No More Red Eyes

In my last column, I wrote about a difficult flight experience. Well, the bad luck seems to be following me! Recently, I needed to travel back east from California for an event. I was asked to give a speech at the University of Vermont for Deaf Awareness Week. I felt honored and excited about the opportunity.

When I received my ticket, which had me flying from Southern California to San Francisco to Chicago and finally onto Burlington, VT, I told them I was a little nervous because the flights were all red eye—meaning overnight—and if one leg of the trip got delayed, then the whole itinerary would be messed up. Obviously, I’m used to the challenges of travel, but I think sometimes people take it for granted that everything will go smoothly.

Sure enough the first leg of my trip from Ontario to the Bay Area kept getting pushed back. Finally they said there was no chance of me making my connecting flight from San Francisco to Chicago, which meant I wouldn’t get to the event in time. By then, it was the middle of the night in Vermont. I felt stuck. Not knowing what to do, I texted my mom in Florida, woke her up, and had her try to get in touch with our Vermont contacts. Mom and I both ended up leaving messages, but it was just too late to make alternative travel plans. Finally, I decided to go back home, and asked a friend to pick me up for the long trek back to my house. After all that effort, nothing was accomplished.

When I woke up the next morning, we had to act fast to try and fix the situation. The event’s sponsors were still confused about where I was. The university said that since everything was already scheduled, they wanted to know if I could use Skype, where the audience would see my presentation via the Internet and a webcam. I practiced with some sign-language interpreters, and later that day we all worked together to do the Skype presentation. It was different, but we pulled it off.

Fortunately, the following month I had better luck with a Florida trip to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. Last year, my mom, her friend and my roommates went to it and had so much fun that we decided to make it an annual trip. Luckily none of our flights to get there were delayed or canceled.

My mom is a big scaredy-cat, so everyone likes to frighten and tease her. The zombies at the Halloween Horror Nights somehow figured this out, too, and hunted her down! We all had a great time.

My new roommate, Mary, had never been to Florida, so when we were done in Orlando, we drove up to St. Augustine to visit my family for a few days. My mom and dad have a tiki bar and a BBQ smoker in their backyard, so we had a little party with family and friends. We also rode around on my old track using my brother’s pit bikes and my mom’s new four-wheeler. It was super muddy, so it was like we were mud bogging, but that just added to the adventure.

In a recent column, I mentioned that I attended the world premiere of No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie last August in Los Angeles. As you know I have a role in the film and sometimes take the main character—TV hero, SuperDeafy—around on the back of my bike. Well, I was invited to the Indianapolis premiere of the film at the Heartland Film Festival. Some of the cast came to support the movie and do interviews; we also had to try to get people to vote

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for No Ordinary so it would have a chance of being shown in theaters nationwide. Mostly deaf people attended the premiere, and I really enjoyed myself as I’m normally around just hearing people. We also went to a deaf school in Indianapolis for their homecoming and created some great memories.

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Super Deafy

Ashley Fiolek

Ashley Fiolek

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