I know I don't update it daily. Shut up.

December 29, 2006

Ten Truisms

1. No matter how much cabinet space you have, spatulas are difficult to hide away.
2. Every time your mom says, "I'm cutting back on Christmas this year," be prepared to haul twice as much stuff back home with you after the holidays.
3. Marriage sucks sometimes. This, obviously, I cannot say first-hand. But my 16-year-old future cousin-in-law offered that as a toast during our engagement/Christmas party thrown by her family last weekend. However, as all things do, on occasion, suck, I must say that's a broad enough statement to stick by. To wit: Rolling over on Sunday morning after dreaming of flying to a magical castle made of prime numbers, you are faced with a wall of stench billowing from your betrothed's open maw, only to have your eyebrows and eyelashes curled at the reek as you rouse yourself. Now THAT sucks.
4. Everything is better with cheese. Likewise, every recipe, no matter how botched, can in some way be saved by cheese.
5. Cats can get comfortable anywhere.
6. Mathematicians are a dime a dozen. Writers are diamonds in the rough. And tax accountants are the square root of beige.
7. When asked, a person would rather not know what's in his/her hot dog.
8. A man's salary is directly proportional to the amount of shame he is willing to bury.
9. Television re-enactments of crimes are always better lit than the actual crimes committed.
10. A person who laughs is always rich. A person who is rich rarely laughs.

December 18, 2006

Heaven on earth?

A trip to the vaunted Burlington Mall yielded a couple treasures for the fam, yadda yadda. But perhaps the greatest discovery was this: The LEGO STORE!!??!!

Oh, to be 7 again. I still drooled at the 3,500-piece Star Destroyer, complete with rebel ship. They're probably still mopping the floor there.

December 16, 2006

All your base are belong to Bryan

In his book, "The Universe in a Single Atom," the Dalai Lama offers this insight into language barriers as they relate to the subjects of "conciousness" and "the mind":

"The problem of describing the subjective experiences is complex indeed. For we risk objectivizing what is essentially a set of internal experiences and excluding the necessary presence of the experiencer. ... Although we tend to relate to the mental world as if it were homogenous - a somewhat monolithic entity called 'The mind' - when we probe more deeply, we come to recognize that this approach is too simplistic." - His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Universe in a Single Atom, p. 122, Morgan Road Books, copyright 2005 by the Dalai Lama.

Ok. I get that. Then what the hell is this:

Best. Cartoon intros. Ever.

This song is a colossal earworm. But I love pausing it and looking at all the out-of-work animators toward the end. I can relate. Now where did i put my barrell?

Or if you're like me, and I KNOW you are, you'll enjoy this lovely bit o anime fun. Of course, you haven't lived until you've seen Marcy's choregraphy. Really puts it in a new perspective.

December 11, 2006

BigTime Sports

By Dan Lutman

Buffalo Beat

The Buffalo Bills improved their record to 6-7 with an impressive 31-13 victory over the New York Jets, avenging a loss to them earlier in the season.
The Bills took the lead for good on a second-quarter, 77-yard touchdown pass from J.P. Losman to Lee Evans. It was one of three first-half touchdowns for the Bills that were over 50 yards.
Willis McGahee had a 57-yard touchdown run (a career long for him), and Nate Clements had a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown off a Chad Pennington catch.
Willis McGahee compiled 125 yards rushing and Aaron Schobel had three sacks for the Bills.
Though unlikely, the Bills still remain alive for a playoff spot. They trail the Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars by two games with three to go for the two wild card spots.
I don’t see the Bills getting into the playoffs, but crazier things have happened, especially in the NFL. The Bills do seem to be improving each week and appear to be heading in the right direction under head coach Dick Jauron. This could not be said during the Mike Mularkey/Tom Donahoe era.
The Bills return home to face the rival Miami Dolphins next week.

The Sabres took two of three more games this week to improve their record to 22-5-2.
This past Tuesday they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road 4-1. Daniel Briere recorded a hat trick in this one.
On Thursday, their trip to Florida ended on a sour note with a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. Ryan Miller made 35 saves in a game where it seemed like he was the only one playing.
On Saturday night though, the Sabres bounced back by defeating the division-rival Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout.
The Sabres look to conclude their road trip with a winning record on Tuesday when they travel to New Jersey to face the Devils. The return home on Thursday to face the Florida Panthers and conclude the week at home against the Ottawa Senators - the only team with a winning record against the Sabres this year.

