How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.
Two years ago today Matthew and Jeff embarked upon an epic journey into the muck. Soon after I joined them on their wild and daring search for the truth, and when we couldn't find that, a funny clip on youtube. I hope my muck brothers will join with me today to post on this occasion to mark that glorious day.
I HAVE been preparing a Jeff like retrospective of my time in the muck, but since I didn't join till later, I feel it only right and proper that I wait till that date to post it. My hands are bound by fate.
In the meantime, here's a story about a 77 year old woman who got locked in a public toilet for 12 hours. It's a fair enough read, but what it leaves out* some rather amusing details which I'll sketch in for you here.
The problem began because the old lady had actually gone to take a number one, but had been suprised and taken aback by a sneaky number two. This was just not any old dump, this was something that they would've written an epic poem about had it occured in the middle ages. Asked to describe the crap, the lady said,
"Have you seen the movie tremors, with those horrible nasty worm things that come up from the ground, who ate Mr Miyagi? It was like that but pointing down. I thought I'd given birth to Sears Tower or something. I doubt the Loch Ness monster has ever left something that big behind it. If it did I bet it cried"
The old lady also described how this poop kept her spirits up; it was so large that she was easily able to anthropomorphise it, she named it Kent, and she told him about her dreams. She would sit on the toilet seat and parp at the appropriate time to give Kent a voice. The relationship was not always an easy one,
"At one point we had a slanging match, we were both trying to shout each other down and I suddenly realised if this continued much longer I'd have a twin brother for Kent which may have included some of my vital internal organs so I just calmed down and tried not to think of my aggressive bottom biscuit"
The old lady has been reunited with her family and has settled back into day to day life, although she has been reported on a number of occasions to have addressed her husband as Kent.
That is all. Matt. Jeff. Over to you.
*Leaves out because they only took place in the head of this author.
Yes, I've grown dependent on youtube for my forrays into the blogging world. Yes, Samuel L Jackson hasn't been in too many decent movies recently. But I'll be damned if you can show me another actor who can turn this into this.
Ever wondered what American Football players think of when they go into their game mode? Why, they imagine someone coming into their house, using their remote control while their mother is on the stairs of course.
The subject of this film, Taurean Charles, went on from these High School experiences to have something of a troubled College career where he had many off the field escapades including throwing a keg at another student. Can't think why.
Ok, Katy, I met my friend by emailing everyone in the New York Film Academy to see if anyone would be in New York before the class actually started. I am this desperate for companionship these days. Anyway, I got the following response almost right away:
Hey~!! I'll take exactly same class with u~ That's so cool to know that~ I'm Jamie, a girl from Korea, and its been 3 weeks since I've been here New York.. Actually there are many places to go around, so we could hang around some places~:) Feel free to write me~:)
I think I may have copied that for you once before. For a second I thought all those tildas meant I had randomly met an incredibly sarcastic Korean Muck fan.
Then there were the follow ups:
Hi Jeff Glad to get ur answer~:) well.. I was in LA for a moment just before I came here. actually here is much better to tour cause there are much more public trasportation u know~ But the weather is carazy~~!!! sometimes so cold n rain so often..( I got a cold!!! cough cough!) I don't like the weather of here!! but.. there are many people and fashion.. many interest things anyway.. that is so cool... beside the weather, I love here~^^ Where r u coming from anyway???
And the last one before I met her in person:
Well,,, I think U can check the room by the internet and have resevation~ Check hotels or hostels in NY. And it would be convenient to reserve nere ur apartment.. then take care by then~
ps. What time ro u arrive here?
So I met Jamie one evening in Times Square after a very confusing phone conversation in which I could have sworn she told me she was at Grand Central Station. I had to walk 15 minutes to the Gap, where I met my future friend. I remember it being simultaneously a relief to have someone in my same boat, as well as a bit awkward because we were both repeating every sentence two or three times.
I thought perhaps we'd get some dinner in one of these hip sections of Manhattan I had been reading about. She seemed to want only to walk around the flashing lights and chaos of Times Square and we ended up popping into some terrible and overpriced cafe. The greatest thing was watching Jamie try to eat her pickle slice with a plastic knife and fork. It kept sliding around and slipping off, but I had a hard time communicating that it is perfectly acceptable to pick it up with your hands.
There was a moment, though, when the true nature of the human spirit barreled right through the language barrier. Or some mawkish shit like that. She was talking about that cold she had referenced in her email, during the rainy week she spent here before I arrived, "It was...very...sad and ronery time." I didn't say anything, but her eyes teared up right in front of me, a virtual stranger, for just a split second before she wiped them with her sleeve and changed the subject. It was the first time I knew exactly what she was talking about.
I have one friend in a city of millions - and she's Korean. Her English is acually quite good for someone who moved to the United States only a few months ago, but conversation is sometimes a struggle, and there have been some humorous moments. I've become a sort of resource for her for the kind of English one doesn't learn in the classes she attends. For instance, in her idioms class, J. learned the phrases "gung ho" and "when pigs fly." Seeing as how my friend is not 83 years old, I've taught her the much more valuable expression "it's hot as balls outside," along with its understandably confusing counterpart, "it's cold as balls outside."
Here are some other incidents I've been itching to share with people:
Me: Put your nose to the grindtone. J: I'm going to pick my nose on the grindstone
Me: Take it in stride. J: To take one in strider.
And then there was the time I taught her how to spot a hipster (nothing like indoctrinating someone to some good old fashioned American bigotry). This was perhaps my proudest moment as a teacher. A day after I explained to her what, exactly, the word hipster implies, we found ourselves walking past a herd of skinny jeaned smokers in Washington Square Park. J. leaned in as we walked past and whispered with a grin, "hipsters!!." Indeed, young Skywalker.
I should probably learn to practice some restraint, but there's something fulfilling about being someone's primary go to for the finer things about this country's culture. Like dirty words. She needs to know them, right? They sure as hell aren't teaching her anything that valuable at this school she's been going to. And bless her, she went right for the jugular. She immediately wanted to know about the absolute worst swear word we have. "I hear motherfucker is the worst," she said naively. Two hours later I had to quiet her down in a Barnes and Noble after she gleefully blurted out "CUNT!" two feet away from a throng of middle-aged women sipping cappucinos. At least she remembers. That word especially.
-All movies and tv shows are "dramas." She likes to watch the drama Sex and the City every night, apparently. It is a good drama.
-Border's books is a total novelty. As is Times Square. Of all the neat neighborhoods in New York, this is where she spends most of her time. Meanwhile that place makes me want to hang myself.
-The events on Jerry Springer are 100% real, and, along with the Maury show, represent an accurate depiction of American culture.
Of course, my friend is very bright and l respect the courage it took to leave her life as an accountant in Korea, knowing very little English, to try and make it as a writer in New York. Eventually, I'm sure that she'll not only be fluent but will pick up on some of the basic cultural allusions that elude her now. We went to a recital of Howl today in the park, and I found myself explaining not only the significance of the poem, but also telling her who Allen Ginsberg was, who the Beat poets were, why Bob Dylan was important, what the Chelsea Hotel is, who the Sex Pistols were, etc., etc. The other day we went to see the Halloween remake and she actually complained that there was no story, just killing. We of course take that as a given. I think what is most shocking is not that she doesn't know these things, but that I arrogantly assumed that she should. For my part, I've been trying to learn as much about Korea as I can, but she's less interested in playing the role of instructor than she is in learning. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to playing with the badass "Hwatu" cards she bought me in a Korean market here after I saw them in a movie. I know that Kimchi is delicious. I learned that Koreans say "one shot!" when you take a shot, and that there are frequently very aggressive drinkers around who will get angry with you if you don't finish your shot in one gulp. And I think I can now pronounce my friend's real name without sounding like a total idiot.
Perhaps the most telling misunderstanding so far was not a misunderstanding at all. As I walked 4 avenues to meet her, yet again, at 42nd street, I sent her a text saying it would be awhile. Because of her accent, we'd had some miscommunication in the past about meeting spots, causing me to be late, and she replied "It start again~ k just be thar." To which I texted back "I'm on my way, punk."
"What is 'punk?'" was the inevitable first question from her when I finally found her walking around Border's. I tried to explain that it was a light hearted jab, and in this sense the word did not mean Johnny Rotten. Met with a blank stare, I then told her a synonymn might be "jerk."
I got home late that night and to a final text from her: