Friday, April 29, 2005

Michael Joseph Garvey, M.B.A., J.D., H.U.N.G.R.Y.

Graduation, and a life free from the sweet smell of the school of management, is still a couple of weeks ahead of me, but I’m gaining fast. This past week wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, and every time I completed a presentation, handed in an assignment or sat through a final lecture, it felt damn good. I have an ethereal checklist constantly hanging in the air a foot away from my face, and I see the ratio of crossed-off-items to not-quite-yet-crossed-off-items has finally shifted to favor the former.

A lot of people value their academic degrees by measuring the hours of work they had to put into their classes, or the grades they got on exams and whathaveyou. At the end of it all, my degree will certainly signify all of the hard work I had to put into passing said classes and exams, but for the first time, I’m actually more aware of the opportunity costs – the things I wasn’t able to do because I was studying. Leah has an MBA too, and she pointed out this phenomenon. You can blame her for my screwed up perspective.

If I had my druthers, I’d have met Alex and Jess out at the pubs more often, or gone out to my parents’ for sausages every night, or met up with Esther for burritos, or gone for steak sandwiches with Hoffman at least once in awhile. I’d have gotten a real job so I could afford to take Lisa for sushi whenever she wanted. So yeah, my degree means for two years, I sacrificed friends/family and food/beer. Can I put that on my resume?

Hmmm… those last two paragraphs sound more regretful than I intend. I’m not saying I lament the effort I put into getting my MBA (or the effort I’ll put into my law degree). I’m just saying it means all the more to me because I paid for those letters after my name with hard work and perseverance while I was in class, but also with the hard work and endurance it took to avoid friends, family, food, etc. during exam weeks.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

if it's on the internet, it must be true

  • Monkeys can't walk backwards.
  • Rutherford B Hayes had a debilitating addiction to (and a phobia of) naugahyde.
  • A large portion of the moon is made of bees.
  • No one is really sure why the largest organ grinder ever built was never used in front of an audience, but conspiracy theorists say it's because it actually ground organs.
  • Shakespeare did exist, but was never seen in the same room as Superman. Coincidence?
  • It's a known fact that no one truly likes country music or mushrooms. They just think they do.
  • Marionettes were once considered as huge a threat to traditional actors as CGI is today.
  • Ants hate fire and Barry Manilow. It has to do with the heat and the key changes, respectively.
  • The word "microwave" comes from the roots "mic" meaning "Mike" and "rowave" meaning "uses this to make leftover spaghetti".
  • Carlester Crumpler's real name was Engelbert Humperdinck.
  • The line was originally, "If I had a hammer, I'd hammer on your kidneys."
  • I will be prepared in time for my final exams.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I'm too cool for a title.

Geez louise, I need to write something just so that pic isn’t staring me in the face every time I sign on.

Two sausages are frying in a pan.
Sausage number 1 turns to sausage number 2 and says, “man… it’s really gettin’ hot in here.”
Sausage number 2 replies “OH MY GOD, A TALKING SAUSAGE!”

Sorry, my creative juices are otherwise tied up in more scholastic endeavors. I have one more week of classes, and then another week of exams. Gooooooood times. Graduation is on the 14th, and I’m told by the people who took it last year that I’ll still be working on my Marketing Research final that morning. Eh, I’m sure that take-home will only benefit from my inevitable hangover.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

guess what I bought today...


Posted by Hello

was there really any doubt?

Your Inner European is Irish!



Sprited and boisterous!
You drink everyone under the table.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Meme Post

My friends, I have been memed. Yeah, I had to look it up too. I’m not even sure how to pronounce it.

Essentially, from what I can piece together out of meme.org and Wikipedia, a “meme” is a grand game of “pass it on”, with one person telling a story, sharing an experience, performing an action, etc., and then tagging (“meme-ing”) three others to do something similar, and so on ad infinitum.

