Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas. I'm at work. Sounds like a drag, but it's not. Call volume should be light. I'm only working until 3. Dale is at his parents' house. He and I drove home to my mom's on Thursday, had Christmas with my family on Friday, and drove home Saturday. We didn't get to spend much time with anyone, but we're planning a longer visit in the spring.

Dale and I exchanged presents yesterday morning. I got him a tripod for his camera, fancy new cookware that he wanted (I don't know much about cooking), and a new photo printer that prints amazing photos. He just got his digital camera a month ago, and loves to carry around pictures of our dog Brody. It'll also be good to print out pictures for his brother and send them to him in Iraq. I also got us (though really it was for him) a Sony PSP. He's thoroughly addicted to The Sims 2.

I got some really cool gifts. My sister gave me a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble, a vulgar little book that poses such questions as "Would you rather have sex with the top half of Pamela Anderson or the bottom half of Justin Timberlake?", and the DVD edition of "The Price is Right" with little post-it notes (Thank you, Romy and Michele) that say "'Pin da Wheel." Apparently, as a toddler, whenever I would hear the announcer say, "Come on down!" I would wobble into the living room as quickly as I could in my diaper and glue my eyes to the TV yelling, "'Pin da wheel!"

Dale is a really good gift buyer. I got Family Guy on DVD seasons 1-4 witha T-shirt and action figures, cookies, candy, T-shirts, The Devil Wears Prada on DVD, and a Slingbox A/V. I think there was more.

Well I guess that'll do it for now...I'm off for a week beginning tomorrow. Looking forward to a little R&R. :-)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

BOO to Janice Crouse

Mary Cheney, the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, and her partner are expecting a baby. Congratulations to Mary and her partner Heather Poe.

But someone needs to bitch slap Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, who described the pregnancy as "unconscionable."

"It's very disappointing that a celebrity couple like this would deliberately bring into the world a child that will never have a father," said Crouse, a senior fellow at the group's think tank. "They are encouraging people who don't have the advantages they have."

What I think is unconscionable is that Janice Crouse thinks that it's any of her business what gay people do or don't do. Who fucking asked you, Janice? I am so fucking tired of religion being legislated in a country that likes to call itself free. We are NOT free. We have so many restrictions imposed on us that are based on Christian values. News Flash: Not everyone is Christian. If being gay is a sin for Christians, then I think they should be straight. Every damned one of them. They can meet in their churches and congratulate each other on their noisy, ill-behaved children and heterosexuality. But for those of us who don't subscribe to their value system, we should be free to be who we are.

I'm tired of this. It's never ending.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Tree

Our Christmas Tree.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Sometimes I forget I HAVE a blog. :-( Sorry.

I went home to Potosi, MO for the holidays. I left Thursday, stopped by my dad's Thursday night, spent the night with my sister Karen, brother-in-law Dave, and nephews (Brock and Chase) at my sister's dad's house (which ironically enough is just down the hill from MY dad's house). Friday Karen and I went to mom's early to help with our dinner (really lunch). My brother Roger and his wife Melissa and kids (Amanda and Ryan), Dave and the boys came out a little later. After a very fine dinner, I drove my mom over to visit my Uncle Thomas in the hospital. He probably doesn't have a lot of time left, but he was in good spirits and has his sense of humor about him.

Saturday I drove home, and today spent the day relaxing with Dale and Brody. Tomorrow is back to work (yuck).

That's it...nothing very exciting to post.

Friday, November 17, 2006

National Interpreter Certification (NIC)

Well today was the day. This morning at 8:30 I took the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Interview & Performance exam. My performance and interview was videotaped and will now be shipped to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) national office, where my tape will be copied and sent to a team of raters who will evaluate my performance and determine whether I pass at the Certified, Advanced or Master level. That process can take up to three months. So now the waiting game begins.

The DVD stimulus materials are VERY well-made. The test seemed to do a good job of simulating a day in the life of an interpreter. If you're planning on taking the test, I recommend taking a NIC Preparation workshop first. It will help you get a handle on what the raters are looking for.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

10:43 PM

I'm going to start a new weekly post: The Exact Minute that "Brothers & Sisters" Makes Me Cry.

I love this show, but I always feel like I'm being emotionally manipulated. That's something I usually reserve for family or boyfriends, but I'll let six strangers do it every Sunday night.

Where in the World is Chris?

I've been a little too busy to blog, so let me update you on what's been going on.

