Sunday, January 30, 2005

Yippee! Magic Chef is Here!

Yippee! The new refrigerator, Magic Chef, made its grand arrival on Friday afternoon. We've been without a refrigerator for nearly a month. Many thanks to Mother Nature's Outdoor Refrigerator for keeping our food frozen or chilly. It's been quite a year of refrigerator break downs and "repairs." Now, we can enjoy our new refrigerator.

Here are features I'm thrilled about... compared to that piece of shit we used to have...

1 - A separate door for the freezer. The freezer has 2 shelves!

2- The freezer is "frost-free." No more hacking frost and ice sheets off.

3 - Separate temperature controls for the freezer and refrigerator sections

4 - Door can open 180 degrees without obstruction

5 - Brightly lit inside

6 - TWO separate vegetable/fruit drawers which are clear and easy to see through. Means we can finally have our own drawers

7 - The refrigerator door features adjustable shelving (including 2 shelves for tall objects/containers), a vertical soda/beer can rack, and more....

8 - More room in the refrigerator and freezer to store stuff

9 - A manual guide and warranty for the refrigerator, telling us how to do this and that if necessary.

10 - A reliable brand new appliance!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Jade's On A Roll!!!

Jade's on a roll and on her way to Hollywood! Jade was accepted into PAFF. Now, REEL Sisters! Read the latest press release. And, go to her website, WWW.JADEFILM.COM to see what she's all about!

J A D E Films, Pending L.L.C.
(212) 665-9668
jade@jadefilm.com
www.jadefilm.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

’LISTEN TO THE HANDS OF OUR PEOPLE’ BY J A D E Films ACCEPTED INTO REEL SISTERS OF THE DIASPORA FILM FESTIVAL AND LECTURE SERIES

• DeafVision Filmworks/JADE Films Productions' documentary film, "Listen to the Hands of Our People" (director’s new cut) selected for 2005 Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Lecture Series

• “Listen to the Hands of our People” movie preview viewing available at: http://homepage.mac.com/jade14/iMovieTheater11.html

JANUARY 27, 2005 (NEW YORK, NEW YORK) -- DeafVision Filmworks & JADE
Films Productions are pleased to announce that Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Lecture Series selected “Listen to the Hands of Our People” in their 8th Annual Film Festival March 11-13, 2005.

“Listen to the Hands of Our People,” an award-winning documentary is about seven H.I.V. positive deaf people living with AIDS. They talk about coping with fears, fears of dying, being alone, and accepting living with AIDS.

REEL SISTERS solicits films from around the country and through international organizations to represent women of color globally. Efforts are made to celebrate thematic as well as aesthetically films of multi-genres showcasing the talents and leadership roles of women directors, producers, screenwriters, filmmakers, and other behind the scene roles.

“Listen to the Hands of Our People” schedule showing will be available by February 8, 2005. Jade’s brief director biography and film synopsis will also be published on Reel Sisters of the Diaspora’s website and within their Festival journal. Ann Marie “Jade” Bryan will also be participating in the Film Festival’s powerful Q & A sessions and weekend festivities.

For more information and 2005 Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Lecture Series schedule, go to their website at www.reelsisters.org.

“Listen to the Hands of Our People” and other film works are available for sale through JADE Films website at www.jadefilm.com. Sale proceedings will go toward paying for Jade’s festival appearance, networking and interpreters. Financial contributions can also be made to DeafVision Filmworks through paying online by clicking on www.jadefilm.com/donation.htm. Jade would greatly appreciate your support. Your money is 100% tax-deductible and will go toward DeafVision Filmworks. JADE Films is a project supported by DeafVision Filmworks, a 501©3 tax-exempt non-profit organization.

# # # #

About DeafVision Filmworks, Inc.
DeafVision Filmworks, founded in 1991, caters to filmmakers of color to
develop stories that are overlooked, ignored, or suppressed by the media
gatekeepers. It is a New York-based non-profit corporation founded by
African American Ann Marie “Jade” Bryan who believes in the importance
of educating the general public about the cultural experiences of Deaf and
Hard of Hearing population. Your contribution helps finance productions and
design and administer new programs and activities that support emerging
filmmakers and builds audiences for their work.

About JADE Films Production
JADE Films – where the passion of words are turned into action. JADE
Films is an independent film production company engaged in the development and
production of multi-media technology, video, broadcasting, television
and film. The mission is to raise consciousness about African Americans and
Latinos who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, whether culturally Deaf or with
varied degrees of hearing loss who do not identify with deaf culture.

“The visual of ‘OUR LIFE, OUR CULTURE’ is a motion picture we see everyday, unless it is HOW you see them. If Hollywood won’t do it, who will?” - Jade


Baby Jordan Got a New Heart!!!

I'm so relieved and happy for my friend!! Read below.... -S

Hi again,

I wanted to forward this amazing news to all of you. Just when things were looking grim, a miraculous thing occurred.

So, to all of you who forwarded the email along, prayed, and sent positive thoughts, THANK YOU!!!

(scroll down to read the good news)
-mel.
-----------------
Forwarded Message:

We are so extremely happy to announce that a donor heart became available for our baby Jordan on January 26, 2005. Jordan underwent cardiac transplant surgery on Wednesday evening, beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m. and lasting roughly four and a half hours. Dr. Quaegebeur, who performed the transplant, appeared at 11:30 p.m. and stated that "the [new] heart is working well." He also cautioned that "we are not out of the woods yet," because transplant surgery is very complicated, requiring extensive recovery and constant monitoring. However, he assured us that we're off to a good start!

