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Showing posts from November, 2007

Weekend Note

If you're looking for something holiday-related to do this weekend, don't forget that you can come hear a talented choir and pit orchestra perform The Living Christmas Tree at the First Covenant Church on Spring/Fifth Streets in the city of Jamestown.

The performance schedule is as follows:
Friday (tonight): 8pm
Saturday (Dec. 1st): 5pm, 8pm
Sunday (Dec. 2nd): 5pm, 8pm

Tickets are $5, and are available at the church, and at the door I assume. I've heard that Sunday's 8pm performance has sold slowly.

With that kind of performance schedule, I won't be up to much else other than sleeping in and my usual grocery shopping/news stuff on Sunday. Post-weekend, though, you'll find me at Labyrinth around 8pm. Something cinematic. That's all I'm going to say.

Didn't I Fill This One Out On MySpace Recently?

Tagged by Galoot:

I give you money and send you into the grocery store to pick up 5 items. You can only pick one thing from the following departments. What is it?
1. Produce: Cucumbers
2. Bakery: Plain Bagel
3. Meat: Lemon & Garlic Marinated Chicken Breasts
4. Frozen: Steam Fresh Broccoli
5. Dry goods: Salada Tea

Let's say we're heading out for a weekend getaway. You're only allowed to bring 3 articles of clothing with you. So, what's in your bag?
1. "dress" jeans
2. Black turtleneck
3. Black loafers

If I was to listen in on one of your conversations throughout the day, what 5 phrases or words would I be most likely to hear?
1. Geezus Eff!
2. Awesome!
3. Cripes!
4. Zak! Buddy! Go!
5. I'm not saying, I'm just saying

So, what 3 things do you find yourself doing every single day, and if you didn't get to do, you probably wouldn't be in the best mood?
1. Shower
2. Consume Caffeine
3. Consume Some Form of Media

Sweet, you just scored a whole afternoon to yourself. …

I'm Everywhere This Week, Apparently

It's mere coincidence that I managed to get my name mentioned in both the Scene and the Word this week. Seriously. Matt called me a "media whore" at dinner. Whatever. Now excuse me while I go update my Twitter.

Congratulations on 10 Years Cable 8!

Time Warner Cable 8 News is celebrating 10 years this year. The Chautauqua Region WORD made that their featured article this week.

I extend a big congratulations to all the reporters and staff there who bring a truly local television newscast to the Chautauqua County area every week day.

I also thank them for being the reason I'm able to do the news for WRFA-LP.

Sidenote: Thanks to Mike Salamone for crediting me for taking the pictures for the article. That was more than fun.

Surviving In A World of Christmas

It's the holiday season. I'm not stressing about the season that much. I think that I recognize that I won't ever be into the holiday like others. I appreciate the vibe, but I don't buy into the season on a whole.

When it comes to the holidays, the "reason for the season" is a non-issue. I do not follow, nor believe, in any religion. I don't even necessarily buy into goodwill and cheer stuff. But since I have no desire to divorce myself from my family, I make the rituals of Christmas the holiday for me. But it's only certain rituals. It's not the tree, the gifts, or a priest on the pulpit. It's the "everything" cut-out cookies, pirogies, bad renditions of certain carols during Midnight Mass, Jill Sobule's "Merry Christmas From The Family," and "A Christmas Story."

Underneath, I think the holiday died for me when we found out my grandma had pancreatic cancer in November 2004. I stopped caring at that po…

Overheard at Labyrinth Press Company

"My friend James? He was caught by his mom watching porn. I don't know if there was any action going on. Well, a few days later a magazine comes in the mail. It was a gay porn mag and it was addressed to 'James Carpal Tunnel.' His mom saw it, freaks out, and sits him down. Wants to know if he wanted to talk to her about anything. I mean. He couldn't have ordered it himself! No way a 15-year old has a credit card. Anyway, he didn't tell me about that until a few years later, which was pretty good I guess. James Carpal Tunnel!"

-- Late Teens/Early 20s Guy at Labyrinth Press Company

The Living Christmas Tree 2007

This week is a string of final rehearsals leading up to the annual performance of The Living Christmas Tree (Related Post-Journal article).

The pit orchestra is rather squished in a space between the "tree" and the pews. In fact, I'm squashed just enough that I have to be careful that I don't run my bow into the side of the "tree" or catch it on any of the lights or garland hanging on the "tree." This leads to some interesting playing positions while I slouch or raise my violin up or down so I can get a longer note on one bow stroke. Add to that a children's choir that stands directly behind me and I have to be careful not to poke one of the little ones in the eye as well.

The music this year is pretty awesome. I understand that they did this "book" a few years ago, but it's all fresh to me and it has a Broadway musical sound rather than a Christmas-Church kind of sound. Dig?

Lots of tickets are available, apparently. Shows a…

Now That It's Officially the Holiday Season

HT Princess Slea

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? A mixture of both

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial.

