All of my 365 t-shirts from 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010


I like to wear this shirt on Sundays. For several reasons including time constraints, I will not attempt to write about all the sins I’ve committed. I was raised Catholic, and went to church just about every week growing up. I was an altar boy for ten of those years, and then I went to college. My freshman year, the church was in the basement of my dorm. I went once, and that was because one of my best friends was getting confirmed…and I was his sponsor. I do still go to church…two times a year. And, I go more for my mother than for God.

Now, I don’t believe in organized religion. I believe religion is the cause of most of the world’s problems. I always shake my head whenever I hear or read about some book causing a stir or protests (like Harry Potter) because the Bible (and other “holy books”) has caused more problems than every other book combined. People’s interpretation of the Bible has given rise to groups like, which I think is the worst example of how religion divides. I’m no religious scholar, but I don’t think God hates anything…

I believe in God, but I believe that God cares more about humans treating each other well than what they pick as a religion or what they think is or isn’t a sin. If we all treated each other well, would anyone care what religious beliefs the other had?

Also, I think God thinks this shirt is funny. Excuse me now, I have to go sin...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

T-shirt #30: Family Guy Something, Something, Something DARK SIDE

Two of my favorite things together: Family Guy and Star Wars. This shirt was part of the Blue Ray / T-shirt / Lunch Box combo ( ) that I got from my godmother using the Best Buy gift card she gave me for Christmas. Very funny, but I think the Blue Harvest spoof of Episode IV was better. Quotes here if you are interested: ( )

I wear it today again, because I am hanging out with my friends Carl and Scott and I know they will both appreciate it and make fun of me for it. More later…

Friday, January 29, 2010


This is a shirt I thought it would be funny to have because, as you might know, I don’t drink…I got it at the David Cross show in Boston this past October. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, you most likely would have seen him in Arrested Development, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the Men in Black movies, or Waiting for Guffman. See what else he has been in here: ( ) The shirt was part of his stand-up routine as well as a book he published last fall with the same title ( ). The back of the shirt contains a list that is in the book of “Ideas for t-shirts to be sold at Urban Outfitters”…here are a few of my favorites…







Thursday, January 28, 2010

T-shirt #28: Nigels 11

This is one of my newer shirts. It’s from my friend Mike’s band called, you guessed it, Nigels 11. (If you don’t get the reference, you should definitely see the movie This Is Spinal Tap…here’s the clip: Along with the shirt, I got their newest CD, Clandestine Operation. As I write this, I am really enjoying the first song, “Get Out”. Check them out here: .

I have known Mike for most of my life. I remember the summer during high school when he got his first guitar. He taught himself, and by the end of the summer he was playing pretty much whatever he wanted, including Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption”. Mike and I often argued as to who was the best guitarist. He thought Eddie Van Halen was the best, while I argued (and still do today) that Nuno Bettencourt was the best. Mike was actually my proof that Nuno was better because he could play Eddie’s solos, but not Nuno’s. Here’s some Nuno:

One of my favorite memories of high school was when Mike and I skipped a day to go see Extreme. Luckily for both of us our mothers understood how important concerts were, and covered by telling Saint John’s we had “appointments”. It was a general admission show, and I convinced Mike we should go really early so we could be right up front. The show was at E.M. Loew’s (now called The Palladium), and Danger Danger opened. We got right up front, and the Extreme boys did not disappoint. And yes, Danger Danger played “Naughty Naughty” If you don’t know what that is, it’s classic hair metal…

Rock on Mike, Nigels 11, Nuno, and Extreme...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

T-shirt #27: 5 out of 4 people have a problem with fractions.

I have had this shirt for a while and it’s one of my favorites. I would wear it a lot when I was teaching special ed math. Some students would get it and others wouldn’t, but they all thought it was funny that a teacher would wear it. They also like when I would tell them that they could call “fractions” the f- word. Math always came pretty easily to me, and I’m betting having a father who was an accountant helped. Although, like my four siblings, I chose to study something that was just about as far away from accounting as possible (I studied Psychology and Sociology while my brothers and sisters studied English, Graphic Arts, Philosophy, and Communications (Theater). I did get my first “D” ever in eighth grade algebra, but that was following being sick for two weeks and not being able to catch up by the time the term ended. The next term I did bounce back with an A+, thanks to some after school help from Mr. Passler. I remember thinking “Why do I have to know this stuff?” as I sat there and he explained equations with two variables to me. Little did I know, I would end up teaching math less than ten years later. Believe it or not, there are more math-related shirts to come…

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

T-shirt #26: Sesame Street

When I wore this shirt (and my older MIA Sesame Street shirt in the picture I'm holding), my nephew would touch the different characters with his finger and I would do my best impression of each character…I think his favorites were my “Hey Bert!” in the Ernie voice and “Thaaaat tickles!” as Elmo. Of course now that he’s ten, it’s all about farts and telling him that he has 1,000,000 girlfriends that makes him laugh. Of course, I am glad to progress with his (and my other nephew and niece's) maturity…

