Friday, December 31, 2004

I am an excellent poet. and I know it.

back when I was at canisius (motto – your grandfather probably went here) I used to frequent a website that would pay you to visit other websites or fill out surveys or sign up for credit cards. yeah, it was totally a scam, but there were occasionally fun little games to play and I did eventually get a walmart gift certificate for $25 dollars out of it, so I didn’t mind sifting through all the pop-ups and viruses. oh wait, that was on greg’s computer. sorry, roomie.

anyway, during one late night session, I scored a lot of points by signing up for a poetry contest. I didn’t have to win, I just had to enter and I would be that much closer to my $25, so I wrote this:

within my reach, but beyond my grasp,
the words I seek run through my mind.
my thoughts are sharp, I just wish that
I could have the "original" kind.

it was a jab at the fact that I steal all of my good material. (I have, on more than one occasion, wished that bill bryson was less popular so I could just copy his stuff into the toybox.) thinking back, I may very well have been looking through a shel silversteen book for something that I could cannibalize, just so that I could enter the silly contest and earn my gift certificate. you can get a lot of cool bric-a-brac at walmart for $25. I was tired, so I went into infinite-monkeys-at-infinite-typewriters mode and pounded that jem out.

again, I am an excellent poet. and I know it, because I just got an email from, 5 years later, telling me that my poem was selected as one of the “most influential and insightfully brilliant” (“brilliantly odd”, perhaps?) and will be featured in a new book that I can buy for only $24.99. I'm going to pass, since shel is still better and half the cost.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

somebody ELSE is gettin married

my friend stephen (who knows his whiskey and gets me good internships) and my friend aly (if you ever hear laughter coming from the DC area, it's her) had an engagement party tonight and I must say it went particularly well. and even though I'm "that guy" who loved the chicken satay so much he cut his lip on the skewer, steve asked me to marry him. okay, not really, but he did ask me to be a groomsman, which was at once an honor (hey, I'll put on a tux for anyone, but being a member of this party really means I made the cut) and a source of embarrassment (since I flaked on his first engagement party which was at chuck e cheese).

I got over the embarrassment pretty quick and said yes. woo-hoo!

keep on bloggin' on

I will admit that I downloaded tainted love only after it was used in a commercial and regained popularity a few years ago.

I will admit I didn't really watch too many bills games this season until they started kicking ass.

I will admit that I only started watching the west wing because of the hype, and even used the phrase "jumped the shark" when sorkin left, but only because enough people already knew what the term meant.

and I’ll begrudgingly admit that a very large reason I haven't updated the toybox is because I haven't needed a reason to procrastinate.

why? because I am what I hate: a fair-weather-fan. a bandwagonner. actually, I'm really not, or else I wouldn't go back to comic books and canadian indi bands as much as I do. but I will admit that a large part of me has downright ignored the toybox because now I only sit at my desk to play video games, to research italy, or to generally use the internet for purposes that I don't want to put-off-for-another-ten-minutes. (and no, that doesn't always mean porn.)

so here's the bottom line: at least I update more often than mr. hoffmann, esq., who otherwise kicks ass.

that said, here're a few notes to bring you all up to speed:

-dude, christmas rocks. and judging by my pile of loot, I was a very good boy this year.
I won't list everything I got, but a few of my favorites include a handful
of signed comic books from bob burden (of Mystery Men fame), who evidently is a distant cousin. I also got an Incredibles tee shirt, some excellent port, as well as some very fancy-pants port glasses. turns out you aren’t supposed to chug this stuff out of pint glasses. who knew? I got no fewer than 4 books about the government. true, one of them was the daily show’s “america” book, but the others were honest-to-goodness books on either lincoln, washington, or politics in general. santa wants me to run for congress, I guess. must be a democrat. again, who knew?

-my big gift was a pair of oakley sunglasses with an mp3 player actually built in. which means I’m waiting for the coolest-kid-on-the-block plaque to be nailed over my door any day now.

-italy planning is coming together nicely, much to the joy of my lovely fiancé who thinks I’m bluffing when I say I can organize this trip without getting perrillo involved. actually, we’ve managed to find a pretty solid middle ground – we’ll plan all of the hotels/restaurants on our own, and then use a tour advisor for all of our day trips. or I’ll just get so fat off of gelato the first day there that we’ll be confined to our B&B until the pope rents a crane large enough to get me out.

-I’m still waiting for a few of my grades to come in, but I’ll be sure to gloat if they turn out to be good. or at least better than meagan’s.

