Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunset Before Fireworks

Watching the sun set while waiting for fireworks to begin at Bergman Park.

Jamestown Labor Day Festival

Presentation of the George Ritzer Labor Day award at the Jamestown Labor Day festival.

Testing Spontaneous Combustion

Went to church with my parents this morning. This is Saint Charles Borromeo in Greece, NY. All kinds of nostalgia for me. Don't worry. I'm still an agnostic.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Desparate for a Nuzzle

The cat crawls on Heidi. It strikes me that cats will do whatever they feel is necessary to get attention.

Just Try To Get Past Me

Heidi's cat playing dead. Made me laugh as I got to the top step of the stairs to the bathroom to see that.

Just Don't Get Her a Piglet Doll

Baby shower in Rochester for Rita. She is due to have a boy, Richard Steven, a week before my birthday. While Rita is a Winnie The Pooh aficionado, don't even think of getting her anything Piglet related. Apparently, she even went out of her way to find wallpaper that didn't include Piglet when decorating Richie's room.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Adventures in Feeding a Family

I mentally ticking items off the list in my head of stuff I need to take care of on lunch. My father-in-law is having major surgery right now. Because of that, I offered to have the family over for dinner so that no one had to worry about starving to death or subjecting themselves to hospital cafeteria food.

Of course, when I offered I didn't know that I might have about 10-12 people stopping by to eat. And of course, my in-laws have excellent appetites. Since I'm such an awesome cook (note sarcasm), I will be making chili in a crock-pot. I can only do a double-batch, so I've already started brainstorming how to stretch to make sure no one goes hungry. Because, as you may know, that is the ultimate sin for a Polish woman.

Between my brain and suggestions from Sabrina (thankyouverymuchyouRAWK!), I think we're going to pick up a couple $5 Little Caesar pizzas to go along with the chili, French bread and whatever frozen vegetable I find in the freezer to cook up. I have visions of a salad too, but I'm not letting myself get too optimistic since I haven't done a wilted-leaf check in a few days. Dessert? Um. It's so lame since I do bake okay, but time and sanity resulted in me picking up a box of Little Debbie Peanut Butter Bars. I told Matt that I'd buy another box and if anyone complained they could f*ck themselves. I was kidding, of course. We laughed. It's good to laugh.

Wish me, but mostly my father-in-law, luck!

Addendum: Surgery went very well!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Plays Well With Others?

I'm supposed to be practicing violin right now. I had, in fact, tuned up and started to pick my way through some chamber orchestra music. Somewhere around the second movement of a Folk Suite, I sighed heavily and put my instrument down.

I wasn't just "not feeling it." I hated it. All summer long, I would go to rehearsal hoping things would be cool and end up watching the time tick by slowly. I can only think of one rehearsal where I left feeling happy: the first rehearsal.

I've played with this group of people before, and some of the reasons why I stopped playing with them for several months have seemed to creep up. Simply put, I am not having fun.

I understand that I'm not going to love every program that I play, but this is the second program in a year's time that I'm finding pretty aggravating. The other ensembles I play with don't give me this feeling. A bad side effect of being aggravated is that I've avoided practicing. The end result, now that we're about three weeks away from the concert, is that I'm not as prepared as I should be.

It would be pretty cruddy if I backed out of the concert now. Although, they would still have 4 first violinists if I did. With my schedule over the next few weeks, I won't have a lot of free time to really whip myself into shape. One reason not to quit is that I wanted to give the full ensemble another shot for the Fall concert now that they have a new conductor who is supposedly awesome and can put together a good program.

Unless I'm asked not to participate in the concert because I haven't mastered one of the pieces, which was threatened by an ensemble member to the rest of the group, I probably will still do the concert. It's one of those, "Well, you've gone to this many rehearsals, may as well suffer through the few more that are left."

MoveOn.Org: Special Election Briefing: 5 Things You Should Know

Fitter. (Un)Happier.

