Wild Blue Yonder

There comes a time when one can see that all the good tales have been told over the course of an era and transition is inevitable. This story is here to serve as such a milestone to mark the gateway where the Comstock and Princeton times have ended and a new bout of stories can begin. This entry will therefore be my last of this thread and recount the series of events that brought the house of Princeton crashing into so much rubble and propelling me toward a new life and direction in the Air Force.

The hijinks and inanity that so characterized our time in the dorms and Comstock began to wane at Princeton and all but disappeared in the last year. Without the common foe of Jason to unite us, or the looming threat of Pax Knaus to keep us on the right path, it was not too long before Aaron and I began to turn on each other to satisfy our unending urges to be irritable and nasty to another human being. The circumstance of life had contributed much to that and therein lays the real fuel that ignited the schism.

In May of 95 I finally graduated from UB with a fresh hot double degree in English and Psychology in my hand. It was not long before I found the damn thing to be practically useless toward finding a job that paid more than the minimum wage. Dismayingly, an expensive BA in Psych gave me just enough knowledge and experience to change Depends down at the old folks home or man the suicide hotlines; neither of which seemed like a good idea given my fear of bodily functions and ‘just do it’ mentality. The English degree was worse, giving me only the wherewithal to blog a good 10 years before there was such a thing. At the time, I was still working my traditional summer job with the Kenmore DPW, working the landscaping crew with old Sam, a grizzled WWII vet who still had arms and a backbone of unbreakable steel.

As a quick aside, I feel compelled to give old Sam a little more pan. A real character in his own right, he called you ‘Bucko’ if he liked you and insisted on a daily trip to DQ where he would throw down a dog eared single and yell ‘chocolate’ at the girl behind the counter. Nothing there actually cost a dollar, but they always gave him a small cone that he took without comment and never failed to unknowingly dip his nose into the creamy goodness. On one occasion the crew and I had just finished mowing down by the Melrose horse path when Sam pointed to an old woman with big swinging tits. “See that old woman over there? I used to fuck her every Friday!”, he declared very matter of fact. Sam apparently got around quite a bit. He would also regale us with the tales of how he ran away from home at 14 and took up with a prostitute down on Swan St. He was married when drafted for the War, but in between storming Utah beach and driving a tank through German houses, he managed to sire a few half Italian half German children along the way. They really don’t build them like him anymore.

The end of the summer came and I still hadn’t gotten around to finding myself a ‘real’ job and hoped the DPW would keep me around until I did. That was not to be and the rest of the summer staff and I were all laid off in early September; the budget for our services expended. Dismayed and unemployed for the first time ever, I scrambled to find anything that would pay the bills. Fortunately, Sam was a connected man and got me an interview with his old crony Wilbur Stanbro at Lakeland Supply on the Boulevard. His son Billy was running the place by then, but Sam’s recommendation was enough to get me hired for the same pay I was making at the DPW.

I started at Lakeland as a driver and reporting to the auspicious Mr. MacVittie, otherwise known as ‘Bud’. As no one bothered to ask me during the informal interview process if I knew how to drive stick or not, it soon came to light that the Ford Ranger delivery vehicles were standard and I had no clue how to operate them. Rather than let me go, Billy was kind enough to let me drive the gas guzzling big white box truck. This was quite a challenge as it was several orders of magnitude larger than anything I had driven before and on one of my first outings I managed to back into a parked car. I left a note, but was castigated for it as Lakeland would have preferred to avoid the liability. My typical day was spent going garage to garage, delivering parts and drums of oil, taking returns, and making runs out to the MAWDI warehouse in Tonawanda. As winter set in, it was clear this was a shit job, but no other prospects loomed. Compared to the other dirt bags Billy hired to drive like Fat Paulie, John, and the old timers, I looked pretty damn good and enjoyed the constant heap of praise received for relatively minor accomplishments.

