Tuesday, November 30, 2004

google this

well well well!

remember when you were young and mom would make you stand next to a door jam every year to see how much you'd grown? well, that time has come for the royal toybox.

not only did we hit a month this past weekend, but guess who can now be found via google??? how cool is that? I feel like navin r. johnson with his phone book - I'm someone now!

and for all of you who care about the barenaked ladies even though they've forgotten all about their greatest fans here in buffalo, guess who is considered the 44th most valuable referring site to their blog? I'm so proud! our little blog all grows up!


Sunday, November 28, 2004

super, though unidentified, man

I don't really consider myself a fanatical collector, per se, of superman stuff, but I'd be willing to bet that when it comes to the last son of krypton I know more than the average bear. yes I've been to comic book conventions, but I've never written fan fiction. yes, I taped the cartoons when the wb or cartoon network showed them, but I never wrote angry letters to the networks when they so callously dropped them. yes, I once owned superman pajamas, but I almost never wear them anymore.

I know what martha kent's first name was. ("mary" - it was changed because they didn't want superman to be too much of a Christ figure.)
I know why there are so many characters in the superman universe whose initials are "LL".
I know where julius schwartz wanted to build "Supermanland" and why they never did. so sad.

so yeah, speaking of sad, I'm a big old dork. but I bet if we opened up your cranium and poked around we’d find that you have some great addiction as well. seinfeld? winnie the pooh? sailor moon? modest mouse? ‘fess up, because we’re all big old dorks about something.

since I don’t exactly hide this obsession, I’ve had a lot of people ask me about this new superman movie they’re talking about. first of all, “they” talk big. this movie has a lot more red tape to muddle through before it’s anywhere near the big screen, so I’m not going to get my hopes up. Superman Returns has gone through a billion different production teams and leading men and will probably go through another billion before it gets it right. remember when it was going to be nicholas cage and tim burton? warner brothers has literally spent $50 million trying to get it off the ground since then.

In case you’re curious, here’s my take on a few of the casting possibilities:

nicholas cage – I’m really ready for him to make another good movie, but this wouldn’t have been it. he needs to call the coen brothers.
matthew bomer – interesting look to him, but he’s a soap actor through and through.
brendan fraser – one of my favorite young actors today. I think he could give the part a certain life that a lot of other actors couldn’t. but even if he nails the part, he’d still be encino man.
david boreanaz – a local favorite, and he might look the part, but he’d really have to step it up in the acting department to impress me.
josh hartnett – please dear God in heaven no.
ashton kutcher – I’d rather have hartnett.
jerry o’connell – pftht. maybe in some similar, alternate universe.

my pick? it’s a tie between cillian murphy and billy crudup. yeah, you’d really have to beef either of them up a little, but they had to put a lot of weight on reeve too. my advice is to pick someone who can act, and then go from there. on that note, if there are any Warner Bros execs reading this, I’d be more than happy to read for the part if hartnett or kutcher is your best choice otherwise.

procrastination nation

I should consider myself blessed to have such technology at my fingertips. my life has been improved a hundred-fold because of the time saving tools that I use, like my ipaq and the internet.

then again, it's a force that could be used for good or evil. I'd get a lot more work done if the government would get their act together and keep incredibly funny and entertaining stuff like will ferrell at harvard and weezer with the muppets off of my computer.

note: for the ferrell video, jump to 1:30:39 for the good stuff unless you really want to watch the whole thing, which you don't.

note also: for the weezer bit, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and open any of the muppet files under "video". unless you have anything else to do, in which case you shouldn't be on the internet at all, slacker.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

with faithful leaves unchanging

the tree has been got. rather, the trees have been gotten.

yet another garvey family tradition to check off the list for the year: we woke up early this morning, had a cup of coffee, and then loaded up the caravan (not a minivan called a caravan, I mean actually a fleet of automobiles) and drove out to the Field-of-Dreams Christmas Tree Farm to pick out a winner. this started a few years ago when most of us were in college or chicago or mississippi or wherever, and the only free time before christmas that we could spend together was thanksgiving. so, snow or no snow, the garveys would suit up and head for the hills.

this year increased to maybe two dozen people. that's with six cars, three babies, three dogs, and a partridge in a pear tree. lisa and I got a tree for the tajmapartment, mom and dad got two for the ponderosa, and the rest of the group cut down five others. yup, the garveys and the garvey-in-laws were responsible for the brutal murder of eight perfectly healthy pine trees. happy birthday, Jesus!

and tonight? well, the agenda says I'll be working on a paper, and I'm sure I'll be able to get a few pages out unless leftover turkey has anything to say about that. despite talk of christmas decorations and wedding planning, I think the paper is going to take precedence because I'm a little worried about the upcoming scholastic week. I mean, the rest of the semester isn't going to be easy, but it seems like this week is going to be all-nighter after all-nighter.

in happier news, we're down to 19 days until my birthday. and how nice is it that my exams end the same week as my birthday? everybody wins!

