Saturday, July 30, 2005

No, silly, you drink red wine with Wardynski's.

I’m packing this morning and something possessed me to put on Tom Waits. Man, like this isn’t depressing enough on its own.

Maybe it’s time for a little Chemical Bros. That’s appropriate morning-packing music, right? Hey, whatever keeps you motivated.

I had dinner at my parents’ last night (my biological parents, that is) and we managed to attract a pretty-good-sized crowd. Granted, we had Baby Julia as an opening act, so perhaps not ALL the attention was focused on the recently returned European travelers. We had hot dogs in honor of our home-country, and spent the night sharing digital pictures and anecdotes, and passing out knick knacks we brought back from Italy. We had hoped to escape with enough time to continue packing last night, but (partly because of the late hour and mostly because of the copious bottles of vino) it just didn’t happen.

So today the shoving of brick-a-brack (you know: clothes, dishes, dvd’s, life size superman cutouts, etc.) into hastily taped boxes has to be stepped up a touch. The team and I are picking up the truck this afternoon, loading tonight, and leaving tomorrow morning and since Time Warner Cable tells us we won’t have internet until the end of the week, it looks like I’ll be on hiatus for a few more days.

Really, I’ll miss you too.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

In all our drunken/giddy/married glory

Ain't technology grand? The photographer we hired for our wedding sent us the link to all of our wedding pics. Just try to get through all of them without either getting a little weepy or laughing out loud:

Click on this link to get to the Robert Knight Photography site, and then on "View and Purchase Your Photos Online". About a page down, click on "The Wedding of Lisa and Michael Garvey" to take a look at me in a monkey suit and everyone else dancing like crazy people.

By the way, Jennica (sp?) Knight and her assistant could not have been a better team for our party. They were professional without being stuffy (in fact, they were downright fun), and as you can see, they were quite true to their art. For any of you who are in the planning stages of their own hitchin's, I can't recommend Robert Knight Photography highly enough.

The Land of Truffles and Mozzarella di Buffalo

Does anyone else ever get blogging writer’s block after some big event? It’s like I’m overcome with all these points I want to make about the baby, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and the honeymoon, and all I can think is that my posts are generally too long to begin with.

But, since it’s looking less and less like I’ll have the time to do a good moosen-esque side project with these pics, (for those of you just joining us, Lisa and I are picking up and moving to Albany this Sunday – not a whole heckuvalotta packing time) I feel like I want to get at least some of our itinerary down for the history books. While the coffee’s a-brewin’, maybe I’ll do that.

I. We flew into Rome (notice the roman numerals) on the 12th, bright-eyed, bushytailed and ready to dive right into our touristy goodness. Instead, we had to catch a train. Which brought us to

II. Florence a few hours, and one train transfer, later. Flo was to be our home for five nights, and the Globus Hotel was to be our hat hook. From our window, you could look strait out to the bell tower of Santa Maria Novella, or you could look down onto the San Lorenzo Piazza, where the world gets its necessary supply of Pinocchio toys and naked David boxer shorts.

In one day in Florence, we just about killed ourselves by first climbing 436 steps to the top of the Duomo, and then getting lost in the Boboli Gardens. We found our way back by following the smell of gelato. On one of our last days, we took a day trip to Pisa, where I looked everywhere for a souvenir tower that had been pushed straight by the evil Superman.

III. I don’t think anyone can doubt the influence Lisa’s grandfather had on her family and community, but during the succeeding two days, it became apparent how globally that influence stretched. In a distant suburb of Milan, Lisa and I were lucky enough to stay with old family friends and former patients of the late Dr. Leberer. Our 90+ year old hosts pulled no punches in their praise of lisa and her family, and had even erected a monument in her grandfather’s memory. We only found it at the end of a long and misquito-ey walk, but it was worth it, and I think her grandmother will appreciate the stalks of lavender we pulled along the way.

IV. Siena, friends, is my kind of tiny, ancient, wine-laden, European town. We agreed with each other, She and I. And though I think that had we stayed another two or three days there, we would have found ourselves somewhat restless (even bored), our two nights there were among my favorite throughout the entire trip. We even took a wine tour.

We spent one morning at the Cantina in Piazza, an area enoteca, among people who know more about wine than I do about anything. Turns out ’97 was an excellent year for the Chianti region, by the way. Now you’ve learned something too.

