Friday, October 29, 2004

It's A Friday Thing..

Ok.. courtesy of Heidi:

1. Would you ever get married in Vegas?
Nope. Already did the church thing in Buffalo.

2. Favorite game show host?
Ben Stein. Back when I watched. Not that I ever did.

3. Next movie you want to see in the theaters?
Well, let's see. I would like to see Being Julia when it comes out just for the name alone. I have a bizarre interest in seeing Surviving Christmas. Then there's Ray of course and Shall We Dance?. But I'd like to the see the original first before I see the American-ized version.

4. Have you ever been a vegetarian?
No, although I did try eating a lot less meat and more items with tofu for awhile in college. I still look for vegetarian kinds of meals.

5. If you could go on a sciencey/nature type trip, where would you go?
I'd love to go back to Prince Edward Island to North Cape. Seals are part of the habitat there at certain times of the year. Plus, the geography of the land is interesting with its red dirt and wind swept shores.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Summer In Autumn Party

This past Saturday we had our "Summer In Autumn" party at our house. With the craziness of the past week and a half, the theme really only extended to the fact that I made sangria, Lori brought a sun-shaped birthday cake, and I had sent out summer-themed evites.

The party ended up being more about watching the Boston Red Sox win the first game of the World Series.

Here's Kevin sporting the "Johnny Damon" look while Clair plays with Buddy Posted by Hello

Later on we broke out Scene It for two games.

The Party Revelers take a break from the game. Posted by Hello

Clair and Kevin helped break their old record of 27 1/2 hours of partying by hanging out with us until 11:30pm the next day. We consumed more wine, beer, pizza, and various party treats while watching the Sox whomp the Cardinals in Game Two of the series.

Good time all in all.

Friday, October 22, 2004

When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Better...

Today has been one of those super-happy-fantastic days. I got offered another job by a not-for-profit organization that pays more than what I was offered by the group I alluded to on Tuesday. Benefits are through the roof as well.

So I'm quite happy to say that I will become a full-time employee again on November 8th. More details in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Phone In My Pocket

I rarely carry my cell phone on me. It usually languishes in my purse, crammed in under my journal, wallet, and whatever else I picked up along the way. Today's special item is dog biscuits in a plastic bag.

But today is different. Today I'm waiting for a call from a prospective employer. Either they will thank me for coming in twice to interview, but I'm not a perfect fit for the organization, or they'll happily tell me that they would like to hire me and the salary they're able to offer me is such-and-such sum per hour.

Did I mention I'm at work? I felt awkward and a little traitorous as I spoke to my current boss this morning, nodding as he explained he wanted to change one of my responsibilities, "Next time we record radio addresses, just use bullet-points if there is a list of items. It's easier to read that way." I thought, "But I might be gone before then." I smiled guiltily at his jovial face, and starting getting suspicious. "Maybe he knows!" I wondered. A series of possible conspiracies ran through my mind.

Shooshing my wild imagination, I sit here. Waiting for that call.

Addendum: Got the call. Got the job. Next step is to inform my current boss and decide on a departure date from my current job. My feelings are really mixed on this, but I'm also happy to finally find employment.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Falling Around Us

I woke up in the middle of Autumn today. Even though we have been carefully marking the change in colors on the trees, the rain rushed in with some bulky, gray clouds and firmly stated that it is, indeed, Autumn. And somehow, that surprised me. I'd dare anyone in the Western New York region to disagree that the foliage colors have been outstanding this year. Matt and I even made it out of Jamestown for a day trip to Letchworth State Park last Saturday with Richard and his girlfriend, Kim.

The latest bit of news that's not weather related is my new membership in the Warren Civic Orchestra. It's hard to fathom that I've lived in this area for over five years, and never knew that this orchestra existed a mere 15 miles over the stateline. The music they play is college-level, which is throwing me for a loop because I've been "stuck" in the first violin section. Arguably, I suck right now due to years of non-performance, but it's coming back slowly. Hopefully a little practice on my part and the remaining month of rehearsals will find me in passable shape.

Being able to play with high-level musicians isn't the only bonus to this orchestra. The half hour drive back has shown it can be deliriously fantastic. Since gas is about $0.06 to $0.10 cheaper just over the border, I have been making it a point to stop and fill up my tank on my way home. Last night I was feeling a little wiped out after a long work day and a hard practice, so I dropped into the station store to buy a cup of coffee. The girl behind the counter laughed as I babbled happily about the freshly brewed pot of coffee, danced around the prep area looking for the cream, which was right in front of me; and proudly counting out my change at the cash register so I didn't have to break a $20 bill. I needed that caffeine.

With Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue playing in my car, I took off. The first sips of the so-so coffee gave me that jolt I sorely needed. Every mouthful of burning coffee afterwards resulted in loud exaltations of "Praise Jesus!" and "Oh it's so good!" When caffeine courses through the veins, life, the universe, and everything seems perfect. The feeling hearkened back to nights spent in the coffeehouses of my youth. It's good to find that again, even if the coffee is of gas stop quality.

