Sunday, January 14, 2007

must be object friendly

Ever since I moved out of my parents home for undergraduate edification I have been haunted by the thought that my life is being scripted by some not altogether benevolent being. And by this I don't mean i have no free will or individuality or anything like that. No, the author of my life, if in fact it isn't me, is doing a bang-up job in every arena save one. Setting. I cannot get over the fact that the subtle everyday objects (or lack thereof) that surround me are planted by someone with absolutely no idea how actual human beings decorate their environs.

It started in Syracuse my freshman year. I moved into my dorm at the last possible minute, mere hours before the first mandatory incoming matriculant meeting. When I finally finished unpacking I was faced by some rather disconcerting questions from my new roomie Ahmad. "Where is all your stuff?," and "Don't you own any posters or anything?" I glanced back at my half of our bread-box. A bleak wall of primer white cinder blocks was all that greeted me. No, I did not own any posters, or for that matter any teevee, stereo, or computer. I had barely a week's worth of underwear. I turned my head askance to look at Ahmad's side and almost lost my balance. It was as if gravity momentarilly shifted and all of the 'stuff' in our room shifted over to his half. His bed was a mess, his desk full of random stuff, computer bleeping, stereo mumbling something reggae-ish, food in various states of preparation and decomposition, and up on the wall as if mocking me, three large posters of Marley, the Beastie Boys (Liscensed to Ill if I remember correctly), and something else largely forgettable, not quite a cat hanging from a tree-limb declaring 'hang in there!' but something inspirational or other. It took me most of my freshman year to acquire a single wall ornament, a radiohead poster my brother got me as a present the following spring. But it never looked like it was having any fun.

Things progressed slowly from there. Every Fall my friends lined up to help move me in as I was by far the easiest kid to unload and they all knew I would help them in return, hell, I would have helped them anyways. Sophomore year I added an original Nintendo to my room. As a Junior I now had a clunky PC that doubled as a stereo. Yet I never truly felt fully equipped. and certainly none of the 'pieces' of my room shared any self-enlightening connection. And for this I blame television.

I've long since shed my collegiate quarters. Presently I sit and watch programs like the Gilmore Girls (especially the early seasons) and marvel at how real the character's rooms look. There is stuff everywhere! It all seems to compliment each other and the chracters as well. No swath of wall is left unburdened by photos and posters and pennants and various wall-hangery. "Now this is how a 'real' person lives!," I say to myself ironically. By contrast the me that keeps laying out my Setting is still having trouble realizing his character. Even now I walk into my lovely bathroom and mentally erase everything non-comissioned by Croftie and am left to conclude that perhaps I should have been a monk or something because all there would be is a partially dry towel hanging on the back of the door, a bar of soap, toothbrush, paste, shampoo, lens fluid, and if I'm lucky, some floss.

But it is not just television that makes me feel this way. I have friends. I know people. And their homes (Oline, Bombstella, Lady E to name just a few) are delightful. Splendid to the eye and other sensory operations. So it is not just the 'real' people on teevee living it up inanimate object style. No, 'real' people from 'real' life also have things! And not just books, but art, framed and laminated, busts, posters, mirrors, draping things, things to sit on, things obviously happy with their surroundings, oh what midnight conversations they must have.

I am left to conclude that I must soon fire my interior designer. For too long have they toiled in mediocrity. Perhaps I was just reluctant to hurt their feelings. But one can only live for so long in such deprivation. And while I am at it may as well issue a few solicitations:

Wanted: One competent set designer. Knowledge of Gilmore Girls, James Jean, Marcel Duchamp, Indie Rock Poster Art a plus. Must be object friendly. Less does not equal more. God is in the details, etc. Pay negotiable.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Book 'em Dougo.

Last night at around 7:00pm me and three other young men wanted by the police sat around a long library table trading stories. The remnants of an ad-hoc cop dinner lay strewn about: salt and pepper packets, a box of disposable forks, and several mostly unused napkins littered the wooden landscape. The other three men wanted by the cops, let's call them Joey, Chandler, and Ross, they were all about my age and uniformly uncomfortable.

Joey, though he probably wouldn't admit this, had a receding hairline and sat across from me fiddling with his backpack. Chandler sat to my right in large emo-black glasses and an embryonic pompadour. Give it time and it will grow. Chandler also had a penchant for bad jokes, mostly of the law enforcement variety, good-cop, bad-cop, you get the idea. Ross sat to my right on a diagonal wearing a baseball cap low on his head. He slouched and though I wouldn't be able to tell you how I know this, he easily made more money than the other three of us combined. We had all been sequestered in this tiny community-college-esque room to wait for an improbably long amount of time before viewing a police line-up of potential muggers.

The ride to the courthouse-cum-police-station had been eventful enough. With many a hair-pin turn Mapquest guided us through the night, depositing us on Western just before Belmont where several overpasses fought to see which one could arc higher than the rest. Shady alleys and shadier 'business establishments' marked the street corners but across the highway Croftie and I could see a large parking lot with a smattering of cop cars. I wore my black hoodie and fingerless gloves, not because i wanted to be confused with some punk hoodlum but because there was a chill in the air--that, and i had just come from work and was exhausted. Croftie and I exited Jeepie Jeepie and made our way toward a building which could only be described as 'government'.

Inside I threw my weight around, barking out "I'm here to see Detective Hanson." That's not the real detective's name you see but we may as well continue the silly pseudonyms. Hanson was up a long flight of stairs and inside a large open room which looked exactly like every stereotypical cop teevee show that ever lived. I fought the urge to sing the theme from 21 Jumpstreet. Untidy desks. Youngish ladies grasping important loose-leaf documents in their waving hands scampered about the open aisles. Off duty cops lounged and leaned and looked generally bored. That's when Hanson, an elderly gent with snowy hair and a amiable face, sat me down with my aforementioned Friends.

After trading mug stories we were called away one by one to look at the line-up. I, of course, was last. I believe this was because the detective didn't want Croftie to have to sit and make small talk with Joey or Ross. It was all very dramatic. Hanson came in and put his arm around my shoulders, leading me away like a pitching coach trying to advise a prospect who'd gotten himself into one helluva jam. He told me:

"Now I wanna sleep well tonight, and I know you do too. This here ain't no eenie-meenie-miney-moe. If you don't see your guy, don't pick one just because. Now in a second I'm gonna have you walk down this hall and at the end there'll be a blind. We'll kill the lights and raise the blind. There'll be 5 guys sitting on a bench behind one-way glass. You'll be able to see them and they will be looking into a mirror. If your guy is there point him out, but only if you're sure."

We stepped out into the main-room and suddenly every eye was on me. It was spectacularly surreal. It went down just as Hanson had said. The lights were 'killed' and there on the bench were a bunch of bored looking middle-aged African-American men with surprisingly different styles of facial hair ranging from impeccably trim to non-existent to not even trying to be presentable. The man second from the right looked particuarly rugged, his face over-sized like a comic-book supervillian. But I knew right off the bat that none of them were my guy. I told Hanson I was 80% sure of this. My Friends and I filled out some silly forms and were unceremoniously swept on out.

Sushi and some Reckless Records finished off a rather bizarre day that began with textbook rush and ended with me, exhausted and bewildered, in bed before 10pm.


Monday, January 01, 2007

oh seven

wRite more
eat bEtter
more Organization
sleep Less/more
get oUt
stop losing Things
fInd new job
balaNce check-book
exerciSe more