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11/28/08 10:07 - 34ºF - ID#46878

"Doctor, it hurts when I do this..."

Too much potential drama. I journaled about losing a cousin last week. Her service was today. She was very involved with a small episcopal church near ECMC so the church elders wanted to put on a show. A nearly two and half hour service. I've never been prouder of my guys or more anxious to get out of church. Knowing that was coming cast a bit of a pall over Thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws place, where everybody was thinking about that and it was the first major holiday without my father-in-law so we didn't need extra helpings to make our shoulders sag a little. Stiffer upper lip and all that. 4th significant funeral since February. 6th overall. I'm getting tired. Must be a sign of getting older when the "inner circle" takes such a whuppin.

Further causing what's left of my mind to whirl was the fact that my folks are dealing with a little bit of health issues. My mom is dealing with another round of prednizone to combat vascular arteritis. I think I'm close on the spelling. It beat her up last fall and this is a decidely lesser battle, but still. I had to tell my Dad to mind his manners. Mom might get a little roid rage. He has issues as well. His doctor has him set for a round at Roswell in January to have a biopsy done to make sure he isn't dragging a form of lymphoma around.

I've gotten to be pretty good at rolling with the punches, but holy crap. The cherry on the cake of all this is that my sisters are sniping again. They are 9 years apart and Manhattan ain't big enough for both of them. The elder one has been out of work for sometime and the younger one has been subtly rubbing her face in it with new husband, slowly prospering career. They go in waves and I wouldn't care but we are getting way to old for this shit. Our elder brother is a special needs guy and at some point, it's up to the three of us to see to his needs. When I get that call, I'll take the ex-wife before these two lunatics. I love em dearly, but there are times when I want to slap the nostrils clean off them. Unnecessary pitiness, imagined competitions, the way they can place each other on edge are exhausting me. They can't do visits home without coating it in shenanigans. All of this with no real reason. I don't know what to do about it. It's like they are competing to see who the parents favorite is.

Makes me look forward to the estrip gathering for some agendaless good times.

The folks things aren't something I'm getting to rattled out, just haven't had a whole lot of return on anything Roswell lately (except for this community of ours), so I think I'm owed. Mom's thing doesn't seem to be too big a deal. It's just the second go round in the same turf. They said it could come back. The holiday was a little shrouded because of the absent friends. You put it all together and it does make your brain hurt. Everybody is a little whipped after the service today so I told the kids to stay home and get a good nights sleep in their regular beds. I ran to the late Yoga class to blow off steam. Literally, I got back to my car and fogged the windows without the aid of a good woman (You know any?)

So, for once, home on the couch on a Friday doesn't seem so bad. I am finally enjoying the new pc I bought on Monday. It took five days to qwell my vista fear, but that too shall pass. After all, there is Guinness in the fridge.

It will all be okay.
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Category: holiday

11/26/08 10:01 - 34ºF - ID#46847

To the holiday!!



image
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: random

11/23/08 09:49 - 31ºF - ID#46815

Life, making other plans, yada yada yada

A unique constellation of circumstances.....

Thought I was reasonably footloose and fancyfree yesterday, so I took Number One Son to go see "Bolt" yesterday at the Market Arcade. I would have preferred the new Bond flick but whatever, Bolt was okay but all the good lines are in the commercials. We ran a couple of errands and arrived at his house at 5:30 or so. I was planning on coming back here and checking on the Lasertron outting. Instead, it got decided on the spur of the moment that we needed to go hang out with an older cousin. Last night was the night picked to gather to eat drink be merry and distract our cousin. He lost his wife earlier in the week. The funeral is Friday, last night wound up being the informal get together for family. Just wish I would have known a little more in advance. There is a small circle of folk who I was looking forward to seeing, others who I had to introduce myself too (Oh, right, the nice white boy XXXX married) and some fools. One of the latter decided it was a good time to give me some flak about what kind of father would let number one son quit Tae Kwon Do. Grrrr. I hate when people especially ones who have no business passing out parenting advice decide to start in for the sake of starting in. Pisses me off to have to stand there, pretending to take things gracefully, when I had a perfectly fine invitation to go shoot stuff from a lovely soul (thanks again, (e:imk)). Apparently, giving my son a voice in his own world makes me an unfit parent. This same jerk was the one who decided that if I was any kind of man the ex wouldn't be gay. Christ on a bike. got home a little after 9, too late to make the shenanigans.