Top Story

There was no sports blog last week because of my trip to Durham, North Carolina to go to my first-ever Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
I’ve seen Duke play a couple of times before, but this is the first time I got to see them play on the Duke campus. As a longtime, die-hard Duke fan this was definitely a huge deal for me. Duke took on the Holy Cross Crusaders of the Patriot League.
As I toured inside Cameroon Indoor Stadium, I was able to see up close all of the Duke Player of the Year trophies from past winners which included J.J. Redick, Shane Battier, Jay Williams, Elton Brand, Christian Laettner, and Johnny Dawkins, among others.
I also got to stand right next to the three National Championship trophies that Duke had won.
As for the actual gymnasium, it’s not what most people would expect. Watching it on television, most would think that it holds a lot of people. In reality, it only holds somewhere in the range of 4,000-5,000 people. It looks like a big high school gym. But being so close to the court and having the “Cameron Crazies” is what has given Duke such a decisive home court advantage and prestige it has earned over the years.
As for the actual game, Holy Cross had taken a 28-22 lead at the half. I thought I could possibly be bringing bad luck to the Blue Devils and they would never let me come back again. What a tragedy that would be!!!
But Duke ended up going on a 20-4 run in the second half and DeMarcus Nelson and Josh McRoberts chipped in with 13 points apiece as Duke pulled away and hung on for a 57-45 victory. So, good news for me, I can now come back.
Overall, it was an awesome experience going to the game and soaking in the atmosphere. The “Cameron Crazies” were absolutely entertaining (way better than seeing on TV), the gymnasium was beautiful, and Duke won the game. If anyone ever has the chance to go to a game, which is extremely difficult to get tickets to, don’t pass up the opportunity. It’s one of the best atmospheres, if not the best, in all of sports.

Dan's three cents
Each week, I throw in my three opinions on anything going on in the sports world that I haven’t discussed or significant stories outside of sports.

1. I realize that San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson will most likely be the NFL MVP this year and deservingly so. He just broke the record for touchdowns with his 29th of the year in only 13 games and the Chargers lead the AFC with an 11-2 record. But a case should be made for quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. He has joined a team that went 3-13 last season and has thrown for 4,033 yards with 25 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions while leading his team to a 9-4 record good for first place in the NFC South and an apparent playoff berth. He probably won’t overtake former teammate Tomlinson for MVP, but his play should be appreciated.

2. The New Jersey Nets are off to a slow start this season at 7-12. Where does that leave them? First place in the Atlantic Division?!?!?!? This can possibly happen? This would be a big story if the NFL, NCAA Basketball, and NCAA Football weren’t going on. No one else cares, and you know what? I don’t either, but I just thought I would point it out.

3. I really wish I were a major league baseball pitcher right now because these guys are getting paid big bucks right now. Andy Pettite, Ted Lilly, and Vincente Padilla are names you may or may not have heard of before. Whether you have or not, I think it’s safe to say that we don’t have to worry about holding their place in Cooperstown the first time they’re on the Hall of Fame ballot. Regardless, Pettite has just signed a one-year, $16 million contract. Lilly has just signed a four-year, $40 million contract, and Padilla has just signed a three-year, $33.75 million contract. If your not a math major, that’s $10 million or more each year for these pitchers that aren’t even the best pitchers on their own team. They most likely won’t even be All-Stars either. Not a bad deal for your average pitcher.

4. I’m going to add a fourth point this week only because it deserves one. I just want to congratulate Bryan Mahoney and Marcy Dewey for their engagement this past weekend. I’ve never met two people better suited to spend the rest of their lives together. I’d say good luck, but you don’t need it, so I’ll just say congratulations!

She said YES!!!!!!!!!!

Calling everyone we know took us most of the 10-hour car trip yesterday, but I'm pretty sure there are people out here who still don't know:

Marcy and I are getting married.

And now, a visual tour of the best weekend ever:

This is the living room at Cecile's House, our favorite Bed and Breakfast at Niagara on the Lake. It was in front of this fireplace that I proposed Friday night.

Here's a better look at the art above the fireplace:

Shortly after, the nice folks that stayed there with us walked in from dinner. They were nice enough to take this picture:

Note the look of shock still plastered on the beautiful face of my bride. I, meanwhile, looked like that for the rest of the weekend, as you can see here (complete with my cool new hat):

We took the above photo Saturday, when the rest of the world was oblivious to the news. My mom, dad, and sister knew I was going to do this way back in August. Thanks, guys, for keeping the secret.
As a special treat, I made a phone call to the North Pole and had a friend join us. But he couldn't resist upstaging my entrance:

Actually he was just part of the parade down the main street of Niagara on the Lake. Here's what the town looks like at night:

Thanks, everyone, for your support and blessings. But enough for now - we gots work to do!!!

December 5, 2006

Me, Famous.

A few months ago, I embarked on what could one day be a second career: That of television journalist.

Don't believe me? Then lay out the placemat for this visual feast:

And eat THIS, Dan Rather (or drink it, rather. Um ... yeah.):

BigTime Sports delayed

Hi there sports fans -

BigTime Sports will return next week. Dan's on assignment this week covering a Duke game. Tune in to find out whether it's men's or women's, when the game actually takes place, and what sport is being played!

November 30, 2006

Thursday night. Time for some thoughts.

There's a lot to be said for good, honest work.

At Marcy's grandfather's birthday party recently, his daughters both thanked him for the work ethic he taught them. It was a great moment. I've seen that work ethic come out in the stories he's told me about his times working in the can factory in Fairport (which was THE place to work back in the day.) You can't help but admire the guys that worked there in long, sweaty hours ... guys getting maimed in the cutting and clamping machines. Those jobs exist in other places today, many with the same risks. I've never held a high-risk factory job that helps Americans live their lives. I respect the folks that do.