Although I liked him personally, as did the assistant manager Greg, Bud had a reputation amongst the customers, suppliers, and even old Will. He had a bit of the old Irish temper and would tend to fly off the handle in a flurry of violent cursing when things didn’t go his way. On one occasion the company gas card failed to work at the Getty down the street. The counter girl, an object of our collective lust, was helping me work though it when I decided to give Bud a call. His response was to go ballistic and tell me to peel on out of there and try to take out a pump of two on the way. I decided to play nice and continued working with the hot chippie. Frustrated with the credit company, she suggested that she would give Bud another call to get some information. I informed her that probably wasn’t a good idea, but she gave me a cute little ‘what could go wrong?’ look and went into the back to call. She came back a few minutes later actually crying. I tried to comfort her, but she was so shaken by the experience she told me to just go. I never saw her again and was told she quit that very day.

Due to a litany of similar events, Billy came up with the bright idea to put Bud on the road as a salesman in order to make best use of his sparkling personality. As handling the counter alone was too much for Greg, I was pulled in as Bud’s successor, taking his place at the right end of the counter. Working with Greg was an interesting experience as he seemed to have a low opinion of the people of almost every race, religion and nationality. Ironically, however, this consummate racist married an off-the-boat Puerto Rican woman from the West Side and saw absolutely no conflict of interest in doing so while referring to all other Hispanics in the most derogatory of fashions. Working the counter was certainly better than driving though, so I kept my complaints to a minimum. After coming dangerously close to tipping the box truck, full of a shifted load of oil, on the 400 going 75, I felt rather strongly about remaining indoors.

The Lakeland days weren’t all bad, and it was during this time that I transitioned from the tele-dating to a series of relationships of questionable quality. The first success was with Megan, who was actually a tele-date. She lived in South Buffalo and Aaron had to drive me down there to meet her for the first time. She was just 18, and still actually in high school, but cute enough that I decided to go for it. Due to the fact that neither of us had a car, we only got together on weekends here and there when I could manage to borrow my fathers car for more than a few hours. On those rare times I got the car overnight, she usually stayed over, which I think was of some annoyance to Aaron as by then we truly were not getting on very well.

On one occasion near Christmas I planned a special night, complete with caviar and champagne. I sprinkled rose petals over the bed, put up candles all over the place and went to go pick her up. I had warned Aaron several times about my plans to ensure smooth sailing. After we enjoyed a nice dinner, we came back to the apartment and on my way up the stairs I could hear Mooney’s Irish whisper guffawing from above. We came in to find Aaron, Chet, Mooney, JP, and Matt all sitting around the kitchen table playing Magic cards. Needless to say, I was fairly livid. I demanded they all leave and they responded by not doing so. We retired to my room to try to make the best of it. Sometime later I went out to use the john and came back to find Mooney standing there in my room chatting up Megan as she sat there red faced, trying to cover herself with my twin sized comforter. I firmly resolved that if things didn’t work out with her, I’d find me a girl with her own place.

It wasn’t long after this that she called me up and admitted to drunkenly cheating with some guy named Jimmy who she would later marry and have kids with. While that broke us up pretty good, we remained friends for sometime after, although every time we go together resulted in her cheating on the douchebag of the month she happened to be with. She actually looked me up and called very shortly after I returned from the Air Force, but enough time had gone by that common sense prevailed and I declined getting together.

It wasn’t long after Megan that I met my first non-tele-date girlfriend in several years. Karyn was shopping for a universal remote, as was I, when we got talking. In a bold move that had never worked at any bar or party, I requested her number and actually got it. She had the advantage of having her own place, although it was all the way down in West Seneca and my auto situation had not at all changed. On top of that she was a nurse who worked the night shift. For me and my reclusive ways, this was somewhat perfect as at the time I treasured my solitude to the point where seeing her just a couple times a week was enough. Although I will decline to go into intimate detail, she was very open minded and adventurous in a way very much to my liking. This did pose logistical issues due to having a roommate, but I soon had Aaron’s schedule down and even took to calling him regularly at work just to make sure he was staying put. He did often arrive when we were simply watching TV and he generally responded by huffing and stalking off to his room and either shutting the door or leaving shortly thereafter. She referred to him as ‘Mr Personality’ and some other less polite nicknames.

