Friday, March 27, 2009

BufBloPoFo 09 DayFourteen - Curtain Call

I started the Royal Toybox for a few reasons, not the least of which was, let’s face it, that I like an audience. As I’ve said, I like to write, and I like to talk to the masses.

But I also wanted a chance to catalog whatever the hell I was thinking or doing at a particular moment. I wanted my blog to become what (I think) was its original purpose: a “web log”. Okay, yeah, I may not want to remember every time I saw an evil squirrel, but I do like the fact that I can go back and read about Maeve being born, or how I felt when mom went to help New Orleans.

I like to think I accomplished that, at least a little. I have an audience and I’ll always have a diary of these posts.

I mean, you know, unless the internet goes out or something. Man, that would suck, huh?

Anyway, BufBloPoFo is really only tangentially related to any of that. I started it because I was slacking on being a blogger, and needed a kick in the pants to get me started again. Then all these awesome people joined me, and it turned into something really cool—something I’m really proud of.

Speaking of which, to all my BufBloPoFo 09 Participants: CONGRATS! Now, last year I listed all the Completers who made it the whole fortnight. This year, half because I’m too lazy to make up the new completer button, and half because anyone who played along deserves recognition, you’re all winners. Pat yourself on the back, participants. You’ll never know how much it means to me that you joined in.

(UPDATE: Lisa has posted a badge for Completers to put on their blogs. You know who you are. If you Participated, but didn't make all fourteen days, see here for your slightly modified badge.)

To everyone else, I guess this is my “so long” post.

See, I saw a drawing the other day of Calvin growing up and leaving Hobbes behind. It stuck with me, either because this guy loves him some Calvin and Hobbes, or because in the last four years, I’ve grown up about twenty. I got married to my soulmate in 2005. I went back to school and then went back to school some more. I had a perfect daughter and then had another perfect daughter. I stopped caring about Buffalo radio. I graduated, passed the bar and got a job. In exactly four days, I’m buying my first house with my perfect family.

On a side note, Lisa Garvey, thank you for my perfect life. Thank God for you.

Anyway, it’s occurred to me that as much as I love blogging, as much as I love having an audience, and as much as I love being able to catalog my life, I don’t want to miss a second of that life. Besides, Maeve and Addie are a pretty good audience, if you know where they’re ticklish.

So, like Calvin leaving his stuffed tiger behind, as of today, I’m growing up. I’m leaving the Royal Toybox behind. I love this blog and I love what it’s given me and I love everyone who’s ever wasted an afternoon reading about how much Buffalo radio sucks. But I also love my life, and for me, it’s time to go and live it.

Thanks to everyone who has ever told me to write a book. Thanks to everyone who was so kind after my uncle Joe died. Thanks to everyone who hit “refresh” a million times, waiting for news about Addie’s birth. Thanks for being my audience for the last five years.

Now come find me in person… let’s go exploring!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

BufBloPoFo 09 DayThirteen

Okay, so I effed this up a little. What I MEANT to say was that you should all go back to the last BufBloPoFo post from 2008 and post updates to those things you talked about. So I should have said go back to the post you wrote one year and 13 days ago. Bygones.

What I wrote one year ago:

I didn’t actually post on 3/26/08, but I wrote this one day earlier. I’m actually kind of proud of that one (especially because Bryan and Marie said they liked it). I did send the letter through http://www.lettersfromhomeprogram.org/, but never got a response. As you can see, I didn’t really expect one.

A funny side note, when the law school set up a table for this program, I was late for class as I ran past it. I thought they were taking entire letters, but apparently all they were looking for was for you to sign your name to a strip of paper that said “we support the troops.” So after class, and after I posted it to the RT, I had to walk up to that table and hand them a three page letter. It might as well have been a copy of War and Peace, as compared to the pieces of paper everyone else was holding.

I played it off like I was all way cool and totally more patriotic than everyone else, but it was pretty obvious I just wrote something without actually seeing what the program was. Oh well. Hopefully someone got a kick out of my dumbassery.

