Friday, September 30, 2005

60% of the time, it works all the time.

I was talking with John the other day and we must have rattled off ten Anchorman quotes in about twenty seconds. We’re THAT good. After a pause, John said it must be one of the most quoted movies ever. I called him a dirty pirate hooker and agreed.

But then I thought about Casablanca. There is no line in that movie that isn’t a cliché. What about Young Frankenstein? Hell, what about Wizard of Oz?

It isn’t a fair comparison, really. Casablanca is 63 years old. It’s like saying a movie released today is higher grossing than ET – well, duh, you’re charging nine times as much for a movie ticket. And by the way, those Reese’s Pieces shouldn’t require me to take out a mortgage to buy.

But let’s take all those variables out of the equation for today’s poll. In your opinion, what movie can claim Most Oft Quoted? Or in other words, at the end of all time, after every flick has been able to prove its longevity, what movie will be able to claim that prize? Did more people quip “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” than ask “what would Brian Boitano do”? Did more people say “follow the yellow brick road” or “follow the white rabbit”? “I’ll have what she’s having” or “I’ll be back”? “You damned dirty ape”, “fat guy in a little coat”, “shaken, not stirred”, or “this chick is TOAST!”? “I coulda been a contender” or “I flip you for real”?

“Use the Force” or “Use the Schwartz”?


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

damn you, Tommy Tutone.

I found a little surprise in my inbox this morning, when I got yet another email meant for some other “Mike Garvey”. Occasionally, I think my email address is the internet’s equivalent to 867-5309. But I don’t mind – in fact, this time I even wrote back.

My new pen-pal is from the UK; we even share a last name. She was including her Mike Garvey in an email regarding Christmas vacation. I wrote back to her for two reasons.

1. If I were mistakenly left out of vacation discussion, I’d hope some other Mike Garvey was kind enough to key me in.
2. I just added a sharp-looking counter map to the RT and I wanted to see if she’d help me get a little red dot over Great Britain somewhere.
(2b. She said she’d keep an eye out for my ancestors. I’m guessing she’s cool enough to read blogs.)

Watch the tiny earth over on the sidebar to the right and let’s see if my newly discovered and distant relative comes to visit.

editor's note 10/10/05: nope.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"but now I've got to go and save the world..."

Any cartoon where Superman kicks a bad guy in the 'nads is okay by me.

This music video is short and charming and definitely worth a look-see.

Monday, September 26, 2005


I’ve begun to piece together a pretty interesting little story in my mind. I’m not generally a good writer of stories. I can give you a flowery sentence. I can make Lisa fall in love with me in an email. I can make mom cry or Esther laugh in a blog post. But when it comes to plot or dialogue or beginning, middle, end and all that, I tend to revert to high school composition class. Or worse yet, internet fanboy.

Funny tangent – I decided I wanted a book to carry with me for those minutes between classes when I don’t have time to study, so I (illegally) downloaded a copy of the most recent Harry Potter book and transferred it to my ipaq. And man, it sucked. I was so surprised that Rowling could a) lose any and all writing talent and b) destroy the characters/plots/settings that she’d worked so hard to create. Halfway through the book, Dumbledore had become a bad guy, Ron and Hermione were dead, and Harry could turn into a hippogriff. Now, I don’t want to give anything away, but even those of you who haven’t yet read the first half of the real Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince should be calling shenanigans when Harry turns into a hippogriff. That’s right: I’d downloaded fan-lit. An 800 page pile of geek-written, steaming poop. Who’s the bigger geek, though? The geek who writes their own Potter book, or the geek who reads 400 pages of it?

Anyway, even though I’m not really the Hemmingway that Lisa makes me out to be (although I do like my night hours) I‘m starting to like the story that’s been simmering in my brain the last few weeks. I might share some ideas (or even snippits) as they present themselves to me, but that’d take a lot of effort, so don’t expect anything soon. Then again, I do have a lot of time on my hands, now that I’m no longer reading Phony Faker and the Fake-Blood Fraud.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I'm so poopular.

