Sunday, September 28, 2014

Eric and Amanda's Day Out

This is going to be a post full of photos. Eric and I decided to support local businesses yesterday and have a fun, inexpensive little day out. 

We started at "Just Donuts". (This photo was from the last time I was there, we ate our donuts too fast for photos this time!) It's a local donut shop in Phoenix. They make them fresh every day and add whatever toppings, glazes, frostings, etc. that you want. It's a very fun treat. I had a pumpkin donut with cream cheese frosting.

From there we went up to Lock Island, also in Phoenix. I'd never been there before, but it sure is neat to see the boats going through the lock.

There's a boat in the middle here. It's going north, so it's waiting for the water to be let out to match the water level on the other side of the Lock. 

Here's a view from the other side, with a different boat. This one is heading south. See that green Lift Bridge to the left? That bridge is one of the oldest Lift Bridges in the country. As you can see below in the historical marker, it was the only thing that survived the Phoenix Fire of 1916. 

Unfortunately, the bridge is coming down. He keeper of the Lock station told us it was on the verge of falling down, so they are having it taken down within the next few weeks. 

Here is the description of the Phoenix Fire. 

These are the backs of the buildings on Main Street in Phoenix, this is right next to the Lock. It's kind of a neat little area. There's a cafe and other fun businesses to visit. If we hadn't filled up on donuts, we would have enjoyed the cafe.

It was a gorgeous day for a road trip. Not a cloud in the sky and the temperatures were in the high 70s. The foliage is just starting to fill the trees. 

Our next stop on our local tour was in Oswego. We went to Fort Ontario, on the shores of Lake Ontario. 

Fort Ontario has quite a varied past, dating back to 1755. It was destroyed and re-built several times, through several wars. From 1944-46 it even housed close to 1000 Jewish refugees. All of the refugees became U.S. citizens after the war. 

Here are the army barracks. 

This was underground, where the cannons would protect the fort from any incoming enemy ships on Lake Ontario.

Eric and I in a shoot-out. 

The view of Lake Ontario (and the light house) from the Fort. 

This is the cemetery next to the Fort. With stones dating back to the early 1800s.

A beautiful spot for a resting place. 

After the Fort, we headed to Sweet Inspirations for a late lunch. (In Fulton) They have a 'crusin' night on Saturdays where lots of classic cars and their owners come and hang out. 

After Sweet Inspirations, we stopped to take photos at Lake Neatahwanta. Which means "Little Lake, by the Big Lake." Which is exactly what it is! 

It was a very pretty spot with lovely views. We've driven by many times, and never stopped. 

What a lovely day it was... 

This was engraved in the railing by the lake... I had to take a photo. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sky Diving Down Under

Novak went Sky Diving in Australia....


Back to the drawing board. Again.

Most of yesterday was great. I was positive I was going to get the job at Natur-Tyme. I aced the interview, got a 2nd interview. Then I got an email. From the owner. Telling me that my salary range was way out of their budget. What? I gave them a range that was $10k LESS than what I was making at WCNY. And it was just a range, they could have offered less. Instead, they just said thanks but no thanks, you have too much experience and we can't afford you. Good luck. The end.

So now I'm back to the beginning. I have no more resumes out there in my field. There are no job openings. I really don't know what to do. I sent an email to my unemployment counselor asking for help. She's on vacation. So I guess I wait until next week to talk to her. I'm toying with the idea of going back to school. I just don't know what I should go back to school for! Nursing is a great field, there are hundreds of nursing jobs. Hundreds. But I'm not sure I could even pass the courses! My brain isn't fresh like it used to be. So what could I even do? I'm too old for the military. Any suggestions??

On a much happier note, I thought I'd share a couple of photos of Alex's suite at Albany. He and his suite-mates have decorated, in pure teenage male style, a fun area to watch tv.

The art work on the walls is unique and perfect. They each hung one of their old HS track singlets.
Alex is doing well and enjoying college. It's "so much better than high school" he said. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hump Day

I've been seeing these signs all over town. It makes me smile and think of Grandpa Sams each time I see one. Kind of like he's watching over me. 

I have a phone screen interview today with Natur-Tyme. They are looking for an In-House Graphic Designer. They're a health food store/company. And they do a lot of big events in the area. Interestingly enough, I used to help with their commercials when I was with Channel 9. I made sure to mention that in my cover letter. The only thing that may keep me from this job is that it is 'web intensive'. And my experience with the web isn't exactly 'intensive'. Although I have been dabbling in it for almost 20 years. So maybe I can work that in somehow. I have confidence I could do the job, so hopefully that will be evident. 

