PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Potato Yarn

Here’s a story that you were thinking of “writing up” but never did: A guy sees his wife go off to the supermarket and realizes that he had left something off the grocery list. So he texts her: “We’re in desperate need of potatoes.”

Oddly, his wife doesn’t text back. In fact, she returns home with whole bean coffee, ground turkey, Brussel sprouts, rye bread, saffron, pickled artichokes, pints of cream and so forth, but swears up and down that she never had seen the potato desperation email.

Late that night the doorbell rings, and after some comical robe-fumbling and searching for spectacles, our hero (loose interpretation) answers the door to find an old friend – well, not really a “friend” so much as this annoying acquaintance whom our hero had gotten to know a little and came to dislike – carrying 20 pounds of potatoes. “You said it was desperate!”

“I was trying to send that text to my wife. I guess I texted you by mistake.”

But now it’s too late and the guy he hasn’t seen in five years – armed with potatoes – is looking to have the friendship rekindled.

Why didn’t you ever write that story up?

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Oober Alice

Why have I become so obsessed of late with this video of the Dead Kennedys doing their punk classic California Über Alles? Is it that the first images we see are those of 4 geeky dudes in a recording studio who haven’t pierced themselves, colored their hair, or otherwise taken on a punk demeanor? Is it the green rubber gloves that front man Jello Biafra wears in various live clips? Or is it simply the line “It’s the suede-denim secret police/they have come for your uncool niece,” which is the kind of rhyme my daughter became famous for making when she was about 3 years old?

First, see the video:

 

Part of the reason this video works so well (for me – maybe not so well for you!) is the excellent studio audio, which provides the structure and muscle over which a series of film clips of the band playing the song at various live and studio venues are overlaid. This is not the first time I’ve encountered this editing technique: there is a well-known Led Zeppelin video of The Immigrant Song, which used bits of concert footage that could not be synced up with an audio recording. Obviously, it works much better to have a seamless audio recording of a song underpinning video/film of varying quality than to have a single seamless video/film running over a mishmash of audio takes of varying quality.

In the mid-1980s I had urges to see the Dead Kennedys but never sought them out and didn’t have my finger on the pulse of the local music scene (because I wasn’t making use of the Boston Phoenix enough, I guess), but all these years later I wish I had seen them. Even if the band mates put aside their differences and were willing to do a tour, I can’t imagine Jello coming at his audience these days with the same vigor he displayed all those decades ago.

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Puckish

I recently was given access to proprietary algorithmic data suggesting that I don’t win quite as many of life’s puck battles as the mainstream media would have you believe.

You’re surprised. I know, a lot of people are. You can’t help but notice that I have just the right physique to win puck battles all over this great hemisphere of ours – the greatest hemisphere in the world! Let’s all stand up and sing God Bless Our Hemisphere.

OK back to my failure to win pucks. What’s it all mean? Well, it either means that I’ve gone soft, or the data is wrong. And if you ask me, the data is wrong. Maybe it wasn’t proprietary algorithmic data at all but just fake news. Maybe I do win my fair share of puck battles.

Makes you think.

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Comebacker

Around this time in 2017, I expect to be named the Comeback Blogger of the Year. It shouldn’t be too hard. Everyone is already disappointed with my lackluster social media stats and perilously low internet traffic numbers. I have nowhere to go but up. “Of course he gets no traffic! He refuses to tweet out baseless opinions! He never ‘friends’ anyone. He doesn’t ‘Babbly.’ He doesn’t make use of ‘Follower Wonk.’ What is his ‘Feedly’ handle anyway? He’s got zero ‘Social Clout!’” The list goes on.

Maybe if I used ‘Waze’ more I’d be able to avoid bicycle traffic jams and would have more time to up my social profile, you think. Well guess what I think: up your social profile buddy.

Starting in January I’m going to blog the bejesus out of you and everyone else around. I’m going to blog so much it’ll make your head spin. You’ll be covered in my bloggage from head to toe. I’m going to no-hit your ass, blog-wise. They are going to announce me as a shoo-in for the Cy Young of Blogging award. And so forth.

Suddenly, my friends are going to come out of the woodwork. Mook is going to be all “I knew him way back when he wrote a long and boring entry about the Big East.” Howard’s going to fly me to California to party with Taylor Swift. Bob won’t notice because he’s going to be working on putting everyone’s birthday into his iphone so he doesn’t forget to call Howard yet again.

Having said all that, this December I intend to blog in my usual mundane way, so don’t feel like you have to visit for a while. 

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The New Look, Feel, and Smell

Suddenly, just when you were finally getting comfortable with my website, I go and reorganize information into 3 columns instead of just two, add links to other sites (right hand column, scroll down a bit), and install a tag cloud (just below it) that's claims to be unused. Why?! “The next thing you know he’ll be running ads!” Read On

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Produce This Audio Play!

Ever wanted to produce a radio play?  Think you have the mettle?  Read on!