Monday, September 30, 2002

Perfect Autumn Day

There are a few days in my memory that I can pick out as being just perfect. Yesterday was one of those days. It was perfect in a "My Bird Performs" by XTC kind of way. Matt and I had traveled to Rochester to celebrate my mom's birthday this weekend. Yesterday we slept in a little bit, got up and had blueberry pancakes made by my dad. I don't usually order pancakes at restaurants, or even make them myself, since no one seems to be able to make them like my dad.

After my parents left for church, Matt and I washed up and lounged around a little bit. My parents returned. We had lunch (liverwurst, another thing I usually only eat at my parent's house) and then wandered outside to chat with the neighbors. My dad just started a darkroom class at the Community Darkroom. He had taken it about 20 years ago, but was rusty on the latest developments (ha ha) in developing pictures. Part of his homework for his class was to take some black and white photos. At first, only my dad was going to go out. Then we all ended up tagging along down to where the Stutson Street bridge is located on the Genesee River.

My dad got some shots of the new Patrick O'Rourke bridge being built. I finished off my roll of color film and grumbled over not getting any pictures of Matt and I (again). The sun was bright, but not overwhelming. The air off the lake and river was refreshing but not too cold to need a jacket. We hung around the river for a bit, pointing out different shots my dad could take of the two bridges, the river, sailboats, weathervanes, and other odd assortments. I stood listening to the sound of cars rumbling over the steel deck of the bridge. Just as we were going to drive away, a sailboat sounded its horn. I looked at my watch: 2:55 PM. I said, "The bridge is going to go up!" We drove a little closer to the bridge, got out of the car, and headed over to a dock to watch both sides of the Stutson Street bridge open like a dual drawbridge to a castle. My dad's camera clicked as my mom and I murmered, "Cool.. what great timing!" It was a bit of childhood for me. In another year or two, the Stutson Street bridge will be closed and torn down.

On our last stop on the Irondequoit side of the river, my dad and I tramped up to where the new bridge will start. The deck isn't down yet, but the span goes all the way across the river. I looked out towards Irondequoit and breathed in the air. It was home. I could feel the edges of time sweeping away and it was like I had never really left. It was the perfect day.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Time For A Change

I was tried of the old block-style template I had, so I'm trying out this. I think it has a more clean look to it. Any comments?

To Understand a 28% Tax Increase...

Our County Executive announced his budget on Wednesday night that included a 28% tax increase. Before you jump to conclusions, you must understand several things.

A. State Mandated Medicaid is up $7.4 million dollars for 2003
B. the contribution to the NYS Retirement System is increasing $1.6 million
C. There is a $1.2 million increase for Community College Chargebacks
D. Non-Executive Elected Official's budgets have increased $1.4 million

My boss has cut his budget $7.2 million. That still leaves us about $12 million in the hole. The public seems to get it. It's Medicaid (and a wavering national economy and aftermath of 9/11). There's no whining here. Just plain facts, people. Speaking of...

How They Lie

One of Pataki's folk thought he'd try to sneak one by us. Robert Hinckley, a deputy state health commissioner said new legislation in January added $40 million to counties' costs, less than 1 percent of their increased Medicaid bills. Also, he said, Medicaid costs have grown by an average of 4 percent in New York under Gov. George Pataki from 1995-2001, compared to an 8 percent average nationally. "Under Gov. Pataki, county property taxes have been held in check across New York," Hinckley said. Right. And I have a bridge to sell you as well.

The word here is that Hinckley and company over at the state health department haven't been giving Pataki the real deal when it comes to figures about Medicaid. Of course Pataki believes them. Still voting for him? I would suggest Carl McCall, once again, as a very viable alternative. At least he doesn't have his head up his ass.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

"Everyone should love each other. It's fucking bullshit if they don't."
- Josh Lidsky Sept. 13, 1979 - Sept. 16, 2002

Josh loosened his ties to this physical world last week. He was an amazing guy I knew from WBNY. If I didn't know that already, it would have been very apparent from the memorial ceremony this past Saturday. If you're not a fan of organized religions, I'll tell you try Unitarian Universalism. At least Josh was sent off with a dignified ceremony. Plenty of memories and good thoughts. He will be missed, but I now think he had to leave, despite our best intentions to keep him here as long as possible. I think we all knew he would leave us and that he knew completely what he was doing.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

No.. I don't know what I want to do. Someone suggested recently that I create a type of ezine where I have people from all over the world (or this country at least) write reviews or little stories about where they live/hang out/eat/etc. This person suggested it could be very addictive. I told him in a roundabout way he obviously doesn't read my blog and that's why I have it. To make people addicted? No, to share various views from all over the world (and a lot of my own of course). I am clueless to what I actually want to do to earn a living "when I grow up."

