I did it!!

Jun. 3rd, 2017 10:18 pm
kukla_red: (Default)
 I actually passed my test!!  It was long and difficult, but I did it!  I honestly did not think I was going to pass.  All through the test, as I responded to question after question, I kept thinking that I was going to fail, this was all for nothing, why was I bothering.  But then I finished - over an hour early - and I hit "Submit Test".  The wheel went round and round for a few seconds and then it came up "PASS".  I was astonished.  I still am, actually.  But there it was, in shining pixels on the screen.  I passed.

For those of you who are curious, the test I took was called CEDS certification.  It is given by ACEDS - Association of eDiscovery Specialists, which is a very influential group in my line of work.  The test is comprised of 145 questions and you get 4 hours to complete it.  It is really hard and most people don't pass it on their first try.  And a lot of people never try again - they get too discouraged.  So to pass it on the first go 'round was really exciting. Once I complete some paperwork, I will get to put CEDS after my name on professional stuff.  It's pretty cool.

This and the clear pathology report are the 2 best things to happen lately.
kukla_red: (Default)
 I haven't felt much like posting lately.  The news from this corner is mostly all bad these days and who needs to read some depressing crap from someone who is just pixels on a screen?  There, you see what my head does to me when I'm depressed?  Argh. 

Anyway, I'm still unemployed and without health insurance, which sucks.  But my attorney filed my lawsuit yesterday in Federal Court, and that does not suck.  I had to come up with $500 for the filing fee, which was not a happy thing given the state of my finances these days, but it will be worth it.  I hope. 

Also on a more positive note, I have lined up a couple of freelance gigs, which should bring some money in.  Not a lot of money, but more than unemployment insurance provides.  One is a cool startup that is designing courses for middle and high school kids in leadership and entrepreneurship skills.  I personally think this is a really fabulous idea - kids come out of school with very little idea of how the world really works.  These courses will help with that.  I'll be writing lesson plans based on outlines I receive from my project leader.  Her name is Brittany and she's adorable.  I can put in my hours when I want to and do as much or as little in a week as I feel I can handle.  It will probably last for the summer, with a possibility for continuing into the Autumn, but I am hoping that I will have a full-time job by then.

I also got an offer for some freelance work from a friend of mine who is a bigwig at the worldwide certification association in my field.  We used to work together at my last company - we bonded strongly over our dislike of being wet and cold in Amsterdam - and she moved on to ACEDS, and brought along another friend of mine from the dreaded place.  So now both ladies are there and have set themselves up as my cheerleaders.  They have been promoting me to various companies, trying to get someone to hire me.  It was almost successful with a company in NJ, but they balked at my salary - for the moment.  There is a chance they will be ready for me in the fall.  We'll see.

Anyway, ACEDS offers training and a certification exam that is one of the standards in my industry.  It costs a lot of money to do this - $1500 just for the test and $700 for access to the training materials.  My friend there has arranged for me to get all of this for free.  She wants me to take and pass the test and then help ACEDS in making the tests more international.   Right now, it is very US centric and they would like to change this.  She will pay me $50 an hour for this work.

But I have to pass the test first.  Did I mention I am taking the test today?  145 questions, 4 hours allotted time.  I am very nervous.

Wish me luck.

(This is not cross-posting so I am just copying it over.)

kukla_red: (Default)
I lost my job today.

Life sucks.
kukla_red: (Default)
 Well, at least the best of all possible outcomes.  I just saw the oncologist and he said my pathology report was clear - the cancer did not spread.  I have to go for checkups every three months, but other than that, I am fine.  To say I am relieved would be a gross misstatement.  I feel like I've been holding my breath for weeks and weeks and now I can exhale.  

Go get those checkups folks!  Early detection saves lives!!
kukla_red: (Default)
 In fact, I'm feeling better.

Not a huge amount better, but better than a week ago.  

The surgery went well, except for my very bad reaction to the anesthesia they gave me.  They told me I stopped breathing several times during the surgery and they had to intubate me.  It also took me a really long time - over three hours - to wake up after the procedure.  I don't know what they gave me, but it was strong stuff.  

