Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lily Dale and Halloween.

Happy Halloween, dear readers.

I must say that this is my most favorite holiday. I love the leaves, the crisp air, the candy, the decorations, the spooky music. And speaking of spooky...

Every year, my friend Eileen goes to Lily Dale for Halloween. I've been fortunate enough to accompany her for the past few years. For those of you who aren't aware, Lily Dale is a a very spirtual place. They actually tout themselves as a place where "one who believes, as the basis of his or her religion, in the continuity of life and in individual responsibility. Some, but not all, Spiritualists are Mediums and/or Healers. Spiritualists endeavor to find the truth in all things and to live their lives in accordance therewith." Just click on the link above and you can check it out.

Anyway...Halloween at Lily Dale is absolutely wonderful. Although our main purpose is to "be one with the spirit world" that day, we do take some Halloween-ish liberties. (If you don't know Eileen, you don't know that she is a very spiritual person. She celbrates the changing of the seasons; she thanks her spirits for all good things that happened the year past; she is a truly spiritual person...I like to think of myself as spiritual but I have a long way to go.) Back to our Halloween-ish liberties:

  • We all dress in black...just black. We have long black capes.
  • This year we went to "Fairy Land" (honest to God) and placed a fairy house. Eileen made a great Haunted House out of doll house furniture. She painted it, put "spooky" paintings on the walls of the house, and pimped out the whole damn thing. At Lily Dale there's a path (relatively new) that serves as the home for countless fairy dwellings. Although I don't get the whole fairy thing, I think it's neat. We placed our own version of a fairy house deep in the woods.
  • We eat "spooky" foods. We'll take normal, every day foods and give them "spooky" names. Some of the foods we've indulged in include (I'll give you the layman's terms for a few): Rats (Ritz) Crackers, Scream (Cream) Cheese and Cadaviar (Caviar)...get the picture? We also have Anchoveyes, Hominous, Pita Dread, Ladies' Fingers, Champagne (you must emphasize the second syllable an say it in a "spooky" voice), Alives (Olives...I had to spell that one out for you), Monster Cheese, Deviled Eggs, Roast Beast Sandwiches with Hoarse-radish. Some foods that are equally "spooky" include: Goooulash, Bleak Soup, Garlic Tooooast. It's all about eloooongaaatiiing the wooorrrdssss.
  • We visit the pet cemetery. It's eerily serene. There are hundreds of gravestones marking the burial places of pets. Some have pictures, many have dates. Some of the gravestones are more elaborate than some I've seen for people. It's quite spectacular.
  • We use the word "spooky" in almost every sentence. No matter what we're talking about, something has to be "spooky". For instance - we were walking past the lake and I noticed something moving in the water...it was a beaver. It was henceforth called the "spooky beaver of Lily Dale Lake" (you totally have to use your best Vincent Price voice when you say that.) Everything is spooky. Everything.
I love my Halloween trips to Lily Dale with Eileen (I call her Elaine.) Her husband Dan comes and it's a lovely time. This year we were joined by Tim Newell and it was extra "spooky". A great time.

Let me compose my "spooky" self and I'll post about the goings-on at the Demerly Estate...for Haaallooooweeeeennnn. Boo!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I am in a funk and I can't seem to shake it. I'm not about to lose control or anything but I don't really like it. (And no, as funny as rereading that sentence is, I'm not a Pointer Sister.) This happens to me every once in a while: I get in one of my dreaded moods. I can't really pinpoint the cause (if there even is a cause.)

I start off very happy. The happiness turns to euphoria. I think that there must be something wrong with me because nobody should be this happy. Then I start stressing about how happy I am. Then I think that maybe I'm not happy at all but, instead, very depressed and pretending to be happy to compensate for my depression. Then I start thinking about everyone in the world who is not happy. I wish that I could give my happiness to them. Then I'm even more mad at myself for being happy because there's probably only so much happiness to go around. Then I get all fucked up and think that there is something terribly wrong with me. Why else would I be psychoanalyzing my happiness to the brink of hysterics?

These funks are sorta weird. If I had them more frequently I could probably determine what the cause is. But I don't have them regularly...maybe only once every 3-4 months. I don't know if it's change (shows closing, bad storms surprising everyone, my dog scratching himself to the point of ugly hair loss) or if it's a lack of change (I wake up, I go to work, I eat a crappy lunch, I smoke a few dozen cigarettes, I talk to a few people on the phone, I go home, I eat something, I read something, I watch something on TV, I talk to a few more people on the phone and then I go to bed...to do the same thing tomorrow.) We ALL deal with these things...don't get me wrong. I'm not putting myself in some sort of box of depression thinking that I'm the only one who lives in tedium. I normally deal quite well with these things. To be completely honest I'm not even stressing about these things right now. I said...I can't pinpoint it. All I know is that I'm in a funk.

People know when I'm in a funk, too. It's surprising to me because I can hardly tell when I'm in a funk myself. (I normally know when a funk is coming on because people give me that "Joey's in a funk" look. Without that look I might just keep doing what I'm doing and never know I'm in a funk...but deep down I probably would know, right? Probably. I would imagine.) My Grandmother looks at me with that "I should make him some pudding...he looks sad...or sick...or both...he likes pudding...I should make him pistachio pudding" look. I don't really like pudding but she thinks I do.

