Sunday, November 30, 2008

Seven Wonders of My Music World

Oh bugger all, I made the mistake of diligently reading EriePressible and was auto-tagged for a music meme as a result.

This is where I'm supposed to share what I consider the "seven best albums." While those who know me know that this is where I would wax philosophical about how The Smiths are the best band ever, I'm going to instead share the dark underbelly of my music tastes by divulging the top seven songs I've listened to for the past 2 years as faithfully recorded by

Starting with the seventh most listened to song:

7. The National - "Fake Empire"

Late comer to this sweet song. I love the slow crescendo as instruments are added with the chorus of horns near the end.

6. The Midway State - "Met A Man On Top of The Hill"

The opening verse annoys me from a musical standpoint, but I totally dig the chorus. If I knew the words to the chorus, I'm sure I'd sing them very, very loud all the time. It begs it.

5. The Killers - "When You Were Young"

I love the anthem feel to this song. It reminds me of something I would have adored when I was 16 or 17 years old, which is rather proper for a song that invites you to reminisce about your youth. And the funny thing is, I do always "see the place where you used to live when you were young" in my head when I listen to this song.

4. Spoon - "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb"

The retro-sound of the song gripped me immediately along with those horns. I can't help myself but dance, even if only my chair, when I have this song on.

3. Ne-Yo - "Because Of You"

I blame my friend, Lynn, for falling in love with this song and playing it somewhat incessantly when I visited her one weekend in Elmira. She emailed me the track and I found myself hitting play over and over and over. It's a slow groove that demands to be sung along with. I plead guilty.

2. The Midway State - "Change For You"

This song was made popular by some tv show I've never watched, I believe. Either way, this has an amazing chorus with nice backing guitars. I don't know the technical term for it, even with being a musician, but it just kills.

1. Ivy - "The Best Thing"

Ivy is one of those awesome bands that no one seems to know about in my circle of friends. If they knew that Fountains Of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger produced albums for and performed in the band, maybe that might make a difference. This track is over 10 years old, but is stellar from my personal music taste standpoint. A nice melodic beginning with a crunchy, louder chorus. Aside from using an instrumental instead of vocal bridge, it almost follows the FOW formula perfectly.


1. Post your list.. oh fuck it all. If you read this far, you're tagged. Now listen to your teacher and repeat after me... go blog it already.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Culprit

This is the culprit in the pumpkin pie incident. Notice how guilty Buddy still looks even several hours later.

We adopted Buddy from the stray shelter back in October 2004. Whenever the holidays roll around, he seems to get anxious and scrounges for food or anything he considers edible. This has included books, photographs, boxes, and he even gnawed on the coffee table that used to belong to my grandma.

We don't know why he has food insecurities or if he's just worried about being abandoned or lost. Aside from his seasonal bad habits, Buddy is a wonderful dog that we love to pieces.

Five Pies with One In The Waiting

In a perfect world, I'd be headed to bed now. My five pies are baked. However, I didn't count on the Buddy-effect.

I knew I'd just worry about not having enough pie to go around on Thursday, so Matt is graciously stopping by Tops to get me the ingredients I was missing to bake another pumpkin pie. I actually had enough dough leftover to make the crust. I'll have enough pie filling to make 2 pies after all is done, so maybe I'll buy a pre-made crust and bake again when we're back in town. I have to make a cake anyway for someone's birthday. Wink wink.

Bad Dog!

I caught Buddy too late. I don't have time, nor ingredients, to make another. I salvaged this one the best I could and have to hope that there will be enough pie to go around since there will be more people at Thanksgiving this year than previous years. So frustrating.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Baking Marathon

I'm in a baking marathon tonight to make all the pies for Thanksgiving. The fact that it's 9:40 and I just took the picture to the right that shows the first of five pies baking is the reason why I'm sporting a cuppa coffee in the photo.

I would have gotten an earlier start but I decided I wanted to stand about and feel awkward in a crowd with the Peter Pan cast and crew for one last time. It was nice to see a few people and chat a little. I'll still see some on a regular basis since a chunk of the pit orchestra is involved in The Living Christmas Tree.

Otherwise, tonight it's all about pie filling and carefully monitoring the oven temperature to make sure it's where it's supposed to be. The house has the wonderful smell of pumpkin pie. The iPod is thrilling my ears in shuffle mode. Edith Piaf, OK Go, Debbie Gibson, Billy Joel, The Wombats, The Smiths, and They Might Be Giants are some of what I've heard so far tonight. It's a good night.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Erasing The Music

When a music show ends, usually the cast and crew get together to tear down the set. The pit orchestra is spared this but instead has to erase an often extremely marked up music book.

I began this task this afternoon. Each page has bowing markings, fingerings for notes in the stratosphere, vocal cues written in to tell me where a song begins, and other miscellaneous notes to myself that need to be rubbed away.

This book was especially an especially difficult one because at times, the notes written on the page were nearly illegible. The director did make a call to the company that we rented the music book from to argue for a refund due to the poor copy quality of all the musician's books. Because of this, we were told to leave in anything we marked in that the next performer may need like notes, measure delineations, and measure numbers.

