Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dream Jobs

All Time Top Five Dream Jobs:

  1. Either a mayor or a congressman.  These, I think, would be the most fun, but still the most influential

  2. Author.  I want Dave Barry’s job.  Write a column and the occasional book.

  3. President/CEO.  Of something worthwhile and fulfilling.  Imagine being able to say you run/own the company that employs X number of people, each of whom support a family?  (When I was 14, #3 would have been “Photographer for Playboy”.  And there you have the most likely reason I’ll never be #1.)  

  4. Teacher.  Sounds cliché, yeah?  But true.  (By the way, in my perfect world, a good teacher would have the highest paying job in the country.  More than lawyers, doctors, and baseball players, combined.  Police officers would be second highest paid.  Also, in my perfect world, I can fly and Butterfingers are good for you.)

  5. Radio DJ where I had no pre-determined playlist.  Seriously.  I get the shivers thinking about how awesome this would be.  I get hours each day, playing any tunes I wanted, talking about any thing I wanted, without the interference of the bigwigs who think Greenday is the be all and end all of daytime radio (aka: Buffalo radio station managers).

Now, of course, the reason these are considered dream jobs is because, in my prerequisite fantasy criteria, they would all pay me millions of dollars a year.  Or else, maybe we should title this list Jobs I’d Want If Money Wasn’t An Issue.  Here’s a meme: What are yours?

By the way, Sarah of Thursday Java has job #5 on a station in Delaware and though I’ve never had the chance to listen to her show online (I’m either in the car or in class while she’s on the air) I do read her blog where she has the good taste to post her playlists.  I know and love a lot of the bands she plays (Gomez, Tom Vek, Of Montreal, etc.) but that only makes up about 5% of her programming.  The rest (Winterpills, Ambulance Ltd., Feist, Giant Drag, Man Man, Arab Strap, Slow Runner, to name a few she’s introduced) are either interesting in their own rights, or open up doors to other bands I really get into.  

(KT, keep your ears open for her.)
(Sarah, you deserve a Butterfingers.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

When in doubt, pick C

Here’s why I hate multiple choice tests:

Which of the following is NOT a color on the shirt I wore yesterday?
  1. blue

  2. black

  3. red

  4. white

  5. orange

This question, surprisingly, is a little easier than the questions with which I met on Monday’s Torts midterm, but only in subject matter.  In terms of probability, I have the exact same chances of getting this question right, right now, than I did any question on my midterm.  

Consider that you need to know four pieces of information in order to get this question right without any doubt.  Four of these answers are, in other words, TRUE, and one is FALSE, so by process of elimination, the minimum number of facts you have to have in your brain is four.  Let’s say, for instance, I only remember for sure that my shirt was blue, black and white, but that stripe across the sleeves was kind of in the middle of red and orange.  Could go either way.  If I pick the “orange” and the correct answer is “red”, I get no credit for knowing that my shirt was, at least, blue, black and white.  

And don’t even get me started on questions that include E) All of the above, or  E) Both A and B, and occasionally C, or E) You don’t have any clue do you?  You might as well just pick me, since the professor wouldn’t have put me here unless I’m the right choice.  Or am I?, or  E) None of these are right, including this choice.  Live in that conundrum, jerk.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Updates:

