By Wrapping Paper of St. Paul, Minnesota! Thanks, Tim!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Angel's Ashes

If you need this book...

..."The Flirt Coach's Guide to Finding the Love You Want," chances are you, like me, are going to die alone. While I am hoping to do so quickly, whoever initially picked up this book clearly is in no hurry, as they are trying to find someone to torment for the rest of their lives.

The Flirt Coach has a series of books out... but this one, according to Amazon, has a simple philosophy: "We can only find the love we want when we start being who we truly are."

I initially thought that maybe someone dropped off this book after being successful at snagging a partner, but judging by the other items left on the table, I started thinking maybe that isn't the case.

Is it possible that any of the passages include advice on how to give the perfect gift for your angel?

Or that the book includes a section on how to provide unique and sensual kisses?

If so, I'm guessing that a ceramic violin-playing cherub and a hand-decorated empty wine bottle isn't quite what the Flirt Coach--or this NeighborGooder's former potential partner--had in mind.

Imagine being presented either of these items from someone hitting on you. If anyone over the age of eight hands me something and says, "I made this for you," I tend to think it's going to explode. Unless it's an empty, decorated wine bottle... in which case it is my head that will explode.

Is it Wine O'clock Yet?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Run? Like Hell!

Today, we have the tragic tale of a boy cut down in his prime. Not by a murderer, like many of the other stories here at NeighborGoodies, but by three of the most self-destructive traits known to man. They are, in order of t-shirt appearance: Athleticism....

...Good Will...

...and, worst of all, Education.

What in the world could possibly possess a young man, seemingly with limitless potential, to throw is life away by working hard to get into shape, and then competing not only in "fun runs" such as Nike's Run Hit Wonder (featuring Tone Loc and Devo!), but in "Charity" events like the "Run for the Zoo" for Chicago's Lincoln Park? And then, after spending time in Chicago on these fruitless exercises, to then move to LA, live in Luxury in the Hollywood Hills and join up with the UCLA Track Team? Where does this jerk get off?

Helping people? An Education? Fitness? Where is that gonna land you? I'll tell you where in three words and one picture:

The E/R.

Ok, so that's one word and two letters. And a backslash. But you get the point. Clearly, this guy's flagrant showboating eventually caught up with him as he punctured both his ankles during one of his cockamamie workout routines.

So, I'm pretty sure the lesson here is: Stay out of school, eat some cupcakes and be selfish... and you will continue to live a normal, healthy existence.

You're welcome.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Nightmare After Christmas

It's shocking to me that a full month after the holiday, people in my building are still getting rid of their dead Christmas trees. Every few days since the beginning of the year, the elevators and halls get littered with the brownish/green remains of these ghosts of Christmas past, as they are dragged through the building and left on the curb outside.

Likewise, there's been lots of Holiday-Themed NeighborGoodies dragged onto the Big Blue Table since the Holidays have ended. Decorations so hideous, they are sure to ruin anyone's good cheer with swift, unholy vigor.

The following items, though not nearly as terrifying, are also pretty hideous in their own way:

These two stockings, one with a snowman, the other a reindeer, also feature items such as pink hearts and yellow stars. Frankly, I'm surprised there isn't a leprechaun on the back.

As awful as those stockings are, they are nothing compared to this Homemade Wicker Beast:

This hollow star-shaped horror is filled with Christmas balls, holly and, for some reason, acorns. Because nothing says Christmas like wicker-enclosed acorns. I've had nightmares where I'm stuck inside of contraptions just like this. Only instead of wicker, it's made of barbed wire. And instead of Christmas Balls, it's filled with demons. Weirdly, the holly and acorns are the same.

What on earth would possess someone to make such a thing? Were they looking for a holiday version of a Dream Catcher? Is this some sort of cursed object designed to prevent the Christmas Spirit from entering whoever dares hang this on their tree? Or does the maker simply love wicker and hate the holidays?

Whatever the reason, I believe their message was clear: "Bah, Humbug.... OR DIE!"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Art Attack

The other day, I was waiting for the elevator and, as usual, I went to peer into NeighborGoodies Central (with camera in hand, of course) to see if anything was on the Big Blue Table. As I was doing so, one of my fellow residents was on his way out of the laundry room. I froze in my tracks--I didn't realize anyone else was around, and I don't want anyone in the building knowing about this little project, out of fear that it would compromise the integrity of The NeighborGoodies.

