Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2008

Our County Executive Is Blogging.. Sorta

I recently, for work purposes, had signed up for something called "The Monday Morning Memo" that Chautauqua County's Executive Greg Edwards started to do. Apparently, he was having issues with the memo being bounced when it was emailed out, so he set up a blog. You can view it at Mayville Memo.

I have to applaud the idea of a public official who is willing to use new media to keep the public informed. I don't know how often I will check in if every post is going to be "I went to this meeting the other day and then I went to another meeting, followed by this additional meeting." Having gone back and actually re-read some of those posts, there is substance there. It's just not getting the upfront attention. Common news writing mistake. Burying the lead.

Loose Articles

I've shamefully neglected my literary endeavors over the past year. It's been months since I've been in our library. In fact, the last time I was there I held a book out at least three weeks past its due date. I'm sure the library insincerely thanks me for my small monetary donation.

Well anyway, schooled me today with a post telling me that The Atlantic Monthly was now available for free online. Once I started reading articles, it became a day long pursuit in between tasks at work. When I checked the mail at home, the latest issue of Smithsonian magazine had arrived. I barely noticed the nice dinner Matt made as I read each article, fingers becoming stained with ink from the front cover. Here's a selection of articles I devoured today and realized just how little I know and how much more I could know:

The $1.4 Trillion Question: What Do We Owe China?

After Iraq: A report from the new Middle East—and a glimpse of its possible future

The Truth About Je…

Top Songs of the 1990s - Part Four (Last Part!!)

And here is the last part of my musical reminiscing through VH-1's top songs of the 1990s.

76. Blues Traveler “Run-Around”
77. Ice Cube “It Was a Good Day”

78. Lenny Kravitz “Are You Gonna Go My Way” - I wanted to be one of the people dancing in that video. It just looked so cool to me.

79. Meredith Brooks “Bitch”

80. Right Said Fred “I’m Too Sexy” - Kitschy, campy, and fun.

81. Paula Cole “I Don’t Want to Wait” - This song and her hairy armpits at Lilith Faire deterred me from becoming a fan. Not that there's anything wrong with hairy pits, it's just not my cuppa tea.

2. Geto Boys “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”

83. The Breeders “Cannonball” - "Check, Check. Ahhh-oooooooo. Ah-oooooo" I completely adored this song. That came in handy when a listener called into WBER one of the few times I was shadowing a DJ and requested it. He didn't know the name of the song, or who sung it, but he was able to sing the opening guitar line. I correctly guessed it and on the air …

Memories of the Top Songs of the 1990s - Part 3

Here is part 3 of 4 of this crazy list. Kudos to Galoot and Princess Slea for actually completing it!

51. Tupac (featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) “California Love”
52. Sugar Ray “Fly”

53. Naughty by Nature “O.P.P.” - Every school dance. EVERY.

54. Joan Osborne “One of Us” - My Harmony professor, Dr. Hirt, was out sick for a week or so my freshman year in college. When he returned, he entered the classroom all bubbly and carrying a video tape, "I watched a lot of TV last week and saw this video. I started noticing different stuff about its harmonic structure and wanted to share it with you!" He stuck the tape in the player and turned on the television. Joan Osborne, nose-ring and all, appeared on the screen and Dr. Hirt began explaining the chord progressions being used, "It's a very simplistic song really," running over to the piano to demonstrate time to time. "But wait, then you get to the bridge and something very interesting happens! Listen to…

Memories of the Top Songs of the 1990s - Part 2

Here is Part 2 of 4 of my reminiscing about songs from the 90s:

26. Eminem “My Name Is” - "Wiki wiki Slim Shady!" Somewhat unsurprisingly, I heard this for the first time on WBER while driving down List Avenue in Irondequoit while on winter break from college. When I got back, only me and a DJ at WBNY named Cookie Puss knew what was going on when he threw out 'Hi! My name is.." and I answered "What? Who?"

27. Counting Crows “Mr. Jones” I really wanted to hate Counting Crows when this song came out. It was all over the radio and its video was on all the time. It took me a good year to decide that I did like this song, and that would be while I was riding in the backseat of my friend's car, balancing a tupperware bowl of macaroni salad for a kind of camping overnight in Dansville, NY.

28. Ricky Martin “Livin’ la Vida Loca”

29. Vanilla Ice “Ice Ice Baby” - Julie B. and I took it upon ourselves to memorize this single and would sing it on the bus all t…

A New Craving

I sometimes joke that I'm a violinist in a non-performer's body. I liked to play, but I didn't feel like I needed to play for people. Some of that was because I didn't want to do it if it wasn't perfect, some because I figured people didn't want to hear me play, and another part of me didn't feel that need for affirmation of my abilities from an audience.

Today I played a movement from a concerto by Seitz for Artist Share. Even though it's a Suzuki Book 4 song from my early youth, I picked it because I thought it had a sense of humor. I'm not a big Classical music lover, so I wanted to play something I felt I could make my own. So I played it like it was a little joke of mine. I rolled my eyes and smiled. I took some short dramatic pauses and threw off a passage with a kind of jauntiness I felt was appropriate. The audience responded with giggles in the right spots and then a surprising smash of applause at the end.

Having only prepared this o…

Memories of the Top Songs of the 1990s - Part 1

And You Know What Else did this crazy/fabulous post of her memories of the various songs that were featured on VH-1's The Best Songs of the 1990s. As I read, the itch to meme it up came upon me. As I started to write, though, I realized that it would to be a four-part entry. If there's no entry it's because I had nothing worthwhile in terms of a memory or feeling about the song.

