Saturday, April 29, 2006

Robby with gift Pez .....

"Let Love In" CD signing


Kevin wrote in an earlier post what I was up to today. Well, the Goo Goo Dolls CD signing at New World Record here in Buffalo was quite an event. I knew ahead of time that there were 350 pre-sale CDs, but when you actualy see the line of people stretched around the block (not to mention the crowd hoping to get in after the inital group), well, it was pretty impressive. The guys were really nice to the crowd. I was shooting pictures close to the line, and from beginning to the end, they were great. Of course, they were home-it seemed that they had at least met (at one time or another) just about every 4th person in that line.
If you were there, you know it was just fun to see. Govindan and Elizabeth (owners of New World) and the staff had quite a busy week (or so) getting ready for this, so the fun and the flow of the day had just about everything to do with them. Of course, I'm home writing this while the "invitation only" concert is happening at the band's old manager Artie Kwitchoff's club, The Town Ballroom. Hope everyone there has a good time (no, I'm not bitter....). It was a good afternoon.
I have to mention, one of the fans gave Robby a bag full of Pez dispensers. Because the flow of the crowd was brisk, Rob didn't get a really good look at it at first. During a break, he saw the fine selection of Pez items (Robby is a Pez fanatic). Whoever that was, you made Robby really happy......

Nice Day

Following the Sabres' 5-4 loss to the Flyers last night, a good weekend day was needed and appears to have been delivered.
Val began things by starting teaching photography to another group of youth students at the Buffalo Arts Studio; she has been teaching photography longer than I can remember and Val really loves teaching. Indeed, Val is teaching two classes this semester, one of youths and one of adults.
I woke up not too long after she left to feed the dog and make coffee and breakfast; after that, I showered and met Val, her friend from work Roza and her two sons at Spot Coffee on Elmwood Avenue; Roza and her sons were there for the Goo Goo Dolls CD signing event for their new CD, "Let Love In," at New World Record (next door to Spot Coffee), and Val was also there for that event, but was the official photographer for New World Record (as I write this, Val, who just got home, is showing me her "cool" staff tag ). Val will discuss the actual signing, with a photo or so, a bit later.
New World Record gave out 350 wristbands to people buying the CD there, and these people were allowed in the main line to get them signed; this line went out the door and to the right, past Spot Coffee and down Cleveland, the nearby street, when I left at about 1:40-1:45 p.m., with the actual signing starting at 2 p.m. Another line, for people without wristbands but hopeful they could get in, went to the left and passed Brodo, the next door restaurant.
After I got home, I quickly checked the NFL draft and then took Walker Evans on his walk; with the sun shining and the temperature about 65 degrees, I let him pick the route, and we ended up going on a much longer than normal jaunt, about 2 miles all in all, including conversation with a retired English teacher who spent some of her career teaching in Kenya.
Now, don't ask me yet about the Bills picking Ohio State safety Donte Whitner with the eighth draft choice, and John McCargo of North Carolina State with the 26th pick; while good players, did they need to be picked so high?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New Hat

I said goodbye to a longtime friend Monday night when I tossed my black and red, Buffalo Sabres head-logo hat onto the ice after JP Dumont scored his third goal in Buffalo's 8-2 win over the Flyers at the HSBC Arena.
That hat goes back 6-8 years with me, even pre-dating Val and I as a romantic couple, and was part of some of my fondest memories; it is there in probably my all-time favorite photo, one of me and Val on a small bridge outside Doolin in County Clare, Ireland, June 23, 2003, on our first anniversary, as a bonfire marking the summer solstice starts behind us.
But, a new member of the family has arrived; I went down to the Sabres store at the HSBC Arena after work yesterday and bought a new hat, this one a blue one with the old logo, to go with my red hat with the crossed Sabres' logo and black writing; they were out of almost all hats after Monday's game. My only real concern in the whole process was that I could not find the hours of the store's operation on the Sabres.com web site, and the choices I was given when I called the Sabres did not list the store among them. I told this to the person I did get through to in customer service, who when I told her that they might want to put the hours on the web site or in a better place, would only repeat the hours and ask if here was anything else I needed. Sorry, I was just trying to help.