The Royal Toybox hit 15,000 page views today. 14,975 of them have been me, checking to see how many people have looked at my blog.

The Family Dog

Gramma had to put down the family dog, Lady, yesterday. She (Lady, not Gramma) was about a million years old, and showed it through blindness, deafness, and an on-again-off-again ability to walk. Man, she could sniff a crotch like nobody's business though.

Lady, I hope Dog Heaven is exactly what Gary Larson expects.

All the best...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Lovely Rita, Hurricane

Woo-hoo! I mean, toooooooooo baaaaaaaaad… Mom, wisely, has decided to hold off on her trip southward and will instead spend the weekend safe and dry at home.

I’m told that this is not a “give-up”, but rather just a “put-off-until-it-isn’t-a-suicide-mission”. It should be a safe trip for her, in my opinion, in another twenty years or so, but actually she’s just postponing for two weeks.

I should say, I suppose, that I fully support this trek of hers. My last post wasn’t entirely meant to be a window onto what I’ll be like as a parent someday, but really I just wanted to share the fact that I’m extremely uneasy about the whole thing. I know she’s been nursing a very intense desire to return to her old stomping grounds, and I know I’d feel the same way if it was Buffalo and Lisa and I had moved, long ago, to New Orleans. The fact of the matter is that there are simply no answers coming from smaller towns like Ocean Springs that are complete enough to satisfy a worried mom. Certainly, she’s going to help with the relief effort, but I think there’s a very large part of her that just needs to see it for herself.

Maybe “closure” isn’t the right word, since this affair is far from over, and “satisfaction” is definitely wrong since I can’t imagine she’s going to be placated by what she sees. But contrary to my hesitation, I do realize that what she’s looking for isn’t in Western New York. It might be in Ocean Springs. I don’t know.

But it’s worth a look, right? And the help she can offer while there will mean a lot to a lot of people. In the meantime, I can’t shake the feeling that this whole trip is a sneaky God’s way of answering this prayer I offered a few posts ago.

I mean, c’mon. I meant send Superman, not mom.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

m is for the meatloaf

[Note: I wrote this on Monday and then held off on posting it because it looked like Rita was going to keep mom from her rescue mission. Now it looks like that trip is going to happen, come Hell or... well... high water.]

I know a woman of strength and intelligence and beauty. She is simultaneously the conduit of the Love of Heaven and, without a doubt, the Fury of Hell. She’s mom.

Her southern nature manifests itself through one part charm and one part temper.

Charm: She can talk to anyone. Her powers of compassion, insight, sincere empathy (not to mention “organization”) border on superhuman. Her peach cobbler should have its own constitution. She has never embarrassed me in front of my friends. Her penmanship is pristine.

Temper: she’s passionate about her causes. Pity the poor f*cker who gets between her and one of her kids, or any kid, for that matter. Fire shoots from her eyes. She once took down the DMV in three phone calls, one of which was to the mayor’s office. I bet she could beat up a bear.

So where does that put me? I’m a momma’s boy. Through and through. Go ahead and insult her and you’ll find out if that passionate temper is as hereditary as the ability to talk to anyone. Long ago, my role as “young’n” translated from ankle-biter, through mother’s-day-poem-provider, though grocery-bag-carrier, through additional-driver, and so on to the point where I voluntarily am now the concerned-twenty-something. Yeah, I know there’s nothing that I can do for her that thirty other people within her arm’s reach can’t do (thugs, muggers, and ne’er-do-wells aren’t very prevalent in East Aurora, anyway, except those in the family), and yet I appreciate my nearly-neighbor status. Just in case.

When this woman of charm and temper told me she was headed for the Gulf Coast this Friday to set things straight, I bristled. I hated it. I hate it still. She’ll be too far, and too out of my reach. It’s too much of a sacrifice. I’ve already made my donation to the Katrina relief effort at Wegmans, so why do I have to give up my mom?

But, my God, if anyone can help, it’s her. Can’t you see her, wearing her new boots and a pair of rubber gloves, a mop in hand like the Hammer of Thor, and fire shooting from her eyes? The South with rise again, and if they’re lucky, they’ll learn a thing or two about peach cobbler.

