Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm Not an Addict.

I know what you're thinking. The first step is just admitting you have a problem. But I really don't. I'm fine. I can live without it. I don't NEED it to carry on. I can quit at anytime. But it's everywhere. I can't do anything without wanting it. But just because I want it doesn't mean I'm addicted to it.

I'm of course talking about the internet.

What did you think I was talking about??

Yesterday Western New York had some serious high winds (85 miles/hour in some areas!), and many trees came down and with them telephone and electric wires. And even in areas where there wasn't physical damage, the high winds were enough to knock out cable and internet access. My classroom lost internet a few different times for a few minutes at a time.


Like I said, I don't NEED to be connected to the internet. But it's a nice convenience. How did I survive before the internet? What did I do with myself? (Yes, I was actually born in the Pre-Internet Age.)  I would write letters. By hand. I would listen to music on shiny discs or (gasp!) on cassette tapes. I talked to people on the telephone. A telephone that plugged into the wall. When I wanted to see what my friends were up to, I would go to the mall or hang out with them at their house.

But that's all gone now. Now we have the internet. Luckily when the internet would go down at work, I could just get on my smartphone and see what was going on in my little world.

One of the classes I teach is a computer basics class. A majority of my students are born in the 1930s and 1940s. They're mostly retired senior citizens who have grandkids who are always on the internet. "Can you show me how to get on the book face?" is a common question I get with new students. Evidently the only way they can communicate with their children or grandchildren is to get on Facebook and Instant Message them. Or write on their Wall. These students of mine are going straight from no internet knowledge to trying to comment on a picture of their grand daughter at a frat party: "Who is that nice shirtless boy holding you upside down over that keg?" They also are attempting to learn a new language. They are trying to understand what OMG, LOL, IMO, and BRB mean. And don't get me started on LOLcats. "Why do these cats want so many cheeseburgers?"

What are you getting on about, chaz?

Yeah, I kind of went off on a tangent there, didn't I. Well, what I was trying to get around to was the fact that these Computer Basics students of mine lived 75% of their life without internet, and now the only way they can talk to family is with a computer. The only way they can book a hotel is with a computer. The only way they can find a deal on a Hoveround is with a computer. How do they deal with this take-over of technology? They all have cellphones and it takes them twenty minutes to send a 3 word text to their grandson. It must be very depressing to them. They probably enjoy when the internet goes out.

But not me. I feel completely disconnected from the world when my internet access is cut. So maybe I am addicted. A little. But at least I can admit it. And that's the first step toward recovery.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Flipping That Switch

I have been taking classes part time at Buff State for the past year.
I love being a student. I truly do. If I could stay in school forever, I would.

Hell, my student loans disappear once I die, so why not??

My problem is I am also a teacher.

I have taught high school drop outs trying to get their GEDs.
I have worked as a substitute at the high school and middle school level.
And I currently work as an instructor for a community college helping adults who want to go back to school get to the levels they need to.

Most days I go straight from work to class, and in that 20 minute drive, I need to flip the switch to go from teacher to student. To those who have been both, I'm sure you can feel my pain.

One of the reasons I love being a student is I love to learn. But this past year I have learned more than what the professors have taught. I've also picked up on their personal teaching methods. I've seen the way they approach a subject or how they deal with a snow day or getting the flu. I've also noticed the ways they don't deal with situations.

The teacher in me wants to just get up in the front of the class and reprimand the students that spend all class on their laptops playing Scrabble or wandering around tumblr and facebook and twitter. There is a time and place for that. Anthropology class is not that place. If you don't want to be here, then go back to the dorm. What's the point of taking up a seat if you're not even going to attempt to take notes? Go home!

But of course I don't do that. I keep my mouth shut. I am a student in this classroom. But it is so frustrating! It is so hard to flip that switch and go from teacher to student.

Another one of my problems is when a fellow student asks a question about something that was in the assigned reading. At one point I actually answered one of these questions by saying, "Well in the reading..." It was a very teacher-ly move on my part. But to the other students it looks like a jackass thing to do. I know this. As soon as it came out of my mouth I wanted to take it back. But seriously, do the reading!

