Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recycled thoughts: supernovas and Taliban(s)

Its interesting how wrapped-up in our worlds we can get. Look at Albany: there must be over a million worlds and identities that people shroud themselves with (and are shrouded by).

i am wrapped up in about 90 worlds currently, but at the moment i find myself enthralled by a particular constellation.

i'm a space guy. i don't study it or research it but its a great way to illustrate something. Presently, the star cluster i'm observing is one that may be light years away from collecting cans, but supernovas send trans-galactic waves.

So while i'm comfortably out of harm for now, i can see the explosions and anticipate the repercussions once the blow starts shaking my world.

This is what i'm rapping about. CNN says Obama's gonna start paying Taliban members to switch sides. That's weird: last time i remember the US government paying an enemy to switch was when the OSS employed about 20-30 Nazi scientists and strategists, simultaneously renaming itself to the CIA. How did that turn out? Misinformation, completely illegal activity, and the Cold War.

We're in the desert now, i suppose we can expect a hot war. i better start getting my hippie bullshit protest songs in order...Ha.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

i’m watching the Yankee game (the Yankees rock) and apparently there’s this Phillies player, Jimmy Rollins, who’s appeared on several MC Hammer music videos, a fun fact the network showed instead of the guy’s batting average. (i have to get back to the game, i’ll look up more videos after.)

During my baseball-web-browsing, i came across this site talking about how over half of the billion cans purchased last year ended up in a land fill rather than recycled.
Maybe Jimmy Rollins can use his connections to spread the message about recycling, but i’m sure he doesn’t know too much about budgeting and recycling if he was involved with MC anyways…

(Thanks to the weak Baltimore blog where the picture came from. People title the Yankees as the empire in an attempt to bash, the empire destroys planets man, planetsss.)

Halloween costume: update 2

The results are in, and the color red seems to be the fans' can-collecting costume choice.

Here's the cosutme i made.

i'm still working on the body part.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Canning that heat: trickling the effects of refundibles and house parties

How is the can budgeting? Well i have been collecting cans, i have a full closet of them (picture to come) but i just haven’t had the time to deposit the suckers. i am still contemplating how i’m going to give my deposit money back to the community as well.

Lately i've realized college houses parties that leave their cans scattered across the street is really a beautiful example of the trickle down effect.

Remember that from 8th grade? The money goes through the middle class parents (which their class is assumed by their child’s enrollment in an institution of higher education; yes i am making a generality about the economic class of students' families, deal with it), through the hands of the college student who, like all college kids, spend their money on beer. The bi-product is a trashed house party and a plethora of cans cluttering the street.

We’ve all seen the less fortunate collect these aluminums off the street the day after a house party. This is a visible example of the trickle down effect. i’m sure it’s not the most prosperous version of it, but it may very well be the most consistent: no one’s gonna stop buying refundable cans any time soon.

i was toying around with this concept in my head before i went off to New Hampshire for the weekend. Some of my buddies that i met in London were having a big get together, so i made the hike out there for the party.

These guys go to school at the University of New Hampshire. i had a great time, it was awesome seeing everyone but the day after the party, i looked at their trash bins outside and saw piles of cans. Just so you can envision the picture, all the student owned-off campus houses at UNH have parking lots, a nice back yard, the works, but ultimately: an inaccessible back yard for a can hunter. So i saw these cans and the first thing i thought was “how are street collectors supposed to collect cans that are hidden in the back of the house?”

While was i was a little taken back, i realized that there probably wasn’t any homeless to roam the streets of rural New Hampshire, so i did a little trash picking and took two trash bags full back to Albany.

i don’t want to be indecent, but i think i may try a little experiment and empty my piles of cans in front of my house. i don’t think this would be degrading in anyway, but more a testament of the trickle down effect; more an act of opportunity rather than charity. As i mentioned a couple posts ago, no one wants to be a charity case, and i think depositing the cans myself and handing someone a wad of bills might be charitable but it loses the atmosphere of ability. Even on the level of can hunting, there is skill, if nothing more than persistence.

i don’t have class on Wednesday, i think i will throw all my cans off my balcony, sit on my couch and observe who comes to collect. If nothing else, at least i might get into a good conversation with someone (whether it be a can collector, a weirded-out neighbor or a pissed off landlord).

