Monday, June 30, 2008

Miley Wants You to See Her Again

The whole Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus phenomena is on the peripheral of my consciousness most days, but I couldn't escape her latest song that's being played on our local pop station. It's pretty damn catchy so I went looking for the video and found this (see below). Can someone confirm that the blond is Miley? Just wondering because she gets horizontal with the slightly cute but greasy-haired boy at the end of the vid.


Oh yeah. And this goes out to PreppyGirl because I know her daughter is a Hannah Montana fan and I'm willing to take bets that she sings along to this one as well in the car.

Weeping Over Sad Puppehs & Kittehs

I wasn't much of an animal person until we got Buddy, our adorable black lab. In fact, I loved him so much that I was compelled to adopt Zak, lest he have no family to call his own after his original family moved to a Central American country.

Unfortunately, this leads to many pile-of-mush moments when I see cute dogs, cats, otters, or other Awwwww!-worthy creatures. It also means that I dissolve into a mess of tears whenever this commercial comes on tv:


Inevitably, I go wailing after my puppies and try to give them big hugs while they bewilderedly try to get away from their crazy mommy.

Just Swell

I forgot about a notso awful side effect of adding artificial hormones to my body.

(Looks Down)

Matt isn't complaining either.

Maybe I should buy more v-neck shirts.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Awesomely Bad Pop Songs In Movies

I'm known to like several awesomely bad pop songs. I am that girl in the car next to you totally rocking out to "Shake Your Love" by Debbie Gibson. For that reason, this scene is one of the reasons why I love Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Watching The Sun Set on Chautauqua Lake


Hanging out in Lakewood's park on Chautauqua Lake. I won't promise there won't be smooching.

Misty Mists Are Now Called Artic Freezes


Date night. The high school edition. Part three- Dairy Queen.

Matt Easily Beats Julia at Miniature Golf


Date night part two- mini golf

Onions & Hot Sauce Don't Make For Good Kissing Breath


High school date night part one- Johnny's Lunch.

Kickin' It Old Skool for Date Night

If the weather holds, "date night" will include Johnny's Lunch, miniature golf and ice cream tonight. I haven't relived this quintessential high school kind of date since, well, high school. All that will be missing is the awkward fumbling in the front seat of a car afterwards. Ahhh, the benefits of being married and owning a house.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Seven Year Itch

I would like to wish my blog a Happy 7th Birthday today!

After giving it some thought, I realized that if my blog were an actual child, she would probably just be finishing First Grade. That would mean that my blog would be able to read and do basic arithmetic.

My blog, based on personal experience, also would be able to ride a bike without training wheels and walk to school by herself.

I would like to thank my "big sisters" in the blogsphere, Jenny and Meg, for uploading interesting content in a visually appealing manner consistently enough that it inspired me to start this site.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day One

Matt would like me to let all of you know that my hormones are officially out of whack and that I'm a lot of fun to deal with right now.

(smiles sweetly)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Menacing Clouds of Rain, Hail, & Thunder

Watching the storm move in from city hall. This one has flash flood warnings attached to it.

The Pill - A TMI Post

I've shared my opinion about the Pill and other forms of birth control back in April.

Women? How many of you have a regular cycle without any assistance of medicine or operations? Just wondering.

I got sick of irregularity. It's one thing if you never have your period. Which wasn't so bad as a teenager and then in some later years. It's another thing if it never goes away. Which is no fun when you're married and want to spend time with your husband.

With that in mind, I grit my teeth this afternoon and placed the call to my doctor to ask for a prescription. We talked briefly on the phone to clarify some points before she placed the order to my pharmacy of choice.

The next three months should be fun as my body gets used to new hormones. Apologies in advance for any weird hormonal outbursts.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mass Conspiracy

I innocently flip channels and come upon Nine Months starring Hugh Grant and very pregnant Julianne Moore.

I switch the channel and My Cousin Vinny is on and it's the scene with Marisa Tomei wearing a bodysuit, stomping her foot, yelling "And my biological clock is ticking LIKE THIS."

Mass conspiracy, I tell ya'.

I Should, I Wish, I Love

I was tagged by Mr. Nighttime, which sounds a lot dirtier than it really is.

In turn, I'll be tagging Galoot, Makkaio, Mr. Social, Jessye, and Battlemaiden.

My ex... is someone I still talk to. That goes for most of them.

Maybe I should... not procrastinate. I'll get back to you on that.

