Friday, October 31, 2003

Medium & Large

The Buffalo News had a Halloween-themed article on the Mediums of Lily Dale. Lily Dale is located just off Route 60 in the village of Cassadaga here in Chautauqua County. I've never been to a medium for a reading before, but I have visited Lily Dale. Matt, having spent the latter half of his youth in this county, used to go into the Assembly more often with his friends. The best story he had about the place is when they mentioned to a friend that there were a lot of Mediums in Lily Dale, but could he find them a Large and then meet them at a designated spot? That friend went off searching in vain all over the Assembly for a Large, and returned quite perplexed about why he couldn't find one. Still a good laugh.

Another Halloween note: I miss out on passing out candy again this year as I have to be at Dem HQ to do phone banks. Now honestly, who wants to be making political phone calls on a night when people are trying to answer the door or are not answering the phone due to pranks? Not me! But it's part of the job. Here's to next Wednesday!


Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Geo-Journals

Occasionally, Better Homes & Gardens has an bit of information that really piques my interest. In the November issue it was a story on shared journals. The link for 1000journals is what grabbed my attention. Projects like this aren't unusual. In fact, my mom used to do one, called Geo-Bear, as part of her 6th grade social studies class. She put those little backpacks with a small journal and pen on the backs of stuffed animal bears, and then sent them with anyone she knew who was traveling. That person was then responsible for taking pictures of the bear in whatever exotic location they were visiting and then record some travel thoughts in the journal. The bears traveled all over Europe, one to Japan, and others within the Continental United States. She mentioned to me once that the class really enjoyed the project, even though it was one that took an entire school year to see the scope of where the bears could go. It also depended on finding people, often times grown-ups, who didn't mind bringing a little stuffed lovey on their trip with them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Good Food Weekend

Food that makes you swoon seemed to be the theme of this past weekend. Matt took me to Olive's on Saturday night for a belated celebration of my birthday. Niether of us had been there, but had heard good things. When we sat down, we were given a little cup of marinated olives and peppers to stimulate our tastebuds. For starters, we ordered the antipasta appetizer, which included slices of three kinds of Italian meat, olives, peppers, fresh mozzarella, and toasted Italian bread. Matt and I both decided to try the Francis Coppola Rosso, a zinfadel red, and it was quite good and complimentary to the food. Our salad came in one big bowl, so you could take as much or as little as you liked. We never figured out what the dressing was but it leaned toward an oil and cheese blend. The cheese is what threw us off. It was tasty, but we couldn't figure it out. Matt ordered a chicken, mushroom, and alfredo cheese sauce over linguine. I ordered cannoli with vegetables. This basically was the Italian's version of an enchilada, but much better, with asparagus, spinach, and one other vegetable mixed in a rich cream sauce that filled the pasta shell. It was covered in a marinara and light cream sauce. Heaven!! For dessert, we both ordered cappucinos while Matt ordered the tirimisu and I ordered the creme brulee. Matt declared that he could never eat tirimisu from anywhere else. Quite a wonderful dinner.

On Sunday, we met up with my parents and grandmother and went to Ambrosia's on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. While we waited for a table, we saw one table receive two servings of the most decadent looking crepes we had ever seen grace a plate. We decided then that we just had to order one as an appetizer. The blueberry crepe was simply sinful. The blueberries were fresh, but a little tart. That was okay though since the sweet cream filling balanced it out. Except for Matt, we all ordered the spanikopita with the greek side salad. Matt ordered the tomato & basil soup and some potato dish. After eating, we waddled over to Pier 1 where I picked up some holiday gifts. Then it was back to my grandmother's house to relax, eat subs, and homemade pumpkin pie.

What a happy stomach weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2003

Halloween & Howard Dean

Howard Dean supporters are one wacky bunch. And it's things like these downloadable Dean-themed jack-o-lantern patterns that make me proud to be part of that group. Trust me, it's worth it just for the Devil Bush pattern.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Sound The Alarm

I think everyone should at one point experience the sheer loudness of the noon whistle going off in Mayville, New York. I had just sent a group of students on their way after touring various parts of government and turned to go back inside the building as the whistle/horn revved up to let everyone in the village know that, yes, it was noon. It's a loud, drawn out, exuberant noise. There's an excitement to it if you haven't heard it in awhile, or taken notice of it. It can also be quite startling, as I found out almost three years ago when I came up to Mayville to cover a meeting in my former life as a radio news reporter. I commented to my future boss that it sounded like we were either being warned of a bomb attack or a tornado.