-every time I blink, they add another 5 thousand people to the tsunami death list. which means that every second that passes, the probability that one of my readers lost a friend or family member to that terra-fart increases by just a tad. my thoughts and prayers go out to you guys.

Friday, December 24, 2004

the christmas eve post

to steal a line from both greg and jim anchower, it’s been awhile since I rapped at ya.

the bridge was out. my computer was down. I had a flat tire. I was trapped under the enormous weight of my white-trash-induced double chin.

okay, those are all lies – except for the double chin, thanks lisa – but the truth isn’t quite as interesting, since I imagine I’m hardly alone when I say I’ve been splitting my time between getting ready for christmas and sleeping the sleep of a grad student on an all-expenses-paid vacation to the land of nog. yesterday, no lie, I put 76,000 miles on my car! but it went quickly because I slept whenever I got to a quiet stretch of the 90.

so, yeah, sorry I’ve been slacking on the toybox, and sorry to all of you who hoped each day to be a featured part of my advent calendar. I’d resolve to be more entertaining for you, but I think I pretty much spent all my creativity on the post where I had to write in lisa’s part. next time I’ll just get her to write her own stuff. she really does call me old (wait ‘till she finds out I hurt my back picking up a keg last night – I’m supposed to avoid lifting with my back, and instead lift with my hernia, yes?) but she’s never called me an ignorant slut. not to my face, anyway…

so hey! it’s christmas eve! aren’t you all excited??? will anyone sleep tonight??? what do you think santa’s doing right now? loading his sleigh, or feeding the reindeer magic corn??? (maybe he’s making a few more x-boxes since you sure as hell can’t find them in any stores.) my family has hosted christmas eve for all our relatives since the first garvey cut down a christmas tree using the sharpened thigh bone of a velociraptor and this year will be no different. except for the velociraptor bone – d’artagnan has been out of those for awhile. right now, it’s about 10am, and if I put my ear to the ground, I could probably here the mighty rumble of my extended family getting closer.

which is my cue to make sure that keg is hooked up.

and just in case I get another flat tire, I’ll wish you all a happy christmas now. I hope you get everything you asked for in your letter to santa.

Monday, December 20, 2004

that's cream-cheese frosted birthday cake in the lower left corner

what’s the deal on swearing on the blog? I hear tell of these sites getting locked up because someone dropped the f-bomb by mistake. but I promise you I’m much more entertaining if I can go blue. if those jesuits taught me nothing else, it’s how to cuss like a monkey on fire.

see? “monkey on fire”? that’s funny imagery, but it would have been downright hilarious if I could have made it a little more risqué.

by the way, I got some really really good news today, but I haven’t yet talked to the person on whom this really really good news has been bestowed, so I can’t rightly share it with the ones upon ones of people who read my blog. as soon as I get the okay, I’ll pass it on. until then, sincere thanks to all those who sent their good juju to this person, and as soon as you know what I’m talking about, feel free to replace said juju with kind praise and congratulations. all that having been said, please realize that the actual good news could never live up to this hype, but I’m hoping that by the time I’m able to tell you, I can throw in an f-bomb or two.

sorry my e-advent calendar has sucked it up lately. I’ve been way too busy eating and having birthdays. let’s see… on the 20th day of christmas, my true love gave to me… some headgear?

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Sunday, December 19, 2004

cartoons suck. or do they?

I feel it is once again important to speak my mind, this time regarding something both near to my heart and of increasing significance in modern society: cartoons.

more specifically, they suck. now, I wrote an entire blog post this morning, very neatly explaining my position, but after re-reading it even I was amazed at its high level of old-manedness. flibberty-floo, I say! but since this got pretty boring pretty quickly, I re-wrote the post to include a counterpoint from lisa. disclaimer: I’m writing lisa’s part. she has no idea she’s a player in today’s blog post. but I believe this is a fair representation of what she would say if we had this conversation.

garvey: don’t get me wrong, there have always been sucky cartoons, but this post follows from a conversation I had last night with a very intelligent and not at all drunk lawyer about the state of cartoons that are being slapped together and thrown on television today. I have yet to see it, but council tells me that the old claymation rudolph was on tv the other day but now ends with a rendition of the classic song by destiny’s child, not burl ives. how sick is this? again, I haven’t seen it yet, but since it would inevitably cause me to crack my tv screen, I think we’re all glad I’m still in the dark.

lisa: jane you ignorant slut. if you’re going to drag my personality into this, at least take the time to see the cartoon you’re bitching about. my God, you whine like a little girl.

garvey: listen, I’m not even talking to you because you hid the rest of the white trash from me. and besides, I’m not just talking about this cartoon. I’m talking about every weak cartoon that’s on every channel these days. who was the marketing genius who stood up trembling in front of the other corporate suits and made the suggestion to axe burl ives in favor of destiny’s child? was it the same guy who decided to bring back transformers, but this time as a pokemon rip-off? was it the same guy who decided animaniacs and pinky and the brain weren’t selling enough plastic crap, so they replaced them with digimon and ed edd and eddie?

lisa: I made enough white trash to feed an army, and you were stealing handfuls like it was your job. and you only eat the m&ms, leaving an overabundance of pretzels. okay, I’ll give you the fact that animaniacs was a hundred times better than anything that’s on tv right now, but you can’t tell me that the bigwigs at the WB network were only thinking of ART when they played it. they made a lot of money selling pinky and the brain bobble heads, and don’t even get me started on those half hour commercials for action figures called the transformers. more than meets the eye, indeed.

garvey: touché, she-devil. admittedly, there’s a trade off between art and business and it’s a relationship that’s been around ever since the first cave-drawer and the first marketing lackey discovered that they could reach a larger and more profitable audience together than they could apart. artist: give up 100% creative control and give the masses what they want. marketer: accept that it isn’t your name in lights, and leave the aesthetics to the artist. both of you manage to balance these tasks, and you’ll get the fame and fortune you so richly deserve, and the audience will get their bugs bunny, their sport goofy, their homer simpson. my point is that the teeter-totter that is this relationship has favored the board room over the easel more and more lately.

lisa: wait, are you saying these guys are trying to (gasp!) make money?!? someone call the papers! rally the troops! puh-leeez. I’m so sorry they took away your precious burl ives, but what do you expect? want to make a cartoon? get some money. know how to make money? attract an audience. want to make a lot of money? attract an audience willing to spend more money than your cheap a—

garvey: whoa there, sparky, this is a family site. and you know I’m right – you can make money with a good cartoon. by your logic, we should re-release the mona lisa with j-lo’s tush and a trucker’s cap just to increase foot traffic at the louvre. and I downright expect sh*tty toons from fox and the WB, but where does cartoon network get off showing 30 hours a day of totally spies, billy and mandy, and (shudder) yu-gi-oh? if it weren’t for adult swim and genndy tartakovsky, even this bastion of decent cartoons would make me sick.

lisa: get a life, methuselah.

garvey: you’re such a girl. you’ll never understand.

lisa: I understand you’re a big dork.

garvey: you knew that coming into this, baby. now pass the white trash.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

363 days until my birthday

Posted by Hello

well! did you know, my friends, that society continued on? I bring news from the four corners of the world. I have seen the “outside” and it has made me a bigger and better person. I tasted canadian beer, and I ate white trash, and I watched the news, and checked the obits to see who had died and who managed to survive my self imposed isolation from the world at large. (joe cocker, inexplicably, is still kicking.)

here are the high points, just to bring you up to speed:

my birthday couldn’t have been better. I proctored the exam like a champ and even managed to catch a cheater. as a TA this past semester, I learned a few things. for one, a clear plastic binder looks good, but is a static electricity generator and therefore the bane of any grading assistant. for two, watch out for podiums. they have sharp edges, and I have a scar on my hand to prove it.

that night, I hit the streets and had a few birthday drinks with my posse. my posse? not really- we are a posse, but we certainly aren’t mine. for one thing, I’m lisa’s bi-atch and no one is going to argue that. anyway, I could have crawled into the “blackened blue cheeseburger” and lived there for the rest of my life if only I was the Atom. I had at least a half dozen guinnesses (or “6 guinni”?), but stopped short of a carbomb. I had nothing to prove. we all know I can do carbombs with the best of them, and I was in a sip-and-savor frame of mind. and I was out of cash.

yesterday morning found me at the dentist’s, trying to explain why I hadn’t been for a cleaning since the clinton administration. kids, floss your teeth, or you’ll end up like uncle mike who had to make four, count’em, FOUR follow up appointments just to bring my choppers back to equilibrium. turns out the general tso’s toothache I had was actually a broken bicuspid, which, by the way, hurts like a mother.

and then I went home where a jury summons was waiting for me. seriously. happy birthday, you poor twit.

knowing bad news comes in threes, I quickly ran to the casinos. okay, not really, but I did make it as far as the bars around clifton hill. yes, for my 27th, I pretended I was 17, and pub crawled all over niagara falls. a shout out to wes who bought me a shot that had both coors lite and amaretto in it. wes, I named my headache after you this morning.

