Monday, February 28, 2005


every time I get to the point where I think I may have some small amount of musical savvy, jess humbles me. regardless, here are a few tunes I've been listening to this past week.


sorry to those of you who don't have the rhap. if you're thinking about joining up, but can't decide if you want to spend the money on digital music or crack, I'd suggest the former. yeah, it's three or four times as addictive, but it's cheaper and you don't have to find someone else's pee in case of random drug tests.

the competition post

the last four days have been a whirlwind of competition, including bar games, digital pets, baked goods, feuding professors, and soup.

you can understand why I’ve been lax in posting. here’s a quick run-down of the finer points:

when you lie with dogs, you wake up with fleas, and when you play father to seven infants, you wake up with a head cold. I felt like exponential death on thursday and most of friday; the pounding of my noggin was interrupted only by the laughter of seven babies clothed in fisher price’s finest. well, maybe I imagined that. what I didn’t imagine (whoa, segue) was the kindness of friends and family who souped me up good. lisa made me chicken noodle, mom made me beef barley, uncle neil called from wegmans offering to bring me whatever bisque they had on hand, and jess brought me chicken and rice (lexicon brought me ninja gaiden). technically, the soups weren’t competing since I ate them all, but it doesn’t really fit into the theme of the post otherwise.

ah, neopoets. good God, did I really need something else to occupy my time? that said, my mynci will kick anyone’s ass. bring it.

lisa made and entered “Stacked Irish Delight”, a pancake and bailey’s dish, into what will become an annual bake-off among our friends. at least I hope it remains annual. it’ll be about a year before I can look at another lemon square.

I’m proctoring for one of my favorite profs again this semester, which included a midterm this past friday. UB decided to put the same miscreants who are in charge of the print queue in charge of booking the lecture halls, and has seen about the same success rate. I (and 92 undergrads) just about had to throw down friday night because of some scheduling snafu that put two midterms in one room. luckily, it didn’t come to fisticuffs, but I will say I was more than prepared to kick a little chemistry major ass if they got any further up in our grill. and my poli-sci undergrad posse had my back. woot!

finally, mike garvey is an inter-state DART CHAMPION. Well, okay, I was one of eight players on the buffalo team, but since I happened to throw the last bullseye, I got to be da man for a few sweet minutes. I went on to suck it up in the horseshoe round, so the fame was fleeting, but buffalo won the overall championship. and thus, for one more reason, ohio sucks.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I'm not a real dad, but I play one on tv

9:15am - I have seven babies.

well, okay, my character has seven babies. and technically, he only has three kids and four alternates. which really is better, since that means markedly fewer diapers for me to change.

9:55am - right now, I’m sitting in the green room, up to my elbows in fisher price baby bric-a-brac, trying furiously to learn my line: "me too! I wonder what mom made us for dinner!" in another few hours, FP will have enough footage of Mike The Goofy Dad to make an industry short, or a commercial, or whatever, and I'll have surrendered my many children back to their "real" parents. pftht. I bet they'd prefer me.

10:30am - my eldest son, the smartest 3rd grader ever to have lived, is a kid named seamus. seamus goes to west seneca elementary now, but wants to transfer to st. francis for high school, and then go to notre dame to play football, and eventually go into politics. hmmm... they typecast, I guess. my "wife", katie, has been given run of da babies, so entertaining young seamus falls to dad:

me: that was a good take, man. are you in the drama club at school?
seamus: no.
me: oh, well, you're really good. you should try out.
seamus: thanks.
me: yup. (awkward silence. time for the A material.) so how 'bout that superman? he's pretty cool, huh? ha ha.
seamus: wolverine would beat him in a fight.
(more, awkwarder, silence.)
me: I have no son. YOU ARE DEAD TO ME!

okay, maybe I didn't say that last line, but only because the director pulled us away. wolverine, my fanny.

11:40am - the shoot continues. oops, wait a while...