Monday, January 25, 2010

T-shirt #25: HELLO, my name is TROUBLE

Going along with the Alcatraz theme, this shirt makes me think of some of the run-ins I have had with the law over the years…

My first was when I had just learned how to ride a bike. I was so proud, turning and twisting and making figure eights in the street. I enjoyed it so much, I wasn’t really paying attention to see if any vehicles might be coming my way. One did, and it was a police cruiser. He pulled over, gave me a very stern “Son, you need to be more careful and pay attention” routine, and I ran inside crying. When my mother asked me what was wrong, I knew I couldn’t tell her I had just been yelled at by a policeman. I quickly blurted out that I had been stung by a bee, and while my mother tried looking for a stinger, the cop showed up at our door. He apologetically said he didn’t mean to scare me, but wanted to make sure I was being safe. Even thought I was caught in my lie, my mom was just glad I was okay.

Years later, I was driving home from a Red Sox game with my brother Tom. We were driving down Main Street in The ‘Boro (a.k.a. Westborough, Westboro, birthplace of Eli Whitney), and coming up on the police station. I noticed a cruiser signaling to turn into the station, but not in time to stop and let him in. I’m guessing this upset him, because right after I took a left onto Ruggles Street, he was behind me flashing his lights. He came up to my car and without even a hello asked “Do you know why I pulled you over?” I really had no idea other than not letting him turn into the station, but he said “You were going 35 in a 30 mile per hour zone. Do you know what that means?” I wanted to say it meant I didn’t get a ticket, but I bit my lip. He continued, “You have a passenger with no buckle on and his feet out the window!” When someone gets this upset, my usual reply is just to say “I’m sorry”, and I did. He came back with a “I’m not the one you should be apologizing to!” At this point, he had given me no other options but to subtly yell back, so I turned to my brother and said, “I’m sorry.” He continued his tirade about “seeing this car always speeding by” and “you better slow down”, and I bit my lip more and nodded my head. After he had blown off enough steam, he let me go without even a written warning. My brother Tom and I just laughed and shook our heads.

When I was living in Waltham, I finished writing my first screenplay. I couldn’t believe when I went to go print it that I didn’t have enough paper. I rushed out to CVS, got the paper, and on the way home forgot the “No Turn on Red” sign going from Main Street to Moody Street. There was no denying what I had done to the officer that pulled me over, but I was honest with him. I told him I had just finished my screenplay and couldn’t wait to go home and print it. He asked me if there were any police officer parts in the play, and I told him in fact, there were a few that involved the Boston College Police. He laughed, wished me well on my writing career, and let me go with a warning.

More law/police stories to come…

Dave “Trouble” McGrath

Sunday, January 24, 2010

T-shirt #24: ALCATRAZ 506938

I sometimes get funny looks when I wear this one. Some people ask me how I got this shirt, and I usually say they give it to you if you spent enough time there. I got it when I was in San Francisco following a cross-country road trip with a few college buddies. We left the day after graduation, and drove from Mass to Chicago to Kansas City (with a short stop in St. Louis because I wanted to check out the world’s only floating McDonald’s…see picture) to Denver to Las Vegas to Anaheim for a couple of nights then up to San Fran. Some highlights, lowlights, and revelations:

* Going to the top of Sears Tower in Chicago

* Seeing nothing, because we were surrounded by clouds (see picture)

* Seeing the Arch in St. Louis

* Going to the world’s only floating McDonald’s (see pictures)

* Finding out how freakin’ wide the state of Kansas is

* Seeing what Las Vegas was all about (if you haven’t heard, there’s a lot of gambling here)

* Taking pictures while driving on the highway (see picture)

* Having a Crohn’s attack and seeing the sign that said Next Rest Area 100 miles

* Going to Dinseyland for the first time

* Going on Star Tours and The Indiana Jones ride (on the Indiana Jones ride, I was sitting in the sit with the fake steering wheel, and embarrassed my friends by getting into “hero” character and pretending I was really driving the jeep)

* Being on Alice in Wonderland when it broke down, and Disney employees had to escort us off the ride (see picture of my friends Drew and Patrick inside the ride)

* Using the CB radio my friend Drew wired to speakers to make random P.A. messages to unsuspecting pedestrians...Once when we were in San Fran I said something like “This is God. I want everyone to scream in 5 seconds.” Then I counted down, and was surprised when just about everyone in earshot screamed.)

* Going to my first away Red Sox game (they lost to the A’s after a Mo Vaughn throwing error to home plate)

* Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge (see picture)

* Touring Alcatraz (see pictures)

* Going to the forest where they shot Return of the Jedi (see picture)

* My favorite memory of this trip was when we were walking down the San Fran boardwalk and noticed a bunch of people behind barricades like they were waiting for someone to show up. My friend Patrick told us it was for the premiere of “The Rock”, and they must be waiting for the stars to show up. As we continued down the boardwalk in between the eager fans, I pointed over to somewhere random and said to my friends (but so everyone else could hear), “Hey, it’s Sean Connery!” Everyone looked….and I laughed. Then everyone looked at me. I kept laughing, and my friend just shook their heads.