  • No, I haven’t started running yet, and yes for stupid reasons. The morning after I posted my intention to be the next runnin’ fool, I had only gotten three hours of sleep. The next morning, I’d only gotten four. The next morning, not surprisingly, I’d gotten myself sick. Blah blah blah, excuses excuses excuses. Scott, pass me one of these, please.
  • Actually, I have stuck pretty well to my salad-a-day rule, and I’ve been excellent about drinking the waters. Coffee? Well, better than you might expect, but not perfect. I have decided I’m a tea fan, though I just can’t stomach earl grey (no matter how much I want to be Picard).
  • Been listening to a lot of Mates of State.
  • My midterm went well yesterday. It was in torts. And by “went well”, I mean “didn’t fail as badly as everyone else”, and in the long run, this is really just something to get me ready for the final. Now, at least, I know where I stand.
  • My thoughts and prayers go out to Lisa’s grandfather. Sir, I hope that whatever genetic code got you to 91 has been instilled in our unborn.
  • Did I post about my potential graduate assistantship? (Hey! Conversation-amnesia in blog form!) If not, I applied for a G/A position with the UB Admissions Office and I think the interview was one of my better performances. I made them all laugh, which is like having a letter of reference from Rockefeller himself.
  • Big Love? Not sure yet. I already have my favorite of his wives. Entourage reruns have recently caught my eye, though. Like I need another show to follow.
  • I once had a boss whose constant advice was to “phone first”. Going to meet a client? Phone first. Making a delivery? Phone first. Going to lunch? Phone first. It got to the point where it wasn’t really his order to call ahead to every single place I was going, but rather just a reminder to make sure I’m prepared with the right time/directions/tie color/etc. Why am I thinking about this? Because at the moment, I’m sitting in the library, cursing myself for not checking my date book closer and seeing that today’s meeting is actually on Thursday.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Review by the not-so-much-with-the-musicals guy:

Back in my theater days, I pretty much hated the musicals. I didn’t get them. I didn’t think there was anything to get. I figured if you had a point to make in a scene, make the point and move on. Don’t dwell on it during an entire song, and for the sake of all that is holy, don’t dance.

My belief that musicals were somehow wrong because spontaneous singing didn’t just happen in real life didn’t hold water for very long though. It occurred to me that the Shakespearean language I loved so much was hardly practical: A brooding youth can think about suicide in real life. A Jewish wedding can happen in real life. Why should I be okay with iambic pentameter in one show, but not Sunrise, Sunset in another?

So I grew to like musicals, or at least begin to appreciate them. Songs are one more stroke of the paintbrush – one more way to tell the story. Yeah, in my mind, it’s still a long way around to make a point. But listen to American Dream in Miss Saigon. The character doesn’t really have a Cadillac and dancing women, but isn’t that musical dream sequence a more entertaining way to tell the story?

Flash forward to last night when Lisa and I went to see The Last Five Years at MusicalFare, featuring Lous Colaiacovo and Kathy Weese. KT talked a bit about it earlier. This isn’t even one of those mostly-talking-with-intermittent-singing types of shows. This is a mostly-singing-with-intermittent-phone-calls types of show. And the two actors only interact with each other during one twenty second point, right in the middle. That’s right. We went to see two one-man shows that happened to take place at the same time, on the same stage.

Okay, I kid, but only because I want to show what a challenge these actors had. They couldn’t react or respond to scenery or other actors – there weren’t any. They had to, and did, tell the story in a one on one conversation with the audience, all in song. This didn’t really occur to me until afterwards (a sign of true theatrical mastery), but at no point was I bored. Not only did they sing the points they were making, but they seamlessly strung these points together into a plot, a story. And a good one, at that.

One on one with the audience. No scenery or other actors with which to interact. ALL SINGING. And Garvey was entertained by it? Go buy your tickets now, people.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here...

Okay, yesterday was harsh and I kind of feel bad that I said a classmate could fall in a well and die. Oh, wait, I only said to fall in a well. At the time, though, I implied the “and die”. This presentation counts for a pretty good chunk of our final grade (it’s just the presentation, and the final paper) and the rest of us had worked our asses off for it. Member number five was still putting his slides into the PowerPoint, literally, when class was starting. None of us had any idea what he was going to say. Now THAT’S graduate level professionalism.

But when the rubber hit the road, he really did quite well. I talked with him afterward; he’s actually a pretty nice guy. And in fact, after we were done, the professor said we raised the bar higher for everyone else. I’ll take that.

Then I went home and slept for four hours. I’ll take that too.

Sabres lost a tough game, but I watched an episode of Scrubs that Lisa had DVRed and the whole juice harp bit really made me laugh. I’ll take half of that.

Tonight, I’ve got a date with Lisa. I’ll definitely take that.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Curse Sir Walter Raleigh

Coasting on fumes today.
The paper/presentation took all last night, and most of the night before, and now that I’m in class I’m pretty sure it isn’t at all what the professor is looking for.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit coffee.

