I should write a book called "Stupid Haircuts I Have Gotten."
Pictures to follow.
I think one of the biggest arguments for me as a person is that never once have I had a loud cellphone conversation in public about how "stressed out I am!" Especially not while walking quickly anywhere. It's not like I doubt that anyone ever endures conditions that might cause them to justifiably "be stressed," it's just that there's something so repugnant about that phrase. "Stressed out." When you hear that, it's like, of COURSE charging down the street. Of COURSE you're talking louder than necessary and hoping other people hear you and think you important. Of COURSE you're wearing pink warm-up pants with PRINCESS in gothic lettering on the seat.
Hell, I get frazzled sometimes. I'm insanely busy on occassion. If you're not a complete waste of life every so often you feel like you may have taken on too much; I've always been part of the "bite off more can you can chew then chew it" Orson Welles school of thought. I don't get off on telling people about it, but if I do tell someone, "stressed out" never crosses our lips. We have to use this language, people, so let's have fun with it. When you have to tell somebody you're really really busy and feeling overloaded, tell them you're cowfucked, or, for emphasis, super-cowfucked. If the workload is really severe, say They've really got me cowfucked around the maypole on this one, Bob.
Don't thank me. Thank the fat girl who left the building the same time as me this morning, keening to someone on the other end of the phone she was two blocks away from (that came earlier in the conversation) about how she was sorry she was late but she "just, like, wants to have like five minutes to just like, breathe, you know?"
The blognova continues: you can leave comments but I can't read them. So that's fun. E-mail me instead: dcpierson at nyu dot edu. Seriously. I would love that.
I fixed my headphones, kind of.
My site has gone fagtarded.
Like, limping along all pictureless and only half-loading. If you get to read this whole entry you'll be one of a lucky few.
Comment robots ravage my archives leaving ads for "free incest stories" and strange quotations. They come in ones or twos day by day on the same old entries, like layers of so much snow where promises of ringtones and horsefucking take the place of frozen water molecules. I have 25 megs of space on my server, which seems like it would be enough since my pictures are hosted elsewhere (we'll get to that later.) but I get about two hundred comments worth a day of this shit, and I'm constantly bucking up against that disk-space limit. To paraphrase a Making The Band 2 cast member: They fuckin' up my bloggin' now.
Jason was kind enough to outfit my baby with a blacklist program which keeps known spammers from leaving comments, and that helped a little. But updating the list with new pornobots is just as much work as deleting the comments, and I'm too lazy to do either one on the regular.
Also, Imagestation is being uberfickle. It may just be text for a while. Try to cope.
Last night I was sitting in a conversation pit at Gregor's retro 70's wifeswapping house on Long Island talking to Rina about blogging and that chapter from Heartbreaking Work about the hospital waiting room and Conan on the TV and writing things before you're done living them, and how she had a blog but she quit 'cause she was doing that and she was addicted to comments, and me mentioning this conversation in a blog entry about blogging is the biggest event in postmodernism since Murphy Lee released the song "hook" in which the hook was about how he doesn't need a hook on this beat. Sartre used to have wet dreams about stuff like that. He actually rose from his grave, marched down to the Postmodernism Shop (distinguished by the sign outside that reads "This Is Not The Postmodernism Shop") and told the girl working the counter to close it up, it's over. It's all been done. Especially the thing about how it's all been done.
In other everything-I-own-is-broken news, I came home the other night and remember nudging my headphones on the floor with my foot and knowing some how intuitively that I'd fucked with them. These are the big ol' clamshell concert-hall numbers I've had for a couple years and have hot-glued back together on several occassions. I put them on and sure enough, sound only comes from one ear. The wire that leads to it has come a little loose; if I hold it with my hand it works but that's about as tenable as it sounds. Somebody clearly just does not want me to listen to music. Rock n' roll is the work of the devil so by process of elimination I'm gonna go ahead and blame God.
Other things are happening:
Amy Poehler came to our show two weeks ago. She is hella cuter in person. She praised our energy and committment. I lit her cigarette. Laugh at me all you want for being a panting comedy fanboy but...I don't have an end to that sentence.
