Wednesday, June 30, 2004

To Hyphen Or Not To Hyphen?

Matt and I got our marriage license today. We did the big compromise on changing names which has resulted in a hyphen for me. It was either that or I wasn't taking his name at all.

So one step closer. It does feel a little weird. We should have at least one picture of us filling out papers that his secretary took. Nothing like documenting the whole shabang from start to finish. Heck, I was even there when Matt's divorce was finalized* in 1999. How's that for being there every step of the way?


* Matt's previous marriage was already in divorce proceedings when I met him.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

3 Years And Counting...

While looking into some new ideas for tweaking my blog template (i.g. the new Archives menu), I realized that I've been blogging for over three years now. In fact, my Blog Birthday was this Saturday, June 26th. A big Happy Birthday to In Java, Literally..., especially when I consider how far this blog has come!

For those who haven't been reading from the start, I came up with the idea for this blog based on a series of journal entries I began writing in high school. I had been journaling since third grade and came with the idea to start off journal entries that I wrote in Java's (then known as Java Joe's) coffeehouse with "In Java, Literally..." I started reading blogs in June 2001, mainly not.so.soft and Jenny's first blog: jenny.blogspot.com, and thought I'd give this new Internet tool a whirl.

These three years have included national tragedies, weddings and engagements; changes in job situations, several passings of loved ones, home address changes, many mini-holidays and longer vacations, various elections, blog template changes, movies, music, and book obsessions; the birth of shoot-off blogs and friends creating their own blogs; some sad times, but overall, many happy moments; and a general growth in maturity that you hope comes with age and experience.

You can count on more of the same in the coming years, but hopefully it's as fun a ride, if not better, as it is now.

Friday, June 25, 2004

"I knew it was bad, but I had no idea things were this bad..."

We saw Fahrenheit 9/11 tonight in Erie, PA. I don't think it's radical or hyperbolic to say that every American needs to see this film. And after seeing this film, every eligible American should register to vote if they have not done so at this time. We both stay very up to date on current events and the buzz going on around blogs, but even Matt commented that he had no ideas the lies, cover-ups, and corruption are as bad as they are. This led to me stealing his comment for the title of this blog.

Fahrenheit 9/11: The Official Site
View the Trailer for the Movie
The surprise review by FOX news
Register To Vote (courtesy of John Kerry)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Visitors to the La Casa House

The title is a joke (think of what the Spanish phrase translates into and then you'll know how weird my sense of humor is).

Heidi and Ryan are visiting us right now so Ryan can more leisurely register for classes at SUNY Fredonia.

Apparently, the quiet country life has led Heidi to want to move in with us. I say, "Sure, but only if you cook!" She was a bit flabbergasted when I informed her earlier today that we didn't have flour (that I knew of), baking powder, or cream for making whipped cream. Dinner menu for tonight includes grilled chicken done in Greek marinade, couscous tabouleh (that I made!), regular salad, possibly pita bread, and homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert. We're also hoping to add some Southern Tier Brewing Company draft beer to that meal along with some Sangria that I'll make when I get home.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

What's Your Salary in Galleons?

Ever get so obsessed with literary works that you start wondering what it would be like to live, eat, and breathe in that fictional world? Well, now you can figure out how much stuff would cost in Harry Potter's world using this currency convertor to find wizarding equivalents.

Wacky Pataki & Casinos

We used to call New York Governor George Pataki "Wacky Pataki" in the newsroom. Correct that, we still call him that but usually with a little more venom in the tone of our voice.

The latest shenanigan is the State is apparently negotiating with an Oklahoma tribe to bring video gaming to downtown Rochester. The Buff News story is the first I've heard of this and I'm absolutely appalled. I don't think any more casinos should be opening in this state. Guaranteed, I applied for a job at one so it's a bit hypocritical for me to say that. It's amazing how your values can be compromised when you're getting desparate for finding new employment in the area where you live.

UPDATE:
Democrat & Chronicle: City casino pact at hand

Friday, June 18, 2004

Support Our Troops Via Gmail

Wil Wheaton has shared a crazy, but cool idea of another way we can help out our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I might not agree with the war, but I still support the men and women over there. After all, they're the ones dying needlessly. So if you want to help, read Wil's suggestion on using your Gmail invites. It's totally worthwhile.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Searching For A Teacher

Despite my depleted income, I've started thinking about finding a violin teacher in order to start lessons again. Part of this is due to the fact that our friends who are getting married a month after us want me to play at their wedding ceremony. I've played the piece before ("Ave Maria"), but that was back when I was practicing or playing violin almost every day. Now, it's a small miracle if I drag out my instrument more than eight times a year (usually for one of the Community Orchestra concerts).