Hang tight, New Orleans. Help is on the way. I’m sending my mom.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Wish You Were Here.

Well, I can’t quite one-up Sarah yet, but I think this is pretty damn funny. I got lucky with my hotmail address (mikegarvey), but the trade off means that I’m constantly getting emails from people asking if I’m Mike Garvey from Phoenix or Lake Tahoe (I wish) or something. Occasionally, I get the email that just assumes the sender has gotten the email address right and I have no idea who they are. Here’s the latest one, which I received this past weekend:


What up home cheese? Working hard or hardly working? What ever it is, it's better than out here. Anyway, I haven't heard from you for awhile. Decided I should email you from work, since nothing is going on right now. Not much new with me. How about you? Any hot ladies in your life now? If so, can I have one? Anything would work for me. I'll even take an not so hot one. The boss still has not hired for my spot yet. Tough shoes to fill. Bill has to work six hour shifts now until the spot is filled. Poor GUY!! Time to go. Need to finish some paper work. Worst part of the job, but throwing people around is pretty fun. Get me back. Let me know what's going on with ya. Adios!!


So let’s review. Home cheese? Does that pass for a term of endearment among friends these days, or must I assume some other Mike Garvey has stooped low enough that he and his friends have a “home cheese” inside joke?

And then Jeb spiced it up with “working hard or hardly working?”?!? At this point in the email, I’m HOPING he closes with “case of the Mondays” or something.

Then we get into work related stuff. That’s normal, we’re okay here. In fact, I have to wonder what Jebbie does, and did his Mike “Home Cheese” Garvey work in the same capacity (or even for the same company) at some point? Perhaps Jeb and Mike were interns for Initech with their friend Michael Bolton.

Ah, the ladies. Jeb is desperate. He’d even take an not so hot one. That lucky dame.

Hmmm… then we have another clue into Jeb’s employment situation – he’s leaving? Was he downsized by the Bobs? Or, more likely, he quit. I mean, Mike Garvey no longer works there, just Bill, so what’s the point? And all that paper work really starts to grate on the nerves. Don’t forget to put the cover sheet on that TPS report!

Oho. Hang on. “Throwing people around is pretty fun”?!? Bouncer? Wrestler? Midget tosser? This email just took a rather dramatic turn towards violence, I’d say. What the hell did my name-sharer do out there with Jeb and Bill? Well, I got too curious, so I did a little detective work (also known as “typing in the domain name in Jeb’s email address”) and not only found out that Jeb, Mike, Bill and the whole gang actually work for a university, but I found a pic. Here’s Jeb, the public safety officer:

Always nice to put a face to the name, isn't it? Write soon, Jeb.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Alls I know is...

when the sixteen-month-old who lives above you and doesn't really talk all that much to begin with points at you and shouts your name, not once but twice, make sure you have a hanky on hand.

What everyone saw...

AIDEN: (grinning, being held by his ma, pointing at me) "Mi'! ... Mi'!"

What really happened...

AIDEN: (grinning, being held by his ma, pointing at me) "I say, dearest Uncle Michael, you are indubitably a fine gentleman and I strive to grow up just like you."

I can't believe I didn't get it on tape.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

by the way...

92 shopping days left.

don't show your back to the audie-... the jury.

When I first decided to switch from the thea-tah to lawyering, a lot of people told me I’d have a leg up because of my performance abilities. So far, though, the only influence I see on my life as a legal student is keeping me from crossing my arms the same way as the kid next to me, something Jack and Algernon NEVER would have done.

