Thursday, April 27, 2006

Blog link, update thyself.

You’ll notice I took down the “- Updated!” function from the friends and influences section on the sidebar.  It was an add-on I signed up for through Blog Rolling, and though I had high hopes, it just wasn’t working out.  

Imagine how lousy I felt when I read this and, alas, no “- Updated!” magically appeared next to my wife’s blog?  Well, f that s.

By the way, I compared my wife to Droopy Dog this morning.  No, not in looks or speech impediments, or because she has musical fleas, but in her omnipresence.  At 11:51am, I dropped said wife off at the mechanics to pick up her father’s car.  I immediately jumped on a camel, which took me to a taxi cab, which drove me to the airport, which flew me to a rocket, which broke the sound barrier getting to her parents’ house.  And she still beat me there, having never passed me.  

Luckily, during that time, I didn’t have to cap any pens.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mightier, and pointier, than the sword.

Does the average intelligent human being stab him/herself in the hand with a pen every so often? I didn’t think so. Yet another reason I’m anything but the norm.

A callous sits on my left pointer finger, a self-inflicted tattoo resulting from years of the occasional puncture wound. Evidently, I suffer from a severe lack of hand/eye coordination, or more appropriately, pen/pen-cap coordination. And before you ask, yes I do have to put the cap on the pen with that much force. You don’t get the satisfying *snap* otherwise. Duu-uh.

See, I’m the type of person for whom stupid instructions are included on products, like “Do not use this Ryobi Power Drill while skiing” or “Sterno not to be taken internally, but if you think it’s a good idea anyway, go right ahead and take yourself out of the gene pool, Einstein...”

Then again, even if every pen I’ve ever used had a disclaimer telling me how to properly, safely re-cap it (Step 1: finish drawing stick figure of self with superman cape and spitcurl. Step 2: show doodle to Lisa, watch her not laugh, then hope she doesn’t leave you. Step 3: tell Lisa that yes, you really are working on Tort Law and that you love her. Step 4: give pen to her to re-cap because you obviously can’t handle the responsibility. Step 5: wonder at the fact that you’re going to be a dad soon. Step 6: I mean, really! Step 7: they make you get a license to catch a fish, but “Ol’ Pen Hand Woundy” legally gets to have a kid?!? Step 8: un-fucking-believable...) I doubt it would help much. We all know I’d find some other way to puncture my hand.

But in the meantime, there the callous sits, like a table kept open for me at my least favorite restaurant. Mocking me. Reminding me that it’ll happen again sooner or later. In a bad year, I’ll stab myself maybe three or four times, bad enough to draw blood and make me whine like a little bitch. Let me tell you, when you expect to hear a satisfying *snap* and instead you get a pen tip a half centimeter into your pointer finger... it hurts like a mother.

So I’ve been extra careful capping my pens, lately, since I know that my number is up any day now. If past performance is any indicator, I’m due. But recently, during lunch, I was so intent on properly putting away my pen that I bit my cheek. Which also hurt like a mother... Touché, callous.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

We the Peephole

I’m in con law right now. No, not the law of con artists, unless taken from the perspectives of 18th century England, but rather the most noble and basic discipline of the American legal system: Constitutional Law.

First, I should say this arena has always fascinated me. Why do we put so much faith into a salty piece of paper? Why are we so hungry for a sodium laden, crunchy fried food, rich in cholester-, I mean tradition? Why is it that something considered unconstitutional is wrong and something constitutional is delicious and right? Can’t we instead trust our own rational minds to make these decisions? Nope, in the oracle we trust.

Not that I’m speaking against it, mind you – I like the idea of a master set of rules by which everyone needs to abide. Even our president is (typically) bound by this document. Our forefathers were so terrified of tyranny and hunger that they wrote about how good fritos smell.

Oh wait, scratch that. They guy next to me is eating fritos and good God they smell like love itself.