I've never been big on practicing. In fact, one of the few years I was diligent was when I was in eighth grade. I wasn't spending a lot of time on the phone with friends and I had this weird motivation to become a better violinist because I thought it might make this high school guy I had a crush on like me more than one of the top violinists in the high school. Eighth grade was also the same year I decided that maybe I would become a violin teacher, and thus started the five year educational track to get to that goal. While friends participated in sports, I took up piano. When other friends got summer jobs, I babysat and taught the occasional violin lesson to one of the neighborhood kids. I spent a couple weeks of other summers at various music camps.

Music became a sort of obsession. There was even time when I couldn't imagine being involved romantically with anyone who didn't have musical abilities. We all have our temporary ideals. I would say I was a pretty decent violinist. I had nurturing, vibrant teachers and great opportunities to play with various groups while living in Rochester.

College changed all that. The music education classes were great. I definitely had a real enthusiasm for the material. In fact, I was so interested in the theory of music education that I convinced myself that I really did want to be a teacher for most of my freshman year in college. That changed when I took a class that had us working in the field as part of the class requirements. It's then that I realized that I didn't like children very much. This was on top of the fact that my violin teacher was stifling any desire I had to play violin.

Now that it's been 8 years, I think I'm ready to try again. Plus, I'd hate to think that all that money my parents spent on lessons going to waste!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Postage Shenanigans

I just found out that some of our wedding invitations arrived (or didn't) requiring the receiver to shell out 12-cents postage due. This news is even worse than the batch of invites sent back to our house by the Postal Service for not having enough postage. At least that could be rectified without anyone finding out. I'm just terribly embarrassed right now. You ever feel like you just want to crawl under some blankets and hide for days?

Six Degrees of Weinstein

I just learned that my parents went to SUNY University of Buffalo at the same time as movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. In fact, my dad happened to observe on of the 1969 riots mentioned in the commencement speech. He says that he and some of his friends decided to watch a protest going on somewhere on the campus. They realized that things had turned ugly when canisters of tear gas buzzed overhead. My dad ran one way and his friends the other. He was lucky but his friends were downwind of the gas and felt the effects of it. Trust my dad, the politics-hating-don't-trust-the-government guy that he is, to just watch a protest and not activily participate in one.

Movie: Singles Scene: Cliff & Janet in Coffeehouse

There's a hip new trend called movieoke. Of course it's something you can do NYC and maybe a few other hot spots in big cities. Our friend, Richard, has been doing a form of this for years now. Richard is one of those quirky guys who can recite all of the Star Wars movies by heart. In fact, if you play the soundtrack, he can start the dialogue from any part of the movie as long as you give him a musical cue.

Me? I don't have mad skills like that but I was pretty good at reciting the Cliff/Janet scene from Singles. An excerpt went something like this:


Cliff: I used to live in a house near the airport, so it was under a flight pattern. And I couldn't have friends over because of the noise. Then I moved. I miss that house. I miss those planes!

Janet: Cliff, what are you talking about?

Cliff: I don't know!

Nary A Ribbon Broken

It's safe to say I'm still recovering from my bridal shower on Sunday, especially since sleep eluded me last night and I'm struggling through today on about 2-4 hours of dreamworld.

The shower went well. Heidi has a post with pictures. Truthfully, it was a bit overwhelming. I'm not into big crowds of people and there were over 30 women crammed into my parent's house for the festivities. It makes me wonder how the hell I'm going to survive my wedding day!

High notes included seeing my cousin, Karen, for the first time since she was married a year ago. She and my Aunt Stella came up the day before to help out with shower prep, so we got a chance to get caught up. It was also good to see a good many friends and relatives that I hadn't seen in months or over a year or more. Opening presents was fun too. Matt and I were super-surprised to get an outside bistro-glass-table-top table from Pier 1 from three of my cousins. We had registered for it on a lark almost, thinking that maybe we'd buy it after the wedding depending on how much money we had left over after we bought our new bed. It's already set up on our porch, waiting for us to enjoy a drink or dinner outside. There was only one duplicate in gifts, a George Forman grill. A couple of friends thought they "messed up" when I received two mattress pads, but I had to reassure them that I wanted two since you always need a clean one to put on the bed while the other one is in the wash.