What is it like to be in a funk? We all have our own definitions (or am I the only one who gets in a funk? Oh, gosh...I hope not. That thought alone could put me into a deeper funk.) For me, being in a funk is eerily peaceful. I'm relaxed, I'm resigned to the fact that I'm in the funk. I don't think I smile as much as I normally do...not because I don't want to but because I don't realize I'm not smiling. My mind drifts. I sleep a lot more. I don't really care what I look like or if I take a shower (talk about a funk...hehe.) I don't really eat...my appetite is nada. I drink less alcohol (yes, surprisingly, that IS possible for me to do.) I just...am. Am what? I don't know. I am like a knick-knack on the mantle. I sit there and I observe.

I'll get out of this funk. Soon. I know it's not depression because I'm not really sad. I'm kind of apathetic. Not that I don't care, don't get me wrong. I care about many things. I just don't really have an opinion right now...about anything. I'm not depressed though. I've been depressed and this is not depression. It's a funk. Funk funk funk funk funk.

It will go away. Like I said...I'm eerily peaceful. (Eerie makes it sound spooky. It's not spooky.) Sometimes it's good to be in a funk, I think. Good is a relative term. Trust me.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Honest to God?

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Think you've seen it all when it comes to cosmetic surgery?

Look more closely. Eyelash transplant surgery wants to become the new must-have procedure for women -- and the occasional man -- convinced that beauty is not so much in the eye of the beholder as in front of the eye itself.

Using procedures pioneered by the hair loss industry for balding men, surgeons are using "plug and sew" techniques to give women long, sweeping lashes once achieved only by glued on extensions and thick lashings of mascara.

And just like human hair -- for that is the origin -- these lashes just keep on growing.

"Longer, thicker lashes are a ubiquitous sign of beauty. Eyelash transplantation does for the eyes what breast augmentation does for the figure," said Dr Alan Bauman, a leading proponent of eyelash transplants.

"This is a brand new procedure for the general public (and) it is going to explode," Bauman told Reuters during what was billed as the world's first live eyelash surgery workshop for about 40 surgeons from around the world.

Under the procedure, a small incision is made at the back of the scalp to remove 30 or 40 hair follicles which are carefully sewn one by one onto the patient's eyelids. Only light sedation and local anesthetics are used and the cost is around $3,000 an eye.

The technique was first confined to patients who had suffered burns or congenital malformations of the eye. But word spread and about 80 percent are now done for cosmetic reasons.

For many women, eyelash surgery is simply an extra item on the vast nip-tuck menu that has lost its old taboos.

More than 10 million cosmetic procedures -- from tummy tucks to botox -- were performed in the United States in 2005, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The figure represents a 38 percent increase over the year 2000.

Erica Lynn, 27, a Florida model with long auburn hair, breast implants and a nose job, had eyelash transplants three years ago because she was fed up with wearing extensions on her sandy-colored lashes.

"When I found out about it, I just had to have it done. Everyone I mention it to wants it. I think eyelashes are awesome. You can never have enough of them," Lynn said.

Bauman, who practices in Florida, does about three or four a month. Dr. Sara Wasserbauer, a Northern California hair restoration surgeon, says she has been inundated by requests.

"I have been getting a ton of eyelash inquiries ... If I had $10 for every consultation, I'd be a rich woman."

The surgery is not for everyone. The transplanted eyelashes grow just like head hair and need to be trimmed regularly and sometimes curled. Very curly head hair makes for eyelashes with too much kink.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pumpkin shortage, my ass!

This is from CNN. I thought there was a pumpkin shortage. Are these Bostonians the cause? If there is a shortage, why in God's name would they be trying to beat a record this year. I'm angry...

Here's the article.

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Boston's nickname is Beantown, but Pumpkintown might also apply now.

Bostonians on Saturday lit 30,128 pumpkins on Boston Common, shattering the world record for the most jack-o'-lanterns lit in one place.

"It's fantastic," said Jim Laughlin, a spokesman for Life is Good, the Boston clothing company that sponsored the event. "We've been going after this record for a long time."

The old record of 28,952 lit pumpkins had been held since 2003 by Keene, New Hampshire. That city tried to keep up with their own attempt Saturday, but lit only 24,682 pumpkins.

In Boston, an estimated 100,000 people crowded onto the Common to slice, scoop, and sculpt pumpkins and to savor pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup. Mayor Thomas M. Menino greeted children, who were dressed as ghosts and angels.

Keene, a city of 22,000 people, did not go down without a fight. "We had more pumpkins lit than people who live here," said Alan Davis, an organizer.

The friendly competitions raised thousands of dollars for charities.

Suicidal ramblings.

I was online the other night updating my blog and checking my blogpatrol stats. (I love to check out who looks at my blog - I've found people from as far away as Malaysia looking at this thing.) I came across a blog title that interested me and I clicked on it...it was rather frightening.

This young man was documenting his contemplation of suicide. He is a great writer but a very dark writer. At first I thought he was writing for attention but then I noticed that I was only one of 2 other people that looked at the blog...I felt very sad. I read every single post he made and then I clicked on his profile. He had his e-mail address and IM name listed...so, of course, Joey had to contact him.

