Update of Spiffyness

A Big Update But You Should Read It =P

I know I haven’t updated in a while, between the splint on my hand, the holidays and the normal Mishugas of life, I was just broadsided (literally, and figuratively); however I’m back in the groove…and if you read the whole thing, I’ll give you…a cookie.

North Carolina

North Carolina was amazing, it was so good to see family friends again, Mom and I had an amazing time just hanging out with everyone and sharing in their traditions, It was so wonderful to see everyone again. We really love their family and I’m glad that they’ve become a part of ours.

Grades & Reflections

This semester’s grades are finally in:

A- in Arabic III
B- in Linguistic Analysis I
B in Linguistic Analysis II
A in Paauw’s class

And yes, they came in that order…if you’re astute you can see that this spells out ABBA which means that, like Margaret Cho, my fairy godmother is a Drag Queen. If you’re even more astute, you’ll see that Arabic has a next to it, which means I need to work even harder next semester to bring that up to an A…bring it on.

I’m looking forward to this coming semester with great anticipation, one syllabus is online already that I’m aware of (which can be found here in *.pdf format) and it’s eight pages long with a reading list of a little over three and a half pages long and footnotes…and I’m chomping at the bit for it to start. It’s reading, writing and research intensive with options for presentations and no exams (my kind of course). The professor informs us that he’s put together a reader, but as a student who’s been at the University for five years, I’m sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak, and for him to go “hahahaha, the reader wasn’t able to be printed, go buy the books.” Ahh experience…one of life’s better teachers.

In my other course I’m studying under the European Union’s lead authority and advisor on Minority Language Rights (he spends half his year in the U.S. and half elsewhere and calls three continents his home)…he’s amazing, and quite frankly, he could read the phonebook to me and make it sound interesting and I’d do what most have never seen me do – sit perfectly still in a chair, on the edge of my seat, in dazed and utter bliss – he has a wicked, tawdry, roguish sense of humor and I love every minute of it.

CPhT, IAPP, CIPP or Alphabet Soup

I’m in the process of completing my Continuing Education Requirements (I have to do 20 CEs over two years for re-certification) for the CPhT this year. I have to say, however, that of the CEs I have the option of doing, none have been terribly thrilling this time around (the next one I get to take in the line is “Safe Bowel Preparation with Sodium Phosphate”). The last time I was in the CE process they had some really fun ones, this year they’re all rather disappointing. I did find a couple of them really instructive though, the Assessing and Managing Risk in Pharmaceutical Settings one, most notably.

I sent in my application to join the IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals) yesterday, so I can begin to get ready to take the CIPP Certification Exam (Certified Information Privacy Professional); I took their practice exam blind (with no studying) and did fairly well (well enough to pass). I’m fairly astute with computers and I have a strong medical support staff background (I worked in a nursing home for three years as a volunteer, an audiologists office for four years doing clerical and insurance claims work, and at a pharmacy for four years, three of which were as their lead technician).

The IAPP says you should dedicate 15-20 hours studying for the CIPP Exam, I’m scheduling in 30 hours of study time and adding on an additional 10 so I can complete their reading list of books and case studies to make sure that I’m prepared. After that, I’m taking a follow up practice exam (to see progress over time) and if I’m satisfied, then registering to take it this Summer in Washington, D.C. (or New York City if they’re offering it there again) or this coming Fall depending on scheduling.

I have to say that the really impressive thing about the IAPP is that the study guides for the exam and practice tests are free to download on their website, compared with other certification exams that I’ve taken where you had to pay for a ton of materials (all of which had varying degrees of usability).

I’m also taking a follow up/support class for my Certificate in Paralegal studies this semester at UB from the same instructor I had when I was taking the Certificate Course through the Millard Fillmore College

Of course, things like this leave my grandmother perplexed, because I’m going into translation, so I try to elucidate it for her: Paralegal, Pharmacy directly relate to the ATA Exams (Legal and Medical Translation) and are invaluable for knowledge in the fields I’d be likely to translate in (as well as provide me with practical skills to function as support staff: the paralegal notably with the ability to use a law library, they also provide ways of getting cash until I get to where I want to be). The CIPP Exam illustrates that I know how to keep both Medical and Legal records as well as Sensitive Data properly secured, and the NIH course I took really just illustrates that I know how to not kill or maim research participants. So they’re all sort of related and all reinforce the same message: that I can be trusted with your works to be translated in confidence and will treat them with the confidentiality, security and respect that they deserve. Now I just have to finish learning the languages I want to work in.