Anyway, I meant to say that the framers of the constitution knew that no one leader, or group of leaders, could properly function without some rock solid guidelines, and that’s why they laid out the system of snacks and balances. And of course, they knew that this document needed to remain dynamic, adapting to work best with an ever changing bag of fritos. I mean world.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of deliciousness – these are the things that aren’t supposed to change. The US isn’t the same country it was during the drafting of the constifrito, and we’ve seen how subsequent amendments reflect that: civil rights, state and federal limitations, prohibition of delicious, crunchy snack foods. Or no, wait, I mean liquor. Liquor was prohibited, and then that was repealed. I think because beer tastes to damn good with fritos.

So, um, anyway, my point is that... the government paper thing... you know- with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jeffritoerson... is good.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to enjoy my right to inhale second hand Frito.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Oh man.

Happy Sunday, all.

I don’t so much believe in omens. Though romantic, intriguing, and tempting in their seeming knowledge of what’s-about-to-happen, I just think the ethereal blueprint in charge of it all (God, Fate, Nature, Flying Spaghetti Monster... take your pick) would choose a more direct route than an overturned penny to leave me a message.

I’m not saying God isn’t akin a woman flirting with me in a bar, but I’d hate to think that I chose the wrong path because I didn’t pick up the “signals”. A black cat could be a black cat, or it could be just as significant as a hair toss and a chuckle at my lame joke. I was never good at noticing either.

Sometimes, though, I just can’t ignore coincidence. Coincidence so odd and out of place that it couldn’t possibly happen at random. This morning I was sitting in my car, parked outside UB. I was this close to skipping a review class for constitutional law (I mean, it is Sunday, and I did have a warm bed with a pregnant wife in it back home) when I saw in my rearview mirror that a crow had landed in the middle of the parking lot exit. I hadn’t moved yet, but I knew I’d have to disturb this stoic sentry in order to play hooky. And if he wasn’t moving for the rain, would my Lumina really scare him out of the way?

So there I am, wondering if I really want to test my theories about omens, trying to remember if it’s the crow or the raven I’m supposed to stay clear of, and what comes on the radio but Blackbird from The White Album.

Spooky enough, but it gets stranger. There’s a constant clicking in that song (a metronome?), and when I looked forward, I saw the teacher who’s class I was about to skip walking past in exact beat with that clicking. Not just a few steps, either. He walked from one end of the lot to the other, around a tree, up an incline, past a bunch of undergrads, and never once took a step disloyal to his choreography.

Sooooooooo, what then? Do I turn around, skip class and deal with the real blackbird, or go listen to a lecture taught by someone who was, as foreshadowing would suggest, in perfect step with him?

I split the difference. I went to class, then left early. Everyone’s happy.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Be a go-getter. Or a stay-receiver.

You know how they say that you can’t just wait for life to happen to you?  How you have to go out and make things happen?  That’s not true.  Drop out of school, kids.

Yesterday, I got the call from UB about a graduate assistantship for which I’d interviewed.  They said I was awesome and they’d pay me a billion dollars to sit around and play with my Nintendo DS all day long.  Well, not really, but they did call yesterday and offer me the job, so bangarang.  Nintendo DS optional.  

I interviewed for this job a month ago after a friend of a friend (of a few friends, actually) told me he was retiring from the assistantship at the end of this semester.  And of course this conversation was the result of weeks of networking and months of research and hundreds of man-hours of “going out there and making things happen.”  Not really.  I ran into this guy at a dinner held by Lisa’s employer and he, in an effort to find something on which we had common ground, threw me a slow-pitch.  Evidently, I connected.  Way to go, right-place-right-time!

(As a segue, I just typed “Meanwhile, later that day...”.  Live in that conundrum.)  

Meanwhile, at the exact same time, but hours later, I got a call from another friend, a lovely and talented friend, whose lovely and talented husband wanted me to know a summer gig had opened up at his law firm.  And, bless his heart, he set up an interview for me.  

I’ll tell you, this laissez faire method of job searching is pretty nice.  If things continue as they do, once I get my Nintendo DS, I’ll be POTUS in no time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Frog is keeping us down.

