By BoLOHLONE payday loans
I tried to give away a futon and ended up on TV.
FREE is a word that makes things happen. It greenlights adrenaline and makes consumers uncontrollably flash the whites of their eyes. Even if what’s offered is unimpressive. Doesn’t matter–It’s FREE. A dumpy futon is a dumpy futon until you make it FREE. FREE elevates. FREE sparkles. FREE skews. I offered up a FREE dumpy futon and my INbox exploded. I WANT IT! I’ll TAKE IT! I’LL COME TONIGHT! I HAVE A TRUCK! WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE? I’M YELLING AND IT FEELS GREAT! ARE THERE BED BUGS INT THE MATTRESS?! EVEN IF YES, I STILL TOTALLY WANT THIS FUTON!
One email was different.
“Hi! My name is Derek Blazer (name change) and I’m producing a new show for Planet Green, a
Discovery Networks channel dedicated to environmental issues and the green
lifestyle, launching this June. We are doing segment called “Salvaged”
where we transform unwanted furniture into something beautiful and useful.
Would you and your futon be interested in participating on our show?
I talked it over with the futon. Initially hesitant, the futon came around and agreed to participate. Another email came from the producer:
1st day, pick up the piece, talk about the project, etc.; 2nd day, our designers rework the piece into something functional and fabulous, 3rd day, we return the refurbished piece to the owner. We’d only need you on the 1st & 3rd days – and for only about an hour or so. Also, if you could send a digital photo along with your phone number(s) and contact info, that’d be great. Thanks!
I didn’t have time to secure professional representation, so I represented myself. And the futon. A small crew arrived early one Brooklyn morning and launched our tv careers. They filmed me carrying the frame to the trash and being interrupted by an enthusiastic woman who absolutely had to have it. We did it 6 times from different angles. I started to repeat certain phrases (”yeah…I live RIGHT through those doors”) and became self conscious. I was feeling like a cliche of myself. The futon did better. Then it was over.
Until they returned, a week later. This time I was a bit more prepared. I had been rehearsing being surprised and talking smartly about the environment and my love for salvage. I took the morning off from work and waited. They buzzed my door and filmed me coming outside to be greeted by the enthusiastic woman from before who stood next to a thing shrouded in black cloth. I feigned surprise with a trace of suspicion.
“This is your futon!” the designer woman insisted. “We’ve turned it into something we hope you can use!”
“That’s not my futon!” I denied. My fake tone was: what do you take me for?
“YES! It is!” she insisted, pulling back, with flourish, the black cloth to reveal an item that scarcely resembled the futon: a blue/raw wood desk with removable shelves. “We used the wood from the frame and made you this and it’s all yours if you want it!”
We did this a bunch of times. But the first time really was a surprise and I really did like the piece, which surprised me. Later, 2 things bothered me about the whole process–nothing was done with the mattress and they used additional wood (finish-grade ply for the desktop and shelving). But I was satisfied with their answer–they have a gigantic warehouse with salvaged things (furniture, raw materials, etc) and they use all that’s available to construct something that can be put back into play. And they were up til 4am the morning of my shoot and the mattress could just not become the throw cushions with cool prints the designer intended it to be.
Overall a good, occasionally nerve-wracking experience. I asked them if I could keep them on speed dial for other things that I may come across and want transformed. Even better will be when I tell my friend M. to turn on the TV and check out her futon. She’d given it to me, FREE, about a year before. FREE!
Show: G Word. Episode title: Pacific Trash Vortex. Airing late June. Planet Green. I don’t have cable. Can you tape it for me?
Knowledge can be thought of as discreet piles. Over time, you take grains from the hourglass of time dedicated to witnessing/observing and distribute them onto your various knowledge piles. The piles grow and spill into each other in happy collisions of cross-referencing. It’s nice to feel the swelling of your pile, esp. if it’s a small pile. I recently made my Boston pile larger.
I learned it’s home to an impressive redesign project known as the Columbia Point housing complex re-design, garnering awards for its urban revitalization. I learned it’s got a new, cool looking place for good art:
The good art included but was not limited to:
Rachel Perry Welty
Karaoke Wrong Number,
running time: 7 minutes
Robin Rhodes’ photos of sequential chalk drawings.
I also learned that Boston’s Beacon Hill area is home to a patch of concrete that looks like Africa:
I’m not sure what the other country is, encroaching from the south. Wanna call it Blobonia?
I used to tell Dr.Nick that he should offer up obscure aphorisms during his class lectures and if students asked for clarification he should protect the mystery by nodding, and answering: Exactly!
I walked into my favorite discount store and was amused to find it had turned into a hamster cage, judging by all the ripped up newspaper covering the entire floor. HUH, I thought. A nice little morning mystery. I collected a few essentials and a few non-essentials and headed like a gerbil down the row of the register. She rang me up and I asked: What’s with all the newspaper?