I’ve passed into a realm where tolerance for stupid people is nil, which means driving anywhere in Buffalo, while listening to Buffalo radio stations, hearing a story about people who are against new construction on Elmwood, etc., does little to abate my ire over the member in my group who simply hasn’t shown up for any of the meetings. He can fall in a well for all I care.

I miss my wife and I need a nap and I want the Sabres and Scrubs to be good again and I’m still a fatty and whine whine whine, bitch bitch bitch.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Go leave her a smell-like-a-monkey comment.

Today, Lisa is eating birthday cake and ice cream for two.

Happy Birthday, Wifey!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Run for your life.

After much introspection and an intense personal, mental and emotional examination, I’ve come to a realization that if I were to be totally honest with myself, I know I’ve known all along. Turns out I’m a fatty fat fat.

Oddly, I haven’t really cared until recently. I lost a lot of weight when I moved home from Chicago, and I’ve been riding that wave for years now. “Of course I can have Mighty Taco for lunch. At least I’m not having two deep dish pizzas (with blue cheese on the side) for breakfast.”

Buuuuut, I’ve been getting worse in my habits. Sympathy weight? A convenient excuse for eating a large milkshake every couple of days. Add to that the chinese food, popcorn, “drinking for three”, and even the occasional chicken finger sub, and we’re no longer talking about the few pounds a new dad puts on… we’re farther into the realm of bears getting ready for hibernation. Pass me another pic-a-nick basket, please, Boo-boo.

More important than my missing six-pack: my cholesterol looks like my phone number and my blood pressure is so high that, well, I don’t have a joke for this one. It’s really fucking high.

So what to do? Well, unfortunately, I’ve already done the easy stuff. I use fake sugar. I eat baby carrots. I got married, so my fridge is no longer filled with bread, cheese, and milk. Now it’s wheat bread, low fat cheese and skim milk.*

While I’ve got the fire for self-improvement in me, here’s my plan:

More water – I drink lots, but not enough. This is the common denominator in every single diet I’ve ever looked into. They say 64 oz for a grown male. That’s a lot of peeing, by the way.

A salad a day – lunch or dinner. And stop snacking after 9pm or so.

Quit coffee – back in the day, I took in more coffee in an hour than I did oxygen. I’ve actually already started breaking this habit. I had my first coffee in a week this morning and I actually feel jittery right now. I don’t drink soda very much anymore either.

Ecksersyze – man, I need to. I know if I’m ever going to make friends with my heart again, I need to get off my ass. Don’t hold me to this (remember, I’m blogging under the influence of my first coffee in a week – I might promise to fly around the world and turn back time to save Lois Lane next) but I think I might start… [shudder]… running. I don’t have the time or money for the gym, and I hate pushups and sit-ups with every fiber of my soul. I have no idea where to start with this (how long/far/often should I run, and where? what should I take with me? how do I stretch beforehand? what should I have on my iPod?) but I’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, more baby carrots?

*That’s not entirely true. Before I got married, the only thing my fridge held was take-out menus, stuck on with magnets.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Too hungover for a title.

If nothing else, when drunk, I excel at making friends. Like last night, I pride myself on my super mutant ability to talk to ANYONE after a few drinks. I’m pretty sure, at the same time, I inadvertently piss off those chums I already have (apologies to Black Mamba for the sugar-in-purse hilarity) but there is typically an ebb that equals the flow. And, oh, I made friends last night. I was a drunken, mingling powerhouse.

The first was early on, but let’s face it: Early On was three hours into drinking. (Before the carbombs, but after a whole shitpot full of beer.) Yesterday morning, I text-messaged a little St. Pat’s greeting to my sis in law. We share an inside joke, God knows how it started, where we sing the Irish jig tune to each other. It’s a salutation of sorts. A call to silliness. So my text message to her would really have made sense only to her: “D’deedle-ee deedle-ee deedle-ee dee dee dee…” Unfortunately, dumbass me never changed her cell phone number in my phone’s directory, so this cryptic nonsense was sent not to KT, but instead to the person who now owns her old phone. When the current owner (Sally? Sadie? Susie? Barbara?) called me back, we must have talked for a good ten minutes before I figured out she wasn’t someone in Delaware, sitting next to my sister in law.