I love... my husband, family and friends. Blah Blah Blah. Know what? I really love a good cuppa tea.

People would say... I'm a bit of a nerd. That comes from all the blogging, twittering, social networks, and news watching I engage in daily.

I don't understand... narrow views of life, people, and the world around us.

When I wake up in the morning... I best operate if I immediately take a shower and then get a cuppa tea or coffee in me. I'm of little to no use otherwise.

I lost... my sense of passion for some things in life. I've been slowly working on trying to regain that for more than a couple months. It's going very slow.

Life is full of... painfully, happy moments that are to be relished with anguish.

My past is something... I remember much about, sometimes too much.

I get annoyed when... I feel I am being condescended to, or I can't get a straight answer from people (Mr. Nighttime said that perfectly!!)

Parties are... something I have to be in the mood for. When I am, almost nothing can keep me from having an awesome time.

I wish... I could do what I love in this area and earn a living wage.

Dogs... are my babies. Nothing better than hugging my dogs and rubbing their ears.

Cats... are okay. Entertaining.

Tomorrow... is Monday. I'm trying to forget so that I don't start mentally planning the week... too late.

I have a low tolerance for... willful ignorance.

If I had a million dollars... some would be used toward debt (school loans, car loan, other crap), but then I would set aside a good chunk for retirement. At least that would be some stress off there. I assume there would be some leftover to do whatever with. I'm torn between the sensible (replace my beloved Tercel and get work done on the house) and taking Matt on a vacation we can't otherwise afford right now (Ireland).

I'm totally terrified of... that which I have no control over. That's my best explanation for why I worry so much.

Saturday Night Is All Right

We went to forte for the surprise party Saturday night. It was a mellow crowd, but we still had a good time grooving to some of the old stuff that Monica Lynch was spinning.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer on the Lake

My mom and me, Lake Ontario, and a stunning first day of Summer.

Lunch on Lake Ontario

Matt and my mom at cast aways on lake ontario for lunch.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Biological Alarm Clock Needs a Better Snooze Button

For these past couple months, there have been these subtle nudges by my hormones that have threatened to totally upend my sense of balance and happiness with life.

I thought that my mere will and desire to remain child-free could outwit biology. Unfortunately, my body has other ideas and has begun a kind of mental and physical warfare to try to break me down and succumb to evolution.

It started innocently enough when pictures of babies started to make me smile. Then, I began to get a strong urge to pick up my friend's babies and hold them for a little bit. I thought, "No big deal. Babies are cute. Even cuter when you can hand them back to their mom and dad."

I did my own version of a support group by reading child-free blogs and related stories. I'd toast myself for being able to spontaneously meet up for a drink and intelligent conversation at my favorite bar for a drink with friends, something I know would be almost impossible with a child.

Still, I found the topic creeping into conversations. I questioned Matt worriedly over dinner while out for "date night" about how he really felt about us not having kids. I started worrying that maybe I was being defective in not wanting to have kids.

Then the dreams started. I went from daytime worrying to the line of questioning continuing well into my dreams about whether I still thought not having a kid was a good idea. Half the dreams left me with a defeatist attitude of, "Well, maybe I should just give in and do it."

Then this week, I held our friend's 3-month old son. Suddenly, I didn't care that he looked like he wanted to spit up all over me. I walked around, lightly swaying him in my arms, as he looked around interestedly. Unlike other times I've been near babies, he didn't cry or give me dirty looks. For a moment, I thought, "Wow. This is kind of cool."

Then his 1 and a half year old brother let loose an ear piercing shriek that sent all my maternal urges into hiding for at least a few weeks.

I suspect this relief is temporary and am trying to steel myself against the future onslaught of urges to reproduce. Wish me well.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Help Firefox Set A World Record

The folks at Mozilla are trying to set a World Record tomorrow for most software downloads in 24 hours.

Download Day - English

Kinda silly, but seeing as how Firefox as been my preferred browser of choice since at least 2005 you know I'll be joining in the fun.

Addendum: Hmmm. It's 7:35am EST on June 17th and the main download page for Firefox is still showing only the old version to download. Maybe it goes live at noon? Here's a news article to amuse yourself with in the meanwhile.

9:15 A.M - Get Your Firefox 3 Download Here!
9:16 A.M. - Okay... that seems buggy, as in it won't open for me. Will try later.

