Tuesday, December 25, 2007

There's Something I've Yet To Do...

As the Christmas season draws to a close, it feels like there's something I need to do. Something I'm forgetting...but I'm not forgetting. I remember what it is I should do; but I'm unable to. Yesterday and today I've had the desire to call my mom and tell her about Christmas. How good it was to see Roger, Karen and their families. Of course she's not home, and her cell phone number has been reassigned. I know this because I texted her last night, in case there are text messages in the afterlife. I texted MERRY CHRISTMAS MOM, I MISS YOU to her cell number. She texted back WHO IS THIS? Of course it wasn't her, but a very surprised US Cellular customer. I replied that the number had been my mom's, who had passed in September. They replied with condolences.

Last Christmas was the first Christmas that I was with Dale and his first Christmas with my family. Mom wasn't feeling well, so I wasn't expecting much fanfare. To my surprise the house was completely decorated and she had baked every kind of candy and cookie I ever remembered her making, including buckeyes. In hindsight, I think she knew that it would be her last Christmas with us. With hindsight's clarity comes regret, though, and if I had known it was her last Christmas I can think of a thousand things I would've done differently.

Merry Christmas, Mom. I miss you.


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and GO BUCKS!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Weekend

Well...Dale and I had a fantastic weekend. Saturday night his brothers and their significant others came over for mini corn dogs, pizza, and Wii. His brothers are really great guys, and we had a lot of fun.

Sunday we had lunch with Liz at BW3 and then went to Easton where I bought a cord that allows me to play music from iPhone through the auxiliary input on the stereo in my CR-V.

Speaking of the CR-V (and you knew I would), it is amazing. It's the first new car I've owned, and it's constantly surprising me with thoughtful features. For example, if my front wipers are on but my rear wiper isn't, if I put it in reverse the rear wiper wipes twice to make sure I have a clear view behind me. And last week in the 5" of snow that we got, it didn't spin at all. Ever. And I went driving on some unplowed side streets north of town. And the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA--Honda's name for traction control) activated a couple times to make sure I stayed on my intended path.

To sum it up, I couldn't be more pleased.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Honda CR-V

Well...at the ripe old age of 33, I purchased my first brand new car. For the last two years, I've had a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid that I bought used in January of 2006. It had been a great little car, but since it had high miles when I bought it, the miles had crept up to 121,000 and I no longer felt comfortable taking in on long trips. Also, the house that we moved into in June is on a hill, and our driveway is rather steep. Also, I'd been wanting an all-wheel drive vehicle for a while in preparation of winter weather. Having done a lot of research online, and then test driving one last Saturday, last night I bought a new Honda CR-V EX AWD. It's black with a tan interior, which is one of my favorite color combinations for a vehicle. Dale has a 2006 CR-V that is black with a black leather interior. Looking at my CR-V on the lot, I didn't think that it was that much like Dale's. But when I parked next to his in the garage last night, the similarities are very obvious.

Here are some pics of my new baby. :-)









Thursday, November 29, 2007

Daydreaming

I'm at Panera for the second afternoon in a row. I get more work done here, and honestly I don't have the fixins to make the Turkey and Bacon Bravo sandwich at home. I was getting a lot of work done, until this brat at the next table decided his lungs needed some exercise and he began screaming and wailing rather loudly. I'm in the "business" corner of Panera, with a couple of business women who seem to be independent insurance agents. The one is very loud and has a lot of makeup and a bad perm. But I digress...

As the child sat there screaming with his too-young-to-know-what-to-do parents, I wondered if it would be wrong to vanquish a screaming brat, providing I had Piper's power to blow things up at will.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Recovery


Well...I've been gone a long time. I was in the hospital for a week with pneumonia. It was a long week, and I got out the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. After my mom died, I poured myself into work. I was working my full-time job and about 20 hours a week in the evening for a total of about 60 hours a week. Couple that with fitful, restless sleep and eating fast food and it was a recipe for getting sick. I'm a lot better now, and it feels good to be back at work and able to go out without feeling like ass.