I occasionally get coupons for free underwear from Victoria's Secret. I almost always redeem them because, hell, it's free underwear that I'd be buying anyway. Well, the coupon not only offers a free pair of underwear but $10 off any bra. It's the store's way of trying to make some money and I was game on Saturday. It's been awhile since I bought a new bra and I've always been partial to VS's style.

I made a beeline over to one of the new lines, Ipex, that I've wanted to try out. By that time, at least two sales associates had swooped in to ask if I needed assistance. I grinned to myself as I thought, "Well, I need support, but of the wire and fabric variety." I know. Terrible.

I'm not convinced that one of the sales associates knows what she's doing when it comes to fitting bras. I tried on a bra in the size I currently wear and found it was too tight where it hooks which also caused the cup of the bra to pull too tight. The associate's solution was to go up a cup size, but not the around size. We tried this repeatedly until she was trying to tell me I needed a DD in a bra size. Now, my girls are a nice size but they are definitely not DD's. Hell, they're not even D's! I gave up on the sales associate and started mixing and matching different size bras and cup sizes. I gave up after the 15th bra. The line just didn't fit me right.

At least I got a free pair of underwear.

Omnivore's Hundred

From Very Good Taste, a Monday morning meme for you:

Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.


Here’s what I want you to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo

40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle

57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini

81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash

88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lyrics By Fours

Meme Sunday. This was ganked from Two Lazy Dogs:

1. Put your mp3 player or music player on your computer on random.
2. Post the first four lines from the first 20 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing the song (skip repeat artists).
3. Post and let everyone you know guess (in the comments!) what song and artist the lines come from.
4. Please play fair. Don’t be a dirty rotten cheater and Google the lyrics!

1.
Angel, angel
Don’t take your life tonight
I know they take
And that they take in turn

2.
one too many times I fell over you
once in a shadow I finally grew
and once in a night I dreamed you were there
I canceled my flight from going nowhere

3.
Words comin forth like water from the tap
Clap tracks line the spaces places papers people stack
Back track through the minutes when the thoughts went insane
I pulled the picture off the cover and blew out the mind games

4.
China all the way to New York
I can feel the distance getting close
You're right next to me
But I need an airplane

5.
It’s not worth anything more than this at all
I live as I choose or I will not live at all
So return to where you’ve come from
Return to where you dwell

6.
The police walked in for Jimmy Jazz
I said, he ain't here, but he sure went past
Oh, you're looking for Jimmy Jazz
Sattamassagana for Jimmy Dread

7.
I'm impressed, I'm impressed
When that gorilla beats his chest
I fall to bits
I confess

8.
Oh ...
I know I'm unloveable
You don't have to tell me
I don't have much in my life

9.
Tonight it's very clear
As we're both lying here
There's so many things I wanna say
I will always love you

10.
Her knees thrust in one direction
like a symbol of math, a symbol meaning Greater Than
I come recommended by four out of five
I'm a factor in the whole plan

11.
O no, I see,
A spider web is tangled up with me,
And I lost my head,
The thought of all the stupid things I'd said.

12.
We don't need no education
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone

13.
I'm invincible
so are you
we do all the things
they say we can't do

14.
I could write my name by the age of three
and I don't need anyone to cut my meat for me.
I'm a big girl now, see my big girl shoes.
It'll take more than just a breeze to make me

15.
Kanashii koto nante
Nani mo nai kedo
Mune no naka ni chiisana
Ana ga aita you na

16.
Kept his dick wet
With his same old safe bet
Me and my head high
And my tears dry

17.
Come with me
My love
To the sea
The sea of love

18.
Hot tamales and they red hot, yes, she got 'em for sale
Hot tamales and they red not, yes, she got 'em for sale
I got a girl, say she long and tall
She sleeps in the kitchen with her feets in the hall

19.
Gypsy, sittin' lookin' pretty
The broken rose with laughin' eyes
You're a mystery, always runnin' wild
Like a child without a home

20.
Hi, my name is Stereo Mike.
Yeah, we got three tickets to the Bran Van concert
happening this Monday night at the Pacific Pallisades.
You can all dial in if you want to answer

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Night Music

This blur is Dan Friel at Mojos.