Sunday, September 22, 2002

In Your Pajamas

I spent my Sunday in my pajamas. That's not to say I didn't do anything. In fact, it was a very good day. I woke up just after 10 AM, toddled downstairs and read the newspaper. Matt then went out and got some Tim Horton's coffee/bagels/doughnuts for us to munch on. Somewhere in there I checked my email and then went back downstairs because it was almost noon. And noon on Sundays means Trading Spaces! You can guess where I was parked for the next three hours.

After being a couch potato, I found some Lifetime movie to watch and proceeded to start doing some laundry during the commercials. The movie ended and I did some dishes with Matt finishing them off. I straightened the house, talked to a friend on the phone, ate leftover pizza, and watched some more tv. Sometime during this, the dryer (the "new" one) decided not to work. We're not sure what's up with it, but it won't go on. Perturbed but not willing to accept failure, I hung up the remaining wet items on a drying rack/over the side of a laundry basket/on hangers. It's all good for the moment. Matt will hopefully figure out what's wrong tomorrow when he takes a personal day (since he has to or else he loses the day).

I brushed my teeth. That sums up the day. It was good not to have to go anywhere and to just get crap done without a lot of hurry, hurry, hurry.

And by the way, Happy Birthday Sean!

Friday, September 20, 2002

drunk mmmmm drunk.. it rarely happens, but when it does.. watch out!

Colder Than A Meat Locker

I'm freezing right now. Our office has two temperature settings: hot and cold. A former co-worker who was fairly reserved surprised us once by proclaiming, "Hang some meat!" as he sat down in his seat. My fingers are almost stiff and my feet are definitely suffering. Woe is me.

Spider Outside

I watched a spider dance around the side of the building while listening to the noon news. The wind had picked up and it appeared that the spider was trying to get its footing. It eventually was able to scramble back up to a web in the corner. I don't know if that web belonged to that particular spider, but it was somewhat mesmerizing to watch this spider contend with nature.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Gut of Steel

Matt and I got some artery clogging garbage plates from Nick Tahoe's on Saturday night after the Sarah Slean/Doves concert. Niether of us finished, so we packed up the leftovers and brought them home. I didn't honestly think Matt would eat leftover Nick's, but last night (over 4 days later), he heated up the remnants of the garbage plates in a wok and chowed down. I have to admire his bravery although he was reaching for the tums this morning.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

I Hear Wedding Bells!

I must send out a big congratulations to my friends, Heidi and Kevin, on their recent engagement (and wedding that will happen in less than a month). *sings* Heidi's getting married... she's gonna have a party.. they're gonna have babies. Just kidding on the last part! And I'm lucky enough to get to be part of the second, more official wedding ceremony in July. Hooray!
What does Blogaratzi Mean Anyway?

Samizdata has created a glossary of blog terminology just in case you wanted to know the difference between warblog, newsblog, punditblog, and kittyblogger.

Journalist Who Lie

Thank god for Meg. She made me smile today with her post on journalists who smuggle weapons onto planes and then write about how lax security is at the airports. Journalists do stupid things occassionally and then revel in the fact that they either got away with it or were caught. I know all about this. I took great pride, and gained acceptance in the newsroom, when I was escorted off the premises of a hospital for interviewing an employee without permission. Nevermind the fact that before I visited this health establishment I had called the hospital repeatedly, trying to reach someone there to give an interview or give permission for me to be there. Some quick background info: the hospital was trying to ban a hotdog stand vendor from selling on the sidewalk next to the hospital, claiming the smoke from his stand was creating a health hazard. The city said "no dice" and let the guy keep his stand there. A year later, the hospital opened up their own hot dog stand right by the main entrance to the hospital. Hipocrisy? Sure! And I was lucky enough that a guy I went to high school with was flipping the burgers for the stand, so he gave me a quick interview before I had to go. I got caught being there, but lied through my teeth about getting the interview. So I got caught and got away with something. I should note that this hospital is pretty much shut down right now. Hm.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002


A carful of teenage girls caught me singing along with "Peter Pumpkinhead" by XTC last night. I got mostly just a smile from the one girl. I tried to ignore them, but couldn't help smiling myself. I think the turned up volume made them notice my car next to theirs at the stop light. "Peter Pumpkinhead told the truth!"