I’m hoping Candie (covarla) will come with me sometime in the first few weeks of the semester to sit for the Notary Licensing Exam as well, I’m taking the P.I. exam at the end of the semester, which means that by graduation (providing things go according to plan) I’ll have a B.A,, CPhT, CIPP, P.I. after my name (I’ve already taken and passed quite a few of the certification and certificate exams i want, I just need to take a few more before I graduate)…alphabet soup man, alphabet soup.

Oh…I’m also taking the bartender certification course this year, I’ve been practicing my bottle flipping too.

My Left Wrist

I went to the orthopedist the other day and it turns out it was just a really, really bad sprain with a burn and it’s healing up nicely (and I’m out of the splint!) so I’m quite happy. He said if I feel any pain or need any hand therapy to come back, but I don’t foresee that in my future…first, because I don’t think it’ll be necessary, and secondly because I waited an hour and a half to see him and knowing that my number one pet peeve is when people are late/don’t respect other people’s time then I’m setting up a confrontational Doctor/Patient relationship every time I’d be going to see him and I’d probably be resistive to therapy because of that kind of relationship and therefore I’d essentially be setting us both up for failure. I’d like to avoid that, so if I need it I’ll find another professional.

New Years

blue02dude came up for New Years Eve Weekend and we had a good time hanging out in New York City, going to Four Food Studio & Cocktail Salon, and doing our thing. We attempted New Years Eve at Times Square which turned out to be a bust because we were ten blocks away (we didn’t get up at 6am…) which means not only can’t you see anything, but you can’t hear anything either, add to that the fact that my back was acting up (a side effect of the accident I had a few years ago) that it was just easier to go home (and pick up some champagne on the way) and actually get to see the ball drop from my house on the big screen T.V. in surround. Towards the end of his stay unfortunately I started getting sick so we had to take things mellow but we made it into NYC a good two or three times.

The Non-Existant Long Island LGBT Scene

Long Island has a large amount of social justice organizations that are geared towards LGBT issues and causes and I do recall a few dance clubs at one time in the past, however most of them, it appears, are no longer active. I went to a bar with Chris when he was here and it was just disappointing. Buffalo has an amazing club scene with clubs that rival some you’ll find in NYC (I know, who’d have thought?) and bars that equal or at least come close to those you’ll find in NYC. Toronto has an amazing LGBT scene (Woody’s, Goodhandy’s to name just a few) and on Long Island it’s just not existent or apparently incredibly underground (which I doubt given the prevalence of the social justice organizations that are quite in the open). Also, I enjoy the company of not only Gay and Straight men and Lesbian and Straight women, but a large portion of gender bending, inter-sexed, trans-everything people and I’m just sort of amazed that Buffalo has venues for everyone and that The Island doesn’t, it seems sort of backwards.

Medical Update

The ‘cold’ turned out t be a full blown Upper Respiratory Infection so I feel like shit (though getting better), but I was given a Z-Pack and cough medicine at the doctors so that’s good and it’s clearing up.

I did, however, ask him to prescribe me the Hepatitis B Vaccine (which also, I’m told, vaccinates you against Hepatitis A) which is a series of shots over three months; and while incredibly expensive (since insurance, bless them, doesn’t cover it) is worth it’s weight in gold. I’m a big fan of preventative medicine. I’ll be going in for my first shot(s?) this Monday.

That said, this semester I’ve scheduled a lot of training hours that I have to stick with, including weight vest training (84lbs X-Vest Weighted Training Vest & Tethered Suicides Cardio), Drop in Yoga and Pilates.

I’ve had an overall weight loss (since I started dieting the Summer of my Freshman Year) of 133lbs. I need to loose another 30-50 and more importantly, I need to build flexibility and muscle mass. Work in progress my ass…I’m ready to be the finished product.

Ruminations of a Mad Man Volume I

I head back to Buffalo this Thursday (the 11th) since Sarah had to push it back a day so she could go see Miki’s concert (Miki is her Sister).

Anyways, time to go take my next dose of Z-Pack, more updates later =)