Archive for October, 2007


October 30, 2007

Well, firstly, this past weekend I went to the Berkshires with my buddy Harrison and on the way back we saw…a DeLorean! I have photographic proof this time!

the stainless steel construction made the flux dispersal...

Second, in an effort to log some hours of volunteer work to make up for my upcoming British excursion, I’ve agreed to be in a Halloween skit on Wednesday night. It’s going to be for a stunningly elaborate haunted walk in Owl’s Head park, Bay Ridge. The only problem is that we’ll have to perform the skit a hundred plus times for passers by. I play a reluctant archeologist who turns out to be the great(xN) grandson of a mummified pharoah, who then comes alive and runs off with my belle.

After being romantically thwarted by a mummy and stumbling into a sarcophagus every 3 minutes for 4 hours, I’ll then don my yet-to-be assembled second costume (Bill S. Preston, Esq.) and hop over to the village. On a weeknight…I don’t foresee being on time for work on Thursday…


being abroad

October 26, 2007

The first couple weeks of my work as an Americorps member in Sunset Park consisted mostly of sitting through orientation meetings, scheming ways to get free food, and running random errands in the neighborhood.

Even doing so little for such a short time, I was already confronted with the necessity of learning Spanish. But, if my experience of Mandarin is anything to reason from, the most practical way to learn a foreign language is to go abroad. Which is not something I necessarily want to do.

So I was complaining about this to family support counselor extraordinaire Edmundo, who said, quite simply, “You *are* abroad.”

The mind-blowing or at least semi-profundity of that remark should be self-evident. Can’t continue, must run to student leadership meeting in which me and other hippie type Adult Ed teacher provoke students to take action about depressing issues that affect them, like US immigration policy, global warming, etc. Oh, fun.

let’s join a gang!

October 22, 2007

I didn’t think I was going to continue writing stuff on the internet after my return to the United States.
Then, just last night, my new roommate Geoff came home and stated resolutely, “Thomas, we’re joining the neighborhood association.” He popped open a beer and took a swig. “And the Crips. What do you think?”

I pondered; the neighborhood association requires monthly dues of $5 while the Crips apparently require an interest in violent crime and a willingness to submit to gang hierarchy. Neither of these things really jibe well with my being in Americorps. Besides, my roommate and I are among a very slim minority of white people in the neighborhood, the north side of Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights. To paraphrase Dave Chapelle, whose famous “Block Party” took place only a few blocks from here; If you see a gang of black people with one white dude, you know the white dude must have done some seriously crazy shit.

Did you know that if you join the Crips you should avoid using words with “ck” in them? The English language has a fair few of those. But they’re no good because “ck” can be construed to mean “Crip Killa”. Along the same lines, it’s considered advantageous as a forward-thinking Crip to wear only “BK” sneakers. “Blood Killa” is a fashion statement. How about that?

I guess it was tidbits like these that made me realize that Brooklyn has a lot of “local flavor” that’s just as worth documenting on the internet as Beijing’s was.

Geoff wears goofy red glasses and sports Elvis-like sideburns. “You’d have to get blue glasses,” I pointed out.