to eat it! 

How did I find out that Jinxy liked the pumpkin candy? Last January, I found several pumpkin candies in few hiding spots that Jinxy frequented in our old apartment. They were all bitten on and it was somewhat gross, but endearing, and made me giggle. Of course, I threw the stale candies out. On the following day, I caught Jinxy playing with .... guess what?

The drat cat had a candy in his paw! 

I am really excited because the fall season is upon us. I love everything about fall. I love how the leaves change its colors. I enjoy walking down the street, seeing burst of beautiful rustic colors in the trees, and feeling the fallen leaves crunching under my feet. I love the fall temperature. Not too hot. But not too cold. Just crisp and perfect. I eagerly look forward to canned jars, trips to the pumpkin patches, making pumpkin pies, fall soups and meals, and snuggling under the layers of blankets that I have while watching a scary movie.  I enjoy fall fashion and clothing. My favorite colors are brown, rustic yellow, and dark maroon red and it's colors that we see in the fall! I love carving the pumpkins (Stu and I carved, I think, 6 pumpkins last fall) and  baking pumpkin seeds! Then there's my favorite holiday...HALLOWEEN! 

The only sad thing about fall season is that it passes by so quickly. 

Other positive news....I am in the process of becoming an official volunteer at our local Humane Society, and will be doing some grooming work along with walking/working on socializing the dogs. I am really looking forward to this. The only thing I am slightly apprehensive about is that what if they put down a dog then how would I deal with my feeling of knowing this? Euthanasia is not up in my alley and not something I really agree with. Don't get me wrong; if the animal is in a lot of pain, sick, considered to be extremely aggressive or pretty much will die then yes, it will make sense. I just don't think it makes sense to put an animal down just because it can't find a home.

I just have to insert something I am very passionate about from time to time. You will likely find see some of my posts advocating for animals. Do adopt instead of buying a puppy/dog from pet stores or breeders that you are not very sure about. There are some breeders that are considered to be Backyard breeders which means they DO NOT have experience, means, and education to properly breed healthy puppies or kitties. The backyard breeders and pet stores (that does not promote adoption of rescue pets) are often linked with Puppy Mills. It's a terrible thing, really. So do me a favor; if you are itching to have pet, have stable means to take care of a pet then do adopt. 

Okay, educational time over. Back to my life rambling.

I am considering about selling some of my art. I have been doing a lot of sewing neat stuff, and thinking about turning them into creative art pieces. I will have to do some experiments for time being while figuring out what works and what doesn't work. What makes my sewing pieces unique is that it is associated with zombies! I am very excited about this because I have found an amazing program that allows me to convert pictures of zombies into a stitching pattern.  

The only thing is that I am trying to decide if it is worth the money in a longer run if I purchase a CD program that converts my pictures into cross-stitch patterns or go through online program, Pattern Creator, and I can subscribe for $10 a month while creating as many patterns as I like. It is something I need to look into later and explore my options. 

Here's a fun example of what I just had stitched:

Fun, and creative, right? :) It will be attached to a tote bag. It is still a work in the process. 

I sewed other 2 patterns which were zombie groom and bride, and a zombie taking a chunk out of "work". They weren't pictured because I was unable to find where they disappeared to. 

I'm off to watch STNG DVD that I just had received in the mail today! My inner geek just rejoices at the idea of grabbing a bowl of popcorn, and watch Star Trek Next Generation (I'm torn between being a Trekkie and Star Wars Fan....). 

PS: Stay posted for "It's a Deaf Thing" post coming up soon! :) 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"It's A Deaf Thing"

My Deaf friends and I have a lot of moments where we just laugh, and say to poor hearing folks, hey.....

" It is [a] Deaf thing"
*FYI, an article "A" in the sentence is normally not used in ASL*
I have been doing a lot of thinking about a lot of moments that my friends and I have commonly experienced as Deaf people and would really like to share it with you, non-deaf, guys. While this is for mostly giggles; it is also educational for you guys who are not exposed to Deaf culture, to Deaf people, or Deaf norms. I have collected a lot of experiences from my Deaf friends that will be going into this post and future posts (yes there are more yet to come) including sharing my own experiences. 

