Tag: shut-in

Dude, everyone is soooo done with New York.

Last month I accepted my last rental dollar from Shut-In.  To celebrate/mourn the loss of Pittsburgh’s friendliest agoraphobe, we dined at Pho Minh.  Awaiting S.I.’s arrival, I surveyed the neighborhood’s general state of decay.  Plastered with hipster art/music advertising, the adjacent edifice appeared fit for neither habitation nor commerce.  Pondering this catalogical dilemma, I spied a hot babe unlocking the building.  “Would you like a sneak peek?”, she asked, “The gallery crawl is tonight.”  “Uh, ok”, I nodded with bovine acceptance.  After a minute of inspecting my inspection, it occurred to her that a loitering middle aged white man = perv, and that it might be wise to move me along.  Safely outside the building, H.B. resumed her sales pitch.  “20-30 storefront galleries participate in the crawl.  Some even have live music.”  Just then Shut-In arrived, leaving me to file the episode under “hmmmmm”.

Several weeks later I found myself in Burlington, Vermont, on the 2nd floor of a hipster boutique trying on $40 t-shirts.  The gentleman behind the counter lit up when he heard I was from Pittsburgh.  “Shit man”, he raved, “half my friends are moving to Pittsburgh.  The art scene there is exploding.  Pittsburgh and Miami are hot RIGHT NOW.  Dude, everyone is soooo done with New York.”  “Uh, huh”, I nodded.

So there’s that.  More hmmmm I suppose.  For what it’s worth, here in Paris (yeah I said here in Paris), no one seems to be talking about Peetsboorg.

Andy is all hype.

People always be asking me if I’m gonna load up on Parisian museums.  As the Puerto Rican kids used to say, hells no.  Museums bore me and make my legs achy.  Sort of like when your girlfriend/wife shops for clothes while you mindlessly trudge forward, guiding the cart like a broken ox.  Not that I would know.

Worthy of achy legs:

  1. The blurry impressionist stuff at Chicago’s Art Institute.
  2. The shrunken heads at Chicago’s Field Museum.  I hadn’t seen them since I was a boy, so a few years back I dropped in on them.  No luck.  I was informed that the heads have been in storage for 20+ years because “they’re not very PC”.  Nice job with that.

Today, for no good reason I dragged Shut-in to the Andy Warhol Museum.  *Yawn*.  Stripped of his aura and hype, little of Andy’s work warranted attention.  The highlight of the trip was a Cuban sandwich from the basement cafe.  Yumzies!

Fun fact #1:  In college I tried to switch my major to Art.  I was told that my grades were too low, and that I’d have to stick with Math.  Fun fact #2:  Shut-in has an Art degree, and he agreed that Mr. Warhol was a lame.

In other “news”, yesterday Zach and I played living room hockey.  Aside from the potential “losing teeth” aspect of the game, living room hockey is maximum father/son fun.

Blown away vs. blows.

Last night I saw a play.  It was pretty good, you know, entertaining.  But it didn’t blow me away.  It got me thinking…over the past half decade, what has blown me away?  I can think of just 3 things.

  1. The fig appetizer at Vivo.  For added bonus, the place no longer smells like cat wiz!
  2. Barry getting the nod for prez.  My eyes well up every time I think about it.  For the first time since elementary school, I’m proud to be an American.
  3. My garage door opener.  A few months back, Shut-in and I installed one on my garage.  It changed my life.  Let me explain.  I’ve never been able to justify living in the North.  Sadism perhaps?  Winter blows!  But now…if I want to go somewhere, I go downstairs, get in my warm car, press a button, and drive merrily on my way.  Beat that!  Being cold is now optional!  If I feel like getting cold, I take old mutt for a walk.  Or I take the kids sledding.  Cold is no longer forced on me.  Did you know that snow is actually pretty?  Snow even makes our hideous “burning bush” look sexy.

So…what was worst thing to happen over the past 5 years?  Easy.  The writer’s strike of 2007.  That fool strike (re)unleashed a scourge on American society known as reality TV.  Caught in its horrific grip are my wife and daughter.  The worst of the bunch is America’s Next Top Model.  Witness the pain and devastation it has caused:

Maybe Readers Digest will pay me $50 for this junk.

The other day I was talking to some inebriated crank about writing.  Perhaps it’s the least of my problems, but specifically I was lamenting my inability to write a metaphor.  “I don’t think I’ve ever even written one,” I moaned, “they’re important, ya know.  Metaphors are the calling card of a writer.”  Unaware of my well timed loss of metaphorical virginity, the IC was quick to point out my bumbling brilliance.

Moving on.  I’ve got a good thing going with Shut-in.  We help each other with home repairs.  He comes over to help me with my house.  Then I go over to help him with my house.

Good Lord.  This reads like some Readers Digest drivel.  I quit.

Fun with Shut-in.

Here’s a shot of Asia and her ex-boyfriend.  I find her lack of standards to be alarming.

I’ve taken Asia’s ex-boyfriend’s dad under my wing.  He’s basically a shut-in.  Alas, such charity has its rewards.  Yesterday Shut-in carried a 50 lb. bag of rice three blocks for me.  So there’s that.

The other day I dragged shut-in out of his house.  (My house actually!) After slurping up some low grade pho from the one armed bandit, we took our action down to the coffee shop.  That’s where we ran into Mr. Contractor.  Re-examine that photo.  That’s Mr. Contractor’s daughter in the background, readying herself for a mock beheading.  You wouldn’t know it, based on this picture, but last year $45,000 was spent edjamahkating those three scoundrels.

Old Man Neill:  Hey Mr. Contractor.  What are you up to?
Mr. Contractor:  Oh, we’re just finishing up a store-front on Butler, then we’ll be gutting a 4-unit over by the children’s hospital.  What are you fellas up to?  Looks at his watch…it’s 1:00pm on a Monday.
Old Man Neill:  Umm…
Shut-in:  Nuthin’

So there’s that.

Slacker basketball and Chinese Goths

Today I ditched “work” and hung out with a fellow slacker.  He and his family rent my failed flip house.  The old slacker and I played a few games of basketball.  Next time we play, I’m gonna call the paramedics, and request to have them on standby.

On Saturday Mrs. Neill and I are attending a Halloween party.  I was either going to be a ’77 punk rocker, or Abe Lincoln.  Neither would be a stretch.  Even at my age, I can effortlessly slide back into punk mode.  And Abe Lincoln?  Come on, who’s more honest (and taller) than me?  Yeah, no one.  It’s a moot point anyways.  Mrs. Neill informed me that we’re going Goth.  Do Chinese Goths even exist?  Hopefully she can pull off a sexy Goth look, and not this:

Anyone (in Pittsburgh) wanna loan me some Goth bling?