Friday, September 28, 2018

A Clown Called Austerity

My new job is great, but I'm making a lot less money. I had to sit down and figure out how I'm going to make it all work, and go over my bank and credit card statements to see where I can cut back. It looks like one of my biggest spending problems is going out to eat or getting coffee, so that's going to change. I use more data on my phone each month than I should. I was paying for an Earthlink mail account each month that I don't use anymore. I adjusted my renter's insurance coverage. I know I can make my income work if I'm careful. Right now I'm also writing down how much I spend each day so I can see how it's working out. Fortunately I get a lot of free stuff from work and a discount, and I eat cheaply anyway at home. I'm turning it into a game so it won't be a total drag. I have to pick up some prescriptions in a minute that will cost me a lot, but I probably won't need refills for a few months.

These changes have made me more careful with my time and getting things done so I can have peace of mind. I gave some more stuff to the Vietnam Vets today, and I have a bag waiting for SCRAP. I'm cleaning up my porch and I finally cleaned up behind the stove and mopped the floor around it. The inside of my freezer is sparkling now, and I wiped down underneath the kitchen sink with bleach. I'm ashamed to say that there was a bottle for recycling sitting there for months that I'd been trying to ignore because I'm afraid of seeing spiders down there. The bathroom is clean too, but it was more of a rush job because I was expecting company at the last minute. Also, my vacuum cleaner has a new bag and I cleared out a clog in the hose.

In my holistic approach to self-actualization through housekeeping, I'm making my bed each morning:

The ants are back. That will have to be a whole separate chapter.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Duckie's Revenge

There's a movie I love, Pretty In Pink.  I've seen it too many times to count, mostly on VHS. Anyway, there's a scene where Andie and Duckie are studying, and Andie suggests to him that he is trying to flunk class because he doesn't want to leave high school.  It's a part of the movie most people must have overlooked, but it's a profound observation. Both of them know that as bad as high school is, the bad times make them closer.


I look at this scene as a fitting analogy to my housekeeping issues. I'm trying to do two things at once: clean shit up and keep all the shit. I'm making this house my big project instead of clearing up places to make new projects.

I'm selling several pieces of furniture so that I won't have to think about them anymore. These are things that I got from my late husband's late grandmother, beautiful and valuable things that I still love.  Someday these things will no longer be mine anyway, either I'll die and they'll get sold to strangers or I'll have to move and sell some things. Or something. I might as well make them "Not Mine" now as any other time in the future. I don't need a dozen chairs for my single-living ass. I just got a molded plywood Eames chair repaired after years of it sitting in my basement.

I got removed from a Facebook free stuff group I was part of, I assume for not using the site as much, but I got reinstated and started the giveaway process immediately.  Two days ago I left a bowling ball and shoes on my porch, as well as a plastic clothing rack, for pickup.

Now I'm readying my heart to let go of this pair of beauties:

These were embroidered by Dylan's grandmother and great-grandmother.  I once had my mom keep them for a while but I've had them back for over a year.  Now my friend's mom is taking them. I'm sad to see them go, but my place is far too crowded to hold onto them.

In the last week again I made use of the Craigslist free page again to give away a vintage toy racecar track.  I had two flakers before someone came and got it.  I'm among the few dorks who haven't completely given up on Craigslist yet but it sure is a pain in the ass most of the time.

I've begun bringing clothes and trinkets to Village Merchants again to build up some trade.  Why, I'm not sure - I don't need the trade or more stuff but I reasoned that I could get presents for my friends there.

You'd think with all of the stuff I'm doing I'd have a lot more empty space in my home, but I'm pretty sure it's worse all the time.  It's probably time to just light a match.


"It IS trash"

Monday, July 2, 2018

Animal Farm

There's been a long gap since my last post.  My news was getting repetitive and even I didn't care too much about telling everyone about the Twilight Rummage Sale, though it's still very important to me.

I do have some cool updates though that are surprising, even to me.  At the last TRS I traded the last few dozen of my DVDs for a set of antlers mounted on wood.  This might sound like a dumb deal to you, but for me it's pretty sweet.

Not mine, but you get the idea
I was drowning in movies for years and now, no more!  Just the ones I still want to keep, and those are pretty few now.

I've had two people come to my house to buy more books. I also rearranged the bookcases in my basement so that I can organize the material in a way that makes things easier to find.

