Friday, May 30, 2003

Welcome to the Homeland

My grandmother, who is on this trip with us, is originally from Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. It's been several decades, but we've been able to bring her back for a visit. Welcome to the Homeland. Thus begins our journey through Nova Scotia. I'll post again when I get back home unless fate would find me a computer.

Final Lucky Link: Cape Breton Music Online: the Gateway to Cape Breton Music

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Looking For Anne

Finally we're here on Prince Edward Island! I loved the Anne of Green Gables books when I was growing up and always though PEI sounded absolutely gorgeous. Now I'll get a chance to see it in bloom (I hope). We're here for a couple days and then onto Nova Scotia.

Another Link: Afternoon Tea: Have a cup with me.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Tripping Over a Timeline

We drove all day today to get to Moncton, New Brunswick. The drive was made longer by crossing into another time zone at the Provincial border. We're just here for an overnight and then onward to Prince Edward Island tomorrow morning.

Tres cool link du jour: Magnet Hill: Where cars roll up hill by themselves!

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Quebec City

I'm doing the time travel thing and posting updates to my blog before things actually happen. Today through Monday morning my family and I are in Quebec City. The bed and breakfast we're staying at is French in the sense that I'm fairly certain that the owner's first language is French. Should be interesting! Also, keep an eye out for news about forest fires. While there's rain being predicted for most of the first half of our trip, this area has been in a dry season and there have been some problems with fires.

And my link for the day: Lonely Planet: Traveling with tolerance and Understanding

Friday, May 23, 2003

Soon to be out of here

I'm counting down the hours and minutes before I leave on vacation. Wouldn't you know the radio station I used to work for took a huge shot at our administration today. Craziness. So while my co-worker is working frantically to clear up that mess.. which it isn't.. it's just political b.s., I will be making my merry way out of here. I'm so mean *grins* Anyway, I had a few free moments in my day so I worked on something that will hopefully give you something to read over the next week. So check back over the next 7 days and there should be a couple small updates. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Living With A Wonderous Drug

I've had a long and storied past when it comes to caffeine. I've worshipped this drug in its various forms but never quite got the pill version it. My first official cup of coffee was taken at La Dolce Vita, a little Italian cafe in Irondequoit, NY at the age of 11 or 12. They used to have a Friday special where you got Lasagna, salad, coffee, and dessert for a very low price ($5.95 I believe). The lasagna was decent, the coffee smooth, and the desserts to die for. I used to spoon bites of my zuppa inglesia or cappuccino gelato into my coffee, watching the cream float on top. It was a sad day when this place closed.

I don't recall when a hot cuppa tea became a must with my breakfast cereal, but dim memories seem to suggest junior high. Sometime in here, my mom and I found this cute tea shop called Lavender Blue in the town of Greece. They served afternoon tea complete with hot scones with jam and whipped cream, cucumber sandwiches, tarts, and apricots dipped in chocolate. It was one of the first times I tried Earl Grey tea and decided that yes, it was quite fragrant and lovely.

When I started high school, I had a pen pal who used to write of drinking mass quantities of Mountain Dew and taking Vivarin to stay awake in class after cavorting about town into the late hours of the night before. My parents were more Coke and Pepsi folk, preferably without caffeine, so I had to take it upon myself to find this Mountain Dew, which wasn't very popular at the time. I was able to buy cans of the sugar-shocked beverage at the little convenience store in the basement of the Eastman School of Music before my violin lessons. While I waited for my lesson to begin, I would quickly down the soda or I would hide it in my bookbag for consumption in my bedroom later on. The mystique of Mountain Dew wore down that summer after a trip to New England where apparently Mountain Dew was a little more popular.

At the same time I was starting lessons at Eastman School of Music, a little coffee shop opened on the same street called Java Joe's. My mom liked to sit in there and have a cup of coffee while she waited for me. They had this ultra-smooth coffee called Jungle Blend. It was absolutely stupendous and the only coffee I've had since that compares is Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica. Alas, I haven't seen it carried since that one year. As I got older and started going to see movies at the Little, an independent movie theatre down the street, I started frequenting Java Joe's even more. Countless cups of coffee and a few cups of tea were downed there. When summer came, ice was thrown in the coffee along with generous amounts of cream and sugar. Many nights were spent feeling the caffeine course through my body while I frantically scrawled out journal entries, trying to keep up with the words in my head.

