100?!? (and I ain’t talking degrees)

July 18, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

As a result of my last post (or perhaps despite it), my father saw fit to send me a list Forbes Magazine recently published that outlines the top places to live in the United States. He was kind enough to point out to me that Rio Rancho (birthplace of the cat shit taco) was #56 and New York City was #100. I am certain Forbes’s professionals have lots of numbers to back this assertion up, but they are neglecting one point: at least in NYC the (copious) effluvia to be found are on the sidewalks, not in my food. Sure, this is like arguing the finer points of having gonorrhea instead of syphilis, but this point does, indeed, have merit.

Closing on a note of civic pride, I came across this via Gothamist. Unlike the offal usually to be found on the Internet, this is fantastic. It is totally worth taking the time to read.

My only criticism is that Greenpoint is not represented by anyone who truly exemplifies the caliber of person who lives here (by choice). And I think know I am just the person to correct this imbalance. My credentials are as follows:

  1. I am a surly, small woman with a very, very foul mouth. Some men have elected to tell me that I have a mouth like a sailor. While I suspect that this was intended as an insult, I took it as a compliment. One’s abilty to tell someone to f-off (in explicit detail) or memorize the phone number for the 94th Precinct (718 383 3879) will make you or break you here.
  2. I consume wine like a Frenchman.
  3. I operate a blog about dog shit— and dog shit is to Greenpoint what apple pie, Uncle Sam or Imperialism is to the U.S. of fuggin’ A.: indispensible.
  4. I moved here before the hipster influx. I am too old to be a hipster, but am making excellent progress on my tenure track to becoming an honest-to-god freak.
  5. I have a Polish surname— and although I was born and raised elsewhere, my mother’s poking around our genealogy revealed that my Polish/Lithuanian immigrant forebears made their start in Brooklyn. It is very likely that I live steps away from where they lived over 100 years ago. An interesting turn of events. Or yet another part of the cycle.

There is no refrigeration, only Zuul

July 9, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

DANGER

Those of you who have seen the movie Ghostbusters or happen to live in a rent-stabilized building in New York City will understand the following tale. The rest of you will probably find it entertaining nonetheless…

My refrigerator died June 19th.

Sadly, I am no “Dana Barrett”. There was neither a hot celloist nor a bonafide demon to be found in my sub-bluechip apartment: just me, my husband, two bouts of food poisoning, a slew of rotten food, TWO defunct refrigerators and a parade of idiots whose mission was to “fix” the problem.

The area code of choice for pure evil is 212. The rest of us, e.g., “718-ers” (or worse, “201-ers”) get the “B” Team: no death, no pillars of salt, no wrath of God shit, just an uneasy feeling in your bowels. Thankfully, God saw fit to invent Kaopectate.

After my refrigerator experience, I’d be delighted to have Zuul reside in there. Especially if it meant my dairy products and produce are protected. Narrow-minded folk would call the aforementioned situation extortion, but I call it insurance. This is New York City after all…

Zuul and I could have worked out an arrangement. When I am asleep, he can conjure up the bowels of hell and do whatever Lucifer/Gozer/Whothefuckever does (in the confines of my refrigerator) for the very reasonable price of $500 per month. Plus utilities. Cash only. No pets. Drug and disease free. NO fatties or uglies.

I would be doing Zuul a favor by letting him have a share in my apartment because it is in such a cool neighborhood. Zuul, being a hell beast, should feel honored that I allow him to share my benzene-laden, struggling artist air. Nothing screams authentic artist like Existentialist angst, student loan debt and rejection letters from potential employers. Carcinogens hereabouts are, as Paris Hilton would say, HOT. Iron lungs and chemotherapy are the new black (lung). Geriatric chic is the wave of the future, so strap on your surgical stockings and colostomy bags hipsters and work the irony!

Zuul would not make much noise. Zuul would leave the toilet seat down. Zuul would not invite his girlfriend to stay over indefinitely. And above all things, Zuul would make damn sure my food is refrigerated at 36 degrees.

I am not so lucky. I live in a craptacular building (in a hot location) whose s(t)uperintendent is either a walking study in laziness or abject stupidity. Probably both.

