Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Been Through Astoria Past The Horse With No Name

It has been kind of a spell since I last chimed with my two shekels. For that I apologize. A lot of stuff going on as it at last seems some job leads are taking root after months of dutiful gardening, in the metaphorical sense. Most recently a lead in Lancaster which, it seems, may want to tune me into their operation. The NBA season is underway, which I tend to absorb myself in and I'm in the throws of working on a One Act play concerning contemporary faith and religion and a couple poems reaching their final drafts. A lot of writing going on, not enough focus on Yesternow. I aim to rectify that with this post.
I'll wind the clocks back to the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving and begin our journey in Astoria, Queens where I was staying with Ben and Jake in their pad which they were kind enough offer me for the night to make my commute to the city for a job interview the next day a bit less of a grind. I love how the first and last thing I see every time I board the N and Q to arrive in or leave Astoria is the mechanical horse ridden so expertly by Sean Taylor, tamer of beasts great and small, warm-blooded or electric. It warms my heart instantly.
It was great to just sit back and vibe with Ben and Jake without any real plans. I can think of few more relaxing and enjoyable experiences in recent memory. Don't underestimate the value of simply reclining with your good friends and sharing thoughts, ideas, and laughs. A highlight of the evening was watching Ben Kraus iron his shirt so painstakingly only to have it wrinkle again of its own accord as it rested on a hanger. It was, apparently, a "wrinkle-free" shirt Ben found on the clearance rack at Kohl's. I suppose now it's clear why the deal was so good.
Anyway, I hit the sack early and woke in the morning in the same fashion. While I was just finishing up my morning routine, I was treated to an unexpected visit from their very Italian landlord, Sal, a stout whirlwind of a man speaking a mile a minute and switching from English to Italian mid-sentence, probably involuntarily. Fortunately, I have some experience speaking the Mediterranean tongue and we communicated together just fine with me even daring to speak some Italian with him. After he fixed the thermostat and we traded some bilingual pleasantries, he bid farewell and was gone just as quickly as he'd arrived.
I left myself moments after him and caught the subway to my interview. I had the unfortunate luck of sitting next to man who was nursing a cold and kept making a god-awful snorting noise, presumably to contain a runny nose. As much as the noise wasn't pleasant, it wasn't big deal; not to me anyway. Apparently that wasn't the case for this young woman about my age sitting across from us. Each time this poor guy made that noise that woman stared absolute daggers at this man as if to say, "Can you tell how gross that is?" stopping the application of her make-up to make these looks to punctuate her point. As much as I'm sure everyone in the subway car was at least thinking something similar, it was clear that the guy couldn't really control his bodily functions. This girl, wrapped in her business casual attire with freshly applied red lipstick and modest blush, was not cutting this guy a break. I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculous overreaction of this impatient stranger and found myself observing the situation with quite a wide grin and a few stifled chuckles. Feel better, man, she doesn't speak for everyone.
The interview itself was solid. Less to say about it than you might think. It was for an internship with Flavorpill, which I equate to being a kind of hipster "Rolling Stone" for the NYC arts and culture scene. Just to give you some closure about the situation, they decided to go with another candidate who had more of a pre-existing knowledge of the NYC artistic underground. I can't argue with them and wish both Flavorpill and the new intern all the success in the world.
Following the interview, I found myself in the NYU area with the live-long-day at my disposal. I called up the myth and legend Elliot Greene, who I knew lived in the area and he was able to pass the time of day with me for a while. He gave me a first hand look glimpse into his Bohemian paradise as we strolled the streets and Franklin Square talking about the poetry scene, the highs and lows of academia, good cheap food, and the pursuit of literary creation. It was great to catch up with him and see that he was doing well. Shortly thereafter, I left Astoria leaving behind a family sized bag of Salt and Vinegar chips as a thank you to my hosts.
Two days later, the holiday weekend officially began and was largely uneventful in terms of blog-worthy stories. That Wednesday I met up at Matty's and was pleasantly surprised to discover that his brother, Kevin, was going to be joining us on the town that night. Kevin was wearing green, I was wearing blue, and Matty was in red. I commented that we kind of looked like Alvin and the Chipmunks, a notion which tickled Matty and I to no end and provoked us to attempt falsetto-laden renditions of a few of our favorite tunes. I think it's safe to say that after about three minutes Kevin wasn't nearly as thrilled to be out with us. In all seriousness, it was great time to be out with friends and as it is with most any Thanksgiving weekend, you wind up seeing a lot of old familiar faces which is always... an experience.
The holiday itself was a solid one and I hope you enjoyed yours. Nice to spend time with the family and whatnot. Among the highlights of the day were swapping a couple train stories with my uncle, as I've become quite the seasoned veteran of riding the rails to and fro and he is as well. I feel as though we were both holding back some of the stories we could have told due to my grandmother being three feet away from us, but it was nice to share some episodes in mass transit and hopefully we pick up the conversation again soon. It was also cool to hear a bit about my cousin's college experience. I feel as though his entering college kind of signifies the opening of a door to a new level of our cousin to cousin relationship. Already we were talking about some more personal experiences and feelings that in the past we had never really disclosed to one another. The prospect of us being a little more open with each other is, to me, pretty warming.
The next evening, I met some friends at the Kraus house and was greeted by some rather oppressive Christmas music coming from the house across the street from them. It only took about three seconds for me to be bothered by it and I realized that the music was coming from the neighbor's Christmas light set up. Before I even got to the door I was choked up with laughter at the idea that this bothersome soundtrack was not an isolated incident, but an all day everyday staple of life on Niagara St. Ben answered the door and I feel like from the wry grin on his face he knew what I was going to ask before I even said anything. I simply pointed across the way and said, "is that an all day thing?" All he said in return was "tell me about it" and I instantly doubled over in laughter. Emily went on to explain that here room was positioned in just the right way to get the Yuletide tunes in surround sound and again I was in a fit of hysterics. Poor Kraus'. Santa can't come soon enough.
This past weekend, I took a trip to York. Look for a post concerning that tomorrow.
Song of the Day: Phat Cat-Kyle Hollingsworth
Jazz Song of the Day: Rumor-Christian Scott

No comments:

Post a Comment