Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13, 2007

to Karl Rove: good riddance!

to Brooke Astor: rest well, Lady of New Yorkers

Sunday, August 12, 2007

my first-ever presentation at WFD

It was like a wedding - six or seven months in preparation on top of the 24/7 job, the winter blahs. I had all the research together from back in 2002 from my master's dissertation but needed to add the new information about the new UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (2007). It was no fun cramming a 50 page dissertation into a 10 minute 17 slide lecture. I basically decided to keep it along the message of empowering deaf people and those with disabilities worldwide by recommending current national legislation include rights to education and job training, acknowledgement of sign language and so on, or include them in a developing legislation.

I finally polished my slide with help of Debra the day before and had it downloaded into the central computer. Should be smooth sailing, no?

Some lessons learned - my bit of arrogance that things will go fine no matter how many times I'd run this through my head. I'd been knocked down by a virus laying dormant in my throat that would reappear no thanks to an uncomfortable overseas flight from New York to Madrid so I was pretty much flat on my ass and a nervous wreck for three days before my presentation. I didn't time myself on the slides - I'd done one too many tours and presentations at the MET between 45 minutes and one hour.

Seems the lady who ran this particular commission that I'm part of, her clock was several minutes ahead of mine, so I started late and ended on the dot by a hair. There was confusion between myself and the interpreters since we communicated through the commission. Quite a few minutes were spent on myself and the terps wrangling out the correct way to communicate. I relinquished control of my slides (gave it to the lady) and had to stand for the camera for international signing because there wasn't an ASL interpreter for me. So I did my best in my very bad and rusty international sign.

It didn't hit me until later that the previous WFD in Montreal used American Sign Language and Quebec Sign Language because the deaf Canadians used ASL. the Spanish used only Spanish sign language. the official spoken and written language were Spanish and English, like the French and English in Montreal. D'oh!

I was halfway through my presentation until this lady, told me time is up and tapped her watch. I pleaded for more time to finish, but she continued with her frozen smile and tapping on her watch. I'm like OK, OK, go on to the last slide. She refused. I'm like, go to the goddamn fucking last slide so I can wrap up. She refused. God. I went ahead and wrapped it best as I could.

Do practice time with slides.
Do plan to have an ASL interpreter if you did not make time to rehearse in International Sign
Get a remote control for slides.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

NYC subway boo-hoo

The Spitzernator put in a request to review why heavy rain crippled the transit system throughout the tri state area, especially the greater NYC.

check the trash - all that fucking trash people toss into the tracks and streets (the rain would wash down the garbage into a curb drain - not a pretty sight) further clogging up and jamming the pumps.

most of the train systems are 100 years old or younger. it's a 24 hour 7 days a week operation and the city itself, especially Midtown and downtown would have a hissy fit if some lines were suspended during the week for repairs for days at a time. partial line suspensions are usually reserved to poorer neighborhoods for a length of time. That's a different topic.

Trippy experience, yesterday, that. It took me an hour and half to get to work from Columbus Circle to the Lower East Side - the buses were packed like sardines, overloaded with passengers. I wish I had my camera with me because for a good hour from Midtown, the buses were full of people from the front to the back including the no-no areas, next to the driver and standing on the steps by both the entrance and exit doors. The lucky folks crammed in the stairway by the doors - some had slightly apprehensive expressions on their faces like the doors would suddenly fling open. I gave up on 9th avenue and Broadway bus routes, and walked across 57th or 58th, past Madison and Lexington until I was able to get inside the m15 on 2nd Avenue. I suspected the m15 would be reliable because it has the most buses on a route in the city with the lack of subway lines on the eastern side of the island. Some bus routes I tried to board - I gave up the politeness immediately. There are actually some nice things about people, but I guess when you're hot and thinking how many hours you'd lose at work, being polite is the last thing on your mind. I kindly opened the exit door to help people out, the next thing I knew, more people crammed inside without a glance at me. Jeez!

I was lucky to board a less crowded bus with a fully functioning A/C. Some buses I'd seen, people were fanning themselves.

Probably the most suckiest thing had to happen to one of my staff. He chanced with one of the trains, but it suddenly stopped at the West 4th stop. The doors didn't open and people were trapped inside for a good hour. He and some people pulled on the emergency cord several times and no response. Finally, an off duty worker came by and unlocked the doors - people verbally abused him "what the fuck was that?" "fuck you!" "what happened?" the worker replied ignorance and returned some fuck yous back at the newly released pissed off crowd. Lucky the A/C was on and running - if it wasn't, that'd be one and very angry mob for an asshole worker to contend with.

I love New York.