I got a new (READ: refurbished) refrigerator June 24th and it died July 2nd. July 6th I had the pleasure of having twocount ’emTWO, repairmen futz with it.

monkies

The first one (who I will henceforth refer to as “Chong”) seemed to be high (or very mellow). Chong listened to my explanation of how it croaked (the refrigeration section went first, then the freezer) and he diagnosed the problem very quickly. It needed a new timer. Chong rigged it so I could manually turn the timer until he came back the next day to install a new one. As he left I thanked him, and noting the Texas plates on his car, I asked, “Are you from Texas?” Chong’s answer was “Sort of”. Uh-HUH.

Sort of“: either the papers for his person, the car he was driving, or probably both, are “iffy”. Frankly, I don’t not give damn if it means I get an operational refrigerator.

Cheech

Immediately after Chong left, another man (I’ll call him Cheech) knocked on my door. Cheech said he came to fix the refrigerator. I told him Chong had already been by. Cheech leaves.

I get a call. It’s from the S(t)uper. The St(u)pe tells me that Cheech is going to finish the repair job on our refrigerator. I let Cheech in, and shortly thereafter, he proceeded to do things to this appliance that Chong (stoned, but probably licensed) would look dimly upon. Cheech tore into my poor refrigerator with a ferocity that can only attributed to having a few more— or more likely— a few less, chromosomes. The opening sequence to the movie 2001 is not unlike what I beheld, except this primate had an allen wrench. Scary.

dumbass

Cheech pissed me off. He needed access to an electrical outlet (so he could use a hairdryer to melt the ice caked on the coils in the freezer— a big “no-no” per Chong). I gave Cheech an extension cord and showed him the outlet. He told me to “plug it in”. *A-hem* I am not the one being paid to “fix” this problem. I will provide tools (necessary by virtue of Cheech’s lack of preparation) but I am no man’s handy tool wench. PERIOD.

lazyass

That’s when I took a tepid bottle of Ruinite into the living room. I stayed in the living room until I could lower my IQ to the necessary level. Twenty minutes later I was summoned into the kitchen by Cheech. He told me that I must leave the fridge on “X” setting and the freezer on “Y”. “Y” is a demarcation on the dial that the manufacturer saw fit not to designate. (What would General Electric know about appliances anyway?) Cheech’s work was a true ghetto-ass masterpiece: one which, strangely enough, does work. For the time being.

July 7th, 5:00 p.m.: Chong comes by to fix my refrigerator. I tell him that it is fixed, but I suspect that Cheech bypassed the timer. Chong looks at it, tells me that it has a timer, gets royally pissed off, and leaves.

I felt bad about this at first, but then I remembered that Chong took one of my flathead screwdrivers. Now when the timer goes off an annoying noise (a noise not unlike what one would normally attribute to shocking lab monkies or the game “Operation”) is generated for my pleasure. At all hours. I’m getting used to it and almost find it comforting. It’s akin to holding up a mirror to an unconscious person’s mouth to determine whether or not he or she is breathing: shrill noise = a working refrigerator. I still would like my screwdriver back though…

Gold Coast?

June 29, 2006 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

I recently read an article that quoted some shill as saying the Greenpoint waterfront is a potential “gold coast”. There is no potential about it: the Greenpoint waterfront is a gold coast. When not on fire, it reeks of piss.

I have lived here long enough to accept the fact that some of the local populace do not/will not/cannot grasp the distinction between “private space” and “public space”: one man’s front yard is another man’s bedroom, kitchen, living room, motel room, and of course, bathroom. It’s entirely a matter of perspective.

Even I have to admit that it easy to get your signals mixed here: the sidewalks are filled with dog shit and you see stuff like the following on a regular basis.

Huron Street

I have heard of hotels leaving mints on your pillow, but Corona?!?
This is truly innovative.

West Street

partytime

This must have been one hell of a gathering: upholstered chairs, a plank, a crutch, and… Kansas University?!? Clearly it was B.Y.O.B., and “Dennis” made sure everyone knew damn well which bottle of hooch was his…

dennis
West Street Street (again)

lid

And again…

lid2

Manhattan Avenue

lid3

What is it with the stray toilet seats in this ‘hood?!? Aren’t they secured to the bowl with bolts or something? Surely they cannot be very easy to lose? On second thought, I have met people here who could break an anvil if left to their own devices. A few Superintendents I have had come immediately to mind. Oh well…

West Street (Isn’t this the 4th item I have featured from this street thus far???)

pottychair

Greenpoint Avenue

pottychair2

To be continued. For some reason I feel the need to go to the bathroom…

Britney Epiphany: Oops, I did it Again (and again)

It’s been rainy and I have been combing my wee wittle brain for non-dogshit related infotainment… Enjoy. Or not. Frankly, I do not give a shit either way.

