Saturday, March 28, 2009

End of an Era

It is a lucky man who has the fortune to choose when he will walk away. We are not defined by our blogs - men are more than words on a page, but your words will be missed.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hello friends.

I once again commend those of you who have successfully completed the challenge that is the BufBloPoFo. It is not easy. Many of you were undertaking this challenge this year for the first time. I hope that you will try again next year. For those of you who were participating in their second Fortnight, I trust that you (like me) found it to be difficult but worthwhile.

This technology has made our lives easier, and has helped us connect (and re-connect) with people from whom we have been separated by the sinister forces of time, life and circumstance. This internet not only provides us with naked women, but is a valuable tool for keeping touch with those you cannot or do not see regularly, speak to frequently, or share with personally. This series of tubes is useful and wonderful for telling your friends, no matter how far-flung, what you are doing, how you are doing it, and why. But do not rely too heavily on this World Wide Web.

We are a social animal. Following the daily blogging of a few friends for a couple of weeks may have made your parents' basement feel a little less lonely. Your hours of Warcraft have been tempered with some "real world" stories of coffee too hot and kids too precious. You may feel invigorated and connected to humanity in a strong way. But the Fortnight is over. I urge you, friends, to renew these connections with personal conversations. Be not satisfied with the consumption of one-way communication provided for by push-button e-publishing. Endeavor to create lasting physical relationships. Hear, touch, smell - experience - other human beings.

The internet is amazing. Our children will have no concept of what life was like without it. It is a wonderful vehicle for pornography and anonymously ridiculing the lifework or passionate interests of other people. But it cannot totally replace the importance of real life connections. Do not let Facebook replace face time.

That being said, do not leave your blog to rot until the next BufBloPoFo. It is still a useful means of keeping others in the loop of your life. Regardless of how lonely and forgotten you feel, someone is interested in what you are doing. Keep posting on a regular basis. We know how difficult it is to write daily, but try to write at least weekly. If for no other reason, write so that there exists some lasting record of humanity. What if your blog were the only remaining evidence of our society? (The Mayans left no blogs. All we know about them is that their skulls were made of crystal and that they are going to end the world in 2o12.) Don't let future generations think we all died out in late March, 2009.

To the rare few of you who have satisfactorily completed two Buffalo Blog Post Fortnights - congratulations. I'm sure Mike will be whipping up a fancy "Two-time Completer" jpeg for our pages. We should all have a drink - if not together, at some pre-appointed time when all around the world Completers can celebrate the completion of that which is completed. At least for 50 weeks - until BufBloPoFo2KTen.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The more things change, the more I am a depressing lump

Last year I left myself a series of questions to be answered during this year's BufBloPoFo:

Did you pass the bar yet, dummy?
--Yes. Clearly, that proves that I are not dumb.
Did you get a job yet, lazy?
--No, but I have actually tried. You're the lazy one.
Did you buy a house yet, house-less guy?
--See the above answer. Job first, then house.
Do you have dependable transportation?
--Yes. I depend on my friends.
What was your favorite car?
--Probably the Geoff Bodine Chevy Lumina. I seized the brakes on Elmwood Avenue.
Are you still keeping in touch with your friends thru the blogosphere?
--Does Facebook count as the blogosphere? I'm still holding out off the Twitterlution.
Do you ever socialize with anyone in person?
--Yeah, a little bit. Not much. I am a misanthrope.
What's your favorite planet?
--Mine's the sun.
Are you still brewing your own beer?
--Not nearly often enough.
Do you have a business model in place yet to start selling it?
--Not even close to starting to get ready to think about it.
Do you still want to own a bar?
--Very much. The only reason to get a job is to make enough money to retire and buy a bar.
How much do you weigh?
--I don't know. Still lots.
Does Zeppelin still rule?
--They do. And they always will.

I am going to leave these questions here in order to answer them again next year. And every year until I am satisfied with all of the answers. Then I'll come up with some new questions.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What do I know?

I feel terribly out of my element telling someone how to be a parent. I do not have any children (that I know of - zing!). Even if I did, I don't think I would feel entirely comfortable telling someone such business. I mean, I'll still do it.

