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Last Visit 2014-07-25 14:08:19 |Start Date 2004-06-22 03:13:06 |Comments 51 |Entries 101 |Images 115 |SWF 2 |

08/06/06 11:22 - 77ºF - ID#27732

Little Miss Sunshine

So tonight I saw Little Miss Sunshine, which I have wanted to see since the trailer first came out. Anyway, I totally loved it. It reminded me a little bit of the summer vacations I used to take with my grandpa and cousin. The most random things used to happen to us and leaving me with a lot of good stories to look back on. I don't know why, but I love super-awkward characters in movies. For some reason, scenes that make me squirm with embarrassment are really enjoyable. The same thing kind of goes for me in real life. I've always found socially awkward people really endearing. I think it's because I feel like that all the time myself, so I can identify with the struggle and embarrassment. Anyway, the point of this rambling post was to recommend that when Little Miss Sunshine opens in Buffalo ((e:Mike) said it's not out yet?) everyone should see it. The audience I was part of applauded at the end so I feel pretty secure in suggesting it. That's all for now... enjoy!
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Permalink: Little_Miss_Sunshine.html
Words: 181
Location: Tonawanda, NY


07/31/06 11:57 - 79ºF - ID#27731

Why is my job so boring now?

I'm at work and I'm bored. There's nothing to do right now and it's hard to sit here when it's so sunny out. Maybe I can make up some little projects for myself... although that would require more motivation than I expect to have today. We'll see.

So the past couple weeks have been rough, sort of. Now, however, I'm all moved in to my new condo and I really like to people in the building. I think that the hard times are passing (knock on wood for me when you read that). Yesterday we all spent hours weeding our front yard and cleaning up the back of the house. There are exciting ideas swirling around about getting a table and chairs and some tiki lights for our back and having weekly cookouts. Since we haven't gotten the table and chairs yet, we just pulled the grill to the front and ate on our porch last night. Okay, it was little white trash (especially with about 10 cans of garbage by the curb for pick-up) but it was fun. A couple of our neighbors even came over to introduce themselves and one couple brought us champagne (much nicer than a casserole!).

My apartment is also coming along pretty well. I love the colors I painted on all the walls. I really had no confidence in any of my decorating decisions before but now I realize that even if it's not stylish I can definitely say it's me. It's nice to sit on my couch and look around and take a big happy breath. I've definitely been doing some of the "I live alone" staples, too. I walk around naked, leave the bathroom door open and have 25 pairs of only my shoes by the door. It's lovely. Still I'm only partially used to all the alone time. That will come, I hope.

Anyway, I hope everyone is well. It's a nice feeling when all the growing pains that come with big changes subside for a little while. I hope this reprieve lasts long enough for me to catch my breath... and enjoy some of the nice (rain-free) weather.

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Permalink: Why_is_my_job_so_boring_now_.html
Words: 356
Location: Tonawanda, NY


07/18/06 01:05 - 79ºF - ID#27730

Bad Week

This is the most miserable week and it's only Tuesday. First with what happened this weekend and now everything else. It seems like everything bad and crazy happens at once and then for weeks there is nothing going on and that makes me crazy too. I guess I'm pretty hard to please.

Work is nuts because of the feds coming to audit us. We've known about this for over a month so all of my reports have been done for a while. Of course the other people in my office are running around all day trying to throw things together for Friday. I know I shouldn't be pissed by it makes me so mad that we have this huge grant and they're putting it at risk because they can't get their shit together. We've been doing good work but you wouldn't know it from the shoddy work they're doing now. Plus, I've been spending all my time working of their stuff. What the hell.

Also I have to move this week. I hate packing and that's probably because I suck at it. I have a million boxes filled and still half my stuff left. It's a big mess and having stuff out of place makes my anal self feel totally crazy.

And it's unbelievably hot... but my office is freezing.

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Permalink: Bad_Week.html
Words: 220
Location: Tonawanda, NY


07/17/06 12:31 - 78ºF - ID#27729

So disheartened

Sometimes people can be so disappointing. I can't believe I let myself trust someone that I hardly knew so much that I completely ignored all the signals that they would hurt me. Now I feel unsafe and betrayed and it's really all my fault. I'm not safe because I don't protect myself and I couldn't be betrayed if I chose the right people to trust.

I am so naïve sometimes that it scares me.

The worst part is that I don't want to confront him for fear that they might feel embarrassed or ashamed. Why can't I bear it if he feels bad after what he did? And why do I still feel obligated to help him? Why do I feel like I'd let myself down if I don't stay the course? This is insane.