Luckily, all the neighbors slyly check out the Table while waiting for the elevators and he assumed I was doing the same. He reported, "There's no free stuff on the table today." He seemed genuinely bummed out, and I shared his misery. I've seen him around the building before: He's an adorably tiny, friendly guy, probably in his mid-20's with cool hair and lots of piercings.

He's pretty chatty usually and this time he revealed that he's an artist... and that he likes to remove the items from the Table in order to create art projects out of them. Obviously, I was shocked. The fact that the garbage on the Big, Blue Table has inspired another form of creativity made me feel an instant bond. He began to tell me about how he picked up something a few weeks ago, painted over it to make a blank canvas--and now he's got a fresh piece of art hanging in his Luxurious Hollywood Hills Apartment. I immediately knew he was talking about this item.

I was thisclose to not only falling madly in love with him, but also to violating the Golden Rule of Anonymity for this blog by sharing its link with him. I knew I could trust my fellow artist. I wanted him to know he wasn't alone in his passion for the NeighborGoodies. Heck, I wanted him to know that there was a name for the NeighborGoodies. I was about to ask him if he puts any of his artwork on the internet, as I think it'd be cool to see what he's doing with the objects you read about here. However, before I could, the elevator door opened, and inside there were Other, Non-Artsy folks. The People Who Wouldn't Understand. As we stepped in and the doors closed, our conversation ceased, oppressed by the non-creative thinkers.

He wished me a good day as he got off on his floor and I immediately knew how Spiderman felt. With great power comes great responsibility--and I have a responsibility to you, the reader, to make sure the NeighborGoodies continue with no outside influences. And so, for now, Artsy Guy can not know about NeighborGoodies. Unless I'm drunk in the elevator one day when he comes in.

Today on the Table, our little friend has lots of items to play with. First up:

We have here a set of five Crayola glitter markers, perfect for our Artsy Guy to fancy-up any of his works-in-progress... or to use on these:

This pair of stained sofa pillows could go from "blah"to "hoorah!" with just a touch of glitter pen magic!

And, though I'm no artist, I bet he could also make use out of these half-empty tubes of skin cream:

And finally, he could take photos of his newest creations and place them in this stylish high heel picture holder:

Hopefully he will do so, and leave the images on the NeighborGoodies table for all the world to see. If not... I'll just have to sneak into his apartment and take my own pictures of the art (and only the art. Honest.)

Can anyone train me to break & enter?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Check It Out!

Today, it's as if Weird Al's "White & Nerdy" video exploded on the NeighborGoodies Table and left behind shards of geekery all over the place:

We've got plenty of books from the late 90's Star Wars X-Wing series...

...along with three massive DUNE novels, a collection of "Great Tales from the Golden Age of Science Fiction..."
...and approximately two jillion VHS tapes full of content that is so nerdy, even I've never heard of it...

...and I grew up ensconced in Nerd Culture. Things with names like "Vengeance of the Space Pirate," "Area 88," and "Gall Force." There's also a series of tapes from "Iczer One" and "Macross," which is described as such on IMDB:

In the next century, a reconfiguring ship (think "Transformer" with a pilot) called Macross carries fifty thousand refugees within its hold as it returns to Earth pursued by giant humanoid warriors. A young pilot in the military named Hikaru rescues the beautiful singer Lynn Minmay, from the giants. The giants grill them on how males and females can survive together without fighting. The giants' female counterparts arrive to wreak havoc on their male foes, and in the ensuing confusion that costs squadron leader Roy Focker his life, Hikaru and commander Misa Hayase are stranded on a now-totally-lifeless Earth, which leads to revelations on all three sides of the conflict regarding their past and future as well as the origins of mankind and the power of love and song.

With such universal themes present in this series, I'm shocked that it didn't reach a wider audience (AKA: me.) I can't say I'm disappointed that it never reached me, but I'm shocked nonetheless. Who doesn't love a good story about the "origins of mankind and the power of love and song" as told in cartoon form? Oh, me. I much prefer to receive those lessons in music video form:

Complete with a 2 minute intro that makes no sense!

If you want your stories of the Power of Love in a more traditional format, there's also a book of poems here by Canadian poet Irving Layton...

...who, as far as I can tell, is probably spinning in his grave at the mere thought of being forever linked with the Star Wars novels in the blogosphere.

And finally, there's this object:

It's the home-version of a library checkout kit, complete with a rotating date stamp. I kind of just assumed you'd only ever really need one of these things if you worked at a library. I've never seen one out on the streets before. It's almost as scary as seeing the librarian outside; neither belong away from The Stacks.

This item was manufactured specifically for use with a Private Film Collection:

...and was tried once on January 7... a mere two weeks ago!

