May 26, 2008

Digging for Undergraduate Treasure

I owe many settings on my finely tuned biological clock to the proximity of nearby accredited live in universities. My year around 7am to 6pm shut in job has dulled my environmental awareness of the season’s school delineated time markers: Pencil cases acquired in August’s back to school shopping blitz, the clean break of post-midterm winter recess, spring break’s MTV made-to-believe Mexican charms, and the dumpster diving glee of summer’s start.

There are a lot of queues that mark the beginning of summer in NYC: The sudden disappearance of good looking people on the weekends, sidewalk garbage of increased smelliness, air condition unit ugliness moved from storage room floors into teetering windowsills, the endless mysteries of sold out music festivals, and of course, the hidden treasures of undergraduate dumpster diving. Each May opportunistic deal hunters line up to sift through the disposed runoff from NYU students hurrying back to their families. As the nine axle Mayflower moving truck can only hold so much, things like aquariums, wheelie desk chairs, shoddy bookcases, and canned peas are all left for the taking. While spectating one of these digs on a recent stroll home I stood wondering what I had left behind in the dumpster outside my freshman dorm...

1. An unexplainably large, three quarter broken AIWA bookshelf stereo system equipped with double cassette deck, analog tuner, and annoying top-spring loading compact disc player.

A stack of international trade policy papers each marked up with a different “X” supply/demand chart.

Remnants of my J.A. administered freshman year “community service” project: empty Krylon green spray can bottles, college sweatshirt sleeves covered in chipped green paint, tissues tangled in green snot, and a bunch of heavy metal gardening stakes.

A pips-out ping pong paddle, three pairs of Nike middle distance track spikes, deflated red and white Karch Kiraly beach volleyball, and warped 175 gram flying disc.

Hot water percolator with frayed cord.

Two mini ice cube trays, capable of fitting in the 75% frosted-in freezer portion of my mini fridge.

Tattered Birkenstock sandals with dried out cork soles.

Worn out copies of Marble Madness, Rush ‘n Attack, Dr. Mario, Gauntlet, Bionic Commando, and Blaster Master for NES. (Blaster Master wasn’t so much worn out as it was broken into a bunch of low-tech shards courtesy of my black leather Doc Marten boot sole.)

My full kitchen cookery/flatware set: broken saucepan, white plastic strainer, plastic bowl, and fork.

The bed sheets that covered my two inch thick “water resistant” mattress.

May 6, 2008

Party Notes from a West Village Walkup

EV took time off his busy Latin American art sale schedule to revel with other yogi partygoers and antagonize tie-wearing guests. His dancing bear beverage gift, born from "gnarled vines grown in adverse conditions,” was an appropriate metaphor for his against-all-odds rise to greatness.

HC was kind enough to procure a coppertop bottle of "handmade" Texan vodka. VLA "knew" Texas and "knew" vodka but never the two in combination.

Despite the jeers and controversy surrounding "The Quiz" AT and LM proved their love by finally prevailing in sudden death. The dynamic duo of SC and KW might have pulled it out had they remembered that "half-moon" was favored to "plow."

AWA and BC's gifts coincidentally coincided: one bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label with a set of "perfectly cubed" rubber ice cube trays. Upon viewing the bottle of Blue Label ST appropriately commented that KH "SURE has friends in this town!"

JG, dressed in a beautifully vintaged over jeans dress, came with "desert island treasure" tucked away in a magic marked manila envelope.

VLA's post-graduate level mastery of the English language prevented KH from understanding many of her quick-worded, quick-witted comments. Apparently, she and SC are now finished with law school.

An initially almost unrecognizable, shaky handed, trench coat clad VLO brought the corkscrew stemmed orange boutonniere of KH’s dreams. A few de-petaling hugs later SC and VLA helped him repin; this time with the pointy pin side up.

JR dazzled the kitchen crowd with his razor sharp mental math, dividing KH's 360 second time limit into minutes. 6 minutes.

Despite MA’s giddier than usual state, he failed to force KH into the XXXL sized gift depicting him as cured child bathing in brine.

SL and KH failed at making each other feel guilty for being "unavailable" during SL's looooong gardening leave.

MC to GT in regards to GT's upcoming vegetarian bbq: "You can't win friends with salad."

After spilling wine on the soon-to-be thrown out host sheets J kindly left his calling card and credit card beneath the "highly sought after" three dimensional Mario Brothers refrigerator magnets. KH WANTS THOSE MAGNETS.

After consuming one (or two) whole bottles of Knob Creek, CN lost, then quickly found his "perfectly fitting" jet black Agnes B. suit jacket.

JG took KH's "moistness wanted" feedback and delivered in SPADES. The cake was SO moist that some attendees mistook it for birthday pudding.

Though MC was about 2 minutes late on the cake delivery her AMAZING rendering gift more than made up for it.

KH was coerced into re-posing for what is apparently the most hilarious/ambiguous photo of him on the internet. Except this time it was while holding a raspberry blue FLA-VOR-ICE instead of a Rocket Popsicle.

VV was KH's many-years-ago massage therapist, not masseuse. Massage therapists are not masseuses.

"A" astounded and allured the crowd with her voluminous head of crimped hair and psychedelic colored tights.

With a little non-attendee help KH successfully guilted DA into coming by with her new beau.

SV seemed preoccupied with his then weeklong shopping preparation for an upcoming country western themed wedding. KH was surprised that he had never heard of a bolo tie.

MS, B, EC, and others aided in the process of de-walling the apartment's paint encrusted transatlantic telegraph wire.

In the Cocteau Twins discography AW pointed to "Blue Bell Knoll" as the album that defined their sound. KH was disappointed for never having heard this album but then acquired it the following day.

CF kindly complimented KH's personable "stranger in a strange land" demeanor before inquiring his availability for future party jobs.

LJ's ghost within a child's mind within an artist's mind will be framed and prominently displayed in short order.

*KH had a great 30th and is very grateful for all his FANTASTIC friends.