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Permalink: So_disheartened.html
Words: 136
Location: Tonawanda, NY


07/15/06 10:16 - 75ºF - ID#27728

A good week home

I can't believe how many pictures I took while I was home for just a week. I guess it makes it feel like longer when I look back and I have 100+ photos of my friends and fam from this summer. Here are just a couple of the ones I took.

First the 4th of July at Riverside...
Before the Fireworks
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Mike and Dave during the show
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Our great fire
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Mike and Teres at the beach
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Last Saturday was the perfect summer day. Mike, Teres and I went to the Taste of BUffalo in the morning. After we came back Jill joined us at my house and we went into the hottub and then sat outside chatting. In the evening we went to Kenmore Days to see the best fireworks show ever.

Taken by Mike in my backyard
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What a face
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Sun-bathing beauties
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If I was going to be home for only a week this summer I'm so glad I picked that week. Mike was off of work for most of the time and Teres didn't start her job yet. Being home really isn't the same if I can't spend most of my time with my friends. Thanks everyone for making my time home so great :)

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Permalink: A_good_week_home.html
Words: 240
Location: Tonawanda, NY


07/05/06 10:28 - 65ºF - ID#27727

Celebrating the 4th

Yesterday was a very enjoyable 4th of July for me. I spent the day with my mom cleaning her car. She had not be exposed to the wonders of Oxyclean before so I had a lot to teach her. Then I went to a bbq at (e:beast)'s house. There was so much freakin food! Seriously since I've been home (which has only been 4 days) I have eaten more than all of the previous days this summer combined. Ugh... it's all so good but then again I feel so gross after. After the food we went to the Riverside carnival and got... more food. (e:beast) and I shared funnel cake, (e:jill) and jim got fried dough, and (e:mike) and (e:libertad) got a pretzel and (e:diana) and matt got something that I can't remember. My point: mooooore food. The fireworks were hopefully just a warm up for Kenmore Days, which was an extravaganza last year, because they were a bit uninspired. Still it was fun to watch them with lots of people. FInally to end the evening we had a fire in (e:beast)'s back yard and made s'mores. Making the fire was much more challenging than lighting the girl (who would have thought?). We could have used (e:jessbob) to help us. All in all, it was a very fun 4th. Thanks (e:beast) for hosting! I took about a million pictures so maybe I'll post a couple choice ones later. I know I have some goodies :)
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Permalink: Celebrating_the_4th.html
Words: 252
Location: Tonawanda, NY


07/03/06 10:24 - 72ºF - ID#27726

Home in the Buff

I am officially on vacation and home in Buffalo. Since I got home on Thursday night it's been pretty busy. On Friday, (e:beast) and I got up super early to go to (e:Jessbob)'s graduation in Syracuse, successfully missing the tornado. How crazy that there would be a tornado! Anyway, the graduation was kind of long and boring but the whole trip was fun and it was worth it to see Jesse.

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On Friday, (e:beast) and I went out and (e:mike) joined up later. I forgot what going out with (e:beast) can be like since she always has crazy goals for the evening and likes to be dared to do wild things. So not like me at all, so it's fun to witness. As for my goals for this week in buffalo, I need to go to the beach (pray for rain-free days!), go to Taste of Buffalo, see Mary and Nana, and of course go to fireworks on the 4th! Coming home is always so great but a week isn't long enough and things feel a little bit rushed. Hopefully I'll get to do lots of stuff so that I feel like I got my fill.

Before I left Boston I had the most brilliant idea for my neighbors. I found a person I thik will be perfect to live with them when I move but in the meantime I've been worried about them whenever I'm gone. Their set-up of living in two different apartments is risky because if one of them falls or needs help the other may night come across the hall for hours. So when I was at work one day I thought of the perfect thing for them: walkie talkies! I went to radio shack and got them a set with a 5 mile range, little belt clips and no fancy buttons. When I brought them over, it was a huge successful. I spent the night sitting in their apartment listening to them talk to each other through the walkie talkies while both sitting in their living room, haha. It was so funny to hear the things they would say to each other just because they were using walkie talkies. They recited poetry, Beatrice called Nathan "old chap," it was too cute. It reminded me of when my Grandpa got his first cell phone a long time ago and used to call my Grandma when she was in the kitchen and he was upstairs. They thought it was hysterical. Anyway, I think they might actually use the radios so I finally feel like I've had success in something.

Anyway, it's good to be home. I hope this week goes by slooooowly.

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Permalink: Home_in_the_Buff.html
Words: 453
Location: Tonawanda, NY


06/26/06 02:27 - 78ºF - ID#27725

Rain, rain, go away!