And now.. I still find supreme pleasure in drinking a hot cup of tea. To tilt the mug toward my face so that I can feel the steam moisten my skin. The thrill of the hot liquid pouring over my tongue and down my throat. The shiver of happiness as the warmth fills me. Some wonder why I don't drink that much alcohol. I say, why drink a depressant when I can drink something that can be almost as good as sex? Thus my on going relationship with caffeine.

Far, Far and Away

I will be leaving town tomorrow evening on a two-week trip out of the country. The destination list is Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and an overnight in Portland, Maine. It will be two weeks of driving with my parents and grandmother. Should be lots of fun! I truly doubt I'll get a chance to update my blog, but we'll see! I know some of the bed and breakfast places I looked at had computer access, but I'm not sure if we made arrangements for those particular places. Otherwise, it's just days of endless scenery, tranquility, and hopefully meeting up with cousins in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Who's Next as EPA Chief? UPDATE

The story about Christie Whitman resigning as EPA Chief hit today. Gee, I wonder if New York State will be able to get rid of ol' Wacky Pataki this way. Some people think he will be on the list of people considered for the post.

Addendum: Well that didn't take long: Pataki: I Don't Want EPA Job.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Mmm.. Yum.

May I just reiterate how HOT Paul Rudd is? Take a moment to sigh with me. *sighs* Ok. Junior High-like obsession moment over.

But You Seem So Conservative!

Sometimes it's surprising to hear how people view you. I was at the executive board meeting for Jamestown's NEXT (a young professional's group) last night and we got to talking about the Avril Lavigne concert that had happened in the city of Dunkirk that morning. The discussion was along the lines of "She's NOT punk!" I offered up, "OK Go.. they rock so hard! Comparitively." I got four sets of wide eyed-stares from two members and the comment, "I never thought I'd hear the phrase 'rocks so hard' from Julia's mouth!" I was dumbfounded. Then the one fellow stated that I seem so conservative, especially when you consider how I dress. I had just come from work, so I was still in the "monkey suit" to a degree. I answered back that I really don't get into clothes too much and I just tend to wear plain stuff. I just think it's so funny that they thought I was conservative. I assured them they didn't really know me.

The funny bit about it is that I do tend to be conservative in terms of being outspoken or in my dress or mannerisms. That doesn't mean that my beliefs, taste in music/arts/film/etc., and other interests are conservative. I'm definitely a liberal in that sense.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Some Pictures On View

I have uploaded some various pictures to ImageStation that range from beach and family scenes from our trip to North Carolina to a shot of my table at Java's on my last trip to Rochester. I still need to upload pics from our Orlando and New Orleans trips. I'll get to it eventually!

There Goes The Last DJ

I occasionally troll the news sites for the latest bits on blogs or the media industry. The Washington Post had a great article about the effects of deregulation in the radio industry. It addresses several issues currently before FCC Chairman Michael Powell. I keep dreaming there will be a time when the whole conglomeration collapses and the radio industry has a shot at rebirth in terms more owners, thus the chance for more diversity and local flavor on the airwaves. I'm not sure I'll ever see that day but we can hope.

Also, Wired News provides a story about a couple bloggers trying to turn a humiliating episode for one Canadian kid into a positive thing. Perhaps we all should take a cue from them.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Yes, I Know the Lord

It seems no matter where I live in this town, the religious folk search me out. This morning my doorbell rings twice. To clarify that, it rang once and then rang again after I stood at the upstairs window waiting to see who walked away from the door. After the second ring, I decided to throw on my robe and answer just in case it was a friend. It wasn't the Mormons this time, but Jehovah's Witnesses. A nice Black couple stood smiling at me with their briefcases chock full of "The Watchtower" newsletter. I regarded them with some wariness and then tried to supress the smile and giggle that rose up when I realized that once again, they had found me.

I told them I was happy with the religious path I'm on and when they asked which path that was, I hesitated and answered "Unitarian". Now, I'm not really any religion but I figured if I was going to affiliate myself with something for that moment, Unitarian it was. The woman asked if I incorporated scripture reading in my faith. I decided to be brash and said, "I don't take much stock in the bible." I added that I respected what they were doing as part of their faith, but it wasn't the track for me. The man left a couple "Watchtowers" for me and indicated that they would be coming back. That they were not out ot convert people but to bring the message to them.