The silver lining is that I lost about 15 pounds in the hospital. I had no appetite and hospital food isn't exactly tempting. I have on a pair of pants and a sweater that I haven't been able to wear in over a year. My goal is to not gain any of it back, and to lose a little more until I get to my ideal weight. That's proven a little difficult because I have this HUGE appetite now. Fortunately we stocked the house with healthy snacks and a lot of fruit, which is what I've been eating when I'm hungry for a snack.

Dale was a champ throughout my hospitalization, bringing me food, magazines, and anything else I asked for. Tonight will be my first night back doing Video Relay Service (VRS) interpreting.

Okay...work beckons. Back to it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Update

Hmmm....Thanksgiving is looming over the horizon, but I just can't get into the holiday spirit yet. I'm supposed to travel to Missouri and have Thanksgiving with my sister and brother and their families on Thanksgiving day. That means I'll probably have to leave Wednesday night and drive half-way in order to make it in time. But getting Thanksgiving done early means I'll get to come home early and have at least Sunday to relax, maybe Saturday too.

My car is apparently fixed. Honda kept my car for two days and found a few leaks in the crankshaft seal. Four hundred dollars later, and I am apparently not leaking any oil. I guess we'll find out at my next oil change.

I finally have a family doctor. I have been getting by with the occasional Urgent Care visit, but decided I needed a regular physician. She's really nice... probably about thirteen years old. I like having a female doctor. She asked some questions about how I was coping with my mother's death, and I could tell she really listened to me. I liked the look-you-in-the-eye attentiveness, but it nearly made me cry in her office. She gave me some Cymbalta samples to see if I will tolerate it well. I haven't started taking them yet, though.

Current challenges: my bathroom toilet is leaking. This will require calling a plumber. This is in addition to calling a refrigerator tech to come this week to figure out why our ice/water dispenser is no longer working. Probably the filter, but neither Dale nor I can find it. Time to call in the professionals.

Saturday night TV sucks ass big time. And OSU lost to Illinois. That blows, too.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Aftermath

I couldn't really think of an appropriate title for this post, and "Aftermath" might seem a little melodramatic. But fuck it.

I got my laptop back; big relief. I hated being without it, though I did have my new iPhone to tide me over until I got it back. Yeah...I caved and bought one. I was hesitant to buy one because I have an iPod that I don't use that much. But I figured that I don't use it much because it's a pain to carry it around, in addition to my cell phone. And the iPod only works with headphones; the iPhone has an external speaker so I can use it without headphones.

My car is also freshly-painted. I just have to take it to Honda next week for them to find a mysterious oil leak. I bought an extended warranty, so it should be covered.

I'm still having a harder time dealing with my mom's death than I thought I would. I'm sure to most of my coworkers and friends it seems I'm getting on okay. Dale knows that I'm a little bit of a mess. I just feel "off" and I can't think of another way to put it. I'm on the verge of the flu or something. I've felt a little feverish and nauseous. But I'm not actually sick yet...I just feel blech. And when you're sick, the one person who can make everything better is Mom. And then I start to feel sad that she's not here to make me feel better, which leads to pangs of guilt because she WAS very sick and very scared and I wasn't with her for the whole last week of her life. She was scared and dying and I left her. I just didn't expect her to go as quickly as she did. I got to spend the whole month of August there and much of June and July. And logically I know that I did what I was capable of, and that I did my best and that she loved the time we had together and understood when I couldn't be there. But knowing that doesn't really make me feel any better or less guilty. I find myself crying off and on, without provocation. The holidays are coming up, so that is going to be even harder. I just feel lost and alone and sad.

More than you wanted on the day before a weekend. Hopefully the weekend will be good. Friday night Apple is releasing Leopard (new operating system) so I'll pick that up. We're also supposed to go to the Winking Lizard, but I'm not sure if I'm in a social mood. Saturday night is Liz and Eric's party. That should be fun and I am looking forward to that.

