This morning I awoke to a phone call from Henry Kasperowicz’s son. A few quick moments on google and I found out that our good friend Henry invented the color television! Then a call from a horse auctioneer in Ohio…then a food critic/ microbiologist… then a consruction worker from the deeep South… All responding to today’s USA Today article! Click here to read the article!
Little did I know my whole life would change with just a few strokes of a dry erase marker at a catalogue photoshoot. “Dinner w/ Marc” followed by “510-872-7326” was all it took.
Huntington Beach Art Center 041005
I was invited to host a dinner at the Huntington Beach Art Center. We had 16 people at dinner and instead of doing a round table where everyone talks a bit about themselves, I decided to follow a looser format and challenged our minds with the exquisite corpse. Basically everyone wrote three lines for our collective story, then they folded the paper so only the last line was visible and passed to the next guest. Then they wrote three lines and so on. Below is our magnificant story:
I met Mark at a Madonna concert in Vegas via Craiglist. He broke my leg ice skating and spit in my hair. Marc ate potato chips in the emergency room. He stole a magazine from the lobby. Afterwards, feeling guilty he mailed in the subscription card with a check.
The check bounced.
So he wanted to return the magazine, but he’d lost it at a state skeet shooting championship. He was a very good shot and quite proud of it. Ever since he was young his father had been teaching him the pride in precision of his work. That’s what hurt him the most – the carelessness of misplacing something – especially something he had borrowed.
It reminded him of that time he got bit by the peppered walrus. He was in between genders at the time but referred to herself at “Potpourri.” Back then Potpourri never would have borrowed anything; she much preferred thieving.
She enjoyed the thrill of stealing. Unfortunately, she got caught one too many times. Now she borrows things when she can and only steals when she has to. But when she left Tucson, she left more behind than the little dog. The DNA left in her hairbrush was the only thing the sheriff needed to follow her to Kansas. Her mother warned her about policemen, but she had a taste for the wild side.
She slowly pulled away from the curb and she thought the policemen weren’t looking she floored it. She thought for a moment they didn’t notice but when she looked in her mirror all three police cars were gaining on her fast. Immediately, she regretted her decision, but then thought maybe she would play a game with them.
She let them choose the game and they chose Red Rover. While playing the smallest child got hurt very badly and they rushed her to the hospital. At the hospital they ran several tests.
Several days later, the test results came back…except one.
Relieved that he had neither Syph nor Ebola, he did suffer the agonies of the damned for three days until the last result came in…
Yes, he will never date and drop a voodoo princess after promising to marry her. That Voodoo Queen did have him convinced his “little friend” would turn green and fall off.
However, the fears and three days of hell were soon forgotten and he continued down his previous path of immortality.
He immediately drank diet vanilla coke, wore white pants, and after Labor Day voted for Kerry.
I give to you this ring. Forever you and I will walk the earth together. Quickly, let’s head back home, it’s going to rain.
So then we leaned the ladder up against the mouth. We climbed in as the sweat and spit swallowed us down.
After the dinner, I grabbed a beer with Aaron and Eva who run an art collective called “Center for Tactical Magic.” Kate, who runs a youth hostel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, came along as well. It was a loud bar full of punk rockers and late night drunks. We set down at a table near the window. A few minutes later in came a heavy set bearded fella carrying a styrofoam airplane and a remote controlled battery powered model helicopter. He sat down with us.
Apparently he knew Aaron and Eva and gave them the airplane. After playing with it for a while, disturbing all the punk rockers, Aaron decides that he can levitate the plane. Sure enough. There he is on the right with Eva. That certainly topped the days events.
After we left the bar and went our seperate ways, I found a cozy parking space for the RV in Loyola Marymount parking lot. Here is a shot of the RV the next morning. It was strange waking up in a blacktop lot with student and professors walking by your RV trying not to look in at you. Ah, the life of a Rubber Tramper.
Can you find the RV?
I had a few beers during my layover in Philadelphia. After my intense one-man drinking show, I went to do what every visitor in Philly does – get a Philly cheesesteak.
Somehow, at the last minute, I talked myself out of it and opted for the $9 turkey bacon sandwich. I always do that; change my mind at the last minute, usually for the worst. You’d think I would have learned better by now.
The lady behind me was definitely schooled in decision-making and stuck to her guns, confidently ordering the cheesesteak. She looked like one of those power speakers you see at hotel conventions.
Taking my place in front of the assembly line cooking station I awaited my sandwich that was pulled from the fridge, pre-made, and popped into the microwave. I ended up with a soggy luke-warm sandwich-unit that resembled something you might get from a vending machine, and power speaker got her gorgeous cheese steak. I went to see if they would do a trade-in but had no luck.