1:07pm - the shoot has ended. well, my part of it, anyway. I think my babies had to stay through lunch, but since they aren't really mine, I don't really care. I promise when I do have kids, I'll be a little more attentive, but until then I have this dibella's sub to think about. mmm... "everything" bread...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

my phone rings to the tune of "I hate everything in the world"


I just spent the better part of an hour and a half at the capen (undergrad) library, printing out the 15 documents my marketing research prof has marked as "required for class". my first instinct is to write about this teacher whose idea of a required print-out is 300 pages (literally) of clipart. my second instinct is to write about the computer labs on campus that either charge a nickel a page (and only occasionally work) or are free but insist that my print-outs queue up behind the 75 UB adolescents who desperately need mobile ring-tone documentation (and only occasionally work).

your instinct (and you're probably right, you're always right) is that my foul mood is just indicative of my general hatred of UB at the moment. true true. but even if they sent me an acceptance letter and a full scholarship, I'd still bitch about print queues.

Monday, February 21, 2005

so, who wants a postcard from italy?

lisa and I have officially reserved our hotel rooms in florence, siena, and rome. we're going to milan as well, with a day trip to geneva, but we'll be staying with a battaglia family friend while there. we spent a little more than I’d planned on our sienese hotel, and a lot more on our room in rome, but that just means I’ll have to sacrifice one or two of my twelve daily gelatos to make up for it. right, right.

the trip to milan/geneva is a recent addition to our itinerary, and was included because we decided to forgo our genealogy-driven trip through sicily. evidently, milan may be the fashion capital of the world (and really, that should be enough for michael j garvey), but it's also home to very close friends of lisa's maternal grandpop. they're taking us to a museum that houses both da vinci's original models, which is awesome, and the car in which franz ferdinand was assassinated, which is awesomer.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

don't confuse your stomach with your heart.

had a loverly meal of chinese food and oranges last night with the b-tags, and my fortune cookie, in all its wisdom, said:

“do not desire what you do not need.”

pfthftht…I mean, I certainly didn’t need to gorge myself on sweet and sour chicken, so, bad marketing on the restaurant’s part, right? and damned if I’ll be lectured about materialism by a delicious cookie. I’ve gotten this far in life by desiring pretty much everything I don’t need, and I’m doing just fine, thank you very much.

case in point: I decided to put in for some “good boyfriend” points and went over to visit lisa while she was babysitting. the babysat’s family had 900 channels of premium cable, but for the life of us, we couldn’t find the remote. now, I’m old enough to remember a time before squeezable ketchup, and I’m old enough to remember a time before remote controls, and I’ll tell you this much, young’ns: life is better now because some genius desired what others said (s)he didn’t really need, and now we have ketchup bottles that won’t break your floor boards if you drop them, and enough remotes to never have to leave the couch, ever.

unless you lose the main one, that is. so lisa and I suffered through channel after channel of insipid post-prime time programming, and finally decided the effort of getting up and changing the station was greater than the effort of watching bad TV. until I remembered that I had my portable cure-all, the ipaq, which doubles as a universal remote.

so you see, fortune cookie, and all others who poo poo my desire for things I do not need, I’m doing just fine. and… well… I’d have more of a point to my story, but I’m too busy shopping for camera phones online. I mean, how have I survived this long without one?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

would you like to shoot me now, or wait until you get back from outerspace?

I know bitching about cartoons is usually my brand of liquor, but I think I’ll leave this one alone for now. blanc, clampett, freeling, et al are no doubt spinning in their graves, calling to me from the ether to tear into this monstrosity, but two things are stopping me.
  1. the WB animation studio, when given the time and motivation, has put out some good stuff before: the batman series, animaniacs, freekazoid, teen titans, to name a few. I cannot imagine a single situation in which mutating the corner-stones of modern cartooning to this degree would be a “good thing”, but I’m willing to give them a chance if for no other reason than it isn’t yet another playing card-based import.
  2. me discussing the bugs dynasty and/or legacy is akin to keanu playing hamlet. you know his heart’s in the right place, but at the end of the day, he’s just a big fan, not a scholar on the subject. I’m hoping someone with a little more expertise (maybe someone who wrote a term paper on it, hint hint) will give the topic the informed attention that it deserves.