I met with the woman who I'll be doing volunteer work with. It's funny how small the world really is. The woman (Kristin) used to work at WCNY. She left the month before I started working there. The night before I was to meet with her, I mentioned her name to Eric, and he said he knew her. So we looked her up, and sure enough, we had 67 similar connections on LinkedIn. Our meeting went very well, we hit if off immediately. She invited me to a Social Media Breakfast tomorrow and said she'd help get my name out there to her connections to help me get some work. I'll be sure to bring lots of business cards with me tomorrow! You never know!

* * * Update * * *
I got a 2nd interview after the phone screen.
With the owner of the business. Fingers crossed!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Crouse Tribute Dinner

On Friday evening, Eric and I went to a big 'black tie' dinner at the OnCenter. He did the video for the event, which was for a local hospital. We've been before, he's been producing the videos for years now. They love him. 

We always forget to get a photo together... but here's a handsome one of Eric. 

And this is me with Bob Papaleoni. He works with Eric. 

Dinner was a nice filet. It was really good! 
It was nice to get out again and mingle and chat with adults. The free wine and food was nice too!

Here is the last blog post from the last time we went to this event a couple of years ago. We didn't get any photos together that night either! (And um, yes, I'm wearing the same little black dress...)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Dawn of a New Day

Today I got up and decided to get out of the fog I've been in. So I went running. It felt great. I think I've been missing physical activity in my life. Sitting around every day isn't healthy! Jenny went for a quick run too (she was my warm up).

When I returned from my run, I heard back from a company I had put in a resume with to do some volunteer work. It's the George & Rebecca Barnes Foundation. (Feel free to visit their website.) I'm going to do some fliers and brochures for them. I think that's just the thing I need (aside from an actual paying job!), to keep my mind alert and to get out there and make some new connections. There's a huge need for volunteers with some of the local non-profits. And I have the time and skills to help, so I will. And it will look good on my resume too!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Well, O'Brien & Gere is a no-go. They gave the job to the intern. They said we both had the similar experience (really??) but they had to go with the internal candidate. I think they were going to give it to her all along, I had no chance.

So I've moved on, after I spent yesterday moping around the house. I applied to 6 more jobs in the last 2 days. Only one of which was a design job. There just aren't that many around. And I've got to do something. I'm half-way through unemployment with nothing in sight.

I applied on a whim for a job in the bakery at Wegmans, and they called me 4 hours later. I have a phone interview on Monday. It would only be part-time and I certainly wouldn't have to stay forever, but it might be a fun thing to do to get me out of the house while I'm still applying for jobs in my field. And maybe I'd love it so much, I'd eventually become a manager of some sort. What a twist that would be. Wegmans is a great company to work for, so you never know...

Monday, September 15, 2014


Today's lesson is being brought to you by the letters R-I-T. Engineers and people with big fancy doctorate degrees do not know how to conduct interviews with normal human beings. They do not know how to look people in the eye. And they do not understand how designers think or work. Needless to say, I will not be working at RIT. Which is a good thing, because I think a 170 mile round-trip commute is a bit too much. 

Still waiting to hear from O'Brien & Gere. And still applying for anything that looks interesting. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Testing 1-2-3.

This is a test.

I was creating a portfolio type of website for Eric, since he's now actively looking for a new job as well. It is if you'd care to visit. 

Friday, September 12, 2014


Here is my latest cake creation. It's for Greg's birthday party - which is this evening up in Fulton. He and Diane and Mark are in town for Diane's class reunion. So we're getting a birthday occasion out of the deal! The idea was from Sheila, I hope I did it justice!

On the job front. I am still waiting to hear back from O'Brien & Gere. I thought for sure I'd hear something today. Although the day is not over. 

I had a call from RIT today. I forgot I even applied for a job there. Well, they want me to come in for an interview on Monday. So that's next on the list. Imagine me working at RIT! Ha! Maybe I would have an opportunity to further my education if I worked there. They do have a Master of Fine Arts degree in Design. You never know! It would be a heck of a commute, but there's always re-location, if it came down to it... I'm open. I'm certainly having lots of opportunity to better my interview skills.