Friday, August 29, 2003

A Laborious Start

We're kicking off this Labor Day holiday weekend with something involving labor. My parents are coming down to Jamestown for the annual Labor Day festival and to meet Matt's parents. This means cleaning has been taking place in our house at a much higher level than has been seen the past few months. It means I will be grocery shopping tonight to buy essential food stuffs like fresh tomatoes, onions, cheese, real milk, and other goodies. Not that I don't usually buy regular groceries, but I tend to cut down on items that spoil quickly as we're hardly around to enjoy them.

Tomorrow we're headed to Buffalo to see Masterworks at the Albright-Knox Museum and then we have a college graduation party to attend for my cousin, Craig. I'm supposed to bring some sort of dish/appetizer to the party but haven't committed on what that will ultimately be. I may be scoping out the produce/deli section for something really easy tonight. One thought is to do the Chiavetta salad. This involves cutting up tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and possibly green peppers and tossing them in Chiavetta dressing. Easy cold salad. The other option is doing a caprese salad. Unfortunately, you can't eat it easily without a fork, so who knows what I'll do!

Sunday is the Labor Day festival and dinner with the Folks. We're hoping that goes well. We're both a little amazed that we've been together four practically four years, engaged for eight months, and our parents have never met. I'm just hoping we all have a good time and that it doesn't rain on the fireworks that evening.

Monday will hopefully be relaxing. I can dream, can't I? We won't discuss what's coming up these next two months, politically. If I disappear for days on end, please take it all in stride.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Oh.... My....

When I saw this review for Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter I fervently wished I could be in Rochester Saturday night to view this possible masterpiece. The review is what convinced me that this is possibly the greatest thing to happen to the Dryden Theatre all year. I'll reserve total judgement until I see the movie. That said, I encourage everyone and anyone to go view this film for me. Details copied from the Eastman House page below:

Saturday, 8 p.m.
Rochester Premiere!

JESUS CHRIST VAMPIRE HUNTER (Lee Demarbre, Canada 2001, 85 min.) The second coming is upon us, and Jesus has returned to Earth for Judgment Day. But first, he has to contend with an army of bloodsuckers that can walk in the daylight. Combining kung fu with biblical prophecies, mythological horrors, Mexican wrestling, and a liberal dose of humor, the film also manages to address contemporary sexual politics. Did we even mention that it’s also a musical?

Executive Fun

As part of my job I attend a lot of meetings on behalf of my boss. Last night was the full County Legislature meeting and it included an executive session. To translate the government speak: an executive session is when a legislative body connducting a meeting goes into a closed door session where the public is not allowed. This usually happens where there's matters involving litigation or personnel. It applies to other areas, but I'm not going to get that detailed. Visit this site pretaining to open meetings laws for further details.

I am sometimes privileged to sit in on these sessions, but I usually prefer not to as per my former radio news reporter days. I'm very happy I was not part of the session last night. We had a rip-roaring time in the Legislative offices that was fueled by a fresh pot of coffee. The dialogue was non-stop and often frantic, hysterical, incredulous, and plain comical. The topics rans the gamut from the California recall effort to when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. You had to be there.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

A Race To Watch, And Support

Last night I got Matt to turn on C-SPAN2 to watch the Howard Dean rally in Bryant Park, NYC. I've never really tuned into C-SPAN for anything, but this one was important to me. Everyone tells me Dean is a long-shot, that while he is an admirable candidate, he has no chance. These people drag out statistical figures and cite history. There's even a story in today's New York Times: In a Long Presidential Race, Dean Sprints about this. I don't care. In my mind, I'm not going to support a mediocre candidate at this juncture when I can support someone I can actually get behind. That's always been my philosophy. And I've stood by the fact that I'll support whoever gets the nomination. I just hope it's Dean. He gives many people solid reasons to support him. Check him out if only to learn more about him. Then tell me what you think. Maybe the optimist is coming out in me that says, "This can happen. We can really make it happen."

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Taking Walkies

I was able to convince Matt post-dinner to go for a walk with me last night. We live a couple blocks from Lakeview Cemetery (some images here) and it's a quite tranquil place. A lot of the residents that live in the blocks around the cemetery use it for walking or relaxing under the tall trees. A intertwining system of roads roll through the small hills and plots. We live just far enough away that we don't actually get to the cemetery much. I enjoyed walking through and looking at the old gravestones. You could see where some recent burials had taken place. Sure it's no Mt. Hope Cemetery, but it does have its share of interesting monuments and a famous resident, Lucille Ball.

