Amoeblog

One Man's Basura is Another Man's Trash - 4

Posted by Whitmore, June 10, 2008 12:28pm | Post a Comment


Dumpster-diving is the practice of sifting through the trash, either commercial or residential, finding discarded items someone else has deemed disposable. The art of dumpster-diving is variously known as urban foraging, alley surfing, curbing, dumpstering, picking, garbage gleaning, binning, skip-weaseling, skally-wagging, pearling or simply trashing. Here are some more suggestions, rules of etiquette and safety measures to consider.

#16- When sorting through the goodies in a dumpster DO NOT TAKE paperwork containing someone’s confidential records. It’s dishonest, immoral, and you’d be equal to the trash, scum and vermin you’ve been digging through. And besides, it’s really bad karma. I suspect in your next dive you might meet with a razor-sharp, rusty, hepatitis-tainted jag of metal slicing into perhaps the most personal and indispensable part of your carcass, or you might just get lucky enough to come face to face with a pissed off rat the size of a cat! Keep in mind the garbage gods have a way of exacting revenge!

#19- I don’t want to sound like your Mother, but always wash your hands and arms afterwards. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to wash your face and neck. Oh, and don’t forget to get behind your ears.

#8- Be inventive: look around and use the items in the surrounding environment to construct tools or poles or steps to help you reach that desired piece of treasure just out of reach. And though this is something everyone should already know, be careful. In dumpster diving, death defying stunts are not necessary; no piece of garbage is really worth injury. Being aware of your comfort zone is kind of essential. And though I seldom followed this creed because I am something of a nimrod -- and I have paid the price-- be prepared to walk away … and forage another day.

Frank Sinatra

Posted by Whitmore, May 14, 2008 07:34pm | Post a Comment

The Chairman of the Board, ol’ Blue Eyes, the Voice, King of the Rat Pack, King of the Bobby-Sockers, The Pope, The Leader, The Swooner-- there are a lot of nicknames for Frank Sinatra, perhaps the greatest pop star of the 20th century. And ten years ago today, Frankie went to the Big Casino in the sky.

Sinatra had quite a philosophy about life and a set of intricate rules that may seem a bit brash, but hey -- it's Sinatra baby! And like his style, he believed that a living big is in the details. Here are some of the great man’s creeds:

Top your martini with not one, but two olives, and give one to a friend. Yes, a very special friend-- even if you don’t know his/her name.

For flavors in your drink to blend sufficiently, let the ice sink to the bottom of your glass and never, ever drink a drink immediately after its poured-- relax, take your time, enjoy the moment.

Never yawn in front of a lady.
 
Make sure your trousers break just above your shoes.

Tip big and tip quietly-- fold the bills three times into small squares and pass them in a handshake. Nothing further is needed, no acknowledgment, no glance, no wink-- you’ve already said it all.

Cock your hat -- angles show attitude.

Don't wear a brown suit at night, dark gray is better, and better than gray, black. And if black tie is optional, you wear black tie. The only exception to this rule; never wear a tuxedo on Sunday.

“Have fun with everything” was one of his mottoes. Live every moment as it if were your last, and remember, too much thinking isn't necessarily a good thing. “You only live once,'' he liked to say, “and the way I live, once is enough.”

Be confident, confidence gets you laid, as Frank Sinatra would say, “I am a thing of beauty.”

Continue reading...

Dumpster Diving Story

Posted by Whitmore, May 12, 2008 08:56pm | Post a Comment


As a child I spent many of an hour dumpster diving, trash picking and rummaging where I shouldn’t have been rummaging. In my neighborhood, Wednesday was the night-- trash night. I’d sneak off after dinner in search of treasure, check out all the neighbors' garbage cans, boxes of junk curbside, apartment building dumpsters, and I’d be back home an hour or so later, laden with exotic booty from the world over. My mom would usually yell at me to get my latest cache out of the house, “That crap might have bugs in it, for Christ sakes!” But it wasn’t all infested! In fact, I still have some of that ‘crap,' and some of that dumpster swag still decorates my parents' house.


Over the years I’ve lugged home great pieces of furniture, collectible books, pottery, artwork, glass wear, jewelry, you name it … and once I found something that altered and twisted my thinking forever. I found it right there on Franklin Avenue right down the way from the Shakespeare Bridge in the Los Feliz district in Los Angeles. Stuck to the bottom of an empty trash can was an LP from 1963 on Vanguard Records, Fantasias for Guitar and Banjo by Sandy Bull. Back then I was just an innocently corrupt thirteen year old Catholic school boy, but already on the long path I’m still unraveling today-- that of a musician. I had just started taking guitar lessons, and as could be expected, I was struggling with all the important fundamentals: getting the hang of bar chords, finger picking, playing those newbie-guitar standards like “House of The Rising Sun” and “Knocking on Heaven's Door,” and trying to convince my parents to let me grow my hair long. Anyway, I got home, I threw this Sandy Bull record on the turntable, turned it up and it blew my freakin’ pubescent mind.

Sandy Bull came out of New York’s early 1960’s folk revival playing mostly instrumentals. His recordings on Vanguard Records, with Billy Higgins on drums, often merged eastern and modal explorations into extended improvisations on guitar, banjo and oud. Bull touched on "world music" years before any such tag was invented; his playing was also a precursor to what would eventually be called “American primitivism.” I had never heard anything like Sandy Bull before! As far as I knew, I was listening to a fisticuff between a drummer and an acoustic guitarist rolling in the mud, the crud and sheer madness. As I stood there, confused by it all, I thought I could smell the blood pouring from the someone’s nose, I thought I heard a bone snap during the drum solo; I expected to hear old Dick Lane yell “whoa Nellie” like it was Sunday Night Wrestling on channel 5. There was no song, no melody, no order. To my unsophisticated, bubblegum ears this was pure chaos, unbridled eccentricities, godlessness … and I reveled in each note. I heard sound and rhythms and chords I could never have imagined.

Continue reading...

One Man's Basura is Another Man's Trash - 3

Posted by Whitmore, May 10, 2008 10:41pm | Post a Comment


Here are a few suggestions, rules of etiquette and safety measures you might find helpful as you delve into the art of dumpster diving. These ideas might come in handy when the proverbial shit-hits-the-fan and just about every one of us will have to resort to something weird/cheap/pathetic/extreme for an evening’s worth of entertainment, an afternoon’s respite, a shopping fix, or simple economic survival in these feeble, hoary days of the 21st century. Ladies and gentleman - dumpster diving tips #3, #17 and #129:

#129- A small ladder or step-stool is always a damn good piece of gear to have close by, especially when you’re my age and the ol’ knees just don’t flex much anymore. Also be prepared, you just might hit the mother lode; bring a bag or box or shopping cart to stash your plunder. You really don’t need any other fancy doohickeys to engage in this mode of trade. Some people insist on carrying a flashlight, or wearing coolly equipped tool belts, or donning special military-issue-only night vision goggles … shit, this isn’t Mission Impossible! It’s just digging through somebody’s garbage. I don’t know, I guess a flashlight might be handy if you don’t have the cojones to dumpster dive in daylight hours!

# 17- Share the wealth. Take only what you can use, and leave the rest for some other lucky diver. Remember, just because something might be ‘free’ doesn’t mean you have to take it home. The fact is this country has one national resource we’ll never be without: garbage.

#3- Here is one of the most essential, vitally important bits of information you need to know: remove your keys, wallet, cell phone, asthma inhaler, sunglasses, or anything valuable in your pockets before plunging into a dumpster … trust me, this is from the voice of experience!

Madonna Fans And Haters Agree To Argue Over Age: Can a woman still be sexy or act sexy at 50?

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2008 09:06am | Post a Comment

As you most likely well know, Madonna is back with her brand new album Hard Candy (Warner) which hit Amoeba Music shelves earlier this week. What is interesting about this new album from the "Queen of Pop" is that while the artist, who built a career on controversy -- usually via her music videos-- is at perhaps the very least controversial portion of her long extended, ever shape-shifting pop life, she somehow manages to still stir up controversy.

The controversy (or heated discussion) this time amongst the Madonna fans and haters is not about the music, but about age-- her age.  Can a woman still be sexy and/or act sexy at almost 50? (Her birthday's in August.) That is the real question posed by the masses and the issue says more about our culture than about the pop singer who inspired the discussion. 

Pop music doesn't have a history of being particularly kind to its aging stars, especially its female stars, and especially its aging female stars who choose to still act sexy. So the floodgates of debate or controversy over whether Madonna should still be making catchy contemporary pop music -- and, what's more, shaking her stuff while collaborating with the likes of the much younger Timbers -- Timbaland and Timberlake (Justin) -- have opened up.

Not too surprisingly, the best place to go to put a finger on the pulse of what the Madonna fans and haters are really thinking of Madge Version 008, you need go no further than YouTube -- a place where no one minces words, as proven by the swath of comments posted for the video to the new single "4 Minutes" featuring the aforementioned two Timbers. In the time since the video (see below) was posted three weeks ago, the opinions have poured in: divided into the diehard Madonna fans on one side and the Madonna haters on the other, with a substantial group of in-betweeners who are undecided or have mixed feelings in the middle ground.

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  >>  NEXT