Self-Edited: Vinessa Erminio's Blog

August and everything after

I think it's obvious by now that I'll never get into the habit of blogging here regularly. Even one measly post per month is proving to be a challenge. I actually came up a few ideas for blog posts this month, which, for various reasons, never came to fruition. Here are the post ideas that I still can recall:

* A diatribe on how silly it is that kids just don't walk to school anymore. Especially in my hometown, which doesn't provide busing since the furthest any kid would have to travel is maybe 1/2 a mile. I abandoned this one mostly because I couldn't figure out a way to write it without sounding like a crotchety old biddy ("Doggone kids! Why back in my day....") but also because I was recently reminded of some valid reasons why parents wouldn't want their kids walking around unsupervised in my hometown.

* A preview of all of the great remastered Beatles music and the Beatles Rock Band game being released on 9/09/09, along with some fond memories of first hearing the original LPs and CDs back in the mid-80s. I guess there's still time left to write this one, but I'm not counting on it. The way things are going, I probably won't even break open the packaging on these new goodies until Thanksgiving.

* Some yammering about how we all need to take responsibility for the choices we make, and life's too short to be miserable all the time, and stuff along those lines. I'm sure I'll revisit the topic when I'm feeling especially philosophical.

* Another diatribe, this time about how ridiculous it is that New Jerseyans STILL aren't allowed to pump their own gas. I mean, seriously.

* An elaborate and exhaustive review of a variety of British chocolate bars. I was all set to go on this one, but unfortunately the test samples seem to have mysteriously disappeared.

Oh well. See ya next month!


posted by Vinessa @ 9:11 PM,

I can't even think of a good title for this one

The month is nearly over - again - and I can't think of anything to say - again.

So, instead of a proper blog post, I bring you this awesome Washington Post interview with Paul McCartney.

I'll try harder next month, I promise.


posted by Vinessa @ 9:58 PM,

Doing the time warp again

About a week ago, the following thought actually entered my head: Isn't Memorial Day coming up soon? I didn't have my holidays confused - I truly believed that it was the middle of May. Once I realized my mistake, it took me a few more minutes before I could remember anything at all about how I had actually spent Memorial Day. I got no further than "burgers were eaten" before giving up.

I'm finding this has been happening a lot lately - I sit down at my desk at 11:00 AM, and the next thing I know, it's 4:00 PM (and I'm really hungry). I stumble out of bed on Monday morning and soon enough, I'm annoyed with myself for waking up so early on a Saturday. I'm thinking about Memorial Day, and then I realize it's July 4.

I finish one blog entry, and suddenly another month has passed and I have to come up with something new to write to keep the streak going. Someday, I'll actually write some coherent - and perhaps even interesting - blog entries. But not today - I need to go buy a pie for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. How about those Jets this year, huh?


posted by Vinessa @ 8:34 PM,

Talkin' 'bout their generation

Earlier this month, my employer announced company-wide pay cuts and an increase in insurance premiums (on top of a mandatory 2-week unpaid furlough announced earlier this year), which pretty much demolished any interest I had in keeping the "How I Spent My Extra 10 Bucks" series going. But luckily, there are plenty of other things that interest me and should make for good blog fodder, assuming I can actually make the commitment to write some quality entries.

Classic rock, for example. A few days ago, I found a link to this diatribe (I can't remember who linked to it, or I'd give you credit) that claims that "young people who subsist on classic rock are traitors to their contemporaries." And while the writer, Ben Westhoff, has a point that today's rock bands probably aren't being given a fair chance by someone like me, whose music collection is dominated by albums released before I was born, I think it's unfair to demand that we stop listening to all of this great music just because it's from our parents' generation.

Westhoff argues that we shouldn't be listening to our parents' Beatles and Dylan albums, since they in turn weren't interested in their own parents' Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller records. But I think he's overlooking the fact that so many artists of the '60s were so much more than their music. For example, the Beatles weren't just a band, they were a worldwide phenomenon that forever changed the face of music and popular culture. And, morbid though it may be, I think that John Lennon's shocking murder only added to the Beatles' mystique for those of us who are too young to have remembered it. And so many other classic rock artists had both a tremendous social impact and tragic stories that drive their continued popularity.

And also, the music is just that damned good. In 200 years, I think the Beatles and Dylan will be as well-known and well-loved as Beethoven and Mozart are today. The best music transcends generations, and there are many of us who recognize that although we may have missed the '60s, we are at least lucky enough to see some of these legendary artists perform in our lifetimes. So that's why we're still flocking to Paul McCartney concerts. And that's why I'm not going to feel guilty about my latest album purchase - "A Quick One," by The Who, originally released 43 years ago. It's a great album, by a great band, and I'm going to have a great time listening to it. And really, isn't that enough?


posted by Vinessa @ 2:36 PM,

How I Spent My Extra 10 Bucks: Week 4

Socks! Yes, I spent this week's $10 on socks.

Hey, I never promised all of these entries would be entertaining. It's been a rough week. But they are nice socks.


posted by Vinessa @ 9:42 PM,

How I Spent My Extra 10 Bucks: Week 3

Almost 2 years ago, a friend introduced me to the fun and addictive world of Postcrossing. It's a very simple idea: you mail a postcard to a Postcrossing member in another country, and after they've received it, another member will send a postcard to you. Each postcard is assigned an ID number so it can be tracked on the website, and all recipients are assigned at random so you'll never know which country your next postcard will come from.