I swear it has been raining here for a million days in a row. I feel like I've come home sogging and gross every day for months. It's uncomfortable to wear shorts and sandals, even though it's hot out. If it rains in Buffalo when I'm home next week, we'll know it's me.

Anyway, work has been so stressful lately. My normall autonomous job has become totally prescribed ever day because the feds are coming in a month. The research I'm working on right now evaluates the Head Start program to determine if it adequately meets the needs of "high-risk" populations in Boston. Without doing this, I could pretty much tell you the answer. Nonetheless, our work is interesting and feels very much tied to practical concerns. It's really not my style of analysis and data collection but we have a huge population and a lot of federal money so I think it will be fruitful. And the money leads me to "the feds" and their visit. It's so frustrating because they won't tell us ahead of time what they want to look at when they come, so we end up preparing a million reports and wasting lots of time. One group that came just wanted to know how we were using the money. Another group that came one time wanted to know preliminary findings that seems solid so that they could start to implement changes in the program before we finish the project (it's going to go on for 3 years). It's very hard to plan for a presentation when you don't know the point of the visit!

Besides work being busy, home has been busy too. I've been spending most of my free time with my neighbors lately. They have agreed to let me find them another student to live in their apartment. In the meantime I'm helping out until I move. Honestly, being with them is helping me learn a lot about myself. They challenge me by requiring that I relate to a different time and mentality. Beatrice also challenges my patience and understanding. Her depression has led her to make unkind comments towards me in the past week. At first I was totally devasted by the things she said. She didn't mean them in a cruel way but I was still heartbroken. My grandmother has behaved in the same way since my grandfather's death so I've dealt with these feelings before. Still it was so hard for me to accept that I can't change her feelings, make her happier, or have everyone like me. Her husband has only gotten more wonderful while she has been getting worse. I brought them cake two days ago and today he returned my plate with a note asking if he can be my "honorary grandfather... or would that be great-grandfather?" haha. In the past couple days I've been getting better dealing with Beatrice too. I've decided to be cheerful when I'm hurt and accommodating when she's unhappy. I now know that she doesn't like her tea very hot (something to do with an article she read about chinese men getting stomach cancer or something) and she doesn't like when I wear flip-flops. Such little things are easy to handle so that's how I'm going to tackle it from now on. One little things to make things easier at a time.
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Permalink: Rain_rain_go_away_.html
Words: 559
Location: Tonawanda, NY


06/21/06 05:44 - 73ºF - ID#27724

You've got questions, I've got answers

People:
1. How did you find out about/why did you become of estrip?
I heard about it through (e:Mike) at the beginning but began my journal years later.

2. How "out" are you about having a publicly accessible online journal. Do your friends know? Does your family know? Do your co-workers know? Does your boss know? Do you use your real name? Do you use your real photo?

I use my real name and real pictures of myself and friends. All of my Buffalo friends know about my journal but only one of my friends from college has seen it. My mother has a vague conception of what this is but that's as far as she'll get I think.

3. How many epeeps have you met real life?


Not many that I didn't already know because I've been away as school almost all of the time since I started my journal. I would always like to meet more of the people whose lives I read about daily.

4. How has estrip changed the way that you meet people, on and/or off line?    

No. However, if I were home more I think that might be different.

5. How has estrip affected you love life?    


No.

6. How many of your friends have joined estrip because of your influence?

I don't think anyone has joined because of me.

7. Are you from Buffalo/do you live in Buffalo?

I'm from Buffalo and I consider it to be my permanent address but I currently live in Cambridge, MA.

Equipment:

1. What type of hardware or software purchases have you made as a result of using estrip?

None.

2. Have you used the mobile version of estrip? Why or why not?    

No, I don't really access the internet from my phone.

Lifestyle:
1. In what way has estrip changed your Internet surfings habits? Describe the amount of time you spend on estrip, when you use it and about how long?

I probably spend 20-30 minutes a day (on average) reading other people's journals. Writing one of my own probably takes me a little longer than that. Usually I do it at night before I got to bed or when I don't have anything to do at work or am between classes.

1a. How many journals do you usually read per day?    


I usually skim the 12 most recent journals, read the ones of my friends, and then check a couple favorite "strangers".

2. In what ways has estrip changed the way you perceive your local community?    

It reminds me how much I miss home while I'm away at school. It's easy to forget how much fun it is to be home. Since the summer started I've been reading everyone's journals and realizing how much I love Buffalo in the warm weather and how much there is to do. It also keeps me up to date with some of the issues going on at home since so many people on the site are politically-minded.

3. How has journaling about your life affected the way you spend your free time?


I don't think I've changed the activities I do but I do take pictures of things sometimes because I know I want to share them on the site. I probably would not have documented certain things before writing my journal.

4. Has estrip changed your living situation in any way?    


No.

5. Do you find that you mediate/document more of your experiences now that you share them with others?    

Answered this in question 3.

6. Has publishing on estrip affected the way that write?    

I don't have many opportunities to write in a non-academic way so I think I write a little worse on here than I normally would. It's also a completely different still because for my field the goal is to be concise and clear. Here I tend to write long sentences that are not very clear at all.

7. Do you have other online journals? If so, with what service and has estrip affected your usage of that journal?

No.

8. Have you ever gotten in trouble for using estrip at work?

No.

9. If you have stopped using estrip, why?

I've never officially stopped but there have been times that I've gone months without updating my journal. This was probably due to feeling busy or not thinking that there was anything interesting going on to share. There have been a few occasions where I didn't feel like I sharing things with the people I am friends with on the site so I just chose to stop writing for a while. However, I have never stopped visiting estrip or reading other people's journals.

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Permalink: You_ve_got_questions_I_ve_got_answers.html
Words: 774
Location: Tonawanda, NY


06/18/06 09:43 - 85ºF - ID#27723

Neighbors

Yesterday my 94 year old neighbor Beatrice Keyfitz fell. Her husband, who is 97, came knocking on my door to ask me to help her get up. When I went into their apartment she was on her back and so upset with herself. Luckily she was ok and I just sat their holding her up and trying not to move her until the EMTs came. After 3 firemen and two teams of EMTs came and looked her over they helped her up and decided that she might be a little bruised but that nothing was broken. Since she declined a trip to the hospital everyone left and all the commotion was over. I ended up staying with them all night because I was scared that Bea might have fallen because she was dizzy and something else would happen again.

Their set-up is really unique. They live in two apartments, one across the hall from the other, on my floor. I think they need two because they have so much crap! I mean combined they had a long time to accumulate stuff! They both use walkers and move slower than mud when they cross from one apartment to another. I've never seen them leave the building although they have friends visit fairly often and they use the elevator daily to get their newspapers. Mr Keyfitz orders at least 3 packages a week from amazon and he receives newsletters and books from all around the world. He was a professor of demography at Harvard and on the committee to select Nobel Prize winners. He could speak 6 languages once but he's forgetten 3 at this point. He still does Tai Chi and is trying to get me to join him "because it works miracles." He is also taking his first piano lesson ever next week. Mrs. Keyfitz is an amazing musician and a linguist herself. She has perfect pitch (or so she says) and can hear music when she looks at notes. She's more pensive than Mr. Keyfitz but she's really very kind. I sat with them for so long last night I know their entire history. All their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. The stories of how they got married and how their parents came to America. They are truly remarkable people.

After spending so much time with them I went to check-up on them today and asked them if I could look into Lifeline for them. It's this thing my grandmother has that you wear around your neck and if you fall or need assistance you press the little button and a central office is called. The person asks if you're ok over a loud speaker and then they call relatives or 911 if you need it. They gave me permission to find out about it when I gave them the info they thought it might be too expensive. It breaks my heart that people need to worry about money when it comes to their health and safety. Anyway, I called a couple places to see if I could apply for Medicaid for them because it covers Lifeline. We'll see what happens.

In the meantime, Mr Keyfitz came to me this afternoon and asked me to live with them! He was so sweet. He said I could have one of their apartments and eat all my meals with them (or without if I preferred) and I wouldn't have to pay anything. All they want is someone to do an hour or two of errands for them a day. I've been sick all day because I feel so sorry that I can't help them like that. I have a place to live...we bought a condo. Plus I couldn't take one of their apartments just for an hour of work. I told him I would be extremely appreciative if he'd let me come over and spend an hour with them most days eventhough I can't live with them. They are fascinating people and Beatrice is a bit depressed lately so I like cheering her up. He said he couldn't ask me to help them if they couldn't do something for me. Basically, I'll come no matter what after I move in a month. I think they'll be happy to see me even if they say they don't want to impose. My heart is just broken because I would love to be able to take care of them and give them the security and companionship of having someone around. Luckily, even after 70 years of marriage (!!) they still enjoy each other so much that they aren't lonely. I'm so fortunate to have met such extraordinary people and now that it's almost time to move out I feel so sad that I won't living next door to them anymore.

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Permalink: Neighbors.html
Words: 786
Location: Tonawanda, NY


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mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...