We cannot begin to thank the Doctors, Nurses and the rest of the wonderful people at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at New York Presbyterian. They do their miracle work with compassion and understanding in the best facility we have ever seen. We are so grateful that Jordan was and continues to be in their incredible care.

Please take time to think about and pray for the precious baby who passed away and whose parents were so generous to donate his/her organs so that our baby could have a chance to live. We do not have any information whatsoever about the donor - but we would love to make contact with the parents so that we could communicate our infinite gratitude to them. We pray this baby rests in peace and, through this gesture of life, his/her parents may find peace and understanding.

We passed a significant hurdle yesterday - we were told that finding a donor heart to match little Jordan was so unlikely. Being able to get that matching heart to Jordan was even more unlikely. It will not be an easy road from here – Jordan still has A LOT of recovering to do - but we are willing to travel a road of broken glass on our hands and knees to give Jordan the best life possible. He deserves it.

We would love to talk to all of you who showed so much support and love during these difficult times. In time, we will contact all of you and communicate our gratitude. We hope you are all able to see our amazing little boy grow up into an amazing man.

Finally, we will not stop our mission of spreading the word about organ donation. We urge you to continue to help communicate this message so that other families may feel the joy of hearing that a donor organ is available for their loved one.

You will hear more from us soon. We thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers - we have no doubt they, along with the Doctors and staff at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, are responsible for the miracle we received today.

Love, Jeff, Sadaf and Baby Jordan

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Unique Pet Quirks

Does/did your pet(s) have/had any unique quirks?

For instance, one of my former cats, Elka, loved carrot peels.

My current cat, Emma, likes french fries and always tries to steal one in the same way she stalks and catches a mouse then runs away to play with it and eat it.

My roommate's cat, Lucy, likes to sleep on her side or back with her paws bended inward and tucked in like a sleeping mummy. It's similar to the sign for kangaroo, only you keep it still at the chest. That.

My parents' dog, Hannah, loves to go hopping in deep snow. She gets such a kick out of snow that she bites at it - in the air above and into the snow on the ground. Dad got sick of it one day after watching her hop around playing like a rabbit. He developed a habit of shoveling or snowblowing a round path off the back porch door so Hannah could get right down to business in some cleared area immediately instead of going hopping around. :)

My old dog, Charlie, loved to lick people's feet. I have to admit that, although it was wet and gross at times, it did wonders for curing my sore feet after soccer, basketball, tennis, and softball practices as well as hiking trips when she was with us. (Yes, I cleaned my feet afterwards. Thank you very much.)

Got any pet quirks to share?

NYC Resources Guide Available Online

Yippee! The NYC Resources Guide for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind is now available online through the League for the Hard of Hearing and Metro RID NYC websites. I hope that links will also be set up on few other target websites which people frequent. Check it out at the LHH and Metro RID NYC websites! :)

Monday, January 24, 2005

Infant Heart Desperately Needed

Please share this with people you know. I got this from a friend/colleague of mine, Melanie, who personally knows the new parents of Jordan. Jordan desperately needs a heart transplant within the next few days. He's a newborn baby. Thanks for sending this to more people. Read below for details. If you know anyone who can donate an infant-size heart, please contact them. Thanks.

My friend sent this email:

Hi everyone,

I rarely-to-never send out large emails like this, but this is really important. Literally a matter of life or death.

A few days ago my friend Jeff and his wife Sadaf gave birth to a baby boy named Jordan. Although none of the prenatal tests showed signs of any problems, they were soon told that Jordan has a large, and rare tumor in his heart. Open heart surgery was performed, and part of the tumor was removed, but the doctors couldn't get all of it out; it is embedded in the heart muscle. Jordan needs a heart transplant, and he needs to get it within the next 2-3 days. If he doesn't get it by then, his other organs will fail.

There are articles about their situation in today's NY Post and Daily News, and several news stations aired their story. Although Jordan is the first on the waiting list for a new heart, the problem is actually finding one...in 2-3 days.

I am forwarding this to all of you with the hopes of a miracle; someone having a connection, or knowledge of a person or family who can help. If you have any information, or any possible leads, please get in touch with me. You can see Jordan and read about their story on jordanzane.com

Thanks so much for your time.

Melanie


From Jordan's father...

Subject: Fw: Jordan's status - 1/21/05

I'm sure most of you know about our very unfortunate situation. Below is an email from my wife explaining what's going on. We're trying to get the word out about my baby's desperate need for a heart transplant. There are articles in today's papers and ch. 11 did a story last night. We are also asking people to forward our web site - jordanzane.com - to as many people as possible to increase my son's chances of finding a donor. He's already at the top of the list, but the chances of him receiving one in time are very small. We're hoping to convince someone out there who was not going to donate their baby's organs to do so for our baby Jordan.

We deeply appreciate anything you are willing to do.

Thanks, Jeff


Hi everyone,

please excuse yet another group email. So many of you have taken the time to write personally, stop by, and call, asking about Jordan..I wish I could individually respond to each of you and let you know what's going on. Unfortunately, I can't do that right now.

