Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Roadtrips to Nowhere

I really enjoy roadtrips. So does our friend Richard. Last night, around 11pm, he convinced Matt and I that tiredness was no excuse when we could go to Super WalMart! Since WalMart hasn't gotten around to destroying their current big box in the village of Lakewood and building a Superstore on that same site, we decided, "What the hell, may as well go." I quickly burned my Maritimes Trip 2003 cd mix, featuring music I heard while traveling through Canada this past May and June, and off we went. Matt slept most of the way to Bradford, PA. We weren't exactly sure where the Super WalMart was located. But Bradford, like many towns here in the Southern Tier, is so small that after driving around for 20 minutes, you're bound to find what you're looking for.

The Super WalMart was in a bunker-like area. You couldn't even see it from the road. The bright, secret facility-like lights glowing above were a tip off along with the WalMart sign at the entrance. The Super WalMart wasn't so extraordinary until we got to the food section. There I saw Grape Crush for the first time. Richard was disappointed that they didn't have any chicken fried chicken in the deli case, but we were tickled by snack pack of Fruit Roll-ups (four to a box). We got our purchases together (included the dvd of Notting Hill, snack pack of Fruit Roll-ups, St. Ives facial cleanser, and Aveeno Positively Smooth leg moisturizer - guess who bought all that) and took off.

We didn't go far. Perkin's beckoned. Matt got some sort of breakfast item that included hash and I got my traditional coffee accompanied by a toasted English Muffin with strawberry jam on top. The three of us eavesdropped on some of the Pennsyltucky conversations going on and laughed at various items. We then headed back to Jamestown at the early hour of 2am. It was a good night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

More Fair Stuff

The sun finally came out and there's a slight breeze. Much better than the past two days, but we're expecting some thunderstorms towards evening. We'll see if those pan out.

I finally got my ice cream (see Tasted Like Ice Cream), so that was good. I've been in constant contact with Matt this afternoon concerning one of our friends. We may be making a trip out to Cleveland this weekend depending on several things.

Otherwise, I'm hoping someone can lobby the Fair folks to get our tent moved back up front for next year. It's a total affront to have us in the back with all the Midway Rides. No one is coming through the tent! And we even give money to the Fair each year. Grr. So if you're reading this and are in Chautauqua County, stop back and say hi to us. We're right as you enter Gate 5.

Monday, July 21, 2003

A New Meaning to Working Oneself to Death

I was nearly struck by lightning today. As you know, we have a laptop set up, along with two televisions, in our tent at the County Fair. Since the computer is on dial-up, it's hooked into a phone jack that hangs from the roof of the tent (where the wall and roof meet). We had had various rumblings of thunder and lightning throughout the early afternoon and none of the Information Services staff said anything about unplugging equipment, so I didn't think to unplug the modem during the day. Sure enough, while I was writing in my journal, I caught a bright flash of light out of the corner of my eye and heard a popping sound. That was followed by a very loud, prolonged crashing of thunder. My co-workers thought I was still taking pictures until I walked from behind the table looking pretty shooken up. No one wanted to sit near the computer and television equipment after that even though I had unplugged everything. When the weather cleared for a bit later on, I turned stuff back on only to find out that the modem had been fried. I'm hoping they'll replace it tomorrow. And this was a lesson learned...

Mud Fest

Ick. It's pouring and thundering and lightening. And it's all mud around the Fairgrounds. Triple Ick. *grins* But the tent looks good this year. We have some nice displays if you want to stop by. Will check in later tonight most likely or tomorrow. Chowder!

The Rain In Spain..

The first two, and maybe three, days of the County Fair could be a washout due to rain. I'll still have to be there, but it's going to be quite quiet if things don't let up. Friday and into the weekend look a little more promising. Another promising thing, I will have a laptop with dial-up at the Fair, so there's a possibility that I'll be posting updates to this during the day there. Otherwise, stop by the County Government tent and say hello.

