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"We all need to take a deep breath and think about being a Bush daughter and having that cross to bear. I'd go out and have a couple of drinks, too."

- Julia Roberts, in Time magazine

Turning a new page

It used to be that buying magazines was easy. As a kid, we walked into the store, got yelled at for browsing too long, took our copy of Mad to the counter, paid our 45 cents (cheap!) and that was it. Beautiful and simple! Alas, not anymore. Last week, we stopped in Waldenbooks to buy a $4 (not cheap!) magazine. The clerk asked: "Did you find what you were looking for?" Buzz replied that yes, this was what we were looking for, and we had found it. Clerk: "Do you belong to our Discount Club? You pay $10, and get . . ." Losing interest at the mention of paying $10, we said no, thank you. "Did you see our Bargain Books?" asked the clerk. "You buy four and get one free." Buzz declined. "Would you like any gift certificates today?" she asked. No, but we'd love a Get Out Of Bookstore Free card!

Strike one

Here we go again, with another "things ain't what they used to be" lament. It used to be that those folks at Bisons games would take any kind of a ticket. You could hand them one for Tanya Tucker at Melody Fair and they'd say sure, go on in. Alas, no more. "This is from the year 2000!" one guard told a customer (it wasn't Buzz, honest!) last week. The guard was squinting at the ticket in that annoying way guards do, as if they're looking for watermarks. The best defense is a good offense, so the ticket holder squared his shoulders. "You act as if it was 2,000 years ago!" he huffed before forking over the requisite $6. Sigh. Next thing you know, we won't even be able to bring in our own beer.

On Broadway

Used to be, Broadway Joe's was called, ahem, the Broadway Joe's Performing Arts Center. And we can see why. Just going to hear Jamie Notarthomas there is more fun than you'd normally find at any larger venue. Notarthomas, a well-known Western New York singer/songwriter, opened a recent set by drinking from what looked like a gallon of water. "Whenever I come to Buffalo I always bring my own water," he said. After playing John Lennon's "Watching the Wheels," he asked for requests. The doorman called out, "Watching the Wheels!" A shocked silence fell. "I just played that," Notarthomas said. Later, someone asked for "Wild Things." The crowd reacted violently, yelling, "No, no, don't play that." Want requests, Mr. Notarthomas? Here's ours: Just don't ask.

June bugging

What is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect wheelies. The poet's words came to mind last week when we watched a biker doing a wheelie, and this is no joke, the whole length of the proposed tunnel on the Kensington Expressway. That is summer. A few days later, we saw a bicyclist, his workout finished, taking his hands off the handlebars and lighting a cigarette. Midnight on a recent Monday found people yelling freely to each other across Hertel Avenue, between Bob and John's and the curb outside Walgreen's. And believe it or not, loud as the patio of the Wellington Pub was, it was more peaceful than the inside of the place. "I had to come outside. They're singing in there!" one woman said with a laugh,over the din.

The buzz

"I love the thrill of the hunt!" exults Airborne Eddy Dobosiewicz, a.k.a. Airborne Eddy, a.k.a. Maxwell Truth on Channel 7's "Off Beat Cinema." At the Dave Matthews concert, he managed to nail a brief interview with Macy Gray by climbing, uninvited, into the back seat of her car. "Her people said she couldn't talk. Damn her people I say. The people have a right to know," he laughs. The interview wasn't Eddy's only triumph. "After sitting next to me at dinner, Dave Matthews ran into a port-o-potty to get away from me and the camera," he boasts. . . . Wasn't that wild, having an alligator on the loose in Scajaquada Creek? The radio had to cut to boring warnings from officials about owning exotic pets but gee, it was fun while it lasted. Crowed a colleague of Buzz's: "We really are the Miami of the North!" . . . Summer serenade: Catch the elusive Michael Civisca and his trio Saturday at the Fredonia Opera House. Show starts at 8 p.m.

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