I'm just ready to feel better.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Computer Died

FYI the logic board died on my MacBook. No blogging for 3-5 business days.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's Over

On Saturday, 9/8/07 my mother lost her battle with cancer. My sister and brother were there with her, I was about 7 miles from Illinois on Interstate 70 when she passed. My sister told her that I was on the way, and she went quickly after that. Throughout her illness, she had always tried to shield me from the worst parts of it. She always put up a fuss when I would empty her port-a-pot or bedpan; she tried to hide the fact that she was spitting up blood. I believe she did not want me to see her wide scared eyes or hear the death rattle as her lungs filled with fluid.

While there were parts of the service that were not what I think Mom would have wanted, there were parts of the service that were really beautiful. Family and friends turned out in scores. My dad stayed the whole time Monday night for the viewing and also on Tuesday for the funeral. My sister Shelly, whom I'm not as close to as I hope to be, came from Perryville for the funeral and burial. My brother Randy served as a pall bearer. Shelly and Randy were my mom's step children for 14 years; she helped raise them. My cousin Theresa and her husband and kids came from Jefferson City for the viewing. My dad and mom were each others' one true love. The happiest times of my mother's life was when she was with my dad and his family (all of whom came and stayed for hours on Monday night and Tuesday). My mom's first husband and his wife were there, both of whom I adore. My mom's remaining brother and sister and their families were all there, and provided a tremendous amount of support. My late aunts' and uncles' children were there. It was really nice to hear stories about my mom that I had not heard before.

The most beautiful parts of the whole process so far are the very clear signs that mom has sent our way. While my sister, brother, aunt, uncle and step dad were seated at the cemetery, a monarch butterfly lit on the spray of flowers next to her casket. It slowly moved it's wings, and then danced around her plot before flying away. My mom has always loved butterflies. She used butterfly appliques around the house often, and even used little press-on rhinestones to make a butterfly on her sun glasses when I was a kid. I had wondered if there would be a sign, and there it was. My sister and I both noticed it and began to cry. To me it said, "I'm still here" or "I made it."

Yesterday I drove home to Ohio and cried a bit thinking about how my mom never got to see where I live. I went to bed at 5 AM and slept late today. I went to Target to get a few things, and when I got home I went to get the mail. While I was out by the mailbox, another monarch butterfly flew leisurely by, flitting here and there right in front of me. It's as if she was telling me that she's here.

I'm sure the days ahead are going to be hard. Holidays. Going to the mailbox on my birthday and realizing there will not be a card from mom for the first time in more years than I can remember. Mothers Day, realizing I don't have a mother. Hearing songs on the radio that were "her" songs. I guess I'll live through it, but she left a hole in my life bigger than I had ever imagined she would.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Photos

I went home to my Mom's this weekend and Saturday Karen and I went through a bunch of photos and keepsakes. For me, one photo kind of says everything about the relationship I have with my mother. It was taken on 1/1/1981 by my brother Roger. My mom and I are dancing our first dance of the New Year. My family didn't take down our Christmas decorations until New Year's Day, so the styrofoam Santa head still hangs on the door, along with some of the Christmas cards we had received that year.



You can visit the other photos I scanned by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The End of the Rope

So this is what it looks like...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Home Again!

Ahhh....I'm home. I got in last night some time after 11 PM, and it feels good. Brody made sure my homecoming wasn't boring; he managed to get sprayed by a skunk.

I decided I needed a break. I had been in Potosi for over three weeks, and mom seemed to not want/need a lot of care so I took advantage of the chance to come home for a while. I was there for the better part of two months, so I'm going to step back and let other family members step in.

My dad has two cats that look like twins: Tom & Jerry. I'm not sure which one this is, but this is a cute pic.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Frustration

Well...things have taken a turn for the worse. With mom's blood sugar and morphine under control, she's still talking to dead people and she thinks that everything she sees on TV is there in real life. Much like a parrot, she mimics what is said on TV. Over the baby monitor this morning, I heard her talking about low-cost refi and how happy the cows are.

Sigh.

We think there are tell-tale signs that she's entering the active phase of dying. Her urine has turned the color of coffee or tea, the time between breaths has increased, she's confused and disoriented and there appears to be some mottling on her legs. The hospice nurse is coming today and will call me with an update.