The hardest constant work in any of many jobs was running the weed whacker during those two summers landscaping. It made me realize there are many muscles in your body that don't get as much action as they should.

I don't want to belittle the work I did on the redesign of the Greece Post. That was certainly the epitome of a mental and creative workout. And it was constant, for many months, 10 hours a day for five, sometimes six days a week. A week before the newspaper launched, I broke up with my ex-girlfriend. And we lived together at the time. So yes, my head was having a hard time, but I knew my head pretty well at that point. My body, during landscaping, I did not know. It surprised me every day with a new way to feel pain.

In my Baahston apartment, much of the current job hunt has taken shape. So much of what I do is directly tied to computers now, and that filters all the way down into how I have to communicate with possible future employers. You have to do it a certain way, too, or else you're not looked at. The levels of human interaction seem to be fading with the years, and this process is no different.

That's left me with some time to consider the irony of HR departments and headhunters' logical progression into fully online systems. The communication jobs out there require more and more work on the computer, which means less time spent with humans. I think the customer-service professionals, the communication professionals, and anyone else working with the public aren't being offered experience to hone their people skills. I think the market is no longer a place to learn people skills. You got 'em, or you don't.

Maybe it's not as bad as I think. There are jobs for every personality type and background. It's evident communications professionals are getting better, faster at what they do. I just wonder if one day people won't know what it was like to say something without entering a password first.

That's industry. Just like we're looking for better, cheaper, faster ways to improve the ways in which we communicate, the American Can Co. needed better, cheaper, faster ways to make a can. The American Can Co., though, has been long closed. Its remaining vestige overlooks downtown Fairport and commands a spectacular view up and down the Erie Canal. The village grew up around it, and the area itself is beautiful thanks to innovative reimaginings of its older buildings. They have been converted into clever boutiques and niche shops. People left the can co. but they're still in town (at least a lot of them are). They're retired, mostly. And from the looks of property values they're not doing too bad.

I'd like to think it was all that hard work that made them so well off. That's what will keep me going, anyway.

November 28, 2006

Joxer's famous!!!

Hiya folks -

Marcy's cat Joxer is now on Stuff on My Cat:

Visit the site here.

Here's the photo they posted. My favorite comment: FLAVOR FLAAAAAAAVVV!


November 27, 2006

Happy Holidays

Santa's cutest helper and I set up our tree to the tune of one of my favorite Christmas songs ever: Pre-bloated Elvis' Blue Christmas!
It's a great song for one reason and one reason only: the part where he expounds on the blueness of Christmas by singing, "So have a bloo, bloo BLOO bloo Christmas!"
King of what, I say?!?
Happy Holidays from the Irish Princess and me.

Big Doin's

Back from a rioutous Turkey Day in the ol' B-Town. Not Boston, but Buffalo.

Marcy and I broke the sound barrier to get there, having made the trip in just over six hours. Won't be doing THAT again.

Then again ... we ARE making a trip to Niagara on the Lake in two weeks. Hmm... best see about them thar racin' tires for the trip.

We enjoyed ourselves immensely at both the fams' places of dominion. There was this nugget o' fun on Thursday:

Wherin my dad and I put together a generator. I love this picture, though it was a bit ... drafty ... in the garage.

Then we went to Marcy's family's place, but I'll let her tell you all about it.

As for my family, they went to the Bills game and all I got was this lousy photo.

My mom, I'm told, was smooched by some dude on her way out of the game.
So if you're out there dude, gross. I mean, that was my mom.

November 24, 2006

Bigtime Sports

By Dan Lutman

Buffalo Beat:
It was a pretty good week for both of the Buffalo sports teams, but this time it was the Bills that stood out for a change.

The Buffalo Bills went down to Houston and pulled out a dramatic 24-21 victory over the Houston Texans to improve their record to 4-6. It was a record setting day for Bills receiver Lee Evans who ended the day with 11 catches for a team record 265 yards and two touchdowns. Both of Evans’ touchdowns were 83 yards from J.P. Losman in the first quarter to give the Bills an early 14-0 lead. The Texans battled back to take a 21-17 lead late in the fourth quarter until Losman hit Peerless Price with a spectacular pass and catch with nine seconds left to give the Bills the victory. The Bills return back home on Sunday to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in a must win game for the Bills if they hope to have any shot at making the playoffs.