  • I am sitting in the patio area at a restaurant with my Deaf friends. We are laughing and signing; oblivious to others in the patio area, and the waitress comes by us to get our order. She pulls out the paper to write down the order. She sees that none of us can speak, and she can't sign. The waitress begins to make horrid shapes on her lips; stretching, exaggerating every letter in words, enunciating letters carefully, and keeps opening and shutting her mouth in an attempt to make herself understood by us. We all sit back, horrified by this horror show that our waitress is attempting at, and tries hard not to laugh. The waitress, sensing that she has suddenly becomes a butt of our joke, drops her attempt to "exaggerate her mouth". I offer her a sympathetic look and write this down, "I am sorry. I promise; it is not you.  It is just a Deaf thing....You have to be Deaf to understand.....
  • See how ridiculous one can look while exaggerating the mouth while speaking?

  • This is something I'm quite guilty of doing....not once....not even three times, but four times (that was when I had my Suzuki car back in the old college days)! Fortunately, I am not the only one that has experienced this among my Deaf friends. I am in a big hurry. Really, really, really late for an event I'm supposed to attend. Crap! I grab my things, stuff them in my backpack, grab my purse, and quickly check my make-up in the rear view mirror. I open the car door, and press down the lock button. Then I step out and slam the door and run into the building. About ten minutes later, a stranger approaches me and says, 'Madam, is the black Suzuki car yours?' I nod my head: yes. The stranger gives me a pained facial expression, then says, "Your car is running but it's locked. Don't worry, a cop is on his way and will help you to retrieve your keys." D'oh! Then the cops approaches me after he meets me at my car in the parking lot, and asks me, ma'am, how do you manage to lock your keys in your car and leave it running? I shrugged and give him a half-lame, chagrined explanation (hey, it is true), "It's a Deaf thing...You have to be Deaf to understand."

  • As a Deaf person, I have been approached by strangers, people I know, friends and family members about my Deafness. They ask me questions about my Deafness. It does not bother me. I welcome their questions because it gives me an opportunity to talk and educate them about Deaf Culture. However, some questions I have been asked be nice, creative. 
I was approached once by a young man, say let name him, Bob, and he was really curious about me. He never officially had met anyone who was Deaf. Cool. Good exposure for him to meet someone who happened to be Deaf. I wanted him to have a good experience. After all, approaching a Deaf person was somewhat intimidating for many hearing folks. Bob scratched his chin then asked me, can you sign? I stood there, trying to keep my mouth shut instead of allowing my mouth drop open because you see, this guy was in my class for an entire semester. He witnessed my interpreter signing. He saw me signing in front of the classroom for my presentations, and when I answered my professor's questions. I tried to bite back a sarcastic comment, but failed......I replied, see, that happens to be a very excellent question. Very excellent. American Sign Language is what Deaf people use to communicate most of the time, by the way, and um, you have seen me in the classroom with my interpreter here (bob nods his head). I happen to really really like to gesture a lot. I use my hands all of the time. I move my hands frequently and I really can't refrain myself from making those senseless gestures. Somehow my interpreter can read my mind and translates what I want to say. Amazing, right? Bob stands there, looks at me then at my interpreter and realizes that he is a butt of my joke. He turns red and realizes the stupidity of his question. I smile then pat my hand on Bob's back then said, "Bob, I am sorry if I embarrassed you. It is just ... a Deaf thing."  (Please don't let this deter you from approaching a Deaf person with any questions you have though!)  
Facepalm moment, please. 

