Thursday, May 30, 2002

About A Blog in Buffalo News

There's a little article about blogging in the Buffalo News today. Mentions all the usual goodies. I'm still wondering where that USA Today or USA Weekend article was that supposedly quoted something from Jenny's blog. Of course that was eons ago in Internet time (last year).

The Cool Kids from BOCES

Today was the going away picnic for a group of students from BOCES that have been working in the County office buildings. I don't know what BOCES stands for, but it had pretty negative connontations when I was a kid (Example: "Ooohh.. you're so stupid you have to ride the BOCES bus.") But I digress. These kids, who are mentally and/or physically challenged, have been working here for the entire school year and have really made huge progress in their abilities. They even surpassed what their instructors thought it was possible for them to do. So I was pretty honored to be invited to their picnic today. The thing that got me the most was how sad a lot of them were that they couldn't come back to work tomorrow. The people in the Buildings & Grounds department (where the kids worked) are looking into whether the kids can come back this summer and volunteer. That's how much the kids loved their jobs here. They weren't paid in money, but in experience. It must have been a hell of an experience if they want to keep doing it. Just a cool afternoon.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

I'm a Nothing!

Which Enemy of the Christian Church Are You?

A(nother) Robert and Tim Creation

Post Memorial Day Weekend

This past weekend was plain odd. It started with a funeral and ended with me suffering from either PMS, dehydration, or some other ailment.


The funeral for my Aunt was ok. Her daughter made no preparations for the service so my mom was asked 20 minutes before the service began to deliver the eulogy. And my grandfather asked me to do the readings since "you have a radio voice." Now, any regular reader of this blog knows I'm not religious, so the fact that I'm doing a reading in a Catholic church (and I had to pick out the second one!) is pretty funny despite the circumstances.

Shooting Pool on Saturday Night

I finally, after 25 1/2 years, found a sport I can play with my dad. Pool. I took him to this sorta new place in Irondequoit by the corner of Hudson Ave. and Ridge Rd. Matt came too. We had a good time. I sucked, but my dad kicked some butt! He mentioned he hadn't really played since college. You couldn't tell. I guess pool is one of those things you just pick up right away. Like riding a bike. Later on, Matt and I got gussied up and hung out with two friends from Jamestown that were in town for the evening. We went to Tonic and then over to The Blue Room. Good times.

Soak Up the Sunday

Matt, my mom, and I hit TJ Maxx on Sunday afternoon and picked up some really cool wine glasses. We should have bought 3 glasses, but they were pretty expensive. The glass has green-blue, purple, and silver swirls over the clear glass. We decided that since we have 3 cool wine glasses at home that we'll never find a full set of (green stem, blue base) that we'd just build a funky collection of similarly colored glasses. After shopping, we went to Irondequoit's Memorial Day parade. It was only 45 minutes and had lots of fire trucks, but it was all good. That night we went to the Old Toad and then Perkin's with Sean and Anne. It was very cool to see them, since we hadn't seen them since January.

Monday Malaise

Monday morning started out ok. We went to the Parkside Diner with my parents for breakfast. I saw an English teacher and Gym teacher from my high school that had gotten married. I nearly fell over since Anne and I had discussed them the night before. We were both seniors when the two teachers started dating. We used to joke that either the gym teacher was dating the English teacher, or he was getting help with learning how to read (since he spent so much time in her room). During breakfast I started feeling exhausted. We went home and I crashed on the couch for 2 hours. I then got up, took a shower, and realized that I had swelled all over. My shoes hurt, my pants were tight, my bra was tight, etc. My mom chalked it up to eating too much salty food and made me a raspberry leaf tea. Meanwhile, my joints were starting to hurt and my head ached. I was absolutely miserable! I slept a little more and then we packed and set off for Jamestown. Once we made it home, I went immediately to bed and slept for about 12 hours. I felt much better the next day. So who knows?

The Regular Week

I really would like a long vacation again. A vacation with no trips planned, no obligations, just time to do what I want around the house, take walks, drink lemonade or iced tea on the porch, read, listen to music... *sighs* Yeah. I want a summer vacation.

Friday, May 24, 2002

Slam It To the Left! Shake It To the Right! Shake It To the Front!

I love KaZaa, but I hate the spyware that slowly begins to interfere with everything. I mean, here's a program that lets me download guilty pleasures like the Spice Girls and then it slowly tries to Big Brother my computer. *sighs* Guess it's time to get KaZaa Lite. It's the same as KaZaa but without annoying ads and spyware. Then it's off to some site a friend found that determines whether any spyware is installed on your computer. I don't know if it gets rid of it, but at least it's a start.