Katie, your phone successor is quite nice, but since she didn’t give me any shamrock stickers or hours of Barry Manilow jokes, she wasn’t the best friend I made last night. And I'll be happy to pass that award out, just as soon as I remember all of the nominees.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Faith and Begarvey...


Lordy Lordy Lordy - so drunk. Last year, Lisa and I made it to Chicago for the wearin' o' the green, and actually got to the saloons early enough to find bar space: the primest of real estate in all of Chicago on St. Pats. This year, I'm spending my first real St. Pats. in Buffalo since I was too young to drink (9), and I'm told there's a good chance we might even get seats. Which is nice, because it means fewer feet to fall when we pass out.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It... is... aliiiiiiive...

This morning, Lisa took my hand and put it on her belly. Now, when I do that to someone, it’s because I want them to wow them with how many chicken finger subs I’ve had recently. Lisa did it so I could feel my baby dance for the first time ever.

This morning, I felt my baby kick and punch and headbutt! He or she stopped abruptly, having made his or her presence known, saying to the world: “hey, how about another chicken finger sub down here?”

Monday, March 13, 2006

Niagara on the Lake

Editor’s note: I wrote this on Sunday. Yeah I’m late. I’m on vacation. Shut up.

It’s been awhile since I posted from my iPaq, but let’s make up for that today. Right now, I’m sitting in Niagara on the Lake at Shaw’s Coffee and Wine Bar (many famous writers, evidently, have their own restaurants - this one’s nice, but stay away from Agatha Christie’s BBQ Pit). Lisa’s off cashing in the massage gift certificate I got her for Christmas. I opted to hole up here with a cup of coffee, a sandwich (“I’ll have a vente ‘Man and Super-Mud’, and a ‘Pig-malion’ on whole wheat, please…”) and a book, but since I forgot my book, I’ll tap out a blog post instead.

The trip has been great, so far. We got in yesterday, walked, ate, drank, and window-shopped. Here’s the bullet point run down:

  • If Niagara on the Lake was an anime creature, Lisa surmises, it would be called “Niagaramon the Lak”.

  • Dinner last night at the Prince of Wales was sea bass and tenderloin and garlic knots and gnocchi and risotto and awesome.

  • I bought a bottle of Niagara region ice wine to give to my friend (and dentist) who introduced me to the stuff years ago. Knowing nothing about wine at all, we just bought the one in the coolest packaging.

  • They love their Scottish/Irish stuff here.

  • The first time I came to N.o.t.L., I was in middle school, and I remember lunch at a pub called Fournas because it had a condom vending machine in the bathroom. Couldn’t tell you what show I was here to see, but damned if I’m going to forget the first rubber dispenser I ever saw.

  • Lisa and I had lunch at Fournas yesterday. Ah, the memories.

  • We stayed at the Queen’s Landing last night - it was comfy and quiet and beautiful and the shower was so large, I hear it’s pushing for commonwealth status. The perfect setting in which to kick off the Laziest Spring Break Ever.

  • We rented Walk the Line, which really was excellent. You know how Seabisquit was just cut and pasted from Days of Thunder, with “horse” replacing every time the script said “car”? Jon Stewart was right: Walk the Line was Ray, with “pills” replacing “needle”.

Well, I’ve killed off an hour, here among the spirit of long dead playwrights, the smell of Canadian bacon sandwiches, and the sound of loonies dropping into the tip jar. Lisa should be done soon, and then it’s back to the States. Just enough time for a trip to the bathroom. Anyone need something from the “Armors for the Man” vending machine?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

HNT #2



First, thanks to Osbasso and his HNT following for all the love last Thursday. I got welcoming and positive comments from people who have been in the putting-pictures-on-the-‘net game for a lot longer than I have, and (I think) I got an even bigger compliment from the big guy himself this morning with his “faces” post. High praise from Caesar, if that’s the case…

Anyway, I actually took this picture yesterday while I was between classes. I wore a watch to school in preparation for a 10 minute oral argument I had to give (I normally hate wearing a watch) but it broke halfway through the day. Since next week is spring break for me, the passage of time seemed to be on my mind, and this little bit of body art sort of drew itself.