But this is just advice, and solicited advice at that. So here's what I think:

Your child will grow up to be the type of parent that you are. To some extent you are the type of parent that your parent was to you. (Now, if you are making a conscious decision to be a different kind of parent than you had, it follows logically that your kid can do the same.) But just think about it when you are thinking about how to discipline your progeny, or when you're figuring out how to celebrate something, or when you're planning a family vacation.

Think, too, about your life experiences and the memories that you carry with you. The formative events that made you who you are. Remember these - and recognize exactly what it is that you remember - as you are making decisions that might shape your babies' future.

Memories can be simple moments, special occasions, or annual traditions.

Teach them to eat all sorts of different foods. Encourage them to play a musical instrument, to learn a foreign language and to take criticism as gracefully as compliments.

Talk to them a lot, but listen to them more.

And don't smoke.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hey, I did it!

I didn't know how to do this five minutes ago. I'm in the living room. I'm wearing jeans with paint on them, because they are my "work pants", and I was working. I feel that I should say more, but I probably won't.

Monday, March 23, 2009

To forgive, devine

Oh Mad Typist - I couldn't stay mad at you. I didn't feel slighted so much as I just didn't want to talk about soup. All is forgiven - assuming you forgive my childish tantrum.

I used to have a much more substantial internet presence than I do now. "" was actually a website that I had before most of us knew what blogger was. It was generally a stream-of-consciousness humor/rant site that I updated once a week. Eventually, it grew to include three other staff writers, a trivia section and guest submissions. I discontinued it when I went to Europe for a few months, and never really picked it up again. I launched this blog in order to get back on the horse, as it were, for last year's BufBloPoFo. I immediately fell back off. I know that there were those who were disappointed in this, and I vow not to let it happen again this time. I intend to keep up the blog, at least weekly (or at least weakly). I appreciate your encouragement, and invite you to follow along the winding road of me trying to find a job and whatever lies beyond.

I've never really thought about working for a magazine - except for Blush Magazine, because Laura San Giacomo is hot. I guess the easy answer would be Playboy or High Times, but I don't smoke reefer and I doubt the girlfriend would appreciate the other one. I think Popular Science might be cool, because they get to try out products and stuff, right? I have no desire to work for any of the magazines that the girlfriend sneaks into the grocery store check-out line. I wouldn't really want to work for any of those Men's interest like Maxim or Stuff or one of those. I guess I would most be interested in something challenging, important and lasting.

That seemingly simple question about working at a magazine may have just shed some light on what legacy I'd like to leave once I've passed on. I'd like to do things challenging, interesting and lasting.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Soup Post

(I'm drunk)

Ooooooh, I'm the Cultural Cuisinart, I'm too good to blog about hoffie. Ooooooh, look at what's on tv, I know a lot about pop culture. Ooooooh. I'm important so read my blog - far too important to blog about hoffie, oooooh.

I like soup. I haven't always, but I do now. Apparently, according to my mother, I used to have a real problem with cream in general and with cream soups in particular. That was before I understood that they were mostly fat. I like fat.

I like minestrone soup. Despite my aversion to sausage and meatballs, I like Italian Wedding. But, while I'm not proud of this, my favorite soup might be Amanda's mother's Seven Onion Soup which I have had on two consecutive celebrations of the birth of Jesus Christ (those more calendarialy bound call this Christmas, but some of those of us who are more enlightened celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior for several weeks).

There are a few Progresso brand soups with a Weight Watchers points value of ZERO per serving. Not that I'm a fat-ass or anything.

I don't like mushrooms or mushroom soup.

(It should be noted that I was in a bar drinking before 12:30, and that Syracuse Univerity has advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Either one of these would lead to my inebriation, but both together are dangerous. Bring on the Sooners!)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Allow myself to introduce...myself

I didn't know who the blog listed below mine belonged to based on it's title. But I was able to figure it out fairly quickly, since I'm so smart. (I am a lawyer, after all.)

