Sunday, December 31, 2006

Angry Banana

I don't like Gwen Stefani's solo albums either. Pity me; I just spent 8 hours on the road with her today.


Six people from four states combined forces on Wednesday night, activated our Wonder Twin powers and trekked to The Cheesecake Factory, a timeless land where seconds turn into hours and children magically morph into grandparents right before your very eyes. There are lines just to wait in other lines. There are lines just to wait for a person to tell you to wait for another person to tell you to wait in another line. There are waiting areas you wait in before you get to the real waiting area, but it's better just to wait outside. Ironically, the waiters keep quite busy and don't spend a lot of time in one place.

After THREE HOURS we were famished. Ed started sucking on his toes for nutrients.

The Shangri-La that is the Cheesecake Factory interior

Success. We were supposed to go ice skating, but by this point winter was over. Position 5 ate the Fish Taco.

...and one urinal

The night's highlight was Steinman, appearing out of nowhere as he does less than once per year. We think he comes from the future. The gang watched an IMAX film and he disappeared into the night.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Hello / Blogger Problem

No one on the message boards can seem to figure this out. Is anyone else having the same problem?

"We're sorry but the Username/Password combination you've entered is either invalid or you don't have permission to access this Blog."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fantastic Voyage

I work hard, I play hard, and I'm not a fan of ambiguity. So when the opportunity arose to spend Christmas weekend in Boston, I conquered the city without hesitation. For some reason Hello isn't posting any of my 268 pictures tonight, but here's what I did in 48 hours:

--Saw the Dresden Dolls perform a show/avant-garde play at the Zero Arrow Theatre, front row, three feet from the drum set while the actors performed around us. You can see a slideshow here. I'll try to post music later. Had I only gone to Boston for this show it would have been worth it!

--Spent the day on campus at Harvard, checking out the Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Natural History, the law school and some neighborhood shops.

--Traveling down to UMass and the Boston Harbor Walk, which I took to visit the JFK Museum and the Massachusetts Archives

--An excellent dinner in Chinatown, though for some reason it was at a Vietnamese place

--Checking out the Christmas decorations and ice skaters at Boston Common

--Hanging out with Tim's roommates/catching up on Da Ali G show

--So that was Day 1. Day 2:

--Took the T to a special exhibit at the science museum: Dozens of human corpses skinned, disassembled or just plain pulled apart for their artistic and educational value. You can see a slideshow here and also see a movie clip.

--An afternoon at Quincy Market, then a walk past the State Capitol to have lunch at the original Cheers

--A walk down Boylston Street to the original Newbury Comics to look for some vinyl

--Dinner at an great Indian place in Allston on Christmas Eve

--The worst half-hour of Mario Kart ever played by a human being

--Entering my seventh and final Boston Dunkin' Donuts of the trip. Only 186 to go!

When the Internet tubes are unclogged I'll back this up with visuals. So how was your Christmas?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


... shows us his rehearsal space in Boston.

Lots more to come when I get the chance. RIP James Brown!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Table Scraps

Column as I see 'em:

--Once at an English Language camp in the Czech Republic, I woke up the campers to my own rendition of "One Foot In The Grave" (the harmonica part in that Beck performance) over the PA system. Yes, I play harmonica. No, quite badly, but I appreciate the interest.

--With all the work I did this month it's fantastic that I have a 3-day weekend coming up. By 3-day weekend I mean that I will wake up at 6 AM on Friday, teach and go to meetings, and then spend the rest of the weekend grading, writing tests, researching and writing lessons for the next week. That should only take 20 hours or so. Good thing I worked 40 hours by Thursday so I can enjoy this "break."

--Cover charges kind of suck, especially if you don't drink. That said, you miss out on some great conversation if you skip out.

--Blogger now says there's a "Scheduled outage at 8PM." This waste-of-precious-free-time post may well be a real waste of precious free time.

--When buying lunch at Wegmans today, the girl exclaimed "You must eat here every day!" and then, "I see you more than you see my brother!" Then I find out I work with her brother. I should start eating somewhere else before I get adopted.

--Speaking of adopted, my professor/boss is adopting a newborn at the end of December. Congrats! Since you hear horror stories about adoption and red tape, I asked her how she got a match so quickly (only two weeks to be assigned a domestic-born child). Her reply was that it's easy if you don't list "white" as a preference. Think about that for a second.

