Friday, May 29, 2009

Julia Makes Dinner

First dinner on the porch of the summer season. Went with kind of Italian theme with caprese salad, olives, Italian bread, olive oil for dipping, summer sausage, and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Tiramisu is for dessert later on.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

10 Things To Do This Summer

Borrowed liberally from All Things Jennifer and Mary Kunz Goldman, here is my list of 10 Things To Do This Summer (2009 edition):

1. Have a drink whilst sitting in a rocking chair, watching the sun set at the Hotel Lenhart in Bemus Point

2. Plant dahlias, an azalea bush, and maybe some begonias and geraniums in my garden

3. Dance at three of the four weddings we're invited to before Labor Day (the fourth is a Muslim celebration, no drinking or dancing).

4. Read 2 books. I set my standards low when the weather is nice.

5. Enjoy limoncello over frozen lemon ice on my porch

6. Play skee ball at Midway Park

7. Eat chicken souvlaki at the Yassou! Festival

8. Drink a super chilled beer outside in the middle of a blazing hot day somewhere I can people watch

9. Take a day trip somewhere near water and just hang out watching the water lap against the shore for a few hours

10. Make caprese salad at home and eat it with fresh Italian bread slathered with butter while drinking lots of red wine and hanging out with friends.

Latest Issue of The Word Is Out

The latest issue of The Chautauqua Region Word is out. I love the Helga Hulse interview. Oh yeah, and check out my guest editorial.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ye Olde Mix Tape

For about a month, I've been iPod-less. I have my iPod. It works just fine, but it and my computer don't talk anymore. I tried mediation, but they weren't having it. I've threatened arbitration, but since they're computers they just laughingly spit back a bunch of zeroes and ones. The current theory is that the USB ports aren't type 2 and, therefore, I'm out of luck until I get those fixed. Matt seems to think I need a new computer. I think it's just a mad ploy to get another computer in our house. At some point we're supposed to become a dual operating system household when a tech friend gifts us a Mac. But I digress...

The lack of iPod has led to less music listening at work and more cassette listening in the car. I've found mix tapes going all the way back to 1992. My latest find was the first summer mix I ever created in 1994. It starts out with Erasure's cover of the Cole Porter tune "It's Too Darn Hot" before moving onto "Lemon" by U2, "Wild Night" by Van Morrison, "Hey Hey" by Eric Clapton, "Jackie Wilson Smiles" by Van Morrison, "Me & Julio Down By the School Yard" by Simon & Garfunkle and several others.

For one of my first themed mixes, it was pretty chill. I'd like to go back to my 17-year old self and shake my hand. Other mixes I've found aren't as consistently good. I had a penchant for destroying a decent groove of R.E.M., The Cure, and Nirvana with some horrid ballad by Bryan Adams or Kenny G. When I come across those mixes, I want to sit my 15 or 16-year old self down for a serious talk. At least the habits of my youth bring some sense to my occasional clicks on gems by Barry Manilow or James Taylor to add to my music library.

Guest Spot

The next issue of the recently relaunched/revitalized Chautauqua Region Word comes out this week. I've been asked to provide the guest editorial for this issue. Those who know me best know that I generally avoid the truly controversial, so the editorial was more some observations I've made during the ten years I've lived here in Chautauqua County.

Pick up The Word at your favorite "third place" or read it online when it goes live sometime around Thursday this week. I welcome any thoughts you may have on it here. Full text of the guest editorial will be posted here after the paper has gone to print.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WIB Career Fair

This is where I am all morning. Chautauqua Works is holding a career fair for high school kids. Just waiting for the next wave.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just The Wind?

Last summer, I was honored to not only provide music for the wedding, but also lend Jade my wedding veil after her future sister-in-law melted her own wedding veil in an ill advised attempt to iron out the wrinkles.

When I handed my veil over to Jade the week before the event, I jokingly cautioned, "Now, my grandmother made this veil for me. If anything happens to it, she will not only haunt me, but you as well."

We laughed and Jade reassured me that nothing would happen to the something-borrowed item.

The wedding day in June was hot. Fortunately, it was cool in the Hall of Philosophy where the ceremony was held at Chautauqua Institution. Everything went pretty smooth. After group shots at the Hall, Jade and Dave took off with the photographer to get some pictures around the Institution grounds.

