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05/29/08 07:52 - 45ºF - ID#44483

Carlo's Cantina, Canada, Car, Countdown

Yesterday, (e:Uncutsaniflush) and i both had the day off. We decided to spend it in Canada.

Our plans were slightly delayed (more on that shortly), so we went directly from Buffalo to lunch. We found this wonderful place, Carlos Cantina a while back. I dunno why we haven't shared pictures and our very biased opinion about this place sooner. I think i am going to send Bill Rapaport a positive review.

Much to the chagrin of the waitress (co-owner? manager?), we took pictures of our half eaten food. But we totally could not wait to dive in.

I had Juan's Taquitos, vegetarian, of course. So perfect. Potatoes with veggies rolled up in a flour shell and fried. Could not be better with a dab of sour cream and a bit of picco. The guacamole is as good as i have ever had a in restaurant -- full of flavour without that hint of bitter aftertaste i have had in some.

(e:Uncutsaniflush) had the Flautas Doradas with chicken, if i remember correctly. Corn torillas with chicken, rolled up and fried, sour cream, cheese and sauce on top.

Both served with the best chips and salsa -- 3 to choose from, hot, mild and verde.

(e:Uncutsaniflush) had a margarita, too. Says it was good... fresh limes were used, it smelled like to me.

After lunch, we went for a drive. Found a nice antique place. Meandered along the waterfront. Drove slowly through the falls. Stopped at the botanical gardens beside the Butterfly Conservatory. Very nice. Not fully in bloom just yet, but still gorgeous.

Of course, while there, this is the set of pictures i took. Plants? What are those when one of these is around?!?



So, back to the reason we were delayed. We bought me a car yesterday. Yep. I pick it up tomorrow after the dealer does all the dmv plates stuff and inspection and fixing a coupla minor things. It's an old car, a '97 Saturn SL2, but, it is my first car, and it was inexpensive... and... wow, i own a car! Two months ago, i didn't even have a driver's license!! We ended up being delayed because the old guy, aka "Grandpa" told us the place opened at 9am the next morning. But, they open at 10am. And his son, Paul, wouldn't be there until about 10.30. Then, we had to go to the insurance agent, and they were surprisingly busy. But, we got it done. All i need to do now is get a cashier's check for the balance and pick it up tomorrow. I promise to post pictures of her.

And, the countdown. Today is my last shift at Sally Beauty!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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05/26/08 06:50 - 69ºF - ID#44456

Screw You, You're New

In every other city i have lived in, if the roads are going to be closed for any reason, there are signs ahead of time, warning of just such a closure.

Every year in Hamilton, there's a cycling road race that closes off a great number of streets. The signs start popping up about 6 weeks in advance. Same goes for London... sheesh, if anything there is closed down, the Queen had to come make, bless or knight the sign herself.

Not so in Buffalo... or Kenmore. Seems the Memorial Day parade is famous. To everyone but someone new... or newish enough to never have needed to drive up Delaware on Memorial Day.

Had the same experience downtown once. There was some foot race, marathon, or half marathon. Never did find out what it was, since all we knew is that we could not go anywhere and there were people with hand made signs saying "stop" standing in the middle of a downtown intersection.

I guess a sign would be redundant to locals... who cares about tourism or new residents!
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05/25/08 10:09 - 60ºF - ID#44449

New, Used or Beater?

Now that i have a license and a job that will take me out to West Seneca every day, (e:Uncutsaniflush) and i are wondering if we should add a vehicle to our family.

So, the next question arises. Do we get a new, newish or old beat up car?

I read your reply to (e:Mrmike)'s journal, (e:imk2), regarding Hyundai, even which dealership. We might look into that. What are their resale value like? Any good?

I think i would actually not want to get my dream car right away... being a new driver, what would i do if i even got a ding? Probably faint. So, no bright orange Mini Cooper for me just yet... *heavy sigh*

Anyone know of a good used car lot around here? Something i could take a look at some cheap but reliable beaters?
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05/21/08 04:20 - 45ºF - ID#44411

Background Check

For my new job, i need to accomplish several tasks so that they can make sure i have been an upstanding citizen.

On Monday, i was fingerprinted. Cool. Got that done when i moved to this country. No more ink pads these days -- my finger tips were scanned.

I have given my social security number on forms repeatedly (ok, i get that they want it, that is totally cool, but on a 4 page document, do they really need it at the top, bottom and middle of every page?). I have filled out the exact same forms 3 times now. All 5 multi-page forms.

Right now, however, i am stuck on something that is needed for my background check.

This is what the information sheet says:
"You will need to provide your current address and all other addresses at which you resided since 1973. If you turned 18 after 1973, you need only provide addresses from the year you turned 18 to present. Complete addresses are required, including the number, street, city, state and zip code, and the number of years you resided at each address. You must be sure that there are no periods of time unaccounted for. This is requires for State Central Register Clearance and Child Abuse Prevention Act forms."

Right now, i am stuck at 1996(ish), -- age 27(ish) unable to remember what the street address of an apartment building i lived at is.

In an email to my mom, she said i have moved around so much, she has had to replace the sheet of paper in the wee loose leaf binder she uses as an address book because i have used up "at least 2 sheets".