--Speaking of white people, a couple was Christmas shopping in my store and wanted to get a doll for their daughter. They requested I check the back for other dolls because the ones on the shelf were too "ethnic." At first I thought they wanted a doll that resembled their daughter, but when they waited 10 minutes for me to find a blonde doll but settled for a brunette instead (the ones on the shelf were hispanic and asian) I got pretty disgusted.

--Speaking of that store, my supervisor's wife just got pregnant. There must be something about knowing me that produces children.

--Speaking of giving birth, it doesn't really show but I lost 10 pounds this year. Thanks, stress & fatigue! Lose 10 more and I'll buy you some new pants.

--"Eventually, everyone's going to lie, everyone's going to cry, and everyone's going to take a painful sh*t." --the Bill Cosby of our generation

--Living at home is such a drag . . . but when you're living with just your father in a 3-bedroom apartment and it's only to sleep and shower, what's the use of moving out? I should keep saving my money and milk this for a few more months.

--Finally, something awesome for local history nerds straight from the Preservation Coalition: "The downtown cell phone tour will rollout this coming spring. Visitors and Buffalonians will be able to call a number and listen to explanations of over 50 sites around downtown. All it will cost will be air time minutes, and it will be available 24 hours a day, year round. This tour will have been two years in the making." Now you can take a tour of Buffalo's East Side all by yourself at 3 in the morning.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Great Stuff


I only spend 1-2 waking hours at home lately, but I want to use some of that precious time to give out a word of thanks. Holly, thank you for exposing me to Marshmallow Candied Yams last week. The world will never taste quite the same.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Good News For People Who Love Bad News

One of the original principles behind this blog was to not post anything substantial or newsworthy. I have, with some exceptions, done an admirable job over the past 4+ years. But if it's good news, why not pass it along? The other day my good Canisius buddy Sarah G got engaged! She and Phil, her long-time boyfriend, have been dating since forever so it's about damn time! In honor of the occasion I scanned part of a letter she wrote me on September 10, 1999:

Yes, it's really taken that long. They're planning on next summer to tie the knot. If they wait just a little longer they can skip over the entire Bush Administration!

In other news, on the very same day I bumped into my first girlfriend, Beth. It was by no means a serious relationship--she lived an hour away and we were in middle school--meaning I felt more like I'd won the lottery than met an old flame. I had not seen or talked to this person in at least 12 years but always wondered what happened to her.

Fun facts about Beth:

--The second of triplets: Abby, Beth, and Cathy. Abby dated my younger brother for a long time.

--Right before becoming my girlfriend, Beth got four guys to pick me up by my arms and legs to throw me in a lake. Luckily they gave up on their plan because (1) I couldn't swim and (2) the lake was covered in algae. I probably should have seen the writing on the wall right there.

--She is currently studying elementary education at a two-year college. When I dated her she had graduated from elementary school just two years before.

--In her spare time, she races stock cars at speedways. No, really!

As long as we're on the subject, here's a picture my sister took of her, waaaaay back. We were probably around 13 at the time. If she sees that I posted this, will she find me and kill me?

(Simpler times, brighter colors. She's at the top of the pile)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

TV is Dead

I barely watch TV but could surf the Internet all day. The following clips are bookmarked in my browser and it's time to clean them out.

Mighty Night. It's kinda funny the first time.

Breaking news of the JFK assassination

The Immature Radioactive Samurai Slugs!

The infamous, man-I-gotta-try-it "Ass Pennies" sketch

The banned-but-true "Conspiracy Theory Rock"

The Tourette's weatherman

Cat has a toilet flushing obsession
No embed, but it might be my favorite of the bunch

A one hour BBC documentary on the politics behind Tetris. Yes, Tetris! It's great!

"Bernie und Ert." Ed, can you translate?

The Space Camp Song

And you thought I was bad with directions . . .

Borat meets David Letterman, does a collabo with Beck

The Nutty Buddy. Thanks, Joe

Marvin Gaye sings the national anthem

Film clips of exploding heads. Does anyone remember when Craig Kilborn did The Daily Show? No? All right then.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This Girl That I Know

Download the MP3

The most enjoyable song on Beck's new album is only on the UK import. Check it out!