Music for Hope CD: Buy It, Enjoy It

It's been a while since I wrote/published an entry pertaining mainly to music here, but this one begs to be written. The "Music for Hope CD" for sale by Good Charamel Records is an excellent benefit CD, and if you don't have it, you should buy it now.
The CD offers 11 songs by Buffalo/Western New York artists for only $5, and the proceeds benefit Summit Educational Resources, which works with children with autism, and the Music Is Art Foundation, which was set up by Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac to help schools with serious financial needs provide musical instruments and programs.
The music is mostly darn good and quite varied; as well as a live Goo Goo Dolls song, "Here Is Gone," there is the CD's best song, "The Answer," by the Last Conservative, a raw rocker on which TJ Zindle sings about a telephone call he wanted but never received from a friend who committed suicide. Other standout songs include tunes by Ani DiFranco with Amungus, Takac's industrial music project (a remix of DiFranco's "Napoleon"), Terry Sullivan, Agent Me, the Juliet Dagger and Alison Pipitone. Check out the Good Charamel Records link along the right side of this page for more information.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

2-0; This Is Fun

Val and I are still somewhat hoarse and our legs are tired from all of the screaming and jumping up and down and so on (I compared it to going to a frenetic Mass after the game), but we, like just about all of the 18,690 people in attendance and the thousands more watching and listening to last night's hockey game, are a bit in awe of the Sabres 8-2 trouncing of the Flyers.
We're happy to have ended our apparent jinx considering we were 1-3-1 in our reduced schedule of attendance at Sabres' games this season; it's amazing how two hat tricks, solid goaltending and a score that never got closer than four goals after the first period can make you forget everything else. The Sabres' discipline and the Flyers' lack of discipline and occasionally of class was also impressive.
Join me in visiting Bfloblog.com and, if I have time, elsewhere, in checking out the discussion and fallout of last night's game and press conferences. The only bad part about being at last night's game was missing the live broadcast of the two press conferences as we made our way to our car; for some reason, although the video was playing, the audio of the post-game show was gone in our part of the HSBC Arena.
Oh, well; on to Philadelphia and Game 3 Wednesday.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Let the Playoffs Begin; We'll See You There Monday

Yes, Val and I are joining much of the Buffalo Blogosphere in nervously, happily anticipating the start of the Buffalo Sabres' run in the NHL playoffs, which starts in just over 2 hours tonight at the HSBC Arena against the Philadelphia Flyers. Val and I recommend that people pay attention to Bfloblog.com for lots of interesting reports and discussion on the Sabres' playoff games, including tonight, as Mark and Kevin will be at the game.
We'll be watching the game here at home tonight, but even better, Val and I will be at the second playoff game Monday. We will be sitting in Section 303, and to say that we are excited is a vast understatement; indeed, as Val just said, she is getting a bit goofy about the Sabres in the playoffs and going Monday night. I just found a photo of Val and Sabretooth taken at the 2004 Assemblyman Sam Hoyt clam bake, and we are now keeping it on our living room coffee table. Like she does all season, Val has been wearing her collection of Sabres' sweatshirts (hooded and unhooded), t-shirts and so on, and is saving her red and black, autographed Rob Ray jersey for Monday's game. I have my khaki Sabres' oxford shirt on, and am saving a Sabres' sweater and pair of boxers for Monday.
While I have been to Buffalo Braves, Stallions and Bandits playoff games before, I have never been to a Sabres' playoff game, and Val has never been in person to a professional sports playoff game, so this is one excited household. Yep, even our dog, Walker Evans, will be watching the game at home and may be guest blogging this series.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Blue/Bleu Cheese, Not Ranch Dressing. Period.