Friday, November 26, 2004

cranberry sauce, anyone? it's fresh from the can.

so, how was your thanksgiving? mine was good – I’m still full.

today, by the way is the original Day of Sloth. it started a few years ago because my family wiiiiiiisely decided to ignore the siren's lure of the mall's seasonal sales and instead watch movies all day. we'd wear pj's, and nosh on leftovers and crack open any champagne that survived the night. most of the movies were typically christmas favorites ("meatloaf, double beetloaf"), but we were never really strict about it. I think one year we watched True Lies and Ace Ventura. (speaking of bad movies, has anyone else seen ads for the third blade flick featuring van wilder??? oh man, that comes out on the 8th, and I'll be thinking of little else until then.)

anyway, sad to say, it looks like the Walden Gonorrea has beaten us lazy few, because mom and the sisters and even lisa have traded in their fuzzies and turkey sandwiches for busy corridors and people who have NO IDEA how to park. hey, I won't complain, though, since it means I can have a guilt-free video game bender. aaaaand, if I’ve been a good boy, maybe they're doing a little birthday shopping too. (20 shopping days left…)

as for me, I’m still out at mom and dad’s (sorry I haven’t updated in awhile – let’s blame it on the tryptophan) and since it looks like day of sloth is going freestyle this year, I think I’ll get some school work out of the way. but first, maybe a little turkey breakfast to get the energy up.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The 2004-05 Knuckleheads

sports in general were an acquired taste for me. I was always, and still am, a big dork. star trek? comic books? video games? I rank pretty high on the top 500 list recently published by Nerdular Nerdence.

but I didn't really get into sports until later on, and even then I was more fan than fanatic. (purposefully didn't say athletic supporter.) I used to love going to sabres games in the orange section with dad, or freezing my bottom off while tailgating at rich. one weekend a few years ago, I went to a cubs game, then flew home for a sabres game, and then saw the bills play the jets the next day. oh, if only buffalo had a pro curling team, I really could have done more with my free time that weekend.

today, I’m still no aficionado when it comes to pro sports, but I definitely enjoy them more, and I’ve developed an action plan that'll at least make it look like I know what I’m talking about. last year, I collected hockey cards with cecilia (a shout out to Mr. B), which was fun, but a) expensive, and b) futile since I got more excited about completing the collection than about becoming hockey-savvy. Hockey Cards: Gotta Catch'em All!

this year, since the hockey industry is bickering like gallagher brothers, my Grow A Pair And Learn About Sports Program has shifted its focus to football via the perfect marriage of a manly american pastime and internet geekitude: a fantasy league. my team is named The Knuckleheads, and boy-howdy, I must be a natural because we kick the donkey's ass. I have the best record (9-2) for the season so far, and the second best cumulative point total.

so have I succeeded? did my plan work? ooooh, you bet not, my friends. no I may be the best fantasy manager/coach ever or anywhere, but ask me a single player on my team and forget it. I can sing the complete ducktales theme, I still remember the konami code, I can tell you in which buffalo comic shop you’re more likely to find a back issue of astro city, and which issue I was buying when I met alex ross in chicago. but ask me who any of my TEs or RBs play for, and I’ll probably say the mariners.

so how about that, my friends in the fantasy league? The guy who doesn’t know the quarterback from the head cheerleader (the same guy who used the suggest button all through the draft) has the best record AND just clinched a spot in the playoffs.

Tune in next week, loyal readers, when I talk about how, in a stunning display of dumbassery, I lost a ranking spot in the league by trading manning out for ruth bader ginsburg or something. (and for what it’s worth, I’ll probably still have the ducktales theme running through my mind...)

Monday, November 22, 2004

mmm... reheated cooooffeeeee

I pulled a pseudo-all-nighter last night. but it was for a good cause, so it was worth it. here's the paraphrased (and abridged- you're welcome) story:

let's say I have this friend, see? and he's a student at the university at buffalo, school of taxidermy, right? and my friend had a week to finish this, um, elephant. oh, forget it. I'm not awake enough to lie well.

"taxidermy" = "management"
"elephant" = "hugh jass homework assignment"
"my friend" = "me", which is silly. I hate me.
ceteris paribus:

anyway, this particular assignment was so tough that I was about to give up on it. I figured I'd throw together an excel doc and go to see the great and powerful prof to beg for forgiveness in the morning.

but then, at about 11:30 last night, something clicked. a light turned on. choirs of cherubim sang a round of "eureka" in my head because all of a sudden, I understood a piece of the problem I was working on. it wasn't much, but maybe this was the codec I needed to understand the rest. I went to the book and re-read that chapter and sure enough, the problem started to look do-able.

cue montage music!: bah bop, ba-da bum, ba-da bum, ba-da buuuuum... my fingers flew across the keyboard as I waited for a fresh pot to brew! bah bop, ba-da bum, ba-da bum, ba-da buuuuum... it was as though my eyes weren't my own, going automatically to the exact chapter, page, paragraph I needed to reference every new problem! ba-da, ba-da, ba-da, ba-da, ba-buuuuuuuuuum...

