Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I've moved onto filling pierogis with saurkraut, or kapusta as it's called in our family. The next set of pierogis will be filled with prune or apricots.

Pierogi Party 2009

It's the annual pierogi party at the Kasprzyk House. I took a break from rolling out dough and filling pierogis with farmer's cheese to take this picture.

Rainy October Saturday

Driving up Route 60 on my way to Buffalo.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Birthday Presents!

My birthday presents from Matt arrived while we were home on lunch. I am very excited to finally have the Before movies soundtrack. Plus, Enchanted April is one of those great movies to pop in on a dreary day. Thanks Love!

Pumpkins on Third Street

The pumpkin patch outside Forte. I had to stand way back to get them all in the shot!

The Creative Director Made These

Both of our pumpkins as designed and cut by Matt. He has a nice sense of humor.


Smashing Pumpkins "Thirty-Three" (video)

Speak to me in a language I can hear
Humour me before I have to go
Deep in thought I forgive everyone
As the cluttered streets greet me once again
I know I can't be late, supper's waiting on the table
Tomorrow's just an excuse away
So I pull my collar up and face the cold, on my own
The earth laughs beneath my heavy feet
At the blasphemy in my old jangly walk
Steeple guide me to my heart and home
The sun is out and up and down again
I know I'll make it, love can last forever
Graceful swans of never topple to the earth
And you can make it last, forever you
You can make it last, forever you
And for a moment I lose myself
Wrapped up in the pleasures of the world
I've journeyed here and there and back again
But in the same old haunts I still find my friends
Mysteries not ready to reveal
Sympathies I'm ready to return
I'll make the effort, love can last forever
Graceful swans of never topple to the earth
Tomorrow's just an excuse
And you can make it last, forever you
You can make it last, forever you

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Bill (he's to the left of the pumpkin) and his Scooby Doo pumpkin

Peggy & Our Pumpkin

Here's Peggy and the pumpkin Matt carved. I disappeared into the kitchen to clean pumpkin seeds so Roger could roast them. The crowd is happy!

Pumpking Carving Night at Forte!

It's pumpkin carving night at Forte! The crowd is very quiet and concentrating on removing pumpkin guts, creating faces, and enjoying a beverage or two.

Season Of Weddings - Moratorium

Number of weddings attended in 2009: 7

Weddings that had cheese hors d'Ĺ“uvre (apparently of huge concern to Matt): 4

Weddings in a church: 2 (1 was in the church we were married in)

Outside Weddings: 3 (1 was in a barn, but that pretty much counts as outside)

Muslim Weddings: 1

Weddings where F-List celebrities (Jon Gosslin) showed up and my mom threatened to go out and give him whatfor: 1

Weddings with live bands: 3 (King Rail was at 2 of those!)

Weddings I played violin at: 2

Weddings we danced the "Electric Slide": 3

Weddings where the groomsmen dressed in drag to demonstrate how the married couple met: 1

Total number of outfits worn to the weddings: 5 (2.5 outfits were repeated. The .5 comes into play when I changed after the ceremony because my suit was TOO hot!)

Weddings where dogs were present: 1 (The Bride & Groom's dog was tied to a tree outside the barn, but that was close enough! Plus, friends brought their dog with them whom we were all too happy to pet and love)

Weddings that we may be invited to in 2010: 2 and counting

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Break

It was just about a year ago that I "trimmed back" my performance schedule. I use the word "trim" lightly when I consider that I only dropped one ensemble.

This past year has been rough. I started the new job just when the busy season for the job hit. With how my contract is set up, I won't get vacation time until I've been there a year. This means my vacation time will kicks in at the same time as our busy season, so I'm looking at next Fall for when I can probably take a truly long vacation.

I finally let this reality sink in and made the hard decision to truly take a break. That meant dropping both the Jamestown Community Orchestra and The Living Christmas Tree concerts. Besides the needing a break in general there also was the fact that I was going to miss quite a few of the Living Christmas Tree rehearsals due to the musical. Plus, when you're at a rehearsal for one ensemble, that's time when you can't practice for the other ensembles. It was leaving me very few moments to just breath.

I feel extraordinarily guilty. I feel like I'm letting people down, even though another violinist showed up tonight who will be able to take my seat without any difficulty. I think it's the feeling that I'm not living up being able to call myself a musician because I'm not taking every opportunity that comes my way to play. I know that's bullpucky, to steal a Rachel Maddow-ism.

The relief that I'm sure will come is that I will be able to relax a little and concentrate more on the musical. I might be able to finally read the books I have on extended loan from the library. Undoubtedly, I'll probably feel slightly less harried than I have been. I'm looking forward to finding out what that kind of feels like for a little while at least.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not Always Looking On The Brightside

I caught part of an interview on "Democracy Now" yesterday with author Barbara Ehrenreich where she was talking about how the drive to always think positive may actually be harming us.

I found the interview to be refreshing. Here was a woman who has survived breast cancer and didn't find it necessary to always be upbeat and positive about going through the treatment process. We won't even start on the whole pink thing with ribbons, teddy bears, etc., especially when you consider that men get breast cancer too.

Just the day before, I had chatted with a friend who was PMS-ing and was feeling bitchy. We commiserated over the fact that as women, we're allowed to an extent to have a few down days a month. That we are allowed, because of natural hormones, to be a bitch. Maybe we laughed a little about this, but between that conversation and this interview, I got to thinking.

What's wrong with being angry? I don't mean to say that being angry even 50% of the time is healthy, but it has to be okay to be visibly angry sometimes. It's not healthy to keep all that crap bottled up. Additionally, I'd say it's okay to be sad sometimes. Why do we always need to be positive and upbeat?