* Putting my feet in the Pacific Ocean (see picture)

Saturday, January 23, 2010


(Me pictured with my shirt and the cup I drank from the first time I ever drank.)

This is another shirt from The Onion, and is a way (not that I need more) I make fun of myself. I drank for the first time my second semester in college, and it wasn’t a good mix. Although I had just beaten my brain cancer, drinking opened the door to many of the negative feelings I refused to acknowledge while going through treatment…namely anger and sadness. Simply put, I was usually not pleasant to be around when I was drunk.

I did a lot of stupid, hurtful, selfish things when I drank. I hurt people I cared about most and some people that I didn’t know. I recited a lot of drunken poetry to many attractive BC girls. I stumbled, fell, but somehow was able to outrun all of my friends who were always trying to help me get home. I drank before, during, and after parties. I usually refused to participate in drinking games, because I didn’t need a game. I had one game, the Dave Drinking Game. It had two rules: 1) Finish drink as fast as you can 2) Repeat rule #1. I got into fights with classmates, struggles with BC Police, and woke up in ERs.

My family and friends did their best to be supportive and concerned. Luckily for me, they never stopped loving me. Through it all, my parents never even once raised their voices to me about my drinking. When BC made me go to rehab, they were there visiting me. My last time in rehab, they were there to tell me that my friend Justin had passed away. Justin was a thirteen year old who I met while getting cancer treatment. He had a brain tumor too, but his was towards his brain stem and wasn’t reacting very well to treatment. We became hospital buddies and would stay in the same room if our treatment schedules crossed over. We watched the Red Sox a lot, and laughed a lot. When his prognosis wasn’t looking very good, he asked his mother to call me to see if I could go visit him. I couldn’t because I was in the hospital getting charcoal for my alcohol. Times like that are what I think of when people ask me, “Do you think you could just have one?” Like everything, the only thing that mattered was what I was telling myself. Finding out about Justin and hearing a guy in his upper thirties say “This is my ninth time in rehab” were enough for me to tell myself I was never drinking again. And, I haven’t. Thank you to all my family and friends who stuck by me through those times, I don’t know how you did it. More drinking stories later, I'm sure...

On a lighter note, here are some gems from two of my favorite drinkers, Homer and Peter:


“All right, brain, I don’t like you and you don’t like me – so let’s just do this and I’ll get back to killing you with beer.”

“Bart, a woman is like beer. They look good, they smell good, and you’d step over your own mother just to get one!

“Homer no function beer well without.”

“Ah beer, my one weakness. My Achilles heel if you will.”

“To alchohol, the cause of and solution to all life’s problems.”

“I am in NO condition to be driving…wait a minute! I shouldnt be listening to myself…I’M DRUNK!”


Lois: You're drunk again.

Peter: No, I'm just exhausted 'cause I've been up all night drinking.

Lois: Peter, what did you promise me? 

Peter: That I wouldn't drink at the stag party. 

Lois: And what did you do? 

Peter: Drank at the stag pa-- ... Whoa. I almost walked into that one.

Lois: Oh, my God! You can only play the piano when you're drunk! 

Peter: Now that's not true! I can also vomit, fall down and make dirty calls to your sister when I'm drunk!

Peter: I told Lois I wouldn't drink 

Quagmire: Don't feel so bad Peter 

Peter: Hey, I never thought of it that way

Peter: C'mon, let's go drink 'til we can't feel feelings anymore.

Peter: Wow, is that really the blood of Christ?

Preacher: Yes, it is.

Peter: Holy crap, that guy must've been wasted 24 hours a day.

Friday, January 22, 2010

T-shirt #22: The sports team from my area is superior to the sports team from your area.

This shirt is one of three I have that are brought to you by The Onion.
Although I would say the statement has held true for the past two hockey games I have watched (Bruins vs. Blue Jackets last night and BC vs. BU tonight), I did not count on the ref handing the game to the less superior team. Last night's high sticking against Lucic (the Columbus player was actually hit by his teammate's stick) and tonight's tripping call against BC with less than two minutes left (Parker and the ref obviously have some sort of special relationship). Total B.S. calls and total B.S. losses. The good news is that I get to hang out with my friend Kelly (pictured with me), and look forward to both The Bruins and BC bouncing back and getting these ridiculous losses behind them. Go B's, go Eagles...and it still sucks to B.U.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

T-shirt #21: I am the man from nantucket.....