Gallaudet Protest

While I didn't go to Washington D.C. to lend my support to the protest, staying abreast of what was going on took up a lot of my time. I did volunteer my interpreting services to a local action group who was trying to convince Dr. Brenda Brueggeman, president of the Board of Trustees at Gallaudet, to call an emergency meeting with the hope of ending the protest. Hats off to Ricky Taylor of Ridor Live who did an excellent job of keeping everyone updated about the goings on at Gallaudet.

OCRID Conference

The Ohio Chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (OCRID), our state affiliate chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), held its state conference in Columbus, Ohio this year. I was one of the full-time conference interpreters, which is the first time I've interpreted an interpreting conference. It was a great experience, and I worked with some very talented people.

Freelance Work

I work at my full-time job Monday - Thursday, so technically I'm off Friday through Sunday. I have been doing quite a bit of freelancing as of late, which I enjoy because it allows me to get out and meet real Deaf people.

Professional Development

As a certified interpreter, I have to earn a certain number of CEUs to maintain my certification. I'm fortunate to live in an area where there are a lot of opportunities to earn CEUs. Today I attended a workshop on how to give and receive feedback, presented by Sharon Neumann Solow. She is a reknowned interpreter and educator in my field, and the workshop was well worth the time.

National Interpreter Certification (NIC)

My professional organization, RID, has been certifying interpreters since the 1970s. That certification process has undergone changes over time to ensure that RID only certifies those interpreters who meet the minimum standard as set forth by our profession. The first full certificate RID offered was the Comprehensive Skills Certificate (CSC). That tested for an interpreter's ability to interpret (ASL-English and vice versa) and transliterate (English to an English-like signing system and vice versa). The current, though soon-to-be-retired certificates, are the Certificate of Interpretation (CI) and the Certificate of Transliteration (CT). The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) used to certify interpreters as well. Interpreters who are NAD certified were tested for both interpreting and transliterating during their performance assessment and hold a Level III (Generalist), Level IV (Advanced), or a Level V (Master). There used to be a sense of competition between NAD-certified and RID-certified interpreters, but that was mostly alleviated when RID and NAD partnered to develop a new certification that was to become the new standard. That test is called the National Interpreter Certification (NIC). While the CI and CT tests are pass/fail, the NIC is a tiered certification. An interpreter who scores within the standard range for the interview and performance portions of the test are awarded the NIC: Certified level. Interpreters who score withing the standard range on the interview portion and high on the performance portion are awarded the NIC: Advanced level. Interpreters who score high on both the interview and performance portion are awarded the NIC: Master level.

I took the NAD test in 1997 when I worked for an interpreting agency in Cincinnati, Ohio and got a Level V. I didn't choose the NAD test over the RID tests for philosophical reasons; it was simply what the other interpreters had taken. I had planned to take the CI and CT tests, but simply put it off until RID stopped offering the written test for the CI and CT. Then it was too late. So I decided that when the NIC was available, I would take it. I am scheduled to take the NIC on November 17th, so I've been studying the reference materials and going through the practice DVD. I think I'm prepared. I've been interpreting professionally since 1995. There's nothing I can do in two weeks that is going to make me interpret significantly better. I can bone up on our Code of Professional Conduct and go through various ethical scenarios in hopes of boosting my score during the interview portion. So that's another thing that's been taking up some time and energy.

Well...I guess that's it. It's 4:14 AM. I should hit the sack.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Computers and Stuff

There's been a little turnover in the computer department. I sold my PowerBook G4 (which I LOVED) and upgraded to a MacBook. As you know, Apple recently completed the transition to Intel processors. I have a 2.0 GHz MacBook that is maxed out with 2 GB of RAM, so this puppy really flies. And, after months of not having a camera, I picked up a new Casio Exilim camera. It takes great shots, and I'm experimenting with different options and finding that it's amazingly powerfule for a simple point and shoot.

So armed with a new MacBook and digital camera, I've been being creative. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Weekend Update

Friday night I went to a Deaf happy hour at the Buckeye Cafe, and then Saturday Liz, Eric, Dale and I went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival and had a great time. You can see a montage of our adventure here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Weekend Update


Dale and I went to Easton to poke around at the Apple Store. Having done some freelancing, I had a bit of cash to spend and I needed something Apple. I weighed my options: iPod Video, digital camera, new computer. As I was weighing my options, Dale grew increasingly bored so we just left and went home to watch "My Name is Earl."


I needed to just get out and lose myself in Apple products. I gave Dale a quick kiss, then headed to Easton to visit the Apple Store again. I was there for HOURS, trying to decide if I wanted an iMac or a new laptop. I then went to Microcenter (their return policy is more fair than Apple's) and looked around. Realizing my PowerBook still has some life left in it, I decided to purchase an Apple 20" Cinema Display to use with my PowerBook. It's a SWEET set-up. My PowerBook screen is only 12" so going to 20" is a HUGE difference.