Friday, October 08, 2004

New Addition To The Family

Next Wednesday, we'll be bringing home the little guy below. Everyone, meet Angus, our new black Laborador:

Black Angus Posted by Hello

Matt found him at the Chautauqua County Humane Society's stray shelter. I'm not much of a pet person but I had to relent when Matt looked at me with big, puppy dog eyes. He's a nice dog. Angus, not Matt. He didn't bark the whole time we were at the shelter and he's already trained to sit and shake hands. The next step is to dog-proof our house and buy pet accessories (dog bowl, dog toys, dog food, dog treats, etc.). I'll take more pictures after he's here at home.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Best Advice for the Young Professional

I've heard a lot of advice from professors and those working the "real world" when it comes to succeeding post-college. Some of the best advice I've received is to read everything. This is no exaggeration. I'm glad to see that Jennifer Weiner is passing on this advice on her blog in a section called, So You Want To Be A Novelist?

Read everything. Read fiction and non-fiction, read hot best sellers and the classics you never got around to in college. Read men, read women, read travel guides and Harlequins and epic poetry and cookbooks and cereal boxes, if you're desperate. Get the rhythm of good writing in your ears. Cram your head with characters and stories. Abuse your library privileges. Never stop looking at the world, and never stop reading to find out what sense other people have made of it. If people give you a hard time and tell you to get your nose out of a book, tell them you're working. Tell them it's research. Tell them to pipe down and leave you alone.

If everyone read just one more book, one more magazine, surfed three more news sites, added a few blogs, and added a newspaper to their monthly routine, I think we'd have a much more educated public in terms of current events and cultural awareness.

Pre-Debate Re-Cap Laugh

Ok.. as if most of you haven't seen this already. It's good for a laugh again:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: First Presidential Debate Recap

Monday, October 04, 2004

Meeting the Future Vice President (Hopefully)

Julia Meets Senator John Edwards Posted by Hello

Okay, finally got a chance to add to this post. I'm beat, but I do have an interesting story to relay. This morning, I parked my car on the lake side of the Athenaeum Hotel. The motorcade cars were starting to line up, so I walked up the road to the Hotel Annex and cut across the dewy grass to the "back" door of the hotel. Seeing no volunteers in the lobby to herd upstairs to our designated area, I wearily climbed the stairs to the second floor. The lack of secret service people at the landing struck me as odd, but I continued on, figuring that someone would have stopped me by now if they were restricting the area.

I sensed in my peripheral someone walking just behind me on my right side and decided to offer a "good morning." I was pretty tired, but figured I had to put on a smile at least for those who were working even longer hours. Turning slightly to my right, I offered that smile, and got one back. Then I did a stunned doubletake, saying, "Oh! Hi!" It came out more as a question than a greeting as I realized the man next to me was no other than Senator John Edwards. He returned the "Hi" and I mumbled, "Sorry to bother you!" as I rushed down the rest of hall towards the volunteer area. His familiar-from-tv drawl sounded as he answered a question from someone in a back office. My heart thudded as I entered the annex lounge, the double wooden doors closing behind me in a soft woosh.

To answer a question many women have asked me, yes, he as handsome in person as he appears on tv. I don't say that about too many politicians either.

Now, you'd think I'd be well-poised when I finally got to shake Sen. Edward's hand and to offer some good luck on his debate but I think I managed to turn into a bit of a starry-eyed, young girl and babbled something about thanking him for letting us work for him or something. Bwah! At least I got some nice shots from the week. I probably will post some of the other ones over on Fiercest Calm when I get a moment.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards Visits a Local Fruit & Vegetable Stand

Senator Edwards actually took a break from debate preparation and left the Chautauqua Institution grounds to enjoy the beautiful Autumn day here in the county. I wish I could say I was there to take these pictures, but I wasn't. Lucky for me, Bonnie Jean, who is on the Kerry-Edward's staff, took my digi with her to get some snaps. So at least I have a couple pictures. The two below are my favorites.

Senator John Edwards Greets Local Chautauquan Posted by Hello

Note the logo on the right side of John's fleece. This is the "Official Fleece" for the Debate Camp. Only staffers and the traveling press corp received these though.

John & Elizabeth Edwards Buy A Pumpkin Posted by Hello

I understand that the Edwards bought their pumpkin at Half Acre Farm on Route 394 just outside the village of Mayville. I cropped the photo so that you didn't get all the mic booms, reporters, and motorcade vans in the picture.

So this was my main excitement for the day. That and nearly getting run over by the motorcade as they took Senator Edwards to the site where he's been practicing. I had to yell, "Car!" while I was riding around with Bonnie Jean in a golf cart this morning. She mentioned that motorcade cars really don't stop for anything, so we would have been smooshed if she hadn't stopped in time. Otherwise, I'm home a little earlier than planned since things are pretty quiet at the Institution. It's been a cool experience all around though. Tomorrow we'll see if my digi gets some more use, with me in front of it with the Senator this time!

Last note: Sen. Edwards did make a stop in Erie, PA on Friday before coming over to the Institution to buckle down and work. Here's the link to that story.


I'm finding it hard to believe I'm up and functioning before 7am on a Sunday, but I wanted to leave a quick post before I headed back to Chautauqua Institution. The volunteering is going well as it could considering how different an event this is for John Edward's staff AKA this isn't a one day rally-deal where you get in and get out in 24 hours. We actually had to cut back on volunteers!

So I'm driving a golf cart around a lot between press sites aaaaannnnndddd that's about it for the moment. However, I have passed by Mrs. Edwards although I didn't initially realize it was her. A nice lady. By nice, I mean that she smiled and said hello. I've run into some local politicians that don't always do that! I hear that today may be more eventful in terms of what there is to do around our location. When all this is done, I'll fill you in on what I assume I'm allowed to. Lots of rules about keeping our mouths shut due to privacy issues. Until then...

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...