In Canada they differentiate between college and university. College is a trade school or a two-year school or a school you attend to get a certificate in a specialized area. University is a four-year school. University is where you get a degree. I enjoy this distinction. When a Canadian says, "I attended university" you know what they're coming from. They have a degree. They were a part of the higher learning process. They weren't just in a certificate program. Not that there's anything wrong with certificate programs, but saying you went to college in Canada has a completely different connotation.

That being said, I will one day teach at the university level. Buff State is a college and even in America, there's a difference. It's a state school. Not that there's anything wrong with state schools. But from my view, they seem to have much lower standards than private universities. Of course, Buff State is the only state school I've attended. I received my Bachelor and Masters Degrees from private schools. Maybe that makes me a snob. But the students at Buff State don't seem to care as much. They dress like--

--Okay, let me just stop myself before I really sound like an jagoff.
Before I really sound like an old man.
Before I really sound like a snob.

Needless to say, flipping that switch is really really hard some days. But I only have two more weeks left in the semester.

I wonder where I'll go to school next...

Monday, April 25, 2011

NOT in the Mood

I know it's because I didn't sleep very well last night, but I am seriously not in the mood to be working right now.

The lack of sleep combined with having three days off this weekend has put me in a sour mood.

Adding the fact that it is seriously a thousand degrees in this building today with the lack of sleep and the long weekend has given me a feeling of unhappiness to anyone I come in contact with.

I would much rather sit here in front of the computer doing nothing due to the fact that everyone I work with (and work for) is on Spring Break, I slept horribly last night, and I'm just coming off a three-day weekend.

Hopefully I won't cause a scene.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Change is Good

A few blog posts ago I wrote about how most everything in my hometown has changed other than my parents' house.

I said: "When I was growing up I hated Niagara Falls, but I also believed it would always be there for me if things got tough in the real world. I mean, I don't think I really thought about it like I am now, but... I swear to God the only thing that hasn't changed is my parents' living room and kitchen. So I guess I still have that comfort when I need it."

But that is all about to change.
My parents are taking the leap and moving.

It's not really a leap. They've been spending the winter down south for the past few years and before that, they spent about a month every spring there. Needless to say, we all saw this coming.

But just because you're anticipating something doesn't mean it can't still surprise you, right?


Should I be sad that my parents are moving all the way across the country?
Should I be upset that they will no longer be a short drive away?
Should I be depressed that the house that once comforted me will be giving someone new comfort?

Part of me thinks that I should feel this way, but I don't.
Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet. Maybe I'm happy for them. Maybe this is just the kick in the arse that I need to change my own situation. I look to the future and I can not see a time when I can be retired or comfortable or on vacation without worrying about bills or money or responsibilities. My dad worked for thirty years in a place that at first was just a place that would pay the bills. Then he slowly moved up the ranks and was able to retire with a comfy nest egg. I have no nest egg. I have no nest. I don't even have anything to create the egg to put in said nest. How depressing.

How upsetting.
How sad.

Maybe this is my problem. Maybe I need to find a job that will pay the bills, not a job that will make me happy. Maybe I need to work in a factory or in the food service industry or back in retail so that I won't worry about those bills hanging over my head.

Change could be a good thing. I'll be happy when I don't have any money troubles, right?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why The 90s Ruled (to me)

Doc Martins.
Walking to the Summit Mall.
Out-running the cops.
Parties when Priscilla's parents were away.
Barenaked Ladies.
Dinosaur Jr.
Chuck Taylor's in every color imaginable.
The idea of Seattle.
The OJ Trial.
Mix tapes.
Vic Deep Discounts.
Being a teenager.
Being invincible.
Being sad.
This little group has always been and always will until the end. (in my mind)
Driving. Everywhere.
Red Dog.
Seeing Ween at the Icon.
Nine Inch Nails.
The one that got away.
The ones that didn't get away.
"Reality Bites."
My first car (a maroon Ford Taurus).
The Pixies.
Kurt Cobain.
Sonic Youth.
Pearl Jam.
Band trips.
Starflyer 59.
Stone Roses.
Southern Comfort.
Drama Club.
Road trips.
Meeting The One.
Red House Painters.
That time I got lost in Pennsylvania.
That other time I got lost in Pennsylvania.
My friends.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thoughts On Cooking

I love to cook, but I didn't always feel that way.

In college all I cooked was ramen noodles and what I called "broccoli surprise": broccoli mixed with various kinds of mustards, a few different spices, and sometimes a salad dressing or two. All served on a bed of Cheese-its.