I feel like I was mugged in an alleyway and knifed repeatedly in the abdomen, which is also what I look like.  I have several (4? 5?) wounds across my abdomen which are stitched up with something resembling fishing nylon.  Very pokey and annoying.  I have bruises all over the place - some from the 2 IV runs, some from places they took blood (I bruise easily and quite dramatically), and some whose source is a complete mystery.  All of them are lovely shades of dark purple, on their way to green and yellow before they disappear.  As I said, I look like I was mugged.  The stitches are coming out on Thursday.  I'm looking forward to that.

I don't hurt as much, which is good.  I just tried to put jeans on and that was a no go.  My body is not ready for that at all.  It hurt way too much.  I haven't been doing very much since I came home from the hospital last Wednesday afternoon.  This is the first time I have sat at my desk and used my pc.  Mostly it's been lots of napping, TV time, and hanging out with my kids.  They have been very worried about me during this whole thing and I have had to do a lot of reassuring.  Each of them took a day off work to stay with me and take care of my every need.  They are pampering me.  It's nice.  Aaron has had a really hard time of things.  The night I left for Amsterdam his girlfriend broke up with him.  Nice timing.  He's very upset - he really thought she was the one.  And she is handling things like the drama queen she is, so it is making things worse.  Add to that my being away for a week and then the surgery and he's had a bad time.  I hope he can relax a bit this weekend.  

I'm going to attempt to go back to work tomorrow.  I feel like I'm getting pressure from work and that I need to show them I have not disappeared or died.  I'll see how it goes.  As long as I can work in my comfy sweat pants, I can deal.

I won't know the pathology report results until next Wednesday when I see the oncologist.  Of course, I am very worried about what the results will show, but I'm trying not to obsess about it because that way lies madness.  I have to focus on positive things.  

Right now, I'm positive I am going to go lay down and give my abdomen a rest.  It's done enough for today.
kukla_red: (Default)
We've picked a date.

Yes, I am grinning like a fool.

O fudge

May. 1st, 2012 04:05 pm
kukla_red: (Default)
This morning, David and I were chatting with our "train group" - the folks we stand with on the platform everyday - and we started joking about next May when Sarah and Aaron will both be graduating college.  I said something about it being just my luck that both kids would be graduating on the same day - ha ha. 

Guess what.

They are.  I checked.

O brother.

One graduating in Vermont and the other on Long Island and both on the same day: May 19, 2013.

Anyone have a Tardis they can loan me?  A time winder?  A way back machine?

I am so screwed.

O boy...

Feb. 15th, 2012 12:38 pm
kukla_red: (Default)
I haven't been around in a while, have I?  Thanks to all my friends here who have not dropped me.  Work, life and FaceBook have been monopolizing my time. 

Sarah (a.k.a. "da Sparrow") has been properly shipped off to England, where [livejournal.com profile] taldragon and several other of our friends there are making sure she is safe, happy and occupied on the weekends.  She is enjoying her classes, but her workload is pretty light so she's had lots of time to travel around.  She's been to London twice and she and a bunch of friends are going to Scotland next week for a few days.  She's planning on splitting her spring break time between Italy and (I think) Spain.  Or maybe France.  She wanted to go to Greece, but things are not very stable there at the moment.  I miss her like crazy, but we message on FB and Skype frequently, so it isn't so bad.

Aaron is still living with Lauren.  He's doing very well in school and at work.  She is pretty much not doing anything.  Her mother passed away in early November, which was sudden but not really.  Her mom was a serious diabetic who refused to take care of herself.  Pretty much a recipe for disaster.  Then Lauren's grandmother died a few weeks ago, so her life has been pretty chaotic.  There is a lot there, but I don't have the strength to go into it right now.  For another post.

The big news is that I am engaged.  David proposed to me yesterday morning at the train station - kind of fitting for us, if you know our story.  I was very shocked, promptly burst into tears but remembered to say "YES".  I am very happy.  He is wondering what took him so long.  Well, yeah...  Anyway, the happy event will take place sometime this year, probably in the summer.  We can't do anything until Sarah comes back - she'd kill us!  She doesn't come home until June 15th, so we have some time to figure this all out.

Yes, I am girly enough to want an engagement ring.  This is the one I picked out and David is going to get it for me.  It isn't real - well, it is real gold, but the stones are CZ.  The love is real, I don't care if the stones are fake.  It is a beautiful ring and it will make me happy.

Besides, as David says, it is just a placeholder for the important thing, which is the wedding band.  This is what we've picked out for our wedding bands:

Or possibly this:

These are handmade rings from a craftswoman in Vermont.  They are very suited to us. 

Now we have to figure out where we want to get married - up in Vermont, which means our friends would have to travel - or in New York.  We might have the ceremony in Vermont and then throw a party back home.  We'll see.  It won't be anything elaborate.  There won't be any saying "yes to the dress".  That's fine.  I had all that and I didn't want it then, don't want it now.

I'm very happy and that's what matters.

So, how are all of you?  Do you even remember me?

Hugs to all!
kukla_red: (Default)
Well, we are under a mandatory evacuation order.  Yes folks, Hurricane Irene has set her sloe-eyed sights on Long Island and the rest of the tri-state area, after she gets finished with the southern part of the east coast.  We live far enough south on Long Island that we are under the mandatory order issued by our county executive.  They are making a very big deal of this storm, enough to make me very nervous.
Right now, Irene is listed as a Category 2 storm and hopefully she will weaken as she comes up the coast.  But even a Cat 1 storm making a direct hit on NYC and the surrounding environs is a bad thing.  A very bad thing.  The Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail and the NYC subway system will all shut down tomorrow at noon. The subway system has never shut down like this. 

My son and his girlfriend will head north with her mother, to a friend's house up in Orange County.  David and I will be leaving soon to start driving to Vermont.  We had our vacation all planned out anyway, but we're leaving early to get ahead of the evacuating masses.  We will stay on the road for a few hours an then (hopefully) find a motel to get a few hours of sleep.  Then we'll finish the ride up to Burlington, VT and get Sarah moved into her dorm tomorrow.  (Come on, aren't you jealous?)  After she's settled, we will head up to Smugglers' Notch where my timeshare will welcome us.  By then we will collapse and sleep.  And worry because the worse will be hitting here sometme on Sunday.

What, me worry?

O yeah.
kukla_red: (Default)

I had a nice encounter on the train this morning and it got me thinking.  We see the same woman every morning, she gets on a stop or 2 after we do. She is very lovely, always impecably dressed.  I always check out to see what she is wearing because I know she will look amazing.  We've never spoken, but I get a kick out of looking at her beautiful clothes and seeing how she accessorizes every day.  David didn't have to go to work today so I rode in alone and this woman sat next to me.  We rode in silence just about the whole way until we were in the tunnel on the final approach to Penn Station.  I was getting my bag and packback ready and she asked if I wanted to get up (I was against the window, she was on the aisle).  I said no, that I would wait.  (Background: David and I usually get up and go to the door a bit early because he has to catch another train to New Jersey from Penn Station and sometimes we run late.)  We started to chat a bit and I told her that the dress she wore yesterday was fabulous (which it was!).  She thanked me and told me that she watches David and I every morning, and that she is a bit jealous of "what you have - I want that".  She said that she sees the way he looks at me and how much love is there and she thinks it is so wonderful.  I got a little ferklempt.  It was really sweet.  I told her that I always check out her wardrobe and I admire her style.  She looks sort of like a shorter Iman (wife of David Bowie, incredible fashion model).  She told me she works for Donna Karan and we chatted a little about fashion, body image and getting fit.

It was a lovely conversation and it made both of us smile as we left the train. 

It also made me think that encounters like this are becoming more rare, as we spend so much time with our heads buried in various electronic devices or plugged into them so we cannot hear what is around us.  I love talking to strangers.  I've made so many friends that way.  But it is harder to make friends when everyone is in their own little world.  There is less eye contact, less casual conversation and less friendliness in general.  That makes me sad.