V. On to Rome, the Disneyland of Italy. The last five days of our trip were awesome, not only because we were in FREAKIN’ ROME, but because by then, we’d found our speed. Yes, that’s right; we’d adopted the afternoon nap. See, in Italy, everything shuts down between 3 and 6 or so. Dinner is eaten late, usually around 9pm, but that’s fine because the intelligent people took advantage of their hotel room balconies, where they’d read and snooze and get buzzed on prosecco before the evening came. Man, I love America, but a country where there’s an instituted nap time, and topless women in the TV commercials is doing something right.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Back on terra (Americana) firma

The Garveys are back from across the pond, slightly jetlagged, maybe a touch hungover, definitely fatigued, and absolutely happy. The 297 hour flight home was, to say the least, daunting, but did little to detract from the overall trip. Let's leave it at this: I love Italy and her people. I hate Delta and the woman who sat in seat 26B.

I was hoping to get some picutres up for show and tell today, or even start on a side project like I did for the Alaska trip. That may still be in the works, but for now, I think I'm just going to have to leave you with a fond hello. Lisa and I are already packing for the big move this weekend, so spare time this week is about as rare as feathers on fish.

But, who am I kidding? I always blog most when I have less time. Expect more soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

all roads lead to where?

Just a two second check-in before the wifey and I head south for roma. The trip has been nothing short of amazing so far, and Lisa and I are at once ecstatic that we still have five nights remaining, as well as dismayed by the fact that we only have five nights remaining. Hey, we're allowed to be irrational - we're the happy couple.

Yesterday, we took a tour into a chianti city that supported, no lie, twenty citizens. oh, and two dogs. it had no constabulary, no hospital, no schools, just one church butting up against one bar.

Okay, that's it for now - the hotel needs me to stop dominating their computer. I hope everyone is well, and I can't wait to sit down to some July 9th anecdotes over a bottle of supertuscan!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

even the ugly people are hot here.

You, my friends, are reading a blog post composed on the fly in the lobby of a Florence, Italy hotel! Just wanted to check in to the RT and tell everyone the trip is beyond comprehension. No, wait, the gelatto is beyond comprehension, the trip is beyond even that.

Until I can collect my thoughts, here is a word from my new Aunt Janet, who was very good at pinning my flower to my jacket, despite my constant shaking:

Something to add to the bits and pieces of the Wedding Day...

Among the many blessing of that day that I got to enjoy, one of the best
wasthe moment I handed the Gardenia to your mom in the back of church.
Shelooked at it, looked up at me with this stunned look on her face, andstarted
"How..." She couldn't speak any more words...I said "Lisa and
Mikedid this..." All the back ground noise of the church seemed to stop
for ustwo mothers in that precious moment.

It was so many tiny details like that one, that all added up to the
verybest event ever...

Love to you both, my niece and nephew!

Aunt Janet.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Here you may see Garvey the married man.

How do I survive the most important day of my life and then blog about it? Well let’s start off with a disclaimer: Nothing I write here can ever begin to describe how great a day it was. Nothing I post could possibly do the event justice, and honestly, I’m starting to have some respect for the writers of history books. How does someone stuff the importance of Normandy into one chapter? How does one put into a few paragraphs an entire weekend of wedding funtimes? Can’t be done.

Let’s give it a shot anyway, if for no other reason than to give my new Uncle Danny and Dave something to talk about at work.

The last time I checked into the RT (with any real effort) was last Wednesday, the 6th, when I was preparing the Garvey mans for the rehearsal gala. Right now, I’m sitting in an airport in Cincinnati, renting wireless access from tmobile, sharing a mint chocolate milkshake with my wife. Here are a few things that happened between those two times:

Thursday: mowed, weed-wacked, mulched, phoned law schools, phoned utility companies. Met up with my groomsmen and a few others for a night of poker wherein they let me win. Lisa got drunk at the square.

Friday: electrical work, yard work, astroturf work. Drove with Lou to get two more kegs of the Flying Bison, and called biological Uncle Dan for help with the taps (he also helped with the ice, with the emceeing at the reception, with a “European Survival Kit” containing “I Am Canadian” tee-shirts, and especially with a big-ass tray of bacon for Sunday brunch. Mad, mad props.) Got to dress in my new Tommy Bahama outfit. Wedding rehearsal. Wedding rehearsal party. Awesome awesome awesome awesome.

Things I’ll always remember about the wedding rehearsal dinner: the fireworks a la the groomsmen; smoked king salmon a la our Alaska trip; Sammy, Miranda, and, well, everyone wearing “Celebrate” glitter on their foreheads; Leonard telling jokes; a wave of babies; Uncle Neil’s toast; everyone noticing and commenting on the lawns; Lisa leaving before midnight, after I gave her the journal I started on September 9th, 2003, when I first knew I wanted to marry her; the drunk brigade who sat with me the night before I got married, eating peanuts, drinking clicquot, and talking about papa.