It should have been a good match, but for the affliction that poisons the will of many a young man. While I was but 23 or 24 and thinking in terms of weeks or perhaps months, she was 27 and beginning to hear the relentless tick of the biological clock. Where I considered her kind of a girlfriend, she was sizing me up for husband and father material. Many women learn the lesson to keep such thoughts silent and only express them in the safest of moments and I feel Karyn probably learned that lesson from me. Before we had even shared least intimate of physical contact, she was already talking about the inevitability of moving in together. This of course chilled me to the bone, though perhaps not quite the one I was thinking with at the time; the root cause of why the situation lasted for as long as it did. The dance continued for some time; she speaking of houses and babies and I recoiling inwardly.

Breaking up with her was the longest process of the kind I had ever experienced. My first attempt was a simple let’s be friends that seemed so frighteningly effective I wondered why I had not tried it before. She took it very well and came over the next day to hang out as ‘friends’ and reestablished the relationship in mere moments. When I realized what had happened and that nothing whatsoever had changed except for an increase in the aggressiveness of her timetable, I made a second attempt. Where I had her full agreement initially, she had talked me back into it by the end of the conversation. Another few weeks went by and I broke up with her a third time in person, very final, no more contact, etc. I believe it was probably the nastiest I had ever gotten in such a situation. She made a brilliant counter move by appealing to my sense of honor as I had promised to help her move. With Herculean resolve I did help, managed to rebuff any attempt of affection, and took to screening my calls for a few months until she finally gave up. I hope for her sake she found someone who was at the maturity level she was looking for as it took me a further 10 years to make it there myself.

After Karyn I decided to take some time for myself to enjoy life as a freewheeling bachelor with my friends. Unfortunately, Aaron and I had degenerated into a situation where we generally communicated through series of grunts. There were exceptions as the occasional basketball game or tackle football match was still held. We also managed to put aside differences enough to enjoy the latest episodes of Seinfeld, Simpson’s, and the Adventures of Pete and Pete, but it just wasn’t the same as the Comstock years when Jason would invite our collective wrath. The majority of his time was spent on Magic Cards and Bloodbowl with some classes and work thrown in for good measure. On top of that, he also gave up beer, took to working out and went so far as to spurn helping me though the endless supply of brown bombers and Tony’s pizza supplied by Mim. We had very little left in common, although Ann still referred to him as my ‘wife’. In spite I took to calling him ‘Boscoe’, thus widening the rift even further.

I took to tele-dating once again and this time ended up with Charlotte or Carrie as she liked to be called. She was another 18 year old and lived all the way down in Eden. Personally, I liked them living far away to avoid pop-overs, as it was bad enough that Mooney would sneak up and bang on the door at any odd hour disturbing the Chinese couples next door. This was at best a bootie call relationship and I never even got around to introducing her to my family. Aaron ignored us completely and Dan met her once and made a gracious comment regarding the generosity of her seat. It was an on again, off again thing that puttered along for a few months here and there. We reconnected the week before I left for good and we wrote back and forth while I was in Basic until one day she just stopped and I never heard from her again.

It was becoming clear to me that something had to change. I spent my days selling auto parts to both asshole mechanics and clueless do it yourselfers for no money, and my nights watching TV alone as the gamers raged on in the kitchen. My degree was worthless and my student loan amount maxed out, thus precluding the route of further education to change my circumstances. The majority of my friends had become obsessed with Magic and did little else and the others all had better things going on. Dave had gotten involved with Jennifer by then; Knaus came around less and less, already withdrawing from our world even back then; and Jenn had disappeared into the great unknown. It was clear I had to take my destiny into my own hands. I pulled out the phone book and called up the Armed Forces recruiting center on Sheridan that I had noticed in my deliveries.