I found my way back to the gate where many a bearded fellow eagerly awaited his return to Yale. I tried to eaves drop on their conversations, but all I heard was a bunch of name dropping – Dr. so-and-so met me at the conference in Chicago and we met up with Dr. Whatchamacallit and then Dr. blah-blah showed up with the prestigious Dr. Wadda-Wadda…
I abandoned the scene and my baggage for a cigarette with one of the maintenance workers. I ended up giving him my sandwich.
We finally boarded – I was on my way to speak at Yale. I was very excited! After listening to the exit-row-seatbelt-floatation-cushion speech, I made myself a little nest using those weird airline pillows and short blankets. My comfort quickly dissolved when the bi-plane started up. The propeller was right out my window, right in line with me.
My buzz wore off as I watched the propeller reach its full speed. I was in direct fire if that thing decided to come loose. What if it came loose? It’d cut right through the plane and saw my legs clean off at the knee, unless of course it ricocheted into the person behind me.
The guy on the other side didn’t seem to be at all worried – lucky bastard.
Hedging my fatal future, I tucked my legs up on the empty seat next to me and kept a watchful eye on it. I wonder if that has that ever happened before?
In hindsight, if that propeller came loose and did cut my legs off that would probably be the least of my worries.
I went to the bathroom and threw-up from making myself so damn paranoid.
I hate flying.
After delivering my Master’s Tea (fancy for “lecture held at a College Master’s home”), Master Keil presented me with a Morse College tie. I was honored and gave him a thrift store tie that I bought that day; it was Morse’s colors – red and grey. Part of me hopes he’ll tie it around his head and goes running through campus during Spring Fling, Yale’s private Spring Break.
Following our clothing swap, a few students, the Master, his family and I walked to the fabled Mory’s where we dined. You had to be a member or be invited by one to dine here. The floors and stairs creaked as they would in any 150-year-old establishment and it was very brown. Old tabletops sporting over a hundred years or Yale graffiti hung on the walls. We were seated upstairs around a large wooden rectangular table that was surrounded by old pictures of sporty young Yale football players. The rest of this fine establishment was mostly filled with men in blazers ceremoniously passing gigantic cups of brightly colored liquor.
Our veteran waiter was a hearty middle-aged man that you may have seen in Animal House doing a keg stand. He wore an apron and carried a small dark cloud with him that every so often lifted when he cracked a crafty little joke. I didn’t quite understand his humor, but one thing was for sure, that man knew his salad dressings!
Apparently, and I was warned, Mory’s is not known for its quality food. You come here to experience the weathered wait staff, the place’s history, Yale traditions, and to hear the Wiffenpoofs, a group of acapellas, who had the night off. What a name? I think they should look into using an anagram of their name and tour the country. When you’re as famous as they, you have to have a band pseudonym you play under; how about The Info off Pews. They could do some Christian Rock to make some quick cash while touring. That’s a huge market you know.
Dinner was served. Rubbermaid sponsored my steak and my jaw got a serious run for it money. But the Baker’s soup made up for it. I didn’t really care about the food though; this was a once in a lifetime experience. We all swapped stories, kept our glasses full, and became friends. I was sitting in a room with the future leaders of America – architects, politicians, scientists, filmmakers, economists, sociologists, and artists. It’d be interesting to see what happens to them all.
After dinner, I strolled down to the corner and found myself in an Ivy-League Twilight Zone. There was a guy in a scream mask, a blindfolded young girl, a man handed out Xerox copies of his ass, and another fella who was wearing Speedos trying to hump my leg. This must be none other than the infamous TAP NIGHT, where select juniors are “tapped” into secret societies. The most notable being Skull & Bones, which supposedly has the Scalp of Geronimo inside. Other secret societies have their claim to fame too; Wolf’s Head supposedly has the largest taxidermy animal head collection in North America, Scroll & Key has the highest amount of reported assets weighing in at just over $6,000,000 (what the hell do they have in that tomb – Fort Knox’s annex), and Book & Snake supposedly hosts huge orgiastic parties.
Most of the secret societies have their headquarters on campus in dark tomb-like structures with little or no windows, no signage, and big unwelcoming gates. Others meet in off campus apartments – that doesn’t sound so secretive though. And one, The Pundits, just pulls elaborate pranks all over campus.
For a while, I patiently waited outside of Skull & Bones for the right moment to pull an Indiana Jones Stunt – seize the front door, rush in, take Geronimo’s Scalp, and return it to its rightful owners. I had no luck, and I was told if I did, I’d probably be tracked down and shot.
So I headed to Old Campus with my host April. April is a very sweet young woman who took good care of me; there needs to be more people like her out there. Aside from being a great host, April studies monkeys and lemurs.
Old campus was a booze-soaked battlefield with several questionable “tapping happenings.” One group of guys dressed like Tarzan was kicking around a mini-keg bouncing it off their heads. Other groups were just running around in costume tackling each other and drinking boxed wine. In the middle of it all, a girl was making out with a hug plastic mold of a vodka bottle. Performance art?
