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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frankenstorm Fall-out (a.k.a. Sandy the SuperStorm)

It's Tuesday, the day after what was a pretty bad storm day for NYC, NJ and Washington DC (mainly the states on the Atlantic seaboard). Here in Fairport, there was minimal damage and lots of rain/wind, but truthfully, we've had worse wind and rain. There's been plenty of gusty wind over the years, and Jasper is my wind-o-meter because the the worse the wind gusts are, the more anxious he gets (which usually manifests itself with him sleeping "way up," plastered between Mark and I). Last night there was no real noticeable difference in his behavior, and we all slept soundly, undisturbed by the wind.

I'm told by a friend that Lake Ontario seemed like the Ocean yesterday, whipped up with large caps, which we don't usually see here. A couple of direct results of the storm:

  • Eve's departure was delayed from this morning tomorrow morning. The kids were supposed to leave today at 5am for a couple of days in NYC. That's not happening. Hopefully they can enjoy a couple of days in the Big Apple before they are scheduled to fly out Thursday night (I also wonder what will become their flight back to Shannon with all the cancellations and delays over the last two days). At least they'll have some interesting stories to tell about being in NY during the 'largest storm of the century.' They have a meeting this morning to determine next steps.
  • The kids are off school today. Fairport cancelled today's school around 3pm yesterday. I wonder if they're regretting that now as it is warm, calm and not raining out. Unless the weather take a turn for the worse today it's probably a wasted "snow day."
All in all, we escaped unscathed, except for a mess of branches and leaves on the lawn. My thoughts go out to those severely affected by the storm downstate and in the states bordering the Ocean. Stay safe, everyone!

2:37pm Update: Eve and the Irish kids are now leaving Fairport on Thursday. I'm not sure if that means early Thursday or Thursday afternoon. I'm also not sure if they plan to spend any time in NYC or when they're heading back to Ireland. Sounds like there's a lot I don't yet know...!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

(Not) Getting Ready For Frankenstorm

First of all. I love this storm's name. Frankenstorm. Huge, scary storm...scheduled to hit around Halloween? Get it? Genius!

Secondly, I wonder if all the meteorologists are getting everyone whipped up for another weather event, expected to hit the East Coast Monday and Tuesday, that may not live up to its hype beyond being a pretty bad storm. Already NYC and Boston schools are closed, businesses (and Broadway!) are closing, and the NYC subway system is shutting down for what's being called "the worst weather event EVER." Even Rochester residents are out in force stocking up on bread, milk, bread, water, etc. (The 'etc.' probably being beer and wine.) If you thought I hated going to Wegmans under regular conditions, you can believe I am not going anywhere near the place on the eve of what is touted as a catastrophic storm.

We are mainly wondering if the Ireland kids will be heading to NYC at 5am on Tuesday (on a bus) as planned. Then, if they get there will they be able to fly out on Friday? We've had such a pleasant visit with Eve we wouldn't mind having her for a couple of extra days, but I would feel bad if the kids did not get to experience New York as they had hoped since it was probably one of the major reasons that drew them to the exchange.  Even if they do get to New York I wondering if they'll be able to enjoy it, and see the sites if torrential rain and wildly blowing winds.

I also wonder what will become of our Halloween this year. I think I will hold off buying candy for one more day until they can predict what Wednesday night will look like because THE LAST THING I NEED IS SIX BAGS OF MY FAVORITE CANDY HANGING AROUND. The people of NYC are worried about flooding and winds, and I'm worried about the temptation to eat an entire bag of fun-sized Whoppers. We all have our problems.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Tough AP Bio Class

I've joked in the past that during Annalise's grade school, middle school, and high school year that I've had "a lot of homework" throughout the grades. Meaning: depending on the class, Annalisse sometimes needs a lot of academic help (at home), mostly in the form of study buddy support in preparation for upcoming tests and such. We generally build a PowerPoint presentation to review terms and concepts (modern day flash cards), and spend a lot of time in the upstairs porch/three-season room with the space heater blasting and a soft dog to lie on, as we memorize items for the upcoming test.

This year's AP Bio class has been a killer. Thankfully, Annalisse's other classes have not been that demanding because just about every night we are hunkered down, memorizing terms and reviewing bio-chemical processes. The class has been a huge challenge for her, with some successes and other not so great results, but she's holding her own. She is so determined to stick with the class, and to pass, and her perseverance has amazed her teacher and her advisor as well. Her thought is that if she wants to take biology as a major in college, she has to succeed at this class. We both agree that the rigor of this class will be much like the rigor of a college class, so it's great practice.True enough. But, man...these words and concepts are like another language to me. And every night - jeesh! That makes for not much of a life right now; but we keep plugging away.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Eve Arriveth

Our Irish student, Eve, is here!! The kids got in around 4pm, a weary looking bunch after, for many, what was a sleepless night and a full day of travel. She's very sweet, and doesn't think we're too weird (so far), with our "unusual" sense of humor and crazy family banter.