and now I’m back stateside, wishing I had more white trash and that it was magically good for my teeth. thanks to everyone who came out thursday and friday nights, and best of luck to mr. cocker, who may have a tougher time dodging death, now that I just outed him on a website read by God whenever He’s bored at work.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

don't know if I mentioned it already, but it's my birthday.

it’s 11:36am as I start this post, which means that it was exactly 26 years, 364 days, 23 hours, and 9 minutes since I was born. and it’s been exactly 34 minutes since I finished my birthday pancakes. and it’s about 6.5 hours until I start my birthday beer and a birthday cheeseburger. yeah, that would be 6.5 seconds, except that it’ll be another 5.5 hours until I finish proctoring an exam today. (which, by the way, is a sacrifice I’ll gladly make – the prof wrote me a letter of recommendation that should get me pretty far with the law school admissions council, so I’ll detail her car if she wants.)

my exam went well yesterday, by the way. again, I’m just glad they’re done. one of the concepts we learned about for that class is that there’re two ways to study the culture of a society. indirectly, you can watch that society’s TV shows, listen to its radio stations (“dead air, um, dead air” ha!), look at its paintings, and see what all of those mediums (media? mediumsa? moosen?) are talking about. directly, you can put on your chesterfield and actually go talk to the people – interview the key players, talk to reference groups, etc. either is well and good, but my point is that today I actually get to DO EITHER ONE OF THOSE. I’ve been chained to my computer for so long, writing papers, etc., that I actually found myself wanting to go to target. for the first time every in my life, I’m actually looking forward to stretching my legs and maybe even going to (shudder…) the mall.

so, my friends, my present to myself today is that I’m going to cop off a lame blog post on you so that I can end early, and go rejoin the culture of my society. I might even put on a chesterfield. thanks to everyone for their well-wishes (a special shout-out to mr. mountain-man dumas), and I hope I see you out tonight, helping to rebuild my lost connection to society. I’ll be the one with the birthday cheeseburger.

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oh, and let’s refocus our advent calendar on the other part of festivus we’re really supposed to pay attention to this month… 9 days left!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

more jubilation, please

I am sure that at the end of next semester, as I’m trying on my graduation cap, and getting ready for commencement, there’ll be a much more even mix of jubilation (to finally be done) and remorse (to see such a rewarding experience come to an end).

but right now, it’s all about the jubilation. congrats to everyone in my class who took their last exam today, and even more congrats to those of us who knew what “enculturation” meant on the consumer behavior final. I hope you are now celebrating as much fun as I was in this picture:

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this is 26 year old Mike Garvey, signing off for the last time. tomorrow, my job will be taken over by a slightly more mature 27 year old Mike Garvey...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

la la la la law school

friends, I just submitted my application to law school. if you're so inclined to give me an early birthday present, a quick prayer to the Big Guy would be inexpensive and doesn't require gift wrapping.

high spirits

hey now!

exam no. 2 out of the way...

I'm checking in from the lumina, parked (legally - sorry buffalo!) outside capen hall and heating up slowly. a band called the futureheads is playing on the UB station and although the tune is pretty good, all I can think of is strongbad's take on college radio.

now, I don't want everyone to think I’m in a foul mood because I’m actually in extremely high spirits. (I only have one exam to go, my birthday is inside 48 hrs, and lisa and I finally get to have dinner together tonight.) BUT, that in mind, I think everyone should know that my rapidly aging body is falling to pieces.

as evidenced by:
a) a few days ago, I slipped on the stairs and decided that, considering my many options, the fingernail on my left pinky would provide the most support for me if I rammed it full force into the banister.

b) I recently got a new microwave to replace the flintstone era model a kind uncle gave me. here's a little martha-moment for you: microwave busted? don't throw it out! instead, these volkswagon-sized appliances can be used as excellent shin-breakers if left in a darkened walkway! just look at this bruise! it's a good thing...

c) the humidifier on my cpap broke last night, so not only did my snoring wake up everyone in a half mile radius (including forestlawn residents) but now my sinuses are all out of wack.

d) I had some chinese food the other day and got a bit of general tso's stuck between my teeth. I was at school, sans floss, so I just had to grin and bear it (except I would cover my mouth when I did because it was pretty obvious). anyway, it developed into a rather intense tooth ache and now guess who's going to the dentist on friday? so if this is my work week:

Monday - final exam
Tuesday - final exam
Wednesday - final exam
Thursday - birthday
Friday - dentist

can you guess which day is my favorite? (I'll give you a hint: it starts with a "t" and ends with me getting drunk.)

so yeah: “mike garvey” = “high spirits”. and here's why:

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engage... negotiations!

one exam down, my friends. my negotiations final was at 3:30, unless you're on canadian time, then it might have been at 2:30. how did I do? I do'd well, I think. if I don't get full credit for the fourth essay, I certainly deserve a pulitzer for the brilliant tapestry of bull I wove. the question was on a chapter I didn't even know existed from a book I never bought that was written in a forgotten language. I am so smrt.