This is the first shirt I was requested to wear and blog about, and another one that I am lucky to be able to wear to work. I have had this shirt for over ten years, and got it from a girlfriend who was working in Nantucket one summer. I think I had seen one once and asked her to get me it if she saw one. One time, I wore it into the McDonald’s (which means this was over 6 years ago) in Waltham and this young Irish girl was working. She read it out loud, and asked me what it meant. I just laughed and said I couldn’t tell her. When she insisted, I just recited the limerick with a few words omitted, and she figured it out. Another time I wore it into see a band at Great Scott’s, and when I walked over to my friend Elizabeth she was already laughing. She told me she knew I had arrived because some guy had just walked by her telling his friend that he had just seen “the funniest shirt” and described it to him. I believe this was also the night that somehow magically three of my x-girlfriends were at the same show (or maybe it was two x’s and a current?)…all of which who knew the “validity” of the shirt. I’m sure the Hope Lodge guests will get their kicks tonight…

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

T-shirt #20: GLENHAVEN

This shirt was a Christmas present from the school I was working at full-time from September to the end of this past November. Glenhaven Academy is a residential school in Central Massachusetts for students with severe behavioral and emotional issues (for more info, see ). I took the job teaching there because the American Cancer Society had started doing pay-cuts and lay-offs, and I thought it would be a good time to get back into education after a little break. Right after I started there, they laid off the Hope Lodge office assistant, so it was just me and my boss left to hold down the fort. I would get up, teach from 8-4, come back, and be working at Hope Lodge until I left for Glenhaven in the morning.

Unfortunately, after about two months, this schedule caught up to me. I was getting sick just about every other week, my Crohn’s Disease was flaring up more than it usually did, and my body was telling me it was just too much. On top of all the physical symptoms, there was “outside of school” prep work I had to do at Hope Lodge. Although I think the guests understood I had things to do for school, I always felt bad knowing it was my job to give them my attention and be there to either talk to them or help them forget about their cancer.

The decision to stop working at Glenhaven full-time was one of the most difficult I have made my entire life. I knew the students had histories of many people “quitting” on them (teachers included), and I knew no matter what I said they would probably think I was doing the same. In addition to the students, the people I worked with at G.A. made my decision very hard. I have worked at several other programs, and this group of teachers and staff are some of the most dedicated I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

When I let the education director know about my decision, I was very happy when she said I could still be a part of Glenhaven Academy on a part-time volunteer basis. So even though I am not teaching, I still run an after school writing/publishing group. Only a few students are part of it, but we are putting together a book of poetry and are going to publish it soon…more details on this to follow…

Thanks for the shirt GA...I appreciate all of you!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

T-shirt #19: It's a Liger

This shirt (as you may already know) is from the movie Napoleon Dynamite. Here’s some of my favorite quotes:

Kid on Bus: What are you gonna do today, Napoleon?

Napoleon Dynamite: Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh

Don: Hey, Napoleon. What did you do last summer again?

Napoleon Dynamite: I told you! I spent it with my uncle in Alaska hunting wolverines!

Don: Did you shoot any?

Napoleon Dynamite: Yes, like 50 of 'em! They kept trying to attack my cousins, what the heck would you do in a situation like that?

Don: What kind of gun did you use?

Napoleon Dynamite: A freakin' 12-gauge, what do you think?

Napoleon Dynamite: Just tell them that their wildest dreams will come true if they vote for you.

Grandma: How was school?

Napoleon Dynamite: The worst day of my life, what do you think?

Napoleon Dynamite: [referring to the dance] Who are you gonna ask?

Pedro: That girl over there.

Napoleon Dynamite: Summer Wheatly? How the heck are you gonna do that?

Pedro: Build her a cake or something.

Uncle Rico: I wish you wouldn't look at me like that, Napoleon.

Napoleon Dynamite: I wish you'd get out of my life and shut up!

Deb: What are you drawing?

Napoleon Dynamite: A liger.

Deb: What's a liger?

Napoleon Dynamite: It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic.

Monday, January 18, 2010

T-shirt #18: THERE IS HOPE

I found this shirt in the storage room at Hope Lodge. Such a simple message, but I think it’s the reason I am here. Guests come to Hope Lodge with varying degrees of hope, fear, positive attitude, and treatment behind and/or ahead of them. At the very least, I like to think that I help guests increase their degrees of hope and show them that it is not only okay, but helpful to never stop laughing even when dealing with cancer. I have been at Hope Lodge for two and a half years now, and am glad to say we have had far more success stories compared to guests who have lost their courageous battles to this horrible disease. So, let’s hope for more success stories, keep laughing, be thankful for the survivors we know, and never forget those who have passed (Justin, Danny, and Greg, I think of you every day!)…there IS HOPE…

PS- It is hard to hold a laptop in the cold and try to get a picture of your shirt, a sign, and a house

Sunday, January 17, 2010

T-shirt #17: Cinderella

The donning of such a shirt should tell you two things about me: One, the hair metal wave came through during my formative years. Two, I don’t care what people think of me. I wore this shirt today because I knew I would be hanging out with my friends Carl and Scott, two of a very select few in my life that actually appreciate Cinderella (or Cinderf’nrella as my sister Meg yelled out between songs at their concert). They complimented me on it, and we all agreed Long Cold Winter is still a great freakin’ album. Some word of wisdom from the Philly-based boys:

I can't tell ya baby what went wrong
I can't make you feel what you felt so long ago
I'll let it show
I can't give you back what's been hurt
Heartaches come and go and all that's left are the words
I can't let go
If we take some time to think it over baby
Take some time, let me know
If you really want to go