I e-mailed him and, within moments, he replied. Now...listen...it was not my intent to change his mind. I really wanted to find out what could make someone do this...or want to do this. We exchanged a few e-mails that night and then I boldly IMed him. We chatted for nearly two hours. We discussed suicide, depression, life in general, parents, girls, college...you name it. At the end of the conversation I thanked him and told him that he could get ahold of me if he needed to...I felt obligated but I also really wanted to make sure he had someone to talk to if he wanted/needed to.

The next day I looked at his blog and I felt happy. He had posted something that wasn't dark... In fact, it was uplifting. He said that he was in a better mood and that, even though the idea wasn't completely out of his mind, he didn't want to kill himself immediately...if ever. I felt very good about myself but, more importantly, his self-revelation.

Well, needless to say, I checked his blog again today. He is no longer happy. He was back to writing about suicide.

I don't know. Many people have told me that those who want to kill themselves do it. They don't normally tell the world that they're thinking about doing it. They leave that to a suicide note. On one hand I think that's what he's doing. On the other hand, I'm not so sure.

I instant messaged him again today and told him that I was sorry he was spiraling down once more. I told him that I wished I could help but that I was afraid I couldn't...there's not much I can do, I said. He thanked me for my help thus far...and said that he wasn't looking for sympathy. I told him that if that was the case shouldn't have posted his blog in a public forum. He agreed...and apparently made his blog private. I can't access it now.

If he was looking for attention via his blog...he's not anymore. It makes me sad. Suicide makes me sad. I feel helpless...but not as helpless as he does, I'm sure.

If you click on the photo included in this link (or click here, if you'd like) you'll be directed to www.hopeline.com. It's a website about suicide and for people who are or know of someone who is contemplating it. Check it out... If you're able to donate, please do. It's awful to think that there are people out there who feel like this is their only way out...but there are.

I'm not very religious but I will be saying a prayer tonight.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I love my sister. I love her with all my heart. I miss her too.

Katie, my sister for those of you who aren't paying attention, is my favorite person. Granted...it took over 20 years for her to be my favorie person. I love her more than I love anybody else.

I have to tell you that she and I did not get along growing up. We were enemies. We would fight and bitch and complain and accuse and beat and tickle and scream. I'm glad to report that, although she lives many hundreds of miles away, we don't do that anymore.

Katie moved in with my Dad when I was a senior in highschool. I was forced to be the mama's boy. I was a bit sad. She and I have been through so much together... A divorce changes a lot.

Anyway...I love Katie more than I love myself...and that's saying a lot. She is my rock (and she doesn't even know it.) I respect her, I envy her, I love her husband, I love her commitment to life, love and happiness, I love her.

Katie...I know you read this and that is not why I'm writing all of these things. Honest. I love you so much honey and I miss you terribly.

Don't fret, though...I am totally going to share some awful stories about you. Hot potatoes and all.

I love you...much more than you know.

So you want a pet monkey?

I really do. But this makes me reconsider.

Did You Know:

1. Prosimians, monkeys, apes and humans are all primates. We share many characteristics and we share diseases. As our closest relatives, non-human primates can transmit mild to highly dangerous diseases to their owners, their owners' family and friends. Diseases like the common cold, internal parasites, hepatitis A, tuberculosis and even the often fatal Herpes B virus.

2. Non-human primate ownership can be regulated at the local, state or national level. Even if legal at the state level, numerous cities and counties have made it against the law to keep pet primates; illegal possession can result in fines and confiscation of the innocent victim, your pet.

3. To be made into a "pet," baby primates are taken away from their mothers when only hours or days old. Evolved to have continual (24 hr/day) body contact with their moms, infant primates are left to hug towels or stuffed animals. Depression is not restricted to human primates, these infants and mothers typically suffer depression from the forced separation.

4. Infant females taken away from their mothers' care don't develop the parental skills necessary to raise their own young. A vicious cycle of rejected infants that must be raised by humans in order to physically survive is started.

5. Primates are social. Under natural conditions they live in social groups and have constant companionship. Now think about the number of minutes per day you spend with other pets such as a dog. Thirty minutes? Two hours? Primates need more, much more. Once the decision has been made to remove the infant primate from its mother's care in order for it to become Your pet, You become its social life. Planning to have a job, go out with friends, see a movie, shop? Continuing to lead your normal life and leaving your pet to spend the majority of its day alone is both unnatural and inhumane.

6. Given good care and proper nutrition, non-human primates can lead very long lives. Twenty five to 30 years is not unusual for the smaller species while macaques, baboons and spider monkeys can easily reach 40 and apes can live to be 55 years old. A high school senior who buys an infant macaque can get a job, get married, raise a family and become a grandparent before the pet macaque dies of natural causes. Most people are not able to make that type of life-long commitment to a domestic pet yet alone a challenging exotic pet.

7. Once they reach sexual maturity, non-human primates become more unpredictable and dangerous. Even small primates are deceptively strong and all primates have damaging canines. Gentle one minute, they can inflict severe wounds when suddenly frightened, surprised, confused or frustrated. Owners are often shocked and feel betrayed. Believing they should not risk further aggression, responsible owners typically make the decision to reduce contact with the pet.