The food rocked everyone's socks. My mom's homemade scones were to die for. Lucky me got to test-taste a couple before the shower. There was plenty of other afternoon tea goodness including homemade shortbread, baklava, brownies, chocolate truffles from Encore Chocolates, chocolate dipped strawberries, cucumber sandwiches, salmon sandwiches, chicken salad in puff pastries, shrimp cocktail, fruit on skewers, cheese platter, olive tray, heart puff pastry cookies, and ham-wrapped asparagus. Naturally there was hot tea, and for the non-tea drinkers, homemade lemonade and iced tea.

One fashion item: I tried out Hanes Toeless Hosiery so I could show off my pretty pedicure. The way they work is that the toe of the stocking is open except for a loop to stick your big toe through. It's sort of like a stocking-thong. Works great except I'd highly recommend getting some Dr. Scholl's padding to stick between your big toe and "index" toe. The thong tends to tug in-between after wearing them for a few hours. Despite that, it barely looks like you have stockings on but you get the benefits of the control top and a little dressier look than just going sans-nylons.

Meet Jane Blog

TIME magazine has a nifty article on blogs including several links to blogs of note at the end. An interesting read and it provided me several new places on the web to distract me from doing work.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Taken from Heidi's blog: My Music Personality

72 % enjoys reflective and complex music
81 % enjoys edgy and aggressive music
9 % enjoys fun and simple music
56 % enjoys energetic and upbeat music




Friday, June 11, 2004

Hats Off for the Shower

We're headed back up to Rochester this weekend for my bridal shower. It's an afternoon tea, which seems to be quite the rage for parties lately. I like to think that this tea will be pretty authentic with scones, finger sandwiches, patries, several kinds of tea, and the optional hat and gloves. I will be wearing a red summer dress and a straw hat that will have a red scarf wound around it. In honour of the occasion, I got a pedicure in my favorite red tone by Opi, "Friar, Friar, Pants On Fire!". After playing violin for years and having to keep my finger nails short, it was nice to discover an alternate way to pamper myself.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Changing Scents

I've been wearing the same perfume/body spray since 1994. When I discovered The Body Shop's White Musk, I was in love. I found the soft, clean scent was comforting and lightly sensual at the same time. My favorite version of the scent was the body spray, which The Body Shop stopped making for a few years. I stretched out my supply until I went to Canada last year and was able to buy two bottles of White Musk body spray at a mall in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Lately, I've been spritzing Victoria's Secret Very Sexy for Her. I haven't worn an eau de toilette in many years since most I've come across don't seem to fade gracefully in scent. This one has offered a nice change of pace even though Matt claims it has slight undertones of old lady perfume to it.

But Will It Help Him Sell More Albums?

Morrissey's comment about Reagan's death has resulted in a backlash from some people in the U.S.

Leah asked in comments on my previous post about my thoughts on the whole puppet concept. It's simple really. I don't think George W. Bush is capable of being a good president and that most of what's happened over the past four years has been orchestrated by Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. Bush is not worth the effort to spend time backing that up, but I am comforted in the fact in knowing I'm not alone in that sentiment.

Morrissey's lastest album, You Are The Quarry, is experiencing the highest chart position for any of his albums, including albums recorded with The Smiths. I'll be curious to see whether his latest controversial remark will have any effect, positive or negative, on album sales.

And a post-script: NPR did a review of You Are The Quarry on All Things Considered on June 7th. The review link also has a link at the bottom for a past story on the music of The Smiths in Ukrainian.

Mail Day

Our invitations for the wedding have been put in the mail this morning. There was an increased sense of urgency to get them out when we found out that there would be no mail service of Friday due to the National Day of "Mourning" for Reagan.

Now we wait and see what kind of fall-out occurs due to not being able to invite every single friend and friendly co-worker we have due to huge extended families.

On a brighter note, Matt designed a website for the wedding that includes a short "how we met" story by me. Email me for the address.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Why My Husband-To-Be Rocks

Go read Matt's post on gay marriage. Just another reason why I love the guy. Either that or he's got plans to marry a guy. Just kidding!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Oh That Morrissey

Steven is making some headlines again. This time it's due to a comment he made at a concert where he stated that former Pres. Reagan had died and that he wished it had been Bush instead. A nice show of support for the Bush-haters, I'm sure, but Bush dying would only result in the puppet being replaced by the guy pulling the strings, Dick Cheney. And unfortunately, since this country loves a good cry, it probably also would have meant that Cheney would get a huge sympathy vote in November, miring this country in another 4 years of lies and corruption.

I take things too seriously sometimes.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Winding Up For Next Weekend

I'm totally zonked, trying to recover from a busy weekend but I thought it would be nice of me to update the blog.

Friday: Matt and I went to the first showing of Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban in town. Brilliantly done. Alfonso Cuaron and Steve Kloves did an excellent job on adapting the third book in the series to film. I left with a big grin on my face.