Don't know what you got till it's gone
Don't know what it is I did so wrong
Now I know what I got
It's just this song
And it ain't easy to get back
Takes so long

I can't feel the things that cause you pain
I can't clear my heart of your love it falls like rain
Ain't the same
I hear you calling far away
Tearing through my soul I just can't take another day
Who's to blame
If we take some time to think it over baby
Take some time let me know
If you really wanna go

Don't know what you got till it's gone
Don't know what it is I did so wrong
Now I know what I got
It's just this song
And it ain't easy to get back
Takes so long

Do you wanna see me beggin' baby
Can't you give me just one more day
Can't you see my heart's been draggin' lately
I've been lookin' for the words to say

Don't know what you got till it's gone
Don't know what it is I did so wrong
Now I know what I got
It's just this song
And it ain't easy to get back
Takes so long

Saturday, January 16, 2010

T-shirt #16: Cracker, please.

This is a shirt from one of my favorite comedians, Mike Birbiglia.

See the joke it is a reference to here:, and more info about him at his website What you might not find out about Mike on his website is a few similarities we share. We both grew up in Central Massachusetts (he’s from Shrewsbury), were raised Catholic, were altar boys, and we are cancer survivors. Also, his brother (who he refers to as Joe-Bags) went to St. John’s for two years and was in a few of my classes.

I met Mike last year after going to his Sleepwalk with Me show with my sister in New York City. He put on a great show, and in addition to talking about being raised Catholic and surviving cancer, he talked about how he has a sleeping disorder. He acts out his dreams and at times would find himself doing things like jumping out of hotel windows (that were closed) and waking up to find himself balancing on a shelf in the living room. He’s a hilarious storyteller and a perfect example of how tragedy+time can equal comedy. If you like stand-up, you should definitely check him out. Here’s a great story he tells about his parents and computers:

Enjoy, and thanks for all the laughs Mike!

Friday, January 15, 2010

T-shirt #15: medicated

This is one of my many, “We/I saw this, and had to get it for you” t-shirts. That alone automatically makes it one of my favorites. There was no birthday, no Christmas…just thinking of me and my insane t-shirt collection. My friend Krissy got me this, and it usually gets a laugh or a “Yeah, I know” by people that are close to me.

One of the things I take medicine for when things “flare up” is my Crohn’s Disease. I was diagnosed when I was 14 my freshman year in high school. I had been having really bad stomach aches and “intestinal issues” for a few months, but finally I couldn’t take the pain anymore. My grandmother had a suspicion something was wrong with me when I first stopped eating her cooking in the piles and seconds and thirds I was accustomed to. I remember going to pick my older brother up for Winter break his freshman year of college. I could barely stand up straight without my right gut killing, and I didn’t finish the McDonald’s we got on the ride home…a certain sign I needed a doctor.

My regular pediatrician thought my symptoms were just some bad indegestion, and sent me home with mineral oil. As my pain continued, good old reliable Dr. Bob from across the street walked up and gave me an exam and a very needed second opinion. He told me he thought my appendix was about to burst, and that I should go to the ER that night for emergency surgery. I was admitted on the night of December 20, 1988.

In the middle of what should have been a 45 minute appendectomy, the surgeon’s assistant came out and told my parents it was taking longer than they thought. They ended up working on me for over four hours, and taking out about a foot and a half of my intestines. I would later find out that I had Crohn’s Disease, and that I would be in the hospital for Christmas.

Yeah, that sucked. But, I had someone visiting me every day I was in there. And no worries…Santa brought my presents to our house, and my family brought them to me in the hospital (my younger sister was especially concerned about the Santa protocol for a hospital situation). I was in the hospital for Christmas, but I was surrounded by my family. My younger brother gave me a framed Ray Bourque rookie card, so there was no way I was feeling sorry for myself.

I got through the Crohn’s then, and have only had to go back to the hospital once since my first diagnosis. That was two years ago, and you guessed it, my family helped me through it again. Thanks to them for always being there for me, and thank you Krissy for this shirt! More on Crohn's later....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

T-shirt #14: Star Wars, Kids' drawings

It will be interesting when I do finally run out of t-shirts to get the final tallies on how many Star Wars, Simpsons, Bruins, Red Sox, and BC shirts I have. Even though this is a Star Wars shirt, it is more about something that will always outrank The Holy Trilogy: family. Luckily for me, my family has been very supportive of my Fanboydom. The drawings on this shirt (Yoda on the left, Jabba on the right) were made by my younger nephew and niece. Freakin’ awesome.

It has been great seeing my nephews and niece enjoy Star Wars. Although they did not see the originals in the theatre like I did, they have been exposed to a whole new Star Wars world with the Legos video games, Playskool Toys, and the Star Wars Disney experience. And they have made sure every Christmas and birthday, I get at least one Star Wars related present.