“Oh. We’re moving.”
What? I left it there. Preserving the mystery. I occasionally still puzzle through that scenario. Is it a way to clean the floors effortlessly? Does it let you slide boxes around easily? Is it confetti, getting you semi-excited about the sale?
A friend told me that a psych. professor once told him, in answer to his question: “Yes. If you study while taking cocaine you should take the test while on cocaine. It improves your thinking…this replication of conditions. “
I saw Beth Lisick
read perform recently while I was sick. I’m still sick so writing about it makes sense? Probably not, but here goes.
Beth is fast. She reads fast. She goes off on good tangents. She breaks her flow to acknowledge people she suddenly recognizes in the audience: “HEY moonbeam!”. She has a part-time job that allows her to dress up like a banana. She talks about it a lot. I think she loves that she had a NY Times bestseller last year and flouts the status that might afford her by zippin’ up the suit. She stays ahead of coming off self-involved by being so earnestly pursuant in the adventures she launches to quell her ferocious mind. She gives off zero pretention, like someone nervous about her talents. She’s attractive. She smiles a lot which makes her more so. She gave her son a good name - Gus. When people ask her questions she makes the questioner sound smart. I will counter the love fest for balance by saying she never recognizes me. I spent a lot of time around her many years back (when she performed as the Beth Lisick Ordeal, doing pieces about big tall glasses of Phenobarbital) and she always failed to remember me. I spent 45 minutes talking with her in her own house and knew she wouldn’t recognize me after the recent reading. I was right. No matter. I have a roster of people that make me happy about the world. She made the list quickly. The company that hires her to dress like a banana surprised her by sending a big box of fruit to her, cross-country. She brought it to the reading and invited us all to leave with fruit. I chose a pear.
It was delicious.
Find out more about banana beth here
and also here
Final note: my friend took cocaine before his Psych. final. It went horribly.
Growing up, PBA meant: the Professional Bowlers Association. When there wasn’t baseball, basketball, or football to air on tv the networks provided boob tube viewers with bowling tournaments sponsored by the PBA. Nowadays for me PBA means Police Benevolent Association. If you’re a member, which I’m soon to be because I’m related to 5-6 cops, you can get a PBA card. If you get in trouble you can try, with subtlety, showing the cop the PBA card and they just might turn a cheek and get back in their squad car. Or not. But it’s worth a shot. All the cops I’m related to never shot their guns while on duty. Case you’re wondering.
The cabby that was driving me and my 1 small and 2 giant bags home from the airport was in the mood to talk. I wasn’t, but because I usually am, I faked my usual self. He was showing me his amazing GPS system that cost him 400 dollars out of pocket. But he loved it. I told him what he really needed was a PBA card.
“Now why would I carry a bowling association card around?” he didn’t ask but I wish he had. What he really said was: YES! I have one. I have a close friend who gave me one. I was a little jealous because I heard you needed to be related. Jealous isn’t the right word but I’m too tired to go back and fix it. The cabby told me that the card is only good for the calendar year you receive it in. It was New Year’s Eve.
“You have ONE DAY LEFT!!!,” I shouted with mock urgency. “You must drive around recklessly as possible!”
“I know. I know, man,” he said. “And this is maybe my last one. The friend who gave me this died in an accident this year.”
“That’s terrible. Well, you must honor him by running this red light right here…right now, ” I suggested.
Happy New Year everyone. Be reckless. Safe, but reckless. And get related to a cop, if you can.
If you go to architorture school you will be asked to participate in a design process that invites the inventive use of a kit of parts. Later in life you realize the world is just a big ol’ box of parts. You root around, push and pull, maybe the greek goddess Epiphana kisses your brain, and assemblies are made. If you maintain a sense of humor, that kit of parts will often read in your head as a skit of parts and and when you’re sitting at a gallery in Philly and you see a plastic frog, a stir stick/straw, and 2 spinny tops you will tease out a skit from this kit that this frog is no ordinary frog but rather the legendary weight-lifting frog, capable of bench pressing tschotchke nearly double his weight and when you know you’ve seen this image in your head before and you google the internet computer for a matching graphic you will be pleased to stumble upon another extraordinary frog.
The angle of repose is usually taken to be the angle a pile forms with the ground. It describes the engineering properties of granular materials, taking into account density, surface area, and coefficient of friction.
Often overlooked because I made it up is that it’s the measurement of “lean” (repose) someone exhibits while sitting in a chair. My research says the greater this angle the greater the comfort index of that person. This established, I can say with little reservation that Edward Albee is a man possessing considerable comfort. I suppose winning Pulitzers will do that. You get the feeling that even without these large feathers in his cap, his angle of repose would be considerable.