The Sabres took two of three more games this week to improve their record to 17-3-1 on the year. Friday night they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 in a game which the Sabres never trailed. Saturday was the return of Ryan Miller after being sidelined for six games with a lower body muscle strain. The return was not a triumphant one as the Sabres dropped a game for the second time in four days, losing to the Ottawa Senators 4-1. The Sabres did still avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time all year by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. The Sabres exploded for seven second period goals, with two each coming from Paul Gaustad and Thomas Vanek, as the Sabres routed the Lightning 7-2 before a sold out crowd at HSBC Arena. It was also the first win for goalie Ryan Miller since returning from a lower body muscle strain. The Sabres conclude their three game home stand by taking on the rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday and the Montreal Canadiens on Friday before heading on the road to take on the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Top Story:
It was a sad week in the sports world this past week as college football lost one of its all-time great coaches. Bo Schembechler died this past Friday at the age of 77. Schembechler was best known for coaching the University of Michigan from 1969-1989.
He’s infamous for his historic battles with coach Woody Hayes and the rival Ohio State Buckeyes. Schembechler played for Woody Hayes at Miami of Ohio and was also an assistant under Hayes at Ohio State before their storied rivalry began. Schembechler held the overall head to head record over Hayes at 5-4-1 and 11-9-1 overall against Ohio State. Schembechler won 13 Big Ten titles at the University of Michigan, had 194 career wins their as head coach, and one National Coach of the Year to his name. He ended his career, including six years coaching at Miami of Ohio with a 234-65-8 record. Schembechler also served as president of the Detroit Tigers from 1990-1992.
Anytime the University of Michigan is mentioned, the first name that comes to most people is Bo Schembechler. Schembechler will be missed by all in college football, especially those in the Michigan family, whom he has left an everlasting mark on.

Dan's Three Cents
Each week, I will throw in my three opinions on anything going on in the sports world that I haven’t discussed or significant stories outside of sports.

1. The Boston Red Sox have paid $51.1 million just to be able to talk to and negotiate with highly touted pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka was the MVP of the World Baseball Classic for Japan, who went on to win the tournament. That’s pretty amazing! But think of it this way, what if you had to pay an obscene amount of money each time just to be able to talk to your spouse. Wouldn’t we be more careful with what we had to say to one another? The divorce rate in this country would probably be a lot lower. The Red Sox may be on to something here.

2. O.J. Simpson has come out with a book in which he supposedly writes about how he would have killed his ex-wife, Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, had he done so. This truly shows that Simpson has no remorse at all, trying to make a buck over these killings. Maybe Simpson can NOT kill a few more women so he can write a couple more books.

3. The game of the week to watch will be the Notre Dame/USC game at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday night at 8:00 on ABC. Last year, the Trojans pulled out a victory over Notre Dame in South Bend on a last second touchdown by Matt Leinhart. This Saturday’s game will have huge implications on the National Championship. USC should get in the title game with a win on Saturday and the following week over UCLA. Notre Dame will have an outside shot at the title game, but will at least secure a berth in a major BCS game with a win. Though I am a Notre Dame fan, I will go ahead and predict a 38-27 victory for USC.

November 20, 2006

True story.

OK everybody - let's lift some spirits.

My friend Mike, aka Garv, aka KOTB, had a less than good weekend. It ended up with him getting his ass kicked by Irish step dancers, but it wasn't all bad. He fought them Matrix-style, then his pet tiger BattleCat had to come in and I'm pretty sure he had to fight his way out through the streets of China town. That's the gist of it, I think. Oh, and they stole all his clothes and he barely escaped with his life and to get away he had to put on one of those uniforms all Luke Skywalker-rescuing-the-princess-style. I'm serious! There was a wookie and everything!

Anyway, my friend is lucky to have escaped the Irish feet of fury. He even was able to blog about the whole experience! Read the story at this link here.

Oh, and here's the photo of his daring escape.

So visit his blog and send him some well-wishes and good vibes, mmkay?

November 19, 2006

A traditional Irish dinner

Our Saturday dinner party went off great. It involved as much family as we could muster in the Baahston area, including my sis, Marcy's fam, and my good ol' Irish cooking.

To create the perfect family dinner, I've learned, consists of the following easy steps:

Sauce (I ventured to Medford to find a good place for sausage. After overcoming a language barrier, I found myself a nice blend that complemented the ground beef nicely.)

Use spices in your sauce. Which ones? I cannot tell. But once you have them guard them. The spice ninjas are always on the prowl.

Sometimes the spice ninjas will throw an eggplant at you in their escape. Then the only course of action is to murder the eggplant.

Victory! Celebrate your successful meal with your friends and family. If need be, celebrate your victory over ninjas as well.

November 17, 2006

An addendum

You may remember seeing this little guy on a previous post here.

He isn't exactly me in graphic form. See the pot on the head? The spatula?

Take a guess who that might be.

That's right: My future child. Or at least, what Marcy imagines him to be.

I think I'll name him Momo.

Games that don't matter, T.O., and a chin job


Welcome to the first installment of Bigtime Sports. Each week, Dan will cover Buffalo sports, the week's top national story, and throw in his three opinions on anything going on in the sports world that he hasn’t discussed.

The two Buffalo sports teams are on the opposite sides of the spectrum right now and seem to be poised to stay that way for a while.
The Sabres, despite just their second loss in regulation on the season, a 4-2 defeat at home to the Ottawa Senators hold the best record in the NHL at 15-2-1. They achieved this despite the absences of top goaltender Ryan Miller and key players Maxim Afinagenov, Tim Connolly, and Henrik Tallinder. The Sabres will have their chance to bounce back Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins at home and have their chance for payback in Ottawa Saturday against the division rival Senators.
The Buffalo Bills, on the other hand, sit at a dismal 3-5 and head to Houston this week to face the lowly, injury-plagued Houston Texans. They also sit at 3-5, but have played well as of late.
This game is merely a game, which may lead to a jockeying of draft position in next year’s NFL draft. The lone story for Bills fans in this one is that it will be the first time Buffalo will go up against former Bill Eric Moulds. The 11-year veteran is second in receiving for the Texans with 34 catches for 363 yards and one touchdown. That’s well below his career averages despite playing with a multitude of inept quarterbacks over his career.