The Attack on Iraq Sounds Worse and Worse

If Saddam Hussein is still alive and has any capabilities to pull off anything, then this article makes me pretty worried. What a dumbass we have for a president.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

All's Fair

This coming Monday through Saturday will find me sitting in the County Government tent for the Chautauqua County Fair again. I'm hoping for mild weather: not too hot and not too rainy.

I'm also looking forward to bad food. As in bad for you, not bad tasting. I actually do pretty well in watching my intake since I usually buy a lot of fruit and make fruit salad to munch on along with my yogurt. That's lunch. Dinner is usually whatever I buy to eat. I don't know if I could eat that pizza again that they always have. It's so doughy! Plus, the price of food is rediculous! Ah well. It's once a year and I supposedly get the following Monday off (as if I could take it off with being out of the office for a week!).

Friday, July 18, 2003

"This is called 'The Battle for the Planet of the Apes'!"

I took advantage of a meeting cancellation yesterday to go see They Might Be Giants perform a free concert as part of "Thursdays In the Square" in Buffalo.

A review appeared in today's Buffalo News, obviously written by someone who isn't a true fan or observer of the obvious (she said the song "John Lee Supertaster" was about a superhero with a heightened sense of smell!).

My account is somewhat different. I went by myself, because I can. I figured if I ran into people I knew, great. If not, that's fine too. To speak to the main act (in the interest of my time), I was very happy they performed songs off their most recent release, the kid's album "No!". I was concerned that it was going to be a "kids show" at first when they opened with "Clap Your Hands" but a few blue words thrown in along with the command "Everybody Swear!" by John Flansburg put my worries to rest.

It was a short set due to time constraints by the city, but they still managed to shoot off their cannon of confetti which was swept into the air and floated around all the tall buildings and play "Famous Polka" twice along with doing the infamous "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" during the encore.

I was a little disheartened by the number of people at the concert that didn't know some of the "old favorites" like "Particle Man" and "Birdhouse In Your Soul". The girl, who had to be 16 at the most, standing next to me squealed that "Boss of Me" was her favorite song but didn't know the other two songs I just mentioned. I do give her kudos for dancing along anyway.

My post-show highlight included running into Robin and her sister Beth (I know both from WBNY), ogling John Linnell and then getting John Flansberg autograph. I turned into such the fangirl that I felt silly. It was all good though and I don't think I freaked out anyone, especially Flans'.

For a better interview and quick background on TMBG, read this story that was in the Salt Lakes Tribunal

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Sabres in Rochester

I'm super-psyched about the fact that the Buffalo Sabres are playing a pre-season and regular season game at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY. I was so excited that I ordered three 4-packs. This includes the two Rochester games and two Buffalo games. One pack is for my dad and the other two are for Matt and me. We'll miss the first Rochester game, so my dad will be able to take two of his buddies (one of them maybe being my mom). I'm really shooting to get to the November 12th game since the Sabres will be playing against the New Jersey Devils. The Buffalo games we're going to are against Anaheim and Toronto. Politically, I'm not a huge Golisano fan, but when it comes to the Buffalo Sabres, he rocks!

When Everything Changes In One's Life

Wil Wheaton posted an interesting sound clip on his AudBlog on Monday. I'm not sure what it's all about but the premise was very cool.

I totally get what he's talking about and I love how technology allows us to not only preserve that exact moment but share it with the entire world as well. There are moments where everything is perfect in one's life and you wish you could bottle it to savor at a later date. Sometimes the song is just right.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Queer Eye

I think my new favorite show is going to be Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Bravo. It's a show where 5 Gay guys take a clueless Straight Guy and give him a makeover from himself to his house or whatever. I love the concept! I've always been into watching makeovers. The only part that sucks is that I like the fashion tips, but know they wouldn't really work well for me. You know, it's that whole being an almost straight woman thing. If I could chop off all my hair without fear and go butch, that would be cool. But I do have that girly girl streak in me. Ah well!