I still wish I had told them that I know the Lord and he lives in Rockville, Maryland.

Backstory: Sometime in the late 1990's, I went to the Park Avenue Festival with Matt, Aaron S. and I believe Kristen and Maria. I always seem to attract the Evangelical types or religious sects who are bent on converting me. I'm starting to wonder if I carry the mark of Satan actually. At the festival, one of the devote followers of who knows what asked if I knew the Lord. I don't know who decided, but I think Matt was the one who said after we passed the fanatics that we should just say yes, and that he lives in Syracuse, New York. We were referring to Aaron of course. Aaron still doesn't comprehend why we picked him to be our own personal messiah, but it worked for us. In fact, there were several miracles or unexplained happenings that seem to confirm that Aaron does have some sort of power. These range from calling on the great, esteemed power of Jakob Dylan, to appearing when summoned. The latter happened at Rochester Institute of Technology when Kristen, Matt, and I decided that if we danced and shouted praises to the Lord (AKA Aaron), that he would finally stop talking to whoever sidetracked him from joining us. It worked. I'll save the Jakob Dylan stories some other time because they're much too holy to be lumped in with this post.

Aaron lives in the aforementioned state of Maryland now. I still call him the Lord and I mean that with all due respect.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Where is my Mind?
You're smart, shy, and often nonsensical. You have dreams of being famous, and you're quirky enough that you just might pull them off. Some would call you a genius, others would call you insane, but in reality you're pretty well-adjusted. Take a vacation once in a while- it'll help take your mind off of your troubles.
Which Pixies song are you?

You Can Go Your Own Way

The Fleetwood Mac show in Buffalo last night was pretty amazing. The Buffalo News had a review in today's paper. For me, it was about seeing a band that had some great tunes. I also was curious to hear Stevie Nicks in action. She was in top form and Lindsey Buckingham surprised me with his stamina and enthusiasm. A good concert all around. I was especially happy to hear them perform "Don't Stop" even though I tend towards the misty-eyed side of the matter since it reminds me of the good ol' days when all we were worried about was whether Chelsea would grow up to be a pretty girl and what pretty girl was gettin' it on with the President. Oh come on, you know you're a wee bit nostalgic for those days!

Thursday, May 15, 2003

The Dangerous Place that This Is..

The Buffalo News always gives me something to laugh about. This week it would be The Buzz, which appears every Thursday on the front of the Life & Arts page. Scroll down to the "Be On Guard" paragraph and read what Mary Kunz is saying about this humble county.

That little clip did tip me off that the Chautauqua Institution concert schedule has been released. I may just make it to a concert there this summer. I've always wanted to see the Indigo Girls and Huey Lewis would be hard to pass up. What a disappointment about KC and The Sunshine Band though!

Back Once Again for the Renegade Master

Rockrockrockrockrockrockrockrockrock dudududududududu funfunfunfunfunfunfun keykeykeykeykey beats beats beats the funky beats beats beats

Shep is back in full style! Go check him out.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

I Laughed.. Does That Make Me A Bad Person?

I laughed when I saw saw this article. Blame my dark sense of humour. It is pretty funny in a sick way. And you have to appreciate that someone had the balls to actually do it. Not that I always condone tasteless acts, but sometimes... sometimes.

Hard Hitting News for the Day

My co-worker left a copy of this story on my seat. It's your lunchtime duty to check out this important story about the passing of a 17-year old fish named Dick.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Top Ten Things I Hate About Star Trek

There are days I wonder why I took Happy Fun Pundit off my "Daily Blogs" list. Thanks to a heads-up from Wil, I have a reason to start reading again. The reason why?

Go read the Top Ten Things I Hate About Star Trek. Warning: drinking or eating anything while reading may be dangerous to your computer's screen.

In Java, Literally...

Written at Java's in Rochester, NY
May 9-10, 2003

Twenty-six to twenty-seven years. Still hanging out here.

