Sunday, December 31, 2006

Wish you were now.

A few years ago, I went to a New Year's party where everyone wrote a letter to their future selves. The idea was to have a stupid little note from yourself to open five years from that date. Did you change? Did anything else? Any surprises?

I’m pretty sure I was supposed to open it this year, but damned if I can find it. That resolution to be more organized really took flight, huh?

I was drunk at the time, and I’m sure I wrote something flip (I’m soooooo witty when I’m drunk). Considering how much has changed in that time, though, I really wish I could find the letter. Good God, my life today would knock Early Twenties Garvey for a loop.

Anyway, I wrote a new letter this morning, and I’ll post it on December 31, 2007. If you want to play along, feel free. Write a letter to yo’sef today and either post it to your own site, or leave it as a comment on the toybox in one year.

(Getting drunk and writing it is optional.)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Oh, and also?

Looking in your direction, Beers...

I started playing Final Fantasy III on the DS and I hear you can get secret stuff if you connect to other people via wi-fi.

So... get going on that. Here's my "friend code": 4940-0921-0369

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Silence In The Admissions Office… DUNH DUNH DUUUNH!

I asked my office-mate, “Teens”, to give me a title for my post today, and her bored-to-tears mind came up with the above. And people, it’s not untrue.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me continue with another truth. I should say that the following statement is made objectively, that it is factual, measurable, and stated without any hint of hyperbole:

Best. Christmas. Evar.

One reason I started the RT in the first place was to record my life – to commit to writing Mike Garvey history as it happens. And one point I would like to publish here and now, to be saved on the Google servers for all eternity, or until the internet comes to life and enslaves the human race, is that no better Christmas has ever been had by anyone, at any time, in any place. (With the one exception of course – but even that chapter in the greatest story ever told lacked a signed Ryan Miller jersey.)

I got everything I could possibly have wanted and more, but that was trumped by Q.T. spent with the fam. I got to hold Maeve, take Christmas pics with her, tell her about Santa, help her open presents, watch the good cartoons with her, et cetera. That, Charlie Brown, is what it’s all about.

“Teens” is trying to convince me that vending machine coffee isn’t all that bad. She’s wrong. It is all that bad. And I say that factually, measurably, and without any hint of hyperbole.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A few bits to chew on

Things I would like to have blogged about recently but didn’t have the time:

Exams – are done. I actually only had two this semester, but they were humdingers, letmetellyou. No grades yet.

Maeve – is, as always, awesome. We’re trying to get her to roll over these days. But hell, if someone brought me food, changed my diapers, held me while I slept, turned on my stories for me, etc., I wouldn’t move voluntarily either.

Birthday – Best. Ever. My sibs pulled out all the stops when they (minus the vomiting Cecilia) came over on Saturday for tacos and Superman gift bags. They brought me sweet loot and pretended to like me for a whole evening. Then Thursday was Birthday II, Electric Birthaloo out at mom and dad’s where I got more sweet loot and even a cake with an Industrial Revolution theme, as requested.

Blockbuster – have you been there lately? Has anyone? Anyone in the world? Did you know they’re still there? I stopped there the other day to pick up a post-finals video game with a gift certificate Louis gave me for my birthday. The dvd jockey behind the counter took my card and the gift certificate, monkeyed around on his computer for a few seconds and actually said to me: “Oh jeez, I hit the wrong button here. Do you wanna just pay with cash?”

Drivers – suck. I fear for the future of humanity. Listen: use your blinker. There’re two in your car. Find them. Use them. Love them. Listen also: you in the front of the line. You have a job. Look at those pretty lights in front of you, and when you see green, go. Buffalo drivers used to be really good at this. They’d do the “one, two, three, GREEN!” thing, and be halfway through the intersection before the green lightwaves fully traveled from the traffic light to earth. Now, I think the average WNY driver looks for the snooze button before deciding to get out of my old man way.

Dreams – I’ve recently had a bunch of very realistic dreams. Nothing really relevant, just that it seems my mind is on overdrive each night now. In one, Esther’s car was stolen, and we decided to go to the zoo to look for it. In another, I discovered I could leave my body (not like death or anything, just that an ethereal “me” could zip out and fly around. Oh, and I had to leave my body through my nose). Last night, I dreamt I turned an abandoned blockbuster video into a family practice law firm.

Fisher Price – growing up in East Aurora, the Christmas decorations along Main Street, and in the plaza, and especially throughout the Fisher Price campus were visions to which we looked forward all year. Lisa and Maeve and I drove past the toy factory on Thursday and though the scene seemed to lack a certain, let's say, snowy element, it was definitely enough to keep us in a holly jolly mood until we got home. We snapped this pic driving past (as you can tell), but hopefully it’ll warm the hearts of those East Aurorans who can’t be home for Christmas.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I wasn't going to post this, since a) I want everyone to think I'm really busy and overloaded and b) because I screwed up question #9 and they won't let you edit once you hit that "submit" button.

But, I suppose if I a) assure you I only spent fifteen minutes on this while I was waiting for stuff to print and b) tell you the right choice to #9 is "C - Albany, NY", then I've covered my bases.

How Well Do You KNOW YOUR MIKE GARVEY!? Take this quiz and find out!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Here comes crazy!

Won't be posting much for the next week or so. Exam #1 is Friday, and exam #2, the final final, is Monday. In the meantime, enjoy this video sent to me by Esther, who loves both Charlie Brown and the cast of Scrubs as much as I do.

In case the embedded video didn't work, try this link:

I'll be back when I'm 29...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What it's all about

No two are alike, they say.

I may be the only person in the world who looks forward to the commercialization of Christmas.

Cheesy TV specials? Bring ‘em on.
Store decorations? I’ll help hang the tinsel.
Endless toy/car/razor/ipod/etc commercials? Love those too. Anyone who watches the superbowl for the commercials should as well.

And though I can't say I necessarily agree with their playlist choices, I love the fact that Christmas music is already on the radio. And though Buffalo radio execs have never really listened to me in the past, I will say I think it's about time to retire Christmas Shoes and Dear Mr. Jesus.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgarving.

And oh, I’m full. It’s gotten to the point where I enjoy my leftover sandwiches more than the actual thanksgiving dinner, to tell the truth. But more than likely, that isn’t because the food is better per se, just that there are fewer people around, watching me, judging me, as I cram potatoes and stuffing into my mouth sasquatch-style.

I was lucky enough to attend Lisa’s family dinner last night where a happy and sleepy Maeve was passed around like so many cooked yams.

I didn't get out to my parents until today (the original day of sloth), but here're pics from Uncle Neil of the prep. This is mom making oyster stuffing:

Here's dad making one of the roasted turkeys. They also fried one and smoked one:

Nana and Papa with Maeve:

Things for which my parents are thankful:

Well, yeah, each other too:

And Julia is thankful for cake, and a youthfulness that doesn't mandate social inconveniences like forks:

Here's the spread they ended up with:

Now who's ready for another sandwich?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sue the bastards.

So, I’s back. And yeah, I do have a trophy, but it isn’t as cool as you think, unless you’re an Irish-dancing pre-pubescent girl. That’s who I stole it from. More on that later.