Jordan underwent open heart surgery this morning at Columbia Presbyterian Children's Hospital. He was operated on by a surgeon who we have discovered is considered among the best in the country. The hospital itself is amazing - staffed by practitioners whose handling of neonatal intensive care is beyond imagination. It takes a special gift to be able to care for the type of infants these people see daily.

Jordan's surgery was to remove a 3.5 cm tumor mass in his lower left ventricle. The tumor, whose pathology is still unknown, was blocking the majority of the lower chamber - the critical "pumping chamber" of the heart. Although the surgical team was able to remove a large portion of the mass, the remaining tumor has infiltrated the walls of the heart itself in such a way so as to compromise the heart's functioning significantly.

The only viable option that remains is a heart
transplant. Although the success rate in finding organs for transplant generally is 70%, the rate for finding a heart transplant for a newborn - a "neonate" as they call it, is slim to none. Hearts for infants born normally at 42 weeks - such as Jordan, don't often exist. The situation is further complicated by the time constraints involved. Due to the nature of the life support system Jordan is currently surviving on, his transplant must occur within a window of 5 days. The machinery that is being used to stabilize him brings with it its own set of complications that will ultimately result in Jordan's suffering from blood loss and neurological compromise. That's something neither the doctors nor I will see happen.

As to specifics, Jordan can accept a heart from a newborn up to 15 pounds and of any blood type.

So, that's where we stand. Jordan's been placed on a waiting list for a heart. Obviously, we're realistic about what this means, and are only allowing ourselves to believe that if a miracle is waiting in the wings somewhere, we hope it finds us. We're trying to do everything humanly possible to make that happen somehow. Close friends and family have put us in touch with media resources interested in promoting organ donor stories, etc. We've been interviewed already for a story in the Post, there may possibly be a segment on one of the local news shows, and the hospital has also been contacted by NBC for some type of story that I don't know all the details of yet.

On a personal level, every time I want to collapse and cry, I am reminded of how amazing an experience it was delivering this baby, and of the hours we spent with him over the next day - when we held him in our arms, kept him beside us in our hospital room, fed him, dressed him, and witnessed his interactions with us.

Literally until the time the pediatric nurse noticed an irregular heart beat, we would have had no idea there was something wrong with our baby. He looked at us with curious eyes, interacted to all our talking and singing to him, he ate well, and appeared to have all the normal baby reflexes we spent so much time learning about. I never really imagined what I would feel upon giving birth - other than pain. But what I experienced and felt were undescribeable in terms that make sense - it felt golden..like rays of sunshine. I don't think I could ever forget that.

I wish I knew what caused this nightmare to happen.

No one can explain this to me, other than to say it seems like some random freak twist of fate that somehow decided to hit us. As most of you know, my pregnancy was uneventful. I often commented that I felt great, and that all of my prenatal visits
appeared routine.

Jeff had set up a website with some pregnancy pictures and ultrasounds that we had shared with family. Since this has happened, he's updated it to keep people informed who've asked and to use as a reference for media inquiries. If anyone is interested, this is thelink

www.jordanzane.com

I've also attached a few pics so you could see what he looked like immediately after he was born.

Thanks again for all of your kindness. Jeff and I are praying that something good comes out of this.

love,
Sadaf

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Pet Umbrella!

Got a kick out of seeing a pet umbrella at the Target website. It's useful for New Yorkers since it has a leash attached to the umbrella handle thingie.

Here's the link:

http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=br_1_15/601-7615029-9343336?%5Fencoding=UTF8&frombrowse=1&asin=B0006L891A

It's available for purchase on website only. Here's the description.

This unique pet umbrella allows you and your pet to go on daily walks in rain, sleet or snow. It has an ergonomic handle with a padded comfort grip and a clear umbrella body that gives you full view of your pet. The umbrella's leash attaches directly to your pet's collar. The border around the umbrella's base is blue plaid with black, yellow, red and green stripes. Imported. 3-3/10Hx3-3/5Wx21-3/5L".
• Catalog # : 667197 ASIN: B0006L891A
• Imported

Cozily Happy

Cozily Happy in Bay Ridge.

There are three of us. And, we're scattered throughout the apartment doing our own thing. Christine is watching a Rocky movies marathon. Nat is either cooking, at the grocery store, or on the other computer crusing the internet. I lost track of his activities.

Here, I've been sitting next to the window watching a man shovel snow off the roof ledge of a neighboring building. I wonder why he needs to do that. I hope the building roof is sturdy.

I've also been checking the weather.com website for updates. Now, NYC is officially in the middle of a blizzard.

Tonight
Precip: 100%

Windy with snow and blowing snow and blizzard conditions at times. Low 23F. Winds NE at 25 to 35 mph. 8 to 12 inches of snow expected. Winds could occasionally gust over 50 mph.

Tomorrow

Precip: 90%

Windy. Snow and blowing snow ending during the morning followed by a few snow showers during the afternoon. Cold. High 26F. Winds N at 25 to 40 mph. Chance of snow 90%. Snow accumulating 4 to 6 inches.

Tomorrow Night

Precip: 20%

Clear with gusty winds. Some blowing and drifting snow. Low near 10F. Winds NNW at 25 to 35 mph.

I love blizzards. It's one blizzard down and a day closer to warmer days.

Dreaming of Spring

Dreaming of springtime when the flowers peek out of the soil and bloom.

Bah HUmbug! Mother Nature's a Republican

Bah humbug! Mother Nature must be a Republican. Why couldn't She bless the Bushes with a blizzard on inauguration day! Now, that'd be a great winter white out during the ridiculous inauguration parade, ceremonies, and balls.

Or, she's punishing us this weekend for voting Bush to a second term by making us stay home trapped by the snow to think about the consequences of America voting an idiot back into the office.

Winter Wonderland

I woke up at 2:30 PM and looked at the window. All I saw was white. A white out! Mmm!

Later, after doing stretches and getting up, I walked to the window and looked out. Normally, I see the Manhattan cityscape from my friend's window. Today, all I saw was white. We're in the middle of a winter wonderland!

What a great opportunity to go up on the roof or go outside to make snow angels! Reminiscing about tender childhood days when friends and I bought different cheap fruit-flavored drinks and poured in different parts of the snow and pretended to sell and sample different flavors of shaved ice. Mmmm!

And, speaking of the devil, the Rocky movie is on. Ridor was recently reminiscing about 1980s movie favorites. There seems to be a 1980s movie marathon on TV this afternoon.

I'm going to sign off and join my friend on the couch to finish watching the movie and just enjoy this blissfully snowy cozy day in our jammies with occasional glances out of the window into winter wonderland.

SpongeBob Post It Pads

While at Pathmark earlier tonight, I caught sight of a SpongeBob post-it pad with Patrick on it. For those of you who do not know who Patrick is... here is a description from the Nickelodeon website.

Patrick is SpongeBob's neighbor and best friend, and his big ambition in life can be summed up in four words: "Uh...I...uh...forget." As SpongeBob's closest pal, Patrick is always offering his advice and encouragement. Unfortunately, Pat's not exactly the brightest starfish in the sea (if you catch our drift), and he usually ends up helping SpongeBob into a heap of trouble. Even their simplest plans end in disaster. But for better or worse, Patrick will always be SpongeBob's loyal buddy.

I don't follow SpongeBob. However, one of my friends is crazy about SpongeBob. For Christmas, I bought her 3 pairs of SpongeBob socks with SpongeBob bits hanging off the rear ankle (like pompoms). She went ecstatic when she saw them and put them on at work! After that, I started paying more attention to find out what the heck was so special about SpongeBob cartoons. Cool undersea life adventures.

Anyways, recently, some Christians had roar over SpongeBob and some kind of accusations about sex and homosexuality. I thought the whole thing was farfetched and ridiculous. You'd have to be psychotic or really narrow-minded to come up with these ideas.

With these recent right-wing tightwad Christians' uproar in mind, I took a closer look at the Patrick character in the Post-It pads. I tried to imagine myself in these christian freaks' shoes and see where they were coming from... what the heck was sexual about SpongeBob and his cartoon friends. I couldn't help but notice that Patrick, in that particular drawing, looked like such a huge dickhead. Patrick's supposed to be a dumb yet friendly starfish. But, he really looked like a pointy dickhead in that drawing. So, I put it down and walked away. I didn't think my friend would want dick-head looking post-it pads in use at work. For a picture of Patrick, go to the following link....

http://www.nick.com/all_nick/tv_supersites/characters.jhtml?show_id=spo&character=Patrick

Greetings from Bay Ridge

Hey....

Am in Bay Ridge for the weekend. Decided I needed a break from the city after being cooped up sick at home in Manhattan for a week. After a doctor's appointment today, I zoomed to NYSD's new digs at FEGS building to meet Boris. The new digs are quite beautiful. I liked it a lot better than the old office. The environment colors were more cheerful and brighter. And, the lights are much better! Although subway access to the new office is somewhat limited in options as well as a longer walk from station to office, I still liked the area. Imagine being able to walk only one block to the West Side Highway to access the bike and walk paths during the spring and summer. How wonderful is that? And, you get to check out Soho's latest offices, designs (clothing and furniture), and other trends. That in itself is much better than what the Fulton St area had to offer. The only downside I detected was the office's proximity to Holland Tunnel and the fact that bumper to bumper traffic runs in front of FEGS.

Anyways, Boris and I headed to Bay Ridge after he finished work. We met up with Christine for Greek dinner at her place. We chatted all night. Naturally, we covered our favorite topic. ANd, somehow, 9/11 came up. We reminisced some things about that day since we were together that day and saw everything together. We discussed his family's reaction to 9/11 based on his relatives experienced years of wars in USSR as opposed to one day of terrorism/trauma for a young country like USA. We also talked about deaf people's experiences with speech therapy and how we try to pronounce certain sounds or words if someone doesn't understand us. Russian and American speech therapy approaches differed too. I learned few Russian words and pronounctions. Interesting. I think English is easier to speak than Russian....so far....

I think we dropped Boris off at his home (only few blocks away, but it was 11 degrees!) sometimes between 11:30 and 1 AM. I lost track of time. Christine needed to do grocery shopping, so we headed to a 24 hour supermarket in Bensonhurst. I hadn't been in a "real big" supermarket in a long time, so I took my time browsing to catch up on the latest in what companies were offering. It's amazing the ideas companies come up with to make people on the go eat more conveniently or try new ideas. Anyways, we left the store at 2:30 AM then cruised toward 4th ave for a northbound cruise toward few other palces to pick up stuff for Christine's roommate. THen, we finally made it home by 3 AM.