Once we got on our way from the airport everyone was getting hungry so we went to (where else??) Mulconry's Irish Pub in Fairport for dinner. The bartender, who was the owner Damien's brother, was from the same town/area as Eve, so they chatted a little. After a short walk Eve is trying to stay awake a little longer to make the jet lag adjustment a little easier. Then, it's off to school tomorrow and gearing up for a jam-packed week!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Libra Girls

The Libra Girls
JoAnn, Judy and Meg
Tomorrow we crest the Libra cusp and say goodbye to our favorite zodiak sign for another year (unbelievable).

Tonight, just in time to catch the last scent of Libra, my friends, JoAnn and Meg, and I got together for annual "libra dinner," a tradition that Meg says has been going on for 21 years (I can't remember those details so I leave it to her). For 21 years we've been having our special dinner, and it seems like they are getting more poignant as we age. JoAnn is in her mid-60s now, I'm almost you-know-what, and Meg is about four years younger than me.

I've known JoAnn since I was 21 and had just joined Nazareth, so we go "way back." Meg and I met when we worked together at Naz, and she took care of Cam for the first three years of his life and also Annalisse for a little while until she (Meg, not Annalisse) had to go back to work and give up childcare. They are great girls and it's so wonderful to catch up - it's like a year has not passed since the last time we saw each other.

So here's lots of love to my Libra girls: Meg and JoAnn! May the scales ever balance in your favor!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Loving Fall

Just thought I'd share a slice of fall on a beautiful, warm October day. We just got back from a two mile walk around the canal and I'm about to put cornbread in the oven to have with homemade chili for an early dinner.

I wish we could "bottle" days like this to relive over and over!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The View from Saturday

It's the weekend at last. Another long and tiring week which (my fatigue of which is greatly influenced by the shorter, drab days) leads into a busy weekend with the slight possibility of a nap, maybe sometime tomorrow..

Today we head to RIT for Homecoming/Parents weekend, which for us will mainly mean that we are going to see the guest speaker, Alec Baldwin (some people hate him, some love him. I LOVE HIM). Cam was not originally going to be around this weekend so we had not planned to go for any PW events, until last week when he texted to ask if we were planning to come as he was able to get some tix from a friend who had a change in plans. So, off we'll go to Brick City for a couple of hours until we head have to head home in time for Annalisse to leave for Rolling Hills, a "haunted" asylum near Batavia. She's a little freaked out about that (being a bit of a chicken), but I told her it would be fun. We'll see!!

Tomorrow it's clean, clean, clean as we prepare for the arrival of our Irish exchange student, Eve. She and 20(ish) of her classmates will be in Fairport from Tuesday to Tuesday, and just about every minute is planned already. Annalisse and the Fairport group will visit the Irish kids in February, and they are all looking forward to this week's visit and the return trip. So off I go to clean the bathroom and dust. What a glamorous life I do lead!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Old Man!

Mother and Son
October 17, 1961


Happy Birthday, to Mark today, who celebrates the first anniversary of his GOLDEN birthday! We'll celebrate with dinner out later (so what else is new?)!

New Job News

Remember last year when I wrote about Mark's company being bought out, and the uncertainty we were facing with his job? Well, flash forward a year to October 2012, and yesterday he was offered a consulting job with KBACE Technologies out of New Hampshire.

It's a great opportunity, and a great relief for him to be able to move on. Even though he has managed to avoid layoff, he's been faced with a poor working morale situation, and has been woefully underutilized, not really working on anything of import or substantial for many months now. It's been a mystery why he has not been laid off since he hasn't had a lot to contribute as they transition from one technology system to another. Anyway, the time is right and he'll hopefully "sign on the dotted line" today or tomorrow.

One draw back: there may be extensive travel involved. Much like when he was a consultant for Oracle, he will be traveling to client sites to assist with implementation of their financial systems, so that may take him away from Rochester at least four days a week. The good news is that Paychex, here in town, is a major client so he may end up there. We'll see.

In the meantime, a big sigh of relief an excitement for him a he moves onto his next career adventure.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mercy, Mercyhurst!

Up at 5am yesterday (A Saturday. *sigh*), off we went to Erie PA for the Mercyhurst University Open House program. Another day with six hours on the road!

From the moment we drove through the arched set gate onto the campus, we were very impressed with Mercyhurst. It's very beautiful, and pristinely kept, much like Nazareth. It had a great program with some different types of info than we heard at the other schools. It very quickly became tied for first place with Allegheny College - with Nazareth being in second place - and the others following behind. Because Annalisse was so happy with her visit we decided to cancel the trip to Castleton State in November. WHAT? I'M NOT GOING TO VERMONT AFTER ALL? Damn!

If all goes well with the application process and financial piece, I think we may have found our school.

Update 4:51pm:

And later that day...she hit "submit" and applied to six colleges!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Long Short Week

This week seems like it's taken forever to get to Friday, even having had Monday off for our trip to Hartwick College. The good news is that after so many choppy weeks in and out of the office I feel like I got a super amount accomplished at work this week. That feels so good. I'm sure I'll be feeling stressed again next week when I'm on the road to college fairs for two days.

Mark left at 4am this morning to drive to Nashua, NH to interview with a consulting company. If he is offered/takes the job, he wouldn't be working/living in Nashua, but chances are he would have to travel again during the week, just as he did during his days with Oracle. The interview starts with pizza at noon so he decided to drive this morning, then drive back tonight - which is not ideal seeing it will be an extremely long day for him (not to mention 14 hours of driving), but we have an open house at Mercyhurst University tomorrow so he was not able to stay over and come back tomorrow. I expect he'll be home around 11, then we will get up at 5 tomorrow to get back on the road in time for the 9am Open House program in Erie, PA. This should be interesting!!

When we get back from Mercyhurst on Saturday afternoon the Fourth Ave street party/Harvest Festival will be in full swing. This gathering is in place of the usual September street picnic because we were rained out on the original date. The forecast so far is 58 and sunny, so fingers crossed!

This fall so far has been dark, cold and rainy. In the past, it seemed like we could count on continued warmish, sunny weather at least through mid-October. Not this year. My hibernation instincts have kicked in full force. It's going to be a long winter.

P.S. A very Happy Birthday to Aunt Mary (Mim-Mim) today. We are sending lots of love her way!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's hip to be (a) square(root)

Yesterday I turned the age of a certain square root. I'll let you figure out which one. Let's just say next year is not going to be pretty.

It's been a whirlwind of a week, starting with my trip to Kansas City last Tuesday. It was cool being in Missouri one minute, and Kansas the next during the car ride from the airport to my meeting. I found the scenery underwhelming and quite undistinctive, bordering on unattractive, and realized this weekend (as I was admiring the changing colors in the hilly Finger Lakes) that it's really pretty beautiful in this area. The trip itself was tiring, and I returned home around midnight on Thursday, got up for work the next morning, worked until noon, then we headed to Buffalo for a family wedding.

Ready for the dance.
Seems like she'll be too
cold for October.
Friday was also Annalisse's 17th birthday, and the poor kid stayed home that night while we went to the wedding because we knew we'd be home late and she had the SAT the next morning. My niece, Nic, came to the rescue and took her out to dinner. Then, on Saturday night she had the Harvest Dance, which she got all gussied up for. Another late night!

He's tolerating this.
On Sunday, Mark and I took a lovely fall ride to Naples (NY, not Italy, although they do call it "Italy Valley") to pick up a (mile high) coconut cream pie from Bob & Ruth's for the quad-birthday celebration on Sunday night. After a dinner at P.F. Changs, friends and family gathered at our house to celebrate Nic's, Annalisse's, my, and Mark's birthdays (respectively). For Nic and I: the coconut cream pie; for Annalisse: a gluten-free/lactose free cupcake; for Mark: a chocolate mousse cake. Cam was able to come for dessert, which was nice. The highlight (for me, anyway) was Annalisse opening her gift from the family: two tickets to see the band FUN at RIT in November. Her brother even put $$ toward the purchase. He'll probably regret that when she wants to hang out with him at the concert.

Last, but not least, my big day was rounded out with a trip to Oneonta to visit Hartwick College. Nothing says "happy birthday" like a seven-hour car ride (3 1/2  hours each way). Anyway, it was a bit of a wasted trip since none of us were really impressed with the college. It was generally very scenic, but a bit dated and really, really hilly (not a big deal but hard to picture getting around in the cold, frozen winter). I'm sure with all the hills and steps the kids there don't experience "the freshman 15."

And so, on this chilly Tuesday morning it's back to reality (a.k.a. work) as I broke down and turned the heat on as we got ready for work. Bundle up, it's coming...  

Tix to Fun!
The mythical coconut cream pie
Nic is now officially a "Fairport-ite"

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rocktober!


In true Libra fashion, I must acknowledge the fact that this is the first day of OCTOBER! Bring it on!!

Heading to the Heartland

Tomorrow I leave the Roch for a couple of days for my association's October board meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.

Of all the places I've been (especially lately), I've never been to the "heartland" of America. Probably the closest I've come to the middle of the country is Chicago, but I wouldn't exactly call Chicago "the midwest." So, I'm sort of excited to see what KC is like. (By the way: it's just confusing enough that Kansas City is in Missouri, but the meeting is actually in Olathe, Kansas, which is apparently in the Kansas City, MO metro area.)

The timing isn't great as October is turning out to be another intensely busy month for us. Just about every weekend is spoken for already, and next week we have things planned just about every night. All this is complicated by the fact that Annalisse has tons of AP Bio homework, and with the challenges (stuggles, really) she's been having with that class she really needs to focus a lot of attention on it every night. Just another time juggling act...there never seems to be enough time.

Just the same, I'm looking forward to my adventure tomorrow. My NAGAP colleagues are a fun and innovative bunch, and I always come away from my time with them, though tired, inspired!