Part of my lack of cooking came from laziness and the other part came from not knowing anything about cooking. Let's be honest: I was afraid of cooking.
I didn't know what I was doing. I was a poor college student. I didn't want to ruin what little food I had by cooking it badly. So instead of experimenting, I just made what I knew.

Eventually that changed. I made macaroni. I made rice. I adjusted canned sauces to taste better. Soon I found a sort-of home-made recipe for pasta sauce. I watched the Food Network and learned how to cook chicken properly. I experimented some more. No more boxed Mac & cheese, I was making cheese sauce from scratch!

I was more confident. I was adjusting recipes to match my tastes and to make them more healthy. Whenever I ate out, I tried to figure out what the cook or chef did to make my meal.

Another thing that helped my cooking "career" was the fact that my cousin starting going to culinary school. My cousin and I enjoy a bit of one-ups-man-ship. He prides himself as a great cook (which he is) and he likes to teach me something new every time we hang out.

I started using fresh herbs. I started making sauces based on a Roux. I started using vegetables and ingredients I had never even heard of when I was in college.

Ten years ago I never would have dreamed I'd be saying this, but I love to cook, and I'm good at it.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

The Bright Side [image]

I need to hang this in every room of the house, in my car, and possibly on the ceiling over my bed for extra measure.
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What Will You Miss?

As you may (or may not) know, I have been contemplating moving away from Western New York.

I have lived in Niagara falls, Buffalo and Rochester all my life. I have never NOT lived outside of WNY. So this is a big step for me. As much as I complain about Buffalo and it's surrounding area, I have never actually lived anywhere else.  I've never been able to compare Buffalo to Siesta Key, FL or Toronto, ON or Rural Valley, PA because those are places I've only visited.  I love those places and I could see myself living in those places, but a relaxing vacation is not much of a gauge on what life would be like in those places compared to here.

Would I be happy living in the sticks of Pennsylvania surrounded by my huge family? Probably. But I would have to move there by myself. And what would I do for work? I'm sure somewhere down there they're looking for teachers, but if you think Buffalo is a close-knit community, it doesn't have anything on Rural Valley.  I may also need to change my last name.  Having a Spanish last name wouldn't do me any favors.  And as relaxing as it is down there when I visit, if I lived there I wouldn't be able to sleep in and drive around and visit with family and get fed by family and take my time with life.  I'd have to get up with the rooster and work for a living. It wouldn't be as relaxing as it is when I visit.

Siesta Key would be great. It's sunny and warm and there's almost never snow.  But in the summer it's humid. More humid than WNY.  Around the middle of July I want to kill myself it's so humid up here. Imagine what it feels like in Florida? Sure there's air conditioning and gulf breeze, but will that be enough?  And I'm sure the cost of living is a lot more than it is in Western New York.  Plus, Siesta Key and it's surrounding area is pretty much a retirement community.  Not many people my age down there on a regular basis.  So does that mean there are not many schools down there, let alone schools that are hiring?

But the point of this rambling blog post is to figure out what I would miss the most if I finally moved away. 

Of course I have family here, but they don't want me to stay here just to be miserable.  They don't spend much time in Niagara Falls once the weather gets below 60 degrees anyway.  They'd come and visit.  My brother and my cousin are making moves of their own to get out of WNY. 

Friends? Most of my friends here are transports from another place. Or friends I've had since I was a teenager and aren't going to stay here much longer.  If they do stay, I could always come visit if I come back. Or they could come see me.

Would I miss the night-life or the events or the weather? Sort of. Kinda. I don't really take advantage of the bars-are-open-until-four-in-the-morning aspect of Buffalo, but I do enjoy some of the festivals. Sometimes.
The architecture is nice, but I can take a picture of buildings. I don't need to be surrounded by the Gold Dome Building or the HH Richardson Complex all my life.

Honestly, there has to be SOMETHING here that I'd miss... I guess I'll go with the people.  I will miss walking down the street or driving down the road and seeing people I recognize. They may not be friends, but I know who they are.  They are customers I had when I was a barista at Caffe Aroma. Or they are people I met at the Powder Keg festival. Or they're that guy I always gave pocket change to or a sandwich to when I had it to spare. 

