Tag Archive for deaf

A mixed week…

Heya! How’s your week been going? Hopefully it’s all been going decent for you and all!

Me… Ehh… It’s been a bit of a mixed week, I have to say. House-wise, things are progressing and sometimes next week, everything will be complete. Apparently. *gulps* I still dunno if I’m really all that ready to be a house-owner, but… You know, I’ve gone this far, might as well see it through and hopefully it’ll all work out. Hopefully!

Job-wise, well… I’ll be honest, I have been looking, but I think there’s a part of me that’s pretty much saying, “wait until you’ve moved and settled down…” Which, I guess makes sense. Mind, it’s not like that I’ve seen that many jobs that’s suitable for me yet. Doesn’t stop people from trying to send me absolute ridiculous job offers, though. I even had one that asked if I’d want to apply for a SQL manager position in Krakow, Poland. *shakes head* *shudders* Can you even _imagine_ the problems I’d have with that. A Manager position, managers goes through a lot of meetings and everything else, not to mention the fact that it’d all be in Polish… I have enough trouble with English already, thank you very much!

Not to mention the fact that we are talking about Poland. Let’s just say that their reputation for black people, or LGBT+ people, isn’t exactly… sterling? Not as bad as a particularly large country eastwards, but certainly not the best. *shakes head* Needless to say… I deleted that e-mail without even bothering to reply.

Oh yeah, the Polish thing… Well, I am of the firm belief that, if you are going to go and work in another country, which speaks a different language to you – for example, Polish in Poland – you should be expected and willing to learn that language, and start to do so before you even go there. You cannot, and should not, expect everyone in that country to be able to speak your own language to you. There are exceptions, of course – refugees, etc – but by and large… If you’re planning on going to work in a country that speaks a different language to you, you should be willing to communicate in that country’s language. Same for every country. If you plan to work in Britain, you should be willing to learn English, you go to Spain, be willing to learn Spanish, and so on.

As for other people that e-mailed me… Well, most of them asked for a phone number. As usual. And when I say I dun have a phone due to being deaf… Their “interest” definitely vanished! *rolls eyes*

Whatever… Like I say, it’s probably for the best because it does means I’ll have a bit more time to focus on actually getting everything done regarding moving and everything else…

Games-wise… Well, I’m getting back to playing seriously (while still having fun) and writing my own kind of self-guides as to how to play it. You know, should I ever want to play that game again! *grins*

Writing… Well, I’m writing. It’s still mostly the guide thing, though. I’m still hoping that by doing the guide-writing, I’ll be able to start focusing again on story and Yore! stuff. Although, again, I think there’s a part of me that’s whispering, “…wait until you move…”, but I dun really want to, to be honest.

…The problem with waiting is, there’s this kind of like… big expectation that by moving, I’m gonna magically find more time, I’m gonna feel a lot better, a lot more relaxed and everything else? That’s… Not gonna happen. The move will be good for me, but I need to bring my expectations down somewhat. Otherwise, well… It could be a big knock to the confidence that I’ve got right now.

…Still… Guess things will be moving on quicker from next week, so… Might as well take the time to relax while I still can, right? *grins*

Okay, I’ll stop here for now, but I will write another post tomorrow, okay? See you soon!

Me and my deafness…

Heya guys! How’s the weekend going? Hopefully you’re doing really well and enjoying your free time. Or, if you’re working this weekend, hope it’s all going well!

Me… Well, as people can probably guess, reading my twitter and all, I’m still kind of obsessed over Astoria: Fate’s Kiss and Medusa and all that, but I’ve also been writing more short stories and scenarios. Most of what I’ve been doing is similar to “Cherise” – that is, there’s no traditional set-up, it’s all been about relationships and friendships and stuff like that. Most of it isn’t worth expanding on, to be honest, but I think most writers have these things… For every one idea that get expanded out into a story, there’s probably a few dozen rejected ideas. But what I’m doing with them is I’m writing them down and keeping them in the story folder. Just because they’re rejected now doesn’t means that the idea behind them should be rejected. There’s every chance that I could take some of those ideas and put it into one that I think is worth expanding on.