Today, the ink has mostly washed off, but I can still see that the hands point to a few minutes after seven. Time always seems to move the slowest right before vacation, yeah?

The argument went quite well, by the way. But more importantly, only one more class before break begins. To my new Thursday friends, have a good week! To everyone else, I can actually go out starting tomorrow, so hit me up.

HNTbutton

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

To-do list for Wednesday

Today, it seems, my number has been got. Wherein Esther’s day has been nothing but Beach-Boys-level happy, and Cadbury-Egg-Sweet, my hump day has been the law school equivalent of the perfect storm. Believe it or not (I’M WALKIN’ ON AIR!) I’m managing to stay above it all so far, and I’m actually in a pretty good mood.

Why, you ask? Just look at the outgoing pile, I answer. Yeah, I’m crazy busy today, but I’m getting things done. I’m crossing things off my list, and the bottom of the inbox is getting more and more visible. Mega reading for crim? Done. Difficult material for torts? Finished hours ago. Presentation for constitutional? Just about… Oral argument? Well, it doesn’t happen until tonight, but I will say that I finally feel like I’m almost, somewhat, kind of ready for it.

I love mowing the lawn for the same reason. It’s measurable. You know how much you’ve done and how much you have yet to do. Now, if only I could tool around on a New Holland from class to class… well!

No class tomorrow, and then only one on Friday where we’re watching a movie. Then it’s a full week of Garv Gone Wild: Spring Break Edition. And by “Wild”, I mean “To Sleep”.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Esther is indeed one of the cool kids now.

When I lived in Chicago, I got a job with an advertising and research firm that melted my soul daily. Boring, low paying, demanding, kind of like the job Tom Hanks has in the beginning of Joe v. The Volcano.

The dim months I spent there (the beginning was fine - fun even) were lit only by the hourly emails I got from my friends back home, specifically Lisa and Esther. And certainly, it was their enthusiasm that created the strongest pull for me to return home. Well, that and the fact that I got fired for emailing on the job…

Anyway, Esther has finally succumbed – she’s now a blogger. She’s filled in for me at the RT before, but this is official:

Phoeby and Her Friends

Go visit, look at pictures of my niece, help her come up with ideas on how to retaliate against Scott, laugh at her strange-ass Freudian dreams (a tuba?!?), and get fired since you're spending too much time reading her blog.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Live outlet

When I first started the RT, I wanted an arena where I could get stuff off of my chest. Cheaper than therapy, you know? The fear there is that most of the crud I carry around with me would bore the hell out of the average reader. How many times do you want to hear about how tired I am or how much I hate Adelphia or what’s going through my head as a new dad or dealing with a death in the family or my health or whathaveyou.

I think you’d rather read about movie quotes or Star Trek, and I know I enjoy writing that stuff a lot more. And it certainly seems like the Toybox has gradually gone in that direction over the last year. When I look back to my MBA days, every other post was about how busy and stressed I was, but lately, I prefer to go with events or themes. I almost feel like the RT is less a journal today, and more a Dave Barry column. (Boy, I wish, but you know what I mean.)

Anyway, I’m putting everyone, including myself, on notice. If I head back towards the more cathartic journal-esque type of blog, I’m sorry if I bore the hell out of you. I need the sounding board though.

So here we go:
I purposefully chose the type of life I’m living right now, and truth be told, there is no way I could be happier. I have ZERO regrets. And though I never once believed that it would be easy, I can’t believe how hard it is. Back in reality, I know I’m lucky: I have high blood pressure, not cancer. I’m a law student, not fighting in Iraq. I’m too broke for a PS3, not too broke to use my LexisNexis points on a Nintendo DS.

Back in the moment, that does little to assuage my blue funk. I out-and-out hate some of my teachers. I love the stuff I’m learning, and I KNOW I’m lucky to be here, but the inefficiency of the whole thing just gets my goat. I want to be reading about interesting stuff like constitutional arguments, but instead, I spend my ENTIRE FUCKING SUNDAY learning about where to put the FUCKING SEMI-COLON if I’m citing to a law review article.

There. Got that out. I actually do feel better.

And by the way, “Assuage my Blue Funk” would be an excellent name for a band.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

What would go into your time capsule?