I’m also very good at annunciating. “Yes, your honor, I’m simply trying to express that Unique, New York, Unique, New York. And in conclusion, my client is innocent because A Proper Cup of Coffee in a Copper Coffee Pot.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Immovable Object v Unstoppable Annoyance

Okay, here’s my new gripe about law school, simplified:

Professor: who can tell me why Person P sued Person D?
Garvey: For the reasons A, B, and C.
Professor: Not even close. Anyone else? No? The answer is simple, it is because of reasons A, B and C, dumbasses.
Garvey: (head explodes)

This has happened at least once every class since the semester started and I’m beginning to think there’s some ugly inside joke this fraternity-turned-law-school is keeping from me. Yeah, I know I’ll catch on sooner or later. Eventually a professor will ask me a question and I’ll know to tap my laptop the correct number of times before I shout “I dedicate the third and final line of reasoning of the night to Cardinal Puff, Puff, Puff!”

Speaking of which, happy birthday to Todd, who is a true Cardinal.

To close, here are just a couple of interesting links to get you through the middle of the week:

The pseudo-blog - People send this guy anonymous postcards revealing some dirty secret they'd otherwise keep bottled up. Hey, that's what blogs are for, I say.

The game - I may be the only fan of film noir in the world who knows nothing about it. I'm also a big fan of point-and-click story games, so Grim Fandango and The Goat in the Grey Fedora are both favorites of mine. TGITGF, though, is free.

Starring a young Ben Affleck

Sorry about the emotional sine wave that is the RT these days. “Down with the GasMan!” “Hey look at me! I have a grill!” “Boo hoo, jaywalkers are evil…” But let’s review: law school, moving a million times, marriage, and a serious lack of video games. Stronger minds have been lost as a result of less.

But all in all, right now, I’m happy. I just wanted everyone to know that. I bitch, but it’s all relative. I love my new apartment. It’s not at all what I expected, but I really like law school.

And I love being married. Lisa is sick today, by the way. Email her and tell her either to get better or stop faking.

Back to law school. I’ve had a couple of minor nervous breakdowns, but I’m told that’s par for the course. Come to think of it, I drove home from the management school in tears on more than one occasion in my first year, so it isn’t like that was a bed of roses either. And I’m not going to lie: law school blows just as much as any other degree program to a 27 year old.

But again: it's all relative... and in the long run, I'm happy.

I’m in Property right now and we’re talking about Ghen v Rich, a case from New England in 1881 about whaling. Interesting stuff. I love the people who raise their hands to make a comment on some experience they once had, not because of some insight they found in the case. “I went on a whale watching cruise once, so I’m the expert here.”

And besides, I was on the Voyage of the Mimi, so I win anyway.

Monday, September 12, 2005

my ongoing nightmare

Last week, at the corner of Delaware and Hertel, I very nearly hit a woman and her kid.

Four days of the shakes and re-running the "what if's" through my mind, I'm pretty sure it would have killed them.

Some facts/details before I enter the confessional:
-I was sober and alert. My eyes were on the road and I was concentrating on driving.
-That corner is notorious for jaywalkers who firmly believe, like the pope believes in God, that a green traffic arrow pointing left actually means "Pedestrians Should Now Walk Straight, Slowly".
-I was heading west on Hertel, about to turn south (left) onto Delaware. As I approached the intersection, I saw I was the only car in the turning lane, and that I had the arrow.
-I accelerated to make said arrow.
-My eyes were on the Delaware crosswalk, where jaywalkers delight, but even if I'd been looking exactly in their direction, I wouldn't have seen the mother pushing her child south across Hertel because of a truck in the middle lane.
-I missed the child by no more than two feet.

The mother was PUSHING her kid. In front of her. Across a busy street. I want to shake this woman and shout, "Look, lady, I don't care if you want to take yourself out of the genepool because you're too intent on getting to Burger King to wait for the WALK signal, but if you're too stupid to at least hold out for a red fucking light, and you're using your four year old as an advance scout, YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE A KID."

I know. I should have looked. I shouldn't have sped up. Of course, if I hadn't, that poor kid would have had the time for two more steps... I can't even think about it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

No, this IS a small party.

Okay, the apartment is comfortable, the neighborhood’s great, the landlords are, well, they’re okay so far. But we put the new Garvepartment to the real test last night and had a family BBQ in honor of our move back to Buffalo, and generally the end of summer.