CD Blow Out

I went ahead and ordered to CD's I've wanted for awhile "Apollo 18" by They Might Be Giants and "Oranges & Lemons" by XTC. I'm not into paying more than $13 for a CD and by ordering on-line I was able to get one for $12 and the other for $9. So I don't feel too bad about buying more CD's that I really don't need (you should see my collection!).

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Spa Appointment = Stress

Matt ever so lovingly gave me a nice gift certificate to a nice Day spa in town for Valentine's day. Back then, he said, "Don't save this! Use it now because you really needs some destressing." I should have listened. See, in Chautauqua County during the summer, it's almost impossible to schedule any kind of appointment that involves beauty stuff. All the summer visitors are here taking up appointment times from us locals. Ah well. I'd rather have loads of tourists than none at all.

So I made my appointment today for a facial with shiatsu massage and a parrafin dip for both my hands and feet. It's not until Friday, July 5th at 3pm. Looks like I'll be taking the day after Independence Day off!

Memorial Day Weekend

Matt and I are heading out of town tomorrow night for the weekend. Our first stop is Buffalo for my Aunt Dorothy's funeral on Saturday morning. After that's done we're heading to Rochester. Only plans in the bag are taking my dad out to play pool. He's always wanted to try out this place in my hometown, but had no one to go with him. I also plan on taking in the Memorial Day parade, which will be on Sunday at 5:30pm instead of the traditional 9:30am on Monday. I was kinda bummed about that since I was looking forward to reliving some of my childhood. That's ok. Oh, and a funny thing. We may end up hanging out a little with some friends from Jamestown who will also be in Rochester for a day or two. But I'm really hoping to catch up with a couple friends I haven't seen in AGES.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Season Sweeps = No Blog

I admit I've been glued to my television for the past three nights in order to sniff through series finales and season finales. It's amazing that while I haven't watched The X-Files for about 3 seasons that it all still made sense to me. Ditto for Ally McBeal, although I did watch a good chunk of this season purely for the Jon BonJovi factor. I sniffed quite a bit during that series finale, even though it mostly sucked. I felt it was a very weak ending and the best parts were the flashbacks (of better seasons). And That 70's Show was decent.

Paradox Sunday

This past Sunday was odd. Matt and I went into Buffalo for my cousin Andrew's confirmation. I don't usually go to church related events, but Andrew's dad is my Godfather, so I was kind of expected to attend. When we picked up my Aunt Carol on the way, I found out my Great-Aunt Dorothy had died that morning. She had gotten quite sick a few days before and in the end died from a stroke. I wasn't overly surprised since she hadn't taken very good take of herself over the course of her life (recovering alcoholic/anorexic/smoker). I didn't really feel anything about her death either. Which I felt bad about, but I guess I was expecting her death sooner or later.

After the confirmation ceremony ended, we headed over to my Grandparent's house for some coffee and sandwiches. It was there that we found out my Cousin Ted (AKA Father Ted) had died unexpectedly Saturday night. I was and am very upset about this. I really didn't know Father Ted very well (yes, he was a priest) but he had been very good to me over the years. He was the one that helped make it possible for me to go to England with the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, helped me buy my bow for my violin, buy my violin case, etc. If we ever needed money for music-related things, he came through. And he continued to send nice checks for Christmas over the years. I always wrote thank-you notes and wondered if there was anything else I should do. I can't remember if he ever got to hear me play when I was at my best at the end of high school. I wish I could remember. I think he has a tape of when I used to do radio news. I just feel like I didn't repay him enough for all that he did for me. On top of that, I can't even be at his funeral service (5pm tonight) since it's in Florida (where his church is). These things happen. However, I will be able to be at my Aunt Dorothy's funeral service this Saturday morning.

The confirmation was ok. The church used a PowerPoint presentation to project the words of songs (and pre-service announcements) onto a screen by the altar. That was cool since you didn't have to hunt through a huge songbook for whatever song was going to be sung. A downside was that if you didn't know the melody you were out of luck since there were no music notes to guide you. The singing was quite boisterous at times and I felt like I was in the middle of that Christian Music commercial on tv where this huge congregation is singing "Shine Jesus Shine!" I don't know what was worse: the fact that this song was being sung or that Matt knew all the words and gave me a funny look for not singing. The only song I knew was "Here I Am Lord" for my confirmation/youth group days where we changed the words "His hand will save" to "His hand will wave" and "I will give my life to them" to "I will give my wife to them.."