Still, as each written in item disappears under my eraser, the notes play through my head and I relive the show once more.

Stedman Corners Now In Jamestown

Stedman Corners Coffee has opened a shop on Third St near the Jamestown-Ellicott border. They have tasty coffee and we are about to have lunch.

Here's a shot of the interior from where we were sitting:

Short Commute

Sometimes people ask why I still live in Jamestown when I'm from a bigger city that I still love. Well, while commute times average around the 20 minute mark in Rochester, my commute time here in Jamestown is just over the length of a pop song.

This morning, from the time Matt got into the passenger seat at our house to the time I waved my fob in front of the security monitor to open the door into our parking garage, this song played:

Consider that I also drove slightly slower just to accommodate any icy patches on the road, and there's my dream commute.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some Post-Pan Celebrating

A post play drink at Forte. I am wiped out but happy. Living Xmas Tree rehearsal tomorrow afternoon. And the violin-ing madness continues. I love it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Farewell Peter Pan

Peter Pan is over. The set is already in the process of being dismantled. A wonderful show!

(Author's Note: Didn't know how blurry this came out until later. Also regretting not hanging around because the cast did group shots on Hook's ship a little after I took the above picture)

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's the Final Weekend for Peter Pan

As I type, there is a respite from the lake effect snow that has been pretty regularly falling on Jamestown for the past few days. The sun is glorious! Unfortunately for those who feel it's too early for hard winter weather, we have been under a Lake Effect Snow Warning since yesterday which continues until 6pm tomorrow. Fortunately, I have no plans to leave the Greater Jamestown area until next Wednesday.

The final three performances of Peter Pan start tonight. I'm already feeling that slight creep of melancholy since we had our last brush-up rehearsal last night. The cast was in a playful mood. Our orchestra director urged pit orchestra members to turn around mid-song to finally see the action in the big flying scene in Act 1. We usually miss this, and almost every other flying scene, because we're playing. I was blown away!

Unfortunately, if you haven't made it to a performance or don't have tickets, you're out of luck. Like the previous 8 performances, the show is sold out. All eleven performances sold out. I've never been involved in something that lasted this long and retained the strength of public interest and support that this production has experienced.

Fortunately, there will be at least one or two opportunities post-production where the cast/crew/pit will be able to get together. I'm told one of those will be for viewing event of the video taken of last Saturday's performance. It'll be great to finally see and hear the show. You don't necessarily get the best idea when your eyes are glued to your music and conductor with the clarinet section behind you blowing out the rest. Smiles.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where Did the Southside Go?

Snowing again. Hard. Compare it with the picture below to get an idea of how hard it is snowing.

November Snow

Here's Jamestown the day after we got over a foot of snow. It took me an hour or so to shovel last night. I'm thinking some coffee, or "choffee", is needed this morning. Something to wake up my weary bones.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Waiting For A Star

With free time a valuable commodity in our household, I decided to forgo grocery shopping for a couple days and instead get breakfast with Matt on Sunday. After zoning out over eggs and bacon at Bob Evans for an hour, watching the snow starting to fall, we paid up and headed home. The shuffle cycle on my iPod chose at that moment to pick this gem of a pop song from the late 1980s:

Matt audibly groaned as he realized what song was playing, expressing his disdain for my guilty pleasure in bad pop music. I shushed him, smiling as the keyboard sparkled against saxophone licks. But as the chorus swelled and I began to sing along, I heard another voice join in from the passenger seat. It's nice to know that my Red-Hot-Chili-Pepper/Punk-Rock-Loving husband still has the lyrics to "less worthy" songs tucked away in his brain.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Wednesday Update

Matt wrote a great post that is a good other-person's-point-of-view of my life for the past two months.

I survived weekend #1 of Peter Pan quite well. The Jamestown Community Orchestra concert went very well too. I start the whole process again tomorrow night when we have a "brush up" rehearsal for the musical leading into weekend #2 of performances. While I only have one performance on Sunday, I will have a "Living Christmas Tree" rehearsal in the evening. I'm confident at this point that I will make it there.

From the non-music side of my life, there isn't too much to report. We used the Veteran's Day holiday to take care of some house clean-up.

I went to a Zumba class at the Ice Arena last night that has left me a teensy bit sore. It was great fun though, and I'd be willing to try it again. Between the exercise class I took in September and October at the Arena, a weird ailment that left me with no appetite for a couple weeks, and the constant activity where violin playing is concerned, I've dropped about 8 pounds. This is great news aside from the fact that my budget doesn't include funds to buy pants in a size smaller than what I have on right now. Still though, hooray for weighing in at a number I haven't seen appear on my scale since 2001! Let's hope the holidays don't kill it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mix Tape Exchange

Mix tape exchange at Townhouse Records. Over thirteen people showed up to talk about their mixes. Pretty cool event.

Questionable Music Purchase

Mr. Nighttime tagged me to reveal one of my more embarrassing music purchases.