Saturday: We had a successful final session with the pastor who will marry us next month. Lunch included reserving the back room of La Bella Sicilia's for the rehearsal dinner. After picking up a wedding shower gift for some friends and getting an oil change, I made a mad dash for Rochester. Heidi, Ryan and I took in October Project at Water Street Music Hall. I enjoyed the concert. Much beer and hockey was enjoyed.

Sunday: My mom woke me up much earlier than my bone-weary body would have liked to go buy flowers for shower gifts at the Rochester Public Market. The rest of the daytime hours involved putting together shower gifts with assistance from my lovely bridesmaids, Heidi and Anne. The evening hours involved a roller hockey game (see Ryan's blog for more). Then I got to have a beer and some wonderful conversation with my friend, Ben, and hang out with Heidi and Ryan some more.

Monday: My mom made me get up way too early again to do some wedding dress checking/adjustments. After I washed up, I met up with my mom again at my former-junior high, where she was substitute teaching. On her lunch, we walked around that school and my former high school to see all the renovations that had been made. I got to see several former teachers and a friend from high school/college that now teaches orchestra at our alma mater. A good time. I'm home now and totally beat, so if you think this post is a bust, a pox on you!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Excited? Stressed More Likely

Despite my best attempts to thwart those who keep asking if I'm excited about the wedding, they're still asking. Even when I've given the standard, bland reply of "Ehn.. just working on everything. Still a lot to do." The latest violator of the wedding question was my hairdresser yesterday. She asked or stated that I must be excited about three different times until I said, "Well, I'm not as much excited as I am stressed about the whole thing." That was a true statement. I've had sporadic stress dreams about the wedding since we got engaged. Last night's dream went like this:

I woke up at my grandparent's house and realized that not only was the whole house still asleep but that it was after noon. With only three hours before the wedding, I began assessing the situation. My Matron of Honor hadn't gotten to Buffalo yet from Rochester, I never got a manicure or pedicure, whether there any calla lilies availble for my bouquet or the altar display was questionable, and my friend who was to do my hair and my bridesmaid's hair was nowhere around. It felt like the whole day was to be a disaster. Then I thankfully woke up.

I can honestly say that there hasn't been much about planning our wedding that's been fun. Sure, I'm looking forward to it and the reception, but putting up with my parents and other issues has made it a chore. I'm not one of those girls who had their whole wedding planned out since I was eight. In fact, from my mid-teens until my early 20s, I was determined never to marry. Now that the glorious day is nearly here, there's that general feeling that because I didn't have everything planned out in scrapbooks and journals since my pre-pubescent years that I don't get much of a say in what actually happens.

On a lighter note, there have been some links floating around some blogs for wedding registries for some famous people. After registering at Pier 1 and Target, I feel like a mere peasant next to some of items these brides-to-be are requesting, especially this one:

MSNBC's Ashleigh Banfield's registry

Wait.. I thought I Was Canadian..

I am European



Which America Hating Minority Are You?


Take More Robert & Tim Quizzes
Watch Robert & Tim Cartoons


Things That Make You Glad You Live In Jamestown

Matt and I traveled two hours south to Dubois, PA on Sunday for his grandmother's 90th birthday. After the party, dinner, and drinks, we jointly wrote this entry:

Even though Dubois has a Pier 1, Lowe's, and a Quizno's, it's virtually impossible to find a bar, any bar, in this college town on a Sunday night, or any night for that matter. To go even further, you cannot even find a store that sells alcoholic beverages due to Pennsylvania state law prohibiting the sale of alcohol in grocery stores, gas stations, or convenience stores.

And so, this leads us to the bar. The seemingly only local bar open in town past 10pm on a Sunday night. Matt and I felt like total outsiders in this western-themed joint. By western we mean animal heads on the wall and murals of cowboys. Thankfully, the msuic being played by the DJ was your standard modern rock. Two bottles of imported beer will set you back $6.50. Matt had Bass ale and I finally got to try Moosehead Lager, which is brewed in St. John, New Brunswick. The crowd could be described as local youth who migrated home from college for the summer. There was the one, well-coifed guy who stuck out almost as bad as us. The other guys at the bar shared several traits such as tatoos, piercings, and buzz cuts covered by baseball caps. The girls wore spaghetti-strap tanks and jeans or capri pants. Matt said, "We can definitely die now. We've seen it all."

And so one drink later found us at Perkin's with cups of decaf coffee, awaiting a pre-midnight gorging of the 24-hour breakfast menu. Nothing much more to look forward to other than sleep.

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...