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Interviewing is so nervewracking.

I am so lost

Maybe it's because I am tired, but I do feel a bit lost.

I'm going to have some changes in my life in August. It will be a series of changes and I feel like I'm weaving in and out of decisions that I have not fully committed to, that I feel like I want to back out of and continue to live a cloistered life.

I'm moving out. Unlike other people who made the decisions to move out of their parents' house when they were young, I have not. Part of that has been not being able to find work, but another part is also the comfort of knowing where my food is coming and that living expenses aren't something I have to worry about.

Now, I'm going to live with a group of deaf-and-one-hearing people in a house on the Mission in San Francisco. We'll all be able to sign with each other and it sounded exciting at first. But now I am scared because my income is precarious and the monthly rent feels a bit high.

I think it's "almost reasonable", a mite higher than I would like to pay, but affordable as long as I continue to bring in enough money that it represents just about a week a month of work.

It's such a big change when I have spent years and years in the same place, but it's also something that I can process in the distant future and write about as if it is the most exciting time of my life, when things seemed as if in dreams and months pass in hours.

Everyone feels lost, I tell myself. It's that your own lossness feels singular because it is. And planning years ahead feels like planning the direction of an indeterminate life. a prism of possibilities and time is the observer settling the debate.


The name of the condition is temporomandibular joint disorder. The acronym is TMD. To refer to the joint itself, you use TMJ.

Occasionally I have noticed the right side of the jaw clicking repeatedly, but I ignored it. I didn't think it was a serious condition other than a physiological quirk. Evolution isn't striving toward perfection. It just exists. A mutation or environmental pressure happens to provide an evolutionary advantage and it allows that phenotype to proliferate. Naturally, a genotype has to exists beforehand or the phenotype wouldn't be able to be expressed.

Anyway, my right side of the cheek, just forward of my ear, is in pain. It is inflamed. It is hurting my jaw, and it seems to be a lifelong condition. There is no cure but to live with it. It started five days ago. I was hoping it would go away. I wondered if it was an infection, but it was most definitely my joint misbehaving.

If it does go away, then I know that it is a condition that will come back and go away again. If it doesn't, then I might have to live with this pain for years.

It affects my ability to masticate because I would feel it clicking, and it would then cause the pain to return.

I saw my doctor, who could only prescribe a stronger dose of an over-the-counter painkiller, and recommended that I see a physical therapist.


my life as a sock

To be deaf to hear - to be blind to see
To be lame to walk - That's the irony.

I have been told how good I am at work and I don't know if I should treat these praises as meaningful. I'm always left out of conversations. I agonize that I cannot even put a word in.

Oh well. I will do my best because I know that other companies won't be the same. Not many managers are likely to be as accommodating of my disability as mine has been, though that makes me think about my first job.

When I showed up with an interpreter, the woman (presumably HR) said that I shouldn't be there because I was deaf and I couldn't have an interpreter following me around. It got my interpreter mad, but I kept calm. The world has too much ignorance that every generation must be born into.

I think though that she ultimately primed the people making the decision to hire me to give me a chance and I thought that was the best opportunity I got. Sure, the job didn't pay well and it was basically 11 months of hellish commute at a part-time temp job.

I'm trying to move out too.


It was intense today

When you're awake, the things you think
Come from the dream you dream
Thought has wings, and lots of things
Are seldom what they seem

Sometimes you think you've lived before
All that you live to day
The things you do come back to you
As though they knew the way

Oh the tricks your mind can play

It seems we stood and talked like this, before
We looked at each other in the same way then
But I can't remember where or when

The clothes you're wearing are the clothes, you wore
The smile you are smiling you were smiling then
But I can't remember where or when

Some things that happened for the first time
Seem to be happening again

And so it seems that we have met before
And that we laughed before, also loved before
But who knows where or when

My birthday came today. Older by a year. And I am tired by the exigencies of today. The sadness of the closet, the living in the rule. Absolutely when, a cassidy of tulle. It hops at me, it hops away, so a cat on yesterday.

This is the only place I can feel safe to scream, shouting like the verge of yesterday. At tomorrow that at this midnight comes.

Other Thanks

I am thankful that I can feel.

My right neck is a little sore, but not too bad. I put a Ben Gay patch on it and it seems to help me feel better. I had a slight headache too, but it went away with food.

In the last month, I have been having issues with the urge to urinate every half an hour, and sometimes waking up three or four times a night. I thought that I should drink two liters of water, because I always woke up feeling thirsty. But my urine was clear. What was wrong with me, really? And why did I keep burping?

I looked up stuff on my phone, trying to see what I should be doing.

What I discovered was that perhaps drinking 2 liters of water is a myth. It is not about trying to down two glasses of water at once. All you wind up doing is wasting water, since they go out of the kidney into the bladder an hour later.

Instead, sip and sip often. It seems almost like magic that my burping issues have disappeared. This has only been for a day, but compared to burping every five minutes—perhaps a result of excessive water or swallowing large amount of air in trying to drink large amount of water—I have burped infrequently. I feel almost normal again.

My bladder doesn't feel as eager to unload because it is not accumulating water so fast, so my sipping seems to let my bladder work slowly, growing slowly with its fluidic inheritance like a stomach that grows from food chewed slowly and swallowed slowly.

It's like how we should be eating five small meals instead of three large ones. The stomach was made for frequent and slow eating. It makes sense because how could we possibly run or defend ourselves if we were were stuffed bursting full in the old cavemen days?

It is cooking to which we owe the benefits of civilization, so that we don't need to spend six hours a day chewing food because we can digest cooked food much faster.

Still, we should all slow down, shouldn't we? not hurrying to down a ground-beef burger with a leaf of lettuce, a slice of tomato and some condiments, a packet of salty fries, and a sugary drink in a quarter of an hour.