When he was really young, my older nephew liked to “play Star Wars” with me. This usually meant one of us pretending to be Darth Vader while the other one was Luke, and we ran around trying to catch each other (when they were old enough, the roles of Stormtrooper and Princess Leia were added by my niece and younger nephew). One time when we were playing, I remember telling him that (spoiler alert) Darth Vader was Luke’s father. Very much like I did when I first saw Empire Strikes Back, he did not want to believe it and accused me of lying and started crying. I told him I understood it was hard to believe, but he could ask my brother if he wanted to. He did, and was finally convinced when “Daddy” confirmed it. I also remember a few years later he was bragging to his younger brother and sister that “I knew Darth Vader was Luke’s father waaaay before you two!”

So, thanks to my nephew and niece for the drawings. And thanks to my family for not only helping make sure I always get my Star Wars fix, but making sure I know what is most important in life. No, not The Force (although it is important)...all of you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

T-shirt #13: What time is recess?

I got this shirt when I was in college. It’s a shirt that I really like because I have only once seen another person wearing one…and that was back when I was a sophomore. I also like wearing it because people tend to react by smiling or laughing when they see it. And, I am a big believer in recess. Whether you actually go outside or to the gym, it is important every day to get your body going and away from work. I think it would be great if every company had “recess time” for all of its employees (I think some do have "rec rooms" with air hockey tables, etc.). Even though it might cut into work time, I bet production would go up if people were allowed to act like a kid again every day. What time is recess? Whenever you want it to be is what I say…here are a few recess related stories from my life:

Once when I was in the fourth grade, we were learning about the Great Plains. It was my turn to read, and by mistake I said “Green Plains”. Of course the ten-year-old minds of my classmates and me found this very amusing and burst out laughing. After regaining composure, I gave it another attempt, but could not stop laughing. After several tries my teacher thought it might be a better idea if we just spend the rest of class outside. Score one for giggling.

When I was in the third or fourth grade, everyone in my grade had recess at the same time as the grade above us. One such afternoon, a kickball challenge was brought on by the “older” kids. Even though they had more numbers and seem more determined, we beat them. The look of disbelief that they had lost to us was priceless.

One recess during sixth grade, my classmates and I doing something that a school would never allow today. It was during the winter, and the hill next to our playground had been turned into a diagonal sheet of ice. Many of us lined up on the top of the hill and were seeing how far we could “sneaker ski” down without falling. I ended up being in the group of a select few that made it down the whole way…one time in about twenty chances.

As I type this, I am seeing images and hearing more about the disaster in Haiti. I am thinking about the people there and sending positive thoughts…I hope you will take a minute and join me. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

T-shirt #12: Stewie: Doesn't Play Well With Others

Although this t-shirt pretty much says it all, here are some of my favorite Stewie quotes:

How you uh, how you comin' on that novel you're working on? Huh? Gotta a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Gotta, gotta nice litte story you're working on there? Your big novel you've been working on for 3 years? Huh? Gotta, gotta compelling protaganist? Yeah? Gotta obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Gotta story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh? (voice getting higher pitched) Yea, talking about that 3 years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah? (voice returns to normal) No, no, you deserve some time off.

So, is there any tread left on the tires? Or at this point would it be like throwing a hot dog down a hallway?

Meg (about Peter being retarded): I can never go to school again!

Stewie: Oh, yes, Meg, yes-yes yes, everything was going swimmingly for you until this. Yes, yes, THIS is the thing that will ruin your reputation, not your years of grotesque appearance, or your awkward social graces, or that Felix Ungerish way you clear your sinuses, no no no, it's THIS. Do you hear yourself talk? I might kill you tonight.

Hello, mother. I come bearing a gift. I'll give you a hint. It's in my diaper and it's not a toaster.

Olivia: You are the weakest link, goodbye. (laughter)

Stewie: Ha ha ha! Oh gosh that's funny! That's really funny! Do you write your own material? Do you? Because that is so fresh. You are the weakest link goodbye. You know, I've, I've never heard anyone make that joke before. Hmm. You're the first. I've never heard anyone reference, reference that outside the program before. Because that's what she says on the show right? Isn't it? You are the weakest link goodbye. And, and yet you've taken that and used it out of context to insult me in this everyday situation. God what a clever, smart girl you must be, to come up with a joke like that all by yourself. That's so fresh too. Any, any Titanic jokes you want to throw at me too as long as we're hitting these phenomena at the height of their popularity. God you're so funny!

I was under the impression the name of the show was "Kids Say the Darndest Things," not "Old Black Comedians Never Shut the Hell Up."

Oh hey lady. Hey, what's going on? How are you? Yeah, oh it's just me, Stewie, just being myself, ah yeah. Oh, oh well this here? Oh, it's just my package, yeah just ah just ah my package, God delivered it I signed for it the world keeps on spinnin', yeah.

Stewie: Augh! What the hell do you think you're doing?

Brian: I'm cleaning myself.

Stewie: You were clean fifteen minutes ago, now you're just on vacation.

