Monday, August 26, 2002

The Deep, Dark, Dirty Basement

I get this feeling that I will never get that basement smell off me or my clothes. I have spent the last three days sorting through piles of junk, looking for saleable items for the garage sale. We have over twenty bags of garbage sitting on back patio of my parent's house right now. The good news is that my mom has just about finished sorting and putting prices on the stuff we can sell. I spent most of today washing things up so that people might actually want to buy them. I'd tell you where the sale would be (hint, Town of Irondequoit), but I really don't need any stalkers *wink*


I saw Tadpole at The Little on Friday night. Great movie. I laughed quite a bit. It also helped me reflect a little on my own teen years. I had this thing about pushing myself in the maturity level department when I was a teenager. I wanted to be more sophisticated, older/whatever but at the same time I wasn't emotionally ready for that. I think that's the story for a lot of people, but I've picked out several specific events/points in my life where that's very apparent.

Vacation Update

I love not being at work. I would just be getting out of work right now and instead I'm hanging out at home! On my list of things I hoped to do while I was away I've accomplished some with others happening soon. Here's where I stand:

1. Going to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding tonight with my parents
2. Drank several mugs of hot tea (from England!) with my mom
3. Been to Java's twice, Cibon's once. Wrote in my journal at Java's last Friday

I also got to see Sean and Anne before Sean took off for Lowville, NY for teacher orientation. We went to Salinger's last night and took in a couple pints of good beer (Harps for me). Tomorrow my mom and I are headed off to Skaneatles (did I spell that right?). Should be a nice departure from the house. Otherwise, who knows when I'll update again. You got a flavour of it at least!

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Vacation Time

I will be leaving the rural county of Chautauqua tomorrow afternoon for the more metropolitan county of Monroe. I'll be there for a week and a few days. Phew. That means I'll try to update my blog when I can, and it could go several ways on that:
1. It gets updated every day because I can
2. It gets updated once when I have a moment between pricing items for my family's garage sale
3. I say "Hey, I'm on Vacation. Screw Blogging!"

The suspense grows! Tune in daily to find out what Julia will do!!

I'm so kidding.

How To Succeed In Print Media In a 24/7 News World

The newspapers around here suck. Seriously. And one of their biggest gripes is getting press releases in the middle of the day or having a press conference scheduled to make a major announcement. They get mad because they only print one edition of the paper and if something happens at any time that's not convenient for them to get it into print, they get scooped by everyone. I have an easy solution to fix this rant of theirs. Use Your Friggin' Website!!! The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle does an excellent job of this. I can look at their website throughout the day and still be up to date on the latest news happening in that area. That's just the opposite of what most newspaper websites are like. The majority will just put up the stories that appeared in the morning paper and then not update the site until the next day. Stupid I say. Why bother having a website at all if you're not going to use it to its full capacity. I have a lot more respect for the D&C since they got a clue and essentially went 24-hours with their news coverage via the website.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

A Nice Sing-A-Long

I have a somewhat daily ritual of singing along to whatever is on the radio, in the tape player, or in the cd player on my way to work. It started when I worked the dayshift at the radio station. I was hanging out with some friends and staying up way too late (sometimes 3 AM), so when the time came to get into work by 9 AM, I was dragging. Getting four hours of sleep isn't really good on the voice, especially if this is a reoccurring thing. My way of "waking up" my voice was to sing along with anything that was on the radio including speaking out loud. I usually practiced my intros and outros to the news when I was speaking out loud "I'm Julia *****, WJTN news. It's (temperature) degrees and (weather descriptor) outside. The complete weather forecast follows the news. The news is brought to you by (fill in sponsor)." I don't know if it really helped, but at least I didn't completely like a frog when I did get on the air for the first time that day.

The whole thought of this crossed my mind as I sang along with "Charm Attack" by Leona Naess while driving down Route 430. Without consciously thinking about it (until the memory popped up), I was trying to match tones, blend vocals, get the right articulation and energy of the song. Always practicing I guess.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

At The Drive-In

Matt and I went to the Drive-In for the first time since both our childhoods. Our friends invited us along although we drove separate cars. XXX and Austin Powers: Goldmember were the two movies. We only stayed for XXX since we had already seen Austin. Movie was great for an action flick. Tony Hawk and Matt Hoffman had cameos. That's all you need to know. It was cool to hang out in the car, yell at the screen and not get yelled at by others, eat really buttery-salty popcorn, and not pay an arm and a leg to see two new films ($10 total for the two of us). I'm hoping the drive-in stays open for at least a month or two more so we can see more movies this way. I'll be sure to bring a thermos of hot chocolate, my own popcorn, soda, candy, etc. so I don't have to buy theirs next time. Oh yeah, the last film I saw at the drive-in (if I recall correctly) was The Black Hole and Sleeping Beauty.

