I went to Puck Drop today, and this wordy, photo filled post summarizes my day. Carry on at your own risk.
Archive for the ‘Life In Buffalo’ Category
Since there’s been little to no hockey news lately, I might as well talk about how my garden is doing.
An up close look at one of the hollyhocks in the front garden. I had no idea what color these flowers would be when they went in the ground, and am completely over the moon with this burgundy color.You can kind of see where we had to tie them to the porch railing, as they were starting to fall over.
My pepper plants are bearing fruit, but it’s becoming a giant tangle of peppers. And there’s still more buds on the upper leaves. I better start looking for pepper recipes. Heh.
The male offshoot of my hens & chicks plant is trying to make time with my green onions. I think the hens & chicks plant is confused.
The basil plant that ate my backyard. The marigolds are horning in on the shot on the right and I adore the purple and white striped flowers on the left. I do admit that the basil is really good in mashed potatoes. I can’t wait for the tomatoes to start coming in so I can attempt to make sauce with the tomatoes and the basil.
What’s a Buffalo garden without a pink flamingo?
My neighbor’s flowers peeking through the backyard fence.
The first two cherry tomatoes of the season were picked this afternoon. (Along with some dill and parsley for the roasted potatoes I was making with dinner.) Both the tomatoes and potatoes were delicious.
It looks like things will continue to be quiet in Hockeyland for the next little while. I mean, unless MacArthur’s arbitration hearing results in a wacky contract, Ryan Miller surfaces from wherever he’s disappeared to, or Martin Havlat decides to spew more gossip about his time in Chicago.
Welcome to summer.
1. Gaustad looks good in a tux. Between him and Edgar from Deadliest Catch, this week has been full of yum-in-a-tux.
2. Gaustad looks happier to be with the kids than with the adults; the smiles are more genuine. Could it be that the kids aren’t asking him the usual questions the fans ask? Like “why do you guys suck so hard,” “should Lindy/Darcy/Sabretooth be fired,” and “which of your teammates would you trade / get rid of via free agency / drop kick into Lake Erie without a life preserver in order to make the team better?”
– I’m glad that Jay Mckee found a home in Pittsburgh. He’s a good, hard working guy, but the last thing the Sabres need is an injury prone defenseman. As we all know, the Sabres defense is somewhat injury prone, and since this appears to be the year of the Baby D, the veteran leadership that Jay would have brought would have been outweighed by his injury streak.
I still have a feeling Darcy is trying to make a deal of some sort to improve the team. I find it incredibly hard to believe that this team would enter the new season with the same bunch of guys that they finished the last season with, the exception of the Montador for Spacek swap, of course. There’s optimism that these guys have yet to reach their full potential, and then there’s delusion. Or maybe I’m just becoming even more jaded and cynical than usual.
Tomorrow is my grandfather’s 80th birthday. In celebration of that event and next week’s Father’s Day holiday, the entire family decided to surprise him with a trip to today’s Bisons game, including a suite experience and throwing out the first pitch. Let’s just say that D-Day had less planning than this birthday extravaganza. But despite all the hard work, emails and other subterfuge that had to happen (aka lots of phone calls in code), my grandfather was truly surprised and a good time was had by all.
– No way in heck were there over 6,800 people at Coca Cola Field for today’s game. I realize that may have been the “tickets sold” number and not the “tickets redeemed” number, but my guesstimate on attendance was probably 4,500 at best. There were lots of people disguised as red seats, lets put it that way.
– When we entered the stadium, we were given Thunderstix. I think I’m now deaf in my left ear after having cousin #1 bang on them for the better part of a game.
Cousin #2 exercised his creative juices and made the below from his Thunderstix.
It’s a dog, in case you were wondering. Said creative cousin is also available for birthdays, weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs.
– I took a breather from the fam and headed down to the main concourse to check out the gift shop and what was going on on the main level. The Bisons gift shop is pitiful compared to the Sabres Store. And I knowsthat I’m spoiled by the Sabres Store, but seriously, the Bisons gift shop is ridiculously small and doesn’t seem to have a very large product mix. There was a hoodie on the website that I liked but the store didn’t have, and the team was selling Buster plushies from last season at full price. Is it because the Mets don’t seem to want to have the Bisons sell a lot of merch? Who knows.
– When we were leaving the stadium, we were all handed bags of new Wise Honey BBQ Cheese Puffs. I can’t help but wonder why someone would want to combine barbecue flavor with cheese poofs, but they did. It’s like someone got baked, combined cheesy poofs and Honeycomb in their munchie stupor and thought this would make a great snack. They’re not bad if one is hungry enough, but I’m not going to run out and buy a bag.
– The kids running the bases after the game were ridiculously adorable. There was a father out there with his son, who was probably not more than a year old. They ran the distance from first to second before the father picked him up and ran around the rest of the bases carrying him, before depositing him about ten feet away from home and allowing him to toddle the rest of the way on his two little legs. The kid was precious and completely in awe of both Buster and Chip. Belle just confused – and probably frightened – him.