Lisa and I recently discovered a slow leak above our apartment. Landlord Scott had to expose a good chunk of our ceiling this afternoon in order to get to it, so right now our bathroom is a half foot taller and a good deal dustier. After we’re sure the leak is fixed, we’ll get the ceiling back up. And by that, I mean Scott will put the ceiling back up since the excellent work I do in the bathroom has nothing to do with the ceiling. Until then we’ll just have to deal with “a leak in the bathroom” jokes.

Anyway, before we get the room put back together, we were talking about putting a time capsule up there so future generations can marvel at all our cool stuff and wonder at the fact that we kept it above the bathroom. Here are a few things I think I’d put in it for the sake of posterity:

The website address for the Toybox – wouldn’t it be cool to get a comment from someone in the future saying they’d found it?
A newspaper – The children of the world need to know how much the Buffalo News of ’06 sucks ass.
A picture of me shaving my beard – it seemed to garner a lot of attention on Thursday, anyway.
A disk of mp3s – stuff Lisa and I listen to today (so half indie nerd tunes and half Broadway).
A twinkie – the finder may be hungry, and what else is going to last that long?
A comic book – not for the sake of history or anything. Just because it’s the bathroom and it would be nice to have some extra reading on hand in an emergency.

What would go into yours?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

"Half-Nekkid Thursday"


HNT_1


I've seen HNT on a few other blogs I frequent and have always wanted to play along. Half a beard is not so naughty as all that, really. I think we're all pretty happy I've found a way to participate in spirit without getting nearly as risqué as most of the other posters in this circuit.

An old theater buddy asked me to do some industrial work for him this weekend, and I was more than happy to join in. I get to play a banker, and at his request, I shaved my beard to look a bit younger. My facial hair comes and goes these days anyway; its fate has been based more on how lazy I am that week than any hygiene or fashion motivation.

So, if I can try out my new camera phone, get clean shaven for a weekend gig, and not have to come up with an idea for a blog post, then I think I made the right decision.

Of course, now I’m out of ideas for next week…

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Boldy went and then came back

Spike TV and G4 have both started showing episodes Star Trek: The Next Generation, making me one happy little nerd. I was a trekkie for a long time. No, I never put on the ears and went to conventions – that’s just silly. (I only went to sophisticated comic book conventions where I met Lou Ferrigno.) But I’d be lying if I said I never drew a starship console on my desk or put together enterprise models or even had a pizza party when Picard turned into a Borg.

Realizing not ALL high school boys did those things, I will say that in the years since ST: TNG stopped running in syndication on Fox, I’ve matured at least a little. While I’ve been watching these episodes over the last month or so, I’ve noticed that my perception of Roddenberry’s universe isn’t exactly the same:

Ten years ago: the holodeck is the coolest toy ever and I can’t wait to have one in my apartment.
Now: I can’t stand the holodeck scenes. How are you picking things up? How is it that you can walk a mile, even if in “reality”, you’re only in a room the size of a small gym?

Ten years ago: Marina Sirtis = hot.
Now: Marina Sirtis = camel toe.

Ten years ago: that episode where Data gets lost in old timey San Francisco is awesome.
Now: that episode where Data gets lost in old timey San Francisco would be awesome if Mark Twain hadn’t been in it.

Ten years ago: I hate Wesley Crusher, but admit it might just be jealousy.
Now: Nope, still hate Wesley Crusher, but admit Will Wheaton has an excellent blog.

Ten years ago: LaForge can do anything. All he needs is a Jefferies tube and the ability to uncouple something.
Now: if Lisa’s in the room, he’s the guy from Reading Rainbow. He can go twice as high.

Ten years ago: blue uniform for the kid who wanted to be pre-med.
Now: red uniform for the law student.

Ten years ago: I want a replicator so I can make food from the pleasure planet of Risa.
Now: I want a replicator so I can make Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk.

Ten years ago: phasers are awesome and represent the epitome of peace-keeping efficiency.
Now: why do I need to press nineteen buttons to switch from “stun” to “slightly harsher than stun”? Did iPod make these things?

Ten years ago: I spend an hour a day watching the show.
Now: I spend an hour a day watching the show and then blogging about it.