Monday, August 29, 2005

Okay, NOW am I a lawyer?

Operation: Lawyerize, Day One went pretty well. They gave out free coffee and talked to me about how smart and competitive the incoming class is. Turns out I’m one of 21 students who have gotten some other post-grad degree. I’m also one of about 50 who have traveled oversees for any great period of time, one of about a hundred who have volunteered time/sweat/money for the less fortunate, one of 40 who are married, and one of one who were college homecoming kings. That’s right – I’m unique. I’m the only JD/Homecoming Royalty in my class.

Once again following in DH’s footsteps, I think.

Switching gears, I really want to steal this survey from sarah, but my ipod has died and damned if I can find the charger. My itunes is on my desktop (which is one half in the Battaglia’s dining room, one half in their garage), so that’s a dead end too. Even my poor laptop is in the hands of the Geek Squad – I feel so technologically naked.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Six Feet Under Rhaplink

Not much time to journ today, things as they are, but I thought I’d offer up a little present for my Rhapsody friends. The last few years, I’ve really gotten into Six Feet Under, which ended last week. Especially in the last season, it seemed every episode I’d hear some tune that stuck with me for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, Rhapsody is missing a few of the more important ones (Like Nirvana’s "All Apologies"), but they made up for it by recently uploading the second Six Feet Under soundtrack.

The first 13 of the songs on this playlist are from that soundtrack, and the remaining are either from the first SFU soundtrack, or from individual episodes. (Regards to the HBO website for music credits, by the way, as well as a rather morbid/clever obituaries page.)

Haley and Lisa suggest Sia’s "Breathe Me", and I can’t get enough of Handsome Boy Modeling School’s "Breakdown" (a la Jack Johnson).

Six Feet Under:

1. Feeling Good - Nina Simone
2. Amazing Life - Jem
3. Everything Is Everything - Phoenix
4. A Rush of Blood to the Head - Coldplay
5. Breathe Me - Sia
6. Lucky - Radiohead
7. Time Is On My Side - Irma Thomas
8. Aganju (The Latin Project Remix) - Bebel Gilberto
9. Direction - Interpol
10. (Don't Fear) the Reaper - Caesars
11. Transatlanticism - Death Cab For Cutie
12. Cold Wind - The Arcade Fire
13. I'm A Lonely Little Petunia - Imogen Heap
14. I Changed My Mind - (rattlesnake mix) - Lyrics Born
15. I Just Want To Celebrate - Rare Earth
16. Heaven - Lamb
17. Deep Down & Dirty - Stereo MC's
18. I Love Being Here With You - Peggy Lee
19. Squares - The Beta Band
20. Distractions - Zero 7
21. Inspiration Information - Shuggie Otis
22. Calling All Angels - Jane Siberry
23. Spooky - Classics IV
24. Bohemian Like You - The Dandy Warhols
25. Struggle - Ringside
26. Cold Calculated - Alva Star
27. Rebellion (Lies) - Arcade Fire
28. Breakdown - Handsome Boy Modeling School
29. Waiting - The Devlins
30. Dead To The World - Royksopp
31. Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
32. Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan
33. To Live Is To Fly - Townes Van Zandt
34. Japanese Girls (Album Version) - Robbers On High Street
35. Yummy, Yummy, Yummy - Julie London
36. Holographic Universe - Thievery Corporation
37. Colors - Amos Lee
38. Almost Forgot Myself - Doves

Friday, August 26, 2005

Baby steps on the 'net

Ah, very cool. Blogger, evidently, has been up late the last few nights making changes to their little blogging universe. Not exactly the path I would have taken on every issue, but these changes are at least steps in the right direction.

The First: I don’t know about the rest of you, but I typically write my posts out in Word before I copy and paste them into the Blogger editor. If the Almighty Gates had expected us to know how to spell correctly, He wouldn’t have given us spell-check. (Of course, that doesn’t help when you confuse “review” and “revue”, but that’s what the Almighty Hoffmann is for.) Also, soon after I started here at the RT, I saw how easily the rug could be pulled out from underneath these flimsy weblogs, so now I save each of my posts to a folder on my desktop, just to be safe. The kids over at Blogger, though, have made that transition a touch easier with this new add-on, which lets me post directly from Word. Not a big improvement, but I’ll take anything I can get.