What the Hell Am I Doin' Drinking In L.A. At Twenty-Six.. oh wait

Damn! Forgot to listen to that song one last time while it was relevant yesterday. *grins* Ah well. Even though today will be a bust in terms of lotsandlotsandlots of work (regular and political), this weekend should be fun. Matt is taking me out to dinner to Olive's, a new Italian restaurant (yeah, like we needed another one in this county), on Saturday and on Sunday we're meeting up with my parents in Buffalo for an early dinner somewhere. I'm torn between the Lake Effect Diner which would be pure kitsch and Ambrosia since the Greek food is soooo good there. Anyone have family-friendly suggestions for a dinner place in Buffalo? Has to be open at 1:30pm on a Sunday. In the meantime, here's to another year! Woo-hoo!

Monday, October 20, 2003

This IS A Nightmare

Courtesy of Jessica: True Halloween Terror.

No Cure For The Earworm

I'm sure many will be dismayed to find out there is no cure for when a song gets stuck in your head and you can't get it out. My earworms have included "Jenny From the Block" by Jennifer Lopez, "It's So Easy (Bartender" by Sugar Ray, that god-awful commercial for Sheer Blonde with the two girls "singing" "I Love you I love you" (see Shep's groanings about this), and countless other ditties.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Something New At Wegmans

As winter approaches, the amount of products or the type of products I use on my hair increases. It never used to be that way. I was a wash, maybe condition, blow dry but not all the way, and then minimal use of hairspray just so my hair wouldn't fall in my eyes kind of girl back in high school. Then after a bad break-up, I chopped it off. I'm talking chopping off hair that went down to my elbows to chin length. It was crazy! And layered. That meant fully drying my hair, curling it, and then massive amounts of hairspray just to get it through the morning. If I was going out at night, that meant re-curling my hair and more hairspray. This lifestyle didn't agree with me at all since I like to sleep in and I'm terribly low maintenance when it comes to my appearance in general. The phrase "pret a porter" was designed for me. Then I hit my mid-20's.

The chemistry of my hair changed so that it needed a little more attention than I was used to giving it. It's still straight, fine, long, and light-brown not including the highlights I got back in March. However, it now requires shampoo, various kinds of conditioner, a leave-in conditioner or detangler, and hairspray. So onto Wegmans I went tonight for weekly grocery shopping and the search for hair products. Oh lo and behold, Wegmans now carries an expanded selection of haircare products. I'm talking everything from Aveda, Paul Mitchell, Biolage/Matrix, and some other ones I haven't heard before but must be "good" since they're priced around $12 and above. It was a stop, jaw drops, stare, and totally block out everything going on around you moment.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

What Is Punk?

Matt and I got into a little disagreement last night while we were at Applebee's. The theme music for the night was a mix of alternative and modern rock songs. Matt kept insisting it was punk night. I tried to convince him to no avail that The Verve, Morrissey, R.E.M., and Cake were not punk. I think I attracted a little attention to our table since the sound level of my voice almost reached yelling. Lesson to be learned. Don't try to challenge me on types of music. It only infuriates me if I'm right and you won't listen to me.

Post Script on that:

Punk Bands
Alternative Rock Review

Friday, October 17, 2003

Finding that Zip

Anne had an entry that really spoke to how I feel about Jamestown and traveling at times.

I enjoy living here. I like going out or going shopping and seeing people I know. Striking up quick conversations and then carrying on. It can be a burden sometimes, especially at age 26 (almost 27), when you're out having a drink or two and you don't want to seem disorderly, but overall it's comforting. You don't feel quite as alone as you might in a bigger city.