Monday, August 25, 2003

The Guide to Buffalo English

I found this: The Guide to Buffalo English via Shep. It's somewhat outdated since it refers to the Sabres still playing at The Aud, which everyone knows is no longer the case (They play at HSBC). It's still a riot though!

TLIC Minutes Are Posted!

Bop on over to Tasted Like Ice Cream for the minutes/pictures from our latest social. Note: I'm bending down a little since I thought I'd be in Matt's way if I stood up straight. I keep forgetting how tall he is!!

Saturday, August 23, 2003

New Comments

After talking to Leah last night at the social, I decided to change who I use for my comment feature. I was frustrated with enetations anyway. So leave me some feedback on how it's working for you, and if that doesn't work - email me.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Ice Cream Social Tonight

Matt and I travel to Buffalo tonight to meet up with my fellow bloggers of Tasted Like Ice Cream: The Online Ice Cream Social. We'll be partaking in some of the frozen goodness at Sweet Tooth and then perhaps browsing around some of the shops on Elmwood. Check the Tasted Like Ice Cream blog in the coming days for minutes on how our get-together went.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

It's Good to Live In Western New York

I've always wanted to visit the Seattle area, but living there is less tantalizing. This is why: article - Mount Rainier called a threat. I'll take my snow, seemingly endless amounts of rain this summer, and our wonderful four seasons thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Three Times the Victor

The County came out on top again for the City-County softball game, 17-16. Close at the end, but we prevailed. I joked that the city was so certain they would lose that they left the Loser's trophy in the Mayor's office. The Loser's trophy is the backend of a horse on top of the usual trophy stand. Whoever loses has to have it on display in their Executive's office. Not a good thing.

Pictures from the Blackout

Wired.com had a story about people who took pictures with their mobile phones during the blackout. I've heard about these "moblogs" which always brings to mind mo'money. No correlation of course. But there are some pretty cool pictures. Here are some links:

Text America's page on the blackout
John Wehr's page
Leff's Diaries page

Lobbing a Ball for Charity

Tonight is the fourth annual City-County Softball Game for Charity and the trash talking has hit an all time high. What I mean is that it has increased over past years, not that it's very friendly. Heh. Of course I'm not playing seeing as how I want our team to win. Our players are a pretty rabid bunch. I've never seen anyone take something fun so seriously. But the event is a cool one since it will benefit projects or groups related to our county's youth. That's a pretty good thing. Last year we had about 300 people attend the game. We're hoping for the same or more this year. Kudos to Matt for putting a lot of work into this game to get it off the ground. He really does the bulk of the work getting the whole thing organized. And if you're in the Jamestown area, stop by Russell E. Diethrick park around 5pm (when gates open). The tickets are only $5 and they include our "friendly" competition followed by a picnic dinner provided by Quality markets. Good Game. Good People. Good Food. Good Cause. Good Times.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Getting Away From It

Matt and I were able to get out of town for a day and a half to Erie, Pennsylvania. Now Erie may not be the first place that pops into mind when you're thinking of escapes, but I'm slowly finding out that it's actually a decent small city. There were a couple things that made it nice this weekend.

1. Celebrate Erie was taking place
2. The beautiful bed and breakfast we stayed at: The Spencer House
3. The awesome dinner we had at Papermoon (Matt and I both had the Thai Basil Chicken)
4. And the sun breaking through while we lay on the beach at Presque Isle

I told Matt we'd have to go back since I still haven't been to the Erie Zoo, Art Gallery, or a variety of other places that seem to be hidden away. The trip also included shopping at Target and ended with me gobbling down a hot Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut. Praise the sweets gods for opening a franchise on Peach Street!

Friday, August 15, 2003

Friday Quiz Time

You are 47% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.


You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!


Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!


You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.


Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com

Blackout Probe Focused on Lake Erie Grid

Hmm.. maybe this will be where we find an answer: Blackout Probe Focused on Lake Erie Grid (washingtonpost.com)

Why Did the Power Go Out in Canada?

Here's an interesting thought: The United States and Canada power grids are essentially separate. Electricity, or the sale of it, is money. Countries want to protect those interests. So the big question going around our office is why would Canada be affected something that apparently started in Michigan (according to this story)? I know that there's several officials (county-side at least) that were quite worried last night and waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop in terms of terrorism against this continent. They may say it's not terrorism, but even if was someone hacking into the computer system, that can still be considered a terroristic act. It's an attack.

We'll see what our glorious appointed one feeds us in his next tv/radio appearance.