My cousin's reception was a little bizarre too. He was choosing the music and we were treated to "Highway to Hell" by ACDC and "Big Butts" by Sir Mix-A-Lot throughout the meal. I don't know what was funnier, the fact that ACDC was being played or the look of confusion over my older relatives' faces when the posterior-minded song came on.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Singing With Headphones

I pray I don't sound like a wounded cat right now. I downloaded "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus earlier today and decided to listen to it. And sing along very loudly. Matt hasn't come running upstairs holding his ears in pain, so it can't be that bad. I discovered KaZaA (via Cindy) and am indulging in guilty pleasures now (aka Michelle Branch). I'm soooo ready for this week to be over. I haven't gotten home from work any earlier than 8:30pm all week. Crunchy Cheetos and Pepsi have been my dinner of choice this week. Bleh! At least I'll get some body movin' Mexican at La Herradura tomorrow night with Matt, Ashleigh and Richard. Expect much wackiness to ensue (or just Richard drooling over Ashleigh). *grins*

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Trees Falling

Half a tree fell in front of our house this morning, nearly falling on top of Matt's car. I wasn't there to see it happen, but Matt heard the crunch and crash of the one side of the tree breaking away and falling. Since the tree is so close to our house and Matt was still in bed, he rolled off the bed onto the floor just in case the limbs went through the window. It's all good at the moment, but our neighbors had their power and cable knocked out. The weather has just been crazy today. Rain, thunder, hail, wet snow, more rain, wind, and some more rain. The wind and rain is causing the lower (aka southern) end of Chautauqua Lake to flood a little since the wind is pushing the high waters up onto people's property. It's funny that a year ago, people were bitching about how low the lake levels were and now they're calling and bitching about how high the levels are. Nothing we can do unfortunately. The Warner Dam (on the Chadakoin River.. moderates the lake levels to a degree) has its gates totally open which probably means some low level flooding above and below the dam. Ah well. That's life!

If you ever want an interesting read on flooding that happened in the Genesee Valley area after Hurricane Agnes in 1972 (or Lake Ontario shore flooding), go to the Rundell Library in Downtown Rochester and ask for the historical/geneology section. It used to be in an un-air conditioned room in the older library, but I think they moved it. There are several scrap books of news articles and photos from the flooding. I could sit there for hours, pouring over the old clippings. I think part of a hospital collapsed into the Genesee River in Elmira and the Mount Morris dam came very close to over flowing. All very interesting stuff. And a good comparison for how we're actually doing 30 years later.

Monday, May 13, 2002

Dreaming of Casey Kasem

I dreamt about Casey Kasem the other night. I'm not even totally sure what he looks like in real life, but dreams have a way of working around that. In my dream, he asked me why I got out of radio. We talked about that for a bit and when he left, I got the feeling he was disappointed in me. Then I remembered that I never got a chance to tell him how much I enjoyed his show while I was growing up. Dreams are funny like that.

Driving in Rain and Mist

Sometime I forget how mystical this area can be. Driving back from Buffalo, a layer of fog was descending onto the tree tops. You had the feeling like you were entering fairy land or some sort of far off place. This morning, the fog was so thick outside my office window that you could barely see the cars parked below.

Sunday, May 12, 2002

Do What You Love.. Without Fear

It's funny how the most out of context stuff will spark thought about life. Example: I watched bits and pieces of Notting Hill last night with my parents and grandmother during the commercials breaks for Trading Spaces. My mom commented on how Hugh Grant reminded her of a high school friend of mine. That got me thinking about that friend (and former boyfriend) and how he mentioned that one of the things he found very erotic about me was that I played violin. He made this comment several years after we had stopped dating. It had also been quite awhile since I had regularly played violin too (same goes for the present). Him mentioning that felt almost painful since I had an estranged relationship with my violin. I know that sounds bonky, but truthfully, I've always had a rocky relationship with that instrument. It could be so beautiful at times and other times, so painful (in the literal sense) and frustrating.

One of the most harmonious moments came when I graduated from high school. I had been picked to play a solo at the Graduation Ceremony. I chose Mozart's Concerto in G Major, which I had to play on stage at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, NY in front of an estimated 2,000 people. I still to this day have no idea how I did it. I'm really uncomfortable with playing in front of people, especially solo. I don't mind playing in orchestras, but I've always been a little fearful of playing solo. I guess it's fear of criticism or seriously messing up. It's crazy that I was able to get the guts to go on stage and play. I've had friends tell me that their relatives or people I wasn't friends with turn to them afterwards, or during the performance, and say that I was really good. I guess that would be the last time I heard something like that.

College was brutal. It was at college that I found out I lacked some technique "that you should have learned when you were a sophomore in high school." I hated my teacher. I didn't find his method of teaching to my liking. I guess I'm the type that needs positive encouragement, not belittling. Other students thought he was the shit. I thought he was shit. In a way, I'm to blame because the more frustrated I became, the less I practiced. It has gotten to a point where I haven't touched my violin in a year. I had a brief, shining moment my sophomore year in college where I actually went and practiced for 3 hours after talking to someone about how prescious it was to have the gift of playing and how I should never lose that gift. Something like that.