What would you miss the most if you were to leave the place you've lived most of your life?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Scene From A Barstool

Me: So did you end up going fishing today?

Him: No. Too cold today. Chuckie called me up to go, but it was just too damn cold.

Me: Yeah.

Him: Next time we go, you wanna come?

Me: Oh, I don't fish. I--

Him: --What?!?

Me: --I've been with people while they fished, but I have never done it myself... I go with my cousin to the Wilson Pier or down over here under the bridge. Sometimes to--

Him: I can't believe you've never been fishin'.

Me: Yeah. Well...

Him: Your old man never took you out fishin'?

Me: No, he's not really a fishing kind of guy... my grandpa was going to take me out when I got old enough to get my fishing license, but he passed away before--

Him: You're really missin' out... I can't believe your dad never took you out fishin'! You gotta go get your license.

Me: Yeah?

Him: Definitely. Go down to K-Mart, pay the twenty nine bucks, and then I'll take you out.

Me: Well I don't really have a pole or a hat with lures all over it or--

Him: Doesn't matter. Next week, Chuckie, he'll call me up and he'll tell me we're goin' fishin' and I'll tell him you're comin' along with. You come with us and we'll show you how it's done. I'll give you a pole to use.

Me: Okay, well--

Him: You don't know what you're missin'!

Me: Yeah..?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm Not Famous.

Barry: I wanna date a musician.
Rob: I wanna live with a musician. She'd write songs at home and ask me what I thought of them, and maybe even include one of our little private jokes in the liner notes.
Barry: Maybe a little picture of me in the liner notes.
Dick: Just in the background somewhere.

(From "High Fidelity," by Nick Hornby)

I always liked this little exchange. If you haven't read this book, do it. NOW. Don't watch the movie. Read the book. Don't get me wrong-- the movie is good, but it's an Americanized version of a really really great book. So read the book.

I never imagined I would ever know anyone famous. Not in the my-friend-Hank-but-you-probably-know-him-as-Henry-Rollins kind of way. I always wanted to be friends with famous people, but that was just a dream. I'm friends with medium sized fish in small ponds. I'm friends with regionally famous people. They're not even really famous. They're well-known. Well-known in the way that even people from the same city may not have even heard of them. The only reason I know these semi-well-known people is because I grew up with them or we both travel in similar circles. Or in circles whose orbits sometime intersect.

Am I making any sense?

Get to the point, chaz.

So back to the opening quote. I have known people who have wanted to be famous. I was never one of those people. I don't want to be famous! I see how people treat famous people. I want to go to the grocery store in peace. I want to be able to meet a friend for a drink without having our picture on the front page of the Inquirer. I want to be able to live my life.
That being said, I wouldn't mind being known as someone who knows someone who is famous.

Oh hey, you look familiar. I know I've seen you somewhere before... what's your name?

But they don't know me. They may have seen my picture in the liner notes of a popular record or maybe they saw me in the background while stalking their favorite celebrity at a movie opening. They definitely wouldn't know my name. But I look familiar.

That's what I want.

I want to look familiar.

But that'll never happen. That's just a dream.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wondering About What You're Doing Now And When You're Coming Back

Sometimes a song just plays on the radio or my iPodTouch or Pandora and I'm immediately sent back to another time. To another place.

Today it was "Story of my Life" by Social Distortion.

If you don't know the song, then really, I don't even want to know you. Seriously. The song is a classic, not to mention the fact that it was a hit and because of that it's been over played so much since it came out in 1990.

As soon as the vocals kick in I'm transported back to high school:

High school seemed like such a blur
I didn't have much interest in sports or school elections
And in class I dreamed all day
About a rock 'n' roll weekend
And the girl in the front of the room
So close yet so far
Y'know she never seemed to notice
That this silly school-boy crush wasn't just pretend

Life goes by so fast
You only want to do what you think is right
Close your eyes and then it's past;
The story of my life

You see what I'm saying, yes?
That was me in high school. I was that kid dreaming of the weekend full of good times, debauchery and... well you get the picture.

The great thing about this song is that it's not just about being a kid (look at the song title). The next bit transports me to my old stomping grounds:

And I went down to my old neighborhood
The faces have all changed, there's no one left to talk to
And the pool hall I loved as a kid is now a seven eleven

Most of the places I hung out at are torn down or have changed names or are unrecognizable. I'm sure everyone has this in their life. The diner my friends and I used to hang out at is burned to the ground. The mall we used to cause trouble in has closed up. Even my high school is gone. Now it's a Wal-Mart.

