Sunday, March 8, 2015

What Happened Happens

It's not about you.
It's not about your love of the music.
It's not about your love of ASL.
It's not about your excitement of putting the two of them together and it's not about how many times you sang that song while signing it in your car.
It's not about your chance to interpret something big.

Recently platform and performance interpreting has gotten a lot of attention. Politicians, musicians, and Saturday Night Live. It's a cool spot light to be in. Or at least to pretend to be in while you share the spotlight with the real star. The person I am there to see. I am not there to see you. I didn't pay to see you. I didn't dream 17 years about seeing you live. I didn't learn all the lyrics to your songs. 

I didn't, because it's not about you.

Tonight we had a team of interpreters for the Garth Brooks concert in Buffalo, NY and as soon as the show started it was obvious that the interpreters were in the dark. They weren't prepared. The venue wasn't prepared. There was a small music stand light that the interpreter used for copies of the lyrics. When asked to illuminate her face instead of the papers she said she didn't want the light in her face because it would give her a headache. The light, illuminating her face, at a concert, while she interpreted into American Sign Language, a visual language that requires a well lit space, would give her a headache. Multiple times we told her we couldn't see her.

When this picture was taken, she stopped interpreting, told us to delete the picture, told us that she had not consented to having her picture taken, and told us that she wasn't going to interpret another word until we deleted the picture. Even when we tried to explain that we took it as evidence of the poor lighting and that her face wasn't even viewable & her reply was "delete my picture". 

A picture, taken in a public place, of a professional at an arena show, when her face was in the dark. She knew in that moment she had the power and the access. Delete my picture or I won't interpret. I have the power and I will withhold information. 

We didn't delete anything.

All of this was happening during the concert, during multiple songs, during an event we paid money for and waited 17 years for. Going was our Christmas present to ourselves this year.

There was also a desk lamp that they brought to try. A bright full force desk lamp that was turned on and off and on and off again. Our concert went from midnight to noon. The other patrons turned around to look at us with angry expressions. This was all happening during the concert. The concert they paid for and anticipated and waited for- all because one person, one hired "professional" wouldn't simply tilt the music stand light towards her face. 

So much happened at once. We asked her to move over, she started arguing with us. During a concert we were so over the moon to be at. Feelings of shock, anger, hurt, and more shock. Shock because no matter what, no matter how many times, we've seen it before, it's still shocking when someone makes something all about them. When in reality it's not about them, at all. We asked them to leave. Just leave and let us enjoy the rest of the concert. Interpreting is a privilege and she shouldn't have been there any more. 

There was another interpreter there. She asked if we would let her try before they leave. "I have Deaf parents", she said, "I want to try." She took over and she tilted the light towards her face and we could see her and she interpreted.

The rest of the show. 

Only once did they switch. And when they did, the other interpreter lowed the light again. Again, "we can't see you" we said. This time she said "you can't see me?" And she asked her team to look. Her team answered her, "no, I can't see you"- with that information she put her hands down and sat down. The other interpreter took over, repositioned the light, and continued to interpret. She sat 5 seats away from us and texted on her phone, danced in her seat to the music, shuffled papers, and seemingly enjoyed the show. The show she got paid to work at.

She's an interpreter here in Rochester. Someone I know. Someone I have 42 Facebook friends in common with. Someone whose name you know. Someone who works at RIT, VRS, and in the community. Someone who is nationally certified and someone who should have known better. She's not a random unskilled, uneducated signer. She's as professional as you can get, on paper.

The other interpreter who took over did a great job, without relief of a team, during a fast paced hard assignment. She did a great job mostly because her heart and her attitude were in the right place but here's the truth, it wasn't about her either.

It's about not being able to hear the lyrics of the songs but still wanting to know what's being said. 

It's about needing someone when you don't want to need anyone. 

It's about sharing your date night with two strangers out of necessity even when you'd rather not see anyone else in the world. 

It's about someone being rude and a bully and unprofessional on a night when you have a sitter for your two kids and all you want is to be happy.

It's about craving equality in an unequal world. 

And it's about the injustice that is lingering in our hearts because along the way, we met someone like you.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


I am thankful.