Me and Donald and Dominic wrote a half-hour TV pilot. It's called "Funhouse," it's about a fraternity at NYU (one of the two) who thinks they're legendary prankster iconoclasts on par with the Deltas from Animal House, but in reality no one notices, knows who they are, or cares all that much. It's a mockumentary in the vein of The Office. We're trying to work our "people who know people who know people" angle to get us a meeting to pitch it somewhere. Who knows.
Me and Donald and Dominic and some other Hammerkatz are auditioning for an MTV pilot on Thursday. Apparently it's a Boiling Points type show of some sort, with a lot of improv and probably prankery. My hatred of that show has been discussed elsewhere at length, but it does keep improvisors fed. I really hope we get it. A credit would be nice. Money would be nice.
Del Close Marathon's this weekend. If you are not already here you can get on a plane. 20 bucks, all the improv you can watch. Me and my boys and girl at six-thirty in the morning, being all tired/hung-over/still sort of drunk, being all "we need a suggestion." You know you don't want to miss that.
I'll just pretend it's only raining
underneath the streetlamps:
that's the only place you can see it
avoid those cones of light and wet
and I'll get there dry,
Someone keeps peeing in the corner of our bathroom.
Someone has to be one of my four suitemates. And it sure as shit ain't me, unless I'm pulling some late night alternate-personality Tyler Durden shenanigans, and if that were the case I'd like to think my alternate personality would be more creative than just pissing just slightly to the left of the toilet, resulting in an impressive puddle where the aging tile depresses as it meets the wall, which greets me some mornings (afternoons) when I rise.
At first I thought it was the guy that sleeps underneath me in the bunkbed in our room, whose name I'm almost certain is Joe. (My other roommate is Kevin. I know that for sure. He is from Nebraska. We exchange friendly sentences on a near-daily basis. Joe and I are also on good terms, I've just forgotten his name is all.) My suspicions arose 'cause Joe drinks anywhere from three to six 20-ounce cans of Bud Light (he switched from Bud to Bud Light right around the time I started finding copies of Men's Fitness everywhere) per evening while watching either TV with Kevin or DVDs on his mini-DVD player. He buys 'em from a deli on his way home and we don't have a fridge, so he's not an alcoholic so much as he is a conservationist of cold. Then he falls asleep. One night while I was hunched over at the laptop in a dark room clackin' away (hey! Like now!) he leapt out of bed and screamed. Kevin across the room woke up. We asked what was up. He mumbled and kept motioning to the bed. I thought there was a rat or a roach or something; he kept acting as though he was going to explained then feigning embarrasment and a "you guys wouldn't understand" type motion. Then he went back to sleep. No memory of this the next day. Sleepwalking, I figure. Sleepwalking plus wow a lotta booze before bedtime equals bathroom misadventures, right?
Two people live in the adjoining room. All rooms including the bathroom open up on an antechamber. One of the guys (Lance) who lives in the other room I see every day 'cause we keep similar hours. The other guy I saw when he moved in a week after I did, then again last night, a month and change later. I was sitting in a dark room all typin' and shit (You may be sensing a theme. You won't believe me that this time I'm describing now and the time Joe leaped out of bed were the only times I was ever on the computer all late at night, and that every other second I was eating, sleeping, acting, working, or putting my penis in something with a modeling career, but it's true) when some shirtless dude stumbles in (I leave the door open 'cause it helps the breeze blow through, we don't have A/C), looks bewilderedly at me, then stumbles out. Suitemate sighting number two. Could he have been sleepwalking? He looked like it.
This morning: puddle. Not a record-holder but certainly nothing to be ashamed of when telling stories around the fire down at the Gentleman's Society For Errant Micturation.
I want to believe the cornerpisser is my mystery man suitemate. For reasons it's probably not too hard for you to get, I don't want somebody who sleeps anywhere near me to have a loose cannon for a urethra. Plus, Joe's a nice guy. He likes good movies. Sure, the one time I've eaten dinner with him he used the phrase "from an insurance standpoint" several times in the course of telling me how his day went, but that makes him boring, not evil.
Other than that, my living situation is ideal. Like a lot of people, I like, on a nightly basis, to be faced with the choice of leaving my door open so air can come in through the windows off Fifth Ave. and make my room somewhat liveable and sleepable, or closing the door and not having potsmoke and loud drift in from the antechamber because my suitemate and his friends can't smoke out in his room because cornerpisser is trying to sleep. Luckily whatever choice I make I pretty much get the best of both worlds, because it turns out they can be loud enough to penetrate walls and the smoke seeps in anyway.