What I'm looking for is a way to get back to practicing. Without Fear. I'm afraid it will be scratchy, out of tune, jerky.. only because it will be at first. I've lost a lot of dexterity in my arms and fingers. It's hard to explain the feeling if you never did something you loved so much and if you didn't keep at it, you lost it. Playing the violin meant a great deal to me at one time. I think it still does. I just need to conquer the feeling that I've failed.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Mystery Worshipper

I've acted as a mystery shopper for Hallmark stores before, but it never crossed my mind that there were mystery worshippers as well! It's quite an ingenius idea if you're the type that goes to church every Sunday, even when you're on vacation (ie: my parents). And if I was the pastor at a church, this would be quite the useful site to see how visitor friendly the church is. For the "locals" that visit the link I provided, there is a review of St. Paul's Church in Rochester, NY and a review of the Sunday Summer Service at Chautauqua Institution.

Praise H-P!

Our computer came home yesterday afternoon. Matt took the afternoon off so he could begin the re-installing process of several programs we use. Then lo and behold! Matt turns on the computer to find that Hewlett-Packard transferred over all our data! I guess we had a few bad sectors on our old hard drive, so H-P gave us a new hard drive and copied our data onto it. I was very happy and relieved to have not lost countless emails, downloaded music, and my ever-growing bookmark (AKA Favourites) list. Naturally, I've learned my lesson when it comes to modern technology and have already started backing up email addresses and favourite links on web-based pages. Next step is to start burning some of those downloads onto CD! Phew!

Look Up, See Blue

You would normally associate that headline with Labatt's Blue. That's assuming you live in an area where you can actually buy Labatt's beer. Seeing, or drinking, blue may mean something totally different soon. Not that I'm for the "blue-ing" of our food and drink industry, but this is going slightly overboard several years too late. Wasn't the "blue" craze huge in the late 1990's? Maybe I am behind the times. Afterall, there's green and purple ketchup now.

Monday, May 06, 2002


I feel like I'm inflating. Yesterday I was fine. Today I feel like air is filling my body and causing it to expand to unprecedented proportions. The funny thing is that I know I will "deflate" in a couple days. Sometimes being a woman just sucks *grins* And where I'm not "inflating," I'm just sore. Saturday morning Matt and I helped out with "Hands On Jamestown." Over 300 people showed up to clean up downtown Jamestown. It was pretty cool, but I spent three hours squatted down, picking up countless cigarette butts or other trash items. The street we worked on looked great afterwards, but the tops of my thighs are killing me. Going up and down stairs or getting in or out of a chair is very painful at the moment.

Maple Syrup Festival

I suppose next to chocolate that maple syrup would be my favourite sweet. I seriously could sit down with a spoon and bottle of maple syrup (and I did once when I was a kid). This past weekend was the New York State Maple Syrup Festival in Chautauquau County. Matt, his parents, and I gorged on the pancake breakfast and then waddled around to look at crafts. Maybe that explains my inflation, but I truly doubt it. I tried, for the first time, maple sugar cotton candy. Oh.. My.. God! It was simply amazing. And very sugary. I don't think I could have eaten any more than the sample that was given to me. It's just so rich. I did buy some kettle korn since it's one of those festival things that you have to indulge in once a year. While I was eating the pancakes with maple syrup, I got a little nostalgic for this pancake house out in Schoharie County (I think.. Matt help me out!). I went there a few years ago for breakfast and the pancakes were huge. Two was more than enough! And you eat at long tables, family style. I think the place was called Buckwheat Farms.

Friday, May 03, 2002

Back to the Digital Age

Our computer will be returned by the beginning of next week. This is good news. It also means better blogs from me. Good news for you, the reader! I'm hoping these past two computer-less weeks don't completely revert back to the digital world I was extreamly connected to before. I actually got to spend some time with Matt, which included completing some very overdue chores in our house (buying mini-blinds for our bedroom windows, buying gardening tools, washing the floors downstairs).

I also got to watch "Heritage House" on PBS. Excellent series if it goes on repeat in your viewing area. It's only 6 one-hour episodes, so it's easy to see all in a short time (3 days for me). I also did a little reading. Nothing too heavy. Just got caught up on some magazines floating around the house and read "The Nannies Diary." I think that's what it's called. Good read. Although it did make me pretty livid at how people with money can treat those with less. Not that all wealthy people are like that, but since this book's (fiction by the way) story was drawn from the writer's experience as nannies you know that some of this shit actually happens. It really cemented for me that I would have to be a stay-at-home mom if I had kids, just because I wouldn't want to plop my kid in daycare or get a nanny for christ's sake.

Ok. Done ranting. Will catch up you all later :-)

Away, Away

We're on a mini-vaca in an area where they're experiencing forest fires (thanks asshole arsonist). It's an area that makes Clift...