And it is that kind of freedom that I’ve been missing from my life for a long while. I’m enjoying it. As well as the Astoria Medusa stories and all! 😀

I haven’t been watching the Paralympics – it’s for the same reason that I tend not to watch the Olympics – I just don’t really have that much interest in those sort of thing. That doesn’t means that I don’t have any admiration for the paralympians – of course I do – just that I just don’t watch it.

But that made me think that I hadn’t actually spoken about my deafness in any great detail. I means, I’ve spoken about it in places here and there, but nothing that actually put it all together, so I thought I should mention something about that.

So… Hmm… Where’s to start?

Okay, I was born deaf, and it’s just one of those freak things that happens. There’s been no history of deafness in my family, and my mum didn’t have any serious illnesses over her pregnancy period. It’s just one of those things. The rest of my family are all hearing.

Due to that, at the time, it was thought it would be better for me to learn to speak English, if I could – certainly, when they tested me, (I honestly don’t know how, but I can say that when I had tests in my childhood and adult years, it’s basically wearing a set of headphones (without aids) and listening for various types of noises, and if you hear one, you push a button and from that, they work out what your hearing range is). Since my hearing range is between 90-100 decibels, they thought it would be possible for me to do that.

…Oh yeah, I should explain a bit about decibels. A normal hearing person typically hears in the 60-70 decibels range. When you’re talking with someone else, that’s the range that your voice’s in. For me, I wouldn’t be able to hear that normally. 90-100 decibels would be comparable to the noise produced by say, I dunno (I did look online for specific examples, but… Yeah.), but from my experience think about things like loud motorbike engines, or those drills used in roadworks and stuff like that. Those were on the edge of my hearing, but I could actually hear those.

Anyway… So, they fitted me with hearing aids and taught me how to speak English. I don’t really remember too much about it. I do remember having to have my hand touching the lip of the speaker when I was learning that young, to pick up on the vibrations.

The official classification of my deafness, by the way, is I have a profound hearing loss. But it’s basically the same thing. As far as I’m concerned, anyway. The only time I would ever say “I have a profound hearing loss” is when I would be applying for jobs. *crosses arms* Basically, the reason for that is, if I just said, “I’m deaf” in the e-mail or something, the reaction that people would get, with me, is that I can’t talk except with sign-language. Saying “I have a profound hearing loss”, sadly, is “better” to those people. And I’d still struggle with getting past that obstacle.

Yeah. Anyway… When I was a little girl, I couldn’t learn how to speak English normally, it had to be done in a different way. Even when I was 12, I was still having to have special lessons in how to speak English – although, by then, it was really only for words beginning with “S”. And that, because there are certain noises that a deaf person just cannot really pick up on. If you think about it, stretch the word out, you’ll realise that the S of, well, let’s use “say”. It’s basically a hiss “sss” and that “ay”. I cannot hear that hiss. So, before that, I was more or less subconsciously replacing the S with another letter. I think for “say” it was sounding more like “day” when I said it back then.

And I’m one of those that was one of the better ones that picked up on how to learn English.

So… I can speak English perfectly well. If there’s a word I don’t really know, I will try and say it, but I probably will need to be corrected in how to say it. While I’m thinking about Astoria, let me just use “Hades” as an example. The way I said it (and still do sometimes), is that I say it similar to “haze”, so it’s all one syllable. But one day, I was talking with my oldest brother about Final Fantasy VII, and I was telling him about how to beat Ruby Weapon, and I said “You’ve got to W-Summon Hades and then Knights of the Round”, and he said “What?” I repeated it, and he said “Haze?” I showed him what I was talking about, and he said “You pronounce it like Had-es not haze”. *shrugs* I don’t know if it is true or not, I think I’ve heard people use both forms of pronounciation, so… I don’t know.