  • Every culture have their own time orientation. Guess what? Deaf people have what we call, "Deaf Time". True story! More often than not, when it is time for me to leave my Deaf friend's house; I stand up and say good-bye. Yet five minutes later, I am still in my friend's house talking about something new that comes up during the conversation while saying good-bye, and I nod my head then say, I really need to get going. Five minutes later, I have only made it to the foyer and am still talking with my Deaf friend. Total of ten minutes have lapsed since I last said good-bye. Five minutes later, I am standing in the driveway, laughing and chatting with my Deaf friend. My poor husband, Stu, is looking at his clock and realizes that fifteen minutes now have gone by. I finally give my Deaf friend a hug and reaches to our car. Stu gets in the car. Alas! Something I just have to add to the farewell conversation. My friend replies to what I have said and now we are chatting about the subject I had brought up. Now twenty minutes have passed since I last said good-bye. Stu sighs and looks out of the passenger window and says, "Ashley, are we leaving yet?" I exclaims, OH, that's right, I am sorry but I really have to be going and gets in the car. My Deaf friend is still signing to me even though I am buckling up and I reply and laugh. Stu reeves the engine and slowly backs out of the driveway. I tell Stu to slow down, slow down, because I have just one more thing to tell my friend. Stu obeys. I eagerly add what I want to say and my friend laugh. Stu finally backs the car out into the street. It is when I finally wave bye bye to my Deaf friend and my Deaf friends goes into the house. Stu sighs and says, "Ash, do you realize that it has been half-hour since you last said good-bye. Does it really take that long to say goodbye to your friend?" I smile and say, "Well, is a Deaf thing. Welcome to my world.

Enjoyed this post?

There are more yet to come! Keep posted! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thank you, I'll Take This As A Sign

I am thrilled about one thing. I finally have an access to the most awesome website: I now have a full access to geekery items! Especially zombies!

And especially cute hair accessories:

For some reason, at our old apartment, I was unable to have an access to all of my favorite websites including  this one. I guess the computer decided to say, I hate Ashley and I want to ruin her life by taking away her online shopping experience. Fortunately for me, we moved to a different place and did not have any issues with viewing webpages. Viola! I was able to resume my shopping experience.....well, more like window shopping, that was.

I had the most bizarre experience that I have had in a long while. Trust me, I have plenty strange experiences thank to my being Deaf. But this has to top the list of bizarre events that occurred in my life.

Recently, I got an email message from one potential job employer. Excited, I opened my email, and within excitement evaporated.

You want to know why? Here's why:

Dear Ashley,
I am inquiring whether you would be interested in a small acting role in a short pornography film.

Name withheld. 

WHAT. THE. HELL? For a moment there, I imagined that Ron Jeremy was the one that typed the email. Of course, Ron Jeremy did not. But you know me and my imagination.

I sat at the computer screen, slowly blinking my eyes, and wondered if I had somehow misunderstood the email. Hey, I have been guilty of blonde moments in the past. I read it again...slowly and carefully. Sure enough, the guy was asking me to be a porn star in a small film. I furrowed my eyebrows as I checked my resume that I had posted online through Monster Career Search website. Where the heck did I ever typed "qualified to be a porn star" in my resume?! I double-checked my profile on the site. My resume was very professional and clean. I didn't have any picture posted.

Call me paranoid, but I did not want strangers to know what I look like.

I wondered for a minute if it was a prank or a serious request from that person. It did not matter. I was extremely irritated. Only me. This only had to happen to just me. Thanks Karma, Universe, or Spiritual Adviser up there.

I reported the email to security contact/staff, and they sent me an email back with an apology. Then they claimed to "remove" the person who sent an inappropriate email to me. On top of this, they fed me the bull about how Monster website was designed for professionals searching for employees to work for them, but sometimes unfortunate situations like this still can happen. OOOOOKKK-AAAAY. 

I mean, are you kidding me? For real? If it was not for the email sitting in my account a few hours later then I would have not believed that it actually did happen.

But hey, I figure that if something crazy like this does happen then I might as well laugh at this situation and share this with other people. Spread the cheer. Spread the laughter. It's better than sitting here in misery and shaking my fists at the sky while screaming, why me?! 

Needless to say, my job search is not exactly glamorous right now. Fortunately, I am really stubborn....really stubborn. So I'm not giving up. I know I will find a job. Fear not, it won't be in pornography.

Look on the bright side......I had Chinese for dinner the other day and I got this from my fortune cookie:

Is it a coincide? Or a sign that everything will work out soon enough?

I think I'll take the latter.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ode to Mr. Jinxy....A Tale Of A Rescued Pet

I have been practicing my photography all afternoon. Itching for a Canon camera when I can't even begin to afford one. Itching to write. But not finding words coming through my fingers naturally like it normally does. 

I lay on my stomach with a cheap camera in my hands. Mr. Jinxy walks up to me, chattering in his language, then plops his large frame in front of me. His left ear twitch as he hears my camera making noises as it changed its adjustments for me to take a good picture of him. 