What I wrote one year and thirteen days ago:

A year from now, my life will have radically changed, for better or for worse. I graduate this May, I take the bar this July, and I start a new job this Whenever. By then, we’ll be planning for my Dad’s Super Sweet 60 in Ireland, we’ll have one- and two-year-old daughters, I’ll have lost even more hair (please see previous comment about having one- and two-year-old daughters), and we’ll definitely be living under a roof that we own.

I thank God every minute of my life that everything in this paragraph still rings true (except for the house part, but that will change in exactly five days).

To my future self, please update our readers on these things I currently have going on:

-I bought a lotto ticket today. Did you win?

Yeah, I totally won. I’m blogging this from my golden yacht.

-Today is 3.14. Did you eat pie today? (Get it?)

I did eat pie on 3/14/08, but I don’t remember who made it. This is kind of weird, by the way.

-I took the MPRE last weekend. Did you pass? Did you ever frickin’ pass?

I did. Even though it took me two tries. Bygones.

BufBloPoFo Topic for DAYFOURTEEN

DUDES. One more post and you’ll have done it. You’ll have posted every day for FOURTEEN DAYS STRAIGHT. Or a fortnight, if you will.

So are you sad it’s almost done? Are you going to miss all of your fellow participants? Well, your assignment is to give us a farewell speech. I’m continually amazed that anyone decided to play along with the BufBloPoFo. I say you take it easy tomorrow for your last day and just post a quick “so long” to your fellow participants.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

BufBloPoFo 09 DayTwelve

I recently came across a yellowed pamphlet that I couldn’t pass up. It’s called:

You and Your Baby:
A Guide for Prenatal Care, 1949

A booklet for expectant mothers
Published by
The research division of
PET MILK COMPANY
St. Louis, Missouri

Oh you know I’m blogging this. I think my readers need to know what mothers of 1949 learned about motherhood. From, you know, pamphlets.

Now this thing rings in at 43 pages, and then another 7 pages of recipes (all of which, I’m just noticing, call for PET MILK – conspiracy!) so forgive me if I don’t give a review of the whole thing. I only have another 55 minutes to blog today, so here’re a few snippets that caught my eye as I flipped through.

Page 1, intro: "Maternal care has been defined as that attention which it is necessary to bestow upon a woman in order to assure the carrying out of the function of human reproduction in the most normal manner with as nearly perfect a result as possible so far as the parents (especially the mother), the offspring and the future human race are involved."

So in other words: “here are all the things you need to do to ensure you aren’t raising a commie.”

Page 10: "Ignore superstitions. Nothing you hear, see or think can mark or hurt your baby in any way."

What in God’s name were people gossiping about in 1949? “So I says to Millie, I says... ‘Sweetie, you’re in the family way so don’t listen to jazz or you’re baby will come out communist.”

Page 11, discussing embarrassment of a pelvic exam: "To help overcome this, consider that, even though the doctor is deeply concerned with your welfare, you are only one of many whom he has examined and that for him, this is the merest routine."

In other words, ladies of 1949, your vag is boring.

Page 13: "It is well worth remembering that it is the germ cell of the father that determines whether your baby is a boy or a girl."

So blame that jerkhole, just as soon as he gets home from his mistress’s. Also, I was going to make a very funny joke about how my sperm count automatically dropped when the Pet Milk Corp called it a “germ cell”, but then Lisa said that’s actually a common scientific term. Lisa’s a commie for ruining my joke.

Page 19: "During pregnancy you should not gain more than about 20 pounds. Your breasts will increase by at roughly 1.5 pounds."

a) I’m pretty sure THIS GUY gained 20 pounds of sympathy weight when lisa was preggers and b) by talking about breasts that are 1.5 pounds bigger than the status quo, I believe, by 1949 standards, this pamphlet has officially become porn.

Page 20: "Also, it is important that you obtain adequate vitamin D and take sufficient fluids."

Vitamin D?!? You mean like the vitamin D found in... PET MILK? THE CONSPIRACY THICKENS.

Page 22: "Coffee and tea are usually harmless drinks during pregnancy, provided they are not constipating."

Really, moms-to-be of 1949, over-caffeinating your unborn kiddo is fine, just so long as you’re able to poop okay.

Page 29, discussing employment: "If she is doing clerical work she can usually remain on the job up until her appearance later in pregnancy becomes a handicap."

First of all, when did we switch to the third person? Now that we’re talking about employment, did the pamphlet writers of 1949 just assume the man of the house would take over reading? Second, and slightly more interesting, THEY JUST CALLED PREGNANCY A HANDICAP.

Page 30: "Clothing – keep yourself looking nice."

Ah, we’re back to addressing the ladies of 1949 directly again. (Because, you know, those hussies probably just skipped right to this section. Snap!) I wanted to copy this entire section into my post, but this sums it up pretty well. The only way it could be more condescending is if it was followed up by “because your husband deserves it.”

Page 34: "Marital relations are strictly forbidden during the last six weeks of pregnancy. Also, there may be some complications in which case your doctor will advise against intercourse."

...like when your husband doesn’t deserve it, apparently. (Also, six weeks?!?)

Page 34: "In the case of the woman who is accustomed to smoking and does not wish to give up the habit during her pregnancy, there is no reason to believe that a moderate number of cigarettes, say a dozen or less per day, will do her any harm."

Oh man, we finally got to the good page. That’s right ladies of 1949, try to cut back to a little more than HALF A PACK A DAY if you’re really one of those health conscious nutbags.

Page 34: "A cocktail or highball now and then certainly does no harm."

Because, really, what’s the use of smoking 12 cigarettes a day if you can’t get a good buzz on at the same time?

So there you have it, ladies of 1949, if you want to have a healthy, commie-hating baby, just make sure you keep yourself looking nice, and try to cut back on those dirty vices. Oh, I don’t mean vices like smoking or highballs (see our recipe for Mother’s Pet Milk Martini on Page 47!), I mean vices like keeping a job well after you’re so huge we can call you handicapped. Pet Milk: The Milk That Sounds Like It’s From Your Pet, But Isn’t.

BufBloPoFo Topic for Day 13

Holy crap you guys! Tomorrow is The Last Day Eve! YOU CAN DO IT.

I was going to finish with this question like last year, but decided I’d use it for day 13 instead. Link to whatever you posted exactly one year ago (or whatever’s closest), and give your readers an update on that topic. If you haven’t been writing for a year, give us a list of three or four things that are going on in your life right now that you’ll want to update one year from now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BufBloPoFo 09 DayEleven

Who has two thumbs and could not be more boring? That would be this gentleman:


I snapped that gem this morning, right after filling out a cover sheet for my tps report. Okay, my job isn’t quite that banal, but this picture definitely doesn’t show the glitzy, glamorous side of lawyering. Mostly, because, you know, I haven’t found that side yet.

It might be tomorrow. Soon after this picture was taken, my boss handed me a file and said “You get to play lawyer tomorrow.” Turns out a friend of a friend of the bossman has an Unemployment Benefit Hearing tomorrow and needs an Esq to represent him. Guess who has two thumbs, could not be more boring, and gets to try his first case as a lawyer tomorrow? That would be the gentlemen picture above.

If you’re a lawyer and reading this, welcome back to the post. I assume after reading that last paragraph, you spent a good ten minutes rolling your eyes and are just now getting back to the RT. See, non-lawyers, “trying a case” and an “unemployment benefit hearing” is about as similar as shooting bullets and throwing them. Tomorrow isn’t really all that Atticus Finch-ish, but rather I get to sit in a room with a pseudo-judge, my client and his ex-boss, talking about schedules and paystubs and tps reports.

Even still... that gentleman does get to play lawyer tomorrow.

BufBloPoFo 09 Topic for Day 12

Lisa, Maeve, Addie and I had Unkie BAStart and Auntie Outgrabes over for some vino and pastries last night. The girls, happy to have an audience, but happier to have cookies, took their time heading for bed. Parental wherewithal can come from years of childrearing, or it can apparently be pulled from a bag of goodies bought at Starbucks. That kind of knowledge doesn’t come automatically for parents, so for day 12 (three more days!) I want to hear your best advice for those of us raising kids.

Monday, March 23, 2009

BufBloPoFoMonique 09 DayTen

Oh man, I’ve been monkeying around on the internet for about an hour now and it just occurred to me I’m supposed to be blogging. Maybe next year I’ll do a fortnight of monkeying around on the internet. That would be fun.

As for today, I think I’ve granted myself a pass when it comes to heroes. If you want to know what I think of the lass after whom BufBloPoFo DayTen is named, check out my post from last year. Right now, I’ll be willing to bet she’s high fiving Abe Lincoln, her partner on Heaven’s Legal Debate Team. My grandfather will have a drink waiting for her, I’m sure.

So what am I going to talk about then? Hmmm. Well....

My favorite soup is French onion. The end.

BufBloPoFo 09 Topic for Day 11

Holy crap! Four more posts to go! YOU CAN DO IT, PARTICIPANTS. As you can see by my sparse entry above, things are getting a little sluggish. I’ll let up on the accelerator for a day and give us a slow pitch. For tomorrow, follow these directions:

1. Take out your cell phone.
2. Turn it around and take a picture of yourself AS YOU ARE RIGHT THIS SECOND NO CHEATING.
3. Post that pic and describe it. Where are you? Why are you wearing that? Maryface, there’s something in your teeth.

Okay okay, if you don’t have a cell phone with a camera in it, then your assignment is to write a post about what it’s like living in the scary and unfamiliar future world. Do you miss your caveman family and your pet dinosaur?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

BufBloPoFo 09 DayNine

So, thanks to Katie for that not at all uncomfortable story. Ha ha. Your stronger-than-me fiancĂ© doesn’t read your blog, right?

Sandy also asked about my fascination with bow ties. A fair question. Actually, it isn’t just bow ties. I mean, if I could, I’d bring back fedoras and capes and spats and... well, no... not dickies.

See, it seems like “masculinity” has come to equal “knuckle-dragging” lately. Like the only way to be a real man is to wear a wife-beater, drink cheap beer, listen to Nickelback and, you know, grunt. I’m not trying to re-define cool or anything, but I like the idea that manliness doesn’t HAVE to be the opposite of sophistication.



That, and I watched a lot of Pee-Wee Herman as a kid.


BufBloPoFo Topic for BufBloPoFoMonique Day (Day 10)

On day ten last year, I found out about a girl named Monique who graduated from law school a year before me. She kicked cancer’s ass long enough to graduate, study for and then take the New York State Bar Exam. She passed away soon after that, cementing her status as one of my all time greatest personal heroes. I regret that I never met her, but I’m a better lawyer today because I know her story. For BufBloPoFoMonique day, tell me who inspires you. Who is your hero?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

BufBloPoFo 09 DayEight

Dr. Nic and I met, ah, let’s see... freshman year at Canisius? I know it was early on, but those four years were kind of a blur. You could tell me the magna carta was signed during my undergrad and I might just believe you. (Especially because I was a history major! (Oh snap! (Snap on me, I mean!)))

Anyway, before I was a smartie-pants history buff, which was around the time the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, I was pre-med, right alongside our co-BufBloPoFo-Participant Dr. Nic. So that means we probably met in Hanson’s bio class or Dinan’s chem class (with the uber TA, Tom). In fact, I’m pretty sure we were in a chem group together (along with a very cute Lisa Battaglia).

Anyway, as you can tell from her handle and her blog, she stuck with the whole science scene while my medical career was, well, history. Oo! Oo! I just remembered, I ran into her at a BNL concert too! In fact, there’s my question for you: If you had a million dollars, besides buying John Merrick’s remains for your husband, what would you do?

BufBloPoFo 09 Topic for Day 9

Today’s assignment was to talk about the BufBloPoFo participant below you on the list over there on the sidebar. Today, if the blogger above you on that list was kind enough to ask you a question, answer it! If not, either find a question that was asked of someone else and answer that or, you know, write a post about, um... soup. Look, these topics can’t all be winners, people.