I so miss eavesdropping here. Even on stupid " Can I borrow a cigarette?" conversations. Ach. And people watching. And striking up quick, random conversations with people at tables nearby. You don't even have to remember each other's name. It's a familiar anonymity. Total strangers will ask for chairs from your table, will ask if they can share a corner of your table. And if you see them around enough, soon you'll be sharing iced cappuccinos on hot summer evenings.

The things that binds you... hard to say. But there's the sense that you all love this place and always will no matter how jaded you try to be about it in your "advancing" years. That's why I come back. Plus, it's the only real coffee shop in this state or nation where I actually enjoy the coffee.

It's funny how a single sip reminds the tastebuds. They're playing The Smiths! "The suns shines.. oh I really don't know and I really don't care!" Tonight's prospects not as great. No "intellectual" buttoned-up types reading books in French tonight. Just the stogie smoking "regular" that begs to be called pathetic. I wonder if he's a bouncer for this place or if he's just so attached that he has become this place. Mmmm. Coming tonight was providence in terms of excellent music. SmithsSmithsSmiths. How I love that band.

Looking around the room and outside, I realize that I could have babysat most of the clientele. I catch one familiar face in the crowd. I don't know him and vice versa, but he's been around here awhile too. I want to run over to him, grab his hands and say, "When did it all change? When did we get older? How did we get stuck to this place while others moved onto god knows where? Where did the others go? Do they drink in bars now? Have they all moved away? Did they get married/become committed and unable to frequent the headiness of this place?" I keep coming back. I like the coffee.

It's funny. A bus load of prom goers have made a pit stop here. The kind of crowd I would have disliked in high school. I watched a couple walk by Mordecai Lipshutz (at least he looks like one of my favourite WXXI personalities); who just shook his head after they had passed. It's good not to forget what youth is like. Another part of me just hanging onto the past. But to look at them. That easy smile. That angst mixed in. You have to appreciate it. Even when they switch cds and put something on you don't even recognize.

I miss not having someone sitting at this small table with me. I miss having someone near enough to distract me from the fact that I am a 26 year old woman alone in this pulsing place filled with thin, pretty, young kids. Twenty-six is not too old. I'm just starting to feel it more.

Weren't We All Like This in High School?

Today's (as in May 13, 2003) Luann would be even more hysterical if it didn't remind me completely of what I was like in my teen years. Well, early 20s and younger. Well.. ok nevermind.. there are some things that never change!

Monday, May 12, 2003

I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation..

Ok, so the above is really Ginsberg but it's cool.

Way to go, your alter poet is Jack Kerouac, who is
by FAR the coolest!

Who is Your Alter Poet?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, May 09, 2003

You Know It's Been A Long Week...

This morning's commute to work found me jamming along with the "Friday" song on the local Top 40 station. It's one of those stock songs that half of the Top 40 stations in the country probably uses come Friday. It's a mish mash disco-like song with "strong" guitars and clips from various places proclaiming "Thank God It's Friday!" along with other gimmicks. It's been such a long week that I was actually bobbing my head a little singing along with the catch phrase, "Born to be alive!" Either that or I need some caffiene stat.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Those Irondequoit Folks Just Love That MTV

I have to giggle a little over how many "locals" are on MTV's Sorority Life or Fraternity Life. I've copied a news story from the Irondequoit Post (my hometown's weekly newspaper) below:

IHS grad featured in MTV sorority show
By Linda Quinlan/Messenger Post Staff

You might have caught six Irondequoit High School athletes if you were watching the MTV series "Sorority Life 2" recently.

No, they weren't joining a sorority, but they were featured in a segment on a scavenger hunt the SUNY Buffalo sorority, Delta Xi Omega – "DZO" for short – held last fall.

One of the athletes, Chris Amico, a senior at Irondequoit High School, also happens to be the younger brother of one of the show's key sorority sisters, Stacey Amico, who was the "pledge mom" this past semester.

The recent scavenger hunt segment also featured IHS students Jason Giaconia, John York, Mike Zaccardo, Joe Centofonti, and Mike Giordanella. It was filmed at the Woolacott Road home of Paul and Sue Amico, parents of Stacey, Chris, and older brother Paul Amico Jr., a 1998 graduate of Bishop Kearney High School.

Stacey is a 2000 graduate of Irondequoit High School, where she played field hockey, track, and soccer, and is pursuing a bachelor's degree in English at SUNY Buffalo, where she's a junior.