Oddly enough this isn't the most distressing part of the whole process. I come from a family of big talkers. "If you need anything, I'm here for you." We get that a lot. But when my sister Karen and I need someone to take the night watch, there is no one available. Not to play martyr, but my sister and I have given up a lot to be here. She came up to Potosi with her kids (ages 7 and 11). She rarely sees her husband. Their kids rarely see their dad. They've given up their home, their friends, their beds, their toys. That's a lot to give up for boys. This has all been going on since June 17th when we drove home to go to the doctor appointment that confirmed the terminal status of her cancer. I have a new house that I haven't even been able to unpack because I can't be there. I have friends I haven't seen in two months. I have a partner that I don't know when I'll see again. Dale's job is crazy and he can't take time off, and it's a 8.5 hour drive so he can't just swing by for a weekend. I have a job that I'm barely able to do. I work remotely by going to a local internet cafe during the day, but I can't keep doing this for much longer.

Karen and I are at the end of our ropes. Mom doesn't want to be put in a care facility and we don't want to put her there. The rest of the family doesn't want to put her there, yet they're not willing to be there when she needs someone there the most. When Karen mentions that we could take her to Springfield to be at her house where the two of us could work and take care of her, everyone else freaks out and acts like we're trying to steal her away so no one could ever see her again. They don't understand that if Karen and I are the only ones willing to take care of her, that is the only place we can do it.

Who knows what will happen. I just want to go home.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Update

I'm thrilled that Dale got to come to Potosi for a week and stay with me at my mom's house. While I had to be in town working, Dale spent a lot of time with my mom talking to her, which is what she enjoys the most. He also went to JC Penney's and got my mom three new pajama sets (that's all she wears) and a new sheet set that is 300 threat count. Dale is easily the most thoughtful, caring man I've ever dated. This week really drove home how lucky I am to have him as my partner.

We also got to meet my brother Randy and my childhood friend April at the Lakeview bar. April was my neighbor until I was ten. She is three years older than me and we were very close friends. She was a lot of fun to be around and is just SO sweet. She still is, and Randy, April, Dale and I had a few beers and talked. I ran into a guy I went to high school with there, and my sister's high school flame, Eddie. Since coming to Potosi, I'm experiencing this "Sweet Home Alabama" phenomenon. If you've seen the movie, Melanie Smooter returns to her hick town to get a quickie divorce from her high school husband (and her past), only to reconnect with old friends and family and learns it's okay to be where you're from. I'm enjoying my time here more than I thought I would. My dad and I are becoming closer, and I'm reconnecting a bit with some friends and family I haven't seen in a while.

Mom is still doing okay. She gave us a big scare yesterday, as she was talking to dead people and not making much sense. Turns out her blood sugar got up to 417 and her morphine dose was too high. After getting those things under control, she's come back to herself and ended up having a pretty good day today.

The county fair starts Wednesday, and I'm excited at the possibility that Dale will come back this weekend so we can go together with some other family. I haven't been in ages, but there's something about the Washington County Fair that I like.

Well...time for bed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Daze Inn

So I travel back and forth a lot between Missouri and Ohio due to my mom's illness, and I haven't taken much time off of work to travel, so I usually drive at night. Sometimes, though, the drive gets sooo long I have to stop at a hotel and crash.



Last night I stayed at the Days Inn and it was bad. Very. Bad. The front desk clerk was Lohan-esque. There was a condom wrapper right outside the door to my room. And...

I might have crabs.

Kidding.

::scratch::

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tammy Faye, 65

May you now rest.



Photo courtesy of ridorlive.com

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tammy Faye

I have CNN set to my home page on my MacBook, and today when I opened it up I saw that Tammy Faye had been on Larry King Live. I watched part of the video, and it was so sad. She has inoperable lung cancer and is down to 65 lbs. She is literally skin and bones, and I found myself wondering if my mom is going to become that gaunt.

It was in the middle of that horrifying thought that I decided to Google Tammy Faye, and I found an abridged version of her CNN interview and something I read made me smile.

