Monthly Archives: December, 2012

The Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness (GLAD) will be hosting a swing dance party in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2013.  People who are beginners and those who have experience with swing dance are welcome to attend the dance.  A class will be given before the dance so people can learn the basic steps for swing dancing.  […]

Deaf West Theatre is having a gala honoring Ed Waterstreet, who has been their artistic director since Deaf West Theatre was founded in 1991.  The event will occur on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.        

Raychellet Williamson told the children at Shannon Elementary School to watch family-friendly TV programs and shows with closed captions during winter break.  In November, she heard a Kent State professor talk about how close captioning improved literacy in Finland.  As a result, she decided all the children at her school should watch family-friendly shows with closed captions. […]

We’re thrilled to announce another sign-language-interpreted Shabbat Morning Service, and hope that you can join us! ********** WHAT: A Service with full readings from the Torah and Haftorah (Prophets) WHEN: 10:00 AM — 12:30 PM on Saturday, January 19th WHERE: Town & Village (T&V) Synagogue (, 334 East 14th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues […]

Gallaudet University’s women’s basketball team will play against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College at California School for the Deaf, Fremont on January 2, 2012.  The game will start at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and free for young children up through the age of four.  

Deaf Travel Cruises

A Deaf-owned travel agency provides Deaf travel cruises with interpreters.  Super Cool Deaf Trips is selling tickets for the California School for the Deaf, Riverside 60th Anniversary cruise.  The cruise will go to Catalina and Ensenada from June 24-28, 2013.  The video about this trip is available on YouTube.      The travel agency is also selling tickets for a Hawaii […]

Deaf and hard of hearing associations congratulated four of U.S.A.’s largest wireless carriers for voluntarily agreeing to make sure text can be used to call 9-1-1.  They said they will accelerate the availability of text to 9-1-1, and it should be available all over the U.S.A. by May 15, 2014.

Looking Ahead: Gallaudet University Bison Basketball games near Rochester, NY: Saturday, January 12, vs. Keuka College, near Penn Yan, NY, Women’s game at 1:00 p.m.; Men’s game at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, January 13 vs. Wells College, Aurora, NY, Women’s game at Noon; Men’s game at 2:00 p.m. Go Bison!

Two Former Executives of Video Relay Services Company Plead Guilty to Defrauding FCC Program

Click here to go to FBI website…

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A Time to Feast

I’m hanging out with my parents when my dad sees me frantically rubbing my thumbs against the palms of my hands.

“Are you nervous?” he asks.

“Yeah,” I say.

He wants to know why. How to explain?

My parents have been visiting the past few days. I haven’t seen them in over six months. It’s the longest period of time we’ve ever been apart (even when I lived in Europe after college I saw them at least every four months). The past few days have been one big party. We’ve eaten red meat and fried foods. We’ve had Grasshoppers (ice cream and alcohol) and cookies. I think I munched on a vegetable in there somewhere – yes, I steamed spinach one night – but other than that, I can’t say I’ve been practicing “mindful eating” since Saturday. And my home yoga regime? Completely cut off once my parents arrived (although my mom saw my mat, which was rolled out on the floor, and she practiced sun salutations).

“I’m not sure what to blog about for Wasa this week,” I finally say to my dad.

“Well, let’s think,” he says.

“I’m supposed to blog about yoga and mindful eating, but I’m not inspired given my eating habits and lack of yoga practice,” I explain.

My dad is silent for awhile. “You could talk about how yoga is important for old people like me,” he finally says. “As people age, they are at an increased risk of falling. So write in your blog that yoga is important for balance and to do yoga with a Wasa cracker.”

“Uh, okay. Thanks,” I say.

“Just trying to help,” he says.

My mom chimes in too. “Oh, I know,” she says. “Blog about the fact that we bought a juicer.”

It’s true. My parents read the Wasa blog and were inspired to buy a juicer.

“Last week we made peach juice with vodka,” my mom says. “It was delicious!” She pauses. “Am I missing the point?”