The top story in sports this week is the biggest rivalry in college football. Hated rivals Ohio State and Michigan meet in each team’s season finale at “The Horshoe” on the campus of Ohio State with plenty at stake. Anyone from these two schools would say this is the biggest game of the year regardless of records and standings, but throw in a Big Ten Championship, a berth in the National Championship game, bragging rights, and the chance to knock your hated rival out of the National Championship (most likely), and you have one hell of a match.
As excited as I am to watch this game, I’ve had just about enough about hearing about it. Every sports television program and radio program you turn on is just beating this game into the ground. It makes me miss hearing about Terrell Owens, Barry Bonds, and steroids scandals.
Of course, I just wrote about it so I guess that kind of makes me a hypocrite. Oh well. I had to join in. My prediction: Ohio State over Michigan, 27-17.

1. Can we leave Bobby Knight alone, please? The world is ready to execute him like he just committed a double homicide. He tried to lift Texas Tech player Michael Prince’s chin to get him to look at him. Could he have done it a different way? Yes. But, if the player didn’t care, the school didn’t care, and his parents didn’t care, then we shouldn’t care. Let it go everyone!
2. Terrell Owens came out with a children’s book recently titled, “Little T Learns to Share”. Obviously, this must be fiction.
3. It’s good to have college basketball back. Now I can finally put the NBA on the shelf until April, just in time for the NBA Playoffs. The parity of the NCAA teams should make it an interesting year as witnessed by last year’s surprising championship by the youthful Florida Gators. My preseason prediction for this year’s Final Four: North Carolina, Wisconsin, UCLA, and Texas A&M.

We have a staff!

Today is a turning point in the evolution of the Blurb: It now has an editorial staff.

So far, that's me and contributing sports writer Dan Lutman (at right).

Dan, for those of you who don't know him, hails from the palm tree-lined streets of Buffalo, NY. We call him Bigtime because that's what former Buffalo Bills hall-of-fame quarterback Jim Kelly calls him.

This week premieres "Bigtime Sports," a blog about mostly Buffalo sports teams but with Bigtime's own twist on some of the national hot stories of the moment.

So start hootin' and hollerin'. Let the show begin!!!

November 16, 2006

World, meet Marcy

This is Marcy. Around the house we call her Marge Fartski.

Marcy's great because she smiles all the time, as illustrated in the photo above.

When she's not smiling, she makes a face like this:

And the best thing about it all is I love her.

Even when she beats me in Scrabble.

Scrabble sucks.

Let it be known that on Nov. 15, 2006 I was beaten by Marcy in Scrabble.
In my defense, if I was able to use the word I wanted to, QUAYING, that would've gotten me 108 points. Stoopid dictionary.

November 15, 2006

The New Place

A look at the living room, and a view out to the kitchen, at our place in Arrrlington.

The Return

I fell into a pop-culture delirium a few months ago.

Having work professionally as a writer for some years, I thought this blogging thing would be easy to maintain.

But the last few months sent me into a tailspin wherein I quit my job, packed up my personal belongings and drove them in a 24-foot long truck to Arlington, Mass., near Boston. So here I am.

I've since learned that landing on your feet is a process, not an event. So thanks to all of you who have stuck with me all this time. I promise the second time around this newfangled contraption will be better.

The show goes on!

July 9, 2006

I've seen the Maeve!

And she's cuter than a dimple on a fairy's butt.

I'm taking bets on how long before Garv shows her the magic of Legos. My guess? Four minutes after coming home for the first time.

The first word she will say: X-wing.

Her first halloween costume: Ewok.

Her first Halloween costume after she learns to walk: Super girl.

Garv gives birth!

And I mean Mrs. Garv, not Garv himself. That would be wrong, especially since his bathroom items tell him he's gay.

A gay King of the Bathroom? Apparently.

To see what the hell it is I'm talking about, go here.

July 2, 2006

Mutants from the Home Office!

I've often wondered what I would look like as a graphic illustration.

Now we know.

July 1, 2006

A Man Is Not An Island!

This is Jeff.

He used to work at Blockbuster with me. He works at the Fairport store now.

The immediate result: Those little two-day stickers that we need to peel off the movies that AREN'T two days anymore still cling to the movies. So then I have to go and waste time finding them.

Bunch of savages in this town.

Who You Gonna Call?

Somewhere, wedged under the memories of visiting Pumpkinville and knowing the complete route to defeating Goonies 2 for Nintendo, there exists the entire script for Egon's role in Ivan Reitman's Ghostbusters.

In the 80s my neighborhood friends Keith and Eric (they're brothers) and I would spend the full two hours reenacting the whole film. I had seen it the least of us, meaning only about 35-40 times. Somehow, though, Keith, as Venkman (Bill Murray's role), always got to say the "Don't cross the streams" line, even though everybody knows it was Egon who said it and it was the coolest thing he ever said.