So that’s the speaking side of things for me…

Hearing… Well, that’s a bit different. The way it works for me is a combination of hearing aids and lip-reading. And from when I had tests about it, it appears to be almost 75, 80% of my understanding comes from lip-reading. I know some people might be a little surprised at that, but for me and I would imagine other deaf people as well, that’s the main way we pick up on what people are saying. The “hearing” through our hearing aids are more used to give us some extra clues, due to the fact that when someone’s talking, there are words that basically looks the same when you just shape it with your mouth. Plus, not everyone really speak very clearly with their mouths – and some are worse than others – and stuff like facial features such as beards and the like… They can make it almost impossible.

The hearing aids, by the way, are pretty much just amplifiers. They just pick it up and make it louder so you can actually hear the noise. That, by the way, is one reason why a hearing person should not put on a deaf person’s hearing aid. If my hearings aids allow me to hear at the 90-100 range, what do you think it would sound like for a hearing person? It’s likely to hurt. And that’s an understatement.

But that’s all they do. And it’s all noise. I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but from my experience, a deaf person cannot focus their hearing like a hearing person. Think about a noisy environment, and you and someone else are talking in there. You’re doing it subconsciously, but hearing persons can kind of focus their hearing so they’ve have more chance of knowing what the other person is saying.

For me… If I had to try and listen to someone in a noisy environment, I wouldn’t be able to filter out the other noise and focus on the noise the other person is making.

So that’s a definite disadvantage for deaf people.

But going back to the whole combination of hearing aids and lip-reading. Unless you are very good at that kind of thing, I find that, with most people, I’m having to make guessworks a fair amount of time. I try and pick up what you’re saying, and then mentally, at the same time, I’m trying to fill in the blanks. And sometimes, you’re not really sure what the person said at all. Working out what someone say when the words you’ve got are like… I dunno, trying to think of an example… “Look … there”, if I had to guess, the missing word would probably be something like “over”. But if all I knew was “Look … …”, well… Yeah. Look what?

But that’s why, for me, the best way to talk to me is really, face me head-on, make sure I can see your lips, try and talk clearly – I don’t means talking louder or whatever, I means make sure you shape your mouth clearly, instead of mumbling. And if we can talk in a nice, quiet environment so every bit of noise that I get coming through my aids is from you, even better.

In an ideal situation like that, I’d say I’d probably get about 80% of the words straight off, and we can chat easily. Mumble, try and talk to me in a dark environment, or not looking at me, put us in a noisy environment, add extra people (because I’d have to keep looking from one to another, and in a natural conversation, you’re basically working out who’s talking, and focusing on them after they’ve started replying), stuff like that, and that percentage will go rocketing down. Even friends who known me for a long time make those sort of mistakes.

By the way, having just referred to group conversations, I need to point out the fact that that’s the main reason why I’m so quiet in those situations… I’m basically spending my time trying to work out who’s talking, what they’re saying, that I just don’t really have any chance to say anything myself. I really much rather be with a single person at a time, or when I’m out with groups, I’m talking to one person at a time, you know take her to one side and we’d just have our own conversation, rather than struggle to cope with everyone trying to talk to each other.

After a while, I do kind of tend to get used to how a person sounds, so there have been times when – for example, my family in my childhood – they’d talk to me from behind and you’ve got that memory of what those sounds are like, and you know pretty much what it is. But that’s really rare. Even in those situations, you’re always better off making it as easy as possible for me.

…Not all of my past and current friends and past girlfriends and the like were that good at that, I’d have to say…

My body did overcompensate for the fact that I’m deaf. I’m definitely more sensitive to touch and stuff like that. I feel vibrations a lot more than most. And… *grins* Yeah, I had a girlfriend once who took fullest advantage of that. *sheepish look* She was soo unfair to me… *lol* Enjoyed it, though! Hopefully, whoever my future girlfriend turns out to be, she’ll be even better than that one was. *dreams* *lol* Okay, okay, let’s move on! *hides face*

*ahem* I don’t know sign-language. My parents were all for me learning sign-language, but it was decided that it would be better to focus on my learning to speak English and everything else. Right now… Well, I would like to learn sign-language, and I think I will, but probably at the same time as my future girlfriend, just so that we can talk using BSL (British Sign Language) even if we’re in noisy places. I don’t want to be in a situation where we can’t talk with each other when we need to or anything.

