PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Backup Plan

 

If you’re like me, you’ve never lost a password in your life. Or a critical file. Because you backup everything several times a week, just in case. And when the IT people at work offer to upgrade your computer to a more recent operating system, you know not to panic, even though it means that everything on that computer will be erased.

Anyway, it’s not like you don’t know the password of your very own website. Like, if you wanted to go into your website and post a blog, you would be able to do so from anywhere in the world on any computer because your password is stored in your own physical memory up there in your powerful brain.

Or is it? Heh, heh. What’s that password again? And isn’t it true that you have not posted a blog entry for quite some time? Maybe if you try to log in and admit that you forgot your password, you’ll get an email with a temporary password, unless the software robot on the other side of the world sends email to an account you rarely check, such as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., which you don’t even know how to access. Anyway, you’ve forgotten the password for that account.

The above cautionary tale will help you understand why I’m so relieved that mhp multimedia developed and supports my website. Because Stephen Wilcox, founder of mhp multimedia and all-around great guy, quickly fixed my headaches and had me logging into my site, which allowed me to post this blog entry.

I’m sure you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog to compete with mine (good luck with that!), but I’m so confident my blog will kick your blog’s butt that I challenge you to a “blog off.” But first, you probably should contact Steve to see what he can do to get you set up.

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A Moving Scene

 

There is nothing I find more moving in the world than actually picking up and moving. Because when you move, all your stuff gets wrapped in puckered cloth and tied up with miles of plastic tape. And suddenly it’s a fascinating work of art. You come to see that these are not movers clomping through your home, but conceptual artists, and you finally understand Cristo and wonder, hmmm, maybe he started out as a mover.

One thing I’ve learned about moving: lots of stuff gets boxed and then forgotten, until the next move. How do I know this? As it turns out, I’ve moved before. And I will admit that I’ve stood by and watched things get boxed even though I knew full well that I would never take these things out of their dark tombs, until it would be time to move again and therefore time to open the dusty box that arrived all those years ago to see if there’s anything inside of interest. Or simply have it moved again without bothering to look inside.

I’ve seen how boxed items can sit on a shelf for years, decades even, which someone is paying for. Not as a line item per se, but paid-for by virtue of the space that your boxed junk is occupying in a corner of your attic. That space may feel free, but it’s really not. According to a dry-cleaner I went to a few times, “Nothing is free!” The dry cleaner posted this sign because apparently someone had asked her to sew a button on a blouse, but didn’t expect to pay for it.

Well, before you know it, you’re dead and your kids have to hire a guy to come and dispose of all those precious 1940s commonplace wall sconces you were unwilling to part with so they can sell your old cranky house. And after opening boxes and looking at all the rubbish therein, everyone has a good laugh, even the junk removal dude. And then they start to weep bitterly because it turns out that you really were a pretty good guy.

There’s a bad novel in there somewhere.

 

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Art
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Spoonerism

I’m trying to remember how many times I’ve seen the band Spoon, and if my mind isn’t playing tricks on me, it’s about 100 times. OK, more like 7. Although Tim, with whom I’ve seen almost every show, claims to remember about 4, which means he is wrong. What about the Esplanade? What about Northampton?

Not to mention the Roxy, where they sold the place out and yet somehow it remained sparsely crowded. Even Britt Daniel scratched his head about that one, noting aloud, “this is sold out?!” I heard afterward that the owners of the Roxy and the city were in some kind of battle, and the city was punishing the club by seriously curtailing the number of tickets that could be sold. I’m almost certainly misinformed about that, but something was up that limited the gate (not demand.)

Here’s the thing about Spoon: they became popular with Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, but my two favorite albums are their first and second. (Agreed, that’s not something about Spoon as much as it is something about me.) And unfortunately, they never play songs from those records anymore. Their second album is called A Series of Sneaks, and I have half a mind (or three quarters or maybe even 19/20ths of a mind) to message Britt Daniel and say, “You should do a few shows where you play A Series of Sneaks from beginning to end.” (In my town).

And he’ll laugh with great gusto!

He wouldn’t even play “Quincy Punk Episode” when I saw them at the House of Blues, despite his having heard me yell out for him to do so. I want to see this performed live before I leave this planet:

 

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Crowd Control

It’s summer in New England and your family vacation involves laying around by the pool, taking an occasional dip in a deep and cold Adirondack lake, and enjoying a drink anytime of the day or night. The harsh New England winter and the “spring” that followed (essentially long stretches of cold rain) are long gone; now’s the time for sunscreen, short trousers in the evening, and visits to the Creemee bar. Except it’s 62 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside and raining. Better head to the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT where, for the first time in human history, scientists record the usage of the phrase, “You available for butterfly crowd control?”

Because you can’t go to a butterfly exhibit these days without encountering ruffians. Perfectly peaceful citizens with caterpillaresque demeanors can morph into hooligans after just a few minutes in a butterfly queue. Shirts come off. Fists fly. These people want close-up glimpses of Glasswings, Scarlet Mormons, and Indian Leafwings, so get out of their way.

Your turn: what unusual phrase did you hear on your summer vacation?

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