The Second: Okay, this one I’m not too keen on, but again, this is a tough area. We’re still in the wild wild west of security on the internets, so sometimes you have to keep an eye out for yourself and not rely on the e-police to catch every criminal. If you own a connected computer, you need to update and run a virus catcher. If you make purchases online, you need to check out the site you’re giving your card # to. If you have an email account, you need to either ignore the Nigerian scam-emails, or laugh at websites like this, or both. And until the powers that be perfect their comment function, if you have a blog, you have to deal with those assholes who leave spam on your site.

In the meantime, Blogger has this to say about the subject. Essentially, their answer is to make it harder for everyone to leave comments, which I’m not going to buy into just yet. Again, I think it’s a step in the right direction – I’m definitely glad they’re aware of it all, but I’m not going to make sure you know how to type “uvama” before you can make fun of me on my own website. For those of you who have blogs, and I assume that's the lion's share of my readership, set up your comments so that you're emailed each time someone chimes in. Then delete the spamments.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A place to hang my hat and my poker winnings.

No big shakes today, just a few points to share:

We done gots an apartment! It actually happened a few days ago, but I wanted to beat my new landlord (who also happens to be Scott of The Fourth Row fame) at poker before I signed the lease and made the announcement. I got lucky with my cards, and the fact that we were outside freezing our aces off at 2am this morning.

I heard the rattlesnake version of Lyrics Born’s "I Changed My Mind" on both Entourage and the series finale of Six Feet Under (which was awesome). Haven’t gotten it out of my mind since. Check out Sia's "Breathe Me" too, for a more mellow one. Man, that was a good finale. I miss them already.

Speaking of music, I was waiting in the car a few days ago and all I could find to listen to was X&Y. For those of you who aren’t big fans, give it one more listen. No, they aren’t the next U2 like their marketers would have you believe, but now that the buzz of pretentiousness (pretentiousnosity? pretention? pretentiousnalarity?) has died down, I didn’t hate it as much. A few of the tracks even reminded me of why I liked Coldplay in the first place.

I get to mow a lawn today! Oh, it’s been so long.

Allow me to be one of those annoying baby-picture-sharing uncles just real quick. I danced with young Julia the other day to Wilson Pickett. (More pics of that dinner are here.) Now our song will always be Sugar Sugar.

But not the Archies version.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I still think I'd make a good Atticus.

I always thought the Musical Review was the cop-out of the theatre world. I mean, c’mon - if you’re going to do a musical, do a musical. Make the costumes, build the sets, don’t be afraid of the talking parts, etc. The Musical Review, in my mind, was just a way for the singers to cut out all the non-singing parts, and pull in revenue from the little old ladies who couldn’t be bothered with other theatrical things. You know, like plot.

I should step back, though. This opinion started back in high school when the Iroquois Drama Club was pretty evenly split between the actors (“Let’s do ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’!”) and singers (“Let’s do whatever that show was in ‘Mr. Holland’s Opus’!”). There were also a handful of dancers (“Anything by Fosse, please.”), but they were about as popular as a third party in a bipartisan system, though not nearly as graceful. I could sing if I had the right coaching, and I could do the box step like no one’s business, but at the end of the day, I was an actor through and through. And yes, I always wanted to play Atticus.

So the animosity between me and the songbirds extends well into the present, though as of last night I can at least say that my opinion of the Musical Review has significantly improved. Lisa, a handful of my sisters, a certain doctor friend who got a speeding ticket, and I went to see “World Goes Round”, a collection of tunes written by the guys who wrote the music in shows like Chicago and Cabaret. And it was good. I was, surprisingly, entertained. My friend, Lou, was incredible, as always. Against my better judgment, I found I didn’t entirely miss the costumes, the sets, or even the talking, but in fact was able to follow the individual “plots” within individual songs.

And since it was only the really good songs from of their shows, it was almost like someone had just put together a really solid playlist of show tunes.

So there you have it. The Musical Review is actually the mix tape of the theatre world.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Ten Second Post

Man, you know it's bad when spammers post more to your blog in a week than you do.