I don’t know many other deaf people right now. I used to go to a deaf youth club when I was a teenager, so if I was gonna learn sign-language, it would’ve been best around then. Now… *shakes head* If I learnt it now, I’d only forget after a while, because there’s no-one else to talk with on a regular basis.

Hmm… I think that’s most everything. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask, I’m happy to answer them. *looks up* Okay, maybe not about that, that’s for my future girlfriend to find out and know! *hee* But anything else… *grins*

Hope you have a lovely day, and I’ll write again soon!

Angel: Her early gaming years!

Hiya everyone! It’s finally the weekend! Yay! I’m plannning a nice long evening and the whole day tomorrow to try and get the two Key Fragments that I need to get in Hyperdimension Neptunia. I hadn’t been able to get on the console or anything lately, but that’s all about to change tonight! Edit: I managed to get all four Key Fragments, and freed Histy! Yay! Now, I just gotta find four Ancient Weapons… *lol*

But before that, I thought I’d give you, like, an abbreviated history of my gaming life. I suppose I should start with probably the biggest influence / main culprits of getting me into gaming. My brothers. They’re both more than a decade older than me, so they were basically there right at the start, when computers started getting popular, and they had ZX Spectrums. By the time I was 5, 6, they had moved on to Atari STs (I think it’s that…) and they were talking to Dad about getting rid of their old Spectrums – having basically “grown” out of it or whatever. When I asked them what they were talking about (deaf, remember), they told me, and I said, “Can I have them?” And they said if Dad says it’s fine, then sure. Later that evening, my Dad came back from dropping my brothers off with a few boxes of Spectrums and games and magazines and the like. *lol*

I had to wait until the following day before I could play on it, though, it being my bedtime… *smh* Come on, I was 5 or 6! I wanted to get on and play on it straight away! And I also had to ask parents to change the leads on the telly from the aerial to the computer one… Which meant I also had to ask if I could play on it. I wasn’t a good gamer – obviously, since I was that young! – but I did play a lot of the simplier games, like Hungry Horace (think Pac-Man style game) and was learning how to use the computer keys and all. Which was a bit more difficult for me at the time because I’m left-handed, so I was, originally, always moving my left hand over to the keys used for left / right (I think it’s typically O and P, although I remember one that was I and P, for some reason…), and then going back to Q and A to move up and down. Eventually, I did learn to use my right hand for O and P, though…

Eventually, my parents got fed up of me always asking to use the telly that they bought a small one and set it up in the kitchen, so I could go and sit on the stool there and play on that, leaving them to watch telly by themselves. *hee*

The Spectrums came with like… 400, 500 odd games? I don’t think I’ve actually played half of them, to be honest. I just stuck to the simple games and when I’d gotten older, I started playing slightly more thinking games – like football management games and so on. There’s a few games that I tried – I’m thinking like, “Cauldron” – which you can almost start and immediately die! So… Yeah, I kind of got annoyed with that one. Can’t think why(!) *hee*

I still actually have my Spectrums (and it is mine! My brothers keep saying they “lent” it and not “gave”, but they’re mine! *grins*) and all, it’s just in boxes at my parents’ place. When I get a place of my own (not this tiny flat), I’m planning to set up a retro corner. Dunno if my hypothetical future girlfriend would want me to have one, but… *grins* I’m sure we’ll work out a compromise…!

My next step up was when I went to visit my older brother, I think I was 10, although it might’ve been after I turned 11 (I was born in January), and he showed me his new Playstation console, which at the time had been out for three or four years, and on it was… Final Fantasy VII. I watched him play for the next couple of hours, he was just getting out of Midgar, and was going through Cloud’s backstory in Kalm, and I just wanted him to keep going, but he said enough for now. Later that week, I’d ask my parents if they’d get me a Playstation console with Final Fantasy VII. They said no. *hee* Obviously, since my birthday had just passed, so… Yeah. For the next few months, when I was visiting my brother (which wasn’t often), I’d ask if I could play on his console for an hour or so… He always said yes, and I was playing FF7 that way for a while. Later on… I think it was the beginning of the summer holidays and I don’t think we were going anywhere special for holidays (day trips was about all), and my parents said they’ve thought about it and got me the console. And the game. I spent the whole summer playing through it all. And I beat it. I know now it’s not exactly the most difficult game, but come on… I was a girl of 11!