Stewie: That coffee mug that you have on your desk, it says life's a beach? Umm that's dangerously close to the word bitch isn't it?

Brian: Uhh, yeah that's the joke.
Stewie: Oh, absolutely! And nobody appreciates a joke like Stewie, and you know between you and me I think it's a stitch, but some of the other employees found it offensive.

These and more at:

And here's one you have to hear to appreciate:

Monday, January 11, 2010

T-shirt #11: McGrath, Alaska

My wonderful cousin Katie got me this t-shirt for Christmas, and it really is a place…see Katie is someone that has been in my life since the beginning. One particular event our family enjoys retelling happened when we were each around four years old. Our grandfather, spoiling us as he loved to, took Katie and me out for a lovely afternoon of takeout McDonald’s dining. As was customary for the time (late 70s), he left us in the car while running in to grab our Happy Meals and orange drinks. Somewhere between three and five minutes later, I decided it had been enough waiting and convinced Katie we should go into McDonald’s to be with our grandfather. As he waited in line, he looked outside and saw Katie and me walking hand-in-hand across the parking lot (hand-in-hand, because safety obviously came first in our family!). I’m not sure if we made it in or he met us outside, but he met us with a very concerned “What are you doing?!” As the story is told, my answer simply was, “It was Katie’s idea.” So, thanks Katie, for putting up with me all these years. Thank you for supporting me in everything I do, and thanks for being the best cousin a guy could ask for…I love you!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

T-shirt #10: Rockin' Jesus

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Jesus

  1. Loooooves hockey (see also: walking on water)
  2. Like Dracula, not a fan of crosses
  3. Does, in fact, love gay people
  4. Shares many similarities with the Egyptian god Osiris
  5. Picks certain athletes to help, and others to lose three games in a row to The Rangers or give up 24 first quarter points to The Ravens
  6. Thinks this t-shirt is funny
  7. Is a huge fan of my writing
  8. Saves, but Espo scores on the rebound
  9. Never attended a Stryper concert
  10. Never met or spoke to “W”

Saturday, January 9, 2010

T-shirt #9: Stop Wars

I never have, and hopefully never will understand war. Right now, according to, there are 36 wars going on in the world right now ( So that means there are 72 groups who disagree so much that the only means they think will end their disagreement is by killing each other. Killing each other until one side gives up. I just don’t get it.

(Before I continue, I would just like to say that this doesn’t mean I am against our troops. They do a job I know I would never do, and I respect anyone that will put his or her life on the line when asked to. I just wish they didn’t have to.)

What are people fighting for? Although I am no history scholar, my guess is that most wars are fought for something (land, resources) or some idea (religious beliefs, freedom). Which means instead of trying to figure out ways to share things or respect differences in beliefs, we are killing.

I don’t know how many different religions there are in the world. Although I was raised Catholic, I have not found a religion I can call my own. I do think there is a God. And I am pretty sure this God does not want us killing each other at all, let alone on a mass scale like war. Also, I don’t think this God would want people killing each other over what they thought He/She was or what person God may or may not have come and spoken to us through. Although I think he had some good ideas, I do not think Jesus is the only way.

I like to think of Earth as one big house and every person as part of a family living in that house. What would God (or aliens) see if they came to visit our “house”? They would see a house that we are not taking care of. They would see a house that had a small percentage of the family having everything, and most having next to nothing. They would see family members killing each other on a massive scale. What does that say about us?

So yeah, stop wars. I guess that’s what I’m saying.

Friday, January 8, 2010

T-shirt #8: Boston College Superfan

Tonight, I am going to Fenway with my father, older brother, and nephews to see BC play BU in hockey. So, I broke out the Superfan shirt and thought I’d share a little history…and if I cut this entry off short, it’s because I am leaving for the game…but there will be more later…

I was actually there for the birth of the Superfan. It was the fall of 1997, and I was living in Waltham with my friend Scott, who had graduated from BC a year after me. He was in the Pike’s Peak Club, the boosters of the BC hockey team. They were trying to improve student interest in BC hockey (which was on a downward swing from their early 90s success), so they sponsored a trip to UNH to see the Eagles take on the Wildcats in enemy territory. They paid for the bus, the tickets, sandwiches and snacks for the trip up.

Through a lot of oversight, my roommate and I (3 combined years out of college) were named chaperones of the trip. It was about 50 students (2-3 females), the driver, and us. I brought Slapshot to watch on the way to the game. Another thing Pike’s Peak paid for were the Superfan shirts. We all put them on before exiting the bus, and covered them with our coats.

At the end of the national anthem, we all took our coats off and went nuts. The UNH fans were stunned, and competed with our loud chants throughout the game. The unranked Eagles upset the ranked UNH squad, and the Superfans were born.

The BC hockey team ended up having a great season that year, and slowly climbed in the national rankings. They were sure favorites against Harvard in the opening round of the Beanpot Tournament, and just as I had since the UNH game, I wore my Superfan shirt to this game. Harvard won in a stunner, but The Eagles seemed determined to make something of the season.