update: here's the fark thread on the subject. there's a pic of the "re-imagined" Buzz Bunny about 16 posts down. ugh, indeed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

bad with the good

it's been a crappy week, and bettman just cancelled christmas. I mean, hockey.

mind if I phone it in today? good. thanks. I’ll try to be more entertaining later. today you get a what's-goin'-on, bring-you-up-to-speed, let-me-'splain-no-there-is-too-much-let-me-sum-up post.

at the moment, I’m doing okay. the end of last week opened the blue-funk flood gates and I’m still trying to scrub the remaining flecks of depression from the corners of my psyche. then again, I think reveling in a pissy mood once in a while does a boy a lot of good, so I’m taking my time. kind of like letting a battery run all the way down before recharging it.

and really, that's all it is: a bad mood. I’m not dead. I’m not dying. I have friends and I have family (and someone from one group is still going to move to the other group in five months). really, the only thing that happened is that the school said "maybe" instead of "yes". they didn't even say "no". buck up, little camper.

the rest of my weekend was actually really good, and I apologize to everyone involved for being a debbie downer. mom (who no longer reads my blog, but will walk through fire to help me renew my passport) came home from vay-kay, so dad made this braised kobe beef dish in truffle essence that definitely started the up battery-recharging process. and the fat-cell-multiplication process.

this just in: first, read this gem from the royal toybox archives, and then check this out. that’s right, my friends – I’ve been published! how appropriate for today’s post, huh?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

the CYOA post

back in the day, I was the resident expert on Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books. they were just like ordinary bad science fiction books, but with the added benefit of constant page flipping. what more could you want?

in fact, this may be where my love of cheating first developed. Just stay away from the “the end” pages, and you stay alive. here's an official toybox C.Y.O.A. to help get you through your week. feel free to cheat...

PAGE 1, Introduction: The hum of the medieval overhead projector was doing its best to lull you into a deep slumber, and since your official Peasant Graduate School coffee mug has been empty for a half hour, it seems to be succeeding. The lull of the projector is succeeding, I mean, not the mug. The mug isn't actually trying to do anything. Stupid mug. Your attention snaps away from the lazy-ass mug when the teacher, a visiting professor with a PhD in Peasantry and Feudal Studies, asks for your opinion on the reading. Everyone is staring at you!
If you want to employ the age-old tactic know as “bullshitting”, TURN TO PAGE 4.
If you want to answer truthfully, TURN TO PAGE 10.
If you can't read, skip to the back cover, and look at the pretty pictures.

PAGE 2: you acclimate quickly to the “real world”, even though putting on a tie every morning kind of sucks. And it doesn’t really go with your peasant robes. Despite the daily grind, you work your way up the corporate ladder and manage to sock away a tidy savings account. GO ONTO PAGE 3.

PAGE 3: One day, years later, two young students from the same school you ditched ask for loans for two different internet start-ups. You only have enough capital to fund one of the companies while still giving money to the institution set up to figure out why this paragraph wasn’t just completed on page 2.
If you want to invest in Company A, TURN TO PAGE 5.
If you want to invest in Company B, TURN TO PAGE 8.
If you want to save your money in hopes of one day being able to buy out the monarchy, TURN TO PAGE 9.

PAGE 4: Thinking quickly, you decide to play the BS card. "Well, professor, hitherto whereas the quid pro quo of obsolescence can unobtrusively coincide with the industry standard, vis-à-vis the queried nonissue, the concurrent gradation optimizes the eschewed antithesis, n'stuff." As the professor is praising your snow job, the king happens to walk past and offers you an internship. You'd like to hear the rest of the prof's praise, but a job sounds nice too. What to do?
If you want to stay in class with your empty mug, TURN TO PAGE 7.
If you want to take the king up on his internship offer, TURN TO PAGE 2.

PAGE 5: Company A, though initially identical to Company B, makes billions. You pay off your student loans and live out the remainder of your days sleeping with hot wenches. THE END.