On the downside, this area just doesn't have that "zip" that Anne refers to. Maybe it comes from growing up in Rochester and knowing all the little nooks and crannies. Rochester has that zip for me. It's the zip of knowing all the places to go to find that kind of magic. That sense of synergy with your environment. I've tried to find those places here and other places I've lived like Cleveland and Buffalo. Cleveland has a few of those places. Buffalo really doesn't. Here? I get fleeting glimpses or feelings of zip during the Autumn. It comes from seeing the hillsides become washed with color. It's the double-rainbows I see after a rainstorm as I drive home from work on I-86. It's the fierce winds that blow the pine trees around in the backyard. Those are moments that make it okay. But I still miss the other material things. I miss coffee shops with that cool, funky vibe. I miss the ease of seeing independent films. I miss having every big box store, plus much cooler boutiques available for shopping when I need to find gifts. I miss having multiple Wegman's to choose from. I miss having a pier on a better Great Lake to wander on and have my hair get messed up by the wind and waves. It's still home in many ways, but it isn't. I don't have a real home there anymore other than my parent's house and most of my friends have moved away from there.

I've spent over four years making this county my home. It's still rough around the edges and I still have the sense that I won't stay here. I would miss it if I left, but that comes with any place where you spend good times.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Competing Seasons

The wind that's bursting through the area has created an interesting landscape. Last weekend we had our peak for leaf colour as far as I'm concerned. There are still trees that have yet to turn, but the majority of foliage has gone Autumnal. With the wind whipping away those leaves, it's a landscape of four seasons. The scraggily, naked trees all tucked in for winter. The trees with hints of green like buds of spring. The trees that hold fast to their glorious green of summertime and the trees that shine with bright oranges and yellows of Autumn. Depending on where you look you could be fooled into what time of year it really is. Then the wind hits you with a blast of cold and rain, reminding you that it really is October.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Disappearing Blog

One of my friends took down her blog in the past few days. As of today and this moment, it's still cached on Google, but she's hoping that will be gone soon as well. It's one of those cases where an employer or fellow employee has found a blog and maybe the stuff in it isn't too flattering to the employer or employee. I couldn't find the news articles that have been written about this, but this is nothing new. It's why I generally don't write about work on here. I know people in my local community that read this. It's an odd feeling, especially since the majority of people who read this don't leave comments, so I'm left to decipher who has been here through my sitemeter account. Not that I'm paranoid or begging for comments (they are nice though).

I think people post online without even thinking of the consequences of what might happen if their significant other, employer, family, or friends saw something potentially unflattering or very revealing. You risk so much if you post in a manner that does not protect yourself. I generally suggest LiveJournal for the people that want to tell all but at least afford themselves some protection when blogging. There's this little function that allows you to make your posts public/private/or open to people on your friend's list. I've seen it work for people I know quite well.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Republicans = Insane

I've joked about a right-wing conspiracy, but lately I'm beginning to think it's true. And then I wander over to Anarchy in the AM (courtesy of Mousepads, Shoe Leather, & Hope to read this true copy of the Texas Republican Platform of 2000. You have to wonder if it's just a handbasket that's taking some of us to hell.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Political Blogs

I see that Dubya AKA Shrub has a blog now. Let it be known that Dean did it first. And better. Dean allows comments on his blog. Does Dubya? That's almost a rhetorical question. Of course, if he did allow comments, would the Secret Service or FBI come after you if you posted something like, "You suck! Die!"? Perhaps it's a good thing they don't allow comments on his site. I would hate to become part of an investigation for simply stating I can't stand the president and we'd all be a lot better off without him. And of course I mean that in a legal, voting him out of office way. Give 'em hell Howard!

Friday, October 10, 2003

An Annual Homage to Coming Out Day

'Cause I'm a sucka for anyone who says it the way I wish I could:

Margaret Cho on gay marriage

You go girl!

The Great Traditions of Fall

As we ease into the Columbus Day holiday weekend, there are the traditional fall festivals that are set to take place in many areas around the country. Here in Chautauqua County, we add a twist to enjoying nature's splendor by hurling it through the air at high velocity. Yes sir, the annual Pumpkin Hurling Festival is scheduled for this weekend in Busti, NY. And before you think it's just a crazy idea that some bored farmers came up with down here, pumpkin hurling has its roots in Delaware. This is serious stuff! This event is at the top of my list for an Americana Award.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Hurricane Juan Photos

I've had a lot of people coming here looking for pictures of damage done by Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia. Well, some lovely chap sent me a link which led to these photos. Excellent stuff, but mindblowing as well. That link also provides links to other pages with pictures.