To my kingdom of fellow nerds, geeks, obsessives, dorks, fanatics, and the rest:  for the next few minutes, put down your comics and attend to my message.  Lay aside your action figures, your 20 sided die, and your trading cards.  Put away your ironically novel tee shirts, close the other firefox window you have open to a message board, and for the sake of all that is holy, turn off those DVDs containing, at most, three episodes of your favorite cartoon.  For it is only in our unity that we will find satisfaction and only in your attention to my words that we will reach unity.

I promise, once we topple The Man, you can go back to your collectables.

First the set up: A friend of mine (we’ll call her SpabsOSteel) lent me three Batman Beyond DVDs, a kind gesture among nerdish friends, to be sure (especially since I never returned the last BBDVD she let me “borrow”).  Alas, though, these were not full seasons as I had expected.  Each disk contained only 70 minutes of cartoon, or three episodes a piece.  I weep openly thinking about it.

Now, often, my favorite type of DVD is the television compilation, especially when it’s of a show as excellent as Batman Beyond, and especially when it’s of a show that I never watched much when it was actually on TV.  WB can kiss my ass to begin with because they refuse to keep a steady schedule, but instead shuffle around good ‘toons (ex. Animaniacs) with The Adventures of Sitty MacPoopSweats and his Band of Action Figures Available at a Toy Store Near You.  But that’s a post for another day.

Here’s the thing with DVDs.  The bigwigs have realized that they can make a lot of money by releasing seasons to DVD, but they can make even MORE by first releasing individual episodes, or three episode series.  Do you know why?  Because, my brothers, WE KEEP BUYING THEM.  We keep folding.  We give in to their strategy of sucking every last penny out of a product.  And why sell the cow when your target market is happily running up their credit card bills on thimble-fulls of milk?  Look at the Amazon.com reviews for these things.  Every one of them has some annoyed fan saying “While I was willingly shelling out $16 for this three-show disk, all I could think about was that WB needs to release the entire season!”

I don’t blame these individual reviewers, and I certainly don’t blame Spabs.  So far, there has been no organized effort to fight against this nickel and diming.  One sole voice is always important in a democracy, but this isn’t democracy, this is capitalism at its finest/worst.  So I suggest we capitalize right back at ‘em.  DVD sales send a message – look what it did for the Family Guy.  I say we stop buying the three-episode minnows and instead hold out for the full season disks.  Change what is economically sensible for the corporate suits to sell, and I promise your Superman Social, your Evening With Samurai Jack, your Freakazoid Fete, and especially your Avatar Bender (get it?) will be longer than 70 minutes in no time.

Sincerely,
Garvey

PS – Upon further consideration, I would buy the Shitty MacPoopSweats action figure.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Easter, pass the vinaigrette.

I had breakfast this morning, and even though it’s only 10am right now, I’m starving.  Why?  Let me tell you about a little syndrome called The Mike Garvey Holiday Stomach.

It starts innocently enough: an ongoing commitment to a salad a day, copious water (“H-Twenty”), and minimal coffee.  True, I’ve been running about as much as a guy who says he’s been running a lot but has actually only been for two and a half runs.  Irregardless, said commitment resulted in lower BP and a loss of seven lbs.  Not too shabs.

But then we introduce the fried fish variable into the equation.  This was Friday, the last meat free day we Catholics mysteriously recognize for another 10.5 months.  And oh my God, it was damn good.  I was painfully full for the first time in months.

Saturday was tame, food wise, but we follow that up with Sunday’s binge-fest.  Were that holy day not already known for either the rites of spring or the celebration of the Resurrected Son, historians would undoubtedly refer to yesterday as “Cholesterol Sunday”.  Take brunch with the in-laws, dinner with the parents, and fill in the gaps with Cadbury cream eggs, M&Ms, and potatoes au gratin and there you have a stomach that has become used to eating every ten to fifteen minutes.  

The trip back to salad and water is not an easy one.  Suffering from The Mike Garvey Holiday Stomach, I feel like I’m dropping a meal the size of a penny into a tummy the size of a gymnasium.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter, pass the chocolate.