I just called and left a message with my oldest friend, Mark. He lived in the same building, so maybe he has a memory... or old address book.
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05/18/08 02:30 - 48ºF - ID#44386

Sad News

Yesteday, Tux, one of the rats we adopted from the SPCA died. I was expecting it. The vet told us to be on guard with her, that she might develop pneumonia and gave us the specifics of the symptoms, but also said that she is an old girl and may not live too much longer. We knew it when we adopted her that she was old.

She was not showing any signs of being sick, just old. Getting a bit clumsy, a bit thin, moving slower. On Thursday, i knew i needed to keep an eye on her, she had fallen out of her hammock getting in or out a few days earlier, moving slowly, being a bit more of a Stumbleina. So, if she didn't show signs of getting generally better, we were going to risk the shock to her to take her to the vet... but she didn't live long enough.

She was moving slow in the morning, as well as the few times i checked on her. My mom was visiting, (e:Uncutsaniflush) was home and she and i went to one of my mom's favie shops on Elmwood, Half and Half. When we left, she was there, head looking out the window of her little wooden house in her cage.

When we got back, us humans were chatting in the kitchen. Then, i got this sick feeling and ran to the cage. I don't know, exactly, when she died, but Tofu was there with her, laying over her, trying to keep her warm. I don't know what i did or said, but my mom and (e:Uncutsaniflush) came running.

I don't think her body was stone cold yet, but i am not the one that lifted her out, (e:Uncutsaniflush) did that. She is buried in our back yard, with some of her blankets (old torn towel pieces) with a big rock as a marker. Poor thing.

Tofu looks a bit confused, but i think she prefers having all the food to herself... the little piggie.
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05/16/08 12:47 - 58ºF - ID#44362


I just finished writing a letter to the manager of Sally Beauty Supply. Confirming our conversation of yesterday. That i gave my 2 week notice.

I got the state job. I still need to do some leg work (fingerprinting, shift and location decisions, and orientation) and the hope is the hiring freeze from Albany won't kick in until after all of us new hires are in the system....

I'm stunned and freaked and happy and nervous and all kinds of other emotions.

Mostly, right now, i am thrilled to give notice at my current place of employment!!
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05/15/08 09:20 - 46ºF - ID#44345

Invasion of the Stroller People

Now, i realize i am not a parent, so i may not fully understand the incredible work and sacrifice it is to care for a child 24 hours a day.

When i think about it, i am amazed that had i not been so sick, needing an emergency hysterectomy, the child i was carrying at that point would almost be 21.... and perhaps my opinions would be different.

Every time i am at the zoo, as (e:Uncutsaniflush) and i were yesterday, i look around in awe. What the hell is with all the strollers these days? I see children that are old enough to walk, knees practically hitting their chins to sit in strollers so mom can push them around.

I feel like an old fart saying this, but shit, when i was a kid, once i could walk, i walked. My dad might carry me if i got tired, but that was the point, to have me expend all of my childhood energy. What, exactly, is wrong with a tired child? An exercised child? Are we breeding a new generation of lazy people?

And now, i see these gianormous stroller things with all these "conveniences" like little bowls attached to the arms of the stroller so that the Cheerios and Goldfish can be at hands reach at all times. Huh? So, not only no exercise but more food? Is this to placate or because the child is actually hungry?

To add insult to injury, the adults that push these things around can be so inconsiderate and have such a sense of entitlement about them. At the zoo, they remove the child to get a good view and leave the stroller right up front blocking the view for everyone else. And not just for me, but for other children, sometimes not big enough to see round the 2 child stroller with S.U.V. attachment.

Maybe someone can make a model with power -- so we can have children watching dvd's and playing video games right there in the stroller!! With a little fridge, so the bottled water doesn't get cold and everything!!!
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05/06/08 11:38 - 59ºF - ID#44251

Reoccuring Nightmares

I wonder if the cycle of frustration with my teeth and dentists will ever end? Perhaps in a few years when i need to get dentures? *sigh*

I spent Sunday night with a searing toothache. Monday, the only appointment available was just before i was supposed to go to work. So, i took massive doses of over the counter pain pills (recommended in 24 hours, 4 pills; my intake in 24 hours, about 16) and drove myself to work.

Yes, you read that right. I drove myself to and from work. Was weird seeing our lil Toyota Prius sitting in the parking lot without (e:Uncutsaniflush) in it. I even went to the car and almost got in the passenger side. Old habits, i reckon.

Now, today, i have my dental appointment (no car, bus day *pout*) today at 1.30pm (Buffalo bus schedules suck, i need to leave at about 11.50am and get there by 1.00pm so i am not late). And would you believe no toothache? I guess i should just point to the giant gap where a filling (i think) used to be. My own fault for ignoring this gap for a few weeks... and for canceling the cleaning i had in October then not making a new one.

I am sure it will not be the only filling i need.

On to reoccuring frustration #2.

I do not know what my work schedule for next week is.

Ah, but that is just inviting trouble? Perhaps all the wee lil pains in my mouth in all the different places are not cavities? Perhaps i will be able to make an accurate guess what i will be scheduled to work based on weeks past?

Expect the worst... so that when it's not so bad, i will be happily surprised?
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