Britney Spears has gotten a lot of flack of late and it is starting to get me a bit angry.

I do not like someone I consider brethren being drug through the mud for ‘being real’. Wearing rollers, eccentric apparel, and/or toting a child in one hand with a beverage in the other (preferably while wearing high heels) in public is, by Greenpoint standards, *quite* real. It’s normal, actually— and that’s why I live here.

If you’re listening out there Britney, you and your loved ones can visit me at Half-ass Junction anytime. I will not judge you. I got laughed at once while submitting art to the small works competition hosted by NYU (in Manhattan) while wearing hair rollers. My art speaks for itself and my person was getting prepped for other things, thank you.

The fact that the person taking submissions and I got into a rather heated debate over whether or not the electrical cord attached to my device (constructed of an old vibrator, pot scrubber and night light) factored into the overall dimensions (12″ or less in ANY direction) is probably inconsequential, but the outcome was funny as hell. A curator was summoned to settle the argument and with Solomon-like wisdom she rendered her verdict: well, if it was a toaster, you would need the cord in order to plug it into an electrical socket. None of my works made it into that juried show, but victory was mine. I won the battle, but lost the war.

When did I get my affection for Britney, the rest of you ask?

My answer is very simple: when that Pepsi ad with her and Bob Dole aired. Eons ago.

That ad made me laugh my ass off because:

  1. (I suspect I am speaking for the general public here) the fact that Bob Dole rectified his ‘droopy hose’ problem (via Viagra or Pepsi) is decidedly not something I wanted or needed to know. No doubt it made Elizabeth work harder to establish her political career (if you know what I mean).
  2. I am very fond of the caveats for such “E.D.” drugs: especially priapism (an erection lasting more than 4 hours) and blurred vision. I have giggled myself silly many times at the thought of Bob Dole trying to dial 911 (with blurred vision) because he’s gotten up and can’t get down. Maybe they should make panic buttons for this sort of eventuality; with baby boomers retiring, the demand is only going to go up (no pun intended).
  3. Slobs knocking wood to the visage of an unattainable woman is par for the course. I know this because I am female, have a pulse, live in New York City and use the subway.

Apparently, the New York Times and MTA have recently caught on the aforementioned point as well.

Speaking for myself, I have had three encounters with subway masturbators. None of them ventured to touch me and for that they can thank their good luck. I take my personal space very seriously; as Jim Morrison would say, “no one gets out of (t)here alive”.

  1. After visiting friends in Greenpoint (back when I lived in *gasp* Kensington), I took the G down to Lorimer St. to catch the L to go to Manhattan. As I was putting on lipstick, I see a man a yard away from acting strangely. Is he scrounging around for change in his pocket? No. He is actively flogging his kielbasa. I caught him in flagrante delicto. Great.In a subway car of thirteen people, men all, I was the Judas Iscariot (replete with albeit FAKE, red hair); I got up and pointed out to every MTA patron in the car that this guy was tossing off. Most ignored me, but a couple of guys chose to help. I am eternally grateful to those men. As politically-incorrect as the following may sound, it is the simple truth: a Polish man jerking off on the G train will invariably find a middle-aged black man laughing at him (and calling him a “Sick Fucker”) a buzz-kill. Joe Tossoffski bolted at the Nassau Avenue stop and my life reassumed its relative normalcy.
  2. Riding the G, Queens-bound: I see this paunchy, middle-aged Hispanic dude staring at me and a couple of teen-aged chicks. He is playing ‘pocket pool’. I tell the girls this and they laugh at him. Nothing happened.
  3. (Strike Three): May 2002. I was coming home from a date in Astoria, Queens. I was riding the Manhattan-bound N train in order to transfer to the 7 and (eventually) catch the G to the mighty Greenpoint. It didn’t exactly work out that way.

When the N train hit 36th Ave., (once again) I see a man acting strangely. Once again, I have managed to cross paths with a man jerking off on public transportation. And (once again), I make the patrons of said car aware of it. Three men (whom I like to call the magi) acknowledged this: one gets squeamish, the second laughs at him, and the third is stone-faced, but watching. 39th Ave. goes by. Nothing.