Too much happy-happy gets me thinking about societies like in Brave New World. It's what gets me reaching for my iPod to cue up a playlist of Morrissey/The Smiths. I'm frankly very happy to be a mope at times. I like balance. I'm a Libra, after all.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Coffee By The Fire

Morning after the wedding at The Red House. Thank goodness for fires on frosty October days.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dance Dance Dance

Smeal the dancing fool.

Afternote: Sorry about picture quality. Hazards of camera phones.

King Rail at the Lynn & Brian Wedding Reception

King Rail at Brian and Lynn's wedding reception. You have to laugh at some of the over lapping moments from all the weddings we have been to this year. It has been lots of fun!

Note: This pic WAS taken with a flash. I need to get a small decent digi camera for these moments.

Cake Cutting time

That is some amazing chocolate raspberry cake! I'm trying out the flash on my camera. I really hate how bad pics come out on the LG Dare when using the flash. But back to the wedding, the two people on the right would be the ultra lovely Bride and Groom.

Formal Living Rooms and Make-Up

No outlets in the bathrooms so I did my hair and make up in this lovely living room. I had an audience part of the time until I scared the guys off when I pulled out my eye lash curler.

Make-Shift Reception Kitchen

Andy Palermo and Matt Roche doing food prep for the reception. I wasn't kidding about the rustic part! Such a fun day!

Wedding #7 - Lynn & Brian

The scene from the ceremony spot for our friend's wedding. Wedding number seven is at The Red House and Barn in Cassadaga. It's very rustic and beautiful here.

National Coming Out Day

Sunday, October 11th is National Coming Out Day. Hooray! Yay for the Gays!

What's so important about this anyway? After all, the day has only been around for 21 years now. And why do gay people feel a need to come out? Do we really want to know all that???

Coming Out Day is more than just waving a rainbow flag around. For some, it's being honest and accepting without hate that they are attracted to and could love a member of the same sex. For others, it's taking the risk to tell friends and family the truth. And sometimes, it's not just to do all of the above but to raise awareness too.

Why raise awareness? I mean, we all know there are gay people out there. We see them on TV and in the movies. But do you have family members who are gay? Do you know if people you work with are gay? What about friends? Do you have any gay friends? If you think you don't, are you 100% sure about that?

There are some people who are gay, but just don't shout about it. Maybe they did that in their college years when they first realized it was okay to be loud and proud. Maybe, as time went on they found it wasn't necessary to sport a rainbow sticker on their car or march in parades. They were who they were, but maybe less vocal. In some cases, maybe those people even "passed" as heterosexual because of how little they talked about their sexual orientation.

Being bisexual, it's easy to not ever say you're gay. And if you're married to a member of the opposite sex, there's almost no reason to ever say, "Hey, I like ladies too even though I'm out of the dating pool." Then if you do let on that you're bi there's the explaining and mythbusting, "No, I've never been interested in threesomes. No, I have a closed marriage. Yes, I've dated women before. No, I'm not saying this just to be trendy or seem edgy. It's who I am and who I've always been." And that's just potentially to people you don't know.

To friends you've known for years who you've never officially told, aside from dropping huge hints, there's the worry that they'll be upset that you never told them. And maybe, even despite being friends for a long time they will feel they don't want to share your company anymore.

There is still fear in coming out, especially as you get older. Instead of fearing being kicked out of your house by your parents because they don't approve of your "lifestyle," you have to fear that the late-news may cause damage to friendships. While you know your job is secure due to state laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, you fear losing casual camaraderie you've built up with co-workers and supervisors. It's the fear of coming out and trying to say, "Look, I'm still the same person you've always known, but with just another layer to consider," and being met with skepticism and distrust.

Maybe that's another facet of National Coming Out Day. That many people share these fears. That you are not alone. That you can find that inner strength to be yourself the best that you can. That it's okay, and you will be okay.

That's what I keep reminding myself. Sometimes taking a risk is okay if it means that you're just being who you are. I'm bisexual. It doesn't rule my life. It's just part of me.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Dessert at our Favorite

Pumpkin Pie Layer Cheese Cake at Forte. Roger made this today. The top layer was the pumpkin pie filling, followed by a layer of cheesecake, on top of a graham cracker crust. So delicious!

Date Night at Sapore

Lasagna (lasagna carne) and a pumpkin (giala agro dolce) side at Sapore in Westfield.

An afterthought: Sapore is a great date restaurant. It's not too formal, the prices are very reasonable, and the food is good. Plus, if we had decided to linger for dessert we would have continued to be serenaded by a harpist who took up residence in the front. We'll definitely be back a lot sooner.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Latte Before A Movie

Pumpkin spice latte on a cold, damp Friday night. Headed to the movies after this. It's like a real date! It feels weird almost to just have time together. That's how busy we are.

When I Caused 90s Night To Jump The Shark

Well, I may have to sign an oath or something before Nick lets me plug in a playlist for 90s night at Forte again due to one stunning choice last night. I knew it would cause pain. I knew it would bring into question my taste in music and my sense of decency. I acknowledged this to the room and simply said, "It's all how you phrase it. The song has a much different meaning then!" I'm not sure that helped me in any way.

90s Night Playlist - 10/1/09

Ben Folds Five - Army
Cypress Hill - Insane In The Membrane
The Cranberries - Ridiculous Thoughts
The Charlatans UK - Can't Get Out Of Bed
Bjork - Human Behavior
The Rentals - Friends of P
Seal - Crazy
Edwyn Collins - Girl Like You
Shania Twain - I Feel Like A Woman
Beck - Tropicalia
Bush - Machinehead
Erasure - Chorus

Dave Trusso sandwiched my set with more industrial minded songs and totally made my night when "Guilty" by Stabbing Westward came on. I have a very fuzzy copy of this song on tape somewhere and hadn't heard it in its digital glory in a very long time.

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...