New Product Design tomorrow, Consumer Behavior on wednesday, then my toughest final of all - the "beer" exam. it's an oral exam. I've been studying a little here and there, but the real test will be wednesday night. oh, and thursday night. and in fact, probably just about every night for the next several days until my bridge course in "video games" starts up.

one of the take-home essays I had to write for this negotiations exam was based on an article called The Farpoint Gambit. if you have any idea what I'm talking about as of this sentence, you're either a huge negotiations nerd or a somewhat sizable star trek nerd, or like me, both. farpoint refers to the first and last episodes of The Next Generation, and the gambit is from a line where picard admits guilt (to avoid death), but only provisionally. in a negotiation, so the article said, there are ways to get around "exploding offers" (i.e. "the offer on this used car is only good for the next five minutes") by simply accepting them, provisionally. okay, it's a lot more complicated than that, but I've been trying to keep my posts short and I want to get to bed.

the point is that they USED STAR TREK AS AN EXAMPLE. want to get me to learn? make it about star trek. this is why I never would have gotten through medical school. they insist on keeping the focus actually on the material, like mitochondria and trigeminal nerves. damned literalists. I'm told law school relates everything to superman and the family guy, so I will inevitably rock.

okay, it's after midnight, but everyone close your eyes and imagine this: it's yeeeeeesterday. three more days until my biiiiiirthday... okay, now open your eyes and "today's" advent calendar door. hope you enjoy. see you "tomorrow".

Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 12, 2004

at this rate, I'll be immortal in no time.

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More good news everyone! My life is expanding!

according to the Internet Death Clock, as of this writing, I have 2,110,078,283 seconds until I die. which means, unless you have anything else going on that day, please keep your schedules open on Monday, October 26, 2071.

here’s the weird thing, though: when I went to the website earlier this afternoon, it said I only had until 2068 before I bit the dust. so at some point during the last six hours, I must have done something to tack another 3 years on to my life! maybe it’s my over-all lifestyle. maybe I’ll write a book on how sitting in front of a computer and eating chinese food for six hours will do wonders for your lifespan.

speaking of stupid, I’m running out of advent pictures. thankfully, I only have three more school nights before I can devote a little more time to the important things in life, like putting another santa hat on another picture of me, grinning like a moron. (and only four more nights as a 26 year old.)

what did santa get after sitting on the ice for too long?


Saturday, December 11, 2004

watch where you put that lumina

don’t worry everyone – buffalo is going to be fine, money-wise.

for one thing, they will be getting $30 from me by sometime early next week. I broke the rules. I went out of bounds. I broke a commandment. I parked on the wrong side of the street for just shy of an hour. what I was thinking, I’ll never know – I mean, there’s a plethora of legal parking all over the city, so it must be that I’m just plain mean and need to be punished.

I could fill up ten regular blog posts (or three royal toybox posts) talking about how buffalo is alienating itself by not having enough parking downtown. but no, today I just want to let everyone know that the city is going to be in-the-black in no time.

evidently, the turnaround will be thanks to “the provisions of Section 3-19 of the city charter” which say that anyone who wants to pay a parking ticket via the City of Buffalo website will be charged an extra two dollars. now, I’m not a lawyer yet, so the fact that this screams price discrimination to me is obviously indicative of my inexperience. maybe it’s for shipping and handling. oh wait, I’m not shopping at amazon, I’m paying a ticket. maybe it’s to pay for the increased amount of paperwork generated by an electronic copy. no, wait, the internet makes less paperwork, if you’re doing it right. so, yeah, it must be because the city’s powers-that-be just need another revenue source. well, at least it’ll be going to the zoo and the library. thank goodness.

I was mad before, but now all I can think of is members of the buffalo fiscal stability authority chasing me around on a kid’s bike: “I want my two dollars!”... ah, blog therapy.

on a happier note – we’re down to (woo-hoo!) FIVE days until my birthday! add nine days to that and we’re at christmas! what does today’s advent calendar hold? why, it’s a pic of good lookin’ lisa and her good lookin’ friends. now, that’s the way to ring in the holidays. thanks ladies!

