Post of the Week

Books: Writing, Letters, Missives and Billet Doux; Private Life: Postcards from a BROAD! Social Issues: JFK Junior & The Crappy Priorites Of The U.S. Media

Published July 24, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

Writing, Letters, Missives and Billet Doux

Books | Lisa Fortin - 07:23pm Jul 21, 1999 PDT (# 7 of 19)

Since July 9, I have been writing (by hand, on paper) almost every day to a
friend with whom I normally communicate daily online. We live in separate
cities anyway, but right now obligations have him much further away -- the
middle of nowhere halfway across the country -- and computer-less for four
weeks. Since he feared ICQ withdrawal, not to mention boredom, isolation,
and lack of reading material, I thought it might be fun to bombard him with
snail mail. I got my first reply on Monday, and my second yesterday.
(Canada Post is far slower than the U.S. Postal Service.) I am eagerly
awaiting a third on my return home this evening. Whenever I do engage in
paper correspondence (not often enough), I'm always amazed again at just
how pleasurable it is, with the waiting and anticipation of checking the
mailbox and opening the envelope, as well the physicality of it: choosing
different papers and pens and envelopes for my letters, running my fingers
along the back of the page of my correspondent's to feel the indentations
of his pen marks... It is a sweet, lovely thing.

Postcards from a BROAD!

Private Life | Angeline DeLaCroix - 09:20pm Jul 20, 1999 PDT (# 2302 of 2372)

Today I stayed home with Dave's daughter Sondra while he went to work.
Sondra is a bright, intelligent, affectionate 10 year old, who also happens
to be deaf. I've met quite a few deaf people in my life before, but
spending a full day with a deaf child who is reliant on you is something
that you can never imagine fully until you experience it. I can honestly
say that it has touched me in an incredible way.

I woke before Sondra and came out to fix myself breakfast. She joined me
soon after and our first challenge was for her to explain to me what she
would like for breakfast. She is a typical ten year old who knows exactly
what she wants, so it wasn't a case of me just selecting something for her
to eat like you would do with a much younger child. In the end we organised
some toast with butter for her (it had to be cooked in the toaster oven
with the butter on it) and some water in her alien-shaped drink flask. Even
just the act of filling the drink flask was an eye-opener - Sondra insisted
that we keep checking the level even though I could hear that it wasn't
full yet. How often do you fill something by listening and not even
realise what a gift it is to do that?

Sondra and I ate our breakfast together and chatted in a fashion which
mainly consisted of facial expressions and clumsy hand movements on my
part. Not knowing sign language made things incredibly frustrating for me.
Dave had taught me how to say "yes" or "no", so our charades were peppered
with my pathetic little attempts to join Sondra in her language.

After breakfast Sondra announced that we would be watching the movie
"Hook", and what a wonderful experience it was! Dave had told Sondra that I
was from overseas, and because I didn't know how to speak "her" language
she naturally assumed that I couldn't speak English too. She therefore very
kindly translated the whole of "Hook" for me - with a mixture of sign
language, spoken English, facial expressions and excited dramatics. To
see/hear what was happening on the screen, then to see/hear it through
Sondra's eyes was a delight to behold! It also helped somewhat with my
familiarisation with some of her "words". ...

Later Sondra came back with an ice-cube and beckoned to me to come to the
kitchen. I followed and found another cube that she'd dropped on the floor
and wanted me to pick up (I still don't know why she needed me to pick it
up, but I think it was a ruse to get me off the computer). I picked up the
ice-cube and went to put it down her shirt. She screamed with delight and
tried to shove her ice-cube down my shirt. This continued and eventuated
in a full-scale ice fight. I can still remember the sound of her laughing -
much different to the laughter of a hearing child, but gorgeous in

The Mall ended up being more fun; we played multiple video games, bought
jellybeans from 25c candy machines, and Sondra even suggested that we get
some candid pics together in a photo booth. The results of our picture
session were priceless, especially the one where we were both pulling
faces. Sondra was delighted with the results and Dave has assured me that
our crossed eyes and poked out tongues will undoubtedly become a feature of
her wallet. I finished the Mall trip by buying a book on sign language from
a bookshop and we went out to a fountain where I gave Sondra pennies to
throw into the water while I read. After whooping with delight from scoring
a bullseye with one of the pennies in the centre of the fountain, she came
and sat down next to me and using the book she showed me how to sign the
word "friend". Other shoppers were staring at us, and some looked at Sondra
and me like she we were retarded, because of the strange noises we were
making, but we both knew exactly what we were saying to each other.

Today has been priceless.

JFK Junior & The Crappy Priorites Of The U.S. Media

Social Issues | Mary LaChaussee - 11:25am Jul 21, 1999 PDT (# 1 of 62)

The media's main preoccupation is advertising money-the more sensational
the coverage, the more ads you get--this one rates all the coverage for
its' "historic" (uggghhh!) importance (none at all.) and the evoking of
some damn idiotic mythical idealism that never ever occurred. Someone's
getting rich of watching boats and divers go under the water to go find
the bodies of 3 rich people who didn't rate the time of day. Princess Diana
was of certain historical importance, believe it or not-she provided the
English royal family with another heir to the throne, if nothing else. JFK
jr. provided nothing but copy for magazines and photographers. He did not
do anything so important to rate all this coverage, and I think he
probably would have not wanted it anyway (not that I ever "knew" him,
unlike many people who fantasize they did) to end out his life, short as it
was. I'm not outraged, but disgusted at what passes for news. The 30th
anniversary of the moon landing was yesterday, and little was covered about
it--Pete Conrad was buried yesterday, too..he was of far more important
historical interest than the 3 dead rich people.

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