Review of Aimee Mann Concert

Here is the review of the Aimee Mann concert from last night's Thursday in the Square. Mind you, the comment she made about being thankful and feeling fortunate for having power went totally over my head. Sometimes I wish my brain had a wireless hook-up to the Internet so I could get news alerts when something has happened. I can't believe it was six hours before I had any clue about the power outage!

A Quick FAQ on Power Outage

I said no news links, but I think the D&C did a god job at getting a quick list out on what happened.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

In The Dark on the Blackout

Ironically, the only time the blackout has affected me was when I tried to get food in Fredonia on my way to Buffalo right after 4pm. I thought the power outage was a local thing at the time. I'm not going to post any news links because part of the information being disseminated is inaccurate.

THE BIG INACCURACY: Lightning was not the cause of this massive power outage. It was a clear day here in Western New York and weather forecasters (AKA Don Paul on WIVB in Buffalo, NY) stated that no lightning strikes have been documented in the region. Plus, Niagara-Mohawk officials from here in Western New York have verified that information as well. So don't listen to that Jean Chretien fellow in Canada. I may love our neighbors to the north (and west in my case), but their leader is way off base on this one. It's too bad the rest of the national media hasn't figured that out yet.

So while a good chunk of this Great Lakes/Eastern Seaboard area was without power, I was basking in the musical beauty of Aimee Mann in Buffalo. What an exquisite concert! She did all my favorite songs ("Wise Up", "Save Me", and "That's Just What You Are"). Unfortunately, that all almost pales in comparison to what I came home to. At least we have power now. Matt says we did lose it for 3 hours while our Board of Public Utilities switched over to its backup of natural gas. Huzzah to that!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Manhunt On for Xerox Killer

News you never want to hear: Manhunt on for Xerox killer. Even thought I can't even pinpoint if I know anyone that works for Xerox, this is still the kind of news that makes you feel like your whole gut has dropped out. And we won't even talk about the media coverage this will get especially since the PGA is in Rochester right now.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Death of a Dancer & Actor

I was a little shocked by news that Gregory Hines has died (registration required). I was very lucky to have seen him in Jelly's Last Jam when I was in New York City in 1992. He was quite an amazing tap dancer. I suppose it was a mere coincidence that I took a class in tap dancing while in college, but I always remembered seeing Mr. Hines dance across the stage. He will be missed.

Stomping In The Rain

I've accepted that anytime I have plans to do something outdoors that will rain. And rain it did right as we were finishing up the Grape Stomping event at Lucy's Birthday Celebration.

The event went well. We managed to work around some last minute snafu's and get everything in a smooth assembly line of a. encouraging people to stomp grapes b. timing them while they stomped c. getting the stompers' feet sprayed off d. and giving them the trivia sheet to fill out. It was a pretty involved event in terms of what people had to do to win one of two gift baskets. And even though it was pouring so much that most of East Third Street was flooding and bolts of lightning could be seen close by, we still managed to finish off the contest with help of Lucy impersonator, Diane Vincent, to much happiness.

One advantage of the rain is that when it came time to dispose of all the mashed grapes, we just let the rain rushing down the hill wash the mash down the storm drain. Mind you we did this at the suggestion of one of the volunteers that also sits on the Board of Public Utilities' board.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

How Many Have We Lost?

Go here to follow how many American lives are being lost "post-war" in Iraq. It's troubling especially now that some of the deaths are due to that pneumonia that no one can seem to figure out.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Trading Spaces Spoof Story

How the story would read if Bush and Saddam traded spaces.

Two Men, Two Photos

Visit this site for two pictures of Dukakis and Bush that made me smile (you will have to scroll down a little.. the link is "bloggered"). I was a Dukakis supporter back in '88 even though I was 6 years too young to vote. It's funny how the one of Dukakis apparently caused quite a stir during the election while the one of Bush hasn't. Not in the same way at least. Read the comments section underneath the picture. Lots of interesting opinons and some random info. as well.

Grape Stomping With Lucy

One of many events happening in Jamestown this weekend is Lucille Ball's Birthday Celebration. As part of the Jamestown's NEXT crew, I will be helping out with the Grape Stomping Event. This event was mentioned in last weekend's USA Weekend Magazine. Come down and say "Hi!" if you're in the area.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Babylon 5 Creator in Kitten Rescue Drama

If this story doesn't make you want to bawl your eyes out and want to marry this guy, then I don't know what will.

My Fiance's Biological Clock Must Be Ticking

Matt sent me this link: Perplexing Times. Admittingly, it's a cute site but it's the sort of site I would have expected my mom to direct me to, not my fiance. In fact, it makes me a little concerned that maybe my fiance is more into having babies than me. On the other hand, that wouldn't be hard to accomplish seeing as how I've vowed to do my bit to stop an explosion in the World's population by not contributing to it.

