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January 2006

Anything dirty or dingy or dusty, anything ragged or rotten or rusty.
Yes, I love trash! | Sunday, 01.29.06
It's a fact: garbage pickers make billions of dollars a year. They turn your trash into stinky treasure, and they're laughing all the way to the bank as they drag a broken wagon full of perfectly good wire hangers behind them. Their laughter turns to tears when they discover that the bank is no longer accepting wire hangers as a viable form of currency, nor are they willing to hand over cash in exchange for a Hefty bag full of rotten produce. "This is bullshit, man, I'm going to storm out of this bank and laugh all the way to another bank!" says a particularly irate garbage picker who never made it to another bank because he was distracted by a garbage can full of broken lightbulbs and orange rinds.

Garbage pickers come in two fabulous flavors: a) homeless and b) "freegens." You can't blame the homeless. They've got to eat, but the soup kitchens reek of God. Plus, who wants to sit with a bunch of homeless people? Some of them do drugs! Dining with junkies and smelling the overpowering stench of God has to detract greatly from one's hunger for soup, regardless of how homeless and crazy they are.

But the freegens are a new breed of garbage picker that probably aren't new, but they're new to me, therefore should be new to anyone that actually matters.

Teachers, social workers and students, [Stephen] Woloshin and his fellow scavengers are far removed from the swollen ranks of New York's homeless, belonging instead to a new faction on the fringes of the environmental movement.

As "freegans," they regard over-consumption as a pernicious global trend and seek to demonstrate how people can feed themselves for "free" on the mountains of produce discarded by others.

On one particular evening, the group, kitted out with small backpacks and string bags, are on a mission in Greenwich Village, scoping the streets of the chic district before the garbage trucks rumble through.
-- Reuters

I guess there's nothing really wrong with this, but garbage is garbage for a reason. And until we reach the point where used feminine hygiene products and razor blades are placed in a separate trash receptacle, I'm going to refrain from liberating a head of lettuce from the garbage. "You're free now, oh rotting head of lettuce. Free from the smelly confines of the garbage can! I'm going to take you home and serve my fami-- oh wait, someone hollowed out the middle of this head of lettuce and fucked it for three hours, I guess I'll just have to leave it in the garbage." Yes, it sucks that we waste food. We're wasteful and horrible and fat and we all have guns and we all say hello by shooting each other in the face. But sometimes you just have to let the little things go. For instance, some peo-

"This consumerism, this waste ... is disgusting," [Ronnit] Keha says.

Yes I know, but think abou--

"The solution to world hunger lies on the streets of New York," says Adam Weissman, the organizer behind the local chapter.

"So much food is wasted in the United States," says Weissman. "When I go to a restaurant, I bring my meal."

OK, you know what? Fine. You want to be waste deep in a garbage can full of semen encrusted tissues and coffee grounds, knock yourself out. But the only mention of homeless people in this article came in the first paragraph, and was used to separate the freegens from the icky dirty homeless. One of them was quoted as saying, "I make good money and I can afford to buy food, but it's a shame to see this waste." Wonderful, then why don't you leave some of the food for the homeless folks that don't have the luxury of digging through garbage to prove a fucking point?

"I once found some fantastic strawberries," she beams.

Hey, that homeless woman over there just exhaled her last breath and died of malnourishment. Enjoy your strawberries!

 
When he reigns, he pours. No, wait--
Show me the monkey baby whoo! | Thursday, 01.19.06
I always thought bottle flipping was a skill that one was born with. I was under the impression that it was one of those skills you don't know you have until you absolutely need it, like walking on hot coals, bending cars in half or cunnilingus. I was wrong. Bottle flipping must be taught. You can't just get behind a bar, take orders and start whipping bottles around the room all willy-nilly, haberdashery, hurdy-gurdy. Makes sense, right? OK, tell that to the new guy working the bar at the TGIFriday's that I frequent.

I am gonna flip the
shit out of your bottles.
Flip. Flip. Flip. CRASH. Flip. Flip. CRASH. All fucking night. Try holding a conversation when there's a man not three feet away from you balancing bottles on the backs of his quivering hands with the skilled precision of a schizophrenic who's convinced that he is the living embodiment of electricity. I couldn't concentrate on my alcohol. I was so nervous that this guy was going to accidentally launch a bottle of Kettle One into the unsuspecting face of a grandma celebrating her 101st birthday. There were two guys working the bar. One versed in the art of bottle flippery and the other guy. "Hey, toss me two Heinekens," said the bottle master. "Nooooo!" I thought, knowing full well that this would end in disaster and wasted beer. He managed to toss the bottles without killing anything, except for my nerves and the ghost of Tom Cruise.

See, Tom Cruise starred in the pinnacle of bottle flipping masterpieces, Cocktail. Not that I would know, since my only exposure to this film was the soundtrack (which I played ad nauseum from 1988 to 1990) and the movie poster which features the greatest tag line in the history of tag lines: "When he pours, he reigns." I think the English language could have died in 1988, because that's as good as it gets right there. So since I have no idea what happens in this movie, I'm just going to assume that Tom Cruise enters some sort of bottle flipping championship, he falls in love with his arch nemesis, and they make passionate man love in the rain (while violently crying) for 45 minutes. They walk into the tournament holding hands, Cruise grabs a mic and says, "We have to cancel the contest! I love this man!" They tongue kiss and everyone cheers and they give all the money to charity and the evil corporate business guy tries to escape with the money but the talking dolphin sprays water in his face and the orphanage is saved and Tom Cruise's kid is starring in a play across town and he looks out into the audience and doesn't see his father so he gets all upset but Tom Cruise shows up at the very last minute and mouths the words "You are number one," to his son and everyone's crying and groping each other and just when you think the maniac killer is dead, his eyes quickly open and then the credits roll. Oh, and they all drink Cocktails at some point.

The guy behind the bar at TGIFriday’s must not realize that people aren't impressed with bottle flipping anymore. Maybe you could get people's attention with bottle tricks in 1988, when everyone was rich and on coke and listening to "Don't Worry, Be Happy" on a 30 pound walkman, but not now. You want to know what bartender trick impresses me? Putting a drink in front of me without tossing it around the room. Stop trying to flip your bottle of magic into my heart. You're no Tom Cruise. When Tom Cruise pours, he reigns, ok? When you pour, you, uh... cause pain? Sail to Spain? Ladies and gentlemen, Titanic's Billy Zane? Let's go with 'cause pain.' That was a good start, and the other ones don't even make any sense. Ahem. Bottle flipping. An entire update about bottle flipping. Thank you.

 
I'm so sad and lonely. Sad and lonely sad and lonely sad and lonely.
sad and lonely sad and lonely | Thursday, 01.05.06
I just... wow.
(sad and lonely)
Radio is in a bad place right now. New York's only rock station, 92.3 K-Rock, has changed formats to this weird "in your face extreme talk radio" station, interspersed with random acts of what the kids call rock music these days after 11 pm. I know nothing about demographics or popularity or what's considered cool, but no one over the age of 60 listens to talk radio, right? Sure, kids listen to the typical morning zoo type shit, with names like "Cecil and the ChuckWagon" or "Mr. Robert and Lemonpants" or "Arrogant Black Man and Friends," but those shows are just mindless vehicles to give the people what they want: wacky prank phone calls and fabulous cash prizes for screaming the "phraze that payz" with enough volume to melt every sound-emitting device in the tri-state area. That was a long sentence. Let's take a break. Reading. Is. Hard.

I turn on 92.3 every morning through force of habit, maybe because there's something in me that needs to hear Howard Stern throw deli meats at a stripper's ass at 7:00 in the morning. Now, I get David Lee Roth talking about... I really can't tell you what the fuck he's talking about, ever. All I know is that every time he stops to take a breath, music is played and is then quickly silenced once Diamond Dave discovers a new way to slam unrelated words together. Plus he reads live commercials that might have the ability to erase mankind.

This is David Lee Roth for Dial-A-Mattress. When I get home from a hard night of being an EMT in New York City, I like to do three things: eat a vegan tortilla filled with beef and eggs, hang myself from the highest tree I can find and sleep on a mattress that I duct tape to the ceiling. I've ordered at least 7,000 mattresses from Dial-A-Mattress, and I'm going to the moon in June with nothing but a fork and a spoon, and I'm taking you with me. When dialing 1-800-MATTRES, I left off the last "S" for "azulejo" and I speak Spanish, English, Frenchish, Reptile, Banjo. 3 quarters for a dollar in the southern states. So go ahead and "Jump" into savings with Dial-A-Mattress and the Harlem Globetrotters, with their jump shots and Sealy Posturepedics and a fireworks display for the kids.

Maybe I'm his target audience - 24 year old male who enjoys hearing a disc jockey slip in and out of madness. I didn't want the party to stop on my drive home from work, so I turned on 92.3 again. Some radio chick named, coincidently, "The Radio Chick" was doing her thing, which involved her and her wacky cohorts laughing at dead coal miners.

Hahaha, oh man, they said 12 were alive and 1 was dead, but in reality, 1 was alive and 12 were dead! *boooooiiiinnnnnggggg* *quack quack* *wah wah waaaaahh* *steam whistle* *Allllriiighty then!* Hey what did one coal miner say to the other coal miner? Tell my wife and kids I love them! And then they both suffocated and died like faggots! Hahahahaha oh god, that's rich.

Clearly, I am not extreme enough to appreciate the subtle nuances of talk radio. I want to call the Radio Chick and tell her to stop being so "in my face." I want her to take it down a notch so that I can enjoy her program with my family at the dinner table. She'll probably just laugh at me and play a sound effect of two men ejaculating all over each other... but maybe that's all I'm really looking for. Good luck talk radio, and Godspeed. *boooooiiiinnnnnggggg* *quack quack* *wah wah waaaaahh* *steam whistle* *Somebody stop me!*

 

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