Queensboro Plaza: the stone-faced man makes sure I exit the train. I did. The giggler and squeamer stay. The conductor of the train shouted something at me— to this day I have no recollection of what he said— but I shouted back “There’s a guy jerking-off on THAT train!”

Conductor: which car?

Me: THAT ONE (while pointing to the second or third car from the front— my memory fails me at the moment).

The N train pulled out (towards Manhattan). Two or three cars, just enough. Then it came to a screeching halt. Sirens go off. Very, VERY, scary. Over a dozen policemen (plainclothes and otherwise) storm the car. I hid behind a column.

They apprehend the man in question and an officer locates me. He tells me I have to file a report at HQ. I tell the officer that I am unemployed and have plenty of free time.

The officers interviewed the masturbator (who claimed he was scratching himself) and then they interviewed me (the man in question was, most decidely, NOT scratching himself). They pat down the perp and he has drugs on him. I did give them probable cause, after all.
So it goes…

The train (finally) pulled away 20 minutes later. As it did, I saw the ‘giggler’. He was jumping up and down, waving, and giving me a “thumbs up”. It took all my restraint to keep from waving back.

I spent the entire evening (until 4:00 a.m.) at the Queens hub of Transit Police HQ. Briarwood, Queens to be exact. And what followed was the most entertaining evening I have ever experienced. Period. The fact that it was financed by tax dollars (my own included) made it only that much sweeter. When you grouse about paying taxes, remember the following…

I was driven by police car from Queensboro Plaza to Briarwood by the head honcho himself. In transit he tried to deduce if I was drunk or otherwise acquainted with the perp: no on both counts. Sure, I had a couple of beers— two to be exact— but that was over 4 hours ago. I had comsumed four cups of Greek coffee in the meantime. The officer grilled me as to what “Greek coffee” was. I told him it was basically the same thing as Turkish coffee (high octane coffee, no alcohol), but don’t tell that to a Greek person— they’ll find that offensive. He asked me why and I gave him middle-eastern history primer.

By the time we got to Briarwood, he knew I was not drunk: a weird chick wired on caffeine with a command of history to be sure, but not a drunk one. A person who is highly unlikely to run in the same social set as the dude they apprehended.

They made sure the perp did not see my face; they put him in lock-down before I even entered the station. I got to hang out in their office space while they negotiated the paperwork.

Clearly these men are not acclimatized to dealing with women who are not perps, e.g., some (hot-ish, heavy on the “ish”) broad hanging around in their quarters who is a plaintiff. Once they got used to me being there they opened up— and we had a shitload of fun.

They asked me why was there and I told them. We laughed.

They asked me who was on the back of my jacket. Mao Tse Tung, I answered. A couple of them knew who he was, but most were puzzled.

I asked them whose cube had the picture of Clint Eastwood in it, but they wouldn’t tell me. Oh well…

If any of you out there are wondering what transit police deal with (and vice versa), I’ll tell you:

  • First and foremost, you should be mindful that anything that goes down on rapid transit falls under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority, a peculiar inter-state entity. And copious paperwork will follow.
  • Secondly, a lot of very weird shit goes down on the subway system. I learned this firsthand, as some dude pre-empted my complaint on their docket by trying to set a token booth on fire with a Mr. Bubble bottle filled with lighter fluid. The officers also told me some of their work stories, and if there is one moral to parsed from the whole lot of them it this: do not fall asleep on the subway. EVER.

    If you’re lucky, you’ll be pick-pocketed. If you are unlucky (and male) you may wake up in the drunk tank and have an officer tell you that a man was administering fellatio to your person while you were passed out. Whole bunch of no fun.

By 4:00 a.m. the police gave up on interpreting the new paperwork from the D.A.’s office and I was driven home. I got home around 5:00 a.m. and was so hopped-up on (free) Diet Pepsi I could not go to bed. I finally fell asleep around 7:00 a.m.

I was awakened at 8:30 a.m. by the Queens County D.A.’s office. I answered her questions. Shortly thereafter, an officer came by my apartment to have me sign a statement. I read it and signed it. The arresting officer would testify on my behalf. Good. I go back to bed. About 30 minutes later my mother calls and berates me for sleeping and not looking for work.

No good deed goes unpunished. But then again, I think I earned my severance pay that day (and then some), thank you.

Syntax: 97 Green St.