On Gays

A caller asked how she found it in her heart to love and accept them when other Christian contemporaries didn’t.

“When we lost everything, it was the gay people that came to my rescue,” Messner said. “And I will always love them for that.”

This, I believe, will be how acceptance is won.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Car Damage Pics

Here are a few shots of the damage that was done to my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid. I dropped it off at the body shop this morning and received a rental from Enterprise--a 2006 Nissan Sentra. It's not a bad car, but it only gets about 38 MPG on the highway, considerably less than my Civic. Oh well.







Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Untitled Post

Yes, I've long been absent from this blog. Lots has been going on, so bear with me.

The most pressing thing going on right now is my mother's losing battle with cancer. Five years ago she had lung cancer and had half of a lung removed. We thought we were going to lose her then, but she's had five good years since then. Every birthday since has been has been a celebration, and my family realizes that she had been granted an "extension" of sorts. Now we're down to a matter of weeks; hospice has been called and she is finally getting some relief from the pain. I'm in Missouri every other week (thankfully my job allows that) and it's great to spend so much time with my family.

Dale and I moved into a house on the east side. It's a four-bedroom, two-car garage with a huge back yard. It was basically move in ready, but we're working on painting it now and getting things unpacked. There's a big job ahead of us, but considering we plan on being there for 10 years or so, we've got time. I'll post some pics soon, but we're very excited about it.

I've had a little car drama going on, too. I ran over a dresser drawer on the highway in May, and it did $1800 worth of damage. That is mostly fixed (waiting to have one part installed). Yesterday I rolled into Potosi, MO (hometown) and went straight to the local internet cafe Sip n Surf. I parked on the street and went inside and began working. About a half hour later, some elderly man poked his head in and asked, "Does anyone have a little Civic parked out front?" I told him it was mine, and he told me he had just hit it. My car was sideswiped by the boat he was hauling on the back of his RV. So in addition to everything else I have to deal with, I get to deal with this too.

So that's what's going on.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend

We went to Missouri for my mom's birthday (62). We had a blast and it was great to see everyone. Here are a few pics from the trip.


We got Mom a birdhouse for the front yard.


Dale snapped this from the car as we drove into the city.


My newphew Ryan


My brother Roger blowing bubbles.


A hummingbird at my mom's feeder.


My nephew Brock


A cute little kid with marshmallows at the park.


My nephew Chase.


My Uncle Donald and my step-dad, Bill.


The fuzzy dice hanging in Uncle Donald's Cataline convertible.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Day at the Park

Dale was having an open house at his condo, so we had to be out for three hours this afternoon. It was really nice today (80ยบ and sunny) so we went to Goodale & Antrim parks. Brody had a GREAT time.





And a random guy kicking back on the shore at Antrim.


Also, this week I upgraded my MacBook. Since October of last year, I've been using a white Core Duo MacBook that had a 60 GB hard drive. Well...60 GB didn't last long. I sold it on craigslist and upgraded to the black Core 2 Duo Macbook, running at 2.0 GHz, rocking 2 GB of RAM and sporting a 120 GB hard drive. Since Macs can also run Windows, I installed Windows Vista Home Premium on it as well. It's pretty sweet.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My Favorite Commercial

This is SO my favorite commercial nowadays.

Monday, April 02, 2007

House Hunters

Yesterday Dale and I went to Noah's Bark for a pet adoption event for a local Doberman rescue group. There were some cute dogs, but we want a puppy and would prefer to wait until we move to a new house. The condo just went on the market, so we had to stop at Lowe's (the gay Lowe's, Dale tells me)to get a key made for the lockbox. After Lowe's (btw if you're the muscle guy in the blue T-shirt and backward baseball cap...call me, 'kay?) we drove around a nearby neighborhood to see if we should expand our house search to include that area. Well we're driving down Oaklawn and there happens to be an open house. Though it's obviously smaller than we're looking for, we decided to go in anyway.