I first met Dr. Garvey, as far as I can remember, on my first trip to the Garvey estate (Garvey Acres? The Garvey Manse?) on New Year's Eve . . . '98? '99? '00? 01? Wow. I don't know what year it was. I know I was at least 21, because bought a bottle of Jagermeister to bring to the party. No one else cared to drink it, so I polished it off myself. Surprisingly, this course of action lead to me becoming inebriated. This was shortly before midnight, and Alex decided that I would be allowed to go upstairs (where the grown-ups were) but, due to my condition, that I would not be allowed to speak. This was the night that I passed out and had a very vivid dream about vomiting into a chair, which I have been assured was only a dream, and that no such chair exists at the Garvey estate. Dr. Garvey generously gave several of us some tickets to a Sabres game the following day. Did you know that there is a ring of flashbulbs around the ceiling of the HSBC Arena, and that these flashbulbs go off nearly constantly? Go to a game really hung over, and you'll see them.

This story has little to do with the Dixie Chicken himself, but as far as I can recall, this was the first time we met. We have since met several times, and he has never once made me feel like an idiot for getting shit-canned at his house and maybe or maybe not puking into phantom lawn furniture.

I gleaned by reading his BufBloPoFo posts that he is into wine and very proud of his children. I wanted to get into wine, but haven't yet gotten beyond "If you like it, drink it". I'm pretty sure this is the most important lesson that any enthusiast learns about the thing that they are enthusiastic about. And while I've met all of - but only really know one of - his kids, I think he's right to be proud of them.

I am going to refrain from asking him a question about the weird feeling in my mouth following last week's tooth extraction, and instead pose this random and not profession specific query:

Which of the Boy Scout Laws do you value most in your fellow man?

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Open Bingo Square, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Garvey Coming Up with a Topic and Love the Freedom

As though I spend a long time fretting over Garv's topic du jour. I usually mention it, but often go off the map. So telling me to come up with my own topic is less a free pass and more an infuriating challenge, telling me to be creative is the fastest way to stop me from being creative.

I made up my own topic yesterday. Blah blah blah, the Italian Fest sucks. Blah blah blah, I like my new club.

I like playing basketball at my new club. I have referred to this as my therapy. When I'm in a game, I don't think about anything else. If you're an athlete, or a video gamer, or a musician, I assume you can relate to this. Much of the rest of the time - driving, cooking dinner, blogging - I can't shut my brain off. Many thoughts spin around my head, often leading to weird occurrences. Like when you're trying to remember the name of the next door neighbor's boyfriend on some random sitcom from the eighties, and you can't think of it and you can't think of it. Then the next day while you're driving along it jumps to the front of your noggin even though you aren't really thinking about it. Like that. I figure that thoughts and the fore of our consciousness are like a child's toy with lots of little differently shaped blocks and a container with differently shaped holes. Once all of the pieces are in there, you gotta just keep shaking it or spinning it or something until the right piece falls into the right spot. I'm not certain that it's the most efficient way, there may be a release that you can turn to open the container, but that's for quitters, always taking the easy way out.

It's like how people say that it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. And all you grinning idiots are just lazy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A place of my own

The first time I lived away from my parents' house (for more than a couple of weeks at a time - for camp and junk) was when I went to college. For anyone who doesn't know, I'm not from Buffalo. I'm one of the rare few who moved INTO Western New York. And it was like driving the wrong way down the freeway. Lots of traffic going the other way.

I went to Canisius College from 1994-1998. My first place was Bosch Hall 603. And that wasn't really my own - Mike LaFlesh lived there, too. When you get right down to it, I didn't have a place of my own until I moved to 148 Forest Ave in 2003. I stayed there almost all the way through law school.

That place sucked. It smelled like cigarette smoke and there was barely enough space (in the living room/kitchen - which was one room) for my drum kit and bass and amp and two couches and coffee table and entertainment center and "dinner" table. The bathroom was a good size, but only because it had a stall instead of a tub. I did have a washing machine in there that I never hooked up. The toilet was stained the entire time I lived there. I don't think I even tried to clean it. The bedroom was big, but "L" shaped, which was inconvenient. When I got my king-size bed, it went in the living room. (Don't worry, by then the drums were gone.) My dryer was in the bedroom closet, which was really the utility closet - holding the furnace and water heater. The dryer was hooked up. Beagle liked it, because he could just hang out in the yard without anyone bothering him. And the Latino street gang on the block watched out for me, like the time I went to visit my parents for three days and left the front door open. Not unlocked - ajar. When I got back, a couple of the guys stopped me in the parking lot and said "Don't worry, nobody messed with your stuff." I said, "Thanks." They said, "You got a big TV." I miss that place. Especially the hookers that worked in that area, who always thought I was stopping to pick them up when I pulled into my parking lot. They were nice.

