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Scenes from a Metro Bus

2012-12-14 012

When it gets snowy Buzz likes to take the bus. We have a stop right by our house and it is sometimes just too tempting, you know? Because there is nothing like having three close calls in your car before you even start work in the morning. Oh, no thank you!

Taking the bus is a skill everyone should have and we pride ourself on our knowledge. Plus we just get a kick out of buses and bus routes. It is funny how you can live in Buffalo all your life and there are still places you have not heard of.

The other day, at twilight, shivering in the snowy wind on the corner of Ellicott and Division by the bus station, waiting for our magical bus to appear, we kept finding ourself smiling.

All the buses were flashing, merrily, "Happy Holidays."

One bus rolled up with twinkling lights reading: "Seneca Nation Bingo." It also read: "Lotus Bay." What an exotic-sounding location! We have seen the Lotus Bay bus for years. And we still have no idea where or what Lotus Bay is, if it is not in Thailand, that is.

Another bus flashed, "Herman Hill." Where in Sam Hill is that?

The No. 11 Colvin is famous for plying Buffalo's most mellifluous bus route, "To Raintree Island, Bypassing Paradise." It took a New York City friend to point this out. Buffalonians look through stuff like this and don't see it.

Alas, the No. 11 Colvin that rolled up the other day was flashing: "Industrial Park." That is not very poetic.

But our bus ride was!

Winter is so much prettier when you are not driving.

2012-12-14 010


On the third day of Christmas, Spotify gave to me ...

Radio2... We do not want to say what!

Remember the other day, when Spotify responded to all our playing of Christmas carols sung by the Vienna Choir Boys, the Choir of King's College Cambridge, etc. by recommending Bone Thugs-N-Harmony?

It has gotten worse!

Now Spotify is into breaking up our classical Christmas playlist by advertising, ahem ...

... We hate saying this! ...

... Trojan condoms.

What in the world, you know? It happened to a friend of ours, too. He wrote: "I'm listening to 'Christmas with Peggy Lee' right now on Spotify, and it keeps playing the same Trojan condom ad every few songs, complete with the 'Trojan Man' jingle."

That must have been the Trojan Man jingle we were hearing. It was really adult, is all we can say. Really adult.

These are not tidings of great joy!

Yes, Virginia, there is a food hangover


A priest we know, the wonderful and witty Father John Mack, wonders this morning if there is such a thing as a food hangover.

A legitimate question, and the answer is  yes!

Got a food hangover? Do what Buzz did. Eat a coookie immediately. Eat two.

Hair of the dog!

Bone Thugs-N-Buzz


Buzz got on Spotify, the Internet music site, and have been busy assembling the world's squarest Christmas playlist. We're talking carols sung by the Choir of King's College Cambridge. And the long-dead Viennese baritone Erich Kunz (no relation to us, alas). And Nat "King" Cole. ...


... and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and the Vienna Choir Boys, and tenor Jussi Bjoerling ... well, you get the idea.

Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of our playlist!

However. You know how Internet sites can never leave you alone, they are always recommending other things you might like?Spotify does this to you. And what do they recommend to Buzz?

Bone Thugs 'N Harmony's "Thuggish II."

Today it is Laziebone. We learned he is part of Bone Thugs 'N Harmony.

What is with the folks at Spotify? Haven't they bothered eavesdropping at all on what we are listening to?

People never violate your privacy when you want them to!

Apocalypse Later


Buzz did not quite get this whole Mayan thing. We don't worship the Mayan gods, pictured above. We don't buy into these people's religion, so why would we think they had anything on the ball as far as knowing when the world would end?

But we have to say, this whole Mayan calendar business was worth it for all the jokes and cartoons going around. They have kept us laughing in a week that was otherwise kind of bleak news-wise, you know?

And it is the gift that keeps on giving.

Today, a witty and learned friend writes on Facebook: 

"Somebody got it wrong. Apparently the world ends at the end of the NEXT Mayan cycle. So beware of Dec. 21 in the year 7138! Start the countdown: Only 1,872,272 days to the Apocalypse."