When I was young, the Easter Bunny hid our baskets, but left little notes to key us in on where we should look. As if we were the remedial candy eating house, E.B. figured he had to lay down a trail from our bedside to our stash of Cadbury eggs, peeps, and crucifix shaped chocolate bars. They’d always be in verse, too – the Bunny doesn’t kid around.

Some years, the route to the loot would take us out to the car, into the bathtub, through the dog food bin, and even into the vegetable crisper (pftht. Vegetables. I have malted milk balls to eat). One year, the note told us we had to call Aunt Dawn for the next clue. Undoubtedly, Aunt Dawn loved getting this call. At 8am.

Today, I woke up in my own bed, and though I didn’t have any notes to follow, I did have an Easter basket to give to Lisa. Technically, I figured, it’s Baby’s first Easter, but how else is he/she going to get his/her Swedish fish, unless Ma eats them first? I also got him/her Batman shaped candy bars, since I couldn’t find any crucifixes at Target. I’m sure He/She understood.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Don't judge.

One of my MySpace friends sent around a meme asking for people’s 5 worst traits. I think he intended for me to repost this as a bulletin on myspace, but since I seem to have hit a slight patch of blogger’s block on the RT, I’ll show it here.

By the way, add me as your myspace friend. I promise not to be a predatory kiddie porn monger.

Okay, so the idea is to admit to your five greatest faults, poor habits, negative traits, etc. (Yeah, that’s right. I asked you to be my MySpace friend and now I’m going to give you five reasons not to. Respect my honesty!)

Mike Garvey’s 5 worst traits, not in any particular order:

  1. Terrified of elephants
  2. Never seen Goodfellas, Scarface, or any of the Godfathers except the first
  3. I don’t believe in recycling
  4. I procrastinate. I’ll tell you why later.
  5. I strangle kittens.

So there you have it, Padre, my dark side for all to see. Oddly, I’d only change a couple of these if I had the power. Elephants are evil, soul-eating monstrosities and the only “change” that’ll help that is to get rid of all the elephants. I wouldn’t mind seeing any of those movies (and actually there are a lot more – these are just the few that people tell me really ought to be in my repertoire) but time and Blockbuster always seem to be against me. As for recycling, I know its heart is in the right place, but I’m just not convinced it’s doing any good. I am, at the moment, procrastinating from this (good times!) as well as a bunch of other law schoolish activities. I don’t really strangle kittens, I just couldn’t think of a fifth fault. I’m too perfect, I guess.

Editors Note: Considering this, please excuse the revisionist blogging.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Driving Soundtrack

My lack of respect for Buffalo’s radio stations is known far and wide, mostly because of the soapbox that is the Royal Toybox.  (“Royal Soapbox”?  That might be a new segment.)  Anyway, a friend asked me what radio stations I would listen to here in my hometown, if given the opportunity.  

Tangent

I assume “given the opportunity” doesn’t mean “awarded a governmental grant for the purposes of a social scientific study”, but rather “Lisa asked me to DJ”.  It does happen more often than you’d think, though I’ll usually put in something both of us can enjoy, like Billy Joel, instead of something I know she hates, like the Beta Band.  Lisa has surprised me by how much of “my stuff” she likes, though.  Maybe it’s only because I’ll listen to show tunes with her every so often, but I’ve even heard he sing “that boy needs therapy!” a la The Avalanches.  

End tangent

If you were to get into my Lumina, The Green Weenie, you’d see I have 6 radio pre-sets on FM1.  I don’t really use AM or FM2, since I don’t like talk radio, and there are fewer than 6 stations in Buffalo that warrant their own button.  On FM1, here are the stations I’ve pre-programmed:

  1. 88.7 – Buffalo’s only jazz station, and the home of NPR.  I wish they’d play less cool jazz stuff, the sort of saxophoney thing you might hear in an elevator or at a buffet, and more big band, swing, bluegrass, or even blues that wasn’t performed in the last decade.  But I reiterate: it is Buffalo’s only jazz station.  I’m also an NPR junkie.  Car Talk is funny too, but I’m never listening to the radio when it’s on.  

  2. 91.9 – this is the frequency on which I transmit whatever mix is on my (Lisa’s) iPod.  