UPDATE; 3:00 October 28th: As any albany readers are aware, the weather is horrible today so i decided to wait for a nicer day for this project, which i am contemplating live blogging. More to come.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Heating that can: canned intentions

A few days ago, a buddy of mine was talking about how he didn't have any gas money to go home for the weekend. Of course, the first thing to come to mind were cans.

i had about $5 worth at the house and offered them to him, so long as he cleaned up the house a lil in the process.

He said he was gonna come on Sunday.
then Monday,
then Tuesday.

The house needed to be cleaned and the cans were in the way.

i'm sorry Tom but i returned the cans yesterday.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Insanity is like" a link roundup

Insanity is like the atmosphere,
    an invisible barrier between us and space
    and we are on earth.
Of course humans are naturally inclined to look up.

Once someone discovers the ability and comfort
    of looking up rather than the neck-straining
    action of hanging your head low.
one may start to leave a wandering head tilted towards the sky.

With curiosity,
    for the stars,
    celestial bodies, galaxies and the like
your head floats higher and higher.

Until it reaches the troposphere, the stratosphere, the ionosphere.
    before you know it
    your head's so high in the clouds,
people will mistake you for insane.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Detachment and Dave

This weekend i collected cans, but not for myself. Let me explain.

It was Saturday night at 2 in the morning and i was outside a party with my friend’s older brother Tony. We were smoking a cigarette when a black man walks up to us with a shopping cart half full of cans.

The guy looked like he was hurting. He appeared about 40-50ish and was wearing a black skull hat, a worn out Carhartt, and filthy khaki pants. Although the clothing seemed sufficiently warm for the weather, he was missing teeth and his eyes rolled uncontrollably in their sockets. He had a limp as well.

The man stayed on the sidewalk with his cart and asked if it was alright if he could pick up the cans that were scattered across the front porch.

Tony didn’t make eye contact or answer him. This guy is from NYC, so i feel that he has a little more of a precautious attitude when it comes to talking to wandering strangers in the night.

So with Tony opting out of the conversation, i replied “of course, let me help you” and together we began collecting the mess of cans in the front yard.

Naturally, i was interested in this stranger, so we began talking. i mentioned how i was collecting cans for a blogging class but i don't think he knew what a blog was. Putting that topic aside, i asked him how often he can hunts, he said three days a week…

“Three days, that’s not too bad, how much ya usually make?”

“Well I s'pose I make ‘bout $300 a week.”


“Yea, yea. $300 a week.”

“Whoa, that’s pretty good money.” says the middle class college student who has a job and ignorantly looks at $300 as a good chunk of money.

“Well it’s not ‘nough fer me ta get ‘n apartment, but once my compensation check comes, Ima get $100,000.”

“Compensation man, for what?"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Heating that can: tools of the trade

As you may be aware, i have been using my mom's car to transport collected cans to the deposit station. Although it has been amazingly convenient, all good things come to an end; i suppose a better axiom would be "all good things in all good time." Good vibes circle in 360 degree waves.

With the looming anxiety of being car-less, and the relief of not having to deal with parking, i encountered an uncanny surprise outside my house last night.

While returning to my dwell-pad, i found a shopping cart posted right in front of my house. To those of you not in the deposit scene, finding a shopping cart on the streets is a stroke of luck; namely because it bypasses the need to borrow a shopping cart from a store.

i was with my roommate at the time and although i was quite enthralled upon this discovery, he was kinda apprehensive about the idea.

In a brief background check, one might say our landlord is not on amiable terms with us (we reached the 2nd strike mark a month into the lease and he probably wouldn’t appreciate the collectivity value of a shopping cart). So when i wanted to hide the shopping cart in the back of the house (so no one would reclaim it), my roommate contested it to be a bad idea.

Alright, i could defiantly see where he was coming from.