Sacred Possessions

Our culture tends put a value on things. Over the past year and some, I've tried to be better about materialism and getting rid of excess stuff. Then I started thinking about the odd assorted items that carry a sort of sacredness to me. I walked around the house, picking up the first few things that immediately came to mind and put them on a table. The picture is below:
Starting at the left and going around clockwise, the first thing is a small notebook with a card on top. The card is my first non-commercial radio license I got in 1993 when I became a DJ for Irondequoit High School's radio station, WIRQ. The notebook is where I used to diligently transcribe quotes and lyrics that appealed to me throughout high school and college.

Next is a matchbox car that my friend, Brian, gave me on my 16th birthday after saying for days leading up to the day, "I'm getting you a car you can drive!" Underneath that are the house keys for my grandma's former house and my grandparent's home.

To the right is a selection of stones and a shell that I had found or bought over the years. Near the bottom is the rosary I received for my first communion. To the left of that is a heart-shaped stone I found on the playground as a little kid. And to the left of that is a stone I picked up on the north point of Prince Edward Island in May 2003.

Aside from the rosary, none of the items have any truly religious meaning, but they still mean something to me. Most of them represent a memory or a certain period in my life. After I took the picture, I put them all on a shelf of our built-in bookcases in our living room. There they will gather a little less dust than they might have in the corners I had to retrieve them from.

Reading Dreams

I have read so many tweets and blog entries about "ZOMG! Twilight is the best book series EVER! It's the new Harry Potter, but with vampires!" that it has started to affect my dreams. It didn't help that I had seen this trailer recently:



I've forgotten most the dream aside from the fact that in it I was reading the book and living in the movie at the same time, but as a viewer. I can't even remember details, but does it really matter? The book series has permeated my consciousness. Naturally, the series is huge with the tween set, so I'm not going to be able to get out of the library because it's on perma-inter-loan between libraries as it goes from one hold request to another.

In the meantime, I'm letting myself be amused by people who use their due-back slips as bookmarks. I do this, but am always careful to shred mine because it has my full name on it. While reading The Jane Austen Book Club, I came across the slip for a girl who had checked out the book July 17th along with another fiction book. It was funny to get a glimpse into another reader's habits, but I had a book to read, so the slip was set tot the side next to my own due-back slip.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Clever

For some reason, I like these commercials because of the song:


For the record, I use the omop. A little bit more environmentally friendly.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Capitalizing on Productivity

I've had this mad rush of productivity that came over me on Saturday and still seems to be in play today. I think it's hormone-related, but am doing my best to run with it while it's here. Accomplishments? May seem ordinary, but when you consider I was at a bachelorette party from 4:300pm until 3am-ish on Saturday (woke up on Sunday around 10:30am), I think this is a good list:

- Upstairs bathroom cleaned
- Downstairs bathroom cleaned
- Kitchen cleaned, including floor
- Five loads of laundry washed, folded, and partly put away (I don't put Matt's clothes away)
- Grocery shopping completed
- Made a tomato-cucumber salad
- Did the news (for Sunday)
- Took cans back for refunds
- Took care of the compost
- Some general straightening downstairs

This has carried over to work, too. But that's helped by the fact that my boss is out of town this morning at a meeting so it allows me to get some stuff sorted, including finally being able to use his computer for some bank stuff. It's a good Monday so far! I'm not looking forward to the big crash that I know will come in a day or two.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Party Girls

Sisters. I love the "Drive Safe Drive Safe" sign behind their heads. Almost everyone in the party stayed overnight. The two of us who drove were responsible where alcohol was involved.