In either movie.

But you know how kids' rules go: They saw the movie before I did, and by the time I caught the error, we'd already played it the same way so many times. Can't mess with tradition.

Yesterday, in what spurred a stupor to enrapture my attention for the greater part of my existence until I went to bed, I learned news that left me questioning, reflecting, hoping.

They've all but green-lighted Ghostbusters 3.

Don't believe me? Here's a reputable source: http://imdb.com/title/tt0805537

That's right - Ghostbusters in Hell. They find a portal to Hell in NYC and have to go save the world. Not just Manhattan - the world.

That's perhaps the first mistake on this project - Remember when the big enemy was Peck from the EPA and the mayor's assistant in the sequel? Now what? Does Beelzebub carry a clipboard taking count of souls, and suddenly Venkman is called upon to thwart his snivelling by referring to him as "Boobybub?"

C'mon - the campy writing, the trite dialogue, the special effects - it was everything I loved about the movies of my childhood. This may be doomed to fail in an Episode I, I, III kind of way. Leave our beloved mythos behind us. Challenge yourself, Hollywood, to create anew. Movies are like memories we can revisit - they don't fade or tarnish over time - it's our perception that does it for us.

Example: I didn't think I'd get that giddy, child-like awe feeling from a movie until I saw Superman Returns, and the cheesy 70s-font blue lettering flying through the universe heralded another installment of another of my favorite childhood franchises. They did it right because they had to - I think there are millions of fans out there like me who have seen so many of the things they thought were cool as kids (Transformers is shooting right now dammit!) be torn up and "modernized" in recent years.

A handful of directors, Bryan Singer and Sam Raimi to name two, are getting it right because they take this stuff as seriously as we do. That give me a lot of hope for future installments of well-worn franchises, but Harold Ramis? Dan Akyroyd?

I leave it to them (who seemingly are coming out of retirement to prove to us they're still funny) to deliver the goods. I hope they don't cross the streams. It would be bad.

June 24, 2006

I Ruled Over A Kingdom Of Howler Monkeys!

And now, a timeline:

4 years of college education
6 years in journalism
15 days until the end of the part-time job
37 days remaining on the lease

1,200 pictures of George Washington owed to the credit card company
1,300 more owed to the oral surgeon before the end of summer

June 22, 2006

Bow to Balls Mahoney!

Yes, ladies and germs. Flapping in the sweet, sweat-filled breeze is the gangly underbrush of that almost-ran dirtbag, that perpetual mid-card wrestler, Balls Mahoney. Here he's getting whoopoed by John Cena at Raw Monday night. Yes, I was THAT close that I could snap this picture.

Ok - MARCY snapped the picture. She wore a pink shirt.

I just like saying Balls Mahoney. Let the ridicule ensue.

Angels Fix the Printer!

Angels are everywhere in literature. Whether you're a wrath-of-God fan like me, or a casual observer of man's interpretations of angel behavior, there's a lot out there to satiate your cravings.

Sometimes, as you can see from this photo, they appear while you're waiting for your page proof to print when you're at work. Those are reporters' heads in the foreground. I should also mention this was taken by Vasiliy, our photographer, who's the blackest white Ukranian I've ever known.

If you'd like to learn more about angels (and I'm not that much of an angel nut myself so this stuff isn't too weird) check out the following:

Paradise Lost: John Milton's epic poem about the parts of the Bible the Apostles didn't want you to know. Its descriptions of the angel battle scenes inspired fillmmakers for generations - swords, gold armor, glorious choruses bearing Death on their wings, ham sandwiches. A side note: Milton was known to have read every book in the world at the time of his writings. Of course, this was just before or right at the time of the printing press, so those books probably numbered in the 10-30 range. But it's still an impressive thing to be able to say. Another side note: I'm not sure if I read about the ham sandwiches or if I dreamed them. Mmmm. Sammiches.

His Dark Materials: Phillip Pullman's series of three books was inspired by Milton, so naturally it involves angels. "His dark materials" refers to a passage in Paradise Lost describing the building blocks God used to create the universe. That should NOT be confused with the dark materials of Cletus Randall Johnson, a resident of Wayne County, NY who in his double-wide once declared that "his dark materials" were responsible for the great Johnson family sewage explosion of 1995.

June 20, 2006

Eat this!

Mahooch's Beef Stroganoff

What you need:
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. salt
garlic powder
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1.5 cups chopped white onion
1 lb. thinly sliced beef (sirloin works best)
half a package of baby portabello mushrooms (about 10), sliced
1 cup water1 can (10 oz.) beef broth
1 can (10 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
1.5 tsp worchestershire sauce
splash of white wine (about a shotglass-worth)
3 cups egg noodles
Two spoonfuls of sour cream

How you do it:
In a large skillet, sautee the onions and mushrooms in the olive oil on medium heat, seasoning with pepper and salt, about four minutes. Once the onions get tender, add garlic, sautee another minute.