I don't recall if it was a particularly windy day. But both Jade and Dave did find it odd that when they went to pose for their picture in front of the Miller Bell Tower, which is directly on Chautauqua Lake, that the wedding veil suddenly swooped straight upward. The photographer snapped a picture right at that moment. At the reception, Jade confided that she wasn't sure if it was a freak gust of wind or if maybe my grandmother was having a bit of fun.

The veil came back in fine shape. I've lent it to my cousin, Rachel, who will be wearing it for her wedding later in June. I'm also providing the music for that wedding. I've already joked with Jade that I'm wondering if my grandmother might provide further amusement with some veil antics.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chautauqua Region Word Relaunch Tonight

What better way to spend a Thursday night?

A preview of the cover for the new issue. The paper edition is on the streets. I assume the digital version will be posted by the end of the week at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spring Bug

I've got a little bit of the Spring bug going on. Between the flowers coming up, trees leafing out, and it being Spring Pick-Up weeks in the city, the urge to do a massive clean up job on our house has settled in for a visit.

A few years ago, a friend of mine got me into as a way to not only get your house clean, but to keep it clean. I've adapted it for my own life, but still like to reference it when the Spring Cleaning buzz hits.

Part of the reason for the buzz is that we once again have a boat load of weddings ahead of us this summer. This means a few less weekends to keep up with stuff. My goal is to get the house in guest ready order before the next wedding (June 20th). This means new shades hung, sconces hung, painting/mirrors hung, yard put in order and garden planted; guest rooms bedding washed and changed over for warmer weather; summer clothing sorted (tossed) and switched over; and the usual dishes/laundry/straightening up. It'll be a challenge with other stuff on our schedule but the level of relief of having it done and in an easy to maintain state is something I look forward to attaining.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Stereo in Stereo

This rings of awesome and maybe just a little bit of cute. Something kinda cool about little kids that can sing along with Pavement.

Oh, Hai World

Over the past couple months, I've picked up some followers in Twitter, friends in Facebook, and blog readers that I know. Family members now can easily find out how I am coping, or not, with the world in spaces I previously let things, well, hang out.

Before Facebook morphed into a place where grandmothers invite their grandkids to join their Mafia/Zombie/Maim,Kill,Destroy group, I was pretty casual about my activity on there. I didn't think twice about posting a status update that reflected whatever my hormones were doing to me that day. After all, I figured that my friends on there would know I didn't mean them if my update said, "Julia hates all of you today. Just today." Lately though, I've found I don't want to even post updates that could be construed as whining or negative. Do I really need my cousins knowing every little detail? My aunt certainly reads my updates as she told the whole family at brunch on Sunday that they could join Facebook and also know whenever I have a headache or am craving doughnuts.

Then there's this blog. I've tried not to hold back too much on here, but in the almost eight years I've been writing entries, I've found myself wanting to share a little less. I don't want this to turn into an impersonal blog that just re-landscapes news stories I've read elsewhere. But I've been feeling less comfortable putting out details to any of the people who regularly check in from around the world, but never leave comments. Part of the joy of keeping a blog is the occasional blog comment readers leave. It reminds me that I'm not just getting bots trolling through. Probably another reason I like Facebook so much. People respond. Even though it's not even a sad replacement for person-to-person interaction, it feels more personable.

I've never been a huge fan of self-censorship. Perhaps this uneasiness will pass and I'll once again find myself horrifying you with my transgressions into TMI territory. Either way, the blog is staying. I would love to hear from the lurkers sometime. I know not everyone likes to interact, but it's generally so nice when you do.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Chautauqua Word RELAUNCH!

Mark down the night of Thursday, May 14th on your calendars.

The Chautauqua Region Word will be holding a relaunch party starting at 9pm at Mojo's in downtown Jamestown.

For anyone who wants to send press releases/event notices, the contact is now

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Three Things

Three things I saw tonight that made me smile:

1. Two 20somethings playing rock-paper-scissors at Wegmans to see who got to choose which DVD they were going to rent

2. A glorious sunset of pinks and purples stacked on each other until they bled in a fantastic mess across the sky

3. This video that Buffalo Pundit posted:

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...