One might wonder why someone already in possession of a college degree might enlist in the military; actually everyone wonders and I’ve had to explain on every job interview since. My reasoning was this. I was in possession of two degrees that had thus far proven themselves worthless toward securing non minimum wage service employment. I was working a career that was only giving me experience in counter sales and not much else. Tired of living hand to mouth, I felt it was time for more, and with the computer age exploding around me, I knew the future was in technology. Having no money to pursue a technical degree, I sought out the one outfit that promised not only free technical education, but job experience to boot, all while being paid. I sucked it up and went in for the first interview with a recruiter.

While in executive fashion I generally tend to make my decisions unilaterally, in this instance I decided to accept the council of others. My family was supportive and in favor of any action that would get me up off my ass and out of my loser existence. With Clinton re-elected, the prospect of an entangling war seemed remote and far away. I also consulted with Dave and Jen, the latter of whom had been married to a military man and understood the life and was able to explain it to me. Both were supportive of the drastic step as was Knaus. I considered consulting the rest of the gang, but decided to wait out of concern that Aaron would screw me by moving out before I was ready to and thus deny me the chance to do that to him.

I went through the paces of taking the exam which showed an aptitude for electronics and I picked my own career in electronic warfare avionics primarily because it sounded cool. A date was finally set for my departure – Jan 22nd and I began planning when I would drop the ball on Aaron and Lakeland. Aaron was at the same time going through the process of trying to move out covertly on his own and finally broke it to me during an argument on whether it damages the eyes to watch TV with the lights out, which every fool knows it does not. I in turn then tipped my own hand and for the first time in 5 years saw an end in sight to our close proximity living arrangement. Fortunately, the revelation had a positive effect and we were able to coexist peacefully thereafter, knowing we had but a few short months more to endure. Although mere shadows of our old Comstock adventures, we did manage to have some fun blowing up my Halloween pumpkin behind Tops and walking through a blizzard to the same place simply to buy soup, which was lost on the return trek.

January came quickly and like thieves in the night, we moved Aaron out of the apartment one cold and blustery day. We then moved the bulk of my belongings into Mim’s attic for safe storage. The last few days I dwelled alone in the apartment, finally my own after all those years, and reminisced in silence about all that had gone on before. On the last day I packed my final bag, and in the chill of morning, long before the office was open, I taped an envelope with notice and our keys to the Princeton management door. A new life waited; marching to the beat of drums and bugles as I put my childish things behind me and went off into the wild blue yonder.

 

This hereby concludes all of the tales I had to tell spanning those glorious halcyon years between the fall of 1991 and the winter of 1996, unless of course there was something highly significant that I had forgotten. Fear not, for the lunacy and poorly conceived ideas continued, albeit in a different setting with new outrageous characters. Stay tuned then for tales of the Air Force years, coming to you soon.

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16 Responses

  1. A good post, as the story of this time is unknown by anyone, especially me, given our growing pseudo-hated.

    I do not recall Megan at all, or her staying over, but then again we avoided each other as much as was possible so I probably just blocked it out mentally. I don’t recall the overnight incident, but I recall something of rose petals. I am sure I “forgot” any requests or warning from you as I would feign listening and whatever you said just passed out the other ear. I apologize for that.

    I like “Mr. Personality”. I think I just blended these various women together into one.

    FYI, you used some last names, so I deleted them.

    Ah the trek to Tops for soup was great. What made it even better was to avoid a venture into the fast approaching storm we called a number of pizza places until we found one that was not only open, but delivering. We waited two hours before we called again to see what was what. The response, “We haven’t seen or heard from him (the delivery boy) for four hours. I don’t think your getting your pizza.” The joy we got from being responsible for some low-wage schlep stuck in a snow bank was pure Comstock. If only it was Jason. This pizza joint reply was only ever matched by Bocci’s when they told me, “We’re out of dough.” Henceforth I directed a passion of pure hate their way and pronounced them “Bo-Cees”. No offense to the Boces school.

  2. Man, I must have missed some prime gaming time during this period. Also, I remember when Bocce’s told you that but I maintain it was a wrong number.