Now Amanda and I live together, and I'm not moving again until we buy a house. So we'll deal with the shirt-less landlord, the overly-friendly landlady, the nine dogs next door who go out to pee every day at 7 a.m., and the alternate street parking.

Yet another reason I need a damn job.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Going rogue

Yeah, I answered that question last year. I'm not doing it again.

So, aside from the virtual inability to blog this weekend, I have to say that I like Buffalo at St. Patrick's. I also like Buffalo in the summer - specifically from the Hellenic Festival to the Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival*. Embarrassingly, I've never been to the Chicken Wing Festival, but I love this place in the summer because of the Taste of Buffalo. Actually, I like Buffalo most of the time. Yes, it is cold. Yes, it does snow. But it isn't as cold as Watertown, and it doesn't snow as much as Syracuse. The bad weather reputation is undeserved.

The Queen City has a thriving theatre and arts scene, a shit-load of colleges and universities (with all the attendant wisdom, research and snobbery), world-class hospitals and more bars than schools and churches combined.

In fact, I defy you far-flungers to find me a place in Chicago, Boston or New York to find me a place like my new Club. Open to the public, with draft beer under two bucks - a dollar and a quarter for members. A basketball court, with several days of open gym and basketball and volleyball leages and tournaments - free for members. Every Friday, we go there for fish fry, spending less than $25 for a couple, including lots of food and plenty of beer. Last night I spent twenty bucks on all-you-can-eat corned beef and cabbage buffet and all-you-care-to-drink beer and soda. Membership in this club is a measly fifty bucks a year. That's less than I would pay anywhere else just for the basketball court once a week. Figure in that I'm saving 50 cents to a dollar with each beverage, and I'm making money! Only in America!

The only thing I can't get in this town is a freakin' job.

*I don't like the Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival. I find it offensive, and I'm not Italian. Perhaps I missed the heyday of this weekend long crap fest, but based on my disappointing experiences over the past couple of years, there is very little Italianness involved. There is some Italian food, but there is a lot of shitty carnival food - the kind of crap they sell out of trailers on the midway of the State and County Fair. "Hey honey, want to go to the Italian Festival and get a corn dog and a fried twinkie? Yea Italy!" And having thirty dudes over the course of three days sing shitty Sinatra covers over and over doesn't make your Festival Italian. It makes you a joke. Call it the North Buffalo Street Fair or the Hertel Avenue Summer Funtasm, and I got no problem. Claim that you're celebrating Italian Heritage and you're a liar.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Didn't I brag yesterday? I do, in fact, think that I am great. Did you not see the name of the blog?

The only thing that I am not awesome at is blogging right before bed. Christ. Didn't I warn myself against this yesterday? Part of me thinks I shouldn't have gone to a pub at noon. But it was St. Paddy's Day, after all.

I thought that the Irish High Holidays would lead to hilarious drunken blogging, but instead it has lead to dreaded sleepy blogging.

Tomorrow is a new day! And with it comes all sorts of new and exciting blogportunities! Think nothing of the embarrassingly short post of this evening! Think ahead!

Monday, March 16, 2009

First, I'll tell you what I'm not good at:

Blogging right before bed. I'm tired. I find it difficult to put all of the brain thought into the type hands.

I do pride myself on my cocktail party knowledge, and my ability to translate that into success at cocktail parties. No, you silly goose - I'm not flaunting my knowledge of where there are cocktail parties or the history of cocktail parties. Not my knowledge of cocktail parties, knowledge useful at cocktail parties.

Have you ever been in a social situation, such as a cocktail party, at which you meet someone for the first time (or are thrust into a social interaction with someone you barely know) and have a difficult time finding something to talk about? This is where cocktail party knowledge comes into play.