Unintentionally, without realizing entire blog-societies exist to promulgate memes, we did something along those lines back here. Today’s topic, though, is something in which I might someday get an honorary doctorate: “stupidity”. Tom, who had been tagged by Ian (not to mention a sidewalk when he was a kid) memed me, with the threat of universal paradox if I didn’t follow up. Well, let’s see what we can pull out of repression, shall we?

Manalive, so many to choose from. A few Caroline stories spring to mind. That poor girl has become the epitome of embarrassment personified in my mind. She’s no longer so much an old college chum, but instead she’s come to represent the mythic pinnacle of (comically) failed attempts at a collegiate love life. But as Tom points out, “embarrassing” and “stupid” are only frequent bedfellows, almost always found intertwined, but certainly not the same thing. My Caroline stories a) are much more embarrassing than stupid, and b) are at least 80% exaggerated. Something tells me the sanctity of the meme demands full, naked truth.

Yesterday, I sent a PowerPoint presentation to a classmate via email, with the note “Someday they will open entire libraries in honor of my bullshitting abilities. -Mike” Naturally, she opened the email in class, projector running, for all (professor included) to see. Stoopit, to be sure, but are these my most horrendous examples of dumbassery?

Okay, in honor of getting something down on paper, here goes: I, Mike Garvey, was in a vampire movie. I’m not even sure if this counts, because it stretched over more than year, or at least it felt like it. This was back in college. I still had aspirations of becoming a star of stage and screen, and I’d just read that a young’n shouldn’t turn down anything. Do a play in the basement of a coffee house. Volunteer for student productions. Sing on street corners. So long as it built your resume, it was okay to do the shitty work at first.

But this… this was just too much. Too bad, too wrong, too stuuuuuupid to count for anything resume-worthy. You’d think I’d have picked up on the fact that there was no script, just a 13 page outline. Or perhaps that most of the production crew was related. But no, I was blinded by the fact that I’d landed the lead in an independent film, which, in my mind, was going to do quite well riding the coattails of the recently successful Blair Witch Project.

Well, it didn’t. Production was dragged out over the course of a year, starting and stopping every time the piggy bank budget ran dry, or a frustrated special effects guy packed up, or one of the 500 year old cameras we were using broke, or (I swear I’m not making this up) they had to write the next scene. So, yeah, I’m going to rank that little project up there with the stupidest things I’ve ever done. Not so much because it was bad, but rather because I had such high hopes going in, and because it took a year of my life (which precluded me from doing other theatre), and because (oh, I forgot to mention this!) it turned out to be a religious film. Yup, you read that right. After the editing was all done, and we got our first glimpse of the final project, it was all about relying on these Christ symbols and brotherhood, and never giving up on faith.

Hoo boy, that hurt. Excellent topic WitNit, and thanks for the shout-out, Tom. Okay, time to pass the buck.

Scott – I want to hear what you have to say on the subject.
Sarah – you knew as soon as I started talking about the vampire nonsense that I was going to pick you, right?
Cecilia – now that you’re internet-ready again, consider yourself memed.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

rhapsody in moo

I'm on very close terms with Rob Glaser, the founder/CEO of RealNetworks, Inc., which maintains Rhapsody. He and I are old chums. We email each other every so often. It's cute: I call him Bobby and he calls me Dear Rhapsody Customer. We're bff's.

Anyway, in Robb-o's last note, he mentioned that Eli’s comin'. Sometime next week, the rhap is going to go through some transition, words that at once excite and terrify the hell out of me. Good changes? Bad changes? I need my fix, man.

Admittedly, if I had my druthers, I'd love to see a few alterations. I mean, I love the software, but I bet even the programmers would agree that Rhapsody needs a better search function. Or the ability to "drag and drop" a song into a playlist without first opening it up.