The Wedding (Rated PG - Potential Girlyness)

I attended and was in my best friend, Heidi's, wedding this weekend. It was a blast! I was surprised at how much fun I actually had. I also wore myself out completely. The run down:

Thursday: Matt and I get into Cleveland just before 9pm and head over to Heidi & Kevin's house to help set up. We decide that since the afterparty/reception will involve alcohol that we will set up the bar. We realize that Heidi's parents have bought enough liquor to open a small bar (envision at least 5 bottles of gin, at least 15 bottles of various whiskeys, 6 bottles of rum, 4 bottles of vermouth, and lots of other stuff). We stay up late just hanging out and listening to the cd's I made for Saturday. I get lots of thumbs up from Heidi, her brother Scott, Lauren (Heidi's sister Gretchen's best friend), Heidi's mom, and others.

Friday: We arrive at the house again at 9am in order to go on various errands like picking up the flowers for the church, buying food for the party, and other misc. stuff. I get caught up on life with Heidi while Matt keeps Kevin sane. Beth S. (also a bridesmaid) shows up. Heidi goes on errands with her parents while Beth, me, Matt, Kevin, and Scott go to the mall to find Beth some shoes for the wedding. I get my first of many girly-girl points for the weekend by finding a pair of shoes that fit Beth and look cool. Beth gives kudos to my cd mix that Kevin stole to listen to before Saturday. Matt and I go back and crash for an hour before the wedding rehearsal. We arrive at the church at 6:30pm. The minister urged us to stick with a two-drink maximum, which led us all to say "What? 2 Drink Minimum??". We have pizza and wngs at the house. Anne and Sean show up as do my parents. We were all mostly good and crashed early.

Saturday: I stumble out of bed and pick up Sue L. so we can get our hair done. I miss the exit to go to the mall because I'm talking and haven't had enough caffiene. We get there 10 minutes late. The lady doing my hair pulls off a miracle and all of a sudden I have these awesome curls on top of my head in an up-do. My hair is piled so high that it almost touches the roof of my car when I get in. Luck and massive amounts of hairspray are the reasons for this. I almost don't recognize myself in the mirror (hopefully I get pictures soon). Sue, also full of curls, and I have the next girly-girl moment and rock out to Basement Jaxx's "Do Your Thing". We get to Heidi's house late and quickly change into our dresses. All the bridesmaids pile into my wee Toyota Tercel and we take off for the church (late, mind you). Gretchen has taken out all her piercings (including her lip ring which allows her to breath through the hole left behind and freak everyone out) and looks adorable but comments that she'll look like a refugee when we get back to the house after the wedding. That prompts everyone to spontaneously sing, "You don't have to live your life a refugee.. don't have to live like a refugee!" ala Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. Heidi puts on her dress. We all spontaneously sing "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story. We take pictures. Can you just feel the girly-girlness oozing now? The wedding commences. We all get misty eyed and sniffly. I almost don't recognize my friend, Joe, from college, but it's all good. My dad marvels over my hair. We put cans on the back of Kevin's jeep. More pictures. I go back to the hotel and change, collect Matt, and return to the house. We eat, drink, and be merry. I have to inform Joe about a mutual friend that committed suicide, "Oh My God.. Joe.. we tried to reach you.. really.. we did." I updated Meg on news. Anne tells us about how she tripped as she tried to get out of a waiter's way at Perkins, fell over, and ended up flashing a table full of big black men (she was wearing a thong). They commented, "Nice butt" or something like that. Sean misses out on that. I enjoy the scene since I'm getting to see people from high school, college, and other places all in one setting. A mini reunion if you will. Everyone slowly drifts away and I hang out by the fire with Kevin and Matt. We leave so I can crash.

Sunday: We get up and have breakfast with my folks at Bob Evans. They leave for Rochester and we go over to Heidi & Kevin's to help clean up. Everyone is bumming around with that look like they hadn't slept in days. OH wait. They haven't. We do some cleaning. Beth, Gretchen and her boyfriend take off. Lots of hugs. We bum and clean for a bit more and then take off. I sleep most of the way to Erie, PA and then take over the rest of the way back to Rochester. We collapse in bed. What a great time!

Sunday, July 13, 2003

What An Awesome Weekend

The wedding was Awesome! The ceremony was so beautiful that there was nary a dry eye or sniffling nose in the church. I'm so happy for Heidi and Kevin! Plus, I was super happy to see people I knew from high school and college. Actually, the reception was kind of odd, but in a good way, for me in that respect. There's nothing like being at a friend's party and seeing so many people from various friend groups. Good times.

Damn Right I Am!

Democrat
Threat rating: High. The Bush administration is
concerned that it may not get a second term.
Therefore, we are going to change the rules so
that each Democrat vote only counts as 0.2
votes because Democrat is a shorter word than
Republican


What threat to the Bush administration are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Big Brother Isn't Just Watching You..

1984 by George Orwell was one of my favorite books in high school. It was an interesting read and I thought it sounded a little over the top. Now I just realized that Mr. Orwell really meant the title to be "2004". Think I'm crazy? Read this article about how government surveillance is going beyond "Big Brother".

Just Get Me To The Church On Time

Matt and I are off to Cleveland tonight for Heidi and Kevin's Official Wedding (tm). The weather forecast looks stormy for the drive there but the rest of the weekend is hopeful. That's a good thing. I'm looking forward to seeing a few people I've either never met or haven't seen since my early college years, plus seeing my best friend get officially hitched. And hopefully my bridesmaids dress is in working order. My mom was a little worried that it wasn't long enough. I was more worried about getting the right earrings. We know where our priorities are!

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Best Coffee in the World

I am beside myself in happiness. You may remember from previous entries how I generally snub all coffee except for that which comes from Java's in Rochester, NY (formerly known as Java Joe's). Well, you too can now enjoy this delightful coffee at Java Joe's Coffee Gifts website. Believe me.. once you taste this coffee you may never go back to that stuff you get in the grocery store.

Burn Or Buy

I have this love-hate relationship with the music industry. Part of the "hate" part is reflected in an article on how the music industry is dealing with advancing technology.

I download music for free. I used to belong to EMusic.Com, but I cancelled my subscription as part of my spending cuts backs (due to my upcoming wedding) and due to the fact that there were very artists or songs on Emusic that I was interested in downloading. I don't really feel guilty about ripping music for free. I'm increasingly disgruntled with the radio and music industry, and the crap that's put out there as "music".

The times I feel a bit of guilt is when I think of my friends that are in bands, involved in radio, or in the music biz. They need paychecks. However, I don't like the idea that I'm being told by my friend's higher-ups (owners of the industries) that I'm the problem here. That the FCC will act in ways that limits our choices by further deregulating radio and tv and allowing three conglomorations to buy up even more radio and tv stations. That it's then my fault that I can't stand what I hear on commercial radio or what's being sold in Wal-Mart. That I should be sued for seeking out music that I do like and will buy once I get a fair shot at previewing it.

I think it would be a breath of fresh air if the music industry could get its head out of the sand and start developing innovative technologies or ideas that will get them back the major audience it has lost. It's a long shot for them since the Dollar seems to take the main precendent in all areas.

Monday, July 07, 2003

A Banana and Walnuts

Matt and I are going to incorporate some traditions into our wedding like the oczepiny ceremony:

The removal of the bridal veil, known as the oczepiny ceremony, is another traditional element of a Polish wedding day. The bride's veil will be removed as she enters the reception hall, signifying the end of her maidenhood and her transition to a married woman. A funny hat will be placed on the groom's head, representing the wish that the marriage will be full of happiness and laughter.

My mom and dad have pictures from their wedding of this ceremony. My grandmother will be making the groom's hat and my mom commented, "She made your dad's hat when we got married. You'd be surprised what she can do with a banana and walnuts."


What Would Willie Nelson Do?

A. Endorse Dennis Kucinich for President

B. Send care packages to Texas House Democrats Who Briefly Fled the State in May

C. Smoke Hashish

D. All of The Above

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Thank You "W"

The Nation's Jobless Rate is the Highest it's been since 1994. Our appointed one will try to pin this on Clinton, but what most people don't take into consideration is that the job and economy slide began once businesses figured out that a Republican was going to be our country's next president. And seeing as how nothing Bush has done in terms of tax cuts, wars, and other distractions has seemed to fix the problem, you have to wonder how he can, and will, blame Clinton for our current muck.