Also, when I moved in I requested that said suitemate (the one I see) stay in his room all day with his eight fans and his shirt off displaying one of those bodies that is fat but could also kill you, playing EverQuest, listening to music that seems, creepily, to be all from like 1999 (Eiffel 65's "Blue," "Pretty Fly For A White Guy") over and over, and occasionally come into our room to steal things and realize that people are there. He has more than fufilled these requests; I couldn't be happier.
Now I'm gonna go brush my teeth in a bathroom that smells like Mexico and go to sleep and hopefully when I wake up all my stuff will still be here! Oh 1210-B, you didn't invent "zany", you just perfected it with a shitty grace all your own.
Where to start.
I went to the Siren Festival Saturday. It is this gargantuan free music festival on Coney Island run by The Village Voice that goes out of its way to get particularly indie-ish bands, hence the abundance of "The" acts on the bill. Five, by my count (Constantines, you're not fooling anybody by dropping the "The" from your name. All The Ramones' albums feature just the word RAMONES on the cover and everybody still calls them The Ramones.) What follows is a tale of rock, sun, flyering, hipsters, and funnel cake pined after and unreceived.
I got on the F train at like 12:30, drinking coffee and eating a cherry pop-tart. I also had my kitschy retro copy of Salinger's "Nine Stories," as it's the only book I have that fits in my back pocket and I needed subway reading as I anticipated about 8,000 stops before Coney Island. On one of the 8,000, two hispanic guys and a woman got on with giant trees of cotton candy. A stop later, three mariachis got on. They started playing. Across from me were two Puerto Rican kids and their mother. The kids were loaded down with beach toys and repeating the words "Coney Island" as if the more times they chattered the phrase in giddy anticipation the sooner we'd get there. The mariachis moved on; I quit reading when the train went above ground and started crossing the bridge. Lack of sleep and caffeine made everything eye candy: graffiti, sun through the train car, a blue sky.
I thought about summer and about California, because for me, the two are inextricably linked. I've talked to a couple kids here that have never been to California and the concept fascinates me. In Arizona half the kids you grow up with are transplants from California; the interstate and the presence of Disneyland and the beach (two things home don't have) make it a vacation default. God...how can you not have been to California? In n' Out Burger! Del Taco! (Two things we'd eventually get in AZ but I first experienced on a road trip with my dad to see ASU play in the Rose Bowl) Weezer! California is America. It invented surfing and blonde people, and while it didn't invent rock n' roll, it's one of its most constant muses. It was like home but it had the beach. Shit, no California? Might as well move to Moscow.
My family is in San Diego this weekend. San Diego trips are our big summer thing. My friends are in...San Clemente, I wanna say? I'm not sure. Anyway, living here is making me realize why summer is a big deal. In Arizona, summer is just the rest of the year with no school. Here, and, I'm assuming, pretty much everywhere else in the world, it is the reason for living. For enduring. It makes you think about how scientists say the universe will end in heat death (the complete extinction of heat energy? Right? Donovan?) and if cold equals death than heat equals life, and, by extension, barbeques and sunblock and ice cream and partial nudity.
The aerials on every rooftop in Brooklyn were going by. Those'll have to do for the windmills that line the highway, I thought. Sunshine. Mariachi music. Hell, I could have California right here on the train.
The kids were trying to fit "Coney Island" into every sentence possible: "I'm gonna play in the water at Coney Island!" "What time will it be when we get to Coney Island?" It worked. We got there a lot faster than I was expecting.
I gave Donald (Hammerkatz) a call, he just started interning at UCB and they'd enlisted him to flyer at the festival starting at 8 in the morning. He said he was "by the rollercoaster." Giddyup.
They had him working this booth staffed by UCB people. Something about cellphones and handing out free fans and candy and sparkly sunblock. Dunno. I got roped into flyering for the Del Close Marathon, which is in a couple of weeks. 70-something consecutive hours of longform improv honoring the man who invented the artform. We have a slot at 6:30 am Sunday, mainstage. Twenty dollars gets you into for the whole weekend. C'mon, you know you want to get into the NY area just to see me and my boys (and girl) drop mad improv science at an hour when all the world is a-sleeping, plus like 130 other amazing shows.