  3. 96.9 – I like classic rock, and though “97 rock” is guilty of relying far, far too much on bands like Rush and too little on bands like, say, The Beatles, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt since they’re better than their few alternatives.

  4. 99.9 – Canadian station No. 1: this is the one “easy listening” station you’ll find on my pre-sets, and really only there to fill in a gap.  It will occasionally play stuff I haven’t heard before, and in music, I look for novelty above all else.

  5. 102.1 – Canadian station No. 2: I lucked out with a car whose antenna is just strong enough to pick this station up regularly.  Yeah, they are pretty corporate, but they play stuff like The Trews and Hawksley Workman, which you’d never hear from a station on this side of the Falls.  

  6. 103.3 – such promise, down the tubes.  There was a time when I loved “The Fox”, for being Buffalo’s alternative station, but in recent years they’ve gone dark.  If they aren’t playing Staind, Nickelback, or other modern greaseball groups, in recent years they’ve started playing the greaseball groups of yesteryear.  Do we really need to revive G&R?  This is the genre to which “alternative music” was the alternative, and I mourn the passing of Buffalo’s last true arena for those of us who occasionally don’t want heavy metal, easy listening, gangsta hip hop, R&B, or (shudder) country/western.  

So there you have it.  And before you suggest it, I’m not about to get satellite.  For one thing, I can’t afford it and I don’t think I should have to pay for it anyway.  For another, I like my city to have an identity, and you can’t do that with national coverage.  There are other reasons, but this post is already too long.  

End Royal Soapbox.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Here come the judge.

"There is no surer way to misread any document than to read it literally"
-Justice Learned Hand

Just something I read while getting ready for class tomorrow. (Yes, his name was “Learned Hand”.) I don't want to get into a spirit-of-the/letter-of-the-law discussion here, but suffice it to say it's been on my mind lately. Just... keep your minds open, everyone. Really listen. Then think for yourself.

In only somewhat related news, I think I’ve picked a concentration. It’s an odd thing, really. Up until this year, I’ve always had some other stint of education yet to come. When I was in college, I knew I wanted to get into grad school. When I was in bidness school, I knew I wanted to go to law school. It’s impressive how easily you can put off deciding what you want to be when you grow up by just stacking on a few more K’s in student loans.

Anyway, yes I have two years left, but considering I’m in 19th grade right now (12+4+2+1), the light at the end of the tunnel is getting pretty bright. What happens then?

Well, honestly, damned if I know yet. But I’m getting closer. This past week I signed up for next Fall’s classes and also registered for a concentration in Civil Litigation. Now, don’t get out the Woo-Hoo,-Garvey-Got-Off-His-Ass-And-Made-A-Decision novelty noise makers yet. A lawyer concentrating in civil litigation is like a medical student majoring in people. It’s about as all-encompassing as it gets. Really, it’s more of a move to help me plan out my classes for the next two years. But, literally, it’s a start.

Friday, April 07, 2006

10 opinions for Friday:

  1. Fridays are too tiring to write an entire post.  Well, technically, the week is too tiring, and Friday is just last nail in the coffin before the weekend.  Instead of a whole thought out “thing” (beginning, middle, end and all that) you’re getting the top ten snippets on my mind at the moment.  This was the first.

  2. “Busted Tee” tee shirts are hilarious.  Makes me want to buy a tee shirt maker.

  3. Movie theaters should not offer headphones.  I thought at first this might be a good idea, but do YOU really want to wear the same headphones that everyone else has?  Hello, ear infuction.  

  4. You know that weird synthesized sound that makes singers sound like robots?  Kid Rock has used it.  Cher used it.  You hear it all over Kiss 98.5 if you’re unlucky enough to listen to Buffalo radio.  The guy who invented that needs to slide down a razorblade banister into a pool of lemon juice.

  5. I love my grill.  Lisa and I used it for the first time this season the other night.  We made Mineo and Sappeo sausages.

  6. Running?  Not so bad.  I’ve only been a few times so far; I’m not the kind of guy who gets runner’s high yet.  I’m still the kind of guy who gets a stander’s high.  Or better yet, the sleeper’s high.  I have, however, lost 7 lbs since writing this.  Not too shabs.