And since then, of course, I just kept playing RPGs and the like. Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, etc… I did try some of the more action-type games, but I wasn’t very good with them. I couldn’t get into games like Metal Gear Solid at all, and while I did watch my older brother (very naughtily, because I wasn’t old enough at the time!) play GTA, I decided that wasn’t for me either.

Today, I have a collection of 55 or so PS1 games (most of them bought after the console’s been discontinued, I have to say!) And while I haven’t played my PS1 for a while, there’ll be a time in the future when I’ll set it up and start gaming.

In 2002, I was starting to get into computing – computer classes at school and the like, so by then, I was bought a fairly standard desktop computer (I know…) so I could maybe keep practicing programming and stuff like that. At that time, I started to get online and everything else. So yeah, I did kind of start a bit later than some (being 14), but oh well. I guess I tended to avoid all the sites where lecherous lurkers were. Course, I knew by then I only liked girls (I think I kind of knew while I was still at primary school, but only really confirmed it when I began secondary school…) so I wasn’t interested at all in what those guys wanted me to do or what they were saying or sending or anything.

Of course, almost four years later, I met online the one who’d be my bestie BFF. *hugs her tightly* She’s been a constant rock in my life, and I shudder to think what would’ve happened to me without her!

Anyway, yeah… In 2002, for Christmas, I was given the PS2. I’d asked them for it, and I gave two reasons for it: Firstly, it’s the latest console version, and secondly… I could watch DVDs on that! With subtitles! Imagine that: A deaf girl, whose only hope of watching VHS tapes and know what they were saying was by having a box that reveal close captions, and not every tape had it. I think at the time, there was like… 200, 300 films and the like that had it? Whereas the vast majority of DVDs had them. I could buy DVDs and watch them and know what they were saying! My first DVD was “Bend it like Beckham” – good film. Oddly enough, I don’t remember what my first PS2 game was… *lol*

Then, you know, university and the like. And then I got a decent paying job doing computer work, so I was really able to splash out and get all the consoles and games I’d wanted to get. And there was a lot of them! *hee*

So, there you go. I know I didn’t really go into much details about what consoles and the like I had from uni years onwards, but I think once you’ve actually start earning money and being able to buy these things for yourself – I think my first real expensive purchase was actually a laptop – well, I say mine, but let’s be honest, it was the grants and what money parents gave me!- because I prefer writing on those, and I was doing a lot of writing (still am! *grins*) so I thought, yeah, let’s get one – it’s not quite as interesting, especially since, by then, you have a generally good idea of what you’re moving towards. In my case, I was almost lead down the path into computer development. Mainly because, what other options are there for a shy, deaf girl?

I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but I was told that I’d need something else, “just in case” the writing didn’t work out. Well… I suppose in a way, they were right. I haven’t got a book published or anything – or even got to that stage. That’s probably mostly because of my depression history, though, rather than lack of skill or not having the good fortune. But at least this way, even though I do not like computer development work that much, I can at the least (well, when I’m not out of work through being made redundant!) buy games to play and all.

Now… Well, like I say, I have a goodly-sized collection, but I still mainly stick to RPGs and the like, no matter what else is luring me out there. Oh! I did pre-order Uncharted 4, I haven’t got it yet, but when it does arrive, I’m still gonna try and resist the temptation to play that properly. At least, until I’ve finished Hyperdimension Neptunia and all! *grins* I wanna try and finish some more games!

Life… Sometimes really throw it at you.