It brings us back to the day when Stu and I arrive into Humane Society's feline room. I find myself straying away from Stu as I scan the room for a potential cat. Remember, I want a female cat, I gently tell Stu, and he nods his head. A few minutes later, I see Stu kneeling in front of a large box, and he reaches inside the box. Then his eyes widens. Come here! Look at this cat! He's huge! I bend down next to him. Inside the box, a pair of yellow eyes glares at us, and he wheezes softly. At this very moment, I know that we will end up getting not one, but two cats.  Little does he know that Missy Girl, Stu and I will become his family. 

King learns that his name has been changed to Beau Jinxy. He hears Stu telling him Jinxy, Jinxy, and Jinxy. He twitches his ears, unsure if it is his name, and hides behind the sofa. Every morning and evening; Jinxy gets picked up into my arms and swallows nasty medication that he does not like. This is where I insert the quote from Shawshank Redemption, "Red: [narrating] I wish I could tell you that Andy fought the good fight, and the Sisters let him be. I wish I could tell you that - but prison is no fairy-tale world." It is how probably Jinxy feels every time when I forcibly insert medication down his throat, and bring him to vet clinic to be propped by his doctor. Nonetheless, Jinxy begins to get better. It becomes easier for him to to breathe. He finds himself  having more energy to get up and walk around. But he continue to hide under the bed or behind the sofa; afraid of new enviornment, afraid of his companion, Missy, afraid of his new parents, and afraid of every noise he hears. 

However, he comes to only trusts Stu because Stu is the one who does not give him the icky medicine and brings him to vet clinic for awful check-ups. Jinxy continues to be wary of Missy, an imp kitty, and me. Jinxy keeps his distance from us girls for good six months. But one day, he decides to change this. 

On one momentous day, he strolls into the office, where I am working, and sits nearby. He listens to me type, type, type, and type. Then he decides to come up and say hello. He notices that I pay him no attention when he meows. Frustrated, he meows again, and only to get no response from me. He intensely watches me. He moves closer to my chair, reaches his arm and taps his paw against my  crossed legs. It is when I finally notice him. I wave him to come up. Jinxy stares at my fluttering hands; He twitches his ears, and yawns. I turn back to the computer after getting no response from the cat. Mr. Jinxy tenses up his haunches then leaps up on my lap and settles into a ball. Soon, it becomes our little ritual. Every time when I work in the office, Jinxy comes in and rest on my lap. He decides I am not that bad after all even though Missy Girl likes to bug him if he comes around near me. 

After two years from Jinxy's adoption from Humane Society; Jinxy has grown into a wonderful loving cat, and continues to comes out of his shell. From time to time, I still find him hiding under the bed covers when life proves to be too overwhelming or scary for him to handle, and I smile and leave him be. Jinxy loves to keep me a company when I clean, work on the computer, and chat with my good friends on the phone. He keeps my feet warm--he has a thing for feet (one of his quirks). He has mannerism of a British old man and tolerates Missy's crazy tactics to befriend him. Jinxy also tolerates my endless kisses on top of his furry head. Every time when Stu and I come home; he comes sauntering up to us with his tail straight up in the air, and he meows to greet us. Every time when I take out a camera; he runs up to me and plops in front of me ready to be my subject. He finds his most favorite spot to be sitting next to me and Stu on the sofa during our movie nights. Sometimes, he even allows Missy Girl snuggle with him. He brights up my bad days. He makes my good days even happier. 

He seems to know that he is living a good life. He knows that he won't ever have to go back to a deplorable place, to be abandoned, or surrendered by a family he loves. He knows that he has a permanent home with us. And he is grateful for this.

You may disagree with what I just typed and think that animals don't have feelings or thoughts.  But let me tell you this, once you adopt a pet from a shelter or street or mill or any less than ideal living conditions and you see such a growth in your pet's demeanor.  You see the personality come out. You see your pet to be happier and feel secure in your home. It is when you start to see gratitude in your pet. You don't see that in your bred and bought pets. Not that they are not as wonderful, and loving as shelter pets are. 

It is just that you know that a rescued pet knows when he or she is home for good. All of your patience, time, love and money spent is worth it.