Use the garlic powder and more pepper to season the meat. Then throw the meat in and brown it 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add water, broth, soup, and worchestershire. Stir. Turn heat to medium high, then when it starts to boil, add noodles. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 15 minutes or until noodles are tender. Turn off heat and stir in sour cream.

June 19, 2006

June 13, 2006

The Girlfriend Strikes Back

"Wait!" You say. "Is this not the selfsame girlfriend whose name Bryan besmirched in the previous blog post? Is this she, stealing his thunder and posting in his sacred internet space in his stead?"

What-EVER, says the former Valley Girl and member of the Official Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Fan Club. Is this an invasion of Blog Privacy? I think not. After all, it is my computer, my camera - and most importantly:
MY Plastic Viking Thinking Helmet.

What Bryan did not tell you is that the commercial he was tuning out was in fact quite funny. Not as funny as the one where the really fluffy cat sneezes and all of his fur flies of. And definitely not as funny as the original Gieco caveman commercial. ("Dude!! Not cool!") But funny nonetheless.

As I write this stealth post, Bryan is dozing off, cuddled up on the couch with my cat (who is not a fan of the Plastic Viking Thinking Helmet) and it's oh so cute.

That's what he gets for buying me a digital camera and falling asleep while still logged into Blogger.

(And a note for the Secret Blog Ninja Police Task Force ... Bryan said it was ok to post on his blog.)


I Bested a Giant in Norway!

A physics student once tried to explain to me how big the universe was:

According to modern theories, he said, the formula to precisely dictate its size is somewhat relative to that of a formula identifying the flat point on the surface of a sphere.

I tried to picture that, but then he said this:

You cannot actually picture this.

Oh. Well then.

Here are some other formulae to describe what hitherto has been undescribable:

The filling in an Oreo cookie = mass x volume of stomach lunch(squared) plus the square root of milk.

Writing at night while girlfriend chats about commercials = velocity x energy x 0. (It should be noted that anything multiplied by zero is zero; therefore the amount of writing done is nothing. However, this equation may be modified thus: )
Writing at night while girlfriend chats about commercials + Norwegian plastic thinking cap = velocity x energy x b, where b represents the amount of time spent tuning her out.

Lacrosse = hockey + football + jai alai reason

You may also use the following to calculate the amount of change lost in the couch:

Days since last load of laundry / Number of pairs of underwear in drawer x S (where S is snacks purchased that week out of the vending machine at work) - W (where W is your weight, in grams).

June 8, 2006

Top Five Time Wasters

5. Work

4. Filibusters

3. Golf

2. Watching golf

1. Getting drunk and passing out and waking up in Mexico and finding a new tattoo and discovering it says “Beulah” and forgetting Beulah’s phone number and hitching back to the U.S. border and being denied access because you don’t have your passport considering you last remember another round of Schnapps in New York and trying to hop the new fence that wasn’t there the last time you were in Mexico and remembering your roommate from college still owes you 20 bucks from Cancun and sneaking into a truck full of migrant workers and remembering seventh-grade Spanish and forgetting everything from class except “Me gustaria comprar una vaca” which means I would like to buy a cow and finding the one National Guardsman looking to sell a cow and getting invited to camp in New Mexico and meeting your best friend from second-grade who was forward deployed to the border and can vouch for your citizenship and calling your parents so they can fly you home and meeting a gypsy on the plane.

June 7, 2006

Bryan and the Giant Killer Squid

Whoa … did I really only post once last month?

Well, for both of you who have stuck with me, I make a peace offering. From the bowels of my own personal social closet I bring you an oily, festering, pimple-laced, gooey confession that’s so juicy if you touch it you’ll get boils.

I might be addicted to AM radio. But that’s not all: I think I’m hooked on Air America.

It began with a flurry of channel surfing for Rick Jenerett’s (sp?) broadcasts of Sabres games. Then, I made the happy discovery Al Franken and Bill O’Reilly broadcast at the same time. If you flip back and forth it’s like they’re arguing with each other! In a fight, I think O’Reilly’d win. He’s sick.

Later in the day, after Al, is Ed. Democrats always have monosyllabic names: JOHN Kerry. GEORGE Stephouanoupoulous. BILL Clinton and his wife, HANK.

One morning I found I’d left it on overnight. My radio didn’t melt. Some guy named Mark takes the morning shift. He’s useful for the re-broadcast of Jay, Conan, Dave and Jon. A refreshingly unbiased way to start the day.

May 17, 2006

The Beer Baron exists

But he does not hawk his hooch via filled bowling balls that travel through a complex systems of tunnels starting at the local Lucky Lanes.

He lives, ironically, near me. And I "hopped" at the chance of hearing a robust rumor he was just foaming at the mouth to belie:

One of the MacGregor's restaurants in Rochester is closed. Flat out skunked. And under strange and convoluted circumstances involving an estranged family member and a bad debt. The details are sketchy - the beer baron was of course trying to explain this to me in a beer store. I was ... Distracted.

Still. The job of beer baron actually exists! He calls himself a beer distributor but then he told me this wild story about how there's a guy near Syracuse trying to monopolize the beer distributorship for the entire state. That's a lotta keg stands if you get my draught.