Meanwhile, someone ripped all 15 of the album's DVD videos and put them on YouTube. Click this link to grab them. They get repetitive, so pick "1000BPM" for the rapping bear and leather dude alone. (Hint: click that link using Firefox to download the new Shins album. It'll change your life.)

Finally, I've looked for clips of this episode of 120 Minutes for years:

. . . and a musical performance!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

We're All Gonna Die

Over the past two days we've had no internet connection and one of the most devastating storms in Western New York History. This guy lives uptown, but let's check out my house. . . .

Front yard, tree #2

The tree behind the house is now partially on top of it.

The garage roof

Front yard, tree #3

Front yard

Entrance to the backyard

The dog's igloo

Mr. Plow

Next door, where the tree from the house over crushed their fence

Across the street

Our neighborhood. I took this from our driveway.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Based on StatCounter data, on October 9th someone searched Google for "how to get to Earth." They arrived at this page. Aliens have accessed my blog!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Cookie Monster, man! Take your meds!

Too Loud to Hear

Mark "Madd Dogg" Miller is perhaps the greatest personality in all of Western New York. I've decided to film a documentary of him a la Wesley Willis. Here's some footage of him working outside of the Melvins/Big Business performance at Showplace Theater:

And here is the man in action, fronting his band Boss Tribal at the Aaron "Nikki Christmas" Beebe Tribute show at the Akron VFW:

Some artwork found inside Showplace Theater:

Pier 9 Brawl, Beebe's first band

One more action shot of Madd Dogg

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Work Weak

Battle of the Album Covers

Sunday Night, 9 PM: Drive to job #3. Work until 2:30 AM. Drive home to take shower and arrive at job #1 by 4 AM. Only work until 7 AM because I have to be at job #2 by 8 AM. Work there until 10 AM and take the 45-minute drive to job #1 by 11 AM. Work there until 5 PM, then drive straight back to job #3. Stay there until 9 PM. Drive back home.

Tuesday Morning, 3 AM: Get up at 3 AM to arrive at job #1 by 4 AM. Stay until 2 PM, then drive to job #2 where I'll stay until 5 PM. Make the 90-minute drive to job #3 by 7 PM. Work until 9:30 PM and drive home.

Wednesday Morning: Well you get where this is heading. Most of the week is a blur but I did about 65 hours of work in four days. By Friday I had worked so much they made me go home after only three hours. So tired . . .

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fried Fish and Sushi

Yesterday I attended a luncheon for Buffalo Tours volunteers, held at Gene McCarthy's Pub on Hamburg Street. I'm in this group deep. Also: free fish!

I escaped for a while to check out the Old First Ward. This is the bar from outside. The train tracks are still active.

These buildings were only supposed to last for 60 years or so. Note how immigrant families expanded by adding additions to the back because of the thin plots of land.

Here are some other pictures from my ten minute walk:

If you're interested in any of these items, or the house which is also for sale, call 830-5132. I got dibs on the "Small Child Scotter."

Today was also my sister's birthday. You know what that means . . . CHINESE BUFFET!

Hard-Hearted Hannah

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long

bing bing bang a bang a bang bing bong bing a bing bang a bong
binga bing a bang a bong bong bing bong bing banga bong


It's was cool to see the old Central Terminal full of people. How did they do it?

Beer. Magnificient beer. Is there anything beer can't do? Can God make a Rolling Rock so heavy that He himself can't drink it?

L to R: An easily amused Joe, Sheila . . .

. . . Li and Scott. And Sausage.

This, still, is not enough cowbell.

Li takes more pictures than I do!


This picture was wrong and I apologize.

Looks like someone used all the toilet paper.

A still amused Joe, as Li and Farmer John look on.

Not only did Sheila plan ahead and wear a "Frankfurt" shirt to Oktoberfest, she smartly added a grip to her drink as well. Kudos!

There he goes again!

The H. H. Richardson Complex beckoned us ever closer as the clock struck midnight.

The next morning I went back to the Terminal to assist in a tour of the building. About 50-60 people showed up.

BCT on a Sunday morning.