Saturday: up at 7, surprised to see I got five good hours of sleep, more surprised to see the coffee grinder broken. Saw mom early, made her cry. No real prep work to be done, but Alex and I found things to do anyway, thankfully. Hoffman showed around 12:30, and the guys party took their time getting dressed in the last air-conditioned space we’d see all day. Tuxes: A) looked like waiters B) looked like James Bond C) looked perfect. Trolley was not stocked with cookies , but did contain champagne and a life-size superman cut-out. Met photographers at church, who were attractive young ladies, obviously not turned on by men in sweaty tuxes. The wedding. The wedding reception. Awesome infinity plus one.

Thins I’ll always remember about the wedding: less than you’d expect – it went by so quick, and I was watching from behind my eyes, flying on autopilot. It was hot hot. I didn’t cry until I saw Esther mouth to John that she couldn’t look at me. I remember thinking there was no fourth wall. The doors opened and Lisa and her (now, “our”) father were silhouetted against the quad’s light. I told Father Tunney I arranged all the flowers, and we laughed because I was lying during my own wedding, in front of the alter. Aunt Janet’s reading. Little bottles of water from nowhere. Uncle Neil’s reading, which was the long version of the one we found, and was preempted by “Dear Corinthians, wish you were here…” or something like that. Sarah’s right, though – a long mass is a-ok so long as you mean it. Mom looked so happy, and Dave Hoffmann was visible even thirty pews away. Music – my God, the music. Most are married in the ethereal presence of a choir of angels. We actually arranged to have one sing at ours. Thank you ladies, thank you guys, and thank you Joy for giving me shivers during “River of Glory”. I passed notes to Lisa – did anyone see that? Katie had a bit of tissue on her nose – please, in the name of all that is holy, please tell me someone got a picture of it.

Nope. It can’t be done. This post is even longer than my normal tomes, and I haven’t even gotten to the end of the mass yet. And actually, I notice it’s about time to catch our flight out of here, taking us into the arms of my wife’s ancestral lands. I’ll be on the roads among northern Italy for the next two weeks, but hopefully, I’ll be able to check in if I can find another hotspot. In the meantime, help me fill in the cracks – email me at and send me stories, send me pictures, send me the jokes that Leonard told that I’ve already forgotten.

And in case I didn’t tell you this during a drunken stupor on Saturday night, I love you all.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I've always wanted to direct

As if I didn't have enough to do today, I found a website earlier that would have otherwise occupied my entire day. Click here to see my thrilling movie, WATCH OUT FOR ALIENS.

Watch out, Lucas!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

And he also made false teeth

Hmmm... no new Daily Show tonight. Enjoy this instead.

It's tech week.

Okay, I’m…
(run run run)
…posting between…
(clean clean clean)
…odd jobs like…
(fix fix fix)
…mowing and painting and power washing and…
(pant pant pant)
…buying important things (beer) and not-so-important things (water) and…
(drink drink drink)
…just generally trying to get Western New York ready for the Wedding O’ the Century.
(sleep sleep sleep)

Right now, it’s about 11am, which means we’re at 3 days and 3 hours until the flag drops. In a decision that’s loosing its appeal every second, we’re going to have the rehearsal dinner here at the Garvey Estate, so that means the above mentioned running/cleaning/fixing/etc actually needs to be done by about this time day after tomorrow. damn – that just gave me a little poop cramp.

In the meantime, things seem to be falling into place. I still have a list of groom to-do’s the length of my arm, and though it gets longer by two items every time I cross one off, at least I’m getting into the stuff I can fake. Did I weed the garden? Not so much, but it’s not like it’ll grow through the new mulch any time soon…

Well, back into the fray. Oh, and by the way, young Julia Eagan is doing fine – she and Esther finally went home yesterday and everyone is happy, healthy and at least somewhat rested.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Julia Eagan, born 7/1/05, 10pm

Today, John Eagan walked into the waiting room, like a disheveled jedi in his hospital gown and beamed: “It’s a girl…”

I will, from now until I die, remember how it felt to first accept my duty as “uncle”.

For the sake of posterity, here’s what went through my mind: I’ll always try to give okay directions. I’ll always have a good joke for you. I'll always have canadian money to give you, just in case. I’ll show you how to play solitaire and Goldeneye. It’s going to take me a second to get used to no longer being the youngest generation, but once I catch my breath, you are going to be showered with pink stuffed monkeys.

You have redefined love-at-first-site, kiddo.

ADDED NOTE: Check out The Shortbus for some better pictures and a much better story of last night's adventure. And thanks to everyone for their congrats and well-wishes! I'm going to see the new mom and dad and the rugrat this morning, so I'll pass them all on.