So instead of moving the cart to the back of the house, i moved it off to the side of our porch, out of the way of the sidewalk but still visible to anyone walking by. I angled it to look as if someone abandoned it there; hoping my landlord wouldn’t get wise to the antic.

That night i immersed myself in googled shopping cart pictures, to get a feel for the industry of course. Here are the top three pimped collecting machines that i 'm planning to use as a template for my own cart-whip.

"Your gonna need more powah Mcfly." A motor, off-road tires, and a shopping cart oh my!...bring it Biff.

This may be a little too intricate to try at home, but if this was abandoned in front of my house, i'd risk the landlord's wrath to keep it inside.

My personal favorite. Forgot your head phones? No worries, we got sub woofers

The next morning was garbage day and i awoke to find the shopping cart gone. i assume the underground world of shopping cart smuggling is pretty cut-throat.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Recognized and Recognized

Often, we don’t see in layers; we scan the surface and lose interest. Last time i went to deposit cans, i saw in layers.

First, i was noticed by two men who were depositing as well. They had ragged clothing (dirty sweaters and ripped jeans) and glared at me, like they were staring at something new. Both were obvisouly from a different economic class and while the one guy was really friendly to me, the other was more taken aback. i began depositing bottles and saw the shyer one was waiting to use my machine for his handful of refundables. i took my ticket and offered to let him go ahead (because i felt bad that he would have to wait for me to finish). He hesitated a moment (?maybe he was unused too the politeness), but gave a nod of appreciation and began feeding his bottles into the machine.

i got thinking why this was, why they were acting so polite to me and realized that there was some underlying factor which, blatant from their expressions, set us apart. Aside from appearance (we probably looked equally unkempt) i had cans and bottles that were unrefundable. The other two guys only had cans they could return.

i must've looked goofy with my unrefundible bottles of Steel Reserve, Bud light, Arizona tea cans and Joose. This project was started because i wanted to throw myself into a new community, one that people don’t notice and don’t really pay any attention to. i got lazy, collecting cans at a house party is cheap, it is an excuse to stay in my comfort zone and undermines myself and my goals. Next deposit session, i will properly prepare for and venture to the streets for my collecting. i have also noticed that bottles are a waste of time; they’re heavy and take up more space than cans.

Although i’m disappointed in my progress to involve myself in another world, i feel good about what i’ve done so far. i have become more aware of my environment and more mindful of my place in it, which is the first step. One cannot be involved in a community without first being aware of its existence and simultaneously allowing the community to recognize your own existence. Last deposit trip i was recognized and i recognized.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Snap: unbalancing peace prize nobility

So last night was my 21st birthday. Things were very colorful (particularly) before i started drinking and mostly black after. No...i was not on the can budget, but do you blame me?

This morning, my stomach sounds like a song from Explosions in the Sky. i have build-a-bear at 4ish(?) and a long night of budget-worthy-$12-a-liter Captain Tequila after. Thank God for balancing songs and beautiful  women.


i'm bloody FUMING. As you know, i work at build-a-bear and lately i've gotten into the habit of talking poltics with the kids' parents...i hope i don't get too preachy.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Canning that heat: lotto gamble

i just deposited some cans yesterday (it was a very crazy experience this time, but i'll write on that tonight). i made $6.50 and bought a $1 lotto ticket.

i haven't scratched the ticket yet because i'm planning to do it on my birthday tomorrow, hopefully i'll get some extra luck from it.

update: The lotto ticket was a dud.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Updated Halloween Idea

My costume poll has started (under the gadget section) but i can't edit it because people have already voted, so here is another idea to vote on (you can vote via the comment section for this one).

This thought would be a combo deal involving my brother. So everyone has seen the Kayne South park right...? (if your haven't, then you should!!!)
i would go as a fish with a microphone.