and then, as my vcr clock chimed 6:30am, I hit ctrl-S and ctrl-P. and in my hands I held the most beautiful C+ paper I'd ever birthed.

update: I just met with the prof who told me I'd actually hit pretty close to a bullseye on my final numbers. (I am so smart! S-M-R-T!) so, in the end I learned a valuable lesson about procrastination and hard work.

pftht...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

them that got

bill watterson said once that when he failed to come up with a good idea for a strip, he'd go for broke and let a funny picture tell the story. but, unless I can rely on reeeeally fancy emoticons (look, a rose! @-->-- ) I can't really fall back on a funny picture.

since I can't come up with any original ideas of my own tonight, how about I use this space to answer one of those Get To Know Your Friends emails. I got this particular one from cecilia, although I'd gotten it from a few other people as well. if it sucks, blame them.

1. IF YOU COULD BUILD A SECOND HOUSE ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
oh well, this is getting off on the right foot. I don't even have a first house, so how do I answer this? but the question says "if I COULD", so let's just pick up our feet and ride along with the hypothetical. IF I COULD build a second house anywhere, I'd build it right next to the first one, so I wouldn't have to go far if it turns out I only have one set of legos.

2. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING?
ain't nothin' more comfy than mah overalls.

3. WHAT IS THE LAST CD YOU BOUGHT?
ooh, tough one. I'm so rhapsodied right now, it's been awhile. oh wait, I remember - lisa and I got the garden state soundtrack when we were up in toronto. before that it was the new ben folds ep, super D.

4. WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING?
usually around 6:30. unless I can sleep in a bit and dream about Doughnuts of the Divine.

5. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE KITCHEN APPLIANCE?
I just got a new toaster!!! I mean, lisa and I just got a new toaster!!! huzzah for the wedding registry...

6. IF YOU COULD PLAY AN INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
the piano. if I'm to impress people at parties, I'd have to know how to play something that's likely to be there. "Hi, I'm mike, any chance you have a 'cello around?"

7. FAVORITE COLOR?
I guess there was this tanker carrying a shipment of red paint and black paint. when it crashed into an island the crew was marooned.

8. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SPORTS CAR OR SUV?
I'm perfectly happy with my old man lumina.

9. DO YOU BELIEVE IN AFTERLIFE?
yup. and I'm hoping we get to travel through time to view events from this life, dickens-style. then I'd prove to lisa that I was in the choir more than once.

10. FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK?
something by dahl. or "everybody poops".

11. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON?
call me crazy, but I love the winter. I love the snow, I love the cold, or rather being bundled up in it, and I love the holidays. granted, most of that wears off pretty early in january, but until then, give me a winter wonderland anyday.

12. IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
flight. then speed, then strength. then getting women to take me out for mighty and comic books. oh wait, I already have that.

13. IF YOU HAVE A TATTOO, WHAT IS IT?
no tats, no piercings. I'm so lame.

14. CAN YOU JUGGLE?
I am right now. don't believe me? sorry, it's a website - you'll just have to trust me.

15. THE ONE PERSON FROM YOUR PAST YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND TALK TO?
me. I mean, young me. I'd tell young me to get a better haircut and stay away from the "jim's steak out".

16. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE DAY?
I do love sundays. I try not to schedule anything so I can catch up on whatever. then I spend all evening writing a blog post.

17. WHAT'S IN THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR?
nothing, officer. seriously.

18. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SUSHI OR HAMBURGER?
raw hamburger. just kidding - I like sush, but just the basics. the california rolls. the spicy tunas. etc. but I'd give that all up for a peppercorn blue cheese burger from coles.

19. FROM THE PEOPLE YOU WILL EMAIL THIS TO, WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND FIRST?
I hope cecilia posts a new one to her blog. she's pretty funny.

20. WHO'S LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
I'm completely ripping this off from sarah, who already posted a few questions of her own. blog theft is the sincerest form of flattery.

21. WHO DID YOU RECEIVE THIS FROM?
cecilia and a few others who shall remain nameless.

22. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER?
oh I am weakened by the lameness of this question. instead of answering it, I'd like to make fun of lisa and katie for being so upset that they will not be having turkey for thanksgiving. neener neener. feel free to stop over to the ponderosa if you'd like to sample some of the succulent bird we'll be having.

23. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEAL?
turkey. neener neener!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

where would you live?

a little midnight snack for your brain before I drift off to sleep.

if you could live in the world of any tv show, which would it be? I mean, you wouldn't have to live with that family, or work in that office, but I guess that's possible. my first instinct was the wonder years, but now I'm leaning more towards bonanza. I pretty much am hoss.

maybe star trek?

I'm watching saturday night live right now, and U2 is doing vertigo. I think bono is singing off-key and off-tempo deliberately to show that he isn't lipsyncing. also, has anyone ever noticed that the fake train schedule behind the drummer lists buffalo? wow! we're famous!

ladies and gentlemen...

I give you the longest blog post ever. enjoy.