I was dubious at first, but it's really a lot of fun! The majority of members come from just a handful of countries - the USA has the most members, with Finland, surprisingly, at #2. As a result, the majority of cards I've received have been from Finland (they have some really cool stamps, by the way), but you still a pretty good mix of countries. Today I received a card from Düsseldorf, Germany!

Although the element of surprise is fun, it can also be frustrating. Although I've received more than 60 cards - including a whopping 18 from Finland - I have yet to receive a single postcard from Italy! Italy ranks 13th out of all countries in the number of Postcrossing members, so it's not as if the chances of getting a card from Italy are slim. I've gotten cards from Norway, New Zealand, Belarus, and even Estonia, of all places! Why can't I get just one measly card from the land of my ancestors? I think Postcrossing's "random" distribution system is mocking me.

I sent out a bunch of cards recently (trying to finish off my stamps before the postal rate increase next month) but yet I remain thwarted in my quest for an Italian postcard. So I put this week's $10 toward some more international postage that will inevitably result in 10 more cards from beautiful Lapland. But there's always hope! And if you'd like to check out all the neat cards I've received so far, click here.


posted by Vinessa @ 9:05 PM,

How I Spent My Extra 10 Bucks: Week 2

My local library is awesome. It's big, it's well-stocked, it's actually open past sundown several days per week, and it's part of a huge cooperative so my card is good for lending at nearly every other public library in the surrounding area. It also sponsors fun bus trips to Broadway shows (a time-honored tradition throughout the north Jersey suburbs). My one complaint is that its book renewals max out at eight weeks, which isn't nearly long enough for a slow reader like me. Then again, maybe if I didn't check out 10 books at a time, that wouldn't be such an issue...

Anyway, as a librarian, a library patron, and an English major, I figured a $10 donation was the least I could do to support a place, a concept, and a career choice that is quite awesome indeed. And I also didn't want to fall into a pattern where I end up spending my $10 on food every week. (Speaking of which, libraries have awesome cookbook collections! Check it out!) Viva la biblioteca!

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posted by Vinessa @ 8:55 PM,

How I Spent My Extra 10 Bucks: Week 1

Last week, a new federal tax credit kicked in, resulting in an extra $10 per week in the paychecks of about 95% of the U.S. workforce. Consumers are encouraged to spend the extra cash in order to stimulate the economy. Since I happen to be a) a part of this illustrious 95%; b) paid on a weekly basis; and c) looking for a blog gimmick, I thought I'd share the fruits of my weekly windfall with you, gentle reader. You get to learn more about me and my spending habits (until you grow bored after realizing what a dull person I really am), and I get to brush up on my writing skills. It's a win-win! At least until I run out of ideas by Week 8 or so. But until then, here goes.

This week's choice was an easy one. I happen to love Easter candy -
Gertrude Hawk Easter candy in particular. According to my latest test results, my blood is 4.3% Peanut Butter Smidgen filling. It's good stuff.

I also happen to know at least one person with a child, which means I've been solicited for every conceivable school fundraiser in the tri-state area. Candles! Gift wrap! Cheesecake! Oranges! ....Oranges? And Easter candy. Glorious Gertrude Hawk Easter candy. So I gladly signed away $10 of my precious stimulus money for some delicious Almond Butter Crunch.

I won't reveal when this picture was taken, but I've already finished all of the candy. Happy Easter/Passover/2nd Weekend of April to all!


posted by Vinessa @ 10:31 PM,

Smarch madness

Once again, I've reached the end of a month without writing a single entry in this blog. Perhaps it's for the best, because March wasn't exactly a month I want to commemorate. It had its moments, but the bad ones definitely outnumbered the good.

I think I'll go watch the penultimate episode of the U.S. version of "Life On Mars" so I'm ready for the series finale tomorrow. It figures, I finally find a show I really like and it gets canceled in its first season. Pretty soon the only times I'll even bother to turn on the TV will be for NFL games and maybe an occasional "Ace Of Cakes" episode. Seriously, any bakery that can produce this has won me as a fan for life. Once a band geek...


posted by Vinessa @ 8:27 PM,

Nothing to say, but it's OK

I'm hoping I can jot down at least one entry per month until I figure out exactly what I want to do with this blog, so here's February's contribution. I find that the best blogs focus on a single topic - nobody, except for one's closest friends and nosiest relatives, is really interested in a collection of disorganized ramblings about a ton of unrelated subjects. Aside from a few friends' blogs, the only blogs I follow concentrate on one topic, be it librarianship or comics or personal finance or a specific business or TV show.

But what to write about? I have a wide variety of interests, but they all seem to be well covered in the blogosphere already. Someone suggested I write about all the weird dreams I've had, but I haven't even had a good one of those lately. All I can remember from last night's dream is that I was drinking orange juice, and thinking, "This is really good orange juice." Riveting stuff, I know.

Thus concludes my most boring blog entry to date. I'm going to go get a glass of orange juice.


posted by Vinessa @ 12:30 PM,

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    Vinessa is roughly 30 years old and lives roughly 10 miles from New York City. She loves reading, writing, cooking, travel, and the Super Bowl XLII Champion New York Giants. She hates turnips, high heels, not being permitted to pump her own gas, and people who refer to themselves in the third person.

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