Sorry about that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Don't get mad. Get packed.

Wanna see two newlyweds packing their lives into garbage bags? Come on over. It’s amazing how much you can stuff into one of those UltraFlex bags, so long as you don’t mind labels like “kitchen stuff/comic books/extension cords/toothbrush/photo albums/wine/miscellaneous”.

Our mad Tetris skills have been stretched to the limit, but when I sit down to the first Mighty Taco I’ve had in (can you believe it???) TWO WEEKS, it’ll aaaaaaall be worth it.

I had a dream the other night that I somehow decided to move to Chicago. I even got a job back at the company I used to work for, but was given a huge promotion – now I was allowed to wear my hat backwards. That’s like the “corner office” of promotions in the dream world, you see. Anyway, in the dream a bunch of my Buffalo friends had also since moved to Chicago and were working at the same company, including one HR administrator we all know and love. We all went out to lunch and I ran into a friend I haven’t talked to more than once since I moved back to Buffalo a few years ago. Back in the real world, there was an email from said friend in my inbox when I woke up this morning.

Downright spooky, if you ask me.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Remember the summer of ’05? That was awesome.

Remember how I graduated from the MBA program? And then I went to Alaska? And then became an uncle? And then got married? And then went to Italy? And then moved to Albany?

And then moved back?

That was awesome.

Okay, if you haven’t heard yet, my life changing move east has turned from the beginning of a three year stint in our state capital to a really involved second honeymoon. I got the call from UB Law yesterday with an offer to join their incoming class. Five and a half hours of hyperventilating later, it just made more sense for us to call up UB and accept.

So, buffalo, here we come. Again. Remember us? We’re awesome.

In the meantime, if anyone sees an apartment in one of Buffalo’s cooler areas, let me know. One or two bedrooms, hardwood floors, safe neighborhood, and if at all possible, a built-in automatic burrito dispenser.

Sometimes there's one with big blue eyes, cute as a bunny...

Sorry no posty lately. But I should get double credit for the shout-out over at Buffalo Rising, yeah?

Lisa and I have been busy butting our heads against the walls of our quant Albany apartment because even though classes start at the law school here on Monday, UB Law called yesterday and offered me a seat in this year's class.

And we're seriously considering it.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I mean it WAS the first US city to light its streets with electricity...

The more observant of my readers will notice I threw up a few new links over there on the right. Far and away, that list of blogs under the "better than me" heading is predominantly made up of sites belonging to friends, and to that end, I'm happy to add in "Automatic Rebalancing" and "The Trials". I'd also like to point out my birthday is right around the corner and I do not yet own a camera phone. Hint hint, wifey.

The other new link is to the Buffalo Rising Journal, which I've done my best to avoid up until now. Without really giving it a fair chance, I had assumed it was overly-optimistic fluff about yet another rust-belt city. Well, shame on me, because not only is it a pretty good website, but it's actually about a pretty good city. Don't get me wrong - I've always loved Buffalo, but until recently, that's more because of a longing to be near family than because of any hometown pride.

Anyway, the BRJ has been suggested to me by a few other friends, and I finally gave it a real read yesterday. Many of you know I recently moved from Buffalo to Albany to attend law school, and some of you might even know that I've never counted out using that education to lay the groundwork for a career in Buffalo politics. In the meantime, I'm happy to have the BRJ (as well as my other Buffalo friends' blogs) to help me get through the next three years.

Because I’m told in law school you have a lot of time to surf the ‘net. Right?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Get it? They hunt "spheres"?

In preparation for my life as a law school student, I’ve been playing a lot of video games this week. Thanks to the best best man, the new Garv-apartment here in Albany is equipped with one o’ them tiny PS2’s, and thanks to the used-games bin at the neighborhood EB, that PS2 is equipped with Final Fantasy X-2. Oh, it’s not just the final fantasy. It’s not even the tenth final fantasy. It’s the second tenth final fantasy.

That’s right - the game with the women who change clothes to fight their enemies. So far, I’m a fan. I really enjoyed FFX back when I was living it up in Chicago, and this is a fair extension of that. And to those of you who say it’s a game for girls just because the three protagonists are female, here’s Lisa’s take:

“A game where three hot women show it off in different skimpy outfits? No, Mikey, this one’s definitely for the boys.”