I did not tell all that to people I handed out fliers to. "Improv comedy. Upright Citizens Brigade. Come check us out" was more the schpiel. I perched at the entrance to the main stage and fliered the fuck out of people. Oh, wait, I'm fucking up my chronology. Before I started flyering I stood towards the back of the meager-at-that-hour crowd for The Ponys, who I found to be like Franz Ferdinand plus a girl and minus any fun or decent songs. There was no talking to the crowd, no "We are The Ponys," just droning warble, on rare occassions, a warbling drone. My favorite bands are Death Cab and Belle and Sebastian and I wanted to beat this band's frontman up. After three songs, I fliered. Only a band that bad can make you WANT to flier.
Fliering is, for the uninitiated, probably one of the most soul-deadening activities you can legally engage in. It's a pasttime for people for whom normal life doesn't offer rejection at a quick enough pace. You have to start out knowing that 1 out of every 3 people, if you're lucky, will take your flier, and if you're REALLY lucky, one out of every one hundred of those people will think about showing up to your thing. I know fliering is annoying to the layman, but it's all we've got, folks. Hammerkatz has developed a couple fun ways of doing it (which I really need to talk about at some point) but the typical "please accept this thing I'm handing you, or, failing that, don't be rude about not accepting it" form of fliering is the sort of thing people put their head in ovens about.
Anyway, the sun was still shining and people were friendly enough, so I got on kind of a streak. Hearing "Upright Citizens Brigade" come out of my mouth caused a couple of them to run back after intially declining the glossy mammoths (they have the full festival schedule on 'em.) I managed to work up a not-entirely-false smile and get rid of a couple stacks before the first band I wanted to see...
...The Thermals. The Fiery Furnaces were rambly and strange but not in a cool way and I was far away so I said "fuck it" and started walking to the second stage, figuring I'd be in plenty of time. I got there and realized I wasn't, the Thermals were onstage, they started early, not taking me into account, bastards. They're a three piece, if Green Day had never learned to play more than three chords and recorded all their music in their kitchen on a fourtrack they would be The Thermals. But they're not. The Thermals are. They rock. They rage against insincerity ("no new deafness/no self-reference") without being Polyphonic-Spreeishly lame and acknowledge the audience, which was the first of that I'd seen all day. Lots of "thank yous" and "thanks, you guys," and even one "We're The Thermals from Portland." It's sad that this is something appreciable in a live act, but there were so many bands that day that didn't seem to realize they were playing in front of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, they just wandered on and noodled precociously and left. It's not cool. The Thermals are cool. Fun. Remember fun? Buy their record.
I fliered a little more than tried to work my way towards the mainstage for TV On The Radio. Basically I wanted them to prove me wrong. I'd heard a few of their songs and was not all that impressed; they're being heralded with all kinds of "new sound of rock" craziness, but I dunno, their songs just really didn't seem to move for me. Hard to explain. Sarah found me in the crowd, against all odds, and we watched them together after they took something that felt like an hour setting up. In short: I was wrong. I'm not sure if they're the saviors of rock but they sound like Radiohead plus soul and that's definitely something. They're dark and damn pretty. By the end of the intro to "Young Liars," which just CRUSHES, I knew I was wrong. Their frontman has a fantastic presence, shimmying and singing towards the sky and generally being awesome. I felt lucky to be there. I've gone back and re-listened to a lot of their stuff since then and while it's still not my personal favorite thing ever, there's a lot to love. They feel like somebody decided "this is how I think music should sound," which is too rare.
I told Sarah I had to go get a good place for Electric Six on the second stage because dammit, I did. She went off to meet her friend who had backstage passes. Everybody won.