The only difficult thing is to initiate a conversation. This should be a fairly well focused question or an unopinionated statement based on something in your shared history with this person (as short as this history may be). You might be thinking that the question option is the easier - and therefore preferable - way to go. Wrong. Common errors (AKA old standbys) are questions about the local sports teams or weather or politics. Politics are very dangerous, as you should all know by now. Weather is boring. If weather is your standard move you are a douche. Stop reading and send me an email ( to set up a private conversation tutoring session. Ninety dollars per hour. Sports sound safe, but if you run into someone who doesn't watch sports, you not only have failed to initiate conversation, but now you have an awkward roadblock in your shared history. Shared history is the way to go.

Make a statement. Try not to color it, just lay something out and wait to see how they react. And don't wimp out and say you have no shared history with someone you've just met. You're in the same room, you walked through the same door, you were offered the same drinks. These are all jumping off points. But it isn't the start of the conversation that makes one a good cocktail party conversationalist. It's the knowledge that you can recall to keep the conversation going.

And where do you get this knowledge? Television. I love television. I watch a lot of it. This is research. I watch all sorts of programs, but I lean towards educational stuff. This comes in handy when I can recall some knowledge germane to a subject at a cocktail party. I know a little bit about a lot of different subjects. I know enough about enough things that I can drop a little something and then gently nudge the conversation toward a topic that I know more about. The segues are important, because you don't want the other person to perceive that you have changed the subject, but that comes with practice.

For now, start watching more television. I highly recommend these channels: Green; Food; History; TLC ; Discovery; and ESPN. Ease yourself into it - start with two hours a day.

And remember - booze makes cocktail party conversation easier to do and harder to forget.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I am a bad designated driver

Not because I am incapable of not drinking, but rather because I get surly. Now, now - don't give me that look. I know that you know that I get surly. Don't give me any lip. Alls I'm saying is that if I had been left to mine own devices to get shit-faced today in honor of the Sunday before Saint Patrick's Day, this post would have been much more entertaining and likely much longer. As it is, I had a rough day of dealing with drunk people, and don't really feel like sitting in front of someone else's computer at someone else's house and pounding out a lengthy, clever post. Garvey's theory that the ides would produce hilarious drunken blogging did not work on me. Instead, you get terse, surly blogging. This much I know: I'm getting cranked on Tuesday. I hope.

The parade was not fun, as parades usually aren't (if you're over six). I yelled at Don Paul, I booed Chuck Schumer. It wasn't a total loss.

The line for the pisser at Founding Fathers was longer than the line for a beer.

Jackdaw rules, but I'd rather be drunk, so that my old man ears don't ring.

This was the second consecutive year that I paid the cover, then drank beer out of the band's cooler all day. Last year was better - I drank much more free beer. All in all, not bad. But I'm still getting rotten on Tuesday. You wait here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

BufBloPoFo 2


We're back. The whole (hole) reason that we started this lil' blog was to take part in the original BufBloPoFo, and we're back for more.

Picking up from last year: I don't own a car (I'm an environmentalist); I did pass the bar (I'm a lawyer); I don't have a job (but would LOVE one); I'm still fat (shut up); and Zeppelin still rules (and always will).

I must apologize for starting my first post of this year during the Big East Championship game - my attention is split. Also, let me apologize in advance for whatever happens during the upcoming St. Patrick's Day bender. Tomorrow is Parade Day, Tuesday is the Day proper, and I will likely be nursing a pretty high BAC throughout. The BufBloPoFo will either benefit or suffer, we'll all have to find out together.

If I were to answer Garv's questions, they would be 1) Job 2)Employment and 3) My Career. Fuck man, if I don't get a job soon, I don't know what I'll do. The 2010 Fortnight may be from a van down by the river.

On the lighter side, the Pittsburgh Steelers won their sixth Super Bowl, and are the only team in the history of the world to do so. And the Bills got T.O. It should be a good year.

Okay - I don't want to pull a muscle, so I'm stopping here. I'll pick it up tomorrow, maybe before I start drinking.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Watch this space

BufBloPoFo '09 is coming: March 14-27.