8. Non-human primates that become emotionally bonded to their owners, a trait that pleases and is encouraged by the master, can become jealous and attack visiting family, friends, neighbors, new boy/girlfriend or even the mailman. Owners can be held responsible for resulting medical bills and may be subject to lawsuits. Vacations could be out of the picture; finding a qualified caretaker who is accepted by the pet primate and willing to risk chance of being bitten may prove impossible.

9. Many small animal veterinarians do not want to accept the risk of injury or disease transmission and will not treat non-human primates. Additionally, few have the training to provide expert care.

10. Non-human primates are intelligent, curious and active. Unless caged, they can destroy furniture, curtains and any household decorations. They can throw their food around and easily rip off their diapers and soil the house.

11. Tired of dealing with the array of problems caused by pet primate ownership, most owners end up wanting to get rid of their pet. Lacking infant appeal, adult non-human primates are difficult to place. They may be transferred from inadequate to bad to worse homes, bought by an animal dealer or sent to an animal auction, shot or euthanized. Exotic animal sanctuaries are at capacity, zoos don't have the space for former pets. Rarely is the story ending a happy one.

12. Baby primates raised to adulthood by humans have not acquired all the necessary social skills to live with others of their own kind. If an owner is able to convince a sanctuary or roadside zoo to take his pet, integrating the imprinted primate into a peer group can be life threatening. Sending inappropriate signals to its new and strange companions, the former pet can be harassed, intimidated, and even attacked. If accepted, ex-pets can nevertheless remain social outcasts, individuals who through no fault of their own are caught between two worlds and can't live successfully in either. Neurotic behavior and depression are common consequences.

13. You may be the best pet-primate owner in the world, but by purchasing an infant primate, you are perpetuating a business that leads to miserable lives for many of the very animals you profess to adore.

Maybe I'll get a pot-bellied pig instead.

Puttin' on the Ritz

I haven't seen YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN before. When Lou posted that Mel Brooks was going to turn it into a Broadway musical, I was intrigued.

I was flipping through the 800+ channels on Direct TV last night and it was on. This was where I started watching. I almost peed my pants.

Hehe...I love Mel Brooks.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Oh, to lay down in bed and fall asleep. It's one of my most favorite things to do...assuming I can fall asleep. Sometimes I just lay in bed and stay awake recounting everything that's bothering me...that is not a favorite thing of mine.

I change positions about 17 times before I actually fall asleep. Literally. I have done it since I was 12 years old. I used to have panic attacks (a psychologist called them night terrors but I think she was loopy.) I remember my very first panic attack with clarity:

It was a normal day. I went to school, played with friends, came home to dinner, watched my stepfather watch football on tv, did my homework and went to bed. I was laying in bed and I partially fell asleep...you know, the kind of dozing where you're aware of what's going on but you're still relaxed and dreaming. Well...my eyes felt very heavy and I wanted to open them but I couldn't. I seemed like I was caving in on myself. My blankets seemed to be suffocating me. I finally mustered the energy to open my eyes but when I did I could only look in one direction, at my clock radio. I wanted to turn over but I couldn't...I felt like a statue. Staring at the clock made me well aware of the time. I thought hours had passed but the clock only said it was one minute later. I was hyperventilating. I, somehow, got out of my bed and ran to my parent's room...at least I thought I was running. I meant to bang on their door as loudly and quickly as I could but my arms moved slower than they might in quicksand. My stepfather came to the door and asked me if I was OK...I couldn't talk but I was crying. My Mom was worried about me but Edgy (that's my stepfather's name) took care of me. He walked me back to my room and laid with me until I fell asleep. I remember this like it was yesterday.

I've had these "night terrors" since then but I'm able to control them better now. I think that's because I change positions 17 times before I fall asleep...I'm worried that if I sleep in the position I start in, I'll have another attack.

Trust me...these panic attacks/night terrors are NO FUN. I'm fearing having one tonight due to my diatribe about it right now. I won't though, hopefully.

Anyway. When I do fall asleep (a peaceful sleep) I am in heaven. I wake up and want to sleep some more. I used to have an alarm clock that could be set to "snooze" just by waving my hand over it. I could only "snooze" it 5 times though and then it would shut off. This proved to be dangerous because I wouldn't know I was "snoozing" the alarm and then I'd be 3 hours late to work. I've since moved the alarm clock to the other side of the room.

Sleep...I love it. I want to sleep in all fucking day tomorrow.

If I have a panic attack when I take a daytime nap is it still called a NIGHT terror? Hmm.

A Funny Thing HAPPENED...

I feel the urge to write a little note about my experience with FORUM at The Kav. The show finally (I say finally because of the extension) ended tonight. It was a great time and a wonderful experience complete with personality quibbles, misunderstandings, gossip and egos.

I mentioned to a few people how every show I do is a semi-life changing experience. I don't mean this in the "oh my god this play changed my life" sense but in a "it's amazing how such a little thing like being in a play can influence my life" sense. If you've ever been onstage you might understand what I'm talking about:

  • You get to spend time with people you would otherwise not spend time with.
  • You meet new people.
  • The cast and crew becomes a pseudo-family. (Spending 9-10 weeks together can do this.) There are matronly types, cool Uncle types, bitchy cousin types, arguing sister types, spousal-types, children-types. We all have to be together and through our spats...deal with each other - at least until the show closes.
  • You get to see (whether you really want to or not) many people near nude.
This is a small sampling. (And not a very good sampling.) Hopefully you'll just read this, roll your eyes, and say "Joey must be drunk again!" (I'm not...but you can say it.)