PAGE 6: you work and work and save a little more coin each year. To see if you have earned enough to become king, TURN TO PAGE 9.

PAGE 7: Dumbass, never turn down a job. You are rightfully put to death. THE END.

PAGE 8: Company B, though initially identical to Company A, tanks. You are the laughing stock of the medieval econo-technology industry. For shaaaaaame. You die shortly thereafter while playing an extra in a martin lawrence movie. THE END.

PAGE 9: Nope, not enough money yet. To see if you can make more money, TURN TO PAGE 6.

PAGE 10: You read the material! You pay attention to your teacher and the other students! Why shouldn’t you get your chance to speak your mind, even though you might disagree with the author’s treatment of Advanced Dirt Farming? You boldly stand up and enlighten the class with your well-constructed argument. Then the teacher stands up and enlightens you on your failing grade. Didn’t you read the teacher’s PowerPoint? If you had you’d have had a more correct opinion. THE END

Monday, February 14, 2005

I choo-choo-choose you!

had a bittersweet weekend, the high point featuring a chunk of kobe beef you could take a bath in, and the low point featuring that letter from UB Law.

luckily for you, I don't feel much like talking about either (the beef was beyond words, and the letter... well, let's just say the glass is more than half empty right now) so to save me the trouble of coming up with something interesting, and in honor of st. valentines day, I asked my friend stephanie to chime in on being a single gal in today's topsy turvy world.

here's what she said:

“So despite the lack of any man in my life at the moment (no, I am not bitter), I chose to celebrate the occasion and wear pink today. After all, I should be happy for all those in love. Even though this particular holiday tends to shatter the mere ounce of self worth that I have been trying to hang on to these past few months. However, as a young (sort of) single woman trying to find the man of her dreams, I have to put my faith in the fact that this day is situational. People fall in and, yes, out of love everyday. The hardest part is when you’re still in love with someone on this day that is no longer with you. Yep – that’s the clincher. Don’t men realize that we want to be rescued? Why do you think we watch Lifetime all the time? These women are being RESCUED! Buck up, men. You can do it. So, if you’re reading Michael’s blog today and you are still missing that certain someone – please swallow the pride, get some flowers and a bottle of wine, and rescue her!”

so there you have it boys. according to stephanie, men should just let the woman make the first move. take steph’s advice - try sitting back and watching a lifetime of james bond movies and people will fall in love you every day and rescue you with a pride of wine. and wear pink. anyway, I think that’s what she was getting at.

now, who should I get to write for me on st. pat’s?

Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 12, 2005

well, it isn't a "no"...

The University at Buffalo School of Law has put me on their wait list.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

deus ex ipaqina

I wrote an epilogue to my computer woes yesterday, but it was pretty dry and actually contained yet another "joe cocker is alive" joke. I think I've sufficiently made my point on both these fronts, so here's a quick update, and then I promise I'll move on:

my desktop - believe it or not, it's working quite well. it took a lot of time and sweat, but the ol' girl is almost back to full health. the system reformatting made such a difference, in fact, I may try it on my ailing laptop.
the virus - gone, so far as I can tell. I'm still sticking to firefox, just to be safe.
the external drive - I decided on an iomega, mostly because it was on sale, partly out of brand recognition. it has earned every penny I spent on it.

I was trying to reinstall the software for my ipaq when I discovered yet another way this thing may be the coolest toy ever. I swear, if my ipaq ever applies for a job as the Deus Ex Machina, its only real competition will either come with a phoenix feather in it, or be the junior woodchuck's guidebook. and since neither of those come with solitaire, I think the ipaq would win.

anyway, it turns out Mr. Ipaq can double as Mr. Universal Remote Control, which is so awesome, it made me laugh mad-scientist style. I quickly ran to my living room, turned on the tv, turned off the tv, turned on the vcr, turned off the vcr, turned on the dvd player, turned off the dvd player, and then basked in the glow of the many, many options that had just opened up to me.