I'm Velma, which ambiguous dyke are you? Quiz by Turi.

Lists For the Week

Like Jenny, I accumulate lists. Currently, I have about 3 different lists I need to work on befor I go on vacation. List A: What I need to pack for the trip. List B: What I need to get done before the Trip. List C: What Matt needs to do while I'm on my Trip. The last list could cause some strife since I know he will be totally schlockered with work-related items. If I didn't have to worry about those three lists, here's my list of things I'd like to be doing:

1. Reading the latest Elizabeth Peters mystery
2. Going to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding or The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (requires a trip to Buffalo or Rochester)
3. Drinking hot tea (preferably Twinings English Breakfast or Bigelows Constant Comment)
4. Writing in my journal while drinking coffee at Java's (again, requires trip to Rochester)
5. Hanging my newly framed pictures (won't be ready for two weeks though)
6. Putting my pictures from my latest roll of film online for friends (can't happen until I finish the roll off)
7. Taking walks around my hometown neighborhood

Take a guess of what's on my list of things to do while I'm on vacation in Rochester. I hope I don't end up spending too much of it in my parent's basement, sorting things for our garage sale.

If you didn't have to worry about any chores or work, what would be on your list of things to do?

Monday, August 19, 2002

Good Weekend Featuring Irritability

It was a decent weekend aside from being a little irritable and having to work Saturday morning. Matt and I hung out with some friends in the area, stayed up way too late, and despite the fun times actually got some housework done. Saturday morning was the Counter-Terrorism Drill at SUNY Fredonia. I didn't like having to get up early, but the event itself wasn't bad. My role was assistant information officer and all I had to do was make sure the media stayed behind the yellow tape, videotape the event, and then make some phone calls after the event to see if any other media outlets were going to stop by to get sound. The drill itself went well. It was weird to watch kids walking out of a dorm area coughing and some with "injuries." It seemed pretty realistic only because the make-up job was awesome. The main lesson learned from the event was that a unified communications system will definitely help if we were to have an actual terrorist attack of some sort (or major catastrophe).

Friday, August 16, 2002

The Extending Branches of My Family Tree

I found out I have a cousin who is doing the geneology work for my dad's side of the family. My grandfather was one of 13 children, so even just that bit of research could be pondersome. It was cool to look at what she had so far on her internet site and then email her with some additional information. Most of my dad's side of the family (as in his grandfather on his dad's side) came over from Poland and lived in an area called Goleszow, Mielec District. It was called Galicia at one point I guess when the borders for Poland were jumbled around. I tried researching that area on the net, but the only information in English I was able to find related to the concentration camp (sub-camp of Auschwitz) that existed in Goleszow during World War II. Pretty sad stuff. Matt wondered if that would be why I have such an interest in the Holocaust (including dreams about the Holocaust). Up until yesterday, I didn't think my family really had any connection with the Holocaust. Now I wonder if any of the relatives that remained in Poland may have been witnesses or victims themselves. An interesting note: going through my great-grandfather's lineage I found out that one of my ancestors married a woman who died on the same day (October 22, 1898) that I was born (October 22, 1976). Not unusual, but I did notice that quite a few people in my family's past either were born or died on the 22nd of the month.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

County 10, City 7

The County was victorious in the County-City Softball Game for Charity last night. I was super happy about the whole event because not only did we win, we also raised boku bucks for our charities (hopefully will be $1,200 after the last remaining dollars come in). Despite some injuries that kept people off the field, or that happened during the game, it was a positive experience. The crowd was huge compared to last year when attendance was down due to rain and changed dates of the game. Quality Markets, who provided food free of charge, estimated that we had over 300 people there since they ran out of food at one point. Matt is a little bummed that the city lost and that he didn't go for a power-hit that could have won the game for the city. I can't say too much since I didn't play (believe me, it's better that way!). Maybe next year. I still can't get that bat-connecting-with-the-ball thing down. Ah well.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Am I The Greatest Song In The World?

Rock: Indeed, I am the greatest song in the world! But you shalt never hear me, for I am far to great to be heard by the ears of mortals.

Are you the greatest song in the world?

Will Julia Survive A Pit Match Against Clinton And Bush?

24% chance Bush would kill you.
24% chance Clinton would kill you.
66% chance he would sexually harass you.
52% chance you would kill them.
Enter Combat

Monday, August 12, 2002

Seeing Friends On Their Way

The past four days have been a whirlwind of seeing friends. As mentioned earlier, Mike & Londa came down for a visit. On Saturday, I drove home to Rochester to see Sean & Anne since Sean was hired to teach 11th and 12th Grade English out in Turin, NY. I was afraid I'd miss him the week I'm hoping to go home, so we got together for dinner at Sinbad's on Park Ave. After that we went and saw Check-Out at The Little. That was pretty cheesy, but worthwhile for the local cameos. Naturally, coffee at Java's followed where I ran into Heidi's brother and sister, Scott & Gretchen.

Sunday, I met up with Matt and went to Sinbad's (again) for lunch. Aaron S. showed up after that and we went to California Rollin so he could partake in some delicious sushi. Matt had this crazy double roll called a Mighty Spidey (I think). It was pretty tasty. Then I drove out to Pultneyville for Matt F.'s going away party. His parent's house is awesome! It's actually two houses in a sense that a whole house was added onto a smaller house. As we went on the tour of the house (which was set up nice enough to be in a magazine), Matt's mom kept pointing out what part was the old part and the new part. I finally asked, "What do you mean by "new"?" She replied, "Oh, 1858." I jokingly said later that they could adopt me just so I could live in that house. Seeing a bunch of my friends from high school was definitely the highlight of the weekend. I hadn't seen my friend, Ben, since he had a house party about two years ago. Matt has a running joke that Ben is just a figment of my imagination since he's never met him, but has heard all the stories. I took a group picture of everyone at the party, so hopefully it comes out good enough to publish.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

Add Another Second to My 15 Minutes of Fame

I picked up the paper yesterday morning to find I had been quoted by the mayor of our city regarding our annual County-City Softball Game for Charity. Another thing for the scrapbook I suppose (kidding). Although, my Aunt & Uncle who live in Gowanda did call me at work to tell me they were saving the article to show my grandmother. At least my quote was a good crack at the mayor.

Listening to Future CD on Lazy Saturday Morning

I love how I can now create CDs, but not burn them but yet still listen to them in the pre-burned stage on my computer. I have one "future" cd now playing. It feels like it needs a few more songs, but I think the song order is near perfection. I'm hesitant to burn it mostly because some of my compilations take on a life of their own in terms of relating back to personal going-ons. No use having that out there in the open if no need be, right?

In other news, it's great to wake up and do nothing but eat a lemon poppy seed scone with lemon curd on it, browse through our flimsy newspaper, read some email, and relax.

House Guests!

Our friends, Mike & Londa, came down from Rochester for a visit these past two days. We've had a good time with them. Thursday, we went to Bemus Point and had drinks on the porch of the Hotel Lenhart with the rest of the Jamestown's NEXT crew (site info a little outdated).

Last night we ended up going for a dinner cruise on the Summer Wind around the southern end of Chautauqua Lake. That was quite a bit of fun actually, since it's something Matt and I really havn't done for fun in awhile. The weather was perfect other than getting a little cool as the sun set. After the cruise, we headed over to Wegmans where Mike & Londa lamented over the fact that our Wegmans has a much more extensive selection of teas. Apparently the Rochester Wegmans & Tops stores have a watered down selection. We mused that it was probably due to so many Wegmans being in that area where we only have one. After that stop, we came home and watched Swingers. A late night, but lots of fun. I'm now waiting for the rest of the house to wake up so we can go for "breakfast" (more like brunch at this point).

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Bucky Lasek is My Hero!

Matt and I had an awesome time at the Gravity Games in Cleveland this past Saturday. We got in just before noon and paid $10 for parking. That was our first sign of price gouging for an event. After getting wrist banded and finding some restroom facilities, we made our way over to the Bike Street Preliminaries. We both had slathered on the sunscreen since the sun was really beating down, but there was a nice breeze coming off Lake Erie. It was the perfect kind of day, although we heard it had been terribly hot the other days of the Games.

Ryan Nyquist tried to pull off some cool tricks in practice that used the judging stands, but wasn't able to get his dismount down. He did manage to pull off some amazing tricks. I believe one he pulled off after his run was done was a backflip and double bar-spin truckdriver. I'm stealing this from the finals story on the Gravity Games website. That sounds like what he did, but I'm not certain. Nyquist was in first after the pre-lims ended.