But this guy continues to fight the good fight, to keep lesser-known west-coast microbrews on the lips of Rochesterians everywhere, and to spite his brother, who owns MacGregors. Oops - let that one slip. It's the beer talking - a toasted lager from the Blue Point Brewing Company in Long Island. They're a little different because they brew lagers and other breeds involving different yeasts. That's tough to do, especially for the little guys out there. But I'd put this up to any lager I've had - even most Belgian ales, which have a similar texture and finish.

Like I said - beer talking.

April 28, 2006

The Moving Pen, Having Writ

The S.S. Empire State is 500 feet or yards long, depending on your perspective. I was never spatially gifted - ironic considering I design newspapers for a living.
In the two weeks I lived on it in dock, there was a lot of running around on my part: A lot of "Put this here" and "take this there." Meal times were quite the event, as everyone descended on free food the way many Pittsfordites I've come to know pounce on the retail clerks "beneath" them. ("You boy - behind the counter. Get this for me chop-chop!")
It was a tradition my mid-pubescent metabolism could appreciate. It helped make for one of the smoother transitions for when we were really out to sea, and I could dwell on the fact that for the first time in my life I was utterly alone. And the meals forced me to sup with a ragtag bunch I never would have met - the 40-year-old cook who looked like he was 20 always prayed to Muhammed. The chaplain prayed in a different way, though probably to the same God.
Those early-May days before we shoved off left me plenty of time to write. My priorities were screwy - why did I write letters when I could still place a collect call from anywhere there underneath the Throggs Neck Bridge and still catch the fam before dinnertime?
I hadn't much to say. Gee, mom, send me more stuff. Yes, I'm getting the hang of the washing machine. No, I'm not seasick - it's only docked in the East River, for God's sake.
When the mess hall food wasn't cutting it, I went to the earth's greatest deli, located just up the street. It was a block from the world's greatest tee-ball field, scraped together on the backs of every neighborhood kid from the past 50 years with the Great Bambino's name tatooed on his lips. The smell of hot dogs took up permanent residence, and for me, summer there will never end.
Upon these constitutionals I'd reflect on the Bronx trees and sunshine. Never in the next months on the ship did I ever encounter any malcontentious weather of note. Choppy seas, yes. She pitched at 32 degrees one day - at 40 she capsizes. I looked like a goalie, garbage can in hand as I caught the papers and objects falling from the walls.
But the walks will stick with me. Every year since, in the ast week of April, the memories come back. She'll be shipping off soon, meals at a premium.
And the moving pen, having writ, chugs on.

April 23, 2006

The Original Daily Blurb

This represents the first - and perhaps only - hard copy edition of the Santa Vaca Daily Blurb. It was created in Photoshop and Quark Xpress. The Blurb will now be featured entirely on this blog. I promise it will be about more than just me. Enjoy!

April 17, 2006

Welcome all!

That's it? That's all I could come up with? Boy - you'd think with the world at my fingertips I'd blow your mind with something totally original and thought-provoking. But no, the professional writer comes up with: Welcome all.

Who am I welcoming, anyway? And to what? And now that I have your attention, what should I say?

Let me tell you the truth of my life: I am not where I said I'd be 16 years ago.

Now don't go saying, Oh, he's gonna have one of those blogs. Just hear me out a minute.

Sixteen years ago I was sitting in Mrs. Rischmiller's class at St. Gregory the Great Elementary School. It was fifth grade, a time when boys were boys and girls were some subsection of the human genus unknown to boys. I enjoyed a place somewhere near the top of my class with that final echelon close within my grasp - a 94 average and above-average reading scores. When your mom's a teacher, that kind of thing means a lot at age 10.

Having a high average in class meant having to hide from people the fact that I was completely, utterly and by all accounts definitely devoid of talent. It was true. I had nothing to offer. I was a letdown in sports, enjoyed little popularity and, damn Irish genes, was smaller that most of the other boys. I just barked like a dog in the library a lot. That always got my friends laughing.

One day I was hit with a terrible surprise: Fate, it turned out, found my address. It was knocking very loudly on Mrs. Rischmiller's wood-and-glass door.

It was an assignment: Write an essay on how you will change the world.

What? Change the world? Mom still needs to teach me the whole shoe-tying thing!!! And I'm pretty sure I still don't know right from left!

I sallied. You might say I sallied forth.

How I will change the world, by Bryan Mahoney (a synopsis)
I will change the world by traveling to Ethiopia where the starving people are. I don't have much money so I can't buy them things. I'm not very strong so I can't carry them to a hospital. But my grandpa and I like to tell jokes. Some of them are very funny. I would tell the people of Ethiopia jokes and one day, maybe, they would smile. That is how I will change the world.

I will not post the particulars here, though I remember very clearly the reaction from Mrs. Rischmiller. She cried.

That day I knew my power would never rest in my arms, or my legs, or my back (I am, however, six-foot one-inch and quite healthy). My power would remain in my words, and in my heart.

By now, I was supposed to have won a Nobel Peace Prize for literature. But I'll take your attention as a fair trade. Thanks for reading.