I don't think I am... but I am.

welcome back my friends, to the blog that never ends, it just goes on small vacations like yesterday. yeah, sorry about that. if you want to read about how busy I am these days, I go into a lot more detail in the first two paragraphs of this post. I'm no less busy this weekend, but at least I have a fun new The Incredibles mug to keep me happy. the lovely lisa got it for me. coffee tastes better in it, for some reason.

by the way, if you haven't seen the incredibles yet, stop doing whatever you're doing and go see it. brad bird also did the iron giant, which is one of my top five favorites. I dare any red-blooded american (or canadian... cecilia) who has ever read a superman comic book to watch the iron giant and not get a little choked up at the end. anyway, the incredibles is a lot of fun, and it makes for a damn fine coffee mug subject.

yesterday started out innocently enough, since I got to sleep in an hour or so before heading to class. I've recently started showing signs of that damning trait where grownups don't automatically sleep in until noon on the weekends, but that doesn't mean that I don't looooooove the chance to stay in my warm bed for an extra hour if the alternative is going to school. (interesting side note - during that final hour of sleep, I dreamt that God was a giant doughnut. what the hell does that mean?!?)

I typically have just the one class on fridays, but yesterday we had to pull a double shift to make up for missing next week. I'd complain, but it's actually kind of an interesting course, so I don't mind rolling with the punches on this one. and the fact that our group rocks the worlds of all the other groups (a special shout out to meagan) as manufacturers and sellers of sonites makes it a lot more palatable.

in between the two shifts (yup, not only did I have to stick around for two classes yesterday, but they were scheduled two hours apart) I met with my group from another class so we could do a little data entry on our statistical project. Has anyone ever worked with SPSS? it's a glorified excel, meant for wide-scale data analysis. I'm not sure what the acronym stands for, but after it crashed and lost my data, I've decided "spawn" and "satan" are in there somewhere.

after they let us loose from Markland (the simulation country we use in my friday class. actually, the whole thing is kind of like a big Sim-Corporation video game. yeah, good times.) I quick-changed and high-tailed it downtown to catch the show at the Irish called You Never Can Tell. I'm not a huge shaw fan, but this cast, and the director, really made something 3D out of the production. and I don't just mean it was a blackbox theatre, although that helped. to me, someone who had never read or seen the play, these characters were living and breathing and acting spontaneously in front of me, not simply the animated representation of the script. lisa wasn't able to see it, since she was off with her friends who think I'm hot, so I think I might try to see it with her before it closes on 11/28.

then it was off to the pearl street brewery for a drink with the birthday girl (happy 23rd!) and her friend, the whalers fan who probably thinks I smell bad. we drank a few and watched the pacers-pistons game. the best part was when a hockey game broke out. (old joke courtesy of john).

by the time I finally crawled home, my mind awash with market planning strategy, hotkey combinations for SPSS, reasons shaw hates london, and the lyrics to "somebody told me", I had hardly enough energy to crawl into bed. and then I got up at 8am. siiiiigh...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

laundrigami

I seem to remember finn trying to re-create this over lunch one day, but I just figured he was tired of crossword puzzles.

state of the toybox address

Haaaaaaaappy birthday to yoooooouuu!
Haaaaaaaappy birthday to yoooooouuu!
Happy one week biiiiiiiirthday, royal toyboooooooox!
Happy birthda*

*this birthday blog has been terminated by the attorneys of John F. Stenbeck. Anyone ever watch Sports Night? It's kind of like that episode where the voice of Lisa Simpson (who was also on Herman's Head) played the lawyer that informed Dan (Josh Charles - who was in Dead Poets Society with Robin Williams who was in Cadillac Man with Tim Robbins who was in Mystic River with Kevin Bacon) that he was being fined for singing this song on the air. It’s kind of like that except Aaron Sorkin has nothing to do with my blog. But MAN, wouldn’t that be cool???

switching gears, I want to celebrate the toybox’s one week birthday by bringing in a new element – talking about the issues. don’t worry, I’m not going to do this too often, since I rarely have any opinions worth sharing on anything topical (“blah blah blah desmond tutu”).

first, I just want to extend a fresh hanky to the modern media and let them know that it’s going to be okay. the american society may surprise you sometimes, but my advice is just to drop the issue or, like a bad scab, it will never go away. take a deep breath, count to ten, and realize that not nearly as many people were really truly upset about terrell owens and nicollette sheridan as you’re making them out to be.

american public, back me up on this. yes we want decency, yes we’d like to be able to watch something, just every so often, with our kids and our grandparents in the same room. but we aren’t all going to raise an agrarian revolt, complete with torches and pitch forks, everytime someone says “ka-ka”, or happens to show a bare ankle on prime time television. give us at least some credibility.

and for those of you who were truly upset about this, why aren’t you up in arms about every single beer commercial they’ve shown every other monday night since the beginning of time?!? if you really want to protect your kids, if you really want to make good on your role as a parent, then why aren’t you rioting in the streets over the proposed red budget? (yes, I realize that it’s just being proposed as a negotiation tactic, but, like it or hate it, shouldn’t that alone have the masses murmering?)

wow, I just re-read this post so far, and everything from “switching gears” to “murmering?)” has me a little embarrassed as to the direction the toybox took today. for one thing, I see a lot of holes in my logic, and for another I feel like a parent who got drunk and yelled at his kid’s birthday party. ignore it. forget I wrote it. someone tell a joke. what’s brown and sticky? a stick.