And if this little get-together was any indication, I think the new pad is going to work out just fine. Young Sam and my father-in-law bonded over their love of brownies and Martha’s Vineyard sweatshirts:

Mary was simply charming, as usual. Go Griffs!

And I got to play with the newest addition to the family, our monster grill - a wedding present from Esther and John. (The excellent grill tools are from Dr. Anna.)

So yeah, even though we were partying between half full boxes and garbage bags of clothes, everyone still managed to get a pretty good buzz on, and generally good times were had by all. Now to start planning for our Rites of Fall Box Social…

Friday, September 09, 2005

getting gas and indigestion

I’m trying to keep an open mind about this, but I have trouble seeing how the little guy isn’t getting shat upon here.

Yeah, granted, we’re not in Europe where gas is something like $75 a cup, but that certainly doesn’t mean I should happily hand over a blank check to Big Oil. And I’m all for fair capitalism, but how does a tax break fit into that? I’d be interested to find out how they’re spending it, aside from buying back their own stock.

This article is a quick read, but will probably keep you pissy all day long.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

It will start with a better radio station.

Everything else will follow, and Buffalo will be better for it.

Argue any way you want about the problems Buffalo, NY is facing: leadership issues, waterfront woes, the bridge, the taxes, the parking, Rian Lindell, etc. and I’ll be right there with you, pointing out what’s wrong with the world around us.

But I have good news. I’ve done some thinking, and I’ve got the answer. We need to get cooler. We need to get hipper. We need to have some entity (that isn’t run by college students and/or corporate assclowns) playing newer, more innovative music.

Here’s how I see it playing out:

1. “10X.X The Garv” shocks and delights the Buffalo community with its brand new business philosophy know as “not sucking”. We play music the public may or may not have ever heard, but of course you have because you’re cooler than the public. Advertisers like Mighty Taco and Hot Topic and well, yeah, probably Fuccillo pay us through the nose to reach you, so The Garv is an instant financial success. We immediately build a loyal following of people who want to hear something other than Buffalo’s prominent formats which are a) easy listening, b) soft rock, c) family oriented, or d) pissed off rock.

2. The music geeks come out of the woodwork. Turns out Buffalo has these institutions called colleges with a lot of young persons who would love to listen to the radio, but have a tough time finding one not playing Greenday, Staind, or that “we’re cool“ song by Gwen Stefani. A whole new market presents itself. Good bands start to perform here. Bars start to play Red House Painters.

3. The artistic areas like Elmwood and Allentown flower, bringing income to downtown, which slowly starts to come back to life. At some point, everyone is surprised to hear about a person actually walking down the street in the middle of the city… on a SUNDAY MORNING.

4. The very best hockey players request transfer to live in a city that plays Canadian music so openly. The Sabres win the cup. Awesome.

5. The Garv recognizes how great a power it wields and from the beginning offers insightful, factual news reports in between play lists. Realizing that radio stations don’t necessarily have to give the news with a bicycle horn in hand, other channels begin to offer their own sincere take on current events. A modern age of enlightenment begins. Buffalo is happy lead the way, of course, in return for more state and federal funding, and perhaps the chance to host the Superbowl. At The Garvarena.

6. A young girl from the west side grows up listening to the intelligent, emotional music on The Garv while she studies. She gets all A’s, perfect attendance, homecoming queen, a dual PhD in Musical Philosophy and Political Science, and is voted Most Likely To Be President of the United States. Then she’s voted President of the United States, and calls upon her upbringing filled with good music to usher the US, and indeed Earth, into a golden age where everyone has plenty to eat, a job they love, and a house with a white picket fence. And there’s plenty of free parking in downtown Buffalo.

It will start with a better radio station.

Everything else will follow, and we’ll all be better for it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

sodium tinted toenail polish

Text message from Lisa: “Want to bring us some cheap lunch?”

Text message to Lisa (which I typed without looking, thank you very much): “Yes@ I call soon.”

Class ends, I head for my car, am followed by two other cars who fight over my parking space. I make sure the girl gets it.

