Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ask and Ye Shall Recieve: CraigsList Delivers

No one would ever accuse me of being slightly OCD because slightly is an adjective I rarely manage to achieve.

Right now I'm all over CraigsList again. But this time, I'm the buyer. I got the crazy flipper fingers scrolling through lists of used furniture and household oddities at least twice a day. Ha ha, you know I meant every twelve minutes.

When I hit refresh, bloop bloop bloop, day or night, new posts dance before my eyes like sugar plum fairies. Good clean fun only available within densely populated areas. All these things I never dreamed I could drag home for such small scheckle. So far, I've bought Christmas lights ($10), an electric disco ball ($10), a fuzzy rug ($90), an iron ($5), a fancy teapot ($20) and aromotherapy essentials ($5).

This is where the hangers come in.

The ad said the hangers were new, wooden, 80 for $30. I asked if I could get 40ish for $15. Seller agreed to the terms. Except she had a trick up her mild-mannered sleeve. I had to throw away my large to-go coffee container because the whole episode rapidly turned into a two-handed operation.

We shelled out our $15, and she gave us our 40 hangers. Except she threw in a ginormous box of about 200 more hangers as a parting gift.

Holy sweet merciful fuck. This box of hangers dwarfed regular-sized boxes of hangers and presented unique physically demanding challenges. People took great pains to avoid us teetering down the sidewalk. I really needed that whole cup of coffee and cursed more than was probably entirely necessary. But in the end, our reckless endangerment of others was worth it. All my pants now have homes of their own. So do my pajamas, towels and socks.

Perhaps vous is in need of a sturdy hanger to dangle your finery? 50 cents each, two free with purchase of a dozen.

I love the CraigsList.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Found! Data for Future Taxidermic Analysis

Date: 11/25/08
Found: One Dime in Second Floor Ladies Room, 1719 Route 10 East, Parsippany NJ.
Current Status: In back right pants pocket of brown chinos, hanging in closet at residence.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Avoid the Ones in the Rain Ponchos: A Scientific Study

What I find most remarkable about the tourists walking on the sidewalk in Manhattan, god bless their economic contribution, is their solid refusal to accept that they are not riding in a car. They are nakedly vehicle-less on the crowded streets, meandering along sandwiched between millions of us actually trying to get someplace on time.

Current Working Hypothesis:
  • Tourists in denial: although on foot, retain delusion they are somehow in automobile.

Two Preliminary Observations Supporting Hypothesis:
  • Families cluster on the sidewalk as if they were enclosed by a four-door sedan. Dad on left, mom on right, two kids in the back.
  • Out-of-towner discussions ensue as if occurring inside a car with the windows rolled up.
    Case Study:
    Fanny-pack woman on a street corner waiting for light to change waves around a map and exclaims, "Where are we? I think the Empire State Building must not be on this street. I said we should have turned back there."
    Her husband replies, "No, I think it's up ahead on the left."
    Meanwhile, a dozen locals are close enough to breathe on, all of whom wonder silently why nobody has asked them to point toward the Empire State Building. New Yorkers do not understand that tourists sneaker along inside invisible autobody pods.
  • Tourists loudly protest and complain about rudeness when they get bumped by another pedestrian. Accustomed to traveling comfortably seated inside a buffer of glass and steel amidst orderly traffic patterns, they are not used to the open-air, full-body exposure to others, jostling in lassez-faire sidewalk free-for-all mayhem.
Scientific Inconsistency Refuting Stated Hypothesis:
  • If one of the visiting pedestrian meanderthals or 4-abreast mall-walkers was driving along in their pick-up truck, they would likely not squeal to a complete stop in the middle of the highway to admire something shiny in a shop window.
    And then wonder why they got rear-ended.
  • Further analysis is required.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things that are Sluggish

  1. Power Tools with less than 10,000 rpm motors
  2. Big Black Houseflies in autumn
  3. Decisions made by a committee
  4. Tourists on the sidewalk in midtown
  5. Skis in deep wet powder
  6. Nightfall in mid-summer
  7. Robitussin pouring into the little dosing cup
  8. The Acceptance of Change
  9. Karma going around and coming around
  10. Tractors on the highway

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Memoirs of a Truant

I had a little problem with truancy growing up. There were key reasons for this:
  • School started hella early.
  • I had largely figured out how to successfully stay under the radar and not go to school, or not go to school until after lunch period, at least three days a week. So showing up at 0-dark-hundred hours for the other two days really cut into my busy schedule, as well as disrupted my biorhythms.
  • I had fifteen periods of graphic art shop a week my senior year and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep myself entertained.
In case you haven't figured this out by now, we lived in bumfuck. The same percentage of my graduating class went to college as went to jail. There were no AP classes, no fun electives, no clubs (except 4H) and the principal would at one point be hospitalized for mental instability.