Alternately (and here's where the "terrify the hell out of me" part comes in), there are a few things at risk that I hope they keep. For one, I hope they don't lose the "blog this" function. (If anything, they should let you post more than 25 songs at a time.) A lot of people see the program as something for misanthropes because it lacks the portability of an ipod, or XM. Well, true, you pretty much either have to be locked to your computer or willing to drop another 80 cents to download a tune, but my point is that by including the blog function, Rhapsody has actually created a stronger "community" than itunes or what have you. Do a google search. Rhaplinks not only abound, but generate discussion. At least once a day, you'll find me over at rockschool or the radish, mooching off the community members who know more about music in general than I do.

Okay, tangent ended. First, though, to drive my point home, here's a list of songs I've recently thrown into my daily rotation that were taken from other blogger's rhaplinks, or at least inspired by them. Fair warning: Of Montreal’s “Wraith” song will be stuck in your mind for days.

By the way, I got a rejection letter from Syracuse Law yesterday. Meh. Probably another couple of weeks before I hear from UB, but I’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, thank God for the Albany Law School admissions officers who were either smart enough or gullible enough to give me a safety net.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

On the back of the Mike Garvey trading card:

At the end of It All, the experts will tally up my stats and find:

-I always thought LeVar Burton looked stranger without the visor.

-My love of Shakespeare’s Macbeth was disproportionate to my ability to memorize any of its lines.

-I forgot the doggy bag more often by far than remembered it.

-I appreciated classical music, but there was never a time when I heard the Barber of Seville, the William Tell Overture, or that scene from The Valkyrie without hearing Looney Tunes lyrics.

-I spent a total of 175 316.255 hours sitting at a red light at the corner of Windsor and Forest avenue, even though there were no other cars using the intersection.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

just prepare for the unprepareable

I was in college for four years, and I’m just finishing my second of post graduate work. Since every semester had two exam periods (midterms and finals), that means I’m about to go into my 24th exam season since leaving high school.

Over the last 23, I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out exactly what I should pack to take with me to the library or computer lab or spot coffee or whatever:

Coffee – gotta stay alert
Bottle of water – in case the coffee runs out
Baggie of carrots – excellent snack food, even if they’re loud enough to wake up everyone else in the library.
Tums, Advil, one-a-days – I can’t say I’ve ever popped the stay-awake pills, but having these guys in your portable pharmacy is a must if you want to stay on top of your game.
Tunes – this started out as a walkman then evolved through walkman, computer CD player (if I’m in the computer lab), computer CD player (on my laptop), ipod, and right now it’s all about the rhapsody.
Sunglasses, watch with alarm clock– it is amazing how a fifteen minute power nap will recharge your batteries.
Excess school supplies – if you never run out of pens, you never have to waste time looking for pens.
Layers of clothes – will it be too hot in the library? Too cold? It’s a mystery until you get there.
And of course, the material – the books, the notes, the PowerPoints, the lecture outlines, and occasionally an Annie Carr who will dance out Latin declensions with you.

All that being said, I’ve been on campus for three hours so far this morning, and taking stock of my preparedness, I notice I failed to bring any snacks, healthy of otherwise, the sweater I’ve got on is far too warm to be wearing in the computer lab, I have ZERO pens on my person, and rhapsody seems to be down for the day. Oh, and though I did remember coffee, it’s giving me some wicked heartburn, and guess how many rolls of Tums I brought? Luckily, I remembered (albeit at the last possible moment) to bring my case studies, but it sure would be nice if Annie were here to dance out my Advertising and Promotions report.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

watch out for falling pocket protectors

I think it’s Nerd Day at UB. I mean, I didn’t get the newsletter, so it couldn’t be anything official, but there sure are a lot of nerdular nerdance activities going on:

I had to walk through a rather intense meeting of the Chess Club to get to Starbucks. One kid was crying. I had to bite my lip to keep from yelling “there’s no crying in chess!”

On the way back, the Red Cross had set up a little station in the student union. They, by nature, are not known for their nerdinosity, but I noticed they had attracted a swarm of undergrads (I swear I’m not making any of this up) with a thirty inch TV hooked up to an old school Nintendo… playing Duck Hunt.