  3. I disagree – I have now been told plenty of bullshit by pizza places to include “we aren’t doing pizza tonight, but we can give you anything else”. I called the bluff and ordered Pasta Roma and actually received it.

  4. I don’t remember bursting and embarrassing any half-naked women in your apartment Mike, but it sounds as if it could be true.

    If you’re going to tell Airforce stories remember to include the one about how you sent me the wrong letters to myself and your parents.

    By the way, I was in Buffalo over the holidays and bumped into JP. I told him to get on the site and make comments, or tell a story.

  5. The only stories from the Air Force I recall is when Mike broke his arm jumping on metal stadium seats, and the story of some guy who was a bigger klutz than himself. I remember no other details, but I expect these are forthcoming.

  6. Mighty Wolf — Aw, this story makes me kind of melancholy….the whole, “When I was a child, I spake as a child…..but now I put away childish things….now I see as through a glass, darkly…” etc etc. My senior year at UB had the same kind of bittersweet tone to it, and some of my friendships seemed to wane, as well. I remember taking night classes at UB (or classes that ended just before the sun set, at any rate — dusk — the magic hour), during the winter of 1988 (I graduated spring of 1989) and one evening as I headed back to my car after class, I turned around and looked back at the Amherst campus, and see the silhouettes of the dark buildings against the setting sun, and feel kind of sad. At least you got the double degree — I just got the one useless English Lit. degree. I was able to use that degree a total of 1 year after graduation, when I worked as a reporter for an extremely small town newspaper. Somehow, covering town planning board meetings, where the most interesting topic was whether or not Mrs. O’Leary had the town’s permission to add 1 inch to her driveway, was not what I’d envisioned when writing for The Spectrum. Still, don’t knock your choice of degrees — they are the kind of degrees that help you gain insight into other people as well as insight into yourself. And it doesn’t make much sense to get a degree or degrees in something you know deep down inside you hate or is against your principles. I see English and Psychology (which, by the way, I seriously considered minoring in, since I took so many psychology/sociology electives), as fields of study that appeal to “the better angels of our nature.” Trivia question — who said that? First one that answers gets a free cookie. (a symbolic one, alas.)

  7. In reviewing 3rd sentence of my blog above, apparently with advancing age, I can no longer conjugate, even though I did major in English…..kindly attribute this grammatical faux pas to extreme fatigue…….good night….

  8. I’ll be honest, the psych degree turned out to be really more of a bane than anything. There is a far reaching misunderstanding that it gives a particular insight into human thinking and motivation (I misconception I have often encouraged), but no; all it really gave was an insight into how people go about doing reseach in psychology. The level of misunderstandings have ranged between those one would expect, such as yours, to the absolutly outlandish, such as the numerous people who actually think it gives me the bona fide ability to read minds. When I was stationed at Langley in the Air Force a rumor got started (conceivably by myself) that I was there undercover to ‘study’ them all. While initially amusing it grew tiresome after a while when people would stop talking when I came in the room and whatnot, and was a real bastard to kill after all the front end credance I gave it.

    Nice quote, but I like the one that follwed better, “If you are a racist, I will attack you with the north”. I believe, however, that I earned my cookie here and would greatly prefer a real one to a symbolic given the choice. Seriously, I’m starving here, so where’s my cookie?

  9. You got the quote right, good job. Unless you googled it in which case you are a bad man, very bad man, me no speak-a to you no more! (But no cookie can be proferred, unless you accept it by mail and by then it’d be melted and all yucky.) I take it you like American History as well? I am an American History buff wanna-be. LOVE it. Anything from how the Brooklyn Bridge was built, to the wonderful phenomena of Jersey Diners, to the rise of McCarthyism, you name it.

    That’s pretty depressing, what you said about the psychology degree. (That you learned only about how people go about researching psychology.) Also what happened at Langley. Wow, I cannot believe the vapidness. They really stopped talking when you came in the room? It sounds like a paranoid scene from The Manchurian Candidate.