And my brother would go as


Canning that heat: thieves in the night

Alright, so this Saturday has been a very big deal. While doing this project, i’ve experienced aspects of business networking, time management, the works; but today i had my first taste of competition. A rival student (i won’t name names {Rico}) slipped into my house in the heat of the morning and “cleaned” my house for me, namely by collecting all of my hard earned cans!

i received a phone call from this fellow hunter while i was working, so the call was ignored, but i resolved to call him back. During my lunch, i give this guy a call to discover that his reason for calling earlier was to inquire about cleaning the cans from the party at my pad last night for the MESIA club. i said “hell no,” and in response, the unnamed individual {Rico} revealed he had already been into my pad and done the deed. Bummer.

The day dragged on and i received a text while still at work, this time from one of my frequent house clients giving me the inside scoop on a couple bags of cans at his house. i was excited about this because it sounded like these fellows had a pretty good haul with my name on it. So i get out of work at 5, and in my foolishness, i buy two slices of pie from Sabarro’s at the mall (i used my “anticipated” can money, as well as a little of the left over 5 from the previous night). Two slices of pepperoni and a Dr. Pepper to be exact, totaling in $7.50! “WHAT?!” i exclaim, still in my loud and obnoxious build-a bear voice, the cashier gave me a puzzled look as i tried to sweet talk her into giving me some kind of discount. “I don’t make the prices” she retorts, ya but you do take my money…burn.

Anyway the pizza was filling, and i get on the move to start out my Saturday. Due to my family being down for the weekend and the hustle and bustle of things, i wasn’t able to get to the house to reel in the aluminum. Still under this “umbrella” of anticipated can money, i go out to a party with intentions of doing a Sunday morning salvaging.

At the party, i’m hanging with an individual by the name of Tom, the roommate of the one who called me earlier. i tell him the story bout how the unnamed character {Rico} collected my booze money, and how i was planning on swinging to his place the next day. While i told this story, his eyes got a little wider...

Canning that heat: business exchanges

A lot has happened this week, so let’s get caught up. To begin with, we take a stroll back to Monday, September 29.

Monday was a long day of thinking about can collecting, with little/no activity towards actually doing it. Earlier that day, i received some Intel about a treasure chest of cans with my name on it, but i just didn’t get around to it. Rather than doing homework or getting work done, i found myself caught in a rap trance. My beats and rhymes were flowing smoothly and i just couldn’t get any work done due to a continual flow of unconscious rhymes within any homework i attempted. i decided to let the can collecting wait until the next day and channeled my groove. i was going to post some of the verses but felt that so much comes through presentation and merely writing it would not represent accordingly (i’m going to record it soon and link it up here). Maybe i’ll write my next post in verse.

Jumping back to the aluminum aspect, my muse resulted in someone else depositing that treasure chest with my name on it. i lost a good 10 bucks, but abasetnza bene.

Let’s hit the time machine again and jump to Friday, the 2nd of October and the 9th year of 2000. Today i received another can call and went to a house for a pickup, this time i did not procrastinate.

It worked out real well and got about $5.20 from the deposits.

With my $5.20, i decided to start my night by journeying to the store to buy beer. i get there around 10 and push through the mounds of people to get to the beverage coolers. While i was in the back picking my weapon of choice, a chick approached me.

“Are you 21?”

“No, but i’m buying these, point to my beer, anyway.”

“Sweet, do you think you can pick up some stuff for me and my friend?”

And being aware of budget and opportunity, i reply “Sure, but can you buy me a Joose?”



But little did i know that her single “friend” consisted of three dudes, three chicks, frenzicly loading me up with various drinks. By the time i got to the counter i had a 40oz Budweiser, a Joose, and at least 8 other cans and 40’s. Anyways, the total came to $28, and since they were obviously freshmen, they were all paranoid not letting the cashier see them give me. Once i got to the counter i counted the loot; $37 to cover it all, which meant they were paying for my 40 too.

Although some bleeding heart might be against buying for minors, i’m a minor as well and we had a mutually beneficial exchange.

The night continued, leading to a party and a discussion of this project (which opened up a “can” of possibilities). Recently, my project has gained some street publicity and i was asked by multiple people to go clean their house and get rid of cans. i am defiantly going to use this to my advantage and with a steady couple of houses, i might be able to start collecting double digit figures each week.