I certainly know it is worth our time, patience and money to get Jinxy to this place where he is today.

Do adopt/rescue a pet when you have an opportunity and means
to support a pet. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Welcome to My Life

This is pretty much how I have been feeling all day long. Just toss in a headache that won't just quit. Thank gods for Excedrin Migraine medicine because it is the only thing that actually curbs my headaches. Anyway, I have been playing a phone tag with one of my prospective employer for past 2 days. 

I ended up emailing her and told her to just shoot me an email so we can correspond a time slot to be present for an actual conversation on the phone. After that, I ran over to Social Security office and waited fifteen minutes before having my name to be called. To make a whole boring visit more entertaining; I was told that I had to bring in an authentic marriage license in order to change my last name, and to scoot my butt over to the court house in the town. Never mind that I was told a few weeks earlier by the same agency that I had to bring in a copy of my marriage license. Now I needed to bring in an authentic license. Freaking A. 

I went to the courthouse clerical office. The lady there was really nice! She had a pained expression on her face when she  notified me that I had to contact a different clerical office in other town for the marriage license. Seriously. I wasted an hour of my life that I was never going to get back...just to be told this? 

I went home and called a different courthouse. I got transferred to a different person after waiting five minutes, and the person said that I had to drive up all way there to pay in the person. I explained that I had moved an hour and fifteen minutes south and it was not doable. The lady basically said too bad, come in anyway. Geez, thank you for complicating my life. 

Needless to say, I didn't legally change my last name yet.

The job search is going okay. I continue to apply. I still haven't heard from anyone yet. Well, scratch that, I do have two potential employers interested in me, but they need to go through the bureaucratic red tapes before they can confirm an interview. And other one is in the limbo regarding the phone tag game we have been playing lately. 

Fun. Fun. Oh Joy. Stu says that it will take a while for most places to process my paperwork with application and to check the background. Thankfully, I have not been a member of any state prisons. So I am pretty golden when it comes to my background check. 

I am also waiting to hear from Cari, the volunteer coordinator, about my application to volunteer at Humane Society. She needs to process my paperwork and figure out if I am eligible (which I am, obviously). I am not in a very patient mood right now. I keep telling myself, patience, my friend, patience. Good things are coming yet. 

There is two guys working on our house and they are really noisy. It is not helping with my headache. Myth buster time: Just because I am Deaf doesn't mean I can't hear. I do have some hearing left. Don't ask me what percentage. I don't remember my audiogram numbers off top of my head right now.  Anyway, the guys are pounding endlessly at the walls. 

Look on the bright side....there is a movie happening tonight on Chiller TV (one of my favorite channels; it has all great horror movies from 80s to current) called Death and Cremation. By the way, here's an useless fact (I have all of useless facts in my head); Brad Dourif, the bad guy in the movie, is also the voice for Chucky from Chucky movies. Don't ask me how I know this. I just do. Told you, I have a lot of useless facts in my head. 

I am SO watching that tonight at 9 pm.

I like to give movies that are based off from comic books a chance. I am an avid comic reader. I love graphic novels, comic books, and what-you-say. Yep, I am proud of being a fashionable geek blogger. Only if I could get paid to write about geeky things. 

Welcome to my life. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oh I did, Girlfriend!

Well.......guess what?

Oh I did, girlfriend!

I had my hair cut today at this cute salon, not even five minutes away from where I live, in the downtown. I wanted bangs with my new haircut, but was not sure if it was going to be a good decision. So I had a consultation with a lady named Winter. No, that was not a mistype. Her name was really Winter. 

We talked it over decided to go for what I wanted. She tied my hair in three parts because it was so ridiculously long. Winter commented on how beautiful my hair was and it was going to make someone very happy to have my hair. Then she took scissors and said, "Are you sure you're ready?" I nodded my hair. She started cutting my hair off. I was very, very anxious. I was thinking, oh my gosh, there is no going back now. Winter took three long, long strands of my hair and put it on the table in front of me. She said, "Well, that's about 15 inches of hair that you have just donated. You'll make someone a very happy person." 

She styled my hair, and gave me bangs. Then she waxed my eyebrows. I always had to wax my eyebrows every time I went in for a haircut! At first, it felt surreal and strange to have my hair so light. I was not sure if I really liked my hair. It just felt so new. Yep, I was overwhelmed! 