I swear I’ll get back to teh funnay tomorrow.

the presentation starts at 2:30.

I'm chiming in once again from my ipaq, tough not as a TA this time. Nope, tonight I'm phoning it in from (get this) a dental school.

my dad's a doc. he has a practice in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. (for those of you in my marketing class, he's the one who scored our group the dental lab coats. for esther, “yup, that’s muh dad…”) tonight, he's giving a lecture on implants (dental, not chestal) that's being webcast to a few other schools. yeah, I know, pretty dry stuff, but when all my teeth fall out from this medical condition I have (known as: "eating a bowl of butterfingers"), I bet I'll be pretty excited he's the resident expert.

anyway, I'm here for support. but since I don't understand any of this (except for the summary, which started with an inigo montoya quote – always the sign of a good presentation), I think it's time to move on to the evaluation survey he handed out.

assessment for:
EVALUATION & MGMT OF BONE DEFICIENT IMPLANT SITES by Dr. Dad.
Please rate the following statements on a scale from 1 to 7, "1" meaning Strongly Disagree, and "7" meaning Strongly Agree:

1. Presentations were clear and to the point – well, there was only one presentation (semantics!), but I’d give it a 7. yes, it was three hours long, but sometimes you just need to work your way up to the slides where you were hammering on thigh bone in order to be both clear and to the point.
2. The content was interesting – 7 again. I was very impressed with all of the bloody tooth slides.
3. I gained new insights about my role – 7, without a doubt. turns out my role is to play with my ipaq until you show bloody slides.
4. The meeting facility was conducive to learning - 7, thank you God for wireless. in all seriousness though, the presentation was webcast to 7 other schools! How cool is it that dad can show a bloody tooth slide in amherst, and it can simultaneously gross out 8 schools! well done technology, well done.
5. The presenters were able to hold my attention throughout - 7, though I could tell you wanted to make a joke about the different types of bone.
6. The content had substance – whatever this means, I agree strongly with it. 7 all the way on the substance-filled content.
7. My understanding of key matters was enhanced – considering I started from an understanding level around “.01”, and now it’s maybe around “.03”, that’s a %200 increase in understanding. I’m guessing that includes key matters, so you get a 7.
8. The course was well organized – 7. if I could give you an 8 on this one I would. I especially liked the part of the course where we went to pizza plant afterwards for pods and beer. I’m told the good doctors normally do this after every presentation. you know, like little league teams after games.

Comments:
bravo, dad - I’m glad I could be a part of the event. I learned a few things, I got to hang out with mom for a few seconds, and I got to make fun of lisa for knowing what “trabeculae” means. (latin for canadian game show host who used to have a mustache, duh.) but next time, let’s see if we can’t get in more bloody tooth slides, huh?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

got got got got no time.

is it TOO hypocritical to talk about how busy you are in a blog? yes, but I will anyway.

I'm REEEEALLY busy.

now that that's out of the way, I can talk about the stuff I want to talk about, like my honeymoon. lisa and I are planning a trip to italy for the two weeks after we tie the knot, which I'm told is the high tourism season there. so, in an effort to streamline the trip, and maybe get a few ideas while I'm brainstorming, I thought I'd put this out there for all of you to comment on. I'll get to that later.

here's the latest itinerary we're talking about: we fly into sicily (probably via rome, but that's okay) and spend two nights there. then we'll take a train all the way north to florence for 5 nights, with one day trip to pisa and another to tuscany. then we take another train to venice for a night and a day before heading back to rome for another 5 nights. about two weeks total, but that'll depend on how cheaply I can get train tickets and intermediate hotel rooms. we don't mind sleeping in the smaller, cheaper places for a few nights in each city if it means we can end each stay with one kick-ass five star suite.

all in all, I've determined it's going to run us about $12 billion dollars, but that's not too bad as these things go.

so, any thoughts? any good restaurants/hotels/museums/popes we should visit? a lot of people have told me just to buy the package deal and go with a group (bringing the cost down to $11.5 billion), but I really want to try to do this on our own. I like the idea of having a schedule to follow, but I'm not too keen on the idea of having to be responsible to a trip coordinator the whole time.

any guidance you offer on this will earn you a postcard from the pope of your choice, so write in early and often.

I'd write more, but phew, am I busy...

