Call Me Maybe, ASL version

VRS stands for Video Relay Services. It's for sign language on a screen across the internet. I love this video because the kids are beautiful. The video doesn't have that many views, 48,000, while it has a strong positive reaction in comments.

Governor Polis, Colorado

I am waiting for the pizza guy to give him ten dollars. He is bringing a pizza for people we cannot see. He cannot see them either, and they cannot see him.

A woman is wearing a mask and waiting between a door and a window and another door, for someone to come out so that she can either go in and take their place, or join them going out. I don't know if she is coming or going.

She is alone there under her mask, waiting. One lonely soul in temporary suspension, within the city's period of suspension, waiting for her moment within that waiting through a pandemic period for returning to work.


I too am alone.

I charmed her. Poured it right on. No warning. No warm up.

I was also wearing a mask. Try that sometime. Charm a woman who is wearing a mask while you are wearing a mask. Two random souls alone connect. Point blank. Go for it.

"I listened to Governor Polis today for only the second time. Larger in the frame was his sign language interpreter. I listened carefully and watched very carefully."

The woman's eyes lit up. Her face came to life. She looked directly at me. She made sounds. She said something under her mask.

"Nobody says anything the way that I'd say it. Every time I watch them they do things differently. Nobody ever matches me.

It's just one of those things that leaves me self-questioning. Am I really this idiosyncratic?

Polis is exceedingly glib. He rattles off the names of state agencies like they're all close family friends. He is extremely detailed and dry. I felt sorry for the interpreter. He must listen to that crap then show it and so very much of it is precise but adds nothing to the picture that's appreciable. The hearing version can put you to sleep. The sign language version of that is worse. The man did poorly. But his material was hardly visualize-able. It was just legal-schmegal Byzantine bureaucracy talking to itself in careful skillful legal-eze. Polis is very smart and times like this he gives the smart answers. It is not useful to most listeners. "

The woman said, "plerf nerf nerf glerf dilt zindit inst munxt intisitic." I think. I'm not really sure.

I continued, "Then Polis switched to Spanish.

The interpreter does not speak Spanish. He just stood there nonplussed.

Boy, did he ever look stew-pid. Because he is larger in the t.v. frame than Polis.

He could have just said in sign language, [I said to the woman in sign language] 'speaking Spanish' but I did not see that.

Polis speaks Spanish like such a gringo. He naturally uses higher-level English vocabulary put to English / Spanish cognitives. The whole thing sounds like gringo reading a textbook. I think he sounds the way I do. His pronunciation is very good but there is still that original white guy speaking through everything. He is very easy to understand because of the cognitives. Very easy. But it all adds up the the same legalese. Honestly, I don't know why the interpreter was stumped.

That job would have been perfect for me. I could have kept right on going because Polis' Spanish sounds so much like English that's how I would be hearing and picturing him. But I am very glad it was not for me because this particular Polis speech about what the state is doing to open back up is boring as f."

The woman became animated just as the pizza guy arrived. Her arms flipped around somewhat excitedly. The driver thinks at first that she is talking about pizza. She was signaling to me attitude with a hand on her hip and the other hand waving around. The pizza guy needs to know who this pizza and salads are for. The woman makes clear she is Democrat. She voted for Polis. She likes Polis. She thinks that he's great. She did not know that he speaks Spanish. That was new to her. It makes her like him more. She thought that was funny. She pictured the scene and followed the interpreter was stumped. A worker came in from the back and another woman came forward from the back so the lobby was suddenly filled with people coming and going and pizza delivery sorted and tipped. The woman laughed under her mask and fogged up her glasses. The woman I am speaking to and the last woman to come forward joined then left together through yet another door. The pizza guy left. The employee left. I left, and suddenly the lobby was empty. And that answered, she was going, not coming.

Today's second national anthem

For all the governor's out there who've overstepped. Your governance depends on the agreement of the governed. And several of you make yourselves look like whack jobs.

I'm surprised they didn't suspect Trump on this point. 

I'm not really listening so it's natural I haven't heard anyone talk about Trump delivering an exercise in federalism; the idea that power resides with the states. The impulse for a Democrat president would be to use emergencies to gather power at the national level and issue directives for the whole country. Such as what Bush 2 did and that tells you about his uniparty impulses. But Trump made clear that power lies with the states. I read several tweets from Democrats mocking Trump for being too weak to lead and now each state has to flail around for their own solution. 

And now that they are flailing around for their own solutions, several of them are doing quite poorly.

Coming off as the thing they describe Trump of being. 

And our media is hopeless. Worse than ITAR-TASS because they're free but they flog for a political party voluntarily. 

The song was written as Viet Nam protest but it's the anthem for today. Surprising how well it's held up. I was impressed in comments how many people adore this song for their own reasons.

There is no video up for this song in ASL presently. Too old for today's kids. What a bummer. Because it's perfect for them. I was signing along as Edwards was singing it and I was thinking how excellent this song is for interpretation. I never used this song for practice, but it would have been a good one for that. I imagined being in high school and showing this song to the class. I could see the people I was showing this to, I imagined it really well. I saw my own teenage arms and hands. I created a mental scene and veritably projected myself into it.

I should have stopped shooting up heroin a lot earlier.


To compensate for this shortcoming of not having the video I'd like to offer another video involving ASL and sunshine. Except this guy is inviting it. It's the cutest little thing. It's a kid in a boat singing about letting the sunshine come down on him. He's out in a boat floating around in circles in the middle of a lake with nobody around to judge him except his nana. His sign is a bit idiosyncratic, he is very good.

Tokyo red light district during COVID-19

The walk is interesting to me. This is like the Disneyland version of the Tokyo I lived in as a boy for three years. The Tokyo streets made for foot traffic do not appear real, black with white lining and clean as a whistle. One gets the sense of being inside an ant farm. The excessive signage is fairly uniform and uncreative although flashy.

But then to them written words are art. They're seeing art. We're seeing squiggly words.

Shutting down the entire economy is voluntary and nearly everyone complies leaving the whole city to non-compliers. 

Denver Colorado is very much like this. I was amazed how easy it was for everyone to just go along no matter how damaging that was for a lot of vulnerable people.  

A LOT of vulnerable people. 

In the beginning a friend called and told me all the waitress at his breakfast place in a hotel were crying. It really hurts a lot of people who live paycheck to paycheck. A full month disruption means disaster.

It was disaster for a lot of people. 

Yet everyone just went along. Most people did.


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