What I want to get across is my appreciation and adoration for everyone involved in the show. There aren't many productions I get teary-eyed about. Most of the time I'm ready for the show to close the day after it opens. I actually looked forward to coming to the theatre and putting on a play...really.

OK, this might be a half-assed way of saying THANK YOU but I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Let's all do it again sometime.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

While we're talking about Katie's wedding...

OK...while we're on the subject.

When Katie got married, I was a mess. She's my little sister and I started drinking about 2 hours before the ceremony.

Anyway, I surprised her at the reception with a Brother/Sister dance...I don't remember what song the DJ played but I know it was something sappy. She didn't know I was going to do it. It was fun but we were both crying like babies.

Well, to lighten the mood, Ben (Katie's husband) and his brother Josh decided to join in. They were dancing together and then we switched partners. I've been joking with Josh about his sexual preference...he's totally straight but I tell him he just hasn't met the right boy yet. (Not to mention, he totally did a perfectly choreographed solo-dance to Michael Jackson's BEAT IT.)

It was an awesome wedding...at the Outer Banks in NC. I will write more soon...let me look for some more embarrassing photos first, though.


This is my sister Katie. She has been reading my blog and was a little peeved that I haven't included her on it yet.

She's getting dressed for her wedding in this photo...and she's holding her boobies.

I think she'll think twice now before complaining about not being included on my blog.

I love you, Katie.

What makes me happy?

I was listening to the radio this morning and they were asking "what makes you happy". I think they're trying to promote happiness in all this chaos. Well, needless to say, it got me thinking.

Here's an honest list of some of the things that truly make me happy:

  • Sleeping in and waking up when I want to - without an alarm.
  • Reading a really good book - without distractions - on the beach.
  • Holding a sleeping baby.
  • Getting a phone call from someone who "just wanted to say hello".
  • Weddings.
  • Listening to my Mother tell stories about my childhood.
  • Taking long walks - this helps me think.
  • Giving gifts.
  • Fresh flowers.
  • Winning money at a casino.
  • Seeing an elderly couple holding hands.
  • Being loved.
  • Making dinner and having people tell me it tasted really great.
  • Decorating for Christmas.
  • Buying things...I love to spend money.
You know what? It's kind of difficult to list things that make you happy. It's tough. I'm looking at this list and asking myself why I don't do some of these things more often (taking long walks, calling my Mother, giving more gifts.)

It's the small things. The everyday occurrences that make me happy: telling the cashier I like her earrings; being told I have a nice smile; having someone smile at me just to make me smile.

I'm not trying to be all heady and philosophical...but - Do we sometimes overlook the small things because we're in a mood? Probably. Should we try to look for the small things or "stop to smell the roses"? Yeah. I'm going to try.

Eternal optimist I'm not. Totally not. I'm going to try to find something - each day, out of the ordinary - that makes me happy. Just anticipating this newfound happiness makes me smile.

What makes you happy?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wanna Smoke with Daddy?


OK, many people are undoubtedly posting about the storm Buffalo was recently lucky enough to receive. I must jump on that bandwagon and bitch a little too.

If you look at my last post you'll notice that I was totally on top of this breaking story. Now, remember, I am not a meteorologist. Should I be? Probably. But I digress.

In all honesty, I have to say that there was NO WAY anybody could have predicted this monstrosity of a storm. It was so freekin' bizarre. Granted, it started to snow early in the afternoon on Thursday but what transpired was, without a doubt, a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.

It started out as a cold day with bone-chilling rain. The rain turned into hail and then back into rain. It was a rather boring morning. Then...the rain turned into wet snow, but it wasn't really accumulating. Then...it started accumulating. And how!

Long story short: it snowed 28 Goddamn inches within 12 hours or so. Trees were canopied over every road downtown; nobody was prepared. Hundreds of thousands of people were without power - like God flipped the switch. It was insane!

Thousands of downed trees; hundreds of crushed cars; countless flooded basements, caved in roofs, broken windows; people still (5+ days later) without power. Life in WNY is quite surreal.

I went into Valu Home Center and tried to find batteries and flashlights. I say "tried" because they had no power! Employees were walking around the store with flashlights telling customers to "remember the price of whatever items you want to buy...our registers are out!" REMEMBER THE PRICE?! Haha, it makes me laugh still. Anyway, I got two flashlights and some batteries...and remembered the price. Needless to say I got home to find out that I bought the wrong size batteries for the right size flashlights. I did not go back.

I spent the weekend driving from Buffalo, to Grandma's, to my house, to Buffalo, to Grandma's, to my house...going in circles but staying warm in my car. The roads, with exception of the downed trees and power lines, were passable (the snow melted the next day...for the most part.)