Saturday morning found me up early, ironing a shirt and going over my summation. I was jittery, half because of nerves and half because of shitty hotel coffee. Litigation isn’t acting. Litigation is arguing. Responding. It’s much more genuine. Even in a fake case, the reason you’re saying a line is because you’re trying to prove a point. It’s you making a case, not a character being a character.

This idea has scared me since I was accepted into law school. I knew the transition from stage to court would be tough. Genetically, I had big shoes to fill. I could play a part, but I had a long way to go before I could compare myself to my uncles, my sister, or Papa.

Anyway, while I was waiting for the rest of my team to get ready, I sent a picture of myself to Lisa. Just so she’d know I wasn’t walking into court with my fly open.

My case did not... go well. And that’s about the best you’ll hear me speak of it. I know I’m better than I did in that room, so I’d rather not dwell. Suffice it to say the other side won heartily, and in fact they went on to win the “Most Professional” award. (Even though they did use notes. At least when I lost, I did it without frickin’ training wheels.)

When I got out of the courtroom, I wanted to find a crack in the wall and hibernate until that part of my brain responsible for repressing memory kicked in. I was ready to accept my fate and a Home Depot application.

Then I read a text message Lisa sent me while I was in court, and it was exactly, exactly, what I needed to hear. She always did have good timing.

The defense got another crack at it in the third preliminary round, and as always, they kicked ass. Alex had his best summation yet, and Jen deserved the three nominations she got for Best Advocate. I was happy then, even hopeful, since my co-counsel, Mike, had done well during our case (he actually said “I got nothin’ else for this guy” when he finished his cross of the defendant) which meant we might be able to squeak through on points. Alas, it wasn’t enough. We drank that night like people who didn’t have to get up early.

When we stumbled back to our hotel, the same hotel that had hosted an Irish step dancing competition that weekend, we made our way to the bar for one last round. I saw a lone trophy sitting on the concierge’s desk, and the graveyard shift guy must have noticed me calculating my drunken theft of it because he held it out and said simply “It was an extra from the dance thing. Want it?” Hells yes.

The flight home was sobering. I hate the fact that I worked for months on this case and the one time I was judged was when I had trouble functioning as a human being, much less as a lawyer. But hey, I had a trophy, I learned a lot, and at least Lisa thought I looked the part of the greatest lawyer I ever met:

From: Lisa - Sat, Nov 18, 12:40pm:
Good luck- you’re amazing. xoxo. ps- you look like your papa.

update final

Sorry no results yesterday, but I spent half the day sleeping in and the other half viciously hungover. Team Buffalo did well, and I'm proud of how far we got, but we just didn't have the points to move on to the semis.

But... I didn't come home empty handed. More on my clepto-, I mean, on my trophy later.

Also, I know I couldn't have gotten nearly as far as I did without the wellwishes, support, prayers , crossed fingers, etc. of my family, friends, student assistants, etc. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I share my stolen trophy- I mean my trophy- with you.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

update 2

Okay, the 3 prelims just ended and we're pretty happy. The defense half of our team kicked law ass. I and the other prosecuter did well too, but we won't find out for sure who won what until the banquet tonight. (We played the defense twice and the prosecution once. I think i could have done a LOT better, so I feel bad that I won't get a chance in the prelims to try my case again. God willing, we get to move on to the semi-finals if for no other reason than to prove that I, too, an kick the ass of law.)

I miss my family, by the way. No surprises there. I'm so much happier that I have them instead of dog. Like a sheeghuawah.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I'm in atlanta, getting ready to leave for the first prelim round. Turns out the defense gets to try their case first so I have to be a witness tonight. I get my turn tomorrow at 9am, and I'm going against texas tech, supposedly one of the better teams.

On the flight down, I sat next to a flight-phobic stoner with a chiwawa (sp?). Seriously. She hadn't flown since 1992 and was joking she was happy she didn't bring any of her pot with her. or her BOMBS. I turned up my ipod and pretended to be able to sleep despite her whimpering pup.

Keep those fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oh, I miss my blog.

I miss lots. Let me bring you in on the excitement of the week:

This weekend, I’m off to Atlanta where I and three of my classmates will represent Buffalo Law School in a national mock trial competition. It’s the culmination of months of work. The reason I’ve been absent from blogging, family events, bar stools, poker nights, and even a few other classes. It has absolutely sucked and at the same time is actually kind of cool.

Here’s how it works: There are 18 teams to begin with. In the first round, which is tomorrow through Saturday, each school gets to run the case three times. They flip a coin to see if you’re the defense or the prosecution, so you have to be ready to do either. Saturday night, there’s a banquet where the teams who have been chosen to move on to round two get drunk in celebration and those who didn’t move on get drunk. Also in celebration.

Then the semi-finals are Sunday morning. Only four schools (out of 18) get into the semis. The two teams who win those trials go on to the final round that afternoon.

Even if you don’t make it past the prelims, you can still win the Best Advocate. That’s based, I think, on how well you bullshit not as a team, but on how well you bullshit as an individual.

Cross those fingers, yes?

In other news, here are things I wanted to blog about lately but just haven’t gotten around to it:
-My in-laws got me a fancy schmancy new watch. I’m still taking out my phone to see what time it is, just by force of habit. (one month, by the way)
-I had to fight someone for a parking spot yesterday. I won, but I think I somehow got my eyes to glow red like teen wolf.
-I assume My Chemical Romance is the MacDonald’s of goth, but damn, they can play a song that’ll catch my attention every time.
-Speaking of music, I won’t be renewing my rhapsody account at the end of this billing cycle, which is February. It will be missed, but Pandora, woxy, limewire, Maeve singing, etc. will fill in some of that void. Plus, I can take the money and just buy a new cd every month or so.
-This! Yay!
-And finally, this. Fucking Buffalo.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Maeve learns early on how to play "see-food".

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I'm about to save you a lot of time.

Instead of typing out the "www." and the ".com" everytime you want to go to a website, let's say, just type "cnn" into your address bar and hit Ctrl and Enter at the same time. Presto.

Instead of typing royaltoybox.blogspot into your address bar and hitting Ctrl and Enter at the same time, just make the RT your homepage.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Have fun lawyerin' the castle!

Good luck to my four classmates, who are on their way to the Los Angeles National Mock Trial Competition as I type this. As am I, they’re members of the UB team, but their trial is civil (mine is criminal). This competition comes after months of preparation, and I know they’re going to do us proud.

So they aren’t going to need it, but just in case, everyone keep your fingers crossed through the weekend.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm rooting for more snow.

Too tired/stressed to post properly. Here's a pic from a happier time. It took the worst storm Buffalo has seen in decades for me to get in some honest qt with the fam:

I saw a similar scene this morning when I dropped Maeve off with my mom, except that Maeve wasn't sleeping soundly, she was looking at me as I walked out the door. Her face was so confused. Dissapointed. Like I was leaving forever. I know she's happy with her Nana, but that image has stayed with me all day long. I pulled this pic out to counteract it.

Wish it was doing a better job.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Don't blink. You'll miss me being awesome.

I’m only amazing when no one is looking and whatever I did that was amazing would sound stupid if I tried to fit it into conversation somewhere. Just now, I shot a rubber band across the room and landed it in a coffee mug full of other rubber bands – WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEANT TO DO. Superhuman, right? I mean, we’re talking a good seven feet away.