– I really felt bad for those in the Bisons bullpen during the game. They were constantly being divebombed by seagulls and even had a close encounter with a foul ball that scattered them pretty quickly. While the seagulls were nowhere near as insane as what is going on in Cleveland (at least ours don’t land on the field), I can’t help but wonder how long it will be until a fan is attacked by a bird, or a bird affects the on-field action.
WIVB ran a story tonight about Sabres anthem singer Doug Allen, who has entered the USA Weekend Anthem singing contest. Singers nationwide are invited to submit video of themselves singing the national anthem. The top 15 videos (as judged via their YouTube stats) will be graded by judges based on originality, lyrical accuracy and popularity on YouTube. The winning singer will be invited to sing the anthem at the Smithsonian and a Baltimore Orioles game on Flag Day.
Unsurprisingly, Allen’s submission is from his singing at a Sabres game. His submission can be viewed on YouTube, by searching “oh say can you sing doug allen.”
Here’s wishing him the best of luck.
– While looking at the restaurant list for WNY Restaurant Week 2009, I stumbled across this little gem that is the newest establishment to settle in Dowtown Buffalo. Someone has a really great sense of humor and a good understanding of Sabres history.
– Sabres.com has a new “Y0ur Sabres Delivered” posted, focusing this week on the new guy, Dominic Moore. While most of the questions are pretty basic, he did share that Ryan Miller is helping him out with directions and stuff. Moore does report that while Miller isn’t good with the street names, he’s good at knowing where to turn left or right. This tells me that Miller may have adopted the Buffalo style of giving directions. You know, we don’t give directions by saying “go three-tenths of a mile up Hertel and then turn left onto Starin and then go a half-mile until you hit Tacoma.” We follow the let’s use landmarks as directional notations. Directions commonly include phrases like “turn left at the Burger King. If you’ve hit Forest Lawn, you’ve gone too far.” It’s how we are. It sounds like Miller’s a good direction giver, so at least we don’t have to worry about Moore ending up lost on the East Side.
Last night I went to the Ronan Tyan / Buffalo Philharmonic concert at Kleinhans. I love going to Kleinhans. The building has this odd mix of rickety charm and history to it. And maybe it’s because I have no musical ability whatsoever, but I do like going to orchestra concerts. I like seeing the musicians wander out on stage and each start warming up individually, leading to what seems like a mass orchestral warm-up that summons Falletta on stage.
I went back and looked at what I wrote about Tynan’s concert last year, and this year’s show did include a lot of the songs he sang last year. “Hallelujah” was still uplifting (as much as that song can be) and the requisite Shrek jokes were cheesily funny. “All I Want Is You” by U2 was beautiful, as was Springsteen’s “Into The Fire”, which was dedicated to the 5 Buffalo firemen who died 25 years ago in a propane explosion.
The BPO had a chance to shine on “Danny Boy” and “The Last Rose of Summer.” In the second act, they really shone on “Sabre Dance.” You couldn’t expect a concert in Buffalo and featuring a Sabre to not have this awesome song played.
Drew Stafford showed up in the second act of the concert to play the Metallica version of “Whiskey In The Jar” and U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” The Metallica really highlighted Staffy’s guitar skills and Staffy’s enthusiasm for the guitar, but the U2 seemed to be pretty basic for him (and it was one of the songs he played last year).
The U2 song with Staffy was supposed to be the last song of the night as Tynan made a comment that they were running close on time. However, the crowd’s standing ovation and some gentle prompting from Falletta caused Tynan to come back and sing two more songs. He finished with one Irish song and “God Bless America” which also included an audience sing-a-long at the end. Thank heavens Tynan came back to sing “God Bless America.” After he left the stage at the end of the U2 song, this woman in the next section over started shrieking in the world’s shrillest voice “God Bless America…God Bless America.” And she kept at it until Tynan came back on stage. I was ready to crack her upside the head with my purple NY&Co satchel, that’s how annoying she was.
In terms of the “celebrities” in the crowd, I only saw The LQ and Ed Kilgore. And of course, The LQ made it a point to stop by and schmooze The Kilgore.
Now, onto the important part of the evening…the fashion review. Let’s start with Stafford. He was wearing a white button front shirt, untucked, and a pair of extremely well fitting jeans. I was four rows from the back of the hall and even I could tell that the boy knows how to wear a pair of jeans. As I mentioned before, Staffy seemed confident while playing the guitar, but turned almost bashful when the crowd started applauding and he was entering/exiting the stage. He did this really cute little half-wave and bashful smile thing. All he needed was a “who me” to complete the bashfulness.
In terms of the audience members, there were really only three bad faux-pas that I saw:
– a satin dress three sizes two small. As we’ve all learned from Project Runway, satin is one of the most unforgiveable materials ever! Don’t try and jam ten pounds into a five pound bag is all that I am saying.
– a short sweater, leggings and Uggs, all topped off with a beret. I know it’s a trendy look, but it’s not one of my favorites and seemed out of place in the concert environment.
– denim capris worn with hooker boots (why? just why?)
If you want to read the professional review of the concert, Mary Kunz Goldman of the Buffalo News offers her two cents here.