En route, I decide “cheap lunch” should be “not so cheap lunch from the Wegmans”. Mmm… California roooooolls…

One roll for me, one for Lisa, one for Cecilia, and enough soy sauce for all of us. Not the little packets, mind you. No I had to get the really good, heated sauce from the Chinese buffet bar. Held precariously in a little plastic cup.

Cashier: “Would you like a separate bag for the soy sauce? It might spill.”
Me: “No, I (I drop it) can (it falls) just (instinct takes over and I try to stop the cup’s descent with my foot) carry (it explodes) it (I regret wearing sandals)… but thanks anyway.”

Now, what the hell? If I drop it, I drop it - why did my brain decide to switch to some primitive impulse, effectively giving me an afternoon stinkfoot? I mean, if it had been my cell phone, which I do drop occasionally, I would have appreciated the hacky-sack action. For some dumbass reason, though, my twisted psyche can recall every word in Cake’s “The Distance” without a milli-micro-second of delay, but it can’t as quickly see that

cushioning an expensive mobile phone = good
dropkicking a flimsy tub of kikkoman = just plain stupid.

The sushi was pretty good though. Man, I love the Wegmans.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My turn with the music hoodoo stuff.

So, I’ve been dragging my feet on this post for some time now, not because I’m afraid of what my musical tastes will say about me, but rather that they won’t be appropriately represented. This is a fun little window into someone’s psyche, but since I share an iPod with Lisa, and Rhapsody with just about everyone here at chez Garvey, I figured neither was an accurate reflection of the tunes I listen to.

But then I realized that might be the underlying beauty of the survey after all. If the oracle that is “Rhapsody” suggests I might want to listen to Rosemary Clooney in an instant playlist, it’s more because Lisa had at some point queued up Mambo Italiano, not because I’m a big fan of the old standards or anything. But, that still says something about me in the end, doesn’t it?

And then I realized I’d put waaaaaaaaay too much thought into it, and stopped procrastinating. Here’s what Rhapsody’s instant playlist function had to say about me:

Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it all on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and after each one press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question.

What do you think of me, Rhapsody?
Flash – The Sadies
I’ve shown you my privates? I’m a “flash in the pan”? I’m the fastest man alive? Ambiguity is the Devil’s volleyball, Rhapsody.

Will I have a happy life?
Three Babies – Sinead O’Connor
I swear I’m not making this up. Lisa, ready for triplets?

What do my friends really think of me?
Here We Go Again – Norah Jones and Ray Charles
Yeah, my friends have hurt their eyes from the excessive rolling, I’m sure. A&J in particular have helped me move at least 75 times in the last few years.

Do people secretly lust after me?
Do It With Madonna – The Androids
I’d say this is spooky, but if you think about it, I bet most of the songs in a Garvey playlist would have some sexual connotation. I’m just glad it wasn’t Ugly by the Violent Femmes.

How can I make myself happy?
Cancer For The Cure – Eels
Well, that has all kinds of depressing interpretations, doesn’t it? So, to be happy, I’m supposed to be the bad guy?

What should I do with my life?
Can’t find my way home – Blind Faith
Right, Rhap, you’re a bit late on that one. I think if I’ve been able to prove my proficiency with any life changing activity, it’s finding my way back to WNY.

Why must life be so full of pain?
How It Should Be (Sha Sha) – Ben Kweller
Well, that answers that.

How can I maximize my pleasure during sex?
Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Huh? I think there might be a grays anatomy joke in there, but I’m going to leave it alone for now.

Can you give me some advice?
While My Heart Is Still Beating – Roxy Music
Carpe Diem, indeed, Rhapsody.

What do you think happiness is?
Steal my Kisses – Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
Why steal ‘em when I gets ‘em for free?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Just for the time being...

Dear God,

I constantly feel, and am filled with Your presence. I am as aware as any mortal can be of Your divine guidance. I know every step I take, every day, is nudged into the right direction by Your invisible straightedge, a gift I will never take for granted.

That said, I'll be fine on my own for a few days. Go help New Orleans.

Thanks. Amen.