Electric Six...I've opined about them before, a little. Basically, they are indescribable but here goes anyway: Technically proficient heavy metal slash disco plus amazing hilarious lyrics. You may have heard their songs "Danger (High Voltage)" ("fire in the disco/fire in the Taco Bell") and "Gay Bar" around places. I was in no way disappointed with them live. Their lead singer clearly KNOWS he looks like your dad and can't dance, instead he's concoted these little half-dances for every song. A new song (which he promised would "blow (our) dicks off") he punctuated after every chorus with a retarded jig and an insane grin. The chorus, as I remember it: "be my dark angel/be my drug-free school zone." My only complaint with the set was the crowd...this was not music to stand around and appreciate to, but here was every hipster in the tri-state area, standing around and appreciating to it. No, you fuckers. Dance. Jump up and down. The kids at the Warped Tour may not have the best taste ever but at least they know how to get sweaty and injured. I caused at least one disgusted girl to move away from my Rocking and singing along. It was then that I knew that I was doing it right. Granted, she still had her dignity, but dignity is worthless when the band onstage is singing "We're starting a fire/Electirc demons in love." Worthless. Totally Rocking The Fuck Out is the international currency, the gold bullion of situations like that.
Electric Six were over. It was 6:00. Death Cab was on the main stage at 7:30. Time to go get a good spot for that, I figured.
I was wrong. I thought I was clever, going in through the side entrance to the mainstage crowd area, but it was five minutes of crowd-jostling and claustraphobia before I could even see the stage, where, at the time, Blonde Redhead was playing. At the time and given the situation, their long meandering dual guitar whatever-it-is seemed more than a little self-indulgent. Maybe it was the volume (depressingly low). I dunno. Alison will eat my face for saying this, but at the time I couldn't help thinking if the White Stripes and a jam band had a baby and it was half-Asian it would be Blonde Redhead. I like 'em on wax, and once I got into a more comfortable spot I enjoyed them a little more, and their encore song was cool. No hard feelings, BR, but you are decidedly not a festival band.
Anyway. Death Cab. A little backstory: I have missed seeing them three times, all of them for comedy. I actually could've missed them Saturday as well, if I hadn't opted out of a little show Hammerkatz was doing. Glad I didn't. They are, as I may have mentioned above, one of my favorites. Nobody captures in-between feelings quite as well; ambiguity, less-than-sobriety, things that are definitely not love dressed up as love. I remember downloading one of their songs a couple years ago, beginning of senior year. "Steadier Footing," the first track on The Photo Album. And I remember my exact thought: "What the fuck is this?" Not in a good way. Then a couple months later I listened to "Blacking Out The Friction" and had one of those rare hey-this-song-is-exactly-what-I-am-feeling moments and thus began a one-way love affair with a high-voiced man and his songs about not being sure if you are drunk enough or not drunk enough to sleep with somebody. The rest is history.
They opened with "Title Track" off We Have The Facts I was a little worried, it wasn't exactly tight. I remembered Emilie saying they sucked live when she saw them. "A Movie Script Ending was decent and once they started into Transatlanticism stuff things got better, much. The songs are structured in a way that just works better live, maybe they're more excited about them, I dunno, I'm not a rock band. But it was fantastic. "Lightness"...oy. Gorgeous. They played "Photobooth," which is one of my favorite songs of all time, bar none, ever, etc. Ecstatic. "The Sound of Settling" and "We Looked Like Giants" I've never been too fond of, but they held up admirably, "Giants" was extended into an epic. After the requisite we're-done-just-kidding-here's-an-encore (which I realize is retarded but I have a showmanship hard-on for anyway) they played "Transatlanticism," Gibbard starting at the piano then moving up front towards the climax ("so come on/come on"). It's as awesome as you're imagining if you're imagining it was completely fucking awesome.
We (me and everybody else) headed for the exit on a carpet of the fliers I'd been handing out. Ah well. I returned to Manhattan on an train full of hipsters and a woman playing the radio too loud and singing along to her kid, which was kind of cute. No reading got done. It was okay. I was in love with the world and heading toward a burrito.
My dad called me yesterday when I was sitting in the park by the fountain, watching dogs and little kids play in the water, reading a book. My grandma, my mom's mom, passed away this weekend. She'd been sick for a long time, and when I was back in Phoenix dad said I really needed to get over to see her, since she probably didn't have much time left. I put it off for a long time, but the day before I came back to NY, I drove across town to see her. I'm not an awesome decision-maker. I don't have a lot of regrets, but I also don't have a lot of things I look back on and say, "Wow, thank God I did that." I'm glad I went and saw her. Really glad.