I've had it. I know it isn't the first instance, but Pizza Hut's current Buffalo Wing Pizza offering, which includes ranch dressing as a "dipping sauce" instead of blue/bleu cheese dressing, has forced me to write. Only know-nothings, food rubes and national chain restaurants believe in any way that chicken wings, or, as most of them call the delicacy, Buffalo wings, are meant to dipped in ranch dressing instead of blue/bleu cheese dressing, the ordained destination of chicken wings.
Due to Pizza Hut being a regular advertiser on Buffalo Sabres television broadcasts, I have been subjected to the commercial for this pizza creation way too much this month, and a few days ago, I was actually shouting at the television while the commercial played. Val shares my hate for the ads and the whole concept of ranch over blue/bleu cheese for wings, but she patted my leg and, in a soothing voice, noted that it was a lot cheaper for Pizza Hut and other companies to use ranch dressing instead of blue/bleu cheese dressing.
Oh, yeah ...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Dad and Easter

Growing up Irish Catholic in Buffalo/Western New York, Easter has always been an important and family oriented time of the year for me, but the joy of the season as taught by Catholics has taken a bit of detour in the Hosey family, while intensifying my own spiritual quest.
My father, Edward W. Hosey, died April 15, 2004, of a massive coronary episode one day after suffering stroke; he was 75. The U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War was, along with his father, William, the most decent, gentle and giving man I ever knew; nothing meant more to him than his family. He was also very active at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Depew, and Easter time meant that he was the narrator of the Holy Thursday play/presentation during Mass and of the Passion Play Good Friday, which he did for about 30 years.
I have been a lapsed/all-but former Catholic for years for reasons better discussed in a later entry; my spiritual beliefs now blend some Catholicism, Eastern religions and philosophies and some Protestantism. But the worst effects of my father's death on those of us here, which are still very strong and painful, are obviously felt by my mother, Sheila, who also came from Irish Catholic stock (she is a Connelly) and attended Catholic schools throughout her education. But the cruel reality becomes worse with Dad's death during what is supposed to be a solemn, then joyous, season. Mom is as strong as she can be, but they were inseparable during their almost 47 years of marriage, and they were supposed to be enjoying retirement together and looking forward to their 50th anniversary next year.
Having lost my "older" brother, Brian, at age 37 in 1995, and seeing Val's father, Edward Patrick Dunne, die about three years ago and her last grandparent, Gertrude Wagener, die about 2 1/2 years, I have gotten more used to the occurrence of death, if not actually gotten used to death. While I try to adjust to and make sense of these events, I have to believe in a final resurrection and reunion, at least for my mother with my father, even if some of the theology and philosophy don't agree with what I believe in for myself. If it makes mom's days any easier or better understood, it will be worth it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Word Use Spleen Venting

Having been a full-time journalist for more than 18 years and being a professional freelance writer for more than 20 years, I get picky over word usage and what I construe as misusage.
One recent misusage that is gaining popularity recently is saying or writing "decorations" and "decorated" to describe someone who has won a lot of awards, honors, etc. I may not be a conservative and I never served in the military, but unless you are talking about Christmas trees or other items you put up for holidays, decorations are medals and other honors members of the military, law enforcement and government earn in their official duties, often for people going above and beyond the call of duty, and someone is "highly decorated" when they have received many of these medals, honors, etc., in such fashions. Sadly, I have heard this term used to describe athletes, actors and other entertainers who have won awards of some type, such as Academy Awards. Even more sadly than just the usage is that once again, too many members of the media that I was proudly a member of for many years, and still am actually, are once again picking up on lingo and other language that is being fed to them by publicists, government flacks (believe you me, I know of what I speak) and people simply either lazy or stupid and unaware of the actual older meaning of the word.
Please don't tell me that there are not other easy ways to describe someone who has won several most valuable player awards, Olympic medals or Grammy Awards than "highly decorated," and maybe journalists should show some backbone and brains and not just lap up any word usage tossed out to them.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Game, part II