Must Have Been That Combination of Chocolate and Beer

Phew! Did I have a bizarre string of dreams last night. I believe it started with me being in Buffalo by the waterfront (Lake Erie). It was night time, but I was going to surf with one of my friends (Shep). This is kind of funny since I don't surf and Lake Erie really isn't the kind of body of water you surf on anyway. I decided the waves were too small or something and wandered over to this group of people that were jamming on some musical instruments. I picked up this sawed off cello (sawed off at the top end of the neck) and started doing this slap thing with the bow against the strings. It was really cool sounding and the people I was jamming with thought so too. We took a break and I walked away, talking with Shep. He said the group, The Fleetwoods, wanted me to come jam with them at some club down the road. I kind of nodded and said that would be cool. Shep then got excited and mentioned that it was better than that since the two main people in the group (Mick and someone else) were the Fleetwoods, as in Fleetwood Mac. That raised an eyebrow for me and I thought to myself, "Hey, I can't wait to tell about this!" The dream changed after that and went into something about being "in the hood" and trying to take a magazine out of the library, but not having my library card. I don't know. That should teach me for mixing desserts with alcohol late at night.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Chanteuse Extraordinaire

Matt and I saw Sarah Slean, The Doves, Danny Michel, and My Morning Jacket at The Water Street Music Hall on Saturday night. What an amazing concert! Sarah is just incredible. She really exuberated raw power and emotion during her performance. It felt good to see that kind of talent in person. The Doves were pretty cool too, but I had a hard time hearing the vocals. Whoever set up their sound didn't do their voices justice. There was a pretty cool light show and video backdrop during their performance. For a pre-concert interview with The Doves, click here.

Possible Terrorists in Lackawanna

I woke up Saturday morning at my parent's house in Rochester, shuffled downstairs, and was met by my dad saying, "Hey, Lackawanna made the news!" The news of suspected terrorists being arrested in Lackawanna surprised us since this is the city my dad grew up in and the place where my grandmother still lives. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the Yemeni population in Buffalo live in that city (according to the Democrat & Chronicle). While I don't believe all Yemenis are terrorists (same goes for any ethnic group), I wonder if the high concentration of Yemenis and proximity to the Canadian border made for the almost-perfect spot for those Yemeni-Americans arrested to seem unobtrusive. Think about it: if you were a terrorist and wanted to go unnoticed, wouldn't the best thing to do is blend in with your surroundings by being around people like you? If the six men arrested lived smack dab in the middle of white-bread America, I'm sure they would have been noticed or even watched more carefully than where they live now. Most people don't think of themselves as racist, but drop something out of the ordinary (read different) into a neighborhood of one kind (white, black, disabled, etc.) and people notice. They talk. They may even make your life difficult because they are afraid to confront the fact that they are uncomfortable with people who are different from them. What are your thoughts?

Friday, September 13, 2002

We're In the Laundry Business

Matt's brother came over last night and helped set up our electrical line for the dryer. We now have a washer and dryer that work. Matt celebrated the moment by washing and drying several loads of dirty laundry. No more laundromats!

Pizza Party at Work

One of our secretaries won a pizza party from a local radio station that she entered back in March. Since the party was for up to 20 people, she invited the Law and Legislative Offices department to join us at noon today. I'm pretty psyched about it because I just ran out of "lunch makings" at home and I was getting a little tired of yogurt or cottage cheese for lunch. It's the little things that count sometimes. Plus, it's something to look forward to today. No one is really around in the office and I'm itching to get on the road as early as possible.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Off to do Advance Work for Spitzer

Lucky me gets to leave the office and go help with advance work for State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's visit(s) to the county. This is pretty cool since I've never met him, but have heard nice things about him. Things have been quiet around the office from my standpoint. My boss is going nuts with budget items, but that area doesn't concern me, so I kind of noodle around looking for things to do. I'm currently trying to figure out different things with my computer that in the end will make my life easier. Ha!