A large part of the management building’s floors is bring re-done, so I had to follow a detour that took me past a remote group of tables where two young lovers were gazing longingly into each others eyes as they enjoyed the afternoon sun… over a game of Magic, the Gathering. Again, I swear I’m not making any of this up.

If you haven’t tried to call shenanigans yet, read on, because this particular UB Nerd Day took out all the stops. Not twenty minutes ago, I kid you not, on the patch of grass between Knox Hall and the student union, I passed a group of maybe 30 people or so… and they were sword fighting. Dressed to the nines in full renaissance regalia, and sporting foam and cardboard swords, axes, and shields; these lucky few succeeded in blowing my highest nerd score out of the water. They even had a friar sitting on a blanket, drinking Gatorade with what must have been the “wench” section.

I also notice UB Law School is having an open house for their newly accepted students. Coincidence?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

commercials can be entertaining too.

Next time I have to do a report on an advertising campaign, I might just think about the spots produced for the The World of Comedy International Film Festival:

Napoleon
Tarzan

Well, maybe not.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Reflectoporn Post

Meagan, Rick and I have been given the task of leading a class discussion on eBay. We're given a to-do list of issues that we need to cover, but we also have some leeway to build a foundation, some background behind eBay that should (if we do it right) make conversation easier.

Here's one segment we've decided to leave out:

THE REFLECTOPORN PHENOMENON

The internet has created a ready forum for the masses of individuals looking for a simple way to reach an audience. Never before has there been a more accessible stage for John Q Everyman to communicate his message to billions of eyeballs across the globe.

And, as frequent eBay users know all too well, sometimes that message is "here is my penis."

I'm told that the 'net is actually rife with nekid ladies and dudes, sharing their bits and pieces with the wired world. So how is the eBay "reflectoporn" issue different, you ask? The answer, class, is in the genius behind eBay's marketing: connecting the right "seller" (we'll call him “Buff") with the right "buyer" ("Blushing Co-ed" or "Tittering School Marm").

See, true exhibitionists aren't looking to show off the goods to the average porn-monger, although they probably do that too. No, Buff is looking to sell his package to a more general, wholesome group of customers. And since eBay has some semblance of censorship, blatantly setting up an auction using a pic of Buff's Yul Brynner isn't going to work.

Enter the teapot. Or the television screen. Or the mirror in the background, or the set of spoons or the metallic toaster, or anything with a reflective surface subtle enough to slip by the sensors, but expressive enough to win you a funny headline on fark, milkandcookies, or a coveted mention on
reflectoporn.com.
Okay, so we weren't really even considering it, but it's still pretty funny stuff. Plus I finally got to post "Yul Brynner" and not be talking about The King and I.

I love how she so masterfully captured Lisa's antenna

Lisa and I had dinner out with some of her nursing chums. One friend brought her two young daughters and my fiance had adopted them well before the appetizers came. Young Daughter Of Nursing School Friend No. 1 borrowed my ipaq so she could sketch her masterpiece, Lisa's portrait:



A stunning likeness, no? Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

three easy steps

Ways the UB MBA program has made me feel:

Like Salieri. Why has God given me the ability to recognize, appreciate, and respect my craft, but the inability to create it?

Like Lane Meyer. That scene in his math class is an extremely honest reflection of a very real feeling. Everyone in the class is fascinated by this stuff, and course material is immediately understood. Unless you're me, Lane Garvey, whose preparation is akin to gum on scratch paper.

Like I'm reading one of those How-To-Draw books, but it looks like this:

Step one: draw a circle for a head
Step two: draw two circles for eyes
Step three:

Okay, so this week isn't one of the better ones. They come and go. I'm not so upset that I feel the need to kill Mozart or ski the k12 or whatever. It's not like that'd help me learn Marketing Research anyway.

Geez, read yesterday's post and then this one and I think it's time to up the mood swing medication. I'm actually not all that pissed off, I just hate MR and love John Cusack by about the same amount.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Child, the living's easy.