You see him speak at public forums and he will stand out for two reasons: his smile is frequent and heart-warmingly genuine, and his humor is good. What amplifies both qualities is his angle of repose. Even when he speaks of being on the receiving end of not so great behavior, his A.R. suggests he’s over it. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf gets voted down by committee considering its nomination for Pulitzer DESPITE the fact it’s later revealed many jurors DIDN’T EVEN SEE THE MOVIE and Albee grins, reposes, and keeps writing. The movie moguls refuse to hire him to be the screenwriter for the screen adaptation of his play (Who’s….) and he reposes and watches the creative leads turn down draft after draft the hired screenwriter (Ernest Lehman…hired by himself (he was the producer too) for 200 thousand dollars) offers up. In the end, Albee’s dialogue is left intact with the exception of 2 lines.
He’s quick to mention that in his play, the opening scene has Martha doing a Bette Davis impersonation and originally it’s Bette Davis who is cast to play Martha in the movie. He marvels at the meta, existential crisis this could have wrought. He comments on how the studio decided that important movies are made in black and white and they want it to be important so it’s in black in white even though he wrote it in color. It was even shot in color, but converted to important.
Edward Albee cares but he doesn’t scar. His angle of repose won’t let him.
we went to the DIA museum in nearby town of not just for breakfast Beacon. It’s an abandoned Nabisco factory that was given a good white wash and wood floors scraped of all nabisco by-product. It was not unlike what I’m guessing a sanitarium in the fifties felt like. Huge, expansive space, brilliantly lit, empty of nearly everyone, suggesting a pace of slow-it-down and ease-it-up with little chance of encroachment from thoughts or barrier. a little mysterious. It was a great reminder to me of how architecture can invoke feelings. And I felt great. It soothed. I shuffled around, barely lifting my feet. There were these occasional grey couches with that frompy aesthetic that says: I’m a frompy comfy couch. Let’s be friends for awhile. What’ya say?! I indulged. I sat for long stretches–20 minutes at at a time….chillaxing. Reading this nice handout about the sculptor (chamberlain) I was looking at…
This quote stood out (in an essay by Lynne Cook):
This interaction further confirmed his understanding of the ways in which everyday elements—be they words or bits of colored metal— could be mobilized in novel conjunctions to make unexpected kinds of sense: fresh, immediate, direct, and thus divested (particularly in the case of poetry) of narrative (NOT SURE I AGREE HERE)and commentary, as well as (in the case of sculpture) of image, referent, and subject.
I love that this person clumped words with metal. All of it’s raw material, waiting your suggested structure/interaction. A broad kit of parts. You can, and perhaps with routine and “learned” instinct, tease out the potentials they carry. You work with what you have, creating emotion/message from “nothing”.
I also participated in this “mobilization of novel conjunctions”:
Consider the man on the sidewalk. Considering you don’t know him, what’s a short list of questions you might ask this stranger?
Did “Excuse me sir, can I take a picture of your belt buckle?” make your list?
(consider the expression of his son, standing off camera. I can assure you it communicated wonder and disbelief with a tablespoon of pride).
You can learn and earn a lot of things at family reunions.
When you attend the reunion on my father’s side they IMMEDIATELY add to the excitement of just being there by having you guess how many pennies are in a jar sitting next to the sign-in ledger. Like a lot of jars, this one is made of glass. This allows you to see inside, making it easier to estimate how many lincolns there may be. Estimating how many things are in a thing is something I’m good at. I wrote down my guess, only after bombastically predicting victory. Then I went and I ate things and learned things. A lot of things. They were all delicious. The most savory tidbit I enjoyed was learning that ridin’ the rusty rails, trainhoppin’, is an urge flowing in the blood line. My cousin, Christine Marie, was a trainhopper well before I was. She would leap onto the steam trains that passed behind her house. She claims she’s a retired hopper, something I refuse outright. Check back later for photos of us hopping trains…together.
The time to earn was upon me. The number of pennies in the jar was announced and the person, Price is Right rules in effect, coming closest without going over was me. But really, my aunt Helen won. Sure, she was over but she was closest. Besides, Bob Barker just retired so Price rules need not apply. My aunt would tell me later that she had sudden surge of energy while I was guessing and channeled thoughts of me winning into the air. “I hope he wins. I hope he wins.”, she chanted in her head. Clearly, she’s gifted…and kind. I insisted she consider going out on the road with me where we would offer our professional estimating services to those in need.
I’m still waiting to hear from her. I estimate it won’t be long.
So, my building was rumbling and it usually doesn’t. So we left. Down the stairs, like you’re supposed to. Outside we were greeted by sooted people who had come from the epicenter, where the steam pipe had fissured and erupted. Rumors ricocheted off the buildings–a building was hit and had collapsed, a transformer was hit, the train system had been targeted. We stymied our curiosity and walked briskly down fifth, making our calls to get information and ease any worry that might come.