    Now I am going to whine: How come nobody’s asked me to be added to your “Cast of Characters” – Miscellaneous Strangers We Don’t Know from Adam But Seem To Be Cool category? I mean, I didn’t know y’all but you have to admit, if I did, I’d be in like Flynn, no? And don’t you want to know how I even found this blog in the first place??!!

    Incidentally, I see you are the father of a young’un. Enjoy this time. This is the time when you are the coolest adult in the eyes of your child. He will worship the ground you walk upon. Your word will be the WORD. This golden time will last about 9 or 10 years. After that, your child will begin to look at you with fresh eyes, often silently, while you’re reading a book or something. You’ll look up, and you’ll practically hear his thoughts: “Hmmm….Dad ISN”T always right. In fact, he’s often WRONG. Plus he dresses funny and says weird stuff like ‘man’ and ‘cool beans’ and his pants are too far up his waist — kinda looks like Sponge Bob. And his corny jokes, God, can he stop with that already? He’s said that joke 5 times already. And why does he insist on giving me the high five? S-OOO 90’s, ugh.”

    Further along the road to perdition, you will be dropping him off at school, when suddenly he’ll mumble to you, “Uh, Dad, can you drop me off about a block from school, huh Dad?” because he doesn’t want to be seen with you. Trust me. I know of what I speak.

  10. You are correct! I am a history buff, American and otherwise. I assume you saw the History channel specials on the Brooklyn bridge and the Jersey diners? Good stuff right there and I’m impressed if you watched due to a new phenomenon I just began to notice. Men on business trips automatically gravitate to shows where something is being built or flown. I went to Utah for a meeting with 5 other guys from work. On the second evening I was flipping around before bed and came across the bridge special and of course watched it despite there being fairly decent sit coms and movies on the other channels. At breakfast, conversation revealed that 5 of the 6 of us all watched it. Curious, I asked a few male customers who were local if they had seen it. None of them had. Given that the customer base is comprised of very similar individuals to ourselves, I concluded that the defining difference was the presence of wives who for the most part, at least among those I asked, really oppose watching that kind of stuff. The exception to this were the unmarried set, 1 with us and a few customers, who also didn’t watch the show. My conclusion there is that they are able to watch this type of program anytime they wish and therefore don’t have the absolute need to given the opportunity. Hardly a stunning revelation, but mildly interesting.

    It is sad about the degree and the depth of ignorance, but if you noticed, the only theory I didn’t bother to argue against in the Theory of Fools entry was the theory that 95% of people are idiots or worse. Where I can generally make up some line of BS for the sake of argument, I came up dry against that one; it’s just too accurate to deny.

    Your wish has been granted! You have been added to the cast of characters. Although you didn’t take part in the Comstockery and other foolishness back in the day, you are contributing far more now than many who read this blog from that time and never bother to leave a comment.

    How did you know I had a son? Unless of course you looked me up on Classmates, which of course I did to you. I am making the most of the time, although I admit we planned poorly with me in grad school and working full time and my wife in a doctoral program. It’s frankly amazing I have time to write anything these days; especially now that he achieved full mobility a few weeks ago and is racing toward fully walking. The dog and cat are viewing the new developments with increasing alarm. Oh, and I trust your predictions – I well remember being those ages. 🙂

  11. Mighty Wolf – I learned about your son and his age because it’s on this website somewhere….somebody congratulated you on your 1 or 2 year old son…..So please RELAX, you don’t have a crazy lady cyberstalking you trying to find out every little detail about you. You just have a crazy lady writing on this blog site, that’s all.

    As to my love of history, this may surprise you, but I in fact did NOT learn about the Brooklyn Bridge through the history channel or about Jersey diners from the Food Network. Unlike most lowly plebes, haha, I learned about the Brooklyn Bridge through…..(drum roll)….a BOOK. And the Jersey Diners, I learned because I live in Jersey and everybody here loves the diners!

    There’s a book called New Jersey Diners and in the section on the Excellent Diner in Westfield, the writer talks about its last day of business, and relates how two people started giving out sheets of paper with lyrics to it — it’s a goodbye song to the diner, and they started singing the farewell song. Well, those nutcases are my husband’s father and stepmother. I love ’em but you can see it isn’t just me that’s weird….the entire McGrath clan is….