Traveling Again

Matt and I are going back to Rochester this weekend for the Clothesline festival. I mentioned this before but the weekend might have a nice twist to it. It turns out that Sarah Slean is also in town and I've always wanted to see her. If the show doesn't sell out, it would make for a very cool Saturday night. Plus, one of my friends who just moved to DC is in town and will be at that concert. Bonus I say!

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Another Year Later Reflection.. by James Lileks

Check out James Lileks' blog for his one-year anniversary post. Very well written and some good thoughts.

A Year Later

I've attended two memorial ceremonies today for the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Originally, I wasn't going to attend the one in Jamestown, but as I got ready this morning I realized I would regret it if I didn't go. I'm glad I did. It was a beautiful ceremony and it was nice to see some people I know there. The noon ceremony here in Mayville was shorter, but just as heart-felt. Last night I got to thinking about what we were all doing a year ago here in the offices. One thing that struck me was how we were glued to the television. I remember sitting down with my lunch of yogurt, fruit, and water. I knew I had to eat even though I didn't feel like it. It just didn't seem right to take in some nourishment, especially in front of a television spewing out so much tragedy. I've become a little interested of that snapshot in everyone's lives. The moment when they first hear the news. What were you doing when you found out? How did you react?

A year later, there is a sense that people have moved on but have not forgotten. Some of the effects of the attacks weigh heavy as we contemplate what our president may do next in his quest to rid the world of "evildoers." I can't say I agree with everything he does. I'll leave it at that.

"We're Going To Albany!"

Those were the exact words of my co-worker this morning as we celebrated the news that Tom Golisano beat Governor George Pataki in the primary for the Independence line for Governor. With Golisano in as a third candidate for Governor, the chances that H. Carl McCall will beat Pataki in November are up even more. Before the primary, people were saying that even if Golisano didn't win the Independence line that the numbers are there in the Democratic party to finally put a Democrat in the Governor's seat after 8 years absence. I'm hoping that's true.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Orange Alert

Not to get overwrought, but we're on Orange Alert here in the United States. We'll see how it all shakes out tomorrow I guess.
A Lesson in New Buildings

I've been waiting the day they tear down my old elementary school and build a new version of it just down the hill from where it currently exists. The Democrat & Chronicle has a story today that says the District has to send that item to a referendum just in case the residents in the district aren't too thrilled with the idea of the school district spending even more money in an already very costly building project session. Blame New York State for that one. It may seem the easy thing to do, but really.. NYS screwed over several school districts across the state. They offered up this great building project incentive, offering up to 95% (I believe) reimbursed aid for districts wishing to engage in building construction. Schools across the state took the incentive and ran with it, even if they didn't need new buildings. Then the state reneged. Surprised? I'm not. The end result: districts had to raise taxes after promising this wouldn't cost the taxpayers a dime. Who do we yell and scream at in Albany? I don't know the answer to that. If I had more time to research it.. I would.

Primary Day

Exercise your rights! Go VOTE!! We still have a Governor's primary here in New York State despite what you may think. Andrew Cuomo and Charles King still appear on the Democratic ballot and we need every "D" to turn out to vote for the "3 M's" (Carl McCall for Governor, Dennis Mehiel for Lt. Governor, and Bill Mulrow for State Comptroller). Ok, that's my politicking for the morning.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Another Dark, Dusty Basement

Matt hooked up our washing machine on Saturday, so I ventured into our scary basement to help clean. Our basement isn't necessarily cluttered with stuff the way my parent's is/was (depending on your definition of cluttered). It's really dusty and full of cobwebs. I mean, really full of cobwebs. I went through with an old broom and just collected gobs and gobs of the stringy stuff. Ew. The floors are a mess as well since the concrete, or whatever stone it is, seems to be flaking away. I did wash two windows so that light could get in better and I also cleaned the sink in the bathroom. If the toilet worked, we'd have another bathroom in the house. Just perfect for those boozy parties where you don't want people tramping upstairs to puke. Of course, we never have those kinds of parties and most of our friends stop drinking long before they reach the puke stage. It would be nice if it worked. Oh, and if you're wondering why the basement is scary: we have one of those old coal-converted-gravity-air furnaces that looks like a huge octopus growling in the middle of the basement. You seriously could fit a body in its main cavity where the coal used to go. And there goes my imagination running away again.