Heh. I mentioned my Grandma. I have to tell a funny story: I finally got out of my parking space on Friday (it was like riding the bike in the sand...my wheels were moving, going in all sorts of directions, but I was able to do it!) I drove immediately to Granny's because she lives alone and was without power...and I was worried about her. We sat together around her fire, we drank a bottle or two of vodka, and then I told her I was going to run home and check on my dogs. I checked on my dogs (I had no power either.) The house was pitch black and it dawned on me that my SUMP PUMP would not be working. I ran downstairs and found a partially flooded basement (I'm over-dramatizing...there was a very large puddle forming around the sump pump but it wasn't really flodded.) I did have to bale the water out, 5 gallons at a time, however...EVERY 5 MINUTES! I ran outside to survey the neighborhood and heard a generator running at my nextdoor neighbors house. I ran over and begged for him to let me use it to power my pump. He said "sure". BUT...my extension cords were in my garage...which has electric door openers - shit-outta-luck. I told Dave (my neighbor) that I would be right back...(Granny had lots of extension cords, I would get a few from her.) Well...as I'm driving to Grandma's my cousin Danielle calls me to tell me that Granny had refused any help from my family! They were all offering to come and pick her up so she could stay with them (they had heat and power.) She fucking REFUSED! Well, I got a bit peeved. My Grandmother is a bit of a martyr. She likes to play the "poor me" card a lot but she doesn't accept help...even from family. I got to her house and I started yelling at her. She sat down and pouted, like a little girl, saying she wasn't going to leave her house...after yelling, calling my cousin and my Dad to yell at her, telling her that she was going to die in the house...she won. She refused to go anywhere and she stayed in "her house". Needless to say, she didn't die. Thank God.

OK...this is getting a bit long winded. Let me get some fresh air and I'll come back with Part Two soon. (I know you're totally sitting on the edge of your seat!)

Thursday, October 12, 2006


It's fucking snowing. Right now, outside my basement window at work, it's fucking snowing.

Today is October 12th. I heard reports all year long that this is going to be a mild winter. That the ozone something-or-other was falling apart and that we were going to be the Miami of the north (slight exaggeration).

Why then? Tell me why is it snowing right this fucking moment? I didn't even wear a jacket to work today. I don't have a snow brush in my car. Will it "stick" to my car? I don't know. Will it be slippery later? Probably.

I hate the snow. I hate driving in the snow. The ONLY thing I like about snow is the way it looks on Christmas morning.

It is not Christmas morning, damnit. Damn it!

We all do it.

Some do it more than others. I do it at least three times a day. My Grandmother has even confessed that she does it... We bitch.

Life sometimes seems like an endless bitchfest. Doesn't it? Try this experiment - sit in a mall or a park or an airport (sit anywhere) and, while you're people watching, eavesdrop on them...listen to what they're saying:

In the mall it will be "ahh, my fucking feet hurt" or "that woman at the checkout counter was a real cunt"; in the park it will be "those goddamn dog-owners, why can't they pick up their shit" or "it's really cold out here, you should have told me it was cold so I would have brought my jacket"; in the airport it will be "I don't know why we have to get here 2 hours before take-off, that's just ridiculous...now we have all this fucking time to stand around and do nothing" or "I can't believe they made me throw away my perfume...yeah, I mean, I know they said not to bring it in your carry-on but I thought that was just for the terrorists...that perfume cost me $75!"

Now, I'm not saying that these aren't all valid complaints. They might be. Why, however, do we have the urge to vocalize everything that's bothering us? Is it so people can better understand why we're miserable? Is it because we need to "release the pressure"? Do we like to make others believe that our life is worse than theirs?

I used to have a friend (some of you know this person) who I called "poisonous". She totally was/is. It could be a beautiful sunny day and she would say "it's too bright out". I would take her to dinner, a restaurant of HER choosing, and she would say "I don't like anything on the menu". No matter what it was...if I said black she would say white. Don't get me wrong...it wasn't even that we bumped heads all the time...If she said black, she would immediately change her mind and say white. Honest to God! I used to think she had mental problems (maybe she did)...but now I think she just really enjoyed bitching.

I don't have an answer to this. I don't know if there is one. I just felt like bitching about it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I don't see it...

Halloween without Pumpkins...

...Is like Christmas without snow.

Now, I don't mean to suggest that there are NO pumpkins - there are just very few of them. Apparently there is a Great Pumpkin Shortage this year. This kinda bums me out.

I LOVE to carve a few pumpkins every year. I buy pattern books, I carve my house numbers into one, I even carve pumpkins and give one to my Grandmother. The fact is, however, that pumpkins are going to cost much more this year...I think.

Here's an excerpt from an article in Time Magazine:

There will be no Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown--not this Halloween. The spring's severe rains and the summer's extreme heat have devastated the 2006 pumpkin crop in the East and much of the Midwest. "There is a real pumpkin shortage," says Jim Geohegan, owner of Sunshine Farm in Sherborn, Mass., who estimates his harvest will be just 12 tons of pumpkins this year, down from the typical 70. Pumpkin prices are up all over the country--in some places as much as 50% higher than they were last fall. And some farmers who run pick-your-own patches are even importing pumpkins and placing them in the fields to ensure customers will have something to "harvest" and carve before Oct. 31. Of course, as every kid can tell you, a lack of jack-o'-lanterns can't kill the true Halloween spirit. After all, there's no shortage of chocolate or candy corn.