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Friday, December 10, 2004

Our Home And Native Christmas Tree

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I have a theory. the canadians are trying to take over. meagan, a neighbor from the north, introduced me to smarterchild today during a study session. the only thing half as addicting would be subservient chicken, or perhaps heroin, but either would be a distant second. obviously, nanook here must be trying to distract me from finishing my IP paper so she can steal my thunder.

if you really must look into this hypnogourd (piers anthony fans? anyone?), open up aol instant messenger and send an IM to “SmarterChild”. it’ll walk you through the rest. before you do, though, email me and let me know I can take you out of my phone book.

in other news, the glow of the christmas tree is mocking me from the other room. hey! look at me! I’m a glowy christmas tree! gee mike, lots of work, huh? remember when you weren’t studying? remember when you were setting up the toy train, and then finding new christmas cds on rhapsody? that was awesome.

the christmas tree has become my audrey II, demanding my attention and keeping me from my work. except that it doesn’t want to eat flesh or anything. and it hasn’t made me famous. okay, it isn’t anything like audrey II. except for being green.

“hmmm… what should I blame my procrastination on next?”, said the boy as he finished his blog.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

no more teachers' dirty looks

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baby steps, baby steps... one more presentation down, one more paper handed in. baby steps towards vacation, towards the holidays, towards sleeping in, and the light at the end of the tunnel shines brightest because of all the birthday candles. 27 of them to be exact... baby steps through one more week.

the good news is that I think classes are going better then I’d expected. I already have an A in one class, and since there’s no final in another, I can (fairly safely) assume I have an A in that one too. I’d thought that a B was the best I could hope for in the remaining three, but now that I’m getting a little more feedback, that might have been an underestimation.

oooooooor, I’m just psyching myself up, hoping for a little self-fulfilling prophesy. maybe I’ll play another video game and ponder that for awhile.

here are a few things that are also on my mind:

the cell phone company that let’s me delete the “if you’d like to leave a message...” bit on my voicemail after I’ve given my “hi you’ve reached mike garvey...” is the cell phone company that’ll steal my money away from verizon.

ladies and gentlemen of western new york, we were not the stoned 6 year olds who designed the roadways of buffalo, but we are the ones who have to use them everyday. take your time. be considerate, not competitive. and for the sake of Almighty God, move over so I can get onto the 198 from delaware ave.

if you haven’t seen it yet, try to catch “olive, the other reindeer” this season. the monkey deus ex machine had me and mark laughing for hours. and the pope wearing a baseball cap.

when was the last totally original thought made? I have to assume that every concept that has ever entered my mind has been considered by one of the gabillions of people who came before me. so, did the first really pensive caveman think them all, or did someone in 1989 pick up a nintendo power and a hit of lsd and formed that neural pathway that had never been anywhere before? (thanks to both dave eggers and zack braff for throwing that one on the table.)

man, I miss smoking. if you never have, suck it up and don’t start. yeah, I’m not going to lie. it. feels. goooooood. but since I quit (three years ago – cold turkey) I can climb a flight of stairs without an oxygen machine, and I’m not dropping $5 a day. but I haven’t had a beer since then without wanting to light up.

my sibs and I used to look for elves when we were little. the story went that santa was really busy this time of year, so he’d send his elves to keep an eye on the garvey kids. when we finally saw one (a marionette, hung from the window above), it was like looking into the eyes of God. all the other high school kids were so jealous.

I forget what it’s called, but I have elvis costello’s monkey song going through my mind. “Monkey to Man”? esther gets the finders fee for that one.

I’m in class right now, and there is a group doing a presentation on the chocolate industry. they just passed out brussel sprouts. just kidding, they passed out chocolate (hershey’s miniatures – let’s face it, the crackle is the best), ensuring they get a perfect grade from me.

speaking of which, I may be the only person in the world who thinks this, but the Flake chocolate bar may be the single greatest food ever made, including other planets and dimensions. with the possible exception of mom’s chicken pot pie. depends on my mood.

I remember when we still lived in mississippi, mom and dad threw a surprise birthday party for me. one of mom’s friends took me out for ice cream so they could set up. (was that susan? I didn’t care, there was ice cream involved.) anyway, I got a big star wars action figure carrying case shaped like the bust of darth vader that year. it successfully held my 5 figures for years – including the lando I found (yeah, “found”) under the tree by our front walk. I wonder what the trading value of the mud-caked billy dee is these days.