Thankful for our time together. I feel like It isn't popular these days to say so but I am so blessed to be home with you. I work on evenings and weekends- I miss bedtimes and sometimes wake up at the crack of dawn or stay awake all night long. I miss a whole day during the week and we make it work, Daddy and I, but I am thankful that those times are few and far between. I am thankful that you are home with your mother and father. You are safe and secure. You are well rested and well-fed. You are a wonderful happy little boy and I love that you are growing up in your home. I don't want to miss your days and weeks. I don't want to miss you 40 hours. I am not built that way. I love working. I love cable. I love new clothes, a nice gym, and eating out. But I love you more. I love you more than the lifestyle I became accustomed to. I love you more than a big house. I love you more than my career. I am happiest with your arms around my neck and I am happier with a less is more mentality. I never predicted we could cut our budget enough, we could strech far enough, and close in. 

Close. Together. Family.

Friday, October 4, 2013


i like to make you laugh... really laugh, at least once, every single day.

i think about what it would be like to grow up with a memory of life like that... every single day there was laughter.

it started somewhere about 2 months when i was singing a made up song about diaper changes and your smile turned into a giggle that became full on rolling laughter. 

you surprised me. it was simple joy. exploded. it was that kind of moment when tinker bell was born.

i want to remember that moment for the

it became very clear that my new mission in life was Laughter. not just anyone's... but yours.

most of the time it just sneaks up on me when i was doing something unintentionally but i also actively try to "check it off the list" and if every once in a while the whole day goes by without it happening for some reason or another, i find a way to fit it in so it happens before bed time. sometimes it's a noise i make, a song i sing, a surprise game of peekaboo, a book i read, when i pretended the washcloth dog was talking to you or the green beans were a mustache or the way one little piggy always goes all the way home..... but to you, i've learned, i'm funny. 

and to me, you're our whole world.

p.s. that piggy going wee wee wee all the way home is my fail safe....

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

compelled to write

for as long as i can remember, i've written. i traced over the cursive letters in the back on my spelling book. i re-wrote anne of green gables by hand so i could feel what it was like to write a 'real book'. i crafted poems on the weekend and i spent a summer co-writing a novel for fun with my best friend.... trading the notebook back and forth.

then i read 'diary of a young girl'- i was 10 and i thought she was on to something.

it all started with Anne... and Lisa Frank.

there were bright characters- hot pink, purple, and lock on the cover. i kept the key under my pillow.
it was my first diary and i have kept one ever since.

what can i say...

a blank page entices me
the whiteness...the empty of it all...
a blinking cursor beacons me
like the blinking lighthouse in a storm
in the empty is Open.
is inspiration.

i had a place for years. with a door and wreath and a welcome sign. but then i didn't think it was the right room.

my mind is always drafting. revising. revisiting.

words put down are never finished. but they are out of me. they are memories and moments recorded. and for 4 years i chose to record them there. the most beautiful time of my life was captured in the confounds of ... so now we're old friends, blogger and i.

and like most friendships, over time, some aspects of the personality settle better with you than others.

i dont want to watermark my photos. i dont want to be catfish bait in a huge pond.

i don't want to pay a monthly fee.

i don't want to write the way i am supposed to. or what i am supposed to write about.

i dont want to sell merchandise or monetize.

I Just Want To Write Words.

i want to write to him.
to them both.
to whoever is to come.

and i want to do it for me. so i remember. so i record. so i express. i am compelled. i am a writer.

i write about what fills my soul....

the smile on Graham's face when i come home.

the way the sun danced off the fall leaves today. the three of us on the bare grass, exploring the way leaves crinkle and twist, knees and elbows avoiding little rough spots the summer lawn furniture left behind.

i dont need pinteresting posts because pinterest is a place for ideas. i don't want to be an Idea.

i want to have something that is quiet, seen but not heard.

i want a place where i have thoughts for them and a place i can share with you.

dear, sweet, You....every writer wants a reader.

that is the difference between a blog and a diary. i don't want the lock on the cover any more. i don't want to hide the key. i like knowing you're there sometimes. you, beautiful you, who found me amongst the ashes of my former blog. you, who asked me to keep writing. you, who said you like following along with our little family.

your connection inspires me. your welcome here any time.

this space is for both of us.

thank you for stopping by.