There was a huge change in my life a month ago.  I was hired to work for a grocery store as a cashier, after working in an office as part of the accounting department for five years.  FIVE YEARS!! I tried to leave a couple other times but couldn't find the right position, then I decided I didn't really want another office job.  My new job is demanding and requires a lot of physical activity, and I'm increasing my workouts so I can endure it more easily.  There were many positive things about my time in accounting, but, well, the reasons to leave grew more numerous all the time.  My last two weeks there were like a showcase of Why I Wanted to Leave in the First Place.

Check out my new basement bookcase arrangement on one wall.  This is the place where I once couldn't even see the wall:
This is where I now keep comic book anthologies and other collected works, and books on the occult and religions.  The little book holder on top is one I made in a woodworking class years ago.

Now that this area is so well in hand, I plan to make the office the focus of this blog.  For some reason I'm really blocked when it comes to working on that room or spending time in it.  Not to worry, I'm so much happier now than I once thought I ever could be.  I'd like to use this room again or at least start being ok with entering it!

And now, for no good reason whatsoever:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cease and Desist

I'm at work but I'm on my lunch break, so it's ok that I talk to you.  I'm not hungry but I'm pretending to eat my laying a napkin down in front of me on my desk, so no one bothers me.  Stupid, I know, but nothing else seems to work.

3/14/18 was the day of Frankenstein's Comic Book Swap and Comix Thing.  Remember, Frankenstein's is from 11am to 6pm and CT is from 9pm to midnight, so I was busy for a good 15 hours at least. You know, prepping and loading in and out. I had been late reserving a table so my friend Tim, who is also the organizer for both, offered me space on his table!  I purged a lot of books I had been hanging onto that were art or comix related and I sold a whole bunch.  I think I got rid of at least half of the stuff I brought!

I put a lot of myself into pulling out the material for this show, for arranging my DJ set, and talking to people all day long, not to mention the physical labor of getting ready and taking it all home again.  I felt drained on Sunday, so it was really good that it was a beautiful day.  I had two prearranged activities fall through in a blundering way (on their parts, thanks dingdongs) so it got me thinking hard about what is important to me.  I used to brood more about things and people that got me down but my reaction now to such stimuli is to think, I need to make some repairs around the house and work on a project and make my world better to be in. 

I've been purging my cupboards and drawers in a big way in the last two weeks.  I'm also getting rid of the old drums and drum parts that I accumulated over the years now that I have a complete set of newer good ones.  It's funny how things sit right out in the open for years and you don't realize how often you accommodate their presence by skirting them when you have to go by. 

My next big home improvement project is to remove the carpet from my office space and purge from that room as well.  I don't really like going in there and I think it's because it's full of old stuff.  I've done a lot already but the floor is pretty much covered with the things I've been sorting.  I'm going to do for this room what I did for my bedroom, and not bring back anything that I don't want in there.  I'd like to be done by my birthday next month!

It feels like the year is finally beginning.  I've been so tired and low-energy for a long time but today I feel great, thanks to going to bed super-early last night.  It feels like I might be able to get it together to do my big projects around the house.



Friday, March 2, 2018

Basement vs. Predator

This week is another edition of the Craigslist Free Stuff Experience.  There's a reason why people have feelings of trepidation when it comes to CL ads.  People who will scoop up absolutely anything for little to no money (I do mean ANYTHING) and will go well out of their way for these things maybe aren't the most salubrious punters.

I finally got rid of a fugly-yet-functional paper shredder that was too heavy for me to scoot around when I needed to use it.  After two eager volunteers flaked on me, I found a third who came by for a porch pickup on Wednesday.  I now have a really good cross-cutting shredder that cost me $2 at the Twilight Rummage Sale.  So it goes in the world of low/no cost living.

At the last couple Twilight sales, I met two different guys that buy books.  One of them came over and bought a bunch but I still had a ton left over!  I haven't made an appointment with the last guy I talked to but he did buy a stack from me at the sale itself.  I want to make room for my comic show  preparations but there's a whole lot of stuff still in the way!

I'd forgotten what a drag the sorting process is.  But, I did make a nice, tidy selection for when Frankensteins and Comix Thing happen again next month.
I had a couple days off from work this week because I went up to Seattle to see one of my friends' art openings in a gallery there.  I had a cold but I pulled it together enough to make it work out! I'm looking forward to getting a better night's sleep tonight and getting all of my weekend tasks done starting tomorrow.  I have my DJ set to complete for Comix Thing, as well as organizing my merchandise more and making art.  So many other things besides.