Gaaahhhhrrrrrrrr... The Anticipation!

My quest for digital downloads at a reasonable price may end on October 29th. Believe it or not, the answer is: Napster. Ala Emusic, Napster will offer a monthly subscription of $9.95, that will give users unlimited access to music and downloads. Unlike Emusic, Napster will have major labels featured on their site. I left Emusic because there simply wasn't artists and labels I was interested in. Oh sure, now they have SpinArt, Beggar's Banquet, and 4AD, but it's still doesn't fit my musical taste requirements. I'm saying a little prayer that my financial situation doesn't change much going into the new year so that I can sign up for this program. I hope it's not too graphic of me to say I'm drooling in anticipation of unlimited downloads at a ridiculously low price. The guilty pleasures that will be mine!

Monday, October 06, 2003

What Plows?

The Troy Record along with several other upstate news agencies ran a story last week about crews plowing three inches of snow here. Yes, we got the snow, but I'm curious about who was plowing. Must be the city of Jamestown that had their plows out, and where most of the snow fell, since I know for a fact that the county did not send out our plows.

Regarding Siegfried & Roy

This may seem like an odd thing to blog, but I actually have family connections to the Siegfried & Roy Show. My cousin, Cindy, has been a dancer in the show for more than several years. Now, she, and many other people associated with the show, may be looking for work as the Siegfried & Roy Show has been canceled indefinitely. I know she was considering "retiring" at some point so she could really concentrate on starting a family with her husband, so this may be that time.

As Will I In a Month and Few Days

Lileks is in New York City. Or he was. Either way, his descriptions of the city, or the city in his mind make one say, "Yes! I want to go there! This is how I remember it too!" Then I remember, I AM going there. Next month. It's a three day trip with my mom, my Aunt Carol, and my mom's best friend Susan. The goal is to get the fabric for my wedding dress and a tiara. It could be stressful, but I'm hoping to glaze over enough to enjoy the sights and block out the pitter patter of wedding-talk. I'll need a break by then anyway since we will have just finished the election cycle. Which reminds me, I believe it is too late to register to vote, but check with your Board of Elections anyway if you need to register. Got it? Good.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Updates on Effects of Hurricane Juan

I get that sick feeling while reading reports of the damage and seemingly slow reaction by the Canadian government to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia. My parents and I are both hoping our family in Sydney Mines and the people we met on our trip made out ok and are safe.

Some reports:

Hurricane Juan news update

Patience Wearing For Nova Scotians

Public Gardens in Halifax Sustain Major Damage

Sabres new 'home ice'

Although they lost in overtime, my dad tells me the Sabres' game in Rochester last night was fun. My dad was also happy to relate that "They announced Rory's (Fitzpatrick) name first in the intro's, which was kind of nice for the home town boy." Matt and I are really looking forward to the regular season game on November 12th. It will be real cool to hang with my dad and watch hockey.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Sure, It's Only October 2nd

I awoke this morning to see snow covering the ground. Wet, heavy, slushy snow. I took a picture of the campaign signs on our lawn that were coated with the white stuff. Maybe I'll put it online once I get the roll of film developed and digitized. Maybe not. Did I mention that it's only October 2nd? It has been pelting snow or some frozen version of it on and off for most of the morning and a little bit into the afternoon. No real accumulation where I work, but disheartening nonetheless.

How Well Do You Know Your Album Covers?

Meg put together a quiz to test your knowledge of album covers. The names of the bands and album titles have been photoshopped out. I only could figure out about 12 out of 60 covers. 12!! I must go hide my head in shame.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

A Space Oddity?

Truly Interesting: A SPACE ODDITY? Strange Kansas City marker part of world-wide mystery

When Talk Show Hosts Get Worse

There's been a bit of hoopla, to steal a phrase, about racist comments WHAM Radio Talk Show Host Bob Lonsberry made about the Mayor of Rochester who is running for County Executive. Those comments consequently led to him being fired. Shep wrote this editorial which was to appear in the print edition of the Democrat & Chronicle this week. Unfortunately, this may not be the last we hear from Mr. Lonsberry.

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...