I wonder if Nerdy NeighborGooder got this for Christmas and, upon opening it, had an epiphany: "Oh God," he thought, "Is this really who I am? Is this what my life has become? King of the Nerds? Lending my friends these Japanese Anime VHS videos and having them sign them out in order to ensure a prompt and timely return?" After giving the home library kit one try after the New Year, Nerd renounced his Fanboy heritage and began selling off his collection piece by piece. Those that were too sad for Ebay or his former cronies wound up on the NeighborGoodies Table.

I, for one, am disappointed in The Nerd. I think he should have stayed on the course of Lifelong Nerddom like the rest of us. But... all hope is not lost: I don't see his Dungeons & Dragons paraphernalia anywhere. Perhaps his friends can still rescue him from The Dark Side.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sam Hell

Generally, it's rare for any of the objects on the NeighborGoodies Table to identify their former owner by name. Usually, the objects are donated anonymously and are pretty much untraceable, leaving us to wonder who the NeighborGooders were and why they left us such nonsense. In fact, I believe there were only two times I've been able to identify the NeighborGooders by name--once was child artist prodigy V Jaiem ♥, and the other was a girl named Samantha, who may actually be indirectly responsible for these items as well:

"Sam's Mix," featuring a guitar-playing Jesus rocking out on the cover, is a homemade CD filled with songs from the 80's and 90's which, if they were recorded today, would be classified as "emo." But, as they are from the Pre-emo (Premo?) Era, they fall under the Punk/Goth/Industrial/Alternative umbrella:

Bands like Bauhaus, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Joy Division and The Jesus & Mary Chain make up the bulk of this compilation, which was lovingly crafted for Sam by Jo:

The whole scene screams of a lesbian love affair gone wrong. Were Sam & Jo once a couple? I imagine Samantha experimenting with Jo, perhaps even falling in love with her during her first year in Hollywood (Slogan: "It changes people, man!™") Soon after deciding she was a lesbian, Jo convinced Samantha to go by Sam, reasoning that "There's no room for a MAN in SaMANtha." Samantha agreed and dropped the "antha" from her name, placed her parking placard and girly mint-green skirt on the NeighborGoodies Table last April and began her lesbionic life with Jo in the luxurious Hollywood Hills.

Of course, first loves can't last forever. And with the passage of Prop 8 here in California last fall, gay love is particularly frowned upon (Thanks, Mormons!) With all the extra stress of being a blight on society, Sam began to grow apart from Jo.

Jo made this heartfelt mix on a blue CD to reflect her sadness and try to convince Sam to stay. With this selection of songs, Jo was telling Sam she wanted her lady back so they could once again have Sex On Wheels. But for Sam, the Novelty had worn off. The Christian Right had gotten to her, warning of the Burning Skies about to fall, and telling her to get rid of the Blood Evil (Mix) within her. Without listening, Sam returned the CD to Jo, telling her to Take It* back.

And thus ends the great love story of Sam & Jo. Jo stayed behind in the Luxurious Home they shared in the Hollywood Hills to try and pick up the pieces, convincing herself that Sam was Only Shallow. Luckily, Jo met a cute little waitress down the street over the weekend, and decided to drop off the CD that she's been holding on to--her last piece of Sam--officially having gotten over her once and for all.

Sam, for her part, is likely out coaching a softball team somewhere, still searching for a love that will match that of Jo's. But deep down, she knows no love will even Scratch the surface.

In order to prevent this story from happening to functioning homosexual couples throughout the land, I urge you to visit Equality California's website to find out what you can do to help! Save the Gays! Because if you don't, who else will dress you?

*FYI, There is no music video for "Take It" by the Jesus & Mary Chain.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Before we get to the new NeighborGoodies, I want to give an update on what was left behind the other day. On Friday, this bag of cassette tapes and office supplies was left on the Big Blue Table:

Over the weekend, I noticed that some obsessive-compulsive NeighborGooder arranged the contents of the brown bag in order, seemingly so that any would-be takers would be able to see the full collection of Poison, Warrant & Skid Row albums available in this dead format:

They also put the assorted office supplies off to the side within the sack which, I later discovered...
...were pretty much the only things that anyone had any interest in during its tenure on the NeighborGoodies Table.

At the other end of the table, another bag of crazy appeared:

I looked inside and found this phone...
...these shoes...

...and this Triple Tropical Fruit Smoothie Blistex.

I think it's appropriate that one pair of these shoes have little skulls & crossbones on them...

..because clearly whoever dares to use this Tropical Blistex will be poisoned.