3. When do you put up the tree? Whenever Matt does it, otherwise we don't put up a tree. Don't tell my aunt, who buys me at least 3 ornaments every year for Christmas.

4. When do you take the tree down? If it actually gets put up, the goal is to get it down before the Super Bowl

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes!!!! Java's used to make a pretty good steamed variety.

6. What is your favorite gift received as a child? I really liked a magic set I got. It had secret compartments and all kinds of tricks.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? I think I have at least 2 nativity sets. That doesn't mean they get put out.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My uncles.

9. Easiest person to buy for? My mom

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? I've blocked it from memory. I did get something that looked like a chin rest from a pen pal, but we never figured out what it was other than that…

I Love Beethoven Too

Oh For Fun posted this, which game me immediate license to avoid writing a proper blog post.

Which Peanuts Character are You?

You are Schroeder!
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PMS For the Holidays

Just in time for all the schmaltzy tunes and programming to invade our radios, televisions, and lives, I get PMS. I'm not in a bitchy mood, but that's by my own estimations. I'm sure Matt will claim differently.

My condition became apparently while reading a post on The Traveling Spotlight. By the end of the entry, I was sniffling and hugging whatever dog was closest to me.

Today it has continued. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read the last line in this Buffalo News article. I found myself reaching for tissues as I waited for my tea to brew at home.

Of course, one could just say that I'm a softie. That I've broken the cycle of being a jaded news reporter. But before you think this something other than my hormones doing that wacky female thing, let me tell you about this movie review and how when I got to the line "happily ever after" I let out an audible sigh of "Aww!" A movie review. I'm getting weepy over movie reviews.

Of course,…

I Bake Okay

I tend to get a little dramatic when it comes to time I spend in the kitchen. I don't cook a lot, but when the holidays roll around I spend what I consider a ridiculous amount of time in the kitchen baking.

Tonight, I'm in the middle of a pie-making marathon. My fourth pie, pecan, is in the oven. I still need to roll out the dough for the final pie, cherry. That's waiting on Matt bringing home a second can of cherry pie filling that I neglected to note that I needed.

Part of tonight's process has included many trips to peer through the oven window at the temperature gauge I bought a couple weeks ago. Our oven's temperature is off by about 50 degrees. I didn't know this a year ago, and nearly burst into tears at the Thanksgiving dinner table when I realized that both my pecan pies had failed. My fingers are crossed for this year.

The three completed pies, thus far, are above.

To Do-ing

Braving snowy weather for the first time this season to go to Buffalo tonightMaking about 300 pierogi tomorrowComing back to Jamestown and collapsing Saturday nightDoing the news by noon on SundayGoing to Warren for a dress rehearsal at 2pm SundayHopefully not massacring music too badly for the Warren Civic Orchestra concert at the First United Methodist Church on Second and Market Streets in Warren at 4pm on SundayRushing home to change, take out the dogs, and get to Mojo's by 6:30pmGoing to the Viking's game with the Forte crowd Sunday night at 7:30pm

Small Worlds Equal Memes

Nuts! I thought I was going to get out of doing this meme after reading it on Oh For Fun!, but then I noticed that she was tagged by Jennifer. I've never met Jennifer, but I know the guy she's dating because he used to share an apartment with a friend of mine. Turns out she tagged me andpeople I know through the Buffalo Blogosphere and WBNY.

Rules: Here are the rules which must be posted on your blog if you are tagged:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules. My “tagger”: All Things Jennifer

2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
a. I drum on the steering wheel while driving, and generally don't care if you catch me singing along with whatever is cranked on my car radio

b. My refrigerator is covered with mostly art magnets. I found while traveling that it was cheaper than buying posters and easier to pack whenever I took in an art exhibit

c. Every year I buy at least two to three calendars for our home. One is usually an art calendar, the other someth…

Salaries & Non Profits

Buffalo Business First had a special insert in last week's paper titled All About Nonprofits: Featuring the 2007 Million Dollar Nonprofits (News blurb here).

There was all kinds of data included, but something that caught my eye were the salaries for the Executive Directors for some of the organizations. I understand that some of these organizations are quite large and offer many services, so I can see how an Executive's salary could creep into the six-figure range. I do wonder about staff salaries, though. Having previously worked in the non-profit arena, I'm well aware of the kind of salaries those jobs command. One hopes that the salaries offered to the people delivering the services are in a fair ratio to what the top executive of the non-profit makes him or herself.

$209,139 Thomas Holt, President & CEO, Lutheran Social Services Group Inc.$199,688 Thomas Becker, President, Chautauqua Institution$138,384 Paul Cessana, Executive Director, Resource Center$94,943 …

Blue Horizons

I took this picture on our last trip to Rochester at the end of September. It's a view of Lake Ontario from one of my favorite places: Irondequoit Bay Pier.

