Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Cool Experience

Yesterday I took my girls to Walmart to do a little Valentine’s shopping.  Leah got tired of the shopping real quick, so I took her to look at the fish, which she loves!  While we were looking at the fish swimming around in the tanks, an employee came over and pointed at Leah, made a questioning face at me, and kind of grunted.  I guess I kind of looked at him funny because he quickly whipped out a notepad and wrote down, “I am deaf”.

Well, over the years I’ve taken several sign language classes, and while I’d still call myself an extreme beginner, I quickly said, “OH!” and then made the sign for “my daughter”.  This guy’s jaw dropped and he quickly asked me, “You know how to sign?”  I signed “Only a little!” and it was hard for him to interpret what I thought I was saying because I was holding Leah in one arm and trying to sign with both hands.  He gave me his notepad and I wrote down, “I only know a little” but he wrote, “I don’t care!  Very good!”

I put Leah down and signed “She loves the fish!”  He decided to try to sell me an aquarium so I signed “Too much work!” and he taught me the signs for “It gets dirty fast”. 

What followed was a 10 minute conversation in broken sign language, garbled speech, and written correspondence.  We signed about how he likes working at Walmart, do people talk to him, my blind husband and his fear of becoming blind, him wearing hearing aids or not, my family, the war in Egypt (that one took place on his notepad!), and so forth. 

He thanked me for talking when another customer came over and I promised that if I saw him again, I would say hello.  I wished Penny had been there to experience sign language, as she has adjusted so well to having a blind “parent” and I think it would be interesting for her to witness a conversation in sign.  But she was buying me a big box of Lindt truffles, so I can’t complain.

Anyway, I just felt really happy that I was able to effectively communicate in sign language even to a basic extent and it was pretty cool!  The guy was so encouraging and even taught me some new stuff.  Happily, my brain has not completely turned to mush these past 22 months! hehe

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Percy Jackson

I have completed my first book challenge read, The Titan’s Curse, which is the third book in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series for kids. 

I started reading the first Percy Jackson book last summer, at the behest of my father, who first introduced me to Harry Potter, so I thought I’d take a chance on him and let him lead me to the Jackson books. 

I read the first one and thought it was cute, although I didn’t LOVE it like I did Harry Potter.  But I read the second one, and somehow that lead me to picking up the third one on a recent trip to Walmart. 

Now, I don’t like the winter days that are gray and dreary and depressing, and we’ve had a string of those lately.  And by mid-January, I was pretty much pissed off at everyone and everything in my life.  So I started reading The Titan’s Curse because I wanted to have a book in which a lot of stuff got blown up.  And I was not disappointed.

In The Titan’s Curse, Percy is now 14 and is summoned to help rescue some half bloods at a school in Maine.  Artemis and her crew of huntresses arrive to help and Annabeth disappears.  While a fatal quest is predicted by the Oracle and in which Percy is not invited to participate, Percy goes off in search of his friend anyway and helps the adventurers fulfill their quest.

I think if I knew more about Greek mythology, I would probably get more out of all the actual mythology stuff, but I really enjoy these books regardless.  They are fun, light, and easy to read.  Percy is brave to the point of stupidity.  Grover is a sweet and loveable character who I always cheer for.  And it’s fun that in this book, they went to Washington DC.

I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads, meaning I liked it.  These aren’t the kind of books you absolutely LOVE, but they’re a great deal of fun regardless.   I chose it as my book with evil in the title for the What's In a Name challenge, as a “Curse” is pretty evil.  I like to pace myself and read one of these Percy Jackson books about every 4 or 5 months, so I will probably read one again towards the end of spring or beginning of summer.  If you haven’t read Percy Jackson, I suggest giving him a try sometime!  Especially if you like to see things crushed or blown up by the Gods of the Universe.