Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Emotional Aural-scape

Rather than do the shuffle thing on my iPod, I thought I'd talk more about a couple specific songs that trigger the most intense memories and emotional whirl-a-gigs inside me.

Pet Shop Boys - "A Different Point of View": It's September 1993. I'm getting ready for school in my room and listening to Jennifer V do the morning show on WBER. The Pet Shop Boys have a new album out called Very and this is the latest song. Some people will say that your senior year in high school is the best year, but for me it was junior year. I had become friends with several people who would have an immeasurable impact on the way I viewed the world around me and what I claimed as important values for myself. All the while, I was diving into the vast world of alternative music with no intention of resurfacing into the airy world of pop.

New Order - "Regret": If I mention junior year, then I have to mention the song that makes me think of senior year. I'm in my dad's Nissan Sentra, pulling out of the parking lot for Apollo Middle School after an RPYO rehearsal when the guitars chords for this song chime out from the radio. The sky is gray with a tinge of sunlight shining through. The leaves are golden around me and I feel that sadness Autumn brings, because you know that the crisp, cool days will turn more blustery. On top of that, this is the last year before you leave home. Going to college represented not just leaving home, but leaving some of what constrained me from fully being who I knew I was and wanted to be. Was I sad? Sure. But I had no regrets.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'll Take Mine Black

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated
You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys
Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.
And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

What Air Bud is REALLY About

Matt was flipping through tv channels this morning and paused on Air Bud: Spikes Back. I wasn't paying much attention until I caught the end of a scene where the main teenage girl character stares mournfully at the sold sign on a house, flashing back to her best friend who had apparently moved away.

"That's not a 'I miss my friend' look she just had!" I said. "I thought this was a kids movie."

Scenes with much sighing, endless crying, staring longfully out the window, listless laying on the bed, sorrowful visits to places the two girls had hung out together followed.

This all culminated in the girl skulking in the window, waiting for the postman. He delivers the treasured post card from the lover who now lives on the other side of the county. The lead female, in turn, grabs it and does some speed before joining her family in the kitchen. Okay, she didn't take speed but the manic-hyper-happiness she exhibits makes me question who these kid actors have on speed dial on their cells.

Fortunately, the new next door neighbor is introduced. Of course he's a hot, curly haired boy whose sole purpose in the movie is to metaphorically deflower the nubile lesbian.

And then Matt changed the channel.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cloaked In Fog

After our friends left our house this morning to go birding, I decided to go walking around the Tom Erlandson Overlook Park in Frewsburg. The last time I had been there was with my parents and grandmother a few years ago, and we only went for the view. Today, the view was obscured but still beautiful.

I found the trail at the park by accident since you couldn't see the sign from the road. Into the woods, I came across this magical view:

Blissful solitude was mine for almost two hours. Just the insects, birds, fog, and a cool breeze accompanied me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Five Ways To Shuffle Through A Morning

Thought I'd do the iPod shuffle post with just five songs I listened to this morning before work. Aural memory recall sometimes freaks me out because of its ability to pick me up and toss me down into various points in my life or places I've been. One song may bring me amazing joy and others are more like a hit in the gut.

Hot Hot Heat - Middle Of Nowhere: Great song, although I still have too many associations with visiting my grandmother in hospice whenever this comes on. Incidentally, because of that I always think of that golden time of summer that's hot, sunny, clear, but breezy enough to make it bearable.

The Beastie Boys - Hold It Now, Hit It: Not something I listen to regularly enough to have any opinions other than the Beasties rock.

Ben Folds Five - Don't Change Your Plans: When I moved to Jamestown in 1999, I listened to "The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner" a lot.

XTC - Dear God: This is the second song after "Mayor of Simpleton" that I heard by XTC on the radio. I was, and am, a lyrics junkie, so as a teenager I got off on the straight-forward questioning of a higher power.

Cracker - Someday: I don't like country music, but I don't have a problem with bands like Cracker or Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The lead singer doesn't have the most spectacular voice, but the back-up harmonies can be sublime.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


In honor of three years with Matt, here is the video for the song we danced to for the first time as husband and wife.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Who Would Have Thought?

As we drank coffee at a cafe table outside Java's this morning, I my musings took on the form of a run-on sentence to Matt,

"If you had told me twelve and a half years ago that I would still be drinking coffee outside Java's, but no longer a Rochester resident, and would be recovering from post-wedding celebrations where Sean married Anne, where Karen Weller came as the wife of Mike Burns, that Heidi brought Ryan as her date, that Julie B. would be married and pregnant, that Sarah R. would have married the younger brother of another classmate, that most of the wedding was like one big IHS reunion, and that I would have married an out-of-towner and stayed in that out-of-town, well, that would have seemed completely crazy to me."

Matt looked at me for a moment, and added, "You forgot to say that you would instrumental in setting up the guy you were head over heels about your senior year in high school with one of your best friends, and that they would, 12 and a half years later, be married."

"That's exactly what I was getting at," I replied. "Isn't it great when everything turns out as it should?"

Congratulations to Sean and Anne for finally taking the plunge after 12 years of courtship!

Friday, July 20, 2007

In Starbucks.. Wait...

I've succombed to the Evil. The Chain. The Convenient. (Takes a Sip of Coffee). The Wretched. Well, I may have patronized the closest coffee-product location to get my caffeine fix while waiting for a nail salon to open for a manicure/pedicire, but Goddamnit! I will not enjoy it. No, I shall not (as she grimaces after another revolting sip of liquid).

It's Anne & Sean Wedding time in Rochester for the next 48 hours. Na zdrowie!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Over Geeked

The Shattered Moon Alliance Convention II (SMA CON II) is officially over. The last of our friends headed out of Jamestown yesterday morning.

This means no more talk of plat farming, guild merging, or drawing agro or soul suckers every time we walked by a forest or by bodies of water.

Full update to follow in the coming days.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Residual Dining

Earlier this week, I had the misfortune of not noticing my neighbor's truck parked opposite our driveway as I pulled out to go do the news at night. A small dent in the fender led to notes left, phone calls made, and a visit last night by my neighbor to fill out an accident report for his work place.

We haven't had a lot of neighbors in our house since we moved in 2 years ago just because our house is an infinite work in progress. Although, Matt did make great progress in the living room this week. One of the things we do almost immediately after moving in was rip up carpet from the floors all through out the house. The hardwood floors underneath need to be re-finished, but still look good enough to be exposed.

As our neighbor walked into our dining room to go over the paperwork, he looked over to his left at the floor near our china cabinet.

"And that would be where Mrs. White died," he stated as if pointing out something on a tour.

"Mrs. White? That must have been three owners ago?" I asked.

"Yes. Yes, that's where I found her," the neighbor replied. "That's probably why the wood is discolored. You know, from the fluids that collected underneath her."

I stared at the spot on the floor he was gesturing toward and considered the fact that not only did someone die in our house, but left a reminder of that on our floor.

Matt and I see the people who moved into the house after Mrs. White died often since we work in similar circles. It sticks in my mind that the wife said they used to see a ghost of an elderly woman in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Since the house was built in 1920, I wasn't overly surprised that someone had died in our house. My parents are the second owners of their house, which was built in 1950. The first owner's wife, Helen, died in the living room on the couch of that house. When I was a kid, I used to joke that Helen was haunting the toilet in the basement because it would flush all by itself.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Best of Chautauqua...

A big thanks to Mike Salamone and the crew over at the Chautauqua Region WORD for mentioning In Java, Literally as one of the top five local blogs in the 2007 Best of Chautauqua County issue.

I wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Fictional Family

I've followed For Better, Or For Worse diligently since I was in elementary school. It was around the time that I figured out that Michael and I were the same age that I felt a connection to the comic strip. We even both went into a similar profession after school, even though our lives have deviated quite a bit over the years.

When I was in college and didn't have daily access to a newspaper, I would call my mom and get caught up on all the story lines. Sometimes other friends or relatives will catch us talking about the strip and say, "Who is this you're talking about? Someone Julie is friends with?" That's how much we love the strip.

So when I saw today's strip, my reaction of, "YES!!!!" was appropriate. What a great line by Anthony! Maybe Liz and him will finally be together, as they should have been all these years. These are the things that turn me to mush.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Despicable. Seriously.

I can't believe this so-called man runs our country. What a disgrace.

And he wonders why people consider his presidency a failure.

I will not be a bitter hockey fan. I will not be a bitter..

I'm not pleased about what happened with Drury and Briere yesterday. As I refreshed news pages online yesterday, I shook my head. I know this is all par for the course in the game, but I can't help but think that Darcy should have done more. I'll let BfloBlog take over on this topic.

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...