Here's songs 1-25:

01. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – I read about this song before I heard it. A friend of mine wrote me a letter about seeing the video for the first time and how it reminded him of the scene at a college near Toronto. It was like a mild epiphany when I finally saw the video on MTV. I knew that everything was about to change in the music world. 02. U2 “One” – I fully embraced all of “Achtung, Baby” a couple years after it was released. This was just one of the songs my friends and I would listen to as we drove around town03. Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way” – M…

Article: Artist Share Slated For Saturday At Lake Lodge

Artist Share Slated For Saturday At Lake Lodge

By Nicholas L. Dean

LAKEWOOD — A supporter of local music and art in all forms, Tara Eastman has been giving artists and supporters of art a reason to come together each month since late 2007.

‘‘We’ve had some good connections with people,’’ Eastman said about the monthly Artists Share events she has hosted at the Reg Lenna Studio Theater. ‘‘We started last September as an outreach to the arts community to build bridges. It’s really just meant to be an encouragement to local artists and musicians. That has really been the whole purpose of it.’’

On Saturday, Eastman and her ever-growing collective of artists will hold an expo of sorts at the YWCA Lake Lodge in Lakewood. While the monthly Artists Share events usually tackle only one art form or project, this weekend’s event will include visual art as well as musical performances.

Using the term ‘‘eclectic,’’ Eastman said that the mixed media event will feature everything fr…

Fox News Lies (with proof)

Imagine turning on the television one night and seeing a story that you were dead. Realizing this was a mistake, you contacted the news organization and assured them that, in fact, you were very much alive. Then imagine that news organization saying they had it on good authority that you were dead, but would take your statement into consideration. Sound ludicrous? It's business as usual for Fox News. While they weren't erroneously reporting someone's death, they did mis-report that Paul Begala had taken a job with the Hillary Clinton campaign and continued to do so even after he told them it wasn't true.

The story complete with the email exchange between Paul Begala and Major Garrett

HT Eriepressible

Artist Share Expo this Saturday

The Artist Share Expo & Reception will be held this Saturday at the YMCA Lake Lodge in Lakewood from 2-4pm.

The previous months' artistic elements will be brought together in one space for a couple hours of creativity. Musicians that have been lined up so far include Jonah Hathaway, Noisetrack, Andy White, Julia (as in me), James Reed, and Tara Lamont.

Tara, who has organized these events through the Westminster Presbyterian Church with support from the Arts Council, says she's working on also having photography on display, hand-made jewelry, pottery, and possibly some quilts even.

Refreshments will be provided and this is a free all ages event. Musically, it couldn't be more diverse. And it's another chance for some of you to hear me play violin in public again. I do like having friendly faces in the crowd.

A Close Shave

I'm always astounded by the number of products that exist for de-hairing one's body. Americans seemed obsessed with having a hairless body and will go to any lengths to achieve that. I like to think I'm in the middle somewhere. Part of this is due to my sensitive skin. While some women are biting down on purse straps as their nether regions are waxed clean to match the rest of their body, I have a more minimalist approach. It's called a Bic Razor for Sensitive Skin and water.

Shaving gels? Even the unscented ones seem to make my skin develop little red bumps.

Any razor with more than 1-blade? Imagine tiny rivulets of blood as that second, third, or fourth blade manages to nick my ankle or knee-cap for the one-thousandth time.

So I stick with the method recommended by a long-time friend just before I got married. Running water and a single-blade razor that has no moisturizing strip that would just cause my skin to develop some rash.

With this in mind, I'm findi…

A First for Western New York

While looking through news stories for the region today, I came across one about one of Jamestown's newest City Council members. It was something I had discussed with Matt after the Inauguration ceremony held on January 1st:

Jamestown Picks Openly Gay Council President

I've known Greg Rabb since I moved here in 1999, and Matt has known him longer, having had him as a professor at Jamestown Community College. Later on, we were lucky enough to rent a house from him and then, when we bought our own house, make it possible for Matt's parents to become tenants in that house.

I wouldn't say Jamestown is place where you find the gay population loudly proclaiming their pride in being here and being queer. There are no parades, no rallies, no well-published support or social groups. The two gay/lesbian bars in town, Sneakers and Sky Bar, seem to have their share of the straight crowd just because there's nowhere else to go dancing. Subtle pride stickers can be found in th…

So Much For Dreams

We got our notice from the bank today about our escrow payments for last year and what our mortgage payments will be for 2008. Needless to say, the new number made me want to throw up a little. It's almost $80 more than last year.

Reason? A shortage in our required low point balance (whatever that is). Either way, if we pay what we owe, it'll bring our monthly payment amount down from what is estimated to be. I just love owning a house.

A Grown-Up's Version of a Wet Dream

I had the most amazing dream last night. In my dream, I was riding as a passenger in a car down Foote Avenue here in our lovely city. I was opening my mail when I got to the envelope that contained our new mortgage payment book.

I opened the envelope and flipped open the cover, bracing myself for the financial pain that would be inflicted on me monthly for the next twelve months. Then, my eyes widened in disbelief as I saw the payment listed as $200! $200!! My God!!! I could make double payments every month and be a year ahead on mortgage payments!

Then I woke up.

Our tax bill from the city implies that our tax rate has gone down, but we'll see what the tax levy did to us when we really get our mortgage payment book in the next few weeks.

Happy New Year!

The new year came in like any other day, in some ways. It doesn't feel like a new year.

"Oh hello, 2008. I didn't notice you had arrived at the party. What's that? Oh, you've been here for over 24 hours? Ha, ha! Uh. Erm. Sorry."

No real resolutions have been set. Not a believer in that, really. Although I did jokingly say that I was going to make shoveling-for-exercise my New Year's resolution.