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 woxy.com, 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