I just realized there are 211 days left until the wedding! man, it seems so far off.

oh well… baby steps…

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

happy hanugarv

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come up to the lab...

today, my friends, I’m trapped here at school. I actually only had one class, but I’ve been working in the computer lab for most of the afternoon, just getting stuff out of the way before exams start up next week. manalive, the hammer is starting to fall. two of my three presentations are done, so at least I’m making baby steps. I have one more tomorrow, plus a hugh jass paper due. luckily, I have people like steph who have made the whole process a lot easier.

next week, I have three exams (monday, tuesday, and wednesday) and then I’m proctoring a final on thursday. do the math… I’ll wait… yup, mikey gets to proctor an exam on his birthday. that’s right students, feel free to cheat, because that won’t be coffee your TA is drinking! I wonder if prof H will let me wear a birthday crown.

speaking of which, that means we’re at 8 days until the big 2-7! sorry I don’t have a picture for you, but like I said I’ve been trapped here at school. here – check out these guys. they do the advent thing better than me anyway.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

not just for breakfast anymore

someday, universities will offer classes on my ingenious culinary masterpieces. the young and the old alike will always put on their sunday best when dining out at a garvey-style restaurant because the experience will demand a high level of hoity-toitiness. a celebrated Maya Angelou IV will write epic poems focusing on the taste creations I’ve invented, and an experienced Aaron Sorkin VI will no doubt find a level of fame unrealized by his ancestors when he produces Mike Garvey’s Recipes Are Brilliant.

for instance, I’d like to share with the world my recipe for Raisin Bran and Honey-Nut Cheerios cereal:

Raisin Bran
Honey-Nut Cheerios (wegman’s brands are tasty and cheap, the cornerstones of the Mike Garvey Food Empire)

1. Combine one (1) part HNC with one (1) part RB and add milk to taste.
2. Enjoy!

disclaimer: mr. garvey is in no way responsible for the decreased enjoyment you may, nay, most definitely will experience with other typical breakfast foods (or for that matter, any foods at all) as a result of sampling the product of this recipe. he apologizes for making all other foods seem bad by comparison, and suggests you reference the recipe for Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch and Rice Chex if in need of variety.

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days until birthday: 9
days until christmas: 18

Monday, December 06, 2004

if only in my dreams

I had a very strange dream last night – a bit nightmarish, but mostly just weird. ed asner and I were guards at this prison where we decided to incite a riot. our reasoning? I couldn’t tell you because ed only spoke french. seriously. so things get out of hand, and I get backed into a corner, because for some reason I only have one of those little pocket knives, like keychain-sized, for protection. I’m about to buy the farm when I realize I’m superman (an easily forgotten fact in the realm of dreams, evidently). and then I woke up.

to say the least, I was a little put off by this – why is my brain wired such that it’ll keep me trapped in a prison riot with swiss army knife and “le ed asner”, but then wake me up when I can fly??? I’m in this whole, limitless world where I can be or do anything I want, and the guy holding the tv remote to my psyche decides to watch the channel showing oz instead of the greatest american hero?

a couple of weeks ago (I’m not making this up, by the way) I had a dream where I was standing in line. not for any particular reason, just because the BFG ran out of ideas that night, I guess. I’m looking forward to dreams where more exciting things happen. like maybe: anything. man, I’d be the best lucid dreamer.

on a slightly less psychedelic note, we’re officially at 10 shopping days! unless you’re talking about christmas, in which case there are 19. here’s a christmas toast to get you in the mood…

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Sunday, December 05, 2004

christmas rain?

okay, since I'm going to be on campus all day tomorrow, I thought I'd send this around now. esther and I found it while looking through last year's xmas pics. again, no photoshopping, but, damn, it had us laughing.

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whether we were laughing because it's a funny picture or because we COULDN'T REMEMBER WHEN IT WAS TAKEN, I can't tell you. I'm pretty sure that's an umbrella from my mom's wedding, by the way.

not pictured, unfortunately, is all the nog.

kim's donation

okay, in my defense, I started writing this blog about a half hour ago when I got home. so technically, we'll consider this post to be your day 4 advent post:

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hee-hee, I love this pic. and, if I remember right, there hadn't even been any alcohol involved at this point in the night yet. kim just felt the need to donate all she could to an un-used salvation army bucket holder. yeah, there isn't any photoshopping, but does it need any?

non sequitur: I love my mom. as we speak, she's getting ready to come back from her mom's place in alabama. (I spoke with her on the phone the other day and this was an actual quote: "I went to see the beach this morning, and then took mimi to the doctor's. I'm really upset by how destroyed everything is." it wasn't until I realized she was talking about the beach being destroyed by ivan, and not mimi's doctor visit, that my heart started beating again. mimi's all good, by the way.)

anyway, I love my mom because I seem to have hit upon the perfect audience. I mean, everyone's mom should be supportive and applauding, etc., but for some reason I really crack her up. she loves it when I make my special cranberry sauce (open can, slide onto plate, enjoy!), or when I help dry and put away dishes since I always put them in the wrong spots. by the way, ma, if you're looking for the noodle serving spoon thing, check the christmas tree.

another non sequitur: lisa put s'more lights (not "some more lights", I mean lights shaped like s'mores) on our christmas tree, but from my desk, they kind of look like teeth. great, now my christmas tree is going to eat me. remember that muppet show bit where the machines came to life and ate the muppets who were using them? it's a little like that.

last non sequitur: it's 12:16am! make a wish!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

cake or death?

eddie izzard is a funny funny man, and I'm pretty sure I enjoyed this book when I was a kid.