    This is how my insane love of American history evolved: On my first date with my now-hubby, Tom McGrath, we went to South Street Seaport and he pointed to the bridge from where we were standing on the docks, and told me a little bit about it — the engineering side of it, and how it’s built to last hundreds of years, and the caissons that were dug into the bedrock, and how some of the workers developed “the bends” etc. etc. That’s when the history bug caught me and I went to the bookstore and bought “The Great Bridge” by David McCullough. Couldn’t put it down.

    Then for some reason I became obsessed with the Roosevelts and read anything I could get my hands on, about Teddy Roosevelt and then Franklin Roosevelt. (I recommend “Mornings on Horseback” for the former, and “No Ordinary Time” for the latter. EXCELLENT biographies!!)

    Then, I got into Philadelphia history because that’s where my family immigrated when we came here from Asia (as you know from Classmates — see those old photo’s of my old Catholic school?) Then I got into Philadelphia rowhouse architecture, etc etc etc etc. I became an INSANE historical explorer.

    It got so BAD that I would snidely interrupt lecturers/docents who did historic house tours, like the one at Teddy Roosevelt’s Oyster Bay residence and the other one at FDR’s Hyde Park residence, if s/he said something historically inaccurate. Tom would cringe, cringe, cringe. It’s HIS fault; he started this whole thing.

    On our honeymoon we went to Savannah and South Carolina and on this historic tour, we saw a painting and it was signed “Alicia Rhett.” I said to Tom, “Oh, she’s from a really old Southern family who also played a small role in Gone with the Wind.” The tour guide (snooty old money Southern lady) overheard me and looked at me with fresh eyes. “Oooh! Yes!! That’s right!!” Huh! I’ll show YOU, Mrs. Old White Southern Snobhead Daughters of the Revolution pie head…I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, you know……or the RICE truck, you’re probably thinking, lady, don’tcha ya, ya ignorant…” etc etc etc

    I don’t understand why anybody would object to their husband watching history channel? That makes no sense…I have plenty of female friends who love history and watch/read history alongside their hubbies. I think it’s SPORTS the women don’t like and this is definitely understandable to me.

    Be VERY careful now that your son is getting mobile. I’m not kidding — it just takes 1 second. Childproof everything – kitchen cabinets, etc…..put the medicines and house cleaners far far away from the kid… DON”T buy those stupid walkers if they have wheels, keep anything chokable AWAY from the baby, don’t have idiot though well-meaning family and friends bring latex balloons into the house….and PULEEZ use the damn locking clip that is given to you with the child seat.

    If you don’t know what a locking clip is, shame shame shame…read the instructions that come with the car seat. It’s silver and looks like an “H.” (Actually most automobiles have some kind of child seat tether or built in child seat so you don’t need a locking clip anymore)…..Ok, it’s the mom in me coming out…I also taught car seat safety classes at the local fire station here…..but I’m sure you folks know what you’re doing, thank you very much!!

  12. Well first let me apologize because I think I came across totally the wrong way. Written communication has an unfortunate draw back of not being able to convey tone without either spelling it out or using the emoticons I hypocritically hate. 🙂 Had this been a verbal communication, you would have heard the ‘ahh impressive! Very clever!’ tone that mentally went along with the guess. I’m not worried about stalking; I put the information out there for people to come see if they wanted and am flattered when they do.

    Now personally, I do tend to google people I know, used to know, just got to know, etc out of basic curiosity. Not anything stalky mind you, usually just looking for people I haven’t seen in a long time. This, however, is very hard work and it’s almost impossible to tell if people you find really are those who you were looking for. I can almost see a story in this, though I’m pretty sure it’s been done. Anyway, I’m lazy with such things so I came up with an idea I’m working on right now and should be ready to be released into the wild in a month or so.