And of course, no one saw it. Four people in this room and no one saw my miracle. But now if I turn around and tell Fellow Office Denizen Tina, she’s not going to be impressed; she’s going to ask why I haven’t finished putting cover sheets on my TPS reports and go back to her mail merge.

So here are my options:

OPTION 1: The “Eight Ball, Corner Pocket” Option…
Me: Guys, watch this.
Everyone else: We’re working.
Me: No, no- I’m awesome. Just watch.
Everyone Else: (sighing) Fine. What?
Me: I’m gonna wow you with my ninja-like skillz (I aim, the rubber band snaps, hits me in the eye, I cry and run out)
Everyone Else: Doesn’t that guy have a kid? (goes back to work)

OPTION 2: The “Yeah, Well, Neener Neener” Option…
Someone Else: I spent the summer helping underprivileged youths.
Me: No kidding! I did something amazing once. I landed a rubber band in a coffee mug ten feet away. (They didn’t see it. I can exaggerate if I want. Shut up.)

OPTION 3: The “Silent Confidence” Option…
Someone Else: (Won’t let me merge from an onramp into their lane)
Me: Jerk. You think you’re so awesome. But how good are YOU with a rubber band, huh?

OPTION 4: The “You Know This Is The Option I’m Going To Pick” Option…
Me: Fine then, I’ll just use the same avenue I always use to let people know of my greatness, the Royal Toybox.

By the way, if anyone wants to see my baby humoring her mother, check these pictures out. You’ll relish them. (Bad pun courtesy of Maeve’s Papa.)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Unfortunately, you can't hit the snooze button.

Maeve and I have begun a new morning ritual, now that Lisa has started back at work. Poor Lisa’s early shift demands she leave the apartment by 6:30am, which means it now falls to me to get Maeve up, ready, and over to Nana's. Now, don’t let that fool you into thinking that I’m shouldering this great responsibility, or that I’m doing some inordinate amount of work above the few parental tasks I had on my plate before. Lisa sets ‘em up: She puts out Maeve’s clothes; she makes sure there’s a clean bottle and plenty of formula; she packs the diaper bag. I knock ‘em down: I pick up a smiling baby and feed her.

I notice, though, that the added morning bonding time hasn’t made things easier for me. It was hard before when I only got to smooch her on my way out the door, but even now that I get a good hour of daddy/daughter time, it still sucks. If anything, it’s the difference between jumping into a cold pool and inching your way in. Ripping off a Band-Aid™ and pulling it off slowly. Meh. I’ll take it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Dear Jen14221

Why the hate?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Of course, I can't wait for the strike party.

It’s tech week, or for those of my friends who have also failed to entirely forget terms from their theatrical lexicon, it’s HELL WEEK.

In an ideal world, the week leading up to a show is rarely about character development or finding artistic vision or scene study. It’s about getting the lights set up, or making sure the musical score is ready to go, or putting up signs for parking.

This Saturday, the Fall Open House is here at the university, one of the two tasks I’ve been hired to help coordinate (the second is in the spring semester). So tech week for me translates to getting the room assignments set up or, or making sure the PowerPoints are ready to go, or… well… putting up signs for parking.

It also means that since less important things like shaving are put on the back burner for a few days, I get to grow my beard back. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost my once-champion-level facial hair growing skillz, because I currently look less like Russell Crowe and more like sad hobo clown.

The reddish Ted Kennedy-esque nose doesn’t seem to help on that either. Well, at least people will know where to park.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Alls I’m saying is:

The Sabres haven’t lost a regular season game...

...since Maeve was born.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Forced into being hip, just for the wireless access.

I’m not posting from dial up today, though we are still without internet and cable back at the pad. No, this afternoon I’m writing from Café Aroma, a fun little coffee shop around the corner that has decent coffee (even if it’s expensive) and a free wireless signal (even if it’s weak). Lisa and Maeve are out doing their own thing today, leaving me to finish my reading for the week. I needed a change of scenery, so here I am.

I feel the need to get a couple of points down on e-paper. Let’s start with the car.

Lisa and I had been thinking about getting a baby-mobile for a while now. When I found out the gas tank on my lumina was leaking, and therefore officially putting my poor car into the More-Problems-Than-It’s-Worth column, we decided to get the ball rolling this past Thursday on the car buying process. Of course intelligent buyers would check out at least a half dozen dealerships, test drive all the cars on their short list (and then some), weigh their options, do the research, go through the motions, etcetera, and then after months of deliberation, put their X on only the perfect lease. We, however, went with the first car we drove at the first place we visited. Done and done.

Then again, we’re happy with the deal, so bangarang. We wanted at least 10 thousand miles a year, and got 12. We wanted a monthly payment lower than $300 and beat that by sixty clams. Sis talked about casinos and psychological design yesterday. Same thing here – if you want a lesson in how the human mind can be manipulated, go buy a car. It’s incredible. I have no doubt we were masterfully “handled” every step of the way, and yet we left that place as happy as could be. We even got free floormats. FREE.

Oh, by the way, it’s a Chevy Equinox. “Granite gray.” Lisa’ll post a picture one of these days, now that she’s blogging again.

That’s the big news. I should also say
that Hoffman officially left for his year in the navy today, so say a prayer he’ll come back and that the worst action he’ll see is in that freaky German porn,
that I had a dream last night that Aly is pregnant, speaking of porn,
that my good drinking buddy, Bryan, leaves for Boston this week,
that you need to sign up for and listen to, which has introduced me to bands like The Fire Theft and Viva Voca (they even play The Mountain Goats), and
that school is going well (even if it’s time-consuming).

Friday, October 20, 2006

Please pass the molasses

I wasn’t going to blog today except that I just realized I couldn’t pass up a chance to record forever an historic moment:


You heard me. From AOL, bitches.

The Garvapartment is back up and running, electricity/heat/food-wise, but we’re without cable and definitely no internet. But it occurred to me that I still have an account with ay-oh-smell, and through that I might be able to MacGyver my way onto the information super-highway. And by that, I mean the information super non-moving sidewalk.

Oh, and also, Lisa and I bought a car yesterday. I’ll tell you more when my web access is faster than glacial speed.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Except instead of saying "hi" and running off, I'd demand grits.

Thanks to mom who put up with us for the last week. She was the very picture of patience, even though I'm sure I got to be like this near the end:

Last night, Lisa, Maeve and I went to my in-laws for dinner and hockey. (Maeve wore her new Sabres onesie. Yes, it sports the new logo. So long as the Sabres are winning games nine to one, Maeve is a fan of whatever they’re wearing.)

Anyway, on the way home, we stopped out to the apartment to pick up some supplies and discovered our power had been turned back on. Hopefully, this is a permanent step towards a return to relative normalcy. Since all our stuff was still out at my parents, and it was pretty late after the game, we decided one more night out in the country was the right call.

When I told my mom the power was back on, I think I may well have taken a sledge hammer to her heart. This consummate hostess was in her heyday over the last week, taking care of her kids and her kids’ kids. To see it come to an end wasn’t even bittersweet – you could hear it in her voice – it was just bitter.