City Now On-line

Rochester's self-proclaimed alternative newsweekly City is now available on-line. I browsed through it a bit to see how many articles they provided on-line. I particularly liked the fact that they include cover stories for the past couple months. Anyway, I believe Shep had mentioned something on his blog awhile ago that it would be nice if City was online

Friday, September 06, 2002

Is This America?

Thanks to Wil for this heads-up.

Overview of Changes to Legal Rights
By The Associated Press

September 5, 2002, 11:44 AM EDT

Some of the fundamental changes to Americans' legal rights by the Bush administration and the USA Patriot Act following the terror attacks:

* FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.

* FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.

* FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.

* RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.

* FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES: Government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.

* RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL: Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.

* RIGHT TO LIBERTY: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.
Copyright © 2002, The Associated Press

Courtesy of Newsday.Com

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Big Brother Is Watching Us

I knew there was a reason why I didn't like George W. Bush. Tom Paine gave me a much greater reason to not only dislike Dubya, but possibly fear his administration and what it's doing to this country. Go read it here.
A Girl's First Vibrator?

I'm admittingly a Harry Potter fan. My interest waned a bit since it's been so long since book 4 came out and we're all still waiting for book 5. Naturally, I had to laugh when I saw a link for the Nimbus 2000 on-line and then read the comments. I always knew our society was all about sex.
Quick Vacation Synopsis

I finally have a moment to breathe to get this down. Vacation was nice other than wishing it was longer. If you have the opportunity to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding, do it. It's hysterical. I saw it with Matt on Tuesday since it finally came to the Jamestown area. My trip to Skaneateles with my mom went well. We mostly window shopped there and had some pretty amazing ice cream. The trip to the Outlets in Waterloo (just off the New York State Thruway) was more successful. I bought a lot of nice work clothes for very nice prices. All items were under $20. That trend continued the next day when I got some preliminary Christmas shopping done and found more clothes for great prices. I spent more on the new Martha Grimes mystery than I did on a single piece of clothing! Oh happy day *smiles*

I did get to see a few friends, have few drinks of the alcoholic and caffiene-laden variety, hear some jazz music, and generally laugh a lot. The garage sale went well too. We made a couple hundred bucks, so it was deemed a success.

One of the only things that grated at me were some comments my mom made. For example, my parents, my mom's best friend and I were eating dinner and somehow conversation came around to my former-boyfriend Matt. My mom made the comment, "That was my favourite Matt." I don't even think she realized what she said, and while I have nothing against former-Matt (that sounds so funny), you would think my mom would have been a little more tactful. Oh well.

My parents did travel back to Jamestown with me so we could see the fireworks display at Bergman Park. The Zambelli Fireworks Company put it on. Wow! It was just fantastic! We sat pretty close to where they were shot off and it was cool to see the chrysanthemum (sp?) style fireworks create a chanelier effect over the crowd. Actually, the sparks fell pretty close to the audience and didn't extinguish until they were nearly on top of us. A little nerve-wreaking but cool nonetheless.

On Monday, we got our washer and dryer courtesy of Heidi's parents. We fed them dinner after Matt and Heidi's Dad huffed and puffed to get the machines in the basement. A tiring vacation in some ways, but a good time all around.

Like, Finally Or Something

The Associated Press has put out a news article on Linguists Defending Teen's Use of "like". I never, like, realized the linguist complexities of that word. I mean, like, it totally goes against my ninth grade English teacher, like, said all the time. "It either is or isn't.. how can something be 'like something'?" Something like that.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Guilty Pleasure Comes to Buffalo

I may have missed this in the Buffalo News, but apparently MTV is filming the next "guilty pleasure" series at SUNY-UB. I first heard about it via my former neighbor, Janine, who is a freshman at UB. Her roommate had been asked if she was going to rush since the camera crews thought she would be a good person to film. That must mean she has a nice rack in addition to the fact that she already has blonde hair. I have friends who were addicted to that Sorority real life series this summer. This can't be good. Anyway, I have no doubt that Tom Calderone had a hand in getting this next installment filmed in Buffalo. It would be too much of a coincidence otherwise.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

It's Over Already??

That vacation seriously needed to go for another four days (which would have brought me up to the weekend). I'm back now and have lots to tell since I didn't have time to blog last week (aside from Monday). Unfortunately, I have to go back to this thing called work. I ran into my supervisor at the Labor Day Festival and she said last week was "wild" and that they all missed me. It's nice to be needed *grins* More to follow.. maybe on my lunch..

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...