Hi guys! I was planning to write a review for yesterday / today (I’m thinking that it would’ve been about Fragment’s Note, a visual novel, but I was still debating between that and another one), but work’s been busy, plus today was basically waiting for the plumber to finish working on the taps (the ones I had for the bath was dripping constantly and despite seeing washers getting replace and inner tubes, or whatever, the taps were basically dead, so… Needed new taps). Anyway, the new taps are finally fitted in. Only took like, 2, 3 weeks from time I asked landlord to get the plumber in to them finally being done and dusted.

To be fair to the plumber, not having fully working bath taps isn’t an emergency (and he told me he had a few emergency callouts in these past weeks) as, after all, I could get a bowl and fill up with water from the bathroom sink and fill the bath that way. Takes longer and a bit irritating, but… I was able to do that, so… Yeah.

Unfortunately, I still can’t really relax. The battery light on my car, twice over the past week, has comes on for some reason. Typically while I’m braking, and typically towards the end of the journey. A little quick burst of acceleration does sort it out, but you know… You’re braking, you don’t want to have to accelerate for a while! *smh* Hopefully tomorrow morning will be fine, and I can take it round to the local (for work) kwik-fit garage to get the battery tested at lunchtime. No doubt I’ll probably need to get a new battery or something. That would pretty much guarantee that all the little incidentals had been replaced in the past 8 or so months…

No, seriously. I had 5 new tyres (4 originally, then I had a minor disagreement with a kerb being in the wrong place – all my own fault, I admit. The car that was coming towards me did have their lights on full blast but… I should’ve been more aware anyway – meaning I had to get a replacement for that tyre…), I had to get new springs for the front wheels, a new clutch, a new exhaust, a new radiator…

Edit: Got a new battery. I’ll need to give it a few drives, but the battery test showed that it was basically time for it to be replaced. There could still be more work to do, but because the test on the other parts of the charging system are fine, and everything else visually looks okay, they suggested that the battery is replaced, and try that. Which costs me around £100 – but could’ve been worse. The worse-case scenario was going to be over three times as much as that.

I suppose the one good thing is that at least I didn’t have a suicide badger attacking my car like I did on Christmas Eve 2014 (Yeah, driving to work on that day, and I drive through mostly country roads, past trees and hedges and all that, and all of a sudden I saw this big shape come out right in front of my car’s lights, and soon after a thump… Don’t really actually know if it was a badger or not, but considering the tufts of fur that were stuck to my car after that was black, grey and white, well… It’s probably a decent guess, right?)

I did have a couple of suicide birds in the past month… But thankfully, no damage done to my car. Can’t say the same for them, sadly. Even if one of them was a pigeon (No idea what the other one was).

The worst thing about all that is having to try and deal with people. At that kwik-fit garage, when I was getting the exhaust replaced, I went into the waiting room and sat down (since all the employees were in the garage area), and then a moment later, this guy comes in, see me and started talking while walking to his desk. I had to tell him to stop, reminded him I was deaf, and went and sat opposite him and then told him to start again.

Mind you, I was still having to second-guess about half of what he was saying to me… Sadly, that’s about normal, I’m afraid. I definitely need a gf who’ll be my ears for me! *grins*

And not to mention all the hassle with phones… I know I said it before, and I’ll say it again, but phones really are an absolute curse to me. Every time I had to contact car breakdown people, I have to send them a text (which is better than having to text parents to call breakdown folks for me), and hope they’ll remember to text me back not try and call me… Which had happened once. *smh* And then having to deal with garages… They keep asking me for my phone number (not for that reason, guys! Just so they can contact me and let me know when the car’s done, or what’s up with the car), and I keep having to remind them I’m deaf.

But yeah… Problems with flat, problems with car… I sometimes wonder if I’ve done something wrong to someone! Oh well… Let’s hope it’ll all be sorted tomorrow, and I can finally relax and start to write and all a bit more.

Next time, I’ll try and write something a bit more cheerful! Or a review. Maybe both! *grins* I know… There’s not much reason to be cheerful right now, but… I’m determined to try and keep my spirits up. The alternative isn’t good for me (I’ll probably talk about that another time, but not today).