I also rather liked this one. You can see a grouping of sail boats in the distance, but it's the star burst effect of the clouds that make this photo for me.

"Hi, I'm Danny..."

This Saturday I met Danny Wegman.

A friend who is a manager there told me about Mr. Wegman's visit to the Lakewood Wegmans as part of his annual tour around area stores.

As someone who is a fan of the store, I thought it might be cool to shake Mr. Wegman's hand and, perhaps, request that he bring sushi back to our store.

The store was in fine form, with all products stocked in abundance. I tasted several samples being offered around the store including chicken French, shrimp cocktail, organic strawberry jam on brie, and spiral ham. The employees gathered at the front of the store when the executives arrived, cheering with music playing. I went about my errands, collecting my groceries for the week.

After I left frozen foods, I looked up and saw a man clad in a red sports jacket come my way. It was Danny! I paused, and said, "Mr. Wegman?"

"Hi! I'm Danny," he said as he extended his hand

I shook his hand, thinking it was the softest skin I had felt. &q…

Habitual Habits

I decided to add "Forte" to my tag list since we spend enough time there. Naturally, that leads to blogging about this wonderful establishment quite a bit. We were there again last night to duel with some drinks and see some friends. The drinks lost, and were consumed with ease.

I also would like to thank Nick for dropping this off at our table just when S-V-H and D-H whined about being famished for the millionth time:

Washington Street Bridge Reconstruction

(Picture Courtesy of the Post-Journal)

Think about the Washington Street Bridge in Jamestown. Can you see it in your mind? It's that aging structure that connects the downtown area to the south side of town. Not the prettiest looking thing, but it's one of the few ways tractor-trailers can get to that side of town.

The good news is that the New York State Department of Transportation is going to replace the bridge.

The bad news is that after reading the proposed plan and getting some additional information about the proposed design of the bridge, the end result is that it's not pretty. The state apparently went with the cheapest design and not with what aesthetically would fit the area.

Think about where the columns are on the bridge now and imagine that as a solid wall from the top of the bridge to the ground. This wall would be about 3 stories high in spots and have openings for Harrison Street, the Chadakoin River, the rail road, and a set-back for the River Walk that…

A Breath of Relief

Matt's predictions for a certain race in the city was off by only 5%, but that's still good. It means we're breathing a little easier in terms of job stability for one person in our household. I'm hoping that our lives will resume some form of "normal" after yesterday's elections, but I am realistic. Available free-time will still be at a premium due to things I'm personally involved with at this time of year (multiple orchestra concerts, pierogi making, pie making, Thanksgiving, radio spot creation, and a certain someone's birthday).

Last night, we spent time with some friends we hadn't seen in awhile. Matt, Tara, and I got to enjoy a "deconstructed omelette" at Forte. I blame that beautifully butter-drenched food item for why the scale registered two more pounds this morning than the day before. Bless Ian for creating it. I'm floating through today in a kind of weird, exhausted, relaxed haze.

Don't Let a Small Minority Decide Who Governs You

Today is Election Day.

As American citizens, we are given the right to vote for the people who we think will best represent us and our communities. Some people choose not to vote, for whatever reason.

My opinion is that if you're registered to vote, you should. Too often, we let a small group of people vote in the person who is responsible for creating the budgets that raise or lower taxes, or who decide whether we go to war. I know that's two extremes, but it seems to be what gets people riled up lately.

There's a story in today's Post-Journal about how one of our county's Election Commissioners giving an estimate about voter turn-out:
As residents around Chautauqua County make their way to the polls today, the county Election Commission’s expectations are relatively low for voter turnout.

Election Commissioners Terry Niebel and Norman Green said that they are expecting about 40 percent or less turnout in Chautauqua County.

‘‘It should be a normal off-year election,’…

Mish Mash

Matt and I have been on the aural mission to find songs that mash well. This is the latest we heard after running some random errands around Lakewood:

Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing

John Mayer - Waiting For The World To Change

Hannah's Hope at The Crown Theatre

Congratulations on 40 Years!

Congratulations to Mr. Signorelli on celebrating 40 years of business runningString Instruments Ltd.!

My parents and I bought my violin, bow, and case from Signorelli's back in the mid-1990s. Earlier this summer, I took my violin back to him for some work. He's very knowledgeable and has a great memory. He even remembered my violin after studying it for awhile when we dropped it off.

Jamestown Vikings Hockey Starts Tonight!

The Jamestown Vikings open their first season in Jamestown tonight at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena.

We plan to be there to cheer on our new team. Smackdab will be performing in the veranda room beforehand and I hear there were will be lots of chicken wings to be consumed and excellent prices on Labatt Blue beer.

Game time is 7:30. Tickets start at $6. See you there!

(Image Courtesy of this week's Chautauqua Region WORD)

Varnish Cooks in D&C

Some Great Pumpkins

My crudely carved pumpkin:

Forte's pumpkin patch: