PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Registered Mail

Just because your email program can tell if I’ve opened the spam you’ve sent me doesn’t mean it knows if I’ve actually absorbed and internalized your slogans. Just ask anyone in my family: my eyes can pass over the little squiggly words on the screen and my lips can move as I read what’s in front of me, but my mind is pondering more important things:

Will Tom Brady finally win that elusive fifth Super Bowl ring this year? When will WEEI begin selling Red Sox sponsorship slots on a per-pitch basis? And when our coastal cities inevitably succumb to rising seas, will the dispersing of us urban liberals to inland locales mean we can finally win both the popular vote and the Electoral College in the same year?

I hate to break the news to you, but we boys in this household are famous for nodding in agreement at the things you gals say whilst our minds are busy wondering if we’ve put too much chocolate malt in the beer recipe. We’re not proud of it, but dammit we’re man enough to admit it. And don’t tell me you didn’t notice this years ago.

So go ahead and use your analytical tools. My brain laughs at you! Even as I write these words, I’m actually thinking that I should check weather-dot-com to see how warm it is in San Diego, to where Richard has repaired. And how cold it’s going to be in Minnesota in February, 2018, when Howard scores tickets for Uncle Bobby, Mook, and yours truly to see the Pats win another title.

Sorry, did you say something?

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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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When I Die

Knowing the extent to which your life is governed by entries in the calendar, I’m going to be very interested in seeing how my death interferes with your plans. What vacation were you scheduled to take? Which child is graduating from 4th grade that week?

“He would have wanted us to continue guys’ weekend. Also, he’d want Bob to make his stuffed, rolled pork roast.” And then, during the tipsy guys’ weekend keynote address on the last night, Mook raises a toast to me and everything I’ve ever stood for. “And Syracuse Orange basketball! Hiccup.

Overheard at various water bubblers across town:

“He really would have wanted us to participate in the golf scramble during the memorial service.”

“The last thing he’d want is for us not to bowl in the league championship just because he’s getting lowered into the earth.”

“Of course he wants me to go to this meaningless late spring mid-week Sox game instead of consoling his family.”

I’ll be watching from up there in the clouds with my bowl of heavenly popcorn, getting knuckles from Jesus every time you complain about how inconvenient it was for you that I had to go and croak that week. Guess what? There’s another year in Purgatory for you, buddy. How ya like me now!

“He would have wanted us to drink the rest of his homebrew before it goes stale.”

Absolutely true!

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There's An App For That

 

About ten or fifteen years ago, I discovered the rock musician PJ Harvey and the brilliance of her work. This is not to suggest that I made her known to the rest of the rock-listening world, the way Berry Gordy discovered bands like The Miracles and Surpremes. As usual, I was a late-comer to good music. The album “Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea” was highly accessible and still uniquely PJ Harvey. I went out and bought CDs of her earlier work (this was when many people were still paying for music), which was fiercer, like it had been shouted out from a basement window. The Song “Rid of Me” was creepy as hell, reminiscent of at least one relationship I’d been in.

Soon after this, I came to realize that PJ Harvey was playing a show at the Paradise Rock Club, a venue in Brighton, MA that holds less than a thousand people. Of course, as sometimes happens to this aging rock fan, I learned of the show’s existence many weeks after it had sold out in something like 2 minutes. Years later, around the time that Let England Shake was released in 2011, I sought out but couldn’t find anyone to see her with me at the House of Blues and ended up not going. What a stupid mistake! I’m old enough to know that you must get out and enjoy the music whenever possible, even if none of your friends are able to attend.

And now I find myself in the final quarter of 2015, still having not seen Polly Jean live. However, I have an app installed on my phone, a download suggested by the educator formerly known as “America’s Favorite Acerbic High School Principal,” (now Italy’s favorite). The app, called “Bands In Town,” vibrates in my pocket whenever it thinks I would appreciate knowing about a rock show coming my way – which happens a lot less frequently than you might think. In this case, it told me that PJ Harvey would be playing O’Brien’s Pub in Allston. (Did you get that? O’Briens -- a tiny bar!).

After a day or two of fumbling with the app (“sign in with Facebook!” – can’t remember that one; “sign in with Google” – ditto; “sign in with email” – which of the twenty five email accounts could that be referring to?), I went online to the PJ Harvey website, where no shows of any sort were scheduled anywhere in the world. (That’s the kind of life PJ leads).

Eventually, O’Brien’s website provided the demystification: playing on Halloween Night was, among other acts, “PJ Harvey by Mud Dive.” It was a night of impersonation, in other words.

I guarantee that this won’t be the last time “Bands in Town” makes a fool of me.

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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!