Hahahahahaa! Knowing this guy, he probably did the math.

Happy Dec. 22!

Now don't forget, let's all make time today to get our free ice cream at Jenny's.

In the days of decent donuts


There should be some kind of citywide observance to celebrate the First Bad Driving Day. Whatever we call it, it will probably come this weekend.

The vintage picture above was posted on Facebook today by Forgotten Buffalo along with advice to crack out our winter driving skills. It quickly drew a flurry of comments.

"The first car in line looks like my father's 1970 Plymouth Valiant."

"We had a Valiant."

"The cars aren't the only clue to how old it is -- there's lights on it!"

"And no 990 split."

"The second car looks like a 1972 Bel Air wagon."

One woman, apparently an expat, was wistful. "Wish I could bring Buffalo snow to New Orleans, if just for one day," she wrote. "Snow angel, anyone?"

A muscle car fan also liked the white stuff.

"Let's break out our '70s cars and recreate Blizzard scenes!" he suggested.

He added: "The new cars can't do a decent donut."

The not-sweet smell of success


Driving down the 190, a truck passed us -- a red truck belonging to Macken Services, a Lancaster company specializing in sump pumps, grease traps, septic tanks, leach fields, we do not know what else and we do not want to know.

The back of the truck cracked us up.

It read:

"Our Business Stinks."

Keeping up with the Joneses

Buzz loves gossiping about the rich and famous and so we love following the saga of how Andy Anselmo, Buffalo's vocal coach to the stars, teaches Caroline Jones, the daughter of mega-billionaire Paul Tudor Jones. We met Miss Jones at that party for Andy in October, if you recall.

The other day Andy flew into Greenwich, Ct., to go to the Joneses' Christmas party. Andy is a fine singer but he did not have to perform. Bon Jovi performed.

Not only that but ...

We have seen the light in the East and it is the Joneses' Christmas lights display!

That was last year's display but Business Insider implies that this year's is just as lavish. By the way that is the charming Caroline Jones on vocals.

Up at the top of the post is the Joneses' display from 2010.

Once again we are grateful to Andy Anselmo.

We live vicariously through him!

Why couldn't Buffalo branch out like this?

Brevard, N.C., has a museum devoted to old aluminum Christmas trees.

We need a museum of something vintage and funny. Our Pierce Arrows are just too classy.

How about a museum of our vintage spices and cleansers?

Buzz Receives Rare and Anonymous Award


Today Buzz got an anonymous package. A letter fell out. "Congratulations!" it said.

Beautifully typed and faultlessly spelled, the letter continued:

"You have been chosen to receive the 'Mary's A Grand Old Name' Award. It is presented, occasionally, only to women of outstanding merit whose name happens to be Mary. Since your name is Mary, and your accomplishments have come gently to our attention, you qualify on all counts to join the very short list of awardees. The Academy (that's me) is pleased to express its gratitude for your important contribution to our fair community through your excellence in print journalism, humor and music criticism."

A CD was enclosed with 25 Mary songs, starting with Jimmy Cagney singing "Mary's A Grand Old Name" and Bing Crosby's "The Rose of Tralee," on through Jimi Hendrix' "The Wind Cries Mary" and on and on, ending with "Mary, Mary" by the Butterfield Blues Band.

Special thanks was given to the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library and there was also a notice reading: "Dedicated to the memories of Mary Lyon -- Mary Smith -- Mary Wollstonecroft."

Mary Wollstonecroft, a colleague points out, was married to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and wrote "Frankenstein." That is she at the top of this post! Mary Lyon (1797-1849) was a pioneer in women's education. She founded Mount Holyoke College and Wheaton College.

Were they, and this Mary Smith, previous recipients of this award? If so we are in good company.

It makes us think of this old Scottish ballad known as "The Four Marys."

That song was not on the CD, and we can see why. It's a lovely song but the Mary it is about comes to a bad end.

Not like us!

We will go on in glory! In this wonderful town of Buffalo, home to magical things, like anonymous awards.

Thank you, Anonymous Awarder!

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