As usual, I would have preferred to be firing lasers with ya'all.

Got up this morning with an eye toward sponging off the folks and doing laundry for free and watching the Bills game with the old man. My folks both got health news (nothing serious, just annoying) and I thought it would be a good idea to have the kids come out. Instead they were booked till 2. Not wanting to be in Clarence all night, I ran downtown stairs and the laundry there was booked. Screw it, packed up the soap, the clothes, the ipod and headed for the laundramat. Got it all done in short order, picked up the youngins and broke bread over a good old starchfest in the burbs that perked everybody up.

The weekend was like a weekday of running around, just no work involved. That will change tomorrow with an educational video shoot at the Zoo. I have to take a guy in a bear suit through the Rainforest. That alone sounds like an old Letterman bit.

Blew off morning yoga to extend the coffee and blanket stuff in front of Charles Osgood, so back on the bike tomorrow night. I was beside myself on the last class. My balance for stuff is shaky at best, but I can start to do the on one foot stuff with some ease and actually held one on the poses for the entire time frame. Nearly made an unmanly noise of surprise.

Bumming over the pistol packing good time last night but the beautiful thing about estrip. There is always next time.....
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Permalink: Life_making_other_plans_yada_yada_yada.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: tv

11/19/08 11:25 - ID#46754

MNF is better on the couch

Been reading a little about all the shenanigans involving the football game on Monday night. Having worked two night games last year on the Bills staff, it was decidely nicer to spend this game on my couch, warm and with the cold beer already paid for and no line for my reasonably clean bathroom. A few years ago, for a work function, I got to sit the M&T Club. That is one of the big monstrosities at the end of the stadium. 200 people private service, closed windows. It was like being a Roman watching the christians escape the Lions. But the past two seasons found me decked out in this splendor:

image

That was from the hockey game, but that was also my post for football days and nights. To the left were season ticket holders and pretty consistent in their attendence. To the right was a few season ticket types, walk ups, opposing fan types. Since it was the end zone, they were the last seats sold. Never a dull moment. When ESPN came to town last year, it was for a game with the Cowboys, which brought out the inner asshole in some Bills fans. The fights were clear cut. It's the near fights that put people on edge. The bulk of the stadium is fine, but something about the end zones and near end zones that. Something about somebody wearing the wrong team colors turns the joint into Lord of the Flies.

Game still sucked, but seeing the suckitude from the comforts of home is preferred.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

11/16/08 11:26 - ID#46710

Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Part of my job is taking meetings, even when there really isn't much point. You know, the dreaded networking meeting to scope out potential business partners and sponsors. The conversation is usually dripping in false sincerity and takes me back to the disingenuousness of my my dinners at Adelphia. I'm getting to be pretty decent at getting through them. (e:uncutsanflush) and (e:leetee) caught me showing off Zoo property to a potential partner last week (he later parted with $5,000) (See, told you I was good).

Well, on thursday night, I was dispatched to an affair run by the Buffalo Partnership. Various companies were exhibiting services and the partnership invited companies involved with the partnership and ones they like. So, I got to take my life in my hands and take the 190 after dark to the Grand Island Bridge (not an easy fit) and meander back twenty years down Whitehaven road to the Holiday Inn resort & Hotel that is on the river. It wasn't promising. After you cross the main boulevard on the island, it is full of nothing, light, structures, which was made all the more eerie by the damp evening. I half expected a fog horn in the distance. You're driving and you get to the point where you are sure you took a wrong turn, only off in the distance is the strangely comforting holiday inn neon green light.

I park and schlep my to the conference room where this little party is encounced. After necogiating my way past the check in nazis (who rightly noted that I wasn't Dr. Donna, nothing slips past the partnership crew), I got a drink and set about meandering. The food looked like what if White Castle served beef on weck. Not a wonderful concept, but keeping myself on a coca cola diet seemed the prudent coarse. I saw a couple former colleagues from my Adelphia. One noted that I looked a little thinner. Stories I could have told. The other was a little too amped up about selling tires.