We took Brody to Antrim Park for a long walk and some off-leash play, then went grocery shopping and to Lowe's. Then it was a quiet afternoon and Desperate Housewives that night. It was good, but not great.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Autumnal Joy


I love fall. Though the leaves havent started to really turn yet, this morning I woke up to Sweater Weather. Today is the first really chilly day of late summer/early fall,so I wore a sweater to work. I thought it was a great idea, but the office is kind of hot. I should've worn a thin shirt and a jacket. But I don't have a jacket, so I'm probably going to have to buy one this weekend. I'm not sure what's "in" right now. I might have to go to the mall and just people watch a bit to see what the hot guys are wearing.

Last night Dale and I walked Brody and it was quite chilly. He had on jeans, a hoodie and tennis shoes. He looked kind of hot. He also looks hot in his Marine T-shirt that he got on base when he was visiting his brother Joe. I might have to play the role of a naughty insurgent at some point.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I was IMing with my friend Scott, telling him that I'm bored at work. I told him that I needed some kind of mini tragedy, like a Tragedy Lite, to alleviate my boredom and give me something to focus on.

If you look on CNN right now, it looks like there's a little Thai Coup going on. Thai Coup is much more entertaining than Haiku, though one of Paige's first spells on Charmed was written in Haiku. That was the episode with the firestarter. So that's a little something to while away the afternoon with.

In other news, the Atlantis is falling apart in the sky. An astronaut saw something else fall of the shuttle. That's something to be curious about as well. Who's building those things nowadays? Ford? Chevrolet?

In Honor of Julia Sugarbaker

My friend Kevin once told me that I was one of two people he knew who became more eloquent the angrier he became. He's even said, "You went all Julia Sugarbaker on his ass, did ya?" In honor of Ms. Julia Sugarbaker, here is one of my favorite quotes of hers.

Julia is in a televised debate with Commissioner Bricket.

I do not think everyone in America is ignorant! Far from it! But we are today, probably, the most uneducated, under-read, and illiterate nation in the western hemisphere. Which makes it all the more puzzling to me why the biggest question on your small mind is whether or not little Johnny is gonna recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning! I'll tell you something else, Mr. Brickett. I have had it up to here with you and your phony issues and your Yanky Doodle yakking! If you like reciting the Pledge of Allegiance everyday then I think you should do it! In the car! In the shower! Wherever the mood strikes you! But don't try to tell me when or where I have to say or do or salute anything, because I am an American too, and that is what being an American is all about! And another thing...I am sick and tired of being made to feel that if I am not a member of a little family with 2.4 children who goes just to Jerry Fallwell's church and puts their hands over their hearts every morning that I am unreligious, unpatriotic, and un-American!! Because I've got news for you, Mr. Brickett...all liberals are not kooks, anymore than all conservatives are fascists! And the last time I checked, God was neither a Democrat nor a Republican! And just for your information, yes I am a liberal, but I am also a Christian. And I get down on my knees and pray everyday --- on my own turf --- on my own time. One of the things that I pray for, Mr. Brickett, is that people with power will get good sense, and that people with good sense will get power...and that the rest of us will be blessed with the patience and the strength to survive the people like you in the meantime!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Weekend Update


I actually did community interpreting this weekend both Friday and Saturday. Friday there were several deaf consumers there, and I got a few compliments and one person asked for my name so s/he could request me in the future. That was a VERY nice feeling, and not one you really get doing Video Relay Services (VRS) work since callers cannot ask for a specific interpreter.


It is boring as hell around here without Dale. Brody was his adorable little self, and he learned something new--he can go downstairs (to the basement) all by himself now! That's not exactly good news, cuz now we have to make sure he doesn't go upstairs or downstairs. I think it's time to invest in those baby gates that keep toddlers away from stairs.

Columbus Drivers

This is a bit off-topic, but it has to be said: Columbus drivers suck ass--big time! Don't believe me? Check this out. Saturday I had to pick up Brody from daycare, and of course it was game day (OSU kicked UC's butt!) Noah's Bark, the daycare we use, is near OSU so they open up their parking lot for $10. Well, they did a piss-poor job managing their parking lot. They left enough room for ONE car to get in or out. Well I was wanting IN and about three or four cars were wanting out. So I sat in the left lane of southbound traffic waiting for both the northbound traffic to clear AND these people coming out of Noah's Bark. Well I must have sat there for 10 minutes. There were several cars behind me. I don't know why they didn't get in the right lane and go around me. What a Buick LeSabre did, though, was just jump straight into the oncoming traffic to pass me on the left. This nearly caused a huge accident, and when the carload of people scooted by me they gave me the finger. Because it was all my fault they started going down the road on the wrong side of the street. Fuckin-A!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday Thidbits

Company News

I found out this morning that my company is now offering domestic partner benefits. I don't have any deets yet, but it's nice. We are probably one of the largest employers of interpreters, and interpreting is second only to cutting hair as far as gay careers go.