  7. My holy God in Heaven, the commercials for that MDX energy drink are so funny, I hurt myself laughing.  Why?  No clue.  Funny looking animals singing Lionel Ritchie is just good comedy.  You can see them here.

  8. Sudoku is addicting.  Technically, that’s a fact, but whatever.  

  9. I, friends, have not matured as a student.  A few posts ago, I wrote that I completed my appellate brief at 5pm the night before it was due, and assumed that meant I was all growns up.  Nope.  I was up until 5am this morning, finishing my term paper for another class.  Of course, that wasn’t helped by a glass of whiskey that showed up at my front door last night around 9m, but really, how do you turn that down?

  10. Wes Voit is A-OK in my book and has no idea how drunk he’s going to be 36 hours from now.  I’m actually stealing the 10 opinions for Friday from him in honor of his dignity which may well suffer its demise tomorrow during his bachelor party.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Then again, would that THEY were the greatest of my annoyances...

Law school life absolutely sucks sometimes. I’m really just getting tired of it all and I hate that I’ve crossed this threshold before I’ve finished even my first year.

This is for a lot of reasons, most of which I don’t want to discuss. Here’s one little thing I’m happy to bitch about:

THEY can’t shut the fuck up in any of the classes we share. THESE TWO need to calm down, take a breath and realize the course isn’t a personal conversation THEY’RE having with the professor. THEY also need to stop with the laughing already: the joke wasn’t that funny and after all it was just a tongue-in-cheek observation about a rape case or a murder case or a child abduction case, warranting a chuckle and a nod at most. Not an apple-polishing guffaw that makes the rest of the class uncomfortable. ONE OF THEM needs to stop wearing tight clothing, by the way. I’m not saying I’m the type who should, quite the contrary, but at least I admit that and dress somewhat accordingly.

Here’s the conversation I want to have with THEM:

ME: Look, guys, why are you like this? It’s just wrong.
THEY1: Hey, we can be however we want to be.
ME: No you can’t. Accept it.
THEY2: You’re right. We’ve been so wrong all this time.
ME: Now apologize to the class.
THEY1&2: Sorry, everyone. We’ll just go now.
ME: No, no. You can stay, just don’t be THEM.
THEY1: Really?
ME: Sure. But put on this raincoat first.

Wait for it...

When I hit the publish post button, the time and date will be exactly

01:02:03, 04/05/06.

Or, if I screw it up, I'll just try again in another thousand years. Thanks to Sunsnoozer for the heads up.

Monday, April 03, 2006

done with the 26 page "brief".

I’ve officially handed in my appellate brief. I dropped it on my professor’s secretary’s desk this morning at 7:50am. Kind of an odd feeling really, since this is the first time I’ve handed in a project of this magnitude (50% of my final grade), being this well-rested.

Had I done this project when I was getting my MBA: I’d have started at 11am the day before. Sometime after breakfast, anyway. But let’s be honest, I’d have spent more time picking out a playlist than actually writing and I would have finished it around 6am. I probably would have blogged it. Maybe two pots of coffee.

Had I done this project when I was in college: I’d have started the night before, at about 11pm. After getting back from dinner, going to church with the C2 girls, watching the x-files, and having yet another smoke, I’d have sat down and mashed the keyboard, infinite-monkey style. Whatever printed out as I was putting on the cleanest pants I could find the next morning is what I’d hand in. Then I’d skip the rest of that day’s classes so that this wouldn’t happen again. Since I’d most likely have been up all night the night previous as well, maybe four pots of coffee.

But, no, despite the fact that I’m too immature to remember to spring ahead, it seems like I’ve at least somewhat learned my lesson about all-nighters. I started this project weeks ago, and hit ctrl-P last night around 5pm. I’d turned down three different offers to go out for drinks (including one with whiskey and singing at an Irish bar), I played zero video games (unless you include the occasional online sudoku (darn you, KT)), and though I’ve had more tea than Andy J. (get it?), I managed to finish this paper with absolutely no coffee.