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'd love nicholas picholas.

my pessimistic mind just came up with a good secondary wish. by which I mean, you can now fly, you can turn invisible, you're a gazillionaire, the middle east is quiet, you're on a first name basis with rachel ray (hot-cha!), but the genie is still there. you've made all your big wishes, so now what? well, if we're in the universe where genies grant an infinite number of wishes, you move on to the secondaries.

an endless supply of mighty taco? for keen eddie to start up again? the ability to always remember fred willard's name? (yes, I had to look it up.) how about we make calories good for you? all good thoughts and if you've got the wishes to throw around, be my guest. I'd definitely go for the mighty. but as I sit here in my car, flipping through the buffalo FM stations (yes I'm using my ipaq and yes I'm parked), I'm struck by my new secondary wish: I wish I had worse taste.

when I hear a song on the radio that I reeeeally like, let's say “istanbul” by TMBG, I'm elated. I'm thrilled. I feel like all the problems in the world could be solved if we just use enough elbow grease. but then the next thousand tunes are inevitably pearl jam's “last kiss”, and I instantly remember why I’m a misanthrope.

think about it: I wouldn't be dumber, I'd just have lowered standards. every song on the radio would make me happy, every summer teen movie would be my favorite, and don't even get me started on how much I'd look forward to sitcoms! and with poor taste, even the reruns are good to me!

or I could just wish everything was good, but c'mon, he's only a genie.

Monday, November 15, 2004

the man's mall

when I make a compilation CD for someone, I always put the best song second. the first track is obligatory. the recipient is required to listen to the first song by the Laws of Comp CDs (which were drawn from the Rules Regarding Mix Tapes, a document whose origins can be traced back to, I don't know, the Folder of Sheet Music Regulations or whatever predated cassette tapes. whistling?) but it's the second song that is the true test - will this compilation catch the attention of the giftee's ears? or will the rest of the CD's mediocrity be ushered in by a weak 2nd song effort?

my point - yes, I have one - is that we've reached the second post since I sent around my mass email, so it's time to bring out the good stuff. ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the idea that will make me and all of my friends (investors) our millions. I give to you my plans thus far for...

THE MAN'S MALL

Those that know me, or have overheard me drinking, know that this has been a dream of mine ever since trying to christmas shop at a mall in chicago. I looked around and decided that there must be an enormous (and enormously ignored) market segment of men who need the service of a shopping center, but hate the controlling and uncomfortable nature of the american mall. the needs and desires of NASCAR dads are unimportant, you say? think again. it's a growing demo/psychographic, and someone is going to make a lot money once they realize how to harness that segment.

a full description would be too long to put into one post even by my standards (I tried – it was four pages long), but suffice it to say that it’s going to change the way we look at brick and mortar retail forever. it isn’t anti-female; in fact women are encouraged to join in on the fun. come sit in one of the movie theatre’s barcaloungers, or take advantage of each clothing stores’ new structure: they’ll be divided by size, not by style. as you walk in, you immediately get scanned by the store sensors, and a print out tells you where to go and what'll fit. happy customers are good customers.

No one will dispute that men and women have different shopping habits. Just like the differences between races, ages, etc., these are notions that can either be seen as obstacles to overcome or opportunities that could very well propel an eager entrepreneur into a successful retail (and societal) venture.

And if nothing else, it’ll give us all a place where we can go to get those cool sleeve napkins. no more wasting time getting that serviette from your lap to your mouth!

Come to think of it, I’d better get to work on it since this is sounding more and more like someplace I really want the bachelor party.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

the house is now open

aaaaaand hello to my new audience!

a quick explanation to those who have just joined in on the Royal Toybox, which is pretty much, well, everyone but me: see, up until yesterday, I'd been a closet blogger. I really didn't want to pass this around too much for a few reasons, not the least of which is that I just didn't know if I'd have the time and drive to keep up with it. as evidenced by the last few posts, though, I think we can all agree I'll be around for at least a little while.

I also have to admit I was a little nervous about really opening up to the world. yeah, I don't have to worry about sneezing gum on you, but this swimming hole that is the weblog world is a little chilly and if I jump right in, I'll surely die of shock before I can get used to it. and, I'm just now noticing, I really have to work on my metaphors before I'll be audience-ready. sorry about that.

my hope was to wait a week and then tell everyone about the toybox, but I got a little too excited, and let it slip to aaronson and zykowski. now everyone in springfield knows.

so welcome, my friends. you're a little early, but I'm no less happy you could stop in! leave me comments, ask me questions, and by all means, share with me your own blog addresses. I need new people to steal from.

esther = toast eater.

lisa's aunt and uncle threw us an engagement party last night. or, as they put it on the invitation, a "Getting To Know Lisa+Mike's In-Laws" occasion. they'd all met before, in fact our parents are pretty good friends already, but this would be the first time everyone had been in the same few rooms since I proposed almost a year ago. (december 18th - I put the ring in her advent calendar.)

side note: come to think of it, why didn't I propose two days earlier, on my birthday??? that would have been a lot easier to remember. could I be so self centered that I didn't want to take attention away from my birthday? speaking of which, 32 shopping days left...

anyway, getting back to the less self-serving point of my post, the party was an incredible event. I really do love her family, and not like "I love blueberry pop-tarts"; I mean I actually feel an emotional connection with these people that one would usually reserve for their God-given family. I know my family loves lisa just as much - hell, it was on their coaxing that I asked her to ken and bec's wedding in the first place. not that I needed much.