Dale is out of town. He's gone to California with his family to visit his brother, who is being deployed to Iraq very soon. So Brody and I are going to be roughing it while he's gone, since Dale is our primary caretaker. :-) I'm actually working on Friday and Saturday, days I don't usually work, and Brody will be in daycare.


Ann Richards, former Texas governer, has passed away. She was known for her biting wit, open criticism of the "Good Ol' Boy" political system, and scathing message at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. She was an amazing woman who owned her faults and fought to make America a better place. RIP.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Apple announced a few new goodies yesterday. Engadget had the best online coverage; several of us Mac heads were hitting refresh on our browsers like mad, anxious for a peak at the latest and greatest.

The iPod line was refreshed significantly. The video-capable iPod comes in a 30 GB or 80 GB size, both coming with brighter screens and longer battery life as well as a wide selection of games. More games are available for download at the iTunes Store (notice its not the iTunes Music Store anymore...more on that later). The iPod Nano is now skinned in anodized aluminum in some chic new colors and comes in 2,4 and 8 GB sizes.

The screens are also brighter. The iPod Shuffle got a huge makeover, too. It now comes in one size (1 GB), is also aluminum and is shorter but wider and has a built-in clip and a tiny dock for syncing with your computer.

We're now on version 7 of iTunes, the best jukebox/download service available for Mac and PC. This version sports a 'cleaner' interface, with a slew of new features that you can check out here. The biggest addition is the availability of movies! There are about 75 titles availability immediately with more to follow.

This probably isn't the production name, but whatever it's going to be called it'll be genius. There was a working prototype at the keynote, and it looks much like a Mac Mini that's been chopped in half. Basically it's a way to let all your Mac goodies to connect to your big-ass HD TV wirelessly so you can watch all those movies you've downloaded. The interface is very familiar, much like Front Row but more robust. This should be available early next year.

What I'm Reading

Doing more interpreting in the community means that I have more down time. More down time means I've dusted off a few books and thrown them in my backpack to read in between assignments, or during assignments that are pretty slow. Here's a quick rundown.

The Power of Babel by John McWhorter

A deaf instructor in the Interpreter Training Program in Cincinnati recommended this book to me. With wit, humor and an occasional personal narrative, Mr. McWhorter takes us back in time for a look at how the very first language has split and morphed into over 6,000 languages that enable the world to communicate. Even if you don't have a pressing interest in linguistics, this book will both entertain and educate.

The Partly Cloudy Patriot & Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

If you don't yet know Sarah Vowell, you should take the time to get to know her. She's an intelligent, engaging and witty writer. She's a self-admitted history nut, with a heavy slant toward the macabre. She takes a fresh and decidedly liberal look at history and politics, offering great insights that are easy to wrap your head around. She's the first writer to make history and politics readable for me.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Inaugural Post

It's Monday, September 11, 2006. I would love to pause and reflect about how the world and I have changed in the last five years, but I can't. It's too busy at work. I have ZERO time to play on the internet and chat with friends. Work is such a disappointment.

I can tell you that in the last five years, some things have changed while others stayed the same. I'm living in a different city. Professionally things are going very well. Personally things are good, too. Dale and I have been seeing each other for six months. While there is an occasional wrinkle, I'm happier with him than I have been with anyone else. I'm also beginning a slim-down period as I'd gained most of the weight back that I lost a couple years ago.

Saturday I went to Scott's birthday bash in Indianapolis, and had a great time. It was the first time we had met in person. I thought he'd be taller, but I'm not sure why. He and Jay are simply great, and I look forward to visiting again. I met Beau as well. What a nice guy! It was really a good time.

About the blog change...I had been using iWeb with .Mac, a bundled service from Apple. While I liked the "Macness" of it, it wasn't terribly usable. I could ONLY blog from my PowerBook (my desktop is a Blueberry G3 iMac running 10.3.9 and iWeb isn't compatible). So I'm back to Blogger where I can blog from work, or even on my Sidekick. So I should be a more regular blogger. We'll see.