Tonight also, I think I'll be cleaning out the hall closet and organizing all that nonsense.  I've been giving a lot of thought to the idea of making way for bigger, more exciting life changes by having a tidier place to exist.  The cleaner my home got, and more free of things I didn't want or need, the bigger the plans I was able to accomplish.  I do believe in magic, and household magic feeds so many things that are in and out of the home.  Go ahead and laugh, you know I'm right.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Post Title

It's 2018 now - I wish I could sound more excited about it but I'm having the S.A.D. on and off these last couple days.  Weekends can be rough sometimes.  I think I may be having some delayed grief from the one-year anniversary of losing my mom.  It's a weird gloomy time, and best to stay busy and have a to-do list to tick off.  Last night I put some little succulent plants in pretty containers.

One great thing that has become reality, just recently, is the floor in my basement.  Look at the contrast from years ago!

It's no longer got a big pile of junk in the center of it (just a small one). Among the items that were under the SCRAP giveaway pile were a couple of old, nice framed prints, a baby picture of Dylan's grandfather (I think), a Japanese monster poster featuring Ultra Man, and an antique china platter.  Also, beneath that was a molded plywood chair that needs fixing, which is on my to-do list also.  It's too soon to say, but I think I won't have any more path-blocking objects EVER AGAIN.

The Twilight Rummage Sale last month was disappointing in that I lost money for the first time that I can recall.  It was still fun, just poorly attended compared to previous ones.  It was competing with a few other holiday events.

I don't think I mentioned this before, but the Buy Nothing group for my neighborhood got so large that it had to split into smaller groups, specific to my little Portland neighborhood.  It's good that there are so many interested, but I liked that there were so many people ready to jump at a giveaway offer.  There was almost no chance of getting refused.  And, I got my own requests taken care of like magic.  I've now given away my drawing table, an office chair, and my old bass guitar since the new group formed.  I had an irritating instance with a person who flaked on me once.  What can you say to them when it's just free stuff exchanging hands?

I've signed up for some online classes so I can improve my professional skills.   I might not feel awesome right now but I've still got big plans. Also it's a nice day so I'm going for a bike ride at last on my newly tuned up bike. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Power of Positive Thinking

First things first - if you have a couple hours to spare and you need to put five thousand smiles on your face you should watch Jab We Met , a Bollywood romantic comedy that Andrice had me watch at her house yesterday:
Epic song & dance scene in first half : drumming, flirting, & swirling 

It being the end of year and all, I'm pushing myself way too hard to be productive and creative.  Over the weekend I had a prepared list of things I wanted to get done in December and set about making some strides. 

I took a large bag of stuff to SCRAP on Saturday and again yesterday; it turns out the bus stops right around the corner so I'll be going again this week!  I did a lot of laundry and I'm still not done for some reason.  I packed a box with old computer discs to take to the basement.  Mended some clothes.  Made a pile for the donation truck.  Returned library books.  Shopped for groceries.  Picked a paint color for the hallway.  Did some holiday decorating.  Cleaned lump of rotten pumpkin off the front walkway.  I worked on a painting I've been doing for several months and that's almost done. On Saturday night I hosted a small gathering of my friends who have been meeting for years to watch Dynasty and work on craft projects.  

One thing I brought to SCRAP was this wooden tree I made many years ago. 
For a few years I worked at a construction company doing drafting and programming of their laser cutter. I modified an existing pattern to make these miniature tree parts, as a party favor for an open house event.  I kept it these last seven years because it was something from that time that I helped make and was could bring home.  But, whenever I saw it, it reminded me of my crappy boss his verbal harrassment of me every day we worked together, over a year.  So much has changed since then and I've had lot of good memories and job experience since, but when a little wooden tree keeps sparking lame shit, it's time to say goodbye.  Now someone who doesn't have any of those associations can decorate these pieces and make something good.
Awright, in other happier news I've just about finished another painting and my new comic is going to be in the upcoming VisionQuest! Also, a Twilight Rummage Sale is happening early this month, on the 9th.  Things are pretty great, seasonal affective disorder notwithstanding.