Her sorority was contacted last year by Lauralee Jarvis, a coordinator for the MTV show, Stacey Amico said, and was chosen for the show after a visit with MTV executive producer Russell Heldt.

As pledge mom last fall, "It was kind of hard sometimes, because I felt like I not only had my pledges to educate on the history and ideals of DZO, but also MTV," Amico said. "My phone rang off the hook last semester, and it was either pledges with questions, a sister with questions, or MTV with questions."

The sorority, she said, has just 14 active sisters, but celebrated its 15th anniversary this past February.

"I think that a lot of people are confused as to what Greek life is really all about," Amico said. "This is one of the reasons why we chose to do the MTV show . . . We really wanted the cameras to focus on aspects of sorority life other than partying."

The sorority does a number of service projects and fund-raisers every semester, she said.

Amico confessed that she initially felt that doing the show would tear the sorority apart, "but in fact, it has only made us stronger. We are now a larger, stronger and more united sisterhood than ever before."

The half-hour show, which was filed last fall, started airing in February and has about a month to go. A new episode is shown at 10 p.m. Wednesdays, then is repeated regularly throughout the week. Locally, MTV is on cable Channel 28.

"Watching the show so many months after the filming ended is weird," Amico said. "I feel like it's just a home video that one of us shot."

Her mother said she watches it every week and is pleased with how her daughter and the sorority are portrayed.

"It was a good experience for her and she also got to talk to a lot of the directors while they were filming," Sue Amico said.

"It's OK," Paul Amico said of the series. "I think she (Stacey) does a good job on it . . . but I don't watch it every week."

It was an amazing experience, Stacey Amico concluded.

"I would do the whole thing over again," she said.

She's a Flight Risk

Gah, I'm totally addicted to "She's a flight risk". I haven't made up my mind on whether it's fiction or not, but I bow to the people over at Wired.Com News for this article that led me to that blog.

It's truly fascinating. I'm sure everyone thinks about running away at some point in their lives. I once had a grand scheme to ride my bike all the way to Seattle, WA from Rochester, NY when I was in 8th grade. And when I was at Buffalo State I used to drive back to Rochester at a moment's notice just to see my boyfriend. Seeing him was a first priority, but I also did it for the thrill of escaping to some place without really telling anyone. I would still like to do that if I didn't have time constraints. Matt and I do try to take spontaneous day trips, but it's been a long time since we up and decided to just pack it up and go off on an unexpected weekend. The last time we did that, we went to Cleveland and shocked the bejeezus out of Heidi. Now that I've got the hang of flying, I have this taste for up and jetting to someplace. I still would like to go to Seattle some day but it's so far and involves all those time changes. Not saying I wouldn't be that crazy to try it in a long weekend, but I guess age brings about practicality sometimes.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003


Where did I go? Good question!

Things have picked up in some areas of my life but I'll be back to our regularly scheduled blog in time. In the meantime, enjoy the wacky antics of In Passing.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Phew, Only 52%

Courtesy of Heidi, who got it from the Manor House page.

"52% You haven't quite cut that snob mustard, Julia.
Being 52% doesn't make you properly stuck up but
nor does it condemn you to burn in middle-class hell.
Unless you want to hang in snob limbo forever, brush up
on those P's and Q's, buy yourself some fruit knives and
start lying about your education quick."

I like 52%. Smack down the middle like the Libra I'm supposed to be.

A Pun Beginning to a Story

I was checking out some stories on the D&C site when the line to this story caught my eye and made me laugh:

Rochester liquor store owners are mixing cheers with boos over a state plan that would allow them the option of opening on Sundays.

Author of the article, Joseph Spector, we salute you!

Thursday, May 01, 2003


Occassionally I have to reach back into my music vault and drag out some "oldies". Last night I picked out Morrissey's "Vauxhall and I" to accompany me while I washed dishes. Matt comes downstairs all concerned, thinking something is wrong, since he thinks I only drag out my Morrissey/Smiths albums when I'm in a funk. He's so cute! It's funny but I've always considered "Vauxhall and I" a kind of spring to summer album. The song "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" seems to have this humidity about it, like it was riding on the waves of a thunderstorm. Of course it was pretty close to raining last night when I had the album on.

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...