Saturday, April 30, 2005

Your Birthdate: October 22

While sometimes employing unorthodox approaches, you are capable of handling large scale undertakings.

You assume great responsibility and work long and hard toward completion.

Often, especially in the early part of life, there is rigidity or stubbornness, and a tendency to repress feelings.

Idealistic, you work for the greater good with a good deal of inner strength and charisma.

An extremely capable organizer, but likely to paint with broad strokes rather than detail.

You are very aware and intuitive.

You are subject to a good deal of nervous tension.

Friday, April 29, 2005

A Friday Thing

It 's comforting to say that 'practice makes perfect'....
You are 'Gregg shorthand'. Originally designed to
enable people to write faster, it is also very
useful for writing things which one does not
want other people to read, inasmuch as almost
no one knows shorthand any more.

You know how important it is to do things
efficiently and on time. You also value your
privacy, and (unlike some people) you do not
pretend to be friends with just everyone; that
would be ridiculous. When you do make friends,
you take them seriously, and faithfully keep
what they confide in you to yourself.
Unfortunately, the work which you do (which is
very important, of course) sometimes keeps you
away from social activities, and you are often
lonely. Your problem is that Gregg shorthand
has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Call It A Study of How Government Works..

Despite the nightmares Wendolene has gone through with EZ Pass, (read her acccounts here and here), I've decided to gamble and enroll in the program. However it works out, I figure it'll be a good study on how government works, or doesn't, in this state. I'm afraid I already know the answer, but I'm always optimistic.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hump Day Blog Cheat

Stolen from Courtney and Heidi.

1. What is your name? Julia
2. What color underwear are you wearing now? Black.
3. What are you listening to right now? Whatever is on my co-worker's radio.
4. What are the last 2 digits of your phone number? 29
5. What was the last thing you ate? 1 cup of tea, bowl of Cheerios (Wegman's brand), glass of orange juice.
6. If you were a crayon what color would you be? Indigo Blue.
7. How is the weather right now? Windy and cloudy.
8. Who was the last person talked to on the phone? Some co-worker.
9. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Hair.
10. Favorite Food? Mediterranean
11. Favorite Drink? Strong, black tea with milk
12. Favorite Alcoholic drink? Ice Wine
13. Favorite place to shop? Barnes & Nobles
14. Hair Color? Light brown, although I have blond & red highlights w/ dark brown low lights right now
15. Eye Color? Brown
16. Do you wear contacts? No. 20/20 Vision
17. Top or bottom? Bottom *winks*
18. Favorite Month? September
19. Favorite Fast Food? McDonald's. Their fries call to me when I have PMS
20. Last Movie you Watched? Cold Comfort Farm
21. Favorite Day of the Year? Day before Labor Day. The weather tends to be nice, it's a last hurrah before you can settle into sweaters, and it's like a bonus day off.
22. Are you too shy to ask someone out? No, although I'm married so I don't have to worry about that anymore.
23. Summer or Winter? Summer.
24. Hugs or Kisses? Hugs, because you can give almost anyone a hug and sometimes they're just what you need.
25. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla.
26. What books are you reading? This book
27. What's on your mouse pad? Chautauqua & Erie Communications logo
28. Favorite Board Game? Trivial Pursuit.
29. What did you do last night? Cooked dinner, watched the news, watched a movie, checked my email, took Buddy outside several times, went to bed.
30. Who inspires you? The weather outisde.
31. Butter, Plain, or salted popcorn? Salted with extra butter.
38. Favorite Flower? Cala Lilly
39. What do you say when you wake up in the A.M? *groan**grumble**mumble*
40. Do you still talk to your best friend from middle school? Indeed I do.
41. What's on your desk? Several operations manuals, phone, tissue box, a picture of Matt, a picture of me and my parents, a coffee mug, hand cream, rolodex, papers... I could go on.
42. Rock Concert or Symphony? Rock concert, but I do enjoy the symphony.
43. Play or Opera? Play.
44. Have you ever fired a gun? No.
45. Do you like to travel by plane? Yes.
46. Right-handed or Left-handed? Right.
47. Smooth or Chunky Peanut Butter? Creamy.
48. How many pillows do you sleep with? 1
49. City and State you were born in? 43° 7' N 77° 40' W
50. Ever hitchhiked? Never.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

For Whom the Bells Toll

The tolls on the New York State thruway are going up for the first time in 17 years. This is no rah rah post. I would say "sod off" to the thruway if it didn't take an additional half hour to get to Rochester via the toll-free I-86/Route 390 highways. So I will do what any penny pinching New Yorker should do and risk having the state know when I've gone through certain tolls by signing up for the NYS E-Z Pass.

I think you end up paying only a 15% increase rather than a 25% increase if you have E-Z pass.

Now I can join my parents in sighing and saying, "Back in the day it only cost a $1.30 to get from Buffalo to Rochester. Heck, I used to collect empty pop cans laying around the WBNY lounge when I was in college to extend my pocket change."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Blogging & Why We Do It

Matt B. sent an email earlier today letting me know about a study on blogs being done by a fellow University of Chicago student.

Curiosity won out, so I contacted the woman doing the study and spent a fast hour on instant messenger answering her questions. I highly recommend that you all drop over to the study page and contact Tina. I know how much you all love to talk about yourselves, so you may as well help out a fellow scholar in need. She's hoping to get copies of her presentation to the study participants, so at least you would be able to read about why all your friends really are blogging.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Thank God I'm Not A Practicing Catholic

So the Catholics have new pope.

Cardinal Ratzinger has quite the sordid past even if it was not by his freewill.

And I thought I Spoke More Like a Canadian..

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

30% Yankee

5% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern


I'm choosing to make up words to describe my type of posting to this blog. Think of it like a NASDAQ or Nikkei index for my blog, "The Sporadices index moved slightly higher today with a post-quater move toward daily posts about stuff seen on Fark."

In other news, we're going to attempt a new dinner dish tonight called BBQ Pork Tenderloin. I've never cooked any kind of tenderloin and neither has Matt. I have great faith in my intuition and the power of our George Forman grill. If my Aunt Carol, who is coming to dinner, knew she would be making the proper sacraficial offerings to the kitchen gods as I type this. While this week is going to be beyond crazy, I'm looking forward to this evening of food and the most delicious ice wine in the world.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Concert of the Year

I just found out the best news of the month. Def Leppard and Bryan Adams are playing a concert in Rochester on July 10th. This tour is in conjunction with the release of an extended greatest hits by the band.

Def Leppard & Bryan Adams Concert Posted by Hello

Some of you might remember that Matt and I have seen this famous 80s band back a few years ago. That would be the concert that I nearly lost my voice from singing along and my hearing was pretty shot the next day from having 7th row seats.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Creator of "Brenda Starr" Dies at 98

I'm not trying to turn this blog into a listing of obituaries, but it sure feels that way recently.

Dale Messick, creator of "Brenda Starr" strip, has died.

Brenda Starr was one of the first comic strips I became of fan of along with For Better, Or For Worse, Far Side, and Gasoline Alley. She seemed the perfect maverick reporter in her high fashion, steamy love affairs, and high drama. I wouldn't say she had any influence on my wanting to become a reporter later in life, but I loved checking in on her to see whether she had found Basil, if her daughter was still missing, and if she was still putting up with Gabby in the newsroom.

I became a comic strip reader early on when the comics and weather page of the newspaper became part of my daily morning ritual in third grade. I still check on my favorite strips and the weather every morning, but online now. And I've added various news sites, and now blogs, over the years.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Founder of Labatt Beer Dies

Because it deserves the full article publication (courtesty of Newsday):

Businessman Edward Bronfman Dies at 77
By Associated Press

April 5, 2005, 12:04 AM EDT

TORONTO -- Edward Bronfman, who along with his brother Peter built one of Canada's largest business empires that included the NHL's Montreal Canadiens and Labatt beer, has died. He was 77.

A spokeswoman for Brascan Corp., the successor conglomerate to the enterprise created by the Bronfman brothers, confirmed his death Monday.

The business empire built by Peter and Edward Bronfman was an intricate web of companies -- anchored by holding companies Edper Group and Hees International Bancorp. -- with assets worth tens of billions of dollars at its peak.

Its holdings ranged from London Life, Royal Trust and real estate broker Royal LePage to developer Bramalea and forest company MacMillan Bloedel.

Edward Bronfman also was well-known for his charity work.

Bernie Farber, the head of the Canadian Jewish Congress, called Bronfman one of the Jewish community's most treasured philanthropists.

"I've known Edward a long time. He was down to earth, kind, gentle," Farber said. "Although he was clearly a man of great means, he was just one of the people. It's the best way I can put it. He was just a really fine, fine human being and it's a great loss."

Edward Bronfman was less involved in running the businesses than his younger brother. He was deputy chairman of the board but sold about a quarter of his shares in Edper.

A graduate in business administration from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., he enjoyed running and skiing.

He was a director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews and the Canadian Council for Native Business and led fund-raising efforts ranging from a sports center in northern Israel to the Edward Bronfman Family Foundation Research Clinic in Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in Toronto.

Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

My Bird Sings Sweetly

Spring is here and so I drag out all the cds that remind me of fresh air and sunny days. Here is a short list:

Tori Amos - Under The Pink
Joseph Arthur - Redemption's Son
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
Mint Royale
XTC - Nonsuch
XTC - Oranges & Apples

To celebrate an evening of 70 degree weather, Matt and I ate our dinner on our front porch last night. Buddy joined us and had great fun watching the neighborhood rumble by on motorcycles, parambulators, and pick-up trucks.

Monday, April 04, 2005

When Your Brain Surrenders To Its Environment

I can gather little explanation for why I still love Western New York. I wouldn't trade living here for anything. And two feet of heavy, wet snow on the third day of April doesn't change my mind. I knew I had gone over the edge and surrendered to the Big Brother of the weather gods when I smiled at the trees bowing to the earth with their branches laden with snow. 2 plus 2 equals 5. Snow in April equals happiness. But the fact that it's supposed to get up to 70-degrees on Wednesday may be a factor in this.

The punishing winters we get, the gray days of late Autumn and early Spring; and the often sunless days of summer drive many away from this area, if not the taxes and job market alone. I don't dream of giving up. Perhaps it's those stretches of days full of clear, sunny skies like this morning. Or maybe it's the brilliant colors of blooming flowers in the Spring and Summer that give to the awesome changing foliage of Fall. And while some natural disasters like mountains of snow, ice storms, damaging winds, abundance of rain, and drought do threaten the land, we certainly don't miss the hurricanes, severe earthquakes, tornado alley, forest fires, and other weather ailments that our more prosperous cousins to the south and west experience.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

To what purpose, April, do you return again?

The abundance of heavy, wet snow covering the ground would lead you to believe that it was most definitely winter. But this is Western New York and naturally it is the 3rd of April. Both Matt and I had trouble driving our cars around town. I had to turn around and find an alternate route home from Wegman's since my car refused to find traction on one of the steeper hills in the city. Possibly the only thing that worries me now is that I can hear the clacking of tree branches when I take Buddy outside to do what dogs do when nature calls. The snow, over two feet in places, is in a freezing stage and sticking to the branches. The wind is holding steady at around 25 miles per hour. If the branches start falling around town, taking some power lines with them, it won't surprise me. We're hunkered in for the rest of today with some house magazines, a "fake" log in the fireplace, and a fridge full of groceries.

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...