After chatting a little with one of the folks from a magazine I buy advertising in, I was pounced on by a printing salesman. The guy looked like somebody called central casting and said "give us the greasiest, most uncouth, poorly suited, hygenically impaired stereotype and we'll let him talk to the public." Now, in my work, I have perfected the insincere, I really am listening, smile. It looks like I'm there for you, but in reality, I'm mentally out back having a drink.
I had to call upon those skills while this putz complained about how his newspapers publish the zoo press releases, but we don't send him any printing business. While he's making this complaint, I'm mentally noting that I'm not sure if that was a moustache he's sporting or if the nose hair is running amuck, because you can't tell where one stops and the other begins.

I pretend to rifle through my swag bag looking for a card or something and blessedly an announcement breaks up his ethical complaint for me to slip to the bar. A conversation gets started up by a woman from the presenting organization who knows a little too much about my family. Turns out she is a Clarence resident who knows my folks. Turns out she also played a role in my Mom getting squeezed out of the town planning board. Turns out if she was on fire, my mom might write a note to the fire department about coming to put that out....when they had a minute. And so it goes...

By this point, I've filled two hours and done the deed. I even got a potential sponsor for something at the Zoo. The whole exercise makes me feel like I need a shower. I get to my car and place a call for good food from Mr. Pizza who fucks up the order but even with delay, my takeout and I are home for 30 Rock, along with a new collection of pens, flashlights, candies, folders and whatnot.

Had to laugh, because there was a company there who did nothing but sell promo crap that the other 19 booths were foisting on people.

First believable word I heard all night was from the Mr. Pizza guy who offered a pop for the messed up order.

Sometimes you just have those days...

Not good, not bad, just ripe for a scene in a workplace sitcom.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

11/09/08 09:36 - 35ºF - ID#46620

Radio Days

Perhaps out of spite since I still have my hair, my Dad sends the occasional photograph to keep me on my toes. The one that arrived in today's email wasn't so bad. I worked for St. Bonaventure Unversity Radio Station when I was in school in the Mezozoic era (the mid 80's). We were almost a big deal, had many leatherbound books on shelves of rich mahogany....mostly because the four commercial stations down there at the time played either country or "music of your life." The attached is a picture from a remote broadcast from the Olean Center Mall, so long ago that my hair was a uniform color of brown and the picture was only in black and white. Enjoy.

image

Another questionable fashion choice. 1984 was a kidney stone for such things.

Oh yeah, My eldest needed a baby pic for her senior page in the City Honors yearbook, so this is what is going in, apparently. Brace yourselves for a window into my decay.

image

She's the clean shaven one....
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11/07/08 04:56 - 70ºF - ID#46591

Punchline Friday

A man and a woman started to have sex in the middle of a dark forest.

After about 15 minutes of it, the man finally gets up and says, "Damn,
I wish I had a flashlight!". The woman says, "Me too, you've been
eating grass for the past ten minutes!"

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11/06/08 02:01 - 52ºF - ID#46575

The goal is soul

I guess at my core, I'm a bit of a romantic. The great book (and okay movie) Fever Pitch had a line about how immersing yourself in something bigger than you is good for the soul. That's not an exact quote but you get the idea. Essentially, it's healthy to forget all the intellectual bullshit that can bog down our days and let yourself ride a wave. Bear with me, dear reader. This thought reoccured to me on Tuesday night after being strung out from a long work day, a tough exercise session, watching a little of the returns, I finally dropped my exhausted self on to my bed a little after midnight.

Phone rang. It was an uncle from my ex's side of the family, euphoric with the election. He's a good guy and has waited nearly 70 years for a moment like Tuesday night, so I was happy to listen to the party for a couple of moments before he moved onto his next celebratory phone call. I hit the pillow and a few minutes later, off in the distance, I could hear some chemically serene young democrats whooping it up, packing as many syllables as is possible into chanting the new president-elect's surname. Part of me wanted them to hush up, part of me wanted to join in.

I think that is what drives people. It's what motivates people to sprint across Grant Park to get a space for everything. Not only do you want to be there for the speech itself, but the experience of being in the park, being part of shared moment is almost as important as the words coming from the podium.

