The other day, my sister decided to show me her closet, cleaned up and organized via a suggestion made by my Mom. Formerly filled with boxes full of clothes (remnants of a move to Valencia, California 7 weeks ago) and a jumble of books and other items, it was now a place where her shirts were hung up in one section and her pants in another and other items organized nicely either on the floor or on the shelf. Mom suggested that I do the same sometime to make my closet as nice as can be. I guess that’s one way I relate to Seth “The Zog” Herzog (and probably the only way), in that I mean to get something done that benefits potential neatness for my room, and I never get around to it. In fact, I’ve still got to put on the wheels that come with the nightstand that’s right next to my bed and that means taking all my movie books off the middle shelf and on the floor, along with press kits collected from my years as a film reviewer in South Florida for the Sun-Sentinel’s Teentime section. It’s not something I’d want to do right now.
“The Zog” on the other hand, an actor and comedian, lives in a 12’ x 5’ studio apartment on 28th and Broadway in New York City on the 5th floor of the Breslin, a building “in the middle of Manhattan’s Koreatown”, according to a past article on “The Zog” in The Village Voice. He’s not so much a packrat, as much as he’s just someone trying his best to get organized. So many personal items adorn his house, including things he can’t seem to part with, such as wallet-sized photos of John Belushi, whom he admires. You’ll also find “90 packets of duck sauce”, according to one of his friends featured in this documentary, along with a microwave bought for him by his mother and sister that he finds more use in using either as a shelf or a stepladder.
It’s amazing that “The Zog” lives like he does, but he manages quite nicely, though at one point, he brings in an expert in organizing stuff, named Audrey Lavine. At that point, there’s a risk of this turning into some kind of special on Home & Garden Television, but that’s averted, with Lavine’s time resorted to her commenting on Zog’s place, such that it’s the smallest space she’s ever been in. Seth does mean to get his place cleaned out, and in the “January” sequence, he makes a vow to have everything dumped and whatever he needs organized, by May. “August” pops up on the screen and nothing’s been accomplished. We messy people are well meaning, but there’s so much more to do that’s either more important or just more interesting than trying to find out what’s easy to part with and what we absolutely cannot live without.
While it would have been interesting to see more of items that The Zog absolutely cannot part with, “Zog’s Place” is fun to watch in wide-eyed amusement as this seemingly crazy guy tries to navigate his way throughout his own apartment. It’s enough to make you appreciate where you live and possibly tone down any bitching that is aimed at current living quarters being too small. But “The Zog” does pretty well in his own corner of the world, so why shouldn’t you?
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