Now, it's frigging cold. The computer is right next to a window which still has an AC in it. The draft is quite strong, so my feet are cold. The rest of the apartment is quite toasty. Looking forward to curling up on the couch under few thick blankets. The news are saying that there's a snowstorm on the way and that it feels like 4 below zero. I believe it.

Now, I'm going to sign off and enjoy my friend's TIVO access on TV until I fall asleep. It'll be nie to just relax all weekend and hang out in the neighborhood for a bit.

Wish I could have made it to Perlis and Taylor's place. But, too far from Bay Ridge.... so, I'll make it up there another time. I love these two folks.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Quote

The world is too grey to be checkered into black and white.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Conservatives Pick Soft Target: A Cartoon Sponge

Can u believe this? Ridiculous! Read on....

Conservatives Pick Soft Target: A Cartoon Sponge

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, The New York Times

WASHINGTON (Jan. 20) - On the heels of electoral victories barring same-sex marriage, some influential conservative Christian groups are turning their attention to a new target: the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.
"Does anybody here know SpongeBob?" Dr. James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, asked the guests Tuesday night at a black-tie dinner for members of Congress and political allies to celebrate the election results.

SpongeBob needed no introduction. In addition to his popularity among children, who watch his cartoon show, he has become a well-known camp figure among adult gay men, perhaps because he holds hands with his animated sidekick Patrick and likes to watch the imaginary television show "The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy."

Now, Dr. Dobson said, SpongeBob's creators had enlisted him in a "pro-homosexual video," in which he appeared alongside children's television colleagues like Barney and Jimmy Neutron, among many others. The makers of the video, he said, planned to mail it to thousands of elementary schools to promote a "tolerance pledge" that includes tolerance for differences of "sexual identity."

The video's creator, Nile Rodgers, who wrote the disco hit "We Are Family," said Mr. Dobson's objection stemmed from a misunderstanding. Mr. Rodgers said he founded the We Are Family Foundation after the Sept. 11 attacks to create a music video to teach children about multiculturalism. The video has appeared on television networks, and nothing in it or its accompanying materials refers to sexual identity. The pledge, borrowed from the Southern Poverty Law Center, is not mentioned on the video and is available only on the group's Web site.

Mr. Rodgers suggested that Dr. Dobson and the American Family Association, the conservative Christian group that first sounded the alarm, might have been confused because of an unrelated Web site belonging to another group called "We Are Family," which supports gay youth.
"The fact that some people may be upset with each other peoples' lifestyles, that is O.K.," Mr. Rodgers said. "We are just talking about respect."

Mark Barondess, the foundation's lawyer, said the critics "need medication."

On Wednesday however, Paul Batura, assistant to Mr. Dobson at Focus on the Family, said the group stood by its accusation.

"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organization is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," he said. "It is a classic bait and switch."

NOTICE OF REVOCATION OF INDEPENDENCE

Note: I give Ridor full credit for posting this first on his blog. I found this hilarious that I had to post it here too.

NOTICE OF REVOCATION OF INDEPENDENCE

by Basil Fawlty

Fawlty Towers, Torquay, Devon

England

To the citizens of the United States of America:

In the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up revocation in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminium". Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter U will be reinstated in words such as favour and neighbour", skipping the letter U is nothing more than laziness on your part.

Likewise, you will learn to spell doughnut without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter Z (pronounced zed not zee) and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise". You will learn that the suffix burgh is pronounced burra e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as Pittsberg if you cant cope with correct pronunciation. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up vocabulary". Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as like and you know is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up interspersed".

There will be no more bleeps in the Jerry Springer show. If youre not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldnt have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you wont have to use bad language as often.

2. There is no such thing as US English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter U and the elimination of -ize".

3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isnt that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents--Scottish dramas such as Taggart will no longer be broadcast with subtitles.

While were talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is Devon". If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become shires e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as Men Behaving Badly or Red Dwarf will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who cant cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.

5. You should relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen", but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up halfway through.

6. You should stop playing American football". There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American football is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays American football". You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game.

Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby, which is similar to American football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies. We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2005.

You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls game called rounders which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we dont believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called Indecisive Day".

9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call french fries are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian, though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps". Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat.

The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat.

Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer", and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as lager". The substances formerly known as American Beer will henceforth be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnats Urine", with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as Weak Near-Frozen Gnats Urine". This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

13. From November 10th the UK will harmonise petrol (or gasoline as you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2005) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6US/gallon--get used to it).

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that youre not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If youre not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then youre not grown up enough to handle a gun.

15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Last but not the least, and for heavens sake its pronounced nu-kleer as in clear NOT nuk-u-lar".

Thank you for your co-operation and have a great day.

(John Cleese)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

BioPic: Passion of Words Turning into Action: A Black Deaf Filmmaker’s Journey Selected for 2005 PAFF

Hi-

Would you consider donating $20-50 or more for my friend's trip to the prominent film festival in LA? It's tax-deductible. This is such a honor. Thanks for your consideration, purchase, and/or contribution.

-Sarah

J A D E Films, Pending L.L.C.
(212) 665-9668
jade@jadefilm.com
www.jadefilm.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

• DeafVision Filmworks/JADE Films Productions' BioPic: Passion of Words Turning into Action: A Black Deaf Filmmaker’s Journey Selected for 2005
Pan African Film Festival

• Financial Support for Networking & Finding Distributor at Pan African Film Festival

• ‘BioPic’ movie preview now available for viewing at: http://homepage.mac.com/jade14/iMovieTheater12.html

JANUARY 18, 2005 (NEW YORK, NEW YORK) -- DeafVision Filmworks & JADE Films Productions are pleased to announce that Pan African Film
Festival (PAFF) selected BioPic: PASSION OF WORDS TURNING INTO ACTION: A BLACK DEAF FILMMAKER'S JOURNEY for documentary competition in Los Angeles. BioPic will be screened on February 18, 2004 at 1:00 PM. The filmmaker needs financial contributions for her appearance during the Pan African Film Festival (February 10 – 21, 2005).

“The Pan African Film Festival is a truly important stepping stone for me in my career as a filmmaker. During my festival appearance, I need to pay for my own personal interpreter in order to network with other filmmakers, meet investors, attend workshops, and talk about my films, my device products and projects I have lined up for the next five years,” said Ann Marie “Jade” Bryan.

BioPic and other film works are available for sale through the website. Sale proceedings will go toward paying for Jade’s PAFF appearance. Financial contributions can also be made to DeafVision Filmworks through paying online by clicking on www.jadefilm.com/donation.htm. Jade would greatly appreciate your support in helping raise at least $1500 for her appearance and networking at PAFF. Your money is 100% tax-deductible and will go toward DeafVision Filmworks. JADE Films is a project supported by DeafVision Filmworks, a 501©3 tax-exempt non-profit organization.

# # # #

About DeafVision Filmworks, Inc.
DeafVision Filmworks, founded in 1991, caters to filmmakers of color to develop stories that are overlooked, ignored, or suppressed by the media gatekeepers. It is a New York-based non-profit corporation founded by African American Ann Marie “Jade” Bryan who believes in the importance of educating the general public about the cultural experiences of Deaf and Hard of Hearing population. Your contribution helps finance productions and design and administer new programs and activities that support emerging filmmakers and builds audiences for their work.

About JADE Films Production
JADE Films – where the passion of words are turned into action. JADE Films is an independent film production company engaged in the development and production of multi-media technology, video, broadcasting, television and film. The mission is to raise consciousness about African Americans and Latinos who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, whether culturally Deaf or with varied degrees of hearing loss who do not identify with deaf culture.


“The visual of ‘OUR LIFE, OUR CULTURE’ is a motion picture we see everyday, unless it is HOW you see them. If Hollywood won’t do it, who will?” - Jade

Monday, January 17, 2005

"Only In New York" by Stuart Goldenberg

Here's a great book I've come to enjoy. It's not a book you need to read from beginning to end. When you feel like reading, you can read a section, long or short. You could even read just one question and answer. I've given this book to 2 people so far, and they love it.

Here's a description from Amazon:

400 Remarkable Answers to Intriguing, Provocative Questions About New York City

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The New York Times's F.Y.I. column has been an enduringly popular feature since its creation. This is the second collection of favorite questions and answers from the column; the first was published as The Curious New Yorker in 1999.


Product Description:

400 Questions and Answers to the Big Apple's oddest mysteries: from the pages of the New York Times

New York City has long held a place as the nation's most admired and reviled city, provoking more debate, affection, and curiosity than any other. Generations of visitors and residents alike have pondered the city's enduring quirks and unusual traditions. In the F.Y.I. column in The New York Times, the paper's reporters and editors turn their talents to answering readers' most perplexing queries about the city, some of which include:

* City with a Past: Where was the World Trade Center originally going to be located? Where was the last opium den in New York?
* Underground, Underfoot: Is there a secret tunnel linking Police Headquarters to a nearby tavern? What was the busiest day in subway history?
* The Name Game: Is there really a Main Street in Manhattan? What was the Street of Brides?
* And lots more!

Amply illustrated with Stuart Goldenberg's whimsical cartoons, and with an introduction from Constance Rosenblum, editor of the Times's City section, Only in New York is sure to generate laughter, delight, and "Aha!" reactions in anyone who has ever been stumped by one of Gotham's countless oddities.


Sunday, January 16, 2005

JADE's PAFF Acceptance!

My dear and close friend, Jade, who I work with as a consultant for her company, recently had one of her films accepted into a prominent film festival, Pan African Film Festival, in LA.

This is such a great (and first known) accomplishment for a black deaf filmmaker. Jade may be the only black deaf filmmaker I know of in America.

I really would like to see her be able to go there to see her film being played, find investors for her projects and network with important people in the film industry.

If you can help her get there to continue her work, (even if it is $20 or buying at least one of her works), please do so! She's good! Some of her work can also be used in educational settings. (Jade is a NYU Tisch School alumni.)

Jade has worked so hard, and I KNOW she is making it. She is on her way to the top. She has several projects in the works as well as completed works.

I'd like us to help her get at least a step closer to the top.

Thanks!

Please read her email below and check out her website: http://www.jadefilm.com/.

________

Dear Friends, Family and Colleagues:

After so many months hard at work investing and building my film company, I am pleased to announce that "PASSION OF WORDS TURNING INTO
ACTION: A BLACK DEAF FILMMAKER'S JOURNEY" has been selected for the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) documentary competition! I recently learned of the news early this morning!

Due to the fact that I am investing thousand of dollars on a patent for wearable device products for my movie, "SOMALIA" that the whole world is waiting and longing to see, I had to make choice to join force in what it's called a "cutting edge advanced technology" which leaves me no funds to go to Los Angeles and be part of the film festival.

Now, in order for me to go to Los Angeles on Feb 10-21 to make an appearance, I need your help encouraging your friends or family to buy my BioPic or one of the films or show support by donating money. This festival is truly important for me because I need to pay for my own personal interpreter in order to network and talk about my upcoming film "SOMALIA," my device products. My destination is to find that distributor(s) over there and not I am sitting in front of my computer!

You feel me? So please help me raise about $1,500. That's all I need from you.

Thank you and God blessed you.

For more information, see the festival site http://www.paff.org/ for film scheduling. It's not up yet but keep checking!

Also, check my website later during the week for more updates. http://www.jadefilm.com/

Jade

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

FSDB Students with Alicia Keys

From the newsroom of the WJXX-TV, Channel 25 News, Jacksonville, Florida,

Tuesday, January 11, 2005 .....

Alicia Keys To Perform At Super Bowl XXXIX

By First Coast News Staff

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Super Bowl XXXIX has drawn another big-time star to the First Coast, and it'll mean an opportunity of a lifetime for more than 100 local students.

Five-time Grammy award winning artist Alicia Keys is scheduled to perform during the Super Bowl pre-game show at Alltel stadium.

Keys will be joined by 140 students from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine.

"The kids are very excited," said Jill Storey, a spokesperson for the school.

Keys has been tapped to perform, "America the Beautiful".

Storey says the students will sing and sign the song with Keys. The students are already practicing.

"America the Beautiful" has a special connection to the school in St. Augustine, as it became a signature cover song of another Grammy award winning artist, Ray Charles.

The late singer attended the Florida School for the Deaf & Blind for eight years back in the 1930s.

Charles died from liver disease last summer.

"Kids are very aware of the connection, and the song and the purpose of it.

It is a great honor to do something attached to his name," said Storey.

Keys, 23, received eight Grammy award nominations this year.

She is about to launch the "Diary Tour" of 34 cities to play songs from her second album, "Diary of Alicia Keys."

The tour begins February 25 in Miami.

Copyright 2005 WJXX-TV

Amish Teen Electrocuted in Ohio

Horse-Drawn Buggy Gets Caught in Power Lines
CHARDON, Ohio (Jan. 12) -

A 17-year-old Amish boy was electrocuted trying to remove a power line that got tangled in his horse-drawn buggy's wheels, authorities said.

The boy drove over a power line Tuesday that had sagged down within a foot of the road after separating from a pole, authorities said.

The line got stuck in the wheels and stopped the buggy. The boy got out and grabbed the 4,800-volt line in an attempt to remove it from the wheels, the Geauga County Sheriff's office said. He died at the scene.

The boy's name was not released because his family had not all been notified, officials said.

The Amish are a deeply religious group who shun modern conveniences such as electricity, telephones and car ownership. About 40,000 Amish live in Ohio, the most of any state.

The boy was traveling south on a road near Geauga-Trumbull County line in northeast Ohio, about 25 miles east of Cleveland.

The horse pulling the buggy was not injured.

Ann McDonald Has Baby Near Golden Arches

UNION, Mo. (Jan. 12) - Ann McDonald knew the baby was coming and there wasn't a hospital in sight, so she pulled over and delivered the child outside - what else? - a McDonald's restaurant.

Chayse Westin McDonald was due Wednesday. But on Sunday, Ann McDonald knew her time was getting near - and fast.

Problem was, there is no hospital in this eastern Missouri town, and the closest one in Washington was 15 minutes away.

McDonald and the child's grandmother, Linda Cuneio, got in the car, but it soon became evident they wouldn't make it to a hospital. So they pulled over at a McDonald's in Union. The baby was born beneath the golden arches.

"I was standing by her and I thought I better get something," Cuneio told KMOV-TV in St. Louis. "I better catch this baby. Just at that instance, the (emergency medical technician) walked up."

The irony of the location wasn't lost on mother or grandmother.

"Of course everyone is like, 'Are you going to name him Ronald?,"' Ann McDonald said.

Ann McDonald's husband is serving in Iraq. He is expected home in April.


01-12-05 14:56 EST

NOTE: The baby boy ended up being named Chayse Westin.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Blogger





You Are a Pundit Blogger!



Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few
.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

ABCs of 2004

Few friends and acquaintances did a "ABC's of 2004." I loved it, so I decided to jump the boat and do one too.

Here's what I came up with off the top of my head. I know the year 2004 was full of many changes, all for the best.

It's amazing how much happens in one year. The older I get, the faster time flies and the more I love life and people. I fall in love with NYC again and again. At this time in my life, I cannot imagine living elsewhere. There is so much to do and explore in this city. And, there are always people to meet and have conversations with - strangers or not.