It's sad, you know? When I was growing up I hated Niagara Falls, but I also believed it would always be there for me if things got tough in the real world. I mean, I don't think I really thought about it like I am now, but no one expects things to change, do they? No one thinks the things that are comforting to them will disappear. I swear to God the only thing that hasn't changed is my parents' living room and kitchen. So I guess I still have that comfort when I need it.

I think the saddest part of all of this is that my friends are gone. I've talked about this before. Some have died, some have moved away and some have just vanished. I miss those guys (and girls). I miss the times we had. I miss being young and reckless.

You're such a sad sap, chaz.

Yeah, I guess you're right. I need to live in the now. I need to be a grown up. I need to stop thinking about the past.

Good times come and good times go
I only wish the good times would last a little longer
I think about the good times we had and why they had to end

This is the reason I'm still waiting for the invention of the Time Machine. Not to see the Constitution being written or to see real life dinosaurs, but to see my friends and stay in that time and place.

For those who do not know the song, or would like a refresher, here's the original video for "Story of my Life" by Social D.

Monday, April 11, 2011

All This Stuff

A friend of mine is moving, and in order to make it easier, she sold all of her belongings.

How does one do that??

I wish I had it in me to sell all of my stuff. I don't need it. I don't want it. But for some reason I feel like I'm connected to it. My homestead is all books and CDs and plates and glasses and more books. Don't get me wrong-- I'm not a hoarder. I've seen those shows and I'm not that bad.

I just wish I didn't have so much stuff. I wish I could just take off at a moments notice. I wish I could grab a bag and just leave.
Where did all this stuff come from?
Why do I feel so connected to all this stuff?
Will I reread these books? Will I look at the liner notes of that album again? And how many different place settings does a person need?

I wish I could just give it all away or sell it or just leave it behind.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Everyday Should Be Automatic Nirvana Day

Earlier I told someone that today is Automatic Nirvana Day.

In the 1960s, from what I understand, there was a common question between cool kids: 
The Beatles or the Stones?

In the 1990s we had a similar question:
Pearl Jam or Nirvana?

I had a friend I worked with when I was in high school and he was a Pearl Jam. Still is. I, on the other hand, was and will always be a Nirvana. I liked Pearl Jam, don't get me wrong, but I became a Nirvana because of a girl, and it's stuck ever since.

Of course this is about a girl, chaz. Figures.

That girl broke my heart repeatedly. But I kept going back to her. Just to get my heart broken again. And again. When I moved away to go to undergrad, I broke every single Nirvana CD I had and put them up, shiny side out, on the wall of my dorm as a sort of mirror. The music just reminded me of her too much. I needed to purge her out of my life. As soon as I did it I regretted it. This was the 90s. We didn't have mp3 players and iTunes. If I wanted to listen to that music again I either had to wade through my stacks and stacks of mix tapes or I had to go to the record store and buy another copy. 

At the time I did neither. I suffered in silence. I needed to be miserable. Like I said, I was a teenager and it was the 90s.

My teenaged years were full of Nirvana lyrics. When I was in high school I was the stage manager in Drama Club. On the back of my shirt I wrote "If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first." Only a select few got the reference. And I liked it that way. My friends and I were the first few people to listen to Nirvana. Most of our school was still into hair metal or pop rock. We were in ripped jeans and plaid shirts and needless to say, I got beat up a lot. Some of the friends I thought I had turned their backs on me and called me a "freak." And it hurt, but it made me miserable, and like I said, I was a teenager in the 90s. Misery was a natural occurrence.

And besides, I still had my small core gang of friends. This little group has always been and always will until the end.

Of that little group, there's only two of us left. A few moved away (including the girl I mentioned above). A couple died. A few got fried up on drugs.

Is Cobain my generation's version of JFK or John Lennon? Hell. No. I don't want to think of the guy who wrote all the pretty songs that I fell in love and cried and laughed sat brokenhearted alone in my room and rocked out to to be a copy of someone else's role-model. Kurt was different. He was original. Lennon was NO Cobain.