1. I can now turn on and off my tv.
2. I can now turn on and off my vcr.
3. I can now turn on and off my dvd player.
all with a single bulky, two-handed, jack-of-all-trades: my ipaq.

oh, things are going to start happening to me now...

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

the virus saga: concluded (God willing)

just a quick note to let you know I’m still fighting the good fight. sorry I haven’t updated on a very regular basis lately, but most of my computer time has been taken up by whatever evil my desktop has been experiencing.

this weekend, I did the unthinkable. I gathered my important files, two by two, onto a brand spanking new external hard drive, and let loose the cleansing waters of the Operating System Re-Install disk. yup, I started clean – reformatted my hard drive, and then spent the lion’s share of my weekend re-installing everything.

industries grow complacent when they lack viable competition. sure, customer desire drives quality/price to an extent, but if a company has a good-thing-goin’, why should it bother to build a better product at a lower price? I know I’m not saying anything all the other anti-microsoft/IBM/dell/etc revolutionaries haven’t already beaten into the ground, but a turnaround is inevitable. the industry standard in the pc world sucks. it isn’t user-friendly. it isn’t inviting. it’s downright counterproductive at times. and as much as it has already revolutionized the world, it isn’t giving the public at large what it wants, now.

ford was a god until toyota came along. a cheaper, more reliable car showed the masses that it didn’t have to settle for the status quo in automobiles.

so, yeah, now that Technological Corporate Universe (the “man”) has gotten the ol’ vote of no confidence from the toybox, I’d better get back to helping the remaining animals off the arc.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

the 23,491st attempt didn't work, so...

my life (technology-wise) over the last few days has moved to the rhythm and success rate of a wile-e-coyote cartoon. not since the ACME catalog has a book seen its reader shout “maybe this will work!” and then rush off to fail more miserably than my dell user’s manual. as of this writing, I’m attempting Computer Fix No. 23,492, involving a brand new external hard drive, an operating system restore disk, and a pair of roller skates with rockets on them.

in other news, while I’m waiting for said fix to run its course, I’m killing some time and flipping through the channels. a) Good God Almighty, where did modern civilization go wrong to deserve cartoons that suck so hard? on a saturday morning, no less! b) vh1 is playing videos, real, honest-to-goodness music videos. the lead singer of keane looks nothing like I expected. kind of like someone superimposed a baby’s head onto a grown man’s body. still, I’m a big fan. c) looks like vin diesel is doing a remake of mr. nanny. time for a new agent, huh riddick? d) I’ve never hated good charlotte, but I’m downright surprised by how much I like “I just wanna live”.

okay, I’ve left the pyramid of bird seed sitting on the earthquake pills long enough. I’m sure this time it’ll work. after all, I am a super genius.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

the virus saga continues

bad news, everyone. my computer has gone over to the dark side. or maybe it was born evil... birthed from the fiery pits of Dell.

remember this? well, it seems that virus, if it is a virus, isn't as easy to shake off as I thought it was going to be. I currently have four different programs running on my computer that search out and destroy viruses, spyware, trojans, etc., but the damned thing persists.

I'll let you in on a weird little idiosyncrasy of mine: I like computer bugs. maybe it has to do with my war on inanimate objects, but I love running ad-aware daily, sniping malware from my computer, and brushing clean my precious hard drives.

but this one has me stumped. I was on the horn with dell tech services for an hour and a half, and after all that, I'm not entirely convinced that those hellions didn't construct this virus themselves. they certainly weren't very eager to help me fix anything.

here are the symptoms:
-Internet Explorer works maybe 10% of the time. it freezes up, effectively blocking any other program (firefox, aol, aim, rhapsody, etc.) from getting onto the internet.
-just in general, everything has slowed down
-my recycling bin constantly believes it has 12 items in it. even if I empty it, the icon still appears "full". if I delete an item, let's say an mp3, it will not be moved to the recycling bin, but rather simply disappear into the ether.

so... you're smart; you've gotten this far in life. you read the toybox, so you must have at least a basic appreciation for this high-falutin' internet technology nonsense.

any ideas?