Dad would be upset too, except that he’s off gallivanting in the third world countries, doing charity work, fixing teeth – you know... the things fathers usually do when they abandon their children. Seriously, though, he comes back on Monday and will undoubtedly be disappointed that his nest is emptier.

Thank you both, from the bottom of my heart.

Forced Perspective

Reasons for a bad mood:
My coffee. It tastes like dirt. Yes, it must have just been ground. Wakka wakka.
My poor lumina. She’s on her way out, folks. Give her a round of applause.
My never-ending education. This is both a general observation, from one who wishes to be in a more productive position in society (i.e. a paying job), and a specific gripe, from one who wishes to be home with his daughter, wife, and Nintendo DS.
My ipaq. Still missing, and expected to be lost for-EV-er.
My life after the snowstorm. Just in general. I miss my apartment, and mourn the budget that lived only long enough to be obliterated by surprise insurance deductibles, lost groceries, fewer work hours, countless repairs, etc.

Reasons for a good mood:
My fruit snacks. A $.50 donation to the vending machine is all it takes to make me forget about my dirt coffee for a few minutes.
My Sabres. The cup is OURS.
My new car. Okay, this one is a few weeks off, but the dying lumina means Lisa and I are going to have to get a new daddy-mobile. Anyone have any experience with the Equinox, the Torrent, the SV6, the Vue, or the Vibe? Or an Aston Martin? That’s on our short list too.
My long holiday. Okay, this all sucked, but it did mean I got to hang out with my family for a long weekend. And, much to super steve’s jealousy, I ate damn well.

UPDATE: everything else except this paragraph was written about an hour ago, but I have to include this because it’s both related to an above point and certainly reason for a good mood. LISA FOUND MY IPAQ! It was tucked away in a random pocket of a bag I occasionally use when my backpack gets too full. Understand, please, why this is good-mood-inducing. I was this close to accepting my fate as a directionless indigent, roaming without a schedule from meeting-place to meeting-place, feebly asking receptionists “am I supposed to be here right now?” or “is today your birthday?” or even “can I please, in the name of all that is holy, play Sudoku on your computer? I seem to have lost mine. I’m an idiot.”

My daughter. She’s good for any foul mood. Here are a few bright spots in my day:







Monday, October 16, 2006

Nope, no power yet.

I kind of stole sis's thunder when I put up the pic in my last post. Yeah, well, last one to post pictures of a storm's devastation is a rotten egg. Anyway, I should point you to Scott, who has a longer and better retelling of how the night unraveled in our neighborhood.

In the meantime, Lisa, Maeve and I are safe, warm and surrounded by loving relatives, during our impromptu holiday. Allow me to steal sis’s thunder again, yes?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

High and Low! Wherever we go! Let it blow! To and fro! HI-DE-HO! Snow! Snow! Snow!

Well, I suppose I should check in to let you know I’m alive, and more importantly, connected to the internet. Sweet, sweet internet connection! How I missed you...

In case you didn’t see us on the news, last week smacked Buffalo, NY upsidethehead with a record breaking snowstorm. The autumn trees were taken by surprise and their leaf-laden branches couldn’t handle the weight of wet snow. Then the displacement began. Branches were displaced from tree to earth. Trees were displaced from curb to street. Electricity was displaced from my apartment to... well... wherever the electricity goes when the power goes out.

And, subsequently, Lisa, Maeve and I were displaced from our apartment to refuge in the country with my mom and dad. I didn’t get any good pictures of my street, but Esther took this of hers and pretty much all of North Buffalo looked as bad. I’m told Buffalo lost nearly half of her trees.

Thursday was the worst. The decision to head for warmer climes came early for us, since power/heat/internet at our house was first to go on our street. (We’re always the trend-setters.) It was a toughie, though. Should we risk the trip along the 90? What if they lose power too? Will my poor lumina make it? What if our power comes back on as soon as we leave?

Well, mom and dad have a wood stove, and a sure source of heat verses a slim chance of heat won out. We bundled up the babe and headed south.

The trip was as bad as I’ve ever seen it. White out conditions, moron drivers, Buffalo radio. It was the perfect storm. And as soon as we got to mom and dad’s house, mom and dad’s house lost their electricity too. Woo-hoo!

That’s about it for now. The rest of the weekend has been absolutely terrible, roughing it out here in the country, like when we had wagyu steak and potatoes sautéed in duck fat and white truffle oil. Or when we cracked open one of the bottles of super tuscan that Lisa and I brought back from Italy for dad. Or when I spanked Louis and John’s asses at NHL 2007, and then at trivial pursuit. Disaster!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

comedy everywhere

Dialogue I Overheard Recently That Made Me Go “Hmmmm...”:

P1: Excuse me, do you know who Mitch Hedberg is?
P2: The comedian?
P1: Yeah, but I mean personally.
P2: Do I know Mitch Hedberg, the comedian, personally?
P1: Yeah.
P2: No.
P1: Oh. You look just like him.
P2: Ah. Bye.

Tee Shirt I Saw Recently That Made Me Chuckle:

Picture of a wookie wearing a yarmulke: Jewbacca

Text From a Set of Gratuitous Transfer Class Notes Someone Gave Me Recently That Made Me Laugh, Out Loud, In Class:

-(b)(1)(E) – property held as joint tenants or tenancy by the entirety.
-When you look to (b)(2), should be half. TBE always has to have spouse, can’t be decedent’s daughter.
-I am so fucked.
-I love lamp.
-(E)(2) – payable on death accounts.
-Does (b)(1)(F)(ii) cover life insurance?

Dialogue I Overheard In a Mens Room Recently That Made Me Roll My Eyes:

P1: Jeez... it smells like someone took a crap in here.
P2: THAT’S what that smell is! Thank you! Man, that would have driven me crazy all damn day if you hadn’t figured it out.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

blog simply

I’ll be the first to admit I have a double standard when it comes to music. What I’m attracted to in one band, I can’t stand in another. What’s on my mind today is the unique voice.

I’ve done the play Our Town twice now, and a line from one of the dads in that show always pops into my mind whenever I hear a singer like Tom DeLonge from Blink 182, Chris Cornell from Audioslave, or (shudder) Scott Stapp from Creed. The character sees his daughter walking home from school, and she’s skipping, or jumping, or just goofing off like a bored child will. He finally gets annoyed and says “Walk simply!”

Dear Mr. Scantlin of Puddle of Mud: sing simply.
Dear Mr. Kroeger of Nickelback: sing simply.
Dear Mr. Ondrasik of Five for Fighting: grow a pair. It’ll help you get away from the 24/7 falsetto. And sing simply.


Here’s where the double standard comes in: while the sound of Stapp makes my skin crawl, I actually adore Eddie Vedder. While I just wish Tom Delonge would calm down, take a breath, and listen to himself, I think David Byrne, Gordon Gano, and even Bjork sound pretty good. And genuine. I’m not putting all of those people in the same style of music, I’m just saying that I forgive and even appreciate some unique voices, specifically for that novelty, and abhor others.

I was listening to a song by Live today (sorry gabs) and that’s kind of what pushed me over the edge. I’ve heard Ed Kowalczyk’s talking voice in interviews before, and it’s not what I hear in his singing voice. I don’t buy it. It’s forced, it’s affected, it’s a character he’s playing on stage. I just wish he’d drop the attempt at being unique and sing me a song. Sing simply.