I found my way to a group of blindfolded girls who were being hazed by a smaller group of very drunk girls. I convinced them that I worked for the Yale Daily News and had them form a huge pyramid for me – promising them the front cover.
I capped the evening by breaking into an unnamed secret society meeting place with the help of a couple insiders. To my disappointment nobody was there, so we left them a little surprise.
I think I’ll try running around San Francisco drunk in a black cloak and a scream mask trying to blindfold people; and when I get arrested, I’ll tell em it’s part of an initiation ceremony into my secret society Crabs & Eagles.
As the board part of my room & board at Yale, I was given a fist full of pink dining cards entitling me to free meals at any of the dining halls. Considering my financial situation and excitement for the novel experience of dining hall hoping at an Ivy League School, I felt obligated to use them.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, I joined the legions of dining hallies. Not much went down at these dining halls – no food fights, Heimlich maneuvers, or turkey carving stations manned by grizzly men in toques. Most of them were just glorified institutional banquet halls with the occasional bit of excitement when some poor soul drops their tray. The other 99.9% of the time the hall was filled with sounds of clanking dishes, silverware hitting plastic trays and that slow hum of fifty or so people talking at once. Then there is that smell. Thirty completely different food scents competing in your sniffer at once. And after all that pushing and shoving, none win and it all ends up smelling the same, like every cafeteria and buffet across America – from Ponderosa to Caesar’s Palace Grand Buffet. I wonder if you could chemically reproduce that smell and make a cafeteria flavored Jello. How would Bill Cosby sell that?
I remember my dining hall experiences at Indiana University. Every night after dinner, I would make myself a cone of frozen yogurt and I would carry it back to the dorm’s common room without eating any of it. Then I would throw it in the drawer of the computer desk. At just about the two-month mark, millions of fruit flies swarmed the area. It was absolutely horrific and I couldn’t even stand it. Most of them took a liking to the computer monitors in the dorm and you had to brush them off the monitor as you typed. Someone ratted me out I was moved to another dorm complex.
I wanted action! So I took it upon myself to interview some of the Yalies about their eating habits. While at the main dining hall, which is almost identical to the one featured in Harry Potter (minus the special effects), I stumbled across a fella who ate only salad for every meal. Another young man found the self-serve hyper-colored drinks irresistible and loaded his tray with a blue sports drink that had the color of plutonium under a black light, a VERY yellow version of lemonade, and a safety-orange beverage made of “carrots, mangos, and oranges.” I asked him why he was so attracted to this particular combination of drinks, but he had no reply.
Still not finding the level of amusement I expected, I developed my own sort-of idiosyncratic taste for adventure. Every morning I made a Yale signature waffle. Most the time I didn’t even eat it, I just knew it was there… like a good friend who doesn’t talk.
Another day in the hills. So far being here has inspired me to shower less, eat more fruits and vegetables, and work on a beard. The great outdoors has a tendency to help you forget everything outside of your immediate setting and place in time, with the exception of dreaming.
Last night I dreamt that I was running cocaine for Rodney Dangerfield. The FBI caught up with me and somehow I managed to escape and ended up in some sort of old-persons home. Oddly enough, this wasn’t the first Dangerfield dream I’ve had. In the last one, he stole my fax machine. What is that supposed to represent… I’m not going to even try figuring that out.
I would really love your input on what I should be doing with my time up here. What would you do up here? There’s lush green hills, trees, sticks, dirt, deer, Neil Young.
I’ve thought of digging a great big hole and burying my RV. I’ve also considered building a network of cardboard tunnels up and down the hillsides, but the rain foiled that plan.
It has been suggested that I summon the one and only Dj assi,
But for some reason, I don’t think that’s a good idea.
I forgot to mention that I have unlimited access to a black polyester suit and black easy-spirit dress shoes. Maybe that will sway you.
With “The Patch” in place, I’m finally kicking the habit. I went on a run this morning and found myself gasping for air like a fish out of water. When I got back the “waterproof” patch started to come off. At $3 a pop I wasn’t going throw it away as the instruction manual suggested, so I gaffed it on.
Now this patch thing is making me dizzy, is emanating smells of cotton candy, and is giving me a terrible headache.
Fuck you nicotine.
Ladies and Gentleman…grab some popcorn or a hot dog and gather round…what you are about to witness has never been performed before…EVER!!
…This evening, Marc Horowitz will pull a rope that runs up through a pulley and across to the top rung of a 15′ ladder where an oilcan wrapped in a pillow is tied. He will then give the rope a tug and the mass from above will speedily descend and hit his side with full-force. Ouch! As a trained professional he will amazingly remain calm and expressionless. Keep in mind this is only a test run for next week’s experiment, where Marc will replace the oilcan-pillow combo with a 10 pound bag of flour! What a spectacle! A must see! Get your tickets tonight and prepare yourself for the most acclaimed event of the year!
Now returning to your regularly scheduled program…