    I’m starting a new blog called People Who Knew Mike Wolf. The purpose of it is to act as a trap to draw in former friends and associates based on the unavoidable temptation to google oneself to see what pops up. My blog will be populated with both lists of people, like in our Cast of Characters here and the Official Disclaimer, as well as blog entries for circumstances in which I knew them (school, work, etc), as well as individual entries dedicated to each person, with just enough information that they know it’s them.

    The idea is that on searches, especially Google ones where there is a little blurb showing the context, someone would see something like “Mike Wolf, from Kenmore, went to St Paul’s grammar school…”, in which case they would first react with a “hey, that sounds like me” followed by a look at the website – People Who Knew Mike Wolf hosted at michaelwolf/wordpress.com and say, “hey, I knew that guy!”. The theory is that while it might be hard to find them, and for them to find me, they certainly have a much better chance of finding themselves.

    OK, that done, I now have to apologize for implying you don’t get information out of books, which was completely not my intention. It just so happened that I saw the Brooklyn bridge documentary and the one about the diners fairly recently and of course assumed. Now my normal schtick is to say that I freely assume because I’m already an ass so only you have something to lose, but I’ll forgo in this case since I would feel the need to go and apologize again.
    As for history, you are in good company! Actually very questionable company, but anyway, I enjoy the historical tours myself and also cause those stuck with me to cringe. My feeling is that the tour guides are there to interact with and probably enjoy it when someone comes in who’s not drooling over themselves and asking if that’s one of them things like they had in the olden days. Taking an interest in someone’s work is hardly a fault. By the way my grandmother was a huge Teddy Roosevelt fan and took me on the tour of his Oyster Bay house when I was in 8th grade. We actually took the train out from Buffalo and will always live on as one of my best times with her in my memory.

    So you went from Buffalo to Jersey. Amazing. My wife is actually from Jersey (North Brunswick) and during the time we dated I drove out there pretty close to every weekend. Yes, we met on line and she didn’t know how far Buffalo was having used the logic that Buffalo is in NY, and NY is an hour away, so Buffalo is an hour away. It’s OK, she tells everyone that story so I’m not being a bastard. Before we got married we went though the big debate as to where we were going to live. It was long and protracted, but Buffalo won for reasons of my job and because the people here are just a whole lot nicer even by her own admission. So how do you like it there?

    Finally thank you for the compliments! He’s 8 ½ months now and crawling fast with walking seeming imminent as he pulls him self up on anything he can and launches forward, always falling, but not quite as quickly every time. We are trying to keep up with the baby proofing, and I’m sure you well remember the surprises at what they are able to get into or find after your best efforts. And not to worry, we had the Erie county sheriff’s install the car seats.

    Thanks for adding your pic to your comments! So far only Louis and myself have dared to use our own while Aaron and Dan hide behind cartoons. Due to that, your contributions and your addition to the cast, let me formally welcome you to the group.

  13. Umm .. Wolf, you should probably get your eyes checked. While others have commented on the “lifelike” nature of the drawing which I am using, it is hard to mistake it for a picture.

  14. …. soooo easy…..

  15. I drove past an uber military recruiting mall today, with an office to represent each branch. This brought back thoughts of the omnipresent recruiting center on Sheridan, and Mike’s Air Force stint. My wife asked me why he enlisted, and I wanted to refresh my memory on the exact details. Ah, nostalgia.

  16. Wolf…googling can give you some wild results….I didn’t think you would remember me, much less know how to spell Kolodziej. I’m glad my “interests” were to your liking, and thanks for not giving details. Most of your facts are right, at least the important ones. You and I were on different planes. Funny thing, I didn’t marry until a few years ago, and we’re not having kids. There were some suprising reasons for why I acted the way I did…It’s amazng what you learn about yourself over time. I see you have had your own adventures…that near death thing…been there, done that… even have a few t-shirts. I’m glad it all worked out. Funny thing, I had to look at a couple of pictures to figure out who you were, and then it hit me like a lightening bolt. Thanks for thewalk down memory lane, contact me at the above e-mail if you want ramble down memory lane any more.

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