Life in progress

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268. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Saturday, May 26th, 4:00pm
Crystal and Jasmine


Crystal: So I’m, like, sitting in the coffee shop minding my own business, right?

Jasmine: Uh huh.

Crystal: And this guy comes up to me and asks me if he can sit down and I’m, like, ‘there’s plenty of other seats in here’ and he’s, like, ‘well I thought I could sit with you. You’re really pretty.’

Jasmine: No. Way. So what did you do?

Crystal: Like, exactly what anyone would do. I threw my coffee at him.

Jasmine: I hope it was hot.

Crystal: (smiles) Straight out of the steamer.

Jasmine: Serves him right.

Crystal: Right? Oh my God. Some people.


Next stop: Sunday, May 27th, 9:00am

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


183. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Note: Strong language

Friday, March 2nd, 7:00pm
Ethyl (and Jade)


Ethyl sits at the window. Jade takes the seat beside her.

Ethyl: (under her breath) Pfft.

Jade turns and smiles tentatively.

Ethyl: (under her breath) Slut.

Jade: I beg your pardon?

Ethyl: (under her breath) Tart.

Jade: If you’ve got something to say, say it.

Ethyl: You look like a whore.

Jade: How … dare you!

Ethyl: You’re off to get paid for a man’s pleasure, aren’t you? Look at the way you’re dressed.

Jade: It’s a skirt and blouse! I’m going to visit my mom.

Ethyl: Liar!

Jade: (stands) Lady, you need to keep your thoughts to yourself.

Ethyl: (smiles sweetly) Just kidding.

Jade: (sits and crosses her arms) Hmph.

Ethyl: (under her breath) Cocksucker.


Next stop: Saturday, March 3rd, 6:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


Anxiety in Children

I thought it would be better by now, but it’s just getting worse. My son, Alex, as most of you know, is Deaf, and he hates masks. Anyone dressed in a costume is an extreme cause of stress for him, from the Easter Bunny, to Santa, to his school mascot. I believe it’s mostly because he can’t see their facial expressions, and thus can’t determine whether or not they are friendly or threatening. Whatever it is, Hallowe’en is the worst time of year.

This morning, getting him to go to school to spend the day with his friends was difficult, to say the least. He doesn’t seem to understand that the people he knows are inside the costumes. He’s sixteen years old physically, but at a mental age of six or seven. It’s not likely to get any better from here.

My concern is that I’m perpetuating the problem. Today I drove him to school so I could be there to reassure him everything was okay. He was nervous (he’s been having anxiety attacks every night before bed for the past week) even though he was able to explain to me himself that masks and scary costumes were not permitted at school. So okay, he needs support. I think there’s a fine line between coddling him and reassuring him when his fears are legitimate. But should I be the one supporting him at this point in his life?

I’m not going to be around forever. As he becomes an adult, there will be a time when he can no longer run to Mommy when there’s a problem. I believe he needs to start, at some point, (soon?) to rely on society to feel safe.

I’m at a loss. Any suggestions are welcome.


Jab – #AtoZ Challenge

My “J”-word is a bit of a stretch, but it’s the only way I could find to talk about an important subject without taking up another letter. So here we have “jab,” by which I really mean “point” and “poke.” Both actions are important in American Sign Language, more the former than the latter, however. Confused yet? I’ll explain.

Growing up we’re all told it’s rude to point. Pointing though, is an essential part of ASL vocabulary. You, me, he, she, and it, are all indicated by pointing. It took me a while to get over the ingrained sense of right and wrong; of needing to point but not wanting to. Now I do it all the time – and I get a lot of strange looks, particularly when Alex and I are out, pointing all over the place.

Poking, on the other hand, is a less-desirable way for a Deaf person to get someone’s attention. Alex loves to poke me with a sharply pointed finger, especially when he wants something he can’t have. Normally, a tap on the shoulder is used. Coming into physical contact with other people, even strangers, is natural in the signing world. It’s necessary. The other day in a coffee shop, I was watching a lady who I know is Deaf, trying to get through the line-up for the counter; she was on her way out. Her shoulder-taps were met with a mixture of surprise and, in one case, almost hostility. All she could do was smile and try to look friendly. The people in line had no way to know she was Deaf, and probably wondered why she didn’t just say, “excuse me,” like any civilized person would.

Alex is still small enough that he can get away with a lot of things in public. He smiles at people and they smile back. He touches them and it’s innocent; he’s still only a little above four feet tall. I’m not sure he’ll grow much more in height, but he’s bound one day to grow facial hair. When that happens, he’ll go from cute to uncivilized in the eyes of society. It’s difficult, even for a mom, to explain away.

My A to Z theme concerns the joys and challenges of being the hearing mother of my Deaf son, Alex. To learn more about his beginnings in life, click here to go to my first A to Z entry.

The Culture of Now: Microwaves, Instant Messaging, and . . . Lawyers?

What is instant gratification doing to our future generation of professionals? Read this fascinating post and weigh in with your opinion! Note: Comments are disabled here. Please comment on the original post.


I’ve heard that we millennials are a part of the “microwave generation.” We tend to tap our impatient fingers against the kitchen counter while we are waiting for a TV dinner to finish its two minutes and thirty seconds of cooking. We’re a generation of convenience, but we’ve experienced the best of both worlds.

We’ve seen people who took years to build a music career, but we’ve also seen overnight YouTube sensations. We’ve experienced everything from letter writing to email to instant messaging. We’ve experienced both dial up and broadband Internet. We might not have as much patience as the generations before us, but in defense of millennials everywhere I must say that we do have at least some form of patience. What concerns me is the instant gratification culture of the upcoming generation.

Now before you exit my page, please understand that I am not bashing a generation. (I…

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