Chocolate and candy corn is one thing. I don't go trick-or-treating (or at least that's what I tell my neighbors) so that doesn't console me.

Don't get me wrong...I'll probably go and shell out $30 on pumpkins just because I really want to. I need to...

I'll be really pissed if it doesn't snow on Christmas. Really pissed.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fran Landis' Turkey Chili.

OK...I totally don't intend for this to be a recipe blog. Honest. However...I have to share one more yummy soup recipe with you.

Fran Landis, the musical director for FORUM, made a very tasty turkey chili for our company meal a few weeks ago. Now, if you read my post about the corn chowder, you know that I like chili and that I was actually hoping to make chili that infamous night. Her recipe is SO easy and SO tasty. She was kind enough to share it with me.

Listen...I bought these ingredients tonight and anyone can make it. It cost about $8 total and made enough to feed 4 people 2 bowls each. Here's it is, in Fran's words:

These are the exact ingredients I used, including brand names, but you can obviously use similar products of your choosing.

1 pound ground turkey
1 17.6-oz. jar Goya brand Mild Pico de Gallo Salsa
1 15.5-oz. can Goya Premium Black Beans
2 8-oz.cans Hunt no salt added tomato sauce
Frozen corn

Brown turkey. Add Pico De Gallo, beans and sauce. Cook until hot, then add frozen corn to your liking, as well as chili powder and ground cumin to taste. (You can add some sliced baby carrots if you wish, also.)

For the Kavinoky gang, I doubled the recipe and used one can of Goya Great Northern Beans in addition to the can of Black Beans. I didn't have any cumin, so I omitted it.

So, try it. You'll like it. Mmm...autumn weather is the best time for soup.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Der änderung.

Es unterhält, wie unsere Leben auf einer täglichen Grundlage ändern können. Um vollständig ehrlich zu sein, würde es schrecklich sein wenn dieses nicht zutreffend waren. Der Grund, den ich über dieses heute schreibe, ist jedoch, weil ich ein besseres Verständnis „der änderung“ habe und warum es notwendig ist.

Manchmal erhalte ich „in einer Furche“ gehaftet und ich erkläre mich, daß ich dort gehöre. Ich versuche nicht, eine Furche zu verlassen; Ich suche nicht jemand, um mir zu helfen, eine Furche zu verlassen; Ich bleibe gerade in der Furche. Jetzt… wünsche ich dich nicht denken, daß ich glaube, wie ich in einer Furche gewesen bin, weil die nicht zutreffend ist. Was jedoch zutreffend ist ist, daß ich „änderung“ weggedrückt habe. Die ist nie eine gute Sache.

Ich erkläre, über was „änderung“ ich eine andere Zeit sprechen. Für jetzt würde ich wirklich beeindruckt, wenn jeder, den ich weiß, dieses sogar lesen kann. Wie ist das für änderung? Ich denke, ich entschieden habe, daß ich auf Deutsch ab sofort schreiben werde.

Wurde nicht, das Spaß ist?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Musical Feast.

Charles Haupt, renowned violinist and former concert master for the BPO, has gathered some amazing musicians to perform tonight at The Kav. They're calling this series "A Musical Feast" and it really, truly is amazing.

We had a concert last March and it was well attended and critically praised. I know that this is short notice but, if you'd like to hear some world-famous musicians, come on down.

This is not a Kavinoky production, however. This means that I cannot get you tickets. It starts at 8:00 and the cost is $25.

Just thought I'd throw this "out there".

Hannibal Lecter.

OK, I am VERY excited about this. Hannibal Lecter is coming back in BOTH book and film. On December 5, 2006, Thomas Harris' newest book, Hannibal Rising, is going to be released. On February 9, 2007, the film version will be released. I can not wait.

To say that I'm obsessed with this cannibal would be an understatement. I love him. I read The Silence of the Lambs the week after I watched the movie. I literally waited in line for Hannibal to come out (I bought it in book and book-on-tape formats). I read Red Dragon in 2 days (yes, I know it was the FIRST book to come out, I just didn't read them in order.) I have the movies, I have the soundtracks, I've even met Anthony Hopkins (I acted like a little girl on speed, it took me completely by surprise.) Note: I am a little pissed by the way that he's not going to be in this film but, that's another story all together.

Here's what the elusive "they" have to say on the book:


Hannibal Lecter emerges from the nightmare of the Eastern Front, a boy in the snow, mute, with a chain around his neck.

He seems utterly alone, but he has brought his demons with him.

Hannibal’s uncle, a noted painter, finds him in a Soviet orphanage and brings him to France, where Hannibal will live with his uncle and his uncle’s beautiful and exotic wife, Lady Murasaki.

Lady Murasaki helps Hannibal to heal. With her help he flourishes, becoming the youngest person ever admitted to medical school in France.

But Hannibal’s demons visit him and torment him. When he is old enough, he visits them in turn.

He discovers he has gifts beyond the academic, and in that epiphany, Hannibal Lecter becomes death’s prodigy.