When I called to get directions to their house, my uncle warned me that she had "good days and bad days," and that she might not know who I was. She did, though. I assume it was a good day. She was laying in her room, surrounded by her dolls, her hair down and long like I'd never seen it before. She was scary skinny, no one was kidding about that. I held her hand. She seemed kind of adrift in time; I told her I went to school in New York and that I was going back tommorrow, and my out-of-state education was news to her, although I'm sure she knew about it because I saw her at Christmas when I was back. She was happy, though, genuinely excited for me. "I imagine you must have a lot of friends," and I responded that yea, I did. "That must be a wonderful place for you." Yea, I said, it really is. We talked about how it's different than Phoenix, then we got on the subject of my family, how my brother's the leading scorer in his hockey league and is almost as tall as me, how my other brother is almost as tall as the first one and is going to be a lawyer when he grows up, at least we think so, based on all the arguing and bargaining he likes to do. Every piece of news was greeted with an "Oohhhh!" of surprise and delight on her part, one of the things I'm going to keep about her when I've inevitably forgotten all the rest. Ten minutes of conversation would pass and she'd lose some of the things I'd said, so I'd reiterate, me in New York, John Paul and hockey, Matthew and his law career: "Oohhh!" "I just think that's wonderful." I remember she said that a lot. "I just think that's wonderful."
There was nothing lost or old about her eyes, and the way they were set in her face. From it I could reconstruct my aunts' faces, my mom's face. There's a lot about my mom I can't call up at a moment's notice, which makes me disappointed in myself, I spent thirteen years of my life with her, I should be able to replay her voice in my head but I can't, really. But from listening to my grandma (Nana, if you want to know the Pierson shorthand for my mom's mom. My mom's mom: Nana. My mom's dad: Gumpah (GOOmpah). They're German, whaddya want? My dad's dad and stepmom are Grammy and Bopah, my dad's mom is Granny) I could call up my mom's voice, her cadence. I could hear where it came from, it got stirred up. It's nice to know that it's still in there somewhere, gives me hope that we never really lose anything, it's just a matter of getting at it the right way.
I don't remember how we got on the subject, but she started talking about her upbringing in Twin Falls, Idaho (there's a great Built To Spill song of the same name.) My aunt, my cousin, Nana, and I went there when I was in, I think, fourth grade, a trip I had to remind her of. She told me how there wasn't a lot to do, how ranchers would drive their sheep by the farm and if one of the sheep had had twins, they'd leave one twin at the farm because if they kept both, there wouldn't be enough food (or something). She had one of these twins as a pet for a long time, until one day some high school kids horsing around at the edge of the property shot it. She says "crick" instead of creek. When we were in Idaho I peed in a crick. I remember that. Rock Crick. Some distant relative I'd just met yelled at me jokingly because apparently that's where their drinking water came from.
Later that night, I went to see my Aunt Julie and Uncle Graham, the uncle I'd talked to earlier. I talked about the visit, how it was a lot better than I'd braced for, how hey, at least you never had to come up with new topics of conversation, everything's news, right? Graham mentioned how she would tell these long stories, and the plotlines would tangle and contradict each other, how there was a lot about sheep and how she never had any sheep, according to my grandpa, I guess. Maybe it was all senility, but I want it to be true. I want her to have had her lamb. She had a pet lamb growing up on her farm in Twin Falls, Idaho. It's true. Can we all agree?
She raised a talented artist and an art teacher and a veterinarian who keeps no less than seven dogs, an iguana, and a tarantula in her house at all times and my mom, who did something with computers, but still managed to be the bravest person I'll ever know. Two of her children died before she did but she would never tell you that life was anything less than wonderful, a worthwhile enterprise. We used to go to her house for Christmas and play football with grapefruits that had fallen off the giant tent-like tree in the front yard. I can hear the leaves crunching under my feet. I can't remember a lot but for whatever reason I remember that.
My dad said it'd be hard to fly me back for the funeral (which was today); I think he might've been trying to let me off the hook. "I know you have your show," he said, and also that he'd pretty much already let people know I probably wouldn't be there, and they understood. I said yea, that was okay, he didn't have to try and fly me out, and I feel bad about it, but I'd feel worse if I'd never driven across town and held her hand.
After leaving the gym I was walking into Subway at 8:30 when I noticed their hours posted on the door said they didn't close 'till midnight. What the hell am I doing here? I thought. I'm still full of like eight bottles of water and euphoric off endorphuns from working out...I have a good two hours until my stomach realizes it hasn't been fed anything but peanut butter and bread all day and starts in with the no-fucking-around hunger pangs! See you at like ten thirty, two six inch meatball subs for a buck ninety nine each!
Yea, you may have guessed it at this point: the dining halls are closed on weekends. And usually the routine goes something like: don't wake up early enough to make breakfast an issue, peanut butter sammich or an energy bar for lunch, out for dinner for a Chipoltle burrito or some pizza or Wendy's, apple of mine eye. This weekend, however, sees the coincidence of three days with the dining halls closed with a lot of crappy fiduciary planning on my part. I've been interviewing for jobs for the past couple weeks and just now, next week, I'm going to be starting one. But until then my bank account can see zero from where it's standing, if it squints.
Not to worry, though. Tommorrow I'm going to a barbeque Lou (who is a Hammerkatz. Hammerkat? Whatever.)'s family is throwing at their house in Queens. His dad owns a butcher shop and they are pretty much the Official Family of Corona, so the gluttony will be epic. America.
Eh, fuck it. The pangs happened a lot earlier than I was expecting. Back in a minute. Sammiches here I come.
Oh, they were gorgeousness and gorgeousity all in one, o my brothers. I don't usually like to throw around quotes but you're allowed an homage when you ain't eaten all day.
There's a bum in Union Square and the thesis of his signs, and I suppose his panhandling technique at large, is that "Brad Pitt Is A Cheap Bastard." He has a longer version of the signs that say "Brad Pitt is a cheap bastard/he wouldn't even help a bum like me." Today he even had a SERIES of signs, which he would flip quickly at passerbys, perhaps in an attempt to imitate the meter of a poem, or the Van Halen video "Right Now." I am assuming Brad Pitt walked by one day and didn't give him any change. This is like 20 feet from the Wendy's where Courtney Love suckled a transient on her exposed teet. Clearly, it's feast or famine when it comes to celebrity treatment of the homeless in my neighborhood.
(The things you learn Googling: Apparently, the man sucking on Courtney Love's boob is not homeless, in fact, quite adequately homed. Go read the article, it's hilarious. He's apparently planning a rap album and if it's filled with as many chestnuts of wisdom as the interview, I'll be first in line at Virgin: I guess that's the best thing about sucking a breast. Both people get something out of it. It's a good exchange. You speak the truth, Asare. And you like Wendy's. We are not so different, you and I.)
It could stay twighlight in Manhattan forever as far as I'm concerned. I always try to be outside around eight these days, I'm lucky in that it's usually when I have to walk to UCB to make call on Wednesdays. There's a reason they call it "the magic hour." Behold:
Sunset from my window. Foreground: That clocktower is the library where I get books the school library doesn't have (I am a dual-library kind of guy. Fuck me.) Mid-ground: Jersey, where delicious chemicals in the air give the sunset its uniquely awesome hue. (This example of environmental damage resulting in previously non-existent beauty is the backbone of my movement to drive polar bears to extintinction, just to kind of see what would happen.) Bon Jovi is somewhere over there. Also, Chelsea.
Cooper Union, which is a college where like 80 super-extra smart kids go. I think of it as sort of a Professor Xavier School for the Gifted, except with, from what I've heard, absolutely no hot girls. There are always incense salesmen and guys selling comic books across the street in front of the Starbucks. (This is Astor Place, where there's a Starbucks literally across from another Starbucks. You may make obvious stand-up-comedian assertions about their proximity...now.)
Brittany, an NYU dorm, for some reason only lit up to the fifth floor. This picture brings to mind the phrase "Obelisque of Night," which is good, 'cause I was needing a title for my recently completed homoerotic vampire novel.
Took this on one of those Wednesday night UCB strolls. Thought, "Shit, now THIS is why I should carry my camera with me more often." Then I remembered I put it in my backpack earlier. I should give myself more credit. Then I hang around with myself some more, and I'm like, naw, my current level of self-underestimation is juuuust right.
Same stroll. A block in Chelsea. Not overtly magical, but if I thought it was at the time, it has to be worth something, right?
Nothing snarky to say here.
Just throw on the Gershwin and have a happy Fourth of July.