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Before we pass out the harps, let's take a quick look at that inner monologue, shall we?

I have a theory about the first few days of the post death experience. I’m assuming there isn’t really any delay in the afterlife, since the whole space/time thing doesn’t have the same oomph it does within the current mortal coil, so you’re pretty much right there with everyone you know as soon as you step off the ferry.

Anyway, yeah, you’re judged. The good go up, the bad go down - that part I’m not really theorizing about. Beyond that, though, all I can think about is the shear nakedness of it all. You know the term: “bare your soul”? Well, it don’t get much barer than that. Everyone you know or don’t know, standing around, in full view of your true self. Every thought you’ve ever had and every thing you’ve ever done (good, bad, or boring) is laid out for a pretty big audience.

It isn’t as bad as I make it sound, I don’t think. For the first few minutes, there’s a lot of “I told you so!” being shouted as the dead can now look back on the past and see how that one event really happened. Or finally the feelings that were never really convertible into words or body language are immediately translated: “So, now you see how much I really loved that detective series with Tim Daly.”

But the worst part is the REAL show. Everyone lines up and, soul by soul, we all get hooked up to St. Peter’s movie projector, and every moment, from birth to death is played out for all to see. Well, not everything – the forgiven murders and infidelities and such have already been dealt with, so those are passed over here. But what is shown is every white lie ever told, and every bad thought ever repeated (mantra-like) about Fatty McGee in the next car over, and even every time I stole a circus peanut from the bulk section. Not the biggies or anything – nothing that would send a man to Hell – but certainly all the stuff that you’d usually like to withhold in the “baring of the soul”. I think your life does flash before your eyes, but also in front of everyone else. Think of THAT next time you mutter something ill under your breath about Bronson Pinchot or Linda Hunt or someone.

So why the rather morbid theories today, especially on the first day I’ve been to church in months (besides my wedding)? Just getting you all ready for that eternal day when St. Peter hooks me up and you all get to hear the ranting comedy routine that went through my head during the service today. In the front of the chapel, a sign said “The Parishioners Have Been Blessed With Many Gifts”. And I didn’t hear a word the priest said, simply because the “y” had fallen off that sign.

Let me tell you, I had to bite my tongue to keep that ranting comedy routine internal.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Report from our man in Albany

And scant minutes after The Garveys were back and connected to the e-outside world, he’d already posted to his blog. Ah, priorities. Next, he’ll probably look for porn.

Did you notice I wrote “The Garveys” up there? Yeah, that’s right. We’re a family now. I have a wife, and the tiny one-finger handcuffs to prove it. The last few days have actually been a lot of fun – moving eastward in a four car caravan (well, three cars, and one hugh-jass truck), cramming nine rooms worth of “stuff” into a one bedroom apartment, couch shopping, jokes about old school and a “nice little Sunday planned”, etc. Here are a few things that the wife and I have noticed:

-I have more clothes than Lisa. She has more shoes.
-Band-aides really are racist, if you think about it.
-As of right now, I am paying for cable for the first time since college. I am SO growns up.
-Dave The Upstairs Neighbor is not only very cool, but graduated from ALS and has offered me his outlines. This made me do the happy dance.
-Albanians love to jaywalk. Albanians from Albany, I mean, not from Albania. Which isn’t to say that those from Albania don’t jaywalk, I’ve just never been on a road in Albania, and in the past week I’ve almost killed at least a dozen people here in Albany.
-Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans for the future.
-I watched the Iron Giant again the other day and noticed I’d never wondered what had happened to Hogarth’s father. There is a picture on his bedside table, though, of a man in a fighter jet, so can we assume he was lost in action? And if so, I wonder how Hogarth feels about his mom going from “Air Force pilot” to “beatnik artist” by the end of the movie.
-Power tools are awesome. Drywall anchors really are, at times, necessary.
-I’ve got blisters on my fingers…

Yeah, I miss Buffalo, but I like the way my life is now, and it isn’t like I won’t be going back any time soon. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my new couch.