The kitchen was nice. The yard was nice. So we go downstairs and there's a couple holes that look like were punched in the drywall. I joke and say, "Hey Dale, look! Gloryholes!" So I turn to look at Dale, and in a corner of the basement there is a wooden door with a crotch-level hole cut into it. Holy blowjobs, Bat-man! It really WAS a gloryhole. We open up the door, which reveals a small room. We look up, and there are metal eyelets drilled into the ceiling. Four of them. For a sling, no doubt. I look in the corner, and sure enough--chains are neatly coiled in a milk crate. Jackpot!

With glee, we run upstairs to look for other signs of homosexual activity. The upstairs is mostly bedroom. There is a TV with a DVD player. I lean forward to hit the eject button to see if the cocksucking owner was watching "Dawson's 20-Load Weekend" or an Audrey Hepburn classic. Dale says, "Don't! It might turn on!" I glance over to call him a retard only to find him going through the guy's nightstand. I'm incredulous. Dale yells at me for looking too closely at pictures or books I see when we're going through an open house. Now he's rummaging through a complete stranger's nightstand looking for tawdry evidence of mansex. This is the double standard I live with.

The nightstand yielded only condoms and lube. Disappointed, we left and headed to Champps for an early dinner. And to giddily text message all our friends.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

Test Post - Living room

I can upload pics from my camera phone to Blogger while on the Go. This could be fun.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Oh No She Dit'nt

So today I was at Barnes & Noble Cafe on Polaris Parkway...I had ordered a chicken panini and sat down at a table to wait. I wait for a few minutes and then walk back to the counter, and see someone walk away with a sandwich that I believe to be mine, but I'm not sure so I don't say anything. I ask the girl if my sandwich was still on the grill, and she said no. She had put it on the counter, but someone must have taken it. "No worries," she said. "I'll put another one on the grill for you."

So I go back to my table and watch the couple paw all over the sandwich before determining it wasn't theirs. They return it to the counter and I round the corner just in time to see the cafe girl with the sandwich...which she tries to hand to me while saying, "Here you go! They picked up the wrong sandwich."

I was incredulous. Are you fucking kidding me? She is going to give me a sandwich that they've just pawed all over?

I politely asked for a fresh sandwich, since the smarmy couple had it at their table for a solid five minutes, breathing on it and touching it.

The fat bitch copped an ATTITUDE! She rolled her eyes and walked away without a word. I watched her make me a new sandwich, and drop it on the counter quite angrily...again without saying a word.

So I had to talk to her manager...and the health department.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekend Update

Sunday night at 9 o'clock. The week turned out to be pretty good. Of course the highlight of my week was getting my NIC Advanced interpreter certification. Even though I was already certified, I still feel a sense of accomplishment.

Saturday Dale and i went to the Pet Expo & RV Show. Both were mildly disappointing. We did get a good deal on a new retractable leash for Brody. And we got him some ridiculously expensive treats that resemble human food.

Saturday night we met Leslie, Liz and Maryam at Bonefish. I had two six martinis and a really good dinner. Today we went to Target, Pet's Mart, and Bed Bath and Beyond. I got a new comforter set. Looking forward to putting that on the bed tonight. And that was about it

Tomorrow it's back to the grind...which is even more of a drag. They upped the censorware program so that we can't really get to any of the good stuff on the internet. Apparently every site I enjoy is porn.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

NIC Results...FINALLY!

Well...I finally got my National Interpreter Certification results. RID faxed them to me today.

:::drum roll please:::

I passed at the NIC Advanced level, which means I scored well on the interview and excellent on the performance portion.

I'm satisfied.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Toronto & Anniversary

Well Toronto was fun...great city. The more time I spent in Canada, the less I wanted to come home. I even asked Dale if we could move there--he said no.

Here are a few pics:


This was NOT indicative of the purpose of my trip.


A business district from the view of the CN Tower.


The CN Tower...I went all the way up to the top!


We ate at Gretzky's Restaurant (of Wayne Gretzky fame).


Gretzky's Restaurant

Today is also my one-year anniversary with Dale. This is a record for me, and I can't imagine being any happier than I am with him. We had a nice dinner last night at Barcelona and spent today with friends at Gameworks having a couple beers and playing games. It was a fantastic weekend.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Toronto

Hey ya'll!