Anxiety & Energy

We usually say July is a quiet month at work since a lot of people are on vacation, so it's also slow when it comes to media as well. Since the bulk of my job is doing media related stuff, this makes my life easier. However, my job responsibilities have shifted somewhat into a multitude of things including working on performance-based government initiatives and co-chairing committees related to that. I won't explain since it would take a whole other blog to work through the details. We won't get into the new political responsibilities I acquired after being named to the party's city committee and the fact that it's a major election year. I also won't discuss how my next free weekend isn't until the third weekend in August. Fortunately, some of the things taking up my time are most pleasurable like weddings or hanging out at family events. The downside is that I haven't had a lot of "me" time where I can get things done. I noticed this last summer as well. I feel too tired in the morning to even get up early to exercise or get things done. I'm too tired after work to do anything really constructive around the house or in general. And it's not that I'm staying up until the early hours or boozing it up, but a general tiredness. Nothing, aside from dinner, got done last night. I don't know if it's because I have a list a mile long of things I should be working on and I'm letting the stress get to me or what. It seems to be harder and harder to enjoy the seasons. I've had a lot of months just blow past me and I'm wondering where my time has gone. I like what I do, but I don't enjoy how much it takes out of my "at home" time. And the love of my life doesn't have it any easier since he's running the major campaign of this "silly season" and, likewise, doesn't appear to have any energy for anything else besides work lately.

I'd like to think things will wind down after November, but I know with wedding plans that we're far from having any real downtime. And I'm not looking forward to when the real planning for the wedding kicks in because I know I'm going to have to be stubborn about a bunch of stuff with my mom since she has these ideas in her head about what she wants.. not necessarily what I want. Example, she's insisting that only 175 people be invited to our wedding.. I know my pared down list is already at 208, not including several other couples that we can't not invite. I already told my parents that we'd pay for however many people we have over 175, but my mom is being stubborn too. I don't think she quite gets it that it's my wedding at times. I plan on it being my only wedding, so I'm not going to leave off friends or family just because my mom has a set idea for what she wants. I don't even want to think about invitations, dresses, jewelry, showers, DJ's, and whatnot right now. I almost rather just get married and be done with it, but I know it would be a huge let down for the entire family and, hell, I like a good party too. Oh well. Sometimes life sucks. Grab a straw.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

July 1st Fireworks

Our local baseball team, the Jamestown Jammers, hold a fireworks night every year on July 1st. Since we live just up the hill from the field, I coerced Matt into walking down to take in the event. I was pretty amazed by how many people were at the game and how many other families had set up blankets and chairs on the hill above the baseball park to see the fireworks. Matt and I joked about the first time we saw a fireworks show together and watched as kids ran by wearing glow-in-the-dark bracelets that one enterprising guy was selling for a dollar. We got there just before the seventh inning stretch and could see enough of the scoreboard to follow the game. The Jammers won for the third time this season. After the game, the announcer had the crowd countdown from ten and then the ballpark lights were turned off. The fireworks were awesome. The sky was so dark, and from our vantage point (on the hill above where the fireworks were being set off), the explosions filled the sky and the sound of the bursts reverberated around the hills. While walking back to the house, Matt said, "Thanks for convincing me to go. That was fun." That made the whole night complete.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Lovely Day and No Time to Enjoy

Don't you hate when you realize that it's a most gorgeous day outside and you won't truly be able to enjoy it? Everytime I think I might have a moment, I remember some chore or duty that must get done. Even my Fourth of July is busy, but at least I'll be forced to just chill out. My so-called garden is a disaster with weeds happily taking up space. The house is quietly grumbling as another day passes where I haven't put away clean clothes or attacked the grime in the bathroom. Then there's the silly season duties (yes, it's that time again) with petitions singing to be signed. And my life isn't half as bad as poor Matt, who's up to his ears in silly season stuff. On a plus note, I have another wedding to look forward to next weekend *waves at Heidi*

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...