We have family in DC and my ex hatched a plan to take our three troublemakers down in January to witness the big moment. I felt like the Grinch when his heart grew three times when my eldest asked her Mom "Can Dad come with us?" Seriously, moi? I must be doing something right. That too will be one of those transcendental moments.

I was thinking when I was working the Bills games that there was no fun in rousting drunks (which apparently I was pretty good at) or settling seat disputes. The fun came in the silly high fives from goofy strangers, the fist bumps from players' moms, the food offers from tailgators after the games. There are, of course, copious amounts of assholes and knuckleheads in those lots, but there are folk too who are just savoring the moment, losing themselves somewhat in that moment. That's finding unabashed joy on a very minor scale in comparison, but I could see people seeing the forest for the trees on Tuesday Night.

It was a grand unshackling, made all the better by the sense of community in a place where 40 years earlier the same location was such a scene for conflict. It's only a first step, to be sure, but the footprint runs deep.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


11/04/08 01:18 - ID#46516

Civil Duty?

I actually heard voting described as that this morning while waiting to vote. That made it sound like it didn't matter who you voted, provided you were polite about it. I vote at the Senior Citizens home on Richmond and Summer and it was jumping (so to speak) at 7:30. Glad I went early as they had an unusual line of about 15 people, but they moved quick. Since I was done in short order, I swung by Spot where they were out of coffee? What the hell was that about? Nobody could think to put another pot on with the line to the door?
Geesh!

I think of all the pundits, commentators, reporters who will struggle with finding something interesting to say today. (e:Zobar) 's footnote about the party lineup on the ballot was the first useful thing I've read in weeks.

In lieu of hearing "with 2.5% of the vote counted, we project Guam to be going to...", I think I'll be a no spin zone until after class tonight.

I think if it wasn't for Tom Reynolds, nobody would give a rats ass about Chris Lee or Alice Kryzan. It will be nice when both the national wallets of the democrats and republicans dry up in that regard.

Let's make Joe Mesi and Mike Razenhoffer settle it in the ring.

Shouldn't Dennis Delano have to say something to somebody to get a vote?

Shouldn't Dale Volker be forced to acknowledge that his being in Albany for 30+ years is part of the problem that he is promising to fix? "Vote for me so I can get myself fixed." That's a promise I could almost endorse.

Did Jon Powers ruin it for my political future?

Nobody had enough money to take on Louise Slaughter or Antoine Thompson? That's sad.

Will Keith Olbermann or Bill O'reilly have anything to talk about next week?

Is there cheaper tv out there somewhere?

There's a lot on my mind....


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Category: random

11/02/08 09:57 - 42ºF - ID#46479

All Souls and a few in particular.

Been a bit of a downer with another memorial mass today. It was a beautiful service for a good guy at the UU Church on Elmwood. He had a broad enough reach that the place was literally full to overflowing. I found myself standing on the top step of the choir loft to be inside. He was a pretty good friend who had a great appetite for life and knew just the right wine for the occasion. His sons talked a little and I have tremendous admiration for both young men. They were moving, funny, and very poised in front of what might have been a little over 800 people. I don't know if I could do the same. It was truly a worthy sendoff for a true man of the people. Every service should end with "Into the Mystic." You can let go and be hopeful at the same time, no mean trick that.

Helped a good friend move on Saturday and I'm still paying for it (my rationalization for skipping yoga today). A countless series of laps up and down her three stories, culminated in my lugging up a sideboard. Said sideboard spanked a relief map of what vaguely looks like a relief map of Michigan into my left shoulder. Woke up this morning feeling a little beat up. Walk, snap, crackle, walk, fuck!

Missed the hoo-ha at the 24 to be a good guy. I wanted to be there, but I got dolled up as a zombie to escort my young son and a few cohorts up and down Anderson and Lexington. A nice houseparty followed, complete with a firedancer. That was pretty awesome. Met up with some old friends and staggered home around 12:30 where the Zombie makeup was looking a little too permanent. Don't worry, picture to follow.

Hope everybody had a great one, I'll see you for new year's if not before.
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