OK, Kevin just blogged about the bad things about Friday night's game. Quoting Adam Gearing of the Outlyers, I tried to stress to him that the journey is the thing. Enjoy the good things. We were in the 10th row- we're 300s all of the time. This was not our usual view. For instance, the two goals that the Sabres did get were RIGHT in front of us. We showed up early and watched up the warm up skate and saw all the players close up . Sabretooth came down from the rafters on his rope a few (give or take) yards away. We saw a few hits on the glass right there! We got to see a power play close up. Besides the splitting headache from the "perfume" in front of us (see Kevin's post), and of course, the loss, I had a lot of fun.
I also had a special moment. During the 2nd period, Sabretooth was in our section. For those of you who don't know me, I have feelings for the Tooth. Kevin understands..... So, Sabretooth is running down the stairs to bang on the glass. I yelled "Tooth"!!!! and stopped him in his tracks. He looked down the row at me (I was in the 4th seat), and I yelled "You Rule!", and gave him two thumbs up. He took both paws and threw me a HUGE kiss. I reciprocated (my hands are small compared to his paws). It was magic.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sorry

While we did not suit up or play, I want to apologize for Val and I possibly contributing to the Sabres' 4-2 loss to the Flyers last night. Val and I attended the game in great seats in Section 103, but the loss now drops our record in games we have attended at the HSBC Arena this season to 1-3-1, including two losses to Philadelphia.
Obviously, our attendance had nothing to do with the Sabres' loss last night; poor play, a less than stellar effort on some players' parts and no apparent jump in their skates led to Buffalo being out shot, 34-22, and basically controlled from start to finish by the Flyers.
Besides the loss, last night's most annoying moments came from the couple sitting directly in front of us, a man in his late 50s to 60s and his wife/girlfriend/whatever, in her late 40s to early 50s. He had one of those perma-smiles, but for the most part was nothing overly annoying or descriptive. His wife, on the other hand, along with her two- to three-toned blonde hair, smelled like utter hell; Val was all but gagging for most of the game over her alleged perfume, except between periods when they went to the beer concession, and to me, she smelled like a cheap gin booze hag. I really don't like or normally use the last word, but it seemed appropriate here. For some reason, she apparently had an affliction where she could not take her own coat off, because every time she sat down, her husband/boyfriend had to reach over and take it off while she sat there, his arms resting on my knees (the HSBC Arena seats are not meant for those of us 6-foot-3 and taller). She would then grab and hold onto him with both arms for much of the period.
But, the most annoying part of this woman was that it seems that she has never attended a live athletic event before, or maybe she had experience with the Mime Olympics. Val is a real sports fan, and at live events, a shouter along with the organist-led cheers, especially the classic and uncomplicated "Let's go, Buffalo." Well, this woman had to plug her ears EVERY TIME Val did the cheer, acting more like a 747 was flying just over her multicolored head; happily, after a few times of plugging her ears, Val decided to up her volume. The triple blonde kind of looked back at Val once or twice, but you don't give my wife looks like that, and after she met my dagger gaze a couple of times, she stopped. But for some reason, the woman did stand up and cheer at the Sabres' two goals and clapped along with other cheers. Considering the amount of beer she and her company drank, I am surprised they even heard anything for a while.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sabres beat Senators in OT, 5-4; Val, Kevin to Return to HSBC Friday

Yep, the Sabres hung tough and rallied from a two-goal second-period deficit to beat Ottawa in overtime Wednesday night, 5-4, on a goal by Daniel Briere off a great feed from Max Afinogenov. If you want some good detail, description and opinions on the game and great coverage of the Jochen Hecht-Darcy Tucker incident (including Mark smartly excerpting the NHL rules all but requiring Tucker be suspended), go to www.Bfloblog.com (again, don't depend on my html skills). Mark and Kevin are doing a fine job on the NHL and NFL.
And yes, through Val working hard and volunteering to help the United Way campaign at work, we got great seats (Section 103, Row 10) to see Friday's Sabres-Flyers game. This will be our fifth game this season (sadly, way below the last three seasons of Mini-Packs), and we hope to improve our 1-2-1 record, including a previous loss to Philadelphia.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Delays, Delays

While it may sound like I am gloating over the decision by Congressman Thomas Delay not to run for re-election (and I guess I am), this post is borrowing from The Martian as I apologize for not posting more recently, despite promises to do so. I told Alan/Buffalo Pundit when I saw him Thursday that would have a certain post up by now, and WBNY Alumni Weekend has also occurred, and yet, nothing. Stay tuned, and I'l try to stay awake long enough to write.