A new novel by Thomas Harris author of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS to be published by the Bantam Dell Publishing Group on December 5, 2006

Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the physician and monster who has fascinated millions, will return in HANNIBAL RISING, a new novel by Thomas Harris to be published by Delacorte Press in North America on December 5, 2006. Irwyn Applebaum, President and Publisher of the Bantam Dell Publishing Group, announced the highly anticipated publication today.

"Thomas Harris has written the most compelling psychological suspense of our time," Applebaum said, "and each of his novels has been an event. In Dr. Hannibal Lecter, he has gone beyond creating a master villain to present one of the most irresistibly brilliant and disturbing characters in all of literature. Now, in HANNIBAL RISING, readers will at last learn of Lecter's beginnings and will see the evolution of his evil."

It is the fourth book dealing with the Doctor, who first appeared in RED DRAGON, and subsequently in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and HANNIBAL. All were multimillion copy bestsellers in the U.S. and Canada. HANNIBAL was a number one New York Times hardcover and paperback bestseller, with sales of nearly 1.5 million hardcovers for Delacorte in 1999 and more than three million Dell paperbacks.

Thomas Harris has written the screenplay for HANNIBAL RISING. The film, a Dino De Laurentis Company production of a Weinstein Company presentation, is being theatrically distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) in the United States in February, 2007. All of Harris' other novels have been made into major motion pictures, including THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which won Academy Awards® for Best Picture, Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director.

HANNIBAL RISING will also be published simultaneously as a Random House Audiobook, read by the author on CD and cassette, and as a Random House Large Print Edition. The Bantam Dell Publishing Group is a division of Random House, Inc.

If you're insane like me, visit Thomas Harris' website and sign-up for updates. (I'm sure I'll publish them here too.)

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Corn Chowder Recipe.

It truly is one of my favorite things. I love me some good corn chowder. This recipe, albeit very tasty, was born out of a lack of ingredients. I really wanted to make chili...I was in the mood for it. However, I didn't have any ground beef, or tomato sauce, or beans, or chili spices. (I was pissed but also too lazy to go to Wegmans.) I was determined, nonetheless, to make a hearty stick-to-your-ribs soup. I reevaluated the contents in my pantry.

I had potatoes, canned corn, creamed corn, and chicken stock. I threw it all in a pot and it was rather tasty...not perfect...but tasty. I was determined to try again. And I did, the next day.

I went to Wegmans and strolled through the aisles. Thinking of what tastes good to me. I picked up a few things and tried again. This time I liked it a lot. And I haven't really deviated from this recipe since. It's very easy and rather inexpensive to make. (I've actually made this a relatively labor-free recipe, too.) If you're up for it, give it a try and let me know what you think.


  • 4 cans, sliced new potatoes
  • 1 bag, frozen sweet corn
  • 2 cans, creamed corn
  • 1 jar, Nance's corn relish (this is key...find in the condiment section)
  • 1 small-medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp., butter
  • 1 package, Jimmy Dean's Spicy Sausage (optional but RECOMMENDED)
  • 16 oz., chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 8 oz., heavy cream (milk will do, but this is much richer)
  • In a large, soup pot (dutch oven), over med-high heat, melt butter and carmalize the onion.
  • In a separate pan, cook the sausage, drain. Add to the soup pot with the onions.
  • Coarsly chop (I do this right in the can) the potatoes. Drain.
  • Add ALL of the remaining ingredients, as listed, into the pot.
  • Heat through, completely, uncovered. This takes about 90 minutes or so.
  • Season to taste with salt.
I like it a LOT. This is perfect on a cold day. It takes almost NO time to prepare and I have been able to purchase all of these ingredients for about $10. It serves about 6 as a main dish...unless you're like me and eat the whole pot in a day or so. It reheats really well, too.

Mmm. Mmm. Good.

I should buy stock in Kleenex...

I have a cold. An annoying cold. It's the sort of cold that could possibly not be a cold but you know it's a cold because people tell you it's a cold...and I sorta feel like shit. But, in a very strange way, I wish it were a real doozy of a cold. You know, the kind that has you puking and hacking and sweating. Because then I would have something to bitch about. I mean, who really feels bad for someone with a stuffy nose and sinus pressure? If I had a bad cold, I could call in sick to work and not feel guilty about it.

And why do they call it a cold? My mother always said that it was because I went out into the cold without proper attire. I have this book, Why Do Men Have Nipples?, and it says this about that:

Does Wet or Cold Weather Cause a Cold?
A friend once called to ask if she could have caught a cold from touching a goat at a petting zoo. This is not a common question, but many people do ask if any of the following things can cause a cold: sleeping in front of an open window; getting a chill; sleeping in front of a fan; getting caught in the rain; sleeping with a wet goat in front of a fan in the rain. The answer is no. Cold or wet weather does not cause a cold, but nobody seems to want to accept this. The common cold is caused by a virus. These viruses are everywhere and it is difficult to avoid them. When you are exposed to someone who has a cold, you are more likely to get ill yourself, so be careful about close contact and definitely wash your hands. Not getting enough sleep or eating poorly can also reduce your resistance to infection. Remember that antibiotics won't fight your everyday cold. Antibiotics work only against bacteria. To take care of a cold - rest, eat well, and a little chicken soup couldn't hurt.

So, that's that.

I think I'm going to take a hot shower, put on my slippers and eat some chicken soup.