You know you have either hit a very high or a very low point in life when you ask yourself: where’s a pile of canine diarrhea when I need one?

I have been asking myself this very question for the last month. Sure, I have found dog shit. (Lots of it.) I have even found homemade pornography right outside the front door of my building recently. But diarrhea was not to be had. That changed today.

After getting a sandwich at the Franklin Corner Store (and waiting behind a dude who was so drunk he didn’t even remember the cashier giving him back change for the beer he bought at 1:20 p.m.), I walked by 97 Green Street.

I have featured this location a number of times in the past, and once again, it didn’t disappoint.

dogbombs

And “dog bombs” were indeed to be found, along with some diarrhea…

hooray

…and some edgy ‘street art’ made by our local (and ever increasing) corps of artsy hipster types….

fuckdapolice

This kind of shit never ceases to amaze me. Seriously.

Was this to be found in East New York? No.
Bedford Stuyvesant?? No.
East Flatbush??? Once again, no.

I found this missive in front of an artist’s loft in a rapidly gentrifying section of Greenpoint (a redundant phrase, I admit). In what manner has this person been oppressed by “the man”? Did he (or she) get admonished by the police for playing music too loud? Drinking beer out of an open container? Not cleaning up their dog shit??? I’d really like to know.

I do not always agree with the tactics or mentality employed by some of New York’s Finest. That said, in a civil society, the job of the law enforcement is probably the hardest to be had (I couldn’t/wouldn’t stomach it). And we are (still) a civil society, despite the efforts of some of our leadership, but I digress…

I would not bite the hand of an organization which is saddled with responsibilties as various and sundry as defending public safety and personal property (the latter of which includes keeping a registry of i-pods so they can be returned if/when reported stolen). Such protestations by people who (for all intensive purposes) have the world on a string mock the very real and aggregious problems had by those who are not equally served by law enforcement.

‘Nuff said…

texas

Hmm. I am guessing the message here is “Texas Sucks”. While hardly original, I imagine very few people (hereabouts, especially) are likely to disagree. It’s sort of like saying “I hate people who burn puppies, what about you?” No sir. No disagreement here.

I do wonder, however, about the motivation which underlies the creation of such a work. Has this person been so scarred by Texas that he (or she) had to make it known via a sidewalk chalk drawing… 1,377 miles away? That’s some serious shit. And I thought being born in Waco sucked. (It does— especially since that whole Branch Davidian thing.*).

In closing, I would like to say this post was long, long overdue. And I would like to thank BARC for featuring my blog on their blog. I strongly support their cause and encourage you to do the same (I am anti-dog shit but 100% pro-dog). I am so inspired by what I have seen today (and want to share the Greenpoint love), I will leave you with this…

mr. shithead

*If you are wondering, and want to learn from somebody truly ‘in the know’: the worst thing about Texas are Texans.

Back with Flack

June 1, 2006 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Apparently my piquant commentary regarding the recent “ugly-ass” renovation at 198 Green St. (as linked by Curbed.com— thank you guys and gals) hit a nerve: the so-called ‘architect’ of and soon to be resident of this atrocity saw fit to defend himself.

Mr. Modernist can sheath that turd in stainless steel to his heart’s desire, but it is still a turd, my dear. That block is a HELLHOLE. Unless you are dealing or consuming, it is most decidedly NOT a place to live. As he (or she) will learn. Soon enough.

BTW Curbed detractors: I am a “she” not a “he” thank you.

Greenpoint just got a little bit uglier

May 19, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Dog Shit, Dung of the Day, Greenpoint Magic 

The recent torrential downpour(s) have made “Dung of the Day” pickins’ pretty slim. But “dog shit” isn’t merely canine effluvia, it’s a state of mind. Which brings me to this steaming pile of shit my husband and I happened across last night at 198 Green Street…

hvac

Who the? What the? OH MY GOD!!! As if the facade’s strong resemblance to a sub-zero refrigerator isn’t bad enough, check out the front door…

And exactly who (or what) will live behind this door? Frau Blucher immediately comes to mind. This isn’t a house, it’s a fucking fortification— which may not be such a bad idea given that some neighborhood (wannabe) toughs hurled an object in my direction as I gawked at this atrocity. Frankly, it makes me want to hurl something at (or my dinner on) it too.

gallow

I’m guessing this is a light fixture. The first of three to be installed along the top of this building. I for one would like to propose that upon completion these be used as gallows for the owner of this property, the ‘designer’ responsible for this ‘design concept’ and the contractor who enabled it to happen.