I know the economy is in a terrible state right now, but I have to put my foot down...and not into these filthy shoes. I've said it before on this blog, but apparently I need to reiterate it: No One Wants Your Ratty Used Ass-Sneakers. They just don't. YOU don't want them; what makes you think anyone else wants them? And, for the record: THEY DON'T WANT YOUR HERP-INFESTED LIP BALM EITHER!

Unless someone came upon the NeighborGoodies table after wandering the desert for weeks on end... their shoes in tatters and their lips blistering, I am going to go ahead and say that these items can safely be placed in the dumpster without hauling them from your apartment down into the laundry room.

The only item even mildly interesting in this sack is the red phone, which looks like it might have belonged to Commissioner Gordon:

The phone is quite heavy, and its weight (made up almost entirely of dust) along with the instructions on it imploring the user to "Wait for Dial Tone" actually made me think that this was an original, classic rotary type phone. But, upon closer inspection, it turns out to be an impostor! According to the back...

...this phone was manufactured in June of 2006. That, coupled with the fact that it isn't a rotary phone at all...
...makes me doubt its authenticity.

But it's still better than used Lip Balm.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Media Frenzy

In preparation for the Digital TV switchover here in the States, one NeighborGooder has donated all of their "classic" non-digital receivers and media to the Big Blue Table:

This rabbit ears attached to this Daewoo television initially made me think it was a 40 year old black and white set. However, this sticker tells a different story:

“Everyone loves a DVD…. New for 2005.”

I don’t understand. Did Daewoo just catch on to the DVD Bandwagon four years ago? Hadn’t Daewoo heard of DVD's for the first 10 years of their existence?

I suppose it's possible that this TV set really is in black and white; I mean if Daewoo is excited about this fancy "new" feature called a DVD player, perhaps color isn't something they've achieved yet. After all, they are still manufacturing TV's with rabbit-ears on them:

They have a remote, so some technology has clearly influenced them. I wonder if this was their first TV model without a VCR attached?

Speaking of VCRs: here's a semi-decent selection of movies that might actually be worth taking, if they weren't on VHS:

And, of course, what Media Cleanse would be complete without a sack of 80's Hair Metal Band cassette tapes...

...mixed in with various highlighters, Sharpies and pens?

So, if you are looking for some late 80's, early 90's era media and markers, the Luxurious Hollywood Hills has once again proven to be your one-stop-shop.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Luxury Giving: One Year Later

Before we get to the items, I just wanted to mention that today (well, I guess it was technically yesterday, but who the hell cares?) marks the one year anniversary of NeighborGoodies! Yes it's already been one year of sneaking around & taking photographs of my neighbors' discarded items, then secretly mocking them for the world to enjoy. And much like every other one-year-old, this blog will continue to babble on nonsensically and be filled with poop.

To celebrate this milestone, I invite you to be our friend on Myspace, be our Fan on Facebook, and/or to sign up for the email version of this blog in the box on the right, in order to get each and every new post delivered to directly your mailbox!

However, the best birthday gift of all would be for you to tell your friends! (Unless, of course, they Live in Luxury in the Hollywood Hills. In that case, let's just keep it between you and me!) Thanks for reading and, I assume, enjoying!

Today, the Post-Holiday-Dump continues for the Blog's Birthday! First up, we have this festive holiday place mat:
The image of Santa makes me feel as if he's posing for a headshot: He's got one leg up, he's leaning on his knee playfully, while holding his prop sack of toys. If he wasn't wearing mittens, I'd swear he'd be mock-shooting at you wryly with his fingers, while winking and making a clicking sound with his mouth as if to say, "*clack, clack!* Hey, fella! I'm fun! *clack!*"

Up next is the second-worst Christmas gift anyone could have gotten...
...a big sack of Premium Potting Mix. There's been a lot of crap on the NeighborGoodies Table in the past year, but I believe this is the first time an actual bag of crap has been left. I can just imagine the conversation: "Here, honey! Merry Christmas! Have some dirt!" If she was mad at that, imagine how much angrier she was when she received this:

Yes, that's right, ladies and gentlemen... Today on the NeighborGoodies table is a big bag of rocks:
Clearly, our out-of-work-actor-Santa ran out of coal on this leg of his trip and was forced to leave stones instead. Or perhaps this was someone's special passive-aggressive gift to their spouse, indicating that they Live in Luxury in a Glass House and should not be throwing stones. Of course, that probably ended in the gift-giver being jollily bludgeoned to Christmas-death by said bag of rocks.

Don't you just love the Holidays?