Well, I do wish they would make vegetable juice instead, but maybe I’m the one who is missing the point. As I drop them off at the airport, I know what I’m going to blog about: A Time to Feast. This week we’ve hit up good restaurants and had fun cooking in too. We played cards and watched baseball and talked, all over scones for breakfast and steaks for dinner. It was a reunion. A celebration.  A time to enjoy life. Not that we couldn’t have done that over Brussels sprouts and brown rice, but eating well most of the time makes it easier to allow the exceptions. Not to mention, those “exceptions” are much appreciated.


I’m debating what to do about Halloween.

I loved dressing up and collecting candy as a kid. But as an adult – and someone with a growing awareness of our country’s health crisis – I don’t want to encourage the consumption of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavorings…you get the idea.

I could hand out boxes of raisins, but I hated that as a child.

I could hand out toothbrushes, but again, that’s no fun.

I could bake something – treats using crispy brown rice cereal and natural peanut butter – but I know homemade goods would get thrown out by vigilant parents.

I have a friend who has her kids put their loot in a pile before bed. During the night the Great Pumpkin comes and Poof! their candy is turned into little games and trinkets from the dollar store. I also know a dentist who gives money in exchange for the kids who turn in their candy.


I was reading a recent issue of Body & Soul magazine and saw a small article on fair trade. Most chocolate, the article said, is exported from the Ivory Coast where kids aren’t going to school because they’re working on cocoa farms to help with family income. Buying fair trade products ensures that the money goes directly to the farmers and their communities instead of all the middlemen. And it just so happens that you can buy individually wrapped pieces of fair trade dark chocolate (according to some studies, dark chocolate does have a few health benefits).

Click here for a link to the article and a list of the companies.

Big on Arms

We are in Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) and the teacher is walking us through the pose nice and slow. She has us begin in Tadasana (Mountain pose) and then tells us to touch our fingertips together in front of our chest. As we jump our legs apart, our arms open up too (so they are parallel to the ground).

Next, the real instruction begins. She focuses on our feet, making sure they are spaced far enough apart and turned in the proper direction. She reminds us that our back heel should be aligned with our front heel.

She pauses as we breathe.

Inhale, exhale.
Inhale, exhale.

She moves onto our legs. She makes sure that our right knee is bent so that it’s directly over the right ankle. We need to press our thigh back so we can see our second toe. She keeps us focused on our lower body, giving us directions on our tailbone, butt, and – again – our thighs. She mentions that second toe again.

Inhale, exhale.
Inhale, exhale.

You can practically hear the thoughts of every student in the studio: My arms are tired. My arms are so tired! When will this pose be over so we can put our arms down? Are anyone else’s arms tired? Or am I just a wimp? How much longer do we have to hold our arms up?

Finally, the teacher says, “I know your arms are tired.”

Her acknowledgement is a relief even though she encourages us to keep those arms lifted. “Stretch them out even further, reeeaaaaching for the walls,” she says.

She moves onto our shoulder blades – are they scrunched up by our neck? Release them.

Lengthen our torsos.

Broaden our chests.

She knows exactly what we’re doing – allowing our minds to be consumed with thoughts about our arms.

“Your brain starts to panic first,” she says. “Your body is strong and your arms can handle this.”

That’s the extra motivation we need for the last few breaths until she finally has us step our feet back together and place our hands on our hips.

I’m working out in LA for a couple weeks – my old hometown – and it’s great to be back in my favorite teacher’s class. Now that I’m here, I remember she was always big on arms.

The Tea Girl

I feel like a dog person who became a cat person . . . a skier who became a snowboarder . . . an evening person who became a morning person . . . because I drink tea now. Me. The coffee girl. Drinks tea. And I like it.

So many colors. Tons of flavors. I can drink it at night and it won’t keep me up until 3am.

I have an “emergency kit” in my purse. It contains essentials like a hair band, dental floss, an extra pair of contact lenses, and quarters. Now it also holds a tea bag. I added it after going to a restaurant the other day where they had three tea choices: icky, yucky, or gross. It reminded me of the days when I used to be a caffeine addict yet was stuck in a meeting where the only coffee option was a stale, burnt cup of sludge.

Anyway, so I now keep a tea bag tucked away for such predicaments. That’s me. The tea girl. Š

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