I can't give you a single reason why, but this is an important thing for me. I mean, I would want to marry lisa even if she belonged to a family of howler monkeys (which is a hilarious mental picture- thank you Gary Larson), but the fact that our families blend so well really hits it home for me. it feels right. it feels warm. and damn, they can throw a good party.

I'll always regret that I never met lisa's grandfather. he must have been a great man as his influence can still be seen in everything her family does. these people love to be alive. they love to point out how lucky we all are, and more so, they love to celebrate those blessings. need proof? they're going to hold a parade at our wedding reception. dionysus himself couldn't love life more. lisa's uncle dan really stepped up and gave a wonderful toast last night that I'll remember forever. again I never met the man, but I know lisa's papa was there in spirit, and he must have been thrilled that he'd so successfully passed on the toast-giving torch to both his sons.

I'll always regret that lisa never really got to know papa. they met before we started dating, I think, when she was over for a new year's party. (that was the night of our first kiss, technically. just a quick peck for new-years-luck.) I know in everything I do, day in and out, I can feel papa pushing me in the right direction. and to the extent that I value breathing, I love the fact that I can feel his blessing on this union of families. damn, what a party that'd be, huh? both our papas sitting at the Great Kitchen Table In The Sky, drinking what I imagine would be the best whiskey ever, laughing and playing euchre with uncle jim, rodney dangerfield and cicero.

thanks, guys.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

the nuts and bolts of it

hee hee... I said "nuts".

I started my day with an egg-beaters omelet while listening to the Tappet Brothers and then waited a whole three minutes before scurrying to my precious blog. yup, I’m addicted. and then some: I just rented a NEW VIDEO GAME, I have a law school application to work on, bills to pay, exams to correct and a whole bowl of butterfingers to eat, and yet, here I am typing away at the toybox. Which I may rename “crackpipe”.

the fact that I just got my first good review (hi lisa!) has only made me more anxious to refine my new addiction, so before I sat down to write this morning, I did a little research. with this project, I’m following in the footsteps of people who are more intelligent, funnier, and better looking than I am, so I have a lot to live up to. here are a few things I’ve noticed about the blogging industry:

There are no set styles. Some people seem to have a main point in each post, as though every day poses a new thesis to report. Some people just seem to vomit into their blogs (we’ll call this “blomit”) whatever thought surfaces first. both are interesting, but I think I’m going to be a little more middle-of-the-road.

if nothing else, my faith in the validity of non-mainstream music has been reinforced. Turns out I’m not the only fan of Cake in a city that lives and breathes Linkin Park, though the local radio stations would certainly suggest otherwise.

other sites are cooler than mine. But, my friends, the glove has been dropped, the line has been drawn in the sand, the soundtrack has switched to a minor key, because I’m working on it and someday the aforementioned addiction will generate a royal toybox so cool that the Blog Encyclopedia will have to invent whole new alphabet letters just so there’re enough volumes to describe it all.

or I’ll get bored and go play the video game.

Notes:
1. yeah, egg-beaters. mikey’s on the weight watchers. notice this paragraph is followed up with one containing a “bowl of butterfingers” if you’re wondering how I’m doing.
2. here’s a little garvey trivia for you: a college room mate and I once had a discussion about the best name for a new porn web site. the winner? “The Royal Toybox”. yup, welcome to my porn blog.
3. if there is a Blog Encyclopedia, I would like to be recognized as the progressive genius who first coined the phrase “blomit”.
4. I don’t mean to say that I don’t like Linkin Park. In fact I do, but they don’t hold a candle to
the new Cake album.
5. thanks in large part to greg, I’m 67% of the way through Lord of the Rings: The Third Age.

6. anyone notice I discovered hyperlinks for this post? see, I'm getting better every second.

Friday, November 12, 2004

...of the Planet Smartron

save prof h, I am smarter than everyone in this room. know why? because I'm the TA, that's why. and by definition, the teaching assistant is smart enough to assist teaching, so here I sit, smug in the knowledge that I don't have to take this test.

of course, if I did, out of boredom perhaps, I'd ace it. I wouldn't even have to ''skip'' two freebie questions-- no I'd just do the first twenty three, since they're all of equal difficulty (more like "easinulty") to a TA. look upon me, you feeble undergraduate students, for I am The Taker of Graduate Level Classes... I am the Passer Out of Sharpened No.2 Pencils... I am The One Getting Paid $9.50 To Be Here... I am The One You Address As "Mr." Even Though I'm Barely Older Than Most Of You... and by nature, I am Smarter Than Everyone In This Room.

save professor h.

and thank God for that, because otherwise i'd have to answer all of these questions and damned if I understand any of this stuff.

articulatation

greetings once again from my ipaq. or rather, from my caffeine riddled brain, via my ipaq. which, by the way, autocorrect insists is spelled ''Iraq''. my ipaq, I mean, not my brain.