I went home and stared at myself in the mirror. Then it hit me. I really liked my hair! 

I am excited about my hair. I am able to accessorize my hair, put it in messy side bun, a bun, or ponytail. I plan on growing out my bangs a bit more. I need to "train" my bangs to stay together (according to what Winter said) by putting a clip on the bangs and leave it there for a few minutes while I prep my hair. Ah, alright. Whatever works.

I might will paint my toenails like this.....
Why not? 

I came home and found that I had a call from a potential employer interested in me! How exciting! I called her back and left a message (the place was closed for the day). I was a bit bummed for missing the call, but at the same time, excited that she actually liked my resume and answers to the questionnaire section on the application. 

Hopefully, I will hear back from her tomorrow! 

Otherwise, I'm still applying for more jobs at vet clinics, grooming shops, kennel boarding centers, office receptionist positions, and ... I think that's it for my job search right now. I feel pretty good with my progression with applying for a job. I have to just keep truckin'!

If I think positive then the outcome will be positive. I guarantee it. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why Is Job Search So ... Icky?

I'm biting my lower lip, clenching my fists, and curling my toes because I'm not finding this amazing journey in searching for a new job to be entirely fun. At this point, I'm pretty much applying the crap out for different job positions. It is somewhat stressing me out but I have only begun the search, and I am not the type of person to give up that easily. Looking for a new job is a full-time job in itself. 

I decided to find a job that actually involves me interacting with people and animals. I wished I was able to continue grooming at home, but my clients were not going to drive all way down from Green Bay area to my new place, and finding a new list of clients in the new area was not feasible just quite yet. Besides, I really wanted to get my feet back into seeing people everyday and actually interacting with them. Most grooming places I have looked into did not need new groomers just quite yet. I did not want to go with Petco unless if I really had to (bad reputation with that business; once you worked there then your reputation is pretty much stunk everywhere else). So I put Petco on the very bottom of my list as a last option for a job opportunity. 

I spent an entire day yesterday applying to different jobs. I ended up having a glass of wine because it was such a headache. 

Fortunately, I heard from a person interested in having me aboard the team for sale consultation, and our "interview" is set for next week on the 23rd. It sounded like a causal interview over cup of coffee. =At least this was a start, right? 

Always look for the positive in the downside...that's my motto. It's my "fuel" for motivation to keep on going in life. Right now, I just want a job to put food on the table, pay off a debt that I have and pursue further education through animal science for pet-assisted therapy.

I also signed up to become a volunteer staff at Oshkosh Humane Society. I have always wanted to help out with the community, but kept finding excuses not to until now. I talked with a lady, Cari, and she was really excited especially with my given background in grooming and mental health (I know; a total contradiction right there). She told me to swing by this Thursday at 6 pm to discuss about pet-assisted therapy and grooming. 

I'm very excited about this opportunity. It is actually one of my passions; to provide some comfort and happiness in a person's life by bringing an animal along with me, and it's a great ice-breaker to get people feel comfortable with my deafness. When I have a pet with me, people seem less intimidated by my deafness, and they get joy from seeing an animal. I also like to happen share some happiness in people's lives especially if they're senior citizens or ill children/adults. 

I am hoping that once Stu and I get a dog, then I will train the dog to be a pet 'therapist' and we can go to places together. I will have to find a way how to do this though. In meanwhile, why not gain some experience by volunteering through Humane Society? 

I have always been a big believer that things happen for a reason in our lives. I know I am designed to have both mental health counseling degree AND an experience in working with animals. I may not want to counsel people in a therapist environment, but I am glad for the education I have gotten through school. It will benefit me in a long run. 

Today, I spent an entire morning working on Thank You letters for our wedding guests, and got it out of the way. Then I had to purchase more ink for our printer because I wanted to print my resume. I also made a significant decision.....

I called a hair salon today. Initially, I wanted to return to hair salon in De Pere, the same place I had my hair done in past year and half, but I realized why drive ALL WAY up there when I can go to a place nearby? Anyway, I set up a consultation appointment because I wanted a professional opinion how I should have my hair cut. 

