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The Lighter Side Of Lent


A funny Twitter trend, still going on, has people posting pictures of themselves getting their ashes, with the hashtag #Ashtag. Above is ours! That is Buzz in the lower right-hand corner, kneeling and awaiting our ashes.

Solemn as we look in the picture, we got some laughs, too, with our ashes. We went to Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Michael's Church downtown. This being Buffalo, after Mass ended, the stranger in the pew in front of us turned around and said hello.

"Don't you write for The News?" he asked.

And Buzz said yes, and introduced ourself, and said something silly like, "Happy Ash Wednesday."

And the guy gestures toward his forehead. And he says to us: "You've got something on your face."

Hahahahaha! An obvious joke, and yet we have never heard it before.

Happy Lent!

Rare Figure At Broadway Market Inspires Shock and Awe

The drama eclipsed the Oscars!

A photo of the Broadway Market that Buzz posted the other day captured a rare and elusive figure and took Facebook by storm.

An actual nun!

With nun shoes! (As one Facebooker marveled.)

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That is a sight you never see any more. Spotting a nun made Buzz's experience as a Paczki judge that much more memorable.

Another nun and we could have had a Mel Brooks movie. No Mel Brooks production was complete without a couple of nuns.

No Broadway Market production is complete without them either!

TV's Jimmy Fallon Prefers Mass the Old Way


The religious blog-o-sphere is abuzz with an interview that Terry Gross did on Fresh Air with new "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon, (pictured above with "Tonight Show" guest Will Smith). Fallon talks about the Catholic Mass and how it can be kind of, ahem, freewheeling. A very dicey subject these days!

The interview is from 2011. You can listen to it on the NPR site. Fallon is reminiscing about when he was an altar boy. He says he wanted to be a priest.

"I just, I loved the church," he says. "I loved the idea of it. I loved the smell of the incense. I loved the feeling you get when you left church. I loved like how this priest can make people feel this good. I just thought it was – I loved the whole idea of it."

Gross asks if he still goes to church.

Fallon says: "I don’t go to ... I tried to go back. When I was out in L.A. and I was kind of struggling for a bit. I went to church for a while, but it’s kind of, it’s gotten gigantic now for me. It’s like too… There’s a band. There’s a band there now, and you got to, you have to hold hands with people through the whole Mass now, and I don’t like doing that..."

"I’m doing too much," he explains. "I don’t want – there’s Frisbees being thrown, there’s beach balls going around, people waving lighters, and I go, ‘This is too much for me.’ I want the old way. I want to hang out with the, you know, with the nuns, you know, that was my favorite type of Mass, and the grotto, and just like straight up, just Mass Mass."

Good for UB grad Terry Gross for getting into this, you know?

Let's make it about religion and politics!


Buffalo's Funniest Priest

StinkSunday morning, foolishly trying to drive to church in the snow, Buzz got stuck not once but twice and had to be dug out both times by Good Samaritans. But that is another story for another day.

Today's story involves where we ended up, which is at St. Mark's, a church we prudently slogged to on foot. The church was full and we soon saw one reason why:

Their priest, Father Joseph Rogliano, is like Denis Leary without the obscenities!

His homily, about how we all shouldn't be so busy this time of year, riffed on his Christmas shopping struggles. One nephew loves a video game called "Sky... Skylander?" the priest said. "They have names I'm gonna share. The one he wants is Stink Bomb. Of course that's the one you can't find anywhere," he declaimed, as the audience -- er, congregation -- roared.

A niece had similar wants. "I'm tired of looking for Cheerleader Barbie, I will tell you that. I finally found her on eBay. Is $200 a lot to pay?"

Is getting stuck in the snow a lot to pay for enjoying these laughs? We think not!

Sunday, we were blessed!


Confessions of the Notre Dame Leprechaun


Sure, and Hamburg native Daniel Colt Collins' "Life as the Notre Dame Leprechaun," gossiped about in today's Buzz column, will be flying off the shelves, if all if it is as good as the excerpts we read.

Here is one:

I led the cheerleaders in a "Hail Mary" before we ran through LaFortune Student Center, much to the surprise of the hungry fans waiting patiently in the serpentine Subway line coiled around the concourse.  More fans mobbed us for the remainder of the fifteen minutes we had left until the Band of the Fighting Irish signaled the start of its Step-Off Parade from the Golden Dome to Notre Dame Stadium.  Our venerated drum major blew his whistle, raised his ornate scepter, and away we went.

And another:

Continue reading "Confessions of the Notre Dame Leprechaun" »

New York Times Praises Actress' Buffalo Accent


Love this New York Times review of a 2012 production of Tom Dudzick's "Miracle on South Division Street." A Buffalo production of the play opens Friday at the Kavinoky Theatre.

The Times reviewer writes in the last paragraph: "The players are all very comfortable in their roles — Ms. Cosgrave gets the most laughs — though only Ms. Zazzi has the hard A of the Buffalo accent nailed."

The Buffalo "A" is a most elusive talent!

Alas, the rest of the cast gets an "A" only for effort.

A Ride on the Happy Metro Bus


Remember the Metro Bus driver Buzz loved, who announced all the stops? We got her again this morning. This time she outdid herself!

"Happy Friday," she told us when we boarded in the howling winds. 

As we made our way down the bus aisle another passenger repeated the greeting. "Happy Friday!" he told us.

So there we are, beaming and telling people "Happy Friday!" Our morning was looking up!

The bus driver's good cheer continued as we rolled down Delaware Avenue. "Whoooo!" she would wail when the bus shook in the wind. "The wind is strong if it blows the bus around!" She added: "I'm going to get some overtime tonight. New drivers don't know how to deal with winds like this. Fine with me!"

The clouds gathered. "We're going to have a snowstorm," the driver predicted.

She cheerily gave another driver the horn when the driver cut her off.

"What kind of person in a little car would cut off a bus?" she said.

Then she went on to philosophize: "People who drive little two-seater cars are selfish. They don't want to give anyone a ride! They don't want to take you grocery shopping. Oh, no, they don't!"

The passengers all laughed, Buzz joining in.

The driver added: "And God forbid you got a friend that weighs 180 pounds."

More laughter. This was like Helium!

"Anyone remember Mr. Bean?" the driver asked. When no one answered she persisted. "Come on. Anyone on this bus remember Mr. Bean?"

Buzz spoke up from our seat in the back of the bus. "I do, yes."

"Remember Mr. Bean and his little car? He would get into that little car."

Hahahaha! That shows what the driver was talking about. It is one funny clip. Especially the end.

But not as funny as our ride on the Metro Bus!