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Vintage Outlandish!

This Content From 2003 (or earlier) see index

Frank (aka Teddy) Edward Robbins V

My Roomate Frank

Frank's wild years. The Robbins clan is prone to long-term relationships, sez the man. But he seems to keep slipping out into the wide world.

This is my friend and roomate Frank. He lives with me in Greenpoint. We went to school together, doing the theater thing at NYU. In more proof that life is a series of serindipitous coincidences, I met Frank because he lived down the hall from me our freshman year in good old Rubin Residence Hall. We had a pretty cool floor (shout out to anyone from the Rubin Hall 12th floor '97-'98), but Frank was the only person I met that year I felt could measure up to my friends from home (eg Luke, Mark, et al). So one thing led to another, and whaddya know? We're still friends after everything.

Click here to listen to Frank playing a favorite role of his: Frank the enabler. (22 seconds: 95k mp3 file). That's me at the end saying, "Sure thing Frank".

Frank's kind of ADD, which I find a fascinating phenominon. On the one hand, it's undeniable that he (and others) who have this "disorder" are wired a little different. But on the other hand, I've seen Frank be very lucid, focused and on-the-ball, even without Adderall or Ritalin. I sometimes think that being told he had a disorder since he was a kid gives him almost as much psychological blockage today as the the "disorder" itself. I've known many people who've made this idea a central part of their self conception, and it always seems to hinder them in one way or another, usually either making them hesitant to participate, or otherwise irresponsible about what they do.

Street Fighting Frank

The world just ain't no place for a Streetfightin' Frank.

Of course, in reality I don't have any basis for making judgements on Frank's condition, but I've talked with him about it a little. He brought up the very insightful point that as a kid it was very useful -- a relief even -- to understand why it was so difficult to learn certain things, but pretty easy to excel at others. The school he attended, pretty progressive place, gave him the mindset that he just had a different way of processing incoming information, and that his challenge was to figure out how to get the square peg of his own neurology into the round hole of the workaday world. This seems like a good way to understand the world. I'm a big believer in all people created equal: the idea that everyone has as much chi as anyone else, and they just need to learn how to get in touch with their inner juice. As "ADD kids" go, Frank's one of the least self-retarding I know.

We're pretty well matched to be roomates, both pretty busy with our own lives, yet capable of checking in whenever necessary. I generally handle taking out the trash and mopping the floor, while Frank does the lion's share of the dishes. I tend to buy a lot of staple groceries (sugar, coffee, milk, eggs, bread), and Frank keeps us supplied with treats and peanut butter.

Frank and I have done a fair bit of art together too. We make up stories and scenes and stuff fairly often (for instance this tale of gelatenous goo). More recently, Frank wrote, and I performed with him in a brilliant yet poingant skit extolling the importance of the constitution ("now more than ever") at an axiom event. He starred in my full-length writing/directing debut, and he was pretty good. I also did Merchant of Venice with the bastard. It was a lot of fun, because we both love the Bard. One of my best Frank'n'Josh memories is talking about the power and nature of Shakespeare (vis-a-vis the German language) while tripping on LSD. That acually says a lot about our friendship.

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Trips

Trips in Space and Time 8/02/03

Big Wheels in Berkeley
I scored a set of west-coast wheels today at the Ashby BART station flea market. It's a very tall schwinn road bike, black, deceptively heavy but smooth-riding. Thirty-five dollars to boot. I oiled and cleaned the works, dialed in the bakes and took it out for a shake-down cruise immediately. Nice riding on a beautiful saturday, realizing how out of shape I am as I wheezed my way though the hilly area behind the Berkeley campus.

After about an hour I started to get the swing of it. Made some minor mechanical adjustments (including a free wheel truing at the bike collective on Shattuck), drank a few liters of water and started finding my groove, cruising up and around and ending up with a beautiful view of the whole bay. The roads here are not kind to the speed inclined -- too many stop signs and crosswalks and lights -- but it was good to get out and proj for a while. This changes my summer dramatically.

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