Only 390,000 Out of Work!

To copy this blog lets put on a happy face about the fact that only 390,000 people are out of a job. Yeah. Woo hoo. Tell me again how this doesn't suck?

A Taxing Drink

This world is truly going bonkers. There's some 20,000 voters in Seattle that want to put a tax on espresso. Couldn't they find a better way to raise funds than to tax this high-voltage drink?? Guess not.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Another Good Step Forward

I'm heartened to see that My Episcopalian leaders have voted to elect the first openly gay bishop. I get the feeling that people will look back on the summer of 2003 and call it "The Gay Summer of 2003" with everything that's happened from the Supreme Court's ruling that strikes down sodomy laws to the legalization of same-sex marriages in Canada to the gay-themed television shows that have appeared on the scene (mostly Bravo! and NBC) this season. It's a good thing.

Sometimes The Spam Ain't Bad

I received an email from an university student who has a new website he wanted to promote. Now usually I don't give two bits about this almost-spam, but his idea seems cool after I checked out his site: A Picture's Worth - essays on photographs of personal significance. We'll see how the rest of it pans out. The pictures are quite nice.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Dean on Larry King

Governor Howard Dean was on Larry King Live last night. To read the transcript, click here.

I'm not thrilled with the Governor's stance on same-sex marriages, but in the overall scheme of things, at least he's done more than most of the 49 other states in the Union. His overall platform is what convinces me that he is Our Guy.

Demolition of Memories

My dad had emailed me and I read on my former school district's website that demolition of my elementary school was scheduled to be completed today. I'm a bit miffed that the school district didn't offer to let former students/teachers tour the building before it was torn down. If they did, it wasn't advertised. Also, I wouldn't have minded if they had a "buy a brick" program so I could have had a small memory of the building. I know that sentiment is nostalgia riddled, but I have a lot of good memories about Colebrook School. Well, as good as school memories go! Everything from the first grade classroom where we used to have pancake days and I found out what an atheist was, to the all-purpose room where many lunches were consumed and girl scout meetings held, the library where we displayed our dioramas of books we read, the second grade classroom where we sang along with patriotic tunes and had show-and-tell, to every item in between.

I sent an email to the Public Relations Woman, a person I believe I went to high school with, asking why the District hadn't done anything to offer alumni the chance to reminisce. After all, they had given that opportunity to alumni of another elementary school in the district that was torn down a year or two ago. It's a small thing, for sure, but I can't help but feel like the District arbitrarily took away a memory without ceremony and the community's blessing. I'm quite aware that the school's demolition is part of the District's capital building project plan. I just wasn't expecting it to happen in such an everyday way.

UPDATE: Apparently, my school district hadn't forgotten about us according to this press release. I'm just surprised I never saw anything published in any of that area's local papers. So kudos to W.I.C.S.D. in the end. Now I'm hoping there's some bricks left to buy.


Monday, August 04, 2003

Wegman's Ranks #2 for Customer Satisfaction

My all-time favourite supermarket, Wegman's, has been ranked #2 for Customer Satisfaction according to Consumer Reports. The August issue of Child Magazine also cited Wegman's as being the most family-friendly supermarket in America. Earlier in 2003, Fortune Magazine ranked Wegman's 10th in the 100 Best Companies to Work for in American List. Even Cher got into the love fest last week after visiting the Pittsford Wegmans in Rochester before her concert in the city that night. Accolades all around for something Western New Yorkers have known about for years!

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Reverting Back 15 Years

Friday night Matt cooked a nice dinner of lemon pepper chicken, steamed broccoli, and roasted potatoes. After we ate, I washed up the dinner dishes along with the few dishes that had accumulated the past two days. After watching some of the news, I left to return About A Boy and to drop off some library books. The return to the video store included renting The Princess Diaries and The Rules of Attraction. At the library, I took out the first two books in a new-to-me mystery series by M.C. Beaton (the Hamish Macbeth series) and Second Helpings, a young adults book that looked intriguing. On my way out of the library parking lot I realized something.

I was doing exactly what my mom and I used to do on Friday nights when I was in Middle and Junior High School. My parents and I would get dinner, then my mom and I would go to the library, and sometimes we'd even rent a movie. I'm closing in on age 27 and I'm doing the same thing. I marvel at the fact that the idea of staying in on a Friday night would have seemed like a death sentence five years ago. I guess getting engaged, living in a city that doesn't offer much other than the bars and movies on any given night, and having some friends out of town will help you get used to anything. Plus, I needed a night "off".

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...