2 days later when asked about the event by a friend and former co-worker, I relied on gallows humor to smooth out the stress fractures in my brain:
With Brad, limp from having passed out, folded over my muscular back like wet laundry I slid down the drain pipe of our building until the tenth floor where I pushed out into open air knowing the surface tension index of vinyl, the material of the awnings below, would certainly guarantee support of the weight of 2 free-falling white collar pixel pushers.
I was right.
We bounced 3 times with diminishing peaks until we were settled comfortably into the blue vinyl pocket. I took out my snake bite kit and woke Brad up by splashing him with the serum meant for injections. Needless to say, the boy was out of sorts. I recounted what happened, careful to not rouse his fear reflex again with too much emotion. I escorted him to FAO Schwarz, knowing full well that my comfort was nothing against that of the brown acrylic hairs of a new fuzzy bear. It took awhile, but Brad eventually settled on one (sailor-themed!) and the 3 of us limped off to a life we knew was changed…….
The night of the steam pipe eruption I was scheduled to see Chuck Klosterman speak. By the time I got to the venue, I was in an area of town that didn’t know what had happened. This fact, coupled with a few trickling reports from friends which downplayed the event, put me back into forge ahead with life mode. It was crowded. I stood near a listening station at Barnes and Noble to pass the time usefully. The new Beth Orton sounds a lot like old Beth Orton–nice.
Chuck took the stage and immediately convinced the audience he was smart and funny by saying doing things that were smart and funny. He talked about how he’d rather switch the order and answer questions first and then maybe read but he could picture the traditionalists in the audience freaking out in their heads: “Man, the paper said it was a READING and now he’s not even gonna read. ” He talked about his appreciation of French journalists.
“So, I’m telling these journalists that in America I’m often criticized for being narcissistic or solipsistic in my writing and so, ya know…and the journalists are sitting there waiting for the criticism. I LOVE French journalists! Only in France. These journalists ask me: How do you bring the darkness?”
He talked about this bizarre occurrence of a girl attending 2 of his readings in the same town and asking the same question. And he decided to answer it in the same exact way, tone and body language, if he could.
I liked his point about there not being legendary bands anymore because the public doesn’t really allow for a continuing audio aesthetic. They want new and different. Before, it could be viewed as consistency, a guarantee, and now it’s often redundant and played out. But I like that Beth Orton sounds like Beth Orton.
I also like Chuck’s t-shirt in that photo of him doing shadow puppets. It’s a good shirt. I have a good shirt now, if the crowd response whenever I wear it is any indication. Here, you should get one too: MONSTER MAKE ME A SANDWICH SHIRT
hold the mayo. heavy on russian mustard and leaves of sweet basil.
It’s 7, 7, oh seven and you are well aware that on such a numerically charged day that momentous things will likely happen even if you don’t prompt. Even if they involve boredom. And it does. The Boredoms (japanese noise band) announce a free concert where they will serenade lucky list registrants and likely anyone within 2 miles because they have at their employ 77 drummers pounding on 77 drum kits while eating 7 carrots a piece (made up the last bit).
I guess the line is part of it. They want to get you good and bored. It takes 1.77 hours to get in. But people in line are very non-boring and one is really tall.
Once inside the boredom zone, you mill about and can drink japanese beer and kabitz with people until a crescendo of snares and hi-hats and rides and crashes involve you with great moxie, and the cacophony of sound only surrenders you after an hour+ of sonic massage. You do have time to step out of the bliss to take photos of intriguing bits around you:
OH, this is what they sound like:
COMMERCE 101–sex sells.
In this case, shoes. At a shoe store down by the seashore.
When you need a weird little, expensive looking, lightbulb and you’re anywhere near New Hippodrome Hardware in Manhattan then you’re about to be happy. Not only will your needs for the eccentric illuminator be met but the other need, the one you forgot to pay attention to, the one that requires you enjoy the company of good people, that’ll be met too. If you meet the manager. If you walk in and you witness the banter that ricochets around the store, usually artfully conducted by the manager. And I get the feeling that’s all the time. So, get happy.
“I need this,” I said with a bit more urgency than I meant, holding the little halogen bulb up to the face of a white-haired man.
“That’s really weird you’re asking for this because those just came in yesterday and another guy was just in here this morning needing one too,” the only too-happy-to-help manager said in a playful tone that matched the grin of his eyes.
“That’s fantastic,” I insisted, trying to match the sense of play this scene was taking on.
“We got that too! Comes in a spray or a roll-on,” he inventoried for me.
I knew then and there I would be using any excuse to duck into the place, to purchase utility but more to savor the added flavor.
Also adding good flavor to NY are the handball players striking matador poses, to intimidate their opponents: