Friday, December 31, 2010

Best books of 2010 according to me!

Here is my list of top 15 reads of 2010. Overall, I read 181 books this year.
A "*" indicates that the book is part of a series.
There are two Jacqueline Carey books in this list but they are two very different books in two very different universes. If you've never read anything by her before, do! Her world building is amazing, however some of her content can be very adult, not to put too fine a point on it.
Christopher Moore is my new author for this year. He is a funny, funny man and I spent all year reading everything I could of his but I only listed my favorite book of his in this list but they are all really good, very irreverent and funny.
Also if you haven't read Harry Potter, I'll give it an honorable mention! Read it! Seriously. I reread the entire series twice this year and started a 3rd reread while in the hospital in Seattle. I'm continuing this reread by making Prisoner of Azkaban my 1st book of the new year! Read it!
Now with all that out of the way... here they are, top books of 2010 according to me, listed in no particular order!
* 1. Lamb; The Gospel According to Biff-- Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
2. A Song for Arbonne by Guy Gavriel Kay
3. American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman
* 4. Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite
5. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
6. Push by Sapphire
7. Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult
* 8. Naama's Curse by Jacqueline Carey
* 9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
* 10. Rashi's Daughters Book I: Joheved by Maggie Anton
* 11. Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
12. A Woman Among Warlords by Malalai Joya
13. Deaf Like Me by James P. Spradley and Thomas S. Spradley
14. Rebirth of the Goddess; Finding Meaning in Feminist Spirituality by Carol P. Christ
15. Room by Emma Donoghue

Friday, December 17, 2010

Never stand between a group of old ladies, and their justice!

I decided to do a little Giftmas shopping this afternoon. I hit all the stores I wanted, then had a break in the little coffee shop.
I was sitting there, sipping my java and reading email when a pack of old ladies entered the coffee shop, and took up residence at the table next to mine.
One of them had a little dog in her purse and it was really well behaved, I never would have known had Laveau not stared at it and made the group of women laugh by her interest.
After a while I'd done all the coffee-drinking and email-reading I wanted so I texted Bob and told him to call me a taxi.
I waited... and waited.... and waited.
I texted bob again, he called the cab company again, only to be told that the driver saw the dog and just drove away.
He read them the riot act over the phone and they sent another driver.
The new driver walked into the coffee shop and I asked him if he was the driver who was sent last time. He said no, and I told him the story of what had happened.
The second cab driver then starts spouting off at the mouth about how "We don't have to take animals if we don't want to!"
I've never seen a group of old ladies get riled up so quickly. I didn't even have to say a word; they started lecturing him about the law and quickly put him in his place. They let him have it with both barrels and honestly, I was trying very hard not to laugh.
I made it home and that driver now has a better education; given to him by ladies who were all at least! over 70 years old.
I've decided from now on,I'm just going to hire a pack of old women who come along with me and deal with access issues.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

John Q. Public, won't you stay outa my business?

Sometimes I think the biggest challenge I face as a deafblind person is dealing with the general public. Let's face it; when I walk into a public place, such as a coffee shop, I stick out like a sore thumb. I have an assistance dog, I have my braille PDA or braille magazine and if I'm with someone else, likely as not I'm conversing in American Sign Language. It's pretty common for folks to stare at me. I've gotten used to that. I don't like it, I feel like I'm always under a microscope, but that's just the way it is.
There are some people though that go beyond staring.
Take the weird lady who decided it was perfectly acceptable for her to take a photograph of my assistance dog while I was standing in line at a craft store. Her reasoning was that "my friend loves dogs."
So she starts talking to my dog and according to my SSP making kiss-kiss noises at Laveau. News-flash number one: It is never OK to distract an assistance dog. I don't care if it looks like the dog is working or not.
News-flash number two:
I'm not here to be photographed, to have my privacy violated, or to stand still so someone can make their friend happy by texting her a picture of me and my dog.
News-flash number three: my dog is not going to look at someone; even if they make kiss-kiss sounds. My dog is working and she's serious about her work as she should be. Her "job" does not include pausing so she can get her photo taken.

Then we get to the people who stare at me while I sign. Like I said above, staring is a fact of life for me. But when people come up to me and start spouting off about their love of signed languages and how "beautiful" they think it is; it's all I can do not to tell them that I was talking about serial homicide and it takes a real weirdo to think that's beautiful.
Also, I don't care if someone's great aunt was deaf. I don't care if you learned to sign the lyrics to "Silent Night" when you were in the third grade. I just don't care. I'm trying to live my life, just like the next guy, and hearing the life-stories of a bunch of people isn't really on my list of things to do®.

Then we get to the charming specimen I met yesterday in the Walmart parking-lot. I get out with my dog and he asks if she is for sale. He appears to be serious. Unfortunately, this is not the first weirdo who has asked if they can buy my dog. I inform him that he can't afford her and I'm on my way.

It is rare for me to have an outing where somebody doesn't over-share with me, ask me personal questions or otherwise invade my privacy, try to kick me out because of the dog, or otherwise disrupt my day.
If I had a choice, in my next life I would come back as some anonymous Joe. Someone so unremarkable and dull that I am passed by on the street without a second glance.
Until that happens, I keep my wits sharp, and my tongue sharper.