Avoiding school attendance is actually easier than you might imagine. Mostly, the trick is in the planning. You have to put on your Dr. Evil cap early... as in the year before. You must get yourself scheduled for study halls, gym class and/or gifted and talented periods in the morning. As many as possible and back-to-back. Because here's the thing:
  • If, during the first week of school, you do not show up for homeroom and study halls, the teacher simply assumes that a roster error has occurred and you are really supposed to be somewhere else. They will strike your name from the roll-call roster. In my personal and rather vast experience pulling this stunt, they will never double check that you are, in fact, somewhere else. Or, shall I say, somewhere else besides your bed.
  • If you do not show up for gym class, the teacher will also assume you were not scheduled to be in that gym class and strike you from the roster. Since every student is scheduled for at least one gym class, she will assume you are in another gym class. When it comes time to grade report cards, the teacher will not double check against class rosters to ascertain that you are actually in a gym class. She will just give you a "B." She will assume that if she doesn't remember you, you weren't particularly good and you weren't particulary bad.
  • Not showing up for gifted and talented requires a little, but not much, additional foresight. All you have to do is dredge up some serious passion for a discipline requiring "field work." Biology is generally a safe bet. You tell the teacher you will be outside by the edge of the school yard collecting airborne particles, for example.
Not being scheduled for a lunch period is the mark of an elite truant. Very few can manage the extreme corruption required to stack up 3 or 4 classes in a row where everyone thinks you are legitimately somewhere else. Plus you have to get yourself in one of the earlier lunch periods. It took me almost 3 years to manage this feat more than one or two days a week. Which is when I became a level 18 Defiantly-Not-A-Morning-Person.

Found! Data for Future Taxidermic Analysis

Date: 11/15/08
Found: One Dime in back pocket of pants purchased at HousingWorks Sample Sale on 17th Street
Current Status: Still in same pants pocket.

Found: One Nickel near Cashier 26 at Whole Foods on 7th Ave by 25th Street.
Current Status: Gave to bartender in lobby of Rubin Museum as part of tip for good Mohito.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11|11 Hail the Wale!

Today is National Corduroy Day. Hail the Wale! I did not indulge in any festivities. Frankly there were none. Celebrating is such a waste of time anyway, I used the hours and got busy with some more productive endeavors.

Like I took a moment to ascertain the contents of my desk at work in a proactive fashion. Seems I've collected one entire drawer full of extra footwear. Mostly sneakers, but a few clogs wormed their way into the mix. Sometimes an office worker just needs an emergency change of shoes and it is important to be fully prepared. Either that or my shoes at home are escaping the lousy closet conditions by migrating to my office.

I also have a drawer full of cereal (hot & cold), a drawer mostly full of pants and another drawer where I store papers people have given me which don't really look that interesting. The papers are organized chronologically, oldest on the bottom. I'm thinking when the drawer fills up I'll probably recycle them.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Ancestoral Journey and Ultimate Taxonomic Classification of the Penny I Found

On January 5, 1970, my great-grandfather, Louis, dropped dead from a heart attack at the corner of 7th Avenue and 28th Street. He had just come from the subway.

Personally, I would never take the subway to 28th Street, as this would require the #1 train and everybody knows yo' mamma can waddle faster than the #1 train. My great-tseidy must have hopped the #2 into Manhattan from his apartment in the Bronx, and then switched at Penn Station on 31st. Why he just didn't schlepp the last three blocks on the sidewalk confounds me. Maybe it was really cold out.

Over the summer, I was taking my own advice and clipping down 7th streetside, when I spied a lost penny on or about the historic 28th street block. I picked it up. It turned out to be a 1942 Wheat Penny. The scene was very dramatic in my own mind.

I toted the penny home and lined it up in a row of other important streetfinds: two large washers, and two bolts, one of them hollow. I had a few words with my Uncle George, a numismatist (thanks Bob), who placed a value of $65 on the coin. Uncle George was uncertain as to the resale on the other items.

Right after that, my collection disappeared. On Cleaning Lady Day. Suzanne said I really should call up the cleaning ladies and have words with them, but I decided to hold out.

For a full two weeks, my washers, bolts and penny were nowhere to be found, despite fierce searching. Finally, I uncovered them in my underwear drawer. Nothing like a bolt to freshen up your panties.

Carefully, I lined up my recovered caboodle on green felt. I am going to label each item with the date and location of its discovery. I will consider various methods of classification, with a goal to nail down a scientific taxonomy for the cataloging of roadbooty.

This will be big.