Cinco de Mayo (e)Special

May 6, 2006 ·
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Dog Shit Signage, Greenpoint Magic 

Like any upstanding red-blooded American, my husband and I went out last night and dined on Mexican food. I had been invited to an art opening this particular evening, but there is no way I am going to listen to some (andro-american) artist pontificate about gifs when my time can be spent celebrating the overthrow of tyrants by guzzling sangria and eating beans. I have my priorities. They may not be good ones, but they are priorities nonetheless.

On our walk down to Cafe Mexicano II, I got an eyeful (and noseful) of Greenpoint goodness…

badmattress

The person disposing of said mattress was not only kind enough to advise potential dumpster divers of this item’s latent defects, but also employed a “Jolly Roger” to drive the point home. I like pirates. Kudos.

rottentomatoes

You could see this from a couple blocks away… and you could smell it from twenty feet away. In case you are wondering, it smells exactly like it looks: BAD.

rottentomatoescloseup

As I was taking pictures of this choice piece of ‘street art’, a local working-class Joe came up and told me the story behind it. This mess was made by the Department of Sanitation and he has been calling 311 for a couple of days requesting that it the D.O.S. pick it up. Let’s go over the previous one more time in case you missed it: this man is calling the city to request that the Department of Sanitation clean up the garbage they dumped in front of his house.

I feel for this guy. Not only does he live two blocks downwind from the smoldering Greenpoint Market Terminal, but now he has a rotten pile of tomatoes in front of his house. That really sucks.

takeyourdog

Looks like I found another work by the Greenpoint dog doo sign-maker (and if you are reading this PLEASE contact me). The arrow is a nice touch; it clears up any ambiguity as to which “asshole” this order (?) is directed to. In a city of eight million+ people (many of whom answer to the moniker “asshole”) such clarifications are necessary.

Having more or less completed today’s Greenpoint (s)hit parade, I’d like to close with this image (from the women’s bathroom at McCarren Park) and an essay…

trashcanbondage

There are a number of people (family mostly) who wonder why the hell I want to live in New York City. Many more people (who reside in New York City) are perplexed as to why I like living in Greenpoint. I ask myself both of the previous questions on occasion— and fortunately when the specter of doubt darkens my soul, I come across something (like the above gem) which brings everything into focus.

I grew up in the ‘burbs. For those of you not in the know, the suburbs are not the restful pastures of refuge they purport to be. No sir; under the veneer of neighborhood associations, SUVs, and each tract home struggling to assert its individuality, lies dark neurosis and rage. This neurosis manifests itself in the maniacal pursuit of perfection and pointing out the shortcomings of others. There is no better example of this phenomenon than the inordinate attention and time dedicated to proper lawn care. I will illustrate this point with the following two anecdotes from my coming of age in Richardson, Texas.

Newton’s Third Law, Suburban Style: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

It was a hot summer afternoon and my father was preening our front yard bereft of sunblock while drinking beer. From the sanctity of my air-conditioned and storm-windowed bedroom I watched the following unfold:

Two dogs cantering down the block towards our house. “Dog #1” (who is roughly 20 feet ahead of “Dog #2”) parked his ass in front of our mailbox (which my father had saw fit to paint like the then West German flag which is odd given that his surname is of Polish/Lithuanian derivation) and took a dump. My dad noticed this and started cursing. This sight was only made more amusing by the fact that I cannot hear a single fucking word he is saying.

Take any Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal, or Jean Claude van Damme movie from the 1980’s and watch it without sound; they’re funny as hell. Once you remove plot and dialogue, the only thing left is an angry white male with veins pulsating on his beet-red temples shaking his fist and yelling. Over and over.

While my father bellowed profanity, “Dog #2” rebounded and ate the butt dumplins’ dispensed by “Dog #1”. After reassessing the situation, my dad (perplexed, but a lot less angry) went back about his work.

Not in my neighborhood: Newtonian Backwash

In any given subdivision that panders tract homes to the (diminishing) middle-class, you will find a trailer park graduate: a family whose financial means have enabled them to leave the trailer park, but the ‘trailer park’ has clearly NOT left them. My neighborhood was no exception. My father developed an unhealthy fixation OBSESSION with a house literally on the opposite end of the development from our own. The offenses committed by the homeowner in question are as follows:

  • The house was painted with the exact same colors used by “What-A-Burger”: aqua blue, BRIGHT orange and beige. It was pretty fucking ugly, but at least they were maintaining the paint job and allowing it to crack and peel.
  • The garden beds on their front lawn were cordoned off with beer bottles. Old tires were used as planters.
  • Their front lawn had (*gasp*) weeds. Lots of ’em.

For approximately six months my father drove by this house each and every time we went out to get groceries, shop, eat, etc. And each and every time, coming and going, my father saw fit to rant about this house for my mother’s and my own edification.

My mother (being the subtle operator she is) started ‘volunteering’ to drive us to and from the grocery store, mall, etc. This was no small sacrifice, as my father is also a verbose ‘backseat driver’. Mysteriously enough, my mother always saw fit to take a less circuitous and controversial route from and to our house. Eventually my father caught on to her ruse and requested that she drive his ‘old’ route. My mother refused. My father pushed, got an earful, and neither my father nor my mother ever drove by that house again.

That’s what life is like in the ‘burbs my friends and it’s time to wrap this up…

Greenpoint is neither praised for inviting lawns nor pleasing aesthetics. There are virtually no front yards here and most that can be found employ old tires, bathtubs, or toilets as lawn ornaments. The buildings here are usually sheathed in vinyl siding.

The primary virtue of Greenpoint is that she is forthright with her ugliness. I like this. There is no race to perfection here: ‘good enough’ carries the day. And ‘good enough’ is exactly what it implies: a simplified, occasionally ugly, but effective solution to a complex problem.

This concept gives one more free time for other pursuits. Sure, this time might be devoted to getting shitfaced, making art, creating a blog about dog shit or other marginally productive activities, but any of the previous avocations are harmless when compared to getting worked into a black rage over (a lack of) lawn maintenance or your neighbor’s ugly-ass house. And while I like the public bathrooms I patronize to have amenities such as running water, toilet paper and paper towels, I distrust any neighborhood whose public bathrooms have bar soap and does not to tether its garbage can to the sink with heavy chains. This is a sure sign of conformity and an overall lack of creativity/mischief in the community at large.

UPDATE 5/18/06: I was patronizing the McCarren Park ladie’s room when I found this:

soap

As you can imagine, I was pretty alarmed by this development. However, my anxieties were assuaged when I discovered:

  • how difficult using the only operational spigot is when both hands are lathered with soap
  • no paper towels

Dung of the Day: Done Dirty Harry Style

A number of people who have made my acquaintance are amused and confused by my veneration of “Dirty Harry”. Those who know me— REALLY know me— understood my glee when my father upgraded to the DVD “Dirty Harry” box set and I got his old VHS box set. The weekend immediately following this windfall was one uninterrupted “Dirty Harry” Testosteronathon replete with many a 12 ounce can of Budweiser so I could exhibit my femme macha by crushing them when the need arose.

One does not watch “Dirty Harry” movies for the plot (they’re all more or less interchangeable). One does not watch “Dirth Harry” movies for Oscar-caliber acting either (though Tyne Daly, Hal Holbrook and Mr. Eastwood are nothing to sniff at). NO SIR.

One watches “Dirty Harry” movies to enjoy some blue-chip ass kicking and the odd nugget(s) of witty repartee to be found therein. Simple as that.

Having established my “Dirty Harry” street cred, it should be known that my tastes regarding memorable quotes from these movies tend to run towards the oblique. Anyone (even those who have never seen any of the movies) knows the ubiquitous “Go ahead, make my Day”, but what about some of Harry Callahan’s more Zen-like words of wisdom?

If you have been kept up at night knocking around “Dirty Harry” quotes (as I have), today is your lucky day: with a little bit of Internet research I found the “Dirty Harry” quote (from “Sudden Impact”) which best epitomizes this blog and I am going to share it with you.

Listen, punk. To me you’re nothin’ but dogshit, you understand? And a lot of things can happen to dogshit. It can be scraped up with a shovel off the ground. It can dry up and blow away in the wind. Or it can be stepped on and squashed. (Or it can be wiped on a napkin and left on the sidewalk at Meserole  Avenue and Diamond Street — Ed. Note) So take my advice and be careful where the dog shits ya!

meseroleanddiamond

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