Of course my argument falls to pieces when someone brings up Mike Doughty, who I love, or Isaac Brock, who is anything but “simple”, but I love him too. I listen to The Beta Band for crissakes. I love Tom Waits.

Hmmm... I just tried to make a rhaplink with all the bands above, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Since I’ve lost my ipaq and my car seems to be breaking down everytime I, well, use it, I think me and technology are having an off day.

Thank God hyperlinks and wikipedia are still working...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

But just in case...

I just realized someone is going to be the 50,000th visitor to the Royal Toybox today. If it’s you take a screen shot and send it to me.

By the way, it won’t be you. It’ll be me, checking in to see how many hits I’ll have gotten by that point.

Another trip down Memory Avenue, this time with visuals:

When I was in college, it was well known that every mortal being had some mutant power. Not necessarily a super mutant power, but an advantage nonetheless.

Mine was convincing women to take me and Alex out for comic books and mighty taco. No, they didn’t pay – they just drove our otherwise static asses around for an afternoon. Neither Alex nor I had a car in those days. (It wasn’t until my senior year that I got Jezebel, a 1992 Volkswagen Fox, and she only worked a third of the time.)

Anyway, each time BAStart and I talk about it, I think that number goes up, so by now we seem to remember at least fourteen trillion women taking us for rides on fourteen trillion separate occasions. More than likely, the number is closer to a dozen or so. 14? 16? 3? I forget. But let’s face it. I was a comic-reading, rpg-playing, athletically-challenged, drama-club-geek. Getting women to do anything for me was nothing short of walking on water, so even once would have been impressive.

I stopped to get gas today on Delaware, across the street from where one of my favorite comic shops used to reside. (Right next to where Louie’s hot dogs had been, at the corner of Kenmore.) Here’s what I saw:

That building and the two right next to it have been replaced with a big, construction-vehicle-filled hole. No idea what’s going to eventually go in there. In the meantime, though, my view from the gas station is of... that’s right... a church.

I tried to think about how things change, but instead got into my Lumina (which works maybe half the time). Maybe I can get Lisa to take me out for sushi and comic books later.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Look to the heavens, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

In the summer of 2000, right after I graduated, and before I moved to Chicago, I was living with mom and dad, way the hell south of Buffalo. One night I was driving home at about 3am (go ahead, make the inference) and as I was pulling into the driveway I realized the sky was lit up with the most distinct northern lights I’d ever seen.

On the rare occasion that the Aurora Borealis made it to Western New York, it was faint, and just along the horizon. Usually, it was covered by the trees. But not that night. For some reason, I happened to look up during the celestial equivalent of the Perfect Storm.

Not only did my sky look like that long hallway in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport because of the northern lights, but there was also a meteor shower adding a pizzicato effect. It was religious. Thank God I was already home when I saw it, because otherwise I’d have stopped on the 400 to ogle

I should (again) draw your attention to the fact that this was just after graduation and just before moving away from home. And, yes, inferrers, that I’d been drinking. My mind was sort of geared up, looking for signs and omens and flashing neon signs. Am I making the right move? Am I where I’m supposed to be? Shouldn’t I forget about this acting stuff, look up that Lisa girl’s phone number and marry her?

Okay, that last one wasn’t really on my mind, in so many words, but that summer was rather philosophical for me.

I just read that the borealis will be viewable tonight from a few lucky northern states. New York, unfortunately, isn’t one of them. I’ll be looking anyway. I’m happy where I am, but God knows I’ll take a flashing neon sign whenever I can get it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I know a secret or two about goo

Okay, I realize the video below is dark and horizontal when it should be light and slightly more vertical, but even still, the utter cuteness shines through. Maeve has started to coo, especially in the last week or so, and Aunt Mary caught this bit on her digital camera the other night over at mom and dad's.

If anyone has any video editting software (I'm talking to Steve and my other mac-using friends), you'd have a loyal and appreciative friend in yours truly if you could improve the quality of this clip...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Worth the effort

Nick, my one-time next door neighbor,

the guy who spent 12 years in the same school room as me, the room mate who left a big poop in my toilet and said it was from Santa, the knucklehead who introduced me to Legos when I was 5, The Beatles when I was 6, fireworks when I was 7, and the joy of spying on grown ups when I was 8,

the ally who taught me how to play flashlight tag, stickball, king of the castle, and knock the donkey down, the guy who never fails to tell me how gay I am,

my best friend,

the godfather of my baby girl,

has been called into active duty and leaves for a year of service with the United States Navy next month.

That’s the bad news. The not-so-bad news is that he’s a medic, so he’ll be pretty far from the front lines. In fact, I’m told his assignment is in a hospital in Germany. Regardless, that’s a year spent away from here.

To give him a proper send off, his knuckleheaded friends are getting together to make sure he remembers what it is he and countless other heroes are fighting for: chicken wings and bar hopping. You’re all invited.

Wanna come? Email me and I’ll send you the information.

(At the very least, you get to see me and Lisa out at a bar, which doesn’t happen all that often. We're pretty sure the party will be worth the effort.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

lots goin' on

Not really. Well, not really a lot goin' on that I'd blog about. School's going. Work's going. Baby is awesome, but you already knew that. Here's a pic:

I wonder what I was telling her. Garvey family secrets? That Aunt Esther had baked beans on her shirt? That the Bills were winning? That I would, eventually, shave?

Maybe I was singing. Or just shushing. That seems to be her favorite topic of conversation these days.

She's sick today, by the way. Just a little under the weather with a stuffy nose. I told her to take vitamin C pills, but do daughters ever listen to their fathers? Only when you're making fun of Aunt Esther, evidently.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Law, Religion, and Correspondent Pinocchio

It’s 7:54am right now, and I’m already on campus, already coffeed, already internetted, already in my seat, and whathaveyou, which means I’ve been here for about a half hour. Why? Because of the conference shown above. Because I deal in the law, I respect Buddhism, and I seek social change. Oh, and it’s a class requirement to be here this morning.

Unfortunately, I was unable to score a seat in the same room as these distinguished speakers. As upset as I am at that, Buddha tells us to remain dispassionate (a task you’d think my apathetic generation is up to), so I’m pleasantly contented to settle into a seat in an adjoining room. They simulcast it all over the campus, and in here I can use my computer to capture a few thoughts as they hit me, so all the better. See? I’m already feeling enlightened.

8:07 – they just turned on the webcam. The actual conference is in the law library, and I’m about 40 feet away in O’Brian 104. From my seat, it looks like it’s being hosted by Stan Lee. No, wait, that’s a UB prof. Sorry Spidey fans. The Dalai Lama isn’t there yet. I’m guessing he’ll make some spectacular entrance, with fog machines, C&C Music Factory, and a laser light show.

8:19 – One of my class’s professors was just introduced as the organizer of the event. I owe her a paper. The one I wrote last week was all about Lisa Simpson, so I really need to step it up this week. Oops, the sound isn’t in sync with the visual. Some monk fell asleep at the switch, I think.

8:24 – sound’s askew again. If there were a Law, Buddhism, and Social Change: The Drinking Game, taking a shot whenever the sound messes up would be the rule that pushed you over the edge.

8:38 – everyone just stood up, so I think he’s about to come in. Evidently, he opted for the Willy Wonka entrance. Luckily, he didn’t try for the fake trip that turns into a summersault. My prof is now introducing him to everyone in the circle. What would she say about me if I were there? “This is Michael Garvey, a second year law student. He can make a killer guacamole, and has probably played more Dragon Warrior than anyone else in this room.”

8:45 – wow, they started quick with the heavy artillery. First question was “do you feel contradictory being both a religious and a political leader?” His answer? Essentially, “monks aren’t in politics.” Well, okay, he was much more eloquent than that, but, hey, ask a pat question, get a pat answer.

8:52 – he just asked his translator what “penal system” meant. I wonder what he thought it meant.

8:59 – I think his views on religious politicians are quite valid. America is suffering from a lot of problems right now because of that intersection, and subsequently, there are a lot of people (myself included, sometimes) who think they should be 100% separate. His point is that you can’t, really. Religion, a personal philosophy, makes the person, and the person is elected into office. He’s acted as a politician before, but only in the capacity that his compassion could act in concert with his reason and logic. It is the man, influenced by his personal beliefs, making political decisions that are best for the people. Direct quote: “Religion affects the person. Democracy affects the society.”

Alternatively, I think there are still a lot of politicians who make decisions today simply because “the Bible says so” and that bugs the hell out of me. Is it too slippery a slope? I don’t think so, but I have yet to meet the politician who can prove that.

9:10 – questions I would ask if I were allowed in the room: How far does non-violence reach? Can I protect my daughter with force if I have to? In other words, is it sometimes preferable to hurt my karmic balance in order to attain some more immediate goal? Have you ever seen this show, Avatar: the Las Airbender? Isn’t it awesome?

9:21 – the man loves to laugh.

9:22 – his overall point is that compassion makes for smarter, more productive people, and that doesn’t have to be a religious task. Even, evidently, law schools can teach compassion. He’s only able to say that because he gets his own parking spot.

9:37 – ah-ha, interesting question. If the lawyer knows his client is guilty, should he remain loyal to representing the client, or act on the knowledge that the guy’s incarceration would best benefit society? How about the lawyer’s karma? The answer? No idea – the translator’s mic malfunctioned. Everyone do a shot.

9:51 – paraphrased response to question about making money: “Two goals: First is Nirvana, second is a happy life. In the intersection of these two goals, you need internal values, yes, but you need also to be prosperous. You should make money if that allows you a happy life. Remember though that being compassionate is not just something to benefit someone else. It also makes your life better. You have to think of the welfare of others, help society, and therefore your compassion for others will ultimately help you.”

9:57 – he is against censorship of any kind. He is skeptical as to whether it really works. The media should be able to say whatever they want, but “a lot of media should have a long and growing nose...”

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

So I got that going for me. Which is nice.

The Dalai Lama is coming to the university today, so the campus has organized a slew of Tibetan/Buddhist events for this whole week. Yesterday, sis and I took a long lunch and saw three monks painting with sand. Well, no wait. We drove around for 45 minutes, then saw three monks painting with sand. I think Buffalo is trying a ying/yang sort of thing. Get pissed off trying to park, then find enlightenment.

Turns out at least some of the parking had been set aside for our esteemed visitors. Seriously, they had it officially blocked off and everything. I wonder what the Dalai Lama drives. A lamaserati? A lamaborghini? A pope mobile?

Griping aside, it really was amazing. The trip was impromptu, so neither of us brought our cameras, but I did snap a few shots with my damnass phone.


I can’t tell you how scared I get in these situations. I just know I’m seconds away from turning into Frank Drebin. All it takes is one sneeze. One slip on a banana peel. One bad choice of object-on-which-to-lean (big fan, fire hose, jet engine). One piece of candy corn, choked upon, and then Heimliched.


It was beautiful, honestly. I’d always assumed from pictures that these murals were done in layers: red shading on a white outline on top of a green circle, etc, but actually it’s all on one plane. And, yeah, there are lines penciled into the table, but not all of the detail work. So no, it’s not like sand-by-number.



Outside the exhibit room, people are once again allowed to breath. I bought a string of prayer beads for Maeve and phoeby and I glanced through the books that were for sale. (“The Dalai Lama on Peace”, “The Dalai Lama’s Teachings”, “The Dalai Lama’s 30 Minute Meals”, and such.) Sis played in the children’s area. She seemed respectful and all, but I knew she would rather have used the artist’s tools – long brass tubes – for decorating cookies. Baked goods are the way to Nirvana, they say. (No they don’t, but you know it’s true.)


I swear I didn't stage this last photo, by the way. Blogger didn't want to upload it, but evidently, flickr is much more enlightened.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

info trade

I am both:

a) recommending to anyone who feels a cold coming on that they take a vitamin C pill. One of those that gives you like 800% of your daily requirement. Works every time for me. And
b) in the market for a webcam. How much should I spend? What brand is good? Do I generally need to get software along with it, or are they plug-n-play?

You're both welcome and thanked.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

So... what does that make us?

I was finishing up some reading, playing around on the world wide web, and I noticed a section in my estates book that I can actually use. Hey BA Start, here’s a word for you: consanguinity. It comes from the roots, “con”, meaning “In all seriousness...”, and “sanguinity”, meaning “...I had no idea until I pulled it up on wikipedia.”

Maeve is the first of her generation in Lisa’s family, and the second after phoeby’s young’n in mine. My sister and I are close to our cousins, so the question of what to call all these people has come up a few times in the last couple of months. Eventually, even the most distant of kin becomes “Uncle _______”, or “Aunt ______” out of convenience. It’s much easier just to use a default title than to have the “Is it second cousin? First cousin once removed?” conversation every time the fam gets together.

Turns out some smarty wrote it all down and made it into a thing: consanguinity. Here’s a very scientific and mechanical way to show it in a diagram. Oh, wait, no, someone got Jesus mixed into my heredity conversation. Damned monks.

Here’s a better one:

So there you have it. My cousins and The Nugget are first cousins once removed. Now won’t life be easier? See Maeve, now when First Cousin Once Removed Elise comes over to say hello again you can give her a big hug and say “I love you First Cousin Once Removed Elise!” And won’t it be fun when First Cousin Once Removed Ben has a son and you and young Second Cousin Ben Jr (whom I will refer to as “First Cousin Once Removed Ben Jr”, of course!) can play outside?

Now if I can just figure out why there’s no such thing as grand-uncles, -aunts.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Understandably excited

The next mock trial team chapter has concluded.  Not as exciting as I hoped, but here’re the facts:

  • University at Buffalo National Mock Trial Team is split 7 ways.  Each squad goes to a different city for a different competition.  Evidently, LA and Boston are two of the biggies.

  • I was put on one of these.

  • I was excited.

  • Wife looked up the competition online and discovered it fell on a weekend I’m busy.  Wife killed my buzz.

  • I called coordinator, told him I’d have to decline, he told me he’d put me on another team.

  • Evidently, I was worth the effort.

  • I was excited.

  • He wrote me yesterday (after getting my email address wrong, then re-sending email), saying I’d been moved to Atlanta team.