I'm very torn. See, I will admit that I've made many questionable music purchases when you bring so-called "taste" into the works. In fact, I shall share a short list of purchases I have made as an adult (aka over the age of 18):

- New Kids On the Block: Greatest Hits (Because sometimes you need to hear "Cover Girl")
- Debbie Gibson: Greatest Hits (Because She RULES)
- Spice Girls: Spice Girls (Bought for a dance I DJ-ed in college)

Before the age of 18, some of my hard-earned allowance went to these gems:

- Milli Vanilli: Girl You Know It's True (bought on vinyl in Eaton Centre in Toronto while on a field trip with Science Club in 7th grade)
- Paula Abdul: Forever Your Girl (First CD purchase I ever made)

I tag Matt, Heidi, and Alison to share.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Come See the Jamestown Orchestra Sunday Night!

If you're plum tired of the feel-good stuff on ABC like Extreme Homemakeover on Sunday night, why don't you drop by First Covenant Church in Jamestown to hear the Jamestown Community Orchestra play?

For music selections, check out the article in the Post Journal: Orchestra To Hold Concert.

And the girl wearing black in the picture is me at our rehearsal last Monday. I thought that was nifty.

Peter Pan: A Review

The opening performance of Peter Pan got a great review in the Post-Journal today. Read it here.

Every show has had some bumps, but overall it's going really well. I'm having a hell of a good time even though I'm completely exhausted as I write this following two performances today. We do a matinee tomorrow and then repeat the whole process again next weekend.. and the next.. with possibly one more show being added depending on ticket demand.

It's worth the price. Trust me.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Mini-Pumpkin Pie

Mini pumpkin pie made by roger at forte. So tasty. Perfect ending to tonight. Opening night of peter pan went well

Know Who's Visiting Wegmans Tomorrow?

I, ah, have to run to Wegmans tomorrow to pick up some items. They're dropping prices on hundreds of items you know.

It has nothing to do with the fact that Danny Wegman is supposed to be doing his annual store tour sometime around the noon hour.

(tries to look innocent) (fails)

Here's my story from last year about meeting Mr. Wegman.

If you ever hear that Danny Wegman is touring your local Wegmans grocery store, I recommend shopping that day. Everything will be in stock, gorgeously displayed, and store employees will be even more helpful than usual. Not that they aren't usually.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Historic Victory

I watched the final election results at Jamestown's Democratic Headquarters with Matt and other friends last night. The agony of defeat from the previous two presidential elections had left me quiet and wary. I almost couldn't believe it as MSNBC flashed California, Oregon, and Washington states for Obama, putting Obama well over the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the election.

As I stood in shock, I felt my eyes well up with tears of relief for a moment until I looked around the room at people cheering, kids running outside with Obama signs to dance in the streets, my friends crying, and some of the biggest smiles I've seen on election night.

It was quite a night.

I share with you today's front page of my hometown paper, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

Image Courtesy of Newseum

Campaign Workers Rejoice

Tim Smeal is the happiest man right now.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Post Journal: Preparing For Peter Pan

We're in the final week of rehearsals for Peter Pan. Yesterday's technical rehearsal was the first time the pit orchestra got to see the actors in costume with all the sets in place on stage. While there's still some transitions and various bits and bobs to be ironed out, it's going to be a great show.

Post Journal reporter Nick Dean had a preview piece in today's paper on the musical (HT to the paper for the photo I used for this post).

From my personal part in the production, I'm hanging in there. Our lead violinist, Janice, will be unable to perform opening weekend due to other performance obligations, so I'll be flying solo on the first violin part. I'm a bit nervous about this since I'm still not solid on the music. On a positive note, Janice won't be at most of the rehearsals this week so it should force me to move from a following style of playing to leading for our section.

For those interested in catching a performance of Peter Pan, here is the list of dates that have seats still available:

Friday, November 9th 2:30pm

Friday, November 14th 7:30pm
Saturday, November 15th 2pm
Saturday, November 15th 7:30pm
Sunday, November 16th 2pm

Friday, November 21st 7:30pm
Saturday, November 22nd 2pm
Saturday, November 22nd 7:30pm

Ticket information can be found here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Building Arm Muscles

This is me rolling out the last of the dough for kluski noodles. This is the earliest we've gotten done. It helps when you have lots of extra hands.

imum for faster download.

Flour Girl

Two hours later. One batch done. We made just under one hundred farmer's cheese pierogi. We've started on the kapusta but will be breaking for lunch momentarily.

Farmer's Cheese Pierogi

My cousin April and Aunt Ginny making pierogi at my grandparent's house.

Morning Stimulus

This will help me get to Buffalo safely. Mmm. Coffee.

Headed to Buffalo for Pierogi Making

Off to make three hundred Pierogi. We had fun last night but it's certainly hard to get up after being out until three. And yes, my hair is in two braids. Low maintenance day.

'Cause This is Thriller, Thriller Night

The Thriller Twins at Mojos for Halloween.

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...