Friday, December 03, 2004

little help...

so, I'm in a very serious competition, and it's very important that I work through it all on my own. wanna help me cheat?

the phrases below are anagrams of either christmas songs or christmas movies. for example, "baloney bandits" is actually "babes in toyland", or "Heavyset Witch Seldom Farts" is actually "the twelve days of christmas".

of the 46, these are the few that my brain just can't handle:

Default, Sir. File Now.
Go Acknowledge Sins
Beware – Oslo Heroin Gloom
Delicate, Maturing Champion
Lost: Bachelor Elf
Nominate Horton
Highland Genre Saltshaker
My Hateful, Aloof Lice

anyone who contributes can have a sip of the wine I'll win!

and then I pushed lisa into the snow

hello, my little monkeys, welcome to advent day 3. open the little paper door on your calendar and you’d better put those snow pants on because we’re back out at the Field of Dreams Christmas Tree Farm. this is actually a pic from a few years ago (two? three? I forget. I’m so old.) but I chose to use it tonight because lisa and I just decorated the tree here at the tajmapartment. there’re still a few bare spots since this year’s tree (our second as a mushy, saccharine couple) is larger than last year’s. but that just means we get to go to target for more ornaments. maybe hoffman will come with us, now that he’s graduated from basic and back here in wny. and lou, of course, you’re always welcome to join in, especially since you left your ps2 here.

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got my first presentation out of the way today, which marks the end of at least one of my classes for the semester. our team did wonderfully (a true cinderella story, beaten only by the evil team “I”) and even won the Jack Welsh Award for Strategic Planning. well done, Landmark Inc., well done. By the way, team “I” may be my mortal enemy, but I do have to give them mad props (, yo) for using images from The Incredibles in their presentation.

and now only two more presentations to go for me before I’m done for the holidays! oh, and three papers. and three exams.

and a partridge in a pear tree.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

we three sisters

let’s get the calendar stuff out of the way first, yes?

14 days until my birthday…
23 until xmas…

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I finished my law school application last night. now I’m waiting on one letter of recommendation and it’ll be complete. I’m not sure how other schools around the country do it, but UB asks that you write a quick little book report to go along with your personal statement. since you have to talk about two books you are currently reading (or have recently read) one of my law school friends suggested that I use both a classic and a contemporary. I chose To Kill a Mockingbird (okay, that was an easy slow pitch) and High Fidelity (perhaps my all-time fave). I was pretty happy with my selection until another law school friend mentioned that both of these had been made into rather successful movies. that’s it, no more talking to law school friends.

the statement itself turned out quite well too, although I was so happy with the one that I wrote two years ago that it was hard for me to come up with anything fresh. in this one, I focused on the MBA instead of chicago, but I still talked about papa being a major influence. I can’t imagine that won’t count for something. (that’s right – double negative city!)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

feliz garvidad

To the University at Buffalo Office of Pissing Me Off: well done. As we round the corner into the advent season, I'd just like to take this opportunity to convey my deepest thanks in your ongoing, ever-maddening effort to make my life a chaotic pile of

oh nevermind, there's a parking spot-- it's all good.

aaaaaand welcome to december! did everyone open the first little door on their advent calendar? was it a picture of little sled or an elf? maybe there was chocolate in there?

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or, if you've really been good this year, maybe there'll be a picture of you poorly photoshopped. check back daily, ‘cause I’ve got twenty five of these puppies ready to spread some holiday cheer…

I love this time of year. yeah, school can be a little unbearable, but even that just accelerates the anticipation of christmas and new years a little more. it’s interesting – when I was a kid, I looked forward to christmas because I really wanted a transformer or a nintendo, or some of the castle system legos. that’s still there, sure, but now I look forward to the holiday because it means time out of the ordinary. away from my routine, away from my desk and my books, and closer to the food, the toys and the fam.

and maybe closer to the nog, if I’m not driving anywhere.

happy december, everyone. I hope you're as happy this season as the fatty in the old headshot above.