Now, my Superfan shirt was sometimes washed and sometimes not washed between games, depending on where I was in my laundry cycle. After that loss to The Crimson, I washed it. And BC won the next game. So, I didn’t wash it. And they kept winning. From the first week of February and into April, they did not lose…and I didn’t wash this shirt. I was wearing a white long-sleeve BC shirt under it, and they had become one. I took them off and put them back on as a single unit, knowing well I was helping with the win streak. Then, came the championship game…

The NCAA Hockey Championships happened to be in Boston that year. My friend Scott and I got tickets, and managed to get one for our friend Patrick. Patrick lived in California at the time and flew into Boston for the game, spending less than 24 hours total in Massachusetts. BC played Michigan for the title, and The Eagles were leading well into the 3rd period. Then, with about 7 minutes left, Michigan tied it and the game went into overtime.

In OT, Jamie O’Leary had an open net to shoot at to win BC’s first title since 1949. He hit the crossbar. My friends and I joke that the reason he hit the crossbar was because of me. We used to play roller hockey at Conte Forum when the season was over and they melted the ice and left a perfect smooth surface to skate on. A few times, players on the BC hockey team would join us, like Marty Reasoner, and you guessed it, Jamie O’Leary. Jamie played with us one day when I was playing goalie, and he had a breakaway on me….more later….off to Fenway....

(Back from Fenway...tough loss for The Eagles, but very amusing anti-BC texts to me after the game...Seriously though, who calls a penalty with 2 minutes left????)

Anyway, Jamie O'Leary had a breakaway on me, made a move, and I totally stoned him. Believe me, I was as shocked as he was. So my friends joke that this failure to score on me stayed with him and is the reason he choked in OT.

So, he hit the crossbar, and Michigan ending up scoring, winning the game, and taking the title. Scott, Patrick, and I sat motionless in our seats. I had my head down and my eyes closed. None of said anything, we just sat there in disbelief. I'm not sure how long we stayed like that, but I remember hearing a voice say, "Excuse me, you have to leave now." I looked up, and we were the only ones left in the building. It was just us and this usher. The fans were gone, the teams were gone, and the bands were was just us. It was the most heart-breaking game I have ever attended...but don't worry, plenty of more BC shirts in the future....go Eagles!

If you want to watch a movie of me telling these stories:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

T-shirt #7: Don’t close the blast doors…to your heart.

My name is Dave, and I am a Fanboy (see also:, or a Star Wars dork. Which, if you understand the meaning of my shirt, you might be yourself. My Fanboydom is hardly news to most. And as you can see in the picture of my Star Wars Christmas tree (below) and the my shirt, I don’t do a lot to hide it. Although one of my friends calls it “female repellant”, I like to think the right female for me would appreciate the passion behind it. Even if I got rid of my whole collection (which I will at some point), you can take the boy out of a Star Wars room, but you can’t take Star Wars out of the boy. Here are a couple of my favorite Star Wars stories with more SW shirts and stories to follow…

Star Wars is the first movie I remember seeing. Of course now that memory is just more feelings than a moment I can replay in my mind. Let’s just say after I saw A New Hope (Episode IV, or the “first one from the 70s” as some call it), Star Wars related merchandise became top on my list of Christmas and Birthday wishes. To me, The Godfather of all Star Wars toys was (and still is) the Death Star Playset. First only to the AT-AT and Ewok Village, it was the Red Ryder BB Gun of its day. The Christmas morning Santa left it for me, was,

Notice my excitement and pointing, trying to share my joy with my older brother Jon. Only to be frustrated when he doesn’t acknowledge me… “Classic Dave” my family might say, and “Classic Middle-child” a professional might say. I was watching this video with my brothers, sisters, and cousins during Christmas in the late 90s and my older sister Carolyn said, “Wow Dave, it’s 20 years later and you are still getting the same things for Christmas!” Funny, sad, and true. And we all laughed.

One of my favorite Star Wars stories happened my first year working in special education. I was an aide at an adolescent psychiatric unit on the grounds of Westborough State Hospital. The students there had serious emotional and behavioral issues, and carried diagnosis like Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. Luckily, as you will read, a lot of them still had a great sense of humor.

Every week on Friday, we watched an “educational movie” with the students that had earned it by having a good week in school. After begging and finally convincing the lead teacher I could make Star Wars educational, we watched it on the last Friday of the school year. Many of the students had not seen any of the movies, so I was looking forward to see how they would respond. I was happy to see most of them enjoying it, and amused by how amazed they were when I pointed out all the mistakes (like the Stormtrooper hitting his head on the door…it’s there, about 1 hour 22 minutes into the movie, Stormtrooper on the right).

They were really getting into it at the end, and we watched as Luke made his final run down the Death Star trench. Then, Luke heard Obi Wan’s spirit say “Use The Force, Luke.” Without hesitation, one of my students said, “Woah! Luke hears voices just like I do!” The whole room erupted into laughter, myself and the student who made the joke laughing the hardest.

So please, do not close the blast doors to your heart...and go B's!