So where does that leave me?  Well, I’m once again excited, honestly.  My heart stopped when I found out I might have to decline.  And anyone in my family will tell you I turn into one big damn Eeyore when I get down in the dumps.  Nocturnal animals singing Lionel Ritchie couldn’t cheer me up.  Cats jumping into walls couldn’t do it either.

And truth be told, I’m really upset that I had to give up my spot on the other squad, but when I look at the big picture, I see I’m still on trial team, I still get to put that on my resume, and I still get a chance to kick some legal ass.  Now I just get to do it amidst peaches.

Oh and...

  • Kudos to Katherine Dempsey who was kind enough to lend me her trial technique book.  My trial team success from that point on is due in a great part to her generosity and general awesomeness.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Clear as day

Got an email this morning:

Your niece spent all morning saying your name.  Sometimes it was "Mikey" and sometimes it was "Mimey".  Mom almost cried. She also said "MINE" and I almost cried.

I read it and almost cried.  

In a similar, though made up, story, Maeve looked at me this morning and said, quite clearly, “Daddums, why ever would you leave me?  I work so hard all day long to be the perfect baby, just for you.  And you run off to play with you law books.  Because you obviously don’t have to time to show me affection, I do hereby intend to grow up preferring marvel comics and liking only the bad cartoons.”

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I have another chapter to write in the ongoing Mock Trial Team epic, but I want to wait until it’s done before sharing it. I’m not one of those writers that ends one chapter with a cliffhanger, just so you’ll be sure to come back and read the next one. I’m looking in your direction, Mr. Dan Brown. That’s rookie stuff. That’s Hardy Boys league.

Anyway, if there’s a good picture out there of my daughter, there’s a decent chance someone else took. I’m not the world’s greatest when it comes to my digi-camera. However, the nugget had a bath in the sink yesterday and Lisa’s hands were full, so camera fell to me. I think they turned out pretty nice!

Okay, I still haven’t figured out the red eye stuff. Until I do, just assume she’s a vampire.

Friday, September 08, 2006

How 'bout now? Now?

Mock Trial try-out results might be emailed out today.  “Might.”  That means I only check my email once every ten minutes, and once every half minute during times it’s highly probable they’d be sent out.  So once every half minute all day, in other words.

Here’s how my brain worked today:

9am – he’s been in his office for at least a half hour now.  Plenty of time to put the email together and send it out, if he made all the decisions last night.  No email yet, but it’s early.  
9:10am – maybe he got to work late.  Nope, not yet.
9:20am – maybe he went and got a coffee before getting to his desk.  No.
9:21am – maybe he forgot to include my email address on the list and just resent it.  Sigh... no.
9:22am – maybe he forgot to include my email address on the list a second time and just resent it.  Sigh... no.

...the day drags on...

11:50am – he’s a busy guy, so I bet he takes lunch early and eats at his desk.  The email is sure to be in by now.  Or not.
12:00pm – high noon, brother.  Draw!  Or not.
12:01pm – maybe he forgot to include my email address on the list and just resent it.  Sigh... no.
12:01pm and one second, and two seconds, and three seconds, etc. – Okay, I’m just going to keep clicking refresh until you send the email.

...and on...

4:45pm – alright, you’ve had the whole damn day.  You’re done at 5, and you’ll need to leave at least fifteen minutes for any bounced back emails.  Aaaand, no.
4:50pm – if you haven’t written me by 5pm, that means you won’t be sending out the results until tomorrow, so hurry it up.  Anything yet?  Of course nothing yet.
4:59pm – oh it’ll definitely be in by now.  It’s four fifty freakin’ nine. And by definitely, I mean not at all.
5:00pm – maybe email travels slow here and it took exactly one minute to get to my computer.  Maybe not.
5:01pm – maybe he forgot to include my email address on the list and just resent it.  Sigh... no.

...and on.  At 5:02pm, Lisa called, but I was in the library so I told her I’d call her back and started toward the hallway.  That’s proper library etiquette, bitches.  And guess who wrote to me at 5:03?!?  No one, and I know because I checked to be safe.

Anyway, on my way out, a friend stopped and congratulated me for making the team.  Wha?!?  I made it?  And he knew before I did???  According to him, he’d known for about an hour!  I just hadn’t gotten the email yet.  Thrilled and more than a little confused, I hugged a law school friend in the middle of the library.

So what happened?  Turns out he forgot to include my email address on the list and just never resent it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Mike Garvey has recently learned a bunch of once loyal RT voyeurs have stopped reading, but now are back.

What’s been going on with Mike Garvey? Allow me to up your date.

-> I had a baby. It was almost nine weeks ago. She’s awesome. For pictures, go anywhere in my life, pick up a dead cat and swing it in a full circle around your head. The first thing you hit will most likely have a picture of her in/on it. Please return dead cat after you’re done.
-> I started a new job. I’m a graduate assistant, doing graduate assistanty stuff for the university. In return, they give me undergrads who call me sir and pay my tuition. The university pays my tuition, the undergrads just call me sir. And occasionally seal envelopes for me.
-> I started my second year of law school. A few more months, and I’ll be halfway through. I’ll be half a lawyer! I’ll be a “law-”! This is easily going to be the busiest semester of my life, considering my part time job, my heavy course load, and my (emotionally) heavy baby load at home. I quipped recently that I feel like I’m back in high school when I overloaded on extracurriculars. Writing for the paper, playing in the pep band, arguing for debate team, model UN, FFA, national honor society, track team. Then I remembered I never did any of those things, just spent way too much time in the drama club, but the sentiment is the same.
-> I bought a monkey. Not really, but wouldn’t that be cool?
-> I tried out for Mock Trial Team last night. That’s like adding color guard to the high school list above.
-> Oh, one more high school note. Today, I got a locker! There isn’t one for everyone, so it’s kind of a big thing for law students to score storage space. I felt very teenagery, squeezing between two other second years, fighting with an ancient lock (combination: 21 left; 45 right; recite a Bible verse left), and wondering whether I should pin up a picture of Superman or a Moxy Fruvous cd liner first.

And if you’re swinging a dead cat, I’m sure there’ll be one of my daughter in there too.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Cross them fingers.

I generally do well at things that are called “try-outs”. Sports not included.

In high school, I got a part in every play and musical for which I “tried out”. In college, the more elite actors preferred the term “auditions”, but I new the power of wording. So long as the bulletin board said “try outs”, I had a pretty good chance of getting onstage. After graduation, in Chicago, I had a 100% success rate at “try outs”. Well, okay, that was only one play and two movies. (We’re not counting the Goodman because they only wanted union actors and we’re not counting that one Irish play because it was dumb and it ruined my perfect score.)

The point is, if it’s a “try out”, I’m your man.

Yesterday was the most recent, hopefully. I and 700 other law students “tried out” for the University at Buffalo Mock Trial Team. I think I did okay. I think the “try out” gods were with me, though it was very apparent that my ability to do a direct examination of a witness isn’t quite as sharp as my ability to fake a monologue.

At one point, I was so rusty in my direct that I almost objected against myself. Here’s how I described it to Est and Aly afterwards:

Me: And you saw her on Virginia St?
Witness: Yes.
Me: OBJECTION! Leading!
Judge: ...aaah-
Me: (throwing my voice) sustained!
Everyone: ...?...
Me: I'll rephrase the question, Your Honor.
Judge: Get out of my courtroom.