9:19 A.M. - Here's the deal. Firefox 3 isn't live until 10 AM PDT. Which means sometime this afternoon here on the East Coast (1pm? I forget how daylight savings time affects everything). For more information, go here. Apparently, you can't direct link or ftp the download in order to qualify for the World Record.

5:03 P.M. - Have cleared my cache, refreshed the page, tried different pages and everything I find on Mozilla says Firefox 2. Nice going guys. Way to ruin your big download day. (rolls eyes)

6:47 P.M. - Karl left me a comment before I could update this post because I was too busy configing Firefox 3 on my home computer. According to other stuff I've read, I'll still be able to make the download record thing tomorrow morning for my work computer. So hooray for that.

Friday, June 13, 2008

RIP : Tim Russert

I just received via several twitters the news that Tim Russert died of an apparent heart attack at age 58 this afternoon.

This is his last story, filed today: Russert: Vigilance needed on campaign claims.

Tourism Blog

The Chautauqua County Visitor's Bureau has started hosting a blog that will eventually be connected to their main site.

Add it to your RSS feed to see what Executive Director Andrew Nixon has to share with us.

The Aftermath of Clark's Book

I've been meeting up with a few people for a casual book-club over the book Go by John Clellon Holmes over the past month. This past Tuesday, I suggested that we probably have a Paul Hobbes kind of character in our midst, singling out a guy I frequently see around town who is constantly writing. The discussion led to this silly kind of end story below:

Title: The Aftermath of Clark's Book

A few months later, Clark's book came out and became a dizzying success. At one point, some Hollywood types were throwing around the names of Kim Kardashian and Denise Richards as possibilities to portray make-out girl. The success surprised not just Clark, but everyone else in Smythport. Apparently, all those hours Clark seemed to isolate himself writing over his beer were really him recording his account of the humanity that weaved in and out of Coda every night. And even though he had changed names and places, it dawned on people where they stood in his fictional world. That created some new drama for a few weeks, leaving the regulars at Coda to form awkward huddles around the bar. Ultimately, some couples split, leaving the broken halves to glare at each other over glasses of syrah and IPA. But after awhile, people began to mellow or just slip back into the faux reality they had built around themselves of drinks, drugs, and disco.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Reflections on a Gift of a Watermelon Pickle

While taking our afternoon constitution around and around the third floor of our building, a co-worker and I started talking about some baking plans. We talked about pies and making itty-bitty one-bite versions. And then we talked about making jam.

I loved freezer jam as a kid. My mom and I would go out to Phillips Road in Webster and spend a morning at a U-Pick gathering basket upon basket of warm strawberries. I would proudly hold up large berries I found that were almost obscene with how deep red and luscious they looked.

Later in the day, we would begin the cleaning process. I would be set at the kitchen table with a paring knife, wooden cutting board, and two bowls. One would hold the washed strawberries, the other the strawberries after I quartered them. Every so often my mom would check in and admonish me to cut especially large berries into smaller pieces before pouring cupfuls of white sugar onto the growing pile of cut-up redness.

My next job was to decimate the berries, sugar and some lemon juice into a sugary conglomeration. When my mom wasn't looking, I'd dip a finger in to taste the fresh tartness and refined sugar exploding in my mouth. That flavor could instantly remove me from a frigid Autumn day to sitting at the kitchen table, watching a cutting board turn red with sweet juice underneath my careful hands that turned fruit into childhood memories.

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle Received from a Friend Called Felicity
- John Tobias

During that summer
When unicorns were still possible;
When the purpose of knees
Was to be skinned;
When shiny horse chestnuts
(Hollowed out
Fitted with straws
Crammed with tobacco
Stolen from butts
In family ashtrays)
Were puffed in green lizard silence
While straddling thick branches
Far above and away
From the softening effects
Of civilization;

During that summer--
Which may never have been at all;
But which has become more real
Than the one that was--
Watermelons ruled.

Thick imperial slices
Melting frigidly on sun-parched tongues
Dribbling from chins;
Leaving the best part,
The black bullet seeds,
To be spit out in rapid fire
Against the wall
Against the wind
Against each other;

And when the ammunition was spent,
There was always another bite:
It was a summer of limitless bites,
Of hungers quickly felt
And quickly forgotten
With the next careless gorging.

The bites are fewer now.
Each one is savored lingeringly,
Swallowed reluctantly.

But in a jar put up by Felicity,
The summer which maybe never was
Has been captured and preserved.
And when we unscrew the lid
And slice off a piece
And let it linger on our tongue:
Unicorns become possible again.