aren't I articulate? I have my moments:

I once had a crush on a girl named caroline. at the time, I was taking a history class taught by the talented and entertaining Dr. Hank Clark. History of Colonial America or something. It was, admittedly, a very interesting course, but even so, I'd procrastinated on the class project and had to pull an all-nighter to finish it. (let's face it: even if I was taking Why Mike Garvey is Way Awesome 401, arguably the most interesting course ever offered, I'd still have held off until the night before to do any of the work. real actors just don't care...)

anyway, I went to class the next morning, gum covering the stink of late night cigarettes and re-heated coffee, and took a seat in the back so I could just zone out without drawing too much attention. sorry, dr. clark, but my focus was trained pretty tightly on less intensive subjects that class, such as who in the room would win if an all-out brawl broke out for some reason. my money was on the lackadaisical kid wearing the bruins (boston, not ucla) cap.

my serious concentration was broken, though, when clark threw a slow pitch question to the class and NO ONE GOT IT. students tried, sure, but weren't even close. it turned out I was the only one who read that part of the book since the answer clark was looking for was pretty obvious. I sat up a bit, cleared my throat and against my initial judgment, raised my hand.

I noticed two things as I started to answer. 1) I was right - the look on clark's face could have baked a cake, he was so thrilled. and 2) everyone else was listening. and watching. cool, I thought, so I played it up. I turned it on and spouted colonial american history so beautiful and articulate, that I was expecting even the bruins kid to be impressed.

then I sneezed.

and watched in slow motion as my gum flew through the air and landed near the aforementioned caroline's feet.

so, yeah, I can be articulate when I try. maybe even moreso with a blog since I won't have to worry about sneezing gum on any of you.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

I am the luckiest


I'm a big dork. but I'm a big dork who's madly in love. Posted by Hello

I do solemnly vow...

this is my second blog post ever and I'm making it from my new ipaq. man, ain't technology great? I feel like I should be sitting on a chair made of nanotechnology and drinking a steaming cup of warp drive. maybe I'll make my next post with a transmogrifier.

I just got a mental image of someone who did a blog search for informed opinions on nanotechnology and found me. sorry about that. if, on the other hand, you're looking for random thoughts on superman, the iron giant, dave eggers, kettle chips, canadian independent music, john stewart, monkeys, mom liking me best, the chicago cubs, the chicago deep-dish pizza, or how I'll never understand why bad comic books exist... welcome home.

I need to set out a few promises before any of this will be worthwhile. these are made more to myself than anything, which is okay since I'm guessing I'll be the majority of my audience. well, me and mom. she does like me best, after all.

I promise:
1) I won't change anything post posting. I have kept a journal for a few years now and I quickly realized I'd have to write in pen or I'd be too tempted to backtrack.
2) okay, okay... I'll keep it to the point. I don't want the toybox to be the polonius of weblogs, and I'll be the first to admit I'm a little wordy.

however, I can't necessarily promise:
1) you'll enjoy this. this is about as out-in-the-open as I get, so if mental voyeurism is your thing, here's a free pass into my psyche. but, this is still a journal, so I can't promise gold every day. speaking of which...
2) I'll post every day. I'm a busy man with a lot of video games to play, so I might have to skip a day every so often. if it comes down to posting or QT with lisa, lisa will win. unless the post is about her, then eeeeeverybody wins.


still with me? still reading? then tell dad I said hi.

leaping onto the bandwagon

hey! look at me! I have a blog! I'm a blogger!

blog blog blog. I first heard about these things from the same place I get much of my knowledge - the sunday comics. (the remainder of my knowledge comes from uncle john's bathroom reader.) I forget the context, but I remember it was a Doonesbury piece, and it must have been at least 4 or 5 months ago.

so why now? why at all, in fact? why take up my cyberpen and join in with the gazillions of people who have already gotten the blogging momentum going after all this time? a few reasons come to mind:

-the reviews have been good. I must have twenty friends who are doing this, and most of them are fairly reliable. alex told me about rhapsody, and boy was he right.

-getting in on the ground floor. yes yes, there are the gazillion and change bloggers out there already, but since that's still only 1/100th of the entire internet-using population as a whole, I may still be considered an early adopter. I'm nothing if not a trend-setter.

-e-catharsis. well, catharsis in general, really. I've had a pen and paper journal for awhile now, and I started that to get stuff off my chest. but, see, I can't exactly post that on my front door for people to read, unless I'm really only interested in confessing to mrs. galluzzo (the landlady), or chris (the ups guy). and no, I'm not going to stuff this blog down people's throats, in fact I may not even tell anyone and just see if it attracts an audience on its own. my point, though, is that I don't mind people peeping in on my thought process, and if I can make someone giggle at the same time, I'm a happy man.

that should do it for now. I've written my first post. I've picked out a name and a fun site design. and I did it all while listening to modest mouse, so I feel sufficiently hip. if you're still with me at this point, I promise to be a little more entertaining/enlightening in the future. just as soon as I get some interesting material out of the next uncle john’s bathroom reader...