Those pictures are what I'm thinking about having my hair done: 

I liked the razor cut but not the bangs
I don't know if I'm THAT
brave to chop all of my hair off! 

I like style but not the bangs
I like the style here,
but the hair is kinda too long....

same idea as JLH;
like the style but too long.
I like the style but
I don't know if it's going to look
good on me. 

Right now, my hair is so damaged and dry. It's gross, really. I have not done maintenance work on my hair in so long hence the reason why it is damaged beyond repair. Besides, it is too long. It is over 14 inches, believe it or not. It is always up in the ponytail  and it feels like crap. I miss being able to style and play with my hair. It's kind of necessary that I have to chop it off, and also, I'm ready for a change. I'm hoping to donate my hair to Locks Of Love if my hair is salvageable. 

So, tomorrow will be a big day for me; hair appointment and a visit to a job center to check out more opportunities to find a job! 

Oh, before I sign off......Mr. Jinxy is feeling so much better! Thank you guys for asking! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Things Falling In Together

I am excited to announce that Stu and I have made our first major purchase as a married couple! And our first major purchase is....

Viola! We got washing and drying machines!
(Note: Our machines are not as cool as this)
We went shopping last evening after Stu was done with coaching at Ripon College. We stopped at Lowes first, but did not see anything we liked. It was either out of our price range or kind of too fancy for our tastes. I just wanted simple washing machines that did its job. No need for all the whistles and bells to go with the washing machines, but that was just me and my thing. We decided to stop at Sears and it was a very good thing that we did! They had a major sale happening and I loved sales. Anyway, we looked around and found a pair for $700. It was originally set at about $950 per machine. To find a pair for $700 together was a killer deal! We decided to purchase maintenance insurance and warranty as well so that did up our price more, but it was still a good deal. Sweet, eh? Then we agreed to have dudes to come in on Monday (tomorrow) to deliver and hook up the machines for us. 

Stu was funny at the store. We were deciding whether we should go ahead and buy them. Stu said, "Well, it is really up to you, Ash because you'll be doing all the laundry, not me." 

The store clerk man's eyes widened and went OOOOOOH, you gonna be in a dog house for saying that! I cracked up laughing over this man's reaction to Stu's comment. 

Stu may have thought I was going to do all the dirty work for him...he's in for a rough awakening, that's for sure! 

Anyway, making a major purchase especially one on sale like that made me super excited! Wow.....that made me sound totally lame and adult-like! Anyway, I really liked our machines because they were energy and water effective which meant they were going to save us a lot on water bill, and also serve the environment in a good way. Go green!

Today has been a blissful wonderful day. It is a beautiful day. Missy has been lounging by the bay windows to enjoy the sunlight all morning. Matter of fact, I think she is still doing this...yep she is. 

On the other hand, my poor boy is still not feeling well. 

He has been hiding under our bed. He is still sneezing and not feeling well. Poor cat. 

I looked up for vet clinics nearby our house this morning and found one really great vet clinic (based on its positive reviews) called Animal Hospital of Oshkosh. It was closed when I called. Then I realized...duh, it's Sunday. 

I will have to call tomorrow the first thing in the morning for our jolly little old fellow, that's for sure. Let's hope it's a common cold or just an allergy. 

You know how people say about those who really, really, really want a baby and how they say that they have been bitten by a baby fever? Well, that's kinda me....but minus the whole baby thing. 

Actually, I have been bitten by a puppy fever. I really want a puppy. Stu and I have been talking about getting a Basset Hound puppy for a long time now, but the timing has never been right with the wedding, and location of where we lived. Now we have a house with a backyard, the wedding is all paid for and done, and I'm looking for a job....the timing seems to be better than ever. 

Just look at his you can not love this?

I looked into Basset Hound breeders nearby and found several that I liked. It made me really want to hop in a car and drive and get a puppy now, but that would have been pretty irresponsible of me to bring a puppy in just based on my impulsiveness. Damn my personality A, and need to plan everything out. And damn my practicality thinking. I feel like the adult me is telling my child me to settle down and wait a bit longer.....that sucks. Why can't I appease my inner child and just get a puppy like now? 

Ack, I really want a puppy!!! And I don't wanna to wait any longer! 

But no. I will be responsible and wait because I know it will be worth the wait.