A - Anticipation of camp & school best friend Julie & Shane's Baby SHF's arrival

B - Brother's graduation from Fuller University's Theological Seminary with a M. Div. degree

C - Contacting and reconnecting with long-lost friends

D - Deaf docent tours at the Met Museum

E - Entering New York University School of Social Work as a Masters Candidate

F - Finishing out term as President of Deaf Women United - Greater New York Chapter

G - School of Social Work Graduate Student Association Board member (Treasurer)

H - Housewarming Party for Boris' new Co-op home

I - Internship at League for the Hard of Hearing

J - Jade Film website launch (http://www.jadefilm.com/)

K - Keeping the apartment clean with endless

L - Loyal trustworthy friends I'm grateful for and have always been there for each other

M - Meeting new friends & colleagues such as Mary Kay, LL, SV, Libby, Ilene, Ashanti Pack, Mara, Jeff, Jeanne, Mani, Pia, Kim, Busbee, the GSA girls, Esther, and more. You know who you are!

N - New York City Deaf Resources Guide development & distribution

O - Oy Vey! Zaftig! (full-figured, curvy, juicy beautiful woman) Two of the many Yiddish lines I picked up over the past year, thanks to my professors, supervisors and colleagues

P - Patricia Ordonez's fashion show premiere (http://www.patriciaordonez.com/)

Q - Questioning and discussing with my colleagues and professors endlessly about academic and social-work related issues

R - Relishing the rare free moments in between studies, papers, internship, etc

S - Swimming in the sea as a single lady

T - Typing blog entries for http://www.wonderingoutloud.blogspot.com/ and reading RT's scandalously wicked blogs

U - Using the laundromat's blessed drop-off services on a regular basis due to hectic schedule

V - Visiting San Diego, La Jolla, Pasadena, Catalina Island, Blacksburg (VA), Boston, DC, Santa Monica, and more!

W - Weddings galore

X - Xanga blogs by friends are a pleasure to read

Y - Yikes! The refrigerator broke down once again! How many times has it broken down during 2004? Will get a new one soon, finally!

Z - Zest for life, working with and meeting people, learning, loving the (social work) field I chose, and more!

Here's to 2005! I predict that 2005 will be a year of growth, prosperity, good health, strengthened friendships, graduation from NYU, love, and happiness.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Deaf & HIV/AIDS in Uganda

From the newsroom of the New Vision, Kampala, South Africa, Tuesday, December 14, 2004 .....

HIV And Aids: the Deaf Get a Raw Deal

OPINION

Joseph Mbulamwana
Kampala

WHILE statistics indicate that the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Uganda has scaled down, it is sad to note that among the deaf the trend is fast rising.

The decline in HIV/AIDS infection rates in this country have been brought about mainly by behavioural change as a result of massive information dissemination. Such efforts have not taken into account the unique needs of
the deaf.

A lot of information is available on HIV/AIDS however, it is 'deaf unfriendly' hence inaccessible by majority of the deaf.

Most of the available literature is in English in a country where 90% of the deaf cannot even write their own names.

The daily messages aired on FM radios do not benefit the deaf at all because they cannot hear. The numerous HIV/AIDS talk shows on televisions exclude the deaf because no sign language interpreter is provided to translate the messages.

The above situation is made worse by society's belief that the deaf are HIV/AIDS free or do not engage in sex.

The deaf women and girls face double discrimination in society, first as a woman then as deaf. Since 90% of the deaf in Uganda cannot write, the majority of these being women and girls, it then clear that their access to
economic opportunities are very limited.

Hence they are relegated to the world of abject poverty. Some end up giving in to whoever is willing to have sex with them for monetary gains as a means of survival.

Many of these women and girls are raped by those who take advantage of their deaf and dumb nature since they cannot make an alarm. In case the would be culprit is arrested not all Ugandans can understand sign language very well.

Despite the presence of many HIV/AIDS provision centres in the country, less than 100 deaf Ugandans may have taken HIV/AIDS tests. This is due to the fact that all the medical personnel in Uganda do not know sign language.

Access to counseling services and ARVs.

In order for one to access such services one has to go with a sign language interpreter whose costs she or he has to foot. Besides privacy of the information is not assured.

As a result many deaf people have shunned HIV/AIDS services due to high costs of interpreters and fear of lack of confidentiality. Many deaf people infected with the virus die earlier than any other person because they do not access such services.

With the meagre resources from her development partners,UNAD has implemented HIV/AIDS programmes for the deaf but only covering a few districts and within those districts only a few deaf benefitted.

There is an urgent need for funding organisations to consider supporting UNAD in implementing HIV/AIDS programmes for the deaf.

Out of the estimated 2.5 million disabled people in Uganda as per the 2002 national census 30% or 750,000 are deaf (WHO estimates 30% of disabled people to be deaf).

Any attempt to discriminate or exclude the deaf from the main stream HIV/AIDS programmes like it has and continues to be the case with other
development programmes will not by any means bring down the epidemic, but rather rejuvenate the spread of the virus hence rendering the already registered success a myth, because at the end there will be nothing on the ground to prove the already proclaimed success in bringing down the rates of HIV/AIDS infection in Uganda. 90% of the current marriages or relations among the deaf are with able bodied people. Aware that many people engage in
sex outside marriage then your guess on the consequences that would result if only one person got infected is as good as mine.

The long term solution to this is to have medical personnel trained in sign language so as to ensure easy and confidential access to HIV services and counselling by the deaf. In the meantime all government departments, NGOs
and civil society organisations working on HIV/AIDS related issues should support and work with UNAD in implementing deaf HIV/AIDS friendly services.

UNAD has the capacity to handle such programmes but is limited by funding to implement them.

- - - - -

The writer is the Information Officer at Uganda National association of the Deaf (UNAD)