Huzzah and huzzah: summer has arrived in Western New York! The gray tupperware cap that is the buffalo winter sky has been burped, allowing yellow sun and blue sky to take up residence. True, knowing that there is a very real tendency for Buffalo weather to yo-yo throughout the transitional seasons, I may just have jinxed us into an April blizzard, but I have faith. Indeed, the gods of spring could be only pleasantly mollified with last night's sacrifice: red meat grilled on the charcoal alter. We, the happy pilgrims who worship at once the Son and the sun, basked in the warmth of our first cook-out, celebrating in our ceremonial vestments: short sleeves, and chiavetta's stains.

UPDATE: today, I defiantly wore a tee-shirt, knowing full well it's still light-jacket-season. I'm hoping Mother Nature recognizes my faithful dedication and brings on another serving of summerish temps. In the meantime, I'll happily fuel myself with whatever solar energy I can soak up and, of course, as many grilled sacrifices as my cholesterol-driven diet will allow.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

the winds of change smell like ass

Today's theme is "change". It's been a weird couple of weeks. Here's a quick rundown of my recent life-changes, big or small, good or bad:
  • big, good: UB's new school of management building has opened, doubling the space we lowly MBA grad students can use without aggravating law school and/or undergrad kids. I'm in the new lounge now- a large, windowy chamber with comfy armchairs and wireless access. The fact that we're down to the last month of school is at once annoying (since it means we can only enjoy the new facilities for a few more weeks) and suh-weet (since, well, it means that we're down to the last month of school).
  • big, bad: Turns out I have the cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides (sp?) of ten men my age. A long overdue checkup revealed that my blood surges to the irregular but catchy mighty taco theme song. The doctor was afraid to come near me for fear that "poor diet" might be contagious. This has prompted a number of baby life changes, most of which would go under the "small bad" category, including: more fruits and vegies, more water, soy milk and cheerios replace real milk and coco puffs, a lifetime supply of baby carrots, and last but not least, a reinstated membership to weight watchers. Yeah, it's cliche, but it worked last year for me, and this time I have the added motivation of avoiding death for a few more years.
  • big, good/bad: Lisa and I road tripped out to Albany this weekend and toured the law school. I'll tell you this much, Albany has some cool little streets, and more corner pubs than you can shake a stick at. The school itself was amazing, and altogether terrifying. It reminded me of Hogwarts, but with more academic competition, and fewer owls. I was told that there were 2200 applicants and only 245 were offered a seat, which made me all warm and fuzzy inside.
  • really big, really good: Lisa and I passed 100 days until the wedding. Today, we're at 89. Last weekend, we spent the day among other God-fearing couples at pre-cana, listening to a lot of old people talk about sex. Near the end, lisa got punchy and couldn't stop laughing, which made me lose it, which made most of the people around us start laughing.
  • small, good: I downloaded a podcaster so I can listen to the Ongoing History of New Music out of Toronto whenever I want. I'm so cool.
  • big, bad: Insurance blows. Just in general.
  • small, good: I suffered through the entire album (called Picaresque) that The Decemberists just released, mostly because it had a good review in RS. I was rewarded, though, with an excellent track called "16 by 32" that I haven't been able to get out of my mind in days. Here's a rhaplink, with a few others I recently added to my master playlist.
  • small, neither here nor there: I capitalize now. Well, Microsoft Word does it for me, really.

Friday, April 08, 2005

sorry, I'm late. I was busy doing a whole lotta nuthin.

Hi, I’m back.

I wish I could say that my blogging hiatus resulted from something more creative and interesting than simple lazyassedness. Remember when I first said I’d update every day? I was hilarious back then.

After a few months of blogging, I can honestly say that it isn’t the same as having a journal. I could care less if I bored the hell out of pen and paper, but here, having that external element, I can’t help but see this site as some extension of the entity that is “Garvey”. For the same reason that I try to wear clean shirts (well, occasionally) or chew gum if I have offending breath, I feel like talking about boring shit on the toybox would be more detrimental than simply not posting. “The Royal Toybox: If you can’t say something witty, don’t say anything at all.”

Of course, now we’ve entered into the metaphysical, since talking about talking about boring stuff is, in itself, boring. But talking about talking about talking about boring stuff is fascinating, no?

But as a reward for getting this far into today’s post, here’s a sweet little game that is an excellent stress reliever. By the time you get to about level 15, it pretty much runs itself if you’ve built enough archers. I got to level 45 before I decided I'd killed enough stick men.

also, if you want to laugh out loud, check out the basketball player from charlotte whose name didn't quite translate from her native yugoslavian. sounds like something you'd hear at moe's tavern.

Monday, April 04, 2005

wrestled with reality for 35 years, doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it

By request, here’s the post that’s going to make everyone hate me:

James Stewart was a bad actor.

Okay, before the lynch-party forms, hear me out, because I think we might all be on the same page – we just hold differing definitions of “good/bad actor”. Also, I should say that I am, at the end of the day, a huge Jimmy Stewart fan. The first lead I ever got was playing Elwood P Dowd in Iroquois High School’s version of Harvey, and ever since then, the guy has been one of my favorites. In my opinion, he remains one of the greatest performers ever to have added to the craft, and I have no doubt that had I lived during the height of his career, I would have been one of the nerds lining up days in advance to see his movies.

But that’s where the difference exists. The man was a “performer”, and arguably one of the best. But the man was not an “actor”.

Lemme ‘splain. We’re entering into a bit of a subjective area here, but I think a lot of the experts would agree with me. We can define acting simply as “the practice of assuming a character or characteristics”, but in my mind this is an extremely superficial truth since it in no way qualifies acting as an art form, which it certainly is. Stewart made it look easy, because his craft (his technique) prescribed that he simply make the character his own. He didn’t so much make you believe that he was Elwood P. Dowd or George Bailey or Tom Destry, but rather he was extremely adept at making you believe that these characters were him.

The difference, I think, is in the use of emotion. A good performer shows you an emotion. A good actor genuinely feels that emotion. Christopher Walken, John Goodman, and Dustin Hoffman are great examples. When they’re pissed off, you know that anger developed from the inside-out. However, when Keanu Reeves’ (another great performer) is pissed off, it’s because that’s what the script has told him to be.

That being said, to all of you who think that Jimmy Stewart is a good actor, I again suggest that you and I differ not in our respect for his craft, but rather in our definition of “good actor”.

By the way, “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” is one of my favorite movies, and the autograph below (which was mailed to me after my grandmother wrote to Mr. Stewart to tell him I was playing Dowd in 1992) is one of my favorite possessions.



Posted by Hello

Friday, April 01, 2005

incredible pic

anyone else see they found water on mars today? man, the times we live in, huh?

fantasy steroid usage jokes? anyone?

Just in case you were wondering which 20 baseball players are the best, I’ve listed them below. Thankfully, they are also all on my fantasy baseball team, “The Suggested Sox”:

Pos Players
C V. Martínez (Cle - C)
1B T. Helton (Col - 1B)
2B M. Giles (Atl - 2B)
3B C. Figgins (LAA - 2B,3B,SS,CF)
SS R. Furcal (Atl - SS)
IF C. Guillén (Det - SS)
LF M. Alou (SF - LF)
CF K. Griffey Jr. (Cin - CF)
RF B. Abreu (Phi - RF)
OF C. Crisp (Cle - LF,CF) (yeah, that’s right, I drafted Coco Crisp.)
BN D. Wright (NYM - 3B)
BN S. Finley (LAA - CF)

Pos Pitchers
SP Od. Pérez (LAD - SP)
SP F. García (CWS - SP)
SP M. Buehrle (CWS - SP)
SP J. Affeldt (KC - SP,RP)
RP K. Foulke (Bos - RP)
RP Fr. Rodríguez (LAA - RP)
P B. Looper (NYM - RP)
P A. Leiter (Fla - SP)

Go get’em, boys…