Little Brother

Very quick post before work.

Track down Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Amazon.com).

Cory put it up free here.

I read it last night, all in one night. I can't remember the last time a book grabbed me that hard that I stayed up late in order to finish. It's excellent, scary, and a very interesting piece of literature. HUGE hat-tip to this post by Wil Wheaton for ultimately convincing me to give the book a look. If you blogged about this book, please leave me a comment because I know I saw the link to the free pdf of it somewhere and I'd like to hug you.

Addendum: The hugs go to Luis. You rock!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hop, Hop.. Hop, Hop.. Hop On Down...

Something made me do a search on "House of Guitars" on YouTube tonight and I practically wept with joy as reminders of my hometown flooded my computer screen:





Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New York State Backs New Kind of Coal Power

(Image Courtesy of Governor Paterson's website)

Fresh from Governor Paterson's press conference in Jamestown this morning comes this story:

State Plans New Kind of Coal Plant

Of course, Walter Simpson has an opinion and is quoted here. But I find it hard to take a hypocrite's opinion too seriously.

Nick Dean from the Jamestown Post-Journal posted this video from the press conference:


Addendum: I added a round-up of news and blog posts below and will probably update this for the next few days.

News Round-Up:
Gov. Paterson's Press Release
Praxair Press Release

6/11/08 Articles
Tonawanda News: ERIE COUNTY NOTEBOOK: Clean coal on the move, but not in Tonawanda
Jamestown Post-Journal: State Backing
Jamestown Post-Journal: State, Local Officials Respond To Announcement
Buffalo News: ‘Clean coal’ plant for Jamestown boosted
WIVB: Major supporter for Jamestown coal power plant
WBFO: Governor Supports Plans for Jamestown Power Plant

6/10/08 Articles
Governor supports BPU clean coal project with $6 million grant
Buffalo News: Governor backs Jamestown coal power plant, described as breakthrough in clean power
Environmental Advocates of NY: ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS CALL ON NY GOVERNOR TO DITCH PLANS FOR COAL POWER PLANT
Crain's New York Business: Governor pushing "clean coal" experiment
WGRZ: Governor Paterson Supports Advanced Coal Power Plant in Jamestown
Reuters: NY to support carbon burial demonstration plant
Newsday: Paterson supports cleaner coal plant in Chautauqua County
CNN Money: NY gov supports cleaner upstate coal plant
Albany Times-Union: Environmentalists call new coal plant costly waste

Blog Round-Up
1490 Newsblog: Paterson Visits Jamestown; Announces Power Plant Plans
Nick Dean (Post-Journal): Gov. David Paterson during Tuesday's BPU announcement
Politics on the Hudson: Paterson Backs Coal Plant In Western NY (Updated)
Re-ENGERGIZE BUFFALO: New Coal Power-Advance or Big Mistake?
the BUFFALOg: Jamestown Power Plant A Go?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Beware - Cuteness Ahead

I love watching otters. Too cute. Hence why they are such a threat to other animals that try to claim the "cuteness" title:

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Twit-what?

I find I have to explain what Twitter is to a lot of people. I guess the obsession with blogging and texting hasn't quite reached a critical mass in this area yet. Anyway, I found this nifty little explanation:


When it comes to practical application, here's a site that gives librarians some ideas for how to use Twitter.

But this video fits in quite naturally with how I feel about twittering, although I still insist on doing it (warning - language):

BPU's Clean Coal Power Project & Environmentalists' Motives

A few weeks ago, the Jamestown Post-Journal ran an article about some disparities between how environmentalists viewed the proposed clean-coal project at the Jamestown BPU and the proposed clean-coal project at the NRG Huntley plant in Tonawanda, NY.

The article pointed to an article written by Walter Simpson titled, "Reflections on NRG Energy’s Huntley Coal Power Plant Proposal And a Few Comments about Stopping Coal-Burning in Jamestown."

Hypocritical?

Read both and decide for yourself.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Congratulations Jade & Dave!

Our friends, Jade & Dave, are getting married today at the Hall of Philosophy at Chautauqua Institution. I have the honor of providing some music for the ceremony. I also get to watch my wedding veil make a reappearance since the one Jade had intended to borrow from her future sister-in-law was accidentally melted when the lender tried to iron out the wrinkles.