I'm blogging from Toronto, ON. The trip wasn't bad. Only missed one connecting flight, and US Airways didn't lose my luggage for once. Toronto is a BEAUTIFUL city. I've never been to NYC, but the area of downtown I visited last night reminded me of it. There were gigantic electric billboard with brilliant screens, an ecclectic array of shops, restaurants and boutiques.

If you don't have a GPS Navigation unit, I strongly suggest one. In the last year, I've traveled to Portland, Maine, and now Toronto for work. While in Portland, I used the VZ Navigator on my Verizon phone. It was so NICE to not worry about getting lost. I had the navigation with me the whole time and found restaurants, stores and my hotel all very easily. Now in Toronto, I brought my TomTom One with me from home. It came preloaded with maps of the US & Canada, and has done very well getting me around up here. Without navigation, I'd be sitting alone in my hotel room watching TV and eating bed mints. With a navigation system, I'm able to get out and see the sites and enjoy the city without fear of getting lost.

I'll post pics next weekend when I get home.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Not Happy

Sigh. So I've been waiting for my National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Interview & Performance test results. Candidates are supposed to receive their results withing 90 days of their test date. It's all over RID's website, as well as testing materials sent to the candidate when they register for the test. Today is day 87, and RID had said they would fax my results to my work. So I called today to get an update because at day 87, if I'm to receive my results by mail within 90 days, my results SHOULD be at the national office.

Well they're not. And I was told by a staff member that my results weren't due to be in until the second week of March. Excuse me? How is this possible? I received an email from them a couple weeks ago stating that I should receive my results within 90 days. Now I'm at mid-March? That makes no sense.

So I'm not happy...there are supposed to be more raters for this test than any other in the history of RID. What gives?

Update:

After emailing the executive director, I received a response stating that my results were, in fact, due to be available the second week of March. The email stated that there were a number of things that could lead to late results such as UPS being late, raters not returning a candidate's score within the allowed time frame, etc. And I also was not-so-subtly chided about how members calling the national office interrupts the process of rating tapes in ALL stages of the process (so my results being late are my fault?). Well I took my test over 12 weeks ago. My Local Test Administrator (LTA) sent my tapes back to RID immediately after my test. So one of or a combination of two things happened: RID was late in sending out my tape (a possibility because it happened to another interpreter) and/or a rater has kept my test tape for MONTHS.

Either way it doesn't add up. And I don't have anything to do but wait.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Mustard Party

Last night Dale and I hosted a Mustard Party. We had an assorted variety of mustard sauces for dipping mini corn dogs and gourmet pretzels. We also had salad with a champagne-mustard vinaigrette, and the main course was pork loin medallions with a mustard glaze accompanied by mashed potatoes infused with whole mustard seeds. It was all very tasty. This party was kind of the result of a joke, but we pulled it off and I think everyone had a lot of fun.





Sunday, January 28, 2007

Weekend Update

This weekend was pretty busy. Friday night Dale and I met Leslie at Carrabbas for dinner. Saturday was an interpreting workshop that Local Chapter 4 of the Ohio Chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (OCRID) hosted. It was the first workshop we've hosted since I became the Director of LC4. It was a huge success! Anthony Nelson presented on Interpreting Music and did a FANTASTIC job!

Today I worked my full-time job, and finished up training for some new interpreters. I also got to open my birthday presents (my birthday is tomorrow). Dale got me two dozen roses, a birthday cake, and an iHome clock-radio alarm clock that my iPod will plug into. It's pretty cool.





The rest of my day could be summed up with one pic...

Friday, January 26, 2007

New Post...Finally!

Well...since I'm expecting my NIC results any day, I was going to wait and just post my results. But the wait time is longer than I expected, so I'll take the easy way out and do a photo post.

It finally snowed here in Columbus, and it was Brody's first snow. He LOVES it.


Brody on my Bed


At Christmas, Dale got a card from Brody.


Dale and I went to the Detroit Auto Show. Here are a couple pics of some concept cars.

The For Airstream


The Ford Interceptor