Unplug.  Leave the iPod in your pocket for a while.  Take off the headphones.  Don't check the Blackberry every minute. 

Connect with people.  Look up and smile.

Now you can't hear me,
your ears are truly sealed.
You can't speak either,
your mouth is filled.
You can't see nothing,
and pinball completes the scene.
Here comes Uncle Ernie to guide you to
Your very own machine.

kukla_red: (Default)
Hi! Miss me? )

OK, I had better get moving.  Lots to do here!  Just found out I am going to DC on Monday and staying overnight.  Kim, are you listening??  Dinner on my expense account???
kukla_red: (Default)
Cross out what you have done.
graduated high school
smoked a cigarette
kissed someone
gotten so drunk you passed out
ridden every ride at an amusement park
collected something really stupid
gone fishing
watched four movies in one night
gone long periods of time without sleep
lied to someone
snorted cocaine
failed a class
been in a car accident
been in a tornado
done hard drugs
watched someone die
been to a funeral
burned yourself  By accident though
run a marathon
cried yourself to sleep
spent over $200 in one day
flown on a plane
written a 10 page letter
gone skiing. 
been sailing
had a best friend
lost someone you loved
shoplifted something
been to jail
dangerously close to being in jail
had detention
skipped school
got in trouble for something you didn’t do
stolen books from the library
gone to a different country
dropped out of school
been in a mental hospital
watched the “harry potter” movies
had an online diary
fired a gun
gambled in a casino
had a yard sale
had a lemonade stand
actually made money at the lemonade stand
been in a school play
taken a lie detector test
swam with dolphins
gone to sea world
voted for someone on a reality tv show
written poetry
read more than 20 books a year
gone to europe
used a coloring book over age 12
had surgery
had stitches
taken a taxi

seen the washington monument
had more than 5 im’s/online conversations going at once
had a drug or alcohol problem
been in a fist fight
suffered any form of abuse
had a hamster
pet a wild animal
used a credit card
gone surfing in california
done “spirit day” at school
dyed your hair
gotten a tattoo
had something pierced
gotten straight a’s
been on the honor roll
known someone with hiv or aids
taken pictures with a webcam
started a fire
gotten caught having/going to a party while parents were gone
kukla_red: (Default)
Spring is in the air and  your wardrobe looks a little frayed?  Have no fear!  Help is on the way!

My daughter works at The Gap and a couple of times a year the employees get to distribute a special coupon to friends and family. It will entitle you to 30% off your purchase at The Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic or the Gap Outlet store and 5% of what you spend will go to the charity of her choice: the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Here is the
link to the coupon – spend a lot!! It’s for a good cause!

kukla_red: (Default)
I worked from home yesterday mostly because the weather was forecast to be lousy: heavy rain and lots of wind.  I didn't have any sessions scheduled and I figured I could stay home, make some chicken soup and a nice roast for dinner.  The weather was as promised so I was glad to be home.  I stopped at the grocery store after I took David to the train station and got the makings for soup and matzo balls.  Dumped the chicken, herbs and veggies into my enormous stock pot and added water and started it boiling.  Logged into the office and started working, but had to quit in the afternoon.  

Why?  Because I am bleeding again.  The bad kind.  I've had 2 colonoscopies in the past 2 years, both times because of this kind of bleeding.  This time the bleeding was accompanied by really bad abdominal pains yesterday. I called my doctor's office and spoke to one of the partners.  He said I should go to the ER, but I didn't.  I waited a while and the pain stopped.  He called me again this morning to check up on me.  I told him the bleeding was still going on but the stomach pain stopped.  He said I could either go to the ER or come in and see him on Monday, which is what I'm going to do.

On the plus side, the soup turned out great.  Me?  I'm still worried.  I would really like to know why I have had so many episodes of this bleeding within the last 2 years.  They keep looking but not finding anything more than a few hemorrhoids. 

kukla_red: (Default)
FIRST: If you've been tagged, you must write your answers in your own LJ and replace any question that you dislike with a new, original question.
SECOND: Tag eight people.