These two are a fun couple and I wish them all the happiness for the years to come.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Voice Your Support For Gay Marriage

Found this via this page:
Gov. David Paterson told state agencies on May 14 that New York must recognize same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts, Canada and other places where they are legal. The directive should provide gay couples with as many as 1,300 rights afforded to married heterosexuals, including the ability to collect health and pension benefits, being admitted as “close family” in a hospital room and transferring a business license.

On June 3rd, a Christian legal organization says it has sued to stop New York from recognizing same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. The Alliance Defense Fund says it filed its lawsuit Tuesday in a court in the Bronx. Several Republican state senators are named as party to the suit. The Arizona-based legal group filing the lawsuit has intervened elsewhere in gay marriage and religious freedom cases.

Governor Patterson is doing a poll on whether people support his decision. Take 5 seconds to lodge your support, just call 1-518-474-8390. You will talk to a live person from the Governor's office during business hours.

Just say "I support the Governor's position on same sex marriage," then give them your 5 digit (New York) zip code.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Night of Ease

This pose to my left is generally how you will find me any given night around 9:30-10:30 p.m. as I wait for news scripts.

I'll have the iPod scrobbling for last.fm, the headphones on to listen to my library in shuffle mode, and whatever random articles I might need on hand for a blog post. That spiral you see on the desk is open to the entry I copied for yesterday's post.

Tonight is rare in that I got everything buttoned up by 8:30pm. So Matt and I ran to WRFA to quickly get everything done so we could get a drink downstairs with a side of political banter with a friend. I love these relaxed kind of nights.

Vert Is Dead

New blog in town.

Vert Is Dead

It's about skateboarding/skateboarders in case you don't get the ref'.

(HT to Nick Dean for finding this first)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Adolescent Dreams

Around age 14, I decided I wanted to distance myself from my classmates in every way possible, so I started creating in my mind the idealized life for the adult version of me.

While girls I knew were watching Beverly Hills 90210 and hanging posters of New Kids On The Block on their bedroom walls, I took to plastering my bedroom walls with reproductions of paintings by Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, and other assorted French Impressionists. I threw myself into practicing violin. While I started to listen to more classical music, I also started to reach out to more non-pop music renderings. It was during this time that I saw this video:


I thought, "That's what I want to be like! That woman is so cool! I want to hang out where that video takes place!" Being a dedicated journal-writer, I then put this to paper,
"In my dreams I would live in a Cape Cod house by a large lake or ocean. The town and city I live in would be small, not busy. I would paint, play violin, write poems - you know. Things like that and I would sell my paintings, play violin in concerts. For a real job I would be an art teacher at the local school. The winters would be cold like Rochester and hot like Washington D.C. If I found the right person, maybe I would marry. Life would be simple - I hope."
Seventeen years later, I laugh as I realize that I not only ended up in a small city by a large lake, but practically the same location as the place I thought was so cool in that 10,000 Maniacs video. While I never had the talent to be an artist for a living, I do still get to play my violin in concerts. And, the best part is that because I moved here I found that right person, and married him. I suppose it's those simple things that I'm most happy to have subconsciously accomplished.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Summer in the City

It may hit 90-degrees this Friday, although mid-80s is a better bet right now. Here's my list of things I like about warmer (or hotter) weather:
  1. It's finally not too cold for ice cream/gelato/sorbet (she says as she eats another spoonful of pink grapefruit sorbet)
  2. Air that's heavily scented with flowers, charcoal grills, and fresh cut grass
  3. Wearing sandals with everything and not wearing nylons
  4. Cucumber water on especially hot, sticky days
  5. Getting dinner from the Mediterranean Bar at Wegmans (dolmas, hummus, baba ghanough)
  6. Mojitos on the floating bar by the Village Casino or wine on the front porch of the Lenhart Hotel in Bemus Point
  7. Lots of awesomely bad pop tunes that were written with summer in mind
  8. Smokers and non-smokers hanging out in front of Forte
  9. Father's Day at my aunt & uncle's campsite in Holland (bucket margaritas, swimming in a pool that overlooks a forested valley, and jello salad)
  10. Any party that involves jello/marshmallow salad
What do you like best about summer? Leave your list in comments.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

World's Fastest Violinist

From Violinist News:
German-born David Garrett set a world record on UK children's TV program Blue Peter on Wednesday by playing Flight of the Bumble Bee in 66 seconds. Modestly, he said that the secret was slow practice for over 20 years.

The "Bumblebee" part is 5 minutes, 40 seconds in:


My favorite bit is when he gets one of the show presenters to play part of Madonna's latest single on the violin. Too much fun.

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...