Do you remember where you were when Kurt Cobain died? I know where I was. I was stumbling around a beach in Florida after having a couple blender drinks. I was walking up to people who looked cool and talking to them. I was enjoying a drum circle or a beach bon-fire. Someone had a radio and they told everyone to stop talking and singing and banging their drums. A news report had come on and he turned it up.

Kurt Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home... something about a gun shot wound... something about his wife and young daughter being left behind... something something something. I was numb.

That was the pinnacle of my misery. Someone I never met died. No big deal, right? WRONG. At the time this newly dead rock star was what connected me to my girl friend. And to my friends. And to my life. It was dramatic, man. I was a teenager in the 1990s. I was miserable. I stumbled around the beach some more, then I went back to the condo to watch the news coverage.

And now it's seventeen years later. SEVENTEEN YEARS.

I just did the math: I am twice as old now as I was when Kurt killed himself. Ugh.

I still love Nirvana. I never really got past it. I am perpetually stuck in the 90s, music-wise. Most people would have moved on. Maybe they listen to pop rock now. Or Nickelback. Or Jimmy Eat World. Not me. I can't even get myself to really get into new music. I buy obscure singles from unknown bands from the 90s. I buy "Best Of..." records from bands that I loved back in the day. And when I walk past the mirror I have to do a double take because internally I still feel like I looked in high school: Full head of randomly colored hair, skinny, and full of spit-fire.

Needless to say, I look nothing like that now. But my music has stayed the same.

I miss the comfort in being sad.

Everyday should be Nirvana Day! All Nirvana, all the time!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Things have got to change.

I'm big and fat and lazy and I hate myself.

I wish I could go back in time and sweep the leg of my teenaged self.

"I don't see what's wrong with being a big, hairy mammal."

And while the hairy part never happened (THANK GOD!), the big part did. I thought it would be cool to have a beer gut. What was wrong with me??

Thankfully I am only overweight in my gut (you can't tell I'm fat from behind, especially since I have no ass), I'm still fat. And it makes me lazy. And I hate it.

I wake up wanting to go for a walk or run or to the gym, but then I sit on the couch and it's all over. I hate myself. If I was forty pounds lighter, I would have all kinds of energy to keep the weight off. If I had the money I would hire a personal trainer to fix me and yell at me and motivate me.

Maybe I'm destined to be big and lazy.

But I hate it.
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Some Helpful Hints For The Place I Live

I seem to blog quite a bit about the fact that it is not warm here yet or about the fact that I do not like Western New York.

My blogs are many times full of rambling non-sense due to the fact that I write as soon as something hits me. Let me explain my thoughts a little better.

As for the sun, it needs to just warm up already. It's April for crying out loud. I want it to be seventy and sunny. I want to be sitting on a patio or a porch drinking a cold beer. I want this gross cold snow to be gone.

Now on to Buffalo, NY: I've said I don't like it here. I've said I want to move as far away as possible. I've cheered when people decided to shuffle out of Buffalo. But why?

"You can't just hate a place, chaz. You have to have a better reason than just 'because.'"

Yes, that is true. I have some very good reasons. But first let me give a retraction: I do not hate Buffalo. I really don't. I actually love Buffalo. I love the people that I know here. I love the night-life (bars open until 4am, HELLO!). I love the potential that Buffalo has.
But there rests the crux of the problem. I am disappointed in you, Buffalo. You have so much potential! Why are you throwing it all away? Why are you offering huge pieces of prime real estate for free to companies that have nothing invested in you? There are businesses here that have started from a very small location and have slowly grown to great things and have become one of the main-stays of Buffalo. Why are you allowing a small handful of people jack the rent up on the few very popular streets you have? Higher rent just means fewer local businesses on Elmwood Avenue (to give one example). I'm disappointed in you, Buffalo. 

And to the people in Buffalo who are trying to do something: I applaud what you are trying to do. I hope you succeed. But if you continue to be exclusive instead of inclusive, you will fail like so many before you. It's one thing to allow people into your little group, but are you allowing their ideas in as well? Just because they are not in your little clique of friends does not mean they do not have great ideas. It does not mean they are incapable of helping you. It does not mean you cannot work together to make Buffalo great.  I have seen too many people get frustrated with Buffalo for just this reason.

So, as I mentioned, I do not hate Buffalo. I was over-reacting when I said that.

I ain't mad at ya, B-lo.