Jen's Bachelorette Party

Yet another bachelorette party. Jen is celebrating her night out in Mayville.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Excitement

It's been that kind of week when date night has digressed into probably just going home and going to bed. To sleep. Well. Uh. Nevermind. Nothing to look at here, folks. Carry on.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Coffee Drama

The latest drama in regards to Gary Templin vs. Labyrinth Press Company (not an actual court case).

Wedding #2 of the Summer

Matt and I took off for the rural hills of Norwich, NY this past weekend for the vow renewal by family friends Janine and Kabir. We learned our lesson from the past few years of attending other weddings and built in some buffer travel time.

This means that Friday night found us in Rochester. It being Friday, that meant date night, hence why none of our Rochester friends heard a peep from us about being in town. Sorry guys! The pictures are below.

Saturday, if we had time to stop, we would have pulled over and taken many pictures of a scene of Sophomore (Official Site) being filmed on a side street off of the street I grew up on. But alas, we had quite a drive ahead of us so we hit the thruway and then the back roads. If I wasn't driving, I would have taken some pics of the gorgeous views on Route 20 once you get off Route 81 from Syracuse.

The wedding was held on our friend's grandparent's farm. They don't actually farm, but rent their 13 acres of land to someone else to grow corn. There was some concern about the weather since it had poured that morning. The groom's "executive decision" was to still hold the ceremony under the tree by the old chicken coop. In the end, the weather held, the ceremony only started a little over a half hour late, I played well, and it went very nicely.

The professional wedding photos

The local EMT's and a Ladder Truck showed up, sirens blaring and lights flashing near the end of dinner. Turns out "Poppa" is good buddies with all of them, so that provided much amusement for the wedding party. As if that wasn't enough of a distraction there was also horseshoes, some sort of frisbee game, a bean bag game, and much later on a very large, loud game of "flip cups." Did I mention dancing? There was a bit of that too since the DJ was a friend of the family and he was staying overnight. With all the driving, we crashed pretty early (12:30am). We heard the next morning that some drama happened amongst some of the boys who were camping overnight, but it was all good.

Sunday we had a cook-out breakfast at the farm. I finally got a look at the grandparent's pre-Civil War house that is still heated by a wood burning stove, has dirt floors in the cellar, and a large hide-away spot in the attic we believe was used for the Underground Railroad. We then got on the road again to travel up to Utica where we met up with my friend Lynn and her boyfriend for dinner. Somehow, I managed to drive back to Rochester, where we promptly fell asleep after attempting to carry on some sort of conversation with my parent's whose eyes also were drooping.

Thank god for built in recovery days. Matt drove us back to Jamestown early Monday so we could pick up our dogs from the kennel without being charged for another full day. I slept most of the afternoon, waking up only to go to Wegmans to pick up groceries. A fabulous weekend!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

My Parents - The Party People

Mom and Dad get down. Dad is the one dancing in white socks. Guess his black sneakers didn't allow him to bust all his moves the way he wanted. We left at 12:30am. They still won't tell us what time they got back to the hotel.

The Lovely Bride

Janine the Bride.

Mmm... Tasty Wedding Food!

Wedding catered by Dinosaur BBQ who cooked the ribs and chicken on site.

Janine & Kabir's Wedding

Janine and Kabir's wedding in Norwich.

Friday, August 01, 2008

End of Night

Barrett Place.

Drinks at Java's

Coffee and an orange smoothie at Java's. I got the coffee, of course. Sigh. I love being home even if it's just for an evening.

First Fridays Art Exhibit

State of the City exhibit at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center.

Dessert!

Tahitian Vanilla Gelato from Roman Holiday Gelato. One of the owners is from Sinclairville. Always a small world.

Strolling Down Park Ave.

Dinner at Sinbad's

Combo plate. Yum!

Date Night - Travel Edition

Date night is in Rochester tonight. We are having dinner at Sinbad's on Park Ave. The big Park Ave. Fest is this weekend.

Jamestoon Likeness

Mark Goshgarian looking at his likeness in the Chautauqua Region Word.

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...