Giving Thanks

Of thanks and ingratitude have I to give.

        I am thankful that I can work, ungrateful that it is ending soon. The news was expected, but sudden. I knew that they were planning to end the company, but I had the expectation which they before confirmed that they would stay in business maybe by the end of the year or by next year. They did the finance and came away with the sad conclusion that they had to shut down the company right away. The expenses they had made in October was more than the middle of a five-digit number. As a result, which they allowed me to see it on the board, they had not much money left.

        They were not in debt. They could probably have managed to survive to next year, but the combination of several factors led them to close. It was a factor of motivation. Contracting is a treadmill job where income is reliant bringing in more clients. It was a factor of energy. They were exhausted. It was a factor of sustainability. They were planning to end the company anyway, and they knew that December and January were dead months.

        So it ends, for not three months after I started there they commenced selling off their company assets.

        I have no clue what to do next. I need to look for another job. I need to do some contracting. I’m at a point where I can say I have experience working with people to get a job done, but perhaps not enough to … get past the Human Resources people.

        Or I have to look harder, more discriminately, for postings that are a perfect fit for my level.

        At least I have a yardstick to measure myself against, compared to the amorphous electron cloud I was stuck in before — where people would say that they are looking for 0 - 4 years of experience, but got candidates with more.


I’m going to make an Emily Dickinson website, and the hardest part is probably getting started in the first place, envisioning what should be there and what should not. For sure, I’ll have as much as all 1,789 poems displayed. The question is, do I want them to be all static, or to be all set up by database access?

It makes sense for the poems to be static because it will never change—where’s the fun in that?


I’m very happy to be working for a deaf-owned company. I never thought I’d find a place to work that would be so cool and that makes me inordinately happy every time I think about the whole thing.

Usually, every time I search “deaf” on Craigslist Jobs, I only find social work. It was enough to make question whether I chose the wrong major.

I was bereft of self-esteem and certainty. The job I found in Milpitas only heightened my feeling, because all I was doing was the same routine work, opening boxes of specimens shipped from across the country, sorting them, doing data entry, and in the lab, doing blood filtering and urine pouring and blood centrifugation where centrifugation was necessary.

Hundreds of test tubes have been processed by my hands a day, four days a week, three weeks a month, for nine months. I have driven 5,050 miles in my commute, enough for a road trip around the country.

My first job—so happy just—I knew I wouldn’t stay—months passed that made me worry I would be stuck—applications after applications—emails about networking that I just couldn’t abide—

I did not start looking again until after three months, but that was because I had the misassumption that I should build up the months in my resume—what a rube!

It was only by luck, by self-commitment that I was able to find this company. This company happened to be working in web technologies, programming. I had only rudimentary skills from what classes I took in school and what I tried to apply myself, but I was still new.

That they took me in and was willing to train me—I have no words. I know it’s all because I’m deaf too, but—

I am happy then to say that I have replaced my old worries with new ones. The old worry was that I was not good for anything. An average biochemistry student in college, and too old to be a programming superstar. The new worry is that I am not learning fast enough, that I am slow and doomed to be slow.

And that I still have not proved what I need to prove, which is that I can find a job outside of a shared language or where, like with Spectra they were sympathetic enough to offer it to me when I walked in with 350 other people and interviewed with the recruiting agency and with them for five minutes on that day the company had a career day.

[My writing surely has declined. I am too obsessed with details, and I don’t want to write in such a way to simplify my narrative, but that makes the story flow less smoothly.]

Sure, it has been a bit rocky with the company. I didn’t press on how I was going to get paid as a contractor. I was also not quite employed, but I wanted to go to the office more often.

In July, I worked my last week at Spectra. I sent the recruiting agency an email saying that I was leaving. We said goodbyes—I shall remember the other temps I work with—some are working there even now. I felt a chill because I knew that they had no desire to stay, but for the fact that they could—not yet—find another way.

I found another way because I had another interest, which is now much more interesting than bio/chemistry. It is to write code to get a computer to do what I want.

When the code gets cryptic, difficult to read, sometimes I doubt my capability. What if, like poetry, I am not for programming? Despite my passion, poetry is difficult to read and I often need others to help interpret for me.

In September, around the last week or so, J and B brought me over to Ben & Jerry’s to discuss my future. They asked if I wanted to work for them part-time, and whether I was willing to learn C and other languages rather than be limited to Ruby. I said yes with no large amount of hesitation. I was confident in my ability to adapt even though it would be a challenge. I was only so glad—they gave me a chance.

I find throes of embarrassment constantly. Each time I ponder how I react, how I behave, how I see my code, how it feels to have others look at it, and I just grimace, wince, torture myself unnecessarily.

I feel deathly

I'm glad only a few people know me here. I think no one else reads me.

I feel deathly.

I decided to pursue a new thing, but I'm often caught aback by how little time I have, what I spent them instead on that I regret because I had no goal. Just do this and it will somehow work out in the end. It never does.

I am left picking up the pieces of my identity.

It has been said that our brain forms a narrative of random events. It tries to explain by causation, just so that it can say, "This was meant to be." It is why we insist on prostrating ourselves, in a direction (most likely to a certain place considered sacred, or to what star is visible in the vast, light-polluted firmaments), supplicating the dead or the supernatural, as if they literally, in ways that cannot be measured, guide us.

Maybe they will measure it eventually. Maybe it will be found not that there were dead beings actually watching over you, but that the brain constructs the narrative. It simply has to. It is like how people who love each other believe that they have known each other their entire life--they really haven't, but because as they told each other stories of their childhood in getting to know each other, it almost becomes as if they were part of each other's childhood. Memory is like that for me, making you almost forget that you hadn't met each other yet.

The Valve

I will never call myself a developer, never. Not even a designer.