Properly sunburned, Matt and I took off to get some grub and decide whether to leave the games to get dinner with our friends, Heidi and Kevin. As we rounded the corner by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, our decision to stay put was finalized when we saw how many people were already sitting in the stands for the Skate Vert finals. Mind you, it was just after 3PM and the skate practice didn't start until 6:30, with the Finals beginning at 8:30PM. After a few attempts at trying to reach Heidi, we grabbed some over-priced cheeseburgers, water, a Gravity Games baseball cap to cover my sunburned face and listened to the soundcheck for Filter.

People in the stands for the Skate Vert Finals were cool. I talked to this older guy for a little bit about his kids, our job and Cleveland nightlife. The stands were full a little bit after 4:30PM. Kids started swarming anyone that was coming out to practice once 6:30 hit. We had decent seats, about 5 rows up from where the drop-in is located. If you click on the link I provided above for the Vert Finals and look at the second picture which shows the whole ramp, Matt thinks you can see me in the stands (left side, wearing a white shirt, going straight back from the drop-in). The vantage point we had made it difficult for me to figure out when a skater had fallen since we couldn't see down our side of the ramp. All I do know is that Bucky Lasek is awesome! I'm also a big convert when it comes to Sandro Diaz and Bob Burnquist. I think they rank up there personality-wise and they have a cool skating style. I was a bit disappointed in Andy McDonald, but it's all good.

Next month, Matt and I are hoping to get tickets to see Tony Hawk at SUNY-UB. That would seriously rock!

Monday, August 05, 2002

Bocce Champion

I am now considered a Bocce Champion in some circles in Chautauqua County. The Italian Festival at St. John's Church has a Bocce Ball Tournament every year where the "Good Fathers" (priests from around the community) compete against other groups. First, the "City Fathers" (city of Jamestown officials) squared off against the "County Fathers" (the County Executive, two Legislators and myself) where we soundly thumped them at the game. Then the "County Fathers" took on the "Good Fathers," but were not succesful. Of course the game is stacked in favour of the "Good Fathers" since the boundaries of the bocce playing field are made up of kneelers. My "ringer" status was made apparent yesterday by scoring 14 of the 21 points our team gained in both competitions. I was even the topic for the discussion for a local talk show. So I've finally found a "sport" that I can excell at. Bring it on!

A Statement on My Green Thumb?

At various points today, at least three men have commented on my care of my Jade plant on top of my filing cabinet. The first was my boss, who said, "You need to water that plant! Probably fertilize it as well." The next came from our Commissioner of Social Services, "I think your plant needs to be watered." And the final comment was from the Deputy Director of Social Services: "That soil has a very compost texture to it." I'm convinced either I'm clueless about plants or my mom is channeling her thoughts all the way from England (where she and my dad are on a cruise) in an effort to rescue my Jade plant. Excuse me while I go get some water for the poor, withered thing.
The Budget Bloodshed in Monroe County, NY

Listed below are links to stories about Monroe County Executive Jack Doyle's proposed 2003 budget. Read, weep, and take action:

Monroe County Budget Highlights
Human Services Cuts
Elimination of Cornell Co-Op
Cuts to The Arts

If you're wondering why I'm concentrating on Monroe County, it's only because this is indicative of what is happening or will be happening around New York State. Why? Two words: Medicaid increases. What to do? Contact your state representatives and complain bitterly about the burden placed on our counties by the state in terms of Medicaid costs. The state passes off costs to the counties in new programs like Family Health Plus, that seem great on the surface but in reality cut into the counties' budgets, making it increasingly difficult to fund non-mandated programs like roads and bridges maintenance. Sure, the state isn't all to blame for the financial woes of the county, but they are the main culprit.

Friday, August 02, 2002

The Internet is a Wonderful Thing.. for Trivial Things

While watching a Heinekin beer commercial the other night, I began to wonder who sang the song in the commercial. It was familiar, but I couldn't quite place the group. Off to my computer I went and typed in a simple search on what I thought was the song title, "Never My Love." Instantly, I had a link to the artist, The Association. Now, if I had remembered I had the link, I could have simply gone to the Music from TV Commercials site and scrolled down to the commercial in question. Now I'm stuck between just buying the CD or scrounging through my dad's record collection so I can tape myself a copy. Someday I'll get a record player just for old times sake.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Finally! It Took Them Long Enough..

Skaters in my hometown of Irondequoit finally have a place to go skate. I remember how neighbors and the police gave kids in my neighborhood a hard time about building ramps in their own yards. It was rediculous. My parents understood the issues, but tended to agree that the skaters should have a place they could go and not be persecuted. So hooray for the entreprising soul who saw an opportunity and ran with it.

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...