1. Favorite song right now?:
Jeez... I don't know.  I don't do current music, for the most part.  I think the last current song I liked was "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay when that was playing on the radio.  I guess "My Life Would Suck Without You" from the Glee cast would qualify.

2. Last album you bought / downloaded?:
I just downloaded one this morning: "The Secret Language of Birds" by Ian Anderson.

3. Last movie you watched? Did you like it?:
"Mermaids"  Really enjoyed watching it again.

4. Three things that are super-annoying at the moment?:
The Skank (see previous journal entries if you don't know who that is)
Most of the people in NYC
Having to finish writing my self-assessment form for my job (which is what I should be doing now rather than writing this)

5. If you had to spend time in prison for any crime, what would it be?:
Assaulting someone who was hurting someone I love.

6. What's really scary? 
Spiders.  Spiders really scare me.

7. Name two items nearest to you:
My Droid X
My can of Arizona iced green tea with ginseng (if you see one, you know I am nearby)

8. What makes you smile?
Getting a call from my daughter.

9. Two things you're excited for this year?
Moving to Vermont
Getting a bonus next month, first one since 2008

10. Your favorite ice cream flavor?  
Mint chocolate chip, but the really good stuff with the shaved chocolate.

11. Guiltiest pleasure?
Project Runway

12. What are doing right now? 
Well, I should be working.  See the above whine about doing my self-assessment.

13. What is your biggest pet peeve:
Idiots who wander the streets with their faces buried in some electronic device and don't pay attention to where they are going.  And people who wear too much perfume and make me gag, sneeze and wheeze.

14. Worst movie you've ever seen? 
Hmm, can't really think of one right now.

15. Best way to relax?

16. Favorite quote / lyric?
This too shall pass.

17. Who's your celebrity crush?
Patrick Stewart, Sam Elliot, Liam Neeson

18. Say something to the person who tagged you:
Nobody tagged me.

I'm not going to tag anyone either - do it if the spirit moves you. :)
kukla_red: (Default)
A friend over on Facebook posted this and I thought it was a cool idea.  We all know that we're supposed to have buckets lists - things we want to do before we kick the proverbial.. well, you know.  But what is on your Anti-Bucket list?  What things have you completely had your fill of and would be perfectly happy never to see or hear of again?

Here's some of the things that occurred to me I could live without very nicely:

Glen Beck
Sarah Palin
Tea party (unless there is actual tea being served)
Reality TV of any kind (I ask you, whose reality is that??)
The Royal Couple (I have nothing against them, but seriously I just don't care who their ring bearer is)
Bieber fever
Anyone with the last name of Kardashian or Lohan or Cyrus
Bill O'Reilly
Anyone who yells on TV (unless it is part of a drama)
George W. Bush
(OK, those last 2 are fairly universal, I hope, but I wanted to mention them anyway.)

I will probably think of a few more but that's a good start.  

What's on your list?

kukla_red: (Default)
 If all the nice folks on my LJ friend list (and you are all nice or you wouldn't be here) could send out some positive vibes and think some good thoughts for me for the next hour or so, I'd appreciate it mightily.

I will 'splain later.

Thank you!!

O yay!

Feb. 7th, 2011 08:19 pm
kukla_red: (Default)
Once again, my daughter has done me proud.  She has been accepted to the Buckham Overseas Study Program.  She will be studying at the University of Kent, Canterbury in the Spring of 2012.  I may have mentioned this before, but now she has been officially accepted.  A lot of students applied but only 20 were accepted.

I'm busting buttons over here.  She is always so astonished when anything good happens.  She was amazed that she got into UVM.  She was sure they made a mistake when she was offered a spot in the Honors College.  And now she is stunned that she was accepted into this program.  Well, I wasn't surprised!!

She's a pretty cool kid.
kukla_red: (Default)
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

kukla_red: (Default)
 The lovely and delightful [livejournal.com profile] miintikwa is offering to do one card readings for the general public today.  Donations are welcome but certainly not mandatory.  Click here.  You know you want to :)


kukla_red: (Default)

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