Anyway, I find out in the next few days whether or not I got one of the few seats on the team. Any good juju you can send my way until then is appreciated. Especially if you’re one of the “try out” gods.

Monday, September 04, 2006

e-support group for new parents

I got this email yesterday via Facebook:

Hi Mike, you don't know me...I was clicking on some of my more random music choices to see if other people liked them, and when I clicked on Gomez, you showed up. Then I saw your picture of your little girl (so cute!) and I thought I'd ask you how you do it, that is, both grad school and family. I have a 3 month old daughter and am starting grad school and wondered if you could lend any advice. Adèle, fellow student/parent

Dear, Adèle,

Wow, I haven’t really been asked for parental advice yet. I wish I had some magic word solution for you, but I’ve yet to find it. Honestly, school doesn’t start for me until tomorrow, so I’m sure if you ask me again in a week, my answer will be much more haggard. And probably written in the blood of the first person to steal a parking spot from me. (That’s inside UB grad student humor.)

Yesterday, though, I cracked open my evidence book for the first time, getting ready for class this week. From my office, I can see into the living room where Maeve (my daughter) looked at me from her swing as if to ask why I wasn’t playing with her. It broke my heart.

Moments like this happen a lot, I notice. Why on earth would I, at 29 years of age, go out into the cold when I could stay home and mush with my daughter? I have plenty of instant oatmeal. We could survive forever. No advanced degree needed, thank you very much.

Then I think of my father, and the stories I heard about how tough it was for him to get through med school with me and the sibs at home. No, I’m not saying “if he could do it, I can do it” – just that it seems to have paid off for him. In the end, I know I’m going to miss a lot of my daughter’s early life, but it also means I’ll be able to take her and her family to Hawaii some day, like my dad is doing with my older sister this fall.

In the meantime, here’s my survival plan for fellow student/parents:
1. Pictures. Your daughter is gorgeous. You need to show her off, yes, but you also need to remind yourself of what you have waiting at home. Bring lots. If you have a computer or pda, nerd it up and throw a slideshow in there.
2. Other students. I would bet we’re the norm these days. Most of us have taken some time off and a lot of us have one or more rugrats at home. Misery loves company, and new parents love to talk about poop (some of us even like Gomez), so find your support system early.
3. Call your mom. She’s a wealth of information and a good shoulder to lean on. If your mom isn’t around anymore, I’ll lend you mine. She’ll make you a meatloaf to die for.
4. The list. A friend told me when she got her MBA, she made a list of all the things she had to pass up each day (going out drinking, dating, traveling, etc.) so she could study. In the end, it made her degree that much more important because she could see exactly what she sacrificed to get it. Someday, this education is going to mean a better life for us, and subsequently for our sons and daughters. When you start to hit your head against a wall in frustration, just remember what it’s all for.

And try not to think about how unappreciative she’ll be when she’s a teenager...

All the best,

Monday, August 28, 2006

More of Maeve's mug

Nothing much to blog about, so here are pictures of the young'n:

Sunday, August 27, 2006

2006 Emmys

Here’re my pics for the Emmy’s tonight.  These aren’t the ones I hope will win, or the actors who, imho, most deserve recognition.  Rather, I’m just putting forth a guess as to who will most likely leave tonight’s ceremony with a chunk of metal and not just a $30,000 gift basket.  

  • Drama Series: "The Sopranos," HBO

  • Comedy Series: "The Office," NBC

  • Miniseries: "Elizabeth I," HBO

  • Made-for-TV Movie: "The Girl in the Cafe," HBO

  • Variety, Music or Comedy Series: "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central

  • Actor, Drama Series: Peter Krause, "Six Feet Under," HBO

  • Actress, Drama Series:Allison Janney, "The West Wing," NBC

  • Supporting Actor, Drama Series: William Shatner, "Boston Legal," ABC (If I’d ever have seen Huff, I’d give this one to Oliver Platt who is, no doubt, incredible.)

  • Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy," ABC

  • Actor, Comedy Series: Steve Carell, "The Office," NBC (Though Kevin James will never fail to make me laugh out loud.)

  • Actress, Comedy Series: Jane Kaczmarek, "Malcolm in the Middle," Fox (Debra Messing is probably going to get this, but Kaczmarek deserves it.)

  • Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Jeremy Piven, "Entourage," HBO

  • Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Megan Mullally, "Will & Grace," NBC

  • Actor, Miniseries or a Movie: Ben Kingsley, "Mrs. Harris," HBO

  • Actress, Miniseries or a Movie: Kathy Bates, "Ambulance Girl," Lifetime

  • Supporting Actor, Miniseries or a Movie: Jeremy Irons, "Elizabeth I," HBO  (I haven’t actually seen any of these, but c’mon.  It’s Jeremy freakin’ Irons.)

  • Supporting Actress, Miniseries or a Movie: Cloris Leachman, "Mrs. Harris," HBO

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Would you rather read a cover letter?

So I’m applying for jobs for next summer.  Yes, already.  The law school uses a website that allows me to “bid” on interviews from a bunch of firms all at once.  They choose whether or not to interview me, based on my profile, which shows my name, address and whatnot, my job preferences, my resume... and a link to my personal website.

Here’s the question: should I or should I not include the Royal Toybox in my profile?

Con: it’s unprofessional.
Pro: it’s accurate.
Con: they might hate baby pictures.
Pro: they might hate Buffalo radio.
Con: could they be afraid of bloggers?
Pro: could they appreciate web nerdiness?

Pro: I’m not an idiot.  I see articles about these dumbasses who put “I smoke spliffs” on their MySpace accounts and then are surprised when they aren’t hired to work in a nursing home.  The fact of the matter is that I’m quite proud of the RT, and stand behind everything I’ve ever written.  And let’s face it: I look a thousand times better in an interview than I do on my transcript.  I’m sure as hell not going to put on a fake face when I see these guys face-to-face (or better yet, when I work for them) – why should I conceal a very honest cross section of my...

Con: it’s unprofessional.  


Two quick things worth blogging

I’ve started a new job.  Well, no, not really a job.  It’s not an internship, not a volunteer gig, not mowing lawns for Dad, Inc., but only insomuch as a graduate assistantship can be a job, is it a job.  Starting this week, I’ll be a proud and able employee of the UB Office of Admissions.  Sorry, I can’t get you any free schwag.  I already asked.

Also school related, Mary has officially been moved into her new dorm room, very close to where I used to live with Greg, Johnny, and Jesse #1.  Differences between my old apartment and Mary’s new one: Mary’s has a garbage can.  Cleaning Mary’s will not mean simply stuffing more under the chairs.  Mary’s stove will not be used exclusively to boil hot dogs and light smokerettes.  Mary’s doesn’t have indigents sleeping on the couch.  Mary’s phone speed dials are not keyed to four different fast food places and the Little Theatre Club Room.  Mary’s does not smell.  Mary will not need to have her significant other or mom come over to chip petrified cheese off of her dishes.  Mary will never need to shave her bathroom floor.  Similarities: They have a Nintendo.  

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Those camera phones are good for something.

And that's so Lisa can show me what I'm missing when I'm not around:

This is the pic I was talking about here: